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Thursday, January 20, 2005


Doom: The Boardgame

My wife and I saw this one at the local game store several weeks ago. She looked at it and asked me if I would be getting it. I laughed and said, "Hell no." Hyped games generally turn me off. Games aimed at teenage boys with miniature figures are a double turn off.

Well, now a few weeks have gone by and I see that Thornquist, Walt Mulder, several others whose opinions I generally trust like the game so I gave it a closer look. I looked closely and it was 20% off. Good enough, I now own Doom: The Boardgame.

Initial Impression

The first thing you notice about the game is that it is heavy. The box is chalk full of bits. In fact, it is difficult to get the lid on after punching all the cardboard chits and other game pieces. There is a cardboard insert that really seems to serve no purpose and it had to get chucked before all the pieces would fit back into the box.

The chits and "floor plan" pieces are heavy cardboard. The cards are thick cardstock. The plastic miniatures are good quality. The rule and scenario books are glossy paper. All in all, the components are very good and there are lots of them.

My final pronouncement of gameplay will have to wait, though. I just bought it a couple days ago, and I only got to play one game. I brought it to the Boys and Girls club this last evening. The game really sparked a lot of interest when I brought it in, unfortunately it is only a 4-player game. There were probably 7 or 9 guys who showed interest, but only 4 could play. I had brought Bang! just in case there were more kids than usual, but Bang! Went over like a rubber crutch in the presence of Doom.

As I said, I didn't have a chance to play before bringing it to the Boys and Girls club. I really try to avoid this, as I'm expected to be the game guru and there is so much to learn on the first play. I was very familiar with the rules and the game progressed with few hitches.

The main problem was that the kids were so exited to play. I started the game with 3 hyperactive 10-12 year-olds and a normal-active 15 year-old. There was a lot of fooling around with the bits and I can't be sure that extra ammo and life tokens weren't added to the game. Not intentionally mind you, but... you get the picture. The older kid was playing the role of the invaders, but he had to leave after about 45 minutes of play. I took over his position. With me playing the game that made it all the harder to keep track of the other kids.

Teamwork is a requirement for the game on the part of the 3 marine players. Three hyperactive 12 year-olds, all wanting to go in different directions, made it more difficult for them than it should have been. Killing the invaders became more important than completing the task of escaping the compound, which is the goal for the marine players. I tried to keep them on task, but ammo ran short and they got killed easily. (The goal of the invaders is to kill the marines 6 times.)

Good game. Had fun.

Yes, it is a dicefest. Yes, it replicates the feeling and strategy of the video game very well. No, it wasn't worth it at full price ($55). Remember, this is initial impression only.

Good gaming,

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