Once someone spilled the beans that miniature wargames could be played in a cooperative capacity, it was like an opening of a flood gate. Or so it seems from our podcaster ivory tower. In any case, there’s no denying that
, a post-apocalyptic game of hunting monsters, features quite a bit of cooperation… if you care for that! The Doomed
Listen to the Fortified Niche episode.
is played on a fairly small board that’s strewn with a lot of terrain. This is important not only for preventing fire lanes: the game features endless movement – as long as it’s in a straight line without any obstacles. So leaving a highway down the middle of the table would give some characters an annoying amount of mobility – make sure to avoid that. The Doomed
Your miscreants can do 3 actions each, though they can only shoot once. Additional moves after the first require an roll. What roll? Well, that one’s easy: Quality is the only stat in the game, and tests are decided by rollings D6s and comparing the results to the omnistat. Your Leader is likely to be QL3+ while most of your trash troopers will be QL5+.
You can have up to 8 of God’s least favorite creatures in your team. You have the choice of four factions, each of them presenting three leader options and eight varieties of troops. With stats in this game in short supply, it’s up to the tag system to make one trooper different from another. It doesn’t quite work, but an attempt is made. Each faction has their own list of weapons to purchase and, weirdly enough, an equipment section that only opens after the first battle.
Of course, the real reason you’re here is to fight The Horrors. Unlike in , they aren’t just floating HP pools. In fact, they can go down in one hit, just like your troopers. But they don’t die unless you have destroyed their Majestic 13 three Nexuses. There are 36 Horrors in the game, each of them with their own Nexuses, minions, random reactions, and rewards. That is a lot of actual variety, and the coolest thing is that the the rewards you can buy after defeating them are tied to the monster in question. Maybe you ripped their weapon off, maybe you tamed one of the minions. It’s always cool!
You also have 36 scenarios to use in combination (or even without) with The Horror. And that’s not counting special campaign scenarios and Horrors. You do the math now. It’s a pleasing amount of variety to see, especially for podcasters that often have to bemoan the lack of scenarios. And, crucially, when playing PvPvE, a player can get the Horror reward while losing the overall scenario. The scenario rewards then go to the player that fulfilled the scenario conditions. An even if you fumble both, both teams get the same amount of game currency at the end. It’s just that the winner now has more items to choose from.
Unfortunately, that scenario variety is undercut by the fact that’s army building in isn’t really engaging. Cassa immediately figured out that taking QL4+ guys with rerolls on shooting and giving them guns that shoot three times is a lot better than anything else. Even with endless movement, melee is a sucker’s game. He easily wiped my team, which had a mix of ranged and melee options and mostly QL5+, and the Horror. And while making a team like this may not be “in the spirit of the game,” but it is in the the letter. Even if I was to play smarter on the field, stat modifiers only go by one to either direction, meaning that his dudes would have been shooting me on 5+ (with rerolls) at worst while I’d still be saving on a 5+. The Doomed
Overall, does very well to make The Horrors less vulnerable to action economy, features a great variety of both monsters and scenarios, and is inspired by the admirable impulse to keep the amount of tracking and measuring you do on the low. On the other hand, it absolutely suffers from not having that many mechanics to make your warbands pop as well as the weird campaign conceit that only your leader matters. The rest of the warband being frictionlessly purchasable each time and deaths/injuries being tracked only to determine whether you’ll be forced to either use the specific trooper next time or making the actual physical mini sit the next fight out just doesn’t stick. Which is a shame because there are some really neat mechanics in play. The Doomed