Just finished the first campaign, playing solo

As suggested by the rules, I controlled two corporations (Bauhaus and Mishima) and used the AI deck.

Here are my initial impressions:

  1. Overall, I really liked it. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the AI deck worked. There were times when the AI deck told me to make a move that I knew wasn’t very smart (e.g., entering DL reinforcements through an entrance far away from the doomtroopers instead of close by) but I thought the AI generally worked well, with an emphasis on swarming a single doomtrooper with close combat.

  2. I found that my two DT teams had no problem, in general. Max Steiner has a big advantage in firearm combat, especially once he advances in rank and gets some enhancing equipment. Same with Oshiro Makiko, regarding close combat. They progressed in rank quite rapidly and I was generally able to kill whatever DL figures I wanted to kill. I would even say that the DT’s felt a bit over-powered compared to the DL, but I’m getting the impression that the first campaign is easier for the DT’s, while the second campaign is a bit more challenging.

  3. Because I was slaughtering DL figures at will (generally) and accruing about 15 promotion points per mission just in DL kills, I found that the rewards for mission completion were not very incentivizing. For example, I could go out of my way to complete a mission that awards me 3 PP’s, or I could just kill a centurion! Notably, my teams remained at equal ranks throughout the campaign, so I never used the command token, which would have put a lot more pressure on me to complete the mission to avoid the -10 PP penalty.

  4. I didn’t track DL points, though about halfway through the campaign I realized that I should have, just to see how my DT teams were doing. But by the end it was clear that my DT teams had way more promotion points than the DL (they each finished at Rank 11 with 8 PP’s).

  5. I was a bit disappointed with the missions in the first campaign, particularly the strong similarity between missions 2 and 3. I loved mission 5, though (between the onslaught of DL figures and the temptation to run to an equipment crate, this mission really stood out). I also would have liked to see the use of doors more in the first campaign, as I thought this brought an interesting new dynamic to game play (only missions 1 and 2 had doors).

  6. I had mixed feelings about the tech specialist (I used Tetsukage). On one hand I thought she had a unique ability to target DL figures through walls. I found it only mildly useful to use her to open doors, because I found it generally worth the risk to open a door with any DT figure if I needed the door opened. What was frustrating was leaving traps where I successfully used the tentacle kit. Because I am allowed only two traps on the board, I did not find these traps to be very useful. Unless I want to make my DL figures particularly stupid, I was easily able to navigate around them. Even in the case where I had two traps in two adjacent squares on a “choke-point” between two sectors, I was still able to diagonally maneuver around them. However, the first campaign did not involve hacking a terminal, so maybe the tech specialist is more useful in this scenario.

Again, I was very happy overall with the solo experience. For the second campaign I plan on using Imperial and Cybertronic, just to experience how the game works with more doomtrooper cards (Imperial) and a tech advantage (Cybertronic). I will definitely keep track of DL points and probably improve AI decisions when they are clearly not helpful for the DL.

Anyone else have thoughts on their first experience playing solo?

1 Like

I did traps differently to you. I understood that DL figures could not move through Doomtroopers (p17), so assumed they could not pass diagonally between traps either.

So, happily, I managed to use two diagonal traps to blow up several DLs!

I’m also very happy with the solo experience, although I’m not sure about the value of the secondary missions so far.

I have yet to sit down through the whole campaign, but yeah I can understand your third point about the mission rewards. The original game awarded credits to mission winners which you needed to rent better weapons and equipment. There isn’t much reason to push to complete a mission unless you’re the commander when you can just destroy a handful of DL troops.

Once I finish a playthrough with my group, I may decide on a campaign objective of having the most victories and promotion points.

@shockaday, Just trying to clarify your point here…

Yes my understanding is that DL figures can’t move through DT figures during their movement actions. But, DL figures CAN move diagonally between DT figures, right? If true, then DL figures can do the same with traps and thus, can often avoid them.

@Matti_Jr I think that’s a great idea. Declaring the winner based on PPs alone would deminish the value of successfully completing mission objectives (both primary and secondary). As I mentioned, the only thing that makes mission objectives a big deal is if you have the commander token, but the other teams don’t have nearly the same incentive to care much about mission objectives.

Yeah, you can move diagonally between anything.

Played the first campaign with my group yesterday.

Missions 2 and 3 are too similar. I think 3 is meant to be sort of a throwback to the old mission 2. Didn’t care for having the same mission goal twice, but the secondary mission cards helped the variety. There definitely is no incentive to have both doomtroopers escape in that mission when all you get is 4 promotion points compared to 3 if only one escapes. The only reason you’d get both out is to stop the DL player from getting points.

I’m houseruling the rewards system at some point because rewarding the promotion point value of a Centurion or Razide doesn’t really do a whole lot. Getting rid of credits being earned and tracked is fine, especially with players whose teams get wiped in a mission or two, but there has got to be another way to reward players for competing for the mission win.

I liked the tech specialist. Added an interesting way to keep the DL player at bay with regards to attacking 3 spaces away and through other figures and/or walls. She probably should have had the ability to just use an action to drop a trap wherever she wants on top of dropping a trap over a defeated enemy. I may make that a house rule and see how it fares in some playtest missions in the future.

Never got to use the Stalker and Nepharite in the campaign. Ezoghoul saw little action in the 3rd mission where he is already on the map. Kinda made things less exciting because several force and event cards are not included in most of the missions with those characters. I’m okay with not having a death horse running around on the first and second mission to give players a chance, but playing the DL meant the Razides were basically your best units and they were getting killed frequently towards the end of the campaign anyway.

Overall, not bad, not great, maps were good though and round limits were appropriate.

I am working on something as part of an unofficial module :wink:

Totally agree about Missions 2 and 3.

And yes I was thinking that tech specialists should be able to drop traps anywhere they want. I guess maybe this would overpower them if you really went out of your way to place traps at choke points…

I too thought that the first campaign underutilized all DL creatures above the Razide. I think the first campaign is meant to be for beginners, though. For an experienced player it might be a little dull. I am enjoying the second campaign a lot more and find the balance to be tipped much more evenly toward the DL, especially on missions 4 and 5.

I’m hoping that’s the case. The dice gods were gracious to the guy who played the DL in our 4th mission and the Razide who went Rambo on everyone.

It might overpower tech specialists, but doomtroopers are also on a very strict time limit to get the mission done. The first 3 missions demonstrate it well while the mission with nothing but secret missions is completely up in the air and the 5th mission is just an all out brawl. Placing a trap freely at the cost of an action forces that player to make a decision between not attacking, not moving, or discarding a doomtrooper card he could use for something else.