Necromowers and Grizzly Battletanks: Doomtrooper Update #2

My company, Secret Cow Level is bringing back our favorite Collectible Card Game “Doomtrooper” in digital form. For more info check out our first blog post — Doomtrooper is back — or our website at

While we were trying to imagine what a future for what Doomtrooper could look like in 2016 we realized a lot of subtle changes were necessary. We’ve also been speaking to the community in our Discord channel and discovered many of the issues that the long time tournament players faced were some of the very ones we wanted to address. Through some of these blog posts we’ll discuss the changes we’re planning and hope to work your feedback into our upcoming beta tests!

The first major change we’d like to talk to you guys about is changes to Vehicles and “Fortifications”. Vehicles in the original game were just subsets of Equipment but with special rules attached to them. We realized early on that Vehicles had more in common with “Fortifications” than they did with Equipment. Steve Berry (Secret Cow Level) proposed very early on:

Treat Vehicles as an Attack buff for multiple characters, Offensive versions of Fortifications. Treat Fortifications as Defensive Vehicles.
Necromower should probably only allow one person to ride in it…

We brought this idea to Bryan along with our ideas for how it would work in terms of balance. We knew that there had to be an easier way to destroy Vehicles and “Fortifications” on the battlefield. We also wanted a Necromower, for example, to feel different than a Grizzly Battle Tank so we added an “Occupancy” stat to Vehicles to allow (and sometimes require) more than one warrior to enter them at once.

This art made up A LOT of cards… How many do you see?

This seemed to fit very well with the changes Bryan wanted to make so we started planning.

Here is some more detail from Bryan Winter himself explaining how it all works:

One of the many goals we have in revisiting Doomtrooper is to give Fortifications and Vehicles more personality. Early on, these two card types suffered from not being well defined, and ideas became shoehorned into particular card types. Fortifications were too generic and all-encompassing. Some represented actual defenses on the battlefield (such as a Foxhole) while others represented the influence of a powerful organization (such as an entire city or a board room). Vehicles started as “just another piece of equipment,” but suffered from not enough verisimilitude as the game evolved. So we created a set of rules for Vehicles, but were still forced to keep their status as Equipment (further muddying that category).
In redesigning Doomtrooper, it became increasingly clear that the various cards needed to be reorganized into groupings that were more logical, yet still generic enough that they did not interfere with future development. We’ve talked about this “card type bloat” last time, and are going to discuss these groupings further in future posts, but here is a review of those logical groupings:
- The actual warriors fighting for their factions; the core game component around which all other cards revolve.
- Cards that represent physical things that are “on the battlefield” and directly affect the individual warriors and the battle between players, such as Equipment, Vehicles, and Fortifications.
- Cards that represent the “intangible” things that directly affect individual warriors, such as Conditions and Powers.
- Cards that represent the outside influences the affect the entire battle, but are not “on the actual battlefield,” such as the Influence of a corporate strategy or the machinations of a Dark Apostle.
- And the “other effects” that represent the whim or fate, such as combat modifiers and short term events.
Of these, let’s dive further into the new faces of Fortifications and Vehicles. Both of these card types now exclusively represent physical items on the battlefield. Which means that old “representative and influential” cards such as Fukido and Board Room are no longer designated as Fortifications (what they have become we’ll talk about in future posts)! And Vehicles have also broken out of the “Equipment” category to become something relatively new.
Fortifications and Vehicles are now “big things” that are physically on the battlefield. Fortifications generally provide defensive benefits, and Vehicles generally provide offensive benefits, but they are no longer “attached” to specific warriors. Instead, they sit on the battlefield on their own, and only convey their benefits to those warriors who enter them.
What’s that? Enter them? That’s right! These cards now have two new properties, that will be easy for the app to control and police:
Each Fortification and Vehicle has a new Occupancy stat, which indicates the number of warriors than can “occupy” that card and take advantage of its effects. A warrior must spend an action to enter or exit one of these cards, and each card will only hold so many warriors. When unoccupied, and Fortification or Vehicle just sits on the battlefield, useless.
And just how are you supposed to get rid of those nasty Fortifications and Vehicles your opponent has fielded? By blowing them up! Your warriors can now directly target Fortifications and Vehicles when they attack. But unlike warriors, these cards will (usually) not fight back, but they also won’t just go down with a single shot! Each has a Durability stat, which is essentially like hit points. Each attack will reduce the card’s Durability equal to the power of the attack, and most are tough enough to withstand several attacks!
Hmmm. Maybe you should be able to attack more than once per turn….

I hope you guys see these changes the same way we do. We want the new modern Doomtrooper to feel balanced and fun and encourage new players and classic hardcore fans alike to pick it up and play again. We’ll be testing the changes we’ve announced (and the ones we haven’t!) in our upcoming testing cycles, so be sure to sign up for our beta! And we’re always hanging out in our Discord channel if you want to come say hello and talk about the game with us.

Until next time!

Thanks Bev for the great new Nepharite animation!