The Corporate Wars — An introduction to Factions. Doomtrooper Update #3
The Mutant Chronicles universe is made up of 5 Megacorporations each vying for power while simultaneously attempting to impede the advance of the Dark Legion. This creates a unique and complex dynamic between each of the Megacorps filled with deceit and arduous alliances.
These complex relationships carried over into the creation of Doomtrooper’s rules. The original version of the rules attempted to simplify how it handled these alliances. The battlefield would be split into two distinct groupings labeled as Squad and Kohort. Your Squad contained your Corporation and Brotherhood cards while your Kohort contained your Dark Legion cards. This was effectively a way to separate your Bad Guys from the Good Guys. The rules stated:
- No Doomtrooper may attack another Doomtrooper from the same corporation.
- A Doomtrooper may never attack a member of the Brotherhood.
- Brotherhood members may only attack Dark Legion warriors, except any Brotherhood warrior designated as a MORTIFICATOR. Mortificators may attack any warrior in play, regardless of affiliation
- Dark Legion warriors may attack any other warrior in play, even other Dark Legion warriors.
This was a lot to keep up with. The game was designed to try and stay true to the Mutant Chronicles universe as much as possible. Unfortunately it could have a very negative effect on the gameplay. For example:
- Brotherhood often became a “secondary” faction. If you played an all Brotherhood deck you were limited with what opponents you were even ABLE to play against. (If your friends all played corporate decks you were just out of luck for game night!). So you were often better off sprinkling Brotherhood warriors into any Corporate deck.
- Similarly if you and your best friend both loved the Bauhaus faction the same problem arises.
- Mixed decks were often difficult to focus on since Brotherhood brought in Art spells and Dark Legion brought in gifts. This complexity led people to ignore many aspects of the game and tournaments often had very similar “generic” strategies being employed by players in every Corporate deck. Where’s the fun if everyone plays the same strategy?
- These rules required players to build more decks and thus buy more cards and that ends very much in the favor of the people selling the cards instead of the players!
These rules were established to try and keep the rich history of Mutant Chronicles but in the end we were left with all of the Corporations employing the same strategy and many top-tier games started to feel the same.
Let’s fix that!
Each faction in Mutant Chronicles is quite unique. Imperial, for example, love their swords. They like to have an army of sword wielding grunts following Sean Gallagher into battle. You would never see Cybertronic follow a similar tactic! And Capital would much prefer their airships and rifles instead of the swords and squad tactics of the Imperial forces.
Just because you’re not supposed to attack the Cardinal doesn’t mean your Punisher Handgun will jam up magically if you tried… (or maybe it would!). A bullet hurts just as much regardless of if your Corporate leaders tell you you’re not supposed to. So let’s let everyone attack each other and the leaders can work on the politics in their own time. We’re the ones fighting the battle down here!
Once again, I’ll let Bryan Winter explain the new rules changes in his own words:
A key issue in Doomtrooper that I am very eager to “fix” is in deckbuilding. Frankly, old-school Doomtrooper was just too open and too inclusive when it came to building a deck. The reasoning at the time was simple. We were one of the very first CCGs released, and we simply did not know how successful the game was going to be (had we only known then)! As such, we wanted the game to be as accessible and open-ended as possible, to allow any player to pick up any set of cards and have a reasonably satisfying game.
That resulted in the design decision to allow a deck to contain nearly any card from any faction. In addition, the dual-area scheme of Squad and Kohort was born from this idea. Allowing Doomtroopers and Dark Legion warriors to fight side-by-side was simply breaking with much of the setting cohesion. Not to mention the addition of the Outpost, a third area representing a whole new set of “continuity checks.”
The result was an odd concept, that these warriors were not necessarily all together on the same battlefield (driven home even further with the inclusion of Warzones). In the end the game got muddy, messy, and in need of restrictions. Had we known how popular the game would become, it would have been easier for us to originally say “No, you may not” to the players.
But now we have a chance to revisit those early decisions. And I’ll be honest, getting the hardcore Doomtrooper fans at Secret Cow Level to make their well-loved decks completely illegal took some convincing! But I think you’ll see the wisdom of the changes we are making. And what are those changes? Well, here are some teasers, with the express caveat that everything I am about to convey is subject to change in the final product!
Firstly, a couple of basic changes to general deck construction:
1. The default deck limit of any one card is no longer 5 cards. That has been reduced to 3. There will of course be exceptions. Some cards will be limited to 1 per deck. Heck, there may even be cards that have no limitation!
2. We are also looking at the minimum size of the deck you may build. That 60-card limit may change. It also may not.
But the big change comes in the guise of faction limitations. That’s right, if you want to play Imperial, then Bauhaus is not invited to your party. If you want to play Dark Legion, then no Cartel cards are allowed to be added. At all. And because each faction’s card selection will be much more limited, we are able to better ensure that the “personality” of each faction is represented in the cards only they can field.
Let’s talk about the various factions in the revisited Doomtrooper game, and how they are organized, with this excerpt from the updated rules (remember, still in development). It all falls into what we are calling the “Hierarchy of Affiliations,” which now consists of THREE versions of the old Generic affiliation!
General-affiliation cards are the most generic of all cards in Doomtrooper. They may be in any deck, and may be used by any Faction.
The Cartel is an organization comprised of the five megacorporation factions plus the Brotherhood faction. They police the solar system and provide peacekeeping to the unified face of humanity. Cartel-affiliation cards may be in any of the five corporate Faction decks, plus Brotherhood decks.
The Cartel consists of five Corporations plus the Brotherhood, who you will notice does not “quite” line up with the Corporate powers:
Bauhaus is controlled by the four ancient families of Duke Electors. Military service is a treasured tradition, and distinguished ranks of office grace the corridors of the Bauhaus business empire. The Bauhaus military is well known for their high quality equipment and mighty armored units.
Capitol is the only corporation that resembles the conventional notion of a business empire. The Capitol management consists of a Board of Directors elected by the corporate shareholder citizens. The straight-shooting Capitol armed forces are the glory boys of the battlefield.
The Cybertronic organization is primarily comprised of ex-members of other corporations, now implanted with cybermechanical machinery. In an age where electronic gadgetry is looked upon with trepidation the Cybertronic members are seen by many, especially the Brotherhood, as heretics.
The aristocratic Clans of Imperial is the weakest of the corporate powers, but has the greatest number of special forces and is a vital element to the struggle against the Dark Legion. Few face down an Imperial trooper in close quarters and live to tell the tale.
The proud and noble Mishima dynasty fields some of the most disciplined and dedicated warriors in the solar system. Family, loyalty, tradition, and glory are the staples of the Mishimese ideal. Their almost-mystical inner powers are feared by all.
The Brotherhood represents an all-powerful presence personified by the Cardinal, the spiritual leader of humanity. The Brotherhood works autonomously and is not considered a corporate faction. As such, there are ways for Brotherhood cards, and their mysterious magical powers, to be included in the decks of the other corporate factions.
THE DARK LEGION
The Dark Legion is evil incarnate. Led by the five Dark Apostles, the Dark Legion hordes are horrible to encounter and nearly impossible to defeat. Dark Legion-affiliated cards may be in any Dark Legion Faction deck.
The Doomtrooper basic set features one Dark Legion Faction, with more to come:
The Apostle of War and the Lord of Dark Technology. Algeroth’s dread legions are the most numerous. Fanatic Legionnaires and Necromutants charge in endless hordes across the bloodstained battlefields of the solar system.
When building a deck, you first pick your specific faction. The only cards you may include in that deck are those with that same affiliation, plus any that are “higher up the chain” in the affiliation hierarchy. So if you want to field a Mishima deck, that deck may only contain cards with the Mishima, Cartel, and General affiliations (plus perhaps a few Brotherhood, which we will discuss at another time).
Finally, this leads to a drastic change in your battlefield, and the battles at large. No longer do you field a Squad and a Kohort. You only have a Squad, as you are only ever allowed to field allied units. And yes, your group of Dark Legion warriors is also now referred to as your Squad.
One last bombshell.
With only one squad per side and only one opposing group of warriors, how will affiliations and factions meet in battle? Who will these warriors be allowed to target? Why, anyone in the opposing Squad, regardless of affiliation! Yes indeed, gone are the rules that limit the targeting of specific affiliations. Your troops have encountered a hostile force, and they must be terminated. Corporate civil wars are commonplace. And even the Brotherhood will fight opposing Brotherhood warriors. For certainly the Cardinal has willed it…
The decks you build in Doomtrooper should represent the uniqueness of the factions themselves. We spent a lot of time choosing the new card set to make sure each faction was represented strongly and carry their unique qualities into battle. We’ll talk about specific cards soon, but I hope you’re excited to build your favorite faction decks and challenge Bryan and the Secret Cow Level team in the near future!