Friday, May 10, 2024

Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps: A review

For fans of the Alien franchise, there are really only two candidates for the best movie: Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986). Fans of the second movie now also have a board game.

Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps was created and released by GaleForce9 Games as a cooperative board game for 1 to 6 players. Players step into the shoes  of the characters from the movie. They are all represented, when you also collect the expansion sets: Ripley, Newt, the Marines, the android Bishop, the untrustworthy Burke and of course the Aliens including their ferocious Queen.

The game is based on scenarios of which the basic game provides three, along with miniatures  of Ripley, Newt, and 5 Marines. You can also play "bug hunts" in between or buy the expansion sets that give you even more scenarios plus the rest of the characters, more Aliens and expanded rules. The scenarios can be played as a campaign. Then you have to be very careful not to get marines killed too early. Otherwise, you will quickly run out of man- and firepower further down the road....

The mechanism

The Aliens game is all about the Endurance Cards. They perform multiple functions  in the game such as Events, Equipment and Weapons, ammunition, and action items. Shooting, for example, costs a card. If your entire deck of cards is in the discard pile, your characters won't be able to do anything. So be careful with it. You can equip your characters with anything and everything by giving them cards as equipment and weapons, but you can't use those cards for actions anymore. You can get cards back by resting, but well; there’d better not be Aliens heading your way then.....

In a turn, players take turns first performing two actions of their own characters (the Heroes), then the two actions of the "grunts" (the other characters played by all players collectively) and then the actions of the Aliens.

Each character can be played as a Hero or Grunt with Heroes having higher stats (better shooting, better hacking etc). The Heroes and the Grunts use cards in their actions (and try to get as many of them back as possible). At various times, Heroes can be given cards to add to their equipment or hand or to play as an action.

Fighting is quick and simple. Shooting is done with a card and a D10 roll. A result equal to or below the Shoot skill is a hit. But the Shoot skill drops one point with each shot..... Hand-to-claw combat with an Alien also happens with a D10 and a  roll aiming below the Character’s Defence Skill. If you lose and you're lying next to an Alien at the end of the turn? Game over, man. Game over.....

The Aliens' actions consist of movement and possible attacks from the Alien miniatures on the board, then the random movement of the blips representing an unknown number of Aliens outside the players' field of vision, and then the appearance of new blips. Aliens usually blip along in a blood-curdling pace..... There is often a horde of the things on the board just when the cards are running out. So timing is vitally important.....

The hardware

Cards and game parts are made of solid cardboard and are teeming with quotes and pictures from the movie. The characters and aliens come as plastic miniatures. Some modeling skills might come in handy but painting is optional (unless you’re an OCD miniature gamer like me) as the green Character figures stand out clearlu from the black aliens.

Base game and expansion sets together deliver all the movie characters, including Ripley without Newt, Ripley carrying Newt and Ripley driving a Powerloader. And  of course there is also an Alien Queen! The game boards are double-printed modular boards. This results in some variation in the different scenarios.

The Verdict

Aliens is a nice combination of a challenging, exciting, cooperative board game with relatively uncomplicated rules.

The growing horde of Aliens increases the pressure and dawdling or wrong choices on the side of the players are punished harshly. The game looks terrific and if you put some paintwork into the miniatures you’ll  have a nice Aliens miniatures collection too.

The sets so far are:

• Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps
• Aliens: Ultimate Badasses
• Aliens: Get away from her you Bitch!
• Aliens: We're in the pipe: five by five

From GaleForce9 Games

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this as I have been considering the game for a while. I have a couple of the expansion packs, just because I loved the look of the miniatures, but have yet to jump in for the core box.