Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Aliens Vs. Predator Thoughts

      It did not take long for me to break out the paint to play Aliens Vs. Predator, a game by Prodos Games. I had been looking forward to getting this game for a while. I was hoping to pick it up in an awesome deal on eBay. I did try, but we still did well for it. Either way, we got the game, and I was all too happy to paint the miniatures.
   It is not a surprise to be enthusiastic over this game. I have always liked both Aliens and Predator as a series. I watched Aliens for the first time when I was five. Same was probably true for Predator. I loved various games they have produced for the different video game systems. I would even venture to say I liked the Alien Vs. Predator movies, though, they could have been way better. Hopefully, the new Alien movie for 2017 will turn out good. I also painted my first miniatures that were Aliens made by Leading Edge Miniatures. I still look for the originals from time to time, because for all who know me, I am still a metal miniatures snob.
    Anyway, the Aliens Vs. Predator was funded through Kickstarter. And as I can tell, plenty of other games will still continue to do so as long as they make right with their promises. I mention this based on one thing that I have heard from several people about this game in particular. Rumors as you might say, so research this. I have been told from several people that the Kickstarter for this game has not full-filled all of the backers despite being available to retail. For me, this is a shame for Kickstarter and the manufacturer, but I am aware that worse could happen, such as the game we backed up one year that never produced the game or gave our money back.
    On to the review that matters, playing the game. Some friends of ours joined us at the kitchen table to play Aliens vs. Predator. The game is fairly heavy. When I first picked up the box, I thought everything might be metal. It is mainly the weight of all of the cut-out cardboard pieces for the board. It is set up like a puzzle with two sides on each. Some were dark with green lighting and the other was in red. There were cardboard pieces for objectives, pieces called "Pings", and acid markers. There were 5 Marines, 3 Predators, and 15 Aliens. All three factions have three different play styles as well as abilities. I would say that playing this game would be quick and painless, however, it is more complex that your average board game. What I mean is that you really have to read through the game to grasp the game play. They have a simple flow chart on how things move through sequence, but there are many factors that can be effected by this. Mainly, unclear rules and the cards. There are certain rules that are just written bad or hard to understand. At first, you may think that it is just a gamer error, but they are updating new rules for this game online to address these problems. There are cards you can have per turn: Five from a deck per faction that allow you to modify the rules or certain capabilities of a model per turn. Then, there are environment cards that change the conditions of the game per turn. So for first time players, it took us an hour to figure out one turn!
   However, on the plus side, the complex rules are actually good for the real direction of the game. It is set up like a campaigning system. There are even more complex rules you can use to build on characters. A good comparison game I would say would be Fantasy Game's Star Wars: Imperial Assault. The difference would be that Star Wars campaigns, you can kill Imperials, but they reinforce again. I do not think it would be the same for Aliens Vs. Predator, since the Predators in particular are pretty bad ass.
   Our game turn out to be pretty good. After our grasp of the game was gained, the turns moved much quicker. That and the violence increased. Other than some rather nagging questions, I lost 13 aliens just to kill one Predator. We were talking amongst ourselves that if my rolls on the D20 dice were in a D&D game, I would have been doing awesome, but rolling high is bad in this game. My wife, Kalissa lost everyone, but her Medic in the first attack. We are still not sure it that read right, and we feel that the Medic should have been able to do something about it. Again, there was an unclear rule about medics and their saving abilities. But this did not prevent her from killing a predator and three of my aliens!
Alien Vs. Predator melee.

With the need for violence, the Predator Clan open the door without any fear to attack the Aliens
The board for this mission.
  Overview, we will still play this game. Kalissa and I might just have to run through a full campaign. Also, I would like to get some other miniatures for this game in Aliens and Predators. I will also be replacing the Marines with some Hassle Free Miniatures, since there is a different story I would like to make and campaign about. Kalissa mentioned that she recently bought some resin Alien eggs, so we will see what direction we will run with this game.

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