We had a 4 player game recently and it was the first time I played. The game is on par with Dead of Winter (zombies). There are several roles to play which we selected randomly.
Jack's role: Soldier,
Kyle's role: Bounty Hunter,
Jerry's role: Pilot,
My Role: Engineer,
We started off with personal goals. Mine was to send the ship to Mars if the Alien nest is not destroyed, and if it is destroyed to go to Earth.
The board is set up with fixed locations that hold random rooms, and each room contains an encounter token for an event when entered.
As I was an engineer I could open and close doors which can delay aliens or deter the rest of the crew. Why would I do that? Each player may have conflicting goals. So it may be necessary to lie to the crew or sabotage parts of the ship.
Since I am the engineer I went to the engine room to see if the engines were even functional. I did check them and since I wanted to go to earth or Mars I wanted them working. I had to repair 2 of the 3 engines. This actually hurt me as I could not make it to the bridge the entire game. Since I was not able to destroy the nest and no one else was interested in the course to Mars
The first Alien contacted was an adult. It encountered Kyle who was able to escape with minor injuries. As I had a shot gun with only 2 shots I wasn't iuntested in fighting. Each contact is randomly generated from noise tokens. You could face a small creature, adult, breeder or the Queen. They appear when a location gets 2 noise tokens placed. When I was checking the engines an adult popped up, luckily I was with the soldier and together we killed the creature. I did get wounded and recieved a contamination card. Since you only get 5 cards per round you don't want these as they keep you from drawing needed items and abilities. Although you roll dice to hit and damage the aliens each creature draws a card to determine the maximum damage points it has, and breeders and queens draw twice. This means it may be easier or harder to kill each time.
Another reason I avoided the bridge is that an adult Alien appeared and stayed there. Since they move randomly you don't know if they will leave or move toward or away from you. This is what stopped me from going to the bridge to reset the course to Mars.
After turn 10 the cryogenic room allows you to re-enter the sleep pods. If you enter too early you could lose as the ship can catch fire, blow up, have more engine faliure, so you are encouraged to enter as late as possible. If necessary you can also leave by life pod which shoots you safely into space for possible victory. At this point you may want to go near life pods as they can be accessed after turn 9, unless you have a key to enter earlier.
As the game progressed I was trapped near the engine rooms as the cryo room was on fire with aliens running around. I wasn't able to enter the sleep pod and I couldn't make it to a life pod. Id ied horribly being ripped to pieces as was Kyle. Both Jack and Jerry were able to escape and win meeting their objectives.
In summary it is a fantastic game with loads of tension. I would definitely play again. The play time was about 3 hours and the time flew by.
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