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Subject: Game Play Jan 04, 2015 --> The Marine Victory Concludes rss

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Ronald Hill
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This is a follow up from the game I played with my 14 Y/O son in November, which ended with 1 Marine, Dietrich, VSA & 2 Marines, Gorman & Burke, captured. OK OK Burke wasn't a Marine, but, for simplicity sake he'll be referred as such.


We kept the same characters with my son taking Apone, Ferro, Hudson, Drake, Spunkmeyer & Wierzbowski. I had Hicks, Frost, Crowe, Vasquez & Ripley. My son went first & we would alternate our characters until we got to the end, then begin a new turn. We kept the bonus bug rule as well as the fire/explosion rule for stairwell #7. Both Gorman & Burke ended up at the #3 placement area on separate rolls of the D10. Lucky for us, both for the 2 captured characters to be together, but, also a bit easier to get to without going through any extra rooms.

We went down the elevators with our characters crammed into them. One of the elevators full of my characters, the other one full of my son's characters, once at the bottom we began to advance. On turn 3 at the corner of the hallway, the first wave of aliens appeared with a pair of them from the closest stairwell, next to the advancing Apone & Hicks. Nice & close but not too close. Apone flamed the pair of them immediately. The marines began to advance & organize themselves into 2 small sections in 2 lines. As the other aliens came into range the aliens were killed mostly from flame throwers as to slow down the damage to the reactor. At this point only Hicks had used his pulse rifle to kill an alien, starting to increase the damage to the reactor thereby accelerating when the reactor will explode in a nuclear fusion explosion the size of Nebraska. Of course a 2nd wave of 2 aliens from 3 stairwells arrived & began their advance on the prepared marines. Over the next 3 turns the marines advancement was checked by the rushing aliens. At the end of this wave there were no marine casualties...so far.

On turn 10 a new wave was rolled, along with the bonus bug so now there were 3 sets of aliens, each with 3 aliens coming from 3 stairwells. Luckily 2 of the 3 sets came from stairwell #9, the furthest away & had a predictable pathway so the marines could prepare a quick defense. By turn 13 all 9 of the aliens were killed, with zero marine casualties.
"We were lucky that time" my son stated, I had to agree. So far we had advance into the long hallway towards the captured marines, most of the aliens killed were from flamethrowers, therefore it lessened the damage to the reactor. That damage sat at almost 20%, although it did jump up with a grenade fired by Hicks killing 3 aliens. My son was watching the reactor damage closely. We continued to advance.

On turn 15 another wave of aliens emerged once again with the bonus bug adding an extra 3 aliens. This time they came from the front, flank & rear. Although spread out more, their attacks all came within 2 turns.
As soon as all the aliens had been wiped out, with no marine casualties, another wave was rolled, again with the bonus bugs, that was 3 waves of aliens all with the bonus bugs, so an extra 9 (total 27), aliens, all within 8 turns. We have not advance very far since turn 10. Once again lady luck continued to smile upon us & these 9 aliens were killed & without any marines injured.

At this point we decided to break our marines into 3 groups, both of us had some in the leading group to enter the room that contained Gorman & Burke, my son's other half of his characters would guard the flank & my other half would guard the rear. By the early 20's turn we entered the room with Gorman & Burke. We found an alien in the room & of course we rolled & got a bonus bug as well. Luckily flamethrowers dispatched those 2 aliens & the plan was to get the captured marines freed. Then a new wave of aliens was rolled, but, this time no bonus bug & with 2 of the aliens coming out of the stairwell in the same room. Apone was not in position to fire, so he moved to Gorman, Hicks killed 1 of the aliens then moved next to Burke & Ferro killed the last alien from the stairwell. There would be more aliens coming from another stairwell so Frost, Crowe & Hudson moved closer down the hallway to attract these aliens. Ripley & Vasquez guarding the rear, quickly shot up the 2 aliens coming up to the rear. As the last pair of aliens advanced, both Frost & Crowe missed, Hudson then fired a grenade killing both of the aliens without injuring any of the marines. "Game over man, game over" I used Hudson's quote but in a much more positive manner. Gorman & Burke were now free, I took Burke while my son took Gorman. We decided to just start to get out of there as the damage to the reactor had climbed to about 75% before the countdown would engage.

We decided that instead of waiting 1 turn to arm both Gorman & Burke, we would start getting out of there & avoid any rooms. For the most part we were rolling well & no further waves of aliens appeared. We did decide to take a short cut through the first room with Ripley leading. If the Alien Queen was in that room, we would withdraw & avoid it, letting the exploding reactor take care of her, hopefully the room would be empty. With Vasquez & Spunkmeyer on each side of the door & Wierzbowski behind her, Ripley entered the room. I flipped the room card, only 1 alien, I rolled for placement, no bonus bug & it was not next to Ripley. She killed it with her pulse rifle, the reactor count was now at 31 of 40. My son let me know that we were getting close to initiating the countdown. Then another wave of aliens was rolled. I had to laugh at this as the aliens will appear on rolls of 0 & 1 with a D10, our last 4 rolls had gone 4-3-2-1. Three sets of 2 aliens came out of various stairwells, once again 2 of those sets came from the furthest stairwell away. The first 2 aliens again killed by fire while a large hoard was running into the hallway that the marines had just used. Hicks used a grenade to kill several of aliens, I rolled to see the damage on the reactor damage count, hoping for a low number, I rolled an 8, now it was up to 39. With Apone & Hudson using their pulse rifles on the last of the aliens, the damage reached 40 & the countdown had begun. All aliens had been killed without any marine casualties, how much longer would our luck hold out?

Ripley & Vasquez had gotten through the room & took up defensive positions in case any further waves of aliens appeared. Frost, Crowe, Spunkmeyer & Wierzbowski all headed into elevators. Drake was moving into a defensive position as well when another wave of aliens came, including from the stairwell closest to Ripley & Vasquez. As quickly as they appeared, both of the women warriors killed the aliens. A 2nd set was following the first 2 aliens while the third had to come from a far stairwell & along that same previous hallway. Ripley & Vasquez shot up the 2 aliens coming from where the first 2 were killed while Drake watched on. The last 2 aliens were still a bit away, but, Apone had a direct line of sight to them. "How about you use a grenade from Apone on those 2 aliens?" I asked. my son looked a little skeptical & did ask about injuring any other marines, then he mentioned the reactor now counting down. "Well, the distance is 10, so the grenades won't harm any of the marines & the reactor has already begun it's countdown so we can't do anymore damage to it. Apone fired the grenade killing the last 2 aliens.

No new alien waves appeared, the marines all got into the elevators including the rescued Gorman & Burke. We ended the game as the countdown finished at 31. The entire game took between 50 - 60 turns, I intended to count the turns, but, forgot to count some of the turns so that is only an educated guess.

We were lucky, not once had any alien appeared next to any marine in 3 different scenarios. The final count was 1 colonist rescued, 2 marines captured, then rescued, 13 marines, 1 colonist & 1 android successfully evacuated from the planet, with only 1 marine VSA. Poor Cpl Dietrich, my son thought it was so ironic the section's medic was the only one killed& right beside the APC's doorway too.

We has other entertaining conversations too. The best was a debate that if we armed Burke, would he try to kill the others in an attempt to hide from his crimes against the original colonists plus Ripley & Newt. We decided that even Burke wasn't that evil...or was he? We never did arm him nor Gorman, it never became necessary, but, maybe a future rule can be worked on for this line of thinking.

Overall we had a grand time playing a game that came out 10 years before my son was born. He did ask if we could play again & of course I agreed. I did inquire if he wanted to do the 'whole movie' again, but in 1 sitting. He did agree, depending on how long it might take. "Oh, that depends on the first scenario, sometimes no one makes it out alive" He looked at me out of the corner of his eye & asked, "We were lucky this game, right?'. "Very lucky" I replied. I figure that we can play a few times with the basic rules, then add in any optional or home rules (the evil evil Burke rule), as required. Until then, thanks for reading about a massive marine victory over the aliens.
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Kevin Riddle

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Great read!!
I was actually sitting closer to the screen about halfway through, waiting for trouble

I'd love to see what you come up with for the Evil Evil Burke Rule
Please post it
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Ronald Hill
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Thank you Kevin. I must admit, this was one of the most unusual plays of Aliens that I've ever played. I purchased both the game & expansion in 1990, I still have the receipts in the box, in a wild guess I must have played this between 150-200 times. But, I do not remember ever winning this strongly, not in every scenario. It wasn't unusual to lose every character over the different scenarios. So I agree with you, I too was waiting for trouble, but, it never really came. Even when the 2 aliens came up the stairwell in the room with Gorman & Burke, both ended up 2 squares away from Ferro. Hicks shot one, no acid splash & Ferro used her flamethrower on the last 1. The game ended almost anti-climatic as there were not any aliens on the board.

As for the 'Evil Evil Burke' rule, today I drove almost 550 km (330 miles), & did spend sometime thinking about this situation. I have some ideas in my head, I'll play test them this week & try to post it on a forum within the next 7-10 days. Then anyone can try them and get back to me. We can all see how those ideas/rules need to be tweaked & then set up a firm 'Evil Evil Burke' set of rules. I'll send you an e-mail if you wish. Of course I say this thinking it shouldn't be too long, hard or complicated.
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