It was a strange and terrifying journey for Ellen Ripley. She and her crew (Mercenary, Medic, Executive, and Synthetic) awoke on the Nostromo to the sound of a distress beacon.
I decided to play a four-avatar solitaire game. I generated a random setup which ended up being the entire first movie plot except for the final objective. Random avatars were chosen, but just for fun I decided to fill the Barracks with all four Ripley versions.
They arrived at a windswept rock of a planet, and quickly discovered an ancient and mysterious vessel full of alien eggs, which Ripley refused to allow on the Nostromo, citing quarantine procedures. While the Medic and the Executive went off to find the source of the S.O.S. call, the Mercenary (looking to make a quick score) carefully spirited a couple of eggs back onto the ship, hiding them in the cold sleep chamber.
The first three cards I scanned were a Hazard and the two S.O.S markers. I was getting worried at that point, as I've learned the hard way that it's not always a good thing to breeze past the first objective early without having time to build up your deck to deal with later events.
Several surreptitious transmissions later, the Mercenary still hadn't found a buyer for his eggs. In the meantime, the Executive had started waking the rest of the crew and discovered the contraband. Curious, he poked his head into the container, only to find himself with a Facehugger for his troubles. The Synthetic was too busy with other matters to hear his cries for help, and the Executive was quickly impregnated with a Chestburster, which grew incredibly quickly and killed him. Other eggs began to open as well, and soon Ripley was dodging aliens all over the ship.
Another stroke of bad luck. The first strike the Executive pulled was the Facehugger, and his reshuffle was imminent. Up until this point he had been the only one able to buy anything other than Sergeants, as the HQ was clogged with cards costing 5+. The Synthetic had a hand of all Specialists, which was great for him but not for the Executive.
The aliens quickly scampered into the ventilation shafts, and began conducting strikes against the crew while Ripley searched for a way to contain them. The Medic patched up the rest of the crew as he could, and began researching the Xenomorphs for a way to stop them. His strange insight into their nature would serve him well. In the meantime, the Synthetic managed to block the vents, channeling them into specific areas of the ship.
I lucked into buying the 9-cost Ripley No. 8 card thanks to the Mercenary and the Synthetic's coordinating. Not only did it come in handy for attacks, it also cleared room in the HQ for a stream of 3-4 cost characters.
Wave after wave of aliens swarmed through the ship, picking off crew right and left. It was obvious one exceptionally powerful alien nicknamed "The Beast" by Ripley due to its brutal attacks was preparing its assault, but the Mercenary and the Medic managed to keep it locked away in other parts of the ship while the Synthetic (remembering that the Nostromo was a mining vessel, laid a cunning trap in the ship's smelter. Unfortunately, a swarm of Xenomorphs ambushed him, and he was forced to set the trap off early in order to escape.
A bunch of bad luck followed, as Hazards, Events, and Strikes kept diminishing my hands and killing valuable characters. If you replaced any variation on "discard/kill random character" with "discard/kill your most expensive/necessary to your next hand character", it would be pretty accurate. A wave of objective three events flooded the Combat Zone with aliens in one turn, which I confidently flushed down the Leadworks only to realize it was discarded after use.
Finally the ship was quiet, save for the angry sounds of The Beast pounding through the bulkheads. The terrible creature seemed to have nine lives, as it always managed to escape before it could be destroyed. After horrendously mauling the Medic and the Synthetic, it turned its sights on the Mercenary. Though wounded herself, Ellen Ripley attacked The Beast one last time, distracting it long enough for the Mercenary to land the killing blow. After purging the ship of all traces of the Xenomorphs lest one somehow sneak into a human colony, the few remaining crew members pointed the Nostromo back on course and settled into their cold sleep chambers for the long journey home.
A bit of dramatic license here. I managed to keep The Beast confined to the Weapons Locker for most of the end game, though I had to allow several strikes from the Combat Zone through. I finally wound up with an attack hand full of sacrifice cards, and the extra attack was enough to kill The Beast and win the game with one card left in the Hive Deck.
This was a fun game, and I was honestly getting worried near the end. Losing an avatar early in the game hurt, especially as the Executive had just bought several excellent cards, only to lose them in the course of one turn. I still wish that there had been a few non-movie generic objective decks included in the game, but it is nice to know that at least some mixing of objectives works without feeling too jarring. I'm certain I'm going to try a couple more random setups with the all-Ripley Barracks, as it just seems appropriate somehow.
The Mercenary always comes across as a foppish jerk. He's usually a straight shooter, though. For the right price, of course.