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Subject: Alien Frontiers: A review by an Amerithrash gamer rss

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DomaGB
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I am an Amerithrash gamer. Unapologetic. I had 1 game from 85 to 95 and that was Talisman. Then in 95 I added RoboRally, then around 2009 I bought Tomb. In 2013, that all changed, and started getting more games. I now own 123 games and expansions combined. But I still love and prefer Amerithrash.

I think Deadwood was the 1st hybrid I liked.

I watch a lot of Dice Tower videos and saw Alien Frontiers on their videos several times. It seemed a promising game to me, and while it was a hybrid it seemed to have lots of theme.

1st lets describe a hybrid. A hybrid is a cross between an Amerithrash game and a Euro game.

Alien Frontiers has Area Control and Worker Placement, both which are typically found in Euro games.

In Alien Frontiers, your "workers" are ships which are dice. The board centers around an alien world (which is named I believe) and there are several space stations around this world. The players use these stations to collect resources to build colonies to place on the planet. The winner (in general but not absolutely) is the one to place the most colonies and control territories by having the most colonies in those territories. You gain victory points by doing these actions, but there are other ways to get points. The player with the most points wins.

You start with 3 dice (ships) and can "build" more ships (get more dice) which will help you get colonies faster. You place these ships in different locations as shared already. 2 resources are in the game: fuel and ore. Fuel is generally easier to get of the 2.

The stations you dock your dice at require different die rolls. You may need a pair, a straight, a 3 of a kind, a 6, and so on, to get into different locations.

This game has a pretty strong theme. I like games oozing with theme. And like to walk away from a game dripping with it.

I think this may be a good game for Amerithrash gamers to enjoy before going deeper into Euro's. It isn't an easy game to play, but it isn't difficult either. The space station locations may seem like a lot, or the board may look busy, but midway through my 1st game I realized it's not.

It's a beautiful board and the artwork is great. This is a fun game. Currently, and in fact, since my 1st play (I have played about nearly 20 times now), Alien Frontiers is in my top 15 games.

Now for those who want to know about expansions...

Alien Frontiers is a great base game, and if you play this casually and it isn't a favorite, the base game is enough.

If you enjoy the game a lot or just want more content I recommend the Outer Belt.

If you insist on Player Powers and want a 6th player I recommend Factions. It also is important for those again, who absolutely love the game. But I think Factions is tougher for new players.

I know a lot of people (including me) like "player powers" (I.E. Dice Tower reviewers anyone?). Factions has this. In our 1st game we seemed to have factions that were not exciting nor useful. In our 2nd game we had several that were exciting or useful.

This expansion can be a hit or miss, depending on what comes into the game. I have helped this with getting 2 of the Faction Packs (The other 2 seemed weak or uninteresting so I didn't get those). But what also makes this expansion great is adding another player.

Despite what people claim, playing with 5 players is fine, and may be a little longer than some players like. Veteran players shouldn't have a problem with getting their turns done quickly.

Outer Belt? I love this expansion, the mechanics of the rotating cards is awesome.

The mechanics, the game play, the added cards, and choices adds a lot to the game.

This is almost a must have expansion.

And as I shared in Factions, this game adds another player, so with both expansions, you can have 6 players.

I see no problem with 5 players unless it is all new players or those prone to AP. 6 players can be a little long, but I am used to 12+ hours of Talisman games so I am ok with this.

Expansion Packs?

Here is my quick review:

Expansion Pack #1: I like the player aid cards (Other players are equally enjoying them), the Field Generator aids, to help connect the tokens to the pieces and 2 other cards in this pack quite well. Rated: 7.75

Expansion Pack #2: view my comments elsewhere

Expansion Pack #3: This one seems the worst. Not one card seemed interesting or powerful. Didn't buy it. Rated: Did not rate, but think poorly of what I see in it.

Expansion Pack #4: view my comments elsewhere

Expansion Pack #5: The 3 Faction aid cards are nice for new players. Nothing super exciting here but nice to have. Rated: 6.9

Expansion Pack #6: I am a huge fan of The Outer Belt, so, more Outer Belt goodness! Rated: 8

Expansion Pack #7: Finally got this, it has more Outer Belt cards. So, it's more Outer Belt goodness! I find the cards pretty powerful, I love them. Rated: 9

Faction Pack #1: In the base game, I found the locations on the planet a bit boring. This faction is one of the 1st things to change this. This pack includes a faction which gives you a little space buggy to drive around the planet. Rated: 8.5

Faction Pack 2: Not interested in at all. Didn't buy it. Rated: didn't rate

Faction Pack #3: A really cool faction! Rated: 8.25

Faction Pack 4: Not interested in at all. Didn't buy it. Rated: didn't rate

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Peter Hazlewood
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Well said sir. I enjoy this a lot and got Factions; we mitigate the possibility of rubbish factions coming out by everyone picking one or two (depending on the number of players) to go into a pool and then taking one each.

The fifth player is definitely a must-have addition for my games as we often struggle to play something good for 5 players that won't take forever!
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Mister P
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I enjoy Alien Frontiers also. I don't enjoy it enough to indulge in all of the expansions.

I justed wanted to say that I am an Ameritrash/Wargamer who made the transition to Euro games. Following the best reviewed games on BGG I have found the Euro games to offer more balanced, fair gaming experiences. Most of the games I used to collect required continual investment in new products that didn't really change the game much at all. These days instead of getting an expansion I'm more likely to try a new game and therefore a whole new gaming experience.
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DomaGB
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BahdMufu wrote:
I enjoy Alien Frontiers also. I don't enjoy it enough to indulge in all of the expansions.

I justed wanted to say that I am an Ameritrash/Wargamer who made the transition to Euro games. Following the best reviewed games on BGG I have found the Euro games to offer more balanced, fair gaming experiences. Most of the games I used to collect required continual investment in new products that didn't really change the game much at all. These days instead of getting an expansion I'm more likely to try a new game and therefore a whole new gaming experience.


I still like expansions, and prefer Ameritrash games. But one hybrid and one Euro have snuck into my top 10:

Already stated: #4: Alien Frontiers, but for the other: #9: Tikal

But you will see even more in my top 20:

14. Carson City
17. Power Grid
18. Deadwood
19. Cleopatra and the Society of Architects

If I really like the game, I will want an expansion. For example Power Grid, is pretty good, but debate even buying the base game. Not sure my Amerithrash friends will like it, I play it instead with my meetup and what they have scratches the itch. Now I have slowly been introducing hybrids and Euros to my friends. 1st with Deadwood, then with Carson City. I would think Deadwood is a hybrid where Carson City is a pretty strong Euro, but with some decent theme. I recently played Belfort, and while the theme isn't strong, it may be a the tipping point for my friends. That is a strong Euro. And if in a year or 2, they have crossed over, I may buy Power Grid and some expansions.

So now that I have enjoyed Carson City with my friends, I am interested in getting expansions.

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Game Salute
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Thanks for the detailed write up, Doma!
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Randall Bart
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DomaGB wrote:
Outer Belt? I love this expansion, the mechanics of the rotating cards is awesome.

Thank you.
 
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