Tom Yerton
United States
Oklahoma
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Trying to make missions well I wanna try but this list would be handy
 
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Skaak
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I don't know of anything like this; there aren't that many people making custom missions, so I don't believe it has come up before.

Here's a basic run-down, though. Keep in mind that there are variations by color in some instances, and green is almost always a little less nasty than blue, which is less nasty than red.

* Spine Critter (melee): not a lot of health, but moves quickly and can lock down agents by engaging them. Nastiest in low-LOS environments or anywhere agents tend to clump up. Easiest to deal with in wide open spaces. Best when paired with a ranged enemy (Xeno-beta is the most obvious Spine Critter compatriot), or in a swarm of enemies where agents will ignore it (to their peril). Agents can often one-shot Spine Critter at high rank and with decent weapons, so it's one of the aliens who has the least longevity as agent ranks grow.

* Xeno-Beta (ranged): higher health than Spine Critter, but still pretty low health. Really nasty at range {2}, and little more than an annoyance at melee range. Easily exploited AI in low-LOS environments; best when it can see agents coming a long way off. Pairs well with Spine Critter (for locking agents down so the Xeno-Beta can go to town on them), Xeno-Alpha (who can help mitigate the Xeno-Beta's "flee when engaged" exploitable AI), and to a lesser extent Aracnos (who can lock agents down, but also often ends up dragging them toward the Beta and out of its sweet spot). In missions with high agent ranks, Xeno-Beta works best as a distraction from the true threats.

* Xeno-Alpha (hybrid; primary focus depends on color): Xeno-Alphas are an all-around good alien and pair well with any ranged alien. Green and Blue variants pair decently well with Spine Critters, as long as the Spine Critters have a running start. Pairs really well with Xeno-Beta, and is mind-bogglingly nasty paired with a Nexus. There isn't really any specific place where Xeno-Alphas are best or worst, although they do generally need decent LOS to function effectively. Their AI is less easy to exploit than a Xeno-Beta, but can still be exploited given sufficient cover and agent rank.

* Aracnos (melee): Aracnos are the alien's disrupters; they don't really pair well with any of the other aliens so much as they drastically upset the agents' tactical positioning which in turn benefits all aliens. They also are reasonably difficult to kill. Best as a distraction from other threats, or in missions where agents are incentivized to let the aliens come to them (since they will put the kibosh on that plan nice and fast).

* Nexus (ranged, but also packs a punch): hands down the nastiest alien in the game (particularly the Blue Nexus). Very difficult to kill, and if the agents are clumped up can single handedly wipe the entire team within a turn or two. Pairs well with any alien that can provide a distraction or encourage agents into sub-optimal positioning. Fares much less well in low-LOS environments. It's primary downside is its lack of mobility, which is why a Xeno-Alpha is a great complement.

* Xeno-Beast (primarily melee): nastiest alien enemy on paper, but in practice not all that difficult to deal with (just stick someone in front of him who you don't mind being almost constantly paralyzed and ignore him). Only a real threat if the Close Encounters deck is geared toward activating him, or if he gets in proximity to a Xeno-Grey. Like Aracnos, he is mainly a disrupter thanks to his paralysis effect.

* Xeno-Grey (support): excessively nasty alien support character. Very hard to kill, and pairs well with any alien (for Spine Critters, Aracnos, and Xeno-Beta the Grey wants to be far out of sight so he can spawn in a constant stream of minor threats; for Nexus and Xeno-Beast, the Xeno-Grey wants to be as close to the action as possible while still remaining out of the agents' LOS; Xeno-Alpha is the only alien who pairs less well with the Grey, because depending on the map and activation luck he can either pull him into the thick of a battle where the Grey exacerbates everything, or else pull him out of position and allow the agents to off him).

Keep in mind that difficulty is not just about which aliens you include, but also the Close Encounter deck. You can run all red and/or blue aliens, and still make it a cake-walk for the agents if there are very few cards that activate them. Similarly, you can include a potentially nasty enemy (like a Blue Nexus or Xeno-Beast) but scale the difficulty based on how often they are able to activate (whether through the Close Encounters deck or Xeno-Grey positioning).

Hope that's helpful!
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Tom Yerton
United States
Oklahoma
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ty for typing all that up.
 
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