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Colin Degnan
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Maplewood
Minnesota
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I got tired not seeing any reviews of this expansion, so I decided to do one! Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game Expansion is a small box expansion to the Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game game. There are a couple new mechanics that are brought to the game as well as some updated rules. I go into detail on what this expansion brings, and at the end I will let you know what I think!

If you would like to see a playthrough with the 3 expansion Objectives and characters, please check out my YouTube Channel: One Stop Co-op Shop

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrSwu7NfI3qcuuEiMbVPa...

This is a solo version of the game with 2 hands.

What’s New

Enhanced Aliens
The Enhanced Alien ability is a neat way of providing variability to each game. How this works is when the Enhanced alien is revealed, you immediately draw the top card of the barracks, and look at the specific symbol(s) on the barracks card (Intel, Leadership, Strength, Survival or Tech) and then check the Enhanced ability to see what the aliens ability will be based on the symbols of the barracks card. Most barracks cards will only have one symbol, however in this expansion there are some cards that have multiple symbols, and if you are unlucky enough to draw a card with multiple symbols, all effect take place. Examples of the effect are “+3 attack”, or “If you fight this alien, you must draw a strike first.” Now you are never quite sure what you are going to face in the game. . .

The Mega-Enhanced enemies you will draw 5 barracks cards and place them underneath the alien. You will flip one of the five barracks cards face up at a time, and each time you defeat the alien it will discard one of the 5 barracks cards. If after you have defeated the enemy multiple times and there are no more barracks cards underneath it, you have defeated the alien. The boss that has this ability is HARD! I have yet to beat it!

Flying
Flying is a neat mechanic that is added with this expansion. If you reveal an enemy that has the Flying keyword, if the alien is in the complex it will immediately move to the space above its current location. If an enemy that is flying is in the combat zone, there is no “flying” combat area so they are just like regular enemies.
Here is the trick though with flying. Unlike with the regular cards in the complex, flying aliens will always move forward one space. They do not need another card behind them to push them along. Also, if you have a flying alien over a facedown card that you scan, and it turns out to be another flying alien, well the flying alien in the complex will push the other flying alien one space forward and then move up to the air itself! Just based on experience, this happens a lot to me and it pushes those flying aliens even quicker through the Complex. When you think about it, this mechanic is very simple, yet somehow it provides another layer of complexity that I thoroughly enjoy!

Horizontal Enemies
Yes, you read this right, horizontal enemies! There are these Brute aliens that when they are revealed they take up 2 spaces in the complex, pushing any aliens in rooms in front of them forward. Now I am even MORE worried about scanning facedown cards. . .

Hard Mode
Have you played the base game a ton to where you are feeling like you need a challenge? Well look no further! This game provides a hard mode for each object (from the expansion AND the base game) as well as a Hard Mode for all the location cards! I have tried this once so far. . . . and let’s just say it did not end well. This was a great way to provide additional replay value to the base game, as well as the expansion.

More Characters!
The game itself comes with 8 more characters you can use in your barracks! Now there is nothing mind-boggling about these cards, and there is only one new keyword: Desperation. The mechanic of this keyword is simple, the situation of the game has to match the description on the card (ex. all locations in the Complex have a facedown card) and if it does, you can active the effect. Only having one additional keyword is fine by me, I just prefer the additional variety in characters to use. My only pet peeve here is I think there is only 1 more card that can kill cards from your deck. So once again deck optimization will be very difficult in this game.

Solider Aliens/Drone Aliens
Hard mode not difficult enough for you? Then why not add some Soldier Aliens to the mix! You can up the difficulty of the game by including 1, 2, or even 3 Soldier Aliens per objective. These aliens do not correspond with any of the specific objectives; they are just hard to beat aliens! I usually play with one in each objective; it provides the right amount of difficulty for me. The game comes with more Drone Aliens as well which is appreciated.

True Solo Mode
True Solo Mode! Although most of us came up with this mode on our own they have a solo mode in the rules, and how to use coordinates etc. This way, you CAN play with one deck only, instead of managing two hands. For me personally, I still prefer the two handed approach, I find it more fun to build two decks.

Updated Setup
They have also come up with updated setup for how many Drones to include in each level per the amount of players. This did change slightly, but it is not a big deal. However what could be considered a big deal is the suggested “preparation round” for 5 players. This would mean each player would get one free turn before enemies would start coming out of the hive deck. Is it enough to help make the game more manageable at 5 players? Not sure I have never played 5 with Alien, so you will have to be the judge.

Alien Queen!
Last but certainly not least is the Alien Queen mode. You can now play a PvP game right away with one player acting as the Queen Alien controlling the Aliens and attacking the players. I cannot comment on this as I have never played this way, but it is nice to add the versatility to the game.

Final thoughts: 8/10

For me, this expansion is a no brainer purchase. If you are at all a fan of the base game, this expansion provides a TON of replay value to the game with additional objectives, Hard Modes for ALL the objectives and Locations, and a couple new neat mechanics. Plus the expansion provides some small rule changes, and if you prefer PvP, you now can play this way from the get-go (instead of waiting for someone to die from a chestburster). I will say if you are just getting into the Legendary Encounters series, you do not need to buy this expansion right away. Since this expansion does not significantly change the mechanics of the game it is much more for the veteran players. Hope this helps you decide if this is a good expansion to pick up!




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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Ugh, I need this! Hard mode sounds most intriguing, especially when playing as a Predator hunting the Aliens. From what I've read it sounds like this will make it more even, rather than 'Advantage: Predator'.
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I appreciate your write up and thoughts! Just out of curiosity, doesn't it make more sense to include an expansion that doesn't change mechanisms right off the bat, and say one that does introduce new rules is better for veterans?
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Colin Degnan
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Seth - interesting thought! I completely see where you are coming from, I just feel like if you are a newbie to Alien this expansion will not be needed for awhile. You will have plenty of replayability out of the box.

This expansion provides a veteran player with a hard mode, as well as some new characters and new objectives.

So for me, I feel this is geared towards veteran players vs. newbies.

Hope that makes sense!


 
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