Jacob Gowans
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Any tips for making the game more enjoyable for a brand new game group? Thanks for any advice!
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Scott Wheelock
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I'd suggest playing it solo (maybe two-handed) tonight, to get the hang of it. Having to learn the game while teaching it to four other people sounds like a nightmare to me.

There's a suggested Hive deck composition chart that may not be in your rulebook (it came out in Predator):



Even it may be too lax, as many people suggest two turns for prep where nothing is drawn from the Hive deck.

Finally, be prepared to have a slow game where you stand a very, very high chance of losing. Five players is tougher, with way more downtime between an individual player's turns.
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Trevor Wilson
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Don't play a 5 player game with a new group. It's a tough game and you will most likely lose very quickly. This could put your new group off wanting to play again.

As suggested play a solo game with two player avatars to get a feel for the game first.
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Radomir B.
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Play some Alien movie soundtrack in a loop!

I don't know how experienced you are with the game, but if you're new to it, I'd recommend to practice a bit with one friend or have a few solo plays to get a good grasp of the mechanism and the basic rules, before you present the game to a larger group. With frequent pauses to browse the rulebook for every little detail during a session, you'll risk your fellow players will get bored. It's probably inevitable and useful to verify some rules from time to time - just don't do it too often.

Other than that, if your friends are at least a bit Alien positive, I think they could enjoy it.

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TonyKR
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First play with multiple people? Don't underestimate the value of coordinating.
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Mark Shaunessy

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Work together or die trying.
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Jacob Gowans
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swheelock wrote:
I'd suggest playing it solo (maybe two-handed) tonight, to get the hang of it. Having to learn the game while teaching it to four other people sounds like a nightmare to me.

There's a suggested Hive deck composition chart that may not be in your rulebook (it came out in Predator):



Even it may be too lax, as many people suggest two turns for prep where nothing is drawn from the Hive deck.

Finally, be prepared to have a slow game where you stand a very, very high chance of losing. Five players is tougher, with way more downtime between an individual player's turns.


So you're suggesting two full rounds where we don't draw any Hive cards?
 
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Michael Korson
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Definitely don't bother playing with a deceased players coming back as an Alien - at least not for the initial playthrough.
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Scott Wheelock
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jacobugath wrote:
So you're suggesting two full rounds where we don't draw any Hive cards?


Yup. That may seem weird, but otherwise the complex will fill up before anyone draws anything other than starting cards, and that can make things terrible very fast (especially for beginners).

Here's another suggestion I just thought of. If you don't mind not playing, you could be the 'game', that is, you can flip the Hive cards, pass out Strike cards, resolve Event and Hazard effects, etc., and let the others concentrate fully on playing. That would reduce the difficulty, and make things run more smoothly. Of course, you don't get to play.
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Peter Dahlstrom
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Maybe it's just me & my group, but we've played it about 5 times and lost every time, but enjoyed it every time too. When things go pear shaped, I just emphasize that it's Alien - it's totally thematic to be overrun.

Make sure you understand the coordinate rules, and the scenario specific hive cards.

Make sure someone picks up sergeants, so you can buy the better cards. Hm... maybe strategic advice from someone who hasn't won isn't the best idea... ;-)
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Marlene Thornstrom
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pdahl wrote:
Make sure someone picks up sergeants, so you can buy the better cards. Hm... maybe strategic advice from someone who hasn't won isn't the best idea... ;-)


That's absolutely crucial. We played it 5P and after the first couple of losses we concentrated on buying sergeants; not only does it allow players to buy expensive cards earlier, it also provides the icons to enable special abilities on other cards.

We played through all four scenarios during a convention, so winning is definitely possible with 5P.
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Carter J Burke
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Everyone else has listed the vital tips.
I'd just add have fun, and please share your experience here - the community (or maybe it's just me) loves hearing stories of how games went.
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Dave Clarke
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Just played for the first time with 5 players, all of whom are big Alien fans. Most of them hated it. We got absolutely destroyed, including having one player eliminated by a chestburster in his 3rd turn. I like a challenge, but the random brutality of this game seems a bit much. Very unlikely to play it with 5 again.
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Jacob Gowans
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We played it and barely won. We also took the advice to have two turns each without revealing a Hive card. I think it helped.
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Carter J Burke
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Dave: Very sorry to hear. It's tough to lose brutally, but I always try to focus on the thematic fun. Most people die in alien films: they're now part of the legacy.

Always worth trying again, with most drone cards and even the house rule to remove player elimination; if a player dies, they kill all their cards, and start again with a new avatar. It's makes the game slightly tougher but prevents one person sitting on the sidelines (or worse- turning into an Alien! )

Jacob: glad to hear!
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Aaron White
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Definitely play it more than once. The game is harder the more players you have as it takes longer for your turn to arrive while the aliens advance. This is a great game and has some great moments, I recommend trying it with 2-3 players for a good balance.

Did anyone get face huggered? This is one of my favaourite things in the game.
 
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Dave Clarke
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Rook96 wrote:
Definitely play it more than once. The game is harder the more players you have as it takes longer for your turn to arrive while the aliens advance. This is a great game and has some great moments, I recommend trying it with 2-3 players for a good balance.

Did anyone get face huggered? This is one of my favaourite things in the game.


My mate got facehugged (twice) on his 2nd turn, chestbursted on his 3rd. It was not his favourite.

Wish I'd read this stuff before we played - the preparation turns sound like a good idea, but I very much doubt I'll play with 5 again.
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Jacob Gowans
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My character was killed by facehugger/chestburster. Not pleasant, but I was a good sport about it. I realize Dave and I had different experiences, but I really enjoyed the game and would even play it solo.
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Carter J Burke
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DaveClarke wrote:

My mate got facehugged (twice) on his 2nd turn, chestbursted on his 3rd. It was not his favourite.



Question: he only had one facehugger in front of him at one time? A second facehugger gets passed to the next player.


Sorry you wouldn't try 5 again even with all the rule adjustments.
 
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Mark Buckley
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DaveClarke wrote:
Rook96 wrote:
Definitely play it more than once. The game is harder the more players you have as it takes longer for your turn to arrive while the aliens advance. This is a great game and has some great moments, I recommend trying it with 2-3 players for a good balance.

Did anyone get face huggered? This is one of my favaourite things in the game.


My mate got facehugged (twice) on his 2nd turn, chestbursted on his 3rd. It was not his favourite.

Wish I'd read this stuff before we played - the preparation turns sound like a good idea, but I very much doubt I'll play with 5 again.


It's important not to scan unless you or the next player are sure they have 3 attack to take out a facehugger if possible. Of course sometimes you may have to so it's not always certain.
 
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Scott Wheelock
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hemulen wrote:
It's important not to scan unless you or the next player are sure they have 3 attack to take out a facehugger if possible. Of course sometimes you may have to so it's not always certain.


While this is true, it's not something I'd expect anyone to know in their first game.
 
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Peter Ball
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We played it last night lost the first game and reset and won the second. This as been the format for all the scenarios, lose first attempt win second.
The game is unforgiving if things start to go bad, but if you can get your engine running cards can flow. Our group early on everyone gets a sergeant this allows coordination for buying then as the game progresses we try to get buying cards out of our deck so e can strike.
Learning the right cards to buy for each character is one of the beauties of the game.
 
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Mike White
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We played 5 player this weekend and it was our first play. The general opinion was the game was likely very good with less players but didn't really work with 5. The problem isn't the difficulty in itself it's more that you simply don't get to construct a deck quick enough.

This lead me to wonder if a better way of reducing difficulty would be to let each player take out 3 cards from the starting deck and replace with a sergeant. This would allow the decks to cycle quicker and mitigate in part the problem at max count. Likely to try this next time up.
 
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