Saturday, December 19, 2015

Systems Saturday - Alien Frontiers (2010)

I've managed to get in a handful of games of Alien Frontiers (2010) each month since September this year with about a dozen people in three to five player games.  It's proven to be one of my new favorites.  I've been taught the game and played with all of the expansions and even returned to the base game and taught a few new players myself.  Most recently, I taught two new players for a three player session of the base game.  Even with new players, it was challenging for all of us and great fun.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Do you have what it takes to be a deep space colonist? An alien frontier awaits the brave and daring! This new planet will be harsh, but if you have the skills to manage your resources, build a fleet, research alien life, and settle colonies, the world can be yours.
Alien Frontiers is a game of resource management and planetary development for two to four players. During the game you will utilize orbital facilities and alien technology to build colony domes in strategic locations to control the newly discovered world.
The game board shows the planet, its moon, the stations in orbit around the planet, and the solar system’s star. The dice you are given at the start of the game represent the space ships in your fleet. You will assign these ships to the orbital facilities in order to earn resources, expand your fleet, and colonize the planet.
As the game progresses, you will place your colony tokens on the planet to represent the amount of control you have over each territory. Those territories exert influence over specific orbital facilities and, if you control a territory, you are able to utilize that sway to your advantage.
The planet was once the home of an alien race and they left behind a wondrous artifact in orbit. Using your fleet to explore the artifact, you will discover amazing alien technologies that you can use to advance your cause.
Winning the game will require careful consideration as you assign your fleet, integrate the alien technology and territory influences into your expansion plans, and block your opponents from building colonies of their own. Do you have what it takes to conquer an alien frontier?
Roll and place your dice to gain advantages over your opponent and block them out of useful areas of the board. Use Alien Tech cards to manipulate your dice rolls and territory bonuses to break the rules. Steal resources, overtake territories, and do whatever it takes to get your colonies on the map first! Don't dream it'll be easy, though, because the other players will be trying to do the same thing.

I think one of the reasons I keep coming back to this game is how easily a new player can compete with veterans.  That is due both to its balance at all levels of play as well as how easily even a new player can take to it and incorporate complex strategies.  While the Alien Tech cards have become more familiar, the various combinations that might become available during play continue to surprise me with their avenues toward alternate strategies.  I'm going to keep playing this one and report on it into the new year.

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

No comments: