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ALIEN FRONTIERS

A Board Game for 2-4 Players - Aged 13 and upwards -  Taking about 90 minutes per game
Published by CLEVER MOJO GAMES - Designed by TORY NIEMANN - Art by Mark Maxwell - Graphic Design by Karim Chakroun

Each player has a Rocket piece and 6 dice ini their chosen colour - here is a photo I took of the 24 player dice and the one "clear" game die.  The player who controls the clear die can use it as a seventh die.

The game board (my photo below shows it as clear as I could get it) shows the planet, separated into 8 regions, each of which has a power or ability that the controlling player can use. The Planet also has a selection of Orbiting Facilities to aid the player in their Quest for Greatness (the most VPs at game end). The spaces next to each of these Facilities are where the Players place their dice. Once all spaces are filled the option to use the Facilitiy cannot be taken by anyone else this turn.

ALIEN FRONTIERS is a dice-based game. When it is their turn the players roll all of their dice and use the results accordingly. The die results count as either their added value or whether they are in pairs (as in 2 x 3s) or triples (3 x 2s for example) or whatever the Facility requires for its ability to be used. There is an (obvious) amount of luck involved as the roll of your dice decides, or at least determines the options available to you. In most turns you can use the dice even if you don't get the result you were hoping for, but there are occasions when your turn ends as the die faces bounce and end facing upwards and not showing the numbers you wanted.

Some of the spaces at the Facilities are covered over at the start of the game (and stay covered and unusable throughout the game) depending on the number of players - this cuts down the options and keeps the excitement and challenges ata premium when there are less than four players involved. Speaking of the number of players, we haven't found it to be such a good experience with only 2 players, though with 3 or 4 the games are quite a rush. My one disparaging thought about ALIEN FRONTIERS is that it is only for 4 players when just a few extra spaces on the board and another set or two of Player pieces and the game would play superbly with 5 or 6 players - I for one would love to be able to play it with more players.

Players begin the regular game with 6 Colony Tokens available to them, leaving the remaining dice in the box unused. For a longer game each player begins with all 8 tokens available. Longer games are more of the same as far as the gameplay mechanics but they are also more intense and strategic - of course you also need a bit more Luck. The game is about controlling regions, using Facilities and getting VPs wherever and whenever you can - it is very keenly challenging and has quality rules and components to ensure longevity of play and playability.

I guess I should have mentioned this earlier about the dice and that is that each of a Player's die is one of their space ships. Players begin with 3 ships (dice) ready and 3 in the shipyard where they can retrieve them and bring them into play by rolling the necessary results and taking the Shipyard option. There is also an option (Facility) which sends ships back to the supply where they can be brought back into play using the Shipyard so there is often a fairly regular turn over of ships - it is the player who can best use, maintainence and manipulation of your dice (ships) that will win them the game.

I am not going to list and outline every facility on the board, suffice it to say all of them need to be used at least once during a game, some will be used a lot more than others. Controlling regions on the planet give you extra abilities but control can be lost as easily as it was won so again the game can be in a certain amount of irregular fluxx.

This is an excellent strategy/luck/skillful game that, as I say, really should be, in my opinion, for more than just 4 players.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015