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Galaxy Defenders Preview – Part 3: Combining abilities, skills and devices

The following articles present the Galaxy Defenders’ setting and Agents and Aliens. Let’s see some tactics spotted during a recent playtest that can help conclude campaigns successfully, as explained by the game authors – Nunzio Surace (Agent N) and Simone Romano (Agent S).

Galaxy Defenders is a tactical battle game, where cooperation between agents is essential. Their abilities can be perfectly integrated and, if used correctly, allow valuable and spectacular actions to achieve the mission goal.

When creating the agents, we tried to give to each character his own specialty and still allow players the opportunity to customize the agent by choosing among several paths, skills, weapons, and devices. This approach ensures games always vary, with a wide range of available actions for the players.

So, let's start with a brief presentation of the agents of the GD squad and their roles.

Each agent is highly differentiated by his innate Ability, but reaches his top potential through the combination of Basic and Improved tactics, skills, and devices, which are chosen and used by the players from mission to mission.

Now, let’s look at some Skills and Devices:

The Hulk’s Charge, the Marine’s Grenadier, and the Infiltrator’s Satellite Strike: looking at them closely, we noticed how the abilities and useful objects could become devastating when combined.

We suggest the first class skill for Hulk be Charge. It allows one extra Hex movement, avoids an eventual evade action, and shifts the aliens eventually contacted by Hulk at the end of his charge. If used carefully, this skill can save agents in trouble and also moves the aliens, positioning them together in a single area and making them sitting ducks for area damage weapons (as detailed in the images).

In this example, the Sniper is engaged in combat with two aliens and risks his life...

In this example the Sniper is engaged in combat with two aliens and risks his life...

... but thanks to the Hulk’s Charge skill, both aliens are moved back into an adjacent area.

... but thanks to the Hulk’s Charge skill, both aliens are moved back into an adjacent area.

Now the Hulk may attack with his MG that deal Area damage and hit all aliens in the targeted area. Well Done Agent Titanium!

Now the Hulk may attack with his MG that deal Area damage and hit all aliens in the targeted area. Well done Agent Titanium!

For example, imagine a Sniper adjacent to two Spine Critter aliens: due to their poison, their death could wound or even kill the Sniper. In this situation, the Hulk's charge would push the aliens away from Sniper, enabling the other agents to kill them without risking further damage from their exploding bodies.

Now, let’s see the Marine, the “factotum” of the group. This character reaches his maximum usefulness with the “Grenadier” skill. It gives him a better chance of hitting with grenades and it allows access to a lethal arsenal of the 3 types of grenades included in the game’s core.

The most powerful grenade of the set is certainly the Flash Grenade, which stuns all aliens in the targeted area until the following Refresh phase. In this case, the use of Flash Grenades must be examined by the group, so they can hit the most aliens and/or the most dangerous. Additionally, because the effect ends at the beginning of the successive round, it’s best to activate the Marine as soon as possible (perhaps choosing him as Alpha Agent), to keep the aliens idle longer.

This is only one example of how strategically important it is to choose the proper Alpha Agent.

Other example refers to the last subject we will talk about in this article: Satellite Strike, a device used exclusively by the Infiltrator. This orbital attack hits all the aliens in the chosen area with 8 red dice at the end of the Battle phase. Using this device in the beginning of the Battle phase could turn out to be a strategic error, as the Aliens may move during the round. Instead, if the Alpha Agent is selected so the Infiltrator is the last agent in the round, she will have the chance to use the Satellite Strike to precisely hit the alien targets, since the attack is resolved with only one Close Encounter card remaining to be drawn (as the last agent in the round, there will be only one alien turn).

At this point, you can imagine how the right combination of these three skills/devices can solve some situations, which would otherwise be critical.

Now, imagine you are surrounded by aliens: the situation seems desperate, but here the hard training of our agents will prove its worth. The Hulk, sensing the danger, charges the biggest group of aliens, compacting them and then unleashing his deadly Vulcan (with area damage). At the same time, the alien movement allows the Marine to activate his Guard ability to shoot at the entire area (spending only 1 ammo).

Or, what if the Marine launches his Flash Grenade to stun all the aliens? This allows the Infiltrator to precisely communicate the coordinates of a Satellite Strike, leaving Orbital Bombing the task of clearing the ground of the alien menace.

We hope when you have the game in your hands, you will let us know your own lethal discoveries to allow our agents to solve the most complicated situations and to save the planet from the imminent invasion!

Agents N & S, from GD Agency

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015