Gameday First Play – Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Moving from Marvel to Alien.
Building a deck about a film I haven’t seen.
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, based on the four movies of the Alien series, is a fully cooperative game with original art.
Players must cooperate in order to survive against hordes of aliens. Taking on the role of protagonists such as Ripley, Dallas, Bishop and Corporal Hicks, players take turns recruiting cards for their deck from a central selection in order to improve their deck and defeat Xenomorph cards that are added to the central game board.
These ‘Encounters’ style games play a little differently to Legendary Marvel which is a little more ‘Route One’. In that you use Heroes to defeat a Villain, simple.
Alien has a little more finesse… For starters, you are represented by a role card which adds a card to your deck. This worked well in the Penny Arcade Deck Building Games and it’s something I like to see.
I picked the synthetic which has the ‘Versatile Programming’ card that has one of each symbol on it… and let’s you draw a card.
The Alien deck is split into 3 sections. Level 1, level 2 and Level 3. Each of these provides a different step in the mission and gives you multiple goals to achieve.
Game play is the same as Marvel but at the start of your turn instead of revealing a card face up, you keep it face down and push them along the complex.
To turn them face up you need to scan them using attack cards to see what’s there. Instead of escaping, enemies pushed off the end of the row go into the Combat Zone. Here, you can attack them and at the end of your turn you take a strike for each card there…
These strikes give you damage and negative effects. Too much damage and you’re eliminated from the game.
There is a point to scanning rather than waiting for them to drop in the combat zone. Obviously it lets you see what’s coming and gives you a chance to kill them early, but some cards reward you if you find them in the Complex.
Buying cards works the same as Marvel but there are two keywords which work very well in this game.
Coordinate lets you discard that card on another players turn to give them a boost. I had one that gave me 3 recruit points on my turn or 3 attack if I discarded it on an opponents turn.
Vigilant cards can be set aside to use on that turn, or future turns.
All in all it’s a very good addition to Marvel with the extra ‘thing’ of completing events that follow the films.
I haven’t seen the films but I’m assured the game follows the key points well.
I’ll be very interested in playing this with the Predator version mixed in and even more interested in playing the announced Firefly version…
A very good game but I still have no regrets about owning Marvel Legendary instead.