Gameday First Play – Xenoshyft Onslaught
Starship Troopers the board game?
It’s quicker to watch each film back to back.
In XenoShyft players take the role of the NorTec Military, charged with defending their base against the onslaught of the alien “Hive”.
Each player takes control of an area of the base they must defend from an Alien invasion. This could be the Med Bay or the Barracks etc There are a few different ones to pick from. I like to deal them out randomly.
The base has 15 life per player and players need to Survive 3 waves of 3 rounds each with increasingly more powerful enemies.
Like any deck building game you start with a deck of average cards which are tiny Milita and some money to buy stuff. But you also get bonus equipment depending on which area you are defending so if you are defending the Barracks you get some better soldiers in your deck. The Med Bay player will get some Med Kits.
As these Aliens are attacking down the tunnels left behind by NorTec mining for ‘Xenosatham’, they attack in a row. You in return defend the base in a row.
After players simultaneously buy equipment, you put up to 4 Troops in your ‘Lane’ and equip them with Guns, Armour or whatever you have. (Two mini expansions include Psychokinesis Powers and Gene-Grafting)
You also add 4 enemy cards to your lane.
Then, in player order, you flip over the right most Alien and he fights against your left most troop. They damage each other simultaneously and fight to the death. When one dies you add damage tokens to the survivor, move cards up to fill the gap, rise repeat until one side is out of cards
If the Troops survive it’s all good. If Aliens survive they deal their damage to the base and vanish.
During this combat phase, you can play cards from your hand and use your Troops abilities to help out your team mates. This could be healing them with the Med Kits I mentioned earlier or attacking the Aliens with bombs you’ve picked up. You can even fly in Paratrooper cards out of your hand into their lane.
Cards given to a player this way become part of their deck which is a nice touch.
Balancing the use of these cards/abilities for other players while keeping them for yourself leads to interesting choices..
The Aliens are pretty cool and have abilities that can mess about with the order of the Troops in your lane or remove equipment, power each other up etc
You also have random boss cards shuffled into the deck that deal massive damage.
After each round, if the base is still alive you move onto the next round, buy more equipment and Troops, reset up and go again.
After 9 rounds, if you survive you win, otherwise you all lose.
While the game looks great and is fun to play, it takes FOREVER!
Playing time says 45 minutes, but it’s more like 45 minutes per player and this plays up to 6 with the expansion! We played for 2 hours in a 4 player game before dying on round 7 and in that time we could have played Marvel Legendary a couple of times.
But, it is pretty good. Using the equipment you bought cheaper than everyone else to help out your opponents is a fun to do as each player helsp each other player out. Buying and Equipping is simultaneous and requires a bit of cooperation which is actually more fun than it sounds.
Starting with those tiny Militia guys in Wave 1 and having massive Mech Suit guys in Wave 3 shows progression as you develop ways to combat the horde. But, the bad guys get bigger and badder too with their effects getting crazier and crazier.
The enemies are cool, the art is fantastic, the upgraded Kickstarter components will make anyone buying it retail cry and the game itself is pretty good… for 3 players.