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June 24, 2022
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Turing Board Game Review

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Synchronized Board Game Review

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June 03, 2022
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GF9’s Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps Loses its Aim - Review

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21 Mar 2021 22:23 #321000 by n815e
I see what you are saying (and sometimes catch myself repeating it) because I used to be primarily a minis gamer and have all the tools and experience. I find it’s potentially annoying, but not a big deal, to assemble miniatures for a board game.

But board gamers are not used to this and don’t expect it. If they wanted to assemble miniatures, they’d play miniatures games.
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09 May 2022 01:42 #332922 by brasidas19004
I find your review a bit confusing. You have lots of positives to say:
- "for the first couple of games, I was ensorcelled by the Aliens livery"
- "It felt like Aliens"
– "and it seemed like the endurance card mechanism...was a strongly conceptual piece of design that captured the desperation of the situation on LV426."
- "It was fun to see the plastic aliens (which come on sprues and you have to glue together) swarming the board"
- "and since it uses the classic Space Hulk blips in concert with a stack of Motion Detector cards to hide exactly how many monsters are spawning and coming to kill you there was some great tension and drama."
- "There are elements of the card mechanisms that I really like ...and it’s even better that with every shot that “Aim” stat (whatever it actually means) goes down, and that’s your to-hit number."
- "Aliens succeeds as fan service"

So far, OK, we're looking at a 4/5 here.

But then, the honeymoon ends:
- "I found that I was struggling to actually enjoy the design, despite responding favorably to the subject matter.
- "It was chafing my sensibilities despite it being a fairly standard dungeoncrawler, a genre which I tend to be amenable to as long as it’s done well.
- "I started noticing irritants..." like a roll high is good when roll low is usually good .
- "I wasn’t really feeling how the game scales"
- "But the really exciting moments are few and far between."
- "The rulebook isn’t very good and there is a lack of clarity between it and the cards." [a pet peeve of mine about game development, also]
- "this game doesn’t seem to understand exactly what players want from a board game experience featuring its IP"
- "those looking for a more inniovative [sic] or inspired experience won’t find it here."
- "it seems almost as if managing this [endurance] deck and all these card states is really the focus of the game moreso than the on-board play"

Overall, I found your "plusses" match other reviews, along with the substantive critiques [rules clarity, the roll low=good design being violated] being echoes of them.

Some of the substantive critiques are familiar - the rulebook and cards being a bit confusing causing pauses to look stuff up. Some are not, "The miniatures are OK but not great. The production is mediocre". Not only did the game get a lot of positives in these areas, but being in possession of the game I think they are an amazing deal as the figures alone - especially licensed figures from a huge franchise - would sell for $60 these days - or a lot more, and the components are suitably gloomy but nicely done.

So if the designer met the - apparent - design goals, and the price point is reasonable - a fairly modest $60 for what is in the box - then shouldn't this be a 3 or 4 out of 5? Totaling the pluses up, if I had to guess your rating, I'd have said "Must be a 4/5".

It seems to me that, based upon your game comparisons [one is $130 game], you bought a Ford and are saying that you are disappointed that because it is an Aliens-Themed Ford, you expected something that drives like an M577 APC, but...it's just a Ford.

So overall, while the review was interesting, I think it will make more sense if Aliens gets a 3/5 from you as solid, meeting design and price point, but not "WoWing the player".

But thanks for sharing your thoughts, I've not yet had a chance to play it, COVID wrecked a lot of my fun time, but I'm looking forward to a fun, tense time, where most of us will not get out alive unless we do everything right!

Oh, and as for the miniatures...I made sure to get them all, and bought an extra several boxes of Aliens - some may get converted to having alien guns, we'll see. Then again, I'm a figure painter and modeler. Interestingly, my view of GF9 is from the historical miniatures side of the hobby, so I was happy with the miniatures, but surprised they did a big-time IP game at all.

Best, Alex
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09 May 2022 01:45 #332923 by brasidas19004
the funny thing is I just bought 5 more boxes of the Aliens - not because they are perfect models, but as hard plastic you can do a lot of great customization with them. Then again, I'm a modeler, figure painter, and a gamer. I think that was GF9's intent, btw. It's a crossover between miniatures and boardgames.
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