I love the Alien universe and I gravitate towards movies, media, and games that are based on it. So, hopefully, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my most anticipated game of 2020 was Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! on the BGQ Quest List. Luckily, it was finally released in December 2020—one of the few good things to happen last year. Now, I know most readers are thinking—a game based on an IP—flip a coin if it will be good. I had high hopes since Gale Force Nine did an excellent job with Firefly: The Game. So, let’s hope that Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! would be as good or even better.
There are two different play modes that players will need to decide on before setup because it varies for both: Campaign or Bug Hunt Missions. The campaign will take the players through the 1-3 missions (plus supply or rescue ones) that follow the 1986 movie. Bug Hunts are standalone marines versus aliens battles to the death.
Each mission will have an accompanying mission card that highlights the game boards needed, set-up of all of map elements (how to interact with them), starting gear, and how to set up the motion tracker deck and when to begin drawing from it. Players then chose a character card to control and use the hero side, any not selected are flipped to the grunt side and controlled by the group, and every character gets an aim dial. Finally, the endurance deck is set up but only after gear has been provided.
Game turns are broken into the following 3 phases:
- Marine Phase: Players will do the following in turn order—reset any aim dials to their starting values, activate any hero special abilities, equip or unequip endurance cards, perform 2 actions (move, attack, rest, interact, aim, barricade), activate a number of grunts based a hero’s rank, and lastly pass activation token to the next player. Attacks are handled via dice rolls, which certain weapons getting auto fire.
- Alien Phase: Activate Aliens (Alien miniatures move & attack), activate blips–move blips and flip (spawning alien miniatures) them if it comes into line of sight with heroes or grunts. Then draw motion cards which spawn blips based on the cards location and type.
- Finish Phase: resolve finish effects, check for victory or defeat, and finally clean up which usually involves the mission turn dial being moved to the next number.
Players will win if they meet the victory conditions listed on the mission card or they fail if they meet the defeat conditions (usually if all characters are killed or captured) or player immediately lose if there are no cards left in the endurance deck and exhaust pile.
I’m happy to report that I enjoyed Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! and if you want a game that echoes the ’86 film, then you should not be disappointed with this one. This game gives you a look and feel with images, quotes, cards, and missions in board game form. Now, you only get 7 heroes/grunts to choose from and 3 campaign missions that take you about halfway through the film. I want to note that Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! emulates the movie but it does not exactly mirror it based on the heroes you choose and the outcome of each mission. There is plenty of variety and replay value with this game, especially if when using the three Bug Hunt and Rescue or Supply Campaign missions.
I noted above that the base game comes with 7 characters to choose from. Each has unique abilities to activate and some even have passive abilities on the hero side of the card. What I loved about the heroes and grunts most was that if your hero ever is captured or killed by the Aliens they are removed from play. But that player can then select a grunt and flip the card to the hero side and continue the mission. It’s a nice game mechanic to keep players involved and avoid player elimination. Just don’t run out of grunts.
The game mechanism that is cool and critical to Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! is the endurance deck that is a measure of the squad’s fatigue. It’s made up of 4 different kinds of cards: weapon, equipment, event, and hazard cards. Each card type has a symbol that players will be trying to match (or not when a hazard) when revealing to use hero abilities, weapon & equipment abilities, event cards, and when they equip new weapons or gear. So, players will be churning through this deck and recycling from the exhaust pile. But nevertheless, players need to be mindful as cards are discarded and the deck dwindles because if the deck or exhaust pile have no cards, it’s game over.
I had a blast with Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! when I got this to the table but the issue I had when I opened the game was that all character and Alien minis had to be assembled and needed glue. I was pretty disappointed that Gale Force Nine didn’t advertise this or even note this on the box. The 7 characters went together fine but the issue I had were the Aliens (tails especially) that needed the most finesse and should have better plastic pegs to hold the minis together. To be blunt, one mold minis would have been fine for this game, especially since the minis included do not level of detail that needed assembly, like Games Workshop ones have for example.
The last issue I wanted to note about Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! was the rulebook had some bad holes. The biggest one that slowed down gameplay was some of the missions asked players to make an interact action. No problem that is detailed as a player moves to a space, takes the action, and that it should be detailed in the mission. But it was not, some of the mission stated if successful but never stated what had to be successful. We settled on tech test in those cases to keep things moving. The grunt activation rules were clear when a hero had rank but were not for ones like Ripley who had none. So, we guessed she didn’t activate any grunts, but we let her boss Newt around and vice versa.
I’m a huge Aliens fan and I can say the same of the board game Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps!. This game has a similar look and feel of the 1986 blockbuster and places players directly into the suspense and action on LV-426. The 7 heroes and grunts are pulled straight from the main characters of the film. The endurance deck is a unique mechanic that all players need to manage in this cooperative game because if it runs out; it’s game over man!
Now, what really holds Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps! back from scoring higher is the assembly required miniatures (which should have been one mold minis) and a subpar rulebook (which some FAQ can hopefully remedy).
Final Score: 4.0 Stars – A fun and highly thematic cooperative dungeon crawler set in the 1986 blockbuster movie.
• Highly Thematic – captures the essence of the movie
• Heroes and Grunts
• Endurance Deck
• Assembly required
• Rulebook has some holes
Single draw deck sounds far too random
I can’t believe it went through the play testing process with that rulebook and the Hazard card mechanic punishes players for merely drawing cards, even when you draw to determine outcome from other cards. So, without even drawing a card to your hand, but a card that goes right into the Exhaust Pile because it was drawn as a random number generator, you can “curse” your character at the start of the game without any way to shake it but wait for it to drain and kill you. Then there’s a handful of ruthlessly overpowered Motion Tracker deck cards. Most will spawn 1 or 2 blips at one, maybe two spawn points, but they’re in the same tier as cards that tell you to spawn 2 or 3 blips PER spawn point AND per tunnel token, so you have a minimum 8 blips, and each blip represents 1-5 aliens. They’re game killers.