Back in 2020, publisher Gale Force 9 released a fun combat game called Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps. Ultra wordy title aside, I really enjoyed this game even with some ambiguous rules that needed clarification. But as a coop game that tries to recreate the experience from the movie, it succeeds in spades.
Fast forward to 2023 and we now have the third expansion released for this miniatures game. Joining the first 2 expansions (Ultimate Badasses and Get Away From Her, You B***h!) comes We’re in the Pipe, Five by Five, and if you are familiar with the movie at all, you should have a pretty good idea of where this one is going.
One of the nice things about this expansion is that it’s not just more of the same stuff, but they actually created a bit of variety. The main highlights are 2 new marines, 4 unique aliens, and 2 new(ish) missions.
Joining your squad of Marines are Corporal Ferro, the Dropship pilot, and Pvt. Spunkmeyer, her crew chief. Both are more tech-oriented characters, but still have their uses in a fight. To go along with them are two new sets of experience cards: pilot and quartermaster. These first showed up in the Ultimate Badasses expansion and allow your marines to gain special skills during the campaign.
Also new are 4 alien variants. These are unique aliens that have a special abilitie:
Alien Brute: Requires marines to roll 2 defense dice when attacked and take the higher result.
Alien Scout: Breaks through barricades easier
Alien Guard: 50% chance it doesn’t die after you kill it.
Alien Skulker: If it doesn’t attack in a turn, it will move out of line of sight of the characters.
Finally, the expansion comes with two new missions. There is Mission 2.5: Chase, which replaces the mission of the same name from the core box, and instead of heading to the APC, the Marines now need to head to the drop ship.
The other mission is an updated mission 3: Survive. Now the iconic air vents from the movie are an escape route option.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
I’m going to take a wild guess that almost no one was clambering to control Ferro and Spunkmeyer in the game as they were somewhat minor characters in the movies. Other than delivering her iconic line, Ferro’s other claim to fame is crashing the drop ship that was sent to pick up the team. Spunkmeyer had even less of a role, existing slowly to delay the departure by sticking his hand in some slime. That being said, it was nice to round out the squad with all the grunts from the movie. They do have their uses, and frankly, I’d rather have them than Burke any day.
For me, the real highlights are the two new missions and the alien variants. The new missions only add minor changes to the gameplay, but at least offer a bit of variety. The air duct escape was actually a lot more challenging than it looked. It has 6 escape routes, but once you are in there, you don’t know where each escape route will lead. You’re trying to get to the hangar to fly off the planet, but there are actually more exit tokens than actual exits. So some of your hopeful escape routes might end up being spawn tunnels for the aliens. We unfortunately encountered two of those, and after some unlucky spawn draws, we didn’t make it out alive (you always were an A-hole Gorman).
The variant aliens were also a nice change. While there is only 1 blip token for each, the game throws so many aliens at you, that there is a really good chance they will appear at some point. For the most part, their abilities were all fine, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the Alien Guard’s power. It’s hard enough to keep the aliens in the game in check, so having one that can pop back to life on a die roll can be frustrating. The first time we played against it it respawned about 3 times in a row. With a bunch of randomness already in the game, that seems a bit over the top.
Finally, let’s talk about the minis. Overall, their quality is great, much like the core game. However, I did hope that they would improve the assembly of them, as putting the original models together was a bit frustrating. Unfortunately, they are mostly the same here. There are almost no pins and holes to use, so you will be required to carefully cut and glue the models, with minimal parts to reinforce joints.
I’m a little torn on whether Aliens: We’re in the Pipe, Five by Five is a must buy expansion or not. While it does add some nice variety, in the form of the alien and mission variants, and also the 2 new characters and experience decks, none of it is crucial to the game. I feel like Ferro and Spunkmeyer aren’t going to get a ton of table time, especially over someone stronger like Apone or Vasquez. That being said, in campaign play, having someone with the quartermaster skill can definitely be an asset. And it’s always nice to have a few more bodies to throw at the mission as your Marines eventually get turned into xenomorph hosts.
If you are a fan of the game, then I’d say go ahead and grab this one if you want a bit more variety or if you are a completionist. If you only have the core game, I would definitely get the other two expansions first, as they just add a lot more useful content. And if you didn’t like the core game, nothing here will change your mind. But at the end of the day, I’m glad to have a copy and will be painting up the minis to match the rest of mine in the set.
• Minis still a pain to assemble
• Not sure anyone will be excited about controlling the drop ship crew.