This weekend I had the pleasure of playing an awesome game that Steve, the owner of my FLGS Meeplemart, has developed. He calls it Xeno-Terror and has put a lot of work into developing the rules, board, pieces and components used to play. The game looks and plays like a amazing combination of Space Hulk, 40k, Aliens and the Doom board game. Where this game really shines is the level of detail put into the game components. Every piece of the board is hand built and painted, with the ‘accessories’ such as ammo boxes, computer terminals, armour racks, and barrels all being interactive and destructible! This leads to some great chain reaction explosions that we had to deal with several times in our play through.
Without going into to much detail, the game basically works like this; Everyone (including monsters) rolls initiative to determine the turn order. Each player/monster gets two actions a turn, each action being one of many things such as move, shoot, hack, search, open, etc. The monsters run on auto pilot, moving along a set path (turning randomly at intersections) or they will move towards/attack the nearest player in LOS. Once everyone is done their turn two event cards are flipped. These event cards can be many things, but usually it will spawn a ‘radar blip’ somewhere on the board. These ‘radar blips’ represent the monsters and are colour coded based on their speed. Once a blip gets into line of sight it is flipped over and replaced with the corresponding creature.
We sat down to play with 4 people, each of us picking from his 10 or so characters. We ended up running with a Sargent (Lorand), Techmarine (Steve), Heavy weapons guy (Christian) and a Grunt (me). Our mission was to destroy the 3 existing emergence holes in the facility. Once this was down we would have to then meet up in a randomly selected room. Things started off great with the Heavy Weapons guy unloading into the Alien hole that was in our spawn point, failing to do any damage and jamming his gun catastrophically rendering it useless. Since our heavy was left with only a few mines to fight with, we began searching the room to give him a new weapon.
Overview of the game board Look at all those tokens!
During our search, Christian (the heavy) and Lorand (our Sgt) went east and had first contact with the enemy. A well placed mine took out a group of smaller creatures along with a nearby computer terminal, but it did nothing to slow down the Genestealer and Biovore from pinning down Sgt Lorand while the Heavy made a run for it to regroup with the other half of the team.
After dispatching the Genestealer, Sgt Lorand decided to head through the heavy doors to the north to try and access an undamaged computer terminal. The rest of the team was working their way West to clear out the remaining emergence hole. Lorand believed he had time to hack the console to give us more info on the facility but that Biovore was busy. Both Lorand and I had spore mines that floating up quietly behind us…
Lorand and I haven't been watching our backs and a couple spore mines snuck up on us.
… which lead to disaster. As soon as the Spore Mine made contact with our Sgt it exploded in a burst of acid. Not only did this acid hurt Lorand, it caused the console he was working on and the barrels next to him to explode. Lorand was left alone in a room, filled with acid and fire, trying to make his way out the locked bulkhead separating him from the rest of the team.
This is what happens when you're at a computer and an alien explodes behind you, the computer explodes with it!
I didn’t fare much better, having a spore mine explode much the same way. The acid eating through a near-by terminal causing it to explode as well, but I managed to get away relatively unscathed.
Once again, this is what happens when you're standing next to a computer and an alien explodes behind you, the computer explodes with it!
While all this acid and exploding was going on, the other two guys managed to take out the last objective and we had our rendezvous point in the room in the north-west corner of the board. Unfortunately with the 3 emergence holes destroyed there was only one place left for the aliens to spawn, which was right near our target! This caused this massive choke-point on the board, with aliens building up in the only hallway to our final objective.
These final creatures turned out to be too much, and our hero (me) fell to a mighty Broodlord. While the other 3 players were still alive, there was little hope of making it out. As it was getting late we decided to call it there.
I really can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed this game. While there is a lot to keep track of in the form of stats and modifiers, it’s still a simple game at it’s core. It’s exactly the type of chaotic, fun game that I enjoy.
I can’t wait to play again next week! Maybe I’ll try out the Psyker next time…