Alien Starter Set (2019)

I was a little skeptical of the Alien Starter Kit. Still am, kind of. See, you get the basic rules — the mechanics chapters direct from the core rulebook — two sets of custom dice, a sheet of tokens, some reference sheets and a massive map of the known galaxy. The main attraction though, is Chariot of the Gods, a full example of the game’s cinematic style of adventure.

Broad strokes, the scenario resembles the original Alien film, though with some key twists and turns. This game loves the established Alien mythology, but also loves departing from it when it will most mess with the heads of players. There is a lot here that messes with the players. I don’t actually want to talk to much about it. I’d rather run it for some folks. Let’s leave it at: it ain’t what you expect.

The game’s hidden agendas work quite well, which are tied directly to the narrative and evolve over the three acts of the story. The agendas are delivered via a deck of reference cards (there are also cards for characters, guns and initiative), which is pretty good way of doing it.

This makes about a lot of the box good for one use — playing the intro adventure — and another 1/3 or so is redundant if you have the core rulebook. Despite all the bits and bobs you get for the adventure, I kind of want it in the core rulebook, actually, with the one that IS in the rulebook feeling more like a Starter Kit level scenario. I don’t know, I like all the stuff, I just think the configuration of it all could have been done a little better. Maybe.

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