«Alien Frontiers» review

Guys, fasten your seatbelts! It’s time to go in space with Alien Frontiers board game! Have you ever dreamed to travel across the galaxy helping alien civilizations in their planet colonization? What will you need to do this? Let’s take a closer look at this game!

It was developed by Tory Niemann from Clever Mojo Games. He works in this game studio as a designer.

This game is not possible without great illustrations of such artists as Piotr Burzykowski, Karim Chakroun and Mark Maxwell. They are well-known for their works in such studios as Z-Man games, Stronghold Games and etc.

Also, the 4th edition of this game is available on kickstarter by Game Salute!

Now, it’s time for unboxing and look at all of the useful pieces of this game!

Inside the Box

  • Twenty four Ships in Four Colors;
  • Relic Ship;
  • Twenty Gray Ore Tokens;
  • Thirty Orange fuel Tokens;
  • Thirty six Colony Tokens in Four Colors;
  • Twenty two Alien Tech Cards;
  • Eight Territory Counters;
  • Three Field Generator Counters;
  • Victory Point Scoreboard;
  • Game Board;

Alien Frontiers - Inside the Box

Remember, that if you are going to purchase some expansion you will need to buy some sleeves (designed for a standard card size 2.5 * 3.5 inches)! And if you miss some cards pay attention to this card list!

Gameplay

Alien Frontiers is a board game with resource management and planet development elements. It can be played from two to four players. During the game you will have to build alien facilities. Use your fleet to explore the galaxy and you will find outstanding alien technologies which are useful in your advance to victory! Also, you can steal resources, take over the territories, and do whatever you want to have a glorious walkthrough the whole galaxy!

Alien Frontiers - Game

Rules

Game Objective

Player with the most victory points wins. You can VP’s by colony placement, controlling your territory and possession of certain alien tech cards.

Turn Order

Each player performs one of these actions during the turn:

Gathering and rolling ships

Assign all of your ships to your choice of orbital facilities for which you qualify and gain benefits immediately.

Use alien tech cards as appropriate at any time during your turn. Alien tech cards that require a fuel payment can only be used once per turn. You may only discard an alien tech card you have not already used on your current turn and then only one discard per turn.

Once all ships have been assigned and alien tech used, discard down to eight resources. ‹

Then turn passes to the next player.

Game End and Scoring Victory Points

The game ends when any player lands the final unplaced colony on a territory.

Alien Frontiers - Gameplay

Score:

  • 1 VP per colony on a territory;
  • 1 VP per territory you control;
  • 1 VP for possession of the Alien City card;
  • 1 VP for possession of the Alien Monument card;
  • 1 VP for controlling the territory with the Positron Field Ties;

Digital versions

iOS

Fans of the digital versions of board games will love this game on iOS platform! You can buy this for 4.99$ in App Store here! If you never played this game before, you should refer to the rulebook and then play it on digital version. This will help you to figure the gameplay out!

 

Android

As for Android platform this game is not available for download… But it’s going to be released soon! So, we will wait!

Online

If you want to play this game on PC you should use familiar service called Vassal!

Expansions

Following expansion packs include some new materials. Check them out!

Expansion Pack 1

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 1

Components

  • Four Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Alien Sarcophagus
    • Auto Pilot A.I.
    • Bio-Integration Circuit
    • Chrono-Spike
  • Two Agenda Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Factions)
  • Six Player Reference Cards
  • Alien Frontiers Decal Sheet

Expansion pack 2

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 2

Contents

  • Four Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Deflector Shield
    • Field Amplifier
    • Field Propagator
    • Fleet Interlink
  • Two Agenda Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Factions)
  • Five Faction Reference Cards
  • Blank Alien Tech Card

Expansion pack 3

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 3

Contents

  • Four Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Graviton Shunt
    • Infiltration A.I.
    • Infinity Mirror
    • Magnetic Lockdown
  • Three Faction Reference Cards
    • Corex Conflomerated
    • Dark Space Explorers
    • Homesteader’s Union
  • Two Agenda Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Factions)
  • Two Blank Alien Tech Card
  • Blank Agenda Card

Expansion pack 4

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 4

Contents

  • Four Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Nano-Recycler
    • Null-Time Vault
    • Probability Focus
    • Resonating Beacon
  • Three Faction Reference Cards
    • New Gaia Engineers
    • Proxima Centauri Sch.
    • Scavenger Fleet
  • Two Agenda Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Factions)
  • Two Blank Alien Tech Card
  • Blank Agenda Card

Expansion pack 5

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 5

Contents

  • Four Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Retrieval Webbing
    • Shipfitter Drone
    • Superconductor Grapple
    • Suppression Matrix
  • Three Faction Reference Cards
    • Smuggler’s Alliance
    • Uranian Syndicat
    • Xeno Exploration Inc
  • Two Agenda Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Factions)
  • Two Blank Alien Tech Card
  • Blank Agenda Card

Expansion pack 6

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 6

Contents

  • Seven Salvage Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Outer Belt)
    • Cargo Salvage
    • Cometary Fragment
    • Hyperspace Pilot
    • Message Buoy
    • Orbital Debris
    • Raider’s Rock
    • Ship’s Lifeboat
  • Three Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Tele-Operator
    • Peta-Bit Processor
    • Scout Drone
  • Outer Belt Reference Card
  • Agenda Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Factions)

Expansion pack 7

Alien Frontiers - Expansion Pack 7

Components

  • Three Alien Tech Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers)
    • Neutrino Missile Salvo
    • Pocket Universe
    • Ring Repeater
  • Two Salvage Cards (for use with Alien Frontiers: Outer Belt)
    • Micro-Singularity
    • Tactical Meteoroids

Faction pack 1

Alien Frontiers - Faction Pack 1

«Clever Mojo Games» is going to release a series of expansion packs! They will expand the «Alien Frontiers: Factions Expansion». Each expansion will provide new Faction board, a pair of new Alien Tech cards and some useful extra contents.

Alien Frontiers: Factions adds some contents to the original game:

  • Ship and colony tokens for a 5th player.
  • Factions, which provide a special ability for its owner and new orbital facilities he owns.
  • Agendas, which allow a player to earn bonus points at the end of the game.
  • New Alien Tech cards, which allow its owner to pay one fuel to receive an extra ore when using the Lunar Mine.

Alien Frontiers: Faction Pack 2 – Sunrise Commune

Alien Frontiers - Faction Pack 2

Components

  • Faction Board
  • 1 new Alien Tech Card
  • 2 new Agenda Cards

Alien Frontiers: Faction Pack 3 – Brethren of the Stars

Alien Frontiers - Faction Pack 3

Components

  • Faction Board
  • 1 new Alien Tech Card
  • 2 new Agenda Cards
  • Brethren Ship (custom die)

Alien Frontiers: Faction Pack 4 – Prophets of the Artifact

Alien Frontiers - Faction Pack 4

Components

  • Faction Board
  • 1 new Alien Tech Card
  • 2 new Agenda Cards

Galactic Pack

Contents:

  • Two «Matter Extractor» Alien Tech cards
  • One updated and expanded two-sided Alien Frontiers game board
  • One updated two-fold Outer Belt game board
  • One empty Alien Frontiers Big Box
  • Rulebook that combines all existing rules (base game and expansions)

Outer Belt expansion

Alien Frontiers - Outer Belt

This expansion adds ships and colony tokens for additional player and it expands the playing board. Also, it provides from 2 to 5 players (and up to 6 players if combined with «Alien Frontiers: Factions»).

Mind Control Helmet

Alien Frontiers - Mind Control Helmet

The Mind Control Helmet helps you to use other player’s ship as it’s your own. You just need to pay 3 fuel for it and you can move other player’s ship wherever you want!

Space Crane expansion

Alien Frontiers - Space Crane

This expansion provides two Alien Tech cards called «Space Crane».

These cards allow you to get for Fuel / Ore from the stock or to take an Alien Tech card from the Alien Artifact instead of stealing it from other players.

Upgrade Kit

Alien Frontiers - Factions

This kit consists of eight colony tokens and three generator miniatures.

P.S. – also, this game has a warning main engine failure. It’s a joke token which is used to hurry up your fellow player.

Similar Games

Let’s see this game in comparison with the board games mentioned above.

Alien Frontiers vs. Kingsburg

Kingsburg

First, let see how it feels with Kingsburg. It depends on what setting would you like most – sci-fi or medieval. Also, Kingsburg is much better for 4-5 players because better balance, though Alien Frontiers is great for two player mode.

Alien Frontiers vs. Stone Age

Stone Age Board Game

Stone Age is rather loses in some points. It’s not very interactive because it doesn’t have any stealing elements and also it doesn’t have much tactical elements. Also, Alien Frontiers is much easier to understand the rules and gameplay.

Alien Frontiers vs. Eclipse

Eclipse

Eclipse and AF are quite similar games in balance and setting though AF is much easier and user friendly. But both of these games will fit a good company from 2 to 5 players.

Alien Frontiers vs. Troyes

Troyes Board Game

Troyes will fit for hardcore gamers who love intrigues in gameplay, though AF have some similarities in mechanics, but still Alien Frontiers is more universal game because it is simple for any board game user!

Errata

Let’s take a look at some misprints of this game:

You should replace the Maintenance Bay description in the rulebook with the following:

«If you cannot dock a ship legally during your turn, place it here. Maintenance Bay gives the player no benefit. Any ships purchased through the Shipyard or Burroughs Desert are placed here until the player’s next turn. A ship on the Maintenance Bay is not considered docked and cannot be moved with the Orbital Teleporter. Ships removed from facilities with the Plasma Cannon or bumped from the Raiders’ Outpost are placed at the Maintenance Bay until the player’s next turn.»

Replace «The target player must have more than three ships of their color on the board» in the rulebook with «The target player must not be reduced to less than three ships of their own color for use on their next turn».

Solo Play

By the way, this game is available in solitaire mode! It has some special rules from a guy called Shacky. He developed very good rules for solo play mode and they are available in here!

PDF manual

For all the people who want to learn how to play the can follow this link and read instructions in PDF!

Alien Frontiers - Game Setup

FAQ

Q: I know this sounds silly but when a card mentions ANY colony does it mean any you control or any colony on the board?

A: Any colony on the board

Q: Do I need to pick one expansion or the other? Remove certain cards? Cover up certain ports at orbital stations as I would in a 2- or 3-player version of the base game?

A: Yes, definitely DON’T cover anything up – you want as much space as possible to play with! Just use the Colonist Hub as if there were six tracks there rather than four and you’ll be good to go. Enjoy playing!

Q: Do you think a short game variant could work at all player counts where u start with fewer colonies? I have not played the game enough to know how this would impact the gameplay/balance etc. Anyone tried it?

A: I would say no. The number of colonies toward the end allow for fighting over territories. With fewer colonies the game would just be a race to get your last colony out.

Q: As the subject asks, If I already have control of a territory and place an additional colony on the territory do I once again get the “control” bonus point?

A: Yes, this is correct. Just remember to reduce your total by 1 point when you LOSE control of a colony due to an opponent equalizing control in a colony you control!

Also, some players would like to know is it possible to have replacement dices if they are lost or something. It’s the good news for you – they are available for purchasing!

Youtube

Conclusion

If you are fan of sci-fi universe this strategy board game is your choice! And your friends also will like it for simplicity and good balance. Buy this amazing game on Amazon right now!