Legendary Encounters: Alien

Legendary Encounters: Alien

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Writer_smallerLegendary Encounter with an alien

This week’s comic is laid down exactly as it happened. No concessions were made to the story in order to facilitate a better punchline. By which I mean, I couldn’t think of a better punchline, so decided to make as close to life as possible instead. That’s something, right? Dialogue has been attributed correctly, and evidence of our defeat at the hands of Legendary: Encounters has not been exaggerated. Not in the slightest.  That game is hard.

It is, however, a little easier if you actually read the rules correctly. I find it is best practise to read the rules of a game, play it once, and then, after understanding how the game plays, read the rules again once more. The second reading will be informed how the game plays, and things will make more sense, and finer points will become clear.

Where we got caught out in Alien was not in new mechanics that we didn’t understand, but in mechanics we had seen before in previous games. These mechanics played a little differently in Alien, but our familiarity meant we presumed we knew how they worked, thus mentally glossing over some fine differences. It’s that mental thing where you see what you are expecting to see, instead of seeing what is actually there. Like seeing an abandoned ventilation shaft and crawling in only to realise too late that you’re crawling towards a facehugger, I guess.

In any case, it was after two weeks in a row of the game spitting acid all over our hapless faces that we figured out what we were doing wrong, and managed to beat it. And then moved from the Alien scenario onto the Aliens scenario, which beat us. Rules mishap or no rules mishap, it’s a difficult game. It’s good, though. I’m enjoying it a lot.

It’s a co-op deck builder. I love deck builders and I love co-op games. The level of deck building involved can feel frustratingly restrictive, though. There aren’t that many options for deck customisation, and almost none for killing off poor starter cards in favour of later, stronger cards. Actual cooperation with the other players is completely essential to winning, though, which is a strong point. Co-op where there is little to no interaction between players is a bug bear of mine. Everyone playing against the game is no fun if everyone can essentially play solo. The real fun of a good co-op game is players figuring out strategies together, and figuring out how individual turns/characters/cards can complement each other and help victory. For me, that is the draw of a game like Pandemic over a game like Arkham Horror. If the players don’t work together in Pandemic, there is almost no chance of victory. But in Arkham Horror, there are few things the players can do to interact. Obviously Arkham has an appeal of its own, but strong co-op elements are not part of it.

I guess in the interest of total disclosure I should mention that there is one inaccuracy in the comic. Wayne did not survive the facehugger. After a brief, but emotional, period of attachment, he birthed its cursed offspring, and the pain of the whole cycle of love, recreation and departure was so much that it killed him. That and a hole in his chest.

13 Comments on Legendary Encounters: Alien
  • Zach R Mckinney

    its a great game, but you can’t come at it like a normal deck builder. I did the first time and it slapped me around cewed me up and spat me out. I still have yet to defeat “Alien”, “Aliens” and “Alien 3” went down screaming but “Alien” still undefeated after 3 bouts and the last one has defeated me once.

    • Yeah, discovered that only after a few games. It’s really more about team play than deck-building. Looking forward to making our way through the series of films, now, after having defeated ‘Alien’.

  • Ben Thorp

    I’ve not played any Legendary games, and the only deck builders I’ve played are Paperback and Arctic Scavengers….. but I really like the look of this game. I love the film franchise, and the idea of a co-op set in the universe makes perfect sense. It’s on the wishlist….

    • I really want to play Paperback, but again, the cost of shipping from the US is prohibitive (and now the Euro/Dollar rate is as well). Is it getting a retail release?

      • Ben Thorp

        Not sure about a retail release – it’s gained enough good press (and a second print run) that it might. He does have another game on Kick starter at the moment where you can get a copy as an add on….. (Burgle Bros)

        • Oh, I actually saw that, it looks like a lot of fun. I was thinking about backing enough to get the print and play, but at this stage, my hard drive is getting pretty full of files for games I have yet to either print or play…

          • Ben Thorp

            I bought a copy of Paperback (complete with ridiculous shipping) for my mother’s Christmas present, and we all enjoyed it. So I felt it was a safe-ish bet to go for Burgle Bros, and I love the concept of a heist co-op.

  • wr00t

    Few weeks ago our group were playing Shadows over Camelot, our 3d game (lost two before) and probably by the half of the game we decided that we would surely win and so we were no paying much attention and just let it go automatically, and we won. Until we noticed, that we missed one little rule and actually we have lost again 😀

    • Ouch. Defeated after the fact. I think that has happened to us before. It’s always so tempting to just pretend you never noticed that rule…

      • wr00t

        It was a relief actually. Because all that time i was thinking is the game broken, can it be so easy to beat it? Now it still has a potential and we are even more motivated to beat it 🙂

  • Talismania!

    What was the rule? We need all the edges we can get . . .

    • Two things, both of which helped us immensely:
      You can play a coordinate card on another player’s turn.
      The alien cards only move along the complex when another card pushes them along. So not every cards moves every turn, giving some crucial extra time.
      This helped us beat “Alien”, but then “Aliens” still kicked our asses. Next week…

      • ccmonter

        What caused you to presume that cards move along the complex every turn?
        Is there another game where this is true and you assumed that it would be the same here?

        In Legendary:Marvel, the bad guys only move when they are pushed along as well.