In the first chapters of the story the Terrains Agents mission after mission chase the Aliens and now is the time for the counterstrike! Thanks to a preview copy offered by Ares I was able to try something of the new upcoming expansion of Galaxy Defenders. Of course I have the full core game but just something of the new expansions: no new miniatures, no new maps, no new agents. With the materials Ares provided me I rush for this really first impression.
A brief introduction for GD’s newbies. In GD you lead a team of agent engaged in a war against aliens. It is a full collaborative game and each agent has special powers/skills/weapons and usually the difference between victory and death is in how the team optimize this differences. During the game/campaign agents improves both in skills and equipments.
After the mission set-up the game is played over a variable number of round. In each round two phases of “housekeeping”: Refresh and Strategy, than the Battle Phase and finally the Event Phase. In the Strategy phase there is the nomination of the Alpha Agent that playing first will also determinate the turn (clockwise) order. Before srtarting the game you can decide an optimal disposition around the table according to the team strategy/agents choices.
In the Battle Phase agents and aliens will alternate until each agent has played. One of the agents move once, combat once and take a special action in any order. Than aliens move & combat according to a random Close Encounter card. Than another agent; and aliens again and so on. Finally the event phase that is also used to activate special plot events/situations.
First of all if you are recruited for a mission of the new Operation Strikeback you are one of the best agents in the world. If you want to play the full campaign you will start with special settings (it is supposed you survived the basic game campaign), well equipped and experienced and you can continue the story of the Galaxy Defenders: something I’m sure you are really waiting for.
Not real big changes in the rules: enough newness to make you happy without the needing to re-master the rules. If you have played the core campaign you will be introduced to the new rules scenario by scenario and it will be really easy.
In the first scenario, The Dark Side of the Moon, are introduced some interesting news including two new aliens: flying critters and xeno-delta. Both flying critters and xeno-delta are flying aliens and have critical damaging attack. Critical is a new rule that generate temporal/permanent effects including reduced movement capacity, attack and defense or paralysis. Something can really change how the scenarios flows and create a lot of suspance every-time you get a critical damage! Xeno-Delta are also lethal that means nothing can stop the damage apart from energy shields an few items/powers.
NPCs are introduced too. NPCs are special AI controlled allies that can really helps agents (something like drones). In The Dark Side of The Moon an NPC knight will join the team at the end of the 3rd round and, sometimes, another one will appear. The scenario is not easy and is played around the assault of the aliens to the just landed Terran’s starship.
My first impression
I really like the core game: both theme and rules so, this first impression, is from a passionate and I can say there is enough in this expansions to make GD fans happy for a long time, including the new Power Armors and Power Suits rules with the introduction of energy batteries I red about but I wasn’t still able to play. New aliens, new agents, npcs, new weapons and so on. GD shows up to be a really easy to expand system with many interesting rules and an almost endless possibility to write new scenarios/campaigns.
Something a GD fanatic must have!
I think new weapons and rules are best used in the new scenarios but NPCs can easily be introduced also in standard and custom missions replacing one human signal with a NPC signal and I’ll try to do that.
If you didn’t liked the core GD I think this expansions are not changing the things a lot for you: the rules and how the game flow are (luckily) the same.