I always was a big Alien and Predator fan and ever since I’ve been playing board and tabletop games I wanted to get some cool miniatures from that franchise. Prodos Games finally released a board/ tabletop game with some beautifully sculpted miniatures. Last week I got myself a copy of the 2nd edition board game and the Alien Queen expansion (I will present her in a different post).
Now most of you know that Prodos released the first edition of AvP: The hunt begins via Kickstarter and performed really bad concerning all the backers who still didn’t receive anything. I was not a backer back then and I dont want to write about that topic so I’ll just give you a little review of what I think about this box with the main focus on the miniatures, in comparison with the first edition box of a friend (who didn’t receive his via Kickstarter but bought it himself, whoops last KS comment, promise).
Let’s start with the box itself. It got smaller, so much better for transport. The miniatures (they now are one piece sculpts) came in a foam tray which has individually cut spaces for each miniature. That’s a big step since these minis are fragile.
The cards and board tiles are nicely printed and of really good quality. You can use first and second edition tiles together since there are just 3 changes. They are now a little bit thinner, no more double sided prints and no more mixed floor tiles (infested and not infested). There are slots for the cards in the foam case as well, so you just have to tetris the tiles in the bottom of the box and then put the foam on top, no big deal.
The rulebook is now a smaller version (din A5) but still contains all the rules for standard and advanced games. Each faction got its army list with all the models and profiles, even some which are not released yet. Army specific organisation charts for point based games and a last stand mode were you can fight aliens in a cooperative game mode are explained as well.
Now on to the real eyecathcher of the box, the miniatures. They are gorgeous. 23 fine detailed resin miniatures are part of the box. They are all one piece miniatures so no assembly is required, even the presculpted bases are part of the miniatures. Aliens come in pink, marines in baby blue and predators in green resin so even if unpainted they stand apart in colour. Marines and aliens have a 25mm base and the predators a 35mm one. The size difference between the 3 fractions is well executed, the predators are huge while even the aliens, even if mostly not standing upright, are bigger then the humans (at least the infants). As a big Alien fan I really like the dynamic posing the aliens have now (I wasn’t a fan of the first edition poses). But enough with the positive feedback, this is a review so there should be criticism. One big problem is the new overall scale of the miniatures. They are not compatible with the first edition ones (which is sad for those who own a first edition copy and thought about buying this one). The Marines are much smaller and are now 28mm scale and not heroic 32mm. For first buyers howewer that should not be a problem (and the queen looks bigger now hehe) and I like the new scale much more than the first, but thats just a matter of taste. The other thing which occured after priming the miniatures are slightly visible print lines. I think these are made out of 3D printed masters so maybe that’s the problem here. However these really fine lines just occure on some of the miniatures and not over the whole piece. If painted they are not noticeable any more. I just slightly had to sand the mask of the predator with the claws. Overall these are great miniatures and by far the best Alien and Predator themed miniatures I’ve seen so far.
Well now it would be great to have some pictures of actually unpainted miniatures to get a good review together. However I started painting these beauties right after I got the box and I didn’t think about good pictures for my blog. I hope the few I took are enough, so just… trust me, I’ve painted them!
The rules themselves are quiet simple with support of tactical and environmental cards to bring in some cinematic events (like a door which just seperates you and your friends or a nasty little ammo explosion) which give the player the opportunity to buff his troops or to increase the chance of survival. The different races all received some speacial actions, (marines can weld shot doors, aliens can hide, predators can pretend to be somewhere else and much more) abilities, skills and of course all the weapons and units a fan of the franchise would enjoy. Each of them has a different playstyle depending on the abilities they have. Aliens are mostly close combat driven and rely on the quantity, they have to hide from enemy fire whenever possible. Marines rely on their weapons and their training, they need to always know what to do next (weld shot is your friend here) because they don’t survive long in hand to hand combat. Predators play like we think they do. They are bad ass killing machines with multiple wounds (the only ones in the starter) and high tech equipment. Though they rely on quality as in most standard games you only have two of them.
Overall this box is a really great deal, especially since it’s even cheaper than the first edition one. For board and tabletop gamers who are fans of the franchise I can recommend it. Even if Prodos performed really bad after the KS (remember: at Prodos nobody hears you scream…dammit) the product is really good.
I will maybe post some pictures after the next game we do to get you some insight in the game. So stay tuned, cheers!