Legendary Encounters an Alien Deck Building game review and unboxing from upper deck games

I love the Aliens films, yes even 3 and Resurrection, though you really can not beat Alien, and Aliens, and i have enjoyed the latest dive into the Alien gaming world with VS 2pcg System The Alien Battles also from Upper Deck.  I also like the Legendary System such as Legendary Marvel villians So combining the two into one thing should be awesome right?
Well it certainly looks the part on the front, suitably dark.... and yes its got an ages 17 up and on it... which i think is due to some of the graphic gore content of the artwork within, though its nothing worse then any of the zombie games out there like zombicide for example.
The back of the box does a great job of showing off the contents, and giving you an idea of how it plays.  It states 1-5 players and works well  multiplayer AND solo... yes SOLO!!! you know how much i love a game that can be played solo, and this one does it REALLY well.

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, based on the four movies of the Alien series, is a fully cooperative game with original art. While based on the Marvel superheroes version of Legendary, the two games will be compatible but cannot be fully integrated.
Legendary Encounters is a deck-building game in the same family as Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, but now players must cooperate in order to survive against hordes of aliens. Taking on the role of protagonists such as Ripley, Dallas, Bishop and Corporal Hicks, players take turns recruiting cards for their deck from a central selection in order to improve their deck and defeat Xenomorph cards that are added to the central game board.
Product Breakdown:
> 600 total Original Art Card Set
> Full Color Game Board (mat)
> Full Color Rule Book
> Card inserts for easy organization
> Customize your card organization with removable foam inserts

You get a ton in the box, like all legendary games.

Rulebook, game board (14.5" x 33") and 600 cards (63.5mm x 88mm / 2.5" x 3.5")

  • 10 Role Avatars
  • 10 Role Character Cards
  • 35 Specialists
  • 25 Grunts
  • 10 Sergeants
  • 224 Character cards (16 characters with 14 cards each: each character has 1 rare, 3 uncommons, and 5 each of two commons)
  • 4 Locations
  • 12 Objectives
  • 132 Hive cards (12 different “mini-decks”)
  • 24 Drone cards
  • 14 Hatchery Cards
  • 40 Strikes
  • 4 Alien Avatars
  • 36 Alien Player Cards
  • 15 Agenda Cards
  • 5 Secrets Revealed Cards
time to crack it open, take a look at the cards, and go through how she plays.....

So there is a ton of cards, some nice dividers, and foam to help store it, the rulebook, and the lovely rolled up mat stored.
 The Mat is a mouse mat style material, that rolls up and out flat again, and is truly lovely.....
 the Art on here for each of the differnt sections requireed to play is excellent.
 I think some of these images may be why it got the 17 plus rating, but i like them, i think they are great.
Every space on the mat has a purpose, and is filled with great art straight from the films, including the very lovely APC from Aliens (my favourite just i think of the first two, though its a tough call)
The Fact that everything has its own space on the board makes set up nice and simple, well after you sorted and sleeved 600 odd cards that is!
 So... When you have sorted everything out, each player picks one of the role cards.....

Each of these have a different health value, and an ability that usually adds a special card into your deck.  Once you have selected your character. you pull out the relevant game stacks of cards, those ones you sorted out earlier, remember them? so you will get your own deck of cards that are basic for recruitment or combat, that you can use to buy better cards from the HQ zone. You select your location and objectives.  Locations cover all the films from the Nostromo of Aliens to Alien Resurrection.  The location tells you what happens if you draw a hazard card, usually bad yes....

 You then pick a set of objectives numbred 1-3,

 now you can play it so it follows the film arcs, or mix them up and try something new.  Each objective mentions a mini deck of Hive cards, and these are then shuffled together to form the Hive, which is the Aliens, hazards and problems you will face on your adventure.  Then you shuffle some drone cards in.  The barraskcs zone is where your characters go for the adventure, well the ones you chose anyway, for example Ripley, or Hicks.  Again these are themed and easy to tell apart from the film eras so you can create themed ones, or try mixing and matching. with What ifs.....

 Once you have shuffled up your Barracks deck you draw the top five inot the HQ, these are your purchasable cards.....

They are clearly laid out, and easy to follow, and form your pool to start purchasing and building your deck.

On your turn you have 4 basic phases, Hive phase, where you draw a face down hive card and place it in the complex.  Now you do not know what kind of enemy it is, so it builds up suspense, and each time a new one is drawn they all move along one.  Below each location is a cost to "scan" the card, which you can do to see what it is.  It really fits the Aliens theme to me, as you can imagine them detecting movement on their trackers whilst they ping, and then having to investigate what it actually is.
After you have drawn and added a face down hive card, its the action phase. Here you can play cards from your hand using them to recruit and increase your deck, scan, or fight aliens either in their locations, or in the combat zone.  If they get to the combat zone you better get rid of them quickly or they will start causing damage to you and forcing you to draw strike cards.  To kill an alien you just need to make sure the amount of strike symbols on the cards you play equal or beat the enemy. Nice and simple.

 They could be nothing at all, or they could be really serious, and when you are out of health, its Game over man!

Of course whilst this is all going on you may well reveal a Hazard card, in which case you follow the instructions on your location, its usually never good that's for sure!  Now and then you may across cards you have scanned that are beneficial, so you want to snag those fast, they always say what you need to do on them so that's nice and easy. 

Next phase is the Strike phase, where each enemy in the combat zone attacks, and lastly its cleanup, where you discard your unused cards from your hand, and draw a new hand.  The amount of cards make the game seem a lot more complex and scary then it is, and after a few turns you will be away and enveloped int he atmosphere of the game.
You can see the Alien enemies in this are no walk over and are tough to take down, certainly the "boss" aliens you will come across will need a heavy hand to take down.  This is not an easy game, but it fits the theme, Aliens are tough, and scary as hell to go up against.

Things can also go wrong for the players.... if you get hit by a facehugger, you get a turn to get one of your other teammates to get it off you.  If they do not, you shuffle in a Chestburster card to your deck.  When that comes out.. you die.... nasty, and simple.  But....... though you can then take over an Alien deck.... and start playing cards to hinder your previous Team mates as you become a Xenomorph... I love that idea! it is optional of course as it makes the game more confrontational, but its an excellent and thematic rule i approve of.

So What other heros can you encounter on your journey through the game to help you out and be added to your deck? Well various chartacters from the all the film, all with excellent artwork, even Jonesy the Cat makes an appearance!

There is a huge amount for Aliens fans to love in this game, with great quotes on the card titles, excellent thematic art, and more importantly a great game experience, both Solo, and cooperative.  Even then it provides other options for you, with things like the player becoming an Alien, or Secret Agendas, where each player has a well.. secret agenda they are working towards for the win, again theme win, as it feels like mission set by Weyland Yutani.

With an RRP of £49.99 this is a must have for any Aliens fan, card gamer or Legendary fan..... its excellent, full of theme and has a huge amount of replay value with so may what if scenarios you can create tweaking Aliens lore o your liking.  Head on down to your Local Game Store and grab a copy, you will have a great time solo with it or with friends.


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