Playful Thoughts: Alien Frontiers Factions

Today my playful thoughts start from Factions, the new Alien Frontiers’s expansion. The publisher has kindly sent me a preview copy and I have already been able to play at Club TreEmmme. It connects to my precent playful thought because even here we speak of colonization: no more the moon but the planet Maxwell.

Alien Frontiers, which I have already written a lot about, was one of the first games to be released in June 2010, through and so its expansion, Factions, which will also be available at Essen this year. In short I can say that the expansion adds two major changes to the simple but effective dynamic of the game (launch my ships – dice, place in various areas of the map to gather resources – minerals and solar energy – to build colonies on the planet. The first change are the Factions cards: each player plays the role of a faction that has a special ability and an area where the ships of all players can land to perform another special action. The second addition are the Agendas, specific secrets goals that every player can reach during the game or at the end of the game.

I will return to this expansion in more detail next week on but it was an opportunity to reflect on the longevity of board-games, one of the topic more frequently discussed on forums and information sites.

The world of non-gamers know just Monopoly and Risk, played and replayed: new strategies, variants, custom rules, but those games are there and there is no question of doing anything else (the big market of board-games, with its lights and shadows, is out of reach for the myopic eyes of a public that does not know how to go beyond the shelves of major supermarkets). In our world, however the good games follow one another with a fast-paced and often products that deserve to be played and replayed need small expansions to return to capture the attention of the gamers community. It ‘s good? It ‘a bad thing? I do not know … Factions personally was an incentive to take up again Alien Frontiers, a game that I liked, and now, for a while, I will return for sure to play … if that was the goal of the publisher, it would definitely hit!

Good play and good day

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