I played a game of Nemesis today, which is more or less Aliens, the board game. The players each control the a character from a crew that recently woke from cryonic sleep due to an emergency, finding another crewmember dead next to them. Due to cryonic sleep induced amnesia, they only remember the rudiments of the ship’s layout, giving the ship some fog of war effect. In addition, each player has two objectives from which they will choose one and discard the other. You win by fulfilling the objective and surviving by either fleeing inside an escape pod, or ensuring that the ship will survive and going back to cryonic sleep. Since you don’t have time to check everything yourself whether the ship is in good order, you also have to trust other players to an extend. Oh yeah, and there are a bunch of aliens who want to eat you, which you have to avoid, flee from or kill. They can also infect you which has the risk of killing you even if you survive the game and complete your objectives.
This game was a lot of fun. It cribs a lot from other games. Most notable similarities I found with Dead of Winter and Massive Darkness, at least among the games I have played before. And of course the flavor has a lot from other fiction franchises with similar premises, i.e. Alien and Dead Space. But it was a lot of fun. It helps though when everyone at the table your are playing at is a massive geek, rattling off more sci-fi tropes and joking about the idiotic layout of the ship etc.
The game itself had unfortunately was also a bit hard. Three of us players were almost immediately covered in slime, which makes it far easier for aliens to spawn, and as it turned out the room which lets you remove that state was not in that specific game. My personal objective also required the comms room to send of an emergency signal was also one of the last we found, though that also more or less covered with the other part of my objective of exploring every room on the ship.
Basically I had all my objectives done, but I also found I had been infected with an alien parasite. This meant that I needed to head to the surgery room which was unfortunately a ways away, particularly with me hobbled by both a serious wound which affected the number of cards I could have in hand, and the fact that I had the infection card in hand which blocked one of my hand slots. However, other players also needed to head there which I thought would let us fight together. But out of the blue our Soldier unlocks an escape pod with a key card he had found while basically searching every time he could, and the other three players including myself are just “wtf”.
Next players turn happens and I couldn’t shut my mouth, telling him that he is close enough that he could escape instead at the risk of dying to a possible infection himself, and he takes opportunity, as well as the next player instead of joining up with me to go to the surgery room. A three player battle over the pod ensues, with the soldier coming out ahead anyhow and fleeing. So I had to slowly trudge to the surgery room, spending all my resources to fend off aliens, while the other people were now farther behind.
I managed to do the surgery, but in the end an event triggered an overload of malfunctions, ship lost hull integrity and everybody on board died. Only our soldier, who with his escape also robbed us of our greatest source of firepower to kill aliens, managed to survive, and the bastard even completed his objective: escaping with an emergency pod while holding seven item cards. Had the others just let him be, we could very likely have managed to make it to surgery, head back to the cryonic pods and everybody could have me their victory conditions.
Still this was a lot of fun and I’d like to play it again or even own it. Unfortunately it appears the game was a Kickstarter only thing, which a) makes no sense whatsoever, and b) means that unless I will play with more or less the same group again, I will never be able to play it again.