Last night I played Alien Encounters with 3 other people at Just for Fun. The game went very well with Mike D. winning. Which makes sense, he was the most experienced (he had played before) and it was his copy. We hope to make Tuesdays a regular thing, but playing many different games, and not just boardgames.
This is a well balanced resource management boardgame. It uses a Science fiction theme of trying to colonize a planet with different resource types available from Space stations. each space station has spaces for a certain number of "ship docks", which restricts the number of players that can use the station at the same time. The main mechanic is the "ship fleet" that each player has. Each ship is represented by a d6. the "fleet" is gathered at the beginning of the players turn and rolled. The "ships" are then allocated to different spaces on the "space stations" to perform actions. Some spaces require 2 or 3 dice, often matching or as a straight (sequential). There is also a deck of cards of alien artifacts that provide special abilities or actions. The game ends when a player places their last colony on the planet. Then the victory points are totalled and the player with then most points wins.
The game is very re-playable, with well balanced rules and smooth game play. Due to the complexity I would recommend playing with only 2 players when learning, but it plays well with 4 players. At this point I would suggest it as a good game to play with friends or family, but it is not a "filler" due to the variety of options and decisions that a player faces each turn. Analysis paralysis is a danger with this game.
Ratings and summary:
1-10 (with 1=terrible (I wasted the air to talk about it) to 10= Must have it (you haven't bought/ordered it yet?))
I rate this a 6. I may buy it in the future. I would play it if someone else suggested it, I may suggest it if the mood is right. I do not suggest it for non-gamers friends or family. Takes 1-2 hrs depending on the experience of the players. Requires a medium level of attention to play.
I also found out that I won the June Rebel Minis painting contest held by Just for Fun. 1st Prize was a set of Rebel Minis Alien Greys - the pack said Unarmed, but they all had guns...
I will post pictures of the entry figure when I get it back. There were only 4 entries, but a win is a win.