Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Solo Game - Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game

Right my first play through of this game solo (in preparation of playing this with others at the Blind Pig Games Club CLUB FACEBOOK LINK ).

This game came onto my radar a while ago as I was watching a number of YouTube video blogs and it rated well.  Yes a number of people don't like it, and it's been referred to as Ameritrash (is that the right terminology - I tend to ignore what the Americans call things, my people align more with the British or Anglo view of the world).

I found this play through by Paul Darcy useful LINK HERE

A quicker all in one review by Rahdo LINK HERE

For those who wanted to know what Dice Tower think here is their LINK HERE

OK no more links I'm sure you can delve into the net and find what you want.

My game!  First off I have to say I can understand peoples frustration with Flying Frogs rules layout...  As I played this game and I came across situations I could not apply my logic (and I confess my logic is not always sane) to finding information.  Thankfully the rulebook is not an extensive one and it took only a few minutes of skim reading to locate the section that had the clarification I sought.

For todays solo game I played the Setaris Kitewings.

I randomly chose these Aliens, and regretted them from almost word go.  The strength 2 was my downfall from the word GO!  The only redeeming factor with this game play are the dice... yes the die are phenomenal, I have never seen so many 5's and 6's rolled consistently by any of die in the batch supplied in this boxed game.  It did cost me the game, but it also gave me the Action Points I needed to keep me in the game.  So strap yourself into your dodgy pilot combat chair and watch me lose horribly at Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game.*

The game set up and ready to go.  Of course I had not read the rules properly,
but that's not really a problem when you are playing solo.
Everything set up and ready to go... and we are off and racing!
Rolled the die - 5 Action Points.
Set 2 Aliens to Sector 5 where we encountered a Small Town which I shall name Ipswich.  There my brave creatures faced an Angry Mob, who proved little danger to us.  Ha ha the Grand Overlord thought, this looks promising, let us continue.
Obtained an Alien Menace Token, always useful... (plan ahead is the Grand Overlords moto, that and carry an emergency backpack, lasergun and escape pod).
Lastly one Alien was dispatched to Sector 4 where they found a Grassy Field and sent back pic-feeds of themselves frolicking amongst the wildflowers.  The Grand Overlord is very worried about these troops and has designated them for gender reassignment.

It was at this stage I realised, having read to this part of the rule book, and clearly not having absorbed the contents of the video blogs (perhaps I should have played an Amorphous Blob Alien) have an event deck for the Human Resistance.  Nothing horrendous had occurred due to this oversight and I was able to pull the fat from the fire and resume play with only having to flog the man servant twice.

Right, the Humans got to play some events, damn them, and advanced the Tech Track, destroying one of my brave Aliens.  I chose the witless fools left on the landing field, clearly they had forgotten the orders to advance.  Clearly the human mail parcel marked DO NOT OPEN - BOMB INSIDE just wasn't a big enough warning.  Oh well the gene pool has been cleansed, and the next wave of recruits have been dispatched from the Mother Ship.
Oh and the humans found some Fighter Jets to play with, which they sent to Sector 6.



Rolled the die - 5 Action Points.
One Alien recruit dispatched to the landing field with orders not to open human mail.
Two Aliens sent to Sector 6 which was the location of that cesspit of a city called Melbourne (well that's what the locals called it).  It was protected by some Fighter Jets (reject F/A-18 from the USA), which my well trained Aliens dispatched with gusto.  Then came the hard part, wading through 3 rounds of what would have to be unpleasant warfare.  First round, Angry Mob... OK piece of cake, clearly the local artists, second round... another... Angry Mob, Greenies** this time as they had worked themselves into a frenzy and obtained a Crushing Victory destroying one of my Aliens (hmmm, memo to self: will look at the effectiveness of mindless propaganda in exhorting the combat effectiveness of troops).  Last chance, I send the death threat to the remaining Alien, and he comes through capturing the worthless city of Melbourne, defeating another Fighter Plane, but needing to use a precious Strafe ability to do so.  A Conquest token is played, the teeming hordes of the Mother Ship go wild, either that or there is another food riot in process, not sure, but it work itself out in the end.
Feeling buoyed by the success of capturing Melbourne my two other Aliens entered Sector 2 to discover another City, gasp if it wasn't that other cesspit Sydney.  Honestly doesn't this planet have any swank watering holes like Brisbane or Perth?  Sadly this City was defended by Humans made of sterner stuff (and dice to back them up... I did tell you about them didn't I?).  Well my glorious advance disintegrated with Crushing Victories to the Humans, those Paratroopers are horrible people. My remaining Alien retreated to the Landing Field thinking it safer to feel my wrath than that of the Humans, poor deluded fool. (queue sinister laughter)  I wonder if I can breed them with Greenies and my own race, what would that ultimately produce?  Rebellion most likely, lets not go down that rabbit hole yet, it's still early days, I'm sure victory is just around the corner.
Again the humans manage to draw an event card that advance their tech score, deploying more troops this time a Fighter to Board 2, Sector 3 and a Helicopter to the Landing Field boards Sector 5.  Damn it Ipswich has been liberated by the filthy human rabble without any resistance, rumour had it it was an Angry Mob dressed in flannelettes...

Ah, Round 4 action.  Ipswich conquered and Kyle goes down with KIIS.


Rolled the die - 4 Action Points.
Loosing the useless pawns I call troops is galling.  Spent 3 action points to find another mindless minions to send down to this hopeless planet that I seem to want for reason I can't recall.
I sent 1 Alien to Sector 1  a Hydro Electric Damn I think the locals called it the Snowy Mountain something or other, made a big thing about.  So much so they hid a huge amount of artillery there. blew the crap out of everything, including two of the freshly minted troops at the Landing Field. Things were dare I say, not looking good morale wise.
Event card for the humans crippled me with any Conquest Tokens played would on the die result of 1 or 2 place a demolished marked on a location, this effect in play until start of next Resistance phase.  Oh joy, I may as well start writing my abdication speech, but as a despot, you get assassinated, so I get spared that ignominy at least.



Rolled the die - 6 Action Points
Created 3 Aliens and dispatched them to the Landing Field, poor bastards, I wonder if they know what they have signed on for... of course they do!  It's the glorious army of the Grand Overlord, life if optional.
Dispatched 2 of the newly minted Aliens to Sector 3 and found a Radio Station KIIS 106.5 which was promptly conquered, and especially a noisome DJ called Kyle somebody not important in the ratings keep wailing about said ratings - whatever ratings are.  As a Grand Overlord you don't need to worry about that, you just execute dissatisfied portions of the population and the problem goes away... for a while at least!  Due to the Human Resistance event card in effect this location was demolished, we watched as the entire human staff were immolated in the process.  We enjoyed it, it's loss as a location was not particularly mourned.
Advanced the Tech Score

The brave advance into Board 2 and then strategic retreat.


Rolled the die - 3 Action Points
Sent 2 Aliens back to re notice to the prefix re... conquer Ipswich, that miserable little place.  Which we did for no loss.  The teeming hordes on the Mother Ship decided to send the Grand Overlord a present and he received with gratitude Slavoring Scythions - rather spiffing Space Stuff, which he promptly tested out on the gift givers... much to his satisfaction.. and to the chagrin of the teeming hordes.
Who taught the humans about nuclear physics?  The beggars blew up the small town of Ipswich!  Some may rejoice at that news, some weep, but my Aliens are much annoyed, they worked their little Alien butt's off trying to conquer that little piece of worthless real estate!
The humans believe in slow and steady wins the race then up the ante with actually developing some advance science with Advanced Communication.  Otherwise dull and boring humans scuttling around the planet to no effect (of which the Grand Overlord was most grateful)



Rolled the die - 6 Action Points
Spent 2 action points to recruit more Alien cannon fodder.  The Grand Overlord has grown tired of pussy footing around (and the player suddenly realised there is a game to win) sent all 4 Aliens to Sector 2 that place Sydney with it's odd shaped shell building, must destroy it or use it as a hatchery for spawnlings.  Needless to say the display of power was overkill,  the Grand Overlord laughed when the Teenagers at Look Out Point appeared, until they got a Crushing Victory...  Never underestimate hormone driven youth, hmm, another avenue of research to pursue!  This planet is teeming with novel ideas for military enhancement, no wonder it is always being invaded.
The humans found a way to undermine my terror inducing agenda and have stripped me of a Terror Point (-1), dash it all.  Tech score advances.

End game.  


Rolled the die - 6 Action Points
Spent 1 action point recruiting an Alien to replay the one mobbed to death my randy human teenagers.  Honestly one would think you'd keep your sexual preferences to your own species but these humans really are a disgusting race and must be conquered and destroyed.
Feeling that the clock is ticking against the Grand Overlord it is decided to dash onto the other territory board (in actuality the home board is just to scary, maybe the blank locations might be kinder).
So 3 Aliens go to Section 5 (Board 2) and find a forest, which the natives called Belanglo, apparently has an unsavoury reputation.  Some military troops were stationed there but these were quickly dispatched.  Again some troops sent back pic-feeds of themselves frolicking in the woods, I did notice some bones though in the background so I decided to overlook this misdemeanour this time.  It was a worthless piece of real estate, safe but worthless.
Human Resistance
The quiet humans for the last couple of turns had clearly been building Atomic Shells since they learnt how to build atomic bombs.  They did have a very successful barrage round on Board 2 and sent 3 of my brave Aliens back to the equivalent of Galactic Heaven.  Tech score advances, The Grand Overlord is seeing defeat as inevitable unless he can pull of a miraculous play of odds in his last turn.


Yes it was a bad hand dealt at one hand at the very end,
the humans really came at me in the end.


Rolled the die - 6 Action Points
Spent 3 action points recruiting 3 Aliens.
Sent 1 Alien to Sector 2 that city of Sydney where with some luck we managed to pull a win. Yes the Setaris Banner flew proudly over the ruined Opera house, now unusable as a hatchery.  My plan to snatch a victory hinged on my one Alien at the Hydro Electric Dam, it wasn't much to ask of a weak and lowly Alien with little or no hope to win against incredible odds?  Why not, the Grand Overlord had been watching human movies and they seemed to be able to pull off one in a million victories at the drop of a hat, take for instance Independence Day.  Well this was going to be his Independence Day and he was going to dance on the shattered skulls of they defeated human populace!  Yes you guessed it, it didn't happen, we lost....

Disclaimer: All throughout this game I have been able to draw my own event cards which I have been neglecting to note or record.  In the last round, round 8 I actually got one that I got really excited about Dr Zednar, the Ally.  He came down to the Landing field ready to help, only to be sadly trampled to death my the teeming horde of Aliens escaping back to the Mother Ship.  His body is currently on display in Area 51.

The human tech score advances to 10, game over. Humans win.



My Cup of Despicable-ness (randomness)
and that Atomic BOMB

Did I enjoy myself?  Yes it was a hoot.  The dice that came with this game, what can I say!  I have never seen so many 5's and 6's come up, it like the number of exclamation marks I use in this article!  Yes indeed I had fun.  The game is well worth playing solo.  I now look forward to playing this among some fellow Aliens and pulling the earth apart with gusto.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

For Non Australians - Some reference details 
(from my point of view)

* Disclaimer: I do not profess to be a master of this game and will more than likely balls up the rules, overlook a critical component of play or make a pigs breakfast of things.  Ultimately I had fun playing the game, hopefully you have fun reading about my defeat.

** Greenies: Greenies are shortened referenced to The Greens and Australian political party.  Often poked fun at for their wild and varying stances on many issues which are at odd with main stream or conservative values.

Melbourne is a large city, the capital city for the State of Victoria.  It likes to think itself the cultural centre of Australia. Find more info HERE

Sydney is a large city, the capital city for the State of New South Wales.  It also likes to think itself the sole centre of civilisation in Australia.  Find more info HERE

Ipswich is a small town in Queensland.  Queensland, is a State which produces the best sportsperson in Australia, which everyone in the rest of Australia denies.  :)  Find more into HERE

Belanglo forest is linked to a series of horrible crimes and where more than likely many bodies have been buried. Find more info HERE

The Snowy Mount Scheme is an ambitious undertaking at it's time to provide electricity to the State of NSW read about it in this link HERE

KIIS 106.5 is a radio station and Kyle Sandilands is a DJ shock jock for the station.  Find more HERE

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