Army vs Aliens Dice Game
by Gary Sonnenberg
Army vs Aliens
Dice game manufacturer:
Number of players:
For a quick, asymmetric game of battling dice, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better filler than Army vs Aliens.
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The game and gameplay
Army vs Aliens is a game of dice for two players. One player is the Army; the other is the Aliens. Each has a supply of nine dice showing six ranks of people, creatures, or weapons. The lowest four ranks on each side are of equal power. The upper two have different powers and effects, thus making this a slightly asymmetric battle.
To start the game, both players roll all their dice and arrange them in rank order for easier play. The Army attacks first. For the lower four ranks, a die in a given rank can take out one opposing die of the same or lower rank. The attacking die is set aside for re-rolling on a later turn. The defeated enemy die is captured and essentially removed from the game.
If either side has three dice of the same rank, the owner can set aside all three to destroy one die of the next higher rank in the opposition. If you can manage such an attack, it is an excellent move to make. Not only does it take out a higher ranking die, but it also preserves three of your own dice for future use and prevents the enemy from attacking any of them immediately.
After the Army’s initial attack, the Aliens take a turn to do the same. Play then alternates with players either destroying more dice or pausing to re-roll all of the dice already used in an attack plus any still available for combat.
On the Army side, the two highest ranks are General and Nukes. You use the General to promote everyone in one of your four lowest ranks to the next higher rank. You must have at least three Nukes to drop them, but when you do, you obliterate all dice in the lowest three ranks on both sides of the battlefield – a move best made when the Army doesn’t have any there.
On the Aliens side, the two highest ranks are Overlord and Mothership. Use the Overlord to remove (not destroy) any two enemy dice from combat. If you have at least three Motherships, you can use them to any two Army dice still in combat.
The winner is the commander who first annihilates the entire enemy force. Failing that, the game ends when five rounds pass with no attacks being made. The winner is then the player who destroyed the most dice. If that number is equal, you add the rank values of each as victory points with the higher total awarding the victory.
Pros and cons
The storage mechanism is wonderful. Put each set of dice in its cup; snap the lid on one of them; then snap the other cup to the other side of the lid.
High-quality dice and decent graphics are much appreciated.
Storage of the directions (unless you’re okay with rolling them into a cup) and the Battle Guides is a bit problematic.
My copy contained an (insignificant) error on the Army Battle Guide; a Trooper knelt where an Airplane should have flown. This did not affect game play in any way.
As in many dice games, rolling high or rolling multiples of the same thing is good. This game could obviously be played with normal sets of differently-colored dice, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. The heavy specialty dice feel good in hand and roll well when spilled from the cup. There’s enough strategy possible to keep the game from being boring. Army vs Aliens is admittedly very light (plays in 15 minutes), but that’s great for a filler if you want some fast battle action and have little time or need something between heavier games.
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