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    Invasion $8.00 $6.00
    Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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    Publisher: Arion Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/02/2021 11:16:16

    A solid treatment of an X-Com like response to hostile alien intrusions. All player Characters are humans with a couple extra “base” skills and two new optional skills. Since there are no arcane backgrounds there are no arcane skills. Several edges have been removed as not appropriate for the setting (including all Weird and Power edges). While no new edges are added, Leadership edges are expanded to cover the PCs as well as NPCs. Gear is appropriately laid out but is mainly focused on military hardware (and money is ignored focusing on assigned materials and limited options). The game assumes players are mainly heading out to battle the invaders, collect bodies or prisoners, and return. Healing will primarily occur between missions with extra characters encouraged so a wounded character can (and should be) left behind to heal up if not at full health. Military rank is addressed, relying on character rank for advancement. Personally, I would change this as it doesn’t make much sense for a “squad” of 6 Captains to head out with no more than two other soldiers with them. Based on the focus, I would have kept the advancement in the lower ranks up to Sergeant. A new rule for ammunition loss is included that leaves it to a special dice rolled (die type based on the weapon) for each Shot taken. Fear and Panic are also addressed. Gear is well written but does not follow the gear (particularly armor and armor piercing) progression in SWADE. Advanced Gear is part of the very nice BASE development rules. These allow the players to choose which advance their base receives (that they qualify for based on what they recovered from the mission) after each scenario. This includes both human and alien research. The mission Generator has been given a lot of thought. Much like X-Com, this covers most of the basic entries – Crashed UFO, Alien Raid (called Invasion), Infiltration, Collaborators, Rescue, and Terror attack. Combined with randomizing where (both continent and location) the event happens and the recommended use of google maps to identify the combat area, this becomes a real treat! The scenarios are scaled to increase in difficulty as the number of missions (and thus, the rank of the PCs) increase however this might be too fast based on the fact the PCs, unless the same one is used in every mission (discouraged), will soon be left behind by the alien invaders. A game master might use the table as an average of the ranks of the PCs’ rather than the number of missions played for both the difficulty and the opportunities for Base Advancement. The final section gives a nice Bestiary of Aliens including really nice survivor descriptions, from different points of view, as well as the statistics and powers. Only issue I have here is all the Aliens have boosted Toughness that is not recognized in the “Special Abilities,” ranging from 1 to 6 points.
    Allowing this to be used for donations to Doctors Without Borders was inspired. It was well worth the price and can easily be adapted for other ideas in the genre!

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Publisher: Arion Games
    by Jennifer C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/21/2020 12:53:25

    I’m really impressed with the Game and it will be hitting the table right after the current Game finishes a) Characters – all characters are members of the IATF (International Alien Task Force) and are usually soldiers. They are created using the normal SWADE rules. Certain Hindrances (‘Wanted’ for example) have little value and so are excluded. Everyone gets the core skills at d4 AND Fighting and Shooting. There are some new skills, but not usually available to characters at the start. All characters get a starting package of gear (Kevlar armour, combat knife, assault rifle etc. This can be customised so the team gunbunny can have a light machine gun.) It is also advised that each PC has two characters due to the potential lethality of the missions! The team will also get to define their IATF base. This has starting elements (hangar, command centre, research lab etc.) but then may be expanded by taking Edges bought with points gained by capturing alien technology. b) It is suggested that a standard campaign consists of 20 missions, starting at Novice and proceeding up to finish at Legendary. There is scope for non-standard side missions. Note: Only non-Wounded soldiers may take part in a Mission and soldiers do not fully heal automatically between Missions. One reason to have 2+ characters each! PC’s advance after each Mission, but only if they took part. A Strike Team consists of six soldiers, if there are not enough PC’s then they may ‘double-up’ or take Extras. Mission Generator: Similar to other SWADE Mission Generators, but concentrates in a lot of detail. It uses the card draw system. Okay – let’s give it a go! This is my first Mission, which makes it Novice level in terms of the opposition. Card 1: Ace. This makes it a Terror Mission, the aliens plan to spread as much terror and panic as possible; whilst killing and/ or abducting as many humans as possible. There are five humans at risk; the Strike team must save at least three of them or the mission is a failure.

    Card 2: The Terror site is a suburban area of South America. The abandoned 2016 Olympic facilities of Rio de Janeiro spring to mind.

    Opposition: The Terror site is the toughest Mission and there is likely to be quite a lot of Aliens. 5 card daws on the Novice Table gives: - 2 Robosnakes 5 Probes 2 Writhers 7 Grey Alien soldiers 5 Knids (insect-like creatures)

    Ok, this is a tough Mission as a start; but would certainly start things off with a bang!

    My first thoughts are to place the aliens in the disused indoor swimming venue where they have set up a laboratory. They are kidnapping local residents to experiment on and the Knids and Writhers are roaming wild, killing and eating anything they come across.

    I would start the PC’s in media res, they have infiltrated the venue where there are five hostages that they have to rescue. Me being me, I would have the PC’s believe that they were just Special Forces going up against terrorists and only as the Game progressed would I reveal the aliens.

    All of this was done as I wrote this; it hasn’t been tweaked to make it fit. In fact, I like it so much that it will probably be my opening Mission.

    Here is also an example in the book of a Season Mission, generated like the one I just did.

    c) All of the aliens and creatures are described and fully statted for SWADE. There is also a player’s page for each type, to be read AFTER they have met the alien. This contains some info from soldiers, scientists and civilians about the alien; it may not be 100% accurate!

    d) The book finished with useful weapons charts, a character sheet, a Base sheet and an index.

    There are no off-time rules or anything like that, SWADE handles these quite well anyway and as the authormentions at the start, this Game is emphasises the struggle and the battle – if you like, it is X-COM.

    Highly recommended and I can’t wait to get it on the table.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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