When faced with the ultimate horror, will you trust your crewmates?

Awaken Realms continue to produce beautiful, intensely thematic games, and Nemesis is probably their most successful release yet, from both gameplay and production perspectives.

A while back I was bemoaning the lack of games with an Alien-like theme, but now we have an embarrassment of riches with AVP: The Hunt Begins, Lifeform, and Nemesis (and now I’ve done rules summaries for them all, I might add!) Nemesis, for me, is more James Cameron Aliens than Lifeform’s Ridley Scott Alien, because in this game, you can fight back and the aliens can die. However the tension that is so important in this sub-genre is definitely still there: not only are the alien miniatures in the game huge and horrifying, but they are drawn to you if you make too much noise. It’s a classic, creepy mechanic that gives the game a haunted house feel scattered with moments of horrific violence.

Not only will you be trying to stay quiet to survive, you’ll be closely watching your fellow players. The game is a co-op, but at the start of the game each player draws 2 objective cards, one ‘personal’ and one ‘corporate’, and must choose one as their win objective when the first alien shows up. So while you may be getting along fine when you have to fight the aliens together, you never quite know what the other players’ final agendas are. This can lead to some fantastic story moments and sudden, devastating betrayals. I’m sure that more than one Nemesis player has found themselves on the wrong side of an escape pod door just before the self-destruct marker reached the end of the track!

Production values are through the roof on this one, and everything reinforces the atmosphere of dark, sci-fi horror. Several expansions give you the opportunity to experiment with different alien types too.

Nemesis is a fantastic experience and just the kind of thematic game I love. There’s also now a stand-alone sequel called Nemesis: Lockdown set on a secret Mars base which after one play, struck me as even more enjoyable (look out for a rules summary of that one as well, soon).

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Sep 2022 2.5 Reorganisation of page layout for greater ease of use
Apr 2022 2.4 Clarification of intruder movement through closed doors on summary and reference
Jun 2021 2.3 Fixed icon placement error on Aftermath page
Jan 2021 2.2 Fixed Void Seeders encounter error (suprise attack)
Aug 2020 2.1 Fixed intruder bag icons on reference sheets and Void Seeder sheet
Jun 2020 2 Added Carnomorphs, Void Seeders and Aftermath expansions
Feb 2020 1.2 Fixed error in melee combat results – properly this time!
Jan 2020 1.1 Added action point icons to reference sheet and fixed error in melee combat results
Jan 2020 1 Original release


  • Brian Berning says:

    Peter – My enjoyment of playing board games is so much better with all of your Rules Summaries – Thank you.

    I only glanced over these – Nemsis. I did find one error.
    Melee Attack Action – When you Roll 2 hits to deal an injury, you only do 1 injury. You deal 2 injuries in Shooting, but only 1 in Melee. Page 19 of Rulebook.
    Thank you again for all of your hard work.

    • Thankyou, an important mistake to fix! Done.

      • JBG says:

        One more error, I think. On noise roll, it should read “If a noise roll causes an intruder to come from a corridor with a close door, the intruder destroys the closed door instead.” See page 17 of rules. The “appears regardless” sounds like they ignore the closed door. Maybe you misread page 15 to says “ignore” instead of “do not ignore?”

        • I don’t think that’s right. On page 17 it says “If a Noise roll causes an Intruder to come from a Corridor with a Closed Door, the Intruder appears regardless of the Closed Door.” exactly as I’ve said.

          Intruders only destroy closed doors when they have to move through them, not when they appear as a result of a noise roll: “When an Intruder tries to move through a Corridor with a Closed Door token, the Intruder does not move, but destroys this Door instead” (also on p17).

          • JBG says:


            Maybe we have different page 17’s. They may have updated it. I don’t see the “regardless” language you cite anywhere on page 17. My page 17 corresponds with the current rulebook on Awaken Realms website:

            Your reading would be correct for an encounter as the current page 17 reads “Door tokens are ignored when resolving Encounters.” When an encounter, the Intruders are appearing from nowhere in particular, which is why closed doors don’t affect.

            But, if as you have it, they are coming “from a corridor,” that presumes they are appearing from a nearby room due to a Danger result on a noise roll, rather than from an encounter generated by one of the other noise roll results. And under the “closed door” section, after the sentence about destroying closed doors instead of moving, it says “This includes Intruders attempting to move due to the Danger result of a Noise roll.” Likewise page 15 says “Intruders moving as a result of a Danger roll do not ignore Closed Doors.”

            • JBG says:

              By the by, I do find your player aid to be a fantastic improvement upon Awaken Realms’ rather poorly organized rulebook for an otherwise great game.

            • It appears they have, my rulebook is different! Thanks for the help, I’ll update the sheet. BTW if you find this useful please tell Awaken. I’ve been trying to convince them for years! 🙂

  • Todd Wood says:

    There are two things I always do with every game I purchase. First I look for a teaching video to help me learn the game then I look for one of your rules summaries to help me teach the game. You never disappoint. I have a request for this rules summary though. Any thoughts to adding the extra rooms that came with the aftermath expansion. It’s only 4 or 5 more rooms and it would be so helpful to have them all in one place.
    Thank you for the years of wonderful rules summaries

  • Andi says:

    Not really that important, but one of the icons in the aftermath exploration tokens is lightly missplaced or appears missplaced to me, and it results on the text breaking in a weird way. Right on the last page of the document.

    Thanks for your work as always.

  • Michael says:

    When in combat with a weapon, you roll for damge and apply the damage with markers on the Alien. My question is, where in your rule set does it discuss fliping intruder attack cards to determine their Hit Points? 1 card for Creepers, Adults and 2 cards for Breeders and Queens with the possibility of an arrow showing up representing there escape. I’m reading from my phone so it’s tough to tell. It’s not clear in the main rulebook so I was hoping it would be clearer here. Sorry if I’ve just missed it. I just don’t see it.


  • Michael says:

    Hi sorry, I should have waited till I got to a computer. I found the information. Thank you for this great players aid. I’ll head to the donation buttion. Thanks again.

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