The Thing

Man is the warmest place to hide.

It’s very exciting to see one of my favourite films of all time, John Carpenter’s The Thing, get the deluxe board game treatment. And almost every beat from the film has been faithfully reproduced in this excellent game – though you’re going to have to assimilate a lot of rules as a result.

It’s a wonderfully thematic experience if you have players willing to immerse themselves in the tension, deception, and downright creepiness of it all. In our first game the accusations came thick and fast right from the start, and the rules encourage the kind of edgy paranoia that characterises the film. Of course with all these moving parts some games are going to be better than others, and there may be someone who just wants to burn everything down or freeze everybody to death, but every strategy is valid! Check out my unboxing and video review for heaps of detail about the game and how it plays.

Much like the eponymous alien however, this is an unwieldy beast, and the poorly written rulebook doesn’t make things easier, with strange naming conventions and blurry edge-cases (and those 1-3 player rules are truly atrocious). However I’ve tried to fix up as much of that as possible in my rules summary and reference, which also includes the rules for the Norwegian Outpost expansion (based on the later 2011 film).

Making these game aids takes a lot of work, yet I provide them free of charge. If you find them useful, please consider making a donation, or becoming a regular supporter via PATREON, so I can continue making quality tabletop gaming content. Thankyou!

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Jan 2024 2.5 A few important fixes to the location references
Jun 2023 2.4 Clarified Fuel card entry on both main summary, reference, and 1-3 player summary
May 2023 2.3 Fix to Dormitory location in 1-3 player rules
May 2023 2.2 Fix to 1-3 player rules, dynamite/molotov and flamethrower
Feb 2023 2.1 Fix to 1-3 player rules, phase 8 (food consumption)
Dec 2022 2 Further fixes to 1-3 player rules
Nov 2022 1.9 Fixes to 1-3 player rules and Norwegian Outpost setup
Nov 2022 1.8 Fixes on the first page of the 1-3 players rules
Nov 2022 1.7 Removed Wire item from Norwegian Outpost rules
Oct 2022 1.6 Clarified Armoury and Warehouse entries on reference sheet. Changed win conditions for assimilated characters on summaries, as per errata.
Sep 2022 1.5 Clarified that characters lying down are not involved in encounters or contagion checks
Sep 2022 1.4 Fixed error in Setup section of 1-3 player rules
Sep 2022 1.3 Fixed up the rules concerning the alien being exposed in 1-3 player games
Sep 2022 1.2 Clarifications to ‘setting locations on fire’ sections
Sep 2022 1.1 Clarified that weapons can only be used to avoid human encounters
Sep 2022 1 Original release


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