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).
Thanks, I was meaning to try and teach this one to our group soon and this will make it much easier!
I think it really will – that rulebook is pretty confusing!
One thing to point out, weapons can only be used to avoid Human encounters. There’s a tonne of discussion on the BGG threads about this. You cannot use it to avoid dog or alien encounters.
Damn, I should clarify that, cheers.
Nice thanks! I’ll try find my notes I wrote after digging through BGG! Thanks for the awesome summary!
FYI the source of this is the FAQ which now actually clarifies the ruling https://www.pendragongamestudio.com/download/
When I played my last game we knew about the dog encounter rule but not the alien encounter rule (it wasn’t in the FAQ back then). So weapons were very OP to just avoid encounters with aliens entirely. Next time I play i’ll play it right, it’s a great game under the rules jank!
Does anyone know why no one would get on the SOS helicopter before it runs out of gas? Don’t both the humans and aliens want to get on it immediately when it arrives.
You’ll probably get more responses on Boardgamegeek, but I would check out the process for getting on the helicopter. You have to have the lowest suspicion value for a start. I haven’t actually tested it out, but you’ll probably find it’s not as easy as it appears!
One thing that was clarified in the faq was that a character lying down is not involved in a contagion check! Worth adding?
I think I said somewhere that lying down characters aren’t affected by anything, didn’t I?
Will look again but at first glance no!
Thanks a bunch anyways for your work!
Just noticed the FAQ now says that an assimilated character does not reveal their role, but wins with the humans OR alien depending on which side they were on (changing the rules from previously saying they were just assumed to be human and win with the humans).
This is in the public/secret information errata.
I can tell I’ll be updating this summary for a long time to come …
On Page 6: Rules summary 1-3 players back
Under Dormitory, it currently states:
“Any number of characters, no exposed alien”
But on Page 5: Rules summary 1-3 players front
“During each round, only 1 character may go to the Dormitory”
This is for the 1-3 Player Coop Mode.