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Aliens change the very nature of the battle, moving enemies about, and manipulating the Base cards you fight for. - AEG

Aliens love to mess with people, and they love to mess with other players even more. From bouncing minions back to players’ hands, to replacing bases in play, aliens are out to have a great time, at any planet’s expense.

- Core Set rulebook

The Aliens are one of the eight factions from the Core Set.

Aliens are able to neutralize opponent minions in unorthodox ways, usually by returning minions to their hand, and to return your minions, allowing you to replay them again and again.

Other factions from the same set: Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, Tricksters, Wizards, Zombies.

Cards Edit

Aliens

The Aliens have the usual 10 minions and 10 actions. The total minion base power (not counting any abilities) is slightly lower than usual at only 28 or an average of 2.8 per minion compared to the usual 30 and 3.

Minions Edit

1x Supreme Overlord - power 5 - You may return a minion to its owner’s hand. FAQ

2x Invader - power 3 - Gain 1 VP. FAQ

3x Scout - power 3 - Special: After this base is scored, you may place this minion into your hand instead of the discard pile. FAQ

4x Collector - power 2 - You may return a minion of power 3 or less on this base to its owner’s hand. FAQ

Actions Edit

1x Abduction - Return a minion to its owner’s hand. Play an extra minion. FAQ

2x Beam Up - Return a minion to its owner’s hand. FAQ

1x Crop Circles - Choose a base. Return each minion on that base to its owner’s hand. FAQ

2x Disintegrator - Place a minion of power 3 or less on the bottom of its owner’s deck. FAQ

1x Invasion - Move a minion to another base. FAQ

1x Jammed Signal - Play on a base. Ongoing: All players ignore this base’s ability. FAQ

1x Probe - Look at another player’s hand and choose a minion in it. That player discards that minion. FAQ

1x Terraforming - Search the base deck for a base. Swap it with a base in play (discard all actions attached to it). Shuffle the base deck. You may play an extra minion on the new base. FAQ

Aliens

Bases Edit

Mechanics Edit

Aliens focus on removing minions from play in "unorthodox" ways, usually by returning them to their owner's hand. While this can be used offensively against opponents, it is more effectively used on the player's own Invaders, which grant 1 VP each time they're played. By playing Invaders, returning them to one's hand, and repeating, the game can be won without winning a single base. Aliens other major mechanic is base manipulation, which combined with returning minions to players hands serve to slow the game progression down, allowing more time to find and continuously replay invader.

Strategy Edit

Returning Minions to Hands Edit

The Aliens' main strength is returning any minion in play into its owner's hand. Of all their cards, only Collectors have restrictions; the others can be used to return a minion of any power on any base.

Offensively, returning an opponent's minion can be useful to slow them down, effectively cancelling one of their previous minion plays. This is especially hurtful against opponents that lack extra minion plays as they'll have a much harder time to catch up, allowing you to change the pace of the game to your advantage. On the other hand, this is less effective if the opponent can play extra minions, as they can easily balance the removal of their minion. This is also trickier if your opponent has minions with a useful on-play ability; returning it would allow your opponent to replay it and use their ability again.

Alternatively, the Aliens can also return your own minions into your hand. This is useful to get a second use out of your minion's on-play or talent ability. This can also be used to relocate your minion to a different base if your pairing lacks movement.

Also, if you return a minion with any actions played on it, unlike the minion, the actions will be discarded. This is a useful way to get rid of troublesome actions played on your minions or to get rid of your opponent's strong play-on-minion actions.

Gaining VPs without Scoring Edit

A common strategy with the Aliens is getting advantage of their Invaders' ability, playing and replaying it to gain VPs without ever scoring a base; a strategy sometimes referred to as "Invader Dance". Obviously, this strategy only works if you're able to get an early Invader, which you only have two copies of in your deck.

The main drawback is that you'll barely have any presence on the board; since you'll keep playing and returning a minion, you'll barely have any power on bases, so if a base scores, you will either score low or not at all. In 2-player games, you can focus more easily on this strategy as your opponent will have a harder time scoring a base by themself, giving you more time to draw an Invader and repeatedly playing it. However, in 3-player games, two players can score a base together more easily, making this strategy less valuable as the other players will usually score more VPs from base scoring than you can get from "Invader Dancing". In 4-player games, this strategy is highly not recommended as presence on bases is much more important and as bases will score even faster.

Other "Unorthodox" Removal Edit

In addition to returning minions in play, Aliens have three cards that can get rid of minions in other ways. Disintegrator is a very harsh removal card as it allows you to put a minion in play of power 3 or less on the bottom of its owner's deck, where it will usually be near-impossible for its owner to retrieve.

Probe is a very interesting card. It allows you to check a player's hand, giving you foreknowledge of their next strategy, and also to get rid of a minion in their hand, possibly a minion you previously returned from play.

Base Manipulation Edit

The Aliens' other focus is base manipulation. Only three cards allow them to manipulate bases in different ways, but if used effectively, they can definitely change a situation to your advantage.

Crop Circles allows you to clear a base of any minion on it. Very useful to reset the situation on a base before it scores, but it's also the only Alien card that can return several minions at once while the other cards only return one minion each.

Terraforming is a very versatile card. It can be used to stall the game by switching a base that's about to score with a base with a much higher breakpoint, but it will usually only delay it for a few turns. Conversely, it can be used more effectively to change a base everyone is focusing on breaking into a base with a different VP reward and/or an unappealing ability.

Finally, Jammed Signal is a more situational card, but it can be very effective against bases with a useful ability, especially those that play to your opponents' strengths rather than yours.

External Strategy Guides Edit

FAQ Edit

Questions on Supreme Overlord Edit

Q: Which minion can I return with Supreme Overlord?

A: You can target any minion that's in play, even Supreme Overlord itself:
- If it's a minion you own, it's returned to your hand.
- If it's a minion owned by another player, it's returned to that player's hand.
- If it's a minion that noone owns (e.g. a treasure, a monster), it remains in play.

Rule 1: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Rule 2: Cards that refer to a minion’s owner do not apply to monsters or treasures.

Q: Can I return a minion from the discard pile with Supreme Overlord?

A: No, it must be a minion in play. Cards that allow you to target something in the discard pile, like the cards from the Zombie faction, will explicitly say so. By default, "a minion" refers to a minion that's in play.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: Can Supreme Overlord return a minion on any base or just its own base?

A: There's no restrictions, so it can be any minion (even itself!) on any base.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: I return a minion with Supreme Overlord. What happens to actions that were played on the returned minion? Are they also returned to their owners' hands?

A: They are discarded in the appropriate discard piles.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.


Questions on Invader Edit

Q: If an Invader leaves play (e.g. it's destroyed, its base scores) or if its ability is later cancelled by another card, do I keep the 1 VP I gained from playing the Invader?

A: Yes, you gained the VP and, unless otherwise stated, you keep it for the rest of the game. This makes it very attractive to use Collector, Abduction, and similar abilities to return the Invaders to your hand to play them again for more VPs.

Rule: On-play abilities are resolved only once and have no further effect.

Q: If I give control of an Invader to another player or if another player takes control of it, do I also give them the VP I gained from playing the Invader? If not, do they gain 1 VP from Invader?

A: No to both. You gained the VP and, unless otherwise stated, you keep it for the rest of the game. Also, Invader's ability is an on-play ability, which is only resolved when it is played. When a minion's controller changes, that's not playing it, so its ability isn't resolved again.

Rule: On-play abilities are resolved only once and have no further effect.


Questions on Scout Edit

Q: The card says "Special" so I can play it outside of my turn, right?

A: "Special" does not mean the card can be played out of turn. "Special" simply means that it's an ability that can be used when its condition is met. Whether it can be used out of turn, activated straight from your hand/discard pile, or if it can only be used when it's already in play (essentially being a synonym of Ongoing), it entirely depends on the wording. In the case of Scout, the condition is "after this base is scored", this means that you can only activate it after its base is scored, "its base" being the base it is currently on. Obviously, if Scout isn't in play, there's no "this base" that the condition can refer to. So Scout is actually a Special card that can only be used when it is in play.

Rule 1: A Special ability will describe how it can be used.

Rule 2: Abilities that say "After this base scores" can only be activated if the card is on the scoring base, if the card is attached to a minion on the scoring base or if the card is the scoring base itself.

Q: When is my Scout placed in my hand with its ability?

A: After its base scores, Scout's ability is triggered during the step where the players can play/invoke after-scoring abilities. But, that's just when its controller can decide to activate it or not. If they choose to activate it, nothing happens for the moment. However, when the players move on to the step where the cards on the base are all discarded, that's when the Scout is placed into its owners hand instead of being discarded.

Rule: During the Score Bases step where the cards are discarded, all the cards are discarded simultaneously. That's when the cards with "instead of the discard pile" are resolved.

Q: When I use a Scout's ability, does it count as returning the Scout to my hand? (e.g. for Entangled, Ship's Engineer)

A: No. Even though the card also goes from a base to your hand, it says "place", not "return". Entangled and Ship's Engineer do not interact with cards that are "placed".

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If Scout's controller is changed during the game, after its base scores, who decides whether its ability is activated or not? And whose hand does it go to? It says "your hand", so it's probably Scout's current controller, right?

A: It's Scout's controller who decides whether or not Scout's ability is activated. But, if they decide that it is, then it will be returned to its owner's hand, not theirs.

Rule 1: "You" on a minion or action means the controller of the card.

Rule 2: When a card leaves play, the card goes back to its owner's hand, deck, or discard pile.


Questions on Collector Edit

Q: Which minion can I return with Collector?

A: You can target any minion of power 3 or less on the same base as the Collector, even Collector itself:
- If it's a minion you own, it's returned to your hand.
- If it's a minion owned by another player, it's returned to that player's hand.
- If it's a minion that noone owns (e.g. a treasure, a monster), it remains in play.

Rule 1: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Rule 2: Cards that refer to a minion’s owner do not apply to monsters or treasures.

Q: I return a minion with a Collector. What happens to actions that were played on the returned minion? Are they also returned to their owners' hands?

A: They are discarded in the appropriate discard piles.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.


Questions on Abduction Edit

Q: Which minion can I return with Abduction?

A: You can target any minion that's in play:
- If it's a minion you own, it's returned to your hand.
- If it's a minion owned by another player, it's returned to that player's hand.
- If it's a minion that noone owns (e.g. a treasure, a monster), it remains in play.

Rule 1: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Rule 2: Cards that refer to a minion’s owner do not apply to monsters or treasures.

Q: Can I return a minion card from the discard pile with Abduction?

A: No, it must be a minion in play. Cards that allow you to target something in the discard pile, like the cards from the Zombie faction, will explicitly say so. By default, "a minion" refers to a minion that's in play.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: If I return a minion to my hand with Abduction, can I play it again as Abduction's extra minion?

A: Sure. You can play any minion in your hand as the extra minion, even the one that was returned to your hand.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If the minion I targeted isn't returned (e.g. because of Entangled or Ship's Engineer), can I still play an extra minion?

A: Yes, returning the minion and the extra minion are independent, so you still get an extra minion play even if no minion was returned.

Rule: Cards are resolved entirely.

Q: I return a minion with Abduction. What happens to actions that were played on the returned minion? Are they also returned to their owners' hands?

A: They are discarded in the appropriate discard piles.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.

Q: I return another player's minion to their hand. Who gets to play an extra minion? Them or me?

A: You get to play the extra minion.

Rule: "You" on a minion or action means the controller of the card.


Questions on Beam Up Edit

Q: Which minion can I return with Beam Up?

A: You can target any minion that's in play:
- If it's a minion you own, it's returned to your hand.
- If it's a minion owned by another player, it's returned to that player's hand.
- If it's a minion that noone owns (e.g. a treasure, a monster), it remains in play.

Rule 1: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Rule 2: Cards that refer to a minion’s owner do not apply to monsters or treasures.

Q: Can I return a minion card from the discard pile with Beam Up?

A: No, it must be a minion in play. Cards that allow you to target something in the discard pile, like the cards from the Zombie faction, will explicitly say so. By default, "a minion" refers to a minion that's in play.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: I return a minion with Beam Up. What happens to actions that were played on the returned minion? Are they also returned to their owners' hands?

A: They are discarded in the appropriate discard piles.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.


Questions on Crop Circles Edit

Q: I return minions with Crop Circles. What happens to actions that were played on a returned minion? Are they also returned to their owners' hand?

A: They are discarded in the appropriate discard piles.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.

Q: I play Crop Circles and target a base. In what order do I return the minions there? For example, if someone has a Ship's Engineer there, can I return it before their other minions?

A: The minions are all returned at the same time, so there's no order to decide. A Ship's Engineer there would trigger for each of that player's other minions that are returned.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: Can I play Crop Circles and target The Dread Gazebo or a base with Magic Ward?

A: Yes. Crop Circles targets a base, but is not played on it. Those cards only prevent "play on a base" actions, and Crop Circles is no such action.

Rule: Only "play on a base" actions are played on a base.


Questions on Disintegrator Edit

Q: Can I use Disintegrator on a minion that cannot be returned to the deck? (e.g. because of Superiority)

A: Yes. The card says "place", not "return". So Disintegrator can be used on a card that cannot be "returned to the deck". Also, there are currently no abilities that "return" a card in play to the deck.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: Is the ability of Disintegrator the same as moving/returning the minion?

A: Unless the card explicitly tells you to "move" or "return" the minion, it is not moving or returning the minion, so no.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: Can I use Disintegrator to place a minion of power 3 or less from a player's discard pile to the bottom of that player's deck?

A: No. The minion must be a minion in play. Cards that allow you to target something in the discard pile, like the cards from the Zombie faction, will explicitly say so. By default, "a minion" refers to a minion that's in play.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: I target a minion with Disintegrator. What happens to actions that were played on the targeted minion? Are they also placed on the bottom of their owners' decks?

A: They are discarded in the appropriate discard piles.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.


Questions on Invasion Edit

Q: Can Invasion move another player's minion, or just my own minion?

A: It doesn't specify "your minion"; it just says "a minion", so you can target any minion that's in play, even uncontrolled monsters.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".


Questions on Jammed Signal Edit

Q: Can I play Jammed Signal on The Dread Gazebo?

A: No. The Ongoing ability of Jammed Signal would take effect after being played there, and the Dread Gazebo prevents you from playing Jammed Signal there at all. (However, Jammed Signal can be transfered there using Rules Lawyer.)

Rule: Choose an eligible base in play. The base choice must be a legal play.

Q: What does Jammed Signal stop?

A: It shuts off the ability of the base for all players, regardless of when that ability is triggered or what it does. It does not prevent the base from breaking when the breakpoint is reached.

Rule: The base's ability is what's written at the bottom of its card.

Q: With Jammed Signal, do uncontrolled monsters also ignore a base's ability? (e.g. a monster on The Central Brain with Jammed Signal played on it)

A: TBD

Rule: TBD

Q: Does Jammed Signal cancel other player's actions played on the same base?

A: No. Jammed Signal only makes players ignore the base's ability. The abilities of actions played there don't count as the base's ability.

Rule: The base's ability is what's written at the bottom of its card.


Questions on Probe Edit

Q: If I play Probe, do I look at a player's entire hand or just their minions?

A: You look at their entire hand.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If the discarded minion is a Fan or an Igor, does the minion's owner get to use their benefit (i.e. draw a card or place a +1 power counter)?

A: No. Fan only lets you draw a card if it's discarded through its own Special ability. Igor's ability is an Ongoing ability, so it only works if it's discarded from play.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Terraforming Edit

Q: Does Terraforming destroy actions played on the base, or are they "discarded"?

A: They are not "destroyed", they are "discarded". This works similar to what happens when scoring a base. Also, Terraforming actually doesn't do anything to those actions; the part in parenthesis is there to remind you the rule that "When a card leaves play, discard attachments." So, when a base leaves play, any actions attached to it are discarded.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard attachments.

Q: When Terraforming is played, does Steam Queen prevent the actions from being discarded?

A: No. Steam Queen protects actions from being affected. Being "discarded" is not listed as being "affected". Also Steam Queen only protects against other players' cards, and what happens to the actions are not because of Terraforming, but because of the general rule that "When a card leaves play, discard attachments."

Rule: Definition of "affect". Discarding a card from play does not affect the card.

Q: Can I use Terraforming on The Dread Gazebo or a base with Magic Ward?

A: Yes. Terraforming targets a base, but is not played on it. Those cards only prevent "play on a base" cards, and Terraforming is no such action.

Rule: Only "play on a base" actions are played on a base.

Q: Where do I put the base that was in play?

A: It's shuffled back into the base deck.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: What happens to the minions on the swapped base and actions played on minions there?

A: They remain in play and will go on the new base. Only the actions that were played on the chosen base are discarded.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: What happens to a titan on the swapped base?

A: It is removed from play and set aside near its owner's deck. Any +1 power counters on it are removed.

Rule: Titans also leave play if the base card they are on leaves play.

Q: Before a base scores, I manage to play Terraforming (e.g. with a Mole). I target the scoring base. What happens now?

A: The scoring stops for that base (because it's not the same base anymore), but you still get to play an extra minion there, that must be done immediately or not at all. Then, you must continue the Score Bases back to step 1 if a base (including the new base) is ready to score.[1]

Rule: Check the steps for phase 3.

Trivia Edit

  • The artist is Conceptopolis, who also designed the art of the Steampunks.

References Edit

  1. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/22359274#22359274

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