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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Aliens Vs Predator: The Hunt Begins Unboxing

Keeping the theme varied, yesterday I took delivery of a weighty package care of Wayland Games, which was the Aliens vs Predator: The Hunt Begins board game. I'd wondered about whether to buy this or not, ummed and ahhed, and then finally sold some old model stuff so that I could justify the "net neutral" cost to myself, and went ahead and did it.

So here's the box, all in its shrink-wrap...

The rear has a nice colour spread of the contents (now minus shrink-wrap!);

And then we opened it up...

So we're presented with a very full box, including three boxes of cards, a mass of cardstock, rulebook, instruction sheet and a sub-box containing models.

Of course we're desperate to see the shinies in the form of the models, so that box gets opened first;

Actually the box contains bases, bases for the door elements in the game, dice and the models as well. So let's have a look at the models in detail.

First up, you get 10 aliens, in a few poses. These are referred to as "Infant Alien Warriors" in the rules, and they're basically modelled on the original Alien film alien.

Looking closer, this has some really excellent detail, with sharp moulding and little flash.  What's even more impressive is that these are single-piece bodies, with only the tail being separate. The injection points are in some odd places (like the underside of the left hand), but then where this occurs the loss of detail in removing probably won't be seen anyway.

Next are the five "stalker" aliens - essentially taken from the dog alien in Alien 3

These are slightly more multi-part than the infant warrior, with one sides legs being separate pieces.

Nevertheless, they show the same excellent detail (and odd positioning of injection points) as the others.

Moving on to the next set are the 5 Colonial Marines. These come with a "Smart gun" (the massive thing two of the marines had in Aliens), Pulse rifle, flamethrower and motion tracker.

Proportions, poses and detail on these guys is, once again, superb.

The various weapons and arms carry on this theme, and are all extremely good.

Last are the three Predators.

These are agin incredibly well detailed and some of the casting is hard to believe - the fangs on the open mouth of the top predator here are staggering!

The Predator arms also highlight this - there's a little flash, but things like the finger detail and blades are just gorgeous. However, the quality of the castings is really summed up to me in the Predator arm holding the "Smart disk".

This has fingers going through it, but it's also incredibly thin - scalpel-blade thin...that's what I've shown in the lower of these two pictures here - that's deeply impressive!

One thing Oscar was worried about was that they got the scale of the minis right - here is a comparison between the three model types, clearly showing the alien and Predator standing literally head and shoulders taller than the marine, which is spot on. The aliens have that emaciated, skeletal look we're familiar with, whereas the Predator is a much chunkier creature as we'd expect.

So the first impression of the models is quite awe-inspiring, my only worry is that my painting skills will not do them justice!

There's a simple one-side sheet of instructions for putting the models together, but I don't think anyone would have difficulty with them.


Next up for a look over is the rulebook. This is a nice, glossy book, with a turn summary on the rear and full-colour artwork and graphics inside.

Flicking through, there are various sections describing the tokens used, rules on the gameplay (obviously!), model stats etc

There are a number of narrative missions to play

and also a section which describes making your own heroes etc - so it seems there is a depth to the game beyond the base board-game play, which looks interesting.

Roster sheets at the back of the book are a handy addition too.

OK, so now we look at the bulk of the weight and volume of the box, which are the card corridor and room sections, doors and tokens. These are double-sided, pre-cut card of substantial thickness (3-4mm), and very nice full-colour graphics.

here you can see both sides of the sheet with the flamer/acid spit, showing the two different sets of graphics.

Once everything was removed form the twelve (yes, twelve!) sheets, we had a veritable mountain of stuff!

Finally, we have the contents of the three card packs. These break out into mission cards, environmental cards, and strategy/stat cards for the three factions. 

The next challenge was to get it all in the box again, which I wasn't confident of doing. However, a lot of stacking and packing later and there it all was...

So thats the AVP:THB unboxing...all in all its a really nice set - fantastic models, great card stock, nice rulebook - you feel like you're getting your money's worth. We'll have to see how the models build up and the game plays, but that's for another post I think. Overall I have to say the first impression is a solid 9/10.

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