Another Glorious Day in the Corps – Project Complete

Is This Another Bug Hunt, Sir?

Hypothetically, if someone were to state that I have been weirdly obsessed with the Alien franchise for a very long time, I would not be in a place to dispute that statement. Well, today is Alien day; it’s 4/26, as in LV-426… 

Like I said: weirdly obsessed. Anyway, it seems like the perfect day to talk about the board game based on my favorite movie in the franchise, Aliens. In the movie, Ripley wakes up from a long hibernation floating around in space, joins some Colonial Marines to return to LV-426 where her crew took on the Alien passenger in the first film. They find a little girl, actors shoot fake sci-fi guns and swear a lot, almost everyone dies, Ripley fights the big alien while wearing a fork-lift and it ends exactly like the first movie, with the Alien beast ejected out the airlock against its will. 

I’m just a big cuddle monster! Who’s the big spoon?

It’s been over 35 years, you had plenty of time to watch it. If you haven’t, you should. It’s a dark, low-tech sci-fi action thriller with an amazing cast, great writing and perfect atmosphere. Seriously, go. I’ll wait.

It was inevitable that once I saw a board game based on the Aliens franchise, which at first glance appeared to be like my beloved game Space Hulk, I was going to own it. I could go on all day about how the movie and the whole franchise has stuck with me all these years, and likely I will do so later. 

Before I knew it, the game was delivered to my doorstep, or, well, the mail room in my apartment complex. I opened it up, dazzled at the minis and the rulebook and promptly forgot about it for months. And there it sat, lounging comfortably in my Pile of Shame. It wasn’t until I was editing the footage for that video some months later that I was reminded of the Aliens board game secluded in my game closet. It was mid-December. I had spent all year buying models and painting Warhammer 40k minis. Somehow, I was simultaneously disappointed in my progress for the year and also feeling a little 40k burn out. So I dug out Another Glorious Day in the Corps. 

Hobby Time

Upon opening the box you are presented with lots of high quality printed cardboard, but my ravenous need for minis saw me cast those aside for later. Below were sprues in two colors: the green sprues were the Colonial Marines, and the black sprues had the Xenomorph models. Clearly these could be used unpainted to represent the two distinct forces (we know I am incapable of that). There were four sprues of aliens with four on each, and every model had two head options, one with and one without the creepy little second jaw out. The sturdy plastic is nice for board game pieces and the models are designed and placed well on the sprue. I cleaned a few mold lines, plastic glue was applied, and then models were primed. 

I applied Talasar Blue contrast, followed by a layer of 50/50 Black Templar and Lahmian Medium and the Xenomorphs were mostly done at that point. I finished them off with a dry brush and some Iron Hands Steel for the bases. 

The Marines were more work of course, and I stuck to acrylics. They painted up pretty easily and I was quite happy. I had painted the base game, and started the Get Away From Her You Bitch expansion when I decided I wanted the Ultimate Badasses expansion as well. Those reinforcements were quickly built and painted, all that was left was to suit up and kill some bugs. 

During a hobby-based stay-cation, Ryan joined me to try out the game and seemed nearly as eager as I was; he has given me notes and I will include them as we go.

Rules Time

The game comes with four double-sided boards, one side representing Hadley’s Hope and the other representing the power generator turned alien hive. The cardboard is sturdy and looks great with high quality printing, same goes for the tokens and dials. 

Ryan: The game itself looked good. Board quality, figures, and cards were great looking, and everything was pretty movie accurate. I enjoyed the simplicity of combat and utilizing the D10 system for resolving actions. The boards give players a definite sense of claustrophobia through narrow corridors and cramped conditions, especially in the atmosphere processor map. Establishing firing lanes and model placement is always something players need to keep in the back of their minds. Models cannot move or shoot through one another, so a combination of shoot and scoot and planning where models need to be a turn or two ahead always need to be considered. 

I read through the rules of the Another Glorious Day in the Corps base game and I was excited to try it out. The foundation seemed straightforward enough but with sufficient complexity to keep it fun with a resource management system that seemed stressful and engaging. 

Simple mechanics were the heart of the game. For instance, if an alien is hit with an attack using a firearm, it dies. Cue the acid spray footage. It makes sense, this is not a Tabletop Wargame and shouldn’t feel like one. Also, If an Xenomorph ends up adjacent to a Marine, the player controlling that Marine rolls a d10. If the roll is below their block they survive that roll, and if the die result was at or below the melee stat, they kill the attacking alien instead. If not, the Marine goes down. 

There are a few other stats on the card of each character and they are all clear. You can move that many spaces, you need to roll that number or lower for a tech skill, or that one for a shooting/attack. Basic. There are no hit points. 

The designers also still somehow added complexity but in a streamlined and accessible way. For example, as mentioned above, when you make a ranged attack, you roll the Marine die (which is what the game calls the D10s that it comes with), pretty simple. Yet there are many ways to fire again in the round, and each subsequent shot is made with one harder target number: Hicks has a skill of 7 for the first shot each round, and 6 for the 2nd and 5 for the third, etc. To stop this from feeling cumbersome you are supplied with a small cardboard dial for each model; take a shooting action, turn the dial down one, take another, turn the dial again. The benefit to full auto weapons like the M41-A pulse rifle and the eponymous Smart Gun is that you take a shoot action and keep shooting if you hit an alien, but each time it reduces the dial by one, and uses resources, which we will get to in a minute.

Don’t worry, the beeping noise coming from the motion tracker means your hot pocket is ready…

While each player chooses a miniature from the roster of movie characters, such as Hicks, Hudson and Vasquez to play as, all of the models from the base game are on the board. To make this easier, each character card has two sides, the player version and the “grunt” version. These grunts are activated after a player has taken their actions with their primary character, and they can use a number of grunts equal to their rank: Corporal Hicks can activate up to two grunts, while Lieutenant Gorman can activate three. The rest of the marine characters can only activate one, and Ripley can activate Newt. 

The stars of the game are the Xenomorphs. Sure, the Marines feel like gun toting badasses. But the bugs really feel like the swarming monsters in the movies. This is for three simple but distinct reasons. First off, the Aliens appear out of spawn points and air vents, depending on what the cards say. It really feels like they are coming out of the walls, falling through the ceiling and creeping out of vents. Second, the Xenomorphs actually deploy by drawing a card from the motion tracker deck, which will indicate how many motion blips to deploy on the gameboard and where. They swarm around the board setting off the motion trackers carried by the marines in unknown quantities until a character can see the blip, forcing it to spawn the drones. Third, when they spawn, you place an Xenomorph miniature on the table, you place one miniature down with a stack of tokens representing extra drone aliens. This effectively turns into hit points for the Aliens making the one model harder to kill and giving it a bonus for each token in combat. 

Also, their only rule is to move towards the closest character model and attack. No fancy AI charts like some other games. No BS… Just kill. 

The Colonial Marines, both player characters and grunts, get equipment. Each can have two weapons although one of them must belong to the sidearm category. Sorry, no double smart guns for you! They can also equip two pieces of gear, be it armor, a motion tracker or even welding gear. The cards for the gear are placed next to their character cards at specific locations and are chosen at the beginning of the game or found during the mission. Those cards are also one of, if not the main, stress points in the game. 

So, yeah, the game can get pleasantly stressful and also exciting at times. The resource management mechanic is perfect. Everything you do requires you to exhaust a card, as the stack represents your teams ammo and stamina. Let’s start with the fact that you dig out the equipment you want for player controlled characters and grunts from that deck, thereby shrinking the total cards to play with before the game begins. Immediately, I realized how dangerous that was, but, Hicks needs some body armor, a pulse rifle, and his trusty shotgun (for close encounters, of course), so there goes those cards. 

If you want to equip the motion tracker from your hand, you move the card to the exhaust pile. Want to take a shot at an alien, pay the cost in cards, for every shot. Every. Shot. Don’t worry, you’re only surrounded by inhuman monsters that want to kill you…

It seems manageable at first, as one or two aliens round the corner and your Marines mow them down. And you can take a rest action, which returns 3 cards to your pile. That’s nice. It feels good. Ah, take a breath. 

Suddenly four alien models leap out of the walls with a stack of tokens underneath them all. Vazquez yells “let’s rock” (in my head, of course. Don’t look at me like that) and starts firing the Smart Gun on full auto. Full auto is great; if you hit an alien, after you reduce the aim dial by one, you can exhaust another card and shoot again. You can keep shooting full auto for the same attack option until you miss. Then the next Marine goes and fires their pulse rifle, also in full auto mode and next thing you know the aim dial is set at two or three with a bunch of your characters and you went through half or more of your pile of cards. So when you run out of draw pile cards to exhaust, you take exhausted cards and start tossing them in the discard pile; you can never get them back from there, and that represents running low on ammo and being injured. 

That Xenomorph that ran up to you, survived the armor piercing rounds flying around, take a swipe at your precious Colonial Marine, who then fails their defense roll and they go down; if there is ever a point where there are no standing characters next to a fallen character they are taken back to the hive by the drones. Great.

At least you can do a rescue mission in the campaign mode to save them… Unless they roll a 10 on their defense roll, cause that means they are just dead. 

Reading through the rules, there was something I was looking for and turns out it was nowhere to be seen; while I am aware it would have made things more complicated and dangerous, I cannot help wishing there was a mechanic to represent the spray of acid blood that is so prevalent in the movies. I know, I know, it’s a pretty minor gripe, and really, if that’s my only complaint with the game, then they are doing a lot right. 

Ryan: My only real complaint is the square system for establishing line of sight. The board is covered in squares and line of sight is determined if any part of the square a model is on can see any part of a square another model is on.  My experience has never been great with games like this and I feel you can make it either really hard on yourself or too easy when determining model visibility.

Play Time

Ryan and I played through a couple games. The mechanics held up and the game was certainly fun. It moves along pretty quick, without being bogged down too much, and that includes the fact that we hadn’t actually played before. 

Ryan: After three games I took away some definite learning’s. First is that in a group of two or more players, someone has to play Lieutenant Gorman. While definitely the weakest offensive character, his passive abilities to manage resources and activate additional grunt models are critical to success. Otherwise, the non-activated grunts simply stand around doing nothing, so players essentially leave money on the table. Without having Apone in the mix, when running two players I think a good combination is Hicks and Gorman. This allows for all grunt models to activate and allows players to keep resource cards in their hand and ready to use.

Additionally, Newt has to be saved, or, well, caught in the first mission. She becomes very useful, as she has no combat use and it became quickly apparent that she was there to use her actions to “rest” and retrieve cards from the exhaust pile so that the marines can keep up the gunfire. 

While playing I learned the point of the sidearms. The pistol can be used for a shooting action without having to exhaust a card, although you can fire it again by exhausting a card. This is huge as the game goes on, but, on top of that a pistol always hits on a 3 or better, no matter what number your aim dial has been reduced to. This is great when you are getting swarmed by aliens and every marine that is close is allowed to make a shoot action before the monster attacks in melee. While there are enough pistols for everyone if the players choose, there is only one shotgun, and as far as I am concerned, Hicks brings that for close encounters, or, well, it has a shorter range (actually the rest of the guns do not have a max range, only a line of sight requirement) but always hits on a roll of 5 or better on the D10. These weapons make managing your draw cards and aim dial easier through the game and can really save a marines butt. 

Ryan: Further speaking to resource management. Managing your draw pile is paramount to being successful. It’s easy to overlook this because you aren’t spending resources at first, but once combat begins, players can burn through resource cards at an astounding rate. Any type of combat action or playing the better event cards costs resources. Event cards in particular can provide that last-minute boost to securing victory, but everything comes at a cost.

While doing all of this, players need to strike a balance between resources, speed, and mission objectives. Communication between players becomes critical. If you move too quickly, you can easily get spread too thin and no longer be able to support allies. If you move too slowly, you’ll eventually be overwhelmed and be unable to complete objectives due to waves of Aliens. When combat eventually begins everything becomes a frantic race to survive.  Keeping a cool head and talking with fellow players is vital.

Another Glorious Day in the Corps was built to support one-offs and comes with a small collection of Bug Hunt missions.These missions play out like Horde Mode in a multiplayer video game where the object is to survive until the motion tracker deck that spawns new aliens is empty, and the xenomorphs on the table are dead. These are fun missions, where each player character and grunt starts with a pistol and must find equipment from the lockers spread around the map and through drawing cards and hoping you have the right balance of equipment and draw cards left to take on the waves of drones once the attack lands. 

The best way to play the game is as a campaign. When you connect the missions together things can get really tough. Between missions you get to take a couple cards out of the discard pile, and then the rest are gone. Just gone; you start the next mission with less ammo, some previous injuries and a sense of dread. Good luck. You can take part in one mission to gather resources per campaign and replace missing draw cards. Players can also embark on rescue missions to get back characters that were taken by the aliens, but beware, these are going to drain resources. 


I definitely intend to play through the campaign a few times. It’s quick, easy to pick up with enough complexity to hold my interest. It’s fun and is based in a science-fiction franchise that I am attached to. Yeah, I will be back for more.

Ryan: Would I play this game again? Absolutely. Combat is simple enough to grasp but through passive abilities and the card system itself, additional layers are added that seem pretty organic. The rules in general are also easy enough to pick up although there are some nuanced things to pay attention to, such as keywords. Players will run into a few instances where card rules aren’t completely clear on how to resolve them but that is where house rules can come into play. I’m definitely down for playing this as a one-off or doing the full campaign.

What’s next?

Well, I already have both expansions, so once we have played through a few times we will have to go up against the Alien Queen in the Get Away From Her You Bitch expansion and enlist the help of the extra marines in the Ultimate Badasses expansion. Lucky for us, I already have them all painted up and ready to go. Who wants to join us for a game?

The expansion models are pretty great. The half of Bishop is pretty great. I am glad they included Apone in the Ultimate Badasses expansion.

All Aliens Movie images copyright Twentieth Century Fox

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


Obsessive and neurotic collector of little plastic men, novels about the same little plastic men and paints to make the little plastic men pretty. Married to Kera, who puts up with him and pretends that she doesn’t hear him speaking to the little plastic men in between making pew pew noises in the hobby room. Requires adult supervision. A menace to himself but rarely to others. More beard than man

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