Army Vs Aliens
The aliens are attacking, and we’re plum out of viruses to upload to the mothership. They’re a crafty bunch, having erased every known record of Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call” from existence before setting foot on Earth. Commander Shepard is on vacation, Superman is out of logos to throw, and Schwarzenegger is still waiting for his stock of redshirts to be replenished in preparation for the final battle. Earth’s last, best hope rests with the army…who will prevail?
Army Vs Aliens is a two player dice game (more with additional copies) that tasks players with one thing and one thing only…to destroy your opponent. Players will be rolling and using dice to attack and destroy enemy dice. Before I begin with the usual review format, I’d like to quickly thank Sarah Leach from Wiggles 3D for sending me a free review copy.
Cups & Lid Attachment – The cups are used in-game to roll the dice and double as a carrying case when combined with the lid attachment.
Dice – There are eighteen dice (nine for each side) that display pictures of various things on their faces. Each weapon or unit on these dice have a particular rank, which affects how they attack and how their point values are assigned during endgame scoring.
Guides – There are two player guides, one for each player, to help them keep track of what each unit or weapon does when it attacks.
Zones – While not an actual component, it’s important to know what the three different zones are and what they do. The combat zone is for dice that can attack, the rally zone is for dice that have attacked and are waiting to be rerolled, and the scoring zone is where players put enemy dice that have been defeated. It’s important to keep the unit they destroyed face-up in their scoring zone so that scores are tallied appropriately at game end.
Setup & Gameplay
Each player picks a side and gets the cup and dice of their color. Both players roll their dice and sort them by rank, placing them into the combat zone. The army player goes first.
On a player’s turn, they perform one of the following possible actions:
1. Attack – There are a few ways that players can attack. One option is for them to move any one die with a rank of four or lower into their rally zone and destroy any enemy combat die with equal or lower rank. Another option is for the player to move three of the same dice into the rally zone and destroy an enemy combat die with a rank of one higher than the three dice moved. Lastly, a player can use a special ability, assuming that they’ve rolled the appropriate number of dice ranked at five or six.
2. Rally – The player can forgo attacking and reroll all of their dice, which go into the combat zone. This includes any dice that were in the combat zone to begin with, or dice that were waiting in the rally zone.
Players continue taking turns until one side manages to destroy all of their opponent’s dice. The game can also end if no attacks are made after five rounds, in which case, scores are tallied by comparing dice in the scoring zone. A dice’s point value is equivalent to its rank. Whoever has the most points (or destroys their opponent completely) wins the game!
The above is simply an overview of the game. To see the rules in greater detail, you can check out the manual, located here:
This is a surprisingly simple, yet fun game to play. Its quick play time appeals to me now that school has started back up for the kids…what with homework, projects, and all of that fun stuff. Set up and clean up are also very quick, making it ideal for travel. I also appreciated the player guides as they saved me from having to refer to the manual, though I rarely had to consult it once the kids and I got a few games under our belts.
My son Vinnie (11) had the most fun utilizing special abilities. The nuke can be devastating if used properly…though it destroys units on both sides so it should be used with care. The general, when moved to the rally zone, promotes units of one rank to the next rank. I spent most of my time as the aliens and utilized the mothership ability when I could, as it destroys two army units that are in the combat zone. Lastly, the overlord simply removes two dice from the combat zone into the rally zone. While both sides have units of the same rank and play the same way, these special abilities and what they do sets them apart fairly well.
If more than one copy of the game is available, players can make use of variants listed in the manual. One of these variations describes an “every man for himself” game while the other is team based. I don’t have another copy to try these out, but I’m glad the option is there regardless. Still, games are quick enough to where players won’t be bored waiting to take their turn.
Overall, Army Vs Aliens is a fun, casual game that is an excellent filler in between longer games, or for when time is a valuable commodity. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does what it sets out to do well. If you’re a fan of quick dice games and are looking for something new to pick up and play, then give Army Vs Aliens a look!
Final Verdict: 6/10
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