Games I Like – Alien Encounter: Bounty – Is this the droid I’ve been looking for?

So I was wandering in to Game Kastle in San Jose last night to see what was new and exciting and I came across something I’d been hearing about since Gen-Con… AE Bounty.

Now I’ve been a fan of Darkson’s other game, AE-WWII for some time now. As an avid reader of guys like H.P. Lovecraft and Mike Mignola (H.P’s comic-book wannabe-son) I was super-excited by an Alternate Events World War II game. It gave me a reason to paint things like my Incursion minis, West Wind Secrets of the Third Reich stuff and tons of others.

I’d honestly forgotten this game was coming up until I saw the two A5 (that’s right… mini rulebooks!) sitting on a shelf on the abandoned rulebook wrack (weird…so soon after release?).

What was even cooler… I got a whole game for $25! ‘What the heck…” I thought “I need something to read.”

So I read the rulebook cover to cover last night and was hooked after the first chapter!

Why did I get so excited? Well there’s one really simple reason… this game was designed to be played with ANY SCIENCE FICTION MINIATURES!

Imagine a campaign-based gaming system where you recruit a band from three Galactic archetypes; Bounty Hunters, Mercenaries or Pirates. Within each of those archetypes you can then decide what KIND of force you want to make. Do you want to make an Army of Two where you take a pair of hard-as-nails killers and kit them out to the teeth, or would you rather form a large crew of poorer quality fresh meat? Each ones has its benefits and drawbacks. Every model can then be armed however you see fit with everything from Slug Throwers (todays conventional weapons) to Laser and Psionic weapons.

But wait; it doesn’t end there… once you’ve decided what kind of crew, the quality and what each model is armed with… you can even assign every figure in your crew a different Alien race to come from (including humans!). Again, each ones has its benefits and drawbacks.

The system is points-free and works on a quality rather than cost-per-thing measurement basis.

If ever there was a game that gave you the freedom to play a Sci-Fi skirmish with whatever models you felt like and have it not only play well but also FEEL right… well it’s AE Bounty.

Add on top of this the fact that the core rules comes complete with scenarios and a campaign system that includes troops learning skills, advancing and getting killed… lets just say they had me at Hello.

I actually decided to pick up another copy of the rules (25 bucks… so what the hell) to give to a buddy so we can try this game out immediately.

The core-mechanics of the game keep to the ones from AE WWII, so there are no real surprises here. You have a number of actions based on your training level (Green =1, Regular =2, Veteran = 3, Elite = 4) and these can be used from doing everything from moving to shooting and close combat. Statlines are much the same. The biggest new mechanic is the ability to arm all models as you see fit and give them ‘Gear’. Every unit selection gets a number of Gear slots that can be chosen from freely to customize each figure. These can be anything from Power Armour to Medkits.

There are two Starter Sets available from Darkson, as well as cheap basing kits and weapon packs for modifying and kitting out your figures. Wisely, the figures Darkson has put out already are mostly for Alien races (there are 13 in this first rulebook) instead of for Humans as there is already such a huge selection of those available. I picked up two of them as well to add some variety to the huge selection of random Sci-Fi troopers I’ve got unassembled at home.

I’m thinking first things first, I will probably build a unit of Human Mercenaries. I have literally a TON of miniatures from the I-Kore VOID line (available these days mostly in your FLGS’s bargain bin) and these great Kev White sculpts have been crying out for a system to use.

Model lines that would work great with this game (and gives us all an excuse to buy them!).

Hasslefree Miniatures Kev White is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi sculptors and his Adventurer line and Grymm are absolutely perfect for AE Bounty. The Grymm in particular (that’s right… Space Dwarfs!) cry out to be used in this game as a custom Alien Race. Grymm Pirates? Grymm Mercenaries? You got it! I’m going to make a point of posting this on the Forum of Doom for all those people looking for a ruleset for use with Hasslefree figs.

Reaper: Chronoscope, Tons of just plain cool Sci Fi figures. Want to paint the crew of the Serenity and use them in a game? How about Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad? These are your figs!

Heresy Miniatures The Ship’s Crew figures from Heresy’s sci-fi range are another great resource for Pirates or Bounty hunters!

Urban Mammoth The Inheritors of the VOID franchise, Urban Mammoth have got a huge selection of different figures that will work for anything from Mercenaries to Androids to Aliens.

Prince August These guys have got the old Excelsior Entertainment/Target Games molds for the Warzone line. Again, as there are some classic Kev White sculpts in this range (Bauhaus and Capitol in particular) they’d make great AE Bounty figs.

Zombiesmith Games The Quar and A7D12 figures from this company are absolutely perfect Aliens for AE Bounty. I’ve been looking for a reason to buy some of these in the last little while and I finally have some.

Corvus Belli Infinity is a great game… but all the figures in this line could EASILY be used in AE Bounty for someone looking for a campaign-based experience. They’re great figures… so why not get to use them twice?

MERCs Minis I’ve talked a lot in the past about how much I liked these figs and this is another great use for them!

This list is by no means exhaustive… so please add comments with manufacturers you’d recommend.

More to come on this. I’m pretty sure when I get home you’ll find me building a bunch of old VOID figs into my first Mercenary unit. One of the things keeping me from posting in the last little while is that I abandoned my light-box for photographing miniatures in my move. I’ve got plans to build a new one upon my return to Memphis.

So if you’re looking for a Miniature Game version of video games like Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic where aliens and humans can rub shoulders in a galactic conflict… then this is likely the game for you!

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~ by Achilles on September 30, 2010.

5 Responses to “Games I Like – Alien Encounter: Bounty – Is this the droid I’ve been looking for?”

  1. There’s a truly excellent Battle Report on the Lead Adventures forum that you should check out. Very cool! I’m stoked to play a game.

  2. I’m sold! When can we play!

  3. Of course, you could get a pdf of the rules for 15$ at wargame vault

  4. […] you have a points-free system of ‘slots’ (a lot like the AE series for games like AE: Bounty) which you complete by adding Sidekicks, Allies and Followers to your free Leader. You can also […]

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