The Awful Green Things From Outer Space is a TSR board game by Tom Wham. I have my original game. I only lost one weapon effect chit over the 30+ years I have had it. I just made one from the boarder for the card stock chits. Tip: Always keep the boarder for cardstock chits so if you lose some, you can easily make new ones that are the same thickness. All the pieces are still in the pre-ziplock sandwich bags from the 80’s. All the original five red minidice are still there too.
When looking for a Wikipedia link, I discovered that the game is back in print, thanks to Steve Jackson Games. the SJG version is here. You can find a PDF of the SJG rules online. They have added other combat options for outside the ship. I have not read the full rules, but it looks like it takes some of the devastating effects of a totally random game out of the mix and gives the crew more options.
My son, David, came over Saturday to spend the day with me, since his girlfriend is out of town for ten days. Also his dog, Picard, a pit bull, and my dog, Lucy, a lab-pit mix were both going stir crazy because of all the cold and snow. When they get together an play, they are quiet and peaceful for the next two days.
David wanted to spend the day playing boardgames. He did not want to try rolling up a new character and try solo adventuring. He did not want to try Waterloo (It is only in a list of Avalon Hill Games on Wikipedia, there is no separate article.), or Imperium. I always beat him at Risk, so he wanted to try Awful Green Things.
So while he took the dogs out to do their business and run and play, I got out the rules and read them quickly and got out the crew pieces and made placements. I would have let him change the placement of the crew for those that had alternate placement options, but David wanted to be the green things. So he separated them into adults, babies, eggs and fragments and rolled a die for starting, and he rolled a 5, then rolled a die for placement. The AGT basically cut the ship in two. One of my crew was trapped in a room with the only exit into the area with the AGT. David knows strategy pretty well and he played the AGT very well. He grew the right group of AGT into the best next category for continued expansion.
Every game is different in such a way that any advantage of the AGT starting with a lot of adults can easily be offset by weapons effects. However, the weapons effects are random for every game. There are some great area of effect weapons, but they can either have no effect or make fragments, which is another way for the AGT to spread. I had a couple crew grab rocket fuel, but I drew the “no effect” chit. At least that was better than fragments. For the Comm Beamer I drew “3 dice to kill”. Unfortunately, he only had adults in most of the areas I could get those crew to and I could never roll a 16+ on 3d6.
Since we just jumped in and started playing, and we had only played the game once together over five years ago, the last time I had played; I did not pay attention to the Electric Fence and Fire Extinguisher being available in any area. I finally noticed this towards the end of the game when the AGT had trapped the captain and three other crew in the central corridor with them totally surrounded and cut off from the means of escape. I did have the Mascot and two crew get away in saucer and the scout ship saved another crew member. I drew well for the Electric Fence and Fire Extinguisher effects. The Fire Extinguisher did “5 dice to stun”, and the Electric Fence did “4 dice to kill”, but it was about two rounds to late to make a difference.
Once the AGT had eaten the surrounded crew, I then had to roll to determine the fate of the crew that escaped. The crew in the saucer were within a year of running out of food when they contracted a fatal disease and died. The crew member in the scout ship managed to make it home.
David was amazed at how easily he beat me. He usually doesn’t beat me very quickly or easily. I pointed out that the totally random nature of the effects of weapons and number and placement of AGT’s made every instance of the game unique.
We only played the one game, but I suspect we might play it again sometime.
My brother, Robert, and I played this game non stop for dozens of games in a row. We laughed at how ridiculous it was for some of the random effects. Robert is an artist and he even made a few of his own comics about the crew and AGT. I remember one where he had all the crew amazed that something killed all the AGT, and one crew said, “Sarge farted.”, and it showed Sarge blushing. LOL good times.
Below are some pictures of the setup from Saturday’s game: