Crushing Alien Species: A Review of Aliens & Asteroids

Aliens & Asteroids

Author: Brian Fitzpatrick
Editors: George Fields, Gene Fitzpatrick, and Jim White
Illustrations: Jason Adams, Kris Mc Dermott, Peter Saga, Adobe Stock
Published by: Moebius Adventures, a subsidiary of Gallant Knight Games
Page Count: 114

Available Formats: PDF and print
PDF (DTRPG) – $11.99
Print (other options available) – $19.99

“This is for all you new people. I have only one rule. Everybody fights, no one quits. If you don’t do your job, I’ll kill you myself! Welcome to the Roughnecks!” – Lt. Jean Rasczak 

The above quote is from the 1997 movie Starship Troopers, where the protagonists are part of a futuristic military organization engaged in armed combat with an insectoid enemy. Aliens & Asteroids role-playing game is very much like that movie in the way that players are part of a military organization set in a futuristic sci-fi space setting. When first reading through Aliens & Asteroids the movie Starship Trooper was the first thing that popped into my mind as an influence. But other movies and works of fiction are also credited for inspiring the creation for Aliens & Asteroids. 

In Aliens & Asteroids player characters are Space Marines of the Dominion Space Forces (DSF), serving to protect the interests of the Dominion of Humankind (DHK) in the year 2229. The Dominion controls five star systems and has many billions of citizens. The human race has made great engineering and scientific advances. The most crucial being the BANCE Gates, Bondi-Andisse Navigational Corridors Exits, which act as conduits to allow interstellar spacecraft to travel in an instant. Through the use of these gates, mankind has been able to explore the heavens like never before. They have made contact with alien species, good and bad. When they meet the bad, the Space Marines are there to protect The Dominion. 

Aliens & Asteroids uses the Inverse20 game mechanic. Inverse20 is a simple game mechanic that uses a D20 against a Target Number; the lower the roll the better. A one on a D20 is a critical success and a 20 is a critical failure. An additional D20 is sometimes employed as an advantage or disadvantage die; similar to the current edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Players will also need a smattering of D6s for character creation and damage calculations.

Character creation in Aliens & Asteroids is a simple process. Players use a D6 die cut in half and times by 8 to find the values of their character’s six attributes before moving on to creating their point of origin and background traits. Next, the player chooses one of the five professions laid out in the Career Path section along with one selected trait from that career path, to begin with. Finally, the characters define their secondary attributes, hit points, movement and such before outfit their Space Marines with the necessary equipment.

We move on from there into a short section covering the rules of the game. As outlined above, a player uses a D20 in the hopes of rolling under the set target number given by the gamemaster. Much of the rule adjudication is up to the gamemaster to figure out. The author gives examples of how to apply attributes to dice rolls to cover most, if not all, situations which needing dice resolutions. Rounding out this section are rules for combat, healing, movement, save “vs”, and weapon reloading. 

Aliens & Asteroids proved the gamemaster with six alien races to use within the game. Not all the aliens strive to end the human race but each has its own agenda and goals. Each aliens’ descriptions give the gamemaster enough information to use right away and room enough to expand upon for future games, like aliens’ origins, drives, physical descriptions, and types of encounters in which Space Marines might find themselves faced with. If a gamemaster wishes, they can create their own new strange aliens and equip them by using a special section of charts. 

Lastly, a starter adventure is given at the back of the book to get the players and gamemaster exploring this world filled with aliens and asteroids. Further guidance for future adventures and types of adventures to be created by the gamemaster is outlined earlier in the book. As well as guidance to the gamemaster on running a successful session.

I’m very impressed with this game and its rules-light approach. This is an easy game to dive right into and makes a great starter game for anyone getting into the hobby. The author provides enough content about The Dominion, aliens and other setting content without over defining the setting, thus allowing the gamemaster to build upon it. I used the digest-sized softcover book, provided to me by Gallant Knight Games, to review this game. The book is well laid out and organized. The interior is black and white with grayscale and line art illustrations. I’d wish the layout artist took more time in designing the charts. The charts work well but are basic in construction and could have been treated better to give them a more pleasing aesthetic. 

Overall I would recommend this RPG to any fan of Starship Trooper, the Aliens’ movies or that has an interest in playing a sci-fi space game with a military feel to it. Aliens & Asteroids is for sale at DrivethrugRPG in PDF or in a variety of print options, all at very reasonable prices. Please remember that Rolling Boxcar is a DTRPG Affiliate. If you follow one of our links or use the links above to make a purchase, we receive a tiny bit of store credit to use in purchasing games for future reviews. Thank you for your support!

~Stephen Pennisi

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Pierre Savoie says:

    The game is very good. I got to play a teleconference game about a nervous exploration of an abandoned asteroid base. The character types meshed well: soldier-types get to go hog-wild with an assault-rifle, specialists get a pistol, but all may get special weapon or scientific gear. This was highly reminiscent of ALIENS or STARSHIP TROOPERS, and the carefully focused scope is to HUNT BUGS…er, I mean, to explore space and protect it for the human race.
    There is also one adventure supplement, “The Tahlken Prison Colony”, where there is a prison colony but also a secretive alien race and lucrative Atherium mines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. modoc31 says:

      Pierre,

      Thanks for the comment. Stephen really took shining to the vibe this game gives off. I’m sure I would like it if Sci-Fi were my jam.

      I hope you will continue reading what we write and become a long term follower.

      Happy Gaming,
      Modoc

      Liked by 1 person

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