Monday, July 8, 2013

UFO: Game of Close Encounters

We're pulling out all the stops for Alien Week!  You just never know what you're going to get!  We're trying something a little new here on Midnight Cinephile and today we're going to look at a classic board game from 1976.  UFO;  Game of Close Encounters was originally published by Gamma Two Ltd (a Canadian company) and then bought and redesigned and released by Avalon Hill (who is known for their "Hex and Counter" style wargames).  

Here is a description of the game as found on Board Game Geek:

UFO is a low complexity abstract game themed on an alien invasion of Earth. The alien player must land 5 of 8 available ships on Earth to win. The Earth player, with only eight rockets, must defend or perish. Movement is along orbital paths that form 7 concentric rings around the Earth. Each player rolls two dice and moves one rocket or UFO the exact count of for each die. In addition to the UFOs and Earth's rockets speeding around, the moon orbits the Earth destroying all in its path. Combat is not dice based, rather players capture opponents pieces by landing on them by exact orbital move of one die.

The advanced game adds dummy counters for the alien player and space stations for additional defence of Earth.

It feels really more like an abstract strategy game, but Avalon Hill classified as a wargame simulation.

The game consists of

-two 8" x 16" map boards with 2 black plastic clips to hold together.
-die cut counters (8 rockets, 5 space stations, 1 moon, 8 saucers, 12 decoy UFOs)
-2 six sided dice 
-1 double sided page of rules.

Avalon Hill Complexity rating - 1

Having never personally played the game, I cannot give a review of it, but it does look to be interesting.  
You may not know this but the ol' Midnight Cinephile is a huge fan of board games and I don't get to play them too often.  But I do enjoy learning about new games as well, and Board Game Geek is an invaluable tool to use when looking for a new game, so check 'em out!

Here's some photos of the game (also gleaned from Board Game Geek).

All Components
Box Front
Back of Box

Counter Sheet

Game in Progress

If  UFO:  Game of Close Encounters looks interesting to you, then you can either head over to Board Game Geek where several members have copies for sale, or you can head to E-Bay, where you will also find several copies of the game for sale!

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