Thursday, 22 March 2012


Battleship's alien invasion is apparently based on the perfectly sensible space science of Goldilocks Planets.

Having just seen two trailers for it this week (the second one, where most of the footage here comes from, makes it look fairly fun...) I'm looking at it as a plot thing. From an RPG point of view, not a boardgame one. (Clue remains the high watermark for boardgame adaptations, since it adapts a boardgame with a plot of sorts and keeps it.)

A big loud Alien Invasion (as opposed to a Secret Invasion) can be a lot of fun to play through.

The Stars On Fire (trailer) was one of those, but set in a Halo-y BSG-ish future. With rescue and recovery missions, diplomacy shoring up shaky international alliances, and fighting on planetside and in space, it ran for an academic year.

A modern-day game gives a less varied setting, but more immediacy, as well as answering questions like "what kinds of weapons do we have?" and "can't we just fly away?"

The trick is to allow a variety of characters and adventure types, so it isn't just an entire story of running gun battles against the same monsters.

Battleship is mostly about the Navy, but looks to have room for related civilians as well as scientists, and maybe more as the chaos goes global.

Independence Day remains the gold standard for gameably lighthearted modern alien invasion, of course.

Or we can wait a few weeks and see how The Avengers handle it, if more powerful PCs appeal more.

Something like this would also be possible in an ongoing game, although it could change its tone, especially in a low-key game. A full-on demon invasion would make The World Of Darkness or the Buffyverse pretty different, unless it was forgotten after being defeated. But even having a few dozen characters band together to defeat a potentially city-sized monster makes for a rousing season finale.

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