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Space Vermin From Beyond! $10.00
Publisher: Tiny Battle Publishing
by Stephan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2019 03:29:00

This review applies ONLY TO THE DIGITAL EDITION, not the physical edition!

i initially gave this game a 1-star rating because the digital copy was formated in a way which was effectively unusable for consumer-grade printing. The publisher addressed all of those shortcomings in an update on 2019-09-18, which changes my rating from an unplayable 1 star to the 5 it deserves as an innovative, compact, solo-play war game.

THANK YOU, TINY BATTLE PUBLISHING, for updating the digital copy!

Of the three games in the series, this one in my favorite for a couple of reasons:

1) It is slightly streamlined with regards to the marines: there are no Stunned or Paralyzed states. A soldier is either fresh or disrupted, making them symmetric with the aliens (the other two games are entirely asymmetrical in that regard). Also unlike the other two titles, recovery from being disrupted is automatic, so long as the unit is not adjacent to an enemy, removing the annoying tendency of disrupted units to stay that way for the rest of the game just because they can't roll a 5 or 6 each turn.

2) Despite the alien movement being ostensibly nearly completely random, the way it interacts with the elements on the two maps introduces a thoroughly convincing illusion of intentionally tactical action. i.e., it doesn't feel random at all - it feels like they're doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing, yet without being entirely predictable/pre-programmed. This is a truly impressive feat of solo-play game design.

My one tiny nitpick is that the designer chose to "swap" the Landing Zone dice roll results compared to the other games and compared to the Jump Pack dice results, and it feels entirely/unnecessarily out of place (and the Landing Zone results are not recorded on the reference sheet, requiring a rulebook lookup from time to time).

i printed out the US Letter-sized rulebook in booklet form on A4 paper (so the booklet is A5 sized, taking up only 5 sheets of paper), and it's still crisp and readable, despite being relatively tiny. A millimeter or two of the front cover's edge were truncated via the process, but there was no loss/truncation of content.

=======(What follows is the original review from before the Sept. 2019 update by the publisher. Management Summary: it complains loudly about the (former) inability to print and assemble the game.)=======

i recently bought this title in digital form, along with the other two titles in this series, via the Bundle of Holding's "War on Everything" bundle.

The digital edition of this game is literally useless unless one has access to a printer capable of printing paper all the way to the edge of the paper (no margins). The maps are prepared in two formats: 18x12-inch and split into 8.5x11-inch chunks, but both sets cover the whole surface of their pages, all the way to the edge of the paper (i.e. no margins). On the 18x12-inch versions, it would be possible to print them out and lose a small bit around the edge of the map without actually breaking the map. On the more consumer-friendly 8.5x11-inch pages, doing so will lose parts of the map, such that the sections will not fit seamlessly together (hex numbers along the edges will get truncated, and those numbers are important during play).

Most consumer-grade laser printers cannot print all the way to the edge of a page because their paper feed systems require color-free edges of the paper to grip. Supposedly inkjet printers can commonly print all the way to the edge, but inkjet is "so 1990s."

One could, of course, print the maps at a smaller scale, but that would require printing the alreadytiny counters out at a corresponding size, making the components unplayably small for anyone without superb eyesight and exceptionally nimble fingers.

The counters, unlike those of the Attack of the 50-foot Collosi set, are mounted on a grid, so they can, with some effort and great care, be lined up front-to-back, but there are no guide lines along the edges/corners of the counters, to assist in this, nor a fold line between the two sides (which are on the same piece of paper), making it extremely difficult to align them properly if there's a piece of opaque cardstock between the two sides.

Currently the only way to get this properly assembled is to send it off to a professional printer which can print to the edge of a page (assuming they'll print copyrighted materials at all - i've heard tales of printers who refuse to print such packages).

On the plus side, unlike Attack of the 50-foot Collosi, this one has a printer-friendly rulebook, without a noisy/toner-wasting background image on every page.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Space Vermin From Beyond!
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