News has landed from Prodos Games, with the announcement that Alien versus Predator: The Hunt Begins will be updated in the form of a new 2nd edition box. Far from a simple redesign, it seems a fair bit of work and thought has gone into this new version of the game.

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A key focus seems to be on establishing this box set as a stand alone board game – without removing the ability to expand into the Wargame as originally conceived. The 2nd Edition will be packaged in a newly designed box that should fit more easily amongst other board games. The other important point here is not only will this new box now actually fit all the components (unlike it’s first edition counterpart) but it’s also shipping with a laser cut foam tray that fits right back in the box. It may seem small, but just changing the box should help make the game that little bit more accessible for the more casual gamers.

It doesn’t stop there obviously, the other big change is to the models themselves. Taking advantage of one of the companies main strengths, the included miniatures will now all be Unicast and require absolutely no assembly. While there is obviously a small loss here in terms of quality, the resulting miniatures have retained heaps of character and still look to be a cut above quite a few other board game miniatures available. Check out the gallery below to see more details.

The move towards simpler miniatures doesn’t mean they’ve moved away from a focus on quality. A big complaint about the original edition was the repetitive and rather dull looking corridors and rooms which came with it. The 2nd edition of the game has had a bit of an art overhaul, with a particular focus on those previously dull tiles. Obviously we have to wait and see them up close before passing judgement, but the initial results look quite promising. Definitely more colour in there.

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It’s not all about aesthetics, they’ve changes some of the rules as well. The updated rule book will included all the errata they’ve collected since release, as well as taking into account customer feedback and playtesting from the first edition. It’s not a complete overhaul either, meaning that existing expansions are still compatible with the new rules. The focus on accessibility is quite obvious here as well, with the addition of a new official cooperative mode. Dubbed “The Last Stand” and based on an expansion from first edition. The new mode takes a few cues from other cooperative board games like Zombicide – pitting players against a horde of Xenomorphs controlled by the game itself.

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Existing owners of the game (like me! -Ed) will no doubt be a little disappointed, nobody likes paying to playtest after all. As a token to existing players, Prodos are also offering an upgrade pack. The pack contains the new rules and allows you to take advantage of all the new improvements made by 2nd edition without having to purchase an entirely new copy.

From what we can see there are the makings of a very good game here, with many obvious nods to some of the issues with first edition. After a very shaky start they aren’t prepared to give up on it just yet and the new edition shows a dedication to the brand. What’s more, it’s refreshing that to see the price positively affected by these changes as well, the reduction should make it more appealing to new comers and improve the reach of this game.

If you’re convinced, Pre-Orders are available for both the Board Game and the Upgrade set. For those who want to wait, we’ll be looking to do a review of this once it arrives and see just how well it holds up.

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