Chris Taylor is best known for his development of the original Fallout CRPG but between his hectic schedule of video game development, he has designed a few interesting board games like Forlorn: Hope.
Forlorn: Hope is a two-player, squad based shooter, war board game, inspired by boardgames Aliens and Space Hulk. What impresses me the most about Forlorn: Hope is the brevity and efficiency of the rules. Chris manages to add great strategic depth to both the sides, the marines and aliens while keeping the rules under five pages. The marines get different units: several units armed with rifles, one with a flamethrower, and another with a minigun. Each unit has an attack, defense, movement value printed on the the counter-three typical stats that one would find on a hardcore wargame. The Xeno, the aliens, also have great variety of units. Xenos units mostly rely on melee abilities rather than guns and have high action points that allows them to move quickly into melee range. The Xeno typically start with the Drone unit that can be upgraded to a hardy melee Warrior units or a range weapon Blaster units by consuming a marine corpses. Furthermore, the Xenos get few random Mutation cards that give special powers that can be used to surprise the marine player. Because of the variety of units, powers, and mutant power cards, the Xeno's are far more interesting than the bland, one dimensional Genestealer aliens in Space Hulk. Forlorn: Hope is scenario based game and four two player scenarios and two solo play scenarios are provided. And like a videogame, the scenario can be played in easy, standard, or difficult mode. Most scenarios involve marines retrieving an item or defending an area.
Forlorn: Hope is a well designed, elegant and streamlined yet detailed combat simulation. Both factions play differently and require different strategies to play, making each side interesting to play. If you enjoy playing Space Hulk or Alien Assault but wanted more realism and strategy, Forlorn: Hope is the game for you.
Victory Point Games, a micropublisher, prints and assembles Forlorn: Hope by hand. So do not expect eurogame quality components and cut them some slack if you get counters that are slightly off center.