The Awful Green Things from Outer Space (AGTFOS) is a two-player board game developed and illustrated by Tom Wham. It originally appeared as an insert in Dragon magazine #28 (1979), and subsequently as a boxed game published by TSR in 1980. The rights to the game were subsequently acquired by Steve Jackson Games, which resumed publication after the game had been out of print for some years. The game has gone through a number of revisions over the years, and both full-sized and smaller Pocket Box editions exist.Contents
The spaceship Znutar has become infested with rapidly multiplying space monsters. The players can assume the role of The Awful Green Things (GT's) or the ship's crew. The GT's role is simple: devour the crew and grow. The crew must destroy the GT's, using hand to hand combat and improvised "weapons" of unknown effect. If it is determined that the cause is hopeless, the crew can activate the ship's self-destruct mechanism and abandon ship. The crew must act quickly, or become overwhelmed by the rapidly breeding menace.Rules Game pieces
Initially, 22 crew members face off against 11 or 12 GT's that range in size from immobile eggs to full adults. The GT's can grow to a maximum complement of 12 adults, 18 babies, 19 eggs and 22 fragments (pieces capable of regenerating). The crew can use weapons but cannot replace losses. The crew is almost always at a considerable disadvantage, owing both to the frequency with which The Awful Green Things grow to replace their losses, and to their own relative frailty.
Each crew member and GT has three statistics: Attack Dice, Constitution and Movement Allowance. All GT's of the same size / growth phase have the same statistics.Setup
The crew player places the crew members in their respective rooms. Most crew members have several rooms to choose from, but must be placed initially in one of these rooms (rather than in an arbitrary starting location). For example, Captain Yid can start in either of the two bridges. Weapons are also placed by the crew player in the appropriate pre-defined locations.
A roll of a die indexed into a table determines the starting number and type of GT’s. Another roll determines where in the ship the first GT is placed; the rest are placed in contiguous spaces, one to each space. GT's may not start in locations where crew members have been placed.
After setup is completed, the crew player must select one member of the crew to move into a location occupied by a GT. This is designated as the initial discovery of the infestation, which raises the alarm, causing the game to start. The Awful Green Things player takes the first turn.Gameplay The Awful Green Things player
During his or her turn, the GT player can, in this order:
During the crew player’s turn, he or she can, in this order:
During the game, crew members will grab and utilize various weapons. While the actual action of a given weapon type is randomized for each game, weapons have certain characteristics which always remain the same. This includes things such as the range of the weapon (i.e., how far away it can be used) and whether it is re-usable. Weapons function according to the following table:Name # of GT's affected Range Collateral damage Re-usable? Bottle of Acid One One space None No Canister of Zgwortz One One space None No Comm. Beamer All in
Once all of the crew members have been killed or escaped, a score value is calculated for both players based on the game resolution. If some crew members escape, victory depends on the number of crew members which escape and make it back to their home planet. Scores are calculated according to the following table:Side Crew annihilated Ship abandoned Ship abandoned but
If the crew escapes, the crew player may play through a short epilogue which determines whether or not each escape boat actually made it back home successfully. This is done by reading through a very short series of text passages, while making choices and rolling a die to determine what happens (much like a gamebook).Computer game
Space Station Zulu, a computer game closely resembling The Awful Green Things from Outer Space, was produced by Avalon Hill in 1982.Reception
The game was first released in 1980 and gained a positive review in White Dwarf magazine issue 20, although the high element of luck was noted as a negative.
John ONeill of Black Gate called the game "one of the great mini-games of all time", noting that it "stood out for its gonzo humor and original design".References