Mint Tin Aliens
Earn merit awards on Earth!
Game rules - setup & play
Roll dice. Higher roll goes first. Each player takes a die with 9 facing up.
Sort merit award cards into 5 piles.
Shuffle playing cards and deal, face-down, 4 to the first player and 5 to the second.
Place 5 playing cards face-up in a row and place remaining cards face-down in a pile.
First player starts with a card draw. Players have 3 choices for drawing cards:
- Face-down cards
- Face-up cards
- Face-up and 1 face-down card
Face-down moolti-pass cards count as one draw, BUT a face-up moolti-pass counts as BOTH draws. Moolti-passes are wild and can be used as any card(s).
Immediately replace drawn face-up card with a card from the face-down pile.
Complete an award, if possible, using cards in hand.
Only 1 award per turn:
- 2 UFO cards for sightings
- 2 crop circle cards for we're here
- 3 cows for abduction
- 4 brains for mind control
- Any matching pair for extra credit
Discard played cards into a face-up pile.
If completed, take and flip merit award card and place on your side. If you can't complete a merit award, turn your dice down one number (9 to 8 to 7 . . .).
- Next player's turn.
First to complete one each of sightings, we're here, abduction, and mind control gets two meeples. Second to complete gets one meeple. If the set of four is not completed, you don't get a meeple.
If needed, reshuffle discarded face-up playing cards to continue until all merit awards and extra credit are completed.
If ALL face-up cards relate to awards that have all been claimed, discard ALL face-up cards and replace from face-down cards.
Total your award points. Add to that the total number of award cards you have*, plus 1 point per meeple, plus the number showing on your die.
Most points win!
Gameplay is quick and tense, as you race against your opponent to be the first to grab the two meeples. I played this with my mom, and we were surprised at the level of player interaction for a set-collection game. For example, you know the other player really needs that UFO card, but you scoop it up first. Moments like that turn what could be a bland game into a ton of fun!
The Geeky Gimp
Mint Tin Aliens contains:
- 2 extra credit cards
- 6 sightings merit awards
- 5 we're here merit awards
- 4 abduction merit awards
- 3 mind control merit awards
- 10 UFO cards (sightings)
- 10 crop circle cards (we're here)
- 8 cow cards (abduction)
- 8 brain cards (mind control)
- 4 moolti-passes (wild cards)
- 2 Chessex saucer dice
- 3 meeples (grays!)
- 4 instruction cards
* Adding the total number of cards to the score of the cards is not the same as adding one point per card. For example, if you used money as a point system in a game. One person could have 20 one dollar bills and another could have 1 twenty dollar bill—both have 20 dollars. But if you count each bill also as a point, the first person has 40 points (20 one dollar bills plus one point per bill) and the second has 21 points.
Mint Tin Aliens' scoring is similar to points for longer routes in Ticket to Ride. Collecting more small merit awards yields more points at the end of the game—also a little like scoring in Carcassonne. Mint Tin Aliens acts as a gateway game to Eurogames by introducing Eurostyle scoring to friends who are new to the fun world of tabletop gaming.
Mint Tin Aliens gameplay
by Kate & me
Pair of Dice Paradise's video review
by Chaz Marler (written review here)
Mint Tin Aliens solo variant - Alien Boot Camp by Nick Shaw
Semi-cooperative variant - Pirates vs. Aliens by Nick Shaw
Combines Mint Tin Pirates with Mint Tin Aliens.
Rules in French by Francois
Excellent French translation of the base rules in a PDF.
Rules in German by Erik
Outstanding German translation of the base rules in a PDF.
Mint Tin Aliens - overview
Getting ahead in life often means learning new things and taking on new projects, and the Fearless Alien Recruits in Training Program is just what you need.
You go head-to-head against another eager recruit and work hard to earn merit awards in what might determine who the next Invasion Leader is.
And where does this program take place? Earth, of course!
Show your proficiency with map reading and get to Earth, demonstrate your maneuvering skills by creating crop circles, prove your mastery of advanced technology with the Abduct-O-Tron, and show that you can bend humans to your will with remote mind control!
Don't miss an assignment or you'll lose points. But you can make up points by doing extra credit. Even get a bonus for completing one of each merit award first!
Who's this for?
This light and quick game is great when you and a friend (or fellow aspiring world conqueror) have a few minutes when you're waiting for lunch, hanging out, in the kitchen cooking with family, or even camping.
The play is easy and allows for conversation.
Casual is what this is all about and 10 to 15 minutes is all you need.
How it plays
Game setup is quick. Setting out all of the merit award cards, roll your saucer-shaped dice (and assignments missed indicator), and shuffle the task cards. High roll goes first, and then each player claims a die and sets it with 9 facing up.
Place 5 task cards face-up beneath the merit award cards and deal 4 to the first player and 5 to the second. Place the remaining cards face-down.
On each turn take,
- two cards from the face-up cards (replacing each immediately), OR
- two from the face-down pile, OR
- one from each.
Moolti-pass cards are the only exception.
If you take a moolti-pass that's face-up, it counts as both draws. But if it's face-down, it's like any other card and you can draw another.
Moolti-pass cards are wild and can be used to complete groups (you could even use several at once, but your alien opponent may not think that's fair).
Take and flip over merit awards by playing the number of tasks for each.
- 2 ufos are needed for sightings,
- 2 crop circles for we're here,
- 3 cows for abduction, and
- 4 brains for mind control.
- Any matching pair can be used for extra credit.
You'll likely need to shuffle the discarded cards once to complete a game.
Ending the game
When all the merit awards are claimed, it's time to see who's done the best.
Add up all of your merit award points, and then add the number of cards you have to those points, add the meeples you have (the first player to collect one each of the four awards gets two meeples), and finally add the number on your saucer die.
Highest score wins!
To clarify "add the number of cards you have" let me offer this example. Let's say we have a game that uses dollars for game points. You have twenty $1 dollar bills and I have one $20 bill. We both have 20 game points. Now let's say that each bill is worth a point—now you have 40 points and I have 21 points. This rewards you, in Mint Tin Aliens, for getting smaller value merit awards and not simply holding out for high ones.
It's possible to have a tie, so you'll need to decide a winner by thumb wrestling, playing rock-paper-scissors, rolling the best 2 out of 3, or flipping a coin! Or maybe both of you can be winners!
End after the second player's turn and add up your points.
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