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Corporate, political, scientific, and criminal factions have set their sites on Planet Maxwell in this Alien Frontiers expansion.
Corporate, political, scientific, and criminal factions have set their sites on Planet Maxwell in this Alien Frontiers expansion.
1,382 backers pledged $76,078 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Factions Rules PDF: Eyes Needed

Karim has just produced the Faction Rulebook beta copy. We've all looked at it in-house way too many times and our eyes are tired.  We need some fresh eyes to look it over and find the typos and goofs before we put the FINISHED stamp on it.  Hopefully some of you will take up this challenge.  Time is short, though.  Please send your feedback ASAP. 

Click the link and thanks in advance!

AF:Factions Rulebook  6.5mb  PDF

Here's the rulebook cover if you'd just like to see the pretty picture :-)



I've been an Apple guy for 10 years, ever since I bought an original iPod as a birthday present for my boyfriend (now partner). I thought he was goofy for using an Apple when the rest of the world used PCs, but a month later, when I needed a laptop, I bought the new Powerbook and I've never looked back.

I do not know who created this, but my iPhone and iPad now have a new wallpaper.


So long, Steve. And thanks for all the fun.

Factions Box Art Survey

OK, here's the problem. We have two excellent pieces of art and we can’t decide which one should be on the retail box for Alien Frontiers: Factions. Please help us choose.

Dark Space Explorers (big silver rocket ship) is the first image and Scavenger Fleet (big red rocket ship) is the second image. Please cast your vote at the link below as to which you would rather see on the game’s retail box.

Voting will end at 10am Pacific Time on Sunday October, 2nd.

Vote Now




Backstory: Scavenger Fleet

Every faction has a story--a history. Each group's unique motivations drive them to control Planet Maxwell and further their hidden agendas. This is one such story... 

Not Pretty, But It Flies

By Tory Niemann 

People all over the world sought to escape what historians call the Autumn War by leaving Earth. As diplomacy failed and nations readied their armies, rocket ships of all kinds took refugees out into the solar system for safety. The coalition of ships banded together for security and set out for the Mars colony. They found this settlement already on the brink of disaster and unfit to help anyone else. Likewise, the mining bases on the asteroid belt refused to aid the nomads.  

For years they wandered until news reached them of the cease-fire on Earth. The fleet came back but most of the people found they no longer had a homeland to return to. War had rewritten the map; many countries were annexed by their rivals and others were devastated by nuclear fire. The World Senate did not want the exiles, fearing that such a population may destabilize the post-war balance of power. Again they had nowhere to go. 

The fleet of refugees found another possibility in Maxwell. Here was a virgin world that they could make a permanent home and where their lost cultures could live on. Captain Anderson, leader of the ragtag coalition, made the decision to set out for Maxwell despite the hardships of a long voyage. Though they had their share of problems along the way, this forced them to pool their know-how and learn to make repairs most engineers would think impossible. During the journey they occasionally encountered vessels abandoned by other factions. Sometimes they were able to restore these ships and other times they used the ship’s parts to improve their own rockets. By the time they arrived at Maxwell, it was truly a Scavenger Fleet.  

Their enormous skill and experience in ship maintenance and construction is the Scavenger Fleet’s main asset. With the Shipyard in orbit of Maxwell they can create ships in any situation and their crews can ready a new vessel in minutes, not days. Other factions may have sophisticated methods, but the leaders of the Scavenger Fleet knows that the planet belongs to those who can claim it first, and more ships means more speed. They lost their first homes but they will not lose this one. 


Facility Benefit: Any player may dock a ship and pay one fuel to the faction owner to allow them to dock two ships of any value at the Shipyard when building a new ship.

Owner Benefit: When the faction owner builds a new ship at the Shipyard they may immediately roll and use that ship.


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This is the final Backstory for the nine factions found in the Factions Expansion and the Faction Pack #1 Booster. I hope you've enjoyed this peek into the origins and motivations for each faction. It is our hope that these stories will help you enjoy your gaming experience more fully.


Faction Pack #1: A Designer's Diary

Behind The Scenes at Xeno Explorations, Inc. 

When I heard that the first real expansion for Alien Frontiers was going to be called Factions, I assumed that character roles were going to be added to the game. This is similar to what was added to Kingsburg, and the focus in Talisman and Cosmic Encounter (the latter being one of my favorite games). The AF: Factions prototype arrived and I found my assumptions correct, with many of the factions focusing on specific orbital facilities or an alien tech power. Play testing the factions offered similar enjoyment to playing alien races for Cosmic Encounter, and it wasn't long before I started thinking about making factions of my own for Alien Frontiers. 

Alien Frontiers focuses on planetary colonization, but it doesn't have much in the way of planetary exploration. I wanted to add more discovery to the game. When I think of space exploration, I imagine space capsules, flags, golf clubs, land rovers, and buggies. One of my favorite exploration factions is the company "InterPlanetary Expeditions (IPX)" from Babylon5. I also wanted to add a new component to the game, a space buggy that could be moved around the board. No matter the game, win or lose, it is fun to move a space buggy on a board. 


So, I had a theme and idea, but how would it actually work? I felt that the IPX faction should emulate the Data Crystal Alien Tech card. The general idea was that you start the game with your space buggy (which I called the REV for R.emote E.xploration V.ehicle) already on the planet and it gave you a territory bonus as long as the REV was on the territory alone. This would be a great starting power that would get weaker as players landed colonies on the planet. You would need to keep the REV moving around to vacant territories until it wasn't worth it. I tested my new faction along with the others from the beta kit and it held its own pretty well. 

Factions was pushing ahead on the fast track so there wasn't much time to polish IPX, but when I found out that David and Tory were planning to offer a "bonus Kickstarter faction", I suggested IPX to them. I touted that I had already done some play testing with it and told them that getting a land rover toy into the game would be really cool. They thought about it, offered some tweaks to simplify the REV mechanics to allow both the faction owner and the other players to utilize the REV, did some more play testing to make sure it all worked, and gave it a spiffy new name so that J. Michael Strazynski wouldn't sue them. Thus was born, "Xeno Explorations, Inc." 


The thing I really like about "Xeno" is that it gives the geography of planet Maxwell meaning. You can only move to adjacent territories and, while everyone has the potential to use the REV for their own goals, only the faction owner has the chance to "double move" by combining the owner benefit and the facility benefit, giving them access to ANY territory bonus on the planet. Finally, you have to keep the REV moving for it to be effective, so it is a nice dynamic element that fits the faction's "exploration" theme. 

As for "Xeno" strategy... Timing is everything and Proxima Centauri Scholars are your enemies. Their field generators can lock up your REV or block the territory bonuses you're trying to exploit. 

It has been a privilege for me to give something back to Alien Frontiers and to Tory for designing this wonderful game. 

Brandon Freels 

[David's Note: This is an early version of the Faction Pack #1 box art (note the as yet empty back panel) and I forgot to tell Karim to add Brandon's name to the box art. In the final version it will say by Tory Niemann & Brandon Freels] 

The Xeno Explorations, Inc. faction will be the primary component of Faction Pack #1, a booster for the Alien Frontiers: Factions game expansion. Faction Pack #1 will also include a plastic REV token, a new Alien Tech card called Seismic Detonator, and two new Agenda cards. Faction Pack #1 is a free reward for most pledge levels on the Kickstarter and Springboard campaigns for Alien Frontiers: Factions and will be available in retail stores at a cost of $10 beginning in April 2012. Faction Pack #1 is not a stand-alone game.