Everyone Loves a Crossover Episode
G.I. JOE meets Transformers in this new expansion!
Renegade Game Studios was extremely busy in 2022, putting out a staggering 10 expansions for their Hasbro-licensed deck-building games, and they're also starting off 2023 with a bang! G.I. JOE Deck-Building Game: New Alliances is a brand-new expansion, as well as the first of several crossover games planned by Renegade this year. In this game, Cobra, led by Old Snake, has teamed up with the Decepticons in an attempt to take over the world, and only the combined force of G.I. JOE and the Autobots can stop them!
While it is an expansion for the G.I. JOE Deck-Building Game, New Alliances contains all the elements of Transformers necessary to please any fan of the robots in disguise. In addition to two new playable leaders, Cover Girl and Marissa Faireborn, New Alliances includes a brand new crossover Story Pack, new main deck and complication cards which feature iconic characters and items from both franchises, and a host of new and modified mechanics which really bring the Transformers into the world of G.I. JOE.
Firstly, on the side of the players and the Joes are the Autobots. Autobots are shared Group Item (first introduced in the Shadow of the Serpent expansion) cards which can either be used in Bot Mode or Alt Mode. Autobots sent on missions in Bot Mode will provide additional dice to the mission according to their Skills; however, the dice used by the Autobots are new, bright pink, Energon dice, which are a limited and consumable resource. These dice are rolled in addition to the green dice provided by Joes, and are then removed from the pool on resolution of the mission. If there aren't enough dice in the pool, you can't send Autobots on missions in Bot Mode, so manage this new resource wisely! This really encapsulates the typical struggle for resources present in most incarnations of Transformers.
Autobots can also be sent on missions in Alt Mode, where they act as a Transport for the Joes, in place of the VAMP or another Transport card. Typical of the G.I. JOE Deck-Building Game Transports, Autobots in Alt Mode have a capacity and a special ability, as listed at the bottom of their card. Players also have access to Prime's Trailer, a new Towable Asset (first introduced in the Cold Snap expansion).
After being recruited, the Autobots reside in the Ark, a tile depicting the classic stuck-in-a-mountain Autobot spaceship. The Ark contains the Energon dice pool and is the primary method of generating Energon, but it also provides access to two tools: Teletraan I and the Repair Bay. Teletraan I provides extra Skills which can be used on any mission, and the Repair Bay helps return Autobots from a player's discard pile to the Ark. Both of these tiles start in an inactive state, and while the Repair Bay can be built like Command Center tiles*, Teletraan I only comes and stays online while there is sufficient Energon available to power it.
Over on the Decepticon side, new Decepticon Officers bring Megatron and his inner circle into play with new and exciting challenges. While some of the Decepticon Officers bring along their Cobra partners, others interact with new Side Mission cards in ways that will excite Transformers fans: Soundwave sends out Mini-Cassette Side Missions, each of which interacts with the game in a different way which is sure to throw a wrench into your plans, and Devastator comes into play once all the Constructicon Side Missions have been put into play by the Space Bridge or other game effects.
While Cobra keeps the Joes and Autobots occupied, the Decepticons are busy building a Space Bridge. This new tile contains a track which is advanced each round, introducing Complications and Constructicons as building progresses. Once complete, the tile is flipped over and it becomes a new Group Mission for the players to defeat, under threat of advancing the game to its end prematurely as Decepticons flood through the bridge and destroy cards from the main deck.
While this expansion obviously adds new content to the familiar mechanics of the G.I. JOE Deck-Building Game, it also seamlessly integrates the familiar with the new, making for an experience that is both very G.I. JOE, but also, surprisingly very Transformers. G.I. JOE fans will want it for the additional Story Pack, Officers, Leaders, and Complications, this is also one that Transformers fans will want to pick up, as well, for the chance to gain and use Energon, choose the best mode for their Autobots, destroy the Space Bridge, activate Teletraan I, and other immersive Transformers moments.
It is important to note that this expansion is not compatible with Transformers Deck-Building Game, and must be played with a copy of the G.I. JOE Deck-Building Game core set. Check out G.I. JOE Deck-Building Game: New Alliances, available in Q2 2023, pre-order it at your FLGS today!