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In Jacobo Cagigal's Target Earth, the planet is under attack from aliens – again. Whether we have the worst luck of any planet in the galaxy or there's some other cause, the aliens are storming over our precious continents and we need to join together to boot them back into space. Not all countries feel this way, mind you, and some will actually welcome our new alien overlords, figuring that it's better to live on your knees than be obliterated by objects of unknown abilities.
Not us, though – unh-unh – we're banding together to form an Alliance dedicated to keeping our planet alien-free. All we need to do is (1) convince other nations to join our cause, (2) acquire new technologies that will be able to harm the aliens, and (3) collect more victory points than the aliens. (Okay, this last bit busts the story to some degree, but that's how us alien fighters measure victory – in victory points.)
Target Earth lasts seven rounds, and in each round players receive income, research technology (fighter, troop, tank, alien), produce equipment (fighters, squads, shuttles, vehicles) and use diplomacy (through dice rolls, with modifiers) to bring other countries onto the side of the Alliance. Alien missions are then revealed, with more missions taking place as the game progresses; players can try to intercept the UFOs with their fighters to prevent them from carrying out missions, confronting these forces on the ground should those preventative measures fail. If neither side earns an instant victory during the game by collecting fifty VP, then the side with the most VP after seven rounds wins.
Gen X Games' Daniel Val notes that Target Earth also includes an advance mode of play. "The advance mode is somewhat similar, but each player gets his own VP (some of which are secret) and in the end only one player is declared the winner (or everyone loses). In that sense, it is similar to Republic of Rome," he says. "I have been the developer for this game, and I think its advance mode is really cool, especially (and to my surprise) the two-player version because one has to win by a minimum amount of points. (Otherwise, the other player will figure she is losing anyway, so why cooperate?) One of those side effects you don't expect but end up loving!"
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com