So finally got the joy of running a group through CotG.
I stripped out Lucas and the Sotillo as I thought there was enough material there, if properly explored to amply fill a session. We actually played for a solid 7 hours before getting to the conclusion and I like to think that was a good call.
I will say this about the cinematic rules, they are delightfully brutal. One player I feel underestimated how different this was going to be from the usual rpg affair actually attacked the reactor core abomination with a chair. When it finally stirred and begun to slowly rise both people in the reactor tried to run out, but when one stumbled over (failed roll) he got up and swung a chair at it. Much to my delight I rolled the fatal skull crush attack and while the other player ran out he heard the popping sound of the skull plates shattering and looked back to see the now headless body tumble on over.
To their credit they did manage to get the helium 3 shipment on the daisy before the ship self destructed, but in the end it definitely wasn't a win for the good guys. Rhy in her quest for profit bargained her figurative soul away to Wilson, getting promised a big fat payoff for her brother if she harbored a neomorph in her body and got put into hypersleep. But given her, Wilson and Clayton were the only survivors no one was going to stop this from happening. Least of all Clayton who had her arm torn off by a now mutated Johns while in the bridge.
The cinematic system is wonderfully brutal and yet anyone who died was easily able to be brought back into the game so as to avoid boredom. There is enough going on in the campaign to keep the tension nicely building and with a little work has the respite points where the players can collect themselves. My only regret as the gm was the sad death of my baby neomorph that birthed out of the doc's forehead, only for it to be savagely stabbed to death with a scalpel. Also the supply system is a true triumph in my eyes, air tanks depleted at a satisfactory rate and around 3 added some wonderful tension.
Criticisms I have few of. My Rhy player did feel a bit cheated by the second agenda, and having reviewed it there is too little different from Agenda 1. Agenda 3 does have a nice twist that can take a very dark path but ultimately the first two are 'get monies'. My God I can't wait for the pdf to get sent to us so I can start running a full campaign.