So, my homemade Alien RPG campaign is nearing its crashing end, and I'm reading up on the Colonial Marines Operations Manual in preparation for whatever comes next, and I've got to say... OH MY ENGINEER GODS, this book is impressive!
I've been a very active PRGer and GM for 30 years now, read and GMed hundreds of campaigns, and been a professional writer and editor of RPG material for the last decade, and I believe the CMOM & The Frontier War must be some of the most ambitious RPG campaign material I've ever encountered! Kudos to Gaska & Elliott and the rest of the Fria Ligans' team; y'all are quite insane
We have been lied to, though, as this is not a CMC sourcebook with some scenarios in the back (although you could certainly use the book that way), no, this is very much The Frontier War campaign with expansive, accompanying sourcebook material. EVERYTHING conceived for the CM sourcebook comes into play in the campaign, and the scales of The Frontier War is staggering! And not only that, the Chariots of the Gods & Destroyer of Worlds are actual explicit prequels setting up The Frontier War.
I was expecting this material to be little more than a dumb action fest to get the marines-heavy comic book stuff out of the way and cater to that (probably majority) part of the fan base -- and at first glance the book appears to be that -- but in reality it is much, much more ambitious and clever. Never in a thousand years would I have guessed that the CMC sourcebook is where the Engineers are properly introduced and the core mysteries of the Alien franchise begun to be explored in the RPG. I just assumed that the Engineers would be held back until the Colonist sourcebook, with settlers and explorers stumbling upon the origins of the Engineers and Xenos and humankind, but no, it's all the central plot of The Frontier War. I'm very much looking forward to The Heart of Darkness now, as I assume that cinematic (?) scenario will move the marker further and dive headfirst into some Engineers world stuff. This is gonna be very interesting indeed! The Colonial Marines are also explicitly the bad guys in the CMOM, which is nice.
In short, this book should win some prizes.