The new trailer for the sequel made me watch the original Expendables I have on blu-ray, and then I realized, in essence, this concept would make an outstanding board game.
What I have not seen yet is an 80s action romp put into a board game, and with an elite, smart-mouthed team that executes hordes of grunt soldiers. Look at the weaponry in the Expendables alone: beyond machine guns, you have handguns, knife-throwing, martial arts, shotgun and rapid-fire shotgun (special ability?), explosives, knife melee, and wrestling. An over-the-top macho cast also would not be complete without lots of environmental explosions, fire traps, and fall damage. Mansions of Madness already has fire rules that could be similar in use here. Push effects from explosions, shotguns, and hand-to-hand attacks would also be cool. Skill cards like Descent would be sweet too so there is some customization as well beyond an assortment of combat cards. Combat being both ranged and close-up detail would be essential. Though range has more safety, close-up is more deadly and crippling. What I like about FFG is their attention to Events that occur via a deck, like in Death Angel there are "Gun Jams" and ambushes. This is a game with figurines and environment tiles that could definitely be enhanced by the player's overwhelming force impeded by tactics or misfortune that will never happen in the same game twice. Something that creates the illusion of losing one battle to come equipped a better "soldier" in the next. Strong enemy units too would be a must, anywhere from a tank to a human "tank" that will break you in half if you come too close. Also, if you threw in a new third mechanic to make the players feel more overwhelmed the longer they stay in the fight, that would be useful (whether it would be ammo limitation, or more and more enemy attraction). Also, bleed and fire tokens for both players and enemies would be great. Knife tokens too would be cool, representing the lethality of up-close combat if you have a knife token to throw or use in offense or defense (and power cards that perform throws or silent kills would be good too). Disarms, throws, and counter-attacks also would be essential custom dice mechanic in hand-to-hand, similar to how Descent puts both damage and "surges" on their dice at once to create more randomness. Ability cards with complementary art for both hand-to-hand and marksman abilities would be must-have too.
Besides killing grunts, assist and protect missions, foot-chases, bosses, and timed missions could be great variety. Fast dice action and multi-kill (i.e. machine gun spray, auto-kill explosions similar to Space Hulk: Death Angel, etc.) to continue resolving combat from one area to the next quickly would enhance the action flair. Solitaire play would be a very nice option. Besides cooperative, competitive would be good too if possible. Also I like how Arkham Horror does two things: one, constant and undying suspense, and two, creates a scoring system that you can record highest scores with.
Even if you couldn't get a license with Lionsgate, any soldier themed game with stereotypical macho-men with big guns and hilarious trash talk flavor text would be A+. The idea of giving homage to macho-teams going against impossible odds further as in a superior alien menace (ala Predator), vampire or werewolf cabals, robot armies, or Lovecraftian horrors could also be done in expansions to keep the game interesting and ridiculous. I enjoy Mansions of Madness because it tests the wits of ordinary people against unspeakable terrors face-to-face. I would like this game for pushing the envelope, challenging me but giving me also a guy who shakes off a barage of bullets to rip a guy's throat out just to get an excuse for the wisecrack. That would be quite a game!