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XCOM Board game

Posted in Tabletop Games

I have to admit that after seeing that a XCOM game was coming I was a little dubious as I didn’t know how it would transfer across mediums. I was even more concerned when I spotted that Fantasy Flight Games were releasing it.

It’s a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players, where as games like Forbidden Island and Castle Panic use a mechanic designed into the game to simulate opposition the XCOM board game uses a companion App to control it. This means that players need a PC, mobile phone or tablet in order to play.

box-XCOM-rightThe app brings timed deadlines into play with the players have to respond to the threat in real-time making decisions toughers and more fluid than usual in a co-op game. However the actual combat takes place without on the time limit.
The app also can be used to learn the game and teach the rules, which given how cumbersome FFG rules usual are, this can’t be a bad thing.

Destroy UFOs. Research alien technology. Defend your base. Uncover the alien invasion plan. Should you fail, humanity is doomed.

The players take on the roles of 4 department heads at XCOM, these are the Commander, Chief Scientist, Central Officer and Squad Leader, each with their own unique skills, no matter how many are playing these roles are always in play.

The game looks to use many of the features that the video game employed, so for example if a UFO is tracked but your interceptors fail to take it down, fear will spread in the continents. If it turns to panic then your funding will start to drop undermining and hindering your efforts, 2 continents go into panic and XCOM forces lose the game.

The game employs a push your luck dice mechanic that aims to get the players taking risks in order to succeed, the number of dice used is dependant on the task and modifiers you have.
Each dice only has 2 success indicators and you are unlikely to achieve success without a follow up roll, each roll carries a higher risk of failure.

From what I’ve seen the game looks rather nice, there have been some concerned raised about the longevity of a game needing an application in order to run, but I’d rather get the game and play it now than worry about the 5 years time what-ifs.

If you want to have a look at the game and app, Drive Thru Review posted these two videos from GenCon.

#XCOM #TableTopGames

3 Comments

  1. Funny, I just bought the X-Com reboot (the original is one of my favourites) and I still have the original X-com loaded up as well. Who would want to play a board game when you have two amazing video games to enjoy that covers the same thing? Wouldn’t it be just as fun to sit around a screen planning the game as a group instead of individual play?

    I love PnP gaming from the old days, and I even tried to get into board gaming (Settlers of Cataan, etc.) but I always found board games a less effective medium for entertainment than games themselves. Risk on the PC with 3 funs is just as fun (or more fun) than setting up a board with 3 friends. Anything that is tactical in nature (vs visual – ie: fantasy roleplaying) usually plays out better on a PC.

    Truth actually – I still play some tactical games (do you call Jenga tactical?) because the experience can’t be mirrored on a console or PC.

    August 23, 2014
    • Welshtroll
      Welshtroll

      The XCOM reboot was good, due to Microprose blackmailing the rights to the title from Gollop, it was sad not to see his hand in it, other than the certain nod.

      I think the board game looks to enhance the PC to degree, for example have time limit on decision making something that the PC version does push too hard upon.

      I think the roles will give the players a even control over the action, where as sitting around a PC with no defined roles will just cause more time arguing over how thing should be done etc.

      * Sorry for the late reply I typed this reply up yesterday but closed my browser before submitting it 🙁

      August 24, 2014
  2. […] my post about the board game and quite a number of J3w3ls posts on her playthrough of XCOM, I decided to fire the game back up […]

    August 26, 2014

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