XCOM: The Board Game
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- A co-operative board game of global defense for 1-4 players based on the award-winning video game, XCOM: enemy unknown
- A free and innovative digital app coordinates the escalating alien invasion, teaches you the game, and serves as your rules reference
- Players assume four distinct roles, each of which is vital to XCOM's success: commander, chief scientist, central officer, and squad leader
- A push-your-luck dice mechanic partners with the use of the app to heighten the game's tension and drama
- Includes sixteen sculpted XCOM soldiers, eight interceptors, and twenty-four UFOs
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From the manufacturer
XCOM: The Board Game
You Are Humanity’s Last Hope.
In XCOM: The Board Game, you and up to three friends assume the roles of the leaders of the elite, international organization known as XCOM. It is your job to defend humanity, quell the rising panic, and turn back the escalating alien invasion coordinated by the game’s innovative, free digital companion app.
- Plays in 1 - 2 hours
- For 2 - 4 players
- Ages 14 and up
The Desperate Defense
Destroy UFOs. Research alien technology. Defend your base. Uncover the alien invasion plan. Should you fail at any of these tasks, humanity is doomed.
Utilize New Technology
The most notable aspect of XCOM: The Board Game is the free and innovative digital app it requires. Incorporated into the game's very core, this app promotes a unique play experience unlike anything you and your friends have previously encountered in a board game.
The app’s primary function is to coordinate the escalating alien invasion, randomly selecting from one of five different invasion plans. It coordinates the arrival of new UFOs, plans strikes against your base, and responds to your successes or failures as the aliens seek to conquer Earth. The app manages all of these tasks and heighten’s the game’s tension as it forces you to adapt to a dynamic turn structure and respond in real-time.
Fight on Multiple Fronts
You must launch Interceptors to shoot down alien UFOs, assign soldiers to key missions, research alien technology, and use that technology to defend your base.
Pushing Deeper into Danger
XCOM: The Board Game utilizes a push-your-luck dice rolling system that allows you to take heroic risks, even as the aliens intensify their assaults. Whenever you undertake a task and push your luck in search of success, the task’s threat level rises. If you fail to meet the threat, you suffer the consequences. You may lose soldiers. Your satellites may go offline. Your scientists may succumb to disease. You will suffer losses, but with the world at stake, you can’t afford to play it safe.
You are humanity's last hope! XCOM: the board game is a co-operative game of global defense for one to four players that challenges you and your friends to turn back a full-scale alien invasion coordinated in real-time by an innovative and free digital companion app. As the department heads of the elite paramilitary organization known as XCOM, you command the best equipment and soldiers that the earth can muster. Together, you must balance your efforts to destroy UFOs, research alien technology, defend your base, and uncover the alien invasion plan. Should you fail, humanity is doomed.
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This item XCOM: The Board Game
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|Sold By||Polydream||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||QB's & Pitchers|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||8.6 x 12 x 1.7 in||11.6 x 2.8 x 11.6 in||3.2 x 10.5 x 10.5 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||11.38 x 11.62 x 2.88 in|
|Item Weight||3.2 lbs||2.3 lbs||4.11 lbs||2.87 lbs||4.4 lbs||3.89 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
The short answer is that you don't really have a fair shot at victory, and you really shouldn't. The aliens are more powerful in just about every way. This is XCOM's conceit, and it'll have you pulling your hair out. In a fun way.
The game is for 1-4 players. Each player is assigned a role, or multiple roles when you have less than 4 people at the board. The required app (either iOS, Android, or web-browser based) will adjust time length accordingly for the number of participants. In solo mode, I felt rushed but never like I didn't have the time I need. Except once... but more on that in a second. The roles feel well balanced, but certain roles will definitely appeal to different play styles.
First, the Commander. Despite his authoritative name, he never really gets to feel like he's in charge. This feels like a missed opportunity somewhat. The Commander is responsible for dispatching interceptors (fighter craft) to attack UFOs over the map. He controls a few of XCOM's perks, and most importantly controls the budget. Near the beginning of every timed round, he is told how many credits XCOM has available and is responsible for pulling them out. This is the only time the app clearly needs to give just a few more seconds to the player. I kept my credit pool stacked neatly in stacks of 5 (it comes with 29... don't go crazy trying to find your missing one), and I still nearly ran out of time when it told me I had 13 credits in the budget. The Commander can also dip into XCOM's limited cash reserves, and has a special "asset" card given by what continent XCOM HQ is placed in, a location which is assigned by the application. Every unit the team places on the board, whether Soldier, Scientist, Satellite, or Interceptor, costs XCOM 1 credit. Ostensibly, the players communicate with the Commander about how much they really need from the budget. Go over budget, and you accelerate your march to losing the game. Ultimately, though, the Commander has no real say over how many units other people place on the board. He can tell the Chief Scientist that we can only afford two scientists this round, be completely ignored, and have the game lost. Teamwork is important, but it feels like "Commander" should mean something.
The Central Officer is responsible for controlling the application and using satellites to defend against UFOs in orbit, and also control (slightly) the flow of the invasion using his satellites as well. It's him that tells the Commander how much money they have, tells the Squad Leader to pick a mission, and tells the Scientist it's time to assign research. This, to me, is one of the more engaging roles to play, but at the same time you often feel powerless. You help out in a jam, but the team relies on your ability to communicate quickly and clearly more than anything else.
The Chief Scientist has an odd role. His position is the least stressful - when rolling the dice during the non-timed "resolution" phase, exhausting his scientists doesn't feel as disastrous as losing a Soldier would to the Squad Leader, or an Interceptor to the Commander. They're essentially playing a card game by themselves (with technologies they can research to enhance other players along the way). They fill their hand up to six cards at the beginning of the timed phase, and from there they start assigning research when told to. The nuanced part of this job is watching the board to see who might really need the most help. Everybody needs more, but the Chief Scientist is really the only one with the ability to influence the dice. Many of his technologies offer rerolls, automatic successes, money, and more to the other players. Towards the end of the game, the importance of this role starts to diminish as players have what they (hopefully) need to beat the game, and he'll find his research becoming a low priority as focus is shifted elsewhere. It feels right given the theme, but the scientist becomes a more passive role late in the game with less to offer.
Finally, the Squad Leader. This player is responsible for base defense (hence preventing one way of losing the game, the other being two countries falling into panic) and for conducting missions. Along with the final mission, which is the team's only way to win. He plays a game of quickly matching symbols associated with different classes of Soldier to symbols marked on mission cards and enemy cards. The symbols on the card dictate how many Soldiers can try to accomplish the task or fight the enemy, and what kind are capable of it. Good matches generate extra dice, and the Commander can help by taking out an extra Soldier for training the Officer Training School, giving that Soldier an extra die against all tasks. If things go wrong for the Squad Leader, losing the game won't be far behind.
Taken together, all of these roles make for a pretty engaging game. I'm withholding one star because the aggregate effect of some of the minor issues I outlined above can start to wear on your nerves. The Commander needs just two or three more seconds to do his job. The Chief Scientist is boring at the end of the game. The Commander isn't REALLY in charge (in fact, the Central Officer has more ability to move pieces off the board and cancel orders).
Even with these minor issues, it's incredible fun, and with a play of about 40 to 50 minutes, you can get several games completed in a night. The app works well. There was an early issue with people losing their game if a call came through on their phone that some reviewers mentioned, but when I had to unexpectedly close the app and leave the house, it asked me if I wanted to resume when I started it back up. It started me at the beginning of the resolutions phase, but it was easy to pick up from there. A good design choice. I worry a little about the future of a game that depends on an application to play. If I take good care of it, I'll still be able to play Agricola 30 years from now. The app has added boundless possibilities to this game, but if support is ever dropped then this board game will become an oversize paperweight.
I highly recommend this game for any number of players. Four players is absolutely the best, but it remains fun even down to one player. In fact, at one player there's no one to blame for bad decision but yourself. Set up and tear down is fairly easy, and other than getting one or two baggies for the cardboard chits, everything else in the box came pre-bagged and separated. Everything feels high quality, which is typical of Fantasy Flight Games.
Board game enthusiasts really should add this one to their collection, and I'd even say that many players unfamiliar with modern board gaming have a good entry point here. The application will teach you how to play the game. In fact, it's the only way, the rulebook only shows board layout. I lost a good four or five hours of my day when I opened this one up, and I recommend you do the same.
The Central Officer has another major responsibility in this game- managing an app on a tablet, cell phone, or laptop (which is downloadable for free from FFG). The game plays out in two phases- a timed phase and a resolution phase. During the timed phase, the app tells the Central Officer what action can be taken by which player, and gives them a strict time limit to accomplish their task. The tasks may be: research tech in a specific slot, an alien invades the HQ, interceptors must be deployed, UFOs appear over continents or in orbit, a new mission must selected, and more. The Central Officer must relay all of this information as quickly as possible to the other players, and make sure they are not taking too long. During the resolution phase, players then resolve all of the tasks that they set in motion in the timed phase. Players roll dice in order to get success for tech, knocking down UFOs, killing aliens in the base, and more. Players roll XCOM D6 dice, which features two success symbols on, as well as a numbered D8, which functions for the alien enemy. When you fail a dice roll, you can roll again, but it becomes increasingly likely that you will be defeated because with each non-success you move the threat marker up one space (from 1 to 5). If the D8 is equal to or lower than the threat marker, it is a fail and you lose the scientists, interceptors, soldiers, satellites, etc... If, at the end of the resolution phase, there are UFOs left over continents, that continent is moved forward on the panic track (if two nations make it to the orange section of the panic track- the players lose the game). If there are any aliens left over in the base, the base damage marker moves forward (if ever this marker reaches the end- the players lose the game- and there are also other negative consequences for it hitting red points). Players are working toward being able to complete the "Final Mission" and the app will tell you when you are able to do this (based on completing other missions and other criteria). Once the Final Mission is completed successfully, the players win the game.
XCOM the Board Game is a thrilling adventure that offers a fun yet stressful timed component. Not all of the decisions in the game are in the timed phase, so players won't be stressed out too much (like in, say, Space Alert or Damage Report). Rather, decisions of significance are equally divided between the timed phase and the resolution phase. The app is really fun and adds a lot to the game, without it being gimicky. It draws players into the high tech feel of the game, while at the same time giving players just enough time to negotiate with other players about how much money can be spent on each task, and then making those decisions. Essentially, what you do during the timed phase is really about setting you up for the resolution phase, getting yourselves into the best position to deal with the multiple crises the game presents. The dice rolling during the resolution phase adds a push-your-luck mechanic that may cost the team, but the potential rewards are just too much to ignore.
All told, XCOM The Board Game succeeds brilliantly in creating a tense, engaging, and incredibly fun experience. Each player will get sucked into their role, and the unique game challenge that that presents. At the same time, all players know they have to work together or suffer catastrophic defeat. Fun, inventive game play, really well designed cooperative mechanics, and a great theme make XCOM The Board Game a winner!