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XCom: The Board Game Needs You, Commander

| 6 Aug 2014 12:57

This digitally enhanced little tabletop devil comes with a free app to REND YOUR SOUL.

Hello, Commander. Time is short: the Council needs you, your Chief Scientist, Central Officer and Squad Leader to get it together, because last mission ended ... well, let's just say that Sectoids skinning our soldiers alive and turning them into decorative hats is not what we had in mind when we gave you this job. The technical masterminds at Fantasy Flight have put together a tabletop board game simulation to help you in your ongoing mission. Use it wisely!

This shiny new piece of alien-killing technology can be played solo, or with a group of up to four players, each of whom takes on one of the four roles. As Commander, you manage the budget and assign interceptors to global defence. The Chief Scientist - cue scenes of Dr Vahlen whooping with glee and screaming "BITE ME, SHEN!" - gets to research and build new tech. The Central Officer controls satellite communications, and has the unenviable task of trying to reduce UFO incursions by scrambling enemy communications. Central also gets to control the digital app, of which more later. Finally the Squad Leader assembles strike teams to meet the enemy in battle, as well as defend the human base.

The objective of the game is to uncover the aliens' invasion plan and defeat it, before the aliens find and eliminate your base. This is where the free digital app comes in. It selects one of five possible plans to execute, and then sends enemy forces your way to carry out that plan. Maybe it means UFOs will start popping up over South America. Maybe it will start generating crises to lower morale, or reduce your funding. It might even start sending troops out searching for your base. There are three game modes to choose from, not counting tutorial: Easy, Normal, and Hard. You'd better know what you're up against before choosing Hard.

The app's most important function is timekeeping, standing there with stopwatch in hand, watching you sweat. This is all real time gaming, and that means you'd better think quickly as well as tactically. Lord help you if your Central Officer is a bit useless, as without someone sharing all this information swiftly and clearly you'll soon find Mutons carving up a human buffet in your base.

XCom: The Board Game is intended for ages 14+, and should take a couple hours to play; recommended retail is $59.95. You may well see copies at Gencon this year, possibly being carried out in triumph by a bloodstained Matt Lees, but it's more likely you'll see this by Christmas.

Source: Fantasy Flight

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