XCOM: The Board Game
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 alien invasion.
60m - 120m
1 - 4 Players
Dice rolling in a game can be used for many things, randomness being the most obvious. Dice can also be used as counters. The dice themselves can be unique and different sizes, shapes and colors to represent different things.
Hand management games are games with cards in them that reward players for playing the cards in certain sequences or groups. The optimal sequence/grouping may vary, depending on board position, cards held and cards played by opponents. Managing your hand means gaining the most value out of available cards under given circumstances. Cards often have multiple uses in the game, further obfuscating an "optimal" sequence.
Games where you repeat an action (or part of an action) until you decide to stop due to increased (or not) risk of losing points or your turn.
Press your Luck
Press your Luck
A time track mechanism is a variable player-turn order mechanism by which the player who is last on the time track goes next. The function of this mechanism can allow a player to have multiple sequential turns due to being last after each one.
Variable Player Powers is a mechanic that grants different abilities and/or paths to victory to the players.
Variable Player Powers
Variable Player Powers
I am one of those gamers who likes to have everything he needs to play a game included in the box. I have not been a fan of games that require CD players or stopwatches and I was expecting not to like the XCOM app. Actually, it does a good job of bringing significant time pressure, doing some non-player stuff and keeping a multi-phase turn on track. I have enjoyed games like Tamsk and Space Dealer where you are playing against a time limit. I think this works less well in XCOM for two reasons. First, there is ample opportunity for sensible players to plan ahead of the small window in which they must act. Admittedly, limited funds can derail a plan. The second reason is that the decisions just aren't that challenging. Obviously, the complexity of the decisions needs to be scaled to the time available, but I'm not sure that Lang has got this right. Mechanically, the only thing that strikes me as odd is conflict resolution, where, no matter the size of my force, if the alien wins they're all dead. The dice used to resolve conflicts and to check for success in developing new technologies don't bother me so much as some commenters. Certainly, with a one third chance of success with each roll, results will be varied, but the dice are rolled so damned much that luck should balance out. While random factors like those dice and the order in which cards are drawn will affect the course of each game, I don't see where genuine strategic variation will come from. Fantasy Flight has done its usual excellent production job. However, the artwork strikes me as muted and uninteresting. Transferring the rules to the app and providing a tutorial mode has made the game much more quickly accessible than FFG's usual 25 pages of verbiage.
Fun, thematic, cooperative. The timed app makes it a visceral and frenetic experience. Dice rolling and poorly designed difficulty settings can make it a bit frustrating at times. I wouldn't mind playing this more but I feel like I'd have to have a regular team and a lot of time spent to graduate from Normal to Hard, and I don't see that happening. And then there's Expert....
Love the theme, idea, and the pressure of making snap decisions with the timed element. Communication and problem solving is essential. There's a little too much live or die by the dice roll element as you can lose all of your soldiers and/or interceptors thanks to bad rolls, effectively losing the game but being asked to plod along to your painful demise.