The XCOM series is a staple to the turn-based games industry, and the impressive revival of the franchise has confirmed it as a critically-acclaimed hit. With the expansion pack already out, it looks like Firaxis Games has taken a different route to keep fans of the game enticed: they're working in tandem with Fantasy Flight Games to create an official XCOM Board Game, and it looks amazing.
Creatively called XCOM: The Board Game, the tabletop game will feature a digital companion app (available on mobile phone or any internet browser) that will control the alien side and continue escalating the alien invasion after choosing from 5 different invasion plans. The aliens will plan strikes against the XCOM base, routinely harass players with UFOs, and respond in real-time to the success or failures of the invasion.
The game is compatible with up to 4 players (but can be played solo), who will each be given a unique leadership role taken straight from the game: the commander, the chief scientist, the central officer, and the squad leader. The commander must manage the budget of the XCOM organization, and determine when an emergency warrants breaking into the backup funds. This player will also face the decision of choosing where to place XCOM's interceptors, which helps deter UFOs in covered areas but leaves unprotected countries at risk. The chief scientist researches alien abilities to manufacture improved weapons and armors for soldiers, and also controls the allocation for how many scientists to focus on what research first.
The Central Officer organizes the satellite network, alerting the other players to potential threats whilst attempting to scramble alien transmissions. This player will either help reduce the number of UFOs incoming, or fail and burden the other players with a harder game. They're also in charge of reporting information as it comes with the companion digital application to the other players.
Lastly, the Squad Leader predictably leads the squad. Assembling the strike team while also leaving soldiers to defend the base sounds like it'll be a tricky balance, as victories on both fronts are required to prevent the doom of Earth. Each successful mission will bring players closer to unlocking the option for a desperate, final attempt to stem the alien invasion once and for all - but all four players will have to work together to get there.
The board game is scheduled for a late 2014 release, so fans of the series interested in picking it up don't have too much of a wait. For those Ranters lucky enough to be going to Gen Con Indy 2014, they'll get a chance to play the game early at the Fantasy Flight booth.
What do you think about the XCOM board game, Ranters? Does a board game get your interest, or will you stick to console and computer gaming?
Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.
Source: Fantasy Flight