Playing XCOM: The board game
Alberto, Pietro and Elisa: the last hope of humanity
A few days ago, I played XCOM: The board game from Fantasy Flight Games, with Alberto and Pietro.
I admit that at the beginning I was a little suspicious because I have never played a board game with a digital app but at the end I was very pleased to try it and for sure, I will play it again!
In XCOM you need do defend the Earth from an alien invasion so you feel the responsibility to prevent the devastation of the humanity. I felt very well this tension due the app that track your turns in real-time and controls all the information.
We were three friend and we were the last hope of humanity. Luckily, it was just a board game otherwise, it would have been the end of humanity …sorry guys….
In the game, every player has to become a key figure of the planetary defense. I was the Chief Scientist, responsible for research. Alberto was the Commander keeping track of XCOM’s finances and deploying ships to shoot down UFOs on Earth. Alberto was also the Squad Leader in charge of all troop movements. Pietro was the Central Officer controlling the app and attempting to shoot down UFOs in orbit with satellites.
I think that the four roles are well balanced and each of them offer many abilities to plan different strategies. I also like the role of the app: it gives great tension, push for smart decisions and determine the next attack of the UFOs forcing you to change your strategy from round to round.
There only one thing that I didn’t like too much it is that the combat is reduced to a simple dice roll and if you have bad luck, like we did, it is really difficult to keep up with the alien invasion.
As the Chief Scientist, I tried to help my friends giving to them as many technologies as possible. However, the bad luck in rolling the dice was too big and we could do nothing to prevent the collapse of the Earth, Alberto was so unlucky that I even considered him a spy sent from the aliens…..
Overall, I enjoyed XCOM: The Board Game and would be interested in trying it again. The Euro mechanics involved in the game are solid and the App really gives the feeling of an uncontrollable Alien invasion!