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XCOM the Board Game Review

Updated on April 27, 2015

XCOM the Board Game

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XCOM the Board Game Review

Those you who are big fans of X-COM the Enemy Unknown, and Enemy Within will be very pleased to hear that XCOM has been made into a board Game. XCOM the Board Game focuses on a small part off its video game counterpart. XCOM the board game is geared more towards some of the roles that would be played in the command centre at your base. XCOM the Board Games game mechanic along with the app will create a heightened sense of game play that you may not be accustomed to. You will be tasked into having to make the right decisions quickly in a short amount of time. Whether you do or don't make the right decision the app will adapt, and provide you with an interesting challenge that no other board game has been able to recreate so far.

XCOM The Board Game

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XCOM Page Summary:

  • What is XCOM the Board Game?
  • How To Play XCOM the Board Game?
  • The Game APP
  • Final Thoughts

XCOM the Board Game Review

What is XCOM the Board Game?

XCOM the Board Game is based on the popular video game we all know and love. That's right folks X-Com Enemy Within, has now been turned into a board game. It is no longer the turn-based video game that we all know, it is now been made to be played with an app in real time. You and three of your friends must now manage your troops, satellites, and research in this co-of resource management game. Battle a multitude of alien invasions, while your military forces defend your base, your satellites and the countries it was sworn to protect. Do you and your friends have what it takes to survive, and win?

XCOM Box Contents

  • 1 game board
  • 12 XCOM soldiers
  • 8 interceptors
  • 24 UFOs
  • 4 custom dice
  • 1 d8
  • 20 tarot sized cards
  • 51 standard board game cards
  • 95 mini board game cards
  • 76 tokens
  • 1 rule sheet

XCOM the Board Game

XCOM Playthrough

How To Play XCOM the Board Game ?


The app which is free to download, first helps you set up the board. You have a choice of four difficulty level to chose from easy, normal, hard, and expert. All players must then decide which of the four roles they are going to play. The most experience player, or the player that is more familiar with the X-COM video game should start out as the commander, as there are many decisions, and responsibilities to take on. Depending on the level of difficulty chosen, each round all players battle against time, aliens and dwindling resources in an effort to stop the invasions. You must also manage to keep the panic levels of the countries from reaching critical. The game play progresses until all the players complete enough missions to unlock the final scenario. Stay alive long enough to complete the final scenario to win, lose to many countries, your base, or to many missions and all will end in failure.




Your Roles:

You and your team members each have the choice of four roles to play, Commander, Chief Scientist, Central Officer, and Squad Leader. Managing resources, collectively communicating among each other while the timer from the app runs down. This game mechanic helps to give XCOM the Board Game a real sense of urgency. The challenges you and your friends will face while trying to control the worlds military in an attempt to fight back and survive.

The Commander:

The Commander's role is two fold he must first manage the spending of all activities being played on the board. Every time another player assigns a soldier, an interceptor, a satellite, or commences a new alien research task, the commander must audits available funds for it. The commander has the crucial task of balancing the budget for this game, over spend and you increase the overall level of panic, underspend, and you run the chance of losing unused founds.

The Commander's second role is to manage, and decide which crisis the team will face. During the course of the game crisis will arise. The commander will then be face with two crisis's, it is up to the commander to pick which one of the two crisis will cause the least amount of harm for all involved.

Alien Ambush

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The Chief Researcher:

The Chief Researcher's role is to decide which new alien technology is to be researched. Should he research new armor and weapons for the troops, new jet technology for the interceptors, or concentrate resource to building new satellite technology. Each of these decision he makes will have an effect on one or more of the other players chances to succeed or fail during the course of the game.

The Central Officer

The Central Officer's role is to manage, and deploy satellites. He is task in the difficult job of keeping the orbit clear and free from alien ships.

The Squad Leader

The Squad Leader's role is two fold as well. The first task is to assign troops to defend your base. He has the choice from heavy, snipers,support, and assault soldiers to deploy, each of the troops have their own proficiencies Perhaps the most important role for the squad leader is to deploy enough soldiers to defend the base.

The Squad Leader's second role is to deploy soldiers to complete missions. It is only by completing missions that you advance closer to the end of game scenario needed to win the game. The more time taken in the game not completing missions will result in more of your resources like solders, and interceptors to dwindle. This will effectively cause a decrease in your chances to survive long enough to make it to that final scenario.

Alien Attack

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The Game App:

The XCOM board game is all managed by and app which can be download to your phone or tablet. The game app has four levels of difficulty easy, normal, hard, and expert. The app also includes a complete tutorial, a complete set of rules, and also a faq section which can be access at any time during the game. Each round depending on successes, and failures the app will randomly assigns task either for your team or the alien invaders. At the end of each round the app will ask you to input various data such as, condition of your base, what is the level of panic, and did you complete your missions for this round, and then make the appropriate adjustments for the game.

Final Thoughts

I really love how they separated each of the task into four groups for this game, although I feel that the Central Officer doesn't play much of a role in this game. Perhaps this was done intentionally to give novice players a chance to acclimate to the unusual game mechanic of XCOM the Board Game. Other than that once you get to grips with the fast paced and time sensitive demands of the game, you can really start to appreciate the challenges that the apps game mechanic was meant to deliver.

I will be honest, I wasn't aware that this game came out, nor was I aware that it was even in the making, but when I heard of its release a short while ago, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I have been a long time fan of the X-Com video games. Those of you who are also big fans of X-com the enemy within, and Enemy Unknown will certainly want this board games for your collection.

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