5 August 2014 | XCOM: The Board Game

You Are Humanity's Last Hope

The Alien Invasion Begins with XCOM: The Board Game


Paris has fallen. New York is a pile of rubble spilling into the Atlantic. Alien attacks against Nanjing and Changzhou prompt widespread panic throughout the streets of Shanghai. Defense satellites detect UFOs in orbit over Mexico, Russia, and Brazil. Military responses have proven ineffectual. Fear and anxiety lead to widespread riots. Human civilization stands upon the brink of collapse…
You are humanity’s last hope.

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.

Where the world’s militaries have failed to stand against the alien invaders, you must succeed. To do so, you must make strategic use of the resources available to you. You must launch Interceptors to shoot down alien UFOs, assign soldiers to key missions, research alien technology, and use that technology to defend your base, all while you try to keep the world from collapsing just long enough that you can coordinate one final mission to repel the invaders for good.

Innovative Digital Enhancement

The most notable aspect of XCOM: The Board Game is the way that it incorporates a free and innovative digital app into the core of its gameplay, then uses the app to promote a unique play experience unlike anything you and your friends have previously encountered in a board game. This digital companion will be available both as a downloadable app and as an online tool.

The app’s primary function is to coordinate the escalating alien invasion, randomly selecting from one of five different invasion plans. Each invasion plan represents a general outline that the alien commanders will use to coordinate the arrival of new UFOs, plan strikes against your base, and respond to your successes or failures as it seeks to conquer Earth. The app manages all of these tasks and heighten’s the game’s tension as it forces you to respond in real-time. Then, after you move quickly to coordinate your response, you engage the enemy in the untimed resolution phase and feed the results to the app. Based upon these results, the app launches the invasion's next strikes.

Two UFOs appear over North and South America

Additionally, the app teaches you the rules, controls the information that your satellites provide you, and tracks the progress of your resistance efforts, even as it allows you to enjoy the game at any of three levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, or Hard.

A crisis card

The use of this app does more than simply streamline your play experience and track your turns in real-time. It also permits a uniquely dynamic turn structure. While the variety of game phases remains the same from round to round, the order in which you and your friends must play through them may change, as may the number of a given phase.

As a result, while you’ll want to know where UFOs appear before you deploy your Interceptors, the alien invaders may be able to disrupt your satellite intel and force you to deploy your Interceptors on patrol with limited or no knowledge of the UFOs current whereabouts. Similarly, you may be forced to think about the costs of resolving the world’s crises before you know how many troops you’ll need to commit to your base defense.

The effect of the app, then, is to immerse you deep into the dramatic tension at the core of XCOM: The Board Game, and it ensures that the game presents a challenging and cooperative (or solo) experience like no other. Just like the XCOM department heads that you represent, you’ll need to keep cool heads in order to prevail.

Inside XCOM Strategic Command

XCOM’s resistance efforts are spearheaded by its four leaders, each of which is represented by one of the game’s player roles: Commander, Chief Scientist, Central Officer, and Squad Leader.

Commander The Commander is responsible to manage XCOM’s budget and must be foresightful enough to know when best to access the organization’s emergency funding and how best to allocate it.

Additionally, the Commander makes the tough decisions about where to assign XCOM’s limited number of Interceptors to global defense. Wherever you commit your Interceptors, you have a chance of destroying UFOs and slowing the spread of panic. Wherever you don’t commit your Interceptors, fear and anxiety are bound to run rampant.

The Commander is responsible for assigning Interceptors to global defense

Chief Scientist If you and XCOM are to have any chance of successfully repelling the alien invaders, you’ll need better technology. The Chief Scientist’s responsibilities include studying advanced technology, learning how to harness it, manufacturing better weapons and armor, and equipping the rest of the organization with the tools they need to survive.

Of course, only a limited number of scientists possess the necessary training and intellect to quickly dissect, analyze, and replicate alien technology. Part of your job as Chief Scientist, then, is not only to decide how best to direct the organization’s research efforts but also to prioritize between them, allocating more scientists to the projects you decide will best benefit the war effort.

Central Officer The Central Officer serves as the communications relay between XCOM and the outside world. This means you manage the organization’s satellite network, and it is your job to ensure that the organization remains alert to potential threats, communicates and coordinates its efforts effectively between branches, and scrambles as many alien transmissions as possible.

Succeed, and you’ll reduce the number of UFOs in orbit. Fail, and you’ll suffer communications blackouts that will force you to act blindly in the midst of a war, the likes of which Earth has never known.

Additionally, the Central Officer communicates all of the information provided by the game’s digital app to the players. The clock is always running, so it’s vital that you share all relevant information quickly and clearly.

Squad Leader In the end, XCOM needs boots on the ground to confront the alien invaders, and it’s the Squad Leader’s job to ensure that the right troops are tackling the right missions. As the invasion escalates, you must assemble strike teams to meet the aliens in battle. Simultaneously, you must assign soldiers to defend the XCOM base, and you’ll need to strike an effective balance. If your base falls, so do you. So does the earth.

Still, you need to succeed at missions to win. Each mission you complete brings you closer to uncovering a means of launching one final, fatal blow against the alien invaders.

The Squad Leader is responsible for assigning troops to missions

All four player roles are vital to XCOM’s success, and you and your friends must divide them among yourselves in every game. Your soldiers won’t succeed without the upgrades your scientists can research, nor will you be able to launch successful Interceptor strikes against UFOs unless you acquire good intel from your satellite network.

Can You Find a Way to Defeat the Unknown Foe?

With its free companion app and distinctive player roles, XCOM: The Board Game evokes all the fear, desperation, and heroism that lie at the heart of the popular and acclaimed XCOM computer games. All the while, it immerses you in a wholly unique play experience. Also, keep your satellites in place for future transmissions, including a series of previews, in which we’ll explore the game and its components in greater detail, and if you're headed to Gen Con Indy 2014, be sure to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall where we'll be running demos all weekend long!

XCOM: The Board Game is scheduled to arrive at retailers in the fourth quarter of 2014. Until then, destroy UFOs. Research alien technology. Defend your base. Uncover the alien invasion plan. Should you fail, humanity is doomed.

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