19 December 2016 | XCOM: The Board Game

Your Battles Are About to Evolve

XCOM: Evolution Will Soon Be Available

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Aliens have landed. Chaos grips the governments of Earth. Major cities lie in ruins, shattered by the explosive force of alien technology. The planet is surrounded by hostile UFOs, shooting down satellites and crippling humanity’s communications and intelligence. In this dark hour, Earth’s best hope for salvation lies with the elite paramilitary organization known only as XCOM. But the war has already begun, and your battles are about to evolve. The Evolution expansion for XCOM: The Board Game will be available at your local retailer on December 29th!

In our last preview for the Evolution expansion, we examined the forces arrayed against you—new invasion plans, destruction cards that punish you every time your base is damaged, and the sinister machinations of the humans within EXALT. Still, not everything you’ll find in Evolution looks grim for humanity’s survival. You’ll find plenty of new assets, technologies, and troopers to defend Earth, and that’s the focus of our article today.

Protect the World

In every game of XCOM: The Board Game, you and your fellow players are divided between four roles: Commander, Central Officer, Chief Scientist, and Squad Leader. Each role handles a different aspect of the XCOM organization, and each role receives some new tricks and assets within Evolution.

To start, both the Commander and the Central Officer begin to find ways to engage in counter ops against EXALT. With the Infiltrator Agent, the Commander can choose to suffer an additional crisis in order to remove all EXALT tokens from a single task, freeing your operatives to complete a mission, attack UFOs, or research technology in relative peace. Or, your Central Officer can take a peek at upcoming threats by using the Situation Room to flip two EXALT tokens faceup—getting vital intelligence about upcoming threats before they come into effect.


Three new MEC Troopers join XCOM forces in Evolution.

One of the greatest new benefits in your war against the alien invaders is the MEC Troopers—powerful warriors infused with cybernetics. These powerful new soldiers cannot be recruited. Instead, they must be created in the Chief Scientist’s Cybernetics Lab. By discarding salvage, the Chief Scientist can make MEC Troopers for the Squad Leader, and though these troopers are few in number, they’ll undoubtedly have a great impact on your missions. After all, MEC Troopers have all four of the combat skills—and they’re specialized in all four, making them by far the best soldiers on your team. Still, their numbers are limited, and when time is running out, the Squad Leader will need to carefully decide where to commit these valuable fighters.

Unexpected Rewards

Twelve new technology cards also arrive to bolster XCOM’s arsenal with Evolution. The Squad Leader may use a Laser Sniper Rifle to pick off EXALT operatives, removing EXALT tokens from the board before they can make your tasks more dangerous. Experimental Warfare gives the Chief Scientist a new way to recruit MEC Troopers and Alien Intel lets you commit satellites in order to gain more salvage. You may even turn to Black Market Meld, drawing the attention of EXALT in order to obtain more credits to fuel your organization. Of course, as with all technology, the Chief Scientist must carefully prioritize which cards are worth researching—and with these new options, the choices are harder than ever before.

Finally, some of your missions may bear new and unexpected rewards as you recover the mysterious alien substance known as Meld. Every new mission card in Evolution features an extremely useful Meld reward. For example, the Remote Recon mission allows you to reduce panic in any continent by one, so long as you can claim the reward in time. Meld will self-destruct if it remains in the field for too long, however, and if you can’t complete the designated task on the turn the mission is revealed, you’ll lose any chance of claiming the Meld reward forever. 


If the marked task can be completed within one round, you'll claim the reward and reduce panic in any continent!

The World Needs Saving

As one of XCOM’s senior officers, you’re not just responsible for your own tasks and assets. You’re responsible for the safety of the entire world, and your job is about to become harder than ever. Prepare your teams for action, and look for XCOM: Evolution at your local retailer on December 29th!

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