Gameday First Play – XCOM: The Board Game

A board game of a computer game where you need a digital device to play it.

Now, who wants to play as the accounts department?

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 trying to keep the world from collapsing just long enough that you can coordinate one final mission to repel the invaders for good.

Game Play

We at XCOM are Earth last hope against the alien invasion. While our team is vast with 1000’s of people working hard, the main decisions are made by just 4 Heads of Department.

Central Officer

They keep their eye on the big screen. They relay information to the other departments as well as track incoming UFO’s.

They are also in charge of the orbital defences, taking out UFO’s that haven’t come down to the planet yet.


They track the incoming funds from the 6 continents and track the current spending from all departments. They also are in charge of sending out Interceptors to deal with UFO’s on earth.

They also get stuck with dealing with any Crisis that may occur.

Squad Leader

They prioritise missions and send units out to complete them. They are also in charge of tracking enemies attacking the base and sending units out to defend it.

They work with the Commander to make sure they’re not over spending on Soldiers and pass any dead aliens on to the Chief Scientist to research.

XCom Squad Leader Play Area

Chief Scientist

They research technology for themselves and other departments to use. They also work with the Commander to make sure they’re not overspending on Scientists.

So while each department has plenty to do, they will help other departments in the process. Only a very organised and cooperative organisation will be able to repel the Aliens.

But, while overcoming the Alien invasion is our main priority, we need to make sure we’re keeping the continents happy. By reducing the the number UFO’s over their land and successfully completing missions we can encourage them to keep sending money our way.

If not, they’ll redistribute their budget to other agencies that are fighting the Invasion.

Of course, they hate it when we overspend too.

But, all we can do is hold on until that last final push to take out the Alien base.

My Review

I’m a fan of the computer game. I spent HOURS on Enemy Unknown and Terror from the Deep on the PS1 and Amiga… So a board game version was something I was looking forward to.

XCom Board

The fact that it was co-op, required an app and was designed by Eric Lang were all good things are far as I was concerned.

Game play is divided between hectic timed rounds and more relaxed but just as tense un-timed dice rolls.

For the timed part, each player will have between 4-5 actions to complete with sometimes only a few seconds to do it. This is fine when placing Alien ships or drawing cards… But reading 6 science cards in the time allowed is quite tricky, especially during solo play!

So far I’ve played it with 4 and solo and enjoyed both. I’d like to play the other roles in a multi-player game and play solo a few more times now I understand the game better.

Either way, I quite enjoy this. Long term? Who knows but for now I want to keep playing it.

XCOM Victory

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