Tabletop Spotlight: XCOM – The Board Game


The Tabletop Spotlight is on XCOM: The Board Game from Fantasy Flight Games!

Hey BoLS Readers! Our buddy from Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy Michael is a big video game fan, just like me! So I was pleased he brought over XCOM: The Board Game. Now, I’ve actually unboxed it before, but with XCOM 2 out on PC now, it seems like the perfect time to revisit this game with a fresh set of eyes:

Now, I do want to clarify that this board game is based off of XCOM: The Enemy Unknown. So if you have been playing XCOM 2 – sorry, there isn’t an awesome mobile base or an ambush system. This game very different from the tactical turn-based squad game on the PC. XCOM: The Board Game is designed for 4 players and each player takes the roll of one of the leaders in the XCOM organization. It’s actually a really cool system because it forces you to 1) Work together & 2) Work QUICKLY together. There is a timed element in this game that helps add that immersive feeling. It may not be for everyone but if you’re the type of person who like their games to have that playful stress – then this game is for you!

Another thing that really separates this game from the pack is the XCOM APP that you must use to play this game. Yes, it’s mandatory and no, I wasn’t sold on that at first either. But after seeing it in action it adds a lot to the game. The App keeps tracks of events and makes sure you’re moving the game along. It can also “lie” to you if you’re screwing up really bad (in which case, you’re probably going to die soon anyways). The App can be run on a tablet, smart phone or directly from a PC/Laptop – so as long as you have internet access (or have it downloaded) you can play.

The miniatures are very well done and all of the art is pretty much directly from the XCOM video game – so you know it looks great. The other materials are all excellent quality as well – this is Fantasy Flight Games after-all; They know how to make a board game! Really once you get passed the digital component of this board game and just start playing it draws you right in.

XCOM: The Board Game has been out for a while and it’s in stores now. If you haven’t given it a shot you’re really missing out. And if you’ll allow me to quote myself:

“Resources are limited, time is against you, and the Alien Invaders are NOT friendly. So yeah – I’d say in encapsulates the core of the XCOM experience pretty well. If you’re looking for an entertaining way to save humanity from an alien threat you’re going to want to check this one out! If higher stress games that require co-operation with others isn’t you’re cup-o-tea you may want to pass on this board game. But then you would miss out on the sweet taste of victory when your team comes together and you defeat the aliens!”

Yeah…that just about sums that up – XCOM: The Board Game – Go check it out!

XCOM: The Board Game

XCOM the Board Game Box

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.

xcomboardgame plastic and dice

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 escalating alien invasion coordinated by the game’s innovative, free digital companion app.

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.

Destroy UFOs. Research alien technology. Defend your base. Uncover the alien invasion plan. Should you fail, humanity is doomed.

  • 1 Game board
  • 12 XCOM soldiers
  • 8 Interceptors
  • 24 UFOs
  • 5 Custom dice
  • More than 200 cards and tokens

Note: Requires the use of a free digital companion app which is available for download or access as an online tool.


I want to believe…

  • scadugenga

    The game is surprisingly intense. Our players were all veteran X-Com gamers from back in the 90’s (OG Xcom!) and it was touch and go several times.

    Overall a great game.

  • dinodoc

    Space Hulk: Tempestus Scions edition

  • MPSwift

    Great game. Have played it 2-3 times now and only succeeded once. The app adds a lot to the way the game plays and I can see more games picking up on it.

  • Vomkrieg

    Great game, and while it is an exceptional team game, it is also the single most intense solo boardgame on the market. Try it solo, it’s mentally exhausting to do all the decisions in the time allowed.

  • Vomkrieg

    Another great strength of the app and the time pressure is that you don’t get “alpha gamer” syndrome, like you can in some other co-ops, where the loudest pushiest player spends the game telling others what to do. (which our group has solved by me learning to sit back and let others play)

    There simply isnt the time for a lot of debate.