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Subject: After first play - some things I wish the game had rss

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Chris J Davis
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First of all, want to preface this by saying that I love the game. There are just a few things I wish were implemented differently (such is my way):

- I wish there was an Easy mode with limited pause time. I want to be able to play with the easier setup, but not have the whole point of the game removed by the fact that there's unlimited pause.

- I wish the difficulty of the aliens increased throughout the game. It wouldn't be hard for the app to tell you to only shuffle together the easier aliens at the start of the game, then shuffle in one harder type of alien at the end of each round as the game goes on. We found it was pretty brutal going up against sectopods and cyberdisks right from the beginning of the game.

- I wish the invasion plan and final mission were secret, hidden from you by the app, and that the players had to figure out in some way what the aliens were up to.

- On a related note, I wish there were more than 1 "objective mission" (i.e, the final mission). I wish the players had to complete similar objectives as to what were found in the video game, and that these involved all four roles (rather than only the Squad Leader).

- I wish the Thin Man and Chrysalid special abilities were swapped! It should be Chrysalids that spawn new monsters, not Thin Men!

- I wish there were psychic abilities in the game (expansion material, obviously).

Any more things to add to the wishlist?
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Jonathan Moriarity
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These ideas all sound like great expansion fodder.
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Byron Campbell
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I don't have my copy of the game yet, but it's on my must-buy list.

bleached_lizard wrote:


- I wish there was an Easy mode with limited pause time. I want to be able to play with the easier setup, but not have the whole point of the game removed by the fact that there's unlimited pause.


Does Easy mode display pause time? If so, you could self-limit. (They should implement it in an app update anyway, but in case they don't...)

Quote:
- I wish the invasion plan and final mission were secret, hidden from you by the app, and that the players had to figure out in some way what the aliens were up to.


I thought this was going to be how the game played. Nuts.

Quote:
- On a related note, I wish there were more than 1 "objective mission" (i.e, the final mission). I wish the players had to complete similar objectives as to what were found in the video game, and that these involved all four roles (rather than only the Squad Leader).


Expansion fodder?
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Man, now that you say the invasion plan should be secret I really wish it was too.
I think too many of alien abilities are wonky, they work mechanically I guess, but thematically I don't like them.

The "everyone" participates to finish the game would be pretty neat, but I'd rather see it in stages like the original XCOM. Say scientist has to research enough to build the avenger, central has to discover the alien base on Mars, etc...
Something to break up the all or nothing win of the game.

Edit: Oh and just to fit in, Expansion fodder.
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Purple Paladin

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After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.
 
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Karl Nowak
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Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


That might be a bit too lenient. Perhaps have it such that, if you roll a loss, you lose a number of units equal to the current threat? That way first roll losses aren't as bad, but later ones will still be likely to wipe out your whole squad.
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Mark Ng
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It's just like the video game... sometimes... shit just happens!
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Purple Paladin

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That's a great compromise Raejin!
 
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Robert Stewart
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Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


I believe you get one free reroll per round, across all players, from one of the starting assets, so it's your second early botch that's fatal - and even then any successes on that roll still count
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Rodney "Watch It Played" Smith
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rmsgrey wrote:
Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


I believe you get one free reroll per round, across all players, from one of the starting assets, so it's your second early botch that's fatal - and even then any successes on that roll still count


Yep, the Central Officers starting asset let's you do one free reroll of the enemy die per round.
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Purple Paladin

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One free reroll per failure, per player. Great! Thanks.
 
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Purple Paladin wrote:
One free reroll per failure, per player. Great! Thanks.


No, it's one free reroll, period, per turn. By "across all players," he means 1 reroll shared by the players.
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There are a lot of extra dice, extra success, and reroll mechanics. There are even resources to reuse the other resources.

The way you manage catastrophic rolls through engine development and reroll/extra dice resources reminds me of blood bowl. It adds a lot of agency to the dice segment, because you are always choosing whether to burn your rerolls on this situation, or save them for the even bigger robot crab monster that is just around the corner.
 
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... Though in the end the game will likely still hit you with a proper catastrophe at some point. Dealing with it is pretty much what the game is.
 
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Stephen Williams
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bleached_lizard wrote:

- I wish the Thin Man and Chrysalid special abilities were swapped! It should be Chrysalids that spawn new monsters, not Thin Men!


I don't own the game yet, but I'm surprised by this one. FFG is really known for capturing the essence of a video game in these franchise conversions - and they may well have succeeded in that overall - but I agree that it seems wrong to give a power like this to Thin Men instead of Chryssalids.

Out of curiosity, what's the (actual) Chryssalid power?
 
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Constantin
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Raejin99 wrote:
Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


That might be a bit too lenient. Perhaps have it such that, if you roll a loss, you lose a number of units equal to the current threat? That way first roll losses aren't as bad, but later ones will still be likely to wipe out your whole squad.


Or maybe (thread level - rolled value) + 1.
That way if you roll exactly the threat level value you lose 1 unit, if you roll 1 less than the threat level you lose 2, and so forth.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Raejin99 wrote:
Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


That might be a bit too lenient. Perhaps have it such that, if you roll a loss, you lose a number of units equal to the current threat? That way first roll losses aren't as bad, but later ones will still be likely to wipe out your whole squad.


I really like that idea! wow
 
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Chris J Davis
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Stewi wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:

- I wish the Thin Man and Chrysalid special abilities were swapped! It should be Chrysalids that spawn new monsters, not Thin Men!


I don't own the game yet, but I'm surprised by this one. FFG is really known for capturing the essence of a video game in these franchise conversions - and they may well have succeeded in that overall - but I agree that it seems wrong to give a power like this to Thin Men instead of Chryssalids.

Out of curiosity, what's the (actual) Chryssalid power?


Increase threat by 1 the first time you roll against it.
 
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Martin Larouche
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Raejin99 wrote:
Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


That might be a bit too lenient. Perhaps have it such that, if you roll a loss, you lose a number of units equal to the current threat? That way first roll losses aren't as bad, but later ones will still be likely to wipe out your whole squad.


The mechanic seems unfair... however,
There's cards that allow rerolls of the Alien dice.
It makes you think more about dispatching 3 interceptors / 3 satellites / 3 scientists / lots of soldiers to a single task. It's part of the "push-your-luck" aspect of the game. You can research the most complete tech with a single scientist, but you have more chances to succeed if you assign 3, with the tradeoff that you also have more chances to exhaust all your scientists if you fail a roll.

If you only lose 1 unit with bad rolls, then you alter the entire high-risk/high-reward VS low-risk/low-reward thing the game has going on. You're going to a low-risk/high-reward VS lower-risk/lower-reward.

In my first game (solo to learn the ropes), i was overwhelmed by UFOs... i commited all 4 of my remaining interceptors, moved UFOs into orbit as much as i could and set-up satellites there to deal with them.
I rolled two "1" on the red dice in a row with my interceptors, losing all 4 of them, leaving me with a grand total of 0. The next turn, the aliens could do as much damage as they wanted as my only option was to move some to orbit (but couldn't do much as my budget shrank considerably as panic increased).

It was grand! I focused entirely on soldiers trying to accomplish the final mission... I eventually lost because of panic levels, right before being able to do the final task of the final mission...

If i enforced the rule you suggest, i would've won real easy and my experience would not have been as great.
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I feel like the game was missing Mechs, Gene-engineering, Exalt and Psi Powers. I guess that there's an expansion coming!

I think I would have preferred it if a couple of Firestorm models could have made it into the game, with tech cards building them (via Scientists) and having them function like Veteran Soldiers.

Whilst I can see why they didn't go down this route, I would have found it cool if Chryssalids spawned Zombies on a 'loss' roll against them, with Zombies in turn potentially generating more Chryssalids.

I don't really mind the push your luck/threat system as is. Early losses are all part of the XCOM experience and later on you have tech to help mitigate total squad wipes. I think that if you alter the system significantly you might wind up increasing the play time.

 
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Milan Mašát
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Stewi wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:

- I wish the Thin Man and Chrysalid special abilities were swapped! It should be Chrysalids that spawn new monsters, not Thin Men!


I don't own the game yet, but I'm surprised by this one. FFG is really known for capturing the essence of a video game in these franchise conversions - and they may well have succeeded in that overall - but I agree that it seems wrong to give a power like this to Thin Men instead of Chryssalids.

Out of curiosity, what's the (actual) Chryssalid power?


Increase threat by 1 the first time you roll against it.

Just to be sure - Increase threat by 1 before the first time you roll against it.
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Chris J Davis
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deedob wrote:
Raejin99 wrote:
Purple Paladin wrote:
After just one game, you'll know that rolling a 1, on your first task roll, is instant death, loosing up to 3 soldiers/interceptors. My friend thought it was suppose to lose only one unit per alien die fail.

We were thinking of implementing a trial house-rule that you lose one unit per missed roll, but are not sure if that would mess up the game too much or not.


That might be a bit too lenient. Perhaps have it such that, if you roll a loss, you lose a number of units equal to the current threat? That way first roll losses aren't as bad, but later ones will still be likely to wipe out your whole squad.


The mechanic seems unfair... however,
There's cards that allow rerolls of the Alien dice.
It makes you think more about dispatching 3 interceptors / 3 satellites / 3 scientists / lots of soldiers to a single task. It's part of the "push-your-luck" aspect of the game. You can research the most complete tech with a single scientist, but you have more chances to succeed if you assign 3, with the tradeoff that you also have more chances to exhaust all your scientists if you fail a roll.

If you only lose 1 unit with bad rolls, then you alter the entire high-risk/high-reward VS low-risk/low-reward thing the game has going on. You're going to a low-risk/high-reward VS lower-risk/lower-reward.

In my first game (solo to learn the ropes), i was overwhelmed by UFOs... i commited all 4 of my remaining interceptors, moved UFOs into orbit as much as i could and set-up satellites there to deal with them.
I rolled two "1" on the red dice in a row with my interceptors, losing all 4 of them, leaving me with a grand total of 0. The next turn, the aliens could do as much damage as they wanted as my only option was to move some to orbit (but couldn't do much as my budget shrank considerably as panic increased).

It was grand! I focused entirely on soldiers trying to accomplish the final mission... I eventually lost because of panic levels, right before being able to do the final task of the final mission...

If i enforced the rule you suggest, i would've won real easy and my experience would not have been as great.


Even with the variant, the game would still have the high-risk/high-reward aspect, as after the first or second roll, things would be back to how they are without the variant. It would just mitigate slightly those really annoying first-roll mega-losses.
 
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Chris J Davis
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I had a go at re-theming some of the enemy abilities - let me know what you think:

Sectoid: 1 Success Token
Mind Merge: The first success rolled against any other enemy on the same mission as this enemy (or invading the base with this enemy) does not place a success token on it.

Muton: 2 Success Tokens
No special ability

Sectoid Commander: 2 Success Tokens
Mind Merge: The first success rolled against each other enemy on the same mission as this enemy (or invading the base with this enemy) does not place a success token on it.

Outsider: 2 Success Tokens
Disintigrate: This enemy cannot be taken as salvage when it is killed.

Muton Elite: 3 Success Tokens
Intimidate: While this enemy has any success token on it, roll 1 fewer XCOM die against it.

Thin Man: 1 Success Token
Poisonous: When this enemy is killed, unless you applied at least 1 more success than was needed to kill it, return all soldiers assigned to it to their reserve.

Floater: 1 Success Token
Evade: You cannot roll against this enemy twice in a row.

Chryssalid: 2 Success Tokens
Implant: When this enemy is killed, if threat is 3 or more, spawn a new non-Chryssalid enemy in its spot.

Cyberdisc: 3 Success Tokens
Repair: Each time you roll a 7-8 on the alien die while rolling against this enemy, remove 1 success token from it (before placing success tokens on it).

Sectopod: 3 Success Tokens
Tough: Soldiers cannot be assigned to attack this enemy unless their matching icon is specialized.

Ethereal: 3 Success Tokens
Mind Control: The first time you roll a loss against this enemy, place 1 of the killed soldiers on this card. When this enemy is defeated, a soldier on this card becomes a new task in this slot, with icons matching those on its reserve card and 1 health (2 if Elite).
 
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Matt Connellan
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Getting your entire team scrubbed is always a risk, in this game and in the video game. You just have to not overcommit your guys. Don't put in so many guys. Put in your B squad. Etc.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Oh, and another thing I wish the game had: allowing you to put satellites onto continents, and this then improving the UFO forecast you get for that continent.
 
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