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XCOM: The Board Game – Evolution» Forums » Reviews

Subject: More XCOM Goodness rss

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Jon G
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Background for me is I have played the newer XCOM video game releases and highly enjoyed them. My wife and I are big board gamers and especially true for cooperative, thus when the board game was released as a fully cooperative XCOM experience we knew we had to try it. After 30+ plays the original is one of our staple games and easily your favourite cooperative game.

Since my wife and I loved the base game, when we heard about the expansions we knew we had to try it out. After a few plays we can say we really like the expansion as well. It adds a couple things to help the humans (new tech, assets, Meld and MECs) but also adds a punishing play experience (Exalt tokens, brutal base damage that means you can't just spend all of your emergency funding on the first couple rounds), and way worse enemies/crisis cards. So feel like it's helping you even though it's punishing you. Very XCOM hahaha. And it also fixes some key issues with the first game such as:

-remember when you could just say "screw the mission we don't have enough resources and it's impossible anyways", now you have to take the meld bonus into consideration and missions become a lot more critical and tempting to complete.

-remember when you made the decision to just take the one damage on the base because it wasn't going to be a red space? Now every space matters, and... the same time remember how you just spent all of your emergency funding before so you could have a stronger start and ignore a couple crisis cards? Now if you don't have money on emergency funding you can lose completely critical game components from base damage.

-how about recalling how the chief scientist was always the first to have their funding cut because its endgame and there's no money, so you'll have to keep your hand of research cards and never create anything again. Now with the new tech of the Etheral Device it provides a major reason to discard and dig through your tech to find it and a way to keep researching for free even into the endgame, making the scientists more useful as well, between interceptor repair and Etheral you are using 5/8 scientists in the times phase. Also nice that the chief scientist needs his salvage to create MEC troopers so and thus no longer making "discard all salvage" the auto choice on crisis cards.

Sort of Negatives:
The game becomes much harder overall in our opinion, decreasing your win ratio even further on the higher difficulties to the point they are near impossible (though maybe this is a good thing for solo coop games as it means the challenge is much greater).

There isn't anything vastly different gameplay wise (those wanting a small tactical expansion will not find that here, but realistically that would only make the squad leader and even further desired posistion and would slow down the game).

All in all the game gives you a couple new tricks and also a ton of things to increase the difficulty. If integrages seamlessly into the base game and really adds a more complete experience by correcting some of the weaker elements of the base game in our opinion and making the system harder to game as everything is now important. Also nice that the weakest/first to be ignored role is now just as critical end game and is able to continue researching then even when your research bays are all dangerous and full of Exalt tokens. If you enjoyed the Base game, the expansion is a must buy in our opinion. Though be warned it also massively ramps up the difficulty overall, but what's an XCOM game if you aren't feeling like you are getting slaughtered and losing horribly all of the time. Ah XCOM, we love your suffering. Now how about an XCOM 2 expansion?

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Geppo Muzzak
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True, a true.
There are several mod rules to make the fame even closer to the videogame but the most important thing is evolution makes the game a lot harder.

Solo game is virtually impossible to manage. We have yet to win a game with evolution (but we use harder rules) but while i could win solo before the expansion it's 0-200 so far for ne with evolution.

I think the players are missing A LOT without this expansion. Perhaps some videos would help understand the new complexities and mechanics.
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