When Aaron brought along his brand new version of X-COM there was no shortage of eager players. Maybe it was the shiny board, the cool minis and the chance to work together to beat an evil app, or maybe it was the manner in which Aaron snakily stroked the box whilst singing in the welsh tones of Tom Jones "X-COM, X-COM, you're my X-COM …"
Aliens were invading and we were Earth's last hope … David stepped up as the Commander , Pete as the Squad Leader (assisted by Emma), Aaron was the Central Officer and I took on the role of Chief Scientist. The app controls the game flow and provides a time limit for each action. So Aaron shouted out what was next and you had only a few seconds to make your decisions. As this was a learning game we made extensive use of the pause button as there were a lot of decisions to be made: "Squad Leader, where are you placing your troops? Chief Scientist what are you researching this turn?", etc. Its easy to just concentrate on your own role but you need to watch everything that’s going on as all the roles are interlinked: the gear that the scientist makes gets distributed to the other players, the Commander has to ensure that everyone sticks to the budget.
We battled on against overwhelming odds, the entire world was descending into panic, crises were popping up faster than we could deal with them, aliens were infiltrating our base and UFOs ruled our skies. We knew the myriad ways in which we could lose the game but how did we win? Finally the app told us to turn over our mission card and there was light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully not a martian heat-ray). Win this mission and we would succeed. We put everything into winning that turn knowing that if we didn’t we would have nothing left to play on the next turn.
Emma rolled the dice …. and we won! Half of the world was on the brink of panic but we had succeeded (and with only a little cheating on the timer ….) And then Aaron pointed out that we had just played on easy mode.
X-COM, X-COM, You're my X-COM, …
Well I thought Neil was going to talk you through it, not sing...
Co-operative, players won
Peter M 75
My gamer of the week goes to Jon for top wins in Evolution and Smash Up.