Amassing the Troops #3 – Figure 11: XCOM

If you haven’t heard of the computer game series XCOM, or the original Amiga series UFO, then you need to discover this wonderful gem of tense combat against a superior alien threat. The premise is that the Earth is being subject to an alien invasion and XCOM, a secret multinational response force, is all that really stands in their way. As the commander, it’s your job to lead your troops against the foe, protect cities, research new gear and technologies, build bases and more. There have been a few attempts at translating this to the tabletop and I thought Ray’s Figure 11 would offer a good vessel to do this. Notably, there is a very good board game version you should check out.

The main difficulty I had with designing the XCOM add-on to Fig 11 wasn’t with writing the rules but finding models to represent the various alien species the players will face. Oddly there were a few companies offering very good 15mm scale models that fitted my needs extremely well, and all for a very good price – I’ll let you discover them through the following links (http://khurasanminiatures.tripod.com, http://www.rebelminis.com, http://clearhorizonminiatures.com/shop). I worked out that whilst I didn’t have any 15mm terrain, it would be significantly cheaper and easier to create than 28mm scale, especially when I want to build a UFO interior! The style of interior I’m going for is based off of GameCraft Miniature‘s product line, thankfully easy to replicate given the price.

So far I have all the models painted and ready to go, just some last detailing and patching up (they’re metal and I don’t have a proper transport for them), and I’m about 2/3 of the way to finishing the UFO interior. It’s modular and made of card making it, again, very cheap – albeit time-consuming. With a rough idea of alien stats worked out and written up, I should be ready for a play test at the next RAFWA.

How this add-on will play out, hopefully and depending on the size of the group, is that the players are the strike team sent to fight the alien threat. Me as the GM will act as everyone else, from the evil aliens to the base support staff, since for our group it’s all about shooting stuff and throwing dice! However, how I decide how the base staff will act will depend on the team’s level of success. If I, as the scientist, tell them they need to capture a certain species and they don’t, not only will the scientist get annoyed, but so will the Commander and the team will fall behind the curve in getting new equipment whilst the aliens get stronger.

I fully intend for the player characters to really suffer, either physically or mentally, so the tension of the game should make up for the loss in some decision-making. We’ll see though. For now, have a peak at models!

Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Sectoids are your basic alien and make up the bulk of the invasion. Fairly dumb but when led by the Sectoid Leader – a psychic version (with a red glow about their head) then they become a much deadlier force.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Thin Men are the aliens attempt to sneak into human society but with only a degree of success. Most notable for the way they die, in a cloud of poison gas!
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Chryssalids are extremely dangerous creatures. They have no ranged ability but can charge across the battlefield and if they kill an opponent by essentially eating them, then they impregnate the poor, dead, human. For a short time they become a lumbering hard to kill zombie before the egg hatches and out pops another Chryssalid – rinse, repeat.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Floaters are a twisted mix of flesh and metal meant to send these creatures soaring into the sky. Rarely do they land, they offer the aliens a little aerial capability.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Mutons are hulking, extremely angry, behemoths with big guns and a mean punch. No one is sure if they retreat but if appropriately angered are known to charge and roar at the aggressor.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Sectopods, so called because it’s believed a Sectoid pilots them, are a walking metal killing machine. Carrying heavy weaponry as standard and a thick armour, they present a difficult challenge for XCOM soldiers. Flanking them are Outsiders, beings that only appear when vital sections of a UFO are being threatened.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Centre are the Ethereals, extremely powerful psychics that will mess you up. Flanking them are Elite Mutons, normally only find guarding the Ethereals, much nastier than your average Muton.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
Hero’s of Earth, the XCOM soldiers. I’ve tried to keep them in the same style as the PC version and the coloured bases are to help players identify their model.
Amassing the Troops #3 - Figure 11: XCOM
The company I bought the models from (Clear Horizon Miniatures) had wounded and dead versions, so obviously they were a must have!

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