View Full Version : We...Will Be Watching (X-COM on the table)

2013-08-20, 12:42 PM
So, I'm a fan of the X-COM series of games (mostly the original and the 2012 remake), and I've been thinking of a way to make a tabletop equivalent for my gaming group.

Baseline system: Fantasy Flight's 40k line

The basic concept would be that a group of 4(ish) players would play the X-COM command staff (at the ideal level of 4, one is in charge, one is the tactical office, one the science officer, and one the chief engineer). I haven't decided if I would even have them roll up actual characters or just role-play those. If they were rolled up, the instructions would be to not concentrate on combat, as the only way they're firing shots is during a rather awful defense of the main base, and it's very unlikely they'd ever leave. Finances could use the Rogue Trader wealth system (which I admittedly have not looked at). Gameplay at this level would involve staffing the project, planning the layout of the base(s), prioritizing research, and all that other base management stuff from the game. Resources would be gathered by having a base amount based on performance and working out support with various countries (without space limitations, they could work out support with any sovereign nation on the planet). Support from nations would be proportional to that nation's GDP (easily looked up on Wikipedia, or, for a simpler game, use a Risk board). They could also set up funding through sale of advanced arms, equipment, and salvage (setting up the potential to 'go rogue.') An actual world map would be used to track progress and figure out where the UFOs are and where to put the X-COM base(s). This is the hard part to work out. While I've got some good concepts, actually adjudicating aerial combat, UFO encounters, various missions, and the costs of everything.

Where I know I can do well is the combat. It would use Only War (good combination high lethality and advanced weaponry). Everybody starts by making 2-3 Only War characters (with some skills replaced and various changes to available equipment, talents, etc.). Comrades would be kinda like rookies. Comrades who survive a certain number of missions would be promoted to regular characters with their own comrades (comrades would be replaced for free between missions). With the exception of occasional opportunities to hire veterans or get them as mission rewards, promoting comrades would be the only way to replace your dead troops. These ground combat missions would play out using the normal Only War rules.

Psychic powers would, of course, be quite different, the biggest changes being no Perils of the Warp and the fact that the powers would be purchasable by anybody who tests positive in psychic training, no matter their character class.

If I do this right, we'll have a combat mission or two every session and spend the rest of the session gathered around a world map covered in minis (or push pins if I have a cork board) and a diagram of the various bases trying to plan things out.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I really need help with the strategic portion, and help deciding on whether to roll up the command staff would also be nice (and under what system).

2013-08-22, 12:46 AM
I always thought the path system in Tanhauser (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=28&enmi=Tannhauser) would work well for something like x-com.

2013-08-22, 06:32 PM
Interesting. I'm going to have to look through this, as this is my first time hearing of Tanhauser. It looks quite interesting.