The X-Files: Trust No One Expansion Review

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The X-Files: Trust No One is an expansion for The X-Files game by Kevin Wilson, published by IDW Games. It is for 2-5 players. This expansion adds new agents, a new location and new scenarios from seasons 4-6 of the TV show. For more information on the base game and how to play it, as well as information on the basic setup, please follow the link below.

https://jlnelson73.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/the-x-files-review/

First off it should be noted that there are some cards from this expansion that are marked for use with Seasons 1-3 and some that are marked for Seasons 4-6. It should also be noted that the new agents from this expansion are only for use with seasons 4-6.

Before starting, players should decide which seasons they would like to play, either seasons 1-3 or seasons 4-6, introduced in this expansion. There are a few minor alterations in setup for both. For playing the first 3 seasons from the base game, the only things that need to be done are to place the mini board near the main board and to put the trail and blockade tokens nearby as well. Then the 3 X-Files cards marked with the seasons 1-3 symbol from this expansion should be shuffled in with the X-Files cards from the base game. Also, the 4 allies in the Agent deck and the 6 Syndicate cards marked with the seasons 4-6 symbol should be set aside The remaining cards for each deck should then be shuffled together. As mentioned above, only the base game Agents should be used when playing seasons 1-3.

If players would rather play with Seasons 4-6, then swap out the X-Files deck and the Agents that were set aside and use the ones marked with the seasons 4-6 symbol. Also the Agent and Syndicate decks should be looked through, removing the seasons 1-3 ally and sighting cards before adding in the seasons 4-6 ally and sightings.

Now, let me explain a bit about what this adds in terms of how the game is played. First off, there’s the mini board. This adds an extra region to the game with room for 1 X-File and 2 spaces for Syndicate cards. This space is called Abroad and is adjacent to every other region in the game, costing 1 influence to move to or from.

This expansion introduces a new concept called the Trail trait. It’s found on some of the X-Files cards. This trait means that an X-File can’t be solved until a preliminary investigation is performed in a different region. Basically, when one of these cards comes into play, the Syndicate player takes a blockade token and places it on the revealed X-File card. The player then takes a matching trail token and places it in the region indicated on the card. For the Agents players to remove the blockade, they must first place 3 progress tokens on the corresponding trail token by investigating it.

Another new concept that this expansion introduces is the Sighting trait. This is what you’d call the Monster of the Week concept. These cards are found in the Syndicate deck and just like any other Syndicate card, must be paid for immediately in influence. However, unlike other Syndicate cards, once these are in play, they can’t be swapped back into the player’s hand by paying an influence. These cards remain in play and usually have ongoing affects that affect the region that the sighting is in. The Syndicate player is permitted at the start of their turn to spend an influence to move the sighting to and empty adjacent space.

The last thing that this expansion adds are new Agents. There are 3 new agents and new versions of Mulder and Scully. Each one has a special ability that can be used as the player sees fit just like the Agents in the base game.

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COMPONENTS
This expansion adds a lot of new cards, over 100 in all. Each one carries on with the really cool comic style look and feel that was present in the original game. They are all very high quality and look great. The new blockade and trail tokens are all made of really thick cardboard and are also really nice. The agent credentials and pawns are designed exactly like those in the base game with one exception, they’re all black and white. I say black and white, more like black, white and shades of blue. That, I don’t understand. After having colored versions of these in the original game, why switch to this color style. It makes no sense to me. Look don’t misunderstand me, the artwork is great, I just wish that they’d used the same coloring choices as the original ones. One more thing, why did we need another version of Mulder and Scully? I mean I understand that your using these versions for playing seasons 4-6, that makes sense, but why not just make all the Agents cross-compatible? I guess that’s really more of a gameplay gripe though instead of a component one, so I’ll hush. As for the mini board, it’s really nice and sturdy too. I really like the addition. The only thing that bothers me is that it doesn’t exactly seem like it fits in with the main game board. What I mean is that the artwork for it doesn’t exactly seem like it is the same style. The original board felt like it should have push pins and lines of different colored string attaching points of interest together. This seems more like a colored photo copy was dropped beside the main board. The paperclip details in the design don’t give the added depth that I think the designers were hoping that it would. All in all, I have mixed feelings here. I love most of what’s included here, it’s just those few things that I mentioned that pull me out of the theme.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
Much like the original game’s rulebook, this one feels like a smaller case book from the X-Files, complete with coffee stain on the cover. There’s lots of really great pictures and examples of gameplay throughout the book. There are also 2 great looking art pieces on the last couple of pages that I’d imagine came from the comic book series. Everything is really well explained and is easy to understand. Each of the new concepts is explained in great detail and make it easy to add in the new pieces to the game. There’s also a section that details each of the new agent’s special abilities, explaining each one thoroughly. Overall I really like the design and feel of the book. It’s really well put together.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This expansion doesn’t add a whole lot to the base game, but what it does add is really good. I like that there there are cards added to kinda beef up the box set and make it better, as well as adding in several new mechanics and new seasons worth of material. I really like the “Monster of the Week” concept represented in the sightings. They add just enough of a thematic element to make things more enjoyable. I also like the blockades and trails, however it feels like this tends to help the Syndicate player quite a bit making the game feel a bit lopsided. I’d have to say of all the new things that this expansion brings to the table, the one I like least is the new Abroad mini board. I didn’t really see any need for it really. Sure it adds an extra space for the agents to go to, but with only 3 cards that address this area, I don’t see why I should waste valuable table space for it. Maybe some people will like it but for me, I’m not crazy about it. Despite my feelings on the new board, I still really like the expansion and find it to add more of what I already liked about the original game. I’m sure there are people that won’t like this, but those are probably the same people that don’t like the original game. Fans of the X-Files show and the game should really enjoy this. For me, it’s a must have addition.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
The X-Files: Trust No One is an expansion for The X-Files game that adds more thrills and fun to an already good game. It doesn’t really add any time to the regular play time. There’s also not much to have to worry about for setup either. Like the base game, the artwork for this is really great. I really like most of the components, however I didn’t really find the mini board to be all that interesting in either value or artwork. That said, the expansion itself adds enough new concepts and mechanics to really wet your appetite. I love the new seasons and the extra cards that enhance the original game too. It does seem that the new stuff tends to help the Syndicate player a bit more so than the Agents but just a little. I really like the expansion and feel that fans of the show and game should really enjoy this too. It is a must have addition in my opinion. I highly recommend it.
9 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out IDW Games at their site.

http://idwgames.com/

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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