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Sven
05-05-2008, 01:24 PM
MEMO

TO: Commander-in-Chief, UN Peacekeeping Division Extraterrestrial Combat Unit [CINCXCOM]

FROM: UNINTCOM-SPC

Commander:

BACKGROUND

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) have started appearing with disturbing regularity in the night skies. Reports of violent human abductions and horrific experimentation had struck terror into the hearts of millions. Mass public hysteria has only served to expose Earth's impotence against a vastly superior technology.

http://www.xcomufo.com/pics/xcom3sm.jpg

On December 11, 1998, representatives from the world's most powerful counties gathered secretly in Geneva. After much debate, they decision was made to establish a covert independent body to combat, investigate, and defeat the alien threat. The organization would be equipped with the world's finest pilots, soldiers, scientists, and engineers, working together as one multi-national force.

This organization was named the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit.

http://www.xcomufo.com/pics/xcom4sm.jpg

OBJECTIVES

Your mission is to:

(1) Prevent the further loss of life resulting from alien incursion;
(2) Determine the source of the alien threat; and
(3) Eliminate it with all possible speed.

ORDERS

You have been granted a starting budget of $6,000,000.00, with funding input spread over twenty UN member countries. You will receive further funds monthly depending on your performance, although be advised that due to the incredibly polarized nature of the UN’s debate on this matter – and the fact that we “neglected” to tell any country that’s not on the list about these problems for fear they’ll let North Korea in on the secret and screw us all – future funding is incredibly volatile, and will be cut off if your performance is poor for two consecutive months.

We have placed a 10-soldier UN combat platoon at your disposal. Good deal for us – you’re going to have to pay their $20,000 / month salary, and they're all rookies so they're pretty much useless to us in Somalia anyway. Similarly, we tracked down 10 science geeks who’ve been watching too much X-Files and offered them $30,000 per month to figure out any alien technology you recovered. They’ll be assisted by 10 engineers, who can build anything the geeks ask them to if they have plans. They only cost you $25,000 per month, which is a bargain compared to that bunch of MIT refugees in your lab.

You will have access to standard UN weapons suppliers, and we have arranged reasonable rates for all of our standard equipment. We will be willing to buy back used equipment at reasonable prices, and if you find something REALLY deadly we’ll pay top dollar for it as long as you don’t tell the Lybians why their intelligence headquarters turned into a glowing green crater shortly thereafter.

In order to further save on expenses, you have agreed to lease two (2) Interceptor fighters from UN stores, as well as one (1) Skyranger transport plane. Additional units will be made available for lease upon your request.

We have also set up discreet contacts with a construction company to build additions to your base as well as additional intercept, combat or research bases around the world. They have generously agreed to build a bare-bones base for your use in a location of your choosing. Try to keep it in the U.S.; they contribute most of your operating budget, and if they’re happy, we’re happy.

As per our agreement, you will file monthly status reports with my office. And don’t think about running off with the money: even though we chose you for your entrepreneurial skills, this is a long way from selling MREs to Bedouin tribes in exchange for oil exploration rights.

Yes, we know about that one.

You’ll need that type of ingenuity to pull this off. And if you don’t… well, I hope you don’t mind living under Admiral Ackbar for the rest of your life.

Best of luck, son. Don’t screw this up.

SIGNED: /s/

UNINTCOM-SPC: MORGAN, M. (COL)
PITBSE, STATISL, NY

For the Beginning of Eddie's LP CLICK HERE (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1446934#post1446934)

Phat
05-05-2008, 01:33 PM
Ooohh, classy.

Reluctant Hero
05-05-2008, 01:38 PM
Oh yes, this is going to be awesome! I'm really looking forward to what you produce Sven!

Brickroad
05-05-2008, 01:41 PM
As per our agreement, you will file monthly status reports with my office. And don’t think about running off with the money: even though we chose you for your entrepreneurial skills, this is a long way from selling MREs to Bedouin tribes in exchange for oil exploration rights.

Yes, we know about that one.

Ha ha, ZING!

I've never heard of this game ever. Good luck with it!

blindblue
05-05-2008, 01:47 PM
I beat this a long time ago on the third difficulty setting (Veteran, right?), but never tried Superhuman. What difficulty will you be playing?

sraymonds
05-05-2008, 01:48 PM
I came here for the X-COM, and now I have no idea what just happened.

Sven
05-05-2008, 01:49 PM
I'm waiting for someone to figure out the joke of who the memo's from.

Tomorrow will be a not-in-character description of the game, in case anyone wants to play along but is understandably intimidated by a game that's basically two and a half very complex games mixed up in a blender, all interdependent on one another.

I've never heard of this game ever. Good luck with it!

Optional background reading (SPOILARZ!):

Series - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Com

Game - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO:_Enemy_Unknown

IGN's ranking of it as the best PC game ever made: http://pc.ign.com/articles/772/772285p3.html

GameSpot's Greatest Games of All Time entry:
http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/all/greatestgames/p-15.html

I beat this a long time ago on the third difficulty setting (Veteran, right?), but never tried Superhuman. What difficulty will you be playing?

Veteran, as I want to make sure I win the damn game (I may even drop it down one level to ensure the memos have enough material). Given the random nature of the game, it's too easy for me to go three months without seeing a UFO and have to start over. No one wants that.

taidan
05-05-2008, 02:00 PM
I've been itching to play this on Gametap for a while now, but without a good manual, it is tough to figure out how to do things, let alone what. Even older PC games were so complex (or at least used everything on the keyboard).

Def. would need some help on this one.

Falselogic
05-05-2008, 02:12 PM
Given the random nature of the game, it's too easy for me to go three months without seeing a UFO and have to start over. No one wants that.


You can always just spped up time can't you? I never remember having to wait long for UFO's to appear if anything I always seemed to have too few interceptors and transports... Nothing like leaving a combat mission going right into another one, always fun to fight with half or no ammo against snakemen and chrysalids... I mean re-load a saved game as you can't win that!

Sven
05-05-2008, 02:28 PM
You can always just spped up time can't you? I never remember having to wait long for UFO's to appear if anything I always seemed to have too few interceptors and transports...

That's the case most of the time, but I've occasionally been screwed by having no UFOs show up. The game is REALLY random about that, and it's all too easy to have all your funding yanked without warning.

MCBanjoMike
05-05-2008, 02:29 PM
Dammit, you are making me want to play this game really badly, but I just don't have the 50 hours that it would take. Heck, I'd settle for a replay of Jagged Alliance 2, but that's quite a time hog in and of itself.

WildVulture
05-05-2008, 02:30 PM
Holy crap. X-Com is a wonderful game. One of my top 5 of all time, I think. I'm always up for replaying it, and I love the idea of memos detailing your progress through the game. I've never done a Let's Play thread, but I'm definitely in for this one.

Falselogic
05-05-2008, 02:57 PM
That's the case most of the time, but I've occasionally been screwed by having no UFOs show up. The game is REALLY random about that, and it's all too easy to have all your funding yanked without warning.


I never played XCOM on any of the higher difficulties. The two month thing must be a difficulty condition?

Red Hedgehog
05-05-2008, 03:02 PM
I've been itching to play this on Gametap for a while now, but without a good manual, it is tough to figure out how to do things, let alone what. Even older PC games were so complex (or at least used everything on the keyboard).

Def. would need some help on this one.

I'm pretty sure the X-Com manual is up at Home of the Underdogs. It's a huge tome, but that's how I learned to play (well, that and random clicking). There is a decent in-game Encyclopedia (nowhere near as good as the Civ one) but it doesn't quite go enough into game mechanics.

Anyway, it's hard to screw yourself over too much on the easiest difficulty, so I recommend playing around as the game is awesome. I should resume my game I started on GameTap (although having played the game several times, I'm more tempted to give Apocalypse a shot since i've never played it).

ringworm
05-05-2008, 03:08 PM
Good timing? (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3167681)

Falselogic
05-05-2008, 03:11 PM
(although having played the game several times, I'm more tempted to give Apocalypse a shot since i've never played it).


Apocolypse is hideous in all ways shapes and forms. From the grpahics to the UI, the game remains opaque and inscrutable, which translates into pain for the player. I've tried more times than I can count to get into this game only to turn away in disgust. It's just disgusting how terrible this game is.

Falselogic
05-05-2008, 03:12 PM
Good timing? (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3167681)


That I've heard in years, though I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them dashed again

Sven
05-05-2008, 03:38 PM
Good Timing?

That's what triggered it... but I expect it'll be a squad-based FPS rather than a "real" X-Com game. One was in production at some point in the late 90s using the Unreal Engine (I think it was supposed to be called "Enforcer"), but it got canceled after Apocalypse and Interceptor combined to ruin the series.

There is a decent in-game Encyclopedia (nowhere near as good as the Civ one) but it doesn't quite go enough into game mechanics.

Don't worry, I'm going to take this VERY slow. For example, here's Sven's Guide to X-Com unit stats, v. 1.0:

Let’s try to start off with a section that sounds enough like console RPGs to make the transition easier for anyone here playing for the first time. Keeping these principles in mind will also help you out if and when you want to try, say, Fallout, but I’ll let that LP thread handle that discussion. Here’s a character profile from the game I’m currently in:

http://img109.imagevenue.com/loc1168/th_87030_SSPX0330_122_1168lo.jpg (http://img109.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc1168&image=87030_SSPX0330_122_1168lo.jpg)

Now, an explanation of the categories:

TUs = time units

[S: How much time a soldier takes to perform a given action. In X-Com’s case, certain actions are fixed – a step on flat terrain will ALWAYS take 4TUs – while certain actions are expressed as a percentage of your overall TU total. So, for example, I’ll only be able to take a maximum of three rapid fire shots with a rifle no matter if I have 60 TUs (they’d be 20 TUs each) or 120 TUs (they’d be 40TUs each). TUs, therefore, are most valuable if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, which means that a high TU is appropriate for a scout unit. TUs will also come in handy for a TU-fixed task later in the game, but unfortunately there’s no way to predict which of my soldiers is going to be good at that task right now.]

Ene = energy/stamina

[S: In order to perform most actions, you also need energy to do it. However, this is largely devoted to physical tasks – which means that even if a soldier has no energy, they can still fire. Very important distinction.]

Hea = health

[S: C’mon, this is an RPG-heavy forum, you don’t need me to explain this to you, do you? The higher this score, the more likely it is that I’ll survive being wounded. Of course, the best approach to being wounded is to not have it happen at all, but initially that’s not going to be possible.]

Bra = bravery

[S: This one’s less of a console-RPG thing and more common on PCs. Let’s face it: I’m about to go into some fucked-up shit. If a soldier freaked out when he was dissecting a frog in 10th grade, I want to know about it sooner rather than later.]

Rea = reaction

[S: My personal favourite stat in the game. X-Com’s battles are turn-based: EG, I move all my soldiers, then my opponent has a chance to move all of his. But while he’s moving, if I have a soldier with a high enough reaction time they can fire back. Taking this into account is essentially the whole game – I want to minimize the chance of a reaction shot on the part of the CPU, and put my soldiers into positions where they will be able to make reaction shots.]

Fir = firing accuracy

[S: For all the other stats, this is where I weed out my rookies. Although I don’t have a choice initially, I tend to set the cut-off at 55 the second I get a chance. For starters, this makes me more accurate than any enemy I’ll encounter during the course of the game.]

Thr = throwing accuracy

[S: Hands-down, the most useless stat of all time. You know the saying “close only counts in horsehoes and hand grenades?”]

Str = strength

[S: Basically, how much crap can I lug around. The higher this is, the more likely I’ll be able to send a soldier in looking like Jesse Ventura in Predator. My play style doesn’t rely on this too much, but it admittedly comes in handy.]

Next is a discussion of early weapons and base facilities, as well as Col. Morgan (no one's figured out who he is yet?) telling you how to choose a base. Then a more traditional Let's Play section, as there's no way I can write a memo detailing how to get started with the game without taking 20 pages.

Note that while I know how to (somewhat - X-Com is, again, RANDOM) manipulate most of these stats, I'm not going to overtly do it since Brick didn't during his FF1 playthrough and I want to keep in line with the spirit of that run.

http://img245.imagevenue.com/loc341/th_87035_SSPX0331_122_341lo.jpg (http://img245.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc341&image=87035_SSPX0331_122_341lo.jpg)

Also, note the above - I tend to change the name of the solider to reflect the areas they're good in. I don't really let soldiers specialise early in the game as they're so vulnerable, but it's good to remember some of these areas for later in the game and this is great shorthand.

Red Hedgehog
05-05-2008, 04:04 PM
Try to keep it in the U.S.; they contribute most of your operating budget, and if they’re happy, we’re happy.

True, but putting it in Europe hits about the same total dollar value worth of nations.

Apocolypse is hideous in all ways shapes and forms. From the grpahics to the UI, the game remains opaque and inscrutable, which translates into pain for the player. I've tried more times than I can count to get into this game only to turn away in disgust. It's just disgusting how terrible this game is.

Hmm... I'd heard it was mediocre. Your sentiments on it mirror my sentiments on Terror from the Deep (trying countless times to get into it while turning away in disgust). Still, I'd like to give it a shot. If nothing else, the Let's Play of it in the something awful forums made it look okay.

Rai
05-05-2008, 04:31 PM
I am so excited for this. You couldn't even begin to imagine. It's a shame I lose so many soldiers on the first mission though. At least I'll get to watch someone who knows what they're doing though!

Aquadeo
05-05-2008, 06:16 PM
Really looking forward to this. Great memo, Sven.

Jeanie
05-05-2008, 06:23 PM
Um.. this is going to drive me nuts, but its Defense. Sorry to nitpick.

Makkara
05-06-2008, 06:36 AM
Hmm... I'd heard it was mediocre. Your sentiments on it mirror my sentiments on Terror from the Deep (trying countless times to get into it while turning away in disgust). Still, I'd like to give it a shot. If nothing else, the Let's Play of it in the something awful forums made it look okay.

I think Apocalypse is okay. Fugly as hell due to the vintage 1997 pre-rendered graphics, but the gameplay is solid. Brainsuckers have a tendency to ambush you in turn-based mode, though, while they're completely harmless if you play in real time.

Sven
05-06-2008, 09:01 AM
Um.. this is going to drive me nuts, but its Defense. Sorry to nitpick.

Ach! Guilty as charged. The American law school grad in me occasionally manifests itself in poor ways.

Especially stupid as I JUST inserted the screenshot with the real title. Maybe Parish can edit it?

(Nah, it's a PC-related thread, he's ignoring it.)

I'll be posting briefings on weapons, equipment and base facilities later in the week, thanks to a site that has meticulously screencapped the ENTIRE UFOapaedia (I'm going to crash it, I'm sure). And it turns out that my method of using my cell phone camera to take screenshots produces very nice results (X-com's low resolution is a saving grace) - I'll be sticking with that from now on, although I may need advice on a site that I can use for linking to thumbnails of the full-sized images.

But for now, a bit of an expansion on the base discussion hinted at earlier:

================================================== =====

TO: Commander-in-Chief, UN Peacekeeping Division Extraterrestrial Combat Unit [CINCXCOM]

FROM: UNINTCOM-SPC

http://www.xcomufo.com/pics/xcom5sm.jpg

Per your request, I have obtained a price list for all sites where we can construct our base. Note that this is just the cost for the land and… relocation… of any nearby civilians. This price list will be consistent for all future bases, however after your initial base even the access lift will be $300,000.

Africa, South 550,000 South Africa
Africa, North 650,000 Nigeria, Egypt
Atlantic, North 500,000 Greenland
America, North 800,000 USA, Canada
America, South 600,000 Brazil
Antartica 900,000
Arctic 950,000
Asia, Central 500,000 Western China
Asia, South East 750,000 Japan, Eastern China
Australasia 750,000 Australia
Europe 1,000,000 Eastern Commonwealth, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, parts of North Africa
Pacific 600,000 Hawaiian islands
Siberia 800,000 Western Commonwealth, India

My recommendation is to place the base in one of two areas:

(1) North America: Good god, boy, have you SEEN how much money our government is chipping into this little exercise? You might as well be Team America, because with about 1/6th of your budget coming from one source (… and the Canadians chipping in a hundred grand just so that they can lord it over us…) it’s best to secure yourself here. It’s also fairly cheap for an urban area, as we don’t have to worry about those annoying EU labour regulations. Heck, we don’t even have to check green cards, we’re the U f’n N! Build the damn thing in Michigan and move on to more important things.

(2) Very, very North Africa: Okay, see how above the “Europe” zone extends into Northern Algeria? Well, put your base right on the southern edge of that zone. That’ll give us coverage over Italy, Spain, parts of Germany, France and maybe even the UK once we’re done upgrading the radar. But because of UN zoning regulations, we’ll save $350,000 on the deal because it’s classified as “North Africa.”

A point that you may want to consider in making your final decision: have you figured out what you’re going to do if you shoot one of these alien ships DOWN? I mean, if it hits solid ground, you’re golden. If it hits water… well, we don’t have the permits for that, let alone the technology to fight a pitched battle ten miles deep. Although, now that you mention it, [CLASSIFIED INFORMATION STRICKEN FROM RECORD OF MEMORANDUM – INSUFFICIENT SECURITY CLEARANCE].

So, yeah, that’ll take a few years. Until then, pick your base in an area with lots of land around it so that you'll be able to salvage a crash and let us know. I need to ship out your personnel and file your weapons briefing.

SIGNED: /s/

UNINTCOM-SPC
PITBSE, STATISL, NY

================================================== =====

[S: for the purposes of this game, I’m going to put the base in the middle of Michigan. I’m actually a fan of the North Africa strategy - my second base will go there ASAP - but the game always seems strangely vindictive when you do that.]

[You're going to get the results of my SECOND playthrough - as predicted, last night's ended with only two UFO sightings between March and June, both of which were ships that my Interceptors would've been slaughtered by. On the other hand, it did let me figure out just how I'm going to write these (lots of handwritten notes, as it turns out, seem to be the best way to avoid an alt+tab-related crash).]

WildVulture
05-06-2008, 11:21 AM
I am ridiculously excited for this. I've never taken part in a Let's Play thread, but X-Com is too hot to ignore.
I dig on the Terror from the Deep reference in the latest memo! If things go well here, maybe we can do a TftD thread later on? I still have the strategy guide for that game around here somewhere, so I could contribute some stats.
For UFOD, I'm just going by what I remember from my most recent playthrough. Which isn't much, now that I think about it.
America is fine with me, but if you want to do the Africa base, I'm fine with that. For whatever reason, either the first or second terror attack is ALWAYS Paris. I guess the aliens aren't fans of the French.

DANoWAR
05-06-2008, 11:25 AM
Ach! Guilty as charged. The American law school grad in me occasionally manifests itself in poor ways.

Especially stupid as I JUST inserted the screenshot with the real title. Maybe Parish can edit it?


You know that you could just edit the first post of the thread and change the thread title by yourself, don't you?

To be on topic, X-Com is awesome, especially the ambient music/effects in the background. I was genuinely scared the time I first played this diamond.
Too sad you can't incorporate background music into a thread ;-)

MCBanjoMike
05-06-2008, 11:27 AM
Dammit, my long-dormant love for PC strategy games finally awoke and drove me to download the Win95 rerelease of XCom...which, as it turns out, doesn't work under Vista. Meh. Now it seems like my only choice would be to grab the DOS version and try to run it under DOSBox, but I can't seem to find it. Is it considered abandonware too? If so, can someone kindly point me to it? If not, well, crap.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 11:39 AM
This is a port of XCOM that a group did to run on Pocket PCs, good thing though is that you cna also just run it windowed in XP. I haven't played much of it but for those who are interested you can check it out:

http://www.smksoftware.ru/pufo.shtml

Sven
05-06-2008, 12:08 PM
...which, as it turns out, doesn't work under Vista. Meh. Now it seems like my only choice would be to grab the DOS version and try to run it under DOSBox, but I can't seem to find it. Is it considered abandonware too? If so, can someone kindly point me to it? If not, well, crap.

Home of the Underdogs has X-Com Gold up in their archives, complete with an executable patched version that allows it to run under Windows (that's how I'm running it).

But you have to do a title search for "UFO". They're funny like that.

America is fine with me, but if you want to do the Africa base, I'm fine with that. For whatever reason, either the first or second terror attack is ALWAYS Paris. I guess the aliens aren't fans of the French.

If there's one thing you're going to notice, it's that I'm generally quite lassiez-faire when it comes to terror attacks, especially in the early sections of the game. The game seems to delight in setting things up such that you can't get out of the Skyranger without having your team shot before taking two steps, especially if there's some of the bigger aliens around. Terror missions - especially at night, as you can't do the "hover for six hours above a mission" trick to get daylight like you can with recoveries - are excellent ways of having half your squad killed for little or no score return.

Another point in favour of the U.S.: having any one of the countries in Europe revoke funding isn't a fatal blow. Having Washington do so inevitably is.

MCBanjoMike
05-06-2008, 12:27 PM
Home of the Underdogs has X-Com Gold up in their archives, complete with an executable patched version that allows it to run under Windows (that's how I'm running it).

But you have to do a title search for "UFO". They're funny like that.

By "X-Com Gold", are you referring to "X-COM: UFO Defense Collector's Edition"? That's what I found when I searched for UFO, but it's the same as the one I had before. Note that I'm running Vista, not XP, so I can get the game to start (I hear the music), but there are no visuals.

This is a port of XCOM that a group did to run on Pocket PCs, good thing though is that you cna also just run it windowed in XP. I haven't played much of it but for those who are interested you can check it out:

http://www.smksoftware.ru/pufo.shtml

I tried this out - don't know if it will work on my Vista PC, but I was able to install it on my work laptop running XP.

Oh God, what have I done?

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 12:32 PM
Home of the Underdogs has X-Com Gold up in their archives, complete with an executable patched version that allows it to run under Windows (that's how I'm running it).



but you can't prnt screen with it or you can't play it windowed? I'm trying to figure out your problem with screen captures? There are a couple of free proframs out there that allow you to push prnt screen or another hot key multiple times and save all the screen captures to a clipboard to go over later or to file. Google screen capture free or go here and look at these: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm#31

hope it helps!

blindblue
05-06-2008, 12:32 PM
This thread made me start a game myself, in lieu of studying for a final. I put a base in Michigan, ignored the first terror attack (in Belarus?) and salvaged as many small crash sites as I could. The happy US government upped my funding, which I promptly squandered by sending an Interceptor against a Very Large UFO. Oops.

In early March, I took down a Large UFO, and sent my squad into a crash site mission armed with Laser Rifles and Small Launchers. They were promptly slaughtered by a bunch of Cyberdiscs, who shrugged off the ineffectual Earth technology and melted their faces with plasma. :( Guess I should have waited to get Power Suits. You should talk a bit about the early-game tech tree, that's always fun.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 12:38 PM
This thread made me start a game myself, in lieu of studying for a final. I put a base in Michigan, ignored the first terror attack (in Belarus?) and salvaged as many small crash sites as I could. The happy US government upped my funding, which I promptly squandered by sending an Interceptor against a Very Large UFO. Oops.

In early March, I took down a Large UFO, and sent my squad into a crash site mission armed with Laser Rifles and Small Launchers. They were promptly slaughtered by a bunch of Cyberdiscs, who shrugged off the ineffectual Earth technology and melted their faces with plasma. :( Guess I should have waited to get Power Suits. You should talk a bit about the early-game tech tree, that's always fun.

What difficulty are you playing on? Cyberdiscs can be blown up by rocket launchers, as I recall. How many Cyberdiscs did you face? I've never seen more than 4 in any mission. Again though I never played on the harder difficulties so my experience could have been quite "watered - down"

Please remind me of the dif between small launchers and rocket launchers?

blindblue
05-06-2008, 12:57 PM
This is on Veteran.

Small Launchers launch nonlethal Stun Bombs, not rockets, and I was hoping to snag a live Navigator - I wasn't prepared for so many Cyberdiscs (3 outside the UFO, 2 inside, plus the Sectoids), though, so I didn't pack enough ammo for it. I quit out after my Captain's mind broke and her panicked exit from the UFO ended with her getting shot in the head by a lurking Sectoid. I might just let the crash site slide and wait for my tech tree to catch up.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 01:01 PM
This is on Veteran.

Small Launchers launch nonlethal Stun Bombs, not rockets, and I was hoping to snag a live Navigator - I wasn't prepared for so many Cyberdiscs (3 outside the UFO, 2 inside, plus the Sectoids), though, so I didn't pack enough ammo for it. I quit out after my Captain's mind broke and her panicked exit from the UFO ended with her getting shot in the head by a lurking Sectoid. I might just let the crash site slide and wait for my tech tree to catch up.

Ahh, gotcha. I don't know how sven played it but I always had two troops in the beginning as heavy weapons platforms. One with the rocket launcher and the other with the heavy cannon. In the beginning I never worried about taking things alive, just about getting enough plasma guns and the alien rocket launcher (with waypoints) to research them and start using them. Funny thing is with regular guns and grenades you often only injur aliens so you get them alive anyhow... Don't you need a cointanment center in your base to keep them alive? Those are pricery in the beginning...

(Again just commenting from memory, plz excuse if I'm way off)

Sven
05-06-2008, 01:10 PM
By "X-Com Gold", are you referring to "X-COM: UFO Defense Collector's Edition"? That's what I found when I searched for UFO, but it's the same as the one I had before. Note that I'm running Vista, not XP, so I can get the game to start (I hear the music), but there are no visuals.

That's it - Gold was actually the Windows version, and the Collector's Edition bundled that up. I'm running Vista as well, and had no trouble running it by using the patched version.

Cyberdiscs can be blown up by rocket launchers, as I recall.

Taking rocket launchers along on missions is incredibly inefficient.

and I was hoping to snag a live Navigator - I

Ah, the Navigator quest. This will be a key part of my LP, as it's probably the most important thing about a successful game.

I'm trying to figure out just what type of ship you stumbled across - it sounds like a Terror vessel, as I doubt you're capable of bringing down a Battleship at this point. Generally, even if I shoot those things down I leave them alone - you're asking for a massacre unless you get very lucky.

but I always had two troops in the beginning as heavy weapons platforms. One with the rocket launcher and the other with the heavy cannon.

As you'll see, I'm a big proponent of a ten-member team that has a near-identical loadout of rifles and grenades. Granted, I'm usually underarmed, but I also have faster troops than the aliens. The big hurdle with that setup is the first few missions - once you have laser rifles, the game shifts significantly to your advantage. Before that, it's a lot of grenade work.

Don't you need a cointanment center in your base to keep them alive? Those are pricery in the beginning...

They're not that bad, but I'll go into that later today.

WildVulture
05-06-2008, 01:13 PM
Cyberdiscs never gave me a lot of trouble. I embraced explosives from the beginning though, with all of my guys packing at least C-4 and preferably a launcher until Gauss or Plasma becomes available. One toss of those and it's lights out. I find most of my early game losses are either being massively outmanned or from one freaking Floater. If they get a good sniping position on the rural maps, it can take forever to flush them out.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 01:22 PM
Taking rocket launchers along on missions is incredibly inefficient.
.

But I could handle cyberdiscs and reapers (?) from the get go, also chyrsalids, who for some reason can take an insane amount of damage and then impregnate your troops just before dying...

But since you never took heavy weapons Sven, how'd you handle the big aliens? Before you worked up the tech tree. Or did you just work up the tech tree quickly and ignore some ships/missions (my guess is the latter, because you said you ignored terror missions in the beginning.)

Sven
05-06-2008, 01:42 PM
Or did you just work up the tech tree quickly and ignore some ships/missions (my guess is the latter, because you said you ignored terror missions in the beginning.)

Yup. Unless it was a terror mission in a major funding country, I tended to ignore it - terror missions just aren't economically efficient, and unless you want to run the risk of losing your best troops it's usually best to stay away. If there's, say, three in the same month then I'll think about doing the third... but even then, if I see a Chrysalid I'm generally saying "screw it" and heading for the hills.

What you want, preferably, in the early going are a steady stream of Floater missions. They're poorly armoured, seem to carry more Small Launchers than average, and are a little easier to stun with the cattle prods than most aliens.

I can always recover from a 300 point deduction (that's essentially what a blown terror mission costs you - it's easily recoverable by just shooting down a couple UFOs), but having a promising sniper taken out by a Floater with alien grenades is just not worth the risk most of the time.

Admittedly, X-Com is not a game for sentimental people, but I don't like excessive troop death.

Ample Vigour
05-06-2008, 02:19 PM
X-Com is not a game for sentimental people, but I don't like excessive troop death.

Got that right. Any game in which suicide bombing is the best way to clear a room is definitely not going to reward emotional attachment to your personnel.

What I'm looking forward to are the bursts of lunatic insight your troops seem to get when they flip their shit. I once had a guy fall into a panic, open fire at random and kill or wound two or three Sectoids I couldn't even see. (He met his end during my first base mission ever, which lasted some three turns.)

Sven
05-06-2008, 02:38 PM
Got that right. Any game in which suicide bombing is the best way to clear a room is definitely not going to reward emotional attachment to your personnel.

What I'm looking forward to are the bursts of lunatic insight your troops seem to get when they flip their shit. I once had a guy fall into a panic, open fire at random and kill or wound two or three Sectoids I couldn't even see. (He met his end during my first base mission ever, which lasted some three turns.)


but you can't prnt screen with it or you can't play it windowed? I'm trying to figure out your problem with screen captures?

Nope, X-Com is old-school DOS. Any screencaps just return a blank screen when dumped.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 02:54 PM
I haven't fooled around with it much but I think DOSbox can play things in a window if you force it (which would require learning all the term commands for it, but then the windows DOS prompt box can be forced to stay windowed as well. I'm sure you've already tried all this, but if not and you're willing it might be a way to get pics. Otherwise I'm sure there are plenty of sites with shots you can crib from...

P.S. not trying to be a jerk, just trying to help, I'm fine with the memos and discourse

Ample Vigour
05-06-2008, 03:00 PM
I think Sven is going with his cellphone camera.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 03:13 PM
I think Sven is going with his cellphone camera.

whatever works

Sven
05-06-2008, 03:23 PM
but I think DOSbox can play things in a window if you force it

Which brings up the next problem: the only version of the game freely available (Underdogs) runs under Windows (I have my DOS disks SOMEWHERE, but I've been using the Windows version for years now).

Actually, that might also explain your "never encountered many Cyberdiscs" issue - the Windows version is much, much tougher, as the number of aliens per mission is a random value (as opposed to a fixed 3 per medium scout, 6 per large scout, etc., etc. in the DOS version - there are, on average, twice as many aliens per mission under Windows). The Windows version also fixes the legendary bug with the Alien Base maps, although it also apparently fixes the beneficial glitch that once saw a college roommate end up with something like 30,000 E-115 after a base attack once crashed out after one turn due to what I can only assume was an overflow error.

Ample Vigour
05-06-2008, 03:26 PM
legendary bug with the Alien Base maps

Care to expound? I have the DOS version, but I never encountered this. ALSO: Have DOS version on CD ROM. PM if you think that would help.

Sven
05-06-2008, 03:34 PM
Okay, time for some background information.

Okay, so when we go into action the first thing I have to think about is what my soliders are capable of carrying. Let’s look at his inventory screen:

http://www.xcomufo.com/pics/xcom11sm.jpg

(Ignore the fact that this soldier is armoured - my units won't be for a good long while. And that lethal-looking gun won't be in my general-use arsenal for a while, although I'll have access to it relatively soon).

As you can see, there’s a LOT of places to put stuff. X-Com is a traditional PC game in this aspect, and if you've played any Diablo you should recognise how these spaces work. The question is what fits where, and generally:

Grenades, flares, motion detectors, ammo clips: 1x1
Pistols, Medikits, Cannon Ammo: 1x2
Rifles, Cattle Prods, [CLASSIFIED], missiles: 1x3 (EG, only into the backpack)
Cannons, Missile Launchers: 2x3 (Again, backpack)

Pistols are the only (start) weapon that can be held in one hand - for rifles, you have to have both hands free to use them or else you'll suffer an accuracy penalty.

For me, a typical weapon load will be a rifle, a spare clip, and two regulation hand grenades. I'll explain these weapons in a bit. This gives me a weapon with a lot of stopping power that’s relatively light (which, remember, means more TUs to move), and a free hand to throw grenades with if need be. Not that you CAN’T go John Woo with two pistols at once, but X-Com isn’t programmed to give you style points.

The game model even on this inventory screen is surprisingly deep: each "slot" has a TU value assigned to it, which means that each time I take something out of a slot or put something back into a slot, I'll be wasting time. It's fairly logical - items in your belt take a paltry 2TUs to manipulate, while backpack items are about 12TUs. Since, as noted above, certain ammo can only be stored in the backpack, that occasionally makes it impossible to load (it also costs TUs to load a weapon) and fire a weapon in the same turn, and that's not a good thing.

Also important is that button under the arrows - it allows me to unload a clip from a weapon, as long as both my soldiers hands' are free. This is VERY important, as I'll demonstrate as we go along.

Now, what goodies are we going to be putting into all these slots? Well, let's start talking what weapons I'll have available to me....

Sven
05-06-2008, 03:37 PM
While we’re discussing weapons, let’s see what the UN gave me to start off with:

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0019.png

Pistols: Standard one-handed weapon. Takes a 15-shot clip.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0020.png

Rifles: Can be used in either one or three-shot burst mode. Takes a 20-shot clip.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0021.png

Heavy Cannon: Can fire either armor piercing (AP), Incendiary (IN) or High Explosive (HE) rounds, six to a clip.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0022.png

Auto Cannon: like the heavy cannon, but with an autofire mode that takes an astonishing 80% of TUs / turn. Still, firing off three HE rounds with this thing can not only clear a room, it can clear a well-populated street. Of course, since you only have 14 shots / clip, you don’t get to do it that often.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0023.png

Rocket Launcher: As above, but fires missiles one at a time. I can't stand these things, as the Heavy Cannon does everything it does, with more versatility. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got some guided missiles instead…?

Sven
05-06-2008, 03:40 PM
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0027.png

Grenades: Early in the game, these are your bread and butter. Your incompetent soldiers can’t shoot straight, but they CAN throw reasonably well. Sure, the downside is that you tend to blow apart alien corpses as well (which are worth $20,000), but it’s a small sacrifice to make.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0028.png

Smoke Grenades: Not much use to you, since the aliens can always see you. PROTIP: On the other hand, toss one into an enclosed space and it’s a very weak knockout gas.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0029.png

Proximity Grenade: Knock on door. Drop on ground. Run away. Wait for BOOM. Unfortunately, not as useful as it appears, and clever squad tactics make it redundant.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0030.png

High Explosive: If I could throw these further, they’d be perfect. If you think you need to take out, say, a tank, this will do the job and then some. That may be necessary later, but for the most part I’ll just be sticking to grenades.

(Sorry, no picture on this one)

Stun Rods: Basically, a cattle prod that serves as a non-lethal weapon. Our Canadian soldiers seem to enjoy them greatly for whatever reason, and have a habit of yelling “I YAM DA MOUNTIE!” when used. For the moment, this is our most practical option for capturing aliens alive.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0035.png

Electro-Flares: Not a weapon, but a chemically-powered flare that can be thrown to illuminate dark areas. Crucial if we want to conduct night operations.

Sven
05-06-2008, 03:43 PM
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0005.png
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0006.png
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0007.png

There’s also craft weapons, which for the moment we can only load on Interceptor-1 and -2. They’re currently equipped with a Stingray Launcher (short range, six shots) and a cannon (VERY short range, 200 rapid fire shots). If, I don’t know, we manage to slide up to an alien ship while it’s not looking, these are appropriate. But as soon as possible, I’m going to change those Stingrays out for Avalanche missiles. Sure, the last time we put more than three of those onto the wing of an Interceptor it fell off, but if an alien ship takes more than three shots you might as well run away.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0000.png
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0003.png\

EDIT: Yes, that's pretty much everything you can buy at the start of the game.

Falselogic
05-06-2008, 04:53 PM
EDIT: Yes, that's pretty much everything you can buy at the start of the game.

You need to conduct research for the small launcher? I always had it so early in the game... is it available on your research tree at the beginning or do you have to capture something? Also are you goign to talk about R&E next?

I never really bothered with laser weapons just bought a bunch of scientists quickly researched plasma then layed them all off...

blindblue
05-06-2008, 05:04 PM
The small launcher and the stun bombs are alien tech and have to be salvaged and researched first. Usually they're in a loot pile at a smaller crash site, but it's never an issue early on, considering you need to have built an AC facility before you can use them for their intended purpose, anyway.

Sven
05-06-2008, 05:12 PM
The small launcher and the stun bombs are alien tech and have to be salvaged and researched first. Usually they're in a loot pile at a smaller crash site, but it's never an issue early on, considering you need to have built an AC facility before you can use them for their intended purpose, anyway.

This is correct. Floaters seem especially prone to dragging them around for no good reason.

On the laser rifles: they're the most economical rifles, since you don't have to pack clips - it allows you a better explosive loadout when you start using 24 troops / ship later in the game (with clips, that means you're already at 48 out of your 80-item allotment, assuming you're not packing any extra clips).

Doing night landings with plasma weapons really strains your ability to spray electro-flares around... and, frankly, I'd rather be able to see than have the extra damage most of the time. There are, of course, other, less obvious situations where Heavy Plasma comes very much in handy, but we'll get to those in due course.

Ample Vigour
05-06-2008, 05:14 PM
There are, of course, other, less obvious situations where Heavy Plasma comes very much in handy

Cutting holes in walls? I prefer the blaster launcher. (Oh damn you DosBox why won't you run XCOM?)

Sven
05-06-2008, 06:43 PM
Cutting holes in walls? I prefer the blaster launcher. (Oh damn you DosBox why won't you run XCOM?)

Geez, Talking Time is much less about the precision than usual with this game.

Phat
05-06-2008, 07:52 PM
Talking Time: "SLAM IT IN!"

Ample Vigour
05-06-2008, 08:35 PM
Geez, Talking Time is much less about the precision than usual with this game.

Que?

EDIT: Getting X-COM to run under DosBox is a bitch kitty. I've gotten as far as the opening cinema, then DosBox goes unresponsive. Does anyone have experience with this sort of issue? I've googled up some threads, but those are full of "OMG OMG XCOM dose not run!!!! plz help okies1!!" bullshit.

Falselogic
05-07-2008, 11:31 AM
I need my daily dose of X-com knowledge and clever fake government documents!

So stoked to see how a pro plays this game, I always just stumbled/forced my way through it.

Sven
05-07-2008, 11:58 AM
Que?

Plasma is all about brining a lot of power to a single point. Blaster Launchers are about dispersing a vast amount of power over a very wide area and not really caring about what you blow up in the process.

(Kenobi) It's such an... inelegant... weapon. (/Kenobi)

I'll have something up later - just a bit more background to get anyone reading up to speed on the vocabulary, as I'm not going to be stopping for much in the way of explanation when things get hairy. I *did* play through the first month of a game on veteran yesterday and things look to be going well, aside from one screenshot with no less than SIX X-Com bodies lying on the ground. That's an amusing story.

WildVulture
05-07-2008, 12:26 PM
Man, so much of the starting equipment is worthless.
Rifles, grenades, high explosives and one or two heavy cannons is all I see of worth up there. how are you going to be outfitting your squad? Everyone with the same equipment or designate a heavy gunner (high str), demo man (high throw), etc.
To the folks having trouble getting it running, if you're really desperate you can pick it up for the PS1. That was how I got introduced to the series. It's obviously not as elegant as the PC version, but you can get your fix. And if you want TftD, steam has it up for the princely sum of 5 bucks.

shivam
05-07-2008, 01:14 PM
so i still have no idea what this game is actually about. is it a strategy game or an action game?

KCar
05-07-2008, 01:16 PM
Every time I try to run the version from Home of the Underdogs, the graphics go all squished and wonky. Anyone have any tips on getting it to run correctly? I'm running Windows XP on a laptop, if that helps, 1200 x 800 screen resolution.

I was signed up to Gametap for a while, and all I played on there were the Sam and Max games when they dropped, and this. Never got far, am still not very good, but man is it a great game.

I say this a lot, but a DS version would be amazing. Slight graphical update, streamlined interface update? Presto.

Shivam: it's a strategy game. It mixes economic planning and sim-style base building with the small group, tactical style combat of Jagged Alliance and/or Fallout Tactics.

Edit: but not at the same time. That would be weird.

Mightyblue
05-07-2008, 01:20 PM
There's an icon in the XCOM folder that has patch in the title, which is what you want to boot XCOM from.

Man, when I tried it, it worked fine until I tried to do an assault on a shot down UFO and then the game crashed. Think running it in Compat. mode or in a window would fix it?

EDIT: Using XP Pro SP2 @ home.

Sven
05-07-2008, 01:25 PM
Every time I try to run the version from Home of the Underdogs, the graphics go all squished and wonky.

Are you running the executable named "patch" or "fix" or whatever-it-is? I had the same problem, but that fixed it.

Edit: but not at the same time. That would be weird.

However, one of the more brilliant things about X-Com is that everything is related. I'll bring that up when we get to base construction later today.

how are you going to be outfitting your squad? Everyone with the same equipment or designate a heavy gunner (high str), demo man (high throw), etc.

I'm a big fan of just setting a team up with rifles and grenades to start. I hate having to think about where specific team members are at any given time, or that a HW guy wandering into an ambush won't be able to kill an alien without the backwash from his HE round taking him out in the process. I want every team member to do fight and do light demo work well, and if I need heavier support fire I'll rely on HWPs for that.

The way troopers exit a Skyranger also makes it tough for HW guys to be effective unless they're very early in your list of soldiers. Even though I take ten soldiers along on most missions at the start of the game, I rarely use more than five or six.

Once I have medi-kits, however, I tend to outfit a couple of medical specialists per team, with a (laser / plasma) pistol and medikit in each hand. The same philosophy is used when I get access to stun launchers.

Red Hedgehog
05-07-2008, 05:54 PM
Man, all this talk about ignoring terror missions or downed UFOs absolutely confuses me. Maybe I do a bit too much role-playing in this game, but I figure I'm the goddam heroes trying to save the earth - I better bust my butt to do all that I can. If I lose team members on a mission, so be it. They gave their lives for the greater glory of Earth. (Okay, I also make pretty liberal use of save and load during missions)

Also, Terror Missions give great money - all that alien equipment and corpses to sell off.

I say this a lot, but a DS version would be amazing. Slight graphical update, streamlined interface update? Presto.

The GBA did get Rebelstar Tactical Command which was basically just the combat portion of X-Com. It didn't sell well, but it would be awesome if whoever did it then did a version with the sim/base-building/money management part of it too.

Re: Getting the game to run in Vista

I have heard either that it just doesn't work or will only work if your video card/display can natively do 640 x 480 in Vista. The GameTap version doesn't work for me in Vista.

And if you want TftD, steam has it up for the princely sum of 5 bucks.

Note that this game will have the same issues running in XP and Vista that the original has.

Ample Vigour
05-07-2008, 11:53 PM
I got my DOS version up and running!

All was going smoothly (one shootdown, one extraction, engineers tinkering away on laser pistols) until I sent my team to extract a fallen Sectoid craft. The Sectoids triangulated their fire and used cover while my squaddies made like riflemen at Isandlwana. I assure you, their families were filled with solemn pride by their glorious last stand.

Time for a recruiting drive!

KCar
05-08-2008, 12:09 AM
DAMN IT!!! The Winfix.exe works. That means two things.

1) All these years, I've been deprived of easily accessible X-Com because I was clicking the wrong icon.

2) I have another game to play. I'm currently working on FES, have Nocturne and Devil Summoner coming, am playing endgame Shiren, and just picked up Etrian Odyssey AND Contact. All because of Talking Time. All because all these awesome games are discussed all the time, and I can't help but buy them.

I'm a weak, weak man, and this is the wrong place to be for an intervention.

Ample Vigour
05-08-2008, 12:14 AM
C'mon, KCar. It'll be fun. Just build one base, maybe research some lasers. No one'll ever know.

Mightyblue
05-08-2008, 12:37 AM
Yeah, got mine to work right after putting the patch exec in Win2k compat mode, and I'm thinking of forcing 640 res to see if that ends the annoying cut off on the left edge of the screen.

Also, my first ground mission was a success, though I took one casualty in the form of an idiot who got too close by accident and took a faceful of plasma. I didn't even use grenades, and just rifled them to death.

MoltenBoron
05-08-2008, 08:37 AM
I'm enjoying this thread. I haven't played X-Com in years, and was never particularly good at it when I did, so this'll be neat insofar as it'll show me how I was supposed to be playing it.

What I'm finding interesting is that, between comments here and the various walkthroughs I looked up upon having my interest piqued, I'm finding that everybody has different and contradictory advice on how to play. For instance, how to prioritize terror (ignore unless absolutely necessary vs. priortize above everything else) and what weapons to focus on (lasers vs. plasma, rockets vs. no rockets). I find it neat because it shows there are a whole bunch of ways to succesfully play the game. None of which I stumbled on when I was playing.

Sven
05-08-2008, 08:57 AM
Sorry for no posts yesterday, but life interfered.

http://img218.imagevenue.com/loc10/th_86707_SSPX0327_122_10lo.jpg (http://img218.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=86707_SSPX0327_122_10lo.jpg)

Last time, we built a base in Michigan for a price of $850,000. Since the game I started is on veteran (in the Windows version, that's probably the fairest game for a newcomer), I've got $4.15 million left in the bank. First priority is to begin construction of a base; for those of you new to the game, here's what you have access to at the beginning.

Access Lift: How you get in and out. Due to the modular construction of your base, all facilities have to be connected to this somehow.

Living Quarters: Multi-story facility, can hold 50 personnel.

Laboratory: Research facility, space for 50 scientists.

Workshop: Production facility, can, at maximum capacity, hold 50 engineers. However, they need room to put the equipment they’re using to fabricate your toys, so different productions will take up extra room. However, get enough of these and we can even build full-size aircraft.

Hangar: Houses one aircraft, any type.

Small Radar System: This dinky little toy has a 5% chance of detecting overflying alien ships within a short radius.

General Stores: 50 storage capacity.

We also have the capacity to build the following facilities:

Large Radar System: 50% better detection range than the SRS.

Missile Defenses: Able to do 500 points of damage to attacking alien ships.

Alien Containment: A specially-designed environmental chamber that’s our best guess as to how we’d be able to keep aliens alive long enough for the eggheads to figure out how to interrogate them.

At the moment, your base just base the bare necessities: three hangars, one living quarters, one lab, one manufacturing bay, one storage room and one storage. Most notably, there's only one dinky short-range radar; we need to improve that, ASAP.

Unfortunately, X-Com is realistic about the time it takes to build structures, so if I want to have any shot of catching aliens later in the month I need to get started on a LRS right now. There goes 800k of the budget. I’ll need more room for personnel pretty quickly – so a new living quarters is 400K. I’m basically stuffed to the gills right now with equipment (to the point of needing some tricky inventory management to empty my Skyranger), so a new General Stores for $150k is badly needed. It’ll be done in only ten days, which is nice. Lastly, nothing – NOTHING – in X-Com stinks worse than capturing an alien early but not having any place to put him. So I’ll build an Alien Containment facility for $500k.

[There'll be a graphic here showing the way the base looks after the first build]

Notice how the rooms tend to fall: I don’t want too many rooms bunched up next to each other. It’s a very real possibility that this base is going to be attacked at some point, and I’m not going to be able to adequately defend it for at least half a year if not longer. By building in largely straight lines with as few units being beside each other as possible, I make it harder for invaders to run around and allow for choke points and easier security sweeps of the base. Unfortunately, most of the initial base is premade; my preferred base construction won’t be seen until we build a second base, where I have control over the access lift’s location and a blank canvas to work with.

http://img151.imagevenue.com/loc986/th_87007_SSPX0329_122_986lo.jpg (http://img151.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=87007_SSPX0329_122_986lo.jpg)

Next, equipping the Skyranger:

http://img207.imagevenue.com/loc70/th_87037_SSPX0333_122_70lo.jpg (http://img207.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=87037_SSPX0333_122_70lo.jpg)

I open up the “Equip Craft” screen and change the Skyranger’s load to all rifles and grenades, as we discussed earlier in the week. Interceptor-1 also gets the Avalanche missiles. Then, because I’ve just spent a couple million on base improvements, I need to start penny-pinching: I turn around and sell the Heavy Cannon and Rocket Launcher, and all associated ammo. I’ll also sell the AC-AP ammo, and pick up some extra AP-HE (why shoot one bullet when you can shoot one that EXPLODES?) and rifle clips, as well as some electro-flares. The Auto Cannon isn't likely to go out on a mission, but it's comforting to have it around.

Now, one KEY thing about X-Com that you have to keep in mind at all times: in the event of a base attack, only the first 80 items in your inventory will be available to be used by your defending soldiers. What that means is that stocking up on items isn't really recommended: if you have a whole pile of pistol clips lying around, the game will give you access to those but may cut off access to, say, laser rifles since they're lower down on the list. So NEVER keep weaker weapons around if you can avoid it. While I'm fine with rainy day planning regarding most things in this game, this is NOT one of them. It's better to order new supplies as needed, rather than stock up in one big bunch. I know that goes counter to most gaming instincts, but keep it in mind because it may save your most valuable investment one day.

Back to buying stuff for the Skyranger:

http://img164.imagevenue.com/loc911/th_87038_SSPX0334_122_911lo.jpg (http://img164.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc911&image=87038_SSPX0334_122_911lo.jpg)

I also have to address the HWP issue. HWP stands for Heavy Weapons Platform – basically, a robot tank that is used in battle. They’re VERY expensive, but have the advantage of not drawing a salary, so if I keep one alive for a full year it’s basically already made back half its cost. And if it saves me having to pay $40k for a replacement soldier, it’ll pay its worth back even quicker. Most importantly: HWPs are always the first units off the plane. You’ll see what I mean in a couple days when we go on our first mission, but those first units off the plane are ALWAYS in deep trouble. Of course, the HWP isn’t immune (two shots from a heavy plasma rifle can take it out), but it *might* be able to take a shot. At this point in the game, my soldiers can’t.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0011.png
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0012.png

The disadvantage is that HWPs don’t gain experience. My soldiers do - specifically, they gain more experience by doing stuff like killing aliens. So I don't want my HWP to fire if at all possible. As a result, I’ll buy a HWP-Cannon, and 35 rounds (it carries 30). The missile-equipped HWP that's available at the start of the game isn't a bad option - it gives you plenty of stopping power without sacrificing mobility - but for the sake of this game, I went with the cheaper option. Hopefully I won’t need to fire more than five rounds with it all month - if I did, that means I've screwed something up.

Doing all of this purchasing, selling and assigning of equipment is actually tricky at the start of the game, as your storage unit is usually close to full. Once you sell off some of the more useless equipment lying around, that gets a bit better, but for the first ten days you're going to be a bit hamstrung.

LASTLY, before we visit the HR department for personnel evaluations, we need to get the boffins going on a research project. Right now, we have three options: Laser Weapons, Medi-Kit and Motion Detector. For the moment, I’ll start them off with Motion Detector (remember to assign all ten scientists to the job). This isn’t as useful as Laser Weapons will be in the end, but Motion Detectors are useful for one reason: they’re free money, fast. A motion detector costs $34k, but I sell that back to the UN for $45,600. $11,600 profit for something that doesn’t take all that long to make and requires no material input. I’ll do an economic comparison between the MD and some other high-earning manufactured items later in this thread, but it’s fine for now.

I could hire some more scientists, but until we get some cashflow in every ten of them is another $300k off the bottom line. With my aircraft costing me an exorbinant amount of money at the moment - $600k / month for the Skyranger and 500k / month for EACH Interceptor – I need all the cash on hand I can manage, as I’m beginning each month over $2 million in the hole (although my UN funding makes up for that for the most part at the moment). That $2 million will become an important figure as time goes on.

Phew. No one ever said X-Com was friendly to get going with. I'll edit to add some pictures tonight, and then...

NEXT: report of the first X-Com field deployment.

Brickroad
05-08-2008, 09:09 AM
This game sounds like Dwarf Fortress in space.

Don't forget that your soldiers will drink any water available, but they prefer alcohol and will drink it exclusively if they can. Also be careful when digging around volcanoes lest you unleash hordes of demons! I can't wait until one of your engineers is taken by a fey mood...

Sven
05-08-2008, 09:55 AM
It's not that bad - it's really a bunch of very simple systems that interact in incredibly complex ways (the base design being the best example of the bunch).

The bit here was practically automatic for me, but explaining and justifying all the decisions took far longer than I anticipated.

Falselogic
05-08-2008, 11:17 AM
I thought the first base came pre-built? With two hangers at the bottom, one at the top and all the other stuff bunched in the center? Which of course makes for a terrible base to defend. Did they change that in the windows version? My secondary bases were always built like you said strung out with the access point dividing the everything from the hangers... though I usually loaded a game if my base got attacked.

Ample Vigour
05-08-2008, 03:55 PM
This game sounds like Dwarf Fortress in space.

Probably the most elegant description of X-Com I've ever heard. Like Sven said, once you understand the mechanics behind the stuff, the game practically plays itself.

Ah, combat mode. Last night I watched a Cyberdisk eat three salvos of grenades and HE cannon shots before dropping. My own soldiers are armored with tasteful flightsuits and tend to die screaming when the bad guys give them a nasty look. X-Com makes you feel the gap between alien tech and your own.

Sven
05-08-2008, 06:42 PM
RPT: Yuzo, S [RK] [SN, TH]

TO: CINCXCOM

SUB: RECV UFO-1 JAN 99

Commander:



http://img177.imagevenue.com/loc517/th_93465_SSPX0336_122_517lo.jpg (http://img177.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93465_SSPX0336_122_517lo.jpg)

We received word that one of our interceptors had downed a UFO in Arizona. The ship was classified as very small, and per your standing orders that all crashes are to be investigated if available in daylight hours, we sortied at 0900 and landed at the crash site at 1242.

http://img137.imagevenue.com/loc897/th_93466_SSPX0337_122_897lo.jpg (http://img137.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93466_SSPX0337_122_897lo.jpg)

Per X-Com policy, the squad was uniformly equipped with rifles and grenades for all team members.

http://img229.imagevenue.com/loc567/th_93467_SSPX0338_122_567lo.jpg (http://img229.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93467_SSPX0338_122_567lo.jpg)

There were only eight of us in the ship; we deployed in standard formation, with two soldiers exploring buildings on either side of the Skyranger while one walked underneath the plane, using it as cover from any potential fire from above the ship.

http://img244.imagevenue.com/loc92/th_93469_SSPX0339_122_92lo.jpg (http://img244.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93469_SSPX0339_122_92lo.jpg)

An alien was spotted south of the plane. I have attached a close up from our satellite coverage:

http://img111.imagevenue.com/loc627/th_93470_SSPX0340_122_627lo.jpg (http://img111.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93470_SSPX0340_122_627lo.jpg)

Sir, pardon me for asking, but do you know what that thing is? It was brandishing a giant rifle of a type that none of us have ever seen before. And it was one ugly thing... it looked like a stick figure with a melon jammed on top of its neck and painted brown. How the hell could that thing even survive with so little room for organs?

http://img31.imagevenue.com/loc778/th_93713_SSPX0341_122_778lo.jpg (http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93713_SSPX0341_122_778lo.jpg)

I decided to use a grenade on the alien, as there did not appear to be a clean shot and it wasn't looking our way. The throw was successful, and the alien collapsed to the ground moaning like a badly scratched CD. After further scouring the area, we located the alien ship - a small unit - and confirmed that there were no other aliens in the immediate area. We called in the cleanup team to take care of civillian restitutions and attempted to return the alien to base.

http://img111.imagevenue.com/loc1081/th_93718_SSPX0342_122_1081lo.jpg (http://img111.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93718_SSPX0342_122_1081lo.jpg)

Unfortunately, our containment facility was not completed yet, and the alien died while in our custody. I hope you were serious about the Geneva conventions not applying to extraterrestrials.

http://img101.imagevenue.com/loc388/th_93724_SSPX0343_122_388lo.jpg (http://img101.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93724_SSPX0343_122_388lo.jpg)

Your evaluation is noted. We have returned the alien artifacts to the research department for their examination. The team seems confident, and we look forward to the new trainees joining us at the end of the week.

Also, thank you for the promotion to Squaddie. I'll try to do well with my new role.

[END RPT]

Sven
05-08-2008, 06:48 PM
Note that even though they're still classified as "artifacts"...

http://img16.imagevenue.com/loc1079/th_93725_SSPX0344_122_1079lo.jpg (http://img16.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=93725_SSPX0344_122_1079lo.jpg)

... I can sure as hell sell them. Off this list, the most important thing to get rid of is the Mind Probe, a truly useless device that earns back big money when sold. It's enough to pay for 10 scientists this month.

My requisitions come in, and I set up the second Interceptor with Avalanches as well. A couple of these will pretty much down any alien ship I trust an Interceptor against at this point, but I hopefully won't be having to splash too many ships. I'll explain why when we see our first real crash. The spare Stingray missiles get sold, but the launchers will prove useful in a little while, so I hang onto them.

The HWP I ordered earlier arrives, and gets loaded onto the Skyranger. Come Jan 10th, my General Stores are finished, and my scientists are also done with researching the Motion Scanner. I set my engineers to build 20 of them to keep them busy.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0031.png

Okay, a word on the Motion Scanner: it's practically useless, as all it tells you is that there are aliens on the other side of a door. But that's about it, which makes it better to just walk through a door and hope for the best in most cases. I'll try to point these out when I have an actual door breach opportunity. The advantage of the motion scanner is that I can make a nice profit on its manufacture and sale, and this income is much needed early in the game.

Sven
05-08-2008, 06:58 PM
http://img18.imagevenue.com/loc1067/th_94072_SSPX0345_122_1067lo.jpg (http://img18.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94072_SSPX0345_122_1067lo.jpg)

Almost immediately afterwards, I get another UFO alert - this is a "small", which could mean anything. Odds are good that it's another Sectoid ship, though. It shows up in the middle of the night, but I wait it out and it lands somewhere near the Rockies in the early morning, at which point I send out the Skyranger. Landing is in a bit of darkness, but it should be tolerable.

http://img179.imagevenue.com/loc36/th_94078_SSPX0346_122_36lo.jpg (http://img179.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94078_SSPX0346_122_36lo.jpg)

My new HWP proves its worth right away by absorbing a couple of reaction shots from an alien, and by following those backwards I spy him hiding upstairs in a building.

http://img230.imagevenue.com/loc409/th_94079_SSPX0347_122_409lo.jpg (http://img230.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94079_SSPX0347_122_409lo.jpg)

There's the bastard (geez, I need a better cell phone camera - the alien was in shadows on the second floor of this building). I unload a trooper who gets lucky with a snipe. There's another alien facing away from me - takes two agents offloaded from the Skyranger before I can kill him off.

http://img9.imagevenue.com/loc1024/th_94081_SSPX0348_122_1024lo.jpg (http://img9.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94081_SSPX0348_122_1024lo.jpg)

That's everyone outside the ship, but to be safe I send a couple of soldiers around to check the alien bodies. Good thing I did - the one I thought was dead on the second floor of the building isn't quite so dead. Since I haven't used a grenade yet, I choose this moment to do so and he blows up real good.

http://img244.imagevenue.com/loc478/th_94606_SSPX0350_122_478lo.jpg (http://img244.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94606_SSPX0350_122_478lo.jpg)

Meanwhile, I also have a breach team at the front door. They get lucky - a very stupid alien wanders out, and is killed by a reaction shot. Note how they're all on one side of the door - NOTHING makes you feel worse than having soldiers on either side of a door, then one's reaction shot missing and killing the guy on the other side.

http://img226.imagevenue.com/loc227/th_94610_SSPX0353_122_227lo.jpg (http://img226.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94610_SSPX0353_122_227lo.jpg)

The next turn, I wander inside and shoot the last alien. I then undertake two tried-and-true X-Com habits:

http://img42.imagevenue.com/loc917/th_94613_SSPX0354_122_917lo.jpg (http://img42.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94613_SSPX0354_122_917lo.jpg)

(1) walking to the back of the UFO and looking around. You'll never believe how often the game won't give you credit for seeing an alien if they're behind the power source in the middle of the room.

http://img200.imagevenue.com/loc5/th_94607_SSPX0351_122_5lo.jpg (http://img200.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94607_SSPX0351_122_5lo.jpg)http://img218.imagevenue.com/loc517/th_94608_SSPX0352_122_517lo.jpg (http://img218.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=94608_SSPX0352_122_517lo.jpg)

(2) Checking all alien corpses and unloading their weapons - otherwise, the clips would be lost.

That's another clean mission, which is nice.

Ample Vigour
05-08-2008, 08:34 PM
Bravo on no casualties! My early missions usually have bodycounts resembling a SAW sequel.

You might want to expound on the classifications you're giving your troops.

sfried
05-08-2008, 08:38 PM
Oh, I thought this thread was about X: Beyond the Frontier.

That said, isn't Rebelstar Tactical Command a close spin-off?

Falselogic
05-08-2008, 08:57 PM
You take the weapons out to save the clips? I never even thought of doing that! Though I can see how it'd save on ammo later on... I don't know how many times I ended up killing my own guys with reaction shots, because I was setting them up on both sides of doors, etc... you never see that happen in movies...

Yeah I hated those missions where you had to hunt down that one alien who was hiding in some ridiculous spot you already thought you'd checked...

Sven
05-08-2008, 09:37 PM
You might want to expound on the classifications you're giving your troops.

Generally:

SN = Sniper, given to soldiers with initial shooting accuracy above 60 (above 55 if the initial recruits are particularly pathetic). Reaction times being good helps here.

SC = Scout, best category is time units so more movement points. Helps to have higher strength. Scouts will also become Medics later in the game, as medi-kits have set TU counts for usage.

Beyond that, I try to note the best two categories (or one if they're already SN or SC) just as a shorthand way of remembering what each soldier does. TH if they're good throwers, BR for high bravery, etc.

That said, isn't Rebelstar Tactical Command a close spin-off?

It's a spin-off of the missions, but by taking away the administrative / strategic front-end, you really gimp the game. Rebelstar's waaaaay too linear if you've played X-Com.

Bravo on no casualties! My early missions usually have bodycounts resembling a SAW sequel.

Only faced four Sectoids thus far - nothing to write home about. But on the next mission....

http://img198.imagevenue.com/loc172/th_04319_SSPX0356_122_172lo.jpg (http://img198.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=04319_SSPX0356_122_172lo.jpg)

Ample Vigour
05-08-2008, 10:19 PM
Only faced four Sectoids thus far - nothing to write home about. But on the next mission....

That's the abattoir I came to see!

Aquadeo
05-08-2008, 11:15 PM
The disadvantage is that HWPs don’t gain experience. My soldiers do - specifically, they gain more experience by doing stuff like killing aliens. So I don't want my HWP to fire if at all possible.

My Fire Emblem senses tingled like a fairy-friend when I read this.

Congratulations on a good opening game -- and by the way, the memos from your squad are a *really* nice touch.

Sven
05-09-2008, 09:56 AM
Fire Emblem's probably the closest equivalent to X-Com, with the whole "once you die, you're dead for good" gameplay mechanic.

You take the weapons out to save the clips? I never even thought of doing that! Though I can see how it'd save on ammo later on...

I tend to only really do it with Heavy Plasma, as each of those clips is worth three E-115. Do it five times and you've saved enough of the stuff to make a Flying Suit.

Doing the same thing with any soldiers you leave on your jet would also be advisable, at least until you get laser rifles and eliminate the need to keep clips around. Which reminds me, since I didn't clarify it above: after getting the Motion Detector research done, I moved the scientists onto Laser Weapons, and I think they got that done before my next mission.

That's the abattoir I came to see!

There's a story behind that particular mission.

Ample Vigour
05-09-2008, 12:35 PM
I can't think of a better place to ask this:

Novosibirsk is under an attack by alien terrorists. I'm saved about 24 hours before the attack begins (I'm assuming the UFO has already spawned because no matter how many times I reload, the attack occurs.) My squaddies are armed only with starting equipment and they're facing down Sectoids with Cyberdisc backup.

I've played the mission five times or so now and my casualties run close to 50% in the opening turns, higher when a Cyberdisc spawns in front of the Skyranger. Normally I wouldn't think twice about skipping this, but Russia's a major sponsor and I'd hate to lose it so soon. Little help here?

tl;dr: ISO TERROR MISSION HELPS PLOX.

Sven
05-09-2008, 12:54 PM
The aliens inexplicable love for Novosibirsk is always baffling. I think that's a city that gets attacked in at least 50% of the games I play (South Africa also gets hit hard).

First, a couple of questions:

(1) Are you seeing the UFOs on their way in, or is it just popping up as a terror site? If you can get an Interceptor out there early with enough arms on it (six avalanche missiles MIGHT do it) to shoot the terror ship down. Even then, it might not hurt to stick a couple of Interceptors above the city as a combat air patrol and sacrifice one in a suicide attack if you're sure losing the terror mission will mean losing Russia. It'd help if you had something better than Avalanches to do this with, though.

EDIT: Scratch this, I was getting the terror ship mixed up with the Abductor. You'd have to hit with twelve Avalanches to take it out, which is near-impossible unless you've bought a third Interceptor. Plasma is basically mandatory to take it out.

[I need to point out a button I NEVER used when I first played the game - the little "minimize" button at the upper of the intercept radar. Pressing that can lead you to trail a UFO for a while, and even get multiple interceptors firing on the UFO at the same time. This is pretty much the only way to take out a Battleship.]

(2) I know I belittled them when running down the weapons, but maybe have the first two troops off the ship packing a high-explosive-armed missile? That way, if you can see the Cyberdisc at least you may be able to kill it. Have the second two carrying an extra rifle, and throw the spare rifle to the guy with the spent launcher so that you keep your troops at full fighting capacity.

Unfortunately, Sectoid terror missions are really annoying at the best of times because you run the risk of psychic attack as well as being tracked down by the hard-to-kill Cyberdiscs. I'd say to skip it and hope that Russia doesn't leave the alliance whole cloth. Odds are good they won't - the aliens have to run a specific type of mission for a country to leave, and it usually takes a couple of successful terror raids on a funding country to trigger that one.

[Ranking of potential terror attacks from easiest to hardest: (1) Floaters (2) Ethereals (I know it's almost counter-intuitive, but their "big gun" aliens are the weakest of the bunch) (3) Sectoids (4) Snakemen.]

[NOTE: I don't recall ever getting a Muton terror mission.]

So, yeah, skip it and live to fight another day. It'll hurt your score, and Russia will likely cut funding, but one bad score isn't fatal. Heck, as long as you don't get a "TERRIBLE!" monthly rating even two bad scores don't necessarily mean the end of the world.

Ample Vigour
05-09-2008, 01:30 PM
Skipped Novosibirsk on your advice and only had a -222 score ("OK") at the end of the month. Lost $22,000 from Russia, but I'm looking alright for the long run.

Thanks!

Mightyblue
05-09-2008, 01:54 PM
Dang, I got involved in a bloodbath last night. Downed a small UFO in New Mexico/Mexico and found out it was packed to the gills with Sectoids wielding some sort of wide range stunner gun in addition to heavy plasma. By gills I mean eight, and the second I popped out of the Skyranger I was under fire. Took about 70% casualties, but the best part was annihilating a poor bastard sniping from the second story of a building with a grenade tossed through the hole in the wall.

The one right after that was almost as bad, since I was playing cat and mouse with about six Floaters and the Skyranger plopped down in the open next to the UFO. I actually had to go into the UFO and clean out three of them that were hiding inside. Lost most of my new recruits on that one, and three of my vets were wounded besides.

Falselogic
05-09-2008, 02:17 PM
Dang, I got involved in a bloodbath last night. Downed a small UFO in New Mexico/Mexico and found out it was packed to the gills with Sectoids wielding some sort of wide range stunner gun in addition to heavy plasma. By gills I mean eight, and the second I popped out of the Skyranger I was under fire. Took about 70% casualties, but the best part was annihilating a poor bastard sniping from the second story of a building with a grenade tossed through the hole in the wall.

The one right after that was almost as bad, since I was playing cat and mouse with about six Floaters and the Skyranger plopped down in the open next to the UFO. I actually had to go into the UFO and clean out three of them that were hiding inside. Lost most of my new recruits on that one, and three of my vets were wounded besides.


But your game has certainly beenan abattoir! Damn isn't buying new recruits getting costly? Especially since they're stats stink? If it's early I guess it doesn't matter as the troops you're losing are all rookies anyway, but later on losing squad members becomes very painful, better just to reload...

Sven
05-09-2008, 02:26 PM
but the best part was annihilating a poor bastard sniping from the second story of a building with a grenade tossed through the hole in the wall.


Grenades are such gleeful kills in these games, aren't they?

I actually had to go into the UFO and clean out three of them that were hiding inside.

Tonight's post will be "how to deal with these situations" as I suspect you had a large scout UFO to deal with, and these are paradoxically much harder to storm than one of the larger UFOs unless you're very careful. In particular, if the interior of the UFO is intact there's one door that's inevitably a deathtrap for anyone who walks through it.

More strategy stuff - note that this is more high-level than where I am with the LP feature, but for those of you who are understandably going through the game faster than my measured pace:

WHAT TO DO WHEN I SEE A UFO

Okay, so thus far you've seen me play two types of UFO missions: recovery (first) and ambush (second). Although the first wasn't a true recovery - for reasons I'll go into below - there's distinct differences between the two.

Recovery occurs when the UFO is shot down prior to your Skyranger's arrival. In this situation, the UFO will often be damaged (you'll see telltale signs, such as smoke visible from outside the UFO or a hole in the roof), and you'll have a smaller number of aliens to deal with. However, the first thing to blow on any UFO in this situation is the power supply, which contains the ship's Elerium-115 (think trilithium). This stuff is GOLD in the X-Com universe, as you can use it to power ships, create explosives, and craft armor and HWPs. But unlike literally everything else in the game, you can't manufacture it from scratch - it has to be salvaged from UFOs.

Which leads to the problem with most recoveries: even though you may have one or two fewer aliens to deal with (I've had a couple end in the original DOS version after the first turn - the final alien just passed out), you're not getting access to the most valuable salvage out there and will return with a couple of guns, corpses, and not much else to show for your effort.

(Yes, in case that "sale" screen I posted after my first mission wasn't clear, you can SELL ALIEN BODY PARTS. To whom? No idea. Construct your own disturbing Xenophillic Necrophiliac slashfics.)

One fun edge of a recovery is the Death Star Shot. Namely, tossing something (grenade, high explosive) through that hole in the roof. Why is it so fun? Because if that hole's there, that means the power supply has already blown up, so you're not going to hit anything vital.

So how do we ensure we get the Elerium? Simple. Send our your Skyranger WITHOUT a prior Interceptor. Your Skyranger is slow as molasses, but that doesn't matter - all you want is to be close to the UFO. If you DO get into an intercept situation, simply click on that upper left corner I mentioned earlier and the Skyranger will tail the UFO for a good long while.

(Skyrangers have enough fuel to operate independently for two to three days - later in the game, they're worth the expense to keep around simply as scouts).

Eventually, the UFO will land, and you'll IMMEDIATELY get the option to land next to it. At this point, your only question is whether or not you want to do the mission at this time - EG, are you comfortable fighting at night if this is the case (night mission protocol will be covered later - I think my fourth and last mission of my first month was at night). If so, when you click yes you enter a different type of mission, in this case cleaning all the aliens out from an *intact* UFO. This is what I did on the second mission you see screenshots of above. The disadvantage is that you'll have a couple more aliens to kill off, but the E-115 you're guaranteed to get far outweighs any issues.

Now, what alien ships should you do this against? Basically anything that's not an "Extra Large" (those are Battleships, and they can kill your Skyranger even at standoff range... heck, they can kill ANYTHING at standoff range, as they're apparently armed with the citybuster from Independence Day). Small UFOs we've already covered. Of the "Medium" UFOs in the game, both are essentially larger versions of the small UFOs (two levels), so they're possibilities. The catch is apparently with the "Large" UFOs (if you even see them). One type is a supply ship, a massive three-level machine with about 20 aliens on board, the dreaded Sectoid Leader (translation: get ready to be mindzapped) coming into play, and a massive play field that you have to clear out before even stepping inside. Of course, these UFOs have a staggering three power sources... so if you can recover them, they're worth it.

The other large UFOs are the terror ships described above. If they land, it'll become a terror site and you can just click "no" and run away unless you're desperate for a positive score on a mission.

Ample Vigour
05-09-2008, 02:57 PM
Going by the stats tha your recruits usually have, I imagine that X-Com recruits their soldiers from only the finest mall security companies.

Mightyblue, you've discovered the beauty of the Small Launcher. That stun gun is the last, best hope for capturing live samples unless your idea of a good time is giving an Ethereal Commander the bum's rush with a bunch of cattle prods. (PROTIP: Don't. He will shoot his Blaster Launcher and kill everyone in the time zone.)

I've got my knuckledraggers hammering on Laser Rifles and North Africa has a listening post. Depending on how the next few missions go, I could be global by April. (I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune when the Terror ships and Battleships start scything my Interceptors like wheat.)

Sven
05-09-2008, 03:04 PM
Going by the stats tha your recruits usually have, I imagine that X-Com recruits their soldiers from only the finest mall security companies.

Oddly, their stats are actually GOOD compared to the aliens' - for example, most aliens shooting accuracy isn't above 40.

The catch? Their plasma weapons are much more accurate than your rifles.

Depending on how the next few missions go, I could be global by April.

You can probably push the timeline up to March by using a neat little salary-avoidance trick that I'll talk about later.

Ample Vigour
05-09-2008, 03:27 PM
Ooooh. Men in black, secret funding and now slave labor. I love being the good guys.

Sven
05-09-2008, 06:33 PM
http://img225.imagevenue.com/loc417/th_78871_SSPX0355_122_417lo.jpg (http://img225.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=78871_SSPX0355_122_417lo.jpg)

Listing of my promotions after the first couple of missions. Promotions are based on the number of soldiers you have on the payroll: so, for example, someone won't be bumped up to Commander (the highest rank) until you have 40 soliders on staff. You'll receive another commander when you have another 40 soldiers. I think Sargeants are one per five rookies or something similar.

Next mission is a week or so later. Procedure is simple, with the twist of tossing out a few electro-flares to make it easier to pick up on moving aliens. The key point to remember when using electro-flares: they illuminate areas around you, but realistically you're still shrouded in darkness. So throw them WAY THE HELL AWAY from you and the aliens won't be able to see you, but you'll be able to see them. Sure, the game does cheat this a bit, but overall it plays fair.

http://img156.imagevenue.com/loc712/th_78872_SSPX0356_122_712lo.jpg (http://img156.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=78872_SSPX0356_122_712lo.jpg)

The amusing thing happens as I do the breach: there's one alien behind the door who dies easily, but a second one has a stun bomb. Whoops.

http://img191.imagevenue.com/loc66/th_78877_SSPX0357_122_66lo.jpg (http://img191.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=78877_SSPX0357_122_66lo.jpg)

DOn't worry, all those agents are just unconscious. I walk up to the alien and pop his bulbous head with a rifle shot, which ends the mission before I can start debating which of the two doors to the bridge is safer. For future reference: the bottom one. You're more shielded, whereas the top door has an open shot from anywhere on the bridge of the UFO. That way in is a crapshoot.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0024.png
http://www.xcomufo.com/x1ufopaedia/pics/shot0025.png

Back at base, my Alien Containment is done, so now I can start interrogating. The Motion Scanners are done - I sell the 20 scanners for a $11000 profit per unit. The engineers are now tasked with building laser pistols (useful, and profitable), but the scientists come back with good news: I can now build laser rifles! The engineers are quickly re-assigned (in a nice touch, re-assigning the engineers does not waste work - the unfinished laser pistols will sit there until I have a chance to come back to them), which will give me weapons more on par with the aliens, especially in terms of accuracy.

http://img210.imagevenue.com/loc196/th_78888_SSPX0358_122_196lo.jpg (http://img210.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=78888_SSPX0358_122_196lo.jpg)

I also buy another long-range radar, which will increase my chances of picking up a UFO in my coverage area to 10%.

Unfortunately, my fourth mission doesn't have the rifles yet, as an alien lands close to my base. I go in, but while breaching a door inside the ship I suffer my first casualty. Nothing I could do about it: the alien shot first. There's actually a bunch of aliens inside the control centre, but I get lucky and one of them is dumb enough to fire off a stun bomb, knocking a couple of crew members unconscious. By checking on the research list back at base, I find out that I've captured a Sectoid Soldier and Sectoid Engineer.

(Aside: FUCK! No Navigator. I'll explain why later... but if you're playing through for the first time, let me emphasize that capturing a Navigator should be your absolute top priority. Getting a Sectoid leader is priority #2, but that can wait.)

The lack of a navigator means no reason to change my research path for the moment. When I go back outside,

... yeah, I'm not going to fly halfway around the world for a non-funding country. Sorry, people of Casablanca, but at least you'll be remembered by the movie.

Ample Vigour
05-10-2008, 01:13 AM
... yeah, I'm not going to fly halfway around the world for a non-funding country. Sorry, people of Casablanca, but at least you'll be remembered by the movie.

Brutal, but it's the truth. Novosibirsk is turning into a regular stop for alien terrorists, but so long as the Russkies are happy with me, they can keep on keepin' on.

Current highlights:

New Captain every mission. Join X-Com and take advantage of unlimited advancement potential!
I turned my North African base into a factory that spits out 30 laser cannons every three days or so. The wealth has gone straight to my head and X-Com Rio should be up and running within the month.
A team of 14 rookies versus three Snakemen. When all else fails, line up the whole squad and spit laser death until someone hits.
Bringing down a Terror Ship full of Floaters. Sure, the Captain bought it, but dumb luck nabbed us a Navigator.


Things are going too well. Now I'm counting down until Ethereals are kicking in my door and feeding my boys blaster bombs for a midnight snack.

Mightyblue
05-10-2008, 01:53 AM
Holy shit, what are those four legged doom thingies? I mean, I killed most of them through judicious use of HWP cannon fire and lasery death. In one case, a hail mary high explosives toss that was quite amusing as well. Also, hearing an alien grunt his death from friendly fire. 'Twas hilarious.

Less hilarious was the clusterfuck that shortly ensued when a bunch of heavily armed Floaters wielding small launchers turned me into meat.

Ah well, that's why I saved beforehand.

Ample Vigour
05-10-2008, 02:22 AM
Holy shit, what are those four legged doom thingies? I mean, I killed most of them through judicious use of HWP cannon fire and lasery death. In one case, a hail mary high explosives toss that was quite amusing as well. Also, hearing an alien grunt his death from friendly fire. 'Twas hilarious.

Less hilarious was the clusterfuck that shortly ensued when a bunch of heavily armed Floaters wielding small launchers turned me into meat.

Ah well, that's why I saved beforehand.

Floaters are a pain right in the balls. They hover out of range of your grenades, don't make noise when they move and they tend to use a lot of explosives on your tightly packed squaddies.

Those big beasties they take with them on terror missions are called Reapers (http://ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Reaper) and they're pretty much the weakest of the big aliens you'll run into. Laser rifles, as you've seen, do a number on them.

You'll start running into Chrysalids soon. Those things are nightmares made flesh. They can zombify you with a single attack. When a zombie takes damage, it turns into a Chrysalid. You will weep.

Sven
05-10-2008, 05:32 AM
Those big beasties they take with them on terror missions are called Reapers and they're pretty much the weakest of the big aliens you'll run into. Laser rifles, as you've seen, do a number on them.

Yeah, the lack of ranged fire makes them quite easy (I've got an actual terror mission coming up, so I'll explain more.

The Sectopod is a nasty little surprise, too, especially if you were a bit too hasty in upgrading.

Mightyblue
05-10-2008, 11:17 AM
Yeah, after watching one run up from a distance away and eating reaction laser fire, I saw that, but it doesn't help when you spawn in the middle and in the open. The floaters opened up with a salvo of small launcher fire which killed one guy it hit directly and stunned/wounded six of the rest. It drove my eighth guy, a medic, berserk, and he sprayed laser pistol fire all over the place killing a couple Floaters until he woke back up. Then the freaking Reapers swarmed out of nowhere and make kibble out of the unconscious guys while my cannon tank and the medic picked a few off.

By that point, I knew I was screwed with a single medic w/no health left and a cannon tank, so I picked up a thing of HE explosives and tossed it at a Reaper who was standing next to the warehouse. It blew up, collapsing the front of the place and killing a Floater who'd been sniping me from inside along with the Reaper.

My final tally was seven aliens toast, eight XCOM's KIA, fourteen civvies fricasseed and my pride in tatters.

Ample Vigour
05-10-2008, 03:35 PM
That's the bleakest "win" I've ever heard of in X-Com. I would have been tempted to load my last save, no matter how far back it went.

I was reading the X-Com wiki and it seems that there's a way to win by going on two missions: one battleship mission and Cydonia. I can't even imagine beating a battleship mission with 14 rookies armed with lasers.

Mightyblue
05-10-2008, 03:59 PM
That's the bleakest "win" I've ever heard of in X-Com. I would have been tempted to load my last save, no matter how far back it went.

I was reading the X-Com wiki and it seems that there's a way to win by going on two missions: one battleship mission and Cydonia. I can't even imagine beating a battleship mission with 14 rookies armed with lasers.Uh, who said I won?

Anyway, I reloaded my last save and skipped that terror mission to assault a landed and intact supply ship instead. It was a nightie, which wasn't so bad except for two noobs biting it from reaction fire after the tank rolled off the ship. This was also my first mission using at least some armor, and it made quite the difference. After learning that which direction your team's facing is essential, I cleaned up outside and inside fairly easily with one wounded, and that was that.

Next up was a terror mission in the middle of Russia in that Nov-whatever place. I was sorely disappointed because my team all had personal armor and laser rifles and we mopped up the measly eight floaters almost entirely without incident. Incident in this case being some wiseass plinking my tank with a heavy plasma, and another wiseass hiding in the shadows in an alleyway taking out two of my team with another heavy plasma. That was when I learned that even if you can't see an enemy in confined spaces you can still hit them with concentrated laser fire. Also, I immolated some poor Floater who kept dodging in and out of a house by tossing a pack of HE on the other side of the wall he was hiding behind and let it rip. Wasn't much of the house left, but there wasn't much of him left either.

Ample Vigour
05-10-2008, 04:06 PM
EXPLOSIONS!

Very nice! Personal Armour is the first step towards taking the aliens on your own terms. Toss in heavy plasma and X-Com starts to shift from squad-based survival horror into Green Berets Versus the Moon People. It's a blast.

Having just denigrated the chances of a Skyranger full of Rookies taking on an intact Battleship (at NIGHT oh dear oh dear,) I am now in the middle of precisely that mission. Wish I'd thought to bring a tank. :C

blindblue
05-10-2008, 05:46 PM
The aliens launched a terror attack on Lagos, and feeling exceedingly confident in my squad's abilities (and armament), I touched down in the dead of night with a ten-man troop and a rocket tank. The first man off the Skyranger behind the tank was killed by a lurking Snakeman sniper, but was promptly avenged. A glistening, chitinous creature lurked behind a picket fence right next to the touchdown point, but collateral damage is nothing to X-Com - a well-placed rocket from the tank destroyed the fence and half of the house next to it, and the suddenly-exposed monstrosity ate a faceful of plasma, courtesy of Sgt. Andrei.

Amazingly, that was the only casualty on my side for that mission. It came incredibly close, though, when another one popped out of the shadows and infected a civilian standing behind the front door of a house while the rest of the troop was clearing the area. The thing with infected humans is they don't just die - they become what bit them... so here I am with my Captain out of TUs and trapped outside facing two of these things. Fortunately, feeble Earth construction can't stand up to plasma. All four of the units inside the house concentrated their fire on that wall, opening up enough of a gap to shoot through and slaying them both. After that it was just mop-up. It was crazy, though.

Ample Vigour
05-10-2008, 06:26 PM
That's about as well as a terror mission can go. Well done.

My boys and girls managed to take the Battleship! I lucked out; it was a Snakeman ship with only one Chrysalid (which I managed to take out with massed laser fire.) I am now flush with cash, Elerium and Heavy Plasma.

But I seem to be dealing with a flotilla of Terror and Battleships converging on Iran... I guess I'll just push my luck till it breaks.

Mightyblue
05-11-2008, 12:45 AM
Okay, I'm starting to branch out. I've got a listening post cum-soon to be local launch site in the works in North Africa, and another listening post going up in China, since the Chinese are apparently getting mobbed. Beyond that, a few more daring night raids on a Harvester and grounded Terror Ship went pretty swimmingly, save for the Harvester one. I've got Power Suits now, and they're great at a distance and against Alien Nades, but man, going toe to toe with a freaking Floater Cmdr. and Navi with Heavy Plasmas is not fun. Lost three due to a close bottleneck up top before I finally punched their tickets. I was going to try to capture them, but eh, next time I guess.

Now I've finally got Heavy Plasma's of my own, and I'm researching Plasma Cannons, and all just in time for my fourth Terror attack, this time on Casablanca. I lost one replacement newb in Personal Armor to counterattack fire from a Floater with a Heavy Plasma but the Power Suits I had my vets in kept em pretty safe, and I managed to cap a Floater Medic and a Reaper Terrorist for my troubles. One Floater got smart and chucked a nade underneath the Skyranger where most of my group was sitting, but it didn't kill anyone.

Unfortunately that meant that most of my team needed some recupe time, so I had to sit out an attack I wanted to make on a supply ship that keeps landing in Baja.

Ample Vigour
05-11-2008, 04:32 AM
Luck pushed! Luck broken.

The invaders have begun packing Blaster Launchers, and now no one is safe. My guys were sweeping through the top floor of a Battleship (Ankara, infiltration mission) when I heard the telltale roar of a missile launch followed by the appearance of a big purple rocket bouncing from waypoint to waypoint. One kaboom later half my team was dead. Of the remaining five, I lost one in a human wave attack on the Commander.

I'm starting to see flaws in my early game. I've overexpanded and am now relying totally on Laser Cannon production to keep my head above water (Sven or anyone: is this normal? I've never gotten this far without editing my cash supplies.) Hopefully after I develop new fighter tech I can send my Interceptors back to the UN and save a little overhead. However! my research base is shaky; I only have 50 scientists working at any given time. That puts me close to the end of the year before I can field Avengers with Plasma Cannons, which are the only craft that can go toe-to-toe with the Ethereal Battleships which are about to light up my radar screens.

Things keep picking up and I might start getting nostalgic for those first Sectoid Scouts.

Falselogic
05-11-2008, 10:06 PM
if this is a hit (and it seems headed that way) would this LP lead into one of TFTD? I know it is very close to the same game, but all the references to the Cthulu mythos would be fun to point out and such... I just love both of the game so much, and seeing someone who has put a lot of thought into the play through of them is really awesome...

though it might be repetitive as all the things that work in Xcom work in TFTD right?

Meditative_Zebra
05-11-2008, 10:26 PM
This was a game that come out ages before I ever had a computer to play it on, but I had been intrigued by the occasional mention of it I would see it on lists of greatest games of all time and the like. So when I saw this thread pop up I headed I availed myself of the excuse to head on over to home of the underdogs and downloaded a copy.

I started out playing on easy, thinking that I would play on that level just long enough to get my feet wet and then start over on a respectable difficulty level. After my first terror mission, which I entered with a squad consisting of an HWP, a trio of officers, and cadre of rookies and finished with only a sergeant and two rookies, I quickly realized that I will be holding off for a while before starting over on a higher difficulty setting.

I made it to August earlier today and with the development of power armor and plasma weapons I finally feel like I can attack a large UFO without having to lose half of my painstakingly trained squad in the process. The preservation of these soldeiers is absolutely necessary, I fear, as the ranks of my soldiers is still largely filled with squaddies and rookies and I expect that those damn aliens will have some sort of curveball to throw at my sooner rather than later. I've taken to reloading missions in an effort to preserve my officer corps. Even so, I've only managed to keep 3 soldiers alive long enough for them to get past the 10 kill mark.

Anyway, all this is to say that even as someone who had never played X-Com before last week I find an enjoyable game that still holds up today. I doubt there are many 15 year old pc games that can boast that.

Now guys, seriously, what the hell is up with Chrysallids? It's like the designers way of letting you build up a little and think you're starting to hold your own and then suddenly kick you in the balls. Those fuckers came to Novisibirsk and I had to concede the city to alien rule. Sorry Russia, it's not worth what you're paying me if I wind up getting everyone killed.

Ample Vigour
05-12-2008, 12:23 AM
if this is a hit (and it seems headed that way) would this LP lead into one of TFTD?

I sure hope not. TFTD improved the atmospherics and graphics of X-Com and took big backward steps everywhere else. Terror missions are harder for the sake of... Well, shit; I can't think of a single justification for making them harder. Every weapon the game is strictly worse than the X-Com equivalent (this ties into the above; about half your heavy weapons don't work on dry land.) If you research the wrong alien, you lose the ability to win the game. Also: Lobstermen.

I played X-Com nonstop for almost a year before my buddy got TFTD. I played that for one week and happily returned it.

/nerd rage

all the references to the Cthulhu mythos would be fun to point out and such.

Well, not everything in TFTD was bad. ;)

I've taken to reloading missions in an effort to preserve my officer corps.

The best tactic I've seen for preserving your officers is to keep them in the transport. This way you get the morale bonus of having the officers come along without risking mass panic. That is, unless the aliens get explosives into your craft.

Sven
05-12-2008, 07:29 AM
Sorry for the lack of updates, guys - a flag football tournament, and associated recovery / drinking time took up most of my weekend. On the positive side, I FINALLY got the cable from Monoprice, so now I can take shitty cellphone pictures of the home theater playing X-Com while taking notes on the laptop as opposed to shitty cellphone pictures of the laptop playing X-Com.

(A 46" 1080p television playing X-Com is an amusing sight, even if it took me a good three hours to bring the old Win2K box that's going to be hooked up to the TV up to speed.)

The downside is that my game on THAT version isn't the most fun one, as I'm not getting any UFOs. I've got a second game that's MUCH more fun, as it's a race to see if I can get my troops buffed up enough vs. the aliens picking off one country per month (I've lost UK, France, Brazil and will lose Germany when the current month ends - they've been landing two battleships per month on Infiltration missions, and I've only had one team ready to go. NOW I've got a second team prepped, and I've captured a Sectoid Leader so I have The Great Equalizer on my side).

I doubt there are many 15 year old pc games that can boast that.

The era this was in was basically the one where you'll see a lot that do - CDs weren't quite in vogue yet, so the PC's horrible three-year experiment with FMV wasn't fully implemented. No Win95 goofing with everyone's abilities to play games. And 3D cards were still a ways off. So you had a lot of really good 2D games come out that are still playable to this day - Master of Orion hit around the same time, for instance, as did Doom and Sam & Max. All would probably be comfortably in the top twenty PC games ever made, and stuff like Ultima VII and X-Wing would probably be in the discussion if not overshadowed by their more famous relatives.

Just about everything in the Micropose / EA CD Classics series from that era was an incredible game (ignore stuff like, say, Phantom of the Opera). I used to get one $9.99 game per week from a store a bike ride away and still have quite a few of the discs.

Sven
05-12-2008, 10:29 AM
I promised a doorbreaching seminar, so here's as good as I can get.

Okay, so I'm assuming you've got a squad armed with lasers and grenades per my usual instructions - as a result, you should have a fair number of TUs. Here's what I recommend for each type of UFO you will encounter:

Small Scout - HA! Odds are good you'll never get one of these - my first one was a fluke. No breach necessary, just track down the lone alien and kill him.

Medium Scout - these are the square-shaped, single-room UFOs. They're actually a little bit tougher than their bigger brother, as odds are good you're going to have at least one alien get off a reaction shot. My advice would be to send a rookie or the least-important member of your squad through the door, and have someone with a primed grenade waiting outside, as well as a couple of riflemen (we'll refer to this as Basic Door Breach, or BDB). If there's an alien waiting within FACING the rookie, shoot it. If not, get the rookie the hell out of there and throw in the grenade. The UFO Power Source shouldn't blow up, but you should kill the alien(s) inside. Repeat as necessary, with the continual reminder to check behind the Power Source.

Large Scout - this is the one with the two doors on either side of the bridge. The "upper" door has a clear path to the bridge, but aliens probably kill you 75% of the time you walk through this door on Veteran. Take the "bottom" door instead - it first opens into a small antechamber that it's not uncommon to find aliens in, but you're at such close range that if you don't die immediately you'll be able to kill them very quickly. The second door opens into a side-corridor running up to the main bridge room - this can't be seen from most of the bridge, and as a result you can duck into it, throw a grenade, then wait to hear screams from the bridge. The Power Source room can either be accessed by BDB or using a Heavy Plasma to try to knock down the walls. DO NOT use the Blaster Launcher - it'll work, but you'll blow up the Power Source as well and we don't want that.

Supply Ship - I'm skipping over the Mediums because, well, you don't see them as often as these babies. Supply Ships should be your bread and butter - they carry 150 Elerium, you know where they'll show up (your local alien base) and they stay on the ground for a reasonable length of time, allowing for a daytime assault. However, the problem can be that they're rather intimidating to take down the first time you see them.

The key to a Supply Ship - once you finish with your BDB on both doors simultaneously (usually four X-Com units per door is sufficient) is that you can exploit splash damage. The procedure:

(1) Secure the hallway between the entrances. Aliens love to hide out here, so send someone from the team on the "right" door to make sure there's no one home.

(2) Cluster everyone at the corner of the hallway within sight of the entrance, with the wall protecting you.

(3) With your highest-TU unit, duck into the hallway. If clear, duck into the engine room via the interior door. Try to clear everything inside, but if there's an alien visible at the far end, note its position and leave it to the troops on the opposite side of the ship to perform the exact same maneuver.

(4) Once the engine room is clear, use that as your new gather point. Using a grenade, step across the hallway against the exterior wall of the ship and attempt to get a grenade as close to the back of the UFO as possible. Do this sumultaneously on both sides. With Alien Grenades, this is enough to clear out the space around the two elevators.

(5) Again, check the hallway connecting the elevators. Or just throw a grenade in there, your call.

(6) The left elevator is the problem spot. Try walking into it and then turning a full 360. You can shoot upwards, but aliens don't like to shoot down. Use this technique to clear out the elevator room.

(7) Once everyone is into the second-floor elevator room, keep one trooper watching the lower door and deploy everyone else out the back door. Establish fields of fire down the entire chamber, with an optional grenade into the food chambers to flush out any sneaky aliens hiding amongst them.

(8) Take the remaining troopers out the front door, with one checking inside the small closed chamber across from the elevator, and the other heading to the nearby corner preparing to move down that hallway.

(9) Move one of the soldiers you placed at the back door of the elevator into a similar position (tough because of the way the exterior walls work) on the top side.

(10) Two more grenades, as far as you can throw them, then back into cover.

(11) Last real trick is to check the examination room in the middle of the floor - you can cut through the walls or use BDB.

(12) Onto the other team, who'll take the bridge. Rest everyone at the bottom of the elevator shaft while the second floor team does its dirty work unless you have an injured soldier who looks as though they might die quickly. Then send everyone up the elevator at once, and fan out to guard the door of the small room you're in.

(13) If the second-floor team has Heavy Plasma, you can cut through the elevator shaft and have them follow the third-floor team upstairs.

(14) If you survive your first step outside the elevator room, send one trooper through the door in front of you to sweep that corridor. Two more go left, towards the bridge. And one more sweeps the nooks and crannies near the elevator room.

(15) Use a grenade from the corner of the bridge to the other side - the splash damage will likely kill any nearby aliens.

(16) At this point, cutting through a bridge wall is possible.

(17) If no Heavy Plasma, walk your sweeping agent through all the doors and throw a second grenade at the other side while pincering in with the other two agents. Basic BDB on the bridge door, but the aliens in there are usually passive.

Phew. If done right - and this'll eventually be automatic - you shouldn't get many casualties, especially after you armour up. Anyway, the massive return on investment is worth the two rookies risking their lives doing BDB on the ground floor (which is the most dangerous part of these ships).

Of course, The Great Equalizer changes this, but that's a ways off.

Falselogic
05-12-2008, 10:50 AM
I sure hope not. TFTD improved the atmospherics and graphics of X-Com and took big backward steps everywhere else. Terror missions are harder for the sake of... Well, shit; I can't think of a single justification for making them harder. Every weapon the game is strictly worse than the X-Com equivalent (this ties into the above; about half your heavy weapons don't work on dry land.) If you research the wrong alien, you lose the ability to win the game. Also: Lobstermen.

I played X-Com nonstop for almost a year before my buddy got TFTD. I played that for one week and happily returned it.

/nerd rage


I never encountered this research problem you're talking about, care to enlighten me? I never found the ramped up difficulty too much of a problem, or maybe I just don't recall, I also have fond memories of Ikaruga (RAGE). I thought the difficulty ramp up was on the request of hardcore fans who found the original "too easy" ( I generally hate these people on principle). I guess I need to play it some and see if it's as bad as some here are saying...

Ample Vigour
05-12-2008, 02:12 PM
I never encountered this research problem you're talking about, care to enlighten me? I never found the ramped up difficulty too much of a problem, or maybe I just don't recall, I also have fond memories of Ikaruga (RAGE). I thought the difficulty ramp up was on the request of hardcore fans who found the original "too easy" ( I generally hate these people on principle). I guess I need to play it some and see if it's as bad as some here are saying...

I'm perfectly willing to chalk up my reaction to TFTD to fanboyism. X-Com has a truckload of crippling bugs, but it was such a unique game that I'm fairly blind to its flaws. You can read up on the research bug over on the UFOpaedia (http://ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=TRTBAG#The_Tasoth_Commander_Trap). This was a real tempest in a teapot back in my AOL days.

One thing about TFTD's difficulty: Challenge I don't mind; I like Last Resort, for Pete's sake. If Microprose had decided to make the aliens smarter or add in more multistep missions, I'd have been down for that. The problem was that they replaced half the guns with their Super Soaker equivalents and made the aliens bulletproof. That sort of thing leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Door breaching seminar.
Sweet! I've just discovered a Sectoid base in the Arctic, so I should have plenty of opportunities to put this to use.

EDIT: Anyone in the late/endgame: I'm researching Plasma Cannons right now. Should I drop them and start on the Avenger research path (Personal Armour -> Power Armour -> Flying Suit and so on?)

Sven
05-12-2008, 02:59 PM
EDIT: Anyone in the late/endgame: I'm researching Plasma Cannons right now. Should I drop them and start on the Avenger research path (Personal Armour -> Power Armour -> Flying Suit and so on?)

NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Plasma Cannons are the first X-Com Threshold Research Moment of the game. Getting them ASAP means your Interceptors go from terrified weaklings to deadly, if slow, fighters. Soldiers are replaceable (and, realistically, you'll be replacing half these bums anyway when you hit the third and final Threshold Research Moment). An Avenger isn't much use if it's still firing Laser Cannons and Avalanches.

And, yeah, the original X-Com is loaded with bugs and exploits (the salary bug I'll be talking about tonight, the free manufacturing bug, etc.). It's so good that everyone just ignores them.


Sweet! I've just discovered a Sectoid base in the Arctic, so I should have plenty of opportunities to put this to use.

There's actually only a couple of doors you have to go through in any base... and, frankly, if you're smart the aliens often just kill themselves because they're too dumb to use a blaster launcher down an elevator.

Red Hedgehog
05-13-2008, 11:58 AM
I never encountered this research problem you're talking about, care to enlighten me? I never found the ramped up difficulty too much of a problem, or maybe I just don't recall, I also have fond memories of Ikaruga (RAGE). I thought the difficulty ramp up was on the request of hardcore fans who found the original "too easy" ( I generally hate these people on principle). I guess I need to play it some and see if it's as bad as some here are saying...

Terror From the Deep made it near impossible to actually kill aliens until you had done a lot of research (and even then it was no picnic). And the terror and base missions were just so long (and frequent) that you were bound to suffer a ton of casualties and get tired of the whole thing. And then the research had a few bugs that made it easy to miss technologies without realizing you had done so.

blindblue
05-13-2008, 09:38 PM
Terror mission in Novosibirsk. Guys at the front of the Skyranger are clad in Power Suits, so they're hardly worried when two flashing icons appear at the side of the screen upon touchdown. The first Sectoid, staring bemusedly at the wacky Heavy Plasma-wielding humans, is cut down in a swift swath of gunfire from my Captain. The second Sectoid observes this from behind a picket fence no higher than four feet tall.

Easy pickings, says I.

All the auto-shots from the second soldier miss, which is annoying, but surmountable. I move him off the ramp, and the third soldier charges out and unleashes her own burst of Heavy Plasma at the Sectoid. Every shot goes wild. Ugh. Okay, fourth guy, take a crack at it. Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss. This is ridiculous.

There's barely any space on the ramp at this point, but the fifth guy appears to have a clear shot from his vantage point inside the Skyranger, so I decide "screw this!" and aim very precisely for this bastard. The shot hits the fence. Okay, calm down, fellas. This is just the worst luck ever. Sixth guy readies himself. He breathes and closes his eyes as the Force flows through him. He opens his eyes, and squeezes the trigger. Bullseye.

Well played, young Jurgen... but man. I hope nothing happens to my soldiers while they're bunched in this awkward cluster at the ramp with no reaction points left, especially since no one behind them can see anything outside. End turn.

A humming alien grenade drops into their midst like a goose riddled with buckshot. I've just been fucked by math.

I abandon the game.

Mightyblue
05-13-2008, 09:44 PM
You do know that explosions don't travel up or down, right? (Is that right?) So only the guys on that same level would be blown up, and even if it landed under a power suited guy, it probably wouldn't kill him.

Ample Vigour
05-13-2008, 10:09 PM
Auto Shot is a equal parts lies and calumny. There's no bipedal enemy who can take more than two solid hits with a Heavy Plasma, so at best all you've done is waste ammo.

EXCEPTION: Burst fire with the minigun packing HE rounds. It sweeps streets like it was a surly immigrant.

I think explosions do happen in three dimensions, but I've never tested it out. Maybe one of us could do an experiment with a saved game.

EDIT: Now my Interceptors are packing Plasma Cannons, and the hunting is easy.

Sven
05-14-2008, 07:08 AM
Auto Shots are, however, better than Snap Shots if you do the math (especially with Laser Rifles). But statistics are annoying sometimes, and, yeah, that's a bad one.

Should have an update later today, but the pictures are trapped on a cell phone that doesn't want to recharge. Aaargh.

Ample Vigour
05-14-2008, 10:17 PM
Good one tonight: I sent Skyranger-2 in, loaded down with eleven Personal Armoured troops packing lasers and plasma. I'd blown a Mutoid scout out of the sky and just needed a milk run to keep up the funding.

Imagine my surprise when I found a fully intact Large Scout and nine (9) unhurt Mutoid soldiers. Four of them hit my guys from behind cover, taking two before they went down. The last five made me work for it.

My door breacher got hit with reaction fire from a Small Launcher. The primed grenade in his hand made sure he stayed down. The next breacher came in firing, but only managed to kill one defender before going down in a hail of plasma. The next two entries managed to hit nothing but wall and floor. My "salvation" came in the form of a conga line of riflemen who would enter a room, kill a Mutoid and die.

I ended up trading five for five in the UFO and making it home with four brand-new Sergeants.

What should I have done?

Simple:
Move in force. I initially tried to take the UFO with the first five off the Skyranger, even after I saw that it somehow hadn't been damaged in the crash.
Put more guys through the front door. When I saw two Mutoids with HP and a Small Launcher in the entry, I panicked and ended the turn, thinking I should wait and line up more breachers. If I had put more soldiers through the door when I had the chance, they'd have gone up against aliens with few to no TUs left, instead of the firing squad they ended up walking into.
Make my own interior doors. I had multiple Heavy Plasma gunners in the ship, and I wasted them by marching them through doors like lemmings. What I should have done in the UFO entryway was set my laser troops in overwatch while the plasma gunners burned their way into the engine room. This would have let me hit the aliens from all sides at once.


Let's see if I learn my lesson. Current priority is capturing a live Sectoid Leader, which will open up the endgame in one move.

Sven
05-15-2008, 02:40 PM
The following document is O-6 level classified.

================================================== ===
MEMO

FROM: CINC UNSPC-COMM
TO: CINC-XCOM

SUB: MONTH 2 EVAL

Commander:

WHAT THE HELL, SON?

Wait, let me start again. We'll do this btb:

Research: At the end of last month, you'd successfully researched Laser Rifles. I noted that you took about half of our second-month funding and put it into additional scientists, so it made sense that you immediately researched some more stuff. I didn't quite understand why you went with Heavy Lasers at first, but then when you researched Laser Cannons it made sense, as those sell for quite a bit on the open market as it turns out and require minimal effort on our part to build (1). Skipping over the two lighter alien plasma weapons and starting directly on Heavy Plasma was your next choice, and I expect feedback on progress on that front before I file next month's report.

Manufacturing: You built enough laser rifles for your entire squad, which is good - those things actually have stopping power, and it allowed you to free up a LOT of room in your stores by banishing clip-fed rifles from your armoury. After that, I noted that you were building a lot of laser cannons, but you only put one of them onto each of your interceptors... what happened to the other dozen? Does this tie into the fact that we had reports of the Russians loading a weapon of unknown designation onto their satellites? You DO know that, at some point, we're going to have to deal with all this ordinance of mysterious origin that's showing up on the open market? I'm sure you'll deny everything, but I know you're spending more than we're giving you in a given month. I do have my own accountants on staff here in S.I., you know.

Soldiers: Your recruitment drive was noted and appreciated. With one HWP available per Skyranger, it made sense that you want to keep your current unit small - you can't use more than ten on one mission. What I didn't like, however, was the way you keep pulling recruits out of peacekeeper training, paying us their contract buyout, and then returning them to us with no more of a discharge designation than "they can't shoot straight." Well, what did you expect? Not every soldier is going to be rated 65 or above in shooting, as much as you may like that in your ammo-wasting world. Also, we had some very disturbing reports that you engaged in unethical tactics in dealing with the terror situation in Bombay, but I'll deal with that below.

Base Construction: You commenced building a base in North Africa at the start of the month using our funding, and I noticed that you've done something different with the construction - namely, you placed the entry lift up against the very edge of our excavated section, then built one hangar above it, a large radar below it, and a general stores toward the inside of the base. The second the general stores was completed, you virtually tapped your last dollar to build a living quarters. For a base with no soldiers or interceptors. Just what are you up to...?

Alien Contact: Compared to your first month, this was very quiet. You managed to intercept a very small UFO and destroy it, so my congratulations on that. However, the big engagement of the month was the conflict in Bombay. Per your directions, we had the Indian Army surround a ten-block area where we had reports of alien activity. You had your HWP exit the ship, and it immediately came under heavy fire from two positions. Your first soldiers off the ship managed to down one of these aliens, but the third - Sgt. Nakamura - was killed by an alien after she missed all three of her shots. The fourth soldier off the ship managed to kill her target alien. After securing the landing area, you spread out, and destroyed four of some form of giant alien dog that our scientists are begging to dissect for "research" purposes. Then you - and I hope this isn't true - had one of your soldiers wounded by fire from an alien in an entrenched home. You took this critically wounded soldier and - since you haven't developed those field surgery kits yet - armed her with a High Explosive before sending her into the house. The alien killed her, but when she dropped the explosive you blew up the house as well.

ARE YOU INSANE? That's not what we're supposed to do! I mean, sure, she would have died anyway, but I think you saw Aliens a few too many times growing up. Anyway, the Indian government thanks you for the success of the mission, but they want an explanation of the one civillian body that died from laser fire and not plasma. Yes, we can tell the difference now.

On the other hand, pass official kudos on to Sgt. Roy for her excellent idea to proceed through the narrow alleyways in Bombay's warehouse district by moving inside occupied buildings as cover, and then briefly poking your head out after shooting holes in walls. That cover is invaluable to a combat unit, and we're going to work on making it an element of training for all UN recruits we offer you.

Other alien encounters included two large craft in central Russia, which you refused to engage due to being unsure that your Interceptors could take them out. I'd tend to agree. Keep in mind, however, that we're probably going to need to capture one of these things at some point to figure out how to stop them. Unless you're just in this to make money, which I'm starting to suspect may be the case.

ACCOUNTING INQUIRY

I knew I shouldn't have put someone who used to serve in JAG in charge of this operation. Do you think you're being cute? I know what you did - yes, scientists are technically not in your jurisdiction if we're transporting them between two of your bases, as you sign them over to us for the trip for insurance purposes. And, yes, I know that technically their employment contracts only call for them to be paid at 12:01 AM on the first day of the month. But the fact that you transferred 40 scientists and 10 engineers between your two bases... saving $1,425,000.00 in salary... that now I have to pay for... I mean, you can't take advantage of the UN like that! Taking advantage of the UN is for people far more important than YOU! I'm going to have Tang look into the X-Com charter to see if there's any way around this issue, but consider yourself on probation until and unless the funding council specifically okays this.

Which I will see to it that they don't.

Upcoming Month:

Your plans to build a new base in Western China are approved, as is the purchase of a new Interceptor unit to place in AfricaLaunch. The Brits are antsy about something - try to figure out what. And stop it with the salary quirks, will you? It makes me look bad.

- Col. Moore, CINC UNSPC-COMM

END MEMO / EVALUATION [153003011999]

Sven
05-15-2008, 02:46 PM
The next breacher came in firing, but only managed to kill one defender before going down in a hail of plasma.

Unfortunately, that was probably your mistake right there. In that situation, you needed to use grenades (even though the first guy through died), as Mutons are remarkably tough to kill even with Heavy Plasma shots (they take at least two laser shots to die). Throw the grenade, retreat through the door. Repeat for at least three turns. Breaching the engine room wall doesn't help you much, because you still have to get into the bridge and that's the deathtrap.

If you're going to sacrifice anything, sacrifice the UFO Navigation units. Coming through the wall invites a firefight in the engine room, which you don't want under any circumstances.

Current priority is capturing a live Sectoid Leader, which will open up the endgame in one move.

Not quite - you still need to capture some type of Commander, which means at least one base attack.

Falselogic
05-15-2008, 02:55 PM
Great wraup-up of your current progress, but please explain to me how you managed to save 1+ million dollars in transfers of personnel? In game mechanics I don't quite understand what you did?

Sven
05-15-2008, 03:10 PM
Great wraup-up of your current progress, but please explain to me how you managed to save 1+ million dollars in transfers of personnel? In game mechanics I don't quite understand what you did?

Thanks for the softball question.

It's pretty much exactly as noted in Col. Moore's report - X-Com only charges you monthly salaries (and maybe even lease installments, although I didn't personally check that this time around) if the personnel are actually assigned to a base when the clock strikes midnight at the end of the month.

SO, if, say, you build a second base... and you then build a living quarters... and you then transfer 50 scientists to that second base at 2350 on Feb 28th... and they're still in the air at 2400... their salaries aren't counted against your bottom line, because they're not assigned to either base yet. You pay about one scientist's salary in transferring them back and forth to the original base, but that's a drop in the bucket when it comes to reducing your biggest monthly expense.

(The UN custody thing is my little bit of fanfic explanation - all it is is an exploit. It's not particularly egregious in my eyes.)

One thing to watch out for as the game moves along: they weren't too smart about calendar dates after the first year. In my "advanced" game, I just got finished playing Feb. 2000.... which goes until the 31st.

Brickroad
05-15-2008, 03:12 PM
I basically steal scientists.

That is awesome. Like, SUPER awesome.

Sven
05-15-2008, 03:14 PM
That is awesome. Like, SUPER awesome.

Wait until I start pickpocketing aliens.

Falselogic
05-15-2008, 03:16 PM
any idea when we'll be able to see some pics? I know your camera phone isn't working right now, but your base layout interests me

Will you be reseraching mind control when you get the tech, and will you be using it? Is anyone else here who is playing through doing so? I always found it fairly effective to have one or two guys with a high psych rating sit in the ship and take over a grunt and have him do all the killing for me, or just blow himself up in the middle of his friends...

Sven
05-15-2008, 03:28 PM
For the base layout, imagine the rows labelled with letters and the colums labelled with numbers: eg A1 is the upper left corner.

Basically, A1, A2, B1 and B2 are my hangar.

C1 is the access lift, C2 is the general stores and C3 is the living quarters.

D1 is the radar.

H H
H H
L GS LQ
R

What I'll be doing is expanding the base as follows: down from R to the bottom left corner, where I'll put another hangar. Right from LQ to "wings", with living quarters as the "spine" and my radars / labs / defences elsewhere. There will NEVER be any structures touching the Hangar aside from the Lift and General Stores (a necessary evil in this case, because I want the base to expand fast enough to pull off the scientist exploit and I also want some emergency storage).

(Yes, unlike my original base this one'll eventually be defended. Important, because I don't plan to have soldiers stationed here for a while.)

Why? Because Aliens can turn up in one of two places during a base attack: the hangar or the lift. My soldiers, on the other hand, ALWAYS spawn in the living quarters. With this design, all I have to do is make my stand at the General Stores and prevent aliens from penetrating further into the base. Much High Explosive is used in this scenario.

On the mind control issue: ARE YOU NUTS? Mind Control is the The Great Equalizer. In fact, it's the point in the game when you basically are guaranteed to win. Six PSI Squad members armed with laser pistols and grenades and three good HWPs is usually enough to win any game of X-Com, and it can probably be done with even fewer but I'm being conservative.

Falselogic
05-15-2008, 03:35 PM
On the mind control issue: ARE YOU NUTS? Mind Control is the The Great Equalizer. In fact, it's the point in the game when you basically are guaranteed to win. Six PSI Squad members armed with laser pistols and grenades and three good HWPs is usually enough to win any game of X-Com, and it can probably be done with even fewer but I'm being conservative.

Ok thanks for the base clarification that is usually how my bases were constructed though I only ever had the lift touching the hangers with a row of nothing between them (hangers and everything else). I'm not nuts, I used PSI troops I was only wondering if everyone did or not

Red Hedgehog
05-15-2008, 04:08 PM
Ok thanks for the base clarification that is usually how my bases were constructed though I only ever had the lift touching the hangers with a row of nothing between them (hangers and everything else). I'm not nuts, I used PSI troops I was only wondering if everyone did or not

I finished the game without ever using PSI troops. Well, I think I might have had one trained PSI troop on the final mission.

EDIT: That was the first time I played the game. The second time, I was mind-controlling like you wouldn't believe.

Mightyblue
05-16-2008, 01:53 PM
Wut wut? Is that the sound of plasma cannons tearing apart a base fleet? It is it is! I already took out the Baja base, and netted myself a coupla floater officers including a navigator, and the hyper wave research option looks kinda important, so that's what I'm doing.

Right now I'm in the process of assaulting a downed Muton terror ship from the base fleet I kicked apart after having survived a snakeman scout ship run.

Ample Vigour
05-17-2008, 12:16 PM
Compared to the Hyperwave Decoder, radar is like having a blind man feel out the ship and then yell to you what he thinks he's touching.

I always get the HWD at the earliest possible opportunity (at great cost to my cattle-prod wielding squaddies.)

blindblue
05-17-2008, 08:56 PM
Yesterday the US signed a secret pact with alien forces and withdrew from the X-Com project. :(

Ample Vigour
05-17-2008, 10:40 PM
Yesterday the US signed a secret pact with alien forces and withdrew from the X-Com project. :(

Your choices consist of winning the game or restarting, I fear. Sven may have a more reasoned response.

PS - I once beat the game after losing every funding nation outside of the US. I had, however, hacked all my soldiers to be unstoppable badasses.

Mightyblue
05-18-2008, 12:58 AM
Yeah, I started a new game myself, since I'd learned a fair bit about things, and my old game wasn't going terribly well. Things went south pretty fast on a Terror mission involving a few Chrysalids, which quickly became a lot of Chrysalids.

Red Hedgehog
05-18-2008, 05:13 PM
Yesterday the US signed a secret pact with alien forces and withdrew from the X-Com project. :(

Yeah, uh, if you're not close to the end game or don't have a great manufacturing/profit base going and are very careful with the rest of the countries, you may be screwed.

Meditative_Zebra
05-18-2008, 09:31 PM
Yesterday the US signed a secret pact with alien forces and withdrew from the X-Com project. :(

This happened to me, too. I had been struggling to keep my bases financed, but since I had a cadre of engineers dedicated to pumping out laser cannons to put out there on the grey market for international weapons runners I had been keeping my finances in the black. But once the good ol' U.S. of A. cozied up with the greyskins, even my willingness to sell hyper-advanced weapon technology to any petty dictator who would pony up couldn't keep my operations afloat.

I recommend a re-load from an earlier save. I was able to go back and take out a shipload of sectoids in the Minneapolis area that I had skipped before. I guess it was the casualties that had made the U.S. cave in to the aliens the previous time. Once I took out that ship near the Twin Cities Uncle Sam decided that if X-COM was only about throwing money at a problem that it was worth spending taxpayer dollars to stay in the game. This suggests to me that the programmers knew a thing or two about politicians. ;-)

blindblue
05-18-2008, 10:27 PM
I was already moving towards the endgame, having captured and researched a Leader (the second highest-ranking alien), so I launched an all-out offensive on the alien bases that I knew existed to capture a big shot ASAP. I missed my chance on the first base assault when my intended target tried to shoot a Blaster Bomb straight down a transporter on the second floor and blew himself up along with his own control room. You'd think that an alien versed enough in interstellar warfare to earn the rank of "Sectoid Commander" would know how to point and shoot a projectile weapon correctly, but no dice.

The second strike went down much more smoothly, after Commander Tatyana and her 97 PSI Strength ordered her greyskin counterpart to march directly into Stun Bomb range. A quick mop-up and a week of research later, and I'm ready to win the whole thing, USA or no USA.

Ample Vigour
05-18-2008, 11:37 PM
I'm ready to win the whole thing, USA or no USA.

That's the way to do it! I'll play the Misfits' "Mars Attacks!" extra loud in your honor when you pull it off.

Mightyblue
05-19-2008, 01:18 AM
Man, I lead an assault on a Sectoid battleship. It went much better than I thought it would, especially since they were some cases of enemy friendly fire, and the Leader drove himself berserk trying to panic one of my guys. I only saw about 10 sectoids and 1 explodo disc thingy. Also didn't see anyone equipped with a football launcher, so that made my day. Best news: only two wounded and my tank miraculously survived a hail of heavy plasma fire.

Psi-tech, here I come.

EDIT: Also, damn, plasma beams tear the hell out of stuff you shoot down. I had an Interceptor down a small scout and the only thing that was left of it was a half-dead snakeman and the floor of the hull.

Falselogic
05-19-2008, 03:23 PM
To your LP Sven? I'm waiting for more memos and harrowing tales of hard won victories against the alien menace... Also I want more strategery from a pro!

Ample Vigour
05-19-2008, 10:04 PM
EDIT: Also, damn, plasma beams tear the hell out of stuff you shoot down. I had an Interceptor down a small scout and the only thing that was left of it was a half-dead snakeman and the floor of the hull.

Those missions are satisfying to the soul. I consider them payback for all the wet-your-pants terror inflicted on the player during the first two months of play.

Sven
05-20-2008, 07:58 AM
Sorry, folks - it was a long weekend up here and I was in Montreal. There'll be plenty for your Memorial Day reading pleasure, I promise.

Compared to the Hyperwave Decoder, radar is like having a blind man feel out the ship and then yell to you what he thinks he's touching.

Something the game doesn't tell you: The HWD acts as a 100% radar in addition to its decoding capability. Once you get it, you're fine to disassemble all your other radars and replace them with other units (for your main base, this will be when you want to start installing plasma defenses or fusion defenses if you have access to them)

Your choices consist of winning the game or restarting, I fear.

Depends on how secure you are in Europe, and how well you can exploit the scientist movement trick. But that's a BIG chunk of your funding gone in one fell swoop, and if your main base was there it's more annoying to keep track of everything.

You'd think that an alien versed enough in interstellar warfare to earn the rank of "Sectoid Commander" would know how to point and shoot a projectile weapon correctly, but no dice.

Aliens can't shoot straight down an elevator shaft. That's a nice thing to know in any situation where it's paradoxically safer to stand in the elevator than right next to it.

Those missions are satisfying to the soul.

Although not great for the bottom line... no Elerium makes X-Com upset. :(

Also didn't see anyone equipped with a football launcher, so that made my day.

Yeah, the longer you go the more you learn to fear a Blaster Bomb as the biggest threat to your team.

Ample Vigour
05-20-2008, 11:29 AM
Blaster Bombs have cut my personnel costs in half over the last few missions! Thanks, Blaster Bombs!

Seriously, it's horrible. The closer you get to the Leader/Commander, more likely you are to run into a BL-wielding baddie who will kill you, himself, the Commander, your squad, the cows outside... Once, back when I was first starting out, I lost an entire squad to secondary explosions because they stood too close to those explosive desks when a Blaster Bomb detonated.

MCBanjoMike
05-20-2008, 11:33 AM
Sorry, folks - it was a long weekend up here and I was in Montreal.

You should have said something! I was hanging about yesterday feeling idle, we could have made trouble.

Sven
05-20-2008, 01:00 PM
The following document is O-6 level classified.

================================================== ===
1999040118:40

MEMO

FROM: CINC UNSPC-COMM
TO: CINC-XCOM

SUB: MONTH 3 EVAL

Commander, we are disturbed to learn that the aliens are apparently making progress, in spite of what we presume to be your best efforts.

Base Construction: You started construction on the new base we discussed in Central Asia, which should give us the ability to monitor activity in what appears to be a very highly-trafficked (1) UFO area. I presume that with the additional workshop being built at your primary base, you’re intending on building something bigger – but what, exactly?

Research: You have completed Heavy Plasma research, which allowed you to construct Plasma Cannons. This research was followed up by researching Small Launchers and Stun Bombs. Given the results of your missions this month, I feel compelled to question this decision – just how long are you planning on sending out soldiers into the field with nothing protecting them save for their combat uniforms? I recognise the problem you face, but really, your casualty rates this month were just short of unacceptable. You’ve completed research into Personal Armour and the UFO’s power sources, so Power Suits are available. Please try to use them… after the failures of this past month, we’re having a bit more trouble with recruiting.

Manufacturing: The Plasma cannons were quickly completed – I think your engineers were happy to be building something a little more important than those Laser Cannons you keep trotting out. I accept your reasoning for using two cannons on every Interceptor – as our ships can’t keep up with most alien craft and need to do as much damage as possible. You turned a respectable profit on the Laser Cannons for the remainder of the month. Your manufacture of Laser-HWPs appears to have gone smoothly, and I gather this resulted in increased efficiencies within your base.

Missions: Compared to the prior month, this was a busy session for you. I know you probably don’t want me to re-hash the details for you, but I feel it is my responsibility to point out where things could have been done better.

a. Your first mission was to recover a downed UFO that Interceptor-2 had knocked out of the sky in a test of its new Plasma Cannon capability, after it became apparent that the UFO had no intentions of setting down under Interceptor duress. Your squad landed, and came under heavy sniper fire from a nearby building. Certain units retreated inside your ship, while one soldier bravely entered the building and attacked the alien at point-blank range. However, the alien managed to wound the soldier before dying, and due to the lack of proximity of a medical facility I’m not having to meet her family for a bereavement visit tomorrow. Thanks for giving me all the bad jobs, by the way. The remainder of the mission was a standard breach operation.

b. Your second mission of the month was… how can I put this mildly… FUBAR. A total, complete disaster. While I applaud you for managing to tail that large UFO all the way to what looks like a base in the Urals – and, yes, we’ll be talking with the Russian ambassador before long – things could certainly have gone better upon landing. First of all, you lost two soldiers to sniper fire when the Skyranger landed, which I accept was a difficult position but nothing you can’t normally deal with. What makes things worse, however, is that you then proceeded to lose five more soldiers AND a tank unit in the process of taking the UFO. I don’t know what happened in there, but from the debriefing of the three survivors from what I gather is that one of your soldiers lost their wits during the initial portion of the breach when they spotted an alien, and stared randomly shooting lasers around the rest of the group. I’m sure you’re right, and that soldier was not responsible for their actions, but nevertheless you’re going to have to submit to an investigation regarding your orders to put the panicked soldier down via friendly fire. And, no, I don’t believe your story about the soldier being under “alien control”, whatever that excuse you gave me was. The only good thing to come out of this debacle was that we were successful in capturing our first three aliens using those new Small Launchers you have our team equipped with.

c. Your ignorance of the alien attack in Siberia has been deemed allowable, as you were still waiting for reinforcements.

d. In your last mission, you encountered a new type of alien, one dressed in a hooded orange robe. They apparently attempted to use a small launcher against your forces, but missed. Your termination of this threat was much more to your usual standard with no casualties taken and a full alien ship recovered. We have issued promotions for the new members of the squad, and your remaining veterans will be pleased to see their new ranks. Try not to get this team killed as quickly.

Personnel: I noted that you over-requested soldiers again – your standards appear to be increasing, as this time you sent back anyone who was not rated 55 or above in shooting accuracy. We are having more luck with drawing talented recruits into our program, as your reputation is spreading through military backchannels. You added to your engineer complement again this month, but now THOSE personnel have gone missing in the last 24 hours. I’m sure they’ll turn up, but accounting doesn’t like this.

Overall, not a great month for you, although that didn’t really get reflected in your funding other than Russia. Now that you have some money to your name – even with that additional Interceptor lease coming onto the budget today – what are you going to do with it?

/s/

Moore, Col., CINC, UNSPC-COM

Postscript: That memoranda you sent to me with a proposed idea for an X-Com-backed squadron of flying saucers was the best April Fool’s joke I’ve heard in quite some time.

================================================== =============

(1) The amount of UFO traffic in an area is visible by checking out the Graphs tab in the Geoscape screen. Try to keep an eye on it when you’re choosing your third base – it may be more useful to place a base covering Australia or South America if alien activity is higher in those areas. For this game, there was clearly something going on in terms of flights over Europe and towards Asia, so I chose that as my base.

(2) The lack of armour isn’t me being mean and treating my soldiers as bullet-catchers. Well, not ENTIRELY… in this case, when I don’t know what my soldiers’ respective PSI strengths are, I never have any real idea of whether I’ll have to put someone down before they decide to throw a grenade at a group of other operatives. With all my troops sporting laser rifles, I don’t think I’d be capable of killing an alien controlled agent wearing power armour. And while I lost some good people on that mission, it’s inevitable that a bad one like that sneaks through when going after a Sectoid supply ship. The good news was that the remaining troops who survived MUST be decent PSI soldiers, as the game “cheats” a bit and has aliens automatically go after weak PSI troops they know the location of. So the soldiers who survived without getting brainbuzzed must be relatively strong.

Also, since I don't know which soldiers will have high PSI strengths I won't know which soldiers are going to be on my "A" teams at the end of the game. I usually have one ship with a PSI-ready crew and a second (based in Asia) equipped with all my stragglers who are comfortable taking out Mutons / Snakemen / Floaters but not Sectoids or Ethereals.

Mightyblue
05-20-2008, 01:09 PM
Really? I mean, I noticed the psychic thing to an extent, but my luck with my primary team draw meant that I had most of my guys within the 60-70 range for PSI strength and I've got one guy with 92. I know I had a lot of trouble with a Sectoid Leader trying to PSI everybody when I assaulted a landed battleship, but after awhile the Sectoid kept trying to PSI the guy with a 92 rating (not that I knew it at the time).

You know it takes six or seven shots with a laser rifle to down a Power Suited soldier? The best part was that I didn't even kill him. I just shot him so much he collapsed from subdual damage.

Sven
05-22-2008, 08:40 AM
Really? I mean, I noticed the psychic thing to an extent, but my luck with my primary team draw meant that I had most of my guys within the 60-70 range for PSI strength and I've got one guy with 92.

That is lucky - my advanced game wound up with my three most experienced troops (a Commander amongst them) drawing a 3, a 12, and a 9.

Mind you, thanks to having something like 80 troops on staff in anticipation of PSI research starting up, I also drew two 100s and about twelve in the 90s. Owing to my cheapness, I then fired my vets because, well, they just weren't cost-effective.

Ample Vigour
05-22-2008, 01:20 PM
I then fired my vets because, well, they just weren't cost-effective.

Once again, sentimentality and X-Com do not mix. I'm on a break after blaster bombs turned a ship assault into a Michael Bay explosion megamix. At least I'll have time to powerlevel and beat Chaos.

Mightyblue
05-22-2008, 01:32 PM
I've got a base in Siberia I'm eyeing, but I'm training a cadre of psi-soldiers and trying to build an Avenger first so I can bring down the big hammer.

Ample Vigour
05-26-2008, 11:13 PM
My squaddies are in the middle of taking down a Muton battleship when, on the enemy's turn, I hear the telltale report of a Blaster Launcher. I'm watching the purple football zoom around and mentally composing condolence letters when there's a huge explosion and an alien death scream. Moments later, the scene plays itself out again.

I have never been so thankful for shoddy targeting AI. If the bad guys were as good at using BLs as players can be, no one would ever get off the ramp.

EDIT: Muton #3 was much more skillful. Time to reload...

Falselogic
06-10-2008, 04:36 PM
What happened? This is X-com! How'd the thread die?

...This must be why we'll never see a sequel, just can't keep anyone's attention

Ample Vigour
06-10-2008, 04:42 PM
What happened? This is X-com! How'd the thread die?

...This must be why we'll never see a sequel, just can't keep anyone's attention

I think everyone who was playing beat the game. No hard feelings for the OP letting this die; this was pretty ambitious.

Egarwaen
06-10-2008, 09:03 PM
What happened? This is X-com! How'd the thread die?

I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.

Falselogic
06-10-2008, 09:39 PM
I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.


LOL, they have to be at least somewhat competent they did get here...

Red Hedgehog
06-11-2008, 09:57 AM
I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.

They're not so bad. A few people go missing here and there, some cows get mutilated, occasional random death and destruction in a major city, but otherwise life goes on.


I actually think the real downfall of this thread was inability to get good pictures. Sven probably should have gone with the DOS version.

mike
06-11-2008, 10:26 AM
I actually think the real downfall of this thread was inability to get good pictures. Sven probably should have gone with the DOS version.

I was really enjoying the faux memo write-ups, and it's fascinating to read LP threads by people who are much better at their game than I ever was, but I'd agree that the inconsistent availability of images and consequent reliance on UFOpaedia stills had a lot to do with this thread's inaccessibility to readers who aren't series vets. If the Gametap or DOS versions are more screencap friendly (and are savegame compatible), I'd be willing to help out if Sven ever feels like picking this up again.

Eddie
12-18-2012, 10:08 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_01.jpg

December 21st, 2012; days before Christmas.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_02.jpg

New York. The end of the Mayan Calender.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_03.jpg

The day our world changed.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_04.jpg

The day our civilization met with extraterrestrial life.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_05.jpg

Many called it the end of the world.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_06.jpg

But funny thing about endings;

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_07.jpg

A very smart person wrote once that writing a good ending to a story is about knowing when to stop.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_08.jpg

You continue any story too long, and it's no longer "happily ever-after".

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_09.jpg

Eventually tragedy strikes. Disease perhaps.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_10.jpg

Financial Ruin. Divorce. Old age.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_11.jpg

Payback. Revenge. Death.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_12.jpg

But what the writer didn't mention, is that sometimes you keep going...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_13.jpg

... and the story can change. Hope can come back.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_14.jpg

New fortunes. New Alliances.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcomintro_15.jpg

Rebirth.

Eddie
12-18-2012, 10:14 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcommotivator.jpg

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Update 1: Introduction, and UFO 1 Mission (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1446957#post1446957)
Update 2: Soldiers, and UFO 3 Mission (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1447490#post1447490)
Update 3: Superhuman Base Defense (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1447958#post1447958)
Update 4: More Base Defense, CYBERDISKS! (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1448536#post1448536)
Update 5: TERROR in Africa, Diplomacy (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1449113#post1449113)
Update 6: A European Vacation, with Plasma! (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1449580&postcount=241)
Update 7: Scotland Throws an Alien Party (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1450041#post1450041)
Update 8: Ranking Your Comrades (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1450939#post1450939)
Update 9: Time Jump! (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1452154&postcount=277) (Amendment (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1452312&postcount=286))
Update 10: This is a Nightmare! (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1452693#post1452693)
Update 11: Sunk their Battleship (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1453434#post1453434)
Update 12: Psionics and Chryssalids (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1454161#post1454161)
Update 13: Booooring (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1455437#post1455437)
Update 14: Getting Ethe-real. (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?p=1455876#post1455876)


Soldier Recruitment Drive! (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1446966&postcount=167)
Current and Fallen Comrades (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1447514&postcount=197)
Better Know a UFO! (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1451456&postcount=275)
Research the Area (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1453518&postcount=317)

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:05 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_01.jpg

Welcome to X-Com: UFO Defense! Also known in Europe as UFO: Enemy Unknown. Not to be confused with X-Com: Enemy Unknown because... uh, boy they really weren't thinking with that title.

X-Com often pops up on "best games of all time", and for good reason! While not a perfect game, like games such as Master of Orion before it, it successfully took some very disparate elements and somehow made them work together.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_02.jpg

The heart of this game lies in it's tense missions, where your units duke it out against aliens with superior position, weaponry, and technology, but there are also Civilization-esq elements of base and unit management, technology, and research.

Sven's original LP was put on hiatus, and then Sven disappeared. I want to bring this game back to your guy's attention, because while it's lacking polish, it's still a fantastic game. I'm planning on including lots of screenshots, and as much analysis about the game's mechanics as I can (eventually) cram in. I won't be info-dumping right away, but keep tuning in; I hope to eventually explain everything.

I'm playing on Superhuman, Veteran, but fun fact: the game is full of some charming bugs, and one of them is that the difficulty gets reset to "Beginner" after one mission. I will be fixing this using a third party program.

We're going to be doing this "Ironman": if a unit dies, they die. No reloading of games.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_03.jpg

The first decision to make it to determine where we set our first base up. A poll of #talkingtime determined that our first base would be in an unassuming location in Alabama (http://www.spacecamp.com/).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_04.jpg

The Aliens will never find it here.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_05.jpg

The first matter is a bit of base management. We can see a zoomed-out version of our base on the left. At the top and bottom corners we can see three hangers, with a Skyranger (our troop transport) and two Interceptors (our attack fighters for downing UFOs).

The Octagon with the red square inside is our lift; this is how units (friendly or otherwise) enter. The building to the next of it is a living quarters, where our soldiers, scientists, and Engineers live.

Just above our two Interceptor hangers, we have a Small Radar (for detecting UFOs), a General Stores (for... storing items), a Labratory (for research) and a Workshop (for crafting stuff).

I will get a further explanation about all of the menus on the right eventually, but for now we're only going to worry about a few menus. From top to bottom:

1) Build New Base: Set up a second (or third, or....) base elsewhere on the planet. Bases only have so much room, radar has only so much range, and since our ships need to travel to where they want to go, we'll eventually build at least four more over the course of the game.

2) Base Information: Information about your base.

3) Soldiers: See information about all the soldiers (your combat units) who are stationed at a base.

4) Equip Craft: Add soldiers/weapons/items to your transport units, and different weapons to your Interceptors.

5) Build Facilities: You won't get too far with just your initial facilities; here's how you can "expand" your base.

6) Research: Assign scientists to research new technlogy, or to interrogate Aliens.

7) Manufacture: Get your engineers to craft something, usually for your units to use. A good source of money late in the game.

8) Transfer: Transfer personal and/or items to another base. Useless right now.

9) Purchase/Recruit: Buy something, will ya'?

10) Sell/Sack: The opposite of above.

11) Geoscape: Exit to the world map. Time stops in this menu, so you have to be outside to "progress".

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_06.jpg

Our personal! Hmm, these guys and gals all have something in common...

I will save a further explanation of Soldiers for a future update. Right now, just now that they're the initial 8 soldiers the game tosses to us, and (with perhaps one or two exceptions) they probably suck.

If you want to "have" a soldier in our X-Com unit, I will have details after this update.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_07.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_08.jpg

Our Interceptors are initially equipped with a 50mm Cannon which stinks. We're going to replace one with more missiles, because high explosives are everything's mortal weakness.

We'll also remove some of the junk loaded onto Skyranger 1.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_09.jpg

Until more General Stores are built, you'll find you'll be pretty tight on storage room. We're going to want to purchase a bunch of stuff, and to do so we'll need space!

The Stingray Launcher and Cannon are aircraft weapons that we'll be replacing with more Avalance Launchers that we will soon purchase. Pistols are pretty worthless, and Heavy Cannons (while not bad) take too much effort to use well. Rifles will work in the short term.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_10.jpg

Getting some more Soldiers and Scientists are a must; we've only got enough room for 22 more, so we'll hire 7 new soldiers and 15 Scientists to bump our research. We're also purchasing a Tank, because they're very useful. They need 30 "shells" to use (whether you plan to shoot aliens with them or not), but hopefully we'll never have to fire one, for reasons I'll get into later.

(Yes, I know the buy/sell screen isn't necessarily orderly.)

Not seen: we're purchasing a few more grenades and some flares. Grenades are a pretty reliable weapon in the early game, and flares are a must for night combat (note: you never WANT to fight at night if you can help it!).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_11.jpg

We also add on some new facilities; you'll quickly run out of storeroom unless you build some new ones, so we're building two for now. We're also building another living quarters (so we can hold more Scientists), an Alien Containment unit (needed to interrogate aliens), and a Large Radar (so we get some better UFO detection).

Note that you have to build next to other completed facilities. This is actually a bad layout if there is ever a UFO invasion, but we'll deal with that if we have to deal with that.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_12.jpg

We start researching too. We'll use our ten scientists for now, and add the 15 we ordered when they come. I normally skip Laser Weapons, but I've heard a lot of good things about them, so we'll be trying them this LP.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_13.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_14.jpg

Once done with our base management, it's back to the Geoscape to waste some time. If you're playing using DosBOX (and you probably are!), you might need to fiddle with the speed in order for stuff not to go too fast. With few exceptions, the game will allow you to slow down time to 5 second increments when an event happens, but I like to use 5 or 30 minute ones anyway.

Time of day is pretty important when dealing with missions; the "sun" does regular intervals, so paying attention to it is important when deciding to go on missions.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_15.jpg

The stuff we ordered starts arriving! Different items take different times to ship, so we'll get everything slightly piecemeal. With our new Avalanche Launchers however, we can start upgrading our craft one at a time in order to be able to take down UFOs.

(Upgrading them both at once is asking the game to send a UFO your way when both your fighters are out of commission while their weapons are refitted.)

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:06 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_16.jpg

Those scientists we mail-ordered arrive too, so we add them to our current LASER research. Note the "Laboratory Space Available" number: each Laboratory only has enough room for 50 nerds at once. To have more than 50 scientists (and we'll want more eventually) we'll need to add more Laboratories.

We will eventually add at least 100 more, but not at this base.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_17.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_18.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_19.jpg

Our first research item finishes, and it opens up the ability to research Laser Pistols. We want these, so we set our 25 geeks to the task figuring our how to shoot small lasers at aliens.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_20.jpg

We also get our Tank. It's added to craft like the Skyranger just like rifles and grenades are. By request, we'll call this Tank "PHILLIAM".

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_21.jpg

WARNING: Our first UFO has been detected!

UFOs have different "missions" that determines their behavior. We won't be able to tell what this one is up to without some future technology. This one is likely just scouting.

If a UFO's altitude is listed as "very low", it's probably looking at landing. It can be very profitable to "take" an undamaged ship, but since this guy is flying too high to make us believe he's planning on landing in North America, let's just shoot him out of the sky.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_22.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_23.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_24.jpg

We send Interceptor 1 (with our Avalanche Launchers) at the enemy. We catch up with it somewhere around Southern Ontario.

The last screen shows what is basically a small mini-game; our ship (at the bottom of the green screen) and the alien ship (at the top) are facing off against each other. Again, we'll talk more about this later, but here's the basics:

The green "dotted line" on the screen shows the range of our weapon, which in this case is two missiles, with three shots apiece. Both your ships and enemy UFOs have weapons with a fixed range; beyond them, neither ship can attack the other. We can exploit this later, but for now we'll just use our "Aggressive Attack" to close with the ship as fast as possible: we don't want this UFO getting away, and as it's faster than us, if it runs we'll likely not catch it again.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_25.jpg

One pair of missiles is enough.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_26.jpg

We equip our craft for this mission. Skyrangers have enough room for 14 soldiers, with Tanks taking up "four" of those spaces. With 8 soldiers, we'll give them one rifle and one clip each. Needing a second clip, even in longer missions, is pretty unlikely; we'll either be dead or they will by the time we empty a gun clip, and worst case we can scavenge off the bodies of our dead comrades.

We take the Rocket Launcher (the strongest weapon in the early game), and two grenades for each unit (which is probably overkill; one each should be fine). Finally, we bring four flares. We should be able to reach the crash site before the sun sets, but just in case (and so I don't forget later). More than four is probably overkill.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_27.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_28.jpg

Your ships take time to reach places, so remember to account for travel time if necessary so you can land when the sun is still up. This time the sun is nipping at our heels, but I think we should be okay.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_29.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_30.jpg

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:08 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_31.jpg

They'll show you different screens depending on the "mission", but everyone basically boils down to one objective: kill or capture all the enemy aliens.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_32.jpg

The game can be weird about giving units items, so we have to give SlimJimm this rocket launcher manually. He's last in the order, to help ensure that he doesn't step off the plane and explode his fellow units accidentally (it can happen, I'm told *cough*).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_33.jpg

I hand flares out to our first four units just in case. If I was SURE we'd be landing at nighttime, I'd put the flares in their hands so they could toss them ASAP.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_34.jpg

Behind you loading screen guy!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_36.jpg

First things first: your aircraft has some windows right at the back! The leading cause of death in this game is probably getting shot by Aliens as you move off the plane. The units closest to the back of your ship won't have enough time units (TU; it's represents by the green bar under Makkara's name, as well as the green number "45") to get off the ship and do something meaningful, so get them to peer out the window. You'll rarely see anything, but vision in this game is VERY important!

We can see in the top right that we landed near the enemy UFO. The smoke around the ship indicates that the UFO's core is shot, which is too bad (it's worth a lot of money intact), but not too surprising.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_36.jpg

Our tank, PHILLIAM will always start near the exit to the craft ahead of our soldiers, and is a fantastic unit to lead the charge. Tanks have immense movement and a lot of armor (so they can take shots that your human units can't), so use them to scout out where enemies are.

No matter where you tell a unit to move, it will freeze and let you give it new order if it sees an enemy, such as what happened here. The red "1" indicates that PHILLIAM can see one enemy; more would be indicated by more individual numbers.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_37.jpg

PROTIP: click on the red number in order to centre on the enemy unit.

It's a Sectoid! Not surprising.

Sectoids are the most common enemy units in the early game, and - with some exceptions - are the weakest enemy unit you'll come across. They're still dangerous however! All enemy units carry Plasma weapons, which will almost assuredly kill one of your units in one shot, whereas your own Rifles often require two or more hits to kill them. On top of that, Plasma weapons are a LOT more accurate.

Never underestimate a lone enemy in this game!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_38.jpg

PHILLIAM spots another Sectoid behind the downed UFO when it turns around.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_39.jpg

The one to the left is a smaller threat because our Skyranger will give us plenty of cover to use against it. Not so much this new one, as it can fire directly at the rear of our ship where we'll all be. We bring AlexB down to try and fire at it.

A quick note on movement: each move takes TUs to use. X-Com's maps are split into a fairly standard grid, with several "height" layers, the latter of which won't see too much use in this mission (but will on later ones). A step in a solid cardinal direction takes 4 TUs, a diagonal 6 TUs, and turning in a different direction costs 1 TU each. I'll explain movement in more detail in a later post, but it's important to ensure that you have good vision of the battlefield, and to not squander your TUs.

Note also that AlexB can't "actually" see the Alien (i.e. there's no red number in the bottom right), but because we know where it "is" (thanks to PHILLIAM) we can take shots at it. There are a number of reasons why you'd want to do this, but the biggest is that if you can't see an Alien, it probably can't see you, and if it can't see you, it can't use retaliation fire against you. This is important!

Lets try and take a shot.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_40.jpg

Most weapons have three modes: Aimed Shot (one shot, high accuracy, high TU use), Snap Shot (one shot, medium accuracy, low TU use), and Auto Shot (three hots, low accuracy, medium TU use). The TUs a "weapon" uses depends entirely on the unit; these are "percentages" of the unit's max TUs, so if AlexB's TUs went up (as they will as she survives missions), the TU "cost" of shooting a weapon will go up too.

In a Rifle's case, an Aimed Shot takes 80% of a unit's maximum TUs, a Snap Shot takes 25%, and an Auto Shot takes 35%.

In general, Auto Shots are the go-to "attack", because - for their TU cost - they have the best chance of "hitting" a target. For only 5 TU's more, we have about (what I'm calculating, perhaps badly) at about a ~45% chance that at least ONE of the shots will hit. Not all weapons have an Auto Shot feature, such as Rocket Launchers, and in those cases sometimes an Aimed Shot is worth it. Snap Shots will happen, particularly as reaction fire.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_41.jpg

The formula for whether a unit hits or not is actually pretty complex for this game, but in general, the listed accuracy can be considered a "direct hit" on a unit, and doesn't change with distance to a target. Being closer to a target DOES make it easier to hit however, but at this range you won't notice much of a difference. However, the game does take into account cover; in this case, all we really manage to do is shoot some dents into our ride.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_42.jpg

Merus comes down next and tries his hand at shoot that Sectoid. He doesn't have much luck either. Most starting units have terrible accuracy scores, and these ones are probably no exception. Rifles aren't really known for their accuracy either, so that isn't helping.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_43.jpg

As Merus ducks for cover, he finds another Sectoid just south of the ship. Stars and Bars! They've got us surrounded!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_44.jpg

Grants tries his luck...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_45.jpg

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:09 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_46.jpg

... and is successful, taking the Sectoid down with the second of his three shots! We hear a death scream, indicating that we outright killed it (this can be important). That takes care of one of them..

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_47.jpg

We move the rest of our crew to the entrance to exit the Skyranger next turn. You can get everyone off your ship at the first turn, but I prefer playing it safe and keeping the last two rows nice and safe inside.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_48.jpg

During the enemy's turn, the computer will move the enemy units around. Unless you have vision, you'll have no idea where an enemy moves to, although you can sometimes hear clues (such as doors opening) that give hints.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_49.jpg

If you can see an enemy, you can get an idea of where they are (although not necessarily with perfect accuracy). This guy is a new Sectoid that we didn't spot; it fire ineffectually and takes cover behind his own ship.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_50.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_51.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_52.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_53.jpg
AlexB! Our first casualty :(

There's not much that you can do sometimes; Alex was behind some cover, but without any armour the chances of surviving a plasma blast are pretty slim.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_54.jpg

The one behind the Alien lands a couple of hits on our tank, but it's still good. The aliens are likely using Plasma Pistols, which can kill a tank with enough lucky shots, but the tank will often simply absorb all (or most) of the damage as long as they only hit it from the front.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_55.jpg

Our turn!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_56.jpg

Ringworm takes a shot and...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_57.jpg

Success! That's two.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_58.jpg

We use our tank to get some vision of this guy, and see if any of the units we've moved under the Skyranger can get a shot. This Sectoid is on top of a small hill, so we might not have line of sight...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_59.jpg

But Grant manages to see enough of him to score his second kill. He's on a roll!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_60.jpg

We move everyone else against the ship or behind the wheels of the Skyranger for cover. We might have to breech that UFO, but first we need to deal with that Sectoid still outside.

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:10 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_61.jpg

On the Enemy's turn, the Sectoid lands a few more shots on PHILLIAM before retreating back to cover.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_61.jpg

PHILLIAM is still a-okay tho; not to ruin the Math, but a Plasma Pistol only has about a ~10% chance of actually dealing any damage as long as the shots hit the front armour. The rear armour is still sturdy, but the chance of it being damage by a plasma pistol rises to about ~40%.

This is true for enemy and human units too; the armour in front is usually always the strongest, although in the case of Sectoids and Humans, that isn't saying much. Humans have a base 12 armour from the front (standard issue X-Com attire), and Sectoids have about 4 on this difficulty. That's why most shots tend to be pretty fatal for them, while our Tank only has it's paint scratched.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_63.jpg

We move PHILLIAM up to spot the Alien, and to hopefully draw more of its fire.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_64.jpg

In the meantime, Makkara is going to try and blow this jerk up.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_65.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_66.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_67.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_68.jpg

There are two things to know about grenades, the second thing being really important. The first is that the timer "goes off" at the end of X turns, where X is the time you set. I don't find setting a long timer to be that useful, and usually just set the timer to 0 and toss em.

The second thing you need to know is that a grenade that you carry will not explode until you drop it (either by throwing it, or otherwise). Priming a grenade always takes 25 TUs, so you can save yourself some time by priming one on one turn, and throwing it the next. Or by priming it, dropping it (which costs little TUs) and then moving, allowing someone else to move onto that square, pick it up, and throw it. Heck, you can throw a grenade around like a hot potato to get it where you need it to be, although using more than two soldiers to do so is probably a waste of TUs.

You can set a grenade to 0 on turn 1 in this manner and simply carry it around if you want, but that can be dangerous: if the unit is killed (or knocked unconscious), the grenade will go off at the end of the turn.

In this case, Makkara has enough TUs to prime the grenade, toss it into the square next to the Sectoid, and duck behind the ship for cover. Grenades are stronger than Rifles, and deal damage in a small area. They're really useful in the early game because units tend to be a lot more accurate at tossing grenades where you want them than they are at shooting aliens with junky weapons.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_69.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_70.jpg

We take cover in case that alien takes some shots at us, and move to flank in the worst case scenario.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_71.jpg

X-Com explosions are the best explosions.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_72.jpg

Rats! It survived. On its turn it takes a shot at PHILLIAM but misses.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_73.jpg

Grant, kneeling (which increases accuracy slightly), and from behind the cover of one of the Skyranger's wheels, tries to get his third kill...

... but his shots miss.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_74.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_75.jpg

And the alien retaliates! Units (yours or the computers) have a chance at using retaliation fire if they haven't used up all of their TUs at the end of the turn.

That sucks! His firing accuracy was probably aces. Grant, you at least killed two of those bastards before they got you. Not like that AlexB punk.

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:11 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_76.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_77.jpg

Makkara avenges Grant, but her shot only knocks out the alien. You obviously can't tell because there is no sound in screenshots, but this one didn't scream when it fell. For most aliens, unconscious is as good as dead; aliens drop all their items when they are knocked out, and if they don't bleed to death, they'll be completely defenseless when they wake up since they refuse to pick up items.

(Some aliens have built in attacks, but Sectoids - or at least, THESE Sectoids - do not.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_78.jpg

We get into position to breech the UFO and end our turn...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_79.jpg

... and the mission ends! Any sectoids inside the ship must be of the "dead" kind. Our Alien containment facility is still under construction, so we put a bullet in this one's oversized head and bring its corpse back to the base.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_80.jpg

Here's our score for the mission. We don't get any bonus for that one alien we "captured" (nor does it count as us killing it), which is too bad, but it's not a big deal. The seven corpses indicates that there were probably a small number still inside the UFO. Those 21 Alien "Artefacts" the stuff those aliens were wearing, which is probably mostly just plasma pistols and clips for plasma pistols.

Losing Grant and AlexB gives us -40 to our score. Honestly, losing just two units on a mission is pretty good!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_81.jpg

And promotions! Rank generally means very little in this game for how good a unit is, but the one place it does count is for unit morale. I'll go into morale another time tho.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom01_82.jpg

And that's the mission! Now to fly home and see what goodies we got..

... I think I'll end the update here. But before I do that, what do you say TT: Do you want to (hopefully) be on my winning X-Com team?

Eddie
12-18-2012, 11:15 PM
X-COM WANTS YOU

Here's how new units are going to work:

1) Only the best units are going to be kept, with the exception of the eight you get at the start of the game. I'll go into soldier statistics next update, but rest assured your unit won't be killed because your unit is incompetent. You'll be killed because the game is lethal and unforgiving!

2) The original eight soldiers, plus PHILLIAM, were all named after departed TT forum users; nine individuals who have a ton of posts, but haven't been active for months (or in some cases, years). They weren't "screened" beforehand, so they'll likely be the worst units who will die quickly/open UFO doors for us.

3) You can put your name in the queue to become a Soldier, or remove it, whenever you like, with the knowledge that without advance notice, your name might be attached to a unit I "create" when starting an update, meaning that it's too late to remove yourself from the queue.

The initial queue will be comprised of the top posters from TT. If you wish to add (or remove) yourself, just post:

CURRENT X-COM QUEUE


Mogri *recruited!*
Tefari *recruited!*
shivam *resurrected!*
TK Flash *dead!*
Olli T *resurrected!*
Rai *recruited!*
Yimothy *resurrected!*
Gerad *resurrected!*
Red Hedgehog *resurrected!*
kaisel *resurrected!*
StriderDL *dead!*
Falselogic *recruited!*
Alixsar *recruited!*
Mightyblue *recruited!*
Dizzy *dead!*
CaptBlasto *recruited!*
namelessentity *dead twice over!*
Destil *recruited!*
Son of Sinistar *resurrected!*
Torzelbaum *resurrected!*
Austin *recruited!*
MCBanjoMike *dead!*
ajr82 *recruited!*
Octopus Prime *dead!*
Nich *resurrected!*
Soren Highwind *recruited!*
Epithet *recruited!*
Nodal *recruited!*
Guildenstern *resurrected!*
Brickroad *dead!*
Calorie Mate *recruited!*
Kishi *recruited!*
Sarcasmorator *dead!*
TheSL *dead!*
reibeatall *dead!*
Meditative_Zebra *recruited!*
Adrenaline *dead!*
LancerECNM *dead!*
Zef *dead!*
McClain *dead!*
Kylie *recruited!*
Stiv *recruited!*
JUNK *dead!*
Loki *dead!*
jpfriction *recruited!*
Lucas *recruited!*
Alpha Werewolf *recruited!*
djSyndrome *recruited!*
Kirin *recruited!*
BEAT *recruited!*
Pajaro Pete *recruited!*
sraymonds *recruited!*
Balrog *recruited!*
Tomm Guycot *recruited!*
PappilonReel *recruited!*
Droo *recruited!*

Mogri
12-18-2012, 11:20 PM
Sign me up, and make sure my psi defense isn't terrible.

This is the new best thing.

Serephine
12-18-2012, 11:24 PM
Eddie, I think you have a problem.

That said sign me up and keep the tips and tricks coming.

Also this is probably a dumb question but have you heard of OpenXCOM (http://openxcom.org/)? When I get around to playing this that's probably gonna be what I use.

Olli T
12-19-2012, 01:16 AM
You need warm bodies? Sign me up.

Rai
12-19-2012, 01:51 AM
What's that you say?

Travel the world?

Meet new and interesting life?

Where do I sign!

Yimothy
12-19-2012, 05:10 AM
I'm pretty sure I wanna be a part of this.

Gerad
12-19-2012, 07:55 AM
I will join the army.

Red Hedgehog
12-19-2012, 08:14 AM
We start researching too. We'll use our ten scientists for now, and add the 15 we ordered when they come. I normally skip Laser Weapons, but I've heard a lot of good things about them, so we'll be trying them this LP.

Laser weapons are quite good in the early game - especially the pistols as they are quick, accurate, and do reasonable damage and aside from your first few missions, you don't tend to find many plasma pistols. Laser weapons are also the best way to take down sectopods. And finally Laser Cannons offer the best ROI of any piece of manufacturing in the game.

That said, I usually research Medikits first as it takes awhile to get to Laser Cannon and Medikits provide a good enough ROI to start playing money-making game right at the beginning.

---

Also, feel free to put my name down. Are you going to be pre-screening soldiers before naming them? (Hiring them, checking their stats, then sacking them if their bravery isn't high enough?)

Eddie
12-19-2012, 08:43 AM
Also, feel free to put my name down. Are you going to be pre-screening soldiers before naming them? (Hiring them, checking their stats, then sacking them if their bravery isn't high enough?)

I could use an editor to simply give soldiers the stats I want, but in the spirit of the game I will be mass-hiring soldiers, and firing the ones whose stats are terrible. There's no magic formula, but in general, TT soldiers will have a Bravery >= 40, and a Firing Accuracy of ~60.

Unfortunately for Mogri, I won't be checking for Psi Defense with an Editor, so he'll simply need to live for several months and hope the game ws generous enough to him.

Red Hedgehog
12-19-2012, 09:13 AM
I could use an editor to simply give soldiers the stats I want, but in the spirit of the game I will be mass-hiring soldiers, and firing the ones whose stats are terrible. There's no magic formula, but in general, TT soldiers will have a Bravery >= 40, and a Firing Accuracy of ~60.

Yeah, using only in-game means is what I meant. I was just double-checking that you wouldn't actually name people unless they pass muster. (Sorry Mogri, you're a pathetic wimp. Back to latrine duty for you!)

Fredde
12-19-2012, 10:03 AM
I've always loved the comic-booky background pictures in this game.

kaisel
12-19-2012, 10:12 AM
Sign me up Eddie.

Maybe after reading your LP I can actually get a decent idea of how to play X-Com, instead of fumbling around and giving up.

StriderDL
12-19-2012, 11:33 AM
Sign me up for cannon fodder!

Falselogic
12-19-2012, 11:34 AM
Put me in the queue...

I was tempted to just edit the post and put myself at the top... There's got to be some perks for being the LP Mod.

Alixsar
12-19-2012, 11:42 AM
Move my dude to the top of the queue and then make him better than everyone else because obviously he would be better than everyone else.

If he dies, you die. I will find you.

Mightyblue
12-19-2012, 12:45 PM
Sure, why not? This'll be grand.

Dizzy
12-19-2012, 01:47 PM
Wow so I guess I've been recruited into this? Fine.







But I'll read the rules later when I feel like it.

CaptBlasto
12-19-2012, 03:17 PM
I'll sign up for the queue!

namelessentity
12-19-2012, 03:17 PM
I love X-Com, and it is also one of the first games where I really got into the math of everything.

Sign me up as a new recruit, please.

Destil
12-19-2012, 04:31 PM
Count me in.

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:40 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_02.png

Welcome back! We've "captured" our first alien wreckage, so now we'll take a peek in and see what's inside!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_03.png

Nothing too out of the ordinary, aside from a lone Heavy Plasma rifle. Despite having obvious looking "shooty" ends and "trigger" ends, we'll need to research any plasma weapon (and its accompanying ammunition) before we can use it.

You can see that these aliens weapons are worth a pretty penny to sell; I was thinking about selling the plasma pistols and clips, but I don't need the money for anything at this exact moment. They'll be sold the minute I get Plasma Rifles tho. We can probably sell the grenades too, we'll be swimming in them later (and like the Plasma weapons, they need to be researched first to use them).

The Mind Probes are worth a lot too, although they're not really useful items, but we'll keep one around. They let you find out an alien's rank/statistics, but it takes a lot of TUs (50% of them). The general rule for any item is to keep one for research, and then sell the rest. The Sectoid corpses are worthless save one (to research), so they're sold to various gossip tabloids and whoever makes Lady Gaga's wardrobe.

Now let's check out some new recruits that came in!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_04.png

Mogri here is an above-average soldier. The effectiveness of units is determined through a combination of all of those above stats, although some are more useful than others. Enemy units have the same stats too! The two most important (in my opinion) are Bravery, and Firing Accuracy. I'll explain why a bit later, but here's a quick rundown of what each stat does:

Time Units (TUs): This determines how far your character can move in a turn. TUs are refreshed at the start of your turn. Recruits start with between 50-60 TUs, and can raise it to about 80 through training.

Stamina: Also known as "Energy". When units perform (most) actions, they lose stamina. A unit that has no stamina cannot move, as they're simply too tired to do so. Units regain an amount of stamina at the start of each turn equal to 1/3rd of their initial TU value, but it's generally not too big of a problem to worry about recruiting high TU rookies. Recruits start with between 40-70 Stamina, and can raise it to about 100 through training.

Health: How much damage your character can take before they die. If you remember how much our Tank, PHILLIAM, has, you'll see that these values tend to be quite low compared to other stats. Injuries that don't kill a unit outright can cause "fatal wounds", which reduce your health each turn. Health only recovers outside of missions, with mandatory leave that can take over a month. Recruits start with between 25-40 Health, and can raise it to about 60 through training.

Bravery: How psychologically tough the unit is under pressure. As X-Com agents are killed, morale can start to suffer. A character with a high Bravery is less likely to panic or go berserk. Morale can be seen in combat; below 50% morale, you have a chance of losing control of the unit for the turn. Recruits start with between 10-60 Bravery, and can raise it to 100 through training.

Reactions: This governs both the unit's chance to "react" to enemy movement (i.e. fire back with a weapon, if they've got the TUs to do so), as well as to prevent enemy's from taking reaction shots. This can be pretty important! Recruits start with between 30-60 Reactions, and can raise it to about 100 through training.

Firing Accuracy: Simply, how good a shot your unit is. Recruits start with between 40-70 Firing Accuracy, and can raise it to about 120 through training.

Throwing Accuracy: Like Firing Accuracy, but for stuff like grenades. Not very useful, unless your unit also has a high strength and wants to chuck something really far (the great thing about grenades is that you don't need to be that accurate with them). Recruits start with between 50-80 Throwing Accuracy, and can raise it to about 120 through training.

Strength: Determines how much you can carry, and how far you can toss stuff. Items all have "weight" units, and if you exceed it, you suffer TU penalties. Unless you're carrying a LOT of stuff around (or corpses), you don't need to worry about this. Recruits start with between 20-40 Strength, and can raise it to about 70 through training.

There are also two hidden stats, which won't be seen until much later in the game, but we'll get to those when we get access to them.

Training is done, simply, by doing related actions. "Reactions" is trained by taking Reaction shots with a weapon (you don't need to hit with it). Hitting enemies with bullets (or weirdly, grenade explosions) helps train your Firing Accuracy. Four can be raised just by doing stuff: TUs. Health, Strength, and Stamina. Not every action works, but in general, having one "reaction" shot, hitting an enemy in combat with a bullet (or grenade blast), or having the unit's morale below 50% for a turn will be enough. Stats tend to increase slowly, but hitting killing enemies tends to help improve your stats quicker.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_05.png

Here is Teferi, and *whistle* what a beaut! Aside from a slightly middling Firing Accuracy, this kid will go places (as long as he isn't killed first).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_06.png

We dump those other losers for having the gall to use proper names. It's the first test of X-Com: can you come up with a forum alias?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_07.png

We're going to want a nice stable of soldiers, so we'll keep recruiting and dumping them until we get some decent units.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_08.png

Here's an example of a mediocre unit. You can see (thanks to the lighter bars) where the unit began, and where they're going to. In general, Bravery is the hardest thing to raise (to do so, you need to risk having your guys go berserk), so it's why I'm looking for soldiers that have at least a 40 in it. Firing Accuracy often rises quickly, but it can be difficult to train a soldier with Accuracy below 55.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_09.png

Merus (drat that jerk) is head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the other units (and probably many that we'll recruit). He didn't manage to get a useful action in last mission, but he started with max TUs, Reactions, and Bravery for a soldier, and had 65/70 Firing Accuracy. You want to try and hang onto men and women like this.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_10.png

Nunix was our other star recruit, although that +5 Firing Accuracy doesn't make up for the 27 Reactions that Merus has over him. Also, his Strength is kind of junk, but hopefully that'll get trained quickly. Once it hits 25, we'll probably have no problems.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_11.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_12.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_13.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_14.png

Our LASER research finishes! I don't think researching Laser Rifles is really worthwhile right now, so we'll go with Medi-Kits (normally my first research topic).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_15.png

As the first thing we can build, we're going to start using our Engineers to make one of these for each of our units. They'll be a pretty substantial upgrade over the Rifles we're currently using.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_16.png

Our second UFO was detected!

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:41 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_17.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_18.png

We send an Interceptor after it, and a pair of missiles ends up destroying it outright. Oops. Well, no harm. We've still got Laser Weapons to build first. Still, this one might have landed, allowing us to take it's core. NEXT TIME.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_19.png

Our next good recruit! This one is pretty solid.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_20.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_21.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_24.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_23.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_22.png

Our General Stores finish, as does our Medi-Kit research. I don't really want to spend time researching Plasma Pistols, so I'll get our scientists started on Heavy Plasma. We probably won't finish it before something else comes along, but might as well get a start.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_25.png

Our third UFO was detected!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_26.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_27.png

We managed to cause this one to crash land, once again in Canada. What are the Aliens so interested in the Canucks!?

(or perhaps, why is the U.S. OF. A. So interested in shooting hostile alien craft into their northern allies!?)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_28.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_29.png

By this time, five of our Laser Pistols has finished, so we'll bring those (no ammo needed!) and leave behind all but three of our Rifles. We bring two of our new recruits, Mogri and Tefari, along. We could have brought shivam too, but this early in the game you shouldn't need more than eight, as it can be a pain to do turns once you are using more than that.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_30.png

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_01.png

Meditative_Zebra
12-19-2012, 04:42 PM
My only regret is that I have but one life to give to this planet. That, and the fact that I will give my life running in terror as alien zombies ransack Moscow.

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:42 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_31.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_32.jpg

Merus here didn't get the memo and wanted to bring a Rifle. C'mon man, this is no time to showboat!

I bring Flares because I think night might have just fallen, but I'm lucky (once again) and we'll do this with full vision.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_33.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_34.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_35.jpg

Our Skyranger lands just south of the enemy base, with a direct line from our landing ramp to the UFO entrance. PHILLIAM finds an alien out front, who appears to not have seen us land (it's a well known fact that Skyrangers are like helicopters).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_37.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_38.jpg

Sven is first off, and lands two hits to the Sectoid's back. But the alien is still up!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_39.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_40.jpg

He then turns around and retaliates, killing Sven. Weaksauce; Sven was kneeling and behind cover and everything!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_41.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_42.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_43.jpg

Merus gets his first alien kill with that Laser Pistol he almost refused to bring along.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_44.jpg

We then take cover near the Skyranger's wheels and ramp, hoping to get everyone out by next turn.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_45.jpg

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:44 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_46.jpg

Another Sectoid appears near the UFO entrance, but misses with its shot.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_47.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_48.jpg

We move PHILLIAM around to see if there's any hostiles sitting behind the ship.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_49.jpg

Nunix moves up to spot that alien we saw on the enemy turn, so other units can fire without being in the alien's sight...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_51.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_52.jpg

..and Merus gets his second kill, albeit it takes him over 10 shots to do so. Thankfully, Laser Pistols don't use ammo.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_53.jpg

I'll keep saying this: cover is important! It won't double your odds of survival, but it will increase it slightly, and that's sometimes the best you can hope for.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_54.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_55.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_56.jpg

Another alien (to the left of the ship) pop out and ineffectually fires. Nunix gets a reaction shot off and hits, although not well enough to kill the Sectoid.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_57.jpg

Meanwhile, PHILLIAM moves around the UFO, and spots that there is indeed a Sectoid waiting to ruin our day. The tank backs off and I send a pair from the ship to deal with it.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_59.jpg

Nunix spots again for his allies...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_60.jpg

...and lets Mogri take some shots.

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:45 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_61.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_62.jpg

Success! Mogri notches his first kill.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_64.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_65.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_66.jpg

Uneventful! Be sure to listen to sounds on this phase; I don't hear any alien doors opening, but I'm sure there's still at least one inside that ship (there usually always is).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_67.jpg

PHILLIAM peaks around the corner and sees that the alien is advancing. Tanks can't get experience/training, so I'd rather have my flesh and blood units kill this Sectoid.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_68.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_69.jpg

Pictured: How not to move units. I try and be careful (that box was meant to be on Makkara, so I could select her), but instead I up moving SlimJimm completely out of position.

(It happens to the best of us.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_70.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_71.jpg

Makkara moves around the corner, and PHILLIAM backs up. He'll probably get shot at next turn, but he should survive.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_72.jpg

Mogri and Merus move to enter the ship next turn...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_73.jpg

...and nunix finds a fourth Sectoid jerk lounging around outside.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_74.jpg

Tefari misses...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_76.jpg

...and ringworm's missile goes wide.

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:47 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_77.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_78.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_79.jpg

Surprisingly, nunix manages the kill. Well, his accuracy isn't crazy for nothing...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_80.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_81.jpg

We end our turn, and that Sectoid around the corner puts some serious hurt into PHILLIAM. That guy is obviously not using a Plasma Pistol!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_82.jpg

Makkara jumps out and plugs the guy.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_83.jpg

You can see here that PHILLIAM is hanging to a shred of life (9!). Like all units, injuries can really affect firing accuracy, as seen here.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_84.jpg

We duck him around the corner to safety; losing a tank costs you points at the end of the mission, and as long as PHILLIAM survives he'll be 100% for our next foray into hostile alien territory.

Anyway, he's too fat to fit into the UFO door.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_85.jpg

I was surprised to see an explosion here, until I remembered that ringworm had shot a missile this way last turn.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_86.jpg

Rocket launchers are single use weapons, so remember to reload them!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_87.jpg

Merus primes a grenade before he opens the door. Better safe than sorry...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_88.jpg

We hear nothing. This isn't unusual, but it probably means the remaining aliens are stuck near the ship's core.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_89.jpg

SlimJimm figures out what that alien that put the hurt on PHILLIAM was packing: it's a Plasma Rifle.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_90.jpg

Merus runs in... and nothing.

Eddie
12-19-2012, 04:48 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_91.jpg

We toss the primed grenade away: last thing we want is Merus getting killed and him dropping it. It will explode harmlessly at the end of the turn (harmlessly, because there are no hidden aliens over there, sadly).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_92.jpg

This is how I like to take ships; those corners that Merus and Mogri are in have no cover, but the give you vision of both doors leading to the back of the ship. If I had the TUs, I'd move more soldiers against that wall to the north-west.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_93.jpg

I'm seeing no other aliens outside, so I bring ringworm up. As she has miserable stats, we're going to use her for "door breeching" duty.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_94.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_95.jpg

Ringworm moves through the door, and sees the backside of a Sectoid.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_96.jpg

She moves back out the door, letting Tefari plug the bastard from behind.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_97.jpg

We then move everyone into position; ringworm is ready to look first (so others can shoot question lasers later).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_98.jpg

Seeing nothing (and with the mission still on), the last Sectoid(s) are almost assuredly hanging in the ship's core.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_99.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_100.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_101.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_102.jpg

Ringworm tosses a grenade in and blow the last Sectoid up, ending the mission!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_103.jpg

In hindsight, this was actually kind of dumb; the grenade explosion ended up destroying the precious Elerium inside of it (you want that stuff) but we now we've grabbed some Plasma Rifles (yeeessssss) and even managed to snag a UFO Power Source too. They're worth a cool quarter of a million bucks to fund our lavish kid's camp on the surface above!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom02_104.jpg

Quebec is saved! We'll check out our new loot next time!

Remember to sign up if you haven't already!

Next time on Let's Play X-Com: Base Defense? ALREADY?

Falselogic
12-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Who throws grenades into the cores?! That's crazy! Not only did you lose Elerium, you could have blown the power source as well!

Actually, I'm kind of surprised it's there seeing as you shot this ship down. The power source is usually the first thing to blow!

Eddie
12-19-2012, 05:04 PM
Who throws grenades into the cores?! That's crazy!

Crazy like a fox!

Eddie
12-19-2012, 05:33 PM
OUR CURRENT HEROES


SPACE CAMP
Alixsar: Captain. 12 missions, 8 kills.
CaptBlasto: Colonel. 12 missions, 8 kills.
Pajaro Pete: Sergeant. 12 missions, 8 kills.
Stiv: Sergeant. 12 missions, 6 kills.
BEAT: Squaddie. 12 missions, 5 kills.
sraymonds: Squaddie. 12 missions, 4 kills.
Kishi: Colonel. 11 missions, 12 kills.
Red Hedgehog II: Squaddie. 11 missions, 10 kills.
jpfriction: Sergeant. 11 missions, 5 kills.
Rai: Captain. 10 missions, 6 kills.
Austin: Captain. 8 missions, 14 kills.
ajr82: Sergeant. 8 missions, 12 kills.
Meditative_Zebra: Sergeant. 7 missions, 8 kills.
Lucas: Squaddie. 4 missions, 11 kills
Alpha Werewolf: Squaddie. 4 missions, 6 kills.
djSyndrome: Squaddie. 4 missions, 3 kills.
Kirin. Squaddie: 4 missions, 2 kills.
Torzelbaum II: Squaddie. 4 missions, 0 kills.
Son of Sinistar: Squaddie. 2 missions, 0 kills.



HEY AFRICA!
Kylie: Squaddie. 13 missions, 4 kills.
Mightyblue: Squaddie. 12 missions, 13 kills.
Destil: Sergeant. 12 missions, 10 kills.
Mogri: Captain. 12 missions, 16 kills.
Nodal: Sergeant. 12 missions, 9 kills.
Nich II: Sergeant. 12 missions, 10 kills.
Gerad II: Sergeant. 12 missions, 8 kills.
Epithet: Sergeant. 10 missions, 2 kills.
Falselogic: Sergeant. 9 missions, 12 kills.
Soren Highwind: Captain. 8 missions, 12 kills.
Tefari: Commander. 8 missions, 10 kills
PapillonReel: Squaddie. 6 missions, 0 kills.
Olli T II: Squaddie. 5 missions, 2 kills.
Balrog: Squaddie. 3 missions, 5 kills.
Tomm Guycot: Squaddie. 3 missions, 5 kills.
Yimothy II: Squaddie. 3 missions, 4 kills.
Guildenstern II: Rookie. 0 missions, 0 kills.
kaisel II: Rookie. 0 missions, 0 kills.
shivam II: Rookie. 0 missions, 0 kills.
Droo: Rookie. 0 missions, 0 kills.


OUR FALLEN HEROES



reibeatall: killed by a Sectoid. 11 missions, 12 kills.
StriderDL: killed by a Sectoid. 8 missions, 7 kills.
Yimothy: killed by a Floater. 7 missions, 7 kills.
kaisel: killed by a Cyberdisc. 7 missions, 5 kills.
Gerad: killed by a Sectoid. 6 missions, 9 kills.
Merus: killed by an ill-placed grenade. 6 missions, 5 kills.
Son of Sinistar: killed by a Cyberdisc. 6 missions, 3 kills.
MCBanjoMike: killed by a Sectoid. 5 missions, 5 kills.
nunix: killed by a Sectoid. 5 missions, 3 kills.
TheSL: killed by a Sectoid. 5 missions, 1 kill.
Dizzy: killed by a Cyberdisc. 4 missions, 7 kills.
Loki: killed by a Sectoid. 4 missions, 6 kills.
Calorie Mate: killed by a Sectoid. 4 missions, 5 kills.
SlimJimm: killed by a Floater. 4 missions, 3 kills.
Guildenstern: killed by a Sectoid. 4 missions, 3 kills.
namelessentity II: killed by a Sectoid. 4 missions, 1 kill.
LancerECNM: killed by a Sectoid. 3 missions, 5 kills.
Zef: killed by a Snakeman. 3 missions, 4 kills.
ringworm: killed by a Sectoid. 3 missions, 3 kills.
Oscar Hudson: killed by a Sectoid. 3 missions, 3 kills.
Makkara: killed by Merus. 3 missions, 2 kills.
shivam: killed by a Floater. 3 missions, 2 kills.
McClain: killed by a Chryssalid. 3 missions, 2 kills.
Octopus Prime: killed by a Floater. 3 missions, 1 kill.
TK Flash: killed by a Sectoid. 2 missions, 2 kills.
Olli T: killed by a Floater. 2 missions, 2 kills.
Junk: killed by a Sectoid. 2 missions, 2 kills.
Torzelbaum: killed by a Floater. 2 missions, 1 kill.
namelessentity: killed by a Floater. 2 missions, 1 kill.
Sven: killed by a Sectoid. 2 missions, 0 kills.
Adrenaline: killed by a Sectoid. 1 mission, 4 kills.
Nich: killed by a Cyberdisc. 1 mission, 3 kills.
Grant: killed by a Sectoid. 1 mission, 2 kills.
alexb: killed by a Sectoid. 1 mission, 0 kills.
Red Hedgehog: killed by a Cyberdisk. 1 mission, 0 kills.
Brickroad: killed by a Floater. 1 mission, 0 kills.
Sarcasmorator: killed by a Sectoid. 1 mission, 0 kills.

# of PHILLIAM tanks destroyed: 10 (Sectoid x4, Cyberdisc x2, Floater x2, friendly fire x1)
# of CASSIUS tanks destroyed: 2 (Floater, Ethereal)

Son of Sinistar
12-19-2012, 08:34 PM
Sign me up for a tour of duty, sir! Surely the recruiter wasn't lying when he said I would be in no danger.

namelessentity
12-19-2012, 11:15 PM
Who throws grenades into the cores?! That's crazy! Not only did you lose Elerium, you could have blown the power source as well!

Actually, I'm kind of surprised it's there seeing as you shot this ship down. The power source is usually the first thing to blow!

I thought I saw the image wrong, and then when Eddie confirmed it I was wondering if there was a strategy that I had never known about.

Eddie
12-19-2012, 11:20 PM
I thought I saw the image wrong, and then when Eddie confirmed it I was wondering if there was a strategy that I had never known about.

I just love X-Com explosions. And I forgot that can happen. Maybe.

Torzelbaum
12-19-2012, 11:23 PM
I wanted to join the Mobile Infantry but they're not accepting recruits. :(
So put me on the list! ... I'm not sure why I was excited about that.

Mogri
12-20-2012, 12:05 AM
So... wait. The power source was intact, but the grenade blew the Elerium right out of it?

Eddie
12-20-2012, 12:08 AM
So... wait. The power source was intact, but the grenade blew the Elerium right out of it?

X-Com explosions are the best.

Nodal
12-20-2012, 01:42 AM
I want to go to Space Camp!

StriderDL
12-20-2012, 07:50 AM
You missed my enlistment request! Perhaps I should sign a deal with the aliens instead.

Eddie
12-20-2012, 08:05 AM
You missed my enlistment request! Perhaps I should sign a deal with the aliens instead.

Why do eager to join? Perhaps you've made a deal with them already HMMM?

MCBanjoMike
12-20-2012, 08:31 AM
I was on the recruitment list, and was all =D. But then you took me off the recruitment list and I was all =O. So you should put me back on, because I am totally ready to die for my planet. Hell, I've played like 40 hours of XCOM Enemy Unknown in preparation! And it's the least I can do, given that you just saved Quebec from the sectoid menace.

Seriously, though, how did I miss this game when it first came out? This is exactly the sort of thing that I would have loved when I was younger and playing tons of PC games. At least, I have to assume as much, since I'm totally obsessed with Enemy Unknown right now.

ajr82
12-20-2012, 09:40 AM
This is my favourite game, I need to be on the list!

Eddie
12-20-2012, 11:50 AM
I was on the recruitment list, and was all =D. But then you took me off the recruitment list and I was all =O.

The original list of 20 was simply generated by the top 20 active posted in Talking Time. I was honestly not expecting so many people to want to join up! You have been put back on!

Speaking of aliens... PRO SEGWAY

Eddie
12-20-2012, 11:52 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_01.jpg

Welcome back! Can you tell that I'm bored during Christmas?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_02.jpg

Space Camp is looking as groovy as it will ever (it's actually a horrible layout, but I'll make our future bases more tactically better). You see, if aliens ever decide to invade our base (they'll occasionally do that if you've pissed them off a lot) they'll attack! Aliens enter at either the lift, or a plane hanger. Our layout means that they've got four places to choose from, and all of them ensure we'll be surrounded!

Well, let's hope that doesn't happen!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_03.jpg

We found some Plasma Rifles from that last mission. I love me some Plasma Rifles, so we temporarily stop our research on Heavy Plasma and switch to the Rifles. Once we research these and their associated clips, we'll be able to use them!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_04.jpg

I decide, as a precaution, to build a few more laser pistols. I don't know if I'll build more than 10; we'll see.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_05.jpg

We also dump some of the spoils of our last mission. We'll quickly find ourselves with tons of spare weapons, and since we won't be researching Plasma Pistol for a while we'll sell all but one. The clips are worth a decent amount too!

We will want to hang onto a few UFO Power Sources and Navigation units later, but for now they're just taking up space.

Quadrupled my funds from that! Not bad!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_06.jpg

More living room! This will let us hire more than five soldiers (for inspection purposes) at a time, as well as allow us to add some new scientists. I'm probably going to wait until next month for that tho, so I get full worth out of their salary.

That reminds me, one last thing about base defense missions: if you play on an easy difficulty, you'll rarely see them.

When suddenly...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_07.jpg

*GASP* If only I had properly foreshadowed this!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_08.jpg

Out of my inventory Plasma weapons!

(note: you can "equip" alien items that you haven't researched yet, but you won't be able to use them!)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_09.jpg

Our crew of eight + tank - noting that I still haven't replaced the loss of Sven last mission - is roughly split into two groups, with ringworm, Tefari, and Makkara (she's behind the door) in one area, Merus, nunix, and Shivam in the living quarters above nearby, and PILLIAM, Mogri, and SlimJimm kind of south of the Access lift.

Basically, we're surrounded.

ringworm sees a Sectoid immediately, and takes him out...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_10.jpg

... revealing a second one hiding behind the first! This game can be kind of weird about how terrain and objects block people. Usually it's not so bad, but honestly ringworm.

He takes a shot...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_11.jpg

... and is killed with reaction fire. Well that's a great start now isn't it?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_12.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_13.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_14.jpg

Tefari avenges our comrade.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_15.jpg

PHILLIAM is kind of all that stands between the lower-right Interceptor hanger and whatever Sectoids spawned within.

As a note, Aliens will generally focus their attention on you, but given a chance they'll run around trying to ruin your base! They can actually destroy individual base modules, although it really will only happen if you're being scared and hiding from them.

Eddie
12-20-2012, 11:55 AM
(update on previous page here (http://www.talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=1447958&postcount=210))

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_16.jpg

SlimJimm sees another Sectoid in the north hanger, but ineffectually fires at him.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_17.jpg

Since Merus and nunix started upstairs, we'll have to take a bit more time to get them into the action. Note that whatever weaponry you don't take is scattered around your base, which is a nice touch.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_18.jpg

Enemy turn.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_19.jpg

One Sectoid is spotted by PHILLIAM as it emerges from the plane hanger.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_20.jpg

Another shoots SlimJimm in the back!

He survives, but is then hit by a mysterious force that is REALLY hard to screenshot! Is he okay?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_21.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_22.jpg

Nope. He was psionically attacked by one of the Sectoids (that's bad). Psionics is really luck of the draw early on to defend from; the stat you need to defend against it is completely hidden until the technology opens. That he WAS affected at least indicates that SlimJimm is not the mentally hardiest of X-Com agents.

What happened, essentially, is that SlimJimm's mind was attacked, and his morale lowered. Morale drops as your comrades die, but this attack pushed it even lower. A low morale has a chance of either causing the unit to do nothing (using up all their TUs), or go berserk; firing randomly (and using up all their TUs).

Morale will recover over time, but there's a danger of a unit like this being somewhat perma-stunned. As long as an alien knows where he is, he can be psionically attacked, regardless of line-of-sight.

That sucks.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_30.jpg

This shows SlimJimm's current status: he's bleeding (fatal wounds: 1), so will lose 1 health a turn, until he either falls unconscious and/or dies.

On the bright side, this is probably training his Bravery, so maybe he'll have more than 10 after the fight!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_23.jpg

Tefari takes out that one that shot SlimJimm in the back.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_24.jpg

Our new Rookie, shivam, pokes his head around the corner and sees two Sectoids!

Shivam has a Rocket Launcher.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_25.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_26.jpg

X-Com explosions are the best. Hell of a first shot, two kills! Welcome to the team shivam.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_27.jpg

PHILLIAM creeps forward, and tries to kill this Sectoid he saw. He misses; I would prefer a human unit to be firing instead, but I'm short on men and high on danger. We don't know (short of using a Mind Probe) which Sectoid(s) is using psionics, so killing everyone you see is a priority.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_28.jpg

Mogri checks the north hanger: looks clear.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_29.jpg

Merus gets downstairs, and will be able to pop out next turn. Opening doors takes a significant amount of TUs, but the cover they provide is excellent.

Eddie
12-20-2012, 11:57 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_31.jpg

That Sectoid PHILLIAM shot at pops out and takes his own shots, but PHILLIAM lives.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_32.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_33.jpg

I'd make fun of the misspelling, but I always spell berserk the same way too. SlimJimm spins in place, his blood lust making him so mad!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_34.jpg

Shivam reloads...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_35.jpg

...and Makkara sees another Sectoid - barely - in the smoke. Smoke does obscure vision for both sides, although the computer always seems to use it better.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_36.jpg

Merus kills the Sectoid when Makkara fails to.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_37.jpg

I'm going to have shivam inch forward when he can; his strength is unfortunately low and the Rocket Launcher heavy, so he's taking a small TU penalty.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_38.jpg

PHILLIAM registers his first kill! Hopefully his only...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_39.jpg

SlimJimm may have gone berserk this turn, but his Morale has risen back up, probably thanks to those Aliens we murdered. Barring a psionic attack, he should be a-okay next turn.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_40.jpg

Nunix moves forward, tho I'll probably have her move towards the Access Lift.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_41.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_42.jpg

Now Merus got psionically attacked! His Morale has dropped significantly. He's probably got a poor Psi Defense stat too.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_43.jpg

Makkara sees yet another alien emerge from the smoke, but she doesn't need Merus's help this time.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_45.jpg

I have Mogri and SlimJimm move up; PHILLIAM can handle the south-east hanger for now...

Eddie
12-20-2012, 11:58 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_46.jpg

... I say too soon. Retreat! They can come to me.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_47.jpg

I really like this hiding space.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_48.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_49.jpg

PHILLIAM gets shot at from both sides! There are definitely aliens near the Access Lift.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_50.jpg

Oh great.

Berserk? That's annoying, but unless your standing really close to the unit, the chance they shoot someone is low.

Mind control? Merus is, until it wears off, effectively an enemy unit.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_51.jpg

Mind dominated Merus immediately murders Makkara. I wonder if that will show up in his "kill" count?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_52.jpg

Tefari ensure the lift itself is clear, although there could be aliens on the other side (any of them). He ducks into one of the corners.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_53.jpg

Mogri steps up towards the lift, and sees a Sectoid. He fires...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_54.jpg

And kills one he didn't see! The one he was trying to kill survives however.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_55.jpg

SlimJimm lands a second hit on that one, but it's still standing. This is pretty bad; with the two of them so close together, the chance one of em is killed next turn is pretty high.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_56.jpg

I make room for PHILLIAM...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_57.jpg

And give them some cover. And another one! We're probably not getting out of this unscathed...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_58.jpg

Shivam sees EVIL Merus. He could try killing him, but mind controlled units will eventually return to their senses. Better to hide from his line of sight instead.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_59.jpg

I think this could be a good spot...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_60.jpg

Fingers crossed...

Eddie
12-20-2012, 12:00 PM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_61.jpg

PHILLIAM is finally killed. Like a robot Jesus, he died so Tefari and SlimJimm could live.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_62.jpg

Not out of the fire yet tho!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_63.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_64.jpg

Merus returns to sanity. Normally, I would take this time to disarm him (then who cares if he gets mind controlled), but my plan will be to just keep him away from our other soldiers.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_65.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_66.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_67.jpg

Mogri steps around the corner and gets two very nice kills.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_68.jpg

Knowing there are still at least two aliens in the south hanger, SlimJimm takes some cover.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_69.jpg

(Merus panicked this turn, but I didn't show it because it didn't matter.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_70.jpg

And good move! A blast of plasma whizzes by Mogri.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_71.jpg

Mogri misses, so SlimJimm steps out.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_72.jpg

And sees two! I decide to fire at the one behind, as the one in front is likely the one who used any available TUs on that reaction shot.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_73.jpg

SlimJimm does it! Some fine kills all around!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_74.jpg

And that's it! As far as base defenses go, that was somewhat tame; you can have twice that number of aliens, along with their terror units (and Sectoid terror units are bad news).

We lost two move lives, but grabbed a ton of new weapons to sell.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_75.jpg

It's pretty clear that we'll need to do some work on our base; the current configuration would be overrun if more aliens were involved. We'll use the money we earn to try and start fixing that!

And that's another update! See you goons next time!

Falselogic
12-20-2012, 12:06 PM
Third mission being a Base Invasion is crazy! You made out relatively well though...

Olli T
12-20-2012, 12:09 PM
Yeah, that was a close call! Good work.

Mogri
12-20-2012, 12:33 PM
Merus kills an agent and gets a promotion. I kill two aliens in one volley and get...?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom03_07.jpg

FUN FACT: As of X-COM: Apocalypse, X-COM standard procedure has changed such that civilians no longer evacuate. You are left with squads of scientists and engineers that are not only unarmed but unarmable.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown does not allow the aliens to attack your base, maybe because the maps are not programmatically generated in that game, or maybe because the vertical base layout would be harder to work with in that game.

Rai
12-20-2012, 01:28 PM
I've a feeling Enemy Unknown didn't include a base assault scenario (or two) because they ran out of time. That seems like something that super fans of the original would want to include, honestly. I'd be surprised if some expansion along the way doesn't add them back in.

Also this is what X-Com gets for advertising Space Camp in the papers. Seriously, who's in charge of publicity here.

Mogri
12-20-2012, 01:36 PM
TECHNICAL DETAILS: The aliens need to scout out your base, much like you need to scout out theirs, before they can attack. You can theoretically prevent a base assault just by preventing a scout from ever reporting back, but at this stage of technology, you won't be able to detect UFOs reliably enough, and by the time you can, you have A) larger concerns and B) other ways of dealing with would-be aggressors.

Eddie
12-20-2012, 01:55 PM
TECHNICAL DETAILS: The aliens need to scout out your base, much like you need to scout out theirs, before they can attack. You can theoretically prevent a base assault just by preventing a scout from ever reporting back, but at this stage of technology, you won't be able to detect UFOs reliably enough, and by the time you can, you have A) larger concerns and B) other ways of dealing with would-be aggressors.

Yeah, I don't even have my Large Radar up and running yet; both this attack (and the next one :smirk:) popped up completely out of the blue; I didn't see the ship coming at all!

Serephine
12-20-2012, 03:31 PM
Oh sweet, not only did I not die horribly on my first mission out I managed to survive long enough to get a promotion!

Falselogic
12-20-2012, 06:52 PM
Oh sweet, not only did I not die horribly on my first mission out I managed to survive long enough to get a promotion!

Just setting you up for a greater fall!

Eddie
12-21-2012, 08:53 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_01.jpg

Welcome back! No two bones about it: we're desperately low on manpower. If the aliens continue to throw themselves at our base, we're going to need to have plenty of dudes in case the worst happens: the base is attacked while we're out saving the world from aliens.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_02.jpg

SlimJimm was of course injured last mission, and will be out for almost a month. And he didn't even get that Bravery boost I was hoping for! Sheesh!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_03.jpg

Merus of course gets +10 Bravery. What a jerk! A beautiful jerk mind you, what with those amazing stats.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_04.jpg

We pocket a million bucks off of selling alien weaponry that we're not going to be using/researching anytime soon. We might need to start selling some of that other weaponry too; there's a nasty bug in X-Com that only checks the first 80 weapons you have on hand when a base is attacked, ammo included. We should be okay (Laser Pistols are at the top of the list), but it's something to be aware of.

With our new living quarters complete, we can hire new people even faster! Let's check out our new soldiers:

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_05.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_06.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_07.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_08.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_09.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_10.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_11.jpg

Not all of these guys are winners, but I relaxed my standards a bit (specifically for Rai and kaisel) because I need warm bodies, and despite having ~50 Firing Accuracy, they're sporting some pretty good Reactions, so I'll take em.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_13.jpg

I've never used these before either, but some people swear by em for base defense, so why not?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_14.jpg

This is really important; we don't have the means to reliably capture aliens alive, but if we're lucky we can stun one of those Sectoids that have been demoralizing/mind controlling our units.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_15.jpg

I also order more Laser Pistols to be produced, as we'll need to make sure we have some back at base in case the worst-case scenario comes true.

I hire 10 more Engineers to crank these babies out faster.

Eddie
12-21-2012, 08:56 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_16.jpg

Our fourth UFO!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_17.jpg

Shot to smithereens!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_18.jpg

I decided to buy two more PHILLIAMs. One for our Skyranger, one for base defense.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_19.jpg

Oh come on.

I won't go into the full details of this one, as it was pretty similar to the last one! Some highlights are below however.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_20.jpg

Once again, I'm forced to ditch the plasma-weapons-I-can't-use for laser pistols.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_21.jpg

What the? Who the heck is this loser?

I must have missed him while firing the chaft... well, I like his gump! Have two items you can't use buddy!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_22.jpg

These Sectoids brought their "terror" unit along this time: Cyberdiscs! Cyberdiscs are big pains in the ass; we rushed our laser pistols specifically because these guys exist. They're similiar to tanks, except their main weapon is a heavy plasma. They have high TUs, great Reaction, and high health.

Traditional weapons (rifles, grenades) are pretty much worthless against them, as they reduce damage from them by 20% (and then you add their armour, which is pretty decent). They just won't have enough punch. They also reduce damage from high explosives (grenades, rocket launchers) by 40%, but as they take up 4 squares, each individual square can take damage. It's not GREAT but still your best bet if you're don't have laser weapons or are packing Heavy Cannons with HE rounds.

THIS Cyberdisc murders the heck our of Red Hedgehog. Guy didn't stand a chance! A poor way for one's first mission to go, but Red ended up being our only casuality, which is pretty damn lucky!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_23.jpg

That same Cyberdisk killed PHILLIAM 2 as well.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_24.jpg

Merus bumped into this guy when he tried to exit that little room on turn 2. I could have done some pretty heavy damage (maybe even killed this floating murder weapon), but that would have been suicide. Why?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_25.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_26.jpg

Cyberdiscs have one last "fuck you" in em: they explode when they're killed. It's not a 100% chance thing, but it's generally pretty likely. If you're lucky, you can use this explosion to kill nearby Sectoids/Cyberdiscs, which almost makes up for all your soldiers they'll kill.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_27.jpg

This was pretty good, the death of Red Hedgehog aside. We'll be able to make a pretty penny off the weapon sales. Still, I don't know if I can handle having my base attacked so often! I'm definately using the money I make here to modify my base some. I can't remodel it entirely, but at the very least I can hopefully reduce the access points for our alien friends.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_28.jpg

Merus becomes a Captain. In case you were wondering, killing Makkara last mission didn't increase his kill count, but is also apparently didn't kill his chances for promotion either.

Here was the kill list from that last mission:

Merus: 1 kill
TK Flash: 1 kill
nunix: 1 kill
Mogri: 2 kills
Rai: 1 kill
Yimothy: 1 kill
Tefari: 1 kill
Gerad: 1 kill

OlliT: 1 Cyberdisc
PHILLIAM 3: 1 Cyberdisc

Unfortunately for OlliT, Cyberdiscs don't count as kills in game! I will rectify this on the scoreboard however.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_29.jpg

Time to sell some of that sweet alien loot! And...what the...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom04_30.jpg

OH COME ON SUPERHUMAN DIFFICULTY.

It's not even Februrary!

Mightyblue
12-21-2012, 10:33 AM
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3kcqkvqNH1rnufsko1_400.gif

Eddie
12-22-2012, 09:11 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_01.jpg

Blaster Launchers in frickin January. Geez, well, welcome back.

If you aren't familiar with X-Com, let me tell you about Blaster Launchers. Imagine an alien missile launcher that does twice the damage with twice the blast radius. That would be a pretty horrifying weapon on it's own.

Now imagine the missile was remote controlled such that unless there is a wall between you and the guy/alien with the Blaster Launcher, you're pretty much looking at dead units... save for the grace and mercy of computer AI.

Blaster Launchers are hella sweet to use, but it will be a bit before we can properly research them; we're going to want to finish researching Plasma Rifles (and their clips), but then we'll probably get to them.

(Base Defense missions just got a whole lot funner.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_02.jpg

In an effort to make Base Defense easier, I've sold off one of my hangers (the one on the bottom right). This has two effects; the first is to simply narrow down the points of entry, so there's one less flank i have to worry about. I thought about removing the north hanger, but I almost always have units that start right next to it, so it's actually not that bad.

This, of course, causes me to lose one interceptor, but it hopefully won't be too big a deal. Once the month changes, funds willing, I'm planning on starting a new base, which will itself be able to intercept stuff. It's actually a good idea to do this; it's easy on lower difficulties to get into a pattern of simply letting your original base deal with everything, but eventually the aliens will be coming pretty often; you'll need more than one Skyranger and better coverage over the earth to intercept most of them.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_03.jpg

Checking the "UFO Activity" log, setting up some radar in Africa seems like a smart move; its gotten more action than North America has!

Some fresh recruits have joined us!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_04.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_05.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_06.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_07.jpg

This is going to help immensely; with it, we might even be able to see the alien ships before they invade our base.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_08.jpg

I finish production on the Laser Pistols, and start on Medi-Kits. They won't be too useful until we've got some better armour, but better to have some available in the off chance we get a bleeder.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_09.jpg

Our Large Radar (I'm guessing) picks up this ship, grounded near California. No detailed recap: it was Sectoids (they love the month of January).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_10.jpg

I took all our new recruits for some training. There were no casualities; it was pretty easy. The following kills were noted:

Rai: 1 kill
Yimothy: 2 kills
Gerad: 2 kills
Falselogic: 1 kill

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_11.jpg

And I didn't blow up all the Elerium this time. Elerium is pretty much the most precious material in the game; it's used in a lot of the good manufacturing, and unlike everything else you can't make it yourself.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_12.jpg

Gerad rides the two kills he gets into a promotion.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_13.jpg

It couldn't wait until February guys? It was only like, 40 minutes away!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_14.jpg

I line up a full crew for this one; you don't mess around with terror missions.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_15.jpg

Budget! I haven't talked about the monthly budget report, so here's the gist:

The conceit of the game is that you're a world taskforce dedicated to fighting the alien scum. Every country is pitching in money - some more than others - to see you guys win. If you deal with aliens well enough in a country, they'll increase your funding. Do it badly, and they might decrease it. Do it poorly (re: let the aliens carry out terror missions, or let them set up bases) and the aliens engage in "diplomacy", causing the country to back out of the project (with their funding).

The "Monthly Rating" is kind of a cumulative score of all your missions; destroying and "grounding" ships helps it too. The Aliens can perform actions too, that reduce your score, from minor reductions (ships flying over earth), to really painful (ignoring a Terror attack). If you score badly enough for two consecutive months, you lose the game. On Superhuman difficulty, this means scoring -500 two months in a row. You can see here that I'm way above that for now, but who knows what can happen on this difficulty.

This monthly funding will transport about $6 million into your coffers (minus your upkeep expenses), so it's a hefty chunk of your income. It also gives you some incentive to protect countries that (usually) fund well, like the United States and Japan. That said, you're almost guaranteed to lose some countries as you play. On Superhuman difficulty, it's pretty much to be expected. It will be gradual tho, and eventually you'll be making a LOT of money off of selling alien junk, so with a little manufacturing aid, you should be okay... especially if you take advantage of some game bugs (which I won't unless this game turns really sour).

(Alixsar dying is not an example of a game turning sour.)

Eddie
12-22-2012, 09:15 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_16.jpg

Since it's a new month, I decide that now would be a good time to start a new base, this one in Northern Africa. With a Large Radar, I should hopefully be able to see some of what's going on in Southern Africa, plus get some protection on Europe. I think a base in Japan is probably next.

This base needs a name! I asked Falselogic in IRC for a name but he only gave me dumb ones.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_17.jpg

We're going to make THIS base more defensible. With an access lift here and any Hangers to the north, we'll leave the aliens with only one access point: through the General Stores to the south.

We could use a leg up on research, so we'll eventually add a ton of laboratories and scientists here.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_18.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_19.jpg

Another UFO is detected; this one gets blown up over the sea, which effectively "destroys" it. No biggie; we're still off to fight that terror mission anyway.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_20.jpg

We get lucky really as this Terror Mission will be conducted during the day. In general, fighting at night is something you avoid at all costs; the reduced vision makes missions twice as difficult. Craft that are shot down can be usually be ignored until day breaks.

Not so with Terror Missions; they only last a short period of time, and ignoring them is really bad. If you must arrive at night, you have to suck it up and arrive at night.

If you aren't in any shape to deal with one, send your Skyranger to the site and then immediately take off; you'll still lose a chunk of points, but ignoring it outright is -1000 compared to the few hundred you'll likely lose otherwise.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_21.jpg

TERROR.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_22.jpg

One thing I wanted to mention: Xcomutil (a program which fixes a few bugs - like the difficulty one - and gives you a bunch of cool options) automatically gives you vision around your Skyranger when you land. It will, unfortunately, miss some stuff.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_23.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_24.jpg

Like there are four aliens lounging around nearby! But that's why we brought PHILLIAM 3.

These guys aren't Sectoids: they're Floaters! I am okay with this.

Floaters are pretty similar to Sectoids with a few key differences. First, they can awkwardly fly, allowing them to get on top of roofs and stuff pretty easy. Second, they're not psionic in the least, so there's no fear of them dominating our minds. Thirdly, their terror unit is crap next to the Sectoids "Cyberdisc"; their "Reaper" is basically like a Starcraft Ultralisk, except slower, stupider, and unlike Marines, your guns are super effective!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_24a.jpg

A rough start; shivam tries to hit the Floater near the house... and does! But it's not enough to kill the Floater, who immediately retaliates and kills shivam. Bummer. Sorry dude.

It's tough to see units you've named after people you genuinely like die :( Why couldn't it have been Alixsar?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_25.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_26.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_27.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_28.jpg

Our other soldiers manage to take the lot of them out tho.

Eddie
12-22-2012, 09:18 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_29.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_30.jpg

Like aliens, humans run around in Terror Missions, completely ineffectually. They'll literally run in circles near aliens.

The aliens will attempt to kill them, which is negative points for you. But don't go out of your way to save them; they're not worth it.

(Ice Cold)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_31.jpg

Alixsar grabs Shivam's Medi-Kit... just in case.

(He didn't need it, but it's a good idea to scavenge anyway.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_32.jpg

The next Floater we find is on the edge of the map, in an alleyway. Yimothy manages to land a shot, but not a killing one...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_33.jpg

... and the narrow alley makes it really difficult for anyone else to gain line of sight. The Floater lives for the next turn, ducking into the alleyway at the edge of the map.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_34.jpg

Meanwhile, Rai enters a house.

Twins?

:smirk:

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_35.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_36.jpg

Moving PHILLIAM 3 around, we find this one Floater trying to be very sneaky.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_37.jpg

Rai takes a direct approach:

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_38.jpg

Through the wall. Learning when (and what) terrain to shoot to gain line of sight is really something that just comes with practice, but it can come in real handy sometimes.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_39.jpg

You can't see Gerad, but he's off the south-west of that picture, sniping that Floater through two windows. What a shot! I'd need to check the video (I've recorded all the battles), but I think that was his first shot too, on a burst.

(If I ever get technically inclined, I should string a X-Com soldier death reel together. I've got all of your deaths meticulously recorded on my hard drive. Oh yes.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_40.jpg

We end up dragging PHILLIAM around to check out this alley. He absorbs a reaction fire shot, which is perfect.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_41.jpg

StriderDL finishes him off with little effort.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_42.jpg

OlliT enters this warehouse when...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_43.jpg

Ambushed!

Eddie
12-22-2012, 09:20 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_44.jpg

He dies :(

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_45.jpg

On our next turn, we try out best to see the asshole, but no luck.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_46.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_47.jpg

Kaisel tries the front door, and finds the alien with his back turned. Don't now why Yimothy didn't see him through the window, but sometimes cover in this game is weird.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_48.jpg

THAT WASN'T ME.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_49.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_50.jpg

This jerk must have tossed a grenade. While Yimothy is suffering from some smoke inhalation (both soldiers and aliens will pass out if in smoke for too long), he's still okay to shoot this guy. Don't know what the alien grenade was supposed to be doing... maybe it killed a human.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_51.jpg

But it didn't kill US and that's really what's important.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_52.jpg

That's the mission! The Floaters apparently brought zero of their crappy terror units. Which is probably too bad, as that was pretty much the best map they could spawn on. Most terror missions are pretty cramped, but that one was pretty wide open.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_53.jpg

A string of promotions! Now Merus is a Colonel!

... there's a joke about a coconut in there I think.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom/xcom05_54.jpg

Whatever-that-city-was-called is saved! GO TEAM.

Oh, uh, let's not forget shivam and OlliT's sacrifice for what's-it-city.

And that's an update! I'll be recruiting more soldiers, so hopefully we'll see another few new names on the list. See you next time!

Eddie
12-22-2012, 09:27 AM
BTW if I don't get a GOOD name, I'm calling the base "Hey Africa! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9jeZJnuVpQ)"

Mogri
12-22-2012, 10:04 AM
What are you talking about? That IS a good name.


Hey, Africa! Are chryssalids scary?

Olli T
12-22-2012, 10:37 AM
Nooo, I am dead! But thankfully avenged by the brave and handsome Kaisel.

Eddie
12-22-2012, 10:59 AM
One thing I forgot to write in the recap: I honestly don't know when I killed a human during that mission. I re-watched it twice; never heard a death scream. Weird!

Olli T
12-22-2012, 11:33 AM
One thing I forgot to write in the recap: I honestly don't know when I killed a human during that mission. I re-watched it twice; never heard a death scream. Weird!

The Skyranger landed on him. Oops!

Soren Highwind
12-22-2012, 01:33 PM
Sure, sign me up! What's the worst that could happen? Besides getting blown up or lasered by aliens, I mean.

Falselogic
12-22-2012, 05:45 PM
Nerd Nest is perfectly serviceable for a base that will have nothing but eggheads in it.

Eddie
12-22-2012, 06:06 PM
Nerd Nest is perfectly serviceable for a base that will have nothing but eggheads in it.

You just earned yourself some door opening duty for that comment son.

Falselogic
12-22-2012, 06:11 PM
You just earned yourself some door opening duty for that comment son.

Sounds about right commander! You're always pampering rookies like Alixsar and Oscar!

Red Hedgehog
12-22-2012, 10:34 PM
You totally got me killed on purpose! Did it off screen and everything!

Eddie
12-23-2012, 09:47 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_01.jpg

Welcome back!

Another day, another "bake sale" at the local "farmer's military supply store".

It turns out February is completely uninteresting. Perhaps after all the love they gave me the first month, they've decided to cut back?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_02.jpg

I end up hiring enough scientists at SPACE CAMP in order to use up every bit of laboratory space I've got available. I should be using Plasma Rifles in about two weeks!

Out of a dozen men and women, a pair of new recruits joins!

(it was a pretty sorry batch.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_03.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_04.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_05.jpg

We finish researching Plasma Rifles. These guys are going to be awesome! For comparison, the Laser Pistols we were using had the following stats:

Power: 36

Auto: 28% Acc / 25% TUs
Snap: 40% Acc / 20% TUs
Aimed: 68% Acc / 55% TUs

So while they take more TUs to use, Plasma Rifle shots are a lot more accurate, and deal over twice the damage. In other words, our "stopping power" has just increased dramatically. Cyberdisks will be little problem with us packing these bad boys.

Of course, we need to research their ammo first before we can use them, so I get my scientists on that.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_06.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_07.jpg

It will be a few months before this base is operational. I'm getting a Large Radar and a Housing unit now, with a Laboratory and another Housing unit to follow.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_08.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_09.jpg

We shoot a Sectoid ship down over the Yukon. CANADA. AGAIN.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_10.jpg

I'm trying to spread out the mission love, so we'll be bringing along our rookies and other units that have only a mission or two under their belt. I haven't played the 2012 "remake", but while carefully raising units into combat gods in this game isn't really required (equipment and technology will get you a lot further), it's still a good practice.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_11.jpg

No big recap on this one, although I did underestimate how long it would take to get there, and ended up in a night mission, which sucks!

My standard practice is to give the first four people off the ship Electroflares straight in their hand for easy throwing. You see, nighttime imposes pretty harsh vision penalties, so you have to be really careful; the computer is VERY good at retreating once it's seen you, and then bombarding you with plasma from the darkness. Electroflares can increase your chances of not walking into a death trap.

Ideally, you throw them ahead of your advance; flares are not used up once thrown, so you can just keep picking them up and throwing them ahead of yourself.

Highlights:

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_12.jpg

Grenades!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_13.jpg

More Grenades!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_14.jpg

The death of Oscar Hudson. Drat. Sure your stats sucked, but he really kicked some ass, killing three of those Sectoid jerks before one took you out.

(Of course, that was because I had him open the doors and charge ahead.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_15.jpg

The death of TK Flash. Okay, this was my own darn fault, but I thought that between you and Alixsar, one of you would reaction shot that guy!

If it makes you feel any better, it took three plasma fueled shots to take your ass down, which is pretty damn impressive!

Eddie
12-23-2012, 09:51 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_16.jpg

Mission over, and this time I didn't blow up the Elerium in the core!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_17.jpg

Those Mind Probes are worth a mint.

And new recruits!?

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_18.jpg

Well THAT is some accuracy.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_19.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_20.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_21.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_22.jpg

Weapons GET.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_23.jpg

We're not going to be researching these right now, but we're going to want to eventually; they're basically the best all-purpose aircraft weapon. What we want to research next...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_24.jpg

... is these guys. They're way too good to put off. After this, we'll research us some armour I think, which should stem the lose of life significantly.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_25.jpg

With the General Stores in HEY AFRICA! done, I transfer some junk over there. We'll have some soldiers over there soon enough, and I want to make sure they've got some decent equipment to use.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_26.jpg

I catch this guy near Newfoundland, but it flies over to Europe...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_27.jpg

... where I of course, lose it.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_28.jpg

I send an Interceptor over, and while I'm there I find a small ship. I shoot it down.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_29.jpg

I find a large ship that's landed, but I'm not sure if it was the one from earlier. I dispatch my Skyranger...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_30.jpg

... after loading it with my best gear. Bringing ten soldiers is unnecessary for a large ship (I had forgotten how "small" they actually are), but I guess this is Superhuman. No need to take chances, and what if I get over there and find the VERY LARGE ship?

Eddie
12-23-2012, 09:54 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_31.jpg

Not pictured, but tagging along: Falselogic.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_32.jpg

I don't know if I'll be able to get to that small ship (the white "x"); after completing a mission, Skyrangers immediately return home (you can't redirect them). But it's still better than letting it fly lose. That green "x" is our target; the red dot is a different large ship! This is why I want a Skyranger and Interceptor in our HEY AFRICA! base asap.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_33.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_34.jpg

Like rifles before them, there's not much point in bringing more than one clip for each Plasma weapon you have.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_35.jpg

This is our first "farm" terrain. They're a pain in the butt (they often spawn with a couple of buildings for aliens to hide in), but they do offer ample amounts of cover. Unless you're in a hurry (and you should generally never be in X-Com missions), take the time to slowly approach the ship, using fences, the Skyranger, and crouching to keep yourself safe.

The aliens find us first, but their shot goes wild.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_36.jpg

Floaters again! StriderDL takes care of this one.

One great thing about "farm" maps is that there is never any hills, so the only terrain that will block line of sight is generally buildings, ships, and large hedges. This can sometimes allow you to park a few units at the Skyranger and pick off aliens from across the map, which I do several times in this mission.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_37.jpg

PHILLIAM 3 finds out first genuinely floating Floater. Make a note: flying out in the open is a terrible idea in this game; units have as good a chance at shooting something in the air as they are on the ground, but in the air, there is no terrain to shield you.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_38.jpg

Destil teaches that Floater a deadly lesson.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_39.jpg

About gravity.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_40.jpg

Inching forward, we find another Floater on a roof in the bottom left. Floaters are no more likely to appear on roofs than other races, but it feels right when they do.

CaptBlasto feels the right angle to hit this guy from the other end of the map.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_41.jpg

Unsure how to use cover? Do it like this.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_42.jpg

We spot another as we inch forward. Falselogic gets him.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_43.jpg

Aliens love to hide in buildings; if you're lucky they'll pass through doors (you'll hear a distinct noise during the enemy phase), or at least see that they're open.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_44.jpg

If you're having trouble (but have plenty of ammo), don't be afraid to shoot out some walls to see if there's anyone inside. There's no penalty for property damage, so level the building if you want.

CaptBlasto gets another kill.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_45.jpg

Fast forward a few turns, and now I'm reasonably sure that the only aliens left are inside. PHILLIAM has to wait outside. I like bringing at least two people for each entrance.

Eddie
12-23-2012, 09:55 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_46.jpg

Falselogic breaches...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_47.jpg

And StriderDL finds the first alien.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_48.jpg

Er, first two aliens.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_49.jpg

Uh...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_50.jpg

First three aliens. StriderDL has to hope that Floater on the right doesn't get brave enough to shoot him in the back.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_51.jpg

Alixsar shoots the one on the left in the back.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_52.jpg

Next turn, and it seems that the Floater retreated. Lucky for us!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_53.jpg

One more annoying thing about farms: it can be easy to get stuck on these small walls (X-Com agents are trained never to jump over obstacles). Plasma weapons can cut some paths for you tho.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_54.jpg

COMEDY TIME.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_55.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_56.jpg

Oops. That's a quarter of a million shot to pieces.

(I would still get the Elerium tho.)

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_57.jpg

There are three cores in here, and aliens can sometimes hide behind them, so Alixsar will check out this side, and StriderDL will check out the other.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_58.jpg

That red thing in the top-right is an elevator that goes to the "third" floor. That floor is essentially two narrow hallways, with a room at each end. It's easy to get ambushed given all the tight corners, so you have to be careful.

UFOs follow the same patterns; this one is a supply ship. This probably means that there's a base nearby, so we'll have to try and find it.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_59.jpg

This elevator goes to the second floor. That floor has lots of terrain to hide behind which is annoying, but it's much easier to cover your backs. There was no aliens on the second floor this mission, so I'll only show one screenshot from it.

Then Destil walks toward the elevator and...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_60.jpg

BOOM.

Eddie
12-23-2012, 09:58 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_61.jpg

A stun bomb! These devices are pretty useful. Destil isn't dead, so we'll get him back once the mission is over. Stunned units will slowly "wake up", but a Medi-kit can speed that along. Getting hit by stun bombs is 1000% more preferable to getting shot by plasma, so I'm okay with this.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_62.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_63.jpg

False gets the culprit, and his friend who was doing a poor job of watching the culprit's back.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_64.jpg

This is the third floor. CaptBlasto steps off the elevator and immediately shoots a Floater in the back. Guy never stood a chance!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_65.jpg

Dizzy spots one a bit further up, and plugs that Floater in the back too.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_66.jpg

A few medics try and wake Destil up using a Medi-kit, but no luck. That Stun Bomb must have really done a number on Destil; I pumped a pack and a half of stimulants into the guy and he didn't wake up.

Luckily stimulants can't kill a guy.

For reference, "Pain Killer" is used to heal Morale a bit, and "Heal" does what you think it might do, if what you think it might do, is to help soldiers that are bleeding out.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_67.jpg

On the enemy's turn, we spot another Floater near that corner.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_68.jpg

And learn that the leader of this ship has panicked because of how great a job we've done at murdering people. This is a pretty rare event; all aliens have at least an "80" Bravery stat. We got lucky, but we'll see if we can get even luckier.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_69.jpg

Mightyblue takes care of his friend, but we're going to approach the captain cautiously; there's a sharp narrow corner (seen in the top left of the screenshot above) that the Captain normally sits behind. I've lost more than one character to reaction fire. Floater Captains have good Reactions, and because they're cowardly, they'll tend not to move around much, ensuring they've got near full TU to murder you with if you give them the chance.

Better to approach from two angles at once.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_70.jpg

Here's a shot of the second floor. These canisters ("Alien Food") are annoying, because they're easy to hide behind. Otherwise the floor is just small rooms.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_71.jpg

Son of Sinistar gives up on Destil. If he wants to sleep so badly...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_72.jpg

CaptBlasto and Falselogic sneak around the back, and discover that we were luckier than we thought! Panicked units will do one of two things: freeze in place (losing all TUs), or drop their items, and move south-east (50/50 chance of either). That black spot near my cursor is that Captain's weapon. Aliens will never pick up items, so once stunned (or properly panicked), any alien that doesn't have a natural weapon (which are limited to terror units) is completely defenseless.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_73.jpg

So Dizzy murders him.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_74.jpg

A nice haul!

The "Alien Food" and "Alien Surgery" are useless except to sell. You can research them for some fluff, but they give you no benefit for doing so (except for that feeling of being a completionist).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_75.jpg

We'll be back this way with our Skyranger to take a look for any more alien activity!

Well, that's for next time! See you next time!

Torzelbaum
12-23-2012, 02:00 PM
Yay! I survived my first mission!

But I don't think it matters. After this:
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_54.jpg

COMEDY TIME.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_55.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom06_56.jpg

Oops. That's a quarter of a million shot to pieces. I'm probably on KP duty for the rest of my life...

Eddie
12-23-2012, 02:21 PM
MEMO

TO: Commander-in-Chief, UN Peacekeeping Division Extraterrestrial Combat Unit [CINCXCOM]

FROM: UNINTCOM-SPC

Commander:

BACKGROUND

On February 25, 1999, Inteceptor 1 had discovered the aliens were making a move into Europe. With our facility in Northern Africa still under construction, Skyranger 1 was dispatched to investigate. Upon arrival, Skyranger 1 discovered a landed ship of considerable size. The decision was made to engage the enemy forces.

While the mission was successful, there was the remains of a destroyed UFO Core inside. Squaddie Torzelbaum, who was assigned to examine the room the cores were housed in, claims that the destroyed UFO Core was "like that when I got there."

ORDERS

Assign Torzelbaum to KP duty for the rest of his career at X-Com.

SIGNED: /s/

UNINTCOM-SPC: Erus, M. (COL)
SPCCMP, HNTVLL, AL

Torzelbaum
12-24-2012, 12:11 AM
Squaddie Torzelbaum, who was assigned to examine the room the cores were housed in, claims that the destroyed UFO Core was "like that when I got there."But it was! I think the alien destroyed it so we wouldn't capture it. It was going to destroy the others but I stopped it. yeah... that's the ticket.

Eddie
12-24-2012, 10:50 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_01.jpg

Welcome back! I take the time to sell the loot from the last mission. Not pictured: for lack of something better to do, I sell a small stack of Medi-Kits that I've had my Engineers producing. Engineers are an important source of income, particularly late in the game, so always have them making something!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_02.jpg

As expected, there was an Alien Base hanging around Europe. Near Arberdeen, Scotland it seems!

There's no magic trick to finding bases, but if you expect there's one in a country (high alien activity will usually signal this), your best bet is to take an aircraft and literally fly around the place. Ships, like radar, have a chance of finding stuff like this. It's usually important to get rid of bases as soon as you can, as if they're left alone too long the host country will tend to withdraw funding, and they also hurt your score each month for each day left undetected.

If you don't care about losing the country tho, Alien Bases can be a good source of "income". They'll constant be resupplied with ships like the one we took out last mission, so you can keep capturing them over and over again.

On another note, since we took out a Floater supply ship, the base is almost certainly a Floater one too.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_03.jpg

We're going to bring a full squad of course (not pictured: namelessentity).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_04.jpg

With the first hanger in HEY AFRICA! finished, we purchase a Skyranger for it. The second hanger will get an Interceptor.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_05.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_06.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_07.jpg

Alien Base missions always start out with your crew in one of two elevators that lead into the base below. Normally, your troops will be split between the two, but for some reason they dumped me all into the same elevator.

While I don't mind being all together (better than having one or two soldiers by themselves elsewhere), it will make the base assault a bit slower; I don't want to rush everyone out where an alien grenade can get lucky.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_08.jpg

PHILLIAM 3 is first in, and spots a Floater and two Reapers, their terror unit. They're wimps, so I'm not too worried.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_09.jpg

Destil takes out the Floater...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_10.jpg

...and Rai takes out a Reaper. I can't get the other one without abandoning cover, so I let it live until next turn; as long as it can't see our soldiers it won't likely harm us.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_11.jpg

SlimJimm sees another to the north of the elevator, but he doesn't have a good enough angle to take a shot.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_12.jpg

This is what I mean about the slow deploy thanks to ALL OF US having to use the same elevator. Sigh.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_13.jpg

Next turn, we have PHILLIAM will explore the southern edge of the base.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_14.jpg

Dizzy manages to get a bead on that one alien SlimJimm saw, but his shot isn't strong enough to take the Floater down.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_15.jpg

Mightyblue eliminates the second Reaper, and start heading towards that door. It leads up to a few rooms that you can sometimes find an Alien or two in (they'll generally try and find you in base missions).

Eddie
12-24-2012, 10:53 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_16.jpg

Sigh.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_18.jpg

Son of Sinistar chucks a grenade as far as he can, to try and catch any Floaters near the corner, but I don't think it'll get anyone from there.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_19.jpg

Especially since the Floaters have backed away from the corner! A shot hits the wall that Dizzy moves next to, but he's unharmed.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_20.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_21.jpg

Dizzy manages to get one of em, but he doesn't have the TUs to fire at the second one.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_22.jpg

Next turn, SlimJimm gets him.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_23.jpg

That structure on the upper right is your ultimate goal. It houses the base's commander, who is really important to capture if you can (I can't yet). The commander usually has a Blaster Launcher, so you've got to be careful with him.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_24.jpg

Dizzy moves up to cover the door...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_25.jpg

... and catches an Alien moving in and out of the room. He doesn't get a shot off tho.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_26.jpg

There's windows on each side of this structure that are good to keep under observation. Aliens love to shoot your guys in the back from them.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_27.jpg

Destil and Mightyblue go through that door near the Reaper corpses, and up a lift, poised to sweep these rooms next turn.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_28.jpg

Torzelbaum takes over door watching duties for Dizzy, and shoots to death a Floater that comes out!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_29.jpg

Unfortunately for Torzelbaum, that Floater has backup. She dies :(

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_30.jpg

Be careful when aiming! There are no "undos", and your soldiers will happily shoot walls and terrain even if you tell them so by accident.

Eddie
12-24-2012, 10:57 AM
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_31.jpg

An example: Mighytblue shoots the heck out of that wall (but not the Floater next to it).

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_32.jpg

Fourth times's a charm. Note the Power Cores. :smirk:

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_33.jpg

Dizzy avenges Torzelbaum, and SlimJimm takes over the spot she vacated.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_34.jpg

He gets shot by a THIRD Floater jerk, but completely shrugs it off.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_35.jpg

He ducks behind cover, not wanting to get shot a second time. Dizzy will go around and flank the door.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_36.jpg

Son of Sinistar meanwhile, finds a Floater near the north end of the base. He eliminates it.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_37.jpg

Oh god drat. The Floater comes out the door, hits the corner, turns, and kills SlimJimm. I moved him to cover to try and prevent that!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_38.jpg

Namelessentity takes him out. What a jerk!

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_39.jpg

PHILLIAM 3 continues sweeping around the base, but finds nothing but the local Disco Dance Floor. The only aliens left are in the "control room" that those three aliens that killed Torzelbaum and SlimJimm came out of.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_40.jpg

Several of our brave troops cautiously go to assault this room. As mentioned, the leader usually has a Blaster Launcher, so you want to make sure he can't obliterate your troops with it. The general plan is to try and spot him (and any lackies he has) from below, and fire up.

I move Dizzy behind some cover in preparation.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_41.jpg

Namelessentity joins him.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_42.jpg

Kaisel spots one from below...

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_43.jpg

... and tries to get a bead on him. Just because you can "see" the enemy, the game for some reason won't draw in the terrain above. You have to go groping in the dark trying to find them sometimes; the enemy sprite will overlap the cursor sometimes, so you can use that to help pinpoint them.

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_44.jpg

http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss297/Ashdate/xcom2/xcom07_45.jpg

Kaisel gets the job done and retreats.