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Pedro 10-19-2012 07:12 PM

Xcom Enemy Unknown
Thought I'd start a thread for this on the off chance we need to talk about it. Created in the PC section out of respect :)


Originally Posted by Zanbatou (Post 202325)
I'm still playing the same game of Xcom. I really thought I was done for, but I've manged to scrape together a bit of a comeback. I didn't realize how vital it was to build satellites early, and by the time I actually got them deployed (two or three in game months) the entire world was in the red and ready to cut funding. Luckily I realized my mistake just in time and when I did finally launch satellites, I was able to launch six at once. This alone lowered panic levels enough to keep me in the game. I think the game ends whenever you lose the support of eight countries, and I lost six that month alone.

I've also fallen woefully behind the power curve on the ground war. I've only managed to keep one veteran sniper alive, and in the last three months I've lost 100 percent of the missions that she wasn't available to oversee. Every other soldier I have is practically a rookie. I've been trying to build up a stronger squad, but I can't keep anyone else alive for more than a promotion or two.

I've been putting off assaulting an alien base I found because my squad simply isn't ready. I know I won't be able to retreat from that mission when things start going badly, and I know that if my elite sniper falls the world will follow soon after. Rising panic levels have finally forced my hand, though. The world is once again entirely in the red, and with only five days to go until my next monthly report the only hope left is that taking out that base lowers panic levels across the entire globe.

We attack tonight. Wish me luck. Wish my sniper luck, actually. She's going to need it.

Pedro 10-19-2012 07:14 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown

Originally Posted by Li-Ion (Post 202345)
Started XCom Enemy Unknown. I'm constantly short on money and struggle to get some satellites launched. Mexico and Egypt pretty much hate me and Germany is not far behind. I could attack an alien base now, but somehow I feel my soldiers are not up for the task yet. My snipers miss pretty much every shot, my heavies are surprisingly inept with the rocket launcher, my assaults seem to be a bit jumpy and panic as soon as plasma comes flying and I have only 1 support who's struggling to keep the rest alive. It's a common sight that the entire squad has to visit the infirmary after a mission.


Pedro 10-19-2012 07:19 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
You have more than one heavy? you lucky bastard.

I attacked that base last night; my squad was entirely wiped out three times in a row. I guess I need to research better weapons first.

Edit: It took me about nine goes. I kinda see where I was going wrong though - I thought increasing your team size was an unlock, and you'd be notified when you could add an extra soldier. Didn't realise you could just buy slots. Have been playing all this time with a team of four :o

In other news, this xcom is a pretty good game.

Li-Ion 10-19-2012 11:58 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
Restarted, since my first game ended up in a one way street to failure. Not that it's all that much better now. For some reason I mainly get snipers. I had 5 snipers, but only 1 support, 1 assault and 2 heavy. One sniper died, and finally I got a second support as reward for a mission, just before one of my rookies turned out to be another assault.

I already lost Japan and Egypt at the end of month 2. Argentina and South Africa will be lost by end of this month, for sure. I could only launch 2 satellites and with 4 countries in the red I had to choose which one's I can't afford to loose.

Since I was short on money all the time, I don't know I could get satellites even faster than I did. I really wonder how it would be possible to keep all countries on classic difficulty.

Pedro 10-20-2012 02:58 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
I haven't lost a country yet (Normal), but 5 are on the cusp.

My reading comprehension is the biggest obstacle really. I built a normal power plant on top of a steam duct (though I would not have been able to afford the thermal one anyway), and I totally missed that you can build satellites concurrently rather than consecutively (ie I thought 2 satellites took 40 days rather than 20). I should really start again - the game is really designed for multiple playthroughs on different difficulties, I think, but I probably don't have time.

The 6 squadmates is a big improvement, though it is a pain to move all that many and put them on overwatch etc :) I got another heavy as a mission reward so life is good. True about snipers though, I think the issue is that the RNG can give them a great spell, and then they hit nothing for 4 missions after that.

My biggest complaints are around being able to shoot through walls, aliens spawning out of nowhere on top of my squad, and various bits and bobs with the maps - mysterious gunfire coming from off-map, getting stuck in the void etc.

Li-Ion 10-20-2012 11:40 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
I lost Argentina. South Africa was sticking with me after I saved Johanesburg, which cost me one of my assaults and sent the rest of my team to the infirmary. Was one of the toughest missions yet, but still easier than my first attempt to capture the alien base, which I had to abort because equipent and soldiers just were not up to it. I almost lost India, Canada and Mexico as well, which I could prevent by sending three satellites into the orbit and defuse some alien bomb in india.

Once I had some plasma-weaponry and a squad fully equipped with carapace armor I went for the alien base. The squad consisted of 2 support, 2 heavy, 1 sniper and 1 assault. This time I wiped the floor with them. Of course not, it was still tough to get through, but it helps when one of your heavies has the potential to destroy a cyberdisk with one shot.

Currently I'm waiting for my Firestorms to finish (3 of them) and 3 more satellites. Having sat-coverage really helps out a lot. On my next playthrough I really have to try to get satellites up even quicker. The last UFO I shot down almost crushed my interceptor, which got saved by the defense-matrix-thingie.

In hindsight I'm pretty happy not starting in ironman mode. Not because I'd reload every 5 seconds, but because I would have lost good soldiers to bugs already. For example my best support got stuck somehow. I could simply not move him anymore. He could still shoot, throw grenades etc. normally but not nudge an inch. Something which can be quite deadly when 2 cyberdisks float around a corner. Had to reload the entire mission. Also sent some troopers to the wrong spot a couple of times, because the camera would freak out, which in turn got them killed. I'm not going to start ironman until a patch irons out the camera issues.

RandomRob 10-21-2012 08:10 AM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
looking forward to this title when it's sale point gets a little lower. Wasn't impressed with all the hand-holding in the demo, though.

Li-Ion 10-21-2012 08:27 AM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
The demo is not representative for the game. At all. I was pretty disappointed with the demo but luckily the final game has no hand-holding and let you skip the lame tutorial.

Zanbatou 10-22-2012 03:52 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
Good call on moving the X:Com talk to its own thread. It deserves it.

I finally attacked that base. There were two to three times as many enemies in there as I had ever had to deal with before, but the level was also very large and spread out, which gave my sniper plenty of room to work with. By adopting a very patient and very cowardly strategy of sending my newbie troops ahead entirely to lure the enemy back to into my sniper's vision, I was able to make it all the way to the final room with three whole troops left! They were all wounded, but that's more than generally survive the normal missions, so I was feeling great! Some initial scouting of that room didn't turn anything up, so I moved my sniper ahead to take up a good position on a balcony overlooking the room itself.

And then I caught my first ever glimpse of a sectoid commander. I got a few shots off on it before it moved into range and mind controlled the shotgun wielding assault soldier who was defending my sniper. I spent a long time trying to decide whether I should have my sniper shoot her own squad mate or try to run away from him. She ended up running, figuring that she'd be able to get far enough away if she sprinted to render his shotgun effectively useless at range. That worked, but she lost sight of everything, and during the next turn the sectoid commander did something which panicked my other remaining soldier, causing him to run out of cover... and right into the waiting hands of two mutons that I didn't know were there.

I was down to only my sniper, and as badass as she is, she's significantly less effective without supporting troops who can call out shots for her. Nevertheless, I set her up in a decent scouting position and decided to wait. A few turns later, my shotgun soldier managed to wrest control of his mind away from the sectoid. He was mind controlled again a turn later, but not before he could call out a target for my Sniper. One Muton down. I repositioned my sniper to a new position overlooking her old sniper post, just in case the enemy ai was good enough to use the information imparted by my last shot. I don't know how smart the ai actually is, but my sniper did intercept and kill the last Muton as it was sneaking up on her old firing position.

Unfortunately, my sniper didn't have time to reload her rifle before the sectoid commander ran into view and started shooting at her. The shot connected, leaving her at five hitpoints, but still standing. She moved behind a wall to reload her rifle... and came face to face with the mind controlled troop from earlier. There wasn't anything I could do. The mind controlled trooper walked up and shot my Sniper point blank with a shotgun...

...for four damage! My hero sniper took a scatter laser blast to the chest, and still got the job done! On her next turn she sniped that sectoid commander right between the eyes with her rifle, ending the mission.

So I survived that base mission with two whole troops left (the mind controlled soldier was returned to my control after the sectoid was killed). And better still, successfully assaulting that base did indeed lower panic levels world wide, which means X-Com (and the world) survives for another month!

Li-Ion 10-23-2012 06:51 AM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
I finished the game already on classic mode. The second month was the hardest, with panic all around. South Africa sticked with me, for which I was grateful, while Argentina was abandoning me. Probably the aliens promised them the Falklands. After that I managed to scrape enough money to launch a bunch of satellites, increasing funding, reducing panic level, increasing chance to detect UFO's, hence increasing income twofold.

I'll play through it again for sure, but first I have Dishonored on my list and I'd like to see some patches. I encountered more and more bugs by the end of the game and the game got stuck once (the alien turn just went on and on and nothing happened, after 5 minutes I got tired of waiting and restarted the game). There was also one annoying bug in the final mission. For some reason my sniper couldn't enter the last room, resulting in me having to fight with one less.

Some screenshots!
Assaults are absolutely deadly in close quarters

Avengers, assemble!

That thing just blew a hole through the wall and came right at me.

My team for the final mission:

Names are taken from Rock, Paper, Shotgun-forums. There were volunteers for different classes to be used in other people's games.

Li-Ion 10-24-2012 07:20 AM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
Instead of continuing Dishonored (I played the introductory mission so far), I started a normal ironman game. Ironman definitely adds to the tension, but on normal is still pretty manageable. I didn't loose a country yet and only one soldier so far and am currently at the assault of the alien base. I still would like to wait for a patch before starting with classic ironman.

Zanbatou 10-24-2012 03:48 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
Man, Those aliens did not like that I took out their base.

In retaliation, they placed a bomb in Miami, and the newbie squad I sent in to prevent the bomb from being armed (my sniper was still recovering from her assault on the base) were unable to fight their way to it in time. Most of my team was able to get back to the dropship in time, except for one hero who ran ahead in case it was possible to disarm a bomb after it started its countdown (it was not).

So Miami is a crater now. And the overall strength of the enemy forces has definitely increased. Heavy Floaters and Elite Mutons are more common than their weaker counterparts, and apparently that Sectoid Commander in the base wasn't a scripted boss fight, because they're out in force now too.

And I've encountered two Sectopods as well, each of which practically took out my entire squad single-handedly. Hopefully it's just a case of their abilities catching me by surprise, rather than the sectopods themselves being too powerful for my squads to deal with reliably.

Technically I did lose the game already. After the second sectopod demolished my squad during a terror mission, I decided to cut my losses and run my sniper back to the dropship. Doing so caused the US to immediately cut support for my project and triggered the game over video. I guess the Americans were more panicked than I thought, what with losing Miami and then having a terror mission launched against them and all.

However, since I immediately got a game over as soon as I exited the mission (rather than having to return to the base and wait for the end of the month report like I would have expected), the game never saved over the last turn in the actual mission. I was able to reload until just before my retreat, even on ironman mode.

Knowing that failure was not an option, my sniper made another epic last stand, finishing off that Sectopod and then hunting down the remaining Chryssalids left on the map.

This is the fourth last stand that she's barely been able to crawl away from. Someday her luck is going to run out, and I still don't know what I'll do if/when that ever happens. I need to come up with a better plan than "Have Ijeoma take out the entire alien army".

Li-Ion 10-24-2012 05:22 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
What difficulty are you playing on? Classic? Normal? IMPOSSIBLE?

Pedro 10-24-2012 05:27 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown

I am still at the same stage - the swirly communication device thing has been built but I don't have any Firestorms to shoot down the UFO it detected. Haven't played in a few days. Flying visit here, will catch up on this thread tomorrow.

Zanbatou 10-24-2012 06:57 PM

Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown
I'm playing a Classic Ironman game. A lot of the difficulty comes from trying to salvage the same game I started on launch day. I made a lot of poor decisions in those first couple months.

I know a lot of people who restarted after the first 5-10 hours to "do things right", but for me that defeats the purpose of X-Com. X-Com is actually at its best when things are going badly. That's when all the tough decisions and sacrifices have to be made.

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