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Things have been going quite well in the field lately. Seems like our guys get the upper hand in many situations, which unfortunately got us to the point that we perhaps get ahead of ourselves in the field. OP Purple Vengeance was such a case that showed that our soldiers are capable to stand up against the best the aliens have to throw at us, but we are still not superior especially if they have strength in numbers.
Purple Vengeance was supposed to be a straightforward UFO raid, with a scout class UFO landed near Mexico City. As our troops were approaching, they encountered a heavily armored and even better armed variant of the Muton alien, similar to the Heavy Floater is a much more dangerous version of the Floater.
They were taken down easy enough, but in the firefight with a Mechtoid a misplaced grenade destroyed part of the UFO hull, giving the passengers a clear line of sight of our approaching troops. The aliens, identified as no less than 5 Sectoid Commanders (which is more than at the recent assault to XCOM HQ), another Mechtoid and some more Sectoids for good measure.
The Sectoid Commanders used their psionic abilities to control the minds of Cpt. Bramwell and Sgt. Walker. The other Commanders repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to control Col. Tim 'Too Human' Spaeth, who was hovering over the battlefield. Cpt. Bramwells subsequent fire resulted in Maj. Luis MEC being shot to pieces. Only due to widespread destruction with a range of explosives could the squad manage to break the mind control of Cpt. Bramwell, who then proceeded to punch the remaining Commanders to death with his MEC fist. Seems in his rage he completely forgot to reload his weapon and the psychologists believe the punching of Sectoid Commanders acted as catharsis for the previously mind controlled trooper.
Sadly this prevented us from capturing any of the aliens alive and both Maj. Lui and Col. Spaeth landed in the infirmary (even though the infirmary requested for Col. Spaeth being reassigned to active duty as soon as he arrived there).
Without Col. Spaeth's daring drop from mid-flight, diving through Mechtoid fire and the subsequent HE rocket fired in the face of the Sectoid Commander controlling Cpt. Bramwell, this mission would have gone much worse. I am sure he will explain this in great detail to the attending medical personnel.
My A Team went to the alien mothership and showed them what we think of aliens. And motherships. The last shot of my first successful classic ironman was fired by my best sniper, Colonel 'Godfather' Zanbatou. After Tim Spaeth fired rockets all over the place and Chi started a close quarter fight with a ethereal and mind controlled Col. Bramwell. Most of the pain brought Kristen Taylor to the aliens on this mission however. A late game assault is a force of nature that doesn't need to hide behind a MEC.
You've inspired me. I'll be starting a new game tonight.
My pleasure, how is your new game coming along?
Originally Posted by Pedro
Originally Posted by Pedro
Wait, I just saw the squad picture on Steam. What is with that hat?!
Pedro McManus the first was a wild wild west gunslinger who wouldn't take no for an answer. He was the last man standing on several occasions and in the words of Johnny Cash:
Pedro wearing his black hat with pride. Pedro the second wasn't that lucky, a floater was quite unhappy with his hat I guess. Tim 'Too Human' Spaeth later wore a white hat in his honor.
In other news:
I am now playing impossible - not ironman impossible, that would be crazy - but impossible enough. Another Cash song fits better to that:
With the man being often enough just one thin men tearing the whole squad apart. But now I get used to play impossible. It's funny how the tone of the game changes with the difficulty setting. On normal (or baby) setting it's a quite simple and straightforward affair to save the world. Pink coloured cyborgs with funny hats rip alien invaders apart with ease that you might wonder how a sectoid could ever pose a threat to anyone. On classic (i.e. the way it's meant to be played) it's a challenge. Still manageable though. It's often enough possible to test one's luck. Skip the ironman part if you're not in the mood for replaying a game.
On impossible it's an entirely different game again. It turns into survival horror. The world gets screwed over badly by the alien menace. Aliens are tougher, shoot better, have better weapons and armor. You know you shouldn't use explosives to not mess up research, but it's better to waste a city block than risking anything. There is a civilian in the blast radius? Acceptable losses, we are loosing a war here and the only thing to do is loose it not too quickly. First month 3 countries left, next month another, now 4 more are on the brink which would mean game over. Even with winning every mission on tactical level, the strategy level sees the world crumbling bit by bit. Mess up an OP and you loose one more country. Mess up two and or even three in a row and it's pretty much game over man, game over.
I had council missions where I decided to leave a good soldier behind to save the others.
On normal or classic even soldiers are quite calm, keeping in line unless an officer gets shredded by a cryssalid right next to them. On impossible... have a rookie under fire and he's likely going to shoot at his fellows rather than the enemy. I've now started to equip light plasma guns, but my people still don't wear armor. Everything takes longer, less resources to invest are around. I managed to capture the first muton coming around, giving me research credit for plasma weapons. If you have the choice to research lasers in 9 days or light plasma in 10... what would you pick?
My attempts have not gone well at all. I've been trying Impossible Ironman this whole time though, which as you said, is crazy. The game reminds me of a roguelike with these settings. I'm not even trying to win, I'm just trying to get as far into the game and learn as much as I can before I die. I've never survived past the first terror mission.
Terror missions on impossible are aptly named I must say. I was very lucky with the first one, my assault stepped forward and all the Cryssalids on the map charged at once, running into range for my heavy's rockets and nicely clumped up. Still only managed to rescue 2 out of 18 civilians.
I still haven't survived past the second council report, but I'm feeling good about my current attempt. Satellites three and four are on schedule to launch just in time for the end of the month, and for the first time ever I've managed to research beam weapons and equip my entire squad with laser rifles before the first terror mission hit. I got a good feeling!
Well done getting beam weapons in time though, didn't manage that with Enemy Within quickly enough so far. In my impossible jellyman game I am scraping the barrel for elerium, I researched all the fancy plasma-tech but don't have the resources necessary to equip my squad. I even went so far equipping my snipers with captured exalt laser rifles, so dire is the financial situation. Need to capture more Mutons for saucy plasma rifles (have 1 now), but can't capture plasma sniper from aliens
Impossible difficulty at later stages could also be called Sectopod difficulty. In later terror missions having 3 to 4 Sectopods seems to be the norm. These bastardly bastards are tough to kill, deal a ton of damage and enjoy casually walking in just when I have enough problems already. In one terror mission I didn't even get out of the extraction zone without triggering two of those nasty megatoasters.
Also, special mention to Colonel Kenny "Danger Zone" Loggins, an assault in my current impossible run during base defense. Just as the new wave of aliens came along, he suddenly breached the door as reinforcement. Yeah! Danger Zone! I thought, fired up the old song in the background...
Come on, Run & Gun... he kicks open the door, runs across the hallway
Plasmabolts of a sectopod hit critical
"Kenny Loggins is in critical condition, use a medkit to stabilize"
I finally survived the first terror mission and made it past the second council meeting! The key, I feel, was to name my troops after Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters rather than gamecritics forum members. They're much better fighters than you lot.
Also, I got lucky with the training roulette when one of my support soldiers gained an ability that reduces all incoming damage by two, which is amazing in the early game when all incoming damage is low to begin with. I put all of my research into improving her armor (which raises hp) to take further advantage of this ability. Tara "The Bear" Maclay can not be stopped.
This next post will contain some *spoilers*. Most missions in XCom are randomly generated and spoiler proof, but Enemy Within must mix in a few pre-scripted missions to spice things up (to great effect).
During a recon mission in Canada my soldiers encountered a crashed whaling ship that had been infested with Chryssalids. The Chryssalids were incubating within a whale carcass inside the ship, and they began hatching soon after we arrived. HQ announced they could target the ship itself with an air strike if someone managed to activate the ship's transponder, so my squad started fighting its way right into the heart of the alien's nest.
Unfortunately, all of my research and resources had been applied toward upgrading my squad's armor instead of their weapons, and they simply didn't have the firepower to deal with this threat. Chryssalids were emerging from the whale faster than my soldiers could kill them.
By the time I realized the hopelessness of the situation, my squad had extended too far to retreat safely. The mission ended in an outright sprint back to the skyranger, in a desperate attempt to escape from the much faster aliens. Tara was the only one who made it back alive.
This game is so much fun. Chryssalids have been a fan favorite since the beginning of the series, showing up on "scariest enemies in gaming" lists across the web. I always felt a bit left out, since I've never had trouble dealing with them, even in the older games. Now I finally have a Chryssalid horror story of my own.
The key, I feel, was to name my troops after Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters rather than gamecritics forum members. They're much better fighters than you lot.
Yes, I'm sure the commander had nothing to do with it
In my current run I started naming my soldiers after random singers and actors. The aforementioned Kenny Loggins for example, or my sniper psi-operative Monica Bellucci, the heavy Kris 'Rubber Duck' Kristofferson. My other heavy is Vladimir Putin, wouldn't call him an actor though
@Council mission - yes, that mission puts the fun in new-fun-land...
My first time on classic I managed without any losses, thanks to the fact that I got this mission pretty late and Tim Spaeth and Chi Kong Lui were already fully upgraded and could handle the nasties almost entirely by themselves. On impossible it was a bit different though... got the mission early on with standard weapons and no armour... I needed to sacrifice my best assault at that time for the greater good... (for the greater good!).
My 'Cryssalid story' is from the original X-Com, where they completely messed up my team on a terror mission. From 12 people I sent in only 3 came back alive, of whom two were in the infirmary for almost a month after that. It started good enough until I got into a warehouse, where one Cryssalid snatched the highest ranking officer and turned him into a zombie, causing half my soldiers to panic. The other half got the Cryssalid down, but wasn't quick enough to prevent the zombie from turning and a second Cryssalid joined the party, feasting on some of the panicked soldiers. I needed to blast a wall open in order to escape. But instead of hitting the Cryssalid and the wall behind him, my rocket launcher guy misfired, killing one of my own men (and the wall behind him). Welcome to X-Com.