Let's Sperg Let's Play XCOM UFO Defense (Completed) - Heavy casualties expected.

Ponchik

the experiment didn't work
kiwifarms.net
i'd say that being pinned down by a floater is pretty humiliating + fitting, except they're probably still more accurate than every single x-com rookie ever hired. where the fuck do they make those things

i don't see vanilla ufo campaigns dragging into the 2000s a lot and by the end i typically just ignore most missions, keep praying to yourself that your squad doesn't get mindfucked by ethereals again
 

L50LasPak

We have all the time in the world.
kiwifarms.net
17. Cydonia or Bust

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Research completes on what is undoubtedly the most powerful weapon in the game, a guided fusion missile launcher. Heavy emphasis on "guided", but we'll see that soon enough.

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We're two steps away from the alien base on Mars now. I believe once this technology is researched it activates an automatic alien retaliation mission. All alien missions are scheduled at the beginning of each month though, so we can expect the attack next month.

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Mankind's turn to probe some ass. Expert degenerates from the seediest of San Francisco's gay nightclubs are brought in to make the Sectoid Commander talk.

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Dear Leader asks Command just how long they plan on having the team chase minnows.

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The answer is: as long as there are minnows to chase.

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This mission is so short I only got four screenshots of it.

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Needless to say, the team doesn't get the chance to successfully mind control anything.

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The Sectoid Commander predictably squealed like a bitch. The final tech, Cydonia or Bust, begins research. Even with our 100 scientists fully committed it will take quite some time.

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For some reason I didn't screenshot the mission screen for this UFO.

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A firefight breaks out the moment our troops step off the Skyranger. Note that my psionic attacks are going off every turn and aliens are intermittently falling under my control. I'm not going to focus on every instance of this since a lot of the time its just me using the alien as a free scout and then executing it the next turn when my troops fail to take control of it again.

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Bungus Scrungus performs admirably under pressure, withstanding the ambush and taking at least two aliens down (I forget who bagged the third one).

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You can see just how rapidly our psionic stats are increasing just from fighting this relatively small amount of enemies.

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The Chrischan intercepts a Terror Ship bound for North America and successfully downs it. Its around this time that I figure out that a Standard Attack is just fine for taking out Terror Ships on this difficulty without risking the interceptor too much.

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According to the readout we got before the interception, this is a Muton Terror Ship.

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@Bungus Scrungus is not as lucky this time, and is ambushed and killed stepping off the Skyranger.

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Psionics quickly give us control of the Muton that took out Bungus Scrungus, and we get our first look at one of the Muton Terror units. Yes, they have two, and neither are terribly impressive. This floating stomach-like creature is called a Celatid. It spits acid that has roughly the same power as a Heavy Plasma bolt. Its only unique ability is the fact that its attack has an arc, which means sometimes it can fire at your troops from weird angles you might not be able to fire back from.

The UFOpedia entries in the game say something about it having replicative properties, which I think means it was supposed to clone itself every couple of turns. The developers must've not been able to implement this properly or decided it would have made the game too difficult. So we're left with an enemy that XPiratez fittingly renames to "Fartbag".

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Convieniently, the second Muton Terror Unit is right nearby. The Silacoid is a rock-like, silicon based life form. Its pretty much a dead ringer of the Horta from the original Star Trek episode, The Devil in the Dark. With some small differences. The Horta in the show does this when it attacks a person:

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In the game, meanwhile, its only real special ability is that it sets the ground on fire as it moves around. Heavy Plasma has no trouble cracking through its exterior and its a melee only unit. Its hitbox is half the size of regular aliens and human though, which makes it slightly harder to hit but not by much really.

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Our advance doesn't slow down for much, especially with our psionics taking over every other (or so) Muton we come across.

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The UFO breach goes well, especially with most of the interior destroyed during the interception.

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This dipshit is still standing even after we tried to get him and his buddy into a shooting contest, so we send his ass upstairs to absorb reaction fire ahead of our troops.

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It takes me a wasted turn to remember that Mutons are basically immune to grenades.

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Turns out Terror Ships aren't up to much.

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The score is nice, but we need to consider larger targets to get a positive score this month.

Next time: I pick a bigger target for once.
 

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L50LasPak

We have all the time in the world.
kiwifarms.net
18. All Your Base

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I'm terrible at coming up with chapter titles.

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The first of the two Avengers still hasn't been completed yet. Even if it was complete, it would need to be fully fueled and transfered to Kiwi Farms.

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This is the general inventory setup I'm going for with the two troops carrying Blaster Bombs. The Plasma Rifle will more than likely not be used at all but I didn't keep any spare Plasma Pistols so its what we're going with.

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Another reason that title sucks is it gives away exactly what I was planning to do during this session.

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The Skyranger holds 14 troops, but bear in mind we'll be working with more like 9 on the ground as I'm keeping four soldiers behind to use psionic attacks and at least one more to use the Blaster Bomb. If we end up actually needing that much firepower. This means my troops will only be able to lay down a limited amount of covering fire for each other. This mission will heavily depend on the use of psionics to augment our small attack force.

Alien Base 2 is that one in the heart of Russia that was identified as belonging to the Mutons. Muton bases are the best to assault with a lower amount of troops as they have no psionics, Mutons are weak to psionic attacks and for some reason Mutons have no Leader or Commander ranks. Alien Leaders and Commanders at the late game are usually equipped with Blaster Launchers, but in the case of Mutons all invalid ranks are "demoted" to Soldier, the lowest rank, with the lowest base stats. Its not always foolproof, but it often means that Mutons won't have enough time units to even fire their heavy weaponry, especially on lower difficulties.

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Alien Base missions always split your squad between two starting locations with a gravity lift that leads down into the base. Who actually starts where is mostly random. Or least it seems random to me, I've never had much luck manipulating it. The lift always leads down into a hallway that goes off in four directions, but what rooms that hallway actually connects to are of course randomized.

The green spaces your crew stands on are a retreat zone, since there's no Skyranger. Hypothetically, all you need to do in order to win an Alien Base mission is blow up the four UFO Navigation arrays in the control room. The control room is always guarded by at least a third of the map's enemies and you're pretty much guarenteed to encounter a bunch on your way to finding it, so realistically if you can even make it to the control room you might as well just clear the map and get the loot.

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This isn't exactly the most intelligent way to group your troops but the possibility of an enemy firing a Blaster Bomb up the lift this early in the game is pretty low.

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Another reason psionics are overpowered is that they don't trigger reaction fire even on a failed attack. We take control of two Muton soldiers. A Silacoid also makes itself known but it comes up against reaction fire and backs off.

Melee units in this game are for some reason very shy when it comes to getting in close against your troops. This applies even on the higher difficulties like Superhuman. Its common for an alien to make itself known, draw reaction fire, and then immediately turn around and run away. Even if your soldier is holding a weapon that won't do any damage to them.

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Our Muton scouts have outlived their usefulness. We also get reaction fire on one that tries to sneak up on us.

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To my surprise, the Silacoid goes for Genichiro, who puts it down.

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McMitch is left in a rather bad spot when a Muton moves up behind him. I'm aware there's at least one Muton ahead of him too, and he's out of time units. The rest of the squad is able to provide him some support fire, but he'll need some luck too if he doesn't want to get fried. Elsewhere HumanHive plugs a Celatid in a dark hallway.

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Luck isn't on @McMitch4kf's side. It turns out the Muton he was chasing down was armed with a Blaster Bomb. It opens up at point blank range, killing both itself and the Captain.

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Losing McMitch with so few troops on the ground hurts. Even worse, our psionics aren't up to the task of just mind controlling every enemy we come across. The only one we get during the whole turn is gravely wounded from being caught in the Blaster Bomb explosion earlier.

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XCOM is able to make some advances. The second level of the alien base isn't one continuous room, thankfully, but it does have a lot of possible areas for enemies to hide out in. Our troops are spread thin as it is, but so far it appears as though we've managed to kill the majority of the Mutons.

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I notice that little hole somebody shot in the wall surrounding the control room lift and get an idea. Two enslaved Mutons are set up to give us vision into the access lift below the control room. There's at least one alien left up there, and it could be using a Blaster Launcher.

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Turnabout is fair play after all. Of course by doing this I will destroy all of the valuable equipment in the control room, but XCOM is filthy rich at this point and the score for wrecking an alien base is always high no matter how little loot you bring home. Our experienced soldiers are much more valuable than any loot.

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You see the Blaster Launcher isn't just a guided missile launcher, it fires a smart antigravity projectile that is capable of making 90 degree vertical and horizontal turns. You program the missile's path with a set of target waypoints that the missile will follow. Once the missile is fired, it is entirely up to the AI how it will interpret the kinds of sharp turns you want the missile to make, so plan carefully.

In the original DOS version of the game, the Blaster Launcher was limited to only 9 waypoints due to the game's memory limitations. The OpenXcom version of course allows for unlimited waypoints, which may seem broken at first but with repeated use it becomes clear that its not. Too few waypoints means that the missile will attempt to make wider turns to reach the waypoints, which could lead to it crashing into something and going off earlier. Too many waypoints leads to the opposite problem; the missile will spaz out and spin around trying to hit every waypoint. If it does so enough, it'll go off course and miss the remaining waypoints completely.

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The missile doesn't look like much when its in the air. You can just barely see it in this shot, in the upper right corner. Look for its little square shadow on the floor, the missile is above it.

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This shot captures its little purple trail as it flies through the hole in the outer wall.

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A mighty explosion rocks the base. The remaining Mutons panic when they realize that XCOM is just as well armed as their Ethereal masters.

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Somehow, this guy is still alive.

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I have him nuke himself because, fuck it, why not have some fun?

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Looks like there was still one more Muton hiding out in the control room. And this idiot is still alive, after taking two direct Blaster Bomb hits! Spunt finishes him off.

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Corn Flakes gets ambushed by a berserk Muton in the dark and kills him. For whatever reason the game chooses now to flash the message that the control room is destroyed and we can leave. Just about everything on this map is dead though, so there's no sense doing that.

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It's a good thing we catch this guy panicking since he's armed with a Blaster Bomb. Losing two soldiers at this point would be a bitter letdown after the rest of the mission went so well.

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1000 points in one mission. Its a stunning victory, and one XCOM won't need to pull off again since the Avenger will be ready to go by the time the team gets back to base.

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We've been capturing so many live aliens lately that our Alien Containment is overloaded. OXCE offers you the option to kill them outright instead of selling them off. Which is of course what we do, no mercy to the alien scum!

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The Jace interceptor downs a scout around the time we finish getting our new Avenger fully loaded. Since the Avenger can hold 26 fully equipped troops I promote two more soldiers, The Valeyard and HumanHive to psionics duty. Genichiro and Corn Flakes are promoted to Blaster Bomb duty.

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Move over Amberlynn Ried, there's a new hangar queen in town.

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Because I have two new soldiers on psionics I still feel the need to take on these tedious UFO recovery missions to train up their skills.

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Things go rather well. A scout containing Mutons is usually somewhat dangerous but we're able to mind control most of them before they get the chance to open up on us.

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The UFO breach is of little note.

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Simple enough.

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What? You thought I was going to name this update All Your Base for only one base assault?

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Let's fuck em up.

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An attentive viewer will note that there are not 26 soldiers depicted in the pictures. This is because the last four or so soldiers kept spawning below the lift, and all of the extra equipment would spawn on the floor beneath the last soldier on the ground. That equipment is easily replaceable, but it would be a pain in the ass to do that if it got nuked by a stray grenade. I found its just easier to carry fewer troops into battle.

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Get your Aliens soundtracks ready.

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Alien Base 1 for those not keeping track is a Snakeman base, which means Chryssalids. Potentially up to six of them, but most likely 3-4.

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I missed the other death message but both Chryssalids you saw earlier managed kills. @Shadfan666xxx000 and @Mary the Goldsmith have the dubious honor of being our first two troops to get raped and impregnated by aliens.

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The thing that makes Chryssalids so dangerous is something I alluded to earlier when I tangented about the Silacoid. Melee units in this game have a habit of retreating under reaction fire. But whether or not your troops are capable of reaction fire depends on two things: their Reactions score, and some arcane combination of the enemy's Time Units/Reaction stat which roughly quantifies how fast the enemy can move. Simply put, if the enemy is faster than your soldier's reactions, it will not trigger reaction fire.

As Chryssalids are one of the "fastest" units in the game with a huge pool of time units and a reactions score a bit better than that of the average XCOM soldier, more often than not they won't trigger reaction fire heading straight for you unless they're up against an experienced soldier. So even though they still have the same cowardly behavior as other melee units, it comes up much less.

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Chryssalids aren't exactly the easiest thing in the game to take control of, but we have a pretty experienced team so we manage to get our hands on one of them. Its melee attack is quite powerful and can kill most enemies with two hits, but obviously it won't turn alien units into Chryssalids. For now we use this one to scout and draw fire while we clean up the two zombies.

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Rookies Mooger Meng and TerribleIdeas have one hell of a first day on the job as they're instructed to melt off their former comrade's skin with plasma fire and then fry the resulting horror that pops out of it. Meng manages to kill the Chryssalid though; the automatic fire on the Heavy Plasma being indispensable for situations like this. The same is done on the other side even though I don't get any screens of it.

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Most of the team's Time units are exhausted by this point though and there could still be more Chryssalids waiting in the shadows. I decide now's the time for some heavy support.

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I don't even remember if Blaster Bombs are that effective against Chryssalids, but I blow up a Snakeman I had no idea was there.

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Corn Flakes also fires off a round. I don't catch the explosion. It makes a terrible mess, but there's no alien death cry.

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Our Chryssalid scouts are killed off, much to everyone's relief.

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The alien base is pretty rightly trashed at this point.

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I'm thinking that second Blaster Bomb must have wounded one or more of the aliens because their battle capacity is down in the north. In the south there's yet another massive open cargo space with another watch tower-like structure in it. We're generally doing quite well against the aliens, but our advance is slow to keep an eye out for more Chryssalids and the fact that we keep drawing fire every time we take a step forward.

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Fougaro has advanced ahead of his comrades on account of there being nothing in the room he was set to take. I was thinking I could reinforce him with Spunt at some point but his team kept running into more troops flooding out of the control room. Eventually a Snakeman manages to flank @Fougaro through the smoke and kill him.

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Penne Dreadful takes two stun bomb hits, one on the nose even, but stays on his feet.

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Four more Snakemen are killed as the advance continues, including our scout.

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Alien morale collapses completely at that point. I miss the hilarity of a Snakeman Engineer blowing up the control room with a Blaster Bomb but you can see the aftermath of it in the third screenshot. If it weren't for the fact that we already had the Sectoid Commander from that battleship mission this sort of thing would be intensely annoying, and usually when this happens near the end of a mission it means the Commander is killed. Since we already got one earlier, this is of no concern to us.

Also, speaking of that Sectoid Commander, the reason it chose not to fire is Blaster Bomb at us that one time is probably due to the explosion radius being about the size of the entire floor. XCOM also takes into account hallways when it calculates the blast radius of an explosion, meaning an explosion can reach beyond its normal radius is funneled through a confined space like the third floor of that Battleship was. Any attempt to fire that weapon in there would have been suicide, and the aliens aren't always keen on taking you down with them.

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Three losses for a mission like that is pretty good all things considered, especially since there could have been more Chryssalids. Both of the bases taken during this update were admittedly set up earlier on in the game, which usually means they'll be smaller and thus contain somewhat fewer troops.

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The Chrischan interceptor catches up with a Muton Terror Ship on its way to wreak havoc in North America while the team is on their way back to base.

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Time for another expedition.

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I don't mind these Terror Ship missions so much because the interior of the vessel is very open and spacious, while due to its sheer size the map is usually small. It doesn't turn into a bug hunt like some of the other UFO missions can.

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I dunno if calling these things Fartbags is an intentional reference to Red Letter Media or not, but its a fitting name since they're rather non-threatening. Strangely I haven't seen any custom mods try to implement their mysterious "replication" behavior that the UFOpedia hints at.

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XCOM is at its peak capabilities right now. All that's missing is the advanced powered armor, but, whatever. When I think of an XCOM soldier I always think of them wearing the plain jane Personnel Armor. It almost feels wrong to give them powersuits before the final battle.

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Mooger Meng eats a stun grenade. He's left to sleep it off since we have an abundance of soldiers on the ground.

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The advance is otherwise uneventful. Sergeant Sailing the Salty Sea, perhaps overeager to earn his rank, bravely takes point and breaches the UFO alone. Well, for a given definition of alone perhaps, as our psionic team is with him in spirit.

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Our psionic team is more like a force of nature at this point, especially against Mutons. Dear Leader, Dark Edea and The Valeyard can all make three psionic attacks per turn now. HumanHive and Affluent Reptilian aren't too far behind them.

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We don't even need to set foot on the second floor to get the last alien.

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Another Terror Mission lost with all hands for the aliens.

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Downing scouts at this point seems to be useful for delaying larger alien missions. These two were vanguards for an Alien Retaliation and Alien Harvest mission.

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This is it, we can finally launch the mission to Cydonia and end the game. I could go right now if I wanted to and have a reasonable chance of success, but I'd like to get a few more troops to fill out the ranks first.

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Curse being a perfectionist. I really don't need to bother with these scout recovery missions anymore, my psionic crew is already trained up well enough as it is.

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At least Snakemen aren't up to much. Usually.

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While the tac team is securing the UFO @Tactical Wizard is sniped through the smoke by an enemy he never sees. Have I mentioned how much I absolutely fucking hate smoke in this game?

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TWO Snakemen were hiding in the smoke.

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Whatever.

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The Jace interceptor manages to take down a Harvester over Europe just before the month ends. Yes, I'm sure its actually a Harvester this time.

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There's nothing useful left to research at this point except for Hovertanks but because I never use drones I have no real interest in doing so. You can't name drones (not without a mod anyway), they don't collect experience or gain stat bonuses (obviously) and they take up four slots on the dropship. Which would rather take away from the reader participation in this thread. So here's some alien autopsies.

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Check out that score. Our income literally doubles this month. I may raid an Ethereal base just to say I did. I haven't seen any evidence that the other bases on the map are different alien races, and honestly nothing about the base assault missions changes other than the units. I know we're due for at least one scripted Alien Retaliation mission some time next month, so I might choose to stand down and allow them in just to give everyone a look at how that would go.

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This is Last Call for names for anyone who is new to this thread. I highly doubt I will need more soldiers than this batch, and if I do I'll just recycle dead names. You will most likely be able to participate in the final assault on Cydonia.

Next Time: New soldiers, Alien Harvester recovery, maybe an Alien Retaliation mission.
 

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Fougaro

Glow in the dark K/DA Popstar
kiwifarms.net
If you want, you can clone Fougaro III or as many Fougaros as you wish until I either redeem my clan or become the Yamcha of XCOM.
 

L50LasPak

We have all the time in the world.
kiwifarms.net
I was looking forward to killing my fellow XCOM soldiers, but I genuinely assumed I was going to get mind-controlled and scream Allahu Ackbar in the middle of deploying, instead of having to murder some fag that got full of alien jizz.
You may yet get the chance to betray everyone; your psionic resistance is horrible, being only 5 out of 100. I've stuck you in psi training to mitigate that but there's only so much it can help.
 

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