X-COM, XCOM and their derivatives - Including: Xenonauts, Phoenix Point, and assorted tactical turn-based alien shoot-a-thons

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TerribleIdeas™

Master of Cunt-Puppets
kiwifarms.net
I wouldn't personally recommend it without the mods, because of how night and day it is with. I couldn't imagine playing with the base classes/campaigns.

I've recently started fucking around with some of the music mods to add in soundtracks from other games. The base game's soundtrack is solid, but there's nothing like the classic Deus Ex score when a fight breaks out coming on after some MGS3 sneaking music while you're in concealment.

I played through the whole game, then replayed it with each mod. But I'm probably a masochist. I played Chimaera Squad twice.
 

Titos

Buried in a very very very deep grave
kiwifarms.net
Would definitely reccomend people check out Gears: Tactics if you haven't. It does the whole Xcom thing better than Xcom 2 did in my opinion and I hope some other devs consider implementing the turn system they used since it's basically the Press Turn system from SMT but applied to a tactics game. Really surprised me how quality it was.
 

Allakazam223

We wuz Orkz n shit
kiwifarms.net
How does one increase supplies for nuCom 2? I researched Resistance Radios but can't find a build option. Btw, nuCom 2 is comfy AF with controller (inb4 kb+m is how it's meant to be played, my wrists thank me when I use a controller and will use one every time I can) and the customization of soldiers is a lot better than I thought. Went full exceptional individual and got all the DLC, so first run is War of the Chosen. Fug the Assassin, the Warlock is scary AF. I didn't realise I could piss them both off at once, my NA center of ops is hemmed in on two sides by Chosen bases with no way to get to them yet. The Lost is a neat addition, although we lost two Sgt and a Lt on a VIP recovery where the Warlock decided that was gonna be a good time to say hello. They knew their odds when they held ground while the VIP and the escort carrying Rookie ran by. Whats the difference between Inspired research and Breakthroughs?


Not enjoying not being able to fund XCOM through alien weapons sales, though. My UFO Defense playthrough atm is funded entirely through Plasma Pistols and Clips, and Alien Entertainment. Quite suprised at how much faster missions are going with Plasma Rifle/Heavy Plasma equipped soldiers. Should I be concerned that by April I still don't have any upgrades for the Interceptors? I run out of ammo in both Interceptors before I can kill a Large UFO. Waiting on a second base to come online, and rushed Plasma/Personal Armor, should I maybe go back and research some of the other 20ish projects now? Or Plasma Cannon since I have that available now. Haven't even done an autopsy, although just unlocked Power Armor so I might go for that. This tech tree is awesome, I love being able to split my research or dump 100 guys into looking at something.
 
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Polyboros2

Is dumb and lost Polyboros password
kiwifarms.net
I don't know if it's been brought up, but Mario + Rabbits is a very fun X-Com light. No where near the depth, and weirdly move-action combat focused, but when wanting something dumb and and not strenuous, it's a solid good time.

It can be challenging to when you're familiar with XCom and want to cover shooter, until you figure out how dashing through/jumping on allies/enemies is sometimes more important than shooting.
 

Mooger Meng

Now I've got your autism!
kiwifarms.net
How does one increase supplies for nuCom 2? I researched Resistance Radios but can't find a build option.
If I recall correctly, you need to land in a place you already have contact set up in. You'll get a map option to build a relay there to increase its supply amount and reduce intel costs for linking nearby areas.
Fug the Assassin, the Warlock is scary AF. I didn't realise I could piss them both off at once, my NA center of ops is hemmed in on two sides by Chosen bases with no way to get to them yet.
Yeah, that doesn't just happen - I think that shit's programmed in to force you to get stuck in dealing with the Chosen. I remember reading some shit about that being a deliberate design choice; pretty sure it was in a Steam guide about it all, but fuck if I can remember which one.
Whats the difference between Inspired research and Breakthroughs?
Inspirations are for regular research items, breakthroughs are one-time-only unique bonuses - you'd get an inspiration for faster research time on plasma tech, but you'd get a breakthrough for "all cannons get +1 damage" and stuff such as.
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

Halloweeney did nothing wrong.
kiwifarms.net
There was a sequel in 2002, called Laser Squad Nemesis. That one had a really interesting simultaneous turn-based gameplay similar to Frozen Synapse (which came out 9 years later). I remember the interface was still rather obtuse, though. And the business model was ridiculous. You had to pay a subscription to play online. In 2002.
They later started working on Dreamland and it looked amazing at the time with destructible buildings in 3D much like Silent Storm(that came out years later). It looks primitive now but it was mindblowing back then, 3D was supposed to be static back then and any destruction would be pre-calculated.
dreamlandfreedom_a.jpg

dreamlandfreedom_b.jpg

dreamlandfreedom2.jpg

I had to look that one up. It's not the Laser Rifles that give you massive profits (although they can be profitable), it's the aircraft-mounted Laser Cannons.

Same deal as before, though. If you haven't flooded the market so hard even preschoolers are mounting Laser Cannons to their paper planes by the time your crew is coming back from Cydonia, you missed out on a ton of money.
It would have been really cool to see alien arms/tech sales reflected in the world. On a later terror mission you see something like a busted up SWAT van with a laser canon on top, a dead snake man and so on. Or political destabilization in different regions because some people got their hands on weapons they probably shouldn't have.

Oh and did anyone play Magic & Mayhem(another Gollop game)? I thought that one was pretty decent and there's something about the pixel art that I really like.
magicandmayhem.png
 

Kane Lives

Peace through power
kiwifarms.net
They later started working on Dreamland and it looked amazing at the time with destructible buildings in 3D much like Silent Storm(that came out years later). It looks primitive now but it was mindblowing back then, 3D was supposed to be static back then and any destruction would be pre-calculated.
View attachment 2036833
View attachment 2036834
View attachment 2036836

It would have been really cool to see alien arms/tech sales reflected in the world. On a later terror mission you see something like a busted up SWAT van with a laser canon on top, a dead snake man and so on. Or political destabilization in different regions because some people got their hands on weapons they probably shouldn't have.

Oh and did anyone play Magic & Mayhem(another Gollop game)? I thought that one was pretty decent and there's something about the pixel art that I really like.
View attachment 2036885
Yeah I wished XCOM and its derivatives addressed the impact of alien technology on the populace more.

Apocalypse, flawed game it was, represented this in a limited degree where the organizations hostile to you would eventually get disruptor weapons (not sure if this is tied to you selling it on the market). Sadly, the air game remained unchanged for most part, with the corps getting bigger human ships, but no alien weaponry.

Xenonauts also tries to represent this in a limited manner. Ingame, once you progressed past a certain tech threshold, the local forces which appear randomly on the map may have their weapons upgraded to lasers. It doesn't quite improve their survivability by much, but it's not uncommon to see a soldier with laser weaponry gunning down an endgame alien if they manage to get the drop on them.
 

Rich Evans Apologist

And thanks for all the braps
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Took a while to set up and fuck around with all the other things, but a friend showed me some gameplay footage and I decided to give the Long War of the Chosen mod a try. It fundamentally changes everything about the game to an absurd degree and it's insanely good, even if it can be a buggy piece of shit. I'm honestly not that far in, but I'm having a blast. It captures the 'idea' of nu2 much better than the base game itself does.

You can have squads of between 8-10, but there's a reason you won't always be doing that. Instead of guerilla ops just being random things that pop up while you're doing other shit, you have to use time to scan for them. When a mission pops up, you get a timer for it, like usual. Except that in base nu2, the mission timers are almost pointless - unless you're at full bars on the avatar project just as a retaliation pops up, you're gonna do every mission you get.

In LWOTC, you send out squads the infiltrate the area. Infiltration takes a period of time to do based on both the number of people you're deploying and how much gear they're lugging with them. Everyone gets three inventory slots right out the gate, and you've got functionally infinite smokes, flashbangs, and medkits. But bringing an item both lowers the unit's mobility until it's used and increases the amount of time it takes to fully infiltrate.

And it's very possible that it takes longer to infiltrate a mission than the amount of time that mission exists for. You can spend intel to increase the amount you've infiltrated, but even then you might not be able to reach full infiltration. Full infiltration is basically the level operating at its minimal number of enemies, with every bit below full probably meaning there's going to be more shit on the map and more potential reinforcements coming mid-level. It might be possible to tackle a 90% or 80% infiltrated mission, but there's no fucking way you should ever step foot into one that's only going to be 50%, so you learn to prioritize and let some opportunities go. Maybe you just send a squad of four of your best people and blow the intel on it so you can get to manageable levels of enemies if you really need the reward. Or you could try to kill like 40-50 enemies with tons of reinforcements guaranteed, but, uh, good luck.

More importantly, since infiltration takes time, you've got several squads out at the same time. While you've got infinite basic weapons and equipment, you've got limited weapon mods and you can't just pass your best gun around anymore. Obviously other accessories are also limited, but I think even better-tier weapons and armor have to be individually made. And supplies and intel are much stingier here - you don't just randomly get popups that drop supplies and intel on the map for you to scan, you have to actively build and cultivate resistance havens that passively give you a mix between missions/intel, supplies in your monthly supply drop, and recruiting more people to do these things. Getting more people gets more attention on your settlement, though, so you also have to sometimes tell them to go into hiding or risk retaliation strikes - I know, who'd have thought you get retaliation strikes for doing something, rather than just on a set once-a-month timer? To top it off, if a civilian dies in that mission... that's a civilian you had at the base itself, so you feel the direct consequence. You also staff them with some of your own engineers and scientists, to avoid arriving at that fun point of the game where scientists and engineers are literally pointless.

Since resources are scarce and you need a whole lot more of them, the research stuff also has a way to avoid running out - you can turn corpses into alloys and ellerium. Tricking out so many different squads demands a constant flow of goodies, it looks like, so there's actually some level of management involved in the game -- base nucom2 manages itself, honestly. You just have to not get killed on the maps.

...And this mod is pretty rough about that shit, too. The AI seems to be pretty great, with a fuckton of logical, taxing overwatch uses. The modders also made a PCS that seems to be baked right in to the advent which allows you to not take overwatch shots under a certain hit %, so it's hard to even bait overwatches out of enemies. More variety even without my goofy enemy mods (I don't know if those will work, although raider factions surprisingly do), and so many common-sense things that really up the experience. Need to evac a mission gone south? Call the skyranger in; it'll take five turns to get here so have fun. Your warning that reinforcements are coming is that one of your units will say their "reinforcements!" line (which you usually never ever hear because Bradford always says it), and so you've got a turn to get into a good position. You have no idea where they're going to land - could be far away, could be right on top of you, could be flanking you from behind; there's no exceptional flare thing or glowy portal.

I barely got into it because I had to spend an obnoxious amount of time fixing custom characters and figuring out which mods cause it to crash, but I don't know how I could ever go back to playing the base experience after even just a bit of this.

edit: I forgot, the Chimera Classes mod stacks with LWOTC, meaning I have functionally about twenty different classes. It allows for a lot of similar roles to be fulfilled, just with slight variations and tweaks on the formula.
 
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Spunt

A Leading Source of Experimental Internet Gas
kiwifarms.net
Not enjoying not being able to fund XCOM through alien weapons sales, though. My UFO Defense playthrough atm is funded entirely through Plasma Pistols and Clips, and Alien Entertainment. Quite suprised at how much faster missions are going with Plasma Rifle/Heavy Plasma equipped soldiers. Should I be concerned that by April I still don't have any upgrades for the Interceptors? I run out of ammo in both Interceptors before I can kill a Large UFO. Waiting on a second base to come online, and rushed Plasma/Personal Armor, should I maybe go back and research some of the other 20ish projects now? Or Plasma Cannon since I have that available now. Haven't even done an autopsy, although just unlocked Power Armor so I might go for that. This tech tree is awesome, I love being able to split my research or dump 100 guys into looking at something.
Research that Plasma Cannon ASAP. It's stupid overpowered, not only does it hit like a freight train, it has ridiculous range that out-ranges almost everything the aliens have (despite supposedly being based on their tech). Even attached to the basic interceptor you start the game with, it makes them able to go toe-to-toe with anything short of a Battleship or Terror Ship without even taking return fire. It even has effectively unlimited ammo (256 rounds that recharges for free when the inty lands). Only downside is that it tends to one-shot the smaller UFOs, preventing you from looting them.
 

L50LasPak

We have all the time in the world.
kiwifarms.net
Should I be concerned that by April I still don't have any upgrades for the Interceptors? I run out of ammo in both Interceptors before I can kill a Large UFO. Waiting on a second base to come online, and rushed Plasma/Personal Armor, should I maybe go back and research some of the other 20ish projects now? Or Plasma Cannon since I have that available now. Haven't even done an autopsy, although just unlocked Power Armor so I might go for that. This tech tree is awesome, I love being able to split my research or dump 100 guys into looking at something.
You want that Plasma Cannon. You can survive the rest of the game and hold out for Avengers though before you do away with your Interceptors; the only drawback to sticking to Interceptors is they aren't fast enough to catch Supply Ships and of course only the Avenger can take on a Battleship with a reasonable chance of success.

The alien autopsies, despite being one of the most interesting sets of research in the game and go a huge way towards building the atmosphere of it, are totally useless research options. You shouldn't research them unless you have the scientists to spare or you've exhausted all of the important tech tree options. Terror From the Deep, for all of its many flaws, actually adressed this by making two alien autopsies requirements to unlock further tech advances, but in practice it was kind of clumsy.
Apocalypse, flawed game it was, represented this in a limited degree where the organizations hostile to you would eventually get disruptor weapons (not sure if this is tied to you selling it on the market). Sadly, the air game remained unchanged for most part, with the corps getting bigger human ships, but no alien weaponry.
This is one of Apocalypse's many regretable outright lies that it tells the player. Supposedly selling alien technology on the market will allow other organizations to get a hold of it, but shrewd players and eventually combing through the code revealed that all of the factions in the game will acquire the alien technology based on a set of internal timetables. So the illusion is there that selling alien tech on the market will cause the proliferation of it in other factions, but in reality it has nothing to do with what XCOM does. Factions that are allied with or sympathetic to the aliens apparently do develop the alien technology at a faster rate though, but eventually all factions will tech up sooner or later unless they're going bankrupt.
 

wtfNeedSignUp

kiwifarms.net
You want that Plasma Cannon. You can survive the rest of the game and hold out for Avengers though before you do away with your Interceptors; the only drawback to sticking to Interceptors is they aren't fast enough to catch Supply Ships and of course only the Avenger can take on a Battleship with a reasonable chance of success.

The alien autopsies, despite being one of the most interesting sets of research in the game and go a huge way towards building the atmosphere of it, are totally useless research options. You shouldn't research them unless you have the scientists to spare or you've exhausted all of the important tech tree options. Terror From the Deep, for all of its many flaws, actually adressed this by making two alien autopsies requirements to unlock further tech advances, but in practice it was kind of clumsy.

This is one of Apocalypse's many regretable outright lies that it tells the player. Supposedly selling alien technology on the market will allow other organizations to get a hold of it, but shrewd players and eventually combing through the code revealed that all of the factions in the game will acquire the alien technology based on a set of internal timetables. So the illusion is there that selling alien tech on the market will cause the proliferation of it in other factions, but in reality it has nothing to do with what XCOM does. Factions that are allied with or sympathetic to the aliens apparently do develop the alien technology at a faster rate though, but eventually all factions will tech up sooner or later unless they're going bankrupt.
I don't get why alien autopsies/interrogations don't give you bonus damage/accuracy/resistance considering it's a very logical step of knowing your enemies abilities and weakpoints.
 

Allakazam223

We wuz Orkz n shit
kiwifarms.net
The alien autopsies, despite being one of the most interesting sets of research in the game and go a huge way towards building the atmosphere of it, are totally useless research options
But I need a Sectoid leader or any Etherial alive for psi-lab, right? Any other alien other than a Navigator worth stunning? I got the Plasma Cannon research done last night, and both Interceptors loaded with 2 Plasma Beams each. They should be good to go for anything other than Very Large UFO?
only the Avenger can take on a Battleship with a reasonable chance of success.
Thats the Fighter/Transport Research? I just got access to Firestorms before I turned in for the night.
 

L50LasPak

We have all the time in the world.
kiwifarms.net
But I need a Sectoid leader or any Etherial alive for psi-lab, right? Any other alien other than a Navigator worth stunning? I got the Plasma Cannon research done last night, and both Interceptors loaded with 2 Plasma Beams each. They should be good to go for anything other than Very Large UFO?

Thats the Fighter/Transport Research? I just got access to Firestorms before I turned in for the night.
Yes for the psionics, no to useful alien captures, except for obviously a Commander which you need to win the game. Your interceptors will be good to fight just about any kind of UFO other than Battleships, but try not to get too aggressive when fighting Terror Ships because they can bite back hard.

The next stage of Fighter/Transport at your point in the game sounds like the Lightning. Its a good ship, but it can't take on a Battleship.
 

OJ Simpson

Hey Kiwi World, It's Yours Truly.
kiwifarms.net
Alright well I went full on addict mode the last few nights playing nuCOM 2, and I'm really enjoying it, despite being lukewarm on it for years. There's always 1 mission that just completely fucks my squad though and makes me quit and start a new one, always around the time I start hitting Sergeant/Lieutenant ranks. Usually a supply raid or alien assault.

I'm not trying to have the perfect save but damn does it kill motivation. How do you guys deal with it? Do you just start from square one and rebuild?
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

Halloweeney did nothing wrong.
kiwifarms.net
I feel lore is its own reward when it comes to the autopsies/interrogations.
It's also really fun. I don't remember if having 0 equipment load made a big difference in OG X-Com, but sending a dude or two out with only stun battons while being covered by a couple of soldiers was fun and tense.

Did you ever get anything from capturing a Chryssalid alive? I don't remember but I made it my mission to Pokémon Go Into A Cell everything in that game, except cyberdiscs.
 

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