Woo, finally I get to go and die horribly ;)
Woo, finally I get to go and die horribly ;)
So here is a problem that I am having: every time a Support soldier reaches the rank of Corporal, that soldier will die in the first turn of the first encounter with an alien group, to a single critical. I'd quite like to find out what Supports actually do. Besides which the RNG only ever seems to give me one at a time, not least because of the high attrition rate.
Ah well. Here is Cpt. Jax himself, resplendent in blue and red and his fine moustache.
Support basically get to choose between being excellent medics or excellent supporters. Medic side obviously makes them better healers, support side makes them great on overwatch.
I'm having one of those times when the consequences of the strategic and the tactical layers have focussed into one crucial encounter. Despite being fairly successful on the field, with only that one disastrous wipe, panic is spreading like a disease. Mexico has left the project, and seven other countries are at maximum panic levels with the end of the month approaching. You can see where that goes. It's not as dire as it seems, since the number is actually six- I just got a satellite over Argentina, one of the seven, at their direct request (I'd have done it anyway for free, but thanks for the money, folks). I have a couple more satellites in production, although one won't be ready until after the Council report. I'm looking at five nations quitting, which wouldn't end my game, but I don't imagine I'd be able to recover from.
I was really hoping for a Council mission, and for my sins they gave me one. I have to rescue a civilian. The map is that pleasant little park with the fountain in the middle. It's nice and open, so 'Black Widow' Rossignol should really dominate. The game hangs in the balance, and it will only take one blast of plasma to tip it over the edge.
Crap crap crap.
It was a high priority mission for me. It was a landed alien supply ship. Perfect for getting the resources I desperately needed to prepare the alien base, so It was a no fall back thing. I was handling things nicely so I decided to take the secondary team with just one vet, so they could level up a little. Big mistake. It was the next step in alien escalation, my team ended up fighting elite muttons and reapers for the first time with disastrous consequences.
The least experienced soldiers were the first to die. Also the aliens devilishly took down my two support units so I couldn't stabilize anyone after that.
The remaining soldiers pushed forward with caution, but ended up facing terrible odds, still they managed to destroy the reaper and kill most of the muttons, but not before losing two of my remaining three soldiers.
It was all down to Makariel, the most badass soldier in the existence of X-Com, against two muttons, one elite, one regular. I pitty them. Makariel took down the elite with an overwatch action just as he tried to move into an attack position. The other mutton tried to run and Makariel consumed by revenge persued and killed it just as he tried to escape from the ship.
We had to pay a terrible price for the supplies we needed.
Ouch, I've yet to have a mission losing that many people at once. I suppose all it really takes is a newbie panicking at a bad moment though, or one really bad luck turn.
The aliens killing both support units first was really the worst thing that could happen.
So I mentioned earlier that I had that big deal Council mission, a civvie extraction. That one was a textbook operation. Defeat in detail of the groups leading up to the escort, while leaving units strung out just along the route home to cover plenty of the map while still providing mutual support. Thin Men dropped in, Thin Men got filled full of holes. As a last, final gesture, MadJax walked right up to the final alien, ignoring its desperate fire (Lightning Reflexes is so good) and tazed it in the face. What a soldier.
Well, I didn't see a lot of the promised panic reduction on the map, but come the turn of the month only the UK and Australia dropped out. There followed a bit of a lull, in which I rather hoped for a UFO or two. The last one that had shown up was large, and my interceptor had been unable to bring it down (for which the Council downgraded me to a C, despite an otherwise stellar month. Humph.) Anyhow, after a bunch of research completing I found myself without the necessary alloy to make heavy lasers, which would have been rather useful.
The next thing to show up was another abduction. None of them were in countries with critical panic levels, but Japan was offering me a reward that was designed to lure me out- A Support Captain. As I'd previously mentioned my Supports all die the moment they reached Corporal. The mission was marked Very Difficult, but I'd never been able to determine if the difficulties mean much- I'd had previous supposed difficult missions be a cakewalk. I thought it wise, then, to bring along a good mix of ranks. Major MadJax would lead, Lt. Tim Stone, who was shaping up nicely as a mobile close-support Sniper, would be 2nd in command. NCOs were Sgt. DarkFenix and Cpl. Adam Smith, a newly minted Support. Two Rookie came along for the ride. I felt confident about these Rookies, since the reason I had run out of alloy was that I had made enough laser rifles and carapace armour that I could fully equip suitable members of my squad. These were well kitted out Rookies.
The mission starts and Tim lobs a scanner a decent distance forward, revealing a trio of Mutons lurking up ahead, just past a building. I start to take positions to engage them. Unfortunately I stumble upon another pair of Mutons lurking in the building, and I find myself in a firefight with all five, for which I am not ideally positioned. In the close-quarters fighting the big aliens go down, but they take a Rookie with them, and both DarkFenix and Smith are wounded.
I press forward, lobbing another scanner. This one lands in the middle of a Muton patrol, and allows me to place them all bunched up in a shipping container. DarkFenix lands a beautiful rocket that leaves them all rather battered and without cover. The subsequent fight is short.
Pressing forward again, we come across, shockingly, 3 more Mutons. Seriously, this is the most diversity-free alien band I've seen since my all-Sectoid days back at the start. This fight opens with Cpl. Smith getting killed at long range and continues with DarkFenix getting similarly blasted. The Rookie flips out and takes a potshot at Tim, who is for reasons I can't quite determine getting 34% odds at targets in light cover. I don't get to wonder too long, because he is felled by a 12 damage critical while in heavy cover. Meanwhile, my star performer MadJax sees a Muton roar and beat its chest like a big idiot and decides to panic and have a little cower. Another Muton rewards this display with another 12 damage critical.
I look at the situation. A badly wounded Assault and a Rookie are facing down three full health Mutons. I decide discretion is the better part of valour and run screaming and waving my arms in the air back to the Skyranger, the Rookie narrowly avoiding suppression fire on the way. I have lost a Rookie and three fine soldiers, including yet another Support Corporal, and I have lost the opportunity to obtain a Support who will be able to stay alive and be of some use.
That may be about it for this campaign. Panic is passing containable levels. I've got a couple of star performers in MadJax and Rossignol, but not enough depth in the ranks to back them up. In particular, the tenancy of Supports to get themselves critted every time they poke their heads out of the Skyranger means I lack some crucial skills.
Shame about me panicking back there, I do apologise...... I had a nervous tummy that day :p My awesome moustache makes up for any wrong-doing though :D
Anyway, glad I'm shaping up to be a star player here...though it will make it harder to bare when I inevitably bite the short end of a plasma round :(
Don't worry Mad, you're an awesome assault AND a psy in my game. Keep up the good work!
Christ, Lasikbear really does get all the luck. He's turned out to be my squad's first psychic. No such luck for Makariel or Gorzan.
Edit: And the only other psychic gift in my primary squad goes to Sunjumper. The rest of the guys are boringly normal.
That is markedly untrue for commander Lasikbear, who has lost the game many many times.
And we have a third custom nicknamed soldier! Lt. Drake 'Broadside' Sigar, so named because he can't hit the broad side of a cocking UFO, sniper my arse.
And I feel it's about time I posted a 'meet the team' screenshot.
Finally could start playing. Scrapped the first game because I made some really bad decisions early on.
Lost some rookies here and there, but once they get a name they tend to survive. With one exception so far. Tikey, I'm so, so sorry.
My playing is as slow as ever. Jax, you're taking a little R&R in the hospital after you got a full crit from a Cyberdisk and a car blew up next to you. A good thing someone was on hand with a medkit.
I've been using my bits and pieces of play time to try and finish a terror mission which has gone all Resident Evil on me. I've barely crept away from my starting position, what with the swarms of Chryssalids and ensuing zombies. I've gunned down most of the civvies at this point- there are only 5 left. The insectile horrors favour going after the innocents to going after me, much to my frustration, although one did take a bit of a lump out of Rossignol, my star sniper. That just made her mad, and she's been blasting away accurately ever since. I just encountered some Floaters, which I am considering light relief, and if the blasted Chryssalids would let up I can actually go and see if I can do a spot of rescuing.
I mean, the experience has been great, but I'm not sure Germany's going to be all that happy. Incidentally, even Rookies are awesome when they have Light Plasma.
Poor Gorzan, he got his face blown off in the final mission. Twice in fact. First time he merely went critical after two Mutons got supremely luck hits on him in cover. Then after reviving him the last Muton managed another lucky shot and killed him outright. Still, I failed the mission, so you've officially Jesus'ed back to life.
Lasikbear's luck continues. He was just short of the necessary will required to be the 'volunteer' psychic. That 'honour' falls to Sunjumper, who comfortably makes the cut. I don't actually know what happens to the 'volunteer', but I'm more than willing to bet it's not pretty from the talk I've heard of it.
Well, at least I died bravely.
(I assume I died bravely)
I started new, which also meant Tikey got yet another shot at getting killed. However, since Tikey is a woman from South Africa, she refuses to die. Like most of my soldiers she's having a season pass for the infirmary, but better than being dead. Rossignol is dead however. It was the combination of being poisoned, standing next to an exploding car and being subjected to suppressing fire while panicking. Yeah, it was one of those days...
I have way too many snipers. It took ages until I got a second support as reward for a mission (welcome, Dr. Honeyslut) and I just got my second assault assigned last mission. Sometimes the standard-team the game puts together consists of 4 snipers and some filler.
I still didn't manage to keep all nations happy, Japan and Egypt dropped out after 2 months and currently I run the risk of loosing Argentina and South Africa. I am constantly short on money and don't know how I should get satellites any faster.
My best sniper "Zeus" Gorzan just got his head blown off by a rabid pack of mutons. No less than 8 Mutons where charging my position and poor Gorzan was completely overwhelmed. Only the use of copious amounts of rockets fired by my heavy weapon specialists helped me out here. The US was happy with the total destruction of a suburb of LA, that I got a new recruit in form of heavy weapons specialist Sunjumper. With his shiny golden armor he will praise the sun, I'm sure. Gorzan was my other high level sniper, after Rossignol died. Now it's up to newbies Drake Sigar and Drayk to give cover fire.
Madjax died while extracting a VIP in Brisbane earlier today. Got poisoned and hit by the blast of an exploding car (sounds familiar?), before a thin man finished him off with a plasma-blast from halfway across the world. Revenge came swift in form of a headshot by Gorzan. That was when he was still alive.
The last mission in Johanesburg was almost a disaster. Alex Clockwork didn't make it. He survived the blast of an exploding car (while saving a civilian with no sense of self-preservation) and an alien grenade dropped by a cyberdisk. Despite his injuries, he blasted away a charging cryssalid, while Dr. Honeyslut helped the critically wounded Tikey back on her feet. A total of three cyberdisks and 4 crysallids were ganging up on Oshada, which were taken care of by Alec Meer with his HEAT ammo and the just rejuvenated Tikey with rockets stacked on rockets, followed by more explosives by other squaddies. The last cyberdisk survived just barely and blasted poor Alex Clockwork into oblivion, who found the car he was behind not being good enough cover against this kind of firepower. My entire A-team went to the infirmary, most of them gravely wounded. This was the toughest mission yet.
Edit3 - Roster update
Patrick "DJ" Swayze just died, because none of my soldiers could shoot straight. The entire squad missed each and every shot. The mutons opposing me didn't know such restraint and one-shot poor Patrick, sending two more soldiers into the infirmary.
Col. Alec "Strobe" Meer (Heavy): 19 Missions, 51 Kills
Col. "Caper" Oshada (Assault): 17 Missions, 39 Kills
Col. Dr. Honeyslut (Support): 13 Missions, 23 Kills (you can trust her)
Col. "Congo" Lasikbear (Support): 18 Missions, 20 Kills
Major "Diesel" Tikey (Heavy): 11 Missions, 17 Kills
Major "Nuke" Sunjumper (Heavy): 4 Missions, 14 Kills
Lt. "Atlas" Jockie (Support): 2 Missions, 3 Kills
Sgt. Drake "Ranger" Sigar (Sniper): 5 Mission, 10 Kills
Sgt. "Shadow" Drayk (Sniper): 4 Mission, 9 Kills
Corporal John Walker (Support): 3 Missions, 6 Kills (and a horrible healer)
Coropral Dark Fenix (Heavy): 3 Missions, 6 Kills
Sq. Lacessit (Sniper): 2 Missions, 1 Kill
Sq. Flint (Sniper): 2 Missions, 2 Kills
Sq. Tim Stone (Sniper): 1 Mission, 3 Kills
Sq. DWZippy (Assault): on the way to the first mission...
Capt. "Zeus" Gorzan (Sniper): 9 Missions, 14 Kills
Sgt. Patrick "DJ" Swayze (Assault): 4 Missions, 9 Kills
Sgt. Jim Rossignol (Sniper): 3 Missions, 1 Kill
Sq. MadJax (Assault): 3 Missions, 2 Kills
Sq. Alex Clockwork: 2 Missions, 2 Kills
plus some rookies
Just did my first round of testing for psionic abilites. I think it comes as no surprise, that Colonel "Congo" Lasikbear shows the highest psionic potential. Followed by Alec "Strobe" Meer. Meanwhile, Tikey is the first soldier to get a nickname assigned by me. "Infirmary" Tikey, since she spends there more time than anyone else in my unit.
Currently my top sniper: "Shadow" Drayk
The team that went for the overseer:
The killing machine Oshada shows some floaters and mutons the exit:
Dr. Honeyslut taking on the big guys
DarkFenix (in blue), Drayk (orange), Oshada (red) and Lasikbear (white) move out