George, you seem to be on a quest for a pure strategy game, with nothing left to chance and pure clarity of mechanics. I don't know why you have this expectation from XCOM which indeed does have a gambling element present as it comes from a certain tradition of games, like most other turn based strategies such as Jagged Alliance 2 or HoMM3. These games are war games at heart, and war games do need an element of unpredictability ('fog of war' as Clausewitz put it). That's what makes them exciting and tense to play for the most part.
Also practically every game has an apex strategy which guarantees a win; that does not necessarily mean that it's broken. After reaching the top skill level you have to move to another game, that's how it goes. It's the 'getting there' part and the experimentation involved where the fun's at. Can you really reasonably expect something like XCOM to entertain you for the next 5+ years?
Last edited by Gray Guardian; 12-12-2012 at 03:37 AM.