Entries for January, 2014

There are some games that I really like, but totally suck at.  For instance, I think Red Orchestra 2/ Rising Storm is great, yet I regularly get torn to pieces playing it.  Another is XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


I’ve never played the old XCOM games, so I can’t compare EU to the classic offers; all I know is that it’s terribly fun.  Never before had I played a turn-based tactical game, apart from a Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate demo that game with a PC Gamer disc years ago.  Come to think of it, though, I played that thing a few times, thought it was great.  Maybe I’ve been missing out on an entire genre all these years?  Whoa.


Anyway, after I got home from my gig last night, I decided to play some XCOM.  I loaded up my last save game, and I found myself with my squad facing off against the alien menace at a gas station. Immediately, I positioned my sniper, a veteran of a number of skirmishes, behind a pillar for full coverage.  I put my only rookie behind a car, with my support beside him.  I positioned my heavy behind another car and swung my assault soldier, the grizzled Avery Crane, herself my oldest surviving soldier over to a flank on the left. 


The battle actually proceeded well.  Avery was suppressed for a time, forcing me to pull her back, but my sniper, Hart, was able to easily wipe out the aggressor.  My heavy, Frank, tore a few aliens to pieces with a well placed rocket.  Macree, my support however was gravely wounded, when a muton in a raised position managed to destroy Macree’s cover and deliver a nearly fatal blow.  Luckily, I was able to eliminate the threat before he bled out and get him to safety.  My secondary heavy, Long, received a promotion due to performance, though Macree and Avery were both heavily wounded.  They would both be out of the duty pool for some time.


However, due to the successful completion of the mission, India’s panic was reduced by 3.  Well worth it, especially considering that I lost no soldiers.


Some time passed and an alien abduction was reported, so I assembled a squad of available troops, including a rookie, a veteran of only a single battle, and two snipers, to assault an alien craft. 


We landed in a wooded area and moved towards the UFO.  There was no full cover, so I put my snipers on the wings and slowly moved my troops behind rocks and trees, setting them in overwatch. 




A group of mutons and a cyberdisc poured out of the craft.  Hart fired on the cyberdisc, and it retreated.  Frank suppressed a muton, and my other sniper, Parr, managed to kill the second muton with help from my support.  That left the one muton left.  I ordered the rookie, who carried the stun weapon forward and incapacitated the alien.  He was then pulled back. 


Instantly, the cyberdisc returned with more mutons, a muton elite, and drones.  The cyberdisc felled Parr immediately.  The rookie panicked, and fired wildly, which caused my other soldiers, apart from Hart to panic as well.  In the ensuing fracas I lost three soldiers before I was able to neutralize the aliens.  Having no choice but to push forward, I entered the UFO with Hart, Long, and Frank.  The team survived three further assaults, narrowly evading death each time. 


Finally, I made it to the center of the craft.  I positioned Hart in the rear, overwatching.  I had Long and Frank on each side of a door.  Frank activated it, opening the force-field barrier.  Without warning, a new alien sent a psychic blast at Frank, killing him instantly.  The alien’s comrade then mind controlled Long. 


Hart hunkered down for a bit, hoping the mind control would wear off.  No luck.  With regret, knowing it would haunt her for the rest of her life, I ordered Hart to put down Long.  Grim-faced, Hart peered down the sight of her laser rife, and squeezed the trigger.  Long dropped immediately, mercifully. 


One of the aliens moved out of the adjoining room and entered the main area.  Hart, raging, fired a wild round that went barely wide.  With a volcanic fury, she vengefully resighted the alien and drilled the alien’s skull, and it collapsed in a broken heap. 


One left.


Hart crouched down behind cover, reloading.  The last alien swept out.  Merciless, the bloodthirsty creature sent a mind blast at my last soldier.  Already weary and hurting from the extended firefights and the trauma of seeing friends die, and in one case, at her own hand, she could not survive the assault.  Bloodied and broken, her body fell to the ground, her last gasp being one of defiance. 


The dropship returned to base empty. 


What a great game.




Currently reading: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Currently watching: The Office- Season 2
Currently feeling: cold
Posted by Narzack on January 23, 2014 at 01:54 PM | Get some!
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