Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:27 PM
How come this AAR died. I already posted some remarks for the TftD AAR (actually it is there where I have read a similar EU AAR exists). My remarks here are almost the same; I believe the rules I listed there may be applied here as well. However, NKF brought up this weapon theme thing. Fortunately EU has no such monsters as lobster men, so some courageous wepon themes may be both challenging and funny in EU. I also played a few campaigns following some weapon themes. The "without alien technology" theme isn't too interesting because laser weapons are well ready to beat the game. Maybe then if they had had clips to fiddle about...
I play a campaign (I guess I already wrote about it somewhere) where I use only standard weapons, the only thing I researched was the medi-kit to revive stunned aliens. That is a reloadable game because I am a guy who like to play perfect games (ideal games, optimal games, best possible results, that is) but the rules can be applied for an ironman run too (I am happy you didn't repair the sectoid base disaster, this is ironman after all).
The campaign objective can be clear: you make up an end date, X-COM must survive until then or you play until all funding nations get infiltrated (this latter may be a long one). If the campaign is finished, then the scores the commanders did to X-COM should be calculated and the winner is announced (see also in the TftD AAR with the COD thing).
You are allowed to research medi-kit, motion scanner, hyper wave decoder, and psi lab. Oh, and you may research corpses and alien life forms but these should be agreed on as these may also be an objective. By my experience, mutons can be effectively killed by heavy cannons (and by auto-cannons too if they are used as melee weapons) even if you use armour piercing ammo. A bountifully crowded large scout can be very challenging; I didn't try larger UFOs because that could be abusing the game. Sectopods can be also killed (along their ethereal escorts). The key word here is "beginner". Set the difficulty to beginner instead of superhuman and rifles, pistols, cannons soon make sense. As you don't use any armour, you must consider carefully when you use high explosive missiles. As you may use high explosive ammo against mutons, you can defeat an army of mutons (bases, battleships). (I can't do that because explosions tend to destroy corpses, live aliens, artefacts, that means not a perfect game.)
But the real challenge isn't that! The things above are just conducts of some kind. The challenge should be the weapon theme I recommend now. You probably noticed the various alien officers use certain sets of equipment. Why not do the same to X-COM officers? I mean you can create some beside the ranking system. For example (mk=medi-kit, ms=motion scanner, r=rifle, p=pistol, rl=rocket launcher, g=grenade, pg=proximity grenade, and so on; h=hand(s), b=belt, s=shoulder, b=backpack, and so on):
commander r-h, mk-b, p-b, ms-b
colonel r-h, mk-b, p-b, ms-b
captain r-h, mk-b, p-b, ms-b
sergeant r-h, rc-b, g-s, ms-b
scout p-h, ef-s, sg-s
grenadier g-s, g-s, g-s, g-s
engineer HC-HE-h, ms-b, he-b, pg-b
executer r-b, sr-b, he-b
assaulter r-h, g-s
shooter r-h, rc-b
medic mk-b, p-b, sr-b
mule mk-h, lr-h, sr-b, sr-b, sr-b, he-l, AC-HEc-l, HC-HEc-s, HC-APc-s, rc-b, g-b, pg-b, ef-b, sg-b, pc-b
These are just basic sets as the ranks may use different but still particular types such as "raw", "light", "medium", "heavy", "alternative", "strategic". Let me explain the "officers" first. The squad leaders (sergeant, captain, and so on) are well versed in almost every field operation therefore they can carry various items though in moderate amounts. The other "officers" (squaddies and rookies) are still specialists. The scout spots the enemy. He uses a pistol to be ready to fire anytime. He throws electro flare to make the terrain scoutable and throws smoke grenade to hide himself and other operatives. The grenadier eases up nasty "deathcamps" and traps created by aliens. He throws grenades from behind cover at the enemy snipers. He launches rockets at far away melee terrorists and at suspicious buildings. The engineer has the potential to detect his targets by motion scanner, to destroy it by fire or blow, or to secure areas by deadly traps laid. The executer does usually an important job per mission including the capture of a certain alien, eliminating a sure ambush, or chain-killing an enemy group by a surprise attack. He does these with the back-up of the squad. The assaulter doesn't have extra ammo and too many items because he can't expect a long life. His loss brings about the loss of his equipment too. Assaulters run on aliens while plasma beams are zigging and zagging, they run among cryssalids, they run through flames, smoke, and hell just to save civilians and draw enemy fire while other squad members plan to really strike or retreat. Therefore an assaulter does not need much ammo because he has not enough opportunity to use them up anyway. Still, assaulters are supported by medics to treat fatal wounds, stun-shocks, pains, and such almost inevitable results. The shooter does not move much on the field. He instead wait until the enemy comes and holds his ground as long as his bountiful ammo lasts. He is also capable to destroy tough enemy units by accurate and showering shots. The medic is the life saver of the entire squad by curing the most serious injuries right on the field. He is also capable to disable crazy operatives and aliens without damage. The medic may pick up faint/stunned bodies. The mule is an extremely strong man who caries a lot of things. As operatives may not exchange items, they must rely on the mule who drops things for them during battle when they lose or use up something. The mule must always be equipped fully; the light equipment for a mule is of mainly grenades and rifle clips whereas the heavy set is of rockets, high explosives, and such. The mule is allowed to pick up dead bodies and alien artefacts and save them from destruction.
The raw equipment means a very simplistic "set" of weapons, mainly a loaded firearm for sudden situations such as base attacks. (Actually to avoid the 80-item problems.) Raw equipment may delt out in case the general stores are out of several things. The light style means an almost perfect and efficient set for weak soldiers and against vulnerable foe. The medium set is used against an alien squad of mixed attributes. The heavy set is used against the toughest aliens and it makes up for amounts of usage too as far as the strength allows. The heavy set is for experienced or even veteran operatives in deep waters. The alternative set isn't about encumbrance and absolute destructuve power but an odd combination based on certain situations. The alternative set may aim at the most general use as well as a very typical use. The strategic set is used by logistic reasons. For example the squad leader uses almost nothing in order he could deal out the most equipment to his actual fighters.
Of course the players aren't obliged to play this way, these are just fiction to give an excuse to strictly use the weapon theme. You can set up an ambush of a pair of assaulters by a door to do the aliens what the assaulters are supposed to endure from aliens just as the player is free to have his precious avatar (the squad leader (e.g. captain)) dash between a cryssalid and a civilian. For example the player may not have an engineer give-throw his proximity grenade (either primed or not) to a scout and have the scout use the extra stuff. Only engineers and squad leaders may lay proximity grenades. Only scouts and squad leaders may lay electro flares. Only medics and squad leaders may use medi-kits. And so on. I don't dive in details because I first have to get some knowledge of item weight data (from the wikipage) and make calculations to define the sets based on strength of a rookie and the experienced. I try to create sets so a light type should not require more than 20 strength, a medium should not require more than 40 strength, and the heavy should not require more than 70 strength or rather 45-50 strength. The difficulty comes from the next step: the player is allowed to send a certain number of these officers to missions. For example he may not send 14 grenadiers and destroy the whole map to gain victory just as well as he may not create a floodlight on 100% of map by sending an army of scouts out in the night. However, high rank officers may operate as virtual officers; for example the COD being a (the) commander may take along a clonel, two captains, and five sergeants and equip them as scouts, engineers, and so on but he may equip only one of them as captains (himself) and some of them as sergeants if the mission allows it.
For a quick reference:
to a small scout: 1 leader (sergeant) + 1-4 soldier: medic 1, scout 2, assaulter 2, shooter 2;
to a medium scout: 1-2 leader (sergeant) + 1-4 soldier: medic 1, scout 2, assaulter 2, shooter 2, grenadier 1, engineer 1, executer 1;
to a large scout: 1-2 leader (captain-sergeant) + 1-8 soldier: medic 1, scout 3, assaulter 3, shooter 3, grenadier 2, engineer 1, executer 1;
to an abducter: 1-2 leader (captain-sergeant) + 1-8 soldier: medic 2, scout 3, assaulter 3, shooter 3, grenadier 2, engineer 2, executer 1;
to a harvester: 1-2 leader (captain-sergeant) + 1-10 soldier: medic 2, scout 3, assaulter 4, shooter 4, grenadier 3, engineer 2, executer 1;
to a supply ship: 1-3 leader (captain-segeant) + 1-10 soldier: medic 3, scout 3, assaulter 4, shooter 4, grenadier 3, engineer 2, executer 2, mule 1;
to a terror ship: 1-3 leader (colonel-sergeant) + 1-10 soldier: medic 3, scout 3, assaulter 4, shooter 5, grenadier 4, engineer 2, executer 2, mule 2;
to a terror site: 1-3 leader (commander-sergeant) + 1-13 soldier: medic 3, scout 4, assaulter 5, shooter 5, grenadier 1, engineer 2, executer 1, mule 2;
to a battleship: 1-3 leader (colonel-sergeant) + 1-11 soldier: medic 3, scout 3, assaulter 4, shooter 5, grenadier 4, engineer 2, executer 2, mule 2;
to an alien base: 1-4 leader (commander-sergeant) + 1-13 soldier: medic 3, scout 4, assaulter 4, shooter 5, grenadier 4, engineer 3, executer 3, mule 2;
base defense: 1-4 leader (commander-sergeant) + 1-?? soldier: medic 3, scout 3, assaulter 4, shooter 10, grenadier 4, engineer 4, executer 2, mule 2.