On resuming command I ... I realise I haven't started up the game. I quickly go to correct that.
In the labs I start the Power Suit and the Floater Navigator and Snakeman Navigator research projects. With no progress having been made on UFO Navigation, I reallocate the scientists onto one of the Navigators, with the hyperwave decoder as the intended prize.
Next I go and sell junk we won't be needing and raise our funds to a tidy $8mil. Just what we need! Fireworks needs a Skyranger pronto.
Before that, I transfer usable equipment to their respective bases. Pistols and grenades to Orchard and the ammo for the Small Launcher to Fireworks. Since we also have 3 mind probes, I transfer one to each assault base.
Now for a little buying spree - Fireworks has a 20 strong crew and a shiny new Skyranger in transit. That knocked funds back to $6mil.
A few days pass and Fireworks is now fully staffed. Skyranger-3 is readied for battle. After loading up the Skyranger I note the initial rocket supplies I ordered earlier is not going to be enough, so more rockets and some spare launchers are purchased. I suspect whoever gets a chance to make use of this team is going to have a blast - pun and all.
A few days later, a spot of trouble emerges by way of a Very Large UFO. Hoping it'll land as there's no way our interceptors are going to shoot this monster down. All I do is have Fort Cannon's interceptor tail it.
It flies in the direction of Vancouver. It slows down before it gets there, allowing the interceptor to catch up. Thinking it might be due to land, I quickly prep Fort Cannon's Skyranger for a ground battle.
While the Skyranger approaches the Battleship, the UFO starts flying towards Dallas, then past it. Once it is near the Panama Canal it swings around and heads directly for Fort Cannon! Luckily it flies past. The Skyranger just can't keep up with it - by the time is flies past Fort Cannon the Battleship did a quick stop in Los Angeles and bounces off it and flies back to Dallas. Moves off to Miami, then swings back over Dallas.
What the heck is this Battleship doing?!
It flies near Los Angeles then makes a beeline towards Mexico City. On its way it takes a Carribean detour and flies past Havana, then flies a straight line past Washington and New York in the general direction of England, and vanishes over the Atlantic.
Fed up with this chase Skyranger-2 is sent home.
When Fort Cannon's new workshop is ready, 50 new engineers are hired.
The next day I get a report from the labs. First is something about the reason the aliens are performing 'alien abduction's and blah, blah, blah.... *snore*
When I wake up someone shoves a picture of a dissected floater in my face and tries telling me *all* about it in great detail. Luckily the next lots of topics wake me up completely. There's some mumbo jumbo about alien origins but most importantly there's plans for a new super radar called the Hyperwave Decoder. The Hyperwave Decoder is given the go ahead.
A few days later UFO 48 is caught flying into the US from the Pacific ocean. Another Very Large one by the look of it. It flies into Canada. Skyranger-2 is launched. The Battleship then does a fly-by of Fort Cannon and seems to travel away as if uninterested, then swings back slowly in the base's direction. It ambles along and seems to slow down once it reaches the middle of the USA. On the USA label to be precise, then flies past Dallas in a heading taking it to Mexico City.
Is this the same Battleship as before? Can't be, it's many days later.
The Battleship Stops in Mexico City then flies slowly in a clockwise motion around the Gulf of Mexico. It's slow enough for the Skyranger to keep pace, but not enough for it to catch up. It reaches Miami, then circles around and back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Local reports from fishing boats say there this big blocky thing beaming red lights into the water. Most were spooked because they thought they could hear the phrase 'wakey, wakey, time for breakfast!' being said over and over in their heads.
From the Gulf of Mexico the Battleship makes a direct line over Fort Cannon and flies past it, past Los Angeles and straight into the Pacific. Somehow radar manages to keep track of it until it's lost off the coast of Japan. Skyranger-2 is sent home.
Hours later it is picked up on Fireworks' radar. It flies into China and promptly vanishes over Everest.
A few hours pass and Orchard's Large Radar is all green while Fort Cannon's engineer workforce arrive. They go to help crank out the Personal Armour. Orchard's second hangar is ready in a matter of hours too - but it will have to remain empty. Funds are starting to run low and there's still the personal armour batch to complete.
Finally, a small UFO is spotted flying into Norway. Orchards' interceptor leaps into action and promptly shoots it down.
I recheck the Skyranger and note that there are enough suits of Personal Armour for everyone at Fort Cannon. Everyone suits up and the 3 remaining suits are shipped to Fireworks. Still a few more to go on the assembly line
Fort Cannon's Skyranger is launched. Before it lands, it waits 2 hours in the air for daylight before landing at the crash site.
And away we go!
Equipment check. Everyone seems fine, except Robert Smith who is a bit unstable. He decides to lessen his load by arming his smoke grenade and passing it to Norton Krumpet in front.
Remembering what happened the last time, Norton doesn't try to do anything fancy and throws it out the back of the Skyranger. No tank this time, so maybe his luck will change.
A quick scan through the portholes shows the Skyranger's parked in front of the UFO hatch. There are a couple of buildings in the distance which could mean trouble.
Turn ends with nothing much happening besides the smoke grenade going off and a UFO door opening.
Norton is first down the ramp and he jumps off to the left and kneels by the landing gear. Nothing seen. Next to him, Scott Taylor walks down the ramp and immediately glimpses a floater sniper on the nearby farm house.
Norton can't attack from where he is so he concentrates his attention on the UFO door. Hope his itchy trigger finger doesn't fail him this time.
Scott takes on the Floater. Since he can see the Floater, and it can see him, Scott leaps off the right side of the ramp to put some distance between them. He kneels and lets loose an auto burst. First round hits, the other two miss. This causes the roof to be destroyed. Thanks to the very nature of floaters, this one stays where it was rather than drop down into the building.
Uta Richter joins Scott, but rather than stand next to him, she walks a little further away until she's closer to the edge of the map, turns around, kneels and introduces a new implant to the floater that it promptly installs in its brain. A Heavy Cannon AP round. It doesn't survive the operation. Using her last remaining time units, she looks around underneath the Skyranger and towards the vegetable garden beyond. Nothing suspicious so far.
Robert Smith and Gunter Unger deploy into the heart of the smoke cloud.
Scott and Uta make their way to the front landing gear. Stefan Ulbricht and Shuji Iwahara drop down the right side of the ramp and make their way under the Skyranger.
Gunter goes to the northern apple orchard for a closer look while Robert Smith joins Norton in watching the UFO doors.
A Floater comes out of the UFO doors and it drops after a triple dose of HE rounds.
Looks like Norton did all the shots himself. I get the nearest soldier in the Skyranger to grab a spare HC-HE clip and bring it over to Norton.
By accident I end up ordering Scott Taylor to walk back to the ramp. Losing her companion, I send Shuji and Stefan to back up Uta.
Gunter decides to do a cursory glance around the Orchard and spots a target.
Rub a dub, dub, three floaters in a tub. Gunter laments the fact he can't aim that well, but tries his luck anyway. Rather than attract attention to himself, he aims his Autocannon at the furthest floater, which is not looking his way. The first ACHE shell is a direct hit, and knocks the target floater unconscious. The other two rounds don't appear to do much damage. Gunter slithers back into the safety of the smoke cloud that's starting to permeate the edge of the orchard.
Turn ends, door sound, but that's it.
Scott Taylor, having come back to his senses, walks over to assist Gunter. Jacqueline Marcelle, who was responsible for tossing Norton his spare belt of HE shells, wanders over to the side of the house. Either the window she's near or the main doorway may be worth checking into on the next turn.
Gunter now has to march a little further into the orchard to reacquires one of the floaters. It feels a bit risky to attack now, so he backs up behind a tree and waits the turn out.
The floater was still able to see Gunter even though he was behind the tree and kills him with one plasma rifle round.
Jacqueline has the right idea - but her execution is flawed. AP rounds tend not to have much of an impact in this situation.
Scott, who was behind Gunter, tries his luck and knocks out the floater and obliterates the corpse beside it. That doesn't mean much as there was one other target in there with a small launcher.
Meanwhile at the front of the Skyranger, Shuji and Stefan advance a little to inspect the nearby orchard. They then notice another farm house beyond it. That would be worth investigating. Shigeo Akira and Robert Davies are deployed to assist them and the pair make their way to the front of the Skyranger. Uta, having a Heavy Cannon, decides to stay back and assist with the siege on the UFO.
Turn ends. Door in the UFO opens.
Scott makes his way to the farmhouse door while Jacqueline reports there's another identical farm house behind this one, and a barn behind the UFO.
Shuji and Robert walk into the vegetable patch and approach the orchard from its open side. Stefan approaches it from the small entrance through the hedge. Shigeo watches his back, effectively adding to the team covering the UFO door. He decides to remain there.
Jacqueline, despite not having moved, is unable to react quick enough to a floater that suddenly appears on the roof of the barn behind the UFO and is killed instantly.
Robert Smith breaks from his formation and slowly edges towards Jacqueline's corpse, staying in the smoke cloud. Nikolai Gorakhova exits the Skyranger to replace him. Patrick O'Cake also leaves the Skyranger and heads to the edge of the map to provide Robert some long range fire support.
Scott meanwhile makes it inside the farm house foyer. He walk around a bit to see if he can look up through the hole in the roof but it's not doing much.
Shuji and Robert Davies enter the Orchard while Stefan decides to walk along the outside of the hedge rather than go into the orchard.
Scott makes his way to the foot of the stairs. Then I unwisely have him walk into and out of the room beside him. Opening doors takes a long time so he ends up where he started, but also not being able to move.
Outside, Robert dashes out of the smoke and gets behind the corner of the UFO.
Shuji and the other Robert are now at the other end of the orchard. A weapon check shows Robert with HE shells and Shuji with AP shells. Shuji will go through first on the next turn. Stefan keeps pace on the other side of the hedge, but mindful of that sniper on the other side of the UFO.
Scott, overjoyed nothing bad happened to him, proceeds to the stairs - and steps right through it. He backs around the corner towards the door and looks back but can't see anything. Short of blowing the roof away, there's no easy way to tell if the last floater upstairs is dead or alive.
Robert Smith dashes out from cover provided by the UFO and gets into the narrow alley between the two houses.
On the other side of the map, Stefan breaks and edges into the near corner of the UFO. Shuji barges into the door of the house beyond the orchard while Robert Davies peeks through the window.
Scott makes it out of the house while Robert steps into the doorway of the next house for a look.
Southside: Shuji heads for the stairs while Robert Davies walks around the outside of the house.
Stefan meanwhile walks around the UFO towards the barn and sees a floater at ground level. He opens fire and one AP round hits. The floater retaliates and Stefan is left with 2 critical wounds and 32 hitpoints left. Plenty of turns left to live but certainly not an infinite number. He gets behind cover before the end of the turn.
Stefan reloads with HE rounds.
Robert leaves the house just as Scott enters it. Robert heads to the edge of the UFO to catch the floater from the other side. Scott walks further into the house and spots a shadow in the corner of the UFO. Most probably Stefan's attacker. The shadow suggests it is looking away from him. He takes a step forward and it's looking towards the barn. Robert fires but only hits the window in front of him. This unfortunately leaves him stuck there with no time to leap to the side.
Southside: Shuji makes it up the stairs of the house and finds nothing. He makes his way to the window facing the UFO but can't fire. Outside, Robert Davies comes to a hedge enclosed clearing on the other side of the house.
The floater rises up above the UFO and fire over it at Nikolai, who was kneeling near Norton by the Skyranger ramp. He's killed instantly.
Shuji gets to the window and fires three AP rounds into the floater. The first shot strikes the floater in its flotation unit and kills it.
Scott rushes up the stairs of his building. A quick glance shows the upper floor is clear so starts making for the roof access.
Robert Davies in the far corner of the map walks through the hedge and only finds an empty bare patch of earth and a field of wheat beside it.
Scott reaches the stairs, but hesitates to climb them.
Shuji leaves his window and makes towards the roof access of his building.
Stefan and Robert Smith enter the barn behind the UFO.
Robert Davies marches north through the wheat field, and finds there's another structure in the far north-western corner of the map. A barn.
Stefan, rather than use finesse, fires a burst of HE rounds into the roof above the barn for good measure, though no holes are made in the ceiling. Robert heads for the stairs.
Scott gets onto the roof of his building and starts edging towards the building beside it to see if he can see into the damaged roof area where the trio of floaters were. There's this niggling feeling that one of them is still alive.
Shuji reaches the top of the stairs of his building but doesn't make it to the top.
Robert Davies makes a hole in the fence so he can walk through it.
Stefan fires another volley into the ceiling. When Robert climbs the stairs, if there had been a floater, it's definitely gone now.
Shuji climbs to the top of his building and can now look directly down onto the UFO. Unfortunately there's no hole in the roof.
Scott further investigates the hole in the roof of the other building. Still can't see any sign of the floater with the small launcher.
Robert Davies makes another new path through the next fence.
With his lifeforce ebbing away, Stefan races through the leek fields towards the north-western barn. Robert Davies follows after him and spots a Floater through the upper level window.
Robert Smith, who's still in the upper level of the destroyed barn nearby is in a good position to attack. If not at the floater itself, then at least he can open up the walls a bit. The first shot opens up a decent hole. The next shot somehow zips through the window and right off the map.
Shuji takes a crack at this floater, since he's at a reasonably elevated position and has a clear line of fire. Six shots are fired - none of them come near hitting. Or rather, none of them even fly in the general direction of the barn, except one. The floater doesn't fall from it but considering the shooter was literally on the other side of the map with an 18% to-hit ratio, not too bad.
With the smoke kicked up from this attack, Robert on the ground can't visually see the floater anymore - but that doesn't mean he can't attack. First round knocks it out, the rest fly through the hole and off the map.
Scott carefully lifts off a bit more of the roof on the next house for a better look inside.
On the end of the turn 2 - 3 doors are opened in rapid succession in the UFO.
To be thorough, Scott Davies walks to the edge of the map for a better angle and opens up another side of the barn. Stefan makes his way to its main doorway.
On the end of the turn someone uses an AP round to skewer a floater that decides to leave the UFO.
Turns out this someone was Uta Richter.
Scott is generally satisfied that the other house is 'most probably clear'. The floater with the small launcher was most probably vapourised during the initial attack.
Scott, Shuji and Robert Smith rappel down from their respective buildings and make way for the UFO entrance.
Stefan and Robert Davies muddle around the barn in the corner a bit more just to be sure it's absolutely clear.
As the turn ends, Uta skewers another Floater with an AP round from her Heavy Cannon and this ends the mission.
Not a spectacular mission, but still a fair outcome. Also with the increase in soldiers worldwide, we've got a handful of spare promotions handed out too.
Just before I save the game, I did one last adjustment to Fort Cannon and removed the general stores that I'd been planning to take out since my last turn.
Save for the next commander:
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.