Protecting the frontier


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#1 silencer_pl

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:43 PM

Hello all.

I've decided to do something stupid and maybe get you interested on this fine X-Com game called Interceptor. Of course it is a different X-Com game - some may call it black sheep, blasphemy, etc. but I think this is a great game made from different perspective. There is more action and this time your individual skills are involved (+ some luck).

I'll be playing this game on Superhuman difficulty. Yes you read it right. Most will say that I am crazy and that this game is not beatable on this difficulty. Well I passed it only once on this difficulty - it is doable but very very hard on the last mission and I know some nice glitch for the final mission that I will intend to use it. If you will stick around long enough you might learn a thing or two.

So let's get started



A pretty nice intro says what role player will have in this game.

This is our starting location. We are at bottom right corner of the galaxy.

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This is our base. It's pretty empty - 1 hangar, 1 personnel quarter, some stores probe luncher, communication device and download device.
We change that by adding 2 more hangars, more download devices, training facility and medical bay.

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This is our primary Interceptor called Lightning-II. It's primary armament is 2 laser cannons and 2 X-Winder missile launchers. It's pretty obvious that it's armament is pretty weak.

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Next we check our pilots. Some are nice some are candidates for sacking.  In Interceptor pilots have different skills than in previous x-coms. Now all my knowledge about those are just a hunch and I don't know how much impact they give on pilots performance.
Intelligence - static skill - probably boost all other skills makes pilot more aware of situation and better plans his fight.
Stamina - trained skill (I think) - you can call it resistance - I believe it makes pilot more resistant to injuries or makes him less tired in dogfighting thus performing better at longer fights.
Health - increased through promotion - Self explanatory skill
Accuracy - trained skill - makes pilot more accurate
Flying ability - trained skill - pilot can fly better - escape aliens or some such things
Aggressiveness  - static or increased through promotion - my guess is that pilot simply takes less care of his own ship in order to destroy aliens.
Bravery - trained skill - works against psi attacks I think - my wingman never retreated when taking heavy loses only when attacked by psi-weapon.
Psionics - trained skill - makes pilot more resistant to psi attacks and his psi attack is better.

So here are our 5 pilots

1. Her intelligence is weak - candidate for sacking

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2. She is Ok - her accuracy is low but nothing that training can help - probably I will be piloting as her

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3. Another Ok pilot - aggressiveness is low probably will not be last mission wingman

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4. Every primary skill is good except aggressiveness. Grr

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5. And another stupid pilot though her flying ability is best. I sack her first though

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So I check now what new candidates I can have - this time candidates come from corporations and the more outposts you have the more pilots will be to offer.  From current list only few caught my fancy

1. She would be supperb candidate if not that medicore aggressiveness

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2. She is very nice candidate to have - only I don't have the cash right now. I hired her later when I got the cash

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3. Same as No.1  - too bad the low aggressiveness.

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Having settled that I plan what technology I should get. Now in X-Com Interceptor you don't research stuff. All your findings are transported to special science station called GSC or something like that - they do research (pretty instantly)all you need to do is 'download' the research data. But because the distance between your bases and this center is quite huge it takes some time + the technology is limited. So I need to improve my weapons so I try to get advanced laser projects which will give me a route to Gattling Lasers or Heavy Lasers.

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#2 Jman4117

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:21 AM

can you name your pilots in this?
"Guns aren't toys. They're for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the King of England out of your face."
-- Krusty the Clown, "The Simpsons"

#3 Space Voyager

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

So this is what Interceptor looks like. Kinda nice! Might even give it a go. A friend gifted me Shogun 2: Total war but looking at it on my comp looks like petting a featherless chicken so it might need to wait.

#4 silencer_pl

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:40 AM

I believe you can - but you can't change their sex - not unless there is a mod :clapping: (hopefully doubt it). And because my demands are high (high aggressivnes and intelligence) means the team might actually be all women :D

Anyways let's get started with the battles.

First encounter and it is a probe - so close to our base so the aliens know where we are. That is superhuman for you. First minutes in the game and you are thrown in the very depths where Triton cannot land.

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Obviously not a challenge and our Rookie gets a promotion already

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Few days later alien scouting party is discovered - 6 UFO's and because we start only with 3 interceptors that is 2:1 a medicore challenge that we pull through.

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Gettng items through ufo destruction is pretty hard - unless you kill the pilot which is very tedious job or using tachyon beam which will come later in the game. We are lucky to get that 2 plasma guns - each one is worth 200k $ so I can hire that pilot I mentioned and buy some missiles. Missiles are your friend but the targeting device is so crap.

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Few moments later another scouting party - this time only 3 ufos which is very easy for us. But no salvage.

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End of first weak. 777 points looks promising.

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We get the knowledge of advanced lasers leading us to Gattling lasers and Heavy Lasers. Gattling laser is fast firing laser gun but the power of each beam is weaker than of the standard laser gun - but it fires so fast it is just ripping machine and gives us much more firepower. On the other hand we have Heavy Laser - fires slower but each hit delivers massive amount of damage.  Because I prefer gattlings I go for them - HL will be used for base defences.

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A large alien squadron detected... ymm 9 ufos. I don't have such firepower now so I leave them be.

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But their intention is to destroy our base. This is not good.

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So probably most of you would give up in this case as it clearly 3:1 ratio with current equipment is just way too much for us to handle. So I will be sort of cheating using game mechanics to my advantage (even the game hints me that I should do whatever it takes to win :P ).

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What I did was focus one ufo and pull back to base. That way every battle ufos will start again from 5km distance so it gives me fighting chance. I destroy 5 ufos that way and with last mission destroy them all. Doing that I limit myself with good loot but at least I can continue.

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Another week ends. We make sure that frontier is secure and thus corporations will give us more protection money.

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Our basic modules are finished and we can start training the pilots. This will be frustrating job because I need to assign pilots to training room and when there are aliens to be dealt with I need assign them to their ships and after battle again to training room.

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Another alien party comes to our sensors. 5 ufos poses little threat to us.

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Crap of loot. Though I get standard targeting system don't be fooled aliens have better targeting systems from the word go.

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P.S.

I know that fraps left it's mark next batch of screenies will have disabled this overlay.
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#5 Thorondor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

Interesting choice for an AAR, silencer. It's been a while since I laid eyes on Interceptor. :clapping:

It does have its visual charm in terms of art style, vaguely reminiscent of Apocalypse's own actually.

::

StrategyCore prevails, Commander! :P

#6 silencer_pl

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

They have learned their mistakes and besides they have returned to the original aliens, though they introduced new species never seen before. Also mutons and etherals were slightly changed.
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#7 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

You know I noticed something wierd. When I was a teen and played this game X-Winder missiles were pretty crap and rarely hit a thing. But in this version now they hit everything like crazy. Also UFO's twitch unusually. Also thanks to upgraded x-winder my wingman are falling pray to friendly fire (explosion) by them - it never happened bag then. Don't know what is the source of this.

I watch some LP of a guy who also has steam version and 1.2 patch and it works just as I remembered the game. Hmm
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#8 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:26 PM

I am sorry all but I cannot continue this game - something is weird happening with missiles in my games. I have even installed non-steam version which I had when I was a teen and still the same behaviour - I have watched some guy who did LP on that on youtube and he didn't have that problem.

To be exact my problem is that missiles here are strangely accurate. X-Winder missiles were total shit - their hit chance was like 10% but now they move like they were top tier missiles only their dmg is right.

I meet a large force of Spectre ships and they parallax torpedoes devastate me in 30 seconds which never happened they also don't have such manoeuvrability. Only Permamator and Sidestep missiles could do what those are doing. So unless I get explanation why this is happening I can't continue to play
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#9 Sgt. Strike

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

I think that weapons scale according to the game settings, but don't quote me on that. you may want to try it on a slightly lower difficulty, as a benchmark. It's been a while since I last played, so my memory may not be 100% on it.
When all else fails, CHEAT!!!

#10 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:32 PM

No there is nothing like this - the only thing that scales is number of ufos, starting cash and aggressiveness of aliens. I might check later if maybe turning on forced V-synch, but I doubt it will do that.
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#11 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

Good news. Actually that V-sync did the trick although 9 specters is too much so I need to use same hit and run tactic untill I get Firestar.
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#12 Space Voyager

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

We support anything that saves the Earth! Flash Gordon is busy, so YOU are the only chance we have!

#13 Sgt. Strike

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:38 PM

Silencer is the new Flash Rogers.
When all else fails, CHEAT!!!

#14 Thorondor

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:04 PM

Indeed, a veritable Sport Billy!

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::

Now get back to the universe-saving part, will you, silencer? :clapping:

#15 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:35 PM

Onwards.

Alien scouting party intercepted. No big deal.

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Meh loot.

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Weekly reports.

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And it slowly starts to be pain in the arse.

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This outpost was my core funder - 2kk $ per month I am glad I could save it.

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Our knowledge will get faster

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And we have our first good weapon. It will have to last till Phase cannons.

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Now we go for heavy lasers. Back then when I was doing it I though that I could live without catching that small ufo (killing the pilot) I should be researching it for better craft and weapons.

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Aliens give us some pause

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After 67 years now scientists know how to create artificial elerium-115. Strange that this tech doesn't cope with apocalypse lore or maybe there is something I don't know.

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Another scouting party. That we fail to catch because of our inferior engines.

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And end of month report

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#16 silencer_pl

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:24 PM

After a while we spot medium assault squadron so I intercept it

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This is pre v-sync on video so you can see at few points how ufos rotate and maybe spot the accuracy of x-winder missiles. This was advantageous at this stage of game but after hitting march it was for the worse



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Another scouting party

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We know the ways of synthetic elerium-115

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And we go for tractor beam. That is 3rd tech behind normal schedule - boy will it kick me in the arse later.

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And another scouting party

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Just show for Jman about what can I doo with naming (also I can name ships for your liking)

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If someone wants to hop in into our interceptors but I warn you that out of 10 pilots I have only 3 or 4 males.

Our OPP is under attack. Luckly it is just 3 wraiths

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It's the beginning of ass kicking time by aliens.

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I finally get that UFO a way too late.

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Commercial brake

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And another scouting party

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Usless tech.

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Better shields are nice.

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Scouts

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And we reached end of month

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#17 Space Voyager

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:28 AM

Planet plunderers incorporated?! :clapping:

Perhaps a silly question but I never played this game - the fighting missions are fought space dogfight style, right? You fly a ship and shoot at the aliens?

#18 silencer_pl

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:54 AM

If you would have watched the video you wouldn't have to ask this question :clapping: But yes - you do this.
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#19 Space Voyager

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:34 AM

How did I miss that?! Watched, looks quite ok! Is speed management a problem? In X-Wing and similar games the "match speed" was one of the most useful commands.

#20 silencer_pl

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:42 AM

Ufos tend to change speed constantly so keeping with them is just spamming certain button - unfortunately this isn't auto option. In early battles when you have weak drive bumping up recharges tend to get you close enough speed. Of course Lightning II is the lightest so better engines give him better speeds so more recharges can be made. Given examples.

Basic drive with 50/50 recharge ratio (defualt) gives you round 350-380 speed (km/h). Aliens tend to fly round 150-250. Bumping one recharge to 100% gives you speed of round 180 I think. Of course turning reduces  the speed don't know why it is space so no other forces effect ships right ?

Upgrading engine to induction-pulse drive (lvl2 engine) gives you max speed (I think) of 587 km/h (I am taking these numbers from memory).  So then you can bumb up recharges to 100/100 and it still gives you more then enough speed.

There is a 3rd level engine that is just too much for lightning  (not that it will destroy it) - the power is so huge that giving full recharges tend to give you almost max speed - but you can then enable ECM module.

Of course you can manually accelerate / decelerate by a portion so it is up to your style if you want to keep close to UFO's or do you want to be a dive bomber (engage - fire few shots then increase distance to 4km and return). But you must bare that anything except your side is much more accurate and keeping close means other UFOs might have you for target practise.

Spoiler

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