Some XCOM 2 footage got me in a tactical lather, so I booted this up again, and promptly had the best game I'd ever played.
Classic Ironman, selling everything I can lay my gauntleted hands on except the bare minimum to produce weapons and kit and get satellite coverage. Team comes together very quickly indeed, with only one loss in the first month. No countries lost, panic carefully retarded with frenetic uplink and satellite production, and I end up with my initial bonus (Asia) plus North America and Europe in the third month. Life is sweet. I'm sitting at +600 per month in funding, I've got two thermo generators running plus a third being built (all on the bottom floor of the base, in case you think the game took pity on me), and I'm closing in on the end of the fourth month. Two more losses during the third month, only squaddies, mean my team is comprised of:
Colonel Ernst 'Spider' Becker - sniper, first time I'd properly used gunslinger. Known for killing 60% of aliens on the mission with his pistol, and off-handedly sniping a few more when he takes the time to stop.
Major Vincent 'Pharaoh' Lefevre - classic sniper build, squad sight, good ground. Very methodically employed and the first to get the skeleton suit.
Major Youssef 'Santa' Tariq - a support built around bags of medkits and even more fire support (covering fire, suppression). Crack shot.
Major Minsu 'Rhino' Liu - assaulter in the most direct sense; lightning reflexes, close combat, rapid fire, aggression. Used almost recklessly to close with and kill the enemy.
Those four were the core of the squad and did 95% of all missions. Thanks to my somewhat cash-bereft status early on, I was a little late to the officer training school, but quickly added two stalwarts to my squad.
Sergeant Irina 'Bonus' Ignatyeva - second nickname 'Legs' as with the sprinter ability, she'd cross the map, heal a trooper, and cross back to the fight in double quick time. Crack shot.
Sergeant Pyotr 'Nuke' Kuznetsov - a heavy who can actually hit what he shoots at, and holo-targeting means he shares the love.
Everything was rosy, until OPERATION SEVERED JESTER. Terror mission in Fukuoka, Japan. It's the judicial building map, the one with the columns out front, and it is a shit puddle. Angle round to the right, check the door, slip down the alley and into the car park at the back. Pharaoh hits the roof and tells a civilian perhaps he doesn't want to hang around the site of an alien terrorist attack. Few more liberated from their mental shackles on the way to the back of the building, and we have four saved, two dead, and 12 to play for.
Nothing in the car park, and Pharaoh goes on overwatch as the others begin to move, and it all goes wrong. Pair of Chryssalids spotted inside, one charges, one runs. The laser disco begins, and my squad cut one down and wound the other. It disappears deeper inside the building to give some civilians sloppy kisses.
Cyberdisc and attendant drones spawns, and here's where it goes wrong. Mentally, I'm spoiling for a fight. I haven't lost a trooper for ages. I have lasers and carapace armour. I have six medkits. It's what-up-cunts-I-like-to-party-fuck-and-fight-o'clock. My entire team focuses on destroying that cyberdisc before it causes any damage, and fails. It tucks in close to the building, no shot for Pharaoh.
It lights up Santa, tucked into full cover behind a van. And misses.
Next turn more misses but some hits, and Spider nails it, and nails it again, and it dies. I make a second mistake here, and expend more shots on killing its drones. In the zone is a curse and a blessing. Spider and most of the squad are out of ammo. The game decides I'm not moving fast enough, and pops another cyberdisc and drones, and a trio of chryssalids inside the building.
Everyone reloads, and two more Chyrssalids pop. I make another mistake, and instead of withdrawing down the alley or moving into the car park, decide to settle in, tweaking my position but not making any big moves for fear of hitting another spawn but really because I'm happy where I am. I'm comfortable. I can handle things here, tucked behind cars and steps, Nuke and Santa the only ones in full cover on a corner and behind a van. Spider is quite happy in half cover, it's as good as full to a top sniper.
The Chryssalids and zombies charge at us through the building, and Pharaoh hops down from the roof onto the ledge over the doorway, eager to get a shot. The Cyberdisc hoves into view and picks him off from long range. His body hangs over the edge, and then slides off and hits the ground in front of the rest of the squad. Critically injured, but he can be saved. Another Chryssalid is picked off, and then they're on us. Rhino rapid fires, drops another Chryssalid, and it is too little too late. A zombie absorbs more laser fire, and clubs Spider. We now have multiple zombies and Chryssalids in close proximity and are officially fucked.
Spider kills the zombie, has another close-range pop at a Chryssalid and misses. A Chryssalid tears into Bonus. Another zombie crushes Spider's skull. Nuke hoses down a zombie, fails to kill it, and Santa finishes it off. It may be time to leave. A zombie bursts and the new-born Chryssalid kills Nuke. Santa and Rhino decide it is probably best to make a sharp exit and run, Santa burning a resurrected Bonus as he goes.
That's the mission in a nutshell, for me. Santa sticking his laser rifle in her dead face and killing her again. It's probably so vivid because her armour was red. I only bother customizing my troops when they hit sergeant. Before that, it's usually not worth the effort because their life expectancy is short.
Reaching the end of the alley, with the Skyranger in view, Rhino is out of ammo again thanks to rapid fire, and has outpaced Santa. He stops to reload, and a wounded Chryssalid tears out of the building and stops a space short. Santa moves, burns it down, and two more Chyrssalids close on him. Rhino makes it to the exfil.
Japan pulled out of the XCOM project immediately. China and India, despite brand-new satellites, followed suit at the end of the month. A team with 130+ kills between them almost wiped out. For all the arguments I have with this game, it has the capacity to make me feel.
Hi everyone! Some of you might know that UFO:Aftershock celebrates it's 10th birthday at the end of October. So in observance of this momentous occasion, I decided to do something special: giveaway 10 free Steam keys for the game and one very special grand prize: a "complete pack" of all the games in the series (which includes UFO:Aftershock, UFO:Aftermath & UFO:Afterlight). That's right, I said FREE. No contests, no hoops to jump through, no facebook popularity contests, just an old-fashioned giveaway!
Even though this isn't a contest, there has to be some ground rules to make it fair for everyone:
Be (or become) a member of StrategyCore. This is mandatory as I have to contact the winners through PM.
Do not already own a copy of UFO:Aftershock. I prefer people who haven't played the game yet (if you've played one of the other games in the UFO series, that's ok), but I'll give a copy to those who do not have it in their Steam library already.
Have a Steam account. You can't get the key to work without an account there.
Be willing to let us use your forum name for the winner's list.
Use the game for yourself. I'm not against re-gifting a key to someone else if you deem necessary, but if they are able to enter themselves it's better.
There are two little points I hope everyone can adhere to if you win:
Do not resell the game.
Do not trade it for something else.
I can't enforce these, so please act accordingly.
So now you are all wondering how to enter the giveaway, right? It's simple, start a post in this topic with the words "I'm in!". Only one entry will be counted. If you want to make a case for why you want a key, go ahead, but your chances will not increase. Guest posts are not eligible to enter and will be ignored. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries received, but in my experience you'll have a pretty good opportunity to walk away with a copy. This giveaway will probably remain open for 1 month to give everyone time to enter and will close at or around midnight CST October 31 2015 (though, don't be surprised if I give you till Mon Nov 2). Winners will be announced here in this topic and I will also send them a PM. Unclaimed prizes (I'll give you a couple weeks to reply to my PM) will be sent to the next eligible applicant. Winners will be chosen at random with a random number generator.
Finally, please "Like" this post if you thought this was a good idea. I know my last giveaway was quite popular, but I'm interested to see how many UFO lurkers are around!
This year we're staying in Slovenia or perhaps we'll venture to Croatia after a long time. In the future, when my youngest is at least a year old, I'm thinking Portugal. I hear they have great food and wine. And people.
Well I was supposed to find out on Wednesday, then Friday but never heard a peep.
At this rate we might get it by the 9th if we're lucky, but that's when the flood of US sites (and players) will all be writing their own reviews too.
You help to promote the series for over a decade and this is the thanks you get - yes, if anyone from 2K/Firaxis is reading it really is bugging a lot of us here that every man and his dog has had a preview copy and by now a review copy and we've not had even the faintest whiff of either by this point, despite asking through the proper channels What do I have to do? Fly to America, get down on my knees and beg to Jake?
EDIT: I know we're a speck on the radar (probably a crumb from the pizza of the radar operator) in comparison to the larger sites out there, but at least we know how to play a strategy game. Have you seen some of the previews out there? The only response to some of them is this:
Log in and "Like" this post if you agree, just so I know I'm not ranting, foaming at the mouth to myself.
Hired by Enrico Chivaldori to overthrow his evil ex-wife Queen Deidranna and free Arulco, off I go, absurdly optimistic.
In this game, I will be playing Expert/Tons of Guns/Iron Man/Sci-Fi, because I've played JA2 a lot over the years. I'm not very good at it, but I have played it a lot.
The only initial recruiting point for mercs is the Association of International Mercenaries, whose range of crazed killers stretches from the budget-priced thugs like Bull, all the way up to supremely skilled thugs like Gus.
I quickly pick out a squad that I can afford. $30,000 to hire mercs to overthrow a country? I like value for money too, but where's your sense of proportion, Enrico?
Barry is my explosives 'expert'. He's also a decent shot, good Agility and Strength, and his high Wisdom means his skills will improve quickly. He's also going to be my mechanic, unless I gain a sudden windfall allowing me to hire someone who knows that maintenance sometimes goes beyond simply hitting things. $6,995.
Barry forgets the whole 'heavy breathing' thing and ruins the call.
Bull is cheap muscle. He's very strong, slow, and capable of beating the living shit out of anyone who is not currently Superman. Or Batman. $4,500.
The call goes swimmingly:
Grizzly is a good all-round soldier, and is also skilled in a bit of the old fisticuffs. $6,000.
Malice is the last member of my not-very-rounded squad. A good soldier, he also likes stabbing people in the face and kicking them in the balls (not always in that order). $10,000.
Being Quebecois, he has certain 'eccentricities':
Malice's frilly undercrackers aside, I have a decent squad here. All fairly robust, (in my games, 'Bull' is often short for 'Bullet Sponge'), with two places left for a mechanic and a medic. Barry is a decent bomb doctor and improves quickly. Grizzly will usually develop into a kick-arse soldier. Bull can't really be any better at beating people up than he already is, but he sometimes manages to ignore his slow metabolism and fast pie arm and actually run a bit. Malice is nippy, and packs a decent punch. Because of his Dexterity, he's also good at chucking grenades (Grizzly and Bull excel at 'accidentally' hitting friendlies with them thanks to their low Dex).
Bull, Griz and Mal have been hired without equipment, because they're going to live off the land (read: get shot a lot and nick stuff). I want the explosives and other kit Barry has, so he's lucky, being the only one turning up with armour and a gun.
Arulco, in all its glory:
The M-Team (M for 'Manly') drop into Omerta, the first town of Arulco. Who lies in wait? Who would dare?