Help me enjoy X-Com

Vulgar or Ridiculously Childish wrote:
TheWanderer wrote:
demonbox wrote:

Reading through the first page of posts I feel like I always do when talk of this game comes up-- utterly intimidated. Judging by Podunk's post this is probably a dumb question-- but is this game as punishing and difficult as it seems?

Punishing in a you-killed-my-father kind of way, difficult as in the methodical way. While it's not something you should lose, you could take an awful long time to win. But every battle is very satisfying, and always a dangerous endeavor. Every shot is potentially lethal.

You will make a TON of mistakes your first play through. You will also probably get to a point where there are more landings than you have landing parties, and the planet will slowly be invaded. At this point you take everything you've learned and start a new game.

My advice is to re-name all your starting soldiers after movie stars and see how many you have at game end. I remember Steve McQueen made it to endgame before he had to bite the bullet (or Bullitt, as it were).

That's the kind of foolishiness that people who climb mountains or write novels talk--all the failure and misery being worth it. It's a bit of a toss up between this and Dwarf Fortress as to which game I am more interested in but will almost certainly never play. It sounds painful, time-consuming, and difficult. I understand it's worth it. But, painful, time-consuming, and difficult...

demonbox wrote:

It's a bit of a toss up between this and Dwarf Fortress as to which game I am more interested in but will almost certainly never play. It sounds painful, time-consuming, and difficult. I understand it's worth it. But, painful, time-consuming, and difficult...

Kinda funny that I've commited to the Goodjerisation of both

I guess when you live in a country where everything can kill you painful, time-consuming and difficult don't have the same meaning.

demonbox wrote:

That's the kind of foolishiness that people who climb mountains or write novels talk--all the failure and misery being worth it. It's a bit of a toss up between this and Dwarf Fortress as to which game I am more interested in but will almost certainly never play. It sounds painful, time-consuming, and difficult. I understand it's worth it. But, painful, time-consuming, and difficult...

Oh - please don't misunderstand me - at no point would I really say it's all worth it.

The game is far too difficult unless you have a buddy you can sit and watch play for 5 hours. That's why I tell people to give themselves a billion dollars, so at least your biggest "I wish" is taken care of. Heck, you still have to wait a month before most of what you bought with that extra cash can be put to use. I couldn't possibly beat this game normally. Well at least I'd never attempt it again.

Vulgar or Ridiculously Childish wrote:
demonbox wrote:

That's the kind of foolishiness that people who climb mountains or write novels talk--all the failure and misery being worth it. It's a bit of a toss up between this and Dwarf Fortress as to which game I am more interested in but will almost certainly never play. It sounds painful, time-consuming, and difficult. I understand it's worth it. But, painful, time-consuming, and difficult...

Oh - please don't misunderstand me - at no point would I really say it's all worth it.

So my attempts to play in Genius difficulty were foolhardy? I had a lot more fun there, though.

In high school I played a game with a friend like this.

He was the battle commander and I was the Base administrator. I built bases, made money and did all of that stuff until a UFO was sighted. He had total control of load out, who went and what they did. I just tried to get the resources he needed.

We actually beat the game that way on our first play through. It was great.

Of course that wasn't me who died, I am much too smart to stand in front of the guy with the rocket launcher. Remember to play me that way!

Filthy enablers.

That is all.

Ah, the rigours of war. They want me to defend the planet, and all they give me is an incomprehensible pixilated mess. To make matters worse, I chose a base in the UK as a nod to the old homestead and evidently ended up with a place up north. Like anyone who is actually familiar with England would choose to live anywhere in the North.

I see that I have eight soldiers. Presumably, fighting off an alien invasion will require a few more. I recruit some more soldiers, but it seems that 'recruit' in this game means 'spend money, but have no soldiers show up'. One doesn't like to point fingers, but the temp agency is clearly at fault here. Annoyed, I decide to comfort myself with a large radar array. I'm told that it will take 25 days to complete; IKEA is clearly in the business of military equipment.

I click on the Geowhatsit because I like the name, and watch a clock for a bit. I'm informed that a UFO has been spotted over Europe. Ordinarily I'd wish them the best of luck blowing up stuff there, but I've got a couple of shiny interceptors still have that new killing-machine smell and I want to take them out for a spin. The fighter jocks intercept the UFO and suddenly a bunch of buttons appear on my screen. Evidently if you want something blown out of the air, you need to do it yourself.

My aircraft have been outrun! That's what I get for getting the eco-friendly models. And another UFO appears! This one looks slower, and thus my Prius Interceptors head that way. Again with the buttons which, with some clueless mashing, result in the UFO evidently being destroyed or getting bored.

Meanwhile, the first UFO has landed in Spain. Again, I consider letting the matadors deal with the problem, but I have a crack team of total rookies ready to go. Quintin Stone is the strong, silent rookie, and the team is led by Prozac. I'm not sure why, but I'm hoping for a violent death for Prozac. Odd, that.

The team lands! Incomprehensible buttons appear! Clicking ensues.

Minutes later, after I've figured out which buttons are responsible for load-outs, stats, and tea-bagging, I send my troop boldly forth.

Poor Elysium. That alien was definitely waiting by the window.

The team regroups, and begins proceeding toward the house. Red-shirt throws a grenade through the window...and nothing happens. One needs to pull the pin first, everyone learns. Embarrassed grins all around. Not to worry. The team decides to split. Prozac and Quintin will move into the main house with Red-shirt and Foreign-name, while the second team will go down the alley and check out the barn.

Prozac's team enter SWAT-style. It's looking good, with corners being checked and appropriate MOUT tactics being used. The ground floor is quickly cleared. Meanwhile, the barn team has cleared the barn, and decides to have a bit of a sit-down.

Tragedy! Poor Red-shirt gets shot by some alien shooting down the staircase from the upper floor. Quintin is understandably devastated. The barn team, hearing the shriek, decide to leg it into the house to provide back-up. Prozac makes some impressive hand-signals and the house-team hunker down to wait for the others.

There's no sound like alien blasters hitting the floor next to you, as Prozac discovers. The barn-team bursts into the door, and Young Buck decides it's time to take the fight to the enemy. He launches himself up the stairs and lets off a volley of shots. The roof is severely damaged.

The alien shoots him.

Outraged, his team-mate hurdles over his body to avenge him. He fires!

The alien shoots him.

Clearly, I decide, they should be using their grenades. Mindful of the grenade-paperweight incident earlier, I have Foreign-name get into position and prime her grenade. She's armed, dangerous and in an ideal position on the staircase to make the alien eat Earth Explosive. She's also out of time.

Bugger.

Quintin decides that he's tired of amateur hour and decides to throw his own grenade. Unfortunately he is evidently suffering from severe muscle weakness and is unable to lob his grenade over Foreign-name on the staircase. Dammit.

The alien grins. Foreign-name panics.

Quintin says bad words. Prozac outdoes him.

The alien kills Foreign-name. Quintin, crying havoc, lets slip the dogs of war and puts a cap in what quite possibly is the alien's ass. The team cheers and cries "Invictus!"

The grenade goes off.

The last image Prozac sees of Quintin is a figure, arms outstretched in victory, exploding in white light. He also sees everything else exploding, and burning, and falling over.

Prozac panics. The lone other survivor, Even-More-Foreign Name, also panics. This is understandable, as the house is on fire and rapidly filling with smoke. In a stupendous display of military discipline and manly constitution, Prozac falls unconscious and drops to the floor. EMF-name considers panicking some more, but decides that she can do that outside. I decide that if she's that resourceful, she can find her own way home.

Back at Goodjerbase, those bloody soldiers still haven't arrived. If you'll excuse me, I need to make a call.

You might want to check out the options to speed up time in the geowhatsit, Coldstream. That might help your new recruits to arrive in a timely manner.

Steam called. They said "Thanks."

Time to pick this up again. Damn you all!!! I will have a Goodjer army to call my own soon.

Coldstream that was the funniest thing I've read in a while It's even better when a total rookie writes of his experiences. Just be aware that this is an oldschool sort of game, so that even if you do everything right you can still play the game to a no win state. This will be a danger of the ironman mode I am playing.

Again folks, if the beginning difficulty curve is too cumbersome: CHEAT!!! It sucks to lose, I know. Some folks can learn during the first losing play through, others will cast the game aside forever.

The beginning is really the only truly brutal part, where your troops are cowards who can't hit the broad side of a barn. Up bravery and accuracy and consider upping reactions and mental stats. Also consider padding your bank account. Once you've actually gotten the hang of the game you can go back and play "for realz". This is the only game I can think of where the beginning is the hardest part of the game. It does wonders to drive away new players.

If you quit early you will never experience the flying suits and the Blaster Bomb, which to date stands as the most awesome game weapon EVAR!!!

sh*t, I started a new game and I have one guy with a 40 bravery. Everyone else is 10 and 20. That spells "dead squad". I'll try hiring, but if the invasion picks up rapidly I'll either cheat to save some time or recruit pretty much a whole new team and lose some early points.

First Google result for "xcom save game editor". I'll try it out tomorrow when I have a chance.

EDIT: Thanks Coldstream. That was a great write up. My wife wanted to know what I was laughing at.

How do I get into this chickensh*t outfit?

Anyone who hasn't read it needs to read the epic Quarter to Three X-Com thread. This is why people play games.

Prozac wrote:

Latest promotions:

Commander Prozac
Colonel Tamren
Captain Quintin Stone
Captain Yonder
Sergeant Malor
Sergeant Complex Math
Sergeant Prederick
Sergeant Baron of Hell
Sergeant LocknLaod
Sergeant Aetius

You f*ckers better salute.

Coldstream wrote:

The last image Prozac sees of Quintin is a figure, arms outstretched in victory, exploding in white light. He also sees everything else exploding, and burning, and falling over.

Going out in a blaze of glory. Now there's a death I can really get behind.

Should've sent a poet.

I hate that it's really hard to see who's died unless you remember who was standing where. We got flanked by a Chryssilid and one of our guys got zombiefied. I'll have to check and try and work out who it was.

Good thing I didn't name any of my soldiers after Goodjers in my current playthrough otherwise I would have run out of names already. The aliens did a little pop-in at my one and only base and in the resulting carnage I was reduced to only a couple people. Just as I got replacements, the aliens decided to launch a terror attack against Casablanca and once more, I'm only left with two. Two main differences in this playthrough than all my previous: no HWPs and I've forgone laser weapons in favor of plasma ones. Should take care of the worst of the worst.

Complex Math got Promoted to Captain and Ceson to Sergeant.

The Zombified guy was Hypatian

Feeank and Kier did what had to be done and cut down their former friend in a hail of Lasfire

EDIT:

Waderingtaoist got gunned down by a snake man stepping out of the Skyranger. Sucks when a Goodjer is cut down on a milk run mission.

ColdStream, that was a great After Action Report of a first go at X-Com. You need to write more.

Good thing I can't seem to buy this off Steam, else I'll be playing along as well.

You know Falchion, Shameless plug for the site here but Xcom IS available through GoG, so there's a link at the top of this page, go there and support GWJ maybe?

In other news KrazyTaco got gunned down by snakemen as he was breaching a crashed UFO, Prederick avenged him.

You mean Steam? The older xcom games are not on GoG.

Speaking of which how does the Steam version run? Any slowdowns or bugs? Does it work right out of the box?

I have the collectors edition CD around here somewhere that installs the windows 95 version of the game, not the dos one. But its buggy and I have to patch it to make the graphics work.

Whoops. Ufo Aftermath is available on GoG.

the Steam version runs fine through Dosbox.

In other news:

Lilcodger got sniped by a snakeman in the upper levels of a barn, Yoyoson returned fire, only to shoot Lethial in the back of the head

At this rate Prozac`s team will have not enough goodjers in line. So my miss volunteers me to fight the alien scum.

Prozac wrote:

You know Falchion, Shameless plug for the site here but Xcom IS available through GoG, so there's a link at the top of this page, go there and support GWJ maybe?

Hey Prozac, strangely I wasn't able to find X-Com on GoG. I was able to find it on Gamersgate however. But I'm really trying not to get into it as I still got my pile to clear.

Will just have to be content reliving the action through you and Coldstream.

Well I'll need some more replacement, Podunk went down in a blaze of glory scything down a snakeman and incapacitating another, unfortunately there was one more snakeman in the ship and podunk was out of time... Yoyoson wasn't fast enough to save Podunk, and in a way I feel there is the blood of two dead Goodjers on his hands now. How does that make you feel Yoyoson! you murdering Bastard!

Ok, I see-- incredibly difficult and time-consuming with the added bonus of being unfair and quite likely not worth the trouble-- um, so why is this game so lionized?

Cannon Fodder right here sir.

I played the hell out of this in university. I grabbed the UFO pack on Steam, but when I replayed it for the first time my entire squad got killed without seeing the alien shooting at them, even though they were hiding crouched behind the landing gear. Next time I need to bring an autocannon with HE rounds and just trash everything in the vague area I am being shot from.

I used to make and sell laser rifles for money.

I'm fine with the game's apparent difficulty. Really. I've played other games that were this hard and had a great time learning the ropes.

With this one my problem was always that a large portion of the difficulty comes from almost never knowing what the heck I'm looking at. The interface is terrible, even compared to many of the other older PC games I played.

I've tried to go back and play this three or four times now and it makes me sad every time. I can tell there's something good in there, but I can never quite get to it.

Prozac wrote:

Whoops. Ufo Aftermath is available on GoG.

the Steam version runs fine through Dosbox.

In other news:

Lilcodger got sniped by a snakeman in the upper levels of a barn, Yoyoson returned fire, only to shoot Lethial in the back of the head :D

I always knew I was a sonuvabitch! My apologies to The Machine, and to his family.

Prozac wrote:

Well I'll need some more replacement, Podunk went down in a blaze of glory scything down a snakeman and incapacitating another, unfortunately there was one more snakeman in the ship and podunk was out of time... Yoyoson wasn't fast enough to save Podunk, and in a way I feel there is the blood of two dead Goodjers on his hands now. How does that make you feel Yoyoson! you murdering Bastard!

:)

Podunk was always a good friend to me. But.. his wife is pretty hot, know what im sayin?