Since I've been a real Negative Nancy Reagan, here's a little story about why I actually really like the new Xcom and also how my life got flipped, turned upside down.
Special mission: aliens have set up a bomb in the middle of Paris. The skyranger drops my squad of six off in a graveyard in the dead of night. Three turns to find and disable the bomb. Scattered about the graveyard are power nodes that I can disable to delay the explosion. In the centre of the graveyard there is a mausoleum, where I figure the bomb will be.
I fan out to find as many nodes as possible. To the left I send my two best front-line fighters: the absurdly durable Wardog (the game automatically applies nicknames to experienced soldiers, though you can change them if you wish), who charges enemy lines to take on the most powerful of enemies with his shotgun, and the heavy-weapons-specialist Kingpin, with his heavy laser and rocket launcher. The right side gets two highly inexperienced soldiers, plus my best medic, Atlas, and cover from my sniper, Hex.
The left side finds little resistance as it makes its way across the map, stopping to kill the occasional alien and deactivate the power nodes. The right side, though?
That poor right flank...
Xcom throws a lot of "special missions" at you, see, and most of the enemies on those mission are of the "Thin Man" variety. Extremely human-looking aliens. Very fragile, but very
accurate. The fact that my sniper could kill an enemy with every shot did little to help the soldiers of the right flank: one dead enemy every turn doesn't help you much when you've got a ticking timer and 10+ enemies gunning for you. The right flank ran into a solid wall of entrenched Thin Men. The right flank buckled, and it panicked, and it broke. The rookie soldiers began refusing orders, firing wildly. The Thin Men cut one down, though Atlas and Hex were able to save the other during the retreat.
This left a big problem, though. Over half the power nodes on the right side were still going. The bomb - which turned out to be some distance behind
the mausoleum in the middle - was extraordinarily well covered by the Thin Men that the right flank had been unable to kill. And I only had one turn to get to the bomb.
There was no other choice, see. And just because he was my absolutely favourite soldier doesn't mean I was about to save scum just to keep him alive. I'd said to myself much earlier that if Wardog died, I wanted him to go out like a glorious motherfucker. The bomb was just outside of his movement range, but the power node just shy of it - the last one on the left flank - was
at the very edge of his sprinting distance. Hex, Kingpin, and Atlas converged on the mausoleum to prepare a concentrated push on the bomb.
Wardog sprinted from his cover to the power node. Five of the six Thin Men took reaction shots at him; all misses. He crouched behind the node, disabled it, and blasted the nearest alien with his shotgun. Five remaining, two of them behind him. Enemy turn.
The first Thin Man fired. Wardog - already a little scratched up from fighting earlier in the mission - loses ~40% of his remaining HP. Another Thin Man fires. Miss. Another fires. Hit. Down to 2 HP of his original total of 22 with two enemies - two god damn accurate enemies - remaining, and his cover far too small to adequately protect him. The fourth Thin Man shoots: miss. The fifth decides, "Fuck, you guys are stupid. Just walk around his cover and shoot him in the back!" One of Wardog's abilities, however, is to automatically take a reaction shot at any enemy that gets too close to him. The thin man erupts a few feet away.
Thin Men explode into a poisonous cloud when they die, see. The area around Wardog was an oily fog of
you. But Wardog was alive.
Last chance to get that bomb. The squad cleans up the remaining Thin Men and uses the very last of its actions to shut down it down.
And six more Thin Men rush in from the edge of the map, completely surrounding us.
Kingpin proves his worth, killing two with one salvo from his RPG. Atlas and Hex get one each with their rifles. Two enemies left, and all I've got is a nearly-dead Wardog. I did
want him to have a chance to die well, right?
He charges the enemy, dodging both their reaction shots. Kills one and hides behind a tombstone. Enemy turn: the Thin Man moves around for a flank. One final reaction shot from Wardog. The last enemy goes down.
Mission success. One dead squad member, two in the infirmary for god-damn-ever.
Fuckin' Wardog, man.
Edited by The Crotch, 13 October 2012 - 01:05 AM.