Tuesday 30 July 2013

A Tale of your Own

Keen posted an interesting article about MMOs having a story. The short version is they prefer games that don't give them one, like Everquest or UO as opposed to the rise of the "commander" in GW2 for example. To some extent I tend to agree. Sure the first time you run the main plot it's great, but I'm not so enthused about doing it all over and over for my alts (so I haven't, I'm not really an alt heavy user). The good thing, at least in GW2, is you don't have to. There are plenty of other activities to keep you busy, if you so chose. The Living Story is another example of this. The previous release I loved tremendously so I participated a lot, this time around it's not my cup of tea so I just do dailies (if I remember) and log off.

It's a similar case in Neverwinter Online now that I've finished the main quest story and am sitting on level 60. What's left to do other than raise professions? Well, I CAN'T run the skirmishes I missed (all of them) without making an alt, which I think is bad design. I can still go do the dungeons I missed though which is good, and I can still do foundry stuff though I prefer to make quests as the incentive to play them (especially solo) is a bit ... meh. That leaves the "epic" level dungeons. The catch? All the epic level stuff is behind a gear check wall. I'm currently around 4000 points short there to be eligible to run the last dungeon (Castle Never, which has no normal mode. Epic only) which means it's hamster wheel time if I want to reach there.

Guild activities are always fun though!

Now would I rather grind gear score in NWO or do the living story (currently Cut-throat Politics) stuff in GW2? It all comes down to the one that gives me the most sense of progression and fun. In this case neither since I stumbled back into Age of Conan this week with my supposedly "test" character on the wrong (pvp) server. Why? Because things are still new to me and there are some really pretty sights and music, despite people trying to gank me. ^_~

Sunday 28 July 2013

Final Score

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

And so came to an end the great war, and with it my position as commander due to the politics that followed soon after. Bradford was killed in a fluke base accident after Dr. Vahlen, overjoyed to learn that she herself had the psionic gift, put him inside the containment unit which suddenly activated on its own accord. Big Mike took my position as commander and with Dr. Shen's help began fielding armies of SHIV units across the globe reducing the need of human combatants in the field.

Still, Techno Viking stayed on as a close quarters advisor while Blunder Buss returned to the UK to train more snipers in predicting alien movement. Due to extensive injuries Rocket Man became the first cyborg soldier in the project, often deploying with the SHIV units at crisis zones, this time fighting terrorists, looters and profiteers instead of extra terrestrials. He's now known as Iron Man
After discovering her ... relations with pretty much ALL the staff at the XCOM project, Party Girl was given a dishonorable discharge and was headed to Los Angeles to seek employment there. Elvis went with her, retiring from the soldier's life to start up his music career. Alpha also retired. She returned to her home, a little cottage in Germany, where she continues to practice her marksmanship skills. Some say she now hunts werewolves. As for me, well I've got places to go and things to do - and you'll probably read all about it on this blog. ;)

Final Score: 9390 (Classic Mode)
Days: 290
Countries Supporting XCOM: 16
Countries that Left XCOM: 0
Aliens Killed: 451
Soldiers Lost: 39 (1 pilot)

Till the next alien invasion!

Saturday 27 July 2013

Saviour of the World

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Sent my four colonels - Panicman, Hitler, Sledge, and Gravedigger along with my most lethal soldier - Major Bald Witch and Major Bondi Vet who had proved his worth in keeping people alive in previous missions to assault the alien temple ship. Upon arrival the ethereal boss began narrating the entire alien's plot and motives. Something to do with ascension. I didn't really care. The squad kept in tight formation right down the center passage of the ship, eliminating pretty much every type of alien encountered thus far. Near the end, having used up most of the med kits they came to a large chamber with a pair of sectopods. Even Bondi Vet couldn't save Col. Sledge from the dual searing beams - one cutting through the colonel's face, the other through his crotch.

Hitler's new found rift ability ended that threat quickly, and after a few more mutons the team advanced across a thin passage to the final chamber where they encountered the ethereal boss, who prompty summoned two elite guards and two other ethereals. In addition he put up some sort of force field, preventing Gravedigger and Bald Witch from entering the chamber!? Panicman ran up the flank and he and Bondi Vet opened up fire on the ethereals, but all their shots were reflected! Gravedigger landed a critical shot on the boss thing with his rifle but it survived, while Bald Witch took out one of the mutons (her only target) with one shot. Hitler mind-controlled the remaining elite for a second - just as he did one of the ethereals destroyed the poor creature with an energy blast.

The aliens then went on the offensive, mind-controlling both Hitler and Bondi Vet. The Australian, unable to resist the powerful psionic energy screamed in pain as he was molecularized into purple nothingness by the boss ethereal. Panicman, the last one active in the room, managed to flank and wound another of the ethereals before it disintegrated him too. Gravedigger was on overwatch since he had no more targets until a shape suddenly moved into view - he fired instinctively but the shot only grazed his target - HITLER! The two psionics stared down each other just a moment before Hitler dismembered Gravedigger with his heavy plasma.

In a blink, Hitler had regained control of his mind - and he took cover on the highest platform to regroup. Meanwhile Bald Witch managed to get a shot off on the ethereal boss, but still not enough to down him. It responded by mind-fucking her to death, exploding her head in an orgasm of blood and brains (aliens are sick). It didn't notice Hitler in the gangway above him though, and in a last ditch attack the german tossed two grenades down killing the alien boss which somehow killed the remaining aliens as well! Alas, this also began killing the temple ship itself as it began implode into a black hole. In order to save the rest of the world, Hitler heroically looked at the door and yelled "go" at his dead allies then raised the vessel into space and caused it to self destruct, killing himself in the process.

He saved your life.

Technically that was a team wipe but mission complete! :P

Friday 26 July 2013

Back to how it all Began

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Alert: Terror attack in Kolkata! With the SHIV still damaged and some other people wounded I sent Alpha, Sledge, Bondi Vet, Techno Viking, Big Mike and Elvis to handle the threat at some public office. Looked like a swarm of chrysallids were in the area - a horror for any other squad but these experienced troops wiped them and their zombie bed buddies out easy. One zombie literally got the drop on Alpha as he fell from the roof and whacked her, but Techno Viking alloyed its face and Bondi Vet fixed her up. This was immediately followed by a sectopod who stood in a bad spot and got triple rocketed to death before it could do anything. The last muton squad was in terror themselves when my team coldly executed them. 9 our of 18 civilians saved, and promotions all around - Sledge has now reached the Colonel rank!

Next up was a mission to disable a bomb at a German train station. Sent Party Girl, Elvis, Alpha, Big Mike, Techno Viking and Bondi Vet to deal with the large thin man unit trying to commit suicide. Again it was so much easier than the first bomb run we had in France. Bondi Vet really proved his usefulness by saving the life of a downed Big Mike and Elvis, and again on the next mission to clear a crashed UFO where Bald Witch and a SHIV replaced the two injured heavies - he resuscitated Party Girl from an early death to elite mutons.

With that came the end of another month, and I got another grade of "A" from the bald man. Also, with all foundry projects complete and an army of SHIVs under construction it was finally time for my "volunteer" Adolf Hitler, equipped in Psi-Armor to enter the Gollop Chamber and establish a link to the alien mother ship... erm... temple ship. Despite all of the psi-testing it seemed I only had two psionics - Hitler and Gravedigger. Dr. Vahlen warned that this would be the final mission (seriously, with a big red lettered warning prompt). It didn't matter - it was time to end this!

Soldiers Lost in the Ninth Month: 2
Campaign Total: 33

Where's the Gallop Chamber?

Thursday 25 July 2013

Future Combat

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Alpha and Buster Downs were sent with "newbies" Elvis, Badass, Party Girl, Rocket Man to handle a small UFO scout ship in some forest in the USA. The Sky Ranger strangely dropped them off on the side this time (guess it didn't want them to escape) putting them in between a heavy floater squad and an elite muton bunch. In the exchange of fire Badass opted to fire a rocket at the mutons instead of taking cover, trusting his life to Buster Downs to put down the last jetpack boy flanking him. Buster missed. The alien did not. Despite the loss of Badass the rest of the team cleared the remaining enemies and entered the ship proper to find another ethereal (they're all over the place now) and one elite guard. They managed to injure both but then the ethereal made the mistake of mind controlling Rocket Man. This panicked the rest of the team (except Alpha) into unloading all their ammo at them - killing them both. Odd way to complete a mission.

The team then traded Alpha for Blunder Buss and filled the remaining slot with our new hover SHIV tank for field testing against a supply barge in Canada. It had the same layout as the previous one but this time the team started off on the side. Though Buster was killed in action through floater fire and finished off by being electrocuted by a drone, the rest of the team defeated the floaters, berserker, sectopod, cyberdisk, elite mutons and ethereal captain with little issue thanks to the tough, highly mobile, and super accurate SHIV unit and its mounted plasma cannon. It couldn't be mind controlled and thanks to its flight capability easily outflanked all enemy defensive positions. I agree with Shen that this is possibly the future of combat as it out performed most of its human counterparts.

It sees you... ALL!

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Vote for Ellen Kiel!

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Turns out this whole politics thing is just as dull in game as it is out of game, adding only three activities for people to do. Kiel offers Capture the Fla...Crystal (PvP) in Aspect Arena where you use pieces of a dead dragon to fight each other. Evon offers Southsun Survival/Battle Royale (PvP) which I find more fun - having to scrounge up supplies and food to out survive the other people both living and dead. People compare it a lot to Hunger Games, but I've never read it nor seen the movie so ... *shrug*. Lastly you can go fight aetherblade pirates for either. All the above come with ludicrous repetition (and paltry rewards) if you want achievements.

ANet even encourages people to nullify their own votes by being able to vote for both candidates to get those little AP points on either side which is silly if you ask me. I'm just dumping all my votes in Kiel's basket up at the zephyrite airship. Why? Because she's the "good" guy as far as I'm concerned.

I've even gone so far to offer some "art" incentives to help Kiel win but so far it doesn't look like it has picked up any traction. Oh well. I tried!

Well hello Lady Kasmeer!

Fortunately the heavy PvP content plus the rather useless rewards (backpieces and minis) aren't really necessary to get vote tickets. Also, given that I can get vote tickets by simply murdering large quantities of pixels in standard zones I can just go for my slayer achievements instead of having to sludge through the minigames. Turns out APs aren't really what I'm after at the moment (despite my last post) - I'm gunning for laurels (now on 25/100)! :P

A Nasty Surprise

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

So I finally built a foundry - turns out there's a bit of useful tech in there (alien grenades get a big thumbs up) which I get Shen and his team researching right away. In the meantime Captain Whiskey is leading a team composed of Techno Viking, Blunder Buss, Reloader Jones, Buster Downs and Derka Derka to assault an abductor ship in the UK. Decided to let the snipers hang back while the others advanced to the loading bay. A cyberdisk thought it could take advantage of this but the snipers downed it and its drones easily. Next up was a berserker and some heavy floaters - again no issues there. Then it happened... a frigging sectopod teleported in the middle of my squad. WTF!

Sectopod Surprise!

Scattered the forward guys but Reloader Jones was stuck under suppression fire. Half the team hit the mech meaning it had a second turn, almost killing Jones with rockets then vaporizing Captain Whiskey with its beam laser. Fortunately it was destroyed soon after, and Derka Derka flanked and killed the suppressing muton with his pistol - only to have its buddy show up and ice him in return.

Once he was dealt with the team had a free run to the control room where another ethereal and his two elite guards waited. First elite was killed via overwatch fire. Then the ethereal came forth and reflected Reloader Jones' missed plasma shots back at him resulting in his messy death. A lucky critical from Blunder Buss followed by a grenade from Buster Downs freed Techno Viking from the mind control just in time to alloy cannon that last elite muton to death. Mission complete!

With that, another month came to a close - now I have full satellite world coverage and all countries are still on board. I got a grade of "B".

Soldiers Lost in the Eighth Month: 6 (including 1 pilot)
Campaign Total: 31

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Game of Trolls?

Age of Wushu has been in the blogosphere news as of late due to a new evil faction called the "Rootless Clan" and their interesting mechanic being introduced to the game. To join them you basically need to have your virtual junk lopped off. "That's no problem," I hear you say "I just won't join them and keep my epeen where it belongs". Well there's the kicker. Members of that group get a daily quest to gang up and slice and dice non-members (of the high level variety) in a pop-up tent, and then offer them membership. In short a band of high level dickless bastards go on a rampage to make more dickless bastards to go on a rampage.

Possibly their leader.

A quick look at the game wiki also shows they already have a handy-dandy kidnapping system too for all wannabe kidnappers out there. You see when you log out of the game, your character is still in the world as an NPC doing some menial task like spruiking a shop or sweeping a street. Low levels are particularly susceptible to then being knocked out by a wiley player, stuffed in a bag, and sold on the black market for some coin. As for the victim? Well when they next log in they wake up with a bad case of "morning after" slave debuff (presumably after being made some sort of toy the whole time) which goes away after... ohh, around 6 hours of real time.

Now I can't actually say this is a fair review to the game since I've not even played it. Indeed, I've even had some of my guild suggest it is awesome and I should try it out however "features" like the above just rub me the wrong way. Who knows, maybe the next thing they add is the "rapist" faction which needs no elaboration. Guess there are fates worse than permadeath huh? :P

UFO Assault 101

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Dr. Shen completed this Hyperwave Relay device they wanted to build and upon scanning for UFO's we detected a large cloaked bastard lurking in South Africa. It wasn't the same one that shot McCool down unfortunately, but it didn't matter. I sent our local Firestorm in and it shot that bastard down.

Didn't seem big enough to be their leader's ship (I'd think that even for aliens, size matters) but I still sent "A" Team of Hitler, Gravedigger, Big Mike, Bald Witch, Bondi Vet and "new" Major Sledge. What followed can only be described as pure tactical genious! After eliminating a pair of elites patrolling outside, the team entered the craft itself where it sounded like everything was hiding in the central control chamber.

Breach, Bang and Clear!

Rather than walk around to the door, the squad took up a good firing position at their initial entry point and grenaded open the wall, revealing not only a frail alien commander but also 2 sectopod squads and four elites! Rained grenades and rockets into the room while Bondi Vet provided smoke gas cover to help survive return fire. In one round almost all enemies were dead, the two sectopods hobbling out and two remaining elites taking cover in an adjacent hallway. A second round of grenades cleared the ship of all enemies entirely, and the team returned without even taking a scratch. In addition, both Gravedigger and Hitler are now highest rank of Colonel! :D

As they brought back the wierd device they found a super large ship appeared on the map, even causing an earthquake at the base. Ahha, -that- must be the boss I thought to myself. Shen pointed out we have nothing to even damage that... yet, but I am confident whatever this device is holds the key in taking that thing down. The end is near, I can feel it.

Monday 22 July 2013

Total Annihilation

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Soldiers Lost in the Seventh Month: 4
Campaign Total: 25

The end of a combat heavy month saw me with another grade of "A" and with funding from all but one country (since they didn't have a satellite yet). Soon after a giant alien craft was detected over South America, the one place I didn't yet have a Firestorm (it was in transit). Still, I had my last Raven interceptor and its ace pilot Vince McCool so I sent him out to sortie. He lasted 2 seconds before being annihilated by the heavy weapons on alien craft. With not much else I could do about that I turned my attention to a terror strike in Osaka where I decided to send out a freshly hired squaddie team of Clown Face, Rocket Man, Party Girl, Badass, Elvis and Hot Momma to earn their stripes. This time they had the best gear, all wielding plasma weaponry and in titan suits. What could go wrong?

They landed at a tank factory (wtf?) and annihilated the first group (cyberdisk) they saw while Clown Face busily saved civvies in the AO. Then came a zombie horde with crazy chrysallids and a sectopod. Things got very hairy as Party Girl handled the zombies while Clown Face was alloy-cannoning (turns out it's not that good) sectopods and the rest of the team focused fire on the mecha. It wasn't enough to take down the mechanical horror which then made Hot Momma live up to her name by disintegrating her with its special beam cannon. Her horrible death shriek spurred the team on to eliminate the robot in the next round. Luckily the surviving chrysallids decided to flee/eat other things and left combat only to be replaced by a muton berserker squad.

Why didn't I think of that?

With no more explosives and unlucky shooting the berserker pummeled Clown Face's skull into a fine mist and even punched Elvis (only the second man to survive such a hit - the first being Hitler in an earlier mission) before being taken down. With a few rounds to regroup and reload the remaining mutons and chrysallids were not an issue. 4 out of 18 civilians saved. Mission complete!

Sunday 21 July 2013

Achievement Based Play

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

The new change in GW2 of rewarding achievements and more importantly, the new achievement interface has seen an increase in play time for me now. Suddenly I -want- those APs and Laurels because those ascended items have suddenly been put within my reach - and who doesn't want to better their character right? ANet is just going to keep adding item tiers and make the hamster wheel bigger and bigger I think. Anyway, more importantly is I suddenly have a goal again. The clever little change in the UI that displays what achievements I'm close to is a real driving force for me, even for the grindy ones. After doing the daily/monthly I look to that to see which one I can tick off the list. I alternate this with Neverwinter Online where the quest structure and story is pretty rigid, and wonder what I'll be doing there once I finish all the content... oh yeah, making foundry missions! Kinda slacked off on that due to XCOM.

Anywho back to Tyria where the council seat election looms and while I know who I'm voting for, the whole thing seems structured for grinders to have a larger say - given you need to kill stuff or do "x" to acquire vote tokens as opposed to one vote per account/character. Fair enough given that it is the 24/7 grinders who will be most affected by whatever change takes place. I'm not sure if it is better to hide or show the current vote count as the event goes on but either way, based on the forum noise it has already generated I think ANet are onto a winner release. Sounds very PvP-oriented this round though, and again with backpiece skins as rewards - Really? I think that's the only piece ANet enjoy changing. Anyway the little list will keep me busy - I think I'm shooting for 100 laurels all up and that's gonna take me awhile. :P

Walk like an Egyptian

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

After our last encounter I decided (finally) to deck out my troops in the best gear I could afford, raising funds by selling corpses and debris (seriously). Another titan suit with a few plasma sniper rifles and heavies. Wish I could sell the 52 scientists and Dr. Vahlen too since they are out of things to research, but there's some law against slavery so I'd have to kill them first for my corpse purchaser. Before I could give the order to do just that, the bald man interrupted with a call asking to get some important data from a building in Egypt. Possibly the Matrix Trilogy. With my high ranks in hospital I sent Buster Downs, Blunder Buss, Techno Viking, McCarthy, and Reloader Jones led by super-chick Captain Alpha. Surely superior equipment will make up for their lack of experience!

Mr. Anderson, welcome back. We missed you.

And it DID! Ofcourse it helped that the twelve idiot thin men liked to cluster together, giving an easier time to eliminate bunches of them with explosives. They managed to land some hits too, but in the end Alpha rallied her panicked team to complete the mission with no casualties. They also rescued Major Sledge, a techxpert working at the facility who now joined the team. Feeling cocky (for a chick) Alpha then went with Hitler, Okada, Derka Derka, McCarthy and Airhead to stop abductions on a major highway in Brazil. A squad of elite mutons combined with a cyberdisk and heavy jetpack team put the hurt on early. Airhead opted to stay out of cover to provide sniper cover against a flanking floater, blowing his brains out. An elite then did the same to her, making her live up to her name. McCarthy got a lucky shot against the cyberdisk, downing it before it could fire but then one of the elites grabbed his head and shoved its heavy plasma down his throat and fired, the shots tearing out of his rear.

The rest of the team fought back and eliminated the remaining elites, advancing cautiously with Alpha taking high ground on a bus. A second squad of heavy floaters attacked, critically wounding Alpha as she fell off her perch and panicking Okada into doing a rambo-like move and blasting the hell out of one of them. Unfortunately this put her in the open and she was cut down soon after. Luckily Hitler and ex-terrorist Derka Derka saved the day, eliminating the remaining foes. Mission complete!

Saturday 20 July 2013

They have MECHS!?

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Alien Alert! A huuuuge UFO landed in a river in Japan - some sort of massive cargoship which we couldn't just ignore so I sent Gravedigger, Hitler, Bald Witch, Bondi Vet, Big Mike, and Okada to investigate what seemed to be a cargo ship. The large bay doors were open and inviting but given my untrustful nature I sent the team around the left flank first, eliminating some heavy floater guards as they moved up the side. They also alerted a pair of elite mutons but those aliens wisely opted to withdraw to the second section of the ship - some sort of stable? Anyway the team boarded on that second part, finding and eliminating the crafty guards.

I then sent them up to the roof of that section to take high ground and all hell broke loose as chrysillids, another muton group, jetpack boys and drones spotted me. The chrysillids came up first and I made it a point to explode them to death early. Next up were the floaters and drones which used up most of their move just to fly up - good shooting put all of them back down. While reloading and waiting for the muton group half the team was hit by some sort of missile barrage - no idea where that came from, but everyone was still up. Decided to clamber back down and use the main hall way to gun down the berserker and his buddies there. All the team was hurting bad at this point but Bondi Vet was doing his job of keeping everyone alive very well.

Intruder detected.

With reloaded weapons the team climbed up the other side of the stable section and rushed to the end where they found a new type of foe - an alien mecha! It survived everything we threw at it on initial contact, then opened its shoulder launchers as it took aim. At least now I know where those rockets came from! A good grenade throw from Hitler saw it explode into a gazillion pieces before it could fire again though, leaving the team free to enter the surprisingly empty control structure. Swept back down the ship and found a pair of sectoid commanders in the loading bay who were fed a shredder rocket and a lot of lead (and a little plasma) completing the mission with no casualties, but with a lot of injured and critically injured personel.

Friday 19 July 2013

The Titan Project

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Soldiers Lost in the Sixth Month: 1
Campaign Total: 21

A large UFO appeared over Egypt just as the month came to an end and despite the best efforts of my Firestorm and Raven interceptors stationed there the crafty craft got away, leading me to get a grade of "B" at the end of month six. With almost all the world having satellite coverage now and good funding coming in (everyone still backing XCOM) I put in an order to get more Firestorms out there and to outfit them all with plasma cannons. Also, I finally decided to buy some armor for the troops now that there are people worth protecting - getting three suits of heavy titan armor constructed, which would see near to immediate use as a large UFO had landed in Mexico (maybe the one that got away from Egypt).

Sent Gravedigger, Techno Viking, Guy Smiley, Blunder Buss, Buster Downs and our second Psionic - Adolf Hitler to investigate. After eliminating the thin men and heavy jetpack boys guarding outside I got the team to circle around the craft to try something new. Buster Downs lobbed a grenade at the control compartment, revealing a pair of sectoid commanders who were easily gunned down by the surprise attack. From that position they also then exploded the opposite wall from which some wierd noises were coming from, revealing a muton team standing beside an alien powersource. A rocket from Hitler followed by good shooting put them down quick... and then came the cavalry in their blood red armor.

Not quite.

These elite muton bastards had armor to match our titan suits and put up a huge fight, injuring a number of the team and killing Guy Smiley with a ridiculously distant grenade throw. Eventually Techno Viking managed to flank them and really pour on the hurt, with Gravedigger mindflaying one to death. They were the last enemies on this site. Mission complete!

Thursday 18 July 2013

Authority Equals Asskicking

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Soldiers Lost in the Fifth Month: 7
Campaign Total: 20

After a combat filled month it was time for another council meeting where I still netted a grade of "A". Due to my lack of troops I recruited five more (all I could afford since the rest of the funds went into base and firestorm construction). I should point out that I'm just using alien tech from captured aliens, not creating my own yet. Also, all my troops are only using the basic armor, again due to funding cuts! :P  Anyway, the five new squaddies (thanks to the new guy perk at the Officer Training School): Buster Downs, Guy Smiley, Techno Viking, Blunder Buss, and Reloader Jones were led into their first sortie by Panicman to stop abductions from a graveyard in Australia. Aliens and corpses again... I'll not speculate. Despite some morale breaks they handled the "light" level enemy force of mutons and floaters pretty well and with no casualties.

Their reward was being joined by the local graveyard keeper, Captain Whiskey, who got tested right away as he was sent to Vancouver with Alpha, Big Mike, Bald Witch, Hitler and the Italian to handle a terror attack there. Squads of mutons, a new heavy floater type (sounds like a big poo), and a deadly cyberdisk were the enemies and due to them all coming one after another the team was hard pressed to stay alive... let alone save civilians. Unfortunately the Italian took a face full of gatling laser fire sending his flaming and charred corpse into a nearby car (which then exploded). The others took damage too, but they methodically cleaned out the threat and saved 11 out of the 18 civilians in the area. Thankfully there were no chrysallids!

Upon their return they had one more shock, learning that one of their team mates was psychic (thanks to the new Psionics Lab in the base). Gravedigger has more than a big rifle it seems, he also has a big head. Bondi Vet and Panicman, who also underwent the testing were found to be not as gifted. I then sent our first Psi-voodoo guy with his two fellow psi-test compatriots along with Airhead, Whiskey, Derka Derka to stop abductions in a small Nigerian shopping strip. All aliens were neutralized WITHOUT any of my team taking damage! Better yet, Panicman has reached the highest rank of Colonel.

Psychic =/= Psionic.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Out of Options

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Panicman, Neumann "Alpha", Ragnar, Torres, Murphy and Derka Derka arrived in South Africa to extract one Thomas Hutch from a quiet district that happened to be CRAWLING with Thin Men. Their group sizes and number of groups were unusually high. This made it extremely dangerous and sniper Murphy was the first to find out just how much. After getting caught in a choking cloud of poison, her cover was destroyed and the next rounds of enemy plasma fire completely severed an arm and a leg - her lifeless broken body panicking some of the others. Managed to still sweep the whole area before both Ragnar and Torres also succumbed to the Thin Man poison, vomiting up all of their insides on the street. The rest of the team, plus Hutch and his bodyguards got out ok though.

Cars do not make good cover in this game.

Panicman's work was not over though, as he was sent next to stop abductions on a bridge in Sydney, Australia - bringing Airhead, the Italian, Big Mike, Greene, and McIntyre who bought the farm early when a muton exploded the car she was taking cover behind. The rest of the team were all injured during the encounter against the squads of mutons and thin men with Big Mike taking the worst of it - at least they made it back to the infirmary. This was directly followed by a terror attack in Leeds, UK. With all my other soldiers dead or injured it was up to Ikeda, Gravedigger, Greene, the Italian, Alpha, and Hitler to save civilians on an overpass.

The area was heavy with muton activity, and after wiping out the first squad the team ran into a bad combination of two berserkers and a squad of chrysalids. After using up all the explosives they had both berserkers were still up, leaving Greene and Ikede to lure the brutes away from the others in a desperate attempt to finish them off. It didn't work. The pair jumped upon a woman each and began pounding them with their massive fists behind the cab they took cover behind. As Dr. Vahlen knows, some things just can't survive that amount of fisting. The remaining troops managed to finish off the berserkers afterwards, as well as a few more gun toting mutons, another squad of hungry chrysalids, and a number of zombies that had been impregnated with chrysalid eggs. Out of 18 civilians, they saved 6. Mission complete!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

I Respect you as a Fighter

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Sent Panicman, the Italian, Big Mike, Bald Witch, Gravedigger, Ikede to stop abductions in Germany where they encountered a new type of alien - the brutish, soldier-caste called Muttons. Erm. I mean Mutons. So all this time I was just fighting their scouts? Great. The big guys are pretty tough but easy enough to hit and to down making them quick work for my organized team, despite their jetpack boy helpers. The worst part was opening a door with a Cyberdisk sitting on the otherside, fortunately every one hit that round - especially the boys with the HEAT ammo.

Having secured the area they gained another solder - Adolf Hitler, who would see action almost immediately in Marseille - accompanied by Panicman, the Italian, Big Mike, Hughes and McIntyre. It was a library block being terrorized by chrysilids. LOTS of them, and between them genestealers and the zombies they make (which then make more monsters) the team could only save 9 of 18 civilians, having to withdraw back out to the street to deal with the swarm at one point. Early in the piece Hughes misjudged the speed of the bastards and was beheaded for her mistake, but she was avenged.

Heck of a way to wrap up an otherwise quiet month in any case, as the next council meeting drew to a close giving me another grade of "A". I must be doing something right!

Soldiers Lost in the Fourth Month: 4
Campaign Total: 13

A UFO then landed in the USA - a big one. Sent Okada, Neumann, McCarthy, Bald Witch, Bondi Vet (wielding our first plasma rifle) and Lucky Jew to check it out. It was full of mutons, including one badass muton that didn't bother with a gun! Unfortunately David, the Lucky Jew wasn't so lucky this time as he was flanked by unexpected muton reinforcements and unceremoniously shot in side of the head. Bondi Vet managed to keep everyone else alive with medkits and with good positioning and a ton of good luck eliminated not only the muton soldiers but their three sectoid commanders as well. Plasma rifle is handy!

It's a muton! Erm I mean a mutton?

Monday 15 July 2013

Aspects of Fun

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

After a nice break where in I got to do other stuff (including exploring a vertically challenging aetherblade base within a holographic mountain) while the rest of the populace helped capture Aetherblade Captain Mai Trin in her dungeon, I returned to news that a bunch of flying merchants had docked at some difficult to reach cliffs to display their wares. I like exploring places so I headed on down via ship to visit the spectacularly beautiful (yet deviously deadly) Labyrinthine Cliffs where these Zephyrites had parked. Not only do they have interesting goods (most of which are dangerous - where do they get this stuff and more importantly why are they selling them to unsuspecting folk?), they also have developed a form of travel using aspect crystals to either dash quickly, jump high, or jump far and pray to god you don't end up as a splat on the ground as you climb higher up the dizzying heights. Being sadistic bastards they also setup a scavenger hunt for sky crystals in the zone to encourage self-termination via gravity.

Insane and Insanely Pretty!

High atop their anchored sky ship (which have diving goggles on the prow... as I said, these people are psycho) you can participate in their "aspect training" which comes in the form of a race. A very fun yet very annoying race. Took me 28 tries before coming first, mainly due to aspect lag (a skill ANet didn't forsee nor cater for). I did come up with a short list to help others overcome it though. The Zephyrites were also victims of robbery, not just from random Aetherblade raiders but from skritt running off with a bunch of their kites. The bastard rats even took the time to hide in various jumping puzzles, one within a fractal and one in the PVP Obsidian Sanctum.

Ofcourse I did all the above and kind of regret not chasing down the Aetherblade Caches in the other JP's and mini dungeons previously because I forgot how much fun they were. My favourite was the final kite at Obsidian Sanctum. Upon entering the Eternal Battlegrounds to find that an enemy server, Drakkar Lake, had complete dominion over it (them Germans are good at war). I had to aid my Gunnar's Hold compatriots in violently capturing our low lands corner including three nearby towers and the keep before making my way into the puzzle proper itself, solo. Inside I encountered maybe ten more Drakkar Lake players (in various small groups), any of whom could have really ruined my day but through salute/dance truce (opposing servers cannot hear chat; you can only communicate through action) I freely passed all of them without any aggression whatsoever.

With a boost in achievement points which will help my later achievement unlocks I also was rewarded a permanent quartz node as a symbol of my awesome ambassadorial skills (I don't recall doing any ambassadoring though). Plotwise the newly appointed Captain and ineffective ex-Lionguard Investigator/Policewoman Ellen Kiel is going head to head with Black Lion Company founder Evon Gnashblade. Both trying to secure a trade agreement with the flying salesmen to help their claim to the vacant council seat, made that way from the events last month. I didn't really pay attention to the politics. There were cliffs to be climbed! :P

That Didn't go Well

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Finally we have constructed our first Firestorm, a hybrid of human/alien tech to make one badass plane. Got to try it out too as it shot down an unknown sized UFO (looked pretty big) without taking much damage. The Sky Ranger transport was not far behind with the Bondi Vet, Cosmos, Derka Derka, Lucky Jew, rookie Sofia and Captain Mustachio tasked with sweeping up the mess, and what a mess it would turn out to be! As the team neared the crash site the first thing they ran into is a mini-ufo!?

Oh... shiii@#!

Since it looked tough I ordered them to expend all their explosives on taking it down (which just barely did the trick) but just as soon as that exploded a large group of little sectoids appeared in the woods with two drones, and though the team survived the firefight they were all injured from the encounter as they proceeded into the UFO proper. It was there they encountered THREE sectoid commanders, and due to the teams lack of firepower at that point they failed to down a single one in their opening barrage, only injuring them.

The sectoids responded by mind controlling Sofia the rookie which panicked Cosmos into shotgunning her to death. Soon after Cosmos himself was mind-raped by one, causing him to put the barrel of his weapon into his mouth and blow his own brains out. A panicked Derka was shooting wildly, injuring Captain Mustachio who then found a face full of plasma bullets, melting it off and killing him in slow agony. Not sure how Bondi Vet and the Lucky Jew pulled it off then, but between the two of them (and ricocheting bullets from Derka) they downed the remaining enemies and got the hell out of there. Mission complete!

Sunday 14 July 2013

Second Wave

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Soldiers Lost in the Third Month: 0
Campaign Total: 9

Sent sniper heavy team of Bald Witch, Gravedigger, Airhead, Ikede, Greene and Ragnar to Australia to rescue a General Von something... Von Trapp? From a damaged raised freeway crawling with Thin Men. Guess the invasion is still on after all? After blasting all their cheating faces off (and capturing one thanks to the Bald Witch) we got him and his last soldier out who joined our team called Bondi Vet. Not long after was the next council meeting in which the bald dude gave me a score of "B", probably because I couldn't shoot down that one UFO earlier.

Also, despite not having lost soldiers this month it seems that over half of them were in the hospital, prompting me to recruit a new batch and sending them straight into combat as we shot down another small UFO in Japan. Seriously, why do they always go to Japan? Anyway the rookie team composed of Okada, Neumann, McCarthy, McIntyre, Torres and Hughes moved slowly but surely through the forest eliminating a squad of floaters and thin men in the way.

They then stacked on the crashed UFO door an upon opening it were confronted by not one but TWO sectoid commanders! Obviously the one we killed at the base was just leading the exploratory force it seems. Fortunately my rookies all still had their grenades and the enemy pair were close enough to each other to summarily eat 6 grenades in succession. Thankfully it was just enough to kill them, and the team returned to base having earned their stripes. Mission complete!

Part of every alien's diet!

Saturday 13 July 2013

All Your Base!

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Sent my crack team of Greene, Bald Witch, Mister Mustachio, the Italian, Gravedigger and Big Mike rappeling down into the alien base. Fitting this is the first mission I can send a full squad of SIX in now. The large complex had pretty much every type of scum we encountered thus far plus some robotic drones. Once into the main hall the team expended most of their grenades on an unexpected trio of chrysalid genestealers, then proceeded to the control hub while bypassing another three who didn't seem to take notice of them.

The last room was huge, with a raised platform in the middle. Had half the team take the high ground while the other swept around the flank and we soon discovered the alien boss here was a little sectoid commander (with a lot of health). That's when all hell broke loose as the three chrysalids we bypassed came charging into the rear and abither squad of jetpack boys appeared off on the side. Fortunately most of my heavies still had their rockets which, in combination with accurate (lucky) shooting saw the alien commander being alone again.

Not this time, Cats!

With suppression fire and throwing everything we had left against him, Bald Witch finished him off with an arc thrower - capturing his naked ass. She's actually pretty good at that. All of them made it back alive. Upon their return Bradford organized a victory party and indeed, the rest of the world suddenly became less panicked altogether. Dr. Vahlen was about to celebrate in her own way, readying her gloves and equipment for our new guest.

A Little Bit of Conversation

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Dr. Vahlen killed the captive during her "interrogation", and now she wants another one, specifically an alien pilot. With a stroke of luck a UFO had landed in Japan so I sent valkyries Ikede and Murphy with Bald Witch and newbies Ragnar the Red (another Viking) and ex-terrorist Derka Derka. Despite encountering heavy resistance from sectoids, floaters and thin men they managed to capture said pilot while only suffering minor injuries (well, in Derka's case severe - but he lived).

While Vahlen and Shen "talked" to the outsider I killed time by sending Mister Mustachio, Panicman, the Italian, Cosmos and Airhead to a trainyard in Brazil where a floater army was abducting commuters. Easily put an end to that safely and quickly through good overwatch fire and by the time they got back the captive was dead and Shen wanted to construct a "key" out of its remains.


With most of Europe on the verge of total panic and the rest of the world not far behind I let them go ahead and do whatever with our remaining funds. It's actually very surprising how often this project that is "protecting the world" is bankrupt. Still, it turned out to be a good call because whatever they did - they managed to locate a large alien base in Asia! Damned sneaky aliens. This time we're going to take the fight to them!

Thursday 11 July 2013

My Churro, Your Taco

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Soldiers Lost in the Second Month: 2
Campaign Total: 9

After selling a surplus of scopes to Russia to help them with some missile launch, it was time for another council meeting and the end of month two. Thanks to last minute satellite launches everyone was still onboard with the XCOM project giving me a grade of "A" again, but those little panic bars just seem to keep creeping up. A large UFO made an appearance not long after but my little fighter plane had no chance to shoot that one down so I ordered it back while it could still fly. Back in the base I -FINALLY- have my officer training school and can now send FIVE operatives on the field.

Just what I need, because Dr. Vahlen's wailings were getting too annoying and it was time to capture one of the bastards. Next contact was at a gas station in Mexico where floaters and thin men were enjoying burritos I suppose. I sent veterans Panicman, Mister "Nuke" Mustachio, Big Mike, Gravedigger and David "the lucky Jew" because he got to carry the tazer. :P

Taking cover next to cars and pumps at a gas station sounded like a catastrophic plan but it surprisingly worked very well. With suppressing fire from Panicman, accurate sniping from Gravedigger and well placed grenades and rockets from heavies Big Mike and Mustachio the aliens lost their cover pretty quick, followed by their lives. The Lucky Jew even managed to taze one before almost getting killed himself, yet on one HP he killed two more bastards with his pistol and flanked a thin man for a point blank shotgun blast.

Mission complete! Excellent performance all around if I do say so myself, and finally Dr. Vahlen is happy. I saw her singing and skipping past my office door with a large bottle of lube in hand. That poor, poor alien we captured though...

Dr. Dolly Vahlen is ready to begin the "interrogation".

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Alien Necromancy

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Nigeria called, and no - it wasn't to try phish me a million dollars. It was because the aliens were digging up the dead bodies in a cemetery there, I can only assume because they were having major issues killing living humans. Sent a sniper heavy Valkyrie team composed of Ikede, Airhead, Bald Witch and sole assault Punk Chick. They sorted that mess out quick smart since the open ground made for the perfect playground for the snipers while Punk Chick took control of the central tomb. Their reward was a black sniper dude I call Gravedigger with a massive ... rifle. I'm certain they enjoyed their trip back.

Just as well because the alarm went off again, and the global news showed the aliens were altering their tactics. Punk Chick geared up again this time with Panicman, Mustachio and David to stop a terror strike on Canada. Almost immediately they came upon a pair of incredibly fast moving bug critters called GENESTEALERS... I mean, Chrysallids - literally running up to Punk Chick's face. A point blank blast from her shotgun only grazed the creature (1 dmg!) but lucky for her the rest of the team had enough firepower to bring it down.

The second one abruptly altered course to feast on a nearby civilian before being blasted to hell. This is where Punk Chick's luck ran out as suddenly the dead man rose as a zombie right next to her and in a sudden move tore out her insides and began eating them. David and Panicman put the reanimated bastard back on the floor, then the team swept up the remaining murderous jetpack boys to finish the mission.

Mission complete. Of the 18 civilians in the area initially, they saved 10. That's a pretty good result!

Probably wouldn't even have been an issue if there were more strippers in the area.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Raiders of the Downed UFOs

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Finalising a trade to Australia (who wanted to buy alien alloys) the UFO alert went off again, this time in Japan. A bigger ship than last time! Fortunately I had constructed an interceptor there and our ace pilot Vince McCool was visiting the region at the time. Looked like a nasty dogfight but Vince shot down that bastard in the end despite taking a ton of damage himself. Deployed Mister Mustachio and Panicman along with newbies Cosmos and David.

Seemed this ship contained Jetpack boys AND Thin men along with the little dudes. The first group was a non issue, eliminated by overwatch fire mainly while the thin men got to enjoy high explosives of the rocket and grenade variety. It's annoying then that as the team advanced on the ship Cosmos was downed by overwatch fire from the normal little dudes, because he didn't DODGE!

Even the aliens facepalmed.

After teaching those SOBs a lesson my remaining three men busted into that UFO, surrounded the alien pilot and summarily executed him (Dr. Vahlen: WHYYYYYY!?). At least it seems I'm improving with these UFO raids. The following one that landed (not shot down) was tactically cleaned out by David, Big Mike, the Italian and Mustachio with no casualties through liberal use of explosives and lure and kill tactics. As a celebratory gesture I let them explode the ship. (Dr Vahlen: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! MY RESEARCH!)

Missions Complete, and somehow Cosmos actually survived (guess I finished before he bled out)! Despite all these victories though it seems like most of the world is on the verge of panic. Oh well, I'm sure that's not important. Right?

Monday 8 July 2013

Valkyrie Squad

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Soldiers Lost in the First Month: 7

After an easy mission in Brisbane where Panicman, Mister Mustachio, the Italian (newbie) and Punk Chick (newbie) literally exploded all opposition it was the end of the first month and the bald man was impressed with my work, giving me a grade of "A". What is this? School? Anyway with the new month also came my new batch of rookies that Bradford kept nagging me to get, what with my casualty rate and all. Another abduction mission in Russia let me test the mettle of half of them I call the Valkyrie squad (all female).

Just like in Charmed! Wait, what? Aren't they witches?

Composed of Murphy, Wood, Greene and Ikede the team deployed at some courtyard with higher elevation to the street. Always a good start. Moved up into cover to discover a new type of alien - JETPACK BOYS. Ok, or floaters. I prefer Jetpack boys. Gunned down one just as a pair of little fellas came up from the road. Too bad for them the jetpack boys decided to flee, leaving the two little fellas at the mercy of a squad of psycho gun toting sheilas.

After painting the place green with their blood the team began leap-frog crossing the nearby footbridge, finding and eliminating the remaining jetpack boys. Once there another two little ones and another squad of floaters showed up to the East. With not much cover on the bridge the team split in two, Murphy and Ikede sprinting forward into cover and Greene and Wood backtracking to a flanking position. The aliens caught wind of this though and despite mostly missing everyone else, Wood was shot dead through the eye (through a car) panicking Greene into a state of uselessness.

Fortunately the other two held it together and marched up out of cover to the enemy flank while lobbing grenades. It was enough to obliterate all the remaining alien scum. Mission complete! Meanwhile back in the base, Dr. Vahlen was frustrated I keep shooting or exploding the aliens that she wants to interrogate. LOL.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Le Le Le Le Le Le Bombe!

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

The aliens have planted a bomb in France. Why? No idea, but it's up to XCOM to stop them! This time I sent Panicman with my other rostered rookies, Erik the Viking, Big Mike and Jill the Airhead. The area, two roads with a small convenience store in between with a warehouse at the back, was littered with alien bomb generators that power the bomb which my team could diffuse as they advanced, delaying the bomb's ultimate explosion. Yep. Aliens are stupid.

Counter-Terrorists Win!

At a glance I figured the bomb would be at the furthest point away from me so Panicman and company charged up immediately towards the loading bay of the warehouse at the back, ignoring the convenience store altogether. A squad of the little alien dudes got startled as they approached, taking cover in a parked truck and the warehouse proper. It didn't matter though since a lucky grenade from Big Mike blew up the wall two of them were hiding behind, killing them AND a third one that had mind melded with one of the exploded ones.

A grenade from Airhead and good shooting from the Viking eliminated two more then Panicman took care of the stragglers (point blank) and disarmed the bomb just as incoming x-rays appeared. No not fish, that's what they call the aliens. Thin men. A whole bunch of them. Overwatch fire injured two of them and Panicman, who deftly evaded being shot at through a skylight, took cover and finished one off, Big Mike shooting across the rooftops to slay the other.

Two more thin men showed up, one blasting Erik through the chest - killing him outright. The other exchanged fire and wounds with Mike, while Airhead tried to approach to capture it - but fell short on range, so I told her to switch to her autorifle. She then promptly missed every shot from 10 meters away. Good thing Panicman was on the ball, eliminating the thin man from the roof as he jumped down with overwatch fire and then lobbing a grenade at the last guy in a cold calculated fashion.

Mission complete and promotions all around! Ironically Airhead, who killed nothing this round with her gun and missed every shot was given the consignment of... SNIPER. I'm surprised the aliens haven't already won actually.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Scrambled Eggs... from Space

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

After being nagged by Bradford to launch another satellite somewhere (I picked Japan) I got to meet the other research staff in the base, Mr. Shen the elderly drug addled head of engineering and Dr. Vahlen who seemed intent about capturing an alien alive so that she could do what they did to her previously. She's a little crazy. Especially given that she's already putting on a plastic/latex glove whose sleeve goes up to her shoulder.

Thankfully a UFO alert ends the awkwardness and I scramble one of our jets (we only have two!) to intercept. Obviously it's piloted by Vince McCool since the little craft has no chance against his superior moves. As soon as it crashes I send a team out to contain the site right away but with Mister Mustachio still injured it is up to Panicman to lead the team, this time composed of the Jew, Bald Witch and Crazy Bastard who gets unceremoniously shot in the head almost immediately after landing.

With a combination of good grenade throws and lots of woody terrain to flank the little bastards they are all made to eat bullets in short order, especially since the engineering team hadn't finished researching the tazer tech to capture one yet (Mr. Shen was too high at the time). The UFO pilot was a little scary being half energy and all, managing to behead the Jew as he emerged from the crashed ship but even he couldn't withstand bullets in the face and a grenade in his ethereal genitals.


Mission complete! I'm getting good at this!

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Recover Miss Sing Person

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

The hiss of the dropship doors ended with a thud as the four man team led by Mister Mustachio deployed out towards the park. Their objective: to rescue some woman named Anna Sing who had escaped alien captivity. Wasn't long before they ran into their first opponent, a "thin man" who opened fire from the otherside poisoning Emmet with his first shot. Mustachio replied by rocketing that guy in the face and led the squad forward on the left flank, the Russian and Emmet following down the middle and the Niggeress on the right startling three little aliens near a cop car. One managed to wound her with its pistol, and she responded by shotgunning two of them in the face.

The last one was gunned down by the Russian as he then reached the panicked VIP and began leading her back. A second thin man then appeared on top of a bus and instantly came under overwatch fire from the waiting Mustachio and finished off by Emmet from the park square. All was going well as the team made their way back when suddenly a third thin man, the boss no doubt, was there waiting for them.

Similar but different.

His first shot went right through Mustachio's jugular, dropping him to the ground. The rest of the highly trained team then all shat their pants and panicked, with Emmet hiding behind a fountain, the Russian (whom I shall now call Panicman) shooting AT THE VIP but missing (fortunately), and the Niggeress dropping her shotgun and bending over while weeping like a child. The thin boss took advantage of this and shoved his gun into her ass then pulled the trigger, killing the stupid bitch instantly.

The VIP decided to make a break for it, sprinting into the open but not quite reaching the drop ship. Panicman managed to fumble a grenade out at the thin boss but it survived the blast and took aim at the civilian. It fired but at the last moment Emmet did a true slow mo heroic move by eating all the bullets himself, his body exploding into a shower of blood. Panicman then panicked some more and with a loud scream unloaded all of his remaining ammo into the thin boss... miracoulously killing it.

Mission complete! Anna Sing, Panicman and the not yet dead Mister Mustachio returned to base.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Part of my XCOM: Defenders of the Earth series!

Having fallen asleep watching an alien themed movie, I suddenly awoke in some strange underground room and in front of me was a huge screen with a bald dude on it. Since his face was covered in shadow due to back-lighting and he didn't give his name I'll call him, "the Bald man". He represented the United Nations or something like that, and somehow they decided that I should lead their special task force in neutralizing an alien threat on the globe.

How the UN deals with aliens?

Before I could utter a "WTF" a panicked guy named Bradford busted in asking for my help with a mission already in progress on the otherside of the world, China. Just to verify where the heck I was he told me that I was in the XCOM North America base. How I got here from where I was remains a mystery (mainly because the game didn't let me pick a base closer to home).

Once I made it through the lengthy tunnels to the Situation Room I could see our four man squad on the field: a Russian whose name I can't pronounce, a nigerian girl I'll call Niggeress, Emmet the pale, and the squad leader and sole survivor of Delta squad who Bradford commanded poorly prior to my appointment here - Mister Mustachio. Bradford was concerned he'd get almost the whole team killed again so I took charge, progressing with a standard sweep and clear culminating in Mister Mustachio rocketing the bejeezus out of some poor little alien men.

They returned as heroes and came back with a lot of Yen to fund some of our research projects... like first aid kits. Seriously? We don't have first aid kits in this base!? I've got my work cut out for me.

XCOM: Defenders of the Earth

With the very stylish DmC done and dusted I've moved on to a strategy game involving aliens invading the Earth. There's a special task force for that, and it's called XCOM. Furthermore it looks like something I can have fun blogging about, given that this agency had the really -bad- idea of making me the commander! :P

For those interested this is my first game, set on Classic difficulty and with all second wave options active. Spoilers ahead!

1.   Close Encounters of the Third Kind
2.   Recover Miss Sing Person
3.   Scrambled Eggs... from Space
4.   Le Le Le Le Le Le Bombe!
5.   Valkyrie Squad
6.   Raiders of the Downed UFOs
7.   Alien Necromancy
8.   My Churro, Your Taco
9.   A Little Bit of Conversation
10. All Your Base!
11. Second Wave
12. That Didn't go Well
13. I Respect you as a Fighter
14. Out of Options
15. Authority Equals Asskicking
16. The Titan Project 
17. They have MECHS!?
18. Walk like an Egyptian
19. Total Annihilation
20. UFO Assault 101
21. A Nasty Surprise
22. Future Combat
23. Back to how it all Began
24. Saviour of the World 
25. Final Score

This story has finished! Thanks for reading! :)