Author Topic: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)  (Read 3818 times)

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« on: February 14, 2018, 06:09:49 PM »
1. HARD SHORES



So let's try a little X-COM. After watching a few of those videos floated around here, the ones by Beaglerush called 'XCOM: Ironman Impossible,' I got motivated to re-install and try a humorous approach to this game, as well.

But there's no way in Hades I'm doing 'Impossible' level, because frankly, I suck at this game.



Ha ha, I'm not doing 'Classic,' either. I'm doing 'Easy.' Because I want to tell a story more than actually play the game for the game's sake. But we'll see, I might change the difficulty later if it's impossibly simple (the way I play, though, peeps gonna die in game, no getting around that).



Good ol' Arthur wasn't wrong. Both possibilities are terrifying. Considering what the human imagination can come up with, I have no doubt the unknown in space is far, far more terrifying.



So me'n Seamus were messing around with this lamp we found in the local dump (don't judge, all the cool kids dumpster dive these days), and whoa it worked.

Oh boy did it ever! So much that I forgot that somehow I'm a 'Commander' of this para-military global force looking to provide security and safety and no corruption or kickbacks at all. This isn't the Olympics, after all!



Some weird stuff was going down in Germany.

I mean, weirder than the usual German chicken pr0n and Angela Merkel. No, there was some kind of 'interaction' from a 'active variable' that proceeded to 'integrate' itself into Germany's airspace over Cologne faster than the Eighth Air Force ever did, and 'actively dismiss' a nice chunk of landscape. Then they 'aggressively paradigm'd' a German Special Forces unit into oblivion. Or silence. Probably the former.

If it ain't ominous, it ain't comin' from anywhere but Germany.

So, our little ragamuffin unit was called on to provide a strike team of four ex-military 'persona activa,' which just happened to be stationed at our base in northern Poland, right under the ol' Wolfschanze. What better way to run a secret military organization than under the charred, battered remains of concrete that once housed Hitler's main headquarters for world conquest!



We circled the complex, like they did in that movie Aliens. They thought the complex was empty and decided to land. All the team spotted was a nice burning stain in the middle of one of Cologne's many tidy streets.

Heh, heh.

It took the on-board computer a few minutes (it was a Mac; the Procurement Department is full of hipster elbow-patched doofuses apparently) to process what the mess on the ground used to be.



Some kind of Panzercopter or something, I dunno. Whatever it was, it was now a merrily-burning grease stain on the pavement, as was its contents most likely.



Despite the obvious hostility of this environment, the team was instructed to land. You can't fry a few bacons without laying down a couple of beat-downs with automatic weapons, after all.



The remote drone cam captured the dramatic moment when the four of them stepped off the boarding ramp.

Looks of grim confidence.

Hefting state-of-the-art firepower.

Looking thicc like a steroid-infused defensive line in the NFL.

Bunched together like a bunch of rookie boot idiots.



I forget their names, to be honest. All of those shavetails look the same to me. Not a good 'commander'-like attribute, I know.

One of them, though, we'd all get to know well over the next few weeks.

But, back to the here and now.


« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 10:49:55 AM by BanzaiCat »

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM!
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 06:27:37 PM »
2. THE SILKEN FLAMES



Yep, it was warmer than a Dresden outdoor barbecue 'round those parts.

The team exited the drop-ship, carefully scanning the area.

Meanwhile, Seamus couldn't resist messing with them a time or two.

Err, Team Falcon Alpha Bundtcake Twelve, this is Fluffy Actual, come in.

(shhhht) eah, Fluffy, this is Falcon Alpha Bundtcake One, go ahead.

DUDE LOOK OUT THE WINDOW OVER THERE I SAW SOMETHING

(shhht) HAT WHERE AAAAAA OMG (BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM POW smash crack tinkle tinkle)

(snicker)

...

(shhht) oddammit, Seamus.



They proceded down the street, with One muttering something about 'crackers' under his breath.

It was pretty obvious that they missed the party.



(shhht) ou getting this, HQ? Either Cologne won the World Cup and suddenly all went off for naps, or...

Her words hung in the air like the thick, cloying smoke and smell of blood.



Horry crap...



They found what looked like one of the Fritz team members, if he was some kind of cyborg wallowing in the stench of death and electronic sizzlin'.



As they reported it in, she TOTALLY DIDN'T SEE WHAT WAS COMING UP BEHIND HER

(shhht) oddammit, Seamus.



The drone cam took a high level as the team started to approach the building at the end of the street. All the destruction seemed to point in this direction. So too because of the arrows painted in blood, I suppose.



One found another grisly discovery; this one hidden in the dark recesses of a bus stop overhang. It looked like something exploded out of the poor bastard, exploded out and left gross skid marks across the pavement, like its wife was calling it home.



They bounded to the building, using cover as best they could, as directed by Seamus (with little in the way of jump scares now, because it was all about the business of finding out WTF was going on, here).


Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM!
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 06:41:37 PM »
3. ABYSS OF MAN

When entering a building, everyone knows it's Special Forces 101 to be stealthy and approach an unknown area with great cautio-



Or...sure, just...do that, I guess.

At least one of them had some modicum of common sense.



Because kicking in a door and framing yourself in said doorway when you don't know WTF is on the other side is...well, okay, they're the pros, not me!



Comrade Whas-his-name carefully scanned the gloomy interior, looking for targets, or anything moving.

Because they had the drop on them. Surely nobody heard any of the sounds of breaking-and-entering in B-flat.

Suddenly, he spots a figure on the far end of the room.

He's hidden in shadows partly; it's hard to make him out, but he's obviously military.



Because grenade, don'cha know.



Dammit, guys, come on with that crap already!

Since the mystery military figure in the shadows isn't doing anything suspicious (like holding a frag grenade) or anything, they try to talk and see if he'll listen.



Or just stand there.



"Hilllllfe..." is all the thing is whispering.

Hilllllfe...

...which means, "help."

Slowly, Comrade Bigboypants approaches the unknown figure.

Which is much easier than just busting a cap in his knees.

He slowly (dramatically) moves the overhead hanging light to reveal the guy's face...





Hilllllfe...



"Bro, wassup, bro? Look at my bitchin' 90s neckbeard, bro!"

"Wait, what's that in the corner, throwing the purply light out?"


Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM!
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 07:00:02 PM »
4. FALLEN LEGACY



Huh.

Whaddya know about that.

Must be some kind of circus freak thing, like in that sing-y musical thing Wolverine just did.



"Whoa, bro, hold on a second now...whatcha doin' with that grenade, bro?!? BRO?!?"



The aftermath of the explosion was epic. The noise echoed throughout the cavernous interior of the warehouse, the shelves creaked and shook like nervous SAT test-takers, and dude that dropped it pretty much offed himself in one go.

The team scattered to cover immediately, so I guess something about their training actually worked this time.

But that didn't stop the little gray monkeys from laying some green death into their faces.



With a ZZZAAP ZZZAAP HERE



And a SUPPRESS SUPPRESS THERE

...the team was pretty much down to two people, now.



The team lashed out, trying to scour some of their training to the forefront of their panicking brains, but the little monsters were much too quick.



A well-placed grenade took out that little f*cker.

Try to outrun that, eh?



Unfortunately, the tosser (grenade tosser, or...take it as you will) was immediately lit up by that green sh*t the little muppets liked so much.

That left one team member.

One.

Against a horde of monsters.

Taking a deep breath, he raised his rifle at the one that just melted the face of his teammate...



...and split its head open like a rotten, ripe...uh...something.

I don't think anyone on Earth has yet seen the insides of these things, let alone be able to come up with some way to creatively describe it.

It was a mess, tell you what.

That was the last of them, apparently. No other gray bulby heads stuck themselves out looking for trouble.

Grimly, we called the lone survivor and told him the coast was clear.

He needed to police the bodies and clear out, gathering whatever - alien stuff he could get his hands on.

He calmly answered in the affirmative.

We asked what his name was.

He replied,



"CALL ME...TOONCES."




Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM!
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 07:18:09 PM »
"That's MISTER Toonces."


{/sidneypoitierref}


Also, it took me until chapter 4 before I realized you were titling the chapters much like the random operation title generator in the game. Well played.  :clap:

Also, I clicked the subscribe button so fast when I saw the first entry, that my mouse's button ignited in silken flames.

(...that joke sounded different in my head before I typed it. Must be Valentine's Day depression talking, sorry.  :'( )
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 01:50:45 PM »
(...that joke sounded different in my head before I typed it. Must be Valentine's Day depression talking, sorry.  :'( )

Join the club!  :))

Thanks for the enthusiasm, too.

Also, it took me until chapter 4 before I realized you were titling the chapters much like the random operation title generator in the game. Well played.  :clap:

Indeed. I couldn't come up with anything creative so I found some online random title generator thing, and it's worked pretty well so far.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 02:16:35 PM »
5. THE LAST EYES



Good ol' Seamus, reviewing the footage from that near-disastrous mission.



I could swear I heard him purr a little as he stared at that image.

Meanwhile, the drop ship arrived back at base with a much less animated cargo than it left with.



Toonces looks less than pleased, but at least his bitchin' Freddie Mercury nose fuzz survived first contact.



After being sent to the Barracks to clean up and recuperate, the trio started waxing philosophical about the implications of the new alien threat to our world. 'Trio' is a lot easier to say than 'the three blind mice,' especially to their faces.



The look that Pats fans had near the end of the Super Bowl.

Anyway, they move on to other things discussion-wise, soon enough.

First, as always, it was Frau Get The First Und Last Word In.

I must qveshtun vether ur not ze Toon-sees has unuff mhentahl capashity to continue du lead.

Next, it was Ancient Grandpa Engineer Guy, or as we all liked to refer to him, Bawb.

Well, back in my day, when we faced the Kaiser's boys across trenches of mud and blood...

Leave it to Seamus to be either dicking around with fire words or be the most serious guy in the room.

I'm pretty sure we don't have much of a choice. Squaddie Toonces is the only soldier on the planet with actual boots-on-the-ground experience with these...things.

...that Hindenburg was sight, lemme tell you, 'specially when Billy The Kid came over and had crumpets with me...

(sigh) Du ist correckt, of coursh, Herr Shaymush. Ve haff little choyse in du matter, ja?

...and the next thing I knew, the Bismark was shot out from under me!

I decided to check in on Toonces, instead of continuing to follow these multiple streams of consciousness.

I found him doing what most recruits love doing: playing with his gun.



Looks like I'm still getting used to the naming conventions in the game. I believe you can alter the data file in the game to spit out any names you want, and I might do that, because naming these guys with just one name is somewhat impossible. It might work for their nicknames, of course, but they don't get nicknames until they...I don't know. Survive a few missions? Get promoted? Something like that.

Makes sense. I mean, you don't want to waste too much time customizing a character that's just going to die a horrible death, anyway.

Once back in the Barracks, the game seems bent on applying the Heavy Weapons category to him, which is fine I suppose. I can't recall if it randomizes this or not, but we'll just make the most of it.

Before long, Frau Frau calls me over ze...uhm, the, intercom to come over to Research as soon as possible.



She 'vants tu knowe' what she and the scientists need to study. I throw a dart at the "360-Degree Decision Maker" hanging on the wall...



...and land on Alien Materials.

No, I did choose it with aforethought, because I want these guys to get better armor ASAP. Laser weapons would be a huge priority but we need to down a UFO, I think, and gather much more in the alien booty department, before we can even begin to research that area.



Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 05:13:47 PM »
"Alien booty" heh heh.

I seem to recall the survivor being somewhat randomized, too, as in one time I'm sure I recall the woman coming back alive alone. But maybe I'm mixing up with the start of XCom2.

Or possibly I'm mixing up with the Long War mod. Part of me thinks you can do first and last names there, too, but I haven't played it in several months. (The LWmod does allow you to skip the tutorial mission and play something like a regular mission for first contact.)

...wait, are you not playing with the Enemy Within expansion? Your opening text crawl was blue instead of yellow so... man, you're missing out on some important bling, if not!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2018, 07:29:41 AM »
Unfortunately I do not have that expansion, and since you said you think the expansion is not compatible with this version, I'll just keep truckin' with this one.

Just to be clear, not only has it been a while since I've played this, I never finished it.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2018, 06:09:29 AM »
6. THE WEEPING OF THE RIVER

After poking around the small base, Seamus calls me in again.



He's just there to tell me something I've forgotten already, but I think it has to do with satellites. These provide coverage of the panicky member nations and ensure a flow of cash to X-Com's coffers.

And then our first alert comes through.



Kinky Aliens are looking to test out some Venusian lube or something, I guess, because they're raiding two locations simultaneously.

We can't get them both; not at this stage in the game.

So the game presents me with a choice: save one or the other.

The first raid is on Guag...uhh...Goob...uhm...yeah, a place in China...



...and the other is in Houston, Texas.



HMMMMMM. Which to choose.

Honestly Houston could do with some abductions, which would mean less traffic on the roads.

China's pretty overcrowded too but I've never been to Gulag, or whatever, so...

There's also the rewards to consider, if it boils down to it. China's mission rewards us with $200 (not USD, just some weird Simolean-looking currency that I guess only X-COM uses...like Bitcoin, but shadier), while the U.S. mission would reward us with four Scientists.

Research is more important right now to me - I really need to get that body armor on the troopers - so I choose Houston.

Next, I have to go to the Barracks to check out Toonces' squad.



It's all women. Which isn't a bad thing, just means I can't really rename them for the moment.

I knew going in to this I wouldn't be renaming EVERYONE to be senior-ish forum members, because we'd run out of senior-ish forum members pretty damned fast considering how this game likes to kill us.



Their loadouts are all the same, pretty much. Since they're squeaky-clean Squaddies, they just come with the rifles; they don't have an assignment like Support or Sniper. Only Toonces has a specialist job.

After a quick review and leaving this default squad intact, they load up on the dropship and head out.



I track them until they arrive in Houston.

Funny how the flight only takes a couple of hours.



OPERATION BLOODY PROPHET.

What a way to kick things off.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 11:46:52 AM »
Next time: Toonces and his Harem, in "Bloody Prophet"!

Hopefully not very appropros.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline undercovergeek

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2018, 12:02:58 PM »
This is awesome!!

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2018, 02:14:49 PM »
7. THUNDER OF INFERNO

The dropship lands, and the squad tumbles out of the back.



They find themselves in some industrial/warehouse district. No doubt the aliens are after cheap imports and GameStop paraphernalia.



There's no resistance in the landing zone.

Kari Pederson, our Swedish representative (no relation to the Swedish Bikini Team), is instructed to enter the closest building.



She does so, but the first room is empty.

Except for the noticeable large scorch mark in the cheap linoleum. Someone had a bad ending to their day, there.

The others sweep around the side of the building as Kari busts into the larger room, though there's nobody home.



Toonces takes point, moving to the corner of the building, and finds a couple of interstellar squatters.



They look like they're about to drop the hottest album of 2018, yo.

Instead of staying in the pose, the lead singer screeches like a skinned cat (or one of mirth's barfly dates), and they scatter to cover.



Meanwhile, Toonces immediately ran back and up a ladder, taking cover behind an HVAC unit on the roof, directly above Kari.

One of the Aliens spotted him.

He said, "this is for ruining our promo shoot!" which came out more like, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" or something.



Toonces girded up his sphincter as the thing raised its Tonka-Toy-looking pip boy thingy, and...



PEW PEW PEW PEW

Missed! Though that HVAC is totally f**ked.

"Motherf**ker," hissed Toonces as the HVAC merrily hissed and melted due to being pushed well past its preferred melting point.

"EAT MEEEE!" he shouted, as he raised his heavy machinegun to take aim at one of the little gray boogers and went all Sgt. Rock style on his narrow ass.



BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA
SPLAT SPLISH SPOOSH SCREEEEECH



The alien fell over, embarking upon his new career as a coffee table with built-in drink holders (about a hundred of them).

Meanwhile, Pederson checks out the remaining turd bucket and sees she only has a small chance (31%) of nailing it as it is behind good cover.



Despite the relatively low chance, she just witnessed Toonces' God-Among-Mankind blasting of that other alien into gobbets of greenish slobber, and she wants in on the action, too!



Unfortunately, the piece of crap rifle that X-COM was saddled with, which was incidentally supplied from the lowest bidder from the finest sweatshops in New Jersey, failed to make her hit her target.

And...and...and...and...WTF is that in the foreground? Those little alien bastards cocooning people?

Only WE can turn people into Soylent Green!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 02:18:32 PM by BanzaiCat »

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2018, 07:34:05 PM »
Toonces' nickname should be "Lord Budda".  :D
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Can't Build A Space Wall? Call X-COM! (AAR)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2018, 05:35:01 PM »
8. ETERNAL METROPOLIS



Having just ventilated one alien scum, Toonces swings his massive MG towards the one that Kari just missed.

What do you think happens next?



With a BRRRRAAAAAAAAAP, he kills the other gray nasty and blows up some bootleg Chinese DVDs to boot! That'll show the man!



I really like Overwatch.

I mean, like like Overwatch.

Though this is at Easy difficulty, I'm still not going to just throw these X-commers into green plasma death. It makes much more sense to take a balanced approach.

Good thing too, because...





...there's even more of these little skittering space monkeys running around!

HEY!

What?

NOT YOU! That narrator guy!

What?

How dare you call them 'skittering space monkeys!' That's libel!

Uhh...so, you mean, my statements could possibly HARM the reputation of these invading little monsters?

YOU DID IT AGAIN! HOW DARE YOU! I represent the Sacred Universal Court Keepers, and hereby request you cease and desist immediately!

...

...

Your...acronym is SUCK?

I...I...I...admit that wasn't...thought through.

Like this AAR?

Like ANY of your AARs?

Seamus, it's not too late for you to take up a rifle, y'know.

You haven't heard the last from SU...uhh...from US!



So now on with scene 8, which is a lovely scene with some smashing acting...

There's two of those LITTLE BASTARDS...

...

...skittering to cover.



They duck into a warehouse door.

We ain't takin' that lyin' down none!

'Murica!



CHAARRGE!