XCOM: The Blogger Edition – Part 10

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25 April, 2015

Television programmes across the world are interrupted by emergency news broadcasts.

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The UFOs aren’t hiding any more.

They’re hovering in the skies across major global cities and firing on skyscrapers. In the wake of the collapsing buildings, aliens have been beaming down to sow more terror.

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XCOM concludes that the change in alien tactics is meant to send a message: that no one can stop them.

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The timing is indeed more than a little awkward, as the Commander has just sent two of the XCOM squad for gene modification.

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Lieutenant J3w3l , Sniper extraordinaire, will be getting eye implants for extra depth perception, improving aim and critical chance when at a height advantage, as well as extra leg muscle fiber density to super jump to high locations without need for any ladders.

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Our Assault squaddie Jeromai Wolf will be getting hyper-reactive pupils to increase aim after missing a shot (a base of 59 Aim isn’t terribly encouraging, y’know?) and adaptive bone marrow, which regenerates wounds and reduces recovery time (considering how much Taking One For The Team he’s been doing, think he needs it…)

One more Heavy was going to be sent for gene modification, but fortunately, the Commander remembered that it would be better to have a full squad on standby. Just in case.

Then all hell broke loose.

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26 April, 2015

5.09am

Amidst reports of escalating hysteria across the globe, one radar operator managed to keep their head long enough to pick up signals of a UFO fleet headed towards Shanghai. This was sent up through various relevant channels in time to get XCOM in the loop.

A response is expected, else the alien message of ‘abandon all hope’ will be the only one that rings clear and true.

It’s really not the best time, but there’s nothing for it. The last four unwounded and combat ready soldiers are called up.

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Lt. Syl with her trusty shotgun and frag grenade.

Cpl. Othnieltcs, steady and stalwart in his MEC suit.

Cpl.  Bhagpuss, complete with S.C.O.P.E. fitted LMG.

Cpl. Skyrim, our other sturdy Heavy on whom we paused for a time to dither between equipping with a nano-fiber vest for more armor, or a medikit, just in case. (“Just in case” won.)

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Operation Blind Sword will be fighting back a terror attack in Shanghai, China.

Eliminate all hostile targets, minimize civilian casualties and rescue as many as possible.

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The transport roars up by some docks overlooking the urban center.

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As the squad spreads out to look for civilians, it’s clear that aliens have hit this place and hit it hard, but it’s alarmingly still, with neither alien nor civilian in sight.

Did XCOM arrive too late?

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Lt. Syl makes it all the way into the warehouse before spotting the first civilian. Outside, naturally. Thank you, Murphy’s Law.

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Then the aliens show up. Two Floaters pop up on the floor overhead, where apparently another civilian was also hiding.

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Lt. Syl and Cpl. Bhagpuss get to take reaction shots from their surprise appearance, and one hits for 3 points of damage.

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Cpl. Skyrim fans out to the right, where another civilian is spotted just outside.

Driven to haste by two abruptly cut-off screams of civilians, presumably being slaughtered from places unknown, Cpl. Othnieltcs rushes up to evacuate the civilian on the left.

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He also takes 5 points of plasma gunfire as one Floater gets a free reaction shot at his bulk going past the large windows.

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His large strides are sufficient to take him to another civilian to evacuate, and he does so without hesitation.

As he ends his turn, secure in the knowledge that two civilians are safe, he looks up and a chill run down his mechanical armored spine as he spots four sinister glowing yellow eyes and a pair of silhouettes with way too many legs.

(The Commander was so spooked that no screenshots were taken in time to catch the sinister duo. One can just about see them via Cpl. Skyrim’s heads up display below.)

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After rescuing the citizen on the right side of the warehouse, Cpl. Skyrim smashes the glass and fires a volley at the nearest Floater. It does 5 damage, sending the alien machine crashing to the ground in an explosion of metal and organic goo.

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One very wounded Floater remains.

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Cpl. Bhagpuss moves up to intercept it.

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95% chance to hit, 50% chance to critical from this range, one damage to go, don’t frickin’ miss, ‘Broad Side’, please…

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Dat scope attachment, best gear ever.

He hits it and scores a promotion off it too.

It doesn’t rain, but it pours. Two more Floaters show up. moving around the back of the warehouse near where the Chryssalids are, doing heinous things to civilians in the background.

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In the meantime, if you can look upon this scene without pissing your pants, you’re a better man than I.

To everyone’s immense surprise, the two Chryssalids go right past Cpl. Othnieltcs.

Not wanting to go through the effort of opening a can when there’s good smelling food already out in the open, perhaps?

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One of them takes out the civilian nearby. The count so far is 12 civilians left, 2 rescued, 4 dead.

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The other dashes right up next to Lt. Syl.

Boy, this feels a lot like déjà vu, doesn’t it?

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Okay, don’t panic, don’t panic, we’ve been here before. Shotgun to the face…

…for 3 points of damage.

Panic levels climbing.

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The two Heavies hustle to Lt. Syl’s rescue. Pray hard they don’t miss.

Cpl. Skyrim’s turn: 72% chance to hit, 0% chance to critical.

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Another 3 points of damage. The thing is still standing.

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It’s all on Cpl. Bhagpuss now. 76% chance to hit, 0% chance to critical.

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4 points of damage, one dead Chryssalid at long last.

The other Chryssalid has gone out of line of sight.

Moving from where Cpl. Othnieltcs was standing on the boat, and the next point of cover… it turns out to be a completely blind (but lucky? unlucky?) guess that he winds up right next to it.

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Oh.

Erm.

Well.

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I guess it’s a good thing he’s got one of these.

Two can play at that lethal melee attack game.

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Kinetic fist PUNCH!

Just as we’re chortling at the one-hit-killed Chryssalid splattered on the ground, a shuffling sound from behind Cpl. Othnieltcs reminds us that we’ve forgotten something…

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The civilian the Chyrssalid killed earlier… is not so dead after all.

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With one blow, it does 9 points of damage.

Cpl. Othnieltcs crumples to the ground, critically wounded.

O. M. F. G.

What the fuck?!

The only thing that comes to mind at this point is that it’s still damnably lucky that he’s not outright dead, and that one thought to bring a Medikit along, “just in case.”

Problem is, the Medikit is kind of far away and he ‘s only got 3 turns before he bleeds out for good.

And there’s two Floaters in the way. Oh, and the zombie, of course. Let’s not forget the zombie.

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47% chance to hit is not usually a chance I’d take. Especially not for Cpl. Bhagpuss.

But you know the saying about desperate times.

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It’s a hit!

3 damage only though, still alive, still able to fire on everybody.

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Lt. Syl has used Run and Gun to dash up to Cpl. Othnieltcs’ prior position on the boat.

100% chance and 70% chance to critical…

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4 points of damage.

The THING has 10 health bars to work through.

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Then the aliens get to attack.

One Floater rockets up into the air and with its height advantage, hits Lt. Syl for 4 points of damage.

One is starting to wonder if the squad is going to suffer more casualties trying to save one fallen soldier.

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The other Floater fires, and fortunately, misses Lt. Syl entirely.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t even aiming at her, but a civilian. Which it most definitely hit.

Oh well. The whole operation is kinda FUBAR’ed already.

Next turn, we briefly ponder the wisdom of attempting another shotgun blast at the zombie, then think the better of it.

Lt. Syl has her lucky frag grenade.

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Not only will this do 3 damage to the thing, the idea is to take out the entire left side warehouse wall, so that the two Heavies have a faster route to Cpl. Othnieltcs.

She hurls it. Wall goes boom.

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Yes, this will work nicely. Cpl. Bhagpuss now has unobstructed line of sight, the zombie is down to 3 health and has no cover.

80% chance to hit, 50% chance to critical…

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…if he wasn’t already pending a promotion, I’d promote him again.

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Our Medikit holding savior has an uninterrupted dash towards Cpl. Othnieltcs. 2 turns left before he kicks the bucket.

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Back to the aliens.

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One of them lands and fries another civilian.

I think, by now, we’ve gone numb to the situation.

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More importantly, on the very next turn, Cpl. Skyrim scrambles up near enough to Cpl. Othnieltcs to stabilize him with the Medikit.

Tombstone and memorial inscription narrowly averted. For one more mission, anyway.

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Cpl. Bhagpuss turns his attention back to the Floater on the ground. Another 3 damage.

Both have one bar of health left, but are still capable of plenty of mischief.

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Cpl. Skyrim takes 4 points of damage from the plasma fire from on high.

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Floater-on-ground fries yet another civilian.

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Cpl. Bhagpuss has another go at Floater-on-ground. 64% chance to hit…

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… first shot’s a miss. Of course. At least it’s not a clutch situation.

The Bullet Swarm ability allows for a second go.

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And he makes damn well sure this time that it’s dead.

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Yep. I think we can safely conclude that.

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Lt. Syl moves up to take on the last Floater.

64% chance to hit with a shotgun, straight up.

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Pretty fireworks in the sky.

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Operation Blind Sword comes to an end.

7 aliens killed.

0 XCOM operatives lost. (Unbelievably so.)

11 of 18 civilians saved. (Well… 61% survival rate. Could be worse.)

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The after action report is busy indeed, with two wounded heroes.

All the Corporals have now been promoted to Lieutenant and have earned the right to official nicknames. (Insert ye olde standard disclaimer of automatic nicknames and drop me a line in the comments to request better ones, yadda yadda.)

I’ve gone ahead and given a Taken One For the Team medal to Lt. Othnieltcs. The +5 bonus to cover doesn’t really apply since he can’t get into cover anyway, but I think he’s definitely earned it several times over now. :)

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

There's a land you promised us! Deliver us to the promised land...

As mentioned before, when I go quiet, it’s usually because things have settled into a comfortable happy rut. The same old games routine leaves nothing new to comment on.

MMO Population Blues

Wildstar seems to be undergoing its first month blues, what with one blogger announcing they’ve canceled their subscription and another commenting on how the online population appears to have dropped.

I don’t know, perhaps it’s disinterest and perhaps it’s just pragmatism, but I can’t really bring myself to be concerned one way or the other.

Guild numbers and roster counts don’t really mean anything, in my opinion, except to show that attrition always takes place over time.

In two years of GW2, I’ve seen my two main guilds bounce up and down in online players: offline members ratio and all it really says is how well each guild is doing in time – was there anyone actively recruiting, was the leadership active or did it go dormant, did anyone clean out the guild roster lately of people who lost interest in the game, etc.

They certainly didn’t reflect anything regarding overall game population numbers, considering that the best period of activity one had was when the other was almost dying, and vice versa.

The megaserver change that GW2 dropped on us is more sneaky in comparison.

I logged on today in Divinity’s Reach and consciously reveled in the fact that there were some 30-40 people running around just near the Trading Post and Bank area. “See,” I told myself, “GW2’s doing great! Look at how many people there are online!”

Then the more cynical part of my mind stopped me and said, “Ah, but don’t forget that this perception is due to the megaserver.”

Which is true and somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, imo. Crowds beget crowds. Someone who needs a social atmosphere is inclined to stay logged on if he or she sees people around them. I’m sure Tarnished Coast would be able to pull up a similar kind of number without the megaserver, but we’d probably lose those players from less crowded servers who can’t transfer off.

As for Wildstar, welp, the only ones who knows the real numbers are the devs. So let’s see how they react in the days to come. What they do or don’t do will reveal just how important they regard keeping subs, creating new subs or selling CREDD, and what their strategy is in regards to the casual/hardcore divide and earning revenue.

I’ve decided I really don’t care that much either way about the typical MMOs any longer and am just watching all the various rants from the peanut gallery and chomping down on popcorn.

GW2

I don’t need a promised land made up of dreams and future MMO sandboxes.

I’m already THERE.

I’ve been there for close to two years now. It’s not PERFECT, but it’s been comfy enough to be a home.

If I didn’t have GW2, I’d find somewhere else to settle down. The next best thing.

Probably A Tale in the Desert. Or Guild Wars 1. (City of Heroes did fine for 4-5 years running before things became a little too static and too traditional for comfort.) Wherever.

Point is, there’s so many games on the market that if someone couldn’t find something to satisfy or suffice, then the problem is probably less with the game and more about how someone is in a more nomadic than settler frame of mind.

So what have I been doing on the Guild Wars 2 front?

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Dailies. My ritual gathering of nodes and iron ore because it’s fun.

A significant amount of Dry Top geode farming because I’m in love with the Ambrite weapons and it sort of has the meditative fun of a zerg-y champion train with more sophistication in the strats used for each event, without the utter boredom of a sequence that a bot could be programmed to perform.

Totally in love with this greatsword.

Totally in love with the Scorpiones greatsword.

Say hello to mah lil friend.

Say hello to mah lil friend.

I look forward to each recipe I get to ever so slowly buy.

I stalled out on Episode 2’s achievements due to the reputed bug in the Concordia instance and haven’t gotten around to moving beyond that. Perhaps later or when the next patch arrives. At least the stress is gone from it not being temporary content.

I poked around in the next part of the Dry Top area, since I more or less stumbled into it while hunting Lost Coins, and indulged the explorer part of me.

There's some really lovely landscapes in the next section...

There’s some really lovely landscapes in the next section…

I popped in on the Triple Trouble Wurm today, after a long time of not showing up because I got bored with the boss. Got lucky and managed to taxi in. Things went super smoothly and a kill was obtained. And you know what made me smile?

There was a little level 49 standing right in front of the Wurm chest, going “holy crap, I don’t know what just happened, I just got this game a week and a half ago, I was just here and people were saying get into Teamspeak…”‘

Then he put on his shiny new Wurm’s Bane title.

He had 449 AP.

I don’t begrudge him a thing.

This, my friends, is the beauty of Guild Wars 2 and open world raids.

It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t max level. That he didn’t have crazy gearscore or what have you. He didn’t have to spend a month or two ‘getting attuned’ or jumping hoops and matching schedules to get into a raid guild just to ‘earn’ the right to be there.

He’s never going to forget his first wurm kill.

He’s going to remember the rush of all the people around him. If he has the slightest interest, now or later on, he’ll recall the TTS guild website where he can sign up to be a member.

He’ll have one hell of a story to tell to anyone who asks how a level 49 character got his title.

(To a lesser extent, similar things can happen with guild missions. I joined my NA guild today for theirs, and for the guild challenge, the 20-25 of us DIS managed to gate crash CERN‘s Save Our Supplies disco party of 50+ and 10+ commander tags.

One lone unguilded wanderer walked by and did a double take, commenting on the size of the guild. All CERN, of course, ours is small. :) That’s one way to meet an active guild… though there’s always the trouble of seeing if they’re on the same server as you.)

DOTA 2

I got my sleep schedule twisted around a little trying to catch the International.

I faithfully caught the matches on the weekend live, then found myself getting sleepier and sleepier on the last two days and gave up, resolving to watch them later.

If anything, I have to commend Valve and the DOTA 2 crew for the sheer spectacle of the event. There’s big money involved, and no effort is spared to make it -feel- grand.

Seriously, watching DOTA 2 is a game in itself.

If you just pop on over to the website, you have the choice to watch every match with the main audio, or using the newbie stream.

The live video stream stalled a few times during the broadcast, which led me to experimenting with DOTA TV, aka watching the match from in-game itself.

It boggles the mind how intricate it all is.

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There’s matches galore from what seems like a dozen tournaments.

Scroll down, find the International, and you can download replays of every single match. Not to mention, watch and set an option to automatically spectate live games.

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Inside the game, which had upwards of 200k clients spectating during one International game (presumably at least some of those were bots hoping to get lucky drops), you could pick from 4-5 audio streams in various languages.

The highlighted scroll is the newcomer's stream.

The highlighted scroll is the newcomer’s stream. Kinda nice that they made the effort to guide people like that.

The camera itself is configurable. Let the caster show you the action from his or her point of view. Or you yourself manually follow along whatever you wanted with your own free camera.

Or chase/follow a game from each player’s perspective, which is no doubt useful for learning how to play a certain hero by watching how the pros do it, or if you have a celebrity crush on a certain player or whatever…

Quite a few exciting games out of the International this time around. Pretty much every time a once-champion team got knocked out of the running was thrilling.

One of the best turnarounds was the second match between Cloud9 and VG (July 20, starts about half an hour into the stream) which rather nicely illustrates the ebb and flow of these snowballing DOTA games, where one team can start out pretty strong over the other team and by the end of the match, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

I still keep wanting to play the actual game but always keep getting turned off by the reputed toxicity of MOBA players (aka a complete 180 from the GW2 community) as well as the amount of -time- it would take to learn enough to get past the gatekeeping layer of impatient ‘blame-others’ players.

Maybe if I wait long enough, the devs will figure out a way to manage the culture. I hear LOL has started outright banning toxic players.

Blaugust

In blogging news, Belghast is challenging bloggers to write a post every day for the month of August.

I’m kinda looking forward to the extra posts I’ll get to read from participants.

I’m probably not going to participate as I’ve more or less settled on a comfortable 1-3 day pace for myself, but it’s a good idea for those who haven’t yet tried the experiment of writing at a habitual pace.

When I first started blogging, I definitely made myself post once daily or every two days or so. It’s just a way to both make a commitment to yourself to post as well as get your blog out there to readers and search engines to pick you up.

(I have gotten slightly more lazy since then, and allowed 4-7 day lapses, but I do get antsy if I haven’t made any kind of post for a week or more and the self-nagging starts up until a post is made.)

Who knows, if the conversation picks up, I may find myself unable to resist getting a word in and posting more myself. :)

XCOM: The Blogger Edition – Part 9

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25 April, 2015

7.09am

Operation Morbid Thorn

Alien abduction in progress at Alexandria, Egypt

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From right to left, Cpl. Othnieltcs, Cpl. Bhagpuss, Lt. Izlain and Lt. J3w3l disembark from the transport.

Besides the heavily armored MEC trooper, the rest of the team is equipped with the new carapace armor.

We’ve also invested in a S.C.O.P.E advanced targeting module for Cpl. Bhagpuss, which gives a +10 to Aim. (That should help change the odds of hitting the broad side of a barn to something better than a coin toss.)

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The site appears to be some kind of temporary observatory or monitoring station.

All is disturbingly quiet. Cpl. Bhagpuss opens the door of the first building and finds no one inside.

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Cpl. Othnieltcs fans out to check the left flank.

The container tanks outside look a mite worrisome, with the possibility that they might be carrying some sort of flammable gas or liquid.

Then he hears it.

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The sounds of some shifting movement, not from the XCOM squad, but from the building adjacent to the first one.

Lt. Izlain joins Cpl. Bhagpuss inside the first building, and carefully opens the adjoining door.

Inside, is a veritable nest of aliens.

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A pair of Seekers, who promptly go into stealth.

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And a duo of Thin Men, doing something nefarious to their abductee.

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They scatter for cover.

Lt. Izlain only has a 57% chance to hit the Thin Man from across the room, from where he’s using the doorway as cover, but at the moment, there’s not enough pay in the whole world that could induce someone to step in there just yet.

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It will have to do.

His aim, as usual, is spot on.

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Unfortunately, it looks like the Commander has to invest in better guns soon. Only 2 damage. Everything’s still alive in there.

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The alien duo drop into Overwatch. Goodness knows where the stealthed Seekers have gone.

This would have been a good time for Lt. J3w3l’s battle scanner, but she’s busy backing up Cpl. Othnieltcs outside.

And a good thing too, because out of nowhere, a pair of Floaters rocket up with their characteristic scream.

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Cpl. Othnieltcs’ overwatch shot misses.

Feeling a little exposed with no ability to take cover, and all these potentially flammable canisters in the way, Cpl. Othnieltcs uses his superior mobility to hustle back under the sniper’s watchful eye.

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Both drop into overwatch and lie in wait for the first alien to fly by.

(Hey, if LOS around a corner is good enough for MMOs… We can play the same trick here.)

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Meanwhile, inside the building, there’s an almost tangible sense of danger in the air. Like something bulky is standing or floating in the doorway.

(It’s kind of a dead giveaway where you hold down right click and find out that you aren’t allowed to move into the room at all.

Hmm, maybe ‘dead’ was not the best choice of words to use, eh?)

There’s nothing for it but to wait, though. Neither soldier has a frag grenade that would justify moving them out of position, and Cpl. Bhagpuss can’t move and fire his rocket launcher.

Better to just cover each other in overwatch. They’ve got more armor now, right?

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The first Floater outside screams its way around the corner, and then screams again as Cpl. Othnieltcs minigun turns it into Swiss cheese for 6 points of damage.

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Inside, we have the expected Seeker strike, strangling Lt. Izlain for 2 points of damage.

Guess it’s all on Cpl. “Broad Side” Bhagpuss now.

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84% chance to hit and 50% chance to critical at this range.

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The angle’s awkward, but it’s a hit!

Though only for 3 points of damage.

It does, however, force it to recoil off Lt. Izlain and free him to catch his breath.

The wounded Seeker jumps near to the door the squad used to enter the building.

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The Bullet Swarm ability on Heavies allows them to fire twice in a turn if their first action was firing the primary weapon.

Cpl. Bhagpuss takes aim again, with a 68% chance to hit and 50% chance to critical.

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And finishes it off for good this time.

Outside, joint overwatch fire from Cpl. Othnieltcs and Lt. J3w3l takes care of the second Floater.

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(Love the corner. All hail the mighty corner.)

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Inside, that tangible sense of foreboding is still making it impossible to enter the room.

Welp, I guess we know what’s coming again.

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Yep. Called it.

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Cpl. Bhagpuss repeats his “84% chance to hit, 50% chance to critical” shot again.

This time it criticals for 6 damage and drenches Lt. Izlain in a shower of defensive stealth smokescreen as the broken machine crashes to the ground.

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(His armor, alas, does not have the right materials and surfaces to interact with the vapor and help him go invisible like the Seeker does.)

Outside, Cpl. Othnieltcs advances again, and picks up a Meld canister signature.

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The earlier one was lost, since there was no way in hell that Lt. Izlain and Cpl. Bhagpuss were going to dash into the second building (between being exposed to lots of  Thin Man shots and spit, and later a practical impossibility when the Seekers were physically blocking the doorway.)

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This one, though, seems clear enough.

Perhaps the Floaters were previously guarding it.

Cpl. Othnieltcs will pick it up in the next turn.

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It’s time for the pair in the building to venture into the second room.

All is quiet again, and assuming the Thin Men were in cover where we last saw them, the Commander orders Lt. Izlain to move up slightly to the full cover of the pillar on the left.

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To everyone’s surprise, a Thin Man pops up from where he was previously crouching unseen and takes a reaction shot at Lt. “Bad Luck” Izlain.

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That’s 3 damage of hot plasma pistol burns to the chest.

Okay, that’s seriously taking protectiveness testing of the new carapace armor a little too far.

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Wanting to return the favor, Lt. Izlain takes aim for a 92% chance to hit and 10% chance to critical.

This is the previously wounded Thin Man, so 1 damage is all it takes to kill it.

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The shot misses…

Cpl. Bhagpuss is somehow just out of line of sight of this sneaky little git and can’t fire.

It may have been a slight tactical misstep to dash up to the telescope in the center of the room and wait for the next turn, instead of moving up to the furthest railing and seeing if the Thin Man was in line of sight then.

(The Commander was generally nervous about moving up too far and finding more aliens lurking in wait to take advantage of a separated squad.)

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The slimy little Thin Man repositions itself…

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…flanking Cpl. Bhagpuss from behind and nails him for 4 damage.

All this, when it’s only got 1 bar of health left!

What is it? Some kind of Thin Man hero?

Heroes become martyrs though.

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Two can play at that reposition and flank game.

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91% chance to hit, 50% chance to critical…

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…and a full automatic burst from Cpl. Bhagpuss’ LMG finally puts paid to the wannabe alien legend.

Outside, Cpl. Othnieltcs has retrieved the Meld canister and the MEC trooper and sniper duo move up to enter the building from the side doors.

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One disadvantage of moving too quickly with powered mechanical limbs, it’s impossible to stop and turn on a dime.

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Cpl. Othnieltcs crashes through the first door to find the last Thin Man unexpectedly in that small room.

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It gets to take a 4 damage reaction shot as the MEC trooper rushes right past.

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By the time Cpl. Othnieltcs screeches to a stop, he’s well into the next room.

Oh well, he’s got 14 armor and health bars to work through anyway.

And the Thin Man really doesn’t have that kind of time.

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Who knows if aliens think or dream? But if they did, I imagine the last thought going through this one’s head would be “Life’s so terribly unfair.”

A sniper lying in wait outside to cut off any hopes of escape.

In the other direction, 99% chance to hit, 60% to critical, from a minigun wielded by a ten-foot tall mechanical exoskeleton suit.

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That’s all she wrote.

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Operation Morbid Thorn ends at 5.09am.

6 aliens killed.

0 XCOM operatives lost.

1 out of 2 Meld canisters recovered.

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All in a day’s work for our experienced XCOM squad.

The carapace armor seems to be working relatively well. Our only casualty is Lt. Izlain who has to take 4 days to recover from first-degree burns to the chest and some minor bruising around the neck.

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We also seem to have picked up some extra medals. Any nominations?

Hooray, with this post, we’ve finally caught up to the present day and I get to play XCOM again shortly.

I do hope the long interval hasn’t left me too out of practice…