XCOM - My Little Pony style! · 12:35pm
As you know, I'm really into the new XCOM game that was released late last year. I even wrote a fanfic about it, XCOM - Equestria Unknown, in which an XCOM team went to Equestria and died horribly because they are awful. Of course, I am a far better player than that, such things would never happen in my games.
As a bit of fun, I decided to make an all-pony team in my latest game. I'm playing the Classic Ironman version, which is difficult plus you can't reload if it goes wrong. All decisions are final! After a disastrous mission on board an alien battleship where I lost most of my best soldiers, I thought "What the hell, let's go pony!"
Here we go! All your favourite characters, now with big guns! Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Twilight are support class, Fluttershy is the heavy, Rarity is the assault and Pinkie Pie is the sniper. I also gave Pinkie Pie my one archangel armour so she can fly (in retrospect it would have been funnier if that were Twilight, ho ho) while everyone else has to make do with a mix of titan armour for extra protection and skeleton armour for extra dodging ability.
Weapons are a mix of laser and plasma, so these bad boys should pack a punch! The aliens won't know what hit them! That's XCOM, baby!
Aliens are attacking Moscow and we need to stop them! This is a terror attack mission which means that somewhere on the map are 18 civilians which the aliens are trying to kill. You need to rescue them, or at least one, or the country it occurs in pulls out of the XCOM project and all the other countries in the continent panic.
Operation Twisted Fog? That doesn't sound so bad! It's not "Bloody Death" or something. It'll be fine!
Okay, straight away we have a horrible situation. This is not a good map. I have had some very bad experiences on this map which I do not wish to discuss.
The aim is to rescue civilians. Unfortunately there aren't any nearby, so we're going to have to push in quite deep if we want to rescue the requisite one to not fail the mission. Unfortunately there's only half cover to protect us, and most of the cover is cars. Cars tend to explode. Meanwhile the aliens will be on the roadway, which is high ground thus giving them better cover and aim, and lots of places to hide behind.
I have had some very bad experiences on this map.
I decide to push forwards and fan out. The best way to do this is to run two soldiers to each furthest edge of the area you are moving to. This reduces the likelihood of discovering aliens on the last move of your turn. As this is a Terror Mission, you can mostly expect Chryssalids (scuttling things which lay eggs in your face), Floaters (they fly) and Mutons (big guys with big guns).
Fluttershy and Rarity take the lead as they have the worst aim, while everyone else holds back. Straight away we uncover two Heavy Floaters. This isn't good, because Heavy Floaters can fly, have powerful weapons that can kill you in one shot, heavy armour and grenades. This means they need to die quickly.
Unfortunately, this is what I'm dealing with here. Yeah. 7% to hit. With no-one on my squad able to shoot worth a damn, no skills like suppression to keep them in check, and no hope to kill the aliens in one turn, my choices are to hunker down (which increases my defense), take some shots, or go into overwatch (which makes them shoot if the enemies move, but if the enemy can see you in overwatch, they won't move, they'll just shoot at you).
I take a mixture of these depending on where people are, and lay down a smoke screen.
Then three more Heavy Floaters move into view. That's five Heavy Floaters together. I don't think I've ever seen that many!
With the odds against me, I need to get rid of those floaters FAST. Fluttershy brings the pain with her one rocket, and uses it to explode the cars the floaters are hiding behind, murdering one and severely injuring the other. Just uh, ignore the body of the civilian being flung into the air by the explosion. It's war! These things happen!
My main mistake this mission was to put Pinkie Pie up in the air. Snipers are excellent in Archangel Armour if they have the Squadsight ability, which means they can target anything anyone else can see. If they don't have that, they can't hit much, and putting them in the air just means they're easier to shoot. So the alien move results in everyone shooting Pinkie Pie, until she falls from the sky, mortally injured.
I decide to use Twilight to save Pinkie with the team's sole medpack, and then everyone else brings the pain on the Heavy Floaters! Pew pew pew! The odds are a lot better now!
...And then these guys show up to the party while I'm trying to mop up the floaters. Because I'm an idiot I ran Rarity forward for an easy shot on one of the Floaters, which uncovered these fellows. A Sectopod, which is a gigantic tank with huge lasers and missiles which can fire twice in a round, and two Drones, which have their own weapons, but can also repair the Sectopod. God. Damn. Look at those red bars. Those are its armour. God. Damn.
So Rarity takes her shot at the Floater, because she's out of movement points, and is stuck in front of the giant death machine! The Floater still has one health point left, but hey, that's what friends are for, and Applejack makes the kill.
"HAY GUYZ!" says the Sectopod. "COME OVER HERE, IMMA HAVIN A PARTY!" So two more Heavy Floaters turn up out of nowhere. If you are keeping score, these are not good odds.
Rarity survives the Sectopod's shot (which also blows up the car she's behind) so I decide that my theme will be 'pull the hell back'. I start to move everyone back to hopefully limit the number of enemies I have to fight.
What I forgot was that the Sectopod has a ridiculous number of shots, and can make shots and then go on Overwatch. When I tried to pull Rarity back further, the Sectopod used its overwatch shot to blast her! Rarity was mortally wounded and needed a medkit to stabilise and save her life, or she would bleed out within three turns. Unfortunately I WASTED my medkit on Pinkie Pie. Rarity's only hope to survive was that I could kill all the aliens on the map within three turns.
Spoiler: That's is very unlikely
How will I pull this terrible situation out of the fire? Can Twilight, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Applejack save the civilians and defeat the aliens? Keep watching to find out!
UPDATE: The rest of the mission can be found here