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Let's Play X-Com: UFO Defense! (ironman, superhuman, starting tech & council funding only)

FandaFanda Hang a shining starupon the highest boughRegistered User regular
aeHdRtn.png

When I learned as a child that television broadcasts were emanating from earth out into space, where they might some day be received by alien intelligences, two thoughts occurred to me. First, that we were embarrassing ourselves on a cosmic scale. And second, that embarrassment might not be the worst of it. What would those unknown intelligences do once they traced the signal to its source?

AhXUdT4.png

Then we dispatched the Arecibo message, which contained the following information:
  • Where we are.
  • How many of us there are.
  • What we're made of.
These are all things you want to know if you intend to launch an invasion. Or visit a smorgasbord. Did no one step in at any point to question whether we should be ringing the galactic dinner bell? Well, now it's too late.

CH74Z.png

You maniacs. You classy, classy maniacs. You finally did it. You built an edifice of charity and gentility that reached to the stars. And out there, in the chill void of space, something horrible took notice.

YxIpcK0.jpg

They're coming to steal our women. Also our men, our pets, our livestock, our houseplants, and anything else that might fall under the general rubric of bio-mass. They're not going to get it without a fight.

And as befits the gentility of the Penny Arcade community, we're going to make sure it's a fair fight. Stealing our enemy's weapons to use against him clearly violates the spirit of the Marquess of Queensberry rules. So we'll be using our starting technology only.

Furthermore, in keeping with the eleemosynary spirit of Child's Play, our budget will come exclusively from voluntary donations. No piracy or shady commercial enterprises are allowed. So we'll be restricted to council funding only.

No alien artifacts will be used in battle or sold for profit. Nothing we research will be manufactured except the ship needed for the final mission. It'll be gunpowder, cattle prods, and cold war surplus fighter planes against the worst the galaxy has to offer.

sCKfEeF.png


WHAT'S ALL THIS THEN?
X-Com: UFO Defense is objectively the greatest game ever made. I volunteered to LP it with onerous gameplay restrictions if the Steam thread could raise $9000 for Child's Play in December. They raised over $9200. Buncha lunatics.

HASN'T THIS BEEN DONE BEFORE?
Many times, and I won't pretend to have Fishman's narrative flair. On the other hand, I've tried to find an LP done on these particular terms and come up dry. Most challenge LPs seem to limit the strategic or the tactical side of the game, but not both. Perhaps we're breaking new ground here. Horrible, horrible ground.

A SMALL CONCESSION TO MODERNITY
We're going to use OpenXcom for this playthrough. It's an open source re-creation of the original engine that fixes all the bugs and provides an astonishing array of new options and quality of life features. If you've ever wanted to try this game, but were put off by the semi-scrutable interface, OpenXcom is for you.

SO, HOW DO I GET MY BRAINS BLOWN OUT FOR HUMANITY?
If you made a donation during the charity drive, your name is already in the pool; no further action required. Otherwise, !sign up in the thread below.

Molybdenum wrote: »
Soon you will be as tadpoles finding their legs, heaving yourselves out of the muscle butter baths and onto the beaches, croaking the songs of war.
CroakerBCEvmaAlsarwiltingcB557YerMumTeeManArithon32IoloElvenshaeHyphyKezzyElderlycrawfishDigitalSynMrVyngaardGONG-00an_altWraith260StormwatcherThe Escape Goat38thDoeRelemanwiththemachinegunGeneral_ArmchairRhan9Edith Upwardscrucialityfactoritalianranma
«13456772

Posts

  • FandaFanda Hang a shining star upon the highest boughRegistered User regular


    To get started, we need to choose a location for our first base.

    75qDjaw.png

    A European base would cover the largest number of funding nations and protect the largest portion of our budget. And while our first base is free, subsequent bases cost an amount of money to build that varies by location. Europe is the most expensive, so it makes financial sense to take this as our free base.


    aOC4xxr.png

    The United States usually provides far more funding than any other single nation. If we lose the USA from the council, we are boned beyond belief, and starting in North America mitigates that risk considerably. North America might be thought of as the conservative choice for this reason.


    xd5aFjQ.png

    Asia's aggregate funding is usually greater than North America's, and Japan can sometimes rival the USA as top funding nation. Asian real estate is cheaply bought, however, making it more attractive as a secondary site.


    My plan is to get a base up and running in each of these locations as soon as possible, giving us radar coverage of every funding nation save for Brazil, South Africa, and Australia.

    However, it will take months of construction to bring the new facilities online. Our starting base will have to see us through to the spring. So, where should it be?

    Also, we're going to need a name for our base.

    Molybdenum wrote: »
    Soon you will be as tadpoles finding their legs, heaving yourselves out of the muscle butter baths and onto the beaches, croaking the songs of war.
    ElvenshaeIoloRainfallHyphyKezzyJusticeforPlutoWraith260Stormwatchershoeboxjeddy
  • VelmeranVelmeran Registered User regular
    Asia - Old Neo-ChongQing

    Also, yes, we need more of these threads.

    Vechloran.png
    MrVyngaard
  • EvmaAlsarEvmaAlsar Birmingham, EnglandRegistered User regular
    UK - UKIP HQ
    (Gettit? Because they hate illegal aliens! Oh, the wit!)

    Spoilered for people who haven't played through this and don't know the tech tree
    Does the restrictions include being unable to build the hyperwave decoder? Because if so, you are a masochist, Fanda.

    cB557MrVyngaardAntinumeric
  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Let's go XCOM Europe, if its as expensive as you say.

    And for the love of science, !sign up.

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    What?


    Not putting the base on the North Pole?


    Sir I must state my extreme dissatisfaction. How, exactly, do you propose we deliver Christmas cheer (in the form of lead) to these unwashed aliens if we aren't going to try as hard as we can to be Santa?

    oh also !sign up for Interceptor-1. @Brogey got all the fun toys in Fishman's runth--

    wait I'm not getting any fancy toys this time around am I?




    :(

    UA1OmVB.png
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Cannon fodder !sign up

    Europe for base.

  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    edited January 2015


    Ah, hell. !sign up for ground forces. I will try not to be the worst this time.

    Edit: I should probably add my character choice to here. Male 2.

    cB557 on
    Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits!
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    EvmaAlsar wrote: »
    UK - UKIP HQ
    (Gettit? Because they hate illegal aliens! Oh, the wit!)

    Spoilered for people who haven't played through this and don't know the tech tree
    Does the restrictions include being unable to build the hyperwave decoder? Because if so, you are a masochist, Fanda.
    Don't forget the Avenger as well. Can't even beat the game without that.

    Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits!
    Rainfall
  • YerMumYerMum Registered User regular
    !signup give me a cattle prod and a primed grenade boss, I'll show those green skinned bastards what for!

    Base in Europe, in the Alps, so we can go skiing on our downtime :D

    Rugged individualist
    Destiny Profile : http://www.bungie.net/en/Profile/254/7028016
  • TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    Europe base looks like a great option, and will keep things viable yet tense until you can secure that critical second base.

    steam_sig.png
    IolocB557
  • Arithon32Arithon32 Member of the Pinquisition Registered User regular
    I say secure Europe first

    vru37z14gk5j.png


  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    Europe - Castle Von Trapp (all mission briefings conducted via song)

    EvmaAlsarBigityElvenshaeMrVyngaardRchanen
  • chiasaur11chiasaur11 Never doubt a raccoon. Registered User regular
    Just a question, not volunteering at the moment:

    What's our policy on lasers?

  • BigityBigity Lubbock, TXRegistered User regular
    Future chrysalid zombie reporting for duty !sign up

    76561198017303226.png
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Chrysalid incubator in training, reporting for duty.
    !Sign up

    Edit: Male 4 if the choice is still open.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    I agree with Iolo!

    Also, as a donator during the Wintereenmas sale, I was supposed to buy powerups or something? I kinda forgot about that ...

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
  • FandaFanda Hang a shining star upon the highest boughRegistered User regular
    Iolo wrote: »
    Europe - Castle Von Trapp (all mission briefings conducted via song)
    Alas, Castle Von Trapp is just slightly too long. I wonder if their estate had a proper name. Trappenschloss?

    Neo-ChongQing will work without the Old. Wish I could give you guys a character count, but it's dependent on the width of the letters.
    chiasaur11 wrote: »
    What's our policy on lasers?
    Regarding lasers and decoders and other such things: if it's not in the UFOpedia at the start of the game, it's off-limits.

    The Avenger is the only exception, and only for the final mission, and only then because I have no way to vacuum-proof the Skyranger and accelerate it to near-relativistic speed.
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Also, as a donator during the Wintereenmas sale, I was supposed to buy powerups or something? I kinda forgot about that ...
    Indeed! Your menu of perks is right here.

    Also, for the folks who didn't donate, you can still choose your soldier's appearance if you like:

    Vt6dZiW.png

    Molybdenum wrote: »
    Soon you will be as tadpoles finding their legs, heaving yourselves out of the muscle butter baths and onto the beaches, croaking the songs of war.
    ElvenshaeEvmaAlsar
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Fanda wrote: »
    chiasaur11 wrote: »
    What's our policy on lasers?
    Regarding lasers and decoders and other such things: if it's not in the UFOpedia at the start of the game, it's off-limits.

    The Avenger is the only exception, and only for the final mission, and only then because I have no way to vacuum-proof the Skyranger and accelerate it to near-relativistic speed.
    ...I think this LP's gonna fill a lot of body bags.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    IolocB557RainfallElvenshaeWraith260RchanenKristmas Kthulhu
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Male 2 is objectively the best choice.

    Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits!
    wiltingLorahaloYerMumMr RayStormwatcherGeneral_Armchair
  • FrozenzenFrozenzen Registered User regular
    Starting tech only seems like... an excessive handicap. Looking forward to this.

    !sign up! male 2 ofc, as cannonfodder. I can only imagine how much of a meatgrinder this will be once you hit larger UFOs.

  • RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    Aww yeah I'm down. You ARE aware that you'll lose, right? Lasers only is viable, but this...

    We will die.

    !Sign Up female 4 will do.

    TeeMan
  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Male 4 cannon fodder plx

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    sign up!

    I don't know what for yet, but xcom and sign ups must be done.

    edit** male 1 cannon fodder.
    I feel sorry for the rest of you not living through the war.

    NotoriusBEN on
    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
    Steam - NotoriusBEN | Uplay - notoriusben | Xbox,Windows Live - ThatBEN
  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    This is going to be painful. For everyone who signs up, that is.

    I love it!

    !sign up as meat for the grinder. An autocannon with HE would be lots of fun (especially during a panic) if that can be swung.

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Gonna need cannon fodder!

    !Sign up, female #2 please

  • VelmeranVelmeran Registered User regular
    !Sign up also, since I forgot it in my initial post.

    Vechloran.png
  • BaskeBaske Registered User regular
    !sign up, I wanna be the radar operator sitting cushy in base and calling out contacts!

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Baske wrote: »
    !sign up, I wanna be the radar operator sitting cushy in base and calling out contacts!

    "Guy who gets murdered first in the base defense", check.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Baske wrote: »
    !sign up, I wanna be the radar operator sitting cushy in base and calling out contacts!

    "Guy who gets murdered first in the base defense", check.

    Nah, I'm seeing death due to massive heart attack from a steady diet of Cheetos, ranch dressing and Mt. Dew.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • BaskeBaske Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Baske wrote: »
    !sign up, I wanna be the radar operator sitting cushy in base and calling out contacts!

    "Guy who gets murdered first in the base defense", check.

    *hides in a locker*

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    you gotta face the threat head on like Karl did. Sometimes you die, but if you survive, you are legend.

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
    Steam - NotoriusBEN | Uplay - notoriusben | Xbox,Windows Live - ThatBEN
    Iolo
  • GONG-00GONG-00 Registered User regular
    It sounds like you are going to need a lot of volunteers to carry high explosives so...!Sign up

    ...and I probably just got myself added to a watch list for writing that so make sure my boom takes out a cyberdisc...

    Future Employee of Planetary Acquisitions, Inc.
    Pax Arcadia(PC) Division Agent
    pNRtexA.png
  • DuriniaDurinia Evolved from Space Potatoes Registered User regular
    You are a sick, sick person for the carnage that will come of this. Where will we post when all the forumers are dead?

    (!sign up male 2)

    For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity.
    --Mark Twain
    Elvenshae
  • FandaFanda Hang a shining star upon the highest boughRegistered User regular
    Over a three year period beginning in 1994, the historic villa owned by the Von Trapp family was meticulously disassembled, moved from the Tyrolean Alps to an enclave on the Amalfi coast, and reassembled brick-by-brick. There could be no more inconspicuous cover for a secret underground lair.

    VkdjHdC.png

    We are the gleaming sapphire in the crown of this tiny world. Let's do the species proud.

    wX7alFn.png

    Nothing terribly surprising here.
    • The USA is every bit the powerhouse we expected it to be.
    • Our current small radar fully covers $1.8 million worth of funding nations, and when we get a large radar online at the end of the month, Nigeria's tiny contribution will be protected as well.
    • The bad news is that Brazil and Australia are supplying almost $1 million of our funding.
    • Pull yourself together, Spain.

    Onward to the Trappenschloss! The default starting base layout is completely indefensible, but OpenXcom gives you the option to customize it. You place your access lift first.

    FmThdxU.png

    Then you chain other facilities off the existing ones, until you've placed them all. The process is just like building a new base.

    l5EBbM3.png

    There are a lot of different approaches to base design, but the general strategy is to use your access lift as a chokepoint between the hangars and the rest of the base. That way, invaders can only approach from one direction.

    ZjzGDFr.png

    Perfect. Let's visit those immaculately placed hangars.

    EWACjdS.png

    Lieutenant EvmaAlsar's Interceptor has twin-linked Stingrays. Lieutenant MechMantis gets our only Avalanche launcher, with a cannon as a secondary weapon. (Mudzgut has dibs on Interceptor-3, as soon as we purchase it. Interceptor-4 and subsequent warbirds remain unclaimed.)

    I sell off our excess cannons and half the cannon ammunition. Our engineers also receive their pink slips, since we won't be building anything for quite a long time.

    That done, it's time for purchases. I hire another 8 soldiers (bringing us to 16 total) and order a Tank/Rocket Launcher, plus the following sundries:

    UHDRsVu.png

    We're bumping right up against our current storage capacity. When the expansion to our General Stores finishes construction, I'll build up a proper cache of munitions.

    Finally, we need to assign a research project.

    ZUDo84w.png

    Nothing on the critical path can be researched until we recover a UFO, so the science team can daydream about laser weapons until then. We'll just have to hope for a radar contact before -


    6WgR1hu.png Commander, if I may have a word?


    ... what on earth ...?


    Tlop87M.jpg


    Oh no.


    6WgR1hu.png We are in dire need of additional scientists in the lab, Commander. Our current laboratory facilities are also completely inadequate, given the scale of the task before us. I recommend an immediate expansion -


    No no no. We are having none of this. How did you even get in here?


    6WgR1hu.png Tactical Officer Bradford sent me a link to this thread.


    I see. Excuse me for a moment.
    To: Haus Von Trapp base security
    From: The office of the Director
    Subject: Hostile entity "Bradford"

    Live capture protocols previously in effect for this target are hereby rescinded. A confirmed kill merits two weeks of paid leave. Happy hunting.
    Sorry, you were saying?


    6WgR1hu.png It's fortunate for all of us that he alerted me when he did. I could hardly stand by and let you misdirect our budget into war materials, when unprecedented opportunities for scientific advancement are at hand.


    Look, I'm building an Alien Containment facility. Is that sciencey enough for you?

    gJoUFjf.png

    6WgR1hu.png I suppose that will have to suffice for now. I look forward to its completion, Commander.


    Me too. I have an idea who the first occupant can be.

    Molybdenum wrote: »
    Soon you will be as tadpoles finding their legs, heaving yourselves out of the muscle butter baths and onto the beaches, croaking the songs of war.
    see317ElderlycrawfishcB557NotoriusBENIoloElvenshaewiltingTeeManYerMumEvmaAlsarMrVyngaardHyphyKezzyGONG-00Phoenix-DDuriniaan_altfedaykin666scherbchenWraith260Molybdenumshoeboxjeddy38thDoeReleEl MuchoErlecEdith UpwardsGeneral_ArmchairRchanenSanguineAngelKristmas Kthulhu
  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    Oh boy, base defense is going to be a delight.

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
    cB557ElvenshaeEvmaAlsarStormwatcher
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    TL;DR:
    Fanda wrote: »
    2bY9hT4.jpg

    Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits!
    IoloRainfallElvenshaeHyphyKezzyBigityMr RayWraith260MolybdenumEdith UpwardsRchanenSanguineAngel
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    This LP man... it's either going to be amazing, or incredibly depressing.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    cB557ElvenshaeTeeManMr RayMolybdenumEdith Upwards
  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    This LP man... it's either going to be amazing, or incredibly depressing.

    Amazingly depressing.

    Depressingly amazing?

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    here's the 5 month weather forecast for Earth
    as-the-world-burns-2-500x332.jpg

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
    Steam - NotoriusBEN | Uplay - notoriusben | Xbox,Windows Live - ThatBEN
    IoloElderlycrawfishcB557RainfallElvenshaeLorahalochiasaur11MrVyngaardHyphyKezzyGONG-00BigityFrozenzenDuriniaMr RayWraith260StormwatcherjdarksunEdith UpwardsRchanenfedaykin666
  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    !signup for ground fodder, male 2

«13456772
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