Author Topic: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?  (Read 4738 times)

Offline tkzv

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Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:05:22 am »
Starting tomorrow I'm going to play The X-COM Files. In case you don't know, it starts with 2 agents of a secret international service traveling around the world (by public transport and rented cars), and shooting paranormal phenomena. With usual research, base building, agent hiring...

I'm accepting requests for renaming newly hired agents. Name, surname and country. I can't change an agent's sex, can I? Thus you can either give 2 name variants or a gender-neutral name :) I'll try to keep them all alive, but will fire the ones with psychic power below 50.

I won't record or stream video. Screenshots will appear here.

To begin with, let's decide:

1. Where to put the starting base? I don't think it matters much in this mod. I always picked Hungary out of habit. Should I try something else for variety?

2. What to research first?
Medicine — for Trauma Pack and later Bio Lab.
Basic Operations — for dogs and rats and Cover: Workers, and still later Intelligence Center.
Non-Standard Weapons — to buy weapons like recovered.
Personal Protection — for Leather Coat and later Kevlar Vest.
Logistics — for 4-agent Van. But slower.
Or everything at once. Much slower.

If you are not registered here, you can post anonymously at Linux.Org.Ru: https://www.linux.org.ru/forum/games/15071524 Please, avoid tabooed words and national/political/religious flaming.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 04:16:00 am by tkzv »

Offline Bobit

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 07:09:44 am »
Logistics > Bio Lab is the agreed upon optimal start. Double the men on some missions, then boost your research for little investment.

Should also build and stock 1-2 extra gyms immediately imo. Money isn't a problem, blood is.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 07:16:34 am by Bobit »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 12:13:11 am »
Logistics > Bio Lab is the agreed upon optimal start. Double the men on some missions, then boost your research for little investment.
I feel that Bio Lab takes forever to reach, while Leather Coat remains useful up to cult bases. Let's try your suggestion anyway.


Here's the 1st month.

0. As suggested at LOR, I moved the 1st base to the Caspian sea. Somewhere to Volgograd region of Russia.


1. I set the modules in a frequently suggested defensive way.


2. But I don't think I need the corridor.


3. Set the agents for training.


4. As requested at LOR, I renamed one of them to Shaman Ashmanovich. From Prague Brno, Czechia. At least, he'll make a fast pilot.

EDIT: My information was out of date, not Prague, but Brno.


5. Starting equipment. Glocks are OK. I'll keep the shotguns for zombies, but won't buy any more.


11, 12. Time to buy some essentials. Taser pistols (2 more for new hires), more Glock clips (I run out of those pretty fast), lights (expensive!) and fire extinguishers that double as smoke cover. They'll arrive in 24 hours.



15. The scientists will focus on Basic Operations. I agree that 2 agents is way too few.

Edit: DAMN!!! I meant Logistics!!!! Well, lost a week.

16. And the 2-day long month is over. The score of 0 means there were no UFOs I missed.


Next month — hiring another team of 2. Should I build another base to shorten travel time? I have enough money for 1. British Columbia or Taiwan look like good locations.

P.S. Screenshots are a bit too big. Next time I'll make them in a smaller window.
P.P.S. Pasted them in the text.
P.P.P.S. Learned about "width" parameter.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:33:09 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 12:55:47 am »
17. 1st mission.


18. In South America.


19. Some mysterious dangerous animals have killed several people.


21. Upon arrival I find that only 1 man has been killed. On lowest difficulty that means fighting only 1 monster. Good!


22. Chan is strong enough to carry both pistols and an electric club in case of close combat.


23. Shaman — not so much. Hopefully, 4 taser shots would be enough.


24. Here we are. 1 civilian and no monsters in sight. Let's move out. But be ready to retreat if the enemy proves too tough.


25. The civilian is armed with a pick. That's bad — he's more likely to attack the enemy. With rookies' precision, they may be more dangerous than the monster. Than again, unarmed civilians attack monsters with fists too.


28, 27. Here's the monster ­— a shambler ­— a giant polar sloth. Last time I tried shotguns against them, buckshot didn't work. In that mission a group of shamblers attacked a tank and tore it apart. Too far for rookies, even with Glocks. I need to come closer. And fast — before he reaches the civilians.



Waiting for the next turn...
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:37:30 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 01:32:19 am »
30. Turn 2. Another civilian showed up. Unarmed. The shambler ignored the man with the pick and went for the agents. Chan made a reaction shot and missed. At least the beast came close enough for aimed shots.


31. Chan made it bleed. Good! Now it loses several hit points every turn. (Out of 100-150 if I remember correctly.)


32. Moved Shaman to the point where he's unlikely to hit friends. He's a better marksman than Chan. What I like about Glock is its automatic fire capability. Though the range is still too far for that, I'll use aimed shots for now.


33. Turn 3. Wounded shambler hesitated approaching the agents and kept circling the crack. Good. Let's shoot some more.


34. Turn 4. Out of 8 shots only 1 hit and shambler came closer. Should I retreat? Or one last burst from each agent? (I mean aimed shots.)


35. Turn 5. Most shots on turn 4 hit and the shambler stayed in its place. One 2 more bursts?


36. One shot was enough. Maybe I could've run to the beast and stunned it. Well, there'd be many more missions and many more shamblers.


37. Shaman hit the target more times and got more experience. Anyway, Chan is still better in everything, but accuracy and bravery.


38. I could sell the corpse, but I'll keep it for study. Much later, I'm afraid.




40. Before the 1st team returned to the base, the crew for the 2nd car arrived. At least, they are better marksmen.



Tomorrow I'll start patrolling Europe in search of UFOs. Cars have better detection probability than HQ, but very short radius.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:43:04 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 01:26:28 am »
41, 42, 43. This is what I was so angry about. I wanted Logistics, but clicked the wrong item and didn't notice. Well, I do need to research it someday, anyway. And "Cover: Sportsmen" gives an interesting recurring mission.




45. Should I focus on Logistics, or should I reach for everythng? Decisions, decisions...


46, 48. Church of Dagon low-ranking member detected on Trinidad, in the Atlantic ocean.



49, 51. Red Dawn low-ranking member detected in Khartoum, Sudan.



53, 54. And crop circles somewhere in Nigeria.


At least those tasks don't expire too quickly. But I'll have to move cars from patrolling Europe and risk missing a UFO.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:46:53 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 01:46:16 am »
56. The Red Dawn site was closest. It is often called a "cult", but it's really a drug-dealing gang with some interesting tech. I suggested the authour to change "cult" to something else, but he cannot think of a more fitting name. And neither can I.


57. The enemies in Cult Apprehension missions often carry firearms, but about half of them don't. I try to use this opportunity to grab as many prisoners for interrogation, as possible. Besides, the prisoners mean money reward.


60. A typical run-down urban area from TFTD tileset. No gangers in sight. I think, it's safe to spread out.


63, 64. It's turn 3 already. During the hidden movement at turns 1 and 2 I heard slamming doors. Here they are.



69. Turn 4. Chan tried to approach the entrance and stopped when he noticed the ganger.


70. Just a baseball bat. No need for guns, then.


71. And he's in taser range!


72. But the fence gets in the way :(


75. Chan moved 1 step closer and stunned him. No points for Shaman this time.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:51:09 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 02:40:07 am »
78, 79 And on its way back from Sudan the car noticed the first UFO. Probably, small scout with a single Sectoid. Easy catch.



As if :( I tried various ways to chase it, but in the end the UFO always left Earth without landing :(

84. Back to Church of Dagon supporter arrest.


87, 88. It's night, but I don't want to waste time with UFOs around. Grab the flashlights that double as clubs. I'd prefer electric clubs, though.



90. Tropical island tileset from TFTD.


92. (Switched to night vision.) Turn 3, and I just found an open door. All other doors are closed, which means the cultist is likely to be still nearby.


94. Turn 4. Yes, here he is.


95. A crossbow. I'll still risk taking him alive.


96. I don't know what's with his patrol route, but he's still there.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:55:08 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 02:43:09 am »
97. I thought there was another staircase there :(


98. Doors are closed, probably the cultist still hasn't left.


99. Ready to break in.


100. Okoth opens the door for Skjolsvold to save time units.


102. Yep, he's been walking those 2 rooms all this time.


104. 1 taser shot was enough. I could've brought Okoth to let him practice flashlight melee, but I decided not to risk point-blank crossbow.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:58:13 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 02:45:50 am »
111. The simplest variant of crop circles mission. 10 turns to find and stun or kill all farmers. On lowest difficulty there's only 1 farmer. I'll keep the guns on the belts.


112. I didn't even need to look for the farmer. Just turn around. By the way, the blue puddles(?) inside the crop circle is a valuable elerium-containing waste.


113. The farmer is unarmed. Good.


114. And he isn't running away.


115. I'm pretty sure he wants to whack the agents' faces.


116. Let's give the agents some melee practice.


117. Caught him alive. Great. I really hate killing farmers. They are just poor people caught in this mess through no fault of their own.


« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 01:00:42 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 02:49:08 am »
118, 119. Another monster — on the Sinai peninsula. I can spare a patrol car.



120. The most common text.


121. The desert. No monsters in sight, but 1 civilian.


122. A Bedouin warrior. I like the new inventory picture.

Which reminds me of a funny episode. The first time I met Arabs in this mod (also a desert mission), one was armed with an AK, and the other one had no weapons, but dynamite on his belt. But no, he wasn't a suicide bomber, he used it as a grenade.

124. Turn 2. Not the best vantage point, but I did find 1 monster.


125. A scorpion. Could've been much worse.


126. Turn 3. The scorpion is in the black area beyond the bottom big hill. The Bedouin walked through the cave under the other big hill. I hope he wouldn't get in my line of fire.


127. Turn 4. Yes, he did :)


128. Left some TUs for reaction fire.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 01:04:37 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2019, 02:52:12 am »
130, 129. The scorpion approached Skjolsvold and got wounded with reaction fire. Can Skjolsvold stun it now?



132. No, he couldn't. His both shots missed :( Should've used the club, perhaps.


133. Okoth is too far to stun the scorpion. He'll shoot the Glock then.


134, 135. And there were no other enemies. Skjolsvold got some reactions training, which the gym at the base doesn't give.



Next time — capturing the landed UFO.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 01:06:23 am by tkzv »

Offline Bobit

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 07:30:22 am »
"capturing the landed UFO" you really are new to this mod, huh? This should be good.

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2019, 02:42:05 am »
138. A patrolling team noticed a UFO. Either a medium scout or a fighter. And I don't think fighters appear this early.


139. Somewhere over former Yugoslavia, I think.


140. It's going to be a night mission. When I tried to wait, the UFO left at midnight.

I found electro-flares the best way to light the battlescape. In this mod they activate on impact. (By the way, they need to be first activated before the battle or on the battlefield.) Against aliens it doesn't matter if the agents are lit — they can see in the dark quite well. Flashlights are too heavy to throw far, and aliens start shooting far beyond the range of flashlights. Some players suggested lighting the scenery with flare guns, but I haven't discovered one yet.

141. A farm. Great. A lot of obstacles to negate aliens' range of sight and precision. Still, there are plenty of dreadful open fields.

The car is brightly lit by flashlights. If I wanted to start the mission in the dark, I would've left them at the base.

142. This is how it looks. A 5x5 map with a medium scout.


144. I started with throwing flares. Each agent can throw 3 flares per turn if he picks them from his belt. After that agents were shot several times from the bottom floor and the roof of the top (NW?) building and bottom-left (South?). And psionic attacks on Skjolsvold. (Does that mean he's weaker?) On subsequent turn both agents got killed before they could hide. Repeatedly. Ergo — start over at turn 1.


148. Turn 2. After some trial and error the agents have found a safe place. Barely — if Skjolsvold ended previous turn any closer to windows, he got panicked. Now, the question is: how long will this place stay safe? Should they try to spread more light?


151. Turn 4. Skjolsvold had to hide deeper in the stable, or else he got panicked at the end of turn 3. Which means most flares were thrown by Okoth. Unfortunately, his throwing range is much shorter.


153. Turn 5. The telepath got Skjolsvold again and I had to move him still deeper. Meanwhile Okoth noticed a patrolling Sectoid.


156. At 43% precision Okoth managed to hit the Sectoid twice. There's no bleeding — probably the shots only weakened the force field. Another his shot broke open a convenient entrance to the nearby house. Now, Skjolsvold can neither see nor shoot the alien — looks like his height is just right for the fence to block his line of sight and line of fire. The screenshot can't show it, but the 2 brighter sections of the fence are actually blinking, indicating they are the obstacle.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 01:11:53 am by tkzv »

Offline tkzv

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Re: Let's play The X-COM Files, shall we?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2019, 04:08:36 am »
167. If the fence blocks Skjolsvold, he should stand at the other side of the house. And it worked.

I more or less figured out the patrol route of the the Sectoid from the rightmost (NE?) building (a hayloft?). He walks from the entrance to the middle of the front wall and back. He got hit several more times, but still isn't bleeding.

Skjolsvold successfully hid from him beyond the open door, but then got psionically attacked again. Last turn went without psionic attacks. I get the impression that Okoth blocks the line of sight for the telepath or his spotter. There must be an alien in one of the bottom left (South?) buildings.

168. Still turn 9. Skjolsvold is out of TUs, Okoth shot the Sectoid only once. That was enough.


169. Turn 10. No more Sectoids emerged from that house. No more psionic attacks. Did I kill the only telepath? Should I storm the UFO while most of the crew is away? I wonder if it would be easier to capture an UFO and then defend it from aliens...


170. Turn 11. No shots from the hay loft, but Skjolsvold got panicked. Do they see him through the hull? Okoth can either wait or storm the saucer alone.


171. Turn 12. One of the most enjoyable changes in OpenXcom is the ability to open doors without walking through them. So Okoth opened the door and shot a 2-shot burst at the nearest alien. Missed both times. The far alien shot Okoth once and killed the alien between them!


172. Okoth ran to the remaining Sectoid and shot a burst point-blank. No bleeding.


173. Turn 13. During the enemy turn the Sectoid lost at close combat, shot thrice in wrong directions and walked away. Meanwhile Skjolsvold continued to panic, despite improving morale. Good thing he didn't run away.


174. After that Okoth killed the alien with 2 bursts.


175. Turn 15. Okoth picked an alien pistol. Clicking it opens a menu with "Snap shot" and "Throw" items, so it probably doesn't require research.


176. Nobody shot the agents while they approached the house. Nobody on the bottom floor, no open doors.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 01:15:10 am by tkzv »