Operation Cryptic Mother

XCOM: Enemy Within

June 6, 2015. Operation Cryptic Mother.

It was the beginning of the third month. We had a full squad, laser weapons, and carapace armor was just a few days away. Or did we already have the armor? I can't remember. Anyway, we were in decent shape overall despite having lost some soldiers along the way. One of our satellites detected a landed UFO. I geared up a squad of Majors and assorted lower ranked soldiers and headed out.

That's when Big Sky fucked us.

He put us down on top of a hill within clear view of the UFO. We stepped off of Voodoo Three-One right into a shitstorm. Turn one, move one - instantly spotted three Mutons. Everyone is standing there in the open with nowhere to go except sideways, spreading everyone out. Turn two - two Seekers, the perfect enemy to attack a spread out squad. Turn three - an overwatching Mechtoid and its Sectoid buddy charge in. Turn four - three more Mutons because why not.

Aside from taking that first step and spotting the first three Mutons all the rest of the aliens just wandered in by themselves, one turn after the other. I would have laughed if I hadn't been crying.

I think the turning point was when our Heavy, Major Shaojie 'Chilong' Zhang, was critically hit taking his good aim, high health, and explosives with him. Everyone else had scopes and nanofiber vests to try to boost their shitty aim and scant few hitpoints. I would've killed Bradford myself for a few grenades at that point. Shortly after that our Snap Shot sniper was strangled by a seeker. Then our Squad Sight sniper, Major Rodrigo 'Godfather' Moreno, my most decorated soldier, was killed. I knew then and there we would all die on that hill.

It's down to two assaults and a support now, and we're pinned in the corner of the map. There is literally nowhere to go. One assault in half cover takes a hit but survives in critical condition. The support runs down next to his fallen comrade and revives him. The assault makes it back to our hiding place in the corner, the support doesn't. He gave his life to save another.

Now we're an army of two huddled behind a tree stump.

Did I miss the part where I was told this was the evac tutorial?

What now, evac? Too late, I should've done that after the Mechtoid showed up. Jang, Mr. Lightning Reflexes, isn't fast enough to pull the overwatch shots and make it down the hill to full cover which is major bull. The other assault doesn't have Lightning Reflexes, but he is fast enough so he risks the dash down to the tree at the bottom of the hill. He spots the sole surviving alien and somehow isn't spotted himself. Jang creeps down the hill just fast enough to recharge their Run & Guns.

The Muton doesn't move. It's just sitting there waiting for us to come down the hill. Little does it know we're already down, ready to strike. A couple of Run & Guns and two flanking shots later the last of the aliens that had charged the hill and killed four of our squad was dead.

I was pretty sure the Outsider was the last alien standing, but we made our way inside the UFO slowly just in case I was wrong. I wasn't, and the Outsider went down in a single shot.

I've never had a mission like that before. Starting so close to the UFO. All the aliens just wandering in and activating by themselves. The knock-down, drag-out, pinned down, six on ten fire fight. I lost some good soldiers on that hill, but damn it was fun! What a great game.


Old Gaming Rig!

It's kind of cool to look back on my previous blog post and see the changes I've made to this machine.

  • Mobo: EVGA 780i SLI FTW - the Asus would fail to boot most of them time, the worst customer service experience ever
  • Video: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked - the 280 was getting long in the tooth, Tested's review of the 560 Ti made me upgrade
  • Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer - the Titanium wouldn't fit in the PCI slot next to the video card if I remember correctly
  • HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM (2 in RAID 1) - I ran out of space, simple as that
  • Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW

New Gaming Rig!

It's been about four and a half years since I built my gaming rig and it's performance is dropping fast so I figured it was time to build it's replacement. So here she is!

  • Mobo: Asus P5N72-T Premium
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450
  • RAM: Corsair Dominator 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
  • Video: XFX GeForce GTX280 XXX Edition (GX280NZDDU)
  • Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional
  • PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 1,000W
  • HDD: WD Caviar 500GB 7200 RPM (2 in RAID 1)
  • Optical: Asus DVD Burner with LightScribe
  • Optical: Asus DVD-ROM
  • CPU Cooler: Rosewill RCX-Z775-EX
  • Case: Antec 900
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

Future Upgrades:

  • Monitor: Samsung 2253BW 22" 2ms DVI Widescreen LCD
  • Monitor Stand: Ergotron Triple Display Lift Stand
  • Video: MSI Radeon HD 2600PRO 512MB (for dual secondary monitors)