Yo. And... What up. Dawgs? Maybe. Ebonics aside, this is an EldritchEvil report and, as such, lacks an appropriate beginning. Maybe somebody will tell the guy he needs to get his act together.

I've decided to take Battlereporting in a new and more community-friendly direction with this report series on UFO Defense: X-COM. XCOM is a game that was published in Europe by the game company Microprose, famous for games like Master of Orion, and other classics. It gained considerable popularity across the pond, even getting ported to North America and being well received here, as well. In order for you to understand what I mean by "community-friendly" you need to grasp something about XCOM.

For the record, XCOM can be found for free on the internet, with two ways of playing it: one, by getting the original DOS version and using DosBox; or two, grabbing the windows version and applying a fan-made patch. Keep in mind, the game is abandonware, so fear not.

Right: XCOM. XCOM has two "modes" of play: the real time resource management and base building mode, and the turn-based combat mode. The Geoscape, as the base-building mode is called, runs at several speeds (5 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day) that you can adjust to allow for micromanagement, or to allow for no boring delays. The Battlescape, the other mode, is a turn-based squad combat game on a 2d map made of squares. Simple, yet elegant.

The story of the game is that aliens are causing problems on Earth, and a secret meeting in a secret place in Geneva, Switzerland has created: X-COM, the Extraterrestrial Defense Force, a secret organization of elite soldiers, scientists, engineers, spies and cleaning staff.

Now we come to the community. It is my plan to name my soldiers after battlereports.com persons. To sign up for service in X-COM, post a comment expressing your interest. You start with eight soldiers at your Base, and I will name the three with best stats after selected personalities, and one after a character of my own, to provide a basis for the fictional part of these reports. The other four will be Cannon Fodder, or CF classified soldiers. They will take enemy fire for our heroes, bravely dying to Plasma fire. Please note that X-COM is hard. Very, very hard. The first difficulty can be a bit of a cakewalk up until you hit Mutons, at which point it becomes hard. The second difficulty is challenging. Anything above that is suicide. I will play this game on Experienced difficulty, the challenging one. Hopefully, we won't take many battlereports.com casualties once we get armor.

To avoid turning this introduction into a monstrosity even more fearsome than it already is, I will provide information on the aliens we fight, the technology we research, our guns, and, indeed, the game itself, as the situations arise. Now, gentlemen, sit back, and watch the story unfold...

Here goes nothing.

Kevin looked nervous. Possibly this was because men in dark suits had arrived at his suburban home, thrown him into two weeks of intense training, tossed him aboard a transport ship -- lovingly named the Skyranger-1 -- and sent him off to fight the alien menace. Whatever alien menace that was. Perhaps, though, it was because of his fellow soldiers, although calling them that did the word a disservice. Four of them were loud, ugly and generally undesirable brutes who Kevin mentally classified as Highschool Bullies. The three others were more unique, and as such, deserve description: a small, thin man who constantly fidgeted with his hands called himself Ender's Shadow, which was then shortened to just Enders. Another was a physically unremarkable man in a white coat, who smoked constantly and had shifty eyes. He called himself Lithium, after a rare element. The third soldier was a tall, heavyset man, who spoke little. He called himself Four.

Kevin was just Kevin. And he was nervous. Because he was going to fight aliens, and these people were going with him.

I fire up XCOM and start a new game. You start the game with having to make the decision of Where to Put Your Base. This is a fairly important decision. Since you're being funded by the more miserly nations of the world, it's important that you keep on their good side, or risk having your funding lowered. As such, it's best to place your base in such a way that it can cover a large area of funding nations. Conventional wisdom dictates that you choose either North America or eastern Europe. Since having a base in America would mean that our soldiers would have to deal with Mexicans, we'll go to Europe.

This is now our Base of Operations.

Keep in mind, folks, that all the screenshots of this game will be actual size, unless I have to make them bigger. 320x320 resolution is where it's at. Moving on: with our base firmly established in eastern Europe, we should take some time to detail the planetside half of the Geoscape. Menu on the right, with time options under it, and under that are view rotators. When a UFO is detected by your radar, you send out a plane to intercept it, which means follow it until it lands or you run out of fuel, or try to shoot it down.

When a UFO lands or is shot down, you send out a transport, like the Skyranger. Inside this transport are soldiers, possibly Heavy Weapons Platforms and of course all your equipment, like guns, ammo, flares, explosives, armor, medikits, etc. When the transport arrives at the UFO, you engage in a mission to try to recover it, by killing or incapacitating all the aliens, and getting inside the UFO to see its engines (should they still be intact) and take their fuel, Elerium 115, and other useful artifacts. Other possible Geoscape happenings are Terror missions, where a large number of aliens land in a densely populated urban environment and start murdering civilians. You gotta react fast and deal with these every time, even if it is at night. Although you don't have to pay for blowing up buildings, streets, gardens, etc. you do have to pay for the killing of civilians, especially if YOU do it, although an alien doing it hurts you, too.

There are also Alien Bases, which you have to find by patrolling over likely spots. Those contain a whole LOT of aliens, on their home turf, and it is very dangerous. They must be taken out posthaste.

Base established, I click on the "Bases" button on the sidebar.

What a mess!As you can see, I named the main base .php, to annoy all the elitists on /forum. Under the name is the area it controls/protects, Europe, and how much cash I have on hand -- four million USD. Which seems a bit stingy, considering that XCOM is the only thing stopping the earth from being overrun by the alien menace. Oh well. Under that is the fast-toggle bar between bases, and then, menu options. On the left is the physical base itself. I have three hangars -- the large buildings that make up the corners of the triangle. The top one contains a Skyranger class transport ship, and the bottom two Interceptor class fighters. The middle contains an access lift, living quarters, general stores, a radar system, and laboratory, and a workshop. Time to start whipping this base into shape. I start construction on another laboratory, another living quarters, an alien containment, a large radar system, and another general stores. The laboratory will allow me to put more Scientists to work, the living quarters, more men. The alien containment will let me keep alien prisoners to research, and the large radar system will give me a wider range of UFO detection. The general stores give me more space for loot. Finally, I tell the scientists in our base to begin researching Laser Weapons. I plan to get Laser Weapons, Laser Pistols, Alien Alloys, Personal Armor, Medikits, and then Laser Rifles as the first things to research. Laser pistols are a good deal weaker than rifles, but armor is necessary to keep soldiers alive.

With the construction of buildings out of the way, I go to the purchase/recruit section, and begin to recruit more men. Five more soldiers, five more scientists, five more engineers, fifteen electro-flares, a Rocket Tank (HWP) and 10 rockets for it are on the way, leaving me with three hundred thousand USD left. Whew! Expensive. With all that out of the way, I go to the soldiers menu, and pick out the Four Best Soldiers for naming.

Kevin is a good soldier!This is the soldier status screen. Top left: rank icon (he is a rookie, at the moment, which means he has never shot at nor been shot at by an alien), and then his name. You may notice he has SS after his name. This is my way of classifying soldiers. Let's talk about that.

When outfitting soldiers before a mission, you have no way to see their stats. It's useful to classify them according to their strengths, so they can be outfitted appropriately.

SS stands for Sharp Shooter. These are soldiers with high Accuracy ratings, and decent TU (Time Unit) scores. Other good stats to have are Reactions, Strength and, of course, Bravery. Which Kevin has almost none of. Which should be okay, but, you never know...


Soldiers classified CF are Cannon Fodder. Meat shields. Worthless soldiers. Usually guys with super high bravery but absolutely nothing else. Soldiers classified G are Grunts. Decent stats in everything, these make up the core of your squad. SCs are Scouts, soldiers with a large amount of TUs, Stamina and Reactions. Accuracy is a plus. HWs are Heavy Weapons, soldiers with decent Accuracy, high Strength, and decent TUs. They lug about big guns like Autocannons.

Just so you know, Lithium_ got a G classification, Endersshadow got a HW, while Mark4 got slapped with a SS and has the best stats out of the whole group, overall. For the curious, here are their stats.

Statistic Mark4 Endersshadow Lithium_
Time Units 58 56 56
Stamina 54 69 46
Health 33 33 31
Bravery 60 50 50
Reactions 59 59 39
Firing Accurracy 68 63 52
Throwing Accurracy 54 76 78
Strength 26 35 24

Now, to detail the actual stats. TUs are actions. Every action, moving, kneeling, shooting, take TUs. The more you have, the more you can do in a turn. Stamina is a statistic that goes down with actions and up with resting. If you run out of stamina, you must rest until it goes up again. Health is just that -- health. How much damage you can take before you die. Bravery determines how much Morale you can lose before you panic. Reactions allows you to fire off opportunity shots should an enemy walk into your sight while you still have enough TUs to react. Accuracy is how accurate you are with guns. Throwing accuracy is how accurate you are with grenades. Strength determines how much weight you can carry before you start losing TUs. Two hidden stats are Psi Strength and Psi Skill. We'll get those later.

The Skyranger-1 slowed its descent, as a large hole opened in the ground ahead. "We're coming up to the base," the pilot said over the intercom. "Hold on." The Skyranger-1 flew through the hole, violently reversed its thrust, and came to a crashing landing inside the enormous hangar. "Sorry," the pilot said over the intercom. Kevin swallowed, and glanced out a window. The light of the exit dimming as the massive doors closed, electric lights began flickering on, automatically triggered by the lack of natural light. "Hey," Enders remarked, "we've got a welcoming party." The door on the inside of the Skyranger-1 opened, and a narrow ramp extending to rest on the cold metal floor. "Well," Kevin said to the world in general, "here we go."

As the eight soldiers stepped off the ramp, they were greeted by cheering and applause. Ten white-coated scientists stood in a group, smiling in a tired manner and clapping unevenly. A group of Engineers stood in an orderly line, clapping with mathematical symmetry, while the staff -- cooks, cleaners, mechanics, plumbers, pilots, electricians, etc. -- clapped as normal human beings do. All told, over a hundred human beings stood, crowding the hangar, cheering. "All right, all right, that's enough," said a man in military uniform, the patches on his shoulders indicating the rank of General in the United States military. "Back to work." The crowd dispersed quickly, leaving the soldiers alone with the general.

"My name is General Eldritch," said the general, "Although that's General General Eldritch to you." He looked the group over. "Welcome to .php, the first base of XCOM. Follow me." He turned on his heel, and marched out of the hangar. An access lift took the group down a hundred feet into the main base. "You will have private quarters," General General Eldritch said, "You will also have Official XCOM Soldier Jumpsuits. Very snazzy. You'll like 'em."

An awkward silence followed. Finally, Lithium spoke up. "Er, sir?" he asked. "If the alien menace is as bad as the stories make out, why are eight relatively untrained men, with no commanding officer, the only defense?"

General General Eldritch hesitated. "Well," he hedged, "You're getting five more men soon, as well as a tank!" Lithium smiled weakly. "Oh, good," he said. "Great." General General Eldritch looked shifty. "And regular reinforcements," the general said, "and technology a hundred years more advanced than anything else we've developed." The soldiers stared at him. "Darnit!" the general said. "Fine! The real reason is because any more funding than what you've got will attract attention from the people. The panic would destroy the world! We can't have that. Besides, a highly trained, small unit is much better for dealing with the aliens than a massive army. Cheaper and smaller, too."

As the access lift neared its destination, a final question hung in the air. Lithium asked, "Sir, why did we only receive two weeks of training?" The general responded, "Because we don't know how these aliens fight. We need you to be able to adapt. To improvise. To learn on the fly." The man called Four nodded. "I get you," he said, "but, as far as I can tell, none of these greens have ever handled a weapon before you picked 'em up. What's your deal?"

"To that," the general replied, as the access door open, "You'll have to find out for yourselves."

Having set the base in motion to my design, I hit the time to 5 minutes for good control, and wait for a UFO to arrive. Time passes. Equipment arrives. So do more soldiers, awaiting naming or being classified as CF and added to the ship. I drum my fingers on the desk and wait. The tank arrives, and is put on the Skyranger-1. Laser Weapon research completes. Finally at last -- a UFO!

Puny aliens die!UFO-1, the first UFO of the game, detected by radar at 22:28, Thursday, the 7th of January, 1999. Quite the feeling. Also note the British spelling of center. As the radar tells me, the UFO is small and has landed, making it the perfect target. I immediately dispatch Skyranger-1 and Interceptor-1 to the site. The Interceptor will insure that, should the UFO take off before the Skyranger-1 can get there, it will be immediately shot down. I land with the transport, and since it's a night mission, outfit everyone with Electro-flares. I don't trust the CFs with guns, so I give them grenades. Should they get a chance, they will blow things up. Walls. Hostile fences. You know. I give the four named soldiers pistols.

Whoops! Point of strategic contention here. Why pistols? Somebody who has done the math can tell you better -- this is quoted from the Unofficial X-COM strategy guide.

"Not being as handy with theoretical statistics as I am with discrete simulation, I wrote a very simple program to simulate 100,000 turns where each weapon was used in as many times as possible, up to 80% of the turn. Since the time to use the weapons is also a percentage of the turn, simple subtraction sufficed. In each case where an auto mode was available, it was used instead of snap shot. I felt that 70-80% was a good compromise between some movement, but still inflicting maximum damage.

    TU Average   +1/-1 std dev
A/S % hits dmg hits damage
Pistol 0/4 72 2.4 62 1.4-3.4 36-87
Rifle 2/0 70 2.1 63 .9-3.3 28-98
Heavy Cannon 0/2 66 1.2 67 .5-1.9 28-105
Auto Cannon 2/0 80 1.9 80 .8- 3.1 24-145
             
Laser Pistol 3/0 75 2.5 115 1.2-3.9 53-177
Laser Rifle 2/0 68 2.8 165 1.5-4.0 92-238
Heavy Laser 0/2 66 1.0 84 .3-1.7 24-145
             
Plasma Pistol 2/0 60 3.0 155 1.8-4.2 92-219
Plasma Rifle 2/0 66 3.3 263 2.1-4.5 166-361
Heavy Plasma 2/0 70 3.0 344 1.8-4.2 203-485

A/S : number of shots taken, Auto/Snap
TU% : TU% used for the shots taken
+/- 1 std dev : average +/- one standard deviation, roughly covers 66% of the possibilities.

Pistol is a tie with rifle. The pistol can be shot one-handed, but in the early stages of the game, you're not likely to have anything in the other hand. [EE's note: Not entirely true. An Electro-flare or grenade in the hand is worth two in the belt.] The rifle holds more ammo, but is slightly less accurate. Each has a clip that will last three rounds at this firing rate. Take your pick."

Thank you, Mr. Paul Close, I will. I chose pistols for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as the table shows, the pistol has a higher overall damage as well as a slightly bigger hit percentage. Since for the early game I'm going to be fighting either Sectoids or Floaters, the two weakest aliens, I don't need the higher maximum damage the rifle would give me. The larger hit percentage will help our rookies out with the whole "shoot the alien, not the ground/tree/air next to the alien" problem that gives rookies so much trouble. Thirdly, since the Pistol takes much less TUs to fire off, it gives me more control on setting up opportunity fire, getting behind cover, etc. Plus, I can hold something in the other hand without penalties.

Okay, with all that out of the way, it's time to finally (finally!) actually play XCOM. Touchdown! Hit it, squaddies!

Weird lookin' plane, that.

Okay, this picture I did almost double in size. And I numbered it. I will now give you intimate knowledge of the Battlescape in an organized manner. Here we go!

  1. Move up one level. Only works when you are a floater, hovertank, flying suit, or on a transporter pad.
  2. View up one level. Good for seeing what's on top of buildings.
  3. View radar.
  4. See equipment screen
  5. Next squaddie/unit.
  6. I dunno. Seems to have something to do with level viewing.
  7. End turn.
  8. Move down one level. See 1.
  9. View down one level. See 2.
  10. Kneel/stand.
  11. Center on controlled unit.
  12. Next character, do not select character again this turn.
  13. Options.
  14. Abort mission.
  15. Right hand weapon/item.
  16. Left hand weapon/item.
  17. TU reservations for opportunity shots. I almost never use these.
  18. Rank. You can also click this to see stats and check for fatal wounds.
  19. Quick statistics. The green is TUs left, the orange, stamina, the red, health, and the purple, morale.
  20. The battlescape itself. Each unit, saving HWPs, Reapers, and I think some other aliens occupy one square. Currently, a tank is controlled.

With that out of the way, the mission begins. A note on HWPs: I use them only as scouting platforms, since they never improve, or occasionally to save a squaddie or take out more than two enemies at once. I direct the tank off the landing ramp, look around, and see the UFO almost right next to the Skyranger-1. This is good and bad. Good, because I don't have to walk far to get into it, bad, because there are aliens nearby.

Yarr, a varmint!  Kill it!And there was, indeed, an alien. Spotted by one of our CF soldiers, the fodder then threw an Electro-flare (the glowing yellow thing on the ground) to illuminate the alien, and then Lithium_ stepped up, firing two Aimed Shots; missing with the first, but the second takes the alien down. First blood goes to Lithium_!

As the troops disembark from the Skyranger-1, one of our more wide-ranging CF soldiers spots another alien. But before I continue, I should introduce you to these particular kind of alien: Sectoids.

Ugly little critters.See the image on the left for details on Sectoids. Anyway, having seen the alien, Kevin steps up, aims, fires, misses, and moves off the ramp. Mark4 steps up, aims, fires, misses, aims, fires, hits, but doesn't kill it. Endersshadow steps up, aims, fires, misses, aims, fires and then misses really really badly. The last shot was miles away from the Sectoid. All is not lost, however: the wounds the Sectoid took should make it easy pickings next turn.

Speaking of next turns, with nothing else to do, I end the turn. A couple of Hidden Movements go by, almost certainly Sectoids inside the nearby UFO. The wounded Sectoid in the field walks into a better position, aims at one of our CF soldiers, fires, and hits the ground a square away from the lucky CF. Since that Sectoid is now as good as dead, I send the Tank out to keep scouting, and move the CFs into better position. Meanwhile, Kevin, the first soldier to come up, aims, fires, and kills the Sectoid instantly. Scouting shows this map is a rectangle, very narrow, with both the Skyranger-1 and the UFO almost at the bottom of the rectangle. Doubting there will be more than two Sectoids outside the UFO, and thus no more need for caution, I move the soldiers up to the door of the UFO, and prepare for entry.

A one, and a two, and a...UFO entry is one of the most dangerous and casualty filled maneuvers in XCOM. Even on Experienced difficulty, you will probably take 1-2 casualties, depending on luck. In this picture, a luckless CF stands in front of the door, with Lithium_ on his right, Mark4 on his left, Endersshadow behind him, and Kevin standing off to the side. The strategy is this: the CF will walk in the door, die to alien Opportunity shots, allow Endersshadow to lay down a hellish rain of suppressing fire, followed by Mark4, Lithium_ and Kevin all entering the UFO and cleaning up any aliens that are left. Let's see how it goes.

Saga of five guys, four guns.CF #1 enters the UFO, revealing plush seats, swoopy chrome design, a glowing Power Source and an angry Sectoid who, according to plan, shoots CF #1 and kills him. Endersshadow, as planned, fires off bullet after bullet, even though the first one killed the Sectoid. Since I hit the screenshot key at the wrong moment, the second image here does not show either the bullet in motion, the bullet hitting the alien, the alien dying, or actually anything at all. You will note, however, that there is one less bullet in Enders clip, and he has 16 less TU in the second picture. Mark4 marches bravely into the UFO, to find...! No more aliens. Looks like we won. I end the turn, and, thus, the mission. Promotions for everyone!

Curious that even though Mark4 failed to kill any aliens, he still gets promoted.













Promotions in XCOM are funny things. People who never, ever go on missions get promoted while the guys who single handedly kill ten Floaters with one bullet, bring down Reapers with a shot to the knee, destroy UFOs with a glance, etc. usually hover around Sergeant. Anyway, as the image suggests, both Enders and Mark4 got promoted to Sergeant. The only casualty was CF #1, bravely sacrificing his life for the Cause. Other things to note are the loot we got from the UFO. A UFO that was taken out while being grounded, instead of shooting it down, has a much better reward after completing the mission. On the other hand, there are more aliens, but almost always the tradeoff is worth it. We got three Sectoid corpses, pretty much useless except for selling (Note: They go for around twenty thousand USD. Apparently they sell on the black market for much more. Somebody out there has a recipe for Alien hors d'oeuvres.), nine Alien Artifacts (read: alien weapons. Probably Plasma Rifles. Can't use 'em 'til we research 'em, though.) We also got a power source and two navigations, needed for building our own UFOs and for completing the game. We also got eleven Alien Alloys, needed for making pretty much everything, and a good deal of Elerium-115, the alien fuel. Absolutely critical stuff. A good haul.

After a few days of getting used to the base, Kevin felt as though he could finally relax. Supplies had been drifting in, even a large rocket tank. He kept mostly to himself. Lithium spent most of his time with the engineers and scientists, Enders hung around the pilots, and Four was not to be seen.

Finally, the call went out. A UFO had been sighted, and an Interceptor already dispatched. Hurrying, the eight soldiers hopped into the Skyranger-1, and flew off, with the intent of landing near the French-Spanish border, and taking out the UFO. As they flew, Four inspected the rifle he had been given as standard issue.

"Well?" Enders asked.
"These rifles are worthless," Four said. "Don't use them. Use these pistols, they're better quality." The soldiers exchanged glances. But they complied. Four had an air of confidence, of certainty. It was convincing. The pilot said over the intercom, "We're about to touchdown. Good luck."

The Skyranger-1 touched down ten meters from the UFO, a largely square contraption on the ground. The tank rolled off the ramp, and the drivers voice crackled over the frequency. "Nothin' I can see. Landing zone clear!" Four turned to one of the bullies. "You," he said. "You get out first."
"Me?" The man asked. "Hah! No way. You can't order me around."
Four gave him a look. "Get out of the plane."
"Okay, sir!" The man said quickly, hurrying off the plane. "Hey," he called back, "I see something!" He pulled out an Electro-flare, a circular electronic device the size of a tennis ball. He threw it into a dark garden, and on impact, it burst into light. A child-sized grey creature, with a flat face and huge eyes, shrieking something, and pulled out an alien looking weapon.

Remebering his marksmanship training, Kevin quickly pulled out his pistol, sighted, fired, and missed. Four said to him, "Hey, you've got good aim," without a trace of sarcasm. As he said this, Lithium stepped forward, pulled his gun, sighted along it, and fired two ringing shots into the night. A piercing scream came from the alien, which fell over, oozing black blood.

"Well fired," Four said to Lithium. "You three," he indicated the remaining bullies, "Out. Scout around. Find the rest of these aliens." Fours voice carried command, and the weak-minded thugs were unable to resist. One of them pointed to a field. "There's another one," he said. Four pulled his gun out, and fired, one shot caroming off into a fence, the second hitting the little alien in the leg. It screamed. "Finish it off, Enders," Four ordered. Enders, too, pulled his gun, but his excitement caused him to hit a tree and the ground, but not the alien. He looked embarassed.

The wounded alien pulled out a weapon and fired it. A green blob was shot out, landing at one of the bullies feet, and then exploded, creating a large, steaming crater. Kevin, afraid that the next shot might hit him, fired at the alien, bringing it down with a bullet to its enormous forehead. It died instantly. The soldiers collectively breathed easier. Enders clapped Kevin on the shoulder. "Good shot," he congratulated. Four barked orders, and five of the soldiers gathered around the UFO door, while three others and the tank performed maneuvers in the fields.

"Here's the plan," Four said, "this guy," he indicated the bully, "is going in first. Then-"
"Hell no!" The bully shouted. "I am not going in there!"
Four gave him a stare full of contempt. "You afraid of doing something right, for once?" The bully said nothing. Four nodded. "After he goes in, Enders, lay down suppressing fire. The rest of us will follow, and clean up the rest of the aliens. You first, kid."

The bully, white-faced, walked through the door. Enders aimed. The man screamed as a glob of green energy plowed through his chest and burst upon the wall behind him, creating a large black burn on it. The bully died instantly. Enders fired off three rounds, bringing the offending alien down. Four, shaking his head at the death of the bully, walked inside the UFO. "All clear," he said. "Well, troops. This ends our first action with the alien menace."

Back at .php, the unfortunate bullies body was sent home to his parents, wrapped in a black flag with a silver X on it -- the flag of XCOM. After private talks with all the surviving members of the mission, Four and Enders were promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Lithium_ and Kevin were promoted to Squaddie.

"Promotion here will be quick," General General Eldritch said, "you prove yourself in the field, and you'll get promoted fast. You all came here as rookies, with no chain of command. Now you're starting to make one of your own." The General looked the group over. "We chose you because you all have your own strengths, wether you're aware of them or not. Good work, gentlemen."

I am forced to end the report here. And immediately start work on the next one. The reason is: I need names. I picked four names because I had to, but I want to involve the community as it sees fit, not how I see fit. So: to continue this series, I need people to sign up for XCOM by posting in the comments section, saying: "EldritchEvil, I want to fight aliens in XCOM! Make me a soldier. Please try and give me an x classification." Supply x for yourself. And don't choose CF. If there are more named soldiers than I can fit on the Skyranger-1, I will give you all random numbers, and roll up a new set of soldiers each mission. With that, I end this report. Please comment so I can make another one. Thank you.