Welcome to the third installment. When last we met, we had finished off a Sectoid UFO with no deaths and one casualty, eU)NiCk. People on the recruitment queue will have to wait until more living space is available, so I can hire more soldiers. In the mean time, I stare at the Geoscape and wait for stuff to occur. More pistol clips arrive, ensuring that we'll have ammo until the laser pistols finish. Next, the Living Quarters completes, and I order more personnel, and start work on a third Living Quarters. I order twenty three more scientists, twenty more soldiers, and ten more engineers. The soldiers will provide a glut of potential names, the scientists will help me rush technology, and the engineers will allow me to make good equipment faster. The next event is the completion of the laser pistol production. After loading them onto the Skyranger-1, I tell the engineers to produce, well, more laser pistols. Not much of a choice, there. After that, some cannon rounds arrive, and the Alien Containment finishes. Meh. Next, an exciting thing happens -- the new personnel arrive! Everyone on the queue gets a soldier. Let's check out their stats.
Below is the table detailing them. Here are some personal comments: Woah gets a nice set of stats, with scout-quality TUs and Stamina, as well as decent reactions and amazingly high strength. He'd make a stupendous HW if he hadn't asked for SC. As it is, I'll probably give him bigger weapons and more ammo and more grenades and probably turn him into a walking ammunition depot later on. PeaceableGhost gets another nice set, with amazing TUs and Accuracy, and decent Strength. SS classification. MuLepton gets an interesting set of stats, with decent TUs, very high bravery and reactions, as well as decent accuracy and strength. I gave him a SC classification despite his only decent TUs, on the grounds of using him as a mobile watchtower, firing off opportunity shots whenever possible. Dibbler gets another good stat set, with high points being bravery and accuracy. I gave him a G classification.
Since there are now more named soldiers than space on the plane, we'll have to rotate missions. TheCheeseManCan, SnK-Arcbound, ZerG~LinG and Decay are thrown off the plane in favor of the four new recruits. The squad on the plane now consists of: Convider, Kevin, Epoch, Endersshadow, Desert Demon, Dibbler, MuLepton, eU)NiCk, PeaceableGhost and Woah. The next event is a large waiting period, followed by the sighting of a Large(yikes) UFO flying around. Since there's no way on earth that my Interceptors can take it down, the idea is to follow it until it lands, then attack it. Unfortunately, the squad consists of half rookies, half veterans. We'll see if the rookies can perform! However, tracking is soon lost, due to the UFO's high speed. I'll try to find where it landed. After almost nine hours of scouring Europe and Iceland, nothing shows up. Looks like that UFO is one fish that slipped the net, if you will. After that rather abortive event, the second Laser Pistol manufacturing completes, so I load up the Skyranger-1 with enough to give everyone one, then sell the rest and order up ten more. Next, the Large Radar System completes at .php, so I scrap the small one. After that, the Laboratory completes, but to fill it, I need more living quarters. After that, research on Alien Alloys completes, and I start research on Personal Armor.
Another set of Laser Pistols finishes, but instead of making more, I wait for Personal Armor to complete to I can make a set of that. At this point, January ends, and February begins. At the end of each month, the Council of Funding Nations takes a look at how many points you got in the month, by killing aliens, taking their loot, etc. then compares it to how many points the Aliens got by killing your men, flying around unmolested, successfully Terrorizing cities (EE's note: NEVER EVER EVER ignore a Terror site. EVER. I don't care if you have one guy with six bullets, FIND A WAY TO WIN.), etc. See the image for details on how much more cash we get each month. After that, the Living Quarters completes, and I order up as many Scientists as I can afford, that is to say, thirty of them. As soon as I do so, Personal Armor finishes researching, and I order up ten sets of it. Next, another Large(eek) UFO appears, soaring high above Africa and going over twice as fast as my Interceptors can. Maybe, if we're lucky, it'll land. With the interceptor tailing it, the enormous UFO flies east into China, and then flies over India. I dispatch a second Interceptor to make sure it doesn't get away, and then... Bam!
Our first Terror mission! It looks like that large UFO was actually a Terror ship. It lands in India, and starts terrorizing Karachi. I immediately dispatch the Skyranger-1, full of trepidation. Although (thank God) it won't be a night mission, Terror missions are no fun to do with half your squad being untried Rookies. Here's the interesting thing about Terror missions: the Aliens work in pairs. Each Alien type has a second Support alien that it uses in Terror missions. Since we're only in the second month, I think it would be unlikely that we will fight Snakemen and Crysshalids. If we do, though, I think we will likely die. I think it more likely that we will fight Sectoids and Cyberdiscs, floating UFO-like tanks that fire Heavy Plasma and explode on death, or Floaters and Reapers, huge, bestial aliens that fight in melee. With no armor, we can probably expect some losses. My plan is to be cautious, use buildings as sniper posts, and advance leap-frog style, two squaddies kneeling and covering two other squaddies who move up and kneel. Here goes.
I equip everyone with a laser pistol in one hand and a grenade in the other, except for Enders and Desert Demon. Enders gets the autocannon, Desert Demon gets rockets. Upon landing, directly in front of the Skyranger-1 are some low buildings, and a Floater. That means Reapers. Reapers, as previously noted, are big melee fighters. Now my plan is to take the high ground and narrow alleyways, avoiding contact with the enormous aliens. I take the tank off the ramp and look around. Apart from said Floater, no other aliens are in sight. Epoch decides to "take care" of the Floater, and fires off two autoshots from his laser pistol. Out of six laser shots, one hits the wall, another the ground, two the Floater, killing it, another the wall behind the Floater and then, get this, one flying through a window and killing the Civilian that was behind it. Yes sir, Epoch is responsible for killing an innocent civilian. This hurts, people. Not only did I lose fifty or points for killing it, I also didn't gain the fifty for potentially saving that civilian! See if I take Epoch on any more missions! He has to redeem himself considerably to make up for that. As I start deplaning the troops, forming a block around the exit ramp, Convider spots a Floater hiding in an orchard a little ways away from the Skyranger-1. He takes it out with a few autoshots. End turn.
After a bunch of hidden movements and the death scream of another civilian (grr) I begin to move through the city. Kevin and eU)NiCk go through a building to the far top edge of the map, planning to circle around and pick off unaware aliens. Endersshadow, Desert Demon, Convider and Woah are going to head down the left edge of the map, through some large buildings. Epoch was democratically elected to be point guard for the squad going towards the center of the map, and blasts a hole in the wall. MuLepton, PeaceableGhost and Dibbler are the ones going to said center of the map, along with the Tank, who so far hasn't seen any more aliens. Seems like they're all on the right or bottom parts of the city. End turn.
Two more death screams. Great. Aliens reveal themselves, though, as Woah fires off an opportunity shot (missing) at a Reaper that knocked down a wall. Some Floaters floated around, too. On my turn, Enders and Woah fire on the exposed Reaper, and miss really really badly. Out of six shots, Enders hits once, and out of nine shots, Woah hits once. Slick. Fortunately, they blow up enough of the walls that Desert Demon, armed with a Rocket launcher, can deliver a rather explosive end to the Reaper. Behind it, however, is a second Reaper. Alien opportunity fire reveals a Floater near Kevin and eU)NiCk, as well as one down the street from the tank. Soldiers advance, and the turn ends.
Kevin and eU)NiCk start dismantling the building they suspect a Floater is hiding behind, but they don't find it yet. The second Reaper runs up through the smoking ruin that marks the Rocket blast, has second thoughts, runs back, then has third thoughts and runs forward again, putting it in the perfect position for another rocket blast, which Desert Demon is all too happy to give to it. Epoch turns a corner, sees a Floater, and guns it down. Behind that Floater is another Floater, and Epoch guns that one down, too. The tank moves in to provide cover, and the rookie squad continues its cautious advance. Meanwhile, the veteran squad advances, Convider covering while Woah and Endersshadow move up. Woah, moving first, spots a Floater, er, floating one level above the ground. He fires two Autoshots, and misses each time. Endersshadow moves in front of him to take HIS turn firing, and the Floater gets an opportunity shot. A blue globule shoots out, exploding on the two soldiers! Messages: Woah, SC has become unconscious! Endersshadow, HW has become unconscious! Curse that Floater, it hit those two with a stun bomb! If I had Medikits, I could revive them, but I don't. Woah and Enders are out of the fight for this one. End turn.
Man, the veteran squad is having the worst luck. The Floater that Kevin and eU)NiCk were hunting shows itself and shoots Desert Demon in the back. He goes down to 11 HP and takes 2 Fatal Wounds. Ack! Dead in six turns. I have to finish quick! Kevin takes out the backstabbing Floater, and with the imminent death of Desert Demon looming over my head, I maneuver my soldiers quickly. Convider is ready to take out the stun-bomber Floater, and the Rookie Squad moves into the street, ready to cross. End turn.
A civilian on a second story is killed by plasma. Looks like the stunner Floater has exchanged its launcher for a plasma weapon, or there's two Floaters skulking around back there. Convider has some work to do. Desert Demon falls to nine hit points. The Rookie Squad starts to comb the right side of the map, not turning up anything this turn. Epoch and the tank prepare to come to the aid of the largely incapacitated Veteran Squad, and just when it seemed things could not get any worse, Convider goes around a corner and gets hit by a stun bomb. Joy. Kevin and eU)NiCk start to rush to the area, hoping to finish off the two Floaters there. I also plan to break my "don't use the HWPs to fight" rule and start flooding that area with rockets through an alley. End turn.
The Rookie squad keeps searching, but doesn't find any. Epoch hugs the wall and prepares to go in alone, Rambo-style, but the tank gets there first, as you can see, and blows up a Floater pretty magnificently. Kevin and eU)NiCk start getting closer to their goal, but Desert Demon is now at seven hit points. If a Floater is hiding somewhere way on the wrong side of the map, DD's a dead man. End turn.
Desert Demon drops to five hit points. Three rounds of life left! Kevin jumps into the fray, spots a floating Floater and takes it down. Continued scouting reveals no more aliens, and I end the turn, hoping that the on Kevin killed was the last enemy.
No such luck. With Desert Demon now having two more rounds to live, I press onwards, seeking the alien foe, rushing the entire squad to the area. MuLepton shoots down a wall that leads to a warehouse, and is immediately greeted by a plasma blast, mercifully leaving him relatively unharmed. MuLepton flees the building, Epoch blasts a hole in it, and every member of my squad who can reach it starts throwing grenades into the building, and the rocket tank starts demolishing it. By the next turn (leaving Desert Demon at 1 hp) the building is completely destroyed. Mission saved, with Desert Demon at, as I just noted, one hitpoint. Lucky guy indeed.
As you can see, we hardly got any points out of that, compounded by the (total) loss of 80 points due to Epoch killing that civilian. However, we got a live alien out of that deal, which turned out to be a Reaper Terrorist. How useful! As you can also see, we got a truly gigantic amount of promotions out of that, even though some of them didn't make sense, because many of them, like Mark4, weren't even there. Speaking of Mark4, both he and Lithium_ are healed of their wounds and are back in action. However, Desert Demon is wounded for twenty days, but he is lucky to be alive at this point. Since I have so many soldiers, everyone on the recruitment queue gets a spot, as does a new personality of my own design. Here are the new recruit's stats.
Some_God gets a G classification, with nothing standing out except his strength score. RabidMurloc gets a HW classification, with good strength and bravery. Landon_Fox, too, gets a HW, with good strength and super reactions. Haike nabs a G classification, with ugly bravery and low accuracy. Commander_Keen gets a G classification, also having a horrible bravery score (I am recruiting such cowards!) but having decent accuracy, good strength and good health. NtN-Scissors gets a G, with good bravery. Primal gets a HW classification, having great TUs, super bravery and strength, and very respectable accuracy. Wow. Odin's Raven and Avail, the last two on the queue at this time, get G classifications, both having good stats. Finally, the new fictional character, Leslie, gets a SC classification due to high TUs and Reactions.