Eeeee! Exciting. Here we are- with the game underway, first mission played, turn order established, and the Succession Game page revamped to include this round and archive the details of the previous Civilisation VI Succession Game.

Note: This version of events is no longer canon. We had to restart the game due to me starting with the DLC still enabled in Steam when not everyone had it. I thought disabling the DLC ingame would be sufficient. It wasn’t. The ‘real’ version of events can be found here.

I’ll go over the details of my mission and strategy layer choices first and then include the necessary details for the participants at the end. :)

If you’re wondering still who the participants are so far though and the order of play, here you go!

The Participants

  1. Naithin (Me!)
  2. Mr Peril (aka Roger)
  3. Rakuno
  4. MagiWasTaken (aka Dan)
  5. Rambling Redshirt
  6. Kluwes
  7. UnwiseOwl

UnwiseOwl carrying the end and passing back to me is the same as the Civ game, but this time I’ll be handing over to Mr Peril rather than Rakuno. :) Looking forward to seeing how it play out from here!

Mission 1: Operation Gatecrasher

The thing I’m instantly curious in is who from the character pool of blogger characters have I been entrusted (that might be too strong a term) to play with right out of the gate?

The answer is:

  • Myself – Naithin ‘Naithin’ Nahilin
  • Rakuno ‘Three’ Venmuel
  • Tessa ‘Endalia’ Hastjarjanto
  • Rambling ‘Ramblin Red’ Redshirt

Nice. At least with my character being in the initial pool there is one that I won’t need to feel too bad about putting into the line of fire.

That looks incredibly uncomfortable.

In any case, this is all with the tutorial mission off, so I got to play a ‘real’ mission — albeit still a rather basic one. So you’d think that being the case, the difficulty set to just Rookie, and being a semi-experienced player of the game that I wouldn’t need to take a mulligan1 yet.

You’d be wrong though.

A miscalculation involving the collection of loot leads to (a now alternate reality version of) Rakuno meeting an untimely demise in one critical hit from an ADVENT Officer.

The mistake I made here was in assuming the Officer pod would be further behind the statue, aka the bomb target. And so with Endalia pushed up pretty far in that direction, I thought Rakuno would be safe to grab the loot and get out before we activated the pod.

Erm. Nope. The Officer’s pod was hanging out to the left and were delighted to take potshots at a completely unprotected XCOM soldier.

I’ve gotten into the habit of recording video with the Dark Souls series, so I’ve done so here. If you want to see how it all plays out, feel free! Note: I don’t expect the other bloggers will necessarily be recording video — posts are all that’s expected. But I’ll try to remember to do it for my parts. :)

Not to worry though, one reload later and I put things back on track.

You’ll be pleased to know that not only do I manage to get the team through the game uninjured, but I still also get the loot.

I do put my character into a little spot of risk to do so — but I do actually have a plan. The Officer threatening Naithin here is down to three remaining health. By far- I would rather take him out with gunfire so that we can recover his corpse for research and any loot he might have. BUT. If all the shots of my teammates fail (this is XCOM after all, and actually none of their percentages are terribly high, given the Officer is in full cover) I still have an action left on Naithin.

And that action will be to throw a grenade and watch the officer go BOOM.

Fortunately, that isn’t necessary — Endalia and Rakuno can’t quite land on target behind cover, but Ramblin’ Red does — the Officer goes down, clearing the mission area out for Naithin to plant the bomb.

These stats are, of course, ignoring everything that happened in the nightmare realm. ;)

Back at Base

Soldier Promotions

Everyone got at least one kill and was promoted from Rookie to Squaddie. Still a very basic soldier, but now equipped with a specialty class and their class’ entry skill.

  • Naithin ‘Naithin’ Nahilin — Sharpshooter, Squad Sight
  • Rambling ‘Ramblin Red’ Redshirt — Specialist, Aid Protocol
  • Tessa ‘Endalia’ Hastjarjanto — Grenadier, Launch Grenade
  • Rakuno ‘Three’ Venmuel — Ranger, Slash

The entry skills aren’t selected — they simply come with the class. But future promotions will provide the person in control at that point a choice. :)

Research, Engineering and Scanning

A lot of this happens in parallel, as you scan the world map, so I’ve thrown them all together here in summary form.

Over the course of my turn, I:

  • Complete research on both Hybrid Materials and Modular Weapons.
    • Start research on Magnetic Weapons.
      It’s very slow (28 days) but our first world scan is for an additional scientist. From start to finish it requires 4 days to locate and rescue the scientist. I just about get it done when the mission pops.
  • Build our soldiers 1x Medkit and 1x Flashbang grenade.
  • Start build on the Guerrilla Tactics School. This will require 12 days to finish.

As noted under Research, I cannot quite get the Scientist rescued before the next mission pops-up. So it will be up to Roger to decide to finish collecting the Scientist or whether we have something more important on the map when he returns from that mission. :)

I also haven’t attached our loot to any particular soldier yet. So that will be a decision for Roger or a later player as well!

The last thing I want to cover that I did before ending my session was the game was checking on our pool of Rookies. Who else from the character pool made it in? It won’t be everyone — some we will need to recruit / gain as rewards through the mission, but let’s see…

Brittany Murray is not from the pool — that’s a random. They still show up every so often even with the game set to ‘Character Pool Only’ for some reason.

Neat! Looks like all of the players’ characters have made it in at least. But asides from Tessa, we don’t have any of the other Bloggers who were keen to be in the game but not play onboard yet. We have a number of those who may yet show up. :)

For the Players

Expansion / DLC OFF

I saved the game with the DLC disabled — so that should handle most of it. The only other thing you might need to be aware of here, if you own the expansion — is to be sure to select only ‘XCOM 2’ from the 2K Game launcher, and not ‘XCOM 2: War of the Chosen’ before hitting play.

Note: Although I have now seen, even with the DLC disabled — some of the options from it poking through into the game. E.g., the DLC weapons were available to build and some of the cosmetic options were available to pick from.

I haven’t built or selected any props that require the DLC — but if this becomes a problem for anyone, let me know!

Saves

XCOM 2 doesn’t exactly make this easy for us. Unlike Civilisation VI which you could name the save files specifically — XCOM 2 saves hold the save name and campaign information as part of their data and have a forced file name format of ‘save###’.

Fortunately — you can edit the number, and the game will understand it no problem.

So after saving the game, I have manually changed the name of it to save1000 — hopefully, a high enough number that there shouldn’t be any conflicts with existing saves you might have.

  • Where will save games be uploaded?
    Here — you can find the saves for this game there, and please upload your save files here too.

    Here’s the direct link to the save game for you though, Mr Peril. :)
  • Where do I put save game files, so that my game can find them?
    XCOM 2 puts games into:
    Documents > My Games > XCOM2 > XComGame > SaveData

    You will need to download the save game to this location for the game to read it. You will also have to come to this folder to find your save game to rename and then upload to the linked Google Drive folder above.
  • What should I rename my save game file to, before uploading it?
    The short answer is +1 over the file you receive. I’ve saved the initial file as save1000 — Mr Peril should save his as save1001, Rakuno as save1002, and so on.

    Unfortunately, to make this even more complicated, XCOM 2 will not continue to increment from the number the save starts at. It will backfill numbering to be +1 over the lowest number currently taken.

    So when you go looking for the save file you need to upload, you’ll need to identify it by the file’s timestamp and match that to the time you saved it to find the right one.

What are the rules, and how much do I play?

  • Rules?
    We’ve set only one rule really — and that is that you can reload to an autosave during your turn, once per round, or once per you being in control of the game. How far back you reload (i.e., right to the start of the mission, or just a few turns) is entirely up to you.

    And you know what? With how many new players we have here, this isn’t even something I’m terribly worried about how closely it gets adhered to. But I would just say — remember there is fun in failure. There are stories to be told that have real weight and impact when not everything goes perfectly all the time. I think we’re expecting to lose to the aliens this time around anyway. And that’s OK. :)
  • How much do I play?
    When you download the save game — there should be a mission waiting for you to pick-up. You should jump into that mission before doing anything else that causes time to pass in game.

    You can check Engineering if there is anything else you want to build before jumping in, or you can look at the soldier pool from the armory to see who is available for combat right now. Those sorts of non-time passing activities are fine.

    You get to pick the soldiers you take, and their loadout for the mission. And then, of course, play that mission to completion — win or lose.

    Once you’re back from the mission, you can do anything in the base — including things that make time pass, such as scanning on the global map.

    You can do that until a mission prompt appears. Sometimes you’ll get weeks of scanning time, sometimes it might only be a day or two. But once that mission prompt comes up — escape out, save the game (rename it as outlined above) and upload it for the next person. :)

Footnotes

  1. We’re allowing one per person’s turn with the game — up to them whether or not to use it, and if so, how far back to roll things.