Your XCOM 2 Succession Game Invite

Yep. Yours. Over there in the corner. With the hat- and the face. Or maybe without the hat. *squints* It’s hard to see in this light. But with the Civilisation VI Succession Game now wrapped up, there’s room in my life for another succession game. And it seems I wasn’t alone in that feeling!

The Civilisation VI succession game took very nearly a full year; but something tells me this first shared round of XCOM 2 — even on Rookie difficulty, if we go with that — probably won’t take us nearly as long. ;)

From the initial chat in the Blaugust Discord, it seems that UnwiseOwl, Mr Peril (aka Roger), Rakuno, MagiWasTaken (aka Dan) and Rambling Redshirt all might be interested in continuing this succession game train with me, so here we go!

But… What on Earth is a ‘Succession Game’?

Civilisation IV — The first game I was ever introduced to the idea of a ‘Succession Game’ with.

If you weren’t around for the Civilisation VI version, this might still be a new concept for you.

The core of the concept is this: You take a single-player game (or game mode) but then play it co-cooperatively in a group. By taking turns, sharing the save file.

In the context of XCOM 2 I see it playing out like so.

The game starts with the first mission. As game host, I’ll play that mission.

I’ll also play the strategy/base portion of the game right up until the point the next mission is ready to launch.

At that point I’ll save the game and pass it over to the next player. They will then play that mission (selecting the soldiers and load-out as they see fit) and the base section of the game following it, handling any promotions from their mission, research decisions, base build decisions etc, until they pass enough time to prompt the next mission.

At which point, again, they will save the game and pass it on to the next player — and so on around the group.

Current Thinking on the Game Settings

Nothing here is locked in stone, all of it is up for discussion in the comments below — so please feel free to share your thoughts.

My thinking so far runs as follows:

  • Game Difficulty: We have a number of people who’ve expressed interest, at least on Discord so far, that have also indicated they’re new to the game or even the franchise. So I expect that ‘Rookie’ will be a really good idea.
  • Ironman Mode: Off, I think. In part, because I don’t know if having it on does something different with the save files in the first place, but also because — and this next point might be the most contentious, so again, let me know what you think:
  • Save Scumming: Allowed! … To an extent! You know what, I might be going back on my thinking here already. But my sort of guideline thinking here is that it shouldn’t be used excessively. Perhaps we set a limit on ourselves of 1 mulligan per ‘turn’ with the game? One instance where we can roll back that autosave clock and try again from a different soldier position or whathaveyou?
  • Expansion / DLCs: All turned off. Stock vanilla game. No War of the Chosen, no Alien Hunters, nothing. While I do like what WoTC in particular adds to the game in both story and gameplay elements, returning to the fact we have new players in the mix I am thinking ‘off’ is the right course of action here.
  • Mods: None… Maybe. There are some quality of life mods we might consider, and I’m happy to create a Steam workshop collection of mods for our succession game if there are a few that we believe we just really should have. With workshop mod capability, this wouldn’t be too difficult or confusing, I think. So I’ll take suggestions/opinions on this.
  • Custom Soldiers: Can I just say, that I think naming and setting up soldiers is perhaps the best thing ever when it comes to an XCOM game? Sure it can hurt more when you lose them — but it really adds to the emergent story of the game. So! If you want to drop me the details of a soldier you’d like created for the game — I’m happy to create it and package it into the game. I’d even be keen to have soldiers named after each of the players — but I’m also open to not doing that if that’s the preference, as I could see some people being worried about killing off another player’s soldier and feeling bad about it. ;)

    In XCOM 2, soldiers will die. I think that’s pretty much a given and you really needn’t feel bad about it — but as I say, open to thoughts here!

I think that more or less covers everything but let me know if it doesn’t. :)

If You’re Interested…

Just drop a comment below saying so. Easy as that. :)

You don’t have to be an experienced hand at the game by any means, either. As noted a few times — we have new people here! So if you have the game (or are willing to pick it up) and want to jump in, do so!

If you have any thoughts or preferences on the game settings, mods, or anything else, let’s discuss!

The only other thing I didn’t cover above in the game settings thinking, but has been on my mind is that occasionally in the Civ 6 game we had pretty extended gaps between turns.

We still managed to finish, though. And I don’t want any of these succession games that I host to be a source of stress or pressure to anyone. But I wonder whether, as players, you all might want some sort of turn timer. And if so- what that is and how it might work. A fortnight? A month? Ping a reminder via Discord or an email first? But then what? I’m thinking at most if we have to skip a player — then it should be just that ’round’ and we should endeavour to bring them back in the following round.

I’m very much of two minds in the matter, but what I think I keep coming back to is that despite the odd delay- we did finish. Without anyone having to drop out of the game. And to me, that’s something I’d like to keep if it at all possible.

Main thing really will be just to keep in touch. I don’t think anyone will really mind if you need more time to deal with Life(tm). :)

Whatever we decide here though, I cannot wait to get this thing started! :D (Although I’ll probably give this thing a week before I do — and even at that point it isn’t really too late, we had a few late joiners last time too!)

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

18 Responses

  1. Rakuno says:

    I am still very much interested! :D

    My only request is this time that I be put at the later part of the playing order since my blog is moving web hosts. So far everything seems to have gone fine on the move but I just want to make sure.

    As for your thinking I agree with everything. Except mods. If we are going to play vanilla, I’d say we keep it purely vanilla. I don’t feel like XCom 2 has anything that egregious that would require a mod. Plus if anything goes wrong knocks on wood nobody can put the blame on mods either.

    About Custom Soldiers I already gave my thoughts on Discord but I will repeat it here to keep the discussion public. I don’t mind it as long as nobody minds if they soldiers die. I mean, soldiers dying is a part of the XCom experience after all. XD

    A turn timer is also a good idea. I’d say one month is plenty of time, with a poke through Discord in two or three weeks if they haven’t posted yet. It also allows ample opportunity for them to ask for more time if they require it.

    • Naithin says:

      Yay!

      Inclined to agree with you re: mods — there are a few nice ones, but the biggest one I was thinking of to show flanking information on a potential move ended up getting put into the base game anyway.

      There are some other nice ones that I think never got put in base though (e.g., extract all with a single click, instead of having to individually click it and wait for the animation for everyone in the extraction zone).

      But as you say, nothing so bad that it’s really going to hurt to miss out on for a while.

      Edit: Oh yeah- and to add, no problem on moving you later into the turn order. Can do something similar as for Tessa in the last round, where still randomised it but had a minimum value under which would reroll until reached something over it. :)

      re: Custom Soldiers, I was even thinking it could be an individual choice whether or not you wanted to put yourself into the game, but actually it isn’t — cos it might still make someone else more reluctant to play / use that character for fear of killing one of us off. xD

      So I’ll still go with an overall consensus on that one.

  2. Magi/Dan says:

    I’d very much be interested in joining in. I’d even take one of the early rounds if possible.

    Save-Scumming once per turn should be allowed as long as you mention it, I think. Uh, mods… I think going purely vanilla would be great.
    Apart from that, I don’t have anything against naming characters but I think I’d feel bad about killing someone off called Magi, so uh… A female character named Lizz Winterfield would be great if you want to name one of them like that. That’d be my character then.

    Looking forward to taking turns! Will play my tutorial now. :)

    • Naithin says:

      Sounds good. Any rough attributes for Lizz to aim for? Colour hair? Ethnicity? Attitude? Professional Soldier / Afraid / Tense / etc? Or just happy with a /random with the name? xD

  3. UnwiseOwl says:

    I’m in. Finally got that sucker installed again, looks like I haven’t touched it at all since I gave it up for graphical performance issues back in 2016.
    Feel free to make me an alter-ego, I don’t mind being virtually plasmaed to death. Slight preference for being a heavy weapons guy with terrible hair.
    Also don’t mind about saves. My personal rule to stop me being a terrible perfectionist is to limit myself to autosaves only and to only load once in each battle, but then again I’m very alright with losing terribly, so I can go with whatever people are comfortable with.
    As to the rhythm of turns, I was thinking it might be better to end each turn with a battle rather than start each turn with one, as then folks can pick and choose what they’ve got themselves in for to some extent, and also just because that allows for a better narrative pacing in terms of the blog posts. But I’m not super familiar with the game, so if there’s a reason to do it the other way, I’m sure that’ll work too.
    Turn timers. Good idea in theory, but in practice I think it’ll be awkward. Just encouraging us all to either play and write pretty fast or to be okay with saying ‘actually I’m a bit busy this week, skip me this time’ would be my preferred method of dealing with that.
    Looking forward to it.

    • Naithin says:

      Looking like most people are happy to have a custom character, so that’s awesome. Looking forward to that. :) re: Heavy Weapon class preference, I can do that but I think I’d have to do it once the game had started and then rename someone. Creating characters for your game pool, if I’m remembering rightly, is done in a classless fashion.

      Assuming for the moment that’s right — would you like me to do that, or happy to go with the messy hair look and still allow class to be random when you’re promoted from Rookie (assuming you’re not killed off immediately. ;))

      Kinda with you I think on the turn timer thing, or at the very least, to keep it a very loose thing. Everyone just keeping in touch is really the main thing. Needing more time is no issues if we know, to my mind. :)

    • UnwiseOwl says:

      Fine with random :)

  4. I’m still up for this. Just don’t expect quality gameplay :)

    • Naithin says:

      Haha, awesome! And don’t worry at all re: quality — even full failure of a mission isn’t instant failure of the game. Not on its own at least. And honestly, if there’s one thing games like Dwarf Fortress and RimWorld have taught me, it is that sometimes there can be quite a lot of fun in failure. :)

    • Naithin says:

      Oh, did you have any preference around being included in the game or otherwise having a custom character of your design in the game?

  5. Kluwes says:

    It was super fun reading about the last succession game. I’m in! +1 to the XCom 2 newbies. .

    A one month timer sounds like a good idea with an option for “skip me” if needed. A once per turn mulligan sounds great too.

    I’m all for custom soldiers. Feel free to slap my name on a randomized character.

    • Naithin says:

      Huzzah! Glad to have you onboard!

      I think the one-month timer will be kept somewhat lax as long as people remain in comms, but as a guideline I think I like it well enough.

      Awesome you’re in for a custom soldier too. Looks like all of us so far are onboard with this, so should add a lot of flavour to the game. :)

  6. I just installed the game and am gonna give it a few turns to see what it’s all about. I’m totally excited to play with the group but I have no idea how well I’ll do

    • Naithin says:

      Don’t worry, we have a bunch of new people. It’s going to be amazing. :D

      Thanks for confirming still in! I think of the initial expressions of interest, we’re all here now. So I’ll look to get this started fairly soon methinks!

      Do you have any preference around having custom characters from us in the game or not?

  7. paeroka says:

    I’d like to be in – in the form of a soldier. :,D

    As I said before, this isn’t my kind of game, but I still really like watching others play it, so I’ll be following your game progression. :)

    • Naithin says:

      Hah, this is a fantastic idea! So far the consensus is very much in favour of custom soldier inclusions, so more than happy to put you in in this capacity! :D

      Any appearance or style guidelines you want me to follow for your char?

      • paeroka says:

        I actually don’t remember what you can change… but I’m female, so a woman for me would be nice. Other than that, I don’t really care. Everything’s fine. ^^ If you can choose the colours on the outfit, I like green. :p

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