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!)