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Author Topic: Terror From the Deep: monthly reports  (Read 1369 times)
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The Rocketman
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« on: June 23, 2010, 02:46:50 PM »

I posted a little bit on a TFTD-thread on the OO-forum, and for those interested, I'm gonna cross-post here. It was an epic game, and maybe some of you like to read about those kind of action reports.
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 02:47:31 PM »

I too have been inspired by this fun thread to retry Terror From the Deep. I've played it a lot when it came out, and a bit later on, but never actually completed it. When things start going wrong I find myself losing interest. My goal will therefore be to finally finish the game!

My rules:
*Ironman as much as possible - which I know will be excruciating, since even the smallest mistake (or sometimes, no mistake) can result in an early submarine grave.
*Medium (3rd) difficulty
*Mod: X-com util:
a) to remove bugs;
b) to improve the Magna-Pack Explosive to be able to blast a hole in an alien hull. I feel this is allowed in the spirit of the game.
c) Improved dye (= smoke) grenade. It now works a lot better. Again, I feel this is isn’t cheating, but more in line of what it should be.
d) to use x-com util to find (or kill) the last alien on a bug hunt which has been going on for too long. Otherwise I might lose interest and quit the game early. I will not use this too much, since it IS basically cheating. However, GreenGoo's thoughts seem to mimic mine for this game, and some missions are just too long. It is after all a game, and the point is to have fun.

Here's my first month:
Build my first base ("Troy", after the legendary city) in Northern Europe, since that's where I live smile I also have nice coverage of Europe, Africa and the USA from here.

January 1:
Intercept small scouting uso. 1 lone aquatoid is taken care of without trouble. A good start!

January 19: Intercepted and shot down another small uso. 2 aquatoids this time, again they’re dispatched easily. Confidence grows, I’ve still got what it takes!

Research of Sonic Pulsers (alien grenades) complete. These alien grenades will give my troops a good fighting chance until the good rifles start to appear.

January 25:
A long chase with a small uso, resulting in both my interceptors taking shots at the uso, but it keeps evading. After a long dogfight it finally lands in the sea, probably for repairs. Both my interceptors limp home, badly damaged. Let this be a warning for those cocky pilots!
My recovery team starts it’s assault on the unsuspecting sub. Outside I find 3 aquatoids, and they pose no problem. Expecting to find 1 or 2 aliens in the sub, I advance towards it’s airlock a bit too fast. The aliens take advantage of this and kill my first aquanaut who’s caught out in the open. A huge shootout ensues between my aquanauts in cover, and the aliens hiding in the uso. I kill plenty, but more aliens keep popping out. Unfortunately, my marine carrying the auto-cannon (with explosive shells) kills himself in an auto-shot accident.
In the end I make an extra hole in the sub with my Improved Magna-Pack Explosive, and surprise the aliens from the side.
Final tally: 10 aliens killed, 2 aquanauts lost! I never imagined there’d be that many aliens in such a small vessel, but I consider this a fair warning.

I hope to ride out the month on a good note, having killed 13 aliens and lost only 2 men. Unfortunately, it’s not to be, and the aliens launch a surprise attack before the month’s end.

January 26:
aliens attack a port in Africa. The Battle of Accra begins.
I load out 12 aquanauts instead of my standard 8. My men safely exit the sub, and seem to face gillmen and deep ones. 1 Gillman survives a grenade blast, and runs away. One of my rookies reacts to this, and fires his jet harpoon right in the back of the head of a friendly. The aquanaut can limp back to the sub to receive medical attention. From now on Lyudmilla will be known as “Gillhead”, and Gunter as “Medic”. Nikolai, who mistook her for a gillman, will be known as “FF” (for friendly fire).
Other than this incident, my men advance steadily. The final alien bastion is a large warehouse, packed with gillmen. Again, I assume there’s only 1 left, and my men pay the cost. 1 of them (Greg something) receives fire from a direction I didn’t suspect, resulting in 3 health left, and 3 fatal wounds. He will be dead next turn, unless… He tosses his medikit to the closest squad member nearby, and runs towards him. The squad member picks it up, and is able to heal all 3 chest wounds. He will live, hurrah! 2 Turns later the gillman shoots again, killing Greg. You will be remembered Greg… Something.
Ultimately 2 other squaddies die. 1 in a grenade tossing accident (I misclicked!), and 1 when he assaults the warehouse.
Final tally: 15 aliens killed, 10 civvies killed (5 saved), 4 aquanauts killed. Rating: POOR.

The montly report
is a positive one luckily, except for Africa who somehow isn’t happy with the way I handled that terror site.

So far everything’s going as planned. I wonder how I’ll be able to capture live aliens (other than by accident) since I don’t really like melee combat in this game. We’ll see.

My aquanaut load-out so far has been the gas cannon loaded with explosive shells, except for the weak aquanauts who get a jet harpoon. All carry sonic pulsers, standard magna-blast grenades and a dye grenade. Most kills are made with grenades. Against aquatoids, gillmen and deep ones this works so far.
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2010, 02:48:03 PM »

February report

Feb 13
Shot down a very small sub, killed the single occupant.

Feb 15
Research of Sonic Blasta rifle complete! Now for the clip... I skipped the gauss line, and I think this was a smart choice if I see Goo's problems with facing the lobstermen later on.

Feb 21 Blasta clip complete! My 'nauts killing power has probably tripled now.
Also a new USO sighting, with a long chase. It lands, and my interceptors have to return because they're low on fuel. While my triton is on the way, the uso lifts off again and escapes. Darn.

Later that month
- Particle sensor researched, which I read here may give me some cash in producing and selling it.
- I keep sending patrols to Eurasia, because that's where all the activity apparantly is, but my frequent patrols pick up nothing.
- Research on Deep One complete

End of February Rating good, but funds are down because Eurasia is unhappy with my progress. I noticed there had been activity, but my base (which is nearby) and my barracuda patrols never picked up anything. Nothing more I could do really.

All in all a very slow month, which is always nice when you're researching important stuff. But it does make you suspicious that you're missing the fleet that's massing just outside your sensor range...
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 02:48:37 PM »

March report

Mar 1
Uso lands, but takes off again before I get to it.

Mar 2 Terror site:
the aliens attack the port of San Francisco. Looks like the calm period of February has already passed.
The mission goes smoothly, the sonic blasta rifles prove their worth. But then the first Molecular Control combat begins. Greg Bell is quickly controlled by the aliens, and unfortunately holds a rear position covering a large area of friendlies. Holding a gas cannon armed with explosive bolts, the carnage is quick and total, and he kills 4 former comrades.
Somehow he's able to snap out of the alien control (or has the aquatoid responsible been killed?), and he's quickly disarmed and left in the triton. The rest of the mission is a mop-up, but the high death toll (all by 1 turned aquanaut) shows the aliens' fearsome prowess in this field. Greg Bell is nicknamed "Traitor", and will be recovering in sick bay the rest of the month, due to some wounds suffered while he was under alien control.

Mar 7
A lot of USO activity, including large and very large ships. I manage to sneak up to a small landed uso, and a recovery mission initiates.
Again I've made a mistake: it's darker that I anticipated when I left, and I didn't bring any flares. 3 of the 8 aquanauts get sniped without seeing their adversaries (by gillmen, I later find out), and the going is slow and tense. I can't see them, but they take potshots at my advancing men. In the end, using particle sensors and an abundance of grenades, the mission ends with 5 gillmen dead. A high toll for an easy target like a small uso.

Mar 9 Watching the graphs, I notice Iceland is still under heavy USO activity. After sending patrols, I pick up an alien colony there. I decide to leave it for now, having no MC defense whatsoever. My research does complete for aqua armour, so research is still going strong.

Mar 12
Another day full of dogfighting. Conclusion: 1 interceptor limping heavily damaged back to base, and 1 out of fuel. I do manage to down the small uso, and when sending out my team (in broad daylight this time) I can score a flawless victory, at last biggrin (Aliens 0 - Aquanauts 5)

And then nothing happens for the rest of the month. After a hectic start, it's calm again. My Long range scanner at my 2nd base in the antarctic (Base Zebra) is completed, so I now cover 2 sides of the globe.

Monthly rating Good, but again I lose funding. This time it's China and Eurasia who think I'm spending too much of their money.
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 02:49:30 PM »

April report

April 6: Terror site 3: Aliens attack Port Said in Egypt.
This mission is acted out by the book, nice and clean. My opponents are gillmen and deep ones, and I've outfitted my men with sonic cannons and pastic aqua-armour.
Aquanauts worthy of praise:
An aquanaut named Claude is covering a side section, and reaction fires a gillman on the other side of the map - who makes a move in front of a window - earning him the nickname "Marshall". His partner mimicks this move next turn, and he'll be known as "Deputy".

Meanwhile Edward is able to capture a deep one, using a tazer. His icecold nerves will have him known as "Freezer". Unfortunately, the deep one later wakes up in Freezer's backpack, and kills him. He will be the only casualty of the mission.

In the end I use xcomutil to locate the last alien, who's hiding behind some crates (in a room I had already cleared I thought).

Mission was a thrilling succes. I've captured 3 live aliens and killed 11 more, saved 9 civvies, and only lost 1 aquanaut due to a deep one waking up in his backpack. But my equipment and tactics have proven sound.

Bolstered by this succes, I plan an attack on the colony next to my base.

April 19: Colony attack
After 1 completely failed attempt, I reload the mission (breaking my Ironman rule!).
Constant MC attacks force me to abort the mission. I drag a snakeman corpse back to my triton, and leave "Deputy" behind on the bottom of the seabed, under Molecular Control. We can only hope his death will be quick and painless!

Morale drops, for having left 1 of our own behind...

April 22: Terror site 4: Manilla
Again, I reload the mission after a disastrous try (in which 10 men die in the first couple of turns due to a grenade / rocket shot at my triton, blowing out the backside and killing all men inside).

I face my first lobstermen, and learn the same lesson GreenGoo has learned. Even though I carry sonic weaponry, I'm still outclassed here. I kill 1 lobsterman, and lift off again, leaving the civilians to die.

It's obvious the aliens have moved up in technology and battle prowess, and I'm quickly slipping into a situation I no longer control.

Monthly rating
OK, and I lose funding from Neo Japan, Free China and Iceland.
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 02:50:03 PM »

May report

May 1: Terror site 5: Shippiing lane attack
My first terror mission on a ship, and what a completely excruciating experience it will prove to be!
It's quickly clear I'm facing snakemen who enjoy utilising MC combat, and bio-drones that combine pinpoint accuracy, lighning-speed reactions and an explosive death into the most deadly cocktail yet.

I learn that snakemen can survive grenade blasts, and have to pay for this lesson in blood. Aquanaut 1 down.
Another aquanaut quickly becomes an alien ally, and starts firing at his friends while still inside the triton. Luckily he only wounds them, and I quickly kill him off.
Another one bites the dust due to a sniping bio-drone.
A grenade is lobbed into my triton exit path, and 4 men are heavily wounded (but survive the blast!).
Another aquanaut is set up to reaction fire a bio-drone, but this doesn't work at all. Despite have high reflexes, a superior crouching position and all time units, the bio-drone floats into the room and kills the aquanaut in 1 shot. This is a tactic I won't be repeating.
The drone goes on to wound another marine, who I can heal quickly, but he's finished off a few turns later by the same drone. This thing has gone on a killing spree, dammit!

At the end of PART 1, I have to reload a couple of times to succesfully kill 1 remaining bio-drone who's holed up in a small room, killing any who enter or move in its sight. I kill it by blowing up approximately all the walls around it. A wonder the ship is still afloat...

Part 2 of the mission begins with 9 (of 14) survivors. Apparantly I lose 1 or 2 men somewhere due to being unconscious and suffering fatal wounds. I must have thought they were already dead, and it frustrates me that I could have saved them had I paid more attention.

This part ends with me having 5 aquanauts alive (all of them wounded!), and all survivors are nicknamed -T1- as a badge of honour. I have had to kill 2 MC'ed marines, and others are killed in regular combat.

A bloody mission, which had me often think of aborting, but I'm happy I persevered. Although the cost was huge (9 aquanauts killed!), I've saved 13 civvies and killed 29 aliens. Rating OK


As my men are returning to their Base, I only have 4 active aquanauts left, as everyone else is killed or in sick bay. I quickly refill their ranks, but by sheer luck no more combat takes place for the remainder of the month. I'm not able to shoot down anything larger than a small uso, and even they keep escaping my barracuda's. I will have to upgrade my interceptors in the near future.

Research goes smoothly, with magnetic ion armour, thermal shok launchers and the research of the vibroblade all complete at end of month. These are tools I will desperately need, because as the last terror missions have shown, I am at this moment outgunned and outclassed...

Monthly rating
OK, Iceland once again lowers its funding, and Free China signs a pact with the aliens. The gloves are off now, having lost one of the largest countries in the world.
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 02:50:40 PM »

June report

June will prove to be a turning point in the war. Whereas before I’ve been trying to hold out and survive, starting from june I'm taking the fight to the aliens.

June 1: Shipping lane attack:

This mission is the exact opposite of the one I had in may. My enemies are weak, gillmen and Deep ones, and I let out a cheer when I spot them! My men on the other hand are well outfitted: it will be the first test of their new ion armour.

The aliens can’t touch me. Deep ones don’t even dent my armour, and it’s only the gillmen’s grenades that cause some wounds (but no kills). The ion armour proves formidable in every respect.

Highlight is an aquanaut that falls through a floor (I didn’t see the tile had been blown off by a previous explosion), and he drops in a room with 3 gillmen and 1 deep one. He tosses a grenade, and hides behind what's left of a staircase. After the smoke has cleared, ALL of them are dead, and my guy isn't even wounded! (I didn't exaggerate this story, it was a truly phenomenal moment).

In the end I've done a perfect run, losing not a single aquanaut, and saving the lives of 10 civilians.

June 13, 21 and 22:
These missions were all identical. A medium USO lands near the coast of Africa, and my men assault it. Those creeps sure like Africa...

Notes:
* Tatiana earns the nickname of "10.2", having killed 10 aliens in 2 missions. Also, it's a private joke that has something to do with my work since it's a common code we use (nothing to do with police or anything, it's something nerdy with environmental laws smile )

*Astra "Drillboy" gets his nickname by killing a couple of aliens in 1 turn with his drill, giving me a particularly Bioshock 2-feeling.

In all these runs, I lose 1 aquanaut to a grenade, have a couple of wounded, but gain lots of intact USO's and kill 37 aquatoid creeps.

June 30: MANTA research done, but it'll be a while before I can start manufacturing one, since you need lots of workshops and a free sub pen (which I didn't know).

End of month Rating:
Excellent! Korea signs a treaty with the alines, but other than that my funding's raised for the first time!
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 02:51:11 PM »

July report

July follows on the same positive vibe as June, and starts with an automatic discovery of an Alien Colony. The beginning of the month my base expands (general stores mostly, since I got a lot of stuff raiding the medium USO's), and I find out that my best aquanaut (nicknamed "Ace" for a reason) has low MC strength, naturally. Bugger. I add *- to the ones with Molecular Control strength below 50, the others get *+ behind their name. I will try to only use the ones with *+ for missions with possible MC attacks.

July 13: I attack my first colony with 10 aquanauts, not knowing what to expect (since I've never actually played TFTD this far).

One guy kills a snakeman with a rocket launcher, consequently picks up the rocket launcher and starts blasting everything in sight until he's out of ammo. Part 1 ends perfectly.

In Part 2 I clear the entire map before finding the synomium device, and I manage to stun 2 or 3 lobster commanders guarding it. I blow it up, and use xcomutil to end the mission since I don't want to waste any time looking for the last 2 alien stragglers, or running all my men back to the exit.

The attack went perfect. I will admit that by now I have given up on Ironman-mode, and am loading more often.

July 15:
Gauss cannon research is done, so I can finally start making money by producing it en masse. Perhaps I should have started research on it sooner, since money has really been a big issue till now.

July 18: Attack on a small uso with lobstermen, goes smoothly.

Victor Kustenko gets nicknamed "XX", for being the first with 20 kills, despite having only average stats actually. He's just a regular joe, but apparantly he has a knack for killing smile

July 27:
I realise I need a live snakeman for MC generator research, so I plan on kidnapping one. I land at an Alien Colony, and in only 4 turns I've stunned and dragged back a snakeman body to the triton. I flee with tentaculats and giant jellyfish closing in on the sub, suffering some wounds. But it's worth it, I get out with all my men and my prize! biggrin

End of month Rating: Excellent again, all nations raise their funding.
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2010, 02:51:58 PM »

August Report

What a month! The aliens are kicking into overdrive, and their activity is off the charts!

August 1:
My second base, Zebra (near the south pole) is my MC training base. As I'm transferring my 10 screened aquanauts back to my main base Troy, X-COM goes on red alert! Alien activity has been detected, and there's no time to lose! I have 8 men on active duty in Troy, and quite a few of them have low MC scores. However I don't have a choice, and I load up the old triton and go in. This is my first alien activity mission ever, so I have no idea what to expect.
The first part is on the bottom of the sea, where the aliens have built some strange pyramids which seem to be excellent sniping positions for their Tasoth. Throw in a couple of aquatoid creeps who enjoy toying with my aquanauts' minds, and a couple of tentaculats for good measure, and we have a full party! It's dark and my men are scared, but I can clear the topside with only 1 casualty. Manuel -T1- (remember, -T1- is a mark of honour among my men, marking the 5 survivors of my most horrible terror mission so far) is knocked unconscious by a grenade, and bleeds to death on the bottom of the ocean. His friends are unable to get to him in time, and have to watch him die... Particulary cruel is that the alien responsible for Manuel's death is the last alien on the map. No quarters are given by either side!

The second part I admit, I reload from the start. On the first try I get overwhelmed by tentaculats, who in turn create other tentaculats, and I'm unable to stem the tide.
On my second try I'm ready for those floating horrors. The layout of the map is a true maze, with a big central room with multiple alcoves filled with snipers and tentaculats. 2 men are knocked out by stun bombs, and I'm able to revive 1 of them. My men drop a whole bunch of aliens, but a lot of them are stunned instead of killed by the sonic blasts. I hate it when that happens, since this means that they can wake up later and come after me from the rear. However none of them do, and I finally kill the last hiding alien.

Total tally: 38 kills, 1 death, 3 wounded, the alien beacon destroyed. Great work, but I only have 4 active aquanauts left until my MC trained batch returns from station Zebra. Luckily they arrive before I get into the next fight.

Aug 5
My barracuda's shoot down a Terror ship, thereby averting a new terror mission! 14 men are send on a raid.
After advancing a bit, Orski finally succumbs to the alien mind poking, turns around and starts blasting at my 2 snipers positioned on the triton's roof. During most of the mission, both sides keep shooting at each other, only causing wounds. "Drillboy" meanwhile is sneaking up to the uso, but instead of staying in cover, he panicks, drops his gear and runs towards the uso's bay doors. Quickly thereafter a tentaculat comes out and turns my favourite melee guy into a mindless zombie :cry: The alien mind may not win in a fair fight with my men, but with moves like this it still shows it's ruthless mind-blasting tactics.

Another tentaculat floats out of the uso, and I quickly lose my advantage near the USO's bay doors, facing 1 zombie and 2 tentaculats with just a few men out in the open, and my snipers pinned down by the MC-controlled aquanaut. After failing to kill these threats, and remembering the total slaughter even a single tentaculat can cause, I believe I have no choice but to shoot a rocket towards this zone. My rocket slightly misses its mark and kills one of my own men. Luckily it also downs all the aliens.

The rest of the mission is a mop-up, and near the end aquanaut Orski drops out of the mind control. I'm glad I didn't have to kill him, but he won't be on any high-profile missions anymore!

Aug 6 My barracudas, armed with sonic oscillators, manage to make their first clean kill. Everyone in Base Troy lets out a cheer, since my men don't need another mission so quickly. I start building a 3rd base near Japan and name it "Toranaga" after the genius warlord of old Japan (from the novel 'Shogun', which I rank as one of the best books ever). I also take the time to take a good look at my aquanauts so far. It seems 9 out of 18 have low MC scores, so I will have to start recruiting more agressively soon to find more aquanauts suited for MC combat. I plan to recruit 20 new aquanauts near the end of the month, and send them straight to the MC labs.

Aug 14 Assault on Alien Colony near Brazil.
For my second assault I bring a load of new toys: MC disruptors (which will prove less than stellar results, frankly) and the floating sonic tank. The tank will prove to be awesome! I think I read somewhere that one should not rely to much on tanks, but he was gravely, gravely mistaken! biggrin The tank has a whole lot of hit points, but more importantly it acts as a tentaculat-invincible magnet. The entire mission goes a lot smoother than my first assault, and I only lose 1 man because his melee drill attack didn't kill a lobsterman in time. But man oh man, is that sonic tank great! I find the roof above the synomium device, and I blow it up from above. I then use xcomutil to end the mission.

Aug 16, 18 and 24 I shoot down a crapload of small subs searching for my base, and go on 2 missions to salvage some uso parts. When up against tasoth, I let my tank do the scouting, and snipe the snakemen from far away. They never fire a single shot. The second mission is against lobstermen and shows the power of the vibroblades as most kills are made with this crude but effective drill. No losses on my side.

Aug 27 Furball day! The ocean is filled with USO's, and all my interceptors are at one point in pursuit. 1 barracuda shoots down a large Fleet Supply Cruiser, a small cruiser and an escort sub all in 1 sortie! It's a close call though, since that last little sub was on a mission to scout my base and my barracuda was running on fumes at that point smile

I launch a mission to raid the downed Supply Cruiser. Unfortunately it crashlanded among a ship wreck, and the entire terrain is littered with great sniping positions (parts of hull, cabins, cargo space or even an old control tower). It's lobster time again, and I have to take them out at long ranges. This mission is a lot of fun, resulting in a lot of great firefights between the dug-in lobster snipers and my men. Sonic blasts and grenades shower the battlefield. My little tank gets blasted by a grenade, a rocket and 2 sonic blasts and is finally reduced to a piece of scrapiron. All lobsters turn out to be holed up outside, and the big USO is totally empty.

Aug 28 Another uso recovery mission. For the first time ever for me (this means, since '96 or something?) I fight near an oil drilling platform biggrin It's a nice change of scenery, but over all too quick.

End of month Rating
Excellent! Everyone raises their funding, and X-COM can look back at a fantastic month. The aliens have thrown a lot at us, and we weathered the storm. With 20 fresh recruits into MC training, and my casualty rate slowing down, the war has proceeded in our favour.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 02:52:37 PM »

September Report
Sept 1 Alien Activity, again on the first of the month. Knowing what to expect now, I’m much more comfortable going in. Christel, who has been quietly rising through the ranks, earns the moniker “Cleric” for healing 2 wounded aquanauts in a row, and surviving a point blank shot from the sniper who caught the other 2. It’s one of those pesky tasoth who hides in the big pyramid and shoots through small windows. Those guys are difficult too take out or even spot.

In part 2 the aquanaut Grigoriy covers a corner, but a tasoth who rounds the corner is too quick on the draw and hits him in the chest. Though wounded, Grigoriy takes aim and blasts the tasoth’s head off. He may not have been the fastest draw, but his aim was spot-on. “Gunslinger” will be his callsign.
The synomium device is destroyed by my sonic tank, which attracts tentaculats like moth to a flame. With mostly the same results. No losses, good mission.

Back home in Troy, I take a thorough look at all my aquanauts. I decide to finally fire all those with an MC strength below 50. Among them are my beloved 2 Greg’s: Greg “Ace” and Greg “Traitor”. Both are veterans from day one, and I’m sad to see them go. “Ace” most of all, because despite his low MC strength, he has been the captain of my troops, with some 20+ kills. And “Traitor”, well, he was the first victim to the alien’s mind control attacks, murdering his colleagues… He was a good reminder not too underestimate those aquatic freaks. Still, at least they’ll live out the War.
In total I fire 11 aquanauts.

Sept 5 Research on “The Ultimate Threat” begins.

Sept 11 Shot down my first Dreadnought today, with 2 barracuda’s! 1 of them was 85% damaged, but I kept him in the battle, desperately wanting that kill! When sending the triton over for a recovery mission, it discovers Alien Colony 6 by accident. Handy smile
The Dreadnought clean-up goes smooth, no losses and 15 kills. Lobstermen.

Sept 15 Maiden flight of the MANTA. Without any trouble, it quickly downs an alien Fleet Supply Cruiser. The following day I raid it, and Hans Seidler (one of my 2 remaining T1’s) gets wounded twice. The guys call him a “Magnet”, and it sticks. This month he’ll be in sick bay, but afterwards he’ll quickly rise through the ranks and ultimately end up as my aquanauts’ Commander.

Sept 18
I build a 4th base near Mexico (Eldorado, after the mythic city of Gold. It’ll be an extra interceptor base.

I also plan a raid on an alien colony, but as I’m waiting with my triton for it to become daylight, I discover 2 more colonies right next to it! These aliens are getting pretty productive…
By the way, I can honestly say that by now I’m back into Ironman-mode. The sonic tank, magnetic ion armour, MC-screened aquanauts and DPL launchers make for a formidable force.
In Part 1 of the colony assault I lose my tank to a rocket, and the blast badly wounds a nearby aquanaut. Part 2 however goes extremely smoot: I stay on level 2, quickly locate the roof of the synomium device room, drop some stun bombs through it, destroy the device and capture the lobster commanders. Use xcomutil to end.

Sept 24
I drop some rookies for a Supply Cruiser recovery mission. They seem to suffer from low strength, and since every aquanaut carries a vibroblade, medikit, grenade and ammo, the going is quite slow. My tank takes a beating (4 or 5 sonic blasts, lots of stun grenades and lobster claw attacks) but shrugs it off. 8 Kills later I’ve got some experienced rookies and a whole lot of stuff to sell!

Sept 29
Finally, research has finished on T’Leth, the Alien City!

Monthly Rating:
I lose Egypt to the aliens, everyone else remains happy with my performance.
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2010, 02:53:15 PM »

October report

20 recruits have been screened for MC strength, and I have to sack 11 of them. Among them Carlos Carlos, who besides having a funny name, had 16 kills in 3 missions. But 2 of them have an MC strength of 100, so that’s promising.

I sent 20 fresh recruits to the MC screening labs. Seeing the previous results, I expect half of them to be fit for actual combat duty. Makes you wonder who the lucky ones are smile

Oct 1: Alien Activity, off course! It’s like those underwater freaks adhere to a strict calendar! I do wonder if the game couldn’t have randomised this a bit more, since I always have a skeleton crew in my main base Troy (because I foolishly built my MC labs in my other base, Zebra, and lots of aquanauts are still in transfer to Troy on the 1st).

I can send only 10 men, and it’s nighttime again, great. Tom Hand -T1- gets blasted by a grenade, but I can reach him with a medikit that turn. Luckily, since he has only 5 health left (after healing him). If I’d had been a tad slower, poor Tom would have bled to death that turn. Tom’s on a lucky run, because in part 2 of the mission he is shot by a tasoth during his own turn, and is left with 2 health! Another aquanaut runs to the rescue, but has to use ALL his time units to kill the tasoth with his drill. Seems like Tom’s luck hasn’t run out yet…

When my tank spots 2 tentaculats I have my men shoot a rocket into them. Afterwards it appears that the blast tore down some walls and has actually killed an extra 2 of those floating brains, that were hiding behing the wall. 4 dudes with 1 shot, not bad.

Right afterwards the morale of a tasoth nearby must have plummeted, because one of my men who’s guarding a corridor suddenly finds a dropped plasma gun behind him!! I freak out, since I totally assumed the room was clear for that aquanaut. I search for the panicked tasoth with 2 men, but don’t find it, and move on, thinking I must have missed the gun lying there when I got to the room. I’m proven wrong some turns later, when I DO find an unarmed tasoth running around there!

In poker terms, this mission ranks as a straight flush: Good cards, but a whole lot of luck too 8-)

Oct 2:
A dreadnought searching for my base is downed with 2 barracuda’s and a manta.
That day I also use xcomutil to automatically fight the recovery mission of a downed small cruiser. It works nicely, but feels a bit like I’m cheating. Still, these missions are so easy that it feels a waste of time to do them.

I also attack the downed dreadnought (no rest for my men the first 2 days of October!), and find it has crashed near a sunken treasure galley. This makes for a nice change of scenery, and soon explosions and plasma blasts rock the old ship and it’s forgotten treasures as lobstermen desperately defend their large uso. My DPL guys are – literally – having a blast, and practically destroy the dreadnought. My men board from all angles, and it’s a thrill to fight in this hull where not a section remains complete. Gaping holes in the walls, ceiling and floors make for a nervous room-to-room fight with these lobstermen. It reminds me of a modern version of Stalingrad.

3 of my men (Emilio, Stuart and Alfredo) are meleed by lobstermen near the end of the mission. They all survive and kill their attackers, and the new names they’ve earned are “Rocky”, “Rocky II” and “Rocky III” off course.

Oct 4 – 9 I shoot down a lot of small cruisers, and assault some of them with by-the-book combat. This is dragging the game out a bit too much actually.

Oct 10 Manufacture of the Leviathan has finished! While I can now theoretically reach T’Leth, I plan to train my veteran aquanauts a bit more in MC combat in November, since they still can’t mind control a single alien. Their MC stats as well don’t seem to improve. Bug or feature…?

Oct 20 The previous days I keep downing small subs, and raid them for some zrbite which I seem to be running out of. Probable cause of this are the Magnetic Ion Armours which I’m making for everyone; these things soak up zrbite.

On the 20th I raid a supply ship, which my Leviathan brought down. That new sub is an absolute beast! Incredibly fast and well-armoured, this baby would even beat the Millenium Falcon (in an underwater battle, but still…).

The aquanaut Astro takes 2 shots to the chest, but shakes it off and drives his drill into the soft flesh of 3 lobstermen. This impressive feat will have the others call him “Fisherman”. “Rocky” meanwhile finds himself hiding behing the back of a lobsterman (ran out of time units at a bad time), but his comrades keep the lobsterman panicked with MC attacks so Rocky can kill it the next turn.

The rest of the month I shoot down a battleship and lots of small uso’s, but I don’t raid them anymore.

Rating:
Excellent, funding is raised.
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2010, 02:53:50 PM »

November Report
I start the month by having my 10 aquanauts with MC scores above 90 spend a month in MC training. I hope they will prove valuable for the assault on T'Leth.

Nov 1 My fourth Artifact Site lights up on sonar. My team moves automatically: in the first 3 turns 2 tentaculats and 2 Tasoth perish, and 3 more tasoth panic. My triton has landed right next to the elevator, so in 6 or 7 turns I have evacuated everyone (and killed about 10 aliens) and start part 2.

In part 2 the aliens actually launch a pretty good counteroffensive, and "Rocky I" is killed by a tasoth with faster reactions. Gunslinger is not as easily surprised, and a snakeman riding an elevator to his level is quickly dispatched of. Rudi Krause gets shot in the back, because he didn't notice the wall behind him was actually a door :/ He's not even hurt though, and the guys will call him "Hunchback" from now on. At the highlight of the mission, my tank is surrounded by 5 tentaculats (!) and methodically kills them off while they try to mate with it. Or whatever it is they do, I don't really want to know...

These missions have become a piece of cake.

Nov 5 To test my new bird - the mighty Leviathan - for a combat drop, I land it near a downed medium USO (a hunter). It seems the USO crashlanded near a sunken greek city, so maybe it is the fabled lost city of Atlantis? I have never fought in this landscape before, and it's a joy to blast every priceless piece of pottery - could be the title to a new Prince of Persia actually - to smithereens! 1 rookie, with full morale and MC strength of 52 is put under Molecular Control in just 1 attack! I may have to fire the aquanauts with a score below 60 now, it seems.

The mission goes smoothly, except for 1 loss inside the USO.

Nov 17 Even with all my interceptors in the air/oceans (by now, about 8!) I can't shoot down all the USO's, because there are simply too many! For those of you who have seen the 3rd episode of the 1st season of Battlestar Galacty (where the Fleet is attacked by Cylons every 3 hours or so), this feels very similar. My barracudas and mantas are being repaired, rearmed and refueled non-stop, and constantly engaging the slimy subs all over the globe.

Nov 20 At this point 5 shot down USO's (escort subs, but also a dreadnought) are in close proximity to each other on the sea bed, all of them were searching for my base. These guys are my top-priority, I will let every other sub get away if I spot one that's on a Base Attack mission.

Mission Rating Excellent, funding increases again smile
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2010, 02:54:33 PM »

December Report
My 10 extra-trained aquanauts have finished their additional MC training (and I put 'MC' next to their names). Results however, are quite disappointing. While their MC scores have increased, it's nothing spectacular, and I feel I have wasted a month in preparing them for T'Leth.

Dec 1 Alien Activity 5 lights up, but I ignore it, because I'm heading for the Big One!

This is my list of aquanauts that will hopefully destroy the Alien Menace:

Captain "Magnet", 20 missions, 29 kills

Commander "Cleric", 17 missions, 55 kills
Commander Malory, 17 missions, 26 kills

Lieutenant Miguel "T1" MC, 15 missions, 24 kills
Lieutenant Tom Hand "T1", 11 missions, 22 kills
Lieutenant Astra, 15 missions, 20 kills
Lieutenant "Hunchback", 14 missions, 27 kills
Lieutenant "XX" MC, 8 missions, 27 kills

10 more Ensigns fill out the ranks, among them "Rocky II", "Gunslinger", "Fisherman" and "Rocky III". ALl of them veterans, with kill ratings up to 21.

Finally, 2 FLoating Sonic Tanks will provide support.

Space aboard the Leviathan is extremely limited, so my men are outfitted with just the bare necessities:
7 scouts: armed with sonic blasta rifle, thermic lance and medikit
7 gunners: armed with sonice cannon, vibroblade/thermic lance
4 heavy weapon guys: armed with a DPL launcher and 5 rockets.

My 6 MC-skilled aquanauts receive a molecular disruptor.

All of them wear Magnetic Ion Armour, but noone has any spare ammo, so they'll have to loot the bodies as they go. No grenades either, there's just no more space frown

My men say their goodbyes, and board the Leviathan with the eyes of the world watching them. Let the final mission begin... (Obviously, some small spoilers will be revealed now).

Part 1:
Dark, twisting corridors form a maze filled with aquatoid aliens with DPL launchers. My first tank is destroyed in the first few turns (by just one lucky explosion), and "Hunchback" survives 2 consecutive rocket blasts! He hasn't stolen his name, but is severely wounded.

Part 2:

Long corridors, big rooms, and lots of deep ones (which can't even hurt me, excellent!) and lobstermen. This part starts off bad, because apparantly everyone has lost their ammo, and it's lying (or floating!) in the first room. Because I'm stupid, I drop some of the ammo clips on objects my men can't walk on, and so 3 men don't have any ammo.

I encounter an alien I've never seen before: some kind of superfast squid that can shoot sonic blasts! They take a lot of damage, but bleed like all the others. I'm also happy for the MC disruptors I brought. For instance, at one point Tom Hand rushes a lobsterman to drill him to death, only to remember his thermic lance is still in his backpack when he reaches his foe! Luckily the MC squad panicks the lobsterman, giving Tom enough time to grab his drill and tear the lobster an extra hole.

Another advanced tactic: my remaining tank blocks a lobsterman holding a DPL launcher (betting that it won't fire it's rockets so close to itself), my MC squad hammers it with panic attacks, and "Fisherman" rushes in for the fatality.

My men are shot at quite a bit (and hit!), but noone suffers any wounds so far. Also, they have so many time units, that sometimes I walk into a room, see 2 aliens, and promptly kill them both.

Part 3:
Ah, after hours and hours of gruesome (and long!) combat, I've reached the finale. And this is it, since there's no "SAVE GAME" option anymore either!

The corridors of the ancient alien city are completely filled with those squid-like tanks, lobstermen, giant medusa's and the occasional deep one. Hunchback, still wounded from part 1, takes a blast when he appears in front of a door and is finally killed. His luck ran out today. Others are stunned by the barrage of stun bombs the lobstermen are desperately shooting, but all of them are awakened by medikits.

For the first time ever, I succeed in molecularly controlling a lobsterman, which has me laughing out loud as I let it throw it's weapons away, and let it run into my men, holding their spinning drills!

Finally, I locate the mastermind of this invasion, and destroy it's life support beams one by one...
As the Alien Horror knows it's defeated, it lets out a million-year-old scream, setting of a giant chain reaction inside T'Leth. The huge city explodes violently, a blast so large it can be seen from outer space... My 17 remaining men had no time for goodbyes, and are never heard from again.

Magnet, Cleric, my 2 remaining T1's, XX, the Rocky's, Gunslinger and Fisherman... They all rest on the bottom of the ocean, among many of their fallen brothers.

The only survivors, after 11 months of war, are those lucky enough to have been sacked because of low MC strength, but everyone else is pretty much gone.
A bittersweet ending.



This is the first time ever that I've completed TFTD, and wow, what a ride it has been! I thank you all for reading, and I hope someday another game can capture the magic that this one has.
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 02:42:17 PM »

Does reading this bring back some memories...

Nicely done and very well written! I'd love to see you do something else (or yet another game) in the near future. biggrin
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 10:24:23 PM »

Only read the first 4 or so reports. Very well written and totally entertaining! I love it. Thank you. I never did play this game. I played X-Com but was horrible at it. I mean HORRIBLE. I never did finish it. When TFTD came out I thought it was kmore of the same and I read it was even harder. So I passed. I think that was a mistake. I own it now on Steam along with all the X-com games. I think I may give it a go. Underwater seems fun.

I wish they would make these again but with co-op so each soldier could be a real person. Maybe have the host be the base commander. They wouldn't actually go on a mission but would be responsible for sending out everyone else , doing research, promotions...and that cool stuff. Sounds fun to me anyways.

I'll read all this thread during the day today.

Dhawk
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2010, 12:10:52 AM »

nicely done!
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