The Let's Play Archive


by Jade Star

Part 14: Operation True Roman Testicle

Operation True Roman Testicle

Another quick retaliation mission here with out anything particularly new to discuss. One thing worth mentioning though is something Guava points out early in the mission; knowing your enemies and what you can expect to see during the rest of the mission. This relates back to my Giant Robotic Crab Syndrome, and Guava is right to point out that the Muton was going to be the toughest thing in the mission and warranted a more liberal use of items than I ended up using. In my reasoning the muton was part of a 2 alien pod, so it was slightly under strength to begin with and it was the very first thing I saw. I expected there to be a more serious threat later in the mission, but nothing that bad ever turned up. Julian comes home with an unused rocket, and a little bit of sadness for not exploding some kind of ADVENT.

A second thing worth talking about is that thing Guava constantly hates about Bulwark. The muton takes cover using Julian this mission and turns the Bulwark bonus against us. Oh no! Guava seems to hate this more than anything and feels like it is a serious problem. However as I point out and demonstrate in the video this can be used to X-Com's advantage. Mutons are tough aliens to deal with early on, they have a natural 10 defense and hiding in high cover gives them 40 more, making them a a real pain in the ass to pull out of high cover. But if you can trick a muton into using a SPARK for high cover and then pull that cover away from him you leave the muton vulnerable in the open and exposed for free flank shots from your entire team. Any possible downside Guava can bitch at me about Bulwark giving the enemies cover is worth nothing because when they do that you simply move the SPARK anywhere you desire and it leaves an enemy completely and utterly vulnerable to being murdered by your entire squad. I would much rather have a muton hide behind a SPARK so i can pull the rug out from under its feet than have it take real cover behind a tree or wall. Moving a SPARK to remove cover from a muton is so much easier than having to use skills or explosives to remove a muton from cover. So, let them take cover behind Julian I say. It's the last dumb decision they will get the chance of making..

Lastly, if it wasn't fairly obvious I had a lot of editing happen in that video for multiple reasons. The lobster memorial video was made after the mission video and spliced in somewhat crudely, and guava crashed somewhere during the Big Sky transmission. Oh well, at least it wasn't JAIDS.

SPARK skills, Cavalier rank
Intimidate Vs Wrecking Ball

Honestly I don't get too excited about either of these skills. Intimidate gives a chance to panic an enemy that shoots at your SPARK, which sounds good but has some catches. First off you're getting shot at. Stop that, stop letting ADVENT live long enough to shoot back at you. Second it's 1 attempt to intimidate a turn. And last, while I don't know the exact formula, Intimidate has never had a stellar success rate with me, maybe around 25-50%. So it's of limited use and likelihood to work, but when it does work it panics an enemy and removes them from the fight for two turns. That's great. So it's a big effect that won't ever happen often enough to rely on it. And I think by now I've made my position known that I prefer things I can rely on happening 100,% or near 100% of the time.
Wrecking Ball also has the potential to be super cool. It's another Overdrive modifying ability that lets the SPARK just plow through cover while it moves. This can be super nice, busting through walls Kool-Aid man style to expose ADVENT positions to flanking shots. You also have to be careful not to trample over cover your own team is in the process of using. With a little care and waypoint managing it could prove really useful, but it is only active when Overdrive is active, limiting its use.

Overall I can't give you a clear winner. Intimidate may be the easier choice because it's passive and will work and do things with out a player having to keep it in mind and make even more micro management decisions while fighting. Both can have a big impact on a fight, but the opportunities or chances for them to really do the most they can do are pretty sparse.

Winner.... Intimidate? Maybe? Fuck it, go experiment on your own, I'm getting a Root Beer.