We went through most of the month with nothing happening. A medium-scale UFO was detected almost on top of Dekker's Pad, but it headed out over Europe and disappeared over Russia before either of the Interceptors could reach it. Dekker's Pad is still five days from completing its hanger and having an independent interception capablity. Once that's done a couple of laser tanks will be built and stationed there as interim defense; eventually it will also get its own Skyranger (or possibly better!) and soldiers as well. Those of you who requested a transfer will get it then.
Then, on the 21st of the month, aliens have attacked Canberra. I'm not sure why anybody would want to go to Canberra anyways when it could have been Sydney or something, but they are aliens. Maybe their directions were bad.
The Skyranger goes feet-dry ten minutes out from the battle area. Night combat is expected and the order to load incendiaries is given. Each soldier is issued a single flare. (Pertinent question: we've had “Starlight” night vision scopes since Vietnam, why don't I have any?)
The tank disembarks without drawing any fire and spots a hostile. It is, again, something we have not seen before.
Unfortunately for it, being new is not the same thing as being able to take it when the Laser Tank hits you.
Those of you who have played X-COM before and think you know what comes next: Stop giggling. (
The aliens do a lot of shooting on their turn, but nobody screams, so apparently they are once again incompetent. Spoon spots another one across the street, which takes a shot at the tank and hits. Before Spoon can return fire, though, Scotty steps out of the transport and blows the alien away with rapid fire.
SpardaSon throws a flare, bringing HLPX-COM Light to the darkness. This highlights a hostile, so it's up to KyadCK to bring both heat and light to them. He gets a hit, but Titan has to finish the job.
Unfortunately they didn't spot one that's out that way. Titan takes a hit in the chest from the same direction and goes down with a scream, dead. Scotty throws another flare to light the alien up and KyadCK takes the alien down.
One alien tosses a grenade, apparently at the Skyranger's front landing gear. Ever since the incident where Jeff Vader hit the Skyranger with one of our missiles, though, it's been heavily reinforced with alien alloys, so the grenade accomplishes nothing besides bugging Darius about the paint job. Another fires a plasma round between Scotty and SpardaSon.
But there is bad news. SpardaSon fires incendiaries at alien to the south.They're heerrrreeeeee...
The new alien is exceptionally fast, he closed nearly twenty squares in a turn. Between SpardaSon's incendiaries and and an exceptionally accurate burst from Scotty, the alien is brought down.
Jr2 locates another one to the North, literally just on the other side of a door from a pair civilians. (Or maybe he was trying to save that huge stack of beer cans from the aliens.) He immediately takes it under fire, blazing away on full auto. One hit drops it, but it's still twitching about; it's probably not dead.
More shots are taken at various things during the next alien turn. Another grenade lands near the Skyranger, only a few squares from SpardaSon. It goes off, but he survives.
Scotty renders first aid while Jr2 finds the alien behind us that has been causing trouble and blows its goddamn head off.
Spoon, meanwhile, has eyes on two civilians. But they're acting strangely and advance on his tank despite a warning shot. He fires at one to discourage the other. An alien emerges from the corpse. Another of the new aliens is spotted in the same area.
The order is passed to dump incendiaries and load HE. The situation has grown too serious, heavy firepower will be required. No sooner is it passed, than one of the new aliens runs up to Spoon's tank and tears it apart barehanded! Parts are scattered far and wide, without even a badly damaged chassis to recover.
Both Trashman and Mjn.Maxel fire on full auto in response. While Trash's autocannon rounds spray one of the aliens with shrapnel repeatedly, it takes Mjn.Maxel's laser rifle to bring both of them down with surprisingly accurate bursts. He put out nine shots this turn, and most of them struck home.
SpardaSon takes a plasma rifle round in the chest, but his armor once again saves his life; this time it holds without a breach. The E, attempting to kill that alien who just shot SpardaSon, hits a fence instead and sprays Scotty with shrapnel from the blast. Scotty pulls back for first aid and yelling at The E while SpardaSon fires a burst that brings down the alien who shot him.
Meanwhile, Axem blasts away the wall of a house so we can get at the last civilian infectee. The shot kills the civilian and the alien emerges from the corpses. TrashMan fires full auto, but despite two direct hits and a near miss the alien appears to be unfazed.
Laser fire from Headdie and Mjn.Maxel (one hit each) is required to bring it down for good.
KyadCK, waiting for Jr2 to arrive and back him up in a search of a warehouse, spots an alien that ducks behind some boxes. The alien did not reckon with the power of HLPX-COM laser weaponry: Kyad simply killed the boxes and then the alien with full auto.
A single alien appears, wielding a pistol, firing once at Scotty or the Skyranger's landing gear (it's hard to say, but it hit the landing gear). TrashMan finds its lack of self-preservation instinct disturbing. He fires one HE round, for a miss, and with an empty clip loads AP. One round, for a hit. The alien still stands. Axem launches a missile, but it misses by about a meter and flies off into the night. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, Headdie at bat...home run. Three hits, kill.
Mission complete. Canberra has been quarantined by the Australian army as a precaution while the search the town for additional civilian infectees or new aliens that might have escaped.
The standard Autocannon, like the Heavy Cannon before it, is slowly becoming ineffective. It may be time to switch to missile launchers for all heavy weapons troops.