Tactical Tuesdays (XCOM) Thread: Rob & Austin Save The Earth ... Hopefully


I just stopped by to say this is probably my favourite LP series in a long, long time. I’m excited for Mox’s first outing with the punk boys.


Yeah, that still works that way. I’ve never tested if names will stick, but I’d imagine so.


New episode up in the OP.

Eat your oatmeal.


New episode. The chat was a lot of “wow” and “omg”. Worth the click.


I may not understand exactly what was going on for bits of that (did the game glitch out or was it working as expected?) so hopefully next episode we get an explanation from the team so we can understand what we saw this week.


I don’t think anything that happened was a bug.

The chat consensus was that the missed overwatch shot hit the mission target, which I think had to be what happened.

As for getting spotted when you didn’t expect it – pretty sure that’s working as designed. They got spotted by a unit they couldn’t have seen until they were on that square. It’s fucking rough, but, you know. xcom.

WHAT a fucking episode.


People aren’t posting in here because people tweet instead but man I’m still on tilt after that and I wasn’t even playing the game.


Valravn is such a fucking stud holy hell. Alexei was MVP (most valuable physic) on that last mission though, he was a champ.

I can’t believe Jeremy went turncoat.


Were the buildings THIS destructible in Xcom 1? You could definately blow up walls and ceilings but the amount of environmental mayhem in this game seems new.

Continue to enjoy watching Austin and Rob play this, the They are Billions stream was fun too. You guys should consider a long term strategy/tactics stream if this xcom run ends and you aren’t completely burnt out.


XCOM 2 amped up the destructibility of the environment for sure, it’s always funny getting a mission to place explosives on a building and ending up completely leveling the building in the course of working your way over to place the X4 charges in the smoldering wreckage.

Having played a ton of XCOM every single moment of this last mission has ruined campaigns for me.

  • If you can’t see an enemy unit you won’t see the reveal radius they are projecting, even if you can see other members of their group. Edges of rooftops are incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what is on the other side of the wall.

  • Missed overwatch shots will occasionally destroy cover, including cardboard boxes with mission critical laptops, the wall your teammate is hiding behind, and even the rooftop the overwatcher is standing on if someone runs below them.

  • Hacked units get an immediate move for the aliens when the hack runs out, and it will cancel anything the unit is doing like suppression or the sectopod charge attack. If I remember right the hack/shutdown always lasts two turns, so it’s best to move the unit far from flanking your units or to start killing it before it turns.

  • Elevated units have better vision to other elevated areas and your rooftop soldier is definitely going to activate a squad on a rooftop that your guys on the ground much closer can’t see.

I think Austin did very well with everything that went down. Learning the game’s idiosyncrasies is half the battle and boy does the XCOM series have a lot of them. To be honest I thought the objective was toast as soon as the grenades and missiles started raining down on that building close to the objective, falling rooftops and fire have failed missions for me more than a few times.

Look out for actual bugs like a stunlancer setting himself on fire while running over to prod one of your soldiers. The fire debuff prevents him from using his melee attack so he’ll get an extra move (after possibly double moving to melee your soldier) and be able to shoot after that move.


I look forward to this stream all week. It’s a deep fave. Thanks, team!


Thank you for making sense of that disaster for us!


This series inspired me to do two things. 1) Make a Waypoint Forum account and 2) Play Xcom 2. The show of personality the squadies developed from these missions is just fascinating. I was on the edge of my seat during that last mission trying to think ahead, and the catharsis of the Blacksite mission being overwhelmingly victorious was intense. Thanks Waypoint for convincing me to play Xcom finally, especially thanks to Rob and Austin!


After all of the 57 gb downloaded, I finally gave this a try. I hadn’t played XCOM 2 since its release, pretty much.

1, It’s harder than it looks. I played a lot of XCOM and there’s just enough shitfting around, and the missions scale pretty seriously in War of the Chosen, from what I can tell. 2, I did the thing on Mox’s mission where I justice’d someone over and then shot them, because that seems like a good thing to do. he exploded and Mox died.

… ironman run #1 scrubbed. Next.

That being said… I think Austin and Rob have been incredibly lucky so far. I did a rewatch of a few episodes, and the number of near-death lucky misses are incredible. And the way the mission difficulty is rising… every episode is going to be a nailbiter from here on out. As if the most recent one wasn’t tough enough.

Good luck guys!




Tactical Tuesdays (02.13.18) – The Dark Mardi Gras

Obviously there had to be another pod on the map, but it’s pretty unusual to get surprised like that on a retaliation mission. What were those clowns even doing over there that they never got to shoot a civilian?

Also, I would say that the lack of scientists and engineers at this point is pretty ridiculously unlucky.

On the bright side, picking up that continent bonus will help a ton, and if this doesn’t slide into a complete game over, it’s only a matter of time before they get over the hump and can relax a bit.


I’m gutted.

Deepest gratitude to Christian Shrink Elliot for hacking/End of YoRHA’ing the game from beyond the grave to give you a second chance to dodge that UFO.


It’s clear that the game actively hates Rob & Austin at this point. I’ve never seen the UFO hunt show up so early. Maybe they finished the Blacksite mission way quicker than I ever have?

And three missed shots in a row at 72%… I mean, that’s not impossible but it’s around a 2% chance. Almost the worst possible luck you could have.


I think it says something about how we consider luck that we see something we know is somewhat unlikely as extremely bad luck. Because this long play was almost guaranteed to have 2% chance things happen semi-regularly. It’s baked into the probabilities (it may not be exactly baked into the game if there is a behind the scenes accumulator that tweaks the real odds or just lies to the player - and I think that’s been confirmed).

To go to the odds over a long play and how we think of them as unlikely but really they’re not: if we do (1-(1-.72)^3)^31 = ~0.50; even a 2% chance will likely happen (as in even odds of it happening at least once, quite possibly several times) within a chain of 31 attempts so we can think of such an event as happening semi-regularly (which is something we can intuit, these aren’t lottery winning odds). Over a game where probabilities are constantly being rolled against, this stuff should come up quite a lot. It’s one of the things I find less satisfying about games that use probability extensively - we know that unlikely things happen quite often and yet we feel like they shouldn’t. The design required to make a run of bad luck (which we expect will happen during any lengthy campaign) feel like bad luck but not actually demoralise or derail most people (even those who are planning somewhat for it) is so tricky.

Edit: Oh, and for clarity: the above is not actually calculating the probability of 3 misses in a row from (31*3=) 93 shots all with 72% odds because that’s a slightly different calculation (which is more likely - the above blocks each chain of shots into triples [with that 2% odds of the thing we want to know if happens] and then only evaluates if a single triple includes 3 misses - so (MMM)(HHH) counts but (HMM)(MHH) would not and yet is 3 misses in a row). This looks like the right maths involved in doing such an X in a row odds properly.


This is true, and something I always keep in mind when playing XCOM, that when that 99% shot misses that’s simply the 1 out of the 100. I think something that helps with the perception of awful luck is the circumstances, however: not only did they get the 2% chance of missing that shot three times, but it happened at precisely the worst moment that it could have happened. If that had happened on a successful mission, it would pass by mostly unnoticed. We would collectively say “THAT’S XCOM, BABY” and have a good laugh. It all comes down to our perception. In that same mission they managed to get someone to the extraction point after being missed by two overwatch shots. Much better odds of both of those missing, but still, XCOM 2 XCOMed in their favor in that instant. But since the mission ended in tragedy, the bad luck becomes part of the story we tell about that mission.

But, in general, we are pretty bad at judging odds properly. *looks at news coverage of basically any election ever *

Edit: Past a certain point of complexity, the equations for calculating odds make me want to just lie down on the floor.