I’ve decided to chronicle my attempts at beating xcom on the classic ironman difficulty to share with all of you my desperate fight to save humankind and maybe also share some tips and knowledge with fellow Earth defenders.
Since things can go to hell very quickly in this particular mode of play. I won’t be chronicling every detail but rather what each game taught me, what’s my best attempt and just my thoughts and feelings in general.
So what exactly is Classic iron man challenge? To start off classic is the hard difficulty setting set to reflect the old difficulty of the original game. You’re way outgunned, the alien invasion ramps up very fast and you will never have enough time to do everything you want. It also means that you will lose some countries support and that you’ll play the entire game in catch-up mode.
And to make it really interesting you add Iron man mode meaning that you have to play the game without the ability to redo any mission or go back to an older save. You have to live with the consequences of your failures. So without further ado, here’s my progress so far.
Best attempt: Game 14, made it close to 4 months in.
So by game 14 my tactics for the tactical mode were sound enough to start making serious progress in the management side of things and I’m now realizing that I’ll have to give some more thoughts on how to approach the long-term goals. I felt like I was scrambling the entire time and that I didn’t have enough of anything to make serious progress. In the end, I was undone by attrition in my trained troops and too may countries panicking.
The previous games at a glance
Game 1-4: Those were played with the idea of getting the base mechanics down and just learning how to play the game so I wasn’t even trying to make it past the first month.
Game 5-9:Sadly, these games were pretty much xcom kicking my ass in the tactical mode so bad I couldn’t hope to continue playing. Sooner or late I’d lose a fight so badly, not only would I lose too much support from the council but I’d be stuck with all rookie teams.
Game 10-11: I was doing better tactically but I couldn’t figure out how to keep the world from panicking and I was trying various paths of research to find a solution or rush to better ships/satellites. I was starting to suspect I was doing something horribly wrong and I was right.
Game 12: Look at that! You can base interceptors in other countries! God I’m dumb. This was so obvious yet I somehow missed it. The world is still going crazy but at least I can keep better control and not die as fast.
Game 13-14: Progress is being made but I can’t seem to catch a break in research and facilities. I need a ton of stuff and I just can’t make it fast enough… I’ll need to start thinking about the long-term strategy. Game 14 was the first time I managed to get laser weaponry and armor on everyone and it made such a huge difference I think I’ll work hard at getting it faster.
Tips and thoughts of the day
- Base interceptors in other countries… duh
- Laser weaponry is vital to survival as is armor. I need to work on getting those way faster.
- I need to make a plan for long-term strategy and not go for the fastest research in the hope that more research is better. Weapon and armor need to be a priority.
- Engineers are important and I was stuck for a while because of a lack of them. Need moar engineers!
- I need to chain produce satellites and facilities.. can’t have the base builders wasting away precious days.
- (tactical) Waiting the enemy out can pay big time especially in missions were there’s a lot of aliens around.