XCom – Vale: CAPT Matsumoto

RIP Captain “Ghost” Matsumoto.

The Temple ship is destroyed, Earth is saved. XCom has accomplished its goals and the team returned home, almost unscathed.

(Some Spoilers Ahead)

CAPT Matusmoto, the team sniper and also the psi gifted member sacrificed himself at the moment of ultimate defeat in order to snatch victory from the terrible forces about to destroy the planet. Forcing his teammates from the ship he turned back to the ship’s bridge and without regard for his life, gained control of the ship that was tearing itself apart (and the earth with it). He managed to force the ship to a safe distance before the ship was destroyed. His body has not been recovered.

468px-Spi

 

FULL REPORT – TEMPLE SHIP

The team progressed carefully through the ship, facing all of the aliens that had been opponents throughout this alien crisis, from the easily destroyed Sectoids and Thin Men to the tougher Cyberdiscs and Sectopods.

Throughout the mission I had an ominous feeling that victory in this mission would lead to the ultimate failure in XCom’s mission to protect the Earth. The ships commander provided comment and assessments as we progressed and the general feeling was of doing exactly what he wanted us to do. Had the whole XCom project created exactly the supersoldier that the aliens desired, created them out of us!

XCom_Enemy_Unknown_Final_Boss

The Temple Ship Commander – The Uber Ethereal

 

Several tough battles were fought by the team. A pair of Sectopods were probably the toughest opponents before they made it to the bridge. Careful use of grenades, sniper shots and Shredder Rockets saved the team several times and by the time the bridge was assaulted no one had been killed. A memorable moment occurred when a Drone wandered into an area where all six team members were on Overwatch. Six shots reached out and annihilated the drone.

Once on the bridge it was clear that this is what the aliens had wanted. The Psi troop would become the start of their newest breed of soldiers.

Two Muton Elite, two Ethereal and the Uber Ethereal meant there was a lot of mind control ability available to the enemy. The team spread wide across the room, so that if any were mind controlled it would be hard to shoot at teammates. However they were all placed to be able to shoot the Uber.

Several shots were deflected in the first round, however a successful rocket hit and one other had him on low points, before their turn. 2 members were mind controlled, but a hit from another trooper before a careful shot from CAPT Matsumoto destroyed the Uber, in the process destroying the other aliens on the bridge. Victory was ours!

Then the ship started to disintegrate. At XCom headquarters it was clear the ship was about to destroy itself, taking the planet with it.

Onboard, CAPT Matsumoto’s psi powers let him see the ships plans and that’s when he knew what was required.

XCOM – Short Review

OMG I finished another game! And I did enjoy XCOM. I may even go back and try it again, perhaps on a more difficult setting, or with a different start base. Unless you are violently opposed to turn based games then I recommend this game to you.

Two games finished now and its only February, what’s in store for March?

……… actually I’ve started Trine 2……..

XCom – Final stage

I HAVE A PSYKER!!! Well it’s only taken me almost two months (though that’s only about a dozen plays or so) but I finally found another psi gifted troop.

I had some tips over the month to try folks with strong Will score. This score builds as yo level your troops and I had been testing all mine as soon as the arrive as recruits, hence the terrible run of failures.

As the last batch of the old test regime finished (no psi) I found one Captain that hadn’t been tested, hmm, a sniper that we’ve heard so much about before.

10 days of testing and he’s passed! So I kit him up with the Psi-amour and I am informed that he is powerful enough to use the Gallop Chamber.

Woohoo, I can finally move on to the final mission.

At this point the game warns you that any further research or engineering is impossible. That’s fine for me as I have warehouses full of stuff to equip more than just a 6 man team. I have at least 8 full Colonels (though none support or sniper) ready and waiting for deployment on this mission.

The Gallop Chamber is activated and an assault on the Temple ship is now possible. The team is assembled, the psi trooper must participate and he must survive the assault. I kit out my best troops and launch.

Concept_-_Temple_Ship2

As I type the team has arrived at the ship and had its first combats with the alien crew……

Another Test Ride

The Daytona’s arrival in Australia has been delayed. Which is actually a good thing. It gives me some more time saving money before I get it. It also gives the Internet more chance to put news and reviews from other owners out there.

In the meantime, my dad and the salesman both suggested I try the Triumph StreetTripleR as some way to start to get some idea of the new Daytona. It’s not a bad suggestion, while tuned a little differently with a different seating position it is the same triple engine and similar in weight etc.

This afternoon I had a little time to spare so I dropped into the shop to check one out.

2013-Triumph-Street-Triple-R_007

Sitting on it, I recalled my Ducati test ride last year. They are a similar style bike, but I felt more comfortable on the Triumph. I can’t say that’s because the bike suited me better or if my expectations were closer to reality after that experience. I left the shop and headed to the freeway, planning to get onto some side streets on the way back to the shop.

My main goal was to see what it was like sitting about in traffic, whether I was swapping gears all the time getting about a slow speed.

After a short dash up the freeway (heavy traffic so not much chance to let it have its head) I hit a couple of local roads I knew as I headed back to the shop. Traffic was easy and even from low revs the bike was happy to pull away, exactly what I was looking for. It was also happy in one gear at city traffic, makes it easy to manage and you’re not pulling in the clutch al the time.

Triumph_Street_Triple_R_2013_st1pz

The brakes were great too, big initial bite almost caught me out as it’s a lot stronger than my VFR. But again, that was easy to get used to and ride merrily along.

Overall, I was really happy with the performance in the areas I was looking at.

BUT I didn’t like it. After two rides of the “street fighter” style bikes, I’ve not liked them. The seating position feels even more upright than my VFR. They’ve both been slim between my thighs and I like to have something there to grip.

And at the end, I’m more happy with how I expect the Daytona to feel.

MWO – A toe in the water

As you’re likely aware, I was very keen when MWO was announced and even more excited when I was invited into the Beta. However you’ve also probably read my increasing disappointment with the direction the game seemed to be heading and eventually I stopped playing. I think that was about 2 months ago.

B3F022320942E1D1B7FD2B854C870B39Discussions with other MWO players who’ve continued to play picked up my interest, and so today I dipped a toe back into the water again.

I have to say, the three games I played I was pleasantly surprised. Enough that I will go back again, and to say to others that may have quit to at least have another look.

So what has changed?

I played 3 PUG games, 2 in my Hunchie (medium mech) and one in my Jenner. I was well out of practice, so I wasn’t particularly effective in any of them.

ECM is still there, but it doesn’t seem like the steamroller it was when it started. However I temper that comment with the fact that I wasn’t running my Catapult, which is seriously affected by ECM. In the three games, perhaps half of the mechs had ECM.

They haven’t done much to the lobby, however there are significant changes to pre and post match screens, with a lot more info displayed. Even when you get killed you get a screen that tally’s your killer, the last few hits, and some other stats.

There is a new game mode. Assault is still there but so is a kind of Resource point capture game (I can’t remember the proper name). That should mix things up some, you can even nominate to play only one of the game modes prior to launch. There are supposed to be some new maps, but I didn’t see one in my three games.

Oh, and in homage to the game that really got the franchise noticed, Mechwarrior 2, they have hired the voice actress who did all of that game’s “computer” voice. It’s all incorporated into MWO. Even the mech startup internal view has yourself running the startup sequence in the cockpit. Very cool for us old MW heads.

So its enough that I will dust off my Corp membership and shake the cobwebs of the mechs….

A5D95DC470B403626F32105E5C81E5D5

 

Flipped

The bike choice has flipped right over. I’ve put some money down on the Daytona 675R. They are due into the country in mid March and if I’m to have any chance to even look at one in the next couple of months, you basically need to be buying it.

And to be honest, I only have the couple of concerns about it still. The seating position, though it shouldn’t be much different to the GSXR that I have ridden already. The other, is the difference between a 750 and a 675. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but you never know.

I do plan to have a ride of the new 675R Street Triple to get some idea of the engine response etc. Won’t be the same, but closer than anything else.

But they are small concerns, and the pluses are pretty good on paper. Plus the Daytona is slightly more exclusive and I’d have one of the first in the country! I can pose all over and people will follow me and I will be famous…. and rich…. lol!!

And really you should avoid blog entries without them if you can, so here’s some more pictures.122-1212-01-o+2013-triumph-daytona+675R 2013-Triumph-Daytona-675R_001 2013-Triumph-Daytona-675R_006 triumph-daytona-675-675r-2013_10 2013-Triumph-Daytona-675R-08

Out of left field

I have pretty much decided upon the GSX-R750, and the votes on colour went pretty much the way I had expected, black being most peoples favourite and mine as well.

I had been running through most of the other manufacturers and styles of bikes, just to check that there wasn’t something else out there that I would be interested in, that was close in price to the GSXR. There are some exotic bikes that I would consider, but their price pushed them out of the running. Otherwise they were bikes I wouldn’t ride, or were similar to my VFR.

146_1210+2013-suzuki-GSX-R750_BLK_L3_P+

No fuel gauge? What is this 1913?

I rang Triumph to get a quote for their Daytona 675. Unfortunately they don’t have any, and won’t be getting anymore.

Because in February the 2013 bike comes out… and its an all new bike.

The price was also close to the GSXR, so I did some research on the bike and the GSXR now has a challenger, at least until I ride the 675.

But its more than just the price, the upgraded 675R that I’m looking at is only a little more than the standard one and comes with ABS, Olins suspension, Brembo brakes and a few other modern bits and pieces. These are top notch systems. Even little details like the fact it has a fuel gauge. It’s also a brand new, latest tech bike, whereas the GSXR is 3 years old now and Suzuki tends to lag on putting all the nice stuff into the 750 as it doesn’t have any competitors (the 600 and 1000 are a different story). So maybe the ’14 or ’15 bikes will get some improvements. It’s also a great looking bike (and will make my dad as envious as hell if I bought a Triumph, lol)

2013-Triumph-Daytona-675R_010

Let’s put a white bike against a white background…..

The 675 does give up a little bit to the 750, but reviews of the older 675 suggest it’s actually easier to ride on the street, with the torque curve lower down. However the riders position is more aggressive, so perhaps not so good for longer rides or commutes. At higher speeds, the 750 would pull away easily from the other bike.

2013-Triumph-Daytona-675R-static033

So now its a proven 750 with a lot of good stuff that I’ve eyed up for a long time, or the newcomer with all the extras, that I might find less enjoyable in the long term. The other thing is that I can walk into the Suzuki shop and basically ride out (almost) but the Triumph I could well end up on a waiting list. And I do want to strike while the iron is hot.

XCom – Sniper Reshoot

I finally got a chance to rerun the mission that ended so epically for the Sniper, but so tragically for his team.

This time I decided to take some of the first line team, only the Sniper and Support members would be trainees. This should improve their overall survivability and enhance their hit chances. I added one hover drone as well. The tracked ones don’t work well in ships as they can get hung up behind bodies occasionally.

XCOM_Enemy_Unknown_2012

Two Sectopods, and a collection of Muton Elites were moved through without too many problems. The second Sectopod destroyed my drone, but as a mechanical I don’t really mind. It’s a firepower loss for the mission, but not a loss of training investment overall.

As I reached the control room the team managed to eliminate the Ethereal in the first exchange so without fear of mind control or reflected damage the team quickly finished off the last two Mutons for a completed mission and a lift home.

The game counts the loss of the drone as an operative loss, which I think is quite annoying. There is no where near the investment in these compared to the troops.

But a success, and the Sniper earned a promotion whilst I set about building a second spare hover drone (I have one online as a spare already).

Still another set of troops through Psi testing without success. This is getting pretty silly really. Another batch has been sent down to the lab, fingers crossed.