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  #121  
Old 02-24-2019, 03:13 PM
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Sensenic Sensenic is offline
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

You can be damn sure Sensenic isn't going to just walk into danger without taking some precautions! We picked up an Advanced Agility PCS, which we can slot into his brain to give him +18 dodge. Combined with what he got from that covert op a while back, he's up to an impressive 28% chance to take reduced damage from any attack that would normally hit him. He also has Blast Padding, which gives him extra armor point and reduces damage from explosions, along with a bonus HP from a different covert op. At this point, he is nigh-on indestructible! Now if only he could do something about all that enemy armor.
Aw yiss.

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The remaining soldier is a little spooked, which is understandable, so he retreats back to some cover. Aqua used Aid Protocol to give Sensenic an extra overwatch shot, which he fails spectacularly. I'm pretty sure it's a bug in the game that causes him to aim in the completely wrong direction, but I like the emergent storytelling that you get from moments like this. Maybe Sensenic has some sort of weird condition in his visual cortex that makes things seem like they're 90 degrees away from where they really are?
Hey, I thought I saw the Hunter over there, I was showing some initiative, proactivity!

Alt answer: this LP made me check one of the original, out of curiosity, to see the differences and what was there since the beginning... And maybe this so called "bug" is a small homage to the accuracy of the starting rifle in the original:
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  #122  
Old 02-25-2019, 07:45 AM
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Don't blame the rifle! Blame the rookie!
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  #123  
Old 02-25-2019, 08:07 AM
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I mean, the shot is visibly coming out of somewhere in the middle of the rifle's shaft, so...
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Whiskey can count himself lucky the thing didn't blow up in his hands when he pressed the trigger (spoiler: Whiskey didn't live much longer after that shot anyway )
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  #124  
Old 02-25-2019, 05:36 PM
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I mean, the shot is visibly coming out of somewhere in the middle of the rifle's shaft, so...
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Whiskey can count himself lucky the thing didn't blow up in his hands when he pressed the trigger
Government contractors...
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  #125  
Old 02-26-2019, 06:26 AM
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Rescued a team mate, blasted some alien scum, and got a promotion; that was exciting!

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Gives new meaning to the term 'active ingredient'.

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Ew, Ted, no! You're standing in the people juice!
Man, why do I have this sudden craving for a nice, cold Soylent Dew? I'll grab one after this mission. Okay, time to get focused....
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  #126  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:42 AM
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Alt answer: this LP made me check one of the original, out of curiosity, to see the differences and what was there since the beginning... And maybe this so called "bug" is a small homage to the accuracy of the starting rifle in the original:
I started reading that but had to stop halfway through. It's a big pet peeve of mine when LPs hijack the actual story with their own.

It's one thing for you to create a metanarrative (like that one had from the beginning), but it's another to mask and distort what's actually going on in the game to better suit your story.

Also, it wasn't entirely clear that the player knew how to play X-Com very well, but that could just be because he rarely talked about the game mechanics
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  #127  
Old 02-26-2019, 12:19 PM
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Yeah, it's basically a polar opposite to this one: no focus on the gameplay, and all on the made up plot and goon contributions.
As far as I know, though, the missions themselves are played honestly and the plot added on top.

I am enjoying it though, it's funny in a military farce sort of ways, and very elaborate. Has some icky elements though, being a sth awful LP from 10+ years ago - Andrew Jackson, the president, is in there, somehow, courtesy of some goon, and portrayed so far as, well, your typical American President, noble and solemn. Eurgh.
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  #128  
Old 02-26-2019, 01:01 PM
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I've got time for a short one today, so let's do

Mission 11: A Short One


The Blacksite is gone, but the war is far from over. Time to sabotage a Dark Project! As I mentioned last time, I'm much more interested in shutting this one down than the other options. Scanning stuff is how we build our resistance network and it also gets us lots of useful bonuses, so we don't want to be hobbled on that front for six full weeks. And we're still a couple engineers away from maxing out, so the reward is half decent too.


Purple squad, roll out! Inquisitor is finally back in fighting form, so we bring him along, too, even though he's just a squaddie. Note that I have several mindshields equipped, because the Warlock might drop in on us today. I considered giving Spoony one too, but I'd rather have the extra grenade. I also equipped Mogri with a stun grenade, which is one of the only countermeasures available for dealing with mind control. I don't remember if it completely breaks the control or if it just makes the controlled soldier really ineffective, but either way it's a good backup option. And Mogri doesn't have anything useful to do with that item slot yet anyway.


We've seen this crew at work before and there aren't any new enemies on this mission, so I'm going to start reducing the number of action shots to keep things from getting too redundant. We start the mission with a couple of sectoids, one of which Gerad makes short work of. The second get's Kirin's classic Slice and Dice Special. Hey, more sectoid corpses = more tinfoil hats to protect us from mind control!


Our second pod proves to be somewhat thornier. We've got a MEC up on the roof and a Viper on the ground, plus I think there's a lancer hiding somewhere in the building.


The Viper is behind this short wall, which prevents most units from having a shot on it. Never one to be discouraged, Spoony decides to make line of sight happen where no line of sight exists.


That's what I call teamwork! Not to be confused with Teamwork (patent pending).


Inquisitor plinks away at the MEC, but with his Skirmisher rifle he can't do much damage through its armor. I think I forgot to buy him the magnetic weapon upgrade before this mission, which was a mistake.


That MEC retaliates with a solid hit on Kirin...


...and the lancer runs up and stabs Inquisitor. Note that our Skirmisher is still a little baby and he's super squishy, one more point of damage and he'll be taking another dirt nap.


I've had about enough of these guys. Spoony puts down the lancer...


...and Aquadeo and Mogri tag-team the MEC. We never really dealt with its armor, but with mag weapons you can at least get some decent hits in.


Our objective is to hack a terminal inside this building. Kirin is extremely unsuited to the job, but he's closest and time's running low, so I have him take a look.


Hacking objects can garner one of two rewards for the soldier who does it; typically there's a nice reward that's harder to get and a lesser reward that's easier to obtain. In this case, however, the easy reward is a permanent +20 hacking bonus! That would be a real feather in Aquadeo's hat, so I run him within range and use his Gremlin to hack the terminal from a few spaces away just as time is about to run out. He of course fails the roll miserably, which means that not only is he a terrible hacker, but he is going to stay a terrible hacker. Sigh. On the bright side, you can't completely fail mission objective hack, so at least we didn't fail our mission.


We can't go home until all the ADVENT are dead, though. The final group is set up in the warehouse adjacent to us. I like this shot of Inquisitor firing from one building to the next, it isn't a situation that comes up too often in XCOM 2.


He misses the shot, but don't forget that Skirmishers can act a second time even after shooting! Rather than waste another shot on a well-covered target, I opt to use Justice to drag him into viper's nest. Figuratively, I mean, in this case we are the vipers.


Pictured: Mogri the figurative viper.


After Aqua's hack fail, I decide to bolster his confidence by giving him a shot he can't miss. He did not miss it.


And neither did Spoony! Ahh, look at that armor peel away, it gives me life. Every grenadier should aspire to be more like you, Spoony.


There's one guy left in the next building, so I have Kirin run in and soften him up...


...then very carefully drop in a grenade at just the right distance to kill him without singing our Templar. Grenades in XCOM 2 are binary, you either take the full damage or you don't take any at all. There's an option you can turn on that causes blast damage to fall off farther from the explosion's center, but come on, that doesn't sound like fun.


Here's the team, more or less intact after their mission. IIRC, I gave Inquisitor the Skirmisher ability that lets him throw a grenade as a first action without ending his turn. Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to skirms.


Unfortunately, we do have one issue right now: every single one of our melee attackers is injured and won't be combat-ready for weeks. Well, OK, we do have that nameless ranger that I've been sending out as filler for covert ops, but we don't plan on using him in the actual campaign, right? We'll need to do something about our lack of stabby boys and girls, but we're rapidly approaching the point where training up a squaddie ranger is starting to look unappealing. There's an ability you can get that lets you train rookies directly into sergeants, which would be perfect right now, but I haven't seen any sign of it (and indeed it might not even exist in this campaign, since they're randomly distributed).


On the bright side, our Proving Ground has been completed! I get to work immediately on developing the Bluescreen protocol - there are some scary robots out there in the world and they're gonna taste the fury of Windows 95!


Eric's back from another covert op, and he's hackier than ever! Sadly, he was injured, so he too will be out of commission for a bit.


We finally finish researching Resistance Radio, far later in the campaign than I usually do. We need to start building radio towers and expanding the network, but we don't have any capacity for new contacts right now. There's a covert op available that would give us one more, but it has moderate level risk of capture and ambush, so it's pretty unappealing to me. We'll just build a dang comm station ASAP.


What's next? Well unfortunately, we don't have the alien alloys we need to research plated armor just yet. It's possible that we'll get a few when we finish clearing out our next building site in the Avenger, which would be good, because we're in desperate need of some better armor. For now I'll take advantage of the inspiration and research alien encryption. I would also like to finish the Faceless autopsy, but I have a very hard time resisting inspiration.


Some group of third-stringers comes back from a covert op with modular sniper rifles - again, this will be great down the line, but for now it's pretty superfluous. Now it's time to push forward with some serious business, which is to say another Chosen hunt. There's nothing we can do to completely eliminate the risk of an ambush, so I'm just going to put together a competent squad and hope that they don't have to put their skills to the test.


We finish Bluescreen Protocol at the proving grounds, which means we can now freely build bluescreen ammo and grenades. These are our first type of special rounds, and that's pretty exciting! I'm a big fan of fancy ammo. Snipers in particular are well-suited to using different ammo types, because they are generally too far from the enemies to throw grenades and you've gotta do something with that item slot. Plus, you may have noticed that we quite a few snipers on our team!


I'd like to stay that it's time to build a Destil SPARK, but for now we're too broke. I think I started work on an experimental grenade instead, since one of those just costs an elerium core.


We found ourselves a scientist bumming around on the world map! Note the cheeky name of the scanning site where we just spent the last week.


Unfortunately, we're not the only ones hard at work. ADVENT is taking caffeine pills, so now they'll notice us at greater distances than before. Not the end of the world, especially when you consider that all our up-close soldiers are in the hospital. Maybe we should consider fielding an all-sniper all-star team soon...

Soon, perhaps, but not today. We'll be back soon with more XCOM 2, so stay vigilant!
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  #129  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:16 AM
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Sensenic Sensenic is offline
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Wait, so "Ravely Wounded" is actually a cut "Gravely wounded"?
And here I thought I was learning new English vocabulary - here I was imagining it meaning sth as "wounded as badly as if he fell to the floor in a rave and everybody kept stepping on and kicking him".

Also, is it me or does Kirin keep getting (ravely) wounded? I guess close combat does have its risks...
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  #130  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:39 AM
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Also, is it me or does Kirin keep getting (ravely) wounded? I guess close combat does have its risks...
Yeah, it's something of an occupational hazard for Templars. All the e he's taking doesn't help things, either...
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  #131  
Old 03-01-2019, 01:51 PM
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Mission 12: Sniper Joe & Co


It's the world map! Shows you where you're at! Now that we've researched resistance radio, it also shows us the continent bonuses available to us. To earn them, we need to connect every region on the continent and build one or two radio towers to boot. The bonuses will stay active for the rest of the game so long as we don't lose any of the regions in question. Right now we're pretty close to unlocking Africa's bonus, Volunteer Army. This gives us a chance of having a random resistance member join our squad on any mission we run. They're low level and 100% expendable, so basically it's like having a bottomless supply of Smashmouths. That would be a fun bonus to have, but the one that really catches my eye is Europe's Live Fire Training, which would allow us to train rookies directly into sergeants at the GTS. That would make it much easier for me to field our remaining Tyrant Squad rookies...except for the part where I don't have even a single region of Europe under control right now. I guess it's something to work towards.


It's m-m-m-mission time! This one should be a cakewalk - just a simple supply raid, and we get extra charges of stealth to boot.


There is one complicating factor, however: all our melee characters are wounded, and Aquadeo and Spoony are out on assignment. That leaves us with Sensenic and four and a half snipers available for the mission. To be fair, I could have sent my own avatar along to act as a low-level medic...but Aqua took the only medkit we have with him on his covert op and I spent all my remaining money on magical robot-killing bullets that I gave to Gerad. No regrets. Go team Sniper!


We drop into a region that is covered in psychedelic purple foliage. The game never addresses this, but I guess the idea is that some alien flora and fauna have been introduced into the environment and are gradually taking it over. You'd think Central would be a little more worried about it. As for me, I'm currently worried about our first pod, although not very.


A MEC, a stun lancer and a new enemy type: the ADVENT Shieldbearer. Shieldbearers aren't very aggressive, but they do have the ability to give any nearby enemies a shield that will absorb the next 5 or so HP of damage that they take. In practice, that means you either want to kill them first (so they can't deploy the shield) or last (since they aren't very dangerous alone). I'm hedging toward the latter here as I have Gerad take down the MEC using his super bullets. Nice damage, G!


Sniper twins, together 'til the end! Between Mogri and Ted's shots, the Shieldbearer is pushing up daisies.


The map is interesting on this mission: there's a high ridge that runs along one side and parallel to that is a flat, low region. All this high ground is perfect for a team with 4 sharpshooters on it. The stun lancer picked a good spot to hole up, however, as he's shadowed by the cliffs where Joe can't see him. Instead, Sensenic softens him up with a grenade...


...and Nightwalker flanks him and finishes the job. He's revealed in the process, but we have tons of stealth this mission, so I immediately put him back under. I do the same for Joe and Gerad, who are at the front of the hilltop sniper squad.


Well look who it is! The Assassin shows up and then immediately goes invisible, as she does. The best way to deal with her is to fan your soldiers out so that she can't attack one without being flanked by others - even she can't maintain stealth when she's exposed.


It's even easier to catch her unawares when you have a stealthed Reaper doing recon for you. I have no idea what her plan was here, she isn't even in cover! And she doesn't know we've found her, at least not yet...


Mogri opens up with a shot, doing reasonable damage. At this rate, it's going to take another 4-5 hits to send her packing. But then, inspiration strikes!


The Assassin is weak to explosions...and weak to Reapers...and she's standing next to a truck. Oh my.


Remote Start no justu activate!


SWEET AUNT JEMIMA, I don't think I've ever done that much damage with a single attack before! Between the double-strength explosion and her two weaknesses, that's a whopping 24 HP we took off her! I'd be shell shocked too, TBH.


No sense in leaving the job unfinished, is there? I have Sensenic use Teamwork to give Nightwalker another turn and the deed is done. Wow, we absolutely schooled her. That's the second quickest I've ever taken out the Assassin!


Joe is still in stealth, so I run him up to scout a little bit. This...was a mistake. I forgot that the enemies have an increased detection radius right now, so this group of enemies (who were somewhat hidden from my line of sight because they were below the cliff) catch us with our pants down. That weird robot-looking thing with the vipers is a Spectre and they are not my idea of a good time.


The bad news is that the enemies have the drop on us and we only have two moves left before it'll be their turn. The good news is that Spectres are robots, so Gerad hammers this one for a solid 13 HP...which unfortunately isn't quite enough to kill it. All that's left is Ted, but he doesn't have a good shot, so I put him on overwatch, despite knowing that you can't hit a dang Spectre with an overwatch shot. Man, fuck those guys.


Here's why you don't want a Spectre to get a move in: they can Shadowbind your units. This is double plus bad, in that not only do they make an evil clone of your soldier, but your guy is incapacitated until the doppelganger is taken care of. We can achieve that either by killing the clone or killing the Spectre, whichever comes first. Unfortunately, killing Spectres is easier said than done, because as I mentioned, the first overwatch shot of each turn is guaranteed to miss them. Oh, and they can turn invisible to hide from you. Seriously, fuck those guys.


While the Spectre is busy creating clones and not dying, the Vipers decide to focus their attention on Mogri. Mogri is up on the cliff with full cover, so thankfully this attempt to snare her misses.


But the other Viper's shot...does not.


And with that, our sweet confused wannabe ADVENT is no more. Poor Mogri only had a paltry 5 HP to her name (argh we really need some armor) and she didn't succeed the roll that would have put her into the bleeding-out state. To be fair, I've already had things go my way on two of these close calls, but it's still rough. RIP, purple sniper lady.


There isn't any time for navel gazing, though. We've still got two vipers, a fake Joe and a mostly-dead Spectre to deal with. I start by dropping a Claymore into this group of two Vipers + fake Joe. Sadly, the enemies are spaced out so that only one of them will get hit by the explosion of the Claymore. To compensate, I use another explosion to detonate the mine, which kills the first Viper and injures the other two enemies.


Ted tries to clean up the second Viper, but they're slippery little eels. This one is still alive, if just barely. Gerad doesn't have a good shot on anybody, so they bad guys get to go again. This is not ideal!


The Spectre uses a psionic ability called Horror on Ted, which damages him and causes him to panic and hunker down. For those keeping track, we are presently at three soldiers disabled. Not ideal!


Then one of the vipers lands a solid hit on Sensenic. NOT IDEAL. This is followed by fake Joe throwing a grenade at him, and lord almighty was I convinced he was done for. Except, somehow, the grenade missed? It looks like Sensenic's legendary cowardice came to his aid in his time of need!


Gerad is finally in position to hit that damn Spectre. He tries first with Lightning Hands, but the shot misses, so I just use his regular shot and we get the kill.


This releases Joe from suspension, and it so happens that he's in a great spot to take care of the last Viper. Mission's over, thank god.


We hobble our way back home and claim a couple of promotions. Joe will of course get the ability to land overwatch shots via squad sight.


But the real winner here is Nightwalker, who gets two supremely useful abilities this level. Silent Killer means that any kill shot he takes is guaranteed not to reveal him, which opens up a ton of possibilities in missions. And he has just about enough points to also pick up Tactical Rigging, which grants him a utility item slot. Time to get him some specialized ammo!


Of course, it's not all wine and roses. Goodbye, Mogri. I'd say we'll miss you, but I still have like 4 other snipers.


We pulled in quite a haul from this supply raid. That's enough alien alloys and elerium to build a half-dozen fun new toys, plus we got four elerium cores to spend at the proving grounds.


With all that burning a hole in my pocket, I head right over and initiate project SPARK. Sentient robots, coming soon to a squad near you!


Uh, hey game, maybe no thanks? I don't think we need the alloys that badly...

I go park the avenger at Templar HQ instead. We can scan here for a few days to speed up recovery times and get some of our soldiers back on their feet.


We finish researching Alien Encryption, which unlocks the ability/necessity to construct a Shadow Chamber. This is mostly a plot doohicky that you have to use to run some story-related research projects, but it comes with the bonus of telling you what enemy types will be on missions before you deploy. That's nice, but it's going to be a while yet before we build one, as we have a number of fish in dire need of frying first.


We've killed enough Vipers to get an instant autopsy, so I do that and unlock a new Proving Grounds project that we can use to improve our medkits. I'm always in favor of better healing, but the fact is we don't have enough HP right now to even make use of it. Also, once upgraded, medkits become more expensive to purchase and require Viper corpses. You're better off building a few before you complete the research project, since all the ones you have on hand get a free upgrade when you do.


FINALLY. PLATED ARMOR. YES.


It's our good boy Spook(y), the psychic! Having completed his basic psi ops training, he now has white hair and a nice purple glow. The only skill he has learned so far is Stasis, but honestly even that's enough to make him kind of useful. We'll try to keep him on reserve until he's a little more thoroughly cooked, though.


Every time a psi operative learns a skill, you get to choose from one of three to train next. None of these is top-tier, so I'll take a quickest one. Supposedly, leveling up reduces the time it takes to learn new abilities, so when in doubt take one that you can get fast and it'll speed up everything else down the line.


We can officially no longer wait to start building Resistance Comms. Let's hope that we still have enough time to recover, because the Advent project is nearing completion. This is always the part of the campaign where I have the least idea of how things are going to go.


Speaking of Avatar, this particular facility is starting to look pretty juicy. We only need to connect two regions to get to New Chile, so I have a feeling we'll be heading in that direction next. Sorry Europe, but the insta-sergeants will have to wait a little longer.


It's the end of the month! We only get about 200 supplies this time, which is thanks to all the counter-ops that the Chosen have been running. There will be more of that this month, too, but the Hunter has a new trick up his sleeve - adding an extra Dark Event to the pile. Super.


Ugh, this is a nasty spread. We may have no choice but to intercept the one that instantly jumps the Avatar project forward, since we're running out of headroom. A new ADVENT facility is actually less of a problem, because we can eventually find it and dismantle it. Reduced supplies is a pain, and more expensive rookies ain't great either, consider the fact that I'm supposed to buy all of you folks. Remind me to pick up a few rooks before the Dark Event hits.


Aqua and Spoony make it back from their covert op, safe and sound. They bring back knowledge of the Assassin, as well as improved standing with the Reapers. That gains us an extra resistance order slot, which we can use with the order we just unlocked that allows us to make contact with new regions instantly! Or...we could have if the frickin' away team had gotten back like three hours earlier. As it is, we just barely missed the window, so we don't get to profit from any of that stuff until next month.


Plated armor is expensive stuff, so I send these guys out on a milk run to get some more supplies for us. Note that we are now getting covert ops that can remove progress blocks from the Avatar project. That's great and we will 100% be doing that soon.


Our first experimental grenade project has been completed at the proving grounds. The results of these projects are randomized, and while I prefer to get acid grenades, gas grenades are still decent. They're basically regular grenades but with a larger explosion radius, what's not to like?

Well, that's all they XCOM you're getting today. I'm on vacation next week, so if you want to see your favorite characters in action, go download them and start your own LP! I'm going to be soaking up some very-carefully-controlled amounts of sun in New Cuba. Viva la revolución!
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  #132  
Old 03-01-2019, 05:29 PM
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It's the world map! Shows you where you're at!
Is that a C. Kane reference? If so, I'm almost not upset about being killed!
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  #133  
Old 03-01-2019, 08:40 PM
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Finally someone is dead and we can get some new blood in this thing.

After Banjo gets back from vacation.
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  #134  
Old 03-04-2019, 06:40 AM
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Sensenic Sensenic is offline
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Nooo, Mogri, my comrade in "dubious allegiance" arms! :_(

And sheesh, that was too close for comfort. I'm clearly not safe enough, commander! ò_ó
Oh well, at least I'll now be living the ravely wounded life; yeah, I think I now know what it means: it means to use your wound as an excuse to rave and party hard without having to worry about "responsibilities".

And finally a question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
The line uttered by Tygan here is regarding the Spectre as a whole, or to its Shadowbind clones no jutsu?
At any rate, I don't quite like it's design... it looks a bit out of place, far sleeker, glossier, more Everything is an iPhone in the future than everything else shown in this LP so far from the aliens & ADVENT.
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  #135  
Old 03-04-2019, 11:44 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Originally Posted by Sensenic View Post
The line uttered by Tygan here is regarding the Spectre as a whole, or to its Shadowbind clones no jutsu?
At any rate, I don't quite like it's design... it looks a bit out of place, far sleeker, glossier, more Everything is an iPhone in the future than everything else shown in this LP so far from the aliens & ADVENT.
The Spectre itself is a cloud of nanobots - that’s why they can evade reaction shots so easily. It’s true that they look pretty different from the other enemies in the game, but the alien forces are a disparate lot. This isn’t really addressed in XCOM 2, but in the last mission of Enemy Unknown you get a bunch of narration about how the elders (four-armed psychics that don’t really appear in this game) have been selecting races from across the galaxy and modifying them for their purposes. So it kinda makes sense that there’s little consistency across the alien types.
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  #136  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:34 PM
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I dont know what I was thinking but I started a new XCOM 2 game with the DLC. I've never played with the DLC nor have I played since the game came out. I also decided to play on legendary and ironman.

I lost two agents on the first mission... You know the intro one where you blow up the statue.

Uh, we'll see how this turns out.
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  #137  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:06 AM
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I also decided to play on legendary and ironman.
Godspeed, Commander.

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I lost two agents on the first mission... You know the intro one where you blow up the statue.
That's actually not that bad of a sign, really. On Commander and Legendary, new recruits have all the resilience of wet tissue paper, pretty much any hit can put them under (cfRk. Prime). It's too bad you won't have the squaddies for your next missions, but if you rush the Resistance Ring you'll be tripping over replacements as soon as you start sending them on covert ops.
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  #138  
Old 03-19-2019, 01:36 PM
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Mission 13: A Walk in the Park


We get a call from the Resistance Council (which I'm pretty sure is just that one bald guy in a poorly-lit room) with a new mission for us. You know I'm all about rescuing scientists and gaining intel, so let's do this!


We've got a team of seasoned veterans with us today, but they're still wearing that paper-thin armor, so I'm a bit skittish. As the power of the bad guys ramps up, we'll be looking at more and more one-hit KOs if we don't make these guys a bit more survivable. Our armor upgrade is just around the corner, let's hope none of these guys is one week away from retirement...


We drop in under stealth and find our first group, a Spectre and a Viper. Gerad has Bluescreen ammo, so he initiates the fight with a very solid hit on the robot thingy.


The rest of the squad then pooches the ambush, missing the snake three times in a row. Good thing I brought along the A-team.


Thankfully, Nightwalker is equipped with his new ability that lets him stay in shadow any time he scores a kill shot. I run him up to flank the Spectre and take it out before it can reenact the Kidnapping of Joe Drilling from last mission. We still get the golf-swing "chance to reveal" meter after the shot, but since the chance is 0% we can breathe easy for now. I enjoy this particular ability quite a bit, thanks for asking.


Kurt runs up and gets in a hit on the snake, but alas it still has 1 HP left. Thankfully, it opts to retreat rather than attack us.


Nightwalker scouts ahead and finds our wounded Viper...right next to another group of ADVENT. Hmm, what to do?


It's a slightly risky shot, but I gamble on having Nightwalker finish off the Viper and my bet pays off. Once again, the kill shot means to chance of being revealed. Now, what to do about the other 3?


A claymore is what.


Gerad, parked on a rooftop about a kilometer away, lights up the claymore, completely clearing the second pod in the process. This has been the Reaper Appreciation Minute, thanks for joining me!


A little farther up, Nightwalker finds our VIP trapped in an ADVENT holding cell. He could open the door himself, but that would reveal him. Instead, I have Eric come in and hack the door at a distance using his Gremlin.


God damn it, Eric, we needed that! If he could have succeeded at this roll, we would have had short scanning times for a full month, which would have been a huge help. Of course butterfingers rolls like a 22/100 instead and we get bupkis. This is the second time we've muffed a 70% hack roll for something really good, I'm starting to get a little superstitious here.


You still have to physically open the door, so Aquadeo runs up and does so. We now have the VIP under our control.


Mogri and I went back and forth a while back over the relative advantages of the Sniper vs. Gunslinger builds of the sharpshooter class, and here we see the undeniable downside of my preferred build. Gerad has been our eye in the sky for the last few turns, firing away from the rooftop where the team first landed, but now he's way, way behind and will need to spend the next two turns sprinting to join up with the rest of the squad.


At this point, I've moved pretty much the entire team into the ADVENT detention facility. It's nice and defensible, which is good...


...because we've got company coming. Gerad is only barely inside the building, so I actually burn Aquadeo's one charge of Teamwork to give him an extra move and get him into better cover before the reinforcements arrive.


Meanwhile, Nightwalker is scouting our exit route when he comes across this group of ADVENT. Just...just standing there...right next to...


God I love remote start. Thank you for joining me in this extra special double length Reaper Appreciation Minute.


With one problem taken care of, we now turn the just-arriving reinforcements.


Eric takes a pretty gutsy overwatch shot through this hole in the wall (left over from our claymore explosion earlier), but he misses the mark.


When his turn comes up, we decide to put his combat hacking skills to use for the first time. That MEC is a prime target, I'd say! When hacking a robot, you always have the easy option, which is to shut it down for a couple of turns, and the hard option, which is to take control over it temporarily. The latter is obviously way, way cooler, but I've had my fill of failing hack rolls and we don't really need the extra firepower. I take the guaranteed shutdown, since I figure this must be our last group of enemies for this mission.


Spoony tosses in his brand new gas grenade to do some AoE damage. The gas grenade has a larger explosion radius than a regular grenade and also poisons units, dealing damage at the start of each turn. It's a straight upgrade over a standard grenade, despite the fact that robots don't have lungs, and as such don't get poisoned.


Aqua dings the remaining soldier and Eric takes out the shut-down robot.


There aren't any enemies left, so we hightail it to the extraction zone. Another flawless mission (sorry flawgic).


Here's a commemorative shot for the 'gram.


Promotions! Aqua is now at the second-highest possible rank, still a good ways ahead of the rest of the squad. He gets Ever Vigilant, which puts him into overwatch at the end of his turn if he used both actions for movement. That's pretty nice! There's also acase to be made for the other Major-level specialist ability, which gives you a chance to trigger multiple overwatch shots in the same turn, but that's an ability I'd rather have on a grenadier if possible. Gerad gets Death From Above, which prevents his turn from ending if he kills an enemy from high ground with a sniper shot. This isn't quite as good as it sounds, since you can't fire the sniper rifle a second time (since each shot costs two actions), but it does give you a chance to reload or reposition. That would have been nice to have last mission, where he wound up a football field behind the rest of the team.


Ooh, this is a very nice scanning opportunity that you don't see too often. A permanent power upgrade to the Avenger would be great...but we desperately need to start expanding the resistance network, so it'll have to wait. Hopefully it'll still be available once I've made contact with New Chile, where our first Avatar facility awaits.


Before we can get to (New) Chile, however, we have to hook up with the folks in (New) Brazil.


Kirin and Mike come back from a covert op with some supplies. I then turn right around and spend some of them on our next mission, a somewhat-risky attempt to turn back the Avatar clock by one segment. Eric and Sensenic are a pretty hardy duo, so hopefully they can survive an ambush mission if it comes down to it. I've managed to avoid those so far, but my luck can't hold out forever...


Spook learned...something? Soulfire, I think, which does a small amount of guaranteed damage. Now I'm going to grab Sustain for him, since that will keep him alive and I'm a big fan of alive soldiers.


FINALLY oh my god


With our armor research complete, we get inspiration for Future Combat, which reduces the cost of any further bonuses we buy at the GTS. I start working on it and then immediately regret it. I'll probably buy all those upgrades eventually, but the total cost we're looking at is something like 400-500 supplies. That means we're trading 5 days of science research for, at best, 100 supplies in savings farther down the line. Probably not worth it, honestly.


On the bright side, Predator armor is much less expensive to buy than I remembered it being! I had 300 supplies in my head as the price, but that's what the next armor upgrade costs, this one is a very reasonable 150. Well, that leaves us with some petty cash to play around with, no harm no foul. And since recruiting rookies is about to get more expensive (cf the upcoming Dark Event), let's go grab some before that happens!


Esha Das, I choose you!


Big Sexy, get over here!


And just when you thought we had enough new faces for one update, look who shows up! We've completed work on DESTIL, our sentient robotic pal. They're ready for their first deployment, although like regular troops Sparks start at a low level and have to gain experience before they become super useful.


On the other hand, Sparks start with the ability to fire a heavy weapon, which is nice. I insert a couple of Elerium cores into the Proving Grounds gacha machine to get us a heavy weapon and another type of specialized ammo. It'll be a few days before we find out what our prizes are, though.


It's GO season once again, and this time we have a very clear objective. I can't afford to let the Avatar project progress any more right now, so we're off to West Africa for another mission.


Team Purple is ready for action! Join us next time as we put our robot to the test in another exciting episode of JtX2CPT! But, before I go:

HEY FALSE AND OLLI

Now that you've been recruited, what do you want me to do with your characters? The first option is to send them through the GTS, which will train them as a class...but they'll be lowly Squaddies afterwards, likely to get killed on their first missions. If you want to wait a bit, I might eventually get the continent bonus for Asia, which would let me train you up to sergeant. That's way better, but who knows when I'll actually have all of Asia connected in the network. The final option is to go for psionics training, but this will require waiting for me to build a second training pod (or else just stealing time in the main pod whenever Spook is injured). Let me know!

HEY EVERYONE ELSE

If you have any changes you'd like made to your characters, say the word! You've seen a bit more of what XCOM 2 has to offer, maybe you'd like an accessory or an armor pattern or a scar or something? Raise your hand if you think your character needs some sprucing up.
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  #139  
Old 03-19-2019, 05:29 PM
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Give me mind powers!
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  #140  
Old 03-19-2019, 07:10 PM
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Destil Destil is online now
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Very boxy and purple, I approve!
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  #141  
Old 03-19-2019, 07:30 PM
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Bosede Cissoko will take a cool orange and blue color scheme on his armor if one can be arranged.
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  #142  
Old 03-20-2019, 07:01 AM
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Continent bonus I guess?
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  #143  
Old 03-20-2019, 07:07 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Give me mind powers!
Will do! You'll have to time-share the psi-pod for now, but I'll probably upgrade the lab next time I'm feeling flush with cash.

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Very boxy and purple, I approve!
Good! The gun is still green, which at the time I liked, but we can easily change it if you want a more coherent color scheme.

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Bosede Cissoko will take a cool orange and blue color scheme on his armor if one can be arranged.
No problem!

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Continent bonus I guess?
We're short on grenadiers, so in your case I could see maybe training up to Squaddie and then trying to find a covert op that would get you promoted to Corporal. At that point you'd at least be useful to the team, and with our new armor you might even survive a mission or two. I don't think I could stand the thought of losing Big Sexy...
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  #144  
Old 03-21-2019, 11:49 AM
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Good! The gun is still green, which at the time I liked, but we can easily change it if you want a more coherent color scheme.
The internet is awful so maybe we can change that up to black or cyan? The green is dark enough that I don't think it's actually an issue.
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  #145  
Old 04-04-2019, 06:43 AM
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Team Purple is ready for action!
Just look at all those smiling faces! But don't get too attached, folks - one of these brave souls won't be coming home. Update today or tomorrow!
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  #146  
Old 04-04-2019, 11:41 AM
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Mission 14: LIFO


Our mission begins with a group of ADVENT, eagerly shooting at some doohickey that we're supposed to protect. Annoyingly, the life bar for the macguffin isn't appearing, so I have no idea how close it is to death. Well, we'd better move fast, I guess.


TOO FAST VV, THAT WAS TOO FAST. This happened because I moved Vixen up to the edge of a doorway; she was behind cover, but there was an enemy on the other side of the wall that I didn't know about. It doesn't matter if you're behind cover, if you get within a certain range of a badguy they're going to spot you. This happens a lot when you're up on a roof - I once lost an entire squad to a Sectoid who noticed someone three floors above their head because they were only 2 horizontal tiles away from them.

Well crud, we've been spotted before getting the chance to ambush any of the enemies. So what's the damage, anyway?


Holy fuck. This is not, as we in the business say, ideal.


We've got nine - count 'em, NINE - ADVENT soldiers on alert versus one ranger who is out of moves and far away from her squad. If you aren't worried for our blue-haired swordslady right now, well, you should be. Thankfully, we do still have one trick left up our sleeve: Teamwork! I use her extra move to run her behind high cover and then Aqua throws an Aid Protocol on her with his Gremlin. Even so, things are looking pretty grim right now - nine enemies is a LOT to deal with at once. On the bright side, this is a special all-ADVENT mission, so none of these guys is, say a Viper or a Spectre, with their particularly troublesome abilities.


The squad gets to work thinning the herd, but it's slow going. The ADVENT are far away and mostly in cover.


To get around that (literally!), I activate DESTIL's standard-issue robot ability. Overdrive gives a Spark unit three actions instead of the usual two, which is quite nice indeed. This should give me a chance to position them across from the big doorway and fire a rocket in, doing some damage and destroying some of that pesky cover.


EXCEPT INSTEAD OF DOING THAT I RUN THEM AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, USING UP ALL THREE MOVES IN THE PROCESS AND LEAVING THEM COMPLETELY ALONE AND UNPROTECTED. Great job, me. DESTIL takes a hit for my stupidity, but thankfully they are equipped with some armor to soften the blow.


The ADVENT priest puts Vixen into stasis, which in this situation might actually constitute doing us a favor? She's still way ahead of everyone else and a pretty inviting target for the baddies, so making her immune to all attacks is actually kind of appealing right now.


On our next turn, DESTIL delivers the promised rocket. Rockets have really great range, although they generally do less damage than some of the upgraded grenades/bombs you can get later in the game. They're very useful in the early parts of the campaign, though. We're researching another heavy weapon for DESTIL at the Proving Grounds, but a lot of the time I just prefer to use the default rocket anyway.


Inquisitor uses Justice to pluck one of the injured ADVENT out of the flames and finish them off. He then picks off another with a shot on his second move. Skirmishers are low on damage, but high on flexibility!



VV comes out of stasis and the Priest immediately tries to mind control her. Thank god for mindshields!


The enemy keep picking away at our mission-critical target, but there isn't really anything I can do about it right now. The situation is still bad enough that I need all hands on deck just keeping the squad alive. If we have to risk failing the mission to save our soldiers, then that's a trade I'm willing to make right now.


DESTIL gets in a hit, but their gun hasn't been upgraded and it isn't doing a lot of damage right now. Sparks are honestly not the best class in the game, but they have a few cool tricks that at least make them fun to use. Unfortunately, with Overdrive on cooldown and our only rocket spent, DESTIL's not good for much beyond taking potshots and resisting mind control attempts.


The Priest is on the ropes, so he retreats and activates Holy Warrior, granting a 5HP shield to one of the ADVENT. This actually presents us with an opportunity, as killing either the soldier or the Priest at this point will cause the other to die too due to the psionic link. The same thing happened in XCOM EU with sectoids pretty frequently.


Joe takes care of two problems for us at once.


DESTIL takes another hit, because giant robots aren't so good at hiding behind cover. The armor is still helping, but we're getting a little low on HP right now. Thankfully, we can always fix our robot when we get back to base, and they don't accumulate negative traits the way regular soldiers do when they are injured.


VV swords...


...and Aqua shoots, evening the odds somewhat.


But just as things are starting to look up, ADVENT lands a third shot on our big purple, not-behind-cover friend. Unit DESTIL is no more. And, uh, it turns out you can't repair a Spark if they are 100% dead, which this one is. Sorry, buddy.


Spoony takes revenge on the ADVENT by poisoning a few of them with his gas grenade. I guess I forgot that gas grenades don't destroy cover in a very large radius, I suppose that's one point against them.


Unfortunately, this leaves him out in the open, where he takes a pretty nasty hit. On the bright side, VV is still swording and Aqua is still shooting, so we've managed to thin out almost all of the enemies on the map.


Inquisitor runs up and tosses a grenade, killing the last ADVENT and ending the mission. I still have no idea how much health the mission-critical thingamijig had left, but I guess it was enough.


What's left of the squad returns to base; a triumphant yet bittersweet victory. Spoony will be out of the action for a while, which isn't great news.


As for DESTIL, apparently they were a she? That's what the game seems to have decided, anyway. Rest in power supply, you great purple cube.


Back on the Avenger, it's time to take care of some bookkeeping. As per Gerad's request, Bosede is now sporting a lovely orange and blue set of armor. No wonder the guy's so mad all the time - he's a Mets fan.


All right, back to business. We're still making our way over to New Chile, where there's a juicy Avatar facility to be plundered. We finish making contact with New Brazil, but at this point we're very far from our point of origin and connecting up New Chile is going to cost a whopping 120 intel. We don't have that right now, so it's time to install a radio relay! That will bring down intel costs for any nearby regions and it will increase our monthy income, which is starting to really suffer from all those attacks the Chosen are making. Note that our first radio relay only costs 50 supplies to build, but that price goes up with each subsequent one, so we can't place them willy nilly.


That's what we needed! This covert op takes two blocks off the Avatar project, putting us at a much more reasonable 8 out of 12. That'll buy us the time we need to take out a facility. Also, bonus hacking ability for Eric. One of these days we're going to hack something and it's going to be really cool...


We finish working on our breakthrough (if you forgot: reduced costs at the GTS) and get inspiration to research Elerium! Elerium research is important and slow, so I'll happily take this opportunity to start working on it and save some time in the process.


Spook learns Sustain, which automatically puts him in stasis if he gets killed (just like the enemy Priests). That's going to make him much more survivable, so I think we'll be able to take him into the field soon. I start training him on Solace, which removes mental effects from nearby squadmades - that'll be helpful for recovering from the stun effects that the Chosen are so keen to throw around. He still doesn't have any of my favorite psi abilities, however, so it might be worth leaving him in the oven for another week or two.


So, uh, guess we won't be needing that heavy weapon anymore, huh? Might as well cancel this project so we can put that Elerium core to better use. Sorry, DESTIL.


ADVENT complete their dark project, so it looks like we won't be recruiting any more rookies in the near future. Thankfully, we've already got Big Sexy, so I'm good.


Speaking of which, he's a grenadier now! I'm going to try to get him up to Corporal via a covert operation and after that he'll be pressed into service. We really could use another grenadier on staff.


"Hey Shirley, get a look at this here doohickey. Ya ever see one o' these before?"

(We completed building our radio relay in New Brazil.)


OK, finally! We're only one week away from having access to that Avatar facility. We have four red blocks worth of headroom currently, so I'm pretty sure we'll be ready to go with time to spare.


Looks like we've got other fish to fry first, however.


Man, the Avatar project gained another block while we were flying to the mission. These guys just won't give us a break.


Gear up, squad! We've got a resistance base to save...next time. Hopefully I won't get anyone else killed for a little while!

No promises, though.
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  #147  
Old 04-04-2019, 12:27 PM
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Beep. Motherfucking. Boop.

*pours out a piston of hydraulic fluid*
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  #148  
Old 04-04-2019, 08:34 PM
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Damn I did not expect to make it out of that one.

Also I like "keep on swordin' " as my new motto.
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  #149  
Old 04-05-2019, 02:09 AM
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Here's to Destil *presses F*

Her tanking and noble sacrifice saved the lives of VV and the other squad members and greatly lessened the effects of the commander's fuckup. She shall be missed.
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  #150  
Old 04-05-2019, 04:00 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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The administration accepts no responsibility for the unfortunate events that occurred during operation Severed Gears.

Severed Gears? What the hell was PR thinking when they came up with that one? Wait, the next mission is called what?? God damn it, somebody get me Frank on the phone.
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