|Date: Sunday, 2012-12-02, 00:11 | Message # 1
|free download: http://ufoai.org/wiki/News
UFO: Alien Invasion is a freeware strategy game. Story is simple: some nasty aliens are using the earth as shooting range. You are leading a special task force to kick their ass back to space.
Main combat is made round-based. You control up to 8 soldiers and fight 3-10 aliens. It takes some time to get used to the game dynamics, and the game is not free of bugs. But it’s a neat tactical challenge. Imho one can learn a lot of how a team should move and cover in open or urban terrain. Not sure about the multiplayer mode (never tested it), but single players is pretty fun
Basically the game is divided into 2 parts. The first part is running in “real” time, but can be paused or accelerated at any time. In this game mode you look at a global map and “setup” your troops. You build bases and buildings, hire soldiers, buy aircrafts and EQ for your troops. Weapons and gear are mostly from our time, but you get a lot of new toys by doing some research stuff From time to time aliens appear, and you have to send your troops to fight them.
Then the second part starts: round based combat with aliens. You control up to 8 soldiers form a view above. The soldiers abilities and gear depends on which soldiers you have send out and which EQ you gave them in the setup phase. Each soldier gets in each round a certain amount of ActionPoints. This points are needed for every action: move, crouch, fire, change the weapon, reload, etc.
(Tip: I prefer to enable the option that you have to confirm every movement of your soldier, otherwise a single miss-click can screw up your day...)
After your turn is over (you moved all your soldiers), the alien-round starts with the same principle. And then you again and so on and so on until one side is completely down or you redraw.
Some important feature: reaction fire. The problem is simple: you can’t control your guys while the alien round is on. So basically the bad guys could move around free as long as they have enough AP. With reaction fire, you can tell a soldier to return fire during the aliens round. But he needs to save a certain amount of AP from the current round to do so. Kinda nice tactical problem: if you enable reaction fire for your soldiers, they don’t have much AP to move forward. Without reaction fire on the other hand they are sitting ducks. Now you think about moving slow and carefully? Well, the aliens might use this time to roam around the maps and kill some civilians. And dead civilians have a negative effect on the mood of the according government. And exactly the various governments pay your task force...
If you ask me a great tactical challenge. You need to be fast to safe the civs. You fight in different terrain: forest, urban areas, underground structures like mines or military HQ, etc. You need to control open areas and check buildings. Keep your soldiers covered and together so they can support each other. But not to close, otherwise a single nade or enemy sniper could ruin your day. Use frag-, bang- and smoke-nades at the right time and place. Take care of wounded soldiers.
Btw: you don’t get much soldiers. And just a few with good skills. And they gather experience in combat. So every man down really hurts. Even a wounded soldier needs a lot of time in the hospital before he gets back to work (I strongly recommend to use first aid whenever possible). Mb you have to play the next deployment with a n00b sniper who can’t hit an aircraft carry 10 feet away, instead of your veteran shooter ace who killed every alien from 2 miles away with a single head shoot.
Bottom line: It’s not an easy game, especially when you play it the first time. But it’s really cool to learn about squad movement. I like to play it when I’m not up for shooters which demand a quick reaction time. It’s more like chess, with fireworks
"Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at."
Murphy's Laws of Combat #9