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Confessions of an incompetent commander.

I have a confession to make.

I'm not even sure if I should be telling you this, but I suppose it's time I came clean. You see the thing is... I'm a terrible gamer and it's all because of X-com.

You see, it all started when I fired up the game and found myself playing through the tutorial with only one brave trooper surviving long enough to make it back to HQ. I promoted him immediately, then promptly changed his name to that of my own and swore I would never lose him. Come hell or high water, no dirty stinking alien would get his hands on my heroic chum... And so began my descent into madness.

I was pleased at first. My favourite squaddie took point as I slowly and methodically made my way through the first few levels of the game and I found that after only 4 missions he had racked up a considerable kill count as I allowed him some small measure of revenge for what had happened to his team mates. But then it all changed... then they came.

I had no idea aliens would be such snappy dressers

It all happened so quickly. In a matter of moments two of my brave soldiers lay dead as I attempted to disarm a bomb, and just like that I found myself committing the worst sin possible in a game like X-com... I found myself reloading. At first I felt dirty and slighty ashamed. Like I was being judged from afar by some unseeing eye. Eventually though, the desire grew and my problem became far, far worse. A few missions later I was reloading with reckless abandon, having completely dismissed that initial sense of shame that had washed over me as I set my snipers up in preparation to ambush some creatures that I shouldn't rightfully have known were there.

At some point I became rather chuffed with my progress brought on by all this constant saving and loading. I had managed to get myself a capable little crew of hard boiled, alien killing, spaceship wrecking, no nonsense taking battle veterans and things could only get better. I found myself throwing my soldiers directly into the line of fire like some sort of madman, knowing full well that if things went sour I had only to press a few buttons to fix my mistakes. Thankfully though, the game seemed seemed all too aware of what I was doing and decided to take matters into its own hands. My sanity was all too suddenly returned to me as every single member of my squad suffered for my recklessness at the hands of an utterly unforgiving new enemy.

Make the bad men go away, mummy.

Suddenly, it hit me like a cold, hard reality brick tossed through the double glazed window of my mind. I had messed up. I had treated my soldiers like toys, recklessly trowing them headfirst into harms way without so much as a pause for thought. My determination to wipe out every damn alien I could get my hands on had lead me to abandon all sense of tactics whatsoever and now my squad was paying the price for my ill-considered battle plans.

I started a new game after that. For the first few missions I still found myself reloading now and then, but I made a point of focusing on strategy, rather than simply leading my brave soldiers directly into the heart of battle like some evil heartless monster who cares only for results. It's hard to resist the temptation at times to just save the game and return to my ways of shameless, maddening blood lust, but I swear I'm trying to get better. I'll just have to take it one alien riddled day at a time.
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About Tiqone of us since 10:10 AM on 09.14.2010