Gunlord’s College Saga, Episode 112 (Oct 02- Oct 08, 2022): Week 6 of my final semester…

Also busy and productive!

STUFF TO DO:

COM 441:

Forum 1 – DONE!

Forum 2 – DONE!

Forum 3 – done!

Forum 4 – DONE!

Forum 5 – DONE!

Forum 6

Forum 7

Forum 8

Forum 9

Quiz 1 – DONE!

Quiz 2 – DONE!

Quiz 3

Quiz 4

Final Exam

COM 443:

Project 1 – done!

Project 2 – DONE!

Project 3

Project 4

Project 5

Project 6

Project 7

Project 8

Quiz 1 – DONE!

Quiz 2

Quiz 3

Final Project

Sunday:

Chilled at home, finally beat Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Demonhunters 😀 A- day.

Monday:

Solid A day I’d say, went out to mail somethin 😀

Tuesday:

A- day, just went out for some beloved German food at Creekview and chilled. 😀

Wednesday:

A- day, decent day at work, just chilled.

Thursday:

Productive day gets an A! Got my second COM 441 quiz outta the way, went out for my COM 443 course and went to Zetti’s :3

Friday:

Decent day at work, went to Wegmans for yumyums, and read the next chapter of Musuko, not much happens except for Crown’s crew talking about how, to their dismay, more and more demons are accepting coexistence with humans. Hmm, hmm~

Saturday: 

Got gas, went to Kyoto, that was all. A-.

GENERAL WEEK RANK:

A-. Didn’t quite get the emails done, I’ll do that next week.

THINGS I HAD TO FINISH THIS WEEK:

College work

Mail some stuff

Email some stuff

THINGS I HAVE TO DO NEXT WEEK:

College work

Mail stuff

Email stuff

EATAN:

WATCHAN:

Nothin.

PLAYAN:

Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate – Demonhunters!

This game is…essentially just like the new X-COM games, but set in the Warhammer 40k universe. You control a squad of 4 Grey Knights, the Imperium of Man’s most elite anti-Chaos forces, who wear the same type of power armor as Space Marines (both regular and Terminator type, although theirs generally looks more ‘knightly’), but each one of them also has powerful psionic powers. In this game, you have to work with an imperial inquisitor, Vakir, as she tries to stop a ploy from the Plague God of Chaos, Nurgle, to cover 5 planets in 5 types of diseases/mutations to power a “Morbus” of the “Bloom,” which will spread the plague across the entire galaxy.

You achieve this by traveling around a bunch of planets in your sector on your ship, called the Baleful Edict, teleporting squads of 4 power armored Grey Knights each into tactical battles where you and your enemy take turns: You have 3 Action Points (usually) you can spend on moving, attacking (either shooting or melee) or reloading/throwing grenades/psychic attacks/miscellaneous activities). You can also end up in either high cover or full cover, measured by half a shield or a full shield that appears whenever one of your units is up against a wall, that determines how easy you are to hit. As you can probably tell, this is almost *exactly* like the Firaxis XCOM games, although it’s not as RNG heavy. Rather than percentages to hit, no/half/full cover determines how much damage you take from attacks, or in other words, you always have a 100% chance to hit, but you do extremely low amounts of damage depending on cover (although some actions, like critical hits or melee parries, are random dice roll based). You also have another resource, WP or willpower, through which you can use special abilities like psychic storms, enhanced bullets, and so on. But in general, from everything to squad size to how movement works, it feels just like XCOM.

On the strategic level, you have to maintain your ship, a Grey Knight space destroyer (technically Strike Cruiser) called the Baleful Edict. At the start of the game, most of its systems have been damaged, and you repair them by winning missions which gives you “Servitors” (lobotomized Warhammer 40k-world cyborgs used for manual labor) to spend on restoring the ship’s guns (keeping it from being destroyed by enemy cruisers wandering around), expanding the barracks (allowing you to recruit more guys in case you lose some), and so on. Now, in the tactical battles you can extract different colored Seeds from enemies, either by using an item or scoring critical hits on them, and these are the resource you spend on research (rather than enemy corpses, as was the case in XCOM). They’re used by your Inquisitor, Vakir, to get Stratagems, which are tarot card things you can use in tactical battles at any time under the right circumstances to give your whole team a boost.

Aside from that, the strategic challenge is to get to as many missions as you can in a month. Much like in XCOM and XCOM 2, you have to defend the whole sector, but your ship isn’t fast enough, even fully upgraded, to get to all of them when they appear at different times, so you have to choose between which missions are least risky, which missions are closest together, which are most urgent (the disease, the Bloom, spreads as seen in a meter underneath each planet, and if that meter fills because you haven’t been doing missions, you need to do the Chaos Gate mission I mentioned above or you lose the planet, and losing five loses the game), and which have the best resources–servitors, research materials, or “Requisition,” which is the last resource. You get this from the Grey Knights commander you serve at the end of every month, and you spend it on either recruiting new Grey Knights, OR increasing the quality of the random drops (items, weapons, etc) you get after missions. Aside from that, the last strategic factor is random events: Most of the time traveling through the sector you’ll get them, and sometimes you need ship upgrades, like the aforementioned better guns, or they can damage your ship and destroy it, losing you the game too.

This game is amazingly good, though I have a number of complaints, which I’ll go through first. It does get kind of repetitive, as there are only about 6 mission types: Kill (or extract seeds from) 1-4 seedbearers, destroy 1-3 bloom spreaders (big plantlike monster things Nurgle creates that have a lot of HP), destroy a single Bloom Flower within a time limit, and then “Bring Inquisitor Vakir to a certain point on the map and defend her for X number of turns,” this is both the Chaos Gate missions the game is named after, where if a planet reaches max infection you have to win the mission to close the gate; if you fail five you fail the campaign, and it’s how most of the “story” missions aside from the last go. Compare this to XCOM and XCOM 2, which had basic battle missions, but also defuse bomb missions, protect civilian missions, rescue missions, retrieve item/data and escape, and base assault missions for certain tough aliens. Also, the maps aren’t procedurally generated, by the end of the game you’ll find yourself fighting in the same cathedral over and over. Now, they weren’t procedurally generated for the newCOMs either, but those seemed to have many more maps.

Related to this is that as good as the aesthetics are, they can actually be kind of annoying in battle. All your grey knights look and sound mostly the same, which can sometimes make it hard to distinguish them. There’s limited amounts of customization but other than shoulderplates and tabards, all your grey knights are the exact same color. The only reliable way to tell them apart really is from their backpacks, and those are hard to see if you’re not zoomed in. I sort of wish they had gone with another space marine chapter, because for those you would be able to modify the coloring of the armor, etc. which would make things a little easier (for instance, in the old XCOM games, I always gave different classes specific color schemes).

My other complaint is on the strategy rather than battle side of things, there’s no real sense you have to protect the planets you’re fighting on. In XCOM, not only would you lose the campaign if you lost nations/funding regions, but it would also hamper your war effort, because the nations gave you money and/or other kinds of supplies. In this game, however, the various planets you’re supposed to defend in the sector don’t give you any resources at all, so there’s no reason to defend one over another or really keep track of how many you lose aside from your bimonthly report looking worse, and making sure you don’t lose more than 4. Most of your resources come from the Grey Knights commander, and thats kind of annoying. Rather than gradually building up the quality of your basic weaponry through research, you’re entirely reliant on random drops for guns, swords, etc., which leads to a lot of grinding that feels unnecessary.

Still, I put 87 hours into this game because it’s so addictive. They’ve got the basic gameplay loop of XCOM down pat, *and* they’ve done an excellent job at conveying the 40k aesthetic as well! Despite being hard to tell apart, your Grey Knights do look very cool, and all the environments look just like the sorts of grim cathedrals, drop pod littered battlefields, and so on you see in the best 40k dioramas Games Workshop has put out. The writing is also pretty good, though they got an actual 40k author to do it so thats not too surprising, but the dialogue and voice acting for the heroes and villains is both fitting and satisfactorily witty. There’s also a ton of lore you can get by talking with Vakir and the other characters in between battles during the strategy section of the game, which is both surprisingly attentive to the lore (like the description of the Thorian faction of the Imperium, for instance) and entertaining in its own right. In general, the game just has so much SOVL put into it that it’s one of the best licensed things Games Workshop has put out in a while and a very solid XCOM clone in its own right. Despite the lengthy critiques I gave above, those are less important than the solid basic gameplay loop at the center, so I really recommend this game. This is apparently Complex Games’ very first project, and I am astonished they did so well! Hope to see more of em…

BOOK READAN:

Nothin much.

MANGA READAN:

What I said above.

WRITAN:

College stuffies~

BUCKET LIST PROGRESS

1: Finish up a second big project – About halfway done with this, actually

2: Get Dragonar onto its BDs-Done for the most part with my stuff at least.

3: Maybe finish up a 3rd big project related to Berserk-This will be on hold for a loooong time while Mori-sensei finishes it up.

4: Obviously, get all my affairs in order–will, etc.

5: Finish a FOURTH big project I’ve had thoughts about for a while. Won’t say much more about it other than it involves Visual Novels.

6: *maybe* finish up a fic I’ve always wanted to put out. But this is really extra.

7: Read the end of Girl Genius. At least I got to see Lucrezia kicked out of Agatha’s mind, so that’s something.

8: Play Front Mission 5.

9: Play Brigandine: Grand Edition. I think I’ll work on these emulation related things when I get a new computer–a new deskie, I mean. I do have a new deskie, though, but I’ll hold off on the fun stuff until I’m done with everything else.

Not too far from halfway done for my final semester 😀

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