Mission of Terror

A week after the downing of the large alien ship a series of troubling reports began to come in.  The aliens had changed their tactics.  They were actively attacking and killing citizens, not just abducting them.  Another alien had also been seen.  A spidery, monsterous thing dubbed a Chryssalid from the eggheads in the lab.

Chryssalid

It wasn’t long before a report came in from the terror-stricken South American continent  Rosario, Argentina.  The city was under attack, citizens were in extreme danger and the Earth Monkey Strike Team was scrambled!

scramble.jpg

Coordinates of the center of the attack were uploaded to the SkyRanger and the team landed in a dark downtown area engulfed in flames and screams.  Word had come in several civilians using a small convenience store for cover.  The team were to rescue as many as possible and neutralize the alien threat.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Crash Site Run and Gun

After XCOM satellites picked up an alien craft over Colorado (probably over Denver, you know?) a Raven was scrambled for an intercept. After interecept the Raven downed the alien ship which then crash landed in the Colorado wilderness.

Crashsite

Almost before the craft hit the ground, the Earth Monkey Strike Team was scrambled and assigned to the site.  the objectives of Operation Brutal Stranger – survey the site, eliminate hostiles and gather alien technology. Assigned to the mission were the following XCOM Agents, Niedzwiecki, Roberts, Hughes and the newly healed Squaddie Norris.

OnAssignment

Upon landing the team was able to locate the craft easily and found it relatively intact.  While closing distance to the craft, Squaddie Norris and Hughes reported a new, hostile alien life form comprised almost entirely of energy.  The creature was within the ship and aware of the team.  As the squad moved into position another two sectoids were reported within the vehicle.

Continue reading

Earth Monkey Strike Team is Go!

It all started when a friend of mine gave an end game report for his “Band of Brothers” run through playing X-Com 2.  The Band of Brothers idea is quite simple in that you name your team members from a list of willing, personal friends.  His write-up inspired me and one Facebook post later, I had a full crew of willing friends ready to go fight aliens with me! (Well, at least use their names and possibly set them up for horrible virtual death and/or mild embarrassment.) Not having,  X-Com 2 I fired up my well-loved copy of X-Com: Enemy Unknown and got things started.

At first I thought I would put up mission reports, etc for entertainment value on Facebook for everyone to chuckle over.  Then, thanks to another helpful friend, I was reminded that, duh, I have a game blog!

And, as far as intro, that’s all you get.

Yes, we’ll talk RPG’s later.  For now, we’re hunting squishies!!!

Let’s get to it.

Continue reading

Busy Weekend!

Yes, I’m doing a lot of Flight Simming these days.  I love it.  It was a busy weekend here at the GameTime.  I’ve been able to kick the Youtube channel into a nice, fresh restart (What is this, the fourth time?) and spent most of Sunday morning trying to get my Twitch stream to work with regularity.  I also got my XP/Character advancement rules worked out and more written  AND… I’ll hopefully be wrapping it up with a bit of actual gaming Sunday night.

Just putting up a quick post to highlight the new Playlist over on Youtube – Airborne Yote.  I’ll be recording the occasional FSX / FSEconomy flight and putting it up there as I can.  Come on along for the ride!

Random Spots with a Google Earth Image Overlay

One of the tools I mentioned in my last Flight Simulator post was a way that I generated a random spot on Google Earth.  I wanted to talk about it briefly and show you how I do it.

The way to do it is incredibly simple.  I came up with it while trying to figure out a way to randomly select areas of the U.S. for a possible game campaign.  Below you will find a simple JPEG image.  Feel free to double click on the image and grab it for yourself.  the other thing you will need is a D6.

6x6Grid

I bet you can see where this is going, right?

Right.

  • Open Google Earth.
  • Create an Image Overlay using the graph image. (The button is up near the top.  See the image below.)  Adjust the image over whatever part of the world you want to use it on and adjust the opacity so you can see the terrain underneath it.
  • Roll the dice twice.  One roll for the row, the other for the column.  Find the square that coordinates to the die roll.
  • If it is too large of an area then simply shrink the layer down to fit the area of the initial coordinate and… guess what?  Roll again!
  • Wash, rinse and repeat until you get the area you want.

Here’s a quick example of what it will look like in Google Earth.

6x6gridexample

Also, if you have Photoshop, Gimp or something similar, you could also use this grid to find random locations on a digital map for a fantasy world or anything.  Just add it as another layer and manipulate it as you’d like to put the grid over the area.

The next post today is a more detailed look at how I use the 6 x 6 grid AND some elements of the Mythic RPG Solo game to create one of my more memorable charter flights.

Fun with Flight Simulator

I’ve been flying my desk for around 30 years.  (Just typing that caused a few more gray hairs to form!)  However, it’s true.  I’ve been fascinated by it my entire life.  I remember being in my bedroom trying to get a feel for Flight Simulator 2 on my Amiga, using my joystick and working with a frame rate of maybe 6.  Inserting floppy discs to change scenery areas.  Good times!

Flightsim2

As the technology improved I followed along and even joined a virtual airlines based out of the Bahamas and flew flight with them for many years.  (Yes, they have these.  Type in “Virtual Airline” in Google if you need to know more.) I was always interested in the small, private bush planes and never got the jazz for the heavy iron.   My last foray into flight simming came with Flight Simulator X.  I flew off and on and played around with the new amphibian planes.  Then, I got distracted by Life, kids and other games.  I got the news Microsoft was ending it’s run of Flight sim games and disgruntled by the announcement and a joystick that decided to stop working, I shelved it.

At the end of last year and being a big fan of Steam, I saw that Dovetail games had resurrected FSX and it would now be available through Steam!  Bonus of that announcement was it was on sale for $5.  So, for my birthday last year, I started flying again.

This time around I decided I would have some fun doing bush flights and, possibly, do the ever present but never attained Flight Around the World.  While investigating a way to monitor things like cost of fuel and prices of bush flights I stumbled onto FSEconomy which is a wonderful little “mod” / community.  In short, it’s a virtual “real time” world where fellow flight sim pilots make virtual money flying assignments in a digital world.  Everything is tracked, money, fuel, ownership of FBO’s and airports and planes are a limited commodity.  Matter of fact, you have to start out renting your plane and work up to buying one to have in the virtual world.  You also can, if you’re able, to fly in real time weather.

Yeah, guess what I was doing for most of January?

FSEDay01a

During my initial flights I decided I would revisit my old haunts in Florida and the Bahamas.  The weather in the Midwest this time of year was gray and cold enough in real life and I thought a break to the sunny south was in order.  A rule I would follow is that I would only be able to leave the last airport where I landed.  No jumping around, renting planes and flying wherever I wished.  I set out from my hometown airport with a rented Lake Renegade amphibian plane and took jobs along the way heading southward.  I loved it.

In Georgia as I searched assignments and flew from airport to airfield to airstrip, I stumbled on a little gem.  A DeHavilland Turbo Beaver sitting on a deserted grass airstrip in the middle of nowhere.  It had no air time  on it’s engine and was sitting there in perfect condition.  (FSEconomy tracks airtime and engine maintenance)  In fact, it was not owned by another player and was owned by “the system.”  It just seemed “stuck” there and unfound.  It was a good plane and with it’s 9 passenger capacity a good money maker!

Things move quick in this little virtual world and I was scared someone else might beat me to it.  I fired up the Lake Renegade and flew the fifteen minutes to find the airstrip.  After landing I realized that as awesome of a bush plane the Beaver can be the airstrip where it sat was VERY short.  I had a good time trying to get it out of there without banging it up against a tree!

Yet, I was successful and was now flying southward with a plane I really enjoyed.  I pushed further southward.

SunsetPanamaCity

Near Panama City as I was flying some soldiers into the military base there and fired by the cool random chance of finding the Dehavilland Beaver, the solo gaming/creativity bug hit me.  Fueled by too many episodes of Agents of Shield with the family I came up with an idea.  “What if,” it whispered, “your pilot gets talked about by the soldiers, gets recommended as a good bush pilot and is contacted by ‘thuper theekrit agency that needs good low-altitude, land anywhere pilots?”  Then, what if he gets assignments that require him/me to fly and land in some pretty tricky spots?”

And the final What if?, what if it’s just a ‘thuper ‘threekit group that has ties to the government but is, in fact, international and, of course, they fight crime?

All kinds of crime.

Boom.  Done.  I’m there!

Using an old technique I had designed to find random spots on Google Earth, I went to work.  A few die rolls later and some map consulting and I had my first assignment.  I needed to get down to the Bahamas with my rental plane, taking jobs along the way of course, and pick up a team of three people.  They would be at a small out of the way Cay and wanted a quiet extraction away from any airports.  I was to land, pick them up, and take off all within a fifteen minute window.  This forced all sorts of “fun” on me like flight planning, navigation and timing things out so I landed and extracted at the exact time of the assignment.   I really didn’t come up with much about the agents I was picking up.  Not my job, right?    However, the seeds had been planted.  I was ready to combine some Solo gaming ideas with Flight Simulator!

BeachLanding

A few days later I created another assignment and it turned out to be pretty vanilla.  I found my random spot, rolled some dice on a few random tables and built another assignment.  I was to pick up some archeologists who needed to get a few “finds” back to a “safe facility” to be researched.  My job?  Pick them up at a small, nearly deserted island where they had been hiding out/digging for a few weeks and get them back to Nassua.   Once there they would grab a larger plane back home.  Piece of cake kind of run.

While landed at Nassau, I rolled up another assignment and this one was going to be a challenge.  I was headed to Cuba for a quick (and I mean QUICK) pickup at a secluded lake.  Afterwards, I would have to fly at 500 feet or below to avoid radar, get out of Cuban airspace and make for the Florida Keys with my agent tucked away safely in the plane.

Not a problem… not a problem at all!

(To Be Continued!)

 

A Courier’s Life

This is a special playstyle for Skyrim that I built earlier this year.  I was going to keep it to myself but I’ve had so much fun playing it, I figured other folks might like it too!  I’m featuring it on my ExtraLife marathon stream on Twitch because it’s very marathon-like and pretty perfect for the event.

The Big Idea – Your Skyrim character is a rookie courier who has been given two messages to deliver.  One is to go to a Khajit named M’aiq that no one seems to be able to find!   How long can you survive in the harsh world of Skyrim as a courier.  (This does involve using the add gold cheat for getting paid.)

I’ll get more details uploaded when I have more time but the notes for the playstyle are below!

——————————————-

-Hardcore – Only one life!
-Frostfall on  and must eat at least twice a day.
-No fast travel!
-Must sleep at least 6 – 8 hours a night.
-Can take any and all “messenger” or courier type in-game missions.
-Cannot take any “Quest” missions unless ordered by a Jarl or Jarl’s officer.
-Must use “Wait” for any crafting, eating, resting type activities.
-Character may hunt and sell skins, horns, etc. but it should not take the character too far “off road.”
-Character may loot corpses from defending themselves or corpses found.
Character may not carry over 75 lbs of equipment!
-Character may begin with only one courier mission until that mission is completed.
-Once first mission completed character may roll for TWO missions and decide how to proceed.
-Once second mission is finished, courier may roll to have a maximum of THREE missions running at the same time.

Each successful courier mission = 1d6 100 gold
Add indicated amount of gold    player.additem 0000000f [number]

Goal
Get as many Courier points as possible before death.
Make enough through courier missions and in other ways to buy a house.

Points
Successfully deliver message to Mi’ake = 20 points
Successfully deliver subsequent messages – 5 points per message.. (no dragging your feet here!) You may stop for breaks and food and to warm up if using a mod like Frostfall.  At each break you must use the Wait command for at least one hour.

Random Courier Missions!!!

Roll 1d6 =
1-3 = A City
4-5 = A Town
6    = A Settlement

Cities  (Roll 1d10)
1 – Markarth
2 – Riften
3 -Solitude
4 -Whiterun
5 -Windhelm
6 – Dawnstar
7 – Falkreath
8 = Morthal
9 – Winterhold
10 – Player Choice or roll again

Towns (Roll D8)
1 – Dragon Bridge
2 – Helgen
3 – High Hrothgar
4 – Ivarstead
5 – Karthwasten
6 – Riverwood
7 – Rorikstead
8 – Shor’s Stone

Settlements  (Roll D10)
1 – Kynesgrove
2 – Anga’s Mill
3 – Stonehills
4 – Half-Moon Mill
5 – Darkwater Crossing
6 – Goldenglow Estate
7 – Heartwood Mill
8 – Stonehills
9 – Mixwater Mill
10 – Thalmor Embassy

Once your location is decided, go to a Skyrim wiki and look up the location. ( I like this one for this!)  If it is in groups/buildings I first roll for the building and then dice to figure out WHO I will be delivering to and, wah-lah, you have your assignment.

Good luck!