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Modifications to X-Com

Combat and Movement

In the old system:

  • Each unit was moved individually.
  • Units had a set number of movement points.
  • Moving, turning, etc cost a number of movement points.

A new system may have these elements:

  • All units move simultaneously.
  • Orders are assigned before each unit moves.
  • Movement points and turns still exist;
    • The interface paints lines on the ground for units' planned movements with red circles for their expected positions at the end of a turn.
    • Slow units with fewer movement points will take a longer time to perform the same action as a faster unit.
  • The player may interrupt a turn at any time to give new orders.
  • The turn may automatically be interrupted if an enemy unit is sighted.
  • Multiple units may be chosen and given the same order at once.

Movement plans

The player may create and save a standard disembarkment plan to be used for the first turn of any mission.


Old method:

  • Each type of shot costs a set amount of Time Units.
  • Shots are fired immediately.
  • Costs are spent immediately.

New method:

  • Time is spend preparing before a shot is fired.
  • Firing the shot takes time.
  • Time is spent in a recovery period after firing.


  • Aimed shot: Long preparation, long recovery,
  • Snap shot: Quick preparation, medium recovery, horrible accuracy (esp at distance)
  • Auto shot: Medium preparation and recovery for multiple shots, with decreasing accuracy per shot.

Movement orders

Instead of walking everywhere, units may be given different movement orders.

  • Run: Generally, don't stop to shoot unless an enemy appears right in front of you.
  • Advance: Duck-walking / jogging. The default.
  • Slow advance: Slow movement, but better visibility, quicker reactions, and less energy expense.
  • Crawl: Very slow movement, and slow response, but difficult to hit and takes better advantage of cover.
  • Observe: use Aimed Shot if available.
  • No orders: unit will generally default to Observe.

Other movement modes may include:

  • Recover energy: an AI mode for exhausted units. You cannot order a unit into it.

And in general, anything costs time / movement points:

  • Enter crouch
  • Exit crouch
  • Enter crawl
  • Exit crawl
  • Use item
  • Fire weapon

A unit under different orders may decide on its own to take a Snap Shot if it is surprised.

Crouching will reduce the preparation time for any shot. Crouched units are more likely to use Auto Shot and Aimed Shot.

A unit moving through smoke may slow down to cough, and will be unable to react to interruptions while coughing.

Unit customization

Equipping units

Standard outfit profiles may be created and then assigned to units so the player does not have to outfit each unit individually.

  • “Best Available” may be used for any weapon or armor if the specified item is not in stock.
  • Profiles may also be assigned to ships. For example, a ship may have 8 general combatants, 2 heavy weapons, 1 sniper, 1 medic, and random rookies can fill the roles.

Rebalanced stats

Consider that X-Com operatives are the best soldiers in the world. Instead of scoring their stats from 0 to 100, set 100% to, say, the old 20 in every stat. X-Com soldier stats are now scored from 100%-200%. Certain missions may now use values under 100% to autogenerate NPC state soldiers, police, and armed civilians with respectively decreasing stats. If one of these randomly generated characters does well, one of your soldier recruitments in a few months may be this character with stats boosted up to X-Com standards.

Training soldiers as scientists

You could assign a soldier with a high IQ to work in the labs under a scientist. They will act as a slightly less effective scientist for the lower cost of keeping a soldier, and they can still participate in combat if the base is attacked. For example, the average scientist might have an intelligence rating of 200%. Ordering a soldier with intelligence of 145% to perform research will give you a 145-point bonus instead of the normal scientist's 200 points; or perhaps a 45-point bonus if you take off 100 points for the soldier's unfamiliarity with the subject.

You could also assign soldiers to act as engineers where their usefulness would be based on both intelligence and strength.

Regional customization

Hired soldiers will have randomly generated modifications to their appearance based on sets of changes related to their country of origin.

Weapons and Equipment

Regripped plasma weapons

Consider that alien plasma weapons may be difficult to use because they are designed for alien hands. They would need research and work before they can be re-used, but the work is cheap and quickly performed.

Gray plasma weapons should be weaker than standard because they are literally a different weapon from the plasma weapons used by larger aliens.

Rebalanced lasers

Lasers are too dominant and are gained too early in the game. Half of the game's armaments are instantly obsolete once you get them. They should be rebalanced so that the player is encouraged to consider combined-arms tactics for a longer time.

The first lasers you get should be weak and bulky, improving on the standard rifle only in the areas of not needing ammunition and being more accurate. You should then need to research and develop intermediate iterations before developing a laser gun equivalent to the original laser rifle.

  1. Weak and bulky
  2. Weak and not bulky
  3. Bulky and not weak
  4. Equivalent to original laser rifle


Set the time to 1987. The world came together to found X-Com, but political divisions will soon reappear between between NATO, the Warsaw Pact, OPEC, China, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

X-Com may be pressured to interfere in internal state affairs in exchange for continued funding. If you agree to this, every country is going to start expecting X-Com to help them out as well.

Soldiers may leave if they do not support of X-Com's operations in their home country, or if they believe they are needed for a war in their home country.

Reading newspapers

You will have a command option to read newspapers, whose headlines will inform you of geopolitical changes. The game continues as normal while you are reading the newspapers.

You first see a list of headlines; choosing one and reading an article more closely will give you a full description of the changes that this will have on the country.

The newspapers' contents should reflect the political leanings of the particular newspaper and of the country in which it is located.

Political movements

Political movements may have various spectra:

  • Globalist vs. Nationalist
    • Globalists support global endeavours and seek worldwide unity at the costs of ignoring specific threats to their country and creating conflicts against independent actors. Globalist support for X-Com is generally positive unless X-Com becomes perceived as assisting nationalist movements.
    • Nationalists exaggerate the need for their country's defense at the costs of reduced relations with foreigners. Nationalist support for X-Com is highly dependant upon X-Com assistance to the nationalist government's specific country.
  • Activist vs. Pacifist
    • Activists support war. They will generally support X-Com, but will also start wars with other countries which will result in reduced X-Com funding from both parties.
    • Pacifists oppose war and the most extreme of them will oppose X-Com's existence.
  • Charitable vs. Industrial
    • Charitable governments slow their country's industrial growth and increase the risk of a sudden economic collapse. They are more likely to provide money to X-Com if relations are good.
    • Industrial governments improve their country's industrial growth and increase the risk of industrial accidents which weaken the country's economy and reduce popular support for the government. Their governments take in less money and thus are not as generous with their donations to X-Com.
  • Populist vs. Centralized
    • Populist governments are more easily swayed by public pressure, allowing them to be more easily deposed and replaced by a different movement. Populist governments are generally hostile to more centralized governments. This spectrum has no bearing on relations with X-Com, but will lead to leaders mentioned in newspapers being titled differently, e.g. “Prime Minister” and “President” vs. “King” and “Commander in Chief”.
    • Centralized governments are less easily swayed by public pressure.
  • Strong vs. Weak
    • A strong movement can survive a few unpopular political incidents. This has no bearing on relations with X-Com.
    • A weak movement may easily lose power to a stronger movement within the same country. This can happen through an election or a coup d'etat. All new movements begin weak, but can gain strength through external support or through events detrimental to the party in power.

Calculating a government's positions:

The political leanings of a government are independent of those of the movement controlling the government, but migrate over time to be more similar.

The influence of each political movement for each index is:

  • The government's %Populism times:
    • The movement's %Strength / the leading movement's %Strength times

The government's net strength is the %Strength of the faction in power / the net %Strength of all factions.

Shifts in the government's position occur during political incidents which are mentioned in the newspaper. These incidents occur relative to certain factors:

  • The centralization of government promotes the speed of changes
  • The net strength of the government promotes the speed of change
  • The activism of the party in power promotes the speed of changes
  • A large difference between the government's current and target positions on any factor promotes the speed of change.

Alliances and Geopoltiics

Pre-Existing Alliances:

  • NATO (all countries allied with USA)
  • Warsaw Pact (all countries allied with USSR)
  • Arab League (all countries allied with Saudi Arabia)


More thought is needed on:

  • competing ideologies which may be shared between countries and held by a minority party in a country where the party in power does not share the ideology
    • A party in one country may be designated as belonging to an ideology
    • An ideology might be one global party with a presence of variable strength in multiple countries
  • generation of better or worse relationships between countries
    • Automated creation of new alliances
    • countries withdrawing from alliances
  • military strength of countries
    • adjustments due to political party in power
    • consideration as a factor in going to war (for or against)
    • bonuses from getting aid from X-Com
  • the potential for an extremist movement to cause depopulation in its own country


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xcommodifications.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/29 20:39 (external edit)