The Alien War
The contents of this page contain fictional elements that are based on or expand on the official game mythos. Care should be taken by the reader not to confuse the artistic license taken as being an actual representation of the events and time lines in the game(s).
The establishment of X-COM on January 31st, 1999 marked that date as the beginning of the Alien War. Although the increase of UFO incursions was noticed in the previous months, the moment when Earth decided to react to the alien invasion is seen by the majority of people as the start of the war.
However, some defend that this date is entirely arbitrary, stating that it is impossible to know when alien agression first took place. And another pertinent question that is usually raised connected with this discussion is to assess the alien's intentions.
These questions aimed to determine the alien's plans haven't been satisfactory answered despite all that X-COM learned throughout the war about the aliens, with some key issues remaining a mystery. During the war it was assumed by X-COM and the CFN that the aliens had decided to move forward their plans regarding Earth.
But after the war an alternative theory was put forward which states that the aliens could have been running the same amount of routine operations on Earth for millenia and that by establishing X-COM the humans were starting to become an hindrance to their plans. However, due to lack of any reliable prewar data concerning UFOs it is impossible to prove that the build-up of UFO activity previous to 1999 hadn't been experienced in the past on a regular basis.
The 'Liquidator' and 'Caretaker' theories regarding the alien motives have been endlessly debated since the end of the war by numerous research papers and enquiry commissions. (And another more disturbing aspect that both theories ignore is the fact that the aliens must have started their infiltration activities previous to the war, a frightening possibility that has been dismissed by the authorities)
That date was when the United Nations decided to go to war without a formal declaration by any of its sides and being ignored by almost all of the human population on the planet. But for the rest of those, military personnel who were fighting the aliens or civilians who were being abducted or killed it became a matter of survival, both personal and for the entire human civilization.
The Opening Phase
After the first X-COM base was established it immediately started conducting combat and scientific operations, intercepting its first UFOs and conducting its first ground assault on one of the crashed UFOs.
Progress and Initial Expansion
After the initial tactical sucesses and reversals of the first months, X-COM took advantage of the increased funding and initial research to build its second and third bases and expand its coverage of the planet. Despite the heavy losses of soldiers a small core of experienced soldiers started to appear and those men were quickly promoted and put in charge of the growing number of newly recruited soldiers.
New technology started to be distributed amongst the troops, such as Laser Weapons and the highly prized Medi-Kits and Personal Armour. All of those contributed to an increase in the combat effectiveness of X-COM troops. The laser weapons gave the soldiers the means to take down Sectoids and Floaters more effectively while two last items contributed to a slight reduction of the combat losses with beneficial effects on morale and experience gained by the soldiers.
"A losing battle on Earth"
The interrogation of the first live alien that was captured produced a wealth of information regarding the aliens but one conclusion made from the data was that it was impossible to stop the aliens on Earth. Despite the fact that the data and analysis from the interrogations was classified at the highest level, rumors quickly spread through the force and many former X-COM personnel has stated that it was the moment when they realized the magnitude of their task. Another event that occurred at this stage was the first negative review of the CFN, which resulted in budget cuts preventing the hiring of desperately needed additional personnel and equipment. Besides fighting he aliens X-COM would also be in a desperate race to prove its worthiness to the CFN.