Karadoc's Apoc Mod - Probably the best mod for xcom apoc. It was designed to play turn based mode but it is also winnable in real time.
My goals in making this mod were to make Apocalypse more balanced (particularly to reduce the power of toxin guns and disruptor shields), and also the make the game more challenging. I've tried to balance the game so that I will only win if I play at my best (without reloads, etc).
Laser Sniper Gun is still useless but now it has 98 accuracy instead of 95.
Last verson 0.9 - 5 march 2009 download link: http://www.strategycore.co.uk/files/index.php?dlid=720
All of my playtesting was done on superhuman difficulty, and for full effect I recommend excising your willpower by not save-scumming (ie. reloading your save game when something bad happens to you) and also not stunraiding. This mod is meant to be challenging, so don't cheapen the challenge for yourself. I almost always use turn-based mode. Since I haven't done much testing in real-time mode I don't know if it is still winnable like that or not. I just prefer turn-based strategy.
Here's a summery of what has been changed.
- Most research takes longer - The bio tech tree has been changed - autotopsies are required before live alien research (except in special cases) - The requirements for "The Alien Genetic Structure" are Anthropod, Spitter, and Brainsucker. - The requirements for "Biological Warfare" are The Alien Genetic Structure and Multiworm Egg. - (Other bio requirements have not been changed as far as I remember) - The Retaliator research now requires UFO type 7 (bomber) instead of type 6 (assult ship)
- Most aliens and hostile humans are more powerful - There will be a greater number of alien ships constructed each week - Some alien missions will bring more ships - More aliens will be deposited by alien ships
- Toxin guns are much less powerful (much less damage and lower firing rate) and harder to acquire (more expensive, longer to research) - Disruptor shields are now extremely vulnerable to entropy enzyme attacks, and they are somewhat vulnerable to plasma attacks and explosions. They are also slightly heavier, so that it is less attractive to carry two of them. Watch out for aliens with entropy launchers! Hyperworms now do entropy damage to take advantage of the weakness in the disruptor shields, and spitters are also particularly more dangerous. - Laser rifles are more accurate - Valkyrie Interceptors are a bit stronger - Entropy launches and dimension missile launches fire more rapidly - Disruptor armour is a bit less powerful - High explosives are lighter, so that they might actually be useful. - ... other minor changes like that - Some equipment costs have been changed (particularly hoverbikes and xcom produced equipment) - Most building maintenance costs have been increased - Government funding to XCOM has been slightly increased to absorb some of the equipment cost increases. (The goal of the cost increases was to rebalance rather than to make money tighter)