I cant stop playing this game and first attempt at playing it i did it on classic, but it was taking me around 3hours to complete a mission because i kept restarting, I was doing ok though in terms of not losing any countries, researched loads and had a lot of good troops. But i decided to try it on normal iron man, even though most reviews ive seen said classic mode was the best way to start it. I disagree unless you have played the origional. Anyways im still on normal and got 6 of my team that i took on a mission, total badasses 3 majors, 3 captains, All named after my pets an my other half the medic (shes died around 4 times in the game so might leave her behind next time to clean the billets) So anyways i take this team on a civilian rescue mission and expect to kick ass, there all wearing Carapace armour except 2 of my snipers who have the grapling amour. And loaded out with lazer weapons. I make it past the main part then get to the end, where im greeted with the crysalids, now ive come across these before and didnt have any trouble with them, UNTIL........ i didnt realise that the zombies if left unchecked and not dealt with turn into super crysalids! and these bugs are nasty and after turning one of my Majors into a zombie i just couldnt bring myself to shoot him as he was my best soilder. Big mistake they moved faster and further than normal ones and basicaly jumped up to where my 2 snipers were took them out then masicured my entire team! all of them dead! mission was a complete balls up and to top it china pulled out of funding when i got back to xcom. So lesson learned and im still going with an even better badass group of reserected pets but this time with Titan armour and plasma power. So preparing them for the alien base assult mission. Hopefully no crysalids and no zombies this time. Im definately learning a lot playing it on normal ironman rather than classic, and ill enjoy playing classic that much more before attempting classic iron man and then impossible, never have i played a game with so much replay value.
I appreciate your dilemma. More than once I've gone in thinking I'm packing more than enough firepower to deal with whatever the game throws at me only to be caught short. I also have to agree with what you said about replay value - it's addictively good!