My third appearance as the commander did not go as planned. I’ll tell you that right now.
One of the most interesting things about this succession game for me is playing this game, that I have relatively little experience with, in chunks. So much changes in between the turns and while I do take the time to re-read past commander’s posts I never know quite what I’m about to jump into. Plus every turn becomes harder than the last as the game advances and the play becomes more complicated as more options are opened up and more equipment is available.
We’re now beyond the point any of my single-player Xcom 2 games have gone over the years so I’m really going in blind now. It’s definitely been a unique experience so far.
As as I loaded up the save and jumped back into the game, I had to decide what to do. I knew what the main objective for us right now was thanks to Magi:
“…once the Power Relay is done our first priority should be to unlock the upgraded Comms Station so that we can make contact with West Africa and take care of that stuff over there!”
The Power Relay had only 6 days to go so I was hoping I could squeak past the 6 days with a supply cache scan without triggering a mission. After 2 days, the Muton research was completed. This gave us an advanced grenade launcher which I promptly built. I also started research into Psionisc because the description said it would have a lot of use in the field. How true this is I don’t know but it sure sounded good.
I held my breath and hit scan again hoping to make the next 4 days pass uneventfully.
It was not meant to be. 2 days shy of the Power Relay a trio of missions appeared and I had a choice between them.
This, again, was an easy choice. Two of the three missions had the difficulty rating of Difficult while one had the rating of Moderate. The Moderate one, besides being “easier” also seemed to have better rewards at least in the short term. Completing this mission would get us another engineer to use to get some help on excavating the Shielding Power Relay.
Operation Massive Mountain
- Easha “Silentdeath” Dust Feather – Ranger
- Tessa “Endalia” Hastjarjanto – Sharpshooter
- Sofia “Black Widow” Vasilyeva – Specialist
- Naithin “Naithin” Nahilin – Ranger
- Marinia “Volcano” Schneider – Grenadier
- Geoff “Doesn’t Have a Nickname” Mason – Grenaider
- Neutralize all enemy targets
- Recover Processing Facility Schematics
The team entered “Roach Station” (a lovely name by the way) with no enemies in sight. The console we needed to hack was in a small building not too far from the landing area. Of course, we couldn’t see much in or around the building as it was just out of range. The team was spread out but moved up at around the same time to cover as much ground as possible to find the lurking aliens we’d need to take out.
It didn’t take long. As Mason use some old wooden pallets as cover an ADVENT Stun Lancer and a freaking robot walked into view. They spotted Mason and the first fight began.
I noticed my grenadiers were equipped with….well…grenades so I decided to give them a go. Mason threw a flash bang and, to probably no one surprise but my own, only the ADVENT stun lancer was affected while the ADVENT MEC was unphased. It’s one of those moments where I went “Oh that was dumb” of course the robot wouldn’t be affected by a flash bang. But the Volcano was up next and she whipped a frag grenade at both enemies which did some damage and blew up all their cover!
While this engagement is going on I figured I’d have Naithin go do Ranger stuff and try to sneak into the building, hack the console, and mozy on back to the group to clean up the remaining enemy units.
Endalia and SilentDeath move in from the flanks to assist the grenadiers with the assault. Endalia faces off and gets decent hits on both enemies. The soldier is almost dead and the ADVENT MEC has just under half health. Silentdeath moves up and finishes off the soldier with a solid machete slash. At this point, the ADVENT MEC starts retreating.
Right into the path of Naithin….so much for sneaking in. The team all moves up to give Naithin support and take the building by force.
Once everyone arrived the ADVENT MEC runs into the building and reveals there were two mutons on either side of the door! Might have been a good thing Naithin was discovered after all.
While the team took potshots at the mutons I was able to use Black Widows drone to hack the console without going into the building. Which was my first and last moment of strategic genius of the mission. The team was to take down the mutons with relative ease but that pesky ADVENT MEC kept running away. It ran out of the back door of the building and revealed even more friends: a Naga and a Codex. Since we were on opposite sides of the building I figured I’d have the team group up in overwatch and shoot all the enemies as they inevitably walked through the building to get to us.
Seemed like a good plan until the ADVENT MEC hit us all with a frag grenade. It didn’t hurt as much as it could have but it did blow up everyone’s cover. Revenge for early perhaps?
And this is where the fight starts to break down. The Naga grabs Silentdeath from the other end of the building. The Codex can apparently teleport inside the building and start shooting at us. I’m not sure if the teleport canceled out the overwatch or the frag hitting everyone but no one took a shot. Endalia sniped the MEC and finally put it down. Neither of the grenadiers could hit the Codex through the open window and I did not account for the turrets on top of the building joining the fight.
Black Widow had to aggressively heal Silentdeath before the naga could deal a final blow. The Codex teleported from the building behind the whole team which ended up being its undoing. Naithin walked over and finished it off with a quick slash. The MVP goes to Mason though. On a 33% shot on the full health Naga, he makes the shot, hits, and does a crit, which drops the Naga and ends the mission.
After the Mission:
I was super excited to complete another successful mission without losing any units. That is until I saw the squad screen after the mission:
Ya, that looks bad. While no one was lost several were injured for the next few days. The worst off being Silentdeath who is out for the next month. Surprisingly, Corporal Geoff Mason was the only one to make it out of the encounter unscathed. Unfortunately, Naithin came out of this mission with Reduced Will which means more susceptible to panic and Psionic attacks.
It turns out when you return with most of your squad injured the game advises you to pick up some more soldiers as our ranks are thinning out. I didn’t really think it was that bad until I looked at our Armory:
We don’t have enough soldiers to field a full team for the next mission if it were to start right now. Luckily, it looks like we have some heavy hitters coming back in just a few days’ time. I’m looking at you Maji, Black Widow, and Bookahnerk. I’m hoping the squad will have a few days’ rests before the next mission pops.
There was some good news though. The Valcano and Black Widow both earned a promotion this mission. For the Grenadier I chose Suppression to add a nice debuff to her tool kit. I picked up Covering Fire for Black Widow to keep the Battle Medic side going strong. There’s also the fact that any enemy action causes triggering Overwatch which also seems really helpful.
Karen Peterson, the new engineer, was put straight to work on the Sheilding Power Coil project which should speed that up a bit.
UnwiseOwl is up next!