I’m back in the commander’s chair for the XCOM 2 succession game. It’s been a while, so my first concern was do I remember how to play?
If you’re unfamiliar with the blogger succession game or want to catch up you can find all the info over on Time To Loot.
I went back through everyone’s posts from this round to both refresh my memory and prepare for my upcoming turn. Since my last turn we’ve made some headway in the main missions but those ADVENT project pips are sill rising. We have started running in to a new enemy type as well: The Andromedon. These things look terrifying, spew acid all over the place, and have to be killed twice to boot.
Magi started work on the Shadow Chamber Facility and the Advanced War Center on their last turn. Since, all of the engineers were busy with those projects there wasn’t any building to be done on the Avenger.
When I opened the Geosphere, a notification immediately popped up to check out a distress signal in New Brazil.Scanning there would net us another scientist. I decided to test my luck and hope a mission didn’t appear before I was done. While scanning, our research on the ADVENT Data pad completed. I started researching beam cannons because, well, they sounded fun.
The scientist was successfully rescued just as the Shadow Chamber Facility was completed.
The Shadow Chamber also gave us some new objectives: Research the Blacksite Vial and Study the Codex. I chose to study the Blacksite Vial which put all of our other research on hold.
While that was cooking, I set off to see what I could do about those looming ADVENT Project pips. There were two options for us, New Australia or West Africa. I chose to make contact with West Africa because it cost 30 intel less than New Australia. Even with that, our intel is now running low.
I was able to get 4 days in to the 5-6 day scan when the Blacksite Vial finished. We learn that the Blacksite Vial contains a refined human genetic soup. The working theory is civilians are taken from the gene clinics and processed into these vials to make new ADVENT soldiers. Everyone on board the Avenger is horrified at this discovery.
Operation Death Slayer
Objectives: Recover any valuable information or items, Extract all XCOM soldiers.
This is my first time playing a story mission. I was already a bit nervous to see that it was classified as a difficult mission and the big red boarder around it didn’t inspire confidence either. I figured I would need to assemble our best people for this one.
While we have a number of soldiers still recovering I was able to assemble a squad I felt comfortable with taking into this kind of mission.
– Seargeant Rocket ( Grenadier)
– Captain Silentdeath (Ranger)
– Major Magi (Sharpshooter)
– Lieutenant Volcano (Grenadier)
– Captain Rakuno (Grenadier)
– Corporal Sidorova (Ranger)
I wanted to take a specialist along on this one for some extra insurance. Two of our specialists were out with injuries and the only one left was a Squaddie. I figured a Corporal ranger would offer better utility than the squaddie so I settled on taking Sidorova.
I equipped almost everyone with a med pack. Sidorova got a Stim shirt since we were out of med packs by the time I got to her. 2 health regen a round isn’t too bad.
This was a reconnaissance and extraction mission to the ADVENT Forge. This is the place we suspect ADVENT is taking civilians and refining their genetics into the vials.
After the team drops in, we can see the facility. There’s also a thick blanket of fog of war between our drop point and the building we’re trying to investigate. The map seems large but there is a straight shot up the road to the building.
I decided to take the path of least resistance and walk the team up the road slowly. I also went with a defensive approach. Everyone moved up slowly ending their turn in cover and with overwatch activated. I sent Magi up to the high ground to see offer some cover fire and extra vision.
That’s when Magi spots the first group of enemies: An Archon and a Elite Trooper. I had Magi line up a Deadeye shot which almost takes out the Archon but not quite. The two enemies move forward triggering everyone’s overwatch. That engagement didn’t last long. The trooper dropped our only loot for this mission: an advanced auto loader and a PCS: Advanced Speed.
Continuing on with the slow defensive strategy, SilentDeath spots our next enemy: a Sectopod. Again, once it moves into range, everyone’s overwatch triggers and it’s wiped out in the first round. I definitely did not want to see what kind of damage that thing would inflict.
The team is almost at the facility but there’s a bridge we need to cross. The bridge set up is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a choke point for the enemy if they try to cross. On the other, it’s a choke point for us. I’m working with 3 grenadiers and 2 rangers, not the best at long range fights. But that’s what we have Magi for. The team is able to get some pot shots on the ADVENT Mech and two troopers across the bridge and Magi is able to clean them up.
When we’re able to cross the bridge another cutscene plays. It turns out this isn’t a processing plant for humans. It’s a factory for making more ADVENT soldiers. I’m not sure if this is a better discovery but there’s a big chamber in the back of the building that looks like it might contain something important.
I set up the team to cover the front door in case anything comes out. I kept getting warnings that movement was detected behind the door but after 2 rounds nothing came out. So I had Rakuno blow the whole front wall down with a grenade.
That sure got their attention and got me line of sight on the next group. One Archon and two sectoids. Again, the archon goes down almost imediately and Magi is able to hit another Deadeye shot on one of the Sectoids. The other Secotiod flees and we chase it in to the buidling.
Once we’re in, there’s no sign of the Sectoid. I split the team up in to two groups to take either hallway leading to the mission objective. No Sectoid in either of those so Volcano approaches the chamber to open it up on their next turn.
It turns out the sectoid, a muton, and another archon are on the roof. The problem with the enemies position on the roof is the is a big hole in it Rakuno made earlier. Once they move, they aren’t hidden and they’re not in cover. Magi drops the sectoid, a slew of overwatch shots kill the archon, and the muton jumps down into the room with the quest objective. Which also happens to be where the whole squad is posted up.
I sent SilentDeath to finish off the muton with a sword slash. I wasn’t aware that mutons had a melee counter attack which left SilentDeath with 1 health. I immediately had everyone burn the muton to the ground.
Lesson learned, don’t melee attack the mutons.
With no more enemies in sight we get the chamber open and a suit falls out. This suit looks suspiciously like the one we found the commander wrapped up in at the beginning of the game. This is the valuable information or item we’ve been looking for and we need to take it to the evac point and get out.
Of course, we can’t just escape as there’s an enemy drop ship right next to our evac point. Volcano grabs the suit, everyone makes their way to the nearest exit, and we fight our way to the evac point before another drop ship can arrive.
There wasn’t much of a middle ground here for the soldiers. They were either gravely wounded or 100% healthy. This isn’t too bad of an outcome since our other main soldiers will be healed up and back in action soon.
Sidorova and Rakuno were both promoted. I chose Shadowstrike for Sidorova and Salvo for Rakuno.
I feel pretty good about this turn. I got to experience a bit more of a challenging mission and moved the story along. I didn’t lose anyone, though I came close, and managed to keep half the squad in good shape. I think I’m getting the hang of this commander thing!
Next up is Unwise Owl!