Xcom 2 Succession Game: Operation Massive Mountain

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

The Team

  • 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

The Objectives

  • 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!

Blogger Succession Game Mission 13: Everyone Loves an Escort Mission

This is mission 13 of the Blogger Succession game. You can find more details and previous missions at Time to Loot.

When I arrived back on the Avenger things were already underway. Plated armor was a few days from being completed along with experimental ammo. As there wasn’t anything to research at the moment I set off to fly the Avenger around the map in search of my next mission.

I seemed to have considerably more time on the strategy portion of the game than last time. I don’t know if that’s because I missed a mission or if RNG gifted me with more time to roam around the map. I was informed there was resistance contacts not to far from my location. I flew over there and spent 5 days scanning.

During those 5 days a few things happened.

  1. Plated Armor was completed
  2. Experimental ammo was completed giving us Dragon Rounds which sound like incendiary ammo.
  3. Two Dark events triggered: Ufo’s are now chasing the Avenger and the Aliens have improved their threat response procedures. Yeah, that sounds bad…

With research completed I went back to the Avenger to set up some new projects. I started another round of experimental grenades and performed some instant autopsies on Vipers and Sectoids. This seems to have unlocked new engineering research projects. I also started Alien Encryption research because it had a star next to it….and it’s also one of our next quest goals.

I turned my attention back to the map and headed down to the New Mexico radio tower for a few days. With that unlocked we’re gaining some more monthly supplies with the supply drops and reducing the cost to contact nearby countries. We also received a Spare Parts bonus which decreases the cost of Proving Ground projects by 50%

By the time that was finished the Avatar Project progress was looking bleak. We’re currently 3 pips away from it maxing out which seems like it might be an issue. There are 2 Alien facilities both 2 countries away from us. My plan was to try to get to one of them or at least make contact with a country before my mission triggered. I flew the Avenger over to the New Artic and clicked scan. Right away a mission triggered all the way back in the Eastern US. So we flew back without any scanning to start Operation Wolf Hound

Operation Wolf Hound

The goal of this mission is to extract a VIP from an Advent City. I remember these types of missions well as they were one of the reasons I gave up with Xcom 2 the last time I played it. The mission gives you a turn limit to extract the VIP and your soldiers. Anyone not extracted gets left behind. Last time I played I never managed to get the whole team out before the turns ran out. The saving grace of this escort mission is you’re in control of the NPC being escorted. At least your not at the mercy of your VIPs back decision making, only your own.

My squad for this Mission

  1. Easha
  2. Endalia
  3. Sofia Vailyeva
  4. Magi
  5. Bookahnerk

Before starting the mission I equipped everyone with new armor. Now that we had completed the Plated Armor research we had the option of equipping Predator Armor. This adds some more protection and unlocks the second item slot for your squad.

This mission is on a 12 turn time limit for extraction. I’m informed that Advent already knows we’re here so there’s no point in hiding. Well if you say so….

Extraction is 2 buildings away from where we start. It’s on the roof top of the second building which I assumed was full of enemies. When the mission starts I send Easha down to check out the scene and see what we’re up against. Immediately we find 2 advent troopers.

I move everyone else into position. Endalia stays on the first roof top and takes up overwatch. Magi goes to the second roof top and takes up overwatch on the high ground. Now I forgot that once they move they can only take up pistol overwatch which isn’t ideal but it’s something.

Bookahnerk moves down to take full cover behind a statue to assist Easha in taking out the Advent troopers. I send the VIP close to the ladder to move up to the next roof top on the next round. To cover the VIP I send Valiyeva up with here.

On Advent’s combat turn I learn that windows exists and I should not position any one near them. The Advent tropper shoots at Valiyeva from the first floor window. Luckily, the shot misses. Lesson learned. Endalia fires with the pistol overwatch and surprisingly hits from quite a far distance! No one in the squad takes damage this round.

The Advent troopers have moved close enough for Easha and Bookahnerk to do their thing. Easha blows the first trooper away and earns a promotion. Bookahnerk fires at the next visible enemy and takes about half it’s health. Emalia fires from the roof top and finishes it off.

With no visible enemies I start moving people up. Magi takes a forward position on the next roof top and discovers 2 vipers on the second floor of the extraction building. The VIP has been moved up as well hopefully out of danger along with Valiyeva on the second roof top. Endalia, Easha, and Bookahnerk move up to get better shots at the vipers.

The vipers promptly jump out of the Windows and move up. This triggers 3 overwatches and the first Viper is toast. Out of spite, the remaining Viper shoots at the VIP and poisons her….

I send my poisoned VIP back out of range on her next turn and hope the poison doesn’t last to long otherwise I’ll need to use a medkit. Valiyeva finishes off the second viper with and earns a promotion. The field looks clear but I just know there’s got to be a few more aliens around.

A miss click on my part sends Easha way to far up out of cover. But hey, we found 2 more aliens a Muton and another viper. Unfortunately, Easha takes a whole lot of unnecessary damage in the process.

To try and cover Easha I send Endalia and Bookanerk up but in actual cover. Magi is on long watch still on the roof top which works out great when the Muton moves out of the second building. It’s not quite dead and suppresses Bookahnerk.

The Viper makes a grab at Easha and hits.

Magi still has a good shot on the Muton and takes it out with ease. Thanks to Nathain’s advice last time a viper grabbed someone I knew to move Bookahnerk up and throw a flashbang to free Easha. In turn, Easha blows the viper away with a point blank blast of the shotgun.

Not seeing any more enemies around it’s time to get everyone to extraction. I was trying to be a bit more aggressive this mission so I wouldn’t run out the turn clock and have to report leaving people behind. So once all the visible enemies were cleared I had 6 turns to get everyone to extraction.

I had everyone extracted with 3 turns to spare!

After Action Report

I was really hoping to find an Advent Officer to skulljack but didn’t see one on this mission.

Everyone returned home this mission with only Easha being gravely wounded. Unfortunately, this means Easha will be out for 24 days. Yikes! Everyone else returned without a scratch.

3 squadies were up for promotion after this mission

  1. Easha, injured but carrying the team that last mission, earned a promotion. I chose Implacable which will allow bonus movement after a kill.
  2. Bookahnerk, with some solid damage and support, earned a promotion. I went with Haywire to hack robots.
  3. Valiyeva, protector of the VIP who only let her get poisoned once, returns home for a promotion. Keeping the medic theme going I chose Field Medic which gives 2 extra charges on medkits.

I got yelled at by our chief engineer that we had some engineers twiddling their thumbs. They were put to work in the Proving Grounds to speed up the research. Tygen also informed me that we really need some more scientists.

Blogger Succession Game: Operation Blood Fist

I’ve played XCOM 2 before for a brief period of time. A quick look at my old save files says I last played in 2017. I remember enjoying the game and likely fell off of it when something new and shiny came along. Since it had been a while, I started up the tutorial to refamiliarize myself with the controls and mechanics. Feeling confident that I knew how to move, use cover and take shots, I loaded up the succession save.

Operation Blood Fist

Objectives: Avoid destroying critical supplies, Neutralize all enemy targets

The first decision I had to make was who to take with me on this mission. Everyone pre-selected for the mission was already a corporal or seargent so I thought I might take one of our rookies with me. But I vaugely remembered my playthrough from 2017 and seemed to recalled getting a lot of people killed…This being my first mission I thought it safer to bring soilders with some skills rather than subject a Rookie to my playstyle.

So I assembled the Dream Team from Rambling Redshirt’s mission:

  • Corporal Rambling “Ramblin Red” Redshirt
  • Corporal Lizz “Magi” Winterfield
  • Corpral Tessa “Endalia” Hastjarjanto
  • Seargent Easha “Silentdeath” Dustfeather
  • Corporal”Rakuno “Three” Venmuel

The mission started, in the rain, with the squad on top of a hill. There was a derailed train to the north and no enemies in sight. I had Magi scout ahead a bit to see if we could spot some enemies. Not far from our initial landing site, Magi spotted two Advent Solders but was not detected. They moved down the hill towards the train. The rest of the squad followed just out of detection range. Sargent Silentdeath was tasked with flanking around the train.

I had moved Rakuno forward ahead of the rest of the squad behind a tree for full cover. When the enemies moved forward, Rakuno was in the red detection zone but seemingly not spotted. I wasn’t sure how long we’d remain concealed so when Rakuno was up I decided to take a shot. With a 78% chance to hit the shot hit it’s mark and took the first solider out. The second solider moved forward right into Ramblin Red’s overwatch position. The second solider met Ramblin Red’s bullets and is taken out as well.

Again the squad is looking at an empty field and needs to find more enemies. Magi was still up on top of the hill and moved forward in hopes of finding more enemies. More enemies were found….and here’s where I learned an important lesson.

Magi was no longer concealed so the enemies I could see could also see us. Not a huge deal, I thought, as the Viper moved towards Magi. With any luck it would miss it’s shot and we’d take it out next turn.

That was the thought anyway, until it grabbed Magi with it’s tongue and pulled them into a grapple. Now, not only did I have one squad member way behind enemy lines but also in the grips of an alien snake. Yikes!

The mission quickly turned in to Operation: Rescue Magi.

Ramblin Red moved up to positions with full cover and line of sight on the snake. Endalia moved up behind a tree for full cover and in a position to snipe the snake on the next turn. I moved Rakuno up to a position with half cover and a shot on the additional Advent solider.

As it turns out, Sargent Silentdeath was not discovered with the rest of the squad and was still concealed. Silentdeath moved up along the train to flank any other enemies that may have been around. I figured with a shotgun and a blade Silentdeath could probably get out of trouble if they ran in to any.

The next round of combat started with Rakuno taking a 73% shot at the Advent solider. Once again, Rakuno hit’s the mark and obliterates the solider marking kill number two. Magi takes a pretty hefty amount damage from the snake leaving them with 2 health left. The squad needs to take out the Viper this round or risk losing Magi to a sentient reptile.

Ramblin Red is up and even with eyes on the snake only has a 58% shot at it. I had no idea how this would work, I figured there was a very good chance I would miss the snake and possibly hit Magi but it was now or never. The shot was taken and it hits causing the Viper to drop Magi!

Unfortunately, Endalia is a bit too far to make an accurate shot at the snake so it’s all up to an injured Magi now. With Magi and the snake inches from each other, Magi has a 100% shot with the pistol to the Viper, guaranteeing the kill and picking up an Elerium Core in the process.

After the tense round to rescue Magi, the field is clear again. The squad moves closer together to avoid another such situation. Everyone is in good cover but no new enemies have been sited. Silentdeath climbs the train and finds two more enemies. Another advent solider and a Sectoid.

Magi is up and takes a 53% shot at the Sectoid and hits for 6. A good chunk of damage but not enough to down the enemy. The Sectoid induces panic in Ramblin Red but also triggers overwatch for Rakuno which misses the target. Panicked, Ramblin Red fires at the enemy (thankfully not the squad) and misses. The Advent solider moves up and triggers Endalia’s overwatch and suddenly it’s no longer moving at all. The mission ends as Sargent Silentdeath jumps from the train and finishes the Sectoid off with a quick slash.

Promotions

Upon the squads return, I was able to promote Rakuno and Magi to Sargent. For Magi I chose Deadeye – take a small aim penalty for a big damage boost. It seemed like a nice tool for a sniper to have in their kit. For Rakuno I chose Suppression – Pin an enemy down, grants reaction fire if it moves, and it takes a -50 aim penalty.

Sadly, it looks like Magi will be out for at least the next mission.

Research, Engineering, and Scanning

After the mission I went to investigate the Black Market. After a day of scanning the Proving grounds were ready so I headed over there. One of our main objectives was to research the Skulljack and I just so happened to find the Elerium Core it needed on my mission so I got that underway then continued to scan the Black Market. After 2 more days the market was opened and a mission hadn’t popped yet.

I moved down to rescue a special forces solider. We welcomed Klaus Weiss aboard, a sharpshooter already due for a promotion. That’s when the next mission triggered.

Looks like UnwiseOwl over at Leaflocker will be heading up Council Mission: Operation Gasping Shroud.

Here’s the link to the save!