XCOM 2 Blogger Succession Game: Operation God Giant

If you’re new to the Xcom 2 Blogger Succession Game or want to catch up. check out the entire series on Time To Loot.

The Avatar Project pips have been reduced even further since my last turn. Our resources are looking well stocked too. I didn’t feel like there was an immediate need to do anything on the Geoscape this turn, probably the first time I’ve felt like this the whole game.

I got to spend time on the Avenger completing various research projects. The main mission would like us to complete research on the Psionic Chamber. This costs a good chunk of resources and I wanted to finish the power armor research first and spend resourses on that. While waiting for the research to finish I continued our effort to make contact with Australia. There’s an Avatar facility over there that will probably need delt with at some point.

I went over to Engineering once the Power Armor research was completed to look at our next armor upgrade. Warden Armor costs a pretty penny at 300 Supplies, 40 Alien Alloys, and 20 Elerium Crystals. The more defense the better though so I went ahead and purchased it.

Magi modelling our shiny new Warden Armor

In the process of making contact with Australia I completed the following research:

  • Acid Grenades
  • Chryssalid Autopsy – Unlocked Hellweave which adds bonus health, damage reflection, and a 100% chance to set the attacker on fire!
  • Gatekeeper Autopsy – Unlocked Alien Psi Amp an upgrade for Psi Operatives. Do we even have Psi Operatives yet?
  • Beserker Autopsy – Unlocked Over Drive Serum which boosts mobility and damage resistance.
Gatekeepers are fleshier than I imagined

Once contact with Australia was made I went to investigate an Alien Wreckage site. One day in to that we got a much needed supply drop. I collected those supplies over a 3 day period. At this point, I felt like I was long overdue for a mission and so did the game. Shortly after the supply drop pickup Advent launched an attack on one of the Resistance havens in New India.

Time to go save some civillians!

Operation God Giant

Objectives:

  • Rescue at least 6 civilians
  • Neutralize the Alien Strike Force

The Team:

  • Black Widow – Specialist
  • Bookahnerk – Speacialist
  • Mailman – Sharphooter
  • Magi – Sharpshooter
  • Silentdeath – Ranger
  • Rakuno – Grenadier

Taking Naithin’s advice from the footnotes of his last turn, I took Ranger Silentdeath on a scouting mission moving one action point at a time. I have a tendency to get our Rangers in some real bad situations by overextending them. This worked out as Silentdeath spotted 3 Chryssalids right off the bat. The team was able to clear this group out in one round with no damage taken. On the enemy’s turn a Gatekeeper started to pick off civilians .

I haven’t done one of these missions before so I wasn’t quite sure how it worked. I needed to save 6 civilians to complete the mission and there were 13 civilians total on the map. On our squads next turn I had Bookahnerk walk over to a civilian to see how rescuing was going to work. I was relieved to find that’s all I had to do to “rescue” them. I was sure I was going to have to round them up, protect them, and get them to an extraction point. That would have ended poorly.

The Gatekeeper proceeded to take out one civilian per turn. At this point, I knew I was going to have to split the team up rescued everyone in time. The good news is the squad is spread out enough not to take an AOE hit. The bad news is everyone is so spread out they can’t cover each other with overwatch effectively. Even worse news, Black Widow goes to save a civilian but it turns into a Faceless. Yikes! Magi had that angle covered though and was able to take it out before it did too much damage.

In this mission I learned that I have no idea how to deal with Chryssalid poison. Both Bookahnerk and Rakuno got poisoned when a few emerged from the ground and then were constantly taking damage for the rest of the mission. Lucky for them, it wasn’t enough damage a round to worry about it taking them out but it wasn’t an ideal situation. Any tips on that would be greatly appetited!

The last pack of enemies containted one murderous Gatekeeper, two Advent solders, and one lone Chryssalid. Bookahnerk and Silentdeath were hunkered down by a pile of burning tires, great place for cover by the way, and were able to take down one of the Advent solders right away. Black Widow and Magi made quick work of the Chryssalid. That left the Gatekeeper and one solider.

I didn’t realize that Klaus “Mailman” Weiss had a rocket launcher strapped to his arm when I took him for this mission. When I found it I just had to try it out and fired it into the Gatekeeper and solider. It didn’t do that much damage but it looked awesome and blew up their cover.

On the enemy’s turn, the Gatekeeper floated right up to Silentdeath, fired point blank, and took her down to half health. Thanks to the Hellweave I equipped it took some damage back and was set on fire. Silentdeath retaliated with the machete. Not quite effective against a big armored ball…but it got some damage in. In preparation for another blast from the Gatekeeper, Bookahnerk sent the drone over to Silentdeath Aid Protocol style to add some extra defense. Rakuno laid down some suppression fire to inflict an aim penalty. Turns out, it wasn’t really necessary because the Mailman himself delivered a critical hit and took down that Gatekeeper no problem.

I apparently already forgot the lesson from my last Gatekeeper encounter. They explode on death. Sorry Easha….Silentdeath wasn’t downed after the explosion but health was looking rough. I was going to pull back to some cover on the next turn but that pesky Advent solider threw a frag grenade.

Silentdeath was down, bleeding out, but not dead yet. Mailman and Rakuno panicked.

Bookahnerk took down the solider on the next turn but the mission wasn’t over just yet. Another civilian turned in to a Faceless. The squad obliterated it completing the mission just in time. Silentdeath only had two turns left before bleeding out.

That didn’t feel like an Excellent mission but I’ll take it.

Aftermath

The only ones who made it out of this mission uninjured were our two snipers: Mailman and Magi. Everyone else was in various states of injury. Silentdeath was the worst at 14 days recovery time followed by Bookahnerk at 8. We probably won’t be seeing them for a while.

Rakuno and Klaus were promoted after the mission. I took Saturation Fire on Rakuno which fires a cone of bullets at enemies doing damage and destroying cover. For Mailman, I took Quickdraw since he already had Lightning hands.

Silentdeath is unfortunately shaken now with reduced will. I guess face-tanking a Gatekeeper will do that to a person.

There doesn’t appear to be an immediate threat in the Geoscape right now. The Psionic Chamber still needs to be completed to continue the main mission.

I leave the next command in the capable hands of UnwiseOwl. Good luck Commander! The save is here.

XCOM 2 Blogger Succession Game: Operation Spider Walk

We seem to be in a much better spot than the last time I was in command. The pips on the Avatar Project have been greatly reduced and we have a much better supply of resources and…supplies. There wasn’t a whole lot to do on the Avenger. The Shadow Chamber was working on a project decoding data fragments from the last Codex experiment which took up all other research.

Without much to do on the ship I went to go check out the Geoscape situation. With the Avatar Project progress reduced for now I felt like I had a few more options this time around. Eastern Europe needed contacted and we were just under the required amount of Intel. West Asian had a Life signs location that also awarded intel so I flew the Avenger over than to scan. Halfway through my 4 day scan the Shadow Chamber project completed.

From the Shadow Chamber project, we learned that the alien overseers known as the Elders have a gnarly medical condition that makes their muscles rapidly atrophy. They’ve been scooping up species from the worlds they visit trying to find a cure. They’ve stopped on Earth to see if there’s something in humans that might be able to cure them.

So that’s nice. Nothing like a little Alien/Human experimentation am I right?

Tygan has given us a new objective: Use the skulljack on a codex to breach the alien network. This has also opened up available research slots now that the Shadow Chamber work is done for now. I opted for the alien data cache research to boos our intel supply. When that was completed there was an opportunity to have the Archon Autopsy research which I took. That gave our Rangers a nice weapons upgrade for their machetes. After that I began researching powered armor, I have a feeling we’re going to need it sooner rather than later.

One of our main objectives was to upgrade the Shadow Chamber. We had enough resources so I kicked that off. Engineering then informed me we were out of power capacity. A room just opened up so I set out to build another power relay.

Over in the Geoscape I was able to finish scanning for the intel and even made it down south to collect some more supplies. With enough intel in hand I popped on over to East Europe to make contact and that’s when the new mission arrive.

Honestly, I think that’s the longest I’ve gone in the Geoscape portion before a mission alert.

Operation Walking Spider

I was worried going in to this mission since the difficulty was “Very Difficult”. On top of that it’s also an extract the VIP type mission and the few of those I’ve done have had some nasty surprises the closer I got to extraction. I was very much hoping our high level soldiers would carry me to victory so I assembled the best we had available.

As it turns out, the mission itself wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It started off with a Codex and two ADVENT soldiers. I had Rakuno shove the skulljack into it’s head and hacked the alien network. Magi and Endalia took care of the codex afterwards while Black Widow and Bookahnerk took out the ADVENT soilders.

So far so good. I started advancing forward a little and that’s when this guy showed up.

I always love to hear “We’ve never run into this alien type before.”

The cutscene hyped this new alien type up. After one round of playing ring-around-the-rosie while it teleported around the building we were on top of and a bit on Mind Control shenanigans the squad made short work of it.

With no enemies in sight, I started moving the squad and the VIP up towards extractions. I pushed Rankuno up just a bit too far from everyone and was spotted by 2 vipers and a Gatekeeper. Magi picked off the two Vipers leaving Naithan and Rankuno the only ones close enough to deal with the Gatekeeper.

The Gatekeeper looks like a little ball of fun doesn’t it?

This is the first time I’ve encountered this enemy type. I have to say I was a bit worried when it started resurrecting people to fight for it. Rankuno got a full clip into this thing and had. it on the ropes. Looking to finish it off I sent Naithan to wack it with the new and imporved Fusion Blade.

It apparently explodes when it dies. Sorry Naithin…I somehow always manage to get your character injured.

After the explosion Naithan and Rankuno were sitting at half health but no enemies to be seen. The squad made one more push to extraction. At this point, I was expecting something real bad to show up. maybe a Sectopod or something. But all that was waiting for us an ADVENT Officer and two soldiers. Easily the least threatening group of the mission.

Endalia and Maji picked off the solider and Bookanerk took down the officer and we all everyone made it out.

Aftermath

Overall the mission went as smooth as it could have. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the return screen though. Unfortunately, that little Gatekeeper self destruct incident leaves Naithan Wounded for 5 Days anmd Rakuno Gravely Wounded for 8 days.

Endalia did receive a promotion though! I went with the Serial perk which refunds an action for every kill made with a Sniper Rifle. It seemed better than Fan Fire which just lets you fire the pistol 3 times at a target.

We even got a bit of loot and a shiny new Avatar Corpse. I’m sure Tygan is just dying to do the autopsy on that one.

Up next is UnwiseOwl, good luck commander!

XCOM 2 Blogger Succession Game – Mission 27: Operation Half-Eaten Rose

At the conclusion of the last round Rakuno offered some advice to make contact with Europe to do the story mission or Blacksite facility there. I decided I would start there and see what I could do.

Looking at our resources we are running low on just about everything. Including intel, which is exactly what I needed to make contact with Europe. So the question became, how can I get us some more intel.

I was immediately warned of an incoming interception by ADVENT. Taking some evasive actions halfway around the globe we managed to avoid interception. On my way back to base the mission popped. Sadly, no intel was gained in the Geoscape Phase.

Operation Half-Eaten Rose

Luckily, one of the rewards for this mission was a fair bit of intel. Completing this one would get us some more resources to make contact with Europe.

I was happy to see that some familiar faces were available going in to this mission. I was less happy to see the mission was a VIP extraction. I remember playing this type of mission before on a different save. Not only does it have a timer but everyone needs to get to extraction or be left behind. The timer for this one was 12 turns.

The VIP needed captured or killed. Before the squad even dropped I knew which option I was going with…

Once the squad landed I could tell this was one long map. The drop point at one end and the extraction on the other. Somewhere in between was the VIP.

The first building contained and Andromedon and a Codex. The squad took the Andromedon down pretty quickly. The Codex managed to disable most of the squads weapons forcing them to reload and get out of the way of the AOE bomb that was about to go off. The fight was over in 2 turns without anyone getting hit.

I sent most of the squad towards the extraction and making sure they ended their turns in the most cover possible. There weren’t any enemies in sight so everyone kept moving up until Naithin spotted the VIP through a window. I figured most of the enemies would be inside the building and I didn’t want to risk sending the squad into a trap if I didn’t have to. So Naithin took the shot and finished off the VIP.

Then all the enemies showed up. A mix of ADVENT units including a MEC and a Sheildbearer and one Sectopod. All of them were waiting by extraction and started moving towards the squad.

I had Magi take the high ground on a building behind most of the squad. This afforded for some great 100% chance shots on the majority of the enemies. Bookahnerk and Volcano went for the flank while Black Widow, Naithin, and Rocket took the fight to the enemy up the middle.

Bookahnerk and Volcano, with a few supporting shots from Magi, were able to take down the Sectopod without taking too much damage themselves. I made the mistake of sending Naithin a little to far forward causing him to be the primary target for 6 Advent units. Oops. Through sheer luck and poor enemy accuracy, Naithin managed to get through a turn without taking damage. I was able to move Black Widow close enough to land heals on Naithin if needed. Backed up with the heals from Black Widow, Naithin was able to stay ahead of most of the squad and brute force a path even closer to extraction.

There were only a few enemies left but reinforcements were on the way. Time was running out and I didn’t want to risk leaving squad members behind. I started rushing soldiers to extraction. Bookahnerk and Volcano made it out first managing to avoid overwatch shots from the enemy. Advent reinforcements arrived.

Again Naithin and Black Widow managed to take out most of the fresh enemies. Naithin made it to extraction with two turns left. Sadly, Rocket wasn’t so lucky, getting taken out by the Advent Officer.

I had Black Widow make a run to extraction setting off 2 enemy overwatches. Both missed and this cleared the way for Magi to get to extraction safely.

Aftermath

Naithin got a well deserved promotion after the mission. Keeping with the Assault skills I went with Untouchable.

Unfortunately, killing the VIP didn’t net us any intel. That would have been nice to know going in though I’m not sure it would have changed my decision in the moment. We did get some supplies and a Codex Brain out of it.

The end of this mission could have been a lot worse. Sure, everyone is injured for at least a few days, and sure Rocket died, but if anyone was going to die on that mission, I’m glad it was the guy with the least missions under his belt. I was almost certain I was going to lose Black Widow or Magi or both at the end there.

There weren’t any pips added to the ADVENT project this turn so we’re still in the same predicament of needing to make contact with Europe to complete the story mission or the Blacksite mission. We’re also still really low on intel.

Next up is UnwiseOwl. Good luck Commander!

XCOM 2 Blogger Succession Game – Mission 23: Operation Death Slayer

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.

Geoshpere

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.

Aftermath

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!





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!