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!





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!