XCOM 2: Blogger Succession Game — Mission 20: Operation Tomb Valley
Drat. When I went to hit ‘stop recording’ at the end of my play, I saw — much to my horror — the button still said… ‘start recording’. I could’ve sworn I’d started it back on the Geoscape but it turns out not. Given I expected to have a video to draw from after the fact, I only took a single screenshot too.
Fortunately, it was enough to give me the name of the mission I just did and you a summary of how it went at a glance.
I noted from an earlier turn that my avatar in this campaign had, unfortunately, become ‘Shaken’ through the loss of will in a mission. Shaken can occur for soldiers after a long mission sapping their will, going out already tired, sustaining too many injuries or some combination of all three as I understand.
I think soldiers can recover from this with adequate R&R with time but the surefire way I know is to get them back in the saddle on a new mission, get some kills and not get hurt.
I’m unclear on much of this now and I think some of the rules might even have changed in The War of the Chosen expansion, so I went with what I knew; kill things. Get back out their soldier!
So, against the games recommendation, I slotted Naithin into the roster and off I went.
Oh — although before all that, it’s worth noting during my time scanning the map for a mission:
- Our monthly supplies came in, and I was able to collect them.
- Psyonics finished researching — I started Elerium research off next.
- Workshop finished building, and there was an engineer free to staff it — so now two gremlins are busily clearing space from the one engineer’s capacity – yay!
- The Avatar project adds another pip of progress – boo!
Operation Tomb Valley
This mission was flagged as ‘Difficult’ and as a ‘Supply Raid’, which I thought would mean going in and tagging supply crates for recovery while the enemy played ‘flip a coin’ to decide whether they were going to blast our fleshy bits or destroy our goodies that turn.
In a case of good news / bad news — there were no crates that I had to mark and rescue. But this meant the advent forces were perfectly happy shooting at our fleshy bits every turn.
The first pack I encountered would set the tone for the mission, as it included a Codex, an Archon, a MEC and one of the more basic Advent soldier units. Rakuno started our ambush of the pack with a launched frag grenade and in the ensuing overwatch frenzy, the basic advent soldier and the MEC unit died.
Not a bad result — but the Codex cloned itself, sending a copy behind our lines and the Archon used the Battle Frenzy buff from taking damage to both launch itself into the sky and activate the blazing pinions attack. If you haven’t seen it — blazing pinions targets several points on the ground (generally where soldiers are standing) and then after a turn delay, sends exploding pinions to those spots on the ground, doing damage in an area.
Magi, who was up on top of a building at the time, managed to kill the Archon with a pistol shot — but it doesn’t stop the pinions from coming down as they’re already in the air at that point.
So the soldiers scrambled to new positions and activated a new pack across the river, including a heavy turret in the process.
That turret pod came into play late into our turn so some soldiers were out of position, not covered in the direction it activated — which is where the first of the damage came in.
Even so, my avatar managed to get a slice kill on the final Codex clone and Bookah hacked the turret to shut it down for two turns. Which, honestly, didn’t end up being necessary and Rakuno destroyed it that same turn. A stun lancer did run up and say hello with his electro stick though and put Rakuno to sleep for a bit for his troubles.
After this pod, we took positions in the building and played overwatch peekaboo until we found the last remaining enemies slightly north of it, wandering around the landing pad.
Their Archon tasted the wrath of a critical hit from Magi and didn’t really get much of a say in the proceedings. The shieldbearer pooped their pants a little, I think — and dropped a shield for himself and another stun lancer in this group. This lancer also managed to make it far enough to poke someone into sleep, which then put my character into a state of panic. (Will: 0, while shaken, unfortunately.)
Even so, from our strong position in, on and around the building — we put the rest of the enemy down in no time and let everyone come home.
Naithin was not one of the wounded soldiers and so he successfully removed the Shaken status, restoring willpower and letting him be ready for action for future engagements. He also gained a promotion and it was a really tough decision. I could go for either Run and Gun (which allows for an action to be taken after a full sprint (yellow range) movement) or the ability to re-conceal once per mission on-demand.
Concealment is incredibly powerful, but so is Run and Gun. Ultimately I chose Run and Gun as I believe it is more generally useful and can be used multiple times in a mission. It also happens to fit better with the more sword-focused build I had imagined for him, but even so — I’m not 100% sure I chose correctly.
Hopefully, there will be enough mad dashes across the battlefield culminating in a sword-slash kill, saving enough soldiers in the process to be worthwhile. ;)