Important note for players: If you missed the Discord chat, we have adjusted the structure of turns! (This is also why I’ve played two missions.)

Now, you play the strategy / base portion of your turn first. You play that until you select a mission to run. You complete that mission and review the after action report, then save the game and package it up for the next person. :)

The reason for this change is that there are some missions you must actively select from the map to do. Black Site missions, for example. One of which is unlocked on the map right now in fact. In our old turn structure, to get these main story missions done you’d essentially have to choose to do one and then package it off to the next person to actually do it.

Now, you can prep for and do a main mission within your turn.

So! In order to do this, I played a normal turn (by our old reckoning) of mission into strategy, then I played another mission and stopped. Now, when Mr Peril (aka Roger) picks up the game he will be able to do what he wishes on the strategy map, including picking the main mission and running it if so desired.

That out of the way, how did it go?

Mission 8: Operation Shattered Anger

While forming the team, I run through and equip upgrades to some of our weapons. UnwiseOwl on his turn noted holding off in order to await weapon upgrades. But! When you upgrade to a new weapon tech, the upgrades carry over. (It probably doesn’t make any sense that they do, but hey, I’ll take any bone XCOM is willing to throw our way.)

What I don’t know though, is whether upgrades will carry over between switching weapon types. Right now — we have magnetic assault rifles researched and built, but not shotguns1, sniper rifles, heavy weapons or even pistols. As a result, I switch out my (as in, Naithin the character’s) shotgun for a magnetic assault rifle until we can rectify that situation.

Further, since I don’t know about the weapon type swap/upgrades thing, I hold off on using the autoloaders. Although in retrospect, I tend to prefer to use those on the heavy weapons and snipers anywho. Heavy Weapons because they can really unload ammo when using the likes of suppression. Snipers because they need both action points to fire their rifle. Although with Tessa heading down the gunslinger path, this is less of a concern for her.

My squad, heading into Operation Shattered Anger.

I equip myself and Rakuno’s character (Three) with Flashbangs, Vasilyeva with a healing kit (although going into this mission she couldn’t deploy it remotely with her drone yet) and Endalia with Viper rounds.

I figure with Endalia doing a lot of shots with a pistol, she might have a lot of opportunities to poison the enemy. But I think going forward, I would probably recommend just giving her a grenade, and putting the viper rounds on Magi’s sniper who tends to be more at range and unable to effectively throw grenades anyway.

No chance to react? That’s XCOM, baby!

The opening ambush goes swimmingly anyway though. Magi opens up with a 6 damage critical against the Viper, leaving it with a single point of health.

Having said ‘Hi!’ so appropriately, Endalia and Rakuno pop out of hiding to finish the job, taking out the Viper and his accompanying trooper.

There is a second Viper not too much further in, and this one does, unfortunately, get a chance to react. It doesn’t grab anyone like I was set up to handle, but it does spit poison over both Endalia and I. Healing is available for one of us but by this time, the clock on the hack is just about out so I position Vasilyeva to gain line-of-sight to the terminal in order to send her drone in before we get locked out.

Overall — great success. Couple of people for the medbay, but no deaths and objective complete. I’ll take it!

With two wounded, not going to get a flawless victory unfortunately.

After Action Report

Not a single promotion!

I can’t believe I still don’t have a kill to my character’s name. Two missions: Zero kills. Not a great ratio. But like UnwiseOwl mentioned in Discord, at least he’s still alive. (RIP, UnwiseOwl’s character.)

Otherwise though, it was a toss-up for me whether it was Three or Magi as MVP for the round for me. Three did the most damage and hit 100% of his shots, not a claim Magi can make. But some of Magi’s shots were excellent.

I think I’m going to give it to Rakuno though, for the Suppression kill right at the end.

Back at Base

Research, Engineering and Scanning

Back at base, here’s the summary of events:

  • Finish up scanning for Supplies, for 57 more.
  • Resistance Radio research finishes
  • Complete instant research of Advent Stun Lancer which unlocks the Arc Blade. And I really, really want to build it.
  • Start researching Gauss Weapons but considered the Viper Autopsy.
  • Make contact with New Mexico, expanding our reach and supplies income.
  • Decide to make contact with the Western U.S. instead of building the radio tower in New Mexico — although we should have time to do both before our next supply drop and really bump the income.

As noted, I would really like to build the Arc Blade, but end up not. I don’t take the pistol yet either. Our contacts are now filled up, so we’re going to have to build a Comms Centre in our base to expand reach so I decide to be sensible, saving our supplies for a possibly more immediate need.

After all this, the next mission pops up.

This would be where, by our old play style, I’d have stopped. And it is where the Part #8 video stops. But with the transition of Mission -> Strategy to Strategy -> Mission, I need to play the next one too.

Mission 9: Operation Outer Sentinel

This time around, I need to fend off a retaliation strike against the New Mexico resistance base of operations.

Neither Endalia nor my character are quite recovered yet, which is largely why I opted out of building the Magnetic pistol or Arc Blade just yet. I am taking another Ranger along – Easha’s character ‘SilentDeath’ – but she isn’t built to deal slashing damage. That being the case, I would find it difficult to justify doing the Arc Blade now… As much as I still really, really want to. ;)

My squad, heading into Operation Outer Sentinel.

I moved the Viper Rounds to Magi as noted from experience with the previous mission, and gave a flashbang each to Ramblin’ Red and Three. Vasilyeva rides with the blogging crew again and is still holding onto the healing kit.

I considered switching Easha temporarily to a Mag Rifle rather than a shotgun as well; but she isn’t a rookie like Naithin was and is a bit more established with her shotgun so it felt wrong to change it. Hopefully we get the resources to build a Shard Gun before long though, and can upgrade all our rangers accordingly.

No concealment on this mission. Except for Easha – SilentDeath – from her Phantom talent. My plan is to keep her in concealment, going around freeing Civilians. But as they say — no plan survives contact with the enemy. In this case, quite literally. But while the plan died, Easha herself did not. Nor did anyone else, thankfully.

And that’s despite having our game-first encounter with a Muton. Ramblin’ Red blasted away the Muton’s cover and shredded away its armour. It still had 6 hp left after this and proved remarkably hard to hit (~60% chance from a flanked position!) but we got it before it got any of us. Rakuno opened fire and landed a 62% chance shot for 5 hp, then Magi finished it off from pistol overwatch. Yessss.

Easha’s concealment as I mentioned earlier was quickly broken. A stun lancer came from somewhere nearby and ran right by her. *sigh* I’m not even going to talk about the missed 94% slash though. ;) Still; we did soon teach said lancer the error of his ways.

Ramblin’ Red puts the Stun Lancer down hard.

Throughout the rest of the mission, we lose a number of civilians unfortunately. The ADVENT soldiers will focus them over us much of the time.

But we save enough to keep the base operational. They’ll live to rebuild and fight another day.

Perhaps the fact that none of the ADVENT who did this to them remain might be some small, albeit cold, solace. Plus, we removed the shapeshifter from their midst. It isn’t much, perhaps, but it’s something.

Two of XCOM’s finest wounded. Four civilians lost.

After Action Report

Two promotions this time!

Two wounded, Ramblin’ Red gravely. It’s going to take a bit of time to get back on his feet. By comparison, Vasilyeva escaped with only minor injuries and a promotion to go with it.

I trained Vasilyeva in the Medical Protocol which allows for the Gremlin drone to heal, in turn meaning Vasilyeva can heal soldiers from quite a distance away. It also bakes in a use of healing to the drone but if you also carry a healing kit, then you can heal an additional time per mission.

For Easha, I pick Run and Gun. It allows (every three turns or so) for doing a dash move (using both action points) and then ALSO taking an action like firing or slashing. It is pretty incredible.

With the promotions done, it’s now onto Mr Peril to take over, run through the strategy for the next little bit and embark on a mission. I’m looking forward to seeing it!!

The save game is here.

Footnotes

  1. The Shard Gun (magnetic shotgun) is researched, but we don’t have the resources to build it.