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  #91  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:51 PM
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It's odd to me how often an entire creative work will decide "Hey.... let's just get the TNG cast for all our voice actors."

Last edited by Destil; 02-13-2019 at 02:51 PM. Reason: A shame Patrick Stewart's likely too expensive most of the time...
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  #92  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:56 PM
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Two Mulana and XCOM updates on three days, yikes, you guys.

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

But we still have problems. There's a MEC on the board, plus a sectoid and a brainwashed sniper. Inquisitor tosses his grenade at the MEC in a bid to take down some of its armor. Armor is usually removed either by explosives or characters who have the Shredder ability, which lets their regular shots destroy armor. Shredder is great and Sensenic is a coward who is putting the team at risk.
Sensenic is chillin' on the Avenger during the mission but suddenly a shudder goes down his spine for no clear reason.
After the mission ends the commander goes to his station and smacks him on the neck!
Sensenic turns around confused: "Oww! Why did you do that?!"
*canned laughter, image freeze, roll credits*
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  #93  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:44 PM
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I really wish some of you would die so that some of us not yet playing could make an appearance...

Are you even playing a REAL xcom Mike? No one is dying at all here!
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  #94  
Old 02-13-2019, 08:24 PM
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Whenever I see you update I figure my character will be dead this time. Definitely thought this was it about halfway through the update, yeesh.

But damn, 27 kills!?
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  #95  
Old 02-13-2019, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
I really wish some of you would die so that some of us not yet playing could make an appearance...
I don't mind the wait. Things will get harder, even if people don't die they will get put out of commission by wounds or PTSD or whatever.

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Are you even playing a REAL xcom Mike? No one is dying at all here!
Octo died.

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  #96  
Old 02-14-2019, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
I really wish some of you would die so that some of us not yet playing could make an appearance...

Are you even playing a REAL xcom Mike? No one is dying at all here!
We may have to face the reality that I'm just too good at XCOM. I was actually expecting a lot more casualties by now! That said, this is the first time I'll be playing with the Alien Rulers activated, so we still might see some bloodshed. Anyway, I've already captured images for the next mission and locked the team in for the mission after that, but beyond those two I'll try to start tossing in some more inexperienced squad members. Hopefully that won't cause the whole campaign to come crashing down...
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  #97  
Old 02-15-2019, 09:34 AM
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For my new campaign, I'm trying A Better Everything. Is it actually better? Eh... maybe?

The biggest changes:

First, there are a bunch of new soldier classes. Second, the weapons do different things, and each class can choose between two different primary weapons (IIRC, only Ranger got to choose in vanilla).
  • Shotguns are still awesome, but you only reload one ammo per action now. That's fine, I guess, because shotguns are still awesome. Also, shotguns have innate Deep Cover (auto-hunker if you didn't fire), which is huge. Apparently, aim decays more heavily with range on shotguns, too, but if you weren't up in the enemy's face, you weren't shotgunning correctly anyway.
  • Cannons have an enormous ammo clip, but it takes two actions to reload. You can fire normally for two actions, or you can spray for one action at a -20 Aim penalty. You can't move and overwatch with a cannon, but you can move and spray (you will miss). They deal more environmental damage than before. I have a very low opinion of these cannons.
  • Sniper rifles have innate squadsight now, which is nice, and they have some armor piercing. I hardly ever used sniper rifles in vanilla, so it's nice that they got
  • Assault rifles and pistols are unchanged, except assault rifles come with an extra mod slot. OK.

Impressions on the new classes:
  • Specialist feels better now. My Specialist has an ability that gives a permanent +5 Hacking when she kills a robotic unit, and she has an ability that gives +15 Aim against targets that can't use cover (such as, for example, every robotic unit). Gonna make me a super-hacker.
  • Grenadier... oh, right. Grenades are now split into 1-3 damage HE grenades that behave like old grenades and 3-5 flechette grenades that pierce armor and don't shred or destroy cover. Because of the grenade changes, new Grenadier is way worse than old Grenadier, but old Grenadier was probably a little too good. New Grenadier is just OK.
  • Ranger still has a sword and a shotgun, so it's still top-tier. Ranger can instead equip cannons, which would be silly.
  • Sharpshooter equips shotguns or sniper rifles, but it hasn't changed much otherwise. This is still just a pistol class that carries another weapon for some reason.
  • Saboteur uses shotgun/cannon for his primary and an arc thrower for his secondary. This is my current least favorite class. I'll give it a chance still; I'm sure it gets better.
  • Scout can use either sniper rifle or assault rifle. Scout can holotarget for a single action, and at higher levels, the holotarget can confer additional debuffs (extra damage). Seems good. I like not missing.
  • Infantry uses assault rifle/cannon with a sawed-off shotgun secondary. This is the only class with suppression, and it gets it at Squaddie. Suppression is not as good in XCOM 2 as it was in EU, thanks to the large number of units with alternative methods of combat, but the sawed-off shotgun can do a lot of damage, so maybe there's something here.
  • Psi and faction classes are unaltered, though the existence of the other classes means the faction classes have a different pool of extra abilities to pick from.

Overall, ABE feels like it's trying to be Long War (Except Not As Long), which I can appreciate, because I'm interested in what Long War brings to the table, but I don't want to spend fifty hours on a single campaign.
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  #98  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:15 AM
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Mission 8: Sensenic Needs a Hug


Another day, another scanning site. But today we have the chance to get something pretty cool: a resistance contact! Scanning this will allow us to add another region to our network without building a comms center, which is totally sweet. Scanning rewards vary a lot in quality, but this is one of the best you can get, especially early in the game. Well, that and more engineers.


Hey, you know what else we're going to need if we want to add a new region? Some more intel! Thankfully, our pals here just came back from Covert Mart with a fresh batch. Of course, Sensenic only went along to get that +10 dodge.


We finally finish shielding the first of our power coils, so I immediately start building a power relay. With the bonus power that we'll get, we should be good for quite some time. But! Since have the "faster digging" resistance order equipped this month, I'm going to capitalize on it to start shielding the one next door, too. Normally that would take a full 30 days, but it's only 19 thanks to our bonus. We won't actually finish it before the month ends, and I plan on swapping that resistance order out when that happens, but we'll have the lion's share of the work done by then.


It's Guerrilla Op time! Of the three dark projects underway, this is by far the one that I want to stop the most. It's also the mission that has the best rewards; I want to say that one of the others offered me a free sniper for the pile, which, no thanks. The down side is that this mission is in the Warlock's territory, but I've never seen the same Chosen show up on two consecutive missions, so I'm feeling bullish. Also note the Sitrep, which promises us a map full of high explosives. Good times ahead!


Here's our crew for the mission. All of our stabby-folks are recovering from injuries, but this map is full of explosives, so maybe we're better off using ranged attackers anyway. Aquadeo is out powering up, so Eric will step in, seeing as how he's our next-best healer. I'm bringing along two grenadiers this time in hopes of some explosive synergy. Get it? And for some reason I brought Ferguson along to be our sniper; maybe I just like her can-do attitude.


We hit the ground and find our first pod, a MEC and a purifier.


As promised, this map is full of explosive barrels. Even better, our Reaper now has Remote Start, which allows them to shoot any explodable object and have it detonate with twice the power and twice the blast radius. It doesn't even reveal him when he does it! It's just the absolute best and I'm tearing my hair out because there are like twelve of these stupid barrels within sight and not a single one of them will actually hit the badguys if I blow it up.


Turns out that if you want something done right...


...then it takes two to tango. There's something super satisfying about seeing all the damage numbers pop up when you cause a double explosion.


Nightwalker spots another group of enemies for us and Alice leads off with a sniper shot from a very distant rooftop. Roofs and snipers: best friends 4 life.


We've got a sectoid, a lancer and a regular soldier to deal with. Alice pinged the sectoid with her shot and Spoony follows up with a grenade that also injures the lancer, but doesn't kill anyone.


Eric kills the lancer for us. As with Aqua last mission, he's the only one who has an upgraded magnetic weapon right now.


Which means it's pretty bad when the sectoid mind-controls him!


The ADVENT soldier also gets a shot in on Spoony. Too bad our medic currently believes in "first do a bunch of harm".


So this would be a pretty bad situation for us...if the sectoid hadn't decided to take cover behind that conveniently-placed explosive barrel.


Alice takes care of our little problem. I'm not sure what that blood spatter is doing on the screen exactly? I guess it's from the sectoid, but it's like they got the scale of it wrong or something. That or else those guys have a LOT of blood.


All that's left is to mop up the soldier, which is very easily accomplished by flanking him. Cover in XCOM follows some pretty abstract rules where it offers equal protection from any front-facing angle. In order to flank someone, you have to get perpendicular to them (or behind them), at which point they become sitting ducks. Flanking shots also have much higher crit chances, so it can be worth flanking an enemy even if you're guaranteed to hit them through their cover (which can happen if your soldier's aim is good enough).


Nightwalker, who should probably have been the one to blow up that barrel earlier (it would also have gotten the soldier with the increased blast radius) is instead gathering up loot on the field. This superior auto-loader is quite a find at this point in the campaign. Gun mods come in three tiers: regular, advanced and superior. A superior auto-loader gets a soldier three free reloads of their primary weapon over the course of a mission - this thing will be useful til the very end of the campaign. Advanced focus isn't as good - it boosts Will, which helps soldiers resist stuff like mind control and panic, but there are a lot of other upgrades I'd rather have instead.


A little farther up we find our target for this mission: an ADVENT relay set up in a restaurant for...some reason. It only has around 7 HP and it's impossible to miss, so it doesn't last for long. Unfortunately, we can't go home until we mop of the remaining bad guys on the map for...some reason. Are they going to try to put this thing back together if we don't kill them? Maybe it was made of Lego.


Nightwalker scouts ahead a bit and finds what is presumably the last pod: a viper, a purifier and a stun lancer. Now let's try to sneak up and get the drop on them...


DAMMIT SPOONY


The enemies spot our man in yellow and take cover inside the kitchen. Spoony tosses in another grenade, but sadly it doesn't take down their cover.


What follows is a comedy of errors in which everyone misses their shots, leaving the viper free...


...to bring Sensenic in for a hug. Vipers are Annoying with a capital A. Not only do they have naturally high dodge stats, but they can use their tongues to snag your troops, drag them over and immobilize them. They'll take damage every turn as the viper squeezes them, plus they're way out of cover, plus they'll be out of the action until you manage to get the viper to let them go (usually by shooting it). It's a pain. Oh, and I think vipers can spit poison at you too.


So now Joan is bound up by the viper and surrounded on all sides. Great. We need a plan to get him back, and everyone knows that a good plan starts...


...with a BANG.


The purifier has been blown to bits, but the viper still has Sensenic in its clutches and nobody has a clear shot. There's nothing for it, we run Nightwalker up and have him take the shot from a flanking position. The viper lets go of Joan, but it still has one HP left...


...which Sensenic takes care of personally. He's still super out in the open, though, so Eric drops an Aid Protocol on him.


But what does the lancer do? He runs all the way over to Spoony instead, doing low damage but stunning him. Lancer attacks vary quite a bit in the damage they do, so this was a lucky break. Maybe not a great strategy on the part of the lancer, though.


Never end your turn right next to a guy with a minigun. Spoony hits for a solid 6 HP...


...and Eric finishes the poor guy off. That's a wrap!


I'm trying to get into the habit of taking mission-end photos more often, so here's our crew looking tough. Except for Sensenic, who appears to be giving a thumbs up? But, like, in a pretty tough way.


I love this shot because Alice is all "heh we sure kicked some ass today" and Joan is all "I think my ribs are broken". READ THE ROOM, TRAITOR LORD.


Spoony will be out for a few days, but he made sergeant! Here's a shot of his skill tree. Note that you normally get a simplified tree when you level up - typically this view is reserved for the special training center that I haven't built yet. I've used a mod to make the detailed version the default one. Anyway, every soldier has a set of four abilities available to them that are drawn from other classes; they're the ones you see across the bottom of the screen. I can't unlock these without building the training facility, but I at least like to know what they are when I'm upgrading my troops. So far the only one that has been revealed for Spoony is Deadeye, a sharpshooter ability that increases your damage at the expense of accuracy. It's not my favorite ability to stick on a grenadier, since they have pretty bad aim to start with. As for the standard grenadier sergeant-level abilities, we have the choice between Demolition (use a bunch of ammo to destroy cover without damaging the enemy) or Suppression (use a medium amount of ammo to reduce an enemy's aim plus take a shot on them if they do anything). I've already got explosives for removing cover, so I typically grab Suppression at this level, but honestly neither of them is all that great.


Well well, if it isn't CAPTAIN AQUADEO. All that sneaking around really paid off! We also got a scientist, nominally the reason why we ran this covert op in the first place. But of course, the captainship is much more exciting because...


...now we can field a six-person squad! That's as big as it gets, at least for regular missions. This should make it easier to get a bigger rotation of soldiers into the LP (not that I actually do that next mission, but I promise I will later).


Let's have a look at the cap'n's abilities. Right now Aqua is mostly following the healer path: he can heal or remove status ailments at a distance and he gets extra charges for his medkit every mission. The other specialist path is the hacker path, which lets you do cool stuff like take over enemy robots and zap people with your Gremlin (the little drone guys that follow specialists around). Neither of the Captain-level abilities really fit into those categories, though. Covering Fire lets your soldier's overwatch activate when an enemy moves or shoots, which is nice. But Threat Assessment is even better: whenever you use Aid Protocol, your target gets a free overwatch shot (which can also trigger on an enemy firing) in addition to the defense bonus! That's super duper good, because it basically gives one of your damage dealers a free turn and it protects them at the same time. Run a ranger up to shotgun a baddie, then use Aid Protocol to keep them alive and give them a chance to shoot a second enemy in the process? It's almost too good. The downside is that the cooldown on Aid Protocol actually increases, but that's a tradeoff I will happily accept.


It's poster time! This is a shot I took after our very first mission. Aw look, the gang's all here! Can you believe that we made it out of that situation without any casualties? Not even one?


Here's one of the group looking totally badass after finishing a mission in the tunnels.


Sometimes the game takes pictures for you, as it did when Gerad got promoted to sergeant. That's a pretty grim scene! Note that a lot of the poster poses were only recently added as part of the Tactical Legacy pack that came out in late 2018. It's great that the devs included a bunch of gameplay-adjacent stuff like this, they clearly love this game as much as I do.


All right, we have to deal with the difficult covert ops at some point, might as well start now. If we want to permanently deal with the Chosen, we need to complete a series of missions to track down their hideouts. Doing this will also increase our standing with one of the factions, allowing us to use more resistance orders per month, which is a major bonus. Unfortunately, these ops are also riskier, as you can see here. I'm not all that worried about my soldiers getting wounded, but ambushes are bad and captured soldiers are worse. Sometimes there are ways to nullify these threats, maybe by spending resources or sending an additional soldier on the covert op, but for now we don't have any way to prevent the risk of ambush. Instead, I'm going to make a team that I think can survive the ambush mission if it occurs: a good specialist for survivability and an expendable ranger for damage dealing and, uh, sacrificing if necessary. Good luck, guys!


We finish our scan and get that bonus resistance contact - time to add a new region to the network! I decide to move into Western Europe because that will get us closer to one of the ADVENT facilities on the map (helpfully indicated by that dotted red line). We're getting farther from home, so the intel cost is going to be 80 this time. I can afford it for now, but it'll be time to start building radio towers soon.


The Chosen Warlock completes his project for the month, reducing our income and increasing his knowledge level. Eh, that's fine.


We finished researching psionics! This is exciting, I've never been able to build a psionics lab so early in the campaign before. In the past I've been stymied by the fact that you need elerium (a rare resource) to actually build the room, but this time I think I have enough on hand to make it happen. If we can start fielding psi operatives soon that will be a huge win for the team.


It's time to choose some new research! We have a breakthrough available that I'm interested in pursuing, but we've also killed enough stun lancers that the autopsy for them has become instantaneous. You can complete instant research without giving up a breakthrough, so we do that first.


Researching stun lancers gives us access to better S Words, and I know somebody who's gonna be pretty happy about that.


There's a lot of stuff that I'd like to be researching right now - Gauss weapons gives us better gear for snipers and grenadiers, Plated Armor is very important for survivability - but you know how it is with breakthroughs. Modular Cannons will let us install an extra weapon mod onto our grenadiers' cannons, which will be hugely important late in the game. It's actually kind of useless right now, since we have so few weapon mods on hand, but I don't get to choose what breakthrough pops up when.


Our power relay is done! With the bonus from the power conduit, this should be enough to keep quite a few Avenger facilities running.


We have three engineers right now - Adam is running the Resistance Ring, which shortens the time to complete covert ops and whatsisname is still working on the second power coil. Our last engineer starts excavating a room on the top level of the Avenger so that we have somewhere to put our psi lab. Thankfully, the first set of rooms is much faster to excavate - he'll have it done within the week. We're also going to want a proving grounds to develop weapons, an infirmary to speed up recovery times, a training center to spend AP on extra abilities...so much to do! Engineers can also staff power relays and comm stations to increase their effectiveness, so it pays to have a lot of them on staff. We aren't in bad shape with three at this point, but I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for more.

Well, that's all the XCOM action I've got for this week for you. Enjoy your weekend, and join me next week as we take our first six-person team on the road!
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  #99  
Old 02-15-2019, 12:45 PM
Ted Ted is offline
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Guys, I went on two dates in a single update; nice!

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...and Eric finishes the poor guy off.
What a maneuver!
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  #100  
Old 02-15-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

It's poster time! This is a shot I took after our very first mission. Aw look, the gang's all here! Can you believe that we made it out of that situation without any casualties? Not even one?
Can I just say I continue to be delighted that my silly request for you to attempt to recreate my flamboyant purple pirate cosplay/persona resulted in this ridiculous but useful badass.
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  #101  
Old 02-15-2019, 01:58 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Man, Mogri, we've got some different views when it comes to XCOM 2 sharpshooters. You seem to think the pistol is their raison d'être, whereas for me it's the cherry on top of the beautiful cake that is a sniper who can:
  • do huge damage
  • from complete safety
  • with amazing accuracy
  • potentially to 3-6 enemies in a single turn using Kill Zone
  • oh also I gave them armor piercing rounds screw you ADVENT
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  #102  
Old 02-15-2019, 02:33 PM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Hah! True. I really value mobility, and sniper sharpshooters don't have that. Pistol sharpshooters also have way more damage per round (at least against unarmored enemies), and they feel borderline essential against the Lost.

Another thing: XCOM 2 rewards turtling a lot less than EU/EW. In those council missions where you have to scoot everyone to the other side of the map in 12 rounds, you can't afford to set up a rooftop sniper. "Well, don't take your sniper on those missions," you say. Fair enough, but half the missions in XCOM 2 involve a timer of some sort. EU snipers were amazing; EW snipers are merely very good.

Besides, you haven't lived until you've cleared out a room full of enemies with Faceoff.

Don't tell me you don't take Lightning Hands, at least!
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  #103  
Old 02-15-2019, 03:16 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Pistol sharpshooters also have way more damage per round (at least against unarmored enemies), and they feel borderline essential against the Lost.
More damage per round? Only when Faceoff or Fan Fire is up, I would think. As for the Lost, they're so easy to deal with that having a sharpshooter around is more of a luxury than a necessity. Lightning Hands is of course great and I did pick it for Gerad.

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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Another thing: XCOM 2 rewards turtling a lot less than EU/EW. In those council missions where you have to scoot everyone to the other side of the map in 12 rounds, you can't afford to set up a rooftop sniper. "Well, don't take your sniper on those missions," you say. Fair enough, but half the missions in XCOM 2 involve a timer of some sort. EU snipers were amazing; EW snipers are merely very good.
This is a fact, but sharpshooters are still super useful despite being nerfed a bit from EU/EW (where they were literal and figurative gods). I don't have a ton of trouble managing the timers, you just focus on either moving or shooting in a given turn. That gets even easier once you have the Hunter's rifle in your possession...

Anyway, I still think the best thing about snipershooters is that they tend to stay alive, which is really important for the first 3/4 of the campaign. They level up a bunch and get injured less frequently, so they're usually around to shepherd your poor squaddies once you've gotten all your corporals and sergeants killed. Then in the late game they're just nearly-guaranteed damage every turn over the whole map - what's not to like?

(Note that the Hunter's pistol makes Fan Fire really shine, so I'll usually try to get that ability even on my more distance-focused shooters.)
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  #104  
Old 02-17-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
Mission 8: Sensenic Needs a Hug
Yes, he does.

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

I've been meaning to ask: what happened to Morocco and Spain for them to be in that awful state? D:
Is it part of the plot, or just some areas are randomly generated as scorched?

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

I'm trying to get into the habit of taking mission-end photos more often, so here's our crew looking tough. Except for Sensenic, who appears to be giving a thumbs up? But, like, in a pretty tough way.


I love this shot because Alice is all "heh we sure kicked some ass today" and Joan is all "I think my ribs are broken". READ THE ROOM, TRAITOR LORD.
I'm clearly still shaken by my close encounter of the snake kind, though, who wouldn't be? Where's the "Stressed" status that I should clearly have?

Man, my role in this is becoming increasingly sitcom-y. XD
That said, awkwardness? Failing to read the room? This game's got me down to a T, it's almost scary.
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  #105  
Old 02-18-2019, 12:01 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Mission 9: Out With the Old, In With the Mu(tons)


Welcome back, friends, and welcome back Aqua! Happily, we managed to complete this op without triggering the ambush mission, advancing our search for the Warlock and improving relations with the Skirmishers in the process. Ambush missions are pretty annoying and I'm happy enough that we don't have to deal with that right now.


Uh oh, it's retaliation time. Better bring out the heavy hitters for this mission.


"Hey, what's that thing over there?"

I know I promised that I'd mix the squad up a bit more, but this group was locked in some time ago, so we're stuck with them for this mission. Anyway, this isn't the time to be bringing up squaddies.


We hit the ground and meet our very first Muton! In Enemy Unknown, Mutons represented The Difficulty Spike. Things might have been going fine in the pre-Muton world, but now it was time for the rubber to meet the road. XCOM 2's Mutons aren't quite as scary, in part because this game has a bigger variety low-level enemies to ramp things up with. The jump from Sectoids and Thin Men to Mutons in EU/EW is pretty huge, whereas we've been dealing with MECs and ADVENT Commanders, both of which are sorta comparable. And speaking of MECs, there's one of those in our first group, too.


Somebody musta gotten a bit too close, because the Muton sees us and takes up a defensive position. Aquadeo gets in a decent shot from overwatch, but Mutons are hardy and it'll take more than this to put him down.


You know what's worse than one Muton? Two Mutons! This guy strolls onto the screen during the enemy turn and now we have two sets of baddies to deal with. This is not ideal!


Every once in a while, you get a retaliation mission where the resistance members are armed. These missions are generally much easier, because despite the weak weaponry, these resistance guys really pull their weight. During the enemy turn, they'll plink away at enemies, including ones that you haven't even activated yet. The enemies will also shoot at them, but it isn't one-to-one: only a handful of undiscovered enemies will take shots on a given turn, but you'll usually get 4-5 resistance members acting. To be fair, every enemy shot is an almost-guaranteed kill, so the game can't let too many of them act or else you would fail the mission almost instantly.


Here's the situation as we start our second turn: lots of baddies on the board. We've gotta taken out a few of them before their turn comes up or things will get pretty ugly.


We start with a classic claymore-grenade opening on the MEC; not enough to kill it, unfortunately, but we've removed its armor and brought it down to critical health.


Nightwalker didn't detonate the claymore himself, which means he still has an action left to look around for explodable objects.


Remote Start is just so incredibly satisfying. That poor stun lancer didn't know what hit it. I would have loved to catch the second Muton in the blast, but he was standing just outside of range. Oh well.


Nobody has a clean shot on the MEC, so I run Kirin up to kill it. His Parry ability makes him the perfect soldier to leave in harm's way at the end of a turn.


Gerad takes out the closest Muton's armor...


...and Matchstick puts him in the ground. That's three out of four enemies down, not a bad turn!


That grenade of Gerad's blew up Nightwalker's cover, leaving him out in the open. I toss an aid protocol his way to keep him safe, but miraculously he somehow doesn't get revealed on the enemy turn. I have no idea why that Muton didn't see him, but I'm not complaining.


Mutons have plasma weapons, but thankfully for us this one turns his on one of the resistance members. Sorry bud!


Muton II is hiding behind a tree, which Sensenic tries to blow up with a grenade. No luck, that is one seriously sturdy tree.


Gerad plinks him with his pistol, but he still has one point of armor, so it does minimal damage. A few other people try to hit him, but he's too far away and well-defended by his tree. Time to try something new: FORCE LIGHTNING.


Kirin spends a point of focus to use Volt, a ranged ability that bypasses armor, can't miss and will chain to other nearby enemies (not that there are any here). It looks pretty cool, too! Sadly, he rolls low on damage and our Muton still has 5 HP left.


Kurt decides to handle the matter personally. Standing right next to an enemy is a viable strategy when you're sure that you're going to get the kill. Though it can backfire occasionally...


We've saved the first group of resistance soldiers - or, most of them, anyway - so now it's time to move up. Shown here is Gerad first climbing up and then descending from a watch tower, because the game decided that would be faster than just going around it. Sometimes the pathing does weird things in XCOM.


Our next group of resistance members is hiding out in a building a long ways ahead of us, and they've got a problem. Two problems, to be precise.


Which is not to say they can't take care of themselves! Here's a resistance member killing a Stun Lancer that the squad hasn't even spotted yet.


Meanwhile, this woman has spent the last three turns diligently working on destroying this MEC one HP at a time. Don't give up, you'll get there eventually!


The squad crosses a bridge and takes up positions outside the building. Aquadeo tries to shoot one of the ADVENT through the window, but it's not an easy shot.


Thankfully, our presence spurs the ADVENT to action and one of them steps outside, right into Gerad's sights.


Uh-oh, another group of two stun lancers. Geez, we can't catch a break today.


Kirin runs over and deals with the first of them.


Sensenic gets in a hit on the MEC that was terrorizing the resistance, but of course HE DOESN'T HAVE SHREDDER, so it's still fully armored up. God, I can't believe the game even offers to let you pick a different ability, it's such a bad tradeoff.


Despite my ire, I didn't actually have Matchstick execute Sensenic for cowardice. This is actually a shot taken on the second stun lancer, who happens to be directly behind Joan. What's more, the repeater that I put on his gun triggers, causing an instant kill! I mean, he might have done enough damage with his mag rifle to get the kill anyway, but you have to admit this is way cooler. Execution can trigger on pretty much every enemy in the game, which is incredibly useful as you start facing some of the scarier baddies.


After 7 consecutive turns taking 1 HP at a time off this MEC, our brave resistance soldier has her kill stolen by this dude that just came around the side of the building. Not cool, guy!


Mixed in among the resistance was another faceless, who runs up and takes a swipe at Match. This was extra confusing to me, because I had put an Aid Protocol on him and not only did he still get hit, he didn't trigger his free overwatch shot! It was only in reviewing these screenshots that I realized he didn't have any bullets left in his clip.


Kurt hits the deck so Aqua can do some damage...


...then reloads so he can finish the job.


And would you look at that, Mr Kill Stealer takes down the last of the ADVENT, ending the mission for us.


Everybody makes it back alive, but Match is going to be out of the action for a good long time. Again, I could cut this time in half by building (and staffing) an Infirmary, but for now I'm trying to field a greater variety of soldiers, so I'm not as motivated as I usually would be. Kurt does get a promotion, which I use to send him down the path of the stealthy ranger: he will no longer be revealed when the squad goes loud, just like our Reaper friend. It's important to remember that there's a consequence to this ability - he won't participate in overwatch traps either, because he's trying to stay hidden. But I need a backup in case Nightwalker isn't available for scouting duty, so now we have one.


Speaking of Nightwalker, he got a promotion too, so I unlock an ability that improves the damage and blast radius of his claymores. I also take a second to have a look at his XCOM abilities (bottom row) and realize that he pulled some very useful ones out of the hat. Shredder is always great, although admittedly a Reaper won't make as much use of it as a class that isn't trying to hide all the time. And he also has Tactical Rigging, which will give him a slot for a utility item. Reapers don't have any item slots naturally, so unlocking one is pretty major for them. Looks like Nightwalker is has quite a future ahead of him!


Speaking of which, Kirin also pulled basically the three most useful abilities a Templar can have. Fortress makes them completely immune to explosions and poison, so they can stand next to enemies that explode on death (of which there are a few). Shadow Step lets him ignore overwatch so he can get in close. And Bladestorm is just delightful, it gives him a free melee attack on any enemy that moves or acts when standing adjacent to him. That means he can run up to an enemy and melee it, then get another free attack on the enemy's turn as soon as they move. It's also absurdly useful on missions with the Lost, since he'll just carve through any zombies that come close. I'm really looking forward to playing around with Bladestorm, it's not an ability that I've gotten on very many of my Templars in the past.

That's all for today; we've actually got enough stuff to do on the Avenger before our next mission that I'm going to bundle it up into its own update. Join me next time for Infrastructure Week!
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  #106  
Old 02-18-2019, 12:15 PM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Mutons! Don't do the stupid thing I did twice: if you melee a muton, it gets a free attack on you first, Hamedo-style. I lost two really good units that way!

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

That grenade of Gerad's blew up Nightwalker's cover, leaving him out in the open. I toss an aid protocol his way to keep him safe, but miraculously he somehow doesn't get revealed on the enemy turn. I have no idea why that Muton didn't see him, but I'm not complaining.
Units in Shadow have a detection radius of 1, so the enemy has to walk actually right next to them. That may have happened to me on a mission where I also tried to melee a muton.
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  #107  
Old 02-18-2019, 09:28 PM
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Nobody has a clean shot on the MEC, so I run Kirin up to kill it. His Parry ability makes him the perfect soldier to leave in harm's way at the end of a turn.
This is the sort of talk that makes a guy uneasy, but still, I can't really argue with getting to use Force Lightning and getting another promotion. That Bladestorm really does sound delightful! Also that looks like quite a kill-count I'm racking up.
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  #108  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:15 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Mutons! Don't do the stupid thing I did twice: if you melee a muton, it gets a free attack on you first, Hamedo-style. I lost two really good units that way!
I can't believe I forgot to mention that! It's true, melee and Mutons do not mix. There's apparently a chance that their counter will fail, but I've never seen it happen - typically they completely cancel your attack and hit you back instead. Very nasty surprise the first time it happens (and every subsequent time when you forget).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Units in Shadow have a detection radius of 1, so the enemy has to walk actually right next to them. That may have happened to me on a mission where I also tried to melee a muton.
It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that Reaper stealth was better than standard stealth, and even then I don't think I knew this part.

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This is the sort of talk that makes a guy uneasy
Don't worry, I would never let a useful soldier die needlessly and you're still quite useful for now
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  #109  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:21 AM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Units in Shadow have a detection radius of 1, so the enemy has to walk actually right next to them.
UPDATE: The enemy has to walk actually right next to them and flank them. That mostly doesn't even bear mentioning, but I just ran a mission where a MEC was directly adjacent to my Reaper, who was half a tile down and therefore not flanked. One of those subway maps.

TMYK
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  #110  
Old 02-20-2019, 02:32 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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As Promised: It's Infrastructure Week!

Killing aliens is fun and all, but sometimes you just wanna do some nesting, you know? Take a little staycation. So today we're just going to bum around the Avenger in our pyjamas and try to get caught up on our emails. Figuratively, anyway.



Our first task is to finish making contact with Western Europe, which gets us a little cutscene of an XCOM representative landing at the local resistance camp. But our new friends in France aren't the only ones to greet us...


It's the last of the Chosen! The Assassin is an invisible swordslady who is more dangerous than the Hunter but still a good deal less troublesome than the Warlock. Her big thing is that she goes into stealth mode on a regular basis; the best way to find her is to fan out and hope that somebody flanks her, at which point she will be revealed. There are also a few abilities that let us scan parts of the map, too, so I might invest in those before long.


Of course we can't forget about the Avatar project, which is still humming along. We're up to 6 blocks out of 12 completed, so we need to start thinking about ways to slow it down. We don't have a ton of options just yet, though.

(For people that were wondering, the map being all glowy in North Africa is a result of the Chosen hanging around in that region. If the Chosen moves, the scorch marks will follow them.)


Modular cannons, OK! Those extra mod slots will pay off down the line, even if they aren't worth much right now. There's some high-priority research that we really need to move on to soon, but completing this project inspired the decryption of an ADVENT datapad, so I spent one day doing that first and got a bit on intel for my trouble.


We're also at the point where the MEC breakdown is instantaneous, so what the heck. Tearing this thing apart nets us the ability to improve our Gremlins, which means better healing, so you know I'm interested in that. We can also research the bluescreen protocol, which is a way of developing grenades and ammo that are particularly effective against robots. Some of the nastiest enemies in the game are robots, so we'll be very interested in having some countermeasures available.


Dammit Tygan, I'm trying to research something important now, we don't have time for another breakthrough! Ugh, fine - Reaper rifles already do pretty poor damage, I can't afford to refuse a free +1 boost for the rest of the campaign. Five more days to research this and THEN we'll do something important.


We finally have enough space and enough funds, let's start building the psi lab! It won't actually take 21 days because I'm going to assign an engineer to the project. Looks like Spooky is finally going to get some time in the limelight!


Vixen comes back from a covert op with some AP for the gang and a permanent move upgrade. Good stuff!


Missions to hunt the Chosen are inherently more dangerous, but this time we can negate the risk of ambush just by sending an extra soldier along. We've got tons of nobodies to throw at these things, so I pick one at random to fill the 3rd slot. The Chosen assassination missions are long and difficult, and we're not really ready to undertake one, so there's no incentive to stick to one particular path right now. The first step is generally the one that's the least risky to complete, too.


It's the end of the month! Agent 47 is still very happy with us, but the Avatar project is making advances that we won't be able to ignore forever.


Here's our update on the Chosen: the Warlock and the Assassin are still little Chosen babies, but the Hunter has earned his first level up. He can now summon priests during missions, which is more dangerous than anything else he's done to us so far. I'm still not going to lose any sleep over it though.


And of course, our monthly Dark events! I pay some intel to reveal Signal Jamming, which is by far the worst of the three on offer. You can bet I'll be trying to stop that one next time a Guerilla Op pops up.


Time to swap our some Resistance Orders. We don't need to do any more digging right now, so instead I take a "build faster" order that we'll get some use out of. Note that I also get to assign the Skirmishers an order because we completed the first part of the hunt for the Warlock. They can only take red orders, but that's OK - I slot one in that reduces enemy hacking defense. We don't have any specialist hackers right now, but that'll change before long. Long term, we'll probably want that one that boosts the effects of PCS upgrades, but for now we only have a handful of those.


Time to go get our supply drop - $313 is a decent little sum. You have to scan for them like everything else, but it only takes 3 days and you actually get a third of the money each day, rather than a lump sum at the end. That's pretty handy if you get interrupted midway through by a mission and you want to buy some equipment.


We wrap up research on improved Vektor rifles only to have inspiration strike! I was going to get Gauss weapons soon anyway and the time that we'll save researching them will handily compensate for the 5 days it took to improve Vektors. Lucky!


A popup on the Avenger screen alerts me to the fact that I can improve the bond between Vixen and Aqua...except that I can't, actually. Leveling a bond up requires a training center, where two soldiers can undertake teambuilding exercises TOO POWERFUL to contain anywhere else in the Avenger. For now, we'll just have to imagine the kind of powers that increased friendship could bring these two.


But hey, speaking of friendship, get a load of these two! Peas in a pod, huddled far away from the dangers of the outside world.


Another covert op down, and this one gave Eric a boost to his hacking score. I celebrate by giving him the ability to hack enemy robots, which is something we should really try out at our earliest convenience.


Before we can do that, though how about another mission to boost his hacking? Sounds like a plan! I'll be happy to have that extra engineer, too.


Research is underway on Gauss weapons, but we're gonna need a whole bunch of alien alloys if we want to actually pay for all those new guns. I swing by the black market and spend a bit of intel to get some. Alien Alloys and Elerium are too semi-limited resources that you pick up from completing certain mission types (think supply raids) or clearing out some of the deeper rooms in the Avenger. We're surprisingly OK for Elerium right now beceause I shielded that first power coil pretty early in the campaign.


We were promised another alien facility "imminently" and here it is. This one is located in New Chile (almost all the regions are "New" something, which definitely begs the question of what happened to Old Chile), which is two steps away from us right now. But distance isn't our only problem:


The facility is guarded by a dangerous enemy. This would be one of the Alien Rulers, which are added to the game by the paid DLC of the same name. Supposedly these are test subjects of Dr. Vahlen, the head scientist from Enemy Unknown who had a fascination with dissecting aliens to see what makes them tick. This is my first time playing with this DLC, so I'm curious to see how well I'll be able to handle them. They're basically souped-up versions of a Muton Berserker, a Viper and an Archon that have a ton of hitpoints and that get a free move every time your squad does...basically anything. Should be fun!


While we can't do any missions in South America yet, ironically we can stop by and see our friends the Skirmishers at their home base here any time we want. Spending time scanning here boosts construction speed, which is handy because we have a couple of rooms under construction right now. Speaking of which...


...our psi lab is ready! You can only train rookies to be psi operatives, which is why we've been keeping Spooky on the bench for so long. Now we can slot him in and he'll begin learning the mystic arts. Psi operatives are unlike all other soldiers in that they gain experience and learn abilities by spending time here, rather than from going on missions. That means you can fully train up a psi operative to max rank without ever sending them into the field, which is just incredibly useful in the late game when low-ranking soldiers are unlikely to contribute to (or survive) most missions. I've never actually gotten a psi lab built so quickly before, so it's possible that Spooky will actually lap most of our regular soldiers and hit max rank before the rest of the squad (except for Aqua, who has a leg up on everyone else).

We can speed up psi training by staffing an engineer at the lab, but right now I don't have anyone to spare. We can also upgrade the psi lab to train two soldiers at once, but it's expensive and I've got other things to spend supplies on right now. That said, if somebody wants to join Spooky in the chamber eventually, let me know and I'll send you down the path of the psycho soldier.


We had an empty room in the top-left corner, so I started building a Proving Grounds up there. The PG lets us develop new weapons by spending Elerium Cores, which are items we pick up from enemy loot drops. There's a bit of a gacha element to it in that you don't always know precisely what item you're going to get. That can be frustrating if you really want, say, and acid grenade, but I kind of like the fact that you're sometimes stuck with items you wouldn't normally buy if you had the choice. It gets you to mix up your tactics a little, you know? There's also a plot reason why we need to build the proving grounds, but honestly it was sort of an impulse decision for me. If I had spent a little more time thinking about it, I probably would have build a resistance comm center instead, since we really need to branch out our network further right now.


Gauss weapons, hooray! Now we can finally kit out the rest of the squad with better guns.


Here's where we're at on the research front. We have a lot of autopsies available to us right now, but few of them will yield anything really essential (the notable exception being the Faceless autopsy). We're very much overdue to research Resistance Radio (for expanding the network) and Plated Armor (for not dying), however. I'm going to go with Radio first, if only because it'll be done sooner. Note that we also have the option to research some experimental weapons - this is another thing from the Alien Rulers DLC that I hope to look into once we've upgraded the squad's armor some. We're starting to be somewhat behind the curve when it comes to survivability.


Look at all the stuff that Gauss Weapons opened up for us! It costs a lot to get everyone kitted out, but it's worth it. We pick up the sniper rifles and heavy cannons, along with the Vektor rifles. I use our Reaper pretty much every chance I get, so they deserve the best. The rest of this stuff will have to wait until we have some more funds lying around.

All right, that's enough groundwork. I'm starting to get a little worried about the progress of the Avatar project, and for now there's only one thing I can do about it:



Join us next time for the assault on the ADVENT Blacksite! Drama! Explosions! New faces! You won't want to miss it!
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  #111  
Old 02-20-2019, 02:41 PM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Are you going to Reaper cheese the Blacksite?
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  #112  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post

We finally have enough space and enough funds, let's start building the psi lab! It won't actually take 21 days because I'm going to assign an engineer to the project. Looks like Spooky is finally going to get some time in the limelight!
Wait... Who's Spooky? Did someone cut in line in front of me? Does that mean I'll have to go out in the field instead?

Or are you planning on using some untested new technology to fuse me and Spoony into a single entity? I don't like the sound of that either.

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
Had time to whip up two more before bed last night, so here's Spook and Spoony:

Spook
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  #113  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:13 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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If the worst thing that happens to you here is someone adds a Y to your name, then you can consider yourself lucky.
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  #114  
Old 02-21-2019, 07:44 PM
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I was happy just that live past the first mission. Then I was delighted to know I’d helped expand the squad size. But I think the best thing so far is knowing that this ship isn’t built to contain the full, unrestrained power of friendship!

High five, VV!
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  #115  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:25 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Are you going to Reaper cheese the Blacksite?
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  #116  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:50 AM
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High five, VV!
Whoooo!

Also I can't decide if I'm moving my hair back behind my ears in that picture or if I'm doing the "mind blown" hand motion.
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  #117  
Old 02-22-2019, 09:06 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Mission 10: It Don't Matter If You're Black Or Site


Today's the day, folks. The ADVENT Blacksite is our first story mission, as well as our first chance to set the Avatar project back a little. It's a lengthy mission, although not especially challenging once you know what to expect. Of course, despite Mogri's suggestion, I would never cheese the mission by just sending in a lone Reaper and running straight to the objective! Instead, we have a full team, including some folks who will be seeing combat for the very first time. That's right, it's the Squaddie Sniper Spectacular, starring Mogri and Ted! Backing them up will be a solid team of veterans, including...wait a second.


You can be damn sure Sensenic isn't going to just walk into danger without taking some precautions! We picked up an Advanced Agility PCS, which we can slot into his brain to give him +18 dodge. Combined with what he got from that covert op a while back, he's up to an impressive 28% chance to take reduced damage from any attack that would normally hit him. He also has Blast Padding, which gives him extra armor point and reduces damage from explosions, along with a bonus HP from a different covert op. At this point, he is nigh-on indestructible! Now if only he could do something about all that enemy armor.


We land on the outskirts of the blacksite and find our first pod, a Muton and a sectoid. I guess I should probably capitalize sectoid too if I'm gonna capitalize Muton, but it's not like the MLA are reading this LP.


Nightwalker finds a perfect target to detonate with Remote Start, it'll easily take out both...oh no wait that's us.


Fine, we'll do it the regular way. This is a long mission and I don't want to use up all my explosives early on, so I save the Claymore mine and just have Sensenic drop a regular grenade on the enemies. We've got two snipers and Aquadeo on overwatch to clean up and I'm saving VV's action in case one of them manages to escape and needs dealing with.


But she gets to take a coffee break, because the overwatch trap is executed perfectly. Not only that, but both Mogri...


...and Ted get their first kills! Good job, baby snipes!


Oh hey the Hunter's here *yawn*.


Our next pod has a MEC, a purifier and a captain. Now these guys are worthy of the Claymore treatment! Note that our upgraded Claymores now do a respectable 8 damage and the blast covers a larger area. Nightwalker tosses it into the group...


...and Mogri lights it up from 400m away. The Claymore causes the purifier to explode and the whole pod goes up in a glorious fireball, along with a significant chunk of one corner of the Blacksite. It was a thing of beauty.


The squad closes in on the Blacksite proper, which triggers a little cutscene. Humans and/or human remains are being dunked in a green liquid and seemingly processed into some kind of special substance. It's horrifying and also pretty stupid and also basically the ending to Mass Effect 2! I wish I enjoyed the story in XCOM 2 as much as I enjoy everything else, but it's honestly kinda dumb.


There's our target: a jar of the precious refined person goo. As Mogri hinted in his post, you can complete this mission by stealthing a character up to the jar, grabbing it and then hightailing it to the extraction point. It was possible in vanilla XCOM 2 and it's even easier using a Reaper, since their super stealth is much easier to maintain as you wend your way across the map. Playing on Ironman, I'm a little hesitant to try anything quite that outrageous, because if you mess it up it's going to go pretty bad.


Our next group of enemies approaches: a MEC and two soldiers.


Joan softens them up with his second grenade and then one of the soldiers makes the mistake of taking cover behind...


...a destructible object. Yay remote start!


Vixen takes an extremely convoluted route, which involves climbing to the roof of the facility and dropping down through a skylight, in order to put herself in harm's way. She takes a shot on the MEC and gets in a solid hit, but it's still up. Now she's wide open and nobody has a good shot to finish it off. Buy you know what we do have?


The Power of Friendship. Aqua uses Teamwork to give her a second shot and she finishes dismantling the robot fascist.


The remaining soldier is a little spooked, which is understandable, so he retreats back to some cover. Aqua used Aid Protocol to give Sensenic an extra overwatch shot, which he fails spectacularly. I'm pretty sure it's a bug in the game that causes him to aim in the completely wrong direction, but I like the emergent storytelling that you get from moments like this. Maybe Sensenic has some sort of weird condition in his visual cortex that makes things seem like they're 90 degrees away from where they really are?


Nightwalker takes care of the remaining soldier but is revealed in the process. He still has his ability to go back into stealth, though.


A little further up we run into a squad of three sectoids. Man, there sure are a lot of enemies on this map.


Ted nails a difficult shot to take one of them out with a single crit. I'm really enjoying these magnetic sniper rifles, I don't know about the rest of you.


VV misses her overwatch shot on another sectoid that decided to climb up onto the roof for some reason. Pathing! If nothing else, it makes for a pretty cool screenshot.


Oh right, this guy. The Sniper hasn't done a single thing since he showed up at the start of the mission, he's just been hanging out all the way at the back of the map. What a harmless rube this guy-


HOLY SHIT. Hunter takes a regular old shot on Vixen and manages to knock her out in a single hit. That sucks! I knew I was overdue to get the squad some better armor, but this is rough. I guess we're lucky that she didn't straight up die, because she only had 7 HP and the shot did 8 damage. Still, that's a serious wake-up call. I suddenly find myself regretting that we didn't bring Kirin along for this mission...


Aqua injures the second sectoid and Mogri finishes it off with a well-placed grenade. That leaves us with one final sectoid and the suddenly-menacing Hunter to deal with before we can grab the vial and get out of here. To be fair, I could always just take the MacGuffin and run, but right now I think it's actually a safer play to take the enemies out rather than risk losing someone else during the retreat (especially if I want to bring VV back home, which would require dedicating a soldier to carrying her instead of shooting aliens). Still, it's important to know when you can and should just run the hell away. I've had campaigns turn on missions where I made the call to retreat rather than losing my squad in a fight I couldn't win.


The Hunter's next shot misses, thank god. The calculus of this fight would shift pretty quickly if I had another soldier get downed. Now it's time to deal with the Chosen.


Ew, Ted, no! You're standing in the people juice!


Mogri gets to work, landing our first shot on the Hunter. Unfortunately, he's got a lot of HP and we no longer have a melee character around to exploit his weakness to close-up attacks.


Sensenic gets in a good hit, but misses with his followup Aid Protocol shot.


The Hunter misses again, thankfully. The third sectoid is bumming around the outside of the Blacksite, but it isn't doing anything too threatening just yet. I think it summoned a zombie or something.


Bit by bit we're grinding him down. Mogri gets in a good shot, Ted wings him with his pistol, and Sensenic gets in a crit for solid damage.


Nightwalker finally finishes the job with a shot from close-range, which gets a damage boost. The Hunter takes off and leaves us with a single sectoid to deal with. Phew, that was a lot harder than I thought it would be.


Just imagine me cut-and-pasting this screenshot like 4 times as I try to get Aqua to shoot this sectoid through the laser window and he keeps missing.


Mogri deal with the psi zombie...


...and Aqua finally hits the sectoid before having his kill stolen by Sensenic. Now the team is all clear to grab the canister and get the hell out of here.


Ted grabs Vixen to take her home and everyone starts heading toward the extraction zone.


We evac Ted and VV while the rest of the team sets up shop near the dropship. I've played this mission enough to know what comes next...


At the start of my turn, I have my soldier with the highest mobility grab the canister.


This triggers something that we haven't seen yet: an ADVENT flare drops, signalling the imminent arrival of reinforcements. By grabbing the canister at the top of our turn, we give everyone the opportunity to get into position before the ADVENT show up to the party. The evac zone is far enough away that even Nightwalker can't make it there in a single turn, though.


The ADVENT dropship flies by, leaving us with one final squad to deal with. Unfortunately for them, I've got Aqua, Mogri and Ted all on standby.


At this point we could just leave, but I'm not gonna say no to free experience!


Poor bastards didn't stand a chance. Note that evacuating is a free action that you can perform even at the end of your turn. Any soldiers standing in the evac zone are free to take their shots before leaving the map, so there's no reason not to take potshots on your way out.


We clear the entire enemy squad out before they can do a single thing and then the team boards the Sky Ranger. Note that I have the Evac All mod installed, which conveniently lets you evac everyone in the zone at the same time. It's pretty fun to watch, honestly.


We did it! Lots of promotions to go around, but poor Vixen is going to be out of the action for quite a while. I give both sharpshooters the ability that lets them use squadsight for overwatch shots, but in the future I'll be sending them down divergent paths. I think I gave Sensenic Demolition? Can't quite recall.


VV gets Run and Gun, which is another real corker of an ability - it lets you move twice and still perform an action before your turn ends. In Enemy Unknown, the ranger equivalent class got Run and Gun as its default squaddie ability. In XCOM 2, you have to choose between that or the ability to go into stealth once per mission, which makes the choice a little harder. On the other hand, X2 Run and Gun is improved in that you can take any action you want, instead of simply shooting. It's very good and a ranger doesn't feel complete to me without it.


For our trouble we get...125 supplies and one tick off the Avatar project. Huh, I was kind of expecting more. I guess the mission wasn't that hard, all things considered.


With the Blacksite behind us, we now have a new story objective to decode some alien encryption. I don't even remember what exactly is supposed to be encrypted, because again I don't pay attention to the story in this game. We're also going to need to research our vial of Blacksite goo, but we can't begin to do that until we build a dedicated super research room, so don't hold your breath.


Here's a shot of the Avenger to close things out for today. We're only a few days away from having a Proving Grounds and all the fun toys that come with it. I've also started excavating our next room, which will probably become a comms center. The shielding of the second power coil is on hold because we don't actually need it yet, but it will be pretty quick to complete whenever we decide to go back to it. And finally, it seems that VV has developed a fear of the Chosen because of that one time she was almost murdered by one of the Chosen. Can't really hold that against her, but it's going to be pretty inconvenient in the future. We'll have to build that Infirmary eventually, since it's the only way to cure soldiers of negative traits like these.

All right folks, that's all the XCOM I've got for you this week. But we'll be back soon with more War of the Chosen! Have a good weekend, y'all.
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  #118  
Old 02-22-2019, 09:34 AM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
Don't think I didn't see a body in the background here! You only fooled me for a little bit there.

Was VV flanked? I've never seen the Chosen take potshots before.

My own campaign has the Hunter weak to Reapers. He dies to a single Claymore~
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  #119  
Old 02-22-2019, 09:56 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Was VV flanked? I've never seen the Chosen take potshots before.
No, I'm pretty sure she was on the other side of the pillar from Aquadeo, behind full cover. This isn't the first time the Hunter has just up and shot at someone, though, I believe he injured Spoony a while back.
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  #120  
Old 02-22-2019, 05:11 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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The squad closes in on the Blacksite proper, which triggers a little cutscene. Humans and/or human remains are being dunked in a green liquid and seemingly processed into some kind of special substance. It's horrifying and also pretty stupid and also basically the ending to Mass Effect 2! I wish I enjoyed the story in XCOM 2 as much as I enjoy everything else, but it's honestly kinda dumb.
Soyl ADVENT Green is people!

...

OK, going back to training now.
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