Back on to Xenonauts again. Played a few missions since December, but only enough to clear the Geoscape of UFOs except for the last Battleship which was giving me extreme trouble. It seemed like all the aliens had battle rifles and they were tearing my squad to shreds. There just wasn't a good strategy to deal with that plus trying to train reactions. I ended up just mowing the aliens down like I normally would do and not worrying about reactions. Magstorms are great for this. Was a little miffed about the loss of a training mission until I saw the EOM report.
Five soldiers ended up with reaction fire increases, and because the Praetor was going nuts, five soldiers also got bravery increases. Nice! Oh, and 16/24 aliens had battle rifles which equates to 67%. No wonder! I also found out that soldiers will most likely still get small increases in Strength as long as other stats are increased. I'm not sure if there is a breakpoint where the amount of weight carried will prevent these strength increases, so that will require some tests. Possibly Sentinel/Predator armor might prevent strength increases, but that's more of an end-game strategy. Finally on the soldier side, I retired my first guy (Andrew Spruce) due to reaching 100 reactions.
He will probably not see any more missions until the final one (unless I think I can train his bravery a little more with some low hanging "fruit" aka "medals" or use him as a "rear commander" or "soldier of last resort"). I have a few other soldiers which have 100 in TU, Str and Accuracy, 99 for health and high 80's for reactions, so there will be a time where they will be retired as well. It certainly will be nice to be able to just grab anyone for the final mission.
The one thing I learned these last few days is that my USA team is a tad under-equipped.
I'm still using Precision Plasmas and Buzzard armor for a few of my snipers. Not that it's a bad thing, but the 360 degree vision of the Sentinel and MAG Precision offer a lot of upgrades as well so I'm trying to get that sorted before anything else.
The one thing which I allowed to finish production was the Valkyrie. Now I can take 12 soldiers on a mission instead of 10 which should help out a little more to expedite map clearing (I normally like to use 2 groups of 3 soldiers to clear each side of the UFO and a central group of 4 to hold the main door but those two extra bodies could be door opening meat shields instead). I learned something new about the Valkyrie "dropship" today also - because there is an initial "placement" round where you can decide where to put your soldiers, you can save the game at the start of that round and then reload if the placement wasn't right and the aliens will still be in the same spots and the map will be unchanged. So that's kinda neat (along with the flares on the ground so you don't need to deploy so many on night missions).
So it's been a productive last couple of days.