While continuing to contact New Indonesia, we again strike Supply Raid ot extract the creates... sigh. In this mission we meet advanced version of the Priest. This one now has 2 more powers. Mind Control (of course because why not) and Sustain - yeah the same ability PSI OPS have that when struck with fatal blow it goes into statsis for one turn. Of course this will not proc the skills that require a kill. Anyway we've managed to salvage more than 50% of the crates somehow.
And we get a third bonding in SC team:
Finally we contact New Indonesia. We now have access to the facility that has 3 pips but also has a Alien Ruler. So I'll wait for 6 squad team (requires Captain promotion) and at least Tier 2 armor and probably few experimental grenades and ammunition. Considering that we do not have clear goal where to move next (another facility) for now I scan for the random things proritizing Intel and other Avenger stuff like Engineer/Scientists, Resistance Contacts and Avenger Power. We need Avenger Power and Resistance Contacts. But in the mean time we were asked by the templars to extract an Engineer.
So this is another unique mission. The briefing is that this person was minding his business, but ADVENT sort of find him suspicious, so he hid in abandoned metro station and awaits rescuing. The funny bit is that until we will not contact him, aliens don't care for him. So he is "hiding" in the middle of the map, we need to reach him and be mindful of few patrols. Once we located him Bradford warns us about the trap and we have 4 turns of holding ground until Evac arrives. In the mean time ADVENT drops reinforcments each turn. For first 2 turns ADVENT dropped reinforcments on 2 sides (4 units total) and then it switched to one side with 3 units. And so we waited and killed anyone who dared to show his ugly face. It sort of looked like the reinforcments are endless, but at 2 turns after Zone was deployed Bradford said something that ADVENT run out of juice. I didn't have the position to check it out so we buggered of.
Continuing with the scanner, we get the grim information that the Assassin is almost done with the knowledge of our operations. When it reaches full she could perform assault on the Avenger. We need that Major rank ASAP.
And additionally aliens have put another facility again in Western U.S. sigh... and they increase their main progress, which brings us to the counter danger zone. Unfortunately no Captain no 6 man team, but we have armor, we have skulljack we attack on the Blacksite. There we found a first officer in not so guarded area, a quick jab by Zombie and we have a codex now. Next attack with shotgun to the face brought down this creatur to 1 HP meaning that it will teleport. Fortunately I know that it will try to use the PSI disarm so no worries there, Rangers don't need ammunition to be deadly. Additionally we had the Assassin encounter. But with no enemies to be worried, she wasn't that a big deal, though as usual a guarneeted wound on a soldier. With codex gone and blacksite completed we gain 4 pips of freedom.
So the good news is we have more time to fight, the bad news is, we will get Codex enemies on occasion and I do hate them (mainly because of the cloning ability). Continuing with scanning we get another counter Dark Event choices. One choice to prevent Intel cost double, shut down of Black Market for 6 weeks and a hidden event. Well considering that I won't be going to Western U.S because I have only 1 free Resitance Contacts I will be still 4 contacts short to reach Western U.S and I don't know when I will be ready to advance. Probably when that event expires. We additionally have resistance orders to skip the scanning for regions. That will save us a lot of time. So for now we chose the Hidden Event as it might be nasty. Unfortunate it's the worst kind of mission. Hack a workstation, with 7 turns on a train that has the hardest entry point. I bet no one from Firaxis played this kind of mission on Legendary because it's so unfair to reach it with a Specialist. So I used a reaper because he can run almost anywhere undetected. And guess what, we had a Codex encounter.
Our first chase after the Warlock is finished, we can now continue chasing him, but the reward for soldier that will lead the operation is promotion, so I will postpone this, once I get a Captain rank, to quickly promote him to Major, and be able to get final chase for the Assassin and Warlock and lastly the Hunter, but meanwhile we can get option to replace our PCSes without destroying the previous ones. Not that I'm swimming in them but still. Our next mission is sponsred by the council guy. Capture enemy VIP. a very simple mission and we finally get our Captain promotion. Well done Zombie, I knew I can count on you, so prepare to be a Major soon too
Alright Zombie, so now you can go find more clues about the Warlock and once you return you will be a Major. We need to hurry because the Chosen ones are becoming scary in Geoscape.
While Zombie is off hunting for the Warlock, aliens attack one of our Havens but now with 6 team squads I feel much more confident. Funny thing the map was 2 landed UFOs. Those rebels surprising. We met here our first Archons, but strangely they went down pretty much instantly. Once we took care of the first part of Heaven resitance fight, it again was a Masacre of 2 Berserkesrs... Thoese things just belind towards the civilians.
We are still waiting for the Cypher dark event to pass and eagerly awaiting Zombies return, but in the meanwhile we get another mission to prevent Dark Event. Though I wouldn't call this event as crucial, but getting another Engineer will be nice and the mission should be easy enough. We have to get a field commander in Lost territory with a PSI Storm effect (more PSI related enemies). Hopefully it will be sectoids therefore I could bring Rangers/Templar to one shot kill them. While rated Very Difficult this mission was pretty much super easy. There was only 1 sectoid 3 Priests and commander with stun lancer. There were lots of Lost but we used concealment to make sure Lost will activate ADVENT and then we struck.
So Zombie returns but wounded. God damn. 10 Days of delay... I'll probably rest in templar base for a while to bring him back faster. Also on the bright side, we get a resitance order that destroys 1 pip of avatar project at the end of the month, so it means that there is a possibility to play endlessly? In any case, while Zombie is in infirmary, we get a Covert Op to reduce Avatar Project, though I'm still worried that Assasin will get us before we get to her. In the mean time we keep scanning and have another Supply Raid, this time it's normal raid, but with Zombies and the Hunter makes an apperance.
Our traditional start with Lost in the area was to make sure that Advent starts fighting them and then we strike. While I though the Hunter will be something to fear, right now he seems to be one of the easiest, or at least in this instance was. What he done was to long range mark targets for death. This is sort of super long range attack sort of like kill zone. The defense against this is to dash out of the range or hunker down. I didn't have a dead wish to test how good hunker down works so each turn I just moved someone out of the range, while others were fending off the aliens and Lost. In the meantime Hobbes was just being super sneaky near the Hunter. Probably a little Ironic that the Hunter was not even aware that he is being watched. Also there was probably ironic situation. When Hunter marked SV, he said "Keepin' me eye on you" which made me grin a little because it sounds very similar to SV quote: "I've got my eye on you". Once we cleared all the aliens and the Lost, he was sort of running in circles. SV found a good elevated place and started to take pot shots. Another funny moment. He hit him with 56% chance and the Hunter said something about magic bullets. Well I guess SV had saved some because he hit again next turn. Then Sunflash R&G with shotgun to the face. With only few hit points remaining Hobbes made a move:
I almost fell from the chair after that. So the so called master tactician was outsmarted.