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#1 silencer_pl

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 08:52 AM

So one campaign is over, second begins. Now with more glitter.

The result of operation gatecrasher.

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And already the game fucked up two costumes. But...

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Strategy Core members never fail.


And here is a quicky for propaganda.

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#2 silencer_pl

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 03:28 PM

So, two new mission types I've got, kill a field commander. It's sort of like find a VIP and kill him, but once you are spotted evac zone appears and the VIP has 4 turns to reach it and evac. The filed commander is "upgraded" Officer (same look different color - more HP). Unfortunately during this mission the game crashed and deleted my save :/ not cool first time happened that a crash deleted a save.

So I've started new campaign, this time I've got a destroy transmitter (not relay). This one is modified bomb diffuse. 4 turns to mission fail, but you have those relays that you shoot this time. And there are no thin man reinforcments. It's sort of a merge of bomb difuse and blow a monument.
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#3 silencer_pl

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 08:23 PM

So I now got a Lost And Abandoned story mission as third mission. The lost are... I don't know strange encounter. If you kill them you get action free, but they come in numbers for sure, so It's ok, but still they are just meh.
This mission is also introduction to Skirmisher and Reaper units. Reaper is just different version of sniper that can move and shoot and has better "cloak". While Skirmisher - I don't know more like a XCOM version of Sneks - minus the poison spit and moving anywhere.

And in the end you meet this:

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I found this encounter stupid. I've sort of was not prepared to this - you know going blind, but if aliens throws invisible alien at you that have free turn just to run and kill your soldier without you having any counter, that's stupid. Not only does she deal in the first encounter 4 HP, that's enough to kill a Rookie in one shot, she could also crit. So by just doing this mission you have a very high chance just to lose a soldier like that. Bullshit.

Additionally what I read on forums, disabling this mission can create a Assassin encounter on retaliation missions, meaning you can just say bye bye to a soldier or just entire heaven. That's stupid. Go to a mission, pick up few soldiers that will die.


Also SV fell in love on first sight with that Reaper lady :P

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Unfortunately she will undergo a total reconstruction.

Oh and this:

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Dancing with zombies.
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#4 silencer_pl

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 07:50 PM

It appears that Dragunova was Hobbes in disguise all along ;) So now let the bonding begins:

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And the next mission, of course had to be heaven defense, because you know you can't have more than few missions per month and terror mission has to be traditionally at the end of the month. New enemy has spawned: ADVENT Priest. A Psionic unit that has Stasis ability (because Sectoids aren't bad enough). At least it's weaker than panic because it doesn't cause mass spread of rolls.
Also they've changed the mechanic. They've added a new system sort of taken from Long War 1: Fatigue. If you send a soldier in tired condition they will take those panic rolls when a teammate gets wounded or panics. Though I think they fucked up something, because I had 2 rolls for same soldier on being wounded status. This was stupid.  Of course heaven defense so quickly in first month means I had soldiers with mostly tired status and it is stupid to send rookies on such important mission. This caused that me and Zombie gained a negative trait.
I've received a trait that there is a chance that when set to overwatch I will fire. Being a ranger overwatches probably will be in position where no enemies are visible so it's less problematic. While Zombie likes to have full clip. Meaning there is a chance he will reload if he moves - this can create some issues. Those negative traits can be removed in the infirmary though.

And of course we can't forget about the winning pose:

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(Note the game automatically creates those posters)
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#5 silencer_pl

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:42 PM

With the first month behind us, we get to use new mechanics. First that the Chosen will do something:

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Second that we can redistribute some bonuses amongst the factions.

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And perform covert operations. Covert operations means sending a soldier or two just like in Enemy Within except there you send one and had to rescue him, but here you just await the result and then send a strike team.
Right now 2 of 3 available covered actions require a rank of sergeant which I don't have, but we have that mission to recover Pratal Mox from the Lost and Abandoned mission.

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Additionally we are building a resistance ring room in avenger that provides some bonuses and assistance to above things.

Before the result of covert missions we had a traditional mission for countering dark event. This one was to prevent intel cost increased by 100%. Piece of cake really. Though with 3 rookies I was sort of worried.

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But now on to the Rescue captured soldier. The introduction says, go quietly blah blah or ADVENT will hunt you down, just throw a flare once you done and Firebrand is there. Ok so I thought fine, I'll play Mr. Sneaky McSneaky.
So at this time enemy base was pretty much a ghost town. Few turrets, a single patrol pods, a static pod of 3 in the entrance and a pod of 2 patrolling the inside. The detection range was 1-2 tiles so sneaking in was not a problem. So I thought too easy. Well the holding cell was in such place that no matter what you wouldn't be able to lose sight of the inside patrol, and once you break in to the cell the turret and those guys outside will see you. So I guess failed attempt on creating sneaky mission.
Once you are detected base alert rises from 1 to 2 which Bradford comments - hey they saw you and will search for you. Once you make a kill the base goes to alert level 6, which Bradford says - entire base will hunt you. Ok Firxais, so you give me sneaky McSneaky mission but you don't give me a silent takedown option? Boooo. And here is additional catch. Once you hack the door, you have two hack options. Hack without tripping the base alarm, or some other random thing from the hack rewards. If you trip the alarm base goes to level 10 alert and every turn a reinforcment pod will drop and Evac zone will pop in random place on map close to the prisoner cell. So you want to probably no trip the alarm. But as soons as you throw evac flare the base goes into full alert either way. But you could just throw it at nearest exit and just pick up the body and GTFO.
I don't know, maybe next time I just try shooting my way in, unless the alert goes to 10 in few turns so right now I've got a mixed feeling about this kind of mission. But we now have a new faction soldier.

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But is he really Pratal Mox?
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#6 silencer_pl

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 09:58 PM

So it appers that Pratal Mox was really Mr. T in disguise. They more about mobility so a "new" weapon type was added to the game bulpup/smg (no big boomstick this time). Though they can also carry a rifle too.

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So the next mission was supply raid. But here is the game changer. The Lost are roaming around. Strangely their put them on the surface... and since it's in the hunting grounds of the assassin there is a chance she would appear. The mission was rated Moderate... And of course that cheating McCheating SoB had to appear. So the mission was in some kind of ADVENT outpost surrounded by Alien flora. There were only 2 Advent pods. And they sort of start fighting with the Lost. Well the Lost maybe are a distraction but considering that they are doing 1-3 damage (at least for now based on the type of the enemy), don't count on them to kill ADVENT for you as ADVENT also gets free action for killing them. Though it makes them easier to flank.
Since the Assassin starts invisible I cannot do anything about her, so her first move was to of course attack Sunflash - and of course it had to be critical. So yeah... just like that the game says - sorry your soldier is gone. But thankfully he was put in bleed out state. I had a medkit but no revival protocol, and in Vanilla XCOM revival protocol colides with haywire protocol which I normally choose but still it's one level above my current specialists. So at least I could stabilize him, but the 5 man mission turned into 4 man mission. Not cool. The battle with the Assasin was super long. She always targeted units with highest HP so at least that's "fair" but when she goes invisible you're sort of giving her a free turn to attack. And don't think about tile scanning. Or at least on this map I could move on the same spot she was hiding. But finally we did it.

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Unfortunate that she will come back, as to get rid of her we need to make few covert missions.

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82 lost on this mission, and SV almost died because he minrolled a pistol shot against 4HP Lost with 3-4 pistol damage at point blank range. Sharpshooters are excellent against the lost because pistols don't use ammo, so you could go wild.

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So yeah no wonder he got MVP. Enjoy your victory pose.

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At least some R&R for you all.

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#7 silencer_pl

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 11:57 PM

Months fly by  very quickly in vanilla game, so don't get used that you will be out forever (I'm looking at you SV). But since we now have ranking soldier of sergeant (not 1 of course), we can start hunting down the assassin. But of course the assassin also does not sleep.

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So yeah, each month things are getting more and more "exciting". Also I don't know what knowledge he gain. I don't know what will happen next.

On the mission front, we were asked by the Skirmisher faction to rescue their expedition lost in the "Lost" territory... This gives us a reward of an engineer, a soldier and some intel. Shouldn't be that tough if we are fighting the Lost, but don't be overconfident that 95% to hit miss can ruin your day, which almost made me pay the price. But at a trade for a wound + soldier + engineer + intel is a fair trade.

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Next mission was your standard destroy alien realy mission, but with a small twist. Due to the "good" weather (rain), our soldiers got free charge of concealment. And you know what that means if player gets some good toys to play with. Anyway the mission "introduced" (well this unit was introduced in Lost and Abandoned mission, but let's don't count tutorial), a purifier. An ADVENT unit armed with flamethrower. His attacks don't do damage but can cause a burn status. Not big deal if you have a mobile medic (which I always try to have). Another catch is if you crit kill him, he explodes (or maybe he has a chance to explode). Anyway....

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Wish they had better algorithm to detect if all soldier are present.
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#8 silencer_pl

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 10:30 PM

Moving on, Bradford suddenly announces that the first facility that is 2 regions away from the blacksite has now special guardian:

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The weapons you get from a scan in crashed Big Sky location is replaced with 6 day research under Experimental weapons tree.

And that stupid Chosen...

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Well my 5 day scan for supplies turned in 12 days. Guess I'll be moving on for that Engineer. 3 days of scanning down the drain.
On the mission front we've got another Heaven defense, but this one is different. This time, the civilians are bunched together in places and there are resistance armed forces to help you. In the early stage it sort of helps because there are quite a lot of the, but they are only doing 2 damage instead of 3-5 base XCOM rifles do, which is a shame. Even crit is not spectaluar +1 to damage, but hey the work as meet shield and their AI is pretty decent, trying to flank enemies.  Heck they even almost killed a facless, though they had to use all the manpower they had.

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That covert opt I sent to get rid of the Assassin was ambushed and the result had to be dealt personally. While it sounds scary, this mission was just like a walk in the park. So we were put in the Lost city, we had to reach evac zone, The next turn 1 reinforcment pod was dropped, but we were long ahead of their detection. So this map was like super easy, because entire path to the evac zone was clear. Only three enemies in evac zone were patrloing and they were 1 man pod. The reinfrocment pod was lost with the Lost. Anyway Firaxis, is this the best you can do? And we are talking legendary difficulty.

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So the part 1 is done, for part 2 we need a Lieutenant rank soldier which I don't have yet.

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Moving on, looks like the Etherals are getting more power:

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Rising fallen ADVENT as Zombies... Unfortunately that second facility was put in Western U.S. a region where I have no connection from Asia, not to mention that the first Facility is in Philippines so totally far from my reach, unless I get super lucky Facility Lead.
Next on mission we had yet again disrupt the transmitter, but this time with a twist because the Assassin showed up. Thankfully when the Chosen is around the timer is frozen, so that's one problem put on hold, but seriously fighting him is just almost guaranteed full team wounded and very high chance that somene will die. Guess Firaxis really wants dead XCOM soldiers.

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And speaking of facility lead:

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Hope it will be that in Wester Norht America. I don't want to fight Alien leader with 5 team having barely reached basic Magnetic Weapons. Anywho our next mission was again a supply raid, but this time our bonus of the day was some armed civilians, the thing is I couldn't find them anywhere at least not while I was looking for aliens. Thankfully we have those base Magnetic weapons, because Mutons have appeared. Shame we don't have gauss weapons, but at least a shotgun to the face should be nice, too bad I'm not that lucky on the dropped loot. I think they've toned it down as I can see only 1 loot per mission and most of the time I cannot pick it.
Anyway our team of well known Commandos is finally bondend.

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(There is still no heavy weapon from SW universe :( it would probably look cool for that poster)

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And the final mission for today was your standard free the prisoner from the cell. Nothing special, except it was easy. Way too easy after you play Long War.

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#9 silencer_pl

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 10:43 PM

So we've got that facility lead and it did in fact us unlocked the facility in Western U.S. So at least I don't have to speed race there and it also happened to get a minor brakethrough so it holds 2 pips, the one in Phillipines also holds 2 pips so that's potential of 4 pips to destroy and we are unfortunate that we are already 1 pip away from the final countdown. I sort of hate that each month advents gets pips of number of facilities + 1 and all those pips could go to the main project. This in fact happened in this or last month - 2 pips to main project. We also have contact with the blacksite but that's only 1 pip? We are also building proving ground for the skulljack.
Anyway with the lead done we need to finish those gauss weapons to heavy some heavy guns. Preferably it would be nice to have 6 soldiers but I'm not quite there with Captain promotion. Our only Lt. is heavily wounded. But before we hit that facility we first had a mission to destroy 1 dark event. I had a choice of hidden event and those zombies. Zombies had 100 Intel to gain and was of difficult rating. While the other had a specialist which was less of a value to me right now. So I took Zombies, which then I wish I would take the other, because on that mission we had increased danger. Shen and Tygan warned that ADVENT released their meanest beasts that they hardly control. So it turned out that this mission had 2 Berserkers and 3-4 faceless. Another sault to the wound was that the only elevation point for my Sharpshooter was the place where the workstation was....
But we pull through somehow, without Magnetic SAW and Sniper rifles those Berserkers were a challenge. With big luck (75% to hit miss) we've killed the first one and used the other to help kill their own. Additionaly a lucky hacks from Zombie also helped a little (Turret control 56% and Mind Control random enemy 56%), those were the biggest helps otherwise I probably wouldn't pull this mission.

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(I'm not sure why Firaxis thinks that Sergeant rank is something to celebrate - soldiers gain their potential from Captain rank).

After this mission we kept drilling our path towards the Philippines and once we had Gauss Weapons, we made a strike at the Facility in Western U.S. But before that, meet new member of our team:

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No more mind reading, now it's time for more hand to hand action with some ice cold gin and whiskey. So to the facility....

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Well know, the mission was marked as very difficult. I'm not sure whether I should read that as just some pods or is this indication that there will be encounter. Anyway brilliant. Not only the game screwed me with the facility location it gave me another chosen to fight. Not only he is the super psi bastard, he has 40HP and 3 armor. Though he is suspicable to HE, I didn't bring my Grenadier (though I had some grenades). Thanks at least I had those heavy magnetic upgrade so SV got new Sniper Rifle. Anyway this guy is pure pain, just staying at the end of the map spamming spectral zombies behind our backs. Those zombies had 6HP and have the ability to be a walking bombs.
So we slowly pushed killing the pods moving back and forth trying to pull every pod before him, or just pull him and then kill the pods. Generally it went smooth. The final pod was 3 sectoids and a Muton. Pretty nasty. Once we killed all the pods now it was him. First thing to worry about him is the mind control. Don't be fighting at long ranges because he will just mind control your units (unless you have mind shield but I was not prepared for this). Not only he can mind control, he can mind control multiple soldiers. Next he has ability to summon spectral army of stupid lancers. When that army is on the field is protected with Stasis. Because of that stupid army we have a first casualty... which makes me mad, because that army spawned in such a position I didn't have any LOS on them to prevent any attack.

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Once that army of his was down, he also went down.

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With map cleared we returned home (the body of fallen comrade was retrieved).

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As a bonus, we now have another bond mates.

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Bonus fact: Those posters can be found in the cantina:

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Bonus fact #2: In Commander's archive it is said that the chosen ones were probably Humans.

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#10 silencer_pl

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:32 PM

The descrution of that facility gave us more time to fight the Etherals. Shame for the loss but we have to move on. Unfortunately this activated Warlocks hunt for XCOM. Soon after the facility mission we yet again have to defend the Heaven in Syberia. And oh man, this time it was pure nightmare.
We arrive and assist local resistance to defend form the assault. The initial pods that we encounter were 2 mutons and sectods. That's pretty lots of HP to deal with and although we have the damage, we don't have the HP to tank their shots and mutons took heavy covers. We took them out, but they focused on civilians, so we lost 2 out 4 civilians in this part.
Next stage was even more brutal. 3 bersekers, one almost killed Scorch, only because he minrolled the damage. Berserkers have tons of HP so we just need to focus fire on him and yet hide from other units like MEC and stun lancer. The resistance force "Activade" two other Berserkes who juss steamrolled through the civilians. Generally AI only kills 1 civilian per turn, but 2 berserkers just plowed through them 2 civilians per turn. Once we were able to reach the civilians only the minimal count was left and we had to redirect their attack on us. Unfortunately this cost another life and we lost Pu Jin.

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But the heaven is safe so no income penalty.

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We make a contact with New India and then proceed to prepare a Supply Raid from Point of Interest. This supply raid is quite different and pretty annoying. The main goal is to find some chest located on the battlefield and mark them for pickup from Firebrand. What's the catch:

1. Signaling the pickup breaks concealment.
2. Every second turn ADVENT marks 2 random chests (probably two closest to XCOM within dash range). Once marked you have 1 turn to grab them. Yes 1 turn, meaning that either you let it go or risking activation of multiple pods - including Lost in this case.

So yeah that's pretty brutal mission. In other bad news, in this mission we first meet a Shieldbearer and a new unit - Spectre. It's another stupid enemy that has "I win abilities". What this unit do. First he has lightning reflexes, second he has vanish teleport, third he has a gun, fifth he can climb walls, and final he just runs to any unit and performs shadowbind.
What does it do? It renders soldier unconscious, created a copy of him with 10 HP and runs away - so yeah that's 3 move action - stupid. Once you kill the clone the soldier wakes up. I'm not sure if killing the Spectre first destroys the clone. Didn't have the chance to do so. So it really gets annoying, Enemies just have now 4 units that take control of your soldiers where you only have 1 and you must invest a lot of time and resources...
Also another salt to the wound is that the Lost swarm ALWAYS spawn in the same place and it's ALWAYS where you begin. It's stupid their spawn points should be random so it should be high risk high reward throwing explosions. Also ADVENT mostly ignores them if your soldiers are in certain range. I don't know how I pulled this mission, but managed to get 6 / 11 chests. Not bad loot, but too frustrating.

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Basically what I think is that Firaxis forces us to bring bonded squad mates. Forget roleplaying just bond like mad man.

Moving on, we continue to expand our borders to the Indonesia (I know I said Philippines and I don't know why). This of course is now the turf of the third Chosen...

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So yeah 3 chosen on our tail right now... fun times with friends eh? While contacting New Indesian resource, we get another guerrilla ops, the 2 known choices are prevent Major Brakethrough (moderate) and increased intel cost by 100% (difficult). Both missions have a warrning label. At first I thought I'll do prevent Intel usage, but then I thought I'm reaching the limit of contacts so I could endure a month and don't risk 2 pips to the main project. This mission had warrning that only ADVENT units will be present. And that was fine with me. We will se how Mr. T will deal with the MECs with that new skill and it was great. Just pure destruction of basic MEC (providing it connects).
Unfortunately with Advanced Troops half cover is just anti crit protection because the troopers have 70% chance to hit against low cover, And the advanced priest has Mind Control... which is silly now. I want 3 armor slots now just to wear mind shield in all soldiers... anyway that was pretty fast mission, shame that Sunflash had to be super wounded.

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Now we are about to finish 2nd part of the hunt for the Assassin. We just need to again run away from the ambush. And the only the dangerous part is the only reinforcement pod that drops on us. We are now encountering M2 ADVENT units so we are now hard pressed for plasma weaponry, but right now we need armor.

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Unfortunately the 3rd part requires a freaking Major and I'm still begging for Captain promotion!!

Oh and I forgot, the assassin wounded one of our Engineers. Because I need more delay in Engineering department.
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#11 silencer_pl

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:18 PM

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.

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And we get a third bonding in SC team:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ;).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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I almost fell from the chair after that. So the so called master tactician was outsmarted.

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#12 silencer_pl

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 11:42 PM

Bonus shot: Mystery murder

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#13 silencer_pl

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 08:58 PM

We are waiting for Zombie to recover and scanning for crucial Avenger Power and Resistance contacts to expand further west. I'm getting a little worried, because we are mid August now, and since we've seen Archons, that means other M3 units will spawn, like for example Andromedons or Heavy MECs and we are constantly delayed in Plasma Weapons because of other upgrades. Well with those other upgrades our damage is sort of very close to plasma guns, so we are not hurt that badly. But still we need to kill those Chosen soon.

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We probably have a month before the Assassin will strike. We should manage to catch her before that. Anyway our next mission is to rescue another engineer and 2 snipers in Lost area. This mission was very brutal. Mostly thanks to the one Archon and his blazing pinions. Not only he has big defense and it's blast radius is too high. And of course enviroment is paper thin.

The sabotage Avatar progress destroyed 2 pips of progress so we again have breathing room. A facility in East Africa was built. It will delay our path to Western U.S. but it will be worth it. And of course all 3 active facilities are protected by the Leaders so yeah... In any case, let's hope Zombie will not get wounded on that missions, the chances are low but as general any chance is like 90% of happening. We've also built finally the Training Centre. This allows us to upgrade the bonds we have to the next level if possible. Of course our first pair is SV and Hobbes. It also allows us to assign general skills to other soldiers - sort of bonus skills from old AWC. Unfortunately SV did not roll any additional skills (the lazy bum).
In the meantime we have another counter Dark Event mission. I opted for another scientist to get those plasma guns ASAP. And considering it's a destroy relay it's not that hard pressing unlike hack the workstation or protect the datatap - 2 worst missions in late game. In this mission we were this close to getting that facility lead.

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I've sort of hate the odds in skullmining. There is no way to lower the defense like you can get in MECs through bluescreen rounds (and that bonus is not that great either).


September begins and sort of the gloves are off.

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But we are ready as ready we can be.

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So let's do this. However this mission is not that ordinary mission. First of all, you need to go all in. You are warned that failure means you will not be able to ever assault this stronghold again. Secondly there is nasty surprise and if I wouldn't read about it, I probably be in uber trouble. So once we begun the mission it was like, ok there is a room you need to go to, so go. The map is split in small various rooms, some empty some with pods. The first pod were Chrysallids all 4 of them. Good thing they moved to a place where all 4 were in blast radius of explosive barrel. Doesn't require to be a genius to use that explosive barrel. Ok Chryssalids are simple enemies - dangerous but easy to kill. The second  pod we encountered was Heavy MEC, 2 elire troopers and advanced shield bearer. While I brought bluescreen rounds even with the "bonus" Major Zombie had like super low chances of controlling it. Anyway we managed to kill all except the Shieldbearer who run off to his friends. Unfortunately one of this firends was an Andromedon. This is bad, but we managed with only few wounds.
This was the last pod. We reached the objective of this area, and moved to the final arena with the Assassin. It was a small arena starting with 2 chrysalids and a big "monolith" in the rear. Once close to the "monolith" the Assassin spawned and we had a battle. And here where it start to get tricky. The battle against the Assassin wasn't that hard in the beginning but she soon critically hit Sunflash and I was down 1 man (he was bleeding out) and I forgot to assign revival protocol to Zombie. Once she was down, she was moved to the sarcophagus. There she regenerates her HP and armor. She has 2 turns to regen to 100%. The sarcophagus has 80HP and additionally 2 enemies spawn. At current alien technology levels it could be 2 Andromedons or 2 Heavy MECs, but we were spared such horrors. Additionally the Sarcophagus takes bonus damage from bluescreen rounds. I could only bring 2 rounds and only Zombie had rapid fire and thankfully holo targeting, though in his first volley his missed one round. Unfortunately we were not able to destroy the sarcophagus  but we damaged it  by ~50%. And again we had to fight her. She of course additionally spawns 2 priests. But yeah, with 1 man down I had to make only the right moves. Once she was down again we destroyed the Sarcophagus this time. Now again we had to fight her, but she was able to regenaret only 68% of her life. Once we killed her for the third time it was over.
In the end she sort of felt happy(?) that we killed her and wished us success reclaiming the Earth.

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This victory demands my personal touch.

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So we have our first minor victory. Etherals were not pleased. However we cannot rest. Zombie once again has to find a entrance to the Warlocks stronghold, because we do not have free Skirmisher, there will be probably ambush and it worries me.
In the meantime we have a mission from the council guy. Again capture enemy VIP. unfortunately we failed to capture him, because of the overzelous Archon and his blzing pinions blowing up the car where VIP was... shame because that Intel would be nice and it's not some little numbers.

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And again awaiting for Zombies mission to end we move west with territory claim. Another facility gets constructed in New Chile. Meanwhile we get another counter dark event mission. Considering that my top soldiers are away or wounded I chose the "lowest" in difficulty mission but hardest in execution. Protect datatap for 104 Intel... I bet that Firaxis never played that late into the game, because datatap on late game is borderline impossible to pull through. You have 48HP devise that gets shot 8 damage each turn, XCOM has 3 turns to reach to the device and activate the pod that is atacking, but in the way there is that one pod that will intercept you and 2 more pods near the datatap that will take over shooting the device once the main attacking team is fighting us. This is just plain stupid, and I thought they will come to their senses, but no. After this mission I went and grabbed a mod that almost doubles the HP for late game, so the mission wouldn't be borderline impossible.  And thanks to bleed out I didn't lose a soldier because this is not XCOM, this is stupid mission design.

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#14 silencer_pl

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:46 PM

Zombie has finally finished his covert operation. Unfortunately it ended in ambush encounter. But through using upper floors of the abandoned buildings he and Hobbes managed to lose the ambushing force. They slowly moved to the evac zone and performed a small ambush of their own.

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With that done, we can now assault Warlocks stronghold. And we do so with haste. This time a little more "prepared" though I'm still dreading Andromedons. First room we entered was a dead end and it hold 2 MECs, heavy and normal. Fortunately those were not a problem. We slowly moved to next rooms killing more oposition in process. When we finally reached the final room of this level:

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Oh my, that's the worst pod guarding the last room. But I had an idea. I just gathered everyone near the doors and dashed to the end zone and totally avoided that pod of bollocks.
Now the second part. It went surprisingly super easy. We killed in one turn, and his death was dealt by DoT damage (lucky max rolls on acid and poison). Killing him with DoT grants us full actions on the first turn of the Sarcophagus. It took us 2 turns to destroy it, so he returned with 68% of restored health. This also went smooth.

So that's two down. Unfortunately we did not perform any hunt for the Hunter, so he might get the assault on Avenger, but we will prioritize the hunt. And another victory pose:

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Unfortunately no another cinematic with angry Etherals. Soon after that mission we again are under the countdown of the Avatar project, fortunately this pip went into one of the facilities. So we prepare the assault on the facility we had contact from long time. 3 pips to be destroyed + another pip from the Sabotage resistance order, so looks promising. It's guarded by the alien leader, and we don't have team to fight him liberally. I've gathered a rag tag of a team and hope for the best.
First we find a pod of Andromedone and Heavy MEC then Heavy Mec and Elite Priest. We performed ambush on the second pod, killing them fast. Then we spot the Uber Snek:

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In previous version they generally stood still in one place ready to be detected, but in this case they just freely roam I see. Not good. Not the best position to me, and there was this Andromedon and Heavy MEC nearby. I've made a hasty retreat and the snek vanished somewhere. Didn't come to us at all and couldn't find him around the corner. So I've made ambush on that heavy pod. I've killed the MEC easily but Andromedon was something different. I tried using NKF to block any damage (and I forgot to give him Parry) with his deflect skill but no dice he was beaten to a pulp. But thanks to bleed out we did not lose him. Now to find that snek. And oh my was I surprised:

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That was the vilest Sneaky McSneakerson move... providing with his react to my every move, he tongue grabbed NKF and since I did not have anyone that had visual on him, when I moved Mr. T to shoot him NKF went unconscious.... And we only had revival protocol. I've tried to dish as much damage as possible, I know I didn't came to kill him. Unfortunately we "lost" another soldier before he escaped. Now with 4 soldiers I had to carry on, And because of the UI not showing me that I will activate a pod that I had marked by the Reaper I've almost lost next soldier (thanks bleed out). But lucky for us everything went well. Bruised but not beaten we get away with pile of debris behind us.

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#15 silencer_pl

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:19 PM

So again we have a breathing room for our fight, still without any free resistance contacts we scavenge what we can. Currently supplies are in high demands, because plasma weapons are coming soon and that will be expensive upgrade. We also await for the covert ops against the Hunter to finish.
Meanwhile we have another capture the VIP from the council guy. Let's hope this time it will be better....

What a wishful thinking this was. Not only our specialist fucked up 86% hack increasing the defense of all the ADVENT units in the area, 1 of the soldiers was 1 tile away from the evac zone on the last possible turn, we did manage to capture the VIP but we are 1 soldier down. Not killed but captured, so let's pray there will be covert ops or a jailbreak mission to rescue him.

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With new month the last Chosen prepares for his ultimate defeat. Unfortunately we probably won't make it before he upgrades, because the second part of covert ops will take 14 days and the third one is also scheduled for the same time, so it will be a month till we make a breach. Hopefully no Gatekeeers or Sectopods will be encountered.

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As for next mission we have another heaven defense, this time filled with chrysalids and oh boy did they "fixed" chrysalids. If memory serves me right, in vanilla when chrysalid just straight killed a unit, the chrysalid posion did not take effect and created cocoon. This time it does, and it will spawn 2 more young chrysalids. But I think it shares the same problem as in original X-COM where in Superhuman Chrysalids from zombies were weaker than the ones spawned. With only 6HP and 1 Armor comparing to 13HP and 1 armor they are just cannon fodder - dangerous cannon fodder. However there is a bright side. Generally the chrysalids like to burrow often and then they forgo hunting for civilians. With proper scouting from our Reaper we managed to get 8 civilians while rest was killed by ADVENT or Chrysalids. Yes we had to fight like 3-4 cocoons, but it wasn't that hard.

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After this mission we finally get plasma rifles, but only Specialists will use them. We need plasma shotguns and LMGs to be more dangerous, but at least that's a start. Our next mission is to counter one of the dark events. At this stage we only get either very difficult or difficult missions. Unfortunately most of the top tier soldiers are wounded or tired so I chose a weaker mission for scientist, that will at least prevent more units in next missions. In this mission we had to kill field commander, who was nowhere to be found, so we found a lone group of Codex and Sectoids, killed them and waited for the drop zone to spawn for the commander and go there. Hunter also came for a visit, but he had a quick exit, with another joke on at his cost. When he made his move he boldly said: "I'm coming for you". Well the thing is he got himself between me and Sunflash. First Sunflash used Rupture on him critting for like 18 damage, then I've used Deadeye critting for like 28 damage and he went down. So it was the other way round, I was coming for him. In any case the Field commander wasn't eager to run to the evac, so we had to find him and kill him.

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Bonus fact:

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#16 Space Voyager

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 04:16 PM

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#17 silencer_pl

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:40 PM

So while we await for the covert ops against the hunter to finish and Resistance Communication room to be build we get an oportunisty to rescue our captured soldier. The bad news is, it is of very difficult variety, another bad news is, that there is the king snek there too. Fortunately we found him pretty much instantly and finally killed him. Ha this time it was we who were Sneaky McSnekearsons.

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Further in the mission there were 2 Andromedons, a force that are too strong for us, we managed to kill one with the pod of 2 codexes and used cunning plan to make a great escape.

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As new month approaches, the hunter finished his training.

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Pretty annoying upgrade, but at least he is not immune to bullets. And that would be terrible.

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But he is no yet ready for Avenger assault. But we are ready for assault on his stronghold. And now with plasma shotguns. So it's just third time the same thing. This time there were no Andromedons, but still we had to use guile and cunning to reach the inner chamber. Once we forced him to face us he went down rather fast. Again first round he went under 2 shots. We were not able to kill the sarcophagus in 2 turns, so round 2 was initiated where again he just died without making anything.

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And so that is it. The final big guy is dead. Shame that there were no mor cutscenes with the Etherals being angry or something just like when we killed the first one. Oh well.

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So at this point there practically are no real dangers awaiting for us. We still have 2 facilities defended by the alien rulers, but since no one is actively hunting us and with the monthly sabotage order we are pretty much secured. The resistance commes were built and we captured all of the Europe and Oceania, have contact with the Facility in Eastern Africa. We can proceed with establishing contacts in both Americas and control the wolrd once more. But in the meantime another Dark Event counter.
This was pretty much funny, although displayed very difficult the addional bonueses made it a little easier. The additional things were Lost and only mechanical units - which means MECs, Codexes, Spectres and we had our first Sectopod. Though we had researched plasma cannons, unfortunately resources were thin, but I've packed team full of grenadiers with bluescreen rounds and that did the trick too.

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Bonus fact:

The posters can spawn in tactical map:

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#18 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:51 PM

So since all the chosen are defeated the game sort of now runs it's vanilla course, there is no time rush, however each mission now we are seeing Sectopods which is boring and a Gatekeeper appeared (buuu). On the bright side we got inspiration for Hunter weapons, and man this rifle is a beast.

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Not only it's powerful sniper rifle with 4 built in mods, but it uses 1 AP to fire and you can fire twice (or maybe it was due to hair trigger - didn't saw a popup so I don't know), but is sure does look good on SV right?

In any case 3 more missions behind us, capture the VIP, extract supplies (8 creates captured) and hack the chest to prevent ADVENT having elemental resistances. Also again Firaxis just made things too much annoying with late game missions. Low timers one thing, but why the fuck ALL the pods must be near the objective. Like literraly everyone is near the objective, specially in the datatap , where in 3 turns it has like 50% HP and you can't force 12 aliens to shoot at you, someone will always aim for that thing.

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Also since we won't have assault on Avenger by the chosen, let me brief you how it looks like. So ADVENT brought some turrets on APCS that each turn deal 2 damage to Avenger structural integrity and the Chosen has brought a big ass cannon, that needs charging by a mobile reactor, each shot takes 80 damage to the Avenger and starting health is 400HP, there are lots of aliens to kill too. So it's not that simple but with couple of sharpshooters, a reaper you can sneak it and destroy the generator using squadsight. You have sqaud of 12 soldiers.
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#19 silencer_pl

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 12:36 AM

We are slowly pushing forward. With fully upgraded resistance communications we have pushed through entire Africa getting continent bonus to have vest build instantly and reached Chile. This gives us range for 2 out of 4 active facilities just in case we need emergency avatar reduction. The one in Chile is not guarded by Alien Ruler.
And speaking of rulers we had inspiration for the Viper King, speeding up dissection up to few hours. This gives us unique light armor perfect for a sniper, so you guess who will get it right?

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In mission department we had few guerilla ops to counter some dark events, some easy ones, some more challenging. Either Sectopod or Gatekeeper is a common sight, I'm not sure which I one prefer to see, as both are just boring enemies to fight - "Hey look it's a enemy with loads of HP and armor". I'm also seeing pods with lots of cdexes. Though you can easily dispatch those things. Bluscreen rounds / EMP Bombs work wonders on Codexes, spectres, Gatekeepers and Sectopods. Frankly every EMP bomb made Gatkeeeper shutdown for a turn. Don't waste Freezing bomb on those 2 as they have enough APs to just act on the second turn.
We also had a another heaven defense, this one went almost stellar, lost only 5 civilians (would be 4 but I sacrificed one to the gods).

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We also had to go to that Facility in Chile, almost got our ass kicked, but it ended in some wounds for entire squad.

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The rest of the missions was just funt time with friends.

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We also put our first SPARK unit into field. I think they've changed them so they finally have weapon mods. In ways of equipment we are only lacking Powered armor and alien psi amp.
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#20 silencer_pl

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 09:37 PM

We are slowly getting near the end. And for the Etherals it's the beginning of the project. That's right, through our covert operations, we removed all the pips from the fortress and few pips from some of the facilities without destroying them. We also destroyed facility where King Archon was residing. We had some luck eliminating it via Repeater - 20% chance to proc and like 56% to hit.  So right now Avatar Progress is at 1 pip.
We have Researched powered armor and all the Chosen weapons, but we are short on almost everything to make the upgrade from Predator armor to warden armor. Not to mention building W.A.R suits and Wraith Suits. From contacted regions we are only missing Brasil due to insufficient Resistance Contacts, but we can gain that through covert operations. So the end is just behind the corner. I probably could forgoe the Warden armor and that, but a part of me wants to heave everything maxed out.

Bonus stuff:



SV just shows that he is the snipiest sniper.
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