XCOM 2 Succession Game Series – Mission 22: Operation Manic Altar

It’s been quite a while since I last had the baton in my hand. The last time I played seems to have been on August 31st but luckily, I get to play XCOM 2 again. I completely forgot about it at the end of last year and when I realised that it was my turn and that I wasn’t at home for it, I figured we should skip me… but the next person in line wasn’t ready either, so uh… Hey, here we are, relatively late into January and uhm, I’m back at it again. Since the last time that I played XCOM 2, there hasn’t happened too much. Bad guys are doing bad stuff, people are getting hurt, the base is eating up tax money and people really hated the colours I picked for our soldiers. Overall, it seems like more of the same. Hence, our job will be to research stuff and upgrade things. Oh, and to make sure that no bad guys get away with the very bad things they wanna do… I’m still not 100% sure what the aliens want but hey, that’s what you get for not playing for five months, right?

My internet sucks right now but apparently Multiplayer is a thing… what?

Sadly, as I’m currently being plagued by horrible problems with my ISP, I won’t be able to upload the video of my turn. Instead, you’ll just have to believe everything I say about how cool everyone looks and how many times they missed and whatnot. I’ll try taking more screenshots this time as well! If you’re interested, you can find the last turn btw over here at Rakuno’s blog. Definitely check it out!

First up, I reassigned engineers so that we excavate the rooms that only needed three days before being done. I feel like it’s better to excavate two rooms in three days each instead of one room in eight days, especially given that the Avatar program is proceeding so quickly. Also, we need the rooms for the “Shadow Chamber Facility”. Next up, I decided to take one of the rookies and train them in becoming a ranger. Given that one of our current rangers is gravely injured, we gotta get more of these guys. Also, we still have three specialists, three snipers and three grenadiers available right now but only two rangers given that one of them is gravely injured. You can never be too prepared! Having one more ranger isn’t gonna be too bad, right? Next up, we could then start training Specialists, Grenadiers and Snipers, but it will take a while and a while isn’t exactly what we have. Research and Engineering seem to go well, though, so I didn’t touch anything there quite yet. 

I did purchase a new tactic called “Sharpshooter: Deadshot” which increases the crit chance by 10% which is pretty neat! I like it when we hit stuff and it gives us the big numbers, after all. :) The other thing I purchased was the “Integrated Warfare” tactic which increases PCS bonuses (Personal Combat Sims… yes, I can google stuff.) – these are bonuses to aim, hit points, movement, etc. that you equip in the armoury. They can be replaced but not removed, though, which Naithin (in-game) doesn’t seem to mind. Of course, I checked with Naithin (IRL) if that truly is okay but according to him it’s A-OK to use PCSs on anyone for the matter and they’ll be much needed in the future. A boost to perception via PCSs on the snipers, for instance, could go a very long way! However, PCSs can only be earned through missions, meaning that we just gotta hope that something good drops, I guess? The other option would be to buy them from the black market via Intel although that comes with its own set of problems. For a total of 75 Intel, I got a PCS for Perception/Aim as well as a PCS for Agility/Dodge on the black market. We’re still sitting at 162 Intel, so I think we’re good, but we probably will need more intel as time goes on, so I’m a bit worried that we might not be good… Hope that wasn’t a rookie mistake. Lizz Winterfield (my avatar) gets the Superior Perception PCS (+19 Aim). I wanted to give Bookah a PCS for Agility but apparently, they already got the PCS: Advanced Speed (+3 Mobility) installed, meaning that they’d lose that if I were to use it on them.

Given that we’re currently not able to make contact with Chile, I decided to upgrade our Resistance Comms and to staff them with another Engineer. This may delay the excavation by a bit but we at least will have better luck with stopping alien baddies. This also increases the number of possible contacts to 12 (aka +4!). The reason why I want to make contact with Chile is that we then can make contact with New Australia where the aliens are planning mischief. They probably had their sights on Australia given the fact that that’s where all the bad guys go (I’m kidding). Either way, while I was scanning for Chile, a few days passed and we successfully excavated the two rooms that I mentioned before. In one of them, we are now constructing the Shadow Chamber while the other will now house the Advanced Warfare Center or AWC for short which will allow soldiers to gain a bonus ability outside of their current class when they are promoted, strengthening future soldiers in the process. At the same time, though, an engineer can be staffed in the AWC to decrease the time soldiers take to recover from injuries, which is pretty great! The issue with this, though, is that we now need more power again (ugh, the struggle), so naturally, I’ll have to upgrade the Power Relay which will require new supplies… which we don’t have… I hope, we get some soon? Also, since we got some unused Elirium Cores, I started up a project to create a Spider Suit. Gotta maximise efficiency… or something!

Now, making contact with New Australia proved difficult as well as I bought that PCS earlier using Intel. Oh, so that’s what Intel is for. hence, I spent a while scanning for more intel… Luckily, Chile should help us with the income, though! So it’s not all bad! While I was now scanning for intel, we got a new gun researched and I assigned new research to decrypt the ADVENT datapad! We still need to get more intel going but before that, it’s finally time for some action! In the Eastern U.S., a UFO was found. Our Mission is to secure the disabled UFO! Operation Manic Altar is a difficult mission, according to the game, so I’m looking forward to hopefully not losing anyone. The mission will feature me (Lizz “Magi” Winterfield, Major/Sniper), “Nerk” (Captain/Specialist) from Nerdy Bookahs, “Naithin” (Lieutenant/Ranger) from Time to Loot, “Volcano” (Lieutenant/Grenadier), “Black Widow” (Captain/Specialist), and “Endalia” (Captain/Sniper) from Narratess!

Given that we start the mission while concealed, I spent the first turn moving ahead and spotting two enemies in the distance. Given that we are concealed, I’d be able to set up an ambush but sadly, that failed as we got spotted beforehand. We still managed to take down one enemy with the help of a grenade and some focused fire, while my avatar took down the Archon that flew directly above us. “Black Widow” sent out a heal to Bookah using her drone while Naithin and Endalia moved in closer to the UFO. There were only five more turns until the alien response, so we have to move quickly. Sadly, though, I didn’t think there’d be aliens inside the disabled UFO. Naithin stormed in, opened the door, and was surprised by three ADVENT Elite Officers that were waiting randomly in front of the door. As two of them moved out, Naithin buckled down inside the ship facing off against one sole alien. One of the ADVENT Elite Officers that left the ship, got hit by Endalia’s Overwatch, missed a melee attack and was then finished off in the next turn using Endalia’s “Lightning Hands” skill followed up by a pistol shot after she repositioned. Bookah then sent their drone to Naithin who suffered 7 Damage earlier! Bookah then hit a 41% shot at an enemy for 8 damage, successfully finishing them off!

As Naithin was backed into a corner with the enemy within the UFO having the advantage, he decided to throw a frag grenade finishing off the enemy but also destroying the distress signal, hence removing the annoying countdown. Sadly, this was loud enough to alert the nearby reinforcements, which is why a Big Daddy and two naked aliens stormed in. Naithin was still in Overwatch, resulting in him taking down one of the naked lads. Meanwhile, the other one died after Naithin shot them in the next turn. The only issue left was the Big Daddy that was hiding around the corner while Naithin’s armour was nearly shredded completely. We had to reposition and fight on better terms! While everyone tried to get to Naithin, Lizz was gonna stand guard and keep an eye on the Big Daddy (“Andromedon”). Sofia was healing Naithin while Cpt. Bookah Nerk kept Suppression Fire up on the Big Daddy. Lizz and Endalia worked together to take down the last few hit points on the big guy! Then, Bookah homed in and looted an Elerium Core, Superior Laser Sight, an Alien Data Cache, and a Superior Expanded Magazine from the corpse. Bookah’s drone was able to stun the armour that was still standing. The Andromeda, after all, is an enemy type whose armour keeps fighting even if the enemy inside is already dead. Given that Naithin was still relatively close to the enemy, “Black Widow” granted him a Defense Boost using the “Aid Protocol” ability. Then, Lizz and Endalia, again, worked together to gun down the Andromedon for a second type, finishing them off and completing the mission successfully.

The mission rating was “excellent” as no soldiers were killed, only five were harmed, nine out of nine enemies got killed, and it only took us nine turns to “disable” the distress signal on top of seizing control of the disabled UFO. I’d say this was a success, eh? Well, the game doesn’t really think so. Lizz wasn’t really hit all that much and apparently is wounded for five days while Bookah, Naithin, Black Widow, and Endalia are all “gravely wounded”, taking them out for ten to twelve days! This is quite surprising, especially given that Tessa didn’t get hit, I believe? I won’t question the game logic too much. “Sometimes it do be like that”. Either way, Sofia “Black Widow” Vasilyeva earned a promotion to Major and given that their skills are mostly about the Battle Medic playstyle, I assigned them the “Ever Vigilant” ability, allowing them to get a free overwatch status at the end of the turn if all their actions were spent on moves. I believe that this ability is pretty neat as it allows you to reposition without having to worry about not getting a shot off at the end of your turn. You’ll still provide some DPS, in essence, even if you have to reposition due to enemy movements! The items we recovered consisted of two Elerium Cores, one Superior Laser Sight weapon upgrade (+15% crit chance + more if you’re closer to a target), one Superior Expanded Magazine (+3 Clip Size), one Alien Data Cache, one Archon Corpse, two ADVENT Trooper Corpses, one ADVENT Stun Lancer Corpse, two Sectoid Corpses, one ADVENT Officer Corpse, one Andromedon Wreck, 93 Alien Alloys, 59 Elerium Crystals, and 132 Supplies. This will effectively allow us to upgrade our power again, which I did, leaving us at 52 supplies but 27/29 Power, 8/12 contacts, and a bunch of other resources.

Anyway, that was it for this very delayed post. My turn was fun and I’ve noticed how the strategic and management side of things on the Avenger has been more fun for me than the actual mission itself. I didn’t feel like it was too difficult even though it certainly is a bit tricky that the Big Daddy’s armour moves on even when its host dies. Oh well – Luckily, we were able to stun it in time. Next up in line will be Kluwes from Many Welps. Make sure to check them out! You can also find Rakuno’s post from before my turn over here if you haven’t read it yet. And, if you want to check out all the participants, past posts and future posts, make sure to check out this page on Naithin’s blog as well! Hope you enjoyed this one.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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