Tuesday, October 4, 2016

XCOM 2 AAR - Meet the team

And so it begins. Our first mission here is one where you, technically, are not leading it. As a distraction for the mission to save yourself, a small squad works to do something very flashy but strategically dull: blow up a fancy monument. (If you play the tutorial, you'll go through the mission that saves you, but this is more fun and gets the game started quicker)

This is our first mission, starting with the squad based combat, using a group of random soldiers. (They'll later be customized). To give you an idea of how combat looks:

The game map is split into tiles, and height very much does matter. This particular map doesn't have much in the way of height differences, but it can make a large impact on how strategy goes with other maps. It's our turn first, and because we're stealthy, we're in "Concealment". The enemy doesn't know we're here, and aren't on the lookout for us. This gives our group time to set up and establish a good location before gunning them down.

Above each of the soldiers, there's a bar that shows how much health they have left (5 in this case). Lose all health and they die, though occasionally we can stabilize them to prevent death. There are also two arrows detailing how many actions they have. Major actions like shooting end the turn, while moving or reloading does not. On the map itself you can see a blue outline - that details where that soldier can move and only consume one action, allowing them to potentially move and shoot on the same turn. The shields show how much cover that location gives. Ideally we want everyone behind full cover (a full shield) rather than half.

Moving forward, we spot our first group of enemies: plain ADVENT soldiers. They have the same health bars as ours, but only have 3 health each. Around them you can see the red squares - pass through one of them and we're spotted, ending concealment. You can also break concealment by ending a turn with no cover between you and the enemies or by making loud noises. (Say, by jumping through a window)

What we want to do is get everyone available to shoot. Then we break concealment, and each of our members gets a turn, while they run and hide. Who doesn't like a shooting gallery?

The moment is here. Klaus aka JCan gets the first shot. Do note that our weapons do 3-5 damage. A hit against the soldiers is an automatic kill. It's typical for most other enemies that they'll be able to take multiple shots to down, but these men are pure fodder.

Three shots, three kills. Everyone but Health gets a kill. They even dropped a goody bag that we can pick up. How kind of them. We continue on the monument, moving carefully now that they know we're here and won't be so easy to kill.

The next group proves to be far more alert and dangerous. Health moves up to grab the loot and spots them. Now that they're on high alert, they see her immediately, and run for cover themselves.

Each level of cover decreases hit chance by 20% and heavily reduces the chance of any critical shots. Gaius attempts a shot but fails, and the rest of the team scoots for cover as well. Our turn ended, the aliens get their own chance to fire. JCan finds himself the target of ADVENT's wrath, marked for death, he gets shot at twice.

The first shot he dodges, managing to only suffer a graze. The second hits full on, but thankfully fails to knock him out. One HP remaining. Our turn. Health flanks one soldier, getting an easy kill, and Stucken Schmidt shows that cover is overrated by lobbing a grenade underneath the other soldier. Only the officer is left, and he spends his last turn of life by wishing he had spent more time practicing marksmanship instead of preening and is brought down by two more grenades.

The area cleared, we place our charges and fly off as the monument is turned to rubble. Meanwhile the main team lead by C.O. Bradford rescues you from the aliens, bringing you back to their base.

And what a base it is.

In large part due to the late Dr. Shen's work, the resistance have managed to get an alien cargo vessel up and running. This is our mobile base, one from which we'll free humanity from the shackles of alien oppression.

On a final note, meet the team (so far):

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