Saturday, October 15, 2016

XCOM 2 AAR - Why is the bar on fire?!

Another day, another human betraying Humanity by allying with the aliens. Mr. Myterious has another mission for us: capture a collaborator and bring him back to base for some well-needed intel. The collaborator does seem to be living the rich life. A nice place, rich looking, with its own bar and a muton escort. All it cost him was his soul.

The group moves in, landing quietly on the nearby gas station. We have our prey in sight, a squad of heavy mecs to our right and in front the target and his escort.

Unfortunately, we wait a little too long in setting up the ambush, and the patrol spots Van Wezel. (Woops, misunderstood the concealment mechanic) Our squad can handle it though. Some of the squad was in place, enough for a decent ambush. The soldier and regular mec both go down, to Health and Hyme respectively. Lovenought gets two solid shots in on the archon, leaving a very injured archon, two mutons, and a heavy mec up against us. Susanne takes a shot from the mec (who I didn't realize went into overwatch on discovery) and she grenades it. Van Wezel fires two quick bursts into the heavy mec to bring it down. Hard to withstand close-range shots from that heavy looking shard gun.

On top of the building the muton has aggressively charged in. If it lives, it's in a great position to get some killing in. Lovenought finishes off the archon below, firing through the floor to kill it. He tries a shot on the muton but hits only cover. Health's pistol is more up to the task though and the muton goes down. Hyme uses her position lob a grenade on the muton. It works, giving Gaius a clear shot with her blade for killing the muton, but it does set the very nice bar on fire. The Germans of the team let out a yell of anguish as the bar continues burning.

All that's left is a small group of sectoids standing near our evac zone. And the VIP of course. Hyme drops down, but attracts the attention of the group to the north, which also contains a hiding archon. The small amount of fire we're able to bring to bear isn't enough to take the archon down before it gets to Hyme's position, and she finds herself the victim of a very painful plasma staff attack. Gaius as well gets disoriented from a sectoid's psionic burst.

Health kills a first sectoid, while Susanne and Van Wezel take down the archon. Hyme, handily enough has a medkit available for use. When the sectoid leaves its cover for a better firing angle, Gaius and Hyme are easily able to take it out. Damn, these things are stupid.

Incoming reinforcements, but we're very ready for them. Yay for target practice. The team has the drop zone mostly surrounded. The only way out is via the nearby parking lot. The squad drops down, and the captain is immediately killed. One soldier stupidly hides with his back to health, and she double taps right to the head. The trooper is a bit smarter, hiding in good cover behind a mini-van, but then he finds out why we left that avenue open. Susanne's rocket is more than capable of bringing him down in a fiery explosion.

Then what follows is a surprisingly quiet period. We could, if I wanted to, go hit the coordinates that we've obtained from the codex brain's dismantling, but I'd rather wait. Tygan and Shen both say they've got interesting things for us.

First online is a new laboratory for Tygan and his team. Should help. (Base reward is you effectively get an additional scientist. Two if you upgrade it. The European continent bonus, which we have, also gives a 20% boost to science)

Trajan finishes her psionic training. Well, finished isn't exactly accurate. She's able to use psionic powers, but she'll have to continue training to learn new ones. If she's not out on a mission or in sick bay, she'll be here in this dark chamber learning new spells abilities. (Psionics work very differently compared to other classes. They don't gain any benefit by going out in the field, as they don't go by experience. Instead, they train if they can. You're given the option of  three abilities each time you finish, with a heavier weighting towards abilities nearer to your skill level.) She should prove useful with a bit of training.

Tygan also unveiled a new armor upgrade: powered armor. Now our troops can be heavily armored, while suffering no penalties from the heavy weight. Truly amazing. It also looks fantastic. I couldn't ask for a better upgrade. (Comes with +2 health and +1 armor over the previous armor)

Finally, we have new weapons.  The new plasma rifles should serve us well, but the added difficulties in producing different plasma weapon variety compared to the ease of adapting magnetic weapons means that for most of the squad they won't have any upgrades for some time. Plasma varieties, at least. Shen does have some time to spare, and enhances the grenades and grenade launchers for the team.

The quiet must end though, and a new guerrilla op presents itself: get to an open security terminal and hack our way in to stop the aliens from armoring their troops for the month.The squad readies itself with the new equipment, and Trajan joins us. We're all eager to see how she does.

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