So, things so far are going pretty well. Part three of the Ret Xcom2 play through see’s things step up a gear. People get hurt, we meet new enemies and something interesting happens…
So we trot around the map, collecting resources and generally looking amazing. When we get a taste of our first dark event. Now apparently these offer you two outcomes (effectively penalties), the first, we get chased around the map by a UFO. The second, the doom counter moves forward 3 weeks by a traitor in the resistance. The chance to halt the doom counter while being able to wave at a UFO proves too much. Alas, I can’t click it as it’s not ready yet. It will involve attacking an enemy base, which I’m guessing will be hard, so I best get ready.
The next few missions go reasonably well. I’m picking up a large amount of loot which I’m using to steadily increase the effectiveness of my soldiers weapons and on a whole, the squad (even Nick) are behaving admirably. In fact, on one mission, on the very last action Chris manages a 28% Hail Mary of a shot, to take out a Sectoid in a superb position, no doubt saving half the squads lives.
I’ve noticed that my skill at the first game(s) is probably the reason I’m doing so well. When enemies spawn, usually on your flank, I’ve often already got at least one squaddie on overwatch to help dampen the effect. The habit of going for the cover that protects from more sides rather than just the best cover is also serving me well. Unfortunately this meant that when the brown sticky stuff hit the metallic shiny whirring thing, I was over exposed and it didn’t go well.
The mission was a retaliation site: the alien overlords apparently not liking the quality of coffee in a region. They decided to raise this objection by killing everyone. If you’ve ever been in a Starbucks first thing, you’ll recognise that compunction.
We drop near a river bed and immediately a scene of devastation is playing out around us. Nick, Steph, Kev and a grunt survey the burnt out cars, damaged buildings and evidence of an organised resistance. We move forward, Steph first as frankly, she appears to be unkillable. I’ve barely got half the squad into position when we trigger not one, but two spawns. We’re now facing a squad of one Sectoid and two grunts in front of us, two Sectoids and one lance wielding grunt to the right.
Choli and Nick are immediately exposed. Luckily though Nick was already on overwatch and manages to cut down one of the grunts. However, the rest are all in cover before I can finish my turn. Being exposed on two flanks means I have to fall back slightly to cut down their angles, and as I’ve only got Kev’s ‘go’ left, there’s no real point attacking or using grenades to take out their cover as i’d have no one left to take advantage of it. I slip Kev into overwatch and brace myself for a pummeling
We get pummeled. Choli takes two shots too the chest leaving her with only one HP left. She panics, and runs into a crossfire and fires (and misses) at the nearest Sectoid. The lance wielding grunt takes out our grunt by rendering him unconscious. He also assures that these lance wielding grunts are always near the top of my ‘to kill’ list. A Sectoid mind control’s Nick, and then Kev takes a shot to the chest. One turn and I’m already half a squad down.
Steph shows her displeasure by shooting at the Sectoid controlling Nick, Choli then finishes off the treatment releasing Nick from his ‘nap’. This leaves one Sectoid to our right, behind the edge of a river bank, a lance wielding grunt directly next to our fallen grunt and one normal grunt with his Sectoid pet, directly in front of us behind the remnants of a burning car.
Nick, having just been released from mind-control only gets one AP to use, where he introduces the enemies in front to a grenade, killing the grunt and wounding the Sectoid. We also get a bit of luck as the car the Sectoid is standing behind explodes taking it out. Cars still go boom then. Good to know.
So, I’m down to Nick, Choli (on one HP) and Steph. We’re facing one Sectoid and one Lance wielding grunt. Their turn. Then Sectoid tries to panic Steph, and fails. On his next go he simply shoots her, causing 3 damage. The lance wielding grunt (I should really learn their names) then swings at Nick and sends him to the floor unconscious, but again. Happily still alive.
My turn. Steph and Choli wipe out the lance grunt and I heave a sigh of relief. Except the mission doesn’t end. Instead, what can only be described as a sack of rotting porridge erupts from a poor woman survivor (this was a great moment for me as I had no idea this was going to happen!).
Porridge charges at us and stops short of where Nick and the grunt fell asleep. This is good as it means I don’t have to find out how it attacks yet. It’s also bad because I can’t use grenades without hurting my wounded squad members.
Steph fires, hits and takes out a third of of the porridge. Choli fires, hits, and takes out another third. This leaves one third of health and no turns left. The porridge moves to Choli, now horribly exposed and still on one HP. It swings…. And misses! Incredible. I can only assume it learnt to fight from Nick. Steph finishers off breakfast on the next turn, ending the mission.
Everyone survives. Unfortunately Nic, Kev and Choli are heavily injured and will be out for weeks. Marvelous. Few promotions offset it slightly, But that was a tough mission.
We hope around the map a bit before we start getting chased by a UFO. We dodge it just, and then settle down with a choice of missions from the resistance.
Come back for part 4 of the Ret Xcom2 diary where it gets even worse….