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Old 10-29-2012, 04:57 PM   #22
Zanbatou
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Re: Xcom Enemy Unknown

My newbie squad faced their first terror mission the other night. They landed in front of a two story government looking building and spread out to take cover behind various cars and fences outside. They traded a few shots with some Heavy Floaters located within the building itself until suddenly a Sectopod burst out through the front doors of the library, followed by four Chrysalids and two more Heavy Floaters. Including the Floaters in the windows and the Sectopod's drone repair crew, I had 10 (!) aliens within view of my squad all at once. And retreat wasn't an option because the world was once again on the very edge of total panic.

And so I ordered my squad to sprint around the side of the building and down a blind alley, as fast and as far as they could. Normally that's a recipe for disaster because you end up alerting far more enemies than you can deal with at once, but since I was already in that exact situation I figured it was my only hope.

I left one soldier behind to try to delay the enemy pursuit. One thing I had going for me was that the aliens who burst out of the building were extremely clumped up. I ran my heavy soldier forward and threw an alien grenade that took out all of the Sectopod's repair drones, damaged the Sectopod itself, and damaged three of the four Chrysalids as well. All four of the Chrysalids tried charging towards that soldier, but things were so jammed up in that doorway that they had to take a really long path to actually get to him. This meant that none were actually able to attack on the same turn they moved, so they all just pushed in as close as possible, eager to tear him apart next turn.

And then something amazing happened. The Sectopod shot a high powered laser at the soldier, and the splash damage from the resulting explosion killed off three of the Chrysalids as well! My soldier died too, of course, but his sacrificial diversion ended up doing way, way more damage than I had hoped for.

In another bit of luck, there wasn't anything scary at the end of that blind alley. My remaining soldiers were able to turn and fight, picking off a few more aliens as they rounded the corner in pursuit. They were then able to carefully circle around the back of the building, picking off stray Floaters and Chrysalids as they went, always trying to keep on the opposite side of the building from the Sectopod. The squad leader's psionic powers came in extremely handy here, letting her pick off enemies fortified within the building even through heavy cover, and bolstering the rest of the troops' morale to keep them from panicking.

Eventually I was left with four wounded soldiers, with only the Sectopod left to take down. I had seen Sectopods defeat entire squads of much more seasoned soldiers than these, so I really didn't like my chances. Also, my squad leader's new-found psionic powers were useless against robotic enemies, and that really was the only ace we had left. I spent some time carefully running around the map rescuing the civilians in the hopes that when there was no one left to protect, the game would let me leave the mission without having to actually take the Sectopod down. After rescuing the final civilian, however, I received no word saying it was now safe to retreat. Sigh.

There was nothing left to do except spread out and assault the Sectopod all at once. This time I knew enough about the Sectopod's abilities (thanks to the previous encounters and an autopsy performed back home) to ensure my squad weren't all immediately killed, but it was still a very bloody battle. Two soldiers were dead and a third was left unconscious and bleeding out before my last soldier finally took the enemy down.

My psionically gifted soldier was the first to die in that final stand, so I guess it was a bit premature to pin all of mankind's hopes on her. Still, at the end of the day, a group of newbie soldiers, none of them promoted above rank two, managed to successfully complete the scariest terror mission I'd seen so far. It took a lot of luck, of course, but maybe our organization's technology and knowledge has progressed to the point where common soldiers can actually win this fight. Maybe there's still hope.

Last edited by Zanbatou; 10-29-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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