The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Jade Star

Part 26: Operation Bloody Bookend

Operation Bloody Bookend


Our second mission against EXALT! This one shows us the other way covert operation missions can go. They're slightly harder this way... maybe? There are certainly less EXALT weapon hack terminals laying around, and your operative actually needs to do stuff! On the other side there certainly seemed to be a lot less EXALT soldiers to counter balance that. Either way an EXALT mission is a fun exercise in killing lots of stuff in amusing ways with a fairly low threshold for danger. This time out though we get to see a new thing about EXALT, and what I hope will be the greatest Boosh in history.

There is still a ton of stuff happening back at the base too. The foundry is working its ass off with all the projects I've been funding, and at the start of the video I cram three more projects into it. A lot of what comes out of the foundry will dramatically increase our soldiers capabilities. The gene lab is also working away at some of our soldiers. I have been popping them in and out for 3 days so that the chance of a mission happening while several key soldiers are out of action is lessened. MELD is still pretty limited, and with the prospect of upgrading the two MEC suits coming soon I'm being pretty stingy spending the MELD on soldiers. Even still, a few cheap gene mods are being made and I thought I'd take this moment o run a little break down on the gene mods we can select from at the moment.


Hyper Reactive Pupils - +10 Aim bonus to any shot after a miss.
Depth Perception - Height advantage grants an extra +5 Aim and +5% Critical chance.

Both of these are really cheap. 5 Meld each means that any soldier you feel like keeping around probably ought to have their eyes modded at some point. The choice between the two really comes down to which class the soldier is. My rule of thumb is that everyone except snipers gets Hyper Reactive Pupils, and snipers get Depth Perception. While squadsight got nerfed a little, the extra aim to a high up or flying sniper is still always a nice benefit. The other soldiers benefit from added aim in the event of a miss. Assaults can gain extra usage from the mod when using Rapid Fire, as can Heavies with Bullet Swarm.


Secondary Heart - Causes the soldier to bleed out instead of dying the first time they are reduced to zero HP in a mission. The bleed out timer is extended by two turns. Prevents loss of Will from critical wounds.
Adrenal Neurosympathy - When the soldier scores a kill they emit a cloud of pheromones that grants offensive bonuses to all nearby squadmates (and the soldier with the mod). Can not occur more than once every 5 turns.

Both are cheap on Meld, but the heart costs 75 X-Com bitcoins. And either can be good choices. If you're struggling and regularly see soldiers critically wounded or killed than putting a secondary heart into someone valuable can be a great investment. If you don't need to worry about soldiers dying as much, then the combat musk of Adrenal Neurosympathy can be really nice. The bonus isn't listed in the menu when selecting the implant, but the wiki says 'Confers +10 Aim, +1 Movement, +5% Critical Chance and removes panic from nearby allies', which makes it a very nice boost to have. Multiple soldiers with the mod mean having those bonuses active more often.


Bio-electric Skin - Detects, but not activates, nearby enemies and makes the soldier immune to strangulation.
Mimetic Skin - Moving into full cover from a position where the soldier was not seen by any enemy will cause the soldier to become cloaked. The destruction of the cover or firing will break the invisibility.

This was one of the biggest game breaking things when the expansion came out. Mimetic skin let you run around invisible and break so much stuff. It combines with low profile to an obscene effect of constant invisibility. Recently it's been balanced, sort of, by increasing the cost. Mimetic skin now costs 150 X-Com dollar-pounds and 65 Meld, making it the most Meld intensive thing I can think of. It's still absurdly powerful, but the increase in meld costs stops players from putting Mimetic skin on every high class soldier. That leaves Bio-electric skin though, which is rather underwhelming. More underwhelming in comparison. However having one or two soldiers with Bio-electric skin can be useful for detecting enemies past walls or other obstacles before alerting them. Knowing how many enemies are on the other side of the door can be invaluable sometimes.


Muscle Fiber Density - Allows a soldier jump great heights with out aid from ladders or gadgets like the hookshot.
Adaptive Bone Marrow - Wound recovery time is reduced by 66%. Soldier will regenerate 2HP a turn, until maximum HP with out armor bonus is reached.

The jump legs mod is the crowd favorite here. It lets soldiers jump all over the place just like you see Thin Men do. The added mobility and access to high ground in a mission is supremely valuable. I would recommend the Muscle fiber density for all assault, across the board, by default. Heavies too, to a lesser priority if Meld is scarce. Snipers will typically have less need for mobility, though getting up on the first perch is nice they usually have other options like grappling hooks or flying armor. The only contest here comes to supports. I personally like the regenerative legs on my supports. They are usually fast enough with sprinter that I don't mind passing up the jump legs, and I want the medkits reserved for the other soldiers. If a support gets hurt, they can hang in the back for a turn or two and regen out of the danger zone and keep going and not much will be lost since supports aren't really combat skilled anyway; they can do their job from maximum rifle range as well as they can from up close on the front line. I'll say this is personal taste, and would not fault anyone for putting jump legs on their supports too.