The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Jade Star

Part 31: Operation Forgotten Ring

Operation Forgotten Ring


Here we go at last, assaulting the alien base. This can be a very difficult point in the game if you don't know what you are getting yourself into. Always be prepared for this mission. Have everyone you want picked out ahead of time and keep them healthy (Sprahl). Everyone should have at least laser weapons and carapace/skeleton armor. You should have a fairly ranked up team of six to send on the mission. In my case I think it was 3 Colonels, a Major, and two Lieutenants. And lastly, my advice would be to error on the side of caution and bring two soldiers capable of healing. It will be a long mission with a lot of enemies and every time you get hit its going to drain HP or Medkits, so make sure your bring enough.

The lay out of the mission itself lends a little aid to the player by having the base sectioned off. It's a trivial matter to walk into a new area, deal with everything in it, and not have to worry about anything else further on in the mission coming in and surprising you while you spend a few turns healing or reloading or regrouping your team. Once you clear a room you have plenty of time to sort your team out and get ready for the next section. Play it smart and you can usually guess how many groups will be in a given room, and sometimes even where they will be. The fight can turn into one of attrition if you take a hit every time you encounter enemies, so come prepared with medkits, or do your best to minimize the number of shots that get fired at you.

Lastly for the mission itself, make sure you clear the final room as safely as possible. You don't want to have to deal with a pack of aliens and the base commander at the same time. This will not only be very dangerous to your team but also severely hinder attempts to capture the base commander alive. This is going to be one of the easiest opportunities you will get for a live capture of a sectoid commander, so don't waste it.

One important thing to remember about the base assault mission is that is a global panic reduction event. Clearing the base out will take one point of panic off of every country on the panic board. This can be very useful if you're behind on satellites or otherwise having panic management issues. This alone should afford you a month of breathing room to get satellites up or prevent countries from pulling out. Another big thing is the amount of money that stands to be made off the mission itself. You will salvage a lot of money out of selling useless junk like alien food, alien surgery, and other alien parts like navigation and power sources, some of which you may want to keep. But either way there is a lot of potential income to help you out if you're tight on cash at this point in the game.

Rocketeer vs Mayhem

A tough choice here. Rocketeer gives the heavy one extra regular rocket, plain and simple. Mayhem enhances the damage on any of the heavies area attacks, boosting the damage on rockets and also having some unexpected benefits like giving Suppression a small amount of guaranteed damage.

+ More rockets, more booms.
+/-? Can end up with a heavy with three rockets. Which is either awesome and you blow up everything, or you don't use one or two of those rockets every mission and it is wasted potential.
- Rockets are still move or fire.

+ Boosts damage area effect abilities, and grants Suppression minor damage based on weapon tech level.
+ Gives heavies a 100% chance to inflict minor damage via suppression, for those times you really need ensure a kill.
+ Suppression + Danger Zone + Mayhem = Great and unexpected things.

So which to go for? I'd say the choice is determined by your previous skills and a bit of your play style toward heavies. If you love blowing away cover and use rockets often, Rocketeer may be for you. If you don't throw rockets all over the place than maybe Mayhem is for you, to make the fewer rockets you use stronger, or if you love Suppression then Mayhem will make it that much sweeter.