Part 2: Operation Nigel Cummings' Fart
Operation Nigel Cummings' Fart
Our first real mission where the decisions are up to us! While the tutorial forces us to bring along Jane Kelly, the first three rookies in the pool, and no chance to customize our gear, it is still the first mission were we get to play the fight out rather than follow a script. It even provides a little more story telling in that the Avenger isn't fully up and running yet, something some players (Guava) may have forgotten since it's never brought up outside of the tutorial. We also learn a little more about the chip that was in the Commanders' head as well, and interesting bit of lore that doesn't actually seem to come up after the very early game.
For the actual strategy side of things today, I think this was honestly one of the longest times I've ever stayed in concealment. Typically I'll set up an ambush on the first group of enemies I see, try to wipe them out in a single fell swoop and then go on about my business with out concealment. Today's map proved a little different and the wandering nature of the patrols lead to an unexpected situation. Getting in the right place at the right time can be tricky, and when there is a big glowing green thing ready to explode you may not have the time to set things up exactly how you would like, as was the case in this video. Sometimes the ticking clock demands compromises be made.
On the subject of ambushes it's important to know what you're doing and to set up properly. The first shots you take coming out of concealment matter a lot. Overwatch shots don't take the usual penalties associated with overwatch and the first shot is almost always going to be against a target out in the open with a much larger chance to cause a critical hit. Larger pods of aliens will often times bunch up nicely for you and allow an easy opportunity for your opening attack to be a grenade that hits three targets at once. It is also important to plan around the possibility that your initial ambush doesn't kill everything. This can happen because of missed shots or simply too many enemies to drop in a single salvo. While putting the entire team on overwatch and creating a giant death trap of an ambush is generally a good idea there are occasionally things to watch out for. If you do put everyone on overwatch then that means if any aliens survive they will scatter to cover and then have their full turn to act before you can react. This can potentially mean an alien that escapes the ambush can move to cover on the scatter, then move forward to flank a soldier who was close to the ambush point. I would advise some distance between your soldiers and the ambush point if you are going to go all out on the overwatch trap. Otherwise consider selecting someone to not overwatch, just in case. I prefer Rangers for this mostly because of Slash. If the ambush fails and an alien escapes into high cover Rangers have a good set of skills to rush them and cut them down.