Part 8: Operation Hard Gay's Secrets
Operation Hard Gay's Secrets
Today we suit up and scan the Labrador Tower... Only to be distracted from it moments before I was able to collect a supply drop and make some last minute upgrades before setting off on a long an dangerous mission. In my hubris I underestimate the mission I do go on and wind up with a lot of wounded soldiers. However I think it was still a decent opportunity to show how possible it is to come back from bad situations. There are occasionally times where bad things happen and you're out of luck and may want to reload or suffer a few nasty casualties, but there are many more times were a bad play can be recoverable if you keep your head on and take stock of your skills, supplies, and the situation. Also paying due attention, I missed an overwatch from an ADVENT officer because his turned ended and then immediately the game went to action cam mode for the charging Mech. I didn't pay attention to that and almost got someone killed for it.
Let's talk about the new things in this video;
Mech's are back! Only this time they aren't on our side. ADVENT has produced mechs very similar to what was in the first game, only they are wholly robotic with no organic pilot. They have a sizeable chuck of HP and usually the first things to be seen with armor points, making them take some significant effort to bring down quickly. Despite their toughness they are not incredibly dangerous. Their main gun is only a little stronger than the standard ADVENT troopers gun. What can be dangerous about them is that the do not use cover and can happily charge right at your lines to get around your cover and shoot you in the flank. Additionally they carry a micro-missile pack on their backs which functions like a grenade launcher, dealing small area of effect damage to a radius and destroying cover. On it's own not too dangerous, but can easily lead to a soldier taking a little damage, losing their cover, and being exposed to a out of cover critical hit shot from another enemy. Guava claims their missile use is super rare while I maintain that firing missiles is usually their number one action of choice, so your results may vary.
Skill choices happen in this video too;
Sharpshooter, Dead Eye vs. Lightning Hands
Dead Eye - Take a shot with -25% chance to hit for +50% damage.
Lightning Hands - Take a pistol shot with out costing an action.
When it comes to snipers, or really any one shooting in general, I am never in favor of anything that lowers the accuracy of my shots. This really makes me disinclined to take Dead Eye just on that alone. However it can be said that once a sniper is higher ranked, with a good scope, tracer rounds, or what have you to boost aim that sacrificing 25% aim for +50% damage isn't that bad. Though the window of opportunity to use Dead Eye seems very small to me. I would need to find a situation where the extra 50% damage is make or break situation on the target being shot and where the -25% aim doesn't throw the shot into jeopardy of missing.
Lightning Hands on the other hand is a great ace in the hole for either dealing a little extra damage (which is what dead eye does) or finishing off a near death target while keeping your actions to use the sniper rifle shot on a target with more than few health left. Being able to plink off a 2hp ADVENT and then focus the sniper rifle where it is needed most is a great utility. Overall Lightning Hands lends itself to more situations than Dead Eye in my opinion. Gaining an extra action with out spending an action point is pretty powerful in a lot of situations.
Winner, Lighting Hands.
Ranger, Shadow Strike vs Shadow Step
Shadow Strike - +25 Aim and +25% Crit chance when attacking out of concealment.
Shadow Step - Soldier does not trigger overwatch or reaction fire.
Like the previous choice for Ranger skills this skill choice offers two wildly different skills. Shadow Strike may be nice for coming out of an ambush, but that is going to apply once a mission, two tops with a later skill, and the impact of the bonuses from Shadow Strike may not be wholly necessary either. Typically if you're ambushing something you have them flanked or unware and not in cover, your chances to hit and crit are already very high. Still I can see the value in it if there wasn't the cost of not picking Shadow Step attached to having Shadow Strike. Shadow Step is a slightly weaker version of Lightning Reflexes from the first game. The big difference is that they do not trigger Overwatch at all, this has an up and a down. On the upside there is no limit to the number of overwatch shots your Ranger can avoid in a turn (Lightning Reflexes only worked once a turn). The down side is that your Ranger can not move and draw the overwatch shot and make the enemy waste its shot. The downside probably outweighs the upside in this case. However it's still pretty clear how useful it is to have a solider that can risk free deal with an enemy on overwatch. Often times overwatch will prevent you from moving or otherwise seriously limit your actions. Being able to get rid of the enemies control of your actions by pinning you via overwatch is a huge life saver in combat.
I would sum it up in this way; Shadow Strike will be of minor use once or twice a mission. Shadow Step will be of great use every time the enemy goes on overwatch.
Winner, Shadow Step
Grenadier - Demolition vs Suppression
Demolition - Fire at the enemy's cover to destroy it. Deals no damage to the target.
Suppression - Pin the enemy down with fire, reducing their aim by 50 and granting a free reaction shot if they move.
These two skills are oddly similair in that they address the same problem in different ways. Typically Suppression is used when you can't kill something on your turn and you want to limit its ability to do harm to you on it's next turn. Demolition would be used to blow away the cover of something whom you may not otherwise be able to kill that turn. Both of these skills approach the situation of having an enemy in high cover than I can not deal with in one turn. Suppression buys me time for next turn, while Demolition may open up the target to being exposed and quickly murdered while out of cover. It's worth noting that Demolition may have a chance to fail, as it brings up shot percentages to hit on screen when selected. I have not seen it fail while Guava wrote the skill off as broken and non-functional when he first experimented with the skill.
This is a choice I can not call for you, I'd honestly suggest taking each skill on a different soldier and trying them out for yourself and seeing which of the two options fits your play style. I feel I may give a slight edge to Demolition because blowing away cover is almost always a useful thing to do, while Suppression may be needed less often as a sort of panic button when you are unable to prevent enemy retaliation next turn.
Winner... It's a draw.