The Let's Play Archive


by Jade Star

Part 11: Operation Lost Tower Part 3

Operation Lost Tower Part 3

The team has secured the SPARK and seen Raymond Shen's last recorded message, it's time to get out of here. Our heroes race to the roof to evac but are met by a great big surprise as Julian tries to stop them.

Seriously, a freaking sectopod? That was a surprise the first time I did the mission. I guess I might have expected something like that, some sort of boss fight with Julian using a big robotic body, but at this early in the game I didn't expect a sectopod. Let alone a 90 HP 6 armor sectopod. That sure was a daunting moment when I first had to do this mission. When you're not prepared for it you may be low on shred items and suddenly have a hard time cracking the sectopods massive layers of armor. However if you are ready for it, you can spend the first turn lobbing everything you have at it and then having the SPARK and maybe a grenadier use their normal weapons to shred the rest of its armor off. And once the panic of 'sectopod, oh fuck' wears off you may realize Julian has a particularly old and shitty sectopod that while it has a massive amount of HP and armor over regular sectopods, it isn't nearly as dangerous. Julian's sectopod has much worse aim and lower damage per shot than sectopods we will encounter much later in the game. Julian also doesn't have the area bombardment skill that sectopods have, or at least I've never seen him use it in the 4 or 5 times I've cleared this DLC. The boss fight is pretty cool and can be challenging, but largely depends on how many soldiers you bring and how well armed they are. If you can come in with a six man squad with magnetics you are sure to be able to have enough fire power to make the fight a short one. I hate to label the fight like so, but it really is a bit of a damage race. The faster you can kill Julian the less trouble you will have with the respawning waves of derelict bots and the less time you give Julian to do some sort of BS like he did to Lobster, or just go stomping over where ever you are using as cover and flank shot people.

Guava makes some mention to items that can make the boss fight easier, and if I hadn't rushed things it might have been a good idea to go get them first. The other DLC scan sight offers a few unique weapons, one of which being a freeze grenade. It's easy to imagine how freezing an enemy for a turn or two can make tough fights much much easier. The problem is that the freeze grenade doesn't work so well on things like sectopods. Instead of freezing them for turns, it merely costs them a single action, half a turn. You trade a grenadiers action for Julian's. This might actually not be so bad and give you a window of opportunity, but it is by no means necessary for this particular fight.

Rangers: Conceal vs Run & Gun

I would like to just say Run & Gun, end of story, move on. However some people have spoken up with how they enjoy using a scout ranger to be a Phantom and be a permanent scout on missions. And while I won't say that is a tactic I find necessary I will at least admit that Conceal is a skill choice that further enables that option. So this skill choice comes down to the question of do you want your ranger to be more powerful in combat, or do you want them to be a phantom scout and stay concealed as much as possible. That's all you need to ask to pick which one is the right skill for your ranger.
While Phantom and Conceal have some pretty obvious synergy going for them, it may be less obvious that Run & Gun and Shadowstep are also a very powerful combination. This combo allows a ranger to be a powerful overwatch breaker, able to close a long distance and shoot a target to remove over watch and free up your squad to move and re-position with out risk. This goes on top of all the other utility that Run & Gun brings for making dash + shotgun flanking maneuvers. Lastly I think it's very telling that Run & Gun is now a Lieutenant skill choice for Rangers where as it was the first skill given to Assaults in XCom:EU.

Winner, Run & Gun. (Unless you want a non-combat scout ranger babyman)