Part 13: Operation Wei Shen's Cummings
Operation Wei Shen's Cummings
Welcome back to a very special episode. We're going deep for some plot today and the video is going to be a long one. It's just over an hour long and it doesn't have any easy cut points so buckle up for this one. We are going to the Blacksite and we are going to see what ADVENT has been up to!
Mechanically the Blacksite doesn't really have anything new. It's nice in the sense that you start concealed and you don't have a timer. Other than that though, there isn't much to say about it other than it is a long map with a lot more alien pods than have likely been encountered in a single mission thus far, DLC missions not counting. However it's a big plot mission and even Bradford will speak up telling you to prepare for a tough mission so there is no reason to be caught unprepared by the difficulty or length of this mission. The only unique things I can think of about the mission is that it is an object recovery mission that doesn't require hacking anything, and the exit point is predetermined. There aren't a lot of maps where the evac zone is pre-deployed for you. Those minor things aside the mission is really just your first endurance mission where there are likely to be more than enough alien pods show up to punish mistakes with attrition. So far a mission has been three, maybe four alien pods, if you make a mistake or two, the mission is probably over before you really need to worry about things. This mission is long enough that continued mistakes will grind you down and any loss in the field puts that much more pressure on the remaining soldiers. That all said, there is nothing dangerously new about the mission that should cause problems, just keep in mind that it's a long mission and you will be seeing more aliens until the very turn you evac.
On that subject, let's take a moment to discuss my medical condition. GRCS, or Giant Robotic Crab Syndrome. The term was coined by Yahtzee during a Zero punctuation review, and can be most expediently explained by the original video. Watch it here, for about 30 seconds. It applies to many games, and Guava triggers me on it several times throughout the video. Because I know there will be more aliens later on in the mission I am constantly hesitant to use grenades and rockets and instead seek to kill the enemies in front of me with the minimal use of non-replenishing resources, ie not using grenades or rockets which I only have a limited number of. This can be a good and bad behavior, it just comes down to the circumstance. Knowing when it is safe to hold back on resources is great, because if you can kill everything and not spend anything then clearly things worked out in the best way. It is important however to know when it is a smart idea to start using your limited use tools to prevent situations from getting worse or your soldiers dying. It can be a fine juggling act sometimes but it is a skill players should be aware of and consider at every encounter.
SPARK Skill choice, Knight rank
Rainmaker vs Strike
Rainmaker is a pretty cool skill, adding a sizeable +2 area of effect to all heavy weapons it fires. This makes rockets much, much bigger and the other heavy weapons like cones or even single lines much bigger too. The downside I perceive is that it's very limited use. It is only going to effect things maybe once or twice a mission tops, and even then the increased radius wont necessarily be the difference between hitting all of the targets or not. It's still good because it boosts very important limited use attacks, but I think it comes up short of the skill it's competing against.
Strike is what we know and love. It's like run and gun, if the gun was the SPARKs fist. Much like R&G or Slash, Strike lets the user make a double move and then attack an enemy. That alone is pretty huge, but it comes with a few more benefits of it being on the SPARK. Since it's melee and SPARKs don't use cover you can use it to punch entrenched enemies in high cover and not worry about ending your turn in the middle of no mans land out of cover. It sadly has a reuse timer now that it did not have in the first game, but it was really, really powerful back then so it has a bit of a cool down timer now. It combines well with overdrive to give you another option for your actions instead of just shooting three times (Suck it additive aim, you keep getting worse and worse). All around a great skill with a lot of very common uses that will make a lot of impact on the fight.
Support Skill choice, Lieutenant rank
Filed Medic vs Scanning Protocol
Like most Support skill picks this choice is mostly predetermined by your other previous picks. If you have Medical Protocol you better pick Field Medic, it's just stupid not to. If you went the combat hacker route, you are probably going to pick Scanning Protocol. However I am not a big fan of Scanning Protocol, it provides a single use ability that isn't nearly as mission impacting as I'd like for single use skill like this. The extra medkits can easily keep soldiers in a fight and save lives, Scanning Protocol can be really handy once, but I don't think it's going to be on the same life saving potential as Field Medic. So even if you are going combat hacker consider Field Medic for a moment, even with out the Gremlin to deliver the healing mist it still means having 4 more medkits when you deploy and once you have predator armor you can have a medkit and skulljack on a combat hacker and not be losing anything for it.
Winner... Depends on which path you already picked.
During the video Guava mentions an 'Action Muton' from the stream save file I play with on occasion. Here is that video, it's a highlight on my twitch page and is about 4 minutes long of one determined Muton to not give a fuck about me trying to kill it.