The Let's Play Archive


by Jade Star

Part 17: Operation Oh My God, Valley

Operation Oh My God, Valley

In today's video I spend a little more time than usual deal with the home base front. I'm just starting to break out of the home continent and contacting new regions. Thankfully that comes with the benefit of additional income, and since South America is a small continent I quickly secure their continent bonus as well. Things need to start developing in the base quickly now, and while I'm still eternally short on supplies the aliens are picking their game up and I just starting poking at a beehive with the Skulljack. Facilities need to get built and the comm center is probably chief among them to be upgraded and staffed fully in order to deal with what is coming. All in all though, things are looking better as time goes. For now we shouldn't see any significant spike in the difficulty of aliens encountered on the ground, despite the second tier of advanced ADVENT soldiers.

New to us though is the Shieldbearer, and like the name may suggest it is a heavily armored soldier type. It is also capable of protecting itself and any nearby allies with an energy shield that must be broken through before dealing any damage to the target. If the shieldbearer dies the shielding it provides goes away too which often makes them priority targets. Aside from providing shields to its allies the shieldbearer doesn't do anything new. It's essentially a Trooper with a single trick up its sleeve. Like a few other enemies it's very easy to predict what a shieldbearer will do on its first turn. Even given opportunity to make good attacks on you a shieldbearer will always seek cover with as many allies in rage to use its shielding ability. This means you can leave them alone on the first turn if it's convenient to do so, or aim to take them out before they can bolster their allies.

Also new is the Codex. A real surprise the first time you play the game. These are unlike anything else in the game in terms of design. They are a sort of Cyber being made by the aliens. It seems like their body isn't really physical, disappearing when they die and only leaving behind a cybernetic skull. They are however very obviously psionic in some nature or another as they are able to teleport themselves, use a psionic attack, and even split themselves into multiple copies of their-self when damaged. No other enemy encountered in a X-Com game has been a being whose body is actually just a psionic projection like the Codex. They do share a sort of similarity to the first games Outsiders in that they are both something very different from any of the alien races, being more technological than biological. Each of them also seem to perform a singular role and encountered in specific circumstances. At least in the beginning for Codex's anyway. They will become a regular enemy from now on.
Fighting Codex can be tricky due to their extreme mobility. They are fast, they have a high dodge chance, and they normally teleport around meaning it's near impossible to pin one in place. Overwatch and other tricks will not work on a teleporting foe. This can lead to Codex being able to flank X-Com soldiers on a regular basis if they aren't killed in a hurry. Thankfully Codex are somewhat predictable. Their first attack is almost always to create a Psi-storm to affect as many soldiers as possible. The storm doesn't deal damage immediately, but it does disable weapons requiring them to reload. At the end of the X-Com turn the storm will explode for damage. The combination of these things typically means any soldier that is affected by the Codex's psionic attack effectively loses their turn. One action to get to safety, and one action to reload their weapon. Once you damage a Codex you'll quickly see the other big hassle in fighting them. Every time they are damaged they will multiply into two clones, splitting the HP the Codex had after surviving the attack. ie. a Codex has 8HP after being shot will split into two Codex with 4HP. The cloned Codex won't spawn near the first one either, they can spawn considerable distances away and even into advantageous positions to flank your men. Be careful when engaging them and plan to deal with their cloning ability. Either prevent it by killing them in one shot or disabling it like with a flash bang, or just be ready for a second low HP Codex to pop up somewhere.

SPARK Vanguard Rank
Repair vs Bombard

Repair is straightforward, the BIT flys off to repair a robotic unit. It's Medical Protocol but for SPARKS. Useful for patching up a SPARK, but only useful for patching up a SPARK. Unlike the first game where medkits could be used on MEC Troopers, Repair suffers from limited usability.

Bombard launches the BIT to any spotted position, even through squad sight, to explode and harm everything around it. In essence this is a small Blaster Bomb. The BIT will fly and navigate around any obstacles and explode exactly where you want it to. While it's not strictly speaking as powerful as a blaster bomb, having the versatility and added firepower it brings is a big deal.

Winner: Bombard. They'll never even see it coming.

The other skill choices were ones we've already seen before. The last order of business though is for nicknames of Manwhore and James Dean Jr. Manwhore was given Shady by the game and I think that's pretty good on its own, but I'd like to see if you guys can do better. James Dean Jr got 'Tiny' which I don't feel suits him, so clearly we'll need something better. Will you come up with something new for him, or will he shoulder the callsign of his father 'Rebel'?