The Let's Play Archive


by Jade Star

Part 20: Operation Rock Rage

Operation Rock Rage

Today we have a Guerrilla Operation. The choices weren't particularly exciting and the rewards didn't include an engineer. I would have strongly preferred taking any mission that had an engineer as a reward but it just wasn't an option this time and I had to make the best call that I could. Given the continual supply shortage this run has been experiencing I went for the supply reward. Sometimes the dark events dictate which mission you take, sometimes the rewards dictate which mission you take, and sometimes they're all so bland and non-critical you sit on the map screen clicking between all three of them for a minute and 45 seconds trying to decide so you have to edit that out with a smooth fade cut.

Hack the objective missions are one of my favorite mission types. The time limit may be a little shorter than some of the other ones but it doesn't demand you cross an entire map like VIP or Dark VIP extraction missions. There isn't that VIP to keep safe nor a dark VIP to carry around over one of your soldiers shoulders, thus taking them out of the fight to haul your captive around. In my opinion the really nice bonus to the hack objective missions is that the objective always comes with nice permanent hacking rewards. While the street lamps will boost your stats for a few turns, stun/disable an enemy, refill your action points and can be incredibly useful in winning the fight, the objective hacks give you things that will offer bonuses on the world map or permanent boosts like Enemy Protocol (RIP Lobster). Also with specialists you rarely need to expose and risk yourself to hack the object. Often you can hack the objective from the safety of cover from as far back as light of sight will allow. If the situation is good and you have a high scoring hacker you can take your time to set him up to make the hack attempt and go big on the hack attempt to score a useful bonus on the geoscape.

While there wasn't anything particularly new about this mission to delve into I was particularly proud of how I dug myself out of a bad situation with the second pod of aliens. Moving Talow up right before ending my turn was a bad call, and I paid for it as I activate two snakes and a codex. The codex then immediately disabled four of my soldiers weapons and a snake bound Talow up. Starting your turn with 4 people that need to move and reload before being useful in any way is bad, add the snake constrict to that and it's worse. So I'm kind of proud I managed to stay calm and dig myself out of that. Auto loaders on the grenadiers and utilizing Alessandra's skills to make three attacks in a turn to deal with a codex cloning behind my team really helped turn the situation around. Sometimes situations are really bad, but a lot of the time you can look around and start to figure out ways of dealing with them if you've brought the right people and items. I went from what was probably the worst way to activate that pod to surrounded and in a bad place, to killing the alien pod in one turn. I hope that is a good example of how even really bad situations can be turned around.

Ranger Corporal Talow

I figure with Gasmask and Hulk Hogan going big on the Assault line of things that the LP might like to see what can be done with a Ranger using the Scout skill set. I'll honestly say it's not the skills I ever normally pick but I'm also excited to give it another try to re-evaluate my position on the matter. I'll leave it up to you guys to pick Scout or Assault for Talow.

Support Major Rank
Ever Vigilant vs Guardian

For me this is a tough decision. Both skills modify how a support soldier deals with overwatch. Ever Vigilant lets the support get a free overwatch if they spend all their action points on moving. Essentially get a Dash + Overwatch which is really useful if you need to reposition in a hurry, or just if you're trying to move up into the shroud while their aren't enemies. It's passive, which is a trait both Guava and I like about it because we have enough shit to remember most of the time. Guardian also modifies overwatch, giving you a 50% chance to take an additional overwatch shot if the previous shot was a hit. I say previous because yes, this can me a theoretical infinite amount of overwatch shots, 50/50 chances and ammo permitting. The catch is that successive Guardian bonus shots must be made at different targets. You can unfortunately not take multiple shots on the same target. This makes Guardian more valuable when setting up that initial ambush on the first pod of a concealment map where it's easier to make sure your Guardian will have the potential opportunity to fire at three targets and makes Guardian less valuable when there is only a single target. Still it is a very strong skill and it too is passive which is nice.

Honestly this is a 50/50 for me. Ever Vigilant offers more benefit to situations that demand more mobility. Guardian offers more benefit when you can plant your support to ambush aliens moving forward.

Winner: Personal preference. Both skills are strong and somewhat similar in what they do.