Part 42: Operation Leviathan
Make yourself a sandwich and grab a drink for this one. The finale is just over 2 hours long and almost all of that is combat time.
I'd like to say first off sorry for the length of time on the last two videos. Among other personal things Vegas has decided to stop processing for me so for the last two videos I had to do as much work on my end as I could and then send everything to Lunethex who actually compiled the videos and sent it back. This added a lot of extra time on top of me already dragging my feet on things. Sorry for the wait, glad you stuck around for it, and thank you for waiting.
A lot of what there is to be said for the final mission is covered in the ample time Guava and I have to talk about it. There isn't a rush here, there's no timer so if you want you can very slowly creep through the map or just come to a stop reload and sit still for a few turns to let abilities and cool downs refresh before moving on. I thought that would make for poor sport and boring video with out several editing cuts, and given the above technical issues I was having the less editing I needed to do the better. But, that all said, you absolutely can just dump all your cooldown abilities onto each and every alien pod you encounter and then catch a breather if you really need to. Really though unless you get unlucky or activate multiple pods on top of each other like I somehow did than most of the missions fights aren't anything you haven't seen before and handled up to this point. The enemies may be tough but you've dealt with them before and now you have the Avatar on your side as well, giving you an extra man on your team who comes with regen, mind control, and a huge radius psi explosion. I think attrition might have been the idea behind the long approach, to wear down a player's team or resources before the big final chamber. The problem with that is that the fights don't really require many resources or loss of HP if you play smart like you've probably done the whole game.
The real difficulty of the mission is the final chamber. Kill Three Avatars is a tough goal, but they sort of hand you the first one. No matter how powerful an enemy it might be, if it's unsupported than it's going to be fairly easy to kill. We've seen that proven through out the LP. Once you kill the first Avatar though, that is when things get real. The portals will be throwing multiple pods at you a turn and eventually you will get swamped and over run. The second Avatar comes in at about the 4th or 5th pod through the gate and that is the first big gut check. There are going to be a lot of aliens around, and an avatar behind them all you need to kill. Suddenly their ability to teleport and heal 5HP every turn is going to matter a lot more when there is a wall of mutons between you and the avatar. In general I'd say to clean up as much of the meat shields as you can and look for openings to hit the avatar. The old classic of run and gun and rapid fire still work as well as ever in this situation. Maybe a little better because the Avatar can't teleport between rapid fire shots. By the time the third Avatar shows up the room is likely to be very crowded with big powerful aliens and I'd advise aiming straight for the Avatar this time. If it dies you win and all the other aliens standing around in the room don't mean diddly. Rush the third Avatar and hit him with everything you have left to end the fight as quickly as possible. Clearing away the aliens that guard the last Avatar only matter if you can't end the fight by the end of your turn.
On the story side of things, Guava talks about theories of the commander being an Ethereal or being linked/possessed by one. I'm not convinced, but there are some things that could support it. Mostly I'm a little confused by the two separate Ethereals that talk during the mission. One just labeled at Ethereal, and one labeled as Angelis Ethereal. I'd be more convinced of the idea if the two Ethereals didn't have the same message. Both want the commander back in their psi tube and say it will be for the benefit of mankind to do so. I feel like that if the commander was linked to an Ethereal there would be a second viewpoint or some alternate path of action the commander Ethereal would rather take.
Again I'd like to thank all you readers and viewers our there. Thanks to the hundred or two people that sent me characters, sorry we couldn't see them all. And sorry to Angry Lobster for being the only KIA. I will hopefully get Vegas restored or figured out and in a while I will be back again to start up Battle Brothers, a game I definitely can not go start to finish with only one casualty. So look forward to signing up and dying for some hard earned coin in the future.