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AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:14 am
by Psieye
Having hit Adv. Coilguns by July in Veteran, I decided it's about time I try out Commander in LW2. Since 1.5 might come around long before I get to actually finish this new campaign, I'm making it experimental for AWC.

Commander Non-ironman
Commander's Choice, Peek from Concealment
Graze band = 20 (Nerfing my snipers, buffing Advent crappy shooting)
AWC ini tweaks:
- Ranks required to train AWC tiers: 1, 3, 6 (Sqd, Cpl, TSgt)
- Days to train AWC perks: 2, 5, 8
- AWC perk tree is always visible, even before the AWC is built

Last campaign had a paradigm of "mass snapshot snipers and tank shinobi". I'll keep the mass snapshot snipers part for any really high Aim rookies. But there will be a focus on suppression gunners and shooter grenadiers once I get going.

Gatecrasher finished with 1 wound. Crap jailbreak (1 rebel, shit timer), 4 day Lib 1 and 4 day VIP Engineer - decide to boost both. Yes I had a crappy set of detection rolls at game start. Expanding has been delayed.

The Lib 1 demonstrated that which is so OP: doors. Open garage door, hack with drone, close garage door. Squad got out after only seeing 3 enemies. All the rest did not overcome the door.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:48 pm
by Psieye
Engineer VIP was a 4-man extract: 1 shinobi, 1 Squaddie sniper, 2 rookies. Only thing that saved me was the new 2-man pods of 1.3 - snipe one and it's just 1 enemy joining the fray. Now, the engineer had run to the extraction point after I knew all 9 enemies were accounted for. But I kinda liked these high aim rookies I brought along.

What followed was a highly mobile fight for both sides - several turns of encircling each other to get a good flank or grenade in. I got lucky and Advent missed all their 20% shots. Highlight was my Squaddie sniper trying to out-of-sight flank for next turn and a zombie dashes to spot, letting the enemies take appropriate cover. Only to be hosed by shinobi breaking stealth for flashbang - from behind them. The last Advent Engineer flashbanged my sniper but couldn't decisively kill her at point-blank (across high cover). Died to a fleche. An unexpected flawless victory that got me even more Squaddie snipers.

The next 2 GOps spawned with 9+ days each, meant I finished contacting the next region before these missions were over. Mass rookies ran around to rescue a scientist (already bought the 1st black market scientist). Picture the face of an Advent Officer looking at SMG rookies hunker-crawling towards his position. Officer is unable to shoot because disorientation lowers his hit chance on hunkered targets to 0%. There were tense moments where I was waiting for Advent to unknowingly walk into an out-of-sight flank. Said scientist then revealed a PoI for a 2nd engineer.

The other GOp was 2 snipers and 5 other guys on a S&G. Highlight was 3-man OW wall + suppression on a hunkered Officer who got Holo'd and Rousted. Cooler than opening a door, having the 2-man pod scamper next to each other (most cover was already flanked when the door opened) and stuffing that position with grenades.

AWC went up 24 hours after Basic Research completed.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:38 pm
by Psieye
Rendezvous happened with a Squaddie Assault advisor. Very lucky frags that left Advent at 1 HP each, netting me loot and corpses. The faceless was a review lesson in Starcraft Marines vs Zealot micro: something is really wrong if the faceless ever gets to swipe when it's activated from way far away and there's no other enemy alive.

Supply drop passed by, meaning another scientist was bought. Scraped together enough to even get the GTS started.

Shit detection rolls in the strategy layer, so many 3 day missions. A jailbreak catches my eye with less than 3 days on it. Time to 8-man GOp - I did not think I'd start this so early. No intel to even boost it.

Meantime, Jailbreak in my 1st expansion (East Europe): 1 Squaddie sniper, 1 gunner, 1 shinobi, 2 SMG rookies with double frag. They did not bring enough frags. Moment of rage: forgetting THIS gunner was only 7 Def, not 10 like my first two. Why is that important? Because it means an Officer has a 1% chance to hit her while behind high cover and smoke. I suppressed a trooper to keep it in low cover (so I could reload/smoke -> next turn snipe) but no, 1% + 20% graze meant the suppression was cancelled. The difference between 0% and 1% is huge: it means the enemy actually shoots instead of trying to move or OW.

One of the rookies died - mindcontrolled gunner and the sectoid both shot him while he got drone-stunned. The rest of the squad was running to the evac while every-turn reinforcements was happening. In fact, one of the reinforcements saved my shinobi who I had fleche'd out to plain sight (desperation kill of an Advent gunner). The disoriented Sentry missed her and the Trooper who SHOULD have just moved up and shot got blocked by a newly arrived unit taking its ideal cover. So it grazed the other rookie instead. Yeah, that shinobi was killing 1 unit every turn after she got revealed.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:51 am
by Psieye
In case people are wondering what my non-Ironman policies are: I accept bad RNG rolls. I play through bad activations. What I reload for is overall directive fail. Things like "the shinobi was mucking about way far away because tunnel vision on exploring fog of war". Yes, I forget my own advice at times when I'm tired.

Infil-23% on Commander makes drones have ridiculous detection range. I'm adjusting to it. Attempting an 8-man GOp with LCpls, nearly no weapon mods and minimal attack consumables (bad squad composition error) on Commander is harsh. Not the fights themselves - minimal damage from those - but the slow pace of advance is fatal once reinforcements arrive (about 9 turns in).

I'll accept a failed mission once I'm convinced there's nothing more I could have done on the tactical layer.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:25 pm
by Psieye
8-man GOp Jailbreak accomplished: 1 wounded (14 days from coming back with 3/5 HP) Assault

Took 2 reloads to iron out the problems in my strategy: resist the temptation to make the shinobi scout way far ahead (23% infil means drones WILL spot you) and don't spread out - have both snipers cover the same flank.

Having 2 gunners helped a lot: leap-frogging let me keep pushing forwards while keeping suppression up. Because both my gunners were 10 Def and I had 2 smoke-mule specs, my gunners never got shot if I had sufficient actions to keep them protected (by smoke or Aid Protocol).

The first pod was 4 Advent goons. Only notable because I did a greedy Run & Gun flank and revealed the next pod. Now, I'd stealth scouted to 1 tile next to where the assault would run to - but forgot to account for the step-out mechanic making her peek around the corner. That's where the Assault's wounds came from - couldn't stop the 2nd pod getting one flank shot on her.

Highlight of the 2nd pod was the sectoid - in the earlygame, it takes 2 sniper shots to kill it (assuming no miss, no crit). After 1 out-of-sight flank shot on it, what does it do? Not move and just mindspin (which got resisted). Next turn it's on the floor. I suppose it was an amusing moment for my gunner to run up and knife a 1 HP zombie (because 0 ammo), then next turn run up and frag a drone that rushed in.

Thanks to the last of pod 2 being silently killed by the shinobi, the 3rd pod was on green alert when they walked into view. 5 goons scamper behind a car, all within range of an Area Suppression. 2 even camped in an easy-flank side of the car. 3 XCOM soldiers squeezed behind the low cover of a bus stop with smoke. The assault (-7 def) even got Aid Protocol. Given the precarious situation, half the goons ran the suppression - those that tried to run forwards died to the OW wall that had been just out of sight. The other half, after Area Suppression switched off due to no ammo, took their shots. Their 2% hit chance shots on the assault.

Lightning Reflexes, the sole reason I brought the assault instead of a consumables class, trolled the one OW in the way. A sniper grazed the last 1 HP off a Trooper hiding behind high cover. Shinobi fleche'd another Trooper and was then in a great position to flank the last Trooper. With the gunner pair leap-frogging towards it and awareness of the Shinobi, this last Trooper decided to run the suppression. It didn't make it.

That pod had opened the door to the prison facility. Shinobi ran PAST it and took cover out of sight from inside. That confirmed there were no pods watching so one of my specs got into long-range hacking position. Next turn, hack - fail the 75% hack reward. Prisoners run out - activating 2 pods in the process. This happened to be the turn when reinforcements were due to drop. Shinobi lobs a frag around the corner and blows up an acid barrel. A drone that flew out on activation got crit'd by the DfA sniper. The reinforcements mostly die to the OW wall. Unexpectedly, the one Engineer who could see the hacker chose to OW instead of tossing a flashbang. Which meant the troll Assault cancelled it.

Everyone ran back to evac without incident. There was a zombie covered in acid (logs say about 3 enemies ran through the acid puddle) but it got shot down and the aliens no longer had vision on the squad. No pursuit came as the squad made it out with all the prisoners.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:14 am
by Psieye
Moments of awesome:

Knowing there's a pod somewhere inside the S&G facility, the shinobi blue moves well far in. The pod scampers towards the windows where the rest of the squad is. Shinobi ignores the drone behind him (sniper failed to kill it) and fleches the Sentry. The Sectoid gets burned by a technical, frag'd and suppressed - decides to raise a zombie while at 1 HP and surrounded by flames. The drone missed the shinobi.

Elsewhere on a "VIP in van" mission, a rookie becomes the MVP as she makes a brave flank to kill an Engineer while a gunner kept a Trooper from casually flanking her afterwards. Said rookie then kills that Trooper (gunner's frag failed to kill it) and moves on scouting - becomes tank when the next pod is found but gets mind controlled. Nobody with a flashbang in range of the sectoid. Oh and the 3rd pod now walks into view - includes a stun lancer.

The other rookie and spec see this and immediately run in opposite directions. The gunner and snapshot sniper were already taking a long detour to flank. With the frontline rookie mind controlled, the gunner becomes the new frontline - already smoked up by the sniper. Aliens decide instead of just killing the mind controlled rookie they need all the firepower they can get to OW wall (of 2) against the 10+45+20 Def gunner. Sectoid thinks it's running into a hiding spot only to discover it flanked itself to my sniper - crit. The remainder of the OW wall (a Trooper) gets suppressed, the freed rookie frags the Stun Lancer (it dashed into fog of war without knowing what to look for) and the spec flanks it for the kill.

That suppressed Trooper runs out of view so doesn't take reaction fire. It decides to OW against the rookie that had dashed to flank it. As it was taking cover against the rookie, it was completely exposed to the sniper - oneshot. That rookie then ran all the way to the van on her next move, positioned to hack.

The last enemy was an officer. Thanks to spec throwing a smoke, Mr Low Profile gunner could stand behind a table and suppress it for 3 turns. Officer saw 0% hit chance even if it ran the suppression so it kept its head down. The entire time. Until we were ready to flank it 3 times over while the VIP was running to the evac. Suppression gunner and sniper got out on time after dispatching the 1st wave of reinforcements.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:43 am
by Psieye
Sell Trooper corpse at black market, purchase vulture, begin S&G mission (over-infiltrated the VL to EL), sell S&G loot, buy LCpl shinobi (really short on these guys).

The S&G itself had one disgraceful moment: snapshot sniper dashes to rejoin the squad. A pod walks over and shoots the exposed sniper. That was the only wound (25 days) in the mission. At least I have spares of snipers.

Over in an Extract Scientist VIP mission, I let my gunner get pinned down and outmaneuvred into a sectoid flank (crit despite nanoweave). Oh sure, having 2 of the 3-man pod flank themselves to my 2 snipers (5-man GOp) was nice, but a flashbang and OW kept my gunner down - should have ran the OW. So scary lugging around a prized soldier at 1 HP and 7 mobility to the evac.

Basic Laser online. Sold 1 too many cores, can't get the elerium to do advanced so time to finally start Biotech.

Why am I not getting any Intel missions? So many jailbreaks. Feels wrong I only have 3 squads active at a time. Oh... I get a Datapad at this timing - sell or research hmm... I need that intel. Got to expand - there's 2 regions at reduced cost to expand.

Jailbreak (2 rookie 1 rebel): I thought I'd lose a rookie to a Mec, but red fog made it unable to flank - so it just suppressed instead. Praise my OW spec who got shredder from AWC.

Extract VIP (ranger): 4-man GOp where I brought a Squaddie spec. This spec made so many blunders this mission: pick up loot and activate a pod. When half the squad is busy with 2 pods far away. A Gunner from this blundered pod got out of sight and was next to the window when the spec picked up another loot. Slight panic - that's an easy flank if the AI is suicidal. Throw the VIP into its flashbang'd sight just so it'd have an easy target instead of trying to flank (I value my existing soldier more than a VIP soldier). Gunner missed. Spec then storms into the building for a close up flank... and grazes. Grenadier tries to save her ass and does 1 damage with frag. I think I'm going to lose someone but the Gunner decides to run into some good cover outside the building - where the sniper can see it. Seriously, the sniper saved this spec's ass - or perhaps the spec was the perfect bait to lure out Advent into snipable positions.

Meantime, a shinobi trolled the remannts of those 2 pods: Engineer, Trooper, 1 HP Sectoid. They had her flanked when she activated them. They decided an OW wall was better than shooting at an 8+10+20+20 def shinobi. Shadowstep. Heck, the shinobi grazed the Engineer on a fleche and that goon still decided OW is better than shooting back point-blank. Seems I need to factor in the AI's survival thinking. Flawless mission.


Rendezvous happen - blew up 1 faceless and there were no officers. Ah well. Got Combat Awareness though.

Jailbreak: there's a civilian standing right in front of the gutter pipe my sniper wants to climb up. Astounding block. 2-man pod, stealthing in a ridiculously unlikely place. While 2 sectoids were behind the squad... and then the Squaddie sniper ran out of ammo on the very turn reinforcements dropped. A Trooper also decided to just suicide charge to flank. Maybe it was because that would have stopped the suppression on its podmate. Either way, 2 wounds and 4 cores. The 5 prisoners escaped despite one being orange-alert shot.

Intel mini-retal! Sell cores, recruit more bodies, 8-man quick response team. Half of them ended up doing nothing: 3 rookies leveled up with minimal fuss. MVP: Combat Protocol and a grenadier who high-rolled too much and killed 3 in a 4-man pod without being seen (shinobi spotter). The remaining goon took cover against the (still unseen) grenadier, perfectly positioned for a snapshot from behind.

Before I realised it, I was running 5 squads at once - Str 3 unlocks all those extra missions in my home region.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:28 pm
by Psieye
I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier: sniper activates a pod from afar, Ever Vigiliant ranger then gets into OW position while in high cover. Ok, for this Str 3 5-man Lib 2 VIP, it backfired in that 2 orange pods showed up and blasted away at my forward ranger. Then an orange-alert-raised zombie shuffled past and revealed my shinobi.

So... 5 goons, all shooting away at 2 soldiers in high cover. Smoke up. Shinobi took 3 sword swings to chip away at the Engineer huddling right in front of her (constantly suppressed). Ranger was shoot-hunker tanking: I need to make more of these hunker tanks that can still shoot. A Trooper had the smart idea to try and flank in this situation. Too bad it got spotted by the snapshot sniper. Endless suppression and shadowstep then cleaned up the rest. The covering fire OW may have helped. Also snagged 25 Intel from a hack reward.

What an ugly 6-man hack train mission - 3 wounds. I should never split the squad to look at both sides of the train. Also, mis-judged how large a Mec's missile splash is. The 2 rookies came out unwounded.

Ok, this is XCOM telling me to go get some rest. 6-man rescue Scientist VIP and the wounds just piled up: another 3 down in bed. How it happened: a drone flanked a Technical, so another drone got activated. That drone then flew in and flanked the shinobi. Now the shinobi is visible to the pod at the van. Nearly the whole map activated at once. I say nearly because it was VLight so a final pod (green alert) walked in. All because I felt I had to rocket the Mec to shred it. Did you know drones can repair as part of green-alert?

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:06 am
by Psieye
Lib 3 shows up and there's not enough time to squeeze in a good squad. Advanced Laser has finished, time to try another 8-man GOp.

Huh, that was a flawless Destroy Relay. Didn't feel flawless with all the OW shots I ate, but I must have juggled them between the ablatives. A Sectoid is really annoying to take down with just SMGs (ran out of frags).

Coming from Veteran, green-alert shooting is something that needs adapting to. It makes assault/shinobi more risky to use before all enemies are accounted for. On that note, I need more shadowstep shinobi for the 2nd half of GOps, when everything is accounted for. Actually, just noticed that even orange-alert pods will use the walking animation.

S&G: my assault never got to fire his shotgun. He was still useful due to Lightning Reflexes and stun gun. 20% graze band means he can still get grazed while doing his trolling. Double grenadier (1 sapper), double sniper seems interesting but struggles hard when the frags run out.

May 1. Class count:
- 2 assault
- 6 grenadier
- 3 gunner (I demand high Def and medium mobility to be a gunner)
- 3 ranger
- 7 snipers
- 5 shinobi
- 5 spec
- 4 tech

Ok, time to 8-man GOp at 42% for a 12 turn limit relay at Str 3, Lib 3. This will likely fail.

Turned out, the patrol routes favoured me. I so hate myself for forgetting to throw the evac as soon as the mission started (stealth was broken on turn 1) - had to wait 1 turn after reinforcements arrived to get out. Would have been flawless if not for that. 1 wound taken by the shinobi who bravely dodged the Stun Lancer but got grazed by the Muton.

Highlights: move+rocket without Fire in the Hole. Still landed on the car, blowing it up. Next turn, Roust some guys in OW - this moves the viper exactly 1 tile (where a Trooper just died). That 1 tile was what I needed to hit the viper with the grenadier's frag. The shinobi got poisoned while in stealth (which doesn't break it) due to Viper spit cheating vision. Medical protocol solved that.

The relay itself was 20 HP and there were 3 snipers (2 with laser lance). Through a tiny window, the relay got sniped to destruction. On that turn, massive pod finds us and opens fire. Lots of pre-emptive smoke and a timely Aid Protocol kept the holo officer safe (well, dodging 31%+20 graze is luck too). What followed was a mad dash to the starting location where the evac had been thrown. A desperate look for smokes revealed a sniper had some - so off they popped.

Having returned home, the 8-man GOp is soon sent out again: a supply raid with nearly 7 days on it. Maybe it would have been prudent to only send out a 5-man team and avoid the command pod. I am greedy. Will boost intel to keep it to a 5-man command pod.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:27 pm
by Psieye
Always good to see when the aliens make the same tactical mistake we do: yellow-moving into the fog and discovering it's flanked. It says something that the only thing my gunner did on this "VIP in van" mission was to OW. No shooting, no supression - just OW with a really huge magazine for that purpose.

8-man Supply Raid at 95% infil - no command pod in a Str 3 region. Hmm, expected one. Not much to say, 8-man squad vs 15 aliens on a really wide map is super easy mode.

A joke squad: 3 sappers, 2 rangers. Jailbreak. Yeah I fucked up on squad composition in the other missions - I have so many 13 mob grenadiers I need to make an effort of including one in every squad now. I'll be honest, I savescum'd on turn 1 because a pod that looked like 1 Trooper turned out to also have 2 Mecs in it behind a wall. Even on reveal there was nothing but the 1 Trooper so that caught me completely off-guard. Now I know to think about such situations. What happened after the scum? The Mecs jumped onto roofs and were sapped onto the ground - that's how most of their HP was removed.

Should really bring a shaped charge instead of relying on sappers to make a shortcut into the jail. Anyway, nearly flawless except the reinforcements came out of sight and activated off a random run. A Scout got a crit flank shot but at least the stun lancer was killed.

On a slightly less silly 5-man GOp, the only wound I took was from the assault. The only soldier I cared about because I want Trench Gun for the network tower. Amazing what a 10 mob DfA sniper can do when he never has time to sit and shoot - carrying smokes.

I cobbled together some 5-man squad to send to the tower. Right after, Intel mini-retal! Also spawned: S&G and Find a Lead. 4 other 5-man squads are all around 20% infiltration elsewhere. I'll need to think carefully about this.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:17 pm
by Psieye
May 15, mission status:
- Network tower, 1%
- Anti-Strategic DE, 19% (4d 18h to 100%) - 12d 8h remaining
- S&G Str 3, 41% (4d 7h to 100%) - 4d 22h remaining
- Intel mini-retal, 1d remaining
- Region 2 Lib 1-lookalike Str 2, 12% (4d 8h to 100%) - 4d 8h remaining
- Find a lead Str 1, 15% (4d 20h to 100%) - 7d 9h remaining
- S&G Str 1, 7d 3h remaining
- Find a lead Str 2 - 11d 2h remaining

Ok so I can cancel the Str 1 lead and Network tower to respond to the mini-retal.

That mini-retal had 3 rebels - 1 got one-shot on turn 1 from orange-alert behind. He was the one with a smoke grenade. Ah well. The only wounds were on rebels - no problem. The opening was the usual frantic "they're in all directions" and looking for safe places to put phantom snipers before revealing them. Thing about 20-graze band is that if I can bring aim down below 20, I'm guaranteed (except for a crit roll) to only take grazing damage. My holo guy got grazed but his plating saved him.

My Avenger excavation looks like a T - straight down from floor 1 to floor 4 just to reach a power coil. Lab time.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:48 pm
by Psieye
Ugh that was an embarassing mistake in an S&G. Sent my elite 10 natural Def dudes in and my OW spec got oneshot. He'd just flashbang'd a snek to free a shinobi who got bound (because foolish charge into facility for attempted flank). Said shinobi then ran back to close the door for the spec. Then the disorientated snek showed it still had enough mobility to climb a ladder and shoot at a flank. At least the spec only bled out and my sniper carried him out on time. I needed an explosives grenadier not a support one.

Meantime, Find a Lead which got semi-stealthed. The 10 mobility spec wasn't ever going to reach the objective on time but the shinobi remained undetected the whole map. Spec still pulled his weight with a timely combat protocol. Despite only fighting half the enemies, a Sentry landed a square hit through high cover on my Needle grenadier. Temptation grows to stick a scientist in the AWC...


I just had a Hack mission with mass sneks. Ever had a 10 mobility DfA sniper set up somewhere only to realise the gas station is blocking his view of anything? A frag opening scattered the 1st pod into cover against where the grenadier was. Which makes it really easy for the Technical to get a good flank position - with Fortify in case the 2nd pod orange-alerts into him (holo guy spotted them). Holo officer Commands to make the Technical shoot again (because the spec missed - long-distance SMG shot). The remaining Sidewinder decides to retreat instead slithering forwards for excellent flank shots - maybe its will broke.

I activate the 2nd pod and open with a rocket - a snek was next to a car. That snek was also flanked by the DfA sniper (now on ground level) so the car blew up too late. Everyone else doesn't have a good shot so they get in better positions and hunker up. The remaining 2 sneks both graze the Technical (thank you Aid Protocol) neatly shaving off all his ablative (armour 1 = 50% damage reduction for a 2 damage graze). Next turn, the Technical gets a crit flank on a snek - again nobody else has a good shot (SMG guys don't ever have a good shot) so more movement and hunkering. Last snek then spits on the Technical but he shrugs off the poison in 1 turn (Field Surgeon means he won't be wounded). By now the holo officer has gotten into a flank position and shoots the snek dead.

Finally, an orange-alert 2-man pod was guarding the objective and were activated by the spec. Sentry took low cover so got sniped by the DfA sniper. Officer... gave up trying to shoot because there were no good hit chances anywhere - just OWs while visible (behind full cover) to the sniper. After getting shot, Officer gets the message and charges forwards - into the Technical's laser OW. No wounds, lots of loot.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:39 pm
by Psieye
5-man Hack mission. It began with a turn 1 shinobi reveal - there was a pod standing on top of a roof: Stun Lancer, Sergeant, Drone. Immediately throw the evac as far forward as I can. The Stun Lancer was killed with the shinobi's 2nd action (conveniently getting him out of danger). The Ranger happened to have sight of the drone from her blue moved position and oneshot it (AP ammo). The grenadier then ran up into low cover (outside flank move range of the Sergeant) and hunkered with Aid Protocol. Sergeant (75 aim) sees it has no shot (80 Def) so it dashes into some high cover far away. Not far enough - grenadier saps the high cover and the Sergeant get snapshot.

Next, a Naja and a Sectoid. The sniper can't see them and because of a solo drone (that snuck up onto the roof where my grenadier still was), my ranger's position was revealed and her OW tanked. The shinobi and grenadier are smoked but the ranger is only under high cover - gets mindspun (disorient) and shot (3 dmg, 1 HP lost). Next turn, sniper is too far away to get a reliable shot and misses the naja flank.

Super bad decision: I make the shinobi fleche the sectoid. Yep, a new pod is activated and scampers in - Gunner, Stun Lancer, Mec. Do my best to red fog the Mec with Combat Protocol. Naja moves nto other cover where sniper can't see. Stun Lancer misses but intelligently sits behind high cover to the rest of the squad. Mec grazes and leaves shinobi with 1 HP lost. Gunner goes OW.

Ranger is still disorientated (damn 2 turn duration) but still gets the graze shot to kill the Mec. Shinobi swings sword once at Stun Lancer and hunkers: still in high cover to the Gunner but Naja flanks him. Stun Lancer is snapshot. Naja gets cover blown away (but takes no damage) from sapper frag. This makes it decide to move into new cover instead of shooting - Naja can't move and shoot so it moves into other high cover (the perfect flank position for sniper). Gunner sees no good moves so it runs a little closer and OWs.

Gunner's cover sapped, ranger finishes him off. Naja sniped. Loot picked up, objective hacked, 2-man reinforcements dealt with, everyone comes home. No wounds (thank you Field Surgeon).

I should really start planning ambushes for green-alert pods. I got lucky this time and everything huddled in easily-flankable positions. But this can be planned for - they only blue-move to scamper and if there isn't enough cover for a large pod then they'll huddle. As it was, the squad had 3 easy flank shots and a frag that hit 3 things when the pod was caught completely unprepared.

5-man Destroy Relay. 1st pod is 2-man - Officer is sniped and the Sentry dies to OW wall. A solo drone could have revealed my shinobi but instead flew elsewhere. Next turn, said drone gets sniped. Next, a Gunner and Engineer activate. Gunner's OW gets cancelled by Suppression and then 2 casual flank shots remove Gunner. The Engineer decides running to the next pod is best which makes it dash into low cover. It tried to run Suppression after that - died. Relay was visible and got snapshot while repositioning. A 2nd drone again threatened to flank my shinobi but got sniped. The last pod was Stun Lancer and Gunner - the former got sniped. Gunner scampered somewhere that my flame Technical could reach. Gunner was burning, at 1 HP and was suppressed (overkill I know). Mission accomplished, nobody got shot at, shinobi never broke concealment.

May 26, Lab was finished and instantly upgraded to 4 stations.

4d 12h on an Extract Scientist from City - time to 8-man GOp.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:15 am
by Psieye
8-man GOp happen: 22 turns to get to the Evac with a scientist. Str 2.

It took 3 turns of forward advancing to find the first pod. My party had spread out to cover more ground. I shouldn't have engaged from the roof while 2 of my 3 snipers were far away without amazing lines of sight. Even with this suboptimal decision the 1st pod was cleared - Area Suppression when the enemy knows they'll get flanked soon is great for multi-kills.

2nd pod by itself wouldn't have been bad. In another bad decision, I took an opportunity shot to activate pod 3 too. Probably should have let them orange-alert act. My grenadier walked up dangerously to sap some cover and got focused on - panic procs. Not sure whether he would have gotten his turns if I revived him out of panic. But no, he got killed while staying in a bad position. I liked that Cpl Grenadier, but I'll take a scientist over surplus sappers. Yeah if I had better RNG he'd have lived but 2 snipers failed to kill a rocketeer so I was forced to have my gunner suppress it instead of 2 enemies. With the grenadier gone, my elite natural 10 Def gunner is tanking. Suboptimally - he's taking shots at all. Ended up wounded from losing 2 HP (hmm, Field Surgeon doesn't stack?).

After that 2nd and 3rd pod were cleared up (enemies will run suppression if a shinobi shows up in flank). 4th pod was far away and well, a 5-man pod that instantly flanks itself to 2 snipers isn't scary. It's become instinctive to send my tank/scout/bait in from a direction that will make a pod scamper itself into flanks. Seriously, if something isn't flanked now, it'll flank itself to snipers next turn while sheepishly trying to OW creep towards the solo tank.

Reinforcements showed up. Quite close to my Trial by Fire sniper officer. Because I want to keep her moving forward, I instead Command a double fleche to clean up the reinforcements. By the time every-turn reinforcements came the squad was gone with the body of the grenadier.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:49 pm
by Psieye
8-man GOp squad vs an 8-turn Hack mission.

Started in the corner, lots of tall cars, the first pod was 1 blue-move away, the next immediately orange-alerted in. A really shit position to start from when you have 3 snipers. Immediately snapshot to see how the pod scatters - a Sidewinder decides to scamper to somewhere that the entire rest of the squad is flanking.

Big discovery of this run: Revive refunds hunker actions if used on a panicked unit. Damn, had I known this I could have saved my grenadier in the last 8-man GOp. How it happened: a viper escapes from suppression because my gunner got mindspun into panic. Said viper moves to an awesome flanking position on my gunner but decides shooting my holo guy is better (smart). Holo guy at 1 HP below max thanks to graze. Nobody was in position to kill that snek. Instead, the shinobi revealed and shot the viper from behind. Viper decides to make a run for it else it'll die to the shinobi. It died to the suppression fire instead - gunner got snapped out of panic by Revive.

Other choice moments were when holo guy only grazed a self-flanked sidewinder so the assault stunned it for a 2nd try next turn. That and the 2 Stun Lancers that ran into the tanks and were dispatched with double melee actions. There's just something about getting in a knife fight with a Stun Lancer.

A lot of dead bodies later, we evac - no wounds, no loot. The initial fight took too long. I suppose I could have intervened 3 times to make this happen but we were just too far away and still had half the map's worth of enemies alive somewhere.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:03 pm
by Psieye
I got outplayed on a S&G - 12 turns on the urban gene clinic map. Thinking back, a decision I made on turn 1 of where to put my sniper resulted in the SNAFU. Put simply, I changed my approach vector mid-mission so my sniper was lagging well behind the group. While the rest of the 5-man squad was dealing with aliens in the prison/surgery room, an orange-alert pod rounded the corner (from where I had come from) and let loose on my flanked sniper. I mean, they knew where the squad was from the amount of noise being made. The corner of the building prevented me from seeing them come.

My SSgt sniper only bled - he got carried off. Along with another horribly flanked and bled soldier[1], I decided it's time to man the AWC. The full 4-station lab mitigates the loss in research. In the meantime, I had another SSgt sniper sitting in a haven because I don't want to build too many laser sniper rifles - I won't build much mag weapons but sniper rifles will always be kept up to date for the elite snipers. What it means is that my schedule for a 2nd Trial by Fire sniper is now way off.

On the note of good luck, I found another supply raid at 6d+ in timer. Had to choose between that and a Jailbreak (2 rebels) - went for the corpse chance. We shall see if that's a bad decision: the destination is a Str 4 region so a 5-man squad may face a 5-man command pod there. Hmm, I think I'll boost and field at 125% infil just to be safe.

Speaking of Str 4, that's not my home region. I didn't notice my 1st expansion jumping from Str 2 to Str 4. That means the aliens got a strategic DE off: thankfully it was just "random civilians are faceless" which is a more manageable one.

[1] my crit-ranger in training who will one day learn Iron Curtain from AWC.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:47 pm
by Psieye
Things are turning... intense. My 1st expansion has a Rendezvous, Intel retal and a Supply Raid all queued up. Wounds are beginning to pile up from the faceless civilians. The A-team will have to clear the HQ and immediately head towards the mini-retal. I'd kinda hoped to delay the HQ slightly to get a 'prevent a retal' mission in that region to 50% but oh well. I had a bank of intel but it's getting chipped away as I squeeze in more missions. We're gonna need lots of intel rebels to spot all the Str 3~4 things the 8-man GOp will get up to.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:41 pm
by Psieye
Halfway through the HQ (26 kills). An astonishingly bad pull of 4 pods gave me less damage than when I didn't spot a ladder.

The bad pull started when I forgot my shinobi was the one that could see the 2nd pod. The gunner moved up to shinobi's position and activated. Just 1 pod, so I moved back and the squad was in good defensive position. The remaining question: where to put the shinobi? I chose an aggressive position to spot enemies inside the building. The next pod walked into the OW wall and a snek scampered down a floor and then through a window to the one position where it could flank my shinobi. This shinobi had yellow-moved into seeing 2 more pods. The only damage my shinobi took before falling back to the front line was from poison spit. Most enemies looked at her and decided "nah, can't hit her ever" so they overwatched - half cover but with low profile. She has shadowstep.

In fact, before that shinobi returned, she blue-moved out of the base and saw a rocketeer next to high cover. Medical Protocol to cure the poison and she fleched the rocketeer down. Aid Protocol and smoke were thrown to her. Again, all the enemies decide they can't do anything to her. Except a sidewinder snek that flanked her - it had 3% hit chance and missed. Said snek died because that position put its back against the snipers.

Shinobi was back with the squad, the berserker had been focus-sniped and the enemies were just in one direction again. Well, the berserker lasted more than 3 sniper shots - the penultimate shot was from the gunner, after he stabbed the stun lancer he had just Combatitives countered last turn. The melee scuffle happened through a wall - that gunner had been standing there for so long, all the missed shots put a hole in the wall.

Moment of luck later on: a bad dash from my spec put him just in sight of a heavy turret. He got away with 2 HP lost because of a low damage roll. Then in a move to flank a shieldbearer (its shield had long ago expired) I found another heavy turret. Decide to Aid Protocol and shoot - grazed but that put it low enough that Hail of Bullets could guarantee the kill. The last mobile enemy was a sidewinder snek. Shinobi runs up and misses at 84% (damn snek dodge) - now in high cover against the 2 Heavy Turrets but no further def boosts. In comes another pod: sidewinder, 2 faceless.

The snek which dodged the sword moves into high cover against my whole squad and misses my shinobi. Well, blows up the cover she was hiding behind. Now the 2 Heavy Turrets get to shoot on a completely exposed shinobi. They both graze - hard target! After that we do a full retreat to make the turrets irrelevant. This is when I fail to spot a ladder THAT SNEK could use. It casually blue-moves into new high cover and gets a flank shot on my gunner who I thought was safe.

Hmm, somewhere along there I forgot to mention the 2nd berserker that happened during all this. At laser, 25 HP is not something 3 mid-game snipers can kill without certain builds I had not chosen. The last of the HP was solved with a sap that made it drop to the ground. That left it at 1 HP. Shinobi got the graze-kill.

Edit: I should say, THAT SNEK was dead when I save/quit for the night. To recap: this sidewinder showed up with the 2nd berserker, dodged an 85% hit chance sword swing, blew up the high cover of said shinobi so Heavy Turrets could shoot her and swung across a building to seize a flank on my gunner. My holo guy SHOULD have been positioned to at least take advantage of such a position but noooooo, a tall post blocked LoS. This Snek then also grazed out of my SSgt snapshot and had to be put down by the gunner.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:01 pm
by Psieye
The only pods left were the command pod and a drone pair that came in during the boss fight. Unpleasant fact learnt: M2 grenadier's incendiary is much bigger in radius than yours. I reload when I learn something new like that. I didn't reload when a fluke smoke grenade throw 'damaged terrain' and set my holo guy's cover on fire. 1 HP.

The Tier 2 drones were the annoying things. They're fast and move right in. Fortunately, their AI can be abused (thank you JoINrbs) - when my shinobi failed to kill one by fleche, it just shot back at her (-7% hit chance) instead of stunning her (I had Revive, wouldn't have mattered). The general? Never fired a shot. It was alive for about 4 turns and spent all of them doing a blue move into OW. My DfA sniper on a roof with DGG and Lone Wolf grinded him down while the shinobi shadowstepped out of flankable positions and hunkered. The rest of the squad ran well far away so the shinobi would be the only thing seen.

It is June 6 and I have my first GSGT sniper. That's after she took time off to (with Quick Study) go in the officer tube until she came out a Trial by Fire Captain. The Shinobi has been nicknamed to "Wisp" in honour of how she dodge-tanked 4 pods at once with only poison damage to show for it. That and the double grazing she did while fully exposed against 2 Heavy Turrets (75 Aim). Wound time: 5 days (AWC staffed). She didn't have any AWC perks yet - Tac. Sense is in her waiting list.

Bringing a Squaddie sniper on a 5-man GOp when M2 dudes are showing up... not a good idea. Though really, it was bad activation that gave me these wounds. Yeah that was the E.Light "destroy relay" mission that came up because I'd liberated the region.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:12 am
by Psieye
Rendezvous and Intel mini-retal completed. Both flawless - no rebels lost but I had 2 faceless to purge.

A lucky PoI gave me a resistance Mec which trivialised the Rendezvous (it had 78 aim). The retal was an unpleasant start where I got sandwiched between 2 pods at the start. Unpleasant fact learnt: an Advent Sergeant has a frag grenade that has a bigger radius than a Rocketeer's rocket. It also has more cover destruction power than a sapper's frag. Thank goodness I moved my armoured gunner near my tank technical instead of my snapshot officer. The technical had formidable, the gunner rolled low when taking damage. The subsequent Trooper shot when the gunner had no cover only grazed - Predator meant she only lost 1 HP and I had field surgeon.

Oh how the sandwich was broken? The pod behind the squad ate a sniper OW (he was standing in no cover) with a snek and that was the pod member who rolled an action - a green-alert because it took damage - to OW. The rest didn't do anything. The OW snek got executed by the shinobi. A naja went down to a 41% (-20 graze) snapshot. No further actions were spared for this pod on that turn. So another snek moved up and tongue-grabbed the shinobi. The Trooper in that pod missed a 51% (+20 graze) shot on the shinobi.

Next turn, the snek gets sniped but doesn't die. Shinobi's T2 sword finishes the snek and the Trooper gets fleched with the remaining action.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:10 pm
by Psieye
5-man Supply Raid at 117% (Vulnerable) - Light enemies. Where 3 pods spawned and 2 were activated very soon within each other. I can't believe I only brought 1 smoke grenade. I actually view smokes to be better than non-Sting flashbangs once you get past the Sectoid-spam earlygame. No Field Surgeon, 2 ablative only and the squad emerged with just 1 wound: the 57 will shinobi officer who got mind controlled out of cover. He still instinctively dodge-grazed the Sectoid pistol shot.

Now then... a Str 4 Smash & Grab - no shinobi to send so I'll send out a phantom sniper to spot for my DfA sniper. Oh... a 3 day Troop Column spawned... Might abort that S&G mission - it's got my good snipers in it. Let's see how these other 2 missions go before I decide. Drat and an 8-day Lib 3 offering Resistance Contacts +1 now spawns.

Damn, what was I thinking when I set up this squad? 2 SMG Spec, 1 DfA sniper, 1 tank gunner and 1 rookie - that works in the earlygame, not in June. On a 4 day Jailbreak where the Str became 4 when it was go time. Now, the squad got out safely after 4 kills - no wounds, the rookie graduated and a lamppost gave 75 supply. Probably not worth the 25 intel I burnt to do this with a 5-man squad.

Ok, this is more like a 5-man V.Light GOp - hack objective, ended up killing everything. Laser rifles on 75 Aim soldiers, lots of explosives, snapshot sniper. Moment of glory: some RNF arrived behind cover. The sapper blew up the cover while on evac but nobody could see the exposed enemy. Shaped charge on the offending high cover and boom, the spec gets the last kill on an exposed 1 HP goon.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:29 pm
by Psieye
Well that was disappointing - Swarming Troop Column ended in crash bug. This is XCOM's way of telling me to go to bed after witnessing another bizzare bug: I think Mindshield is blocking the Unconscious part of getting stabilised. So the graphics thinks the unit is still prone but I get to act (and be shot) as normal.

I'll reload from Geoscape and respawn the whole mission to keep it fresh for me tomorrow. While it was happening, bad pulls, the threat of sidewinders and a lone Sergeant that breached the OW line and was actually shooting at the snipers was exciting. Or was, until my shinobi got revealed and it happened right as an orange-alert pod patrolled into view. You know what? Despite getting alpha-striked by half the 8-man pod, he survived. What killed him was an aggressive move on my part: didn't run away when I knew there was a rocketeer in that pod. Taking full cover with a fleche is meaningless when the rocket blows up the cover. Though it took 7 shots for Advent to put him down after exposing him.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:30 am
by Psieye
DAMMIT I lost a sniper who had Steady Hands from AWC. A low-rank sniper but still, they're meant to be the backbone of the 8-man GOp and I lost one. Bad positioning - the sniper had no good shot (damn car park with all the tall cars) so moved to throw a smoke grenade. When I knew there were enemies that could walk in and shoot her next turn. Yeah she took 3 shots and died while in low cover. My Technical got KO'd without using any flames and my other low-rank sniper takes 8 days wounds from a Mec missile.

In return, I got 27 corpses (a lot blew up from the EXO punch) including 3 Mec wrecks and 2 sectoid carcasses. A few promotions as well. The squad basically never left the corner after spawning there. A rocket did all the work of attracting the entire map towards the combat zone. It was a horrible corner: car park blocking vision everywhere and a building where Advent could look down on the squad (Naja have DGG). Hairy moment when a pod flanked us but a Lone Wolf spec (AWC) solo tanked the entire flank. Didn't even take a wound for it too. Said flank had some explosive terrain which helped out, but a lucky max-roll from my veteran sniper finished off the last enemy (Sergeant) threatening the flank.

6 or so smoke grenades were spammed to the tanking going. No high ground, very little Steady Weapon, just ~60% potshots to slowly whittle down enemies in high cover while the shinobi ran around cutting things down.

The 5-man V.Light S&G went well. Hairy start when M2 Officers kept me pinned down for several turns, but nobody took wounds (thank you body armour) and even the 10 Mobility DfA sniper (yeah what was I thinking?) grabbed a crate and got out as reinforcements were dropping down. Glory to Lone Wolf snapshots.

The 8-man GOp is being demanded in so many places simultaneously now. Let's talk about the geographic situation:
- New India is liberated (and has Faceless...)
- East Europe is Str 3, 10 rebels and is about to have Lib 3 done
- East Africa is at Str 5, 8 rebels
- East Asia is at Str 4, 6 rebels
- West Asia just got contacted - Str 1, 5 rebels
- Shortest path to Blacksite is through East Asia -> Siberia, etc

East Asia spawned a Find a Lead on 4 day timer. Send 8-man GOp there. Then it spawned Lib2 on 1 day timer. Reroute 8-man GOp to that instead, especially as my sniper officer just finished Fire Discipline training. East Africa also spawned Lib2 on 1 day timer but that's lower priority. I should say all 3 of these missions reward a scientist. Oh and East Africa spawned a Troop Column on 8 days - probably won't need the 8-man GOp there.

Money at this point has ceased to be a concern. The 8-man GOp will hand out Laser, Predator and EXO to all non-snipers. Adv Mag will soon come online, but probably not for these 8-man GOps.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:29 pm
by Psieye
6-man "V.Light" Lib 3 Str 3 - with 4 faceless among civilians (I still have that Strategic DE). We got the Dark VIP and the +1 Contacts that came with him. Greed for loot made me get too close to a muton, it oneshot my SSgt Technical who picked up the loot.

I really need to contemplate my non-sniper squad compositions - specifically the ratio of SMGs vs Rifles. 6-man is meaningless in June when really, only the shinobi and the gunner were doing any damage. 2 flame technicals with SMGs, 1 medic with SMG and 1 combat protocol with a rifle don't have good solutions against Mutons or mass Mec. Or rather, my barracks composition assumes I will have at least 1 sniper in every squad. I have very few Assaults and Rangers. Given I'm facing V.Light missions most of the time (is why I contacted West Asia as chances were all the str had trickled out of there) I need to be careful.

Re: AAR Commander with AWC init tweaks

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:41 pm
by Psieye
8-man GOp squad vs V.Heavy "Extract Scientist from City" Lib 2 - 1 day of infiltration, Str 4, 41/43 kills (2 RNF waves, some zombies), 3 wounds:
- Sniper 6 days (needlessly aggressive position)
- Ranger 9 days (tanked 7 shots behind heavy cover)
- Shinobi 8 days (ran through maybe 10 OW shots and was the solo tank for many turns)

On a 20-turn map, it gets really tense deciding when to move the DfA sniper out of the nest. He took 2 turns getting into position (damn far away ladder) and took about 5 shots before I began moving him. The shinobi made sure there was always something for him to shoot. Said shinobi was doing well not getting spotted on an 11% infil mission until a damn Faceless emerged out of a civilian. That moment when your one guy gets stealth broken while way far ahead and in half cover - with an 8-man pod aggroing on him. He shrugged that turn off, taking more damage on subsequent turns because he didn't have Shadowstep and I needed things cut down. Great care to make sure Lone Wolf didn't switch off on him. Moment of glory when I wished I had a rocket (no technicals this time) then realised my gunner had Demolition. Car go boom.

20 graze band makes 1 pip of armour extremely valuable. My tanks would be dead if they didn't graze everything.

Slight situation: my Trial by Fire officer has nearly no Cpls or lower to train up. Black Market is having a sale and wants datapads (have 6) and trooper corpses (lol). Time to get some more warm bodies to put in the predator suits.

Meantime, aborting a hack mission where the region became Str 5. That 5-man wasn't built to deal with a Light mission, ever mind while on a short timer.

Damn and I took another wound (6 days) on a sniper. This is not good for training sniper officers. The only wound even, in a 5-man V.Light where I again forgot I had an EXO because it was on a spec (too many buttons).