Tactical Combat With A Side of Salt About Percentages — XCOM 2 Thread

My inclination would be to flank left or right along the perimeter wall, which would at least cover one of your axis (with the edge of the map.) The center of that map is a terrible killbox and I would stay out of it as far as possible. If memory serves the elevated sections run out but they still make decent overwatch positions for covering the exfiltration.

What do you have available as far as cover destruction? You’ll need to knock out a lot of the wall towards the exit.

thats all helpful. i have a few soldiers frag grenades, and a rocketeer. so not a ton? but enough. im definitely learning on this playthrough how vital taking out cover is.

It’s a tricky balancing act, because you want to have sufficient cover available to you as you advance, but Thin Men are prime grenade-bait in general.

because of shit like this, I’m not actually sure I like Long War. I love some of the changes to class structure, but it’s so unforgiving. I hope the modders got some compensation out of xcom 2 just being a really good graphics long war

The secret to XCOM EW Long War is to just abuse Overwatch. You have no turn limit in this mission, what you should try to do is slowly move into position and if you know the pod patrols just wait with overwatch until they slide into view. Even if only one person get’s an overwatch shot that lands that is still one more then you would have had and you get a turn with everyone having two actions to react to enemy placement.

Firaxis/2K paid them, Pavonis Interactive, to make Long War 2 and other mods as well involving them in the development of XCOM 2 so that their stuff would be ready to go at the launch of the game as well as being more mod friendly.

They are currently working on their own XCOM like game called Terra Invitica, not a lots known about it yet unforunately.

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That’s good that they got paid. I’m just not completely sure I’m into setting overwatch traps all the time. I guess it’s just not for me. It’s neat though. I’m mostly just playing it cause I only have xcom 2 on ps+ without any dlc, and that game was not meant for a controller. They made it work, but I’d rather use a mouse.

Oh I completely agree, overwatch abuse is really boring but sometimes it was the only thing I found that could get me through a map without losing everyone.

Does the game actually run okay on PS4? The game already ran pretty bad on the PC I can’t imagine it running much better on a console and yeah I don’t think I could play this with a controller like I could other turn based strategy games. I’m always trying to look all around the map to scout out where I need to be positioning or where an enemy pod might be.

It felt alright to me on a pro. It’s been months since then though so I could be wrong although I’d probably remember it more if it was bad. The controller is just like controlling a mouse with a controller in anything else. My biggest problem was seeing any of the text on screen. Like the UI was completely made for hunched over a pc and not 2 yards away on a tv.

Free weekend and big discount!

Just some thoughts for anyone interested in trying out an XCOM game

  • If you just want what Austin and Rob were playing, get the XCOM 2 Collection, the bundle with the War of the Chosen expansion in it. This is what they were playing and my personal favorite XCOM experience
  • XCOM 2 vanilla (i.e. without the War of the Chosen expansion) is a very flawed game in many ways. If you want the XCOM experience but don’t want to Shell out for the bundle, I would personally recommend getting XCOM: Enemy Unkown, the original Firaxis reboot of the series. That game still holds up extremely well.

Bumping this thread again because I got some more great mods to share :sweat_smile: , if you’re new to Xcom or thinking of picking it up be sure to check out my earlier post!

Sensor Fences, ever wonder why those holographic fences never revealed units in stealth? Well now they do!

CreativeXenos has a made a huge variety of gameplay mods, mostly new interesting enemies.


Titanfall Cosmetics

Mercenary Plasma Weapons and Hero Weapons, no stat difference just cosmetic

Disposable Rocket Launchers, single use rocket launchers that all troops can use

Faces Of Xcom, 7 new female face textures and 63 combinations for them

Male Hair Pack, 18 new hair styles

Extra Abilities for Chosen Weapons, because they weren’t strong enough already

Exalted Custodian, a very strong very tanky, very slow enemy

Advent Field Training, a new sitrep that allows you to ambush some very early game advent so you can level your new recruits in the later parts of the game

More Backstories, 476 new backstories to be exact.

Expanded Callsigns and Nicknames, 800 new names

Tactical Suppressors, replace the repeater with a silencer so you can finally try and run a full stealth mission. Goes great with the Combat Knives mod.

Katana Pack Reloaded, adds 3 different types so you can vary up your rangers sword action. Have their own stats and abilities.

Starting Spark, kind of imbalanced but it’s a lot of fun having a Spark unity early game

Ballistic Shields, dedicated tank troops is interesting, I found I had to limit myself to what weapons they could use with it otherwise they were way too strong


Bringing the discussion from the Chimera thread here about better implementation of insurgency that @michiakig @aoanla @LaserJesus brought up because I think it’s a great idea and I personally feel is not out of scope of a possibility in XCOM2.

So off hand I already know that civilians getting killed actually has a negative effect to XCOM troops that’s actually never stated in the form of losing will. On retaliation missions civis dying reduces the income for XCOM for that region.

I think having a system in place where based on actions in a mission alters the regions income could be really cool. Something like each region having a lack for a better word “loyalty” stat where if it goes positive you get increased income, free recruits, civilians not always alerting Advent, etc. But if you swing the other way it’s decreased income, alert radius on civilians is increased, maybe you can’t recruit at all from them, etc.

Maybe missions taking place in a pro XCOM region can have civilians offering assistance in a non combative way such as revealing enemy locations, loot stash, etc.


I think Long War 2, or maybe just Long War of the Chosen, includes better retaliation missions [which WotC already makes better with actually armed resistance members].

As you note, it would be even better to blend this into the non-retaliation missions, with a chance of actual on-the-ground support from third parties (who might even be lightly armed, at the extreme end of XCOM doing well).

I am sort of more invested in how this would work in the XCOM (and X-COM) setting - where we’re defending, rather than attacking, an insurgency, however. (Ever since the original game back in the 1990s, I’ve wanted there to be consequences for selling all those laser cannons on the open market… positive or negative.)


Huh I never actually thought about that. That could be pretty interesting where if you are just blindly selling advanced tech to the highest bidder that there could be some interesting consequences.

E.g. you sell a super power enough gear that they feel like they don’t need XCOM and can handle the threat themselves so they drop funding. Or maybe one of their scientists finds a way to use the lasers to perform better surgery reducing recovery time.


That’s interesting, I had no idea there was any soldier will penalty to civilian casualties. Is that on retaliation missions or all missions?

This is pretty much how it works in the COIN games (I have to apologize for keeping going back to COIN but it is the most accessible design I’m closely familiar with). They model hearts and minds for each region which can usually range from “active support” (for the regime) to “strong opposition” (to the regime, so opposition means pro-insurgent) with gradations between and this shifts as a consequence of player actions. What you describe is spot on in terms of the mechanical effects, but there is also the added element that each faction usually has as its victory condition raising (or lowering) support/opposition to a certain level. So, shifting civilian sentiment is an end goal in and of itself. I think once you add this extra dimension into the mix there are a lot of possibilities, like what if XCOM had to repair relations with local civilians after damaging ADVENT infrastructure as part of a guerilla op?

Aside from the hearts and minds element, I think the other really big thing missing from XCOM 2 is information asymmetry in the strategic layer. They added the stealth mechanic to the tactical layer which was definitely a big deal and really mixes things up from the first game, but it’s limited in scale. With the exception of the UFO hunting the Avenger, XCOM can kind of operate with impunity on the geoscape. They aren’t really trying to run under ADVENT’s radar, and taking on a guerrilla op mission doesn’t risk exposure to ADVENT retaliation, which just happens on a monthly schedule. It would be neat if you had to balance a quieter vs loud approach not just in tactical situations but on the strategic scale. That would likely require you to have some change like in LW2 where you are actually involved in managing multiple entities on the strategic map and not just the Avenger.


In my period when I actually thought about this far too much, I also considered things like funding nations actually intercepting UFOs (not just dropping funding) and trying to capture stuff themselves.

[And then this all went super complicated with the idea that maybe also the stuff you’re researching is a resource that Funding Nations should be interested in - presumably it’s initially all classified Ultra [or your nation’s equivalent highest security level], but maybe there should be trade-offs in declassifying some of your findings - helping to build support in the funding Nations by allowing politicians to argue for the importance of what you’re doing / but also giving them a head-start in competing directly with your efforts (or lowering the price you can sell those laser cannon for because big military contractors have seen the declassified files and worked out how to mass produce them themselves).
And this should have a knock-on effect on how you are publicly perceived - if anything ever gets declassified enough for the media to report on it, then Terror Missions are suddenly a potentially different ball-game, as local police or military forces might try to engage at the same time [or even before] X-COM gets there…
…and if Psi research gets released into the wild, why wouldn’t we see it used for the same things that the Aliens use it for, manipulating the masses for their own aims?]

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I absolutely thought there would be consequences to selling alien stuff to “private collectors” in XCOM 2. That was sort of the theme they set up but never delivered on. I could see it triggering events: disasters, alien crackdowns, undercover alien buyers using the black market to find your supply lines, unexpected social consequences of the right and criminal modifying themselves etc…

I’b be very into an XCOMgame that delivered on that premise.

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This discussion about public support I find is very interesting. Another aspect that I’ve thought about that Xcom 2 fails in is that it only feels like you are responding to Advent, not proactively making moves of your own. This is the exact same structure as in Enemy Unknown, and doesn’t fit well with how I see insurgencies working.

In other words, I would have preferred if you had an active role in planning which missions to take, instead of choosing one of three options every so often. War of the Chosen brings some of this with the factions, but it’s all on the side of your missions.


I would argue there is actually quite a bit narratively but mechanically they don’t feel proactive.

The missions that show up after awhile called Guerilla Ops are supposed to be proactive missions however there’s no way for you to force them to appear they just randomly show up in threes. On top of that for a mission where you are supposed to have started undetected there is a timer count down that starts right away unless you have a modifer.

Long War 2 is much better about this because missions are always showing up but are presented as windows of opportunities and part of the strategy of it is knowing that you cannot do every mission. You might have a convoy ambush mission show up one day and two days later while you were waiting for someone to get done healing a rescue mission shows up on the board. You know that technically you could do both but it’s going to leave you real light on deployable soldiers and if a retaliation missions happens afterwards it’s not going to go well at all.


Yeah I agree you have to make the assumption that there are decisions being made behind the scenes to select the operations, but I think this is the heart of my issue with the geoscape, leaving aside any discussion about modelling insurgency based on real world/historical conflicts.

You never get any impression that these missions are taking place on a map, they present themselves as appearing on a point on the globe but aren’t really connect to geography at all. The closest you ever get to making decisions based on the map are making contact with regions to get closer to black sites to knock the Avatar clock. Arguably this is kind of thematic, XCOM is a global resistance movement and they have a spaceship to fly around, so geography shouldn’t matter. But then they force you to make the radio connections from region to region, so there’s a weird disconnect there.

Going back to the idea of civilian sentiment, if XCOM’s goal was to destabilize the political base of ADVENT by fomenting opposition, you could imagine the player explicitly selecting to conduct an unrest-causing op in a region that is particularly pro-ADVENT, or picking a resource-gathering op in a region that is neutral and XCOM can operate more safely.

The way the dark events are countered by specific ops in WOTC gets at this decision making space a little bit but it’s still very abstracted away from player agency