Tactical Tuesdays (XCOM) Thread: Rob & Austin Save The Earth ... Hopefully


That’s how long war 2 does it and I like that method so much more.


I have started a new iron man run and have built a spark at same time as opened up 6th squad spot. Have been feeding it kills and it has been wiping pods alongside a Reaper with two claymores and got frost bombs early too.

I have never gone down psi route may try go down that route now.

Anyone jumping into PS4 version when it comes to psplus make sure you cloud save often. I had a hard crash on iron man at end of turn and lost a save.


Psi soldiers are extremely powerful once you’ve got them fully trained and upgraded. And even if you don’t have the money to fully upgrade their psi amps so they deal the most damage and have good chances of mind control, they’ve got Stasis and Inspire to change the flow of battle. And Stasis isn’t a turn-ending action, so you can stasis and shoot too if they’re in position! Their only downside is how much time and resources you need to put into training them to max them out (two and a half months at best, six months at worst, assuming they never get hurt on a mission mid-training).

There’s an achievement named “Who Needs Tygan?” with the requirement to beat the final mission with only basic equipment. I pulled that off with a team of six psychics.

Sparks are powerful, but in WOTC you need to wait until you get a Proving Grounds, spend a considerable amount of resources building one, and delay other objectives while doing that. By the time you’re done, you’ve probably got a deep roster if you haven’t been losing people. Austin and Rob are at this stage, and they’re not even playing hyper-optimized like I’m sure some of us are.

Training up a new soldier from scratch is tough, even if it’s a Spark who never gets tired. The constant churn of covert actions is a good way to any lower ranked regular soldiers if you have to get replacements several months in (assuming you don’t hire them at the Black Market). Sparks can’t go on covert actions, so they can’t take that route.

Bonds are a great way to boost your soldier’s prowess, and the mechanic only works if you’re sending both people out. The decision to send out a Spark not only means you’re losing out on a bond you could be working on, any person with a bond is now going to be at a different level of willpower than their bondmate, throwing things out of sync (unless one was wounded, in which case a Spark can be a way to move them towards will-sync).

Sparks have separate upgrades for weapons and armor, so keeping them up to speed with the rest of your soldiers is spreading thin resources even further. They have aim comparable to a grenadier, but without the ability to boost that with a PCS, and in vanilla XCOM2 they can’t even use weapon mods. This means that the -15 aim penalty with successive shots of Overdrive is significant. You’re much better off double-moving for a flanking position or reloading than shooting twice. Without mods, breakthrough technologies that give your soldiers extra health and damage don’t help the Sparks, keeping them behind.

Without WOTC you could get a Spark for free in the first two months by going on Lily’s (tough) mission. You didn’t have the incentive to use them because of their infinite will, but you also didn’t have the disincentive of going against the bonding mechanic. They started a little behind, but could catch up quick. Here in WOTC it’s more like three or four months out that you get one, leaving them behind on the curve. In WOTC you’re also getting psychics around that time if you focus, but psychics level up passively, reaching their cap around the same time as the rest of your squad if you’ve dedicated an engineer to them (and again, haven’t lost many soldiers).

In the end though, they’re cool robots :robot:, and they have unique abilities that can really change the look of the battlefield. Destroying cover, providing cover, closing on the enemy and soaking damage, the Sparks are very cool. They can ascend to a higher position from anywhere with their jump jets, and their basic attack shreds armor. I’m sure Austin and Rob will make us all love the Sparks.


Interesting about difference without in base game. I built proving ground as 2nd room as trying out a one power generator in an exposed cell to see if can run the ship off that has meant I have a lot of powerful proving ground stuff a lot earlier.

For context w Austin and Robs run, mission after getting Mox I used skull jack.

I’m building a psi lab now, do they have any skills that leaders/chosen are unaffected by?


So my understanding, and this could be wrong, is that originally the Chosen were going to have the possibility of having random traits that made them either weaker or stronger against psi attacks but were scrapped. I’ve seen a mod that adds them back tho.


That’s a shame would force you to examine that route if have a certain chosen whereas I have had two playthroughs so far and never looked at psi.

Out of curiosity is there any advantage or reason Rob and Austin have put off skull jacking?


Personally in all my runs I never progress the story until all the Chosen are dead and I’m basically at the endgame. The Avatar project is never really a threat between covert ops and facilities so there isn’t really a need as long as you’re diligent about keeping the meter down. You don’t really get good rewards for beating the mainline story missions anyway, so there’s no real reason to undertake extra missions and possibly get people injured/killed/tired and unable to fight when you need them. By saving them for the “victory lap” portion of the campaign it just makes it a lot easier and safer.

also, I used ionic storm for the first time and holy shit is it powerful, did I think 20+ damage I think to a Sectopod. It does so much damage that losing all your focus doesn’t matter, if you let it rip in a pod you get all the focus back anyway. I’m fortunate in that both my templars have reaper so I can basically have them running around just killing stuff. I gave all my mobility covert ops+PCS to my first Templar so his movement is 19 (up from base 12), which basically means if it’s on the map, it’s able to be hit by Rend.

Templars are the best. I’d run 6 templars if the game let me. Powerful and fun as hell to use.


Ring > GTS > Proving Grounds is a really good build. It lines up perfectly to let you use the materials from the first supply raid immediately, instead of being forced to sit on them for usually at least a month. With that in mind, you can have a SPARK in mid-April, or whatever the non-legend equivalent is.

No, they don’t. In terms of just stats, they have better aim than any XCOM class that isn’t sharpshooter. Before WotC, it was the same as rangers and specialists.


Skull Jacking Austin has been wanting to for a few missions now, but it’s always been on hard rated missions so Rob warned him off. Rob probably remembers that this triggers the first Codex fight. After that, there’s Codices on every mission forever.

As to your other question, the Chosen are immune to Stasis and the Frost Bomb. Mind Control too, I’m sure. Probably the detrimental statuses of Insanity, since they’re immune to flashbang grenades. On the plus side, I think Solace might protect against the Dazed effect? I can’t remember.


There are no units that are totally immune to the frost bomb. Similar to Sectopods, chosen will spend one AP to break the freeze on their turn. So, you can’t completely stop them from acting, but it’s still useful to stop Revenge and Planewalker from triggering, and it removes their natural defense stat on the turn you freeze them.


Ah, I didn’t realize they had upgraded their aim for WOTC! That’s a definite boost, they end at 85 aim now instead of 77. Though it wasn’t the same as rangers and specialists, they came out with 80 aim. I feel better about JULI-EN already.

And yes, it’s not total immunity to the Frost Bombs, you’re right.


Cain from Binary Domain has a bro! Tell me you guys weren’t thinking of him…maybe subconsciously ?
I’d be torn between wanting to play with cool french robot and everyone telling me that its a non optimal character, not worth it, etc (becaus they’re probably right) but still…


Just finished watching the latest stream and great job as usual. One thing that had me a bit on edge was how you were stacking people up on those cars towards the end. Considering that a stray shot from either side can cause a car to explode you should spread your units apart in situations like that. Also, I think someone mentioned it in the chat but the andromedon has a secondary attack that is basically a large acid grenade so stacking your units up on a car with an andromedon in the fight can go horribly wrong.

Another thing I would like to point out is never leave your units out of cover at the end of the round (you never know if that shot will be a high crit shot that kills your soldier) obviously if they have the untouchable perk and there is one remaining alien this can be a viable strategy to tank damage. If there is more than one alien left after the turn get your soldier into cover.

There was also some confusion over the lightning reflexes trait that the spectre has. This is just like the perk your soldiers get, so it will only dodge the first overwatch shot. Subsequent overwatch shots from your squad on the same turn will have the normal chance to hit.

I’m going to speculate on the upcoming haven assault mission so here is what I think is likely to happen. Remember the beserker queen? Shes still out there and has a chance to show up on any mission. My prediction is she will show up on the haven assault. Even if she doesn’t show up you are guaranteed to get a chosen on this mission so it’s 50/50 on who will show up. Either way this will probably be one of the hardest missions yet, so plan ahead and put together the best equipped squad you can muster ( I would suggest frost bombs, axes, and someone carries the mimic beacon). You will also want to start pairing bonded soldiers in your squads to take advantage of the teamwork perks they get (on top of gaining an additional bond level for using them together).

I also have a feeling you will encounter one of the two remaining unknown aliens as well. Both of these aliens will have lots of hp and armor (and high defense so less of a chance to hit) be ready for a multiple turn engagement to deal with these units.

One last thing I would like to mention now that you have some high ranking grenadiers in your soldier pool is the bigger booms perk that can be purchased in the guerilla tactics school. Imagine if your grenadiers grenades hit for critical damage? It’s a very useful perk so check the gts to see if you can purchase that upgrade before you start your next mission. Also, salvo all the way :stuck_out_tongue:


Didn’t test myself, but word on the street (reddit) is that solace does work on daze, and you can severely own the chosen with it by stacking up to bait their aoe daze ability.

Also, as a bonus, supposedly bluescreen rounds work on the sarcophagus?


Kong looks so happy now.




I guess Mort and Kong have high compatibility due to a shared love of capes.


I am so happy that Mort is canonically everyone’s very-good-almost-best friend, and also that Austin and Rob will have to decide whether to bond him with Astrid, because I’m pretty sure that option came up after the mission.


Kong looks so good, I’m so happy he’s getting his time in the spotlight.

Well done on that mission! We could hardly have asked for a better outcome. It’s too bad Valravn hit the bit where if you can’t see an enemy, the spots that they can see that will break your cover aren’t highlighted. XCOM2 isn’t as kind as Invisible, Inc. Additionally, we’re so close to getting the SA continental bonus! It’s too bad we were interrupted.

Future notes: we have an unassigned engineer now that the Shadow Chamber is finished. Even if they end up staffing the Infirmary after this Guerilla Ops, they ought to staff the Ring or clear debris for the 12 hours it’ll take us to clear the mission. We also can upgrade the Ring for 50 credits with that tech we researched too, so we can staff a bunch of orders next month, including Sabotage!

Alexei is now available to have his phobia cleared, if you think we can go without him on the next mission.

We’ve got that one set of Bluescreen rounds for the coming mission. Unfortunately you can’t see the enemy types detected by the Shadow Chamber once you go into mission planning without a mod, so take a look before you choose which Op to pursue and decide if double damage against robots is worth a utility slot for someone.

I’m glad that we’re trying to build out a bigger bench. With WOTC’s will mechanics, your best bet is to have at least three squads of soldiers to send out. Since any soldier that goes out without full Will has a high chance of becoming Tired and needing even more time to get back up to full Will, your best bet is to send out a team at 100% while having another team recovering will, and a third set to swap in for anybody who gets hurt or if your missions are too tightly packed together to allow for recovery. Additionally, if we can get our pack of squaddies up past sergeant, the SITREP Low Profile (requires only soldiers sergeant or below) will stop spawning.

This is way way in the future, but if you’ve got the Resistance Order from the Reapers that gives you more contacts (we do), or just a few covert ops that do the same, you can make contact with the entire world with a fully upgraded and staffed Resistance Comms. No need for a second one.

One last note: one of our available covert actions for this month is to gain a breakthrough technology that permanently increases our sword damage by one. There’s one like that for pretty much all of the weapons, and I’d advocate picking this one up.

See you all in two weeks!

EDIT: Any speculation on what our upcoming Enemy Unknown is? We already ran into Berserkers, right? So I’m going to guess it’s the Sectopod and fear for our success next time.


Have we run into the gatekeeper yet? Also, it’s gonna be great when Kong gets the Assassin’s weapons as well. That katana on his back…

Also might be a little bit too micromanagey of a tip, but if you have a guy poised to bladestorm it might be worth saving the ammo and letting them take out the enemy, if it’s a guaranteed kill. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have to reload when you really want to just put DPS down. I also noticed that sometimes ya’ll trigger a pod with only one or two guys left to move; I started to almost always use one movement action at a time so this doesn’t occur. Move everyone one pip and if nothing has been activated yet, use another movement action. On missions like retaliations with no time limit, it might even be worth it to move everyone only one movement action then overwatch, though that may be too cautious.

Would love to see JULI-EN take on some missions; despite being low rank I think he’s pretty capable (especially if you guys get lucky and get an early Shredder Gun, that thing is dope). I built my first robot about the same point in the campaign ya’ll are, if not earlier, and despite being low rank he can hang with the big boys pretty much immediately.