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


So happy to have (Tic) TacTue back. The embarrassment of streaming series riches on Waypoint at the moment is such that it wouldn’t be too painful if one went away*, but I think XCOM is my ride or die. The tone Austin and Rob has found for their customisation ridiculousness and lite-RP is a perfect counterpoint to the punishing tension of the in-game situations.

(*please don’t make any of them go away)


I was pulling for the snakeskin on Big Money’s gun.


It’s a good day for XCOM.



Tip for the berserker queen and the other uniques, you really want to get the frost bomb as fast as possible. Each reaction will tick down the freeze counter by one turn but it gives you a little more time to whittle down their health bars without getting beat up every time you fire at them.


The other day I installed some gameplay mods, which had the extremely unintended side-effect of making the chosen spawn more than they usually do. Like a lot more. Like literally every mission for several months (doing the blacksite switched it back to normal, I think).

I would still take that over fighting the Berserker Queen with only this much prep work. No casualties is an A+ result.

Spoilers for SPICY STRATS below

I think some other people mentioned this, but since rulers get a reaction when you USE overwatch, not when it triggers, overwatch traps and ambushes are really effective. And of course things that let you squeeze more damage out of your turns like Rapid Fire, Chain Shot, Rupture, Banish, Deadeye, or hair triggers, is desirable.

What they don’t tell you about the frost bomb is that for rulers, freeze doesn’t tick down on the alien turn. Which means you can drastically reduce your risk by freezing them and then sticking to things that don’t trigger reactions, like shooting from outside their vision range with squadsight, arcing grenades over a wall, lightning hands, etc.

On the other hand, since status effects tick for every ruler reaction, damage from acid, poison, or fire tends to stack up HELLA fast.

Also, the berserker queen for some reason can’t just jump to higher elevation like faceless can, so she has trouble if you block all the ladders (or whatever). The AoE punch can still hit you, though, so it isn’t perfect.


I am so damn thankful for all the folks such as @D347, @VHGS and @doctorcat who are giving advice for how to handle the situations Rob and Austin run into on stream. My XCOM units thank y’all for the continual source of applicable info!


I noticed they were worried that the chosen would show up along with the alien ruler on that facility mission. You don’t have to worry about fighting both on the same mission as it will either be the ruler or the chosen not both. The frost bomb was introduced with the alien hunters dlc so it’s been added to deal with the rulers (along with the axes and bolt gun) You can also upgrade the special weapons to deal more damage which is worthwhile for fighting the rulers. Using free actions on the rulers is also a good strategy as people have mentioned above. I think using the frost bomb on the rulers combined with special ammo and free actions followed by ending the turn is a way to cheese the ruler encounters (ending after freezing and using free actions will prevent them from moving multiple times during the turn and will keep the rulers frozen.)

I would bring along at least one medic with the revival protocol skill as the rulers are capable of knocking your units unconscious (they will remain unconscious for the rest of the mission and you will have to carry them to the extraction point or they will be left behind).

As mentioned above the special ammo types have damage effects that stack over multiple turns so building some more special ammo should be a priority (it’s also great in regular fights as you might be able to kill an alien on their turn with the damage effect before they take their action).

Don’t sell the data pads as those are 40-50 intel per data pad so they are basically the second currency in this game. you can sell the priest bodies as they are used for the sustaining sphere which is something you have to build and equip in a free utility slot on your soldiers (there are better uses for these slots). As for other bodies you can sell I would say beserkers, purifiers, and stun lancers can be sold for money as they aren’t as important for building equipment that you’re likely to use. Sectoids are used for the advanced psi amp and can be sold after you upgrade the psi amp (or you can skip them for the alien psi amp which is unlocked by a yet undiscovered alien).

I would also recommend having a specialist with the scanning protocol skill for your upcoming fight with the assassin. Use it when she cloaks after her attack to reveal her without having to move any of your units.


It’s really hard to overstate how important it is they research those special weapons with the rulers running around, and the archon king yet to come. Frost bomb takes away 2 actions from anything it hits, which on a heavy with 2 uses and volatile mix is bonkers, especially for non-ruler pods. The axe is great, and they didn’t even bother to upgrade it to the arc variety but it still had the same damage as their arc swords (the same tech unlocks both but it’s different purchases). Shadowkeeper isn’t specifically better at killing the rulers but it’s a straight upgrade to the pistol and gives +10 aim and +15 crit with a once per missions 100% hit shot that gives concealment if the target dies. The bolt caster is…better than it used to be, now that reloads no longer trigger ruler reactions as of WOTC. It’s functionally a single shot assault rifle with a chance to stun, and a really high chance to stun rulers but it’s also a primary weapon that can’t take mods and has to be reloaded every other turn, probably worth bringing to the blacksite mission at least because it’s guaranteed to have a rule to use it against.


Finally caught up with the latest, and I’d like to share for your consideration:



I’m glad there are others that share my love of the throwing axes.

I think the bolt caster is okay but I think it would be so much better with an on kill free reload.

Frost bomb + volatile mix can easily wipe a pod.


I’d say once they get to plasma weapons they really don’t even need the special weapons anymore. I’ll use the axes from time to time but I’ve done runs without upgrading or using the special weapons and it’s easily doable. Once you get your murder squad up to speed the rulers are more of an annoyance rather than a threat. Frost bomb is pretty dope though.


I agree it isn’t life-changing, but that would be too cooked I think. Even limited to one per turn seems a bit much when you consider the synergy with DFA.

I usually pick it up later in the game when resources aren’t tight and give it to a wizard. Psi ops have other stuff they can be doing, and you can just reload between fights.


plasma axe at minimum will do 1-2 base damage more than the regular sword + the free action. I pretty much always run 2 rangers by the lategame and give one of them the assassin’s weapons and the other the axe.

The Archon ruler wrecked my shit though. The worst ruler, for me at least.


It is the hardest and probably most unbalanced one by far. They can bypass the archon by keeping the facility where he is alive and destroying one without a ruler in it so that’s up to them. I heard the rulers were toned down with the merger of dlc for wotc so maybe it’s not as difficult in this version?

They should definitely research that snake armor once they pop the viper king (free grappling hook suit with a movement bonus and dodge bonus thrown in for fun!). Edit: and it has a freeze whiplash type weapon too :stuck_out_tongue:


Anyone in the thread have any recent experience with War of the Chosen on PS4 (Pro)? I’m aware that there have been issues, but I’m willing to stomach a fair amount of jank unless it’s frequently game-breaking.


I dropped my PS4 (not Pro) WotC run in Sep/Oct because of excessive bugs, but I haven’t tried going back to it recently since I started over on PC. This thread on Restera from March seems to indicate people are still having problems: https://www.resetera.com/threads/how-is-xcom-2-war-of-the-chosen-performance-on-ps4-pro.27937/


I’m on my 2nd playthrough on PS4 has nothing game breaking, having more slowdown now playing on a high difficulty which didn’t notice before.

My first playthrough I never had Mox rescue mission so could never get that faction unlocked, I think that may be as I started with tutorial but not sure.


I’ve always haaaated the looks of the ruler armors, especially the berserker one, but I think the snake one can fit in with the squads… bold fashion choices.


What, you don’t like having Slim Goodbody on your squad?


If the axes really are stuck on valravn forever, they should probably at least give him blademaster through the training center so he’s actually good at using them. It’s weird they went that way since kong was always more of our sword boy and valravn liked murdering things at improbable distances with his shotgun.