Post by drspendlove on Feb 2, 2018 11:57:35 GMT -5
That makes me think of the Engineers chewing on the turrets. I've read that thread. I admit, it'd be really neat to be able to use gear levels to equip turrets how I'd like. Maybe they'd only have two slots: weapon, and armor, but being able to choose a little more defense over offense (for challenges like these) or vice versa (for most other times) would be neat. I worry that it would almost always be the right move to just max out weaponry though.
Post by drspendlove on Feb 3, 2018 16:53:38 GMT -5
I'm advancing into Dryan. Just got the gates open. I had to spawn two "throw-away" Berserkers because I didn't have the RP for another Paladin and I needed someone to cover my rear flank. One was munched on by a bazillion snipers while the other survived, surrounded by flame, with 2 HP on the last turn. He has earned a permanent place on my squad (and a respec!)
I deployed my engineer who got the lowest rolls on attacking TPs seemingly every time, two Paladins in addition to Nyra giving me silly amounts of healing. They formed a bulwark of distraction for several fronts while they blocked and healed indefinitely. When my engineer could keep up, the power field she offered was also helpful. My berserker cut a swath through a side flank and then unblocked the path of my engineer to the southern TP. AoE melee + AoE grenades is working well for her. Having a second one appropriately specialized will be nice. Finally my captain made out the remainder of the deployment who captured a secondary objective, defended my engineer, and rushed to the gate as it opened.
Against snipers, I try to avoid using Scouts as it only takes a couple to drop them to 0 from max HP. I knew I wouldn't have the crowd control to eliminate that possibility, so I avoided any ranged classes, other than my flame tank engineer (who fired her flamethrower exactly once in this mission but laid two turrets to somewhat mediocre effect. I didn't position them properly.) I had 16 cultists (2 rockets, 2 heavy, and the rest standard) repeatedly firing into a single paladin who basically shrugged it off at the end of each turn via a single heal. steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1290667760
Post by drspendlove on Feb 16, 2018 12:09:44 GMT -5
Alright, the battle before the Litch had my two Berserkers nearly dying a couple times. I had to judiciously use all 10 grenades I brought into battle (3 per Berserker + 4 from Captain.) Even the standard cultists were getting some pretty wicked penetrating shots against my Berserkers, and I'm not using their lowest deflection armor either. I made it through with no casualties in the end.
The Litch was very rough. Capturing the central point at the start took 2 more turns than usual due to some low damage rolls my Captain and Nyra made. Then I sent a different Paladin off with the Captain to the east for the first point. They struggled to reach it for a long time due to wanting to preserve my grenades and not having much penetration. This meant my defense had to hold for a long time, which, without overwatch... was quite a struggle. My two flame turrets were almost destroyed right as they were placed due to only being rank 2 and having split my engineer's skills between tactics and engineering (and a point in gunnery.) . However, they held for a while with my scout with a level 4 crippling shot slowing foes down to die in fire fields. Whenever I encountered the litch, I slowed it down rather than kill it outright. I really didn't want it surprising my Captain/Paladin in the east who were having a tough enough time as it was.
Eventually the node fell in the east and those two took a shorter amount of time returning. I moved the Captain and my deployed Berserker to the north next but the Berserker went ahead a little early. The berserker nearly died to the litch plus a +MP/DMG hunter, but managed to survive with grenades, parry, and a medical ordnance in the end. The Captain didn't get to the north in time to be of any help and returned to help defend the east with the paladin. My south side mysteriously stopped spawning Xeno which meant my engineer could support the west and north defenses.
I lost the western flame turret shortly after the north node went down due to missing a Xeno hiding in the flames. I don't think I had the AP to stop it that turn even if I had seen it though. Nyra is low on both buffs at this point and her healing. She'd been holding the western point with rotating aid from my Scout and an occasional power field from my engineer and the turret. My berserker starts heading south but is waylaid by a couple of Xeno that she must handle. The east is still getting a stream of Xeno but the Captain + Paladin there are able to thin them out. I begin to send my Captain west to break through and join Nyra for a final assault on the last node.
Nyra and the Captain must brave some of the fire fields I laid down earlier, dealing tiny amounts of damage (high willpower mitigates) and some irritating heat, but nothing they can't bear. There's a litch in the way, but we can handle a shot from it as we pass, and slowing down to fight it will just make us fight another shortly. Despite my decision, Nyra is in melee range of it when it fires next, she blocks, counters and kills it. Whatever. They head west, reach a thankfully unguarded power node. It is unguarded save for the next incarnation of the Litch anyway. Nyra reaches it first and starts hacking away while my Captain isn't quite in range so he blows his last two grenades on the node + Litch. I deliberately made sure that wouldn't kill the litch but heavily wounded it. The next turn some lucky critical hits on the node from the two templars bring it down and my captain has enough MP/AP to move to melee with the litch and finish it off in one stroke. No losses.
I had a good and easy time with the subsequent smuggler mission. That one works well with melee + flame engineer + scout. I had an irritating Soldier join us, but his burst fire is rank 4 so he's marginally useful all the same.
Post by drspendlove on Feb 19, 2018 15:06:36 GMT -5
I've made a lot more progress. The entire smuggler's base was quite easy by comparison to the cultists. Little to report there.
Leo Major was more interesting. The cultists last stand was shut down pretty hard. Grenades and AoE Berserkers crushed the AA guns and by now defenses and healing are such that all cultists other than snipers are a non-issue.
Mok Prime is proving fun, as usual. Initially we landed and took our time to claim the trenches and lowlands. I found myself holding the central TP with two Flame turrets, a Scout and a Paladin (for auto-block and parry eternal tanking.) The ravine to the south was perpetually filled with flame and nothing other than a single magma shell could survive the passage. Further north on the same front, The Paladin and Scout worked hard to fight off foes. Toward the end I was able to send in a veteran Berserker to help with uglies like Litches.
A Hydra joined our group early on to deal with spores and thus make spawning less of an issue for the central front. He also rescued the civilians and kept Xeno away by blanketing the two major spawn points in the east in Prometheum.
The main strike force was the Captain, who by now is a melee master (16 warrior tons of fortitude/willpower and ~7 grenade skill), a Plasma-augmented Berserker (Kill Strike for tough foes that must not survive a turn) and my engineer who deals VERY substantial damage but with low accuracy and has a rank 4 power field to make survival much simpler. They add a paladin to their ranks in the east and move up north with ease to deal with remaining Xeno. The sheer offensive action I'm able to risk because of Power Field 4 and so many grenades to handle accidents is wonderful. Berserkers and Captain are cutting through foes like butter while Paladins are shrugging everything off. My primary paladin is making good use of Devastating Strike to leave foes very vulnerable to parry-based counter-attacks.
I've just about reached the star port as in the next mission, having 3 infantry remaining. These privates are KILLING out there. I've probably scored 7 Xeno kills with them. They are just getting insane rolls. Two berserkers are deployed as my front-line with my paladin and Captain covering the rear. Engineer, infantry, and Scout are in the center.Going extremely well so far. I haven't yet lost the rear TP but will in a turn or two. The central TP is undamaged but is being left defenseless as I don't need it now.
Post by drspendlove on Feb 20, 2018 16:56:25 GMT -5
We captured the star port without much more of interest happening. The Xeno put forward some litches but were cut down with overwhelming numbers.
The next map entailed getting the planetary guns firing again. I like to take this map slowly and control the whole thing. It is my favorite map. This time I wouldn't have any OW to slow down foes, so I'd need to find another way to kill them before they reached me or tank/heal quite a lot if I wanted to hold the entire map. I decided I would hold the entire map again.
I deployed a Hydra (not part of my "A" team at all as I haven't invested in his RP tree at all) to hold the starting point, beginning with the extinction of the spawning tower to the east. He fared pretty well throughout the battle but eventually took a beating as I overestimated his armor quality. A scout added to defend the base solved that problem entirely, about halfway through my conquest. The scout even got bored and looted some nearby medical supplies after the Xeno were to distracted with my incursion elsewhere.
The main strike force started out with my Captain, my lead Paladin, my lead Scout, and my flame tank Engineer. They crushed the foes ahead of them with ease. On the offense, investing nothing in OW frees up your attention for powerful attacks. The Engineer deployed both flame turrets on the west and north-west entrances to this western camp before heading to the western gun with my Captain. The FDF landed and were able to wipe out two scitterings with ease before mobilizing to destroy the western-most spawn tower over a couple turns. They then backed up the western camp's defenses and scored a surprising number of kills! I kept my scout and a deployed secondary Paladin to defend the western camp while my primary paladin destroyed a spawn tower in a nearby ravine before joining my new strike force to hit the northern Xeno TP. This strike force now consisted of my Captain, Engineer, primary Paladin, and newly deployed primary Berserker. (An investment in SP generation made all of this easier to accomplish.)
We trounced the forces on our way to the northern TP and our Engineer quickly captured the point and gun. We deployed our secondary Berserker and left our primary to guard the central/northern point -- a point typically attacked by only a weak force. She suffered severe wounds one unlucky turn against a hunter and lancer and I was forced to recruit a fresh paladin to reinforce the point and heal her. Around this time my western base was struggling to keep itself intact. I had lost one turret and my paladin there was about half-way through his buffs. Additionally the flame layers were dying down, making the Xeno stronger once they reached me. I had a ton of SP left over so I deployed a OW-less Soldier to finish off some foes with burst fire. No FDF troops were lost.
The final TP was a doozy. Tons of Goliaths reared their ugly heads. It took grenades and melee AoEs and Paladin decoys to carve through them. My Paladin was out of his blocking talent and Warding Fire by the end, but still had some healing to spare. That took longer than expected which is why the Western camp had so much trouble. Finally my Captain and primary paladin marched south to draw away Xeno from my engineer who moved in and started up the final gun.
Post by drspendlove on Feb 21, 2018 15:37:40 GMT -5
The Narvidians hiding in Mok Prime were pushovers. This mostly stems from two things: 1) An in-depth knowledge of the map and Xeno spawn towers and 2) My willingness to exceed the turn "limit" by a huge amount.
My templars struck hard and fast on all but the northern-most spawn tower and the northeast TP. The narvidians were crippled as they came in via Crippling Shot (rank 4) and never got in range to attack. My Scouts have become serious damage-dealing masters, now with Rank 7 Penetrating shot. (Rank 6->7 is a bit of a bummer btw. Not a lot of improvement.)
The narvidian war-worm in the center was sniped away by a single scout with a Paladin as escort, safely outside the range of the worm. Meanwhile, my Captain, Engineer, and second scout easily dispatched threats in the east as they moved to capture the north-east TP with no damage incurred. Then we moved to the north and center to kill the last remaining Xeno spawn tower. This left the only threat the war worm and the tiny Narvidian reinforcement groups that accompanied its movement to other spots. The same crippling tactics dealt with those and the war worm was safely gunned down outside of range.
On this difficulty (Demanding) OW really isn't needed in the least. I think I took a single hit the entire battle. This level would've been a bit tougher had I engaged the worm in melee but I wasn't feeling like taking that risk.
My Captain is now Level 19, which means my weakest troops are level 13. It'll be a long time to 20 so I'm expecting he'll stay at his current power the remainder of the game. His Warrior is maxed out, his grenade skill is at 9 (I think), and I put a point into tactics for an extra 1% critical hit chance, even though his strength is pathetic. It is still useful because critical grenade hits will deal massive damage due to his high grenade skill.
I'm coveting the relic flamethrower with range 4 for the engineer, but I'm not sure I'll ever have the spare gear levels to make use of it. Next, we'll see how we can handle being split up and fighting true numbers of Narvidians.
If you pull all your Templars in to the central TP and make one great stand there it becomes one of the easier missions. Most of the Narvs will be pulled away from the TPs and just ignore them. If they do start attacking them you can you their HP boosters to delay their demise. Normally I don't lose any of them. You can have a few hairy turns in the beginning as you try to get everyone gathered up together, especially with the Engineer who always gets hemmed in in the bottom left. Dropping a few turret chew-toys can be a literal life-saver.
The AI gets pulled in different directions due to the heat map. As you centralize your Templars, it bumps the value as the AI is on attack. Some of the enemy types that have special interest in TP destruction are usually the ones that end up attacking TPs instead of rerouting. Not something we're likely to fix, but def one way to take on the level.
Post by drspendlove on Feb 23, 2018 9:27:06 GMT -5
My templars defended our honorable vessel with great passion (and, of course, no overwatch.) Initially my engineer was alone in the southwest. Making her way to the south east to join my primary paladin and secondary berserker was a top priority but not easily accomplished. She laid down both flame turrets to distract and injure the massive numbers of Narvidians converging on her. She narrowly escaped their attacks while leaving a swatch of flame behind her, at the expense of both turrets. The bulk of the enemy forces were here in the south east. A scout crippled warriors to reduce the numbers my paladin and berserker had to face at the same time. My scout in the northwest rushed to join in the defense, crippling more of them. My Captain also joined the fray, and while he took some serious hits, he had the armor and toughness to weather them.
This force struck down foe after foe but their numbers only grew. We fell back to the wall near the flaming southern bridge and faced them as their crippled bodies slowly advanced on my line of templars. We stood strong but almost ran out of healing from my paladin. We deployed a soldier to help with concussion grenades and what limited firepower he could dish out with burst fire 4. It wasn't much but it offered some relief. The Narvs captured the point, slowly adding to their numbers.
Meanwhile in the north and central tact point, some Narvs engaged my force of my primary berserker and secondary paladin. Those two fought back to back and did extremely well at holding the area. I added my tertiary paladin to aid in the defense and when SP permitted, my (weak) Hydra to add more damage to the mix. They held the point as most of the foes were busy in the south-east.
We suffered no losses thanks to high defenses and crippling shot.
Post by drspendlove on Feb 24, 2018 12:41:37 GMT -5
We took the boss on the bridge with little difficulty. My scouts slowed down foes so they weren't much of a threat and five grenades and some penetrating shots killed the Widow. Not a big deal on that mission. (It's pretty easy on lower difficulties.)
The hull mission was tough. Knowing the switches I need to hit makes it worlds easier, but I still screwed up and hit a switch too early, leaving 3 members of my battleforce slowly getting surrounded by foes and running out of blocking buffs. I had my Captain, Scout and one Paladin up north getting the two switches there while my Berserker, other Paladin and Scout were slowly getting surrounded in the hallway. They had started a tactical retreat to the north-west edge of the map, close to the starting TP before my other strike team was able to relieve them with grenades and more penetrating shots. Once we broke through there, I discovered a quicker path to the exit than I'd known existed previously. We made our way there only having to kill a single Narvidian in our path, while slowing the others. My turn bonus was 0% and my kill bonus was 2%, pretty sad, but I didn't lose anyone.
The next map, the core, is my second favorite in the game. After stomping the first TP, I left my Berserker to hold that point while my engineer, Captain, Paladin and Scout rushed to the west. I deployed a second berserker to the west as well. However, I forgot to leave my defender with a turret! Luckily by the time foes starting appearing there, I had the SP to deploy a Scout which was sufficient to hold off foes there. The western march was fraught with danger but I had many sources of auto-block so we didn't sustain too much damage. My lead Paladin is wearing the Cavalry Armor, which gives a large bonus to max heat which kept him from being locked down (he had over 256% heat.) I'm not sure I like the lower deflection, so I rebalanced his gear after the level to use something more basic in exchange for better damage on a war gear. The level went smoothly. My flame tank engineer regularly deals ~100 points of damage per shot, and with the dodge debuff from two of my paladins and Scorch Order (rank 1), she isn't missing much anymore.
I'll be onto the final map next, but I'm worried about Nyra's task force. She'll likely try to deploy some Soldiers, who I've scarcely invested in, and will subsequently die. Do we lose the game if Nyra dies?
Post by drspendlove on Feb 25, 2018 9:28:07 GMT -5
We faced the hive mind and its Narvidian guards. Scouts with Penetrating Shot 8 safely shot down war worms without fear of retaliation. They also still had Crippling Fire 4 to minimize the number of narvidians my strike force had to deal with at once. My primary strike force consisted of my primary Paladin for tanking/healing/disabling (no healing ended up being needed on this front), my primary Berserker for heavy group AoE and additional disabling attacks (Unbalancing Blows 4), my Captain (single target damage with Slash 7 and emergency AoE with Bladeweave 1 and Grenades 4), two Scouts (mentioned before), and my Flame Tank Engineer (flame turrets for additional damage, Scorch Order 1 + Direct Shot 1 for single target flame damage. Also with Power Field 4, but only used it once.)
At this point our group's auto-block and parry made warrior Narvidians not a huge threat. Radiation Narvidians weren't a huge problem either as everyone had high willpower which helped negate their damage. Flame Narvidians never approached me, oddly. We were able to focus the head with a lot of attacks, and our debuffs meant it never got to attack in return.
The real problem was the unwanted eastern front. Nyra brought an un-invested in Soldier who could scarcely deal damage (and by the rules couldn't use overwatch.) I had to reinforce with my secondary Berserker (who, with battle-lock 2 was more defensive in nature.) They were able to destroy the eastern-most power conduit and barely keep the soldier alive.
In the end, the hive mind fell, and a 20% turn bonus was earned. Onto Stratos!