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In this Chapter of Notes on Hobbies’ XCOM 2, we rush into Mission #2 entitled Operation Iron Steed.
At the start of this chapter, we are summoned to see Chief Engineer Lily Shen. It is at this moment that I realized, how slow of me, that Lily is the daughter of the previous Chief Engineer, Dr. Raymond Shen, in XCOM Enemy Unknown.
When we met her, she features the GREMLIN which is a drone that the Specialists use. However, her main goal is to have us create a Medikit which we obediently do.
We are then advised to see Dr. Tygan again after he makes some progress on his research. Dr. Tygan, as you would see in the cut scene, has a large amount of scarring at the back of his head.
He earlier mentioned that he worked for ADVENT before but I don’t know what they did to him there. He seems to be in control of his own mind but we will never know what those scars were for and if he also has an implant at the back of his head. I don’t trust Dr. Tygan after this but we have no choice, he is still helping us.
Anyway, he said he managed to break down several key components of the chip that they found at the back of my occipital lobe. According to him, that chip served as a relay device for data to be passed directly to my cerebral cortex.
From the fragments of data that was left after it was pulled from my head, images of tactical combat simulations, wargames, and a sheer volume of encounters being processed into my head was enough to kill me but Dr. Tygan is impressed that I still managed to survive.
He remembers that the chip that was implanted resembled one of the chips he worked on when he was at the Gene Therapy Clinic back then when he worked for ADVENT.
Dr. Tygan now wants us to authorize an autopsy on an ADVENT Officer’s body which we luckily have in one of our freezers.
During the autopsy, Dr. Tygan discovers that the ADVENT Officer appear to be similar, if not physically the same as the common ADVENT Trooper in terms of power and agility. However, field reports indicate a more developed mental acuity as the Officers do provide tactical directives to the subordinate ADVENT forces. We are still waiting for a final report of the autopsy.
Chief Engineer Shen now has the converter we retrieved earlier in working condition. Central sends us to the bridge for a mission briefing.
According to Central, there are still people out there who don’t believe in ADVENT’s agendas. Since the “Avenger”, the ship we are on, is currently unable to function properly, one of the officers on deck said that the Sky Ranger will not be able to reach the mission destination.
However, with the help of Chief Engineer Lily Shen, she was able to make use of the converter we previously found and it helped to properly power the ship making it fully operational again. Now this is the scene where the Avenger sets out to fly us near our destination. Central then sets us out on a mission to South Africa.
The mission – Guerrilla Operations against ADVENT. The objective of this mission, Operation Iron Steed, is to protect a certain piece of device that helps to weaken ADVENT’s operations. The reward is a Dr. Matthew Ryan, an engineer, who I believe will be of great help to our cause especially now that engineers are very important in our growth as a resistance.
In the Launch Mission screen, Central wants us to equip one of our soldiers with a Medikit, now that Chief Engineer Shen has made it possible to use one in the battlefield.
Same as in the first mission, I have my four soldiers geared up and ready to go. Squaddie Thomas is my Grenadier, Squaddie Kelly – my Ranger, Squaddie Wrobel – my Sharpshooter, and Squaddie Dioppe – my Specialist and the one whom I equipped the Medikit with.
We set off to a small town in ADVENT Patrol Zone 16 in the outskirts of Pretoria. Objectives are as follows – Neutralize all enemy targets, and secure and protect the Transmitter.
During the mission, I moved the troops forward as much as possible and as close as possible to the Transmitter. I’ve made three crucial mistakes resulting in Squaddie Thomas and Dioppe to be gravely wounded and my positions to be revealed untimely. I also made a bad decision not to kill the sectoid in one turn resulting in the sectoid using its reanimate skill to mind control one of the troopers I killed earlier.
I regret those mistakes I made and I can only learn from them and move on. Luckily, I was still able to finish the mission without anybody else getting hurt or dying.
The mission yielded an Excellent Rating only. I killed 7/7 enemies and took 6 turns to accomplish the mission. 2 of my soldiers were wounded too. My successful shot percentage fell down to 60% from the previous 83.33%. I had a new record for my average damage per attack which rose to 4.78. I also averaged 1 enemy killed per turn and my average cover bonus was very poor again at only 24.67%.
The soldier who dealt the most damage and made most of the attacks was Squaddie Jane Kelly. Sq. Guillaume Thomas was most under fire and was also moved furthest.
Upon return to base, I promoted Sq. Thomas and Sq. Dioppe who were both gravely wounded due to my carelessness. Sq. Thomas was promoted to a Corporal Demolitions Expert learning Blast Padding in the process but he will be out for 17 days.
Blast Padding makes your gear include layers of extra padding and blast plates, granting a bonus point of Armor and 66% less damage from explosive attacks.
Sq. Dioppe was promoted to a Corporal sub-specializing as a Battle Medic. I made her learn the ability Medical Protocol.
Medical Protocol is where the GREMLIN can perform healing actions remotely: GREMLIN Heal and GREMLIN Stabilize. The GREMLIN has a single charge. If a Medikit is equipped, the GREMLIN will gain an additional charge.
Sq. Jane Kelly was also promoted to Corporal sub-specializing in Assault and learning Blade Master.
Blade Master gives Corporal Jane Kelly the ability to deal +2 extra damage on all sword attacks.
We go back to base and discover what we have retrieved from the mission.
An Elerium Core which is a small, self-contained samples of Elerium used to power the aliens’ beam weapons. They can be used to power a variety of advanced weapons, armors, and munitions as well.
We also have an addition 2 Sectoid and 4 ADVENT Trooper Corpses.
Remember the engineer we talked about getting as a reward after this mission, well he’s been acquired and his name is Engineer Matthew Ryan. See more of him in the next chapter.
That’s it for this Chapter. Join us again in Chapter 3 where we begin excavating the alien debris found inside the Avenger.