Adventures in PC Gaming #1: Operation Dawn Thunder

Screenshot from XCOM 2
Trust me; there's a dilapidated building somewhere near that train...

"Adventures in PC Gaming" is a new series that invites Choicest Games contributors to submit articles about their adventures in PC Gaming (funnily enough). These can either be actual "adventures" e.g. pitfalls in upgrading PC components or fan fiction that revolves around particular PC games.

This week we have a contribution from Luke detailing his exploits in XCOM2.

Operation Dawn Thunder

by Luke

Objective: To insert, reconnoiter, engage and destroy enemy forces in the area.

Personnel present:

Opposition: 2x squad sized ADVENT personnel; 1x Sectoid.
Opposition state: Unalerted/unaware.

Phase 1: Insertion

We successfully infiltrated the DZ at 0700 daylight adjacent to a derelict building to our north. A testament to the flying skills of our Avenger drop pilot to do so undetected. We immediately approached a nearby derelict building from the old city at speed to clear the drop zone before a geek patrol came upon us.

The building looked like it had already seen its fair share of battle. It was a two storey structure with a partially collapsed roof. The facade closest to the drop zone was intact and we had every expectation of maintaining our cover as we spread ourselves across it. Unfortunately 'LABS were already picking over the ruin, carrion over the carcass of their own past. He didn't even bat an eye before high-tailing it off in the other direction.

Alarms immediately sounded. Has it really gotten this bad that humans are instinctively turning on other humans? There was no time to think. With the enemy alerted we stormed the building taking up positions on both floors, behind the cover of the outer wall when we spotted our geek patrol.

The enemy were dug in in what looked like had been and landscaped courtyard with trees to the north of our garrisoned building. One of their triumphal statues dominated the grounds along with rubble which the geeks were dug in well behind.

Squad lead having assessed our cover was as formidable or more as the geeks, ordered the squad to return fire if they broke cover. Which they did. We cut one down in a hail of gunfire. Squaddie X and Y then counter attacked with a short and rapid assault out of cover and into the street, successfully eliminating both their officer and remaining grunt.

It was at that time when a second squad of ADVENT, 5-strong converged on our position from the same direction to the north. It was a significantly stronger force equipped with an ADVENT grenadier. Squaddie X and Y immediately pulled back to cover inside the house and entered overwatch, while others reloaded and did the same.

We didn't have long to wait. They immediately moved to investigate the sound of our previous battle and we lit them up. We must have dropped three of them in the space of a second as they tried to advance from cover. In the return fire, squaddie c and d were hit from an advent rail gun and were temporarily dazed.

Phase 2: Advance

Having achieved fire superiority we took the initiative and charged en masse across the open ground to the cover of the trees. The assault successfully flanked and finished the remaining two ADVENT without further incidence or injury to Resistance personnel.

We then observed an ADVENT building. One of their new city monstrosities that looked like it had been planned or used a thousand times before. Identical to any and all ADVENT structures, it had large windows on all sides with prefabricated walls. It appeared to be some sort of technical building with servers and electronics inside.

We approached, and stacked up across the front of the building before sending squaddie D fearing an ambush. We owe him one because inside was a lurking Sectoid. Not one of those small midgets, but a human sized abomination. I'd heard stories about the weird things these bastards could do but I'd never believed it until I saw him raise one of his fallen geeks from the dead. The air went a hazy purple while a bolt of energy plucked the corpse up and compelled him to shamble towards our troops.

Squad lead appeared unconcerned, as he removed a flashbang from his webbing and hurled it towards the sectoid. The purple bolt recoiled as if struck and the corpse was de-animated once again. It was probably the single most terrifying and anticlimactic experience I'd ever had so far.

Phase 3: Assault

Squaddie D then proceeded to charge to a point behind the Sectoid and then shot him, grazing his shoulder and forcing him from cover.
We opened up on the exposed Sectoid until all magazines were spent. Enemy body remains were somehow still recoverable. Those guys in the research labs must be magicians.

Phase 4: Exfil

Our mission complete, we exfiltrated. That ought to keep the geeks scrambling for a day or two.

After Action Recommendation:

Our recommendation for future missions is that we seriously look at the roll of 'LABs in our objectives and reconsider rules of engagement to include them as enemy combatants.

P.S. I am recommending Squaddie C and D for medals of bravery third class, for gallantry in battle.
Upon their receiving injury they stayed, recovered and returned to the battle, participating in the Sectoid's final stand.