XCOM Challenge: Operation Fallen Rain

XCOM Challenge is a new series in which I’ll look at different ways to tackle situations in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Be warned, minor spoilers may follow.

Challenge #1: Operation Fallen Rain

Only two Sectoid Commanders remain, and I’ve got them surrounded.

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Finishing them off at this point and completing the operation with a perfect score will be no problem. In fact, I could do it on this turn, with a single well-placed grenade:

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However, I can probably do better than that. I could do with capturing one of them live, for… research.

There’s a catch though, which is that only one of my team has an Arc Thrower, John Casey. He’s in the thick of it, but he’s being mind-controlled.

The Challenge

How can I capture a Sectoid Commander before the mission ends?

Download the save file if you want to play along.

The Solution

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I only have one unit who can move this turn, Kiriko Takahashi. She has a 45% chance to hit one of the Sectoid Commanders from where she is, but not the one controlling Casey. Actually she’ll hit if I take the shot, killing the critter, but this will be followed by the previously mind-controlled Sarah Walker regaining her bearings and taking out the other one automatically.

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In any case, I’m not to capture a live specimen unless I can free Casey this turn. Takahashi’s going to have to motor.

There’s only really one place she can move to in order to get a clear shot at the alien.

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As a bonus, this affords her a bit of cover too. In this spot, she has 100% chance to take the remaining bar of the Sectoid’s health.

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Down it goes.

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I now have control of Casey once more. But he’s only got one action point this turn, and is out of range to stun the alien.

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The sensible thing to do at this point seems to be to let the turn play out and move Casey into position next turn. The problem with that is that Walker will still get up and take lethal action against the remaining alien, killing him. We can’t have that, and have to move Casey to upset the balance of things.

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The alien takes its turn, dealing some nasty damage to Casey.

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He’ll live though, and now I’ve got a full squad to play with.

First order of business though, let’s have Takahashi get our wounded soldier patched up.

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From here it should be an easy matter to have Casey zap the blighter. But with even with a 70% chance of success, he’s going to fail.

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The sectoid is going to need a bit more softening up. But how? Sniper Paul Wood has a pistol that might do the trick, but he’s too far out. One option is Garcia. His assault rifle will deal up to 5 damage, so maybe it’ll only actually do one or two points.

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But he misses. The other option is to use Walker. We’ve previously seen that her laser rifle (doing up to 6 damage with 89% hit probability would likely finish off the Sectoid. But she’s also carrying a laser pistol, which only does up to 3 damage (with the same hit probability). Sounds like a plan.

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It works, and the Sectoid is now down to one bar of health. Casey now has a 90% chance of success with the Arc Thrower.

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Perfect! The Sectoid Commander hits the ground.

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Time to return to base with one captive in tow. Only Casey suffered slight wounding, so all-in-all, a great success.

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