XCOM Challenge: Operation Frozen Engine

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

Challenge #2: Operation Frozen Engine

The building’s on fire and there’s just a single, slightly damaged Sectopod left to destroy in order to complete this terror mission. The problem is, it’s on the first floor, out of the line of sight for most of my squad.


Colonel Florrick is down, and will bleed out next turn. Luckily Colonel Lee is on hand with a medkit.


The Challenge

How can I ensure everyone survives?

Download the save file if you want to play along.

The Solution

Let’s assess the situation. We’ve got a support guy with a medkit, holed up with our downed sniper. We’ve got two heavies, neither of which has the Sectopod in sight. We’ve got a near-death assaulter, and a shotgunner who’s out of moves. Finally, the Sectopod itself is due a reaction shot.

Although we could revive Colonel Florrick with the medkit, the problem is that we won’t be able to enough damage to destroy the Sectopod this turn. Then on the Sectopod’s turn, it will use one of its two shots to permanently take her out, no matter what else happens.


We can’t revive her this turn, She’ll bleed out on the next turn. So the Sectopod must be destroyed this turn.

Li Ming Pan, our assault gal, is badly wounded. A single shot will easily kill her. However, she has the advantage of line of sight to the Sectopod. We need her to deal as much damage as possible.


The odds aren’t exactly in her favour, we need to get her in closer, cover be damned. It’s all or nothing now, remember?


The Sectopod gets its reaction shot, but Li’s got some lightning reflexes, so she survives. From a closer position, the odds are more to our liking. Rapid fire will help here too.


The first shot misses but the second hits for 7 damage. A good start.


One of the Heavies, Zhang, can move a bit closer, but it’s still not close enough to get a bead on the cursed thing.


With no rockets left either, he’s useless. Our other heavy, Zhao, can just get up the stairs and still be able to fire. Let’s do that.


Interesting choice at this point. We could just take the 48% chance to shoot, and hope for the best, or we could suppress, hoping that this will aid our next shot.


We take our chances with direct fire, scoring a hit for 9 damage.


Just Colonel Lee left now. One shot, 60% chance to hit, 6 damage needed.


Yeah! Take that, stupid alien!



We head back to the base, and this time at least, no one gets left behind.


Your thoughts on this?