Festering Skies Campaign Log (Legendary)

I drifted away from PP after the release of Legacy of the Ancients, so now that the game’s “finished”, with all of its core DLCs, I thought I’d come back and give it another try. I haven’t played since the LotA release, so it’ll be interesting to see the changes.

Difficulty is Legendary, no equipment switching between aircraft. I’m really hoping they’ve done a few things to improve the issues that made me give up on the game last time. Blood and Titanium is activated (it’s decent), Festering Skies is activated (it’s new), Legacy of the Ancients is deactivated (it’s bad).

Episode 1 (January 1st - January 10th)

Start in North Mexico.

Main difference that I can see since LotA is that the heavy’s Hel II has been replaced with a ‘Tyr’ autocannon. Damage per shot isn’t impressive, and it’s looking pretty useless until I notice the ‘Burst 3’ part. Still, I’m guessing I’m going to be continuing to mainly use my early game heavies as 40k Assault Marines.

Heavy has Farsighted/Thief/Bombardier
Assault 1 has Reckless/Sniperist/Biochemist
Assault 2 has Strongman/Close Quarters Spec/Resourceful
Sniper has Thief/Biochemist.

Nothing very exciting on the Heavy. The Sniper could be a good Infiltrator multiclass if she lives to late game. Assault 1 could either make for either a Sniper-sault or an assault rifle specialist. Assault 2 looks like a standard shotgun build.

Thief seems to be much better now that it doesn’t have the crippling speed penalty. Not sure how useful it’ll be on a Heavy though. I guess I could put him in light armour and give him the grenade launcher spec. Or I could just ignore it.

We build a couple of grenades and go explore. First hit is a Synedrion haven – no, we’re not doing that stupid mission where you have to fight an Infiltrator with a poison crossbow. Delay.

Second is an Anu haven. It’s poison worms instead of fire worms now. The same approach works fine, except that the new Heavy’s cannon doesn’t have enough ammo to kill the Chiron anymore, so my Assaults have to run up and finish it off.

2 January

Big Scavenging mission. Did the Symes Retreat. Main squad up to level 3. Activated two Phoenix Bases, started building two Satellite Uplinks.

3 January

A couple of events drain my soldier stamina. I’m just going home to rest when a Synedrion haven gets attacked. We have to fight the battle with our soldiers tired, which adds to the challenge a bit.

4 January

Rest day. First Pandoran Evolutions start appearing. Recruit a Berserker (since that’s the only soldier available).

5 January

“Mount Egg” meteor lands. NJ and Synedrion intro missions. I really hate the Synedrion one, it’s the only one I’ve ended up having to restart/reload every campaign – having to fight an invisible enemy that can 1-turn-kill your soldiers is not fun. One more Scavenging mission and then it’s back to recover Stamina again.

6 January

Took a fourth base, this one in South America. Prisoner of Ice mission done. POIs are running low so we do a NJ diplomacy mission and blow up a Synedrion power plant. It’s slow and tedious (5000 HP worth of structures to chew through), but you have to do this stuff if you want allied status, and at least we get lucky and manage to steal a couple of laser pistols.

Anu haven defence. We locate the Nest, but I want to do the NJ Diplomacy mission first so that I’ll get the reputation bump from destroying it. There’s a new Mist patch on the far side of the globe so I activate the nearest Phoenix base, in Vietnam, and start building Training Facilities there. It’ll be the base for my B team.

7 January

Recruits finally available. All three are Snipers: none have Sniperist. Sad days. Two with Thief, though. Arthron Gunners start appearing. Start a Satellite Uplink in Vietnam. Pandoran Nest cleared.

8 January

We hit a few more POIs. We’re kind of stalling, though, and a Synedrion aircraft has just moved to a low-strength Haven. Maybe it’s time to steal it.

9 January

Oh, wait. I’m being given a Manticore by Synedrion in a mission called “The Gift”. That’s nice. Maybe Festering Skies means you get two Manticores instead of one? It’d reduce the incentive to steal aircraft if it did.

Well, whatever, I still want a Helios. The steal mission goes fairly well, though a couple of soldiers come close to death. Just as well Synedrion don’t take the “killing their soldiers” thing too personally. The Helios gets sent back home while I fly on to pick up the Manticore.

Surprise surprise, it turns into a combat mission. Ooh, new cinematic. That looks like a lot of enemies. I hope I won’t have to fight them all.

Okay, it turns out there are a LOT of enemies. I have to restart this one since I really don’t expect just how many Pandorans there are. Second time I go slowly and carefully and things go much more smoothly . . . although the end is still kind of difficult since 6 Pandorans spawn out of nowhere all around you. Anyway, we win.

And we go . . . into a combat with someone called ‘Eileen’ talking at me? Okay, this is weird. It’s some sort of ATB system like a Final Fantasy game. We win but take a lot of damage and have to go back to base to heal up. Oh, and my original aircraft’s disappeared. I don’t know why and it’s really annoying, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The devs really want you to steal aircraft, it seems.

There’s a big pink flying thing on the world map that’s ‘currently moving at 60 mph’. I think it’s heading towards the haven with the pink circles around it? I try attacking it and apparently can’t. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do about it so I guess I’ll ignore it for now.

10 January

New evolutions. Triton Maniacs and those flying bug things, Myrmidons.

The big pink thingy is definitely moving towards that haven. I guess I’m supposed to be there when it arrives? Hard to judge exactly when, though.

“Pandorans have initiated a recon flight.” What does that mean?

Okay, the big flying thing just destroyed an Anu haven. Still not sure what I’m supposed to do about this. The text popup just says something vague about ‘we need to stop it’. There’s a bar at the top of the screen that says something about disruption. Maybe I need to go shoot down the smaller flying thingy? We’ve just done the Anu diplomacy mission so I’m going to head up and try to shoot it down after we clear our second Pandoran Nest.

Thoughts so far

Expansion seems OK so far, though it has the same issues as DLC 1 and DLC 2 of being completely unintegrated with the story – Synedrion happily give me an aircraft despite the fact that I just killed a bunch of them and stole their Helios.

Losing your Manticore in “The Gift” mission is lame. It feels like they read the “Aircraft as Mission Rewards” feedback ticket on Canny and didn’t really understand it. The idea of aircraft as mission rewards was to INCREASE your number of aircraft. INCREASE. Not +1 and -1 to equal +0.

Having the new Tyr cannon for my Heavy to use is fun. I still rarely fire it, though. Its main value is as a club.

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11 January

Second Pandoran Nest cleared. NJ offer us a gift. We accept it, and Synedrion and Anu immediately get angry with us, because they’re dicks. The Pandoran flyer gets shot down by a NJ Thunderbird, which is pretty cool, but the ‘disruption point’ count on the Behemoth only goes up by 1.

We activate a new Phoenix Base in Eastern Europe, and start an uplink there. These bases are getting expensive. And in the meantime, we’re still short of aircraft, there’s nothing we can do to stop the Behemoth for now, and there’s a Synedrion Helios up in Greenland, so . . . it’s that time again!

The mission goes smoothly enough, though my soldiers take a ton of damage from laser shots, as usual. Helios count is up to 2. Synedrion reputation is in the toilet, but I’m sure they’ll like me again once I go kill some people for them. Oh, and we stole some Pythagoras rifles, so our snipers get to upgrade. In the meantime, my Helios has been scouting and trading and has done the “Frozen” and “Rise by Sin” POIs.

12 January

We’re running low on materials, but with two Helios flying around trading, that shouldn’t last long. The Behemoth hits another haven. Doesn’t kill it this time, just damages all the facilities. Still no obvious way to stop it.

Pandorans initiate a “supply flight”. We chase it down and kill it this time.

13 January

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I’ve got two one-man teams out trading and searching POIs, and one of them runs into an ambush. Unsurprisingly, “Ange” fails to beat an army of 7 Pandorans, and becomes my first casualty.

The Behemoth destroys another haven. We shoot down another flyer. Our Synedrion rep is low so I do a “diplomacy” mission for them where I go kill some Anu and smash up their factory.

14 January

My A-team is at a loose end. I decide to redeploy them over to Europe where there’s an independent mission and two Scavenging Sites. One of my two Helioses gets weapons installed on it and is put on interception duty in North America. The other Helios gets sent to my Vietnam base and I start putting together a team.

The Behemoth squishes yet another haven. A ‘raid flight’ gets launched.

We do the New Warsaw mission and one Scavenging Site. Lots and lots of resources. We buy a new Phoenix Base and an uplink for it.

15 January

Scavenging mission. The Behemoth crushes yet ANOTHER haven but this time heads off in a random direction. Finish Capture/Containment research and start building a Panda prison.

We finally put together a B team in Vietnam. Good news: due to all the Scavenging missions and the Synedrion looting, they actually have quite decent weapons. Bad news: no armour. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Thoughts

I’m remembering both the things I loved about Phoenix Point, and the things that frustrated me and made me stop playing.

• The Good

The whole global management aspect with multiple teams is really fun. I like picking which bases to develop and scratching together teams to try to handle enemy attacks. The “where do I send my aircraft and troops” decision-making process is one of the best parts of the game.

The Behemoth is different at least. Adds a bit of variety.

I like the exploration change. Getting to Supportive is still good, but it’s not quite as much of an instant game changer any more.

The rebalances that I’ve seen all look good. Thief is actually worth taking now. Strongman isn’t so overpowered. Scorcher turrets . . . well, actually, they still look overpowered, but given the amount of complaints I’ve seen about the minor nerf they’ve received, I guess a lot of the playerbase really like their OP shit.

The Bad

The game is still buggy. Cutscenes and events play out of order, controls will occasionally seize up and force a save/reload, the game will occasionally stutter and slowdown to the point where you need to save/reload, techs are mislabelled, enemy AI will seize up and cause enemy turns to take 5 minutes, and the game has crashed every single time I’ve tried to close it for more than a year. You expect a few issues for a new game, but there’s really no excuse for a game to be this buggy 1.5 years after launch.

In the early game at least, the Behemoth feels a bit non-interactive. It just sort of drifts around the map stomping havens and all you can do about it is pick off fliers one by one until it decides (presumably) to give up and go away.

The devs still haven’t done anything to fix the issues with the game economy. Everything can be bought with resources, which means success or failure is all down to how rich you are. It’s starting to feel like they’re never going to address this. I suspect this is what will make me eventually give up on the game.

Diplomacy system is still ****ing stupid. Best way to get all the factions to love you is to act like a violent sociopath and take every “go murder these guys” mission you’re given.

You still have to steal aircraft, because aircraft in PP = actions, and the devs either don’t understand the concept of “action economy” or don’t consider it important.

6 Likes

16 January

Tons of new Panda evolutions. Lairs, Chirons, Sirens, virus Pandas, a new flyer, and something called a ‘Corruption Node’ which can apparently . . . take over Havens? Weird.

The Behemoth disappears underwater.

Two Haven Defences. First one, with my A-team, is easy. Second one with my unarmoured 5-strong B-team is a little trickier. We lose a Heavy when a Siren panics my entire team and then runs in and hacks his head off, but oh well, plenty more recruits where that one came from.

17 January

Synedrion diplo mission done. I kind of want another aircraft. Maybe I’ll steal a Thunderbird this time. We start work on two more Research Labs.

18 January

We hit a Pandoran Nest, qualify for the NJ level 2 diplomacy mission, then steal a NJ Thunderbird. Due to the silly diplomacy system NJ doesn’t particularly mind, and the Thunderbird has much better weapons than our Manticore. Two more Research Labs started. The first Scarab rolls off the assembly line and gets assigned to one of my two scouting Helios.

19 January

With four aircraft we can do a lot more on the Geoscape now. Two Helios are trading and exploring, while my Manticore and Thunderbird do missions as they pop up. New Panda evolutions – mind controlling Sirens and poison Myrmidons.

We do that random bionic mission with Forsaken (I still don’t know what’s supposed to be going on with that one, it’s really badly explained) and hit Aligned with NJ. Lots of nice technologies.

Second Scarab is built and deployed to the second Helios. Our scout teams should be safe from ambushes now.

The Behemoth has been sitting underwater for a while.

20 January

Trading, building, exploring. We’re getting to the point where we’re running out of technologies, unless I want to start reverse-engineering all the Synedrion gear I’ve stolen.

The Behemoth teleports across the map to right next to my B-team’s base. Oh, and its disruption score has reset to 0. Come on. What was the point of shooting down all those flyers? It also launches an ‘infestation flight’. Would be nice if I could intercept it, but you’re not allowed to do that, are you?

We’re about ready to do the Anu lvl 2 diplomacy mission. Once that’s done, my unarmoured B-team is going to have some rather difficult work to do.

Thoughts

I’m not sure how much I’m enjoying the campaign at the moment. The biggest problem is the bugs/performance issues. Something about Festering Skies seems to have messed up the game code and now the game frequently lags/stutters, dropping to 1-2 frames per second while my computer struggles to handle the processing. This never happened before, so apparently something in the DLC has made game performance much worse.

Other than that, Festering Skies hasn’t felt very different. The Behemoth is a surprise to begin with, but you quickly notice that there isn’t very much you can do about it – I can’t stop it from smashing havens or going wherever it wants. So I’m just grinding faction rep and farming resources in the usual way.

1 Like

21 January

Anu level 2 diplo mission is done. It’s slow and frustrating due to the game’s performance issues. Our Thunderbird engages our first Berith and shoots it down easily due to the NJ armour plating on the aircraft.

The Pure attack a Synedrion haven. Only thing that can reach it in time is one of our scout Helioses. We try to make it but it’s too far away. Haven destroyed.

The Behemoth spawns two more flyers. Our Thunderbird manages to shoot one of them down and they respond by sending out yet ANOTHER flyer. It’s getting hard to clean up this many enemies. Maybe we need to steal more aircraft.

22 January

More evolutions – upgraded Panda snipers.

We reshuffle our B and C teams, putting our best 7 on the Thunderbird and parking the rest at our Vietnam base. I spend a while shifting equipment about and getting the teams just how I want them, then the Thunderbird with my new B-team is sent off do a Haven Defence.

We do the Haven Defence, capture two Arthrons . . . and the game locks up. I click on ‘Return to Geoscape’ and nothing happens. Click click click. Finally I have to control-quit.

I try to reload the game’s autosave. It hasn’t worked. The ‘autosave’ is before my last manual save. All my gameplay of the last two hours is gone. If I want to continue the campaign I’ll have to do everything I just did all over again and fight the same mission a second time, with no guarantee that I won’t get the same crash.

I’m seriously considering just abandoning the campaign at this point. This is just miserable. HOW is the game STILL SO BUGGY after ONE AND A HALF YEARS? Why are they spending all their time on new DLC when they still haven’t fixed the most basic, fundamental issues with the base game?

2 Likes

22 January (again)

Played other games for a couple of days, and eventually decided to give PP one more try.

We redo everything that got lost in our last mission. Haven defence goes fine, and again we capture two enemies, but this time the game doesn’t crash. I think I would have ragequit the game forever if it had.

We steal another NJ Thunderbird. The mission goes smoothly, and it really does illustrate just how overpowered the “evil” route in PP is compared to playing nice. The mission gives us a Deceptor MG, 2 Cyclops sniper rifles, a bunch of ammo and a medkit, and the Thunderbird, which is fully kitted out with 2 weapons and an armour module. And all I lose is -6 rep. The cost/benefit is ridiculous.

Our B-team in their Thunderbird destroys a Pandoran Nest and does a troop rescue, while my Helios tries to intercept a Pandoran flyer – in doing so we discover that hitting ‘disengage’ causes you to lose control of your flyer (I just wanted to check something). We fly away, fly back, and attack it. It disables our weapons and we have to run away again. We come back for a third try, and again it disables our weapons and we have to run away. Finally the returning Thunderbird finishes the thing off. This is starting to become quite a hassle.

23 January

We build two more fab plants and two more Research Labs.

A Berith hits an Anu haven and destroys their Tiamat. Didn’t know they could do that. We send a Thunderbird after it and lose the battle again. Their weapons are much better than ours. Doesn’t seem like there’s any obvious way to close the gap – they have more weapon slots and damage-over-time weapons that hit much harder than our crappy guns.

The Behemoth infests two Anu havens. I guess we’ll have to send our Thunderbird out to see if we can clear them.

24 January

We finally manage to haul our A-team all the way across the world to do the Synedrion Pirate King mission. It takes a while, but it’s pretty safe when you know how to do it and we get all that Synedrion tech as a reward. +50% research speed, plus at last we can reload our laser weapons. We’d almost run out of ammo for them.

Another air-to-air battle with a Berith, another loss. We put it down to 10 health but can’t finish it off.

Our B-team reaches the infested haven and we do our first Infested Haven mission. Pretty fun! Takes a while and starts hard, but it snowballs in your favour as you shoot the Mindfraggers off the infested haven defenders and they join your side – by the end of the mission I was controlling 11 soldiers and 2 turrets. Corruption Node is annoying but it seems to need line of sight to do its psychic attack so you can kill it over time with pop-out tactics. The Behemoth goes up to 12/12 disruption so maybe it’ll stop killing havens now. On the downside, now there’s a corrupted Anu Tiamat flying around.

And then we do a Scavenging mission and I lose so many soldiers I just restart out of frustration. Only one of the deaths is due to bad luck – the rest are interface issues. Overwatch not working, the UI telling me I have actions left when I don’t, etc. I’d have taken the losses if it were just a matter of lost soldiers, but the micromanagement of searching bodies and pulling bits of gear off corpses and calculating exactly how much weight I can allocate to each soldier is more than I can stand.

We redo the mission, and this time the random enemy roll means it’s incredibly easy, but the game’s performance issues have started up again and the gameplay is grindingly slow and jerky. It takes us an hour to do the mission, most of which is spent moving soldiers around, waiting for the game to process calculations, and picking stuff up from crates.

We’ve qualified for the final Anu diplomacy mission, so send our A-team off to do it. I was going to do one more day but the performance issues are getting to be a real drag, so I decide to stop for the day.

Thoughts

PP is so frustrating. It has so many good ideas, and so many good parts, but whenever you’re starting to really get into it, there’s always some issue that holds you back. Nothing works intuitively – you have to learn the game’s weird arbitrary rules for each and every subsystem, or your actions will fail and you’ll have to either eat the loss of a soldier or save-reload. There are a hundred little bugs and UI glitches that keep tripping you up until you learn to work around them.

The reason it’s frustrating is that there’s a REALLY GOOD game somewhere under all the problems. But so many of the good parts have some recurring issue in them that spoils the user experience and turns what should be something fun into a slog.

3 Likes

Great posts! Sorry you are having these technical issues that sux balls man.
Personally I don’t have any technical issues, only time I’ve technical problems
was like 8-9 months ago when the Goescape froze and broke my save. It got
hotfixed a couple of days later.

Anyway hope you keep at it till the end and keep posting.
Cheers mate

2 Likes

25 January

Yet more evolutions. Nothing very important this time.

We finish the final Anu diplomacy mission and get Aligned. It’s simple but tedious due to the forced evac at the end. I guess I’ll try for the Anu ending this time – I haven’t done it yet, so it’d be interesting to see their storyline.

The Behemoth goes underwater again. Apparently clearing Corrupted Havens disrupts it really fast, which doesn’t make too much sense . . . I still have no idea what the long term solution to the thing is. Maybe the answer’s supposed to show up at some point in the tech tree?

We take the Phoenix base in Antarctica. Going to have to go there sooner or later, might as well prepare now.

Second Corrupted Haven mission. This one’s tougher than the last, mostly due to all the ****ing flying poison bugs. Two of my soldiers get poisoned down to 10ish HP, but we get lucky and come out without any deaths.

We start a few more Research Labs, and finish off the day with a Scavenging Mission.

26 January

Apparently there’s a new patch, concentrating on bugfixes. Unfortunately PP has so many bugs that even though I’ve run into about a dozen annoying bugs this run, there’s no overlap between the ones I’ve been dealing with and their list of fixes.

A Synedrion haven gets attacked in North America. Sadly all my aircraft are on the other side of the planet. We form a C-team and send it out but there’s no way it’ll get there in time. F.

My A- and B-teams do more Scavenging Missions and a Haven Defence, and this time our luck finally turns bad, each team losing a soldier. The B-team loss is due to my own mistake, the A-team loss is pretty much unavoidable – those stupid flying bugs appear out of nowhere and kill my soldier before I can react. The game’s issues make it more frustrating than it would otherwise have been – I can’t retrieve the armour from the soldier that died on the Scavenging Mission, meaning I’ll have to spend yet more time manufacturing a new set. My manufacturing has lagged way behind my expansion and half of my soldiers still don’t have armour.

27 January

Hit our first Lair. Panda sites are much rarer with Festering Skies. The rep bonus gives us 100 faction status with Anu, meaning a big resource boost.

Our B-team does a Scavenging mission that turns into a slog – the enemies are all Forsaken Berserkers with 30-something armour and Forsaken Priests with virus rifles. Two of my soldiers get hit for 15+ virus damage and spend most of the mission panicking. I’m really glad for that change that stops viral panic from stunlocking its target completely – having to wait 15 turns to evac my soldiers would not have been fun. We eventually call it a draw and retreat with about half the crates.

We get a new Phoenix Base, putting us up to 13.

28 January

New evolutions. Citadels, and now instead of poison flying bugs we get acid flying bugs. Joy.

This campaign’s been light on haven attacks so far, but now we get four at the same time, one in Australia and three in the Americas. My B-team easily takes care of the Australian one, the America attacks are a lot harder, but luckily the NJ havens are pretty good at defending themselves – one fights off the attack on their own and our C-team is just barely able to defend the other two.

We do the ‘Harmony of the Spheres’ special mission. Like the Anu level 3 one, the mission’s made much slower and more tedious by forcing you to evac afterwards.

Research is ticking along pretty fast. We’ve got 10+ research labs and the Synedrion research tech, meaning that each new tech is finished in a matter of hours. Just finished Advanced Acid Weapons and about to do the Telepathic Nodule research.

2 Likes

Well,

It would be much more fun if we play legendary without steal aircraft of other human factions abusing that they don’t react to it…

Trust me, I play Legendary without stealing, without hostile actions like raiding, manufacturing every aircraft and FS is not more fun

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That sounds horrible. You’ve gotta have aircraft in FS, and resources are so dear on legendary that they are something that I steal. After that, I’ll only raid if I’m desperate (usually for tech).

My case is the opposite, I don’t find scarcity and destroying flyers I get too many rewards

Really nice posts, just had a few thoughts about aircraft/economy

That’s addressed via 3 free Mantis on Rookie, 2 on Veteran, 1 Hero and 0 on Legend… Free extra aircraft on Legend really change the game,

I can tell you from playtesting that just one free Manti on Legend completely screws up the economy.

So here is an interesting thing - I’m currently on my Legend FS playthrough where I didn’t steal any aircraft (I built a Manti and a Helios), and enemy evolution seems to be significantly slower when I compare it to your dates.

Also, out of curiosity, what game speed are you guys playing on in tactical?

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I haven’t touched the game speed settings, so normal speed, I assume.

It’s interesting that your evolution speed is slower than mine. I wonder if it’s affected by the player’s resource gain rate?

And I don’t agree that the free manticores in FS address the aircraft problem. It comes back to the issues with the Phoenix Point economy – the strategic game in PP mostly comes down to actions, actions can be used to gain resources, and resources gain you everything else. I could write a whole essay on the weird economic system that this produces and the way that it both incentivises bad behaviour and is responsible for most of the game’s difficulty issues, but I’ve come to believe that the devs aren’t interested in this kind of feedback, so at this point I’m just treating it as an interesting study in “this is one of the ways in which a strategy game can be broken”. (It’s become my No. 1 example for economic issues when I talk to other game devs.)

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I started playing on the fastest setting and it does make it a difference, as in it’s less taxing when missions are shorter.

It should be affected by number of player actions (i.e. successful missions). It was verifed on Veteran by @MadSkunky, and I think it also checks out on Legend. So in a way, yes, it is indirectly related to resource gain…

Yeah, it doesn’t address economic balance, just players on lower difficulties complaining that they can’t get enough aircrafts (and with FS, that’s kinda fair).

Hmm, you are probably right re economy in general.

I struggle playing that way. Made new thread to hear others expirience of balance playing this way.

29 January

C-team hits a Nest, B-team hits a Lair. Both missions are easy, but the game’s performance issues slow gameplay down to a crawl. I don’t know WHAT changed in Festering Skies to make game slowdown this bad, but it’s really spoiling my campaign. The Lair mission takes 45 minutes, of which about 10 minutes is me making actual decisions. The remaining 35 minutes is taken up by watching the game jerk along at 3 frames per second, and staring at a “Pandoran Activity” screen while nothing happens but my fans and CPU scream as my computer struggles to work through the game’s tortured code.

We’re qualified for the Syn and NJ level 3 missions. My B-team gets assigned the Syn one, and I vaguely remember that the NJ one could be done with a vehicle so I send one of my scout teams to give it a try.

The Behemoth reappears, in South America this time. Again my best soldiers are on the wrong side of the planet. Dammit.

The NJ level 3 mission goes smoothly. It’s kind of ironic that the supposedly militaristic New Jericho are the only faction that DON’T require you to murder anyone to ally with them – we evac the guy with no casualties on either side. The Syn level 3 mission, on the other hand, is hell. You spawn into open ground in line of sight of 5 enemy snipers, 2 enemy infiltrators, 3 enemy Assaults, and a bunch of Spider Drones. We lose 1 Assault on turn 1 to focus fire, and 1 Berserker the next turn who bleeds out when his Regeneration Torso fails to work. B-team is now down to 4 out of its original 7 members. We head back to base to regroup.

We get to test out our new aircraft laser guns. They work pretty well! A Behir gets destroyed with minimal damage. Doesn’t stop the Behemoth squishing a NJ haven though.

Last mission of the day is a soldier rescue. I send my A-team on it and I need them, I’d forgotten how ridiculously difficult these are. We secure the area with the soldiers in it on turn 2 and still lose 1 out of 3 of them. Only reason we can do it is because we have both a Heavy with War Cry/Jet Jump and a Priest with Judgement Head for the mobility boost.

And we get a notification of an attack on a Phoenix base. Luckily it’s our American training camp which is the current base for my C-team. Should be easy enough.