Have SO Enjoyed the Game But Lairs Ruin It

I have played this game, non-stop, all day, every day, since release. Have enjoyed the tactical systems endlessly, the ballistic system has been fascinating, the lore interesting…

But finally trying to go into lairs has ruined my enjoyment. They are an endless, confusing maze, with no enjoyment to working through them. Crab grenades are endless and unavoidable. If I stop long enough to recover will, all the aliens I’ve taken out are replaced. I carry all the ammo I can and I still run out and still, after literally hours of playing, have no clue where the spawnery is.

For the first time, J.G. et al, I don’t want to play the game. Please, listen and do something to fix the lairs. Gods forbid someone from the team should comment on this.


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This is why you see so many posts about 1 turn clears. Practically no one likes lairs (cue the one dude who is like “actually…”

My current pet idea is to have more places be colonizable to pandora, like havens they’ve wrecked or urban city areas. That gives a little variety and means not every lair is either a 1-2 turn speed run or a 3 hour slog. Add to that limited reinforcements like we had in beta, and I think we’d be OK. I know they don’t want ppl to just overwatch trap their way through the lairs, but it’s a tactics game… It shouldn’t punish you for using actual, smart tactics. Hell, even giving us a way to do it ourselves would work, allowing you to grenade/bomb side passages with spawn sites to block them off. Player agency is always good. I’d rather spend 30-45 minutes methodically dismantling a lair than either cheesing it or trying to fight through it as it stands.

It really bugs me that a turn based tactics game from the godfather of turn based tactics desperately wants you to abandon tactics in order to win, especially to win efficiently. Cover is half useless, sending your guys on Usain bolt like sprints into the open to unload into enemies is preferred, endlessly spawning enemies mean there’s only one good way to win in lairs. Ugh.


Well actually…no I’m kidding lairs are a nightmare. They’re just too open. I wonder if they’d be more “fun” if they were larger Nests. A large ant nest like cave and tunnel system. Chirons would be in the largest cave, maybe a quarter to a third map visibility (no firing over walls), smaller caves would be spawn locations, and the rest of the map would be a labyrinth of interconnected tunnels. No jetpack cheesing possible, no cross map triton snipers. A much more “Aliens”/“Space Hulk”/“Starship Troopers”/“Dungeon Crawl” feel.

Original X-Com never achieved grab me yet, so if that’s your point of reference, I don’t know.

Now XCOM1&2 and their extensions show an evolution favoring more and more skills used well and at right time. Moreover JA1&2 use close to no combat skills, and no SF weapons. And yeah PP is closer to last XCOM2 extension than to JA1.

If I understand your point of view, I think a middle ground can be find.

A typical problem is overwatch pushing to excessive caution and then pushing designs to excessive use of timeout.

A lite game as Pathways limits Overwatch through skills and bravery points (similar than will points of PP, but get back only with decisive actions like get hurt or kill, which avoids some restore abuse, and there’s no need of some timeout artificial or concrete as buildings getting destroyed, civilian getting killed, spawning coming, reinforcement waves just before you can evac, more. :slight_smile:

I think that dash skills based on some bravery point system is also another example of skills that should match well a design more based on shooting, cover and obstacles, ranges and precision.

Find Lairs target is another problem. I think at first entrance, I tend rage quit when I start wonder where is the target. That said after an auto calm down and auto reasoning, Lairs tend be the best combats I have with the game, I’d say after combats against New Jericho in Haven defense, and perhaps a few special missions.

The original design of PP had overwatch have a willpower cost, even.

Lairs are easy and quick missions which I enjoy the most at the moment (Heroic difficulty). The last one I had finished in 5 turns killing only a handful of enemies and disabling 4 others. No Dash abuse or crap like that. Didn’t have to use Mind control (except on worms) or Rapid Fire. Had a Priest with Frenzy, but could have done without him.

1 )The idea is not to Overwatch crawl but to always be on the move to your objective. Always!
2) Find your route at turn 1 and (even better) make it by destroing obstacles with your Hel canon.
3) Move at the side of the map, not at the center. As soon as you rich the side enemy respawn point it stops sending reinforcements. From that point you can get to your objective in 1 or 2 turns and finish it with a couple of shotgun shots to the face. Mission accomplished!

Quite by accident I did discover you could blow away the rocks w grenades and the cannon. That did lower the frustration of having to keep going back around and trying to find a path through. And yes, I knew to try and keep going, but I’d get hung up and some point, having to go back or try to recover. I’ve done a couple since, and they were not as horrible, mostly because of being able to blow a path through a section and, as mentioned, being able to follow one side instead of having to wiggle through the centre.

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That’s new, I was wondering if you can do it in multiple attempt without regen of map, that makes quite a change. For blowing out the big structures, it’s not one grenade that does it, but ok with multiple attempt and ready for resources expense, it looks manageable.

I don’t think lairs is the reason. The reason is is that it is simply possible to do 1 turn clears. Abilities and their synergies are way too strong in this game. I wish it would be more about actual tactics instead of whatever abilities you chose to click.

Well it’s tactic, it’s not push button win, 1 turn clear is hardly trivial, anyway not knowing where enemies are it’s words or luck.

Well, tried slogging through another one. No viable path except through the centre. Tried blasting holes in a couple places but the 3 Sirens + 4 Tritons + Exploding Bombard Chiron wiped everyone out. If you get caught/held at one point you are slaughtered. Not fun.

And tactical game hangs repeatedly during the lair. Oiiiiii.

Bombard Chiron is the only reason for instant evac in this mission.
Fortunately for me I’ve never met anything but worm launchers in Lairs yet (which are very easy to deal with if you have a Priest in your team).

I think the game is a bit complicated and unconventional sometimes.

I recently played a game with Air Bombard and with precise targeting, sigh. It’s Phantom Doctrine. Despite it’s generally in a context you are fleeing a map after have done (or not) the objective, it looks totally weird . But in fact it’s manageable, use buildings with top cover, don’t stay close to windows or door if not protected by a top cover.

In PP Chirons bombard doing damages are heavily dangerous, I’d say that those with glues can be a lot of burden too.

But think top cover and how manage the mission with top cover. It ends be a lot of fun and very different than other Chiron, worms plus roofs aren’t your friends.

I read another trick but frankly it’s hard to apply in standard missions, if no roof, use a high cover between you and the Chiron and go close to the wall.

If nothing apply, then it’s kill asap a damages bombard Chiron, sometimes it’s doable like in Citadels.

EDIT: Ooops exploding bombards, I haven’t yet had to manage those Chiron, looks rude if they explode roof on purpose, but do they?

Yeah, No, This doesn’t seem to work in Legend difficulty.
This is how it went for me:

  1. My 1st turn, Spawn/Evac area was isolated, 99% abyss and only connected via a little bridge, No other path to go, I moved everyone to the little bridge right in front.
  2. Enemy’s 1st turn, 2 Grenade Launchers from the other side of the wall killed 2 of my units, 1 badly injured and 1 had his main weapon destroyed.


  1. My 1st turn, Dashed to the other side of the bridge with my assaults to clear them out next turn.
  2. Enemy’s 1st turn, 2 MG Arthrons jumped over the wall because they “might as well” and landed next to my 2 assaults, headshot 1 of my assaults to death and poisoned the other one.
  3. My 2nd turn, Jokes on me, one of the Arthron landed on the only square that connects with the spawn/evac and was the only place squadmates had no line of sight to it from the other side of the bridge, I healed up and shotty failed to kill it in 1 hit cuz distance.


  1. My 1st turn, Dashed to the other side and overwatch looking at the walls.
  2. Enemy’s 1st turn, Triton jumps to the high ground from the corner, shoots and breaks one of my assaults’ torso, a grenade lands on the other one breaking his head, Terror Sentinel starts channelling from the other side of the wall.
  3. My 2nd turn, Killed the Triton and moved away from the walls.
  4. Enemy’s 2nd turn, Terror Sentinel screams, -10 WP means both assaults panic, 2 Fireworm Chirons shot 10 worms total at the assaults’ feets.
  5. My 3rd turn, Restarted.

This reminded me the first time I went into a Lair, That was the first time I also saw the Bombard Chiron… 3 of my dudes died 1st turn lol

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That’s about how most of mine went. Had one that was like fighting the Battle of the Bulge as Germany. Took about five restarts to break through as taking the center was literally the only option.

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Wow, that doesn’t sound good!
I am playing Heroic and never had such an unforgiving start in Lair missions (yet).
Best of luck with your walkthrough!

I agree the lairs are overkill and poorly done. That being said, there are a couple things that can make them easier.

  • Take a PP vehicle with you. You can blow through many of the walls with the rocket launcher and fast track a handful of your team to the far end of the map.
  • Jet Pack to high ground with a sniper. You can (sometimes) get a bead on the spawnery all the way across the map. This pillar platforms are best for that as they are at least three levels high.
  • Have your team makeup with stealth involved for those that are not in the vehicle. This way they are not visible to enemies (ref: Bombardment).

This by no means alleviates the painful process you must go through with the lairs but it does allow me faster completion.