I’ve played a combined 40 hours across two playthroughs, and have never once completed a VIP rescue mission. The mechanics make it pure luck to complete them.
This is because the enemy AI has one victory condition, and that is to kill the VIP. The VIP has a pathetic HP pool and no armor. They also have a small movement range. All enemies on the map immediately converge on the VIP and focus fire on that unit only.
I have never taken any damage in a VIP rescue mission for this reason. The AI refuses to shoot my squad, and will only go for the VIP. They will suicide into my squad until they succeed in killing the VIP. This normally happens in the very first turn, as the VIP spawns either amongst enemies, or in a place that is 100% open to enemy fire. If the enemies contain a sniper, the battle will literally last one turn.
It is crazy, and the exact opposite of fun. My recommendations:
Reduce the extreme murder boner that the AI has for VIPs. Give that weak civilian character a chance…
Simply change the approach. Have the VIP not be an enemy to the faction being attacked at first. The user squad must reach the VIP, activate them by entering their circle, and spawn new enemies that are now hostile to the VIP. Then the squad must fight their way back to the spawn point evac.
I can’t fault the suggestions or the observations though I can say they become much easier when using specialized squads. Particularly high speed Infiltrator/Assaults with Deploy Decoy, Dash and Spider Guns.
They don’t so much “have a murder boner” for the VIP as prefer the closest target. Rush in drop a decoy, put some spiders between the enemy and the VIP then provide cover fire, easy peasy. Speed and distraction is critical.
I totally agree that the VIP rescues feel very, very broken (if not just a plain cruel joke on the player). I know that it’s not necessarily polite to mention XCOM as a comparison, but I think that XCOM 2 got these types of missions down pretty much on the mark. They provided at least 3 alternate ones:
VIP starts with unit, but not on the edge of the map. The enemy is basically on one side of the map, allowing one to move the VIP out of immediate danger, while the squad attempts to soften up a path to evac.
VIP is being held by the enemy and must be taken from them.
VIP is locked up or holed-up inside a secure structure and the squad must free them or get to their position to escort him to evac.
It almost feels as if these missions were just quickly dropped into the game and not really massaged into proper missions.
Decoy are priority targets, turrets too be when you lost one it costs money. Otherwise I think VIP will be the next priority target if in range, because it has the less armor so ensure the most damages.
I haven’t tried it yet since I only ever had one mission where I had to rescue a single person. But if you bring a vehicle and shove the target into it, the VIP would have immensely increased suviveability. Reducing your squad size by 4 is extremely painful though. Wish the vehicles took up less squad space or that there was a research to make them take less squad space.
JoeyDCote, I dont understand why I never though of that… but that is as brilliant as it is simple. Especially when the VIP doesn’t spawn in the middle of the map where it is irrelevant. I will do that for the other VIP missions, since I technically need only “escape” to the evac to win them. And with an Armadillo, it can withstand a good number of hits.
Imho enemy AI’s behavior toward VIP is fine. But this mission should have more depth to encourage player saving civilians, I wish those saved civilian could be transform into soldier to defend haven, or helping to produce resources so on so forth (transferring these civilian one to another haven could add some fun on haven micro management). Current game have I use them as a decoy and they just being idle do nothing, I wish they run randomly once they get shot and have a will to run toward our squad if its in their los.
Really? I just finished x-com and especially these missions are bugged af. These and the missions where you have to protect a device, you start on the other side of the map where heavy enemy units start next to the device and destroy it in 2 turns.
Here, these missions are one of the easiest. The only issue is, that people usually don’t want to build vehicles, cause they can’t use them, so they find them useless.