Three Sirens on my fifth mission? Are you kidding?

Long time Xcom2 player here (over 500 hours), playing PP on Veteran difficulty.

On my fifth mission in I faced an attack on a friendly haven with three sirens. Going all out, with every soldier dashing (some twice in one round), grenades, etc, I managed to get ONE down before the other two mind controlled my entire team in two turns.

Are you joking?

I’m about to start my fourth attempt to play through this game (which I only accidentally bought for myself, as I was actually trying to gift it to my 71yo Dad, who has had very little success on the game on the lowest difficulty from the get go). I’m giving it a go because I loved the original XCOM, love the fact that you’re trying something a bit different than what’s out there now, but… damn.

Creators, have you even been playing these sorts of games in the last ten years? This is so sub par.

Note that you don’t have to kill sirens to render them harmless - you just need to blow off its head for a mission kill. Siren without a head has permanent 0 WP, so:

  • can’t mind control anyone with >0 WP
  • can’t sustain any mind control (as it costs WP to sustain).
  • can’t use Psychic Scream anymore.
  • automatically panics on any further non-worm pandoran you kill, spending the turn running away and not being able to use its attacks.

Sadly, head is armored, therefore not so vulnerable to shotguns/assault rifles, but it’s usually easy to kill in 1 turn with either 2 quick shots from a sniper rifle or a close-range cannon shot (w/ damage boost perk or some minor followup).

So, the key to dealing with multiple sirens is to mission kill the closest (ideally, blow off a few siren heads first and then kill some weak enemy to panic all those, making them skip next turn), and stay away from the ones which still have their head (mind control range is quite limited).

That’s x-com, baby)
My shortest campaign was in x-com: terror from the deep when on January of 9th aliens had attacked my base… by lobstermen with high resist to common weapons although I had only basic weapons. This was awesome!

What day? 5th mission if it includes the first three special missions is more day 1.

For the number of Sirens, I already read posts quoting that the spawning was not enough tuned because it doesn’t manage the real tactical difficulty from multiplying some enemies types.

With a Scavenging mission multiple Sirens means most containers will be destroyed, they won’t go into overwatch areas and instead will crash containers or even wait. You need tempt them with a charm sacrifice, and when there’s multiple Sirens it’s borderline unmanageable.

Your best chance is you notice them first and blow up their head with sniping before they start hide. It’s a bit lame tactic a bit basic, but others are risked with multiple Sirens.

As has been said snipers taking off the head of a siren is the best bet. I’ve also found it handy to have my heavy jetpack in close to use his -2 AP shout on them, as then they cannot actually attack unless they are already right up on you. The basic shotgun is excellent if used from 1-2 tiles away from them and targeting the face, though with multiple sirens on the field dashing up close is a risky move, as dash uses your will leaving the assault vulnerable to other sirens mind controlling.

Your dad isn’t the only one struggling on the lower difficulty setting, i’m there too to be honest. restarting battles until you get the right combo of luck and tactics to get through one with minimal or no damage sustained is counter productive in this game. The artificial difficulty spike pops up sooner or later and throws in something you might not be able to handle so well and that isn’t appropriate for the difficulty you picked.

Good example would be my first diplomatic mission for New Jericho a few days back. Started the battle by scouting ahead with one assault, one dash ahead and i found a pair of sirens, a chiron, several arthrons and a few tritons on the map. In a previous game i had encountered only arthrons and tritons here, but the difficulty got ramped up to a rather insane battle for my low level team. Ended up being one i had to ditch and come back to later, though i was at the point where i really needed to do it to work to unlocking a factions tech.

There’s some great advice here for dealing with a siren, and maybe even two, but three at once…

I think people are kinda missing the point I was trying to make.

There is no way you can take out three sirens when you have no room to backup, and 6 relatively unskilled soldiers. Head shots are great, but they don’t hit all the time, and it still takes a couple per siren - every single bullet fired would have to hit, and do max damage… its not going to happen.

I agree the difficulty management underestimates the combinations aspects. Moreover 3 Sirens means at least one will surprise you at a corner with most probably disastrous result. In my opinion 2 Chiron can also be a lot of pain, put them far enough out of any long range LOS and it will be a pain.

Shooters can benefit of a significant auto regulating system through limits from number of covers and los available that are limited. But with Chiron and Scylla there isn’t such auto regulation it’s brutal without any finesse, and with Siren too many could reduce too much your team size though panic or control.