11 April, 2015
Operation Burning Bell
From left to right, Sq. Othnieltcs, Cpl. Eri J3w3l, Cpl. Gypsy Syl and Rk. Joseph Skyrim.
All the squad knows is that a French military convoy was caught in an ambush and that aliens were seen in the area. The main objective is to investigate, and locate and secure any survivors or cargo that remain, eliminating any opposition as necessary.
It’s a dark night with fairly poor visibility.
As the team spreads out among a streetscape of rubble and burning vehicle wrecks and scattered uniformed corpses, it’s clear -something- serious has happened here, but not what.
Contact is made almost instantaneously, a Thin Man on a roof, and another who jumps down to ground level.
They take turns firing at Sq. Othnieltcs, who unfortunately towers over the cars and can’t take cover, doing 4 and 2 damage respectively.
Cpl. J3w3l takes aim from where she is crouched behind a burning bench, with a 57% chance to hit.
(The yellow target over the alien indicates she’s using Squadsight. This extends a sniper’s range and gives them a true ‘sniper’ feeling, as long as they have uninterrupted LOS, they can shoot anything a squadmate can see that would otherwise be out of their normal base range.)
Down goes the Thin Man on the ground.
In the meantime, Sq. Othnieltcs takes aim at the one on the roof, with a 58% chance to hit.
Another minigun execution with extreme prejudice.
As the squad moves up further towards the attacked convoy, examination of the bodies reveals something disturbing.
Conventional weapons fire killed the men in the convoy. But then… why are aliens at the scene? And who was responsible for the attack?
The squad advances further. It’s slow work, moving from cover to cover cautiously. But certainly, they’ve had more than enough excitement on the last mission already.
Slow and steady and by the book is a lot safer, especially in a place producing lots of questions but no answers.
They surprise another Thin Man, which makes a dash to the roof to seek cover.
That doesn’t hide it well enough from Sq. Othnieltcs, who stops to take aim again, with a 58% chance to hit.
One more exploding cloud of green goo, one less Thin Man on this planet.
One more reminder of just how annoying these miniguns are, when it comes to ammo consumption.
Plenty of uninterrupted time to reload though. Slow and steady wins this race.
Further down the road, scanners indicate there’s someone still alive!
The team continues to advance carefully, assuming nothing.
That caution is rewarded when a Thin Man moves just beyond the survivor. Cpl. J3w3l takes it out while on Overwatch.
As Sq. Othnieltcs and Rk. Skyrim reach the survivor, he doesn’t seem too happy to see the XCOM squad and surprisingly reluctant to share any information.
Central makes the decision to bring him in, whether he likes it or not.
A bunch of new Thin Men show up on the scene.
For whatever reason, the aliens seem to be very interested in this survivor or this convoy.
Not that it really helps them.
With a 63% chance to hit and 75% chance to critical, Cpl. J3w3l takes out the first.
Sq. Othnieltcs lumbers by, drawing out a reaction shot from the Thin Man on the roof…
…and then takes it out in return.
In the meantime, the survivor is busy calling the squad a bunch of names as he’s asked to move along, sometimes requiring the barrel of a very long gun pointed in his direction before he does.
More aliens show up, and a furious amount of fire is exchanged.
A lot of misses.
A few hits.
Sq. Othnieltcs is now down to 5 health bars, and while it’s not panic time yet, it’s not terribly great either.
Just enough hits to matter.
Rk. Skyrim had 50% chance to hit, and did, killing this alien for 4 damage and getting a promotion out of it.
Cpl. Syl tries another grenade toss to the roof to take out the last alien.
It’s a really long shot.
(The blast radius didn’t appear to cover the alien at all, but I was puzzled by why the Thin Man was still highlighted by a red square. So, what the heck, tried it anyway.)
It’s a pretty explosion, and probably took out some of its cover, but the alien remained unscathed.
The Thin Man retaliates, spitting a poison cloud at Cpl. Syl.
Well, that’s annoying. But if it can see Cpl. Syl, she can see it just as well.
59% chance to hit, 20% chance to critical… 6 critical damage with a shotgun.
One new poison cloud on the roof to go with the one on the ground.
Operation Burning Bell comes to a close with the successful retrieval of the survivor, though he still seems very reluctant to talk.
9 aliens killed.
0 XCOM operatives lost.
The after action report is busy indeed.
Cpl. J3w3l has been promoted to Sergeant, and the automatic nickname assigned is ‘Lady Grey.’ (Taking requests and suggestions to change it to whatever…)
Sq. Othnieltcs has been promoted to Corporal.
Rk. Skyrim has been promoted to Squaddie and is now a Heavy. (Any interest in being a MEC trooper or gene-modified?)
Cpl. Syl has been promoted to Sergeant, with an automatic nickname of ‘Caper.’ (Ditto.)
Cpl. Othnieltcs and Sgt. Syl were wounded and will be sitting out for 10 and 6 days respectively.
And a whole slew of medals!
The Council Medal of Honor, yeah, yeah, whatever.
Our lady of frag grenades gets the first of this lot, naturally.
But look, here’s an additional “Taken One For the Team” medal!
Taking nominees for the second of this batch.
Coming up next, the second UFO contact and Sgt. Izlain’s return!
(Though still temporarily called Pox since I had a few missions stored up from the last play-through. I should be able to get to playing XCOM again soon and update everything after mission 7.)