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I'd appreciate some help in understanding how much you can "delay" before playing the next combat mission. The game doesn't really explain the benefits or consequences of "letting the clock run" in order to complete improvements.
I've read some general advice that I should build the "Fifth squad member"unlock as soon as possible. Before I even did that I started the Chief Engineer Mission way too early and lost two promoted units on a self destructing robot at the final battle. I had no idea that mission would take so long when I started it and I didn't quite process that autosave wouldn't allow me to restart at a point before the mission. I'm just super demoralized now knowing that I really should just restart the whole game. But, I know that I have to, and I want to start my next play through not making completely aimless decisions.
Advice, please? And spare me the "git gud" comments. That doesn't help.
Are you playing with War of the Chosen, or vanilla XCOM 2?
There are so many tips!
To answer your question: you can take the main story, and any missions that you can initiate, veeeeery slow. There is no urgency. You can even let the Avatar Project bar fill entirely and still will be given a 20-day window to reduce it.
I’d recommend unlocking 6 soldier slots, and upgrading your soldiers considerably, before doing any of the DLC missions.
Thank you. Vanilla XCOM with the two DLC enabled. I stumbled into that Chief Engineer mission and didn't realize that it was essentially going to be four boards back to back LOL.
Let's talk map. I think that is the biggest thing I'm struggling with.
Things appear on the map. Some of them are battles and some of them are things that you just sit at for a specific period of time and when you invest enough time you get a reward? Are these the ways you advance the clock?
Right. Here’s my advice: any missions that pops up randomly—Guerrilla ops, council missions, retaliations, supply raids, etc.—should be taken ASAP.
Any missions that show up on the map—strongholds, mainly—you can wait to do until you feel strong enough. This would include that DLC mission that gave you trouble.
The only other things that appear on the map are scanning sights, which pass time and pose no threat. These give you a reward. Do these freely. Be aware that scanning sights that you ignore will go away after a while, so prioritize accordingly.
All the while, you should be making contact with new regions. This also passes time and costs intel. But it does not pose a threat. You can also, at large cost, pass time installing radio towers. This increases income and reduces the Intel cost to contact adjacent regions. This isn’t entirely essential, but you do need to install a certain number of towers to unlock the region bonus associated with that area of the map...there’s a lot going on! Lol.
That helps tremendously. I'm gaining confidence and have a pretty good squad of Lieutenants now. I'm fully prepared to be completely unprepared for the endgame. But, worst that can happen is I understand the wider strategy of managing the map better and do better on another playthrough.
A big problem I had at the beginning is that I didn't realize that the missions were randomized. I thought that all games play out in a similar fashion and assumed that any fight I did would be "scaled" to what order I did them in. Clearly not. Don't get me wrong, that is solid game design and makes for great replayability.
Glad it helped! The endgame isn’t too bad, honestly. You should be fine.
Psionic soldiers are a huge boon, and I’d highly recommend investing in 1-2 of them. Just 1 will help you on the final mission.
You should also check out War of the Chosen. It’s more complicated than the vanilla game, and harder, but more rewarding. The base management is much more interesting, and it’s easier to keep a larger squad of soldiers upgraded. (It also runs worse on the Switch! Lol. But it’s still totally playable.)