Legend ironman successful campaign report

gimrah
Long War 2 Crew
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Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby gimrah » Tue May 29, 2018 10:01 am

Finally beat LW2 Legend pretty much ironman. Savescummed a couple of Jake's stealth civ reveals, couple of misclicks, quite a few bugs, but that's about it. Sucked up all the bad RNG and unfortunate activations. No gameplay mods, unless you count gotcha again and tactical killcounter, which I could never now play without.

Warning: this is a long post. I've arranged by topic for those who are interested in some aspects but not all.


Gaming experience

I thoroughly enjoyed the campaign. Starting to grind slightly at the very end but not much (performance issues partly). Mission balance and variety were good. I found myself bringing different squad compositions for different missions, including different GOp types, not just timed vs untimed. For me, I think enjoyability was enhanced by the harder difficulty, and also by only doing one liberation.

I have beaten commander before a few times on mostly ironman, with degrees of minor savescumming. I say 'beat', I never actually did waterworld before because I felt I'd already won and wanted to start the next campaign. This was about my 5th serious attempt at legend. Most of the previous runs ground to a halt in the first 3 months as I struggled to get established. I had one nearly go the distance until I got an invasion that was essentially impossible (beacon was distant, on the ground floor, and walled in) and I tried to fight it instead of just noping out of there, but there were probably underlying strategic issues too (e.g. underlevelled soldiers).

I found legend balance to be pretty good throughout. There are difficulty bumps as new enemies come in, but that's good - it's nice to feel ebb and flow in the campaign. I didn't feel 'I'd won' until second year. Classes seem fairly balanced (see below). Nearly all have multiple viable builds, and I see in the forums and youtube that people use other builds that I don't. Biggest balance issue was it's hard to justify doing either psi or sparks on legend (unlike commander). I wouldn't want to try and mag rush either (unlike commander), but that's not really a balance issue.

Other equipment is mostly all usable but not monstrously OP. Items I never use are: gas, acid, chameleon suits, battlescanners, mimic beacons. I probably have a use for everything else potentially. For perks, kubikiri was crazy vs 'bosses', but then I built two soldiers around it, i.e. a 100% crit-stacked DfA sharp with literally every crit chance boost in the game, plus a holobot sharp. Similarly, chain lightning with arc blaster is arguably OP, but then you have to commit to a late game carry build on the assault, you get it late, it takes a gatekeeper shell, and it has a long cooldown. So I kind of feel I deserve that late game power if I commit to all that.

There were some missions I didn't engage with. I don't think I ever did a 'get attention' mission. I avoided recruit retals at all costs. I hate suicide cheese so I mostly ignored UFO detection and retal prevention missions.


Strategic layer

I was fortunate to detect the first few missions on long timers. Sent 7 soldiers to each. Levelled my entire starting barracks through in-mission promotions. Held no-one back for GTS. This gave me a deep roster early that allowed me to run more missions sooner, which helped me snowball early. It did mean that I had lots of soldiers with the 'wrong' stats for their class but mostly I found it didn't matter that much if flexible on builds.

I did build GTS first and used it to train rescued and bought rookies. I researched a fairly standard order. I did lasers before basic research. The short term boost outweighs the long term gain, although I did do a BR later while gathering resources. I did not unlock psi or sparks. I did do battle armour but not mobility armour. I did basic armour before mag and power armour before plasma. I had all plasma weapons at the end,

I liberated only one region, in early July. Vigilance stayed low through mid to end game. I decided libbing other regions would cost more Intel and usable regions than it was worth. Fought off 2 invasions and let the 3rd go as final missions were imminent. Had no shortage of ex light and v light GOps throughout the campaign. Had several unlibbed regions with high strength running supply and just dealing with the retals. Did very few boosts and saved intel for expansion. Waited to expand until I knew where I needed to go or to minimise max distance from a relay (GP missions spawn as far away from you as they can).

I build shadow chamber as soon as I could, which was early autumn. Hit one facility but probably didn't absolutely have to. Finished the campaign in Feb.

Didn't lose many soldiers. Worst missions as follows. Jailbreak early on with too much distance to cover for v light: lost an assault, lost half the prisoners, and carried out an unconscious soldier. Suicided a squaddie on UFO detection (hate this). Lost 2 grenadiers and a technical on the UFO itself, 2 others bleeding out, very nearly squad wipe. Lost best assault and ranger on blacksite: but only because I didn't know there was an absolute rnf timer and once you hit that it gets very bad very quickly. So 7 soldiers that I recall. Might have been another one or two early on.



Standout soldiers

Arc pulser assault. Built with rapid fire and used rifle. Brilliant AWC perks including shredder, LEU, deadshot. He basically became my best ranger. I was building another but he died on blacksite. Weaker earlier but not as much as you'd think: rifle tech comes before shotgun tech and the arc thrower perks are really good against beserkers and generals on hqs, also disorienting rocketeers and other dangerous advent you can't kill that turn.

Holobot sharpshooter officer. If you get a sharp with quickstudy I recommend going holobot officer with pistol perks. Especially if he has good aim, as he can then add a lot with lead by example. He levels slowly but it doesn't matter. Holo is great on the big missions. Pairs brilliantly with dfa/crit/kubi sharpshooter, but more generally in big missions you're flanking less, shooting through cover more, and you have more soldiers to benefit from the buff.

Sawn off ranger. No AWC magic until the very end, when he got run and gun. My first MSGT by a clear month. Came on both final missions and was great. Cheesed the final network tower with run and gun, stims, oscar mike and command - won that without a shot fired.



Class review

Assaults. Pretty good throughout. Arc pulser riflemen are very strong in late game. Otherwise I went all right side classic in your face build, which was decent throughout. Main issue was on legend you often can't oneshot reliably, so I think the rapid fire build is probably also good. Main problem is they tend to die.

Shinobis. Intermittently very powerful. All blade all the time. No regrets, especially if you only lib one region and have less use for stealth. Much as I love shadowstep, combatives is more valuable: mutons early and archons late. Strong when sword tech oneshots enemies. Fall off a lot in between, including end game with mostly elite everything and m4 advent. But when strong they are very strong.

Grenadiers. Intermittently strong. Couldn't make sapper work: sapper itself is too unreliable/situational and plasma comes too late. RD is great. Pack incendiaries early and EMP late, especially on bigger missions. Start to fall off before fire, before sting and before full kit. But then still useful right into end game: I would take a full kit grenadier on any mission except an HQ or waterworld.

Technicals. Very strong early. Fall off fairly gradually but steadily through the game. Built rocket/rifleman and flame/tank builds. Javelin rocket is great on invasions though.

Rangers. Very strong early to mid game. Fall off at the end vs gunners, except for sawn off build. Otherwise I go mostly left side with some centre, i.e. stand and shoot build. I don't like OW in general and for rangers RR comes way too late.

Gunners. Medium through most of the game but very strong at the end. Good aim gets shredder, RF, traverse. Poor aim gets the utility shots. Both can be very useful: do not despair at a low aim gunner.

Sharpshooters. Decent in all 3 main builds, especially mid to late game. Holobot officer as above. I love snapshot sharps normally but this campaign I only had one with decent movement and he had sub 60 base aim - still the first to MSGT but not A team generally. I found room for one dfa sharp in the campaign, with all the critstacking: came into his own late game, oneshotting sectopods, gatekeepers and avatars - with holobot support. For me DfA needs to always kill and on legend things have a lot of hp, hence getting the crit is everything.

Specialists. Probably my strongest soldiers - this campaign. I complained recently that my specialists suck. They didn't this time because they got all the breaks. This time I got specialists with great stats or awc perks like shredder (for OW build) or quick study (for right side officer pistoleer). I got lots of drone wrecks for m2 gremlins, lots of officer corpses for skulljacks, even early sectopod wrecks for t3 gremlins. And I managed to blocks advent firewalls when it appeared early - they got it eventually but only late game. I got a lot of hack rewards and hacked a lot of robots, including a sectopod on the forge and 3 superheavy MECs on waterworld. Skullmining rarely gets you a reward but the +20 hack is well worth it. They were so-so as riflemen, so I think their strength really depends on your access to tech.

Officers. I went mostly shinobis. One holobot sharp with quick study, who led most of the big missions and became the commander. One right side specialist with quick study, who led other big missions like forge (after my blacksite disaster my forge strat centred on hacking a sectopod and ploughing through it pretty rapidly, which worked well). Oscar Mike is a must (focus fire would be better if it worked at squadsight). Incoming is a must. TBF is a must except for very late officers.

Observation: soldiers who are strong on GOps are just as valuable as soldiers who are strong on big long missions. You need to beat all mission types to win.

faket15
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby faket15 » Tue May 29, 2018 5:59 pm

I'm really surprised that you had problems with the Blacksite. The mission tends to be much easier than intended because the schedules are broken.

gimrah
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby gimrah » Tue May 29, 2018 11:35 pm

faket15 wrote:I'm really surprised that you had problems with the Blacksite. The mission tends to be much easier than intended because the schedules are broken.


To be clear I only had difficulty because I didn't know there was an absolute rnf timer. I thought it was just the ones triggered when you grab the vial. So I took loads of turns setting up the perfect ambush and then OW camping. I didn't need to but I thought there was no harm in it. I could have done it easily within the time if I'd realised.

However, if you take too much time and the rnfs start dropping before you the vial then by the time you get out there are probably 30+ enemies active and dropping 8+ more high level enemies every turn. I might have got one more out if he didn't get cornered by a lancer which kept stunning him.

I considered re-starting the mission given it was a knowledge thing. But my tactical autosaves didn't go back far enough and then I clicked into the geoscape and lost my strategic autosave. Plus the withdrawal was pretty epic, and I kind of felt the campaign narrative would be spoiled even if I didn't consider it cheating.

SpinDoctor
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby SpinDoctor » Wed May 30, 2018 4:22 pm

Enjoyed the write up. Nice work!

SpinDoctor
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby SpinDoctor » Wed May 30, 2018 4:23 pm

faket15 wrote:I'm really surprised that you had problems with the Blacksite. The mission tends to be much easier than intended because the schedules are broken.

What's that mean - "schedules are broken"?

faket15
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby faket15 » Wed May 30, 2018 5:35 pm

SpinDoctor wrote:
faket15 wrote:I'm really surprised that you had problems with the Blacksite. The mission tends to be much easier than intended because the schedules are broken.

What's that mean - "schedules are broken"?


The Blacksite should have 8 pods plus 4 solo drones but because of a typo the last three pods and the solo drones do not spawn. By itself this is enough to go from 43 enemies to 27 at Strength 5 or higher, but the same typo also makes the choice of which schedule to use random instead of Strength-based. In the most extreme case (STR 5 or higher playing a STR1 schedule) you go from 39 enemies including a pod of 8 and 2 pods of 6, plus 4 solo drones plus 6 turrets to 17 enemies in pods of 2-4, no solo drones and only 2 turrets.

I actually play with modified versions of the base Long War 2 files that solve a lot of the bugs that are still in the game, including some that I'm pretty sure that no one else noticed.

SpinDoctor
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby SpinDoctor » Wed May 30, 2018 6:26 pm

Oh wow.... I can't say that I've had difficulty with the Blacksite, but I figured that was because it was the first GP mission. The others didn't seem that much harder, assuming they are OK, schedule wise. But I've only finished one campaign, lol.

I've only had one set of RNFs on my Blacksite missions, unlike gimrah. They didn't show up until I was nearly at the evac zone, in a narrow area between a building and the map edge. So of course, they were overwatched out of existence.

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rifleman
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby rifleman » Thu May 31, 2018 5:59 am

faket15 wrote:
SpinDoctor wrote:
faket15 wrote:I'm really surprised that you had problems with the Blacksite. The mission tends to be much easier than intended because the schedules are broken.

What's that mean - "schedules are broken"?


The Blacksite should have 8 pods plus 4 solo drones but because of a typo the last three pods and the solo drones do not spawn. By itself this is enough to go from 43 enemies to 27 at Strength 5 or higher, but the same typo also makes the choice of which schedule to use random instead of Strength-based. In the most extreme case (STR 5 or higher playing a STR1 schedule) you go from 39 enemies including a pod of 8 and 2 pods of 6, plus 4 solo drones plus 6 turrets to 17 enemies in pods of 2-4, no solo drones and only 2 turrets.

I actually play with modified versions of the base Long War 2 files that solve a lot of the bugs that are still in the game, including some that I'm pretty sure that no one else noticed.

Hi, Faket, would you mind post a new topic about these bad schedules and share the fix files? Maybe we should ask johnnylump use your fix files to update the mod for us. :D

Dwarfling
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby Dwarfling » Thu May 31, 2018 2:32 pm

gimrah wrote:Biggest balance issue was it's hard to justify doing either psi or sparks on legend (unlike commander). I wouldn't want to try and mag rush either (unlike commander), but that's not really a balance issue.


I used to think like that but last campaign I decided to give Psi another go, just because boredom. I had a large influx of supplies the month after the first liberation, which came around the end of July or later, with the adjacent regions blowing up in strenght and switching to supply. Ended rolling them up post August, by December I had around 6 at SGT and above with the help of Trial by Fire and picking quick to train powers like Schism, Solace and Fortress first. Most SGTs are kind of crap to bring around late game missions but Psi bring plenty tools to be considered on the deployment screen. They were really good at buying time during encouters with bosses and finishing up stuff with Soulfire and Null Lance.

Give em a whirl next time, you don't need to rush it. I had instant Sectoid autopsy by the time I could afford them. Your recruit list will probably be large enough you'll get to pick recruits with 25+ psi offense.

And I play with Shen's Legacy content turned on so SPARKs aren't really a drag, you get one for free, an extra isn't that expensive and the tech they use you already need for Technicals (armor) and Gunners (weapon). Also... Holy crap Plasma Blaster + Rainmaker leveling all cover like a freight train passing over the map.

gimrah
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby gimrah » Thu May 31, 2018 7:40 pm

Maybe. In commander I have gone psi in mid game when I felt I didn't have enough soldiers and non-psi squaddies are too much of a burden. In this one I didn't really ever feel short of soldiers. I didn't lose that many early on and you just don't need a huge roster in late game.

Also late psi will suffer in that they will never have competitive psi strength vs advent will, so insanity is not much use. I did an all out psi rush on commander, as psi before lasers and psi lab as 1st building. I won the campaign but it was suboptimal. I might consider going psi straight after lasers and giving that a go. Would have to plan around it pretty carefully.

I don't play with the spark mission on. I enjoyed it in vanilla but after a few times I feel limited desire to do it again.

Psieye
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby Psieye » Thu May 31, 2018 9:17 pm

gimrah wrote:Also late psi will suffer in that they will never have competitive psi strength vs advent will, so insanity is not much use.

I think Dwarfling's point is that even if late psi soldiers never win against Advent will, they still bring enough to the table to warrant consideration.
My three 8-man GOp squad Commander campaigns:
1st
2nd
3rd

Dwarfling
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby Dwarfling » Thu May 31, 2018 9:33 pm

Well the Psi Disciples (SGT) with Adv. Amp and Neurowhips won't get good Insanity scores against full-hp tough T3 (high 50%) but there's plenty stuff that shows up where you get good chances. T2, mutons and those annoying Archons like to fill space in pods and are easy pickings. I managed to score several Gatekeeper wrecks before finishing up getting to the end of the GP so my Insanity chances with my Psi Warlocks (TSGT) using Alien Amps against fresh T3 toughguys was above 80%.

And even with low chances (50-60%) you can still try then do something else.

And yeah I could have been just straight up buying random SGTs at the BM with the money but having some extra abilities seemed nicer.

Shen's Legacy mission is a drag but super easy with AP ammo Rangers and Gunners to keep Julian doing nothing relevant during its turn via Suppress.

If anything, playing with Psi keeps things from going stale. I just reinstalled Alien Hunter DLC cuz of that.

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rifleman
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Re: Legend ironman successful campaign report

Postby rifleman » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:49 am

BTW, faket15 has posted the LW2 1.5 Bugfixes modified files in the modding forum. You guys could check it out.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=27394

Hope we could get a official update soon.


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