Covert Operations (Long War)
The Covert Operations division and the tricks EXALT get up to are similar in Long War as in vanilla.
Some things of note:
- EXALT cash hacks steal a minimum amount regardless of your balance, so keeping a low bank balance is not a defense against them. If you're cash hacked without enough to cover it you will have negative cash. The Council will be unhappy if you still have negative cash at the end of the month.
- EXALT continue to tech up considerably longer than in vanilla, meaning they can be a thorn in your side for longer, rather than just becoming farmable soldier XP after a few months.
- Covert Extraction missions have a maximum squad size of 4 + the Covert Operative.
Because of the way panic has changed, EXALT propaganda operations are also more damaging, since your covert operation will reduce panic by much less than the propaganda campaign increases it, and with the aliens able to increase panic several more ways than in vanilla, it can place a country at risk. All in all, EXALT operations are more damaging than in vanilla, even late game, so you'll have more of an incentive to deal with them once and for all.
Intel Scans and Covert Operations otherwise work the same as they do in vanilla, you can scan for cells or let them reveal themselves, and send a Covert Operative to disrupt them. The Covert Operative has the same restrictions as in vanilla - no primary weapon, no armor, MEC Troopers, Gunners, Rocketeers and Rookies are ineligible.