Missions (LW2)

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Enemy Activity Level

Enemy Activity Level refers to the quantity of enemies deployed on a map. Activity Level is calculated as (Enemy Units - 4)/3, and described as "light", "heavy", etc; these categories correspond to the table below. When preparing to infiltrate, base Enemy Activity is an estimation of the strength of the enemy forces you will encounter at 100% infiltration; the actual Enemy Activity Level depends on your infiltration rate (for more information, see the Infiltration page). In general, at 0% infiltration, Enemy Activity Level will be several steps higher than the baseline; at 200% infiltration, it will be a few steps lower, to a minimum of "Extremely Light".

Activity Level Number of Enemy Units Activity Level Number of Enemy Units
Extremely Light 7-9 Swarming+ 37-39
Very Light 10-12 Swarming++ 40-42
Light 13-15 Swarming+++ 43-45
Light-Moderate 16-18 Swarming++++ 46-48
Moderate 19-21 Swarming+++++ 49-51
Moderate-Heavy 22-24 Swarming++++++ 52-54
Heavy 25-27 Swarming+++++++ 55-57
Very Heavy 28-30 Swarming++++++++ 58-60
Extremely Heavy 31-33 Ludicrous 61+
Swarming 34-36

Mission Table

This table compiles the information contained in LW2's configuration files regarding missions.

Mission Mission Type Mission Timer Max Soldiers Infiltration Evacuation Loot
Hack Workstation Guerrila Ops 8 (Objective) 8 Yes Evac Flare No
Recover Item Guerrila Ops 8 (Objective) 8 Yes Evac Flare No
Protect Device Guerrila Ops NA 8 Alerted Evac Flare No
Extract Council 12 (Evac) 8 Yes (No Concealment) Fixed Exit No
Rescue Council 18-24 (Evac) 8 Yes Fixed Exit No
Destroy Relay Guerrila Ops 12 (Objective) 8 Yes Evac Flare No
Smash N Grab Guerrila Ops 12 (Reinforcements) 8 Yes (No Concealment) Fixed Exit No
Neutralize Target Council 12 (Evac) 8 Yes Fixed Exit No
Sabotage Advent Monument Defend NA 8 Yes Evac Flare No
Sabotage Alien Facility Sabotage NA 10 100% Evac Flare No
Troop Maneuvers Liberation NA 8 Yes Evac Flare Yes
Supply Line Raid Supply Line Raid NA 8 Yes Evac Flare Yes
Secure UFO Supply Line Raid 16 (Reinforcements) 8 Yes Evac Flare Yes
Terror Retaliation NA 8 + Haven Advisor Alerted Fixed Exit No
Invasion Defend NA 10 + Haven Advisor Alerted Fixed Exit Yes
Defend Defend NA 8 + Haven Advisor Alerted Countdown Exit No
Jailbreak Liberation 12 (Evac) 8 Yes Fixed Exit No
Rendezvous Liberation NA Haven Advisor + up to 5 rebels No Evac Flare No
Intel Raid Liberation NA 8 + Haven Advisor + up to 5 rebels Alerted Evac Flare No
Supply Convoy Liberation NA 8 + Haven Advisor Alerted Evac Flare No
Recruit Raid Liberation NA 8 + Haven Advisor Alerted Countdown Exit No
Assault Network Tower Liberation Hidden 5 100% Evac Flare No
Assault Alien Base Liberation NA 10 100% Evac Flare Yes
Avenger Defense Defend NA 12 Alerted Not Available No
Advent Facility BLACKSITE Golden Path (Hidden) 8 100% Fixed Exit No
Advent Facility FORGE Golden Path NA 10 100% Evac Flare Yes
Advent Facility PSIGATE Golden Path NA 10 100% Evac Flare Yes
Central Network Broadcast Golden Path NA 8 No Evac Flare Yes
Assault Alien Fortress Golden Path NA 12 No Not Available No


  • Mission Timer
    • This value is increased by + 4 in Rookie difficulty and by +2 in Veteran
    • Objective timers only affect the primary objective. Failing to complete the objective before the timer expires will result in failing the mission but you can still evac your soldiers.
    • Evac timers put an absolute limit on mission duration. Any soldier still on the map when the timer reaches 0 is lost (captured). When the timer reaches 1, the last turn start (there is no "0 turns left" turn).
    • Reinforcement timers are delays before increasingly strong reinforcements start dropping. You can still complete a mission after such a timer reaches zero but it will become harder with each wave. This timer starts only after you break concealment.
    • Several non timed missions (such as the Blacksite and Network Tower) include a hidden reinforcement timer.
  • Infiltration
    • Yes - the squad can infiltrate the site to reduce enemy strength
    • 100% - infiltration needs to reach at least this value before mission can be launched
    • No - squad goes directly into combat, skipping infiltration
    • Alerted - mission starts immediately, no squad concealment, enemies start on yellow alert
  • Evacuation
    • Evac Flare - squad can call the Skyranger to be able to evacuate the mission
    • Fixed Exit - squad has to reach exit area
    • Countdown Exit - squad has to wait until exit area becomes active
  • Loot - if yes, alien corpses and material will be recovered if the battle is won; if no, only actual 'item' loot (such as datapads) is recovered

Generating Missions

Missions spawn automatically as the days pass, and expire after a given window of time. The mission is not visible at this time; the local haven must collect enough intel to reveal the mission. Assigning more resistance members to the "intel" job can make missions considerably easier by discovering missions earlier and allowing more time to infiltrate. A mission's expiration timer starts when it is created, not when it is discovered; most infiltration missions have a base duration of 18 days, which is randomized by a few days each time a mission is created.

Havens each generate "intel points" from having personnel assigned to intel gathering. These points are applied to undiscovered missions in the region at certain update intervals, currently 4 times a day (every 6 hours). Each mission keeps a pool of collected intel points. The difficulty of discovering a certain type of mission is controlled by two numbers: "required intel" and "discovery chance". A mission cannot be detected until you generate intel equal to the "required intel" value. Once the minimum is reached there is a random chance (1/4 of discovery chance) to discover the mission at every update. The probability is based on the mission's "percent chance" stat, multiplied by the number of intel points collected past the required minimum.

In the table below, a basic level-0 resistance member is defined as one "intel point" per day. A level-1 resistance member is worth 1.5 points, a level-2 is worth 2, and the Avenger scanning is worth 4. A scientist assigned as haven liaison adds an extra 20% bonus to the entire haven. Each faceless reduces overall intel point generation by 3/5/6/7% depending on difficulty (regardless of what job the faceless is doing).

Category Research Data VIP Prisoners Liberation 1
Mission Types Hacking Hacking, Destroy Rescue/Extract Jailbreak Hacking
Required intel (points) 24 1 12 8 22
Discovery Chance (per point) 0.85% 1.75% 0.9% 1.4% 2%

Example: A haven with six level-0 resistance members and one level-1 assigned to intel, plus a scientist liaison, generates 9 "points" per day. The first mission in the liberation chain spawns. The haven can't detect this mission until it generates 22 points, which takes just under 2.5 days.

One day after that, the haven has an 4.5% chance to detect the mission: it has 9 intel points in the pool (subtracting out the 22 needed for the required intel) times 2 per point, resulting in 18 discovery chance which means you'll have 4.5% chance to detect the mission every 6 hours. One day later, the haven has 18 points and has a 36 discovery chance (9% to detect every 6 hours).

Types of Missions

The type of mission affects a variety of factors: what the primary objective is, what type of rewards will be received, how long the squad has to complete the objective, how strong of a force the enemy will tend to field relative to other missions in the region, whether the squad starts concealed or not, and even where the squad can extract from.

Perhaps the most important factor is whether or not a squad needs to infiltrate or not, and how long the squad has to do it. For more information on infiltration mechanics, see the Infiltration page for details.

Guerrilla Operations

These missions will generate regularly regardless of ADVENT activity in a region. XCOM will infiltrate some city and complete some useful objective, typically acquiring personnel and/or intel in the process.

  • Jailbreak – XCOM must infiltrate an ADVENT jail and rescue 2-4 prisoners. Success will add them to the region's Haven. At least one must be saved for the mission to be a success (any others are optional/extra). Concealed Start.
    • Prisoners can be new soldiers if the region already has a large number of rebels.
  • Rescue VIP - Two variants;
    • XCOM must lead a VIP (a soldier, scientist, or engineer) to the extraction point. No concealment.
    • XCOM must secure a vehicle containing the VIP, free them, then lead them to the extraction point. Concealed Start
  • Hack a Workstation - XCOM must hack a particular workstation. Awards intel upon completion. Concealed Start.

Retaliation Missions

Retaliation missions trigger with increasing frequency and severity as XCOM takes action in a particular region and draws attention towards it. Retaliation missions have no infiltration timer. The Haven Advisor of a region, if a soldier, will typically be present at these missions, alongside various resistance personnel outfitted with the basic weapons and equipment that rookie XCOM personnel deploy with.

  • Rendezvous: When XCOM rescues or recruits resistance members, there is a chance that they may be Faceless; when Faceless disguised as members of the Resistance is detected as they go to meet with their ADVENT handlers, Resistance personnel from the local haven will deploy to the scene and hunt them down. You will not be able to arm or equip a squad to this mission. XCOM must detect Faceless by stationing a soldier as the Haven advisor. Concealed Start.
  • Supply Raid: XCOM must deploy a squad to defend a supply convoy and its Resistance personnel from ADVENT attacks. No concealment.
  • Intel Raid: ADVENT attacks a Resistance listening post and XCOM must deploy a squad to defend its equipment and Resistance personnel. No concealment.
  • Recruitment Raid: ADVENT forces attack Resistance recruiters within a region. XCOM must deploy a squad and extract those Resistance members. No concealment.
  • Full Retaliation: XCOM must defend the Haven and it's Resistance members against an onslaught of ADVENT forces until the Skyranger can get into position for extraction. This mission usually comes in two parts.
    • Retaliation 1: This will be a destroy the relay mission but the briefing will state that Advent is searching for the haven and that you need to prevent a DATA LEAK. Completing this mission keeps the haven safe. (If you don't detect this mission, you go straight to a full retaliation.)
    • Full retaliation (Retaliation 2): XCom must defend the Haven. This mission comes in two different flavours:
  1. Many ADVENT in the AO trying to kill members of your resistance haven. You must rush to kill them to save resistance members. This mission will not yield corpses.
  2. ADVENT drops unlimited reinforcements and you must rally all resistance members and soldiers to the EVAC zone to save them. This mission will also not yield corpses.
  • Region Invasion: ADVENT attempts to retake a liberated region by assaulting a city center. XCOM must destroy a psionic relay that summons continuous reinforcements, then eliminate any remaining forces. No concealment.

Liberation Missions

As part of its attempts to liberate a region from ADVENT control, XCOM will conduct a set sequence of five operations. The early missions are difficult to detect and the later missions receive an substantial bonus to activity level, over and above the strength value of the region.

  • Liberation 1: Hacking Guerrilla Op. The mission objectives won't actually have the word "liberation" in the title. But you can tell Liberation 1 from the rewards. It will just be a certain amount of Intel (with no listed Intel package). Concealed Start.
  • Liberation 2: Rescue Defector. XCOM must rescue a VIP from a city location and move to the extraction point. Not Concealed.
  • Liberation 3: There are at least 2 possible mission types. Either mission type you get will have "Liberation" as part of the objective. Now do take note, Lib3 will also have an Advent strength bonus (above the regional base) meaning the baseline activity will be a decent amount higher as well as the tech you'll be facing. So go in nice and prepared for this one.
    • Dark VIP mission (which seems to be more common) - There is also a high probability that the civilians on the map are Faceless
    • Destroy the Relay mission.
  • Liberation 4 - Regional Network Tower Liberation: XCOM must deploy to and liberate an advent network tower. This will not expire once unlocked, and is quite difficult. A small squad (up to five soldiers) must hack a console at the far end of the map. Doing so disables the reinforcement timer and stuns all remaining enemies. The mission ends only when there are no remaining enemies, and reinforcements will come rapidly once the alarm is raised. Concealed Start.
  • Liberation 5 - ADVENT Facility Assault: XCOM must deploy to and overtake a well-defended ADVENT facility. This will not expire once unlocked, and is quite difficult. Concealed Start.

Note that failing or skipping a liberation mission does not reset the path. You'll just have to detect it again (unless it's the tower or base, which are persistent once you unlock them).

Collecting Enemy Corpses

Long War 2 uses the correct term for military equipment and supplies: materiel.

Most missions in Long War 2 require you to evacuate and you do not keep the bodies of fallen Advent or Aliens. As corpses are much more valuable in Long War 2 players should make special consideration for missions which do allow them to keep the corpses of fallen foes.

The following mission types allow collection of enemy materiel:

  • Ambush troop column: These missions are the only way to actively reduce ADVENT strength in a region.
  • Supply convoy ambush: Alloys you to destroy ADVENT troops about to reinforce a region, this prevents ADVENT strength from increasing.
  • Invasion
  • Rendezvous
  • Regional HQ assault

It should be noted that while Smash N Grab missions list Enemy Material as their reward, they no longer allow the collection of corpses from the battlefield. Unlike the five missions listed above, material recovered from Smash N Grabs is not dependent on the state of the battlefield, only on the number of Advent Resource Caches successfully retrieved. The Resource Caches can provide alloys, elerium, elerium cores, or supplies, but not corpses.


As Vahlen has taught us, explosives destroy all recoverable materiel when delivering the killing blow as both a possible loot drop and the corpse will be destroyed. Flamethrowers also destroy corpses if the initial hit kills the target, though burning damage will leave a collectible corpse and drop timed loot if carried. Consider using the Needle Grenades perk for grenadiers if you are in need of explosives use.

It may be beneficial to sabotage your infiltration percentage to increase the enemy presence if you feel you will be victorious. You are allowed to start any infiltration mission early from the geoscape. Note that enemy readiness will also be boosted if you begin prematurely, increasing their detection range, evac delay, and reinforcements strength.