Missions (Long War)

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For standard missions with a landing zone, many additional landing zones have been added.

When a mission appears in the Mission Control room you have a certain amount of time to deploy to it before it disappears. Noting that you can only engage in one mission at a time and it takes time to travel to and from missions.

Alien Missions

Alien Abductions

See also: Alien Abductions (EU2012)
Expiration timer: 8 hours.

Alien Abductions are generated by landing UFOs - the UFO will disappear and be replaced by an abduction site that you can respond to, even if you don't have that country covered and didn't detect the incoming UFO. Shooting down the UFO before it lands will, naturally, prevent the abduction being generated. Due to the different format, abductions will only affect one country at a time and you no longer have to choose. The reward for abductions is always credits. Skipping or failing an abduction mission will result in increased panic in the affected country (+25) and continent (+20 in all difficulties but normal). Thwarting an abduction will decrease panic by 2 in the country saved.

Alien Abductions are categorized by the number of alien pods present on the map: Light, Moderate, Heavy and Swarming, with the credit reward of §80, §90, §100, and §110 respectively.

UFO Crash Site

See also: Crashed UFO (EU2012)
Expiration timer: 36 hours.

When a UFO is shot down and not destroyed, a UFO Crash Site mission becomes available. Completion of a UFO Crash Site mission rewards the player with the possibility of recovering valuable components from the UFO; however, a crashed UFO is now even more likely to have destroyed artifacts. In fact, after the first round, you will more often than not hear the UFO's Power Sources exploding. Be forewarned some UFOs are crewed by elite crews; these will have a large number of strong aliens defending them. UFO crash sites are determined by a few factors, if a UFO is shot down at a high altitude, the chance for a UFO being destroyed outright is higher. The lower the altitude, the higher the chance of a crash site. In the off chance that a UFO is shot down from high orbit, there is a higher chance for valuable equipment to be destroyed when your troops arrive.

UFO Landing Site

See also: Landed UFO (EU2012)
Expiration timer: 15 hours.

Some UFO missions will involve a landing. Whether or not this will be the case can often be determined by looking at the UFO's altitude (NOE altitude often means it will land). If you allow the UFO to land it will either generate a terror mission, an abduction, or simply a landing site. It may actually be in your interests to let NOE-flying UFOs land, as (a) it will save your interceptor craft some damage, and (b) it will net you a lot more salvage, including intact computers and generators. On the other hand, the landing UFO might generate an abduction instead, in which case you lose the salvage you'd get from a crash site, or it may be on a bombing mission. Successfully assaulting a landed UFO will also stop the alien mission from being completed. Be warned some UFOs are crewed by elite crews; these will have a large number of strong aliens defending them.

Note that in either Crashes or Landings, the Command pod of aliens will now rarely, if ever, be on the bridge (and for the Scout, it might be 'slightly outside'). This is so you won't know exactly where this pod is, and thus won't be able to prepare a blitzkrieg to take it out.

Terror Site

See also: Alien Terror (EU2012)
Expiration timer: 24 hours.

Similar to vanilla terror missions. You are required to eliminate all hostiles and save as many civilians as you can. Unlike vanilla, every civilian lost will increase panic in the country (+3) and continent (+1). Terror missions are generated by UFOs, so you can prevent a terror mission by shooting down the incoming UFO before it can create the terror site. Failing or ignoring a terror mission will cause the targeted country to leave the project immediately, and will increase panic in the surrounding continent by 20. Be wary of things like Kaiju-sized Chryssalid "queens" - don't panic, it's just very big, and a lot of HP (and damage reduction up the wazoo). If you end up facing one of these types of super-sized aliens, just focus fire on it. If you have Psionics, Mind Fray and Psi Panic can slow it down, and Mind Controlling an alien near it may at least distract it for a turn, then lay into it with all the firepower you can bring to bear.

Base Defense Missions

XCOM Base Defense

See also: XCOM Base Defense (EU2012)

This mission type makes a return. When the aliens have high resources AND consider you a high threat they will come for your base. Your base is assaulted by a UFO - typically a NOE altitude Assault Carrier, but it may have backup from other craft - which you can see coming and can shoot down, but it's extremely difficult: when the UFO alert/interception prompt appears, it will say "Warning! Warning! UFO vectoring to XCOM HQ!" on the lesser notifications on the lower-left of the screen. Shooting down that UFO will prevent the assault.

Unlike vanilla, you will get the chance to select and equip a squad for this mission. You select and equip 12 soldiers, of which a random 5 will be selected at the start. Additional soldiers from this pool will arrive as reinforcements, one automatically and further soldiers can arrive to replace losses. You'll also get the regular complement of Blueshirts, but armed with a random pair of items, which may be HE grenades, AP grenades, flashbangs, medikits, etc. Unlike vanilla, the reinforcements you get do not vary with Blueshirt casualties, only XCOM soldiers. Of the Blueshirts, there are Foundry projects that make them slightly better: one that allows them to equip spare Laser Rifles (so, regular EXALT Elite stuns to fill your armory will help) and spare Phalanx Armors. The Lasers and their +6 aim and slightly better damage, and the small health boost from the armors will make them a little more useful in these fights.

The format of the mission is similar to the vanilla version: the aliens will drop in to the command center, followed by flyers in the back and drops in to the MEC bay and two waves in the forward access tunnels. Expect this mission to be very difficult, though the forces deployed can vary wildly based on RNG. However, always look around and check for the falling dirt to see if any waves are about to drop in the MEC Bay, particularly the upper areas at all four corners. Don't forget to count the enemies and your kills, so you don't move ahead to defend the access tunnels, just to get hit from behind by something.

Failing this mission does not mean the end of XCOM, however it is extremely damaging. The aliens will ransack your base, killing engineers and scientists and destroying cash, meld and other currency before regular military arrive and bail you out. This mission can happen multiple times in a game.

If you succeed, any surviving Blueshirts will join your roster, retaining any XP they gained during the base defense. If you succeed base defense on your first try, another Base Defense mission is highly unlikely to occur.

XCOM Air Base Defense

In addition to assaulting your base, aliens can now go after your interceptor stations. These missions will only be launched after your air game becomes significantly strong (a Firestorm is built). It will generate similar to an abduction mission, with XCOM soldiers outfitting in the Skyranger as per usual. The map takes place in the previously multiplayer only Interceptor bay. This mission must be completed to avoid severe damage or destruction of your interceptors.

If the Hyperwave Relay is built, the mission notice on the approaching UFO will say "Retaliation". Be aware you will enter the area through one of the side tunnels in the center of the map, so odds are that there will be aliens in both wings, and can easily be flanked by a wandering pod due to this.

Unlike the XCOM Base Defense, the Air Base Defense mission will not only happen frequently (especially after the player has started fielding plasma weapons) but it is also MUCH less difficult than the standard Base Defense. On normal difficulty, often only 17 aliens spawn, and of those about half are Chryssalids. The other half is most commonly formed of Outsiders, Mechtoids and their complements of Sectoids and one or two Sectoid Commanders. Thin Men also spawn often in the earlier Air Defense missions.

A good strategy is to bring a Sniper, Jaeger or Scout equipped with In The Zone, a Rocketeer doubled up on Shredder Rockets, and a MEC with a Flamethrower. You should expect contact on your first turn of movement; sometimes an enemy will be in vision at spawn. Moving left is likely to trigger a pod of Chryssalids, which is actually what you want in this situation. As Chryssalids are fast-moving, group-oriented and dumb, they are likely to bunch up, forming an excellent target for your shredder Rocketeer. Your MEC can then use his Flamethrower on the group, killing most of the Chryssalids and panicking those who aren't killed. Your In The Zone Sniper can then dispatch the cowering, wounded scraps.

Council Missions

Expiration timer: 8 hours.

Council missions have also been modified, mostly to the tune of larger numbers of enemies, both seeded and airdropped. Airdrop spawns may be random, and include enemies other than Thin Men.

Mission objectives have not been changed from vanilla XCOM Enemy Within.

Site Recon

See also: Site Recon (EU2012)

The Chryssalid Hive is not exclusively populated by Shark-lids and free-roaming Chryssalids anymore. You may find other aliens have been invited to the party too. Keep an eye on your ammo and move your troops carefully. Unlike vanilla, think twice before skipping this mission lest you be punished for your negligence.

Target Extraction

See also: Extraction (EU2012)

Rescuing Peter Van Doorn will now add him to your roster. Just remember that it's not fair if he has all the fun.

Target Escort

See also: Escort (EU2012)

Escort Dr. Marazuki, Sgt. Carlock or Mr. Thorne to the Skyranger, while killing all hostiles.

Asset Recovery

See also: Asset Recovery (EU2012)

Eliminate all hostiles and secure the asset.

Bomb Disposal

See also: Bomb Disposal (EU2012)

With the help of power nodes to gain time, find the Bomb and deactivate it.

Slingshot & Progeny

See also: Slingshot DLC (EU2012) and Progeny (EU2012)

All missions have additional free-roaming aliens and random airdrop spawns.

EXALT Missions

Covert Data Recovery

See also: Covert Data Recovery (EU2012)
Expiration timer: 48 hours.

These missions are similar to their vanilla equivalent. You field a full squad and defend an encoder and transmitter. Comm arrays are available for your covert operative to hack. This mission will give a cash reward, and a bonus if the encoder is protected as well.

Covert Extraction

See also: Covert Extraction (EU2012)
Expiration timer: 48 hours.

In this mission type you are limited to only 4 soldiers and your Covert Operative. As such, you want to avoid getting in to a pitched battle with EXALT, so if you can, try to get your Covert Operative to the arrays, hack them and get out fast. Cash reward on completion. Keep in mind that as of Beta 15, invisibility is only available via the Shadow Suit armor and Shadow Device grenade: it is no longer a Psionic ability. There is however a Scout ability that lets you move to high cover undetected as long as that soldier's starting point is not in enemy LoS, much like vanilla's Mimetic Skin.

EXALT Base Assault

See also: EXALT Base Assault (EU2012)

This mission is considerably tougher than it is in vanilla. The EXALT base is crawling with randomly generated elite EXALT squads. In addition you may find some elite aliens here as well.

Long War makes a tweak to the Hologlobe UI so that if a mission is outstanding, time acceleration will stop when interesting things like a soldier recovering from fatigue happens. This means you may want to avoid the final "discover" step on the EXALT base until you're ready to assault it to avoid this behavior triggering constantly even though you don't want it.

Raiding the EXALT base will grant substantial credit and meld rewards and several unique items. It will also decrease panic worldwide by 5.

Storyline Missions

See also: Storyline Missions (EU2012)

Alien Base Assault

Like in vanilla, story progression is nearly the same. But in the Long War, you will immediately lose 1 country on the first month, as the base is auto-generated at this time. Progress as normal to be able to develop the Skeleton Key, and then place a satellite over that country (or any others you lose along the way: they will also spawn bases) to locate it. Note that by default, satellites take 5 days to become active and be able to detect the base, so plan accordingly. Expect 4-5 large-numbered pods to appear in the first room alone. With that in mind, you may want to either take your first Assault as soon as possible, as to face weaker aliens, and/or after buying both Squad upgrades and the Super Skyranger Foundry project for the added soldiers and firepower. That way, even if you do lose more countries, but don't want to risk soldiers attacking another Base, at least you can still progress with the storyline.

Like with UFOs, the commander will not necessarily be in the last room with the Hyperwave Beacon, so this isn't necessarily the best place to capture one like it is in vanilla.

Be careful: In this mission, alien will behave as if the Itchy Trigger Tentacle Second Wave option is enabled.

Long War makes a tweak to the Hologlobe UI so that if a mission is outstanding, time acceleration will stop when interesting things like a soldier recovering from fatigue happens. This means you may want to delay putting a satellite over an alien country until you're ready to assault it to avoid this behavior triggering constantly even though you don't want it.

Raiding the alien base reduce panic in the country by 20, revert it to the Council, and drop panic around the continent by 5.

Overseer Crash Site

Also like vanilla, mostly the same, but also with the same difference: you may encounter multiple Overseer UFOs throughout a campaign. Possibly the only UFO where the CO pod is in the usual spot.

Temple Ship Assault

It's been a lengthy journey, but the end of the Long War is in sight!

The Temple Ship is near-identical to in vanilla: same enemy composition and positions as Enemy Within/Unknown, albeit with VASTLY increased health, stats, and gene mods (and size, for that extra player intimidation factor). You'll be able to bring up to 12 soldiers. Go in heavy, hit hard, and let nothing stand in your way. If you've survived EXALT and an Alien Base or two, you should be fine. Try to bring soldiers that specialize at bringing down singular powerful units and take them down one by one; you aren't going to be doing much (if any) ITZ sweeping.

At the end of the brutal road, in the Ethereal Cathedral awaits the Uber Ethereal, Lord of the Alien Collective. He has 60 HP, and 200 or more will. Note that unlike vanilla, rushing the Uber Ethereal won't work: each Ethereal still alive in the Ethereal Cathedral adds 15 bonus Damage Reduction to the Uber Ethereal.

Good luck, Commander.