Confounding Light (EU2012)

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Confounding Light is an Council mission. This mission will be available sometime after the player completes the mission Friends In Low Places. Like all Council Missions, the mission is initiated by the player being contacted by The Council.

Mission Objectives:

  • You have 10 turns to complete the mission
  • Place 4 navigation transponders throughout the train.
  • Activate the trains drive system from the control room.




This mission takes place inside a unique Chinese train station map complete with a high speed commuter train. The squad starts out in the corner of the map nearest the train's back end. Located inside each of the train's four cars is a location where a transponder must be placed.

The alien forces in encountered in this mission consist primarily of Thin Men who are present on the map at the start of the mission. Additionally Mutons are air-launched from the battleship (on a beam of light, possibly referencing the 1994 game's intro movie) as the mission progresses, particularly after placing a transponder. Like airdropped Thin Men, the Mutons will go into Overwatch when they land.

To complete the mission, all that is required is to place the 4 transmitters, and get 1 soldier into the conductor's cabin at the front of the train: aliens can still be on screen, and will disappear once a soldier is in the highlighted area. You can take advantage of this by having your trooper with the highest move be ready to make a dash for it before placing the last transmitter.

This mission presents a unique challenge in that it has a finite time limit of 10 turns; activating transponders does not extend the time limit like deactivating power nodes do in Bomb Disposal missions. The player must take care to advance quickly enough to place all four transponders and reach the train drive console within this time limit.

  • As you can have Mutons appearing as early as in the first half of second month, capturing/interrogating one can thus get you an early lead on Plasma Weapons research.
  • Also note that, at the low level you may be at, it makes it VERY likely you'll have to deal with panicking soldiers from the Muton's Intimidate ability.
  • It might not be worth spending time killing aliens: perhaps have a low-value soldier act as the Rear Guard, using Overwatch or Hunkering Down and keeping the pursuing aliens busy, while the rest of your team makes forward progress.
  • The following mission, Gangplank, can appear as soon as a few days after the successful completion of this one. As this is the most likely (guaranteed) of the 3 DLC missions to severely injure your soldiers, plan accordingly on who to send for which mission.
  • Transponders can, as with Meld containers and bombs, be interacted with only from any of the four squares directly adjacent and not on a diagonal. This means they can be activated from the outside of the train in some places, including one place which gives high cover.


  • Note that the instant all four transponders are activated and a soldier steps into the designated area in the front of the train, the mission is over. This means units with the Sprinter, Lightning Reflexes and/or Run & Gun abilities are supremely well suited to this mission.
  • It may be worth your while to draw the attention of aliens with one or two units while others push forward, meaning a damage-soaking unit may be useful.
  • An excellent place to camp a Squadsight Sniper is behind the air conditioner unit on the rearmost car's roof: all Mutons will drop in line-of-sight, and the limited cover inside the train means most Thin Men will move in range, as well. During the pre-mission screen you should place the Sniper on the foremost position (3rd from the left) - this will allow him/her to dash and reach this location on the roof on the 1st turn.
    • Watch their ammo levels, though.
  • The best advantage you can get is having Squad Size I and II: having more soldiers to give and take damage gets you through the train much faster.
  • As the Enemy Within DLC moves this mission to May, it will be significantly easier, particularly if you have an armored, poison-immune MEC Trooper taking the lead.



Additionally, completing the mission awards the player with the "Bait the Hook" Achievement and the "All Aboard" Achievement if completed with more than 3 turns left on the time.

See Also

EU2012 Badge XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): Missions/Maps/Map Info
Landed UFO Small Scout: RiverRiver ValleyLarge Scout: Creepy ForestHillsideAbductor: Farm OutskirtsWinding StreamSupply Ship: Forest GroveRocky Gorge
Crashed UFO Small Scout: BadlandsDirt Road MarshlandsQuagmireSmall Scout Farm (EW DLC)Small Scout Nuked City (EW DLC)Small Scout Roadhouse (EW DLC)Large Scout: Deep WoodsForest TrenchStonewallThe BarrensLarge Scout City (EW DLC)Abductor: CliffsideScorched EarthSupply Ship: Overlook AWildfireBattleship: Battleship 01Battleship 02
Abductions BarBoulevardCemetery GrandCommercial Alley (EU only)Commercial StreetConvenience Store (EU only)Demolition (EU only)Fast FoodGas Station (EU only)Highway BridgeHighway ConstructionIndustrial OfficeLiquor StoreMuseum (EU only)Office PaperPier AResearch Outpost (EU only)Rooftops ConstSlaughterhouse ASmall CemeteryStreet HurricaneStreet OverpassTrain StationTrainyardTruckstop (EU only)Commercial Alley EWI (EW DLC)Convenience Store EWI (EW DLC)Demolition EWI (EW DLC)Fast Food EWI (EW DLC)Gas Station EWI (EW DLC)Highway Construction EWI (EW DLC)Office Paper EWI (EW DLC)Research Outpost EWI (EW DLC)Street Overpass EWI (EW DLC)Truck Stop EWI (EW DLC)
Terror Site BarCommercial AlleyCommercial RestaurantCommercial StreetConvenience StoreStreet HurricaneHighway 1Military AmmoPolice StationOffice Paper (EW DLC)Pier A Terror (EW DLC)
Bomb Disposal Cemetery GrandHighway BridgeSlaughterhouse ATrain StationTrainyard
Asset Recovery Cemetery GrandIndustrial OfficePier AResearch OutpostStreet OverpassTruckstop
Extraction/Escort Extraction: Boulevard (EU only)Highway FallenMuseum (EU only)Street Hurricane (EW DLC)Escort: Commercial AlleyPier AResearch Outpost
Storyline Intro LevelAlien Base 01Alien Base 02Overseer: (Deep WoodsForest TrenchStonewallThe Barrens) • Temple Ship
Multiplayer BarBoulevardCemetery GrandPolice StationTrainyardObservatory (EW DLC)Rooftops Construction (EW DLC)Ruined Fishing Village (EW DLC)Stop 'N Gulp (EW DLC)Wrecked Pier (EW DLC)XCom HQ (EW DLC)
Slingshot DLC Friends in Low Places (Map)Confounding Light (Map)Gangplank (Map)
Enemy Within DLC Progeny: Portent (Map)Deluge (Map)Furies (Map)Other: Meld TutorialSite Recon (Map)EXALT Base Raid (Map)XCOM Base (Map)
Covert Operations Covert Data Recovery: BoulevardCommercial RestaurantDemolition EWIGas Station EWIHighway ConstructionIndustrial OfficeOffice Paper EWIPolice StationRooftops ConstTruck Stop EWICovert Extraction: Commercial Alley EWIConvenience Store EWIHighway Construction EWILiquor StoreMilitary AmmoPier A TerrorPortentResearch Outpost EWIStreet Overpass EWITrainyard