XCOM 2 – Useful Tips for WOTC Long War 2

I played maybe 100 hours in base vanilla game and jumped to LWOTC long after game release and racked over 3k hours since. There’s obviously occasionnal frustration, but I enjoy being challenged enough to lose in videogames and that mod really tickles my fancy still to date.

WOTC Long War 2 Tips

Using commander’s choice mod early on helped me save a fair bit of gatecrasher resets when I was learning.

General Tips

If you haven’t fully understood resistance personnel management, I suggest you try to dig up some strategic layer guide on YT. Particularly on the importance of intel activity, and maybe how retaliation conditions are met and when it can become worthwhile to “shutdown” a region (all but 2 personnel on hiding)

Here’s what my early game looks like after gatecrasher.

  1. Survey starting region for intel until I discover all 3 missions from the first cycle. Try to spread my starting 8 on those 3 missions saving the best for lib1 and send as many rookies as timers allow. I rarely save more than 2-4 rookies for the GTS and tend to save only those that have such scuffed stats that I feel they can really only play one role.
  2. Once 3rd mission is discovered, go open up a 2nd region and then the black market. Dump what I can for supplies (e.g. all but 1 trooper corpses, most basic weapon mods except magazines and auto-loaders, data pad). I usually buy both the engineer and scientist but may skip if my first mission cycle had a rescue.
  3. For the second mission cycle I still try to prioritize starting region only but I may take a mission from second region if I get bad timers in first region. And I am still trying to bring some recruits to leave very few for GTS. The goal is to no longer have rookies on missions by the time the advent force level is 3.
  4. Throughout the game, I aggressively sell loot for supplies. Most basic PCS except willpower and occasionally hacking get sold. Defense and Agility PCS of all tiers always sold. Basic weapon mods except auto-loaders and magazines and enough stock for my sharpshooters get sold. All tiers of suppressors get sold unless I happen to have one available at a time I’m trying to squeeze a tight mission timer back to ~102% predicted infil. Learning what bodies can be sold is trickier as it requires some game knowledge and experience and can depend on your playstyle a bit. Aggresive loot sale was one of the most impactful strategic layer decision to improve my overall success and learning curve. I used to feel like I needed to rush liberating a region for supplies and somehow I had a game recently when I didn’t liberate my starting region until november and yet had ample resources for an expeditive plasma tech in october. I’m not suggesting you sharply delay lib5 and rely on that, I’m just highlighting that it is a tremendous difference on supply availibility.
  5. One of the most important things to buy as soon as you get a SGT is the double-loot upgrade from GTS. Double kill exp isn’t as important.

For facilities, I always build GTS first as soon as possible and the first officer training upgrade. Then I either rush psi ops or or sparks but never both. I plan to sit on those few facilities for several months and that is fine. Only exception is if I luck out a +3 power drop or mission along the way.

I prefered psi ops when I started playing but have been prefering sparks line after getting better at the game and particularly better at dumping loot for supplies at the BM. Sparks are high tempo units while psis are generally lower tempo. Just like I prefered starting templar when I began playing but prefer skirmisher now.

With the psi ops line, you are likely delaying advanced grenades so boomer grenadiers fall off very hard midgame. But you can consider skipping laser and going straight to magnetics as a viable strategy which makes a large jump spike for technicals.

With the spark line, it’s usually the opposite. You invest more into laser and can often get plasma grenades and fire grenades before basic magnetic tech so grenadiers have a much better power curve than technicals. It also opens up the possibility for earlier skullmining which albeit very pricy (225 supplies for the 2 PG research), sharply increases your intel gathering via skullmining and bonus loots from hack. I don’t do the actual officer skulljack until like october or november to avoid seeing codex pop-up on missions.

Regarding intel gathering. You don’t need to maintain the number of contacted regions to the maximum capacity nor do you need to rush it either. What matters is to have enough regions actively gathering intel to keep your crew busy. So for example, I will avoid contacting regions 4, 5, 6 if I don’t have a relay because the increased intel cost and reduced gathering capacity from lack of relay makes it inefficient. But I may resort to it if I’m really desperate because all of my contacted regions have very high strength and I can’t really run 7-9 and 10-12 missions there anymore. It’s often worth to set a scientist as advisor for a few days to help detect liberation missions with good timers in your few starting regions. Opening up lib4 (which gives a free relay tower to the region upon completion) helps manage intel and region contacts midgame.

Besides that, the big early game tactical layer advice is abuse guaranteed damage sources. So rookie/squaddie is a grenade fest. CPL rangers become ok-ish between locked on and walk fire. Other shooty classes take longer to get reliable. Destroying loot is generally preferable to taking injuries. With experience of the tactical layer you gain some perspective on the situations where a little risk for potential loot is a reasonable consideartion.

Oh yeah regarding finding rookies and personnel in general. Besides the starting few available for recruitment depending on your difficulty, you generally don’t want to keep on paying resources for rookies. The main source of rookies is prison break and there are soft checks in the game where you can no longer really afford to train units from rookies up and just want to prison break soldiers and fill deceased in your ranks via black market hires. SGT being offered from black market is a pretty big indicator for me but I often stop bothering with rookies a bit earlier than that.

Soldiers, Squads and Missions

On near flawless cmdr campaigns, I usually hang around 4 of each class that I actively gear and send on missions to level up. But it takes a bit of time to ramp up. Around 3 of each for the first 2-3 months.

I’ll pick a few sgt-ssgt spares later game from prisonbreak or occasionally the blackmarket to replace potential deaths but I may not immediately put them to work and fully gear them.

I’ve gone as far as 5 of each but that requires more aggressive region contact otherwise I feel you dont have enough missions to keep everyone on a good leveling curve.

When I started playing the game, I was much more passive, shutting down regions early to avoid intel retals and 4 of each was a stretch. I’d only run about 6 missions per supply drop cycle, sometimes less with injuries. And I’d start feeling like I was behind on levels late into Magnetic weapons viability because I’d spread that limited exp on too large a barrack.

Nowadays I’m more comfortable with retals up to region strength 5 and play a more aggressive strategic layer so I could probably go up to 5 of each. I frequently hang around 9+ mission average beyond the first supply drop. But maybe hanging a little above 3 of each class is better suited for early learning curve.

If you rush psis, I’d still look for 4-5 psis if you have enough high intel rookies. If you rush Sparks, 3 sparks seems like a sweet spot for me. I’ve gone as high as 5 and had great games with 4 but their gear is a bit pricy and more mandatory than for most other classes.

You can probably make it all the way until chosens get to their last level and begin to launch avenger assaults with as few as ~20 total workable units. At that point it becomes painfully difficult to defend the assaults(10 man iirc) while keeping up with avatar reduction projects and attacking chosen strongholds and such to progress the golden path.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 796 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips and writer on Game Cheat Codes. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game series was and still is the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. And the third part of HOMM is his favorite! He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games / indie games. When not immersed in games, Egor plays guitar, enjoys cooking and fishing.

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