LW2/LWOTC - Liberation Guide (2024)

EDIT: I have made a few small revisions to this guide so that it is accurate for both LW2 and LWOTC. It is much the same in both versions of the game.

Liberation is hard. The liberation chain has some of the hardest missions in the game, and those missions get harder the longer you wait to complete them. So it is better to get started early. There is also a huge payout at the end of a successful Liberation, which will fund all your endeavors for a good while. This guide will cover the tactical aspects of these missions, as well as some strategic considerations for getting through them faster.

How to Determine your Liberation Progress:

First some basics. The Resistance Management screen is where you find your progress in the Liberation Chain. This screen is accessible from Commander’s Quarters, in the upper right corner of the Avenger.

LW2/LWOTC - Liberation Guide (1)

The little dots next to each region signify your progress.

  • 0 dots = No progress.

  • 1 dot = First liberation mission (Lib 1) has been completed.

  • 2 dots = Lib 2 has been completed.

You will not see 3 dots. Instead, when Lib 3 is completed, the Network Tower mission will become available. Completing the Network Tower will make the Advent HQ mission available.

One more note: after you complete any and every mission in the liberation chain, it will not be noted on the Resistance Management screen until you have returned to the main map. You don’t have to scan. Just go to the map, then go back to the Resistance Management screen and it will be refreshed with the new status.

Steps to Liberation:

  1. Lib 1: Simple Hack Mission for Intel. In LW2, it is not designated as a Liberation mission. In LWOTC, it is labeled “Start Liberating the Region.”

  2. Lib 2: Rescue VIP -or- Extract VIP. Designated “Liberation: Rescue a Defector”

  3. Lib 3: Neutralize VIP -or- Destroy Relay/Sabotage Transmitter(LWOTC). Designated “Liberation: Hinder Advent operations”

  4. Network Tower

  5. Advent HQ

  6. Invasion: Can only occur at least 21 days after Liberation; not guaranteed to happen.

Finding Liberation Missions:

On Legend difficulty, Liberation missions are not available until the 2nd month of the campaign. Excepting that one circ*mstance, a Liberation mission is always, ALWAYS, available in each and every region you have contacted. The minute a liberation mission expires, it immediately respawns. So you can always find them… But they are incredibly hard to find, requiring a larger pool of intel to be collected, and then a harder luck roll to find them. Don’t worry about the mechanics too much, just know that you will want more Resistance Personnel in regions you intend to liberate, and you will want to put them all on Intel while trying to find Lib 2 and Lib 3. This will give you more time to infiltrate on those missions, which is particularly important for Lib 3, which can be very difficult.

Once you have completed Lib 3, The Network Tower is automatically available and will not expire. Likewise the HQ. So Intel gathering is only important for the first 3 steps to Liberation.

Lib 1: Hidden, and Stealth Friendly

The first Liberation mission will not be designated as such in LW2, and so the fact that it is Lib 1 is hidden. Experienced players will know that it appears as a Hack mission, with only Intel as a reward. In LWOTC, this is not the case, and the mission will be labeled “Start Liberating the Region.”

Often there will not be much time to complete it, as the Liberation missions are much harder to find. For this reason it is a good idea to develop your skills at Stealth Hacking, as that will often be the best way to insure getting Lib 1 completed quickly. If you do not know how to Stealth Hack effectively, you will find it difficult to get going with the Liberation Chain. There is a brief overview of Stealth Hacking, in my Quick Start Guide, though the best way to learn how to run 1-2 man stealth missions is to watch the experts on YouTube.

Lib 2: Use a Boost, and its Easy

The second mission is much harder to stealth, and so you will want more time to infiltrate a full team. And that is a big problem. Lib 2 is super hard to detect. Your goal should be to get enough time (5+ days), that with an Intel boost you can send a full team. To make this happen, you will need to put all your personnel on Intel, even if you have 13 guys in your haven. And scan with the Avenger as well, if you can. And to boost it you will need some Intel (30 at Legend difficulty). If the mission appears with 3 or less days, don’t try to stealth it. Allow the mission to expire, and it will immediately respawn. Just keep trying to find it with everyone in the haven on intel.

With all this scanning for Lib 2 you will usually end up finding many other missions in the region. And if you pursue many of them, this can present a different problem; spiking Advent Vigilance. Region Vigilance is hidden unless you install certain mods, which you probably should, because its an important but opaque mechanic, especially for beginners to LW2/LWOTC.

Running lot’s of missions in a region in a short period of time will increase Advent Vigilance, and with it Advent Strength in that region. This will make it harder to complete both Lib 2 and Lib 3. Choose whether or not to run extra missions in that region accordingly.

In a tactical sense, there is really only one difference for Lib 2 compared to a normal Rescue/Extract VIP mission; Lib 2 will have +1 Advent Strength. For example if Advent Strength in this region is 4, Lib 2 will be treated as though it were 5. Enemies may be harder, and the RNF timer will be shorter. So move fast and bring a strong team.

Lib 3: Hidden Faceless requires Finesse

This can be one of the hardest missions in the campaign. To make it easier you will want to wait until it is found with lot’s of time to infiltrate. Fortunately there is a bug that works in your favor! Lib 3 will be immediately detected on respawn after you detect it for the first time. In practice this means you will always have 8+ days to infiltrate Lib 3 no matter how much intel you generate. With this much time it is a good idea to send 7 of your best soldiers. Often Advent vigilance will be high, and enemy strength will be Light or Light Moderate. Even with 7 soldiers, this can be a tough mission.

Lib 3 has +2 Advent Strength so the RNF timer is shorter. For the Destroy Relay variant you will definitely want to sneak all the way to the objective before going loud. In the Neutralize VIP variant the RNF timer begins immediately, and so you will not have much time before it starts raining Advent. You must move fast, push the fight, and perhaps commit to just killing the VIP, then running to the evac.

The big difficulty with Lib 3 is that on one of the mission types (Neutralize VIP) every civilian on the map has a high chance to be a Faceless.

Finesse Destroy Relay:

This means sneaking your squad all the way, or at least most of the way to the objective. This will allow you to fight fewer enemies, in a safer position, and with fewer RNFs landing.

Finesse Neutralize VIP:

I’ve seen 9 Faceless on this mission, and that is in addition to the regular troop strength. Besides adding combatants, the presence of hidden Faceless makes it much harder to navigate the map once you break concealment; They can easily expose your Shinobi when they run at your squad. Because of the additional enemies and sped up RNF timer the key to winning Lib 3 is to Finesse the objective. This means executing the VIP from range, then dashing. This is possible when the VIP is out in the open, usually standing by a car surrounded by an entourage. Either a Sharpshooter, or a Technical firing a rocket (to explode the vehicle) can make this happen. Your shinobi will need to play spotter, and the rest of your team should sneak to a position somewhere between the VIP and the evac zone, so that you can dash away after the deed is done. Unfortunately, this will not be possible if the VIP is in a command center, as is often the case. In this scenario you may still be able to finesse the mission if the evac zone is near the target. You can sneak to the target, kill the VIP and 1-2 nearby pods, then dash to the evac.

If the mission cannot be finessed, you need to realize this immediately and commit to fighting fast. Go loud as soon as you find a pod to fight. Keep your Shinobi away from civilians, and focus on smart scouting to keep your team moving forward and fighting fast. If you can’t find anything to fight, you are losing. Push forward until the VIP is in sight; kill him and flee. If you have a DFA Sharpshooter on this mission and the evac zone is near your starting position, it is usually best to position him on a nearby rooftop for most of the mission.

Network Tower: Stealth with Shinobi

This mission can be hellishly difficult or quite easy. Skill and Luck will decide your fate. The Network Tower has killed more of my campaigns than any other mission type, but when I have brought the right squad, and not rushed things, the outcome has been good. With only 5 soldiers you will need to choose who to bring carefully. I have found that a Stealth Shinobi is essential, and that Assaults and Rangers are also great as they can kill subdued enemies quickly. I usually fill out the squad with a Grenadier who has incendiary grenades/Bluescreen Bombs and a Specialist with Air Drop. Alternatively I can use a Technical and a Psi Operative. Sparks are also great on this mission.

In LWOTC the Reaper and Skirmisher are perhaps the best soldiers to bring along.

To make the mission a little easier it is best to run it right away as Advent Strength will go up once you expose their Tower. It also helps to infiltrate to 150%. I have found this will often drop the troop schedule from Light Moderate to Light. Infiltrating all the way to 200% has not caused a further decline in troop strength when I have tried it, though it will reduce the detection radius of the enemy which is very helpful as you will want to sneak by them. In LW2, if the troop schedule is at Light Moderate with 100% infiltration, I often use Intel to boost this mission to 150%. This should lower the schedule to Light, and I can run the mission before Advent Strength goes up another notch. In LWOTC, the Network Tower is a bit easier, because your soldiers are a bit stronger, and it is probably fine to just run it at Light Moderate and conserve intel.

A Shinobi with Ghost Walker and Covert can shine on this mission. Sneaking all the way to the objective with this soldier will gift you 2 free turns, and prevent any RNFs from landing. It should be your primary goal, and is very achievable, but only if you don’t rush things. I’ve had numerous disasters on Network Tower missions when not cautious with my Shinobi; getting caught on a bridge, or at the back of a room, or by a pod reversing course. Then the mission becomes a brutal race to the objective, often ending in defeat. To prevent this, the key is to always leave your Shinobi with an escape route. If a pod turns the wrong way, pull the Shinobi back. Do not expect pods to stick to their routes. They will change paths. Do not expect them to only enter a room, then leave. They often patrol all the way to the back of rooms, and onto the roof as well. Pull back before things get dicey.

Ghost Walker is very powerful when combined with Covert. It can allow a Shinobi to slip away during some of these close calls, and to sneak under the Turrets that are often positioned over the command center entryways. It will not save you from recklessness. The Shinobi can get trapped on a bridge, or by 2 pods approaching from different directions. I have blundered into the command pod as well, when foolishly checking the roof; A dangerous move with no line of sight. Another great option is the Spider Suit armor, which can allow your Shinobi to grapple to safety even when in the enemy’s detection radius, without alerting them.

Once your Shinobi is near enough to the console to hack in a single turn, you should position your other troops to take advantage of the 2 turn stun effect, placing them within range of the enemy. Near the Command Center is preferable as the Shinobi cannot kill the entire Command Pod alone, and will need the help of another soldier. You can take some risks getting this ambush set up. If a pod reveals your soldiers, you will get some overwatch shots, then you have the Shinobi click the button. Often I am able to get the whole squad near the Command Center, and use the Assault to attack the Command Pod immediately after triggering the console. Ideally you will be able to eliminate the Command pod and 2 other pods before the remaining enemies wake up. They should be easy to mop up.

Advent HQ: Don’t get drawn in

This is a big one. We have 40+ enemies to fight on this mission, and one mean General at the end of it. You have all the time in the world to infiltrate, so bring a big squad. I would advise you to take 9 in LW2 (8 should be sufficient in LWOTC), and use a boost so that your squad doesn’t require 16 days to infiltrate. You can get by with fewer soldiers, especially if you use cheesy squad sight sniping. But if you are new to the mission, or have any doubts, take a full team.

You should bring a lot of medikits and expect to use them. If you do not have a healer specialist, then hopefully you found a soldier with the Field Medic perk in the AWC, a great advantage on this mission. E.X.O. suits with additional ordinance are also great. A Psi Operative with Stasis, and an Assault with Stun Gunner are similarly excellent as they can subdue the Advent General using abilities that do not exhaust, as might happen with your burners. I still like to bring a Technical and a Grenadier with Incendiary Grenades, though these classes will decline in effectiveness when they run dry.

In LWOTC, you will want to take your Reaper as that will allow you to scout, and still use all your soldiers to fight.

My opening strategy for the HQ is always the same. Move along the entrance, locating the turrets on nearby buildings. Eventually I will take a position on one those buildings. I am looking for a bunch of things:

  • Good Lines of Sight.

  • Not too far forward.

  • Near the left or right side of the map.

  • Not too many buildings nearby.

  • Hopefully no turrets nearby.

I won’t get everything I want, but finding the best position is important, as I hope to be there for awhile. Once I take the roof, I want to find decent positions for all my shooters, and scout out my surroundings. One Shinobi is not enough to do this job, so before the first activation a Technical or Grenadier may be enlisted to act as a temporary spotter. I will need an especially safe spot for my Shinobi to scout from, as keeping the Shinobi concealed will help everything go smoother. Usually I like to camp my Shinobi on another roof, sometimes forward of my position or on my flank, with the ability to patrol back and forth along a portion of my periphery.

Then I wait for a good target. I am not going to activate against one of the double drone pods that patrols every HQ. If one those pods gets close, I will climb down from my beautiful position and get away. When I do find a good target, hopefully a rainbow pod or tough alien pod, I will try to get my Technical into position to burn. Failing that I can activate with an Incendiary grenade and trust to my shooters. Usually I have no difficulty with the first pod. It is the next few that are the real test.

During the 2nd and 3rd skirmish it is time for restraint; That means maintaining position. It is okay to take a couple hits. But I can’t allow a pod to drag me forward, which activates another pod, which drags me forward again activating more enemies, until I am neck deep in a quagmire. These long protracted battles can only go deeper into the map, and risk activating even more enemies, perhaps even the command pod. That is the nightmare scenario.

I need to have similar patience if I have either Full Override or Domination, waiting for a good tough puppet, such as a MEC2 or an Archon. And more patience in the use of consumables. I will want to reserve at least one incendiary grenade or flamethrower charge for the Advent General. When I face the Command pod I want all my options available.

If things go well, I can usually take out 20 or so enemies from this position. After that I need to scout very slowly and carefully with my concealed Shinobi, to find the last couple pods, and remove them. This is tedious. I am more likely to get into trouble here due to haste than anything else. Only when I have cleared the whole map, should I seek out the Command Pod. This is much faster and easier if the Shinobi is still concealed. If not, caution is more important, and more difficult. The Command Pod, will be in one of the buildings at the back of map. Sound cues can sometimes reveal which. Setting up on the Command Pod can often mean getting a Sharpshooter on a roof nearby, or alternatively creeping your Assault and Technical as close as possible. You need to control him for about 2 rounds while you take out his guards, and normal tactics such as Flashbangs and Suppression won’t work well against an enemy with aim over 90. Even when both are used. You want total control. Here is my cheat sheet:

  • Assault Stun

  • Flamethrower

  • Incendiary Grenade

  • Stasis

  • Sting Grenade

  • Shred + Rapid Fire Assault + Officer Command

The combination of Stun and Stasis can do the whole job, because Stun has only a 1 turn cooldown. So you start off by stunning the General. Use Stasis the next turn. Followed by Stun again. Simple 3 turns of control. This requires you bring your Assault in close right at the start. If that looks too dicey, I may opt to use fire to control the General on turn 1. Or if there is a MEC near the General, a Sting Grenade could allow me to both control the General and guarantee the MEC Hack as well. Another option is to just kill the General using a Rapid Fire Assault with Command from an Officer, you will probably need to shred his armor first for this work.

Invasion:

In LWOTC, the Invasion is not nearly as tough as it was in LW2, but you should still bring your best squad so that you can acquire more corpse loot. There are fewer aliens on the map at the start, and the reinforcements increase in size at a much slower pace. Because of the increased mobility of many soldier classes in LWOTC, it is much easier to get to the beacon, and deactivate it. I recommend that you delay destroying the beach, and farm RNF drop ins until it starts to get scary.

In LW2, the Invasion is the hardest mission in the game, and should be treated with the utmost concern. Cancel pending missions to get the personnel and equipment you need to field your best team. Go on a shopping spree, and put E.X.O. Suits (or W.A.R. suits) at the top of your grocery list. Winning this battle is going to be hard. The good news is that if you win, you get to keep all the corpses, and there will be a lot of those.

The first step to winning this battle is to make sure that you have a soldier as the haven advisor when it begins. The invasion cannot occur until at least 21 days after the region was liberated. So once that period has elapsed, put one of your best soldiers in the Haven with good equipment. To time this switch perfectly you will need to take note of the day when you beat the HQ. You do keep a commander’s journal of your campaigns right?

Another requirement for the Invasion mission is that a neighboring region have Strength of 8+. You may see an adjacent region growing in strength; That is the invasion force prepping. Get ready.

A key strategy is to use a Stealth Shinobi and a Sharpshooter to take out the beacon. That tandem can get eyes on, then quickly destroy it. If the beacon is on a roof, a Gauss Long Rifle will destroy it in a single shot. The hardest part of this plan is getting the Stealth Shinobi all the way across the map without being revealed. None of this will work if the beacon is obstructed by a wall, and so then you will need to implement a plan B. Alternative methods of destroying the beacon are all slower. If it is on top of a building, you can use a rocket or other ordinance to collapse the roof, killing it in one shot. The Spark can use Bombard on any location within squadsight to help. A stealthy Shinobi can sneak to it, then slash it for 3 turns. Or, you can just brute force your way forward, and when you get near, rush a couple heavy hitters to the beacon (Shinobi and Assault perhaps) to destroy it in 2 turns. This should be the method of last resort, as it is sure to result in a bloody and brutal slog. But sometimes the beacon is behind cover on the ground, and that is the only way to do it. Prepare for this scenario, and hope for a better option to materialize.

Regardless of how you intend to take out the beacon, you must move forward fast. Make every action count. If you are not fighting aliens every turn, you are losing. Do not be too cautious on this mission. Overwatching should be seldom; only when you know enemy pods are coming. There will be too many of them to control and they will get to shoot. If you are lucky they will target civilians instead of your soldiers. If you have a Spark, this is his mission. Bring him along to tank shots for the squad. Hacking a MEC2 or dominating an Archon will give them someone other than your soldiers to attack; make that a top priority.

You will need to push forward fast, but you will also need to protect your sharpshooter from RNFs. On other missions you don’t want your squad getting spread out. On this mission, that is unavoidable, and perhaps necessary. Advent will be dropping in RNFs very quickly, and so you need to treat this mission in part like a Haven Defense, with your forces somewhat spread out. Don’t panic. This mission will always feel a bit out of control; because it is. You have more guns as well. Find a way for a few of them to get that beacon and the RNFs will stop, and you can limp away victorious.

Good luck, Commander!

LW2/LWOTC - Liberation Guide (2024)
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