LWOTC - Mid/Late Game Strategy (2024)

This is a continuation of my Early Game Strategy Guide which covered the strategy layer for the first few months. In this guide I want to cover strategy for the rest of the campaign.

First, let’s review where I left off in the previous guide: This is maybe late May, or early June. On the tech tree, we have completed Psionics and Laser Weapons, and perhaps a bit more. Regarding Facilities we have built the GTS, Psionics Lab, Workshop (optional), Proving Ground, Power Relay, and hopefully the Resistance Ring. We are being super thrifty with our supplies because funds are extremely limited. On the strategy map we have expanded to at least one other region and are farming high value missions in low strength regions, and Troop Ambushes in the high strength regions.

At this point, we should become focused on the Liberation Chain.

Liberation Chain

In the mid game, you need to liberate a region, and you want to do this as soon as possible. After building up your barracks in the early game, this is the most important goal. Liberating a region will reveal the Blacksite location, provide you with a ton of corpse loot, and set up a nice little cash farm to fund all of your projects. July is a good target for completing the chain.

I’m not going to discuss liberation in this post, because I’ve already written about it here: LW2/LWOTC: Liberation Guide. If you have any concerns or questions about the Liberation Chain, go read that article.

Covert Operations

Until the Resistance Ring is built, you are limited to one Covert Operation per month; a decent opportunity for extra loot supposing you have the manpower. This changes for the better once you level up a few SGT rank soldiers. As I mentioned in my Early Game Strategy guide:

The more lucrative missions are only available after you have increased your influence with a faction. To gain influence with a faction you need a soldier at SGT rank. To contact a new factions, which grants another hero class soldier, again you will need a soldier at SGT rank.

You should definitely have SGT ranked soldiers at this point in the campaign, and so it is time to start getting some real value out of these Covert Operations. That means increasing your faction influence and contacting new factions.

There is a list of rewards on the LWOTC Ufopaedia Resistance Ring Page. They are sorted into three categories, Easy/Moderate/Hard. At Faction Influence Level 2, the Moderate and Hard covert actions are unlocked; and then you will start seeing Recruit Scientist, Recruit Engineer, and Gain Resistance Contact. Now we are talking. The Counter Chosen Activity operation is also important, but only when the Chosen attempt an Avenger Sabotage, which will have a nasty consequence.

With these rewards available, you will want to be continuously running Covert Operations. This will yield more rewards, and also more ambush missions which help level up your soldiers. Maintaining a high activity level will depend on the strength and depth of your barracks. If you take a lot of wounds, or lose a lot of soldiers, you will not be able to simultaneously field a team for Covert Ops, and 2-3 squads for other missions, while also training up your officers and bond mates. A deep barracks is important here, and everywhere else.

Power Leveling a few soldiers is also important to reveal the Chosen Stronghold. You will need 3 MSGTs to undertake this Covert Op, and that will be a race if you want to avoid the Chosen Avenger Defense.

Once a Chosen finds the Avenger you will be able to delay the assault by completing the “Counter Chosen Activity” operation. But the next month (after collecting supplies), this will probably fail. I believe the amount of time it takes for a Chosen to activate this mission carries over. I’m not completely sure of this, but that is how it seemed to work in my most recent campaign. I was able to delay 2 Chosen Avenger Defenses the first time they were pending, but they both hit me quickly the 2nd time - within 4 days of collecting supplies.

The only way to permanently shut down a Chosen Avenger Defense is to raid that Chosen’s Stronghold. That means leveling up 3 MSGTs, then running the covert operation to reveal the Stronghold (13 days), then infiltrating (5 days) and winning the mission (not too hard if you bring your A-Team).

Base Building

These are the remaining facilities and the order in which I would prefer to build them:

  1. Training Center (-3 power)

  2. Infirmary (-3 power)

  3. Laboratory (-3/5/7/9 power)

  4. Defense Matrix (-1/2 power)

  5. Shadow Chamber (-8/14 power)

  6. Resistance Communications (-4/7 power)

The ordering here is not very important, but the Training Center is the most urgent. You need this facility to reach bond level 2, and that requires a significant amount of down time for the bonding soldiers, so the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can get every bond-pair upgraded. XCOM row abilities are also strong.

The Infirmary is good, but it only partially reduces wound time, and that function can be provided by the Templar HQ in emergencies. You can put off the Infirmary, but if an important soldier is severely wounded, you may regret not having built it sooner.

The Laboratory offers more value the sooner you get it, and so many players choose to build this facility during the early game. I think that is a mistake. It is easier to buy scientists for $120-$180 at the Black Market, than it is to build the Laboratory which costs $330 fully upgraded and requires 9 power - the power requirement being the real problem. It only makes sense to build the Lab once you can put it, or a power relay, on a power conduit. You also want to keep it fully staffed, which means you want to have at least 6 scientists; 4 for the lab and 2 to staff other facilities. Another issue is that technology can outpace resources, leaving you unable to purchase all the gear that is currently available. Pushing harder on technology has diminishing returns when your resources are falling short.

The Defense Matrix is important to have when defending the Avenger. If a UFO is on the hunt, or one of the Chosen is close to finding the Avenger, it makes sense to build the Defense Matrix promptly. Otherwise push it back.

The Shadow Chamber is not urgent. Covert Operations can delay the Avatar Project. But if you want to complete the campaign in a reasonable amount of time, you should always keep moving forward on the Golden Path. That means building the Shadow Chamber as soon as you can. One more note: the Shadow Chamber should always be placed on a Power Conduit.

Resistance Comms can be delayed a long time because of the bonus resistance contacts gained through Covert Ops and point of interest leads.

Economic Bottlenecks

Once you liberate a region, your finances will feel much less restricted, and you will have a fat pile of resources. It won’t last. There are numerous facilities and GTS/PG projects that will eat up all those funds, so don’t go on a spending spree at the black market, and don’t buy every soldier their own mag tier weapon. You can also save a lot of supplies by skipping the Lightning Strike GTS project, and delaying Stay With Me, both of which are expensive, and neither is very strong. I would also recommend skipping many of the Proving Ground projects for specialty ammunition (Needle, Flechette, Stiletto), vests (Hellweave, Chameleon), grenades (Smoke, Acid, Gas, EMP, Proximity). And always skip all the weapon upgrade projects.

Supplies and resources stay tight for most of the game, but at certain points in every campaign, the shortages will become severe. Here are the economic bottlenecks to expect:

Alloy Shortage at Predator Armor

I typically reach Predator Armor shortly before revealing the Network Tower. Each suit of Predator Armor costs 5 alloys, and so I never have the resources to buy as many suits as I want. Usually I find a way to equip all the soldiers that go on the Network Tower. This sometimes means buying alloy at the black market or rendering corpses. If you are short of supplies, it may be advisable to just use less armor; 1-2 per squad, equipped on the soldiers that lack nanoscale.

Intel Shortage when expanding to the Blacksite

When the Blacksite is revealed, it is likely that you have contacted most or all of the regions adjacent to your starting region. The Blacksite is probably going to be 4 regions away from where you start1. This means you will need to spend 200 intel to contact the 2nd region in that path, and then build a radio relay in that region (350 supplies), and then spend another 100 intel to contact the 3rd region, and then another 200 intel to contact the Blacksite region. (500 intel!!!). That’s a lot of intel, and so you need to stockpile it; and save a couple advent data pads/caches.

Elerium Shortage at Elerium Research

This research project has the most onerous cost in resources: 50 elerium and 5 cores. It almost necessitates buying a stack of elerium from the black market, as well as rendering a few cores. Its a good idea to stop selling cores in June/July to prepare for this shortage.

Technology

In my early game strategy guide I outline a Psionics Rush followed by Laser Weapons. There may be a few autopsies left over from the early game due to insufficient corpse loot. Below I have listed all the autopsies that might be remaining, with a power rating (0-5), and what you can get by doing that research:

  • 5 Advent Robotics (Gremlin Mk II, Redscreen rnds, +techs)

  • 5 Purifier (Incendiary Grenade)

  • 4 Stun Lancer (Arc Blade/Axe)

  • 0 Faceless (Needle rnds, Chameleon suit)

  • 2 MEC (Bluescreen rnds)

  • 3 Turret (Shredder rnds, Defense Matrix)

  • 2 Muton (Plasma Grenades)

  • 2 Viper (Venom Rounds, Nanomedikit)

  • 0 Priest (Sustaining Sphere)

  • 1 Berserker (Overdrive Serum)

  • 1 Chryssalid (Chitin Plating)

  • 4 Archon (Fusion Blade/Axe)

  • 0 Specter (Refraction Field)

  • 3 Andromedon (Adv. Grenades, Holo Mk III)

  • 1 Shieldbearer (Stasis Vests)

  • 4 Muton Elite (Dragon rnds, Carapace, Gauntlet III)

  • 5 Gatekeeper (Arc Blaster, Alien Psi Amp)

  • 4 Sectopod (Gremlin Mk III)

  • 4 Alien Rulers (unique armors)

  • 3 Chosen Weapon Tech (unique guns)

If at any point you acquire the corpses needed to benefit from these autopsies (usually that means having 2 or more), you should consider switching to that research. For the autopsies I’ve rated 5, they are definitely my top priority; those rated 4 are probably the top priority; 2-3 are nice to have; 1 can be delayed; those rated 0 can be ignored completely.

Excluding Autopsies, here is the Tech path I would suggest:

  • Combat Armor (Predator Armor)

  • Battle Armor (E.X.O. suit)

  • Magnetic Weapons

  • Advanced Magnetic Weapons

  • Resistance Radio (build radio relays)

  • Elerium (Adv. Psi Amp, coilgun tech)

  • Alien Encryption (Shadow Chamber)

  • Coilguns

  • Advanced Coilguns

  • Any Available Shadow Chamber Project: Blacksite Vial, Codex Brain, Encrypted Data, Psionic Gate, Recovered Advent Stasis Suit, Avatar Autopsy.

  • Powered Armor

  • Plasma Rifle

  • Storm Gun

  • Plasma Lance

  • Beam Cannon

  • Battlesuits

I am skipping Mobile Armor and Shadow Armor. Both of those are fine, but unnecessary.

Golden Path

It always takes longer to research and complete all the Golden Path missions than you expect or remember from your last campaign. Once you have reached a point of stability and strength, you should relentlessly press forward on these goals. This means that after beating the HQ mission, you should immediately start expanding towards the Blacksite. As I’ve already discussed, this will cost a ton of intel, and so it is best to ignore continent bonuses, unless they are on the way to Golden Path Missions.

After the Blacksite, you will need to contact the regions which contain the Psi Gate and Foundry. For each, this will require another pile of intel, and perhaps a pile of supplies as well to build a radio relay. Taking a specialist with a skulljack on every mission will speed up this process considerably.

It is best to go for the Psi Gate first because you get to keep the corpses on this mission, and it is guaranteed to have a Gatekeeper. Once you have completed either mission, you will have more havens, most of which should be mining intel, and that should make it easier to reach the other target region.

1

The Blacksite is in the region that is furthest away from your starting region, which is usually 4 regions away, but sometimes only 3.

LWOTC - Mid/Late Game Strategy (2024)
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