Silent Storm — Mission 3, Part 1: It Gets Real

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ss_colonel_portraitYou did WHAT?

ss_portrait_bogeyI put down Newhouse’s personal guard and took him into custody. Here is the report.

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ss_colonel_portraitWait, he… Is this for real?

ss_portrait_bogeyYes. He was working with the Germans since before the start of the war.

ss_colonel_portraitYou found… a real conspiracy?

ss_portrait_bogeyIndeed. I’ll be investigating a German testing facility next.

ss_colonel_portraitAnd I mean — a conspiracy aside from the one to get you out of our hair?

ss_portrait_bogeyI don’t have time to chat, but please peruse these other documents at your convenience.

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ss_colonel_portraitHold on… a German what? Bogey, get back in here! You can’t just walk into enemy territory and– Agh. Do whatever you want… But if you get yourself killed, I’m not going to cry about it, you know!

Here’s the short version of the current situation: Newhouse has been feeding the Germans classified information. In particular, stuff about the security detail and inventory of our Warehouse #51, which the Germans believe contains advanced weapons. They have also been working on their own future-tech, which by the description sounds like a mecha suit. Awesome.

There’s also something about a ship that was sunk, but I’m not sure yet what that has to do with anything. For now we’re going to check into the facility where the footage of the mecha suit came from and see what we can dig up.

First, though, a quick stop at the armory.

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YES. Machine guns are finally available, and one of them goes straight to good old Jerzey. He’s looking more like Rambo by the day, and I dig it.

So I’m probably wrong about this, but machine guns seem like they’re better than SMGs in every way. They generally do the same-ish damage as an SMG but with way better accuracy. I have a feeling just from a game balance perspective that SMGs must be better when you’re on the move, or maybe when you’re in a standing position… or something, but I haven’t been able to tell in practice. Pretty sure SMGs can fire more rounds in a turn, but unless I’m point-blank, I’d take accuracy over rounds-per-second any day.

For now, in any case, I’ll leave Nessie and Doug as they are and see how they do.

Also a big deal: Elf’s got her first knife, not to mention a shiny new silenced pistol. Radical.

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And the obligatory grenades for Nessie, of course.

Also some point-allocation, while it’s on my mind. Turns out our squad’s all only level 2 and 3, so there aren’t many points to assign.

Bogey gets one skill that boosts his bandaging by 50% and another that increases his skill by 15 when healing critical wounds. Skill descriptions are really vague in a lot of cases, so I’m not sure what constitutes a “critical wound” or what “bandaging” actually is, but mostly I’m just trying to work down to this skill here:

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Leveling your medic skill takes forever, and for the longest time in my last game I was limited almost entirely to the lowest-level healing items. Hopefully this will allow Bogey to broaden his repertoire earlier.

I also give Viper some sniping-related abilities, like one that gives him the same bonus to accuracy for the first shot at a target as you normally get only for subsequent shots. Sounds neat.

The other guys I’ll let mature a few levels before messing around with their trees. And with all that out of the way, it’s back to the front we go!

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Actually to the front this time. We’ve leaving the UK for the first time, and heading into Brandenburg, Germany.

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Abandoned testing facility, huh? Sounds scary. I’m hoping for some S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-type mutants myself.

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Another night mission. Ugh. Well, how’s it look out there?

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WHOA. It doesn’t look too good!

Okay, so not abandoned after all. It would appear they just finished testing one of those advanced weapons of theirs.

ss_portrait_bogeyI bet the German officers think this new weapon is… the bomb.

ss_portrait_elf‘Ave I ever told you I hate ye?

Away down to the south, past all this carnage, there’s the facility itself: a three-story command center on the west side and a warehouse and garage on the east.

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Not to mention a guard tower at each of the four corners. We’re certainly not going to get in unnoticed, and to make matters worse, the only way in is by a gate all the way on the opposite side of the map from where we started — on the southern end of the base. We’ve got to go the long way around; this fence is one of the few objects in Silent Storm that’s apparently not climbable.

Team Bogey — roll out!

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Alright. We’re spotted even earlier than I expected. First by one weirdo who’s just wandering around among the smoking craters, and then by this friendly-looking chap in the guard tower.

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That’s a machine gun, by the way. Must be why the game’s given us machine guns for the first time: this is the first mission where the enemies are using them. Now — these dudes are mega dangerous. They can easily take our squad members down in one turn, even from medium range if the RNG doesn’t like us. On top of that, the sheer damage and number of bullets they spew out per second means there’s a good chance of their target going waaay into negative HP from a single burst. Which means death. Not mostly dead like Elf last mission. Super dead.

To sum up: eliminate them with extreme prejudice.

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…enough prejudice to pulverize the entire tower.

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So far, we’re rocking this mission, and we continue moving at a good pace, handling any opposition we come across. One unlucky shot from the sniper at the next guard tower does hit Elf, but she shrugs it off. The sniper, on the other hand, gets blown clear out of the tower and meets a hilarious end, wedged between the tower and the fence.

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At the corner, we put the steamroller in park for a second. This part could get significantly more dangerous, and I’d like to know what we’re up against.

This is a job for Elf.

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She turns on her cloak and ducks behind some bushes. From there she scopes out the last stretch before the gate. Aside from this dude who Jerzey geeks the second he pops out, and one other soldier who takes off running the moment he sees us… actually, the coast looks clear.

I’m not sure how well she can see from here, though, especially in the dark. We’ll move Elf up a few more paces just to be sure.

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Geez. These two come running up out of nowhere, and Elf can’t actually spot them until they’re about three yards away from her. Wow your eyes are bad, dude.

Okay, just stay calm, Elf. You’ve got backup right around the cor– HOLY CRAP where did this guy come from?

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We owe it big time to somebody’s ears that we even knew this enemy was approaching. Doug can’t see him even staring straight at him, so had nobody heard the movement, we would’ve been taken completely by surprise. How the heck was he able to flank us that fast, though? He would have had to go all the way around the other side of the base. Is the AI in this game even that smart?

(Actually — and I only realized this just now, looking over the screenshots — when our guys fired on that first guard tower, something else happened. Jerzey was close enough to the fence that all his shots went through it before hitting the tower. I didn’t see it at the time but I loaded up a save from a little after that and sure enough: his machine gun punched a hole right through the fence. Not only did that allow this guy to waltz right through, but we could have entered the base via that hole and avoided a lot of the insanity that’s about to follow.)

Doug and Nessie open fire into the darkness.

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Bogey and Viper both take shots at the mystery man too. We’re not taking any chances. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing whether our friend back there is still standing, but I can’t imagine he is after the maelstrom of bullets we just sent his way.

Meanwhile, Elf’s still in danger. I don’t know whether it’s better to park her right where she is and pray she isn’t noticed… or to sneak her further away while there’s still a few yards between her and the enemy soldier.

I decide to move her. If those soldiers get any closer, she’ll be seen no question. It’s a risk either way; I just hope I’ve made the right call.

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If she can just get behind these bushes…

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…oh no…

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I’ve made the wrong call…

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I’ve made all the wrong calls…

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On to the next episode!
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