The Avenger Defense is a unique mission in XCOM 2.
It is an non-optional mission in the storyline, which, much like the XCOM Base Defense mission in XCOM: Enemy Within, will end the game if failed, although unlike the first game, it allows the player to select a squad for the mission and their equipment before beginning it.
Mission Start Edit
If the XCOM Hunt Dark Event is active, there is a chance the Avenger will be located by a UFO at a random moment of the month, and the player will be forced to "Begin evasive maneuvers". Two things can happen: either the ship successfully evades the enemy, or the UFO intercepts the Avenger, starting a cutscene:
As the ship flies through the sky, its power is disrupted by an electro-magnetic pulse from the UFO. Shen tries to nullify the disruption via system overriding, but upon failing, and after Central Officer Bradford yells at her, she changes the plan, shutting down the Avenger and activating its emergency power supply. Immediately after, they discover that the aliens have placed a needle-like object which prevents the ship from taking off. Bradford then turns to the Commander and tells him/her to deploy a squad immediately.
- Destroy the disruptor.
- Enemies must not reach the Avenger's ramp.
Before beginning the mission, the player will be able to select which soldiers will be deployed initially. When the team select screen appears, a window will show up explaining that, because this mission is vital for the campaign, it will be possible to take wounded units into battle (this will only happen in this mission and in the Alien Fortress Assault). The squad appears in the Avenger's ramp, a huge rectangular area highlighted by blue edges. If any alien enters this area and survives a turn, the mission ends in an automatic game over.
The battlefield will be filled with enemies, and ADVENT reinforcements will be deployed every few turns, but you are not on your own: over time, Central Bradford sends reinforcements from ANY (wounded, shaken, rookie) of the soldiers on the Avenger, which appear on your ramp. The soldiers are taken in the order in which you obtained them, NOT in rank order. (This chronological order can be seen when tabbing through your soldiers in the Armory.)
The mission's main objective (besides protecting the ramp) is to destroy the Disruptor, a huge device which has its own health bar despite not being counted as an enemy (much like one of the Guerrilla Ops mission types). Once this objective is completed, enemy reinforcements will bring in stronger waves of ADVENT troops, and a new instruction will be received: to move all the soldiers back to the ramp to take off as soon as possible. When a soldier reaches the ramp, if they haven't ended their turn, the "Lift off Avenger" command will become available. A counter will appear on the top left corner of the screen displaying the amount of units outside the ramp - if there are any still out on the field, when the order is given to take off a window will appear to warn the player of allies outside the ramp being permanently lost if left there (if all living soldiers are in the ramp but there are any bleeding out, the window will appear as well). Indeed, if the mission is finished and there is a unit outside the Avenger's ramp, they will be considered KIA on the mission debriefing.
War of The Chosen Edit
- There is no turn limit on this mission, but the reinforcements will come endlessly until the mission is failed or completed.
- If you have the Defense Matrix facility installed, you will have 2 or 4 friendly turrets around the ramp.
- There is no point trying to farm the mission for items as aside from collectable loot no items are collected at mission end.
- Any soldiers unconscious, being carried, or bleeding out on the ramp will be counted safe.
- If an enemy unit is controlled by the player, warnings for them to enter the Avenger's ramp will appear even when all XCOM soldiers are on the ramp. There is no penalty for leaving them behind.