Gangplank is a unique Council Mission added by the Slingshot Content Pack for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This mission carries a randomized Operation designation and takes place on an airborne alien Battleship over a random Chinese city.
|“||With the hacked signal in place, the alien battleship is vulnerable, and now is the time to strike. We need you to deploy a squad and set down on the ship's surface. This is a rare opportunity to retrieve the technology within that ship intact; we shouldn't waste it.||”|
– Council Transmission, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
|“||The battleship is crippled but still active, and the aliens aboard won't be happy to see us. Expect maximum resistance.||”|
– Mission Brief, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
|“||▪ Destroying or disabling the power conduits will enable us to bring down the Battleship without|
▪ Eliminate all alien defenders
|– Mission Objectives, XCOM: Enemy Unknown|
The ship's layout is similar to a standard Battleship encountered during UFO crash missions, with the exception of six power conduits placed throughout the ship, and some areas such as the command deck removed. The city can be seen passing by in the background and helicopter searchlights will aim around.
Gangplank is not a typical Battleship assault due to the variety of alien species that drop in from above throughout the mission. It should be treated similar to an Abduction or Terror mission on the bridge map; executing bounding overwatch manouvres works best as troops can counter any enemies discovered and Overwatch at the end of every turn.
As Bradford suggests, the power conduits can be destroyed rather than disabled. A Heavy can easily accomplish that, and with HEAT Ammo is adept at taking out the Cyberdisc as well. Although, it might be prudent to save the explosives for when an alien is actually in close proximity to the power conduit so you can destroy it and damage the alien all at once. Another way to destroy the power conduits from afar is by using the MEC Trooper's Collateral Damage ability.
The aliens that drop in to prevent XCOM from disabling the power conduits go into Overwatch, so an Assault with Lightning Reflexes can be useful in eliminating them. The ship's elevated positions and low cover make Snipers with the abilities Damn Good Ground and Low Profile preferable.
This mission can be extremely challenging early on, as the quantity and diversity of enemies can make short work of an unprepared squad. Enemy types and numbers begin to increase after the destruction of the first power conduit, so it is advisable delay the destroy the first conduit as late as possible, positioning your soldiers in the best cover with the best lines of fire to wait for the alien counter-attack. Equip soldiers with Laser weaponry and Carapace Armor, if available. If not, the mission is still possible, but careful rationing of explosives is recommended to take out high-priority targets such as the Cyberdisc waiting somewhere near the final power nodes; a well-placed Shredder Rocket combined with concentrated fire will suffice. Moreover, the use of the SWAT tactics (piling up your squad behind a door then opening it), are highly recommended as it will enable the squad to have the best cover and movement points to dispatch the enemies on the other side of the door as quickly as possible.
The following status updates are received from Central Officer Bradford during the mission:
|Event or Condition||Update|
|Mission begins||"Big-Sky took care of the delivery, but now comes the hard part. If we're going to set that battleship down intact, we'll have to start by disabling the power conduits positioned across its surface. There's no telling what we're going to find up there, but we should expect heavy resistance from the alien forces manning that ship."|
|Approach a conduit||"The conduits positioned on the surface of that battleship are tied directly into the ship's power grid. If we can disable the conduits or destroy them with explosives, it should put that thing out of commission - allowing us to seize its cargo without the risk of collateral damage."|
| Destroy a conduit|
|"That conduit is disabled. Keep moving, Strike-One."|
|Deactivate 1 conduit||"Commander, whatever you just did seems to have stirred up the hornets' nest. The aliens are going to throw everything they've got at us to protect that ship."|
|Deactivate 2 conduits||"Commander, that conduit is down, but it might be faster if our troops just hit the others with explosives."|
|Deactivate 3 conduits||"The power conduit is disabled, but you've got three more to go."|
|Deactivate 4 conduits||"That's another conduit down; you only need to deactivate two more."|
|Deactivate 5 conduits||"Conduit down! Only one more to go. Take that out and the ship is ours."|
|Mission complete||"Nicely done, Commander! That ship is now officially under XCOM control... although I don't think it will fit in the hangar."|
|“||The cache of new technology and supplies we retrieved from the battleship should provide you with additional options when directing XCOM's future moves.||”|
– Council Transmission, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
In addition, a substantial quantity of resources and artifacts are recovered from the ship. Unlike most missions, the quantities are fixed: 304 Elerium, 508 Alien Alloys, 6 UFO Flight Computers, 5 UFO Power Sources, and perhaps most importantly 2 Fusion Cores. The recovery of the Fusion Cores unlocks the Fusion Lance and Guided Fusion Launcher research projects at a much earlier stage of the game than usual; they are otherwise unobtainable until around month six when Battleships begin to appear.
Completing the mission also rewards the "The Bigger They Are" achievement.
- All Mutons in this and previous Slingshot missions carry Plasma Rifles. Stunning one unlocks the research earlier than usual, as well as the corresponding plasma-based research credit.
|XCOM: Enemy Unknown Missions|
|Alien||Abduction • Terror Site • UFO Crash Site • UFO Landing Site|
|Council||Asset Recovery • Bomb Disposal • Site Recon • Target Escort • Target Extraction|
|DLC||Slingshot: Friends In Low Places • Confounding Light • Gangplank • Progeny: Portent • Deluge • Furies|
|Storyline||Alien Base Assault • XCOM Base Defense • Overseer Crash Site • Temple Ship Assault|
|Other||Starter Mission • Tutorial • Meld Tutorial • Covert Operations • EXALT Base Raid|