Reason for writing this is that I saw mercury taking a beating in the forums. I am playing all the characters through mission 1 and figured I will show how I played Mercury through the game to show that she is not completely useless. I have tried her in a 3 player game and a 5 player game. Both campaign games. She is in these games a support damage dealer. I have the KS bundle, but for both campaign games(3 and 5 agents)only non-KS agents are fielded.
This is played as a standalone game with the possibility of multiple rank-ups.
As the only agent controlling all aliens, I can decide the order they will trigger. So I will always try to help mercury to be disengaged before all Xeno Betas at range 2 start activating.
1. Moving 4 toward the Shield TP. Intel on the aliens crawlers say they engage when close. Using killer drone on signal by the TP.
No alien movement (quiet dawn), but the sky opens and it is pouring down (-1 movement).
2. Moving next to the Shield TP and placing bomb. Spotting a green spine critter and opens fire with the P66. 3 hits, and the monster is down (really lucky: 2 alien and a hit/jam). Alien spotted coming from the top, a blue xeno-beta.
No alien movement (All wounded), one alien ported at the Hit TP and moves 3, but comes quickly into LOS. Blue spine critter spotted.
3. No rank up for that (weak) kill, soldier...
Moving to the Alien TP, and placing bomb.
All aliens move (assigned alpha leader). 'Run,run,run'
4. Moving past aliens and placing bomb at Bolt TP. Firing at blue spine critter, 3 hits and a jam. Alien take 1 wound. All aliens move (All blue) first blue Xeno-beta fires. 2 hits and 2 wounds, and moves away. Second blue Xeno beta has no LOS and moves 1 area closer. Blue spine critter moves to center and bites. 2 hits and 1 wound. 3 wounds total. One alien ported to Hit TP.
5. Attacks blue spine critter. 2 hit, 1 wound. All spine critters activate. 2 hits, 0 wounds.
Clear sky and a green spine critter spotted.
6. Attacks blue spine critter. 3 hit, 3 wounds. Spine critter dead. Moving toward last TP, taking a detour out of all alien's sight. Activate all xeno beta. No LOS, both moving closer. EMP storm.
7. Ranked up soldier. Tactic chosen: heal 1 or one effect.
Moves to last TP and places bomb. Stands and wait for evacuation during next round. Activate all blue aliens. All aliens are 2 areas or more from Mercury, so moves one closer. Special event A.
You are coming home Mercury. Mission accomplished!
Sorry for not adding too much text to all rounds. I hope you understand and can visualize how many monsters that are left and the color they have.
I think I was lucky the way this became a successful mission. When playing mercury solo I think having momentum is key. When I play with 3 or 5 soldiers I like to get adjacent to Xeno Betas, but it doesn't help much in a single player game where momentum is key. I didn't use evade (I have read many comments on BGG and agree with those claiming it is painful to lose both action and combat). I will do one more run trough with Mercury later to see how it goes. I chose the killer drone because I forgot about the satellite strike which would have done the same for me in the situation I used it in.
Special thanks to agent Skaak for the 'Xeno-beta event card' page.
Good job on the report. I gotta say you got a bit lucky to acomplish the mission, but it is nice to see someone trying out mercury like this.
Having a 3 hit turn into a 3 wound is around 21% and that kill of the blue spine critter was fundamental to your win.
I don't know if you missed it on the report or forgot during play, but after killing that critter it deals 2 hits to mercury in return as well.
That shouldn't affect the outcome, since after the level up you could just use the tactic to get up even if you defended none of the hits.
As you can possibly see after this playthrough is that mercury's vulnerability becomes apparent on turn 5. where she has a critter basing her and two betas at firing range ( one at the optimal 2 areas distance ) if instead of drawing a spine critters activate you had drawn betas activate or blue activate or all aliens activate ( i dont recall if mission 1 even has close encounter 1 active) it would most probably be GG for mercury, and that is what the whole complaint is about. her stealth being ignored by ranged aliens while she is in melee doing her job.
In any case, good job and keep on defending the galaxy.