Our Finest Hour achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Our Finest Hour

Beat the game on Impossible difficulty.

Our Finest Hour+0.9
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackable

How to unlock the Our Finest Hour achievement

    15 Oct 2012 15 Oct 2012 15 Dec 2012
    40 6 40
    I finally beat Impossible on my second playthrough. It also unlocks
    XCOM: Enemy UnknownEarth FirstThe Earth First achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown worth 317 pointsBeat the game on Classic difficulty.

    I saved every turn. It was so hard that I personally think that beating Impossible Ironman is undo-able without abusing glitches. And even then, you'll have to dashboard every turn.

    I do not recommend starting on this difficulty if this is your first time playing.

    Besides getting 1 shotted every turn, you have a huge money and panic problem.

    Here's what to look forward to at Impossible difficulty
    1) Most aliens have more health than normal difficulty.
    Eg; Thinman's hp. 3 for normal/easy. 4 for Classic. 6 for Impossible!!! Even a jump from 3 to 4 is huge, as this means you can't kill them with 1 grenade.
    2) Aliens also have ridiculous accuracy and crit a lot (2 shots and you will die, even with the best gear. I get hit for 15-17 dmg regularly near the end. Tip: Reload if you get shot).
    3) Your satellites only get half the income.
    4) You are not gifted with an officer training school at the start; this means you're stuck with only a 4 man vanilla squad for a LONG time.
    5) Panic increases from failed missions are doubled in Impossible.
    6) other little details like longer lasting poision, your archangel armor lasts half as long in flight, etc etc.
    Luckily, research time is the same (I never built a lab and I got along fine).

    General strategy:

    For me, the difficulty was VERY hard for the first month. Second month was easier as my guys were leveled up. By the 4th month came I had every gear upgraded to the max and it was a cakewalk (relatively). I only lost 3 countries in the first month; South America + India. And never lost any since. Aim to get North America next (for the bonus) if possible as you will need planes to defend your satellites.

    I started in Africa for the +30% funding bonus. I never built a lab the entire game. And I used all my money ONLY for satellites and uplinks at first; however, I built the Alien Containment and arc thrower near the 2nd month to speed up my research and to sell the weapons the stunned aliens will drop. Additionally, I never built a foundry/officer-school/plane/etc until I maxed satellites.

    Skip the SKIV and the laser lines. You have no money to build lasers and SKIVs even if you research it anyways. Research armor as you start (but don't buy any), and capture a Muton as soon as you can (!!!), interrogate him, and then get every plasma gear ASAP so you don't get destroyed. Interrogating a Muton gives you the plasma research bonus so don't start the plasma research too early. FYI, a plasma pistol does more damage than all your starter gear.

    Here's a list of the research topics so you can quickly get to plasma.

    My squad was running around unarmored and with their starter gear until the third month. And I survived by absolutely abusing the shit out of the save/load system.

    My 4 man squad survived for 3 months on starter gear consisted of 2 assaults, 1 heavy (rocket+shredder), 1 sniper (squadsight+doubletap). Support is freaking useless. Note: Your starter squad has only 3 health. BUT if you hire new guys, they start with 6 health (pre-patch). To abuse this, I hired 5 guys (with 6 hp) immediately after the first mission and fired the old guys (with 3 hp). The extra hp makes a big difference, it's tempting to play without the patch.

    Squad tactics:

    I won't go over the basics to winning a mission. There's just too much, but you can check here.

    There's lots of little tricks to win a mission, if you've played the original X-Com games, you'll know most of them already. But here's a special trick to this game that will help veterans of the X-Com series already familiar with the basic tactics.

    The KEY to surviving everything without plasma is the 2 assault guys. They are the only unit that can kill EVERYTHING in the game in 1 turn. NO other unit can do this!!!

    Usually mobs spawn in groups of 2-3 aliens (unless you spawned more than 1 group which usually means you're screwed). Here's how to take care of a group of 2-3 aliens. Your assault guys can each solo 1 alien, and the last alien can hopefully be killed by your sniper and heavy. You can kill an alien easily by using this tactic. This is my fail-proof tactic, so listen up.... your assault hero is to charge in (lightning reflex),sprint to the enemy (run and gun), fire 2 shotgun shots point blank (rapid fire + killer instinct). No alien in the game can survive this tactic, even on Impossible difficulty!!! After you've killed the alien, pray that you survive till your next turn starts (pick close combat specialist skill), but most of the time you've killed everything around you. Later on in the game you can use ghost armor to abuse this tactic even more.

    In the beginning, most missions will only have 8-12 aliens. You heavy weapon guys should have 2 rockets (with shredder upgrade), which should kill 2-3 aliens with each rocket. The rest of the baddies you will need to kill with grenades and your skills.

    Good Luck!

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    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Goatlipslaugh Don't actually do the entire playthrough on Impossible! laugh
    Are you nuts? Start your game on EASY and just switch to IMPOSSIBLE before you enter the Gallop Chamber! facepalm I've not Assaulted the (Shirley) Temple ship on Impossible yet, but I just got the Classic difficulty completion achi by converting my Normal playthrough right at the end. I did have a problem for Lone Wolf with Classic reverting back to Normal (check it when the mission starts), but no problem in switching to Impossible from Classic for the final assault. toast

    **UPDATE: Ahhh - got it 2nd go - robbed 1st go! Had to do a penultimate mission (Small UFO - 6 aliens) on Imp' and scanned to next month 2nd try. Pops on final cutscene showing your Lander Dropship thing. wave
    Posted by Goatlips on 03 Jun 17 at 22:24
    J ROLL 1998Can confirm that nearly 10 years later the above method from Goatlips still works. Did the entire game up until the Gollop part on Easy, switched to Impossible and made sure to complete a few missions before the Temple Ship, and got the achievement. It's definitely a cheap way to go about it, but Impossible is way too hard to suffer through the legit way. However I attempted Wet Work several times and never got it despite clearly winning in 5 turns or less. 🤷‍♂️
    Posted by J ROLL 1998 on 07 Feb at 06:45
    DOUGLAS FETTOctober 2022, can confirm the "penultimate mission for Impossible" trick still works. Started the game on normal, got a team ready, switched to Impossible, played one mission with an alternate team (so no one in my 'A' team gets killed or injured), then launched the Gollop chamber and the temple assault. Achievements popped after getting to the results section. Will also unlock the 'classic' difficulty achievement too.

    Gotta say, it was not as hard as I thought it'd be. Granted I was fully teched up and I was killing them on every turn, including using mind control. Having a team full of psychic soldiers is very handy as well, if you're going in with the volunteer being your only psychic then you're not enjoying XCOM to the fullest. FInal confrontation can be problematic, even my best soldiers were panicking and they were mind controlling my dudes a lot, but just save right before and you can keep reloading however many times you lose.
    Posted by DOUGLAS FETT on 14 Oct at 16:43
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  • igor5618igor56181,612,758
    28 Feb 2013 26 Feb 2013 18 Aug 2013
    13 0 3
    I want to add one tip which helped me significantly to great other solutions. Used this with great result for Impossible & Classic+Iron.

    If you play with Slingshot DLC from beginning game on Impossible/Classic+Iron will be easier because you will get tons of great loot (especially from last mission, sell 1/3-1/2 of it and keep rest) you can sell and possibility to capture Muton quite early in the game if you build alien interrogation chamber no later than at end of 1st-2nd week of second month and research teaser weapon (all which will speed up plasma weapons research).

    On Impossible I started from Africa (and my first priority for full sat. cover were Africa and South America for faster research of better weapons). On Ironman started from Asia.

    Missions from DLC are randomly received instead of normal side missions so you can level up faster. There are total of 4 missions, all which you should receive durring firsr 1,5 month of game (or from time you installed DLC).

    Mission 1. Friends in Low Places
    Escort target, keep save from before mission and rotate maps until you will get cemetary one, it's easiest IMO.

    Enemies: About 10xThin Man and 1/2 Muton on Impossible playthrough, on Classic 1xChrysalid, about 5 x Thin Man and 5 x Sectoid.

    From start tako cover and kill intial wave of enemies (set everyone to guard) then go through lower right corner to upper right of map and you don't need to fight with more then 2-3 enemies at once. Be sure to have soldier with shotgun, from close he can take down Thin Man one shot.
    Reward: $200, 2 Engineers: 2 Scientists, Heavy class soldier recruit (Lieutant!)

    Mission 2. Confounding Light

    Enemies: (Impossible) - 10+ Thin Man, about 4-6 Mutons. But you can skip 1-2 mutons which spawn behind team if you are fast enough
    (I got it around end of 2nd week durring 2nd month of game (12-13th April)

    This is quite tough mission. You have 10 turns to reach 5 checkpoints and blaze through lot of Thin Man and Mutons (the latter spawn when you hit given checkpoints).

    I finished mission with 2 Assault (shotgun), 2 Heavy (I gave all my heavies SCOPE for whole game), Sniper and Support. It's also good if you already developed laser pistols and rifles. My Support had Laser Rifle, pistol and another pistol for Sniper)
    Reward: 2 engineers.

    Mission 3. Gangplank

    Received it few days after previous mission, 2-3 days before first Terror mission from main game so keep your best soldiers healthy or buy 50% faster injury healing. You can also do Terror mision first.

    Assaulting Battleship but much easier than normal 'UFO crash site/landing' missions. Just clear one objective at a time.

    Enemies: (Impossible) Cyberdisc, Chryssalid, Muton, Sectoid, Thin Man

    Reward: 2 engineers, 2 scientis and about 6 of each UFO items (flight computers, power cores ) so ealier you can sell 2+1 you already have from one of ealier Ufo crash missions if you need cash.
    Fusion Lance research + launcher
    About 300 Elyrium
    About 500 Alien alloys
    About 70-80 weapon fragments
    Showing all 3 comments.
    UrsiformYeah the Slingshot DLC will pretty much give you an economic win, and prevents you from possibly getting a bomb disposal from the council in the early weeks. Confounding Light is actually much easier than your average Impossible bomb disposal, and you can keep delaying it if you feel you aren't ready without triggering other council missions, or go for it and get an early shot at a Muton capture.
    Posted by Ursiform on 17 Aug 13 at 19:22
    ScottMacFreedomWait a second... Total of 4 missions...... I think something might be off here.
    Posted by ScottMacFreedom on 04 Jul 15 at 06:47
    DOUGLAS FETTOkay folks I've been reading up a bunch of threads and I want to confirm what some of you have been saying:

    1. Imp difficulty chievo (Our Finest Hour) WILL pop even if you start a game on easy or normal
    2. WILL only pop then if you switch to Imp towards the end, do a few missions, THEN enter the gollop chamber
    3. Finish final mission (making sure every time that the game doesn't auto-revert back to easy/normal) with Imp difficulty, and the chievo will pop

    ** I am playing on the X360, which from what I'm reading is a good thing for the chievo popping

    Sound about right?
    Posted by DOUGLAS FETT on 17 Jul 20 at 07:48
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