Ok, another 2 Spec Ops down and some more wisdom to be gleaned. Maybe this stuff will help Android or Windows mobile players whenever they eventually get these Spec Ops on those platforms.
Sins of the Fathers
"Sins of the Fathers" was the last Spec Ops that PKB graciously authored a guide for. Really, no real surprises in this Spec Ops. A few general points worth noting.
I was always running out of U-Iso early on in my first few Spec Ops and I couldn't figure out why. Theoretically we all start out with the same number of U-Iso, so why are some people able to get so much further than I was before running out of U-Iso when we all had access to the same information?
One thing I've realized is the need to balance trying to get a high mission score to get the first three or four stars versus being conservative with U-Iso expenditure. In previous Spec Ops, I generally would not do deploys and exit the level with battles still on the map thinking that I was conserving U-Iso. That was just ignorant. I now fight all battles and do deploys that require specific heroes. I sometimes ignore deploys that have no requirements or require a class of heros. The rationale here is that completing each deploy results in more mission score, and the deploys that require a specific hero give a chance to get 20 U-Iso, which is a pretty good trade off. The generic deploys (the ones that require a class of hero, such as tactician or scrapper, or have no requirements) never give U-Iso as a reward and the rewards are generally less good. If I think my mission score will be good enough without the deploy, I'll skip it.
The second mistake that I've been making is not doing the epic run every chance I get. That's another mistake. If I have the heroes, I now always do the epic run. It boosts mission score and gives an extra boss roulette, and the U-Iso cost is more than made up for it by not needing to do an extra run of this mission because getting 3 stars on the first run will save you upwards of 160 U-Iso in the long run. More importantly, in the last few Spec Ops, the epic boss allowed me to move through the progression of tasks without an extra run of one of the missions because the epic boss team-up is usually the next task I need to complete.
This Spec Ops came with lockbox tasks. In the past, I've tried to do these tasks as soon as possible, but thanks to PKB's advice, I've learned that these are safe to ignore and I should get around to them when convenient. Other crucial advice from PKB: it's significantly more efficient, in terms of U-Iso usage, to start Mission 3, do the hard battle with the infiltrator demons, and then abort and restart the mission than to do multiple runs of Mission 3. Not intuitive when thinking about conserving U-Iso, but it's true. I spent less U-Iso restarting the mission than rerunning it.
Yeah, well, after recruiting Hercules and Shatterstar in preparation for Dark Reign, we got a surprise and got the Infinity Special Ops instead of Dark Reign. Good thing I already had Wasp, Red Hulk, and Psylocke, otherwise I would have been in a bind for CP. A good reminder to not splurge on heroes in advance of a Special Ops with the assumption that everything will go the way you think.
Anyhow, another straightforward set of tasks that I zipped through the first 16 tasks without incident, but as I was sitting in waiting on my last research, I realized that I was in a bit of a bind. The remaining tasks would require 2 runs of Mission 3, and the resulting extra run of Mission 3 would screw up the order of tasks required for the lockbox tasks, which would in turn require at least one other run of Mission 3 to complete. That's bad from an U-Iso usage point of view.
Instead, I looked at the up-coming tasks and came up with a plan:
Task 17 requires a fight against the Thanos Group Boss. No problem. I already spawned my GB, but it turned out that my allies were unable to defeat him, so that left him on the map for me to fight. Perfect. Turns out these tasks say "spawn and fight your own GB", but in fact, the completion requirement is just "fight your own GB". Ok. No problem.
Task 18 is already done because I already have 3 stars on my Mission 2. (See? Epic run, big score.)
Task 19 can be done outside of Spec Ops because I have Dr. Strange.
Task 20 is win 3 PvP battles. Not trivial, but ok.
Here's where my troubles begin. I'm on Mission 3 and I've already defeated Corvus to use Black Bolt to complete Task 16. That left Proxima, Thanos, a couple of deploys, and a hard battle on my map. In theory, there's no way to complete the remaining tasks without run after run of Mission 3. Not to mention, I'm only 3 of 4 mini-bosses into my first lockbox task. The second lockbox tasks requires using Thane, which can only be done on the Proxima mini-boss deploy on Mission 3. So here's what I did:
I went against my own advice above, where I said not to do any deploys that didn't require specific heroes. This is not going to be an efficient run of this mission, so I'm going to need every little extra bit of mission score I can get. So I started the two generic hero deploys.
I initiated a 2-bird boss fight with Thanos and Proxima. Wasted two rounds with consumables until I was able to use Black Bolt's Power Word against Proxima. I took her out without much trouble. Then I recharged agent and heroes until Thanos knocked out my entire team and I was defeated. Task 21 and Lockbox Task 1 were completed even though I lost the battle. The trick was the conditions for both tasks were met (used skill, defeated fourth mini-boss). Conveniently, that left my Mission 3 map unchanged. The two deploys gave me usless junk as expected.
Now I did the Proxima mini-boss fight using Thane, and defeated her. Lockbox Task 2 complete. Got 6 lockboxes which completed Spec Ops Task 22.
Now my Mission 3 map is left with Thanos and a hard battle. I defeated Thanos with ease to complete Task 23. Fought the hard battle to get the first 3 of 5 Instigators needed for lockbox task 3. Now I exitted the mission with just enough score to just barely get 3 stars (those 2 deploys probably made the difference). Task 24 is now complete.
After I got my U-Iso from that day's gifts and rewards, I had just enough U-Iso do do an epic run of Mission 2.
Presto! Black Bolt recruited with 22 days remaining on this Spec Ops. A new personal record.