I figured everyone will want to help each other get through the insane expert skirmishes found in the downloadable content, so I made a thread for it.
So if you manage to scrape past even one turn in an expert skirmish, tell us how you did it!
As for me, I think I'll get Selvaria's Rumm that you get after finishing "Behind Her Blue Flame" DLC before even attempting expert skirmishes. I tried the expert skirmishes to get a taste of it, and I was literally sending my squad to their graves, even though I maxed everything out!
Since I haven't sat down with Expert mode for more than an hour or so, all I can say is that the Ruhm is a good way to get rid of just about anything. Surviving the mortars on the first skirmish, however, seems nearly impossible.
Hopefully *someone* has gotten through *one* of these... or at least can let us know whether the first skirmish is really the place to start.
EDIT: RubyEclipse, that screenshot looks like you're doing pretty well if you have one or two reinforcements coming in. Seems like if you can clear out enough crap that nothing (or almost nothing) will attack you for a turn, you could regroup enough to finish it.
I managed to A rank all EX Hard skirmishes! I'll have to play through them again and give some more specific advice, but here goes for now:
Usually I use Lynn with Ruhm (from Behind Her Blue Flame DLC) and the strongest anti-personnel flamethrower you have. Flamethrowers can take out several units spaced far apart, including gatlings/anti-tank turrets if you can get behind them or survive the gatling barrage (e.g. Kloden, sneaking through grass helps). Sometimes I move Ruhm to Rosie, but Lynn's Hard Worker potential is more useful than Rosie's Double Attack.
Give Audrey the Theimer M20R, and if you have more than one, give one to Largo and one to Elysse or Jann.
I usually deploy Alicia, Rosie, Largo, Lynn, Vyse, Marina, Audrey, and Aika if I have the space.
Some basic advice for now...
For Skirmish one from what I remember, I deployed only the essential personnel (leaders) and maybe Marina to start, and use Largo to destroy the two gatling turrets. Have Marina take out the the sniper on the windmill, then trooper at the closest base and have her retreat, then use Rosie with the Ruhm to kill the scout near that base.
I could keep going, but the post will get long. So I guess it's time to start writing some strategies!
Okay, here's more on Skirmish 1. I can't take much credit, I read about this myself, but I'll post it here for others.
Start with the leaders and Marina. Use Largo to kill the gatlings on the bridge, then run him to the first sandbag, more to the left side if possible. Use Marina to kill the sniper on the windmill, then the trooper at the west base, then retreat. Rosie with Ruhm kills the scout near the west base, then run her near the tree by the river, but not so far as to alert the gatlings at the north base. Alicia attacks the scout at the east base (across the bridge), then either joins Rosie or heads west to the barricades, keeping to the edge of the map; I usually launch a grenade, which doesn't kill him, but maybe shooting will. Welkin then kills the same scout Alicia attacked, or if he's dead, the sniper in the east base, and run him near Rosie but have him looking toward the east base before you're done with him. Now the crossfire is minimal and nobody's in the blast zone.
Call in Audrey and Elysse or Jann, making sure these guys have Theimer M20Rs.
The enemy should send in tanks from the hill, probably killing Largo; if they kill anybody else, I'd reload from a save. The east base sniper might shoot at Welkin, hopefully Welkin will dodge, then kill the sniper. I think that's all the enemy does.
Now use Audrey and your other lancer to take out the two tanks, starting with the leader tank. Each should take 1 or 2 shots. I usually assign Audrey to the leader tank, alternate attackers (and thus tanks) and once they're gone have Audrey destroy the tak at the east base (1 shot).
Rosie uses Ruhm to destroy the gatlings at the north base and moves in between the sandbags (one may be gone now), then Alicia takes the west base, and if possible rejoins Rosie. Welkin joins the two, and now you have a virtually unstoppable defense of Ruhm and two scout rifles for the enemy turn. If you have CP and space left, you can call in another Trooper, I prefer Lynn.
After this point, it's easy to mow down the north base and capture it, send out the lancers, call in troopers/snipers/scouts as you wish, and claim the east base.
Note that an enemy Ace is hiding up by the windmill. For me, Alicia shot him down in one move with Undodgeable Shot, but otherwise it's likely he can dodge, so grenades and/or flamethrowers might be a good alternative (or Rosie with Ruhm for that matter).
Also, you don't have to capture the enemy bases, but it makes it easier.