I played a couple more hours, and my guys are dropping left and right. After my main troopers all got seriously injured, my backup guy and a squad of rookies Code Black'd investigating my first medium-size UFO crash (damn SlenderMen ).
I'm into the second month now and I have 19 scientists but still only 5 engineers, so I can't build additional satellite capabilities. Right now I have three countries at full panic level and there's not much I can do about it. I got a decent amount of cash which I've used to excavate and expand my base. I had to build a regular power station because I don't have the engineers for the thermal yet. Researched lasers but not enough engineers to build them. Maybe I can build the carapace armor I researched. I'm not sure what the requirements are for that, but all I have now is rookies until my other soldiers recover and they need all the help they can get.
I'm kinda glad that individual missions don't last too long, because I'm enjoying the strategic level of the game just as much as the tactical level. It also makes it feel like I'm moving things right along, for good or for ill.