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Attn: People Who Are Good (like NKF)


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#1 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:04 PM

I noticed that there is a big jump between people who are good, and those who are not. There aren't many "mediocre" people, just winners, like NKF, and... losers... like me. So I was wondering if someone like NKF could post a few play-by plays of some missions, with screenshots. Of course, for each decision you would have to explain why. I know it would be hard, but just to show you it's possible I could do one of my own if you wanted. I think it would really help us losers. To understand some of the techniques people use. Pleease?

Edit: Just made one : http://vasiliys.goog...es.com/xcompbp1

Edited by Brick-To-Face, 30 June 2006 - 05:28 PM.


#2 stewart

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:07 PM

there are TONS of threads/posts giving all kinds of advise on the website. What do you have trouble with?
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#3 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 05:30 PM

Well, I tend to be unable to win very many missions without heavy losses. I just lost 10/14 on a terror mission, but I managed to capture the Sectoid leader, I guess that's SOME compensation...

#4 stewart

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:44 PM

Umm terror mission ARE hard to begin with, throw in night time and guys like: NKF, Zombie, Me, and others would rather just curl-up in front of the TV at the base and let civies deal with it.

You can find lots of info on strategies regarding terror missions. My way of handling is a two-part strategy: part one, shoot down the damm terrorship instead, part two, if it lands make sure you're doing well enough to just ignore it.

Visit a lot of easy crash sites, that'll build up points so you can afford to ignore terror missions.

Keep in mind, I think I'm the only one here who will actually ignore terror missions.

For actually fighting them I give you NKF or Zombie.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#5 Zombie

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:56 PM

Hmmm. Well, let me try and whip up a mission for you. Maybe a Terror Site is in order. :)

Like stewart says, if you have the chance shoot down Terror Ships to prevent Terror Sites from forming. Once you get the Plasma Cannon this task is easy. But early on you are better off letting the ship land since you will not have enough craft or firepower to take it down safely.

A good point to remember about Terror Sites is that an ignored site is an automatic -1000 point penalty to X-COM. But if you visit the site and abort, the maximum penalty is -480 (16 max civies @ 30 points each). That pill is a little easier to swallow and could mean the difference between a poor or an OK month. There is also a chance that you could have anywhere from 0 to 16 civies at a terror site. So you may get lucky and hit the coveted 0 civie terror site and walk away with 0 points for aborting.

Since finding this out, I prefer to do the old abort trick if my points are rather low or I'm too lazy to go and visit or it is a nighttime Ethereal Terror Site.

[Edit: I'll move this thread to Xcom 1: Saved Games and Missions. There are lots of play-by-plays there and you may find one that helps too.]

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 30 June 2006 - 07:57 PM.

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#6 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 01:19 AM

Thanks Zombie, I guess -480 points is OFTEN better than -10 soldiers. By the way I had a fun mission so I made another pbp: http://btfx.no-ip.info:88/x2/

#7 NKF

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 04:57 AM

I'm not a good player. I lose my fair share of soldiers. I've just lost enough times to have picked up a few good tricks along the way. ;)

Don't worry if you fail. Just be patient (in and out of the game), keep practicing and try your best not to get into the same mistake over and over again. Be open to attempting new things if what you're doing at the moment isn't working. For example, if if you never use tanks, or smoke grenades, or flares, it might pay to learn to use them properly and see if they can help you.

I've been busy with a whole set of games at the moment, being UFO Aftershock, Shadow of the Colossus and some other title I can't remember at the moment. So I have not had a chance to put together a play-by-play yet. I might start a brand new game and go for a terror site and see how I can go with it.

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#8 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:20 PM

>> Be open to attempting new things...tanks, or smoke grenades, or flares...
>> Just be patient...

Thanks :)

Edit: Thanks guys, I finished upgrading one of my bases to a strike base, and checked the forums for some things that might help me. I picked up naming soldiers by their skills, and with a set of nearly virgin rookies (1 mission, medium scout, only 2 live aliens) completely owned a large scout, losing only one cannon fodder soldier! Then went on to a night terror mission, and lost only 3 there (2 because I had a whole army right outside of the skyranger. By the way, has anyone seen the terror mission screen in blue? The one that says "aliens terrorise: <drum roll> Sydney! Usually it has a red/pink background. By the way, those two soldiers were killed by a reaper duo. I feel ashamed.

Edited by Brick-To-Face, 03 July 2006 - 12:16 PM.


#9 NKF

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:40 AM

Okay, I've just finished my play-be-play mission. Quite a fun one it was, although it was also technically a total failure due to unavoidable civilian deaths (12!).

I've got 39 screenshots, and will need some time to put everything together.

Here's the log I put together while playing it. I'll edit it and post it with the screenshots on my webpage at a later date.

Night sectoid terror mission. Superhuman. Brand new game.

8 Total rookies - didn't bother examining what stats they had.

Equipment

Tank Cannon 1

Pistols 5
Clips 10

Heavy cannon 1
AP 1
HE 1

Rocket Launcher
Heavy rocket 8

Laser pistol 2

Grenade 8
Smoke grenade 2
High Explosive 6


---
Pre planning
Shuffle equipment a bit. Rocket launcher was extraneous.
Stupid me, I forgot flares.

Turn 1

Deploy the tank
Tank Spot cyberdisc across the road from the Skyranger. Stops on left side of ramp (right in line of fire)
Deploy a smoke grenade by ramp.
Move soldiers up to lip of Skyranger.
End turn.

Turn 2

Smoke masks tank presence. Cyberdisc heads north. A sectoid is spotted near it. Rocket time!

Tank inches forward until sectoid spotted. Pistol soldier picks up rocket launcher and fires a snap rocket in general direction of sectoid and kills it along with a bit of the market's corner. Cyberdisc still not visible.

Start deploying pistol troops on right side of Skyranger. Spot a sectoid to the south of Skyranger. Will get a distant soldier to attempt a pot shot with the standard pistol. Knelt and fired. One bullet struck and soldier ran out of TUs. Sectoid was still alive.

Launched a short grenade relay in the Skyranger by having a soldier at the back prime the grenade to Jane. Jane runs down ramp and is not able to throw grenade that far, so passes grenade to laser pistol soldier that already moved out to attempt another throw. 

After a brief misthrow by Jane, the soldier picks up the grenade and is able to plant it 1 tile away from the alien.

End turn.

Grenade kills sectoid.

Sectoid spotted entering through warehouse door just beside the Skyranger. Still no sign of cyberdisc.

Turn 3

Mistakes start getting made.

Rocket passed down to soldier with rocket launcher. RL armed and pistol dropped. Soldier kneels. Tank inches forward some more. Cyberdisc spotted. Rocket fired via snap. Direct hit scored, but cyberdisc still standing. Three soldiers take  potshots at cyberdisc with no joy. Tank opens fire and fails. Retreats into smoke. Soldier with cannon inches towards warehouse. Soldier with laser pistol makes mistake and walks too far and goes through the door, right up behind the sectoid. Only enough TUs to make a snap shot or to retreat one step. Faced with this dilemma, soldier attempts a retreat. Neither prospect is favourable. Soldier with cannon steps forward and helps to close the door.

End turn.

Turn 4

Disaster.

The laser pistol soldier is killed, a shot is fired from the garden at the rear of the warehouse and another soldier is killed. Another sectoid walks out from where the first sectoid was found and fires, but misses. Soldier with cannon is killed too.

Soldiers go nuts and primed their high explosives. One thrown in the garden. One through a newly made hole into the store house. Just realise I'll lose my second laser pistol this way. Oh well. Have to live with it.

Sectoid on other side of the road is peppered with laser pistol rounds and is killed.

End turn.

Turn 5

By look of the item blips on the map, both high explosives scored a hit.

Rocket is passed to RL soldier. Tank inches forward some more. Spots the cyberdisc. Takes a pace back and opens fire. Hits, but no results. Peppered with laser pistol fire and destroyed. Utterly. Bigger hole in the market now.

End turn.

Turn 6

More civilians are heard being killed.

More pistol troops are deployed - one armed with an unused but armed high explosive.

Tank is sent to scout down the road. Sectoid spotted. Peppered with laser pistol rounds. Second attempt worked.

End turn.

Turn 7

Apart from another scream, nothing tragic has happened.

Tank is sent to scout some more. Is mangled very badly by an autoshot from around the corner. Tank makes a retreat.

Soldier throws high explosive around the corner.

End turn.

Turn 8

Sectoid goes bang. And karma strikes. An alien grenade is thrown at the soldier and is killed.

Tank charges forward to find the culprit but is unable to find anything. Flares would've been very useful at this point.

Pistol soldiers move in general direction but stay well away from f the tank

Turn 9

Sectoid pops out of warehouse just by tank and finishes it off. Appears to pop back in as soon as my turn starts.

Now for revenge.

Laser pistol soldier makes a hole and rocket soldier launches rocket into the small warehouse and kills the sectoid.

The last remaining soldier in the Skyranger tosses a rocket to rocket soldier.

End Turn

Turn 10

Nothing happened.

RL reloaded.

End turn.

Another civilian scream.

Opened up OHM and inspected the site. Looks like a dwelling to the south west corner of the map. It's quite likely that the killed civilian may have come from that direction. Soldiers move slowly towards it. Rocket soldier, the last to move, spots a sectoid on the road to the north of the dwelling. Laser pistol soldier peppers the alien. Misses. Pistol soldier fires potshots and misses. The reserve soldier in the skyranger that supplies the rocket soldier with rockets rushes down to ramp and fires a snapshot and kills the sectoid.

End turn.

Turn 11

A plasma bolt nearly grazes Jane's forehead (literally).

Jane steps forward to find the culprit but finds nothing. Unfortunately, TUs have been exhausted, so Jane is in critical situation.

Laser pistol soldier still has a high explosive. This is armed and thrown in to dark area behind the damaged warehouse. This is a wild shot, but one must try something. Anything.

End turn.

turn 12

As such, this was a bad decision as it caught nothing, although it did blast open the warehouse a bit and gave my other soldiers a much better view of what was inside. The sectoid was actually in the warehouse and shot at Jane again and actually hit her square on. Fortunately, through the miracles of the random number, no damage was dealt.

Rocket soldier kneels and launches an aimed rocket at the box next to the sectoid, wiping it out. Jane retreats into the resulting smoke for cover.

End turn.

Turn 13

Virgil (my one and only laser pistol soldier) scavenges a grenade off a dead comrade (the victim of karma).

End turn.

Turn 14

Rocket tossed to RL soldier and is loaded. Supply soldier runs back into Skyranger for another rocket.

Jane inches closer to dwelling. Virgil scouts to the south east, although there's nothing there to look at. Better safe than sorry though.

Looks like a waiting game...

End turn. 

Turn 15

Moved rocket supply soldier down near RL soldier. Just realised he still has a high explosive. Will pass this to laser pistol soldier (Virgil).

Jane starting to suffocate. Step forward a bit and kneel just beyond smoke cloud. Still nothing.

End turn.

Jane steps forward and rushes back again. Nothing spotted.

RL supply soldier passes HE to Virgil.

End Turn. Realise I've got 3 soldiers too close to each other.

Alien reveals its location by shooting civilian near the south western dwelling.

Jane moves forward and spots one of the enclosed park areas. Ducks to the side, hopefully the alien will be stuck inside the garden and will not be able to move far enough to spot Jane.

Deciding not to chance it, Rocket soldier fires aimed rocket right into a tree and kills the sectoid.

Mission ends.

The mission ends in a total failure, point-wise, with -144 points (12 civilians kicked the bucket). Otherwise, I'm very pleased with how it ran.  I particularly liked how the remaining soldiers were able to rally so well after suffering from severe losses.

In retrospect, I wish I had brought a few flares along, and I wish I had been more careful with my first laser pistol soldier. I like the fact that I was all-out with my use of high explosive weapons, but not one of the civilian deaths were caused by it. Hee!


This was the first X-Com game I've played in a very long time, by the way. I suppose it went pretty well, even though only 4 soldiers of 8 soldiers and a tank survived and despite the negative points.

- NKF

P.S: I realise I've missed and subsequently misnumbered some of my turns. I wasn't paying that much attention to them, to tell the truth.

P. P. S: And I've just realised that I've used two often mentioned strategies. That is the grenade relay, and the good old spotter/sniper strategy. Although not much sniping was actually done.

Edited by NKF, 05 July 2006 - 02:17 AM.

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#10 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 10:11 PM

Wow, thanks! I realized two things that I was missing from my own strategy (even though I am doing quite well), I need more weapon variety, even if most of them stay in the closet 90% of the time, you never know when you're off to the jungle, and I wish I could have torched the place, the last time I went there. Also, I find that you are MUCH more generous with your aggression. Yep, I'm talking about the High Explosives and rockets, I can't believe you brought 8?! Anyway, I finally realized you can't take your laser pistols past the chryssalids, time to whip out my Heavy Plasma reserves. I'm still working on psi, and going all-out with my lightning fetish. Thanks, pretty awesome for all rookies and superhuman.

#11 NKF

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 01:02 AM

I bring lots of explosives to balance my favoured choice in ranged weaponry. The theme of the day was pistols and big-bang weapons. ;)

Variety is indeed the spice of life. It's always good to have plenty of options available. Even if it's in the form of a single autocannon and a choice of HE and incendiary shells.

The laser pistols, by the way, are still quite good against Chryssalids. Especially for use when reacting against charging chryssalids. However, I would prefer a laser/plasma rifle or heavy plasma to take on chryssalids from afar - they're more reliable. Chryssalids are aliens you want dead yesterday.

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#12 Hyper_Barret

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 09:25 AM

The thing to remember is that this game is turn-based so you can take as long as you like to complete a mission. You can save it mid-mission and come back to it - although if you leave it too long you may become disorientated. Sweeping the area is essential - if you run in all guns blazing you will get cut down, unless you have some serious firepower, and even then you have to be careful to avoid getting hit by friendly fire. Smoke grenades are useful and so are flares if you have to do night missions. If you lose people - don't reload an earlier save - think about what you did wrong - was your soldier outnumbered, exposed, flanked etc. Then learn from your mistakes, you will improve. The overhead map is quite possibly the most useful tool at your disposal. Always use it in conjunction with the main screen to see where you are positioned, and where units are likely to be. Knowing how to use reaction fire will save your troops all the way through the game, sharp-shooters, cover-fire etc. Always use terrain to your advantage, walls, trees etc. Proximity mines also help early on, to contain areas and allow your squad some reassurance. But most of all it just boils down to how much you play - the more you play the better you'll get.

#13 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:12 AM

Thanks, I learned a bit from a previous mission, I could really use a motion sensor in any mission, I never encountered do many aliens in a large scout before!

#14 Empyrean

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 08:24 PM

The three factors that I've found make the biggest difference are cover, reactions, and scout/sniper tactics.

Hiding behind stuff is huge. If the aliens don't see you, they don't shoot at you. Use smoke grenades freely, a rookie soldier costs about a hundred times as much as a smoke grenade.

Reaction fire is important. Save your TU's so you can shoot at enemies when they come into your field of view. If you don't have at least 75% of your TU's left, make sure you're hiding behind something so the aliens won't get the first shot on you.

Scout/Sniper tactics are the best way to bring down an alien. Have a scout look for aliens as he runs from cover to cover. Use someone else to pick them off. If you happen to come across an alien in open ground at max visual range, you can back up one space and fire on it without it being able to see you and return fire. Very handy.

Other things to keep in mind are spreading out so you don't lose everyone to a grenade, using tanks for scouting, and ditching soldiers who get mind-controlled, as they've probably got a long and successful career ahead of them working for the frigging aliens.

#15 Blitzen

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:29 AM

I just tried using smoke grenades and 2nd story snipers in a terror mission and it worked out very well.
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#16 OmniXX

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:08 PM

I kinda break it down to objectives.

Objective 1: Secure the landing Zone. Don't make anyone run around until you know the area you are starting at is clear of hostiles. That means getting everyone to face each way, placing people underneath the Skyranger (it's sometimes good cover).

Objective 2: Seperate some men into squads. A three-four person team works well but make sure they are not grouped together and when they move, always make sure that one or two have enough TUs for reaction fire.

Objective 3: Search and secure the area. Search thoroughly, although most aliens will make their presence known. They are usually spread out enough so that one alien shouldn't be too much of a challenge against your 3-4 guys. Unless they start getting killed or can't hit the broadside of a barn.

Objective 4: Search UFO. Prepare for some heavy fighting when you open the UFo door. Most likely a soldier or 2 is going to die here, but if you storm the UFO with enough people, the aliens won't be able to react fast enough for averyone. Just make sure you keep your eyes on any closed doors.

#17 Empyrean

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 05:37 PM

I avoid using UFO doors. It's much better to set up a line of guys perpendicular to the side of the UFO with the door, then use reaction fire and blow away anything that comes out. If you set up your line parallel to the UFO facing the door directly, after the first alien comes out the others who are still inside will shoot at your soldiers. That's bad. After about turn 20 or so, almost all of the aliens will leave the UFO and come to you, so setting up an ambush outside is a much better strategy than throwing your men into the close quarters meat grinder.

I hate losing men, and my tactics reflect that. I throw grenades at blind corners, shoot through UFO walls at oblique angles to avoid enemy reaction fire upon breaching, and spend the first three or four turns of almost every fight huffing smoke grenade fumes. I use motion scanners and proximity grenades, I shoot through floors or ceilings and throw high explosives instead of sending a soldier with a jetpack. I really like using explosives because they don't require me to have a direct line of sight with my targets. I tend to move very few of my soldiers at once unless I'm absolutely certain that they're not going to get ambushed while moving out in the open.

#18 Tsereve

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 04:38 PM

My strategy in the early stages of the game: If a rocket goes off by it, there aren't any aliens there.

Basically, get a Skyranger with a Rocket tank, 2-3 soldiers with rocket launchers, and the rest with auto-cannons (laser rifles once I get them). With any luck, the rocket launcher guys will be near the front of the Skyranger when it lands. So the tank moves out, looks around for anything amiss, and if it finds nothing, blows a hole in the nearest terrain feature (barn, orchard, hedge, hill, etc). Then the rest of my guys come out. Basically, I put rockets through any kind of cover I can see, and then use point weapons to get rid of any bugs that come out. It actually works pretty well, at least until you start seeing things that don't die with 1 rocket or a few laser shots.
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#19 Exo2000

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 07:13 AM

One of my favourite late-game tactics is to use a pair of Plasma Hovertanks in tandem. They usually hover at levels 2-4 to get a good viewpoint, and this altitude allows them to spot aliens which can often not spot them - with one edging forwards - the other hangs behind and acts as a sniper.

Combined with X-ComUtil and luck, this works quite like the standard spotter-sniper combo. The advantage is that tanks are nowhere near as soft as soldiers, and have remarkably better accuracy than you'd think. But the trick is to only ever use snapshots, because aimed uses up 66% TU for a 10% accuracy boost - not at all worth it, compared to the 30% TU for a 50% accuracy shot.

Edited by Exo2000, 27 November 2006 - 07:14 AM.

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