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Limiting Ammunition


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#1 koriand'r

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 04:19 AM

The maintaince of keeping a healthy supply of ammo has to be the game's most challening aspect, Xcom Enemy unkown, pretty much solves this problem by laser weaponary. However in TOFTD while obtaining and replicating gauss ammo is not difficult, it is inferor compared to the sonic weapons. I haven't played superhuman yet so I don't know how greatly limited the guass weaponary will be on inflicting damage but I do know that the lobstermen were born to eat away ammo! This is a problem when useing sonic weapons, in fact sonic are a waste themselves given the lack of ammo in each gun and the need to aim carefully.

I have tried reserving my ammunation for sonic weapons against lobstermen only and just stick with guass, grenade and other to anything else till i have a suitable stock of zarbinte and sonic ammunation built up.

There are several problems though.

Lobstermen come earl in the game, March even. Their not unkillable but I could had saved a lot more people during the two part mission set on those giant cargo ships where I had to shoot and run endsely with gauss rifles.

Alien bases strictly have lobstermen and tentaluts in the second stage yet I don;t opt with guass for the first stage given i want to blitz my way through it with the Tasoth's trying to MC your characters.

Third: Until later on in the game when you develop the ability to detect the type of race in that craft on Geoscape or have some effective psi soliders to reduce ammo loss, till then it's a case of being careful with your shots. Are there any ways to reduce waste on ammo? Am I being too reliant on sonic to solve life's little problems?
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#2 NKF

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 04:50 AM

The best way to conserve ammo in this game is to carry a vibroblade (strength tradeoff for speed - can kill lobstermen in two hits, or damage and stun it in one) or a heavy thermic lance (speed tradeoff for strength - almost guaranteed kill in one swing) as a secondary weapon. Yes, it's difficult to use. One excellent trick to employ is to have someone in the Triton weild an MC Reader. Check the TUs of the lobsterman you want to rush before thinking of making any melee attack. To get the drills early on, go all out of your way to kill an capture a calcinite corpse in aquatoid land missions.

If you've got Zrbite, I'd recommend constructing sonic pistol ammo. The sonic pistols are pants against Lobsterman (Require something like 5 -6 shots per superhuman lobsterman soldier), but the sonic pistol has the largest ammo clip in the game at 20 shots and are very fast firing. Use the sonic pistol against non-lobstermen and save the cannon rounds for the lobstermen. I can already hear you gasping - "build sonic pistol ammo!?". If you can gather enough, don't. But if you're well into the game and no more sonic pistols are appearing, your only way of getting more ammo is to build it. Compared to a sonic cannon, sonic pistol ammo is cheap and you get twice the ammo.

If you're low on zrbite, set up a colony harvesting operation. Try to do this early while the gill-men are still around. though the colony will be packed with lobstermen and tasoth, the supply ship will be the same race as the race that built the colony. Gill-men are good as they don't have as many MC capable ranks and can fall to practically anything in your arsenal.

The humble gas cannon and HE shells can kill anything in this game. Even the lobstermen. However, it's too slow for you to be able to kill it in a reasonable amount of time.

Call me crazy, but in my last TFTD campaign, I was using gauss pistols against superhuman Tasoth... however it's outright lunacy to do the same with Lobsterman. I actually keep using the gauss pistol against most soft targets, and combine it with sonic pulsers for targets that won't fall easily to it. The gauss pistol clips are very cheap and quick to build. Same with the gauss rifles, however the pistols have a much larger clip and the ridiculous firing rate make up for their lack in power.

Once you can realiably clear off most missions, you'll be able to harvest more sonic cannon ammo than you'll ever need to win the game. Once the aliens convert almost exclusively over to the sonic cannon, it becomes sensible to carry more sonic cannons (with 2 - 3 spares) as you'll be able to re-arm yourself in the field.

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#3 Steelion

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:45 AM

You and your pistols.
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What is a thought, compared to the mind?
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#4 NKF

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 01:41 PM

Only in TFTD's case, you're literally packing a plasma rifle equivalent when it comes to the sonic pistol. 80 damage ~ Woo! That's almost as strong as the Heavy Gauss's 85. However, lobstermen take 50% of Sonic damage, but only 40% from Gauss. Still, it's better than Armour Piercing which only does 20%.

Combined with the pistol's one-handed grip (leaves the other hand free for pulsers, drills or a gauss pistol), faster firing speed and above all excellent clip size, you've got a winning combination.

However, for sonic ammo conservation early on, I'd recommend mastering the gas cannons with HE shells. They're cheap enough, and very powerful.

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Edited by NKF, 19 March 2007 - 02:19 PM.

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#5 Bullet-Tooth Tony

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:21 AM

Some ammo saving tips, that I figured out while playing.
First of all: it was mostly the bug with ammo disappearing if it's loaded into a gun at the end of the mission, that made me choose DOS version under DOSBox over the CE version. In DOS only used clips disappear, so it's one headache less.
Gauss against Aquatoids and Gillmen is fine. Use Gauss, if you want to save some Sonic ammo. If you're sure you won't see Xarquids, Calcinites, or Hallucinoids there - you may have problems killing them with Gauss. Early Transmission Resolver helps to determine the race of an USO and what they're planning to do.
Another tip - often, while moving your soldiers forward you'll see dead alien bodies with guns missing only one ore two shots. If your soldier have a full gun, you may want to change it - there's no big difference between 10-shot SC and a 9-shot one, but it's one more clip saved, because a 9-shot clip is already wasted anyway.
Watch your explosives usage. If you see a lot of stuff on the ground, try not to blow it up with unnecessary DP torpedo or Sonic Pulser.
Use drills, if possible. NKF doesnt' give bad advises. :)
MC Control is also a good savior of everything - ammo, soldier lives, etc. :) If you don't mind using it.

#6 Pherdnut

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 09:13 PM

If you're having ammo troubles you're not using enough sonic pulsers. They are the great equalizer of TFTD, IMO and always in ready supply since in order to make multiple grenades on one target possible, the TFTD devs made all grenades indestructible. Pulsers are considerably more powerful in TFTD than alien grenades from X-Com 1.

Heavy sonics are okay against lobstermen from a distance, but definitely take advantage of those vibroblades if you can get 'em. The handy thing about grenades is that they can be used indirectly without drawing reaction fire, which will frequently eliminate aliens before they fire a shot which is another good way to keep ammo in good supply.

Agreed with NKF on Sonic Pistols. I think he's a bit overenthusiastic about pistols in X-Com 1 ;) - though lasers are nice at close range for their ridiculously short firing time - but the sonic variety are quite accurate, allow you to carry grenades in your other hand without without accuracy reduction and they are quite strong against aquatoids and gilmen. I usually make the upgrade to heavies or rifles as soon as those weapons are in decent supply however (often well after I've researched them).

Gauss is a waste of time, IMO, unless you run into one of those annoying games where the aliens refuse to show for the first month.

Just don't forget about those pulsers. They put holes in alien hulls. They're freaking nasty.

Edited by Pherdnut, 10 June 2007 - 09:23 PM.


#7 NKF

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:52 PM

I actually find the gauss pistol to be one of the sweetest low-level human tech available in game. But as you already know, I'm biased. ;)

It can kill all but one of the primary alien races with no trouble, but is pants against lobstermen and most of the large terror units (xarquid, triscene and hallucinoid to be precise). But that's where the sonic pistol, drills and pulsers are used to compensate.

The first two weapons in the gauss family are used best for two reasons.

The first is ammo conservation. If you aren't able to capture enough sonic ammo within the battles, you'll need to use something in the interim, and gauss ammo is cheap (relatively speaking) and can be built very quickly. Sonic cannons, for example, only have 10 shots per clip. If you find yourself using more shots than you can recover in the battle, the cheaper gauss tech can fill in to defeat the easier aliens while your sonic ammo stocks recover.

The other reason is the most shallow: Burst fire. Can't really comment about the G. rifle, but the G. pistol is this games equivlanet of a submachine gun. And it carries 20 rounds. Biggest ammo clip in the game along with the sonic pistol.

The real trick is to know when not to use it.

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#8 Hexeon

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:27 AM

Actually Heavy Gauss is only 75.

#9 NKF

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:38 AM

Good spot. That only further's the sonic pistol's greatness. ;)

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#10 Hexeon

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 07:20 AM

I think sonic rifle's better. It packs more of a punch and it's more accurate. Sonic pistol is fast, but it's too inaccurate. Anyway I never found ammunition to be much of a problem. The challenge I think is more or less keeping a positive monthly score so not to lose the game, and defending bases.

#11 NKF

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:04 AM

Well, depends on how you play. The three sonic weapons are well balanced and have their niche, and the sonic pistol still surpasses most other weapons you can buy, bar a few choice weapons like the Gas Cannon and the Gauss Pistol (TFTD's SMG).

The difference between the blasta-rifle and pistol are minimal at best. 15 damage difference, 10% speed for a 10% (snap) and 25% (aimed) accuracy difference, length, different hand grip (to hold a drill, or not to hold a drill?) and 5 rounds of ammo. They're practically interchangeable. It just depends on what you need more at the time.

The cannon on the other hand is a major leap ahead from the two, with a 50 more points than the pistol (0 - 100 more damage) and has the best accuracy of the lot, but it's depressingly slow, large and has even less ammo. Despite all that, it's still one of the best weapons in the game.

The one black mark against both the pistol and rifle is how quickly they become limited-edition weapons. A great reason to hoard the ammo early on and reserve them for the specialists.

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Edited by NKF, 02 August 2007 - 12:05 AM.

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#12 Hexeon

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:15 AM

I found the weapons I use the most often in the game are gauss rifle, sonic cannon, sonic rifle, jet harpoon. For some reason I don't like the PWT much. Maybe it's because PWT lacks finesse and destroys loot. The problem with sonic cannon is that it's kind heavy for new seaman to use. The problem with sonic pistol is that it can't make long shots very well. I've had multiple guys shooting at an alien from about 3 screens away with sonic pistol, with both aimed shots and snap shots. And they've all missed. This happens quite often. Although sonic pistol's usually powerful enough to take care of the Gillman even, so that's a plus, and it's fast and light. Although I would just use Gauss pistol. It auto-fires so against aquatoids and gillman it's usually powerful enough. Against lobsterman, you would need sonic cannon or at least sonic rifles anyway.

#13 NKF

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 12:36 AM

I guess it's really comes down to preference more than anything.

Note that the gauss pistol is one of the least accurate weapons in this game, but it makes up for it with its speed. The sonic pistol doesn't have that speed, but it still a superior miniature of the Heavy Gauss with the fastest firing mode in the sonic family.

Both the gauss pistol and sonic pistol are best used in tandem with other items, such as each other, pulsers or a vibroblade/heavy thermic lance. The off-hand item usually makes up for whatever the pistol lacks.

Mind you, the one-handed ability of the sonic pistol isn't really that much of an advantage. Even when -20% penalty for double-weilding. the blasta-rifle and sonic continue to have better aimed accuracy than the pistol (88% and 92% vs. 85%) . With snaps however, the pistol is more accurate. Not by much though, there's only a 5% and 1% difference with the blasta-rifle and sonic cannon respectively. Still, the snapshot is what the sonic pistol works best with - it's an up close weapon. The aimed mode is just there to trump the blasta-rifle's snap mode. For long range sniping you're better off with the blasta-rifle and sonic cannon than the pistol.

With lobstermen, the amount of necessary strikes to down them look roughly like:

Sonic Cannon: 2 - 3
Sonic Blasta-Rifle: 4 - 5
Sonic Pisto: 5 - 6

Looking at that, I'd much rather attack them with the sonic cannon or a thermal shok launcher for ranged attacks, and poke them with a drill up close. The pistol and rifle are best reserved for everything else.

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Edited by NKF, 03 August 2007 - 12:38 AM.

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#14 The Duke of Vandals

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 04:57 AM

I was pondering this weekend... would the annoyance factor of the Very Long Missions (IE: ships) be mitigated if there was some sort of "laser-like" unlimitted ammo weapon? Not necessarily a gauss, maybe even a harpoon rifle. I was thinking on a weapon you used to swat off weak annoyances, reserving sonic and gauss clips for harder things (or things you want to make sure they are dead)

#15 NKF

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 05:23 AM

Not to be cheeky, but: Thermal tazers. :D

There the drills. They are a gift from above for those long drawn out 2-parters. No ammo requirement, the small spaces, fast attacks and the fact that an alien won't react unless you do something other than attack (after you've moved up to them), they're a real lifesaver. Not as easy to use as a laser rifle, but they are the next best thing in this game.

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Edited by NKF, 08 October 2007 - 05:24 AM.

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#16 The Duke of Vandals

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 06:13 AM

Oops, you?re right. Forgot about the drills. A bit slow coming (lobstrosities can show up before you get them), but able to kill pretty much anything.

I never found a situation where ditching the drill for the more T.U. re?uiring thermal lance was justified, through

#17 NKF

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 06:20 AM

You should be able to get the vibroblade quite quickly if you get an aquatoid terror site or base attack early into the campaign. You only need the corpse of a calcinite to unlock them, then a live Gillman for the heavy thermic lance.

The thermic and heavy thermic lances are there for when you need more damage to effectively punch through heavy armour, such as that found on hallucinoids and xarquids on superhuman difficulty. Lobstermen on the other hand fall prey easily to the vibroblade.

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#18 The Duke of Vandals

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 09:56 AM

Hmmm... that does make sense. I never played on high difficulty levels, and my techni?ue for dealing with those thingies was slipping a rookie into sighting range and sniping with one of my "serious" commandos.

#19 weirwood

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 03:58 AM

Are gauss pistols really that useful in the TFTD environment?

I do use sonic pistols a lot, in combination with grenades, tazers, vibro-blades and other off-hand equipment for medium to close distances & scouting. My squad has a couple of sonic cannons for sniper support & wall demolition, as well as a couple of gas cannons for illumination, indirect fire & to take down large critters. the sonic rifle has ok stats, but doesn't really excell in either of the tactical roles that the other two sonic weapons provide.

I do carry gauss rifles, and they can compete at close and medium ranges with the sonic pistol setup vs most enemies, and autofire has a quality all of its own.
But against hard targets, it's a struggle to do any damage, and the way UFO's armor system works, I imagine you'll do zero damage with gauss pistols much more often than with rifles.

I can see how they can be useful at extreme close ranges, but isn't a sonic pistol/vibro-blade combination superior for that?

#20 Zombie

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 07:45 AM

The main drawback to the Sonic line of weapons is the complete lack Auto-Shots. They may have superior power, but getting enough shots on the target is the goal. The Gauss line has auto-shots except for the heavy variety but have less power than the sonic equivalents. Then again, Gauss weapons have lower TU costs to use which is helpful.

According to the damage modifiers however, the Gauss damage type is inferior to Sonic in every possible category. So in the end it doesn't matter if you are putting more shots on the target if the target is going to be resistant to the damage being dealt. I'd recommend high explosives over Gauss as that type offers more damage potential. Still, against Gill Men and Aquatoids, Gauss is fine and offers some advantages early in the game. :)

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#21 NKF

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:54 PM

The Gauss Pistol doesn't have the same lasting value as the laser pistol did in UFO, but it can be useful. It's mainly there to provide a quickly mass-produceable weapon that's better than most of the standard starting weapons, like the jet harpoon or dart gun. It cannot replace the Gas Cannon though - that weapon is a class of its own.

The gauss pistol is only really useful against soft targets. This crosses out lobstermen entirely (does diddly squat thanks to the insane damage multipliers), and pretty much all of the large terror units (heavy (about 40 - 60ish) external armour negates a lot of damage).

It does work well against Aquatoids, Gill-men, Deep-Ones and Calcinites. They do work but not too well against Tentaculats (depending on the facing), Tasoth and Bio Drones.

When you're low on exotic ammo and don't have any drills on hand, it's a cheap way of wasting weaker enemies. The sonic pistol is a far superior all-rounded, but the ammo is hard to come by.

Like the old Laser Pistol, it makes a great training weapon when combined with MC (the dart gun unfortunately is better for reaction traning).

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Edited by NKF, 10 October 2007 - 10:56 PM.

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