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#1 scerwup

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 09:56 PM

Hi everyone, this is a beginner savegame, yeah I know... beginner, but I suck so here goes. I thought my game was going totally awesome. But, the evil aliens were sneaky, they were whittling my troops down to crap. I finally got psi, and some troops that are really good with it, and I have some good soldiers, but here's the problem. My 4 psi troops don't run around and fight, they sit in the Skyranger and MC stuff. I have about 3 or 4 psi sponges, to help keep my main soldiers alive. And several soldiers that run around to scout out good MC fodder. My problem is, I keep losing my mobile soldiers. The good ones are either wounded, and the other few are dead, due to mishaps. I have a base right near my own, it's a sectoid one. There are ufo's flying around all over the place, and I can't seem to catch even half of them, and I have interceptors in 3 bases, located (strategically, I think) in places where I should be able to cover the whole world. So, basically, I have an skyranger load full of psi soldiers, sponges, and at this time, 2 or 3 mobile soldiers, the problem is, the mobile soldiers have not good psi strength and keep getting screwed. I also have 10 new soldiers in psi training and I don't want to risk them, because I am trying to build up my forces for Cydonia, and don't even know my new soldiers psi stats yet. So, perhaps if someone has a little time, they could check out my savegame and give me suggestions on what they think I should do to get past this really rough patch. I don't want to have to abandon this game, it's the first game I've really got going ok, but the way it's going it looks like I may have to. So, if someone has a chance, grab it and play it a little, let me know how to proceed.

I don't know if it matters, but I am playing the GOLD edition of UFO. I also am using xcomutil for improved starting base, and always fight in daylight, and i think improved explosives and flying vehicles. I'm not sure on all the options I chose, because it's been a while.

Anyhow, if someone can take a look and help me out, I would really appreciate it.

Oh, one last thing, the way I name my soldiers is pretty self explanatory, but if anyone needs clarification, feel free to ask.

Thanks

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#2 NKF

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 10:43 PM

How are you commanding your spotters? Do you have them rush around and use up all their TUs to try and locate aliens to MC? If that is the case, then it has to stop.

TUs and Reactions are very highly connected. The more TUs you have, the greater your ability to prevent an alien from using reaction fire. Also the more TUs you have at the end of the turn, the better the odds of you being able to react against an alien during their turn.

Basically you want to expose as few troops with low TUs to the enemy as possible. To do this, take your time and move slowly through the battle. Don't have all your forward troops rush out ahead. Take a few steps ahead. If they spot an enemy, get them to either stop or pull back out and head of safety. Then get your MC troops to control that alien, or get a soldier that's further back behind to kneel and open fire on the alien. Since the alien can't see the shooter, the shooter is safe from retaliation.

If you manage to mind control an alien, use the alien as your spotter. Keep it within visual distance of your nearest troops and re-control them every turn. When you spot more aliens, get them as well and use them as extra troops.

As for your psi troops - get them using their psi amp as much as possible during the ground missions. Even if they fail, it counts towards their training. Also psi will imrpove your secondary stats as well (secondary stats are stats that have no associated action that'll improve them - health, stamina, strength to name a few)

This is bordering on a cheat, but you can use that alien base to your advantage to accelerate their training. Attack the base. Spot an alien, then get all your psi troops to use panic attacks on the alien. When done, escape from the base. Then proceed to immediately re-attack the base and repeat this process. With multiple carriers and a bit of troop swapping, you can quickly max your stats very easily.

For general combat training (and this is not a cheat since you have to risk your lives to capture all the loot), go after the supply ship that stops there. It doesn't have terror units, and I think the highest rank alien you'll find is a leader, so it won't be as difficult as attacking the base. Since only sectoid leaders have psi abilities, you won't have to suffer from the attacks as much.

---

For the Geoscape, the trick to shooting down UFOs with the interceptor is to send the interceptor when the UFO has arrived at its destination, not while it is still moving there.

See, most UFOs for general missions have three phases. The first is when they pop into existence, they'll move to their mission destination at high speed. Once they arrive at their destination, they'll slow down, scout for a bit and maybe land a few times. The last stage they'll fly off in some direction at high speed and vanish. You need an Avenger to catch them at top speed. When they stop at their destination, that's when you launch your nearest Interceptor to shoot them down.

To do this, you should use all your remaining base slots to as radar/interceptor bases. The more spread out you are, the better your chances that you'll have a ship closest to the UFO's mission zone.

If cost is an issue, stick to one interceptor per intercept base. Armed with a plasma beam, they can take down pretty much anything. If you need more firepower, get an interceptor from the nearest base to lend a hand. If the UFO wanders too far, send the first interceptor back and launch the one nearest the UFO.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 13 July 2008 - 10:51 PM.

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#3 scerwup

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 10:58 PM

My spotters were all wearing flying suits, I would start them out each getting on a wing of the SR, and one going wherever I felt needed more coverage. Then Two more would go on the ground and slowly expand outward. Leaving plenty of TU's. The flying guys follow them, because they have a better field of view, and can cover my guys on the ground. Anyway, when I spot an alien, I MC him and use him to spot, having my troops follow behind so I can see him again on my next turn, it usually turns into me spotting one alien, that alien spotting the next etc... etc.... I try to then get all the aliens I have control of, piled up in front of the ufo door. Then I take them all in with a troop following each group, and clear everything out. The battlescape strategy wasn't a big problem. But I just realized when I was playing last night, that all my troops that have enough psi strength to actually be spotters were either wounded or dead. Mostly wounded. So, now I am trying to use people with like 35 and 42 psi strength to spot, which doesn't work too well. Even though I have three people as sponges, with 12, 16, and 25 psi strength there to absorb attacks. They still take over my two captains, one has 42 and the other has 47 psi strength. My psi troops can pretty much mind control almost anything I have come across, with the exception of cyberdiscs for some reason. I haven't actually seen an ethereal yet, mutons just started showing up. As for the base, yes, I have been raiding the supply ships, but that's where my soldiers have been getting wounded, on the stupid sectoid supply ship runs. The last one I just did, I thought I had all the aliens, I was clearing out of the ufo, and out of an area I had already searched popped an alien and blasted my spotter. Unfortunately, he was one of my high psi strength dudes. He had 88 p strength, but I was having to use him because I was very much running out of regular troops with enough P strength to spot for me. I just don't know what to do, that's why I asked someone to perhaps look at my game, and offer any suggestions on how to recover.

Thanks for responding NKF.

#4 Zombie

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 01:00 AM

Well, I just ran through a Sectoid alien base mission with 0 casualties with your setup. It went rather smoothly, in fact. MC'd a couple Sectoids on the first turn, used one of them to shoot one of his buddies, then used another to spot and shoot a second. Ran some troops to the watchtower complex in subsequent turns and was able to MC another alien in the tower, while another guy spotted a Cyberdisc near the command center and was somehow able to MC it. Luckily, there were 3 Sectoids surrounding it. A couple shots to itself resulted in a big boom with 3 dead aliens. Moved more men near the command center, and spotted another Cyberdisc the next round. This time nobody was able to MC it, so I just shot it (which opened up a wall in the command center). Next round, a soldier spotted an alien coming out of the command center's outer doors which was killed immediately. After that, I sent 2 guys near to the opening in the wall. One guy spotted another Cyberdisc loitering with a Sectoid buddy. Shot the Cyberdisc which killed the alien. Another sectoid was spotted the next turn coming down the hallway which was killed. During the aliens turn one of my guys was MC'd. Now I sent 2 guys with primed alien grenades down the hall to the inner entrance of the command center. A guy went through the door and was met by 2 sectoids: one without a blaster launcher (it panicked) and another one with a plasma rifle. Since it was the bigger threat, it got shot. The guy still had enouth TU to toss the grenade at the other alien. Mission over. :)

So you have plenty of guns on your side.

The issue here is mind controlling. Use it sparingly on missions with rookies. Overreliance on MC is a dangerous trap. You need to kill more aliens, not MC them. See, MC does not lower the morale of the resulting alien force. Killing does. The more aliens you kill, and the faster you do it, the better. If that requires your psi soldiers to spot and to help shoot, so be it. Now, once your squad is trained better (with a heavy background in Psi), then you can use it without worries. ;)

Nothing says you have to run missions against Sectoids either. If you can't handle the MC attacks, don't visit the sites with the higher ranking aliens. Ignore them and go after the ships with the easy aliens. Again, once you train some more troops, send them out against the Sectoids. It wouldn't hurt to equip some of them with Blaster Launchers in the meantime to do some surgical strikes when necessary. It all helps. :P

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Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#5 scerwup

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 02:15 AM

Thanks zombie, I will try the base. I doubt I will have the same success that you did, but I can probably do alright. Did you use my guys with the low psi strength as sponges, or did you just use them to run around and kill things. That seems to be my main problem. Getting killed by my own troops that get MC or go berserk.

I would love to equip some blaster launchers, but, I haven't captured one to research yet, so, it's not an alternative at the moment. I also need a commander, that's why I was kind of saving the base for when I had some troops stronger in psi, then I could maybe get a commander and blaster launcher all in one fell swoop.

But, thank you for looking at my game for me, I will press on, hopefully with good results.

Thanks!!!

#6 scerwup

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:14 AM

Ok, I killed that nasty sectoid base. The weird thing is, they kept panicking my guy with 42 psi strength, when my guy with 15 and one with 24 and 34 were closer to them. Anyway, I lost one guy to friendly fire... sigh, dont ask. I was really hoping to capture a commander, but as soon as I walked into the room right below them, they BB'd themselves all to heck, and the command tables with them. Oh, well, I have a BB laucher to research now, and a s***load of BB's to go with them. Thanks for the advice zombie, hehe you gave me the confidence to go try it out, and it wasn't so bad after all.

#7 Zombie

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 10:11 AM

Did you use my guys with the low psi strength as sponges, or did you just use them to run around and kill things. That seems to be my main problem. Getting killed by my own troops that get MC or go berserk.

I really never used them for their intended purpose of sitting around hoping to get MC'd. The low psi guys went out in the field along with the other troops and engaged the enemy by whatever means possible. Time is not on your side when there are psi-aliens around... they give you a short grace period, but will eventually start to MC your troops. During this grace period, there is no real need for sponges so I spread them out and had them help with the killing. The more killing you get done in this time, the greater the chance that one of the remaining aliens will panic. If it is one with psi powers, that's what I'm after since they will be too busy running around scared rather than controlling the troops. Also, if the commander panics, all you have to do is run up to him and poke him with a stun rod a couple of times. :D

If you don't have a certain weapon researched yet, don't be afraid to MC an alien and make it use it's weapon against the other aliens. Blaster Launchers are one of these, but the Small Launcher is also great: just send the alien into the command center and have it shoot at the ceiling where the commander normally resides. A couple stun bombs to the ceiling is all you need to bag that commander. ;)

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#8 scerwup

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 02:12 PM

LOL, yeah, I used a MC alien to go in the room underneath the commanders. My intention was to make sure the room was clear. My trooper with the small launcher was right outside the door, when I saw the room was clear I intended to go in and carpet small bomb the floor, in hopes of getting my commander. But, noooooooo, as soon as I walked my little ugly MC'd buddy into the bottom room, one of the aliens in the command center reaction fired a BB, haha that was funny. Explosions for like 10 seconds, I'm sure it would have been much longer if I was playing on a computer that wasn't so fast. Anyway, it was pretty amusing, but sad, because I lost the commander. Oh well, I have BB launcher now. I'll just grab a battleship, make a hole in the top, and stun bomb one from there. Hopefully.

Here's what I did on the base mission. I took my psi weak troops and gave them all medikits and nothing else. Then I had them on point. LOL, I used one sponge guy with 2 fighting troops. Sponge goes forward and scouts, armed guys follow about 7-12 spaces behind him to shoot things. I left one high psi troop in the starting area to MC things that I needed MC'd. It worked pretty well. Except close to the end, when I was cleaning up the 3 aliens I had MC'd. I was using them to shoot each other, but, boy are they horrible shots, one of them managed to kill one of my guys that wasn't even close, and didn't even kill the alien. My guys were ok, but MY morale went down. Hehe.

I don't really try to rely on psi a whole lot, but it is handy for making nice little expendable scouts to go into dangerous places. I have read all the stuff on here, and I understand that some people prefer not even to use it, because it's almost like cheating or it makes the game too easy. Well, I almost fell for that. Until I realized that, at least for me, it only made the game a little easier. I don't feel bad for using it, because I paid for it with blood and the aliens make good use of it on me. I went on a terror mission with every intention of capturing a sectoid leader. I took 8 guys, armed with only stun rods, and stunned every alien in the mission. I lost 6 of those guys, 2 captains, a commander, 2 sergeants, and a squaddie. But I got my leader and my psi.

#9 stewart

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:16 PM

Oh don't be too scared of alien MC. At the end of the day it means you dont have reaction fire as you conclude every turn by stop-drop-and-kneal. It's a pain not having reaction fire but not the end of the world.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#10 NKF

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:24 PM

If you've got some decent armour, you could go so far as arm your sponges with standard pistols and rifles. They do little against your own armour, but will easily kill sectoids. Cyberdiscs obviously need heavier firepower, but at least you won't have to worry about getting killed by your own bullets.

Now, if everyone has power armour or better, you can go so far as to arm the autocannon with HE shells. Although you can get hurt with point blank hits (very slightly), the area effect damage does nothing.

The stun rod is of course a very popular psi-sponge tool - since the AI doesn't know how to use it, but it can pack a punch against your common garden variety of sectoid.

For the long run, have you got a psi screening setup going on? It's a good way to fill your 'go-to-cydonia' club with high level psi strength troops. Just build two or three labs in a remote base and a living quarters or two. Hire twice as many troops as the number of spaces in the labs. Screen one batch of troops for one month, then when their stats are revealed, swap them with fresh troops and then sack or transfer the screened troops as necessary. Repeat until you have all the psi-numb troops that you need.

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#11 scerwup

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 08:23 PM

Hmmm, I do have a sort of screening method going on. I just have 2 labs in my main base, with fresh soldiers sitting in them, being screened. Also, my main psi forces are in them as well, just adding that extra little bit of training each month. I think I will try out the extra psi base method, as well as the interceptor/detection base strategy that you mentioned earlier. Since, I am sitting on around 20 million dollars, and more comes in every time I do a mission, plus whatever I get at the end of each month. So, I'll try it out, thanks for the advice.