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Using tanks for base raids


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#1 Sherlock Holmes

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:58 AM

I tried a new tactic last night on a snakeman base: using three (terrestrial) tanks and just two token soliders. The idea was that they'd be immune to chryssalids, and if it worked, might be a good tactic to use against sectoid and ethereal bases too. I am playing Superhuman.

It sort of worked: they killed four or five snakemen and two chryssalids and took a couple of plasma hits with no damage, along with one alien grenade. I had all three working together, in a scattered but supporting group, just like I'd do with troopers. But, two of the tanks eventually went down to a single plasma shot each: presumably those shots rolled a high damage score. And the third got bit three times by a chryssalid. Since I had no one else nearby, I couldn't see what happened to it, but the map just went dark (those are some massively powerful, sharp, jaws if it can bite through an M1A1's armor!). I would think that it just got killed...a zombie tank would be pretty weird.

Has anyone else tried tanks for this sort of thing? Does it work better once you get the hover tanks?

Edited by Sherlock Holmes, 16 February 2012 - 11:02 AM.


#2 NKF

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:42 PM

Unless you've been using XComutil's tank stats, the hovertanks would certainly be a big improvement over their oldey time tracked counterparts. I suggest keeping some laser tanks around too - they're a lot more expendable and are good Sectopod-busters.

In TFTD, just one badly damaged Sonic Displacer can just about ace an entire mission on its own, so imagine what a squad of them can do. Only problem is clearing out the insides of enemy subs and other buildings.

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#3 Eightball Maniac

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:57 AM

Tanks working in teams can be a formidable force. A wide open plain leaves them vulnerable to getting sniped, but an urban environment or base works in their favor. I generally deploy laser tanks for such a role, sometimes with a rocket tank for a different type of damage and for detonating groups of hostiles. Save some TUs for reaction fire with the laser tanks, too. Critical when Chryssalids charge in from the shadows to cleave the tanks.

I don't really use hovertanks much, but the ability to hover out of reach of melee units is moderately useful. The downside is that they become easy snipe targets and are more difficult to replace.

It's a shame that you couldn't take any vehicles along on tactical missions in Apocalypse. Thoughts of a Stormdog laying down covering fire while the troops advanced or a Griffon AFV leveling a building full of hostiles makes me smile.

#4 yarrow

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

tanks are masters of open terrain, not confined places
they are best used as scouts, especially hovering hovertanks are 'master-spotters' ^_^
tanks have terrible reactions, so ( if possible ) they shouldn't be used in this role
rocket tank is also useful for removing obstacles

to me, tanks have only one, but REALLY BIG disadvantage ... namely psi attacks
http://ufopaedia.org...apons_Platforms
Advantages/Disadvantages section should be of special interest

hovertank ability to hover does help, in the case when you can 'climb' to place
where aliens cannot get to you with melee attacks
( why using expensive hovertank, if you don't use its hover ability? )

another big problem in ufo is not the tanks .... but ... the heavy plasmas
it is the main alien weapon, and they are so, so, so ... :) ... so powerful
that they have the potential to destroy everything with just one shot!!
( every tank and every soldier, even the most heavily armored )
cryssalids have no much problems chewing your tanks too

as NKF written earlier
in terror sitiuation is different, displacers are MUCH more resistant
they can succesfuly resist multiple tentaculat(s) attacks, even for few turns!
( my favourite tank bait tactics )

returning to ufo ^_^
I use tanks for base defence mainly, and sporadically for alien base attacks
for defence mainly 4x laser tanks per base, they are expendable and have good firepower
the disadvantage is general store space consumption which is big

for attacks 1 hovertank + 10 soldiers per skyranger, of course 2 tanks if avenger is used
cause of their increased movement ( 100 TUnits, better scouts )
to kill sectopods, I bring few heavy lasers instead
( and all of this assumes no psi troopers onboard )

if you don't mind exploiting bugs
http://ufopaedia.org...vator_Shielding
you can use tanks to blockade 2x2 access lifts in alien bases ( one tank uses less time units than 4 soldiers )

point is, much depends on your style of play ( and craft used )
if you prefer 1 tank and rest soldiers ( it is considered standard )
or only soldiers, or 2 tanks and rest soldiers, etc
http://ufopaedia.org...ion_and_Tactics


yarrow
ps.
my style of play is, to get psi troopers, as fast as I can
and mind control aliens :D :D :D

#5 NKF

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:13 PM

And if you don't mind exploiting yet another exploit: Fusion Hovertanks for base defense. Ammo? What ammo?

An all-tank (with 2 support humans) squad does sound interesting. Definitely going to be limited with the Skyranger, but I guess a bit more flexible with the Avenger.

In the case of the Skyranger, with only 3 tanks to work with, you'd have to be very careful with what sort of tanks to take along early on. An all rocket-tank team vs. any alien species with a tough terror unit for example is going to see the tanks running around with no ammo fast. Whereas an all-cannon team is not going to be very effective against mobs (or hit much, for that matter).

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 10 February 2012 - 09:15 PM.

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#6 Sherlock Holmes

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:49 PM

And if you don't mind exploiting yet another exploit: Fusion Hovertanks for base defense. Ammo? What ammo?

An all-tank (with 2 support humans) squad does sound interesting. Definitely going to be limited with the Skyranger, but I guess a bit more flexible with the Avenger.

In the case of the Skyranger, with only 3 tanks to work with, you'd have to be very careful with what sort of tanks to take along early on. An all rocket-tank team vs. any alien species with a tough terror unit for example is going to see the tanks running around with no ammo fast. Whereas an all-cannon team is not going to be very effective against mobs (or hit much, for that matter).

- NKF


It was fun to experiment with, and when I have more money to throw away I may experiment with it again, maybe with an Avenger. Even one tank supporting a human squad hasn't been very successful for me: the tank tends to get into a firefight while other troopers are deploying and get itself blown up (yarrow's point about a single heavy plasma shot is very true!). True, that did distract the aliens from my soldiers but now I'm essentially down four soldiers. Even if the tank survives the field sweep, it doesn't fit inside most UFOs and so the kick-down-the-door team is short on troopers, especially if a couple bit the dust during the sweep.

A couple of rocket tanks or blaster tanks on an Avenger might be interesting: put them in the back line and use them for mobile artillery, with enough troopers to have a skirmish line.

Mostly I find tanks to be useful for base defense, where there is no trade-off with fewer soldiers, they have unlimited ammo, and---as always---they are expendable.

#7 yarrow

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:34 AM

to avoid ( not completely of course ) those deadly reaction shots
move out of skyranger only after very first turn ( skip first turn )

soldier right after the tank can also drop smoke grenade inside skyranger
it helps most of the time, but don't expect miracles HPlasmas are one-shot killers anyway

2 tanks + 6 soldiers works well for terror missions => lot of open terrain
of course ( in ufo ) I still prefer soldiers only team

yarrow

Edited by yarrow, 14 February 2012 - 05:44 AM.


#8 NKF

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:07 AM

Inspired by this I thought I'd give it a go. Not exactly base defense/base assault, but rather a normal game with lots of tanks. Tried it on a Veteran game just to be realistic about it and for quick play. Generally two support guys, two tanks (cannon and rocket). The tanks did most of the shooting. Managed to get them to clear two large scouts and one medium before they got creamed on a terror site vs. Sectoids and Cyberdiscs, with lots of aliens starting around the Skyranger.

It was brief, but quite entertaining with both tank types surprising me a few times. For a change I also had a soldier out spotting for tanks rather than the other way around so that they could use aimed shots.

That last terror mission though was flubbed because one guy was put of action by mind control (luckily his attacks weren't a threat) and mainly because of the Cyberdiscs. Managed to take one of them down and four sectoids before the last tank was wiped out by a sectoid or cyberdisc that managed to sneak up behind it.

Anyhow, it was a refreshingly fun experiment.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 16 February 2012 - 03:08 AM.

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#9 Sherlock Holmes

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

Inspired by this I thought I'd give it a go. Not exactly base defense/base assault, but rather a normal game with lots of tanks. Tried it on a Veteran game just to be realistic about it and for quick play. Generally two support guys, two tanks (cannon and rocket). The tanks did most of the shooting. Managed to get them to clear two large scouts and one medium before they got creamed on a terror site vs. Sectoids and Cyberdiscs, with lots of aliens starting around the Skyranger.

It was brief, but quite entertaining with both tank types surprising me a few times. For a change I also had a soldier out spotting for tanks rather than the other way around so that they could use aimed shots.

That last terror mission though was flubbed because one guy was put of action by mind control (luckily his attacks weren't a threat) and mainly because of the Cyberdiscs. Managed to take one of them down and four sectoids before the last tank was wiped out by a sectoid or cyberdisc that managed to sneak up behind it.

Anyhow, it was a refreshingly fun experiment.

- NKF


Glad to be of inspiration! :LOL: Why only two tanks, if you had room for one more?

I did this last night also, because I was going after an Ethereal small scout and needed to capture one (on Superhuman). Loaded up the Skyranger with six rookies (didn't want to risk any good soldiers) with stun rods and two tanks: laser and rocket.

Only two Ethereals survived the crash, and my two tanks spent a good three turns trying to shoot the one in the field. I found rocket tanks aren't very useful if you're using them as your primary weapons, because their accuracy is terrible and there may not be a barn wall behind the alien to "catch" the missed rocket. I think shooting tanks (cannon, laser, plasma) will work much better. On the other hand, they kept the field Ethereal busy shooting so I never lost more than one soldier to mind control.

Biggest problem with using lots of tanks is that losing one is a proportionally larger loss than even three or four soldiers getting killed. And heavy plasma is hard to stop, even for a tank's armor (I'd swear they are blow-up tanks, the way they "pop" after just one hit!). But I think tanks is quite a viable tactic if you're going up against Ethereals or chryssalids, if you can afford the likely loss of some or all of the tanks.

#10 NKF

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:40 PM

Glad to be of inspiration! :LOL: Why only two tanks, if you had room for one more?


Well, two on average I should have said.

First mission I only had the rocket tank while the cannon tank was in transit.

Second mission was two. Cannon tank was half dead through most of it.

Third mission was two again with the third tank in transit.

On the last mission, the third tank died instantly, but the other two managed to hang on long enough.

I was being a bit conservative at first to make sure I didn't use up all my cash too quickly so that I could make other necessary purchases. Ended up buying them in phases. Money wasn't really that big an issue, as it turned out in the end. It helps I wasn't having to hire many soldiers or arm them with much.


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#11 Sherlock Holmes

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

I finally had time to get back to this game (child #3 was born a month after I started this topic) over the holiday, and try out base-raiding with hover tanks. They work much better, usually able to absorb a couple of hits. I'm using two plasma tanks and a launcher tank: the plasma tanks scount around and shoot the ethereals until they find the command center, then the launcher blows it up.

Note that the fusion balls fired by the tank are not quite as powerful as the shoulder-fired blaster bombs: they can't punch through reinforced walls such as the inner wall of the command center. The tank carries 8 balls: you'll need one to open the outside wall, one to go through the door, and you should plan on one per control table (but you may need less). So be careful not to waste ammo on the way to the command center.

Using a tank team is a relatively expensive way to raid a base: I lose one tank on average, so you have to keep building replacement tanks, which costs both money and engineer-hours (which is time they can't build something else). On the other hand, your soldiers aren't running around shooting each other. I send two soldiers along in power suits, armed with laser pistols, proxy mines, and stun rods. They sit in a corner of the green room and wait for the tanks to come back. I may send some hi-X with them, if I can figure out whether the aliens can make them throw it, just in case the launcher tanks run out of ammo. Though the plasma guns don't have much trouble blasting apart the tables.