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#1 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:29 AM

Let's face it - we smash the aliens, not to mention those who collaborate with them. But here's the interesting question: if you had the alien's resources (and lack of economic constraints), how would you beat the XCOM organization as it's played by a good XCOM3 player?

As we all know, XCOM has a 100-agent, 170-total-personnel cap. It's limited to 8 bases, too. Assuming that XCOM3 went late-game, where XCOM had disruptor armor, shields galore, annihilators and retaliators, the whole thing, how would you invade Earth and take it over in spite of a really good XCOM3 organization trying to stop you?

I think this is a great way to examine the things we take for granted in the game, and to question our assumptions and tactics.

For example, instead of sending a few ships every week, before the XCOM org gets up a major inter-dimensional fleet, why not send 20 ships through to wipe out an XCOM base? Save up for 5 weeks and just suicide those 20 ships on an XCOM base - wipe it out forever. Could XCOM resist this tactic? As for base raids, how about loading up 20 skeletoids or arthropods with shields and dimension missiles. Storm right through the security stations, get loose into the base, storm XCOM agents with massive missiles? Get a few each time. Could XCOM keep up with such losses of veteran agents?

And what about the cult? They seem to have unlimited recruits and money to buy basic weapons. How could the cult put a real dent in a late-game XCOM organization? (Again, played by someone good like Sumo, Sorrow, NKF, or BurnThemAll, for example)

#2 Sorrow

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 04:06 AM

Let's face it - we smash the aliens, not to mention those who collaborate with them. But here's the interesting question: if you had the alien's resources (and lack of economic constraints), how would you beat the XCOM organization as it's played by a good XCOM3 player?

It would be difficult without locating the X-Com bases first. I suspect that our world is as alien to aliens as their to us, so it could take a lot of time.

As we all know, XCOM has a 100-agent, 170-total-personnel cap. It's limited to 8 bases, too. Assuming that XCOM3 went late-game, where XCOM had disruptor armor, shields galore, annihilators and retaliators, the whole thing, how would you invade Earth and take it over in spite of a really good XCOM3 organization trying to stop you?

I would prepare a big battlefleet before starting the campaing. After locating the source of resistance I would send it to destroy X-Com ^_^ . Also, I would attack single enemy crafts with groups.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I think this is a great way to examine the things we take for granted in the game, and to question our assumptions and tactics.

Good idea :) .

And what about the cult? They seem to have unlimited recruits and money to buy basic weapons. How could the cult put a real dent in a late-game XCOM organization?

It's a game bug. They have very limited resources (even less than X-Com) and are very easy to bankrupt. The problem is that someone forgot to implement bankrupcy of organisations and organisations running out of soldiers/weapons/craft.
The only effect of them being on minus is that they stop doing raids and flying craft attack.
So, rather than putting a real dent on late-game X-Com, they would get obliterated in the first day of X-Com activity in Megacity.

Edited by Sorrow, 21 May 2007 - 04:08 AM.


#3 Vin

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 09:19 AM

I can't really speak for apocalypse, but the I think the biggest flaw with the aliens is that they have to focus. Are they openly attacking(raids/terror missions), or are they secretly subverting our society? If they'd stayed quiet, X-Com would never have been formed. If they'd gone all-out with battleships and destroying cities with ethereals and mutons right from the get-go, X-Com wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes, much less 5 missions.

But instead they mixed the tactics, being aggressive enough to make their presence generally known to the people who could do something about it, but staying quiet from the general masses. Way to do exactly what the human governments want, guys. That's using those gene-tweaked psionic brains! I told you not to breath the blast-bomb fumes...

#4 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 10:28 PM

And what about the cult? They seem to have unlimited recruits and money to buy basic weapons. How could the cult put a real dent in a late-game XCOM organization? (Again, played by someone good like Sumo, Sorrow, NKF, or BurnThemAll, for example)

YAY IM IN THAT LIST! LOL

But Yeah, the tactic I'd probably use would be, Duct tape teleporters onto the multiworms, and have Anthropods ride them up to the agents, Teleport style.
Then the anthropod would unload his disruptor gun onto the multiworms head and throw down all 6 of his brain sucker pods, then run away :D

I figure I'd be totally screwed if the anthropods rode Multiworms, Wouldnt YOU be? XD

And come ot think of it, Id probably steal the human technology at some points, like the laser snipers..
Those would be a heck Yes.

Never been a huge fan of the vehical combat, but I suppose Id use a crapload of scout ships rather than a couple of assault ships anyday.. ^^'

More shots, more damage to the city, and enemy craft of course.


OH YEAH! Id take over the Government and Megapol first.
Need to eliminate the greatest allies.. But Id be nice and let Transteller stay human <3.
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#5 glen_es

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:00 PM

I figure I'd be totally screwed if the anthropods rode Multiworms, Wouldnt YOU be? XD

Ha! X-com meets Dune.

A straight foroward sort of answer to the question would get the aliens doing the same things as x-com. Sell alien crap to raise money, bribe your way to ally with everybody, then its Megaprimus + aliens vs. X-com.

Having bribed everyone to be your ally no need to infiltrate corporations, so as others said, I'd concentrate all ufo infiltrations on x-com bases. Once bombers are on stream send waves of them (forget the friggin scout ships) on x-com base bombing missions. Late game, teleport the bombers right over the x-com bases, bombs away.

The aliens need to beef up their bio research on humans, and physics research on andriods. Take prisoners then research, heck the cultists might volunteer for research. Human-Toxin-C, and Human gas canisters would even things out a bit, one or two shot kills through shields on x-com agents. Need some kind of anti-Android weapon seeing that they're immune to psi-attacks and brain sucking.

Should get the cult to infiltrate x-com. Sabotage bases and craft, assassinate scientists and x-com officers. That would make for fun missions, not knowing if some of your troops are going to shoot you in the back.

#6 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:13 PM

I figure I'd be totally screwed if the anthropods rode Multiworms, Wouldnt YOU be? XD

Ha! X-com meets Dune.

A straight foroward sort of answer to the question would get the aliens doing the same things as x-com. Sell alien crap to raise money, bribe your way to ally with everybody, then its Megaprimus + aliens vs. X-com.

Having bribed everyone to be your ally no need to infiltrate corporations, so as others said, I'd concentrate all ufo infiltrations on x-com bases. Once bombers are on stream send waves of them (forget the friggin scout ships) on x-com base bombing missions. Late game, teleport the bombers right over the x-com bases, bombs away.

The aliens need to beef up their bio research on humans, and physics research on andriods. Take prisoners then research, heck the cultists might volunteer for research. Human-Toxin-C, and Human gas canisters would even things out a bit, one or two shot kills through shields on x-com agents. Need some kind of anti-Android weapon seeing that they're immune to psi-attacks and brain sucking.

Should get the cult to infiltrate x-com. Sabotage bases and craft, assassinate scientists and x-com officers. That would make for fun missions, not knowing if some of your troops are going to shoot you in the back.


Wow - some really scary ideas there. Imagine a mission where one of your agents assassinates your commander or scientists: "Base attack: an XCOM agent has been found to be a cult infiltrator. Find him and neutralize him in your base before he kills any staff. The computer would take over the agent and use all his attributes/equipment. And security stations might not work against him.

I think "Human Toxin C" and AHG are good ideas, too. I think stun gas would even work for the aliens.

The only problem with these awesome ideas is that it would require re-programming the game. I'm totally interested in more of these ideas, and also just how the aliens could beat us with what the game gives them. Still, Glen, I'd love to hear more of these ideas of yours!

#7 glen_es

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:33 AM

<snip> how would you beat the XCOM organization as it's played by a good XCOM3 player?


Here?s some rambling ideas on tactics, not grand strategy. You probably thought of most of this, too. Tactically, the first thing that stops is the suicide squad approach for on the ground gunfights. No more sending the aliens wandering around looking to get shot. At ufo crash sites, nobody leaves the ufo. Anthropods and skeletoids with devastators tunnel into walls and ceilings. If an x-com agent bravely walks in the front door, it's raining vortex mines, entropy missiles, and dimension missiles on the poor sap from tunneled positions.

On battleships and motherships, megaspawns tunnel into walls or the floor and wait. How would you like to ferret out 3 megaspawns from an L shaped tunnel in the floor? Have fun x-com going around the last corner.

At infiltrations in corporation buildings, no more wandering around. Either wait for x-com to come to your fortified position, or only move under cover in groups to have mass fire and guard flanks. Poppers don't run across open ground, they sit and wait undercover for x-com to stumble across them, like a boomeroid. Once you have shields, all skeletoids and anthropods carry 2 shields, not 1 (can?t remember if they have enough carrying capacity, but say they do). Once you have cloaking devices, all skeletoids and anthropods are cloaked. The aliens need to better protect their best troops, just like we do for x-com. If not carrying a cloaking device, then twin devastator cannons or twin entropy missile launchers. Need to ramp up the aliens firepower like we do for our agents. If the aliens could produce massive quantities of dimension missiles, you could create tunnels full of dimension missiles manned by several skeletoids with launchers. That would be a tough position to storm.

Once the alien troops get teleporters, after reading your super commando thread, you could make the aliens a LOT tougher in the battlescape. With an experienced player commanding the aliens, as soon as an x-com trooper is sighted, several aliens right behind him each with dual entropy missile launchers. Intelligently used teleporters in a base attack would be a nightmare for x-com.

A co-ordinated base attack by the Cult and the aliens would fun for x-com, especially if the cult had teleporters, too.

This is changing the game programming, but how about all the temples together launch a massive attack on an x-com base? 40 or 50 cultists not 10 or 12?

I guess you?d have to have a 50-50 agreement on mega-equipping troops, no more x-com overloading 30 agents and then the game producing unarmed skeletoids and anthropods. With no agreement, to defend the alien dimension, you?d want to load up all skeletoids and anthropods with as much crap as possible, and then have x-com agents emerge with no weapons. LOL


Commanding the fleet of ufos, just like we do with x-com the aliens need to lower their losses in ships. If dumping aliens in a building, pick the nearest building near a dimension gate, deposit aliens, then skedaddle before you lose your transports. No more flying across Megaprimus. Don't ever target a hoverbike, those things are too hard to hit, shoot at bigger x-com craft you can nail.

Do the aliens get to control where the dimension gates are located? If so, have all 3 dimension gates right over an x-com base. The ufos immediately bomb the base or several transporters deposit troops on the base for a massive base raid.

This is changing the game programming, the aliens have to stop production of spitters and mulitworms, and ramp up production of skeletoids and megaspawns. Cram a dozen megaspawns into a battleship. No more Noah's ark, fill the ufos with only skeletoids and megaspawns. X-com gets to plan its hiring, why not the aliens?

Edited by glen_es, 30 May 2007 - 11:35 AM.


#8 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:04 PM

..Hehe.. Poppers being dropped by Skelitoids ^^'

heck, I wouldnt even use my troops for the main part, The aliens seem to had WMD's!
Just nuke the damn place <3.
Bombers and more bombers.
heck, after I nuke the place Id just send out carrier pods filled with brainsuckers, spray the entire city with pods, so that whenever a lone surviver comes out, he will be panicked and brain sucked.

Just imagine the fear of all those civvy's? Red icons all over...
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Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#9 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:30 PM

<snip> how would you beat the XCOM organization as it's played by a good XCOM3 player?


Here?s some rambling ideas on tactics, not grand strategy. You probably thought of most of this, too. Tactically, the first thing that stops is the suicide squad approach for on the ground gunfights. No more sending the aliens wandering around looking to get shot. At ufo crash sites, nobody leaves the ufo. Anthropods and skeletoids with devastators tunnel into walls and ceilings. If an x-com agent bravely walks in the front door, it's raining vortex mines, entropy missiles, and dimension missiles on the poor sap from tunneled positions.

On battleships and motherships, megaspawns tunnel into walls or the floor and wait. How would you like to ferret out 3 megaspawns from an L shaped tunnel in the floor? Have fun x-com going around the last corner.

At infiltrations in corporation buildings, no more wandering around. Either wait for x-com to come to your fortified position, or only move under cover in groups to have mass fire and guard flanks. Poppers don't run across open ground, they sit and wait undercover for x-com to stumble across them, like a boomeroid. Once you have shields, all skeletoids and anthropods carry 2 shields, not 1 (can?t remember if they have enough carrying capacity, but say they do). Once you have cloaking devices, all skeletoids and anthropods are cloaked. The aliens need to better protect their best troops, just like we do for x-com. If not carrying a cloaking device, then twin devastator cannons or twin entropy missile launchers. Need to ramp up the aliens firepower like we do for our agents. If the aliens could produce massive quantities of dimension missiles, you could create tunnels full of dimension missiles manned by several skeletoids with launchers. That would be a tough position to storm.

Once the alien troops get teleporters, after reading your super commando thread, you could make the aliens a LOT tougher in the battlescape. With an experienced player commanding the aliens, as soon as an x-com trooper is sighted, several aliens right behind him each with dual entropy missile launchers. Intelligently used teleporters in a base attack would be a nightmare for x-com.

A co-ordinated base attack by the Cult and the aliens would fun for x-com, especially if the cult had teleporters, too.

This is changing the game programming, but how about all the temples together launch a massive attack on an x-com base? 40 or 50 cultists not 10 or 12?

I guess you?d have to have a 50-50 agreement on mega-equipping troops, no more x-com overloading 30 agents and then the game producing unarmed skeletoids and anthropods. With no agreement, to defend the alien dimension, you?d want to load up all skeletoids and anthropods with as much crap as possible, and then have x-com agents emerge with no weapons. LOL


Commanding the fleet of ufos, just like we do with x-com the aliens need to lower their losses in ships. If dumping aliens in a building, pick the nearest building near a dimension gate, deposit aliens, then skedaddle before you lose your transports. No more flying across Megaprimus. Don't ever target a hoverbike, those things are too hard to hit, shoot at bigger x-com craft you can nail.

Do the aliens get to control where the dimension gates are located? If so, have all 3 dimension gates right over an x-com base. The ufos immediately bomb the base or several transporters deposit troops on the base for a massive base raid.

This is changing the game programming, the aliens have to stop production of spitters and mulitworms, and ramp up production of skeletoids and megaspawns. Cram a dozen megaspawns into a battleship. No more Noah's ark, fill the ufos with only skeletoids and megaspawns. X-com gets to plan its hiring, why not the aliens?


Great response! I agree that the aliens could really save up and concentrate fierce attacks on XCOM, or make quickie hit-and-runs without touring half the city first. Early in the game, I think flanking and rushing agents would even be sufficient to keep veteran XCOM agents from developing. The AI already knows where your agents are at all times (they follow you when you move) - so the AI should pick one agent at a time, assemble forces, and take him/her out. I think it would even be plausible for the AI to target the highest-ranking agent: snipers do this in the real world.

I also really like your auggestion that aliens camp inside their vessel and defend their ship vigorously like the rebels do in the beginning of the first Star Wars film. Having the aliens lying in ambush would make breaching the door very very costly, indeed. I think lots and lots of base attacks, earlier on, would be acceptable at higher skill levels, too.

Of course, if WE'RE the AI, things are going to be way worse for XCOM. I myself would use teams of skeletoid teleport-commandos to penetrate deep into XCOM bases and kill staff. Each skeletoid with 4 teleporters, a shield, a devestator and a voxtex mine would be a very painful incursion. Before teleporters come in, there's the reality that the aliens should deploy and win the firefight in missions: take arcs of fire, wait to make contact, concentrate fire, move as necessary, ambush when possible, and annihilate. As you say, brainsuckers and poppers should hide around corners and ambush (I mean, let's face it - we all guard long hallways, create choke-points, and wipe out attackers through localized superior firepower). Megaspawns should be unleashed in more missions. They should rush XCOM squads, dishing out max firepower and spotting for support fire units, or sit back and fire volleys of dimension missiles while a cloaked skeletoid who never reveals its position by shooting spots XCOM units. Definitely, the aliens should hit shopping malls often, which offer lots of high sniper positions for aliens and too many doors and shops to control. Hit XCOM from up high and out of ambush spots, concentrating on 1 agent or one squad. Annihilate them, preferably if they're veterans. Set XCOM back every single mission. Kill vets and panic rookies.

Massive base raids are also an excellent idea - drop in 4 ships and use all four to land a force at the XCOM base. Hit it with 80 aliens. Rush them past security stations and concentrate on taking out XCOM agents, which tend to be fanned out across the defensive line. Create a breach and flood through. Then it would be total chaos, with individual agents or small teams overpowered in hallway-to-hallway combat by large groups of fearless and suicidal aliens. Deliberately get a few aliens to the civilian staff and wipe them out, forcing agents to try to save them. Rush arthropods and skeletoids up to agents and, when they are about to die, have them drop all their brainsucker pods at the agents' feet. Could 2 agents fight off 16 brainsuckers at point-blank range?

Drop Overspawns on XCOM bases and instruct them to attack the base only! Concentrate ALL UFO fire on one XCOM ship at a time. Yes, Glen, create dimension gates right over bases!

Leave the spitters and multiworms at home. Employ psi-morphs early and ruthlessly. Keep arths and skels in tight squads and expect them to die. Do scores of hit-and-run infiltrations per week, and spread them out fast.

I'm interested to see what the senior members here will suggest when they weigh in!

#10 NKF

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 12:45 AM

I would certainly leave the spitters at home. They're just an annoyance. The multiworms on the other hand are fairly hardy customers. Especially early on, and can still be quite nasty later on if you're not careful. Their rapid fire acid spit is not to be scoffed at even if you've got a couple of shields on hand.

What's they're lacking however are numbers. Even later on, if lone agents get caught by several of these at once, they can deal quite a lashing. Now imagine them in the hundeds. Sure one or two might pop, but the smaller and faster hyperworm can easily do a lot of damage if not kept in check.

For the tool weilding aliens, I'd arm them with more entropy launchers and a heap of entropy pods. Nothing like watching X-Com blow themselves up with their own ammunition! In my games, entropy attacks are the most annoying. Moreso if a devestator weilding alien catches my unit while it's recovering from the enzyme and running around with no armour on.

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#11 glen_es

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:25 PM

AK - Megaspawns charging x-com troops, very cool. That would be a handful, several megaspawns roaring and stomping towards an x-com trooper. I like your kamikaze idea for the aliens, too. How about this twist. Cloak skeletoids and load them up with vortex mines - you've got an invisible, flying Popper with even more punch.

Alien snipers would be tough, aliens have the advantage of choosing their positions before x-com arrives but don't of course don't use it. Cloaked skeletoids and anthropods snipers waiting in a crossfire position for x-com would be a challenge.


NKF - hundreds of multiworms - I had a memory flash from Starship Troopers when the squad is defending the fort and the horizon is crammed with those spider-like aliens. I find multiworms easy because my troops all have Marsec breast plates to hover up and rain death down. However, if I think about it, you cram several dozen multiworms in a 1 level basement or the upper level in a ufo, their acid spit would be a killer, not to mention hordes of hyperworms in a tight space.

#12 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 01:29 AM

AK - Megaspawns charging x-com troops, very cool. That would be a handful, several megaspawns roaring and stomping towards an x-com trooper. I like your kamikaze idea for the aliens, too. How about this twist. Cloak skeletoids and load them up with vortex mines - you've got an invisible, flying Popper with even more punch.

Alien snipers would be tough, aliens have the advantage of choosing their positions before x-com arrives but don't of course don't use it. Cloaked skeletoids and anthropods snipers waiting in a crossfire position for x-com would be a challenge.


NKF - hundreds of multiworms - I had a memory flash from Starship Troopers when the squad is defending the fort and the horizon is crammed with those spider-like aliens. I find multiworms easy because my troops all have Marsec breast plates to hover up and rain death down. However, if I think about it, you cram several dozen multiworms in a 1 level basement or the upper level in a ufo, their acid spit would be a killer, not to mention hordes of hyperworms in a tight space.


I agree with the idea of multiworms in large numbers: early on in the game, in large numbers and tight spaces, they'd be really terrifying, especially when they release their hyperworms. 50 of those charging a couple agents would be a death sentence (well, except for well-placed HE grenades). I also agree with the idea that skeletoids carrying vortex mines, cloaked and charging would be really effective. It'd be really hard to defend against this except with covered teams, considerable proximity mining, and good stamina to outrun these skeletoids as a last resort. XCOM would really have to layer its setup to be able to cover such retreats, but I think much bigger maps would be necessary for this to really play out. Then again, if it's in a building, tough apples.

Of course, this would all be too, too much at beginner levels or too early in the game - they'd have to restrict it to higher skill levels and possibly very high scores. But I do think that, as the game runs late and XCOM's domination becomes absolute, much higher numbers, more heavy equipment, and far more aggressive tactics are a must, to encourage the played to END the game. I'm not saying the aliens have to start being "smart" like veteran XCOM players deplying late-game special forces, but I think they can be numerous, equipped, aggressive, and suicidal.

As it is, it feels like the aliens are so bureaucratic that, by the very late game (I'm at 169,000 points now), they just stick to the same old, hopeless way of doing business, even though I'm mopping up entire crews with a single agent. But we can't lament the game - it's a wonderful game. After 10 years, I'm still replaying the war with all my friends and family, martial-arts teachers and fellow students at my side, fighting the good fight, better every time. I still applaud every promotion, every medal, of every agent. I still tell my friends of their progress. New friends I include are intrigued and like to see themselves in action. It's my favorite game of all time.

I suppose that, when I can finish the entire game with only one agent on superhuman, it'll be time to move on. At the same time, it almost feels like purgatory in some ways, like I keep fighting a war against a sworn enemy I can't find or ultimately defeat. Where IS the home world???

By the way, I like J'ordos's idea of using the editor to make the aliens enemies with civilians, so they'll attack them in infiltration missions. I think that's a fair and fun use of an editor. I mean, imagine a crazy shopping-mall mission where the aliens are toasting civilians and laying it down on XCOM agents alike?

Is there any way we can "turn up" the frequency of attacks or numbers of UFOs per week?

#13 glen_es

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:42 PM

BTW, thought of another good alien strategy, don't let x-com ever capture a type 3 ufo.

----

I don't know of a way to turn up frequency of attacks, but if you want to change the feel of the game a bit, maybe try apoc util.

I've used it on save games to cheat (complete all research) and it worked fine. But I haven't tried the randomize weapon effects, nor the % of aliens. Next time I play I'm going to use it to turn the % of aliens up to 250%.

Here's a list of the flags for the utility:


ITEMS:nn = Set the availability of the items used by your agents to nn% of its
standard value, where nn is a value from 10 to 1000. No number will
ever be reduced below 1, to avoid making victory impossible. All items
will also be made available at the beginning of the game, instead of
having to wait until week 2 or 3 for some items to appear. ITEMS can be
abbreviated as ITM. This flag modifies UFO2P.EXE and changes only the
starting values in new games. Note that you can use ITEMS:100 to keep
the number of items the same, while still making all items available at
the start of the game.

DAMAGE:nn = Set the effectiveness of all damage done to aliens to nn% of its
standard value, where nn is a value from 10 to 250. The purpose of this
flag is to give the aliens a handicap by making all weapons less
effective against them, while the effectiveness of weapons against
humans, mutants, and androids remains the same. Use of this flag
modifies TACP.EXE and changes all future battles in all games. DAMAGE
may be abbreviated as DMG.

DAMAGE:RANDOM = Randomize the effectiveness of types of damage done to aliens.
The effectiveness of damage against humans, mutants, and androids will
not be changed. Use of this flag modifies TACP.EXE and changes all
future battles in all games. DAMAGE may be abbreviated as DMG and
RANDOM may be abbreviated as RND.

The purpose of this flag is to restore the element of surprise to XCOM3.
After using this flag, you will never be sure which weapons are
effective against which aliens. All weapons of human design will be
effected. That is, weapons which produce the following kind of damage:
Armor Piercing (AP), High Explosive (HE), Incendiary (IN), Laser (LS),
Plasma (PL), Stun (ST), and Stun Gas (SG).

Two from the destructive group and one from the stun group will have
their effectiveness set to 0% against each type of alien, making them
totally worthless against that type of alien, while all others will be
set to 100%. For example, AP, LS, and ST might be made ineffective
against Anthropods, while HE, PL, and SG are made ineffective against
Skeletoids and AP, PL, and ST are made ineffective against Poppers.

Unless already specified, the ITEMS:400 will be applied automatically to
increase the availability of all weapons and ammunition to compensate
for the losses in effectiveness. This also makes plasma weapons
available immediately.

Smoke, disruptors, and toxins will not be changed, since this would
seriously effect the playability of the game. Smoke does no harm to the
aliens, making it possible for the AI to use a smoke screen as one of
its tactics. Disruptors are not changed because cultures tend to create
weapons that they fear, expecting them to harm others as well. Toxins
are not changed because they are one of the primary goals of the game.
Note that all stun weapons have an effectiveness of 0% against a
Chrysalis, because you do not have to stun it to capture it.

DISPLAY:alien = Display all of the information about the specified alien. You
do not have to specify the entire name of the alien. A is enough for
Alien_Egg, but AN is required for Anthropod. If you specify ALL as the
name, all aliens will be displayed. DISPLAY may be abbreviated as DIS.

Ideally, this flag is used only after you have finished researching the
specified alien, since it greatly reduces the mystery created by the
RANDOM flag. However, you may want to use it to preview the kind of
game you have created before you spend time playing it. For example,
you may want to try:

APOCUTIL DISPLAY:ALL DAMAGE:RANDOM SEED:n

for many different values of n until you find one you like. When you
have the one you want, just add the WRITE flag and make the changes by
entering:

APOCUTIL DIS:ALL DMG:RND SEED:n WRT

DISPLAY:RESEARCH = Display the current Research Tree. DISPLAY may be
abbreviated as DIS. RESEARCH may be abbreviated as RES.

RESEARCH:xxx = Change the Research Tree that controls the order in which
technology is researched. RESEARCH may be abbreviated as RES.

RES:ALT redefines the Research Tree the way I like it. It eliminates
some of the bottlenecks found in the original Research Tree by allowing
research paths to key items.

RES:ANY makes it possible to research any item at any time by
eliminating all prerequisites. It also eliminates the need for advanced
research labs except for faster research. WARNING: You may encounter
problems if you research the alien buildings in the wrong order, so be
careful.

RES:FREE reduces all research time to one hour and all points to 1.
This flag can be used with any Research Tree, since it does not modify
any of the paths, but simply makes research faster. The points earned
were reduced to avoid massive retaliation by the aliens in response to
an artificially high score.

SEED:nn = Set the random number seed to nn. If the seed is not specified, the
current time will be used as the random seed. However, if SEED:nn is
specified, you will get the same set of damage values as anyone else who
specifies the same number. This will allow people to share favorite
mixes of damages by simply sharing the random seed.

ALIENS:nn = Set the number of aliens appearing to nn% of its standard value,
where nn is a number from 10 to 250. No number will ever be reduced
below 1, to avoid making victory impossible. ALIENS can be abbreviated
as ALN.

#14 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:11 PM

ALIENS:nn = Set the number of aliens appearing to nn% of its standard value,
where nn is a number from 10 to 250. No number will ever be reduced
below 1, to avoid making victory impossible. ALIENS can be abbreviated
as ALN.


250% of aliens? Wow - that COULD be interesting. Have you tried it? If you do, could you post how many aliens you wound up fighting, and how it went? Pleeaase? ;-)

#15 Tkwiget

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:50 PM

If I had the resources of the Aliens.. I probably would send full wave invasions repeatedly on Mega Primus on random buildings. I would send dozens of destroyers as scouts and attack every human vehicle that moves but Cult and any other organization that I took over. I would send multiple Overspawn on Mega Primus at the same time with Battleships and Motherships as escorts. I would pretty much dominate any X-Com player with ridculious numbers and firepower that comes with it. I wouldn't screw around. I'm the type of person that likes to end crap quickly if I have the enormous strength to do so. After all...the aliens wanted to take over right? So why would I screw around with world domination? Even if I sent like 200 Blue Bears at Mega Primus and spread them over multiple buildings, I would be thinning out the X-Com player's ability to counter me on multiple fronts.

My strategy would pretty much overwhelm the X-Com player with stupid high numbers. But even with those high numbers the X-Com player would have nice rocket and AP Grenade targets. I still would have way more resources to throw at them and by the time I'm done bombing the crap out of their base, cause I would find out with those little probes and scout ships anyway, I would pretty much Overspawn and Mothership the poor guy to death. Being fully teched out isn't a concern in this case.

I rather be the X-Com player in that kind of situation. I know I would lose....but it would give me something to laugh at while I watch my Agents get blown to pieces by 10+ Boomeroids.. XD

Good topic though Aiki-Knight. =b

Edited by Tkwiget, 10 June 2007 - 11:52 PM.


#16 NKF

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 12:36 AM

We're all thinking in the all-out war phase of the alien invasion. What about the initial political phase where the aliens are going softly and trying to turn the organisations against X-Com?

The trick would be to get most of the organisations to to hate X-Com by making them look bad. Really bad.

How? Hmm. Well, the fact that X-Com gets blamed for any damage while their agents are present near any situations that occur inside a building helps a lot. I'd wait till the troops arrive, then get my anthropods to blast the interior of the building and order poppers to deal a lot of collateral damage, and then have everyone flee before X-Com know what's going on. And not just stop at the one raid, it'll happen repeatedly. X-Com will look as though they're ineffectual at dealing with the alien menace.

Out in the cityscape, I might order a many waves of fast attack ships and escort fleets to speed through the city with their weapons switched off and to fly on evasive. Those silly X-Com ships will chase after it and attack them with hoverbike swarms. The Escort's there for its cloaker's missile jamming capabilities for added fun. Sure we sent some ships into the city - but we were not the agressors. We didnt' blow up three slum blocks or knock out several blocks worth of people tubes! Honest!

False alerts. Get a mob of xenophiles in the cult to make false alien sightings. In addition to that, having rapid moving commando teams of aliens make brief appearances at buildings and then fleeing before X-Com arrives. The repeated investigations will tick off the organisations so much that they will not want to have anything to do with X-Com ever again.

I'm sure there are many more dastardly things you can do to psyche X-Com before sending in the invasion fleet. I mean, you could go so far as make X-Com look like a hoax. Sure there were aliens back in the last two wars. Now X-Com's just trying to milk it and make itself look important. This could be done by capturing some X-Com tech and perhaps letting Megapol get to a crash site before X-Com and finding the 'evidence'. I'm kind of working within and beyond the game's mechanics here. But that's part of the fun. :D

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 11 June 2007 - 12:40 AM.

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#17 Sorrow

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 06:07 AM

This is changing the game programming, the aliens have to stop production of spitters and mulitworms, and ramp up production of skeletoids and megaspawns. Cram a dozen megaspawns into a battleship. No more Noah's ark, fill the ufos with only skeletoids and megaspawns. X-com gets to plan its hiring, why not the aliens?

Heh, I have a better idea :D .
Does anyone remember the Celatid spit :D ?

#18 Pherdnut

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 11:00 AM

I would not use spitters. I would use a LOT more brainsuckers and brainsucker launchers. There is no tech defense against brainsuckers. I would use a LOT more poppers.

I would steal something more useful from the humans than smoke grenades.

Upon discovering that light disruptors, boomerangs, and that silly enzyme gun are next to worthless and/or counterproductive, I would STOP using them.

I would also raid the cult of Sirius for stun grenades.

I would not send any UFO until I at least had fast attack ships.

Upon entering the human dimension I would actually rally my ships into a single attack formation and focus fire on expensive-looking human ships while dropping off aliens with my SINGLE transport ship. If I saw human ships launching from a slum-like building, I would fire a single shot at it as this would likely destroy most of their base with little distraction from destroying their expensive ships.

If I was sporting a freaking armada of bombers, destroyers, and battleships in the alien dimension, I would send them all at once. Not one to three at a time.

If surrounded by agents, I would shoot my own multiworms.

I would bioengineer an alien humanoid type capable of throwing vortex mines without killing itself. I would use a LOT more vortex mines.

I wouldn't waste time on super-size aliens that are easy to hit and can't bypass simple obstacles.

If reverse engineering were possible, I would look into that body armor thing. Also proximity sensors for vortex mines.

If I outnumbered the humans 5 to 1, I would not lose.

#19 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 01:29 PM

Know what? If I was Alien I would STAY THE heck OUT! D:

Atleast until the X-Com force is dissbanded for not being needed anymore ^^'
At that point I would then unleash several Overspawns all over the city,(they must be fairly expensive) along with Megaspawns backing them up against the little mosquitoes known as Hoverbikes.

After landing these terrible beasts, I would NOT retreat my Ufo's.
I would instead send in the weaker ones to dissmantle the larger crafts.

Hawk Warriors have a hard time avoiding 30 probes shooting at them :P
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#20 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 04:04 PM

Know what? If I was Alien I would STAY THE heck OUT! D:

Atleast until the X-Com force is dissbanded for not being needed anymore ^^'
At that point I would then unleash several Overspawns all over the city,(they must be fairly expensive) along with Megaspawns backing them up against the little mosquitoes known as Hoverbikes.

After landing these terrible beasts, I would NOT retreat my Ufo's.
I would instead send in the weaker ones to dissmantle the larger crafts.

Hawk Warriors have a hard time avoiding 30 probes shooting at them :P


I think it's natural to assume that the aliens are constricted by issues such as a budget. That is, because is XCOM has a budget, which is because the game mimics our economic system in dollars, market availability and the culture of Mega-Primus, in which people want to go about their daily business with as little inconvenience as possible, as if the problem weren't happening, weren't threatening to interfere with the movies and pop culture and relaxing in the evenings that everyone has come to expect, in an almost post-Roman way. There is something disturbingly contemporary about the attitude of the populace and government in XCOM: the inability to perceive a serious threat to themselves even as it's obvious, and the lack of will to dedicate themselves to the solution. A maximum of 100 combat agents are attempting to thwart a mass-infiltration by an unknown civilization with superior technology and compartmentalization. And really, people don't want to know. They're ready to penalize XCOM for walking on the grass.

By contrast, I don't really believe the aliens are hindred by budgetary constraints, but if anything, logistical ones. The alien dimension does not resemble any cultural locus of our enemies. The entire alien base consists of facilities limited to military production of biological weapons and combatants. There's little evidence of any extensive cultural activities going on - at least in X1 and 2, there was an "alien entertainment" item on the ships. The aliens in X3 are clearly short-lived, and most of them lack any promise of significant intelligence to engage in cultural activities, such as the spitter, brainsucker, popper and multiworm. The alien dimension in no way resembles a place where an easily annoyed populace will complain about how much of their tax money goes to the war, or how their TV programs are interrupted by XCOM craft raiding the building next door.

As a result, the aliens have several sociological, cultural and logistical advantages over XCOM. For one, they have no expectation or hope that their combatants will survive, as they're not intended to. Therefore, there are no real repercussions involved with heavy losses, from a political perspective. For another, there's no piece-mealing out of money: while on Earth, most money in the economy goes to buying food, entertainment, housing, vehicles and other civilian-related industries, 100% of the resources in the alien dimension are directed at wiping out XCOM. And as such, there's no danger of having to pay off unhappy groups in their society, nor of suffering base attacks and raids. Indeed, until XCOM acquires dimension-gate technology, they are immune to XCOM reprisals. To put it bluntly, the aliens can take 100% losses, have no political worries or rivalries in their own location, and are immune from retaliation.

From a sociological perspective, these liberties provide the aliens with several unbalances that they could use to their advantage. For one, expect to lose all aliens in a mission. Hide, ambush, and if necessary, suicide-attack XCOM agents. Rather than trying to win the battle, concentrate on killing some agents, hopefully the strongest ones, or the specialists. As Pherdnut has said, this includes killing your own multiworms, if possible. For another, save NOTHING. Throw everything at XCOM. Don't bother keeping reserves or planning for a rainy day for the first weeks. Stage massive, suicidal assaults on XCOM bases. The aliens can attack XCOM bases, not the other way around. Therefore, do it. A lot. Expect to lose everything. But wipe out a base at a time. Save up 12 ships (the aliens do amass such standing fleets in their dimension), and ignore defenders. Wipe out buildings. Sure, human orgs might hate the aliens, but so what? Most of them do, in my games, and other than Megapol, do nothing about it.

This essential lack of any importance of human orgs' political stance towards the aliens means that the aliens should also make a point of wiping out human buildings, starting with the senate. It drives down XCOM's score and impoverishes the government, which could very quickly cut off XCOM's absolutely crucial supply of funding. Keep the government down until XCOM's stun raid program manages to catch up, if it ever does. I think, overall, that the aliens are a collective. Whoever erected this biologically engineered military structure lives safely far from the so-called alien dimension base. Their outpost is fully expendable. As such, they should throw absolutely everything at XCOM without mercy, without deliberation, without cessation, and without reserve. They have little to lose, as the end of the game only destroys the outpost.

Such a change in theatre-level policy of the aliens could very well alone be enough to make XCOM a game well-nigh impossible to complete on superhuman level. Few of us would have the acumen in both management and battle to overcome such ferocity in suicidal, but organized, attackers. If these policies were to be augmented by the many brilliant alien strategies mentioned in this thread, even just the ones possible in the current version of the game, the game might be impossible to beat with the rookies of the early game, and even then, with highly dubious chances of success even with a large force of super-troopers with the best equipment.

Simple increasing of what must surely be a minor programming feature could then increase the production of resources, i. e. the production of ships and ground forces. Throwing them at XCOM with increased frequency as game points accrue would keep the pressure and tension on the player's hopefully improving veteran forces. As their stats grow, so may the number of missions they must complete, and so may the sheer number of enemies per mission they must face. I think this may be overwhelming. If players can indeed survive such constantly worsening onslaughts, it would preserve a sense of desperation and tension even for a player who has accumulated several fully prepared bases, a full fleet, and a full force of commandos.

But if the feasible suggestions of this thread and this sociological approach to infiltrating Earth were incorporated into the actual aliens' conduct, I doubt many of us would ever see agents live long enough to become captains, much less commandos.

Perhaps a new skill level would have to be added to the game for this kind of gameplay: immortal? And then only NKF would ever would be able to finish the game.

Maybe. :-)

#21 Sorrow

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 04:39 PM

You have made some good points, Aiki-Knight :) . The most important things that we should take in account in such discussion is that aliens are alien.

From a sociological perspective, these liberties provide the aliens with several unbalances that they could use to their advantage. For one, expect to lose all aliens in a mission. Hide, ambush, and if necessary, suicide-attack XCOM agents. Rather than trying to win the battle, concentrate on killing some agents, hopefully the strongest ones, or the specialists. As Pherdnut has said, this includes killing your own multiworms, if possible. For another, save NOTHING. Throw everything at XCOM. Don't bother keeping reserves or planning for a rainy day for the first weeks. Stage massive, suicidal assaults on XCOM bases. The aliens can attack XCOM bases, not the other way around. Therefore, do it. A lot. Expect to lose everything. But wipe out a base at a time. Save up 12 ships (the aliens do amass such standing fleets in their dimension), and ignore defenders. Wipe out buildings. Sure, human orgs might hate the aliens, but so what? Most of them do, in my games, and other than Megapol, do nothing about it.

It depends if Aliens see the Megaprimus as we see it. They can have entirely different perception than us. They or maybe rather "it" can have no idea about organisations, political system, X-Com, etc.
They may just see some random crafts attacking their ships. The only way they could obtain such information would be controlling organisations. They may have no idea which agents are specialists, strongest ones, etc. - they are all just armed and armored life-forms.

Such a change in theatre-level policy of the aliens could very well alone be enough to make XCOM a game well-nigh impossible to complete on superhuman level. Few of us would have the acumen in both management and battle to overcome such ferocity in suicidal, but organized, attackers. If these policies were to be augmented by the many brilliant alien strategies mentioned in this thread, even just the ones possible in the current version of the game, the game might be impossible to beat with the rookies of the early game, and even then, with highly dubious chances of success even with a large force of super-troopers with the best equipment.

I wonder how government would react to such open invasion. It may have different results than intended. X-Com operates as a small organisation because the aliens are limiting themselves to covert infiltration. The government doesn't want to turn the city into a war-zone by deploying a full military force. Simply - aliens are a minor nuisance and special forces deal with them silently without making trouble to ordinary people.
A normal invasion could cause Megapol and Marsec to openly deploy their battlefleets in the city - since UFOs are already openly invading in fullforce, no one would mind tens/hundreds of Valkyries and Hawk Airwarriors and hundreds of Hovercars patrolling the sky over the city.
Soon, Megapol and Marsec would aquire the alien technology and would attack the alien dimension.

BTW.
I had first real losses in my campaing today - I sent a group of agents in personal armor to an Alien Transporter - 3/4 of a 10 man squad got wiped out in a central corridor of the ship with a single Boomeroid - 2 of them died from the blast, 2 of them died when the roof fell on her her head, 2 of them died by falling down and 2 died (which were on the first floor of the ufo waiting to go into the grav lift) when two other boomeroids fell down on them along with 2 dying antrhopods (and a big part of the floor) - all that left were two criticaly wounded guys with machine guns that soon got killed off by a multiworm. Tragedy XD .

Edited by Sorrow, 12 June 2007 - 05:00 PM.


#22 NKF

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 12:23 AM

Good points Aiki-Knight. From my understanding, the aliens are just a rag-tag collection of aliens brought together to cause absolute terror. From what I recall reading in the ufopeadia entries, don't the aliens only live several days or hours? The multiworm for example dies very quickly. Some of the aliens could be an alien race, like the worms and the their queen. The other aliens are biologically designed for terror. For example, the brainsucker, for transporting micronoids. The megaspawn and its missile toes. The anthropod and skeletoid are the footsoldiers. The popper lives a very short but bright life. Spitters - er, they're another lifeform fit only for terror. I'm not entirely sure about the Psimorph, but could be another alien entirely. They can all be bred in a short amount of time, and considering their lifespan, they get thrown into the task of removing that one thorn in their side that's stopping their masters from taking over the city they want to make their new home.

The true mastermind here are obviously the micronoids. Intelligent goop. They've brought together these aliens and are using them and a mixture of strange organic and advanced technologies (the craft disrupter guns don't look particularly organic to me) in an attempt to colonise enemy worlds. They think themselves beneath the sectoid empire too (although the ones in Apocalypse could have been bred on earth) - and gladly feed them to their thralls.

Come to think of it, the alien dimension doesn't look like it's fit for living in, and the Megapods that make up the alien's homes look almost like they don't fit in that environment. It probably isn't even the home planet of the aliens that are using it. Alternately, the Micronoids have all but strip-mined the planet to the point of it becoming a wasteland, which is why they're so desparate to get into Mega Primus.

In-game, if only the aliens continued to mount stronger retaliations or just make some attempt at recovering from losing their buildings, they might just have had a chance. As it is, it's almost like they start off by putting up a decent fight, but then suddenly lose their morale and let whatever forces they have left duke it out for themselves.

Eh - I've just lost my train of thought.

Oh yes: Just replace the micronoids They're eedjits.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 13 June 2007 - 01:50 AM.

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#23 Pherdnut

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 10:44 AM

Aren't all the aliens just tools of the micronoids? I think the reason they die early is to underscore the point that the ultimate objective is to make all of humanity hosts for the aggregates.

Who's to say what such a thing considers culture and entertainment? The little dudes might party it up on a microscopic level. At least when there's enough of them in one place to be smart but not too smart to party.

#24 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:54 PM

v.v'

All I meant by expensive was hard to get.. it takes time to grow all that stuff D:

Me and my silly phrases..
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#25 glen_es

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 11:38 AM

ALIENS:nn = Set the number of aliens appearing to nn% of its standard value,
where nn is a number from 10 to 250. No number will ever be reduced
below 1, to avoid making victory impossible. ALIENS can be abbreviated
as ALN.


250% of aliens? Wow - that COULD be interesting. Have you tried it? If you do, could you post how many aliens you wound up fighting, and how it went? Pleeaase? ;-)


Found some time to play the game, set apocutil to aliens:250, campaign in apoc was level hard.

Very tough at the start, I had to turn this utility off (back to aliens:100) before the first week was over. I had run out of ammo there were so many bad guys, and run out of agents they had wounded so many. The aliens managed to get a drop in a building. Despite the fact I investigated the building immediately, I'm assuming because they dropped so many aliens, many nearby buildings were infected and I started getting stomped. I did some stun raids to get more ammo, still was running out, and the stun raids were getting old, so reverted to normal alien level. Oh, so the utility does work - there were many more aliens than normal (I guess 2.5 X more :)). If I were to do this again, I'd use the midnight editor to give myself more xcom ammo at start to compensate. (eta - looks like I can use the items flag in apocutil to do this too although that makes all xcom weapons available immediately).

I left the setting on normal until I had toxin c and shields, then set it back to max aliens. First expereince was with a terror ufo (type 6?). Great fun, hordes of anthropods emerged from the ufo. The anthropod growling and stomping sounds coming out of the ufo at start of mission was great. So now I could hardly wait for a battleship to appear again. How many megaspawns would there be, 7, 8? This would be the 2nd battleship of the game, had downed one earlier at the normal game setting and captured a megaspawn and popper to get toxin c.

Downed a battleship and big disappointment - there weren't any megapawns. Same with a mothership, no megaspawns nor psimorphs. Lots of skeletoids and anthropods, but no big guys. I played with the setting - aliens:200, aliens:150, no megaspawns at those settings either.

Eventually off to the alien dimension. Apocutil is great fun here. loads of aliens. Just finished the building with the queen - tried it twice, once at 150% there were 4 megaspawns, and then at 250%, 6 megaspawns and TWO queens. At 250%, I blundered into the megaspawns and got hammered. Reloaded. Next time, one guy killed 5 megaspawns. Maybe 6, the last one was a tough guy, was knocked out 3 times from toxin c, kept taking naps then got up for more. Had to bring in more troops. Went down for good on the 4th time. That was a first for me, toxin c has always been the kiss of death.

First building, anticipating hordes of aliens, I took 24 troopers loaded down. Overloaded the game, lots of aliens, but almost all weaponless. Found that 16 troops loaded heavily is OK, aliens have weapons. I'm taking 11 or 12 toxin c clips per soldier, I had 1 squad of 6 troops do most of the work and one guy was down to 3 clips at the end of the building with the queen.

If you're looking for a challenge ramp up the aliens to 250% in the AD and take in like 4 troops.

Fun utility, I'll be playing around with it the next few times I play.

Edited by glen_es, 29 June 2007 - 12:33 PM.


#26 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 12:02 PM

Apocutil doesnt work on my comp :(
I really want to try this.. Ahaha
Does Apoc'd have a way of doing this? :D
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#27 glen_es

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 12:14 PM

Apocutil doesnt work on my comp :(
I really want to try this.. Ahaha
Does Apoc'd have a way of doing this? :D

Maybe I could start a new campaign and post a save game for you?

eta - did you remember to use the write flag? That's got me a couple of times when I forgot it

e.g. apocutil aliens:250 write

Edited by glen_es, 29 June 2007 - 12:16 PM.


#28 Steelion

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 01:26 PM

Playing around with extra aliens would be fun.

Hmm... The final mission in the alien mission has the infamous skeletoid swarm rising from the pit, right? Imagine 250% of them.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
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#29 glen_es

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:00 PM

Playing around with extra aliens would be fun.

Hmm... The final mission in the alien mission has the infamous skeletoid swarm rising from the pit, right? Imagine 250% of them.

Just finished the final mission. 12 megaspawns, 14 psimorphs, no skeletoids. One megaspawn was in the pit with the grid generators that was a surprise, first time I've seen that. Stupid aliens should have put all the megaspawns down the pit guarding the generators, that would have been a handful.

When I killed the last psimorph, got the std message, all aliens dead or unconcious mission over.

That was kinda cool - I ruled the final building, flying around checking the place out before I finished off the last psimorph.

No aliens teleported in the final building eventhough they teleported into all the other alien buildings.

With battleships, motherships, and the final building it's feast or famine with the big critters. Looks like the utilty / game can't handle a swarm of both skeletoids and megaspawns in those situations.

#30 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 12:42 AM

Glen, this is incredibly awesome work and reporting on your part. I got so excited just reading it - seeing that you say you were getting "stomped". I mean, is it possible? Us getting stomped? Overwhelmed? Hordes of aliens overrunning Earth? XCOM needing to get serious to survive?

Wow.

I'm going to go try it RIGHT now. If I can't figure it out, I'm afraid I'm going to be asking you how to do it!

#31 NKF

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 02:02 AM

I'm wondering if the table is so overflooded that the Megaspawn have trouble appearing in some of the missions? As are the reenforcement aliens in the final mission. I guess the spawn pads may very well be finite after all.

Anyway, how did two queens appear? There's only one place for it to go. Did two queens appear in the same location, or was one queen just lying out in the open? That'd be quite something. It does have quite a lethal spit despite being fixed in one direction. You'd have to navigate your way around the map until you come up behind it.

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#32 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 02:32 AM

XCOM on steroids.

Yeah, people - it's a hammerfest of death. I tried the Aliens:250 setting, and whoa boy! - the aliens come in hordes. So many aliens were in the downed ships that I found it useful to blow open the doors, line up an autocannon gunner with the door at range, and, using a recon agent with motion scanner to spot for movement, lay down explosive suppression fire. There were just piles and piles of dead aliens by the door as they tried to exit and attack. I shudder to imagine "the" big shopping mall mission when it happens. I mean, imagine the chaos!

The aliens are already coming on strong with devastators and boomeroids in week 3, and the intensity has been ramped up somethin' fierce. This is a new superhuman game and it'll be interesting to try some super-late-game commando action in the other saved game. Out of fear of the worst, I've been pulling out all the stops in this new game, including serious door-mining, indirect fire, recon spotting, commando tactics for everyone even though they're in full groups, stun gas clearing of the endless smoke screens, stun gassing the doors, you name it. Ammo's quickly becoming an issue. Don't know how we'll manage. :-)

#33 NKF

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 03:40 AM

How soon before you can get the Devestators - or if it's that bad, the disrupter guns - up and running? That should help with your ammo problems a little if the tech is rolling in that quick. Or what about the stun grapple?

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#34 Elros

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 03:56 AM

Back to the original topic of how to kick arse as aliens...micronoids in the water system?

Get the cultists to infiltrate evonet and fill the water with micronoids. The city would be yours in no time and hopefully with no dead humans. More live humans=more hosts. Huzzah!

And on the current subject of alien hordes, which of the utilities to do this would work in DOSbox? It sounds like fun

#35 Steelion

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 09:55 AM

Screw the big shopping mall mission. What about the big police station mission? The halls would be packed with aliens. :blink:
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
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#36 glen_es

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 11:19 AM

Anyway, how did two queens appear? There's only one place for it to go. Did two queens appear in the same location, or was one queen just lying out in the open? That'd be quite something. It does have quite a lethal spit despite being fixed in one direction. You'd have to navigate your way around the map until you come up behind it.
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Your intuition is right, they were both in the queen's cage / throne, side by side. And now that I think about it, there were no alien eggs in the cage, another instance of a table in the game hitting its limit perhaps.

I have a question about the queen. How the heck do you capture one in real time? When I used to play in 90s I played turned based and remember being able to capture the queen. Vaguely remember softening the queen up then flooding her with stun grenades. I spent a couple of hours a few months ago reloading and reloading trying to get the magic chain of events to capture a queen real time, couldn't do it.

I'd soften the queen up with various weaponry, then I had two mutants with high psi to probe her stats to see how badly she was hurt. Then tried combinations of stun gas and grapples to stun her, but she'd always die (damn purple blood). Seemed like once I hurt her there was no stopping point like other aliens where they pass out, she'd just keep going down hill. What's the trick? Probing her health I tried at a number of levels of her health points before I began stunning, but no luck.

Be fun to try to capture them both, two sticks in the eyes of the aliens!

#37 glen_es

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 11:48 AM

AK - I've just started a new game at aliens:250 still in week 1 (never got past wk 1 in the other game, changed back to aliens:100). Are you finding after a ufo drop that the infiltration rate of nearby buildings is way up? And are you finding more aliens get dropped?

I'm finding the infiltration rate is way up. This new game had 1 drop on the first ufo incursion and I've got 7 buildings infested. No complaints, like it actually cause fire fights are fun.

Good for you toughing it out on ammo the game gives you. That's damn fine game playing. Not I, decided to even the playing field by using items:1000 in my game. Me like - lots of aliens and lots of ammo to blast 'em!

Have set a limit of 7 agents I can take on missions, that's making it more of a challenge for me. I'm aiming at reducing my limit to 5 or even 4 to make the missions even harder.

#38 NKF

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 03:51 PM

The queen should follow the normal stunning procedure. This normally means it's stunnable at about =< 180 health.

The first thing I'd do is clear off the map. No sense in losing the queen from fatal wounds after a successful capture. I also suggest you keep firing stun grapple rounds into it to keep the stun level close to 180 points while harming it.

If it doesn't get stunned, then I wonder if it has something to do with your increased alien count. Try it again with the normal count.

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#39 Nepereta

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 05:06 PM

I'd make each of my humanoid troops carry 10 head hoppers. That would serve those humans right.

#40 Steelion

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:56 PM

The only weapons my humanoids need are Dimension missiles, Entropy pods, and vortex mines. With lots of Megaspawn backup. And the idea of infecting the water supply... SO evil, it might just work!
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
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I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
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I'm not dead! Really!

#41 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:10 PM

LOL I liked the water supply idea.. except wouldnt the sensors know about the contamination?
Im fairly sure a city like this has a certain degree of security, heck we do.
if you dont believe me, look at the movie "The Tuxedo"
They had a water poisoning storyline, where the water would actually dry people up.
they used insects to contaminate the water.

I suppose breaking the water surface is what causes the alarms to go off..
they used Waterstriders with Wings on them :X


Also Apocutil doesnt work on my comp, Period.
it has nothing to do with what I do with it
It just doesnt run :P

Also starting a new game and setting it up to 250 would be useful for Everyone here who cant use Apocutil
If you could, you might as well make one for the novice setting as well O_o..
the other 3 difficulty modes seem always untouched Aha.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#42 Elros

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 04:00 AM

Hmm. You make a good point there about security.

How about filling mosquitos with micronoids and using them instead? Does have the problem that we don't know how much you'd need to infect someone properly, though.

...

AHA! Take over the sanctuary clinic and make up some crap about a disease the aliens are spreading and say people need innoculations against it, then inject them with micronoids!

#43 Steelion

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 07:37 AM

That would require infesting sanctuary clinic, and I'm pretty sure that X-com (using their pretty graphs) would notice the hospitals being infected.

Do mosquitoes even exist in Mega Primus? It seems to me that by now, the highly advanced nanotechnology-dependent medical systems would have gotten rid of such a little pest. After all- there isn't any standing water in Mega Primus, short of what's in the swimming pools (which I imagine gets filtered), water treatment plants (Kill of any critters in the water) and to some extent hydrofarms. Again, I'd imagine the water is filtered, to get rid of toxins. So there wouldn't be anywhere for the bugs to breed.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#44 Elros

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 09:33 AM

How about building massive stun grenade (really, really big) and knocking out the entire city?

#45 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 11:55 AM

Ahah Gas nuking <3!
Reminds me of grade 9 in the library ^_^...
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#46 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 01:38 AM

AK - I've just started a new game at aliens:250 still in week 1 (never got past wk 1 in the other game, changed back to aliens:100). Are you finding after a ufo drop that the infiltration rate of nearby buildings is way up? And are you finding more aliens get dropped?

I'm finding the infiltration rate is way up. This new game had 1 drop on the first ufo incursion and I've got 7 buildings infested. No complaints, like it actually cause fire fights are fun.

Good for you toughing it out on ammo the game gives you. That's damn fine game playing. Not I, decided to even the playing field by using items:1000 in my game. Me like - lots of aliens and lots of ammo to blast 'em!

Have set a limit of 7 agents I can take on missions, that's making it more of a challenge for me. I'm aiming at reducing my limit to 5 or even 4 to make the missions even harder.


Aliens:250 is BRRR-UUU-TALLLL

We're (Glen-es and I) using Apocutil to increase the number of aliens in any given mission to 250% of what the game would put in. And I'm playing on superhuman. It is just brutal.

I'm in week 4, and the onslaught is really coming on. Shields and vortex mines are now deployed by the aliens, and my early-game agents are getting overwhelmed. Last mission in a warehouse had something like 10 Arthropods, 7 skeletoids. 17 brainsuckers, 5 multi-worms, I think 17 hyperworms, maybe more of everything. I mean, these aliens were coming in from four places. They were laying down hard devastator fire and tossing vortex mines, and just peppering the agents with brainsuckers. I actually LOST an agent in that mission to a quick-primed vortex tossed from fairly close range, followed up by close-range devastator fire. A whole squad of arthropods burst out a door and rushed a team of 4 agents whose ground was quickly being overwhelmed by attacks from three directions.

My agents had to grenade themselves several times to shake off brainsuckers. Seriously, there were too many aliens to keep track of. Brainsuckers were landing all over the place, and flyers were raining down fire, not to mention two big attacks by arthropods. At one point, the team that lost the agent was surrounded, and I'm not joking, they were standing basically back-to-back trying to beat off their enemies.

Ground missions are regularly bringing in 600+ points (Yes, that's right), and I've already got an autocannon gunner with 100+ kills. No kidding. Injuries plague the entire force. I've got two bases, each with a 12-agent team. Each base has about 6 or 8 extra agents, and I'm having a very hard time keeping the teams staffed. UFO drops are horrendous. Even though I attend drops and eradicate the infestation, it spreads BIG time. Like Glen says, they spread to some 6 ot 7 buildings each time. And their numbers are BIG. Imagine 6-8 building missions per drop, each with 250% aliens.

Ammo is running low, too. It's Monday in Week 4, there are more missions to do today, and I'm pretty low on extra ammo. The ground forces are shielded, which basically doubles how much ammo it takes to kill them. I'm throwing stun grenades like there's no tomorrow to try and recover shields and, honestly, just reduce their overwhelming numbers when they attack in groups, but stun grenades are running low, too. The aliens are super-aggressive and just LOADED with gear.

Although the agents are ramping up their stats pretty fast, I'm just dreading the entropy missiles, and, heaven help us, the dimension missiles. As my points ramp up, their tech comes in fast as heck.

Things are looking pretty dark.

I can possibly imagine the following:
- a handful of reasonably healthy agents able to go on missions
- entropy heck
- successful base raids by the aliens!!! (Especially with how the AI is fighting these days). Or very very costly raids.
- XCOM agents actually being KILLED. (I basically never lose agents - no reloading).
- dry ammo, scrounging for alien gear, possibly even in-mission
- defeat?

NEVER!

Glen, keep it up. Fight the good fight!

(NKF - have you tried this? Can you comment?)

#47 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 02:01 PM

Would you or Glen PLEASE post a save of the 250% for me.
as Ive mentioned in this forum before, Apocutil crashes when I run it on this computer. xD
I have no idea why it does, but all I need it for is to try this out :x..
..pleeeeeassee :)
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#48 zemar

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:44 PM

something to remember with your strategy and tactics is that the aliens can only survive in our atmosphere for a few days

#49 Andy

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:54 PM

That's enough time for an organization to get infiltrated.

#50 Rhemorigher Arbeth

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:48 AM

something to remember with your strategy and tactics is that the aliens can only survive in our atmosphere for a few days

Well most of them yes but the microscopic eeeeeeeeeeevils which run the show can take over hosts and thereby survive. The only time limited aliens are the soldiers who are going to be fighting in most situations therefore it's not that big a problem, just make sure you keep bringing in those reinforcements.

Myself I'd go into Mega Primus, and wreak a bit of havoc until X-COM reveal their positions then concentrate all subsequent raids on their bases forcing them to deploy air defences and minimising the amount of fleets being faced (No attacking Marsec = No Marsec defence forces giving a damn). Once they're out of troops do the same thing to the senate. Bankrupt them and X-Com lose their funding. Without the hundred odd thousand coming in a year it'll slow them down considerably in getting nice new toys, and that's IF you decide to be nice and not just raze their buildings.

Early base raids would be devastating, the defences are low and if you concentrate your attacks they'll be out of personnel pretty damned fast, then when you take over everything else they can't touch you.

Better equipping of smaller groups. The commando topic on this board but with skeletoids.

Keeping units in groups, better planning, setting them up in defensive positions before the battle begins instead of wandering the halls. Possibly pre-trapping the map so that the enemy has to navigate a dozen or so boomeroids before even seeing your troops.

Pretend you never developed spitters (seriously, how rubbish an idea were they?)

Just send in thirty two poppers and make them go nuts, probably not going to work all that well but it should at least be amusing, I'd imagine they'd be one of the easier troops for the aliens to produce so it'd be a pretty cost efficient tactic, should take out a few agents with that many explosions. I imagine this would be especially fun in attacking the X-Com bases before they set up security stations, hunting down scientists with suicide bombers.

Just numbers. I mean we've seen the fleet size they can accrue back at their base, why not wait a few weeks, flood all the ships with troops and send each of them to a different building. There's a limit to how many missions someone could pull off before your better equipped and commanded forces begin to take their toll.

When your ships are doing really well and X-Com is so screwed they can't mount a defence then just don't bring them back home, keep them fighting until they're destroyed or at least until they're taking a load of damage (or are out of ammo).

Just beam buildings full of brainsuckers, or anthropods carrying nothing but brainsuckers. By a few weeks in the X-Com troops are shielded, don't let them have that advantage, use the one type of soldier who ignores shields (and X-Com armour). In normal numbers they're okay but imagine a sea of the little bastards.

Don't just take over organisations, go to the shopping malls and other public places and spread your evil seed through the plebeians. If X-Com starts culling all people in the vicinity of the shopping mall on Tuesday you can imagine how long people will stay content with government policy.

Surgically implanting cloaking devices onto poppers.