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Base Def; Where've My Hp Clips Gone?


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#1 testy

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:27 AM

Guys

Just got fairly badly mauled in a Base Defence mission cos the AI helpfully <_< gave most of my guys unloaded HPs! Even worse, the clips were nowhere to be found :(

My stores contained fairly large amounts of lasers, grenades and stun rods, not to mention about 40 HPs and 120 HP clips. Am I correct in thinking that the reason why my clips were missing was that the AI hit the 80-item limit whilst 'issuing' the HPs and thus never got to the HP Clips 'part' of the list?

If this is the case, is there any way to 'pre-load' the HPs or do I have to cut down my on-hand weapons holding so that the AI can reach the clips whilst still within the 80-item limit?

Also, when calculating the 80-item limit, does the AI take weapons on board the Skyranger into account? For example, if I had one Laser Pistol in store and seventy-nine on-board the Skyranger, in a Base Defence mission, would the AI issue just the one pistol from stores and then start working down the list of better weapons or would it [helpfully] give everyone Laser Pistols?

Thanx

#2 NKF

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 07:55 AM

From what I remember, the game does unload the ship equipment into your base equipment pool for the purpose of a equipping soldiers during a base defence mission.

Yes, the game will only create the first 80 items in stores. I cannot confirm the order of creation, however I think it closely resembles the order in the buy/sell menu.

This is a good excuse to keep your soldier equipment stockpiles as lean and mean as possible. Make it a habit of spring cleaning your stores every couple of months and clear out those excess guns.

Because guns get created before the clips in the equipment spawn order, you can easily miss out on the clips if you have too many guns. So don't hang on to too many redundant weapons. Keep the number of side-arms and secondary weapons down to a minimum. A soldier doesn't need both a laser rifle and a heavy plasma. Just hang on to the laser rifle and upgrade to a heavy plasma through combat. Etc.

Note that the laser rifle is quite high in the weapon spawn pecking order, so you may want to keep a few for the purpose of base defence.

HWPs help too. It doesn't matter what type you use as long as you can gun down the first alien you see and take its weapon.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 17 February 2006 - 03:40 PM.

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#3 Oldblue153

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:58 PM

The game Definatly "unloads" ships to stockpiles for a base defense mission so no need to worry bout weather the weapons are on your craft or not.

Don't know any of the other stuff (how its distributed etc) but NFK knows more than I ever will.

I will say I tend to "barebone" my base supplies as NFK suggests cause I too have seen ugly set-ups in base defence like a few guns and dozens upon dozens of useless clips or visa-versa.

Barring selling off the extra unneeded equiptment all you can do is I suppose load an earlier save and transfer the items to another base temporarily (some say cheat but well I would think that you should be able to at least pick your weapons in a defense ..call it a glitch)

Good Luck :)

#4 Dover

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:01 AM

I get this kind of thing all the time. Luckily I have 12 soldiers who always get a laser rifle, before moving on to the guys who get 1 HP and 11 spare clips each...

Although keeping your stores small is a good idea, it's hard to keep 30 soldiers supplied, and still have enough backup HP clips and BBs. I usually have about 50 clips and maybe only 10 HPs, so I'll always have extras just in case. You could try that.

Or, like NKF said, just try to rely more on laser weapons. It's a good practice to anyways. Tis what I do.

Just to confirm, yes, it does unload ships, and yes, the order of items that you get is in the order of their appearance in the "Sell" list.

With a proper defensive layout, you shouldn't even need that many weapons. I recently held out a superhuman muton assault with only 2 well-trained snipers and 2 hovertank plasmas camping the Access-lift choke-point.

#5 testy

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 07:47 AM

Although keeping your stores small is a good idea, it's hard to keep 30 soldiers supplied, and still have enough backup HP clips and BBs. I usually have about 50 clips and maybe only 10 HPs, so I'll always have extras just in case. You could try that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep, I reran the Defence with a slimmed-down weapons inventory and it went a lot better. Mind you, didn't help that all my mainline troops and their weapons were just returning from a mission. They were only 5 mins out when the Floaters hit my main base and the defence had to be handled by my second-string squaddies :(

With a proper defensive layout, you shouldn't even need that many weapons. I recently held out a superhuman muton assault with only 2 well-trained snipers and 2 hovertank plasmas camping the Access-lift choke-point.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How did you manage that? I have a fairly good layout (3 hangers across the top with the Access lift under the middle hanger and the other modules underneath the Access lift running left and right) and was doing fine popping out of the other modules and sniping at the floaters as they came out of the lift and then steping back. However, it got ugly when one of the Floaters sent a blaster bomb my way!

Do you actually position your snipers and HWP in the access lift module (inside the doors?) and reaction-fire as the aliens come down or do you draw a bead on the access lift from other modules and then try and nail the aliens as they come out of the lift doors? The Blaster bomb guy nailed me because, instead of stepping out of the lift to the South (where I could see him), he stepped out to the West (where I couldn't see him and then sent his little present whizzing round the corner :(

Cheers

#6 Dover

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:09 AM

Ugh. I'm going to butcher the explanation, so I'll just draw a picture, I guess.


    XXXXXXXXX
        P P  L
     XXXX XXXX
        AAA
        AAA
        AAA 
HHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHH
H                H
H    HH    HH    H 
H    HH    HH    H
H                H
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

God, what a horrible P.O.S. drawing. Someone remind me NOT to join Xenocide's art department...

The "H" buildings are the hangers, the block of "A"s is the access lift. I was too lazy to draw out the rest of the unimportant junk, but I wanna say the "X" parts are a grav sheild, an alien containment, and a psi lab (From left to right). There are of course a bunch of other facilities in there, but they were of no tactical value in the defense

Although it doesn't really matter what the two "X"s on either side are, it's important that the middle one be something with little rooms in the four corners of it (Alien containment, living quarters, general stores, etc). I hid two snipers in the alien containments little corner rooms on the far side of the access lift.

I had two tanks where the "P"s are. Every turn I had them round the corner and check for aliens. A hovertank plasma has enough TUs to turn the corner, take 2 shots, and run back for cover. My snipers had enough TUs to open the door to their little room, take 2 autoshots with a Heavy Plasma, and hide back. This gave me a total of 16 plasma shots per turn (Less on turns I needed to reload my sniper's guns on). If things started getting hairy in front of the access lift, I had a hovertank launcher a little to the right of the right tank (Where the "L" is) to launch a blaster bomb around my defenses and into the enemy.

I never got blaster bombed myself. I'm guessing this is because I was close enough to the access lift that anybody with a launcher would have to go through 2 sets of doors, leaving him with less than the required amount of TUs to launch one.

I have a couple of screenshots of me doing this to some Ethereals that I'll put up as soon as I can network the P.O.S. laptop I play on. At first there's this huge pile of bodys in front of my defenses, but they disapear when the Sectopods come and I rely more on the hovertank launcher...

Edited by Dover, 20 February 2006 - 04:15 AM.


#7 Blehm 98

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:13 AM

I'm not positive, i could do some testing, but i believe HWPs are first, and then heavy plasmas and clips

that is just what i've found, but because i don't have an awful lot of the specialized equipment (1 mind probe, no psi amps) i don't know if those are ahead or behind heavy plasmas
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#8 Dover

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 03:01 PM

You're absolutely right, Blehm. Equipment spawns in the order of the "Sell" list, and the only thing higher in the "Sell" list than HWPs are soldiers and crafts. (Which is kind of funny actually, because HWPs spawn before soldiers in your 40-man limit...

Of course, this affected me not at all since the base held a total of 3 HWPs, 2 HPs, and 4 clips...

#9 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 11:16 PM

Just a bit of clarification:

HWPs are counted as 1 object in the Geoscape's ship equipment screen.

In the battlescape, they're counted as 4 units in the unit table (the table that holds all the actors on the map), and not the object table (the table that stores all the items that the actors can pick up and use).

So in base defence, tanks will eat up your soldier slots and not your equipment. And yes, because they spawn before your soldiers, you can severely cut down the amount of soldiers that you could use for base defence.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 20 February 2006 - 11:20 PM.

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#10 SprCobra

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 12:10 PM

Nice defense Dover
If you have a decent defense position then you wont need alot of fancy weapons and clips(grav sheild and fusion defence usually take out the ship before it lands anyway)

Edited by SprCobra, 22 February 2006 - 12:11 PM.


#11 Dover

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:02 PM

Wrong.

I used to build defensive installations also (3-4 Fusion def, 1 grav shield), until I learned that even if you shoot down a battleship via base defense, it just means they'll send another in a day or so. And (Accordign to Zombie, who knows much more than I) shooting down a battleship in this manner doesn't increase your score at all.

One time I modified Fusion Defenses to be 100% accurate and do 10,000 damage. Biggest headache ever (I was getting each of my 8 bases invaded twice per day...), and it didn't increase my score much either. Defensive structures are NOT worth it*

*Exceptions: Mind sheild (Less chance of being found at all, aliens eventually give up) and missle defenses (Tactical)


Which reminds me, has anyone every seen anything besides a battleship be used to invade a base? I never pay attention, but sometimes it seems like they only have 10 or so troops, whereas when I'm sure it's a battleship that's invading it's 25-30 (Average of 28 on the "Aliens killed" summery screen thing)

#12 SprCobra

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:09 PM

Good point
Im sure ive seen smaller ships used and ive seen 10-15 sectois with 5-10 Cyber discs attack my base near start of game when i was still using rifles(that was 1st time i played learned that rifles arent effective against cyberdiscs the hardway)

#13 Zombie

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 03:14 PM

The only UFO type which will land at your base is a Battleship. That's it. I always have a Hyperwave Decoder installed in my umpteen gazillion testing base, and the only ship to ever try is a Battleship.

It may seem that a smaller ship is invading because the landing crew is smaller. However, you must realize that there is a range for the number of aliens possible on all missions. This range is also modified according to skill level:

Skill Level              Sold     Nav     Eng     Med     Lead     Comm     Terr     Total
Beginner/Experienced      4-8      1       1       1        1        1       0-2      9-15
Veteran/Genius           6-10      1       1       1        2        1       2-4     14-20
Superhuman               8-12      2       2       2        3        1       4-6     22-28
So depending on difficulty level there is a range of 9-28 possible aliens on this type of mission. And no, if you try to "soften-up" the Battleship by shooting at it in hopes of reducing the invading crew, that method does not help. If a Battleship gets through, you will always see this range. ;)

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#14 Pherdnut

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 09:39 PM

Are there set ranges for the crew complement of all alien ships on UFO capture missions?

NM. Just checked the wiki.

Edited by Pherdnut, 22 February 2006 - 09:42 PM.


#15 Zombie

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:25 PM

As you found out, there is a ton of stuff in the wiki already. And if it isn't there, it will be soon. :wink1:

I actually compiled separate tables for each alien race and mission, since some alien races do not have all the particular ranks present (think: Mutons, Ethereals and Snakemen). That idea was pretty much shot down in flames. Ah well, it's probably better to put it in my talk page since it is empty. :D

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

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


#16 testy

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 05:21 AM

Dover

Thanx for the info re your defence set-up. I was using something similar but with Laser Tanks rather than Plasma Hovertanks.

Mind you, it's a bit shattering just how much difference the Plasma tanks makes. I've just gone through a base defence (only Floaters, on Beginner....don't laugh, we all have to start somewhere) and my soldiers got so bored they all started stripping down their weapons for cleaning! On most turns, only one single Hovertank was needed to deal with the Floaters approaching the choke point and, for the rest (ca. 10%), the second Hovertank mopped-up. Sole damage at the end of the mission was a somewhat banged-up (but fully repairable) Hovertank and a squaddie who dropped his HP on his foot :) Could've been a bit more messy if they managed to launch their blaster bombs, though!

Cheers

#17 SprCobra

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 11:03 AM

I often sent in tanks supported by troops(even more often in TFTD)as they kill quick but then i thought "do tanks get better" which they probaly dont.
so in defence missions and there are a bunch of aliens close to each other let a rookie fire a few shots instead of the vets let them clean up if the rookies miss as that rookie could become your best officer in time.Tanks can be replaced eaisly and dont get better how ever a good troop is hard to train and harder to replace you should train up your men on easy aliens as much as you can because later in the game rookies dont stand a chance
Tanks are expendable

#18 Dover

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 02:40 AM

Tanks ARE expendable, which is why they're left to base defense, along with a rookie or two.

Vets have no role in base defense. They belong in the Avenger, bringing the fight to the aliens. Weak rookies have to camp in familer terratory.

#19 Snakeman

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 11:48 AM

I once had a base defense mission at my manufacturing base. I had it churning out laser tanks when they hit, so naturally I had no soldiers load up :)

Basic rule of thumb, if you have 10+ HWPs at your base at the time of the attack, you'll only see HWPs defend it.

Since that day, I adopted the strategy of stripping down my essentials in my inventory (though I still kept the manufacturing base - I just had to pay closer attention when an assault came i.e. sell/transfer stuff before it lands). I keep mostly laser weapons as defaults (6 pistols or so, 4 rifles, 1-2 heavy lasers) leaving me enough room to add equipment without fear of it disappearing or not loading in the first place.

Having a heavy sided laser weapon equip setup also allows for the occasional special weapon loadout, such as a blaster launcher and a few bombs, small launcher and a few stun bombs, grenades, amps and medkits. Of these the most important equipment I try to make room for are amps and medkits. Basically trying to mirror what I keep on a typical transport setup.

#20 Dover

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:26 PM

I read in the USG that bases with only HWPs in them are counted as "undefended" when the aliens show up. Did you have any soldiers in the base that just didn't get to play? Or is the USG full of crap?

Adopting laser weapons is a VERY good idea because:
- It spawns before almost everything (Except human tech)
- It needs no clips, therefore saving stuff in the 80 item list
- It brings down nasty Superhuman sectopods with relative ease
- They look cool.

#21 Snakeman

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 02:46 PM

Zombie or NKF can probably break down the what-spawns-when numbers for you better than I can, but suffice to say, I know HWPs load before troops do based on what had occured in my game. I almost always have a garrison of 8-10 soldiers so I don't believe that I didn't not have any :)

All I know is that when the map loaded, I had 10 HWPs to defend with and that was it (i.e. even if I had more than that at the time, only 10 will load). The map if I recall did load some small arms, but I'm not 100% on that fact (not that it would have helped with no one to use them).

Exactly, right on about the laser weapons. My favorite "cool looking" weapons among those is the laser rifle. Among the alien weapons, even though they're not seen that often in late game salvage runs is the plasma rifle. I keep one or two around of those for that reason too.

Streamlining your stores is a good reason to keep most weapons. By going heavy laser tech items, I can even afford to go backwards and hold onto things like AC, HC, and rocket launchers as well. Overall though, I think its more refreshing to have a mixed lineup, there's something aesthetically pleasing about it even if it doesn't always make logical or tactical sense.

Edited by Snakeman, 25 February 2006 - 02:56 PM.


#22 Zombie

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 03:22 PM

In order for a base defense mission to start, you must have at least 1 soldier stationed there. Just tanks are not enough to defend. However, let's look at Snakeman's condition: 10+ tanks and (I assume) one soldier. Because one soldier is present, the mission can start. Tanks spawn first (taking precedence over everything else including weapons). Only 10 tanks will ever show up in this type of mission because of the 40 unit cap (10 tanks * 4 "units"/tank = 40 units).

And if I'm not mistaken, only a maximum of 10 tanks will ever survive the mission. It shouldn't matter how many HWP spawn points there are in a base as the 40 unit limit has been met. So if you had 1000 HWP's at your base, only 10 can spawn and only 10 will survive. :D

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

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


#23 Dover

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 02:50 PM

I learned that the hard way. In my psi base I have 80 psi rookies and 80 psi amps. I ended up getting invaded with only 28 and 3 HWPs I could use to defend the base.

Not to say that 28 psi masters isn't enough. Far from it. Poor Mutons never stood a chance.

@Snakeman

I made a little table as to my usage of each weapon:

Human Tech
----------
Pistol             = For training purposes only
Rifle              = Only as long as I have nothing better (First mission or two)
Heavy Cannon       = Never.
Auto Cannon        = For use in stun exploit/clearing jungle only
Rocket Launchers   = Standard issue for HeavyOps, until I get Blaster Bombs
Grenade            = Standard issue for everybody, until I get alien grenades
Smoke grenades     = Never.
Promimity Grenades = Never, due to bugs and lack of power.
High Explosive     = Standard issue for HeavyOps/Officers (XcomUtil preferable)
Stun Rods          = Standard issue for Stunners/Officers

Laser Tech
----------
Laser Pistol = Standard issue for Medics/HeavyOps/Officers
Laser Rifle  = Standard issue for my basic grunt soldier
Heavy Laser  = Standard issue for Snipers (XcomUtil only)

Alien Tech
----------
Plasma Pistol    = Never.
Plasma Rifle     = Never.
Heavy Plasma     = Standard issue for Snipers/Officers
Alien Grenade    = Standard issue for everybody
Small Launcher   = Standard issue for Stunners
Blaster Launcher = Standard issue for HeavyOps

As you can see, Plasma rifles have no place in my armory, since I rely more heavily on laser technology. I'm not saying it's the best way to do things, but it works for me...

#24 Snakeman

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 11:14 PM

That's a good loadout. I find that I basically duplicate (not sure if weapons on a transport that's at your base has its stores isolated from that of the base) what's carried on my basic transport arrangement.

Unless of course its a rookie Psi training and washout base, in which case the place might very well just be stocked with all laser pistols for 'em just so they have something. And also just so's most will load, the place has no HWPs generally.

#25 NKF

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 04:20 AM

Dover: You've piqued my interest. You don't use the smoke grenade? Might I ask if this is by choice or are you just not getting much use out of it? Or has it just been made redundant by the blaster bomb/high explosive/large rocket/alien grenade?

Just as quick aside, I was going to ask about the heavy cannon, but I can understand that it seems a bit redundant with the autocannon available and it's oh so ACHEy goodness. The ACHE is actually quite powerful against mutons, even on superhuman which suprised me. No need to respond to that bit.

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#26 SprCobra

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:55 AM

How do smoke grenade help you?
I dont use them waste of money and space

#27 Dover

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:16 PM

Some people swear by using smoke grenades to help exfiltrate the craft.

I have NEVER had a problem with this. I guess it's because my main concern with soldier stats is reaction and accuracy, along with TUs.
Or it could be because I don't stray beyond the landing geer of the craft in the first turn.
Or if oculd be because I shoot anything I can see from the craft before exiting.

I don't know, but my current setup is exactly 80 items, allowing no room for "Junk" like smoke grenades. And partially, you're right. If I'm ever in need of a smokescreen, I toss a regular grenade, or launch a rocket, or something.

I don't use the HC because it's a less-powered rocket launcher, which I don't see the point of. AP ammo sucks to begin with, Rockets > HCs in HE, and Inc is all but useless except for clearing jungle (Which is where inc rockets and ACs come in)
I guess I've just never found a home for the HC in my setups. I get rid of it ASAP. In fact, I don't even think I take it to the first mission...

#28 NKF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:24 AM

Crumbs! It took me two days to locate this discussion! Argh. Must remember to use the search option more often.

Anyway, about the smoke grenade, I have this irrational need to help players understand it a bit better. Even if you aren't going to use it much, you should at least know how to use it effectively.

A while back I created a savegame with a very special scenario that will allow you to test how the smoke grenade works, allowing you to test it over and over and try different things until you get a general understanding of how to use it well.

Check my experimental savegames page. Ignore the rest of the mad tests and grab the smoke grenade test savegame.

http://www.geocities.../testgames.html

Don't worry, it won't blow up your computer. The weirdness is confined to this one savegame.

The general points that need to be stressed:

- Smoke provides the best smoke screen during the first 2 - 3 turns after deployment. After that, it weakens and the aliens can see through the cloud 1 tile further for each turn afterwards - even though it looks like a larger cloud, it's actually weaker.

- Smoke works both ways. It reduces your vision as well as the alien's. It then becomes a battle of reactions. The one with the highest reaction gets to move/shoot first as soon as units from both sides spot each other. It also will not stop an alien that's standing nearby from spotting you when you leave the ramp. It just means that you're both in range to see each other, but it saw you first while you were facing another direction. Even if your reaction score is higher, if you don't see the alien, you won't be able to win the battle of reaction levels. Note, if you have the grenades, throw one to the other side before proceeding through it. Nothing like giving any waiting aliens on the other side a bit of a surprise.

- Throw smoke grenades between you and the target you want to hide from. Not on yourself or on your enemy. This means the enemy will only have half as much smoke to look through. However, dropping a smoke grenade by your feet is good if you want to make a hasty retreat, in the other direction.

- A smoke screen is a great way to obscure the rifle team that's firing on the targets painted by a spotter.

Plus one or two other things I've forgotten on account of the lateness and my need for getting up early to go to work. Ah well.

Again, this doesn't mean you have to use them. I don't use too many of them either. However, it's good to know how to use them well.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 01 March 2006 - 05:26 AM.

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#29 Dover

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 10:38 AM

Hmmm, perhaps I should do kind of a play-by-play thing with screenshots and post them up here to show me exiting stratagy...

#30 SaintD

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:32 PM

Hmmm, perhaps I should do kind of a play-by-play thing with screenshots and post them up here to show me exiting stratagy...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


http://www.ufopaedia...less_delpoyment

Though, the use of smoke isn't ideal, since the agents only use a couple of squares of smoke cover. But the basic idea is there.

When the first agent steps onto the ramp into the cloud, Aliens have to be pretty close to see him. He has a chance to get looking in the direction they are likely to be in and not get shot in the side as he walks down the ramp.

#31 Dover

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:56 PM

Hmmm, I meant one without using smoke, to show how smoke isn't nessessary.

I had one of me in a snakeman terror mission pretty late in the game that was a bucketload of fun. I know I have the save somewhere...

#32 NKF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 10:37 PM

Oh certainly, you don't need smoke grenades to deploy from your ship. I do it all the time. There's no real master trick that you must perform. You just have to be patient and ultimately be very careful.

But it can be useful to disguise your exit in a hot LZ situation (and for some reason you need to leave the ship fast). Not that the smoke is going to stop an alien that's standing just beside the ramp.

My point is that it's another handy tool at your disposal if you know how to use it properly. Kind of like the psi-amp, but that device breaks the game. Utterly. No, the flaers are a better example. You don't need them on night missions to be successful. But they can come in handy.

- NKF

P. S: TFTD's dye grenade on the other hand - now that's one object I have some serious 'issues' with.

Edited by NKF, 02 March 2006 - 03:23 AM.

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#33 Oldblue153

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:54 PM

Well TFTD's closed Triton doors and the ability to open a doors without walking in/out certainly make up for the inadequacy's (sp) of the Dye Gernade can't even begin to say how many missions I camp in my craft for the first ten or twelve turns picking off aliens who try to rush my ship.

** only time the "camping" trick is really dangerous is when you're doing Harbor Terror Missions when for some inane reason the aliens can toss gernades through small cracks in your hull (especially ones who are spawned in the upper right quadrant of the back of the craft)..even though you yourself cannot see or shoot through these cracks ..buggers