I've gone through this save over and over, and couldn't figure out when they were completing their missions: At the start of the save the aliens have zero points in those areas, and by the time I can get my ships there, they've got what looks like exactly 150 points in both those countries. I've noticed that even while they don't land, they do eventually head directly to a city, and as soon as their ship 'touches' it, they suddenly speed off into the distance.
But here's the bizarre part: They don't get their points when they touch their target city. Fleet Supply Cruiser 1 spawns and wanders around, no effect. Dreadnought 1 spawns and starts wandering, both aren't anywhere near a city yet... no effect. Dreadnought 2 spawns near Australia, and INSTANTLY, the Asian Coalition has 150 alien points. All the USOs wander around, Dreadnought 2 tags Bombay and flies off (or gets shot down before tagging the city).
Then an hour later, Dreadnought 3 spawns near Antarctica, and INSTANTLY, Neo-Japan has 150 alien points. I can kill it before it even gets near the landmass, and there are NO other USOs in the area! If I don't kill it, it tags Tokyo then flies off (without ever landing).
Now, the first three alien subs had some time to wander around so theoretically they were completing missions, but this seems to prove pretty clearly that it is *impossible to stop an infiltration mission* once the aliens send their big guns, because the aliens get their points when the USO is spawned, not when it tags a city or disappears. The USO doing its fly-by is just a formality, and in the same exact five seconds that my scanners pick up the USO, its target nation has turned.
...Wait a sec, just ran a few more tests, and what the HECK?! I've known that two bases appear during this event, but:
1) These new bases are apparently NOT connected to the pact-signing nation (one is usually near Japan but sometimes closer to Korea or Free China, but another sometimes appears between Seychelles Islands and Mauritius, which seems certainly not Asian).
2) These new bases ARE NOT connected to USOs landing or even passing overhead. It's very difficult to track down when exactly they appear, but I've confirmed that they DO appear during the three or four hour period in question here, and that frequently, absolutely no aliens come within several hundred miles or more of the region in question. No aliens land anywhere either, so...
What the heck?
I've resigned myself to losing these two nations, and am going to go reload and shoot down all four craft and raid both the bases. (Who knows--if I kill everything on the ground in all of those, maybe somehow I won't lose the funders, but I doubt it.) But I think this is a really interesting look at how bases and infiltration happen.
Zip is attached, for testing purposes; this post is mainly about " is happening strategywise" and the save is not needed so I'm not putting it in the saved game forum. GAME_3 is the event itself, and everything happens within a couple hours of that; GAME_2 is two days prior. I would love it if someone could figure out a way to keep those colonies from being made or those nations from turning; maybe with creative hacking of ships (so you can get there instantly) it can be done?