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Strategic Base Defense


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#1 EtherImp

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:15 PM

It's March 6th in 1999. I have no armor, no psi. Laser weapons are fully researched. Roster of 18 marines. Enough weapons and grenades to equip them all, as well as 4 med-kits and 2 motion scanners. I have 4 HE Packs, 1 Rocket launcher, 1 Auto-cannon, 2 Heavy Lasers, 4 Laser pistols, 2 stun rods, and enough Laser Rifles to equip the rest of my squad.

My base is set up defensively with 3 Hangers to the south, 1 access lift on the west side of the base connecting to the Hanger, and then all other base facilities north of that so there is 1 chokepoint in the entire base.

Enemies are Sectiods with Cyberdisc, at Veteren level.

I've tried several different approaches, from rushing (which fails miserably), to camping 6 soldiers (3 crouching in front, 3 standing in back) on both sides (north and east) of the main chokepoint, with a few floaters refreshing proximity grenades at the chokepoint itself. This plan kept failing. I'd usually eat a blaster bomb, and 1 or more of my soldiers would get bombarded with Psi attacks, mind controlled, and would kill the rest of the soldiers at that 'station'.

I came up with a different approach last night and want to see what you guys think. I've tried it once so far, and unfortunately my game crashed about 6 rounds in. It was going fairly well up to that point.

The strategy is this:

Lay proximity mines every 4 squares down the 2 paths leading away from the primary choke point. Camp soldiers (1 each) at the top of every stair well in the base facilities themselves. Leave smoke grenades at every major crossroad along the way. Put my Rocket Launcher soldier crouching at the far end of the very first long hallway so he has a clear shot down the hallway.

This way, no 2 soldiers can ever seen each other. If a soldier does get mind controlled he is only putting himself at risk within that round. It takes too many time units to stand up, (go down stairs, in some cases. Not all. I have some soldiers simply hiding behind the doors, not up the stairs), open a doorway, cross a hall, open another doorway, and find another soldier, then fire.

Any aliens entering the base will go through a literal minefield either path they choose. This allows me to basically know how far the aliens have progressed through the base. As they pass through a hallway and proximity mines explode, soldiers stationed in the facilities BEHIND that point can pop out from the doors and take shots on any aliens surviving the explosion, or I simply have my Rocket Launcher soldier fire blindly to the end of the hall where the proximities exploded. In order to get to my soldiers they have to make it through the minefield down either passageway and open a door to find a soldier waiting with full TU's, which leads to reaction fire.

Also, by spreading my soldiers out and keeping them out of LOS of one another (and out of LOS of any aliens) it increases the chances the aliens will "forget" their locations, and eventually be wandering through my base virtually blind.

It also makes it more difficult for the aliens to choose a blaster-bomb target, and then even if they do, the blasterbombs do not go through doors. Worst that can happen is a blasterbomb collides with a door and kills a soldier behind the door, but I don't think aliens will attempt to fire through doors/walls like a human would.

Any suggestions to improve this strategy or problems you can see with the methods I'm using?

Hopefully next time I try this my game does not crash. :(
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#2 stewart

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:54 AM

Long term suggestion. Put the hangars to the west with the choke point being a missile defense and the lift on the unhappy side of it. To the east of the missile defense put general stores. Theres a thread kicking around here somewhere by some guy with a VERY detailed description of what to do here.

Medium term with the base you got. Its only floaters! If you can have your base defense team armed with high explosives and heavy cannon with AP and HE ammo. Every man for himself and they camp upstairs.

Right now! Best reaction fire guys standing in the hallway at 90 degrees to the direction they come from. Crouch in middle of hallway about 3/2 modules away. Guys in side hallways (both approaches) out of sight to step forward for manual firing when needed on your turn.

Blasters are no joke but floaters and reapers are. Make them come to you. Really a floater invasion is a gift.
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#3 EtherImp

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:15 AM

Medium term with the base you got. Its only floaters! If you can have your base defense team armed with high explosives and heavy cannon with AP and HE ammo. Every man for himself and they camp upstairs.

Right now! Best reaction fire guys standing in the hallway at 90 degrees to the direction they come from. Crouch in middle of hallway about 3/2 modules away. Guys in side hallways (both approaches) out of sight to step forward for manual firing when needed on your turn.

Blasters are no joke but floaters and reapers are. Make them come to you. Really a floater invasion is a gift.


I think you missed the part of my post where I said it was Sectiods and Cyberdisc, not in fact Floaters.

The Psi capabilities of the invaders makes it much more difficult to camp in groups and rely on reaction fire and explosives.
Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
Such a heavy burden now to be the 'one'.
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending,
To write it down for all the world to see.

But I forgot my pen!

#4 fudgedragon

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 11:53 AM

I've defeated early base attacks on veteran. In fact your up on where I was. You have just under twice as many guys as I did and my base was the default one.

You tactic seems sound. The only risk I can see is loosing your own guys to proximity mines if they are mind controlled. Also there is a cap at 20 active proxie mines

I think the best advice I can give is don't let your guys be spotted.

My tactic is this

Camp guys (usually in teams of 2) out of sight (behind a door or round a corner that you are certain the aliens cant reach). The aliens will only blaster bomb targets that they know the location of. When your turn begins, pop out of hiding and kill any aliens that have showed themselves making sure to leave enough tus to get back out of sight.
From what I can gather psionic attacks will start if they spot any of your men (even the tank) on their turn.
You shouldn't need to worry about reaction fire either as most aliens will use up all their tus moving If they don't know the location of any of your guys.

Hopefully with a tactic such as this you can whittle them down and still prevent penetration further into the base.

Just be weary of cyberdisks. They move very fast, are difficult to destroy, and may blow out doors and walls when the pop. So you may loose some cover, and guys.
Of course everything goes to pot when turn 20 comes around as then the psi starts.

#5 stewart

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 04:16 PM

Medium term with the base you got. Its only floaters! If you can have your base defense team armed with high explosives and heavy cannon with AP and HE ammo. Every man for himself and they camp upstairs.

Right now! Best reaction fire guys standing in the hallway at 90 degrees to the direction they come from. Crouch in middle of hallway about 3/2 modules away. Guys in side hallways (both approaches) out of sight to step forward for manual firing when needed on your turn.

Blasters are no joke but floaters and reapers are. Make them come to you. Really a floater invasion is a gift.


I think you missed the part of my post where I said it was Sectiods and Cyberdisc, not in fact Floaters.

The Psi capabilities of the invaders makes it much more difficult to camp in groups and rely on reaction fire and explosives.


You are correct sir! My boo boo. Psi means of course you lose reaction fire as you have to stop-drop-and-kneal. Remember though secoids aint etherials; not all of them are psionic and even a commander isnt as good as a lowly etherial soldier. Also, a single shot from even a pistol stands a good chance of potting one. So at worst you are left with camping upstairs. Do you have motion scanners? If you have a guy upstairs in your choke point with it you'll see the little rascals acomin'. Anticipitory fire with rockets (so the explosion will reach around corners will do wonders to sectoids. As for cyberdisks . . . since it is a base invasion they have no opportunity to fly. Gingerly toss a high explosive under them and they will vex you no more. It has NEVER failed to do so for me and my mommy lets me play on hard.

Dem linkys? He days . . . Dissen be one anna dissen be tother

PS oh and the bugs tend to send the silver curling stones along walls and not down the middle of the hallway
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#6 Zombie

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 09:42 PM

From what I can gather psionic attacks will start if they spot any of your men (even the tank) on their turn.
You shouldn't need to worry about reaction fire either as most aliens will use up all their tus moving If they don't know the location of any of your guys.

Hopefully with a tactic such as this you can whittle them down and still prevent penetration further into the base.

Just be weary of cyberdisks. They move very fast, are difficult to destroy, and may blow out doors and walls when the pop. So you may loose some cover, and guys.
Of course everything goes to pot when turn 20 comes around as then the psi starts.

Not exactly. The aliens do not have to spot any of your soldiers in order to wage psionic (or even Blaster Bomb) attacks. They know the location & stats of all your units from the very beginning of a mission. The aliens will remember the location for as many turns as their intelligence stat allows them to (if they have an intelligence of 4, they will know your location for 4 turns). If they still haven't found you (or you, them) when their memory gives out, you will be completely hidden. At turn 20, the aliens get a free look around and will remember where you are for as many turns as their intelligence stat allows. After this, there are no more free looks for the aliens so you can relax a bit until they spot you again. ;)

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#7 fudgedragon

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:54 AM

Heh. I knew there was probably a flaw in my logic somewhere. I haven't been playing xcom nearly as long as any of you guys. I did think there was something about them remembering positions, but I couldn't find anything directly about it on the wiki before I posted.

Still, I've used that tactic and it kept me safe. Obviously as long as you don't group your soldiers too much the aliens won't be encouraged to use a blaster bomb (although it is still a possibility).

I do hope I'm right about a psionics grace period. I'm currently trying to figure out why my tactic works.

#8 Zombie

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 09:29 AM

Obviously as long as you don't group your soldiers too much the aliens won't be encouraged to use a blaster bomb (although it is still a possibility).

Sometimes there just isn't a possibility to spread out. The Battleship is one of these places because sometimes you just do not have enough cover or support fire to fully deploy. Due to the relatively open floorplan of the central part of the ship, a Blaster Bomb can be fired from within the craft - the only thing standing in it's way is the double-width door on the ground level (which the aliens are all too eager to open). The other place is in an alien base. There aren't many places you can hide and if your troops get pinned down by enemies it's easy to get grouped together. Of course, you could always exploit the aliens inability to fire BB's up a lift... LOL

I do hope I'm right about a psionics grace period. I'm currently trying to figure out why my tactic works.

There does appear to be a grace period so to speak - it seems to be longer on Beginner and progressively shortens as you go to Superhuman. :)

In an X-COM base the situation is different as you have plenty of enclosed rooms to take cover in. Plus your troops spawn semi-randomly around the base which spreads them out and all but eliminates Blaster Bomb attacks. Psi is another matter though. ;)

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Edited by Zombie, 14 January 2010 - 09:34 AM.

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!


#9 Warface

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:41 PM

Keeping a few unarmed guys near the psionic aliens (out of sight, such as upstairs) can allow the rest of your team to get the job done. Knowing which agents are the weakest against psi helps. Then the dirty work becomes getting the discs down without losing too many people. It's best when they're bunched up in a choke point and you can get them to blow each other up. Always keep agents behind cover (preferably doors, using Seb's loader for TftD doors) unless it's your turn to move, and have them able to cover each other on your turn, so that if a disc is too close to one, he is behind cover and another can shoot it. Usually it will only blow the wall out, leaving the agent exposed but unharmed.

I have found dropping weapons to be too tedious for psionics. Just use heavy armor + light weapons, or heavier weapons for some if you know who your psi decoys are. Only give your decoys stun rods and smoke grenades if you don't have armor; rifles or AC if you do. Since psi is based on range, make sure your decoys are close to the action. When the psionic aliens are dead, the decoys can pick up enemy weapons and do some real damage. Being psi-weak does not make them worthless!

#10 Istrebitel

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 07:55 AM

I dont understand how base can be lost if its built correctly. You need 1 tank, ~5 sane (high psi strength) people with laser rifles. Thats all. The base is 3 hangar on top, then an access lift and three LQ below.

The soldiers are in the last LQ, further away from access lift, kneeling. Tank is between them and the lift, somewhere between the last LQ and the LQ closer to the lift but also far away so he does not see the lift itself. At alien turn, they will advance, but see nothing. At your, you go in with a tank. When you spotted an alien, you go straight back and into cover (LQ have rooms and walls for that). Alien wont reaction fire on tank cos the surprise rule, and when tank moves back,he is out of sight range.
Then your sniper squad fires. Since they are out of sight range there is no reaction fire. By enemy turn, aliens that popped out of the lift are dead, new aliens pop up to die again.
If you dont know who of yours is succeptable to mind control, dont carry grenades. Aliens usually panic your troops first, and panic usually drops their weapons, removing the hassle to do it yourself. A panicked soldier who dropped his weapons will at worst stand in the line of fire. A panicked soldier having grenades in the pocket is game over when he gets mc'ed.
If some of your soldiers got a "psionic" attempt on him and his morale dropped, drop his weapons immediately. If he is panicked in ONE turn, and didnt drop his weapons, safer to shoot him yourself than let him get under mc and kill your sniper squad. If his morale didnt change, he's fine and will be fine.

Worst things that can happen is:
a) You dont have enough sane minded people OR you dont use xcomutils to scan your soldier's psi strength and your person got MC'ed in one turn, you couldnt drop his weapon in time.
B) Your tank gets blown, in this case, the least usefull person will have to take its place.
c) Your sniper squad catches a shot that missed the tank
d) Cyberdisks destroy all your lootz :(

First three are very unlikely to happen, fourth is merely a nuisance. Aliens never ever fired a blaster bomb at a single tank, and they never ever will see your sniper squad to fire at them, they never fire at what they cant see.

I feared the base defense until i discovered theese tactics...