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Colony Assaults


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#1 Extrocomp

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 12:49 AM

Today I tried for the first time to attack an alien colony. It's been there for many months already but I wanted to wait until I got to a decent technological level. I finally had Magnetic Ion Armor, Sonic Cannons, Sonic Pulsers, Disrupter Pulse Launchers and Thermic Lances so I decided now was the time to attack.

I had already successfully completed 2 Artefact Site missions and they were easy so I expected the Colony to be even easier because the Unofficial Strategy Guide says Artefact Sites are a lot harder than Colonies. It couldn't have been more wrong!

I had 4 aquanauts with Disrupter Pulse Launchers and I used them to devastate the glowing central chamber and several surrounding corridors in a few turns. I killed a lot of aliens but there were still plenty more. My aquanauts were clustered together near the Triton because many of them had just come out and had spent their TUs to have an Aimed Shot at something. Then the aliens started having a field day with Disrupter Pulse Bombs and Sonic Pulsers on my aquanauts. Many died. Many more died when the aliens MCed them and made them shoot and throw grenades at each other. By the time I cleaned out most of the map I had 6 of my 14 aquanauts left and the aliens (wherever they were) were still MCing the crap out of me. I sent several aquanauts back to the Triton to fetch the Thermic Lances and Vibro Blades. Unfortunately a lot of this equipment was destroyed by MCed aquanauts who detonated Sonic Pulsers in the vicinity. With nothing left to do I sent my 3 remaining aquanauts into the second level. 2 of them were panicked and the other one was in the vicinity of a Tentaculat which survived a direct hit from a Sonic Cannon. It was the end me.

I don't yet have MC Disrupters. I haven't even researched MC Lab so I don't know good my aquanauts' Molecular Control resistance is. Is it possibly to beat a Colony mission without MC technology? If it is then what am I doing wrong?

#2 Yoni

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 05:20 AM

I suppose it's possible if you filter out the aquanauts with bad mc strength through trial and error. I'm playing my first no-save game in tftd on veteran difficulty. There's been a colony on my map for quite some time. I decided to wait untill I could fill a triton with my mc troops with magnetic ion armours. There's some sort of cheat in my game though. I use xcomutil (I think) a tool that immediately shows the mc strength of any newly aquired soldier (by putting his mc skill at 1). The big cheat in this, is that it allows you to train your troops in mc skill just with mc disruptors, even before you get mc lab. My best soldier has got 29 mc skill, and it's the start of the month at the end of which the first mc score of mc lab will be added. I was scared about the colony I'd eventually have to beat to get a commander.

But I got lucky. A dreadnought landed for some alien mission. They had a lobsterman commander on board. I had to play the mission by nighttime and they have several tentaculats on board, but if you want an easy lobsterman commander, that's the way to go.

So my suggestion is either:
Only with soldiers with decent mc strength (I aim at 75+), lots of disruptor pulse launchers to blanket the alien hotspots and to kill tentaculats you can't approach with regular weapons. Use thermal shock launchers for the second level as it's filled with lobstermen. As there are tentaculats too, just bomb the synomium device and get out. But take the commander with you.

The other option is waiting for a dreadnought with a lobsterman commander.

#3 Exo2000

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 06:12 AM

Generally, you need a Deep One for most of the MC stuff, preferably live, I believe. The corpse is relatively useless.
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#4 NKF

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:19 PM

Well, the corpse is used to get plastic aqua armour, which is one of the prerequisites for ion armour. The live deep one merges the personal aqua armour and the ion beam accelerators into the Ion Armour.

You can also get the M.C.-Lab from live calcinites. I don't know about Biodrones.

Speaking of colony assaults, you can actually get through them with a lot less, but it never hurts to come prepared with great armour and disrupter pulse launchers, that's for sure.

What it really takes is patience. Much more of it than you'd normally use to play UFO's harder missions.

I find that unless I'm being bombarded with mental attacks, I can use the Triton as a bunker of sorts for a good deal of the first part of the mission. If placed well, you can easily have your aquanauts step in and out of the Triton each turn and snipe any enemies that come within range, or use DPL torpedoes to blast away areas that you know have concentrations of aliens. Like the two levels of the central lift area, the corridor leading to the north observation deck, the deck itself and perhaps the various guard posts stationed around the colony. Check a particle disturbance sensor every so often to watch for aliens approaching from your blind sides, and use sonic pulsers as a means of bypassing the bulk of the Triton.

Note that you can always abort the first part of the mission and return at a later time. You can use the first part of the mission to give your troops a lot of experience by going the the colony, killing a few aliens, aborting the mission, then repeating the process over again. This is also a fairly good way to gauge your MC strength if you don't have the lab. Have everyone you want tested wait in the Triton, unarmed, and see who is panicked or mind controlled outright. You can then abort the mission and sack anyone that succumbed to mental attacks right away.

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#5 dan2

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 02:48 PM

Since you got so far up in the game, I presume your fighters got MCed in other missions, usually against the Tasoths. Any fighters that are easily MCed usually have low MC strength, and they should be fired, and others must be hired instead.
But yes, the game works way better with early MC labs, so studying as early as possible a DeepOne (while having an MC Reader in the storage at the base) is very useful. You don't really have to train them in MC skills, but finding the MC strength using the MC labs is a good way (without having to bend the game-files using X-ComUtil) to have a more decent fight in the alien bases.

#6 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:43 AM

Deep One corpse => Aqua Plastics => Plastic Aqua Armor
Live Deep one (+Plastic Aqua Armor +Ion Beam Acc.) => Ion Armor
Any live terrorist (I think) => Start of MC tree.

Hmm... this gives me an idea, a "kinda the most effective way" research step by step.

First part of the colonies it is paramount to have MC reliable soldiers, or kill the aliens as fast as possible. If you can get to open up a hole and drop in a few DPLs into the middle of the cross, there are about 6-8 aliens there, enough to actually get a few aliens to start wetting their pants.

I usually find 2nd part harder, tentaculats are really lame :/
Passenger ship terror site, first turn, I open the door of my Triton, there is a Tasoth up on the next floor (his back is facing the screen so I don't know what weapon he has).

One of my guys fire at him, hit, he reaction fires with Thermal Shock Launcher. The whole crew stunned. Mission over.

#7 Blehm 98

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 11:20 AM

yes, i've played through the upper level with no losses on Veteran, then when i got onto the lower level they slowly whittled down my men. Its just those reactions lobstermen have, plus their stun launchers which put my guys down, and then to top it off i have tentaculats floating above doorways so i can't see them
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#8 Bullet-Tooth Tony

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:59 AM

Learn from previous experience, who in your team has low MC strength, and when you're in colony don't give them any weapons/grenades. Aliens will panic/control them, but those soldiers won't do any harm.
I think a Sonic Displacer is also useful here. Scout with it, find the main building and nuke it with several DPL torpedoes (both ground and first floors). Next, find another 2-floor building (a corridor from the main building leads there), and nuke it as well. Displacer will probably attract some Tentaculats, but they're unable to desttroy it, once they near the tank - shoot them with its cannon.
If you do it all quickly (scout/kill Tentaculats/destroy big buildings), you will greatly decrease the number of MC attacks on you and probably get some of remaining enemies to panic, wich will give you further advantage.
Then go with your Displacer and several MC-strong soldiers and kill the remaining aliens. Just don't think that the battle is already won and rush ahead blindly. Still be careful and you'll take them out.

#9 lcp0209

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:05 PM

what do I need to blow up and how do I find it?

#10 NKF

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 10:45 PM

The synonium device. It's a little pedestal with two spinning rings on top of it. Pretty obvious, as it has its own chamber.

In colonies, look for the large ion-beam accelerator storage room that looks like a theatre. The IBA's are the purple spheroids. Once you've found this area, head straight down the lifts and make your way into the synonium device chamber. It's heavily guarded with lobstermen in a very tight room. Luckily, there's a hole just above the room. Throw a pulser or fire a DPL torpedo through the hole and you're done.

In artefact sites, they're in a large black chamber with a lift in the middle that leads up to the device. This place is literally crawling with tentaculats and an occasional aquatoid.

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Edited by NKF, 10 October 2006 - 12:40 PM.

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#11 Horoma

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:16 AM

In artefact sites, they're in a large black chamber with a lift in the middle that leads up to the device. This place is literally crawling with tentaculats and an occasional aquatoid.

You can say that, this room on superhuman is an absolute nightmare. No matter what entrance you use, you should always look behind you. Tentaculats love to hide in the compartments just above the entrances, then sneak up to you on the alien's turn. Seeing 6-7 tentaculats upon entrance is not uncommon. :surrender:

#12 xalien

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:45 AM

I don't go to artifact sites until I have a displacer, DPL's and MC-resistant squad. Then it's a walk in a park.

#13 Negator

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 05:58 AM

I don't go to artifact sites until I have a displacer, DPL's and MC-resistant squad. Then it's a walk in a park.


Smart guy !

#14 iucpxleps

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 10:58 PM

I just put two sonic displacers and send them to discover the aliens. they generally stay at the same places. establish a perimeter close to the sub like 2 or 3 square away. and shell the heck out of the colony center block -the yellow lift and its corridors- with a launcher. I even managed to kill 5 aliens at once with one shot lined upstairs of the lift.. first level is easy anyway..

on the second level, if you know the device's place just get a solider with 50+ bravery and 50+ mc str with only vibro blade, a grenade with mag ion armor. and send directly to the device. its room generally has 3 lobstermen, just vibro blade all in one round, set the grenade and leave.. other soldiers should stay put and defend.

this way you can just finish the colony..I destroyed two colonies and a artefact site this way. you dont get too much trouble with this strategy. I rembember the days which I didnt know the device and searching the last alien was a nightmare..It's not productive to kill all aliens in the 2nd level imo..just in and out!:)

ps if you dont know the device, it's around the center in the base level, has a square shape place more like a castle with walls..:P

Edited by iucpxleps, 21 December 2006 - 10:59 PM.


#15 reckoner

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 08:25 AM

on the second level, if you know the device's place just get a solider with 50+ bravery and 50+ mc str with only vibro blade, a grenade with mag ion armor. and send directly to the device. its room generally has 3 lobstermen, just vibro blade all in one round, set the grenade and leave.. other soldiers should stay put and defend.


This is how I do it. One guy, goes for the device - the rest stay behind and guard the entrances. With MC this is a walk in the park, without MC it might be better to go with more people.

MC makes the whole thing kinda trivial tbh - the only problem is Tentaculats, and they usually die in one sonic cannon shot.

The same guy will also stun the lobstermen commanders in the control room, set a grenade for a 4 or 5 turns, lob it, pick up one of the stunned commanders and leg it back to the entrance. Mission successful, and lobsterman commander ready for research.

I love colony missions!

#16 LouisdeFuines

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 07:01 AM

1.:
I start a colony raid only, when I hav PSI-Units, that are strong.

2.:
Then I take over the aliens in the center-building and bring only ONE aquanaut into the mission-exit.

I don`t know, if this is considered to be cheating, but:
You don`t need to enter with everyone the exit, just ONE unit is completely enough!

3. level 2:
Usually I need only 2 soldiers there. In 5 minutes I find out, where there is the commanders room, shot the synomium-device from the level above and go down, knock the commander unconsious and take him with me. That`s it.

All in all, with strong PSI-units, maybe a thing of 20 minutes

#17 yarrow

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 08:59 AM

let me throw something - since I'm alien bases/colonies maniac too ;)


as for the first stage of alien colonies, and MC screening

dont fire panickers, if they resist mind control !!!

I have witnessed this many times
that even 83 mc strength soldiers ( with 0 mc skill => not yet trained in mc lab )
CAN be panicked, but not mind controlled

for xcom1 ( ufo ) this gets even worse
89 psi strength soldier WAS panicked by sectoid commander
standing next square to my soldier

but after first month in MC lab ( mc skill 16-24 )
they ARE mind control immune

so this screening method, is not quite perfect
in terms of 80-90 range of psi/mc strength

of course you can always hire more rookies ( as I do anyway hehe ;) )



as for weapons needed

thermal tasers, can knock down anyone ( if you want harder way ;) )

but ... I usually need
sonic cannons, sonic pulsers, mag ion armors

and ... dart guns ... for firing accuracy training

yes ... tasoths are immune to dart guns
so you can get everyone empty his dart gun magazine
at single lone panicked tasoth loser

as for Disruptor launchers
yes, they are devastating, but ... they also make doors for those who survive
and those pesky tentaculat can be now free to make zombie run for aquanauts
I have seen that many times, so I dont use Disruptors so much anymore

remember:
you must just consider what you get, AND what the aliens will get

as for second level
for me it is actually easier
I search for zrbite => if you find engine room which is not always generated
shot accelerators with sonic cannon, grab zrbite I usually find 1-3 crystals ( 50-150 zrbite )


and synomium device is easy to find once you know how it looks like
tale a look at it ( both map levels 0 and 1 ), and next time ( and there will be next time )
you will have no problem finding it

in synomium device room
grab lobsterman commanders if you need them ( there are 3 of them, all that you will ever need )
drop grenade, or shot device with sonic cannons

and get back, thats it

as someone earlier mentioned before
it can be as fast as few minutes that way
and loot ... you can grab it from upper level, as NKF mentioned


actually I tested how fast I can finish it ( second level I mean )
and it was 4min, 26 sec ( yes, I used stopwatch ;) )
3 lobster man commanders grabbed, 2 zrbite crystals from engine room

and of course synomium device destroyed ;)
which normally I dont, I prefer repeating alien colonies missions


patience my friend ... thats the key to this game, especially to alien colonies

now go, and kick some alien asses ;)

Edited by yarrow, 26 December 2010 - 09:03 AM.


#18 NKF

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 01:35 PM

If you know all the places where the tentaculats normally start, the DPL is invaluable. I normally shell the north tower and the upper level of the middle chamber. There are lots of tasoth with DPL in there, and I'd rather have less DPLs to worry about than tentaculats.

Not saying the tentaculats are easy, but they can be avoided, and can sometimes be deterred with reaction fire. DPL - no.


2.:
Then I take over the aliens in the center-building and bring only ONE aquanaut into the mission-exit.

I don`t know, if this is considered to be cheating, but:
You don`t need to enter with everyone the exit, just ONE unit is completely enough!


As far as I can tell, with an unmodified game without using any utilities, only the aquanaut in the exit will advance if you choose to continue by aborting the first level. If you have strong MC abilities, and that one aquanaut can take over the base by him/herself, then I guess it's not a problem.

It actually sounds more like a challenge than cheating. Sure MC skills are over the top, but it's still limited to a few uses a turn,.

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#19 yarrow

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 06:10 AM

I didnt say, I dont use Disruptor Pulse Launchers anymore :)

I have just said, that I dont use them SO MUCH, and so blindly, as it was before
they too easily destroy 'my precioussssss' ;) loot

I think thats because I use alien colonies as money makers, too much
instead of just building factory base
yes ... factory base its safer, but ... it wont give you so much aquanaut experience
not to mention monthly score, live aliens and ... 'my precioussssss' ;)

and yes ... I DO use Disruptors on towers, as NKF do
I just prefer sonic cannons, for the rest


as for killing tentaculats with reaction fire
yes, it can be done, but ... they sometimes survive first shot
its just safer to use tanks ... and yes ... your beloved Disruptors ;)


as for aquanauts who go into the second part
in unmodified game ... NKF is right
ONLY those on exit grid will go to the second level
or all ... if you kill every alien