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#1 oldfan

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 07:17 PM

I wanted to post about my experience with motion scanners. When I played the game years ago, I only used them to detect alien movement inside UFOs. While this is still the case, playing on superhuman (with government funding only) requires educated usage of ones resources. So I gave motion scanner more thought and found out it is highly useful on the first few turns when securing the landing zone. It is not uncommon to unload your soldiers and find out hostiles in the close vicinity (sometimes right under the Skyranger, especially on terror missions. The ability to detect close movement and the number of potential hostiles is of great help. I often use this information for determining whether to unload my soldiers or wait another turn, whether to unload a soldier with a rocket launcher, or prime high explosives and send a rookie to clear the area.

Another usage of course is around corners (barns, small UFO corners) or when about to enter the next "map square" if it is hidden. When detecting movement, I often calculate where to throw a grenade, proximity mine, or if multiple enemies, a high explosive charge.

A few important tips about motion scanner are:
  • Remember that aliens that don't move OR move very LITTLE, will not show up on the motion scanner.
  • Ideally, scan at the beginning of the turn in order to avoid confusion with movement of your own troops.
  • Very useful in base defense, especially when your soldiers are hiding behind closed doors and need to "peep out" in order to identify hostiles.
  • Four large blips together identify a terror unit (cyber disc, reaper, etc.). Good to know in order to avoid or prepare that high explosive charge.
    [(]Carry around 3-4 motions scanners, one with each squad.


#2 Zombie

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:14 PM

First, here's a link to StrategyCore on the same subject. And of course, the Motion Scanner page at the X-COM wiki. :)

Another important and somewhat confusing aspect of the Motion Scanner is that it can detect movement anywhere on the map, be it on the ground, in the air, or standing on another level. So you can stand on the ground floor of a UFO and detect movement on the bridge above you. Yet if you look in front of you there will be nothing there, the alien is above you... somewhere. Because of this, you have no way of knowing which level movement is originating from so you'll have to be careful interpreting the results. ;)

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 19 October 2009 - 07:16 PM.

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#3 oldfan

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:29 AM

First, here's a link to StrategyCore on the same subject. And of course, the Motion Scanner page at the X-COM wiki. :)

Another important and somewhat confusing aspect of the Motion Scanner is that it can detect movement anywhere on the map, be it on the ground, in the air, or standing on another level. So you can stand on the ground floor of a UFO and detect movement on the bridge above you. Yet if you look in front of you there will be nothing there, the alien is above you... somewhere. Because of this, you have no way of knowing which level movement is originating from so you'll have to be careful interpreting the results. ;)

- Zombie

Ah...... that I know. It is usually trivial but indeed problematic in case of flying units (floaters, discs). It is also very helpful in very "smoky" situations - I sometimes use it to throw a grenade/HE as well.