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#1 Tolian

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:51 AM

Lo.

Came across these forums on the weekend because I got the inexplicable urge to play Apocalypse and couldn't get it to work in XP. Thanks to Alex-GoD's crack and some browsing the forums I got it working and I'm completely addicted to the game. Which is strange 'cos I never liked it before.

I used to be completely addicted to TFTD, which was my favourite X-com game. These games are the scariest games I've ever played! Now I've played doom3 and resident evil and all of these 'scary' games but X-com 1-3 are pretty damn frightening where as the others just make you say "F***" every so often. X-com had atmosphere!

Anyway. I understand all aspects of the first two games and played them both to death. But Apocalypse is scarily different and I keep buggering things up. I could really use some advice from the pros:

1) I never understood how the difficulty settings affected things. On Easy is it normal for a couple of soldiers to die per mission (getting brains sucked out normally), or should i replay the level until I win with every soldier? What's a 'fun' difficulty?
2) When should I be building extra bases, at the start, week 1, month 2 etc? Is more bases better?
3) Whats a good way to tell if a building might have aliens in it (before you get alerts)?
4) Should I raid other corporations often, like the Cult? (Totally new thing to me - does the game expect me to do this - I thought I was fighting aliens?)
5) Is the starting fleet of vehicles suffient until I research better, or should I buy more fairly early?
6) I notice in real-time tactical mode, enemies seem to rush to my soldiers rather than me having to go search for them like in TFTD. Is this because I'm playing on the easy setting? Should I just find a good position to hide and wait for aliens to come to me? (Works ok so far, even though it's not what I'm used to in TFTD)
7) I notice I start off with Psionic labs. Can I ignore psionics or is it too advantageous to ignore?
8) Are the X-com games after apocalypse any good? I've not tried *any*. I just know of the first 3 games.

Thanks. :beer:

#2 G.Wood

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 03:53 PM

I know, I didnt like it when i first played it either. But now that im a lil older and can appreciate the complexity of the thing, it is much more enjoyable.

Really? you liked tftd?? that was probaly my least favorite.




8. The Xcom series was discontinued, and as far as any of us know,it has not been mentioned to coming back any time soon. Although there are many remakes and games inspired by xcom in the making, by mostly by independent organizations of volunteer programmers and such, so, there is no guarantee.

other misc. tips.

starting off:
Buy all the stormdogs you can, disassemble them, and sell the pieces individually. thats some money.
buy hoverbikes, equip them with janitor missles and/or plasma weapons. also, better engines help evasion and the such, but a swarm of hover bikes will remedy most ufo's, until the larger ones.

The norm for buying a second base is when you can research the advanced bio lab, workshop, and quantum physics lab, because they are 2x2 in construction, and you usually have to do alot of rearranging in your base.

oh, and with that, you dont have to fill every base, i usually completly surrond the lift and repair bay (two entrance points for invasions) with the security stations, which should be upgraded with disruptor tech when possible.

#3 Tsereve

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 07:08 PM

If you play in real-time, you shouldn't have any soldiers get brainsucked per mission. Killed? Occasionally, but I've all but won my game (just a few more buildings, no more ufo's, even!), and I've gotten no one sucked, no one killed. Then again, that's probably due to me retreating a lot. Real-time looks like it could be confusing and difficult, but as long as you pause often (really often), it's by far the easiest. Place a few guys with machine guns a few squares behind your main force, spread out in a line facing the enemy, and your machine-gunners should be able to shoot any brainsuckers OFF THE TOP OF YOUR GUYS' HEADS, BEFORE THEY SUCK THEM. Right, that sounded wrong, but it's the trick, so ignore it.

Deciding about more bases largely depends on which difficulty level you're playing at. Start a Beginner game, quite, then start a Superhuman one. Notice a *slight* change in the size of the city? The higher the difficulty, the more bases you'll need to be able to cover the entire city effectively. On beginner mode, I usually get by with one research/manufactoring base (transport all alien tech here), one interception base (around middle of map cuz dimension gates move around from day to day, have multiple ship entry holes, keep all scramble vehicles here), and one strike base (all good soldiers here, several transports, living quarters, medical bay, stores). In the research and interception bases, keep about 5 androids armed with Megapol armor and auto-cannons (+ extra ammo!!). Later, switch to Disruptor armor and devastators (no ammo needed!). Leave a few heavy fighters at your Strike and Research bases. Don't forget ammo!

When you buy bases, try to buy only those with lots of INTERIOR space (esp with 4 squares in a block, helps a lot with advanced facilities), and with access lifts near the corners and isolated from much of the base. Keep a layer or two of security stations between the access lift and the rest of the base, and build vehicle repair facilities near the edges too (these will also need to be guarded by security stations, have these only at interception base).

THE VEHICLES YOU START OUT WITH IS TOTALLY CRAPPY! Sell ALL ground vehicles, never buy them! For all enemies, a large squad of hoverbikes armed with lasers and janitor missiles (if you have the money and the elerium, plasma weapons) is more than sufficient if you scramble them all at once towards the same enemy. Valkeries and Hawks look enticing, but they're not very maneuverable, and ufos always will target them first. A lot of money down the drain. Have a few armed with the best weapons available, but guard them well. If they get damaged during battle (even a little), send 'em back to base, or have them hide in a nearby building until things cool over. As for the scramble craft, they can get destroyed if you want, they're cheap and plentiful in supply.

Yes, in real-time, find a good position (good cover, only 1-2 ways out to guard, NO WALKWAYS OR PILLARS, ETC. ABOVE YOU, THEY WILL FALL AND HURT STUFF. Kneel (even better, go prone) in some good positions where you can easily duck into cover, but still where your soldiers all have a clear shot down the hallway. When you see a brainsucker of popper (that little blue thing with smoke that blows up), concentrate all fire on them until they're killed.

Psi is important, yes, but not nearly as much so as in the first two X-Com games. Only use it against Anthropods and Skeletoids (you'll see these bad boys later), and have them throw their weapons a good distance away. Mind probe and panic are, in my opinion, useless. Stun is useful, but mind control kicks ***! Only train hybrids (those guys with high psi stats and wierd bug-eyes) in psi.

Interceptor is pretty good, but Enforcer sux. Hope I answered your questions.
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#4 NKF

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 07:36 PM

1. Difficulty settings generally entails:

- A new Map! Superhuman being the grandest, with a total of 8 possible base site locations. Not necessarily the best locations, but decent enough to get you going

- Overall enemy stats are slightly better. Not that this makes too much of a difference. You just might find that it takes a few more hits to kill a superhuman multiworm than a beginner level multiworm.

- Alien numbers tend to be much greater.

- UFOs appear to be more aggressive.

- Tech appears a lot faster on harder levels due to the sheer number of points you rack up from the larger alien numbers.

I'd say pick a map that you like and stick with it.

2. When you have the cash. Unlike UFO and TFTD, there's no such thing as radar coverage, so it doesn't matter how many bases you have or where they are. Also note that parking vehicles in buildings is free, so you only need to send your ships back for maintenance every so often.

So, if you have the cash and the need to expand, buy a new base. This could be months into the game, or even weeks. It doesn't matter. Also try not to cram too much into a base. The large Workshop is a good excuse to build a new base, as is building a new storage facility.

3. Check your infiltration graph. The top-10 infiltrated organisations being your best resource, next to the ufopaedia, which is less useful. Open up your overhead map (tab in the cityscape) and open up the organisation tab. Select the icon of the organisation you want to investigate, and this'll highlight that organisation's buildings. Head out an investigate the buildings closest to the site where the aliens were last dropped.

4. No, this is totally optional and entirely up to you. Remember however that alien tech is score based. So if by the end of the week you've built up too much of a score, you might start facing tech you're not ready to combat (like entropy before you get shields - nasty that...). Do raid if you need the experience and equipment. But raid sparingly.

5. You can do well with what you start with, as you really don't have to shoot every UFO down (you only ever need to do this once just to get a sample of the ship and equipment) but it's best to at least bolster your attack fleet with 4 - 8 hoverbikes where possible as soon as you can. Swarms of hoverbikes and hovercars tend to be a good and affordable attack fleet against small to medium sized ships. The valkyrie is a decent dropship for all city-wide missions - it's not really that good as a fighter ship. For that, you'll need the Hawk Air Warriors, which come out in a few weeks after you start. The starting Wolfhound APC is great as a secondary troop transport for investigating buildings in the city (i.e. you want to check two or three sites at the same time).

6. Unfortunately, yes. They see you, they rush towards you. That's actually what they do in UFO as well, but as you're playing in real-time, this isn't so obvious. In TFTD, the AI's been tweaked slightly so they appear to camp a lot more than hunt.

In Apocalypse you can often find a good chokepoint and then ambush anyone that walks through it - mostly in crashed UFO assault maps. But in most missions, it's better to use a combination of hunting and camping to achieve your goals.

7. Psionics have been watered down in this game for balance issues (well, psi was too powerful in the earlier games in any case). Psi is not essential and can be safely ignored. But if you get a very good team of hybrids and train them up, psi can be very useful indeed. Such as disarming an alien of its shield and or detonating all its explosives in a split second.

Note that only the two tool weilding aliens can be mind controlled (anthropods and skeletoids), and you can use psi easily against any human guard. Also note that you can only train up to 3 times your starting psi stats. So invest in a few good hybrids if you want it - don't even think of using a pure human.

8. Well, they're fun, but are only X-Com in name, not gameplay. Interceptor retains the grand strategic element with the starscape, and Enforcer is... well, it's mindless fun. You spend most of your time holding down the fire button in any case. ;)

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 29 November 2004 - 07:38 PM.

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#5 Tsereve

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 08:07 PM

Dang, you beat the length of my post :P Well, it is you, I guess. I for one think all ground vehicles (including that Wolfhound APC) are a waste, get a few Hovercars, they'll far outfly ('fly' being a technical term here) them. Plus they'll double as swarm craft.

Hawks aren't really that great, sure, they're all heavy and damaging, but they make a nice, red, big juicy target. They always get destroyed first, and they cost too much for that. Only use them at long range, so their more powerful weapons can fire, rather than having them just turn around in circles, trying to face the UFO.

Stun raids, though controversial to some, are quite useful as long as you don't overdo it. Just take a large group of agents with stun grapples (possibly stun grenades, NO WEAPONS THAT KILL) and raid an allied organization. You'll get a ton of equipment, but they won't get mad at you. Just be careful, as NKF said, alien advanced tech is triggered by your score, if your score's too high, you'll be faced with Battleships before disruptor tech [shudder]
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#6 NKF

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 12:40 AM

You know, the funny thing is, my strategy with Hawk Air warriors revolves around not having them move at all! ;)

The trick is to distract the UFO guns with something else before sending the big guns in. Say, hoverbikes. So the hoverbikes go in as a distraction, while my Hawk Air Warriors get into position and start opening fire with their big guns.

You're correct, they're useless up close as they tend to completely waste their rate of fire by turning around. They need to fly into a position within the UFO's trajectory, turn towards it and stay still in mid air. If you can get in position before the UFOs arrive, well, all the better.

The Hawk' main ability is that it can arm a medium disrupter, one of the few weapons that mean anything to a capital ship.

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#7 Tolian

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 06:26 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. Lots of nice suggestions for this super game. :)

#8 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 06:13 PM

And a tiny bit of stuff from me:

Fly low. Especially if you want to stay on good terms with the other organisations (the key word here being "Transtellar"). Just trust me. Really.

Get androids and use them as "shields" until you get real ones. Yes they are useful and all, but the true purpose of the android is to soak up damage. Lots of it.

About vehicles, the best thing I've found so far is buying hovercars and equipping them with lineage plasma cannons (damn I've been saying this so many times these last few weeks). Don't forget to give them the SD turbo engines. I've been able to down two Battleships (those real big UFOs) using nothing but hovercars un superhuman.

And on a final note, if all else fails, when threatened by a brainsucker, you could always drop down onto the ground and play dead. OK, to be serious about it, brainsuckers have problems with targets that are prone (ie. agents crawling on the ground), so you could use this "trick" to counter them.
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.

#9 G.Wood

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 02:18 PM

Whenever there is a brainsucker on an agent, he wont lie down for some reason, and sometimes when i have 2 or more agents lieing next to each other they dont turn, then kneel, turn, turn back to the way they were facing, lie down again, and repeat.

#10 Deathskull

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 09:42 PM

what i used to do with brain suckers if noones around to help is take a ap grenade and put it in your hand right before the brainsucker latches on and then prime it to detonate immediatly and the drop it, killing the brainsucker immediatly and dealing only minor damage to the agent, AS LONG AS HE HAS MEGAPOL ARMOR ON
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#11 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 05:05 AM

The agent has to prone before the brainsucker latches on. An agent with a brainsucker on his head will not prone or kneel (or do anything else as far as I know).
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.

#12 G.Wood

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 08:41 AM

Oh, okay, but, they usually kneel to turn and shoot it, then they get latched

#13 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 12:13 PM

Well lying down is one of the many ways of countering a brainsucker (and IMHO, its kinda the "exploiting a bug" way). You should always double up agents and have them protect each other. Brainsuckers are really not that big a problem, especially in real time.
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.

#14 NKF

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 04:19 PM

You always kneel when you try to turn in the prone position. If you are not able to go prone again after you've turned (i.e. there's a soldier blocking you), you remain kneeling. See, there's no place for your legs to go, hence why you end up kneeling anyway.

You should always lie down in the direction you want the soldier to be facing. The mildly stupid AI that controls your soldier movement really likes to have your soldiers muddle about.

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#15 dan2

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 06:43 PM

And a tiny bit of stuff from me:
Fly low. Especially if you want to stay on good terms with the other organisations (the key word here being "Transtellar"). Just trust me. Really.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow, I learned something new. So that's why Transstellar is so pissed off after every battle. And I thought they're just craisy

4. No, this is totally optional and entirely up to you. Remember however that alien tech is score based. So if by the end of the week you've built up too much of a score, you might start facing tech you're not ready to combat (like entropy before you get shields - nasty that...). Do raid if you need the experience and equipment. But raid sparingly.
- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So that's why I was having such a hard time to find a tiny pink disruptor. Without it I was unable to study the large devastator and I was wondering if it's because of the difficulty. So I'll try first to visit less the Cult of Sirius, at least till I get the pinky weapon first. :)

edit by j'ordos : posts merged

#16 NKF

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 10:13 PM

You should still be able to find the disrupter gun (it's more of a fish, really) around, as it won't go away after you've reached its prerequisite score level.

If you wait long enough, organisations in Mega Primus start to get it as well (their acquisition of alien tech is also score based, only they have a delayed start and don't seem to get everything. Cloaks, shields and devestators and boomeroids, yes, but I'm unsure about the rest).

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#17 dan2

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:09 PM

You should still be able to find the disrupter gun (it's more of a fish, really) around, as it won't go away after you've reached its prerequisite score level.
If you wait long enough, organisations in Mega Primus start to get it as well (their acquisition of alien tech is also score based, only they have a delayed start and don't seem to get everything. Cloaks, shields and devestators and boomeroids, yes, but I'm unsure about the rest). 
- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, in the begining, right after cleaning the infested bulding (which is random),I was visiting for like 100 times the cult to be able to buy all available buildings, make constructions, buy all 4 available Valkyries and any useful missiles and devices.
This seem to improve my soldiers a lot, anyway, so I saw no harm there. The only problem was (as I found out now) my huge score, making the aliens to appear with devastators and no trace of disruptors. Indeed, as you're saying, after a month I get one from the cult of Sirius, but it was frustrating not to have devastators for that long :)

#18 Exo2000

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 07:02 AM

1) I never understood how the difficulty settings affected things. On Easy is it normal for a couple of soldiers to die per mission (getting brains sucked out normally), or should i replay the level until I win with every soldier? What's a 'fun' difficulty?
2) When should I be building extra bases, at the start, week 1, month 2 etc? Is more bases better?
3) Whats a good way to tell if a building might have aliens in it (before you get alerts)?
4) Should I raid other corporations often, like the Cult? (Totally new thing to me - does the game expect me to do this - I thought I was fighting aliens?)
5) Is the starting fleet of vehicles suffient until I research better, or should I buy more fairly early?
6) I notice in real-time tactical mode, enemies seem to rush to my soldiers rather than me having to go search for them like in TFTD. Is this because I'm playing on the easy setting? Should I just find a good position to hide and wait for aliens to come to me? (Works ok so far, even though it's not what I'm used to in TFTD)
7) I notice I start off with Psionic labs. Can I ignore psionics or is it too advantageous to ignore?
8) Are the X-com games after apocalypse any good? I've not tried *any*. I just know of the first 3 games.


1) It's fairly normal to lose them early on - but to brainsuckers, no way.

2) Only if you can afford them.

3) Check the map. Any building with a red circle on it has aliens in. Also, you can send squads to turn a building upside down - but the company will like you less for disrupting them.

4) Particularly the Cult - free weapons! And ammo! AND money!

5) Ground Vehicles aren't that great and you don't get any more. Air vehicles are by far more useful.

6) Sometimes in UFO attacks, you WILL have to go hunt them, no matter how much you camp outside.

7) It can be useful - but it's best that you leave Psionics to the Hybrids, as they're best at it - because it allows you to panic, KO or take control of an alien. The higher your Psionic Attack and Energy, the more likely an attack is to bypass their Psionic Defense and take control of them.

8) Interceptor isn't too bad, Enforcer is as someone said, crap, and as an unofficial/unrelated "sequel", UFO: Aftermath and Aftershock are fairly good so far. Aftershock hasn't been released yet, but Aftermath really catches the "where the f*ck are the aliens?" feel of the original when you're in the middle of a mission... especially on Urban maps ^_^
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