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How many ships can I attack and still get an alien base?

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#1 slickrcbd



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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:18 PM

I just detected a small scout on an "alien base" mission. I'm going to let it go instead of shooting it down as I've wasted most of my elerium on flying suits instead of power suits. 
When the follow-up ships come, can I attack them on the ground, or how many do I need to let go in order to actually get the base? I'd like to commender the supply ships they'll send to the base as I need the elerium more than them.
For that matter, is there a summary on how to maximize the amount of elerium obtained? Specicially when to shoot down a UFO and when to wait for it to land? I know I should always try to get the UFO intact on the ground, but not all missions will land.
It seems that the research missions have a 50/50 chance of landing. I save the game upon detecting, follow them, and if they don't land, reload and shoot them down.
The harvest missions will almost always land, so I shouldn't shoot them down, just try to have a landing craft in the area.
I've never seen an abductor or an abduction mission even though I've beaten the game twice, (and am starting to wonder if there's a bug in my version of the game).
The alien retaliation missions don't land until the final battleship attacks, so shoot everything that isn't a battleship.
Terror missions with terror ships similarly create terror sites, so I try to shoot them down too.
It seems that other craft on terror missions may or may not land, just like research missions. I just had a large scout land at dawn, so I did a ground attack. So, I treat them like research missions. Save the game, dispatch a skyranger, and if they don't land, reload and shoot them down.
Alien infiltration missions land too, and nothing seems to stop that mission. I'd think that shooting down the UFOs or attacking them on the ground would aver that, but alas.
So do I have it right? Anything I'm missing on shoot down vs try to see if it lands? I want to get as many intact UFOs as possible without losing funding. Yes, I know that after the first 6 months the funding's a drop in the bucket.

Edited by slickrcbd, 09 February 2013 - 09:09 AM.

#2 NKF



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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:48 AM

Shooting down scouts on any type of chained mission like alien base or retaliation tends to push the appearance time of the next UFO that's scheduled to appear out a bit (and maybe upgrade its class a level up) . Randomly of course, but if the scouting phase takes too long (not sure about exact time frame, but between 1~2 months I think) without meeting any success, then they'll give up. So perhaps don't shoot any down at all and let them do their work.


Losing a country to infiltration also has a high probability of creating a base in the withdrawn country, which I guess could prove to be more valuable than keeping the country if its the right race.


For the UFOs that land, research, harvest and abductions are generally your best bet when it comes to landers. Infiltration and Alien Base UFOs don't usually land, though the team finalising te mission land en masse. Those on a specific task never land.


For shooting down UFOs, it's completely random how many power units are pre-exploded when you launch a crash assault, so there's no real strategy on how to shoot them down efficiently. Due to its randomness, you may on rare occasions shoot down a single power-unit UFO and still get an intact power unit.


Larger UFOs with power units set far apart have a better likelihood of having one power survive. The Abductor has two power units that are isolated from each other so the chance of recovering one is often better than from smaller ships. The Battleship in particular has 4 isolated power units, so you're almost guaranteed one or more elerium pods from this ship - but of course taking it down won't be easy.


Most of the others like the harvester, terror ship and supply ship have the power units set close together, so one explosion tends to blow them all up. The Supply ship being the exception in that if only one power unit along one end blows up, you may be able to recover some elerium from the other end. Farming supply ships from alien bases is generally the better option.


For more dubious ways to maximize elerium: save-scum. Save before landing at a crash site, and launch the mission and see if any power units survive. If not, reload and try again. There there's double-dipping the landed UFOs. Attack the UFO but don't kill all its occupants. Shoot out the power units, grab the elerium pods and abort with them on the Skyranger. Then have an interceptor shoot down the UFO as it takes off and assault the crash site.



Edited by NKF, 11 February 2013 - 03:55 AM.

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#3 kevL's



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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:29 AM

UFO Behavior - see also.

It's a bit sketchy and some things seem a little 'off ... but to me one of the beauties of the AI is how aLien it is,

#4 yarrow



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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:43 PM

summary of expected elerium ( per intact ship )
0 - very small
50 - small
100 - medium
150 - large ( terror ships expect to have none elerium )
200 - very large

I think you will find following links interesting:


Edited by yarrow, 11 February 2013 - 02:12 PM.