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New Game With Restrictions


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#1 EtherImp

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 08:43 AM

Normally, I am a habitual reloader. I've never been much for reloading in the battlescape as I find that extremely unchallenging. I was, however, reloading after losing only 1 or 2 men.. Especially if they were high ranking/stats. Also, I found that receiving heavy plasmas and such early on caused the difficulty of the game to drop off dramatically. So, I've decided to go about it another way.

Here are my new self-imposed rules for my most recent game (Veteren Difficulty):

1. No Battlescape reloads, at all.

2. No Geoscape reloads unless one of the following things happens:
-a. There is an error, bug, or extremely bad stroke of misfortune. (Priming a grenade in the skyranger on turn 1, getting shot before exiting the craft, dropping the grenade and wiping out half my team)
-b. My entire team dies early on, and I lose my aircraft. Attempting to recover from this kind of loss can be nearly impossible if it happens in the first few months of the game.

3. If a character of mine dies, he's dead.. Whether he's killed by friendly fire, Psi-controlled friendlys, a stupid mistake (walking over a guy who died with a primed prox nade.. Had that happen already.), or whatever.. As long as I have 1 remaining man left, I play through.

4. Rookies do not get armor. Only Officers, Recon men, and Snipers get Flying armor. Everybody else can have power armor.

5. Restrictions on the Tech Tree as follows:

-Medikit and Motion detector must BOTH be researched before laser weapons.
-Captured aliens can be interrogated, and dead aliens can be researched at any time.
-Once I start the Laser tree I must finish it completely before moving on to alien technology.
-Alien technology must start with Alien Alloys, Personal Armor may be researched any time after Alien Alloys
-Before ANY alien weapons may be researched, I must complete research on Elerium-115, followed by UFO Power Source. Alien Grenades may be researched any time after these 2.
-Alien weapons must be researched in the following order (Ammo + Weapon may both be researched at once): Stun Launcher, Plasma Pistol, Plasma Rifle, Heavy Plasma, Plasma Cannon.
-Mind Probes may not be researched until I capture and interrogate a Psi-Capable unit (Section Leaders, or Ethereals) OR By ANY ALIEN MEDIC.
-UFO Navigation can only be researched after UFO Power Source AND the capture and interrogation of an alien Navigator, Leader, or Commander.
-Blaster Launchers (and ammo) cannot be researched until AFTER all of the other weapons, including Alien Grenades, also including UFO Navigation, which as mentioned above requires a Navigator/Leader/Commander + all the other prerequisites.

My logic for this is that before scientists could possibly understand how the alien weapons work and how to reproduce them they would have to understand how to work with Alien Alloys. After understanding Alien alloys as a whole, they could focus specifically on Elerium-115, at which point they would have to learn how to properly harness the energy released by Elerium-115, hence researching UFO Power Source.

Once all of this is understood, then and only then could you understand how to create ammunition and weapons using this technology, starting out with the simplest of the technologies (Grenades.. Learning how to make the energy go boom is not difficult), then Stun Launchers, then the progressively more and more powerful weapons. Learning how to create and use Heavy Plasmas before knowing how to make a less advanced weapon such as a Plasma Pistol is simply not logical.

The Blaster Launcher includes not only the extreme power of an alien explosion, but also the technology to guide the missile. Hence requiring an understanding of UFO Navigation.

UFO Navigation in and of itself is just studying the consoles of the craft. I assume that to properly understand how to work those consoles and to understand the theories behind space travel you would need to be trained by someone with experience navigating the craft. I've watched Star Trek for most of my life but if you put me on the bridge of the USS Enterprise and told me to plot in a course for Alpha Centauri, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea of where to begin without some training... And I have a genius level IQ.

Same logic applies to understanding Mind Probes... If you picked up a large glowing orb from an alien, it would stand to reason that you may need some kind of training by someone familiar with the item in order to use it properly.


So, what do you guys think? Comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms?
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 EtherImp

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:02 AM

So far, in the game mentioned above, I have stuck to my rules..

In the first month I lost 1 (or 2?) rookies on a routine Small Scout recovery (Grounded, not shot down)

At the end of the first month, a city in Russia was terrorized by Sectiods/Cyberdisc.. This was an EXTREMELY difficult NIGHT/PSI mission. I lost my entire craft several times and was forced to reload back to Geoscape and re-try the mission before I finally got it.. And when I finally got it, I lost 8 out of 10 of my crew. 2 Soldiers (A sniper and a Heavy weapons guy) finished off the mission by scavaging Laser pistols (No Laser Rifles yet) and grenades and motion sensors off of dead friendlies, sticking together, and watching one anothers back.

During the second month, started running into Floaters.. Downed 1 or 2 small craft. Lost maybe 1-2 soldiers on each mission.

End of the second month, got a Floater terror site.. ANOTHER NIGHT TIME TERROR SITE.. Fortunately this time no Cyberdisc or Psi, and I came prepared with Laser Rifles. 2 soldiers got killed in the first round due to a floater standing a bit away from my exit ramp, firing into the Skyranger as I primed my smoke grenades. Once I downed him, the mission went fairly smoothly at first. I cleared the exit zone of the craft and started exploring outwards a bit. Ran into some sniper fire from across the map taking out a few of my guys. Lost one guy to sniper fire who had a primed proximity grenade, and accidentally walked over him with another soldier (who had high stats too, damnit!). Finished the mission with 7 out of 10 soldiers dead.. Only 3 survived.

Now I'm half-way through March, just finished researching Personal Armor, and started researching Elerium-115. Captured one Floater Soldier on the 2nd Terror Mission. Sitting at about 3 million credits right now, and just started building a radar outpost in South East Asia since most of the alien activity seems to be coming from Asia.

Recently ran into a medium Sectiod Scout.. Lost 2 guys to reaction fire + stupidity (not enough TU's.. standing out in the open without cover).

My next priority is to capture an Engineer and a Navigator, as well as getting my soldiers equipped with Personal Armor to keep them alive long enough to train them so I can help reduce the amount of losses I'm taking on each mission.

To give an idea of my usual loadout:

2 recon units w/ (laser) Pistols, Grenades (Smoke/Prox), Motion detectors, and stun rods.. Sometimes w/ High Explosives if they have the STR for it.
2 Heavy Units, 1 with Rocket Launcher, Medikit, (laser) Pistol. The other with a Heavy OR Auto-Cannon (depending on my mood), Medikit, Pistol
2 Snipers with Heavy Lasers (OR Rifles early on), Medikit, MAYBE a motion detector if my recon guys are weak, and maybe a flare depending on the mission.. Sometimes I'll give them a (Laser) Pistol also.
4 "Troopers" equipped with (Laser) Rifles, Grenades (Smoke/Prox) and ammo if necessary.


Whether my men need carry them or not I always bring along 2 High Explosives, 4 Medikits, 6 flares, and 2 Motion Scanners, and enough Grenades/Smokes to go around, as well as a backup heavy weapon (such as an auto-cannon).
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!

#3 NKF

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:44 PM

This game's diverse enough to let you try different things. Just a thought to consider: What's your research team's strength like? My thought here was that even though you've got a preferred research pattern set up to make it more interesting, if you have too many scientists, you'll get through the bulk of the research in a flash.

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#4 EtherImp

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:16 AM

This game's diverse enough to let you try different things. Just a thought to consider: What's your research team's strength like? My thought here was that even though you've got a preferred research pattern set up to make it more interesting, if you have too many scientists, you'll get through the bulk of the research in a flash.

- NKF


The restrictions help balance some of the dynamics out. If you consider what some of the most powerful technologies are, and then consider what is required to use them..

For example: The easiest way to capture aliens is to have a mind probe and stun launcher.. which normally you could research independently and it could potentially speed up the process of getting the aliens you want/need dramatically. But, considering a Mind Probe, UFO Navigation, Blaster Launchers, and other high end technologies require a live alien specimen of a specific type in order to be researched.. it could set your progress back significantly, perhaps by as much as months if you have trouble finding Sections/Ethereals, or a Navigator.

So what does that mean? ... It means that no matter how many scientists you have, you are still stuck with a requirement before you can proceed. Of course, if you play it intelligently and get a little lucky then those things shouldn't be much of a problem and by the time you get that far into the tree then you can indeed breeze through the research. But just as an example .. having Laser Rifles by the 1st Terror mission, and having Heavy Plasmas by the time Mutons show up is almost impossible using the above restrictions.. Where as in any normal game you could have access to those much earlier.
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!

#5 NKF

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:21 AM

Indeed, but you still have many good weapons available to you to tackle most enemies and get by quite well for the most part - unless you're unlucky enough to not be able to get any research done by the time the sectopods show up. Not that they're impossible to defeat with equipment you can buy, they just take quite a beating and may force you to abandon a few battles if what you brought with you isn't enough. But that's just part of the fun I guess. ;)

- NKF

edit: Actually, there is the incendiary damage trick you can use against the sectopods, but that's abusing an exploit and thus doesn't count.

Edited by NKF, 19 May 2009 - 07:23 AM.

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#6 Chris StarShade

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:32 PM

I think I will try your restrictions on my next game. I want to finish beating the game on Superhuman without any artificial restrictions first though, to prove to myself I still got the touch.

Truth be told though, I am quite ace this run through the game, though that might just be because the aliens have only seen fit to throw floaters at me.

The small launchers first rule will probably make capturing the aliens you need easier than you think though. Get small launcher researched, manufacture a zillion of 'em and BLAM. Every alien in the universe captured.

... maybe.

Lately I have been playing my games with an "mmo" mechanic in my head. Dividing my team into squads of 4 consisting of a tank, a "single-target damage dealer", an "Area of Effect nuker" and a medic. The medic typically gets the stun weapons, in immitation of how the aliens do things.

Due to the equipment restrictions on the nuker, I am still using auto-cannons long after I have developed laser rifles and such simply because they have high explosive ammo. (also because it is cheaper on the item limit to unload incendiaries galore on a night mission rather than electro-flares).

So yeah, I think I'll try your research restriction method next round.

To make it even better I would require motion scanners to be researched first. Motion scanners and miracle medical technology, followed by the laser weapons and such. Should keep you stuck with conventional weaps for a while anyway.
Psionics? Bah! Glorified staring contest.