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Off-map Artillery, Aerial Bombardment, Ambush Missions


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#1 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 11:14 AM

Okay, so just to start this off...

What do you guys think of adding certain advanced tactical options, such as:

A) The ability to use off-battlescape artillery and such to bombard buildings with bastardly mutons staked out in them. Of course, these would have to cost a LOT both to deploy and just to purchase the actual artillery, in order to be "Fair", but I think it'd be a really cool idea to throw in. Very cool, because you'd also have to take into account, (At least in a terror mission), the possibility of severe civilian casualties if you blow a building to smitherines containing both aliens and civilians. Also soldiers might have to be equipped with target acquisition equipment in order to use the artillery.

B) The ability to scout a terror site or UFO landing site via a "Scouting phase", which would give you an idea of what you're up against so you don't end up deploying your expensive artillery to take down just a handful of greys with plasma pistols. Level of success could be determined by a chance-to-win percentage. The lower that percentage is, the less accurate your report will be. This might also open the possibility of "Spy-planes", being more accurate as you technologically advance.

C) The ability to bombard a UFO landing zone or Alien Base with fighter-bombers before actually landing your troops. Alien anti-air capabilities could have dire effects on something like this.

D)The ability to learn future alien plans through interrogation of alien officers. A site might pop up as an ambush mission, where you have a certain number of turns to position your troops before the threat actually arrives. Of course, you would have a certain amount of time to get there before it turns into just a plain UFO landing mission. Also a pretty cool idea, IMO.

E) I thought it might be cool if your troop transport could be attacked en route to a mission by UFO's. This could also open up the possibility of allowing fighter escorts.

I think in order for a lot of these ideas to work FOR gameplay rather than against it, the battlescape size might have to be increased.

Feedback appreciated!
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#2 Blehm 98

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 11:20 AM

the thing is, the map is only like 150 meters across, so a single napalm bomb (for example) could cover a third of the map
so that would limit aircraft to only using their cannons and missiles
2) you'd have to bring your own planes, because you can't just borrow planes from someone without them wondering whats going on
3) no offmap artillery, the maps in this game are small enough that you'd practically have to drop it on the other end of the map while you were on one end in order to prevent friendly fire
4) and offmap artillery would have to be carried on planes, which would slow them down a bit...
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#3 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 11:33 AM

Right, but that's why I said the battlescape size would have to be increased in order for most of this poo to work. Sure, it's not the most realistic idea, but just imagine the coolness of getting a box before you launch your skyranger asking you "Would you like to deploy off-field artillery?" with a cost and a delay time. So you'd have to land your troops after the artillery is deployed. But the advantage of this sort of thing would be really nifty. Also, the blast radius of an artillery shell could be somewhere between a high explosive and a blaster bomb. Once again, not the most realistic, but still pretty cool IMO.
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#4 Snakeman

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 03:38 PM

I think rather than it being artillery, it should be bomb ordinance you have for your interceptors (or other ships that have weapons hardpoints), and even then, sorties using them during a ground mission should be limited to 2 or 3 runs tops. The other caveat I'd use as well is if the ship had been an escort element for your troop transport and was still on station above you. If you didn't have one, you don't get bomb support. Maybe you need more than one to give you more sortie opportunites and maybe after one drops a load, it has to return to base. i.e. if you wanted three bomb sortie opportunites, you'd need 3 interceptors as escorts.

I actually like the idea from the perspective of Geoscape actions - to deal with a ground element from a distance a little more than the above. For when your stretched thin and don't have time to properly do it with troops at the cost of prestige with nations, points, loss of researchable topics and loot.

I suppose for the first method you mention to work, either we need bigger maps, or we raise alien opposition through the course of a mission to warrant its use. Penalties early on could be that bomb sorties being done are indescriminate, putting your own people at risk, until you can come up with more precision bomb ordinance and targetting gear carried by your men to leave on a target point (think those blinky signal beacons they used in Black Hawk Down on that building rooftop).

I don't know how else you could balance something like this though, but another penalty to consider could be that this time around, you will be responsible for excessive property damages. When the precision ordinance and target beacon stuff comes into play, the monetary penalties on property damages can be lessoned.

Edited by Snakeman, 14 July 2006 - 03:40 PM.


#5 Blehm 98

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 05:34 PM

well, strafing an area with a 20mm cannon IMO would be an excellent arial bombardment option... Because the maps are so small it could shred a sizeable number of enemy troopers while not being too... excessive
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#6 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 11:39 PM

I was actually thinking of more like a laser beam used to "Paint" a target, rather than the slightly more suicidal task of actually sending a soldier to the point being bombed to drop a beacon. The soldier would have to mark the target for, say, two or three turns before the bombs actually get there.
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#7 Snakeman

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 04:02 AM

Going back over similar topics on bombing/strafing, I see that I can tend to flip flop on this issue. Don't elect me for any offices anytime soon ;)

I think fundamentally it has to come down to how its implimented. Blehm raises another way to do it, strafing with cannon ordinance as well. Painting targets by both a portable hand held beacon you can toss like a grenade, or one mounted as an attachment to a rifle or even a HWP sounds good too. Different options are always cool to think about. The good thing about the use of craft cannon ordinance is that its not using explosive rounds (unless it strikes something that can explode). It certainly looks like something that would do the least amount of accidental collateral damage late game. (And a worthy reason why you might keep an inferior Earth weapon longer perhaps)

Another balancing factor to think about too, could be overcast skies, or fog that last a couple of turns, then becomes clear for a couple of turns, then overcast again. A back and forth thing here in terms of windows of opportunity to use sorties. The game could increase or decrease the likeliness of this situation by where in the world your doing your missions. You could also just have turn thresholds for your covering interceptors overhead. Whether they fire down below or not, they have to return to refuel by a certain point.

With the laser targetter mounted on guns/suits/or HWPs, you have a good idea about having to hold it on the target for a turn or two Metal. While the hand-tossed one would be a kind of set and forget it variant of the same thing, yours sounds the riskiest choice by way of the unit doing it will be exposed. If one is doing this, its likely he can't reaction fire on something if you gave an order to send a sortie and can't move. Anyway, combined with the notion of overcast or fog conditions, the timing to use this option is potentially further reduced. Its one thing to have a target in your laser scope thing or the beacon, but if it wasn't planted/aimed a turn or two before clear skies returned, the ship won't make the sortie run.

Anyway, I think it can work, its just now a question of what forms of ordinace can be used and when. The targetting gear ideas seem incredibly sound though.

Edited by Snakeman, 15 July 2006 - 04:55 AM.


#8 GARAK

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:24 AM

It could be implemented... and should. There I said it. My will be done.

#9 kashyyk

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 01:56 PM

Whatwe could do with wat snakeman said could be you could hav camoflage suits for your X-com ops dropping the beacon so they can still be shot at but the aliens will hav to check to see wether they can see your beacon cariers first. :D

#10 sir_schwick

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:19 PM

This is X-CORPS, not some regular line infantry unit. Precision munitions can be directed by GPS, remote laser and camera navigation. Actual manpower would probably not even be required in this day and age. Already UAVs handle an incredible amount of data collection. The army currently has small-unit, organic UAVs in the development and testing stages. Considering the kind of outfit XCORPS is, I would not doubt that small UAVs would be used to actually scout that close to the ground(a few meters) and provide target data.

Precision strikes would be a nice weapon, although you still have to send in troops to make sure the area was clear. This doesn't take into account any anti-missle/RAM(Rocket, ARtillery, Mortar) systems they have.

#11 Blehm 98

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 05:12 PM

So lets see...
1) you paint a target, with laser designator most likely...
2) aircraft will align itself for a strafing run
3) aircraft will have say 10 seconds to fire both its weapons as many times as possible... The best ones would be craft cannon or laser cannon, the plasma beam would have too low a rate of fire, so it wouldn't be too effective

of course, a direct hit would have enough power to break a UFO hull (so greater damage than blaster bomb) but little to no area effect. The missiles of course would be traveling at high enough speed that although they would do massive damage, they would have an area of effect of maybe 4 meters

Fusion ball launcher would have to be like blaster bomb size area effect and have like thrice its power, so it would be... a massively devastating weapon
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#12 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:25 PM

Ya know, I really like the idea of UAV's. And yeah, that's sort of what I had in mind, blehm.
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#13 Kaldorath

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 05:33 PM

When you are talking bombs I start thinking... What about bringing in Light Anti Tank weapons in the game? Like a cannon of sorts? Only one shot per round, and then need reload! Fires a straight line so you would have to aim carefully. Would take up two spaces in the Skyranger and needs at least two men to man it if it is to be efficient? Whatcha say?! :D

#14 Snakeman

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 11:23 PM

Sounds like a good weapon to nestle somewhere before blaster bombs - since those were especially ideal for forming hull breaches to make your own entrances. We've talked about HWPs having lots of uses so I don't mind if its on one of these or mounted on the roof/belly of the transport. Options are always good, certainly as well if these things can offer you some component design challenges.

#15 sir_schwick

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:43 AM

In modern combat you can do the same thing much more effectively with ATGMs. They do not have disadvantages with range dissipation and are much easier to carry around and position then a towed gun of some kind. Most likely penetrators would be another type of Rocket ammo, or even BB ammo if we decide to make BB more intereesting.

#16 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 11:57 PM

I'm assuming ATGM stands for Anti Tank Guided Missiles, right? You're right, though, artillery isn't really much of a big deal anymore. BUT, military forces do use long-range stuff that's a lot heavier.
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#17 sir_schwick

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 09:47 AM

Definitely agreed that national militaries are very fond of the 155mm howitzer. However the days of the towed 40mm and 60mm AT guns are very archaic. The US Army especially wants automated and mechanized artillery.

If you just want artillery, and not penetrators in particular there are still options. Using AA you could design a really light version of NLOS that could be carried in a Skyranger. That could then be set up several miles away from the crash sight, and probably arrive there quickly enough that the first shells could be landing before the troops disembark. With the new generation of precision munitions, even artillery, coming out it is not hard to imagine a precision for 155mm ammunition that is within a meter or two.

#18 oneAndrewshort

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 04:58 AM

even if you don't go all out for artillery, bombs, or strafing runs--there are some blatantly in use technologies that would be very effective against aliens that weren't used originally that could be implemented.

I think the .50 cal sniper rifle was mentioned (the thing can shoot through concrete...and an inch of steel...and that's not even including if you were to use depleted uranium rounds). A small jeep or otherwise toned down/light vehicle could be manned by your soldiers rather than an HWP and it could have a mounted M2. It'd be somewhat easy to disable with plasma fire or destroy by alien grenades, but until that point the aliens would suffer from overwhelming fire from a .50 cal machine gun. Maybe it's just me, but when I think of killing zombies or aliens the M2 is one of the first weapons platforms to come to mind--the weapon simply works.

Also--it was already mentioned in terms of strafing, but my idea is that once you research the laser cannon, you should be able to research satellite laser cannon technology. This combined with maybe an advanced targeting technology you could also research would allow you to manufacture/deploy satellites that could fire on targets. They'd have certain coverage areas and lasers would obviously be affected by weather (so you could have non-availability situations). If not satellites, you could have a new plane that is much the same as an AC-130 gunship that could strafe a target. The wiki I was looking at even mentioned the use of rockets (http://en.wikipedia....l_Weapon_System) in urban environments. Satellites, gunships, and even SAM/AA/AAA sites are all things that could be added, but would likely change the gameplay drastically.

you could mount machine gun turrets on the landing craft so rather than jumping out to get shot-up by alien threats in the immediate area, you could just look, shoot, then exit. (I would at least suggest you make it so you can look out a window before deciding to throw smoke or jump out only to meet instant death)

Also--combat shotguns were left out of the original and by all means they could easily go in now. Here are some links to prove my point:
http://gizmodo.com/g...p?autoplay=true (plays a video)
http://www.defensere...n...cle&sid=741

Basically the AA12 shotgun offers virtually no recoil, 32 round drum capacity, 300 RPM firing rate, and couple it with the FRAG-12 ammunition and each round on target (effective range 200M) can punch a 1 inch diameter hole through 1/4 inch thick steel plating. I think it'd be effective against aliens.

I can't remember. I know the original has stun rods, but were there any stun grenades or other stunning weapons? If not, I'd certainly suggest implementation of other stun platforms.

I'd also think that X-Corp would have access to night vision or IR lighting/optics to the point where flares would hardly be their illumination of choice (they'd instantly give away position, ruin your night vision, create varied lighting from bright to dark, and be an all around bad idea).

I'm running out of ideas for the moment, but I'll probably post up some more later on if I think of anything.

#19 feliciafan89

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:01 AM

My two cents on this: (Forgive me if I go over something that's already been gone over...)

I'm speaking from what I've seen in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.

There should be more than just a Laser Designator. Some airstrikes are triggered using a satellite feed, so Line of Sight will not be applicable for such strikes, unlike the Laser Designation strikes. Artillery strikes are sometimes triggered by throwing a Red Smoke grenade to the target.

Also, there could be different airstrikes for the right job. A Surgical Strike, for example, could be used to annihilate a hardened structure or hardened UFO. A Cluster Bomb, however, would destroy everything that isn't hardened within a certain radius.
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