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#1 sy213

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:55 PM

wow, im glad this website has such a large following. when i was a kid i used to play the demo, one level with two guys with power armor and 6 with personal armour. i used to name the two armor guys me and my best friend and weight us down with as many guns as possible ahahahah, we had no idea what we were doing.
i never won once,

so yeah, ive been readin and my strategy is pretty much this, but i still keep losing lots of countries and eventually lose too many countries and i just have to start over

first i make a base in italy (like most strategies say)

so i sell everything but rifles and buy some stun rods, and im pretty good with that. i'd have 6 troops and 2 rocket launcher tanks in the ship. then i follow the first ship till it lands and i breeze through it. i research the heavy plasma and just skip the laser weapons. then i get plasma cannons for my ships.

the problem comes later on when im trying to find a sectoid leader, but i end trying to research personal armor and expanding small satellite bases, but the problem is i run into two landed battleships and two downed large ships in the USA and i actually managed to take one down, but then,..... the US signs a secret pact, and now theres a grip of huge ships flying around

now my interceptors cant catch up to their ships and im losing money every month because my funding slowly creeps down (like 300,000 a month) and my personell is also more than my income,... so i dont know how to do this?


i feel like im hitting a block, you guys have any advice? i just cant keep attacking these battleships in pretty much massacres on my troops, i have no idea. i have the research, but not the money to build a hyperwave decoder, and ehhhh, im stuck


sorry its so long, but i need help =/ i have no money, and i saw a youtube video of a guy who was playing and had 270 million like whatt?

#2 Zombie

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

Sounds like the classic case of overspending to me. You'll need to cut something out of the equation to make ends meet. Too many personnel? Scientists and engineers have huge wage requirements each month, so it's best to give some of them pink slips before the end of the month. Too many bases with too many facilities is also a big drain on funds, try to keep building under control till you have more money. You say you have 2 rocket tanks? Each one costs $480,000 (not counting ammo), so those are some hefty chunks of change gone. Get a few more soldiers, raid a couple ships and sell everything you recover: that should put you into the black (assuming you curtail spending). ;)

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#3 sy213

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:39 PM

thanks for the advice,.. but i have a question

so if i cut down spending, i feel like im still not able to keep the countries in on my side?

i tried something new, making the satellite bases in the US and China,.. and i was making more when i was able to intercept more ships, but then eventually there were too many in the US and they signed a pact, killing my monthly income,... hmmm how do i make ends meet?

also i had a hunch and heard this somewhere here, does researching things (like heavy plasma) trigger more aggresive aliens.... ie i have lasers,.. only small ships appear,... and if i have heavy plasma, they will start sending battleships =/

#4 Zombie

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:04 PM

Sometimes you'll just have bad luck. It's common knowledge that the aliens will start missions on the opposite end of the globe where your first base is located. If you build in Italy, well, the aliens are going to target North America which is a huge contributor to the project (the US is at least). If you build a base in the United States, the aliens will most likely target Europe or Africa. That may be a better scenario since each country in those regions contribute very little.

Even without the funding from the United States you should still be able to make ends meet... if you keep spending down. In the beginning of the game a big cut like that may sting your income, but you shouldn't ever count on the countries to supply all of your income. The majority of your funding should come from the sale of alien items recovered from missions. ;)

It's possible that research plays a role in what weapons the aliens will use. I did some minor tests on this a while back but didn't see an immediate change if the Heavy Plasma was researched. Part of the equation may be time into the game. The other variable is the difficulty level you are playing at.

I'm assuming you are playing on Superhuman? Maybe you should try the beginner skill level first just to get a feel for things. If you mess up there, it's not a big deal. On superhuman though, any mistakes are multiplied and could hurt you overall. ^_^

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 19 February 2009 - 08:08 PM.

The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#5 sy213

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:35 PM

oh the shame, im playing on beginner!

i have no idea, i can make it out of almost any mission (except those pesky battleship assaults) with only losing one or two guys max,... but i just dont know how to research/build/spend correctly D=

#6 Zombie

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:12 PM

Battleship assaults are really tough missions, so don't feel bad if you lose a lot of guys. If I'm not confident my guys can handle those type of missions though, I'll ignore the big ships completely. The country is already lost so running a mission there (success or failure) will have no end result (other than points or loot). You could always show up, shoot a few aliens, then huff it back to the transport with the bodies/loot and abort. That way you can get a little positive score out of it. :)

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 19 February 2009 - 09:13 PM.

The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#7 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:35 AM

Attaining self sufficiency is one of the first (unofficial) goals you have to achieve in the game before you beat it. Not strictly a requirement, but it does help!

Over-expanding from the very start is an easy way to drive yourself into a hole. It's always a good idea to start off slow and small and build a good cash foundation as you go along.

My general expansion strategy is to start off with a secondary semi-full-fledged base (i.e. a listening/intecept outpost with a Skyranger and crew to man it) on the opposite side of the globe when I can afford it. I then start quartering the globe with feeler bases as I can afford them. As cash permits, they are slowly upgraded into intercept outposts. Crews are eventually added to protect them.

For research, your research topics are finite and you are not really in any great rush to complete everything yesterday. So don't hire too large a research team from the very start. 1 labs worth of scientists is quite efficient and costs peanuts to maintain, though 2 labs worth of staff can churn out lots of topics at a reasonable pace for $3million in wages before maintenance costs.

Pick your topics and go for what matters to you the most. Going for the plasma beam for example is a good idea. Some armour also helps. Many other topics however can be left for later, such as interrogations and corpse research. I would drop everything for a Navigator and a Sectoid Leader/Commander as soon as possible though.

One great money saving tip is to use lasers. They don't use ammo (!) and are very formidable weapons in their own right.

The (craft) Laser Cannon, while questionable as a craft weapon, is the most efficient money making item that your engineers can build and sell. Some players can make a generous amount of cash by investing in a large Laser Cannon assembly line.

Another way to save money is to use more conventional weapons. High Explosives and Large Rockets pack a heck of a punch for the amount of money you can spend on them. Best bang for your buck, so to say.

The easiest way to keep your cash flowing consistently is to find an alien base. Preferably floater or snakemen as they're easy (and you don't have to fight the terror units). Once you find one, set up a base nearby and have a squad and a Skyranger stationed there. Every time a supply ship docks at the base, swoop in and grab it. One supply ship carries a generous amount of loot, and if you do this regularly you will not only get really good at capturing supply ships, you'll never have cash problems again. If you're feeling adventurous and want even more, attack the base. Defeat some aliens and bring their equipment back to the entrance. Abort the mission to flee with all the stolen equipment. Repeat as often as necessary.

Remember: An alien base doesn't mean instant cash - you still have to earn it the hard way. It merely provides you with many more opportunities.

For interceptors, you don't need very many of them (1 per intecept outpost is more than enough), you just have to know when to launch the right interceptor at the right time. With some exceptions like supply runs or terror/base attacks, most UFOs have a three stage pattern to their visits. The first phase: they'll travel to their destination at a high speed - you cannot hope to capture them except with advanced aircraft at this point. The next phase they'll slow down, fly around a country and maybe land a few times. This is when you get them with your interecptors. After a few hours, they'll enter the last phase and fly off at high speed in some direction and then pop off the face of the earth. You want to catch them during the second phase. A hyperwave decoder helps immensely here as it'll tell you where they are headed, so you can have an interceptor in the air just as it arrives and cut down the launch time. Otherwise, just wait for them to slow down and launch the nearest interceptor. You might have to let some go.


----

If you don't mind taking a break from your game for a bit, try practicing against a battleship. Shoot one down or wait for one to land. Then save your game before you launch the Skyranger. Load up the Skyranger with any troops that you want and any equipment that takes your fancy, then raid the Battleship. I recommend doing this with a floater crew if at all possible, since they're good fodder to practice against.

Do not make a single save during this practice mission. Just play through it. Win, lose, just press on until you are thrown back to the Geoscape. Then reload the game and try it again. Repeat this as many times as you want. The purpose is to get to familiarize yourself with the battleship and to improve your own playing as you're doing it.

If things don't seem to be working out, try new things in the battle, or maybe adjust your equipment setup by adding new types of equipment or different weapons.

One thing to remember for all the missions you go on: never rush unless you really have to. This goes for both planning the moves as well as making the moves. The more TUs you spend, the more of a magnet you become to enemy fire.

- NKF
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#8 sy213

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:12 AM

wow guys thanks so much for all the info.

zombie- yeah i think i might learn to just take the hit and let the large ships go by when im not strong enough physically and scientifically yet,... it'll b worth taking the hit as opposed to losing all my equipment and men

nkf- wow thanks for the reply but yeh i think between u and zombie i am really gonna try to slow down production. at the start of every month i'd spend all my money trying to advance/expand too fast
thanks,... i'll try everything,.. andthen let you guys know how well im doing

#9 stewart

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:14 PM

XCOM is not a war game, it a budgeting game; the fighting stuff is secondary.

The best budgeting trick I know of (after strong personal restraint) is to use choke-point design bases where the access lift is on the outside edge of the base. By maintaining the choke point as you build, you are forced to build slowly and so stay in budget. Building slow is frustrating though, as you have to wait for stuff.

In this case where you need to show restraint is starting new bases. After base 3 or 4., the bases I start then remain as a lift and a short range radar only for quite some time until financing catches up. Yes they are vulnerable but if you do your budgeting right, you can afford to lose one from time to time. They usually cost less than a million dollars and are online in 12 days.

Another thing, get the laser stuff first not plasma. Laser cannons are the best thing to build to sell. The fact is, for a while in the first part of the game, dual avalanche launchers is an exceptible substitute for plasma cannons. Two interceptors each with dula avalanche launchers will down a terrorship. One will down medium sized UFOs. I cant remember about supply ships though. And what you do with battleships is watch them fly by and wave <embed> MC Hammers, "Can't Touch This" </embed>.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#10 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:37 PM

I forgot to add:

If you haven't, check out Ufopaedia.org where we have our X-Com wiki.

A lot of us have been gradually collecting our knowledge there over time, so there's probably way too much information there than you'll ever need to enjoy the game, but very informative if you want to better understand how the game works.

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#11 sy213

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:21 PM

thanks alot, yeh ive been building ALOT slower, and i have three bases, two of them just radar/hangar but its been good. the laser cannon production has been helping me SO much. although i dont have plasma fully researched (missing p-rifle/clip) but my money and funds have been pretty well.. i constantly have 2-4 million on hand, and im trying to keep that, but im slowly expanding and i think everything it working out

thanks alot guys

#12 sy213

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:24 PM

oh yeah, to add ive been using small elite groups of only soliders with bravery over 60, (i only have 5-6 soldiers on hand) with my two rocket tanks and i think that has been helping me alot too. and i havent lost a single soldier (no saving and loading either,... except one time where i got slaughtered on a night terror mission, i came back to just abort it immediately. ) but i think things have been going pretty well now.

#13 Zombie

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:58 PM

XCOM is not a war game, it a budgeting game; the fighting stuff is secondary.

Au contraire, monsieur. While a player can certainly survive with good budgeting, he'll never win the game without tactical prowess too. The two go hand in hand like bread and butter. :wink1:

Recovering alien items from missions is the only reliable form of income near the end of a campaign. You certainly can't trust on the remaining few countries to fund your empire, that's for sure. Manufacturing items for profit can be a supplement to early income but has a huge overhead with Engineers and Workshops.

If you want to get to the Plasma Cannon a little quicker, consider researching the Plasma Rifle/Plasma Rifle Clip combo instead of the Heavy Plasma. Doing this will shave off about 100 man-days of research time. That's not a whole lot, but does make some difference in the speed you can get this craft weapon. Once you get it, you can save lots of time and money by not having to buy ammo anymore. It also allows you to go up against any UFO except Battleships *waves at it flying by* with impunity. LOL

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#14 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:31 PM

Another way to speed up the plasma research is to ignore the plasma pistol. It's a dead-end research item so can be left off till later - plus you get extra recovery points for collecting unresearched items. They aren't available for very long, so make the best of them while they last. The laser pistol's also a better substitute if you want a sidearm for the heavy rocket launcher or small launcher guys.

Just recalled one thing that might be worth noting: If you do a lot of redesigning of your bases by adding temporary modules, expanding with other modules, then demolishing the old modules, be sure to recycle the space the old module used otherwise you'll be paying rent for the (used) dirt blocks. A bit of a bug - but can be chalked up to the stability of the used soil. ;)

That doesn't mean much later in the game where cash is no longer an issue, but the extra maintenance costs do hurt a lot in the early game. Another good reason for slower expansion to avoid this cost.

- NKF
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#15 sy213

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:53 PM

grrr, i hate to keep posting, but the best advice u guys had given me to save soldiers lives is the spotter/sniper method... i use tanks with their high TU count to find them, and my guys will shoot them. only time i use the rocket launchers on the tanks is to break through things, or if i absolutely have no other choice

#16 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 03:50 PM

Feel free to post all you want. Don't mind us. :D

The basic tanks have always worked best in support/fodder/scout roles. Unfortunately they tend to make very poor front-line fighters on account of their 20 reactions. Just firing while in sight of another enemy almost instantly causes them to return fire.

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#17 sy213

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:12 AM

true their reactions arre quite sluggish, but wow, ive never done this well before, thanks guys

i have everything researched to fight cydonia, im just training my guys in the psi labs, making flying suits, and raiding supply ships (perferably muton, im farming a what i think is a muton base right now) collecting elerium, waiting to attack cydonia, AND i have an extra 12 million in cash on hand from my laser cannon production. so yeah, ur advice really helped.

one thing is, i shoot down everything i can in the sky, but i dont attack the crash site, its usually more ofa risk to my troops, and i didn't attack anything for a month to see what happened, and i still scored Excellent from the countries increasing my funding from just shoooting down ships, even with 4 alien bases throughout the map. i have one main base in europe, and 2 listening posts in asia and the us.

so yeah, with some more manufacturing and psi training on the mutons, i feel like ill finish the game soon. good stuff

#18 stewart

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:39 AM

XCOM is not a war game, it a budgeting game; the fighting stuff is secondary.

Au contraire, monsieur. While a player can certainly survive with good budgeting, he'll never win the game without tactical prowess too. The two go hand in hand like bread and butter. :wink1:


Double Contraire.

Of course you cant ignore the military side of things, just like you cant ignore budgeting. But fighting is secondary. That doesnt mean Im saying run around in battlescape without thinking. :rideelephant: But as long as one man does comes home and no aliens do, you win. It's better not to do that of course, and one will over time learn to play better, making such arguements moot. With budgeting, you got no money, then you got no money.

I guess we'll just disagree on this.

Recovering alien items from missions is the only reliable form of income near the end of a campaign. You certainly can't trust on the remaining few countries to fund your empire, that's for sure. Manufacturing items for profit can be a supplement to early income but has a huge overhead with Engineers and Workshops.


State funding is important early on, but one's goal should be to be independant of it as soon as possible. In the end let the state funding cover the tip for the waiter. :) I wont dispute the value of flooding the world black markets with dozens of freshly gotten heavy plasmas, that's a good source of income. But I side with NKF on this in that it is your most significant income earlier rather than later. Once you have a factory or two online building laser cannons 'round the clock you net something like 25 mega bucks per month per factory. THAT is steady income. Even with laser cannon income, a sudden windfall from a captured Supply Ship might just pay to get that new base going, for sure. But at the end of the campaign your bases and airforce are built. Has anyone ever had an avenger shot down? Once you have mind shield/power armor/Psionics/Heavy Plasma/Blasters has anyone ever lost a base?

The proper way to bring factories online to minimize overhead shock is discussed here. :construction:

If you want to get to the Plasma Cannon a little quicker, consider researching the Plasma Rifle/Plasma Rifle Clip combo instead of the Heavy Plasma. Doing this will shave off about 100 man-days of research time. That's not a whole lot, but does make some difference in the speed you can get this craft weapon. Once you get it, you can save lots of time and money by not having to buy ammo anymore. It also allows you to go up against any UFO except Battleships *waves at it flying by* with impunity. LOL

- Zombie


In terms of money, the money you make selling laser cannons will more than compensated for the money lost buying avalache missles. Eventually you DO want plasma cannons, of course, but you want factories building laser cannons first.

As for the pistol/rifle instead of heavy, to quote Johnny Carson "I did not know that". Great tip thanks. :worship: :master:

Financial freedom is the same in XCOM as in life, once you got it you can do anything you want.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#19 Zombie

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 03:28 PM

Double Contraire.

Of course you cant ignore the military side of things, just like you cant ignore budgeting. But fighting is secondary. That doesnt mean Im saying run around in battlescape without thinking. :rideelephant: But as long as one man does comes home and no aliens do, you win. It's better not to do that of course, and one will over time learn to play better, making such arguements moot. With budgeting, you got no money, then you got no money.

I guess we'll just disagree on this.

I don't think there is much of a disagreement here. My feeling has always been that both fighting and budgeting are 50% of a successful campaign (or probably 60% fighting/40% budgeting). Now, other people have their own ideas what the proportions should be, and that's fine. But I found that as I honed my strategies in the battlescape, those same strategies can be applied in the Geoscape too.

State funding is important early on, but one's goal should be to be independant of it as soon as possible. In the end let the state funding cover the tip for the waiter. :) I wont dispute the value of flooding the world black markets with dozens of freshly gotten heavy plasmas, that's a good source of income. But I side with NKF on this in that it is your most significant income earlier rather than later. Once you have a factory or two online building laser cannons 'round the clock you net something like 25 mega bucks per month per factory. THAT is steady income. Even with laser cannon income, a sudden windfall from a captured Supply Ship might just pay to get that new base going, for sure. But at the end of the campaign your bases and airforce are built. Has anyone ever had an avenger shot down? Once you have mind shield/power armor/Psionics/Heavy Plasma/Blasters has anyone ever lost a base?

The proper way to bring factories online to minimize overhead shock is discussed here. :construction:

I'm kinda indifferent to manufacturing stuff for profits. It just takes too long to set it all up properly, and by that time I'm already self-sufficient by selling loot from raiding alien UFO's. For example, in the first few months I'm too busy making laser weapons or other items for my troops so there is precious little time for profit manufacturing. On the researching side of things, it only takes 450 man-days to research the Laser Rifle which comes to 18 days with 25 scientists. The remainder of the laser line (Heavy Laser and Laser Cannon) are basically dead-ends and don't lead to any significant progress in terms of weapons. The two combined take 880 man-days to research and I'm much more inclined to put that time to something necessary like armor, plasma weapons, or a live alien (like the engineer or psi-leader). If I'm investing the time in a project, I'd like to see some immediate improvement. Sure, cash from manufacturing is good to have, but just as important is outfitting your troops with decent equipment too. Ever had your base attacked early? Would you rather have a pile of cash in the commanders desk drawer or all your troops with armor? No brainer for me. ;)

Don't know if you are being sarcastic, but I've never had an Avenger shot down (except maybe intentionally for testing purposes). Once you have Plasma Cannons, there is no reason why you can't survive an encounter with most UFO's. Battleships are an intercept nightmare, but here again, this can be negated by waving at these from a distance and sending a transport when it lands instead.

In terms of money, the money you make selling laser cannons will more than compensated for the money lost buying avalache missles. Eventually you DO want plasma cannons, of course, but you want factories building laser cannons first.

As for the pistol/rifle instead of heavy, to quote Johnny Carson "I did not know that". Great tip thanks. :worship: :master:

Financial freedom is the same in XCOM as in life, once you got it you can do anything you want.

One of my pet peeves in the game is the hassle of constantly ordering craft ammo and also the 2-day wait for it to arrive. That said, let's do a quick calculation. Dual plasma beams cost (money-wise) $452,000. That's basically the cost of a tank. You get one Avalanche launcher and 10 Avalanche missiles to start the game. So we subtract the sell costs for those items and add in $17,000 for purchasing a second avalanche launcher (most people dual-equip intercept craft). So this comes to and end-cost of $384,250. Assuming you use up all 6 Avalanche missiles per UFO intercept, the ammo cost is $54,000. Divide this into $384,250 and that means the break-even point is 7.11 intercept encounters. Any more encounters than this and it'll be pure savings. If UFO activity is high, it's not uncommon to be sending out a craft 50 times per month. A switch to Plasma Beams saves you $2,700,000 in this case.

I have very little financial freedom in real life and live frugally on what I make. I'm happy. Other people have plenty of cash, and need to spend to feel better. The catch is, it usually doesn't help. To each his own. :P

Edit: Seems I forgot to take the 15 units of Elerium required for the production of each Plasma Beam. This raises the initial cost to $602,000 for dual beams, $517,250 for the "free" Avalanche launcher and 10 missiles and $534,250 for the extra Avalanche launcher. This works out to 9.89 intercept encounters to break even. Also, another interesting tidbit: the net monthly profit for manufacturing nothing but Laser Cannons in a one workshop/50 engineer operation is $1,968,000. Compare that to the $2,700,000 savings you'll see if you shift exclusively to Plasma Beams in a busy month. Clearly, it's more "profitable" (if you consider saving money a profit) to switch over to Plasma Beams as early as you can because manufacturing Laser Cannons will not infuse enough cash into the kitty to keep up with the constant drain of Avalanche Missiles used. :wink1:

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 23 February 2009 - 09:26 PM.

The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#20 NKF

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:35 PM

The whole craft laser cannon manufacturing assembly line is a sound money making investment, but perhaps not from the very start of the game. At that time, with the limited funds available, I too would rather have access to my favourite core gear (laser pistols, personal armour, plasma beam - to name a very specific set of must-haves of mine) as soon as possible rather than later.

You can easily make do (and do quite well) with cheap alternatives (personal armour, lasers, small radar, etc) for most of the game and sponge off the earnings you make from selling unneeded equipment and UFO components. With a good fighting force (at least one that you are comfortable fighting with), gathering more alien equipment to sell will just get easier and easier. The earnings then fund new equipment, and that makes it easier to get more equipment. And so on and so forth.

Since discovering that alien bases were rich sources of ... well, the works: I've never had a need to mass produce laser cannons for cash. There's certainly more risk involved in capturing the supply ships, but the rewards are better. It's the whole "A bushel of the enemy's rice is worth ten of your own" bit from Sun Tzu's Art of War. ;)

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 23 February 2009 - 10:44 PM.

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#21 stewart

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:27 AM

Don't know if you are being sarcastic, but I've never had an Avenger shot down


Not being sarcastic, just having a friendly conversation. :)

The point about the avenger is that when you are fully set up, you arent going to have any cost shocks. It'll all be maintenence, and factories will more than cover that.

Ever had your base attacked early? Would you rather have a pile of cash in the commanders desk drawer or all your troops with armor? No brainer for me. ;)


I've been attacked early, but depending on how early what could you have researched by then? Is there really much differnece between a laser pistol or a plasma pistol. Early invasions will be sectoids or floaters. If it's floaters I'll make an offering of thanks at the local temple. If it's sectoids I'll stop-drop-and-kneal and carry high explosives for the cyberdisks.

. . . and with that pile of money, I can start replacing that crappy base the game gives you at the start. ^_^

But like you said it's style of play, I focus more on budgeting than ground missions, hense why I budget to be able to ignore terror missions for instance.

Using starting equipment, against the races you are likely to encounter before you have much researched equipment, is actually not that bad.

BTW I hate buying craft missles too, but if you use a depot strategy (depot doesnt just hold captured equipment but also stocks of ordered equipment) you can shave a lot of time off when the newly ordered missiles arrive.

I keep at least one reload at the base. Once I've downed the ufo the depot base sends the replacements (which arrive in, what? 6 hours) and the depot orders the replacements. By extending the supply pipeline you can minimize replenishing times.

It makes things more complicated in terms of management, but that's pricisely the thing I love about playing the game; setting up and maintaining complex managerial systems. Tagging aliens is fun too of course.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#22 tachyon

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:07 AM

sy213=blank_redge?

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When I started out, I had a money-trainer installed using notepad and the liglob.dat file.
It's only enjoyable to manage when you can.. Someone give hime the money-cheat!

Edited by tachyon, 24 February 2009 - 11:13 AM.

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#23 stewart

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:28 AM

Edit: Seems I forgot to take the 15 units of Elerium required for the production of each Plasma Beam. This raises the initial cost to $602,000 for dual beams, $517,250 for the "free" Avalanche launcher and 10 missiles and $534,250 for the extra Avalanche launcher. This works out to 9.89 intercept encounters to break even. Also, another interesting tidbit: the net monthly profit for manufacturing nothing but Laser Cannons in a one workshop/50 engineer operation is $1,968,000. Compare that to the $2,700,000 savings you'll see if you shift exclusively to Plasma Beams in a busy month. Clearly, it's more "profitable" (if you consider saving money a profit) to switch over to Plasma Beams as early as you can because manufacturing Laser Cannons will not infuse enough cash into the kitty to keep up with the constant drain of Avalanche Missiles used. :wink1:


Let's take a look at the numbers. each engineer earns (after salary) $45,567 x 44 engineers (6 for workshop space) gives at total of $2,004,948.

Maintenence on the workshop and living quarter, I'll use the stated value since I dont know the actual ones because of that bug. That would be $45,000.

Giving net earnings of $1,959,948. Early on your interceptors will be busier, with a high amount of interceptions each is 9.89 interceptions unreasonable? Let's make it expensive and say, say, 10 interceptions, and each fires 6 avalache missiles. That's a monthly bill of $540,000 in missiles.
That's a difference of $1,419,948 of money in your pocket. This does not figure in initial costs of buying the launchers and the initial highering of engineers. So it is valid for months 2 and on. I'll forgo throwing the time used making plasma beams instead of laser cannons. So we have $25000 x 44 = $1,100,000 as the highering cost of the engineers. Building the plasma beams (forgoing even counting the elerium) = $226,000 x 2 = $452,000. Dual Avalanche launchers cost = $17,000 x 2 = $34,000. So we have a difference of $1,100,000 + $34,000 - $452,000 = $682,000. This lowers the difference in the first month to $1,419,948 - $682,000 = $737,948. That's still gravy comparing one workshop to one interceptor in the first month.

Lets throw in a second just-as-busy interceptor with no additional workshop.

extra initial costs = $34,000 vs $452,000
extra operating costs = $540,000 vs $0 (assume free elerium)

Operating cost difference $1,419,948 - $540,000 = $879,948
Startup cost difference = $682,000 - $452,000 + $34,000 = $264,000
Total difference = $879,948 - $264,000 = $615,948 gravy to the factory guy in the first month better after that.

The post first month operating cost difference drops sharply when adding new interceptors but no new workshops. In this case the single workshop is worth 3 interceptors in the long run, providing each interceptor remains just as busy over time.

The first month drops less dramatically so. Of course an important factor has been ignored, the cost of building the facilities. That would shift things in this case, in the short run, in favor of plasma cannons. But if we are going to count that then build many workshops, not just one. If you do your investment will pay for itself in around a month. see this topic.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#24 sy213

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 06:04 PM

blank redge? dont know what that is but yeah!

thanks guys, i just beat my first game. no money cheats or nothing. the only sad part is i was using a launcher to fire into an area of dark that i THOUGHT the brain was, and i heard like 4 explosions, sent another one in there, and heard like five more explosions and the game was over. never even saw the brain. but still! from going bankrupt each time to finally beating my childhood game!

thanks for all the advice

#25 stewart

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:41 AM

That's the funny thing about the brain: step through door in ground floor, shoot up. ^_^
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#26 sy213

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:46 AM

i woulda, but honestly i had only killed about 4 aliens, and then i was able to finish the game. seemed cheap

#27 NKF

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:17 AM

Now that you've beaten the game, I recommend you go straight to Superhuman (if you haven't) and give that a spin. It'll probably be even more frustrating until you've accustomed yourself to it, but I think it would be a good experience.

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#28 tachyon

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:41 AM

And I recommend transporting your soldier.dat to your new game!!

Or use mine =)

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#29 sy213

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:47 AM

see i would, but im running a mac, and since all the dos emulators always screwed things up i found a prepackaged version of xcom, so i just have one file, no folders =/ but good =D

#30 NKF

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:12 AM

One thing about playing superhuman is that you quickly learn to start playing really good with a large number of your forces consisting of average soldiers who've only had a few missions worth of experience under their belts. Not a bad thing at all.

Hmm, you might have to find out if your version has the difficulty bug sussed or else playing in superhuman will be no better than playing in beginner mode.

Play a brief mid-difficulty game and fight long enough to get a mind probe. Then focus all your research on it and check the armour levels of the aliens. If they are at beginner level armour, then the difficulty bug is in place.

If you're not sure, just post the armour levels and race/rank of the alien you're checking and one of us will be able to confirm it for you.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 02 March 2009 - 02:13 AM.

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#31 emphyrio

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:58 AM

One thing about playing superhuman is that you quickly learn to start playing really good with a large number of your forces consisting of average soldiers who've only had a few missions worth of experience under their belts. Not a bad thing at all.

Hmm, you might have to find out if your version has the difficulty bug sussed or else playing in superhuman will be no better than playing in beginner mode.

Play a brief mid-difficulty game and fight long enough to get a mind probe. Then focus all your research on it and check the armour levels of the aliens. If they are at beginner level armour, then the difficulty bug is in place.

If you're not sure, just post the armour levels and race/rank of the alien you're checking and one of us will be able to confirm it for you.

- NKF

I think this way of determining the presenece of the bug is not entirely reliable - better save game &check size of IGLOB.DAT?? (must be 64 bytes)

#32 Zombie

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:45 AM

I think this way of determining the presenece of the bug is not entirely reliable - better save game &check size of IGLOB.DAT?? (must be 64 bytes)

It's perfectly reliable to do it this way since alien stats are calculated using the skill level in iglob.dat. Sure, iglob may tell you if the game could be suffering from this bug, but the size alone doesn't tell you what skill level you are playing at either. For that you'll have to open it up with a hex editor and check... or MC/Mind Probe an alien to check on it's stats. ;)

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Edited by Zombie, 02 March 2009 - 09:50 AM.

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A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#33 stewart

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 10:48 AM

i woulda, but honestly i had only killed about 4 aliens, and then i was able to finish the game. seemed cheap


Now the Scott Jones "make it harder" line makes sense huh? :)

see i would, but im running a mac, and since all the dos emulators always screwed things up i found a prepackaged version of xcom, so i just have one file, no folders =/ but good =D


that's too bad, that means you cant use xcomutil. What kind of problems do you get?
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#34 sy213

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:03 AM

with the dos emulator? it would never identify my game excecutable. it just wouldnt open the director, or wouldnt run the game. i used to operate out of dos when i was young so i know how to use it, and i did exactly what an xcom/dosbox tutorial showed me to do. i then tried to run it on windows xp/parallels,.. but with turbo it would either run wayy to fast or too slow, and if i got it right the scrolling was wayyyyyyyy too fast.

i wish i could use xcomutil, i heard theres multiplayer on that. oh well,... at least i got to play glitch free. someone nice decided to bundle it into one easy to excecute file. =D

#35 Mustang

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 01:02 PM

with the dos emulator? it would never identify my game excecutable. it just wouldnt open the director, or wouldnt run the game. i used to operate out of dos when i was young so i know how to use it, and i did exactly what an xcom/dosbox tutorial showed me to do. i then tried to run it on windows xp/parallels,.. but with turbo it would either run wayy to fast or too slow, and if i got it right the scrolling was wayyyyyyyy too fast.

i wish i could use xcomutil, i heard theres multiplayer on that. oh well,... at least i got to play glitch free. someone nice decided to bundle it into one easy to excecute file. =D

Xcomutil doesn't add the multiplayer, that's a mod called UFO2000.
Xcomutil just lets you do nifty stuff like remove psi or make all battles daylight


#36 sy213

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:57 AM

oic,... i have UFO2000..... that game is buggy and ugly. or maybe just the version i have , its set on the moon and stuff? i dunnno, i dont like it

what i saw was someone playing regular xcom missions multiplayer on youtube, i wonder what that was...

#37 NKF

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:49 AM

That's a different game. UFO2000 is a multiplayer game that is based around UFO and uses a lot of its files.

So I take it the main problem with setting up Dosbox on your Macintosh is mounting the drive properly (and possibly setting the paths)? I don't have one (well, I had an Apple-IIe before it fizzed and went the way of the dodo....) so I cannot offer any real advice on how to do it, but I think we have some players here who run the game on the Macintosh that may be of assistance.

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#38 QuixotesGhost

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:35 AM

To the OP, I think your main problem is that you're trying to tech to plasma too fast. Your very first priority early game is COVERAGE. Going directly to plasma, it means your sinking a lot of money right off the bat into labs and scientists at a stage in the game when lasers + heavy weapons is really all you need. Sure, you're happily blasting aliens away with your shiny Heavy plasma, but on the other side of the world where you have no intercept coverage the aliens are happily signing pacts with your member nations.

Plasma is expensive. No really, Plasma is stupidly incredibly expensive. Since you aren't selling those Heavy Plasmas, it costs roughly 2 million to outfit a squad with it. That's almost an interceptor base right there. Not to mention all the scientists you need to pay while they're teching it in the first place.

Your entire cash flow in X-Com is related to your intercept coverage. Better coverage means happier funding nations and more downed UFOs to raid for loot. It also means you can start shooting down terror missions sooner rather than later.

I always sink my starting funds into an immediate second base. Generally my first base is built in Texas to give me limited Intel on UFOs coming in and going out of South America while still covering US and Canada. Second base goes in the very tip top of North Africa to give me limited intel on South Africa while still covering Europe pretty solidly (and gives me a discount for being in North Africa instead of Europe!). By the end of the January/mid February I try to have a third base up in Asia as well. All loot from UFOs that isn't Elerium or Ammo gets sold down to the last Heavy Plasma and Sectoid corpse. I'm not going to be researching UFO power sources, or plasma, or even mind probes until after Personal Armor so why bother hanging on to it when I need the cash now?

#39 NKF

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:09 AM

The one reason to charge into plasma tech as soon as you can is not so much for the squad support (selling them indeed supports the squad better), but to get the plasma beam simply to make your interceptors invincible against all but battleships.

If speed is an issue, the plasma rifle and clip combo is the fastest way to get the plasma beam. Before that, you should have plenty of time to crank out the blueprints for the laser pistol or laser rifle so you'll be fairly well armed against any heavily armoured enemy the early months will throw at you.

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#40 limubai2000

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:57 PM

Newbie here also... I've yet to complete the game on beginner.

Thanks for all the advice everyone!!! It's all paying off quite nicely. I've managed to survive until August and haven't been mangled too badly.

I've learned quite a bit from each post.