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XCom veteran playing again after many years


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#1 oldfan

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 10:00 PM

I recently saw there were a few X-Com like games out there and that made me want to play the originals again.
It has been a while since I last played them (about 15 years). It took me a while to set the speed right but was finally able to do so upon finding Mok's patch:
http://www.xcomufo.c...h...025565&st=0

Mok for president! ^_^

Anyways..... I'm sure I'm going to recollect as I play along, but wanted to ask the following:
  • Is there an option to pause the game while in geoview?
  • Is there a way to turn the music off (leaving sound effects on)?
  • I have the collector edition. Are there any patches I can apply (bug fixes only) offical or unoffical? I'm unclear on this.
  • Is there a way to view the soldier stats when equipping them right before the mission (on the craft)?
  • Is there a way to stop a soldiers from walking (especially useful when I click the mouse by mistake)?
  • Do terror attacks in cities which don't belong to a funding country may affect inflitration to that country?
  • When you send an aircraft somewhere (beyond base radars range), does it act as a "small" radar? Can it find bases and/or crafts?
  • Why does it take so looooong to refuel and arm?
  • Sometimes, it seems that upon zooming, the cities don't appear. Though switching beyween windows seems to get them back on the map at times. Am I the only one noticing this?
  • I like challenge. Is superhuman ridiculously hard? If so, what is a challenging yet not a nightmare difficulty?


#2 Zombie

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 10:36 PM

  • Is there an option to pause the game while in geoview?

Sure, just go into any of the buttons to the right and the game will be paused. Time starts as soon as you exit.

  • Is there a way to turn the music off (leaving sound effects on)?

Sure, go into your sound control panel on your computer and mute "SW Synth" (or something similar).

  • I have the collector edition. Are there any patches I can apply (bug fixes only) offical or unoffical? I'm unclear on this.

Seb76 has a UFO extender which fixes a lot of bugs (see this topic). Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I put together a patch kit for the game folders found here.

  • Is there a way to view the soldier stats when equipping them right before the mission (on the craft)?

Unfortunately, no. You either have to memorize the stats, write them down, or edit your soldiers' names with stat strings.

  • Is there a way to stop a soldiers from walking (especially useful when I click the mouse by mistake)?

Again, no. Best thing to do is save the game before you move anyone important.

  • Do terror attacks in cities which don't belong to a funding country may affect inflitration to that country?

Possibly. The aliens only target regions so a terror (or infiltration fleet) will land anywhere nearby.

  • When you send an aircraft somewhere (beyond base radars range), does it act as a "small" radar? Can it find bases and/or crafts?

Yup, your craft have a small radar range capable of detecting craft and alien bases, so you can use them as portable radar systems to supplement your static systems.

  • Why does it take so looooong to refuel and arm?

Well, if you use up a lot of fuel on a sortie, it'll take a while to replenish your fuel. See the craft page at the X-COM wiki.

  • Sometimes, it seems that upon zooming, the cities don't appear. Though switching between windows seems to get them back on the map at times. Am I the only one noticing this?

Press any key, this toggles cities and borders.

  • I like challenge. Is superhuman ridiculously hard? If so, what is a challenging yet not a nightmare difficulty?

Superhuman isn't too bad if you have a little experience. I'd suggest Veteran skill level if you want to ease yourself slowly into a challenge.

By the way, welcome to the forums! :)

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 22 September 2009 - 10:37 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!


#3 NKF

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:50 PM

Just want to add that if you want to pan about the Geoscape while time is paused, launch an interceptor but don't select a destination. Instead, use the right mouse button to move the globe about. This is a good way to survey the Geoscape when lots of things are happening at once.

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#4 oldfan

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:44 AM

Thanks a bunch, Zombie! The note on the radar is very helpful as it'll help me decide where to build bases. One of the questions I forgot to ask is whether there is some way to actually see the radar range on the geomap though apparently, you can't, I'm sure to start browsing more across the forum and possibly use patches to fix bugs. I may very well continue to update this thread with findings/questions I come across.

The last time I played this game I was in high school and it affected my grades. Now I'm an "adult" and I find myself "sneaking" to browse the internet at work. ^_^ It is very lucky that I don't have a girlfriend while re-discovering this game as I would be surely dumped. :D

P.S.
I'm almost afraid to ask, Zombie, but how did you turn into one? I hope it was a magic by a good magician that went wrong and not a Chrysalis? OMG

#5 oldfan

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:03 AM

Just want to add that if you want to pan about the Geoscape while time is paused, launch an interceptor but don't select a destination. Instead, use the right mouse button to move the globe about. This is a good way to survey the Geoscape when lots of things are happening at once.

- NKF

Yes, this is what I was looking for, though I wish there was a simple "pause" button.

I have a few more questions/comments I thought of so here they are (though I will still do research):

Comments
  • In practice, refueling a jet fighter and arming it with standard weapons doesn't take that long (not from personal experience but I know a little bit about these things). A few hours top.
  • An observation of mine is that one has to research an alien plasma weapon (and clip?) before using it. Ideally, one should know how to use something with a trigger though how to manufacture it is something completely else. Also, ideally, once plasma technology or laser technology is understood, the weaponry (pistol, rifle, heavy) can be researched/manufactured directly without having to go through all the layers (pistol-rifle-heavy). Hopefully this might be an enhancement for a future X-Com title.
  • Can aliens spot a base only when "looking" for it or can they spot it by chance? This is important for my "listening posts" as they do cost money and at least initially won't have any garrison stationed in them.

Questions
  • I never play the "load & save if something goes wrong" style as it takes out the fun in the game for me. I want a challenge yet not something ridiculously impossible. At superhuman level, aliens seem to hit almost every time and are equipped with heavy plasma early on. Once you research armor, does it provide adequate protection (it has been very long and I don't remember)? If not, what level do you recommend to play while still being challenged yet not frustrated?
  • I'm not interested in having any enhancements to the game but only bug fixes and perhaps "small" enhancements that make sense - I want to play the game as it was intended. Are there any recommended patches I should use (I found a few though am not entirely clear whether they alter the game in ways I don't want them to)? I'm running the collector edition and found out there is a 1.4 patch, though from what I understand, it is NOT for the collector's edition. Am I right?
  • Seems like initial HWP sometimes withstand lots of hits and sometimes get ruined after the first shot. Plain luck or does heavy plasma has to do with it?
  • My initial strategy is to build a base in Europe (covers lots of funding countries) and immediately construct a "listening post" in North America. This will cover a lot of land mass and major fund contributors. I'll probably also build a hangar in there so I can intercept as well. Thoughts on this?
  • A common tactic of mine is to throw a smoke grenade near the landing craft ramp on tactical missions, thus providing cover to disembarking troops from aliens that might be there. I also thought about having the first turn used for passing all the weapons around and repositioning troops inside the craft and having the aliens move first so the will consume some of their time units. What do you think of this approach?
  • Do incendiary and explosive weapons (cannon / auto-cannon) stated damage is for a direct hit, and nearby units take damage from the blast radius?
  • I came across two different places explaining alien's night vision. One stated that they see just as well (or bad) as X-Com units the other states that they always see the same as daylight (20 squares). Which is which and is there a possible fix for this (I consider this to be a bug)?
  • Does a damage a weapon does is reduced over distance (I don't believe it does)?
  • Is the chance to hit a target indicates worst case scenario (target is very far away)? I think it does and I find it as a game design flaw as every weapon has an effective range and beyond it is highly inaccurate. Firing a handgun against long distances is highly inaccurate and even using an assault rifle to ranges above 20 yards with a snapshot is very difficult (speaking from experience).

Edited by oldfan, 23 September 2009 - 09:26 AM.


#6 Zombie

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:32 AM

I never play the "load & save if something goes wrong" style as it takes out the fun in the game for me. I want a challenge yet not something ridiculously impossible. At superhuman level, aliens seem to hit almost every time and are equipped with heavy plasma early on. Once you research armor, does it provide adequate protection (it has been very long and I don't remember)? If not, what level do you recommend to play while still being challenged yet not frustrated?

Like I mentioned in my previous post, try Veteran if you want a challenge which isn't over the top. Armor does help a lot so the sooner you get it the better off your troops will be. Personal Armor is a little weak though and I usually go straight for the Power Suit since it is significantly better.

I'm not interested in having any enhancements to the game but only bug fixes and perhaps "small" enhancements that make sense - I want to play the game as it was intended. Are there any recommended patches I should use (I found a few though am not entirely clear whether they alter the game in ways I don't want them to)? I'm running the collector edition and found out there is a 1.4 patch, though from what I understand, it is NOT for the collector's edition. Am I right?

See my previous post. ;)

Seems like initial HWP sometimes withstand lots of hits and sometimes get ruined after the first shot. Plain luck or does heavy plasma has to do with it?

Both play a role. See, a weapon's listed strength is only the average it can deal. For a normal ranged weapon with a listed power of 100 it will do anywhere from 0-200 points of damage. So even though a Heavy Plasma can deal an insane amount of damage, you can still survive some shots depending on the damage roll.

My initial strategy is to build a base in Europe (covers lots of funding countries) and immediately construct a "listening post" in North America. This will cover a lot of land mass and major fund contributors. I'll probably also build a hangar in there so I can intercept as well. Thoughts on this?

Never a bad idea and in fact, this is my usual strategy for setting up my game initially.

A common tactic of mine is to throw a smoke grenade near the landing craft ramp on tactical missions, thus providing cover to disembarking troops from aliens that might be there. I also thought about having the first turn used for passing all the weapons around and repositioning troops inside the craft and having the aliens move first so the will consume some of their time units. What do you think of this approach?

Again, it's a great idea to use smoke grenades as it conceals your movements and forces the aliens to come closer which wastes their TU and gives you a greater chance.

Do incendiary and explosive weapons (cannon / auto-cannon) stated damage is for a direct hit, and nearby units take damage from the blast radius?

Explosive shells and grenades do anywhere from 50% to 150% listed power. For example a shell with an imaginary 100 for its power will do anywhere from 50 to 150 points of damage at Ground Zero (or GZ for short). As the distance increases from GZ, the damage decreases by 10 points average. So eventually damage tapers off to nothing. It should be noted that explosives damage under armor at GZ and GZ+1 (see image below) but any farther away than this and damage will be applied to the side which faces GZ.

Posted Image

Incendiary (or fire) is a different beast from explosives. If hit with an Incendiary shell a unit either doesn't take any damage (doesn't catch fire) or between 5-10 points of damage (catches fire). Units standing in fire will suffer between 1-12 points of damage. The ability of a unit to withstand fire is either inherent (built-in) or modeled with the damage modifiers.

I came across two different places explaining alien's night vision. One stated that they see just as well (or bad) as X-Com units the other states that they always see the same as daylight (20 squares). Which is which and is there a possible fix for this (I consider this to be a bug)?

Aliens always see the full 20 tiles at day and at night. X-COM units can see the full 20 during the day but only 9 at night (hence why you should use Electro-flares at night). It's not really a bug per-se as we could assume that since the aliens are genetically modified that their night vision was improved either through surgery, natural selection or both.

Does a damage a weapon does is reduced over distance (I don't believe it does)?

Nope, damage is identical whether you are standing right next to an alien and firing or if you are 50 tiles away.

Is the chance to hit a target indicates worst case scenario (target is very far away)? I think it does and I find it as a game design flaw as every weapon has an effective range and beyond it is highly inaccurate. Firing a handgun against long distances is highly inaccurate and even using an assault rifle to ranges above 20 yards with a snapshot is very difficult (speaking from experience).

The overall chance to hit is not calculated when you look at the accuracy given for a shot type. However, the farther you get from the target the more "drift" will be applied to the bullet thus lowering the effective accuracy. So it was a brave attempt to model accuracy due to distance. Unfortunately, there is no effective range for any of the weapons meaning if you (or someone else) can see a target, you can shoot at it. It'll probably miss, but trajectory isn't taken into account.

Oh, I turned into a Zombie after staying up too many nights playing X-COM. LOL

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 23 September 2009 - 10:45 AM.
Incendiary.

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 oldfan

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:43 AM

My initial strategy is to build a base in Europe (covers lots of funding countries) and immediately construct a "listening post" in North America. This will cover a lot of land mass and major fund contributors. I'll probably also build a hangar in there so I can intercept as well. Thoughts on this?
Never a bad idea and in fact, this is my usual strategy for setting up my game initially.

Great minds think alike!

A common tactic of mine is to throw a smoke grenade near the landing craft ramp on tactical missions, thus providing cover to disembarking troops from aliens that might be there. I also thought about having the first turn used for passing all the weapons around and repositioning troops inside the craft and having the aliens move first so the will consume some of their time units. What do you think of this approach?
Again, it's a great idea to use smoke grenades as it conceals your movements and forces the aliens to come closer which wastes their TU and gives you a greater chance.

I assume the let the first turn pass also is a good decision unless the aliens are already very near your landing craft and you can see them.

Is the chance to hit a target indicates worst case scenario (target is very far away)? I think it does and I find it as a game design flaw as every weapon has an effective range and beyond it is highly inaccurate. Firing a handgun against long distances is highly inaccurate and even using an assault rifle to ranges above 20 yards with a snapshot is very difficult (speaking from experience).
The overall chance to hit is not calculated when you look at the accuracy given for a shot type. However, the farther you get from the target the more "drift" will be applied to the bullet thus lowering the effective accuracy. So it was a brave attempt to model accuracy due to distance. Unfortunately, there is no effective range for any of the weapons meaning if you (or someone else) can see a target, you can shoot at it. It'll probably miss, but trajectory isn't taken into account.
Still.... if you fire from one edge of the screen to the other and you have a chance probability of 90%, it is indeed 90%. Though obviously, for really close by targets, you can hit even with very low percentage. Right?


Oh, I turned into a Zombie after staying up too many nights playing X-COM. LOL

Wooosh! I was afraid over there for a second. I know what you mean about that. It'll happen to me very soon I guess. The first game that had me play like this was Civilization and the Oblivion (xbox). Around 4am you try to move and can hardly get up from the chair as all your muscles are locked. The only exercise you get during this night sessions (or weekends sessions) is filling the junk food bowl and the restroom.

I'm thinking about the Seb76's UFO Extender though it does change a few things in the game.

#8 Zombie

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 01:10 PM

I assume the let the first turn pass also is a good decision unless the aliens are already very near your landing craft and you can see them.

Of course. A Smoke Grenade doesn't go off as soon as it hits the ground even if it is primed to detonate on turn 0, so you'll have to wait till after the aliens turn to reap the benefits. If it's a very hot landing zone, smoke isn't going to help you much on your initial turn. If that happens early on I usually end up using tons of explosives and then abort if need be.

Wooosh! I was afraid over there for a second. I know what you mean about that. It'll happen to me very soon I guess. The first game that had me play like this was Civilization and the Oblivion (xbox). Around 4am you try to move and can hardly get up from the chair as all your muscles are locked. The only exercise you get during this night sessions (or weekends sessions) is filling the junk food bowl and the restroom.

Or getting another beer (if you are old enough that is). Just one or two though. Playing while loopy isn't advised. LOL

I'm thinking about the Seb76's UFO Extender though it does change a few things in the game.

Yup, it does change some things. I'd definitely recommend my game folder patch though, as that only fixes bugs and doesn't introduce boarderline mods. ;)

- 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!


#9 oldfan

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 01:21 PM

I'm thinking about the Seb76's UFO Extender though it does change a few things in the game.
Yup, it does change some things. I'd definitely recommend my game folder patch though, as that only fixes bugs and doesn't introduce boarderline mods. ;)

- Zombie


Does that pretty much fix everything Seb76 does? Though I doooooo like the idea of seeing stats on the soldiers when equipping them and be able to arrange them on the landing craft. Is there anyway of only getting these changes?

Edited by oldfan, 23 September 2009 - 01:22 PM.


#10 Zombie

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:33 PM

My patch focuses only on the game folders at the moment. Seb's extender deals more with higher level memory management while the game is running so the two are completely different. You can use them in conjunction if you want though. :)

As for only getting soldier stats during the equip screen, well, you'll have to ask Seb. ;)

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 23 September 2009 - 02:33 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!


#11 NKF

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:32 PM

The use of the smoke grenade for deployment unconsciously lets you take advantage of the fact that the aliens will not always be at 100% of their TUs after the very first turn. A good habit to get into - even if it's just a ceremonial gesture to get you to wait in the craft for a turn.

I don't really use many mods (if at all) but from recollection many of the more radical game changing options in Seb's loader are not compulsory and you can switch them on and off as you please through the loader.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 23 September 2009 - 11:35 PM.

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#12 oldfan

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 05:24 AM

The use of the smoke grenade for deployment unconsciously lets you take advantage of the fact that the aliens will not always be at 100% of their TUs after the very first turn. A good habit to get into - even if it's just a ceremonial gesture to get you to wait in the craft for a turn.

I don't really use many mods (if at all) but from recollection many of the more radical game changing options in Seb's loader are not compulsory and you can switch them on and off as you please through the loader.

- NKF

Yes, I just downloaded it yesterday night and am still experimenting with it. Seems to work though haven't tested every option. I will use certain mods like having your craft intercept when not 100% fueled and/or armed and a few others that make sense. By the way, I LOVE the ability of seeing stats, which grenades are primed, and most of all, the ability to sort the order of troops on the aircraft - that is REALLY good. I think I saw in some other patch the ability to have your crew remember the equipment they have which can also be very handy. I may experiment with ranged based accuracy and having to have a direct line of site to use mind probe and psi. Having high explosive carry more punch is also a nice touch as it now allows you to make a hole in a UFO, taking an alternate attack approach (makes sense in my opinion).

It also seems to have the same bug fixes that Zombie has in his patch though haven't compared between the two thoroughly.

I will test it later on and share my findings. Oh.... it seems that the patch states that you can change things on the fly and it changes stuff in memory. However, that does not appear to be the case for me as I have to restart the game.

#13 Zombie

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 11:25 AM

It also seems to have the same bug fixes that Zombie has in his patch though haven't compared between the two thoroughly.

Doubt it. Seb doesn't muck with the game files IIRC, just the executable and memory. If you don't want to use my patch, so be it. Just thought that for someone who wanted to play the game as it was intended that you would be interested. ;)

- 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 oldfan

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 11:36 AM

It also seems to have the same bug fixes that Zombie has in his patch though haven't compared between the two thoroughly.

Doubt it. Seb doesn't muck with the game files IIRC, just the executable and memory. If you don't want to use my patch, so be it. Just thought that for someone who wanted to play the game as it was intended that you would be interested. ;)

- Zombie

Oh...... don't get me wrong. I will definitely use your patch though I thought that his already include it. According to the following link, many of the bug fixes are included:
http://www.ufopaedia...Seb76#Bug_Fixes
Unless these are just known bug fixes and his stuff have nothing to do with it.

P.S.
ZombieLand is coming out on October 2nd. :)

#15 Zombie

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:39 PM

Oh...... don't get me wrong. I will definitely use your patch though I thought that his already include it. According to the following link, many of the bug fixes are included:
http://www.ufopaedia...Seb76#Bug_Fixes
Unless these are just known bug fixes and his stuff have nothing to do with it.

Again, those are completely different bugs from the ones in my patch. Mine only deal with the files in your game folders : TERRAIN (MCD or tile info), MAPS (different map modules) and ROUTES (the routes aliens follow and their spawn points). So our two patches deal with different areas. There shouldn't be a problem using both Seb's extender and my patch as there isn't any crossover between them. Hope that's clear. ;)

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 24 September 2009 - 07:41 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!


#16 oldfan

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 07:10 AM

I use smoke grenades heavily in order to secure my LZ outside the craft and sometimes to throw it near a group of soldiers on the front to provide cover from aliens. However, I am running into an annoying problem which is the ability to throw items from a Skyranger when a HWP is present. The HWP is in the front of the vehicle. I am not able to throw anything above it near the ground of the Skyranger. The only way I can accomplish this is by moving the HWP forward a little bit (so it is on the top squares of the ramp) and then I'm able to throw a smoke grenade. However, this often attracts unwanted fire.

I usually wait one turn to allow the aliens to move and not have their full TUs. However, sometimes, they are already positioned outside the landing craft and they already have a visual. Also, I can potentially wait the first turn and then move the HWP followed by a smoke grenade. However, at times this can prove to be a time waster, especially on terror missions. I'm looking for something I may be missing or an alternative tactic if you can think of.

Also, I don't remember, but do aliens need to have a direct line of site in order to perform a psi attack?

Edited by oldfan, 28 September 2009 - 01:55 PM.


#17 NKF

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 12:59 AM

Thankfully this is Skyranger-only conundrum. The answer is:

Throw further

I'd try anywhere between 3 - 5 tiles beyond the base of the ramp. Only the guys right behind the tank tend to have a chance at this. It's close enough for you to benefit the smoke cloud. Otherwise I'd have the rocket tank launch a rocket directly at the base of the ramp to kick up an instant but unfortunately lighter smoke cloud.

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#18 oldfan

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 07:30 AM

Thankfully this is Skyranger-only conundrum. The answer is:

Throw further

I'd try anywhere between 3 - 5 tiles beyond the base of the ramp. Only the guys right behind the tank tend to have a chance at this. It's close enough for you to benefit the smoke cloud. Otherwise I'd have the rocket tank launch a rocket directly at the base of the ramp to kick up an instant but unfortunately lighter smoke cloud.

- NKF

I believe I did try to do that but wasn't able to, though I'll verify that. As for launching a rocket, I think I'll pass on that. I made myself a VERY healthy habit of using rocket based weapons only when no obstacles or up 'n' downs exist in front of me. It may work 99% of the cases but I'm not going to tempt my fate.

On the bright side, I started a new game on superhuman a couple of days ago. I decided to use the mod for government funding only as money is so easy to make. And indeed it makes the game a lot more challenging. Intercepting UFOs and succeeding in missions and having a high score is ultra important to get more money so you can hire more soldiers and scientists (research speed is quite low without too many of them). This also means that I have to plan very well what I'm going to manufacture, which base facilities to build, and avoiding loosing soldiers as they cost money. I now have to always keep some cash in reserve, for more soldiers. This is indeed much, much more challenging and also makes sense - governments around the world are financing an organization to fight aliens and not become a "freelancer", selling advanced weaponry to the highest bidder.

Due to financial constraints and higher difficulty (superhuman), I find myself taking a whole different approach in tactical combat. Far better troop deployment, cover, cautious advance, heavy usage of proximity grenades, clearing large areas with rocket launchers, and smoke screen cover, and using interceptors to increase UFO detection rate which translates into shooting them down and increasing your score via a tactical machine . Being very patient, especially on tactical machines, pays off and is very rewarding.

A few more questions I have are:
  • Whether there are "secondary explosions" of weapons in UFO Enemy Unknown. By secondary explosions I mean whether explosives like grenades, rockets, high explosives, can be set off (explode) by another explosion. I think this is the case for TFTD and/or Apocalypse but I can't remember whether this is true for Enemy Unknown. I guess I can test it to an extent, but I do remember that other explosives do not necessarily explode all the time.
  • Is it possible to just open a UFO door (or any other door for that matter) without actually going in?
  • Sometimes my tactical machine starts with some soldiers not having their rifle armed (zero rounds) while other soldiers have a spare clip on their backpack. Is this a known issue?

Edited by oldfan, 29 September 2009 - 02:24 PM.


#19 NKF

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:11 AM

I'm afraid to say that strength appears to play a role in how far ahead you must throw the grenade to get it past the tank. The lower the strength the better. It's this whole silly thing where the stronger you are, the higher the throwing arc. I had a guy with 25 strength do well with the 3 - 5 tiles. The one with 35 had to throw further.

Secondary explosions: Unfortunately, no. They just destroy the other explosives.

It's the same in TFTD. However, TFTD has upgraded armor levels for the explosives so that they don't destroy each other. This is how you can get a stack of armed explosives to all go off in sequence. Doing the same in UFO will only net you one explosion.

Opening doors: Again, no. This is only present in the Playstation edition and if you use Seb76's loader with the Collectors Edition. If an alien is standing just behind the door though, it does open without you going through. But that's not quite the same, is it? ;) It's such a nice feature though, but I've since accustomed myself to waiting for all the aliens to leave rather than go in after them (not counting psi encouners).

Arming issues: I don't think that occurs naturally. It could very well be a XComutil issue if you're using it.

I do know that the Collectors Edition has a weird pistol ammo arming oddity which is not present in the Dos edition. This involves either the pistols being armed normally, or only one guy gets one pistol and all the ammo.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 01 October 2009 - 02:13 AM.

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#20 oldfan

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 06:51 AM

Opening doors: Again, no. This is only present in the Playstation edition and if you use Seb76's loader with the Collectors Edition. If an alien is standing just behind the door though, it does open without you going through. But that's not quite the same, is it? ;) It's such a nice feature though, but I've since accustomed myself to waiting for all the aliens to leave rather than go in after them (not counting psi encouners).

I use Seb76 UFO extender with the Collectors Edition. How do I just open the door?

Camping out is fun. Though sometimes, the aliens just keep to themselves inside there. I set myself a rule to wait until turn fifty or so before going in.

#21 Zombie

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 07:13 AM

I use Seb76 UFO extender with the Collectors Edition. How do I just open the door?

I believe he coded it with a right mouse click. :)

Camping out is fun. Though sometimes, the aliens just keep to themselves inside there. I set myself a rule to wait until turn fifty or so before going in.

50? No need to wait any longer than turn 30. The last "free look" for the aliens is set at turn 20. Add an aliens intelligence stat (which governs how long it remembers your location) to that and it comes to a max of 28. ;)

- Zombie

Edited by Zombie, 01 October 2009 - 07:14 AM.

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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!


#22 oldfan

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 07:46 AM

I use Seb76 UFO extender with the Collectors Edition. How do I just open the door?

I believe he coded it with a right mouse click. :)

Camping out is fun. Though sometimes, the aliens just keep to themselves inside there. I set myself a rule to wait until turn fifty or so before going in.

50? No need to wait any longer than turn 30. The last "free look" for the aliens is set at turn 20. Add an aliens intelligence stat (which governs how long it remembers your location) to that and it comes to a max of 28. ;)

- Zombie

Thanks, will try using the right mouse button. I assume I should just right click the tile on the other side of the door?
As for the turns, what is "free look"? Though perhaps I shouldn't ask, I don't want too much power gaming.

By the way, I noticed yesterday that I'm able to see some terrain when rotating some of the people inside the Skyranger. Though I don't know if you can spot aliens like this, it is helpful to see the surrounding terrain near the landing zone:
  • Nearby barns
  • Clearings
  • Tree "gardens"
  • Edges of the screen

I don't know whether this is a bug, but if it is, it is actually a "good" bug. A landing craft like the Skyranger should have a few windows and cameras so people can scan the close range.

#23 Zombie

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 08:42 AM

Thanks, will try using the right mouse button. I assume I should just right click the tile on the other side of the door?

Yup, just make sure you are looking directly at the door when you click. :)

As for the turns, what is "free look"? Though perhaps I shouldn't ask, I don't want too much power gaming.

It's almost an exploit really, so read at your own risk. The aliens normally only remember where you are by their intelligence stat. At the start of a mission, all the aliens know where where your units are and their stats. If intelligence is 6, the alien will remember where you are for 6 turns for example. After this, the aliens need to spot one of your troops to get a fix again. However, if you manage to stay out of the aliens way for a few turns, they will eventually forget where everyone is. Enter the "free look" code. When turn 20 comes along (or when only 2 aliens or less are present on the map), the game will give the aliens one more look around (like on the initial turn). This was probably done to make it easier to finish a mission since the aliens will start to exit their foxholes and head to your soldiers. If the aliens "forget" where you are after turn 20, they will not get any more chances to look around. They can only get a fix when they spot you. ^_^

By the way, I noticed yesterday that I'm able to see some terrain when rotating some of the people inside the Skyranger. Though I don't know if you can spot aliens like this, it is helpful to see the surrounding terrain near the landing zone:

  • Nearby barns
  • Clearings
  • Tree "gardens"
  • Edges of the screen

I don't know whether this is a bug, but if it is, it is actually a "good" bug. A landing craft like the Skyranger should have a few windows and cameras so people can scan the close range.

Your craft should have windows, yes, but they don't. You can turn around and reveal the landscape, but beyond that feature, the aliens are invisible. (XcomUtil exploits this by facing your soldiers outwards at the start of the mission). For me, I consider it a bug. There aren't windows on the ship, yet you can see out and observe the landscape but not see any aliens. Dumb. WTF

When myself and Bomb Bloke fixed the Lightning, we prevented X-COM soldiers from exiting through the diagonals and sealed up all the cracks and crevices so that the aliens couldn't get some looks (and shots) inside. This also prevented X-COM soldiers from seeing out. For the Lightning, this is a bug. I suspect that it is also a bug for the other transports as well since the map programmers didn't use the proper line of fire template which created a gap between the floor and the wall allowing visibility out. The programmers did this for the alien ships as well.

Me, I don't have an issue with looking out. Just step off the ramp an look around. At most, it'll take 8 TU. Less with more soldiers. ;)

- 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!


#24 oldfan

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 08:52 AM

Thanks, will try using the right mouse button. I assume I should just right click the tile on the other side of the door?

Yup, just make sure you are looking directly at the door when you click. :)

As for the turns, what is "free look"? Though perhaps I shouldn't ask, I don't want too much power gaming.

It's almost an exploit really, so read at your own risk. The aliens normally only remember where you are by their intelligence stat. At the start of a mission, all the aliens know where where your units are and their stats. If intelligence is 6, the alien will remember where you are for 6 turns for example. After this, the aliens need to spot one of your troops to get a fix again. However, if you manage to stay out of the aliens way for a few turns, they will eventually forget where everyone is. Enter the "free look" code. When turn 20 comes along (or when only 2 aliens or less are present on the map), the game will give the aliens one more look around (like on the initial turn). This was probably done to make it easier to finish a mission since the aliens will start to exit their foxholes and head to your soldiers. If the aliens "forget" where you are after turn 20, they will not get any more chances to look around. They can only get a fix when they spot you. ^_^

By the way, I noticed yesterday that I'm able to see some terrain when rotating some of the people inside the Skyranger. Though I don't know if you can spot aliens like this, it is helpful to see the surrounding terrain near the landing zone:

  • Nearby barns
  • Clearings
  • Tree "gardens"
  • Edges of the screen

I don't know whether this is a bug, but if it is, it is actually a "good" bug. A landing craft like the Skyranger should have a few windows and cameras so people can scan the close range.

Your craft should have windows, yes, but they don't. You can turn around and reveal the landscape, but beyond that feature, the aliens are invisible. (XcomUtil exploits this by facing your soldiers outwards at the start of the mission). For me, I consider it a bug. There aren't windows on the ship, yet you can see out and observe the landscape but not see any aliens. Dumb. WTF

When myself and Bomb Bloke fixed the Lightning, we prevented X-COM soldiers from exiting through the diagonals and sealed up all the cracks and crevices so that the aliens couldn't get some looks (and shots) inside. This also prevented X-COM soldiers from seeing out. For the Lightning, this is a bug. I suspect that it is also a bug for the other transports as well since the map programmers didn't use the proper line of fire template which created a gap between the floor and the wall allowing visibility out. The programmers did this for the alien ships as well.

Me, I don't have an issue with looking out. Just step off the ramp an look around. At most, it'll take 8 TU. Less with more soldiers. ;)

- Zombie

Thanks. I decided to skip the "probably an exploit" section as I don't want to know too much about game internals. As for the Skyranger peeking through the "windows" bug, what I meant is that it would make sense for a landing craft to have a few windows so "passengers" can see a little bit of the outside. I do send a scout out to take a peek (or a HWP), but by the time I do that, there is already 1-2 detonated smoke grenades.

#25 Zombie

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 08:59 AM

Thanks. I decided to skip the "probably an exploit" section as I don't want to know too much about game internals.

No problem. :)

As for the Skyranger peeking through the "windows" bug, what I meant is that it would make sense for a landing craft to have a few windows so "passengers" can see a little bit of the outside. I do send a scout out to take a peek (or a HWP), but by the time I do that, there is already 1-2 detonated smoke grenades.

Smoke doesn't obscure revealing the landscape though (at least, I don't think it does). So even if you exit the craft and look around under the cover of smoke, you'll still see as much of the landscape had no smoke been present. It only blocks Line Of Sight between units. ;)

- 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!


#26 oldfan

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:24 AM

Thanks. I decided to skip the "probably an exploit" section as I don't want to know too much about game internals.

No problem. :)

As for the Skyranger peeking through the "windows" bug, what I meant is that it would make sense for a landing craft to have a few windows so "passengers" can see a little bit of the outside. I do send a scout out to take a peek (or a HWP), but by the time I do that, there is already 1-2 detonated smoke grenades.

Smoke doesn't obscure revealing the landscape though (at least, I don't think it does). So even if you exit the craft and look around under the cover of smoke, you'll still see as much of the landscape had no smoke been present. It only blocks Line Of Sight between units. ;)

- Zombie

Thanks. I found out that knowing too much about a game internal mechanics may spoil the fun as one tends to power game. And by the way, since we are having this Q&A session, I wanted to verify whether aliens need a line of sight in order to use psi-attacks (I don' think they do).

#27 Zombie

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 11:40 AM

And by the way, since we are having this Q&A session, I wanted to verify whether aliens need a line of sight in order to use psi-attacks (I don' think they do).

No line of sight is necessary for psi. In fact, I did a test in a Sectoid base a while ago where I intentionally rooted all the aliens to one spot so they couldn't move, and verified that none of the aliens could see any of my men, then went a few turns ahead. The aliens still used psi attacks. I would also suspect that the aliens are using the same code as X-COM soldiers do because as we all know, X-COM soldiers don't need line of sight to wage psi attacks either. ;)

- 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!


#28 oldfan

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:01 PM

And by the way, since we are having this Q&A session, I wanted to verify whether aliens need a line of sight in order to use psi-attacks (I don' think they do).

No line of sight is necessary for psi. In fact, I did a test in a Sectoid base a while ago where I intentionally rooted all the aliens to one spot so they couldn't move, and verified that none of the aliens could see any of my men, then went a few turns ahead. The aliens still used psi attacks. I would also suspect that the aliens are using the same code as X-COM soldiers do because as we all know, X-COM soldiers don't need line of sight to wage psi attacks either. ;)

- Zombie

Yes. I wish this behavior could be fixed. It doesn't make sense - you should have to have a line of site.

By the way, can alien die from wounds like X-Com soldiers do?

Edited by oldfan, 01 October 2009 - 12:32 PM.


#29 Zombie

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:49 PM

Yes. I wish this behavior could be fixed. It doesn't make sense - you should have to have a line of site.

Well, what would happen if you were standing directly next to an alien but not looking at it? You shouldn't need line of sight if you can touch the thing. ;)

By the way, can alien die from wounds like X-Com soldiers do?

Yes and no. Normally they do not take fatal wounds. If you mind control them and they get shot, then they take fatals. :)

- 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!


#30 Hobbes

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:18 PM

[

By the way, can alien die from wounds like X-Com soldiers do?

Yes and no. Normally they do not take fatal wounds. If you mind control them and they get shot, then they take fatals. :)

- Zombie


The only exception being aliens belonging to a crew of a crashed UFO which can start the combat with wounds, right?

#31 oldfan

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:24 PM

I use Seb76 UFO extender with the Collectors Edition. How do I just open the door?

I believe he coded it with a right mouse click. :)


The UFO Extender web page states that "TFTD Doors: open a facing door by right-clicking. It'll cost you 4 TUs". Does this mean it only works for TFTD and not for Enemy Unknown (still at work and haven't checked it out)?

#32 Zombie

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 04:45 PM

The UFO Extender web page states that "TFTD Doors: open a facing door by right-clicking. It'll cost you 4 TUs". Does this mean it only works for TFTD and not for Enemy Unknown (still at work and haven't checked it out)?

No, it should work in Enemy Unknown. The reason why it is named "TFTD Doors" is because this feature was implemented in this game. :)

- 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!


#33 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 08:03 AM

I've played extensively the game over the last week using the following settings:
  • Superhuman difficulty level
  • No reloading of battles (or anything for that matter)
  • Government funding only
  • UFO extender mods/bug fixes including range based accuracy

The ranged based accuracy adds a lot of depth to the game as now your dedicated snipers are actually very useful especially since they have enough time for aimed shots which now have the best chance to hit something over a large distance. I find smoke grenades to be a must (especially on the LZ) and proximity mines are the most useful/used weapon I have. I take my time on the battle-scape and work wisely to set my initial defense parameter before advancing. I equip two guys with rocket launchers so that they may level (and some times kill) farm houses from afar. I treat every unseen tile as having a potential to have an alien. I must say that the HWP (rocket tank) is extremely useful as a scout especially early on as it can survive quite a bit. The government funding only mod is indeed a challenge. If one is able to sell alien artifacts, money is not really an issue (per normal unmoded game). However, with this limit, one has to carefully plan on supplies, keeping soldiers alive, and much slower research rate. I focus first on getting laser rifles because they don't need ammo (more items on the transport), two aimed shots per turn, and much more damage that the regular armor piercing rifle. I tried using the medikit first approach as sometimes a few of my guys survive a hit (or by accidentally walking on my own mine field) but found out it takes way too long to research. I use my interceptors for perform reconnaissance missions which prove to locate many UFOs. The first month is the toughest, as you're really lacking funds and can't afford too many troops. Second month is much better as you can finally hire near 50 scientists and are able to equip all your soldiers with laser rifles. As for bases, I have my initial one in Europe (covering many countries) and actually setup my second one in SE Asia (Japan, China, Russia, India). My third one will be for North America.

I still have some problems/questions though, was hoping that perhaps somebody can share their experience:
  • Heavy cannon - I don't really use it. I'd rather have 3-4 more proximity mines on that soldier. I don't find them useful or am I missing something?
  • Base attacks can happen and when they do, often the 80 item limit is VERY ANNOYING. For example, sometimes I don't get any proximity mines. Are items on the Skyranger "participate" at base defense or not? If they don't, I can use the transport as "storage" and I just have to remember to equip them prior to launching a mission. Also, are soldiers "equipped" on the Skyranger will participate at base defense?
  • I use the autocannon to fire incendiary ammunition during night to light the battle-scape. Other than that, I don't really use it at all. Do you?
  • I use rocket launchers ONLY when having a clear line of sight with no obstacles or friendlies nearby. I had way too many "accidents". However, sometimes you start a mission with aliens lurking right outside the doorway, especially on terror missions. I had VERY bad experiences with trying to launch a rocket while inside the Skyranger. :-( Any tips on how this can be accomplished safely?
  • I often find it is theoretically possible to take aliens right outside the Skyranger with heavy explosives or grenades. How, sometimes, even with the grenade-rely tactic, the problems are that Skyranger may severely get in the way of throwing things and sometimes you don't know it until it happens (and too late). Any tips for this would be helpful.
  • Terror missions are not that bad IF you start with a relatively clear landing zone. Though this can be quite difficulty, especially at night time. Any tips?

Edited by oldfan, 05 October 2009 - 09:11 AM.


#34 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 10:28 AM

I've played extensively the game over the last week using the following settings:

  • Superhuman difficulty level
  • No reloading of battles (or anything for that matter)
  • Government funding only
  • UFO extender mods/bug fixes including range based accuracy

The ranged based accuracy adds a lot of depth to the game as now your dedicated snipers are actually very useful especially since they have enough time for aimed shots which now have the best chance to hit something over a large distance. I find smoke grenades to be a must (especially on the LZ) and proximity mines are the most useful/used weapon I have. I take my time on the battle-scape and work wisely to set my initial defense parameter before advancing. I equip two guys with rocket launchers so that they may level (and some times kill) farm houses from afar. I treat every unseen tile as having a potential to have an alien. I must say that the HWP (rocket tank) is extremely useful as a scout especially early on as it can survive quite a bit. The government funding only mod is indeed a challenge. If one is able to sell alien artifacts, money is not really an issue (per normal unmoded game). However, with this limit, one has to carefully plan on supplies, keeping soldiers alive, and much slower research rate. I focus first on getting laser rifles because they don't need ammo (more items on the transport), two aimed shots per turn, and much more damage that the regular armor piercing rifle. I tried using the medikit first approach as sometimes a few of my guys survive a hit (or by accidentally walking on my own mine field) but found out it takes way too long to research. I use my interceptors for perform reconnaissance missions which prove to locate many UFOs. The first month is the toughest, as you're really lacking funds and can't afford too many troops. Second month is much better as you can finally hire near 50 scientists and are able to equip all your soldiers with laser rifles. As for bases, I have my initial one in Europe (covering many countries) and actually setup my second one in SE Asia (Japan, China, Russia, India). My third one will be for North America.

I still have some problems/questions though, was hoping that perhaps somebody can share their experience:
  • Heavy cannon - I don't really use it. I'd rather have 3-4 more proximity mines on that soldier. I don't find them useful or am I missing something?
  • Base attacks can happen and when they do, often the 80 item limit is VERY ANNOYING. For example, sometimes I don't get any proximity mines. Are items on the Skyranger "participate" at base defense or not? If they don't, I can use the transport as "storage" and I just have to remember to equip them prior to launching a mission. Also, are soldiers "equipped" on the Skyranger will participate at base defense?
  • I use the autocannon to fire incendiary ammunition during night to light the battle-scape. Other than that, I don't really use it at all. Do you?
  • I use rocket launchers ONLY when having a clear line of sight with no obstacles or friendlies nearby. I had way too many "accidents". However, sometimes you start a mission with aliens lurking right outside the doorway, especially on terror missions. I had VERY bad experiences with trying to launch a rocket while inside the Skyranger. :-( Any tips on how this can be accomplished safely?
  • I often find it is theoretically possible to take aliens right outside the Skyranger with heavy explosives or grenades. How, sometimes, even with the grenade-rely tactic, the problems are that Skyranger may severely get in the way of throwing things and sometimes you don't know it until it happens (and too late). Any tips for this would be helpful.
  • Terror missions are not that bad IF you start with a relatively clear landing zone. Though this can be quite difficulty, especially at night time. Any tips?



Heavy Cannons - I don't use them either, they seem too heavy, too inaccurate, and don't deal enough damage to make up for the drawbacks

Base Attacks - I play an unmodded / unpatched version, and the base attacks include soldiers on craft but NOT equipment on craft, and also does not let you PICK WHICH 80 items will be included on the base defense, so... my only solution is when i KNOW i'm gonna get a base attack, i unload all my soldiers off all my craft & then load up my craft with all the equipment i DONT want so all that remains is what i DO want... this seems to be the only reliable solution for me, on 2nd thought i can't remember if equipment on craft is included, seems like after i loaded the crap i didn't want, i would actually launch the skyranger/whatever loaded with crap gear & no soldiers in preparation for the base assault...

Auto Cannons - Unlike the heavy cannon, these are extremely useful to me, especially early game, but also late game to a lesser degree, auto cannons equipped with explosive ammo is extremely useful, especially for rookies that can't hit a barn with a sniper rifle. early on in the game i will auto-fire explosive ammo at the GROUND 1 tile away from an alien, which is about 90% likely to result in a kill, 25-50% likely the corpse will not be destroyed, and about 75% likely the equipment will not be destroyed. Another interesting fact is that the auto fire will ALWAYS produce 3 shots, even if your soldier isn't alive at the time, say you have a soldier that will be dead anyway for whatever reason, you can point blank auto fire & it will detonate 3 explosions if the alien is still standing & miss harmlessly after he goes down... (but your soldier will be vaporized for his troubles), i consider this an "always primed" grenade, that does not detonate if the carrier dies, and will often carry a laser rifle in 1 hand & an auto cannon in the other for at least 4 soldiers... and the others will carry grenades or high explosives, which i may or may not prime depending on the situation...

I myself had many frustrating encounters with the "spray & pray" model rocket launcher which you have access to... I ultimately decided it was unfit for use... Use the auto cannon explosive ammo is a much safer alternative, when you occasionally hit something inappropriate with 1 shot, it isn't traumatic (except possibly an unfortunate soul to receive a direct hit), just remember to aim at the ground NOT the alien... oh, and it helps to have high ground advantage, that way you can do this further away.

I don't find myself in many situations where i would even consider throwing grenades from my landing craft, terror mission or otherwise... turn 1 i prime all my grenades, unless i can see the alien without moving, in that case i'll just avoid priming my grenades with the 1st 4 soldiers or HWP & 1st 2 soldiers, and i will simply shoot at the alien from the landing craft, if the HWP cannot kill the alien, then he must move out of the way & take whatever punishment he must, but my 1st 4 soldiers usually carry my auto fire explosives & it only takes 1 auto fire to defuse the situation (except for mutton), this is indeed a safer alternative to your rocket launcher, and unlike grenades if the pesky bastard happens to survive you'll know about it before he gets a chance to move or throw a grenade inside your craft OUCH! after the alien is dead, if the HWP has time & is lucky it will reboard the craft after a quick spin survey.

Night time UFO terror missions are just that terrifying... especially with Chryssalids and civilians it can get REALLY ugly... use electro flares & scout with rookies & HWP... other than that it is up to luck ... especially for getting out of the craft... it is tough to sit in the landing craft that 1st turn & hear all those screams in the night... but there is no alternative, on all missions, terror included, preservation of your troops is #1 priority always

Edited by Tiruas, 05 October 2009 - 10:37 AM.

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#35 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 10:48 AM

I've played extensively the game over the last week using the following settings:

  • Superhuman difficulty level
  • No reloading of battles (or anything for that matter)
  • Government funding only
  • UFO extender mods/bug fixes including range based accuracy

The ranged based accuracy adds a lot of depth to the game as now your dedicated snipers are actually very useful especially since they have enough time for aimed shots which now have the best chance to hit something over a large distance. I find smoke grenades to be a must (especially on the LZ) and proximity mines are the most useful/used weapon I have. I take my time on the battle-scape and work wisely to set my initial defense parameter before advancing. I equip two guys with rocket launchers so that they may level (and some times kill) farm houses from afar. I treat every unseen tile as having a potential to have an alien. I must say that the HWP (rocket tank) is extremely useful as a scout especially early on as it can survive quite a bit. The government funding only mod is indeed a challenge. If one is able to sell alien artifacts, money is not really an issue (per normal unmoded game). However, with this limit, one has to carefully plan on supplies, keeping soldiers alive, and much slower research rate. I focus first on getting laser rifles because they don't need ammo (more items on the transport), two aimed shots per turn, and much more damage that the regular armor piercing rifle. I tried using the medikit first approach as sometimes a few of my guys survive a hit (or by accidentally walking on my own mine field) but found out it takes way too long to research. I use my interceptors for perform reconnaissance missions which prove to locate many UFOs. The first month is the toughest, as you're really lacking funds and can't afford too many troops. Second month is much better as you can finally hire near 50 scientists and are able to equip all your soldiers with laser rifles. As for bases, I have my initial one in Europe (covering many countries) and actually setup my second one in SE Asia (Japan, China, Russia, India). My third one will be for North America.

I still have some problems/questions though, was hoping that perhaps somebody can share their experience:
  • Heavy cannon - I don't really use it. I'd rather have 3-4 more proximity mines on that soldier. I don't find them useful or am I missing something?
  • Base attacks can happen and when they do, often the 80 item limit is VERY ANNOYING. For example, sometimes I don't get any proximity mines. Are items on the Skyranger "participate" at base defense or not? If they don't, I can use the transport as "storage" and I just have to remember to equip them prior to launching a mission. Also, are soldiers "equipped" on the Skyranger will participate at base defense?
  • I use the autocannon to fire incendiary ammunition during night to light the battle-scape. Other than that, I don't really use it at all. Do you?
  • I use rocket launchers ONLY when having a clear line of sight with no obstacles or friendlies nearby. I had way too many "accidents". However, sometimes you start a mission with aliens lurking right outside the doorway, especially on terror missions. I had VERY bad experiences with trying to launch a rocket while inside the Skyranger. :-( Any tips on how this can be accomplished safely?
  • I often find it is theoretically possible to take aliens right outside the Skyranger with heavy explosives or grenades. How, sometimes, even with the grenade-rely tactic, the problems are that Skyranger may severely get in the way of throwing things and sometimes you don't know it until it happens (and too late). Any tips for this would be helpful.
  • Terror missions are not that bad IF you start with a relatively clear landing zone. Though this can be quite difficulty, especially at night time. Any tips?



Heavy Cannons - I don't use them either, they seem too heavy, too inaccurate, and don't deal enough damage to make up for the drawbacks

Base Attacks - I play an unmodded / unpatched version, and the base attacks include soldiers on craft but NOT equipment on craft, and also does not let you PICK WHICH 80 items will be included on the base defense, so... my only solution is when i KNOW i'm gonna get a base attack, i unload all my soldiers off all my craft & then load up my craft with all the equipment i DONT want so all that remains is what i DO want... this seems to be the only reliable solution for me, on 2nd thought i can't remember if equipment on craft is included, seems like after i loaded the crap i didn't want, i would actually launch the skyranger/whatever loaded with crap gear & no soldiers in preparation for the base assault...

Auto Cannons - Unlike the heavy cannon, these are extremely useful to me, especially early game, but also late game to a lesser degree, auto cannons equipped with explosive ammo is extremely useful, especially for rookies that can't hit a barn with a sniper rifle. early on in the game i will auto-fire explosive ammo at the GROUND 1 tile away from an alien, which is about 90% likely to result in a kill, 25-50% likely the corpse will not be destroyed, and about 75% likely the equipment will not be destroyed. Another interesting fact is that the auto fire will ALWAYS produce 3 shots, even if your soldier isn't alive at the time, say you have a soldier that will be dead anyway for whatever reason, you can point blank auto fire & it will detonate 3 explosions if the alien is still standing & miss harmlessly after he goes down... (but your soldier will be vaporized for his troubles), i consider this an "always primed" grenade, that does not detonate if the carrier dies, and will often carry a laser rifle in 1 hand & an auto cannon in the other for at least 4 soldiers... and the others will carry grenades or high explosives, which i may or may not prime depending on the situation...

I myself had many frustrating encounters with the "spray & pray" model rocket launcher which you have access to... I ultimately decided it was unfit for use... Use the auto cannon explosive ammo is a much safer alternative, when you occasionally hit something inappropriate with 1 shot, it isn't traumatic (except possibly an unfortunate soul to receive a direct hit), just remember to aim at the ground NOT the alien... oh, and it helps to have high ground advantage, that way you can do this further away.

I don't find myself in many situations where i would even consider throwing grenades from my landing craft, terror mission or otherwise... turn 1 i prime all my grenades, unless i can see the alien without moving, in that case i'll just avoid priming my grenades with the 1st 4 soldiers or HWP & 1st 2 soldiers, and i will simply shoot at the alien from the landing craft, if the HWP cannot kill the alien, then he must move out of the way & take whatever punishment he must, but my 1st 4 soldiers usually carry my auto fire explosives & it only takes 1 auto fire to defuse the situation (except for mutton), this is indeed a safer alternative to your rocket launcher, and unlike grenades if the pesky bastard happens to survive you'll know about it before he gets a chance to move or throw a grenade inside your craft OUCH! after the alien is dead, if the HWP has time & is lucky it will reboard the craft after a quick spin survey.

Night time UFO terror missions are just that terrifying... especially with Chryssalids and civilians it can get REALLY ugly... use electro flares & scout with rookies & HWP... other than that it is up to luck ... especially for getting out of the craft... it is tough to sit in the landing craft that 1st turn & hear all those screams in the night... but there is no alternative, on all missions, terror included, preservation of your troops is #1 priority always

Well.... I actually find rocket launchers to be very useful. I usually have two soldiers with a rocket launcher. From afar, I try to send two rockets each turn to level one floor of a barn (if I'm able to fire it through the window I need only one per floor). It is not unusual to hear death screams at that point. As for throwing "damage" inflicting items out of the Skyranger (heavy explosives, grenades), I try to avoid at all costs. Every now and then it hits the ceiling, disappears, or falls "under" the carpet. To to mention that walking around with primed grenades/explosives can be very bad at the landing craft if one of your guys is psi-controlled, panics, or usually gets shot at. As for the autocannon using explosives, I just rather throw a grenade there. The worst thing about encountering many aliens right outside your LZ is that they might get a shot at one of your guys in the craft which has a high probability of hitting something.

P.S.
Some articles out there state that some aliens do take stun damage from smoke and some don't. I read somewhere in this forum that they do NOT take stun damage from smoke. Any ideas about this? Not that I really plan for it, but..... a shot down UFO sometimes has a hole in the ceiling. If I'll toss a smoke grenade inside it may prove useful as it can add up to 15-20 stun point until I storm the UFO or the alien decides to leave it, which increases your chance of capturing aliens (single shot will stun and not kill) or taking them down with a single shot.

Edited by oldfan, 05 October 2009 - 11:15 AM.


#36 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

It's curious that you started this thread saying "xcom veteran" yet you have so many basic questions about how things work & other peoples' tactics...

I find that amusing :)

As for rocket launchers & barns... *shrugs* to each his own, i found that in XCOM 1 i only used earth weapons until i researched laser rifles & then that is all i used with occasional auto cannon explosives & fusion launchers or psi amps if i felt like completely removing all challenge from the fight...

if i was squeemish about going in a barn, i would just line up my agents against the map edge and rain in laser rifle auto bursts until no walls remained & only the floors still existed (LOL and yet do not collapse with 0% support of any kind) then if an alien existed in there in the 1st place, he is either long dead or has no cover at all... either way he's boned...

As for the auto cannon explosives, you say you'd rather use a grenade, but as i indicated i ALSO use grenades, i just have 3-4 using auto explosives as a substitute for grenades...

Generally i will have my men in crews of 4, 2 laser rifle only, 1 laser rifle /w grenade, 1 laser rifle /w auto explosives, and all but the auto having grenades in inventory as well.


You'd be surprised how often you use the auto explosives & how effective they can be... if you have never made heavy use of them, give it a try, if nothing else just for some variety... believe me after just a few missions you will see they are tremedously addictive & useful :)


as to your other question about smoke... rarely you will have a mission that ends & you're not sure *how* it ended... an alien apparently succumbed to his 'wounds'.... only as previously mentioned aliens don't take fatal wounds except in rare situations... aliens can also be MC'd and you'll sometimes find they have white "stun" damage applied to their health where you didn't apply any... this can only be accounted for with smoke... they do take SMALL stun damage from smoke, just as your agents will if you stand in it for prolonged periods, in a crashed craft it can often be smoke filled, but it is likely the smoke will clear before they are incapacitated by it, if however there was a hole in the roof you might add to this with smoke grenades & wait for the inevitable... but the question is "why?" you could simply grenade them if you needed to... unless you wanted them alive with minimal risk... but where's the fun in that?

Edited by Tiruas, 05 October 2009 - 11:36 AM.

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#37 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:35 AM

It's curious that you started this thread saying "xcom veteran" yet you have so many basic questions about how things work & other peoples' tactics...

I find that amusing :)

As for rocket launchers & barns... *shrugs* to each his own, i found that in XCOM 1 i only used earth weapons until i researched laser rifles & then that is all i used with occasional auto cannon explosives & fusion launchers or psi amps if i felt like completely removing all challenge from the fight...

if i was squeemish about going in a barn, i would just line up my agents against the map edge and rain in laser rifle auto bursts until no walls remained & only the floors still existed (LOL and yet do not collapse with 0% support of any kind) then if an alien existed in there in the 1st place, he is either long dead or has no cover at all... either way he's boned...

As for the auto cannon explosives, you say you'd rather use a grenade, but as i indicated i ALSO use grenades, i just have 3-4 using auto explosives as a substitute for grenades...

Generally i will have my men in crews of 4, 2 laser rifle only, 1 laser rifle /w grenade, 1 laser rifle /w auto explosives, and all but the auto having grenades in inventory as well.


You'd be surprised how often you use the auto explosives & how effective they can be... if you have never made heavy use of them, give it a try, if nothing else just for some variety... believe me after just a few missions you will see they are tremedously addictive & useful :)


Well.... I guess by veteran I mean that I've "survived" my initial addiction about 13-14 years ago. I guess I should have called it "XCom oldfan playing.....".
^_^

As for explosive ammo, I experimented with it but found it dangerous for reaction firing and closed spaces (including standing next to a tree or and other cover and trying to take a shot).
As for rocket launchers, I like them because they destroy cover along with what it behind them in a single shot. ;)

I have lots of questions because I want to benefit from other people's experience. For example, way back then, I never used smoke grenades (I guess the bug which resets the game to Beginner level rendered them useless back then). Besides, it is a nice way to share information.

#38 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:42 AM

well that is true, i have found them dangerous for reactions as well... i didn't mention it, but you can lower his remaining TUs until he has enough time to react with laser rifle but NOT with auto... and i ended up doing this often...

but that which is true of auto fire reactions is more true for rocket launchers... they will snap fire those things with some devastating and spectacularly annoying results often... :(
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#39 Zombie

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:08 PM

  • Heavy cannon - I don't really use it. I'd rather have 3-4 more proximity mines on that soldier. I don't find them useful or am I missing something?
  • Base attacks can happen and when they do, often the 80 item limit is VERY ANNOYING. For example, sometimes I don't get any proximity mines. Are items on the Skyranger "participate" at base defense or not? If they don't, I can use the transport as "storage" and I just have to remember to equip them prior to launching a mission. Also, are soldiers "equipped" on the Skyranger will participate at base defense?
  • I use the autocannon to fire incendiary ammunition during night to light the battle-scape. Other than that, I don't really use it at all. Do you?
  • I use rocket launchers ONLY when having a clear line of sight with no obstacles or friendlies nearby. I had way too many "accidents". However, sometimes you start a mission with aliens lurking right outside the doorway, especially on terror missions. I had VERY bad experiences with trying to launch a rocket while inside the Skyranger. :-( Any tips on how this can be accomplished safely?
  • I often find it is theoretically possible to take aliens right outside the Skyranger with heavy explosives or grenades. How, sometimes, even with the grenade-rely tactic, the problems are that Skyranger may severely get in the way of throwing things and sometimes you don't know it until it happens (and too late). Any tips for this would be helpful.
  • Terror missions are not that bad IF you start with a relatively clear landing zone. Though this can be quite difficulty, especially at night time. Any tips?

  • Heavy Cannon: They are good for some things. I find the incendiary shells useful for starting mid-sized (and somewhat controlled) fires and Zombie killing. The AP shells deal a heck of a lot more damage than Pistols and Rifles and I frequently use them in base defense missions with Floaters and Snakemen. The HE shells are a little more powerful than a grenade and the biggest draw is the fact that the explosion is instantaneous (thrown grenades explode at the end of your turn/start of aliens turn if primed to 0) so you'll know if an alien is going to be dead, and also if you have trouble throwing a grenade due to overhead obstructions the Heavy Cannon can fire one in there with no trouble.
  • Base Attacks: Items and soldiers contained in a ship stationed on-base will show up if you are attacked. If the ship is airborne, the items and soldiers are unavailable. The biggest issue on these missions is always the 80 item limit, so make sure to clean out your inventory frequently so that you don't get stuck with something you don't use anymore and don't want either. The order the game uses to decide what items to spawn is top-down from the sell screen. Items at the top will show up before those at the bottom. If you want proxies to show up, limit the number of items above it (pistols, rifles, auto-cannons, heavy cannons, rocket launchers, laser weapons, grenades and smoke grenades). If you have an excess of these items for a reason, consider loading them on a transport and then launching it before the Battleship arrives.
  • Auto-Cannon: Incendiary shells are useful for starting small fires at a lower cost than an electro flare (depending on a number of factors) and also for Zombie killing. AP shells are a little useless to me, but the HE shells are gold later in the game. If your soldiers are wearing a Flying suits, a guy carrying an Auto-cannon with HE shells can literally carpet bomb an area and not worry about getting himself or others injured in the blast (great for inside UFOs and alien bases).
  • Rocket Launcher trouble: when I do use them, the guys which get them are never the first off the craft. I reserve them for the second wave off the ship as they support the others. If you want heavy firepower at the ramp, how about using a rocket tank instead?
  • Terror Missions: if you don't like the landing zone you are given by the game, you can always reload from the geoscape and try to get a better one. This is sorta an exploit though. If you run enough terror missions you may start to recognize the alien spawn points and thus be able to deduce where a shot may be coming from when you step onto the ramp. That helps. Night time terror missions are hard on any difficulty level and unless you want to exploit the game by keeping a craft targeting the site until your transport can arrive during the day there is nothing you can do to make it any easier. If I find myself at a nighttime terror mission with a hot LZ earlier in the game, I'll usually try to take out a few aliens first, then dust off and abort. The max amount of points you can lose is 480 compared to -1000 if you ignored the site completely.

Well.... I actually find rocket launchers to be very useful. I usually have two soldiers with a rocket launcher. From afar, I try to send two rockets each turn to level one floor of a barn (if I'm able to fire it through the window I need only one per floor). It is not unusual to hear death screams at that point. As for throwing "damage" inflicting items out of the Skyranger (heavy explosives, grenades), I try to avoid at all costs. Every now and then it hits the ceiling, disappears, or falls "under" the carpet. To to mention that walking around with primed grenades/explosives can be very bad at the landing craft if one of your guys is psi-controlled, panics, or usually gets shot at. As for the autocannon using explosives, I just rather throw a grenade there. The worst thing about encountering many aliens right outside your LZ is that they might get a shot at one of your guys in the craft which has a high probability of hitting something.

If you keep primed grenades out of a soldiers hands, it is safer. If he/she panics the grenade will stay put. Doesn't help in cases of mind control, death or unconsciousness though.

- 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!


#40 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:09 PM

well that is true, i have found them dangerous for reactions as well... i didn't mention it, but you can lower his remaining TUs until he has enough time to react with laser rifle but NOT with auto... and i ended up doing this often...

but that which is true of auto fire reactions is more true for rocket launchers... they will snap fire those things with some devastating and spectacularly annoying results often... :(

Very much so. That is why I waste all of the time units of soldiers with rocket launchers by having switch from hand to hand.
^_^

I believe XCom-Apocalypse has has a mode of "safe/cautious/aggressive" which will dictate your soldier what to do (fire or seek cover).
I wish that was true for Enemy Unknown as well.

#41 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:35 PM

well i am glad zombie mentioned flying troops with AF-HE i had forgotten about that, but i DO use that tactic very often... kudos zombie

as for the TU wasting, also consider this, you can drop the gun from your hand for a mere 2 TU & still have your laser rifle for reactions...

while with a grenade you cannot do that (without blowing yourself up), and the cost of picking the gun up is 8 TU, which is guaranteed to be less

than 50% of your TUs (priming a grenade cost)...

therefore, a AF-HE is for my consideration an always primed grenade with less problems associated with it... period.

also, overhead considerations is not something that is typically a problem, but hey... if you're gonna be an alien hunting boy scout... better be prepared eh?

also, consider the ammo limitations, a rocket launcher is extremely heavy & with just a bare minimum of reloads you're dangerously sluggish

but a AF-HE with an extra clip is hardly a hinderance... and can also carry a laser rifle...

i guess now i'm showing my bias :P i freakin' love the AF-HE combo... it's flippin' amazing LOL
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#42 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:41 PM

oh... and ANOTHER advantage that the AFHE has over a grenade is this...

when you throw the grenade, you might draw reaction fire from the recipient

even if the grenade will kill them when it goes off, they are at full health when they fire on you (high accuracy)

but, if you tripple tap them with HE & they somehow miraculously survive,

they have been hit 3 times with HE ammo before they reaction on you,

which they might not get (after being wounded their reactions are suckier)

and even if they do shoot at you it will probably by highly innaccurate shots because they are heavily damaged

again... this excludes mutton, sometimes you can tripple shot them point blank with heavy plasma in the back & they'll turn around and shoot you to death :(
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#43 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:49 PM

oh... and ANOTHER advantage that the AFHE has over a grenade is this...

when you throw the grenade, you might draw reaction fire from the recipient

even if the grenade will kill them when it goes off, they are at full health when they fire on you (high accuracy)

but, if you tripple tap them with HE & they somehow miraculously survive,

they have been hit 3 times with HE ammo before they reaction on you,

which they might not get (after being wounded their reactions are suckier)

and even if they do shoot at you it will probably by highly innaccurate shots because they are heavily damaged

again... this excludes mutton, sometimes you can tripple shot them point blank with heavy plasma in the back & they'll turn around and shoot you to death :(

Well... I meant that somebody else does the grenade throwing stuff. I guess it all comes to a matter of preference. I'd rather carry something light with lots of proximity mines and mine every corner.

#44 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:51 PM

well i am glad zombie mentioned flying troops with AF-HE i had forgotten about that, but i DO use that tactic very often... kudos zombie

as for the TU wasting, also consider this, you can drop the gun from your hand for a mere 2 TU & still have your laser rifle for reactions...

while with a grenade you cannot do that (without blowing yourself up), and the cost of picking the gun up is 8 TU, which is guaranteed to be less

than 50% of your TUs (priming a grenade cost)...

therefore, a AF-HE is for my consideration an always primed grenade with less problems associated with it... period.

also, overhead considerations is not something that is typically a problem, but hey... if you're gonna be an alien hunting boy scout... better be prepared eh?

also, consider the ammo limitations, a rocket launcher is extremely heavy & with just a bare minimum of reloads you're dangerously sluggish

but a AF-HE with an extra clip is hardly a hinderance... and can also carry a laser rifle...

i guess now i'm showing my bias :P i freakin' love the AF-HE combo... it's flippin' amazing LOL


After my strength goes up a little for naturally strong soldiers, they have no problem carrying four large rockets (one in the barrel). I consider them as support and not for main assault or sniping capabilities. And per Zombie's post above, I definitely use a HWP - a rocket tank. I use it extensively for reckon and when all sniping fails, it is able to take down some alien meat most of the times if not injuring it due to last radius.

#45 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:04 PM

bah, as you say it may just come down to preference...

but i've explained several reasons to at least carry a few AFHE on board & have them with your squard

*shrugs*

pop-quiz, you just walked around a corner & there's an alien about 4 squares in front of you & facing you, because he's behind a building
you can't throw a grenade & have it land any closer to him then you are, and if you move your rocket man forward enough to get an angle, he'll be out of TUs
IF you throw a grenade under him with your forward scout, he WILL shoot you, and maybe the grenade kills him, but he's already cost you a soldier...
wouldn't you love to have a AFHE right about now :-) blast a small crater around his feet & watch his lifeless corpse settle into it?

somewhere between the strength of a grenade & a rocket... with more versatility of use and options... i'd say you're only hurting yourself if you won't even give it a try... :( plus it makes babies cry... and can you really live with yourself if you do that? well... can you? LOL

Edited by Tiruas, 05 October 2009 - 01:06 PM.

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#46 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:44 PM

bah, as you say it may just come down to preference...

but i've explained several reasons to at least carry a few AFHE on board & have them with your squard

*shrugs*

pop-quiz, you just walked around a corner & there's an alien about 4 squares in front of you & facing you, because he's behind a building
you can't throw a grenade & have it land any closer to him then you are, and if you move your rocket man forward enough to get an angle, he'll be out of TUs
IF you throw a grenade under him with your forward scout, he WILL shoot you, and maybe the grenade kills him, but he's already cost you a soldier...
wouldn't you love to have a AFHE right about now :-) blast a small crater around his feet & watch his lifeless corpse settle into it?

somewhere between the strength of a grenade & a rocket... with more versatility of use and options... i'd say you're only hurting yourself if you won't even give it a try... :( plus it makes babies cry... and can you really live with yourself if you do that? well... can you? LOL

ROFL

Well, I mine corners usually and perform a sweep with a large "angle" with my men in order to ensure backup for scouts (if they happen to be anything other than my HWP). The rocket launcher guy wouldn't help because he is likely to blow of both the alien and my soldier if he had enough TUs left. But what happens if you turn around a corner and immediately see an alien point blank range? Using HE munitions are likely to cause your instant death as well (at least in the first few months when you don't have access to very powerful weaponry). Alas, the best strategy may sometimes not work - life is tough.
:(

But I learned greatly from my mistakes. The first thing I try doing is securing the LZ perimeter by mining choke points (corners) deploy snipers at the back, heavy/wise usage of smoke grenades, and using an HWP to do some reckon. If there are dark corners out there, I usually try to blast them in advance, or send an HWP (or rookie with low stats) to do the scouting for me.

The problem is that playing with government funding only it much more difficult because your men are not easily replaced. However, having the ability to sell alien technology makes the game so easy because there is literally no problems at getting so much cash early on especially from heavy plasmas.

#47 Tiruas

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:56 PM

Well, I mine corners usually and perform a sweep with a large "angle" with my men in order to ensure backup for scouts (if they happen to be anything other than my HWP). The rocket launcher guy wouldn't help because he is likely to blow of both the alien and my soldier if he had enough TUs left. But what happens if you turn around a corner and immediately see an alien point blank range? Using HE munitions are likely to cause your instant death as well (at least in the first few months when you don't have access to very powerful weaponry). Alas, the best strategy may sometimes not work - life is tough.
:(

But I learned greatly from my mistakes. The first thing I try doing is securing the LZ perimeter by mining choke points (corners) deploy snipers at the back, heavy/wise usage of smoke grenades, and using an HWP to do some reckon. If there are dark corners out there, I usually try to blast them in advance, or send an HWP (or rookie with low stats) to do the scouting for me.

The problem is that playing with government funding only it much more difficult because your men are not easily replaced. However, having the ability to sell alien technology makes the game so easy because there is literally no problems at getting so much cash early on especially from heavy plasmas.



well what about terror missions? surely you don't go "mining every corner" in a terror mission?

and if he's 1 square in front of me & i had TU enough to AFHE i also have enough TU for a auto fire from my laser rifle :-)
which would most assuredly be my response to that situation...

if he lives through 3 LR shots, odds are great that he would have lived through the AFHE as well... he's a lucky SOB

Edited by Tiruas, 05 October 2009 - 02:00 PM.

continually contemplating my eternal eternity

#48 Sorrow

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 02:10 PM

Laser Squad was even better as it allowed choosing the firing mode during the opportunity fire.

#49 oldfan

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 02:21 PM

Well, I mine corners usually and perform a sweep with a large "angle" with my men in order to ensure backup for scouts (if they happen to be anything other than my HWP). The rocket launcher guy wouldn't help because he is likely to blow of both the alien and my soldier if he had enough TUs left. But what happens if you turn around a corner and immediately see an alien point blank range? Using HE munitions are likely to cause your instant death as well (at least in the first few months when you don't have access to very powerful weaponry). Alas, the best strategy may sometimes not work - life is tough.
:(

But I learned greatly from my mistakes. The first thing I try doing is securing the LZ perimeter by mining choke points (corners) deploy snipers at the back, heavy/wise usage of smoke grenades, and using an HWP to do some reckon. If there are dark corners out there, I usually try to blast them in advance, or send an HWP (or rookie with low stats) to do the scouting for me.

The problem is that playing with government funding only it much more difficult because your men are not easily replaced. However, having the ability to sell alien technology makes the game so easy because there is literally no problems at getting so much cash early on especially from heavy plasmas.



well what about terror missions? surely you don't go "mining every corner" in a terror mission?

and if he's 1 square in front of me & i had TU enough to AFHE i also have enough TU for a auto fire from my laser rifle :-)
which would most assuredly be my response to that situation...

if he lives through 3 LR shots, odds are great that he would have lived through the AFHE as well... he's a lucky SOB

:(
I totally agree on that - for close range almost any weapon will do. And yes, I do tend to mine every corner if I can. <_<
Unfortunately, some civies dare step on it and waste my precious $500.
OMG

Terror missions usually start like this - I let the first turn pass and then you hear a bunch of plasmas going off and many screams by civilians. This is also true for the second turn and then the civilians stop screaming (non are left).

#50 NKF

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 12:27 AM

Don't get over-reliant on using mines unless you're using Seb76's fixes for it. Partly because they are dangerous and in the vanilla game do not award any experience.

Just a few thoughts of my own.

Heavy Cannon - it's a good weapon and not quite inaccurate. Its snap mode is identical in accuracy to the pistol and rifle. Its aimed mode sit between the pistol and rifle. It is perhaps hindered somewhat by its low ammo. A loaded HC is exactly the same weight as an Autocannon, so if you can carry one, then the other will be no problem. The main difference is that the HC has the heavier ammo, requiring 6 strength units per clip while the AC uses 5 strength units per magazine. Due to its slower speed, best used in a supportive sniping role. Always kneel.

All of its ammo is useful but must I admit that I mainly use it with HE rounds as a micro-missile launcher. While using small rockets with the rocket launcher is better for this role thanks to its accuracy, its the number of rounds and reduced weight of the HC clips that appeal to me. The rocket launcher is best reserved for large rockets.

If you start playing TFTD, you'll really enjoy its slightly upgraded equivalent.

Explosives in general - They lack finesse, but almost anything can be solved with enough high explosives. :D Just take the time to accustom yourself with the safe practice of operating explosive weaponry. Maybe run a separate game where all you use are rockets or grenades. It's incredibly dangerous but also a good way to learn how to handle them better.

Rocket Launcher usage

Being sensible when firing the launcher is always a good idea. Steer clear of difficult shots that require the rocket to navigate past friendly targets. Same goes for any area effect weapons. Angle the attacks into the ground from a high vantage point or try to fire the rocket so that it slams into something solid near the target (such as a wall). If you must use it in close quarters - wear a flying suit at the very least and stay well clear of the center of the impact!

One tip I recommend that you etch in your mind for launcher use: Kneel. Always kneel when firing it. You also won't steer to far off the mark if you throw in a very accurate soldier as well and take advantage of the very high accuracy aimed attack.

To counter reacting with rocket launchers, not counting loss of control by way of psionics, these are common options:

  • Drop the rocket launcher - as mentioned.
  • Leave the rocket launcher unloaded - you have enough TUs to load and then aim fire them every turn. It's just reversing the order when you actually load the weapon. If you've got a really good vantage point for sniping, you can also get away by dropping all the ammo on the ground and only loading them when you need to fire.
  • Set a secondary weapon to active by opening that weapon's attack menu. You'll visibly see which weapon is active on your soldier sprite. You only react with the active weapon. Therefore if you had a pistol or laser pistol in the other hand set as the active weapon, you will react with that instead. This is good for really accurate soldiers who do not mind the -20% accuracy penalty (or you're operating it so that you're always close enough that missing won't matter).

To counter launcher use when mind controlled, dropping your weapon is the option that works best.

Grenade relay in the Skyranger

Throwing explosives out of the back of the Skyranger isn't a bad strategy. It works. Works well in tandem with the motion scanner. But true, accidents can happen.

The relay itself requires that you check between the soldiers to ensure that you get the grenade to its destination. That's fine. Easiest way is to try not to use too deep a relay and use only the four soldiers nearest the exit where possible. The closer they are to the exit, the less errors.

Sometimes the grenade really slips up and falls through a gap in the floor and ends up outside. That's still fine - and perhaps advantageous at times.

Once it has been thrown beyond the lip of the Skyranger, use the overhead map to check where the grenade has landed (on both levels) if you can't get a visual. If it's on the ground layer, even if it's on the ramp, you'll be okay. If it's on the first level and still inside the Skyranger - by all means pick it up!

One problem that might crop up often is if the grenade falls on the equipment pile - and there are other identical grenades in the pile. In the plain vanilla game, you can't tell which one it is. Don't let that happen. Make sure everyone is carrying all of the on-board grenades.

Apart from that, just get used to grenade handling in general. You could train yourself by having half your team dedicated to grenadier pairs armed with a laser pistol and a cocktail of alien grenades and high explosives. Veteran soldiers in this role can be quite amazing.

Night Terror Missions

Use cover, use flares (leapfrog them or even toss them on the roofs), use the roads as a sniping corridor and hug the edges of the map when navigating around the map. That way you only have to worry about attacks from one side. Methodically clear each building. Stick close to the buildings too and try not stay out in the open. Make use of natural lighting as long as it is there. Be extra wary of any box storage facilities like the sheds and the warehouse. Never rush! Especially into darkness.

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