Help for those who need it

#1 Posted by spiralcut (115 posts) -

Just figured I would start a help thread for anyone having problems with this game. Since there are major differences between Tactical elements and Meta elements, I freely invite anyone else to drop input in here to help the masses. I am still getting my brain around the Meta game, but I am finding the squad elements to be rather awesome.

My input - Squad Tactics from FM 3-21.8

The real-word strategy I have found to be very successful is to push 2 Assault guys forward to increase visibility, with Sniper and Heavy providing overwatch. I always have 1 Assault in the rear for aggressive flanking, with my Support as his battle-buddy.

My forward element get's eyes on the enemy and maybe gets a lucky hit with overwatch, maybe not. My Sniper is always in overwatch when the forward elements are moving, and nearly always gets a kill right off the bat.

Once contact has been made I begin to push my Assault elements towards the enemy, working towards getting them in shotgun/capture range. While they are moving up I use my Heavy to either blow holes in terrain with rockets, or use suppression to keep the enemy contained. My Sniper is still on overwatch.

My rear element (assault and support) is doing the bounding overwatch technique (one moves while forward guy provides overwatch) to get around the side of the enemy.

By contact +4 I have a team on the side of the enemy negating their cover, and my assault element in close range.

Basic real-world tactics that work really well in this game, I generally expect to loose a rookie every few missions (3 so far at 6 hours), but I have half-dozen officers and a large number of soldiers above the squaddie rank because they are simply not exposed as often using overwatch.

#2 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@spiralcut said:

My Sniper is always in overwatch when the forward elements are moving, and nearly always gets a kill right off the bat.

This is a very effective tactic. A sniper with the SCOPE upgrade and Squad Sight in Overwatch is really good at thinning enemy ranks when pushing forward.

If you're smart about how far you push forward, and how many of your team are in Overwatch, it's possible to destroy entire packs of enemies as soon as you encounter them.

#3 Posted by Anund (849 posts) -

Basically, don't play the game like they did in the latest quicklook, hehe.

#4 Posted by spiralcut (115 posts) -

@Anund: Haha well if you feel that sacrifices to the Dark Lord C'Thulu are in order than you can totally do what they did.

#5 Posted by mason (254 posts) -

Can I assume classes are assigned randomly, or is there actually some way to influence the outcome?

I'm having a hard time getting more than one assault character. I have 5 snipers, 4 support & 3 heavies but still only one assault guy. Assault is probably the most useful class for my play style, but since it's an up-close class that's likely to get injured I end up not having access for half the missions.

I'm also having the same trouble with engineers. I keep getting scientists and other rewards, but I still only have the original 5 engineers so I can't make new satellite uplinks and the other countries are starting to get PISSED. Any tips for getting more? Just keep playing and hoping?

#6 Edited by Anund (849 posts) -

@mason: Yeah, the specializations random. The engineers can be awarded as rewards for abduction missions. You usually get to choose one of three locations and each location has their own reward. Look for engineers :)

#7 Posted by Forderz (243 posts) -

@mason: Build Worskshops?

#8 Edited by UltorOscariot (164 posts) -

What are people's opinions in terms of where early research should be directed? I appreciate that this is wildly based on the player's personal tactics, but having not played the originals, I feel a bit overwhelmed by the array of options. And is it really worthwhile to capture aliens alive once you've interrogated one of a given species already?

#9 Posted by mason (254 posts) -

@UltorOscariot: I'm wondering myself too. I haven't gotten a full handle on research, but it seems that when you capture enemies alive, their weapons don't self-destruct, which makes it more valuable for other research or selling off. Not sure if you can sell live aliens too, but if so they'd definitely be worth more.

#10 Posted by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@UltorOscariot: No affect on research after the first one. Like @mason: said the advantage is that you can salvage the intact weapons, which for some of the more advanced weapons like plasma can save you a lot of money.

@mason: Can't sell live aliens, they just show up as corpses in the inventory after the first interrogation.

#11 Posted by KimChi4U (368 posts) -

@mason: Bringing back aliens alive is really useful. Not only do you get their weapons intact, but researching a live alien gets you bonuses to various things. For example, when I researched the thin man, my future research on certain technologies only required half as much time as normal.

Here are some things that I've come up with to make things a little easier. Keep in mind I'm not very far into the game.

In a mission: Overwatch is your friend. I find that when you discover a new group of enemies hidden on the map, they either rush forward, or pull back. If they rush forward, by all means, shoot them. If they pull back, place your closer troops in overwatch. On the Aliens' turn, when they come forward, you'll get a couple of free shots before they set up to shoot at you.

Support class is awesome. I upgrade their medkit abilities and if things go sideways on a mission, they can heal up wounded units. Snipers are craptacular until they level up a bit. I go for snap shot rather than squad site because a lot of maps don't allow for direct line of sight on enemies. Assault class is awesome and they get even better when you choose lightning reflexes. I tend to not like the heavy class unless I use their rocket launcher to get me out of a trouble spot or I'm up against guys with more health.

Preparing for a mission: I always take a rookie with me now. At one point, all of my squaddies and higher were wounded except for one heavy. I didn't even have enough guys to fill in all six slots. An abduction mission came up and I spent a lot of time creeping along the map and keeping everyone in overwatch. Nobody died, but there were a lot of panicky soldiers.

I use nanofiber suits for my heavy, the stun guns or nanofiber suits for my assault class, scope for my sniper, and I mix it up with my support class. I tend to not take grenades because the explosions mean I don't get the pretty loot.

In the ant hill: I usually spread my research around so that I'm getting a bit of everything. I haven't built a lab yet because research seems to still be happening rather quickly. Engineers, however, are a different matter. Some things you can't build unless you have a certain number of engineers. I've built a workshop and try to do missions that get me engineers unless there is a reason to do something else (reduce panic in other parts of the world).

I've also been focusing on satellites with the stealth satellite upgrade. Not enough money yet to get more interceptors. Not enough money for a lot of things. When I do have some money, I focus on gear for my soldiers to stay alive.

#12 Edited by BoG (5178 posts) -

My number one tip: When approaching an enemy craft, always go to the side of the map. I usually split my squad up into groups of three, and sweep both sides of these fairly linear maps. In general, there is more cover, and there usually aren't any enemies. Only once did I encounter a Cyberdisc, but I had good cover and it went down easily. Also, the side is usually raised, which is great for snipers (especially if they have Damn Good Ground). I've botched a few missions by trying to go straight up the middle, but have yet to lose a soldier when I go to the sides.

@KimChi4U said:

Preparing for a mission: I always take a rookie with me now. At one point, all of my squaddies and higher were wounded except for one heavy. I didn't even have enough guys to fill in all six slots. An abduction mission came up and I spent a lot of time creeping along the map and keeping everyone in overwatch. Nobody died, but there were a lot of panicky soldiers.

I would change this slightly. I don't always bring a total noob, but I try to keep at least one or two units in training for a while. I love the upgrade that makes every unit come in as a squaddie, it really helps with building up your forces. I've learned that only having two of each class is never enough. Right now, my only two support soldiers are out, and have been for going on three missions. I could really use a third string.

Moderator
#13 Posted by Meteor_VII (125 posts) -

I need some tips for what to build in the Ant Hill because I wasn't very far in the game and Germany was full red (still have a chance to save it) and south america and I think mexico were 4 bars (orange) and money was already tight. Do you go for uplinks first and try to get as many sats up as you can?

#14 Posted by KimChi4U (368 posts) -

@Meteor_VII: Sort of. You wind up having to build generators in order to build satellite uplinks. Usually stuff comes along before then that is more beneficial. 4 bars is still okay, but the next time you have an abduction mission, try to pick one of the three sites in the area where you have a lot of panic, rather than based on the reward. Successfully completing a mission in Europe will lower the panic in Germany. Be careful though. It, of course, raises the panic in places you didn't choose.

#15 Posted by KimChi4U (368 posts) -

@BoG said:

My number one tip: When approaching an enemy craft, always go to the side of the map. I usually split my squad up into groups of three, and sweep both sides of these fairly linear maps. In general, there is more cover, and there usually aren't any enemies. Only once did I encounter a Cyberdisc, but I had good cover and it went down easily. Also, the side is usually raised, which is great for snipers (especially if they have Damn Good Ground). I've botched a few missions by trying to go straight up the middle, but have yet to lose a soldier when I go to the sides.

@KimChi4U said:

Preparing for a mission: I always take a rookie with me now. At one point, all of my squaddies and higher were wounded except for one heavy. I didn't even have enough guys to fill in all six slots. An abduction mission came up and I spent a lot of time creeping along the map and keeping everyone in overwatch. Nobody died, but there were a lot of panicky soldiers.

I would change this slightly. I don't always bring a total noob, but I try to keep at least one or two units in training for a while. I love the upgrade that makes every unit come in as a squaddie, it really helps with building up your forces. I've learned that only having two of each class is never enough. Right now, my only two support soldiers are out, and have been for going on three missions. I could really use a third string.

I didn't take that upgrade that starts out everyone as a squaddie. I could see how it would be extremely useful, but I figure taking a rookie on a mission and letting him get a kill or two means that I can use that money on weapons and armor. I agree with you on having a third, though. I wish I had just one or two more assault guys and not so many snipers. Snipers are useless until they get a couple of perks.

#16 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

@Meteor_VII: Generally, I always keep at least one free link and one free satellite. Some nations will request satellite cover, and giving a nation that coverage greatly reduces panic. In my current play through (started a new game after I fucked my self over royally by being stuck with only 6 engineers for the longest time), after getting a second satellite in the states, I've been saving all my links for when my inability to keep up with abductions would result with countries in the red or orange, panic wise.

#17 Edited by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@mason said:

Can I assume classes are assigned randomly, or is there actually some way to influence the outcome?

I'm having a hard time getting more than one assault character. I have 5 snipers, 4 support & 3 heavies but still only one assault guy. Assault is probably the most useful class for my play style, but since it's an up-close class that's likely to get injured I end up not having access for half the missions.

I'm also having the same trouble with engineers. I keep getting scientists and other rewards, but I still only have the original 5 engineers so I can't make new satellite uplinks and the other countries are starting to get PISSED. Any tips for getting more? Just keep playing and hoping?

Yeah, the upgrade from the officers room (? forgot the exact name) is great. It starts every soldier as a squadie so you'll know what he is going to be. Which was very useful when my elite (and only) support guy died.

Which leads me to a strategy that lost me this amazing max levelled support guy that pretty much single handledly saved 16 out of the 18 civilians in the last Panic mission. So yeah, when your only support guy is badly injured, don't think: "Ok, I got to be careful now and heal my support, but it surely can't hurt to bring this assault guy who lost his cover a mere 2 spaces up to his new cover. Oh hey, three mutons. Please don't throw a grenade...Please don't throw a grenade...Please don't ..... AAAAHHHH #@$#% #$#$^#^#^^

That's the main tip, I guess, in missions that have no inherent urgency to them. Take your time, make sure your guys are decently healed and have fully loaded weapons. And send your rookies in first to soak up the first rounds:)

EDIT: Anyone else have appalling hit rate on overwatch?

#18 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Anund said:

@mason: Yeah, the specializations random.

Oh, I don't like that at all.

#19 Posted by KimChi4U (368 posts) -

@jozzy said:

@mason said:

Can I assume classes are assigned randomly, or is there actually some way to influence the outcome?

I'm having a hard time getting more than one assault character. I have 5 snipers, 4 support & 3 heavies but still only one assault guy. Assault is probably the most useful class for my play style, but since it's an up-close class that's likely to get injured I end up not having access for half the missions.

I'm also having the same trouble with engineers. I keep getting scientists and other rewards, but I still only have the original 5 engineers so I can't make new satellite uplinks and the other countries are starting to get PISSED. Any tips for getting more? Just keep playing and hoping?

Yeah, the upgrade from the officers room (? forgot the exact name) is great. It starts every soldier as a squadie so you'll know what he is going to be. Which was very useful when my elite (and only) support guy died.

Which leads me to a strategy that lost me this amazing max levelled support guy that pretty much single handledly saved 16 out of the 18 civilians in the last Panic mission. So yeah, when your only support guy is badly injured, don't think: "Ok, I got to be careful now and heal my support, but it surely can't hurt to bring this assault guy who lost his cover a mere 2 spaces up to his new cover. Oh hey, three mutons. Please don't throw a grenade...Please don't throw a grenade...Please don't ..... AAAAHHHH #@$#% #$#$^#^#^^

That's the main tip, I guess, in missions that have no inherent urgency to them. Take your time, make sure your guys are decently healed and have fully loaded weapons. And send your rookies in first to soak up the first rounds:)

EDIT: Anyone else have appalling hit rate on overwatch?

I believe there is a penalty to aiming when using overwatch. I don't remember exactly, but something like -10 or -15 to aim?

#20 Posted by KirePDX (65 posts) -

@Napalm: Jake Solomon, the lead designer (producer?), was on a podcast and said that specialization assignments are not random. It is supposed to be weighted to recognize if you're short of one role, and then provide rookies or squaddies of that persuasion.

That said, he was talking about that because the show host was stuck with all snipers at some point in the midgame, so....

#21 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1578 posts) -

@jozzy said:

EDIT: Anyone else have appalling hit rate on overwatch?

Yeah, I just had a really bad streak with overwatch. I was ready to stop using it, but I think it's just the RNG taking a grudge out against me.

I think my favorite moment of the game is learning that the starting stun (and possibly later ones) don't work on chryssalids. I've officially had my first wipe of the game, and while I'm not on Ironman, there went all my high ranking units. Game over, man. Game over.

#22 Posted by spiralcut (115 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral said:

@jozzy said:

EDIT: Anyone else have appalling hit rate on overwatch?

Yeah, I just had a really bad streak with overwatch. I was ready to stop using it, but I think it's just the RNG taking a grudge out against me.

I think my favorite moment of the game is learning that the starting stun (and possibly later ones) don't work on chryssalids. I've officially had my first wipe of the game, and while I'm not on Ironman, there went all my high ranking units. Game over, man. Game over.

I have been having ok luck on overwatch, until I went through a series of missions with absolutely no hits... Then, the very next one, three Chrysaldicks jump out of nowhere behind my assault dude, spot me, and begin running...

Sniper 1-shots the first, Heavy drops the second to 2 bars, both assaults get shots on the third and down him... This game can really screw you, but when those rolls go in your favor it feels dang good.

#23 Posted by ElCapitan (393 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral: : I, too, have an appalling Overwatch hit rate unless I'm using my Sniper (or I have a S.C.O.P.E. equipped to negate the aim loss).

#24 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

So, a few questions for those already done with the game.

1. Are the perks in the officer's training school such as New Guy or the one that increases will gain on promotion retroactive? How that psionic school?

2. I just got my hands on the etheral device. How far into the game am I?

3. Not so much of a question, but dude, fuck those god damn 30 hp metal monstrosities. They hit for 10 damage in an aoe, and attack twice a turn. WTF.

#25 Posted by Hungry (162 posts) -

@UltorOscariot said:

What are people's opinions in terms of where early research should be directed? I appreciate that this is wildly based on the player's personal tactics, but having not played the originals, I feel a bit overwhelmed by the array of options. And is it really worthwhile to capture aliens alive once you've interrogated one of a given species already?

Really early on in the game you should complete the main objective research as completing the first couple of main objectives gets you bonus research on some early upgrades. Otherwise, you should focus on getting at least level one armor and laser weapons for your crew. Afterwards, getting Laser/Plasma cannons for your Interceptors is good, but you only really need to do that once the UFOs start to get larger, and then again for completely new aircraft types. Once you get everyone kitted out with level 1 armor and laser weapons the game actually feels like the old X-COM in terms of play and average difficulty (at least on Classic).

As for some general advice, especially for the metagame elements, I would say don't sweat it if a couple of nations withdraw from the X-COM project. I don't know if the panic rates change from Normal to Classic, but eventually you are going to have to give some people up. One thing I wish I had the foresight to do was instead of dropping satellites instantly, was to wait and see who was about to blow their top and pull out and then drop it.

Oh man that sounded dirty.

Also, I find that building additional workshops and laboratories isn't really a neccessity. I am researching at a decent rate, have good funding, and can manufacture pretty much anything I want. On the other hand, that means most of the time I have to pass up getting extra money or high-quality soldiers during Terror mission choices because I need to keep getting scientists and engineers.

I also want to note that you should probably take all the advice with a grain of salt. I am playing on Ironman and I am just expecting to get to the end of the game (I'm maybe 6-8 hours in now? I don't really keep track of time) and everything blow up in my face.

#26 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (397 posts) -

Abandoned my first game (~8hrs) and started a new one. Saving regularly this time.

I feel a lot more confident in my squad positioning now, keeping everyone in position, setting up flanks and using slow advances with at least 2 front line dudes on overwatch at all times.

Took advantage of the easy missions at the beginning to promote as many of my soldiers as possible. If some of your vets get injured on later missions and you only have rookies to fill-in, it's basically a death sentence.

If I have the option I will always take the mission with a new recruit as the reward. These missions seem the most difficult but as long as you play them carefully, the addition of a promoted soldier is super worthwhile. Even if you lose a soldier in the process, it should even out.

BE PATIENT. A lot of bad shit happens when your concentration slips and you make snap decision and XCOM loves punish players who don't think their actions through.

Finally the game is pretty much designed to teach you to accept loss. Dead soldiers and countries pulling out of the council are a reality. There's no achievement for never losing a soldier or completing the game with all countries still on the council so if one of these things happens, learn to move on. You're at war after all.

#27 Posted by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@Turambar:

New Guy is retroactive, all your current rookies get a promotion. The will increase isn't sadly.

What monstrosities? I thought you were talking about cyber disks but the twice per turn thing threw me off .

#28 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@Turambar:

New Guy is retroactive, all your current rookies get a promotion. The will increase isn't sadly.

What monstrosities? I thought you were talking about cyber disks but the twice per turn thing threw me off .

No, it's that thing with the 6 bars of HP Ryan was talking about. It looked like something out of mechwarrior and left two of my supports at 2 hp. Luckily, I had two heavies with me both with the 100% bonus damage to machine bonus, so it never got a second turn. That wasn't the best part of that story stage though. The best part was when I got everyone patched up from that nightmare, I opened the door to a small enclosed room. Inside were two drones, two heavy floaters, two muton elites, and an etheral. I'm not telling you how that one ended.

#29 Posted by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@Turambar: Ah haven't seen them yet. Time to go back to playing ASAP. I am stuck trying to down the Overseer ship, because I keep running out of alloys and weapon part to build the new saucerlike fighters.

#30 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

A quick word of advice to everyone, because I don';t think this point was explained by the game.

The continent bonuses you see when first selecting which one to have a base on is not the only one you get for the game. Once a continent gets full satellite coverage, you get that bonus. Your starting base location essentially gives you a head start to a particular one.

#31 Posted by OldGuy (1434 posts) -

Thought I'd give myself a challenge (since I don't have time this week for long chunks of playing) and see how quickly Insanity would hand me my head... Not as fast as I thought as it turned out, but when it does go downhill it tumbles off a cliff...

The one thing I didn't get to test is if you get the bonus for building adjacent up and down as well as left and right (I would assume it does - but we all know what assuming does)... I'm going to guess that it won't count across the lift shaft (which is too bad as my Normal Iron Man [yeah, yeah, I'll start a Classic game next weekend when I can spend some quality long term play sessions on the game] base has one steam section on the left and one on the right)...

#32 Edited by Turambar (6489 posts) -

@OldGuy: Bonuses do apply for all 4 directions.

#33 Posted by OldGuy (1434 posts) -

@Turambar: Figured... how about across the lift shaft?

#34 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

@OldGuy: I haven't tried, but I'm gonna assume that's a no.

#35 Posted by Rave (370 posts) -
@KirePDX He also mentioned that the game does try to randomize things enough so you can have a perfect strategy, the game doesn't want you to always have the exact type of soldiers you want.

My early game strategy is always to start researching weapon tech so I can't get scopes and laser weapons as soon as possible. I also seem to always pick Africa a my starting base the "all in" perk really helps for money early on.

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