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    Into the Breach

    Game » consists of 5 releases. Released Feb 27, 2018

    Mechs defend Earth from giant bugs in this tactics game from the creators of FTL.

    Thoughts on Into the Breach's Squads

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    MajorMitch

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    Edited By MajorMitch

    So, I've been playing a lot of Into the Breach lately. It's a fantastic game, and highly recommended to anyone who enjoys turn-based tactical games, or puzzle games (which I might argue it's more of the latter). There's a lot of little details about it that I think make it an extremely well-designed game, but that's not what I'm here to discuss today. No, I'm here to talk about the game's different squads.

    For the uninitiated, you control a squad of three mechs in every run of Into the Breach. The game comes with eight unlockable prefab squads, plus custom and random squad options, and even a "secret" squad. I'm only going to focus on the eight primary squads here, as they are the ones that are clearly orchestrated to synergize in some pretty interesting ways. I also found that I liked different squads more or less than others, and I don't think all of them are equally powerful. So this is also serving as a ranking of how much I liked each squad personally (not always an indicator of raw power, though that's a big factor). I'm listing them in order from most to least favorite, and briefly describing what I like and dislike about each one.

    A pair of important notes here. First, I've beaten the game on normal with all eleven squads (the primary eight plus the three special ones), so these thoughts are based on how I felt squads compared on that front. I have beaten the game on hard with a couple squads, but not all yet, so these thoughts apply only to normal difficulty for now. Second, there are some pilot abilities that can alleviate some of the drawbacks in various squads. However, I'm giving my thoughts on the squads proper, not any pilots or additional weapons that can improve them. Take that for what you will.

    Anyway, let's dive in! Hope you enjoy reading, and let me know if you have different thoughts on any of the squads!

    EDIT 5/31/2018: See spoiler block for updated thoughts after playing more!

    I've played the game a lot more since first writing this, primarily on hard. A brief updated ranking with a few thoughts:

    1. Rift Walkers. Still the best- got a perfect game with them on hard (4 islands no casualties), and it wasn't even that hard.
    2. Steel Judoka. A lot of people seem to disagree here, but they are so versatile. I played 1 game with them on hard, 4 island victory with 1 casualty, didn't break a sweat. So good and so fun.
    3. Rusting Hulks. They're a lot more versatile than I first thought, though Pulse Mech is still borderline useless most of the time, and one of my least favorite mechs in the game. The other two mechs make up for it though, and are both among the better mechs in the game. They make this squad much better than I first thought.
    4. Flame Behemoths. They struggle a more on hard, as fire damage does not scale well. But I still love using them.
    5. Hazardous Mechs. Still lots of fun, not much has changed here. Their range and damage output is crazy good.
    6. Frozen Titans. Not much has changed here either, though the Ice Mech's freeze weapon scales well to higher health enemies and higher difficulties. It's kind of OP sometimes.
    7. Zenith Guard. I still struggle with Defense Mech a lot. I rarely have a good use for it, and unlike some of the other squads with a useless 3rd mech, the main 2 aren't good enough here to carry the team. I've had by far the toughest time with this squad outside of the Blitzkrieg, especially on hard.
    8. Blitzkrieg. Still the worst. Gosh I hate them so. I feel it even more on hard.

    1. Rift Walkers

    Simply the best.
    Simply the best.

    They're just the best. Despite being the starting squad, and also the most straightforward and least thematic squad, the Rift Walkers are, in my opinion, the strongest and most versatile squad in the game. Each of the three mechs deal good damage, and all of their attacks push at the same time. That means you have good killing power, but can also push enemies out of the way whenever you can't kill them or prefer to rearrange the board. These mechs all have decent range and mobility to boot, and when you put it all together they can find their way out of almost any situation. I don't really have any drawbacks to them; they're not fancy, but they get the job done. And really, Combat Mech might be the best mech in the entire game. Turns out punching shit to death just works.

    2. Steel Judoka

    The only squad that can possibly rival the Rift Walkers is the Steel Judoka. This squad comes with a passive effect that causes enemy Vek to deal more damage to each other, and all three mechs come with attacks that can push enemies around. The clear theme here is to arrange enemies so that they kill each other for you. That's a surprisingly powerful effect to have, especially since it scales nicely throughout the game as Vek both gain more health and deal more damage. This squad's raw damage output is not quite as strong as the Rift Walkers, which is the main reason they're not as good to me: in the rare cases where the Vek don't line up well, it can be harder to deal with them. Also, I think Judo Mech is a bit of a weak link more often than I'd like, as its Vice Fist can be tough to use in tight spaces. All that said, this is still a really reliable squad with a lot of board manipulation potential. I like using them a lot.

    3. Flame Behemoths

    KILL IT WITH FIRE
    KILL IT WITH FIRE

    Despite lacking any direct damage out of the gate, I think the Flame Behemoths are not only surprisingly effective, but a ton of fun. They come with a passive effect that makes your mechs immune to fire, and then have a lot of ways to set the board on fire and push enemies around. As I've found in my time with the game, being able to push enemies is often more useful than raw damage, and with this squad your enemies will also take constant passive damage from fire as you push them around. Also, Swap Mech just might be my favorite mech in the game. It's uncanny how powerful its Teleporter is in almost any situation, and to me it's the only mech who can rival the Rift Walker's Combat Mech. My main concern with the Flame Behemoths is that fire damage doesn't scale well to higher health enemies. It's possible I may change my tune if I tried for a four-island hard victory, but from my current experience this squad is awesome.

    4. Hazardous Mechs

    On paper this may sound like a crazy pick to have in the upper half, but I had a lot of success, and a lot of fun, with the Hazardous Mechs. Yes, they damage themselves when they attack, and don't even have higher health to make up for it. But their passive effect that heals them every time they kill an enemy is not to be underestimated; it even brings them back to life on the spot if they kill themselves while killing a Vek. With that freedom to be more reckless, combined with good damage output, great range, and pushing effects on all three mechs, the Hazardous Mechs are more powerful and versatile than they have any right to be. My main concern is that they can be, well, a little hazardous to others. They almost have too much range and pushing effects, and it can be hard to avoid damaging buildings in tight spaces. But if you are mindful of that, this squad is a blast.

    5. Zenith Guard

    The Zenith Guard is one of two squads based around lining up enemies for the prime mech's attack, in this case being Laser Mech's Burst Beam. It goes through multiple units, and can dish out stupid amounts of damage in the right situation; possibly the best raw damage in the game. But I also found it to be less versatile than I wanted: it can be hard to avoid hitting buildings, and it lacks any pushing effect. How much you get out of this squad depends heavily on how often you can line up that laser, and I think the other two mechs have contributing issues. Charge Mech's Ramming Engines is your best pushing ability and deals decent damage, but hurts itself without a good way to heal. And Defense Mech's Attraction Pulse is blocked by other structures and units, which makes it more difficult to use effectively than I expected. There's certainly a lot of potential with the Zenith Guard, but they're held back by some situational caveats.

    6. Rusting Hulks

    Unfortunately smoke only gets you so far.
    Unfortunately smoke only gets you so far.

    The Rusting Hulks rely more on disrupting attacks with smoke than dealing damage or pushing. And smoke can be powerful, shutting down any enemy's attack regardless of its stats; Jet Mech's high mobility makes its Aerial Bombs the star of this squad. Yet while smoke is helpful, sometimes you need to be able to actually kill shit, and that's where this squad struggles. Their direct damage output is modest at best, and while they have a passive effect that makes smoke damage enemy units, smoke neither travels with enemies nor scales well to higher health enemies. On top of that, smoke still prevents you from attacking. So once the board it littered with smoke, I've found it hard to line up attacks how I'd like. Finally, I really wish Pulse Mech flew, like comparable non-damaging mechs in other squads. I like the Rusting Hulks overall, but it's hard not to see where other squads outperform them in a number of comparable areas.

    7. Frozen Titans

    The Frozen Titans are a goofy squad. In some ways I find them charming, but they just don't hang with the other squads in any meaningful way. To me their main weakness is a lack of pushing ability, which may be the worst of any squad. Only Mirror Mech can push, and given that its Janus Cannon shoots in both directions, you have to worry about hitting buildings (or allies) with it a lot. And their damage and mobility are about average, certainly not good enough to make up for the lack of pushing effects. Most hit or miss is Ice Mech. The ability to freeze enemies is very powerful, but freezing itself proves tricky. If you can line it up over an emerging Vek or in the line of another Vek's attack to break the ice, it's pretty great. But other times it just takes itself out for a turn. There's really nothing about the Frozen Titans that they do better than other squads, even if I kind of had fun with them.

    8. Blitzkrieg

    Simply the worst.
    Simply the worst.

    Fuck the Blitzkrieg. They're the only squad I do not like, and the only one I had any trouble winning with on normal with. But boy did I struggle. This is the other squad built around the prime mech's attack, this time being Lightning Mech's Electric Whip. This attack chains through adjacent units to deal damage to all of them, and is the squad's main source of damage. But the caveats are numerous. First, the chain will hurt your own units, which will become a necessary evil at some point. Second, Hook Mech is almost useless for any purpose other than extending your chain, all of which is very situational. Third, and most importantly, YOUR CHAIN WILL DAMAGE ALL OBJECTIVES. Nothing can prevent this either, so any mission where you have to defend trains, bombs, tanks, etc. is drastically harder, as you cannot use your main damage-dealing mech to clear anything adjacent to an objective. It sucks, big time. And without building good chains for the Electric Whip, nothing about the Blitzkreig is as good as other squads, be it damage, pushing, or mobility. In my opinion, this is easily the worst squad. Boulder Mech deserves better.

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    TheFlamingo352

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    Man, I have a completely different tier list. Off the top of my head:

    1) Hazardous Mechs

    2) Rusting Hulks

    3) Rift Walkers

    4) Blitzkrieg

    5) Zenith Guard

    6) Steel Judoka

    7) Flame Behemoths.

    That said I haven't unlocked the frozen titans, and I haven't won on hard yet, but it's cool how different people can have such different results with differents teams.

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    MiniPato

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    #2  Edited By MiniPato

    Rift Walkers are solid damage dealers. No real complaints about them.

    Steel Judoka is probably bottom 3 tier for me. Being able to rearrange enemies to your advantage is nice, but it feels like you need to rely on RNG to keep that as a reliable strategy. I feel like you're better off swapping out some of their weapons for better ones if you really want a better chance at victory.

    My most favorite squad to actually play is the Flame Behemoths. I've probably played Into the Breach the most as these guys. If an enemy is already on fire, the flame mech's punch does 2 damage to the enemy instead of just setting it on fire. Fire doesn't damage buildings unless you get the damage upgrade for the artillery. Being able to set spawn points on fire so enemies spawn in burning is also a nice perk. But yeah, the swap mech is the best mech in the game. If you pair it up with Archimedes to move after an action, you can keep it out of harms way. Getting the full range upgrade means being able to dump enemies into pits and water from across the map. Or you can teleport objectives like renfield bombs to the back line. Flame Behemoths have utility, damage over time, direct damage, and amazing insta-kill potential. Another things that puts them at the top: They are amazing against the spider hive leader.

    I hated Hazardous mechs when I first tried getting a victory with them. Even had Abe in there for the armor upgrade to negate the self damage. But it's so easy to damage your own buildings, units, and objectives using them that some maps are simply unbeatable without sustaining heavy grid damage or giving up reputation objectives. But once I got more used to them and started picking missions that more suited their abilities, they become easily the highest damage squad in the game and I started having a lot of fun with them.

    Zenith Guard can be a bit tricky. I needed the pilot who gets the move initiative buff for the Laser Mech. That lets you position your laser mech easier around the map. Having lots of move is really important for the main mech in this squad because it sucks when enemies are perfectly lined up and you can't position yourself for that big hit. You either need more move, the pilot with flying, or the pilot who can maneuver through enemies. I wish there was a building immunity upgrade for the laser too. Charge Mech might secretly be the mvp of this squad though. If you get Abe, you don't have to worry about HP. If you skip the first damage upgrade and go for the second 3 reactor damage upgrade, you can deal 3 damage with no penalty to your own health. Pull Mech in this one really kinda sucks. The secondary shield weapon is nice for protecting buildings and objectives, but the fact that buildings and your own units can get in the way of pulling enemies kinda puts it below the Steel Judoka's Pull Mech. If I get a teleporter from a time pod of reputation store, I immediately swap that out on the Pull Mech because it just has so much better utility.

    Rusting Hulks might be the easiest squad. Once you get the damage bonus on smoke and the range upgrade on the jet mech, it's game over. Sometimes you don't want your rocket artillery to just kill an enemy. You need to utilize it's backblast to deploy smoke in emergency situations. Smoke areas around buildings means they're safe from melee attackers and the Jet Mech can jump out of webbing and attack from within smoke because technically it's jumping and not attacking. It's the only squad I really feel confident I can get a 4 island victory with. In fact, I got my first victory using them.

    Frozen Titans shares the bottom 3 spot with Steel Judoka for me. I don't like the double shot mech because it often feels more like a hindrance than an advantage. Sometimes I want to shoot an enemy, but can't because a building is behind me. Being able to dispatch enemies immediately with the freeze mech is nice, but the fact that you have to waste a turn to unfreeze your mech is a huge waste in a 5 turn game. Luckily the melee mech in this is pretty tanky and useful. Unfortunately I don't think they have much synergy together as a squad.

    Blitzkrieg is also in the bottom 3 for the same reasons you said. The Lightning whip sucks. It's does a ton of damage and has a lot of potential range which is great, but that's also why it sucks. You can kill your own teammates and destroy your own objectives with it. The fact that it doesn't have a friendly units immunity upgrade seems like a huge oversight. Utilizing it without suffering damage of your own requires so much more maneuvering and repositioning of tile units than you have units for. Train defense missions are pretty much a crap shoot with the whip, let alone any other objective defense mission. It kind of has the opposite problem of the frozen titans where the prime mech sucks and the other mechs have great utility.

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    MajorMitch

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    @theflamingo352: Thanks for reading, and totally agree it's neat how different people have different preferences! I think each squad functions different such that different people's brains will click with them to varying degrees. I also think, after playing through the game with all of them, I've come to see the game differently. You get exposed to so many different ways of seeing the board via different squads, you eventually accumulate this wealth of useful knowledge. This game is great.

    Still, I don't know how you can fare better with Blitzkrieg than with Steel Judoka or Flame Behemoths :P

    @minipato: Thanks for reading! I thought the Steel Judoka would rely more on board position RNG too, but I've not had an issue with it. Their attacks seem just versatile enough, my only real issue is the Judo Mech's attack is very picky in tight spaces. I won a 4-island game on hard with them the other day, and didn't have much trouble at all, which surprised even me.

    The Flame Behemoths are great :) They're the next ones I want to try on hard. In some ways they might be my favorite to play as well, even if I've found the Rift Walkers and Judoka to be more reliable. There's just something fun about burning everything, and you list out a lot of things that make them strong. Swap Mech rules.

    You might be right about Charge Mech on Zenith Guard. My victory with them I used Abe on it to negate the self-damage, but then I had a harder time getting Laser Mech into position without any of the movement aids. A lot of people love the Hulks, and I admittedly need to try them again, but they didn't feel as natural of versatile to me. I kept getting into situations where I couldn't attack because I had too much smoke in the way, or the smoke would not kill enemies fast enough and I'd get overwhelmed. Not enough so that I lost, but it felt tougher than with some other squads.

    Totally agree on Frozen Titans and Blitzkrieg ;)

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    BisonHero

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    #4  Edited By BisonHero

    So I've been thinking about this while playing, and also after reading this blog, and Steel Judoka is an easy bottom 2 for me.

    I think Blitzkrieg is a tiny bit worse than Steel Judoka, mainly because Lightning Mech doubles the difficulty of a lot of missions since it can so easily friendly fire damage the objective you're trying to protect. So Blitzkrieg is the worst, but as for the Steel Judoka, I enjoy them in theory, then I hate actually using them.

    • Judo Mech - The armour is nice. Vice Grip is decent sometimes, and then every now and then you get that situation where the guy you desperately want to judo flip is untargettable because the space behind is occupied. Also, it super sucks that Vice Grip can never damage or target the burrowing worm enemies in any way since they are immovable. Looking at Vice Grip's upgrades, I've never found the "allies immune to damage" upgrade to be useful at all. I've hardly ever had to move allies with Vice Grip, mostly because I don't want to waste Judo Mech's damage when he could be tossing enemies instead. If I need to waste somebody's turn moving an ally, I'll use Gravity Mech for that. The damage upgrade on Vice Grip is sometimes good, though it's a big core investment. Judo Mech gets a lot better when you can give it a backup weapon for those situations where there's no useful legal move to make with Vice Grip. Vice Grip is a uniquely bad Prime weapon due to how easy it is for a target to be invalid. Sure, other prime weapons can cause awkward pushes that might damage buildings, so in a way that's a "soft" invalid target, but sometimes that building hit is a loss you're willing to take for the greater good; you literally can't make that judgement call when something is an invalid target for Vice Grip.
    • Siege Mech - The only truly good mech on the squad. Cluster Artillery is a little tricky to aim if you want to avoid friendly fire damage, but the upgrades are well worth the cores, significantly boosting AoE damage output and keeping buildings safe from the splash damage. This mech is actually worth using in Custom Squads/Random Squads.
    • Gravity Mech - What a bad science mech. Its main purpose is pretty much to carry Vek Hormones while the other 2 mechs do 90% of the work. Sometimes pulling a guy one space is useful to make Vek hit each other or to block a spawn, or you can attempt a pull that causes a collision that finishes off a 1-health enemy, but so many other times pulling a guy one space does nothing particularly useful and then more enemies just pile up because all you did was make a single Vek miss for one turn by misaligning him. It kinda blows that Gravity Well has no upgrade path to give Gravity Mech more overall impact, so on most runs I tend to give 2 cores to Gravity Mech and call it a day - one core goes into movement, the other goes into the +1 damage on Vek Hormones. To get into tactical specifics, the reason I really dislike Gravity Mech is that it's a pull instead of a push. You'd think pull and push would be roughly even in their utility, and it's true that sometimes you need a push and curse your pull mech, while other times you need a pull and curse your push mech. But overall I think push is generally the stronger ability. Imagine the map, and it has a water/acid pool/bottomless chasm hazard somewhere. If the hazard is a tile/tiles in the middle of the map, a pull or push are both useful as long as you're on the correct side of the enemy to move them into the hazard. Now let's say the hazard tile/tiles are instead on the edge of the map (perhaps a tidal wave or cataclysm map, maybe just a normal map with hazards on the edge). A push can easily send enemies into the hazard, but a pull can only send enemies into the hazard if A) there is enough space for both the mech and the enemy, and B) the mech can pull the enemy while being in the hazard themselves. This second requirement pretty much means you need flying to be a good pull mech. Zenith Guard's Defense Mech has this combo of pull + flying, so if needed, they can fly over a hazard on the edge of map and pull enemies to their death, while Gravity Mech can never do this unless you specifically have Prospero pilot Gravity Mech.

    So Steel Judoka. The increased damage from Vek Hormones, combined with a team of frankly low-damage mechs built around repositioning to take advantage of Vek Hormones is cool in theory, but I just don't find them useful in practice. There are just too many turns on a map where say like 3 enemies spawn, they scatter to the winds in such a way that they're not even remotely facing each and they're all like 3 tiles away from each other and from any of the Vek spawn points, so for all your repositioning abilities there's just no way you can move them far enough to actually hit each other or block a spawn. I just feel like for every one super cool Steel Judoka turn where the team works as intended and your trick a bunch of Vek into hitting each other, there are 10 turns with Steel Judoka where on your turn, Judo Mech Vice Grips a Vek for low damage and makes him miss, Siege Mech hits a guy for low damage and makes him miss, Gravity Mech pulls a guy one space and makes him miss, and no Veks self-damage themselves and maybe you manage to block one spawn with the body of Siege Mech or Gravity Mech, or if you're lucky, you somehow moved a Vek onto a spawn. You've barely scratched the Vek, and then several more spawn. Sometimes the positioning is so rough that Gravity Mech can't even accomplish anything, because no matter which Vek he moves, he just aligns them with a new building; at least in this bad situations, Zenith Guard's Defense Mech has the shield item they can fall back on, and throw a shield somewhere, but Gravity Mech has no other resource at all. I think pushing is more consistently good (I always feel good about my time spent with Pulse Mech or Nano Mech), while there tend to be hazards that you can't easily pull enemies into, so your pull mech just runs around not getting free hazard kills.

    I've managed to beat the game with Steel Judoka on Normal with both 3-islands and 4-islands, but I just don't think they're good. You have to work extremely hard just to achieve the rank of "this team isn't completely awful", but they never feel legitimately good.

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    bakoomerang

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    #5  Edited By bakoomerang

    I wasn't convinced this game would be for me but I took a gamble on it and now it's pretty much all I'm playing!

    I'm working my way through trying to get 2, 3, and 4 island victories with each squad on normal before moving on to the next. I'm only onto my third squad but so far Rift Walkers are my favourite, even though they're the vanilla squad. The combination of good ranged with up-close bruiser works well, especially with push built in to most attacks (which can occasionally be problematic but for the most part is a plus).

    Rusting Hulks were an interesting change, having to switch focus from out and out damage to disrupting attacks with smoke, but once I got used to them I enjoyed playing as them quite a bit.

    I'm currently playing as Zenith Guard and they've definitely been the most challenging so far. It's the same for all squads that things get much easier once you start to power up and add abilities, but I found that to be especially true for Zenith. In the beginning the low movement and HP (especially on the Charge Mech because it self damages) are difficult to work with so there are certain upgrades that are pretty much essential early on. On my first run with them I managed to salvage a 2 island victory, but it wasn't pretty. After that I tried a 3 island run which went better and I made it to the final mission in semi-decent shape, but things took a bad turn and I lost due to grid failure. I dove right back in though and somehow managed to put together a perfect 4 island run! Fairly early on I got the acid attack upgrade for the Defense Mech, and I think having the option to either pull or push (as well as massively increasing damage on enemies if I push) has made a real difference. I had to (begrudgingly) stop playing last night before attempting the final mission because it was getting late, but I'm hoping to finish it later. It will be a real bummer if I don't get it after such a good run, but my squad is pretty beefed up at this point so I'm fairly confident I can pull it off :)

    Edit: Got it! A perfect 4 island victory :D That was pretty damn satisfying.

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    MajorMitch

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    #6  Edited By MajorMitch

    @bisonhero: Interesting, I haven't had nearly the same level of difficulty you've had with the Judoka. This game is kind of fascinating in the way different people take so differently to different squads, and I wonder if we have some inherently different way we view the board. Regardless, I seem to be in the minority in my love for the Steel Judoka based on this thread though. But every time I've played them I've had a surprisingly easy time, easier than any other squad but Rift Walkers, and that includes a near perfect 4 island victory on hard with Judoka where I only suffered a single power hit. I've been able to line up Vek against each other fairly reliably, and when I can't there's enough pushing power on the team to knock any enemies I can't kill out of the way. Judo and Gravity Mechs may not have the most powerful abilities individually, but I think the synergy between all 3 mechs gives a lot of options for a lot of situations. You have a long-range pull from Gravity, a 4-way long-range push from Siege, and a 2-square mover from Judo. That covers a lot of directions and distances when taken as a whole, which I've been able to use very reliably.

    Some (slightly) more nuanced takes on the 3 mechs: I do agree that Judo Mech is the weak link, and your points on it are valid. I never get the Vice Grip's allies immune upgrade because I'd never use it, and the number of times Vice Grip is outright invalid is my biggest bummer about this whole squad. (Edit: I think it's damage is good though; 3 cores for a +2 damage upgrade is relatively efficient in this game.) That said, I think the other 2 mechs are solid. I think Siege Mech has both good AOE damage potential and also has great utility with 4-way pushing options. And I think Gravity Mech's Grav Well is more useful than a lot of the starting science class push/pull weapons because it lobs over units/structures. I actually usually move the Vek Hormones onto another mech (likely Siege Mech, which doesn't need a secondary thanks to its awesome default weapon) so Gravity can take on another weapon if I find it, but baring a lucky teleporter (the BEST weapon) I still primarily use the Grav Well.

    @bakoomerang: I was also skeptical I would like this game given my history with roguelikes including FTL. But I think this one has a lot of smart touches that set it apart, and it's really grabbed me. Glad you're enjoying it too!

    Sounds like you've also had a similar progression to my early time with the game. Rift Walkers may be vanilla but are amazing, and then I had a tougher time with the Hulks until I kind of changed the way I thought about things. Zenith Guard were, behind the Blitzkrieg, the squad I actually had the most trouble with on my first pass through normal. Defense Mech bugged me a lot, its Attraction Pulse never felt good enough since units or structures block it (unlike Gravity Mech's Grav Well, which lobs over units/structures to do the same thing, which is strictly better). I think that acid attack you found would help a lot. Congrats on the perfect 4 island victory!! :)

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    cLoudForest

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    I think that you can have wildly different experiences with the various squads depending upon which pilot you're using and which upgrades happen to drop for you. Rusting Hulks became one of my favourites after a run where I got both the Electric Smoke upgrade that causes damage to any unit in smoke and Camila Vera whose mech is unaffected by smoke and webs. I had such a satisfying run that time that my impression of that squad in general ending being much more positive than before.

    I've had a good time with Steel Judoka, too, but then killing bugs via friendly fire is my jam. There's definitely some crews that work better "out-of-the-box" than others, but if you get the right combination of upgrades a crew that you're otherwise lukewarm on can be a lot of fun.

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