Tips and advice thread

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#1 Posted by Rorie (5198 posts) -

I freely confess that I feel pretty terrible at this game; certainly I'm way worse at it than I was at FTL. As of right now I haven't managed to make it through two fights before losing all my powered buildings, let alone complete the first island, and that's on Easy mode. I know Chris Avellone had some tips on Twitter yesterday (not in a reply chain, so you'll have to go to his Twitter page to see the rest):

Anyone else have any tips or tricks to share? At the moment I find the difficulty more punitive than fun, but I'll keep banging away at it until I get frustrated enough to quit, I guess.

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#2 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (982 posts) -

You’re not alone finding the game incredibly hard. I’ve only played the game for an hour or so but I couldn’t get past mu second fight... I would welcome tips too.

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#3 Edited by NotSoSneakyGuy (214 posts) -

I've played a bit and watched a stream or two. Here's what I got so far:

  • Slow down and take your time. The game is very generous with its information. It shows you what exactly will happen, where, and also the attack order. In the late game or harder difficulties the screen can become very dense with enemy attacks. Just take your time to sort through it.
  • Read the tool-tips. The tool-tips in this game are great. They are descriptive and usually come with an animated clip. It's never a mystery to figure out what one of your/enemy attack behaves.
  • Picking missions on the map: Pay attention to maps that have "High Vek Threat Detected", they have harder than normal spawns. Also pay attention to objectives, depending on how your squad is coming together in your run, some objectives may be easier or harder.
  • Perfect Island Bonus. If you successfully complete all the bonus objectives on an island, you get to pick a free weapon, pilot, or bonus grid power. The weapon and pilot can always be donated, it ends up being a 2 reputation bonus no matter how you slice it.
  • Try to use enemies to block enemies. This is pretty obvious but if you can get an enemy to block another attack or spawn, you should go for it.
  • Block Vek spawns. Another gimmie but very important. This is the only way you can reduce the number of Vek you will have to deal with each turn. Any spawns you block on the penultimate turn (2 turns left) are enemies you don't have to deal with in the last turn.
  • Picking up new pilots. Not terribly important, but you may want to focus on buying/picking up new pilots just to unlock them as time travelers in future runs.

Edit:

  • Undo's: You can undo ALL you moves, up to your after most recent attack. So once you attack you are committed to that game state unless you reset turn. Once you hit end turn, you are also committed to whatever happens your squad.

Watching streams also helped me to see new possibilities in shifting enemies and different styles of play. If you don't mind being spoiled on squads you haven't unlocked yet and can resist the urge to back seat, consider watching a few.

I myself have been watching a few streams of dolphinchemist on twitch.

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#4 Edited by Pie (7354 posts) -

I was put off going after certain objectives at first because I thought they sounded tough BUT they can actually help you out in battle. For example one of the objectives will be to destroy a dam which you can actually use to kill land units with. The terraformer can kill any unit around it instantly. The units you're tasked with protecting can be controlled by you a lot of the time.

So yeah, just try out every objective and see what they're all about, you might be surprised

Also, objectives that aren't a building you have to protect will not reduce your grid power when failed. Another incentive to go after them.

Also always prioritise reputation over power in the rewards. You can buy power with reputation at the end of every island and it works out that it's pretty much never worth going after power

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#5 Posted by Deathpooky (1794 posts) -

I actually found the game a lot easier than FTL, mainly because it's entirely turn-based with no pressure and it seemed a lot harder for the game to put you into an unwinnable position due to random dice rolls. I won my first run, though primarily that was a result of getting a pretty wicked combo of a smoke deployment and a weapon that electrified smoke to do damage to enemies by the third map. Barely made it through the end scenario though. The major piece of advice I can give is to treat it more like a puzzle game - take your time and find the optimal set of moves and solution to your situation. And usually there IS a solution to any bad situation, or at least a least-bad result you can achieve in any turn.

Some random tips from my run going off that:

The extremely limited turn counter on any map means you can often prioritize protecting buildings over killing everything and run out the clock. Kills are nice for experience, but the level-ups aren't that crucial and often you can make it through a tough situation by just shoving things around in the right way. Shoving a Vek over to block an emergence or protect a building is much better than simply doing some damage to it and letting it get off an attack. You can usually get through any turn with minimal or no damage to your mechs or the buildings. And if you pay attention to the turn counter and cover up Vek spawns with 2 turns left you'll entirely eliminate them from the battle.

Prioritize threats - usually in order of protecting buildings, completing objectives, protecting mechs - and think about how best to deal with them in that order. What do you absolutely have to do, what would you like to do, how can you best accomplish all of that. And try to deal with every threat you have, it's usually better to prevent all attacks from happening, even if more Vek end up alive, than it is to focus down one Vek and let the others get off attacks. Start to narrow down to what you have to do to make it through a turn unscathed, then figure out how to make that better. If you think it's impossible to make it through a turn unscathed, then triage and figure out the best thing you can do. And don't be afraid to take damage on the mechs, since that is recoverable.

Try to think about all possibilities your map and powers give you in any turn. The game allows for a ton of creative solutions, even with that first set of mechs, and making use of the environment and your options is usually much better than just trying to run up and punch/shoot everything to death. If you read the tooltips and the info on the screen you can usually come up with a better solution that allows you to take less damage or deal more damage. Push enemies so they attack each other, shove them to cover emergence holes, knock them into water/fire/acid, knock them into each other.

Prioritize getting stars, completing objectives, and getting the time pods. And often those objectives will give you a hint as to a good way to deal with the map. Once you get a few upgrades to your mechs you can really open up your options to allow more freedom in dealing with any situation. I gave my punch guy a jump ability that shoved things around, even though it didn't deal damage, and that was invaluable - much more important than just a straight health or movement increase.

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#6 Posted by SSully (5596 posts) -

The biggest turning point for me was when I stopped trying to kill every enemy. It's definitely possible to do a lot of the time, but I lost a lot because I kept trying to focus down guys, which would result in the the rest of the enemies destroying buildings or more to spawn freely.

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#7 Posted by Zeg (186 posts) -

I found the second mech squad easier than the first (though maybe I just got lucky with time pod drops). The first squad is all about pushing, to the point that the fact the artillery does one damage on its hit square is almost irrelevant compared to the pushing effect on the surrounding ones. Which is also why the upgrade to negate damage to buildings from the artillery shot is pretty worthwhile.

Another more general point to remember is that you don't have to move then attack for each of your units in turn. You can do all the moves first if you want. Useful to move mechs out of a position you'd want another to shoot from, so long as you can plan out far enough to have that mech already be in the right spot for its attack afterwards.

And though it's not so useful right at the beginning (and gets more dangerous later), it's alright to let mechs get hit to save buildings. Don't let them die, obviously, but 1 HP shots from enemies or collisions aren't too dangerous once your pilots have ranked up to get a health bonus.

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#8 Edited by stinger061 (428 posts) -

Just got my first win on about my 5th game on normal and it was thanks to a couple of key realisations in addition to a couple of the ones mentioned above like not focusing on killing all enemies.

1: You are better off failing a bonus objective than losing a pilot or taking a bunch of power grid damage

2: If 2 enemies are attacking the same building they can’t do more than 2 grid damage so if you can’t take them both out you are better off forgetting about them. This helped me win the final battle when I thought I was done for. If one enemy knocks out a building, the second enemy has nothing left to attack and if it’s a ranged attack it may even hit its buddy.

3: Use knockback to take advantage of environmental hazards. Especially on high HP enemies the environment will do a better job of killing than your regular attacks. Most of them are 1 hit kills and they trigger before the enemy gets to execute its moves so if there is an enemy unit on an environmental hazard tile you can ignore them and focus on the rest of the map.

That’s just a few things off the top of my head after my win. I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to trying out the various teams. It seems like there is a much broader range of viable ways of playing than FTL had where there was only really 3 or 4 viable builds for the final encounter.

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#9 Posted by BBAlpert (2845 posts) -

I've only unlocked a few different squads, but strangely enough, the cheapest squad to unlock (Rusting Hulks) has been by far the most effective for me. Don't let their limited direct damage fool you, because being able to simply cancel upcoming attacks with smoke bombs is game changing. The fact that one of the Rusting Hulks has a passive ability which makes smoke clouds constantly do damage (only to enemies) also helps make up for their lack of upfront muscle.

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#10 Posted by Pie (7354 posts) -

@bbalpert said:

I've only unlocked a few different squads, but strangely enough, the cheapest squad to unlock (Rusting Hulks) has been by far the most effective for me. Don't let their limited direct damage fool you, because being able to simply cancel upcoming attacks with smoke bombs is game changing. The fact that one of the Rusting Hulks has a passive ability which makes smoke clouds constantly do damage (only to enemies) also helps make up for their lack of upfront muscle.

Yep. From what I've played the rusting hulks definitely seem the easiest. I think I've finished it twice with them now and zero with anyone else

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#11 Edited by Zeg (186 posts) -

@bbalpert: I wasn't sure at first, but it does seem like the Rusting Hulks are the FTL Engi Ship of ITB... even by the way it seems like their 'main weapon' is useless, but turns out to be super useful instead (the Ion cannon of the Engi ship of course).

The only problem I had with Rusting Hulks was once I upgraded to double smoke on the jet I was covering so much terrain with smoke it was getting difficult to find places to initiate my own attacks from. Double smoke, +1 damage attack and +1 smoke damage is pretty devastating though.

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#12 Posted by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

Does anybody else think Networked Armour is insane? At least as far passives go, I don't feel like it has ever been bad for me.

No Caption Provided

If you just spend the 1 core to activate the base version, you immediately get net 3 HP across all your units, which is more efficient than what 1 core usually gives you (2 HP). You could stop right there if you want.

Granted, if you put the additional 2 cores into Networked Armour then it swings back to normal and you're spending 3 cores to get 6 HP net (same as if you just spend the 3 cores individually on each unit), but the extra HP gives you so much more flexibility to have your units just tank hits to save buildings and mission objectives, and you rarely have to repair units mid-mission because your starting HP is so high.

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#13 Edited by mellotronrules (2417 posts) -

so i've just completed my first 1st run at the game (normal, 1st attempt too!). i think a combination of taking my time and some lucky drops are what got me through. some general tips:

  • use the environmental attacks whenever possible
  • the ice ability (can't remember the name, but it allows your mech to create an ice nova around it that's upgradable) saved my mechanical buns many times over...especially during the final mission
  • the artillery mech ended up being the most critical to my playstyle...direct damage is great, but i found manipulating movement and turning enemies into their own line of fire waaay more effective
  • don't forget that if you get the heal ability (again, forget the name) it applies to all mechs AND can even rez them if they go down (not sure if it rezzes the pilots though...i'd imagine no)

this game is so rad, i kinda want to dive right back in (and i'm redownloading FTL as i type this).

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#14 Posted by MVHVTMV (439 posts) -

I haven't found to game to be too hard so far, but maybe I just got lucky with my playstyle. I beat it three times and haven't lost a game yet, but there are a couple of times I abandoned a run mid way through because I didn't like the squad I was playing (Blitzkrieg and Steel Judoka didn't click for me).

I can't think of many tips aside from taking your time and planning every move before you commit to anything, as well as just prioritising enemy placement over raw kills. Sometimes it's actually better to leave a vek alive to block a spawn than it is to kill it.

If you have any spare moves and there's no vek spawn within range to block, then it's always good to move towards the middle of the map so you're in a good position for whatever comes next.

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#15 Posted by Mikemcn (8510 posts) -

Definitely slow down, thats my number 1 problem, the number of times i've missed a Vek taking aim at one of my buildings because i rushed a turn... argh it's embrassing.

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#16 Posted by soulcake (2278 posts) -

It's a game of chess take it slow. And the starting team seems to Be the best allround team i unlocked so far.

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#17 Posted by BeachThunder (15045 posts) -
@soulcake said:

It's a game of chess take it slow.

Unless you're doing the speedrun achievement...

@mikemcn said:

the number of times i've missed a Vek taking aim at one of my buildings because i rushed a turn... argh it's embrassing.

...which I was - and it was the last turn of one of the earthquake levels. I was in such a hurry to move on to the next level that I totally glossed over the fact that two of my mechs were standing on earthquake tiles :|

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#18 Posted by DLeo (48 posts) -

Just managed to beat the game on normal with the Steel Judoka. Vent into the final mission with a full grid and 20% resistance. I had the fully upgraded ice generator equipped on my Judo mech, ice beam on my Science class and the smoke bomb on my Ranged unit. My takeaway was that ice is the way to go. I attribute the victory to luck though.

*Try to go for the achievement and play around with new squads. Eventually you'll unlock more pilots and options, which makes the game a tad easier.

*Save the reset move option until absolutely necessary, it saved my hide more than a few times.

*I tend to avoid the "kill 7 enemies" goals since it usually puts to great a focus on killing instead of surviving with the grid intact.

*Don't be afraid to block breaches with your own mechs. Another enemy on the field means another enemy you have to waste a unit action on.

*Psions (especially the blast psion) are priority one. The blast one is incredibly dangerous.

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#19 Posted by mellotronrules (2417 posts) -

forgot to mention- one thing i desperately wish they put in the game is either a text damage log or a replay-last-turn function.

there were one or two times (especially on the maps with conveyor belts) where i'd end a turn, be focusing on 1 or 2 moves ahead only to realize that some chain reaction had occurred that i misread and my previously untouched mech was toast...but because i was looking elsewhere i missed the exact cause (which is critical for learning from your goofs).

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#20 Posted by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

@mellotronrules: Yeah, the game is so clockwork that it feels like it wouldn't be THAT hard to have some kind of rewind feature where you can literally rewind step by step through the previous enemy turn to see how things went. The only thing close to that is you can slow down the speed of the enemy turn so it's easier to watch, but once it passes, it's gone and you can't review it.

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#21 Posted by SethMode (1534 posts) -

So, this might be a stupid question, but I feel like I accidentally clicked past the tutorial bit that maybe addressed it. Once my mech is disabled, is that pilot dead no matter what? Like, I can't maneuver anyone over there and get them going again?

I'm loving the game so far. I've actually had a fun but not too hard go of it on Easy. Only 2 runs so far, my first where I completed all 4 islands and won, and then my second where I completed 3 and won. So I feel like I've gotten some remarkable luck so far and assume it will likely all go sideways. I also firmly suspect the difficulty to leap rather significantly when I bump up to Normal. It's a very nice way to ease into the mechanics of the game though, particularly allowing me teachable moments where my entire game isn't utterly crippled. I suspect as you go up in difficulty that margin for error lessens.

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#22 Edited by ragnar_mike (267 posts) -

@sethmode: Yeah the pilot dies when the mech is disabled. Afterwards it's just run by AI which is an empty pilot shell that doesn't get xp until you swap in another poor soul.

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#23 Edited by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

@ragnar_mike said:

@sethmode: Yeah the pilot dies when the mech is disabled. Afterwards it's just run by AI which is an empty pilot shell that doesn't get xp until you swap in another poor soul.

Does the item that does a global heal-all (which is the only way to revive a dead mech mid-mission) keep the pilot alive, or simply reactivate the mech under AI control? I forget how it works.

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#24 Posted by ragnar_mike (267 posts) -

@bisonhero: Not sure, if I had to guess, I would assume that the health drop ability just heals the mech and leaves the pilot seat filled with a corpse.

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#25 Edited by BladedEdge (1245 posts) -

I've played enough of the game now (Steam says 9 hours) beaten it on easy 3 times and came 1 turn away from beating it on normal (lost the dice-roll for power-gen twice) with a squad I wasn't at the time very good with, but have since gotten much better at using. From what I can tell, the game is pretty much a cake-walk on easy once you get the vaguest hint of what you are doing. On easy I end up with one or two of my units sitting around not acting at all because I have killed all the units on the map that turn. So, my tips for people having trouble with it.

First, use the starting mech group until you beat the game. They are extremely effective at teaching you the basic strategies I've used to make easy a cake-walk. I.e. kill units when you can, use the push mechanics too your advantage and etc. I know all those other mech groups look cool, but until you've mastered the basics of how important positioning is, your doing yourself a dis-service experimenting with other types.

Second, play on easy until your bored of it. The jump in difficulty on normal is significant enough that its not the difficulty to learn the game on, at all. Play with any new group on easy until you get a feel for their gimmick (because each group so far does seem to have its own variation on how to solve the game's core puzzle element).

Third, learn the basic mechanics of the game. know that you can repair 1 point of damage if you don't do anything. Realize that so long as your mechs don't drop to zero hp, your not losing anything by having them soak damage. Remember you only have to survive the fight, not kill everything. Remember that pushing units into something causes them a point of damage, You can push enemies into each other, mountains or your own units and deal them that extra point of damage that kills them. Pushing anything that doesn't fly into water is an instant kill. There is in the upper right of the screen an action-order. If you find yourself wondering if an enemy you have moved to kill another will get its attack off before that enemy attacks the building its targeting, check that. The game lays out every last bit of the information for you. Standing on spawn-points only costs you a point of damage..which you can heal on the following turn. Especially on easy, it can be very cost-effective too simply camp over spawn-points with your least useful mech(in the starting group this would often be the tank as it only does 1 damage) and mop-up the one or two bugs that pop up with your other units.

Fourth. The game only tells you this once but, do not feel like you -have- to complete all 4 islands in order to go to the final mission. It scales based on how many islands, 2, 3 or 4, you have completed. What that means is the enemies you face will be stronger the more islands you complete. Honestly, I've found beating it after only 2 islands easier then all 4, because enemies often have less HP and your not as hampered by not getting enough cores to upgrade your mechs to keep up with upgraded enemies.

Fifth. You can select an enemy, mouse over their portrait and get an exact detail on how there attack works. Useful to learn.

Sixth. Assuming you get good enough to never have your power-threatened, or rarely taking any damage. Always go for the missions which provide credit. You are able to complete all but 3 missions on an island. Priority goes to those with guaranteed core rewards first, (only appear as far as I can tell on the 2nd + island you do) followed by credit. Extra power is ok, but if you are able to hit every single mission that rewards 2 points of credit, you should be able too get 9 points of it. That should lead to 4-5 cores per completed map (it is almost always correct to just buy every last core you can then to buy extra fancy weapons since you have to use yet more cores to turn those weapons on/upgrade them).

Finally. Really do take your time with the game. It fun, and on easy not all that difficult once you wrap you head around the kind of puzzle it is. Easy difficulty afford you the chance to learn, don't feel bad playing the game on that difficulty to start.

Oh, and I have what I think is a spoiler for one of the achievements (Meet and old friend). I have not gotten it, but I ran into what I think it must be, with no ability to pursue it. For those interest I'll include it in spoilers.
I destroyed a mountain and got a message that there was another non-vek life-form detected. There was a glowing bit in the mountain rumble and instructions to check it out. This happen on the last turn of the mission however and so I couldn't complete it. I was unable to go back and check but I am fairly sure the mountain in question was only ever damaged once. Since they normally take 2 hits of any damage value to break I assume the key is too look for a cracked mountain on a map, break it, and walk a unit to the location. No idea how often this shows up, or if the 'its always a already hit once mountain' is in fact true. Worth keeping an eye out for mountains that appear damaged with no elements on the map/mission that would explain it.

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#26 Edited by cxeq (18 posts) -

does anyone have a solution for taking no damage in this situation

https://i.imgur.com/MguvAAE.png

https://i.imgur.com/YMbRjcq.png

No Caption Provided

does it break the web if I shoot the combat into the scorpion with the cannon?

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#27 Posted by SethMode (1534 posts) -

@cxeq: if I am reading this right, yes. If you shoot him with your cannon it will knock back your Mech-ish dude. The rest should be pretty easy as far as that turn is concerned. Not sure what move stats you have or if you have dash punch, but if you do you should be fine to take out the other bug after that.

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#28 Posted by Splodge (2652 posts) -

Pay attention to which eemy units are flying units!!

I have thrown away a few excellent runs by forgetting that flying units will not get taken out by seismic environmental damage or the lava on the lava stage.

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#29 Posted by BladedEdge (1245 posts) -

@cxeq: Ok, I see the issue here and I think the answer is 'maybe not'. I don't know all the units by heart but I want to say that's the psion that gives +1 hp, so each vek has 3 hp. I also don't recall if being webbed is cleared if your pushed or not, though I know pushing the unit doing the webbing breaks it so I assume so?

If that's the case, the answer is 'you move the tank mech down 2, shoot on the second vek, pushing it 1 towards the psion (and freeing up its space). You, paradoxically, fire directly on the building next too your punching mech which (if webbing breaks I wish I knew the game well enough to confirm this) you have a 15% chance to take no damage via your grid defense..or 2. Either way your punching mech 'should' now be where the tank starts. Move him down to where the vek your tank fired on -was- before it was pushed, punch him. End turn.

The air-strike takes out one vek, the psion remains, two more pop up, you may or may not have done yourself 2 grid damage, but you lose no mech's, and with a full grid-hp bar, can afford to take those 2 points.

If, on the other hand, I am wrong about webbing breaking when a unit is pushed.. The answer is 'sacrifice the tank'. As your only actual time-traveler with a special ability is sitting in the punchy-mech. I know for sure if you moved the tank next into the air-strike range, and shoot the bug webbing your puncy-mech, you'l push him one and break your punchy-mech free. That is a much less clean solution...but its the best option available that I see.

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#30 Edited by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

My best tip would be to start playing against the attack prediction of the enemies instead of the enemies themselves. Avoid grid damage at all costs. Use your mechs to block if you have to. Environment effects always trigger first in the turn so enemies targeted by them will just die instantly without being able to attack. You can use enemies to block shots from other enemies. Enemy repositioning is key. That's why I think the rift walkers are the best and easiest team to learn.

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#31 Edited by SethMode (1534 posts) -

@cxeq: okay I Def wasn't looking at it properly. I'm assuming you don't have the ability to shoot buildings without doing damage? If you do have it that will free the Mech up easily. If not, just weight if you want to sacrifice the power for rep (I think you should). It just leave the other where he is since you won't be able to kill him most likely and you don't want to bump him down and have him take out the Coal plant. Back, maybe you'll get lucky and both buildings will dice roll out of damage?

But yes, any kind of knock back knocks you out of the webbing as far as I know. I am, let's say 80% on that.

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#32 Edited by mellotronrules (2417 posts) -

@cxeq: someone might have said this already, but if all you're looking to do is avoid damage (presuming you have all actions available):

-artillery shoots square between psion and scorpion, breaking web and pushing scorpion into the forest

-puncher mech vacates current spot to get out of the scorpion range and avoid airstrike

-tank can move into position behind where puncher was previously, and take a shot at scorpion if it wants.

edit: oh wait, i'm just noticing i goofed. in this case what i would do is:

-move tank to forest to shoot scorpion on the right...you'll lose the power generator, but it's bonus power and you're at full anyway

-move artillery to shoot puncher...you'll take 1 dmg but it breaks the web

-move puncher to safety and repair the 1 dmg

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#33 Edited by John-Luke (453 posts) -

I'd like advice on what you can take with you and what you cannot if you lose the game. I have the option to select a pilot from as a Perfect Island reward, would he now be a permanent unlock?

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#34 Posted by SethMode (1534 posts) -

@mellotronrules: hey so this raises an interesting question for me...for those bonus plants, do they not cost you any grid points if they go?

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#35 Edited by mellotronrules (2417 posts) -

@sethmode said:

@mellotronrules: hey so this raises an interesting question for me...for those bonus plants, do they not cost you any grid points if they go?

hah- come to think of it you're probably right in that losing them DO cost you power...question is if it's 1 or 2. i'll need to jump into a game to confirm, but whatever the case may be: i find if you're sitting in a good position power-wise, it's always preferable to sacrifice 1 or 2 points here or there in favour of corp. rep. (stars), because you can always buy power for 1 star at the end of an island. so while you want to conserve power as much as possible, you at least have 2 methods of getting it (bonus obj. and buying via stars), whereas stars IIRC are only through bonus objectives.

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#36 Posted by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

@john-luke said:

I'd like advice on what you can take with you and what you cannot if you lose the game. I have the option to select a pilot from as a Perfect Island reward, would he now be a permanent unlock?

Every time you collect a pilot with custom artwork, a permanent, non-randomized name, and a unique ability (the "hero" pilots you get from time pods and perfect island rewards), that pilot is available to choose at the start of future campaigns.

When you lose a campaign and choose one pilot to time travel to safety, you can start your new campaign with that saved pilot (who will retain all of their XP and attributes) or you can switch them out and start with a 0 XP hero pilot you have unlocked (which is sometimes preferable if you want a certain unique ability instead of the guy you saved last time). Even when you have multiple hero pilots unlocked, each new campaign you can only start with 1 hero pilot, and your other 2 mechs will contain randomized normal pilots with no unique ability.

When you lose a campaign, the only thing that really persists is what hero pilots you have found (they need to have been in your possession, it isn't enough that you just saw them on the perfect island rewards screen), what hero pilot you chose as your time traveler, and what achievements/coins/squad unlocks you have done.

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#37 Posted by cxeq (18 posts) -
No Caption Provided

This game would really make for a great quick puzzles, like Chess has ("tactics"). I was thinking of doing this, guess it all depends on whether the web breaks. I dont have the no building damage perk. Mech has 5 moves.

@mellotronrules solution seems good otherwise. So what are the rules for breaking web?

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#38 Edited by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

@mellotronrules said:
@sethmode said:

@mellotronrules: hey so this raises an interesting question for me...for those bonus plants, do they not cost you any grid points if they go?

hah- come to think of it you're probably right in that losing them DO cost you power...question is if it's 1 or 2. i'll need to jump into a game to confirm, but whatever the case may be: i find if you're sitting in a good position power-wise, it's always preferable to sacrifice 1 or 2 points here or there in favour of corp. rep. (stars), because you can always buy power for 1 star at the end of an island. so while you want to conserve power as much as possible, you at least have 2 methods of getting it (bonus obj. and buying via stars), whereas stars IIRC are only through bonus objectives.

IIRC, some of the objective buildings still cost you grid defense when they get hit, but not all of them. The corporate tower from boss missions, and any power generation building (coal plant, solar farm, etc.) both have health measured in grid points if you mouse over them (I believe they're always 1 grid power, not like the 2 grid power that some civilian buildings have). Other structures like the terraformer, Renfield bombs, earth mover, robot factory, etc. have a green health bar instead of the grid power symbol, so if they get destroyed they just get destroyed, but no loss of grid power.

The power generation buildings count for a net grid loss of 2 (the 1 you lose when it gets hit, and then 1 you would've gained if it survived), plus their survival also helps you get the perfect island reward, so you should always prioritize saving them over just about any other single civilian building. Obviously you can let one go if it means preventing some kind of AoE attack elsewhere that is targeting 2-3 normal civilian buildings where you would take 3+ grid damage (though if you're really risky, maybe you value the the perfect island bonus so high that you're willing to take 3+ grid damage to get it). Same general rule goes for the corporate tower.

Off the top of my head, I can't remember if the weapons research building thing (the rare building that you have to protect to get a reactor core) has "grid HP" or "normal HP", but good lord, it should be your top defense priority because that single building basically counts for 3 stars since that's what a reactor core costs in the shop. If you're ever not sure, just mouse over a building/structure/objective, and if it has the yellow lightning bolts then it will reduce grid defense when it gets hit, but if it has a green HP bar then it will simply get destroyed when it gets hit with no effect on your grid defense.

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#39 Posted by BBAlpert (2845 posts) -

Does anyone have any advice for how to use the Flame Behemoths well? With most of the other squads, I can kind of see how they're "supposed" to be used. The smoke guys are all about keeping the enemies from attacking, the acid guys are about using the acid status to set up big damage single attacks, the lightning guys are about connecting all the enemies into a contiguous group and electrocuting them, but the Flame Behemoths... they just seem bad.

Like, only 1 of the 3 can do direct damage (without an expensive upgrade), and that's only if the enemy is already on fire. And even then it's only 2 damage. I feel like I must be missing something, because "you can make enemies take 1 damage per turn" doesn't seem like enough to be "the gimmick" on its own. Or am I overthinking this, assuming that there wouldn't be a squad this weak without SOME sort of powerful trick that I simply haven't realized?

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#40 Edited by mellotronrules (2417 posts) -

@cxeq said:

So what are the rules for breaking web?

i think if the enemy that drops the web is still able to target the webbed unit, the web stands (regardless of direction of push/pull). i might be wrong though.

@bisonhero said:

The power generation buildings count for a net grid loss of 2 (the 1 you lose when it gets hit, and then 1 you would've gained if it survived), plus their survival also helps you get the perfect island reward, so you should always prioritize saving them over just about any other single civilian building. Obviously you can let one go if it means preventing some kind of AoE attack elsewhere that is targeting 2-3 normal civilian buildings where you would take 3+ grid damage (though if you're really risky, maybe you value the the perfect island bonus so high that you're willing to take 3+ grid damage to get it). Same general rule goes for the corporate tower.

yeah this is generally sound advice- accounting for the power loss of the building itself (in addition to the loss of bonus power) i'd say you're right to encourage preservation of the bonus objectives vs. civilian buildings. i also hadn't considered the 'perfect island' bonus, but that's mostly because even on normal i don't often find myself in that strong of a position :-P

bearing that in mind @cxeq should probably shoot the puncher with artillery to dislodge the scorpion, let the civ. building take the hit, and then move the puncher out of danger.

*and here's a HOT TIP i found a little unintuitive: if you use Blitzkrieg Squad and want to use the Boulder Mech to do some pushing- bear in mind that the pushing from either side of the boulder is always perpendicularto the line of the throw...the description describes the push as "adjacent," but the direction of travel determines the direction of push (found out the hard way).

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#41 Edited by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

@cxeq: I don't think you break web by knocking the webbee into the webber (or vice versa). I think you have to physically move the webbee or the webber to a difference space to cancel the web. Here's my suggestion where I really hope your Combat mech or Cannon mech has 4 movement:

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  • Move the Artillery along the green path.
  • Shoot the Artillery according to the red arc shown; this will move the Cannon northwest and the Scorpion southwest, unwebbing the Combat
  • (If Combat has 4 movement, do this step) Move Cannon along solid blue path, then shoot northeast. Then move Combat along orange solid and dotted path, then punch northeast
  • (If Cannon has 4 movement, do this step instead of previous step) Move Combat along solid orange path, then punch northeast. Then move Cannon along blue solid and dotted path, then shoot northeast
  • (If Combat and Canon both have 4 movement, do either previous step)

The result is all 3 of your mechs are outside the air support zone, one Scorpion dies in the support zone, the other Scorpion takes 4 damage in varying order (2 punch, 1 cannon shot, 1 collision damage with Psion), and the Psion takes 1 collision damage.

If you only have 3 movement on both Combat and Cannon, then god help you, something is taking damage as far as I can tell. I think I would suggest you still follow my artillery move and action, then move your Combat mech southeast to cover the spawnpoint, then move your cannon southeast somewhere but don't fire on anything, and just let the Scorpion hit the buildings and hope the 15% saves you. It will preserve the power generator and you might still be able to finish all objectives on the mission, which helps towards the perfect island bonus.

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#42 Posted by BisonHero (11449 posts) -

@bbalpert said:

Does anyone have any advice for how to use the Flame Behemoths well? With most of the other squads, I can kind of see how they're "supposed" to be used. The smoke guys are all about keeping the enemies from attacking, the acid guys are about using the acid status to set up big damage single attacks, the lightning guys are about connecting all the enemies into a contiguous group and electrocuting them, but the Flame Behemoths... they just seem bad.

Like, only 1 of the 3 can do direct damage (without an expensive upgrade), and that's only if the enemy is already on fire. And even then it's only 2 damage. I feel like I must be missing something, because "you can make enemies take 1 damage per turn" doesn't seem like enough to be "the gimmick" on its own. Or am I overthinking this, assuming that there wouldn't be a squad this weak without SOME sort of powerful trick that I simply haven't realized?

Like the Steel Judoka, the Flame Behemoths have little direct damage, so you're expected to pick up a lot of extra damage along the way by collision damage and repositioning enemies into attacking each other, and get some burning damage going as you do these things. This is nice in theory, but in reality sometimes enemies just aren't arranged to accomplish any of those goals because they're so far apart and not even remotely aiming towards each other. Unless enemy arrangement is extremely favourable, the Flame Behemoths often have no way to kill an enemy Psion on the first turn, and at best the Psion might burn to death at the beginning of the enemy turn, but that still means the Psion buff was active for the whole player turn you were attacking them.

Also the Flame Behemoths (and Steel Judoka) have an extremely hard time doing objectives like "destroy the dam" and "destroy 2 mountains" and "destroy 2 ACID vats" because most of their actions only affect units, and all of those objectives are immune to fire and immune to being moved (maybe the vats can be moved). Again, you need to be given extremely favourable enemy arrangement to be able to trick enemies into attacking the objective or making enemies collide with the objective.

They're not without merit, but the Flame Behemoths and Steel Judoka feel a little underpowered compared to other squads because it feels like you're even more reactive to the enemy arrangement, whereas the other squads feel a little more proactive in what their actions can do. Or maybe I just need waaaaay more practice with them to take full advantage of them. Or I'm focusing on upgrading the wrong things first. Who knows.

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#43 Posted by SethMode (1534 posts) -

My piddly little brain was cruising along fine, even on Normal for the most part, with the Rift Walkers and the Rusting Hulks, and then it feels like almost everything after that just breaks my brain after a bit. I'm "okay" with the Zenith Guard, although I find the Defense Mech more irritating than useful most of the time, and while I grasp what I need to do with Blitzkrieg, I find myself just making a mess of it almost instantly. Other than that, I've tried the Flame Behemoths once and just found it completely unfun because I couldn't wrap my head around how best to use the (and the first mission I had with them was the destroy the Dam mission, and I didn't even know how to DO it, for that matter). Haven't tried Steel Judoka, but they don't sound very fun either haha. I'm sure it's the kind of thing that gets better as you grasp the more movement focused strategies of the game, but it doesn't quite feel like the AI and the RNG of the board objectives make it possible, even on easy sometimes.

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#44 Edited by The_Nubster (3741 posts) -

My handful of things:

1) The smoke will cancel ANY attack, unless noted otherwise. This even goes for the explosive goo launched by those asshole squid things. It effectively gives you a movement (depending on the ability) and neutralizes an attack for the duration of the battle.

2) it's better to soak damage to your mechs in the last 2-3 turns than take a hit to your grid or optional objective. If you've been doing exceptionally well in a fight, remember: as long as your pilots don't die there's absolutely zero loss, the mechs will repair themselves between missions. This even goes for blocking Vek in the final turns, which is crucial. A hit to your mech is not persistent between battles, while a hit your to grid or objective means a permanent loss. In order of most to important to least, it should be GRID>BONUS>MECH. Even a destroyed mech comes back.

3) Finally, area denial. Pay close attention on deployment to where the enemy can move. Note that they can't move through your mechs and will likely target buildings first, and then mechs. Block off access to far-away buildings and try to restrict the playing field to the middle ground, where your mechs can cover the biggest amount of space. make sure your punchy-fellas can get in close while your shooty mechs have a wide spread to position themselves to shoot over a distance or arc shots.

4) PS, the Vek will attempt to avoid tile obstacles at all costs. This mean that it's worth shooting sand, forest, and damaged ice tiles if there are no other moves available as well as dropping smoke near buildings and barriers. Remember, a mech can punch, shoot, and otherwise attack even if no enemy is in their range. If an ice tile is weak, hit it. If a sand or forest tile is available and you have a mech with a spare turn, hit it. The Vek will do everything they can to avoid stopping in a compromised tile. But AVOID destroying mountain tiles unless otherwise necessary. You want to restrict the movement of the Vek by all means possible, especially when faced with the more mobile types.

SUPER NOT EMBARRASSING INTUITIVE EDIT: Space Bar will skip your turn without warning, if you've turned that setting off in the menu. So if you're transitioning from primarily mouse controls to KB+M, that might ruin a battle or even your entire run. Not that I'd know but it seems pretty possible. So just a heads up. Just in case, you know.

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#45 Posted by benpack (3477 posts) -

I've fully embraced launching my mechs into Vek for killing blows. It's easy to not want to take damage at all but I found most matches I was finishing with very high if not full health but had taken a grid damage or two.

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#46 Posted by Rejizzle (959 posts) -

Ok, tips.

1. Never do work that the environment will do for you. If you can push an enemy into a danger zone or another Vek attack then do so. The less work your own mechs have to do the more damage they can cause elsewhere. Specifically, pay attention to the turn order. If an enemies attack comes after they take lethal damage then you can ignore it completely.

2. Take hits. Your mech's hp heals post-battle, the power grid doesn't. So take the hits to keep your grid up. Hold Vek underground, dive in front of the bullet, whatever you have to do, do it.

3. Don't get frustrated. Come on Rorie. imagine puppies, go to your happy place, play on easy. Easy is good. Or just avoid missions you have trouble with. Hate that train mission (my God that train mission) just don't do it. You always have options.

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#47 Posted by Deathpooky (1794 posts) -

Now 4 for 4 with four different teams on normal. I think my main advice above holds. Take the time to consider everything your mechs can do with their limited moveset, spend time considering all of your options instead of just resigning yourself to taking damage or losing an objective, and plan out all of your moves in advance. If you treat it like a puzzle game and aren't afraid to spend 5+ minutes deciding what to do on a hard turn then you will do much better. I've heard people saying that a run is 30-90 minutes, but I've been spending 2-3+ hours on mine. Some other random tips on top of what I have above:

Make sure you consider every single effect your moves can have on the board. There are times the Rusting Hulk artillery shooting smoke out of its ass is more valuable than the actual rocket, or that you'll want to shoot a missile at your own units just to get the knockback around it. Grapple beam affects all units that can be moved, and just as often an early or mid-turn move of your own units will help you out more than trying to reposition the Vek. Random solutions often come from counterintuitive uses of your abilities.

Along with that, spending resources to increase options is probably the best first thing to do. Once every mech has two attacks, you become far more flexible and able to deal with whatever gets thrown at you, helping to avoid wasted turns. If you're just pumping up your primary abilities, then you'll find yourself in a scenario where your four damage punch is useless. I usually spend my stars on new attacks (the on sale one if possible), then upgrade cores, and only grid points if I'm desperate (i.e., down to less than 3 grid health). If you take your time and do well early you start to snowball by getting more stars, perfect island bonuses, and then spending those on unit upgrades instead of simply staying alive.

Once you've gotten the hang of how your units/attacks work, positioning becomes a key issue both for yourself and the enemy. You want to try to keep yourself in position to deal with threats on the subsequent turn at all costs - you only have 15 moves, so a wasted one is a huge loss. A melee unit stuck in the opposite corner from every Vek is no help. Keep most units centrally located or otherwise near where you expect Vek will move, keep artillery with an open line so they can attack anywhere.

The other side of positioning is working to control the map. While you can't see where Vek will attack, you can get a sense of where they can move and what they will do on the next turn. If you close off alleyways with your mechs or with hazards, then they become a lot easier to deal with. You're far more likely to take damage when the Vek have 3+ threats spread out instead of contained in one area as they become almost impossible to combo down or control. And if you contain them in one area of the map and close them off from buildings/objectives they are also far more likely to waste attacks on your mechs which you can easily move out of the way of.

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#48 Posted by BBAlpert (2845 posts) -

A melee unit stuck in the opposite corner from every Vek is no help. Keep most units centrally located or otherwise near where you expect Vek will move, keep artillery with an open line so they can attack anywhere.

This morning I was going for the Hazard squad's "complete all 4 islands without ending a level with a disabled mech" achievement. I was on the last turn on the second to last level of the 3rd island when I realized I'd screwed myself over with this placement T_T

It's like the old saying goes, I was caught
It's like the old saying goes, I was caught "between a rock and a bottomless pit and an apartment building and a weird gross bug"

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#49 Edited by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

@ragnar_mike said:

@sethmode: Yeah the pilot dies when the mech is disabled. Afterwards it's just run by AI which is an empty pilot shell that doesn't get xp until you swap in another poor soul.

Does the item that does a global heal-all (which is the only way to revive a dead mech mid-mission) keep the pilot alive, or simply reactivate the mech under AI control? I forget how it works.

This happened on my first run and I was very surprised to find that it revived the pilot, too.

I haven't won a run yet. My first was the closest I got: Beat the first two islands, and instead of going to the final one, went to island 3 where I got to the final round and lost :(

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#50 Posted by The_Nubster (3741 posts) -

Here's another tip: If you own the soundtrack for FTL and Into the Breach, putting them all in a playlist and listening to them on shuffle while you play is awesome.

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