Author Topic: Is there a mandatory difficult base defense at around 18 months of gameplay?  (Read 529 times)

Offline Iazo

  • Rookie
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
I am new to the mod though I am used to play Xcom on the highest difficulties.

Thus, this was  Jack Sparrow Ironman so this might be something. Also this was my first game that lasted this long, I restarted all other before the third or so month.

At around 18 months I got hit by a raider invasion sporting some serious plasma guns (I assume). Thing is, I have never even seen a plasma gun before, not on any of the raider craft downed, so their invasion was absolutely uncharacteristically brutaly difficult.

Thei also had reapers, and my only previous encounter with those I stood on the roof of my shadowbat throwing potshots at them with boarding guns. For obvious reasons, that was not an option now.

After the reapers poured an army of humongous raiders with plasma weaponry and I assume alien grenade launchers. 2 of those grenades reduced my metal armored boarding-gun toting gals to ash.

Is this normal? I've never even seen weapons like that and I have barely unlocked Eurosyndicate laser rifles.

What's more I had a backwater base that had not done anything of note with. Was still building, did not shoot down any shipping from it, hell, all I had in the stores was 1 tamed reaper.

Not 5 days after my primary base got wrecked (unfortunate, but I assumed that it was not unrecoverable), my backwater base was hit by humanists. (Or maybe government? They had Military police and tanks) While I understood the raider punitive assault (I did really shoot down A LOT of them), I did not understand this second base assault since I kept away from government suff, and basically stopped only 1 humanist pogrom.

Poor reaper got destroyed on turn 2 and I lost the game.

So, apparently, I read on the forums that it's not ususual for out of depth difficult assaults to appear at 18ish months. Is that sort of an 'exam'? What should I do to prepare better? Since january the second year I have been progressing very slowly with no major weapons breakthrough(unupgraded boarding guns still the best).

There was an faction facility raid I ignored because the rookie that went down fist got plasmaed by a cyberdisk and I noped out of there. Should I have done that?

Offline Dioxine

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 4709
  • punk not dead
    • View Profile
    • Nocturnal Productions
If you play the highest difficulty without getting to know the game first, you shouldn't be surprised you got wrecked. They weren't out of depth, you've just didn't advance nearly fast enough for this difficulty level. If you have never seen a plasma gun before, it means you were way too passive to survive at this level. Never give up, tho! ;)

Offline Iazo

  • Rookie
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
You just want me to load up 40 attack dogs and load them up with pre-primed explosives, yes? 20 to draw reaction fire, 20 to kamikaze them.

The raiders did not seem to have very good armor, except one firebat(nothing that a spiked mace -or 4 swings- to the skull from a 81 str gal won't fix), except their weapons were not what they usually carried, and I bonked a LOT of raiders.

The former base assaults were only academy ones, lot less dangerous and they carried their usual weapons, so this is why this was surprising.

Offline legionof1

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 955
  • Bullets go that way. Money comes this way.
    • View Profile
There 2 types of Base defenses. Earliest is some relatively lightly armed academy ones that are a semi scripted part of the Dr.X arc.

The second type is the general retaliation that is normal for the rest of the game. Lots of guys with full plasma armament and terror units appropriate to the faction. With these most factions are not too challenging(plasma arms aside) as with most of them the vast majority of the units spawned are frail low tier mooks that are easy to kill and pretty poor shots.

The exceptions are Raiders(lots of HP), Mercs(tons of hp and good defenses and spotting/camo stats), And Stargods.

That said the priority for base defense is survival. Don't spare any explosives you might have. Proper base design to funnel the baddies into a choke point is also pretty crucial. Generally this is done by having all your hangers on one side of elevator, and everything on the other side with the elevator being the only connecting tile. This way everything will mostly funnel into the elevator tile which is not subject to collateral damage so you can just keep hucking bombs into it. 

For refernce foes only spawn in the elevator, hangers, and a single guy a piece in summoning circle and armory tower buildings. Build bases accordingly to maximize choke points.

Offline Iazo

  • Rookie
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
I already knew about the chokepoint strategy. Only that I put may gals so that they would be ready to take reaction shots...and the raiders threw explosives at me. So there's that. And they had really powerful explosives, that exploded for...20 tiles diameter maybe? I had nothing like that.

It was a mix of being surprised to see really powerful guns, and a bunch of launched grenades that wiped all my veterans.

So, there's that.

It's not a scripted encounter.

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 7306
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
I think base defence missions are more a matter of tactics than equipment (as long as they aren't Mercs or Star Gods). Smooth moves go a long way.
Also I am not a fan of creating choke points personally. Since many enemies camp rather than advance, the choke points tend to work against you instead of against the enemy. I prefer a more balanced map, with several fronts.

Offline Dioxine

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 4709
  • punk not dead
    • View Profile
    • Nocturnal Productions
You just want me to load up 40 attack dogs and load them up with pre-primed explosives, yes? 20 to draw reaction fire, 20 to kamikaze them.

I want nothing, I just wanted to applaud your fighting. No need to be so dismissive.

Scripted event? Lol. Yeah it is a very loose script that makes enemies target your bases, but it doesn't specify who, what and when. The design is based on the premise that each game should go differently.

Offline Iazo

  • Rookie
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Sorry, it was a bit of a joke, though, think of the poor doggies!

Offline ivandogovich

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
  • X-Com Afficionado
    • View Profile
    • Ivan Dogovich Youtube
To be just a bit clearer on what is going on here let me talk about the four basic types of crackdowns in the game.

As legion mentioned, in the early game Dr. X's teams of Academy Nurses and friends scour the region of your base looking for an opportunity to assault it.  If they find it (due to patrolling nearby) they will often send an assault.  These teams are lightly armed and pretty easy to deal with overall.

Similar to this are the Rat Patrols.  These opportunist foes spawn swarms of slow moving contacts looking for bases they can take over.  If they spot your base, they may go after it (and attack your base themselves), or they may "sell" the location to other interested parties.  You can often shoot most of these down and protect your hidden status.

The third is the classic retaliation.  A faction that loses a ship shot down by you has a chance (adjusted higher for higher difficulties) of initiating a retaliation mission.  This usually spawns a series of ufos that hunt for your base and if located, a final craft will send in an assault team.  Shooting down the assault team will usually end these missions.  Shooting down any craft on this mission will not generate another crackdown (but may delay the current wave a bit).                These factions can insta-locate your base in the retaliation mission if it was previously spotted (like by rat patrols).

The fourth type of crackdown is the unexpected one that you describe in the OP.   The PirateZ campaign has a trigger  adjusted by difficulty to start spawning random crackdowns every month.   These are random factions in a random region.  It may coincide with any or none of your base locations.  Again, if your base was previously spotted, they can get the insta-locate and assault immediately.

The good news is that the "spotted" flag is cleared from any base that repulses an assault.  With a good enough air game its often possible to greatly minimize further base defenses.

Offline Eddie

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
    • View Profile
Only that I put may gals so that they would be ready to take reaction shots...

That was a poor strategy. Raiders have too much HP to reliably take down with reaction fire. And if they remain standing, you eat plasma or explosives. They do have blasterbomb launchers, you know.

But still, 18 month on Jack Sparrow Ironman without knowing the game is pretty good :-)

Offline Iazo

  • Rookie
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
To be just a bit clearer on what is going on here let me talk about the four basic types of crackdowns in the game.

As legion mentioned, in the early game Dr. X's teams of Academy Nurses and friends scour the region of your base looking for an opportunity to assault it.  If they find it (due to patrolling nearby) they will often send an assault.  These teams are lightly armed and pretty easy to deal with overall.

Similar to this are the Rat Patrols.  These opportunist foes spawn swarms of slow moving contacts looking for bases they can take over.  If they spot your base, they may go after it (and attack your base themselves), or they may "sell" the location to other interested parties.  You can often shoot most of these down and protect your hidden status.

The third is the classic retaliation.  A faction that loses a ship shot down by you has a chance (adjusted higher for higher difficulties) of initiating a retaliation mission.  This usually spawns a series of ufos that hunt for your base and if located, a final craft will send in an assault team.  Shooting down the assault team will usually end these missions.  Shooting down any craft on this mission will not generate another crackdown (but may delay the current wave a bit).                These factions can insta-locate your base in the retaliation mission if it was previously spotted (like by rat patrols).

The fourth type of crackdown is the unexpected one that you describe in the OP.   The PirateZ campaign has a trigger  adjusted by difficulty to start spawning random crackdowns every month.   These are random factions in a random region.  It may coincide with any or none of your base locations.  Again, if your base was previously spotted, they can get the insta-locate and assault immediately.

The good news is that the "spotted" flag is cleared from any base that repulses an assault.  With a good enough air game its often possible to greatly minimize further base defenses.

Hey, thanks!

It looks like the raider crackdown was the third type, and the humanist assault was the fourth type. This is why I was suspicious. The crackdown came on the 1st, with no humanist shipping preceding it (do humanists even have shipping?), on a base that did no interceptions. So now I understand! It was a combination of the two.

Offline Rince Wind

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Humanists have their very own ship class, the Hanabu.

Offline sanyaskillpro

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Does anyone actually like timed crackdowns? If you down a fat ship it makes sense to get crackdown as a punishment, but monthly ones are such a grind that makes you want to quit game, especially if you play like OP(very safe and not rushing the tech tree).
Also what's the point of having scout ships, assuming you can intercept the small ships but can't beat a cruiser, so you destoy the first two ships in a crackdown wave, then the cruiser comes anyways and finds your hideout.

Offline Dioxine

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 4709
  • punk not dead
    • View Profile
    • Nocturnal Productions
Does anyone actually like timed crackdowns?

I hope nobody does, it'd mean keeping them in was a good decision, but I'm not that naive to believe that...

Offline BBHood217

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
    • View Profile
These timed crackdowns are kinda like those timed terror missions in TFTD where a cruise ship terror mission or artifact site just happens at the start of the month with no way at all for you to stop it from happening because no alien subs are ever involved with its occurrence.

Did anyone like those either?