Author Topic: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?  (Read 5282 times)

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2023, 12:35:50 pm »
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Sure, but that presupposes X-Com score is relatively close to alien score, in which case your overall score will suck.
I wouldn't call 1-2k a "suck" score, but suit yourself.

You literally wrote previously that "500 is enough to keep most countries happy", but now turns out it is not. Which is my point.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2023, 12:38:46 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline Juku121

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2023, 12:48:10 pm »
It sucks in comparison to what's going on. If aliens are scoring 10k and you're doing 12k, it's not a situation that's well in hand. Edit: And if it's 3k score and the aliens are doing 1k, it's a good score and 'X-Com score is relatively close to alien score' is also false. /edit


Plus, '500 is enough to keep most countries happy' is still true, see the examples I edited in. It's just that 'most' isn't 'virtually everyone without local alien activity', but rather 'more than half of them'. Which is still 'most'. Edit2: And that holds for any amount score above 300. /edit2
« Last Edit: November 18, 2023, 01:07:56 pm by Juku121 »

Offline Xylon666Darkstar

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2023, 08:51:50 pm »
Score good, get lots of money. ez

Offline Abyss

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2023, 10:39:26 am »
Ok. I'm the one who was playing XCF on SH+ironman + Brutal AI from Xilmi. Later, as progress stucks (too much casualities) I shifted to pre-sh diff + ironman + BAI. Everything is doable, if you have enough patience and:
1) Do every key mission in rapid succession (e.g. catch and  whoever you need to catch with proposed measures). Get full-body armor -> Get cults asap -> aim promo III well before actual alien invasion.
2) Expand ASAP and get all possible scientists and training facilities for 50 (earlygame) to 150 (midgame) soldiers. Because later there would be no chance to battle-train soldiers without casualities. The most troublesome part of the game is middle-late armor gap vs early aliens, when your soldiers burn like fried chicken. 

For those, who play w/o BAI, SH difficulty is in better priority to any other difficulty, because each mission gives better score & loot, better stats boost and more potential prisoners. Not mentioning that Vanilla AI gives not that much of a push.


Offline Akamashi

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2023, 02:14:24 pm »
First of all I really need to say how much I love this mod! Such an awesome work - so much fun - so much appreciation! A friend and I are ... at least trying to ... play it on superhuman ironman. Sure, it is super hard - but that's what it's supposed to be. We do like competitions  ;) Played all of the old stuff again and again on highest difficulty without allowing ourselfes to save / reload. We started this mod some times again until we said: OK, now we've got it - and brought it quite far I guess. We're just allowing ourselfes to check new mission types for the "idea" (just take 2-3 turns, copy back, than we go "live").

But at our current state it feels like we're maybe too late in the tech-tree (what I can't believe) or the game concept just ... is a bit lagging.

First of all we're facing many UFOs we don't have ANY chance to intercept with our helis and one Arrow. We just wait for them to land, start the mission and almost every time immediatelly take of, since our poor weapons too have NO chance against thoes ... one eyed dudes (don't get their name right now). It feels a bit desperate ... but yeah, aliens are attacking the earth! We will get better weapons, it might be desperate in the beginning ... so ... cool for me. Just not having any chance to intercept them is a bit hard (meaning too hard  ::) )

Second problem are the Hybrid bases. Protected by UFOs we first need to trigger and flee. Still OK for me. But my main point of criticism is the base mission than. We are starting in the middle of many strongly armed soldiers. There is no chance AT ALL to even leave the starting point. Everywhere way too many opponents right next to us with full TU just waiting for a reaction shot. And even attacking them the next turn is suicide. We need our TUs for reaction shot. So the best is to just stay on the walls in the lading room, skipping turn by turn hoping every opponent gets killed by reaction not being able to shoot our soldiers. It actually works most of the time. But that really doesn't feel like gaming any more. Am I mistaken here? Are we maybe doing something completely wrong? If we were starting a bit offside we could capture rooms and have a nice fight with the Hybrids. But right now it just feels like a messy game design (so sorry for saying that!  :-X). And I really don't see any chance in leaving the room. Like ... totally no chance  :'(


I'm shocked. I'm playing at the difficulty level of superhuman ironman. Before that, I played on the veteran Ironman, and I successfully completed it without making a single download of the game. I play without perfectionism. There's nothing to shoot down UFOs with - I don't shoot them down. There's nothing to kill thick armored enemies with - I avoid them. Thus, I am already smoothly entering the late stage of the game. Now I have the best weapons and armor, but there is no avenger yet, and I have not yet caught the commander of the ethereal in order to move on to the final missions.

Why did I decide to write this? I was hurt by the complaint about the hybrid headquarters. This mission has always been perceived by me as one of the key ones for the transition from a beggarly state to a state where you stop counting money. It is very light even with armor and armament 2 promo. You just need to reenter a convenient resp, and shoot the maximum of the nearest enemies with a resp. It can take 50+ moves. But it's not scary.

Really difficult missions, this is the headquarters of a syndicate or an alien colony with a mixed composition. I passed the syndicate headquarters only on the third attempt (I lost 2 full aircrafts of veteran fighters), and only with the help of psi control. And I've been putting up with two mixed colonies for a year and a half in the game. Although I could beat them at the current level, I suspect that my losses will be unforgivable. Both colonies have the same composition: cry-mut-gaze-ethe-sectop + 1 alpha cryssalid.

And now I got spartanism, and the game turned into an easy walk. It's pointless to make things easier.

Offline Akamashi

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2023, 02:24:08 pm »
Regarding intercepting. You don't need to do any intercepting before 1999. By that time you should have at least researched RAVEN and THUNDERSTORM, even if you haven't wanted to use the alloys to build one. If you don't, you're way behind the curve. It sounds like you're research is lagging badly. Remember, you'll need to have multiple bases with science labs, intel, and bio labs (35 researchers each) within a year or so, and improved labs on multiple bases before 1999. So, your goal should be at least 150-200 scientists within 18 or 24 months.

These requirements are infinitely overstated. I didn't hit anyone until 2000. And then no one is stronger than small UFOs for another year. It's nothing at all. The same goes for scientists. Before 2001, I had 35+25+25 scientists. And they were more than enough. In the part that I lazily play at work, there are even fewer scientists there. You can comfortably play three bases with everything you need.

Offline Akamashi

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2023, 02:36:08 pm »
350 scientists?! In the early game? Are you serious?! 
Don't listen to stupid advice. I am already close to the final of the game, I have recently become 75+90+10+10 scientists. And even so, I use 90% of their resources to study all kinds of shit. And so by 1999 I had 35+25+10 scientists. And then the whole game 35+25+10+10 . And I didn't feel any discomfort. This is a lot to explore the key techs and engineers of the aliens. Even if you have 9999999 scientists, it will make little sense, because they will have to study poop 95% of their time. And there will be no stopper for progress, since in addition to science, you also need to conquer resources and train fighters. This is usually the anchor, not the science.

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2023, 03:19:27 pm »
If you want to learn you may want to take a look at this VET/IM youtube series (which was mentioned elsewhere):

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE9um8-d4SFK0E1qzEpMhu2GwfAucJGKP

I've certainly learned dozens of new nuggets of tips, shortcuts etc. For example, a starting location somewhere around India is interesting, as it allows Helicopter access essentially everywhere except the Americas (and maybe NZ), and you get Americas covered by placing a second base in middle americas (to where you can fly-transfer, hopefully this also works with osprey).

However, to me, the playstyle is in many cases very courageous and/or risky and I'd advise more caution. Such as dancing around zombies requires very precise knowledge of how much TUs they have and need to attack. But I suppose this can work with very intimate knowledge of the game. I would definitely have aborted many the missions earlier just to be on the safe side. Based on my experiences - and I just restarted another SH/IM game, here are a few key things I'd suggest doing in a little bit different manner:
 - don't let any events despawn (this requires some knowledge of the range of durations for each spawn). Despawning always causes penalties, and at least in one month a major negative score. OTOH, many environmental events have no abort penalty, and abort penalty is always less than the despawn penalty. So I'd strongly suggest having one car, later private car, which can be used to get to all those far-away missions you can't get to in time otherwise. You can even deal with some missions with a team of two agents.
 - go into cult missions during the dark, and find a spot nearby that's in the dark or has cover, and throw out flares as needed. Going by daytime risks reaction shots, which causes wounding and casualties. (With this tactic, it is also more viable to delay researching kevlar vests a bit.) Using smoke is less effective early-game strategy because it also impairs your own visibility a lot (and you get mechanisms to work around these such as scout drones and indirect weapons like grenades only a little bit later). This is all the more important the more challenging the missions get. To minimize risks, also apply this tactic to the very first cult apprehension events, especially if you play SH and thus there are 4 enemies rather than 2 as in VET. You can also manage missions with minimal crew if you go in the dark and get a decent spawn (for example, you could be able deal with Safe Houses with just two agents if you get decent luck).
 - ramp up the research capacity faster (for example, so that you can get all the fancy new stuff earlier - and so making the rest of the game easier).

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2023, 06:51:53 pm »
I'm a bit bored with veteran, so there's proper IM/SH run in the workings now.

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However, to me, the playstyle is in many cases very courageous and/or risky and I'd advise more caution.
Thank you. I try to make a point of being stupidly courageous, when I can afford it. Rookies are just 30$k per unit, after all.

I don't recommend sweating & minmaxing over early game (jan-mar) at all.
Cult progress timing advantages from doing so are minimal. However, getting "real" sci lab & osprey fast is important. But these may just need some RNG to spawn corresponding missions & get good spawn in time.

Having that in mind.

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To minimize risks, also apply this tactic to the very first cult apprehension events, especially if you play SH and thus there are 4 enemies rather than 2 as in VET.
Sadly, doesn't seem to work very well in apprehensions, at least for me. You often spawn surrounded by lights. And that's besides the times you stare directly at a shotgun.
You often don't see mooks and have no idea where they can come from. You may retreat into a building only to find a mook there and get shot. And the mission may turn into a bughunt instead of 2 minutes of pihf-pahf at day. Getting night owl is kinda nice, but, I won't bet on those rookies surviving into bio-ex immortality yet.
I feel that best chances are - go at day, check mooks weapons, retreat if too many are shooty (as opposed to melee) and no good cover.

The chances of one-shotting a shotgun mook turn 1 with your small shotty - are meh, pump shotty - mid (lower dmg, but better accuracy),  shotty shotty - fairly decent. I really like researching non-std & shotty first. Single kevlar can be got from researching or processing captured madman (granted RNG blesses you and you get the mission).

Also don't research Abducted Farmer until you really want to. You'll get less points from capturing those onwards. Should potentially work with other captures, but you're kinda forced to research those.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2023, 02:29:45 am by Stone Lake »

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2023, 07:51:11 pm »
I'm a bit bored with veteran, so there's proper IM/SH run in the workings now.

Thanks, I'll be interested in checking it out.

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The chances of one-shotting a shotgun mook turn 1 with your small shotty - are meh, pump shotty - mid (lower dmg, but better accuracy),  shotty shotty - fairly decent. I really like researching non-std & shotty first. Single kevlar can be got from researching or processing captured madman (granted RNG blesses you and you get the mission).

Another interesting thing in your game was your use of small shotties. I suppose they are useful in really close quarters, can fit on the belt and are not too weighty. I have used mostly regular or especially double-barrel shotguns myself (especially as an equip-weapon which can be dropped if there are no close quarters enemies in turn 1). Especially double-barrel has ridiculously good accuracy with aimed shot (best of all the weapons?) and can kill easily from over 10 squares and hit a target from a ridiculous 20+ squares (and if you want a really deadly close-quarters shotty, sawed-off is the best in early game). But I guess this could also depend a lot on your style. You're rotating even really weak rookies in many missions, and then you maybe need to use other tactics compared that can work with lower accuracy and strength compared to when you use more experienced troops.

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2023, 06:36:24 am »
A nice tip from SL on the stream: avoid researching 'abducted farmer' for as long as you can. They give good score (28 base value = 56 when captured non-researched) and give about 170 points per mission (with SH) if you haven't researched them. If you have, you get only roughly 60 points per mission.

That made me wonder if there are any other such things to look for. Many other human enemies must be researched to progress the game, so I'm not sure if there are other important ones to look for. I suppose you don't get extra points for killing unresearched enemy units.

As far as I know, you don't get mission points for recovering human items on the battlefield, so it makes no impact on mission score whether you have researched those or not. In vanilla games, all the alien artifacts (including weapons) have the same property, giving double(?) points if you haven't researched them yet, so some people intentionally avoid researching those that they don't need or need yet. In XCF I think this applies to alien components, but I was unable find scores for alien weapons.

Speaking of farmers, in stream part 6 (at 45 mins) I noticed for the first time equipping the squad with only killing weapons and pre-primed grenades when going for a crop circles mission, I suppose in anticipation of MIBs. MIBs start appearing in crop circles in month 6, although it's still much more likely not to encounter them. I hadn't paid much attention to this before, but it seems cattle mutilation missions never have nasty surprires, while crop circles may also have zombies and mibs, so I guess your preparation tactic might be different.

Offline Juku121

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2023, 10:11:56 am »
A nice tip from SL on the stream: avoid researching 'abducted farmer' for as long as you can. They give good score (28 base value = 56 when captured non-researched) and give about 170 points per mission (with SH) if you haven't researched them.
Personally, I use 'giveScoreAlsoForResearchedArtifacts: true' to avoid such perverse incentives. And while X-Com might have researched them, the loot is still priceless alien artifacts to the average Council member.

I suppose you don't get extra points for killing unresearched enemy units.
Nope.

In vanilla games, all the alien artifacts (including weapons) have the same property, giving double(?) points if you haven't researched them yet, so some people intentionally avoid researching those that they don't need or need yet. In XCF I think this applies to alien components, but I was unable find scores for alien weapons.
'recoveryPoints' for items/corpses. You don't get double score, you either get the listed score or nothing.

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2023, 10:16:53 am »
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Speaking of farmers, in stream part 6 (at 45 mins) I noticed for the first time equipping the squad with only killing weapons and pre-primed grenades when going for a crop circles mission, I suppose in anticipation of MIBs. MIBs start appearing in crop circles in month 6, although it's still much more likely not to encounter them. I hadn't paid much attention to this before, but it seems cattle mutilation missions never have nasty surprires, while crop circles may also have zombies and mibs, so I guess your preparation tactic might be different.
Yes, no surprises on Cattle. As for MiBs, they have specific theme that plays in the briefing (space rangers theme), so you can equip accordingly.
There's also "surprise" MiB environmental alert. Besides the theme, even the background picture is different for it - you can check it in details beforehand, before even flying there.

Offline Marrik

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2023, 05:53:33 pm »
Believe it or not, I've actually ONLY ever played this mod on SH. Is there an AI downgrade if I play on lower difficulties?

Offline Juku121

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2023, 08:44:38 pm »
A bit. Not as big an impact on the Battlescape as all the extra enemies with higher stats that come with SH, IMO.