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Author Topic: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?  (Read 5302 times)

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2023, 06:49:22 pm »
I had missed the usefulness of X-Com rats until I saw SL's streams. Superior night vision, but even more importantly, excellent heat vision makes them invaluable, even better than scout drones. Which is why you can delay getting scout drones (researching them is rather costly and require building a workshop as well).

OXCE 7.9.17 onwards the effects of smoke stack with other visibility features. This means that in smoke and darkness, the enemies might not spot you unless they are a square or two away (this also applies to you). Enter the rats. Because they have so good heat vision, they can see through smoke without problems. (OTOH, at this point of the game, essentially no enemy units have heat vision, so you can get an extra edge.) So you can hide your troops in smoke and the enemies will never find you, but you can spot them with rats (and/or drones, or dogs mainly with their scanner).

This is also a winner strategy to dealing with BL assassins without casualties. If you go out during night and put out some smoke, they will never find you, just wander around lost in the smoke near you. Just dealt with BL forward base SH/IM (with 9 assassins) without no casualties and only one dog taking a wound.

Offline Juku121

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2023, 10:03:25 am »
Aren't bats even better for that? Superiour night and infravision, compared to rats?

What the rats have going for them is even better camouflage, anti-camo and short-range psi vision.

Granted, I never understood how a rat hugging the ground (plus trash cans, bushes and tall grass) can see farther than a human...

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2023, 10:33:59 am »
The main benefit of rats over bats is you typically get rats very early and it is easier to capture them. It might be a while until you have a shadowbat mission and capturing them alive could also be trickier as they are likely to die (or get overstunned) even with a shot of blunt ammo.

Offline Juku121

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2023, 10:53:48 am »
Blunt rounds? These can kill/overstun even healthy humans. Every time I even touch a Shadowbat, the mission turns into veterinary training...😢

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2023, 11:32:31 am »
Well, yes, bats are awesome in open areas. Dagon HQ maybe? Probably even worth sacrificing some rookies. But they're very tricky to capture. I got just 2 in both Vet and SH runs from one encounter each, mindlessly shooting with batons. And I don't have high hopes for their survival in the battle. Meanwhile - 20+ rats from 3-4 encounters doing same thing.  Anyway, since then I found that bats can be safely KO'd by extinguisher blast or just flying through smoke, so... could have more.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2023, 11:34:11 am by Stone Lake »

Offline Juku121

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2023, 11:56:33 am »
Bats are even more awesome at chokepoints, like single doors, due to their incredible melee dodge and CQB. But the moment someone can shoot at them unimpeded, they're toast.

Uh, I thought smoke and fire only affect you if you stop? Although covering yourself in smoke and wielding fire extinguishers sounds interesting... like some sort of beebatkeeper squad? :D That reminds me, the old UFO:ET game actually had beekeeper armour, although no real bees, unlike our Swarmids.

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2023, 12:07:14 pm »
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Bats are even more awesome at chokepoints, like single doors, due to their incredible melee dodge and CQB. But the moment someone can shoot at them unimpeded, they're toast.
Uhh...maybe if you have a dozen or so of these, then it would make sense to risk them like this. I guess I'll try placing some rats at chokes, they seem not that far off with dodge. And even doges manage to out-doge in CQC many weirdos most of the time.
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Uh, I thought smoke and fire only affect you if you stop?
Yes, of course. I do mean that they need stop in smoke.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2023, 12:13:31 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2023, 03:18:31 pm »
Oh yeah, I forgot another huge selling point for rats that I had missed. They have psiVision 3 which means they are invaluable in multilevel missions. I will never go to Exalt HQ without one now. (Usually those have been 40+ turn slogs and eventually bughunts.) Also applicable to lesser degree with other multilevel missions (syndicate CEO capture coming to mind immediately, though at that point you already have a hybrid with less efficient psiVision).

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2023, 12:32:33 pm »
Just got to Jan 99 in SH/IM run. 13.5$m income, 4.5 bases, 143 scientists. Tried somewhat hard, but quite far from perfect run. So psavola's estimate of 200 scientists by mid 99 seems to be on point.
That being said, "lazy" VET/IM run had 8.7$m income, 4.5 Bases, 70 scientists at this point, and still felt like a cakewalk, so... Far, far, far "worse" campaigns are winnable. There's plenty opportunities to become OP:
1) Tanks.
2) Power suits from captured MiB heavy troopers. Also one from captured Gillman Hero at undersea city. Edit: In 3.2 version Hero has just Power Armor now. Well, unless Solar changes it again.
3) Even rookies in synthsuits are very formidable - get synthmuscles from Osiron crates, alien surgery from somewhere, I got it from an event...
4) PSI. Can get from Sectoid Leader (e.g. one at Gertrude) or Dr. Alpha or Alpha Werecat & Alpha Werewold (need both).
Getting any of these drastically improves combat.

Also I finally got some bats and they are just insane in smoke battles. Definitely must have.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2023, 06:31:32 am by Stone Lake »

Offline Abyss

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2023, 05:53:47 pm »
2) Power suits from captured MiB heavy troopers. Also one from captured Gillman Hero at undersea city.
BTW how do you capture heavy troopers? The most painless way?

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2023, 06:02:00 pm »
BTW how do you capture heavy troopers? The most painless way?

Do at least a few missions from the ghost arc. Katapeltes Spiritus one-shots (actually triple shot) to stun them, sometimes if you have to shoot twice, you may end up killing them. Some other ghost arc weapons may also work, but are significantly less effective (like hadriex gun).

Capturing or killing heavy troopers is very easy when equipped with the right ghost arc weapons. If you want to kill them instead, a good PST agent can one-shot them with Thanatonautian Manus.

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2023, 06:35:04 pm »
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BTW how do you capture heavy troopers? The most painless way?
SpoilerKinda spoiler:
EMP
« Last Edit: December 18, 2023, 06:37:31 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #57 on: December 21, 2023, 02:55:46 pm »
Just got to Jan 99 in SH/IM run. 13.5$m income, 4.5 bases, 143 scientists. Tried somewhat hard, but quite far from perfect run. So psavola's estimate of 200 scientists by mid 99 seems to be on point.

A few observations and questions.

I think you should also be able to get much more than 13.5§m in Jan 99. You seem to skip or abort a large number of missions (even 1/3 or 1/2), even those that could be easily doable without much risks but might be somewhat annoying and/or boring (for example, cyberweb lairs, heists, hybrid farms, etc.). I suppose your main goal has been to just get sufficient score (not maximal score) and avoid sloggish missions. (Personally, I find e.g. cyberweb lairs very easy and also great for training melee; the farms are also very easy and provide great material for reseach - easier by far than other hybrid missions, because none of the enemy units is a 'sniper'.)

If I'd have to pick the sneakiest tricks for gaining XP I've learned it would be barking, popping/dropping/throwing smoke at unconscious enemy units. Putting up smoke is particularly sneaky but logical, because smoke in XCF causes in principle CHOKE damage (in contrast to vanilla where it would be useless I think).

If I'd have to pick one thing I still haven't figured out is how you in mission debriering screen can move on to another bases (for example, if you try to move prisoners there but the containment is already full, so you switch there to clean it up for transfer). I haven't found documentation for this. Or is this also one of your own customizations, like many of the sorting hotkeys appear to be.

Based on my experience of a couple of IM(ish) campaigns, one of the most annoying and micromanaging parts of SH/IM is keeping all the bases prepared for enemy retaliation (after you've pissed off the syndicate). You get a scripted Syndicate retaliation (unless you shoot it down) at some point [I haven't yet got to the point in videos how you dealt with this, I just skimmed the descriptions and I suppose you shot down the scarab, because the base defense would have been a lengthier thing], later you're bound to trigger alien retaliation [you already had one in the latest vids; if it would have been a trickier one than floaters you might have been in trouble, say sectoids with PSI and cyberdiscs], and in the end you get scripted ethereal retaliation missions. Having all the crew (and/or rotating them in and out) and equipment everywhere is seems like a PITA. But I suppose this cannot really be avoided.

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #58 on: December 21, 2023, 04:50:39 pm »
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I think you should also be able to get much more than 13.5§m in Jan 99.
Probably not by much. I may have had a couple of meh early months, but otherwise I think it was good. So roughly, I may have lost 1-2 months of good funding increases. Worth checking the saves, I guess.

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You seem to skip or abort a large number of missions (even 1/3 or 1/2), even those that could be easily doable without much risks but might be somewhat annoying and/or boring
I actually think that I'm doing too many missions. Training forty agents is too much, 20 + base guards should be plenty. And if you have nobody to train doing research-less missions feels unnecessary.

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Personally, I find e.g. cyberweb lairs very easy and also great for training melee;
Depends on gear. Cyber? Go nuts. Otherwise, there are some layouts where robots camp above and refuse to come down, can fry your vested agents like nothing. Also closed terrain shenanigans - you can punch it out with better armors, but not with vests, IIRC. Can be annoying, and there's plenty of tedium going forward.

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the farms are also very easy and provide great material for reseach - easier by far than other hybrid missions, because none of the enemy units is a 'sniper'.
I have bad flashbacks about dealing with hybrids. The drones can be a bit annoying, unless you're running cyber. Small convoys (new thing?) are easier, no drones. And they have both workers and soldiers. Medium convoys have rocketeers, but they are fairly important captures, I think.

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because smoke in XCF causes in principle CHOKE damage (in contrast to vanilla where it would be useless I think).
Smoke blast itself deals no choke damage, you're awarded with exp just for hit. Even more so, for each hit in the area? I think the "sneakiest" one is scanner morale loss. It leads to panic check, trains bravery and awards Tu/Hp stat gain. Mostly for critters, though.

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If I'd have to pick one thing I still haven't figured out is how you in mission debriering screen can move on to another bases
Yep, that's custom thing. I intend to share these sometime.

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I suppose you shot down the scarab, because the base defense would have been a lengthier thing
Shot down like 4 or 5 syndicate transports. I guess that was it.

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Having all the crew (and/or rotating them in and out) and equipment everywhere is seems like a PITA. But I suppose this cannot really be avoided.
Eh, all the micromanaging seems to be less than one medium-sized battle, so no bother. Also, one trick I devised is to save defense loadout as craft loadout, then buy a car and load the load out - the game will offer to buy missing stuff. Manufactured equipment is more troublesome, though - have to load car at manufacturing base and transfer it with all the equipment to target base. True, equipment needs updating over time. But small updates shouldn't feel too annoying.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2023, 04:53:07 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline psavola

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Re: Ok so ... How is superhuman to be played?
« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2024, 11:21:02 am »
I think you should also be able to get much more than 13.5§m in Jan 99. You seem to skip or abort a large number of missions (even 1/3 or 1/2), even those that could be easily doable without much risks but might be somewhat annoying and/or boring (for example, cyberweb lairs, heists, hybrid farms, etc.). I

Getting back to this. In my SH(IMish) campaign, I got to 17.0§m in the 98/99 change report. Except from the early game where you have to flee a lot, I did almost all missions and the monthly scores were great, for the last year usually around 10K. So I suppose ~17M is rather close to the maximum funding you can have at that point. I had to wait almost half a year for Kitsune to appear, but otherwise it has been a rather smooth ride. Killed off syndicate in Nov 1998, obtained infernalism in Oct 1998, have done underwater city twice and tasoth factory three times, etc. Haven't finished cyberweb battleship, waiting for laser sniper rifles.

Apparently I have 42+4x35 = 182 scientists at this point. I could have pushed for a bit more, but I didn't get any military downed UFO -missions and I just got the first live alien a month ago. So the "alien research" has been stalling a bit, and there wasn't really pressing need to research more. At this point I have interrogated all the topics the cultists, hybrids  and syndicate can offer and I have 1 topic left in MIB enforcer/executor/pilot research tree. So a lot of the research - for the lack of better subjects - has went into clearing those getOneFree topics.

I had completely overlooked CHOKE and EMP as damage types and learned a lot from SL streams. Those two deal with almost everything. For humans and many aliens, you could spam Tactical Grenade Launchers equipped with gas ammo (and with well-placed shots you can also get captures) - the area effect is so big that you don't need or even want to hit directly (avoid sniper/spotter). As for EMP, the resistances and effectivess had deceived me - the most important thing is the armor ineffectivess, and even against those mechanical units  that take only (for example) 40% damage it can be crucial. Apparently EMP is also the trivial way to capture live sectopods (the earliest off MIBs), which can be a major boon in the game.

By the way, sonic weapons are also great against ghosts due to the concussive damage type (and many others that have some resistance to kinetic). If you intend to grind the underwater arc multiple times for money and power armors, sonic blasta rifle likely provides best tradeoffs (good availability, good range and TU/dmg tradeoff). The only downside as a backup weapon is that it's not a 1x2 weapon, but for that you can get sonic shotgun or additionally a pistol.