Author Topic: Any logical reason to do UFO crash recovery mission on an Ethereal terror ship?  (Read 3070 times)

Offline Countdown

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After beating the game on beginner I started playing on Superhuman and had my first run-in with Ethereals. Every alien race has been similarly easy to kill as beginner ... 1-3 hits with a heavy plasma does the trick.

But NOT SECTOPODS! They weren't that hard in beginner, but in superhuman they are impossible. Laser rifles, alien grenades, heavy plasmas, it didn't matter, these f'ers wouldn't go down. After 4 or 5 soldiers tag teamed one and couldn't kill it I resorted to blaster launchers. But I'm using a mod that makes you build your own no-waypoint launcher, so I only had 2 of them and could only use them so much with having to go back to the skyranger to reload every time.

In the end, I lost 6 troops, had 2 wounded (one out for 58 days!) and had to stun another who was under MC. I was extremely lucky to only lose 6 as there were many, many near misses by the aliens and lucky shots for me.

Besides the fun of a challenge (and it was fun, but stressful) is there any practical reason to bring a mission like this on yourself or is it better to shoot them down and just leave it? I didn't really analyze how much loot/money I got, but at this point I have more money than I need anyway.

I have near global radar coverage, so I don't expect to get any more terror missions as I always shoot down the terror ships, so I doubt I'll see sectopods outdoors. Tackling them in an alien base will be a whole different challenge since non-way point blaster launchers and indoors don't mix well.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 09:03:27 am by Countdown3 »

Offline Bloax

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Not really, no.

If you need score or loot then there are much less risky ways to get it.

If you want to kill sectopods without shooting them a million times in the ass with a laser rifle, you're pretty much down to HE-packs, large rockets or heavy shitty laser spam.


oh and i hope you're playing with fixed vanilla maps
if not then have fun with ethereal bases/battleships and/or the final mission

Offline Countdown

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oh and i hope you're playing with fixed vanilla maps
if not then have fun with ethereal bases/battleships and/or the final mission
Can you elaborate on what you mean here? By "fixed" do you mean the darkened vanilla UFOs mod? I'm not currently using that or any other mod that changes the vanilla UFOs/maps.

What problem is this going to cause in bases or the final mission?

Offline Bloax

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I don't know if that fixes the little issue known as "ethereals floating on the upper floor and spamming blaster launchers at you through nonexistent holes in the ground".

Offline Countdown

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Are you talking about the red elevator lifts? I think you're supposed to be able to shoot through these?

I've done a couple alien bases in this playthrough, but not Ethereal yet. Although all base commanders have a blaster launcher so why would other races not exploit the same issue if it was there?

Offline 7Saturn

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The only big deal about them is psi. Those Sectopods can be dealt with plasma tanks or blasters. If you already have enough psi to control the Ethereals, let them do the shit. But alltogether, I don't see the neccessity to go to downed ufos with Ethereals (except for capturing one, if you haven't got psi research and desperately need it). Bases and active terror sites or base defenses are a completely different matter. But plasma tanks are a great help here too. Attacking bases I wouldn't recommend unless you are already able to control Ethereals and have a fairly low risk of being controlled yourself. Otherwise, your own troops will kick your butt. At terror sites you can land and abort immediately. Much less expesive on the scores, than not appearing at all. Base defense: your f***ed. Let the psi weak troops drop their weapon at the end of each round. Btw: you can reverse-psi your men, if you have strong enough psi tropers...

Offline Bloax

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Base defense: your f***ed. Let the psi weak troops drop their weapon at the end of each round. Btw: you can reverse-psi your men, if you have strong enough psi tropers...
base defense against ethereals is piss easy if you have the right equipment for the job.

Though it is boring as fuck, yes.

Offline 7Saturn

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Sure. And now imagine, the Ethereals get one or even two of those blaster guys mced... This is only easy (in the sense of, quite likely to win) if your guys are strong psis. If there are just a few weaklings, the mission can go down the drain, quite fast...

Offline Bloax

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it all depends on whether you know the psi strength of your guys or not, and fortunately for us we either have the option to always know it the moment we start building psi-labs or practically never

in which case you'd probably want to pick the former option, but it sure would be nice if we could have something in between !!!

Offline Countdown

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@7Saturn: Thanks for the tip on the plasma tanks vs sectopods, that's good info to have. For the mission I mentioned I didn't have any yet because I was very low on elerium, but now I have two so will make use of that later on.

As far as using psi, I've severely hindered XCOM psi for this playthrough both in the rulesets and with a couple self imposed rules. I changed the stats so Ethereals are completely immune to XCOM mind attacks so controlling them won't be an option. I will have to count on my troops with strong psi strength to not get MCed.

@Bloax: I'm also using a mod that doesn't let XCOM use the waypoint system of the blaster launcher as I didn't want this playthrough to be boring or easy ... was going for "challenging, but not purposely suicidal". I think I'm about mid-game nearing late game so I guess I'll know soon if it was too hard.


Although I still have never had a base defense mission anyway, even though I am using the aggressive retaliation option. Maybe soon and I'll cross my fingers for not Ethereals haha.