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Author Topic: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts  (Read 6393 times)

Offline ivandogovich

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Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« on: April 04, 2016, 06:22:44 pm »
It didn't take me long to figure out that these missions could be brutal.  Well, the supply ships anyway.  One baby nuke in the face has made me avoid them for my entire first year already.

So, I was curious.  When do you think the supply ship farming becomes viable?  What weapon tech/armor level would you feel is needed.

Same with the Hideout.  I'm too scared to try one out, but what do you find are the dangers, and how strong should you be before you brave them??

Offline greattuna

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 07:01:15 pm »
It doesn't become viable, probably. Do you have anything that can tank one baby nuke direct hit? If so, then I can imagine lossless farming.

About hideouts, I'm scared too, haha. Maybe when I get larger transport than Bonny and few tanks... I imagine hideouts having larger party than assault parties, and I never won defence yet, so it can wait.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 07:18:21 pm »
I don't know how much things changed since I last played but your talk of baby nukes seems to indicate that the main thing didn't change. When I was farming them, it was church supply ships, which also means chryssalids :D

After the first few, you quickly realize what you're up against:
1 - A timer that prevents you from taking your time
2 - Baby nukes and gauss that means nobody is safe (at least nobody I had, my best armor being juggernaut and loader).

The timer means that you have to scout rather aggressively, you can't afford to take your time and be careful. With the weapons they have (and chryssalids in my case), I found that using smoke wasn't great, because one enemy unit walking in on you in short range during their turn means a dead gal. Of course, one enemy seeing you from afar also may mean mass casualties from a baby nuke, so smoke should be good..

My solution was:
1 - Dogs and (hig TU/stam) rookies.
They're expendable, so you can use them aggressively as scout. One expanding circle from the Bonny, with good spacing between each others and between them and your 2nd line so a baby nuke hits only a few gals. They are the skirmishers who flush out the enemy. You can smoke them at the end of your turn, but you can't stay in smoke as you need to spot the enemy first and ideally from far away. It should work better now that there is longer vision range in the day. It could actually work really well with night ops gear on the rookie scouts, to give you the differential advantage in vision range so you can spot/shoot first. Killing first is the best way to ensure not dying ;)

2 - Heavy long range second line.
Bring gals with long range heavy weapons (HMG, advanced sniper rifles, rocket launchers, etc. Meridian/Eddie would probably say bows too but I dislike bows from a conceptual point). Having them in flying armor helps to get line of sight on whatever the skirmishers find. Make sure to have them well spread out and hugging cover. If not flying way in the back, wearing pretty heavy and fireproof armor. The 2nd line shouldn't get shot at, but that doesn't mean the enemy won't miss a skirmisher with a baby nuke which will then blow up in your 2nd line. Having the armor/cover to survive the edge of blast, and the spread that only one gal should get hit badly can turn a catastrophe into a setback. There is no place for riflemen midfielders as you have to spread out too much because of baby nukes and you want either scouts or heavy support.

3 - Fast boarding team with Psi and motion scanners.
The supply ship is a small ship, but because its crew has gauss weapons, it is not something to underestimate. It plays pretty much like the classical XCom:EU boarding actions: Reactions is not to be depended on, and since the death risk is pretty high, you don't want to risk a high reaction gal, so you scout/strike/retreat with scanners and psi to play through the walls. I say Reactions don't help defensively all that much here since the shot you might be reacting to may well be a kill shot and dead gals don't react. They are useful aggressively (to prevent enemies from reacting to you), but you can work around that with motion scanners and good movement and you don't want to risk good reactions gals. The best is motion scanners to find them, psi to mess up with them (save a gal who went too far, or better MC someone and scout with so they eat the reactions) and just a few (2-3) gals to kill them. I would generally suggest using "decent melee swabbies" in cheap high mobility armors for the boarding, as the stats don't matter so much (and neither does armor values) and you don't want to risk losing a great gal to one gauss shot. Advanced armors that make you less vulnerable to gauss would change that, of course, but even juggernaut was too unreliable and too precious for that for me. The most important is your ability to use motion scanners and good scouting, and your witch's abilities to MC the enemy.

4 - Bravery is good
Looting supply ships is a high risk mission and there likely will be casualties. You don't want that to start a panic chain that costs you everything.

So farming supply ships won't be without losses, but if you do things properly your losses should be cheap enough. Dogs and rookies skirmishers are easily replaced, and you've got parrots now! it doesn't matter if they die easily, everything dies in a hit here.. and lots of good scouting is invaluable for looting supply ships.

For bases.. I haven't done it yet. The only ones I've encountered where mercenaries (and I didn't want to risk that), church (chryssalids!!  :-\) or traders. I was farming the church supplies and intending to do the same for the traders (free power armor parts!), so I never tried. It all depends on the gear they have. If it is plasma/energy based, you can have some really great armors built with forcefield tech (ie large % modifiers on laser/plasma damage) that will significantly reduce incoming damage. I remember base defenses got significantly less lethal once I had Mesh Armors. Here good use of corners to prevent multiple casualties to blaster fire replaces large spreading, and short range and melee weapons are to be privileged with the close quarter fighting instead of the long range heavy support of the supply ship farming.

Offline sambojin

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 03:37:16 am »
Heavy flamers are the best thing ever for defenses and base attacks. Can't aim? Don't have to. Once you've picked off a few weaker foes, the morale hit does as much as the damage could. Standard flamethrowers are good too, but the heavy's higher range, damage, shots and spread make all the difference. I think the morale debuff is a bit higher too (two h.flamer shots will usually panic anything you don't toast. Which isn't many things). Standard blackmarket buyable flamers will fill-in if you haven't researched heavies, but don't bother with long-ranged ones. Nothing needs 4 hits of fire, it's like you're just pissing about, bring a flare if you need the light. Everything needs 8-10 hits of all-consuming conflagration though. Standards are one of my "go-to" weapons early on, heavies are godly wrath to the deserving (ie: everyone that isn't you).

On the mêlée side, the cheap alternative is spiked maces. Lots of them. With a good chunk of strength to back it up. You might get a KO, you might get a kill, but regardless, some damage usually gets through. About 40-50 strength needed for at least some damage, but less armour is less armour (especially at 40-60 armour). Hit 'em from behind like always, hit and run if you can, but don't be afraid of toasting some gals if it doesn't work. They were dead anyway, and the AI doesn't handle flames well, so sometimes you can just wait for incendiary and fatal wound damage to rack up. It happens pretty quickly after quite a few thumps. And your armour is pretty amazing in comparison to most things against flamers, so they may even survive it (for use as TU wasters on the enemy. And maybe more thumps). There's better mêlée weapons, but there's no excuse to not have about 8 maces lying around by that point, so you're always covered.

Hammers are good too, because they're a directed attack. Something standing in an annoying position near a ladder? Bop them on the head or the toes from above or below with a hammer and run away. Flame the area for good measure afterwards. Anti-wall is nice, anti-lift/ladder on top of that is even better. One of the few times that nothing explodes, yet the weapon is still multi-functional.

Gauss "anything" is another great weapon. They do enough damage to be worthwhile bringing, and you've probably been saving weapons and clips for ages, until you really needed them. Now you do. Damn well use them.

Explosives are fun. Kneeling with assault cannons w/Expl. Cannonballs and grenade launchers gives you pretty good range (even with arcing), and absolutely clears corridors. A close enough hit will strike their bottom armour, giving a slight damage boost on top of 50-150% explosive damage calcs. And some light smoke cover. Plus arcing weapons give plenty of shot opportunities at overhanging gantries that other weapons simply couldn't do. They're slow to shoot and reload, but they're very effective (and I miss them alot on my nudie run playthrough).

Smoke is good. When is smoke not good? Bring a fair few, there's no reason not to. Your primary advantage is vision, squad sight, and how you use it. So abuse that advantage with smoke grenades whenever possible.

Parrots will be insanely useful. 120TUs is just amazing. They can carry pre-primed grenades/smoke too. This even includes "trap" style grenades that get set off as people move through an area. Fly in, scout, drop, run. Watch out though, a puff of smoke or a touch of fire and they're gone. Still very handy.

There is no reason, ever, to not have at least one strong, fast gal with a spiked mace (or better mêlée weapon) in one hand and a barrel of X-grog in the other. She's not your dedicated medic, she's just your awesome mêlée trooper that happens to be wherever injuries occur. To the enemy or to your gals, she's got it covered. Even if she dies, she just dropped a "reload point" for any survivors. With enough strength, she can probably bring a few other things too. (things you learn from a nudie playthrough. I've got 3 of them in that, but I need them due to no inventory space. But they're ultra-useful for any type of game). If you don't throw a barrel or two of X-grog on the Bonny and wonder why your gals aren't cracking skulls hard enough or fast enough between map sections, then this is why. Rum is good. Bring a barrel of it, with a lass that can defend it. Or two.
-----------------------

Ignore things like "they might shoot me" as you run on in. They might. If you run on in from smoke cover, chances are the enemy has blown their TUs wandering around not seeing anything, and you can nonchalantly run straight out in front of them, then behind them, and let loose on the back of their head. Press <ALT> to see what ways their buddies are facing (with Meridian's awesome OXCE+ .exe). Ignore it. It's just so you can plan your next hit with your next gal, or decide whether to smoke the whole room before you conga-line smack/shoot them. The computer would complain about crappy reaction fire chances and how OP'd your gals' TU/Stamina/Reaction/vision stats are if it could. Plus, you use smoke grenades. Make it cry.

Once the panic spiral starts, get used to looking at the "over view" map for white dots. They're either bodies, unconscious people, or items. At least you've got a chance of finding panic-dropped items in amongst all the fire and smoke using this. It's damn near essential. A panicked gal usually comes around in 1-2 rounds. She needs a weapon to do anything though. Check the overview map, and run her wherever it looks like there is one. Stamina/getting shot isn't a concern until she's got a weapon anyway, so run her as riskily as you care to do. She's not doing anything useful until then, and nothing staves off a panic spiral like killing more enemies. Sometimes with their own weapons.

Running. Running is good. But running requires stamina. The only armours/outfits that boost your stamina don't give you armour. Who cares? A baby nuke doesn't. So you may as well bring out the bikinis for a few gals and have some fun on the Atoll. It makes you more accurate because you're not always stopping to drink beer. Which means more shots, from closer range, and less inventory hassles. You can <CTRL> run just a bit of the way and walk the rest if you're worried about it. Or vica-versa. But when inside, use smoke and run. Lots! Imagine how awesome the news reports will be.....


Just remember: Fire for effect. If a weapon you brought along doesn't do something drastic, deadly, effective, or useful..... DON'T BRING IT! Or don't complain that it didn't do that thing.
If you're not going for a capture, then there's no kill like overkill. Click a button. KaBOOM! Or SPLAT! It's exactly what the alien flunkies are doing, but you do it with style and sophistication. Better, in other words.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 11:35:45 am by sambojin »

Offline Bloax

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 08:32:00 am »
If you're not going for a capture, then there's no kill like overkill. Click a button. KaBOOM! Or SPLAT! It's exactly what the alien flunkies are doing, but you do it with style and sophistication. Better, in other words.
Well technically you're losing a fair bit of armor parts if you overkill everything ever.

Offline sambojin

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 11:19:46 am »
Not if you're in a bikini, giggling.

Offline Boltgun

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 12:33:47 pm »
I'd say throw dogs or parrots forwards while your gals are out of sight, one a nuke or two flew off, you can attack the survivors.

But the best is to set up sniper tactics because the others should be using gauss guns and you don't want reaction fire.

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 03:27:22 pm »
Heavy flamers are the best thing ever.... (snip)

Thanks for the Great Post! Excellent tactics! 

I'd like to ask you more directly: do you use these tactics to farm Supply Ships?  Do you regularly take out enemy hideouts?  If so, at what stage in the game for both questions?

Thanks!

Offline BetaSpectre

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2016, 02:59:33 pm »
Its easy to tank mini-nukes.

Use hoversuits. More often than not they'll miss and fly off screen.

Send out small 6=8 teams until the area around the craft is secure.

I usually don't go for supply ships until I have a stock of guass weapons.
With the increase in hand prices, it might not be pheasible to be using hands as cannon fodder here for the equipment.

I usually set up a row up top when I clear or smoke the land. The snipers will provide cover fire from across the map and take down anything without power armor until I have a stock of guass muskets to use.

When I have stick grenades, and smart rifles I take on supply ships regularly.

Offline Ketonur

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 03:13:06 pm »
Why use plasma if you have a pickax ? ;)

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 04:31:30 pm »
Great tips, and perfect feedback, BetaSpectre! Thanks!  I'm at smart rifles, Revenant Armor and plenty of Gauss so I guess its time to start taking these ships out.  Any I want the baby nukes, anyway. :)

Also: Meridian is one of the Luckiest Guys I've ever seen, but he does a textbook take down of the first supply ship he's ever come across in his latest episode here:
Let's play X-PirateZ [68] Supply ship

Lucky Breaks:
Spoiler:
1. that the first PowerArmor didn't fire
2. that the second went down to auto fire at 29%
3. that the third was knocked out by the desert
4. that the 4th was already panicked
5. that none of the other nukers fired a shot

Offline sambojin

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 04:58:42 am »
@Bloax: Supply ships, yes. Bases, no.

I don't find supply ships too hard, but I've had very easy runs on them (Academy only in my Death Realms run. I think I had spartans or something in another. Mid-range enemies, without it being too scary). On my Death Realms campaign, I only found out where they were going by following them from Australia, to Antarctica, to South America. It was a few versions ago, but they travelled nice and slow the whole way. And were perfectly farmable for plenty of loot when they landed. Any medium or large ship going slow is worthwhile following (and even anchoring for a bit after a mission), because it's nice to know where a base is. And where you should put radar due to it.

I actually haven't plucked up the courage to attack a base yet for farming. I'm assuming that it's like a defense, but with far more flunkies to fight, better weapons, and you start out grouped. So harder, and probably not farmable. Although a hit'n'run "kaboom everything" for tech gathering might be feasible. Or maybe it will kill your entire squad. Especially if there's reprisal raids just after. Back when I did attack a base, the only memory I have that was highly successful was 6xheavy/standard flamers (I forget the mix, was in the process of getting all flamer gals to heavy, and thought "that's enough, let's do this shit!), 3x Assault cannons w/ Expl (standard hand-me-down fire support), and a smattering of spiked maces. Everything got toasted or belted by these, gauss weapons were the only direct fire weapons that did anything, and everything else is a blur. I think I may have won it, but with about 50-60% casualties. So not farmable in any sense.

I've won defenses on base raids quite a few times. They're grueling, scary, often with lots of casualties. But they're doable with the advice above. With a bit of practice, they don't seem nearly as bad, but they do take a while to play out. Hell, I almost pulled out a win in a nudie run (could have actually), but at great loss. Yet it was vs Marsec, inside the first month, so I had virtually nothing. And it still almost got done. Add armour, ammo and bravery and you'll be fine :) .

I actually recommend a nudie run (or a bikini run for the faint hearted) for everyone. It really teaches you what does and doesn't work mechanics wise, rather quickly. Once you start learning that, things like actual ammo, armour, explosives and misc items makes everything so much easier. You don't have to cheese things out, you just learn a lot about "worst case scenarios", and how to use what you've got to your advantage. Even in hard situations.

@BetaSpectre. I thought parrots might be useful. Gals in hoversuits even more-so, but if you need to do it on the cheap, a parrot might fill that spot well enough.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 07:40:04 am by sambojin »

Offline BetaSpectre

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 01:36:27 am »
@Bloax: Supply ships, yes. Bases, no.

I don't find supply ships too hard, but I've had very easy runs on them (Academy only in my Death Realms run. I think I had spartans or something in another. Mid-range enemies, without it being too scary). On my Death Realms campaign, I only found out where they were going by following them from Australia, to Antarctica, to South America. It was a few versions ago, but they travelled nice and slow the whole way. And were perfectly farmable for plenty of loot when they landed. Any medium or large ship going slow is worthwhile following (and even anchoring for a bit after a mission), because it's nice to know where a base is. And where you should put radar due to it.

I actually haven't plucked up the courage to attack a base yet for farming. I'm assuming that it's like a defense, but with far more flunkies to fight, better weapons, and you start out grouped. So harder, and probably not farmable. Although a hit'n'run "kaboom everything" for tech gathering might be feasible. Or maybe it will kill your entire squad. Especially if there's reprisal raids just after. Back when I did attack a base, the only memory I have that was highly successful was 6xheavy/standard flamers (I forget the mix, was in the process of getting all flamer gals to heavy, and thought "that's enough, let's do this shit!), 3x Assault cannons w/ Expl (standard hand-me-down fire support), and a smattering of spiked maces. Everything got toasted or belted by these, gauss weapons were the only direct fire weapons that did anything, and everything else is a blur. I think I may have won it, but with about 50-60% casualties. So not farmable in any sense.

I've won defenses on base raids quite a few times. They're grueling, scary, often with lots of casualties. But they're doable with the advice above. With a bit of practice, they don't seem nearly as bad, but they do take a while to play out. Hell, I almost pulled out a win in a nudie run (could have actually), but at great loss. Yet it was vs Marsec, inside the first month, so I had virtually nothing. And it still almost got done. Add armour, ammo and bravery and you'll be fine :) .

I actually recommend a nudie run (or a bikini run for the faint hearted) for everyone. It really teaches you what does and doesn't work mechanics wise, rather quickly. Once you start learning that, things like actual ammo, armour, explosives and misc items makes everything so much easier. You don't have to cheese things out, you just learn a lot about "worst case scenarios", and how to use what you've got to your advantage. Even in hard situations.

@BetaSpectre. I thought parrots might be useful. Gals in hoversuits even more-so, but if you need to do it on the cheap, a parrot might fill that spot well enough.
Hover suits are worse in terms of TU until late upgrades, though parrots are something I haven't used yet, and would make great scouts. Though units can use smoke grenades which are always useful. The timelimit of 20 turns, 15 for full loot. Is more than enough time for non invisible, and non-mercs IMO. I usually don't recall if anyone but the traders use mini-nukes.

Base assaults for farming is EASIER than base defense. They have gauss instead of plasma, and they don't have airvents, nor sewers.
Academy only have one power armor enemy usually, the church has none but have 3-4 psychers. The main reason to farm them are to interrogate engineers, and leaders.

Generally its pretty easy to base assault academy. Though Trader will have 3-4 Power armor, Mercs are always tough, and star gods are mostly invisible. Then mind rape your peeps.

Base defense with proper base structure the old farming one will make it easier by 3x as it funnels two attack parties to one zone, while the sewers are slow and tedius for the enemy so it gives some time to organize a defense.

Ironically its easier to defend with a smaller base since it doesn't give the enemy much choice and reduces the time they have to hide from you.

Keep weak units up front with grenades, and smoke, and keep snipers with good weapons in the back. Unless you have prisons and your good people have decent stun weapons like Power maces, knockout grenades, small/shoulder launchers. Harpoons, TK projector, stunrod, and stun guns are much more flooky when it comes to keeping enemies stunned. Though the Power Mace is flooky about keeping them alive.

Offline legionof1

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Re: Supply Ship Farming and Taking Down Enemy Hideouts
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2016, 07:35:37 am »
okay so i just did 2 base assaults and they seemed very small.  About 4 map chunks the same size as small craft ground maps. Is that normal?