Author Topic: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin  (Read 1891452 times)

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5670 on: October 07, 2023, 07:51:06 am »
They are not absolutely preventable. The RNG might still screw you. I had to wait for about 15 months for Cult Base mission to come up for two cults. I did everything the game provided and the manors still kept spawning. So I don't think it's fair to say that my anti-cult activities were insufficient.

I realize that I was having bad luck with RNG. But if this can happen for 15 months, it surely can also go on for 6 or 9 months. During which time many manors could spawn and the player can do nothing to prevent it.

To minimize this, I also suggested to significantly increase the chances of spawning Cult Forward Bases so that the mod would actually provide the player with sufficient chance of anti-cult activities to prevent manor spam.

In my next campaign, I had a similar delay issue with Cult Outposts. It took about 10 months (April 1998) to get the outpost of the final cult (BL). So before that you couldn't get all the cult operations research and you couldn't get OSPREY, so it would not make sense to research other cult operations either (going after Cult Forward Bases with helicopter or dragonfly is extremely risky).

If the RNG screws you in this manner, the alternative is to research and build a SKYRAIDER, which can transport 10 people quickly and also has a nice front exit, and does not have exterior lighting to spoil the night missions like dragonfly. With a crew of 10 you can take on some of the more difficult missions (just did a first tier manor, for example) though I'd still be cautious of going after the cult HQs.

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5671 on: October 07, 2023, 03:19:28 pm »
In my next campaign, I had a similar delay issue with Cult Outposts. It took about 10 months (April 1998) to get the outpost of the final cult (BL). So before that you couldn't get all the cult operations research and you couldn't get OSPREY, so it would not make sense to research other cult operations either (going after Cult Forward Bases with helicopter or dragonfly is extremely risky).

If the RNG screws you in this manner, the alternative is to research and build a SKYRAIDER, which can transport 10 people quickly and also has a nice front exit, and does not have exterior lighting to spoil the night missions like dragonfly. With a crew of 10 you can take on some of the more difficult missions (just did a first tier manor, for example) though I'd still be cautious of going after the cult HQs.

I also went through a similar issue. In my cause it was unlocking Exalt operations which popped research for the Osprey.
I played this game a bit differently this time. I waited till i had all 4 cult Prerequisite lined up and did them all simultaneously.
Waiting to find an EXALT Enforcer proved challenging to open up EXALT operations.

I've still yet to get an EXALT Master (or his cane) and I'm in mid 1998.

The RNG is so radical for this game but I'm gonna be honest, it is one of things I love about it. It's so unpredictable.
I've beat this game around 7 times now with different versions and each time I've played it, it's been different. Like a lot different.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2023, 03:22:03 pm by Chuckebaby »

Offline Thunderwing280

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5672 on: October 08, 2023, 01:09:14 am »
In my next campaign, I had a similar delay issue with Cult Outposts. It took about 10 months (April 1998) to get the outpost of the final cult (BL). So before that you couldn't get all the cult operations research and you couldn't get OSPREY, so it would not make sense to research other cult operations either (going after Cult Forward Bases with helicopter or dragonfly is extremely risky).

Is using Helicopter or Dragonfly really that risky? I killed all cults by'98 using the helicopter, the only one that gave me issues iirc was either the Black Lotus or Red Dawn, the rest were pretty easy, using Blackops weapons and Liquidator Armour.

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5673 on: October 08, 2023, 03:14:35 am »
Is using Helicopter or Dragonfly really that risky? I killed all cults by'98 using the helicopter, the only one that gave me issues iirc was either the Black Lotus or Red Dawn, the rest were pretty easy, using Blackops weapons and Liquidator Armour.

Helicopter has it's advantages. your ready to fire all 6 soldiers on turn one.
But for something like Church of Dagon HQ, your screwed.

You are literally surrounded by tons of enemies and though smoke does help, there is no cover. Same with Red Dawn HQ. BL HQ is a bit different, Exalt not really applicable.
Osprey can carry a lot more soldiers as well.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5674 on: October 08, 2023, 07:54:19 am »
Is using Helicopter or Dragonfly really that risky? I killed all cults by'98 using the helicopter, the only one that gave me issues iirc was either the Black Lotus or Red Dawn, the rest were pretty easy, using Blackops weapons and Liquidator Armour.

I suppose you have played with a lower difficulty. First two difficulties only have about 1/3 of the enemy numbers that superhuman has, for instance. Yet even with the lower difficulties I still suppose it is risky and may require save/reloads. With SH forward bases have about 60 enemies and HQs 100+ enemies.

With vanilla X-COM AI mechanics it would certainly be doable at least with a good spawn location. But X-Com Files has 'spotter' and 'sniper' mechanic, which will mean that dozens of enemies can come at you and shoot, throw grenades or use grenade launchers blindly at you if you hit one of the 'spotters' (most of them are, except with BL), even if you stay inside the smoke or the cover of darkness (so they can't see you). Grenades and launchers are usually the most destructive part.

The most effective way to counter this AI mechanic is to go there at night (and hope there are no enemies nearby spotting you), throw out flares and throw grenades for the first 5-10 turns or so, and not shoot at all. Throwing grenades does not trigger "sniper backfiring". But being able throw sufficient number of grenades requires a significant number of agents (you will also have to throw flares, many grenades will miss and many enemies require multiple grenades; nearby ones can be dealt with dynamites, which take more space and are heavier, so you'll need more agents for that reason as well).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2023, 08:01:29 am by psavola »

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5675 on: October 08, 2023, 05:10:11 pm »

throw out flares and throw grenades for the first 5-10 turns or so, and not shoot at all. Throwing grenades does not trigger "sniper backfiring".

This is really interesting and something I did not know. I could have sworn grenade throwing has triggered reaction fire from enemies.
Might be wrong though, will have to test this out.

This is well said and a great strategy psavola.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5676 on: October 08, 2023, 07:22:14 pm »
This is really interesting and something I did not know. I could have sworn grenade throwing has triggered reaction fire from enemies.
Might be wrong though, will have to test this out.

This is a different thing cf. reactions. Reactions happen immediately. If you are spotted (visually or by you shooting an unit), the enemy snipers can attack you on the next turn (and some aliens even after multiple turns).

Throwing a grenade may well result in immediate reactions if the enemy unit sees you, and the strategy above does not help (but not because of reactions but rather because you have been visually spotted). But if you throw the grenades at the enemies which don't see you, you don't get reactions and neither on the next turn(s) the enemy snipers can target you. In contrast, if you shoot an enemy that doesn't see you, you don't get reactions but you will get snipered the next turn.

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5677 on: October 09, 2023, 12:55:45 am »
This is a different thing cf. reactions. Reactions happen immediately. If you are spotted (visually or by you shooting an unit), the enemy snipers can attack you on the next turn (and some aliens even after multiple turns).

Throwing a grenade may well result in immediate reactions if the enemy unit sees you, and the strategy above does not help (but not because of reactions but rather because you have been visually spotted). But if you throw the grenades at the enemies which don't see you, you don't get reactions and neither on the next turn(s) the enemy snipers can target you. In contrast, if you shoot an enemy that doesn't see you, you don't get reactions but you will get snipered the next turn.

You're right !

I just tested this out and this is exactly what happened.
Thanks for the thorough explanation.

Offline Psyentific

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Re: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5678 on: October 09, 2023, 04:07:38 am »
more generally, this technique can work with any indirect fire weapon such as grenade launchers

Offline psavola

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Re: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5679 on: October 09, 2023, 07:46:45 am »
more generally, this technique can work with any indirect fire weapon such as grenade launchers

Based on testing I think the current understanding of these is as follows (see for example https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,8199.msg155045.html#msg155045): if you hit the enemy unit with an indirect fire weapon, you get spotted for sniping the next turn. However, if you miss the unit and the unit only gets splash damage, then you don't get 'spotted' for sniping.

I have not dared to use indirect fire weapons much myself. But if you do, make sure you miss the target unit.

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5680 on: October 09, 2023, 11:22:15 pm »
Are there any future plans to have an Osiron HQ ?
The syndicate is one of my favorite cults. I'd love to see a similar scenario for Osiron.

I understand that missions are needed for filler (monthly score) For example the hybrids, etc. But Osiron would be great to finish off.

Offline Thunderwing280

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5681 on: October 14, 2023, 07:28:17 pm »
Has anyone got any tips on how to deal with Gazers? They seem to be in all my damn UFO's, also how dangerous are alien turrets?

Offline Nerro

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5682 on: October 14, 2023, 08:34:20 pm »
Against Gazers, psy weapon are usefull since they bypass the armor. Get a stock of those from ghost missions and make sure they are in the skyranger for the next time you face them.

Offline zee_ra

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5683 on: October 18, 2023, 06:49:24 am »
In my first game, I was a bit surprised to see Ethereal missions already in June/July 1999. Two small ones, then a large accompanied by two medium HKs.

But that aside, what are your best tactics of taking them down given the shields especially the higher tiers use, especially in the early game? At least at this stage of development, I found that good guys could melee them with katanas/battleaxes if can get to close combat (1 or 2 hits, meaning you'll need to prepare for getting reaction shot anyway). Spamming dozens of gas grenades (or mines) otherwise, as the shields shouldn't help protect against them (though it might require a surprising number of grenades each, even 3-5 hits). Shrapnel rockets or explosives, with 2-3 hits, seem to be OK but are very destructive and trigger their sniper/spotter mechanic so you'll likely be grenaded or shot the next turn. The big downside of these is that they cause a lot of smoke, and if you don't have an armor with good heat vision, the battlescape might be nightmare afterwards. In smaller ranges, 2-3 rounds of MAGMA pulse rifle with chem clips also works (but again, you need to prepare for the reaction shots). All in all, the small UFOs were somehow manageable, but the medium one with 20+ Ethereals was a major PITA. I dare not think about the large one with all the sectopods that are likely deployed there as well.

If you have a good vessel, like the latest modification of Skyranger, you may be able to shoot rockets at the enemy for several turns, retreating into the fully protected environment every turn.  The enemy is not smart enough to shoot inside the vessel with a blaster bomb.

Offline zee_ra

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5684 on: October 18, 2023, 06:53:04 am »
Am I supposed to be getting alien retaliation missions before the invasion? It's November '98 and I just got blindsided by Floaters showing up in a forward operating base in South America. That seems like odd behavior given the only UFO I've interacted with was one that happened to land right by my European base months ago. I did apparently turn aggressive retaliation on which I guess might do it?

It's strange that you encountered floaters.  However, MiB and Syndicate activity against your bases that early in game is not unexpected.  Also, in mid-1999 you might as well get something like an Arbiter flying at you.  The tactical approach with dealing with the latter is to either use the latest skyranger (or a Zrbite engine based dropship) as a protective cover, retreating into it every turn, and shooting rockets into enemy.  Ideally, TT shrapnel rockets.  You'll need a lot of those for such mission.

An alternative approach exists, whence you may be able to secure a location hidden by debris / terrain and setup mortar troops there.  However, it is less optimal, since you'd loose time, and would be more exposed than when retreating into vessel.