aliens

Author Topic: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin  (Read 2000056 times)

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5685 on: October 18, 2023, 06:55:01 am »
Shotguns are notoriously good against shields.

Shields go over armor and as such are not protected by it. So for example a Heavy Shotgun Buckshot with 22x12 will do 264 damage to a shield from a short distance on average.

If you take a proper tactical approach, then enemies could be funneled into tight groups, which are very vulnerable to shrapnel and especially tt shrapnel rocket fire.  Frankly, there's hardly a great level of difficulty with such missions, if played properly.

Also, the miniguns replace the shotguns at shorter distances in a much more efficient (or at least comparable, depending on the method of one's assessment) fashion, IMHO.

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5686 on: October 18, 2023, 08:02:40 am »
But I can't remove them any further... Or maybe I don't understand your point. Can you be more specific?

Early small retaliations are very manageable with rockets and miniguns.  There's no practical need to eliminate them.  My suggestion would be to perhaps disable them on easier levels (like the 1st and 2nd), and to keep on anything above 3rd.

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5687 on: October 18, 2023, 08:10:43 am »
On Dimension X outpost defense missions the mission description includes a warning "If we don't, the Council will be severely disappointed." and briefing text "If we don't protect the facilities, the base will have to be rebuilt, which will reflect badly on our reputation."

It makes sense that there should be a penalty for aborting an outpost defense mission.

However, as far as I can see, the abort penalty is 50 points and that's it. With this kind of description, I suppose the abort penalty should be at least 500 points - or the text about severe disappointment or some such should be removed.

The mission can be on the tougher side, depending on the spawns and which directions the enemies are facing at start. So the abort penalty should not be extremely high.

Making the penalty as high as 500 makes a lot of sense.  However, at that stage of a game, you'd be usually making 10k+ points a month, so it may make sense to increase the penalty even further.

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5688 on: October 18, 2023, 08:20:38 am »
I know I've mentioned this before but what's your opinion on the alien terrorist attacks, specifically the 4 laser turrets ?? Those things have like deadly accuracy from 100 tiles (on beginner).

It also takes a lot of shots just to take one out. Lasers and tritanium ammo probably the best. I've calculated approx 7 to 9 shots each turret.

Turrets are really easy to deal with with ordnance, especially shrapnel variety.

However, a mortar is an almost ideal solution here.  It takes about 3 HE charges to take down one turret.  Now, the rocket launchers (think about something like LAW in US) and mortars are common military weapons.  There's no cheating in using them.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2023, 08:23:01 am by zee_ra »

Offline Chuckebaby

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Chrysalis are people too
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5689 on: October 18, 2023, 01:33:31 pm »
Turrets are really easy to deal with with ordnance, especially shrapnel variety.

However, a mortar is an almost ideal solution here.  It takes about 3 HE charges to take down one turret.  Now, the rocket launchers (think about something like LAW in US) and mortars are common military weapons.  There's no cheating in using them.

I've tried the HE route before.
One time I even blew the turret right off the ship. It laid on the ground still firing at my guys  ;D  (that is no joke)
Best method I have found now is lasers. Even a well aimed auto-shot with a portable laser will take out a turret and even Sectopods fairly easy.

Offline psavola

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5690 on: October 19, 2023, 05:44:42 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?

Yeah, if some random scout noticed your base, I can't see why they wouldn't attack you. You specifically enabled this.

There was some discussion about alien retaliation missions before the invasion. The above comment was in the context of aggressive retaliation having been enabled. But this happens with vanilla options as well.

To prove the point, In Oct 1998, I have not shot down any UFOs and I just had "recurringRetaliation" (which, with 75 % probability, was STR_SENTRY_RETALIATION). Looking at the rulesets, recurringRetaliation has 20 % chance of happening starting from month 22. Oct 1998 is month 22 so I got it in the earliest possible mission spawn. It was Chasers, so not too bad, if you just have defenders in the base. (I've often been lazy assigning defenders on various secondary bases, but I suppose I need to step up due to these random retaliations.)

EDIT: I'll add that this can be a bit tough, because at that point you're barely getting up the radar coverage and you don't have even decent interceptors yet; and you probably haven't prioritized building defenses (mass driver defenses being the best at that point) at that point. And the alien race the RNG can is not necessarily easy.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2023, 12:36:06 pm by psavola »

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5691 on: October 20, 2023, 04:09:26 am »
I've tried the HE route before.
One time I even blew the turret right off the ship. It laid on the ground still firing at my guys  ;D  (that is no joke)
Best method I have found now is lasers. Even a well aimed auto-shot with a portable laser will take out a turret and even Sectopods fairly easy.

Considering the shield strength on the turret, I presume it would be 2 shots even with heavy laser to take it out.

Also, note that the resistances against cutting in those adversaries are stacked very favorably towards the use of shrapnel weapons.  So, even a rockets launcher with tritanium rocket would work well.  Actually, you might as well add some tritanium frag grenades into the game with a little bit of editing, and that would be a very nice early solution against those turrets.  I did that with mortar rounds, by the way.  Now, it takes 1-2 rounds to demolish a turret.


Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5692 on: October 20, 2023, 04:16:15 am »
There was some discussion about alien retaliation missions before the invasion. The above comment was in the context of aggressive retaliation having been enabled. But this happens with vanilla options as well.

To prove the point, In Oct 1998, I have not shot down any UFOs and I just had "recurringRetaliation" (which, with 75 % probability, was STR_SENTRY_RETALIATION). Looking at the rulesets, recurringRetaliation has 20 % chance of happening starting from month 22. Oct 1998 is month 22 so I got it in the earliest possible mission spawn. It was Chasers, so not too bad, if you just have defenders in the base. (I've often been lazy assigning defenders on various secondary bases, but I suppose I need to step up due to these random retaliations.)

EDIT: I'll add that this can be a bit tough, because at that point you're barely getting up the radar coverage and you don't have even decent interceptors yet; and you probably haven't prioritized building defenses (mass driver defenses being the best at that point) at that point. And the alien race the RNG can is not necessarily easy.

I forgot to mention in my previous reply on the matter that in addition to Syndicate and MiB threats of direct
assault against XCOM bases, there also exists a threat coming from cults.  I did have a cult attack one of my bases, when I built it in Japan to take advantage of early mudcrawler advantages in deployment against HQ.

I am not 100% positive, but there may even be a threat from hybrids.

All of those threats make a great deal of logical sense, and fit very nicely into the lore.

Note to @Solarius Scorch.  If there's no hybrid attack missions currently encoded, please consider adding those into the mod.

I actually do recall aliens destroying one of my entry-lift-only bases in one experimental playthrough.  But whether it was aliens proper or not -- that is a question to ponder, since the error message is probably the same regardless of race.

Note to @Solarius Scorch.  If there's a way to inform player which race had destroyed the base, please consider adding this functionality into the mod.

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5693 on: October 20, 2023, 04:21:01 am »
It was Chasers, so not too bad, if you just have defenders in the base. (I've often been lazy assigning defenders on various secondary bases, but I suppose I need to step up due to these random retaliations.)

EDIT: I'll add that this can be a bit tough, because at that point you're barely getting up the radar coverage and you don't have even decent interceptors yet; and you probably haven't prioritized building defenses (mass driver defenses being the best at that point) at that point. And the alien race the RNG can is not necessarily easy.

I wonder if you had success with using defense drones on bases?  I never took advantage of those, and relied on AA as well as air interception instead.  With a decent radar coverage (as I recall, it's cumulative -- while early in game a cost of multiple installations would make a full coverage expensive), early interceptors (even the generic INTERCEPTOR type), manned with good pilots (which is crucial to survivability) and at least stingrays, are more than  adequate to shoot down early enemy assault crafts.  As I recall, there're no large UFOs ever sent against your bases before the invasion starts.

Offline psavola

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5694 on: October 20, 2023, 05:50:10 am »
I am not 100% positive, but there may even be a threat from hybrids.

All of those threats make a great deal of logical sense, and fit very nicely into the lore.

Note to @Solarius Scorch.  If there's no hybrid attack missions currently encoded, please consider adding those into the mod.

Yes, hybrids do retaliate against bases. This can happen at least with 3.2 snap, when they have convoys that move and you can shoot down or destroy to trigger the retaliation. Otherwise they will not. Yesterday after shooting down their medium convoy I immediately got a recon mission and an attack with "Hybrid Lander" craft on the base.

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« Reply #5695 on: October 20, 2023, 06:30:23 am »
Yes, hybrids do retaliate against bases. This can happen at least with 3.2 snap, when they have convoys that move and you can shoot down or destroy to trigger the retaliation. Otherwise they will not. Yesterday after shooting down their medium convoy I immediately got a recon mission and an attack with "Hybrid Lander" craft on the base.

Thank you for the update on this.  In that case, we have a full gamut of covert warfare matrix available to explore.

These early attacks are really a good incentive to develop either radar and fighter or drone capabilities ASAP.  Actually, I managed to play games whence I never had to defend a base of my own (disclosure: I did modify the engine mods to make speed booster for fighters a more potent, but also much more expensive one).

When I played earlier versions (ca. 2.7) and without my improved speed booster upgrade module for fighters mod, I only ran into the base defense situation a few times.

I believe it is possible to avoid base defense situations entirely by being very smart with the timing of construction of extensive defense arrays (I mean, 12 or so of mass driver cannon modules).  In general, 16 shots from gauss cannon are sufficient to destroy a large vessel.

Offline Chuckebaby

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Chrysalis are people too
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5696 on: October 20, 2023, 02:02:47 pm »
Considering the shield strength on the turret, I presume it would be 2 shots even with heavy laser to take it out.

Also, note that the resistances against cutting in those adversaries are stacked very favorably towards the use of shrapnel weapons.  So, even a rockets launcher with tritanium rocket would work well.  Actually, you might as well add some tritanium frag grenades into the game with a little bit of editing, and that would be a very nice early solution against those turrets.  I did that with mortar rounds, by the way.  Now, it takes 1-2 rounds to demolish a turret.

Like a lot of things in this game, it's kind of random. Similar to the way one plasma shot will take out a muton but others require 2 or 3 shots.

No heavy laser. A portable laser, Auto shot. Sometimes a well placed hit.. it only takes 2 shots. This is far easier than setting up mortar and also leaves your man free to roam carrying a semi light weapon with Auto shot.

But I'll never denounce anyone's way of playing this game, if mortar is working for you, I suggest to keep with it. Those turrets can be a PIA :-)

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5697 on: October 20, 2023, 05:17:51 pm »
Like a lot of things in this game, it's kind of random. Similar to the way one plasma shot will take out a muton but others require 2 or 3 shots.

No heavy laser. A portable laser, Auto shot. Sometimes a well placed hit.. it only takes 2 shots. This is far easier than setting up mortar and also leaves your man free to roam carrying a semi light weapon with Auto shot.

But I'll never denounce anyone's way of playing this game, if mortar is working for you, I suggest to keep with it. Those turrets can be a PIA :-)

The key tactics when encountering turrets is not to get shot, and the universal cover is the vessel itself.  This makes only two ships a viable assault transport: the alloy skyranger, and the dropship (to a lesser extent).  The ideal is thus to use an indirect fire weapon to take out the turrets.  It could be either a guided rocket, a blaster bomb, or a mortar.

I do have a submod that adds an "unholy" armor with green shield.  That one could stand up to fire from the ship turrets, and for troopers wearing that armor a direct assault route against turrets with e.g. laser or plasma weapons would be a viable one.

Offline Chuckebaby

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • Chrysalis are people too
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5698 on: October 20, 2023, 07:02:45 pm »
The key tactics when encountering turrets is not to get shot, and the universal cover is the vessel itself.  This makes only two ships a viable assault transport: the alloy skyranger, and the dropship (to a lesser extent).  The ideal is thus to use an indirect fire weapon to take out the turrets.  It could be either a guided rocket, a blaster bomb, or a mortar.

I do have a submod that adds an "unholy" armor with green shield.  That one could stand up to fire from the ship turrets, and for troopers wearing that armor a direct assault route against turrets with e.g. laser or plasma weapons would be a viable one.

We all play this game kind of differently. For me, i like to sneak my guys out on Terror missions. Set up strategic placement vs. hiding in the craft or coming out for one shots.
This of course is totally dependent on the terrain but it's funny how we all play this game so differently. We ask for advice, we take some parts of that advice and incorporate it into our own game plan.

For example, I only build one base until after all cults are finished. then only one more in the future.
Some people like to create 4 or 5 bases. I think it's all about what we like and what has been successful for us in our previous missions, game plays.

Offline zee_ra

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« Reply #5699 on: October 20, 2023, 08:07:57 pm »
We all play this game kind of differently. For me, i like to sneak my guys out on Terror missions. Set up strategic placement vs. hiding in the craft or coming out for one shots.
This of course is totally dependent on the terrain but it's funny how we all play this game so differently. We ask for advice, we take some parts of that advice and incorporate it into our own game plan.

For example, I only build one base until after all cults are finished. then only one more in the future.
Some people like to create 4 or 5 bases. I think it's all about what we like and what has been successful for us in our previous missions, game plays.

I noticed that when playing on superhuman, with aggressive enough of an AI (whether Brutal AI or not), the enemy attempts to storm the incoming vessel upon arrival.  This does get challenging with Chryssalids and dropship being placed too close to the UFO.  Still, even such missions are doable with a clever setup of mines.
 Note that on terror missions a relatively universal solution exists -- use shrapnel rockets extensively.  That does work even against early muton terror ships (actually, that might have been a cruiser; I refer to a nasty ship with a lot of terror units and 4 laser turrets).

The bottom line is that the current configuration of the game is very much playable even on superhuman difficulty level.  I did a challenge to myself to never skip a mission, except for a small finite number.  It turned out that this challenge is really doable in practice.  Early assaults against larger vessels are quite viable.  The key is to survive initial onslaught.  The solution is to use ordnance very extensively.  In fact, you might as well arm everyone with rockets and mortars in order to survive first 6-10 turns.  After which, rifles and cannons could be equipped.

A curious fact: I never found the robotic units useful prior to Enforcer level.