Author Topic: A brand new year: The year of the handle  (Read 5648 times)

Offline legionof1

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A brand new year: The year of the handle
« on: November 21, 2016, 09:42:45 am »
So, it having been a very long time since i took a crack at the early game, i started up a new play-through. I presently stand at January the first and wish to share some thoughts.

First thing up on the block, handles are spectacularly effective for early missions. Very little in early game opponents can remain awake after a few blows from decent gals. Even Guild security can be clubbed unconscious from the front in fairly short order. Every single gal has 2-3 master of handle commendations

Next up the new organ grinder mission. I really like this mission conceptually but it is a tremendous pain in the ass to complete when you get access to it. Even at 1 year mark i dont have the gear to make it cost effective. Also after a few turns it becomes a severe strain on the eyes to pick out anything in a grey map full of smoke with grey foes. Thank fuck for orange night vision filter. The foes presented remind me in a bad way of cyclopes. Massive hp pool regen and not particularly effective offense. 

A close runner up to the handle is the hammer/pickaxe to cut your way around. The very small village map closes of foes with annoying frequency. All the gals are packing something to break walls just ease my own frustration. On the other side I've discovered that you can crack open the sides of watchtowers, research bases, and warehouses which makes those missions much simpler. Even saved my hide when i opened up a tower full of zombies.

Air game has yet to get off the ground for lack of resources, the runts that i can afford simply can't keep up with production needs. Didn't help that they had to go full for cash production until October to keep fiscally afloat.

Research feels soo much better then last time through i have yet to bottle neck on a crucial topic though i can see the first one approaching if i cant get of the ground soonish.

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 05:10:34 pm »
Nice Report!  I recently just restarted too and am in April of the first year.  I've not given the handle as much love, but my Round Shields have been having a Bash!  That Barbarian Outfit is a great first tier armor.

I'm trying out having an early dedicated aid troop this time, with one of the strong gals lugging around a barrel of grog.  The quick heals and stims are great.  If I can set up an archer team to shoot over the bus, I can keep the barrel gal with them to keep their energy up.  I've also been bringing along mutant meat for the first time to try to cut down on time out for gals in sickbay.

I've enjoyed flinging flaming arrows around immensely.  In my Academy heavy run so far, the flame arrows are ineffective on Osiron Security, and they have been presenting my biggest tactical puzzles.  An Assault Cannon with Exp Cannonballs has been the most common remedy (when they hit). 

I've yet to see guild and durathread in this game, so I have no access to the Workshop because I can't research the Runt Outfit.  I feel like by this point I would have already had my workshop up otherwise.  In despair, I've dropped in another Excavator to increase manufacturing somewhat.  I have tons of apples, and can crank out Chateau for cash, but I don't have real manufacturing scale in my base.  This is the first concern I have with my campaign.

Air Game:  I bee-lined for the Airball Launcher in hopes it would allow me to tackle Civ Shipping for more income. (This was terrific in my last start with the Charger Laser)  I got my 2nd hangar, Air Car with launcher and ammo online in march.  So far my results have not been stellar.  I've had two interception opportunities on Civ Ships.  The first attempt resulted in two misses, and one hit, but the target kept going.  The second got two misses and a one shot kill to the target. :/  Despite this, the AirCar has made itself worthwhile.  I've tracked three Academy small craft (Runabouts and Cutters) to their landing sites which the Airbus would not have been able to do.  The loot from the ground assaults has more than made up for it.  I've picked up various cannon parts and will probably get them researched in the next month or two and maybe they will allow me to be more effective.

Offline RSSwizard

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2016, 12:32:02 am »
If you want to damage stuff get a Chainsaw
It hurts like you think it would, though the Hammer might be more effective against heavily armored foes. These weapons do not miss

(if I could suggest to dioxine, to cut the damage the Hammer does in half but give it +100% demolitions, this would give it a more realistic effect as a weapon and still let it break walls like the tool its designed to be - this making it more like an implement than a worthwhile weapon since it never misses).

Handles yes indeed are quite useful but -

Cattle Prod does the job better when you can get it. The downside is it costs 20 TU to hit and its a 2 handed weapon but your gals will rack up melee experience before that, so giving it to someone with 100+ melee makes them a Heavy Hitter.

Hit people from the back if you can too, the armor is weaker there and the chance of hitting them is higher, like seriously if you have some TU to spare to actually move around them and hit from behind do it (even risk reaction fire if you have to).

The only reason id say a Stun Baton isnt better than a handle is because anybody with armor has better protection against it (apparently the Plasteel armor is really good at redirecting energy not just being tough, like the Tesla armor from fallout. So the laser+plasma resistance is higher and all electric discharge weapons are said to cause Plasma damage but most of the harm goes into stunning)

(*personally I consider Plasma to be a Superheated Explosive type of damage, like a shaped charge but without the blast radius, but thats just my personal understanding).


Also the Rope
Do not forget the Rope, that starter item with a high TU cost.
It causes Choking damage, almost everybody takes at least 300% damage from choking.


In tough missions carry around a Light Cannon, the ones you've been stockpiling from missions. Use it on the tough guys, it ignores 20% armor.

Purple Boom Fruits are also my favorite, they're cheap as hell to attack with (usually ~25 TU) and they blow up for a whopping 50-ish damage. No priming needed, you literally throw it at someone like its a baseball. Thats under-armor damage.

If you've tried stunning someone with a Cattle Prod and it didnt work, run away and let someone else toss them a Boom Fruit. It may kill them, but if it doesnt it will finish the job the Prod started.




Offline khade

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2016, 02:05:22 am »
There is a guaranteed way to get early access to traders.  Research Who's Who? to get Warehouse Wars.  You might get zombies, I'm sure.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 02:33:06 am »
I consider cattle prods & stun batons to be an utter underdog, for their crappy DPS. They reedeeming value, imo, is using Plasma resistance (allowing to sidestep Stun resistance/immunity on some enemies). Both are also useful for weak soldiers, since Baton is fast & accurate, and Cattle Prod deals very high attack damage, useful for getting through heavy armor. Handles and Fistycuffs only get similar/higher damage (but more than twice DPS) when wielded by melee monsters.

Offline legionof1

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 02:43:59 am »
Played another 6 months.

Air game is still grounded for lack of resources mostly manufacturing capacity. I cant keep the lights on and build air resources.  Also the gals are really starting to suffer downtime issues. Firepower is really lagging behind due to a almost complete lack of rifles type weapon drops. And most the gals still dont have the firing skill to use the more inaccurate classes. Ditto snipers. More injuries as a result.

Another problem is pogroms they are just (mostly) score drains since i simply dont have the gal power with a pachyderm to handle them. But to go beyond the pachy you must do mutant alliance which enables the score penalty and a hefty one. To compensate i'm forced to do almost every other mission possible to maintain score.

I have managed to cobble the funds to start a secondary base so hopefully more detection area will get us something.

Offline khade

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 03:23:10 am »
How many brainers are you trying to support? Those suckers are expensive  :o

Offline legionof1

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 09:55:03 am »
initially it was about 3. I'm well aware of brainer's cost. I'm doing okay but i can feel the glacial growth pace of my industry and expansion.

The problem stems from that i had very few early landed craft opportunities or other big stimulus of funds to kickstart the industry. All I could manage was small incremental increases for the first 8-12 months. I'm also taking much higher loses then in the last play-through and the replacement budget has been significant.

Other cost is that I've had to make do with a high percentage of purchased arms, mostly explosives to get things done. I mentioned the scarcity of rifles before but it's actually quite a pain. I've seen maybe 5 rifles drop total. Meanwhile I'm swimming in smg and shotguns, and pistols. I'm pretty much stuck with the RFC carbine line which is well behind the challenges i'm facing. Explosives are making up the difference but very little of those are self made as yet.

Offline Eddie

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2016, 02:01:02 pm »
I've yet to see guild and durathread in this game, so I have no access to the Workshop because I can't research the Runt Outfit.

You can get durathread from civilians. When you rob a savvy girl, you get durathread.

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2016, 04:21:26 pm »
You can get durathread from civilians. When you rob a savvy girl, you get durathread.

You are the bomb!

Offline KateMicucci

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2016, 06:58:14 pm »
Rifles are completely unnecessary early game. They may even be counter-productive. This playthrough I didn't use any long-range guns until the ESLasrifle became available, and then for several months I only used one of those. As early rifles are too low damage to defeat armor, bows sufficiently fill the long-range niche. Also, night fighting is an option which will further enhance the utility of short range weapons.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2016, 07:07:58 pm »
Bows still too long-range? :)

Offline Arthanor

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2016, 08:22:00 pm »
My last experience with them was that they were too accurate, yes. Being able to hit far away isn't so bad. You can still feel the effect of them being balanced for when there was a hitting bug, and gals had low throwing acc because you wanted to nerf grenades.

Now that it's not the case, even if the weapons have been nerfed a bit, most thrown stuff is still pretty easy to get 80+% to hit with, compared to many rifles having just 90-100% accuracy on aimed shots, which gives you 60-70% to hit on a 70 firing acc gal. They also have more shots/turn and the damage is can quickly be better than with starting guns. Doing shots * chance to hit * damage applied, bows are way better. For example:

Combat Bow: 120% of throwing, aimRange 21, dropoff 4, 30 TUs, damage 10 + 40% Throwing + 10% Strength
Rifle: 100% of Firing, 60% TUs, damage 30

Take a 60 accuracy, 60 TUs, 40 STR gal:
Combat bow: 72% to hit (60% at 24 tiles distance), 2 shots/turn, 28 damage -> 40 damage/turn expected up to 21 tiles away.
Rifle: 60% to hit, 1 shot/turn, 30 damage -> 18 damage/turn expected

You actually need to go out to 31 tiles away, where bow accuracy drops to 32%, to get the same 18 damage/turn expected (32% * 2 * 28 = 18). With the increased visibility, that's possible, but it's not often necessary and often the rifle won't have a clear line of sight past 30 tiles either. If you are 31 tiles away, you can actually use 28 TUs with the bow gal to walk 7 tiles closer instead and get back to 60% accuracy. Then you essentially get the same outcome as a rifle (60% * 1 * 28), except that next turn you're close enough to fire twice at the same 60% accuracy, or move in to the preferred range of 21 and then fire once with the better accuracy.

So for the cost of 2 damage, you fire twice as much, which means twice as much throwing XP opportunity so you'll improve faster, and more dependable results. You also have better hit chance up to 23 tiles away which is still a decently safe distance given that you have arcing shots so you can fire while the enemy rarely can fire back and terrain doesn't matter as much unless it's indoors or a forest.

And then it keeps getting more advantageous for the bowgal as she improves her throwing accuracy (again, 2x faster than the firing one), since not only will she increase her close range advantage, she'll also extend the range to which she beats the rifle gal and she'll soon beat the damage too. I'd have to double check, but I think the outfits that boost throwing are also easier to come by and more numerous than those that boost firing, and they will boost bow damage on top of accuracy compared to rifles.

Since bows keep improving with the gal, it keeps getting harder and harder to find rifles that can compete. Maybe a battle rifle with PS ammo would be better than a bow for the 60/60/40 gal I used here. However, by the time you have that rifle, the gal won't be 60/60/40 anymore, she'll likely have good enough stats that the battle rifle doesn't measure up either, etc. Using stamina has decreased the ability to spam arrows, but with 2 shots per turn, instead of having two rifle gals you can afford to go down to 1 bow gal + 1 grog gal. Except the grog gal can probably help more than 1 bow gal per turn and you get 2-3 bows to 1 grog, where you get 4-6 shots out of 3-4 gals, which still beats the 3-4 shots out of 3-4 rifles.

Rifles do better indoors and in closer quarter with auto and snap shots and since they don't take stamina so you can run around more. But then melee/pistol/smg is better than rifles. So rifles rarely have a point until you get to sniper rifles (for gals that you stubbornly kept using guns with) or LC/HC/AC/HMGs.

Offline CaptainCorkscrew

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2016, 09:51:11 pm »
I have used ball bats instead of handles early in the game, then mostly whips for a long time, followed by cattle prods, which I still use in what is probably mid to late game. I do use stun batons because they are one handed but don't like them much.
Cattle prod and stun baton do highly random damage, that's what makes them risky. The same enemy may go down from one hit or take five.

I have done organ grinders for the second time now and wholeheartedly agree. It is the most annoying mission I have done so far.
The first time around I quickly lost my parrot and attack dog to the acid rain, the second time around I nearly lost a hand with too weak armor due to acid rain and smoke. I try to find the ghoul suckers as fast as possible but this is severely hindered by the smoke and map design. The ghouls themselves are OK in my opinion, it's just that finding them takes ages. Even if you find them, you can't tell which direction they are facing.
I will see what the ghoul scientist will be able to tell me, but I guess that I will not take any future organ grinder missions. Well, maybe once I have defender armor or something for everyone.


Offline ivandogovich

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Re: A brand new year: The year of the handle
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2016, 11:11:49 pm »
...Even if you find them, you can't tell which direction they are facing.

Use the "Alt" key for to get unit facings.  It pops up arrows over the units to show their direction.