Author Topic: The Newbie Guide  (Read 43153 times)

Offline Greep

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The Newbie Guide
« on: February 12, 2020, 09:35:22 am »
Seems like everyone's too lazy to make a strategy guide, so I guess I'll make one.  This is currently updated for K2

All sections past "choosing a starting base" will contain spoilers in a "least spoilers first" fashion.  If I seem to be spoiling things too much for you, just skip over to the next section


Can't strategize if you can't play it.  Read the readme that comes in with the game, but notably, when it asks you to copy a folder, you want to copy the contents (shift select) of the folder that contains the executable of the game comes in (UFO Defense.exe).

Furthermore, when openxcom is loaded you'll need to go to the mods section and x-piratez should be in a dropdown menu.

Some initial settings needed for sanity: 

A)There should be an option to show movement TU.  If you've turned this on, you should see an AI path and a number for
B)Nightvision mode is also scroll lock by default, which is problematic if you have no scroll lock button, so this should be switched to another button.
C) Air fighting speed should be set to the slowest setting.  Air fights go fast and are highly lethal.  You might want to speed up some movements as well.

??? that's all I use, maybe there's some other things some people could mention


There's too many to list here, but here's some that will affect you right away.  Read all of the bootypedia's initial entries, here's some that are important whether they're described or not.

A)  Holding shift lets you sprint.  Maybe this was in vanilla and I was just playing wrong all this time.  This causes an increased energy drain, but is honestly the default movement speed in practice.  Notably, while sprinting, enemies will get the jump on you if the TU difference between you is enough to cause reaction fire when they first see you.  So unless you have a specific goal in mind you might want to sprint a few steps and then walk the rest.

B) You generally have superior night vision to citizens, the most common early game enemies.  This makes most early game missions considerably easier during night time (with some exceptions).

C) Listed in the bootypedia but worth reiterating:  If you're facing an enemy in melee, when they have their turn you will dodge their attacks.  If it's ranged attacks, this costs 6 energy (not TUs) and has a chance based on the evasion of your armor.  If you do not have enough energy, you will not dodge!  Furthermore, I pistols have an increased chance of defeating dodge, could be wrong

D)  Your morale drops over time


Generally speaking, there is jack sparrow and everything else.  If you're playing something not jack sparrow, you will have a good idea of later game difficulty based on your initial missions.  However, the highest difficulty also has some wrenches thrown in and additional base defenses.
There's a button for iron man, but you're better off just deleting your save if you lose than pressing it: the game is extremely long and there's no point in having a save wrecked from a bug.


There's several good starting options, but there's three that stick out to me:

A) Middle of North America:  The main advantage of north america is your radar covers basically the whole continent.  You won't need to pursues UFOs as much because they'll just turn around and head back inland.

B) Middle of Africa:  My favorite, the main advantage here is a bigger landmass and your back is the pacific ocean.  The only missions you'll miss in the first month or two are set in new zealand or hawaii. Also, you'd think desert towns wouldn't grow apple trees (important later), but you'd be wrong.

C) Northern tip of india:  Main advantage here is it's 100% land and also mostly backed by the pacific ocean.


If you sell the Tiny Drill or Menacing Hull, you've basically lost the game.  You will get a warning in a research but probably after you've sold it.  That's kind of a trend to the mod.  So here's things you can or can't sell in your starting base.

A) The Security Corridor: SELLABLE.  It says it stops enemies from going in the sewers.  It does not.  Sell this P.O.S. Or better, build a burrow on top of it (which autsells it and subtracts time from the new building)

2) THE OLD EARTH LAB:  NOT SELLABLE.  It's like selling your starting lab in XCOM only you can't build any further ones.  I'm curious if anyone's played a game where they sell if after reaching mess halls and uber farming and builds a ton of bases, but it's probably not a good idea.

3) ARMORED VAULTS:  KINDA SELLABLE:  It's a really really nice building.  But it's also worth 300k.  I sell it, but most do not I think.

4) HI-RES RADAR:  NOT SELLABLE (in january).  In january you get a bunch of UFOs that land so there is no point.  This stops until april mostly, so if you are desperate you can sell it in february (but you're just going to end up rebuilding it)

5) ANY OTHER BUILDING:  You can sell them but there's nothing to gain really.


7) PILES OF JUNK:  MOSTLY SELLABLE.  These used to be worth more as loot than processing.  Now they're worth a fair amount more, but the tech needed is kind of a ways off.  There's certainly no harm in selling some or all of it if you feel the need

8) HELLERIUM + SCRAP:  SELLABLE.  But the scrap isn't worth much.

9) EVERY OTHER ITEM: Not worth enough to sell or is useful in some way.

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 09:36:21 am »

Nearly everything you loot you can sell, including any hostages you find, including the "critical" ones.  You'll just get more or can buy more.  As the months roll on you'll generally want to horde things or process them in different ways as they're better off saved than bought from contacts at a higher price.  You can figure out most of this on your own and making mistakes is not so dire.

Notable major exceptions (do not sell these):
-Corpses (yep, just let those rotting bodies lie in that corner over there)
-The Hull you get from tiny drill
-Ka-something-or-other vodka (until you research it)
-Guild Staplers (until you research it)
-Castaway gals (better brainered or recruited)
-$1000 credit chips (better gambled)
-HE grenades (until researched)
-Money purses/bags of cash/ treasure chests (But highly sellable very early game.  Might be cheaper to research altar boys than to research them)
-Medical supplies: make sure to save 10 for a surgery room

Starting around May-ish start hording just about anything that doesn't take up too much space


A major note on research:  Putting all of your brainers on a task will cause "over research" when a research is cmplete.  So generally only put a few brainers on any given tech, except for researching some early game critical things, like "gals are superior"

Second note:  This research path is just an example, there are many viable ones.  "male touch" is a much harder but also viable alternative to gals for instance

Lastly: you can use q on geoscape to open the tech viewer in game, or open the xpedia.html file for some spoilery (if essential really) knowledge.

Three asterisks means "put all brainers on this one research". 
-> means use q to find out the research needed and then research everything in order.

Recruit Peasants
Local village
Call a meeting
***->?Gals are superior?
(*requires apples and vodka)->Chateuax de la mort
***-> bounty hunting
-> acquire dogs
-> mess hall
-> Scale mail OR Warrior armor (Warrior is 10x cheaper but substantially worse.  Your choice.  You also need to cavern hunt a LOT for the chitin for research and building scale mail)

-> Contacts: car thieves
Contacts: merchants
-> HE Grenades or Flintlocks and bombs.  You want explosives of some kind
-> Any standard issue weapons you might want to mass purchase.  I recommend some kind of carbine.

Some examples of useful weapons
*HE Grenades
*tommy guns
*heavy shotguns
*Combat shotguns (if found gambling, very good)
*ol' carbines
*Scoped carbines (if found gambling, very good)
*UAC Carbines

Note:  If you find a weapon you like, research in the html bootypedia that comes with the game, and check if "contacts: merchants" is needed for the weapon.  If it is, you can buy it after researching this.

(requires interrogating pretty much any hostage.  requires built mess hall)
-> warehouse wars
-> contacts: builders hall.  (Whenever you want to build barracks)

->tiny drill
-> build tiny drill (not a research, use it with your runts requires 80 workshop space, so either an extractor and a vault or 2 extractors in addition to what you already have.  * requires a castaway gal)
-> your codex that came out
-> Recruit: Lokknars
-> Underground Missions
-> Undersea Treasures
-> Smugglers (see note)
-> Shadowmasters (see note)
-> Overcharged Radars
-> Pimpcraft
-> Contacts: Krazy Hanna/ Contacts Rogue Fields (see note)
-> workshop (requires stapler and wrench)
-> personal labs
-> chain mail

And finally in no particular order and between researches that you want

mutant alliance
Interceptor Assembly
Mansion Invasion
Armored car/ tanks
Manufactured special ammo/guns/etc

There might be some stuff missing, but that is the general "early game research" path.

Notes on above:  Smugglers, shadow masters, krazy hanna or rogue fields come from various research paths, mainly from hostages.

Smugglers: leads to contact: smugglers.   Most "thug" citizens either have smugglers, or knock out research common to thugs making it easier to get smugglers. Note smugglers not smuggling.

Shadowmasters: aggressively research dem hoes and ninja gals.  Lokknar scriptures are a slower path to this since they're pretty rare loot.  Even slower: you can randomly get it from a few other non-hoe non-ninja citizens.

Rogue fields: Can be gotten randomly from interrogations or from expedition reports.  Not 100% necessary, but nice early game access to a heavy weapon

Krazy Hanna:  Lots of bottlenecks. Might take a whole year or by April, who knows.  The big bottleneck is the very specific light machine gun research.  Ruffians and to some degree other low-lifes are the fastest way to get this.  If you're suicidal, you can also try your luck with pogroms or prepper camps.

8.  Finances/ Base building

A good way to generally build out your base is something like:

-Spam burrows as needed for population until your run out of room, then build barracks over them.  Notably: you need 10 free crew space to build over the burrow, so start building barracks before you really need them
-Mess hall soonish
-all 3 extractors for the tiny drill

Brainers vs runts

Brainers are critically important.  They cost money.  They cost money because they save money.  Well make money anyways.  Missions/pimping, gambling, etc etc. You want a lot of these.  My personal recommendation is to immediately in january buy a 4th brainer on day one by selling some stuff as this criritcally will let you get both recruitment and bounty hunting in january usually.  I personally buy TWO brainers starting out but that is a bit hardcore financing and requires selling your armored vault, which you may not want to do. 

Runts, however, are also important to build things you want and mostly processing apples.  They're also decent at making money through mining helleriium and making x-grog, but brainers braining on properly brainy tasks are a better path to money than grog generally.  So sitting on 3 brainers while amassing runts and using your runts to eventually buy brainers is not as genius as it sounds.

A general path is "reach 4/5 brainers, get chateau de la mort, get 90 runts, reach 10 brainers, get a second base, reach 13 brainers".  Because brainers are so maintenance expensive and the extra money through unlocks is earned the month after you research those things usually, if you're new to the game you may want to take those brainer lumps fairly slow.  So something like...

January: 4th brainer
April: 5th brainer
May: 7th brainer
June: 10th brainer

But with more experience you'll want to go faster than this.

A final financial note: The game's missions are highly randomized, so until you've unlocked a wide variety, this may be extremely uneven.  I personally just restart a game if january sucks because it's even theoretically possible to never get any missions so you want to start off on a good foot.


The battlescape is a lot more intuitive, so I'll let you figure out how to do missions.  However, there's a few very useful items starting out that should be gone over.

Special note:  Only (mostly?) one handed melee weapons below 12 TU train reactions.


-Shepherd's staff.  I think this was meant for peasants, but it's actually a phenomenal tool for knocking foes out when your melee skill is below about 70.  It's so accurate you can knock foes out from the front. That said, you may want other tools for the 50-70 melee skill range anyways, since you will train faster, and it's also two handed.  But for total clutzes it's great, and the damage is almost all stun damage.

-Handle.  The handle requires decent bravery/melee skill but is great when you have it. 50-80 bravery, 70 ish melee is ideal.

-Ball bat.  Basically a middle ground between shepherds staff and handle.  Surprising for it's size: it is one handed.

-Fisty cuffs.  Fistycuffs are great for gals with over 95 melee and over 40 strength.  But you will want to keep a water jug in case you hit enemies so hard they "ghost"

-Fists.  For super gals, you may need to actually punch some enemies like altar boys to avoid killing them.  Although, why are you bringing such super gals to such easy missions?

-Cattle prod:  Stick with the prod.  Prod with the Prod.  This tool is used for knocking out armored enemies.  The first ones you will run into are the Academy medic in "Scientific Experiments" and the guards in "warehouse wars"

-Rubber bullets:  Not very useful, but if you just can't stand getting in people's faces it's an option.  Can be used in some edge cases like the watchtower mission for some amusing ambushes

-Harpoon stun bolts:  Also not so effective, but much better than rubbers.  However, it's still surprisingly short ranged.

-Rope:  The high TU cost makes this mostly useless.  If you're babysitting downed hostages this will ensure any that get up stay down, though.  Smoke may be a better option, though.

-Manacles.  Theoretically optimal.  Extremely tedious, though.  They are useful to help keep foes down that can be highly dangerous even when unarmed, though.

-Explosives:  What you say?  Actually, these are quite good at knocking out armored enemies due to concussive packing a lot of stun.  Just make sure to heal them afterwards, and quickly.  Anything stronger than an HE grenade or Black Powder bomb will kill, though, and a second explosive will basically always kill.


-Shotguns:  Shotguns are the best weapon against unarmored foes.  When you need to kill things at night, shotguns are what you do it with.

- Various melee weapons:  In general, match the weapon to the skills of the user.  As a general rule, Lower TU = less skill needed, works better against unarmored.  With the exception of the fuso sword, anything against unarmored foes should be single digit TUs, though.  For armored enemies, the heavier the better.  For "stupidly" armored, there is only the barbaric sword in the early game.

-Carbines:  the best early game sniping tool

-Pistols:  Pistols should generally be avoided unless you only have one hand (have a shield) or on infiltration.  Blackmarch is good for night missions, manstopper is excellent all around, and rusty niner is a decent cheap weapon.  Notably, pocket laschargers are garbage, but laspistols are okay.

-muskets/fintlock:  Mostly useless outside of very early game.  However, a musket can be better at piercing academy drones than some carbines.  Throw the pistols away.

-explosives:  Great for general killing.  Lobbing HE grenades from behind cover is generally the best early game solution to masses of armored enemies if they're so deadly you need to kill them and so far away you cannot melee them.  Ninja gals, landed UFOs, reapers, werewolves, etc  Buy these buy the truckload.

Honestly shotguns/grenades/carbines/melee are the main killin tools


-CASTAWAY:  Meh.  It can be nice for longer missions before you get sailor suits (e.g. scientific experiments), or dangerous missions, where you need to pack molotovs/bombs (.. also scientific experiments).  Notably useless in your first mission, so start everyone off topless.
-RAGS:  Also mostly useless.  The -TU  counteracts the camouflage, and BIO enemies will kill you anyways.
-NUDE:  Hot stuff in the buff.  Great early game option for a scout on a high reaction gal before you have grenades or armor.  One handed melee in one hand, some consumable (probably a morale booster or booze) in the other.  Having more than one is ill-advised, though.  Major Weakness: Can't stuff a pocket computer inventory.  Reason: No inventory.
-TOPLESS:  A great general early game outfit.
-GANGER:  A good piece of cheap clothing for when you want more inventory but ran out of rare earth elements.  Useful for cold missions.
-TRIBAL:FUR is great for cold missions.  The heat version, however, is mostly unnecessary.
-SAILOR:  Mostly replaces topless/nude except if you really want the extra reactions for a scout.  Or if you like titties.  Save some rare earth elements.
-PIRATE:  Mostly replaces sailor on experienced gals.  All variations have a use, but pirate is generally best for "handl"ing civilians.
-BIKINI:  Completely replaces topless/nude and an alternative to sailor.  Various swimwear is also good for underwater missions.


Armor is generally preferred to clothing, at least early game against citizens.  But some cases armor is not allowed or you just wanted clothing for some reason.

-BARBARIAN:  The best of these is BARBARIAN (S), as it is your only real defense against Dogs or Monster hunt early game.  Just make sure you cannot be attacked by the back.  A good way early game way of handling ratmen is to embark with two of these guarding a blowfish craft facing front and carrying melee and peeking shots with the rest.  It;s also the way to handle infested cellar.  BARBARIAN is mostly useless and SAVAGE is.. well.. unique.  I'm sure it has some use I just have a hard time effectively using it.  Maybe a decent scout if you carry have an x-grogger clearing you up a bit and personally kill some enemies for morale.

-WARRIOR:  The earliest you can get full 30 armor, and it costs basically nothing.  30 armor is sufficient to tank civilians pretty hardcore.  It's the difference from "dying to shotgun" to "taking a small amount of damage".  If you want to knock out enemies rather than killing them, you'll feel a lot safer with this on.  That said, it is incredibly TU intensive, so much better is...

-SCALE MAIL:  Extremely expensive, though.  The average "cost in runt time" is something like 60k per piece.  In short, it costs more than a gal to make one.  But you'll feel like a tank while moving fast.  A full set of scale mail and you can do a ratmen mission with bare fists.  If you want to save a certain cat on a certain mission this might help ;)

-CHAIN MAIL:  You're now pretty much invulnerable to citizens, so you can go for 100% hostages quite easily.  You're also quite armored against some more dangerous stuff too, though only so much.


-Molotovs:  Moltoves ignore armor and can cause heavy morale damage.  The typical use it will usually one shot an Academy Drone.  Altertively, it can also hurt some otherwise incredibly dangerous units or cause some enemies to panic.  For instance, if you're having a hard time capturing an Academy Medic, setting one on fire can sometimes cause it to drop it's weapon without killing it.

-HE Grenade:  General use weapon against anything armored that is killing you more than it should.  Hide behind corner, lob, hide behind corner. Rinse repeat.  Carry 50 on a craft, just in case.

-Black powder bomb.  An alternative to HE grenades, can also cause smoke the turn it is used. Also great against shamblers.


Non-grenade throwing weapons, like melee, grow quadratically in power with skill, as the skill affects both accuracy and power.  Typically they're used to take out close by armored enemies when it's not advised to get into melee, but they have a wide variety of applications.

Nearly all of these require energy, so they tend to be better in clothing rather than armor and a grogger helps

-Leather Whip (stun):  The basic throwing weapon, this requires getting so close to melee range that it practically is a melee weapon.  Typically melee weapons will be more potent at this close range for knocking out enemies, but this can be useful either to train throwing or as a better knockout tool for someone with an already higher throwing skill.  Can also be used to make sure knocked out foes stay down:  Carry a whip and stop whipping the enemy when they ghost

-Bows:  Regular ammunition with the hunting bow is terrible, and flame ammunition tends to only rarely set the enemy on fire.  Poison ammunition is useful, but is gated behind several techs and tends to only be useful on trained throwers: grenades will be much more effective at lower skill levels.

-Javelins and throwing axes.  These two look very similar damage wise but are quite different.  They're very effective at hurting armored enemies, but are much more effective in skilled hands.  Powder bombs generally are better until your accuracy improves, as

Notably, javelins are superior in water due to the stabbing damage and lack of heavily armored enemies (you shouldn't try to fight anything more heavily armored than deep ones), and throwing axes do not arc, making them better in base defense or forests. Axes also have shorter range and are much better at killing more heavily armored enemies.  Outside of base defense and water missions you might want to carry both.

-Ninja stars/sickle: as with the fuso sword, ninja weapons tend to be superior when used on gals with maxed or near maxed skills and require no strength.


-Happy Pills:  Great to carry on everyone if you're in a pickle.  Stun, freshness, morale.  It's got it all.

-X-Grog:  It's a first aid kit, moonshine, and water jug all in one!  Carry this one handed on a strong grenadier, as they can't carry any other useful weapons.  Alteratively, stick it in someone's backpack.

-Moonshine/atombeer.  since freshness, moonshine is mostly replaced with atom beer.  Dedicated melee/grenadiers can carry one in one hand.  or keep it in inventory.  Since you can't dodge with no energy, it might be preferrable to take a sip before sprinting to an enemy.  Also useful on cold missions, particularly if you're going without furs.

-Smoke Grenade:  Makes most daytime missions easier, particularly when combined with a parrot or bugeye.  Some advanced enemies (osiron security from landed smalls come to mind, most robots) can see right through it, though.

-Hammer:  Sometimes necessary, so always bring one on the floor of your ship.  So always carry one unshielded gal who can wield it if it is needed.


Some general tips for missions

1) Again, read the bootypedia when you start the game.  Just read it.

2)While night missions are preferred, they can be suddenly dangerous due to unexpected lighting.  Make sure to switch off nightvision at the start of the mission to check for streetlights, and every time you down an academy nurse, you'll need to turn it off to see if there was a pocket computer. This is kinda lame game design, but this is the way to deal with that.  To deal with pocket computers:  Have another guy pick it up and stuff it in their belt/panties.  Molotovs/fire are extremely dangerous due to the light.  Consider carrying around a fire extinguisher.

Some missions are also best done in daylight (see MISSIONS)

3) Enemies should be melee'd from the back, always.  If you can't melee them in the back, consider not meleeing them.  Exceptions:  Warehouse guards have such low dodge you can usually cattle prod them from the front.

4)  Non-lethal is preferred, but before you get armor it can be diffucult to knock everyone out.  A safe mix is to kill everyone until you start hearing half the map screaming, and then mostly start knocking dudes out.  Usually once you kill the leaders (highwaymen, church priests, church neophytes, etc) the rest will surrender. Alternatively, selectively knock out only a small set of foes (researchers, medics, altar boys, priests, ratman leaders, etc).  Once you get scale mail, you can start trying to knock everyone out.

5) generally for non-lethal just creep towards enemies and if you dont think you have enough TUS to hit them from the back a few times, just move out of vision a few tiles.  Citizens have terrible vision.

6)  Srsly grenades OP
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 10:08:18 am by Greep »

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 09:37:07 am »

Oh, the actual game.  Right.  The strategy layer can get a bit dizzying sometimes.

Massive spoilers ahead.


Your first mission is going to be against academy nurses.  A scripted ship will come within a few days, simply fly to at and stalk it till it lands.  Before taking off, strip off your shirts and pack everything above moonshine on the ship.

These missions are unique in that they are mostly non-lethal, so you also should try and knock them out.  If it's daylight,

-Riflesmen shoot BBs which can wound your gal.  Probably just kill these in daylight.
-Stun Rod/pistoliers also can wound gals, also just kill these.

Everyone else is usually best to be stunned.  If it's daylight you may need to kill a lot of them.

These ships come a few times in january and then never land again.

Best done: whenever it lands


-Red Lantern
Hoes (blonde women in 50s hairdo) are worth saving in later months, but for now you can just kill everyone.  These are important missions to win since you get to save a gal, so go lethal.  Usuall the mission will end once you kill the two highwaymen (dudes in black) in the main building.  This main building will usually be the only 4 story building.

Best done at night.


Only has about a 50/50 chance of gal.  Best done at daylight, with a parrot scout.

-Highwaymen (easiest, but they can molotov)
-Reticulan (sectoid hybrids, mildly harder)
-Catgirls (if you see no enemies, just run away.  Doable when you have scale mail.  Doesn't show in freezing??)
-Werewolves.  GTFO.  Doable if you're careful, but if you screw up everyone dies.
-Cockroaches.  Surprisingly lethal, but doable.  Keep your distance.

-Distress signal

low chance of gal

Not the same as shipwrecked.  Usually academy or guild.  Best done at night, although some have night vision.  Usually too hard to do before ?gals are superior?, but you can try your luck.  Notably the church matron if there is one (looks like superwoman or something) is extremely heavily armored.  Best softened with a bomb and cattle proded or further bombed.


Skippable before you have some kind of armor.  See BARBARIAN (S) and scale mail note above. Scale mail is totally safe to dogs, but not the back of BARBARIAN (S).  There's usually, I think, 2-3 dogs on Davy Jones and 5 on Jack Sparrow.

This is also completely skippable if there are not apple trees, as it's somewhat hard until you get a few suits of scale mail.

Best done at day (ratmen have better nightvision, hidden dogs is a horror show)


Best done at ???.  Note:  The academy drones are significantly harder at night (there is 1 on davy jones, 2 on sparrow).  And I believe the medic has better night vision.  On the other hand, if you want to capture researchers, this is best done at night.  Bring molotovs on all gals.  Drones are best sniped at very long ranges at day since there gun is basically a pistol, but can be molotoved up close.  Don't try and molotov 2 drones at once, molotovs are very inaccurate.

Note: Javelins are slightly better than molotovs on account of accuracy.  Also if you've run out of molotovs a powder bomb is almost as good.  These is a good case for the rogue pirate clothing alternative if you try and do this mission unarmored

The medic is armored and occasioally comes with a stun launcher.  Cattle prod is the only reilable method, throwing a molotov and running usually also works though, throwing a bomb ---sometimes--- works.


Best done at night.  Do not even think of doing this at daytime it is a bad idea.

These wonderful missions have tons of loot and a great source of hostages.  Some notes:

-Church neophytes (white shirted kids) are heavily armed and generally don't surrender.  They're worth a lot as hostages, but kill them early game before you've got armor.

-Altar boys are worth a lot, but have very low HP so be careful.

Church priest (big blue dude) usually packs extreme heavy guns, possibly even a (weak but still...) flamethrower.  Best worth trying to lure outside the temple or in clear view through the front door, usually but waiting.  Necessary for some tech, but killable in a pinch early game.

-Savvy girls (april oneil basically) or not worth a whole lot compared to the rest.

Note:  doing at night has the added advantage that the inside temple is lit up, allowing a somwhat cheezy way of killing everyone thorugh the windows slowly with carbines if it comes to it.


An easy mission.  'nade or cannon the front door, ambush the guys inside by waiting outside.  If they don't come out, send in a peasant and wait on the first floor to lure them out.


This mission is so easy the mutants and (friendly! yay!) cats and dogs usually win for you.  Joining in the fray gets you a lot of points and sometimes a very very good black cat scout (it's got crazy night time camo)


Most missions can occasionally have zombies instead of citizens or ratmen.  Think of zombie like dogs but a little slower and with 10x the hit points and no armor.  They're not too tough but usually you will want to bail a zombie mission either do to crowding of zombies, or the possibility of strix zombies (topless necromancers).  Scientific experiments has a whole load of fuck you, never do these if it's zombies until you are way later in the game.


Don't do these.  If you do, arm to the teeth with explosives.  If it isn't humanists (hooded dudes) just take the score hit and run.


Don't do these.  If you do, arm to the teeth with explosives, and make sure to end a turn somewhere you can't be grenaded (trust me).  Mid-game this can be an option to score some heavy weapons needed for tech

-Save the Lokknars.

Lokknars comes in two flavors: reaper cavalry and ninjas.  Ninjas have very similar stats to gals including armor, but are extremely tough, and have camouflage at night, and usually one shot gals, and have all around better stats and outnumber you and don't panic.  Usually not worth doing even with apples.

On the other hand, repear cavalry tend to be easy, but you generally want to nab them with some kind of spammable grenade.  If you end turn in their sight they can wreck you, but since they're 2x2 with no explosive ammunition, you can frequently avoid any possibility of them harming you.

Capturing either flavor is very nice, but again, not worth getting all your gals killed.

Skipping save the lokknars incurs a negligible point penalty and skipping after landing is also a neglible slightly worse penalty.


Bring armor, use the minimap to find the stairs, face the stairs, and wait.  Make sure to give your guardians only melee.  Rats can only really hurt a BARBARIAN (S) from behind.  Wait until rats stop showing up for 3 turns, remove from microwave, and, ahem...

Easy or, if you screw up or don't bring armor, every dies.

Occasionally you need to use a pickaxe  (found on floor) on a wall.  make sure to stop pickaxing the wall when it's half knocked down and shoot rats free of possibility of harm over the half downed wall.


Underwater missions come in three early game flavors:

1) Crabs.  The easiest version.  Literally they cannot hurt you if you move up in z levels.  Oh yeah, you can swim :)

2) Deep ones.  Much harder.  Kill close deep ones with javelins, far ones with x-bows.

3) Giant jellyfish things of doom.  These will mindrape you and kill you, just bail.  Possibly doable with satchel charges or expeditions or later game tech.

Note: I personally like keeping a "nude oxygenator" who just has two hands filled with oxygen pump for energy for javeliners or stun healing other people.  Which is either genius or stupid, I'm not sure.  Either way, this looks awfully stupid imagining it in real life.


To do ratmen cache and many later missions, you will need some locknar.  Locknar are known for high reactions, so you can best do these missions by slowly creeping, and occasionally peeking a corner and killing.  Enemies are just ratmen, but lots of them.  Don't Kill the D.I.L.D.O. she seems to be bugged to be an enemy


First mission that you might accidentally unlock early.  Early game, this is best done with copious amounts of grenades and hiding, the osiron guards are both nightvision and heat sensing (anti-smoke grenade)


Occasionally you'll see a very small craft wander around moving at 100 speed that lands every now and then.  These are necropirates.  They're basically weaker but higher HP and less armored versions of ninjas.   Think zombie ninjas.  They actually are zombies.

Quite dangerous, but they do award 0-3 castaway gals as rewards if you feel like attempting it.  Shotguns, melee, chainsaws, and the gothic gun are the best tools, although since they have low armor, the less accurate axes tend to be less useful than plain cutlasses or other swords.  There are more than you'd expect and they have very high HP, though.


UFOS come in two flavors:  Prey and hunter killers.  Hunter killers are denoted by a radar.  For the purpose of this guide, consider the hunter killers best avoided.

For the rest, the prey also come in a few varieites:


Shoot these down if you've got the means.  The best ways to get weapons for civilizians are crazy hanna (cannons) or the green codex (charge laser) both on aircars.   Doing landed smalls also works

Airballs (M) are also usable on an airspeeder if needed, as are Airballs (L) when dual/tripple wielded on some codex ships.  Note, only fire them one at a time if wielding more than one.


Seen above, don't think you can or should shoot them early on.


Need missiles to shoot them down probably.  They've got car parts if you do the mission


Just tail them with a fast shadowmasters craft (shadowbat/snake/worm) and fight when they land.  Notably, these are very tough relative to everyday missions.  Pretty much everything is hard at night, and the academy has osiron security like toppling towers.  Raiders (look like punks and sometimes fly) tend to fight a lot like sky ninjas only worse, and reticulans are fairly to kill but pack very lethal lasers and very superior night vision.  Rewards are great (money, plasteel, engines, cannons), if you can win, though.

Early game, grenade cheese is usually the best option.

Guide done.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 12:24:06 am by Greep »

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 12:41:33 pm »

Early on when you use the tiny drill, you'll get a choice to use the drill on 4 colors. UFOpaedia wiki "tiny drill" page has a good explanation of what you'll get with these, here's some of my personal opinions.


Green codex is basically the "newbie economy" codex.  The charge laser fits on an aircar and will earn you somewhere between 500k-1M per month in loot and apples from downing civilians and kidnapping them.  Eventually you will naturally get a method for shooting down civilians, but you'll net a good 1-4 million extra cash over time usually from that laser if you unlock the codex early on.

The turtle is your general all around transport ship, and you can use the worm as a fast transport for following landed small UFOs.

Green also has some either newbie stuff luck gel, castaways and medical supplies for a sickbay, but IMO the main reason to choose green is for that charger laser.

Later in the game, the codex is fairly weak, but the extra money will get you more brainers so you'll get there faster.  If you want some no nonsense money, this is for you.


Gold Codex is kind of the "jack of all trades codex" and is also a good newbie choice.  You immediately get over 1.5 million in gold and diamonds to sell off.  Additionally, underwater missions are quite difficult, and space suits at least allow you to absorb a bit of reaction fire if needed: while the 25 armor is very low it also gives some stabbing resistance. 

Additionally, the codex ships are excellent:  Shadowbat is probably the best first choice as you can immediately do landed smalls all around the globe and you have a good ship for hiding troops in.  Turtle is best to replace your blowfish and also a general use ship for missions.  And lastly, the hawk is super fast for when you do decide to take on hunter killers.

Finally, it also has some decent late game outfits as well as good early game scout outfit (amazon)

If you have no idea what to choose, gold is a great choice.  Gold is my personal favorite as it just helps with pretty much every layer of the game early on. 


Most of grey's usefulness comes much later in game through psionic powers.  It's definitely not the newbie choice because there's little obvious early game economic advantage, but the shadowbat is a good ship, and the jellyfish is also useful underwater/ in monster hunts.  The conversion launcher used to be more useful before hunter killers, and it won't help you fight civilian ships because you'll just nuke them to pieces.  If you like the idea of blasting people's minds much much later in the game, this is for you.


Red codex gets you some sets of chain mail, and would typically be used with the shield version with your gothic guns.  Notably: do not get lulled until a false sense of security.  The armor is quite good and can earn you a fair bit of cash if you take on missions you normally would avoid, BUT explosives will still kick your ass, and heavy melee enemies can still kill you with your back turned.  So don't expect a prepper camp or pogrom to be any easier really, and still be careful against wild animals.

Later on this codex is mostly focused on melee, armor and explosives, which is where the codex starts to pick up.


There's two overall strategies for getting hostages:

1) Selective:  Kill absolutely everyone except one or two highly valuable hostages for research.  By killing everything, you'll cause a panic which will get you some hostages at the end.  This is preferred before you get some armor and experienced gals, so january should be a killing spree for the most part.  If trying to cause a surrender, aim for "important areas" so you can knock out the VIPS first.

2) Everyone:  The reverse, knock everyone out unless they're extremely dangerous.  Hostages on the ground can be whipped until they ghost or tossed into a smoke cloud to keep them down.  If you're really fast and the map has no buildings, don't even bother worrying about keeping dudes on the ground down.  Notably, capturing nearly everyone has terrible effects on morale, so you may need to kill some dudes every now and then.

Mixing and matching these two styles is rarely useful:  By trying to make half of the map hostages, you will not cause a panic and may even end up with less hostages since they will not surrender.

Note: Some maps, particularly those with many multifloor buildings can be difficult to capture everyone until you have very large troop transports like turtles, so even if the targets are valuable you might want to just kill everyone.

Early game hostages by usefulness
P = pimping,
I = individual interrogation (research once)
M = mass interrogation (keep researching them midgame, when convenient). + = the research itself is profitable when one brainer is on it
J = just kill it after all research is done, worthless except for the joy of killing

Unlisted means they're decently valuable to capture and probably should be researched once when convenient

I-Academy Medic
I-Academy Engineer
I-Church Priest
I-Church Neophyte
M+I-Altar Boy
I-Guild Security
P-Guild Hostess
I-Guild Sailor
I-Ratman Lieuitenant
MJ-Ratman Brigand (only if you want animal poison or alchemy stuffs)
M+-Ninja Gal
M+-Academy Medic
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 02:46:21 am by Greep »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 02:17:39 pm »
This is a pretty good guide. The only obviously wrong thing I spotted was that ninja gals have better armour than you (they don't) and better night vision (they don't). Where did this come from?
What I feel should be pointed out is that many of these suggestions are not necessarily the only solutions. I understand that you wanted to provide the simplest instructions to a beginner, and your advice is good, but at times it comes off as overly dogmatic. The biggest culprit in my view is the aggressive promotion of "Gals are superior". Yes, it is easier for most players (but not always!), but pushing it as the only path while completely omitting even mentioning the "We Need a Male Touch" is more confusing than helpful. It is a crucial campaign and story choice, not "some optional stuff".

Offline Dakkdakk

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 03:18:39 pm »
This is a pretty decent guide, if rather pigheaded in regards to some topics, like solarius pointed out. Also, the reason people tend to think ninja gals have better NV than you is because they have better night camo values, meaning they're gonna see you before you see them at night.

One suggestion: research money bags and purses to get access to gambling as soon as possible, the stuff you can get from gambling can give you some pretty great tools for the early game. Prepper boxes are also pretty good for this. Gambling overall is an amazing source of research material.

If you get yourself a tommy gun early only, research it immediately. You'll likely have contacts:merchants by that point so you'll be able to buy them off the black market. Tommy guns are pretty accurate for what they are, have very large clips and have enough killing power to get through church warmaiden/guild security armor. It also has quick burst, allowing for multiple shots per reaction, and a pretty great low ap option for when you need to put multiple holes in someone. Its not a weapon to snipe with, but its aimed shot isn't all that AP expensive.

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 08:23:40 pm »
Well I didn't mean "more armored" just armored.  I might have been thinking of a different enemy than ninja gals reagrding night vision, somehow I thought they had 16 visibility at night, but it turns out they do only have 12.  Seems to be correct, I also may have been confused due to the camo as mentioned.

I feel like male touch honestly is not something a new player should even try out, SS are practically just peasants and at least in the current version (K2) is definitely a challenge route.  That said, yeah, most of the guide is just providing an "example path that is newbie friendly" not the only path, maybe I should make that more clear.

Regarding tommy guns: I'll add a note, yeah those do seem a fair bit better than sprayguns.  I've always found smgs awkward personally since they aren't as good as shotguns at night and aren't as good as sniping at day, so they're in that weird zone.  Heavy/combat shotguns are usually what I use if I want to research a non-sniping weapon, but I am a bit grenade happy for dealing with armored enemies xD
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 08:33:35 pm by Greep »

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 09:09:25 pm »
Good guide. I'll add my two cents.

Some weapons I think are worth mentioning.
- Hunting bow with poison arrows. Sooooo useful, so wow, such damage. If you disagree, you never tried it. Reaction disrupt (enemy won't shoot back if you hit him), 2D damage roll (low chance of a dud), armor piercing, good capture chance. Especially good vs raiders, spartans and megapol.

- Double barrel shotgun. Your early "good" shotgun that is cheap and easy to get. Your early game "I need more damage" tool. A double blast from close range kills most things, and you can actually do auto-reload-auto in one round. Your best tool for tough enemies like Ninjas and Necropirates.

- Javelins. High damage, but more range than a shotgun and also useful for armored enemies. Your other early game ranged "high damage" weapon. For Ninjas and Necropirates, I use a mix of double barrel shotguns and javelins. They are 1-handed, so you can have a melee or pistol in your other hand.

- Hammer. Your early game "I need you to die" melee weapon that does not require much research to get. Very much like a great club or barbarian axe, so I don't bother with these.

- Battle Ax. The best all around 1-handed melee weapon in the early game.

- Magnum. Most useful early game long range weapon. Better at long range than all same tech rifles in most cases. In the early game, pistols > rifles. The tech at which rifles become better than pistols is lasgun and smartrifle.

- Dart pistol + sleep dart clips. Change underwater missions from hard to piece of cake. You wouldn't know it, but this is your major damage upgrade for underwater warfare.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 09:15:48 pm by Eddie »

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 09:40:35 pm »
I use most of these as well.  There's just so many danged weapons lol, writing a guide is almost impossible.  I'll get around to adding them to the OP.

I didn't realize that about pistols, though, but maybe I was just using the cruddier ones.  There are a lot of pretty awful pistols.

Regarding posined hunting bows:  Actually I haven't used them!  I'll try them out.  I just knew that regular bows were awful, so I didn't get around to trying the special ammo.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 09:45:05 pm by Greep »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 10:19:01 pm »
I agree with Eddie, except I'd rather take a sabre over an axe, unless I'm hunting really big game.

Also, throwing axes are something I'd be willing to build a shrine for.

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 02:12:48 am »
Yes, the sabre is top dog for dps in most cases, but the battle axe is a close second. The battle axe is also a good "can opener" for heavy armor, so I would recommend the battle axe as the best *all around* 1-hand melee. There is hardly a case where it is a bad choice.

Some more things to add to the guide:
If you want to capture ratemen (they interrogate quite fast), use a leather whip from a distance. Ratmen have such high dodge that you will curse a lot when you try to hit them in melee. The whip can't be dodged when used from a distance, and 1-2 hits are enough to knock out a ratman. Definately bring whips to any ratmen mission.

I just noticed the guide is not mentioning voodoo.
Bugeyes are the earliest available form of mind control you can get (posession). It takes a while to train them up though. A maxed bugeye is pretty close to the maximum voodoo power available in the game (which is about 20% more powerful), so it is totally worth training them up. For training, 11 panic attempts per mission gets you the maximum skill increase, more than 11 don't give you any benefit skill wise. Maximum voodoo skill (and power) of bugeyes is 75. To keep the bugeyes morale up, use their medipack. Each use gives 5 morale, and you can always use painkillers and stimulants no matter if the target needs them or not.
In this mod, psi resistance is also tied to morale, so lowering the morale of a target will lower their psi resistance. If you have trouble posessing a target, try lowering it's morale first. Successful psi terror attacks lower morale obviously. But you can also use any fire or plasma damage. The mind control of bugeyes leaves enough tu for a panic attack, so use the panic attack before the mind control attempt. Use about 2-3 successful panic attacks before a mind control attempt for maximum chance. Line of sight to the target makes no difference, but the closer you are to your target the better the chance of success.
Enemies with especially low resistance to psi attacks are megapol. They are the best targets to try out mind control.

To unlock psi on your gals, use a seductress outfit, which is easier to get than a voodoo school. Once unlocked, voodoo items like wands will give voodoo skill increases as well. The seductress outfit with it's seduce ability is also very powerful. Seduce can knock out a marsec power armor guy in one hit. When wearing the seductress outfit, put an exquisite lingerie in the 2x2 belt slot to help with morale regeneration.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 02:17:58 am by Eddie »

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2020, 02:17:30 am »
Ah, yeah I figure once people get a dojo/back to school they can figure out things for themselves, because at that point gals are a lot more expendable.  So I just didn't bother mentioning voodoo.

Will add a note about leather whips.

Edit: oh dang, poison arrows do 2x to stun damage.  I geddit now.  Geeze I even play gold codex, those would just be killer with amazon gear.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 03:10:41 am by Greep »

Offline RetroJL

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2020, 04:11:20 am »
Your guide doesn't really touch on throwing weapons/skills/etc as much as it could.  A high throwing skill gal with a bow or javelins can be obscenely deadly early game.  Even though bows can be easy to overlook with the laser guns and hand-held cannons and plasma weapons and such they are really useful in the right hands.

One thing I'd add is to play loose.  Seriously.  You can start a game planning on going with gals over guys, fast-tracking certain weapons/armor, and already know the codex you want.  And then you could get lucky on an early event or mission and have a chance to go a completely different route.  Your guide is good, but covers a specific way to play, not the only way though.

Hell, in a recent game I relied early almost entirely on gambled or looted weaponry while I fast-tracked other research.  It means my squad was a ramshackle mess of gear but generally could punch above their weight.  Just had to pick my battles unless I had plenty of extra gear in storage.  Eventually I had to divert research to weapons, but at that point my gals were heavily armored and riding in style. 

Offline Greep

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2020, 04:31:58 am »
Well, if I covered most of the ways things can go differently in a game, the guide would be a mile long haha.  Having at least a strict overall guide covering the main techs for getting a good variety of early missions and winning them is useful I think.

I did overlook throwing a lot.  I even used to use it a lot, not sure how I forgot about it so much in the guide.

Offline legionof1

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Re: The Newbie Guide
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2020, 07:08:00 am »
Gona cover a few points, but a very well done effort. Good job. Remarks numbered as the section the came from.

Note the following remark doesn't apply to K2 but all versions after. So far only the nonpublic K3 build.
 3: Lowest difficulty does actually have a significant impact on play. Namely that voodoo both tools and techs is almost completely blocked off. The triggers for voodoo prerequisite are tied to events that dont fire.  There are a few edge cases like bugeyes. But for the most part your playing without. Not a big deal overall but it does feed into codex pick since without the voodoo branches most of the later impact of the codexs isn't there. (No blood axes for red, no savior armor for green, ect)


Shipwrecked: One further possible encounter, 3 strix. This is the zombie version of the encounter. But the chance is higher here then the standard 5% on other missions.

Watchtower: Worth noting that the walls of the tower are actually pretty frail to hammer hits. A gal in the 55+ str range can open up the walls and save you some ammunition or explosives.

Ratmen cache: The D.I.L.D.O is working as intended even if the intent is a kludge. The idea is to rescue them before the ratmen kill them. However if they where normal civies the rats would kill them before you ever found them. A civilian unit that started stunned would be at no risk.  The solution is an enemy unit without moves and slowly bleeding to death via fatal wounds. This provides a controlled timer that the player can interact with and stop. Also a bit of extra challenge in trying to mitigate collateral fire.

Necro pirates: This may be quite a difficult encounter for a new player but i would encourage them never to avoid it. Up to 3 extra gals is a huge boon to the start of campaign. And the castaways your trying to save usually give a pretty fair account of themselves. This is the place to spend the intial ammo for the starting gothic raygun. What it doesn't kill it leaves burning and Necros take extra fire damage. The version where you can get more gals is also time limited to the first few weeks of a campaign. At most you get 2 chances at more ladies for the roster. Don't waste em.

First, a general statement that lowest difficulty throws this out on it ear(see first remark).

Also worth mentioning that green gives 3 extra castaways, and nuff med supplies for a sickbay, that's a long way to ensure your early game goes better. More gals for free with more up time, worth a mention.