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Author Topic: Troop Deployment: Unfair?  (Read 5930 times)

Offline Slaughter

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Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« on: May 15, 2020, 09:46:12 am »
Hi. Loving this mod to bits. No Computer so can't study or work on my jobs. Playing on my phone. It's really helping keep my mood up during Quarantine.

Anyway... I have been thinking about a thing. Is the way Troop Deployment works in this mod unfair? Namely: Why most missions seem to start with my team surrounded by multiple enemies?

And I don't mean like vanilla, with a few enemies. I mean completely surrounded. By, say... Twenty zombies within attacking distance. Or pretty much the entire cult cell you are supposed to attack - all twenty of them pointing guns at your team.

Perhaps I am a scrub and it is totally possible to get of a situation with a dozen men in all possible directions pointing guns at four agents out of a van, ready to fire Olympic Shooter-tier scarely accurate snapshots at the smallest movement.

This is especially important because unlike vanilla, you can't just throw rookies in a meat grinder until you win.

It feels a bit luck-based to me. I like X-COM and I feel that stuff like save-scumming is innapropriate for it, but I am feeling to do it, just to try and actually have a chance of success on some missions.

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Offline Meridian

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 09:50:03 am »
Because you play on Superhuman.
And Superhuman is by definition unfair.

On lower difficulties, there's a lot less enemies and they don't all face in your direction at the beginning.


Offline Alazar

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 09:57:34 am »
Happens on lower difficulties too, bit not that often.

Offline Meridian

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2020, 10:08:22 am »
Happens on lower difficulties too, bit not that often.

It doesn't!
It's astronomically unlikely that 20 enemies would all face your team.
Already on Genius, the chance is about 0.003%.
On Veteran, Experienced and Beginner, there's not enough zeroes on my calculator to even show how low the chance is.

Code: [Select]
if (Position::distance2d(node->getPosition(), craft) <= 20 && RNG::percent(20 * difficulty))
dir = unit->directionTo(craft);
if (dir != -1)
unit->setDirection(dir);
else
unit->setDirection(RNG::generate(0,7));
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 10:15:24 am by Meridian »

Offline Bobit

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 11:07:46 pm »
Solarius has specifically stated this mod is not intended for Superhuman. Other mods may be.

Also remember, this mod is hard, but since there are no base assaults pre-invasion (2000) that I know of, you effectively can't lose the game And in general the goals of the early game are not obvious: money and mission success are worth very little, exp will stay relevant forever, but research is the goal.

Offline BlindWatcher

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 06:05:14 am »
Yeah, it's pretty common for me to end up surrounded unless I'm in a corner (in which case I'm just backed into a corner).
Turn 1 is just free reaction fire for the enemy. You come marching down the ramp, and hopefully they miss. My current strategy is to draw incoming fire with four dogs (also good for scouting) and then follow that up with a shield wall. Probably not going to work once I tech past armored vests.

On one hand, it makes sense for the enemy to see you coming and get into position. On the other hand, it REALLY does not make sense to just park two feet away from the cult base's front door.

Offline justaround

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 12:00:39 pm »
While being surrounded from all sides without recourse isn't a thing that often happens, I do admit there are situations where enemies are close and aware enough, while the players troopers spawning near them enough that (presumably without excessive save-scumming) it's impossible to move some of the units without them being shot, sometimes lethally.

I think something as simple as resetting all enemy units TU to 0 on the first X-Com turn so they cannot just reaction fire your troopers down before you even can reposition them anywhere would be enough for me to make such situations nearly nonexistent. For most other situations, opening up the battle with smoke grenades and similar may help a bit, though such things are admittedly less effective in this mod than one would assume.

Offline HT

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 03:43:13 pm »
If you have an AI Scout unit around, you can try using a smoke screen for some cover. Alternatively, you can try to improvise with extinguishers.

Offline Bananas_Akimbo

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2020, 02:39:50 am »
I do have a bit of an issue with missions, in which human enemies are scattered all over the map in a sort-of even distribution. Not a problem with beasts and zombies. It makes sense, that they would be spread across the landscape until you arrive. Also managable, difficulty-wise. Usually.

But with human(oid) enemies it often leads to situations, where casualties are nigh unavoidable, due to being surrounded on turn 1 with inadequate cover. More importantly to me, it often makes very little sense for all the baddies to just be randomly spread across the map. The worst offender for me so far has been the first Cult of Apocalypse mission. It would be far better, if the deployments would be more similar to what you normally find in a cult safehouse mission. That is, the bulk of the enemies, including all the priests, huddled around the altar and then dispersing upon your arrival. And only a couple of sentries dotted around the map, to keep you on your toes. It would be more realistic and play better. Instead you arrive in a wild mess of enemies, as if everyone was just wandering around aimlessly on their own.
This is made worse by the fact, that the number of enemies in that mission is enormous (for that map size). And I'm only playing on difficulty 2! So far, I was able to win this mission only once. My transport spawned at the edge of the map, with the open door pointed toward it. That way, I could exit the craft into smoke cover, without getting pummeled by rockets immediately and getting swarmed by cannon fodder from all directions. Every other time I had at least one rocket launcher pointing directly at me. Deploying smoke would cause reaction fire  into my transport. Besides, there's riff-raff all over, that can see into the smoke.
So I aborted the mission immediately each time.

Now, that is not a catastrophe, there's even a positive side to it. I kinda like, how I am sometimes forced into unwinnable situations. X-Com is just a small agency at first and ill-eqipped for its duty for much of the campaign. As it should be. You are way in over your head and your enemies don't play nice and wait for you to prepare and leave the hard missions for later. So every so often you get into a bad situation and you must accept taking casualties or play it safe and retreat. That is immersive. It also speeds up the game. I'm always tempted to play every mission I can, for the loot and experience. That can get monotonous. Unwinnable missions improve the flow of the campaign.

That being said, I have to repeat, that this approach to populating a map works with some missions, but not with others.
Zombies meandering through the desert without purpose. Sure, they're zombies, they don't organize.
Cultists loitering in the streets and squatting in random buildings. Fine.
Aliens spread throughout the city in a terror mission. Obviously. They are hunting civvies after all.

Red Dawn fighting a rival gang, but there is nothing like a battle line, just a tangled mess. How did that happen? The Osiron warehouse mission does it better.
Cultists stumbling around through bushes and inside caves, solitarily, all over. Why is there barely anyone inside the hideout?

Of course you can explain this sometimes, as the enemy having seen your craft approach and taking defensive positions before your landing. If only there wasn't so many of them without any cover even close to them.

It always looks worse, the more enemies there are and the more flat and open the map is. Throngs of baddies just standing out in the open, disorganized, gazing in random directions. It looks absurd


Eh. I am making this sound like a bigger problem, than it is. But it takes me out of the experience sometimes. And then the game feels like a complex, abstract puzzle, not like X-Com.

Offline unarmed drifter

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2020, 03:14:26 pm »
somewhere on the forum is a script which reduces enemies' tu at mission start by some random percentage. maybe this will solve some of the frustration?

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2020, 03:30:33 pm »
its not all bad, they reaction shot themselves on accident too ;)
Just get decent armor and kill the guys with launchers first...

Offline Slaughter

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2020, 05:13:42 am »


Because you play on Superhuman.
And Superhuman is by definition unfair.

On lower difficulties, there's a lot less enemies and they don't all face in your direction at the beginning.

Yeah but I always thought Superhuman = The Real X-COM Experience.

Also, I'm going to get mocked forever in RPGCodex if I ever show up there saying I play bellow Superhuman.

Solarius has specifically stated this mod is not intended for Superhuman. Other mods may be.

Also remember, this mod is hard, but since there are no base assaults pre-invasion (2000) that I know of, you effectively can't lose the game And in general the goals of the early game are not obvious: money and mission success are worth very little, exp will stay relevant forever, but research is the goal.

Its not? I do not understand. Most missions seem fairly tackable, its the missions with bases and the random chance of being surrounded by twenty cultists at turn 1 which are the problem. They seem like luck-based missions to me.

Cult Base Assaults would be hella cool. Wish it was a thing.

And seesh this mod really makes you feel the difference between shitty rookies and experienced agents.


Yeah, it's pretty common for me to end up surrounded unless I'm in a corner (in which case I'm just backed into a corner).
Turn 1 is just free reaction fire for the enemy. You come marching down the ramp, and hopefully they miss. My current strategy is to draw incoming fire with four dogs (also good for scouting) and then follow that up with a shield wall. Probably not going to work once I tech past armored vests.

On one hand, it makes sense for the enemy to see you coming and get into position. On the other hand, it REALLY does not make sense to just park two feet away from the cult base's front door.

In vanilla it makes sense for the Skyranger to get surrounded, its a big VTOL plane. You can't stealth with it. On the flip side, enemy fire will only come from the front. But a car or a van are far more subtle.




If you have an AI Scout unit around, you can try using a smoke screen for some cover. Alternatively, you can try to improvise with extinguishers.

Wait, you can use extinguishers to create smoke clouds? Seriously?

I must try this at once.


somewhere on the forum is a script which reduces enemies' tu at mission start by some random percentage. maybe this will solve some of the frustration?

That could be an interesting way to get some mileage out of some vehicles. Imagine if, say, the car allowed you to start with the enemy having less TUs.


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Offline vadracas

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2020, 05:17:31 am »

Yeah but I always thought Superhuman = The Real X-COM Experience.


In vanilla xcom, certainly. In the xcom-files? Well, only if you want upwards of 100 UFO's in a month sometimes.




Also, everything in xcom is about the right mixture of luck and skill.

Offline HT

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2020, 11:33:13 am »

Yeah but I always thought Superhuman = The Real X-COM Experience.

Also, I'm going to get mocked forever in RPGCodex if I ever show up there saying I play bellow Superhuman.

Its not? I do not understand. Most missions seem fairly tackable, its the missions with bases and the random chance of being surrounded by twenty cultists at turn 1 which are the problem. They seem like luck-based missions to me.

Cult Base Assaults would be hella cool. Wish it was a thing.

Wait, you can use extinguishers to create smoke clouds? Seriously?

That could be an interesting way to get some mileage out of some vehicles. Imagine if, say, the car allowed you to start with the enemy having less TUs.

Playing Piratez or X-Files at Superhuman is pretty much reserved for video-playthroughs that don't care about having their units grinded to dust every ingame month or so. It's not feasible without metagaming, because not only do more enemy troops appear, certain negative events trigger up earlier (for example, aliens showing up much earlier than "expected). So save yourself the trouble, no-one cares about the size of your e-peen.

If you believe 20 cultists is bad, imagine having to deal with say 60 zombies in a mission due Superhuman.

Extinguishers produce smoke, which in theory can be used for cover, I believe, but it's a last resort thing since it consumes a lot of TUs.

Finally, there's a mod somewhere in the Released mods subforum that does exactly that: Reduce available TUs for enemy units during turn 1. No idea if it works for X-Files.
Either way, base defense is not as important (nor tedious) as Piratez, but it's still there. Keep your eyes open...

Offline Bobit

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2020, 05:45:31 pm »
Main thing about setting the difficulty to Superhuman is there is no early-game lose condition. So you really have no idea if it will be the appropriate difficulty when the invasion begins.