The Advent of BioMecha, the giant montrosities in the battlefield.
No really. Human's side doesnt need it but the opposition might well use it.
The once-human's war machines get infected by biomass and get controlled to fight against their once-master and creator.
Tanks with blob of bio mass, shooting glob of acid balls. Choppers get covered in biomass and slideforward on the ground using bio lubricant to move, shooting as they slide. And of course the final insult: US, UK, Russia's prototype of powered exoskeletons get covered in gore and move forward like giants of yore.
Russian Base, 2nd phase, inside/underground of that facility
The previous battle leave me heavily depleted of ammo: 2 rounds of RPG7 left. About 10 rounds of super striker. Around 10 grenades. Plentiful of sniper bullets. I supplement the lacks with looted advanced laser gun, advanced plasma gun, AND proper tactics.
This time no running solo like the last mission base. We move as one team and concentrate fire in close quarter instead of medium to far range.
We hole up in a proper corner near the library. Enemy pop up around the corner get hit with full barrage. This tactic account of three quarters of the enemies.
The rest hole up in the library which can be quite tricky with a mix of rocket launchers and psi projector.
All in all, the rocket and advanced plasma gun can play merry hell on our tight formation.
Note to self: rocket launcher holders get speed slow down noticeably even with load <100%.
Note about base: A medical Excellent or Heroic is necessary in order to heal enough for both battle but not loaded down with kits that make possible avoiding RL in-your-face at the beginning. 9kits are nearly not enough.
Period: Early. I spread out of USA with the goal of coming to contact with that Russian base as fast as possible so currently only got North America and Europe covered.
Equipment: Not producing anything yet. 2 AI L115, 1 super striker, 1 M79 launcher,
I hit the base with 5 experienced troopers and 2 fresh-off-training newbie. Not my best team as they are in hospital after a grueling base defense in Paris.
2 Excellent sniper with AI L115
1 Heroic and 2 Excellent Launcher with 3 RPG7, for highest number of rocket rounds. I used up 19 rounds. Looking back, I should have exchange one RPG7 with a SLAW
1 Excellent and 1 Very good Thrower with a Striker and a M79.The burst mode of the launcher is enough of a kick for alien armor.
I bring 9 medikits and it got used up 6 on the ground battle.
The heaviest opposition on the ground battle:
3 rocket launcher with 1 incendiary, 2 psi.
1 microslug accelerator
I havent count psi projector, plasma gun, or etc...
The left side of the map is relatively bigger, with one depression separate the lower corner and the big flat plain by the wall. I run them over there right on starting, intending to use the brick wall as separator between the inside base force and the outside.
Not a moment too soon because later on it turn out the right side of the map got three aliens which I defeat later. The left side only got 1 which get creamed with just sniper guns and a grenade barrage.
The left side depression mean the grenade launchers down there can not shoot over the edge, but the chasing aliens cant shoot them either. The trio get nearer to take pot shot at my sniper duo at the higher ground left corner, and thus getting hit by both RPG and grenade launchers.
It's a bit of luck to check which aliens fall to sniper guns and thus render the incoming RPG7 rounds useless but overkill rather than under-. I think half of the target unconcious due to sniper fire but If I not fire up the rpg, the rest may just stand and squeeze me like flies. "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERKILL".
Anyway. For the inside base force. I use the wall as a separator and let them come at me through the gate. Extreme overkill by RPG and grenades and sniper fire. Gradually the wall get destroyed, so I have to pull back the team to the edge. During this time my RPG rounds get exhausted so I change them to hand grenade and lob them over the wall. The fastest guy act as spotter with the wall as shelter.
Battleships change the battlefield's calculation. It can down any Raptor in two hits. Nightwolves can stand slightly better but I have at most 6 spread to three main zones of defense. AT any time there's at most two nightwolves on one battleship. If there's cruisers or battlecruisers nearby we are so screwed.
So now back to peekaboo tactics:
1. zone defense.
2. If a battleship has escort at cruiser strength or above, no engagement. Or a hit and RTB strike to ensure survivals.
2. A lone battleship should have at least 2Wolves with 5 raptor escorts. The target raptor of that turn will RTB soonest. Meanwhile the squadron will engage at weakened strength. Still, at three or four turn that battleship should get to half health.
The ion shields should get priority in production, to replace all the laser shields. Battleship kill any raptor with laser shield in two hits.
All these production consume money like crazy. My 4.2 million a month from countries barely cover the bases and aircraft maintance. The 8 million or so payrolls for personel all come from battle bounties, loot liquidation, and part of the swarm bounty. If there's no swarm for that month, I dont have spare money.
A massive swarm of 4 fucking battlecruisers, about that in cruisers, double that in fighters, and massive number of scouts, absolutely press the full court.
The main base zone get press with the small number of fighters and the second wave of terror fighters/scouts. So in a way they distract our main force. No reinforcement form that zone get sent out to other area
Pulsar get distracted first by a wandering by a battlecruiser plus escort. So they reinforce late to the main area of operation. still, better late than never.
The full force of 3 battlecruisers and scouts strike first the Patria base, then down the dual base of Peleponesia and Sytirm major. It's my strategy to pack two base together with Patria nearby to reinforce them.
Anyway, the zone defense tactic prove its strong point of endurance. the Patria squadron delay the three battlecruisers, intend to wait for reinforcement from main base. Alas, all 4 of them get to half health but I can not send help, so the battlecruisers wander down to Peleponesia, and get stalled the longest time here. When the Pulsar reinforcement come, the swarm leader already so weakened that one salvo is enough to finish it off. The two battlecruisers get wounded and left shortly after. The chasing also weakened them enough that when they get to the sky of the Illyria continent, the Medie squadron finish them on its shore.
The bounty of downing that swarm leader and investigate its crash bring 12+ million. That is enough to cover the cost of 3 interceptors (with made parts), and maintainance fee plus wages for a month and a half.
With that bounty and 3 empty hangars, I start making Nightwolves with Ion Shield, Ion Cannon and Thunderbolt. THis is September preparation for battleship in December.
The ion shields prove its worth: raptors dont get easily killed as before. After we outfit all the fleet of interceptors I will start production of a few JAG.
I have started building 2 advanced workshops into the last free area (and replacing three workshops) in the main base. After these complete, which is last week of October, we can really crank up on production. The current 60 technicians is barely keeping up with our need for interceptor's parts, let alone ground combat needs.
Ground teams are 70% on scavenged weapons: plasma grenades, ion rifles/pistols, with 30% in laser rifle and heavy. 10 suits of beekeeper. All bought shields. Havent produced much for them since the Battleships appearance.
Also note to self: a squad based game should limit the squad size to no more than 8. 12 as afforded by Skydiver team is too unwieldy. We sometimes forget to command the other group to move.
8 so that we can divide by two group and command them separately with good effect. Might be one more as a scout tank who get out of the Skydiver first to attract enemy's fire and save everyone behind it.
Some people might like to use 3 squad of three, but that might not do well. 3 mean their placement can be pretty tight, and a wellplaced grenade can damage all three. But 4 a team generally mean the 4th often be in an odd location and it's hard to get all 4 in one attack.
Phantoms and Terror Floater appear at 30th November battleship, and not a week earlier. At this time, all research has been complete. So there're only these two researches appear after that.
Tips: Training soldiers in XP
Tip1: Laser Rifle
Equip Trainees with better armor to prevent killed by counter fire. Laser rifles for increase accuracy at max range. Autodoc to keep their time in hospital as little as possible because we want these guys to appear in many battle to train.
The most armored guys will attack a heavily armored target like a commander or Terror Floater from max range. As far as possible, so that the first few hostile counter fire will be shot at minimum accuracy.
Then Trainees will either max aimed or burst shot at target. Due to higher accuracy of laser fires, this action is possible. Ideally, no counterfire come. Or if it hit, the suit and shield will absorb most. Or at least, no critical wound. Or finally, no dead.
YOu can ensure that the trainee got quite a few shot into target and thus getting XP. If they are lucky, even kills.
Laser pistol or not, that kind of arms require pointblank range which is not where you want your Trainee to be.
Tips 2: Upward ceiling shots.
Not sure a feature or bug. IF two target stand near each other in both floor, they can see part of their bodies so they can shoot.
The con of this feature is that it's just as likely the hostiles overhead will shoot at you in their turn. Ouch.
The pro of this is depending where you stand, you might shoot without inviting counterfire. Which is where training with pistol coming in.
Trainee with a laser pistol, stand directly UNDER target, burst shoot at it. This can provide XP pretty fast. Do try to have a nearby shooter kill target at end of round, or next turn it will shoot you dead.
Shooting downward, for humans, are not easy, so not a method to train.
A tactic is have a guys get on the elevator to the next floor, note enemy placement here, have the downstair guys proceed to where they are needed and shoot.
These training tips work better at middle to late game on armored aliens, so you can shoot more without killing it. Early on it's just not very long before this end.
The Earth battle happen with no resupply whatsoever. What you carry is what you have. Enemies dont drop loots so no scavenging.
Although the auto-recharge gun of robot/tanks is nice, it come at humans' slot. As I prefer the tactical mobility of two more shooters instead of one big hulking mecha, I bring a full 10man team.
Conservative tactics ensure minimum expenditure of ammo and grenades.
The final battle is two part: Grab the shuttle, then assault the mothership.
The mothership is like a maze, but not too difficult. As they are both one floor battleground, it's actually easier than two-floor or three floor battlegrounds. There's nothing like a worry of enemy on higher heights taking pot shot at you to force a careful and much-recon battle tactic. As it is, bah~
1. Aircraft: 36 Raptors bought, and there's still a few in operation end game.15 Nightwolves and same in JAG. Generally, investment in shield and number of ships pay off in air superiority battles.
2. Shield --MIssile-- Cannon.
3. Zone defense is best defense. At need, wounded aircrafts can just land. A stalling tactic to wait until reinforcement from other bases come can conserve your crafts.
4. Make full use of your recruits and only hire when you dont have enough for a full squad. Late recruits are better than early era.
5. Investment in shield pay off in recruits life. Dont let them die.
6. Recruit roster: 20. HIghest, one captain, ten leutenants, the rest warrant officers.
7. 5 Throwers. Bombardment on suspected area with grenades is a valid tactic. When in doubt, calling in grenades. Later on they get teleporter, better shield and armor, and make for a very quick scout.
8. 70 Strength is recommended. You are going to carry lots of stuffs (Shield, dropped loots) and armors.
9. Perception is iffy. High PER shooters dont necessary react to appeared enemies. Still invest in them.
10. AGI is priority one. a fast scout, a agile shooter who can move a lot...
12. HP is not very necessary. THey can live with shields, which can be bought with money. Skill points are rare. Late game maybe.
13. Scavenge the battlefield from day one. Dont rely on end battle mechanism.
Several full court press with battleships appear and drop most of the Raptor with Laser Shield. Fortunately for my bottomline, the Ionshields are done in time to reequip every interceptors. The Raptors can still be killed in few hits, but not as easily as before.
Trilobite appear permit the research into EEW Shield. I havent done it yet because I am waiting for the, final, two advanced workshops get online first. It would be a race against time once we start research EW shield and produce enough to outfit all the fleet.
Three tortoise armors are on since I skip both Wasp and Viper armor entirely, jump straight from Bee. These are the trio of armored snipers, who will take first shot at faraway big target such as trilobites. Since target can eat three shots and not die (especially if we choose laser rifles) their return fire will hit the best armor with some shields. One of those are the first one step out of lander's mouth, sure to eat ambush fire. The rest of ground team wear beekeepers with 5+ shields.
Note to self: The Laboratory of the Centaurus spaceship does NOT help with research. I though it did so I try researching and building it but no luck.
I am farming out Advanced Detection facilities to three other base surrounding main base. Once they are built, I will sell the old detection building in main base to get room.
Finish building the Skydiver. 12 people capacity mean a 50% increase from the old Raider.
The interceptor swarm strategy mean a massive need of produced parts. I havent made 2 plasma cannon but now I have to discontinue that line and change over to Ion cannon entirely. Current mix is: 100% laser shield, 100% thorn missile, 80% laser cannon, and 20% advanced cannon, all Raptors. I fore see a rush for Ion shield, then Thunderbolt, then ion cannon which will be lackadasical before we change to ASKEW cannon.
On the other hand, the current ground combat strategy mean a lesser need for production. We use both scouts and teleporter to check enemy locations, then pour laser fire into the target, AND/OR plasma grenades. The latter is lower in stock at pretty fast rate, despite our battlefield scavenging. The Heavy Plasma are being kept back as reserve, since we want extra XP for hitting target, instead of sure kills. Current enemy's mix is half destroyer/sentinels, ie no loot, and vipons.
Pass about ten battle, I think. And confirm a few things about UFO ET I suspected in the past
- The game is not about tactical so much as horror. You never know when some alien monstrosity gonna throw a green gas grenade at your feet and knock you down. Even if you purposeful build up scout unit with AP, it's still no sure tactic to prevent that shit. And I am pretty weak against horror.
- The setting of a strange, unknown alien world make sure that players dont care about setting. No hook at all. No familiar names like Martian locations in UFO Afterlight. No fixed characters. No quest. No events. No even the different regions in the world. The RPG elements are very light. This is a bad thing.
I am by no means sure that I can continue much more.
1st thing 1st, I check my roster of soldiers. They need to have average stat of 40 at least. I kick out half the current roster and hire 6 more. Need several restart to have it enough like that because man, several run I got about 1 decent in the whole roster.
In Hire section, set everything to 35, then check each stat at 45. Got them gems that way.
Rename them a bit Role-Personal name.
I got a few scout with high AGI and high reaction. 3 personal shield each.
Sniper with high Shooting
Flanker with good reaction. They are the main shooters and grenadiers.
1st battle the shields burn out to the last but in return noone die. This prove benefit of the expense because they used to die like flies on me.
Do another three ground battles after my first mini swarm I think. There's a scout ufo with red light.
In order to prevent horror moment, I devote my scouts' AP to advance 2/3 or 3/4 then return with zero AP. Let flankers or snipers unit get to where they are to provide auto fire.
Horror moment define as an alien pop out where there are none before, but probabbly just a broken wall/door on the upper floor. There is absolutely no sign at all that there's one there, since we can not even seen the outline of next floor easily.
The first time they do a full court press with three Battlecruisers. Not even a swarm. Just. Full Court Press. Zone defense tactic prove its worth. The main base's sky where two battlecruisers battling with our swarms of interceptors are red with laser and missiles. Repeated RTB (with four base around main pretty near each other) keep missiles flying nonstop, and save quite a few half health Interceptors. No reward so the cost of destroyed interceptors (mostly reinforcement from faraway base like Styrm major) can only be recovered from those battlecruisers' crashes.
My 100 scientists are running full blast with investigation. The much smaller engineers are concentrated on making Green thorn missiles for interceptors, while more advanced workshop are being researched.
Ground tactic at this time are: plasma grenades as main tool of damage. Laser rifles are alternatives. Heavy Plasma and Heavy Laser are nice, but I want to grind more xp for other members so I dont want those one shot kills, and reserve them for second line of troopers. I got Ion weapons but doesnt use them much in battle currently. Damage is eaten up by personal shield which we buy a lot.
Squadrons of interceptors are around the world, allow for at least 3 units responding to a single threat while reinforcements are on the way. Cruisers can kill one in such situation, so it's necessary to have the target return to base at half health. Overwhelming missiles and laser shots are enough to kill one Cruiser without casualty.
I barely able to make enough advanced then laser cannons for the interceptors. The laser shields are a big headache ahead, let alone the new interceptor design.
Cruisers afford enough hostile number that a big group of aliens can station near the entry zone and throw grenades/plasma shots.
The squadrons run up enough cost that montly payment from countries are barely enough to pay maintainance and personel roster. 40 scientist operate around the clock and similar number of engineer making items, plus 16 active duty soldiers. It's actively needed, the funding from selling loots and materials.
1. Autodoc seem to keep the critical wounds down. A few times I notice my heavy wounded troopers just doesnt have critical wound. It wont replace stim, medi, or hospital time, but it keep down the length of the stay.
2. ALS does make the game easier slightly. You are saved the wasted time investing places where there's no hostiles. You can respond better to threats. But if your landing site covered by three Destroyer or Sentinels it's of no help. Also you can plan your turn better to ensure picking up every dropped loots, since the game only allot a small percentage of them in last screen.
What it ruin is the horror and the suspense of the game (which I hate much). You dont have to worry about an unseen enemy popping into your zone and pop your head of. They still do that, but we know they are there.
3. Portable Teleporter help the good grenadier become a fine scout. Its main help is in finding out location of Sentinels and Destroyers without getting hit. Then the rest from waaaaaay back will autofire at their general area, hopefully wounding them enough that the aimed fire will only get bad counterfire. Shooting at them in THEIR range is a fool's gamble. Thanks to the PT that our laser troopers can deal with this very tough enemy. No loot, alas~
The swarm occur a few days after that three battlecruisers operation. 2 BC, 2 Cruisers, 2 fighters, and some scouts press me sorely. The 2 Cruisers strike at main base area so occupy attention of 5 bases. The Swarm leader battlecruiser wander down to Peloponesia so we have 5 interceptors down there playing tags with it while reinforcement coming in from Patria. It finally crash on the shore of Peloponesia. Zone defense is best defense, as my 5 locals are half health, but no loss striking down this monster.
Investigate a BC in the dark is a big pain in the arse. Half the force descend on my landing craft. Luckily no one die thanks to heavy investment in personal shields, and liberal use of stims and medi. The whole team get a paid vacation after that because of the various scratch and bruise. 30k spent on shield is well invested
I decided to return to UFOAS after a long time away. The last time I play UFO AFter game is AL in this rig with no problem. So I thought surely there's no prob with AS.
It freaking crash at Research cinematic screen.
You know, after starting (tuto doesnt count) we got a few cinematic screen right? And then the first battle, right? Okay, after that is the World map with 2 territories, untracked yet. We can click on most screen with Research (probbabbly) lead to a cinematic scene/video.
It freaking crash to desktop (or black screen then crash) without prejudice.
If I use ACM mod (reason of this rerun) it at least saying something about report to windows with some inexistent file.
If I run 1.3, or 1.2, or 1.21, it doesnt even bother with that. Just a black screen then crash.
My rig is 4GB RAM, windows7Ultimate, card nvidia geforce 210.
I stress that the three cinematic screen before the 1st battle is fine. Why would the Research cine affect me now?
Really hope some kind soul still wander this hall.