Cmdr Spike's AAR - [Spoilers]


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#21 Space Voyager

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 01:57 PM

Oh, I know the feeling... Boy, do I know the feeling.

#22 sp1ke

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 02:38 PM

I am also thinking I should have built the OTS instead of my second Sat Uplink. It's an almost impossible, strategic vs tactical choise. But the OTS, specifically Squad Size, is the greatest force multiplier in the game with the possible exception of Psi. Going from 4 to 6 units is much more than just a 50% increase in firepower, it also gives you flexibility and the ability to broaden your talent pool. Training up one or two rookies with 4 or 5 vets is easy. Training up 1 rookie with 3 vets is risky and difficult. This means your pool of soldiers stays small and you are very vulnerable to catastrophe. Also means you can't fully use the tactical flexibility offered by classes and items.

Maybe I should have let a couple of Council countries go, in order to get OTS early. And I wonder if, in Classic, Asia is the best starting location choice, so as to get Future Combat.
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#23 sp1ke

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:11 PM

Grr @ the Transponder mission, Confounding Light.

Tried with a mix of vets and rookies. We were all wiped out on turn 2.

Went back with all vets and maximum caution. We survived, but with 3 gravely wounded and out for 15 days. My 4 man squad can't tolerate that. Not with Alien Base Assault and Airborne Battleship Assault lined up waiting.

And it could have been so much worse. All for a lousy 2 Engineer reward???

Still my top sniper one-shotted the Mutons with a conventional sniper rifle. Twice. Two for two. That's pretty cool. :-)
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#24 sp1ke

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:31 PM

To be honest for 2 Engineers I wouldn't have bothered. Only because I know it leads to the Battleship mission.
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#25 sp1ke

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 02:21 PM

Grr. I now have Gangplank (airborne Battleship assault) to do as well as Alien Base Assault. And Gangplank only stays available for about 24 hours. If I wait until the end of the month my 'A' team will be healed and able to do the Alien Base Assault, but they will not be ready in 1-2 days (more like 15 each) and there is no way I can beat Gangplank with 1 vet and 3 rookies with laser rifles. :-(

I am going to have to repeat Confounding Light (transponder race) and this time come out without any wounds, let alone any critical wounds. And I may have to repeat the medium scout UFO where I took a critical to my vet Assault trooper while stunning the Outsider.

All things considered I may take the advice offered elsewhere on this forum which is to deliberately NOT advance the plot until I've had time to build up my strength.

So, two counterintuitive and unattractive things about XCOM 2012:
  • Advancing the plot is a bad idea and just makes life worse for you. It is better to stall and delay the plot. :-(
  • Advancing on the ground is a bad idea and just makes life worse for you. It is better to move very slowly and avoid entering new map areas. :-(

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#26 sp1ke

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 03:08 PM

Well I'm going to attempt Gangplank with one vet Sniper (conventional sniper rifle, Squadsight/GoodGroun/Opportunist), and three rookies with laser rifles and SCOPEs. All in paper-bag body armour. Wish me luck!
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#27 Hobbes

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 12:06 AM

View Postsp1ke, on 01 October 2015 - 02:38 PM, said:

I am also thinking I should have built the OTS instead of my second Sat Uplink. It's an almost impossible, strategic vs tactical choise. But the OTS, specifically Squad Size, is the greatest force multiplier in the game with the possible exception of Psi. Going from 4 to 6 units is much more than just a 50% increase in firepower, it also gives you flexibility and the ability to broaden your talent pool. Training up one or two rookies with 4 or 5 vets is easy. Training up 1 rookie with 3 vets is risky and difficult. This means your pool of soldiers stays small and you are very vulnerable to catastrophe. Also means you can't fully use the tactical flexibility offered by classes and items.

Maybe I should have let a couple of Council countries go, in order to get OTS early. And I wonder if, in Classic, Asia is the best starting location choice, so as to get Future Combat.

On Classic/Impossible you'll lose several countries, the strategy is to try to get one or two additional continent bonuses while retaining enough countries not to lose the game. I usually only build 2 additional Uplinks, allowing for 8 sats and the other countries either leave or I leave at least 2 of them unguarded so that abductions can continue.

The OTS is critical period. It's not just Squad Size, but Iron Will is very useful to avoid that your starting soldiers end up as low willed when they reach Colonel, or the bonus experience points.
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#28 Hobbes

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 12:14 AM

Quote

So, two counterintuitive and unattractive things about XCOM 2012:
  • Advancing the plot is a bad idea and just makes life worse for you. It is better to stall and delay the plot. :-(
  • Advancing on the ground is a bad idea and just makes life worse for you. It is better to move very slowly and avoid entering new map areas. :-(

Also depends on your strategy. Assaulting the alien base lead to Outsiders being replaced by Sectoid Commanders on UFOs, which are a real pain, but in case panic is out of control you may have to assault it just to prevent losing the game. Also, the longer you take to assault the base means that you'll face bigger aliens like Heavy Floaters and Sectopods. I still remember one game where half my squad had to retreat to the starting area while being chased by Heavy Floaters, while the other half was unable to help them. Not to mention Sectopods guarding choke points, which can be a total nightmare.
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#29 sp1ke

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 03:19 PM

Well wow! I beat Gangplank on Classic with one Sniper Captain and 3 rookies. No one died, two rookies wounded but not too badly. The kill distribution was pretty even, 4 or 5 each to the rookies out of 19 kills.

Unfortunately two out of the three rookies got promoted to Sniper - what's up with that?
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#30 sp1ke

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 05:53 PM

I'm sure when I played Gangplank on Normal with a 6 man squad there were two Cyberdisks. On Classic with a 4 man squad there was only one.

Does the game increase the number of aliens for a larger squad??
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#31 Hobbes

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 11:01 PM

View Postsp1ke, on 03 October 2015 - 05:53 PM, said:

I'm sure when I played Gangplank on Normal with a 6 man squad there were two Cyberdisks. On Classic with a 4 man squad there was only one.

Never played Gangplank on Normal but I'm almost sure that you must be confusing missions or there's a bug involved.
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#32 sp1ke

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 02:18 PM

Yeah probably I am confusing it with Allen Base Assault.

Missions are ridiculously easy now I finally have a six man squad. Mainly because I am holding off doing Allen Base until I need the Panic reduction or the loot. I am awash with loot at the moment, and Panic is fine. I'm getting bored though so I think I need to do Allen Base just to increase the challenge. I am building up a large (and useless)  collection of Outsider Shards. :-)

I am starting to understand why you guys were not hugely impressed by 2012 and in particular it doesn't feel like it has the same replay value or the same epic scale as the original.

It is a well-made game however, in many ways not only more polished than the original, but better balanced.
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#33 Hobbes

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 04:02 PM

View Postsp1ke, on 01 October 2015 - 01:39 PM, said:

And it's no use reloading the game as the RNG seed is preserved.

You can still cheat with the preserved RNG seed - if you reload a few times then you eventually figure out which shots are more/less likely to miss, so you change the order of the shots to get the result you need.
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#34 Hobbes

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 04:11 PM

View Postsp1ke, on 04 October 2015 - 02:18 PM, said:

I am starting to understand why you guys were not hugely impressed by 2012 and in particular it doesn't feel like it has the same replay value or the same epic scale as the original.

I've played over 1800 hours (both EU and EW) so I kinda disagree with you on the replay value. More than half of that time was playing Impossible, which to many can be too harsh and RNG dependent but that's how I like it Posted Image

You should really try some of the Second Wave options later like the ones that randomize the rookie's starting stats and their promotion gains. Training Roulette is also another of my favorites, along with the others that restrict psi.

Quote

It is a well-made game however, in many ways not only more polished than the original, but better balanced.

My biggest complain of this game is how limited Geoscape when compared to the original and after so many hours played I know all maps and most of their spawn locations. But its tactical combat is better than the original - right now when I play Openxcom I've started moving my soldiers more rather than taking 1 step at the time, using grenades that explode on contact, etc.
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#35 sp1ke

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 05:42 PM

View PostHobbes, on 04 October 2015 - 04:02 PM, said:

You can still cheat with the preserved RNG seed - if you reload a few times then you eventually figure out which shots are more/less likely to miss, so you change the order of the shots to get the result you need.
Yes I did try changing the order of actions that I take and sometimes that works.
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#36 sp1ke

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 05:49 PM

I will try some of the 2nd Wave options. Yes I could see that you have got a lot of replay value out of it. I can see that the high challenge level of Impossible would be quite motivating. Randomising damage would be good. Randomising stats would probably just lead to 'stats farming' and a squad of superheroes surely?

I really like Ironman but I am so nervous. On my regular, saveable games I very often have grisly rocket accidents due to just a slip of the keyboard or mousepad (if you hit the rocket shortcut key twice by mistake it overrides the friendly fire warning).  

I agree with you that the maps and spawnpoints are starting to get familiar to me after only about 100 hrs of play. At the very least I feel I know the *types* of places on the map to watch out for spawn points.
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#37 sp1ke

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 02:53 PM

First game on Impossible. Hah, I totally got my ass kicked. Classic did not prepare me for this. Mission one failed, XCOM Project terminated! :-)

But this is how it should be right?. 'Mere' Sectoids should be scary and harder to kill than XCOM soldiers. Which is what happens in Impossible.
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#38 sp1ke

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:17 PM

Crap. Three times in a row failed on the first mission of Impossible. Being more cautious each time. Basically the Sectoids are far tougher and more dangerous than your Rookies, man for man, and they also outnumber you. So you need to tackle them one pod at a time, so you have 4 on 2 or 4 on 3 odds, and you more or less have to fight from good cover and fight defensively. Even then it's a numbers game and they grind you down. You frag any alien that's down to 3 HP and within range, but they generally stay out of grenade range and avoid bunching up. But you need to use the grenades early on, to even up the odds, any time you don't get a kill with rifle fire, which is most of the time, even when you are concentrating all fire on one target, the easiest target.

Is it true that the game lies about hit probability and in Impossible the real value is lower than what is shown on screen? I think that's really, really cheap and terrible game design. Whether it's understating or overstating the hit probability, it would be better just not to state it.
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#39 sp1ke

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:28 PM

OK I am going to turn off the 2nd Wave option for damage affecting stats during battle, and in fact turn off all 2nd Wave options. And try a fourth time to win the first mission. :-)
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#40 sp1ke

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 05:13 PM

OMG this is hard. Two more failures. On the last attempt I actually managed to kill more Sectoids than I lost soldiers, but as they outnumbered me at least 2:1 they still won the war of attrition and ground me down.

I guess that's why they call it Impossible!
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