Cmdr Spike's AAR - [Spoilers]


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#61 sp1ke

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 03:43 AM

Well the AI does not understand 3 dimensions. Definitely not with Sectoids: 12 Sectoids down, no casualties, not even a graze. I get on the roof of the gas station and the mind-merger Sectoids stand in the open while the mind-mergee Sectoids stand next to the building wall below me. I get easy, two for one kills. Impossible isn't supposed to be this easy!
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#62 sp1ke

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 06:00 AM

I did the first Scout UFO mission without casualties. Lots and lots of Sectoids on Impossible!

Then I got OTS just in time for Friends in Impossibly Low Places so I did that with 5 guys. It was hard. I had a Muton as the new alien, which is tougher than a Chrysallid I think - smarter, has weapons, and a grenade. I lost my 2nd-oldest vet, dead, to the Muton's grenade. It was a bad time for both Snipers to be out of ammo. Still my dead vet was a Heavy so 'Chilong' makes a good replacement. And the mission is worth losing soldiers for.
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#63 sp1ke

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 02:04 PM

There is an ancient Heavy proverb which says: "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. And don't fire a rocket at a Muton when he is in grenade range." R.I.P. Corporal Paddy Robinson.

Entirely true to the original, it remains complete nonsense of course that XCOM starts out with rookies. "COMMANDER! (big booming Council voice). Here's a few billion dollars worth of investment to build the spear that will defend the fate of humanity. Now be sure to mount some clueless n00bs at the point of the spear. What? No, sorry, all of humanity's millions of combat veterans are currently unavailable. They're busy. Doing their hair."
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#64 sp1ke

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:43 PM

By the way y'all know AAR stands for After Action Rant, right? ;-)
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#65 Hobbes

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:33 AM

View Postsp1ke, on 09 October 2015 - 06:00 AM, said:

I had a Muton as the new alien, which is tougher than a Chrysallid I think - smarter, has weapons, and a grenade.

If you can capture that Muton you'll be able get the Plasma Research credit after its interrogation and you can skip Lasers and go straight for LPR.
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#66 silencer_pl

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:08 AM

Why would you want to skip lasers? Lasers are the first thing you should go for and deploy in April.
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#67 sp1ke

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 05:52 PM

View PostHobbes, on 11 October 2015 - 03:33 AM, said:

If you can capture that Muton you'll be able get the Plasma Research credit after its interrogation and you can skip Lasers and go straight for LPR.
Excellent plan. However I hadn't even finished the research on Arc Thrower by the time I saw the Muton. I guess I should have selected Xeno-Biology as my first research topic.
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#68 sp1ke

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:03 PM

View Postsilencer_pl, on 11 October 2015 - 06:08 AM, said:

Why would you want to skip lasers? Lasers are the first thing you should go for and deploy in April.
One of the great things about Impossible is it really focuses the mind on what research to pursue because you definitely can't just have everything. Far from it. After a lot of stressing about it, I decided that weapons were better than armour. It's what I tend to go for in original XCOM EU as well. The way I analyse it, ok, laser weapons are only maybe +1 damage per hit. But you are making a lot of hits per mission, at least 20 hits on a 10-alien mission, probably more. Whereas armour, you only get 1 more HP from a Nano-vest and hopefully you get hit at most 1-2 times per mission. I generally think it's better and more useful to kill the aliens before they get to attack, rather than soaking up their damage. With good tactics you should be able to ensure that most of the time it's about you killing them rather than them killing you (though I have just had a one shot kill of a vet from a Muton when hunkered down behind high cover). The only difficulty with this strategy is when 4/5/6 of your guys gang up on one alien and fail to hit and kill said alien. So SCOPEs and then laser weapons feel like the right choice. For the beginning of the game, SCOPEs if anything are more effective that laser weapons in increasing your squad firepower (and XP gain / promotion prospects). 35% to hit vs 25%, or even 55% vs 45%, makes more of a difference than the extra laser damage. BUT, of course the laser weapon doesn't take up an extra slot (*item limit rage!*). And having both is even better.

What tech track do you guys take in Impossible? I definitely see the advantage of what Hobbes is saying that if you can skip straight to plasma with the right research credits, you can save a huge amount of research and engineering time and cost, including by scavenging plasma weapons off the battlefield.

As there are so many critical research priorities I am not sure I would put laser weapons top of the list. Though I was surprised that air combat does not get difficult as quickly as I was expecting, even on Impossible. So air combat research is not the highest priority either.

For me the single highest priority in Impossible is getting OTS to increase squad size, without which XCOM is doomed to lose its vets and end up just loosing rookies 4 at a time and missions 1 at a time. :-(
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#69 sp1ke

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 02:18 AM

Well I can't seem to complete Confounding Light. I have no armour upgrades and only some Laser Rifles and a couple of Lt rank vets. I am getting royally killed. I went in the Assault and Support Sergeants and a Rookie with Laser Rifles and 2 Snipers with ballistic Sniper Rifles, one Lt one Sgt. The rookie was supposed to run down the train while everyone else covered and killed aliens from the half covered roof, with the Assault and the sprinter Support ready to step into the rookie's vaporised shoes when needed. But it didn't work out that way.

I am thinking I needed to get the full laser weapon set earlier by starting with Xeno Biology and getting a Sectoid capture for Beam Weapons credit. Either that or a Floater capture for Basic Armour credit and faster Carapace Armour. I need something.

I also probably needed not to get my Heavy wounded in the previous (medium)  UFO crash recovery. A couple of rockets go a long way to evening the odds against swarms of Thin Men backed up by Mutons.

And giving all the kills to just one of the Lts to get them up to Captain and get Squad Size II would have been smart too.
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#70 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 06:33 AM

Plasma Guns are expensive to build. I prefer to capture the guns rather than produce them. Laser weapons are cheap enough to build them. And you really need the credits for pouring those satellites. Going for Xeno-biology and arc thrower to get faster lasers is pointless, because your wasting the time on 2 techs to get 1. Just get few more scientists and you'll be good.
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#71 NKF

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 08:26 AM

By the sound of it, Sp1ke's a judicious user of the arc thrower, so capturing plasma weapons shouldn't be a problem. Besides, about 2 - 3 Assault Rifle replacements allows for a decent start. A team heavy with Heavies and Snipers on the other hand can make do for a while as their starting weapons are fairly strong.

The main problem with jumping straight to plasma weaponry is the longer research. Unless you get a bit of research credit, the delay in getting them might hurt a bit.

As for armor - I'd argue the Skeleton suit is a very worthy project to invest some research time on as early as you can. Of the starting suits, it has rubbish protection but the +3 to move and grapple are a major boon for all the classes.  It's budget Ghost Armor without all the cool extras. Posted Image

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#72 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 09:25 AM

Doesn't skeleton armour require carapace first?
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#73 sp1ke

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 12:25 PM

I need Arc Thrower and containment anyway for storyline and for any other interrogation, and -  as you say Silencer -  for capturing plasma weapons. No point researching them if I don't want to pay for them and can't capture them,  right?
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#74 silencer_pl

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 01:12 PM

Capturing aliens is difficult and risky. I do it if situation allows it, the live aliens can wait few missions more. And having that in mind I plan the research for things I need now and don't have to rely on captured aliens. I only can see Xeno-biology researched first only when starting in South America, because any interrogation / autopsy is instant, but still didn't play long enough in South America to test if it is good to do it if one wants to race to lasers.
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#75 Hobbes

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 06:35 PM

View Postsilencer_pl, on 11 October 2015 - 06:08 AM, said:

Why would you want to skip lasers? Lasers are the first thing you should go for and deploy in April.

Well I can endure April only with conventional weapons, even on Impossible (sometimes even May). Skipping lasers allows you to focus research on Carapace and Experimental Warfare (which gives Reaper Rounds) and you'll save quite a few alien alloys from not building lasers. LPRs come free (since you'll capture them), give +10 Aim and have the same power as Laser Rifles.

It's more challenging but quite rewarding when you start deploying Carapace+LPR squads by late April/May since your squad will be superior to every alien, even the Mutons that start appearing on May.

View Postsp1ke, on 11 October 2015 - 06:03 PM, said:

For me the single highest priority in Impossible is getting OTS to increase squad size, without which XCOM is doomed to lose its vets and end up just loosing rookies 4 at a time and missions 1 at a time. :-(

OTS is critical to start building on the first month to get the Squad Size upgrades. Either try getting a Sergeant promoted or to receive one as a reward for the 2nd round of Abductions.

View Postsilencer_pl, on 12 October 2015 - 06:33 AM, said:

Going for Xeno-biology and arc thrower to get faster lasers is pointless, because your wasting the time on 2 techs to get 1. Just get few more scientists and you'll be good.

The Laser Weapons research credit applies to Weapons Fragments, Beam Weapons, Heavy Lasers and Precision Lasers techs, plus Xenobiology/Arc Thrower are useful throughout the entire game. It is a matter of maximizing your gains by starting research when you'll gain the most from the bonus.

View PostNKF, on 12 October 2015 - 08:26 AM, said:

As for armor - I'd argue the Skeleton suit is a very worthy project to invest some research time on as early as you can. Of the starting suits, it has rubbish protection but the +3 to move and grapple are a major boon for all the classes.  It's budget Ghost Armor without all the cool extras. Posted Image

Skeleton Suit also includes +10 Defense, which can be better than the added protection of Carapace since it's better not to get hit at all, and it costs less Alien Alloys to produce.

View Postsilencer_pl, on 12 October 2015 - 01:12 PM, said:

Capturing aliens is difficult and risky. I do it if situation allows it, the live aliens can wait few missions more. And having that in mind I plan the research for things I need now and don't have to rely on captured aliens. I only can see Xeno-biology researched first only when starting in South America, because any interrogation / autopsy is instant, but still didn't play long enough in South America to test if it is good to do it if one wants to race to lasers.

Yeah, SA rocks for a capture strategy but it will hurt you on early income.

The best maps for capturing aliens are Large Scouts (Outsider/LPR waiting on bridge for you to come and get it), and Abduction maps with plenty of building/cover/roofs. Disabling Shot is also very nice to neutralize aliens and reduce their HPs by 1, 2 or 3 points (depending on the type of sniper rifle) to increase the stun chances. And 2 Arc Throwers also help a lot in case the first one fails to stun the alien.
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