So it's been about 3 weeks since I last posted about Xenonauts. What has happened since then? Well, I've been playing almost every night, which usually includes two combat missions (sometimes more). I have three bases now: my primary in the USA and secondary in Europe (both have full assault squads, except all research happens in the US while nearly all production happens in Europe... there's a small manufacturing facility in the US for "need it now" items with short production times) and my newest base in the Far East - Indochina area. All have 1 Foxtrot and 2 Corsair interceptors, plus an extra open hangar for upgrades (the X-59 Marauder is nearly done being researched), and Europe has 2 suits of Predator armor produced. I guess that third base really helped because for the first time ever, all the countries are happy with me.
About those differences... there's a big change in how UFOs spawn from UFO:EU. The game now throws waves upon waves of UFOs at you in a short period of time, and then it's dead quiet afterwards. Seriously, it's not uncommon to have 10-12 UFOs in the air at once. How you deal with the sudden glut of activity is another matter. I try to shoot down as much as possible over land to give my teams some training, but there are times when the stupid UFOs will stay over the water "strafing" every imaginable thing in the seemingly bustling oceans. In those cases you have to shoot down the UFO and just take the points. If there are three threats in the air over a base, I'll try to take out a small one and a medium one first, go back to base to refuel/rearm, then head out again to get the last UFO if it's still around. Sometimes I get lucky and that third one lands, then it's just a matter of sending out the troops to clean up the mess.
UFO designs are different as well, Almost all of them have some type of out swept "wings" or "arms" protruding on either side of the main door. Wanna knock at the door to see who is home? Good luck, hope you have someone with a lot of TUs able to traverse the distance around the "wing", open the door (and have someone else shoot at any enemies), then close the door and head back to safety. And if you look at the UFOs, almost all have a big cargo hold. Why do you need such large cargo holds though? What are they hauling? And why do most have long low walls? All it does is create clutter and bottlenecks. Tanks make short work of removing it though.
Tanks, I know I mentioned them before, but they are the best. I use them like fullbacks in American football: big husky blockers carving a path down the field for the rookies to follow and eliminate enemies. Almost all UFOs have doors big enough to let tanks in (at least, only on the ground floor, higher floors can only be accessed by 1x1 lifts). Remember those "wings" or "arms" on UFOs? Tanks can "plug the hole" while still allowing sniper fire to go over the top of them (best make sure you have some high accuracy snipers).
As I said earlier, I have two bases with soldiers who actively run missions. My "primary" base in the USA has soldiers with a maximum of "only" 37 missions under their belts. Compare that to my base in Europe with soldiers having a max of 64 missions which is nearly 75% more. The pool of soldiers originally contained nearly everyone, my only criteria for transfer was that each base should have one soldier for each "main" role (Shield, Assault, Heavy Weapons, Rifleman, Sniper). Not really sure what the Scout role is for, it's default equipment is just a pistol - I'd much rather have a Shield doing the scouting as it adds more survive ability. Rocketeer is self explanatory which I don't use. And also a Specialist - soldier brandishing a rifle and rocket launcher + C4 in the backpack. I guess that's more of an "engineer" role, but rocket launchers and C4 are too heavy to be toting around every mission so I just use riflemen. Anyhow, long story short Europe is a really
busy place for UFO activity. Case in point: my squad there all have 100 in TU, Strength and Accuracy now, plus one has 98 in health and my Heavy Weapons soldier has an amazing 82 reflexes. Talk about a killing machine, I wouldn't want to be the alien walking around in view of the heavy weapons guy.
Tanks are probably going to be coming to an end soon for my game. With Predator armor on the way and soldiers with nearly maxed out stats, they will basically take over tanking duty. I'll need to do a little soldier reorganizing soon as I want two squads of about equal skill and armor/makeup. The elimination of the tank will also free up three extra spots on the transport for more rookies. I shall miss it.