X-COM Field Manual 31-1


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#1 Spaceman42

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 07:44 PM

Aye.

I got bored one day, and started thinking about the X-COM manual. Completely useless, I thought, for what it was intended. The USG was more helpful, but still - all those statistics and stuff was confusing! Then it hit me - why not make an "Army-Style" Field Manual for X-COM?

The problem is, I'm not great at writing *military*-style BS to fill the Introduction and History parts of some of the chapters, and my tactics usually involve sending my troops one-after-the-other into the craft, rather than using any kind of 'safe' strategy. Anyone feel like helping with such a project?

I'll see if I can't up what I have on my webspace sometime soon. [Word 2000 format; if you can't open that, I'll see what I can do.]

#2 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 07:59 PM

Oh I don't know, it tells you tanks are powerful weapons and that the Skyranger is leased from Russia... and, and... um, yeah, you're right.

I also noticed that it doesn't even tell you all you need to know about the right mouse button and the Geoscape zoom controls either, and how pressing any button on the keyboard toggles the Geoscape overlays.

Word can save files as a Rich Text File (RTF). It's a universal format that most word processors on a variety of OS's should be able to open with no trouble (and if you're using an ancient version of Word, beneath 2000 at least, the files are much smaller too).

Only problem is that you cannot include any images in RTF documents as they tend to be stored uncompressed, and this make the files gigantic.

- NKF
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#3 Solfius

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:10 PM

what right mouse button funstions and Geoscape overlays?? :tank:

#4 Spaceman42

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:12 PM

I was thinking more about the combat strategies and suchlike than the interface but... yeah.

HERE's the document, if you want to see what I have so far.

[And it even *looks* like a field manual, too! Wiggy!]

#5 Slythe

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:16 PM

right click anywhere on the actual globe and it will center on that spot, and right click on the zoom buttons and it will automatically zoom to the maximum degree.

#6 Hobbes

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:44 PM

Neat idea Spaceman! I've just taken a look at it and I'll get back to you later
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#7 Solfius

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 10:30 PM

yeah, would be useful for people like me who have no tactics :P

What about overlays?  :tank:

#8 sluissi

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 01:06 AM

I've done something that's on the same concept, but absolutely nothing like this, I got really bored in class one day and started reading Hagakure, very good book, anyway, it's really just a japanese guy's journal translated, but it has many things involving military, honor, and such, well, after a long session of reading that, I decided to write down some x-com tactics for some reason, and they ended up coming out like some of the things in Hagakure, so I now have about 3 pages worth of japanese proverbish military video game tactics, sounds weird yes... and my friend laughed at it as he was looking through my notes one day.

#9 NKF

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 02:11 AM

You know, I was planning to write a strategy guide of my own some time in the future. Well, not really a guide per se. Just a collection of strategies I occasionally use that might give other players some ideas of their own, plus some notes. That sort of fing. Just never had a chance to get round to it.

Solfius: Ever notice how the text overlays on the globe (usually when you're zoomed in) seem to appear and dissapear every so often? Well, you can toggle the text overlays on and off by pressing any key on the keyboard[1]. Personally, I've always found this aspect annoying, since even renaming your base, a soldier or the name of a savegame slot (and the + and - volume buttons in the dos edition) tends to toggle the overlay.

- NKF

[1] Or if you don't have an 'any' key, just push something. Anything. :tank:
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#10 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 10:22 AM

I forsee a future.

A future where the XCOM UFO forum has two topics, both great, both pinned.

In one, an FAQ of tactics. Where big long posts on strategies are accepted. Where a book could later be written, an Unofficial Strategy Guide, by sorting the posts into chapters. Where NKF-sensei has his own index entry.

In the other, a FAQ of mods. Where hex offsets, utilities, and other arcana of the modders are preserved for electronic posterity.

Although such guides work better when an editor has control over the chapter structure, our forum doesn't really allow for that structure. So we'd have to post first and organize later.

But that's my dream.
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#11 Fox

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 02:38 AM

Tactics guide... sounds sexy.  I would love to help out in such an endeavor, but I'm trying to concentrate on my fanfic right now.  

Anyone who does it should include screenshots for everything.  Whoever plans to do it should post a bunch of things they need screenies for, and I'd be glad to get some of them for ye.
QUOTE
Posted by Jellyfish Green
Blaster Launcher tactics: a brief guide.

Building: Nuke it.
Orchard: Nuke it.
Underground bases: Nuke large rooms first.
UFO: Punch a hole in the bridge, then send in a second bomb to nuke it.

#12 NKF

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 12:41 AM

How about getting things off to a good start with a brainstorming session? The details can be filled in as we go along.

For example, one common and very useful strategy is the grenade relay.

The art of the grenade relay can be utilised for another use -- rapid transportation of equipment into the field such as ammunition, electro-flares and medical kits.

- NKF
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#13 BladeFireLight

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 04:12 AM

Here is some input I have:

Basic Stats:
    Basicly what stats should be consitered OK and what make a unit cannon fotter
    IE:  
         Bravery 40+
         Fireing Accuract 50+
         Health 30+
         Reactions 40+
         Psy Strength 50+


Soldier Specialization:
     Some units are better suited for some takdes than others
     Giving a unit a task that uses their best abilities gives them a better chance
     of servival
	Examples of specaities
	
	Point/Scout: This is the person who leads the squad into battle
 	 Base stats +
 	 Reactions 50+
 	 Fireing Accuracy 60+
 	 Time units 55+
	
	Heavy Weapons: Their job is to lug arround the big guns - BB, Autocannon, rocket launchers
 	 Base Stats +
 	 Strength 35+
 	 Stamina 60+
 	 Fire Accuracy 60+

	Grenadir/Medic/HW Support:  This guy caries the squad medkit w/ extra grenades and extra ammo for the HW guy
  Base Stats +
  Strenght 35+
  Throwing Accuracy 70+

	Psy Op: This unit rearly leaves the landing craft
 	 Base Stats +
 	 Time Units 50+
 	 Psy Strenght 90+
 	 Psy Skill 25+

	Trooper: Your Basic unit
    Base Stats

	Cannon Fodder: This guy is below the base Stats. they work best as scouts. they are not worth woring about if they get killed but if they live and improve their skills.. all the better 
        
I like the add a //HW after a unit name to denote the specialist status. then I can ballance out my squads

The 80 Item Limit:
	Regardless of the size of the tranport your using, Your limited to 80 items of equipment. Although you have plenty of space at the begining of the game, you find it a major limitation
	
	Ways to work with the limit:
  Limit amount of Unnessisary Equipment: Not every one needs a Medkid. dont carry 2 guns, etc..
  Use HWP's: They may not gain experiance but they only take 1 entery in the 80 item limit
  Restict Ussage of Larg Weapons: Not every one needs an Autocannon
  Use the Latest Equipment: Lasors dont require clips and Plasma weapons dont alwase need the spair clip. (you can use the alins ammo)
  Go for vercitility: Use an auto cannon with INC rounds instaed of 12 flairs for a night mission
  Use Specialists: Only give granades to the ones who can actualy throw. One reall good PSY unit is as good as 3 avrage Psy units

Here is an example load out: 1 HWP 2 five man squads  
    UNIT                                                                         Sace Used
    1 HWP                                                                              1

    4 Troopers:
         Each Has            1 plasma rifle w/1 extra clip               12
                                    3 Grenades                                     12
   2 Heavy Weapons:
         #1 has               1 Autocannon (HE)     
                                    w/2exra clips (1INC, 1 HE)                 4
         #2 Has              1 Heavy Cannon (HE)
                                     w/ 2 extra clips (1INC 1 HE)              4
         Each Has           3 grenades                                          6
    2 Grenader/medic:
         Each Has           1 Plasma Pistole w/1 Extra Clip              4
                                  3 Grenades
                                      (combo of Std, Alien, Perox, HE)       6
                                  1 Med Kit                                            2
    2 Point Men:
        Each has           1 Plasma Rifle w/1 Extra Clip                  4
                                 3 Grenades
                                      (combo of std, alien, perox)              6
                                 1 Motion Scaner                                    2
                     
                                                                                Total:  63


I have some more about Cover fire, Fireteams and Formations if your interested

-Blade FireLight
QUOTE
Combat is very simple, there is a first place and second place, second place is laying face down in the mud, sometimes, so is first place.

#14 Hobbes

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 06:19 AM

Well, here's what I've been working in the last past days. I used the format of Spaceman42' file and started to fill out some of the entries. The language might not be too clear but I tried to keep it to a military style, based on some field manuals I've been reading. Sorry for the size of the post.

This isn't by no means complete, so please tell me what you think of the attempt.


1003 General Squad Organization

The standard deployment force for X-Com operations is the squad, whose size can vary
depending on the planning previous to the mission and also to other factors, such
as transport limitations and the availability of personnel.

1003.1 Individual Skills

One of the most essential aspects of a squad are the troopers assigned to it and their
individual skills. There are ten different physical characteristics that a commander must
take attention to:

Time Units (TU) - Determine how far it will be able to move
Stamina (ST) - Repeated movement by the soldier will deplete his energy levels
Bravery (BR)- Higher levels will avoid the possibility of panic reactions
Health (HT)-
Reactions (RA)- Together with the time units it determines the soldier's ability to react to
hostile movement/fire
Firing Accuracy (FA)
Throwing Accuracy (TA)
Strength (ST)
Psi Strength (PST)
Psi Skill (PSK)

Based upon those skills, a tactical leader should give specific tasks to each soldier:

- Scout (high TU/ST). The scout is a lightly armed soldier whose task is to move ahead
and identify targets for the main force. He is usually equipped with a pistol or rifle.
- Close Assault (high ST/very high RA). A soldier assigned to this position should be placed
to guard passageway locations that are very likely to be used by the enemy, such as doors,
elevators or corridors. It should also carry heavy weapons armed with non-explosive ammunition.
- Sniper (high FA/RA). Snipers should placed in high terrain, such as hills or buildings, where
they can have a clear view of the battlefield and take out any hostile that loiters into the
area. They should carry accurate weapons.
- Grenadier (high ST/TA). Grenadiers deploy explosives to take out large concentrations of
hostiles, attack targets that are out of sight for direct line weapons (such as a hostile
taking cover behind a wall or hill) and for demolition purposes.
- Marksman (high FA). The role of marksmen is to provide continuous gunfire to neutralize any
threats detected by the scouts. They are usually assigned with rifles, although pistols can also
be used, along with heavier weapons.
- Heavy Weapons (high ST/FA). These soldiers deploy the heaviest weapons on the field, such as
cannons or heavy launchers and use them against large groups of hostiles or to clear the
landscape.

Finally, it's important to mention that the positions can be interchangeable. For instance, a
sniper can be used in the field to close assault duty since both tasks require a high level
of reactions and it can also be used for any role that requires a high firing ability if he
has the appropriate weapon. And usually scouts can also be used in a grenadier position.

1003.2. Battleteams and Fireteams

The basic element of squads are the battleteams, which have two soldiers. Each soldier should
be paired with another while operating on the field so that the enemy isn't able to pick
out individually the squad members. The members of the battleteam cover one another while
advancing/retreating and they work together to locate the member, with one soldier moving while
the other waits ready to engage.

The next element of squads are the fireteams, which are composed from three to six soldiers. A
fireteam is the basic element to maneuver and conduct fighting operations. It's very flexible,
containing a mixture of the different tasks identified above so that it can deal with a number
of tactical situations.

1003.3. Heavy Weapons Platforms (HWPs)

1004. Specialized Squad Organization

The internal organization and composition of a squad must be chosen while taking into
consideration a number of factors, such as terrain, the nature (race) of the hostile force
and its capacities and finally the mission objectives. Below there's a list of possible
squads, together with suggestions for their use:

- General Squad. The most common squad usually a balanced mixture of the positions described
on 1002. Its most usual deployment is on forest/jungle/farm, where the nature of the terrain
is a mixture of clear spaces and obstacles.

- Light Squad. The light squad is usually deployed in situations where there's clear terrain,
light opposition and the mission objectives involve the retrieval of small alien craft.
Light squads should be composed mainly of Marksmen and Scouts, with a couple of Snipers and
a Heavy weapons specialist.  

- Assault Squad. The assault squad should be deployed in tactical situations where the  
objective is the capture of a medium to large hostile craft. The main composition of the squad
must be made of Assault/Sniper soldiers, with two pairs of Scouts/Grenadiers.

- Heavy Squad. The heavy squad is built upon one emphasis: firepower. It is used in situations where enemy opposition is expected to be heavy. It should contain several heavy weapons specialists, along with scouts and grenadiers.

Chapter 2. Initial Deployment

2001 INTRODUCTION

The squad commander upon deployment must perform the following actions:

- Assess the characteristics of the landing zone, namely the terrain and any natural/
artificial obstacles around the Skyranger.
- Identify all hostiles in the vicinity of the transport that might endanger
the landing operation
- Deploy forces to engage and neutralize them
- Establish a safety perimeter around the craft by the use of smoke covers and
maintaining proper distance between the squad members.
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#15 BladeFireLight

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 08:12 AM

*bows in front of Hobbs* "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy"
QUOTE
Combat is very simple, there is a first place and second place, second place is laying face down in the mud, sometimes, so is first place.

#16 Spaceman42

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 05:12 PM

Hmm. But would they be able to *see* the numbers? Unless X-COM has some sort of assessment scale for each skill...

Cool anyway, I'll see how they fit in the file. I have an actual logo now, screencapped from the TFTD manual [.pdf]...

#17 Hobbes

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 05:27 PM

Determining an assessment rate for each skill might be tricky since each player has its own opinion about the acceptable levels. I didn't include mine to avoid starting a discussion on the matter but here they go:

TU: + 65
SA: + 65
BR: + 30
RA: +50
FA: +60
TA: +70
ST: +35

Usually to reach such high TU/SA stats it takes a number of missions so I only have real 'Scouts' by the middle of the game.
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#18 Spaceman42

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 06:09 PM

I'm trying to think of some way we could remove the numbers [since they don't see the numbers in the "real" world, do they?] but still be fairly clear about what is meant...

#19 Hobbes

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 06:14 PM

You could just use "high" reactions and so on. Experienced players can interpret it the way they want and it will make new players to have to compare the skills on each soldier and learn something. But I would think it would be better for new players if they had an idea (in numbers or any other simple way) that tells them a concrete value for "high".
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#20 BladeFireLight

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 07:14 PM

I would think the real military has some way of rating unit skills.
QUOTE
Combat is very simple, there is a first place and second place, second place is laying face down in the mud, sometimes, so is first place.




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