X-COM Field Manual 31-1


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#21 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 12:07 PM

Just pretend they're scores on standardized assessment tests :tank:
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#22 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 12:39 PM

Since I did entirely too much thinking on this topic for the sake of the fanfic, I'd like to present my go at the HWP chapter.

1004.5 HWP Team
The Mobile Heavy Weapons Platform, or HWP, is a remotely operated armoured robotic chassis. Using standard comlink frequencies and an encrypted control channel, the HWP operator is able to achieve tight interaction with the rest of the squad despite being in a remote physical location. The HWP sensor suite gives the operator visual acuity equivalent to the soldiers on location. The HWP chassis is 1.2 meters wide by 1.5 meters long by 1 meter high. It is capable of 40 km/h speeds and has a 100kg load capacity for ammunition. It is often referred to as a miniature tank and can be used in similar roles.

1004.5.1 Main roles

1004.5.1.1 Scouting
High speed allows recon over wide region. Care must be taken to not get so far ahead that the HWP cannot be supported by the rest of the squad.

1004.5.1.2 Bounding
The high speed of the HWP enables it to cover ground quickly and establish presence in flanking positions, supporting further squad movement.

1004.5.1.3 Forced Entry
The main advantage here is that where loss risk is high, the HWP can be used as the breaching unit in order to protect the more valuable soldiers. Combine with other tactics such as smoke. Remember the tank is not as manuverable as a soldier and passageways may have to be widened for access.

1004.5.1.4 Hostile Area Deployment
Similarly the HWP, when placed at the exit ramp, can save lives by being the first unit deployed into hostile landing zones. The HWP should seek to establish as many enemy positions as possible before returning fire.

1004.5.1.5 Heavy Weapons Support
Surprisingly a little used role, the HWP can offer HW support to fireteams without a HW component and can even make use of its speed to support multiple teams by travelling between them.


1004.5.2 Armament
Recoil design constraints limit the size of the armament for the HWP platform. The following armaments have been approved for field use.

1004.5.2.1 Cannon 25mm (M242 Chain Gun)
The 25mm high velocity round provides firepower between that of the Auto and Heavy cannon in damage capability. 50 round magazine. Single-shot mode only.

1004.5.2.2 Rocket 66mm (M202 Quad Launcher)
The two quadruple rocket pods provide 8 high explosive rocket munitions. Firepower is approximately equivalent to the Small rocket for man-portable rocket launchers. Should never be left to reaction-fire in close situations.

Laser:5004 classified
Firepower similar to Portable Heavy Laser, improved X-Alloy armour.
Plasma:5004 classified
Standard model comes with Hoverdrive, Eleurium use negligible.
Fusion:5004 classified
A lighter rating of Blaster Launcher weaponry, shares programmable projectile path ability for indirect fire. Ammo capacity similar to Rocket tank. Same warnings apply.


:tank: JFG
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#23 Spaceman42

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 04:12 PM

I'd put the stuff about the "research-required" tanks in the "speculative technologies" section; after all, the date on the FM says "1998", doesn't it?

[Actually, *I * don't even remember.]

#24 Hobbes

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 04:20 PM

Nice description and tactics Jellyfishgreen.

OK, for the sake of organizing the work around this topic I've looked into what needs to be done concerning Spaceman's document. I've been adding some more stuff concerning general movement and tactics to what I've done previously.
But there's so much more to add. There are a couple of things already mentioned by NKF and others such as the grenade relay trick, the use of stun launchers against Sectopods and so.
I suggest that people keep brainstorming and mention everything little thing they know, no matter how simple or stupid it might sound. If it works then it has a place on the manual.

Below I added some food for thought on the subjects that are empty as yet.
- How to successfully assault a UFO? What variations are possible for each different craft? (Scouts, Harvesters, Supply Ships, etc.)
- How to make a retreat in case things get sour?
- How to use the terrain to your advantage?
- How to use and control the blast of HE ammunition (splash damage)?
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#25 Hobbes

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 05:53 PM

OK! Below there's some more stuff I've just finished. Read it and give your opinion.

I've included the JellyfishGreen's HWP entry on the stuff I've done before. One thing that is necessary is to present the advantages/disadvantages of carrying a HWP instead of 4 soldiers. Anyone up to it?
I'd do it myself but I'm about to get started on the general movement tactics.


Chapter 2. INITIAL DEPLOYMENT

2001. INTRODUCTION

The squad commander upon landing 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, taking attention to both flanks of the transport
and also the area around the cockpit.
- Establish a safety perimeter around the craft by the use of smoke covers,
maintaining proper distance between the squad members and securing the rear of the squad.

2002. DISEMBARKING TACTICS

2002.1. THE FRONT ROW FIRETEAM

The fireteams that are the first to deploy have one of the most hazardous duties on the
battlefield. Upon landing their immediate task is to eliminate any hostile opposition that
is directly facing the ramp of the transport. Their actions are determined by the following
list of conditions:

#1. Enemy in front of the ramp and directly looking at it - fire one round them move one square
to the front and another to the next to the side to clear the ramp. If there isn't any read #2.
#2. Enemy in front of the ramp but facing another direction - do not fire to avoid reaction shots
that might hit personnel inside the transport! (unless they have already fired) - move one square
to the front and another to the side to clear the ramp and read #3.
#3. Enemy on another location and facing the ramp. Fire one/two rounds but make sure that
there's enough TUs to clear the square right next to the ramp by moving to another direction.
#4. Enemy on another location but not facing the ramp. Engage only after all enemies on #1, #2
and #3 have been eliminated. If there are several hostiles then engage first the dangerous one -
the closest and heavily armed.
#5. No hostiles visible near the transport - the soldiers should start scouting the area near
the Skyranger.

2002.2. THE OTHER FIRETEAMS

If condition #5 applies the rest of the soldiers might start disembarking the transport and
widen the perimeter around the transport. If any aliens are detected they must be eliminated
as soon as possible.
In case the front row fireteam has been taken out by the aliens, the next team becames the front
row team and must act accordingly to the previous list of conditions.
If there's insufficient lightning the back soldiers must deploy electroflares to the area surrounding
the transport. Also if there's a heavy enemy presence close to the landing zone, it's recommended
the use of smoke covers.

2002.3. USE OF HWPS ON LANDINGS

If there's an HWP present on the transport then it should be deployed according to 1003.3.1.4 and used
to scout and spot all hostiles while drawing fire from them. After it has finished moving them
the soldiers can disembark using 2001.2. procedures.

2003. REORGANIZING AND DEPLOYMENT

After the landing area has been successfully cleared of any enemy opposition the squad can
reorganized to perform its mission. At this point there are two major factors that should be
taken into account: a quick dispersal of the squad members to maintain safety distances and the
position of the landing zone.

2003.1. LANDING ZONE POSITION

The location of the landing (LZ) zone on the area of operations is a major factor in
determining the direction to which the squad must be deployed. The rear of the squad should be
set against one of the ends of the map to prevent any rear attacks by hostiles as it moves
forward to complete its mission. but it can be either easy or difficult, depending on the
location of the LZ.

2003.1.1. CORNER LZ

It's when the Skyranger lands on one of the corners of the tactical map and is the
position most easy to secure since there are only two directions from which enemy
contact can be expected. To establish a safety perimeter the squad must have cleared the corner
of any hostiles, allowing it to afterwards start moving towards the rest of the battlefield.

2003.1.2. SIDE LZ

When the Skyranger is positioned next to one of the sides of the map. It protects one side
of the squad against possible attacks but it still leaves three others open. After the squad
has successfully exited the transport it's recommended that the squad sets a half circle
perimeter as it pushes forward.

2003.1.3. CENTRAL LZ

The hardest landing zone since hostile attacks can be expected from all directions. After clearing
the landing site of aliens, the closest edge of the map should be located by the scouts and
secured. Then the squad can maneuver in the opposite direction, with that side being the rear and
using the half-circle mentioned on the previous topic.

2004. ADDITIONAL NOTES
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#26 NKF

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 08:36 PM

I was thinking -- the soldier accuracy stat is really just the soldier's efficiency with the use of any particular ranged weapon. The same can be said with all the other combat skills.

As for random thoughts:

tactical:

- HWPs suffer 4 times as much from explosive weaponry, due their wider surface area. However, they are the only units in the game that are completely immune to stun attacks. Therefore, they can be used to disarm aliens with stun launchers by charging towards them -- hopefully, getting close enough to get the alien to knock itself out.

- Terran HWPs outclass rookies in all aspects except in firing, throwing, reactions and psi-skill. Their weapons, with the exception of the heavy laser, are generally less useful than their handheld counterpart -- however, they can carry more ammunition.

- Hybrid HWPs outclass high ranking veterans in every manner except firing, throwing, reactions and psi-skill. Their all-round armour rating is superb (roughly 130 or so -- much better than the flying suit)  

- HWP ammunition is recovered after the battle if and only if the tank survives.

- If an alien has an armour rating higher than your current weapon's stopping power, retreat or find another weapon, as your current weapon will deal little to no damage. (Actually, this might be more useful in TFTD -- due to the watered down terran weaponry. Also, in TFTD, many of the aliens have certain weak spots in their locational armour that you can take advantage of. In UFO, it isn't really that noticeable, but it is there. Not sure how this one will apply)

- X-Com soldiers don't get to use just any grenade. Grenades used by X-Com not only have variable timers, but they also have a special mechanism that prevents them from detonating until they've been left on the ground for a few seconds (you can say the final countdown timer is reset every time it's picked up). Thus enabling the grenade relay. However, if a soldier is holding onto a grenade and is killed, or stunned, the grenade will drop onto the ground. If it isn't picked up in time, it'll be set off. (You might want to also mention how every grenade looks the same so it's very difficult to tell which one is armed and which one isn't)

- X-Com proximity mines are special in that they will only detect lateral movement. Vertical movement will not set them off -- therefore, in this way, you can escape from it or reposition an armed mine. A unit inside the mine's detection radius can safely step away from it, but never towards. If a unit is standing on the mine, stepping away from it will be counted as stepping towards the detection radius.

- The aliens are stupid. Rock stupid. They just don't know how to pick up their own weapons after they've dropped them without some 'special' guidance by you or whomever armed them before the mission started.

- Units can only use reaction fire if an enemy unit is in line of sight. In other words, if the alien cannot see you, it cannot shoot you. A spotter can be used to locate the aliens. Once located, snipers can pick off the alien without having to worry about return fire from that particular alien. If the spotter wants to shoot at it -- it's recommended that the spotter step back a few tiles until the spotter cannot see the alien before attempting to shoot. Same goes with throwing grenades.

- The mind probe: Many uses.  Appraising the alien's combat prowess, and determining how exhausted the alien is. Also, useful in determining the rank of an alien in order to select what aliens to capture in order to not fill up the containment module with redundant aliens.

- Throwing and successfully hurting aliens with grenades exercises a soldier's hand-eye coordination. This not only improves throwing accuracy, it also helps the soldier shoot a lot straighter. (don't ask how, it just does)  

geoscape:

- Quartermasters: Keep what you need, sell what you don't. Unless going for specialty weapons like sidearms and stun infilctors, every soldier doesn't need ten rifles. Same goes for excessive alien UFO components and alien alloys.

- Suggest stockpiling rare items: Elerium, plasma pistol and rifle clips.

- When starting research projects, your scientists will be able to obtain enough information to research the desired item and will no longer need a sample in storage, as enough data has been extracted from the item for the scientists to perform a thorough analysis. These projects can be safely put on hold by not assigning anyone to them until they are needed. (By starting a project, I mean you have to actually start it but don't assign anyone to it. Just having it appear on new-projects-to-research list doesn't count)

- Base disjoint bug and suggestions on how it can be avoided. (Of course, use the apropriate jargon, and make it sound less like a bug)

- Tank armament: A tank needs ammunition to be loaded onto the troop transport. However, for use in defending a base, if there's a shortage of HWP ammunition supplies in storage, a tank will get a complimentary supply of ammunition, which you get to keep if the tank survives. (you can always say the X-Com supreme high command or whatever has its own personal cache and sent it to the base prior to the attack, and part of the reward for saving the base is keeping the ammunition).  

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#27 BladeFireLight

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 01:49 AM

That last part on the tank's geing free never has worked for me under 1.4
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.

#28 NKF

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 01:59 AM

You could try arming one of your non-primary bases with rocket or fusion hwps and not buying/building any hwp ammo for them. Then see what happens when the base gets attacked. If any of the hwps survived the mission, check your stores and see if you've got any HWP ammunition.

For me, I've never seen my hwps start a base defence mission that weren't at full ammo capacity, both in 1.4 and 1.4CE. I first noticed this in TFTD where, during a base attack, my brand new gauss coelecanths had full magazines even before I started building the SWS Gauss clips.

- NKF
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#29 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 04:13 PM

Blade, you are worthy! Spew forth about fireteams and cover fire!

As always, NKF-sensei's comments on HWPs leave me enlightened and in awe.

For explanations of some of the points he raises I would say:

- Prox grenades use a ring of ultrasound sensors to detect (1m range) and none of these sensors face up. (Grenade weighted like a weeble.) Note 1m range is why grenade should be 1m away from door, not right beside it where it detects door opening the slightest crack.

- Soldiers can shoot farther than visual range once they stop and look through the scope on their rifles. Spotters tell them where to look. If within visual range, they just fire from the hip.
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#30 Fox

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 11:25 PM

This topic is picking up quite nicely... Who needs pictures for stuff?  Someone should jot down some generic things I should take screenies of, and I'll do it.

Also, how do you convert the screenshots to .bmps?  I can only look at the screenshots in internet explorer, i have no other viewer.
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.

#31 Fox

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 11:42 PM

Dahhh I can't upload images either.  How do you do that without a webpage?  Can't you just upload from your hard drive?
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.

#32 Slythe

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 03:45 AM

I don't believe you can 'attach' an image and upload it to this site, only provide a link, otherwise things could get overloaded quick.

#33 NKF

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 04:19 AM

Fox: I'd suggest getting irfanview. It's an adequate image viewer that can open and convert a good number of common file formats.

http://www.irfanview.com/

Or you could try getting the GIMP ( http://www.gimp.org/ ), or a shareware copy of psp7, but they might be a bit too big to download for the simple task of file conversion.

Tucows has a number of other image viewers and image manipulation programs that you could have a look at. http://www.tucows.com/  

- NKF
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#34 Cobbweb

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 04:30 AM

<----can you people see my avatar?
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#35 Fox

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 05:18 AM

No Cobbweb, we can't see your avatar.

Thanks NKF for the viewers, I'll check it out.

But is there any way to upload the images?  Slythe says no, and he's probably right.  I don't know how to make webpages for crap, so I really can't link any pictures.  I'd need to upload them.
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.

#36 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 10:35 AM

Fox: check my WWW link and you'll see just how spartan webpages can be. I think I use less than 10 different HTML tags.

If you also have no webspace, you could email screenshots to me and I could host them on my free (ad-bedecked) Geocities site. I'm a fair hand with irfanview. Unless NKF has beaucoup webspace.

JFG
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#37 NKF

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 11:11 AM

Well, if necessity demands it, I've got a few gaps in my Yahoo!Geocities website that I could fill in. Still we'd better just wait and see how many screenshots are required.

Here's a thought --  just for the atmosphere of the document: should the screenshots be in monochrome or in colour? Monochrome would go well with the document if it was done entirely with the Courier font, a few ink blotches and the occasional red classified stamp. On the other hand, colour has its charms, but it would make the resulting document just a tiny bit larger.

Just a reminder: Yahoo!Geocities doesn't support off-site linking of images, so you might want to make a html page and put all the pictures in that and then link to the html file instead.

- NKF
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#38 BladeFireLight

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 05:55 PM

I vote for black and white.

What types of images are we talking about? If the manual is written befor the alien war get well underway the alien ships would not have been photographed. Or if they have I think ony the outside should be shown

Also I can get images of any terrain .map file or entire battle scape from saved games with no units visible. With any layout any one wants.. (If you want a imposible map sets, ie. a forest next to a farm. I can do that to but it takes time [ to bad i cant do that ingame])
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.

#39 Fox

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 07:00 PM

Oh, I think I see where this is going.  I was under the impression this manual would be for the GAME, but it looks like it's going to be more of a fanfic.  Ok, then I don't think there should be screenshots in that case...

But if anyone ever wants to do another guide like Kasey Chang, (which we most definetely should... his guide kicks ass but it is sort of old and outdated...) we should put screenshots in it.  An adobe acrobat version of a new guide would kick rear.
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.

#40 Hobbes

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 08:25 PM

Fox,

The stuff I've been writing so far has been to help with the game, not for a fanfiction and I think the rest of the others here have that purpose as well.

As for Kasey Chang's USG I think that all of what's there still remains valid about the game. So far I've been refraining from using stuff that it's already on the USG already because I believe that it would be better if we could come up with something new about the tactical section, defining the basics of combat.
It won't be a magic formula to beat the aliens every time. But it might help rookie players to understand some basic concepts of the game and for the veterans take conscience of stuff that they probably were doing unconsciously and never thought about.

As for the time in the war where the field manual is located I believe it could be placed right at the beginning, after there was a couple of encounters with the aliens and the strategists had the time to analyse the fighting. And I could use a number of screenshots to illustrate some military tactics I'm writing now. Black and white images with red stamps "TOP SECRET" sure sounds neat :tank:
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