Posted 11 December 2005 - 09:08 PM
A bit more on capturing aliens & trangenants in the early game.
I almost always use reticulan laser rifles, sometimes even in an aimed burst. The combination of low damage, low enemy resistance, and high accuracy/low recoil/great range makes this a very flexible and dependable weapon for taking out unarmored opponents of any species, though ammo is sometimes difficult to come by, sometimes plentiful.
On the tougher mutants, I often have three level 1 soldiers aim bursts at the target, especially ones I have a feel for how many hits they can take(experience, not a scout, though see enemy hitpoints ability would be useful). I have to do this on slow, but with care, a few single shots and a bit of luck, you won't even need a medikit. When I'm in a more pressing situation, I just burst fire until they drop, and immediately cancel fire. While the latter may need a medikit, morelmen take a lot longer to bleed to death than my puny humans.
My first priority after incapacitating the target is to take down any hostiles that have me pinned down to my position. I don't want to lose a soldier to capture a relatively insignificant mutant, after all. Note that I don't necessarily take down all hostiles, just the ones posing an immediate threat.
My second priority is NOT healing the mutant, but getting a soldier by its side, ASAP. It is very handy to know whether I need a medikit at all, or whether I just have to wait for the stun to wear off. If its merely a matter of stun, having a soldier next to it means I wont have to shoot a few more rounds into it. Many enemies take a lot longer to bleed to death than my puny humans. Once nearby you can see the exact temporary damage and bleeding damage, so I can provide a pretty good estimate of how long I can risk not healing the target.
Here's where my plan branches. If I've got the spare time, I take out anyone who poses even a minor threat to the capture. Once I start the healing, the capture will come under enemy fire. Since you'll maybe be healing 80/100 hitpoints of damage, you'll stop the bleeding, but a good breeze could knock the victim back down, and waste 5 seconds of healing.
If the situation is urgent, I prioritize healing and consider using other soldiers as meatshields, standing between the target/healer and enemy fire. If you are using expendable level ones, and win the mission, meatshields are a viable tactic. While cyborgs have better default energy protection, humans make the best meatshields because it will only take 50 lowtech to replace them, though the cost will go up even for level ones, later in the game. Of course, the downside is that the humans aren't happy about being used as suicide troops. Fortunately, I rarely need to mooch resources off of the human faction.
On a completely different note:
Capture missions can actually be easier on veteran than the lowest difficulty. That is, as long as you don't die. Doing 40% more damage can make the difference between killing a target and merely incapicitating it if you are using any weapons meaner than a laser weapon, and not firing single shots. On veteran, I don't have to worry quite as much about how many rounds I pump into my target as I would on newbie. Of course, newbie would allow more caution and hence allow you to slowly wear down a target.
I would love it if cenega/altar modified the pause options to include icapicitation of enemies. I might turn it on and off in options, but it would be wonderful on these capture missions. With lower level soldiers and low powered weapons, criticals aren't as much of a threat. Obviously, the above advice and weaponry isn't as effective once the enemy starts launching rockets at you. NEVER try to capture an alien with a shotgun, if you must, hope you miss and only do weaker scatter damage.