Big game hunting......getting the drop on xarquid..


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#1 Tsathoggua

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 11:38 PM

Alrighty, this is a bit of an...odd...situation.

I've got a xarquid, cruise ship, tasoth and aquatoid, thing was nearly a writeoff, some ugly scraps with biodrones and biodrone snipers hiding out up high, backed up by an aquatoid, plus biodrones getting sneakier than usual and being very melee range cannon happy, unusually so.

Got the living members of the team camped out above a xarquid, its at the back of the ship..or the front, opposite side from the ingress point. Little sod is hovering up in the air, one tile away, low down. Any suggestions to encourage the little bugger to move closer to the wall, I.e right up there.

And is it possible to target the tazer downwards, if the xarquid can be induced to move to a place where one can get the drop on it. Also Can they fire directly upwards on the same column? where is the weapon mount, well, mount-inherent weapon. Which half do they fire from, front? or is it mounted to the rear of the shell?

I want that critter alive. Or is it impossible to stun them with the tazer on genius like the triscene?

Oh and one other thing, the wiki lists the rxns of the xarquid as pretty low. But they seem fast, fast and damned accurate. Sneaky bastards too. But they are meant to be slow (physically). Are the wiki values accurate? they list tasoth for example as having far higher reactions, even gill men and lobstermen do aparrently, but tasoth that havent moved sometimes fail to take a rxn shot, whilst i've never seen xarquid be slow on the uptake.

#2 magic9mushroom

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 01:36 AM

I don't think you're going to capture this one. Tazers cannot be aimed up or down, and I don't know any way to lure a Xarquid.

I believe they can shoot straight up or down; X-Com certainly can.

The "front" of a Xarquid is the side with the tentacles and gun.

The stats on the wiki should be accurate; Zombie manually checked all stats on all difficulties and all of them lined up perfectly, so it's unlikely one of them could be in error. I'll note that Xarquid don't tend to move a lot, so they preserve full TU which boosts their initiative (the quantity actually checked when checking for reaction fire is (Reactions * Current TU / Max TU)). And Tasoths might not have full TU even if it looks like they do; Tasoth Soldiers panic very easily (which drains their TU to 0) and Tasoth Squad Leaders have a psi attack (which costs TU, but isn't visually obvious).

#3 Tsathoggua

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 04:01 AM

The tasoth in question, the last time it was observed was not a squad leader, it was a soldier. Walked right on into it, so close the trooper could have snogged the thing. Although she chose to zap it with a tazer instead and call in backup while its attention was elsewhere to cut through the wall with sonics and have the two or three backup assisting the cutter with an incendiary shell from one of the squad heavy weapons guys-stroke-explosives expert then slamming it with heavy gauss fire, passing the cannon along to the assistant, and further shooting ensued, managed to take it alive.

There would have been panic messages had the tasoth done so, and I have seen none in this mission.
About being unable to shock something from above, looking down are you positive, magicmushroom?

(nice nick btw...I'm going hunting for those as soon as a painful foot injury preventing me wearing a shoe on that side heals and I'm off crutches, got a lovely spot for a long walk too, that tends to give quite a lot of fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) and large stands of grass parasitized very heavily with ergot (Claviceps species, C.purpurea, I think C.sulcata, either that or C.fusiformis, although the latter isn't much use, as its blocked at the clavine stage of the ergot alkaloid synthetase enzyme cluster and doesn't produce simple lysergic acid derivatives or ergopeptides like ergotamine) and I think, C.microcephala although I'll need to examine the germinated sclerotiae in culture and have a look under the microscope at the ascospores and conidia, if the strain isn't aconidial). Place produces some other neat stuff too, the very pretty, edible, although truly repulsive tasting and not worth eating, bright mauveish violet Laccaria amathystea, the really delicious ceps (Boletus edulis, or porcini) and nearby, I believe last year, something fruiting in very localized area but in significant numbers, for the species at least, POSSIBLY devil's boletus, B.satanas, which although poisonous, potentially deadly, due to the presence of bolesatine, a cytotoxic glycoprotein, if I can find them this year, as I have the last two years, more than cause to send samples to kew gardens for confirmed ID, as they are on the national red list, near extinct in britain and extremely rare in europe; so if they are then I can try getting people together for a conservation effort:))

There are a few others that look like it, or can do but all the close relatives in the B.satanas clade are also very scarce, some rarer still, and notably these things pack one truly awful, awful stench of rotting flesh, when mature. Which is known to be the case with Satan's bolete. Couldn't even keep one in my room the other year after finding a specimen that had been uprooted, although still fresh. It was not decay, but an actual inherent smell coming from the intact mushroom. That disgusting pong was foul enough and strong enough that I couldn't keep it in the room, it was really bad, turned my stomach:)

Got plates and plates and plates (I mean dinner plates, not my petri dishes) worth of brown birch boletes, Leccinium scabrum too, which are common, as are the Boletus badius, bay boletes (now transferred within the last few years to the allied genus Xerocomus), and both of them quite good eating. Some authors don't rate the brown birch Leccinium, but its perfectly safe to eat, and I think it has a flavour good enough to justify eating them, certainly I prefer them to the nasty little button mushrooms and portobellos you can buy in supermarkets, although I've certainly had much, much better wild fungi, they aren't ones I'll reject if they are firm in texture and not overripe. The bay boletes look a bit sinister when cutting them up and peeling the skin of the cap off to remove dirt, before cooking, because like many poisonous boletes, they turn lurid blue within moments of being wounded. Tasty though, much better than the brown birches. Wouldn't reccomend eating the ergots though, at least if you don't want to have your fingers, toes, nose, ears, maybe genitals suffer intense vasospasm and resulting gangrene and amputation. Plenty potential, with a lot of work, though, but potential all the same, for producing precursors to some nifty lysergic acid derivatives.

Failing taking the xarquid down from above, using explosives (this actually wouldn't work so well, would it, compared to for example, killing a triscene with a pulse grenade enema, exploiting the weak under-armor) then what are the chances of if not getting it to move, just getting it to lower itself to ground level and allow the tank to take it on from a long distance from one side whilst 6-7-8 agents bust a hole through the side of the buildings, around the corner, then sneak around in order to get in to melee range and zap it oblivious? I am fully prepared to call the tank a writeoff if it means I can recover the xarquid alive. Hell I'll throw every agent below a liutenant to the wolves if I have to other than one or two particularly talented snipers with very good starting reactions and strength just under 40, and at least one of them having 80+ MC strength.  I'll throw them like fag ends in a dustbin if that xarquid can be brought back to base for study.

The medkit is the reason I wonder about the tazer, it can be aimed downwards.

The tazer can only target conscious targets, though, and how often does the potential exist, for even attempting to hit a conscious target from above? it just doesn't happen most of the time. And in TFTD at least, compared to UFO, the enemy is much more shy about blasting down at targets from the lift shafts, in UFO they love to snipe from above.

#4 Tsathoggua

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 05:13 AM

Good news. The hunt is ON!

Tank is about to take the lift up to the second floor after the requisite...cosmetic alterations, were comitted. Walls are being disintegrated as I speak, and the entire squad, or at least those members of it that are still alive, is ready to go fishing. That xarquid made the mistake of going to take a quick peek at an agent popping his head out of a window. Close to the corner still, so they can drop in unannounced and with most of their TUs, got 7-8 soldiers and a tank. The tank can stay and take potshots whilst the rest of the team lay down their arms, end turn, with stunners in hand whilst recharging full TU unencumbered, grab their weapons and sneak up behind squid features here. They like their calamari still wriggling!

#5 Tsathoggua

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 07:45 AM

Well damn. First stage of the mission almost complete, place almost done being searched. Two dead, both to a nasty close quarters firefight with some 3 biodrones, an aquatoid and towards the end, spotting that xarquid and executing what is without a doubt, THE hardest capture I have ever gone on to make. This is the third REAL TIME day of the operation, and I've been up during the nights too, sleeping mostly when the increase in my usual morphine dose (I've got some seriously painful joints, my hips, and after being impaled as a kid through the patellar tendon, one of my knees, so I was already on morphine and some supplemental oxycodone from my GP for that, plus whatever occasionally comes from the skunk-works, although I with very few exceptions have always eschewed the streets, I don't trust the work of others with fishy motives (pun intended), but all in all, I've been awake bar morphia-induced catnaps, working on this damned long mission and the xarquid takedown, with a little 3,6-dipropionylmorphine to get me through that slog whilst not being quite so sedating, although much much more potent, as it's parent)

You had something to do with it, mushroom, 'not going to take it alive?'
Perhaps I've always been more than a wee bit ornery in that respect, although that much I have in common with other auties and the aspie types as well. We as a breed are often headstrong like that. You might not have known it but you put me up to a challenge I could not refuse, there.  Did have to reload a couple of times, but only when the mousepad of this laptop started behaving itself badly, and doing stupid things like being determined to move downwards towards the bottom of the screen, or sending a soldier where I did not intend to put them, due again to mouse-pad oversensitivity. Otherwise, that squid faced fuck had to be studied, and it's behaviour watched from where it could not see/target anybody, many turns taken cutting holes in walls with cannon fire, ordering troops from the other side of the map, dragging the equipment from the two dead aquanauts, and blowing walls up to allow the tank into a lift shaft, having first cut away the dividing walls to the front and sides so as to permit it to enter and exit onto the upper floor.

Everyone into place, first guy through the first hole is alive only by luck, the first two volleys from the enraged xarquid missing, flying off target, the last of its sonic bursts actually hitting the guy, but his armor held. At least it kept his insides from being outsides. Had to get a medic to patch him up quickly before he ignored all medical advice and followed the commander right off the balcony and charged in with his tazer prod.

All in all it took about the number predicted, between 7-8 jolts with the tazers, every living trooper bar two whaling away at calamari features here before it dropped.

Damn, for a turn based game, thats had my heart racing towards the end. And it still is. Going for a rollup now, I think I've earned that one:P

#6 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 08:16 AM

 Tsathoggua, on 08 October 2016 - 07:45 AM, said:

first guy through the first hole is alive only by luck

You do mean "luck", and not "a bunch of save reloads", right?  ;)

Well done, in any case.  :thumbsup:
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#7 magic9mushroom

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 08:34 AM

Hey, I'm an aspie too. I just didn't think you were going to be able to lure it somewhere where melee would work; Xarquid are known for camping, and you said it was in the air. Certainly, if you have a place to stand then charging with tazers works.

(That said, I'm not sure you've done it yet. Large aliens stunned while airborne tend to land in pieces, and two-stage missions in TFTD are notorious for stuff going missing. Murphy's not out of the picture until you've got the research topic.)

#8 Tsathoggua

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 01:56 PM

I mean luck as in the trooper in question is gonna be making one HELL of an insurance claim. And is probably going to end up carrying his insides back to the triton in the nearest spare cola bottle looted from that cruise ship. down to (after medkit use) IIRC 23 or 24 health, armor saved him from ending up spending the time until judgement day as an abstract wall painting.

What do dead xarquid look like? different to living KO'ed ones? It definitely didn't go 'spatkhsquishthhhpht' when it hit the deck. And no, the only save-reloads were when agents went to places they were never intended to be ordered to go. I do not consider it cheating if the fault is with the hardware, rather than its operator. That was the longest mission I've ever fought. Had to do a bit of minor cleanup, due to a tasoth camping out in the freezers, nothing a demo charge tossed in using the stacks of food as cover didn't fix. was convenient actually since it allowed me to have all the non-gauss weaponry unloaded and recover the gas cannon left on one of the corpses.

Magic mushroom-nice;) although I am not myself an aspie, I am more the Kanner's phenotype. Got the xarquid down to the upper floor actual FLOOR floor. And then floored it, thought it wasn't going to pay off at first, because it turned round and blasted an agent once in the face from close range. Randomizer code segment...THANK YOU binary jesus.

I am gonna be REALLY annoyed if that xarquid does not come back. Actually I made a save 'xarquid, no ovrwrt' right after belting it one, and a backup of the save to insure against data corruption. If I have to reload from the end of that mission, finish the tasoth camper and do stage two over and over again so be it. Not satisfied unless that thing comes back to provide stir fried squid for the entre base. Murphy can go to hell I Want. That. SQUID!.

#9 Tsathoggua

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 01:27 PM

Alright, how do we engineer murphy out of the picture.

Tried the second stage of the mission, it was a writeoff, no question about that. Tasoth got pissy about being blanketed in incendiaries.  Boom. Pulse grenade. Squad evaporated. Or at least turned into decorative oil paintings, or charcoal possibly depending on the taste of the 'artist'. Checked the lost property bin back at base but strangely nobody reported any heavily armed cephalopoda with pituitary and anger management problems. Odd, one would think that something like that being caught trying to crawl down the U-bend of the gent's lavatory block would have caused some questions to arise.

Reloaded from the point soon after stunning the thing, and guess what. Another clusterfuck, after snatching a biodrone that by stupidity had to close in and go toe to...errmm...whatever a brain in a jar goes toe-to with if it gets fed up of always losing an arm wrestling match. And guess what? it isn't bloody there. Its alive. Reloaded to test it for sure with a suicide bomber. Splat, squelch. No corpse. The civilians on the lower deck can take one for the research effort.

Questions-does the salvage team/triton have limited space for bodies, dead or alive? and will piling up the bodies and blowing them to hell work, that is, cleanse the area, Salvage the weapons, unload the ammunition, drag the captured MC reader along with it and torch the bodies with explosives work?

That is, leave the xarquid alive, WASTE that fucking biodrone already, god those little monsters are nasty customers. IMO there is only one good place for a bio-drone. And that is 'at ground  zero' I have to confess, I am less than fussed about obtaining that one now as a research project. There will be more. Too many damn more, policy currently is to kill on sight and damned about the bodies. KO one? set charges and leg it.

One other question.

What happens when you park a tank (tracked) on top of something? logic would dictate only one result. But we all know about the mechanics at work here.

#10 magic9mushroom

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 09:33 PM

There is a limit of 50 aliens in containment at once, but no limit on how many can be recovered from a given mission.

I believe the issue is that the Xarquid is in the first half of the mission and/or that the body landed wrong and didn't register as intact.

It's not like you actually need to research a live Xarquid, though. They don't unlock anything, and you can get the UFOpaedia entry from Medics.


Tanks cannot crush conscious units, but they can drive over unconscious/dead units without harming them. If a unit wakes up while under the tank, it will appear next to it.

#11 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 01:15 AM

To memory, the game doesn't care what happens to unconscious bodies so long as they don't specifically get exploded.

http://www.ufopaedia...ons#Live_Aliens
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#12 Tsathoggua

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 02:56 AM

Shit yes shoulda realized that they are treated as items. Its just...well whilst it might not kill, you'd think people coding would realize tanks are heavy, even under water.

#13 NKF

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 04:45 AM

TFTD was rushed out quite quickly after the initial release of UFO, so while it does feature some changes and tweaks, making things more realistic and make tanks crush things would have taken a bit of time they did not have. Hey, I'd love the feature to crush things with the tank (perhaps more rough terrain like rubble than aliens), but whether it adds anything to the game or not is for another discussion.

To make up an in-game excuse for it, most of the aliens have superhuman levels of strength right out of a superhero comic book. Some of them are tough enough to survive explosions and sonic blasts in their birthday suits. If aliens could get up and deal with anyone standing on top of them in this game, I imagine some of them would toss a puny mini-tank off them like an empty cardboard box. Having one park on top of them isn't that much of a inconvenience. Posted Image

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#14 magic9mushroom

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:10 AM

 Bomb Bloke, on 10 October 2016 - 01:15 AM, said:

To memory, the game doesn't care what happens to unconscious bodies so long as they don't specifically get exploded.

http://www.ufopaedia...ons#Live_Aliens

You can't be certain of recovering large aliens even in a one-part mission. The issue is that all four pieces are separate items and will fall to the ground individually - which may be at different heights. Then at the end of the mission, the "is this corpse still intact" algorithm (which presumably exists to prevent aliens from being recovered after one quadrant has been pulverised) reads it as two mutilated corpses rather than one whole one.

#15 Tsathoggua

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 11:56 AM

Well I tried scrubbing the mission and leaving the lower deck of civillians to stew in their own juices and go to hell, even tried manually collecting every last body bar the last living alien, who had been located..silly bugger sending x-com that memo 'hey, kill-team, I'm panicking over here..no, a bit to the left...' to ensure evac rather than mission end. Didn't even get the corpse. After nearly a week planning the strike to surgical precision, not even a damn carcass. And to add injury to insult, that FUCKING bio drone woke up, right near the last turn or two in the evac, and obliterated many of the troops, only one good, solid soldier made it, and one middling rookie, both because they were lagging behind, after raping and pillaging. Well more pillaging, ideally (and hey would YOU stick it in a xarquid's cannon if it was out cold? maybe a gill-woman, that I could go for, tasoth maybe but no kissing (bad enough where humans are concerned)


Don't think any brothel, even the most backwater, inbred redneck 'hurr whuh cleetus' hick-owned gutter whorehouse would accept a resume from a lobsterman hand-job-giver though.

#16 magic9mushroom

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 12:15 PM

You've got me thinking of that half-finished "Tentaculat victim POV" fanfic I've got lying around.

#17 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 07:07 AM

 magic9mushroom, on 10 October 2016 - 08:10 AM, said:

The issue is that all four pieces are separate items and will fall to the ground individually - which may be at different heights. Then at the end of the mission, the "is this corpse still intact" algorithm (which presumably exists to prevent aliens from being recovered after one quadrant has been pulverised) reads it as two mutilated corpses rather than one whole one.

Are you sure such an algorithm exists? My assumption is that the recovery system simply checks for unconscious aliens in the unit table, on the basis that if something bad happened to their corpses they'd've been killed already.

Certainly, testing it out under UFO CE I can recover divided Reapers just fine. The only case I'm aware of where you can't get a live multi-tile alien is that of the Cyberdisc - to get those intact you have to shoot them on the wing, but no matter how it falls you still won't recover it as "live".
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#18 magic9mushroom

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:49 PM

 Bomb Bloke, on 11 October 2016 - 07:07 AM, said:

Are you sure such an algorithm exists? My assumption is that the recovery system simply checks for unconscious aliens in the unit table, on the basis that if something bad happened to their corpses they'd've been killed already.

Certainly, testing it out under UFO CE I can recover divided Reapers just fine. The only case I'm aware of where you can't get a live multi-tile alien is that of the Cyberdisc - to get those intact you have to shoot them on the wing, but no matter how it falls you still won't recover it as "live".

I'm pretty sure that at the very least partially-destroyed corpses don't get recovered. I suppose I'll have to test again.

#19 Tsathoggua

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:16 AM

Interesting idea mushroom (the tentaculat thing)

Here is a thought. Since I didn't recover a corpse but have the save, with the xarquid KO. Would CAREFUL use of HE ammo to the very periphery, enough to kill it but not destroy the corpse (all 4 tiles are present, stunned, joined together or not there is no way of knowing.) Would executing it at LEAST allow it to be recovered dead?

#20 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 07:37 AM

If it's already unconscious, there's no way to damage it short of destroying the corpse (or waiting for it to wake up then killing it normally).

But so long as the north-west-most segment remains, it should be possible to at least recover the body. When it comes to corpse collection that's the only bit that seems to count.

Edit:

After some more tests, it looks like large units don't die when their corpses are destroyed, and are recoverable dead or alive so long as that north-west segment's still there.
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