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Messages - TBeholder

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Tactics / Re: 2.5 Early game builds+what effect the amount of TU's?
« on: August 16, 2014, 05:26:11 am »
AR... and SMG? Exactly what for?  :D
Armor, medikit and grenades (one well-placed smoke can fix very hairy situations). I give them spare ammo only if a weapon got a tiny clip or as about 4th priority, what sidearms?

Discussion / Re: Reverting reaction fire
« on: August 11, 2014, 04:28:46 pm »
I'd rather not have to wait for aliens to appear, walk around in circles, and perform a little dance in front of my soldiers before they can shoot, so I ask: is there a way to revert the reaction fire system back to the original "soldier fires as soon as they see something"?
It's not problem-free either. Especially if you can't get a soldier to pop back behind the corner without all aliens in sight firing everything they got.
IIMO what RealSpirit proposed and my arthropodean self formulated would be a reasonable trade-off: if you want to cover one passage, the soldier doesn't need to turn and aim much, so you'd get much better timing with just about everything, if you're in the middle of nowhere and expect anything from any direction... yeah, it's not a very good situation.

Feature Requests / Re: about aircrafts
« on: August 07, 2014, 04:18:07 am »
So... if aircraft had a weaker radar, but one more device slot and a better radar as an optional device (or better off, several)?
Of course, radars shouldn't just stack.
Then you could configure interceptors either armed with ECM and armor for tough stuff or relatively lightly armed, but with extra fuel and enhanced radar to chase after faster elusive UFOs.
Or, for that matter, make a troop compartment into module (allow "big" slots or grid-based like in Apocalypse), so you could have a transport plane configured as a dropship or give it heavy radar module, armor and a self-defence weapon and use as AWACS.

Tactics / Re: Is there really any point in equipping armor?
« on: August 06, 2014, 02:56:42 am »
It's not that you absolutely need snipers, with enough smoke and ammo spraying you can get through the game, but there are a great many maps where they are useful. 
On almost any map that got open places at all. If there are civilians close enough to aliens to be in danger, we need to remove the threat on the same turn, if at all possible, thus at long range. And if it's too far for smoke grenades, the only option is plain killing.
Rocket launcher got very long range, but not very precise and deals splash damage.
Of course, a long burst from MG is fine too, but it takes more TU - a sniper have time to move a little, crouch and pop the target, while MG is limited to short burst after move, so at long range it will be just 1-2 hits tops, not lethal enough. Even worse vs. armor. And again, when you need to kill at long range, you need accuracy to avoid hitting civilians. So...
I take 2 snipers early on. Sniper rifle deals much more damage than AR, one shot usually kills unarmored aliens.
Laser rifle got betteer range and precision, and even if it's weaker than sniper weapons, still more damage than AR - but it needs to be developed first.
You may also want to check your soldier stats, a sniper with 22 accuracy and 21 weapon skill is a total putz who can be out-shot by a grunt with a shotgun. Your good snipers will start with a 27+ accuracy and a 26+ skill (I also prefer a 35+ strength)
Strength matters only when there are EM rifles. With starting sniper rifle it means ability to carry a medikit and an extra smoke, not that it wasn't a nice bonus.
Now, whether a sniper should wear armor... yes: it allows to use them on medium range where reaction fire from a plasma pistol still gets them occasionally.

Feature Requests / Re: 2.6 - Radar coverage is very unclear
« on: August 05, 2014, 01:39:51 am »
FR: how about marking both radars and missile ranges, in different colors, and showing both while placing an installation? This would help a lot.
In case of new defence weapons, on preview show ranges of the default and currently existing weapons, as concentric circles.
Same with building bases, both for base defense weapons and radars.

For all you who played prequel of UFO Enemy Unknown, Laser Squad you remember reaction fire from that game. Game would stop, you had certain number of Aps you left for reaction fire and you decided how to spend them: snap shot, auto fire or aimed.
And "Power Dolls" got a little popup dialog that allows to respond now or wait to let them move a bit more - of course, you may also hold too long, let an enemy close enough to detect your unit and get shot for free.
I think this option would be great in the game so player can choose will his soldier shoot on auto, snapshot or aimed.
Well, yes. If a melee-range-only enemy like Bloodspider appears, may as well take a good aim instead of potshots.
Also, may want to let him approach closer for a sure shot, or veer out from the line to friendlies.
This is something that is sorely needed because one snap shot is not enough to stop a alien from mowing you down.
This is something solved by selecting Burst for reaction shot in the first place.  :)

Also, there are sometimes several soldiers that get the reaction fire simultaneously and the solider that is going to take the shot might not be the best option (they might be better placed to cover a different angle, etc and so keeping their reaction fire could be advantageous). Some way to select which of the available soldiers takes the shot would be handy.
IMO it reflects that in a quickly changing situation they don't have to coordinate activities, only to make individual decisions.
The other side of this, of course, is that when a sniper is stationed specifically to watch that one window, he should not waste the only shot on competing with two machinegunners covering other places and then allow the intended target to pass unchallenged. And the way it is now,  grenade launchers and reacion fire do not mix well.
But there may be a better solution for this problem (below).

in general shooting should be split into aiming part and shooting itself. while soldiers that are aiming into the correct direction already (small angle, may be 5-10 degrees) already should have reduced reaction fire cost, all others should have to turn into the right direction 1st, raising the weapon after, and only then they should be ready to fire/RF. besides that, RF itself should be dependent of speed and/or mind.
So, the conclusion:
it would be good to have functionality to assign firing arcs more narrow than "anything in sight". This would also allow to disallow risky shots - e.g. if you could tell a soldier with GL to take targets on the roof only, he won't see an alien elsewhere and kill nearby friendlies and thus RF with such a weapon could be useable.
Perhaps narrow arcs could give a little accuracy bonus, and if the selection is narrow enough (typically, one wants to cover a window, door, two squares near the corner), have part of TU cost "pre-paid",  making the actual reaction counter shorter, so the enemy cannot pass as easily through the place at which someone already took aim.

Feature Requests / Re: Saving during missions.
« on: August 05, 2014, 01:07:48 am »
IMO, the main value of battlescape saving support would be as optional debug functionality.
But why not to allow it at "Easiest" level?  :)

Discussion / Re: Some general remarks/questions & bugs
« on: August 04, 2014, 09:01:08 am »

1) In all of my games at one point or another I become unable to build any installation except bases. Is there some cap to the number of installations allowed?
3 Installation per Base. Or rather a base with working Command Center... which also requires Generator.
But if you got both Generator and Command Center, you may as well build a Radar (it's better than on towers), it just makes sense... but if there's detection, you may as well add a Hangar for interceptor, with Storage for its ammo and Living Quarters for pilot... but then, you may transfer a few mediocre soldiers with equipment, just to not lose everything in case of a raid.
So, start building with cheap fast Living Quarters that got a shelter and won't cripple any functionality if an alien throws a grenade there.  :)

3) On the map "Luxurious Resort" (IIRC), you start out on a beach with no cover, while aliens are on the roof of the building you're facing. You can't shoot the aliens because they are at the back of the roof, but they will be able to take potshots at you in their turn.
If you see one, you can blow him away with a grenade launcher, on timer if it's too far for a direct hit. Speaking of which, don't forget about cycling with <Shift> to fine tune trajectory when you use splash damage weapons.
And yes, smoke grenades save both soldiers and civilians. Some players apparently simply give them everyone to off hand in equipment roster, to save 1 TU on mission start.
6) This brings me to a suggestion (plz ignore if already proposed before): I usually rename a soldier to indicate his/her role after the name. E.g. I will rename "John Doe" to "John Doe (SN)" if he's a sniper. I sometimes also attach "(WND)" if he's wounded. This is useful as a reminder because in some other screens you can't see what he is,
there could be an icon indicating that soldier's presumed role (based on what primary weapon he's carrying, or was carrying on his last mission), and whether and how badly he's wounded (could be e.g. the letters WND in a box that is redder the more wounded the soldiers is).
I have to agree about status. Double so in battlescape - right now, the only way to see who is bleeding is to pop the status window and tab through everyone.
As to the weapons, it's easy, preview models are shown with weapons... then again, equip the wounded with their weapons in backpack and spare medkit in hands?
7) Isn't reaction fire a bit OP? I've had times when a Shevaar comes around a corner and blasts&kills one soldier, then in my turn I try to shoot him with one of my other soldiers but the Shevaar reaction-one-shot-kills him, then I try to shoot him with a third soldier, who ALSO dies in the same way! That can't be right. 
Nasty. Then again, reaction fire cuts both way - a shotgun or machinegun in the hands of a soldier with good reaction really rocks.
I mean, realistically, after the first soldier is killed, the two other soldiers would turn around and start shooting at him simultaneously: the fact that it happens one after another in this game is basically only because of how the UI is organized. The Shevaar should be able to perhaps kill one other soldier, but not both (he can't target them both at the same time).
Well, yes, it's almost inevitable in turn based (unlike simultaneous RT+stop of Apocalypse)
Anyway, in the meantime, any tips for how to kill a reaction-fire-enabled Shevaar with a plasma blaster from close range, with only conventional weapons available?
If he got better reaction, you'll need either
  • A faster weapon, i.e. knife or pistol, but it may be too weak  to kill with one attack, unless the target is already wounded; or stun grenade.
  • A sniper hanging out farther - he will be hard to hit at long range or may be even out of blaster's range. A sniper rifle hits hard and even if won't kill, will wound enough that you'll have a good chance to finish the alien with a fast lighter weapon.
  • An attack without line of sight. You can use an indirect attack with hand grenade, GL or splash damage from a direct shot at an empty place - the target have nothing to react at. Or throw a smoke grenade or flashbang (it's fast), it still helps soldiers close to the alien.
  • If possible at all, attack from behind. Again, no sight - no reaction fire.
it think it can shoot till all reserved TUs are used.
Seems to be the case. Which is why the first round with unlucky spawn can be utter horror - they all got full TU rather than what's left from walking like normally after ending a turn.

Discussion / Weapons nature and balance
« on: August 04, 2014, 08:06:14 am »
  • Shotgun
    Shouldn't slugs count as "normal_heavy"? They aren't as easily stopped as smaller bullets.
    And why slugs don't allow "Aimed" mode?
  • Machinegun
    Isn't it supposed to use bigger cartridges than assault rifle and therefore have greater damage, range and penetration?
    Also, shouldn't they have bad accuracy from hip, but crouching should improve it more than for SMG/AR while crouching (as in, firing from bipod)?
  • Lasers
    Why all armor is more efficient against lasers than kinetics, even medium (most of which presumably is already AP)? Especially given that even heavy laser is correctly given no penetration at all against objects.
  • Beams
    Conversely, how resistance to the same high-energy particle beam can possibly have medium values across significantly different types of armor? For charged particles  it's not a random process, it's gradual loss of energy - they either have low enough energy to be completely absorbed by given layer of material, or they pass, and then anything thinner made of material with comparable density will only somewhat slow them down, which won't do much good (as in, a few mm of aluminium can completely stop 10-20 MeV protons, but being hosed with 230-MeV protons instead of 250-MeV isn't a big improvement).

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