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Messages - H-Hour

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Discussion / Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« on: September 26, 2015, 09:07:46 pm »
No AM (or nuclear :P) hand-held weapons ammo please, but an EP shotgun slug could be a thing — in fact I wonder why it wasn't included with the rest of the EP ammos, seems like it would be easier to fit a miniaturized plasma blade in a shotgun shell than in a rifle one...

There was a weak justification in the original proposal. But if the late game is better with it than I say go for it. I never found the plasma blaster insufficient for CQB needs but a late-game upgrade might be fun anyway.

Discussion / Re: Let's Play: Tactical Bootcamp
« on: July 06, 2015, 10:18:36 am »
Just do not pose me in a way were I will get slaughtered like that dude in the video, please.

lol, no promises!

Discussion / Let's Play: Tactical Bootcamp
« on: July 05, 2015, 05:06:54 pm »
Hi everyone, remember me? Today I did something I always wanted to do after the big weapon/stats rebalance: a sort-of Let's Play/Tactical tutorial mix-up. I recorded an episode on 2.6-dev today. Hopefully I'll get more episodes out down the line.

There won't be a lot of role playing in this one, as I'll be focused on teaching some tactics on the battlescape. But if you'd like to adopt one of the soldiers, let me know and I'll rename it after you for future episodes.

Let's Play UFO Alien Invasion: Tactical Bootcamp #1

Tactics / Re: Favourite Map
« on: October 01, 2014, 09:59:39 pm »
Thanks Wolls!

I felt like smart movement would win the day.

That's exactly what I set out to do when designing a map. Maybe you should take up map making? It's not that hard and needs a good tactical mind to sort out all the issues in existing maps.

Tactics / Tactics guide at
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:07:48 pm »
A long while ago, the good folks at agreed to add a listing for our game. I did some initial scaffolding and wrote a few articles in preparation for 2.5's release. But unfortunately I had to move on from the project before very much was done.

Recently, I've noticed a lot of tactics discussion in the forum. Although very incomplete, the guide still provides some valuable information -- especially the articles on Squad Composition and Reaction Fire.

The strategy guides at are all wikis. I hoped that this could be the go-to source for strategy information, maintained by the community of players, so that the developers don't have to be responsible for maintaining it. I wanted to get more in place to kick it off, but that probably won't happen. So, players, please have a look at the guides of others games, then use, update and extend the guide. Too much of the information on the forums is fragmentary, incorrect, obsolete and scattered across years of posts.

Strategy guide at

Tactics / Re: My worst map: small village (called "england" in skirmish)
« on: September 03, 2014, 12:40:31 pm »
You may be interested in the comments on the Map Revision project in the wiki. The following comment appears under england:

This is a cool map, but the player start position is a real pain. Never get out of the bowl.

There are so many maps. And so many of them make for poor tactical combat. This project needs an army of mappers addressing this. But I believe ShipIt is the only one holding down the fort these days.

Discussion / Re: My 2.5 feedback
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:43:14 pm »
I'm sceptical of solutions that just add more components to the research/disassembly process (researching pieces of a weapon, for instance). If we just want to delay the research process we can always just extend the time it takes to research a weapon. But we do that at the expense of the aircraft research times. We only have so much game time to split up between research items, and the aircraft (long-game) research should feel like the harder investment.

I think that ShipIt's approach (separate human/alien weapon trees) has the most merit. Unfortunately, it goes against the alien/weaponry design we have in place, which raises a few issues that aren't as easy to solve as just balancing a few numbers:

1. The Taman, Shevaar and Ortnoks were all designed to be humanoid and wield humanoid weapons. That's good because we can reuse these art assets as they upgrade alongside you during the campaign (pistols -> plasma rifles -> needlers -> particle beams). We can do some things with weight -- for instance, only let Tamans equip light weapons -- but only so much before we lose this ability for them to stay with you throughout the campaign. Some clever ideas and maybe some new mechanics or art assets would be needed to resolve this.

2. Because of #1, most alien weapons have been designed for humanoid hands. We'd either need new art assets (weapons/aliens) which emphasized some kind of critical humanoid-alien hand differences or some other clever idea to make this seem realistic.

3. Our auto-equipping algorithm (and team composition) already struggles with the current rules. If we introduce more complexity to the alien equipment loadout (for instance, only allowing some races to equip some weapons), we'll also need more development on this front.

I think the approach (greater distinction between alien and human weapon trees) is great from a gameplay standpoint. But we'd need a comprehensive set of ideas for what these trees would be like, how they'd interact, and then what kind of art/story assets need to be changed and what game mechanics need to be implemented to make it happen. And that's a difficult set of tasks that require a lot of coordination and long-term development. And I really shouldn't even be talking about that kind of stuff these days as I haven't made a real contribution in nine months.

Discussion / Re: My 2.5 feedback
« on: June 22, 2014, 02:57:27 pm »
Thanks for the feedback Sarin. As ShipIt said, there are some really solid points in there. I'll just raise a couple of things to keep in mind:

1. You're right, the pace is pretty quick now, especially for someone like you coming from the ~300 mission marathon that was 2.4 and previous versions. I still feel the game is pretty long in general game terms. We have a lot of content to get through and the number of missions for a campaign can vary a lot. Sometimes it can take a month before someone spots a Bomber, which can easily mean another 10-15 missions at that stage. But control over pacing is kind of a trade-off between structured pacing and the game's loose sandbox mechanics. We determine when a weapon/ship/alien is available for use, but not exactly when it will first appear.

2. I agree that Assault tends to be the most widely useful, but like anonymissimus the GL is actually the powerhouse for me. All my best soldiers were GL and Snipers because their survivability rate is much higher than assault the way that I play (they're never in RF positions). Close weapons are certainly a skill that takes time to learn properly, and I lose close specialists more than anyone else. They have a limited use case, but I couldn't enter buildings without them.

3. You're right about pistols and knives. I don't think we have a good solution for them yet, but an EP pistol could do wonders for them in the late game.

4. That part in the beginning when the aliens have only pistols seems too easy because you've been playing this game for a long time. But that's kind of a "free month" we give new players, because they will just be learning some of the basic mechanics. If you play on hard or very hard the aliens will start with rifles.

5. The issue with outgunning the aliens is a structural one that ShipIt has raised in the past. As soon as the aliens field a weapon, you can research and deploy it quickly, so their advantages are very short-term. I don't think we've found a good way around this that doesn't feel like a hack, but it's certainly on our radar. It's actually one of the reasons that Needlers work the way they do. They're a pain to face (getting wounded all the time) but not as effective to use yourself.

6. FYI, supply ships and corrupters come at the same time. Each new phase introduces two ships at a time. It was just chance (sandbox mechanics) that it was a month before you saw the corrupter. ShipIt has suggested that we make the "epoch" shifts more gradual, but this will cause issues for outgunning the aliens. If you face your first needler early, you'll have it researched and in the field by the time the aliens are showing up with it regularly.

7. It sounds like endgame came quickly for you. Typically it takes a while for a Bomber to show up. But obviously this part will be better when we extend the game to the Carrier.

Discussion / Re: Impressions on 2.5 vs 2.4
« on: May 26, 2014, 04:17:52 pm »
I hope the sick bay is more efficient in healing than in 2.4 though, where I sometimes take heavily wounded soldiers onto the battlefield and immediately heal them with a medikit because it's so much faster.

Medikits no longer heal your soldiers much, just stop the blood loss (wound damage), so you'll need to put them in the sick bay.

soldier clothing styles (urban, arctic and so on):
The choices got removed, supposedly because they don't have effect ? Good.

No effect + no art assets for the new soldier models.

the weight system:
There's a whole bunch of unorganized discussion on the talk page in our wiki that you might find interesting. I think you need to be logged in to view talk pages.

even for scouts and so on, there are now huge maps
I have not contributed much to 2.6, but I do believe this is one of the issues to be addressed in the Map Revision Project (another Talk page in the wiki).

Discussion / Re: Impressions on 2.5 vs 2.4
« on: May 26, 2014, 02:53:09 pm »
anonymissimus, are you the Wesnoth dev of the same name? If so, nice to see you over here. Would be great to have you involved if you're looking for another open-source game project to work on. :)

Discussion / Re: Still no 2.5 installer?
« on: May 03, 2014, 11:49:25 pm »
A windows installer is provided for the 2.5-dev version on the download page. Look under "Next stable version" and get the complete installer.

Newbie Coding / Re: Artificial Intelligence
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:16:03 am »
  Then the effect of the simple AI interpreting a soldier as a place to hide would become, from the players perspective, an alien attempting to charge forward shooting from the hip and then, if successful in closing to melee, gutting them with a kerrblade or sticking them with a plasma blade.  This would make letting the alien get that close a lethal mistake, rather than a comical and exploitable eccentricity in the AI.

If an alien moves, then fires, then moves, then fires, they'll be spending an enormous amount of TU in view of the player's units. This would expose them to a lot of reaction fire. For all the complaints about the AI, they actually seemed reasonably savvy about RF the last time I played.

Discussion / Re: Soldiers shooting soldiers
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:07:51 am »
The other thing to note is that the green/red lines that are painted by the game represent approximations. You still need to use your judgement. If the line of fire is green but goes close to your soldiers and you're using a weapon with a bit of spread, then you're probably taking a risk in firing.

Tactics / Re: Is there really any point in equipping armor?
« on: December 15, 2013, 01:28:53 am »
I'm sticking my head in quickly to say that I love this thread. It's just the kind of interesting and sophisticated tactical discussion I hoped the 2.5 changes would inspire!

EP ammo penetrates heavy alien armor as though it was a leather apron but does no more damage to an unarmored taman than regular lead bullets do.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here, but regular AR ammo base damage is 42. AR EP's base damage is 90, so it does more than twice as much damage to an unarmoured target. And this is before you factor in aliens' innate resistance. Both Ortnok and Shevaar have "resilient bodies", and perform well against regular AR ammo, but get no protection against AR EP ammo.

FYI, I do plan to implement EP ammo for shotguns at least, possibly also the SMG to rehabilitate that unused weapon a bit. But to be honest I have never had the plasma blaster hit its target without killing it, so I may have to drop the plasma blaster's power a touch to make the shotgun EP ammo worth it in the late game.

And I tend to play like Telok (machine guns and needlers aren't my thing), but I can appreciate that some play styles will make good use of them.

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