project-navigation
Personal tools

Author Topic: Storming harvester  (Read 13773 times)

Offline CheesyExterminator

  • Cannon Fodder
  • **
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Storming harvester
« on: July 29, 2010, 11:42:11 am »
In terror missions, most of the time you gotta move your soldiers into harvester to kill all those aliens onboard.
Problem is, it often turns out that ...
1.Soldiers gathering near the aft doors, getting ready to storm inside. End turn.
2.Aliens turn. Aliens pop out from aft doors, taking a few free shots then retreat back in.
3.Human casulties.

It doesn't happen everytime, only half the times, but I'm playing with zero casualty rule (one die, retry), so either
-I would like some advices to make attacking into harvester a little less hazardous for my favorite soldiers or
-Should I use 1 or 2 newbies soldiers as "expendable" scout ?

It took me 6 in-game months to grow those stupid recruits with 20 across all stats into something worthy as defender of the earth with 40+ proficiency. So I can't really afford to lose them ... or should I ?

IR don't really help much, cuz in order to get close enough to scan, that also put the scanner in danger of getting killed in enemy turn when enemies just walk around the corner to give a few blast before go back inside.

Offline Sarin

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 339
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 12:21:34 pm »
A bit ASCII graphics :D this is the back of harvesters:




_______l__  _l_  __l__________
           \   l             l   /
      **** \_l             l_/ ****

If you approach from the bow of harvester, soldiers at positions marked * are usually safe, as long as none of your soldiers go past that line, probably due to AI bug. Once your soldiers are in position, you can storm the aliens that are near enterance.

Another possibility is reactionfire baits. Several soldiers with laser weapons and medikits take position at significat distance from enterance, must have visual on it. They will draw fire of aliens, but distance and medikits should prevent any casualities, and lasers could score a hit or two with RF. Your assault team will use that time to safely get to position for assault.

If you suspect there are aliens hidden right behind the doors, fire rocket launcher and grenades through the doors into the wall, splash damage will kill them, or at least injure them, making them go out raging or duck and freeze in fear.

EDIT: damn, ascii art looks a bit different in edit mode but well...it should work.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 12:24:45 pm by Sarin »

Offline CheesyExterminator

  • Cannon Fodder
  • **
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 12:41:39 pm »
I'm currently using the first method, though I didn't know about the magic line.
But even in this position, it's still taking quite a lot of TUs to move around the corner, fire and get back to safety. Most of the time I lucked it out by forgeting about the "back to safety" part and just go in one-way trip.

RF plan sounds good.
-But I never really use them at all, didn't know how to use it or heard that it's bugged. All I know is that you're supposed to turn on RF (single/multiple), then select firing mode for it, and conserve enough TUs to use them. Am I correct ? I tried this sometime with snipers but I have seen only one shot so far.
-And I didn't research any laser weaponary, though I'm running out of subjects to research, at least until finish disassembling UFOs, so I should be able to make some laser rifle soon.

Thanks for advices and ASCII. Wish I had a way to make some ASCII in case of strategic discusses like these :/

Offline Sarin

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 339
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 01:56:41 pm »
I am not 100% sure about the magic line, I know it works in map Harvester, and Little Bungalow in Forest (tho not always there, as there might be civilians nearby that screw it up).

RF is a bit bugged right now, it works good later on when enemy is using bigger (and slower) guns, but fast pistols screw it up. I have often the same problem with forgetting to save TUs, so it often ends as all-out assault, hoping to kill them or at least give them too many targets, so they split the fire and just injure my soldiers.

No lasers? That makes it hard, lasers and nanocomposite armor are pretty much essential.

Offline Lew Yard

  • Squad Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 09:44:05 pm »
Yeah, lasers would make this easier...

My current standard loadout would be:

- One grenadier -- laser rifle (primary) / grenade launcher (for extreme FIBUA, like harvesters).   No reaction fire, so fire/retreat is a must.
- One flamethrower -- laser rifle / FT.    FT is even moreso for CQB only.   A 12 TU Inferno will kill many aliens... but is not guaranteed, so save TU to retreat.   In FT mode, is normally standing for faster movement.
- Two laser rifles / plasma pistol.  The plasma pistol is very rarely drawn, but is faster than reloading.  LRs have some chance for RF, being among the faster-firing weapons.
- Two heavy lasers / plasma pistol.  Heavy lasers do a fair bit of my killing at range; the damage advantage over LRs is significant because of the way armor works, but they're not as good as RF due to higher TU cost.
- Two snipers / plasma pistols.

Medikits, nanocomposite armor for greater survivability.   IR goggles for all.  Aliens do not currently regenerate or use medikits, as far as I can tell, so the long-term hurt-each-other game works in your favor as long as you don't actually die -- pull your wounded back and fix them up ASAP, while the aliens accumulate wounds (and inaccuracy penalties).  Ammunition is cheap.

Those who aren't the GL or FT folks tend to carry two grenades but rarely use them.


General --
- Save the harvester for last, at least if it's intact.  If it's intact, there's only one two-door bay where they can emerge, anyway.  You'll occasionally have LOS to somebody in the cockpit, but AFAICT you can't actually *shoot* them (nor they you).

- Typically I'll have the sniper + heavy lasers sweep close to the outside starting with the cockpit (1 sniper + 1 HL each side), stopping every few squares to use IR to find the aliens.  The good case is that they're all in the first floor.   If I do find aliens far forward, I'll detach one sniper by them to give the aliens something to fixate on -- they can see you through the walls and behave accordingly.

- Sniper(s) + HL sweep *wide* around the exits moving slowly so that they can ever more see more of the tricky zone right by the entrance, but that they're far away that the aliens' generally worse weapon spreads matter slightly.  IR goggles used to see anybody near.  LR + FT + GL hug the exterior of the ship, waiting for SR+HL to provide cover.   If there's a single alien in striking distance, FT may rush, Inferno, and then dodge back out of LOS.

- Breaching team is FT backed in LR in one door, GL backed by LR in another.  HLs may or may not be used to maintain perimeter, if not detached already SRs are detached to IR scanning.

- Aliens stuck in the cockpit are quite vulnerable because there are niches in the hallway, and corners closer to the entrances, while you can bombard them with GL fire if they approach.   The hard phase is if there are multiple aliens upstairs; then you want FT + LRs.  A patient player can wait around for some of them to every so often attempt the stairs.

- Frequent pauses for IR... and to let aliens go berserk and stupid.  ;)

ChemBro

  • Guest
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 11:15:13 pm »
A bit ASCII graphics :D this is the back of harvesters:




_______l__  _l_  __l__________
        \   l             l   /
 **** \_l             l_/ ****

That is the exact same strategy, I'm using all the time.

Offline Siim

  • Cannon Fodder
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010, 11:08:46 pm »
Make sure you send 2 troopers to either side of the harvester, just in front of the wings. Their job is to scan for aliens inside the ship with IR goggles. This way you'll know where all the aliens are located at any time.

Offline TC

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 11:26:58 pm »
I can second Siim's strategy. Two soldiers positioned in front of the wings with IR goggles can see almost all aliens in the ship, and are in absolutely no danger. Actually, one spotter seems to be sufficient, but I usually send two anyway. Furthermore, they seem to attract the aliens to them. The distances are such that when an alien stops lingering near a spotter in front of the wing and goes to attack a soldier breaching the stern, he doesn't have enough TUs to hurt the breach team, and he leaves himself in perfect position to be killed by breach team members with short-range weapons, particularly flamethrowers. With this technique, I don't have to storm the ship. I go in far enough to kill the aliens that come back toward the stern, then retreat to just outside the ship and wait for the next group of aliens. Sometimes, an alien doesn't follow this exact script, but they always seem to come within range of either a flamethrower or a grenade launcher, and knowing exactly where they are makes killing them easy. Also, because of the short-range combat, harvesters are a good place to stun aliens.

-TC

Offline Lew Yard

  • Squad Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 12:06:56 am »
Be careful with the stunning; there seems to be a bug that makes it rather difficult to kill an alien who's standing in the same tile as a previously stunned alien.

Offline Thrashard96

  • Squad Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 11:12:52 am »
I have stunned the alien a few times and (guess what! I got lucky, because i received alien detection from first harvester and researched everything i haven't researched previously, yay!) i saw that tamans require double charge or bludgeon (i think that you hit him on the head with a stick ;D ), because normal stun dosn't work on them.

Offline Sarin

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 339
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 12:23:09 pm »
Yea, you can simply bash their heads with stun rod...but for softening up, I prefer a few laser pistol hits.

And normal stun works, just isn't enough to knock out full health taman on one hit.




Offline Thrashard96

  • Squad Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2010, 02:33:15 pm »
But if you want to survive the alien storm, just modify your current armor to the max.

Offline Lew Yard

  • Squad Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2010, 07:55:26 pm »
Winning through better tactics is much more interesting than winning through blatant cheating.


Incidentally, there looks to be some sadness in the aliens' grenade-throwing logic.  It's happened a few times so far during a Harvester assault that I hear the distinct clinking sound of a grenade clinking around... but never being visible, let alone injurious, to any of my troops.  If this is fixed, bunching up will be far more dangerous, since plasma grenades are rather highly damaging.

On the bright side, plasma grenades (hand-thrown or mini-version for GL) are very handy for your own troops, as long as you can find places to send them without an own-goal or gratuitous massacre of civvies (who IIRC have ~5-10 hp, and thus die to a strong breeze... and tend not to wander into the UFOs).  And when the aliens do the shoot-and-duck-back-behind-the-doorway thing near the entrances, they usually don't go back as far as the first interior doorway.

Offline dfscott

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2010, 08:29:38 pm »
Incidentally, there looks to be some sadness in the aliens' grenade-throwing logic.  It's happened a few times so far during a Harvester assault that I hear the distinct clinking sound of a grenade clinking around... but never being visible, let alone injurious, to any of my troops.  If this is fixed, bunching up will be far more dangerous, since plasma grenades are rather highly damaging.

Agreed.  I remember many times during the original XCOM that I had to be really careful bunching up my troops or I was almost certain to lose 3-4 from alien-thrown grenades.  I've gotten pretty cavalier about it playing UFO:AI, so I'll have to adjust my tactics if they ever wise up.

Offline nagy.m.bear

  • Cannon Fodder
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Storming harvester
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2010, 07:47:15 pm »
I am in September 2084, but did not research much of the laser weapons. I usually make a team of 4-5 snipers, 2 heavy weapons guys with machine guns, and 1-2 with shotguns, or assult guns. I usually played the crashed harvester, where it is more difficult to charge in, especially if the side you are facing is opened up. My best bet is to ignore harvesters, as it seems to me it is enough to shoot down scouts and fighters to keep the factions happy. :) Also if, and when I go into harvesters, I only send 3-5 soldiers in, as the rest just wouldn't be able to move. Also in crashed harvesters ther are less aliens. Some just jump out the second floor, and are outside on the ground.