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Author Topic: Why is this so goddamn hard?  (Read 19361 times)

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2015, 09:24:05 am »
I'm playing 2.5

Smoke is not useless. Aliens will not target a unit hidden in smoke (although they technically can 'see' it). Also, shooting and hit chances are the same for every actor in the game, altered by skills and stats.

Not absolutely sure, but somehow my feeling is, in 2.6 the battlescape is easier to solve than in 2.5, so you could go and try that. You can mod the stats of aliens and recruits without much effort, as you can change some modifiers to make the battles easier for you.

I will try to give my general plan (in 2.6). My squad is usually build from one Scout/Cannonfoder (Sniper Rifle + extra TUs), one Sniper (Sniper Rifle + extra TUs), four Assault (Assault/Plasma/Laser/Assault+EP rifles, Armour) and two Grenadiers (Grenade Launcher, Armour if possible). This changes, depending on the map. So I might replace the Grenadiers by Close-Quarters-Combat-Cannonfodder (in maps like city3 parking lot), or replace an Assault by an additional Sniper.
The scout goes first, looking to find the enemies position. The Assaults secure the area, the Grenadiers and Snipers follow in safe positions.
1) I rarely hide my units within smoke, simply because they cannot see anything this way. More often I use smoke to block the 'line of sight', so my soldiers can get into good positions safely.
2) Use strong recruits with otherwise bad skills/stats as scout with Sniper rifle and extra TUs. The extra TUs are important, as it gives a chance to spot the enemy and then move back into a save position. The Sniper Rifle is the only weapon that as a chance to hit & kill some opponents in early game. Again, the extra TUs help, as the scout can shoot and still move. Dont care if you loose your scouts frequently, but if one survives some missions, he might be good enough to be promoted.
3) In general split your actions into spotting and attacking, with different actors. So, the scout spots the enemy, the Grenadier or Sniper tries to take him out from a save position. This prevents you from taking the Reaction fire of your enemies. Also, if you fail in killing the victim, the scout can retreat and everybody is save during the aliens turn.
4) I don´t use reaction fire until I have Laser rifles or EP-ammo. It´s useless. With Laser rifle and reaction fire set on Pulsed Fire mode, an experienced Assault in Nano-Armour has a very good chance to win a direct duel against a Combat Hovernet, if in a good position.
5) Consider blocking passages by fire fields from Incendiary grenades. Aliens usually try to avoid walking into, so there is no need to guard in this direction.
6) Arrange your squad occording to the map. This might be a problem, as it requires to know the map. If in doubt, play the map in Skirmish to check how it is build. Some maps require a lot of long range fire power (farm, frozen, desert - short range weapons are useless), while others favour close quarters combat (oriental, harbour2).
7) If in trouble, don´t hesitate to sacrifice weaker units to protect the stronger ones. Oc it depends, which unit is 'better'. For me Scout dies first, Grenadiers are easier to replace than a Sniper, a good Assault (multi functional soldier) is priceless.
8 ) Try to get PB-Grenades and EP-rounds as fast as possible. They are unmatched.

Hope that helps.

Offline Talos

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2015, 12:28:36 pm »
Thanks for those advices. They will be helpfull  :)

Offline Rodmar

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2015, 11:07:33 pm »
I'm a week ahead in v2.5 on difficult settings, and I must say that the game is very unforgiving as compared to v2.4 on normal. I had to intensively use the save/reload game before the first interception and before each one mission until september 2084. I spent hours replaying single missions, and I've could have become bored of that, save that I've came to realize that I was actually learning the job and becoming more confident in my survival chances.
Learning the weapon ranges, alien TU and reaction fire, that some aliens are very found on grenades, that aliens too may see "between tiles", ... all of this would have cost me so many lives!

So, it's true that I didn't lost any of my starting team so far (they are so skilled in October 2084 that I wonder if that's intended), and it's true that I reloaded when a bigger nasty appeared to destroy a transport... but I've learned.
For example, I learned how to (over)use smoke grenades: on open maps, the enemy get no chances anymore.

However, I have no shame of it as I feel like learning without being punished (only consuming my leisure time). I even let rookies die now (on my Beta team).

All in all, so far I found it both very challenging and very exciting. Thank you for the new AI.

Offline TBeholder

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2015, 01:02:49 pm »
2) Use strong recruits with otherwise bad skills/stats as scout with Sniper rifle and extra TUs. The extra TUs are important, as it gives a chance to spot the enemy and then move back into a save position. The Sniper Rifle is the only weapon that as a chance to hit & kill some opponents in early game. Again, the extra TUs help, as the scout can shoot and still move. Dont care if you loose your scouts frequently, but if one survives some missions, he might be good enough to be promoted.
What - shotguns suck in 2.6?
In 2.5 it may be the best choice for scouts in early game: light and quite lethal vs. unarmored enemies.

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2015, 07:42:35 pm »
In 2.6 I have had many interesting experiences with both shotguns. First, the standard one with slugs. The standard shotgun with slugs can on occasion one hit kill a Taman in alien armour - if you can hit him. It will stun them quite often, and even one hit kill or stun a Sheevar if you are lucky, though a few hits will be needed to take down an un-armoured Ortnok or a Taman in heaver armour. They even really hurt robotic enemies, and can put down a hovernet in one hit, if you hit it. The combat versions of robots take more than one hit, of course. They wont dent an armoured Ortnok. The accuracy is horrible for soldiers of low skill and accuracy stat. Despite the incredibly short range of the Flamethrower, it is potentially a better choice on maps with little open space as it does not suffer from the highly erratic accuracy of the standard shotgun. This accuracy increases with some mission experience, but by the time their accuracy or skill is good enough to hit things reliably with the shotgun, you are going to be better off giving them a plasma blaster if the strength stat has grown along with others. To be fair, the plasma blaster is a bit OP, as it will take nearly anything down - I have lost more soldiers to it than any other weapon by far. Standard shotguns with slugs are also very, very useful as a defensive weapon - hide a tile or two back from a corner in ambush, and they fire very reliably as a close range reaction fire weapon. Now... the microshotgun. I love that weapon. I have emplyed it mainly as a secondary weapon for snipers to use if they need to go into close combat mode - storming a building or UFO, say. I have also used it for low strength, low accuracy CQ recruits who do not have a high enough accuracy to be given an SMG in order to pewpewpew away from distance. These act as forward scouts. As with the standard shotgun, they are great as a defensive weapon in terms of generating reliable close range ambush reaction fire, and will 1 hit kill or stun un-armoured organic foes of all types if within 4 tiles or so. Any further might stun or badly wound organic foes if you are lucky. They simply do not hurt robotic enemies enough to justify using against them, nor are they much good against armoured aliens. Similar applies to the flechette grenade rounds.

So, yes, early game the CQ weapons are a fun tactical choice, essential at times in keeping soldiers alive in close quarters defensive combat. However, the tech tree kind of forgets them a little, with the slightly OP plasma blaster a fairly obvious choice for all circumstances. Yes, the plasma pistol is a nice sidearm, or useful for grenade flingers (who I generally give the automatic pistol early game, to keep one hand free for grenade lobbing), and so is the laser pistol (or even particle pistol) - but the pistols are secondary weapons to me, and not to be relied on. I would love to see some variety brought in - I have previously posted about how I would love to see the Particle Blaster be a CQ weapon, seeing as how it behaves like one anyway in terms of its sub par accuracy. Its MASSIVE damage and high TU cost could balance it in that class nicely. I have also seen others suggesting some kind of "alien material" slug to replace standard slugs to give CQ recruits something worth shooting at armoured aliens., and "needler flechette" derived techs for the micro shotgun (which could of course be fired from the standard one too) and the flechette grenades. Heck, there even exists a mod for a "plasmathrower", which could act as a nice step up in terms of damage from a flamethrower (though this might mean the flamethrower needs a damage nerf or more TU's added to its use cost to make it a viable option) and sit alongside the plasma blaster.

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2015, 12:22:27 pm »
In ... blaster.

I agree with most of your observations. In mid game the CQ combat options are basicly gone. Upgraded ammo for the shotgun/microshotgun, like the "needler flachette" would be a nice solution imo.

My opinion about Plasma/Particle Blaster is different, though. I simply cannot imagine those heavy and chunky weapons to be good for short range combat, where fast reaction and quick movement is required. Also, the splash damage of the Plasma Blasters ball mode conflicts with it to be used for short distances.

Offline Rodmar

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2015, 03:25:22 pm »
Also, the splash damage of the Plasma Blasters ball mode conflicts with it to be used for short distances.
I'd thought that it was the alien version for the flamer, which has splash damage too (AoE at least).

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2015, 11:46:37 pm »
I agree with most of your observations. In mid game the CQ combat options are basicly gone. Upgraded ammo for the shotgun/microshotgun, like the "needler flachette" would be a nice solution imo.

My opinion about Plasma/Particle Blaster is different, though. I simply cannot imagine those heavy and chunky weapons to be good for short range combat, where fast reaction and quick movement is required. Also, the splash damage of the Plasma Blasters ball mode conflicts with it to be used for short distances.

Define short distances. To me, short distances covers anything under about 8, up to point blank. Yes, the blasters ball mode will hurt the shooter from 2 tiles or less, but still is safe for very close combat of range 3 to 5 tiles, where is outclasses the shotguns, but probably not the flamethrower, thanks to accuracy issues. If it is supposed to be a "cumbersome" weapon, then maybe upping the TU's for its use from 8 to 14 or 16 would nerf it a little - making it more "difficult" to use in terms of TU's than a rifle, keeping the shotguns and flamethrower a pair of attractive options for longer, doubly so if they get some kind of upgrade or human based plasma flame tech parrallel - possibly derived from plasma balde tech? The high TU cost of the particle blaster reflects this clumsy nature and high weight, sure. Do we need to come up with new alien CQ weapons, to keep CQ relevant as sniper tech, explosive tech, and assault tech leave it behind?

Offline Gary Bonn

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2015, 05:09:05 pm »
You find it hard? I play with experts and die first every time. I'm good at dying, indeed I'm probably exceptional.

Offline TBeholder

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2015, 03:49:12 pm »
Despite the incredibly short range of the Flamethrower, it is potentially a better choice on maps with little open space as it does not suffer from the highly erratic accuracy of the standard shotgun.
With the crappy Close skill yes, though at least it doesn't eat too much TU.
Generally, flamethrower is much better in a "maze of twisted passages, all alike", while shotgun's range is better for zifgzagging between the barns, inside buildings with corridors, or split by aisles or machines, and so on. Hard to choose - the former is what happens in ships, but otherwise the second is encountered more often. I choose shotguns, because enemies usually crawl out of mazes on their own.

I agree with most of your observations. In mid game the CQ combat options are basicly gone. Upgraded ammo for the shotgun/microshotgun, like the "needler flachette" would be a nice solution imo.
Or better nuke AM slugs. If proportionally destructive (as in, volume of slugs vs. AR bullets), it would be blaster-grade overkill.

Offline pete conway

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2015, 09:45:56 am »

 Or better nuke AM slugs. If proportionally destructive (as in, volume of slugs vs. AR bullets), it would be blaster-grade overkill.
Funny thing that... I was thinking the self same thing just a few days ago but dismissed it as an idea as, well, I figured it had already occurred to the devs and been rejected, I like Shiplt's needler flechette idea too one or both would bring the close range combat back into play.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2015, 08:03:51 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...

Offline pete conway

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2015, 12:08:49 am »
Ooops... I did actually mean plasma not Anti Matter as we don't even have AM rockets or grenades let alone smaller rounds. 
anyway I think the topic has drifted from what it was, and these suggestions might be better in, well. suggestions really. :)

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2015, 09:05:14 pm »
Well, there is an AM bolter rifle round, but that is a big weapon, after all...

Though, if we have AM missiles as an air to air weapon, is it that much of a stretch to have an anti matter bazooka round, or grenade launcher round ... actually, it probably is - containing antimatter in such a launch on such a scale is a bit silly.

Offline Rodmar

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Re: Why is this so goddamn hard?
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2015, 10:13:15 am »
One weapon that is not implemented in the game, though it's being used currently, up to the point to replace the flamethrower in most situations, is the Full Air Explosive or thermobaric bomb/missile/rocket.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1854371.stm

For now, it's still heavy and big AoE.

What if the alien nanotechnology could allow the PHALANX engineers to devise a much smaller casing, so that a thermobaric rocket ammo could become available for the PRL? A Mother of Rockets?
Miniaturization is critical because if not, the weapon is deemed a non-conventional one, and not fit to deal with civilian rescuing situations. Moreover, PHALANX can't afford to "groznyize" every site they come to secure.

Damage type could be "blast" (much higher than current blast damages, largest AoE radius of all) + "incendiary" (1 turn only, low damage, smaller radius). Even shrapnel (smaller radius) could be added to the weapon, as it's currently experimented.

Only a heavy body armour could protect the aliens caught in the blast (when heavy armour is available). Or only an Ortnok in medium armour?