project-navigation
Personal tools

Author Topic: Base placement and management tips requested  (Read 15043 times)

Offline Jollyswagman

  • Cannon Fodder
  • **
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Base placement and management tips requested
« on: June 04, 2015, 07:32:59 pm »
Greetings, and thanks to everyone involved in this project. I've discovered UFO AI (2.5) in recent months and have enjoyed the game immensely. Played XCom on a friend's computer back in the 90s and indeed a bit of the remake on a friend's PS3 last year. I seem to remember trying out UFO AI some years back but had trouble running it on my computer at the time. So far since installing the game a few months ago I've only experienced one crash.
I have a few general questions on strategy/tactics:

1. Where do you place your first base/what factors influence this decision?

Currently, I favour the Gobi desert (western Asian Republic) and Sahara desert (north Africa/western Middle East). Both regions seem well suited for shooting down UFOs near to the base (minimal civilian presence at crash sites) and providing decent radar coverage for multiple nations.

In my first few 'blind' games I favoured coastal bases presuming that the majority of UFO attacks would be on highly populated regions. Thus I learned the general wisdom of going for an inland base to recover more UFOs.

After a bit of research I found a population map: http://sourceforge.net/p/ufoai/code/ci/master/tree/base/pics/geoscape/map_earth_population.png?force=True
Also I recently looked into the nations.ufo file (after learning how to modify the starting base template), somehow I didn't notice how the different nations provide varied levels of support until then, even though that can be learned in-game. Anyway, there might be a stronger case for starting in the Americas (than I had imagined) due to their relatively high levels of support..?

2. Any micromanagement tips for keeping track of soldiers/equipment?

I've spent more time than I'd care to admit trying out methods of organizing my troops. Currently, I am using the following naming convention:
[name shortened to 3-6 letters for first and last names] [weapon specialty] [kills/missions]
thus
Lee Renot AW k1m1 = Assault Weapons, 1 kill, 1 mission
Chan Smith CC k4m2 = Close Combat, 4 kills, 2 missions
If a soldier has undesirable stats (<35 Str and <20 Spd) I won't change their name, but will employ a few as 'cannon fodder'. I've tried working out a few designations for physical ranks, but it seems largely unnecessary. The main benefit of having these tags on soldier names is to make loading up troop transports a little easier to plan out.

3. Not so much a tactics question but related to question 2

I noticed there's a menu for changing the soldier's camoflague colour but it seems to be limited to Urban Camo. I think I saw a post recommending using camo colours for sorting troops, is this done through downloading a skins pack?

Thanks again

Offline ShipIt

  • Project Artist
  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 07:34:06 am »
Glad to hear you enjoy playing.

As for the bases, my first base is, most likely like yours, located ins asia. There the radar covers four nations, while downed UFOs always create a crashsite mission. I set up a second base in Middle America immediately. Radar coverage is important, as is winning battlescape missions to make nations happy. Further, I do no micro-mamagment for the soldiers, but treat them all as connon-fodder. If one dies, there is plenty of replacement. If a soldier somehow manages to survive more than 10 missions, he gets a promi name like Sly, Arnold, Vin or Milla and a funeral pyre in the end.

We had different soldier skins up to v2.4. In 2.5 we got new soldier models, unfortunately there is only one comouflage for them available. Iirc somebody provided additional skins as a mod somewhere in the forums, but not sure about that.

Offline DarkRain

  • Project Coder
  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 746
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2015, 06:37:26 am »
Welcome to the forums Jollyswagman!

As for my strategy: Same here I usually put my first base where the borders of Russia, The Asian Republic and The Middle East Alliance meet, and as soon as I buy all I'll need for may main base/team I start a second base in the middle of United America, inland bases all the way!

As for my soldiers: they just get two letters showing their assigned weapon skill which are sorrounded by brackets whick tell me their "quality" round brackers are for new recruits, square ones for cannon fooder, curly ones for veterans, and angle brackets for outstanding soldiers, I try to protect the better soldiers as best as I can, but someone always dies, close combat ones have specially low life spectatives...

Skins: what ShipIt said, and yes there's a mod with lots of skins here: http://ufoai.org/forum/index.php/topic,5194.25.html

Offline Jollyswagman

  • Cannon Fodder
  • **
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 01:59:48 am »
Thanks for the input, appreciate the link for the skins too, that's really handy.

One thing I've noticed recently is that you can place more than one base in the same location on the Geoscape. I saved without thinking on that particular game, so I'm wondering how it will work with base defense missions. Would there be any advantage to deliberately having two bases on the same spot? I'm guessing I would have to keep soldiers/equipment ready at both bases, in case of an attack on either one of the bases.

Offline Soandso

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2015, 06:15:09 pm »
Would there be any advantage to deliberately having two bases on the same spot?

No.  Coverage area is too important.

Btw, I still think radar coverage should show when placing a base.

Offline ilariog

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2015, 10:59:49 am »
while downed UFOs always create a crashsite mission.

LOL I did exactly the opposite: put all the bases on islands (close to nations borders anyway) in order to sink ufos and have as few missions to fight as possible, because I'm lazy :P
So, is this a really bad idea?

Offline ShipIt

  • Project Artist
  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2015, 01:28:06 pm »
LOL I did exactly the opposite: put all the bases on islands (close to nations borders anyway) in order to sink ufos and have as few missions to fight as possible, because I'm lazy :P
So, is this a really bad idea?

If you are winning with this strategy, then the answer is 'Surely not.'.

Offline anonymissimus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 347
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2015, 04:19:12 pm »
Sinking UFOs is, most of the time, very bad, as missions are cash and experience for your soldiers. Via the sold UFO (also increases nation happiness) or the sold parts of the disassembled UFO for more direct money but no additional nation happiness (if all are at max anyway already), via the nation happiness increase for saving civilians, via the cash for sold battle field loot.
However, in late game there are so many UFOs that sinking some may be necessary as you cannot buy that many smoke grenades and coilgun clips. Also, once the first few bases are built, it becomes more important to get a complete coverage of the earth surface rather than to cover the land mass. One of my late bases I place on Hawaii in order to make the south pacific radar gap as small as possible.

Offline Adler

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 12:27:12 am »
Iam new to this game and in my first campaign (2.6, medium difficult) and it's about June in-game. I just have started to build my 3rd base, in the two others I just have basic stuff like 1 dropship (11 soldiers each atm) and 2 stilettos per base.
Now I thought about building a 3rd team in my 3rd base, but I think maybe it would be better to specialize the bases. Like 2 bases with dropships and military personal and the other 2 bases without soldiers, only a couple of missile (later on others) defences and fast fighters to lure alienships to those defences. The crashed UFO I will take care from one of my 2 military bases. In those 2 bases with defense only, I could produce and/or research.

Anyone tried this? Is it possible to do so, or am I missing something I cannot know?
For example do I need to have the alien components (weapons, etc) iam researching at the place where I want to research them?
And what about base attacks, do aliens try to invade all bases, or just the main base?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 12:52:30 am by Adler »

Offline ShipIt

  • Project Artist
  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 06:17:48 am »
Specializing bases is a good way, although you need soldiers in every base in case aliens attack. In order to research an item at least one needs to be in the base where research is done.

I usually have 7 bases/3 teams in end game. Otherwise it is hard to do all the missions. Also there is always a risk of alien ships coming from nowhere and attacking your transports, so shorten flight times for them is crucial I think.

Offline anonymissimus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 347
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 03:56:09 pm »
Aliens can attack all bases. It depends on how much they know the bases. They get to know a base more if they have an UFO flying around near to it, and especially if the base is firing onto the UFO. Since it is way too costly to man every base (living quarters, storage, equipment, and especially wages) the only way of protecting a radar base is to make it much more likely aliens attack the manned base instead. This can be done by luring UFOs to them and taking them down there.
In late game I always have 8 bases, only about half of them have soldiers at all. Getting complete radar coverage is important for the decision whether it's safe to launch the dropship now; since UFOs always come in waves I always launch them delayed.
In early game I have only one dropship base for a long time, until I get a Herakles lifter in about September or October, because I also need a Firebird alongside of it so I have 2 dropship bases then. Unless you use fire & rehire wage cost avoidance, the soldier wages are insane, you cannot afford more than one team.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 03:58:31 pm by anonymissimus »

Offline Adler

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 09:49:25 pm »
Thank you for your advice. I think I have a better idea how to build base. I think I just have to try out what covers my playstyle best.

Offline hwoarangmy

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 05:38:36 pm »
In my last game, I ended with 6-7 bases covering almost every piece of land possible. Note that I play very hard and do not reload (that changes things).
I have 2 teams of soldiers in every base. 8 for ground missions and 8 for defending if the soldiers are out. I try to spread good soldiers on every base. If I have not enough good soldiers, I use 1 good with 1 rookie (with same skill) in the base and same for mission soldiers.
IMHO, having soldiers in every base is required because in late game, there are so many UFO that you are likely to get shot while travelling. And if you are over the see (well, it never happened to me but I guess that my soldiers would be gone).

Concerning the soldiers teams, I usually use (on firebird teams):
- 1 with grenade launcher (usually not the most useful but can sometimes hit where other soldiers cannot)
- 2 snipers
- 2 assault
- 3 cannon fodders (rookies with bad stats) quipped with 1 stun rod for civilians, 1-2 plasma blades for suicidal attacks and many smokes

I equip every unit to have the TU boost (making the "strength" attribute one of the most important). I only use armor on units strong enough to have the armor and the TU boost.

Concerning reaction fire, I do not use it at all since in very hard, you have virtually no chance of killing an alien with it (with a snapshot even if you hit) and it is very expensive on TU.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 05:40:18 pm by hwoarangmy »

Offline anonymissimus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 347
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 02:12:04 am »
My recent RF attempts didn't work at all, there was no sane reason why it should not. Close range, only 8 TU, absolutely nothing in between...it's pointless.^^
IMHO, having soldiers in every base is required because in late game, there are so many UFO that you are likely to get shot while travelling.
My dropships never get shot. UFOs always come in waves while crashed UFO missions stay for at least 1 weak without affecting nation happiness. I start flying missions ~3 days after the first UFO appeared, unless the mission is very close to that base where I launch the dropship. I have 3 dropship bases in late game, spread strategically over the earth surface. Sometimes it's necessary to ignore a non-crashed UFO missions for a day or two as it's too dangerous still. It's also useful to have a free dropship hangar in some base to have an alternative escape route, should an UFO attack, with ground cannons and interceptor(s) ready to help.

Offline hwoarangmy

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: Base placement and management tips requested
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2016, 08:57:39 pm »
Well, I just realized that I forgot to tell that I don't attack flying ufos (as I don't want to lure them into cannons as it is as exploit of a bug IMHO). Because of that, when the last kind of UFO comes (cannon something), they are so fast and well armed that they will shoot anything near.
Note that if you never got shot, you should try as it opens new rescue missions where you have to fight to retrieve your soldiers ^^