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Author Topic: Cannon fodder  (Read 21196 times)

Offline Strzelec

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Cannon fodder
« on: March 20, 2016, 05:51:51 pm »
Hello everyone,

I have read many times in this forum that most of players use cannon fodder and I would like to know why, because I never use tactics connected with rushing using cannon fodder. Here are the reasons:
- in this game you don't lead great army, but single soldiers and they all have their names, skills and before battle I pay a lot of attention to equip them so I don't want to lead them for certain death
- I usually lose 0-2 men per battle so most of my soldiers survive and gain experience and even if a valuable soldier dies I still can have at least 4-6 very good soldiers in battle while from what I've read players who use cannon fodder usually haven't got more than half of a squad well trained because they are so afraid of losing valuable soldiers

So I am simply curious why so many people use cannon fodder while for me not using it at all is more effective.

Offline hwoarangmy

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 11:58:47 pm »
In hard modes (hard and very hard), aliens almost always one shot a soldier even with armour. And killing them require more than 1 shot with most weapons.
For my part, I tend to have 2 teams of 5 soldiers + 3 cannon fodders per base (with 6 bases). That means that in late game, I only need 6 * 5 * 2 = 60 good soldiers.
For this reason, I can use the best available soldiers for what I want them to do. And I don't need the other soldiers (strenght < 35 or not skilled enough). Using them as cannon fodders is not a problem.

Now, we come to the benefits of using cannon fodders. A good soldier requires a lot of missions to be good and there is a huge difference between a rookie and a veteran ingame. Thus, loosing a good soldier is something that should be avoided as much as possible. And using cannon fodders allows to expose a target and avoid attacks on non expendable soldiers.

Last but not least, on hard levels, you need to save as many civilians as you can. Letting some soldiers out of cover/smoke makes them preferable targets than civies and allows you to save some of them. In the first game I played on very hard,  I used much smoke and did not use cannon fodders as decoy out of smoke. I won every battle with only a few soldiers losses but all civilians were killed on almost every mission. Even through I played all available missions, I lost the game pretty early. Not saving civilians is not allowed and will result in nation happiness dropping.

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 12:11:33 am »
I have maybe 3 cannon fodder and 5 valuable soldiers in an average team of 8 in total, but it depends on the mission also. Some missions are without any civilians, then I may have only 2 or even a single cannon fodder. Other missions are pretty hasty, such as subway or city high rise, then I have maybe 5 cannon fodder and only 3 valuable.

The goal of cannon fodder is to minimize the losses of valuable soldiers. I lose maybe only 3 or 5 of them in a whole ingame year with maybe 100 missions. It is probably different on lower difficulties, but on very hard in 2.6 a single attack does absolutely sufficient damage to kill anything, no matter how experienced or armored the soldier is. The only important point is whether the shot(s) hit, and I don't know whether they will, so I cannot risk putting someone valuable onto that position. It's better a cannon fodder soldier dies with -1000 hitpoints than a valuable soldier dies with -100 hitpoints then, so to say. This absorbs quite a lot of the alien TUs, as they love to use expensive shot modes (full auto) albeit snap shot would suffice. And I do not need to spend TUs to heal the bleeding, if a (valuable) soldiers survives.
The good thing is that not wearing armor grants you the great TUs bonus, and even cannon fodder can easily kill a powerful enemy when on close range. It's always difficult to decide whether to give the kill to a unit it's wasted on, but the cannon fodder may well be dead the next turn and that enemy is still not even wounded.

While cannon fodder is not very valuable from a campaign point of view, it is from the point of view of the current battle, because once all cannon fodder is dead, I can no longer take risks; such missions are awkward then. So I put even cannon fodder only into danger if there's a chance the soldier survives, or if there's something to gain, such as pulling shots away from civilians or luring aliens out of cover.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 12:44:01 am by anonymissimus »

Offline Strzelec

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 10:12:41 pm »
Maybe that would make sense because I never tried harder level than normal. Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I am also quite surprised, because today I played subway mission and before battle I thought "Oh no, this is the map which seems to be disliked by players", but it turned out to be quite interesting and nice close combat, I lost 2 civilians and 0 soldiers (actually all my soldiers could be considered as cannon fodder because that was the first mission for my new squad in a new base, but I was leading them with respect to their lives).

Offline Strzelec

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 10:21:36 pm »
 
The good thing is that not wearing armor grants you the great TUs bonus
I've read a lot about it but for me the armor is more important than TUs, because I approach slowly and more slowly, so I don't need TUs that much - I'd rather had my soldiers protected. 

Offline hwoarangmy

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 11:19:28 pm »
By moving slowly, you are pretty sure to loose all civilians. Moreover, when you are in an open place, if you have a building around or an alien ship, you don't know what is inside, close to the door. And aliens have pretty high TU so they are likely to come to you and kill one of your (good) soldiers.

As we said, the main purpose of cannon fodders is to save good soldiers.

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2016, 01:35:33 am »
  I've read a lot about it but for me the armor is more important than TUs, because I approach slowly and more slowly, so I don't need TUs that much - I'd rather had my soldiers protected.
To be precise, the TU bonus is granted if carrying little enough, which is only possible when not wearing armor (for recruits at least). Well, my valuable soldiers do wear armor, but in case of the basic armor it's basically only a weight object (training strength) and a quick mean of distinguishing cannon fodder from valuable soldiers. With the nanocomp armor, it becomes somewhat more useful, as a single stray shot does never kill an experienced soldier at full health (I think - not if healed immediately at least). A direct attack is usually not survivable anyway. But most importantly, nanocomp armor (and power armor) prevent suffocation so allow moving through lots of smoke, to e.g. reach a better shooting position.

For aliens however, the fastest units are generally the most dangerous ones, as they have much better damage potential (sheevar, combat hovernet/hovernet and unarmored taman). With the TU boost and a plasma blade in hands at start, you can at least can kill some alien before they kill you so it's at least 1-1 and not you lose a soldier and the killer isn't even wounded. Contrarily to what the UFOpaedia says, losing one soldier per one alien seems almost affordable.
On "East Asian Village" there's an alien spawn point in the building that can be reached by a cannon fodder who starts with a plasma blade on turn 1. Got rid of an Ortnok right away, very nice. (And on that map, no other spawn point is near enough to kill the killer in retaliation.)

Offline Strzelec

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2016, 03:36:49 pm »
To be precise, the TU bonus is granted if carrying little enough, which is only possible when not wearing armor (for recruits at least). Well, my valuable soldiers do wear armor, but in case of the basic armor it's basically only a weight object (training strength) and a quick mean of distinguishing cannon fodder from valuable soldiers.
I wouldn't say it's useless. It happened so many times that my soldiers survived having less than 10 hp, so that means if they hadn't worn armor they'd have been dead.

Offline hwoarangmy

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 10:00:20 pm »
I wouldn't say it's useless. It happened so many times that my soldiers survived having less than 10 hp, so that means if they hadn't worn armor they'd have been dead.
Because you don't play hard/very hard. I think I never saw any soldier survive a single shot with armor (at least rookies). But in any case, TUs are much more important than the few probability of surviving an attack.

Offline Strzelec

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 12:41:09 am »
I would like to try harder levels but even in normal I have big problems with keeping nations happy. Maybe it'd be better if you could choose difficulty level for campaign and for battle separately.

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 02:57:15 am »
I think I never saw any soldier survive a single shot with armor (at least rookies).
I recall one beloved soldier with basic armor being hit by hovernet_plasma and then dying from bleeding. This was previously to the bleeding change; it's now at the end of player's turn instead of start, so she now would have survived.
Well with nanocomp armor at least, things like plasma blaster snapshot or plasma rifle snapshot are definitely survivable. For rookies. Not sure about whether it's guaranteed. The plasma blaster ball probably still kills, but depends on how good it hits.

I would like to try harder levels but even in normal I have big problems with keeping nations happy.
That's because you don't use cannon fodder! 8)

Offline Strzelec

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 08:24:34 pm »
I wouldn't say so. It's rather because I have problems with expanding and covering more lands (it's natural for me to go slowly and defend - I can easily repel even the hardest attack if managed to find good position while even a simple assault can cause problems to me, because of flashbangs, smoke grenades, close combat and all this stuff). I also find it difficult to build fleet strong enough to shoot down the harvester. At least in short period of time.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 08:26:16 pm by Strzelec »

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 10:50:51 pm »
Defending a relatively static position, often smoke covered, is much safer than pressing forward. But saving civilians requires pressing forward and winning missions quickly and thus cannon fodder. In my example from above, "East Asian Village", had I not rushed with the plasma blade cannon fodder, it is likely that that alien would have killed 1 or 2 civilians who were very close. Or I would have needed to sacrifice a cannon fodder in order to drag the attack away from the civilians. A big loss for the rest of the mission. I also needed to hit this hard to kill Ortnok with a sniper throughwall shot in addition to the plasma blade as it didn't kill it yet. I only had another second sniper left, so I couldn't have killed it otherwise. It was a difficult mission with 10 aliens in total and me only 8 soldiers, but so I managed to save just enough civilians to not suffer a happiness decrease.

As for air fleet, different topic (http://ufoai.org/forum/index.php/topic,8989), but I'm considering that only later in the campaign. Ground combat and nation happiness needs priority.

Offline kingchaos

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 06:14:47 pm »
i got a lot of experience in the old ufo games.

i made the medium campaign in 2.5 with 5 riflemen loss on my first try on medium (it was my  2. try in this game).

soon i will try a clear game in the hard modes.

i dont think that its impossible to get away with 0 loss.



Offline kingchaos

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Re: Cannon fodder
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2017, 06:32:51 pm »
update,


i playing the very hard mode and til mission 39 it was not so difficult. i made 38 missions (48 sightings) without any loss and FULL encumbered (-12 TU).

for now i love the grande launcher ^^, the timer function is pretty cool to shoot round the corners.

I got 2 lieutenants and 6 2. lieutenants.



now the first ortnoks appear, and i have to use other weapons than machine gun + sniper. the last ortnok took 6 snapshot-machinegun attacks with crouch down on 15 meters. it seems, that machine gun with std. ammo dont hurt the ortnoks more than 1 hitpoint ^^

do someone know, which weapon deals most dmg to ortnoks and how many hitpoints the ortnoks got on very hard?
do they have more time units and armor too?



br kc