Hey everyone, I get to do a lot of hours per week commuting via public transportation on and off work (almost 4 hours a day) which leaves me with plenty of time to think, and what's better to think of then suggestions for Xenonauts?
So I started thinking on all the things that I felt being long absent in turn based tactical games (of course with the original x-com as the gold standard for this niche) and this is what I came up with (I'll do my best to categorize them into "types" of ideas):
The sniper role has been done and redone hundreds of times in this kind of games with little consideration to how actual sniping team work in realistic combat scenarios and i don't necessarily mean ballistics as much as i mean tactics. For instance - real combat snipers often go in teams of 2 (at least I'm familiar with this feature from my own service in IDF) with one being the eyes and the other handling the rifle itself. This could generally enhance the sniper role in such a game if we supposedly manage to express this through a significant boost to the sniper accuracy if he's paired with a scout (not sure what's the exact term for it in English). This could lead to the aliens aspiring not just to hunt down your men but also attempt to protect tactical bottle necks such as stairways that lead to building roofs or other elevated positions as once your sniper team is properly positioned, you'd have a significant advantage over the aliens.
In terms of the actual weaponry in game - the current sniper rifle in the alpha build is nice and all, but their are guns and then their ARE guns. For instance - the Baret M82 .5 caliber anti-material rifle is fine example of true stopping power in a form of a rifle.Another great example is the PGM Hecate II (their are probably more modern weapons of this class but I'm not familiar with them). Although these shouldn't be anywhere close (for the sake of holding the sci-fi thrill of the game) to a rail-gun sniper rifle or anything of the sort. But I am aware of an encounter irl where such a rifle stopped an APC
dead in its tracks by a direct hit to its engine (through its armor).
This actually brings another point that i find curious in such games - I can't recall any sci-fi tactical turn-based game with alien snipers in it. The necessity of a sniper role seems obvious to me from a tactical point of view. They can manipulate DNA, they mastered interstellar travel and can control our minds but they can't use their own snipers?! I mean c'mon... I was thinking of some kind of critter with a harpoon gun like the predator, possibly capable of partial invisibility and actually jumping a whole floor/s upwards/downwards. Alternatively some kind of extremely evolved race that can eject some form of projectile. In either case, I'd see no point why they'd use a loud plasma rifle or anything of that sort when they could use a near-silent hyper fast crossbow/harpoon gun of some sort or another.
Regarding the camouflage idea - it could probably be countered with smoke grenades that would supposedly disrupt the optical illusion.
(2) E=MC^2 can kill you...
This is slightly inspired from mass effect but HEAVILY inspired from the actual Einstein equation - actual weaponry that could transmute mass into energy or energy into mass - using the environment to charge the weapon and then discharging it as a beam or a projectile at your forces. Perhaps directly using corpses of fallen civs/xenonauts/aliens...
This would probably work much better as a bio-mass weapon of some kind, however it would be novel as a sci-fi concept (I can't say I t remember anyone who used such an idea) and would resonate well with the cold war era.
Probably could also be used as a form of force field - use animate/inanimate objects around you to charge your forec field. I think this could be a technology tree of its own really...
(3) By 1979 the EMP blast phenomenon should be well understood by scientists and it could be a real treat if at some point throughout the middle/later stages of the game you could use this. It would demand some significant balancing but just think of the possibilities this would open up in tactical terms as well as strategic terms for both sides (anyone ordered an EMP base defense?)
(4) Mines - this is also a possibility that's been mostly ignored in X-COM and its clones. Specifically I'd love to see claymores, AP and AA mines, perhaps more guerrilla warfare oriented weapons (since this is basically an asymmetric war scenario), booby traps (trip wire set mines...)
(5) Deploayable equipment - in general, their are many forms of weapons that can be deployed in an actual combat scenario starting from automated grenade launchers such as the SB LAG 40 (a potentially incredibly useful tactic to clear a building through its windows), a heavy (truly HEAVY) machine gun, starting from the ol' Gatling to a full-scale gun boat minigun. This could be mobilized in teams of 2 or 3 soldiers that each has a "pack" that is part of the device/weapon. Perhaps a similar mechanic should be considered for a field EMP weapon?
Oh and there's of course the "Davy Crockett" (yeah i'm a Fallout fan as well). Be sure to wiki it
(6) Alien artillery - generally I never seen in any of these games any kind of alien artillery. This seems ironic as it would be the first thing any invasion force of any kind would most likely deploy (well...at least after you finished with orbital bombardments). Suppose a terror site in the suburbs of a city - Xenonauts intelligence identified a construction/deployment site of an alien artillery platform of one kind or another. This must be stopped or else a capital city of one nation or another will be demolished which would probably be an immediate turning point for your relations with that country. Such a mission could also be rolled out in the form of an artillery site being built nearby one of your bases which you probably would want to stop...Kind of an alternative to the repetitive "attack on base" missions. Not every attack has to come as a direct grounded raid...
Pretty much that's it. I'll be glad to hear everyone's opinions on these ideas.