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Birdman last won the day on January 9 2020

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About Birdman

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  1. Recently, I read that Terror Missions in Xenonauts don't start appearing until the third month. I thought to myself; "Bruh." Even on the highest difficulty of Xenonauts on Ironman, I never actually got to experience a terror mission, because my air-game was already well-developed enough three months in to shoot everything down before they landed. I wasn't even able to get Alien Base Missions until I started letting Landing Ships go about their business unmolested. In the original XCOM and TFTD, there would be Terror missions and Large UFOs from the get-go that you couldn't shoot down, so you were forced to attend Terror Missions right from the start or take massive hits to funding. Even later into the game, when your airforce was more built up, you still had to fight Shipping Route and Terror missions in areas that you either couldn't cover or couldn't stop in time. The Airgame and ground combat progression in Xenonauts makes sense. It's reasonable, it makes sense in the lore, you start out with small challenges and work your way up in a straight linear progression, with ships getting larger and aliens getting more dangerous as you unlock more tools and firepower to fight them with. There's nothing you can't really handle so long as you're competent at the game. Terror Ships and Bombers wander about the geoscape for a short while in order to obscure their target instead of heading straight for the city. The threat progression in XCOM, in comparison, is completely bonkers. You get Large UFOs all over the place, terror missions that you can barely handle, grunts getting gunned down left and right, massive attrition rates, your enemy has superior firepower, and if your grunts miss all of your shots, there's no suppression mechanic to keep them from gunning down your soldiers left and right. It's terrifying and exhilarating, all at the same time. In the base Xenonauts game, I never really got the feeling that there were challenges that I simply couldn't overcome so long as I played competently. The point is, I think that the simple and linear threat escalation in the base game causes a lot of problems. The all-or-nothing stakes for losing a Terror Mission force Terror Missions to only emerge when you can reliably shoot them down before they land, meaning you will almost never actually play through a Terror Mission. This greatly hinders the variety of missions and quality of gameplay, much more than having Terror Missions be "High-Stakes" adds to the atmosphere of the game. From a strategic perspective, the government nuking their own cities doesn't even make sense. There's something to be said about not allowing the Aliens to get a foothold on the ground, or denying them access to humans to experiment on, but that's not even what the Aliens are trying to accomplish. They have a small and steadily growing fleet of atmosphere-capable craft, one they're using strategically to gradually cripple infrastructure and reduce morale instead of committing to a massive land invasion. The only thing dropping a nuke on a city does is accomplish the Aliens' own strategic goal, destroying valuable infrastructure and decreasing morale globally on a massive scale. It would make more sense and be much more engaging if Terror Missions didn't have the all-or-nothing stakes of nuclear annihilation, and if Terror Ships would appear earlier on so we could get some actual variety instead of the endless slog of downed UFOs.
  2. The strategy I use in general for Insane difficulty is: 3 shields to search the map. Two MGs Two snipers One Rocket Launcher to take down cover and remove buildings. The Shields go first, because they're the least likely to trigger reaction fire and the most able to tank it. The aliens in X:CE will target non-shielded personnel over shielded personnel given the same chances of hitting, so putting your shields kneeling down out in the open or standing up while the rest of the team stays kneeling or in cover will allow your shields to tank fire for the rest of the team and prevent your squishier personnel from being gunned down. Once the scouts find someone, the 2 MGs, 2 snipers, and Rocket Launcher alpha strike them with all their firepower. Hopefully, that kills them before they can return fire, but if not the shields should hopefully be able to take it. For clearing UFOs, you want to make sure that everybody has the maximum amount of TUs possible before entering a room and that your shields go in first. Make sure to save before you start the breach if possible. For Landing Ship UFOs in particular, once I've cleared the bottom floor I generally split the squad into 4-man fireteams, with one shield, sniper, and machine gunner attached to each team. Typically, I get the guy with the rocket launcher to drop it and pick up an alien weapon or a spare shotgun. Approach the teleporters cautiously with plenty of TUs in reserve. Get each team to surround the teleporters in a semi-circle so that nobody accidentally shoots eachother with reaction fire. If you're on CE, don't stand on the teleporter. The aliens can telefrag you. The shield guy should be facing the right direction to absorb reaction fire when he goes up. The Machine Gunner should be facing the direction that will take the least TUs to manuever him into position. The rest should be next to them, right next to but not ontop of the teleporter. End turn, so that you go in with max TUs. Send the Shield guy in first, have him turn and check the entire first section of the upper floor to make sure nobody's waiting in ambush. If there is, kill them, either with the shield guy or by bringing up other people and teleport back down. End turn and then send in each team one by one to line up by either door of the upper floor. The shield guys go in first and kneel in front of the door. The MGs go in next and get in the right angle to fire, typically standing right behind the shield or off to the side behind the shield guy so they can fire over him. If you have experienced MG guys with around 90 TUs, if you position things right you can have them open fire on the first turn you breach the upper floor. The snipers and secondary shield guy/former rocket launcher guy go in next and kneel to either side of the doors, turning so that when the door is opened they can see aliens on either side, although there's a blank spot in the very corner. One of them, whoever is least likely to draw fire, opens the door. (Whoever has the most TUs remaining, has a reflex weapon like a shotgun or pistol, or is out of LOS due to being off to the side of the door are the soldiers least likely to trigger reaction fire. Failing that, whoever has a shield and can hopefully tank it.) The machine gunners open fire to suppress or destroy, the snipers take potshots, the rest chuck in grenades, and somebody reserves enough TUs to actually close the door so the aliens don't return fire when the turn ends. This is usually about 12-24 TUs depending on the type of door. With good luck and enough firepower, you'll be able to kill or suppress all of the aliens enough so that after you close the doors so they can't return fire, the aliens won't be able to walk up to the doors, open them up, and shoot your men point blank. The shortcomings of this strategy is that you can't actually see into the corners from the doorway. You can still throw stun grenades and EMPs into the corner to check for and suppress potential aliens if you still have the TUs, or if the aliens are in the very back of the room, already suppressed, or are of a low enough rank and thus not aggressive enough to run up to the door and shoot at you. The benefits of this strategy lie in wiping out most of the aliens in one decisive strike while crippling their ability to return fire on the next turn. Their ability to return fire is impeded further by closing the doors, which forces them to walk up and open them, draining TU that could be used to shoot your men several times instead of just once or twice. This alpha-strike method minimizes the amount of fire you end up taking, while maximizing the amount of firepower you can deliver. Ideally, you want to keep your squad close together at all times with clear lines of fire, so that you can kill your enemies on the first turn you see them. UFO breaches operate on more or less the same principle.
  3. Birdman

    Maxim 56, please

    It'd also take a few turns for the artillery to come in, turns that the aliens could use to either move away or shoot at you, when you could just fire a rocket at them from a tank or handheld launcher. Ammo capacity is a problem, but artillery in XCOM seems like it'd be too slow to come in during a very fast-paced firefight, run the risk of friendly fire, and destroy alien tech.
  4. Birdman

    Maxim 56, please

    Isn't that what we've got airstrikes for? The downsides of using artillery and using airstrikes is that explosives also destroy the alien gear with the aliens. Gear that you need unharmed, either so you can sell or study it. Also, why would you use artillery in the same area as your soldiers? Fights tend to happen in a small radius around the UFO, a radius that both the aliens and your men will be in. I'm fine with fire support coming from MGs, tanks, and rocket launchers. I think infantry rocket launchers are a lot more effective then artillery would be, because they're more manueverable/selective, less destructive to alien technology, and a lot faster to call in despite their low ammo capacity. I guess you could bombard the area around the UFO before sending your men in, but why wouldn't the aliens just hide in their UFO? Also there's the matter of property destruction and civilian casualties.