currently i play X1 and let me tell you this. I love this game. I like it more than the new XCOM games and graphical fidellity is not all to have i good game. Regarding the management of the base and the staff i have a few suggestions that could give the game more deepth.
In X1 i was wondering why i have only so limited resources. I think with a global invasion from our green friends it would be reasonable to have more ressources allocated to the Xenonauts program. On the other hand, it would be very unlikely to stand a chance against the aliens with the little we have currently. I mean i only have 12ish man that aren't even elite soldiers and a hand full of jets. My researchers and engineers don't sleep at all, since the have to work doubleshifts. How else are you able to research laserweapons or build jets in a matter of days. ;-)
1. Base network
Instead of having bases that can do more or less everything, we should have a network of bases with different abilities. For example radar stations should be prone to getting detected by the aliens easily and attacked, therefore radar should be outsourced to small bases. Similar to hangars, it is likely that the aliens can detect the flight paths of my jets, so let them operate from external bases. All bases need staff to operate and secure (see personal management below). The bases would be connected to you HQ to provide it with data. I would even go so far, that with an ufo nearby it is unsafe to return to base and could be an option to ditch the aircraft. In general bases should be more or less easy to detect and once detected it should be likely that aliens will attack it asap.
2. Base defense
If the base gets detected, there are a few possiblities. If it's just a small radar station or hangar/hidden airfield the safest route would be to abandon the base for good. Transfer every essential personal into helicopters and start jets. Maybe even self destruct the base to remove informations the aliens could use to find your other bases. In case of an alien attack on a more important base every member of the staff (civil and military), equipment and alien technology is at stake, it's therefore recomended to do everything to lower the chance that the aliens detect these bases. Even if you succed in defending your base, the aliens will attack again and again and again with an even bigger force. Once they know your location the only real option is to abandon the location. It's just a matter of hours until they overrun the base.
A typical base defense mission could be like this. First you get an message that there is an alien force inbound that you can possible intercept IF it's not already to close. Second line of defence is your ground to air defence. Dependend on the base layout and the attacking ufo type the base could get bombarded. This would result in damage to several systems important for the defense and obstacles/debries lying around. After that the aliens would enter the base, usually with a strong force. The player can now give orders to staff members. Civilists without orders will try to flee to the next evacuation point automaticly if not given other orders. Military personal will wait for orders (can be ordered to evacuate too). The player can now for example give staff the order to secure or destroy data in important rooms like the HQ or laboratories. This will take X amount of rounds. The player can order staff to secure alien technology (in boxes) or other eqiupment and take it to the evacuation point. ALL personal can help in the defense, but it is not recomended to let you chief scientist fight the invaders... Staff can get equiped at the armory if not already (soldiers will be equipt with their regular loadout or a standard loadout). Staff and equipment at the evacuation points can leave with helicopters etc. But the retreat has to be protected (vehicles can be destroyed). Most likely the player has to let some "heroes" make a last stand in order to let the majority escape.
3. Room types
I would expand on the available rooms a little bit (list is just a few suggestions, not complete):
Data Center (a room where all the data from radar arrays or other data centers near by are transfered to)
HQ (includes a data center; here works your leadership including YOU; without it, you are not able to lead the xenonauts properly, gives buffs to intel and your relationships/funding; since YOU yourself are here it is critical to evacuate the HQ if attacked by aliens, if you are killed = game over)
Holding Cells (room that can hold captured aliens, maybe with different levels of "protection" to fit the needs of every grayskin... ;-); captured aliens could get escape during an attack)
engineering/laboratory (different rooms with different specialisations; for example material experiments, biological experiments, ammo construction, vehicle building, personal equipment construction,etc.)
barracks (different level depending on rank of our staff)
storage (dedicated storage for weapons/ammo, alien technology, etc.)
Security Center (controls the base security and coordinates soldiers on the base in case of an attack, controls security doors and automated base defenses)
Academy (schools to train military and/or civil personal in different subjects)
4. Base layout
When the player selects a base location he uses a small circle to do that. Then he gets a selection of general base layouts to choose from. These could include an old bunker, a mine in a mountain, or other plausible locations that provide some secrecy and/or protaction. The base layouts could be more or less protective dependend on their exit/entry points escape routes etc. Some bases may give buffs for not getting detected or resistance against bombardment or teleporting into the base etc. The player can choose to expand the base layout in a limited fashion (for example building more support structure in a mine shaft or pumping water out of an flooded level of the mine).
5. Staff requirements
All buildings/rooms need staff to operate. Dependend on the amount and qualification of the staff operating a room, the room has certain buffs. A lab could get faster research in certain areas, the HQ gives more funding or better recruits, mechanics in the hangar give bonuses for refueling/repairing/etc....) The amount of staff needed should be much higher than before. The main base could easily operate with a few hundered personal (scientists, engineers, mechanics, soldiers, etc...)
6. staff abilities
Every staff member on the base should have a random generated name and background story. The basic abilites every soldier has currently would be expanded with a set of non combat abilities and applied to all staff members. Some of this abilities could be science or engineering related others could be leadership oriented. Very specialised abilities like piloting a plane/helicopter/jet/ufo would be rare. For instance would you hire a dedicated jet pilot for your F17, who would gain XP with the specific aircraft to improve. Staff would not be limited to their specifiy job. A engineer could work as a scientist (but with less or no buffs) and get better by the time. A jet pilot could be used as ground soldier or mechanic even if he is not good at it. A veteran soldier could work at the acadamy and teach instead of risking his expertise on the battlefield. A scientist could learn basic flying at the academy to give him the ability to fly a helicopter if needed. Of course everyone could get better with what he does. A scientist can become the chief scientist and get some leadership skills with time, which could then be used to help gather fundings etc...)
Dependend on the skillset and the position/rang of your staff the salery would change quite a bit.
8. Health status
During combat your staff could get permanent physical damage. "I used to be an adventurer like you, then i took a plasma bolt in the knee." With time players could research combat ready protesis or advanced healing technics. But even if a soldier is not fit for combat anymore he/she could potentially work in other positions in the base. Healing time should be much longer and more realistic. Therefore a bigger pool of soldier would be required (exspecially early in the game).
Allowing the player to flexible use their staff to it's best potential we would give the game more depth and the player could relate better to individual members of his team. Making the bases more individual and less generic makes it more painful to lose one exspecially when you fail to evacuate important staff members and equipment.