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KOKON

Military / police assistance idea

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Hi! I was a frequent guest on this forum during Xenonauts 1 development.
I have an idea for Xenonauts 2 that may be interesting and probably easy to implement.

Conditions

During some missions: terror mission, military base map and maybe few other missions on some occasions. You can have an option to call in reinforcements with a limited objective.

Strength

Quality of these forces may vary and you will be briefed on its strength. Usually quality and strength would be poor. Usually, these forces represent defeated and evacuated local forces which can still provide limited assistance.
Ie you can call in 4-5 lightly armed soldiers some of them have low morale and one of them is wounded. Total combat strength usually equals to 2 xenonauts corporals.

Objectives

The player can be able to set an objective. But depending on the mission some objectives can be unavailable.
Possible objectives:
- secure evacuation area
- link up with some xenonauts members and evac
- secure certain area of the map
- evacuate civilians from a certain area of the map

Score
- calling in reinforcements subtracts ufo score - equals to 0.5 xenonauts operatives killed
- if reinforcement fails to reach it's objective score is subtracted equally to 1 xenonauts killed (questionable leadership)
- if operatives get killed each of them counts as 0.25 xenonauts killed

Mission Abort

Reenforcements usually represent already defeated and regrouped forces and forces that lack commitment.
They will usually evac:
- If 25% of their forces is killed or wounded and they present on the map for more than 2 turns
- If 10% of their forces is killed or wounded and they fail to reach objective for more than 6 truns
- If 25% of their forces panic

Behaviour
The support group will usually try to fight from a distance without risking their lives

Summary

Reenforcements can take some fire and kill a few percents of aliens.
Reenforcements will always fail to reach objective on their own. Especially moderate and harder objectives will lead to disengagement and evac of the assist squad.
If mission is not going well you can have 90% chance of it going even worse in terms of score.
You will get some noise and bodies by calling in a support group of police officers / swat / army.

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There are so many things to do before release. Adding the ability to call meat to battle in order to incur even more losses is a waste of developers' time.

Usually AI is pretty dumb. There will be no benefit from additional AI for the player. The waiting time for AI moves will increase. Therefore, no one will use this option.

Edited by MrAlex

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Welcome back, KOKON, and thanks for the suggestion. I suspect this might take a bit more time to implement than you think because there's a lot of little things to do for this task beyond purely spawning the soldiers (setting their equipment, giving the player the ability to set them objectives, etc), so it's a medium size feature.

The main issue I have with it though is that I'm not sure it'll make the game more fun. Most of the tension in the game comes from the knowledge that you've got a limited number of units and getting them killed leads to them being permanently killed - but you've got no choice but to risk your soldiers in every battle because you can only beat the aliens by putting them in danger. Being able to send in expendable AI units to find the aliens and soak up reaction fire would make the combat less risky and make the game less fun, I think (this is the same reason why I haven't put indirect fire weapons in the game that allow you to attack the aliens without risking your own troops).

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Exactly Chris, that´s why UFO ET haven´t had this announced Feature too, because it isn´t manageable in such a Game with 3 tactical Parts (Geoscape / tactical Airfight / tactical Groundfight).

Only Firaxis with XCOM 2 WotC and Phoenix Point take it upon oneself to test some Parts of that Idea.I´m playing both Games too, so I try to explain that as good as I can.

  1. The Firaxis-Studio: In XCOM 2 WotC there are some Missions in Terror-Defense against the Aliens and Advent, where Ressistance-Soldiers help you to defend the small Village or what is it called. The AI get the Ressistance Soldiers automatically, you can´t give Orders to them.
  2. The Firaxis-Studio: In XCOM 2 / XCOM 2 WotC there are Missions to Secure / Pic Up an Person and his Bodyguard. The AI controlls them until you get in the Ring and get full Controll. Here the same, you can´t give Orders to them until you get full controll.
  3. The Phoenix Point-Developer-Studio [Gollop Brothers, the original X-Com makers]: In Phoenix Point you have similar Missions like in XCOM 2 / XCOM 2 WotC with the same Effect.

There are other normal Strategy Games / Shooters (like Stellaris, Hoi, the new Empire of Sin etc.) which try that Idea in an Geoscape or only Tactical Map. It dosen´t matter how good programmed the Game is and which Patch or DLC it have, such a complex Feature isn´t manageable. Paradox and others trys that with her Strategy-Game / Shooters since Years or Decades. Either they reduce the Feature on an very easy way (like we meet here and then we go in togehter or we come to help in the fight [AI and Player togehter] or they cancel it.

Kokon, you see what I mean. The Idea is good, but not manageable. Such a complex Feature the AI can´t handle or you make the Game so complex that the Human Player can´t handle it. Somehow or other you have to choose 1 of that.

But don´t be upset about that, Chris and his Dev-Team have some surprisses for the Player in the drawer with military, police etc. AI. ;) It´s not implemented yet, but it´s cool and give the Game more action after it´s in.:cool:

Edited by Alienkiller

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Thank you for reply and explained analysis. I believe proposed is more like a flavour option rather than the regular one. I've played x-division mod previously and terror missions were really hard. Even having 15 allied troops you got overwhelmed ridiculously at the terror mission with no chance to win. I.e. omaha beach drop zone. I thought about something similar while giving a hope and tragedy. Like you know initially you can call in a support column. You try for the best score. Start to fail. Call in support column and got overwhelmed anyways and support column can not even make 10% of distance to your position to implement plan B. Then they abandon you completely.

 

My thought about chances of saving of few of xenonauts from wiping out. Like if you fail a mission you fail a mission. P.S.: Usually loosing a 1/2 of squad and loosing a mission is almost the same stress as loosing a full squad and loosing a mission. But saving a part of a squad is only a small chance on a very few occasions as relief force is not intended to reach you.

Also there can be a certain condition that leads to refusal by a commander from the military to send help as he believes it is not possible or not necessary (ie he has an order to guard perimeter (like when soviets had a spec ops to assasinate Hafizullah Amin in Afghanistan they lacked numbers to fight the palace guards and perimeter forces had to move in to help the main force)). But here it should be more tragic like a relief group could not make it either like 10x worse than Mogadishu. I remember a story where during 1st Chechen war sectoral conflict two russian spec ops squads were encircled at the police station. An armoured column was sent to relieve but was destroyed and they had to evac on their own. 

 

I'm thankfull for your replies! I believe Xenonauts 2 would be a great game!

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What could be interesting and a little easier to implement would be a military terror mission, where military troops need help. They don't need objectives beyond what existing AI has and they don't need additional input from the user.

Maybe it could somehow become part of the geoscape strategic side where each region could have for example between +10,000 to -10,000 dollars in monthly funding depending on how well you can do those particular missions. I don't know if that's a good idea or not, just coming up with stuff off the top of my head. Or each region could have a military assistance bonus where you could get an extra engineer or something. That's starting to become a little more work though.

Or perhaps the military terror missions could influence maybe getting a bonus AI soldier or two on some maps. If you do well with assisting that region's military you can get that little bonus of minor help on maps outside of those missions. It could give a feel of give and take with regions and your overall actions could influence your tactical maps which I think sounds neat. The soldier(s) could spawn by your landing zone so you can see that help too.

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Odizzido, could be an great Idea.

Because there is something which isn´t implemented yet. It´s called Special-Missions or similar.

We will see when this Missions come in, but I belive not before February.

Edited by Alienkiller

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>>and they don't need additional input from the user
Yeah, i agree with that. I think the user should not be able to control the military nor to make any corrections to their mission/behaviour.

 

Few more random thoughts.
There can be research for xenonauts/military cooperation. It will improve the chance to have an option to get help (0-7% of missions based on region strength/relationship/ufo target  -> 2x bonus based on cooperation project).

Another research in this tree may require 10 units of laser weapons. After completing this project + 3 moths 1/4 of military soldiers start to appear with laser weapons. Anyways it does not make the game easier player squad and all auxiliaries that can appear get wiped out the same way.

There can be another spin. If player starts to cooperate and calls help every time and military always fails with it's objectives (it does) regions will lose opinion of xenonauts. Ie bad leadership. The military could use their resources elsewhere and they were against this cooperation altogether from the start.

813767445_LaBattagliadiAlgeri.jpg.2be4d9cc26025215d6a721c822b105a0.jpg

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@KOKON:

If you are a active Beta-Tester you would know what already of your Idea is implemented and belongs on Xenononauts R & D-Things.

If not, let you surprise in the Early-Access Lauchnch.

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I would agree that it shouldn't be much input for additional AI friendlies, and it is hard to manage. 

Air Combat though did have concept of AI fighters to join the assault, and it was featured in early builds, not sure whether the feature is kept for now.

I would say if to increase military/police presence for rather authentic aim (or not), the best circumstances to add them physically would be in a scripted mission: like Alienkiller said, VIP under attack with bodyguards, or as you (Kokon) suggested, a circumstance that military is already presence in engagement and needs help. I would also imagine a reversed case, that the Xenonauts being ambushed after arriving at some faked landing sites (or their urban safehouse/bases being leaked to pro-alien groups), and the military becomes the cavalry that help to penetrate the surrounding enemies from other side of the map and relieve the siege (or simply air strike them). However, the missions in Xenonaut can be hardly scripted so it requires more development time with little outcome.

It could also become a temporary substitute for fallen xenonauts on the battlefield, similar to the droids in Chimera Squad. If a xenonaut is fallen, military PJs would arrive to take their body back(or try to revive him back to base), and also give you a friendly soldier with just average gear to fill up the fallen one.

Otherwise, i would prefer the military involvement in an ambiental way, like adding ambient sounds to indicate player that there are additional fightings and air search in the background, or mention them in lore more often. It would be interesting if there are events that xenonauts and local military have different interest, and would have scuffle in a political way (in addition of the already teasered special missions). I really like the espionage event chain in X1 that someone in the xenonauts was cooperating with foreign militaries to smuggle Xeno-techs, it would be interesting if the greed towards advanced technology, or the need for national interest (i.e. arrogant President Trump want to take control of Xenonauts to deal with Soviet/China), would lead the local military to negatively affect xenonauts in a boarder picture (stolen items, blocking airspace, bomb the crash site before xenonauts can reach.etc)

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I more like an idea of area control. The AI is not scripted for specific mission. AI just  disperses through 1/8 of the map near to the place it entered the map taking cover and shooting then if it took casualties AI leaves the map. Player knows friendly AI breach point and player can activate it under certain conditions if he decides so.

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