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Slight Tweak to Current Interceptor Recovery System - Keeps balance and realism too

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Slightly alter Condors and Foxtrots to make the aircraft recovery system make sense (but still keep the aircraft recovery system, in essence.)

Also, make it known that the reason corsairs and later aircraft can be recovered is due to the alien alloy construction.


After reading the reasons given by the developers for implementing the aircraft recovery system, I've come to agree with them; air combat will benefit from this system.

However, there has to be a good in-game explanation to explain why this happens, otherwise the player won't like it.

The easy part of that involves the aircraft built using alien technology. Since UFOs (made form alien alloys) can crash land and be more or less intact, why not human aircraft built from those same alien alloys? That's why we can recover corsair-and-onward aircraft.

The issue with that explanation is that it doesn't extend to Condors and Foxtrots. These aren't made with alloys, so they should just disintegrate upon impact like normal aircraft do (since they are, basically, normal aircraft).

I propose a few changes to the system that would keep the current system (3 days after air combat you get the planes back with no extra $$) but make the in-game explanation/"pseudo-realism" intact.



First off, make Condors free. They are human technology, and as such they are free for the Earth's protectors, along with all other human technology (guns, mags, missiles, etc).

Keep the 72 hour shipping time.

When a Condor is destroyed, decommission the dead Condor (freeing the hanger for another plane) and order a new Condor.

This would keep the 72 hour "recovery time", and eliminate the X hour "repair time" after the aircraft is "recovered", giving the Condors a slight advantage over other planes in that they can be made ready for battle more quickly after a loss.

Reasons for the change:

a) Replaced Condors after a loss now makes sense

b) Keeps the current system of replacing Condors after a loss

c) Makes Condors a more effective swarm plane, since they can be obtained for free within 3 days of the ordering

d) Helps a player start up an air force more easily

e) Allows the player to recover more quickly after losing his starting planes in the beginning (due to the lack of a repair time)


Make new item, Foxtrot Airframe, that is free and takes 72 hours to ship, and is stored in a hanger (just like a Condor).

Make the Foxtrot Manufacture cost $0, require/consume one Foxtrot Airframe, produce a Foxtrot in the hanger the airframe was, and greatly reduce the manufacture time (because it takes 3 days to get the airframe).

Keep the current recovery mechanic in place, so a foxtrot shot down will be back in the hanger in 3 days, and fully repaired in X hours.

Explain it to the player like this: When a Foxtrot is ordered, after 3 days the airframe arrives ready to have the Xenonaut equipment bolted on. The manufacturing project is the stuff being bolted on.

When a Foxtrot is shot down, a new airframe is ordered and arrives in 3 days (recovery time). The Xenonaut equipment is bolted on by the aircrew (repair time).

Reasons for the change:

a) Replaced Foxtrots after a loss now make sense

b) Keeps the current system exactly of replacing a Foxtrot after a loss

c) Helps a player start up an effective (that is, not just a bunch of Condors) more easily



Cannons on non-Condor aircraft would be recovered normally, along with the aircraft itself. The question arose, what about improved cannons on a Condor? What happen to those when it crashes?

Solution: Upon the cannon research, the new cannons are made available for free. (I wouldn't replace the previous cannons, though, just shove them to the bottom of the list, so the best is at the top, then the second best, and so forth.)

-It allows Condors to be replaced after a crash without losing your improved cannon

-It removes the manufacturing time and cost from cannons, making them equal to missiles and torpedoes in that they are all available free of charge (and this makes sense; if the missiles are free, why not the guns?)


Anyway, that's my idea. I hope the developers like it.

It keeps the air combat less important (just like they want) and keeps their original aircraft recovery system basically intact; the only difference is that Condors have no "repair" time since they're ordered new.

It also allows players to have a fully fleshed out air force with both dog-fighters (Condors) and missile launchers (Foxtrots) without dishing out a ton of money, in essence making the air combat even less important, especially early game before you have later aircraft. The later aircraft would still function the same way as they currently do. They'd just have an entry in their research descriptions saying that these planes can be recovered from crash sites, much like UFOs, due to the incredibly strong alien alloys used in the construction. Piece of cake.

Here's my original post, on the v19.3 Geoscape Balance thread. It's basically the same thing, but less well thought-out. Anyway, it's there if you wish to read it; it's not necessary.

I had an idea:

Concerning immortal aircraft:

Basically, nothing would change from the developer's system (which they'd like, since it's what they know will work well) but the lore/reasoning behind it would change.

So, under my idea, the reason we can recover corsair-and-later aircraft is because they have alien alloys in their construction (and that should be made obvious by the research reports).

However, the question arises, what about the Migs and Condors? Why are they automatically recovered after 72 hours and repaired, fully flyable after being shot down? They have no alloys, so the above explanation doesn't work.

Here is my answer/solution:


They be made available for free, and be auto-ordered after they're destroyed.

Basically, after a Condor gets shot down, the game automatically decommissions that aircraft (freeing the hanger) and orders another Condor to replace it (for free, because they are free). This would produce the same effect as the immortal Condor would, but would explain why we get a fully repaired condor after the one we sent out was shot to pieces.

This would even give the Condor an advantage: because the one ordered is new, it doesn't need a repair time on top of the 72 hour delivery time. This means that a Condor destroyed will always be ready for action sooner than any other airframe, making it more valuable and able to be used in swarms (as Condors should be).

Changes from current "immortal Condor" system:

Condors are free.

Condors don't take repair time after the "recovery" 72 hours to be fully repaired and ready for combat (making them effective swarm planes, which is basically their intended purpose after you get better planes. This also allows you to recover from losses more rapidly early game, helping players just starting out.)

Aircraft Weapons:

Some might say: what happens if a Condor is destroyed while carrying a gatling laser?

Well, the gatling laser survived the crash and it was recovered, simple as that.

Changes from current "immortal Condor" system:

None, cannons would continue to be fully recovered after crashes.


To make this work better, a new free item would have to be added, "purchasable" through the hangers (like Condors): Foxtrot Airframe.

The airframe would arrive in 72 hours, and would be stored like a finished aircraft in a hanger. The hanger art for the aircraft equip screen would be the stage one Foxtrot construction photo.

The Foxtrot manufacture project would be modified, removing the money cost but adding a Foxtrot Airframe cost, so you could only do it if you have an airframe already in your hanger. The manufacture time would also be reduced significantly.

That's the only mechanic change, everything else is still the same.

The Foxtrot would still act like an immortal interceptor; it would have a 72 hour recovery time, and X amount of repair time.

However, the game description of what's going on would be different.


When a Foxtrot is shot down, the game says that another airframe has been ordered (72 hour recovery time) and when it arrives (recovered) the airframe is finished (repair time) and made ready to fly, good as new (because it is new).

Because Foxtrots are human planes, the airframes are provided for free (and this should be made clear in the research report).

What costs manufacture time is outfitting the provided airframe with Xenonaut technology.

When a Foxtrot is shot down, a new airframe is ordered, which arrives in 3 days. The remaining "repair time" is time spent in the hanger modifying the airframe for Xenonaut use.

This would make it take exactly the same amount of time to be ready for combat as the immortal Foxtrot system, and work exactly the same way concerning planes shot down and recovered. It would just offer a different explanation as to why it works that way.

Changes from the current "immortal Foxtrot" system:

Add item: Foxtrot Airframe

Make Foxtrot manufacture cost one airframe and take less time and $0.

Research Description Changes.

Anyway, that's my idea. Hope it makes sense, and wasn't too confusing.

Edited by GizmoGomez
Adding Cannons
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I'm assuming we're going to recover all the alloy (that's ok), but a flat 3 days is not. Would you agree that a random time frame of 3-7 days would work? Even if the aircraft crashed over land, finding the crash site and all the pieces may not be possible. Are the developers giving us a 100% chance of recovering the aircraft?

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Yes, the developers are making it so that when an aircraft is shot down, it will be recovered in 72 hours, and then repair from 0% HP normally from there.

Under this idea, that would stay for all but the Condor (it just being replaced in 3 days without needing the repair time), keeping the balance and original idea that the developers want.

The change would be that the alloy-built planes are specifically said to be recoverable because of the alloy construction, the foxtrot because the new airframe arrives, but needs repair time to bolt the Xenonaut tech upgrades onto it, and the Condor just gets scraped and a new one is ordered, fresh off the assembly line.

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So a little less micromanagement, and a little less money spent?

Though I wouldn't mind losing a random percentage of alloy in craft-recovery. I mean, its not like I'd prefer it, but I just wouldn't mind.

Maybe the no-$$ recovery option could be one of those funding-nation satisfaction perks they were discussing in that other thread that I'm too tired to look up.

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Technically, there'd be slightly more micromanagement, in that you'd have to order a Foxtrot airframe, and then start the project after it arrives, but other than that it's basically the same as the developer's current system: every aircraft shot down shows up in the hanger after 3 days, and gets repaired from 0%HP.

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Edited the OP, added Cannons into the mix.

I suggested making cannons free upon research, like missiles. It would allow Condors carrying improved cannons not to be penalized for losing them (as opposed to later cannon-equipped aircraft, which are alien alloy-enhanced and thus wouldn't lose their cannons) and it would make cannons equal to missiles, in that cannons don't cost extra money/manufacturing time anymore.

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The repair time is I believe currently set by points of health per cycle so the tougher aircraft take a long time to fix.

Aaron (I think) said something about changing it to repair % of health per cycle instead.

Repair times then should be much easier to find a good middle ground where your Fury doesn't take a month to fix or your Condor doesn't go from 10% to 100% in 30 seconds.

Although drifting off topic there...

I like the suggestions as an alternative to the indestructible human craft.

I would use it for all craft personally.

The airframe for your Corsair could either be ordered from an external source or recovered from your downed fighter.

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Another good idea Gizmo. I also had similar ideas regarding plausibility band aids for the system they decided to go with, because just recovering downed aircraft is so implausible to me. Except for the special hi-tech alien tech crafts, I guess I can suspend disbelief that they could be salvaged from a shoot down.

Edited by shabowie
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I just want there to be a good in-game explanation as to why it works the way it does.

Saying that the alien alloy aircraft are recoverable due to the incredible strength of the alloys is acceptable.

I don't know what to say for the Condors and Foxtrots, besides what I said above.

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