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Set Missiles and Torpedoes to Standby by Default


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So, I've now accidentally lost/nearly lost a few air combat missions as a result of forgetting to set missiles/torpedoes to standby and therefore launching them all immediately when coming into range (and, obviously, missing their targets!).

With this in mind, I'm wondering whether it wouldn't make sense to have them set by default to standby rather than to fire. Since the air game seems to be mostly about timing missile attacks, having them set to fire by default seems somewhat pointless in any case as many alien craft will easily avoid an uncontrolled barrage. Furthermore, I think there's an argument for claiming that, as things stand, air combat might be more difficult for new players by virtue of them assuming that fire-at-will is the best way to proceed as it is the default (at the moment, the very first lesson of air combat is to turn all missiles off until you're ready).

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Gee, that wasn't cynical at all. ;)

What about it would be too difficult?

Well, you know, you'd have to be smart enough to realize that a button needed to be pushed to fire the missiles. Now beginners, they don't know SH$%. "Missile don't fire! <grunt> <grunt> Thag not happy! Thag hate game!" They just want the planes to fly up and auto destroy without any human intervention. Kind of like, if my fighters can get blown up the game will be a lot harder...both very tough concepts for some people even if you tell them in advance what to expect. Not that I'm bitter or anything. :D

I'm actually not sure why we have planes at all. Wouldn't a fancy anti-UFO missile defense system work just as well? Then no planes would be needed in the game. No mini-games, nothing. Simple, easy to balance. You just build missile bases all over and let the UFOs fly into your web.

Edited by StellarRat
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Well, you know, you'd have to be smart enough to realize that a button needed to be pushed to fire the missiles. Now beginners, they don't know SH$%. "Missile don't fire! <grunt> <grunt> Thag not happy! Thag hate game!" They just want the planes to fly up and auto destroy without any human intervention. Kind of like, if my fighters can get blown up the game will be a lot harder...both very tough concepts for some people even if you tell them in advance what to expect. Not that I'm bitter or anything. :D

In all seriousness, I did consider this as a counter-argument to the suggestion. But not firing missiles and firing them automatically when in range have exactly the same consequence (i.e. no effect), only if you haven't fired them at least you still have them (for a few seconds before your plane gets blown out of the sky, anyway!).

I'm actually not sure why we have planes at all. Wouldn't a fancy anti-UFO missile defense system work just as well? Then no planes would be needed in the game. No mini-games, nothing. Simple, easy to balance. You just build missile bases all over and let the UFOs fly into your web.

It's 1979. Long-range, accurate guided missiles are a thing of the future (or so some wikipedia research implies to me). :P

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In all seriousness, I did consider this as a counter-argument to the suggestion. But not firing missiles and firing them automatically when in range have exactly the same consequence (i.e. no effect), only if you haven't fired them at least you still have them (for a few seconds before your plane gets blown out of the sky, anyway!).

It's 1979. Long-range, accurate guided missiles are a thing of the future (or so some wikipedia research implies to me). :P

Who said anything about long range? You can defend all the major population centers with missile and AAA batteries. The North Vietnamese didn't seem to need long range missiles. Also, your research is a bit off. See below from the Wikipedia:

"Even as Nike Ajax was being tested, work started on Nike-B, later renamed Nike Hercules (MIM-14). It improved speed, range and accuracy, and could intercept ballistic missiles. The Hercules had a range of about 100 miles (160 km), a top speed in excess of 3,000 mph (4,800 km/h) and a maximum altitude of around 100,000 ft (30 km). It had solid fuel boost and sustainer rocket motors. The boost phase was four of the Nike Ajax boosters strapped together. In the electronics, some vacuum tubes were replaced with more reliable solid-state components.

The missile also had an optional nuclear warhead to improve the probability of a kill. The W-31 warhead had four variants offering 2, 10, 20 and 30 kiloton yields. The 20 KT version was used in the Hercules system. At sites in the USA the missile almost exclusively carried a nuclear warhead. Sites in foreign nations typically had a mix of high explosive and nuclear warheads. The fire control of the Nike system was also improved with the Hercules and included a surface-to-surface mode which was successfully tested in Alaska. The mode change was accomplished by changing a single plug on the warhead from the "Safe Plug" to "Surface to Air" or "Surface to Surface".

The Nike Hercules was deployed starting in June 1958. First deployed to Chicago, 393 Hercules ground systems were manufactured. By 1960 ARADCOM had 88 Hercules batteries and 174 Ajax batteries, defending 23 zones across 30 states. Peak deployment was in 1963 with 134 Hercules batteries not including the US Army Hercules batteries deployed in Germany, Greece, Greenland, Italy, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Turkey."

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Who said anything about long range? You can defend all the major population centers with missile and AAA batteries. The North Vietnamese didn't seem to need long range missiles.

For sure, I read this into what you wrote. I was imagining missile-outposts which had a long-range coverage similar to radar coverage in the game at the moment (i.e. many, many hundreds of miles), rather than an intricate silo system (your version, actually, is a lot more interesting).

As regarding the wikipedia stuff - fair enough. I was mostly working off the inaccuracy of long-range air-to-air missiles of the time and envisaging direct-fire rather than indirect-fire weaponry. This was, evidently, a mistake (and one I'm glad to be corrected on!).

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For sure, I read this into what you wrote. I was imagining missile-outposts which had a long-range coverage similar to radar coverage in the game at the moment (i.e. many, many hundreds of miles), rather than an intricate silo system (your version, actually, is a lot more interesting).

As regarding the wikipedia stuff - fair enough. I was mostly working off the inaccuracy of long-range air-to-air missiles of the time and envisaging direct-fire rather than indirect-fire weaponry. This was, evidently, a mistake (and one I'm glad to be corrected on!).

Yeah, I'm kind of a weapons geek...few people know about some of the stuff that was developed during the Cold War because it was never used in combat Thank God. Nonetheless, I doubt our brave Xenonauts are going to have any problem using nuclear tipped missiles to shoot down UFOs if the governments are willing to nuke their own cities because of terror strike (something I find absurd.)
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Yeah, really. Just say that they carpet bombed the site; much more probable.

Heck, they could even gas the site, and it'd be cleaner.

Couldn't they just call in law enforcement from everywhere and kill them all with guns? Seriously, the aliens would be so outnumbered that they would always lose even though they might cause heavy casualties.
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The nuclear option does make much more sense when you consider the existence of Reapers. An enemy that can replicate that rapidly is a significant danger, and just sending in more troops will result in more Reapers.
Yes, that is ONLY thing that makes sense, however, even Reapers aren't going to win against artillery, air strikes and armored vehicles OR even trained teams of snipers.
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I wouldn't put snipers into the kind of urban combat zone we're talking about for terror missions; sight lines are too short, and a smart enemy will be able to move building to building and close with your teams. But yeah, artillery and airstrikes would be safe and would probably work.

I think the simple reason might be panic. People in a state of terror do not necessarily make the best or most rational choice in any given scenario. Governments do not know the full capability of the aliens, and so they just panic and hit it with the biggest gun they've got.

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Interesting topic.

Well i suppose Nuclear warhead aren t a neccessity agaisnt Reapers.

A hanfull of RPGers, covered by heavy machine gunners with Scopes + Anti materiel Snipers and Light snippers would block the alien in the terror site.

As for warheads they make sense in the sky as radioctivity will decrease to insignificant status in no time as long its not a dirty blast (touching the ground) for half a kiloton (or less) bomb. Those could probably blast most of UFO out of the sky, unless as in 4th of July they have some energy shield protection, but then ou weaponry wouldn t have any effect.

Also Since F14 ASAT exist since 197X Couple, it with Nukes in space and probably a lot of small problems could be fixed, leaving the greater to ICBMs tests.

But on the Alien side this game never made sense. Why would they venture small unprotected group, be it terror site or UFOs.

First assumption would be to adapt the fighters to defend adapted bombers, to clear a path rasing defenses and clear a path to heavy troop ships to finish the ground job.

The only game were X-kind made any sense was Aftermath, sudden biological attack devastating earth population followed by expeditions because of the low Alien numbers.

Xenonauts is no exception, it does make little to no sense with the advanced tech and number the aliens have.

It make even less sense when you see the funding we have, its patethic. NATO and VP had much more funding and are dimmed useless Agaisnt the aliens.

Our soldiers that are "elite" have pathetic stats with totally absud costs and low avaliability.

Our weaponry is far from good compared to the real special forces of the time, poor regular troop material, not even camoed uniforms, they are more close to regular half-trained elite police than anything.

Even the helicopoter dropship is totally wacko, flying as fast as planes, really ? LOL.

Elite troops would be sent near site via skydrop on a near area, regroup and enter the cenĂ¡rio on foot or vehicles also dropped from the air.

And so on.

I am a bit deceived.

A real X-com descendent for me don t have to mean "as poor as 15 years ago settings and features".

This game has clearly not been thought upon, as it has clear step back to some past iterations, lucky for the devs our choices on this kind of game are non-existents.

It is a bit sad, i feel this game shouldn t have left alfa stage.

As for OP topic, set an automatic shoot and a manual shoot option and its done.

Edited by Mordobb
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Yes, that is ONLY thing that makes sense, however, even Reapers aren't going to win against artillery, air strikes and armored vehicles OR even trained teams of snipers.

I have seen zombie movies, and know better lol

Also Air Strikes wont work either, you cant kill EVERYONE.

In WWII the Nazis bombed the crap out of Britain which resulted in pissed off Brits standing on piles of brick and rubble waving clubs in the air shouting "Why dont you come down here and start crap and see what happens, you cowards!"

I dont even think a Nuclear bomb would completely wipe out London, I think you'd only manage to piss them off...

And again Aliens are more durable than humans, so it'd be like trying to bomb zombie cockroaches.

Edited by Mytheos
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Yes, that is ONLY thing that makes sense, however, even Reapers aren't going to win against artillery, air strikes and armored vehicles OR even trained teams of snipers.

"From the Xenopaedia: Reapers are parasitic creatures that reproduce through implanting larvae inside other living organisms. These larvae gestate rapidly inside their victim."

&

"If we assume each Reaper produces ten larvae, this threshold would be reached after four generations. A single Reaper can therefore spawn roughly ten thousand offspring."

A creature that can produce offspring on that scale potentially infecting civilians, arriving relief workers, emergency personnel, animals etc etc. I can see why tactical sterilisation is considered viable.

Imagine that the aliens get to improve their R&D. Reapers get vaped in terror sites. Let's increase the gestation period.

Then let's imagine the Chinook arriving back at base with an injured Sgt Brett Cronin. There's blood all over him from his shrapnel wound, and he's barely conscious as he's rushed to the Medical Bay. 12 hours later communications form Indochina's Theta Base are ost.

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But on the Alien side this game never made sense. Why would they venture small unprotected group, be it terror site or UFOs.

First assumption would be to adapt the fighters to defend adapted bombers, to clear a path rasing defenses and clear a path to heavy troop ships to finish the ground job.

The only game were X-kind made any sense was Aftermath, sudden biological attack devastating earth population followed by expeditions because of the low Alien numbers.

Xenonauts is no exception, it does make little to no sense with the advanced tech and number the aliens have.

This is a discussion that has come up before, and the simple answer is that in the kind of scenarios you describe, there would not be a game; it would a short film in which we watch the human race destroyed, and then a pop-up saying "You lose".

In order to have a game, there has to be a realistic chance of victory, and that does mean that the aliens cannot simply crush us with overwhelming force.

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there would not be a game; it would a short film in which we watch the human race destroyed, and then a pop-up saying "You lose".

The Xenonaut devs look at the above and wonder if their planned Autoresolve for the entire game is going to be popular.

As for Alien terror missions, I always looked at them as being their to persuade funding nations of the futility of opposing/ consequences of delaying signing that alien pact. That was the goal. To turn all nations into their puppet states, so they could colonise/ continue their breeding experiments.

Made sense to me in EU1994 at least :)

Edited by thothkins
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In UFO:Aftermath the aliens should have just looked at how many had survived and tried a different biological weapon to kill the remaining humans.

They should also have only made any excursions to the surface when they were sure of overwhelming numbers rather than letting a handful of badly equipped humans stand any chance against them.

But then there wouldn't have been much of a game to play.

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And if you think humans are dangerous so just kill them off and leave the cows...

The Aliens look at us with roughly the same respect as cows, we arent a threat.

They WILL eventually win a war of slow attrition and the result will be a planet with minimal damage, and plenty of food and resources...also if they push us too hard we'll nuke ourselves to take them out.

So instead they take over the governments that hold the keys to the nukes.

I mean maybe they wont win, but that would take some insane circumstance of human technology advancing a hundred years in the span of a year, and some force being able to prevent their efforts of infiltration and subjugation long enough to use their tech against them to fly a ship through space and assault their primary command center and destroy their leader/s.

And I cant blame them for not defending against that possibility...seems like a REALLY long shot.

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