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In need of some serious assistance


Twigg
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Hello everyone. After last years amazing Xcom: Enemy Unknown I've been itching to find similar kinds of games and I stumbled upon Xenonauts. While they are pretty different, I've fallen in love with the way Xenonauts plays and I an enjoying my time with it. Unfortunately the skills and tactics I used in the Firaxis game don't really carry over so I've been just getting stomped without much success. Last night I got as far as I've ever gotten (got to late January) before I was completely wiped by the crew of a shot down cruiser, with their bullshit bombardment cannons and hordes of angry androns. I was hoping you guys should answer some questions and throw out some tips because I really don't know how to do better, and I really want to progress in the game.

1). Scientists feel more important than technicians, is this accurate? I always hire more scientists and I feel getting the tech researched usually opens up more tech to research. Should I focus on technicians instead?

2). When I do research, I make sure that I have just enough scientists to make the research go 'excellent' and then put the remaining scientists somewhere else. This assumes that once research hits excellent it can't go any faster, is this correct?

3). How early do I need foxtrots and how many should I have? I found that up until I hit large ships (which I'm pretty sure I didn't have the tech to really deal with) 3 condors worked well. Am I missing something important about foxtrots because they seem kinda useless.

4). Is the hunter scout car worth getting early? How does it hold up against enemy fire? Is it worth losing 2 soldiers for it? Should I wait till I can get lasers for it?

5). Where should I focus my research, land upgrades or air? Should I go for weapons or armor? Is there a path that usually more effective/efficient?

6). What are some good soldier loadouts/compositions? I usually run with 2 snipers, 2 machine gunners, 2 rifleman who have shields and batons, and 2 rocket launchers who have shotguns. Am I missing something here? I feel like the rocket launchers and shotguns is a weird combo but idk how else I'm going to use a shotgun if not with those guys.

7). Other than flashing aliens when you breach a ship, when and where are grenades useful? I just can't seem to get the hang of them, they don't work like I thought they did.

8).Should I get laser or just skip to plasma? Is it worth upgrading all weapons or are there some I should keep as ballistic until much later? Are upgraded pistols worth it?

9). Who should get armor and what armor should they get? I used to run with unarmored snipers but if aliens swarm your ship they just don't last long. Is jackal armor on everyone worth it or just a few until I can get wolf? Where does buzzard fit in?

10). How many bases should I have and how quickly should I build them up? Is it ok to have only a single chinook base or should every base have it's own chinook and soldiers?

11). How many interceptors should I have per base? When I get upgraded ships do I destroy my older ones or is there a better way to use them?

12). How can I get better transports/chinooks?

13). What do I need to successfully breach or defend a base? Every time I've tried I just get swarmed and cut down?

14). How can I tell if I am keeping up with tech progression? At what point should I start feeling like I can hold my own in fights?

15). Should I have more than the starting 10 soldiers, and should I rotate rookies in so that experience is more spread out?

16). Is there a effective way to capturing an alien officer?

17). Is there a place where I can get a clear view of the research tree? I can never tell which research is a means to an end and which is an end of a line.

I know these are a lot of questions, I appreciate any help I can get. I've been watching let's plays but most of those seem to be more about messing around and while entertaining I don't feel like I'm learning how to play the game (even though it's pretty clear most of those dudes are leagues better than me). I love this game and I can't wait for it's official release.

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Hi. Wow, that is a lot of questions. Let's see what I can do from my limited knowledge - I'm on my first playthrough just now and only on Easy, at that - before someone better comes along to help you more and correct me.

1) I've found they're equally important, as you of course need to be able to manufacture what you research. My playthrough so far has had an equal amount of scientists and technicians; I've maybe sometimes actually felt like I needed more technicians if anything, as manufacturing has generally felt just a little slow for my liking. Maybe that's the point! Across my bases I've been working with 60 scientists and 60 technicians for the last few months and I'm in April 1980 I think.

2) I don't know and would love to find out. I tend to go all or nothing at the moment, even if I'm a few scientists over the Excellent threshold.

3) Foxtrots were one of the first things I researched and I tended to stick to the set-up of working in squadrons, consisting 1 Foxtrot to 2 Condors. Probably could've gone for a while longer than I did with just Condors though, although later on the range and damage of the torpedoes has been useful as otherwise I don't see the third Condor getting close enough to actually attack; two Condors doesn't look like it could cut things easily enough. I could be wrong and just need schooling.

4) I didn't bother with the hunter in my run, although I think that's more a case of different viable options rather than it being useless. I've given the Hyperion with a plasma turret a couple of spins since though and it's been a giggle blasting aliens.

5) I'd say Air/Aircraft weapons/Explosives > Armour > Weapons > everything else. Without keeping up in the air fight you can't down UFOs, which means less money and continuing to struggle. Armour next as you can't shoot when you're dead. Wolf armour rocks.

6) To each their own on this one I think. I typically went with 2 assault shotgunners, 3 riflemen, 1 HWG, 1 Team Rocket and 1 sniper. I've since swapped in some more shield/pistol/grenade users though and can see how useful they are.

7) Situational, although breaching is where they get the most use. Your guys don't have much of a throwing arm otherwise. Damage isn't great on the frag grenades just now so you'll get most out of flashbang/smoke/electroshock I think.

8) I just skipped to plasma, but might've gotten away with it for just being an Easymode noob. It worked out ok and my technicians were busy building armour or aircraft-related gubbins when I wasn't bothering to build laser weapons. Take laser cannons on your interceptors though.

9) Take what you can get as quickly as you can get it. I prioritised my frontline troopers and let the snipers/Team Rocket (and even to an extent the HWG) lose out on armour until I had enough to cover everyone. Even then you may find your rocket launcher (unless they're doubling as a shotgunner) and sniper will be ok in Jackal as they shouldn't be getting shot anyway. Again, Wolf armour is fantastic and will serve you very well until Predator and Sentinel much later. I didn't bother with Buzzard this time.

10) Whatever you can afford as early as you can afford it? Bear in mind it takes nearly a month to get the radar array built so that's why you need to try and be early with it. Try for a new base every couple of months, although I think a fair few people are doing just fine with only 2 or 3 bases. 1 chinook base can easily cover 3 total bases (other two being research/manufacturing/interceptor bases only), placement-depending. On my easymode playthrough I've got chinook bases in the Middle East and North America, with interceptor bases in Indochina, Australasia and South America.

11) I work to squadrons as noted above. At least one squadron in each base, with a couple of mine having two. I've just kept my old ships for now and used the upgraded ships becoming available as an excuse to expand the hangers in my bases - so those new empty slots were being filled by the new planes I was building. I think general consensus is that the Corsair is good but not a massive upgrade to the Condor, while the Marauder is the ticket. Apart from that I'd say the aircraft's weaponry is more important than the aircraft itself, as a Foxtrot + 2 Condors can handle any UFO including Battleships, if the weaponry is good enough.

12) Erm, research the right things. I can't remember, sorry! It ties in with the research on items you'll salvage from UFOs.

13) Very very carefully and with liberal application of explosives. Set up a firing squad at a door, open, fire, close the door and hit end turn. Small bases are fine as they're pretty much linear, but large bases branch so you need to be careful and watch your back so you're not hit from behind. You may wish to split up if you think your smaller squads can handle it.

14) I have no idea again, sorry.

15) Yes. You need replacements and they need a share of experience so they're not useless when you need to rely on them.

16) A LOT of stun gas from several rockets and grenades, as they can be less effective than you may like. If you can, get one in the last room of a UFO/base as they're not going to run around as much and the cloud can actually get them. Smoke yourself, huck in the stun gas, close the door and wait. Repeat until gassed. Either that.. or some trooper or two with a lot of TUs, a stun baton and a massive set of balls.

17) There's a partial disjointed one on the Xenonauts wiki, although it's not massively reliable looking back on it. Very much subject to change and doesn't include a lot of things. Chris has been on to say he'd prefer folks didn't actually consult one and just explored the tech tree as it's more fitting to the theme of the game, etc. but nothing will stop one being created and/or people looking at it anyway.

http://xenonauts.wikia.com/wiki/Tech_Trees

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Yeah I recognize that I'm asking for a lot here, but I figure if there is anyplace to get some of these answers it would be here. Thanks for your help man, you've definitely helped me out. I didn't even realize you could get that far in the game, congrats lol.

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I'd like to offer some advice, although there are much better players than me.

Anyway.

2) Research works on a system of diminishing returns. Each scientist you add after the first provides less "work" than the previous scientist. Exactly how much work is lost for each scientist is unknown - it could be linear, it could be percentage based, it could have a complex formulae for all we know. You can add more scientists beyond "excellent" and the project will be researched faster. A little trick - check in every so often in your research screen, and try reducing the amount of scientists in the project. You can see how much time you have left before a project is complete by looking at the number of scientists you need to get "excellent".

3) If you ask Flight Commander Dranak, you can get by on Condors well into the game. Type "Dranak" into the search bar and you should see some of the videos he's done of air combat.

4) The Hunter currently benefits from an AI that can't see it. The Hunter benefits from good armour, and importantly it has headlights which will light up a good area in fron t of it during night missions.

7) You will find smoke grenades a very good friend in any situation.

8) Taking on Androns with ballistic weapons in alien bases is... troublesome.

9) There's no reason not to armour up your frontline troopers, with the best armour you can get your hands on. Alien weapons are NASTY. Even plasma pistols are pretty deadly vs. unarmoured soldiers.

12) You get the next dropship when you dive further into the middle-class UFOs.

13) Base defences are actually useful! If a base defence module hits and damages a ufo, there's a percentage chance (based upon damage) that allien troopers will be killed or injured. In my experience, alien troopers do die to base defences.

14) You reach technological parity when you can replicate alien technology. But you can go further than that!

15) I immediately hire 5 extra soldiers, and hire as soon as possible another 5 soliders to have a huge revolving crew.That comes in important when attacking bases, as you need to be able to soak up casualties and still keep going.

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1). Scientists feel more important than technicians, is this accurate? I always hire more scientists and I feel getting the tech researched usually opens up more tech to research. Should I focus on technicians instead?
Technicians are useless in the early game when you don't have anything to build, but you'll need a lot to keep up with production if you want reasonable build times. My advice is to only start hiring them when you need lots of buildpower.
2). When I do research, I make sure that I have just enough scientists to make the research go 'excellent' and then put the remaining scientists somewhere else. This assumes that once research hits excellent it can't go any faster, is this correct?
I have no idea how research works -- my first impression was that research scales linearly with the number of scientists, but I haven't done any timing tests to verify one way or the other.
3). How early do I need foxtrots and how many should I have? I found that up until I hit large ships (which I'm pretty sure I didn't have the tech to really deal with) 3 condors worked well. Am I missing something important about foxtrots because they seem kinda useless.
Currently they are pretty useless. Everything up until landing ships you can take out easily with 3 condors (provided you have researched alenium weaponry), and even after that, Foxtrots can't fight other fighters. I personally only send them out vs unescorted large ships, or after I've sent a squadron of fighters to take down the escort. I wouldn't think you'd need more than 3, or 6 total if you've got a base on the other side of the world. But I'd mostly stick with condors -- they are cheaper, have cannons, and can roll.
4). Is the hunter scout car worth getting early? How does it hold up against enemy fire? Is it worth losing 2 soldiers for it? Should I wait till I can get lasers for it?
It is currently bugged so aliens don't attack it, so in that sense it can be abused pretty heavily. It has decent armor and stats, headlights for night missions, and the laser cannon is pretty decent. Its a toss up depending on your playstyle, really. I built one to test it out and it mostly hangs back in base for defense missions, but its also good backup for when troops get wounded and can't go outside and play.
5). Where should I focus my research, land upgrades or air? Should I go for weapons or armor? Is there a path that usually more effective/efficient?
Alenium explosives is #1 priority to the exclusion of all else when it becomes available. Aside from that my priority is armor, alien tech, ground weapons, then vehicles. Others may have different priorities, I don't think the order you research stuff in is terribly important, personally, with the exception of alenium explosives which grant damage bonuses to basically *everything* that explodes: grenades, rockets, sidewinders, torpedoes (benefiting both ground and air)
6). What are some good soldier loadouts/compositions? I usually run with 2 snipers, 2 machine gunners, 2 rifleman who have shields and batons, and 2 rocket launchers who have shotguns. Am I missing something here? I feel like the rocket launchers and shotguns is a weird combo but idk how else I'm going to use a shotgun if not with those guys.
I've started assigning all my rookies with a custom class: Mook. No armor, lots of grenades, a rifle, shotgun, stun baton and medipack. If they survive to get some skills I'll assign them to a more important role like sniper/heavy/rocketeer, and like yourself, they are generally limited to two per squad of eight troops.
7). Other than flashing aliens when you breach a ship, when and where are grenades useful? I just can't seem to get the hang of them, they don't work like I thought they did.
Smoke grenades block LOS. They are generally even better for breaching ships than flashbangs IMO, and even better when combined with flash. They can also be used to cloak your guys caught out in the open and save their lives. Frags are a poor man's rocket launcher. Generally any time you'd use a rocket, but don't have one, you can use a frag grenade (if you are close enough). Stun grenades are useless, better to just use the baton if you want live aliens.
8).Should I get laser or just skip to plasma? Is it worth upgrading all weapons or are there some I should keep as ballistic until much later? Are upgraded pistols worth it?
If you can get the plasma research fast enough I'd say go for it, plasma is better in every way. The only problem is that you need to acquire some piece of alien technology before you can start research on it, and alien tech drops randomly. I haven't used upgraded pistols yet so no comment.
9). Who should get armor and what armor should they get? I used to run with unarmored snipers but if aliens swarm your ship they just don't last long. Is jackal armor on everyone worth it or just a few until I can get wolf? Where does buzzard fit in?
My experienced troops get armor. The more experienced, the better the armor. Experienced troops generally have a lot more strength, so can carry armor with heavier loads better, so except in the extreme situations, I disregard what weapon they are mainly using and give them armor based on seniority. Buzzard is supposedly a flying suit, useful for scouting, but I've never built it, so I can't really comment on it.
10). How many bases should I have and how quickly should I build them up? Is it ok to have only a single chinook base or should every base have it's own chinook and soldiers?
I immediately build a second base in north America (initial one in middle east) which is a fully functional base, with interceptors, chinook, living quarters, troops, manufacturing plants + technicians, the only thing it doesn't have is labs + scientists because that can all be done in the main base. Any other bases I may have are generally for radar coverage/UFO interception. I typically build mine up as soon as I have the money for it, keeping ~50k in reserve for emergencies. Money in your bank account doesn't help kill aliens.
11). How many interceptors should I have per base? When I get upgraded ships do I destroy my older ones or is there a better way to use them?
I wouldn't destroy old ships, as they are quite expensive, but rather send them to a remote base so they can be used for backup/quicker encounters. I like to have at least one empty hangar to transfer ships into/out of. Typically it is in the base with my best engineering capabilities, so they can build a new plane immediately, and then build a spare hanger for it somewhere else. As for the total count of interceptors, that's up to you, really. Just keep in mind that you can only send a maximum of 3 ships per sortie.
12). How can I get better transports/chinooks?
researching advanced thrusters? which is only available after you acquire a certain alien artifact drop (which happens randomly) I have never seen it before late January.
13). What do I need to successfully breach or defend a base? Every time I've tried I just get swarmed and cut down?
Rocket launchers. Also, like I mentioned before, tanks kept at the base are quite useful for defending, and they can also be sent on alien base missions.
14). How can I tell if I am keeping up with tech progression? At what point should I start feeling like I can hold my own in fights?
I've always felt the ability to hold my own, so I'm not sure. Like in the original XCOM, losses are to be expected. Are you losing all your missions or something?
15). Should I have more than the starting 10 soldiers, and should I rotate rookies in so that experience is more spread out?
I generally stick with 10 per base, until I get the upgraded chopper, which I then add more. I generally find my rookies being rotated due to veteran injuries, so its kind of a non-issue for me, but a good idea regardless.
16). Is there a effective way to capturing an alien officer?
Have you tried smoke grenades and stun batons?
17). Is there a place where I can get a clear view of the research tree? I can never tell which research is a means to an end and which is an end of a line.
No idea.
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9). Who should get armor and what armor should they get? I used to run with unarmored snipers but if aliens swarm your ship they just don't last long. Is jackal armor on everyone worth it or just a few until I can get wolf? Where does buzzard fit in?

Armor is always worth it. Not having your soldiers die is immensly important and jackal armor can mean live or death early on.

Buzzard Armor is pretty neat. The Tooltip say's it's supposed to be a Scout armor, but it has less armor than Wolf and Scout's tend to die when they don't have enough armor. I use them for my snipers! Snipers get huge aim penalties when they move and shoot in the same turn, so i use the buzzard Armor to relocate my snipers in as less turns as possible. Since they can easily fly over any obstacle, it decreases their movement range on most maps significantly.

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1) I like to leap-frog, i.e. first get scientists to unlock stuff worth manufacturing, then get technicians to produce them the next month. This corresponds nicely to where in the research I get, as well.

2) I've done the same, but it sounds like odd game design if the optimal way to play is to stop every few seconds to "unplug" a scientist. It's probably a measure diminishing returns saying that each scientist past that point is less than 20% effective or some such.

3) By the time Landing Ships show up, Foxtrots are very nice to have. Yes, they can frontload their damage from afar, but their true benefit is in the 33% increased fuel capacity, allowing you to intercept Terror UFOs further away and to do hit-and-runs multiple times against an enemy heading towards your base. I usually get two Foxtrots early, and send one to my first expansion base.

4) Right now, the Hunter is overpowered, as most early enemies ignore it. It does keep up for a fair while even late-game, but the main issue is that you won't be getting experienced soldiers in those two dropship slots. Therefore, I only start building vehicles once I have a transport ship upgrade, since bringing rookies at that point is really painful.

5) Dropships > Explosives > Armor > Everything else. Dropships as early as possible makes the transition less painful.

6) I start the game with assigning my two or three strongest soldiers as "Commandos" that field shields, pistols, grenades and rocket launchers. These get a bunch of Reaction Shots as they function as forward scouts, so they quickly get very high reflexes. The rest use rifles and shotguns for general combat and use the Commandos for cover. If things get tough, everyone gets a shield, and my Commandos get TWO shields.

Once I hit Laser tech I start producing Precision Lasers, which go to my three highest TU soldiers. I also produce Laser Pistols and assault shields to keep them alive when they have to move, since sniper rifles are heavy, and they have the lowest prio on armor.

By the time my pistols and new armor is done manufacturing, I'm close to getting Plasma. I fit 2 or 3 guys with Plasma Casters, then start upgrading my Snipers to Plasma. When I get a dropship upgrade, my old Precision Lasers trickle down to my new rookies.

7) They're very useful for destroying cover, especially on Industrial or Base tilesets. In addition, Stun gas forces aliens to move out of cover, giving you Reaction Fire, and Smoke grenades can save a guy from bleeding out as he limps past the aliens who would love to reaction fire on him.

8) I don't see how you can handle mid-game terror missions without Precision Lasers to pick off high-priority targets. It's not as important to upgrade the other weapons, unless you're swimming in cash and technicians.

9) Everyone should get the best armor you have available, but hand them out in an order that makes sense. The snipers shouldn't get shot at, and sniper rifles are quite heavy anyway, so they get theirs last. Commandos already have shields, and rocket launchers are really heavy if you're carrying extra rockets, so it's natural for the first armor to go to your riflemen.

Jackal for everyone -> Wolf for non-snipers -> Predator for LMGs -> Sentinel for everyone else.

10) You'll definitely want at least 2 bases, possibly three. I do two Chinook bases early on when having a rookie squad doesn't hurt too much, and I use my secondary squad to clear the smaller crash sites while leaving the big ones to the properly fitted supersquad.

That way, when I get a Transport upgrade, I get a bunch of Captains instead of a bunch of Corporals - and I can supplement any losses from my supersquad more easily.

11) At least 3 interceptors per base, but I consider 5 to be optimal. You need to not be completely crippled from losing one fighter, and redundancies for your redundancies are great. When you get new ships, send your old ships to a new base if you don't want to build another Hangar.

12) Shoot down Cruisers for Shrikes (12 Soldiers) or Carriers for Valkyries (16 Soldiers)

13) Shields and explosives are invaluable in close quarters. To defend a base, note that the lower health the landing ship has when it lands, the fewer crewmembers will survive to assault you.

14) If you're not losing soldiers, you're ahead.

15) If you're on Iron Man, have more than your base squad, and rotate anyone who gets even the slightest bit hurt - you don't want to take any risks. If you're save scumming, you don't need more than 8 soldiers.

16) Suppress with Flashbangs and Stun Gas so the officer spends his TU running out of the gas instead of firing at you, then hit him repeatedly with a Stun rod. If suppression fails, toss a Smoke Grenade and run behind him.

17) There's no tech tree overview currently, but you can open Researches.xml in your assets folder and use the search function to see what requires what.

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1) Scientists and technicians do very different things. Overall, you'll probably want more scientists - but you'll soon want more techs as well. I've settled on around 30 techs and can keep them working pretty much around the clock, but about twice as many scientists.

2) No idea, actually.

3). There is no point in ever getting foxtros, they are terrible. 3 condors can take down pretty literally everything, assuming you give them your best missiles and guns and you've been keeping up, though eventually you'll want to upgrade to better interceptors just for the increased range. Marauders are awesome, but very expensive. I'm into the endgame now, and still have a base with only Condors that's managing to control Oceania's airspace without problems. Condors do require you to pilot well, though!

4). Honestly, opinions on the vehicles are mixed. They have huge LOS range though, so are a very nice addition to certain team compositions.

5). I've found the priorities are: Air superiority > weapons > armor > everything else. Air superiority insures a steady income stream, and isn't hard to get. Getting to plasma weapons ASAP is a huge advantage. Heavy Plasma is an amazing ground weapon.

6). I have two shieldmen with pistols and tons of grenades (stun and smoke to start, then add eletroshocks), 2 assault soldiers, 2 heavy weapons guys, and 2 snipers. Snipers carry the medpacks, and assaults have additional grenades. I don't bother with batons, don't really see the points.

7). Everywhere and all the time. Grenades are amazing. Remember that they do significantly more damage if ON the same square as the unit they are effecting. Flashbangs can suppress and knock out enemies from over walls, and a decent soldier can throw three in a turn. Smoke is just amazing, both defensively and offensively. Plasma grenades can take out even quite tough enemies with a single grenade, and two will take out basically anything. Electroshocks do lots of suppression and knockout, and is actually more effective than stun batons at capturing aliens. Gas grenades are useless, don't bother. Throw distance is based on strength, something that is good to know.

8). I'd say yes - the pistols are cheap, and you'll struggle to have enough cash to keep everyone outfitted in top of the line plasma later on. Esp. once you get the better dropships, and you're busy pissing away money on Marauders, it will be nice to have something to equip your second string and base defense squad with when the plasma team is away, and getting laser weapons definitely increases your odds of survival until you do get plasma. Definitely worth it.

9). Again, don't worry about overproducing the basic armor - you'll have plenty of dudes who will appreciate the hand me downs. I run my snipers (and rocket dudes, and for a while heavy gunners) unarmored for a good chunk of the early game. My shieldbearers and assault team get priority on armor up until predator - then my heavy team gets it, and when I get the cash my assault team becomes another group of heavies, heh.

10). One troop base is perfectly fine. Expand slowly so that you don't put to much of a drain on your resources in maintenance costs - that did me in a few times before I learned caution. Focus on getting one base up to par, with good coverage, first, and once you're in good shape expand to a second base. After that base is up and running, and you've got your planes kitted out with at least laser tech and alenium torps, then you can consider starting your third base. You don't really need more than three.

11). 3. Eventually you'll want to destroy ships, but if you stagger your base building, you can just pass off the hand-me-downs as the new ships come into service. Make sure to have an extra hangar in your main base/manufacturing base.

12). Research. Specifically, take down tougher alien ships like carriers and battleships and cruisers and whatnot - better ships come from looting better ships and researching what you find.

13). Good equipment, and lots of smoke grenades, are a pretty good place to start. Spread out and try to flank the enemy, and focus on Assaults/Heavies/Explosives if you're having trouble.

14). It's a give and take. If you're keeping up, you'll have periods where it feels like you are holding your own, but there will be options to push yourself a bit further.

15). I rotate if I know the mission won't be too hard. I'm currently running 25 soldiers, though the rookies die pretty regularly and it drops as low as 15 not infrequently. 8 of those are my "all explosives all the time base destruction squad" who have a remarkably high casualty rate, but let me drive deep, blow up the enemy base and get out with as little time spent as possible in real life.

16). Electroshock stack. 3 or 4 should do it. If you don't have those, flashbang stack. 6 or 7 should do it.

17). Nope.

Edited by GlyphGryph
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There definitely seems to a consensus that focusing on air superiority over other paths is the best idea, which makes sense. I'm also going to give grenades another shot (specifically smokes) as I don't think I've been using them correctly. If I smoke a guy in a ship, can I run up to him with the baton without him getting any reaction shots? That would be wonderful.

In terms of research tree, I've tried looking into the xml file but the format there makes it very difficult to find paths unless you already know what you are looking for. When I played xcom enemy unknown I used http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/848075659485840866/9458CB1A6CF89FC7C5FE2D3A164CBCD8BC2D7D31/ and it definitely helped me plan out my research strategically.

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You need to give yourself some time to gain experience. Here's my two cents for beginners.

The number one rule in ground combat is: Don't expose your troops to fire for no reason. That means always try to end your turn in cover or hidden unless there is specific reason why you can't or don't want do that.

The number one rule on the strategic map: Don't overspend! Always have a cash reserve and expand slowly. You will have a disaster at some point and if you don't have any cash on hand you won't be able to recover easily.

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There is more than one way to skin a cat. For example, I usually use 2 soldiers with shields to scout and shotguns when they get close to aliens, and a couple of snipers, one MG and the rest rifles. Steelwarrior (see videos) uses almost all snipers with a extra rocket launchers that are used to destroy cover and to blast inside the alien ship.The idea is that in the v19 stable version, what you get from inside the ship is almost worthless anyway, so one might as well blast away, and you almost never get casualties.

To catch live aliens, wait until you get stun weapons and then stun one with stun grenades and stun rockets.

Some use smoke grenades a lot and some (including me) not very much. I never put armor on snipers because it decreases accuracy and snipers stay far from aliens, but others put armor on everyone.

Some fight air battles by charging directly on the alien craft (especially light scouts and scouts) with one or two condors, based on the new machinegun power in V19, whereas others including me use maneuvers such as decoy tactics to get behind the alien.

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