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dpelectric

Strategy Guide/Walkthrough

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With Xenonauts theoretically nearing release, I was toying with the idea of writing a strategy guide/walkthrough. GH has stated that they will be producing a manual to go with the game, but I assume this will deal more with nuts-and-bolts mechanics (how to control your soldiers, what variables affect regional funding, etc.) than with helpful tips and tactics. I would think that a guide that attempted to consolidate the aggregate experience of the forum members into a relatively accessible format could be a help to (what is hopefully a flood of) new players upon release.

I was thinking of trying to generate a general outline, then posting it on the forum for comments and input, making it a community effort similar to the map packs and mod packs being put together. Plenty of links to threads like Dranak's masterful air combat tutorials, combined with advice such as where to position your bases, the relative advantages to various squad compositions, the most pressing research topics, and a boatload of other things.

A few deranged people have told me that I have something approaching a baseline talent in writing, but I possess next to zero computer skills. If anybody reading this actually agrees that such a strategy guide might be worthwhile, I'd appreciate advice on what software to use (can I just write it on notepad?) and how/where to upload it.

Thoughts? Laughter? Derision?

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That would be great, what about add tactics or some kind of strategy tips in the Xenopedia instead of using other source?

Any additions to the Xenopedia would, of course, be generated by Goldhawk, not me or anybody else. I don't think GH wants to get into offering subjective "advice" or "tips"

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You could look into resurrecting the Xenonauts Wiki as a strategy guide; that immediately solves distribution issues as it is already online...

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I think the Xenopedia suggestion was more along the lines of a mod than an official addition.

I don't really think it fits though, I would prefer it to be an outside source.

If nothing else the size of the addition could be huge.

The unofficial wiki could be the best bet as MrPyro says.

It has already been started by a forum member but is very outdated now.

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

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A wiki would work, so could a well-formatted forum post (especially if GH is willing to sticky it).

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Once the game goes live, it might be worth replacing the balance discussion forum with a tactics and strategy forum or something. Possibly have links to a wiki/good posts stickied to the top, as Dranak suggests.

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Well, just as an update, I've spent numerous days writing what I humorously refer to as a "strategy guide" on Gamefaqs. I was happy enough with it to post it, and put a link here seeking comments and sarcasm, but it appears that there are still too many changes coming (harridans, etc). As soon as the final version is released and I can comment semi-accurately on it, I'll give you guys a chance for some real belly-laughs :P

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Ok, I've posted what I delusionally refer to as a "strategy guide" over on Gamefaqs. I'm still going to add a few things to it (such as weapon and armor tables) but the main bulk of it is done. If anybody has the time or inclination, or is bored out of their minds, I'd appreciate any input. Particularly regarding the section on psionics, which I'm still not sure about. Maybe, hopefully, this could be of some limited value to new players, if it doesn't confuse them more than enlighten them :rolleyes:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/666668-xenonauts/faqs/69446

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Had a read through this and I like it.

It's not massively detailed, but I take that as being the point of the guide since it gains accessibility instead. For me, it provides a nice overview of the game and the mechanics without being overwhelming and there's some useful advice - especially as regards the strategic side of the game - that will be of benefit to new players. It's also not too intrusive: it leaves plenty of space for players to discover how to play the game themselves while pointing them towards some good directions. So, so far as I'm concerned, good work.

A few points on psionics:

1) Fear was changed recently so that it depletes 90% of a soldier's morale rather than 50%

2) Dread (I think, anyway) works on *all* your soldiers at the start of the turn, but has a 50% psionic strength penalty (I think it's 50%; it's in the game file anyway).

3) I'm unsure about this, but it seems to be the case that there's a limit on how often powers can be used. At the very least, I don't think an alien can use a psionic attack more than once a turn, but it might be every other turn. This is based on in-game observation rather than file-related data, though.

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Kabill, thank you, as always.

I deliberately tried to focus on the strategy, and stay light on details. I'm not even sure about providing all the numbers in the section on psionics, as even veteran players like yourself are unsure of the exact parameters. I didn't want to overburden anybody with statistics, particularly ones that may or may not be correct. God only knows if they'll change again tomorrow.

I went with Gamefaqs because I wanted to include some advice that was subjective, not strictly factual (as with a wiki). But what's frustrating about Gamefaqs is that you can't seem to post links in a guide. I wanted to put in links to your mods, and others, and great stuff like Dranak's air combat tutorials and Kordanor's tech tree. But it seems like the site doesn't want you to provide links to other outside sources

Anyhow, I'm glad you liked the overall feel of it, as I respect your opinion. I'm going to make the couple of changes to the psionics part that you sounded sure of :)

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You've got a point about the stuff on psionics actually: the numbers are largely irrelevant to the player so you might be better sticking to an overview instead. Really, the numbers don't actually help you do anything about psionics, so they don't really much of anything in terms of strategy/tactics.

Shame about the links, that would have been quite useful.

(An aside, but hopefully when final release is over and done with, GH will open up a strategy sub-forum here which you could use either to link to the guide, or to repost it with links).

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(An aside, but hopefully when final release is over and done with, GH will open up a strategy sub-forum here which you could use either to link to the guide, or to repost it with links).

That would be great, as one of my main objectives in trying to write a guide was to mitigate the flood of repetitive questions from new players. It seems a lot of people aren't willing to comb through older threads to find answers, resulting in 50 posts asking "are tanks worth it?", "can you re-take lost funding regions?", etc., etc.. Hopefully maybe new players will take the time to read a consolidated game guide and save veteran forumites like you from answering the same questions ad infinitum...

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I agree with most of your guide, however, I think you devalue vehicles in early game. Keeping your troops alive is just as important as getting them combat experience. I find vehicle very valuable even in the early game. Finding the aliens before they spot you is a HUGE advantage. Most troops are lost from surprise fire coming from where you didn't expect it. A vehicle carefully scouting ahead can mitigate this risk almost to zero. A vehicle doing the "creep" is an invaluable tool IMO.

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Thanks for the input, Stellar :)

I'm probably going to change the vehicle part. Whether I'm right or wrong about tanks in the early game isn't really the point; the point is that I'm being too subjective and voicing my opinion too heavily in one direction. I need to make that section read in a more neutral, open-ended manner, rather than trying to validate my own personal point of view.

But what did you think of it as a whole? Did you find it informative, confusing, lacking detail, entertaining, disorganized, etc.? Do you think a new player would find it interesting and read it the whole way through, or shake their head and exit halfway? Were there any glaring mistakes or omissions that you noticed...?

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That would be great, as one of my main objectives in trying to write a guide was to mitigate the flood of repetitive questions from new players. It seems a lot of people aren't willing to comb through older threads to find answers, resulting in 50 posts asking "are tanks worth it?", "can you re-take lost funding regions?", etc., etc.. Hopefully maybe new players will take the time to read a consolidated game guide and save veteran forumites like you from answering the same questions ad infinitum...

Yeah, you're right. I think I had in mind getting full guides like your stickied at the top, which could be used to signpost other threads/guides with detail on specific issues. Just dumping it in a thread and watching it disappear in a flood of other posts isn't helpful, though, I agree.

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Were there any glaring mistakes or omissions that you noticed...?
On the whole it was good. You kind of omitted much talk about electroshock grenades vs. mechanical units. And that electroshock grenades are much better than stun gas for capturing aliens most of the time specially since all higher level aliens have helmets and aren't affected by stun gas. I seem to recall that electroshocks also cause suppression too. They're really the only grenades that you can use against ANYTHING and know that they'll be effective. In the air combat section you might mention that damage against alien ships is cumulative so if your jets can't shoot them down in one strike getting off another strike even two more is a good tactic against the larger ships.

BTW, I think this whole thread should be moved to "General Discussion" it's really not "Off Topic". :-)

Edited by StellarRat

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Stellar, thank you again for the input.

To tell you the truth, I never even realized that I hadn't said a word about grenades. Will have that fixed this weekend.

And that's a very good tip (cumulative air combat damage) to include. Never thought of that either. See? That's why I need advice :)

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And that's a very good tip (cumulative air combat damage) to include. Never thought of that either. See? That's why I need advice :)
I've shot down every size of ship with Foxtrots using that tactic, but it does become cost inefficient eventually because you need so many of them to do the same job as Marauders.

A few other things you might add:

The benefits of blasting doors in UFOs and bases (it's not all bad.) There are two IMO: 1. It kills/wounds any aliens close to the door. 2. If you're planning to use longer range fire you don't need to waste any more TUs to open the door each turn. This can be important. Specially if you can't get all your guys through a doorway in one turn and/or you have an LMG that's going to lay down suppressive fire from outside the room or UFO.

Another thing about doors, vehicles can't open them. If you plan to use them indoors you need to blast the doors or have someone open them for the vehicle. Of course, once a vehicle passes through a doorway the door is destroyed. Believe or not, I always vehicles while doing base assaults. They are life savers.

You might also note that doors can be blasted with gunfire, vehicle weapons, and HE grenades or C4.

The other thing you're going to want to mention is that taking alien Command Center and bridges can be VERY difficult since the doors are usually only one tile wide, it's close quarters and the alien officers are much tougher than the "standard" model. Taking them alive is even harder. I find a combination of smoke, flashbangs/electroshocks and stun gas seems to be your best bet. You really need to have everyone prepped (grenade in hand, right by the door, etc...) then charge in with a smoke screen going. I don't use stun batons, but I suppose they're viable too.

Also, I don't seem to remember you discussing the benefits and uses of smoke grenades in general and the Sebillan "exception".

Edited by StellarRat

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Thank you again. Looks like I'll be spending my weekend typing!

This is the kind of alternative viewpoint I need to hear. I almost never blast open doors, but it's obviously a viable option. And I always use stun batons, and gave up on smoke grenades some time ago when their effects were eliminated for sebbies. I also gave up on electroshocks, which I used to use very heavily, but somewhere along the way their stun value appeared to me to have been greatly reduced.

But what I'm trying to avoid is presenting a biased opinion- "this is undoubtedly the right way because it's my way"- and your comments and strategies are going to make me rephrase parts of what I'd written to present more objectivity. Which can only be a good thing.

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Ok, have posted what should be the final version. Changed a few things, added a lot. Feel that it's fairly comprehensive. Hopefully it's helpful to a few people.

If anybody, again, has the time to read and comment on it, I'd appreciate it.

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Looks good so far!

You might want to mention a bit about the difficulty settings, ironman and other starting options at the beginning of the guide.

Also the difference between landed UFO missions vs. Crashed UFO mission (a lot more loot for the intact UFOs.). I've found a viable strategy is to only recover one or two crashed ships of each type, but go after every landed UFO I can, specially the large ships.

Something about air terror vs. "Classic" terror missions might be good.

Another subsection could be a discussion about squad tactics. Not spreading your troops out too much, formations , suppression, not shooting through your own troops, covering fire, saving TU for reaction fire, using cover and why its important, assigning weapons to troops with the correct attributes, etc.... This be helpful for those that don't know about infantry tactics.

Finally, a bit about the reaction system, troop reflexes, and reaction modifiers, so players know when they're likely to get shot or can get away closing on the aliens. You don't have do formulas just mention something reflexes, weapon modifers, and expended TUs.

Edited by StellarRat

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Here's my feedback, which got a little out of hand so I had to copy it to a google doc so I could put my comments in context. Half of it is just my opinion too but I tried to avoid just arguing with you and stay focused on being useful. https://docs.google.com/document/d/13sAzkect-pqW387vtTjlFE3sHcqkWk6h1acgZn463H4/edit#

I really like that you've done this and have been hoping to get a community effort to discuss the more subjective aspects in detail some more as well as the objective numbers if anyone's interested in working up a potential strategy document.

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Stellar: Thanks yet again :)

In reply:

I did briefly mention, in passing, some of the differences in difficulty levels, as well as a short warning that it's prob not a good idea to try veteran or insane the first time through. If you think the difficulties need more emphasis and explanation, then by all means I'll write more about it

Yes, I don't have anything about landed vs crashed UFOs. That definitely needs to be added too

I deliberately left the section about squad tactics vague, as this is a highly controversial area and I by no means think that my approach, or ANYBODY'S approach, can be in any way deemed superior to another. That's why I wrote the line that "there's a thousand different ways to equip your troops and sweep a map, and a thousand different players will advocate every single one of them". Your playstyle and mine, for example, I know to be very different, yet we each have success in the game. I just think it's an area that defies any kind of "advice"

I don't know if you read the updated version, but I do discuss reflexes and put in a weapons table that shows all the reaction modifiers

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