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Thread: Classic Ironman Tips to Survival - Learn From My Mistakes

  1. #1
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    Cool Classic Ironman Tips to Survival - Learn From My Mistakes

    So you are playing on Classic Ironman and getting your butt handed to you? Your strategy and skills not as good as you thought? Tired of wasting time and having to start over after a devastating squad wipe? Aliens are just plain non-compliant?

    QUIT YOUR WHINING AND JOIN THE CLUB!

    Learn from my mistakes. I am currently on my 6th game of classic ironman and have made it to the alien base assault one time. That's right I admitted it, ONE STINKING TIME! This last go round is proving FAR more effective.

    Here are some tips to help you survive, take note these things have been learned the hard way.

    1. The first thing you should do every time you get to your base for the first time is immediately start building a satellite. A couple reasons, if you don't start a satellite within the first ten days you will not get the bonus from a 2nd country on the first council report. Getting that extra cash is critical.

    2. Hold your satellites in reserve. I said it, do not deploy them straight away. Wait until a day or two before the council report. This allows you the chance to try and lower panic in 'hot' countries the good ole' fashioned way and failing that you can 'pop' a satellite to drop panic before the report and keep the country happy. It also keeps the satellite safe from aliens trying to shoot it down for as long as possible.

    3. Grenades on your rookies, all the time, every time. Nano fiber vests, med kits, scopes are a waste. The rookie will be killed before the medkit is of use, nano fiber vests are better served on vets and scopes are only useful on Snipers and occasionally Heavies. Not to mention these items are costly to produce.
    Secondly the grenade is an insurance policy against a rookies crappy aim in the early game. When you have an alien that MUST die the 'nade will save the day. Not to mention it is an easy first kill for the rookies which turns into a promotion at the end of the mission.

    4. As I mentioned vests, medkits and scopes are expensive. I usually manufacture as few as possible. 1 vest for a vet assualt, medkits only for whatever support I am bringing on the mission and scopes for snipers. After that grenades all the way. (the hell with Dr. Vahlen)

    5. Starting bonuses, N.A. isnt that great. I usually never have a major air force on call, a couple interceptors per satellite covered continent at most. S.A. is to easy to get with a couple satellites, Europe is good but I don't have the damn money to build labs and workshops anyway. So it comes down to Africa and Asia.

    I prefer Asia, it is one of the two hardest countries to cover and offers amazing access to the kick a** OTS bonuses. I shoot for squad size, wet work and rapid recovery. < In that order.

    Africa is decent for the bonus cash but it requires a long term game with many countries staying involved to be effective. Personally I have a 60% rate of losing one country in the first month. No matter what the hell I do, that makes Asia's awesome access to OTS(and later kick ass foundry bonuses) better to me.

    6. If steam vents are within 100 credits of excavating and access lifts worth of cost forget a power generator and put up a thermo generator A.S.A.P. It is expensive but will save you bundles long term.

    7. Sell corpses. Do the research and sell the excess dead bugs. I usually keep 3-5 on hand and sell the rest. Sectoids are the exception, I have 3 satellite aims on hand for intercepting larger ships. I have yet to encounter an alien ship I could not take down with 2 interceptors and AIMs.

    8. Gunslinging snipers rock. Until you get skeleton suits gaining high ground is a giant pain in the butt except on UFO missions. Whereas a gunslinging sniper with a laser pistol is a force to be reckoned with. Later on pistol upgrades in the foundry make sniper rifles only good for squad sight shots. Which takes me to tip 9.

    9. Squad sight + S.C.O.P.E + headshot = dead aliens. I use one or two snipers with squad sight all the time. It is an easily obtainable skill and allows you to position the snipers on your sight lanes early and pick off bugs from relative safety.

    10. ^^^ I say relative safety because sometimes they get jumped by floaters or thin men 'dropping by'. To counter this I keep a Sprinter support in my middle ground with the heavies. They have decent aim and when equipped with a laser rifle can insta-gib sectoids, floaters and thin men. Sprinter allows them extreme mobility on the battle field.

    11. Back to snipers, only manufacture enough laser pistols to equip snipers, they are cheap and with gunslinger makes a sniper deadly at close range. Later on, plasma pistols are easily captured and make manufacturing more than a couple laser pistols a waste.

    12. A pair of heavies(or a support in a pinch) with suppression makes capturing aliens a cake walk. Rotate turns suppressing the alien. One suppresses and the other reloads until your assault with an arc thrower can close and finish the deal. Grenades and pistol shots are great to weaken up thin men and floaters.

    13. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever dash or overwatch anyone until all opening moves are finished. It allows you the tactical flexibility to react if you accidentally fluch out some aliens. How many people thought a turn was over, overwatched the squad and had a troop moves two tiles only to flush out some aliens and everyone on OW blasts at one and misses? That makes for a bad day.

    14. Roatate a rookie or squaddie onto every mission except the really nasty/important one in the first two months. Keeps you with a more advanced stable of troops.

    15. On the other hand keep on or two of the same troops on every mission. Gets someone to captain rank faster so you can unlock 6 squad size.

    16. I highly recomend a 'Oh s***, the mission has gone ploin shaped' heavy. This guy gets rockets, shredder rockets, bullet swarm and grenadier. Things start to go sour, level the map with this guy. As an added cavet if you can nab a single alien grenade and get him to grenadier you can 're-use' that grenade over and over and over. One grenade becomes two and as long as you only throw one per mission it keeps coming back.

    17. Nano fiber, scopes, beam weapons/carapace then carapace/beam weapons. Equipment research should be done in this order. Shotguns, LMGs and sniper rifles will carry you quite far with promotions and smart play. Carapace is more important than precision and plasma research. The squad survivability goes waaaaaaay up with carapace.

    18. Do not be afraid of difficult and very difficult missions in the first 1-3 months. It just means extra thin men, sectoids and floaters. Out of the whole bunch the goddamn sectoids are the most deadly to me. Their goddamn mind merge is a real b****. Having said that use the mind merge against them. Go for the sectoid who initiated it if at all possible. Getting a two for one kill like that makes a scary group of 4 'toids suddenly very manageable.

    After that thin men = alien equivalent of snipers and with critical hits can insta-gib troops even with sergeant rank and nano fiber vests on. If they have a bad shot they will auto hit poison. Poison is not as scary as it seems, worst case scenario if ignored your troop loses 3 h.p. over a few turns and it goes away.

    Finally floaters, personally they seem rather stupid and if you can break LOS they will double move to come find you. Tactical retreats and overwatch will make short work of these buggers. Also they like to fly up a few squares which makes it a goddamn snipers delight with squad sight.

    19. Terror missions and Chrysallids. *sigh* where do I begin? These guys are the bane of my existence, every game over has started with a mission containing these guys. If you charge in to grab civs and kill the zombies early to prevent more spawing you get over extended and they pick you off one by one. If you go slow and hold back ignoring civs you have a situation like I got. Literally 14 Chrysalids charged out of the fog, I walked away from my computer for a couple hours before I came back and tried to combat that menace. A full 6 man squad with carapace, lasers and Lt. rank and above was crushed.

    How do we combat them then? Stay together, don't face check corners and doors unless it is an opening move and you can back away and set up a kill zone. Weaken groups with nades/rockets. If you can break LOS they will move to where they can see you and second move will be to close to melee range, ending their turn and allowing you to kill them. That's all I have on these bastards, open to other suggestions.

    20. Always have either a satellite in the works or one on standby. Even if you don't have an uplink for the reserve one. It is faster to build a new uplink than it is to build a new satellite.

    This is not open to critisism. I am posting What works for me in the early game(read before alien assault is complete). Trolls will be ignored.

    Take the advice or leave it. Good luck commanders.

  2. #2
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    Having found out a good number of the same points the hard way, I heartily endorse this thread.

  3. #3
    not only is this a good guide for ironman, but it helps me and im playing on normal lol

  4. #4
    I agree with everything you said. Nice that you brought up gunslinger...didn't even think about that with the pistol upgrades. I have had considerable return on my Sniper with Snap Shot since the aim penalties are removed when you use a laser rifle + scope. It is nice to be able to move and fire in the same turn. I wouldn't discount this ability against squad sight. Great tips by the way!

  5. #5
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    I'll tryout the snap shot. Good call with the scope negating the snap shot penalty.

  6. #6
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    I've had to restart my Ironman classic a few times as well. It seems my latest blunder was not rotating squad members. I delayed undertaking the alien base mission, and unfortunately I lost a few key members along the way.

    I attempted the base mission in September, and it didn't go well. Now I'm stuck with newbies. I have manageable threat levels, ufos don't pose much of a problem, and my gear is nearly maxed out, but I still think it's too much of an uphill battle to level up troops again while dealing with increasingly difficult alien encounters like sectopods and elite mutons. At least this time I"ll be doing less discovering and more fast tracking, which will allow me to stay a little ahead of the curve. I was sitting with 6 countries who had left the council, giving me an income of 750 after upkeep and perhaps that made my progress too slow.

    You didn't mention it but it's a sort of a given. In order to get a good start on classic, you'll need to maximize your satellite count to save those countries that want to leave within the first 3-4 months. So position your stations together, and apparently doing the tutorial gives you an extra satellite.

  7. #7
    I abandoned my initial classic/im ambitions after 4th restart -- good on you for sticking with it. Learned a lot from first play through on Normal, ready to reattempt classic. Great tips -- especially liked the hoarding satellites until the end of the month trick and your guidance on chrysallids. I'm not a huge fan of carapace armor as it is expensive in alloy and skeleton is not too far after, but we'll see if next play through changes my mind. Thanks for taking the time: great write up.

  8. #8
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    All of your suggestions are bang on from what I have experienced as well. There are of course slight variations but the core of your advice works with every strategy and will keep your iron man games flowing.

  9. #9
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    Playing on ironman classic too, and I learned most of these the hard way, especially the grenade thing. I underestimated grenades a long time (was massing medkits to keep people alive, but it seems everything one shots you so why bother), but now grenades are one of my favorite tools.

    One thing i didn't know is that SCOPES are useful, never use them. I'll give them a try.

    And yes... Those Chrisallyds are my bane too. Especially when they are inside buildings, and even worse when it is a building with multiple floors. They seem able to jump up and down from floor to floor and land right on top of you and you never see them coming. I haven't yet mastered dealing with them, but what i am trying is :

    1) Using first action to move and second action to overwatch always when i know they are around, this way if one of them pops out of nowhere it gets shot, and hopefully killed. One thing that annoys me to no end in this game is how everyone in your squad will shoot them at the same time if they pop in their vision, meaning if 2-3 chrys rush you the first one will die to a combined OVERKILL fire but the others will be 100% safe. I wish Fireaxis would change that to have squad members shoot them one by one so you don't waste the dps.

    2) This i haven't tried yet. But I plan to using explosives on buildings to draw chrysallids out when they hear the noise. I'd rather waste a grenade than face check where chrys might be lurking.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post

    How do we combat them then? Stay together, don't face check corners and doors unless it is an opening move and you can back away and set up a kill zone. Weaken groups with nades/rockets. If you can break LOS they will move to where they can see you and second move will be to close to melee range, ending their turn and allowing you to kill them. That's all I have on these bastards, open to other suggestions.

    :
    I readily sacrificed civilians with grenades when the Chrys was close to one. It prevented a zombie and another Chrys. I found the only thing to really work for me was what you described, using opening moves to scout and to prioritize Chrys kills above everything else. Also re-gearing my squad to have 2 heavies and all nades helps. I think terror missions are about quick, heavy damage delivery.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarauderMan View Post
    I readily sacrificed civilians with grenades when the Chrys was close to one. It prevented a zombie and another Chrys. I found the only thing to really work for me was what you described, using opening moves to scout and to prioritize Chrys kills above everything else. Also re-gearing my squad to have 2 heavies and all nades helps. I think terror missions are about quick, heavy damage delivery.
    Chrys chitin item + carapce + leveled assault + rapid fire and critical chance bonus skills + support medic to heal him up when you get melee'ed.

    This guy is a chrysallid munching beast. He took two chrysallid melee attacks and laughed as he blasted a third closing to close range with the reaction fire ability. Next turn rapid fired the second and the 'Oh s***' heavy smoked the third one. Backed him up triple healed with the medic support and got back in the fray. Survived another two melee attacks and killed FOUR more chrysallids! Nick named 'Alpha' going to try and make 'Omega' and see what we can do with the twins. lol

    Best part speedy recovery had him out of the hospital in 5 days. Might have an angle on the chrysallids.....

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    Chrys chitin item + carapce + leveled assault + rapid fire and critical chance bonus skills + support medic to heal him up when you get melee'ed.

    This guy is a chrysallid munching beast. He took two chrysallid melee attacks and laughed as he blasted a third closing to close range with the reaction fire ability. Next turn rapid fired the second and the 'Oh s***' heavy smoked the third one. Backed him up triple healed with the medic support and got back in the fray. Survived another two melee attacks and killed FOUR more chrysallids! Nick named 'Alpha' going to try and make 'Omega' and see what we can do with the twins. lol

    Best part speedy recovery had him out of the hospital in 5 days. Might have an angle on the chrysallids.....
    Nice. My Assault (on no Ironman game though) is geared like that save the Chrys armor (never tried it) I think as we increase in difficulty, we will be learning that HOW we equip each soldier will vary on mission type and that one loadout does not suit all. I imagine Impossible difficulty being like this.

  13. #13
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    I dismissed chrys armor immediately because of it's high cost and needing 4 corpses. Later I said what the hell I've tried everything else, lets try that.

    It reduces melee attack damage and gives a significant health boost. My assault major with carapace and this has 20 health. That is not an insignificant amount.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    13. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever dash or overwatch anyone until all opening moves are finished. It allows you the tactical flexibility to react if you accidentally fluch out some aliens. How many people thought a turn was over, overwatched the squad and had a troop moves two tiles only to flush out some aliens and everyone on OW blasts at one and misses? That makes for a bad day.
    When you trigger aliens for the first time they move.

    If none of your units is in overwatch the aliens get to freely move into cover.

    Do the math here, do you want to shoot at the alien before it's in cover or after?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miravlix View Post
    13. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever dash or overwatch anyone until all opening moves are finished. It allows you the tactical flexibility to react if you accidentally fluch out some aliens. How many people thought a turn was over, overwatched the squad and had a troop moves two tiles only to flush out some aliens and everyone on OW blasts at one and misses? That makes for a bad day.
    While good advice, I believe that 3 types of troops are ideal for overwatch during your turn even before you have finished all opening moves. Good for use when enemy contact is almost imminent (e.g. sounds tell you bad guys are 1 move away), AND it is likely that the free move of aliens will cause them to get into sight / shooting range (the squadsight sniper gets a free pass here).

    1.) The Squadsight Sniper, with opportunist perk. Any alien cluster freemoving into cover after a reveal usually loses 1 member from reaction shot before they can reach it. I have not tested if In the Zone will allow him to chain reaction shot kills on the uncovered enemy cluster though (if so, that would be truly godlike).

    2.) The Shredder Rocket / Rapid Reaction Heavy who does not have Bullet Swarm, or who has Bullet Swarm but has used up his first move. He can fire up to two times with reaction fire, if you give him a scope to give him better chances of a 1st hit. Better than the 1 shot he gets without overwatch.

    However, if the Heavy has Suppression, it is better to leave him out of overwatch so that he can put down Suppression for emergency reveals just before end-turn.

    3.) The Sentinel Support (who can fire twice with overwatch) who does not have Suppression. Pretty obvious why here. 2 shots (even at lower reaction-shot accuracy) are nearly always better than 1 (remember OG's autofire advantage over snap shot?).

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Miravlix View Post
    When you trigger aliens for the first time they move.

    If none of your units is in overwatch the aliens get to freely move into cover.

    Do the math here, do you want to shoot at the alien before it's in cover or after?
    This is particularly true for breaching doors. Overwatch people outside the door then open it. If aliens are inside you get cover free reaction fire. Once you get the hang of things it's relatively easy to use the trick anywhere. Alien spawns are somewhat predictable. Especially if the sound gave away the position.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    Literally 14 Chrysalids charged out of the fog, I walked away from my computer for a couple hours before I came back and tried to combat that menace.
    LMAO..

    ---
    btw, this is a good thread.
    I learn much from reading your post :cheers:

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    13. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever dash or overwatch anyone until all opening moves are finished. It allows you the tactical flexibility to react if you accidentally fluch out some aliens. How many people thought a turn was over, overwatched the squad and had a troop moves two tiles only to flush out some aliens and everyone on OW blasts at one and misses? That makes for a bad day.sions in the first 1-3 months. It just means extra thin men, sectoids and floaters. Out of the whole bunch the goddamn sectoids are the most deadly to me. Their goddamn mind merge is a real b****. Having said that use the mind merge against them. Go for the sectoid who initiated it if at all possible. Getting a two for one kill like that makes a scary group of 4 'toids suddenly very manageable.
    This is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad advice. As Miravlix pointed out, if you flush out a group of aliens with one guy on point, if the rest of your squad is on overwatch, all of your guys will be able to take shots as the aliens move to find cover. These overwatch shots will be on aliens that are out of cover since they'll be running out in the open. This is critical in thinning the ranks of a new group of aliens you've just flushed out.

    Whenever I think there's a group of aliens nearby that I haven't seen yet, I set up my squad as close as possible and set them into overwatch except my assault. Then I run my assault to where I think the aliens are (or where I heard them moving) and when they get flushed out, the squad takes their overwatch shots while they run out of cover. Your tip is telling people to let those aliens find cover then take a shot at them.

  19. #19
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    The overwatch shots all fire off at the same enemy.

    I have slightly revised this tactic and will put a person or two on OW if I think contact is assured. Allows me to get a couple shots before the enemy is in cover and then leaves squad members available to react. Personally flanking, removing cover with expendable grenades and thinking tactically is more effective than having an entire squad on OW to make sure(most the time) one alien out of the bunch is dead.

    Also if you make your opening moves before OW and dashing it lets you set up better if the bugs(especially thin men and mutons) took good positions. Have none of you pulled tactical retreats? I prefer this option to OW the squad, flushing the aliens out, OW'ing one to death and handing the turn over to the bugs and praying like hell it works out.

    Like I said this is all what works for me.

    EDIT: I have a bone to pick with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
    This is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad advice. As Miravlix pointed out, if you flush out a group of aliens with one guy on point, if the rest of your squad is on overwatch, all of your guys will be able to take shots as the aliens move to find cover. These overwatch shots will be on aliens that are out of cover since they'll be running out in the open. This is critical in thinning the ranks of a new group of aliens you've just flushed out.

    Whenever I think there's a group of aliens nearby that I haven't seen yet, I set up my squad as close as possible and set them into overwatch except my assault. Then I run my assault to where I think the aliens are (or where I heard them moving) and when they get flushed out, the squad takes their overwatch shots while they run out of cover. Your tip is telling people to let those aliens find cover then take a shot at them.
    So following the exact tactics I outlined in this post I pulled an all nighter and made it through the alien base assault with zero names on my memorial wall and I captured the sectoid commander at the end of the base. Awesome for me.

    Psionic Labs are in the works, I've got a stable full of good troops. None the least being a Colonel, 3 Majors, 3 Captains, 4 L.T.s, 3 Sergeants, several corporals and gads of squaddies. Two days before the Psi Labs ae finished a Small Scout lands in brazil.

    I figure what the hell let's send the 'A' team with a corporal I've been wanting to level up. First encounter was a few mutons which we made short work of. A little further into the map we come the the alien ship. Undamaged and buttoned up nice and neat, almost like it was gift wrapped. I'm about to open the door and I figure waht the hell I'll give your overwatching and facechecking a try.

    Assault opens the goddamn door and there stand three sectoid commanders and 4 thin men. *sigh* and f***. OW kicks in and the entire squad manages to drop one toid commander to 1 hp. Toid commanders and thin men move to stupid good cover/flanking positions. Alien turn.

    Toid commander #1 MCs my Super Destructor Heavy, Toid commander #2 MCs my Major Support, Toid commander panics the corporal assault, thin men blast everyone else down to critically low health. My turn, Colonel assualt misses the 1 hp commander from point blank with rapid fire, failing to free the heavy. Major sniper misses the toid commander failing to free the heavy. Alien turn.

    I imagine at this point you can see what road this mission is headed down. Squad Wipe.

    I believe from now on I will go with what works for me, thanks for the advice though.
    Last edited by Chaosangel2113; 10-12-2012 at 08:17 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
    This is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad advice. As Miravlix pointed out, if you flush out a group of aliens with one guy on point, if the rest of your squad is on overwatch, all of your guys will be able to take shots as the aliens move to find cover. These overwatch shots will be on aliens that are out of cover since they'll be running out in the open. This is critical in thinning the ranks of a new group of aliens you've just flushed out.

    Whenever I think there's a group of aliens nearby that I haven't seen yet, I set up my squad as close as possible and set them into overwatch except my assault. Then I run my assault to where I think the aliens are (or where I heard them moving) and when they get flushed out, the squad takes their overwatch shots while they run out of cover. Your tip is telling people to let those aliens find cover then take a shot at them.
    While I am not an expert at this game yet, I can personally say this has been the biggest problem for me so far on Classic. My personal experience has been somewhere in the middle of the two positions outlines in this post.

    Early on in the game, my rookies couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with Overwatch, so it made more sense to flush them out first. But later on in the game, two assaults in front on overwatch with reaction fire and a squad sighted sniper in the rear make a lot more sense. I've had four aliens rush into a room set up on overwatch and mowed them all down.

    Adaptive tactics? Still haven't totally figured this one out yet.

  21. #21
    Overwatch's aim penalty often makes it better to not Overwatch immediately and instead have the tactical flexibility to either take better cover, fire, hunker down, or run the hell away in the case of Chryssilids.

    As for "using up" grenades, that's impossible. It says you have one alien grenade but that alien grenade never goes away after a mission once it's used. Illogical I know, but that's how it goes. It was unbelievable how happy I was when I learned this, meant I didn't have to pay for that alien grenade upgrade crap in the foundry. Lots of stuff you don't have to pay for or build if you capture the right aliens.

  22. #22
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    This is how I breach.

    Wall <> Door <> Wall
    Assault <> Support Sprinter <> Assault
    Heavy and Sniper position to LOS for immobile shots 1-2 square behind wall, and a Rookie/Squaddie with grenade.

    I walk my support at least 2 squares in, or there is nearby cover. If it looks back, he can walk out, and I prepare my OW outside.
    Otherwise, start with AOE softening with Shredder and Grenade.

    Question on Air and Space / Interceptors.

    1. Is it worth putting Interceptor to other continents that do not have satellites?

    2. How do I use Phoenix Missile? I made one, how do I use it? lol -- I don't remember having an option to use it, or just having one make it automatic damage upgrade?

  23. #23
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    1. To the best of my knowledge, no, as you will never detect a UFO on a continent that doesn't have any Sat coverage.

    2. In the Hangar, you can edit the load out for your interceptors.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    2. Hold your satellites in reserve. I said it, do not deploy them straight away. Wait until a day or two before the council report. This allows you the chance to try and lower panic in 'hot' countries the good ole' fashioned way and failing that you can 'pop' a satellite to drop panic before the report and keep the country happy. It also keeps the satellite safe from aliens trying to shoot it down for as long as possible.
    I wouldn't hold in reserve, I'd just pop an interceptor into the area in question 3 days early. the satellite does offer detection right? so might be able to shoot down som

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    3. Grenades on your rookies, all the time, every time. Nano fiber vests, med kits, scopes are a waste. The rookie will be killed before the medkit is of use, nano fiber vests are better served on vets and scopes are only useful on Snipers and occasionally Heavies. Not to mention these items are costly to produce.
    Secondly the grenade is an insurance policy against a rookies crappy aim in the early game. When you have an alien that MUST die the 'nade will save the day. Not to mention it is an easy first kill for the rookies which turns into a promotion at the end of the mission.
    I'll agree, though I think vests have there place as soon as you get to squaddie. something to keep in mind, I think you're only losing weapon fragments if you blow up aliens... I've never had a shortage of weapon fragments... like ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post

    5. Starting bonuses, N.A. isnt that great. I usually never have a major air force on call, a couple interceptors per satellite covered continent at most. S.A. is to easy to get with a couple satellites, Europe is good but I don't have the damn money to build labs and workshops anyway. So it comes down to Africa and Asia.

    I prefer Asia, it is one of the two hardest countries to cover and offers amazing access to the kick a** OTS bonuses. I shoot for squad size, wet work and rapid recovery. < In that order.

    Africa is decent for the bonus cash but it requires a long term game with many countries staying involved to be effective. Personally I have a 60% rate of losing one country in the first month. No matter what the hell I do, that makes Asia's awesome access to OTS(and later kick ass foundry bonuses) better to me.
    I've had a lot of luck with going africa then rushing for asia. The thing about africa is I really don't care about the african countries, whereas there's a lot of money in asia. I usually ignore africa and south america, and by the time I have a foundry and academy I've already got all of asia anyway. then i grab north america and eventually europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    7. Sell corpses. Do the research and sell the excess dead bugs. I usually keep 3-5 on hand and sell the rest. Sectoids are the exception, I have 3 satellite aims on hand for intercepting larger ships. I have yet to encounter an alien ship I could not take down with 2 interceptors and AIMs.
    hell, i'd recommend selling nav computers and power supplies too if you're really strapped for cash. holding onto it doesn't help if you before you can put it to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post

    13. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever dash or overwatch anyone until all opening moves are finished. It allows you the tactical flexibility to react if you accidentally fluch out some aliens. How many people thought a turn was over, overwatched the squad and had a troop moves two tiles only to flush out some aliens and everyone on OW blasts at one and misses? That makes for a bad day.
    overwatch is a squad sight sniper's best friend. also fun, pairing it with assault's flush out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post

    18. Do not be afraid of difficult and very difficult missions in the first 1-3 months. It just means extra thin men, sectoids and floaters. Out of the whole bunch the goddamn sectoids are the most deadly to me. Their goddamn mind merge is a real b****. Having said that use the mind merge against them. Go for the sectoid who initiated it if at all possible. Getting a two for one kill like that makes a scary group of 4 'toids suddenly very manageable.

    After that thin men = alien equivalent of snipers and with critical hits can insta-gib troops even with sergeant rank and nano fiber vests on. If they have a bad shot they will auto hit poison. Poison is not as scary as it seems, worst case scenario if ignored your troop loses 3 h.p. over a few turns and it goes away.
    thin men scare me more, I'm fairly sure poison debuffs your aim too. incidentally, if poison damage does not appear to hospitalize your troops after you get back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    19. Terror missions and Chrysallids. *sigh* where do I begin? These guys are the bane of my existence, every game over has started with a mission containing these guys. If you charge in to grab civs and kill the zombies early to prevent more spawing you get over extended and they pick you off one by one. If you go slow and hold back ignoring civs you have a situation like I got. Literally 14 Chrysalids charged out of the fog, I walked away from my computer for a couple hours before I came back and tried to combat that menace. A full 6 man squad with carapace, lasers and Lt. rank and above was crushed.

    How do we combat them then? Stay together, don't face check corners and doors unless it is an opening move and you can back away and set up a kill zone. Weaken groups with nades/rockets. If you can break LOS they will move to where they can see you and second move will be to close to melee range, ending their turn and allowing you to kill them. That's all I have on these bastards, open to other suggestions.
    they've never really ganged up on me, level the area, if you're facing chrysalids, cover doesn't matter group them in the open and let them overwatch chrysalids as they come. they appear to straggle in in 1s and 2s. one mission had 2 cyberdiscs, a few drones, and eventually 5-6 chrysalids and something like 5-6 zombies. just camped in the middle of the map far from all kinds of cover, and waited for them to come to me. incidentally, zombies hit harder than chrysalids.


    Finally, battlescanner. i think they actually do contribute to squad sight, free shot at 100%, and overwatch another when they realize they're dying. it can be very very useful.

  25. #25
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    Well after a 13 hour marathon, despite the earlier 'A' squad wipe I am sitting pretty. OTS is totally maxed, foundry is maxed except for shiv related stuff, I've got several psi troops and lost only 4 countries thus far. Hyperwave reader thingy-mah-bob is built and scanning, just need to pillage some UFOs for the parts to make firestorms and upgrade to titan and plasma tech. 7th go round and learning from my mistakes was the charm I suppose.

    Seriously though, I followed this guide to the letter with some minor adjustments mid to mid-late game, things I am to tired to post now, will put them up later tonight. Heavies are actually still rocking LMGs and doing just fine, I really would like laser SAWs though. Have excess power output in the base, managed to capture one of every bug up to the sectoid commander and berserker as well. 'Zerkers are actually stupid easy to capture, set up long range and blast him to you slowly, he only moves like 5 tiles when he gets shot.

    I actually had him running in a circle until he was damaged enough for my assault to walk up and tuck the lil guy in for the night.

    Hope your games are going well. Any questions, feel free to ask.

  26. #26
    Don't bother with Pheonix Cannon, go straight to Laser Cannon. Laser Cannon results in being able to take down pretty much any UFO. And if the first interceptor doesn't work (abort before death), the second sure as hell will, since you can send another to intercept. Always maintain two for this reason, anything else is typically unnecessary in my experience, and I've never had another UFO show up before the damaged interceptor was repaired.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteFyre View Post
    Overwatch's aim penalty often makes it better to not Overwatch immediately and instead have the tactical flexibility to either take better cover, fire, hunker down, or run the hell away in the case of Chryssilids.

    As for "using up" grenades, that's impossible. It says you have one alien grenade but that alien grenade never goes away after a mission once it's used. Illogical I know, but that's how it goes. It was unbelievable how happy I was when I learned this, meant I didn't have to pay for that alien grenade upgrade crap in the foundry. Lots of stuff you don't have to pay for or build if you capture the right aliens.
    i'd pay for it, alien nades on all your rookies? 5 damage will kill a lot of things outright.

  28. #28
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    incidentally, does anybody actually find any use to south america?

  29. #29
    Nope, sacrifice'em if you know what corpses are useful. The autopsies and interrogations you do want go plenty fast enough.

    @AlienInvader

    Every Muton captured results in 2 Alien grenades. Over the course of collecting their plasma rifles, you get plenty of nades. Absolutely no reason to upgrade.

  30. #30
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    Oh and one final thing, I'm sure most of you know but HEAT ammo against Discs more than makes up for not having a use against the other skill. A well placed shreddder/normal rocket + HEAT = Severely wounded disc + dead drones. Latest terror mission was 4 discs w/6 drones amongst the lot of them, half dozen chrysallids + another 2 due to zombie spawns, a couple zombies and more goddamn floaters than i could shake a stick at. Had 27 kills at the end of that particular mission. Zero losses and 11 dead civs, poor rating in that regard but I say the hell with 'em to stupid to get out of the way and I figure it's an accelerated form of darwinism.

  31. #31
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    Thanks for the posts, vary good info, I’ve stumbled across most of these points myself in the many losses on C/I, but a few I have not. Thanks again for the post well done.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienInvader View Post
    incidentally, does anybody actually find any use to south america?
    I let the autopsies and interrogations pile up and then about mid third-mid fourth month pop two satellites and wham bam all the research at once.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    Oh and one final thing, I'm sure most of you know but HEAT ammo against Discs more than makes up for not having a use against the other skill. A well placed shreddder/normal rocket + HEAT = Severely wounded disc + dead drones. Latest terror mission was 4 discs w/6 drones amongst the lot of them, half dozen chrysallids + another 2 due to zombie spawns, a couple zombies and more goddamn floaters than i could shake a stick at. Had 27 kills at the end of that particular mission. Zero losses and 11 dead civs, poor rating in that regard but I say the hell with 'em to stupid to get out of the way and I figure it's an accelerated form of darwinism.
    i'm not ever sure the civilian count even does anything, you seem to get the terror reduction regardless in the case of a win. and yeah, 10-12 damage with a rocket is nice vs those stupid stupid discs. I always take heat.

  34. #34
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    Nice thread. I'm a noob and really could have used Point 1. I only recently made a push to get more sats up and fear that I'm a month too late. Trying to recover is kinda fun though.

  35. #35
    I played one play through in "classic" not ironman so I could figure out the strategic layer. The tactical layer is pretty easy to figure out, but the strategic layer is another beast... Anyways, I'm about a quarter of the way in with my Ironman game and I have no one on the memorial wall as of yet. I figured I'd share some thoughts with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    1. The first thing you should do every time you get to your base for the first time is immediately start building a satellite.
    Agreed, I ALWAYS do this... But here is an added benefit, I usually wait for the first abduction mission and go for the 4 engineers. This is the only mission in the whole game where I don't go for "saving" countries. You save 23$ on your first month by building the satelite for cheaper. The engineers are also in short supply in the beggining of the game. They usually come with low level difficulty mission which you should avoid as they only generate 1 panic in the target country (compared to 1 panic in the whole continent plus one in the target country for high difficulty ones).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    2. Hold your satellites in reserve.
    I always do this too. However, I plan to make "rich" country get high panic levels. If something like australia is about to panic, unless I am close to getting the continental bonus, I just let it go. I finished my first playthrough with 0 countries that left the council because I played this way (on Classic not Ironman, remember). On Ironman you can't play this way, you need to use all of the resources at your disposal (in case things go south, ie squad wipe or whatever). So on ironman I plan on letting useless countries drop out. In my current playthrough I even went for satellite cover over Russia and USA (North American start) at the expence of South Africa (could have saved it with satellite, but 150$ a month is much more valuable than one country).



    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    3. Grenades on your rookies, all the time, every time.
    I use nade or Nano-fiber. I change between both and I'm not convinced yet. Nades help with the first kill (good) and saves on expense (I ALWAYS bring a rookie on mission, except in terror missions). So I see your point and I think you are right, but will keep experiencing with nano-fiber a bit. This being said, Nano-fiber on anyone else until I reach carapace armour. Vets are to darn important in Ironman, if one gets injured I usually just play the mission with 3 guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    5. Starting bonuses, N.A. isnt that great.
    Don't underestimate the N.A. start it has a crappy bonus but a 180$/month country is not to be underestimated. If I started anywhere else, I would still put satellite coverage over the US or Russia in the first month. Best bang for your bucks, further satellite can serve to reduce panic. With a N.A. starts you can get Russia and N.A. in the first month for a wooping 330$/month. Since you will be hard pressed to put out more than 2 satellite in the first 2 months (further satellite usually comes in the third month), this is a lot of money. Compare to an Affrican start with US sat coverage: 280/month I believe plus 30% gives you 364$. When you take into account the N.A. bonus (which saves you 30$ a month) both give the same amount of cash. However, if Russia is on the verge of panic in the first month you probably save it instead of the U.S. which gives more cash for the N.A. start. Also, late game (spoiler if you don't want one) the firestorm interceptor is around the 200$ (with plenty of engineers), the 50% off will save you a lot here, espescially if you need fighter coverage on all 5 continent like I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    6. If steam vents are within 100 credits of excavating and access lifts worth of cost forget a power generator and put up a thermo generator.
    Seems like descent advice, will have to think about this on next playthrough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    7. Sell corpses.
    Floaters are good to, the dodge matix is expensive as hell but gives a great bonus. I never though of using the aim matrix on missile equiped interceptor though, will give this a try.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    8. Gunslinging snipers rock.
    Best freaking advice, I've got the same going. I started with a snap fire sniper and liked him much better until I got to a squad sight sniper with Gunsliging! This guy is the beast, he will rip a new one to any alien you encounter until late game. At that point you should have a fully leveled up point man (Assault) or two anyways and his ability in close quarter is redundant. But yeah, sniper with this is your best shot in the whole team early game and the most reliable safe damage dealer (assault can always deal more damage at high risk, ie: flushing more aliens etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    12. A pair of heavies (or a support in a pinch) with suppression makes capturing aliens a cake walk. Rotate turns suppressing the alien. One suppresses and the other reloads until your assault with an arc thrower can close and finish the deal.
    I do not get suppresion on my heavies anymore. To little ammo for a reliable suppresor. I don't need 2 guys exchanging suppresion duty. One support can do 2 turns in a row of suppresion (5 shots in gun instead of 3) and still has one turn to fire before he starts suppresing. On top of it, the competing perk (revive with 33% health) is crap anyways. I never plan on losing someone and if I'm losing people the medpack is probably empty anyways by that point and I head for the skyranger as fast as I can).

    I do not use assault for the arc thrower (in early game for the first sectoid and maybe the intruder, yes). But in the late game the spinter support with deep pocket is your best bet. Go with medkit (because you have the 3 medkit use perk right?) and arc thrower. This guy can run in much further than the assault. I also believe skeleton armor increase your movement, give it to this guy. He is the best alien catcher in the game. Yes, this means I usually run 2 support in my team. One needs to suppress and one to catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    13. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever dash or overwatch anyone until all opening moves are finished.
    Agreed, best way to die is to overwatch before opening a door or having finished your move. Flush thin man and see them flank you, crit you and loose a squad member. Best way to fail at Ironman! No, use your turn for mobility, getting to flanking positions and if your shot fail set up some OW to counter the flanking maneuver. The only notable exception as was already pointed out are a couple of post up. But you only ever need one of those guys in your squad (and I would say it's the squad sight sniper). Anyways, all your guys fire at the same alien so it's really a waste to give the ennemy the initiative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    18. Do not be afraid of difficult and very difficult missions in the first 1-3 months. It just means extra thin men, sectoids and floaters.
    True words, not only that, but difficult mission increase panic by 1 in the whole continent while moderate and lower only increase panic in 1 country I believe. I almost always go for difficult missions in Europe/Asia for this reason, lowers the panic by a lot. I choose most of my missions to lower panic and don't give a second thought about the bonus they give. After a couple of play through if I have to many country by the end game (more then 10), I might got more for rewards, but for now I will keep the low panic idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    19. Terror missions and Chrysallids.
    This mission on Ironman is SO darn scary, it's fun and so rewarding when you manage to do "good" in one (amount of civs saved) while not losing a squad member. I've recently started using a sniper with battler scanner, try that! I think it will give you a huge advantage on these mission. I just did my first Iroman terror mission and he saved my life. You can throw the darn thing SUPER far and see what's up ahead before you get there, best scout eva (twice in the game mind you). It is possible that the Chryssalid are not activated at the start of the game, so don't panic, fire and maneuver and move forward quick! Be sure to have a 5 man vet squad with carapace armour for this mission! In my first terror mission on Ironman I had 2 heavies (one squaddie, one fourth rank), 1 sniper, 1 support and 1 assault with carapace and normal human rifles. I saved 14 civies and lost no one, but I was so darn scared all mission... espescially when 3 Chrysalid showed up with 2 zombies! Shredder rockets and normal rocket did short work of the buggers though!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    20. Always have either a satellite in the works or one on standby. Even if you don't have an uplink for the reserve one. It is faster to build a new uplink than it is to build a new satellite.
    Wow, I didn't know you could build them WITHOUT have the uplink, that will change the early game a lot! Now I can have sats up in the second month! No more waiting for the third month!!!! You are a life saver my friend!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post
    This is not open to critisism. I am posting What works for me in the early game(read before alien assault is complete).
    I skipped a whole lot of point where my opinion is about the same has you. Good luck commander!


    Question:
    -If you abort your interceptor, can you send another one out? I never thought you could do that, that would be helpful to know!!!!

    Another comment:
    -You seem to imply you keep the shotgun on the assault, I ALWAYS use the normal rifle on my assault, much better range even if you are a bit worst at close range.
    Last edited by micf2302; 10-12-2012 at 12:18 PM.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by AlienInvader View Post
    i'm not ever sure the civilian count even does anything, you seem to get the terror reduction regardless in the case of a win. and yeah, 10-12 damage with a rocket is nice vs those stupid stupid discs. I always take heat.
    The more civies that die, the more panic spreads across the continent, not just the country. Not sure if it reduces your win reduction. Would be interesting to try out. Save only 1 guy and win vs saving 10 guys and winning and see if the reduction amount is less.

  37. #37
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    The order of the first three missions are pretty much scripted and fairly easy: Intro, Abduction, and UFO recover.

    Use a squad of four rookies on each of these (and pay attention to make sure each gets a kill) to get a nice base of classed operatives so that you have options on the council mission that follows (you might get a second abduct before the council; that's RNG for ya... and an opportunity to get more units more promotions).

    Quick question because I haven't paid close enough attention to tell: is the panic reduction from council missions global, continental or national?

    BTW, if you lose anybody in the first three, you're doing it wrong. Just go ahead and start over. Injuries aren't a big deal, but the loss of an Op in the opening missions is.

  38. #38
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    Council mission losses do not increase panic. They give you bonus goodies and can reduce panic in the country they are based in. I do not know if they reduce panic on the entire continent, I think it is based on the mission.

    Added to my current CI playthrough, I suffered a second squad wipe and managed to rebound from that as well. Good planning can assure that a SW does not mean game over. Operation Demon Fear lost me a Colonel, 2 majors, Captain, Sergeant and a corporal. It was devastating, or so I thought. Proper rotation of troops and the new guy OTS upgrade can make sure it is possible to rebound from this, I also try and grab a couple leveled troops from mission bonuses when the situation is right just to make sure I have some readily available replacement officers.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosangel2113 View Post

    2. Hold your satellites in reserve. I said it, do not deploy them straight away. Wait until a day or two before the council report. This allows you the chance to try and lower panic in 'hot' countries the good ole' fashioned way and failing that you can 'pop' a satellite to drop panic before the report and keep the country happy. It also keeps the satellite safe from aliens trying to shoot it down for as long as possible.

    20. Always have either a satellite in the works or one on standby. Even if you don't have an uplink for the reserve one. It is faster to build a new uplink than it is to build a new satellite.
    I'm on my third game classic ironman. I lost the first 2. From what i have also learned . Those 2 points that are quoted are THE MOST IMPORTANT POINTS to be followed. ALWAYS have satellites as backup and try to have uplinks with free space to launch satellites in orbit. The first couple of months will determine how long you can survive.
    Building uplinks is a race against time because you really need them. I think on your 3rd or 4th uplink, you need 30 engineers. You better have them!

    This is THE only way to save countries that have full panic bar.

  40. #40
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    This is all very interesting. A question. Do things like suppression and smoke stack? If an alien is suppressed by 2 heavies does that inflict a -60 to the aim of the alien? And does 2 smoke deployments increase defence by 40?

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