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Thread: Flanking

  1. #1
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    Flanking

    I'm new to the game and have a 2 part question on flanking the enemies. By flanking, I'm assuming that means I need to get around their cover while still remaining in cover myself. Does that mean its better to split my team up to try to gain an advantage on their position, or is it better to keep the team closer together and move them as a whole group. Also does the flanking strategy change when you get to higher difficulty settings. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    It's a little complicated, every situation is different. In gaming terms, flanking is when you compromise your enemy's cover. You don't have to be in cover yourself, just be opposite their cover. To know you have an enemy flanked, their cover shield turns yellow, as will yours if you're flanked.

    For a beginner, I'd recommend you try out flanking tactics yourself, primarily making use of the assault's run and gun perk, or the support's sprinter perk. These are the easiest shots you'll get at flanking the computer near the start of a game on normal.

    You will have to change your flanking tactics, and all your tactics in general to make the leap successfully to classic, and even more drastically when switching to impossible if you choose to go that far. Every difficulty level has a steep learning curve and little tricks that help.

    A final note on flanking, be very careful. A lot of areas in the game are "bugged" and where flanks seem very obvious, sometimes they're not recorded as such even if you're directly beside an alien along the same wall.

    Play the game for a while on Ironman no matter how depressing it feels to lose important squad members, and you'll start to learn and adapt very quickly.

  3. #3
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    Op,

    here's a quick guide for yeh. It should give you the basis's of flanking and how to do it. It does not change regardless of level although.
    Last edited by shorn; 05-09-2013 at 11:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxis View Post
    I'm new to the game and have a 2 part question on flanking the enemies. By flanking, I'm assuming that means I need to get around their cover while still remaining in cover myself. Does that mean its better to split my team up to try to gain an advantage on their position, or is it better to keep the team closer together and move them as a whole group. Also does the flanking strategy change when you get to higher difficulty settings. Thanks in advance.
    You already got some pretty good advice. Only thing else to add is that flanking is very dangerous when you're starting out because you often move forward, revealing new aliens on the map, which can kill your flanker after you have already moved him and can't change your mind anymore. (exceptions: late in the game archangel squadsight snipers and ghost armour allow you to essentially take mulligans - ie correct mistakes by simply overwhelming alien forces)

    One strategy that can work is to hide one or two assaults behind a truck/wall/large heavy cover terrain-type-thing, and 'lure' the enemies to charge at you. The point is the aliens should never see them, nor should it be in the obvious heavy cover path the aliens are going to take. You advance with only one unit, trigger the aliens, and lure them back to your group into an overwatch trap. You then finish the trap with a pincer movement from your hidden assault(s), without any risk of revealing new aliens since you're attacking over territory you're already familiar with.

  5. #5
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    If there's a choice between flanking and blowing up the alien's cover with grenades before using another soldier to shoot it, it's often a better idea to do the latter. There may be a risk of uncovering more alien groups when you move forward to flank, so do it only when you are quite confident the area is clear.

    It may sometimes seem like a waste of grenades if it's only one enemy, but if it's one elite muton about to flank and kill your best colonel, you wouldn't take any chances. If you do need to flank, use your support with sprinter trait first as he has a better chance of retreating back to cover should another enemy group be activated. Don't move your heavy and sniper first to flank as they would not be able to shoot their rocket/rifle on the same turn if anything goes wrong.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fareast2002 View Post
    If there's a choice between flanking and blowing up the alien's cover with grenades before using another soldier to shoot it, it's often a better idea to do the latter. There may be a risk of uncovering more alien groups when you move forward to flank, so do it only when you are quite confident the area is clear.
    Note that there is also a risk to uncover new aliens when you blow up high cover because that also opens lines of sight. The risk is usually lower than with flanking, though, because sight ranges are limited, so if you don't move forward, you don't see very far past the alien.

  7. #7
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    Thank you guys for the pointers. I didn't know about the yellow shield. Thanks for the link to the guide, shorn. I did try classic/ ironman last night. Got through the first two missions without too much trouble and then a UFO mission ended with my whole team wiped out. I thought I was in real good cover, for the most part, but somehow they managed to find the better angles. I tried to draw them out, but they weren't having it. Back to the drawing board. Gonna go check out the guide.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traul View Post
    Note that there is also a risk to uncover new aliens when you blow up high cover because that also opens lines of sight. The risk is usually lower than with flanking, though, because sight ranges are limited, so if you don't move forward, you don't see very far past the alien.
    I consider opening LOS from blowing up high cover a risk worth taking, no more dangerous than moving 1 square out by too much and triggering another enemy group. It's also rather random where the aliens spawn apart from a few "regular" spawn sites like the construction site wall at the opposite end of your ship at the start of mission. As this uncertainty element is always in the game no matter what you do, I don't worry about it too much.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxis View Post
    I did try classic/ ironman last night. Got through the first two missions without too much trouble and then a UFO mission ended with my whole team wiped out.
    I'd recommend to go for a non-ironman playthrough first. You'll need to figure out a couple of things in the game if you haven't played it before (like what's important and what is not, tactics, how the research tree looks like, etc.) and C/I is quite punishing. A small mistake in the tactical part or on the strategic level can lead into situations, from which you won't be able to recover. Lots of hours of playtime would go down the drain and you'd have to start again.

    I think even completing the game on Normal difficulty instead of Classic first is not a bad idea. Classic is quite a step-up in difficulty compared to Normal, even though the differences might seem subtle ("How could +10% aim and +1HP for Thin Men make them much harder enemy?" - well, see for yourself :-)

    Flanking will also get much easier with more experience. The maps keep repeating and you'll generally have an idea where you can expect enemies, thus which flanking moves are "safe" and with which ones you risk activating more enemies. BTW, roofs are pretty useful for flanking. If you send someone on a roof (don't move them to the edge), you can get some nice flanks. It usually works great in the beginning when you're facing just sectoids, you have to be more careful when floaters appear :-)

  10. #10
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    Yes, after last night I can see its rather pointless right now to play ironman. That's just gonna lead to major frustration. I'll take the time to get more familiar with everything before I try and kick some serious alien ... on the harder levels. Love the game so far!

  11. #11
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    You're going to love the Ironman mode later. It brings much more adrenalin, knowing that any move you perform is final and you can't take it back. The entire game can go from perfect to completely screwed in one rushed, unwise move or even a mis-click. Your play style may change quite dramatically too, you'll be choosing different perks, etc. That's the way XCOM should be played :-) But it does require prior experience indeed.

  12. #12
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    From my ironman experience, I think there are times when losses are inevitable (despite doing everything "right") due to a string of bad rolls like over 75% shots missing and you can't get closer to the enemy for a higher % chance shot as it might trigger more alien groups or put your men at much higher risk of KIA. But that's xcom baby!

  13. #13
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    Honestly, I jumped from my first game (a save scumming go at normal just for fun) straight into classic ironman. Took me 7 attempts until I got the hang of things.

    I don't know about anybody else, but I know I learned an awful lot more from making mistakes in an unforgiving environment (ironman) than I would have from having the ability to cancel out my mistakes from reloading. Frustrating and painful? Yes, but oh so rewarding.

    Quote Originally Posted by fareast2002 View Post
    From my ironman experience, I think there are times when losses are inevitable (despite doing everything "right") due to a string of bad rolls like over 75% shots missing and you can't get closer to the enemy for a higher % chance shot as it might trigger more alien groups or put your men at much higher risk of KIA. But that's xcom baby!
    I don't agree with this. Every game on classic is winnable, no matter what, until you reach a point of no return in the strategy part of the game, which takes a long while or a lot of cocking up. In impossible, the first month is entirely at the computer's discretion, though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticBloodFireDeath View Post
    I don't agree with this. Every game on classic is winnable, no matter what, until you reach a point of no return in the strategy part of the game, which takes a long while or a lot of cocking up. In impossible, the first month is entirely at the computer's discretion, though.
    I should have been clearer. I meant soldier losses are inevitable sometimes, which is you can still win missions, but you have to be really lucky to have zero losses for the entire campaign. Heck even Beaglerush loses men. Losing men is not always due to cocking up even on classic.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fareast2002 View Post
    Heck even Beaglerush loses men.
    Of course he does, he's average.

    As for losing men on classic, I've gone two C/Is without a loss. My best to date on I/I is one loss, but generally I lose at least about 5 on I/I. It's definitely down to luck on impossible, though.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticBloodFireDeath View Post
    Of course he does, he's average.

    As for losing men on classic, I've gone two C/Is without a loss. My best to date on I/I is one loss, but generally I lose at least about 5 on I/I. It's definitely down to luck on impossible, though.
    Beaglerush is good though I can't say for certain he's the best player. I guess I haven't played as much as you from the looks of it. Given more time, I could also probably do C/I without a single loss despite the bugs.
    Last edited by fareast2002; 05-11-2013 at 10:49 AM.

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