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  1. #1
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    RPS XCom Community Strategy Guide

    Hello! And welcome to the RPS XCom Community Strategy guide.

    This guide will be made up of tips, tricks, and whatnot by our very own community, and I will take on my weary shoulders the task of editting the guide from the discussions had in this thread.

    Got something to add, disagree with something said, want the guide to cover something in specific? Got questions, want to discuss strategic issues, want to pontificate? It's all good. Post in this thread, and we'll hopefully get around to aiding you! The idea is to start sparse, and develop things over time with community effort.

    Remember, this game is full of spoilers, so, please, do remember to hide spoilers by either using a *SPOILER* tag, or by making the text white like so: Spoiler: Sectoids do not have mouths in th
    (I prefer *SPOILER*)

    (It has been noted that, as a guide, a lot of stuff in here will be spoilery anyway.)

    So!

    Here we go, starting sparsely...

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    Handy Links
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    Game difficulty notes - http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Game_Difficulty

    (Video) Ironman guide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5RHqASSvEU

    (Video) Developer tips - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yltaXdVE5nI



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    General Tips
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    Strategic Tips

    - Roll the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in on the base. Be a voyeur!

    - Keep a close eye on your engineers. A lack of scientists slows things down, not having enough engineers to unlock a technology prevents you from using it, at all. Certain buildings require progressively more engineers -- like extra satellite uplinks. If starting in Europe, as such, be sure to get at least one sattelite over a country that will give you one or more Engineers each month, just in case.

    - Alloys and Elerium are a bottleneck resource later on -- they're required for many pieces of neat gear. Try and avoid selling them unless you absolutely have to.

    - There is some debate as to what to rush for first, armour, or beam weapons. Ultimately this is a matter of taste. Pros/cons seem to be:
    --- Armour - Keeps your soldiers alive longer. Very important to keep your veterans around and veteran. Carapace + the Nano vests results in a much more survivable soldier. Keep in mind you MUST have a sergeant to unlock the first tier of squad size upgrade, and you can't get one if your squad keeps dying.
    --- Lasers - Gives even rookies the chance to maul enemies in the early game, allowing them to reach squaddie instead of dying miserably. Lasers are essential by the time Mutons arrive.

    - Plot related missions (the objectives) don't run out of time. You can take as long as you like to go after them, but keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more powerful the enemies will be when you get there.

    - If you haven't tried using the S.H.I.V., do so immediately. They are a little expensive, but they are handy little bastards, especially when you have more money on hand.

    - You get the continental bonus for your base from the start. You can unlock all others with sattelites over each nation.

    - Try and build a new satellite uplink each month. This will require you to have workshops to help with engineers, and grab new engineers often as you can, but being able to deploy satellites over problematic territories right before the end of the month can prevent them from leaving the X-Com Project.

    - Countries are known to occasionally (maybe always?) instantly withdraw from the X-Com project after a failed terror mission.

    - Remember, the way you lose the game is by filling up the 'doom clock' on the Situation Room screen. This requires eight council nations to leave the X-Com project.


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    Tactical Tips

    - Remember, never use dash to get into a firing position unless you NEED to. Regular movement doesn't reduce firing accuracy (except for snap-shot perked snipers). Also, never reload while in a firing position. As a concrete example, if you've got a soldier at the corner of a building, don't dash him right up to the corner - bring him up a few squares short, so he can't be shot at until he's actually moved up and gone into overwatch/taken his shot. Likewise, if you can pull a soldier back out of line of sight when reloading, moving back into position shouldn't be a problem.

    - Hotkey to reload is 'R', hotkey to go into overwatch is 'Y'. Both are very useful.

    - Use bounding overwatch (Two guys move, two guys provide overwatch cover.)

    - All soldier classes are needed but a dedicated support medic and a Corporal-ranked sniper (usually with Squad-Sight, fantastic with overwatch) are more or less necessary.

    - Don't stop stunning aliens just because you don't need them for research. Each stunned alien will drop its weapon intact, and you can use it later, or possibly sell it to a council-member country in one of their council requests. (Apparently for big money, too.)

    - If caught out by enemies while you're in narrow corridors without cover, fall back rather than charge ahead.

    - If you think a squad of aliens is ahead, advance slowly. If you've just triggered a squad of aliens, pull back a bit and try to tempt them forward if you can do so safely -- pushing forward risks alerting another squad of aliens, and may result in your being horribly outnumbered.

    - Remember to reload, or at the very least, stagger your reloads. Nothing hurts like having your entire squad out of ammunition simultaneously. (Handy hotkey - R.)

    - Keep an eye open on flaming cars. They explode in one turn after being ignited, doing damage to everything within one square. As such, advancing under overwatch fire towards a car is very dangerous -- you might arrive there, only for it to be set on fire!

    - In your early terror missions, if you're having trouble, try to focus on survival instead of saving civillians. Move forward slowly, and retreat often. Yes, the terrified people of the world will be slaughtered. Hopefully, your troops won't.


    *SPOILER* - On the escort missions, when a Thin Man appears, dropping from the sky, they will trigger overwatch soldiers. As such, having soldiers overwatching the route back to the Skyranger is very helpful indeed.
    Last edited by JimTheDog; 14-10-2012 at 08:50 AM.

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    (Reserved in case guide gets long.)

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    Okay, so here's my question - What's the difference between difficulty levels?

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Easy - Retarded.
    Normal - Leisurely.
    Classic - The way it was meant to be played.
    Impossible - Rape time.

    Anything above normal and you start off without the officer training school, aliens have more health (most noticeably early on the thin men can't be killed in one normal hit with the standard rifle), better aim, and the AI acts differently. Apparently on easy & normal, there are no patrols. Plus if you encounter more than five aliens, the AI will find it impolite to use them all and hold some out of the fight.

    On classic or impossible, it just mercilessly steamrolls you. Rules in war are, after all, for sissies.

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    Steam ID ; GFWL: alset85

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    It's a Strategy guide, are spoiler tags really necessary?
    Anyway, mechanical spoilers (if any) below.



    • Don't sell alloys or Elirium unless you absolutely have to.


    • As in the first XCom, you want that armor, fast


    • spread out but keep bounding overwatch (two guys move, two guys cover)
    • All classes are needed but a dedicated support medic and a killer sniper more or less necessary


    • Stun an alien, if possible, to keep it's weapon. Plasma stuff is expensive to produce (if you're lucky a country will order some, offering cash in the four digit area)


    • If you're low on good soldiers but got some spare money consider spending it on a SHIV, they all have their uses.


    • If in doubt Engineers > Scientists


    • In narrow corridors, falling back is a good option.


    • The few obvious "story missions" don't run out. If you're playing on Ironman take your time and get everyone prepped up, they take a lot of time and are difficult. Same for the big ships.


    • However, the "story mission"'s enemies become harder as time progresses. If you're really slow you'll have the joy of meeting endgame enemies in the very first mission.
    Last edited by Wolfenswan; 12-10-2012 at 02:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Apparently on easy & normal, there are no patrols.
    I've only done normal so far so could you tell me what you mean by patrols?

    Planning to finish it on normal before trying classic.

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    I think the patrols are squads of aliens that will actively walk around/show up sometimes while you're busy.

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    What are the tactics that people employ to capture Aliens? I know I have to use an Arc thrower AND have to be close to them but I always lose one soldier as a distraction so I can get another soldier close enough to use it.

    Playing on Normal btw because I'm shite at it.

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    Capturing aliens is actually a good topic for discussion.

    One method I use, early on, is dashing the arc thrower carrier in close, and using a support soldier to throw a smoke grenade to cover him. This isn't particularly reliable or anything, but it works once in awhile. Also, I hand my arc throwers to my rookies/assaults, usually, since they tend to be fairly close to the front lines. Occasionally a heavy or support, but as mentioned, I prefer to keep supports around for smoke grenades. Pistol sidearm shots to weaken the alien to 3 or less health, and try for lone aliens / aliens that can be gotten at while blasting at the rest of its squad.

    Expect to die.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaste View Post
    What are the tactics that people employ to capture Aliens? I know I have to use an Arc thrower AND have to be close to them but I always lose one soldier as a distraction so I can get another soldier close enough to use it.

    Playing on Normal btw because I'm shite at it.
    Here are a few things I've found that help:

    • The Heavy ability (support can take it too IIRC) 'Supression' can be useful here, the target of supression gets an attack against it if they try to move, obviously in some scenarios this will kill the enemy, but most of the time the AI will not move them, to avoid this happening. It also significantly detracts from that unit's aim (-20 I think), so even if they're on overwatch they'll have a far lower chance of hitting a unit moving up to use the Arc Pistol.
    • Although Support have the best movement, Assault are useful at capturing, especially assault with lightning reflexes unlocked, which allows them to ignore the first reflex shot against them in a round, it can be used to run right up next to your target, with no chance of being shot.
    • The targets chance to dodge is usually around 70% when they have 3 health left (it goes up when your soldiers start to become awesome). At 1 health that will go up to around 90%. Using pistols to soften up a target before capturing make this a safer enterprise.
    • Unless by a fluke of positoning everything is sat up nicely for you, It's not worth trying to capture enemies when they're in a group. Isolate an enemy and take down any potential flanking forces before moving in to try and Arc them.
    Last edited by Jockie; 12-10-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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    Thanks for the help. I'll try these strategies later on.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimTheDog View Post
    - If you haven't tried using the S.H.I.V., do so immediately. They are a little expensive, but they are handy little bastards, especially when you have more money on hand.
    This is not an additional unit, but fills one of the six squad slots, correct?

    edit- thread would be even better if you list ini tweaks

    edit 2- I have a question: Does difficulty effect anything on the strategic layer, or just tactical?
    Last edited by Sparkasaurusmex; 12-10-2012 at 02:52 PM.

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    Yes, a SHIV fills one of your regular squad slots.

    On the strategic layer, it seems to increase panic generally.

    I know nothing about .ini tweaks. Inform us, please. :3

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    Haven't tried the S.H.I.V. yet, but why would you take it over a soldier? Seems like you'd be wasting valuable experience points (or does it rank up?).

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    SHIVs are quite tough, and the Alien Alloy version counts as half-cover wherever it is -- handy for advancing soldiers along those alien corridors.

    Also, it can be upgraded to provide suppression fire, and since it's just a robot, which doesn't level up, ever, you can safely use them to flank enemies in risky situations. But no, you're not going to be replacing all your soldiers with one any time soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkasaurusmex View Post
    This is not an additional unit, but fills one of the six squad slots, correct?

    edit- thread would be even better if you list ini tweaks

    edit 2- I have a question: Does difficulty effect anything on the strategic layer, or just tactical?
    Classic has a much much MUCH harder strategic layer. Resources are very scarce, things are expensive, and nations will panic at the drop of a hat. Big differences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimTheDog View Post
    SHIVs are quite tough, and the Alien Alloy version counts as half-cover wherever it is -- handy for advancing soldiers along those alien corridors.

    Also, it can be upgraded to provide suppression fire, and since it's just a robot, which doesn't level up, ever, you can safely use them to flank enemies in risky situations. But no, you're not going to be replacing all your soldiers with one any time soon.
    Y'know, for a laugh sometime I'm going to try precisely that. I'd be willing to bet it'll be quite effective.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    You're all forgetting the best thing about SHIVs: They are robotic and therefore immune to PSI.

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    That's true. No psychiatric illnesses either, so they don't panic and shoot your own fellows in the face.

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