Do I suck at XCOM?

unstabLized

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So, despite having no background experience with XCOM games (This is the first time I ever heard of one), and not watching any gameplay or having any word of mouth, I went out and bought XCOM Enemy Unknown. At first, it was really dull. Now I can't put it down. However, I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. I'm about 5-6 hours in the game (just researched my new alien-type interceptor,woo), and I've already lost contact with Russia. I'm also kind of broke, but the end of the month is approaching. As far as battling goes, I'm decent. My squad is a good one, and I've supplied all 6 of them with laser weaponry. I have 2/3 of the Training school upgrades, but I can't supply them with much defense, mainly because more important things come up, so I have no money to spare. I have 4 satellites into orbit, and I have no money to Excavate and build a new Satellite uplink so I can make more. Asian and South African countries are mostly into panic mode (more then 3 bars), and United Kingdom is about to join them.

Obviously my problem is when I'm actually at the base. I feel like I'm not making the right decisions, and if I go on like this, I'll probably lose contact with another country too. Any tips from you master strategists? :p
 

Erttheking

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I think we all suck at XCOM a little. My advice is just keep a level head and focusing on building as many satellites as possible to get your funding off. Just build as many as you can and get as many uplinks up as possible. It doesn't matter how long you need to wait for it to build or for the funding to come through, just get cracking.
 

Evil Top Hat

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X-Com is a game about choice, risk and consequence. You cannot please everybody, you cannot keep all of your squad alive, and if you try to stay in relations with everybody you'll spread yourself too thin and ultimately cripple your relationship with all of them.
 

unstabLized

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erttheking said:
I think we all suck at XCOM a little. My advice is just keep a level head and focusing on building as many satellites as possible to get your funding off. Just build as many as you can and get as many uplinks up as possible. It doesn't matter how long you need to wait for it to build or for the funding to come through, just get cracking.
Too bad they take fucking 20 days to build + the time for uplinks + the cost. UGHHH.

Evil Top Hat said:
X-Com is a game about choice, risk and consequence. You cannot please everybody, you cannot keep all of your squad alive, and if you try to stay in relations with everybody you'll spread yourself too thin and ultimately cripple your relationship with all of them.
So you're saying I should choose certain countries to keep? It doesn't matter if you lose some?
 

Kragg

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unstabLized said:
Evil Top Hat said:
X-Com is a game about choice, risk and consequence. You cannot please everybody, you cannot keep all of your squad alive, and if you try to stay in relations with everybody you'll spread yourself too thin and ultimately cripple your relationship with all of them.
So you're saying I should choose certain countries to keep? It doesn't matter if you lose some?
you can lose 7 and still win, not sure how you would win with no money, but its not game over till the "doomtracker" is full, look at what countries bring what and make decisions based on that

example: africa is poorer, but their bonus is 30% more income, US is richer, mexico less so ... etc etc
 

Jandau

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I started playing a few days ago myself and I've found that managing the base and panic levels is harder than most missions, at least early on. A few things I picked up:

1. Start in the US or Africa. They have the best bonuses for early game.

2. Focus on satellites early on. Build Uplinks in a square formation to get the most out of adjacency bonuses. One of the four square should probably be a Nexus (you need to research a UFO Nav Computer to get it). 3 Uplinks and a Nexus gives you a 14 Sat limit, enough to cover all but two countries. 2 Uplinks and 2 Nexuses (Nexii?) gives you full coverage. Remember to start building Satellites before you facilities are complete, so you don't need to wait too long on them.

3. Try to cover entire continents. Abductions don't occur in countries with Sat coverage. Once you cover a whole continent, you're almost completely safe from panic in that area. Also, once you cover an entire continent you get its bonus (the ones you picked from at start). For this reason, cover your starting continent last (since you have that bonus already) or not at all (to farm Abduction missions).

4. If you need to sacrifice a country, cut South America off first. Their bonus is the least helpful. It's a nice touch, but research is rarely limited by time. You can afford to lose a few countries, but once a country is lost you can't get that continent's bonus anymore (since you can't get full coverage). If you still need to cut someone off, cut Europe. In general continent bonuses are N.America = Africa > Asia > Europe > S.America.

5. DON'T rush critical research too much. It advances the main story and escalates the alien deployment. Once you get to the base invasion, I'd suggest stopping and researching all your shit first, because all hell breaks loose once you do the base. On the other hand, clearing the base drops global panic by 2, so you might have to do it...

6. If you don't have any Steam Vents on the first two levels, you're fucked. Try to get an Elerium Reactor going and get adjacency bonuses on your regular reactors. If you do have a Steam Vent on one of the top two levels, try to get to it as soon as possible.

7. Labs are useless. Don't build more than one, and even that only if you have money to spare. Workshops are only really good for adjacency bonuses and maybe if you're VERY short on Engineers, but you can usually get enough of them from rewards and monthly bonuses. This is the reason why Europe's bonus isn't very useful.

8. When picking rewards, Money and Engineers (depending on what you need more) are a better choice than Scientists 90% of the time. Low Scientist numbers just slow you down a bit, low Engineer numbers prevent you from building things and make what you can build cost more. Of course, panic levels are the primary factor and you'll often be forced to pass on a good reward to stop panic from spreading in a critical area.

9. Skip Carapace armor and go straight for Skeleton armor. It costs less Alloys, gives a Defense bonus and the Grapple can be a cool touch.

That's some of the stuff that comes to mind. If I think of any more, I'll post.
 

Tallim

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Jandau said:
Wow ok obviously different approaches make a difference as I disagree with an awful lot of what you say here.

How you could rate Europe's bonus above S. America is just weird to me but if it works fair enough. I usually start Asia then first 2 sats take S. America.

I agree though that Labs are essentially useless.
 

Aeshi

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When you research the Arc Thrower try and capture some Thin Men and/or Floaters early on, if you can do that you can reverse-engineer their weapons (the Light Plasma Rifle) and get early access to Plasma Weapons, skipping the need to research Lasers altogether.
 

DrunkenMonkey

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Don't be too hard on yourself, the game has a steep learning curve. Main points to clearing the game is getting as many satellites as possible in the first half of the game. Go easy on the priority missions as they introduce tougher enemies a bit earlier. The new interceptor is more of an acid test for the second half of the game. It expects you to already have a steady stream of cash by that point. My advice is either tone down the difficulty. Or start a new game, just remember to get one satellite a month, and you should be good for the rest of the game, provided you don't get all your experienced veterans killed.
 

AntiChri5

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I think the most important thing is managing panic.

Keep satellites in reserve until the end of the month, because thats when you get the funding. If any country goes red, you will need to reduce panic there by the end of the month or you lose them forever. Keeping a satellite or teo in reserve allows you to basically pick a country to reduce panic by 2.

Use every trick in the book to keep countries from leaving, and you can get a sattelite over every one, which is a great feeling and ensures fantastic supply lines.
 

Terrible Opinions

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OP, your game sounds pretty standard, especially for a first time.
Tallim said:
Jandau said:
How you could rate Europe's bonus above S. America is just weird to me but if it works fair enough. I usually start Asia then first 2 sats take S. America.
Honestly, they're both terrible, but Europe at least has some wealthy nations I guess? The only thing really working in South America's favour is how damn easy it is to cover in satellites.
 

unstabLized

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Kragg said:
unstabLized said:
Evil Top Hat said:
X-Com is a game about choice, risk and consequence. You cannot please everybody, you cannot keep all of your squad alive, and if you try to stay in relations with everybody you'll spread yourself too thin and ultimately cripple your relationship with all of them.
So you're saying I should choose certain countries to keep? It doesn't matter if you lose some?
you can lose 7 and still win, not sure how you would win with no money, but its not game over till the "doomtracker" is full, look at what countries bring what and make decisions based on that

example: africa is poorer, but their bonus is 30% more income, US is richer, mexico less so ... etc etc
Well that would be good, except I lost South Africa a bit after Russia. All of America is intact with somewhat low Panic rating, United Kingdom was screaming at me until I put up a satellite, and now Argentina is screaming at me.


AntiChri5 said:
I think the most important thing is managing panic.

Keep satellites in reserve until the end of the month, because thats when you get the funding. If any country goes red, you will need to reduce panic there by the end of the month or you lose them forever. Keeping a satellite or teo in reserve allows you to basically pick a country to reduce panic by 2.

Use every trick in the book to keep countries from leaving, and you can get a sattelite over every one, which is a great feeling and ensures fantastic supply lines.
Wow.. I didn't think about that, mostly because I was even too poor to put up a satellite, so as soon as I got one, I celebrated by instantly launching. Good point.
Jandau said:
I started playing a few days ago myself and I've found that managing the base and panic levels is harder than most missions, at least early on. A few things I picked up:

1. Start in the US or Africa. They have the best bonuses for early game.

2. Focus on satellites early on. Build Uplinks in a square formation to get the most out of adjacency bonuses. One of the four square should probably be a Nexus (you need to research a UFO Nav Computer to get it). 3 Uplinks and a Nexus gives you a 14 Sat limit, enough to cover all but two countries. 2 Uplinks and 2 Nexuses (Nexii?) gives you full coverage. Remember to start building Satellites before you facilities are complete, so you don't need to wait too long on them.

3. Try to cover entire continents. Abductions don't occur in countries with Sat coverage. Once you cover a whole continent, you're almost completely safe from panic in that area. Also, once you cover an entire continent you get its bonus (the ones you picked from at start). For this reason, cover your starting continent last (since you have that bonus already) or not at all (to farm Abduction missions).

4. If you need to sacrifice a country, cut South America off first. Their bonus is the least helpful. It's a nice touch, but research is rarely limited by time. You can afford to lose a few countries, but once a country is lost you can't get that continent's bonus anymore (since you can't get full coverage). If you still need to cut someone off, cut Europe. In general continent bonuses are N.America = Africa > Asia > Europe > S.America.

5. DON'T rush critical research too much. It advances the main story and escalates the alien deployment. Once you get to the base invasion, I'd suggest stopping and researching all your shit first, because all hell breaks loose once you do the base. On the other hand, clearing the base drops global panic by 2, so you might have to do it...

6. If you don't have any Steam Vents on the first two levels, you're fucked. Try to get an Elerium Reactor going and get adjacency bonuses on your regular reactors. If you do have a Steam Vent on one of the top two levels, try to get to it as soon as possible.

7. Labs are useless. Don't build more than one, and even that only if you have money to spare. Workshops are only really good for adjacency bonuses and maybe if you're VERY short on Engineers, but you can usually get enough of them from rewards and monthly bonuses. This is the reason why Europe's bonus isn't very useful.

8. When picking rewards, Money and Engineers (depending on what you need more) are a better choice than Scientists 90% of the time. Low Scientist numbers just slow you down a bit, low Engineer numbers prevent you from building things and make what you can build cost more. Of course, panic levels are the primary factor and you'll often be forced to pass on a good reward to stop panic from spreading in a critical area.

9. Skip Carapace armor and go straight for Skeleton armor. It costs less Alloys, gives a Defense bonus and the Grapple can be a cool touch.

That's some of the stuff that comes to mind. If I think of any more, I'll post.
I should've made this post sooner... Those are some good points. As far as objectives and main story goes though, I completely ignored them for a while. Just a little while ago, I got my first sectoid capture. Now I need to capture an outsider. I haven't gotten to a steam vent yet, but I can Excavate one right now. I only have 3 uplinks so far, and my 6th satellite is almost ready. I've lost Russia and South Africa, but all of America is intact with pretty low panic rating. Same with Asia. If anything, I'm trying to keep Asia and America.
 

Ilikemilkshake

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Satellites are key, rush toward getting an extra uplink and then nexus as early as possible. Also when deploying Sats, consider saving them till the end of the month so you can lower panic AFTER any abductions rather than before.

You can't save every country so you're going to have to decide which not to save. I like starting with my base in Africa for the continent bonus then leave the rest of Africa and South America to panic as their countries generally don't contribute as much.

Stopping abductions in Europe and Asia are generally quite important because if you leave them it means 4 countries increase in panic as opposed to 2-3 on other continents.

Also when considering which abduction mission to take, early game always go for engineers. More engis = less money spent on everything and quicker access to Sat Nexus.

At the start I like to half half my squad kitted with Med Kits and the other half with scopes. I'll generally try and get carapace armour before new weapons but it probably depends on your playstyle which is better.

This is a bit of a ramble so i'll leave it here for now but if there is one thing to take away from this it's MORE SATS.
 

unstabLized

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rhizhim said:
unstabLized said:
So, despite having no background experience with XCOM games (This is the first time I ever heard of one), and not watching any gameplay or having any word of mouth, I went out and bought XCOM Enemy Unknown. At first, it was really dull. Now I can't put it down. However, I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. I'm about 5-6 hours in the game (just researched my new alien-type interceptor,woo), and I've already lost contact with Russia. I'm also kind of broke, but the end of the month is approaching. As far as battling goes, I'm decent. My squad is a good one, and I've supplied all 6 of them with laser weaponry. I have 2/3 of the Training school upgrades, but I can't supply them with much defense, mainly because more important things come up, so I have no money to spare. I have 4 satellites into orbit, and I have no money to Excavate and build a new Satellite uplink so I can make more. Asian and South African countries are mostly into panic mode (more then 3 bars), and United Kingdom is about to join them.

Obviously my problem is when I'm actually at the base. I feel like I'm not making the right decisions, and if I go on like this, I'll probably lose contact with another country too. Any tips from you master strategists? :p
thats normal considering you just started with the whole series.
it takes practice to be really good at turn based strategy, so keep trying.

as a xcom veteran i found the remake enjoyable but rather easy once you figure some things out.

here are some tips:
the first thing you want to put your money in are some satellites. they lower the panic level in a country and "enable" missions in that country.
(more money at the end of the month, can intercept ufos, reward you with more engineers and scientists at the end of the month etc.)
better keep some satellites in your base so if the panic level of a country is too high you can send one there and lower it without losing the country from the xcom project. mind that you need to build satellite uplinks. build a nexus whenever you can)

put your research into armour. this is important since you are limited to one slot of health packs. and you need your soldiers to gain experience fast.

research was one of the most important things to focus on in the old xcom games, with the new one i have the feeling that it shifted into engineers. so if you have the choice(and can afford some panic in the other countries) go for the missions that reward you with engineers.

take at least 2 assault class with you and give them stun guns. when doing a terror mission you might want to get up to 3 assault soldiers since they have the ability 'run and gun'
this way you can get fast to the civilians and evacuate them while still having the option to go on overwatch or shoot at the enemy.
snipers can save the ass of your squad members so take at least one of them with you.

as soon as you can, build the new fighter jets and deploy them in the countries where you put your satellites on. also have at least 2 jets where your satellites are deployed to be able to intercept ufos.

-----------------------
secret: naming a soldier "sid meier" disables trophies and archievements but gets you a hero soldier

also works with names:

Ken Levine
Otto Zander
Joe Kelly[/quote]

I suppose if I get really in the shitter, or just want to have fun, I can use those heroes. Thanks, I didn't know about this secret :)

Don't think I'll need to though. I got past a main story mission (you infiltrate a base and get a giant crystal antenna out) and the world's panic just vanished. Only Argentina was left with 2 bars. Thanks to a crap ton of Alloys, Erelium, and damaged items, I made a killer amount of money, so I just sat back and built satellites, nexuses, and generators for almost a month. Think I'm good now, the biggest problem was that I didn't progress the story for a looooong time.
 

Jandau

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Tallim said:
Jandau said:
Wow ok obviously different approaches make a difference as I disagree with an awful lot of what you say here.

How you could rate Europe's bonus above S. America is just weird to me but if it works fair enough. I usually start Asia then first 2 sats take S. America.

I agree though that Labs are essentially useless.
Well, I have both Europe and S.America at the moment and while Europe's bonus saves me a few bucks, S.America doesn't do much. Autopsies and interrogations are fairly quick anyway and I've started to run into periods of no research as I wait for more Alloys and Weapon Fragments. But both European and S.American bonuses are kinda crap.

As for starting in Asia, why? No, I'm serious, what's your reasoning? There's no immediate need for the Officer training upgrades aside from the Squad size upgrade and you can't even get most of them until you rank up your troops. Foundry upgrades aren't a priority either. On the other hand, N.America and Africa result in a direct boost to your budget from day one.

On a related note, anyone using the SHIV? I never liked tanks in the original game, so I skipped it here as well. Just wondering if it justifies not bringing a trained squad member?
 

Terrible Opinions

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I liked HWPs early on as highly durable scouts (and emergency fuck-you rocket launchers), but I never built a SHIV. By the time I had the money for them - after my satellite situation had stabilized, after I'd burned through most of the officer upgrades and a few foundry items, after I'd produced a bunch of weapons and armour - I had a lot of awesome troops. Once I'd reached the point in the game where I could afford to research them, I didn't have any use for them.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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unstabLized said:
Don't think I'll need to though. I got past a main story mission (you infiltrate a base and get a giant crystal antenna out) and the world's panic just vanished. Only Argentina was left with 2 bars. Thanks to a crap ton of Alloys, Erelium, and damaged items, I made a killer amount of money, so I just sat back and built satellites, nexuses, and generators for almost a month. Think I'm good now, the biggest problem was that I didn't progress the story for a looooong time.
Be careful when selling Alloys and Elerium, high level equipment tends to require them as well as money.

If you are desperate for money sell off some corpses, all you really need are 10 Thin Men and 10 Muton corpses for foundry upgrades.
 

Dark Prophet

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For me XCOM is mostly trial and error, I am on my 3rd game right now totally fucked up the first two, first time I lost almost all my elite troops just before the base mission second time I screwed up the base building and had no engineers or scientists everything took fucking forever to do laser weapons 37 days wtf? panic level went out of hand lost funding and well more panic, more countries droped even less funding and bonuses. So now I'm going on easy and doing somewhat fine although China is gone and I have lost some rookies. So yeah it takes time to figure out what to do and when and how.
 

Jandau

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rhizhim said:
take at least 2 assault class with you and give them stun guns.
I'm going to have to disagree with that part - don't give Assaults Arc Throwers. Give them to a Support. Why? Sprint. Supports can cover the most distance out of all the classes which means they have the best chance of getting in range for a Stun. Also, once a Support gets up in levels he can carry two items, meaning you can have both an Arc Thrower and a Medkit on one. Seriously, as soon as I moved my Arc Thrower to one of my Supports, captures became a cakewalk.