Base Defense (Apocalypse)
This is an issue that many players either don't anticipate or simply don't realize is going to happen. Sooner or later an alien craft will hover over your base and beam down an attack force. Some of these forces can be fairly large, others pitifully weak. Either way you should be prepared for the worst.
The damage, losses and irritation of base defense can be easily minimized not so much by what you do on the tactical map, but how you build your base in the first place. By following these simple steps you can make base defense missions a walk in the park.
- When buying a new base, take into account the location of the Access Lift. Lifts located in corners or in narrow corridors are easily defended as they create a bottleneck, slowing down the advance of intruding hordes and forcing them through a predictable path.
- Bear in mind that Vehicle Repair Bays are a form of entrance too, and the aliens (or their pawns) will have no hesitation in swarming in through any foolisly unguarded, or poorly placed, bays.
- Isolate lifts and hangars by surrounding them with a string of Security Stations. Advanced Security Stations may be substituted if you have the technology. Keep in mind that only three security stations will operate at a given time.
- If need be place further security stations down important corridors, such as between access points and living quaters. Any alien unlucky enough to come within range of these facilities will be shot to pieces and, better still, you wont lose an agent.
- Even if you have security stations, you must have at least one person at a base (whether Agent or noncombatant), or else it will automatically fall when it is invaded.
Hostile corporations (i.e., those under alien control or simply angry at you) can also assault your base. These occur with no warning whatsoever, and cannot be prevented by Cityscape actions (aside from appeasing the corporation, if possible). They are also scheduled hours to days in advance, so a save more recent than that will already have the attack "baked in" and unavoidable.
With security stations in place, invaders will not generally threaten to actually take the base. Nonetheless, base defense missions are still quite annoying and somewhat dangerous, due to one of Apocalypse's innovations: your various noncombatant personnel (Biochemists, Quantum Physicists and Engineers) appear during these missions. These personnel are very prone to getting killed due to their lack of armour and the random spawning location of X-COM forces (your units can spawn in any constructed module except a Vehicle Bay, including the Access Lift which is also a spawn location for enemies); an immediate retreat of such workers from the line of fire is obviously recommended, but frequently not enough to save them.
Corporation assault forces are prone to panicking late into an attack if large portions of their group have been killed. Spare none of them.
Tactical Advantage When Outnumbered
If low on numbers or simply outnumbered play defensively, the aliens tend to seek you out so set up a defensive position, preferably just behind a bottleneck or a door and spread your men out if possible. The minute that door opens open fire! Don't be afraid to throw a boomeroid or stun grenade through for good measure.