Battlescape Strategy (Hardmode)

From UFOpaedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Back To Main Page

As Hardmode assumes the player is familiar with vanilla X-COM, this strategy section will detail additional battlescape issues, tips and tricks that Hardmode presents. Generic strategy information pertinent to vanilla X-COM can be found here:

Squad Roles

Every X-COM commander will have their own personal preference for how they equip and deploy their soldiers.

Due to the presence of new tools and weapons, this section will detail some possible new squad roles that may be performed.


Wielding the new Shotgun class of weapons. Breacher's are intended to get in close to the enemy in close quarter combat end deliver outstanding firepower. A good breacher wants high time units but otherwise is not dependant on any particular stat to be effective, and can make an effective "generic" role for soldiers with mediocre or bad stats. Breachers can make good scouts, however this class does suffer from very poor usefulness in mid range combat and is virtually defenceless in long range combat.

These form of soldiers will excel in close combat oriented enviroments such as UFO's or Alien Bases

Hybrid Breacher

An alternative to a dedicated breacher, is to have soldiers place shotguns in their backpack and to then carry a traditional Rifle or Pistol as their mainstay weapon. This does confer a significant weight penelty to the soldier, meaning a soldier will have to sacrifice a large part of their carrying capacity to pull this off. But the success to this is a highly versatile soldier than can engage in equally close and mid-range combat at any moment.

The advent of power suits and their successors will make this form of soldier setup more viable for low weight carrying soldiers due to the weight reduction inherent with the power suits.


Different from the traditional view of a X-COM grenadier, this is a soldier dedicated to using the Grenade Launcher. This soldier is served best with decent aim and high strength to carry the grenades. So long as this soldier can find a safe, open, area to setup in, they can stay put and deploy pin-point accurate indirect explosive fire across the entire map. Grenadiers tend to do very well in training up their aim stat due to how frequently they fire.

As a grenadier will be sitting well behind the frontline, they typically do not require armour or any other items.

Grenadiers are kept relevant towards the mid-game with the proliferation of the Small Launcher, which acts as the alien interpretation of the grenade launcher, this also allows the grenadier to use 'stun' bombs to capture aliens at very long ranges. The strength of this weapon does fall off in the late game, but it nonetheless retains a niche thanks to its indirect fire and stun capability.


Armed with a high power Sniper Rifle. These soldiers sacrifice close range effectiveness for long range precision elimination. Their high aim/power shots makes them very effective for picking off enemies at great distances, and heavily support scout-sniper tactics. High aim is very much needed to makes a Sniper class work well.

A pistol sidearm can prove lifesaving if an enemy closes the gap, as the sniper suffers from very poor close range accuracy. Furthermore in the early game a Sniper can also make an effective medkit user due to their rearline position in a squad.

Squad Composition

X-COM starts the game with eight soldiers and two Heavy Weapons Platforms. The starting Skyranger has a troop carrying capacity of 14 soldiers, and up to three HWPs/Drones. More soldiers and equipment will be needed.

One of the core questions that will define your squad composition will be if you intend to use HWP's and Drones, or not. A HWP consumes 4 soldier slots, a drone consumes only 1.

Some early game combinations include:

  • 14 Soldiers
  • 10 - 11 Soldiers - 2 - 3 Drones
  • 10 Soldiers - 1 HWP

Disembarkation Strategy

The disembarkation part of any ground operations represents likely the most dangerous part of any mission, this difficulty can be enchanced based on what equipment your forces have, what enemies you are fighting, and what environment you are landing in.

Some tools you can access that can weigh the odds in X-COM's favour during landings include:

  • Motion Scanners: Can allow X-Com operatives inside the aircraft to check for any hostile movement within the vicinity of the craft.
  • Smoke Grenades: Concealment of the landing zone making it harder for the enemy to spot your forces.
  • Drones: Lacking the firepower of heavy weapon's platforms, however these little drones can rapidly scout ahead and survive thanks to their high time units and strong armour.

Detailed here is a general overview of an uncontested landing and an example of how to benefit from these three tools.

Some complications that may increase the difficulty of a successful exodus would be landing in a urban or industrial environment, all of which afford the enemy many ambush opportunities that you will have difficulty in scouting. Enemies are also capable of throwing explosives from the very first turn in hardmode, so if a nearby enemy spots your troops then there is a risk of a grenade ruining your day.

Terror sites also represent a more dangerous enviroment, as aliens are more likely to appear closer to the transport, including terror units.

These strategies will invariably be custom tailored based on your own experience, equipment and environment.

Drone Warfare

Explain effective usages of drones and their scouting and survivability. Benefits of module upgrades (Taser = captures, Medkit = good healing, Scanner = greater scouting). Possible drawbacks and HWP conflicts. TBA