Blitzing (Apocalypse)

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Blitzing is a tactic to use when you want to speed up gameplay during battles, using Real-Time Combat. It will cut down in micromanagement of your teams making the game faster but also more deadly for both X-COM Agents and its human and Alien opponents.

Squad Organization

Usually it is better to bring teams of 12 Agents, in the cases of the bigger UFOs this number can be increased. The main reason for this regards battlefield size and speed: during building combat the map will be doubled if you bring more than 12 Agents and it will speed up play the less time you are spending on issuing orders.

The 2nd aspect is squad organization. The issue to consider here is that the smaller the individual squads the easily it will be to command them. Squads up to 3 soldiers can be controlled easier than bigger squads. In the case of larger squads you will have to micromanage each soldier since they will stick together, risking casualties from enemy grenades and/or friendly fire.

By contrast, a squad made of 2-3 Agents with the same weapons and skills can be given most basic orders that would be given to individual units, such as moving and choosing types of fire and agents' attitude. The micromanagement will be cut down to a certain number of actions such as usage of grenades or other equipment, throwing things, etc.

This is the first element to consider when equipping agents: making sure that the agent has a specific role (scout, rifleman, heavy weapons, etc.). Then join them together in pairs or trios, each capable of acting with a specific role. The second element is their speed: the closer the speed of the individual squads is, the better since it will prevent lone agents outrunning other squad units by a significant margin. This is specially important regarding roles that require plenty of movement.

Agents

Equipment

This really depends on your personal choice but here are a few examples:

  • Scout - Scout units are usually lightly armed, usually with pistols and grenades. They might also be equipped with Marsec Armor for increased speed and maneuverability. The mission of these units is to move fast and detect any aliens but keeping their distance. To increase their lethality these units can later be equipped also with a Minilauncher.
  • Sniper - Carrying the Megapol Laser Sniper Gun or even the M4000 Machine Gun these units are responsible for providing long range precise reaction fire. The low rate of fire of the Sniper Rifle limits its use at close range thus requiring additional protection for other units.
  • Heavy Weapons - These units have plenty of weapon options, ranging from the Megapol Auto Cannon, Minilauncher and Marsec Heavy Launcher. Both require strength and in the case of the Autocannon some firing skill. Heavy units equipped with launchers may also require close protection.
  • Assault - These agents have four requirements: speed, reactions and strength. And some serious firepower to deal with any hostile units quickly. For that last reason one possibility to equip these units will be with 2 main weapons on each hand, ranging from the Megapol Plasma Gun to Minilaunchers.
  • Grenadier - Fast with firing ability (to throw grenades), these units can be useful for attacking areas with plenty of enemies but they will be vulnerable at close range. Grenadiers can be useful units but they will require more micromanagement to use.
  • Droid - Androids can be used in any of the roles mentioned above. Their invulnerability to Brainsuckers and Psi attacks makes them very useful on Scout and Assault roles.
  • Reserve - Essentially rookies/agents whose stats haven't reached yet any of the existing squads physical requirements. They can be equipped with whatever is necessary for the mission and can be used to reinforce any area of the battlefield.
  • Psi - Not really of much use on this tactic because of the heavy micromanagement required (and the initial physical handicaps of Hybrids, 1 or 2 units may prove useful later.

Names

Another option to reduce micromanaging on the battlefield is to use a naming system that both describes their role and a number up to three. For instance, Blue One for the first Sniper, etc.

This system will allow you to easily identify the squad involved when you receive messages regarding Agents on the Battlescape Screen. Instead of having to seek visually for the agent involved you can quickly move to its location by clicking on the number of its respective squad.

If you have more than 3/4 soldiers on a base for each role, you can split them into groups up to 3 and create a new name assigned with that role, for instant first assault group is Red, second is Orange. This will help in managing newly hired agents and casualties and in creating strike teams.

It will also help to send strike missions composed of soldiers from multiple bases (might be necessary if there are plenty of injured soldiers) by making it easier to know which roles are required to fill out the crew.

Squad Assignment

This table shows an example using the indications followed above regarding role and naming.

Squad Number Agents
1Blue 1Blue 2Blue 3
2Red 1Red 2Red 3
3Grey 1Grey 2Grey 3
4Black 1Black 2Black 3
5
6

Tactically this assignment forms 4 squads, each specialized on its own role (Sniper, Assault, Scout, Heavy Weapons). This disposition can be used in open terrain where each squad can support one another but it will less efficient in enclosed combat areas.

Squad Number Agents
1Blue 1Black 1Empty
2Blue 2Black 2Empty
3Blue 3Black 3Empty
4Red 1Grey 1Empty
5Red 2Grey 2Empty
6Red 3Grey 3Empty

Squads 1-3 are long range heavy hitters while squads 4-6 are built for speed and some firepower.

Squad Number Agents
1Blue 1Red 1Grey 1
2Blue 2Red 2Grey 2
3Blue 3Red 3Grey 3
4Black 1Black 2Black 3
5Green 1Green 2Green 3
6

Three squads assigned to enclosed combat with a 4th one of heavy weapons and a 5th of reserves supporting it.

Reassigning Squads

The teams described above are only initial deployment examples: depending on the terrain found at the battle site and the progression of the battle it may be necessary to change the squad configuration for easier control.

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