- 1 Stun Grapple Raids
- 2 Minimizing Score During Stun Raids
- 3 Slum Building Item Spawn Spots
- 4 FAQ for Slum Designs
- 5 FAQ in General
Stun Grapple Raids
A stun grapple raid is where your agents are armed ONLY with Megapol Stun Grapples for the intent of looting (raiding) an organisation of available personal armaments WITHOUT KILLING ANYONE.
- Remove all armour (yes, that's correct) and equipment from (approximately) 12 of your agents and then equip them with only a stun grapple each (medikit is optional). Equip a Valkyrie Interceptor craft with a passenger module (so the craft can hold 12 agents) and one cargo module (you don't need two). Assign your 12 agents to the craft as you would normally do.
IMPORTANT: Browse your Corporation Tabs and find out which corporations are hostile to Xcom. DO NOT raid these corporation(s) unless you want a fire fight. Aliens will be present if that company is under Alien control. Don't forget the bio-transport module if you want to recover aliens.
- Find a corporation that is neutral or better (gang based slums are the best) and then go and order your Valkyrie craft (with 12 troops on board) to land at this building you have chosen. Don't attack the building with you craft, just land there! Once it lands, click on the building and you'll find four buttons on the top right of the screen with your Valkyrie craft and personel loadout displayed as well. Click on your craft to automatically select 12 agents, then click on the RAID button (the second button down).
- Why 12 agents? Usually, the tactical battles are generated from tilesets particular to the type of building. The battlescape may be larger if you use more than 12 agents, although its entirely your choice how many to use. Since the Slum maps don't use tilesets but one whole map by itself, sometimes you'll find that the map has generated two slums, instead of the usual singular one. The Railway Station slum building is typical of this.
Starting the Tactical Raid
Typically against slum buildings, but you can raid ANYONE if you want (including the government).
- REAL TIME works best.
- IMPORTANT: You are not to bunch up your agents, you must spread them around the map to stand next to the exit points.
- Save your game.
- Slum buildings will have only three main exit points. You MUST cover these points if you want you raid to be worthwhile. However, there will be five exit points if it's a double size map.
- Set all your agents' attitude to agressive. Set them all to RUN mode. You do not want your agents to be cautious.
- Switch to overhead view and then run two agents to the west corner, run two agents to the east corner and run three agents down to the south corner. Be careful that they don't exit the tactical map. Stand a soldier next to the exit points and make them face into the middle of the tactical map. (obviously if double size map appears, then place two agents at each middle exit point).
- Place you agents against the very edge of the map. It will help to space them apart just enough so that they cannot shoot each other, yet the range of the stun grapples slightly overlaps. (stun range = 6, so place the guys approx 9 cells apart)
Fighting with Stun Grapples
- When an 'enemy' approaches the exit point they will be knocked unconscious. Don't move your agent from the position, but use a different agent to go and pick up all the equipment that this enemy soldier just dropped.
- IMPORTANT: DO NOT place a weapon which can be fired into the hands of the your agent. DO NOT fire any weapons except the stun grapple. Place any projectile weapons into the backpack. You can disable an agent's Fire At Will command by clicking the cross if you have no choice but to carry a weapon (typically Heavy Launcher) in their hands, but this leaves them unable to fire the Stun Grapple as well. Spread your loot around if you want to spread the weight.
- As you can now understand, you're stunning the enemy to steal their stuff. Use your agents which are not in position guarding the exits to run around the map and stun enemy agents with wild abandon. If you simultaneously stun all enemy units (or the only conscious ones flee), the mission will end automatically (note: this will accumulate score very fast, see section 2 of this article for more on score). if you cannot do so, pick up the stuff they dropped.
- If your agent is full of loot, just swap the guarding agents with the fully laden agent and continue your stunning. (walk the heavy troop back to the exit - but don't exit - THEN swap agents. Don't leave a gap for enemy agents to escape). It's preferred you don't remove the overburdened agent from the map since an enemy does not know if they have a valid Fire At Will (aimed, snap etc.) The enemy combatants will just stand around and watch you. Leaving a gap gives them reason to approach the exit.
Loaded Down With Loot - What Now?
- If the tactical battle does not end because all hostiles have been neutralised, you'll need to exit the battle manually. Just make all your troops walk over the blue exit tiles to end the tactical mission. It might take a while for a heavy laden agent to walk back to the exit. Just be patient.
- Pressing the escape key gives you an option to exit as well. This isn't the prefered method because if your agents aren't near the exits, the game will count as some troops as MIA.
- If you raid a slum often, you'll eventually start to understand the layouts on offer (SEE BELOW). There are items laying on the ground which you can pick up. Common items are Psiclones (more common than Cult of Sirius raiding), Marsec armour (chest pieces as well), Elerium, and unloaded weapons.
- Slum layouts are identical for positions of items to pick up, but the items will be different each time. Get to know them when dealing with slums. Pick them up before the enemy does.
- If you decide to cut away a staircase, just be sure not to kill anyone from the fall.
- In preparation for stun raiding in the late part of the game: Hoard a reasonable supply of stun grenades and start developing a small team of psionic troopers. Guards armed with personal disruptor shields are immune to stun grapples, but not to stun gas or psionic stun and mind control attacks. Once the shields have been physically removed, you can return to the grapples.
- See "FAQ in General" below for more.
- You'll probably see enemy agents playing a game of "Pass the Parcel" ... with a live prox-mine!
- Random rocket firings can sometimes happen when the gang members get itchy trigger fingers.
- Hostiles do like to throw AC-AP clips as well.
Minimizing Score During Stun Raids
As seen in the Alien Tech Levels article, accumulating score through stun grapple raids can lead to aliens wielding highly advanced technology prematurely, making gameplay much more difficult. In addition, alien tech levels do not seem to consider penalties to score, such as for damaging city property or losing equipment. Therefore, controlling score accumulated through stun grapple raids may be necessary to avoid being overwhelmed by devastator cannons on week 1.
The Cardinal Rule
To keep score down, it is critical that you flee rather than complete stun raiding missions. If all enemy units are dead, unconscious, or have fled the area, the mission will immediately end in victory and you will receive a combat rating and a leadership bonus, both of which contribute heavily to a positive score. Agents' abilities will still improve if they are forced to retreat from combat, so there is no need for this substantial score increase while stun raiding.
Matters of Profit and Supply
- If you're raiding simply for money, the Psiclone should be your target item. These small objects serve no in-game purpose, sell for a base price of $4500 and incur a score of 3 per unit. For those who are not able to trade with Psyke, the Elerium Pod is a possible second, containing (at base price) $3000 worth of Elerium fuel for the same 3 score per unit. Note that Elerium pods are converted to cargo at the end of missions, so the vehicle used for raiding must have a non-zero cargo capacity. Both items are fairly common spawns in gang-run slums (see slums section of this article).
- Weapons which can be purchased at the game's outset (Lawpistols, M4000s, Laser Sniper Guns, Auto Cannons and Stun Grapples) should be purchased rather than raided for, if more of them are needed at all. However, the ammunition clips for these weapons are not worth score, so they can be harvested through raids if you prefer to full auto everything and the initial market supply of ammunition doesn't last.
- A few other pieces of gear are worth taking while raiding, even if they aren't profitable. The torso portion of Marsec Armor, for example, grants the wearer flight, which is helpful in evading Boomeroids and Hyperworms. Mind Shields can never be purchased and have a fantastic permanent effect. Power Swords may also be useful for making improvised doors or tunnels in a controlled manner.
- Other gear can be a toss-up, since it may be obsolete by the time it becomes available for sale in weeks 2 and 3. Insisting on having 30 Heavy Launchers and hundreds of missles will needlessly inflate score, while insisting on not using the more sophisticated human weapons may make battle more complicated. The rule of thumb is to loot only what you intend to use and not to think about it much more than that.
Slum Building Item Spawn Spots
There are seven slum buildings generated in the game. This next section lists where the item spawns are located using a very simple (but tedious) method of direction. The isometric map has a corner at each compass point. The most obvious way to describe the map would be as the top most corner being North, the leftmost corner being West, etc. Also, each square of the map is called a cell. A cell is a square/diamond which makes up the map at the most smallest part. One cell is the size of the cursor (only the base of the rectangular box, actually).
HINT: The items will appear. If they are missing from their spawn location, then you are either using too many agents (over 28) for that map or they have been picked up by a hostile.
NOTE: directions are given as absolute north of the map, being Cell 1,1.
- eg: Lev 05 - 23SW, 18SE means that the item is on Level 5 of the map and is how many cells you must count in that compass direction from the most northern cell.
- Elevator = Gravlift.
SPECIAL NOTE: Raid the gangs for the best money making stuff. Raid the Marsec Arms Factory for Mind Shields and to get Power Swords early. Forget raiding a Mutant Alliance slum, and forget about Cult of Sirius!
A map which has only trees, grass, and some building rubble. The most obvious feature is the grass the is covering part of the road in the southwestern part of the map. (weird: there is a door that still works!).
- Lev 01 - 20SW,16SE - on ground next to I-beam rubble.
A map which has a large bridge crossing over a road. Lots of building rubble in northern part of the map.
- Lev 01 - 25SW,10SE - on ground near blue arcade machine.
A map that contains a plantation of trees near the west corner. There is a large multistorey building which has an elevator shaft external to the main superstructure.
- Lev 01 - 26SW,14SE - on floor inside the garden shed inside the plantation.
- Lev 01 - 28SW,25SE - on floor inside the garden shed, inside the rubble area, opposite the plantation.
- Lev 02 - 14SW,21SE - on floor beside coffee table.
- Lev 02 - 13SW, 9SE - on floor beside table.
A map that has a cemetary with names of the game makers. There also is a large building with a heli-pad on the roof.
- Lev 01 - 11SW,32SE - on floor inside the garden shed situated inside the cemetary.
- Lev 01 - 12SW,27SE - on ground, on top of the dirt mound of grave owner, Andy Greene.
- Lev 08 - 19SW, 7SE - on ground, on top of the castle tower which is on the right when exiting the door.
- Lev 08 - 31SW, 7SE - on ground, on top of the castle tower which is on the left when exiting the door.
A map that has a typical hotel look to it. There is a car parking area in the middle section of the U shape. This building does not have a roof!
- Lev 02 - 6SW,34SE - on floor near oval table.
- Lev 02 - 13SW,10SE - on floor at far wall.
- Lev 04 - 28SW,16SE - on floor at middle of room.
- Lev 02 - 28SE,23SE - on chair next to door.
- Lev 04 - 28SW,21SE - in hand basin left of door.
- Lev 04 - 29SW,27SE - on floor near wall.
- Lev 02 - 28SW,34SE - on coffee table.
A map with a large square shape building. The building has eight large foundations and an external fire escape. There is an elevator inside the core of the middle foundation.
- Lev 04 - 28SW,27SE - on large table against near wall.
- Lev 04 - 28SW, 5SE - on cupboard against external wall.
- Lev 04 - 34SW,10SE - on cupboard closer to windows.
- Lev 04 - 26SW,12SE - on floor between beds.
- Lev 06 - 12SW, 5SE - on coffee table near external wall.
- Lev 06 - 5SW,32SE - on box next to window.
- Lev 06 - 12SW,30SE - on bed.
- Lev 06 - 12SW,21SE - in air (!) just inside doorway
- Lev 06 - 8SW,21SE - on cupboard next to chair.
The Railway Station
A dedicated double sized map. It will sometimes appear if there are many (usually over 20) Xcom agents present in a mission. It is a rare map to play!
- Lev 01 - 2SW,16SE - in hand basin just left of door.
- Lev 04 - 54SW,10SE - on elevated rail line between the two rail track pairs.
- Lev 01 - 86SW,32SE - inside carpark ticket booth at far wall.
FAQ for Slum Designs
- Do I have to count the cells each time I start a new raid?
- NO! Due to the static shape of the slum buildings, each and every type of building will be the same with regards to where the spawn loactions are situated. Once you know where the spawn is located after counting out the map cells for just one time, you'll won't need to do it again (unless you forget!).
- How do I do multiple raids in quick succession?
- If you use an air vehicle, immediately after a mission, you can click on the building and find that the craft is not yet airbourne. Within this very short time frame, you can raid (or search) the organisation again. Also, this means that you do not need to go back to base after every single mission. Obviously if you troops inventory if full of loot, then it may be wise to offload back at base once every third mission, or so. This does not work with ground vehicles or walking troops unless you redirect them back towards the building after every mission.
- Why do you think slums are better than Cult of Sirius raids?
- (1) The only items that will spawn in a gang slum are: Psiclones, Marsec armour, weapons (only M4000, Laser, Autocannon) and Elerium. You will NEVER get AP-grenades, Hi-Ex, stun grenades, or other ordinary low level junk. Also, the gang members never carry rubbish like the lawpistol. Mutant alliance and SELF are not gangs, but do have Psiclone spawning within their slums (and possibly their HQ or office buidling).
- (2) The buildings are easily defendable (exit points will be EXACTLY in the same spot - no guessing!). The slum shape is indentical each time (no dynamic generating of the map grid). It means that as soon as the map loads you'll know immediately where the items are situated for that given slum shape.
- (3) The gangs are NEVER hostile at the start of a new game. Cultists can be. If there are hostile, then CoS stun raiding is now DEADLY and absolutely pointless.
- (4) Gang slums usually generate psiclones at an approximate 50% to 75% quantity versus available spawn quantity. If a building has 9 spawn spots then many spawn spots will contain a Psiclone. If a building has one spawn spot, then it will usually be a Psiclone.
An Example And Result
A new superhuman game using 12 agents + 12 stun grapples raiding a Diablo slum (always and only: Central Elevator). Realtime gameplay.
After 10 raids one after the other in the first 2 minutes of a new game (90 spawn spots in total):
- 11 x Marsec chest
- 3 x Marsec helmet
- 20 x Elerium pods (equals 3000 elerium)
- 48 x psiclones
TOTAL = 82. leaving only 8 spawn spots for unloaded weapons.
This above example has a Psiclone ratio of 53%. If you keep doing stun-raids regularly throughout the whole game (although you should (will) taper off since your score will be something you'd like to limit) you will notice the ratio will slowly start to change so that Psiclones may become more frequent (and enemy agents carrying alien technology such as Disruptor Shields). This is due to Xcom starting to use alien weaponry for craft loadouts and not Elerium based weapons which fall out of favour, hence, the value of Elerium to a player diminishes.
Extra: To get the particular map to spawn each and every time, remove the other map-series from the maps folder (only do this for slums).
EG: "Central Elevator" map is the 01 series (eg: 28sec01) contained within maps\28slums folder.
FAQ in General
- If I raid a non gang building, will I get more Elerium Pods spawning since Psiclones are not spawned?
Sometimes, however, the spawn spots will be taken up by the complete range within the arsenal. You will have AP-Grenades, Stun Grenades, Law Pistol (unloaded), Hi-Ex, etc. included with the staples which are the Laser Rifle, M4000 etc. Doing enough raids will give you the indication that Elerium Pods will roughly be the same quantity across the cityscape when raiding any building you choose. You will also start getting Alien items the further you progress through the game. It may be quite helpful to visit once in a while with a backpack full of Stun Grenades once Disruptor Shields are common (but your running low).
- What other buildings give items other than typical spawns?
You can raid every single building in the game although some are not really worth the effort. Marsec buildings will spawn the rare and much valued Mind Shield. Power Swords and Marsec Armour are typical inside the weapon/arms factories whereas a slight increase in Elerium will spawn within Megapol or Marsec Flyer Factory. Raiding a Megapol building will generate Megapol armour pieces instead of Marsec armour. Stun Grapples will spawn at a Megapol Police Station. Warehouse buildings can spawn Psiclones if the building is owned by gangs. Sometimes this gets messed up and a legal corporation will have Psiclones. Experiment by visiting each and every bulding in the game.
- Why guard the exits?
Money! The reason you are making a raid against someone is to either cause damage (which is utterly pointless in Battlescape since it can make a company hostile by accidently killing someone) or to make money. You can acquire weapons by killing the guards and increasing hostility (and injury or death versus experience) or you can exploit a weakness in the game by stunning (and still get experience). The reason to guard exits is to limit your money and equipment loss. The enemy agent will often make a dash for freedom and you position your squad to stop that (although it's not their preferred action since they need to defend the building). As already mentioned, the easiest map to guard are Slum buildings since they are static in shape. Unless you are willing to allow someone to escape with that Minilauncher or Plasma Pistol (and three clips) then block and stun (and steal).
- It's tedious to pick up all the items. Is there a quicker or easier way?
You could use the overhead map to find items to save time since they show up as purple markers and you could scoot a lone agent quickly around the map on overhead to pick up the stuff, however, you still are filling up your inventory. The preferred method is to neutralise everyone which then causes a Mission Complete (which recovers all items automatically). Stunning everyone can be easily achieved if you bait the combatants into coming within range of your Stun Grapples by using a piece of equipment as a lure. If you have a stunned enemy first off, you won't need to use the bait method since defenders will come to his location to help out their 'fallen' friend. Once you have a pile of snoring agents at your feet, cue Mission Complete.
NOTE: The items appear to use ownership flags to an agent. If you knock someone out, the defender usually won't pick up their friend's stuff (although they may help themselves to an item or three). When that guy does eventually wake up he can re-equip. If you use you own equipment as a lure you may see the enemy throw a grenade into the (your ownership item) pile. To make the best trap, you'd knockout a lone agent and eventually you'll get the enemy to swarm nearby. If you happen to knock the same agent out, he sometimes forget what he was carrying. His items now act as a bait trap.
- Help! I don't have enough agents in the mission to guard all the exits. What can I do to maximise profits?
If you stun someone you can stand on their body (you cannot pick up a body) to prevent them ever getting up. Using an Agressive setting will stop the agent moving (unless it's gas or fire). Dual wielding Stun Grapples will give you rapid fire speed if you have one agent stunning a bunch of enemy next to him since you don't have enough guys to stand on each body. You could also use a staircase to good effect since tight corners and single file walkways limit the spread of the enemy. Cutting away parts of a building (with explosives or other) is a valid tactic to imprison the enemy if you are desperate since this angers the corp. through buidling damage and has the very real possibility that you may kill someone (or yourself) when the section(s) collapse.
- I got killed by a Prox Mine. Why?
The enemy do that sometimes. Amusement factor? The occasional problem when stun raiding is that since you don't need to wear armour (no combat!) when you do set off an explosive you'll merely drop dead or be heavily injured with many critical wounds. If you didn't bother carrying a medkit (you brought to the mission with your trusty money-maker! ) your only option is to remove the agent from current play by making them exit the map. Typically since prox mines are so deadly, the agent dies mid step before getting anywhere and may be a problem if over encumbered. If you only use the overhead map to run your agents around, you cannot discern what that purple dot actually is until you look at it in isometic view. Do this before you approach an unknown placement. (see above of spawn item locations so that you know what should be where).
- Whoa!! Aliens kill me quick on in second week. Why?
Score. You have aquired a high score from many stun raids and depending on the difficulty level of your game, the game scales the enemy strength on how many points you have at the end of the week, thus, this will influence the enemy loadout and ship type for the new week! What?? You think stun raid was cheating? Mess with the bull and you'll get the horn.