Survival Guide (Bureau)
Some basic tips from the rookie that wants to be a veteran.
Rule one, This isn't Gears of War or Mass Effect.
Yes, they look the same, however...
Enemies in cover take less damage, while flanked enemies take extra damage. A head shot on a Outsider in cover does less than a body shot while flanked. Be aware, this counts for Agents as well. If you hear "This is a bad place boss!" it really is. And it can be fatal.
Rule two, suppression and being suppressed.
On any difficulty over Rookie, if you have two or more aliens shooting at you, don't pop up to return fire. See Rule 1 and you have three Outsiders taking shots at you. When this happens, have squad mates take the heat off you. Scatter will force shooters away from positions or Recon can Critical Strike one out. Or if all else fails, get your squad to flank the Outsiders for you.
On the other end, laser turrets are a good suppressor, like how enemy turrets are for you. Enemies that keep their heads down aren't shooting, allowing the squad to maneuver easily.
Rule three, ruin someones day.
Three aliens in cover are a quick way to see an agent riddled with holes. But a quick Scatter, Mine, or thrown grenade will solve that problem...and get some payback.
Rule four, distractions are a good friend.
Never underestimate the value of enemies shooting something else. The Sectopod is a deadly killing machine with two weaknesses. One is on it's back. With Recon's Diversion, a placed Laser Turret, and even a summoned blob an Agent can turn the tables in their favor with a Sectopod busy with something else.
Rule five, explosives are the great equalizer.
All mines can be shot, friendly and enemy alike. If you see an Outsider in range of their own mine, remind them explosions don't have allegiances with a well placed shot.
Rule 6, you can do so much more with Lift.
Weir's lesson on turret lifting is the tip of the iceberg. Lifted enemies are exposed to more damage, can't attack, and can't used abilities. Better, while a lifted Muton or Sectopod are stunned, they also don't leave the ground. A Plasma Field will burn much of the armor off while they can't move, and placed and thrown explosives won't be avoided.
Rule 7, and if all else fails RUN!
You might forget you have a dodge roll, don't. When something is getting too close, find new cover. You will likely take less damage doing that then being flanked... or worse, being feet away from a Muton.
Rule 8, Weaken does a lot of damage.
The Support skill Weaken is known well for its utility is damaging armor on Mutons and Sectopods, but did you know it lowers defense of unarmored targets? A weakened Gunship goes down fast.