Tactical Combat Missions (Apocalypse)

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Battlescape tactical missions commonly follow certain Alien actions within Mega-Primus.

In General

  • Every battlescape will have blue-exit-tiles located at the edge of the map. Directing an agent to stand on (not above) the tile will allow them escape midway through a battle to safety. Note: a bleeding agent will not die if they escaped.
  • If choosing to flee the battle or to possibly limit losing too many agents, it is possible to terminate the mission. Press escape key (ESC) and if the message is: "0 Units Lost", click OK to safely end the mission. If the number is not zero, then whoever is closest to the enemy will be left behind, hence, 'missing in action'. To limit loses, either quickly reposition agents closer to the blue-exit-tiles or proceed with the battle ...or accept your losses.
  • Recovery of dropped items, alien lifeforms, unconscious X-Com agents can only commence after successful completion of the battlescape mission. Retreat or escape will only recover what your troops have on their person.
  • Any unconscious unit will be prevented from becoming active again if any unit is standing on them.
  • The battlescape environment is randomly generated from segments according to the building type. The final size is dependant on the mix and quantity of aliens, civilians, building security (cultists, gangsters, police and guards), and X-Com units. The maximum size of any tactical battlescape map is 3x3, made up of different sized segments.
  • The lesser the population, the smaller the map!
  • Battlescape damage and destruction of map features such as stairs, ramps, floors around grav-lifts can trap entities. Digging a trench can prevent hostile forces from reaching the blue-exit-tiles (no escape from the battlescape) or to funnel them through a choke point.
  • Battlescape damage to a building, trees, road, etc. will always be blamed on X-Com, irrelevant who is repsonsible.

Infested Already!

At the start of X-Com Apocalypse, there is an alien infested building! It is unknown where, and there is no way of knowing until a security force somewhere finds evidence of aliens within their buildings. An "Alien Detected" alert will be issued and is displayed for X-Com's immediate attention, with the building in question circled in red on the overhead cityscape view. The alien menace must be dealt with immediately!

  • There is no way of knowing which organisation is in trouble (unless you save/load). Searching random buildings is not worth the effort nor the decrease in relations of such actions, however, searching (or intentionally internally damaging) your own building has no negative effects... and you might detect aliens!
  • The 'alien detected' alert will slowly fade away if you ignore it (ultra-fast time, overhead view centered on the building with the red circle), but the hostiles present may not.

First Assault

The first mission can be dangerous or benign. Kill all aliens since you do not have a bio-transport module yet.
Note: the aliens present at the start will always be the same, but they will carry weaponry matching your score. Don't Get Hurt!

Dangerous

Brainsuckers!!
Use all agents. Equip with a mix of weaponry available at the start (or more purchased) and a lot of ammunition. Armor may be necessary if you use Autocannons with high explosive rounds. Once the alien cleanup begins, direct your fire (RMB on the enemy) towards the closest Brainsucker. Any trying to attach to your agent's head must be targeted immediately. If a pod lands near your agent's feet, quickly access their inventory and pick up the pod to stop it bursting open. The brainsucker pods can be thrown away (preferably into fire) to hatch them in a controlled manner. Kill the Anthropods before they launch more pods.
If an agent has been brainsucked, they are as good as dead. Kill them all!

Benign

An Android is a humanoid robot and does not have a biological brain. One robot with one weapon and ammo is that is needed. Leave all humans and hybrids back at base. At mission start, find the Brainsuckers, find the Anthropods and shoot them all dead from close range - they are no threat whatsoever.

Search And Investigation

A search for alien infestation inside buildings will be necessary to eradicate aliens and to cease their infiltration and subversive actions. If aliens are detected, a battlescape mission will immediately start with the objective to kill the alien menace (without damaging the structure too much). If no alien lifeforms are found, the organisation inconvenienced by such a disturbance will file a protest by becoming slightly more hostile.
When alien lifeforms are detected, building security will only appear if the company is hostile to X-Com:

  • If the owner of the building is allied with the Aliens, security will join the alien side to fight against X-Com.
  • If the owner of the building is hostile with the Aliens, security will attack both, hence, a firefight between the aliens and security is possible. (don't interupt!).

To complete the mission successfully, any hostiles must be neutralized (usually most aliens as well). Aliens that escape the combat area during the battle will move to nearby buildings via the people tube network. If X-Com abandons the battlescape (blue exit tiles), infiltration may progress further.

Raid

A raid will contain building security to defend the structure:

  • Company buildings and the government will contain guards.
  • Gang buildings will contain gangsters.
  • Temple buildings will have cultists.
  • Any buiiding owned by Megapol will have uniformed police.

The Basics

Select the "Raid building" option when X-Com agents are at a building to start a tactical battlescape mission.
A raid is equivalent to a Base Defence mission except X-Com is the aggressor and the 'base' is the internals of the cityscape building. The purpose of a raid is explained at the Briefing screen: Destruction, Death, Theft and Hostility!
A unique feature of raiding a building is the opportunity to steal randomly generated (spawned) items which are placed at particular locations relevant to the building's battlescape segments. The type of items available to steal will depend on which organisation X-Com is raiding. Any organisation, allied to hostile, can be raided:

  • If a hostile organisation is raided by X-Com, a fire-fight will commence.
  • The time elasped (the number of weeks passed in the game) determines the technology used by building security, not score.
  • Friends of the targeted organisation may have a negative opinion of the attackers, and may become hostile.
  • Take the items before you start the demolition.
  • Damage to the internals will negatively affect the organisation's funds.
  • Structural damage at foundation sections (or anything supporting something above) will cause catastrophic collapse of such structures. Don't get hurt squashed!
  • Incendiary and explosives and in great quantities, however, a fire only has to start...
  • Aliens will not be present during a raid even if the organisation is 100% infiltrated.
  • X-Com cannot raid itself.
  • Score will increase (too) quickly if many raids are performed.

To complete the raid succesfully, any hostiles must be neutralized.

The Tactics

Score will increase from completing many raids. The technology available to the alien horde is based on your tactical score and not time elasped (as with Building Security).

  • To limit score, escape from the map before all you neutralise everyone.
  • One X-Com agent can hide better than a squad of troopers shuffling about trying to evade the hostiles. Use an agent with the best speed and stamina.
  • One agent can cause a massive amount of damage with a mini-launcher and a backpack full of explosive ammo.
  • cut foundations with dual power swords to demolish the larger structures.
  • hide on the roof and toss grenades towards groups of hostiles detected on motion scanner.
  • set fire to storage boxes (which may hold something explosive).
  • blow up the dropped items of hostiles and maybe get a chain reaction cook-off.
  • blow up fragile fuel stores.
  • blow up missiles
  • blow up... everything!

The Purpose

A raid of a hostile organisation is dangerous. The real objective of raiding anyone is theft of those spawned items!
Raiding should be limited to theft of ammunition, Psiclones, Elerium, and items wanted, but not yet available on the market, (if ever). Theft is easier when raiding an organisation that is not hostile to X-Com, until its time to start destroying everything. A non-hostile company will tolerate the presence of X-Com agents in the building and will not attack first.

  • Non-hostiles may accidently damage their building with explosives, and that building damage is always blamed on X-Com!
  • Along with item placements, security may carry more of what you need.
  • Using mind control allows underhanded subversive actions.

The Mechanics

The destruction of the internals of buildings and the decrease in their available funds does not influence:

  • the quantity of building security.
  • the quality or quantity of weapons carried by security.
  • the capacity to perform a Base Attack against X-com (if they are hostile).
  • the amount of product available on the market.
  • the type and quantity of craft available for Illegal Flier action or for defense of the cityscape structure when under attack.
  • the speed of repair of their damaged cityscape structure.
  • the amount of money asked to "Repair Relations".

but

  • the money you get from the Government at the end of the week depends on their available funds, so don't destroy the government buildings because you are just destroying your money... still in their pockets.

so, a raid for the purpose of destroying the insides of a building doesn't do much except make (more) hostiles.

The Conclusion

It is pointless to damage the internal structures, kill security or to injure your agents. A raid is only for theft!

Building Bombing

Special Note: this section is relevant to the Cityscape only, and not for any Battlescape mission.

Attack

Any building can be attacked by anyone with vehicles to cause collapse and financial loss. X-Com can target ("Attack Building" button) any building for destruction, including (using manual vehicle control) any non-building infrastructure such as people tubes, trees and parklands, city walls, roads, and any pillars or supports .
Government funding for the new week is assessed by the total score. City damage is usually the largest contributing factor for reduced funding, and may become excessively negative when damage is caused from fighting alien crafts.

Damage

Any damage of the cityscape attributed to X-Com or Aliens, but not other Mega-Primus organisations, will be noted immediately in the Performance Log information window as "Damage To City" ...always a negative number!
Cityscape buildings have differing damage tolerances which depends on its construction.
Any building hit by a weapon, the tile impacted will either be destroyed, or not. Damage is not cumulative. If destroyed, the section directly above the now missing tile will collapse in a pan-cake fashion, and in severe cases, will lead to a chain reaction destruction of adjacent sections until the whole building is a pile of rubble. Slums, being derelict buildings, are structurally weak and prone to catastrophic collapse from even the weakest weapons. Severe destruction of a structure may disable the building as a viable destination for battlescape missions until (partially) rebuilt, however, destruction of the home cell will immediately disable the building. X-Com base locations are best chosen to be under Warehouse styled structures due to their resistance to damage.

Defense

If any building has been impacted by a weapon (even accidently), the owner will become slightly more hostile to the organisation which caused the damage. Further 'accidental' impacts will quickly anger the company. If a building is under sustained attack (message bar: "...building under attack by..."), the building's owner will launch craft (if available) to defend the building and destroy any attacking hostile air or road vehicles in the vicinity.
These accidental impacts can be used to turn two friendly (with each other) organisations into one hostile one. eg:

  • Attack a building owned by one organisation until defenders are launched or attack an escort-role UFO to attract its attention.
  • Lead the craft(s) (use evasive attitude) to a building which is owned by the friend of the organisation which currently chasing your vehicle.
  • Loiter around their friend's building at a low to medium altitude in a location that will not damage your craft if parts of the buidling collapse but will allow the hostile-to-you craft's missed weapon shots to impact their friend's structure.
  • Wait (stationary or do short random movements with your air craft) around the building. Your attackers will shoot at your vehicle but end up missing, hitting the building enough times that their 'friend' (now hostile) launches craft to defend the building. If that message appears (mentioned above) but no craft have been launched, it does not matter. They are now hostile to the organisation which caused all that damage!
  • The company that caused the damage will not be hostile to their 'old friend' until they start to be attacked. The two, once friendly organsiation, are now hostile to each other.

This bait and dodge - you shot your friend and made them angry tactic can be used to make the Aliens and Transtellar anyone hostile to each other. It is the only reliable method to convince Transtellar to resume transport of personel and transferred goods, however, if they are under Alien control, they are lost forever!
Note: relations work on the simple principle: an enemy of my enemy is now my friend. If X-com attacks one organsiation, any hostile companies to the victim will start to like X-Com more. Any friends to the victim will hate X-Com, more!

Consquences

Only weapon impacts from either X-Com or Aliens will influence your 'Damage To City' score, that is, negative score is 'awarded' for each hit and not what happens to the building as a result of that impact.
X-Com's score and any relations will not be affected by:

  • Illegal flyers and police action.
  • Organisations hostile to each other fighting in the cityscape.

Note: funding does not matter, see above: Raid:The Mechanics.

Base Defense

A building that contains an X-Com base that becomes a target for an alien infiltration attempt or targeted for a raid will immediately proceed to a Base Defense mission.

UFO Crash Site

If an alien craft is critically damaged, the craft will be disabled (the image of the UFO changes to a distorted and cracked appearance) and will fall out of the sky and impact the ground (avoiding roads!).
A UFO crash recovery is now possible by sending a manned air vehicle via either button: "Attack Hostile Unit" or "Go To Location". Your craft will approach, position itself above smoking wreck, which will then immediately start a battlescape mission to recover the UFO, its exotic technology and neutralise any alien lifeforms before the craft can be manually be destroyed along with the surviving aliens (the crashed UFO disappears from the cityscape after a random few in-game hours).
The crash recovery can only be attempted once! Failure of the battlescape mission will prompt the surviving aliens into immediately destroying any trace of the UFO and themselves (the crashed UFO disappears from the cityscape immediately after mission end).
The battlescape landscape is relevant to the type of UFO downed by X-Com. Lifeforms present only depends on the type craft, whereas weaponry and technology carried by aliens depends on your score.

Alien Dimension

The Alien Dimension is a dangerous place for X-Com craft. For craft combat: Don't Get Hurt Shot Down.
Once the research and technology has be acquired, the aliens's homeworld: Alien Dimension, will become accessible to X-Com. The buildings and 'people tube' in the alien's homeworld are biological in construction (growth?) and are invunerable to damage. The oddly shaped structures each have a purpose which, once discovered via research, will allow a craft with troops to land and infiltrate their buildings.
Do not move agents from a landed craft into the building.
A large X-Com force is preferable (+16 agents) armed with the best. To start the building assault once landed at a building, select "Investigate Building" or "Raid Building". Both buttons do the same thing.
To complete your objectives, all of the targets outlined in the Briefing must be destroyed. The message bar will display "Building has been disabled". To finish, evacuate the condemned building via the exit tiles or kill off all remaining aliens.
The "orange pad" terrain feature found in most buildings is an alien device for re-inforcements to arrive at regular intervals, with the alien type relevant to that particular building's purpose. The orange pad device is robust and can only be destroyed by Vortex Mines (or accidently by the Queenspawn). To halt such re-inforcements, all orange pads present at one device must be destroyed to disable it.
Each building will collapse at successful completion of the battlescape mission.


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See Also