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Todo: Armour needs its own section, to encapsulate anything and jolly well everything you need to know about armour, and its managment - with bits from the damage -vs- armour discussion

Have added the basic article to hang the above extensions requested off at least. --Sfnhltb 10:42, 7 March 2007 (PST)

"So the only way to keep from losing armour is to keep your soldiers alive." - Well... there's another way: you can always not bring armor if you really want to keep it ;)

Is it just me or this whole point is a little... well pointless. If you want to keep your soldiers alive then armor really helps. If you want to keep your armor then leave it at the base. If you want to keep your armor and your soldiers alive then... bring your armor and don't get killed. Bah! I think I'm goina shoot a blaster launcher at the wall behind my desktop :) . Hobbes 20:57, 26 October 2008 (CDT)

If you think the second sentence is overkill, feel free to remove it. NightChime 22:28, 26 October 2008 (CDT)
Well I'm perfectely OK with it since it's correct. There's more to add to it, of course, and I think that's what was tickling me but we'll leave that reasoning to the readers ;) Hobbes 10:42, 27 October 2008 (CDT)

Armour - What Use Is It Anyway?

Re the dialogue playing out on the main page - even basic coveralls do have some chance of completely stopping every non-area-effect weapon in the game, and will always reduce the damage sustained, to some small degree.

But to warm to my point - armour, what use is it?

There's a strong case that the best defence is a strong offence. I incline to that philosophy and armour is very late on my development list. I would rather put the technology effort into better ways to find and kill more of the aliens - and kill them before they kill my guys. That means detection and firepower get priority over armour. As has been noted elsewhere, early on armour doesn't improve your survival chances that much, often just leads to having lots of wounded, not particularly valuable guys hanging around in hospital. And use of armour tends to encourage the idea of getting hit. Not having any really encourages the idea of avoiding getting hit! And if worse comes to worst, a new Soldier is only a loss of 40,000. It's a much bigger financial loss if the Soldier goes down wearing that fancy high tech armour that is so expensive to replace.

Of course, it is nice to be immune to smoke, fire and (eventually) half of the weapons in the game. Gives greater flexibility. If there was a simple respirator to prevent smoke damage, I might equip my troops with that. Firing AC-HE on auto at point blank without caring whether you miss is a careless luxury I can do with out.

Scouting is the one area where I feel the most pain without armour. Scouts tend to be some of your best troops, they are unavoidably put in the line of fire, and it hurts to lose them. If I could buy better armour for the scouts, instead of having to bankroll the whole R&D programme, I would definitely do that.

One last thing on the plus side for armour, to be fair. Armour does not use up an item slot on the transport or battlescape. So it's a sneaky way of squeezing a considerable amount of extra fighting power into a mission, at no cost to the 80-item limit, and regardless of the number of soldiers you send in a squad.

On balance though, I think of armour as a luxury that I only develop when I'm rolling in cash and running out of important things to research. Just a personal opinion! Spike 04:17, 6 March 2009 (CST)

It's the same as the Medikit. Why bother with it until you get armor - that's the usual comment that I hear. I don't know. I like having a medikit even if my team is in all coveralls. I'd like to at least have the chance of saving a trooper and not get the morale hit, or the negative mission points if at all possible. But that's just me - others find it easier to buy more rookies, and that's fair enough.
Everyone has their own approach - though the classic All Flying Suits approach generally works out well enough.
My approach to armour is that it's a semi-luxury. To warp and paraphrase one of my favourite phrases from another game: "Personal armour for everyone!". The odds of surviving are half that of the power suits, and considerably more than that of coveralls. You can still get wiped out, but hey a chance to survive is still a chance. It's cheaper (relatively speaking). It gets rid of alloys. It's easy to mass produce. You don't have to put too much effort into researching it at the start and can concentrate on the more important things (like the plasma beam or hyperwave decoder). Plus it looks spiffy!
Power suits I start to produce for my elite groundpounders as the resources become available. Just for those that have served well - the longer I can keep them alive, the better they can look after the rookies.
Flying Suits are special. Only one or two are built purely to position a sniper above the Skyranger to provide support fire/last-resort/cheap-shots for the ground troops as they start to spread out into the field. I suppose it doesn't have to be that special - but I do it since I like to have ground troops as well as those in the air. Amazing how you can miss things that you can easily see on the ground.
With the coveralls - there's one comment I recall that I think sums it up quite well: It's better than sectoid armor! -NKF 04:42, 6 March 2009 (CST)
The difference between medikits and Personal Armor: I would estimate that, before you get Armor, a soldier that is HIT by an alien has around... 15% chance of survival? I'm going to write out the tables for this later, I think. The medkit would probably save this soldier from fatal wounds 2/3s of the time. So, overall, if a soldier is hit by a shot, a medkit will save him 10% of the time.
Whereas for personal armor, it will tend to save his life around 40% of the time. (following which you need the medkit, usually)
These are estimates, I need to draw out a table for this one of these days.
Come to think of it, I think my greatest use of medkits are those stimulants. Jasonred 05:34, 6 March 2009 (CST)

Armour - Survival Rates

I can probably whip up a full table up from my Firepower spreadsheet - just select alien weapons vs human targets. But just eyeballing it, to take the typical case at the start of the game, Plasma Pistol vs Coveralls: 52 Base Damage vs 12 Front armour. Assuming 30 Health, that's an immediate kill in about (104-30)/104 hits (just over 71%) for zero armour, versus an immediate kill in (104-30-12)/104 hits (just under 60%) wearing factor=12 Coveralls. That probability doesn't include dying of your wounds later (which of course is the purpose of immediate MedKit use). Anyway that's a useful survival margin, bringing 70% kill down to 60% kill is better than nothing though nowhere near plasma-proof of course. As NKF rightly said, better than Sectoid skin. ;) Spike 06:19, 6 March 2009 (CST)

And a 11.5% chance of the coveralls absorbing the entire damage from plasma pistol. So better than 1 in 10 shots should just bounce off a rookie in coveralls. INTERESTING.
The math looks perfect, but I don't FEEL like my agents have a 40% survival rate after being hit by a Plasma Pistol shot! ... maybe it's Murphy's law or something...
Hmmm... according to that math... Personal Armor vs Plasma Pistol: Immediate kill=(104-30-40)/104= 32%, Armor blocks the shot =39%, 29% take damage but survive... personal armor vs Rifle: 56% immediate kill, 25% of blocking any damage, 19% take damage but survive... the math looks right, but the figures don't seem to tie in with my play experience... Murphy's law?

No I probably got the formula wrong. I'm very dopey today! :) I will take another look at the weekend. Thanks for keeping me honest. Spike 08:38, 6 March 2009 (CST)

It looks correct to me... Jasonred 08:46, 6 March 2009 (CST)

OK I've done a table with: Average Damage, Kill Probability, Avg Hits to Kill, and a new one - "Wound" Probability (i.e. damaged but not killed - not the same as "Wounds", but I'll fix that),. The table compares basic Coveralls, Personal Armour, Power Suit/Flying Suit. Now comes the hard part - converting it from spreadsheet to a wiki table. That's what always kills me. I wish there was some easy template somewhere!!

As a reminder to myself, there's a Survival Rates link on the main page so I will link to that when I'm done. Spike 19:29, 8 March 2009 (CDT)

Send it my way Spike. I have plenty of experience with tables. ;) --Zombie 19:33, 8 March 2009 (CDT)
Deal! Getting the Fatal Wounds calculation exactly right was too tricky (for now) so I'm taking the %chance of damage as a fair approximation of the %chance of Fatal Wounds. I've uploaded File:XCom Armour Survival Table.xls as an .XLS spreadsheet - do your Wiki magic! Spike 07:54, 9 March 2009 (CDT)
Zombie is a card carrying member of the Dudley Brothers. ;) Jasonred 23:36, 8 March 2009 (CDT)

I looked it over and I think it will have to be broken up into 4 separate tables and then placed next to each other for best results (and to use the sort function properly). Seems you forgot about the Vibro Blade, Thermic Lance and Heavy Thermic Lance for TFTD. (Which I assume is what the green text stands for). I'd normally add those in myself, but I don't see an equation for figuring out the probability of 1 kill and hits to kill columns; all you have listed are values. PK1 seems to be 1-PW1 but I don't know about the hits per kill column. --Zombie 10:16, 9 March 2009 (CDT)

Yes 4 tables makes sense. It would be possible to make it one table, for the purposes of the Med-Kit discussion, by only listing "%Wounded" and treating zero damage and an instant kill as effectively the same - which, from the Medic's point of view, they are. :) Otherwise, you need to show at least 2 columns per armour type.
I'd forgotten I'd left out the TFTD Melee weapons. I think I was asking a question about them a long time ago and meant to add in those weapons later, but I forgot. Mainly I use this spreadsheet for XCOM, and in fact I don't have any of the target values for TFTD - neither Aquanaut armour nor TFTD alien armour/stats. You could just filter out the green ones for now. I'll see if I can add in the TFTD melee weapons, their stats are presumably here on the UFOPaedia somewhere.
You're right there are no formulas in here for calculating the 3 base values - Probability Damage is Not Zero (pNZ), Probability of a Kill with 1 Hit (pK1), and average penetrating damage (AvDm). Theser formulas are on the main firepower table File:Firepower.xls (but I haven't uploaded the latest version); this Survival Rate table is just a copy of a new extra tab on that spreadsheet.
I've also just realised I goofed - Flying Suit has a higher armour level than Power Suit, so I need to add another column for Flying Suit. Let me get back to you with an update, and when I'm done I'll also post the update of the full table in case people want to play with it. Spike 11:44, 9 March 2009 (CDT)

You are also missing the SWS's for TFTD too... and the built-in weapons for the aliens as well. But that's ok. We'll just work on sorting out the Enemy Unknown tables first. --Zombie 14:40, 9 March 2009 (CDT)

Do aliens know how to use those melee weapons in TFTD? The non-built in ones, I mean. Jasonred

Nope, they just stand around looking funny. Usually they have a bunch (4!) of Sonic Pulsers though, and that is 1000 times worse than a working Lance, LOL. --Zombie 14:36, 9 March 2009 (CDT)
Then a Xcom survival rate vs TFTD melee weapons is a little redundant... since no alien is gonna use them on you... Jasonred 03:20, 10 March 2009 (CDT)
Yeah I was thinking that. :) But then I thought, maybe you have an MC'd Aquanaut in Mag-Ion armour that you need to take down. A Drill might be the best weapon - probably is.
By the way I'm still fiddling with my main Firepower spreadsheet, prompted by the gaps Zombie spotted and the IC discussions. Should finish & upload today. Spike 04:13, 10 March 2009 (CDT)