I find that reaction shots on aliens leaving a spacecraft are exceedingly dangerous. You can lose a lot of soldiers doing this. It does however train up soldiers and is tidier than grenades. If you think that covering the spacecraft door is just going to be too dangerous then just don't do it. Hold your troops further back and scout the exit area each turn instead. Here are my experiences.
Alien grenades are the biggest threat to reaction shooters. Aliens need time to take out, arm, and throw the grenade however so you're generally safe unless the alien needs to move only one or two spaces to see a soldier. Use a motion scanner to check the position of aliens and if they are close enough to throw a grenade you should take precautions, such as placing a proximity grenade.
When an alien leaves a spaceship it will generally shoot at someone in their sight, someone who shot at them, or the closest person. This means it is generally a good idea to put the most expendable soldier closest to the door. Even then though the alien can shoot at another target so I wouldn't cover the spaceship door with anyone that I really wanted to keep alive.
If you're using proximity grenades to cover the door then you might lose a lot of money unless you have someone running through to pick up any valuables before the you place the next grenade. Don't be too greedy or else the runner will get caught when the next alien walks out.
Alien grenades are generally attracted by large packs of soldiers. Therefore, spread out. The example screenshot is one good example where an alien may choose to throw a grenade if it manages to get the higher reaction level.
One good trick to reactions is to make use of the 20 tile visual limit. All units can see that many tiles in front of them in full daylight. Aliens don't get a visual penalty at night, but you can negate this with a flare or two (on top of the UFO, for safety). Sit your soldiers at around 18 - 19 tiles away from the door within visual sight of the door. This way, after you defeat the alien leaving the door, the aliens directly behind the exiting alien will not be able open fire on your reacting soldiers, and will be forced to walk out. The main disadvantage of this strategy is that your distance is increased. More distance means bullets have more room to fly off course. One other disadvantage is terrain and the availability of open space.
Hmm, you know it's a funny thing, but I did not realise this section existed.
If you drop a smoke grenade in front of the UFO door, you can reduce visiblility for both sides, meaning you can safely perch about 10 squares away. Any alien reaching the "visible" threshold of the cloud will have walked enough to be severely TU-depleted.--Ethereal Cereal 22:08, 18 September 2006 (PDT)
I see what you're saying, but doesn't that only help you for one turn? After one turn, there may have been aliens that stopped just within the edge of the cloud. I think the safest way to watch a UFO door is to use a Scouting variation: Have most of your shooters laying in wait a fair distance from the door. Each turn, have scout(s) advance to within site of the door, stopping if they see someone. (You might have it covered from 2 or even 3 sides - left, right, directly outward.) Some math could probably be done to figure a safe range: 1) takes maybe 10(?) TUs to exit door, 2) most TUs for an alien is ~78 (Ethereal in Superhuman game, not counting Zombie which is melee and Celatid with short distance); many aliens have less, and this can be modified if/when you know your target type, 3) the lowest-TU weapon likely to be used is Heavy Plasma (30% Snap) which is 23 TUs for 78-TU Ethereal. So an Etheral can walk 78-23-10=45 TUs from the door, or 11 tiles, and shoot. For other aliens, the distance would be less. Position your guys at 31 then, and run your scouts in. Sounds like a good plan in theory, but I'm not sure how workable it really is... that's a lot of ground to cover, and you don't always have clear visibility or 30 tiles of room from the door. Anyway... it's a thought. --MikeTheRed 16:26, 20 September 2006 (PDT)
- I can vouch from from experience that smoke-in-front-of-door plus 10-15 squares distance works quite well. It's not whether they have TUs enough to fire, it's whether they have TUs enough to reaction fire before your troops. A firing line of 4+ troops some distance away plus a smoke cloud makes for a very unprepared alien. Bang-bang-bang-bang. It's rare that aliens stay in the cloud -- a common alien movement pattern is to step outside, take one shot, then go back in. With the cloud there, they can't shoot, so they just go back in -- or they advance, and get shot down. You can also safely advance one spotter towards the cloud; due to mutual surprise, the aliens won't shoot the spotter -- and you can snipe with the other (unseen) troops.--Ethereal Cereal 21:07, 23 September 2006 (PDT)
- Makes sense to me. It all sounds like fun things to play with, to me. :) --MikeTheRed 15:26, 27 September 2006 (PDT)
- It's very pleasing that with all the discussions we've had (here and there) that we're actually making the smoke grenade useful as we come to understand it more. You don't have to like it - you just have to understand how it works.
- - NKF
Minor edit - it takes 8 TUs to go out the door, not 4. (Which makes no sense to me. Surely once the door is open, the empty space which the alien has to walk through is the same as any other empty space anywhere else)
On grenades: I agree that the 4 soldiers in my picture are grenade bait. Spreading them out would not help much because the only have personal armour and would probably die anyway. Putting 2 on either side would help vs grenades but then they'd shoot each other. I'd rather be killed by aliens than by friendly fire... Once you have power suits, either approach would work well. (And flying suits can solve all your grenade problems.) Also, you can stay out of grenade throwing range when the UFO is a battleship, because of the low ceiling. Don't forget that priming a grenade eats a lot of TUs (50%!) and provokes reaction fire. With any luck this will drop the pesky alien, and the grenade will go off beside the door (which will still be open I believe) A pity this destroys valuable loot. All my grenade-related reaction training disasters have been from mutons - they have too many HP, too many TUs, and excessively high reactions. (I don't even try it with Ethereals)
Smoke grenade trick sounds interesting - I'll have to try that some time.
- If the 8 TUs to walk through a doorway is true, is there an additional 4 TUs for the first alien to walk through it (to open the door)? --Ethereal Cereal 11:42, 12 October 2006 (PDT)
It's kinda counterintuitive with doorways and TU's. It takes 8 TU to open a door and step through. Stepping through a doorway which is already open still takes 8 TU. However, Daishiva's MapView program claims it takes 4 TU to walk through a closed UFO door and 0 TU for an open door. Not sure how this applies to in-game TU useage though. Hobbes would know. --Zombie 14:30, 12 October 2006 (PDT)
Zombie, I've replied to your email but now that I've read this I think I understand the confusion. There are 2 types of doors in UFO: normal hinged doors (like those in barns and city buildings) and sliding doors (UFO doors, X-COM Base doors, etc.). To go through a closed sliding door it would cost 8 TUs: 4 to open the door and 4 to walk into the tile adjacent to it. Usually when the door is opened there won't be any extra cost to move a unit across it (other than the cost of moving it to the next ground tile) BUT in the case of UFO hull doors it will still cross an additional 4 TUs, thus it will always cost 8 TUs to cross a UFO hull door, open or closed.
Hobbes 07:56, 13 October 2006 (PDT)
Thanks Hobbes, I think that explains everything! ;)- Zombie 19:26, 13 October 2006 (PDT)
Thanks people, I've checked this in-game and I'm pretty sure the article is right now. I suppose one way to explain this is that it's an automatic door which detects a body walking up to it and opens by itself - so no extra action is needed to open a closed door. --MB 00:54, 14 October 2006 (PDT)
Section rewrite suggestions
I've actually started writing some notes for a section rewrite on paper. But it's confusing even to me. If any of the following seems disjointed - they are.
I think what I'd like to see starting off the section is a very basic run-down how to get the best out of your reaction thoughts. Some points include:
1. Be patient. 2. Let them come to you 3. Use fast firing weapons (quick list of all weapons by snap-shot mode) 4. The key is to react to the alien, not kill it right away. 5. Best done in large groups, regardless of reaction level
Then to move on to explaining some of the more common ambush locations can be found. Basically, the easiest and most controllable will be the UFO entrance. Out in the wilderness, there's not much you can do but the next best and the best friend of the reaction fire team is the humble corner or door (plus pros and cons of sliding doors vs. conventional doors).
After that a discussion on a variety of firing team patterns. The firing squad and the random scattered in wild abandon pattern. Notes on line of fire, and whether you should brave it or to make use of the alien's blind spots. To help that last bit, diagrams of the line of sight for the alien inside a doorway (looking out) and also for the aliens in position just behind and to the left and right of it.
Flare on top of the UFO if it's dark. Flying suits to hover and get a different angle. Using the maximum visible distance when lining up with the doorway so that the aliens come within range just as they leave the door - not before. Why soldiers should not face each other.
Then, perhaps a whole new section of its own, special notes on the various UFO types, marking out good looter/scavenger/short-range attacker locations and arrows to show which directions can be used to ambush the aliens. So on and so forth.
Warnings: scale your weapons to your enemies. It's crazy to face sectopods with pistols, for example even though they are the best reaction training weapon in the game. Though you'd train well, you wouldn't stand a chance against the sectopod's plasma gun.
Notes on what to do if nothing seems to be happening ~ aliens may be stuck and need to be coerced out by moving units close to it. Notes on unique UFOs where the alien usually won't move - or will not come out (i.e. alien in bridge of abducter).
Etc, etc, etc. I've even got a funny picture of a sectoid surrounded by guns pointing at in the frame. Odd that.
I think a good place would be to start with a good contents to work off. Any suggestions?
- Well, I've started off with the "exit door ambush" section, which as I said in my edit summary, I'll probably move out into its own article, as it is a very basic tactic which incidentally is good for reaction training. What I haven't gotten to yet is emphasizing AC-IN vs. Silacoids as the "training of choice", which I finally tested in the field and is flawless. You can give all your soldiers maximum reactions training risk-free as long as you bring enough clips.
- Most of your points are good (and specific to door-ambushing). A few I contest: you do want the best possible chance to kill the alien, unless you know it to be unarmed. As has been mentioned elsewhere, soldiers get reactions experience from being in the "reaction shot queue" even if the alien dies before it's their turn to fire. If it gets a chance to shoot back, someone dies. (Unless maybe you're using a tank as reactions bait -- but only if that works flawlessly. I haven't tried it myself yet.)
- Because of blind spots, corners are very bad for reactions training -- although a corner bathed in smoke might work well. Then again, corners are even better when blown up, if possible, or scouted from a distance so as to snipe whatever you find there. Corners inside UFOs are tough propositions in general.
- Using maximum visual distance is impractical on most maps, as you rarely get a clear shot at the door from 20 paces away. The smoke grenade trick is the same general idea, but more practical: much less distance needed, and the aliens have fewer TUs when they come out of the cloud. It's a pity you run out of smokeable tiles so quickly, otherwise I'd use smoke everywhere.
- Aside from those, I agree with all your points.--Ethereal Cereal 12:42, 15 March 2007 (PDT)
- A lot of these are just notes I'd jotted down on a piece of paper while I should've been working. Didn't have much time to think them through. However, I think that some of them (like range) should still be considered even if you cannot always get into the right situations where they'd come in handy. But when you do, it's worth to have a few tricks in the toolbox to use.
- The corners aren't useful for concentrated reaction training sessions ala the ufo door ambush, but it's still a great tool if you spot an opportunity where you can set up a small ambush for a small bit of spontaenous training.
- I was also stressing that the point of reaction training is not to kill the alien, but to react against it. Whether you kill it or not is another matter entirely. By the way, will a second volley of reaction fire count in the queue if you do get to fire twice before the alien gets to react? One other benefit, now that I think about it, is that if the alien fires (and misses), you'll get yet another chance of launching into opportunity fire.
Seems as if much of this article was once copied over from UFO_Exit_Ambush. Now some additions have been made here, some there... they're diverging. I suspect that people editing one version didn't know that the other one even existed. Methinks it would be better to merge the articles, and only have a link from here to there. --Schnobs 10:50, 25 October 2007 (PDT)
- Yep, both articles were created independantly with the same ideas. There are actually a number of redundant sections that need ironing out, I suppose this is a good one to start with. - NKF 21:15, 25 October 2007 (PDT)
- My suggestion would by to turn UFO Exit Ambush into a guide on the exact hazards of a UFO Exit Ambush, much like I'm trying to do with Clearing UFOs. For example, the risk that a Muton will exit, survive the fire from ambushing troopers, and then turn and kill one or more soldier. Or the high risks of UFO ambushing a Battleship(Blaster Bombs ahoy!) Or the danger of trying to ambush a Snakeman Terror Ship or Battleship. Also include weapon usage tips, of course. Arrow Quivershaft 21:56, 25 October 2007 (PDT)
I've now tried to merge the two articles; haven't deleted the stuff over here yet, though, in order to make it easier for others to double-check wether I did a good enough job. Once the ufo camping stuff is out of this article, it will be a mere stub; I suggest to relocate the remainder to the Reactions article and delete this one. Incidentally, Reactions also needs a cleanup; way too much discusion in the actual article.--Schnobs 14:20, 26 October 2007 (PDT)