Talk:Starting Your Shadowy Paramilitary Organization

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Regarding base placement, one other good point of consideration (apart from money) is to place it in land mass that contains a generous amount of terrain that you're comfortable fighting in. Some players love to fight in desert or arctic terrain on account of it mostly being barren wastelands. Some may find it more tactically sound to fight in farmland, well, you're not going to get any short supply of these. If you want a base that gets a wide variety of terrrain types, the US has quite a lot of terrain types, and you only need to go south a bit to get jungle terrain. Europe unfortunately has lots of farmland. Africa has lots of desert. The far eastern end of Russia, or the coast of Japan is mostly forest. The polar caps are all polar terrain. Great for those that like to use flying suits and weapons that make really big bangs - preferably a long way away.

As for experimenting with the weapons, one point I'd like to add is to get to know the tactical strengths and weaknesses of the starting weapons, and to not be afraid of hanging on to some of them even after you've come up with a general weapon set. It's always good to have options available to you. You may not use autocannons much after getting the heavy plasma, but a single autocannon on standby can come in handy simply for its HE and incendiary shells.

Ah, but don't mind me. I've got this "must cover all play styles" approach to whenever I make any attempt at writing starters guide... which really does hold me back at times.

- NKF


You're right about the terrain issue-- I usually start in Europe, and consequently have come to hate farm buildings with a passion. (Where do you place if you want to fight in mountains? TibetCom? I didn't even know the mountain terrain existed until I had been playing for two years.) I don't know anyone that doesn't keep one or two pet weapons about for contingency or just because they don't want to live in a world without autocannon. I should tone down the talk of standardization-- it overstates the case somewhat.

However, I want to keep this thing brief and somewhat open-ended, and I don't want to spoil all the surprises. There are more detailed starter guides out there-- Warlock's comes to mind-- but I don't want to leave something open to player intitiative, instead of being an exhaustive checklist. That's why I'm not going to put my "Get an Alien Navigator As Soon As Possible" routine in, or all the other things I do on Day 1. I'm trying to keep a middle ground between getting the new player started, and micromanaging his gameplay.

--Papa Legba 08:10, 13 December 2005 (PST)

Mountains are limited to the China/India border area (and some of that is arctic rather than mountains) and western South America, with a few small patches in Europe (the Switzerland, Scotland and Norway have small amounts). So unless you deliberately try it is very rare to see it, I agree. The entire US is basically flat, it seems. -- Sfnhltb 07:25, 28 February 2007 (PST)

The battle tips are going to be tough. I want to keep it very open-ended, but still useful. Gotta let a commander make his own mistakes. --Papa Legba 00:13, 14 December 2005 (PST)


Note I updated to say that the US is usually your biggest sponsor, it happens in the current game I am in (still first month) that Japan are contributing more than the US, although I have a feeling that will change fairly rapidly.

--Sfnhltb 07:19, 28 February 2007 (PST)

Hawaii base? :P --Kyevan 16:13, 17 August 2007 (PDT)

Meaning of "QCB"

Just looking over the article and didn't know what QCB stands for. Maybe someone could fill me in. Otherwise that acronym should be removed to prevent confusion. --Zombie 23:20, 4 November 2008 (CST)

According to [[1]], it means "Close Quarters Battle", which would be a quite accurate definition of any fight inside of a UFO(with the possible exceptions of shot down Supply and Terror Ships). I'll edit it shortly. Arrow Quivershaft 23:41, 4 November 2008 (CST)

Total Party Kill

This, I'm sure, happens to every new commander at some point. You march into a terror mission, kill off the first wave of enemies, and then as you begin your sweep a few remaining aliens take you by surprise and wipe out your troops. There goes 3/4ths of a million in men and equipment. Any recommendations for rebuilding a devastated army? Or should I just reload my last save? --Aegeus 21:59, 5 December 2008 (CST)

Welcome to UFOpaedia! As for your question, if you lost too much, restoring from save may not be a bad choice. If you have the money, though, you may want to at least try and rebuild. Order new soldiers, weapons, and aircraft. You may be able to get a new squad up and running in 5 days if you have enough cash and storage to order it all immediately. While you have the chance, you may want to change the weapon loadout a bit. If you lost pistols, and weren't using them, don't get them back. Or if you like Heavy Cannons, take this as an opportunity to upgrade.  :) Arrow Quivershaft 22:24, 5 December 2008 (CST)

Yes, Welcome Aegeus! I have definitely had my butt kicked on terror missions, badly. But to get totally wiped out, you may be bunching up your soldiers too tightly, and maybe also not clearing areas thoroughly enough as you move. Or you may not be reserving enough reaction fire to defend against counter-attacks? Another recommended tactic is to leave 1-2 senior officers in or near the Transport - this helps with morale. You could also try laying down some smoke to cover your flanks as you sweep the map. (If you run out of smoke, try Seb76's great UFO Extender which fixes that problem. On the other hand, if you lost the mission because of Psionic attacks, consider it a bonus that you got rid of Psi-weak soldiers, and protect any survivors, as they are likely to be Psi-strong.

In general it's best to keep moving forward rather than going back to saves. If you do go back to a save, make sure to fight the mission again, and this time try a different strategy. Throughout this game there seems to be a cycle of gaining confidence dealing with the enemy, which can turn to over-confidence when they suddenly step up a gear. If you can make it back with half or even a couple of your soldiers than you've done much better, and you will be earning your success the hard way.

Before you throw away your Pistols altogether, you might want to check out NKF's views on this weapon - he thinks it's under-rated and actually one of the best. It certainly has its strong points, especially against the weaker aliens such as Floaters and Sectoids. Not so much against their terror units however! I am definitely warming to the Heavy Cannon - it's replacing the Auto-Cannon in my affections as in many ways the best weapon in the early game.

Anyway, welcome, and enjoy! Spike 17:28, 6 December 2008 (CST)

My thoughts on the Pistol... it's not the best, but it's jolly good all the same. Excels mainly at snapshots and reaction fire and good in cases of your troops falling to mind control.
This game lets you recover from some bad losses. You can keep playing as long as you've got the money, haven't lost your last base on the map (build another - quick!) and you haven't done several consecutive bad months in a row. So it's mainly up to how much money you've got left. If you don't have much, reload and try again.
If you do choose to rebuild, buy a Skyranger and some troops. There are many ways you can arm your new squad - it's all up to how you want to play. A good rule to stick by is to bring something along that will defeat the strongest enemy you're going to go up against (Cyberdiscs and Chryssalids in the early game, Sectopod in the late game). A Rocket Launcher or some High Explosive packs tend to fill these roles quite well. If you're on a tight budget, a rather boring but fairly cost effective setup is to just build some laser rifles (or laser pistols) while you're waiting for your new ship and crew to arrive. They are effective against pretty much anything you'll be facing except the Sectopods. Go on a few easy missions with them, and start making your dream team with the money recovered from sold loot.
For future missions, keep a Rear Commander in the Skyranger in the event the squad gets wiped out. You'll at least be able to recover the Skyranger and whatever was in it. -NKF 00:55, 7 December 2008 (CST)
Hey Aegus,
I started this article a couple years ago. A total party kill is worth mentioning for a new player-- I've had it happen myself. This isn't my article any more, of course, but I would say that the article should try to stay on general terms. The rest of the site has most subjects laid out in exhaustive detail, so this page should be something of an overview, with a couple of fine details that are the most common stumbling blocks for new players. You want to help him along but stay shy of giving him a walk-through. I'd say that TPK should be mentioned here, but only in general terms. It's a serious enough event, though, that it probably merits its own page if it doesn't have one already. Papa Legba 17:57, 20 July 2009 (EDT)

Terror mission preparation

For beginners, the first terror mission is the hardest, since you meet cyberdiscs which are hard to kill, and a sectoid leader with PSI abilities. If the terror ufo can be shot down, the recovery mission is much easier. Therefore, I would advise to equip the interceptors both with Avalanche missiles. If the terror ufo is intercepted with both of them, it usually crashes after 5 shots (that's why both interceptors are needed). Markho 06:15, 16 November 2011 (EST)

Hobbes, I never had a terror ship shoot down the interceptor if at avalanche range. You have experienced this (maybe at higher difficulty level)? I assumed until now that you'd be safe with avalanches... Markho 08:14, 9 December 2011 (EST)
The weapon range of the Avalanche is 60km while the Terror Ship's beam is 42km. The problem is that the relative distance between both craft needs to stay at 60 or below during the flight of the missiles, otherwise the Avalanches will lose the lock and automatically miss. If you use Cautious/Standard attack then the Interceptor will place itself at the maximum distance for the Avalanches but after you launch the missiles the Terror Ship can simply speed up and easily break the missiles lock by increasing the distance between itself and the Interceptor. So, you need to use Aggressive Attack to prevent the UFO from dodging your missiles by closing in the distance so that the missiles remain locked even if the UFO tries to escape. And you'll have to stay in range until the missiles hit... so you have a window of a few seconds where your Interceptor can be in range of the Terror Ship's own weapon... which can destroy the interceptor with 1 single hit.
I only play on the hardest setting and from time to time I go after a Terror Ship but it usually requires a lot of coordination not to get 1 interceptor shot down. You need to know when to switch from Aggressive to Stand Off mode at the last second before the Avalanche hits the UFO to prevent any damage/losses. It's fun but it's also risky - but at least it isn't like on TFTD where the weapon range of the DUP torpedos is the same as the weapon range of the Terror Ship equivalent (Battleship). :) Hobbes 10:32, 9 December 2011 (EST)
Ah, o.k. You're right; this should be mentioned here. I'll reference this to the UFO interception part. Markho 06:26, 12 December 2011 (EST)
I hasn't even aware that it is a bug until I read your reference :) Hobbes 09:27, 12 December 2011 (EST)