Urban Terrain

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Urban Terrain

Aliens will only attack cities for dedicated Terror Missions. They will never actually land a UFO in the city, but instead drop off aliens from a Terror Ship and leave.

Aliens prefer residential areas, without skyscrapers or subways. Houses, apartment buildings, and shops will abound. Expect to see gas stations and the occasional park. The landscape will be densely packed with buildings, walls, and other structures. This provides the aliens with lots of cover and oppportunities for ambush, so move with caution.

The city mission presents another unique element-- human civilians. Do not expect any help from that quarter, however. They will not act rationally. They will wander about at random, dazed by terror. It is important to keep civilian casualties to a minimum, or the political fallout to X-COM could be grave. Aliens will of course shoot civilians on sight, and this also must be minimized as much as possible. As long as it doesn't result in civilian deaths, destruction of property and structures is perfectly acceptable.

Battle Notes

  • Since aliens only visit cities on terror missions, you will encounter Terror Units in every city you visit.
  • Because terror ships do not land at the terror site, you will never see a UFO in city terrain.
  • To keep civilian casualties low, be more cautious when using explosives and incendiaries.
  • However, if you are ever faced with the situation where you have to choose between saving a civilian, or your soldier, save your soldier. Do not purposely cause the death of any civilians, though, as this will reflect badly on X-COM in the end mission briefing.
  • Be alert for gas stations; their pumps will explode under fire. This could result in civilian deaths, or present unconventional attack oppportunities.
  • As always, tightly grouped buildings and structures can be hazardous for X-COM, since they present many opportunities ambush. However, the presence of civilians mean that levelling the whole site is probably not feasible. Engage with caution.
  • When faced with the problem of entering structures occupied by one or more aliens, the main entrance should be treated as an obvious death trap, especially if aliens are seen entering or leaving through the door. Consider making an alternate entry through the side or rear.
  • The mail boxes, phone boothes and waste recepticles found outside the market, refer to the screenshot above, provide little to no protection from plasma blasts. Therefore avoid them if you are seeking cover. And no, the phone booths will not let you travel backwards or forwards in time.
  • Proximity grenades don't discriminate. They will detonate for civilian and alien alike. The same goes for motion sensors. The blips for exhausted civilians, aliens and even X-COM units cannot be distinguished. Take the readings with a grain of salt and, as always, be cautious.
  • Disembarking from X-COM's landing craft in a terror mission can be especially hazardous. Use Smoke Grenades freely. The danger level is increased at night where you lose up to 4 tiles worth of visibility. Attempt to deploy flares at the edge of your smoke screen before disembarking so that you have full visibility of your landing zone.
  • If facing Chryssalids you might want to reconsider using smoke grenades - it's very easy for the Chryssalid to use the smoke cover to get close to the X-COM soldiers!

See Also

Terror Mission