User:Tequilachef

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Since there are several links in this Wiki to this page i will keep it mostly unchanged from now on. Some edits are down below.

Council Funding Only

Rules

  • Not selling any alien artifacts, corpses or UFO components
  • Not selling any X-Com made Equipment
  • Thus only getting money from the funding nations (and by selling surplus earth equipment like rifles or stingray launchers)
  • No exploits!
  • No farming (Alien supply missions may not be intercepted, alien bases may only be attacked to be destroyed)
  • No reloading if something goes wrong! Saving in Battlescape is allowed, but only for backups if the game crashes.

This makes the game much harder and much more fun.

Finances

When expending money, always keep in mind that you only will get oney ONCE a month! As soon as you are out of money you cannot manufacture, hire personell or buy equipment. Remember what costs might come to you for the rest of the month! Important:

  • For manufacturing
  • Replace losses on the battlefield (one or two terror missions can push this one up quite well)
  • Replace equipment (Ammunition for earth weapons, grenades)

Huge one-time costs that need to be planned ahead are:

  • Hyper wave Decoders, Mind Shields and Psi Labs (each damn expensive but worth every penny)
  • Psi Amps (160,000$ each)
  • Interceptors with twin plasma beams (1,042,000$ each)
  • Starting base defense makeover (excluding additions like radar/alien containment/etc): building 2 new hangars, filling up the old hangar squares with 8 general stores to avoid "paying for dirt" (pays off after 2 months, you'll need a lot of room anyway), building replacement for living quarters at choke (total of 2,000,000$)
  • New bases (if you plan to build up decent base defenses):
    • 3 hangars (Alien spawn points!!)
    • 2 general stores
    • 1 living quarters
    • a small garrison for base defense (I normally take 10 soldiers)
    • equipment for those soldiers (weapons, ammunition, medikits, maybe armour)
    • radar or decoder
    • crafts
    • transfer costs for crafts & equipment
    • additional capabilities (workshops for craft construction, psi labs, backup laboratory/alien containment, backup storage)

Before making any expenses, calculate what you are going to need over the month. Will hangars be completed? You might want some savings for an interceptor. Is important research coming up? Save some money for the Psi-Labs/Hyperwave Decoders/Whatever. If you are low on soldiers between the last 5 to 3 days of a month, do not hire new ones until only 71 hours of the old month are left. This saves the salary for those soldiers for the new month. 10 Engineers are far enough for the first few months. You won't have the money for excessive manufacturing, anyway.

Research

Everything that saves money should be researched immediately.

  • The first to go should be Medi Kit. Although expensive in production, everytime a soldier is saved by those you save 40.000$!
  • Next up should be alien weaponry. Although you need ammunition for it, the weapons themselves are for free. Equipping a squad with laser rifles costs a fortune. Also remember that all X-Com made equipment destroyed in battle has to be replaced, what costs money again!
  • I therefore suggest plasma rifles. They combine supreme accuracy with good firepower, which is needed to bring down terror units and to kill most aliens with one hit. Additionally, plenty of ammo for plasma rifles can be found during the first months.
  • This unlocks the plasma cannon research, which does not require ammo and therefore saves money, too.
  • Alien grenades are quite nice, too. All alien equipment, except for those useless plasma pistols should be researched and used!
  • When using personal armour of all kind remember that losing a soldier in one of those costs even more than 40 grand! Only use those for your best men!
  • Psi Labs are expensive! Be very careful with soldiers currently in psi training, if possible keep them out of battles at all. Build your psi labs in multiple bases and in those that lay in remote areas. Shuffle your Base garrisons for psionic training and send wounded soldiers to training since they cannot do anything else, anyway. After that train your most talented soldiers excessively, you wont have many of them!

Tactical Combat

One of the big bills is hiring replacements. Therefore keeping your soldiers alive should be top priority. Some tricks to reduce your soldiers' mortality rate:

  • Throw a smoke grenade out of your craft in the first turn. Do not exit, all aliens have full TUs at the beginning of your first turn and will therefore be able to reaction fire on your troops.
  • Think of bringing an incendiary rocket to light up night missions and to burn down jungles.
  • Electro Flares are an absolute must-have for night missions. If one lights your own troops, blast it with a grenade or pick it up.
  • Employ psi puppets if necessary.
  • Tanks cost a whole bunch of money and are very vulnerable to reaction fire. Better use 10 soldiers for the same money.

Scoring

Obtaining huge amounts of score points is your top objective. Those will increase your payment by the funding nations. Normally, a score around 3,000 points will result in a remarkable increase in funding. This is absolutely necessary to cover rising maintenance costs, which come with global radar coverage and multiple interceptors. Some tricks to keep your employers happy:

  • Every UFOpaedia entry gains points. Save autopsies and other alien research for worse months.
  • If you have a nice amount of points and the monthly report is near, keep possible sources for points (alien bases, downed UFOs) untouched. Taking them when already having enough points would be waste.
  • Downing UFOs earns points, destroying them in air combat doubles them! Having plasma beams...
    • makes those points absolutely free
    • gives the chance of destroying medium scouts and very rarely even large scouts (more free points, the ground assault would cost money and endanger squad and equipment for 200 points or less)
    • hugely improves your capability of taking down terror ships and supply ships!
  • Points cost money! Every tactical mission that gains points costs money. This can go from a few thousand for ammo up to some hundrets of thousands for killed soldiers. remember that wounded soldiers still receive salaries while doing nothing, so soldiers being wounded cost, too. Therefore leave downed UFOs when having enough points halfway through the month.

Emptying the stores

Although selling stuff is forbidden, there is no reason you should not be allowed to destroy it. Sell surplus equipment or corpses, then "destroy" the money by building and destroying base facilities or buying and then selling items. A nice spot for that is the position of the starting base original living quarters. This improves the defenses of your base while keeping down the paying for dirt bug.

Conclusion

Originally, I had written here how easy the game still was. Now, I still struggle to finish this with XComUtil installed and therefore the difficulty bug tamed (I did non realize before: I hab done this on beginner difficulty!). Now it looks quite different! I restarted almost a dozen times, each time refining my strategy. Once I did it... well, almost. I realized that by some wicked collaboration of xcomutil 9.6 and UFO DOS 1.2, infiltrated funding nations will CONTINUE to pay money (see bug huntin' section). I had had too much money. Trying again :)

Legacy

When I wrote this 6 years ago I wouldn't have thought that this might actually inspire anyone. I found out that this "mod" made it's way into some big fan-made project. I'm thinking of suggesting it to the openxcom guys for implementation.

Anyways, seeing that my idea is apprechiated is just great :)

Bug Huntin'

After my return here after 6 years of abstinence, I took a shot at the game again... and discovered several things I never saw anywehre here. Listed here:

Source of "Paying for Dirt" bug discovered

(Text Identical to Talk:Known_Bugs)

Well, I never have read this anywhere (which kind of strikes me as odd, thinking of how obvious this one seemed to me... And i have NO programming background whatsoever), so I'll post it here, hoping that there are still some active members willing to try and verify my findings. If so, please comment here, because then I will inform bladefirelight to include this in any upcoming xcomutil release. If it had been discovered before, well then I just wasted some time here. Comment below, I will delete this entry.

As the main bug page mentions, when dismantling a facility still under construction the premium will only be paid once it would have been finished. This suggests some connection between paying the premium and building time. Looking into the infos here: BASE.DAT, I quickly discovered what the problem was: When a facility is dismantled, the Bytes related to the location of base facilities are updated correctly. HOWEVER the game omits to update build time to FF (which is "will never finish", an entry only found on unused squares). If the facility is finished when it is dismantled (or destroyed during combat), then the 00 in the build time byte will stand. If it was under construction, the value indicating the remainig build time will continue to tick down towards 00 as if the facility was still there.

Now at the end of the month the following seems to happen: The game checks for ANY 00 entry in the build time bytes, and if there are 00 entries, it will look up in the location bytes the type of structure to determine the amount of maintenance for that 00-construction-time-square. When it finds "dirt", then it will charge the 80 grand (my guess would be that those are somewhere hard-coded).

This explains all phenomena related to this bug, like a dismantled hangar costing 320.000 grand or the premium only popping up after the build time of a dismantled facility that was under construction has expired.

Now the fix is pretty easy: Open the BASE.DAT in a hex-editor and change the bytes in question to FF!

Invincible South Atlantic Base

As noted here: Access_Lift, it is possible to build a base in the South Atlantic Area. As noted here: Open_Questions, the Aliens will always spawn a research mission right at the start in the area of your first base. I tested that, edited some decoder coverage in a new game. When the first base is in the South Atlantic, then this mission never happens. NO mission will EVER happen there. Therefore, this base is IMMUNE TO RETALIATION (except you dismantle an access lift when an UFO it on it's way there and the attacking force will randomly change to another base).

I'm not really sure about that one, but if it stands true, this might even be an issue for OpenXCom.

Funding Nations Regain Bug

Might be a combo of UFO 1.2 Dos and XComUtil 9.6. Will update later. too tired...