I put together the following guide on the battleship assault after playing it on Veteran a second time.
How to Capture Battleship Crew with Rookies – A Walkthrough with Screencaps
In 1-Mission X-COM you have a single Battleship Ground assault to bring back aliens and technology home for research. The hardest part is ensuring capture of The Minimum Three. The extremely limited range of Stun Rods can mean a outdoor stun assault is a hopeless cause. Rookies will get shredded before closing the distance against aliens armed with Heavy Plasma.
This high-speed saturate-and-storm strategy that has been shown to work with modest losses, allowing the capture of every alien still inside the battleship at turn 4.
- Skyranger at a landed Battleship site. Most commonly you can find these on an Alien Infiltration mission in formation with another Battleship, a Supply Ship and a small UFO.
- In the Skyranger, 14 soldiers, each with Laser Rifle, Smoke Grenade, Stun Rod and an Electro-flare in case it's a night mission.
- Optionally consider issuing Medi-Kits or High Explosive to Rookies with high Strength.
- Fully constructed Alien Containment facility.
- Capturing the Commander, Leader and Navigator alive is the only priority.
- Muton Battleships apparently do not contains Leaders or Commanders so dust-off if you encounter one.
- Odds are 3 to 6 soldiers will be killed in the assault.
- Shooting any aliens outside the Battleship is allowed and encouraged.
- The high-ranking aliens are almost certain to be inside the Battleship when you follow the rush tactics here.
- Deploy one soldier to look around for nearby enemies, eliminate any seen.
- In this case a single Chryssalid was spotted, taken out with several Auto shots.
- Throw a Smoke Grenade outside to cover deployment of all soldiers out of the Skyranger.
- A point man should move ahead as far ahead as possible and a smoke grenade should be used to cover this position.
- 2-3 soldiers should be deployed to clear the surroundings.
- The other 10 should press on for the access lift after shooting any enemies spotted.
- Here a Chryssalid was spotted, too far away for it to present a danger in the next turn, so it was not fired on this turn.
- Any enemies spotted should be dealt with using the Laser Rifles.
- Throw a smoke grenade forward between the engine pods. This will cover the men in their push forward.
- The squad advance as far as possible, standing at the edge of an engine pod.
- Continue to sweep perimeter with team, in this case a Snakeman was spotted but was not hit by fire.
- Move the squad to stack up between the pods near the lift.
- Any aliens outside the UFO should be shot on sight (they are very likely to be mere Soldiers).
- Chryssalids or other Terror Units should be executed with extreme prejudice.
Turn 5 – Operation Lift Storm
- Take nine soldiers and rush into the turbolift, filling the downstairs. The aliens will now be unable to exit the Battleship.
- If there's any alien already downstairs in the lift:
- Walk the soldier next to them
- Turn to face them
- Use the Stun Rod until the alien is stunned
- Repeat with another soldier if required.
- Move the perimeter team onward to continue clearing.
- Soldiers remaining near but not inside the lift should kneel with plenty of Time Units remaining to pick off any aliens loitering around the engine pods in Reaction Fire.
- It's stun-only from now on for the soldiers in the lift.
- Dump Laser Rifles into the backpack and the Stun Rods in their hands.
- Keep the soldiers at the bottom of the lift for the moment.
- Slowly advance the remaining outside teams to sweep for stragglers like this Snakeman. If you find any, gun them down unless you're near enough to consider the rod.
Turns 7 to 11 – Heads Up
- Time to clear out the middle deck. Aliens from this deck congregate in the four corridors and will advance towards the turbolift on each turn.
- Some of the soldiers can probably already see aliens from where they are at the bottom of the turbolift.
- Take one soldier and pop up to the middle deck and look down each corridor, identifying targets, and then pop down. This is risky, and your soldier may get shot when going up the lift if they appear in an alien's line of fire.
- If aliens are very close to the lift, take another soldier up and try to stun.
- Ensure they have enough TUs to get back down to relative safety at the bottom of the lift!
- Repeat until the visible enemies are pacified with the Stun Rods.
- The sheer number of soldiers in the lift means there is a very good chance to stun multiple enemies in one turn. If you have enough TUs, check to see the rank of the alien stunned by standing over them and going to the Inventory screen.
- Complete the outdoors sweep with your remaining teams.
- When you can no longer see any aliens down any of the four corridors, it's quite likely the deck is clear.
- In any case, if you can't see any aliens on the middle deck, it's then safe to send your soldiers up to the command deck.
- Stun any alien upstairs by the lift.
- Move the entire assault team up the lift and leave them ready for entry by the sides of the doors.
Turn 13 – Snakeman Stun Sensation
- With the squad by the doors, send a soldier out each door to spot any targets.
- If an spotted alien is allowed to play out their turn and use explosive weaponry, there's a good chance the mission will prematurely end in complete disaster.
- Fan-out to get to positions where you can advance down the corridors the next term.
- You may be lucky and grab a Commander and Leader right outside the lift room like this.
- Advance down the corridors as far as you can each turn and storm the North and South rooms first.
- A Navigator is usually right by the bridge at the South.
- If you can see an alien but can't get close enough to stun in a given turn you might try throwing a smoke grenade their way to limit their sight range.
- Still, you might lose a soldier or two to reaction fire when closing with the Stun Rod, which can't really be avoided if there's a single entrance.
- According to Destroying Terrain the security walls on the command deck will not be breached by Laser Rifles, so don't try re-equipping them.
- With the command deck sweep complete, head back to the lift.
- I found a loitering Snakeman here, maybe woken up or had moved up from the middle deck.
- Proceed downstairs and back to a through clearance of the middle deck.
- At some point, you'll stun the last alien and the mission ends.
- Be sure to see the outstanding Research topics to check you got the Commander, Leader and Navigator!
Cydonia 2 - Assaulting the Brain Room
The Brain Room is usually very well guarded by Ethereals. Often X-COM soldiers lucky enough to make it as far as the corridor head up the lift to find themselves in front of a firing squad. Here's a safer way to assault the Brain...
- Blaster Launcher and 1 Blaster Bomb
- Heavy Plasma and clip
- One or more Flying Suit Soldiers for the assault
- Explore until you find the distinctive ground floor of the Brain room (2x2 with middle passage with double door entrance at the west side)
- Find an adjacent room with open upper level, such as a storeroom or garden.
- The brain room walls are curved at the edges, so scout on the upper level to find the thinnest wall (1 unit).
- Soften up the thinnest section of the wall by blasting through the outer covering with Heavy Plasma (varies depending on room type, but usually 3-9 hits.)
- Fire a Blaster Bomb directly at the exposed dirt wall to punch through. (Do this with your soldiers on the ground to avoid casualties!)
- Take Flying Suited agents through the breached wall and assault the Brain!
- For poetic justice, try kneeling near the Brain and wait until the Ethereals blow it to bits themselves!
If you read this far, I'd be interested in any comments or such! Try the 1-Mission X-COM for a challenge if you haven't already.
I'm just trying to be a better X-COM commander. My name is Kpov.
I'd advise rushing the bridge level and grabbing the top three immediately on reaching the battleship. once you've stunned the top three, who virtually always stay up top, station a guard on each of them, then switch back to laser rifles and sweep the ship.--(name here) 04:10, 2 June 2008 (PDT)
Great guide. Good usage of smokes, good writing style. I thought this would end up with lots more bodybags... If you plan on making the same guide on winning mars with n00b soldiers, can you make video of it too? ;-) Seb76 16:55, 2 June 2008 (PDT)
Yes, very good guide. The two things I'd add to it are that it's not useful to have more than three smoke grenades going at one time (the game runs out of smoke tiles) and that aliens carrying small launchers will sometimes do you the favor of knocking themselves out (or even each other), especially if you're standing next to them point-blank. When faced with multiple aliens and limited firepower, go after the launcher-equipped ones last.--Ethereal Cereal 20:28, 2 June 2008 (PDT)
- Thanks for all the comments. Something I occasionally do is a variant on (name here)'s advice, I pick up the Cmdrs/Leaders/Navig and keep them in backpacks and keep those soldiers where they are. If any turn those soldiers have full TUs (usually not, aliens are really heavy!) then their alien pal must have woken up and will be nearby, though without any weapons.
- Anyone got a screencap showing a Floater/Sectoid/Snakeman with a Small Launcher for reference? If not I might take a few that help to identify what weapons aliens are armed with. I'm not sure how to record an X-COM mission as video though, Seb76. Any ideas? Kpov 11:56, 3 June 2008 (PDT)
- video capture program of some kind should do it. i think there may be one around, if not, medics and engineers carry them, tough engineers may have blaster launchers instead.--(name here) 14:39, 3 June 2008 (PDT)
- Thanks for that pointer, quite useful! Kpov 21:00, 3 June 2008 (PDT)
- Yep, the brown and green is very distinct, hard to miss. And (name here) is right; it's always medics and the occasional engineer that carries them.--Ethereal Cereal 18:19, 5 June 2008 (PDT)
About assaulting the brain - you could simply fire a blaster bomb or some other type of explosive shot directly up at the ceiling where you think the brain is resting. Basically you only need to be able to see the start of the hallway that leads into the brain's theater, and don't need to enter it at all.
If that's too frivolous or lacks the excitement, another spelunking maneuver would would be to just use heavy plasmas to cut through the ceiling, then fly up the hole to put yourself right next to the brain or if it's too close you might just get to shoot the underside of the brain. - NKF 22:22, 3 June 2008 (PDT)