Spring Cleaning Tips

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Spring Cleaning

While your bases' storage space is for all practical purposes infinite, the number of General Stores modules do serve a purpose. Once your stores fill up, you will only be able to move items into the base by acquiring them on tactical missions or manufacturing them on site. You will not be able to purchase new items, transfer items from another base or off a craft. More importantly, when the aliens attack your base, the items stored in the base will dictate what you can defend it with. Therefore, it is to your best interest to manage what is kept in your stores. In addition, selling those corpses, weapons, etc. is a good source of money.

In summary, good base storage management is needed for:

  1. Allowing purchase or transfer of items to or from bases and your aircraft.
  2. To work around the 80 item limit for base defence so that you have reasonable equipment to defend it

What to keep and what not to?

De-cluttering your stores is as simple as selling or moving unnecessary/redundant equipment. You should make it a point to spring clean at frequent intervals. Such as once every few months or after playing a series of recovery missions with a high amount of recovered loot.

But that's simple common sense. What's more difficult is deciding on what to keep. If you have a clear idea of what you need and how much you need, then your job will be much easier. But if you're new to the game, or you are undecided but want to keep your stores as bare bones as possible but still functional, read on for a few tips on where to get started.

Aircraft Weapons

Early model aircraft weapons and ammunition will take up a generous amount of space in storage. They only work towards storage capacity, and not affect items that appear in base defence.

Keep your craft ammo levels down, but don't skimp out too much on the ammunition as you don't want to get into a dogfight with a medium UFO only to find you have one missile and ten bullets left after the last re-arm phase. Buy sufficient ammo to arm all of your interceptors for several sorties and replenish their supply as necessary. This is particularly relevant for missile launchers. Cannon rounds take up hardly any inventory space, making expense the only limiting factor.

Once you've obtained advanced weapons that don't need ammunition, like the Laser Cannons and Plasma Beams, you can easily wipe out much of your craft armament inventory and keep only what is bolted to the ships.

Exotic Materials

Exotic materials consist of UFO components and the raw material used to build and power the various alien devices. These items are commonly acquired by recovering UFOs. Some components like UFO Navigation, UFO Power Source, and Alien Alloys can be manufactured at considerable cost, while Elerium can only be recovered.

Minimum Recommendations for UFO Components:

Though you will probably want more as you play, this amount will be enough to construct one of any hybrid craft. There is little reason to keep any of these once your fleet is complete. Ideally, store these at your 'shipyard' or storage bases.

Elerium is the lifeblood of your high-tech weapons and advanced aircraft. Keep all of it unless you have more than you'll ever need and really need the space.

Instead of selling, it is often better to transfer it to another base, or or convert it into something useful by building high cost luxury items like the Hovertank/Launcher and its ammunition. Other consumables like spare Flying Suits are also good candidates.

Because you often get large amounts of alloys from UFO recovery missions, you will rarely have a shortage. Keep only enough to produce what you need and sell it or use it up by producing items that use alloys, such as Personal Armour.

Troop Weapons and Equipment

Troop weapons and equipment work towards the 80-item limit in the battlescape, so some care should be taken with them to ensure you don't end up with a lot of useless or empty weapons.

In a base defense, you generally have no control over what equipment will appear. The game controls what appears by picking the first 80 items in the equipment list and by the number of the items in that list. By streamlining your equipment, you regain control over what equipment will appear.

At minimum, each base should have one weapon per soldier with one clip per weapon. Many commanders keep some extra reloads for each soldier. Don't go overboard with this - it's fine to keep enough ammunition to last you several missions.

Rarely used Weapons

Sell off excess weapons and ammunition, especially older weapons that you rarely or never use.

Some examples where this can be done include:

  • Once you have completed the research that requires live aliens, you may find that your use of the Stun Rods or Small Launchers will decrease. You may want to reduce or sell all of these weapons.
  • When you've upgraded to laser weapons, Pistols and Rifles may start to see less action, and are good candidates for clearing out.
  • AP and Incendiary ammunition for the Auto-Cannon. Many players favour the more formidable HE shells, so will often go through a lot of them compared to the other types. In such a case, if neither of these types are used, then there's no reason to keep any. If they are used occasionally, then keep a small quantity. The same applies to the Heavy Cannon and Rocket Launcher.

Weapons with ammo

Older weapons with ammo such as the cannons and rocket launchers are high in the equipment order. This means that their ammunition is very likely to appear before some of the more advanced equipment such as lasers. If you have a large amount of spare ammunition, then your equipment pile may be cluttered with this ammunition when the base is attacked.

The solution to this is to keep a Just-In-Time method of resupplying your ammunition. Buy small quantities on demand, and only get enough to last you several missions. Replenish them as needed, but only in small quantities.

Laser Weapons

Laser weapons do not require ammunition and are fairly effective against almost every enemy. They are excellent space savers and feature quite high on the item table. This means they have a reasonably good chance to appear even in a cluttered base.

Alien Weapons

Aliens will have plasma weapons in abundance. You will easily capture a large amount of plasma weapons through the missions. Often you will end up with more plasma weapons than you'll ever need.

A few common plasma weapon traps that can occur very early in the game if a base has too many of them are:

  1. Lots of unresearched plasma weapons appearing in battle
  2. Lots of plasma weapons, but next to no ammo.

The solution to both of these two problems is to only keep as many as you need, with perhaps a few spares and sell the rest.

The Plasma Rifle and Plasma Pistol are unique in that their ammunition becomes scarce as you play the game. If you intend to use them throughout the game, don't be too hasty in selling off the ammunition, but do keep just enough weapons. You do have the option of manufacturing their ammunition later, and they are reasonably cheap on elerium to build.

Heavy Plasmas on the other hand will be highly abundant and you will find that you'll quickly recover more than you'll ever be using. You can save a lot of space by not storing a lot of spare ammunition, but just enough to arm each heavy plasma you intend to keep for a few missions. Selling the heavy plasmas do offer a good boost to your funds as well.

If you are really concerned about space, consider laser weapons as an alternative.

Heavy Weapons Platforms

Heavy Weapons Platforms(HWPs) don't work against your 80-item limit, but instead will work against the battlescape's 40-unit (per side) limit.

Don't stock too many HWPs as they take up 6 Stores units apiece and 4 unit slots in the battlescape. Because they have higher spawn priority than soldiers, if you have too many HWPS, they will start to take up a lot of soldier spawn points when the battle starts. In base defense, this means you could have a lot of HWPs but almost no soldiers to defend the base, which is difficult to manage unless you have the right equipment and tank types.

If used in the field, buy enough ammunition to last two or three missions. Tank ammo do not count as battlescape items but will use storage space. Alternately use ammo-less tanks such as the Tank/Laser Cannon or Hovertank/Plasma.

If used strictly for base defence, you don't need to buy ammunition for the HWPs, as they will be fully armed at the start of the battle.

Miscellaneous Equipment

Miscellaneous equipment include Psi-Amps, Medi-kits, Electro-flares, and other items

Motion Scanners, Medi-Kits, and Flares should all be stored on craft since you will be mainly using them in tactical missions. Due to the random nature of Base Defense mission spawning, your medics are likely to be scattered about the base and may be away from the main action to be immediately useful. Your base passages are well-lit so flares aren't an absolute requirement for defending it.

Mind Probes are useful for locating specific aliens and for analysing their current state. Despite their limited availability, you are likely to pick up more probes than you'll ever reasonably need. Keep one or two probes on each transport and sell the excess. They are very profitable items.

Psi-Amps are powerful game-balance breaking devices that will only work for troops that have had a month's training the psi lab. Keep only enough for your psi-capable troopers. You will rarely need to buy spares, and can even make do with less.

Troop Transport Storage

Be aware that weapons stored in a troop transport docked at the base will be unloaded and added to the base stores during a defence mission. If it is out on a mission, the equipment and soldiers on it are not available. Keep that in mind when planning what weapons to arm your defenders with.

Storage Base

If you really want to hang on to a very large amount of stuff, build a storage facility somewhere and garrison it with a small squad. This base can also serve non-combat roles such as psi screening, UFO detection, etc. Ideally, it should be constructed in an area with low UFO activity and protected with a Mind Shield. HWP are also useful to include so that soldiers don't get completely shafted by the 80 item limit.

Waste Not, Want Not

Be very, very sure before you sell off anything that needs to be Manufactured and cannot simply be Purchased. You might need that equipment in a hurry if you are expanding unexpectedly, or if you suffer a setback, or if a change in tactics is forced. Your main assault force might not need those 14 Laser Rifles but they could be great for a defence force for that new base you just built.

You can't afford to stop building your new Avenger in order to produce more Alien Grenades and Power Suits, but you can get some Laser Rifles and Personal Armour out of storage - not quite as good, but much better than any Purchased items.

Don't leave old Manufactured items at your main base cluttering your 80 item limit, send them off to a research base or radar base somewhere. But do not sell them! - at least not until you have maxed out the research tree and produced more top-end equipment than will physically fit on 250 soldiers.