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I finished TfD twice before I played ufo years later. So contrary to the majority I really prefer the second part of the series.

Things to do/wish list/questions

  • identify the usos/map modules which have routing/or alien placement errors
    • battleship: large terror units become stuck in the left stairs on the ground floor, esp. nasty if its a Xarquid(full TU, covers entrance)
    • heavy cruiser: alien tends to get stuck in the right elevator, often on ground level(hard to get without something to crack the inner wall)
    • port map: tricences get stuck/placed in the wire fences
    • artefact map: hallucinoid can get stuck in a small hollow pyramid - it can move but the exits are to small for it
    • colony map: similar to above - stuck in a small compartment with a single door
    • (artefact map: infamous hallucinoid at bottom of the lift map, quite hard to motivate to leave this spot sometimes but this can leave)
    • unaccessible areas for example the top right corner of the bottom level of the pyramid with the 9 or so columns in the artefact map; top level cargo ship(2nd part) section above the engines - can not move to the far right- the overhead map says the should be a coridor of width 1; sometimes if the uso is parked close to the map border units get problems moving around them.
  • tftd terrain description analog to ufo
  • which tiles burn longer then 1-2 turns?
  • optimal disembark order for tftd crafts(which soldier to move where, sniper with Mag armor on top of craft?)
  • base development of first base after the initial additions
  • base defence layout
  • learn when to use pulsers, DPL - keep lugging the around only rarely using them if i'm really out of other ideas in order to get a hard to get alien;usually MC and drills are enough to finish most uso maps without losses&reloads by end of July
  • try using Hydrojet cannon to get a better idea about its usefulness; so far I hardly see a use except for short term lighting; the close range idea with HE kinda works but destroys a lot of equipment.
  • TftD reaction training(this is significantly harder to achieve then in Ufo because you no longer have access to the alien inventory and alien without weapons do not not seem to move, so hovering in Mag Armor over a bunch of lobsterman without sonic guns/pistols only works for the few turn where they try to strike your guys with pulsers once they run out they stay put) Maybe offer them a sacrifice to attempt clawing down(after the pulsers are gone)

Strange events

  • When preparing to assault a crashed USO I found a Tasoth Sq Leader on my equipment screen. However it was gone from the equipment pile when I pressed ok. Should have shoved it in a backpack.
    Had the same thing happen again while preparing to assault an escort. Shoved the tasoth soldier in the hands of one of my aquanauts and it was still there on turn 1. Possible another tftd bug.
  • When moving towards the roof entrance of the fleet supply cruiser via mag armor my aquanaut walked through the uso outer hull into the corridor leading towards the bridge
  • cargo ship mission 2nd part when standing on the elevated platform where you usually get sniped from the aquanaut sometimes seems the be able the scale the metallic structure towards the next level. Have not figured out when it is possible yet but it happened several times already. There are other spots where I encountered similar behavior but this is the only one I recall for sure.
  • teleporting corpses: when finishing of a stunned alien which was moved from the place where it was knocked unconscious with a a HE shell or a grenade the corpse appears back in the place where it was stunned instead of where it was killed.

Aquanaut screening guide

Once one has established a steady income source by raiding the supply cruisers and/or running a gauss craft cannon factory the cash just keeps piling up. If one goes for 8 bases(which is by no means necessary 2-3 can usually see you through quite comfortable) these soon are also build to the max. Next is that one can start to be picky with which raw recruits to keep and which to send back/use for bravery training. Their stats are assigned random when ordered. While it is possible to wait for the perfect soldier with all stats at the max possible value he/she is fairly unlikely to show up. So we need to identify those which really matter and those which can be easily raised via training. At this point of the game(July/August) we probably have a few experienced MC troopers which pretty much control the battlefield in normal Uso assaults so it does not matter how wimpy or bad at shooting/throwing the new guys are.

Energy, health and strength are secondary skills and are increased en passant while you train the primary stats. So these are the ones which are of least concern.

Time units are also a secondary stat but since their initial value determines the energy recovery rate which is crucial in longer missions a 60 is a must here. Otherwise you won't get the maximal recovery rate of 20.

MC strength is the second but foremost stat which matters. However it wont be known until a month later. A 80+ makes a decent MC trooper and ensures pretty much an impervious defence against enemy MC attacks. 95+ are recommended if you intend to control highly resistant terror units at the other end of the map. So you can just preselect the raw recruits for the for the other preferred stats and hope for the best - with a MC lab in every base and maybe 2 extra it won't be long to find the desirable 10-20 guys with high enough strength.

MC skill is the primary stat which can be raised most easily given a high MC strength so least concern.

Firing and throwing accuracy are easily trained by either emptying a magazine into a hapless lobster after you had him throw this gun away or tossing things around. Takes a while but doable.

Bravery can be trained but rarely matters. For training cull your rejected recruits after you cleared the map except for one unarmed alien(stunned revived with stimulants, no built in lethal attack). Or use the tentaculat trick.

Reactions vary quite a lot. A initial reaction in the 50-60 range is desirable because reaction training is rather hard to set up in TftD due to the inventory lockout. Never had a 100 reaction soldier in tftd.

To sum it up for the ideal recruit one would wish for 60 time units and 60 reactions and then hope for 100 MC strength. The rest is training.

Intercepting Dreadnoughts

With the advent of sonic oscillators the only alien craft which can return fire and damage your subs is the dreadnought. By August/September you get quite a few of them as well as a flurry of other craft. Your goal is to deal with the mayor threat while maintaining your capability to harvest and train. That means minimizing the downtime(repair/refueling) of your crafts. There are several strategies to tackle the problem. The first is several or a single interceptor. That is also a question of availability. While it might be nice to send 4 dual armed craft against a single dreadnought most of the time this is not possible because some of the craft in the target region are refueling/out/repairing. And the damage distribution is not homogeneous among the multiple crafts. You might end up taking 4 craft out of commission for several days instead of 1 heavily damaged one which can be replaced with a newly built one. This leads to the next question - when to keep&repair a craft and when build a new one to replace it because its faster. That is easily answered so lets do a comparison of the four armed craft.

tech hours - 18000 14000 34000
damage capacity 120 400 960 1,250
speed 2,400 4,600 4,030 5,800
cost 600000 600000 400000 900000
arrival/built time (h/d) 96/4 72/3 56/2.3 136/5.7
dmg repaired in this time 80% 18% 5.8% 10.9%
weapon pods 2 2 1 2
hits to perish 1-2 3-6 6-13 9-17
hits to down 6 6 12 6


  • The built time is given considering a manufacturing base with 250 technicians and 6 workshops.
  • I assume that the damage repair rate is the same as in UFO: 1 dmg/hour ; To convert this in percent devide by damage capacity
  • I assumed a damage value of 75 as lower end and 150 higher end for the dreadnought weapon with strength 120.

The big unknown is the dreadnought weapon - I could not find a damage range and a to hit value. With those values it would be possible to calculate/estimate success probabilities for each craft for each attack mode. From the above numbers(hits to down vs hits to perish) it seems obvious that both the Manta and the Hammerhead have a decent chance to take down the dreadnought alone, while the single barracuda is simply suicidal and the Leviathan would have to get rather unlucky to fail.

In my practical experience the Manta gets the job done with 70-90% damage in 9 out of 10 tries. And it is fast enough to outrun all other opponents. In terms of ease of replaceability the Hammerhead option might be worthwhile considering. Raw materials and cost are of no importance in the later stages of the game if several fleet supply cruisers are harvested for zrbit there should be plenty of cash and raw materials by July/August.

Fun with the standard controls

Teleporting armor

The aquanauts menu lets you change the armor of aquanauts even when they are on the way to/back from a mission. A shipment of magnetic armor arrived a few hour after the team is transported to a shipping line mission on the other side of the globe - just give it to them via the menu and it will materialize in the craft. On the way back you spot a dreadnought heading straight for your base and your home defence team would greatly benefit from these shells - just teleport them back.

Reaction training TftD(hypothetical so far ->not working)

In TftD you can no longer access the inventory of alien and you no longer possess ranged weapons with unlimited ammo. Thus duplicating the setup used in Ufo is impossible. There are aliens with built in ranged weapons(Deep One,Bio Drone,Triscene, Xarquid,(Hallucinoid)) and HTH attacks (Calcinite,Lobsterman). However the ranged attacks are too strong for save training even with Magnetic Ion armor and the units with HTH attacks have plenty of TU which enables them to close in to your troops in one turn in addition for HTH attacks being strong enough to at least penetrate the side armor of Mag Ion suits. If you are hovering above them they will try to hit you with Sonic pulsers which sometimes triggers reaction shots,but even grenadiers won't carry more then 5-6 of those and once they run out they won't move so this is not working too well either.

As a workaround I propose the following setup. You need:

  • A map with MC capable aliens (Tasoth Squad Leader;Aquatoid Technician,Navigator,Commander,Gillman Commander)
  • A squad of trainees with high MC strength(80+,better 90+)
  • One aquanaut with low MC stength(the weaker the better, keep on of those 0 MC strength guys)
  • Ion Armor/Mag Ion armor for the MC weakling and those to be trained
  • a set a training weapons with heaps of ammo(dart guns/gauss pistol)
  • maybe one slow, weak weapon (jet harpoon,GC AP?) with a few clips
  • a way to slay the aliens on the map(ideal would be one drill and a few MC disruptors;or MC and the aliens own weapons)


  • MC disrupter(s)
  • 1 Thermal Tazer
  • a few Medi-kits

Note: It is possible to set this up without one strong MC trooper(strong enough to boss any alien around at will) but significantly more difficult because you need to invest more items into your way to win the map and have to wait until one MC capable alien runs out of ammo & sonic pulsers. Same goes for thermal tazers and medi-kits - you have to wait for the MC capable alien to run out of pulsers and ammo if you go without while otherwise you just use the stun, revive routine to render it unarmed.

How to to set this up:
Kill all aliens on the map except one MC capable one. Make sure the last one is harmless and out of the way - preferably by unarming it and boxing into a corner(triton,ufo, building,...) with a few guys which turn their back towards it(saves the trouble of hunting it down again later and avoids that it wandering into the sight of an armed aquanaut and getting gunned down prematurely). Form a fire line with your trainees, arm them with weak weapons, set up the MC traitor in front of them with a weak slow weapon.

How this gambit is supposed to work:
As long as the alien sees on of your guys it knows the position of all of your guys. It also knows/prefers to target the weak ones. Thus it will take over the weakling. This guy will start firing on your trainees hopefully triggering reaction fire from them. The amour weapon setup ensures that everyone stays unharmed. After each trainee has fired 11 reaction shots, rotate in the ones which have not trained yet or slay the last alien it all are done.

Glitches and things to check/work out:
I hope that it won't try& succeed to panic the rest of your troops. Maybe you need to play around with the MC strength of the weakling to ensure it only succeeds to take over that guys and does not have enough TU to bother the rest. Is it save/necessary/desireable to use the gauss pistol? What is the best weapon to arm the traitor with? It should be slow to conserve ammo but save. I'm considering Heavy Gauss(save?), Gas Canon with AP or incendiary,Torpedo launcher with incendiary, HJC with incendiary or AP(auto?), Jet Harpoon and dart gun(both auto?). How much training ammo is needed. Will the traitor fire even if it has no chance of doing any damage? Best method to keep the MC weakling out of the equation during the setup phase(disarm&box in, stun & revive when needed)

I tested it with dart guns and a torpedo launcher which I gave the traitor in addition to its dart gun. And it turns out that indeed that XCOM is not allowed reaction fire opportunities against turned comrades. Which means hovering above a alien with only grenades; or alternatively getting a disarmed lobster soldier to move with a sacrifice while hovering with the remainder are still the safest methods