Viewing an X-COM base will bring up a layout of the currently selected base and a list of commands, your current funds, the base layout and facilities present or in construction, and a reduced view of all eight of your possible bases construction status. From here you expand your base, purchase, transfer or sell supplies, recruit people, view your troops, manage research, manufacturing, your air force, and strike teams. While managing a base, time does not elapse, and virtually all commands take time once they are ordered to be completed, so expect to be popping in and out of here frequently.
You can also change the currently selected bases or build new bases from this screen.
Current Base View
This takes up the majority of the screen on the left hand side, and shows you a detailed top down view of your currently selected Base. Each facility you have built will take up one place in the six by six grid you have available to build in, except for hangars which take up four spaces. Inside your hangars any craft currently landed will be visible.
You can click on any of your facilities to attempt to remove it if it is no longer necessary, although if it is in use or is the only link between two other parts of your base then you will be informed that you cannot dismantle it at this point. Be aware when dismantling any facility of the known bug that means removing redundant facilities is usually more expensive than just leaving them there, unless you immediately build over them.
Selecting the Current Base
There is a series of squares at the top right of the screen just under your current funds that shows the construction state of all of your bases. Green squares show existing facilities, red shows those in progress and brown shows empty space that can be used. Click on any of these to change the currently selected base, which will update the name and region so that you know which you have selected.
Building New Bases
Choosing this option returns you to the Geoscape screen where you can rotate the globe and zoom as necessary until you find a suitable location. When you left click to place the new base it will inform you of how much establishing the new base will cost, this will range from $500k up to $1 Million, depending on the location chosen.
This screen contains a large amount of information about the currently selected base. Notice that unlike the other screens below the main base screen you can change the currently selected base from here without having to return to the previous screen for quick comparisons and checking.
The various bars are generally fairly self explanatory, for personnel listing the amount of personnel available to be assigned to a new task, and the total that are based here. It also shows most of your facilities that have space limitations and their current usage and capacity. Note that when it says 'Space Used:Space Available' what it actually means is 'Space Used:Total Space'. The defense strength of the base is also listed here as well as the Short and Long range detection capability of the base. Note that as only a single radar of each type is useful, and value over 1 in either of these bars means you have redundant radar coverage, although there are a few circumstances relating to Base Defense you might wish to have this.
You also have the ability using the buttons at the bottom of the screen to see all incoming transfers to this base, whether of purchased goods that haven't arrived, or transfers from your other bases. You can also get a detailed list of your stores so you can tell what is taking up all the space.
Finally you can see the Monthly costs incurred in running this base, including any craft you are renting, the salaries for your Soldiers, Engineers and Scientists. It also lists a figure for your Base Maintenance - this value is incorrect due to a known bug, which also means the total is similarly incorrect. As your Base Maintenance is normally of quite a small magnitude on your expensive bases compared to wages and rentals this discrepancy is normally not critical. Note that this total also does not include the bugged costs you may be outlaying for dirt tiles that previously were occupied.
This brings up a list of soldiers with rank and equipped armour. Clicking a name display's the soldier's stats, rank, assigned transport, mission count, and kill count. Armour can be equipped on this screen. Additionally, this screen grants you the powers to rename your hapless soldiers at a whim. Note that you can also move between all the soldiers in a base by clicking the double left and right arrows to either site of the ok button.
This screen displays the status (refueling, repairs, etc.) of all aircraft in Hangers at the base. Craft weapons, crew, and assault team equipment and armour are managed from this screen.
You will not be able to see detailed information on any craft listed as 'Out', otherwise you will be able to click on it to get more details up. Depending on the type of craft you selected you will have different options on this screen. For anything other than the Skyranger you will have the choice of modifying the currently weapons loadout, used to bring down UFOs. If the craft has any troop carrying capacity you will also have several more options that allow you to select the Crew, Equipment and Armour.
Outfitting Strike Teams
Troops transports need to be assigned both troops and equipment (weapons, tanks, tools). The troops live in the base, but equipment assigned to a transport is stored onboard the craft and does not take up room in the base's General Stores. The transport also automatically restocks any expended/destroyed equipment from the base's stores as long as there are sufficient supplies in stock. It will warn you after a mission if it is unable to do so, which is usually worth investigating if you don't want to turn up at the next battle without any ammo.
Your first base is pre-made for you, but is nearly blind and cramped. You need to expand by digging into the rock around you and filling it with base components. These components must be built adjacent to your existing base and take a lengthy amount of time to complete. See Base Facilities.
Research requires Scientists and Laboratory space in the base. Scientists require bed space in Living Quarters and draw a monthly salary. This is the screen where you assign Scientists to new projects, shuffle them among existing projects, and view progress of current projects. Research is one of the most critical parts of your endeavour, especially in the early phases as you try to get up to speed with the threat posed.
Similar to research, this is the screen from which you manage X-COM's (mostly arms) manufacturing business. Engineers require Workshop space to work, as well as Living Quarters for off hours. Many products will require specific materials to build, and all will require some amount of cash. Manufacturing is essential in getting new technologies out to your soldiers and pilots that actually will be taking the fight to the aliens.
Buying,Selling and Transferring Supplies
This is the goverment. Everything is accounted for, taxed, and signed for in triplicate. Well, almost. Every piece of equipment takes room to store, costs money, and can even be sold. Let us take for example, the life of a spare pistol clip.
- The clip is originally purchased by Base#1 for $20. It takes 3 days to arrive.
- Base#1 no longer uses pistols, so it is tranfered to Base#3 for $5 via fedex. It takes 2 weeks to arrive.
- Base#3 loads it onto a troop transport-of-the-damned-cause-they're-using-pistols-the-poor-bastards.
- The troop transport-of-the-damned-cause-they're-using-pistols-the-poor-bastards lands at a city being terrorized and Johnny picks it up before embarking.
- Johnny dies two steps off the ramp, but Billy picks up his spare clip.
- Billy fires off his pistol in the vague direction of an alien.
- Billy loads the spare clip into his pistol.
- Billy manages to get back in the troop transport before bleeding to death with his unused pistol clip still in the pistol.
- Back at base some unseen janitor unloads the pistol and the clip resides in the troop transport, taking up it's own unique space.
- The clip is unloaded from the troop transport to make room for a bazooka.
- Finally, it is sold back to the public for $3.
This is the level of detail that makes casual gamers bleed out of their eyes.
People are essentially supplies that need beds and get paid to breath.