More Xcom again today as I continue my fight to save the Earth from alien B movie rejects (check part 1 here). I’ve noticed from my metrics that there’s a lot of new faces here looking for advice and information on how to beat classic ironman and I’ll do my best to be helpful. With that said, let’s see what happened since last time.
Best attempt: Game 19, 6 months in and still going!
Between last time (game 14) and this game quite a few things happened. Game 15 and 16 looked promising but it all went to hell rapidly thanks to my friends the Muttons and them annihilating my teams. In many ways, Muttons are a breaking point in many games and you have to be ready for them or it will all spiral out of control very fast. Game 17 was a false start and I can safely say that game 18 was the game random number generator messing with me. When you miss six 75% shots in a row, no amount of good strategy can save you.
So starting with game 16 I felt like I had a good idea of the overall early game strategy I wanted to adopt but I had trouble surviving long enough to make it. I’m realizing now that whether you make it through the first month is a both a matter of skill and luck. Yes good strategy will help a lot but taking on the first missions with rookies and squadies is not easy no matter what.
Game 19 is the first time I managed to make it through that critical first month relatively unscathed and with enough resources to be able to gear up. My plan to rush for laser weaponry seemed to be the right call and by the beginning of the third month I had laser weapons on my entire squads and starting to getting them on my ships. The first encounters with muttons wasn’t a pleasant one but I survived with only casualty so it was acceptable. On the strategy scale I have lost 5 countries out of 8 but there’s satellties coverage on all the rest and the terror level seems to be getting under control. Also I’m starting to get plasma weaponry and working on more advanced armor so I’m hopeful that this game might be the one.
Surviving the early game
I’m not saying this is the one true way to survive the early game but here’s my mini guide.
- Rush to laser weaponry. Seriously, you need laser weapons asap or you’ll be in big trouble. First of all to take down those nasty thin man in one shot and also to take down those damn muttons in month 3. If you still have basic weaponry they will destroy you.
- Get that satellite production up fast. You should be able to launch 1 satellite in the first month, 3 in the second and be ready for 3 or 4 more in the third month. Sounds a lot but it needs to be a priority or you’ll lose control of too many countries. Plan your base in advance and make sure your first two sat uplinks are next to each other.
- Engineers! Your first alien abduction should net you 4 engineers and add a workshop quickly to get to 13 which will allow you to produce that second sat uplink and make laser weapons.
- You need a flawless first month meaning not too many casualties and no failed missions. If you do fail a mission, restart right away.
- Try to get high-ranking members fast. Don’t spread your talent. You want a few reliable members that will actually hit targets and give you real tactical options.
- Try to plan abduction missions around which continents will be less affected. Not going to europe raise the terror in 4 countries while south america, only 2.
- Sell alien computers and power source even if they are not researched. They are your best source of income early on and you can get more later.
Tips and thoughts of the day
- High level snipers are crazy awesome. I have a top level one and bringing up a second. So much goodness.
- Mutons have a tendency to come to you if you’re patient enough. Use that to your advantage.
- Cyberdisks have a crazy movement range. Nowhere is safe and if needs be a noble sacrifice might be the way to go.
- Intercepting UFOs seems to lower abductions events occurrence. Need to validate this but if its true that’s a big thing.
- Laser canons on ships are a pretty good upgrade to get by the third month.
- Prioritising weapon research over ufo research and engineers over scientists is counter intuitive but it’s paying off.