X-Com: Apocalypse

From Before I Play
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  • Don't investigate a building unless you get an alert from there, or you saw a UFO depositing aliens in it. Get robot soldiers every chance you get. Good early weapons are laser rifles, stun grapples and stun grenades. For vehicles, janitor missiles rule until you get alien weapons. Do not use any ground vehicles ever.
  • Oh right, so don't worry about the pyramids yet. They're perfectly harmless on their own and are actually incapable of doing anything, at all, except allow for ships to go through them.
  • When you first, first start out you can safely ignore pretty much everything until the aliens actually make an attack on the city with their ships. You'll have "aliens spotted" messages due to existing infestation, so always respond to those. Also, keep in mind that the aliens "spread" like parasites, so if you take too long to get there, or all the aliens flee the map at some point after you have arrived, you'll need to investigate each and every surrounding building to make sure there are no bad guys there, reputation loss or no, otherwise things will get out of control and fast.
  • When the aliens attack, what they typically do is send out a few ships to destroy various targets and use the rest of their ships to beam troops down to a large number of buildings. Save your game as soon as the attack starts and deal with the ships however you can. Slow time down as much as possible and try to watch where the aliens beam to, then hit those after the threat is over (and then search surrounding buildings). It's a huge whack-a-mole pain in the ass but manageable, since you'll get plenty of aliens spotted messages. Ignoring them leads to them subverting the company, which will then join the aliens in an alliance. That's very bad, the equivalent of losing countries to infiltration in the first two games.
  • To deal with the "attacks" and save yourself some grief, and also to get your research done, you'll want to avoid using "heavy hitters" where possible and instead try to swarm your opponents with weak weapons at high altitudes. You'll lose more of your own units doing this, but the upside is that you'll do a lot less collateral damage - a Hawk with three plasma weapons or disruptor will tear up the city every time you miss, and God help you if you're using the powerful missiles. A swarm of hoverbikes and phoenix hovercars with tiny lasers or their default cannons will not damage the city much at all. You'll also want to "split up" your units into decent sized swarms and park them in buildings near the dimension gates to save on response time. They don't eat up fuel when they're in garages.
  • Avoid ground vehicles, they're pointless.
  • Try to stay on the good side of the transport companies, along with Marsec and Megapol at all costs. Having them go hostile is very, very annoying as you wont be able to move things around without serious micromanaging. Despite what people may tell you, most of the factions are just there for flavour and don't have any "secret" affect on anything. They were supposed to. They were even described as such at first by Micropose, but they never bothered to implement and were supposed to patch it all in later (which they failed to do).
  • In terms of ground combat, you're on your own but I'll give you a tip: If you're playing in real-time ground combat, you might as well be playing in 'Easy Win Mode.' So if you need to win a critical ground attack mission, switch to real-time because the AI in real-time is incapable of doing anything but run at your guys in a straight line. Now all you have to do is find a choke point, or simply sit out in the open, with three rows of guys in three lines (one row standing, the one in front kneeling, the one in front of that prone), set the speed to fastest and go make yourself a cup of tea. Try to make sure the kneeling guys have some long distance, accurate weapons, and give everyone else two auto-weapons in each hand, and watch the fireworks.
  • Final Tip is this: The Cult of Sirius is always hostile to you and sooner or later you'll piss someone off or the aliens will subvert some organization against you. If you want to cripple a Corporation, you have to bankrupt it. You could try doing that through raids, but the fastest way to do it is to level their buildings and eat the 'government funding penalty' you'll get hit with for destroying the city. This is because most corporations have a few fragile looking structures, and with a powerful missile, you can usually collapse the whole structure on the map - the chain reactions are usually powerful and the gravity so slow that they'll launch their vehicles the moment you attack, only to have them crushed by falling debris. A good attack can set the company back to having negative millions of dollars - they'll be incapable of buying new stuff or attacking you until they're in the black again. In one week you can, in effect, wipe out the Cult of Sirius as a power in the game.