I've Learned to Love Vehicles

Back in the BB days, I gave up on vehicles and just depended on foot soldiers. Vehicles weren’t survivable enough and took up way too much space. Once I got into the infantry-only habit, I got stuck in it for a while.

On my most recent campaign, I’ve been getting vehicle rescue missions all over the place (6 total). So, rather than just letting them sit around for base defense, I decided to give them another go. They’ve been more than a pleasant surprise.

The Aspida is my favorite. Fast, with a 40(!) paralyze melee attack and full soldier heath restore, it’s a capture and close-defense monster that can also rescue you from the dreaded disabled arms. In addition, the fact that it’s entry point is in front allows you to debark a unit into cover and then restore it if the unit is then targeted. It’s a great synergy. Just don’t leave it out in the open where gunners can tear it down.

The Armadillo comes next. The hefty armor and 1200 health has really increased its survivability. I love watching forsaken fire iconoclasts into its front armor for 0 damage. The gun still has low accuracy, but you can survive up close now, so you can actually use it. It’s surprisingly good in Nest missions for flank defense — it basically blocks a hallway and can tear up anything that comes close.

The Scarab? Well, that one still sucks, IMO. Infantry artillery options are still much better, and its armor isn’t good enough.

The vehicles really shine in scavenger missions, especially the later missions with the extra loot. Ferrying troops around the map to gather loot and then unload it into the vehicle inventory is very nice and allows you to collect a lot more stuff.

I’ve yet to use one in a Lair or Citadel, but I definitely plan to.

I’m now building Helioses specifically for the purpose of quickly ferrying vehicles and accompanying technicians to where they’re needed.

Vehicles have definitely made this latest campaign more entertaining.

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The rockets are pretty devastating, but of course one Heavy with Boom Blast is almost better.

On the other side, in my last campaign I used them in the early game simply to get a second team cheaper up and ready. One Scarab costs closely the same as 1 fully equipped recruit. 2 Manticores with 1 Scarab and 3 soldiers each is possible in the first two weeks without raiding or stealing (on Veteran). These 2 teams are good enough to deal with the early ambushes or even heaven defences and it helps a lot to explore much faster -> gaining resources goes faster, very important early on.

Edit: And its 900 HP plus mediocre armor are a big problem for the early enemies :wink:

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True, Aspida can do wonders. Scarab could be great if it had not quite limited rocket ammo.

Faster movement and ability to pass through obstacles does look and feel great, I just cant get to sacrificing 4 soldier places I believe, to take it. Maybe on second ship so making 6 to 7 soldiers and an vehicle to a mission is a perfect combo.

A vehicle takes 3 soldier places, also in missions. So if you bring a vehicle, then you can only field 5 soldiers (6 for the end missions) and also only 1 vehicle per mission … not that anyone will have the idea to go in with two of them … :crazy_face:

One big advantage of Scarab and of course of Armadillo is that they are rolling bunker for 4 passengers. This is sometimes pretty handy when you have to go long distances like in the vehicle scavenging mission (the only one where you can play with two vehicles in a mission, maybe also base defence, never got one with more than one vehicle on a base).

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You get the Scarab right off the bat and it’s relatively cheap. Every one of its Artillery shots are 100% free compared to alternatives, and it costs less to manufacture (edit: than an entire suit of armor + weapons/ammo/grenade, mods etc.). So taking that into consideration, every mission with a Scarab you get a little dune buggy for gangster drive-by’s and 4 free artillery bombardments. Unless every one of my shots completely misses (has happened), it usually tears off a number of limbs/armor letting even soldiers only equipped with pistols finish the rest of the enemies off. It’s because of the Scarab I don’t even really bother getting the grenade launcher until usually the second month.

3 good soldiers no doubt beat out the Scarab, especially later on in the game, but losing 3 good soldiers really sucks… losing a Scarab means nothing. For that reason I always keep one on board, and there’s been at least two times I’ve sacrificed the Scarab. One of the first times doing an LotA mission and they fired all their lasers at it while its turret popped out from behind cover, 80% of their shots missing, but finally destroying it after 10+ turns… I consider that valuable.

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I’d much rather spend those early game resources on soldier and base development, and a second aircraft. If I rescue a Scarab, I’ll use it, but I won’t pay for one.

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I urge you to try the Scarab. It’s literally carried me through the entire Legend campaign over 6 times. I never leave home without one, and it supports about 90% of the work done in every mission… extremely well too. Able to save resources and time on other things. I eventually have about 40 soldiers with about 12 vehicles. About 5% of the missions or less are done with only-soldiers. I’ve come to find the Armadillo comparable to the Scarab, with the Armadillo filling the “gangster” roll better (which is about 50% of the usage of a vehicle) and the Scarab better for long-range engagement. Lost about 4 soldiers in that last campaign, and in nearly every mission the soldiers spent most of their time in the vehicle.

I’ve come to believe that most PP players grossly underestimate the power behind loading soldiers into a vehicle and ejecting them with 2AP for one or two actions (or using WP for skills) before putting them back into the vehicle. Drive-by warcrys, drive-by turret drops, drive-by cannon/shotgun/10-PDW shots, etc… all from the safety of a vehicle. Eject the soldier out, aim at the MG arm of the Arthron and remove it, put soldier back in and carry on with mission because that Arthron is now useless and is going to do 0 damage to the vehicle, or just run off the map.

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Interesting. It doesn’t match my play style, but I can see how it could be effective.

If the Scarab could move further and still fire and carried more ammo, I’d like it more. As-is, it just doesn’t work for the way I like to play.

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Also not my play style, but I’ll try using them early on in my next playthrough. That’ll be after festering skies launch, though.

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from my point of view vehicles still have a wayy too high opportunity cost relative to soldiers, granted there are a few missions where having a vehicle can be extremely helpful, but in most cases the job can be done better or faster by a trio of soldiers instead.

mutogs at least have been improved since December (but still the costs outweigh the benefits they would bring), can’t really give much praise to the other vehicles though.

Just tried it, and yes, you can exit, fire and go back in. Move fast and protected. With 4 squad and one vehicle (needs a 7 transport places / 2 smaller ships or one Annu) it can clear a lot of usual maps, even bring trouble to smaller bossess. Still I find it hard to sacrifice 3 places, but nice feel from time to time.

Too bad vehicles dont improve over combat exp :slight_smile: *accuracy, shoot range or similar
and cannot reload ammo. If this was somehow implemented, maybe I would reconsider to have two ships with 4 soldiers and a vehicle

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Vehicles must have weapons reload for players to consider them. When you first try a vehicle, miss a few shots and then cannot even shoot anymore, you just forget about them. It seems madness and their other benefits aren’t clear enough for most players to try them again.

It could require an engineer inside it (although in my opinion it should be any soldier), and require 4AP from both soldier and vehicle to do it. Would still make it more worthwhile.

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I’ve yet to run out of ammo for either the Armadillo or the Aspida in any mission. Reloads would totally make sense, but I haven’t felt constrained by the lack except with the Scarab.

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If we’re talking in terms of opportunity costs, vehicle rescue missions give you vehicles for the cost of the ammo burned acquiring them. I can field a second (and third) team much more quickly and for far fewer resources than I would if I filled those teams with infantry.

An all-infantry team may have more striking power, but the infantry + vehicle team still gets the job done.

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I guess I only used the armadillo or the scarab, don’t know. I’ve used an aspida recently but only because it was a rescue vehicle mission where it was near my soldier’s starting position.

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The 40 paralyze stops almost everything dead in its tracks (take that, umbra!). Even a Chiron is prevented from firing after a single hit.

It can only carry one soldier, but having the access point in the front is a substantial benefit.

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Both strong paralyze and heal are great Aspida strongpoints. As seen in that crazy mission
where it fights against Pure from Syderion side (and you have to kill em all), it can keep unit unusable until killed. I usually end up hidding in structures to keep on safe side and shoot it from there … Strong and crazy bastard!

I used to think that vehicles weren’t worth using except in the early game, but the updates they received some time ago that boosted their stats a bit and allowed inventory items to be stashed in them, have at least made them situationally useful throughout the game. Bringing along a vehicle is almost a necessity now for scavenger missions, makes sense in context and I see that as a good thing.

In my last Legacy of the Ancients DLC campaign I did get a lot of use out of a Scarab that I retrieved very early in the game from a vehicle scavenging site. Each of the two Gemini V missiles that the Scarab fires per turn have 80 blast and 20 shred, making the Scarab an excellent source of high armour shredding long-range crowd control firepower that the player can manufacture/retrieve from the very start of the game when your arsenal is still quite limited. It can take a while before players can get broad access to faction tech, so having a Scarab makes it a lot easier to fight heavily armoured Pure, Forsaken and evolved Pandoran enemies in the meantime. It doesn’t even cost materials and tech to replenish the Scarab’s missiles either, whereas Grenade Launcher magazines cost a significant amount of materials and tech to manufacture.

Fortunately, there is a ‘Vehicles/Mutog Loadout and Equipment’ feature request on the Canny feedback page, that the developers have marked as planned. We are going to get upgradable and customisable loadouts for vehicles and Mutogs in the future, and that is something I am very much looking forward to. My personal hunch is that we would probably get it as a free content update alongside the release of the Festering Skies DLC, but that DLC won’t be released until sometime in early 2021 by the latest newsletter estimate. One extra change I hope the developers make to vehicles is so that it costs materials and tech to replenish vehicle weapon ammunition, but allow vehicles to carry a larger total amount of ammunition for their weapons. It’s kind of strange how dismounted infantry in this game can carry much more ammunition for their weapons than the combat vehicles can, when in real life it is very much the other way around. Also, Mutogs should be changed so that they need to eat food each day, please let them eat food (2 or 3 food resource per day? :thinking:).

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