No Armor = Lots of Fun (Legend)

I know I said I wasn’t intending on playing this game again, but today I decided to try to beat the game in one day for my own reasons (I think I can, but this one’s probably going to take 2 days. Recording it.) and I’d discovered something that made this game really neat and actually fun. I was reminded of original Xcom. (Note: I’m only doing what I feel is necessary in this run. I wasn’t sure about this mission though)

The mission took 17 minutes.

I responded to a Medium Threat Haven Defense with New Jericho on Day 28 on Legend difficulty. I brought only a Helios with 5 soldiers at Night. While all 5 soldiers were level 7, I hadn’t bothered doing much with them. No armor on 4, no SP spent on 3, nothing particularly special about the rest.

My Team
  1. Assault: No SP spent in anything. SYN Rifle w/ Ammo x3, 2x Med Kit, 1 Grenade, No Armor
  2. Heavy: No SP spent in anything. PX Autocannon w/ Ammo x2, 2x Med Kit, 1 Grenade, No Armor
  3. Heavy: No SP spent in anything. PX Autocannon w/ Ammo x2, 2x Med Kit, 1 Grenade, No Armor
  4. Sniper: SP spent in Extreme Focus (10) and Quick Aim (15), +3 Willpower (24). PX Sniper Rifle w/ Ammo x2, PX Pistol w/ Ammo x2, 2x Med Kit, 1 Grenade, No Armor.
  5. Sniper: SP Spent in Trooper (25), Quick Aim (15), Master Marksman (20), Marked for Death (30), +4 Willpower (34). NJ Rifle w/ Ammo x2, 2x Grenade, NJ Sniper Helmet, NJ Assault Body + Legs, Blast Armor Mod

Enemy Team

1x Triton Poacher (Paralyze Pistol)
1x Triton Footpad (Assault Rifle)
1x Triton Thug (Shotgun)
1x Chiron Fuji (Fireworms)
1x Arthron Scourge (MG + Grenade Launcher)
1x Arthron Brute Champion (Light Armor + Poison Head + Shield + Claw)
1x Arthron Tyrant Champion (Heavy Armor + Poison Head + Shield + MG)


lol. Doesn’t matter, they didn’t do much but distract the Chrion for a few turns before being burned alive by the fireworms. For some reason NJ AI has a hard time targeting anything, even at point blank. But I think they were a Sniper and 2 Assaults.

Mission Summary

Right away I ran a Heavy up on a rooftop but didn’t spot anything other than the Chiron. I moved my other 3 unarmored units behind a building before finally moving my “Leader” unit and disappointingly he discovered an Arthron on top of the building out of sight near where I positioned my first Heavy. Needless to say, the Heavy died the next turn, so I was down to 4 troops, 3 of which were naked and barely armed.

What ensued was a tense match of trying to outrun the three Tritons and an Arthron chasing my units down a back alley and into a building. One was half paralyzed and somewhat injured while another got hit by a grenade, but no limbs were lost. Careful retreating and overwatch with a few shots taken here or there (I’m surprised the soldier who was paralyzed didn’t die, I feel I made a mistake there by shooting his rifle and moving instead of just sprinting). NJ shot the Chiron but didn’t do much and then ran up to it getting themselves killed by both Melee and 1 volley of fireworms… the rest of the fireworms were landing on top of the building my units were in.

After finishing the first wave of enemies, I healed and re-positioned to try and take out the Chiron. Finished it off while clearing the dangerous worms and baiting the rest into killing themselves behind walls. As that was happening, 2 of the last Arthrons came to chase me down. One ran too close and did nothing and got itself killed while the tougher one was keeping an eye on me with its deadly MG. I had to retreat into the building and take cover while trying to take careful shots to whittle away its armor. I ran my sniper back around the building to try and flank it just in case I couldn’t take it out from the front. Fireworms were still dropping off the rooftop and one got me by surprise, but the Blast Armor helped. Finally the Sniper flanking the Arthron was able to take it out and I won the match after killing the final Fireworm.

That was a satisfying experience. Tense! Knowing any soldier could die by 1 round of accurate gunfire, I couldn’t risk any half-cover shots and had to constantly be on the move. No alpha striking was possible, but I was effectively able to outmaneuver the enemies just slightly and take them out one by one. I probably could’ve lost another 2 soldiers and still beaten it after taking out those Tritons. Honestly I made more than a few mistakes or pointless actions, and overall it felt just right.

What I LOVED about this was that basically 4/5 soldiers were throwaways and that the Chiron + Tyrant acted as mini-bosses. More specifically, I loved that my fear of losing the soldier was entirely constrained to the mission (1 soldier down = harder mission) and NO fear tied to the time invested in the soldier (easily replaced). The soldiers were trained in a base with 6 Training Facilities (+NJ Training Research) so the lost levels didn’t mean anything to me (still have 6 lvl7 backups at that base). They had no armor, so the one who died didn’t cost any resources either beyond the Food to recruit him. I was able to kill enemies, but I couldn’t be cocky. I couldn’t destroy the enemy with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back basically, everything was a threat!

For once the environment became my friend instead of my enemy.

Current Game Stats

I’m beginning to think this is the way the game’s meant to be played… So far @ Day 28:

  • 0 raided resources
  • 2 stolen aircraft (1 helios for scouting, 1 blimp for missions)
  • 1 Diplomacy Mission (destroy SYN food for NJ)
  • 100% with NJ, Unfriendly with the rest
  • 3 Scavenger Missions (none of which were fully completed)
  • 1 Rescue Mission (saved two heavies, assault died)
  • 10 Research, 3 Manufacturing, 1 Archaeology, 6 Training Facilities (in one base)
  • 3 Scarabs, 1 Armadillo
  • No advanced classes (yet), no cross-classing (yet)
  • 0 Steal Research (will get to it once I find a Synedrion Tech Haven… hopefully soon because I’m behind on the Paralyzing pistols for the Scylla that just came to town. But I do have an alternate and more risky strat utilizing Neuralyzers + Armadillo)
  • Only 5 soldiers have any armor equipped (the armor I started with + some NJ armor), but have 3 teams

Most resources have been obtained via trading, scouting and completing story missions.

The game is so much more fun without super teams… My “A-team” (who still aren’t even lvl7, but a mix of 4-5) that did the Antarctica mission consisted of a Scarab, a Heavy with NJ Armor + GL + Fury2 + Boom Blast + adequate WP, a naked Sniper with Hel2 + Quick Aim + lots of WP, 2 naked “rookies” with PX ARs, a Bandit Heavy with DeceptorMG + War Cry + Bash. Most missions (including Antarctica) with this team is a snoozefest. Everything’s demolished within about 3 turns and MAYBE an enemy hits me (at least within the first month, this won’t last forever)… but that other one was amazing. Pacing and difficulty is working rather well this time around as I come into the end of January due to ignoring equipment and focusing expenditures on facilities instead. (I think something’s wrong with Boom Blast, it’s too powerful and I feel as though weapons like the Hel2 should have a strength requirement to equip)

I really hope others try something like this. Next game (if there’s a next game) I’ll probably delete all the armor right away. :+1:t2:

Only things I wish I could change right now would be changing how SP is gained. Something like (very rough, just tossed out there):

  • 1*[Soldier Level]+1 per mission.
  • Every extra 300XP gives 5SP beyond level 7 to a max of +50 SP (works with Training Facilities)
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WOW! Once again, the very next mission. Helios team with 5 soldiers, Day 29. 3 naked no-SP Assaults with 2x Gauss Rifle and 1x Phoenix Rifle, a Bandit Heavy with the bandit MG, Bash and War Cry 20str, 10wp, 19spd, and a Sniper with a Gauss Sniper. What was I up against? The first Scylla and an Arthron with an MG. NJ allies got mind controlled by Mindfraggers and were fighting me too. Lost 1 soldier (almost 3), and the Scylla ran away with about 10% of its HP remaining. First Scylla fight that was actually interesting. :unamused: (I still remember my actual first Scylla fight. Sniper + Rage Burst = Dead Scylla… they’ve been nothing but disappointing since, until now.)

Scylla vs. No Armor + Bandit "Captain" Screenshot

Scylla Fleeing Screenshot

This game’s power is layered in the players benefit. You only need skills or gear seemingly, not both… and the game’s better for it imo. (At least within this first month) Was about to turn tail and run, but decided to stand my ground and take out its legs. Like a “Cloverfield Monster”, it just ran through the building, killed one of my soldiers and kept on plowing through the streets while emitting gas and laying Mindfraggers (which MC’d my soldiers twice as well as NJ twice) all while we pumped it full of lead.

This was “Low Threat” :laughing:, and I’m beginning to wonder if the game eases up on you if you lose a soldier (mid-combat) as I feel that I should’ve at least lost two here.

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Maybe someday we can have an “half off ALL soldier armor” mod. It certainly raises the stakes!

Let us know how a mission with no armor goes when there are 1 or 2 bomb Chirons. Using the “2 AP attack” method with an APC would work fine, but without that it sounds like a very short mission.

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Haha. It sure sounds bad at first glance, but don’t forget that the Chirons won’t attack you until Alerted so you do usually get some time to set up… at least 1 turn if you’re not spotted. Also they only come out by February 2nd Week, and by then I’d consider some armor soldiers valid.

… that being said, I did go up against a Siren, Goo, Umbra and a few other baddies with another almost naked 5-man squad and won that with only 1 casualty as well. :laughing: That time there was SP spent however.

Trapped in Goo next to an Umbra Screenshot

Let that thing slowly bleed out while disabled to buy me time fighting everything else. Managed to overwatch kill it by the time it spawned.

Sounds like you’ve discovered what many of us have realised - that if you self-limit to cut out all the stupid OP stuff, this game can actually be pretty good.

I think I’ve linked this to you in another thread, but just in case I’m mistaken: What Self-Restrictions do you Use?

From what you describe, you appear to have taken this to a much higher level than most of us (and I thought my own personal limits were severe :grin:), but the point remains the same - get rid of the OP crap and this can be a very tense, very enjoyable game.

But lots of people on these forums both like the OP crap and/or claim they cannot survive without it because they find the game so hard. Which is why I keep on banging the drum for Second Wave Options that allow players to decide just how (over-)powerful they want their soldiers to be.

In the absence of that, if there’s an enterprising modder out there who wants to give us a Second Wave Menu, where we can set limits to the skills our Squaddies have, it would be very welcome.

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If I could begin to understand how to mod this game I just might… but I’ve only really used dnspy to edit the files to allow 3/3 augmentations (following a guide). While looking around at whatever else is in there I just can’t seem to make sense of what I’m seeing. A lot of entries are just blank and I don’t even know why that is. Couldn’t find where to edit stats on anything. So many changes I’d love to make, but not a clue on where to begin or how to go about that. Wish there was more support with that, but it also seems all the people who were into modding this game have already moved onto other things in life as most of the mods that do exist don’t even work anymore. :frowning_face:

Dream Mod/Change List (unorganized)
  1. Change the stats on all the armor and weapons (less armor and stats, bonus hp replacing lost armor, worse accuracy on some things)
  2. Change the strength, speed and deployments of enemies (weaken a lot of them, add more weaker variants in each mission as cannon fodder… because it’s fun slaughtering things, but not all the time imo… some enemies need to actually be tough to beat and the decision should be “take out the big one first, or clear the little ones first?” all depending on what your strengths are vs. what you’re up against)
  3. Change the AP system from 4 to 6 at least, and alter AP costs of everything accordingly.
  4. Lower HP on vehicles again.
  5. Lower damage on late-game enemies, and ensure less heavily armored enemies are present (these should be mini-bosses/alphas/commanders, not standard - more of them maybe, but not all of them).
  6. Nerf the flying s*** out of abilities, or outright change the leveling system altogether to make it resemble more of original Xcoms rank system (that’d be the toughest/biggest change). Probably put class abilities on equipment specifically (Rage Burst on machine guns, Mind Control on a specific mutation, Master Marksman on Sniper helmets and reduced to 10% - offset by the fact that sniper gear no longer gives the current stats it does nor offers bonus hp, sniper boots would give speed, sniper chest would give stealth as a rough example - would take a lot of time to work out a balanced result - mixing and matching gear is expected)
  7. Reduce the costs of recruits by at least 50%, and give more than 1-3 per 3 day cycle (more like 7)
  8. Change research slightly to basically start the game with shields/shotguns, but no heavy armor.
  9. Remove the Jetpack from Heavy armor and make it into a back attachment.
  10. Alter rep rewards and penalties to make gaining allied status take longer than a week or two, and make raiding completely tank your ability to buddy up. Effectively make it impossible to ally with more than one faction by adding modifiers based on current status (friendly with all 3 possible, but allied with 1 and friendly with 3 not possible)
  11. Add the ability to purchase faction equipment
  12. If possible add the ability to auto-complete certain missions if you meet certain criteria (instant win a nest if you have a vehicle + 2 soldiers, but causes 3-5 stamina loss and some damage on the vehicle) Same for raids.
  13. Make it impossible to raid the same haven twice in a week (a resource pool that regenerates on a week by week basis) and causing significant damage to the haven. Stealing research shuts down the research programs at that base for a week, both slowing faction research and preventing further theft.
  14. Reducing HP of soldiers from 140 to 100 (but since armor gives bonus HP, basic armor will boost to 140, heavy armor to 180 for example) and base strength to 10 from 14. Cap Strength at 16 or something. Cap Willpower at 12. Speed at 18. (other things will give bonus stats though)
  15. Reducing weight costs of armor and augmentations accordingly.
  16. Giving “Quick Shot” to all soldiers, but reduces accuracy by 30-50% (would play around and test first). Add “Aimed Shot” to all soldiers, increasing accuracy by 20-30% and also costing 1 additional AP. Basically a toggle for fire modes, just like in the original xcom. No WP costs.
  17. Achieving allied status with a faction earns you an income on Materials/Tech/Food respective to the faction’s strengths.
  18. Give weak spots to Scyllas, and make them more brutal but not as fast. New Scylla variants, not just the same Sonic Blast, Goo Spit, Frenzy and Mindfragger routine with the occasional melee attack. Would love to see their arms fall off and still be able to put up a fight instead of being panic-stricken the whole time.
  19. Remove trading from the game as a manual thing you need to do and try to change it into something more automated that occurs naturally based on your reptuation with the havens and proximity to closest Phoenix Base.
  20. Soldiers have about 5 armor to begin with (not on the head) when no armor is equipped, and armor often does come with penalties too (example: sniper armor wouldn’t even increase armor at all, just add some stats and weight - choose between more offensive equipment or some “armor” that slightly increases your stats if you don’t have a lot of strength)
  21. Reduce SP gain per mission and per level. Reduce 50 SP rewards in special missions to 20. Mostly (if not entirely) spent on stats now.
  22. Increase mission deployment from 8-9 to between 6-20 depending on mission type (eg. final mission is 20, steal research is 6).
  23. Speed up “Fastest” animations by 3x.
  24. Make a lot of things (like Quick Aim) have no animation.
  25. Change the moving from cover to fire at something 4x in a row not require the stepping out animation all 4 times (they’ll step back in once their turn is ended or put on standby)
  26. Make Sirens into more of a “Cryssalid” type enemy, instead of an “Ethereal” type enemy. Create a single Siren and Scylla variant that specializes in mind control and psionics but is severely weakened in other respects.
  27. Enhanced Diplomacy where you can barter with friendly factions to create better trade routes and research pacts that cost a bit upfront but begin to pay off after 2-3 weeks (unless you lose rep with them below 0% or go too high with one of their enemies).
  28. Equipment beyond the basics (AR, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Grenades) just outright cost 30-100% more.
  29. Research and Manufacturing require Scientists and Engineers again. No longer can accumulating resources really break the flow of research and manufacturing. Earned through factions and havens, must be recruited like soldiers but are less frequent than soldiers. Facilities only act as offering capacity, your progress is artificially slowed by how many are available to recruit. Must be evacuated during defenses manually, and can die. More become available within an alliance, and costs are reduced.
  30. Stores are specific to base. No more globally hotswapping gear.
  31. Base defenses occur from various angles. Enemies “tunnel” into the base at various and randomly emerging points, some by surprise, others are detected.
  32. Base defense facilities. Security bays that provide intel on the attack as well as provide control for turrets.
  33. Bases are less “fill in the blanks” and more “carefully design and consider defense” with corridors and manual placement of Hangars and entrances (except the first one). Keep in mind that enemies can come in from anywhere and sometimes have goals. Alien Containment that actually contains aliens will be targeted (along with defenses and security) and if destroyed the aliens will be free to join the attack.
  34. A lost defense results in infestation of the base that requires an attack to clear out, not just a bunch of damaged facilities. Pandorans will use your base as a staging ground to launch further attacks (much like a Lair) and possess a boss. Reclaiming the base comes with a wealth of equipment/mutagen/stuff from the Pandorans that occupied it.
  35. Bases are enlarged to facilitate Scyllas entering through the hangar. Even if they can’t manage to squeeze down corridors, they’ll utilize their abilities to boost the attack (Frenzy, Mindfraggers + new abilities like multiple worms fired out like a Chiron, and WP boost to all enemies present). If Scylla is present, the attack doesn’t end until it flees/dies. In an infested base, the Scylla evolves into more of a static entity within the facility with its own unique abilities (similar to the Yuggothian Entity) and must be taken out which sends all remaining Pandorans into a panic/berserked state.
  36. Lairs are changed to be more like the original Citadel layout. No Large walls, and instead wide open room with a Spawnery protected by a shell (similar to Yuggothian entity). Corridors exist outside of the large spawning room, and the map itself looks more like an enlarged Nest. Lots of eggs everywhere (mostly mindfraggers) with a few Hatching Sentinels. Significantly easier to defeat, but jetpacks/long range/artillery isn’t effective anymore. Defeat of Spawnery ends mission.
  37. Citadels are changed to ensure the Scylla always starts in a “Siege” location where it will assist the Pandorans from a throne position and provide passive buffs or long-range attacks similar to Chirons. It won’t really join the fight until you close in on it. Stealth to it can be a strategy (Synedrion), or just brute forcing your way towards it (Anu), or rushing with a vehicle (New Jericho) and blowing it apart with artillery… etc. Each faction’s strength can be utilized, or mix and match to your heart’s content. The Scylla guards an indestructible shelter containing a Spawnery (basically the door, unless it moves). Defeat of Spawnery and Scylla ends mission, but only destruction of the Spawnery + escape is needed to destroy the Citadel. Scylla may flee (only to launch an attack on a nearby haven shortly after as a last stand, the opposite of fleeing an attack back to the Citadel to recover)
  38. Less Citadels/Lairs throughout the game.
  39. Pandoran evolution progresses more slowly, instead of maxing out near end of February, should expect to see max near end of March.
  40. Human population drains more slowly, 3 month legend time extended to 4 month.
  41. More ambushes. However, 80% of the ambushes are “auto-resolved” and only result in some lost HP/stamina. Ambushes don’t override discoveries, stuff can still be found. Actual Ambush missions are still rare, and are more of “worst case scenarios” that you have to navigate your way out of or overcome. If defeating the ambush head on (fighting off waves in defense), you gain the resources found at the location or whatever. If fleeing the ambush, you abandon the resources and it creates a new mission type of clearing an infested area for some resources (slightly harder than the defense, but you’re able to better prepare).
  42. Redesigning all story missions to be more unique and engaging. eg. Symes retreat has no enemies on site to begin with but is noted as having a nearby pandoran presence scouring the area. Your initial turns are spent approaching the retreat, and finding the files. Entering into the retreat sets off an alarm that gives you a 2-turn delay before Pandorans show up. Flee the site with the files or fight off three waves of enemies coming from all angles. Acquiring the files takes two turns of “hacking” which puts a soldier out of commission for two turns (you’re notified of all of this at the beginning of the mission so that you’re informed to not waste time or use the wrong soldier). Set up defensive positions to hold ground, or ensure there’s an escape route ready to peace out as soon as you get those files (probably have at least two turns of fighting if trying to escape, otherwise 3-4 and clearing all enemies if not). Keep in mind, at this point of the game, all your units would probably be naked along with all my other changes and there’s no Jump Jetting to and from the files… but a vehicle would be handy if escape was your plan. :wink:
  43. More ground effects. 1. Acid pools on the ground and slowly dissipates each turn. The pool grows like fire but only if more acid is added to it. 2. Poison grenades create a large gas cloud that adds +10 poison for each step taken through the cloud, or +50 per turn spent in the cloud. The cloud dissipates unevenly and separates into smaller clouds each turn (or funnels and pools down hallways and into lower levels). 3. Smoke grenades create a “Mist” effect that is beneficial to any unit standing in it by turning them into those red beacons. Dissipate similarly to gas clouds. -1AP on the next turn if standing in it. Blocks vision similar to a wall (should also apply to alien mist)
  44. Recruited soldiers have slightly randomized stats (vary between 8-12 strength, 4-8 willpower, 13-15 speed)
  45. Primary stats slightly affect secondary stats (str and willpower increase aim slightly, similar to how str increases throwing range - help boost lost aim from everything else. willpower increasing perception slightly, speed increasing stealth)
  46. In a moment of Dire Straits (game is seemingly lost early), the highest aligned faction will provide a conditional offer. Join them (Diplomacy is done with) and they’ll provide more resources, manpower and facilitate the reclamation of a nearby Phoenix Base to their cluster of Havens. One more chance to succeed. Basically start the game over with new conditions, new soldiers/engineers/scientists, new equipment and a new base but keep your current research and progress against the Pandorans with no ability to break alliance. A few new missions pop up that act as mercenary assignments (against enemy factions, pandorans, and bandits) that help get you back on your feet and aren’t as tough as other missions at that stage of the game.

Probably more too… but whenever I consider the work this would take… often just end up thinking time might be better spent doing anything else… :sweat_smile: but it does sound like it’d be fun to put together and play with. The idea would be to create a game with:

  • more disposable and easily replaceable soldiers whose individual strengths aren’t as important as your tactics, loadouts and technology
  • less repeating of missions that provide no challenge / less missions overall, more time spent on Geoscape and more freedom to move around, plan, discover
  • less micromanaging in a lot of ways for resource gain, but more micromanaging on global soldier placements, equipment availability and base designs
  • less ability to exploit for any sort of advantage
  • more fear present in any mission, more consideration needed when moving or firing and how to equip
  • a story driven by faction allegiance with enemies OR a neutral approach to being friendly with all, allies with none.

Modding unfinished game is quite tiresome, because each next patch can break mods. I for example wait to see 5th DLC and patch or two after it and then I will start to modify the game to make it more tactical/realistic.

If you are looking for help then ask on Discord in mods channel.

It looks from description above, that you would like what was in first builds of the game, where soldiers were without ablities. There was only raw power of weapons and sturdiness of armor that kept soldiers alive. It felt a lot more balanced than finished game. :wink:


Oh thanks for dashing all hope lmao… How did it get from A to Z? I’d love to truly know…

Are there any new Tactics games on the horizon I may not have heard of that might not be falling into the “mainstream” category? (The only good things about Gears Tactics imo were the beautiful visuals and the fact that enemy units all took their turn at the same time, :+1:t2:) Anyone know?

The more I learn of this one the more I realize I’m looking in the wrong place for what I want. Clearly I can’t trust Snapshot Games to make good decisions or build something unique with a vision. :-1:t2:

I can’t tell about other games. But we fight to have better Phoenix Point. There are still 3 DLCs on the way, and at least few free updates. And developers listen. They just high tight schedule and little time to implement community ideas. And we already know that some ideas are too complicated to implement due to code complexity and used engine.