Tips from Campaign Completion (no plot spoilers)

(Edit Note: In an early version of this I stated that PP turrets shred enemies. I shouldn’t have used that word since it also means “strip armor” in the game. But the PP turrets don’t strip armor. They just melt face.

I just completed the PP campaign with the PP ending. Looking forward to some sleep. Some notes:

  1. Have a cheat engine available. Not to heal your characters or give unlimited AP or other scummy things, but because by the late game the game begins doing the late battle lock ups and/or return to empty globes that it did in BB5 that will effectively stop your campaign. In BB5 we got around these fails by use of the console command /win. The devs have turned off the console menu in the release version, but a cheat engine I found gave me access to that console command. In the event of campaign killing errors I would turn it on, reload PP, reload the effected battle, and /win, then close the cheat engine to prevent any corruption going forward.

  2. Snipers snipers snipers. Snipers are vital: you want to not only get snipers, but you must have ones with the “sniperst” training. My alpha seven man squad used 2, on special missions where larger complements were allowed I brought more. Shoot weapons off arthons, give everyone else breathing room.

  3. Vehicles are expensive noob traps. The armadillo is tough, but not that tough, and its gun is not heavy hitting enough nor has enough ammo to replace the troops you might bring. The scarab has wonderful rockets, but only 5, so still not enough firepower to replace the crew you’d miss and fewer hit points than an armadillo. The healing on the Aspida was useful but not useful enough to make up for the lack of firepower. I also tried several combinations of mutoggs and never found one that worked to my satisfaction: their damage was too low and too unfocused to be useful, and their hit points were not high enough to compensate. The best was a ram-regenerating mutogg that once went nose to nose with a scylla and survived for three turns before dying, giving my infantry a chance to douse the scylla in acid/poison/virus/fire and rip all its legs off before fleeing to watch it melt into slag from a safe distance. We buried that mutogg with full honors, but we never made another one.

  4. In case vehicle firepower and armor doesn’t suck enough for you, vehicle maneuverability also sucks. I once had a mindfragger stop an armadillo in its tracks and the armadillo was unable to pass. Had to dismount the troops and shoot the fragger then remount then drive on. Could have walked by it much faster while taking less fire.

  5. Bring two airships to major battles to completely fill the allowed number of troops. Allowed number of troops should definitely be higher.

  6. Always have a melee weapon or two in your group. It saves ammo when you have something with a lot of hit points that is not very dangerous to kill (looking at you, sentinels).

  7. Questionable whether retroviral weapons are worth it. I made a couple and tested them out: if I understand them right they damage the pandoran target at full value even if you hit them on the carapaces, so they are useful if you have an inaccurate sniper (or non-sniper who can’t hit with precision) using them. If your snipers are precise, use the piercing weapons. They destroy arthon gear better and seem to do the same damage if you hit weak spots, which you usually can.

  8. Assaults still have the shotgun/dash/rapid clearance combo. Use it. I got good mileage from the Anu basic shotgun up until the end game, where I started carrying the shredding harrowers. The harrowers do slightly less damage against unarmored targets but shred armor nicely, making them useful against big game like scyllas and chirons.

  9. Turrets rock. I didn’t use them until late in the game, and I wish I had had them sooner. Especially the PP laser turrets will tear up enemies, making them perfect for covering large areas and / or setting up kill zones. The final boss in my game fell to a turret: my technician pulled a sacrifice play, ran close to the boss, dropped the turret, and ran back while snipers and heavies blazed away. The turret proceeded to kill kill kill and is immune to psych powers. Mmmm. Don’t forget technicians can repair them or reload them. Carry reloads, or second turrets. Reloads are lighter but second turrets mean more firepower on the field at once.

  10. Healing materials are heavy and get used up quickly. Because of this, I began to rely on the regenerating chest mutations for people I expected to take a lot of damage. It negatively effects their accuracy, but you miss 100% of the shots you are too dead to take. Once you get the retroviral injectors dump the old medikits quick: the retrovirals have the same number of charges but heal more damage and more effects. They are really meant for mutoggs, but hey, a full 300hp heal charge will do a lot for a casualty, too.

  11. I tried to keep all factions happy until the very end. Don’t bother. By the late game one faction gets angry any time you do something nice for another faction, and in the end you can only pick one final mission of four anyway, so there’s no sense in trying to maintain relations with all 3 factions. Yeah, it was nice to have all the research but I probably could have stolen it with raids on research facilities for a lot less heartburn.

  12. Except less tech progress and upgrades than in FIRAXCOM. You armor never upgrades, you just get some mounts for it or some mutation armors. Instead of being 3 tiers of weapons in all classes, just some weapons are upgraded with each tier. For example, the only PP laser weapon I found was the PDW. The only retroviral weapon I found were sniper rifles. Medikits only seem to upgrade once.

  13. Don’t try to clear nests or lairs or citadels. More mobs keep coming. The map ends when you kill the target no matter how dire the rest of your situation. I can’t count the number of nests I cleared by dashing a solo assault or infiltrator off to find the nest while the rest of my troops kept the mobs busy. Especially spawneries will go down with a dash/shotgun/shotgun combo if you aim for the weak points, enabling you to end the battle before you take too many casualties.

  14. There aren’t that many mobs compared to FIRAXCOM, but none of them ever become trivial and go away. Arthons and their counterfires remain a big threat in the end game. Mindfraggers will still be headhugging in the last battle.

  15. A strategy I found for scyllas was to kill enough small mobs that their will begins to break, wait until the scylla is right about to pin down one your guys, then mind control the scylla, turn them so their weak points are exposed, and douse/delimb/scatter, then repeat.

That’s all. I’ll update if I think of more in the morning. Really looking forward to the DLCs to flesh the bones of this game out.