MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

faket15
Posts: 73
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MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby faket15 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:40 pm

In my last campaign I found a couple of UFOs with much less enemies than should be possible for the regional Strength and tried to understand why this happened. Checking the UFO schedules I noticed that all UFOs, no matter the Strength, have one 8-man command pod, but unlike the Supply Raid command pod it doesn't have a fixed composition. The pod comes from the encounter bucket called "ALNx8_Bucket_Standard_LW" and uses different lists of allowed units at Force 1-3 and Force 4 or higher.

At Force 3 the pod will always have 8 enemies. Most of the enemies are ADVENT soldiers, but you can have a Sectoid or Viper working as the pod leader.

At Force 4 the ADVENT soldiers are removed from the list. You can still have 8-man pods, but every enemy is an alien from a list that at Force 4 includes Sectoids, Vipers, Sidewinders and Faceless. MECs can be includes normally as followers to any alien that allows MEC followers. The problem appears when you roll a MEC as the pod leader because the list doesn't include any unit that can follow a MEC at low Force level. This means that, at Force 4, you can have a single MEC take the place of the entire 8-man command pod. The combination of the lack of possible followers and the limit of two MECs of each type per pod means that the MEC pod takes a very long time to reach the full 8-man size. The compositions of the MEC pod at each Force Level are:

  • Force 4: 1 MEC
  • Force 5-7: 2 MECs
  • Force 8: 2 MECs, maybe an Archer
  • Force 9: 2 MECs, 2 Archers, maybe a Heavy MEC
  • Force 10-11: 2 MECs, 2 Archers, 2 Heavy MECs
  • Force 12: 2 MECs, 2 Archers, 2 Heavy MECs, maybe a Longbow
  • Force 13-15: 2 MECs, 2 Archers, 2 Heavy MECs, 2 Longbows (8 enemies, finally)
  • Force 16-18: Superheavy MEC added to the list, pod is 8-man with max 1 Superheavy and max 2 of every other type
  • Force 19-20: max number of Superheavy MECs is now 2 like all the other types

This problem also affects Troop Columns, but is less noticeable there because the pod has 6 enemies instead of 8 and is included only in some schedules, not all of them.

Kamikaze Samurai
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby Kamikaze Samurai » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:59 pm

I'm pretty sure force level 1 UFOs or troop columns are impossible since they can't be generated until the second month, but strange things happen sometimes.

My current Commander game started with a global strength of 29 legions instead of the 30 I was expecting, and in my previous game it was sending down more UFO reinforcements than I could account for with my understanding of the rules. Like it was sending super emergency reinforcements at vigilence levels much lower than +20 over global strength.

I don't sweat it.
Adapt and survive.

Still, knowing more about the mechanics enables me to plan strategically when I can't actually be playing the game.

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SonnyWiFiHr
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:43 pm

I had UFO in first two weeks and two columns (give or take week). Ah glory days.
The Preacher

johnmaidenfootball
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Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:03 am

Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby johnmaidenfootball » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:57 am

Wow, I have not seen a UFO in longwar 2 this entire year of 2017. You guys have insane luck.

Dwarfling
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby Dwarfling » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:59 am

johnmaidenfootball wrote:Wow, I have not seen a UFO in longwar 2 this entire year of 2017. You guys have insane luck.


You need to find the precursor mission, which looks exactly like Lib1 (Find a Lead, no Intel Package), except it's harder to detect, comes with low infiltration times and has a +strenght modifier (more enemies than usual). Happens on regions where you have raised vigilance very high but you haven't given ADVENT time to reinforce it thru land (Supply Raids), so they send them (create them actually) thru air (UFO). If you have already done Lib1 in the region then you know that Hack for no Intel Package mission is definitively the UFO.

It's a mission you'd normally skip because you almost always need to boost it and has more enemies you'd confortably send 5 people against. But you succeed on that mission and a UFO appears, usually with plenty infiltration time for a semi-large team. The precursor rewards 20-30 intel tho, so you aren't wasting much intel.

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SonnyWiFiHr
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:18 am

It is 1-3 days mission. Liberation should (usually) have better timers. It can spawn in different regions with high Vigilance. Best way to catch it is to rush two regions and hunt (50% / 50% per region) or do mission with Destroy relay. Why two because one will get troop column and when Advent don't have "strength" to move you get UFO early.

I only finished this mission because I put rocket right into 12 or more advent.
The Preacher

Dwarfling
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby Dwarfling » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 pm

If you got a ton of rebels on intel and actively scanning with Avenger you might luck out and catch it with a 4d timer, so you can infiltrate with 5 after boost. If it happens on a Strenght 4 region tho, expect it to come with a Light rating at 100%, which might be a tad too difficult depending on your current tech level. You will want some nasty AoE like Shredder Guns or Grenadiers with Incendiary Grenades.

Swiftless
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby Swiftless » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:43 pm

Interesting. I had my first UFO ever about a month ago and was vaguely disappointed because the command pod was a MEC pod, which felt sort of lame for a UFO encounter...cause you know, aliens.

At any rate I think it was a force level 6 and the command pod was 6 MECs iirc. Two super heavy's, two archers, one heavy and one T2 normal.

faket15
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:41 pm

Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby faket15 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:58 pm

Swiftless wrote:Interesting. I had my first UFO ever about a month ago and was vaguely disappointed because the command pod was a MEC pod, which felt sort of lame for a UFO encounter...cause you know, aliens.

At any rate I think it was a force level 6 and the command pod was 6 MECs iirc. Two super heavy's, two archers, one heavy and one T2 normal.


Force isn't the same thing as Strength.

Swiftless
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby Swiftless » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:22 pm

my bad. Reading comprehension fail.

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SonnyWiFiHr
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Re: MEC pods and enemy count in early UFOs and Troop Columns

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:30 am

Uh I forgot to tell that my UFO catch works in first month.
If you want it early.
High vigilance in two regions will give one if AI can't cover two regions with troops (point of strength).
The Preacher


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