How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

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merkmerk
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How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby merkmerk » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:46 pm

It just seems dumb luck.

You can't really avoid them and suppressing isn't reliable enough (you don't start with suppressors) and I've had campaigns where yellow alert enemies just straight up KO my guys because they rush in from the side

It is one of those things that feels unfair because they get to move into great cover AND shoot with no penalties - seems like it should be one or the other.

I get the concept of trying to stop overwatch spamming but it really just ends up punishing you for moving up into the map and having baddies flank you

So I'm curious how others approach it or if they just deal with it as just another RNG soldier death mechanic and move on

orion_winterfire
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby orion_winterfire » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:53 pm

I try to deal with it by preventing it. Keep a phantom soldier scouting, keeping an eye on whatever seems like the most likely (or scariest) direction the next pod may charge in from. It's not nearly so bad when you see it coming in time to position for it.

Antifringe
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Antifringe » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:57 pm

I feel that the mechanic would be greatly improved by having the aliens shoot first and then get their move. It's weird that pods are oftentimes more dangerous when they don't know where you are than when they are quasi-surprised.

stefan3iii
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby stefan3iii » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:12 pm

You can usually predict where you're going to get patrolled from, and have to take cover accordingly. Also preemptive smoke grenade.

Psieye
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Psieye » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:47 pm

Scouting. The expert answer would be to consider that pods are patrolling and not actively making tactical moves. If the aliens were actually on the ball, other pods should be maneuveuring to hit you from the sides or behind.

The practical answer is to have a grasp of how far a pod can travel while on yellow alert and reveal that much of the fog with a stealth unit. Means your scout needs to be one blue-move ahead of the rest on the side. Helps a lot if you're using the map edge so there is only one direction you can be flanked from.

The impractical answer is to try and squadsight-pull most of the pods you encounter: phantom holo guy watching the flank, unrevealed shinobi up ahead, sniper. That's already impractical for ordinary GOp squads.
Previous 1.5 Commander campaign for the 8-man GOp squad.
The current one.

Saph7
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Saph7 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:09 pm

It's not luck at all. It's very controllable.

First thing to understand is that with a few exceptions (Intel Raids and such) pods don't start on yellow alert. They start on green, which is much less dangerous. The most common things that put a pod into yellow alert are:

1) hearing weapons fire/explosions
2) seeing corpses.

When you're fighting enemies, keep track of how much sound you're making. Flame and melee weapons make no sound; small and suppressed weapons make a little sound; big guns like the cannon make a lot of sound; explosives make the most of all. Likewise, be aware if you're leaving a trail of corpses behind you.

If you can kill pods quickly and quietly, then it's quite possible to avoid yellow alerts completely. On the other hand, if you blow everything up with grenades and rockets, then yeah, you're going to attract attention. But then, that's pretty much what you should expect, isn't it?

Psieye
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Psieye » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:57 pm

On that note, a question: do enemy actions make noise? Also, do pods that get yellow-alerted from noise always run towards the noise source?
Last edited by Psieye on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Previous 1.5 Commander campaign for the 8-man GOp squad.
The current one.

merkmerk
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby merkmerk » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:58 pm

Saph7 wrote:It's not luck at all. It's very controllable.

First thing to understand is that with a few exceptions (Intel Raids and such) pods don't start on yellow alert. They start on green, which is much less dangerous. The most common things that put a pod into yellow alert are:

1) hearing weapons fire/explosions
2) seeing corpses.

When you're fighting enemies, keep track of how much sound you're making. Flame and melee weapons make no sound; small and suppressed weapons make a little sound; big guns like the cannon make a lot of sound; explosives make the most of all. Likewise, be aware if you're leaving a trail of corpses behind you.

If you can kill pods quickly and quietly, then it's quite possible to avoid yellow alerts completely. On the other hand, if you blow everything up with grenades and rockets, then yeah, you're going to attract attention. But then, that's pretty much what you should expect, isn't it?



I feel like this is the intent of design but the game just doesn't play this way.

You can't control where corpses are going to be, or if aliens are going to patrol near those corpses, and most of the time you are going to use what you have to solve the puzzle you're presented with - regardless of sound.

I see some theorycraft responses like this that might work on rookie difficulty or w/e - I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone has any playthroughs where they effectively manage yellow alert pods rolling in and getting flank shots or if they just eat it as RNG and move on.

Psieye
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Psieye » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:03 pm

merkmerk wrote:You can't control where corpses are going to be, or if aliens are going to patrol near those corpses

Non-lethal squadsight shot. The hit pod knows where you are, no other pod knows if they don't hear the sniper shot. Thus you can 'make corpses' well away from other pods. Usually only pragmatic for HQ missions or similar no-timer situations.
Previous 1.5 Commander campaign for the 8-man GOp squad.
The current one.

Jacke
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Jacke » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:06 pm

Also, if an Overwatch shot hits a yellow-alerted enemy while they're dashing, it shuts down any possible post-move action.

Skyro
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Skyro » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:20 pm

Listed in order of effectiveness, but you're always going to want to do a combination of these:
1) Creeping along the edge of a map to reduce the number of directions you can be flanked
2) Keeping in mind how many pods are left, the map layout, and intel on pod locations (almost always 1 pod by the objective, pods make noise in the direction they are located, etc.)
2) Keeping a scout that guards your flank
3) OW specs, which disable yellow alert actions if their OW shot hits
4) Preemptive smoke (which disables flanking bonuses, which is important to negate the crit bonuses which is typically the "1-shot" scenarios you are talking about) in situations where they can't be avoided

Saph7
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Saph7 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:18 pm

merkmerk wrote:I see some theorycraft responses like this that might work on rookie difficulty or w/e - I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone has any playthroughs where they effectively manage yellow alert pods rolling in and getting flank shots or if they just eat it as RNG and move on.


I'm one of the Legend playtesters. I rarely take yellow alert flanking shots, and when I do I can usually trace it back to having made a mistake.

merkmerk
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby merkmerk » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:44 pm

Saph7 wrote:
merkmerk wrote:I see some theorycraft responses like this that might work on rookie difficulty or w/e - I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone has any playthroughs where they effectively manage yellow alert pods rolling in and getting flank shots or if they just eat it as RNG and move on.


I'm one of the Legend playtesters. I rarely take yellow alert flanking shots, and when I do I can usually trace it back to having made a mistake.


Would love to see your videos where you demonstrate this on legend

Do you have any on youtube?

I mean I can say I 'rarely' take yellow alert flanking shots just because sometimes I get lucky and they don't do it. Other campaigns I don't get so lucky and they start KO'ing soldiers with lucky shots.

I'll probably just disable their ability to shoot on yellow alert - having them add to the fight when I'm still dealing with one pod is already bad enough, having them sometimes RNG my mission from OK to failure is just another example of LW2 relying too much on RNG to provide challenge

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WanWhiteWolf
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby WanWhiteWolf » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:25 pm

You cannot avoid yellow alert shots.

You can avoid for most part flanking yellow alert shots. I think it's not that difficult overall. You have to think which path you take when going toward objective (e.g. no tight corners); keep shinobi scouting in front and take cover relative to "the other side".

My issue is with the damage itself. A snake has 10 damage mid-game and he can hit you in the cover quite reliably. So he doesn't need a flanking shot to kill you. Nor does he need a crit to kill you. If he hits a soldier that has predator, then you survive but that soldier is out for 1 month.

On legend you have an average of more than 1 reaction shoot / pod; you will take wounds no matter what you do. I also had a squadwipe pure on reaction shots (1 soldier died, 1 panicked , 2 got mind controlled).

If you don't like this, you can disable it in XComLW_Overhaul.ini:

Code: Select all

; Controls how frequently a scampering alien will receive an extra action point when they activate on their own turn while in yellow alert. This uses the yellow action table.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[0]=0.10
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[1]=0.20
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[2]=0.33
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[3]=0.38


I got used to it so I don't bother changing the proc chance but I did decrease the probability of having multiple reaction shots from the same squad. I mean..... in a pod of 8 there is a probability that each enemy will shoot you. Having 8 reaction shots on a pod reveal can result in a squadwipe and even campaign end.

If you don't like this level of RNG, you can make sure you take 1, max 2 reaction shots from a pod:

Code: Select all

; The amount the chance to take an action will drop after each success in a pod. The count is reset
; for each pod that activates within a single turn.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_REDUCTION=0.05


I think a nice balance would be to reduce the damage of reaction shots. As I mentioned, most enemies can take out a non-armored soldier / put even a MSGT in a medbay for a month and it's nothing you can do about it. It shouldn't be that RNG dependent. Having only 50% damage on reaction shots, would make this shady mechanic somewhat balanced.

MacroNova
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby MacroNova » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Psieye wrote:do pods that get yellow-alerted from noise always run towards the noise source?


No, sometimes they get a "flanking job" where they move around to come at you from the side. There is also a guard job, where a yellow alerted pod will move towards the objective.

Jj001
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Jj001 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:28 pm

This can be challenging to deal with however there are ways to prepare for it.

1. Staying on the edges of the map limits the numbers of directions you are flanked.

2. Fighting indoors helps as walls can block your squad

3. The enemy count is dictated by the density of enemies, extremely light means about 7-9 enemies. There is a wiki page that tells you.

4. The shadow chamber is a HUGE advantage if you can get it fast. There is a mod that is an enemy troop counter which also helps.

5. Smoke grenades are lifesavers. Sometimes i just drop it if i think enemies are coming in that direction.

6. Scouting shinobis are basic.

Hope this helps :)

Icarus
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Icarus » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:01 am

Jj001 wrote:4. The shadow chamber is a HUGE advantage if you can get it fast. There is a mod that is an enemy troop counter which also helps.


Why is the Shadow Chamber an advantage for avoiding yellow alert shots?

Jj001
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Jj001 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:48 pm

Icarus wrote:
Jj001 wrote:4. The shadow chamber is a HUGE advantage if you can get it fast. There is a mod that is an enemy troop counter which also helps.


Why is the Shadow Chamber an advantage for avoiding yellow alert shots?


The shadow chamber will tell you how many enemies and what kind of enemies are on the given Mission before you enter the mission. There's also a mod that will count the number of enemies based on what the shadow chamber tells you.
Because if you know how many enemies are on the map. You know what the likelihood is of being flanked.

Jacke
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Jacke » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:57 pm

Jj001 wrote:The shadow chamber will tell you how many enemies and what kind of enemies are on the given Mission before you enter the mission. There's also a mod that will count the number of enemies based on what the shadow chamber tells you.
Because if you know how many enemies are on the map. You know what the likelihood is of being flanked.
The Shadow Chamber isn't as helpful in LW2 because that report in the Squad prep screen is as for infiltration start, not mission launch. As the squad is infiltrating, things change that can change the possible enemy force: Force Level could go up, Region ADVENT Strength and Vigilance can change, as well as infiltration progress itself. Only when the mission is launched is the final determination of the enemy's force made.

Jj001
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Jj001 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:11 pm

Jacke wrote:
Jj001 wrote:The shadow chamber will tell you how many enemies and what kind of enemies are on the given Mission before you enter the mission. There's also a mod that will count the number of enemies based on what the shadow chamber tells you.
Because if you know how many enemies are on the map. You know what the likelihood is of being flanked.
The Shadow Chamber isn't as helpful in LW2 because that report in the Squad prep screen is as for infiltration start, not mission launch. As the squad is infiltrating, things change that can change the possible enemy force: Force Level could go up, Region ADVENT Strength and Vigilance can change, as well as infiltration progress itself. Only when the mission is launched is the final determination of the enemy's force made.



If you have the mod that pre counts the number of enemies on the map it's very very helpful. You can only get this mod to pre count the enemies once you have the shadow chamber. My Approach on a map is very different when I have to deal with 7-9 enemies verses having to deal with 12 to 15

LordYanaek
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby LordYanaek » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:48 am

Jj001 wrote:If you have the mod that pre counts the number of enemies on the map it's very very helpful. You can only get this mod to pre count the enemies once you have the shadow chamber. My Approach on a map is very different when I have to deal with 7-9 enemies verses having to deal with 12 to 15

But you know this already without the mod or the SC. The mod will tell you precisely whether you have 7, 8 or 9 but the 7-9 range is determined by the "Extremely light" activity that was visible when you launched the mission.

Something that can be useful if you don't remember the numbers is to edit XComGame.int (or the localization file for your language) and find the [X2StrategyGameRulesetDataStructures] section, then add the numbers like this.

Code: Select all

[X2StrategyGameRulesetDataStructures]
MissionDifficultyLabels[0]="Unknown (?)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[1]="Extremely Light (6-9)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[2]="Very Light (10-12)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[3]="Light (13-15)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[4]="Light-Moderate (16-18)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[5]="Moderate (19-21)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[6]="Moderate-Heavy (22-24)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[7]="Heavy (25-27)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[8]="Very Heavy (28-30)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[9]="Extremely Heavy (31-33)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[10]="Swarming (34-36)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[11]="Swarming+ (37-39)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[12]="Swarming++ (40-42)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[13]="Swarming+++ (43-45)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[14]="Swarming++++ (46-48)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[15]="Swarming+++++ (49-51)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[16]="Swarming++++++ (52+)"
MissionDifficultyLabels[17]="Swarming+++++++"
MissionDifficultyLabels[18]="Swarming++++++++"
MissionDifficultyLabels[19]="Ludicrous"

WanWhiteWolf wrote:I think a nice balance would be to reduce the damage of reaction shots. As I mentioned, most enemies can take out a non-armored soldier / put even a MSGT in a medbay for a month and it's nothing you can do about it. It shouldn't be that RNG dependent. Having only 50% damage on reaction shots, would make this shady mechanic somewhat balanced.

I like this idea. It could be made to work with the existing graze mechanic like automatically downgrading every reaction shot so Crit→Normal→Graze→Miss as those are badly aimed shots taken in a hurry. It would probably be fair to increase the proc chance to compensate. This would lead to more small wounds but less straight-out kills from Yellow Alert shots. It would require additional coding thought.

Zork
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Zork » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:54 pm

Gee I'm happy to play at Easy where obviously this awful mechanism is disabled. Such mechanism should really be an option, pods activation and succession of waves are enough.
NOT a tactical/strategy expert player, playing LW2 at Easy. Rather old so I appreciate not be bothered by excessive familiarity, I'm not your friend and will never be. Refuse to learn English well so don't attempt learn it to me, thank you. :-)

merkmerk
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby merkmerk » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:20 pm

So far what I've done to manage this as best as possible is:

-hunker down with soldiers who are in light cover while advancing with no active aliens
-good overwatchers

But you're still inevitably going to get a muton or something that rolls up in alert mode, runs to great cover, and then KOs some guy through hard cover.

And what's worse is the snakes with their insane mobility who scamper 25 tiles into a flank shot and then zap someone.

Zork
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby Zork » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:43 pm

I was thinking about that rule and wondered, ok random bonus actions, ok then why not during combats? Sigh to me it's just a lame rule, I bet to target a pointless element, walk not on cover when no pod is discovered, for me a solution much more worse than the problem, random bonus actions is plain bad design.
NOT a tactical/strategy expert player, playing LW2 at Easy. Rather old so I appreciate not be bothered by excessive familiarity, I'm not your friend and will never be. Refuse to learn English well so don't attempt learn it to me, thank you. :-)

JulianSkies
Posts: 299
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Re: How do you deal with yellow alert flanking shots?

Postby JulianSkies » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:06 am

Zork wrote:I was thinking about that rule and wondered, ok random bonus actions, ok then why not during combats? Sigh to me it's just a lame rule, I bet to target a pointless element, walk not on cover when no pod is discovered, for me a solution much more worse than the problem, random bonus actions is plain bad design.


It's really to counteract the player's random bonus actions, however. You know, the ones we lovingly call Overwatch.
Basically Overwatch lets you act on the enemy turn by giving up acting on yours, however, if they patrol into you during that time you get one turn to act on, theirs, that they did not have, essentially giving the player one free turn on the enemies.
So to counteract that free turn they get, instead, yellow/green alert action. This is an anti-Overwatch Trap mechanic.


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