A Shift + Tab overlay quick reference guide
Welcome to the Art of Alien Warfare
A quick reference guide for use by players new or old which describes how to implement the strategies for overwhelming the opponent while suffering minimal losses.
First a note on the character who being both quoted and illustrated in the branding image for this guide.
The true historic figure in the picture is Miyamoto Musashi, arguably one of the greatest warriors in history, a Japanese hero and one of my personal idols. If you feel like giving yourself a history lesson or looking into the philosophical works that he published and which are available to this very day, I would highly recommend enlightening oneself.
“There is no warrior in the world today, who really understands the Way of Strategy.”
– Miyamoto Musashi
For anyone who has ever attempted to understand Sun Tzu’s Art of War, this is because the Way of Strategy is an intangible thing with no essence or concept to grasp.
To put it simply, a strategy is a goal and the implementation of tactics are what are used to accomplish said goal. The ‘Way of Strategy’ is an understanding for how to implement which tactics where, based on the necessity that derives from any given situation. This is why the ‘Way of Strategy’ is such a difficult concept to grasp, because of the fact that it is not a concept at all nor is it even a tangible set of concrete ideas. This is because the ‘Way of Strategy’ is an understanding of what to do with the ideas that we generate as we generate them based on the evolution of a scenario, these ideas are the tactical responses to survival situations and the “Way of Strategy” is not only knowing how to govern said tactical emergence’s, but also how to employ and safeguard against the employment of these ideas.
According to Miyamoto Musashi the truest ‘Way of Strategy’ is the “Way of No Way’, which he thought so much on that the ‘Way of No Way’ became the core and whole of his philosophies, way of life, the school of martial arts that he created and now this guide.
Again, for anyone interested, it is highly recommended to do some research on Miyamoto Musashi and his writings, because they have something to teach everyone.
A Note on DLC
Purchasing the War of the Chosen DLC is highly recommended for this game. If players have not, wishlist the DLC content and buy it on sale.
This is because there are a full set of balance fixes between vanilla XCOM 2 and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. The two games are almost completely different and War of the Chosen really is a better, more whole feeling game.
The Way of XCOM
It may seem obvious but lets go over it.
The opponents are a digital alien army named Advent attempting to take over the world and it is XCOM’s job to take them out, preferably as soon as possible and often under a time constraint. Therefore, XCOM must stop Advent forces by maximizing damage through minimizing all risks of damage or accidental death and thereby maintaining overwhelming fire superiority at all times.
While it may seem counter-intuitive it is not; to put things bluntly for every additional gun on the field that the player maintains, they will always have the advantage over Advent. The only time Advent can gain an actual advantage is by having more guns available than the player, therefore the only way to lose is to allow Advent to stack guns. Which means that the player must minimize the risk of losing guns on the field by also minimizing the damage dealt to each soldier that the player has available. The only way to minimize these risks are:
To inhabit well covered areas
Stay well healed
Minimize unnecessary risk
Remove as many enemy characters as possible on every turn
What this really means is that no soldier is expendable. They might be replenish-able, however they are not expendable during any mission because they are the keys to success. Playing on Iron man on means learning to live with casualties, which also requires learning how to minimize casualties and learning to unnecessarily expend soldiers is a bad habit and waste of assets.
Level ups power by Experience Points (XP)
Ranger = Melee / Short Range
Weapon Upgrade = Laser Sight, Hair Trigger, literally anything else
Item Synergy = Hellweave Vest, Stasis Vest, Flashbang, Talon Rounds, Overdrive Serum
Heavy Weapon / Powered Weapon Synergy = Shred Gun / Shredstorm Cannon
Grenadier = Explosive / Armor Penetration (Shred)
Item Synergy = Any type of grenade, Nanoweave Vest, Mimic Beacon
Weapon Upgrade = Expanded Magazine, Auto Loader, Laser Sight / Stock
Heavy Weapon Synergy = Flamethower
Specialist = Combat Medic or Electrical Engineer
Weapon Upgrades = Scope, Repeater, Stock
Item Synergy = Medkit, EMP Grenade, EMP Rounds, Battle Scanner
Sniper = Long Range with Short Range Capacity
Weapon Upgrades = Scope, Expanded Magazine, Auto-loader / Repeater
Item Synergy = Armor Piercing Rounds, Tracer Rounds, Smoke Grenade, Flashbang
Psi = Combat Support Specialist
Weapon Upgrades = Scope, Repeater, Stock or anything else
Item Upgrades = Any kind of grenade, and or vest
Spark = Armored Combat Tank
DLC Weapon Upgrade Synergy = Expanded Magazine, Auto-Loader, Repeater / Stock
Powered Weapon Synergy = Blast Cannon
Level ups powered by XP and Ability Points (AP) gains
Reaper = Any range assassin with explosive capacity
Weapon Upgrade Synergy = Expanded Magazine, Hair Trigger
After ability is unlocked, may carry any kind of grenade
Skirmisher = Mid Range Combat Specialist
Weapon Upgrade Synergy = Laser Sight, Repeater
After ability is unlocked may carry an additional grenade
Templar = Short Range Combat Specialist
This guide is currently a work in progress, but I hope that I shed some light on some of the subjects and that other players found it helpful.
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Also look for my guides across other game lines like Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto and various other games like Sega’s ultra horror survival game – Alien: Isolation, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II (KOTOR II), or The Bard’s Tale.
If you’d like to contribute feel free to communicate, I know that my grammar isn’t the greatest and I get information wrong all the time, but this is also still the technical first working draft.
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