Battletech / XCom 2 / Time bound strategy long games

Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
Dear gods and goddesses of strategy, I'm just starting to get into my Steam backlog, and decided to visit XCom 2 and Battletech, both of which are turn-based and have a strategy/tactics combo.

I am trying not to save-scum, but I'm also terrified of making dumb-ass-moves early on against a clock, and then finding out half way through that I'm royally f&cked. I also don't want to play these campaigns multiple times through just to get the long game right.

So my question is, how do y'all deal with it? Besides paying attention, or reading reddit threads. The agony of indecision is driving me slightly batty.

thanks!
 
I haven't played XCOM 2, but with XCOM I just started over a few times until I had a good strategy and I could keep my most experienced soldiers alive. It helps that the campaign isn't all that long and I really enjoyed the gameplay.

However, I haven't been able to play any Fire Emblem games for the exact reason that I don't want to have to start over if I discover late in the game I made a mistake somewhere in the beginning.

As far as I know, XCOM doesn't really have the problem that the effects of decisions don't become apparent until much later in the game.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandwitch
Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
Oh Alfred. a man for all seasons. Michael Caine FTW forever.

Yeah, I think the time element is, no pun intended, killing me - as I'm already behind in my payments for BattleTech - and it's like week 4. WTF!!!!!!

I'm not even going to try Pathfinder, as I hear that clock is invisible - so sometimes quests just time out!
 
Jan 14, 2020
224
439
5,170
how do y'all deal with it?
I do it in waves. For my first game, especially at the start, I let myself save scum as much as I like. Later in that game and on subsequent games, I allow myself a sort of hybrid save-scumming approach, where I save at the start of every mission, so I can restart a mission without having to restart the game if I've really messed up, but can't go back over every individual move.

Other game-specific tips: For XCOM:EU, buy Satellites early and often; For Battletech, start with the story campaign.

As far as I know, XCOM doesn't really have the problem that the effects of decisions don't become apparent until much later in the game.
What? XCOM:EU is notorious for it. If you don't rush early Satellites, it's going to be much harder than it needs to be later on.
 
What? XCOM:EU is notorious for it. If you don't rush early Satellites, it's going to be much harder than it needs to be later on.

You feel those effects pretty quickly though. My first game fell apart after only a few missions because I just couldn't keep the global panic levels down, so I restarted and focused on satellites early.

I feel like XCOM is just a game that you'll probably need to restart a few times until you have a good strategy, but that doesn't seem very punishing to me as the gameplay doesn't change much throughout the game. Restarting doesn't mean having to go through hours of boring tutorials or reliving the same story points, as XCOM doesn't really have either. I think it took me 4 tries to get to the end of an ironman mode on normal difficulty and none of them ended anywhere near the end because of a dumb decision I made somewhere in the beginning of the game.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
... as I'm already behind in my payments for BattleTech - and it's like week 4. WTF!!!!!!
Do the next campaign story! If you're not playing the campaign, start over - career mode is meant more for your second playthrough (or continuing your game after the campaign).

I've got a lot more advice on that game. A *LOT* more. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1938439954

I'm not even going to try Pathfinder, as I hear that clock is invisible - so sometimes quests just time out!
I guess there are a few quests with hidden timers but not many. No big deal if you miss out on one or three. The game has crazy levels of content anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hveðrungr
Kingdom Come: Deliverance has the same mildly irritating problem. A small minority of quests are on a clock, but they don't tell you which those are, and because most of the time it doesn't matter it's easy to miss the times when it does.

This is good to know. I've recently started playing Kingdom Come and haven't encountered any quests that are on a clock yet (unless I just happened to do them in time), but I'll make sure to keep an eye out in case a specific deadline is mentioned.
 
Jan 14, 2020
224
439
5,170
This is good to know. I've recently started playing Kingdom Come and haven't encountered any quests that are on a clock yet (unless I just happened to do them in time), but I'll make sure to keep an eye out in case a specific deadline is mentioned.
That's the point, they DON'T mention a specific deadline. You just suddenly notice that the quest is marked failed in the log some time after accepting it.

Friend, do yourself a favour and keep a note of this short list: View: https://www.reddit.com/r/kingdomcome/comments/80kchw/is_there_a_definitive_list_of_side_quests_that/
 

McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
716
2,221
10,270
For BattleTech I gave myself one save scum for the harder missions, but lived with my choices and failures and made it through the campaign no problem on regular difficulty.

XCOM I save scummed quite a bit but still enjoyed the game. XCOM 2 I've tried to play twice but ultimately I've given up on it, the timers and the "Ruler" boss fights sucked a lot of fun out of a gameplay experience and in the end the save scumming was so out of control that I just gave up.
 
Jan 14, 2020
224
439
5,170
XCOM I save scummed quite a bit but still enjoyed the game. XCOM 2 I've tried to play twice but ultimately I've given up on it, the timers and the "Ruler" boss fights sucked a lot of fun out of a gameplay experience and in the end the save scumming was so out of control that I just gave up.
You know you can turn off the Ruler DLC, yes? And you can double the length of all timers? If not, give it another go with both of those changes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandwitch
Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
I do it in waves. For my first game, especially at the start, I let myself save scum as much as I like. Later in that game and on subsequent games, I allow myself a sort of hybrid save-scumming approach, where I save at the start of every mission, so I can restart a mission without having to restart the game if I've really messed up, but can't go back over every individual move.

Other game-specific tips: For XCOM:EU, buy Satellites early and often; For Battletech, start with the story campaign.


What? XCOM:EU is notorious for it. If you don't rush early Satellites, it's going to be much harder than it needs to be later on.

I don't think I have the discipline to not go back and try a mission--the problem I have is, with how slow Battletech battles are--I really really can't stomach the idea of restarting a long mission, let alone the whole campaign. If the response is, "well then this ain't for you"--I get it. But I really like the idea of BattleTech and the whole world.

And I finished XCOM EU finally - holy **** do you need satellites early. Now onto XCOM 2. Wasteland 3 can't come soon enough--though now delayed until August?!
 
Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
For BattleTech I gave myself one save scum for the harder missions, but lived with my choices and failures and made it through the campaign no problem on regular difficulty.

XCOM I save scummed quite a bit but still enjoyed the game. XCOM 2 I've tried to play twice but ultimately I've given up on it, the timers and the "Ruler" boss fights sucked a lot of fun out of a gameplay experience and in the end the save scumming was so out of control that I just gave up.

Oh good to know I just finished XCOM EU, and I'm about to start on XCOM 2. Didn't know you can adjust the timers/rulers!
 
Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
Do the next campaign story! If you're not playing the campaign, start over - career mode is meant more for your second playthrough (or continuing your game after the campaign).

I've got a lot more advice on that game. A *LOT* more. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1938439954


I guess there are a few quests with hidden timers but not many. No big deal if you miss out on one or three. The game has crazy levels of content anyway.

This is amazing! Holyshit. Thanks Zloth. The speed is life thing I wish I'd know earlier.

Also, do you recommend Pathfinder then? I just read that the whole game is on a clock, which I'm just not personally into--the completionist in me wants to take my time--especially if it's a 20+ hr game vs. Outer Wilds/Into the Breach style, where the premise is clock-as-tension.
 
Jan 14, 2020
224
439
5,170
the problem I have is, with how slow Battletech battles are--I really really can't stomach the idea of restarting a long mission, let alone the whole campaign
I have more good news for you: you can go into the graphics settings and speed up all of the animations.

But the reluctance to restart a mission is what makes the beginning of mission saves work: you only end using them to wipe major disasters, you just roll with suboptimal plays. And that's what I like saves for. I don't need to do everything perfectly, but not being able to go back and redo a game-ending flub is irritating.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pifanjr

Zloth

Community Contributor
This is amazing! Holyshit. Thanks Zloth. The speed is life thing I wish I'd know earlier.
You're welcome! Yep, moving is definitely handy - especially for the lighter mechs.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with how slow the battles are? There's an option to speed up the animations a bit (and a mod to speed them up even more, though I haven't tried it myself). Or are you talking about the time it takes to take down an enemy? Early on, when you can't target individual parts very well, you have to take out a lot more armor before the target starts breaking down.

Also, do you recommend Pathfinder then? I just read that the whole game is on a clock, which I'm just not personally into--the completionist in me wants to take my time--especially if it's a 20+ hr game vs. Outer Wilds/Into the Breach style, where the premise is clock-as-tension.
The game is WAY over 20 hours! Most of the clocks seem to be of the "keep you on task" variety as opposed to the "can you work fast" challenge variety. For instance, right near the start you're tasked with defeating a bandit lord within 3 (?) months. If you stick to just the tasks put in front of you, you'll beat that easily. If you go wandering around, checking out some other areas that look interesting to you, you'll still make it easily. If you decide you're going to wonder around in circles for weeks on end to clean up on XP from wondering monsters, that could be trouble.

As mentioned earlier, there are some quests with timers on them. I think I even missed one. Honestly, I didn't care very much - there's so many things going on that I just moved on. Like Witcher 3, you aren't real likely to do everything there is to do on your first play-through.

As for whether I recommend it... not so much, I'm afraid. If you enjoy making detailed characters, the game has that in spades. I found the kingdom management tiresome, though, and bugs with pathfinding really drove me up the wall. Overall, I found it to be just a so-so game. Sure is a heck of a value for the price you pay, though.
 
Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
You're welcome! Yep, moving is definitely handy - especially for the lighter mechs.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with how slow the battles are? There's an option to speed up the animations a bit (and a mod to speed them up even more, though I haven't tried it myself). Or are you talking about the time it takes to take down an enemy? Early on, when you can't target individual parts very well, you have to take out a lot more armor before the target starts breaking down.


The game is WAY over 20 hours! Most of the clocks seem to be of the "keep you on task" variety as opposed to the "can you work fast" challenge variety. For instance, right near the start you're tasked with defeating a bandit lord within 3 (?) months. If you stick to just the tasks put in front of you, you'll beat that easily. If you go wandering around, checking out some other areas that look interesting to you, you'll still make it easily. If you decide you're going to wonder around in circles for weeks on end to clean up on XP from wondering monsters, that could be trouble.

As mentioned earlier, there are some quests with timers on them. I think I even missed one. Honestly, I didn't care very much - there's so many things going on that I just moved on. Like Witcher 3, you aren't real likely to do everything there is to do on your first play-through.

As for whether I recommend it... not so much, I'm afraid. If you enjoy making detailed characters, the game has that in spades. I found the kingdom management tiresome, though, and bugs with pathfinding really drove me up the wall. Overall, I found it to be just a so-so game. Sure is a heck of a value for the price you pay, though.

Oh, re: the slowness, each battle just seems to unfold over a long period of time. Which means if I f&ck up in the middle of a battle, and then subsequently the campaign, I'm like, do I really want to start this all over again? I think this feeling of slowness is as much subjective as it is a count of real time.

The XCOM battles probably aren't much shorter, but they feel shorter and faster. Whereas, maybe because the choices of XCOM style cover/etc don't exist in the same way in BattleTech, at least so far, a lot of the BattleTech turns seem to be just moving the Mechs into place.

I say this having turned off all the animation/etc. that I could find. So maybe it's just me.

And oh bummer on Pathfinder - I really liked Divinity Original 2, and I was hoping to find another turn-based isometric RPG to play before Wasteland, but maybe I'll work through BattleTech with your guide!
 
Honestly enjoy these games however you want. Who cares if you want to save scum to victory. if you can do it without save scumming it, more power to you, for me, i just save scum. these games are massive time sinks and with massive backlog of games, i need to finish i want to minimize the difficulty. Luckily for me i still find massive enjoyment even if i save scum and i don't mess up that badly that i have to revert to a save several turns before.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Oh, re: the slowness, each battle just seems to unfold over a long period of time. Which means if I f&ck up in the middle of a battle, and then subsequently the campaign, I'm like, do I really want to start this all over again? I think this feeling of slowness is as much subjective as it is a count of real time.
Well, option 1 is to not start all over again. The game is pretty forgiving as long as you don't get completely slaughtered. Option 2 is to simply save more. Maybe save the first time an enemy mech falls or the first time one of your own mechs gets the armor stripped off any body part.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandwitch
Jan 13, 2020
45
24
535
Thank you for the benedictions - to get in the zone, I listened to the Rob Zacny podcast, then I borrowed the first BattleTech Stackpole book. I'mma get back in there.
 

TRENDING THREADS