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E-Mail X-COM Tips
By Greg - Our Man Still In The Know

The purpose of this section is to try and present a few tips and suggestions to help players get on their way , or change their strategy . These are not advised to be taken as gospel , as different styles of play can beat others . I was once in the situation that I would beat someone regularly , who nearly always beat someone I couldn't win against once , so develop your own style too !

* Listen very carefully to the movement you can not see , bearing in mind the movement lengths of the units . If a sectoid takes two steps , shoots you , and takes another two , disappearing out of view on his last movement square , use that knowledge to your advantage ! It is often possible to work out where enemy units lie by a piece of clever work , and educated guesses .

* Always try and use your full movement , even if you just move one square and back again . Not only can this take your opponent take you by surprise , but it also raises your movement percentage in the game scores !

* Take your time . Don't rush in foolishly . I have known games where one single man took out four aliens .

* Sometimes it is worthwhile sacrificing units . If you have units bunched together facing a sectopod , send your most damage , or least wanted right infront of it , masking your others from view . Not only could this save your units , it could also cause splash damage to the sectopod .

* Use barrels to your advantage ! A kamikaze unit holding a grenade near barrels is a deadly force !

* Unless you know otherwise , try and use the move and fire option as much as possible . Teleporting via a power up and dying without even getting a shot in is very frustrating ! You also shoot before picking it up , which can be a handy thing to remember when worrying about the consequences .

* If you aren't sure about the range , try tracing it out with either the move or fire cursors .

* Don't let small set backs worry you , regroup , and try a different attack , rather than rushing blindly in .

* Never under estimate the chryssalid . This little blighter may only have a range of one , but it is very fast , and can get in and out of cover , while taking up to three points of damage off .

* Learn the game's angles . There are certain angles that always miss , hitting a corner , or wall infront of your unit . Also try and learn how the game chooses which to aim at when shooting at a choice . (For some reason it always seems to be the blocked guy ... or does it ?)

* When fighting someone who's behind an 'impossible' angle , you often need to retreat , or use an attack that always hits (e.g. muton) . However , if you are very clever , you can get a missile to hit the target , by aiming for the square behind it , so the new impossible shot hits the square infront , i.e. the target. This however needs knowledge of the angles , and can end up making a fool of you !

* Try not to become predictable , group your units together sometimes , and then split them up on other occasions . See if groups can become clogged up on the map , and change your strategy accordingly .

* If you're aliens , then protect your Ethereal(s) ! One Ethereal can turn the tide of a battle , as it can send the enemy scurrying for cover from its own unit , reduces possible attacks by one in your opponents turn , and even stop other enemies getting through to you . The Ethereal however is also quite weak , so take care with it !

* If you are the humans , then try not to let yourself get into the situation where you have your heaviest hitters confused . If one has to be taken , remember that MC'd units only have ONE shot at their normal damage ... I can't make that hint much more blatant ! ;)

* Try and get your guy(s) with area effect weapons into areas where they are in control . They like open spaces , because they are so slow , and can't move and fire . You can use them to lay down suppression fire and even claim a casualty or two by suppression fire .

* Be aware that others have a plan too . Things may seem to be going smoothly , but don't count out your opponent .

* Experiment with hotseat mode . Some players refuse to pick up power ups incase they are mines or bear traps , but other take a more positive view . Remember , positive power ups can make your strategy complete . A speedy commander , a snakeman that does double damage , a captain with a medi-kit , or a muton with extended range can allow you to take surprise victims . Hotseat mode also allows you to see the maps and their lay out , and try out the angles .

* Make sure you play as many games as possible ... There is nothing that is as helpful as practice !

* Have fun ! There is no point in playing if you don't enjoy it ! =)

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