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Old 11-03-2012, 04:41 AM   #1
DEG23
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Classic/Ironman Mode Walkthrough

Classic/Ironman Mode Walkthrough Guide

This guide will serve as a walkthrough for Classic Ironman mode to make this playthrough as easy as possible while minimizing the number of times you need to sign out/dashboard. The following does not have to be followed to the letter, but will offer several tips and strategies that will make this playthrough as easy as possible. The majority of these tips and strategies can also be applied to Impossible difficulty but refer to ‘Achievement Guide and Roadmap’ for more detail on how each difficulty differs.

I highly recommend playing through the game at least twice (with one play through on Classic difficulty) before attempting this as even following this guide, you still need to have a basic understanding of how the game works and what strategies are needed to overcome certain situations.

Please note, the following is not the only way to play Classic/Ironman Mode but serves as a strategy to provide you with the best chance of success.

If you are attempting this for the achievement, then to increase your chances of success, you can sign out of your profile before the enemy finishes their turn, allowing you to essentially go back 1 turn to recover from any mistakes.

(Credit to Snoop QC for the following achievement tip)

It is possible to make a backup save just in case everything goes wrong.

- After a month where everything went well, save and quit on the first day of the month.
- Dashboard back and go to the settings.
- Copy your save to another drive like memory card or cloud.
- Continue to play on your hard drive save until you lose to many countries, soldiers or anything, or forget to build satellites for example.
- Dashboard back and erase your save on your hard drive
- Then copy back your backup from the memory card or cloud to the hard drive.
- Start your game and reload your save
- Do this the first day of each month at least until you have global satellite coverage.

Starting location


While each has its benefits, Asia is a good choice not only because it allows for 50% off Officer Training School projects, which are invaluable in the early stages of the games but also because apart from Europe, the other continents will only have 2 or 3 countries that need satellite coverage to unlock the related bonuses, not 4.

Otherwise either Africa or North America are good starting locations, Africa because of the increase in monthly funding (although this only makes a significant impact from Month 3 onwards) and North America because of the initial funds for having a satellite in the United States and because the bonus to Interceptors is well worth it over the course of the game.

Base Building


The placement of facilities relies heavily on where you have steam vents. Ideally you will want 2+ steam vents with at least 1 on level 2 or 3. If you have only 1 or 2 that are both located on level 4, restart your game, as trying to manage the power requirements without thermo generators will be frustratingly difficult.

Also considering restarting your game if you have a steam vent located next to, below, or diagonally from you satellite uplink. While this is not a major concern it will mean you need to build 5+ uplinks instead of utilising a 2x2 setup. (see below for more)

The first facility you will want to build is a power generator and lift/excavate toward a steam vent. Before doing this you need to consider how you will build your base. The ideal base will have the following
  • 2X2 setup of 2 satellite uplinks and 2 satellite nexuses. (allow for an additional space for a 3rd satellite uplink in case you can’t find a UFO power source in time)
  • Preferably a 2x2 setup of power generators with at least 1 thermo generator and ideally 1 elerium generator.
  • 2X2 setup of workshops (preferably a 3x3 if possible)
  • 6 individual spaces reserved for Alien Containment, Officer Training School, Foundry, Psi labs, Hyperwave Relay & Gallop Chamber.

Don't bother building any labs as these are pointless in the early stages of the game and by the time you have the spare cash to build them, your research should be progressing along at a steady rate due to the scientists you earn from the monthly reward

The following is an example of how you should construct your base while maximising the bonus for adjacent facilities.


Please note, in the first 3 months, money will be your greatest concern in the strategic element of base building. Rely heavily on selling items at the gray market. Corpses aren’t needed in large supply early on so you can always sell some of these. Just be sure to keep a small supply on hand in case you have a council request pop up.

Month 1


The following is not guaranteed to play out exactly the same in every game as the order of missions is random. However all months will have either 4 or 5 missions.

Missions:
  • Starter Mission
  • Abduction
  • Council Mission
  • Intercept UFO
  • Abduction

Starting Mission:
This mission requires 2 things, firstly, you try and even the kills, there are 6 sectoids on classic so this shouldn’t be overly difficult. Secondly, ensure that no one dies. If by chance you do lose a squad member, restart (or sign out). It won’t take you long to get back to where you were and you won’t lose any important progress.

Abduction Missions:
As a general rule with abduction missions, your first priority should be lowering panic. This will give you the best chance at keeping all countries in the council and to maximize your monthly income/rewards, unless of course you are trying to manipulate the panic of a continent so you can provide it with full satellite coverage at the end of the month.

The order you place on rewards should be the following, Panic>Engineers>Money>Scientists>Soldiers.
The exception to this is Money>Engineers, when you need have sufficient engineers for an upcoming building/item but not money & Solider>Scientists when you are short on veteran soldiers because they have been killed.

Be fully prepared to lose countries on Classic/Ironman Mode. chances are you will lose them around the 2nd or 3rd month but if taking the abduction missions that reduce the most panic means constantly taking scientists as rewards, then sacrifice a country or two so you can take engineers or cash. The deciding factor of this will be their monthly reward for satellite coverage. Countries like the United States or Russia should never be sacrificed as they give large monthly rewards.

On the very first abduction mission, choose the location that offers engineers as they will be needed to lower the cost of your first satellite

Base Facilities:
As well as ensuring you are well prepared with power, if you have the spare cash, build an Officer Training School and buy the Squad Size 1 perk. The OTS takes 8 days to build so try and have it constructed by the end of the month.

Research:
The only research projects in the first month should be ‘Weapon Fragments’ and ‘Beam Weapons.’ Some may argue that you should place a greater importance on armor, however not only will beam weapons be needed for Month 3 but if you play strategically, then you shouldn’t have any more than 2 soldiers take damage throughout the early missions, so outfitting all soldiers with Tier 2 armor early on isn’t worth the cost. Where as all soldiers can make use of upgraded weapons.

Note - Sometimes beam weapons won’t be available to research until after you have completed the UFO crash site.

Engineering:
Wait until after your first abduction mission then order 1 satellite. You may also want to build a S.C.O.P.E or two when it becomes available as these can greatly benefit your Sniper and heavy classes.

Satellite coverage:
Wait until the day before the council review before launching. Ideally you will want to launch the satellite over the country with the highest panic but if the country doesn’t offer a large amount of credits, consider a country like the United States or Russia.

Summary:
The focus of your first month will be ranking soldiers up, constructing your first satellite and managing global panic. If by chance you have suffered significant losses, i would highly recommend restarting your game.


Month 2


Missions:
  • Landing Site
  • Abduction
  • Intercept UFO
  • Terror mission

During the UFO landing mission, try and salvage at least 2 Alien Nav Computers, as these will be needed for the construction of a Satellite Nexus in month 3.

The Terror mission will generally come at the end of the month so be sure to have at least 2 beam rifles ready, as these will make taking out Chryssalids much easier. iI would also recommend having a S.C.O.P.E for all Sniper and Heavy class soldiers as this will improve your chances of taking out aliens first shot, which is invaluable in Terror missions.

Last edited by DEG23; 11-08-2012 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:42 AM   #2
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Base Facilities:
Your first priority will be a Satellite Uplink. Since you finished a abduction mission that offered engineers and had a satellite over Japan from starting in Asia, you can build this at any time. Just be aware that since it takes 14 days to construct, be sure to start it no later then 15 days before the next council report.

You may also want to build a 2nd power generator or thermo generator to prepare yourself for next month.

At some point throughout the month you will need to build a workshop as you will need 15 engineers to build the Satellite Nexus in month 3.

Depending on the rank of your soldiers, it is also a good idea to invest in Rapid Recovery as this will be invaluable on Ironman Mode. Also consider Squad Size 2, as having 6 squad members will make the tactical elements of the game easier and allow for greater chances of success per mission.

Research:
It will take you the first 2 days to finish researching Beam Weapons. Next choose either Alien Materials (for the Nano-Fibre Vest) or Sectoid autopsy (for the Uplink Targeting Module.) Another solid investment is Heavy Lasers as the laser cannons make shooting down UFO's much easier, and engaging a large UFO without lasers often comes down to luck. Having a UFO escape causes havok with your satellites and finances. After this, if you recover 2 Alien Nav Computers early in the month, make Alien Nav Computer a priority. Otherwise in the later stages of the month, begin Xeno Biology and Arc Thrower

Engineering:
Your main priority will be 3 satellites and these will take 20 days so it’s best to start construction ASAP. Also construct a Laser Pistol or two for your snipers, (this will allow them to one shot weaker enemies.)

If you have the engineers and resources, build 3 laser rifles for your support and assault soldiers towards the end of the month.

Satellite Coverage:
Again, panic should be your primary concern, however it may also be worthwhile to use your 3 satellites to gain full coverage over North America or Africa to unlock the related bonus. This will come down to what countries have the highest panic levels but again, don't sacrifice high paying countries just so you can unlock a bonus as more countries in the council will be beneficial in the long run.

Summary:
The main focus of month 2 will be adding 3 satellites to your total and preparing yourself to build a Satellite Nexus in month 3. Your other primary concern will be building laser rifles and pistols before month 3.


Month 3:


Missions:
  • Abduction
  • Intercept UFO
  • Council mission
  • Abduction

Mutons will begin to appear this month so laser weapons are a must.
If by chance you have researched Alien Materials, then outfit some of your veterans with the Nano-Fiber Vests.

Also if you have researched the Arc Thrower, try and capture a Muton or Floater as the research credit both offers are valuable.

Month 3 is where panic can start to get out of hand, so if you have the Alien Base mission available, consider taking it, but just be sure you are fully prepared with decent weapons and armor.

Base Facilities:
The Satellite Nexus will be a priority so aim to build one early to avoid accidentally spending too many resources or cash on other facilities/items.

If by chance you haven’t researched Alien Nav Computer in time, build a Satellite Uplink instead. Also begin building additional Workshops, Power Generators and if research permits, the Alien Containment.

Research:
Carapace Armor should be a priority to counter the introduction of Mutons, also consider Heavy Lasers so your interceptors can be outfitted with laser cannons for the larger UFOs that will begin to appear.

While not as important as weapons or amor, consider progressing the main story with the Arc Thrower, Interrogations (ideally Mutons, Sectoids or Floaters, as these 3 provide the best research credits) and the Outsider Shard.

Engineering:
Again, satellites are the priority, if you can build a Satellite Nexus, build 5 satellites, if not, build only 3. (A good tip is to order the construction of satellites 1 by 1, not all at once. This allows you to cancel satellites individually instead of the entire order incase you need more money to designate elsewhere)

Advancing weapons and armor should still be your other main concern along with new abilities and weapons for your interceptors.

Satellite Coverage:
Ideally with the construction of 5 additional satellites you should have full coverage over at least 2 continents by the end of the 3rd month.

If panic permits, aim for full coverage over North America, South America and Africa. Not only will this unlock the bonuses for each continent but will also mean on future abduction missions you are only given 2 countries to choose from instead of 3, making managing panic levels from here on out, much easier.

Summary:
Although it depends on your luck in recovering Alien Nav Computers, building a Satellite Nexus and 5 new satellites will make the rest of the game seem easier in comparison to the first 3 months. It will also allow your to focus a little more attention on progressing the story up to the Alien Base if you haven't done so already.

As the appearance of tougher enemies is related to time passed, you will still need to place an importance on weapon and armour research.


Month 4:


Missions:
  • Abduction
  • Intercept UFO or UFO landing
  • Abduction
  • Terror mission

Provided you have laser weapons, carapace armor and 6 squad members, these missions won’t be too difficult even with the introduction of Cyberdisks.

Base Facilities:
Again, your next Satellite Nexus will be the priority (even more of a priority if you couldn't build one in month 3.)

Additional facilities you should consider are more Power Generators, Workshops and a Foundry. If you have the funds available, also consider Wet Work & Iron Will from your OTS.

Research:
Research in month 4 isn’t as critical as previous months, but it is a good idea to prioritise UFO Power Source, New Fighter Craft, Plasma Weapons and the research projects needed to advance the story.

If after month 3 you gained full satellite coverage over South America, be sure to go through all interrogations and autopsies you have waiting.

Engineering:
The priority will be the remaining satellites you need for full coverage. After this, weapons, armor and interceptor abilities and weapons will be needed to round off any holes in your squad.

If you have additional funds and a Foundry, consider starting some foundry projects to benefit the combat effectiveness of your soldiers, e.g. Improved Medikits and Improved Pistols.

Satellite Coverage:
By the end of the month you should have global coverage. Otherwise focus solely on high panic countries. In the event you have had countries pull out, you will want to save as many of the remaining as possible.

Full satellite coverage will not only mark the end of abduction missions but will make the rest of the game incredibly easy by essentially eliminating the strategic element of base construction and the importance of money management.

Story Progression


From month 4 onwards, the game is considerably easier and will come down to how you handle the tactical element of battles. In month 5 your priorities will be Plasma Weapons, Tier 3 Armor, and building enough Firestorms to be spread across the globe.

As this is Ironman Mode, I highly recommend skipping as many missions as you can (as long as you have full satellite coverage) and focusing on progressing only the story missions. While assaulting the Supply UFOs can provide you with a large supply of salvage and your soldiers with promotions, there is an element of risk in the later stages of the game. Coming face to face with Muton Elites and Sectopods can result in having veterans (and even Psi-soldiers) killed making story missions take longer to start.

Assaulting the Alien Base:
There is no perfect time to complete this mission. Ideally you will want to save this mission until global panic becomes unmanageable, however, postponing it has two major drawbacks. Firstly, the aliens that appear inside the base are dependant on how much time has passed. So if you wait too long, you will end up going up against Berserkers and Heavy Floaters. Also the amount of salvage you recover from the base will be worth much more to you in the early stages of the game as it can lead to building more weapons and armor quickly and on Ironman Mode, this is invaluable.

On this mission, aim to capture the Sectoid Commander at the end, as this will make progressing the Psionics part of the game much easier and quicker, which on Ironman Mode is important.

Hyperwave Relay:
After building the Hyperwave Relay, there is a random amount of time before it detects the Overseer UFO, so it is a good idea to build one as soon as you can. The exception to this will be the research progress/available resources on you Firestorms. On classic difficulty it is impossible to take out the Overseer UFO with a basic interceptor, even one with all assists. So ideally you will want to be contracting Firestorms around the same time you are constructing the Hyperwave Relay.

Last edited by DEG23; 02-18-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:43 AM   #3
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Psi-Soldiers:
Ideally you should have captured a Sectoid Commander by now, either from the Alien Base mission or from a UFO crash site. From here you will need to focus on two things. Firstly building a Psi-labs and secondly, advancing some of you lower ranked soldiers, with the help of Iron Will form the OTS, to increase their chances of having the 'gift.'

Provided you have enough soldiers to spread around, I would advise testing soldiers as soon as you believe they are ready to be tested. One thing to remember is that if you give the go ahead to test a soldier and they have advanced weapons or armor equipped, they will go into the labs with those attached and you will not be able to recover them unless you pull them out. So be sure to outfit them with basic equipment beforehand to avoid a shortage in the field.

Temple Ship:
By the time you have found a soldier with the gift and built the Gallop Chamber, you should have all Plasma Weapons and tier 3 armour researched and built. Once you have built the Psi-armor, equip it to your Psi-soldier and use the Gallop Chamber.

The final mission is relatively simple but can be tricky toward the end. I would strongly recommend equipping an Assault or Sniper soldier with Ghost armour, so they can sneak through into the last room and grant your Squad Sight snipers with a clear shot of the Ethereal boss. Focus all fire on the boss as you only need to kill it to end the game.


Combat Tactics


Learning and employing the right combat strategy is critical on Ironman Mode as even with the best base/satellite management, 2 or 3 mistakes on the battlefield can ruin any game.

Squad Loadouts:
Always ensure you have at least 1 of each class and of course there is no one correct squad so class selection will come down to personal preference and play style.

If you are struggling to find a good combination, then use the following.
  • Early Game: 2 Assault, 1 Heavy, 2 Support, 1 Sniper. (Once you research precision lasers, consider taking 2 Snipers instead of 2 Assault)
  • Late game(Month 4 onwards): 1 Assault, 1 Heavy, 2 Support, 2 Snipers (If you invest in HEAT ammo for your Heavies, consider taking 2 Heavy and only 1 Support)

Particularly on Ironman Mode you should have a 3:1 ration of Veterans/Rookies and rotate them evenly. The exception to this will be early abduction missions, council missions and UFO crash sites, as these are the easiest of the missions, so consider a 1:1 ratio.
  • On Ironman mode, the first 3 months will be the hardest and the unpredictably of the game can often be the main cause for a restart. The following are general tips to keep in mind while playing through Ironman Mode.
  • Patience is your greatest chance at success. Never rush through the map. Move from cover to cover using you soldiers at the back to move up first, almost like a game of leap frog.
  • Never move up the middle of a map. This can lead to uncovering enemies on both sides, splitting up the attention of your team.
  • Full cover is a must in the early stages of the game. Even if this means going a different route to the one you planned. On Classic Ironman Mode enemies have greater aim and partial cover can lead to more critical hits scored against you.
  • If you are planning on putting one or more troops into overwatch, wait until every other soldier has moved before doing so. If your soldiers are already in overwatch and your last soldier to move uncovers a group of aliens, it is more than likely that all soldiers on overwatch will fire at the same target. This is not only wasteful but can be one of the main contributing factors to failing a mission.
  • On Classic difficulty, aliens play smart and will try and flank your soldiers if they can, so try and keep all your soldiers close together as you progress through the map, as this will also allow them to support one another. On the other hand, don’t bunch them together as enemies will be more likely to use grenades on you.
  • Always plan what you will do before moving anyone and always have a backup in case a shot misses. If you believe there is a chance you could lose a soldier if a shot misses, don’t take the risk. Instead rely on moving and reevaluating you strategy for next turn. Aside from Terror and bomb missions, there is no time limit. Don’t be afraid to spend up to an hour on a mission if it means walking away with no casualties.
  • Force the aliens to play by your rules by setting up bottlenecks and traps. Distance plays an important role in determining the success of landing a shot. So instead of trying to shoot over an open space, retreat and force the aliens to close in on you so that next turn you will have better odds. Retreating also can be useful when overwhelmed with too many aliens, as often only some will chase after you, while the others will go on overwatch of hunker down.
  • Never move into the darkness if you have already engaged an enemy. There is nothing worse then uncovering a group of aliens, taking some shots, than have your last squad member move and uncover another group. If you don’t have the room to maneuver or feel trapped, retreat.
  • If you are faced with multiple aliens, prioritise. Focus on the alien you expect to cause the most damage next turn. Having 3 wounded aliens is much more dangerous than having 2 dead aliens and 1 at full health.
  • Use explosives when needed. Despite the loss of materials to recover, a dead soldier is much more of a loss overall. Standard grenades are guaranteed to do 3 damage, which means often when you have the choice of using a rifle or grenade, use the grenade unless you have a 100% chance to hit with the weapon.
  • Although it depends on your available cash, upgrading your squad size early is highly recommended as this gives you an extra shot or two per turn.
  • Reload after every alien encounter. Uncovering the next group of enemies while everyone has only 1 shot left can lead to disaster. However, when you do reload, don’t do it all at once. Instead, have half the group reload while the other half are on overwatch, then swap.

Class Perks


Most of the perks will depend entirely on personal preference and play style. However some are catered slightly more to Ironman mode than other difficulties. The following is only a guide in case you are struggling to find a solid build

Assault


Corporal:
'Tactical Sense' is the better choice, as aim will be the defining factor when it comes to landing a successful shot. This is extremely useful if you use your Assault class to flank enemies. Consider taking 'Aggression' if your Assault class relies on assault rifles and not shotguns.

Sergeant:
'Lightning Reflexes' ensures an enemy reaction shot misses. This is invaluable when an enemy on overwatch has your whole squad pinned down, as the Assault soldier can free up the rest of the squad to move.

Lieutenant:
'Rapid Fire' is great if you play an ‘up close and personal’ type of Assault soldier. If you can get close to an enemy, you can basically make up for the -15 penalty to aim. 'Flush' is useless as most of the time you only have a 50/50 chance to make it work.

Captain:
'Close Combat Specialist' is great if once again, you play as an ‘up close and personal’ type of soldier and is invaluable against Muton Berserkers and Chryssalids as it is a guaranteed shot.

Colonel:
'Resilience' is the best choice for Ironman mode as it increases the survival chances of your soldier and considering if you play your Assault soldier up front, it will likely be shot at the most.

Heavy


Corporal:
'Bullet Storm' essentially allows you to take 2 shots every turn making it a nice choice on easier difficulties. This can often be the difference between killing an enemy and giving it another chance to shoot at you. On the other hand, the +10 Aim from 'Holo Targeting' stacks, so two heavies shooting at the same target will grant +20 Aim at the target. In the early months of Classic and Impossible, accuracy is a huge issue and Holo Targeting is a cheap and effective way to increase your accuracy.

Sergeant:
This choice will come down to how you like to play and how you build out the rest of your squad. 'Shredder Rocket' is a great choice, especially against larger enemies in the later stages of the game, but early on, may mean you don’t recover alien materials if the rocket kills a group of aliens. 'Suppression' on the other hand is a useful perk but uses up too much ammo meaning after every use you will be forced to reload. Ideally you should choose 'Suppression' for your support soldiers, however if you want your support soldiers playing a different role or plan on using 2 heavies, then take it for one of your heavy soldiers.

Lieutenant:
'HEAT ammo' is a must for the later stages of the game on Ironman Mode, as Cyberdisks and Sectopods are tough to bring down and can cause significant damage to your squad. Also no other class gains bonuses to robotic enemies.

Captain:
'Grenadier' should be your choice is you like to play with grenades and don’t have suppression. However if you prefer to equip your Heavy with a different backpack item like a S.C.O.P.E, then take 'Danger Zone'.

Colonel:
Again, this depends on your backpack item. If grenades, choose 'Mayhem', if not, choose 'Rocketeer'.

Last edited by DEG23; 07-05-2013 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:43 AM   #4
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Support


Corporal:
'Covering Fire' is a better choice as you shouldn’t be running long distances on Ironman Mode, however if you plan of building one of your support soldiers to play the role of medic, then 'Sprinter' is useful for reaching wounded allies.

Sergeant:
This will come down to build preference. 'Field Medic' is the obvious choice for a support medic, yet 'Smoke and Mirrors' is better for a front line Support soldier. Overall, on Ironman mode, if you are only using 1 Support class, then take 'Smoke and Mirrors' as this can be useful if you find yourself surrounded or surprised.

Lieutenant:
Your medic soldier should take 'Revive' and your combat support soldier should take 'Rifle Suppression'.

Captain:
'Dense Smoke' is the better option as you rarely go on the offense while in smoke and the added 20 defense of 'Dense Smoke' means better survival odds for your soldiers which is key to Ironman mode

Colonel:
Another choice that depends on your Support build. Your medic should take 'Savior' and your combat Support soldier should take 'Sentinel'. If by the late stages of the game you have also researched Improved Medikit, then have your medic soldier take 'Sentinel' also.

Sniper


Corporal:
'Squad Sight' is a must for a sniper on Ironman Mode. The only exception is if you plan on playing with 2 snipers, as 'Snap Shot' can allow you to build a front line Sniper which is useful in the later stages of the game and close quarter combat maps like the Alien Base and large UFOs.

Sergeant:
'Gunslinger' is extremely useful early on for all snipers, especially if you research laser weapons early, as a sniper with a laser pistol and 'Gunslinger' can one shot almost all early enemies.

Lieutenant:
'Battle Scanner' is useful in all situations and can allow for Squad Sight kills, where as disabling shot is usually a last resort action and you will find you won’t be using it all that often to make it a worthwhile choice.

Captain:
This will depend on play style and how you build other classes. 'Opportunist' is great for all snipers and can lead to many more kills earned on overwatch. 'Executioner' is great for the tougher enemies and goes well with a Heavy using HEAT ammo, allowing your Sniper to finish off a robotic enemy after your Heavy has weakened it.

Colonel:
This will come down to personal preference and play style. Overall, 'Double Tap' can be utilized more often but 'In The Zone' is invaluable whenever an enemy is out of cover. During the later stages of the game a sniper using 'In The Zone' can often take out entire groups of Floaters, Drones and Chryssalids in one turn.

Conclusion


Ironman Mode is a case of 'practise makes perfect'. Trying to attempt this on your first play through will be extremely difficult as it requires you to have a solid understanding of the tactical elements of the game. I would also recommend you play through the game on Classic prior to starting Ironman Mode as trying to go from Normal to Classic/Ironman Mode can be a difficult step up.

As a result of so much of the game (mission order, rewards and panic levels) being random, this guide is not intended to work perfectly for everyone, but should serve as a general step by step guide to making it through the first 4 months with as little effort as possible.

(Credit goes to asdfen for some of the tips and strategies mentioned in this guide. You can view more of his tips HERE)

I welcome any input others may have for discussing various base strategies and class builds relating to Classic/Ironman Mode.

Last edited by DEG23; 07-05-2013 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:45 AM   #5
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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On my Classic Ironman run:
I didn't even build on the last floor.
I didn't build any steam power (all my steam was on the last floor).
Only built 3 workshops.

A square of standard Power Generators is very cost effective!
(6x4) + (4x2) = 32 power for 240 credits. Also a square of standard Power Generators can be built over time with minimal hassle. Remember rushing an Access Lift (50 credits), Excavation (20 credits), and Steam Power (200 credits) is actually time consuming and expensive. Standard Power Generators are cheap (60 credits) and can be bulldozed later for space once you are swimming in credits and materials.

There is a big debate over Bullet Swarm vs Holo Targeting. I've used both and prefer Holo Targeting. Heavies have the lowest accuracy of all soldiers (even with a SCOPE), so I find Bullet Swarm almost useless. The +10 Aim from Holo Targeting stacks, so two heavies shooting at the same target will grant +20 Aim at the target. In the early months of Classic and Impossible, accuracy is a huge issue and Holo Targeting is a cheap and effective way to increase your accuracy.

Gun Slinger vs Damn Good Ground, Damn Good Ground works with Archangel Armor, despite the Archangel Armor description!



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Old 11-07-2012, 06:54 AM   #7
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Classic/Ironman Mode Walkthrough Guide

This guide will serve as a walkthrough for Classic Ironman mode to make this playthrough as easy as possible while minimizing the number of times you need to sign out/dashboard. The following does not have to be followed to the letter, but will offer several tips and strategies that will make this playthrough as easy as possible. The majority of these tips and strategies can also be applied to Impossible difficulty but refer to ‘Achievement Guide and Roadmap’ for more detail on how each difficulty differs.

I highly recommend playing through the game at least twice (with one play through on Classic difficulty) before attempting this as even following this guide, you still need to have a basic understanding of how the game works and what strategies are needed to overcome certain situations.

Please note, the following is not the only way to play Classic/Ironman Mode but serves as a strategy to provide you with the best chance of success.

If you are attempting this for the achievement, then to increase your chances of success, you can sign out of your profile before the enemy finishes their turn, allowing you to essentially go back 1 turn to recover from any mistakes.
One thing you could add to your tips : it is possible to make a backup save just in case everything goes wrong.

- After a month where everything went well, save and quit on the first day of the month.
- Dashboard back and go to the settings.
- Copy your save to another drive like memory card or cloud.
- Continue to play on your hard drive save until you lose to many countries, soldiers or anything, or forget to build satellites for example.
- Dashboard back and erase your save on your hard drive
- Then copy back your backup from the memory card or cloud to the hard drive.
- Start your game and reload your save
- Do this the first day of each month at least until you have global satellite coverage.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by grassycrab View Post
There is a big debate over Bullet Swarm vs Holo Targeting. I've used both and prefer Holo Targeting. Heavies have the lowest accuracy of all soldiers (even with a SCOPE), so I find Bullet Swarm almost useless. The +10 Aim from Holo Targeting stacks, so two heavies shooting at the same target will grant +20 Aim at the target. In the early months of Classic and Impossible, accuracy is a huge issue and Holo Targeting is a cheap and effective way to increase your accuracy.

Gun Slinger vs Damn Good Ground, Damn Good Ground works with Archangel Armor, despite the Archangel Armor description!
The perks for the heavy class does come down to how often you use them. I only ever used 1 heavy in the first 4 months and this was mainly as a support troop who can use a rocket if need be. The extra aim is helpful but i found bullet swarm more effective in the later stages of the game when you go up against cyberdisks and sectopods, especially combined with HEAT ammo.

Same goes with gunslinger and damn good ground, damn good ground really only becomes useful when you get archangel armour and by that stage, aim isn’t a major concern. Yet in the early stages of the game when the combat feels tougher, you can one shot most enemies with gunslinger. Of course, there is no one way to beat the game


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One thing you could add to your tips : it is possible to make a backup save just in case everything goes wrong.
Thanks for this, i've added it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #9
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Yeah I understand your point of view. I run 2 Heavies, 2 Snipers, 1 Assault, 1 Support so Holo Targeting works well for me. I also never user Laser Pistols so gunslinger is a waste of time for my snipers, if I actually used Laser Pistols gunslinger would be perfect.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:40 PM   #10
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I added your info for Holo Targeting to the heavy perks, it is useful in the early stages of the game and is definitely the best option if you favor heavies.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:27 PM   #11
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Yeah, definitely go for "In the zone". My last run through temple ship (2 support, 2 heavies, 2 snipers - devastated the enemies with that setup) one of my snipers took out 4 enemies all the while remaining "in the zone".

Edit:
How do I build the OTS before the end of month 1? I simply don't have that option.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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Edit:
How do I build the OTS before the end of month 1? I simply don't have that option.
You will need to get one of your soldiers promoted to Sergeant. Then it unlocks. Focus on one of your soldiers getting as many kills as possible on the missions from month one.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:14 AM   #13
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I'm finished trying to get this. All it boils down to is a numbers game and they are severely stacked against you. I know it's supposed to be hard. And I want it to be. But there's a difference between challenging and unfair and this is definitely the latter.

By my 5th attempt at this where my squad missed their targets 8 times in a row. Fucking eight times at >50% hit chance. One got killed and they fell like dominoes. No matter how well I coordinate you can't do shit if your guys can't fucking hit anything all the while getting critical hit from across the map.

I want challenge. I like challenge. (See Super Meat Boy. 100%) But this... especially in the early stages of the game. It's just luck. And when one wrong move can ruin your whole game, it's just not worth the time.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JakJakAttacks View Post
I'm finished trying to get this. All it boils down to is a numbers game and they are severely stacked against you. I know it's supposed to be hard. And I want it to be. But there's a difference between challenging and unfair and this is definitely the latter.

By my 5th attempt at this where my squad missed their targets 8 times in a row. Fucking eight times at >50% hit chance. One got killed and they fell like dominoes. No matter how well I coordinate you can't do shit if your guys can't fucking hit anything all the while getting critical hit from across the map.

I want challenge. I like challenge. (See Super Meat Boy. 100%) But this... especially in the early stages of the game. It's just luck. And when one wrong move can ruin your whole game, it's just not worth the time.
Don't feel too bad JakJak. I too am frowned upon by the numbers gods. It has been that way since I started playing RPGs.

I played a level earlier today and had 4 soldiers in a row miss their shots at over 90% each. A normal person would grow frustrated. But after almost 40 years on this planet....I either laugh it off or go nuts and kill everyone.

Stick with it mate!

Last edited by SuNuS; 12-01-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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You should be able to start Heavy Lasers in month 2 if you play your cards right. Made the mistake of picking precision lasers instead, which meant I had my first abductor escape.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:14 AM   #16
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You should be able to start Heavy Lasers in month 2 if you play your cards right. Made the mistake of picking precision lasers instead, which meant I had my first abductor escape.
Thanks added it, I completely forgot about this. I had the same problem, ended up losing a satellite which meant i had to funnel more funds into replacing it and delay my squad upgrades.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #17
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Hey man, thanks a lot for this info. The information here is a great help to plan ahead, since the first couple of months are definitely the most essential ones and loosing countries can be painful (I finished my Normal Classic play-through with 7 lost countries because of the damn abduction missions)

I would like to add that on the final mission, the best layout I found is 2 heavy's, 2 snipers, 1 support (medic) and 1 assault.

With the 2 heavy's and the 2 snipers it is possible to kill the Main Ethereal in only one turn guaranteed. 2 fusion rockets and 2 "Head Shots" will do the trick every time.
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