Terra Invicta: XCOM-y grand strategy

Not really? From the Steam page:

If we’re taking guesses, put me down for one year.

It’s a really neat system.

Global research is another one of those things that I really mismanaged at first, thinking that it would clearly make more sense to just concentrate on unlocking things for myself rather than helping everyone. But of course that leads to both the research stagnating (aliens tech doesn’t depend on your research progres) and to factions picking bullshit global research that doesn’t align with my goals at all. Once I started making sure I had some control of the agenda, things got a lot smoother.

It’d be pretty nice to be able to set a priority on faction projects, to get all the crap I never intend to research at the bottom of the list. I don’t think it’s the intent for anyone to research anywhere near everything that becomes available.

Oh! I did not realize that, but it makes a ton of sense. That seems quite crucial for the exploration techs at least; not sure if there’s anything else where being the first by a small amount of time matters.

Wow, that is very important to know. Thanks!

Just grabbed three of four control points in Russia in my first game as the Resistance. We also control Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia, and Finland. Now I have to figure out how to combine them all into the Central Eurasian block or whatever it’s called. Having lots of fun so far and very happy to have picked up the game.

I’m in year 2033, And this game continually blows my mind. It is without a doubt the best shadow government game I’ve ever played.

I call it a combination of XCOM 1 strategic layer, The high frontier board game, and the Illuminati card game.

I’m 55 hours into the game as the Resistance. As you complete the faction quests. The game just keeps opening up. It’s got that slow drip like the original XCOM where the scope just keeps getting bigger and bigger. But it is a slow drip.

The early game is way different than the middle game. I’m just getting to the point where I’m regularly engaging the alien fleets. And they just started bringing out the dreadnoughts and motherships.

One thing I found was super effective about the control point issues in the early game. I’ve become a powerhouse by Europe into a super nation. Controlling territories that confederate and then unify really removes the control restrictions. Instead of having to defend seven countries, you just have to defend one.

I control all of Europe as the European Union. I control all of the former USSR as the Russians. I only have to do defend and remove unrest in two countries. Leaves the rest of my counselors to engage in special ops.

I fully expect to sink 100s of hours in this game.

Yep, there’s a lot going on on the earth map. It’s a little too easy to dominate once you have put the mechanics together I think, but the arrival of our purple friends can very quickly upend all that. I love how dynamic it is. My favourite so far is the following sequence of events - Initiative has Russia. Servants start taking Russia, I prepare a coup. Servants get Russia. I coup Russia. I take Russia. I disarm Russia’s nukes. I abandon Russia. Initiative takes Russia.

Some balance things are a bit off, like spoils being so profitable, assassination being too easy, and the dynamics of some priorities being better in smaller/larger states, because of the way investment points are calculated.

Alliance management is a pain, especially because the AI makes so many alliances with minor states. I think they could go back to grouping small countries together into one more than they do.

The problem is space and how they deal with the “powerful alien fleets” problem. It’s a shame they have gone with the “no stealth in space” reality. I’d prefer something where you develop “civilian” assets out in the open and have secret military bases and mining facilities hidden in asteroids or deep underground on mars or whatever.

Then when you inevitably decide you need to make the aliens angry you lose all your “open” assets and deployed warships but still have the core infrastructure, and you don’t get caught in the cycle of:

  • Aliens attack space assets
  • Some die, some are protected by your fleets or defence systems.
  • Because you fought the aliens, they get more angry and send more powerful ships.
  • Eventually you run out of space resources because you can’t keep your mines open.

Well, I’m certainly in that tit for tat loop with the aliens attacking my space resources. That said, there are projects that reduce your apparent threat to the aliens. I’ve also noticed when attacking my habs, sometimes they just blow up the defense arrays and leave the rest of the station alone.

I haven’t researched the alien goals yet, but I do find it interesting that most of their counselors are carrying nothing but harmony increasing orgs. Maybe this whole alien invasion thing is just an intervention for climate change!

Yeah, it’s worth underlining how there’s this wild strategic trap in the current game.

Alien surveillance ships show up in orbit very early on, and an unaware user would assume they should try to shoot them down. But the optimal way to play is to ignore them until you’re ready to go to war, after you have advanced ships and heavily fortified outposts. This is potentially tens of hours into a game. Can you imagine if XCOM incentivized you to avoid their tactical layer for this long?

Yeah, given the utter ineffectiveness of ground based defence arrays (which doesnt seem to be the case for everyone - there might be a specific tech with problems?) I think if you get into this situation you really need to be focussed on Mars and Mercury (and possibly Ceres) as then you can use fleets to defend your ground stations. Even if the fleets die at least you are inflicting real costs on the aliens (who do have an economy simulation and resource limits) rather than having your settlements taken out by lone corvettes.

It’s worse than that, even if you go “no point attacking the aliens” in space:

  1. For several factions the game tells you to do it!
  2. You can also trigger attacks just by having too many MC used.
  3. You can also trigger attacks by actions on the earth map (the game does warn about this)
  4. If you do trigger attacks and put layered defence arrays on a station, you might accidentally destroy a mothership and trigger massive retaliation…

But I basically agree with you, I don’t want to be strongly disincentivized from trying out the space combat layer.

This hasn’t been my experience, defense installations seem to be much more effective than ships. Two defense arrays seems to make a station or base invulnerable to alien attacks of any size. Even a single basic point defense can kill their bombers while trading a few destroyed modules.

Like you said, though, this might be a tech issue. These things upgrade themselves but the game doesn’t tell you which techs are used, and I’ve heard of some of the upgrades being way less effective than others.

Yeah, I’ve found defense arrays to be quite effective, even with basic lasers and cannons.

My whole fleet doctrine is disposable missile monitors. Just a basic unarmored engine with 4 viper missiles and extra magazines.and hardly.any delta-v. 8 of those can beat back anything they’ve thrown at me so far. Biggest assault so far was a mothership and two dreadnaughts against my main shipyard. They blow up all my ships and then the missile swarm hits. This happened twice and for now they’re leaving it alone. They blow up some asteroid mines in retaliation and I just rebuild behind them.

Just to confirm, this is defence arrays on habs on planets/asteroids, right?

I’ve looked at the data files and nothing looks obviously out of place. My understanding is planetary bases always use the best laser tech. Maybe there’s some number there that works backwards or something.

It’s hard to tell exactly how effective the ground-based ones are because there’s no combat round. I can say that several of my asteroid habs seem to have been protected by them. By this, I mean that an alien ship would come into orbit about the asteroid, and then would leave and not bombard the base.

They provide a combat strength, which seems to be the main number that the AI uses to determine whether to attack or not. I have similarly had attacks by alien fleets refuse to engage my space assets.

Quite, which is why a bug here would surprise me not at all.

But I routinely saw corvettes blowing up bases with 2 or 3 layered defence arrays.

Elaborated by edit on my previous post.

As far as the weapons used by defense arrays, it seems to use your best laser and your best projectile techs. At least that’s what I’ve seen in space battles. I wish they had missile launchers, but maybe that’s a later module. When I upgraded to green lasers, they suddenly changed color and my combat strength went up.

I was talking about these too, yeah. Battles are really underwhelming and take place entirely in the notifications tab, but fights with a corvette against the cheapest defense look like this:

9:30AM - Alien fleet Victor-17 has entered lower Mercury orbit
9:40AM - Alien fleet Victor-17 is bombarding Halsey Base
10:05AM - Farm destroyed on Halsey Base
10:20AM - Alien fleet Victor-17 has been destroyed in lower Mercury orbit

I haven’t seen an alien actually win a fight with a base that has at least one defense.

I have never seen a message like the bolded one.

When you say you are using the cheapest defence are you using the tier 1 point defence module?

There is a “mirror radius” stat in the datafiles which is extremely large for the ground defence lasers and for T2 and above it is larger than for any ship based weapon, so I could certainly imagine the T2 and above being outside the tested range.

I will try it out anyway.

Here is a new video that covers how to deal with the alien threat level. The first 8 minutes are mostly spoiler free and then he gets into the details of how it all works:

An interesting looking game.

  1. How close is this to a final release? Are they talking about big changes yet?

  2. How much of the player’s attention must focus on space battles? (I’m always looking for quality grand strategy, but find that I am a bit worn out on space combat.)

I see all this praise here and on the web and I’m tempted to give it a try again. It seems it’s advanced quite a bit from that really limited demo in June?