This is a guide to the strategic portion of the UFO Aftermath game. This will not discuss the tactical game.
The objective of this guide is to answer questions that new players may have when playing the 1st time.
There are some parts which are not clearly explained by the tutorial, and some FAQ's answered as well.
Strategic vs. Tactical
UFO Aftermath is a Strategic and Tactical game, with the Strategic gameplay taking place on a large Globe interface, and the Tactical gameplay taking place in fields and city streets.
The GUI, shortcuts, and functions of the two interfaces are almost completely different, so this guide will deal specifically with the Strategic aspect of UFO Aftermath.
The main interface used by the Strategic portion of the game is a large globe-style map of Earth, with a GUI around the border of the screen.
The GUI buttons allow you to Stop/Slow/Speed up time, review any notifications of things happening on the map, or pan/zoom around the map.
There are also other screens which can be accessed via the GUI buttons in the top right, which are:
- Research & Development
The Research & Development screens are in addition to the main interface, and they allow you to progress the story and develop better equipment for you men.
The Research and Development screens both contain lists of tasks. The tasks are divided into the following categories:
- Tasks available to be researched/developed.
- Tasks with unmet requirements.
- Tasks which have already been completed.
- Items available to be produced (Development only).
The Center of the screen displays the task currently being performed, as well as the estimated time until completion.
Generally speaking, Research Tasks either progress the story, give you information about enemies, OR fulfill the requirements for development tasks, and Development Tasks usually either fulfill the requirements for producing an item, OR provide some other benefit. Producing Items will add to your available equipment in the SQUAD menu.
Each Task displays a list of Requirements:
- Any SOLID Icons in the list of requirements are required to perform that task.
- Any OUTLINED Icons in the list of requirements will increase the speed with which that task is performed.
The Time it takes to complete tasks is heavily dependent on the number of bases which have been allocated to Research or Development respectively (more on that later).
The Squad Menu shows a list of all Recruits which are available to send on missions, as well as the equipment available.
The number of recruits will expand automatically, and cannot be influenced by the player.
Each recruit has Attributes and Skills. Attributes can be increased when levelling up (once a recruit reaches his XP cap), and the different Attributes will determine that recruit's Skill ranks.
Skills define which weapons a recruit is best with, as well as how much they can carry, speed, HP, etc.
When certain Attribute requirements are met, a Recruit will be elligible for Training. Training will increase a recruit's Skill Ranks by 1 each, but the recruit will be unavailable until the training is complete. Training must be initiated in the Squad screen.
Recruits which are critically injured will undergo Medical Care. This will simply make them unavailable for a fixed periof of time, similar to training.
On the left side of the screen is a set of 7 colored spaces for recruits, called the Squad. These are the recruits which will be launched when a mission is accepted on the main interface. There can only be a max of 7 (or fewer for rescue missions). There is no downside to taking more men, so it's wise to always max out your squad, even if not everyone has a good weapon.
Every player starts with an unlimited supply of 1911 handguns, Remington shotguns, UZI smgs, Frag Grenades, Medkits, Flares, Light Armor, and Light helmets, and ammo for each gun.
For every other type of weapon or equipment, it must be gained in some other way, and they are limited in quantity unlike the default equipment.
Weapons/Equipment is gained in three ways:
- Using the Development Tab.
- Capturing Bases.
- Defeating enemies with weapons in Tactical mode.
Special types of grenades or rockets will be permenantly destroyed each time they are used, for example Acid Grenades, meaning it's possible to run out of them permenantly
Other types of ammunition will regenerate themselves after you return to base, even though there's no clear explanation of how it's done. (I guess they just refill the magazines?)
Ammunition will NOT regenerate unless you return to a base, so it's dangerous to perform multiple missions in a row without returning to base.
Each weapon has different Range, Damage Type, Damage Value, Rate of Fire, etc. Different Armors are able to resist different types of Damage with varying degrees of success. All equipment has weight.
All of these stats impact how well you will perform in the Tactical Game, and can be viewed on the Squad screen.
This is a page where information regarding different bases, UFO's, enemies, weapons, etc can be viewed.
The Glossary is the ONLY page where the Armor values of Transgenant enemies can be viewed.
The Glossary can be used to view the Stats of weapons and armor, but this can also be done in the Squad page.
It's usually a good idea to use the Glossary entry of a UFO to decide whether it should be intercepted.
Keep in Mind: Reticulans do not have Glossary Entries which list their armor values. Instead, you must manufacture Reticulan Armor, and look at the Glossary Entry for that armor to see the actual armor value and weaknesses of the Reticulans.
This is just a GUI button which takes you to the Main Menu / Pause screen. You can use this to Save, Load, Quit, view credits, etc. The same can be accomplished much easier by simply hitting the ESC key on the keyboard.
The Earth Globe is where most information is displayed in the Strategic portion of the game.
Here, you can see the following:
- Bases (Blue circles)
- Missions (Red Triangles)
- Vehicles (Red)
The Earth is divided into a finite number of territories, and each territory has exactly 1 base. The Player starts with 2 human Military bases.
Capturing a base also captures the corresponding territory. The two are always either gained or lost together. Actually, it's helpful to think of Territories and Bases as one in the same, but the Territory lines help the player to know which bases are adjacent to one another.
There are a few different types of Bases:
Military bases can Launch the Squad on missions, can Launch a wing of 3 fighter planes to intercept UFOs, help the CoE troops win missions assigned to them, and help capture adjacent bases.
If a Military Base has all 3 fighter planes destroyed, it will temporarily be unable to launch fighter planes, and will show a Red Wrench symbol on the map (this means they are working to repair the fighters).
Research bases decrease the time required to perform research tasks. Development bases decrease the time required to perform development tasks.
Anti-Biomass bases are only available after being researched, and they will reverse the growth of any biomass in a radius around it.
Bases can be converted into any other type by simply clicking the base and clicking Convert. It will take 24 hours for the change to take effect.
Alien bases can be found occasionally, but they are invisible until they are found, and they are shown by a Mission marker.
UFO's, Helicopters, and Fighter planes all fit under this category. All of the above will appear as Red markers, and the shape depends on the type.
The Helicopter will ferry your troops to and fro missions and military bases.
Fighter planes will fly directly toward any UFO it is asked to intercept. If it reaches its maximum range, it will return to base. Fighters which are destroyed MAY create Rescue missions. Fighter planes can be upgraded by certain Development tasks.
UFO's come in a variety of types, but all share the same UFO symbol. The different UFO's perform different functions and are more or less difficult to destroy.
- Observer: Purpose is being shot down and raided, to advance the plot.
- Laboratory: Seems to be same as above.
- Fighter: Designed to draw attention away from other UFO's.
- Planter: Spreads Biomass
- Battleship: Functions similarly to the helicopter, and can launch attacks on Human bases (defense mission).
Represented by red triangles, missions allow you to use your Squad to enter the Tactical portion of the game.
Missions have Priority and "Estimated Impact," but Priority is the only part that matters. All missions begin with Low priority, ans escalate to High over time.
Some missions can be Delegated to the CoE troops, which is another way of saying "Autoresolve." When you Delegate a Mission, no Helicopter is launched, and your recruits don't run any risk of injury, but the missions will not succeed as frequently. The mission will disappear automatically, and you will receive a notification about 24 hours later indicating the result of the Delegation.
If a mission remains at High priority for too long, it will automatically be delegated to the CoE troops, even if it wasn't an option in the mission menu.
Missions come in a variety of types, and the type of mission will determine the victory conditions of the Tactical part of the game.
It's important to note that the Helicopter must travel from the closest Military base to the Mission when it is accepted, and this can take a significant amount of time.
It's possible for a Mission to be automatically delegated due to high priority while the helicopter is in transit.
When a Capture Base mission is completed, the resulting Base will be a Military base by default.
The Biomass is a large Brown growth on the surface of the Earth which is being spread by the Aliens.
The Biomass is planted by Planter UFO's, and spreads automatically in all directions. Biomass appears to be unable of crossing Oceans, but can cross lakes and traverse islands.
The Biomass serves only 1 purpose: Destroying bases. If the Biomass spreads onto a human base, the base is destroyed, without any defending mission possible.
If the player completes a "Capture Base" or "Attack Alien Base" mission which is located inside of the Biomass, the base will become an Anti-Biomass base instead of a Military base. If Anti-Biomass bases are not developed yet, then the base will default to Military, and then instantly be destroyed.
Theoretically, the only way to lose the game is to lose all of your bases.
This can either be done by losing Base Defense missions, or by letting the Biomass grow and eat all of your bases.
There are 2 ways to "win" the game.
The 1st is to make a deal with the Reticulans, and this choice is only available once you've advanced the plot far enough. If you decline this choice, then you cannot reconsider it later.
The 2nd is to defeat the final plot-related mission. This can only be achieved by advancing the plot and researching the mission.
So, that actually means, you won't beat the game if you capture every alien base, or even if you destroy every biomass node. You have to do the last mission.
Since bases are good source of weapons, as well as production/research power, they are the key to success.
Any time you find a mission that says "We need to eliminate these enemies in order to expand," that means you are close to finding the base of that territory, and if you defeat that mission, you will often reveal the Capture Base mission within 24 hours.
Sometimes you will have more missions than you can reasonably do, so I recommend prioritizing missions which will lead toward gaining a base, or preventing the destruction of your own bases.
I recommend converting your bases frequently, because only the bases on the frontier or front-line will need to be military bases, while the others can be production or research bases.
I recommend against delegating important missions. Only missions which are less-important should be delegated.