The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Jade Star

Part 3: Supplemental 1 - Base Management

Base Management

After our first real mission it's time to do a little work around the base. Proper base management helps make the most out of your resources. There is a lot to build over the course of the game and there is never enough money to get everything you want right away. Right now my priorities are keeping my soldiers alive, and getting as much satellite coverage as possible. More Satellites means more money and an easier time controlling global panic levels. So the first priority my money is going toward will be satellites.

Remember how I didn't build a satellite at the end of the first video? Well that was to save money. A satellite right then would have cost me 100 X-Com bitcoins. Let's go visit Shen and see what the costs are down to now.

Down to 77 X-com bitcoins, nice! That's a savings of 23 X-Com Fun Dollars. 23 Dollar-Pounds this early in the game is quite a bit. Enough to excavate a tile or two of the base, it builds another medkit, it covers the recruiting cost of 1.5 soldiers, or is 25% the cost of power generator that will be needed to be built soon.

Speaking of, let's go digging!

Here is the base layout. I've already ordered excavation going across the top level and started building a power generator. Managing your base layout doesn't have a lot of variables game to game. The only thing that can differ are which spots are pre excavated for you at the beginning of the game and where you get steam vents and how many of them you get. This game I'm pretty lucky with two steam vents right next to each other. They are down there on the third level though, so getting to them early is going to be a bit expensive. It will cost 100 X-Com bitcoins just to build the access lifts to get there, and then another 80 X-Com Fun Bucks to excavate the two tiles. Lastly each steam generator costs 200 Dollar-Pounds. So it's going to be really expensive to get down there. For now though I only need the first thermo generator so my costs will be about 340 X-Com bitcoins. That's a lot this early, not going to lie.

We need the power. Just starting out the game we use 22 of our available 30 power units. The remaining 8 units of power is enough to build two things, maybe three. Each conventional power generator costs 60 X-Com bitcoins and only provides 6 units of power. That is terribly space inefficient and would lead to something like one power generator for every two useful structures we build. A single thermo generator gives us 20 power, and putting two next to each other will likely provide us with all the power I will need for the rest of the game. The conventional power generator I am building is to ensure I have the power to build the lifts down to the steam and have some spare power left over to build other useful things at the same time.

Here is the situation room, where we can keep tabs on global panic. We can see the effects on global panic we had by choosing the mission to Argentina and ignoring the missions in Egypt and China. Egypt and China are now highly panicked, and their neighbors are also slightly more panicked as well. Countries exist in a binary state though, either they are committed to X-Com or they aren't, and the only level of panic that matters for this is a full five bars. If they aren't at five bars at the end of the month then they aren't going anywhere.

It is for this reason that it is best to save your satellites until the end of the month. Launching a satellite over a country will reduce its panic level. The strategy then becomes to do your best every month at panic management and then if you have countries at five panic bars you launch a satellite over them to calm them down. This is ideal for panic management, but maybe less ideal for quickly covering up your favorite continent for bonuses or for launching satellites over the individual countries that offer the most funding.


Last for now is that research on Meld Recombination is complete. We can now build a cybernetics lab and a gene lab to make use of the meld we capture. The full potential of these two labs is not yet realized however and will require much more research to unlock the full array of abilities and upgrades that can be purchased. Right now my money is tight and I am investing a lot of what spare income I have toward getting thermo generators up early. Once I have the resources to build these two labs I certainly will and will cover what can be done there in detail. For now though my base management is a bit hectic and I may have to do with out for a while.

There is a lot to do in the first month or two, and it's all expensive. I want thermo power. I want the cyber lab and gene lab. I will want a foundry. I will want an Officer Training School and it's goodies inside it too. I have to build satellites and a new uplink every month. All of this is expensive and you have to prioritize where your money goes. It's going to be rough, but that's how it is at the start and that's why I went with USA as a starting base. To give me the most starting money in the first couple months to deal with this crunch as much as possible.