Post by redartrats on Oct 12, 2016 14:44:06 GMT -5
Narvs are pretty tough, yes. It will require some forethought, planning, and clever strategy not to get walked over by them.
The strategy that I've found to be effective (there are probably others, but this is what I've discovered in my own playing), is to make good use of your soldiers' Overwatch and your Scouts' Crippling Fire. Overwatch has a tendency to stop the Narv in its tracks, which buys you more time to respond before they're within attacking range; Crippling Fire slows them down by reducing their MP. Using a combination of both, together with careful tactical retreats where necessary, will ensure your squad lives to tell the tale.
That's the main idea, anyway. As far as details are concerned: the most dangerous Narvs are the ones with ranged attacks -- the Flame Spiders and Radiators. Since your Scout only has at most 2 shots at Crippling Fire per turn, it may not always be possible to keep everything under control. There are two alternative strategies: (1) target the ranged attackers first, to keep them at a safe distance, and use your squad's melee templars to take out the narv soldiers. Or, (2) target the soldiers first to keep them out of reach (with high-level Crippling Fire you can reduce them to MP 1, so they will become irrelevant for at least a few turns), then focus the rest of your firepower into destroying the ranged attackers before they destroy you. Combine this with careful use of Overwatch to keep the narvs away from attacking range before you can destroy them.
Another very dangerous narv unit is the little flying drone. It has 6 MP and hits with pretty nasty radiation attacks; that's where Overwatch comes in. If you have spare AP after dealing with the soldiers and shooters, you could use your Scout's Crippling Fire to slow down these drones to more manageable MP, but if you're being swarmed, chances are that the only real solution is to be very careful where you place your Overwatch so that it will stop the drones in their tracks. High-level Overwatch is recommended, as it can sometimes destroy these drones before they can get to you. That will save you precious AP to deal damage to the ground units.
As far as defense is concerned, look into equipment that grant radiation resistance. Narv attacks have high radiation damage; shield yourself from that, and you'll do better in the case that the narvs get within attacking range before you can destroy them. But if you ask me, I'd say don't even let them hit you in the first place. Kill them at range while you can, and only melee them if you're sure you can destroy them within the current turn. Going head-to-head with a narv is usually a Very Bad Idea (tm).
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2016 14:46:12 GMT -5 by redartrats
Absolutely, redartrats. Range is your number one way to keep yourself alive. Overwatch, Napalm, Crippling Fire are your best bets, but make sure you stay mobile and out of reach, as they're terrifying close range.
Also try to focus fire on one at a time, you need to actually bring them down. Arc Shot(?) and Bladeweave from the captain, and other AoE will be very useful against massed enemies.
My melee Templars are managing pretty well at the moment, especially the Hammer Paladin. Lost my first Paladin Adovar at the tail end of the Alta Sector mission, his deflection and auto block were great and all but.....got overwhelmed in the hallway at the north end of the map when I was sending him to reinforce the TP at the other side. Bought my Plasma Soldiers enough time to fall back though.
Reminds me of my old Captain Ajax in Templar Assault and his throwing recruits at Narvs.
Post by redartrats on Oct 12, 2016 15:01:59 GMT -5
Grenades are also handy because they take only 1 AP, so you can have your two main talent attacks, then toss in a grenade for flavor. I love tossing grenades into clusters of narvs, even though they don't take too much damage from it, their HP is so high that every little bit counts sometimes. Occasionally if I'm almost out of AP and a damaged narv unit is still too close for comfort, I'd toss a grenade to see if I can finish it off and save myself some major radiation damage. For this reason, I spend a talent point on each of my soldiers for grenades. Put that extra 1 AP at the end of every turn to some good use.
OTOH I find that Napalm on its own isn't as guaranteed as Overwatch to stop a narv: they can often withstand the flames long enough to get through the firestorm and deal you some major damage in their dying moments before they implode from the heat. But combining Overwatch with Napalm is a good way to keep them in the flames long enough to be stopped.
[...] Lost my first Paladin Adovar at the tail end of the Alta Sector mission, his deflection and auto block were great and all but.....got overwhelmed in the hallway at the north end of the map when I was sending him to reinforce the TP at the other side. Bought my Plasma Soldiers enough time to fall back though.
On the Alta Sector mission, I usually don't bother with defending a TP unless there are already enough templars on location to make a stand. Since there are 6 TPs cranking out lots of SP every turn, my first step when a TP is under attack is to buy more HP for the TP. Maybe even a gun or flame turret defense to deal them some damage. It delays the narvs for at least a few turns, and if you regroup during that time, they often start perceiving your templars as the bigger threat, and after a few turns will give up attacking the TP and start charging towards your squad instead.
Another side tactic I use is to drop turrets to draw their attention away from the TP. The turrets usually don't stand very long against the narvs' powerful attacks, and usually don't do very much damage, but it buys you a few turns to reinforce the TP or bring in an assault team. Make sure you use the turret's Overwatch to slow down the narvs as many turns as possible before they destroy the turret. Basically, use the turrets as decoys to distract them.
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2016 15:14:18 GMT -5 by redartrats
I agree with and use most of the tips here. One thing I'll add: my last time vs. Narvs, critical hits really stood out. So much so, I re-speced and geared everyone on my A team to get a boost there.
Respec is crucial IMO, and changing gear selection. I take points off primary attack attributes, and bump fortitude and focus where I can. Skills are much the same, I'll rob a point or two off primary attack, and things like grenades, and reallocate them toward Tactics, Evasion and Warrior( melee defense for gunners). I usually end up 13 or 14 primary attacks, fortitude 8+, high tactics, then the rest of the points buff up evasion etc. I think I put one point back on grenades, maybe two for Berserks. For gear choices I jump all over the Relic Platings, Kinetic Refine-X, Ballast Pilot, Vitality wiring. Relliars Shield comes in handy too. My melee classes get the best armor and shield I can pack on them while still getting a decent penetrating blade, usually Null on Capt and Force on Paladin. Other classes armor up as well, the Dragoon Relic and Legion armor are nice for Soldiers and Engineers with the rad resistance. Aegis or Irid Gauntleted. Scout I keep in Null Relic Armor, believe it or not, with Relliars Gauntlet and one of the Mensin rifles. I love melee, especially vs. Narvs, since they are so fearsome. So satisfying to slash through them as they pop! Also, I abandoned the pistol Capt long ago, one of my first plays, upon meeting the Narvs. Just can't make him work. Once you can avoid getting into ranged attacks, the biggest concern is a viscous counter attack from a Warrior. Here's where you make sure the Narvs you're facing are softened up as best you can. The less swings of melee the better, and the critical hits I mentioned can really count here.
For a long time, I wouldn't make a move on a Narv level without my Paladin in tow. Paladin isn't always my first Veteran now, but aside from Star port I use them on every Narv level. Just too much damage being dealt to you not have one out, IMO. If you can train up a good Berserker, they really shine vs. Narvs. Probably my all time favorite lineup vs. Narvs was my Shield Wall, Capt, Paladin, Berserker, supported by ranged troops. I just lined them up like the tip of a spear in front of my shooters and marched methodically through levels encounter by encounter. I'm trying to recreate that magic on Ironman right now actually.
By Shalun, by the Core, Hit Kaldun, 'tis no more, Ask War Worm, how's it feel? Slashed, shot, burned, fire and steel!
Post by contributor on Oct 15, 2016 15:45:29 GMT -5
Lots of good advice here. I would add that you might want to give up on plasma rifles and get more range. You want to keep the Narvs at range because they're so deadly close up and have more ranged fighters. Plasmas just don't give you enough distance IMO.
I also strategically use crippling fire to bunch up groups, i.e. stop the ones up front and let those in the back come up. Maximizing your aoe attacks can be key against large numbers.
Ended up respecing the Captain to a shield type and paired him with a couple Neptunes. Suppressing Fire plus Overwatch and whatever got close was mostly easy pickings.
For the Hive Mind I had the Captain and a couple Neptunes bunker down on the platform in front of the....Hive worm thing and had Nyra,Dalan Ortho a newb paladin and a Hydra sweep through the southern half of the map.
As Nyra's team took out the worm bits and power relays, I had the Nuptunes open up on the Hive Mind when exposed.
I finished 2 turns ahead of the turn goal for once strangely enough.
Post by redartrats on Oct 17, 2016 11:44:26 GMT -5
I just did Hive Mind again in 16 turns (goal 30; 20% bonus). Again, using my favorite technique: crippling fire to slow down warriors (so that I can just ignore them unless they're directly in my way), overwatch to keep ranged narvs at a safe distance, and move in for melee when they're softened up enough I can be sure my melee templars can take them out in one turn.
This time round, I discovered something interesting: at the very start of the level, I decided to take out the power nodes first, but on the way to the first power node my scout took a pot shot at the first worm with a bio-poison gun. Then the rest of my team and Nyra's squad moved in to take out the power nodes, all the while forgetting about that first narv worm. Suddenly, in the middle of battle, something when *pop* and the Hive Mind came out of its shell. The narv worm had just died of bio-poison! And I didn't even have my squad rush it to take it out. Good thing half of my squad was in range of the Hive Mind when it happened, so everyone rushed in and started beating the Hive Mind. That was after we took out 3 power nodes and was on the way to kill another narv worm on the north, so by the end of that turn the Hive Mind had less than 1000HP left. Then 3 squad members rushed the second worm, which was already injured by this point, and got the Hive Mind to emerge a second time in short order. That was its last: I threw everything at it -- all melee attacks, pistols, sniper rifles, everything, including grenades (I spec'd all my soldiers to have grenades on hand, just to add damage using that last 1AP at the end of every turn). The last grenade took him out.
But this made me wonder if an effective strategy next time might be to send in my scouts with bio-poison weapons and poison the narv worms while the rest of the squad took out the power nodes. If timed correctly we could potentially have the Hive Mind exposed and vulnerable for a long series of turns consecutively. Something to try for next time, perhaps.