Guide for Phantom Doctrine – Manual extension
(feel free to point out mistakes in the comments)
Combat : Some key concept of game design
The game is desigend to be a "spy" game with some action.
It is not a "military" style tactical shooter where the goal is to a*sault an ennemy position and win through force.
In all scenario, this game is about going "in & out".
Ideally, you can accomplish the goal of the mission without entering combat mode and exiting.
In some case, the goal will force you to trigger combat mode, and so the general approach is to prepare for your retreat, accomplish the goal and be on your way out immediately.
In some cases, while you try to approach the goal or set up your positioning, combat is triggering because of a blunder or bad luck. In those case you have to chose wheter you try to move back and fail the mission, or try to push a bit to get the goal before moving back.
In any cases, always keep in mind that the game balance doesn’t favor you in combat : your goal is in 99% of the case to keep the ennemies away and your agents safe.
Likewise, you can fail a mission and still accomplish something.
Every item collected is kept upon evacuation. Every enemy agent killed is considered killed even if you fail the mission.
While individual agent gain XP from some action performed in tactical mission, the overall success also provide a great quantity of XP that is shared with every member of the hit squad.
If you have less agents in a mission, the one you have will gain more XP.
Combat : movement cost
Movement is done by squares.
You can move a number of times equals to your Movement Point, and each one can spend up to "max movement".
If you move 2 squares once, you don’t get to move (6-2)+6 the next time. You get to move at most 6 more squares.
Agent usually have 6 squares max per MP.
Diagonals costs 1.5 squares.
Jumping through a window cost 2.
Jumping from an elevated position to a square 1 level below cost 2.
If you have to jump through a window from the 1st floor to the ground floor, it will cost you 4 squares.
Stairs costs 2 squares.
Fast movement Perk adds 1 to max movement
Medic perk adds 2 to max movement when carrying someone.
Combat : Weapon damage.
Each weapon and mode of fire has 2 damage values : the "min" and the "max". It’s a counter-intuitive definition because there are no "in between". The weapon doesn’t deal "between min & max" but deal "either min or max". It should be read as damage "if dodged" and damage "if not dodged".
The min value is the damage that will be dealt if the target "dodge" or "graze".
The max value is the damage that will be dealth if the target cannot dodge.
Damage can be reduced by : the range, a cover (half or full, giving 50% or 75%), dodged or not and the "damage threshold" value (which is essentially "armor" ).
The range reduce weapon damage depending on weapon type. Sniper rifle do not suffer from it.
Damage threshold is a flat reduction (a bullet vest is 7).
Moving increase it (I.E. when you get shot by an overwatch.).
Combat : Dodging
It is important to understand that there is no "luck" or "dice roll" here.
Dodging occurs everytime someone is shot at and has enough "awarness" to reach the value named "dodge cost". If the damage is reduced to 0 it is a dodge, otherwise it is "grazed". We use "dodge" in both case in this manual for the sake of simplciity.
It usually is around 30 to 35 awarness per dodge.
Keep in mind that many weapons still deal big damage even when "dodge" occurs. It isn’t some kind of "immunity" to damage but it helps against pistol & revolver in the open and against SMG and Rifles when behind a full cover.
Be extremely cautious against SMG and shotguns : when out of cover, the SMG has a damage bonus that hurt even when you dodge, and the shotgun mostly ignore dodging.
Because everyone regenerate awarness overtime, a gunfight between 2 characters will decrease the awarness by dodge cost (durign the round he is shot at) but then the awarness regen will increase it again.
To take "standard common" values, a dodge cost of 35 and a regen awarness of 20 mens that a 1v1 gunfight will only decrease the awarness by 15 every round (lose 35 gain 20).
In other words, starting with something like 75 it would take 3 round to deplete the awarness pool of a gunner (
7. dodge down to 40, up to 60.
6. dodge down to 25, up to 45.
4. dodge down to 10, up to 30.
3. won’t dodge. up to 50.
5. dodge down to 15. up to 35.
3. dodge down to 0. up to 20.
2. won’t dodge. up to 40
etc you get the idea.
When more people are involved, being able to dodge two times or three times in a row is very useful and gives enough time to move away from the ennemies.
That’s why it is important to keep in mind the "spy-fi" theme : you might kill one soldier with a nice headshot but then you’ll take tons of damage because you lack the awarness to dodge.
Combat : Fire mode & weapon types
There are 4 fire modes : Single, Burst, Full auto and Headshot.
All fire mode automatically ends the agent turn except for "single" shot.
Pistols & Revoler natively allow to "single shot" without ending the turn while others (smg, rifles, etc) require a perk to allow for it.
This mean that if you have more than 1 fire point, you can shot multiple times in the same round.
More importantly, being able to shot and then move allow to finish a target or to trigger a dodge before moving away to safety. It is extremely useful in many situations and makes pistol & revolver a sidearm of choice.
Single shot tends to have a big difference between min & max : it makes sense that dodging a single bullet negate most of the damage. They are countered by dodging.
There is one exception to that : the shotguns. They have nearly equivalent "min" & "max" meaning that the ability of the target to dodge doesn’t really matters. Still makes sense : can’t dodge a shot gun !
It has bonus damage against targets that are not in cover.
With SMG, the "burst fire" is the ideal fire mode : the min damage is relatively high, and the overall min/max is pretty similar to "full auto". Except that full auto cost one MP and more ammo.
SMG is a weapon of choice for overwatching inside building : they are not really suffering from "dodge" and most targets caught during an overwatch are out in the open.
With RIFLEs, the "burst fire" is significantly less interresting than full auto if the target can dodge (the "min" is low). The main point of rifles over SMG is their effective range.
Headshot ignore cover and cost awarness. It can be dodged.
The idea is to deal with targets behind heavy cover that have lost their awarness and won’t be able to dodge. Headshot with pistol also do not end the turn meaning you can shot and then move to safety.
It remove the awarness of the target. It cost MP and ammo and deal significant damage.
Full auto also adds a debuff named "suppressed" that prevent awarness regeneration for a turn.
When you do the math, you understand that from 0 awarness, it usually takes 2 turns to get enough awarness to dodge once. If you adds one turn of "no regen", you now have 3 turns.
So, if you full auto a target, you now can expect 3 turns where the target won’t be able to "dodge".
Wrapping up :
The different weapons and modes are designed to be used together.
For example, SMG have incredible burst first if you can flank a target, firing at it when it has no cover. It really hurts.
But you might not be able to do so. In that case, headshots is to be used instead : it ignore cover.
But the target might have enough awarness to dodge.
Which means that you could in fact "full auto" it to drop its awarness to 0 before the "headshot" action.
It’s also very important to notice each specific weapons damage values.
For example, the AK has a burst fire that deals very low damage against a dodging target but significantly more against a non dodging one.
The full auto costs 1 MP, meaning that your own mobility is reduced.
If you think about it : a full auto is an action that prepare the next round.
Combat : Weapon effective and max range (hidden)
There are 2 hidden attributes for weapons : the effective range and the max range.
The effective range is the range where the damage is full. Between effective and max range, the weapon starts to suffer penalty on the damage. Above max range the weapon is useless.
Hopefully those attributes are tied to weapons types and not to specific weapons.
Pistol & Revolver : 12 / 17.
Shotgun : 8 / 12.
SMG : 13 / 18.
Rifles : 21 / 25.
Sniper : 35 / 50.
Combat : Overwatch
Overwatch is triggered if an enemy move into a square that is being overwatched.
One important note is that overwatch is NOT trigerred if the enemy shot at you. Only if he walks on those squares.
It triggers a "default" shot (burst for smg & rifles, full auto for machine guns, single shot for pistol).
In the equipment section, weapons attribute include a "overwatch/breach" attribute.
This value is the quantity of time overwatch can be triggered in a single turn.
SMG tends to have a high score to that attribute ( 5 ) meaning that a single agent overwatching with a SMG can shot down 5 enemy agents walking through his zone.
Pistol can be nice too (5 for the DAO, 3 for the .38).
Rifles tends to be less (2 for the AK) and shotgun extremely poor (1 only for the Model 870).
Overwatch tends to hit a target out of cover, but not out of awarness : overwatch can and will be dodged.
Keep in mind that the weapon value apply : overwatching with an AK mean that the damage dealt in case the target "dodge" will be the low-ish "burst" damage (min value), whereas overwatching with a SMG that has high "min" damage can make it painful.
Some tactics with rifles involve full auto a target before moving back and overwatching : if the target try to follow you, it now is without "dodge" and will take the "max" value of the burst which is much higher than the "min".
There’s one important thing about the overwatch mechanic that needs emphasis : there are 2 overwatch modes : a circular and a conical.
The circular overwatch is all around the character if you keep the overwatch "target" within 5 squares. The cone is if you target a square beyond that distance.
There is a perk that increase the distance below which overwatch is circular : It is a huge perk. It goes from 5 to 9 squares. This is the kind of perk that allow to hold a room with a SMG.
There’s another pair of overwatch perk : one that increase the max range and one that increase the width of the overwatch. Those two perk are excellent with a machine gun when you want to cover the exterior of a building:
Combat : Breach
beware of failed breaching in weird room where some enemies are ignored and you end up out of cover in the middle of overwatch grids.
World Map : Introduction
The world map is the highest abstraction of the game.
It represent the cities, agents and "tips" you have abour current activities.
Your agents are represented as dots below the city names.
A blue dot mean that the agent is available. A yellow dot means that the agent is busy.
There are 2 types of missions : tactical mission (the 3d view) and jobs.
Some jobs are related to enemy activites : tailing, interrupting, recon, etc.
Other jobs are related to your own activities : forging money, workshop, investigating, etc.
Lastly, the story can be advanced through special jobs that need to be completed to go on with the game.
The more you work your way through the story, the more cities you unlock. There are also other parameters that change with each important "step" of the campaign.
Notably, more technologies becomes available as upgrade in your hideout, some "secrets" are unlocked allowing you to buy better gear, have better trainings, etc.
The ennemy also gets better and better as you progress. They get more agents, they produce more concurrent ennemy activities, etc.
World Map : Heat
Heat & ID Compromised are an important mechanic of the game.
They are related to your performance during tacmissions.
Heat is generated when your evac is compromised, when civilians are killed or when the mission goes into "combat" (instead of "infiltration&qquot;) and you do not have the "body cleaners" support for that mission. This imply that missions without "recon" will generate ma*sive heat for all agents of the tacteam if infiltration failed into combat. The value is 90 (max heat is 100.). In other words, if you add the heat from an evac compromised, your agent are exposed.
If the ID is not compromised, heat decrease every 12 hours.
In normal and easy, the value is -10 every 12 hours. In hard it is only -5.
In other words it takes 5 days to remove 100 heat. And 10 days in hard.
Once enough heat is accumulated on an agent (100), his ID becomes compromised.
ID compromise reduce the travel speed of the agent (20% longer, 40% in hard) and increase the amount of time he needs to complete "jobs" (20% longer in all difficulties).
More importantly, if the agent is ambushed and his ID is already compromised, you only have the options to "fight" or to abandon the agent.
If his ID is NOT compromised, you can accept to compromise his ID and avoid losing him and having to fight.
New ID can be obtained for a price (500$ in normal up to 700$ in hard). It requires the agent to be at the Hideout.
It isn’t disclosed if the heat works in the same way as "danger above threshold" in terms of probability to get ambushed (I.E. where the heat is a % chance of being ambushed when alone and targeted by an enemy "ambush" job.). Agent without heat can still be ambushed.
If it is the case, agent with high heat would be better used to do jobs at the hideout, or in pairs to interrupt/recon. (cannot be ambusehd working at hideout, cannot be ambushed if not alone)
if it is not the case, they would be better at scouting around without taking part in tactical missions.
They can still "drop their ID" if they are ambushed.
It doesn’t make any sense to gives them fresh ID before they are fully compromised.
World Map : Danger
Danger is a measure of how close your ennemy is to raid your hideout.
There are many ways that can produce danger and no reliable way to lower it : the game expects you to move your hideout from time to time.
Ennemy cells produce Danger overtime.
Ennemy activity "recon", if completed, adds a quantity of danger : from very low to very high, depending on the distance between the activity and your hideout on the world map. You can always check for the exact number by selecting the enemy activity.
Having your evac compromised or killing civilian also increase danger.
Recruiting new agents increase danger.
For each agent that goes MIA, you get 40 danger increase too.
various event will increase it. You should always have both an available hideout candidate and money to move away and avoid raids.
The max danger is 500 (450 in hard) and the threshold is 400 (300 in hard).
While not certain, the theory is that the % chance of being raided depend on the amount of danger above the threshold compared to the maximum danger.
I.E. at 300/450 you have 0%. At 350/450 you have 50/150 = 33%. Etc.
World Map : Signals
There are different types of events that can produce a signal on the world map.
Those are the red "alarm" marks.
Some signals are "fake positive" meaning that nothing happend there.
Some signals are positives events, meaning that the signal reveals something useful to you : either an informer or a hideout candidate.
Some signals are negative events, meaning they are triggered by the enemy : those are enemy missions. such as recon, a*sasination of informer, etc.
At each different stage of the game, the world map has different settings for those "sources" of signals.
The maximum number of informer, hideout candidate, enemy concurrent mission and "fake signals" is set there.
Having an agent in the same city as the signal shows you what the signal is about.
World Map : Secrets
There are 3 tiers of secrets : normal, big and huge.
– Interrogate an enemy agent provide a normal secret if you do not have the MK facility (free).
– Informer provide 1 normal secret with a 10% chance to get a big secret instead.
– Interrogate an enemy agent provide a big secret if you have the MK and pay to interrogate.
– Infiltrate an enemy cell provide a big secret
– The "last words" (when your agent die in reach of another agent) he whisper a big secret.
– When completing a secret file, you get 1 secret of each tiers.
For the tactical missions :
– Scout mission and Raid missions have 2 secrets each : 1 normal and 1 big
– Assa*sinate informer mission has 3 secrets : 2 normal and 1 big
– Enemy plot mission has 4 secrets : 3 normal and 1 big
– Attacking an enemy cell has 6 secrets : 4 normal, 2 big and 1 huge.
In other words, "huge" secrets are only available during cell attack and after completing a secret file.
World Map : Hideout Candidate & Informer
The 2 "positives" events signals are the hideout candidates and informer.
Informer provide you with intelligence of the lowest level.
There’s a 10% chance to get a level 2 secret (big).
Informer never provides level 3 (huge) secrets.
Informer can get a*sa*sinated if an enemy mission "a*sasinate informer" is completed.
Those mission are located where the informer is.
There can be 2 informer max at the same time.
Hideout candidates are potential hideout for you to relocate.
The maximum is 2.
There are 5 tiers of hideout candidate. 4 of which are relevant to the world map.
The lowest tiers is a "free" hideout that can be obtained after suffering a raid.
those candidate have a price and start with an initial danger.
danger / price
30. / 0
20. / 1000
12. / 2500
7. / 4000
0 / 8000
Note that the max danger is 500(450 in hard) and the threshold at which raid becomes possible is at 400 in normal and 300 in hard.
This mean that the free hideout in hard is barely viable : any increase of danger will be above the initial threshold.
World Map : Ennemy agents & Cells
The enemy has different min/max agents available to him at different stages of the game.
it goes from 3/3 to 6/9.
Below the "min", the enemy won’t be able to start new "jobs". At "max" he won’t increase his amount of agents.
He also has different amount of concurrent cells available : 1 to 3.
An enemy needs a 48hours mission named "set up cell" to create a new beholder cell on the map.
If the max cells is higher than 1, the enemy must have 3 agents in his cell and one more agent to be able to spawn a new cell somewhere else.
Revealing an agent identity allow you to scout whatever he is doing : It will show his current mission on the world map as if you had discovered it with "scout". And it remains true while it lasts.
If the agent’s identity is revealed but his activity is "unknown" and position "unknown", it simply means the agent isn’t used for now.
World Map : Ennemy jobs
Every interval, the enemy try to maximize his amount of jobs.
Jobs can be scouting, plot, a*sasination of informer, ambush, etc.
The concurrent jobs the enemy can have goes from 1 to 4 depending on the stage.
It ticks every 12 hours (10 hours in hard). Meaning that every 10 hours, if the enemy has not maxed his amount of concurrent jobs it will spawns new ones.
The enemy can spawn multiple jobs at the same location (it can for example a*sasinate an informer and start a "recon" on the same spot.)
If you do NOT scout a "suspicious activity" on the world map, the mission will still be revealed after 80% of its timer has been spent. This allow you to "a*sault" the mission without reconnaissance (keep in mind that without "body cleaners" support, you take 90 heat if you fail infiltration. And more heat and danger if the evac gets compromised as usual.).
All enemy jobs takes 24 hours to complete with 2 exception : setting up a new cell (48 hours) and killing an informer (20 hours).
A note about "ambush".
The way the system work is that enemy can "ambush" ANY agent that is alone somewhere.
It does not require the agent to be "exposed". It’s a mission that spawns somewhere and triggers if a single agent "scouts" it, which is done automatically if the agent is already there.
If your agent is already exposed, you will have to either fight a difficult mission or to abandon him.
If he is not exposed, you can simply drop his identity, making him slower to do jobs and travels and unable to "dodge" the next ambush so easily, or pay to get him a new identity. See the "heat" section.
World Map : Moving on the world map
Because moving agents on the world map takes time, it’s important to understand how the mechanic works.
– If you want to interrupt an enemy job without fighting, you need two agents nearby at the very beginning of the enemy job.
– If you want to find enemy jobs quickly, you need to spread your agents on the world map.
– Doing so incurrs the risk of "ambush" which incurrs the risks of dropping the ID and having to retreat an agent to the hideout to give him a new one.
To complete mission suchs as "interrupt" or "recon", you need agents ot be located nearby. They need to be on the spot.
To complete "a*sault" on an enemy mission, you can use ANY agents. It’s instantaneous.
However, note that any agent used in the tactical mission (but NOT the support agents) will appears in your hideout after the mission wheter it succeed or failed.
In other words, if you want to keep your agents where you put them, they must not participate in tactical mission, or only as a support unit.
It opens for an interresting way of managing your teams : have hit squads that perform the "a*saults". and have other agents that performs the scouting and non-tactical missions scattere on the world map.
If you want a free teleport to your hideout, just include that agent in a tactical team.
You can always keep 2 agents near your informers so that you will be able to interrupt any a*sa*sination mission that occurs. There is no real need to deal with the "scouting" missions (red binoculars) if they are far away from your hideout because their danger increase will be minimal.
If you compare the danger increase of "evac compromised" and danger from MIA agents (40 and 40 in hard mode), you can get a good idea of the risks there is to try to a*sault "red binoculars" missions compared to just letting it be completed and increase danger by 20 or 30.
World Map Strategy : Introduction
The game does a poor job at explaining how to deal with the enemy jobs.
Most of the mechanics on the world map are designed around the idea of managing time.
There’s a certain fun to have when you understand the mechanics and how to combine the different actions to be more effective at disrupting the enemy’s behavior.
Basically, you do not have to scout and fight everything once you understand that the enemy can only do so many jobs at once, that you can’t have more than N informers or hideout candidates at the same times, etc.
For example, you are mainly interrested in scouting ennemy "recon" jobs that occurs near your hideout. If it occurs on the other side of the map, the danger increase will be minimal and not worth the cost in terms of time and agents usage.
It takes one slot of the enemy "jobs" (which is always lower than the amount of agent he has.) to achieve nothing. In the meantime you use that time to get more money and work on training, informer, etc.
World Map Strategy : The importance of recon
An important factor is to understand that tactical missions without reconnaissance are easy to mess up. And I do not mean by "messing up" that you fail the mission. I mean that you fail the infiltration.
With recon, you have disguised, full map layout and if/when infiltration fails, you don’t get hit by heat because of the support "body cleaners".
It means it’s both easier to succeed, and when infiltration goes wrong, and you have to exfil it still doesn’t hit you. The only way to suffer is to lose agent or to compromise the evac.
This i not the case without recon. Without recon even success can be a problem. And it’s harder to succeed.
You end up with heat, and more danger from MIA (+40 per agent) or compromised evac (+40). In hard, the evac takes 4 turns to arrive and you only have 2 turns to get out once it is there. That window of exfil can easily be missed.
If one of your agent goes down in a 2 agents mission, you have to either accept the MIA (+40 danger), try to save him with the other agent and risk missing the evac (+40 danger), or fail to save him getting hit by twice +40 danger from both MIA.
It’s easy to get wiped in those situation because carrying someone prevent you from using the guns . Extremely easy to get hit by a total of 40+80 = 120 danger.
If the goal was to stop a +100 danger recon enemy job, it’s bad.
In general, from the "danger" perspective, missions are good to take with recon and risky to take without.
World Map Strategy : Windows of opportunity
Which leads us to the consideration that recon imply you need to find the enemy job within 14 hours for the 24 hours missions and within 10 hours for the a*sasinations.
You can simply do the math : each signal has a "timer" a*sociated to it that keeps track of when it began. So if you add the travel time to that timer, you are either above or below the window of opportunity for a recon mission. If you are outside that window, it is useless to scout it : the mission will discover itself at 80% completion allowing you to a*sault.
If it doesn’t after 20 hours, then it is not an enemy mission and you know it’s either a fake signal or a positive event. Furthermore, if you already have maxed informer and hideout candidate, you know it’s a fake signal.
Because the recon window is bigger than the time it takes to complete the recon mission (14 hours window, 10 hours to recon) the same team keep a window of 4 hours that can be used to travel to another activity to recon it if that activity occurs at the same time you started the recon.
And obviously, the more time goes by, the further away the same team can be used to recon other spots.
To interrupt a job, you need to find those missions within 8 hours and 4 hours for a*sasination.
When interrupting a job, It takes 16 hours to interrupt and the window of opportunity is only 8 hours. Even if the goal was to interrupt an enemy job and then recon another activity, you can still get caught because the window of opportunity for recon is 14 and the duration of interrupt is 16 hours.
Interrupting is therefore both safer and riskier, because you take absolutely 0 risks inccured by a tacmission for that activity, but you also end up tying 2 agents for 16 hours.
In the case of informers, you can also pre-position 2 agents within 4 hours of travel-time of the informer’s position. So that you can always come in to interrupt an a*sasination attempt. And because you know that the a*sasination requires 20 hours to prepare and complete, you can simply check when the informer is due to deliver his intelligence and as soon as it ticks <20h, you can free the 2 agents from that part of the map : he won’t be a*sa*sinated.
You do not need to get the 2 agents in the exact position of the informer : just keep them within 4 hours if you intend to interrupt. this allow to keep some cities in check in the meantime.
World Map Strategy : Knowing and Waiting
Because the opponent needs both agents and "job slots" to spawn new missions, eliminating agents or stalling enemy mission allow you to create delay.
For example, the enemy has 2 people doing a "plot" mission. You can wait for the 17h mark before starting the "interruption". You now have 16 hours before this "job slot" becomes open again.
In the same idea, when you have "recon" done on an enemy job, you do not need to a*sault it right away. You can wait for the time to goes by because if you a*sault it right away you might just free up a enemy job slot that will spawn somewhere you might not be covering right now.
Instead, you can reposition agents, and a*sault whenever you see fit : your tac mission agents can be safely waiting in your hideout. However, make sure that your tacmission member are not in flight when you’ll need them !
Since enemy missions takes 24 hours to complete, if you only stop them with either delayed interrupt or delayed tacmissions, you can play the game "one day at a time".
Stopping all known enemy missions at the same moment helps in avoiding ambushes : once you know where every enemy jobs will occurs for the day, you can safely move around individual agents to other signals, take decisions for trainings, crafting, or completing others tasks.
World Map Strategy : Enemy identity & Ticks
Seeking agent is a nice job : it reveals an enemy mission without the need for scouts. In hard difficulty, the identity is only revealed for 8 hours.
Just doing the math : It takes 24 hours to reveal a specific agent identity.
Enemy missions takes 20 to 24 hours to complete.
The "tick" for enemy missions occurs every 12 hours (10 hours in hard).
This mean that everytime you see a new activity, you can note the time it occured on.
If it ends up being an enemy mission, you can note the time it started.
And from there, adds 10 hours increments in hard (12 in normal) to know when new enemy mission might be spawned if there is enough enemy job slots.
You can now manipulate the enemy missions by interrupting/a*saulting them in a way that free "enemy job slots" when you want it, preferably one hour after the "tick" so that you gain 9 hours of enemy inactivity.
For example : you note a tick at 9:00 A.M. D-day Next tick will be at 7:00 P.M D-day. And the next one at 5:00 A.M D-Day +1.
Because mission takes 24 hours, you can interrupt it at 6:00 A.M D-day +1. And the slot will only be re-used at 3:00 P.M D-day +1.
Because of that, you can now use "seeking agent" to your benefits : It gives you 8 hours of revealing an enemy agent whereabouts.
So, if you start "seek agent" before 3:00 P.M (say 2:00 PM) on D-day and after 7:00 A.M (say 8:00 P.M) on D-Day, it will be completed on D-day +1 at 8:00 a.m up to D-day +1 at 2:00 P.M.
And because it lasts for 8 hours, the new missions occuring on D-day +1 at 3:00 P.M. that is allocated to the agent you seeked will be automatically revealed to you without the need to scout.
World Map Strategy : Danger as a currency
Finally, one word about "danger".
The game expect you to relocate your hideout. It expect you to consider "danger" as some kind of currency : because it is directly related to money.
The better you deal with danger the more money you have for upgrades, equipment, new hires, trainings, etc, simply because you spend less in new hideout.
In general, it is better to start with hideout improvements, then consider which agents you like and which you don’t. You can train those you like, and dismiss those you don’t. The hiring pool has a limited size but new candidates replaces old ones. Don’t be too afraid to lose agents if you have enough money to deal with the danger.
You can nullify many source of danger by waiting for the danger bar to go above the threshold before acting.
For example if you want to kick out and replace an agent, waiting for the danger bar to be in dangerous level before firing then hiring an agent and just after that moving the hideout effectively negate the increase of danger : the new hideout won’t have more starting danger.
World Map Strategy : Wrapping up
The ticks occurs every 12 or 10 hours in hard.
– Once you spot an enemy mission, check the time it started on, adds 12 (or 10) and you get the next tick. You can and should abuse that when deciding when you interrupt or a*sault an enemy mission. More time for you is better.
You need to keep the windows of opportunity in mind when positioning your agents in cities :
– 4 hours to interrupt an a*sasination (20hrs)
– 8 hours to interrupt the other enemy jobs (24hrs)
– 10 hours to recon an a*sasination
– 14 hours to recon the other enemy jobs
Those windows of opportunity must include the longest flight time of all participants.
Recon job allow to "chain" missions (window of opportunity bigger than the time of completion), Interrupt does not.
Assasination can only occurs once you discovered an informer and only at the city the informer is.
Finally : spacebar allow to pause/play the game in world map 😉
Mod : Harder.
Because once you an*lyze how the game works, it becomes extremely easy I decided to create a mod that significantly heigten the difficulty.
This mod is intended for the difficulty "hard". And as always, ironman is recommended (it’s just too tempting to "restart" a mission that fails. And it removes lots of interresting situation from the game.)
1. it reduces the availability of "recon" with the "disguise" option.
2. it severely reduce the availability of new hideout. Danger needs to be managed more carefully.
3. The timers changes forces to place agents with great care on the world map.
I have yet to finish a full campaign with it; so consider it a work in progress.
A more detailed description :
I significantly reduce the "secrets" income from the world map.
The problem was that "informer" spawn too often : every 10 hours. Max at 2.
So they end up revealing enemies, etc faster and cheaper than anything else turning lots of jobs into relatively useless crap.
Informer are now initially capped at 1, and only spawn once every 2 days.
They also take longer to reveal their secret meaning that you need to cover for them longer.
The issue there is that a*sasination enemy mission takes 20 hours. You cannot reduce that without messing with other timer. So if the informer takes 2 days instead of 1 day, you need to cover them for 28 hours instead of only 4.
The chance to get "big" secrets is doubled, and I added a 1% chance to get a "huge" secret to keep things interresting.
Signal an*lysis :
It’s the same issue : too easy to get secrets for free. Because additional slots increases that efficiency multiplicatively, I pushed the time from 24 to 72. You get one free secret every 3 day which is on par with the new informer timers.
Because of the income, "danger" is a currency that is easy to manage. The issue here is that hideout candidate are so fast to get, that you can out-fund danger increase by moving every day.
I’ve changed the timer for new hideout candidates to spawn so that they become relevant : From 23 hours to 1 week.
I’m not changing the maximum candidates, the idea is that every week you manage to play without moving your hideout gives you one extra "life".
But to keep things balanced, I also reduced the danger "ticks" from beholder cells.
There are 3 types of cells for different stages of the game.
One that remove money and no danger, one that costs danger and no money and one that does both but with lesser values. The further in campaign you progress, the higher the value.
I didn’t changed the early one, but the middle one went from 4 to 3 and 2 to 1 and the later went from 6 danger to 4 and from 3 to 2.
In other words, you might want to keep the enemy cells that only costs money and blow up those who costs too much danger and do your noisy work just before moving your hideout.
Another change is that hideout candidate do not come with initial danger anymore And some will be cheaper than others. 1K, 2k, 3K and 4K.
Crafting poses a problem in the game economy : it can be used to increase money. In general, there’s a benefit that can easily be around 15$/hour even without crafting perks for the early game decoy grenades. I don’t like it. It’s a spy-fi game, and I feel strongly against using secret agent as crafters that makes money. It seems to me to be more thematic to remove that economic gain from the crafting and keep the idea of crafting what might not be available to purchase.
Another problem is the rate at which it produce items.
So the modification just sets the crafting cost to the buying cost of the items. Which solves the economy problem : crafting is now only useful if you cannot buy it directly. It doesn’t provide an economic advantage.
And the timer receive +10h for each items. The idea is that you really send the agent on a mission to get that item. It’s not something that you do casually while waiting for something else.
Now that it takes so long, the crafter skill really starts to shine.
World map dynamic :
One way to make the world map layer more interresting is to tweak the timings of the missions.
And this is tied to the way enemy mission are identified.
So I modified the way Seek out agent works. It now only takes 20 hours (instead of 24) and only require a single agent. The results lasts for 10 hours instead of 8.
The reason is that the enemy ticks every 10 hours. So if the identity revealed lasts for less than this tick, it requires complicated calculation to make sure that the revealed identity will allow to locate an enemy job.
The "auto-reveal" is now set to 95% so that the enemy only reveals missions from suspicious activity once there’s only 1 or 2hours left.
Additionaly, a big change has been done to the jobs such as "interrupt", "recon" and "seek agent".
Seek out now only tajes 20h (from 24) and only require a single agent. The revealed identity now lasts for 10 hours (which is the same as the enemy "tick"). The idea is that "seek out" is now a great way to know about enemy missions as soon as they start.
Interrupt is kept at 16 hours. But now requires 3 agents. This significantly impact the way agent must be placed on the world map.
The most important modification is for the "recon" job that allow for disguise & map layout.
It now takes 15 hours and 3 agents. With 15 hours required, the window of opportunity to "recon" is only 9 hours (it was 14.) In the case of "a*sasination" it is now only 5 hours.
It’s only 1 hour less than the interrupt job and is meant to be a way to say "ok, if you fail the window of opportunity to "interrupt" by less than an hour, you can still do an a*sault with all the benefits of the recon that makes it much easier."
In other words, most tac missions are now without map layout and without disguise.
Because the enemy can at most have 5 concurrent activity at the same time and because hard mode only allow the player to field 15 agents, we need every agents to be able to interrupt or recon every enemy tasks. Which means that "heat", "injured" and hideout works now effectively reduce the ability to interrupt/recon.
XP is increased to 50, Tail to 75 and infiltrate to 100
Scouting (finding out what a suspicious activity is) also receive 2 xp.
The reason is that a tactical mission provide already about 100+ xp.
Comparing the xp value of those missions to the tacmission makes it feels like they were useless.
Now it makes sense to avoid a bit of tacmission from an XP point of view, but the need for informations will also mean that tac missons are still relevant.
VendorSpawnerInterval 10 -> 48
MaxVendor 2 -> 1
InformerTime 30 -> 54
ChanceForInformerHuge 0.0 -> 0.01
ChanceForInformerBig 0.1 -> 0.2
JobAnalyzeInterval 24 -> 72
HideoutSpawnerInterval 23 -> 168
HideoutInitialDanger 0 for each
HideoutPrice 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000
DangerChange 4 -> 3
DangerChange 2 -> 1
DangerChange 6 -> 4
DangerChange 3 -> 2
All "CraftCost" are now set equal to "BuyPrice"
All "CraftTime" receive +10.
World Map Dynamic
All revealTime 0.8 -> 0.95
Seek out : Duration 24 -> 20 and Agent 2 -> 1
Sabotage : Agent 2 -> 3
ScoutTacticalMission : Duration 10 -> 15 and Agent 2 -> 3
Tail : Duration 13 -> 14
XP is increased to base 50, Tail to 75 and infiltrate to 100
Scouting (findnig out what a suspicious activity is) also receive 2xp.
for level 3 : 8 -> 10
I hope you enjoy what we shared today about Phantom Doctrine – Manual extension. If there is anything, you want us to add, please let us know via comment below! See you soon! And thanks!
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