'Into the Breach' Didn't Click Until I Played it Like an EMT


#1

Steam tells me I’ve spent 20 hours in Into The Breach. I don’t think it’s entirely accurate, as I keep it on while I work sometimes, snatching a few rounds in between other tasks. But I have been playing a lot of it lately, and boy howdy, do I suck at this game.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/j5bza3/into-the-breach-triage-emt

#2

You basically described my method of getting through Into the Breach to a T, although I have less medical triage experience to chalk it up to and much more “I can’t plan steps in advance.”

Games like this, with cascading possibilities and forethought are games I am generally pretty awful at. I’m never good at plotting my opponent’s moves or baiting them into where I want them to go. With Into the Breach, I’ve at least got the time to carefully study the board as is and minimize harm by making the dominoes fall into place just so. Not a second of that planning goes into “what happens next” unless I’m blocking a vek from emerging, which I usually only do if that placement is convenient for an attack.

I really appreciate the systems of Into the Breach because this is at least a viable strategy. It’s obviously not ideal, I’m sure there are strategies and techniques that I haven’t even considered because they require careful planning of where the bugs will go next, but I have gotten within one move of winning in the final island. As I play, I feel like I discover more and more methods to minimize harm and improve my odds, even if I still haven’t cracked the code of forethought. A friend of mine mentioned looking at the enemies that can web and making sure you’re out of their range and it was some galaxy brain shit for me even though to other people that probably seems screamingly clear.


#3

I think that’s basically the right approach. There’s almost always some uncertainty about what you’ll be facing on the next turn, so trying to read ahead is usually not worth the trouble. The exceptions are that sometimes there are certain formations or positions that allow the Vek moves you have no clean response to, and manipulating Vek to stop some of them from attacking at all for a turn.

In any case, you can definitely play pretty comfortably on Normal without reading ahead at all, once you build up the skills for playing out your turns well.

Although, I would put the order of importance like this

  1. Avoiding game over
  2. Keeping pilots alive
  3. Time Pods and Reactor core objectives
  4. Other bonus objectives
  5. Preventing grid damage
  6. Everything else

#4

I arrived late at this party due to it being on sale on Humble. So far I have restarted 10 times and never completed a single mission since I have this compulsion to want to do everything perfectly on the run (Building damaged? Restart. Objective failed? Restart). I’m guessing that’s NOT the way to play this game? I have this problem in XCOM as well (NO ONE MAY DIE). How do you power through it?


#5

Just accept it as inevitable. The entire thing is about trading off damage for catastrophe. A perfect run is practically impossible, especially on normal or hard difficulty.

As you get a better feel, you’ll start to find map types you’re better at managing than others. Terraforming maps were great for me because you could use it to wipe away whole chunks of enemies with placement. The frozen maps with robot factories were a nightmare I never managed to get a grip on.

Just force yourself to not restart. You’ll get a better feel for the consequences of those choices, and you’ll become more comfortable with knowing where the tipping point is for a full restart.


#6

Think of buildings as points. You’ll lose points, and in the mission prep, you’ll add points back.


#7

Further to what kcin said, buildings are basically hit points – the only one that really matters is the last one. Everything above that is a buffer when it comes down to it.

Objectives are even more optional & there absolutely will be points where you will have to choose between failing a mission, losing a squad member, and taking damage (sometimes picking only one of three). There is often, but not always, a way out. That’s the kind of game this is.


#8

Thanks for the tips! I think I am getting the hang of this game. I have to say it’s very therapeutic in regards to fear of failure :slight_smile:


#9

The best tip I always give is to actually treat the optional objectives as primary. You don’t lose anything for losing regular buildings, but missing stars causes you to fall behind the power curve as the game goes on. You also can always spend stars to make up for losing buildings, but you can’t do the reverse.


#10

A few people have already given you mechanical justifications, but if you need a narrative one, I can help with that.

Zenith has a line that’s something like “while you have many timelines, for us this is the only one.” In the fiction of the game, restarting a run means leaving the previous timeline to their doom. While other games let you choose which playthrough you believe to be your ‘true’ playthrough, every playthrough of ITB exists in the fiction. So you’re not saving lives by resetting when a building is damaged, you’re dooming everyone else in the timeline.

Of course, this gets troublesome when you get to the point where you want to start doing challenge runs, but early on, fighting on while there’s even the faintest glimmer of hope can prove to be great training for your ITB skills!


#11

Bought the game yesterday, after listening to the soundtrack. I was kinda anxious to get this game, since I usually don’t have the patience to come up with the perfect set of moves. I was having regrets until I unlocked the second set of Mechs. Suddenly everything seemed to click into place that much more and now I can’t wait to get home and keep trying.

Do any of you guys have any advice when it comes to upgrades? Also is it generally better to have your time-traveler in the “primary mech” of the group or are there powerful combos that I’m missing, if I do that?


#12

There are definitely some combos that are either essential or borderline OP depending on how you look at it. I don’t know if you count mechanics as spoilers, but just in case I’ll insert a break here.

Bethany begins every round with a shield, and one of the ice mechs freezes enemies but also itself. If Bethany has her shield, it negates the freeze on herself, so you can just freeze enemies indefinitely or until you lose the shield. Abe comes with armor, which negates the self damage from lots of different mechs. Camila is immune to smoke which is very useful in the flying mech in Rusting Hulks.

Upgrades are going to depend on your squad and playstyle. Personally I almost never bought secondary weapons unless they were perfectly suited for the squad, like smoke bombs for the Rusting Hulks. I typically would boost my range because all the power in the world doesn’t matter for jack if you can’t get there. After that, each squad usually has one crucial upgrade in it, like chaining damage or not harming allies which I get up front. After that, it’s just a matter of making each unit as powerful as possible and hoping for the best.

Oh, and a tip I didn’t learn until later than I should have. Any ability to generate a shield also applies to buildings.


#13

This is super-helpful.

Yeah the first time I finished the first Island I just bought a bunch of weapons, not realizing that I lacked the power to use them along with the ones I already had. So I had an artilery that could shoot one little tank, but was practically just a robot-shield after that.

One of the weapons I bought in the aformentioned run was the freeze-shot, so I was wodering if that could be a possibility. Very cool! Now I’m even more hyped to get back to playing tonight.