Easy | Normal | Classic | Impossible
The Supply Barge is an alien spacecraft in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Supply Barges are large ships ostensibly used by the invaders to land supplies and equipment. Their appearance, like the appearance of Terror Site missions indicates an escalation of the aliens' campaign tempo.
Supply Barges can be encountered during an interception, or as a UFO crash or landing site mission. Capable of withstanding incredible punishment, intercepting a barge is difficult. They carry a substantial crew, so regardless of how a barge makes its appearance, assaulting one is a considerable task.
Despite the difficulties of bringing down and assaulting a barge, the opportunity should never be passed up if at all possible; as the name implies, these ships are designed to carry supplies, and so are a treasure trove of alien equipment and materials.
Bradford's introduction: "We have a large contact and it's coming in fast. We're going to have a difficult time keeping up with this one."
Barges are extremely large ships, larger even than Abductors. They are essentially divided into three sections: a forward hangar/garage area, a mid-ship cargo deck comprised of six linked compartments, and a control area situated at the rear of the craft. Between the foredeck and the cargo area is a small transverse hallway. Walkways run along the exteriors of the cargo area. Perhaps the most complicating layout factor is that the roof of the vessel is accessible, enabling Floaters and Cyberdiscs to drop in on the assault team without warning.
While a holding team is usually found in the foredeck, the bulk of the crew is typically encountered in the cargo area, coming from the after deck. This is problematic, as the cargo area offers scant cover apart from the compartment walls -- a disadvantage as each wall also houses a UFO Flight Computer which can be easily damaged in a firefight.
The size, varied environments, and substantial crew make assaulting a Supply Barge complex. Aliens typically consist of Mutons, Cyberdiscs, and Drones. Variations of Mutons and Floaters are to be expected, providing opportunities for live captures. Sectopods and Sectoid Commanders can also be expected late-mid game. Enemy Within also has a scripted Supply Barge landing in September that carries one Sectopod or more, on it regardless of difficulty or whether or not they have been previously encountered.
A large squad should be used, at least five if not six soldiers. As barges typically do not appear until mid-game, this should not be a limiting factor. As the bulk of the fighting typically occurs in the long cargo area where a Sniper can be helpful if properly trained. Otherwise, include at least two Heavies trained with Suppression, along with a mix of Assault and Support operatives. Bring the most advanced weapons and armor available, along with Arc Throwers if the live capture of Mutons or Floaters is a priority. At least one dedicated and well-trained medic should be part of the team.
Entry will typically be made via the foredeck, as flanking the ship to board on the sides is time consuming, requires the division of the squad, and forces the team through easily-covered bottlenecks.
Cover in the foredeck is plentiful, although cover in the middle of the foredeck is flimsy and low. Hugging the walls is the safest path. Be aware of enemy forces dropping in from above, appearing on the side platforms, and entering through the center midships door on the second level. After clearing and securing the area, the squad should stack up at the three midships hatchways -- the large center door as well as the smaller side doors. By breaching all three doors, covering and suppressing fire can be quickly established on the side balconies while the primary assault element enters through the center door.
Proceeding through the cargo area will generally bring contact with the remainder of the ship's defenders. Move up slowly, using the cargo bay walls for cover. The wing teams should proceed along the exterior walkways to provide flanking fire either from above or as part of an advancing cover strategy. Timed correctly, this will keep the bulk of the team's firepower moving forward in a united front. Given the strength of the aliens usually found in a barge, suppressing fire is valuable in keeping an alien locked down and incurring a defensive penalty, allowing easier shots from the assault element. Similarly, assault troops capable of flushing fire can force defenders from cover and into crossfire of well-placed heavy or support elements.
It is important to limit the use of heavy weapons and explosives in the cargo bays if at all possible, as valuable equipment is found there and can easily be destroyed.
If the mission does not end with the defeat of the midships aliens, the squad should stack prior to breaching the aft deck compartment doors and catch any remaining aliens in a crossfire.
- Aliens: 12+
- 4 x UFO Flight Computer
- 4 x UFO Power Source
- 8 x Alien Stasis Tank
- 2 x Alien Surgery
- ~100 x Elerium
- ~200 x Alien Alloys