I'm usually following a different route.. get as many satellites up early in the game (at least 5-6) and then produce some on stock so i can react to maximum panic levels in countries before the end of the month so as not to lose the country.
Yeah, same here. I did a load upfront to get certain bonuses, but made sure I left had some in reserve for maximum effect when the panic gets high. I'm not sure exactly how the panic mechanics work, so I was always afraid that if I got full coverage, I'd be stuck without a means to lower panic on a country that already had a satellite.
It never came to that as it turned out as even by the final mission I still had two countries with no coverage and something like 4 sats in reserve (I'd read somewhere they can be taken out.)
Moneywise it's only very tight in the beginning and you can always do some 200$ missions to get some cash. I also don't bother saving up alien bodies for aircraft boosts or anything else as it's not very effective. Sell them off for a tidy bonus.
Yeah, I didn't bother with those until pretty late in the game where I had way more money than I needed. Never really used to robots either as they didn't seem worth the investment compared to a rookie. For starters they can't use cover or level up.
I actually thought it'd be better if instead of taking the place of a soldier, the drones could supplement the support and heavy classes. Like you assign one to a soldier with a specific perk, and they hunker down and remotely control it in the field. The trade off for the extra firepower would be that you can't move both in the same turn, but yo can leave the robot in overwatch to cover an exposed flank. Also, I imaging the remote control would have to take up one inventory slot.
Perhaps even make certain drones class specific? Say demolitions for the heavy and fire support for the support class? Hell, just the ability to give the drones different load outs would have been nice!