Critique My Builds and Squads

Share strategy and tips here.
quarter
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:51 pm

Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby quarter » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:49 pm

Take a look at my Class Builds and Squads:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_7MedIaEQ91ckpLRXF4anBlMFk/view?usp=sharing

A brief explanation:

Assault Squad - Specializes in VIP Extraction & Jailbreaks. General all purpose squad. Moves fast and takes the fight to the enemy.

Beast Squad - Specializes in Smash & Grabs and Facilities. Good for taking out walls and destroying many things at once.

Ambush Squad - Specializes in Troop Columns, Supply and Intel Raids. AoE and Overwatch heavy with a deep squad for 8 man ops.

Escort Squad - Specializes in VIP Escorts & Haven Defense. Designed to move towards a target and fight along the way.

---

Please comment on how you think these builds and squads could be better. "Knowing is half the battle!"

Psieye
Posts: 641
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Psieye » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:22 am

Disclaimer: haven't read the whole thing.

What's an 8-man squad doing with only 1 sniper? In fact, why are your 8-mans so balanced in class distribution? To me, an 8-man means having the spare room to go 3 sniper, 2 specialist and still have space for sole-visible tank and 2 off-tanks/scouts (to cover flanks). Doesn't matter what classes the tanks are, anyone can wear armour and hunker but some can do extra while tanking. Everything actually dangerous dies to snipers fast. The chaff don't matter if they have 0% hit chance on the sole-visible tank.
Previous 1.5 Commander campaign for the 8-man GOp squad.
The current one.

Icarus
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:26 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Icarus » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Psieye wrote:Disclaimer: haven't read the whole thing.

What's an 8-man squad doing with only 1 sniper? In fact, why are your 8-mans so balanced in class distribution? To me, an 8-man means having the spare room to go 3 sniper, 2 specialist and still have space for sole-visible tank and 2 off-tanks/scouts (to cover flanks). Doesn't matter what classes the tanks are, anyone can wear armour and hunker but some can do extra while tanking. Everything actually dangerous dies to snipers fast. The chaff don't matter if they have 0% hit chance on the sole-visible tank.


A little addendum to that: even if you don't use the sole tank method, having a couple of snipers on untimed missions lets you discover enemies with your concealed scout, then keep shooting with the snipers for a couple of rounds before they even meet with the rest of your squad. This means
a) the most dangerous enemies are dead/wounded by the time the enemy actually engages you and
b) the enemy is lured to you instead of you having to reposition.

That's why, as a rule for me, untimed missions mean at the very least two snipers and one specialist (for squadsight hacking).

Oh, and I assume Psieye advises 2 specialists because that lets him Aid Protocol his sole tank every round.

quarter
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:51 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby quarter » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:11 pm

Psieye wrote:Disclaimer: haven't read the whole thing.

What's an 8-man squad doing with only 1 sniper? In fact, why are your 8-mans so balanced in class distribution? To me, an 8-man means having the spare room to go 3 sniper, 2 specialist and still have space for sole-visible tank and 2 off-tanks/scouts (to cover flanks). Doesn't matter what classes the tanks are, anyone can wear armour and hunker but some can do extra while tanking. Everything actually dangerous dies to snipers fast. The chaff don't matter if they have 0% hit chance on the sole-visible tank.


Sounds like you are running the "Triple S" campaign: Sharpshooters, Specialists, & Shinobis!

I do like the "turtle" idea, I think a quick modification to my "SEAL" Shinobi (exchanging Bladestorm for Low Profile and Hunter's Instinct for Evasion) would make him your ideal hunker-tank. And trade-in Shadowstep for Combatives to control all the Yolos.

So,your 8-mans would be 3-4 Sharpies, 1-2 Watcher Specialists, the hunker-tank, and 2 shinobi scouts - Interesting. I'm assuming one of the shinobis is your Officer. How do you handle the enemy behind cover? Just get high ground, holo, and fire away?

Psieye
Posts: 641
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Psieye » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:41 pm

Icarus wrote:Oh, and I assume Psieye advises 2 specialists because that lets him Aid Protocol his sole tank every round.
Yep, permanent Aid Protocol. Arguably an OW specialist is already a good tank candidate so that frees up more space for optional shenanigans.

quarter wrote:Sounds like you are running the "Triple S" campaign: Sharpshooters, Specialists, & Shinobis!

I do like the "turtle" idea, I think a quick modification to my "SEAL" Shinobi (exchanging Bladestorm for Low Profile and Hunter's Instinct for Evasion) would make him your ideal hunker-tank. And trade-in Shadowstep for Combatives to control all the Yolos.

So,your 8-mans would be 3-4 Sharpies, 1-2 Watcher Specialists, the hunker-tank, and 2 shinobi scouts - Interesting. I'm assuming one of the shinobis is your Officer. How do you handle the enemy behind cover? Just get high ground, holo, and fire away?

Actually I prefer sniper officers. 100 Aim, Lead By Example, Firing Discipline officers. If anything with Lightning Reflexes gets sniped early, OW guys become silly with that kind of officer watching them.

Cover is not a problem when you make the AI not want to be there anymore. Dangerous things in cover (i.e. I failed to snipe them off early) can be brute-force shot through with aim stacking, but there are alternatives depending on how much space you have. Things like...

- Move the sole-visible tank backwards (why I prefer Shadowstep to Combatitives in case of OW camps). Enemy in cover can't see anything so it moves out of cover to look for the tank. Depending on how crowded it is, it might not have any high cover to move forward to (thank you M1 Trooper for taking it instead) so it settles for less. Maybe you've set up an OW wall with your specialists and off-tanks just outsight enemy vision - all the enemy saw was the one tank run in That direction.
- Def stack so high the enemy in cover has 0% chance to hit. It then thinks "if I can just flank that guy, I have a shot" so it sheepishly OW creeps forward (coming out of cover).
- If your sole-visible tank happens to be a gunner and you've stacked def (smoke and Aid Protocol) then you can suppress to make the enemy perma-hunker instead (so anyone can take time and flank safely). Pods scatter when activated but they tend to clump up again afterwards - squadsight activations help area suppression (especially if they couldn't see the gunner first).
- Approach diagonally so that the difference between being in cover and being flanked is 20 degrees, not 90. I've frequently activated pods such that they get in cover against the visible tank and are flanked at squadsight without having to move my sniper that far. Sometimes I snipe to activate a pod and they take cover against the sniper... only to flank themselves to the rest of the squad.
- Cycle between 2 tanks alternating who remains visible at the end of turn. Hit & Run guys with Lightning Reflexes or Shadowstep excel at this: enemy positions itself while thinking of Tank A. Tank A just runs out of sight while Tank B comes in from a different direction, gets a free shot then heads into cover. Now the aliens need to re-think what's cover and what's not.

The 8-man squad gets more creative the later in a mission it is, when there's more "safe territory". It's why I burn consumables to clear the first couple pods without hassle - later pods are helpless to distant snipers.
Previous 1.5 Commander campaign for the 8-man GOp squad.
The current one.

quarter
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:51 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby quarter » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:08 pm

Psieye wrote:
- Move the sole-visible tank backwards (why I prefer Shadowstep to Combatitives in case of OW camps). Enemy in cover can't see anything so it moves out of cover to look for the tank. Depending on how crowded it is, it might not have any high cover to move forward to (thank you M1 Trooper for taking it instead) so it settles for less. Maybe you've set up an OW wall with your specialists and off-tanks just outsight enemy vision - all the enemy saw was the one tank run in That direction.
- Def stack so high the enemy in cover has 0% chance to hit. It then thinks "if I can just flank that guy, I have a shot" so it sheepishly OW creeps forward (coming out of cover).
- If your sole-visible tank happens to be a gunner and you've stacked def (smoke and Aid Protocol) then you can suppress to make the enemy perma-hunker instead (so anyone can take time and flank safely). Pods scatter when activated but they tend to clump up again afterwards - squadsight activations help area suppression (especially if they couldn't see the gunner first).
- Approach diagonally so that the difference between being in cover and being flanked is 20 degrees, not 90. I've frequently activated pods such that they get in cover against the visible tank and are flanked at squadsight without having to move my sniper that far. Sometimes I snipe to activate a pod and they take cover against the sniper... only to flank themselves to the rest of the squad.
- Cycle between 2 tanks alternating who remains visible at the end of turn. Hit & Run guys with Lightning Reflexes or Shadowstep excel at this: enemy positions itself while thinking of Tank A. Tank A just runs out of sight while Tank B comes in from a different direction, gets a free shot then heads into cover. Now the aliens need to re-think what's cover and what's not.

The 8-man squad gets more creative the later in a mission it is, when there's more "safe territory". It's why I burn consumables to clear the first couple pods without hassle - later pods are helpless to distant snipers.


Very good suggestions. I especially like the idea of drawing the enemy to the tank and a holo-sniper at a 90 angle from the rest of the squad. Specifically, I'm thinking of the HQ map with the path along side of the front building. Seems like a perfect place to kite enemies out through and have them run to a tank towards the start area, while your snipers are camped on high ground on the other side of the map. Also could work well in haven defense and raids, which constitute your timer-less missions.

I'm curious though, what kinds of squads do you use for timed missions, especially those with low infiltration?

Psieye
Posts: 641
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Psieye » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:47 pm

quarter wrote:I'm curious though, what kinds of squads do you use for timed missions, especially those with low infiltration?

Pretty much the exact same 8-man squad composition. While I do say "sole-visible tank" a lot, it's a rule of thumb that gets bent depending on situation. It could be it's only possible in a timing window before M3 guys become common, but rampaging all around June/July for a strong tech/economy advantage lets you do silly things.

A tech-and-rank advantaged 8-man squad kills so fast it feels wrong when 5-man reinforcements aren't dropping on my head. Depending on pod composition, I'll happily aggro another pod once I deem a previous one 'not a threat' (which doesn't mean "everything is dead"). Timed missions vary a lot depending on if it's evac-by-flare, fixed-evac near your starting location or fixed-evac way far away. 1.3 made pods more numerous but smaller, making the 8-man squad have a lot of advantage. If the enemy has 5-man pods but you have 3 snipers, that's likely 1 killshot (possibly aided with some AoE) for all the dangerous things in a pod. 5-non-snipers have an easy time quickly killing 2 'filler' enemies.

It's definitely a "DPS race" on timed missions but that doesn't mean everyone must be shooting every turn. Str 5 evac-by-flare is manageable, Str 7 Lib 3 is hell.
Previous 1.5 Commander campaign for the 8-man GOp squad.
The current one.

Icarus
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:26 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Icarus » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:26 am

I don't think it makes sense to have a squad specialized for some kinds of missions, but then switch to a different squad if the mission is particularly hard or under-infiltrated. So I usually use no special "hard mission" squad. I'd advise to just take the team you usually take, but make up for it by taking the best equipment (shredder gun helps a lot), the best guys (_maybe_ switching out soldiers for higher-levelled ones from other squads - as those missions usually get over fast, you'll get them back soon) and of course boosting.

That being said, I did have a lot of success with a specialized squad for hard missions in 1.3. It consisted of 2 snipers, a sole visible tank and a spotter. The tank in my case was a specialist, but you could also take another class as tank and use a specialist on top, if possible.

Sounds familiar? Well, a stripped down version of the already proposed squad did pretty well on timed missions, too. I seldom had trouble setting the shooters up, cleaning house, then moving on. But this is risky - you need concealment to set things up, if you're spotted too early you're in a really bad spot, and if you can't find a proper sniper nest or the target is in a big house, then you're in a lot of trouble as well. But it worked better than I suspected in 1.3. Note that I dropped this approach in favor of specialized squads since it's less risky in most cases.

A little add to the sole tank role:
If you use a gunner, you can give him a big magazine and that PCS that gives +15 defense on OW and he gets the defense bonus as long as he area suppresses. So the enemy has the suppression disadvantage, the gunner has the PCS advantage and the enemy either can't move or gets shot. Note that both effects vanish if the suppression can be stopped.
If you use a psi with fortress(?), your tank is immune to explosives, acid and burn, all the stuff the enemy doesn't has to aim for. And a psi can use his first action for psionics and hunker down with his second.

gimrah
Long War 2 Crew
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:25 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby gimrah » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:17 pm

Assaults. Rifle/arc build can be good if you get a high aim assault but is definitely inferior until TSGT: until then it probably operates like a normal shotgun assault but with the wrong perks. I also prefer rapid fire on that build as there are a lot of things in X2 that don't take cover and can't count as exposed. Agree LR is best LCPL perk. Close Encounters assault goes all right-side for me. BEO is meh, streetsweeper is nowhere near as good as it used to be because of weapon range penalties (you have to do weird things with stocks now), KI is probably overkill, trenchgun I find too situational and C&P is super good as it makes most of your attacks 100% to crit (since you mostly use a shotgun from a tile or two away) and makes aggression unnecessary.

Specialists. Don't make full medics: they lack utility unless things have gone wrong. Just take field surgeon, medical protocol and restoration on your OW specialists (CF is nice but non-essential and KZ is a bit duplicative with sentinel). You can go full right side and make them officers, although I still prefer restoration to capacitor discharge. If you plan on going psi, I recommend going exclusively OW for specialists because there's only room for one support solider in a squad.

Rangers. I like left-side rangers but I take CM over aggression as shooty rangers are actually best at wheedling out targets in cover so base damage is better than crit, also I do like executioner as it has great synergy with walk fire, and I hardly ever want to rupture when I can rapid fire so I prefer one of the others. For the sawn-off build CM is still better than aggression because he should be using an SMG and the bonus crit damage on a sawn-off is surprisingly modest. For OW spec I take fortify because rifle suppression is garbage (esp compared to 3 OW shots later) and probably combate fitness because KZ duplicates RR too much.

Grenadiers. I've concluded there's basically one good build, which is a hybrid that uses flashbangs and incendiaries: RD, HO, Form, Tandem, Sting, VM, FK. Although if you go plasma early and have airdrop on specialists, then you could plan on giving him free plasma grens and so picking up HEAT and combat engineer.

Gunners. I find combatives is ok if your gunner has very low defence, otherwise the others are better. Grazing pairs well with chain shot. For a shooty gunner (high aim), you don't need HoB but otherwise it depends whether you are patient enough to wait for rapid fire - I find it comes too late so I go grazing/form/shredder and then all left side. Flush is terrible - never take it. bad aim gunners go utility: HoB, demo, DZ (using suppression for control rather than killing). OW gunner is kind of fun on a high mobility GOp gunner but harder to use effectively.

Sharps. I decided all holobot isn't worth it and they don't level. But by all means build one around RT and Hidef (IT is rubbish). You DfA builds are ok. All right-side can actually be pretty useful on GOps, especially destroy relays and the ones where you start without concealment (extracts and S&G) - that build is also good with pistols.

Shinobis. All blade is a lot of fun. Covert, shadowstep and hard target can tempt me across though for a hybrid. I build like one ghostwalker shinobi per campaign for network towers but otherwise don't use them. I've found shooty build is too bad for too long - also then you need to buy them two weapons, whereas in late game my shinobis have fusion blades but still carry ballistic SMGs.

Technicals. I think rifle suppression is terrible. Roust is ok but without fire in the hole your rocket will only be viable if there are a lot of enemies clustered on a car. Leftside is nice: I agree conc rocket is bad but I prefer shredder if the soldier has decent aim, and rapid fire is also worth considering with good aim, and salvo is kind of pointless so I take either of the others. Otherwise most combos of middle and rightside are fine as long as you pick up Incinerator.

Squads. Your GOp squads have too many soldier in them! You'll rarely have room (or need) for 7. It will be 4-6 generally. Tbh I don't use squads much; I just put together squads for the given mission from who's available. I divide up mission types slightly differently in my head: extracts and S&G want bladenobi and snapshot sharp ideally, and a scrappy squad. Rescue from cell/vehicle and jailbreaks require the most movement so squad must all be hyper-mobile, so high mob assaults, sawn-off rangers, techs/grenadiers with SMGs. Hacks and relays somewhere in between. Non-timed missions have a lot of sharps, shooty rangers and gunners, possibly with grenadiers if it's not a super-big mission. OW rangers and specialists are pretty godlike on most missions but only once they hit GSGT/TSGT respectively.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:00 pm

Thanks gimrah and quarter.
I started building gunners around +dmg perk. But I found that grazing gunner is better early game. High dodge is also good.

Icarus
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:26 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Icarus » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:10 am

It won't come into play often, but keep in mind that sometimes AWC perks can change the optimal build for a soldier. A technical can, for example, get a lot of mileage from grenadier-related perks like Full Kit, since some of his skills work for rockets _and_ grenades.

Noober
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:47 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Noober » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:58 pm

gimrah wrote:Shinobis. ... in late game my shinobis have fusion blades but still carry ballistic SMGs.


I think you don't get all of your shinoby that way.
Give him coil/plasma SMG, choose a target so the other would be close to him an damage it (HoB gunner - for example) enough to be killed with the first slice of Reaper.
Kill him with reaper then HnR the second. Then kill the second with reaper and RF the third one. It works and works so good!
The ammount of damage in such combo is very impressive.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:29 pm

I never get to AWC of have time to use it. I m "still" in first month. I m running out of soldiers/supply. Early builds are most important builds later you can build them randomly and still have good soldiers (from web).

quarter
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:51 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby quarter » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:21 pm

Thanks everyone for the critiques and suggestions. I'm currently on save 30 of this Commander 1.5 Gi Joe campaign and am around July 15th. I am 10 days from Coil and have disregarded Sci so far. I have liberated the start zone, but now it's surrounded by Strength 8 hot zones. I've built the GTS, AWC, WS, Lab (on Pwr Coil), Power, and Comm in that order. All tubes are unlocked and stocked. Ive expanded to right next to the zone with the Blacksite, but we're still only at 5 pips on avatar. Venom Rounds is worse Dark Event atm. So all in all it's going pretty good.

But there are some things I have learned with this campaign's builds and squads. First, I love Implacable on left side "Rifleman" Rangers. I thought they were good before, but being able to shoot (usually a yolo injured from owerwatches), move to flank, then rapid fire kill has turned Stalker godly. He can easily get 1/2 the kills on a mission now. Center Mass is definitely an option here instead of crit spec, good suggestion. Obviously, snipers are OP so are doing great. Thanks for the tip on Snap Shot, Psieye. I will try to incoroporate that into an AMF build I think, for the escort squad problably. Also, Ace and Scarlett, my Overwatch Specialists, are killing it with Sentinel where I can scout with Snake Eyes and the other Shinobis to set up Overwatch ambushes.

Disappointments have been Gunners, Grenadiers, and Assaults:

Even with moderate amounts of aim the Gunners always seem to fall behind the other classes in their ability to hit/kill. Sargent Slaughter is a Staff Sergeant with ~80 aim and Chain Shot is almost always at best a 50/50. However, Lady Jaye is holding her own as a Suppressor, but nowhere near the level of OW capability to the Specialists. Also, I feel that not being able to get Cool Under Pressure and Danger Zone makes a Suppressor build not quite as strong as other Overwatch builds. But the suppression has come in handy to control late round activations and such.

gimrah wrote:Grenadiers. I've concluded there's basically one good build, which is a hybrid that uses flashbangs and incendiaries: RD, HO, Form, Tandem, Sting, VM, FK. Although if you go plasma early and have airdrop on specialists, then you could plan on giving him free plasma grens and so picking up HEAT and combat engineer.


Yeah, pretty much. Sapper was great in weeks one and two to blow up 1/2 cover trash cans, but walls, floors, and machinery are out of the question. Even with Plasma it still sucks. I've even dropped a Plasma directly on a car grazing two aliens and all I got was the car exploding next turn. What's the point? Incendiaries do just as much damage and give crowd control. And they are great for activations when they are all bunched up together. Also, unless I get a high roll on the mobility stat my grenadiers are always lagging behind. Sure I can SMG them but then that makes them even more worthless than before.

Assaults have been lackluster. The only time they seems to be able to do anything is when I R&G to adjacent flanks, which leave me open to unwanted activations. And R&G never seems to be off cool down, so they usually sit around for a few rounds failing stun rolls. Flint the Stungunner has taken forever to be relevant. I find I'd much rather just have another Rifleman Ranger or an OW Specialist to get 3 good shots instead of his 70-80% stun shot on an enemy that I'll have to have Stalker come over next round and kill anyway. My one exception is that Gung Ho has excelled by activating with the trench gun. And I love having the trench to wipe whole pods on the Tower Mission. But again he usually has to sit around watching people fight ranged battles the rest of the mission till his R&G is up.

I've had the same activations issue with my Shotgun spec Rangers. And without R&G its hard to get them into position often enough without dumping all your mobility rolls and PCS chips on them. Stocking SMG makes them OW worthless and even with the Shuttermag the range penalty is atrocious. I know you can take care of the activations issue with a Shinobi, but they can't scout all sides all the time, and that means I'm having to bring two soldiers just to make one of them relevant and the other hiding the entire time.

Technicals are godly early but are beginning to fall off on damage at this point with M2 advent. The roust has come in handy more than once due to controlling an activated pod 10 tiles away behind full cover. Missles are never accurate, even with FITW, but at least they'll blow up the stuff they do hit, unlike Grenadiers.

The SEAL shinobi (shooter spec) has not reached the level of dominance Storm Shadow and Bladmasters have. SEALS damage is low with SMG style weapons and wont be able to Rapid Fire till MSGT. While Blademasters are Fleche one-shotting M2 Officers with crits +Bladestorm + Reaper, I mean, come on, no contest. Combatives works great to control melees too.

I did use 4 Sharpshooters, Snake Eyes, Scarlett and Lady Jaye for the HQ, and it was more than I needed. Scarlett and Lady Jaye barely fired a shot. And when they did it was just to clean up. Snipers with concealed shinobi is so OP.

Psieye wrote:Actually I prefer sniper officers. 100 Aim, Lead By Example, Firing Discipline officers. If anything with Lightning Reflexes gets sniped early, OW guys become silly with that kind of officer watching them.


Nice tip. I'm gunna try that next campaign instead of shinobis. Maybe each squad with 2 sharpshooters, one holospec/officer with pistol.

gimrah wrote:Squads. Your GOp squads have too many soldier in them! You'll rarely have room (or need) for 7. It will be 4-6 generally.


The "ALT" designation on the spreadsheet stands for Alternate, meaning they only go if there is enough infiltration time.

In case it isn't obvious, I am trying to do something other than Sniper camp the whole campaign. Sniper camping with a concealed shinobi every mission gets old. And watching Xwynn's Season 3 he seems to have come away with the same conclusion: Snipers are too OP, so let's try and win one campaign without relying on them so much. Plus, while I find the idea of Psieye's Eight-man ops awesome, I don't know that my rig can handle 30+ enemy maps every couple missions. HQs already are murder with lag so they take forever to finish. I also like your idea of a tank with massive defense to take AI rolls away, but it just seems to kind of break the game for me.

I'd rather use all the classes in the best way possible to come up with different, and definitely unequal, ways to kill Advent. That's the purpose behind the specialized squads, to focus on one particular skill set: Close Combat, Explosives, Overwatch, or Fighting on the Move. Then matching those with mission types that support that skill set: Close Combat - Cell extractions in cities with close quarters, Explosives - S&G Facilities to break down walls and gain entry quickly, Overwatch - Ambush Troop Columns and RNF heavy missions, Fighting on the Move - Escorts and Raids where you're move all the time. But it's true, some builds and classes are just inherently better than others, and would obviously be a better choice most times. So, inevitably on each mission, usually right after I activate in the middle of my turn and advent is 20 tiles away behind full cover, I think, "Man, it sure would be nice to be able to shoot with high accuracy all the way across the map right now!"

Jacke
Posts: 603
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:10 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Jacke » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:04 pm

Some of the soldier classes are strange in the way they play. Many perks aren't quite as good as they appear. Some are situational early in the campaign and substandard later on. That's irritating considering how long it takes to respec a soldier in the AWC.

Most classes are best used with their unique features. And except for the Shinobi, Technical, and Psi Op, the primary weapon is the primary focus, with the secondary (primary for those three) filling in to broaden their usage.

Gunners need good Aim. Think of adding PCS that improve Aim. Gunners don't properly mature until GSgt and MSgt. Here's the build I suggest.


Gunner Tank
Combatives - Formidable - Shredder - Iron Curtain - Cool Under Pressure - Rapid Fire - Traverse Fire


Gunner's special perks from Squaddie are Suppression and Area Suppression. Combined with Flashbangs, Suppression makes it harder for ADVENT to move and hit your soldiers. You want to employ Gunners in pairs (or more) if possible.

Gunners need more ammo to work well, You want them to have the best Hair Trigger, Expanded Magazine, and Auto-Loader. Suppression and Area Suppression cost a number of rounds up front (2 and 3 respectively). Then Suppression needs a 3rd round to get a shot at the target if it moves. Area Suppression needs 4 or more rounds to get 1 or more Suppression reaction shots at the targets that were hilighted.

Gunners can be tough enough to take some close combat. Note that the primary has a range penalty when shooting *under* 7 tiles. So they want to be in contact to use their Knife (especially good against Sectoids) or at 7 tiles or a bit farther.

Formidable makes Gunners tougher. Shredder means every hit they get shreds, including all with Area Suppression and later Iron Curtain. Iron Curtain costs 3 rounds and can hit more than one target as well as slow them down. Cool Under Pressure means overwatch and suppression reaction shots have better Aim and can Crit.

With Rapid Fire and Traverse Fire, Gunners finally mature. They can take a standard shot and then something else: move, overwatch, suppression, Rapid Fire for 3 shots per turn, etc. Those two perks make it pointless to have Chain Shot and Cyclic Fire. Chain Shot is for a shooter Grenadier builds like the Gunsmoke Grenadier. Or an AWC skill for a high-aim soldier like a Ranger.
Last edited by Jacke on Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jacke
Posts: 603
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:10 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Jacke » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:28 pm

Assaults depend on good reconnaissance to use Run and Gun while managing the risk of activating more pods than desired. Use a concealed Shinobi to check the flanks and farther forward. Know how many enemy each ADVENT Activity Level starts with. Keep a count as you encounter ADVENT while concealed. Skim these articles.

http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Missions_(LW2)

http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Infiltration_(LW2)

Even with Extra Conditioning, Assaults can only Run and Gun every third turn, without every fourth turn. Run and Gun needs to be used wisely and then followed by short move-and-shoots. Assaults need reasonable aim so they can switch to the Stunner at range. Ideally the Shotgun is fully loaded when using Run and Gun. And when they close with Run and Gun to shoot the Shotgun, they follow up in later turns with short moves while still in close contact to kill more ADVENT.

Assaults want the best Laser Sight and Expanded Magazine (Close Combat Specialist can eat a lot of ammo when there's a lot of ADVENT).

My build.

Assault Stunner
Lightning Reflexes - Arc Pulsar - Stun Gunner - Formidable - Rapid Fire - Close Combat Specialist - Chain Lightning


Always, always, always pick Lightning Reflexes. Assaults will not be hit by the first overwatch they trigger in every turn. There's only slowly growing chance the 2nd and later overwatch shots will hit them. They can clear overwatch for other XCOM.

Arc Pulsar and Stun Gunner improve the Stunner to damage robots and make them easier to hack, then improves aim when stunning. Formidable makes the Assault tougher for close combat. Rapid Fire and Close Combat Specialist helps the Assault get more rounds out faster. Chain Lightning is a massive stunner shot at every visible enemy who can be stunned. Every 6 turns.
Last edited by Jacke on Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:27 pm

I m heavy on Shinobi/Assault combo (early game).
They are heavy hitters early game. Shinobi for scouting and assault for hitting hard trouble. I use Shinobi for offense. Once you are out of concealment you can one hit kill most of hard targets.
Rangers are to low on aim/good perks early.
Only tehnical is OK. Gunner is must have no matter how bad it is.
Specialist (early) I push them on the right side of the tree. Drones are hard to hit and I do not want to waste whole squad on drone.
Grenadiers - right now (early game) they have only one more grenade. In my carpet bombing campaign they are just waste of good soldier.
My Shinobi/ Assault combo are better grenadiers than Grenadier. They always have two grenade.

My builds for early game do not exist - lack of perks and I read here for future builds OR I grenade everything even pigeons.
Shoot vs grenade. Grenade wins and I have roasted pigeons for dinner.

Jacke
Posts: 603
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:10 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Jacke » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:02 pm

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:I m heavy on Shinobi/Assault combo (early game).
They are heavy hitters early game. Shinobi for scouting and assault for hitting hard trouble. I use Shinobi for offense. Once you are out of concealment you can one hit kill most of hard targets.

I agree with you about the Shinobi+Assault combo. I make Squads with a Specialist Officer + Shinobi + Assault + Boomers (Grenadiers + Technicals) + Shooters (Gunners + Rangers + Overwatch Specialists + Sharpshooters + SPARKs). The rest I don't agree with.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Rangers are to low on aim/good perks early.

What ?!? Light 'Em Up means Rangers can shoot twice per turn, or shoot and overwatch. Great early Perks. I like these 3 first: Walk Fire, Pump Action, Cool Under Pressure. Good at range, good close up, good on overwatch.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Only tehnical is OK. Gunner is must have no matter how bad it is.

Technical is strong initially and then evolves. Gunner brings vital Suppression and Area Suppression. If low-aim can start with Grazing Fire, but I'd go with the build I posted above, first three are strong: Combatives, Formidable, and Shredder.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Specialist (early) I push them on the right side of the tree. Drones are hard to hit and I do not want to waste whole squad on drone.

The problem with right-side Specialists is only Failsafe and Full Override are vital. What the other right-side Perks do can be handled in other ways.

The left and middle Specialist Perks do things that can't be done in any other way. Some are meh, some are vital. This week, I wrote and others have commented on a strategy topic on Specialist builds that goes over this extensively.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=26858#p49865

Example, taking out Drones without Combat Protocol. Also with Combat Protocol when you're up against the 3rd and later Drone or the Specialist is busy. Or busy bleeding out or being dead.

Use AP Rounds on Assaults, Gunners, Rangers, Sharpshooters, anyone. Do Alien Biotech a bit early and make sure every squad has 2 soldiers with AP. A LCpl+ Ranger with Walk Fire can shoot a standard shot followed by Walk Fire. An Assault with Shotgun can go adjacent to a Drone (who helpfully will come close so the Assault doesn't even need to Run and Gun) and kill it most of the time with a single shot, even without AP. Almost all of the time with AP. Shinobi can do it with their Blade if distant but within a yellow move and is revealed or you don't mind doing so.

Like a lot of ADVENT early game, you have to consider an unwounded enemy is going to take at least 2 hits to kill. AoE like grenades and Area Suppression help, but it's still likely going to need 2 or more hits on each enemy. Any single-hit kills you engineer are good (thus Shinobis and Assaults) but only if your squad doesn't get battered in the process. It's why you want to bring at least 5 or 6 XCOM and face single pods of 2 or 3 ADVENT.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Grenadiers - right now (early game) they have only one more grenade. In my carpet bombing campaign they are just waste of good soldier. My Shinobi/ Assault combo are better grenadiers than Grenadier. They always have two grenade.
Grenadiers shoot grenades 4 tiles farther (6 with the Advanced Grenade Launcher) and the area-of-effect has a 1-tile greater radius. Greater range and radius means it's easier for Grenadiers to hit more ADVENT simultaneously. They have wickedly good Perks. Like Rapid Deployment at LCpl. Easily many good builds, like the Hybrid and the Gunsmoke (Gunsmoke Grenadiers make good Officers). Again, this week I wrote and others have commented on a strategy topic on Grenadier builds.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=26854#p49831

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:My builds for early game do not exist - lack of perks and I read here for future builds OR I grenade everything even pigeons. Shoot vs grenade. Grenade wins and I have roasted pigeons for dinner.

A single grenades doesn't even always kill ADVENT M1 Troopers. You grenade everything and you don't get loot and you won't get corpses on missions when that is possible. And grenades run out. What now?

Use all the tools in the box appropriately, including grenades. All soldier classes have unique perks from Squaddie on. The right builds synergize their Perks on the soldier and between soldiers in the squad for the best troops to make up the best squads.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:25 pm

My Rangers with offense higher than starting 65 misses a lot. Two grenade on him and he is reliable. Two ammo for graze is disaster.
OW Specialist is fine but not in first month - thing is I can't afford drone stun - it must go down.
Grenades - Assault is the best he can Hit and R. and clear OW in same turn.

Early builds will evolve in later builds. But Early builds should be explained - more. Later builds are more like flavor. I m now building randomly just to see what perk can do and if it is worth.

I cant build anything yet and I m playing legendary with grenades for now. Few graze per mission and I have full barracks ready. +5 Aim is for sale and all other stuff. I started by accident mission with 50% inf. My soldiers have survived 20+ enemy with grenade spawning.

Early builds = grenade them to oblivion. Later I will know how to build Soldier and they will have a lot better stats. For explanation what late soldiers can do I m thankfull but I have trouble to choose perks on early builds. Rapid deployment vs Red Fog - I choose red fog + cover destruction (for example). Flashbang is weak. Early guns are waste of ammo. Advent in high cover is suicide.

I actually do not have options in first month. When eight soldiers misses one single drone - what to do?

Jacke
Posts: 603
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:10 am

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby Jacke » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:41 am

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:My Rangers with offense higher than starting 65 misses a lot. Two grenade on him and he is reliable. Two ammo for graze is disaster.
I really can't stand the lower end of default stat variance. Sub-65 Aim and starting HP of 3, as well as LW2 Mobility of less than 15 irritate me no end. I've metamodded higher Aim by 10, minimum HP of 4, and higher mobility. Do other metamodding. I play Legendary because I like that challenge, but I can't believe a vital small insurgency like XCOM would have such poor troops.

But other players can stand having those stock ability ranges and play Legendary well. Watch Xwynns LW2 Season 3. He just doesn't grenade-spam. Because you will fail your campaign by not getting enough loot and corpses. Killing ADVENT by shooting through cover is very tough at the start. That's why you've got to carefully flank and kill ADVENT while exposed.

And reloads are free. A LCpl+ Ranger can take a standard shot and then a Walk Fire when the Assault Rifle is fully loaded at start. That 65 Aim Ranger will have 95 Aim with Walk Fire. And can Reload+Walk Fire continuously.


SonnyWiFiHr wrote:OW Specialist is fine but not in first month - thing is I can't afford drone stun - it must go down.
Grenades - Assault is the best he can Hit and R. and clear OW in same turn.
Combat Protocol isn't enough. There's going to be a lot of robots in later battles. You need to learn to deal with Drones now without Combat Protocol. That's why I get AP Rounds fairly soon, because they help a lot against robots. Xwynns kills Drones with Combat Protocol, but not only Combat Protocol.

Hit and Run is only up every 4 turns. You use it to have the Assault close with the enemy. And then use the 4 rounds in the shotgun over several turns. Grenades run out. The shotgun can be reloaded and Hit and Run becomes available again.

Take Combat Protocol and you pass up either Revival Protocol or Sentinel. Those 2 Perks will serve you better throughout the campaign. I have 2 Specialist builds, one that starts with Revival Protocol (the Specialist Officer) and one that starts with Sentinel (the Overwatch Specialist). Combat Protocol only has 2 charges even when the GREMLIN is upgraded. What do you do when you have 3 Drones and 1, 2, or more MECs? And you already used one Combat Protocol to finish off a tough ADVENT in high cover?

What do you do if the Drone shot a soldier on a yellow-alert attack before you could Combat Protocol the Drone? And that soldier is now unconscious. You now lose 2 soldiers, one out cold and another to carry that one to the evac. Or a soldier was bleeding out and you stabilized because you had a medkit. You don't have Revival Protocol and can't do a damn things except have another soldier carry out the casualty. What happens when you lose a soldier to a Sectoid's Mindspin, either panicked, stunned, or mindcontrolled? Revival Protocol can't do anything about mindcontrol, but it can fix the other two. And hope you have an Assault with good aim, because if you can't kill the Sectoid right away, the Stunner is the way to deal with mindcontrolled XCOM without killing them.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Early builds will evolve in later builds. But Early builds should be explained - more. Later builds are more like flavor. I m now building randomly just to see what perk can do and if it is worth.
Respec take far too long, especially as soldiers go up in rank, and has to be rare. I want builds that will serve throughout the campaign. You need to have some sort of synergy between your soldier builds even across soldier classes to make squads that work well. Feel free to experiment. But there are a whole lot of perk combinations, 2187 perk combos for each soldier class (except Psi Ops, they're different). You won't be able to test each one. You can get a feel for each perk. But you also need to think them through too. It's why I write and read topics on builds. I test my ideas and learn from others' ideas.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:I can't build anything yet and I m playing legendary with grenades for now. Few graze per mission and I have full barracks ready. +5 Aim is for sale and all other stuff. I started by accident mission with 50% inf. My soldiers have survived 20+ enemy with grenade spawning.
But you shouldn't be doing 50% infiltrations because XCOM wounds and deaths will kill your campaign. And grenade spamming isn't a cure-all. Grenade spamming won't win you a Network Tower or an HQ Assault, both which you need to do to liberate a zone.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Early builds = grenade them to oblivion. Later I will know how to build Soldier and they will have a lot better stats. For explanation what late soldiers can do I m thankfull but I have trouble to choose perks on early builds. Rapid deployment vs Red Fog - I choose red fog + cover destruction (for example). Flashbang is weak. Early guns are waste of ammo. Advent in high cover is suicide.

Flashbangs are one of the most amazing weapons in LW2 and you get them from the start for free. Disorientation blocks many dangerous ADVENT perks and reduces their aim. Get a Grenadier with Bluescreen Bombs and Sting Grenades and they become fantastic. And you have to learn to kill with the starting weapons. Watch Xwynns carefully. He uses grenades but he also uses his guns.

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:I actually do not have options in first month. When eight soldiers misses one single drone - what to do?
You likely shot from too far away all 8 times. If it's Gatecrasher, it's an untimed mission. Fall back and overwatch. You will eventually kill the Drone. Or get in close, adjacent tiles. Watch Xwynns and others play LW2.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:39 pm

27 vs 7 . (It should be 23 because last four just dropped on my head)
I m in process of changing tactic.
Now 1st month. Before supply raid
All my troops who can wear Assault Rifle will be equipped with SMG. (SMG graze vs Assault Rifle graze)
Kelvar is out for them and replaced with extra bomb.
Assault / Shinobi - kelvar + two bombs
Sniper - 3bombs
Gunner - Kelvar + 2 bombs.

Same map. I finished same map in eleven turns. I wiped them. This run was to engage advent. I did not have to hunker down my soldiers to draw out patrol. I can't do the same on supply raid but my soldiers gained more experience. Now I can build OW Ranger/Gunner/Specialist just for Supply raid.

Not a scratch. Mobility will get you to high cover or you can run if you want, they cant catch you.

And only perks useful for that is lighting reflexes/grazing fire/combat protocol. Ranger can use any perk but I prefer 2 ammo high accuracy shoot. Sniper is dead weight . Teh - is uber squadie . Shinobi - I must build them stealthy.
Flashbang is bad you must supress them to avoid return fire. When I start to count spared turns this first few perks wins. This is all that new starters should know. Build few this kind use bombs and be mobile. You will have no losses or extra losses (if you start grabbing the loot)

2nd month will not be a bomb run . I will have tools (PCS/equipment) and awc and officer and good aim. Then Your explanation can kick in.
Thanks for arc thrower Assault I forgot about that build.

gimrah
Long War 2 Crew
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:25 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby gimrah » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:37 pm

Couple of comments on this early game discussion.

Basic SMGs do basically nothing. Inaccurate and terrible damage. You take it when a soldier won't be using its primary, like a shinobi. Most soldiers end up using their primaries more than you intend. Early on if the soldier has halfway decent mobility, I recommend shotguns on those soldiers. They will get fewer close up flanks but they will kill when they do. And can actually kill drones. And you can always blue move and hunker to get close. I've done this successfully while mag rushing, so fighting vipers and lancers with ballistics.

Rangers with halfway decent aim are nice early. Sharps ditto, since they get big aim progression at squaddie. Right side takes a while to be really good but left good builds early into a soldier that can kill things through cover. And the sawn-off helps with drones.

AP ammo is something to go for as MECs come in. It's good vs drones but there are other answers. And it's quite pricey at that very early stage. I certainly would not aim for 2 per squad early on as someone above recommended. 1 is good though, preferably on the ranger.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:52 pm

SMG give movement. I m not planning shooting advent with any of my rookie/squadie. I can flank more and can crit. Main attack is always from bombs/OW. When I have chance to level them up i will start use rifles.

Nice aim is 60 lucky aim is 65. I had complain about NCE creating to much extreme. 6 hp should be max to level out average rookie. 7 hp is just New Game. 55 - 60 aim us usual aim on bad roll. 65 and above is rare.

gimrah
Long War 2 Crew
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:25 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby gimrah » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:19 pm

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:SMG give movement. I m not planning shooting advent with any of my rookie/squadie. I can flank more and can crit. Main attack is always from bombs/OW. When I have chance to level them up i will start use rifles.

Nice aim is 60 lucky aim is 65. I had complain about NCE creating to much extreme. 6 hp should be max to level out average rookie. 7 hp is just New Game. 55 - 60 aim us usual aim on bad roll. 65 and above is rare.


65 is average aim for rookie. 55-75 is the range. And then add with rank.

I do use a lot of grenades, eapecially on low aim rookies. But I do not rely on them at squaddie and above

Flanking with an SMG is still weak. No crit bonus. Weak base damage. Weak crit damage. You have to be lucky to kill something even at point blank at commander and up. Whereas if you get close with a shotgun you'd be unlucky not to kill. I'd rather have fewer flanks but kill with them, than try and tickle advent to death.

User avatar
SonnyWiFiHr
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Critique My Builds and Squads

Postby SonnyWiFiHr » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:57 pm

My 150+ new campaign say this. Average for aim is 60, dodge 0 (at best), defense - something (negative), mobility and hp are tied (screwing each other), will/PsiOffense is skyrocketing.

4 HP 15 Mob 65 aim 5 dodge 25 will 0 defense 20 Psi are usually my best soldiers. I never get average soldier. Only high will/psi.

My current campaign is marked with low HP soldiers. 2/3 are 3HP. And I m considering this campaign my best roll ever. I don't have 2/3 negative dodge and defense rookies (one hit kill rookies) like always.
It should be average soldier - most numerous. Not 40 will most numerous.

Anyway I roll I m ending in carpet bombing campaign. My assault with 60 aim usually must use bomb you can't flank with it because it is slow. etc , etc.
How do you get 65 average ? It is always lower after 16 rolls/swaps reading form toolbox. 1.5f is 150% higher chance reversable. 2.0f is only for HP/mobility swap.
Usually they roll HP/mob swap then offense/defense low swap then HP/offense low swap (this is not low swap by any means) then mobility/offense. There is no chance for average rookie


Return to “Long War 2: Strategy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests