About overwatch : visibility & optimum range

I have a question and a couple of suggestions for overwatch.

The way I understand the visual display of the overwatch cone [ great feature to master ], it starts from the “eyes” of the soldier and lights up the visible parts of the level that will trigger a fire response in case of an enemy moves inside… but the dark / non-visible parts should not trigger a response right ?

With no or half cover, usually the soldier can entirely see what’s inside the cone ; but with a full cover, if you make the soldier look directly at the edge, the cone is cut - meaning the soldier should’nt fire if an enemy is “not visible”. But I’m not 100% sure the soldier will “miss” the darkened parts in the level. I actually wonder if they are somewhat able to “see around corners” ?

Other wise, the only suggestions I have are (if not already made) :

  • can you find a way to represent the “optimal distance” for the actual equipped weapon so we’re not relying on rough estimations ? that would work nicely with the granular approach to tactical combat
  • aslo can you find a way to represent a “circular” max distance (the flatness of the spotlight used to setup the cone is workable with a small fov, but doesn’t make sense with large fov).

Thank you very much.

At some points it’s on purpose that a design hides some numerical aspects. If a number just show you the best overwatch cone, it removes a complexity element to the game.

Moreover I think that it’s a lot more than just a matter of optimal range or a matter of full cover and half cover. It’s like just doing 100% safe shots, it’s hardly the best choice.

Moreover it’s not just about a distance, but also obstacles in a cone, or that another target than expected trigger it, or that it isn’t triggered at all.

You’ll need acquire some some distance knowledge for a soldier, from taking care of distances and and precision got, even for moving before shooting you need progress in that, it’s not just an overwatch problem.

OK, I get your point and maybe hiding the optimal range is a design choice.

Nonetheless, there is still a remaining question (for me) about full cover and line of sight : let’s say I’m checking my options to move a unit closer to an enemy before shooting, and the interface tells me “if you move here, you’ll be at full cover and will still see your enemy” ; so I move and then I shoot by “leaning” on the side of the full cover.

But let’s consider the other option where I decide to not shoot but use overwatch instead ; in that case, the red cone might eventually leave the enemy “in the dark” so technically, if later it moves but stays “in the dark”, should the soldier fire due to overwatch (by leaning) or not ?

Solely based on the red cone displayed, it’s unclear because usually, the soldier faces the overwatch direction and the cone is projected right in front of him… on a flat surface.

Сome back to the Tutorial, you missed something. The icon does not show the “quality” of cover, only the Pose / Silhouette of the soldier “in it”. Don’t say “full cover,” say “standing in cover”, for clarity.

maybe depends on the perception of the soldier, and maybe on the Los squad

Dully noted for the soldier stance, but it does affect the “overwatch cone” doesn’it?

For clarification, I found a screenshot that perfectly illustrates the question:

As you can see, the soldier is standing behind a solid “full cover”, and looks at a pandorian that is “in the cone” but “not lit”.

So the question is : does overwatch really takes in account the pillar (visual obstacle) and as long as the pandorian stays inside the “darkened” section the soldier will not fire back, or is it a just a visual indication and the soldier can actually see the pandorian even in the “darkened” section?

(For clarification, when speaking about weapon optimal range, I’m referring to the actual “range” weapon stat).

Show weapon range in overwatch is possible but misguiding as there are other factor.

No side step for overwatch and full cover, yes.

Also no soldier side step in full cover for enemies shoot, which is quite a difference with games as XCOM1&2 and Phantom Doctrine.

But that’s also a schism, both use a cover system when PP uses only obstacles and ballistic, it is in lineage of JA2 with auto crouching and side step and no prone, which is a wise choice to avoid burden and slowdown too much the gameplay.

The problem of this system is a high precision soldier just ignore a full cover as soon as it has a los a bit open. Systems with cover tend just use open angle or not to cancel cover or not.

To answer the question that no-one else seems to be answering: yes, if the cone is truncated by the cover you are behind, it means that your soldier cannot see that part of the cone and cannot overwatch that area.

The orange part of the cone tells you what areas you can see and shoot at. As Zzzz says, you’ll have to figure out by trial and error how effective the size of that cone can be for each weapon/squaddie; but as a general rule of thumb, Snipers will obviously have a much longer effective range than pistols, and auto-rifles will sit somewhere in the middle, depending on the weapon and accuracy of your squaddie.

To be absolutely clear, the Crabbie in the dark section behind the pillar is not covered by overwatch.


Mmm the snapshot is perhaps not a good case, the point is from full cover a soldier can use side step, and then target an enemy not in los, you need use the aiming for that. The overwatch covering doesn’t apply this side step.

All I’m doing is answering the guy’s question :slightly_smiling_face:

He specifically asked: ‘Does overwatch work against that Crabbie?’ The simple answer is ‘no’. Anything else just confuses the issue.

Yes, you’re right, if he was firing a direct shot he would step out of cover, take the shot, then return to cover. But that’s not what he’s asking. He wants to know if overwatch will trigger in this situation, and it won’t.

Correction, and I take your point - you are right that the Crabbie would actually highlight red in this instance because you can take a direct shot at him. So my original advice in that respect was wrong and I’ll re-edit it.

Thanks everyone for clarifying my overwatch cone question :slight_smile: