I find the mortar duels between the Scarab and the Chiron to be super tense and honestly a really cool and awesome thing to watch (I’m a big fan of artillery), but that’s about where it ends with me and Chirons XD If you don’t have a Scarab that can neuter their ability to fire mortars basically on turn 1, you have to pull out immediately. While I understand that the balancing is WIP, out of the fear that it might just end up being a damage or accuracy nerf I have my own idea on how to “fix” mortars and their gameplay-disruptive nature.
Make it so that if you have at least 50% of your AP on your soldiers, you completely dodge the raw damage or it gets reduced by 80% or something all in the vain of ‘duck and cover’. This changes the mortars from an unstoppable damage dealer to a tactical modifier for the enemy, which I think would serve the gameplay well. Then all of a sudden, the presence of a Chiron means crippled mobility and reduced firepower as you have to reserve AP to protect yourself against the enemy mortars instead of a 50% chance of a wipe. It’s authentic to how mortars were used historically and it would complement the gameplay model nicely and force you to really consider your movements. Add unavoidable willpower damage to mortars and I think it would be a really cool, dangerous enemy that doesn’t feel unfair as it does now.
Environmental cover also really needs more health to give you more leeway in the opening stages of an engagement.
It also provides the opportunity to add an ability to the Assault (perhaps called Over The Top) that reduces that 50% requirement to like 75%, giving them a specific counter to that mechanic to increase their mobility. How cool is that!
Why not make the mortar action (and any rocket) cost 5 “virtual” AP. You would target a location on your turn, it would consume your remaining AP. On the next turn, the remaining AP would be removed and the mortar (and fury) would fire.
This kind of attack would therefore be limited to one every odd turn. You would have time to move your soldiers before it rains … if the Chiron was targeting you and not assuming you would move ;).
Also creates a guessing game for you to know where the aliens will move (or pin them down with overwatch). Still rewarding if you do hit (Chirons should be easy to hit since they wouldn’t be moving).
The more AP you use on your turn, the more you have on your next turn after having fired.
Of course that adds a mechanic that might not be easy to implement. Need 1 AP on your turn but it would eat the remaining on the next turn.
Then, how do you deal with someone calling rally the troops which adds an AP to your soldier therefore theoretically giving him the possibility to fire in the same turn…
The artillery action should be in two parts: first one targeting, where the Charon, or you iof you have something doing long range area attacks decide where to fire and, in the next turn the real shooting.
After that if you want to shoot again in the same spot, because enemies are still there, you can do it, but if you want to shoot somewhere else you need a new targeting phase. After the targeting you are not compelled to shoot, maybe your spotter sees there is nothing here, to save ammo.
Well I guess that is what I had written.
Except that, from my point of view, firing should happen whatever happens. Mortars and rocket launchers are killer abilities, you need to have a risk reward approach to them.
Of course this means that the enemy must not cheat and know where we are firing. Same for us, we know that the Chiron is firing but we don’t know where.
Snapshot had a spell that kinda worked like that in Chaos Reborn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiVQE1VBYp4&list=PLnKOOuHeWrorHjnR_rljziWzVCh79NIQU&index=17
Blue player sets up a meteor shower to fall on the start of their next turn.
Red player can’t see where it’s going to fall and, in this instance, moves units into it.
Ok, great. That’s exactly that. I think it would balance things well without having to rework the damage. After all, a rocket is serious stuff.