Heavies vs Snipers

So in my current playthrough I’m trying to depend less on snipers and intentionally picking a lot of heavies as well as equipping heavy armor even on non-heavies (goodness are the heavy armors expensive!).

My main team only has one sniper, a heavy-jumpjet-basher, a heavy-grenadier, a heavy-berserker, and two assaults. Only one of them has multiclassed (heavy-berserker) due to very limited SPs on higher difficulties.

I find it a lot more interesting (for example, having a handgun soldier that tears out unarmored limbs up close), using bash way more since I’m a lot closer, and having to position myself better and trying to bait them into overwatch traps and/or soften up with grenadier first.

The problem - I think - is that while snipers are really great, you are very reliant on them because you have a sizeable ammo count for sniper rifles, which I think isn’t enough to offset their upside of long range and armor piercing high dmg strikes.

I thought significantly buffing heavy armor would be an interesting option (just like facing down a 45 armor Pure), but why not also nerf sniper ammo? This means you either need to carry lots of mags and/or need some alternative weapons as well.

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If you fight at close range with those heavies, you should have a huge fire power already with cannons/miniguns/explosives/bash and tons of Warcry… Your only problem would be enemy snipers which can kill your heavy armor guys easily.

Sniper weapons are worst weapons as damage output per turn. They are mostly tactical at mid game. Ammo nerf would not change anything and alternative weapon options would be bad for sniper as they are always far for sniping. As snipers shot less, bringing some more magazines would be the best solution even you nerf the magazine.

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I guess where I was thinking with alt weapon is for handgun specifically. They are proficient in that too but nothing in their kit actually supports handgun play - all of it orients towards sniper rifles.

Fair point that needing mags just means more mags in backpack rather than actually promoting build diversity.

In theory, having 0 AP overwatch and shooting as many times as your Wil allows with quickshot both sounds great for pistols, but due to the range of sniper rifles, you are less often in a position to truly utilize them (unless playing in a more mid-range way).

I found a lot more success putting handguns on my beserkers and even heavies (despite non-proficiency) precisely because closer range means low accuracy doesn’t matter as much.

But yes 0 AP overwatches are the most useful I’ve been able to get out of snipers for the occasional free shot due to distance.

Hmm this makes me want to experiment with mid/close range soloclass snipers.

Area: No moving: Heavy = Number of shots, Sniper = Quality of bullets.
Bers - (Melee and) Pistol = max profession.


  • Sniper Pistol = middle prof. = no fumbling, but -15% accuracy.
    Berserker takes away the sniper skill:
    • 3Lvl. quick aim - the cost of 1 shot = -1AP, -25% accuracy


    1. extreme focus - for 1 shot “+25%” accuracy (cost 5WP)
    1. skilled shot - (passive) Lack of movement, gives a discount on the cost of a sniper-skill in WP is “x-2WP”
    1. master marxaman - cost 4AP/5WP, get double overwatch
    1. weak spot - for 1 shot “+15%” damage + bleeding - on damaged body part (cost 5WP)
    1. mark for death - marks a target this turn (cost 7WP), killing the target gives the sniper +2AP (one use per turn)
  • (kill with skills, does not restore WP)
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:+1: overall, sounds neat


  • compared to the given WP cost I think all of these are too expensive even with the suggested “skilled shot” ability

    • would be ok if the WP cost for the abilities of all other classes would also be increased
  • 2 - “extreme focus” OK, but it seems to me a bit too little improvement for accuracy, I would go up a bit 30-40%, maybe even 50%, needs testing

  • 3 - OK, WP overall see above.

  • 5 - OK, I like it

  • 6 - OK, also like this. How many bleeding? I would suggest something in between 20 to 50.

  • 7 - No longer a damage buff? Could be interesting, reminds me on Death from above from FXCom :wink:

For any of these skills or only mark for death?

+1 (difficulty level or custom game options)

needs testing, +1

  1. weak spot - for 1 shot “+15%” damage…


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@noStas I think those abilities still don’t solve the existential problem ie it doesn’t encourage handgun play and you can just keep to sniper rifles.

For beserkers, handguns and melee complement due to close range.

For heavies, all heavy weapons are also similar ranged so no issues carrying multiple heavy weapons.

For infiltrators, spider and crossbow are consistent with long range evasive play.

For technicians, PDWs and turrets keep to the midrange/support play.

Snipers are the only ones whose proficient weapons conflict with each other’s play styles (close vs long range).

Basically you’d want abilities that are generally good for both handgun and sniper rifles depending on the situation, but some abilities being better for one weapon over another.


Snap shot (passive ability) - Each kill with a one-handed weapon reduce the AP cost of the next two-handed weapon attack by 1 AP on the same turn. So if you kill 3 weak enemies in succession, you’d basically get a free sniper rifle shot in the same turn.

Maim shot - 5WP - Each shot this turn applies 10HP bleed to its target. Using handgun is better because you can apply more shots each turn for WP to bleed ratio, but it can also be situationally useful with sniper rifle.

Nice, but again pure speculative, such a change would probably not come.
But maybe moddable, AFAIK there are some problems to build new skills, but if I’m not wrong then Sheepy (a very active modder) is on it.

I don’t think so, the Synedrion pistol is a viable choice for at least mid range, I use it even on longe ranges with its high accuracy and close range it is a limb disabler.
But, @noStas, IMO the suggested -15% accuracy for snipers using pistols doesn’t fit this.

2,3,6,7 - easy to use. 5 - this skill can be changed.

= 6

It is important to control the “logic of the story” here.

  • 3 pistol shots, cannot give +1 sniper shot.
  • 3 free shots can save AP (for 1 sniper shot), but more than 3 is overkill.
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  1. A 50% reduction in effective range for ranged weapons when wielding them without the corresponding proficiency.

Imo, a Sniper cannot be a Max Pro with both a SRifle and a pistol.

@MadSkunky, Imo, (need to test) Laser can be so accurate + high magazine capacity! But for balance it should be 2-3 shots with less damage. (1x60, 2x30, 3x20)

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Yeah, maybe, but see what @Ziel wrote, he can also not be the only one that can mostly only rely on his main weapon.

On the other side, I assume your suggested skillset would also buff the pistol usage and then it would be of course a viable secondary for the sniper. Edit <= IMO :wink:

I’ve made a pure theoretical complete overhaul of all laser weaponry but it is lost somewhere, I have to search for it.

  • All laser weapons can pierce (laser is able to “burn” through armor)
  • All are pulsed laser with basically the same damage per laser beam => overall burst damage X * Y
  • Pistol < PWD < AR < Sniper balanced through piercing and burst (numbers can of course changed):
    • Pistol: 15 piercing, 10 damage, 5 burst = 50 damage on targets up to 15 armor, 0 damage when armor > 25
    • PDW: …
    • AR: 25 piercing, 10 damage, 10 burst = 100 damage up to 25 armor, 0 when armor > 35
    • SR: …

Something like that and of course basically very high accuracy because it is a laser.


Alteration of Berserk skills (Maniac)

So I just wanted to chime in with my view on the perceived issue of combining Sniper rifle and Handgun proficiency in one class. Please note that this is just my take on it and is not meant to invalidate anyone else’s opinion on the matter.

As was stated earlier, snipers are obviously focused on using the Sniper Rifle as their main weapon, but it’s main downside is that it costs 3 AP to fire. That means snipers tend to move around less, and combined with their range advantage over most enemies it means they usually stay further back from the front line. As such, I’ve always felt the pistol was there as an off-hand weapon, for them to use if they ever did end up in a situation where they got caught in a (more or less) close quarter situation. For example, whenever you move and thereby are unable to fire your main weapon, the 1AP of the pistol gives you something to defend yourself with. Lore-wise I feel like it fits perfectly to the class.

What also makes sense to me, lore-wise, is that pistols are not the prime focus of a solo class. A dude with a giant minigun should not have a comparable DPS potential to the guy next to him with a peashooter. But that does not mean pistols are without use, or even that the sniper’s kit does not allow for ‘handgun play’.

One situation that often happens to me is that a Chiron decides to launch 3 worms around my Sniper. And man am I glad for that 1AP-per-shot-pistol then. Exactly the situation when you want an off-hand weapon on a sniper. But if you truly want to go for handgun play, I feel the Sniper’s kit comes into fruition when multiclassing. As Potkeny said before:
In theory, having 0 AP overwatch and shooting as many times as your Wil allows with quickshot both sounds great for pistols, but due to the range of sniper rifles, you are less often in a position to truly utilize them (unless playing in a more mid-range way).
And that is exactly when not main-ing as a sniper comes into play. For example, the Sniper-Heavy combo can work great. You can jetpack yourself into a forward position, and take a pistol shot (or more, for 3WP/shot), plus overwatch. By default a Heavy will not have the ability to perform like that after a jetpack, and it’s the Sniper’s kit that enables it. On top of that, Quick Aim does the same to Heavy Weapons as it does to Sniper Rifles, and allows for very powerful plays, especially when combined with Boom Blast and Mounted Weapons (Though I will concede that part has nothing to do with handguns).

Or take the Assault-Sniper, where you can Dash into place, and if you have enough WP, you can just go completely bananas and get off a lot of shots. Combined with Rapid Clearance, I once emptied a full clip of an Iron Fury (the NJ pistol, 60 damage, 12 shots) in a single turn. That’s plenty of handgun play for me, without needing an entire rework of the classes. (For the record, theorycrafting is awesome, please don’t take this as a discouragement for noStas’ ideas!).

Veering slightly off-topic here, but if anything, my personal gripe is with Berserkers. Lore-wise I feel like someone going berserk on the battlefield with a giant bludgeon would rather grab a shotgun to add to the rampage than switch to a flimsy pistol. And skill-wise I’ve always been rather disappointed with the Berserker, as none of the skills seem to particularly be geared towards melee or CQC combat, and more towards getting shot (which, as a general rule of thumb, I try to avoid). I always use Assault-Heavies, for Dash+Brawler, with the Vengeance Torso once available. Any Assault of Heavy with the CQC perk is an instant hire for me, and they completely outperform any Berserker when it comes to melee combat.


I understand this method perfectly, It is the Funny-Rookie and Interesting-Veteran. It Should Be, but separate from the Tactical-Hero (and Punishing-Legend).
4 Ways to Taste Game = Sweet, Salty, Sour and Peppery.


@Metamess regarding worm clean up duty - agree that’s where handgun really shines.

I’m agreeing with you that handguns on snipers as offhand weapons is the intended playstyle and hence why none of the skills actually cater specifically to handguns / combo handgun with sniper rifles.

I experimented with using non-proficiency weapons for soft multiclass eg handgun on soloclass heavies, ARs on soloclass snipers and soloclass beserkers and despite the obvious accuracy debuff, it’s quite easy to offset this and utilise non-prof weapons - having these ‘offhand’ weapons helped to cover scenarios where their typical weapons would have issues in soloclass situations.

And yes, multiclassing definitely opens up the play possibilities.

I also agree that Beserker kit doesn’t feel satisfying for melee play - you really have to commit to getting a soldier into melee (vengeance torso, need high lvl skills unlocked to prevent dying quickly/MCed, need heavy armor etc).

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I think about Assault, Sniper and Heavy as “staple classes” giving the main fighting proficiencies. The other classes are more like “specialist classes” better used to multiclass with “staple classes” to enhance them, but maybe not so strong on their own.
I almost exclusively hire Assaults, Snipers and Heavy and when they reach high enough levels to be good on their own I multiclass them into Heavy/Berserkers (for even more toughness and reliability), Sniper/Infiltrators (for stealth, 2x damage bonus, crossbow overwatch for 0 AP and other nice skills) and Assault/Priests (Frenzy, Viral weapons for sending stronger foes into panic and occasional Mind Control).
The only exception IMHO is Technician who is good enough alone with his turrets, vehicles and mechanical arms =)


You’re not always using snipers at max range though if enemies get up close, pistols are a great backup weapon.

Maybe the issue is that accuracy stays the same even when some enemy has charged right up into your soldier’s face, maybe there should be a reduction in accuracy with sniper rifles at point blank range. but tbh the weapon is the weakest overall. It doesn’t seem a problem in my playthroughs anyway.

This is not an isolated case, there must be Mechanics here.

My 2 options:

  1. The closer the enemy, the faster his “idle animation”.

    • +imitation of your action:
      a) (slight change) reverse decrease in accuracy for each type of weapon near the target
      b) (new animation) wiggle for your trunk / aim
  2. Сompletely different approach. (Accuracy, Damage, Number of bullets, cost of a shot in AP/WP, blocking for Free-Aim/ Skills, post effects for the next turn …)
    Assign Buffs / Debuffs depending on:

    • a) Distances for attack
      b) Weapon type
      c) Class

1 - This is “Normal or Bad” for each case separately. 2 - This is “Excellent or Failed” for each case separately.