How artillery works


I already submitted this idea a few weeks ago, but here it comes again.
Artillery is a real killer in this game. It costs 3AP for Chirons but they can shoot from the other side of the map. It costs only 1AP for heavies.
You lose limbs, you become useless, you had no chance to react.

Mechanic that exists

Yesterday I mind-controlled a Scylla with blasters.
Although its “blaster attack” displays that it uses 2AP, the button you click is “prepare strike” (something like that, I don’t remember exactly). So on your turn, you define the path that the shot will take and the shot really happens at the beginning of the following turn.

Re-submit my idea:

It would be great for artillery to behave the same way. You prepare your strike but it happens only on the next turn.
No need for the recipient to see the zone that will be attacked, but seeing that the enemy is preparing to strike and the direction it is facing would already be of great help.
And the mechanic already exists, with the Queen’s blasters & Sentinels.
You would at least have a chance of escaping the blast when there is no roof nearby.

There is no fun in being taken out by a unit that appears out of nowhere and renders your cover useless.


I had a quite similar but much shorter comment on Chiron bombards.

But that was before I started play Chiron bombards from buildings with top cover, which is a lot of fun. Or noticed that very high obstacles could break any possible bombing trajectory which is less fun but a good management tool.

That’s how the sectopod artillery strike worked in XCOM2 iirc so yes it is a good suggestion

That’s why the Warcry from your heavy is the best way to cancel this attack if you happen to be close enough))

If the artillery worked like you suggest would you think it is still usefull to bring the artillery of your own to battle? (Scarab, Fury launchers, etc.)

Chirons and snipers don’t move much or they can’t shoot.
You could also force the others to move rather than shooting twice if they feel threatened.
If I have 4 NJ heavies in operation vulture preparing their rockets for next turn. I’m going to move, which doesn’t let me shoot all that much.

Also, in exchange, I would make Artillery do more damage.

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Bomb Chirons, even Chirons in general, stopped being an issue for me when I learned to stop alerting them. I’ve had multiple missions now where they never get a chance to fire a shot.

A delay could be interesting IF the Chiron is not locked in to a target location, this gives us time to scatter without making it something you’re guaranteed to avoid.

Have you faced 4 NJ heavies that you had not seen suddenly crippling your team with rockets ? And the only thing that saved your soldiers was the fact that one of you infiltrators had put a decoy, just in case.

This is not a true statement as they seem to use allies line of sight. I had a Chiron on a lair attack that was at the far side of the map, behind walls, so zero visibility either way. It spent the whole fight shooting worms at me.

Now how did I activate it if I never saw it, and it never saw me?

Lairs are a strange exception they don’t seem to work like normal maps. I’ve no idea what triggers those I’m just glad it’s usually worms.

It might be gunfire that alerts them.

Could be, but in Lairs they seem to be automatically aware of you even before that. On outdoor maps you have to alert them in some way either visually or with gunfire and even then their hearing range isn’t unlimited.

Not positive.

I do know I’ve spent the first turn in a lair just positioning and they haven’t started the bombardment. Maybe they’re coded so that if one enemy is alerted, the whole place is?

I think they act like real-world artillery, so if an ally with a radio (or Pandoran mind-link) is alerted, it can bring down an artillery strike on an area that the artillery-firing Chiron cannot see.

That seems right in most cases… though i had one haven defense where a chiron somehow was able to bomb civilians i had running for the evac zone. No direct line of sight, there was a building in the way, no pandorens to give them line of sight, or even a blip… as they were 30+ tiles away with the chiron. The chiron ignored my assaults who had pushed forwards and shot his nearby pandoran friends, then the chiron itself, fired over the building in a blind shot to nail several civilians that it had no way of having seen in the first place. This was on turn one of the map, i had pushed guys in to rescue the civilians without the civilian ever being discovered. Pandoran turn 1 it just blindly hit the civilians rather than the guys within 10 tiles of it who had just shot his pals.

For Chiron, Scarab, Thor launcher with long firing range, YES for preparation time, with larger blast radius and maybe slightly increased scatter.

But for Fury and Ragnarok NO - it should fire immediately and I think still with only 25% TU (1AP). If you want to decrease it’s mortality I would suggest decrease in damage and increase in blast radius. Or without changes to damage, decrease in blast radius and increase in scatter.

artillery/bombard chiron, hell yeah for the preparation turn.
for the scarab, I dunno…would be fair to the pandorans but its not like the vehicles are overperforming right now.
for personal missile launchers, no…human factions are actually rather weak in my opinion and these weapons are only used by NJ heavies, the ones visible from the moon. however I’d totally be for increasing the TU-cost to launch…its that they are turn limited but otherwise these launchers would be insane

I think that whole idea of these back mounted launchers is to assist with attack, not to be main weapon. Thus they cost only 1 AP (so you can use them along with 3 AP attacks of all other heavy weapons). Just look at fig campaign trailer where soldier was attacking with sniper rifle(?) and this back mounted launcher simultaneously.

EDIT. Ah well I think I can share one of my insights about, for example Fury-2. If I will have time to create a mod (after official support will be launched) I will change Fury to be like that:

  • Trajectory: straight like the one of Archangel
  • Spread / effective range: 17 like Hel cannon
  • Damage: 30 blast + 7 shred
  • Burst: 4
  • Blast Radius: 2 (or maybe even 1.5)
  • Action Points: 1.33
  • Ammo Capacity: 8
  • Magazine Ammo Capacity: 4
  • Ability: Barrage (1.33 AP, 3 or 4 WP, 1/turn, aimed like projectile weapons)

You may ask why there is WP cost to shoot - well you need to use your mind to control that weapon (research tells it is connected to spine and requires no hands, but you aim it somehow, thus Will Points cost).

The issue I see with this is that if the area of the strike has to be set in the preparation turn, it will be trivial to avoid: just make sure that nobody is in the same place.

Perhaps it would be better if exploding chirons were required to enter stability stance (which if I’m not mistaken costs 2 AP) prior to shooting (which costs 3ap). That way there is a one turn grace period from the time the chiron is positioned to strike but avoiding its attack does not become too easy.

That wouldn’t decrease their kill rate. They would be still deadly as they are now (and well stability stance increase their accuracy). Your visual information that Chiron is in this stance would change nothing. You can still assume that they will fire in next turn.

Nothing forces you to strike on them.
Also, moving away is nice, but it uses your AP (or will) when you could have shot twice, or done something else.

By the way, you would only see where the Chiron, Heavy is facing. Not the actual zone for the strike.