Make abilities that compliment the ballistics system (tweak for overwatch/return fire)

Was playing and found that overwatch could be really unreliable and even harmful in some cases like:
-Theres an enemy that I know is coming around a corner and want to hit him but an enemy from across the level moves first so he fires off in that direction (could imagine friendly fire happening as well if they were positioned so)
-Fires off at an enemy that makes no sense to fire at (high armor fellows)

Otherwise, I was wondering if you might be able to narrow the direction in which a soldier aims and just fire at stuff from their.
Maybe overwatch could just shoot at every enemy that runs into the LOS cone of fire to add a balance to the los restriction?

But I feel like overwatch could easily be removed in favor of an aiming system (were you face soldiers in specific directions to cover the various flanks) Perhaps overwatch could simply be an improved ‘Snapshot’ (if thinking in terms of the original xcom)

I feel like the boardgamey abilities like overwatch kind of clash with projectile system, like your trying to shoe horn the projectile ballistics system with the modern xcom mechanics rather then building abilities that compliment the projectile system.

Otherwise, i feel that if you opted for a facing system, you might find some nice tactical space to play with. Say if a crab man is facing away from you, what if you could sneak up from behind to get some shots in without a reaction fire?

Say if all units had a facing that worked like:
-180degree view infront: reaction fire bonus
-270 degree from front to back: mild reaction fire
-The 90 degrees behind a unit: blind spot; no reaction fire

Reaction fire could possibly happen automatically when units run into high % shot ranges of opposing units. Say if you were running out from cover into the open to run to the flank, theres a good chance that you’d get shot. These reaction shots could use less action points then regular shots and allow players to stockpile some points as a sort of ‘overwatch lite’ (or snapshot)

Then manipulation of these finite action points from the opposing side could work into be that puzzle. Perhaps overwatch could simply be reworked into such a system to simply buff it. (giving action points for this snap shot store, with a cost of will points)


I definitely agree facing and visual angles should be important.


It would vastly improve tactical approach on missions. Limited sight and manual facing are one of these things I really would like to be implemented.


Strongly agree with this - I feel like overwatch definitely needs some work.

@Anjovi, I agree that overwatch itself does feel a bit out of place in Phoenix Point. In abstract I like your idea of facing and automatic reaction fire - it kinda reminds me of a sniper skill of XCOM 2, i.e. “cone of fire”, in which the sniper had a reaction shot against all enemies coming from a set direction. I definitely could see an xcom-like game replacing the overwatch skill with the “cone of fire” skill.

My doubt about your idea is that it may make defensive positions too strong, possibly? If you can have reaction shots multiple times in the direction you are facing, you may have a too strong incentive to leave your team in a good defensive position, covering all approaching angles, and just let the enemy come at you.

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I feel like these reaction shots should only fire off with the consistency that reaction fire currently does. As in in the 12-30% range (from what i remember in the demo being the average)

I’m thinking that these shots could be based off of action points left over from the last turn, and would thus be limiited.

How AI could get around this? track for tiles of movement in which they would be vulnerable to this reaction fire and move take the path of least resistance. Other mechanics like mist, stealth, etc. could be utilized to balance this further.

Overwatch could possibly involve giving out a lower action point spending on each reaction shot so you could possibly get an extra shot in. (will points should balance this out a bit)

How would the alien’s reaction fire look from your perspective:
When selecting tiles to move through, have the reaction fire %'s appear, similar to how they do when you are choosing targets to shoot at. It would give you a good representation of the alien’s terrain advantage in general along with the info pertaining to the risk of moving through this LOS.

An idea to facilitate facing could be as follows:
1)When choosing to move, allow a facing direction to be chosen.
2)After moving, any action during the turn is unaffected by the facing, facing only applies to overwatch, return fire, etc. as described above.

Might allow for the implimentation of such a thing without a crazy amount of micromanagement.

I don’t remember where I saw it, but it has been stated that limited range and the Fog of War haven’t been implemented yet. But that means that they WILL be implemented at some point (not sure if limited range will be a hard limit on the weapon where projectiles don’t travel beyond it or if soldiers will simply have a limited view range and thus be unable to fire across the map barring something like Squad Sight), which will really help out these OW and RF issues as you won’t be wasting such shots on enemies that are across the map. Of course it also means that you can’t bait the enemy into wasting a bunch of their ammo on such shots either.

Overwatch, return fire and such need the following:

= Ability to select the the sector to watch for(i.e. everywhere around, 180 deg in front, 70 deg to the left etc). Being able to order a soldier to cover only a particular side or even a particular doorway can be very important when having enemies coming from different directions.

= Ability to select at which distance(or chance to hit) to shoot. So many times I had soldiers shooting an enemy which appears at the edge of the view range and was clearly too far away to hit, only to have it move in to almost point blank range during that enemy turn, making the already taken overwatch even more wasteful.

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This thread has much taste, and this post summarises it well.

The original X-COM (and Laser Squad for that matter) had facing with 90 degree arcs, within which only overwatch (then called ‘opportunity fire’) would be triggered. However, in ‘Laser Squad Nemesis’ I implemented directional overwatch, which worked by selecting a direction which gave a preference for shooting. For Phoenix Point I would like to test a new overwatch system where you pick a point on the map which is the target of a cone of fire, within which an enemy would trigger overwatch. This system would allow you to select both the range and direction of any overwatch shot.


Good points. I like the idea of directional overwatch on an unlimited number of targets. Being able to adjust range would be nice too, provided it doesn’t bog down the UI too much. An overlay linked to the mouse showing direction and the range at which 50% accuracy (ideally) falls might do the trick. The same mouse click would determine both direction and range.

An overall theme I’ve noticed, whether intended or otherwise, is that the mechanics in Phoenix Point tend to be thoughtful counterpoints to their Firaxis XCOM equivelants. Overwatch is a bit of a relic in that regard, with willpower required being the only difference.

You’re an angel! :smiley:

I guess, for clarification’s sake, what I was thinking might be cool is if you just had something in the spirit of opportunity fire, which would be used by default…overwatch could be an ability that simply buffs this opportunity fire.

Return fire kind of already fits this role, but i’m wondering if it might be fun to have facing become a core part of the combat, as opposed to being a will power draining ability. Said will power abilities could simply buff said opportunity/reaction fire.

maybe it’d be too much micro managing…

I wanted to suggest choosing a circular area for overwatch, but discarded the idea since it was too rigid. Using a point of preference is an excellent idea! Go for it!

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Do you even realize that the enemy will have the same overwatch as you end then will be to OP. That’s why ist one shot in 360° better than unlimited shots in one direction.
At the moment Crabman does not use overwatch, so Crabman Tank always uses his shield and Crabman Gunner shoots two shots if he does not move.
There is also a danger if the enemy attacks from the side or from behind. Because as I noticed the enemy is moving around the map from his location to your location.

I just wanted to clarify that the idea for the amount of shots wasn’t to be unlimited but perhaps based on something like the amount of remaining action points/a random roll like reaction fire/etc. Just something to make facing more functional/fun.

But regarding the enemies having this ability as well: Could be fun. This might make using cover more appropriate. An example being that one could move up to a corner and see an enemy who is facing in that direction. You could then get your other soldier to move behind cover and flank from behind, while positioning yourselves in a way to possibly catch the crab off guard while they are patrolling.

Also, the fire, if linked to Action points, might be rarer with aliens as they tend to use all of their points to move around. Some more sophisticated troops could take advantage of this possible facing system.

That’s definitely what I’d be doing, especially at the start of a mission - But then I’d do that anyway, and if the strategy becomes too strong… well you just increase the number of enemies. :wink:

Those crabmen could actually be a good counter to overwatch/use of defensive positions. If they come at you with their shields up their protected from most shots that you fire at them, they force you to abandon defensive positions, no matter how strong they are.

For Phoenix Point I would like to test a new overwatch system where you pick a point on the map which is the target of a cone of fire, within which an enemy would trigger overwatch. This system would allow you to select both the range and direction of any overwatch shot.

Works for me. One of the things I really liked about some of the classic games. I feel it adds to the tactics.

The goal of such games has never been in the camp and waiting for the enemy to come to you and then kill them. But in this you find the enemy and fight with them in different locations. Firaxis XCOM 2 was trying to fix this by limiting the turns for successful completion of a mission.
PP is trying to fix this by limiting this with willponts, completely devastating terrain, limiting the ammo, finding loot boxes all over the map and mutations of different enemies. To force you into a more dynamic game and thinking how to do something.
Otherwise, the game will become boring because you will always do the same (sitting somewhere in the corner and waiting to come to you).
I’m just wondering how your tactics will pay off if you were attacked only by Crabman Tanks with Grenadies (Shield end grenade luncher). I’m currently the most afraid of Crabman Grenadier because he has the most dangerous weapons.
The only questions ist what kind of enemies will come in the future, I know that a unit will come in, which will have the same range and power as the RPG from heavy has.

Yeah, I think AI flanking you, as well as grenades/rockets/Area of effect attacks/gases/etc. and limited ammo that gets lost from unoptimal shots might do a really good job of stopping the camping.

mist/smoke grenades could be used to good effect to avoid this as well.

And theirs also the idea that these opportunity shots might not even go off (due to rng) or that you might have to lose out on spending action points during a turn.

I can’t wait to see what other monsters snapshot has in the pipeline as even just with the crab men and limited map generation alone you get a pretty great amount of dynanism each play through.

Videos from Retcon Raider and his predictions, what can we expect.

The Creatures of Phoenix Point, Revisited

Phoenix Point - March Development Updates -> 4 min in the video Monster “Chiron” (mobile artillery platform) = bye, bye campers :smiley: