Melee and Phoenix Point

We all know that there is going to be melee combat in Phoenix Point, we saw the concept of the Synedrion Infiltrator, the Anu Mutog Handler/Raider and in the Backers Build 1 there are already nice pincers made in Pandoravirus (PV) waiting for us.
The final mechanics of melee combat is still to get a final form, so I think that would be good to have a topic in which everyone can put his ideas and understandings. I saw on discord that discussions about this topic end in an endless repartee from different points of view. I hereby invite everyone to not start discussing if my following ideas are right or wrong, but post their own ideas, so the Devs will be able to read what everyone has in his mind and maybe find that spark of genius to be implemented in the game.

The first question I made myself about melee is “why?”. Stabbing or clubbing another living being needs some commitment, and if the living being is some horrific alien mutation it needs a lot of will and courage.
“That’s why we have guns”
This is what I expect from New Jericho (NJ) guys. Every answer to a problem is going to be a bullet or a good amount of explosives.
“But if I run out of ammo? Or my weapon get broken? Or one of my arms get disabled”
“Son…the answer to all your questions is handguns
The pistol in the backer build shows to be a great resource to finish crabs, save the situation when you lost your main weapon or you got a crippled arm, short range, penetration and great ammo economy. Taking into account that the pistol and related ammo is going to be the easiest weapon to get, probably the best bet is to put one on every soldier.
But what about a combat knife? Fix Bayonets? Well if the most basic crab armor can withstand AR fire, you are not going to do much with those. The exoskeleton of the Heavy can give you a strong punch in melee, but is really what NJ will do? Or will put some forearm mounted shotgun/cannon/flamethrower.
There is the Technician class that has those nice robotic arms, on one side they could be used to repair armors/vehicles/weapons, on the other side they could apply some close combat damage. But this class seems to me more a support one not a brawler, so maybe the robotic arms can deal some good electric discharge to stun PV creatures to be captured and sent to the labs.
Crab pincers at the moment deal some very serious damage. In the final game probably get damage this way will expose your soldiers to possible infection by the PV, and we all know what NJ think about infected. So I think NJ doctrine will focus on ranged combat all the time.
Who are the guys who don’t fear to get hand to hand with PV? The Disciples of Anu (DoA).
They have been already infected and survived, so no problem about this part. Second they are themselves mutants, so they will be able to mutate and have incredible strenght and means to be able to brawl and survive. Third they have mutogs, giant quadrupeds that eat crabs for breakfast. And this is only what we know so far.
Synedrion (Syn) is the less known faction at the moment. We have only the Infiltrator concept about them and melee, but I think that this class is going to be a very particular one. Not a brawler but a stealth assassin (glass cannon) with some geoscape abilities, like infiltrate alone enemy bases for sabotage and stuff.
Phoenix Point (PP) operatives will evolve and follow the path the player choose.
But how melee combat should work?
In the Backers Build is 100% success and usually with deadly effects. Leaving it like this will just makes melee “who strike first win”.
To be more varied it could be that when a melee attack strikes it can be dodged, blocked or countered.
Dodge - is the same of a miss, but let’s give credit to it to the agility of the defender :wink:
Blocked - I immagine even a NJ guy blocking the pincer thrust with his rifle to save his life. In this situation it starts an arm wrestiling (will points based maybe). If the defender wins, the melee attack is deflected and he is free to act again. If the attacker win I immagine the rifle breaking in 2 and the pincer get in the soldier body. Meanwhile others can shoot at the attacker to save their mate, hopefully with no friendly fire (use of grenades not advised).
Countered - is only for melee combat between melee units, to put some spice on the combat between them, who attacks instead of a kill get a punch.
I admit that it is a bit simplistic mechanic but it is just an idea.

Now as I said before, please don’t argue on my speculations or personal believing but write your own ideas, let’s help the Devs with our thoughts.

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Melee opportunities.
Chitin armour may be very sensitive to a knife that sprays an acid similar to a serpent’s tooth, allowing the knife to penetrate deeper more quickly.
Maybe you still have some research to do or you find something like that on the battlefield.

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Indeed, but a poisoned weapon look like what DoA could use. I mean, as I said, NJ will avoid any contact to PV creatures to not get infected.

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I was thinking more of a “last” chance than a counterattack if the soldier is attacked by an alien with melee weapons.
You are right, I would a melee Attack avoid at all costs.

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a “last chance” counterattack is a suicide vest rigged to the soldier’s heartbeat for NJ… Possibly with a proximity detector for other vests at higher tech levels.

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While slashing weapons will probably be ineffective against crapmen an other mutants with exoskeletons, maybe soldiers could use other kind of melee weapons, like blunt weapons to crack armor. Shock batons would also be valuable, as those craps must be soaked and I doubt their armor are electric insulated. And as they are vulnerable to bullets, piercing melee weapons should also be kinda effective, so bayonets or armor-attached spikes could be used as a last resource for a soldier with disabled weapons or cripled arms.

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With crippled arms you still can’t use your rifle with fixed bayonet, or two handed weapons.
I think we have to set that creatures that can still fight without limbs and even the head won’t suffer much from standard melee attacks. You have to totally dismember them in one turn to be effective. And frankly a combat knife or a medieval like mace won’t do much. You need something inhuman like Anu or superhuman like what I think is going to be Syn. Even the NJ mech has no melee stuff. Is their doctrine.
The only situation a NJ could melee is…cyborgs! I just remembered that they will cut infected limbs and body parts to put augments. Maybe an augmented NJ veteran barely survived to a melee encounter would have the numbers to give some payback.

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Bayonettes were present in X-PirateZ total conversion of Xcom EU https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/16/mar/xpirate8.jpg

In fact they have quite worked on various (Pirate themed) melee weapon, but it goes up to the Tesla Coil.
See stats Melee weapons of Bootypedia.

I rather like the idea of melee combat in Phoenix Point. Maybe it might not have made as much sense in XCOM and XCOM 2, since those took place in high-tech settings, but Phoenix Point is set in a very post-apocalyptic era. Ammo’s hard to come by, along with the expertise for making and maintaining guns. Thus, it makes sense that people might want to use blades, axes, and other low-tech weapons, even if melee is more dangerous and unwieldy, simply to preserve valuable ammo.

My ideas? Hmm…I would like to see melee be a little “cooler” in PP than it was in XCOM 2. There, you had your Assault guys with swords, but that was as far as melee went for you–it was the ayys, with their Chryssalids, Faceless Ones, Berserkers, Archons, Stun Lancers, and some other guys that had real variety in melee attacks.

I’d like PP to have a variety of melee weapons your guys can equip. The Technician’s arms are a good start, but I’d like to see swords, spears, axes, stun batons, and maybe even pile bunkers (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PileBunker) your heavies could equip! The weapons would have different properties, like in old-school TRPGs such as Fire Emblem, though with a PP twist, of course.

So, my suggestion: Melee weapons would have their own sort of “aiming circle.” Like, when you’re aiming at a crabman, you see the circle which determines the area you’ll hit with your gun. It would be similar for melee, but since you’d have no chance to miss, being so close, it would instead affect where your attack would hit. Like, swords and axes would be slashing weapons, so rather than an “aiming circle” they would have a slash marker you could manipulate either vertically or horizontally, to catch the maximum amount of enemy parts in the slash. Spears would have a much smaller slash marker, but you can use them to attack crabbies from 2 or 3 panels away. Pile Bunkers would have the disadvantage of spears but no range, made up for by extreme power and armor-piercing capability. And so on…

If that’s not possible, I would like at least somewhat more advanced melee mechanics than in XCOM2. Things like parrying, counterattacks, again, the sorta thing you might find in Fire Emblem. Not a weapon triangle, though, that we can do without XD

as asked by the creator of this thread i won’t commend on other posts, but i have to pick up his basic question: why.
To me the big “why” is answered this way: Because it is cinematic. It feels cool. In most action movies there is melee, quite often with an epic melee battle against the main villain. The same reason why movie directors put melee into movies even when it really makes no sense applies here.
Then, as to how melee should be implemented in the game: I think there should be 2 types that actually want to do melee: assassin type and brawler type.
Assassin type because it actually makes sense for infiltrators that rely on stealth to use weapons that don’t aleart everyone else.
Brawler type wouldn’t make any sense in real life, but are cool to play as.
now to the gamemechanics:
Again i ask myself: how is it done in movies. In many movies melee is a result of 1 person wanting another person to not shoot. So tackling that other person seems to be a very viable option to stop her from doing so, especially if one self is unarmed (or out of ammunition). That said, i think for one, melee should be something EVERYONE should be able to do.
Then there could be 2 different types of melee: one where you strike to kill (basically with gamemechanics as already implemented)
and another one where you try to tackle the opponent. this would result in BOTH characters enter the same gamesquare, both characters loosing their turns and instead inflicting stress damage (willpower damage) based on relative strength to opponent. Of course, both combatants would be rather vulnerable to others.

That’s just an idea on how you COULD do it. i don’t know how practicable it would be to have that kind of melee system.

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