Return Fire Suggestion

Sorry for the long post :slight_smile:

I appreciate your solutions but on harder difficulty settings grenades do not blow arms off ‘easily’. Focusing fire on arms is needed and that isn’t easy from distance on harder difficulties either, even with a sniper.

Retreating and overwatching isn’t ideal from a gameplay point of view, imho. Not if you have to spam it. It’s why they tried to minimise its use in Firaxcom and then introduced timers to almost everything.

Throwing a grenade from cover? What about it? I’ve done that and got shot in the face. It doesn’t really solve anything in my experience.

Let me just tell you about my first real encounter with RF in order to better explain.

I had four recruits in a room. They all had either half or full cover. A Jericho guy bursts in, sees us and then just stands there in the open.

Our turn. I use a guy in full cover to shoot him in the side of the face. I do about 20-25% overall health damage, despite being so close that virtually all bullets hit. He turns 90 degrees and reduces my guy to from 140 to 30. Jesus.

I then use my other guy in full cover (who is now behind the Jericho ‘terminator’) to shoot him in the back/what I can see of the arm. He can’t RF twice can he? Even if he can, he can’t swivel 180 to do it having already turned away once, right? Wrong.

I aim at as much of his arm as I can. I reduce his overall health by about 15-20% but the arm takes the brunt of it. He spins and blasts me from about 150 to 50 health. Wow.

I use one of my men in half cover to once again attack his arm. This time though, I throw a grenade. He won’t return fire from that, surely? How long do you expose yourself to throw a grenade in this game? It does a quite a bit of damage but not quite enough to disable…then my guy gets blasted.

Finally, my last guy finishes his arm off. 3 out of 4 of the team need a medkit. If another enemy had walked in, it would have been a massacre.

Think about what just happened. One guy got to do more damage to my team on MY turn then he would on his own turn, despite being surrounded, despite not being in cover AND despite my team being IN cover. On his own turn, he can only shoot twice!

It’s laughable and cheap. It’s like the special, unique aliens they brought in with the Alien Hunter dlc for XCOM 2, you now the ones? They get a move after every attack you make on them. At least those were just single enemies though, and only appeared now and then.

I would have been better off NOT firing and simply going into overwatch. How interesting :confused: Also, how counter-intuitive. Why wouldn’t you all shoot a guy when you have him surrounded? Are our soldiers REALLY going to say, 'NO! Don’t shoot him, he’ll destroy us! Wait ‘til he moves to cover!’.

Personally, it’s simply not a satisfying mechanic and I certainly wouldn’t want my victories to come from passive abilities like my soldiers RF’ing everyone to pieces.

EDIT: I’m sure many of us will get used to it and enjoy all of what the game has to offer, it is very good. As it is though, this particular mechanic isn’t a positive one, imho.


That post… was BEAUTIFUL!
Every single point about your post is 100% accurate.
It was almsot F-ing identical to my first, major “screw you RF”, moment.

I too had that one who ran up and stood in the middle of my group, and I needed multiple shots to either kill him, or get rid of his gun.
Thinknig the same thing “if one more shows up, I am f-ed…”

Luckily, I manage to get him down, and jsut like you say, the second one I just overwatch cheese…
Like… I can SHOT YOU NOW, instead of waiting to shoot you later…
In Firaxcom, Overwatch was usualy meant as a way to capitilize on baiting/forcing enemies out of cover.
In this game, the enemies doesn’t use cover, so you are overwatching an enemy you already have in clear sight… OUT IN THE OPEN!

For me… RF is starting to feel like a thing they implamented to kind of forgo making an AI that values cover.
Just make them decently tanky, stand out in the open and shot anything that dares to do the obvious of shooting an enemy out of cover… XD

Also in Firaxcom, you needed like 2-3 overwtach perks to do what you do in this game with only one perk - and that is without even wasting AP to go into overwatch!


You kiddin me? Alien Rulers are excellent. Finally something that can put a dent in your squad, and unique “move after every move” mechanic, lead to some different and interesting decision making.

An only suggestion I might have, that perhaps those aren’t fights one is supposed to be picking without some major upgrades? The first mission I did was for Synedrion, at it was way harder then anything I did up to this point (and that includes raiding a lair).

Even so, I do agree that it feel unintuitive, that a unit can make more damage during your turn, then you can in his. Whenever, the mechanic is good or not however, I didn’t make up my mind yet. In my personal experience, it seemed fine.

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Ouch, nasty scenario. I tend to make as nice as possible with the factions, so don’t fight them often. You make valid points.


The Alien rulers were cool, and their “move after every move” worked…
Because there was a LIMIT to them.

Not like in this game where the equivalent of “shot for every shot” is just a common thing on almost all grunts. :stuck_out_tongue:


Sorry, that was poorly worded, my bad! :slight_smile:

I meant the situation I described was laughable and cheap because everyday enemies could sometimes behave like the Alien Rulers. It’s fine in a special, occasional, ‘Oh crap! Emergency stations everyone’, like it was in Alien Hunters :slight_smile: Besides, they balanced them pretty well.

And yeah, I think you’re right, I’ll be avoiding those fights for the time being. This game is seemingly made to allow situations beyond your ability, as opposed to Firaxcom which has a very specific curve. I doubt I’ll be playing Ironman until I get the feel for the different enemies/factions and the fact some our way tougher than others, even early on.

Like I’ve said, I not hating on the game or anything :slight_smile:

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I see. You did make an excellent point though, when it comes to units potency in his turn and your turn.

I would suggest self-enforced Ironman. Game feels too buggy to not make “one save run” a frustrating experience.


Thanks, I’ll definitely be diplomatic with them :wink:

And just so you now, I’ll be trying your helpful advice about dealing with larger numbers of crabbies who, hopefully, aren’t as powerful as the human enemies I’ve met so far :slight_smile:

Oh, and just in case you’re interested, I was doing that ‘help Jericho with some lunatics running amok’ mission.


I’m very cautious in buildings. Those are dangerous places.

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Yeah, it doesn’t feel right that anyone, even the player, can fire 3+ times in a round when typically, if you don’t move, you can only fire twice.

Anyway, I’m just gonna learn the game and am doing a kind of Bronzeman :slight_smile:

Basically, I don’t save in battle missions. If I get torn to bits and need to redo the battle, I load a save from just before the fight, when I was in the geoscape. In other words, I have to do battles in one go.

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Well, I do know, after the game hang up on enemy turn, when I overwatched him (I assume he was trying to complete an action with a hand he didn’t have anymore). And it was deep into a lair raid. Though to be fair, I got much more favourable generation next time around.

I feel your pain :wink:

Your point about overwatching enemies who are in your sights and out in the open made me chuckle :slight_smile: You’re right, it sounds pretty funny put like that!

The only suggestion I have on Return Fire, is better identification on which Enemy has this trait.

I’m still early in the game, but I have not had trouble…yet…terminating Enemies with the Return Fire trait. Knowing they only return fire…when you fire, helps me tactically how to maneuver and make decisions better. I always have my Sniper or heavy hitter on stand by for cleanup scenarios like these.

I know each person has their own play style, but I have not been ‘griefed’ from Return Fire enemies just yet. My opinion may change as I progress further, if I feel Return Fire does come to a grief point as described by many in this thread.


Just a quick note to state that I’ve not had any problems with RF like these being mentioned here. The ‘problem’ may not be return fire, but possibly the way these players are approaching the game in tactical mode itself, but thinking that the problem is not their approach - but the game. This may not seem helpful at first. Also, in my day, when I found that ramping the difficulty up was too hard for me, I would play on a lower difficulty setting, complete the game and then up it again … a strategy worth considering for anyone who blames specific mechanics for their losses when they’ve pushed the difficulty level beyond their capabilities.

I understand a lot of people’s alternatives to dealing with return fire. But hanging back and just continuing to set up overwatch every single turn will limit your damage output and protecting objectives on other missions.

If you water AP on overwatch every turn you only take one shot if you don’t move. Whereas if the enemy gets close they can use all their AP for multiple shots and then stand there and wait for you to shoot back, because then they are taking at least four shots a turn compared to your one. Just bad balancing, I’m not saying that return fire is a bad mechanic but just needs a weakness to it. Overwatch only activates once per turn. Return fire is unlimited, that in itself is way too much. If there was an accuracy penalty to it and it allowed you to step back into cover then I’d understand it being able to proc more than once per turn.


Rich, let me give you the example of my encounter with that same scenario in 1.0, to show you how I (and others at the end of this post) deal with RF.

On Turn 1, my Heavy runs to the window of that room on the corner, but hides round the corner of the window where she can’t be seen. My Assault sets up an Overwatch focussed on the door to that room. My 2 Snipers are busy elsewhere.
Enemy turn: NJ guy bursts into the room and gets hit by my OW. He’s down a bunch of HP and he doesn’t RF.

Turn 2: Time for my Heavy to hop into the room and blast said NJ dude to pulp with her Cannon. No RF. My Assault hops into the room and sets himself up against the wall 1 square away from the door, so that it doesn’t open. Cue Overwatch. Sniper 1 is keeping a NJ dude who’s running down the back path occupied, but Sniper 2 can take up a position with her pistol at the window and cue Overwatch.
Enemy turn: next NJ dude bursts into the room. Gets hit by 2 OWs, but has enough APs to fire back at my Heavy, who is the most obvious target and can take it.

Turn 3: Don’t bother using the Heavy. Hit the dude with my Assault’s AR. He fires back. I take him out with the second shot. The reason I don’t bother using the Heavy is I want her to set her cannon to Overwatch on that door.
Enemy turn: Third dude bursts through the door and is spread all over the room by my Heavy.
Meanwhile, Sniper 1 has been sniping and overwatching the guy coming down the alleyway turn by turn until she wears him down.

4 NJ dudes down, with only 1 RF and 1 wounded Squaddie. All by making sure I was never in their line of fire during their turn, so they had to come to me, and my OW kill-zones knocked them down enough to take them out on my first shot next turn.

Now that won’t work in all situations, and it helped that I’ve played that scenario several times in BB5, so I know the way those dudes operate. But like @jmix87 and @kingius, I haven’t had any problems ith RF since BB3. It’s all about how you handle it.

Though, I will repeat this point till I’m blue in the face and the devs pay attention to it - MAKE RF/SIRENS/CHIRONS LESS POWERFUL ON EASY SETTINGS, until new players have had a chance to figure out how they work.
If people decide to do their first playthrough on Heroic, they should expect the difficulty curve to be brutal. Heroic and Legendary should be designed to put even experienced players who know what they’re doing under stress - though I haven’t played this build long enough to tell you whether that’s true yet.

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You obviously knew the scenario of this mission since it was in BB5. The guys enter the room without you needing to lure them in. Your sniper deals with the alley behind the building. The same on each playthrough.

What he meant is … do you feel it is normal that 4 soldiers having the drop on the stupid dude that used all his AP to walk in the middle of the room should suffer from him just even a single shot. The stupid dude however has a super power. He is able to stop time and turn instantly towards any threat to fill it with bullets accurately.
As even described by what you wrote, this mechanic is just there to try to compensate for a lack of AI. The devs knew that without return fire it would be too easy to kill those dudes.


I take your point, but my point is that there are ways of mitigating that.
Yes, I did know the scenario, but I didn’t deal with it any differently than I would deal with any other situation I encounter in Phoenix Point - advance cautiously, leaving enough APs to create Overwatch zones, while my Sniper(s) hang back to pick off anything dangerous that appears.
If you do it right, the ‘stupid dude who used all his AP to walk into the middle of the room’ never gets a chance to shoot back because you’ve already shot at him 2 or 3 times before your turn even comes round.

The only time I ever dash like a loon across the map is when I clock a Chiron. Then it’s get under cover as fast as you can, find the sight lines and start picking him off while my Pointmen push forward in an attempt to take him out.

Oh, I get most of that, there’s nothing wrong with what you’ve just written at all. Thanks for some of the pointers too :slight_smile:

I’m playing a Heroic campaign (my as well learn a tougher style of game while waiting for Ironman mode before I do lesser difficulty run with all that lovely extra tension) and am about 8 hours in. So it’s early days. It’s pretty much all good and I may at some point write a post describing all the things I like and love :slight_smile:

However, with regards to what we’re talking about I’d say this.

In the example I gave, my team had entered a room and taken cover. There was no overwatch. Had they all been on overwatch, the NJ guy would have been killed, as you say. Indeed, when I retried the mission, I started exactly the same but took two turns to get there and so had everyone on overwatch.

The guy walked in and took so much OW (heh, that looks like ‘owww’ which I’m sure he was crying out actually :wink: ) damage I was able to finish him off next turn.

Since it worked so well, I simply stayed there, spamming overwatch. It worked for all the rest too. All three other NJ’s walked in one by one and got killed, though they have so much health they all got a shot off from cover before I could finish them off in my turn. No big deal.

So, now that I’ve learned that overwatch is back in fashion, I’ll play accordingly. I’m not sure how much I’m going to like using it all the time but there you go. Only time will tell as I’m not that far into the campaign yet.

Having said all that, it doesn’t change my main point. Going back to my original attempt with my guys in cover and no OW, RF, regardless of how we deal with it, just feels off.

When an enemy is out in the open and surrounded, he shouldn’t be a bigger threat than when he it’s his own turn, heh. That just doesn’t make sense and from a gameplay perspective is counter-intuitive. Sure, we can all work around it but it’s not ideal, like pod activation mechanics. It’s not a deal breaker but my first encounter with it, and for others it seems, was so bizarre that when I saw a post mentioning it, I felt the urge to contribute my own experience.

Think of it this way, most units can, typically, move once and shoot once or stay still and shoot twice. As RF is at the moment, a unit can presumably fire up to 8 times! Once for each of your attacking team members. In fact, if all team members fire twice and the enemy doesn’t die, a single enemy could have up to 16 shots AND all those shots will be without any noticeable penalty and can be directed in ANY direction.

Obviously, those scenarios are extremely unlikely, but it’s indicative of a strange system, imho. One or two little tweaks would make it far more ‘natural’ and less vulnerable to weird, possibly unintended situations :slight_smile:


I take your point, and you’re right.

The problem with RF as it stands for most people is the whole ‘every shot 360 angle’ thing. Knowing that, I’ve adjusted my tactics accordingly and it hasn’t caused me much difficulty since (though I’m only a few hours into 1.0, so I may change my tune).

I LIKE that difficulty - it makes the game a proper challenge. For me, it’s a good thing that I actually lost a Squaddie for the first time in weeks on my very first Scavenging Mission, and that I find myself constantly running out of Medikits.

Others won’t like it, and as I have argued before, there should be a difficulty setting which accommodates that. I do have issues with people who charge in on higher difficulties and then complain that the game’s too hard, though (please note that I’m not getting at you). I’m playing on Heroic at the moment - but then I know what to expect, sort of - and even I wasn’t stupid enough to start on Legendary :skull_and_crossbones:

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