Return Fire - whut now?

I must be missing something here. Return Fire seems obscenely overpowered. In my first mission, my squad was almost wiped due to return fire alone. I am shooting from cover, not running in the open etc… I probably had 500+ hours on the original xcom (not the reboot), +a ton of play on Xenonauts and the new XCOMs. I’m not understanding how you manage this mechanic, or more importantly, what it’s even supposed to represent: If I’m putting lots of bullets down range, the ability of the enemy to shoot back becomes less effective.


Yes u are right!
That was a strange decision indeed.
“Automatically Overwatch” after every own shot.
Sometimes I have doubts when it comes to the capabilities of some gamedesigner.
The feeling of playing a turn-based game suffers a lot, and it smells like a big “KI Cheat”.
I hope that a Patch this mechanic changes!


Unfortunately lots of people seem to like return fire from the comments I read during the Backer Builds. So I don’t see it going away.
Return fire should use unspent AP on your turn rather than needing only ammo. It’s like free covering fire multiple times, you could have a crabman/assault shooting 10 times in half a turn to targets all around him with usual precision like he is in the matrix.
I know it is turn by turn, but we have to keep in mind that time can not be bent the way return fire does it.


Yes return fire is top I’m crazy about her

I certainly didn’t :wink:


It’s especially bad with 360 degree sight meaning that you can’t avoid return fire by sneaking up on someone.


If i see abilties like this or dash i wonder if they even thought longer then 5 minutes about abilities. The whole ability - system seems like a prototype that was implemented in two days to have a starting point.

I personally like the mechanic behind Return Fire (though I agree it makes no realistic/logical sense), what I don’t like is the way a person in full cover gets absolutely nothing out of it when faced against an opponent with Return Fire, because the aggressor steps COMPLETELY out of his/her cover to shoot and then everyone with Return Fire gets to shoot back at him/her. If the game waited until the aggressor was back in cover, then Return Fire would actually present an interesting tactical choice about when to attack people with the ability, now it’s just a sure-fire way to get shot in the head :frowning:


I must admit to wondering about Return Fire - did a mission for one of the factions, and the soldier I attacked hit every single one that shot him 100%. Killing one enemy wounded my entire squad and in some cases quite badly.

A possible fix? A reduction in accuracy on each Return Fire each round maybe?


Yeah, I’m not enjoying this ‘tactic’ too. An enemy can do more damage when it’s not even his turn simply because he has seemingly infinite shots.

Tough, armoured human opponents can take 3-4 hits, even if you’re emptying entire clips straight into their faces, and each time they fire back they take 1/2 to 2/3rds of a soldiers health. One enemy can bring a 4 soldier team to their knees on your own turn :s

They even do it against grenades which you would have thought might be a bit more ‘hit and run’.

Compounding it is the fact they never lose accuracy and can do it when being attacked from behind. It just feels like an artificial obstacle.


Y’all need to plan for the return fire by being strategic in planning who fires first. For example, use the free aim with a sniper to disable an enemy’s arm first — no return fire. Grenades also excel at destroying enemy weapons (don’t know how much this has changed in the release). Other options are attack first with your heavy, if possible. Most importantly, just don’t let them get that close to so many soldiers.

You’ll love return fire when a shotgun assault insta-kills every arthron that attacks him close up.

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I’ve been expecting this thread. It’s the perfect example of the natural disconnect between XCOM & PP. Quite naturally, people are still acting like they’re playing XCOM, where you pop your head round the corner, take a pot shot, then hide behind cover while the enemy takes their turn. Real combat ain’t like that - especially in the age of automatic weapons - and RF is a pretty good simulation of that.

Those of you who are old enough, or interested in history enough, may remember those TV pics from the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, which show US soldiers lifting their M16’s above their heads and randomly spraying the area on the other side of the wall they are cowering behind without ever lifting their heads above the parapet. That’s because the Viet Cong had Return Fire. If you stick your head above the parapet to take an aimed shot, you get it shot off.

Like @jrhebert says above, you have to stop thinking like old XCOM players and start rethinking your tactics based on the way this system works.

Lots of Crabbies with MGs in the area? Use your Sniper from long range to take out their firing arms. Hide behind a wall and lob a grenade or two over the parapet to disable their weapons - word of advice, invest in a Grenade Launcher as soon as you can. Don’t hide on the edge of a corner, unless you want to set up an overwatch killzone - hide one step back from the corner where they can’t see (or shoot) at you, then use Dash or your Blue APs to move into a firing position where you are in the firing line of only 1 or 2 enemies, rather than 5 or 6.

And here’s where Overwatch becomes your friend. Because Crabbies don’t fire back if you hit them with Overwatch - they’re too busy sprinting for the next piece of cover as your bullets spray all around them. [As a bye-the-bye, I do wish there was a ‘Covering Fire’ mechanic in the game, rather like the Heavy’s Covering Fire in LW2, which would trigger against Overwatch, because it is incredibly powerful - I cruised through all of BB5 without losing a single Squaddie by merrily abusing Dash, GLs & Overwatch].

So instead of sticking yourself in the middle of a kill-zone of Crabbies all armed with machine guns, then wondering why you do a Butch & Sundance when you paint a big fat target on your head, think about how the mechanics work and fall back out of their line of fire, set up an Overwatch kill-zone of your own and make them come to you.

Adapt to survive, People. The Crabbies are going to :space_invader:


Now they are not so efficient (bugged).

Important is not if enemy comes close to you but from where you are firing. If enemy is close, then move back and shoot him. Then probably Return Fire won’t happen.

This is mechanic to counter close quarter maniacs and melee characters from attacking too freely. Of course I think that each unit (alien or soldier) should have limit how many times he can use Return Fire per enemy turn.

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This is true, but I still think it makes sense for there to be a limit to return fire. like, maybe only 3 RF shots per enemy per turn?
At this point it sounds like it does break immersion somewhat.


Different sort of immersion.

Each of these games has unrealistic mechanics - XCOM’s 2-step movement system so that you can blunder into a waiting pod of Aliens if you’re not careful is a particularly egregious example.

The trick/challenge/fun is figuring out how to mitigate those mechanics and make them work for you rather than against you.

One of the things that most attracted me about PP is the notion that the Crabbies will evolve to counter my tactics, just as I am evolving to counter theirs. This is just one of those moments.

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Well, it’s something we’ll get used to but on the higher difficulties some early human enemies have tons of armour and do lots of damage which, when combined with limitless, accurate RF makes things seem…odd.

You can use 2-3 guys to shoot someone’s arm before it’s disabled and by that time he has demolished most of your teams health in retaliation :wink: Grenades don’t disable weapons in one hit, meaning you have to take the punishment there too.

On a side note, shotgun assaults killing everyone that approach sounds OP and too ‘hands off’ from a player point of view, but hey, I’ll work within the framework I guess :slight_smile:

Anyway, I’m not super-fussed about this and RF with Pandorans isn’t the situation that irritated me, making me wonder how much of a problem this might be further in the campaign. It’s literally the ability of one human soldier to take on your entire team. Maybe it’s just an early game thing or a freak occurrence.


I think I would still like to play with a limit though.
But by the time I actually play the game I’m sure there will be a mod for it.


Well, I often agree with your point or opinions but I’m gonna have to sadly break with tradition here, sorry Mike :wink:

You mentioned real life and the Viet Cong but then when someone mentioned it doesn’t feel realistic and breaks immersion you say, ‘different sort of immersion’ and talk about unrealistic mechanics being part of the trick/challenge. I’m not sure I follow.

I’ll always place gameplay mechanics against a strict adherence to ‘RL’ but I’m not sure RF is doing a service to either.

From a ‘realism’ POV, you mention Vietcong blindfiring but that’s hardly what people are talking about here. The RF in the game is precise, unlimited and can be done from any angle. You can shoot someone from behind and then, after they’ve turned to RF the attacker, you can shoot them from behind with regards to their new position and they’ll turn around again…and so on and so on. One human opponent did this 3 times despite having 3 soldiers empty clips into his face from 3 different positions. I’d like to see the Viet Cong footage of that! :wink:

As someone said above, it really is Matrix/Gun-kata type stuff and especially feels odd with regards to human enemies.

From a gameplay perspective it feels like a counter-intuitive/cheap increase in danger.

But hey, it’s the game mechanics they’ve implemented and we’ll work around that, like we worked around pod activations :slight_smile: However, like pod activations, it’s not to my tastes. I’ll enjoy the game ‘in-spite’ of it, rather than partly because of it, but that’s fine given everything else the game has to offer.

Anyway, I’m happy you like it and I’m sure it won’t spoil my fun in the long run. I’m just testing the game at the moment really, before they release Ironman mode which I’ll start off playing on a low difficulty. That’s when the game will truly begin so it’s best I learn the games idiosyncrasies in the meantime :slight_smile:


No worries, Mate, we all have our likes & dislikes.

The point I was trying to make is that RF is not as ludicrously unrealistic as some people make out - or no more unrealistic than soldiers taking it in turn to fire at one another in the first place. Yes, it will break immersion for some, but not for others. Frankly, I find a Crabbie stubbornly standing out in the open and persistently shooting at a crate when he’s being shot at from all sides by my Squaddies much more immersion-breaking than RF, but thankfully they seem to have fixed that after the BBs.

My other point, which I think you do agree with, is that it’s actually much more interesting to change your tactics and figure out how to deal with a seemingly OP Squad-killer like this than it is to complain about it and demand that it be nerfed. I subscribed to Phoeni Point because I expected it to be hard, so I sure as hell ain’t complaining when I lose my first Squaddie in ages on my very first Scavenging mission - I’m regrouping and racing to get to that Medkit I need before my second guy bleeds out - and I’ve got a cheesy grin on my face.

Finally this is HARD, and that’s what I signed up for :grin:

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I’m sure they will balance those things eventually. Also, return fire can trigger return fire … leading to a loop that only ends when a shooter runs out of ammo or dies. Pretty funny :smiley:

I still enjoy the game thoroughly.

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That’s interesting. I’ve never encountered that.