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Author Topic: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens  (Read 8956 times)

Offline dfscott

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Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« on: July 19, 2010, 05:41:46 pm »
In the early months, I had good luck with a combination of Riot Shotguns/Flamers for close work, Laser Rifles & GL for Mid-range, and Sniper Rifles/RL for long range.

With the aliens moving up to medium armor, I've dumped the Shotguns in favor of a Plasma Blade/Plasma Pistol combo.  The Laser Rifles, while requiring a lot of hits to take down an alien, are fast and accurate enough that I feel they're still worth keeping for mid-range work.  And the GL when fitted with PB Grenades is simply devastating.  However, I'm stumped on what to do for long-range fire.  The RL is still generally effective, but the Sniper Rifle just is doing enough damage for the TUs required.  I tried the Bolter, but it's even worse at long range.  As a result, I've currently removed my sniper-skilled soldiers from all my teams, but I don't want to fire them completely if there is a better sniper rifle down the road since so many of them have gotten good. 

So, is there a more effective sniper-type weapon that can be eventually researched (maybe the coilgun)?   

And also, if I *do* fire them, will they still be available later for re-hire once I find a better weapon or is there a chance that they won't be available anymore?

Offline Lew Yard

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 08:34:28 am »
Coilgun's "Aimed Shot" mode does use the sniper skill.  Looking at the data files in the SVN trunk, it has significantly higher per-hit damage and marginally better range, and the same TU usages as the sniper rifle.  The Needlers that you need to recover before researching this also appear to have sniper modes with much longer range, but larger spread values and less damage per shot vs. the coilgun.

Offline dfscott

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 03:33:40 pm »
Coilgun's "Aimed Shot" mode does use the sniper skill.  Looking at the data files in the SVN trunk, it has significantly higher per-hit damage and marginally better range, and the same TU usages as the sniper rifle.  The Needlers that you need to recover before researching this also appear to have sniper modes with much longer range, but larger spread values and less damage per shot vs. the coilgun.


That's kind of what I thought.  It sounds like until the coilgun is available, there's not really a decent alternative.

I think for now I'm firing my snipers (they can go sign up for Top Shot) until I'm able to get coilguns...

Offline Lew Yard

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 05:37:11 am »
Got the coilguns lately.  I'm not actually convinced that it's necessarily a great idea to use them instead of the sniper rifle.

Pros -
- Much higher damage; two hits should pretty much guarantee a kill on normal difficulty levels IIRC, one hit will frequently be a kill.

- Higher 'throughwall' setting so should penetrate further -- but this reduces damage significantly, and this might actually be a con, because by the time you build your first coilgun the aliens are likely to be wearing armor that heavily mitigates post-throughwall damage, and the civillians OTOH are still fragile.


Tie -
- Exact same accuracy -- same spread value uncrouched, same spread value crouched.  The range might be larger (can't recall), but realistically, the sniper rifle is not likely to ever give you an out-of-range error anyway, so any extra range is pretty much a wash on any remotely normal map.

- Same TU cost of 18 for an aimed shot, despite the theoretically present holographic scope.



Con -

- Magazines have small capacity and huge size.  The /maximum/ number of shots a single soldier can bring into battle is 10:  two rounds in the gun, two two-round reloads in the backpack (taking up most of it!), one two-round reload in the holster (takes up all of it), and one two-round reload in the left hand (which must be dropped before firing).  This leaves no room for anything as large as a medkit or plasma pistol.  So you make your way to your shooting position, drop the reload from the left hand, and maintain really extreme fire discipline, unless you're willing to designate another soldier as ammo mule.

- This also means that you'll need to spend more TUs reloading per shot actually fired.

- Magazines can't be bought, at least early (haven't run very much past my first manufacturing run).

In contrast, somebody using the sniper rifle can easily carry 25+ rounds, a sidearm (and possibly a reload), and a medikit.  Because you can carry more rounds and because they're extremely cheap to replace after the battle, somebody with the SR-1 can take chancier shots.  A DF cartridge packs two three-round heavy laser bursts in a much smaller package -- a burst isn't nearly as lethal as the coilgun vs. medium armor, but you can carry quite a few more DF cartridges than coilgun magazines.


So in a wide-open map they're pretty dangerous, but if there's long-range sniper duels where both sides have significant cover and hit odds are looking more like 25% than 85%, the SR-1 or heavy laser might be more reasonable (at least against aliens; there's something to be said for one-shot kills if you're doing multiplayer against humans, because while dropping an alien sniper-wannabe with a Needler to below 50% health means that he'll be shooting wider, a human opponent will presumably pull back for medikit use if possible when wounded.  A coilgun hit is much less likely to leave anything left to heal). 

The snap shot is also still extremely lethal at close ranges, where an SR-1 might not kill fast enough, but now we're talking more assault role rather than a designated marksman on overwatch.

Offline Sarin

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 03:12:06 pm »
Ammo capacity might look frightening at first, but isn't really so bad...my two snipers carry total of 6 rounds each, and have never ever used all of them. I never use them as RF weapons, lasers are much better for that.

Offline dfscott

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 09:10:47 pm »
Ammo capacity might look frightening at first, but isn't really so bad...my two snipers carry total of 6 rounds each, and have never ever used all of them. I never use them as RF weapons, lasers are much better for that.

I'm not worried about ammo.  I think I've reloaded a sniper rifle a grand total of one time in the ten months of game time I've been playing.  Laser rifles and Plasma Pistols go through ammo like crazy, but most of the other weapons I only carry one reload and save the rest of the space for a medkits, plus a couple of grenades and plasma blades.

I'm hitting my twelfth month now so I'm hoping to see needlers soon...

Offline Thrashard96

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 09:17:06 pm »
Why are the PHALANX soldiers so weak even after the taman autopsy??? They should learn the weak spots and so on... It's kind of lame...

Offline nagy.m.bear

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 07:29:54 pm »
I think there are no weaknesses for aliens, because of the lack of ammo types. I am no programmer, but I think the damage system would be easier to modify than graphics, hope it will be done in the future. I am in 2084 September in the game, but still use snipers. Researched the electro-magnetic rifle, but it takes ages to produce any weapon in the game, and they are really expensive too. Also none of my snipers have a skill above 40, but my soldiers are still not dropping like flies on standard difficulty. (I am playing the 2.3 version)

Offline Lew Yard

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 01:10:49 am »
*shrug*  There are quite a few damage types (e.g. lasers alone have light/medium/heavy types), and each {armor type, damage type} pair has a specific damage reduction value (in absolute terms, not relative... and per shot).  Hence one could model something like a low-calibre high-velocity tungsten or DU-core round with excellent armor penetration but low damage; you'd give it a low damage value, paired with a damage type against which armor provided little protection.

What isn't implemented but is presumably planned are per-species damage modifiers.   Right now the effect -could- be built into the armor system by producing species-specific armors where the damage reduction from the armor would actually encompass both, but this would proliferate item types and wouldn't fit the lore.

Re: ammo, I tend to burn through much more, since I tend to have my designated marksmen engage from extreme long range, where their hit probabilities can be quite low but those of the aliens are even worse, and the likelihood of a soldier being hit twice in the same round (and thus far much more likely to be killed outright) are close to zero.  It's quite inefficient in time and ammunition, but seems to work fairly well.  I'm tempted to use the coilgun in my assault elements (i.e. at close range, it becomes imperative to kill reliably and extremely quickly, because even the plasma pistol is dangerous at close range, and there's always the risk of something worse like a plasma grenade.  Might replace a laser rifle.)

 

Offline GPS51

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 01:36:16 am »
I enjoy using many different weapons such as sniper/rpg :D/grenade launcher/electric rifle/heavy laser/uzi :D/flamer. I like to have atleast 3-5 weapons that can snipe from afar. I find that using the grenade launcher paired with a sniping weapon makes a great combo because the concussions weaken and then the snipers can have a field day.

Offline Alienator

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 10:58:35 am »
Heavy laser works much better as a sniper weapon than the sniper rifle. The only problem is that is uses the "heavy" skill instead so you need different specialists.

Offline MikeKle

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 05:40:33 pm »
it's for 2.4, no idea how it is realised in 2.3,,.

Actually coilgun is very deadly, as deadly as plasma sword but with RANGE. usually you do not need to carry more than 10 shots. Becouse one shot - one kill and there no more than 8 aliens to kill.

Its extremely usefull for reaction fire inside the UFO, Becouse on short ranges it's just pwns ;)

Offline Sarin

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Re: Snipers vs Medium-armored aliens
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2010, 01:32:00 am »
On standard diff, against Ortnoks with medium armor, not even Coilgun can score a one hit kill.

And don't fire your snipers just yet. Take a good look if they can be reeducated on another weapon type. If they have high speed and mind, go for it. Later they can pick up sniping again and don't fall behind in stats compared to other team members.