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Author Topic: Flashbang tactics  (Read 17467 times)

Offline anonymissimus

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Flashbang tactics
« on: August 26, 2014, 10:21:11 pm »
So, I see them recommended often but I almost never use them:
-There is no way to know whether it worked.
-It does not work against the most dangerous enemy - Sheevar. (Is this a bug ? Testing situations are rare, but I had it at least once that I was sure it should have worked.) I see them working against Taman and Ortnoks in 2.5.
-How near does it have to explode ? In any case, it needs to explode in the target unit's cone of vision or it will not work.
-The throwing unit mostly should or needs to move to the target unit to match the previous point, which should be expected to trigger reaction fire together with the time units needed for throwing/rolling. Often enemies are just too far away.

So, it's only useful in an emergency. If possible, always use smoke which has 100% chance of eliminating reaction fire.

Additionally, it seems to work against civilians but not against Phalanx soldiers, which doesn't make sense. (Is this a bug ?)

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 06:12:17 am »
Well they *should* be working against shevaars (It all is very weird as shevaar supposedly don't have eyes and see in IR, but of course that's just fluff, they actually see the same as any other unit)
Something that always has bothered me is that only the 'flash' part seems to be working while the 'bang' part isn't (which is btw the way the fluff explains it working on shevaars) I've been toying with the idea of making them work partially even if the hit out of the target field of view... but maybe they'd end being overpowered that way? (Well, at least that would be an alternative to smoke spamming, I guess? :-\ )

Your team mates being unaffected is by design... I suppose that your soldier is shouting 'flashbaaaang' (or whatever military types usually shout for those occasions) and your well trained soldiers can prepare for it

Offline Seerorin

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 08:34:50 am »
The grenade works exactly like in reality. At least from what I have experienced. One of my friends is military personel. I was able to get into a demonstration. Flashbangs do rock... Even if you don't get directly hit by the flash. That's not even so bad, or at least not the way you expect it. It's not makes you fully blind. But it's just feels like you get hit really hard on the head. Some people started to vomit after a not so near flashbang explosion. Even trained soldiers was just able to get on the ground fast. You can't get directions and hard to move I fell two times in ten minutes. Wich is pretty dumb thing to do on plain terrian. My hands where shaking. Trained soldiers needed about 5-10 minutes to fully get out of the effect. So I don't even know wich is worse, de sound or the flash. They say that it's simply wrecks your ability to balance yourself. I can say that is true. It's pretty damn strange to even rise one of your hands cause that little movement can cause you lose balance.

Sorry for bad english!

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 10:41:23 am »
I use them for a couple of scenarios, which tend to fall into the same general grouping - when an alien stops in the open, in view in range of at least 2 of my soldiers who do not need to move to flashbang them (to avoid getting reaction fire via moving), and appears to crouch or at least not fire as much as I would expect - this suggests they have saved some TU's. That, or either if I spot an alien through a wall/floor with IR and have enough TU to round the corner/stairs and kill it safely if I can ensure it will not shoot back. All of my soldiers carry a flashbang in their belt, so taking it out and rolling/throwing it costs less than 8 TU's, meaning it will not cause reaction fire for anything other than a plasma pistol, which after the first few months tend not to be used by aliens in combat save for a few rare possibilities. The alien can then be gunned down with ease. I try and get them as close to the feet of the alien, or closest alien in the case of a group. I have enjoyed some success with this method, especially with Taman. I don't bother against HoverNets or Bloodspiders (robotic enemies, HN NEVER reaction fire, bloodspiders being melee only). I have less experience using it against Ortnoks due to seeing far fewer of them. With Sheevar, I suspect they have enough TU's to still have enough remaining to get off one reaction shot after a flashbang if they saved enough the previous turn, but someone who knows the games internals more than me could probably shed light there. As for not knowing if it works, I don't mind that - I like the ambiguity of there still being a risk, but I can see why some may like some kind of "dazed" status indicator.

Oh, and this is with the 2.5 release version.

Offline Internecivus

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 11:53:15 am »
Well they *should* be working against shevaars (It all is very weird as shevaar supposedly don't have eyes and see in IR, but of course that's just fluff, they actually see the same as any other unit)

From UFOpedia:

Quote
Also, although blind, Shevaar possess balance organs that are affected by the sound of our flashbang. It will achieve similar results on them as it does on humans.

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 08:15:32 pm »
so taking it out and rolling/throwing it costs less than 8 TU's, meaning it will not cause reaction fire for anything other than a plasma pistol, which after the first few months tend not to be used by aliens in combat save for a few rare possibilities.
...
Oh, and this is with the 2.5 release version.
Taking out + throwing/rolling needs 8 time units. I already got reaction-shot by a plasma rifle when consuming just 8 TUs so I have to conclude I should get reaction-shot too then. Unless you let them start with the grenade in hands.
It's safer to "record" enemy positions (in memory), throw a smoke grenade into the line of sight by some unit currently out of enemy sight, and kill through or out of smoke, which will protect from the next enemy turn too.

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 12:02:31 am »
Taking out + throwing/rolling needs 8 time units. I already got reaction-shot by a plasma rifle when consuming just 8 TUs so I have to conclude I should get reaction-shot too then. Unless you let them start with the grenade in hands.
It's safer to "record" enemy positions (in memory), throw a smoke grenade into the line of sight by some unit currently out of enemy sight, and kill through or out of smoke, which will protect from the next enemy turn too.

I admit I am not 100% certain about my sums here - I thought that it was 1 TU for out of belt, and 6 TU's for lobbing. I might be missing something.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 05:16:47 am »
@Internecivus: I know what the UFOpaedia says, that's the weird thing — the falshbang still has to land in the shevaars 'field of view' towork... despite they supposedly not having eyes!

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 06:37:31 pm »
the falshbang still has to land in the shevaars 'field of view' towork... despite they supposedly not having eyes!
Well if they see in infrared they still need some kind of eyes. Infrared electromagnetic waves behave mostly the same way as visible ones, just that they're not visible. Look at infrared cameras. Some animals can see infrared.
Thus they also must have a field of view. And they don't work, as I said.

Offline Internecivus

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 01:08:00 pm »
Btw, inspected team_aliens.ufo

For shevaar, bloodspider,  bloodspider_adv, hovernet, hovernet_adv we have "shock 0".

"Shock" is the damage type caused by flashbang. I'd expect that at least for robotic aliens flashbang won't work and thus to be equal 999, just like for UGVs.

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 04:40:08 pm »
Did some sums, and Taking a flashbang from belt and lobbing it takes 8 TU's. Did some testing in skirmish mode, and in around 50 flashbang lobs at Taman armed with everything from pistols up to particle rifles I never got a single instance of reaction fire back, either the instant before my trooper threw the flashbang, or after it was lobbed. It was also pretty clear that if an alien had saved some TU's (not the easiest thing to determine unless you can observe thier entire move), the flashbang wiped the reserved TU's out. I did not expect to get any fire after the lob, but expected to get some fire before the lob, just as how reaction fire occurs before you shoot at an alien. Could this be down do how events are queued up and executed within a turn? Things seemed very, very similar for 25 tests on Ortnoks.

Repeated with about 25 attempts at a Sheevar, and things were inconclusive. I never had any reaction fire returned at me by expending the 8 TU's in the equipping and throwing of a flashbang, but as above it was hard to tell if the alien had used all its TU's or not. In any case, the Sheevar appeared to have a standard amount of TU's the turn following being exposed to a flashbang. Tests with Bloodspiders and Hovernets showed a similar pattern the the Sheevar, as supported by the .ufo file info above. I am not 100% sure that relates to flashbang though, and could be related to the electrolaser, most possibly how much resistance each has to electrical damage.

Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to play as Sheevar and have flashbangs thrown at me, but the AI was reluctant to do that. Lobbing them at my own alien troops did nothing, unsurprisingly.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2014, 04:58:20 am »
Well if they see in infrared they still need some kind of eyes.
<snip>
Thus they also must have a field of view. And they don't work, as I said.
IIRC the lore says their IR sensors are inside their skulls, but most importantly it says it is the sound that affects them and currently no one shevaar or otherwise is affected by the flashbang's *sound*....
Anyway, since its only a minor issue and I seem to be the only one bothered by it... let's forget about it for now
And they do work in master... I tested:

Btw, inspected team_aliens.ufo

For shevaar, bloodspider,  bloodspider_adv, hovernet, hovernet_adv we have "shock 0".

"Shock" is the damage type caused by flashbang. I'd expect that at least for robotic aliens flashbang won't work and thus to be equal 999, just like for UGVs.

All that doesn't even matter! Internally the game sets the damage of the flashbang to 0 in G_SplashDamage (no, it's not a typo that's a zero) armour and natural resistance doesn't matter, despite that, anyone hit by a 'shock' attack which isn't of the same team as the attacker and isn't a robot (which are filtered in G_Damage) receives the full effect: reaction fire is disabled including un-reserving TUs, the actor's TUs are set to zero and finally the 'dazed' status is added, which prevents them from receiving TUs their next turn... those mechanics have been in place since 2.3 IIRC
Also in master I can pin shevaars in place for multiple turns by continually lobbing flashbangs at them... the only thing I can think of: maybe the shevaar were mistakenly classified as robots in 2.5?

Did some sums, and Taking a flashbang from belt and lobbing it takes 8 TU's. Did some testing in skirmish mode, and in around 50 flashbang lobs at Taman armed with everything from pistols up to particle rifles I never got a single instance of reaction fire back, either the instant before my trooper threw the flashbang, or after it was lobbed.
I don't know the details of your tests but what I know is: Before the throw they have used the TUs needed to grab the flashbang, buuut RF is only checked on moving and shooting (or throwing) so (un)crouching and inventory management won't count to trigger RF unless you have already moved or used a weapon in the alien's sight this turn (which causes the alien to add your soldier to its RF targets list, and even then, RF won't trigger until you try to move or shoot again....), after the throw — if successfully flashed— the aliens no longer have neither RF enabled or the TUs to fire...

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 03:50:39 pm »
Quote
Before the throw they have used the TUs needed to grab the flashbang, buuut RF is only checked on moving and shooting (or throwing) so (un)crouching and inventory management won't count to trigger RF unless you have already moved or used a weapon in the alien's sight this turn (which causes the alien to add your soldier to its RF targets list, and even then, RF won't trigger until you try to move or shoot again....), after the throw — if successfully flashed— the aliens no longer have neither RF enabled or the TUs to fire...

This is valuable info - thanks!

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2014, 01:20:56 am »
Well it doesn't seem they need to explode very precisely or close to the target. I just had a situation where it obviously did work and the distance to the explosion was 4 fields.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Flashbang tactics
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2014, 02:57:48 am »
This is valuable info - thanks!
You're welcome :)
Here's another info bit, I don't think it's very useful (and probably you already know) but... the AI only enables RF at the start of battle, flashbangs disable RF, so if a flashed alien somehow manages to survive the two turns or you using it as target practice, it won't RF anymore...
Of course it still can move and fire normally on the alien turn, and has the TU that would have been reserved for RF available to do so, so you really are better killing it while dazed

Well it doesn't seem they need to explode very precisely or close to the target. I just had a situation where it obviously did work and the distance to the explosion was 4 fields.
Flashbangs have a splash radius of 5, it is shown while aiming, isn't it (of course grenades have a tendency to bounce away form the impact point), the view field for all actors is 120º IIRC

BTW for those playing on master: I just made some changes that will make a hurt sound play for anyone hit by splash damage (like the ones played when being hit by a direct shot) including successfully flashbanged units, feedback welcome on this regard
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 03:03:34 am by DarkRain »