Support (EU2012)

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Support Squad
Support

A flexible class focusing on squad defence, medic or fire support. Highly mobile and useful for setting up flank attacks, or defending flanks. Its drawback being the lack of high damage attacks and low critical chance.

Primary Weapon: Assault Rifles, Laser Rifles, Light Plasma Rifles & Plasma Rifles
Secondary Weapon: Pistol, Laser Pistol or Plasma Pistol.

The bonus in stats gained through rank promotions will give the Support a total of +24 Aim points upon reaching Colonel rank, together with a total of +4 HP and +14 Will.

Abilities

Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SUPPORT SMOKEGRENADE.png
Smoke Grenade
Deploy a smoke grenade once per mission. The smoke confers +20 defense to all units, not just allies, and lasts during the enemy turn.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SUPPORT SPRINTER.png
Sprinter
Allows the support to move 3 additional tiles.
SUPPORT COVERINGFIRE.png
Covering Fire
Allows reaction shot to trigger on enemy attacks, not just movement.
EW DLC: The reaction fire now happens before the enemy attacks, not after.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SUPPORT FIELDMEDIC.png
Field Medic
Allows medikits to be used 3 times per battle instead of once.
SUPPORT SMOKEMIRRORS.png
Smoke and Mirrors
Allows 1 additional use of Smoke Grenade each mission.
EW DLC: Allows two extra uses of Smoke Grenade each mission, for a total of three.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SUPPORT REVIVE.png
Revive
Allows Medikits to revive critically wounded Soldiers at 33% of maximum health instead of just stabilizing them.
SUPPORT RIFLESUPPRESSION.png
Rifle Suppression
Fires a barrage that pins down a target, granting reaction fire against it and imposing a 30 penalty to aim.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SUPPORT DENSESMOKE.png
Dense Smoke
Smoke Grenades have increased area of effect and further increase units' Defense by 20.
SUPPORT COMBATDRUGS.png
Combat Drugs
Smoke Grenades now contain powerful stimulants that grant +20 Will and +10% Critical Chance for all units in the cloud. (Also grants +20 Aim Bonus)
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SUPPORT DEEPPOCKETS.png
Deep Pockets
Confers an additional item slot in inventory.
EW DLC: All limited-use items in your inventory receive one extra use.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SUPPORT SAVIOR.png
Savior
Medikits restore 4 more health per use.
SUPPORT SENTINEL.png
Sentinel
Allows two reaction shots during Overwatch, instead of only one.

Tips & Trix

Smoke Grenade

  • Smoke Grenades mean the difference between life and death in the game due to the Defense bonus it provides. Later they can carry Combat Drugs switching their role for an offensive one.
  • Supports can carry an additional Smoke Grenade with Smoke and Mirrors but they'll forgo the additional Medikit usage.
  • Dense Smoke doubles the Defense to +40, giving units on the cloud the equivalent to full cover. If already in full cover the bonus can increase to +80 or more.
  • Combat Drugs is also a great ability specially when setting ambushes to advancing aliens or if you can plan the cloud deployment in advance. It can also be used to counter Will losses coming from Psionic attacks in the late game stage.


Additional Notes

  • Support abilities upgrades are centered on medical, scout and sentry roles.
  • The Field Medic perk dramatically improves the effectiveness of Medikits, tripling the number of uses. Savior further improves Medikit effectiveness, and Revive can allow the Medikit to bring critically wounded soldiers back in to the fight.
  • The Sprinter perk and additional smoke capacity makes for a good scout.
  • Combat Drugs smoke gives an undocumented +20 to aim, and loses its defensive benefit.
  • Support's two other specialized abilities are Rifle Suppression, allowing scouts or sentries to support attacks and Covering Fire (making it the only class that can react to enemy fire on Overwatch).
  • Covering Fire reaction shot will be fired after enemy's shot. In the EW DLC, reaction shot will occur before the enemy's shot and it also gives reaction shot against grenades, etc.
  • Deep Pockets has been changed on the EW DLC, to only giving +1 use to items rather than allowing a 2nd item, making it less powerful than before.


Tactical Advice

Supports aren't sexy in the way that the other classes are, but they do bring a lot more to the table than many realize. Their Aim and HP are both on par with Assaults, giving them comparable offense for the early portion of the game. On top of that, they have great mobility, effective damage mitigation and healing, and get the opportunity to bring 2 Items along for unparalleled customization. It is not by any means a bad decision to bring a pair of Supports on a mission as you expand your squad, and it can be very helpful to do so on long missions such as the Alien Base or lengthy UFO assaults. There are 3 main paths while choosing perks for Support soldiers rather than the common 2 of the other classes. Those can be combined together in several combinations, although the choice is between specialization vs. flexibility.

  • Scout. Sprinter, Smoke and Mirrors and Dense Smoke
  • Tactical Officer: Covering Fire, Rifle Suppression and Sentinel
  • Medic: Field Medic, Revive, Combat Drugs and Savior

Abilities

RANK CORPORAL.png Corporal SUPPORT SPRINTER.png Sprinter vs. Covering Fire SUPPORT COVERINGFIRE.png

Sprinter gives an incredible amount of mobility to set up flanks. While the Assault's Run & Gun accomplishes this as well, Sprinter also helps set up grenades, stuns, or Medikit use.

Covering Fire is essentially an upgrade to the Overwatch ability of your Support to restrict enemy actions. It can be also useful for a Medic since its role is usually more of a sentry unit and Covering Fire grants more Overwatch options. However, this ability is only useful if activated when the soldier can already see an enemy. In this case, it is more effective to simply shoot rather than go on overwatch and shoot on the aliens' turn with a penalty. The usefulness of Covering Fire is therefore a little questionable.

On the Enemy Within DLC, this ability has been changed so that the reaction fire will now happen before the enemy attacks, making it more useful.

RANK SERGEANT.png Sergeant SUPPORT FIELDMEDIC.png Field Medic vs. Smoke and Mirrors SUPPORT SMOKEMIRRORS.png

Field Medic gives you the ability to repair some/all damage to your squad after a major fight or when things go wrong. And they will go wrong. Depending on the opposition level it is normal to see 1-2 Medikits on squads so this skill is one of the most important to have present on any squad.

Smoke and Mirrors is, under ideal circumstances, better than Field Medic, as avoiding shots is preferable to healing (some of) the damage from a shot. The issue with this is that you're playing without a safety net, so if you don't use smokes effectively (or you deploy them correctly and the enemy shots connect anyway, or, as is more often the case in the later parts of the game, the enemy decides to lob a grenade at you), you're not going to find yourself in a good position. A side benefit of choosing Smoke and Mirrors is that you will never feel bad about packing an Arc Thrower, so consider that flexibility when making your decision.

On the Enemy Within DLC, this ability has been improved so that it allows 3 uses of Smoke Grenade instead of 2.

RANK LIEUTENANT.png Lieutenant SUPPORT REVIVE.png Revive vs. Rifle Suppression SUPPORT RIFLESUPPRESSION.png

Rifle Suppression is a great utility skill, keeping your squad safe from return fire and locking enemies in position. While Heavies can get Suppression as well (earlier, and with more ways to augment it), this is a great ability for Supports working as Scouts to have as well since they allow to lock newly seen aliens.

Revive is a useful skill but that can be tricky to use. While it is admittedly nice to be able to bring a soldier back from the almost-dead, if you can't protect the revived soldier from any alien shots then it will be killed and most likely your Medic with it afterwards. And if later the soldier will further require more healing before it can be relied not to die with a single shot. Sometimes it may just be better to stabilize the unit rather than revive him/her.

RANK CAPTAIN.png Captain SUPPORT DENSESMOKE.png Dense Smoke vs. Combat Drugs SUPPORT COMBATDRUGS.png

Defense vs Offense choice.

Dense Smoke is a huge defensive bonus that will make units in any kind of cover nearly untouchable. The catch to this is that after the appearance of Mutons, aliens will start carrying grenades. And any time they decide they don't like their odds to hit, they're liable to hurl a grenade instead. This will do 5 damage to one or more unit and set you up for further pain by destroying your cover. This is a Very Bad Thing. Aside from that quirk, this is, again, a huge defensive bonus.

Combat Drugs provides a powerful boost to your Will and a small one to Crit Chance. And while this isn't listed, it loses its defense bonus and gets +20 Aim bonus instead (this might be a bug, but it works this way now). Since the smoke lasts to next your turn, you can benefit from the Aim bonus twice. Note, however, that the will bonus is NOT applied when dealing with psionics, either offensive or defensive.

RANK COLONEL.png Colonel SUPPORT SAVIOR.png Savior vs. Sentinel SUPPORT SENTINEL.png

Savior synergizes with Field Medic (and Revive) very effectively, and with the Improved Medikit project from the Foundry will give a unit 30HP worth of total healing to hand out. This is a huge boost to your longevity, marking almost double the healing even if you already have the Foundry project. Perhaps more importantly, this 8-10 HP will often counteract an entire shot's worth of damage. After all, healing a soldier from 1 HP to 7HP does you no good if incoming attacks are dealing 9.

Sentinel combines with Covering Fire and Rifle Suppression for a sentry unit that will shoot twice at any aliens that move or fire within its field of vision.

Equipment

Weapons: Generally your Supports will be using your Assault's leftovers. Because they have no ability to increase their damage output, you'll need good weapons to make up for it. Unlike the Heavy, they have very few non-primary-weapon damage or utility, so unless you're planning on using Suppression every turn, you'll need to stay up to speed here.

Armor: Again, probably playing second banana to the Assault. With Sprinter, Supports don't have a huge need for Skeleton Suits during the mid game, and later on a case can be made for Titan Armor. Ghost Armor is still preferable in the long run, but given how expensive it is, Titan is not a poor alternative while you scrape together resources.

Item: If you took Field Medic and/or Savior, you'll be carrying a Medikit. Sprinters are the best choice to use Arc Throwers, and with fast armor the Support will have an easy time getting into range. Chitin Plating helps to counteract the Support's lack of defensive talents, and does a good job of filling in any question marks in the extra slot. Psionic Supports would do well to bring a Mind Shield in their bonus slot, as it gives them very good hit rates on Mind Control. Combat Stims can also be very useful for a Support Scout due to their expanded movement and critical hit prevention.

Gene Mods

Brain Like other classes, the brain mod should depend on the Will. Higher Will Supports can get Neural Feedback, while lower ones should get Neural Dampening.

Eyes Not a huge priority here since Supports aren't your first choice to blow an enemy away. If you've taken Sentinel, Hyper-Reactive Pupils will help with that second Overwatch shot if the first one misses. Depth Perception is never a bad choice for anyone.

Chest Adrenal Neurosympathy can be a good choice on Supports by having your support polish off a nearly dead enemy at the start of your turn then having the rest of your squad go to town. As always, Secondary Heart never hurt anyone. Especially if you forgot to bring a second Medikit and your medic went down, it gives you two more turns to finish the mission before losing your soldier.

Skin Since most other classes probably benefit more from Mimetic Skin then they do Bioelectric Skin, it wouldn't hurt to have Bioelectric Skin on your "stuffed into the middle of the party" supports to keep Seekers at bay and help scout.

Legs Muscle Fiber Density will help your medic move around and your Sprinter get to Civilians on terror missions. Adaptive Bone Marrow can help keep your medic alive without having to waste Medikit uses on him or herself.

Summary

As discussed, you can mix and match to suit personal play style to Scouting, Medic, and Tactics. Field Medic is ideal for early on, when most soldiers are one or two hits away from death anyways, while it become less important as you get better armors and more HP. Smoke & Mirrors and Dense Smoke will help you from getting hit at all, while Combat Drugs may help with not getting fired at at all, by helping other soldiers kill aliens first.

Ghost Armor is easily the best for Support troopers, as the add to move and grappling hook help get into position, Ghosting lets you get right next to aliens, and landing a shot while Ghosting is a guaranteed Critical. Getting Field Medic almost "forces" you to save one inventory slot for the Medikit, but plus Ghost Armor, and the Deep Pocket slot for a S.C.O.P.E., that makes Support pretty damn good at fighting Thin Men during your monthly(ish) Council Missions. Otherwise, Chitin Plating is a good choice, as it gives an extra 4 HP, though the "50% reduction to Melee" may not come up often for them.

Sentinel may help your Support soldiers do more damage, while Savior, plus the Improved Medikit upgrade, means +10 HP per heal. Sentinel and Cover Fire gets two shots to an attacking alien during Overwatch: with laser/plasma rifles, the first shot may destroy the alien's cover, making the second a critical hit (though both may hit, both may miss, etc...).

Psionic Support: Mindfray assist your front-line troops, naturally. Psi Panic may not be good for them, as since Supports are mid-range fighters, a Panic Attack will probably make the affected alien attack your forward Assault or Heavy, so again, Psi Inspiration as a support role is probably best.

Mind Control (MC) or Telekinetic Field (TK) is again, per preference: TK Field is good as, if you didn't get Smoke and Mirrors for that second Smoke Grenade, or got Combat Drugs (with reportedly loses the +20 Defense, while Dense Smoke makes it a +40 Defense item), acts as a regenerating defense field, and also, unlike the smoke grenades, doesn't help any aliens that happen to be in range of the effect. The downside is that TK field lasts 1 turn, while Smoke Grenades last two, but as your mid-line soldier, a TK Support might cover your entire squad. Mind Control helps 'add a volunteer' for your squad, but probably only the forward most alien will be in range, which if MCed, will almost always be killed by its former squad mates behind it.

That being said, Supports often make for good, safe choices for the Volunteer, since they don't usually rely as much on the quirks of their end game armor like other classes do (eg: Shotgun Assaults using Ghost Armor to flatten an enemy, or Squadsight Snipers using Archangel Armor to hover out of reach). As a result, they won't be as seriously handicapped for the final mission when they're forced into the (when compared to other end game armors) lackluster Psi Armor. As an added bonus, with the benefit of Deep Pockets, you can give them Mind Shields without, again, seriously hampering them.

A word of caution: say you equip your Psionic (Mind Fray, Inspire/Panic, TK/MC) Support (Smoke Grenade, Supression/Revive) with an Arc Thrower (Stun, and with Hack and Repair Foundry upgrades) & Medikit (Heal and Stabilize), in Ghost Armor (with invisibility and the Grappling Hook). You might find that, when in cover (Hunker Down) and not with a full clip of ammo (Reload), that the additional command tiles will 'overflow', and you won't be able to get at several abilities. In short: don't get greedy.

Enemy Within DLC Supplemental:

Supports may benefit the most from EW's changes, from Gene Mods and Medals making them more sure hitters, to Training Roulette potentially giving them more damage-boosting abilities, such as the Heavy's HEAT Ammo (+50% against mechanical enemies), or a Sniper's Gunslinger (+2 to Pistol).

The more curious change is that of Tactical Rigging; before, the second item slot being exclusive to Support is now an across-the-board Foundry Project, their own Deep Pockets actually work in sympathy to this, giving one more use to limited-use items. This makes them a very flexible potential "Carry" unit: especially with Sprinter, you'll probably be most inclined to put the Arc Thrower on your Supports. With Training Roulette, you may not get the Medikit abilities anymore, so be wary if you usually assign them as Medics with this option on. If they happen to get Grenadier + Deep Pockets, you may end up with your Scout carrying up to 6 grenades (and with Alien Grenades, that means 30 spreadable points of damage that also take out an enemy's cover).

As Supports tend to be played as mid-range fighters, Adrenal Neurosympathy may be the best choice for them: when they do score a kill (say, with a Mind Fray to pick off a weakened enemy), they're the most likely to be in the place to affect the whole squad, thus letting your team to slaughter Alien and EXALT forces. With Hyper-Reactive Pupils compensating after any misses, the Sentinel/Covering Fire combo can make Supports into a useful point-defence unit. If any soldier has Adaptive Bone Marrow healing their base HP, be sure to let them regenerate it in full before using your Medic Support to restore their Armor HP.

See Also

EU2012 Badge XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): XCOM Units
Soldiers:CLASS ASSAULT.png AssaultCLASS HEAVY.png HeavyCLASS SNIPER.png SniperCLASS SUPPORT.png SupportCLASS PSIONIC.png PsionicCLASS MECH.png MEC Trooper (EW DLC)
S.H.I.Vs:S.H.I.V.Alloy S.H.I.V.Hover S.H.I.V.
Attributes:ClassesClass BuildsAbilitiesStatsNicknamesGene Mods (EW DLC)Medals (EW DLC)
Loadout:WeaponsArmorEquipmentMEC Suit (EW DLC)
Barracks:Officer Training SchoolPsi LabMemorialGenetics Lab (EW DLC)Cybernetics Lab (EW DLC)
Other: VolunteerHeroesZhang (Slingshot DLC)Annette (EW DLC)Covert Operative (EW DLC)Training Roulette (EW DLC)