Algariept's Guide to Soldier Classes

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Long War Main Page

In a bid to bring more diverse content on the wiki some players have started writing about their own experience and how does Long War interact with their tactical genius. The main venue for discussing strategy remains on the Nexus forums [[1]].

Who is Algariept?

I'm just a guy who probably enjoys theory crafting more than playing the actual game. I've been a long time fan of strategy games. When I first played Xcom I had a blast, but I dropped it soon after completion due to repetitiveness.

Long War has completely revived the game for me, I've clocked over 250 hours on the mod and have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Assault

Briefing

Perks

Assault Builds

Debriefing

Infantry

Briefing

Perks

Infantry Builds

Debriefing

Rocketeer

Briefing

Perks

Rocketeer Builds

Debriefing

Gunner

Briefing

Perks

Gunner Builds

Debriefing

Sniper

Briefing

Perks

Sniper Builds

Debriefing

Scout

Briefing

Perks

Scout Builds

Debriefing

Medic

Briefing

Tell me guys and gals, which is the item in Xcom that you dislike the most? For me it’d have to be the med kit. The way I see things is that if you have to use a med kit, then your soldier got shot and now he is spending quality time in the Knife and Gun Club… or a Thin man tried to give him an STD. In any case something undesirable has happened and now you have to patch things up.

When I played vanilla for the first time, every shot my soldiers took meant an automatic failure of the mission and I’d always restart. Of course now I can’t do that with the Iron man option activated, so I’ve learned to accept that my soldiers will in fact get wounded and sometimes killed. Because there is always that one alien that just doesn’t care about your smoke grenade, high cover and rabbit foot. I still don’t like taking hits though, so it comes as a surprise that I actually like Medics and I don’t really have a logical explanation as to why. It’s not due to the grenades – Engineers can throw them further, the Infantry can still overwatch better and as previously stated I dislike using med kits and therefore dislike picking perks that augment them.

Maybe I like the +1 mobility and the extra med kit that comes with the specialist, can’t say for sure. Well maybe you can tell me, why you like the Medic, while we look at some perks.

Perks

Lance Corporal

Covering Fire
Covering Fire

Some people will claim that the Medic has a bit of an existential crisis goin’ on. The class tries to be something between an overwatch Infantry and a support grenade Engineer, sprinkled with some originality. Funny thing is he is quite good at overwatching. If it wasn’t for the lack of LNL, I’d say he’s as good as the Infantry well there is also Light ‘em Up but who’s counting. You’ve probably noticed a trend with the overwatch perks for this soldier – they all give bonus Aim. The Infantry has a naturally higher aim progression than the Medic, so in order for the fellow clad in white to keep up, the lad has to cheat on the side.

Steadfast
Steadfast

Medics are a top choice for psionic training. Unfortunately, they are one of the classes with the deepest pockets, so they generally have to lug around all the special grenades that their “sleeping” brethren can’t use, ‘cause they get migraines or whatever. If you want to help your man out, grab him this perk for the extra Will power, unless you are like me and you find it hilarious when a master Psion panics from a sectoid panic attack.

Revive
Revive

Ah, yes, welcome to the specialty of Medics – fixing fk ups. Now, let’s be honest with each other. You are probably going to use this perk up to 3 times for the entire span of the war, but you are still going to want to take it. Oh, you wanna know why? Well it’s simple, because those three revives are probably going to save your campaign. You see, deaths will happen, no matter how good you are at the game… well unless you are fast with the F5+F9. However, sometimes your soldier gets decked at the beginning of the mission and then you are left with 1 soldier less even if he isn’t flat out dead and you manage to stabilize him. Sure, you could always bail, but then the aliens get a fresh body for their pokey pleasures. Those are something that you want to reserve for yourself. Seriously, don’t abandon your dead, it’s bad form.

P.S.: Has someone revived a fallen MEC with this? If you have how does that actually work? Does the spray contain coughs from the dwarves of Moria?!


Corporal


Opportunist
Opportunist

You should know the drill by now. Pick it if you are building overwatch. Ignore it if you aren’t. Carve a line in your desk for every overwatch shot your Medic has missed. You should run out of desk in about 10 - 15 missions.

Smoke Grenade
Smoke Grenade

I like when I get free stuff and this perk is just that. With it you can smoke an ally and run for the hills, all on the same turn. Sure, you can always equip it in a slot, but your Gunners and Snipers, and Assault will soon start to ask for their scopes, alloy plates and special bullets. It will be like watching a dog refuse the vet. Just get a smoke grenade, seriously, it’s free.

Paramedic
Paramedic

Another rank, another unique ability that you just don’t want to find yourself using, except you should consider picking it for the same reasons as Revive – for that one moment when all hell breaks loose.


Sergeant


Suppression
Suppression

Don’t like eating grenades and acidic clouds – pick Suppression. Your Gunner will run out of ammo at some point, believe me and if the aliens aren’t dead then some other bloke should pick up the slack or you better start praying.

Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors

More free stuff, even your free stuff get free stuff. Why wouldn’t you want this perk? Do you enjoy having only one ghost grenade per mission? Those things cost like three rifles a piece.

Field Surgeon
Field Surgeon

When I saw this perk my reaction was something along the lines of: “HOLY MOLY, I must have it.” So I put it on my second generation Angel, nicknamed “Kitty” and let me tell you her funny little story. The squad was stacking out a rooftop waiting for the aliens to show up, when about 7 more aliens than the desired amount waltzed in our sights and suddenly it was a party. Of course, because I’m a G, I forgot that flashbanged Floaters have no problems flying upwards, so suddenly my Medic got two close range, flank shots from disoriented targets, through dense smoke. By some unknown miracle they left her on 1 HP. Of course she panicked and after the rest of the squad dealt with the floaters, two of my men had to sit in the open so the drones that followed didn’t decide to shoot her. Fortunately no one died and in fact no one else got shot beyond armor buffer. Unfortunately, at the debriefing screen I was reminded that Field Surgeon is in fact a chance based perk and my cat got stuck with the vet for 33 days. My third generation Angel did some work with the perk in the latter month, but the first time was… well, bloody.


Tech Sergeant


Ranger
Ranger

Pick it up if you are building overwatch, ignore it if you hate Ranger. Proceed to pester JL and the rest of the devs over at the feedback thread. Just don’t tell them I sent you. : D

Dense Smoke
Dense Smoke

By the immortal words of Beaglerush – “dank” smoke is awesome. I used to prefer the other Smoke screen upgrade, but after too many alien grenades to the face, I figured that it was better to spread out my squad and still be able to smoke them.

Combat Drugs
Combat Drugs

The other reason why I stopped taking this perk was that I actually never used it offensively. I don’t know why, my brain just refused to incorporate that tactic. If you can adapt, however, the drugs will do you a lot of good. (In Xcom people, not in real life!) This upgrade lacks in defensive power when compared to the dank smoke but it does make it up in offense. Remember to buy your troops some snacks, they will be quite hungry when they stop being high as kites.


Gunnery Sergeant


Ready For Anything
Ready For Anything

The perk doesn’t really match up to Light ‘em Up, but it does a decent job and you want to deal with the aliens proactively instead of relying on overwatch. Any shot can miss and you don’t want to figure that out when a cyberdisk is about to get spiny with his grenade.

Vital Point Targeting
Vital Point Targeting

It’s actually kinda funny how bad the Medics are at shooting. Seriously, unless you are packing a scope and going for the overwatch build, they can’t aim at all. How the hell do this people perform surgeries!? I’m liable to lose an eye if one of these guys has to remove a slug from my leg. Still, VPT can give you a lot of fire power if you are willing to sacrifice Ready for anyting.

Sprinter
Sprinter

For the times where you don’t want your soldiers to watch their colleague bleed out at their feet, because they were too fat to get to him in time. This perk also lets you bring that ghost grenade that much faster.


Master Sergeant


Sentinel
Sentinel

More overwatches for when the 8+ pods start rolling in. Trust me, you will need all the fire power you can get. Just don’t mix this with Suppression. You are going to run out of bullets, really quickly. The perk also has hidden component that adds a -50% to your desk durability modifier.

Packmaster
Packmaster

The all mighty master of free stuff. With this perk, it’s just a matter of time before your troops figure out how to pull rabbits out of their helmets. Packmaster is awesome for grenade builds and less so for others, unless you have figured out how to duck tape two scopes on a single rifle. If you have, call me.

Savior
Savior

Hey, dawg, I heard you like heals, so I… yeah, no, get outta here Drake. This perk is way more impressive in the hands of the Guardian and his Restorative Mist. You can huddle your squad and watch them cuddle under the healing rain. It’s kind of weird when you think about it…


Medic Builds

Seraph


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Revive
Smoke Grenade
Smoke and Mirrors
Dense Smoke
Sprinter
Packmaster
Build Overview
Stat Boosts N/A
Strengths Crowd Control, Mobility, Utility
Weaknesses Fragile, Accuracy
Preferred battle sites Any
Most common Loadout Assault Rifle, Pistol, Flashbang/Psi-flashbang, Smoke greande/Ghost grenade/chem grenade
Power Ranks -
Description This is the best route is best suited for a Psi-Medic. The utility grenades can help you greatly with stalling tactics when fighting multiple enemies. They are also required when trying to subdue aliens for captures, less so in later portions of the game where you have access to psi-panic and the flamethrower. The Revive is an extra trick up the sleeve of the Seraph, as the build doesn’t require any of the initial perks, so all of them could be technically used.
Strategic Analysis -


Angel


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Covering Fire
Opportunist
Field Surgeon
Ranger
Ready For Anything
Sentinel
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +10 Aim
Strengths Accuracy, Utility
Weaknesses Fragile
Preferred battle sites Any
Most common Loadout Assault Rifle/Crabine/Battle Rifle, Pistol, Med kit/Damage item, Scope
Power Ranks -
Description This Medic excels at babysitting lower ranked soldiers. Even if they get shot, with a bit of luck they might not have to sit in the infirmary. Consider promoting this soldier to an Officer, so you can have a proper excuse for bringing him/her to every mission.
Strategic Analysis -


True Medic


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Revive
Paramedic
Field Surgeon
Any
Sprinter
Savior
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +3 Will
Strengths Healing
Weaknesses Accuracy, Fragile
Preferred battle sites Swarming Abductions, Base assaults, Large UFOs
Most common Loadout Assault Rifle, Pistol, Med kit, Med kit
Power Ranks -
Description This soldier is all about the healing. The build incorporates all of the Medic’s unique abilities. Just don’t expect much beyond that.
Strategic Analysis -


Debriefing

As you’ve probably noticed, most of the Medic’s builds are not tied to a specific theater of war. It’s recommended to always have one in your fielded squad, but you won’t automatically lose the mission if you don’t bring one.

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Engineer

Briefing

The Engineer is perhaps the most conservatory class in the entire Xcom. Every class build will depend heavily on the player’s preference but where the Infantry has two defined paths – the Aggressive approach and the Defensive one, the Engineer has at least 3 – Capture, Damage grenades and Support grenades. The possibilities for hybrid builds are also quite a few. The Engineer brings a unique perk to the table – Repair. Unlike Disabling Shot, this perk cannot be replicated by any craftable equipment. There is a perk that can somewhat substitute it – the Packmaster, but its efficiency when augmenting the Arc Thrower is definitely lower.

Perks

Lance Corporal

Rapid Reaction
Rapid Reaction

Engineers have a poor aim progression that can be augmented by the passive bonuses of specific perks. It will take a while for an Engineer to become reliable when building towards overwatch. There are some creative ways to use Rapid Reaction very early into a campaign, e.g. if you manage to plant a shotgun Engineer in the back lines of your enemies, two close range shotgun shots could make short work of two early game enemies. A carbine could also be used to assist a low rank Engineer. Just keep in mind that if you equip too many soldiers with carbines, your overall squad weapon damage will suffer. Unfortunately, the Engineer does not have access to Opportunist or Covering Fire, making the class considerably less adequate at overwatching.

Smoke Grenade
Smoke Grenade

This type of support grenade can be useful in basically every mission. However, it is more of a last resort than a tool that you should rely on constantly. In later months, the smoke grenade can put your squad in a sticky situation. If the defense of your entire squad is amplified and especially if they are sticking closer to each other, aliens and Exalt are much more prone to use grenades. With the vastly expanded range of small items in Long War you will often find yourselves starved on item slots. A perk that removes the need to sacrifice a weapon slot for a specific grenade is a welcome addition to any squad. With this perk your soldier can take an action after throwing a smoke grenade which greatly increases the flexibility of that soldier.

Sapper
Sapper

Without this perk Engineers cannot reliably destroy cover made from alien alloys and they will sometimes struggle with conventional cover. If you are raiding an alien vessel and you do not possess this perk, consider using AP grenades instead of HE ones. Sapper provides a decent boost to grenade damage, making your Engineers that much more deadly.


Corporal

HEAT Warheads
HEAT Warheads

Armored unites in Long War are infinitely deadlier than they were in vanilla. This perk could be the difference between surviving a swam of seekers or wiping your squad. That said, Engineers do not use HEAT Warheads as efficiently as a Rocketeer, since grenades cannot hit flying targets unless creative use of terrain is employed. This is a small issue and while you should keep it in mind, do not let it discourage you from picking HEAT. The rocket that can be obtained further down the line is also augmented by this perk.

Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors

Supportive grenades can greatly increase your squad’s survivability and its ability to incapacitate aliens. An extra charge of all supportive grenades in your Engineer’s inventory is no laughing matter even if you do not choose to use the Battle Scanner later on.

Holo-Targeting
Holo-Targeting

Holo can greatly reduce the Engineer’s weakness, brought by the class’s lackluster aim, by augmenting the rest of the squad’s firepower. Keep in mind that multiple instances of Holo-targeting do not stack, so it may be counterproductive to pick it up on too many soldiers.


Sergeant

Ranger
Ranger

The low aim of the Engineer can devaluate this perk when using an assault rifle, but it can improve the efficiency of the carbine and the shotgun. However, the Engineer does not have access to perks that provide critical damage or chance, so Ranger’s power less than with other soldiers.

Suppression
Suppression

The ability to prevent aliens from employing long range grenades and other AOE abilities cannot be emphasized enough. Yet Engineers are not very adept at using the Battle rifle and a close range suppression with the shotgun can still get your suppressor shot. This class lacks access to Lock N' Load and picking up the Extended Mags item will greatly devaluate a grenade specialist’s equipment slots.

Repair
Repair

Capturing aliens is much more important than in Vanilla. The greatly expanded range of alien abilities makes the capturing game much more dangerous than before. The Arc Thrower has been also heavily nerfed. The maximum chance to capture an alien without the improvement project from the Foundry is 55% and even with the project that number rises only up to 58%. The Arc Thrower weighs twice as normal items so bringing multiple instances of this item is ill-advised in most situations. There are, however, quite a few number of ways that can keep an alien lockdown, so it is possible to use the Arc Thrower on the same alien more than once, if a capture has failed.


Tech Sergeant

Extra Conditioning
Extra Conditioning

With the low aim of the Engineer, many players prefer to use them in close quarters. With the addition of extra will, mobility and up to +4 armor, this perk can greatly improve your soldier’s survivability. The extra aim bonus makes the perk worthwhile even if you have something different than close combat in mind.

Dense Smoke
Dense Smoke

The expanded range of the smoke grenade allows your soldiers to spread out much more efficiently and thus reduces the chance of baiting alien grenades. The extra flexibility, due to the increased AOE, should also be noted, since you will not always be able to pull your squad into a tight formation.

Battle Scanner
Battle Scanner

As the war progresses and the MECs start rolling in you might find yourself less willing to field Scouts. At that point the Engineers could very well take over scanner duty. Extra battle scanners allow for a faster clear of big maps with small number of enemies, thus improving Meld harvesting efficiency. In all situations, not having to sacrifice equipment slots to counteract seekers, is a welcome addition to any squad.


Gunnery Sergeant

Will To Survive
Will To Survive

This perk can greatly increase the survivability of a close quarters Engineer, especially when in high cover. A potential number of 3 Damage Reduction is not something that should be passed on lightly and the extra Will is a nice addition to an already solid perk.

Ready For Anything
Ready For Anything

As previously stated, Engineers do not have access to Opportunist or Covering Fire, but if all perks that provide extra Aim have been picked up to this point than the Engineer will be capable of covering the squad with a total of +22 Aim at the Gunnery rank.

Packmaster
Packmaster

Packmaster greatly increases slot value and grenade efficiency. It also improves the Arc Thrower charges by 1. If you don’t need weapon firepower from your Engineer and can keep him safe, this perk could greatly improve his usefulness on the battlefield.


Master Sergeant

Mayhem
Mayhem

Extra grenade damage is always nice. However, the Engineer cannot use any weapon that benefits from mayhem. The Engineer does not have on hit effect perks such as Shredder ammo and thus the value of damaging Suppression is greatly reduced. Right now this is a somewhat lackluster perk even with the extra boost to Will and Aim.

Fire Rocket
Fire Rocket

Rockets are more unreliable as of beta 14 even for a Rocketeer. An Engineer’s rocket will be even less reliable when used without proper preparation, but with HEAT Warheads the rocket will still pack a decent punch. The +4 Aim on the side is a very welcome pick up for this class.

Bombard
Bombard

This is one of the perks that allow the Engineer to shine as a grenade specialist. No other regular soldier has access to it and without it the Medic would probably take over the role of the only support grenade specialist in the game. The boost to grenade range is truly humongous.


Engineer Builds

Explosive Grenades Specialist


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Sapper
HEAT Warheads
Ranger
Extra Conditioning
Packmaster
Bombard
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +3 Aim; + 3 Will; + 1 Mobility
Strengths AOE Damage
Weaknesses Ranged flyers
Preferred battle sites Heavy & Swarming abductions; Big UFOs; Data Recovery
Most common Loadout Shotgun; Pistol; HE/AP/Alien grenades
Power Ranks -
Description This soldier specializes in dealing explosive damage. Most of the time, this Engineer will provide cover destruction for his squad. Once explosive reserves have been depleted the shotgun will remain effective at close range. This is not the most mobile or durable soldier, but will still be able to take a hit or two and move at a decent rate. Employ mainly when facing at least 15 enemies. During the actual mission the Engineer will provide makeshift artillery and finish stragglers with his shotgun.
Strategic Analysis -


Support Grenades Specialist


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Smoke Grenade
Smoke and Mirrors
Ranger
Dense Smoke
Packmaster
Bombard
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +1 Aim
Strengths Crowd Control
Weaknesses Damage
Preferred battle sites Light & Moderate Abductions; Small & Medium UFOs; Covert Extraction
Most common Loadout Shotgun; Pistol; Flashbang, Chem Grenade (Psi-flashbang, Ghostgrenade, Chem Grenade if Psion)
Power Ranks -
Description This soldier handles very well before resources are depleted. Employ this soldier when fighting less than 20 enemies. Once this soldier depletes all grenades, overall usefulness will drop substantially.
Strategic Analysis -


Capture Specialist


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Rapid Reaction
Holo-Targeting
Repair
Extra Conditioning
Will To Survive
Fire Rocket
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +12 Aim, +5 Will, +1 Mobility
Strengths Durable, Damage
Weaknesses Utility
Preferred battle sites Light Abductions
Most common Loadout Carbine/SMG; Pistol; Arc Thrower, alloy plate
Power Ranks -
Description If things get out of hand during a capture attempt this soldier should still be able to survive a potential backlash. Employ this Engineer when you expect a low number of enemies, since you want to maximize captures.
Strategic Analysis -


Thrall


Perk progression
- RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Sapper
Smoke and Mirrors
Repair
Battle Scanner
Packmaster
Bombard
Build Overview
Stat Boosts N/A
Strengths Versatility
Weaknesses Efficiency, Fragile
Preferred battle sites Any
Most common Loadout Carbine; Pistol; Any
Power Ranks -
Description This is a pure hybrid build that allows the soldier to use virtually anything, but makes it so that this Engineer never truly excels at anything. Employ this soldier whenever you feel like you need an Engineer with whatever equipment you feel you lack.
Strategic Analysis -


Debriefing

The Engineer is so versatile that you’d wish you could take multiple perks from the same rank.

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See also