Gunner (Long War)

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   Gunner

The Gunner class is similar to a suppression specialized Heavy in vanilla XCOM. Their signature ability is Suppression, and they are the only class that can use the Light Machine Gun and Squad Automatic Weapon line of weapons. Suppression is improved over vanilla, working to restrict the target's ability to use rockets and grenades as well as its vanilla effects. To compensate, the Gunner loses the vanilla Heavy's rockets.

Primary Weapon: SAWs, LMGs, Assault Rifles, Carbines, SMGs.
Secondary Weapon: None.
Class-Limited items: Armor-Piercing Ammo.

Abilities

Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Specialist
Suppression
Suppression
Fire a barrage that pins down a target, granting Opportunist reaction fire against it if it moves. Imposes a -30 penalty to aim and reduces range of many area-of-effect attacks, including grenades. Also negates overwatch from the target while suppression is active. Lastly, enemy AI prioritizes breaking the suppression by shooting the suppressor, so it functions as a mini-taunt. Not possible with shotguns, sniper rifles, or strike rifles.
No other bonuses.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Lance Corporal
Flush
Flush
Fire a shot that may cause non-flying enemies to run to new cover. The shot is easy to hit with (+30 aim), but does reduced damage (-50% base weapon damage), and consumes extra ammo (2 ammo). Hunkered units will not relocate.
Covering Fire
Covering Fire
Allows certain reaction shots to trigger on many enemy actions, not just movement (excludes reload, overwatch, and hunker down actions).
Holo-Targeting
Holo-Targeting
Shooting at or suppressing enemies confers +10 Aim to allies' attacks on those enemies until end of turn.
No other bonuses. + 2 Aim. No other bonuses.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Corporal
HEAT Ammo
HEAT Ammo
Your primary weapon, not including shotguns, does an additional 50% of its base weapon damage to robotic enemies after any damage reduction is assessed.

Opportunist
Opportunist
Eliminates the Aim penalty on reaction shots, and allows reaction shots to cause critical hits.
Shredder Ammo
Shredder Ammo
The Shredder debuff causes any unit hit to take 40% additional damage (after DR, rounded down) from all sources. Gunners and MECs apply the Shredder debuff for the remainder of the current turn to any target struck by their primary weapon. Rocketeers get an extra rocket that is weaker than a standard rocket (60% rounded down), cannot penetrate cover, has a +50% larger blast radius, and applies the Shredder debuff to all targets struck by the rocket for the next 3 turns.

No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Sergeant
Will to Survive
Will to Survive
Gain 1.5 Damage Reduction (DR) if in cover and not flanked.
Executioner
Executioner
Confers +10 aim and +10 critical chance against targets at or below 50% health.
Ranger
Ranger
Confers +1 damage with primary weapons, rocket launchers, MEC secondary weapons and sidearms. Negates the long-range accuracy penalty with sidearms when shooting beyond 14 meters.
+3 Will No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Tech Sergeant
Rapid Fire
Rapid Fire
Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.

Ready for Anything
Ready for Anything
If the unit fires without taking any other costly action, it automatically enters overwatch at the end of its turn.

Double Tap
Double Tap
Allows a second action restricted to Standard Shot, Precision Shot, or Disabling Shot as long as the first action was a Standard Shot, Precision Shot, Disabling Shot, or Flush provided no costly actions were taken. 1 turn cooldown. (Note: Double Tap is cancelled in the following cases: (1) the first shot results in a kill, and no more enemies are visible to the unit, or (2) for gunners only, the first shot depletes the ammo.)

No other bonuses. + 2 Aim. No others bonuses.
RANK MAJOR.png
Gunnery Sergeant
Resilience
Resilience
Confers immunity to critical hits.
Platform Stability
Platform Stability
Shots taken before any costly actions have +10 Aim and +10% critical chance. Also grants +10 aim for purposes of reducing scatter if the soldier has not moved this turn, and increases range of Blaster Launcher (which does not scatter).
Danger Zone
Danger Zone
Increases area of effect of Suppression, rockets, grenade launchers and proximity mine launchers.

No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
RANK COLONEL.png
Master Sergeant
Extra Conditioning
Extra Conditioning
Confers 1-4 bonus health based on which type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
Sentinel
Sentinel
Allows two reaction shots during Overwatch, instead of only one.

Mayhem
Mayhem
Confers +2 damage for suppression, SAWs, LMGs, explosive grenades, proximity mines and rocket launchers. Confers +4 damage for sniper and long rifles, marksman's, strike and reflex rifles using Standard Shot or Precision Shot.

+4 Aim, +4 Will, +1 Mobility. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.

*Perks tagged with blue are fixed even with Second Wave Training Roulette option is enabled

Stat Progression

Rank / Level Total
Health
Aim
Will
 *
Health
Aim
Will
 *
Specialist 1 3 5(-6) 1 3 5(-6)
Lance Corporal 0 2 5(-6) 1 5 10(-12)
Corporal 1 3 3(-4) 2 8 13(-16)
Sergeant 0 2 3(-4) 2 10 16(-20)
Tech Sergeant 1 3 3(-4) 3 13 19(-24)
Gunnery Sergeant 0 2 3(-4) 3 15 22(-28)
Master Sergeant 1 3 3(-4) 4 18 25(-32)
  • Note that, even without Hidden Potential turned on, there is a chance of gaining 1 extra will per level (shown in parentheses above). Psionic soldiers can also gain 1-6 extra will per psi level (1 + rand(6)).

Tactical Advice

Role: Medium Range Offense / Offensive Support

The Gunner is akin to the vanilla Suppression Heavy, but with a key difference: the Long War Gunner has mediocre aim, compared to the vanilla Heavy's abysmal aim, meaning that unlike the vanilla Heavy she can put out reasonable damage with the machine gun when nothing needs suppressing.

In a sense the Gunner's first "perk" is their ability to use SAW and LMG-type weapons. Both LMGs and SAWs cause the reaction shot taken against a suppressed target to suffer no aim penalty and be capable of critting. SAWs have higher damage and larger magazines than assault rifles, with a mobility penalty. LMGs are even more restricted on mobility, but have even higher damage and larger magazines and have extended range. A major decision when building a Gunner is deciding if they will use a LMG or SAW-type weapon. SAW gunners have more mobility but shorter range, so will value some mobility and defense as well as offense. LMG gunners will be more interested in offense. Note that Suppression works at the LMG's full range.

Gunners have a lot of flexibility in their builds, with many viable combinations. Several strong utility perks are available, including Holo-Targeting and Shredder Ammo and of course Suppression. One potential offensive support build combines the debuff perks; Gunners can suppress in AoE with Danger Zone, apply Holo Targeting on those targets, make it inflict damage with Mayhem, and thus shred them with Shredder Ammo. Some strong offensive perks are also available in Double Tap, Rapid Fire and HEAT Ammo.

Sample Builds

HEAT Gunner

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
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Master Sergeant
Perk by tier
Flush
HEAT Ammo
Will to Survive
Rapid Fire
Resilience
Extra Conditioning
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +7 will, +4 aim, +1 mobility
Strengths shreds mechanical units, very durable
Weaknesses limited offense and utility against non-mechanicals
Preferred battle sites All except EXALT missions
Most common Loadout SAW, AP ammo, armor plating, SCOPE
Power Ranks CPL and TSG for dmg, SGT and MSG for durability
Description Early on, HEAT Gunners make short work of drones and seekers with HEAT Flush shots just when other soldiers are struggling to get through their DR. Against flying Cyberdiscs they may struggle somewhat to score hits reliably, but they really come into their own against Mechtoids and Sectopods, being the most easily trained and developed way of bringing to bear the massive damage needed to destroy them. Only the advent of MECs threatens to challenge the HEAT Gunner's dominance of the anti-robot role, but MEC suits and troopers are very expensive compared with TSGT Gunners.
Strategic Analysis In addition to making short work of mechanical units, Flush can pick off damaged/wounded aliens or set squadmates with Opportunist up for easy shots; Rapid Fire can cause major damage to the likes of Berserkers and boosts average damage and the chance of at least one hit (under most circumstances); and Suppression is available as for any Gunner.


Bullet Wizard

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
Holo-Targeting
Shredder Ammo
Will to Survive
Double Tap
Danger Zone
Mayhem
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +3 will
Strengths High utility, especially late game
Weaknesses limited/inconsistent offense, needs MSG rank badly
Preferred battle sites All
Most common Loadout LMG, armor plating, utility item(s) as needed
Power Ranks TSG for damage, MSG for AOE suppression shredding
Description With Mayhem and Danger Zone, the Gunner can automatically inflict not only holo-targeting but also shredded statuses to not one but a whole group of enemies using Suppression, softening them up for easy kills by team-mates. Mayhem's light damage may be completely absorbed by DR, but if not it can allow for automatic kills. Despite the huge gun, the Bullet Wizard is fundamentally a support soldier. When she hits, she hits very hard, but more often she will be pinning enemies down with Suppression or softening them up for kills by other units.
Strategic Analysis Bullet Wizards provide a range of support in all kinds of firefight, making enemies easier for squadmates to kill even if the Gunner can't do it herself, or pinning them down with highly-intimidating Suppression. At maximum rank, Bullet Wizards become incomparable for dealing with the large mobs of enemies the late-game regularly inflicts on XCOM. AP Ammo can help compensate for the lack of HEAT Ammo. A SCOPE helps to increase the odds of causing shredded status (prior to MSGT). A Bullet Wizard is a decent choice for back-up Medikit carrier.


Overwatch Gunner

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
Ranger
Ready for Anything
Platform Stability
Sentinel
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +4 aim
Strengths high damage output
Weaknesses discourages use of suppression, vulnerable
Preferred battle sites All
Most common Loadout LMG, SCOPE, AP ammo
Power Ranks CPL and MSG for overwatch, TSG for overall damage
Description This gunner build forgoes utility and anti-mech specialization to focus on simply dealing high damage with overwatch. You may want to build another soldier for Suppressing since this gunner will usually not have time to do so. Ranger can be dropped for Will to Survive for a bit of survivability if desired, but the LMG’s range should usually keep this soldier far enough away from danger.
Strategic Analysis Cover with good sightlines is extremely important for this soldier. Try to position your squad around this unit so that when aliens charge in or go for flanks they are severely punished. Consider giving Officer or Psionic training so something can still be done even when a minor reposition is necessary.


Jack of All Trades

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
Holo-Targeting
HEAT Ammo
Will to Survive
Rapid Fire
Danger Zone
Mayhem
Build Overview
Stat Boosts +3 will
Strengths shreds mechanical units, good utility
Weaknesses somewhat vulnerable
Preferred battle sites All
Most common Loadout SAW, armor plating, SCOPE
Power Ranks TSG for damage, MSG for AOE suppression shredding
Description A compromise between a HEAT gunner and a Bullet Wizard, this build brings part of the magic of the Bullet Wizard to your primary robot killer. Useful from the beginning of the game with its mix of utility and damage, midgame brings in heavy robotic damage and late game it comes online again with massive utility. Consider taking Double Tap if you plan on primarily using an LMG series weapon.
Strategic Analysis Plays similarly to a HEAT gunner, except with the option to hang back and suppress multiple targets later in the game (especially against non-mechanicals). As it doesn't take many defensive perks, needs a squad with defensive support, like Smoke Grenades and Flashbangs. Running forward for a range bonus on Rapid Fire shots should only be done when needed.


See also

Lone Wolf (EU2012).jpg Long War: Soldiers 
Soldiers
RANK ROOKIE.png
Soldiers
CLASS ASSAULT.png
Assault
Class Infantry (Long War).png
Infantry
Class Rocketeer (Long War).png
Rocketeer
CLASS HEAVY.png
Gunner
CLASS SNIPER.png
Sniper
Class Scout (Long War).png
Scout
CLASS SUPPORT.png
Medic
Class Engineer (Long War).png
Engineer
MEC
CLASS MECH.png
MEC Troopers
Class Marauder (Long War).png
Marauder
Class Valkyrie (Long War).png
Valkyrie
Class Archer (Long War).png
Archer
Class Goliath (Long War).png
Goliath
Class Jaeger (Long War).png
Jaeger
Class Pathfinder (Long War).png
Pathfinder
Class Guardian (Long War).png
Guardian
Class Shogun (Long War).png
Shogun
Sub-classes and abilities
ABILITY LEAD BY EXAMPLE (EU2012).png
Officers
CLASS PSIONIC.png
Psionics
Gene Mods Soldier Icon (EU2012).png
Gene Mods
ABILITY SHIVCOVER.png
S.H.I.V.s