Sniper (Long War)

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Long War Snipers are akin to the vanilla Sniper. With Squadsight as their first ability, they're able to inflict long range damage on enemy targets from a position of safety. Note that the Long War version of the perk does not function alongside Overwatch, unlike its base-game counterpart.

Primary Weapon: Sniper Rifles, Marksman Rifles, Assault Rifles, Carbines, SMGs.
Secondary Weapon: Pistols, Machine Pistols.
Class-Limited items: Alloy Bipod, Sniper Rifles.


Rank Ability
Squad sight
Allows firing at targets in any ally's sight radius within weapon range, but critical chance suffers a -20% penalty. Extended range weapons (MEC primary weapons, Marksman and Strike Rifles, and LMGs) gain roughly five extra tiles range. Sniper rifles have infinite range. Overwatch fire does not extend to squadsight ranges, except with Marksman's and Strike Rifles.
No other bonuses.
Lance Corporal
Low Profile
Low Profile
Makes partial cover grant the defense bonus of full cover.
Confers +15 aim against flying targets.
Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf
+10 Aim and Critical Chance if not within 7 tiles of an allied unit.
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Disabling Shot
Disabling Shot
Allows sniper rifles to fire a shot that causes the target's main weapon to malfunction. The target may use Reload to fix the weapon. 2 turn cooldown. Cannot cause critical hits.
Precision Shot
Precision Shot
With sniper/long rifles, fire a shot that ignores squadsight critical penalties, has an additional +30% critical chance, and provides extra damage on critical hits based on the soldier's weapon tech level (+2 for ballistic/laser/gauss, +3 for pulse, +4 for plasma). With marksman's and strike rifles, allows an unlimited range shot with no other bonuses. 2 turn cooldown.
Snap Shot
For snipers, removes the sniper rifle's restriction on firing and Overwatch after taking a costly action. Any shots taken after using any costly action suffer a -10 Aim penalty. For rocketeers, reduces the aim and range penalty for launching a rocket after taking a costly action to 25% (from 50%).
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Damn Good Ground
Damn Good Ground
Confers +10 Aim and +10 Defense against enemies at lower elevation, in addition to the usual elevation bonuses.
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.
+10 critical chance in all situations, +10 Aim against enemies in full cover.
+2 Will. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Tech Sergeant
Confers +10 aim and +10 critical chance against targets at or below 50% health.
Vital Point Targeting
Vital Point Targeting
Confers 2 bonus damage with primary guns, and +1 damage with sidearms, against humans and alien targets whose species have been autopsied.
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).
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Gunnery Sergeant
Tactical Sense
Tactical Sense
Confers +5 Defense per enemy in sight (max +20).
Bring 'Em On
Bring 'Em On
Confers 1-4 bonus damage during critical hits (which is then multiplied by 50% due to the critical hit). The damage is higher when more enemies are in view (including squad sight vision). This results in +1.5 dmg for 1-2 enemies, +3 dmg for 3-4 enemies, +4.5 dmg for 5-6 enemies, +6 dmg for 7 or more enemies.
Lock N' Load
Lock N' Load
Primary weapons receive one additional shot or burst before a reload is required, and you may reload your primary weapon as the first action of your turn without ending the turn.
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Master Sergeant
In The Zone
In The Zone
Killing a flanked or uncovered target does not cost an action. Confers a -1 base damage and -10% critical hit chance penalty for each successive In The Zone kill.
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.
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 other bonuses.

Stat Progression

Rank Health
Specialist 0 0 4 4 5(6) 5(-6)
Lance Corporal 0 0 4 8 5(6) 10(-12)
Corporal 1 1 4 12 3(4) 13(-16)
Sergeant 0 1 4 16 2(3) 15(-19)
Tech Sergeant 0 1 4 20 2(3) 17(-22)
Gunnery Sergeant 0 1 4 24 2(3) 19(-25)
Master Sergeant 1 2 4 28 2(3) 21(-28)
  • 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

Long War Snipers are quite similar to vanilla Squadsight snipers, but there are a few differences. Overwatch only works up to limited range, even with Squadsight, and snipers no longer have access to the Opportunist perk, making them considerably less good defensively - you'll find snipers can't demolish enemy packs on sight before they can even take cover like they can in vanilla. Squadsight is gained immediately and unconditionally, so the role of "snap shot" skirmishing snipers is filled by snipers with a Marksman Rifles and the Scout. With In The Zone and Double Tap, snipers are some of your highest damage soldiers. Watch your ammo consumption with Double Tap and ITZ; high cap mags are a good item for them.

Snipers can use sniper rifles, which act like vanilla sniper rifles, and only allow firing if the user hasn't moved unless they are Snap Shot trained, but they can also use Marksman Rifles, which are shorter range sniper rifles that can be fired after moving. Snipers can use assault rifles as well, but this isn't particularly useful in practice, since the Infantry class generally performs better with assault rifles. As in vanilla, Snipers gain the most aim per rank, ending with 7 more aim than any other class at Master Sergeant.

The three main 'trick' shots, Precision Shot (aka: Headshot), Disabling Shot, and Snapshot are now all on the same tier of Corporal, and thus, mutually exclusive. Disablers help out greatly for doing alien captures and temporarily negating dangerous threats, Precision Shooters are for bringing down heavy alien units, and Snapshot Snipers can hit with flexibility. You may want to customize their names to easily distinguish between them in the Barracks and squad deployment screens (for example: #eadshot, Dis@bling, and $napshot, and putting #, @, or $ at the start of their first name).

If Training Roulette is chosen, a lot of the same advice applies as in Vanilla, plus the various altered/custom Long War abilities (eg: "Lock N' Load" does NOT allow for firing the Sniper Rifle weapons after reloading without Snapshot, as it consumes the first action of a turn: you can still use Steady Weapon, or their pistol slot weapon, instead.

Sample Builds

In the Zone Cleaner

Role: Long Range Offense

Classic In the Zone build - finish off multiple (up to 8, in theory) weakened and exposed enemies each turn, from the back line or in the air. Relies on cover destruction to expose enemies and bring their health into range of a guaranteed kill, especially as each kill with ITZ reduces the next shot's damage by 1 and critical chance by 10%. Snapshot and Lock N' Load allow a string of kills followed by reloading and continuing the chain, especially useful with the Gauss Sniper Rifle's small magazine. Ranger and Vital Point Targeting give reliable damage over crit chance, which is essential in planning an ITZ chain. Snap Shot allows reloading and more firing, as well as repositioning to get more flanks.

Sample Sniper: Lone Wolf -> SnapShot -> Ranger -> Vital Point Targeting-> Lock N' Load -> In The Zone.

Note: Lock N' Load can be used to continue an ITZ chain after the original magazine is emptied. As Lock N' Load only works together with Snap Shot (you cannot shoot after taking a costly action, reloading included), the two perks go together. When using ITZ, use explosives to remove the cover of aliens. Use ITZ to clean up the exposed aliens. Flying targets also count as exposed.


Role: Long Range Offense.

The Sniper in this role stays behind and relies on its Squad Sight. It is the classical "one shot - one kill" role where you focus on doing maximum damage per shot and landing every possible shot. For this, high aim soldiers are preferred and perks are centered around gaining more aim and damage. Can guarantee a kill against a squishy enemy every turn, or crack a seemingly invulnerable late-game mech enemy.

Sample Sniper: Lone Wolf -> Precision Shot -> Ranger -> Vital Point Targeting -> Bring 'Em On -> Mayhem.

Note: Ranger + VPT + Mayhem provide you with +7 average damage, which should be enough to guarantee you one shot kills even without a critical. Precision Shot and Lone Wolf provide you with additional critical chance, which get boosted damage from Bring 'Em On. Precision Shot adds extra damage on crits. With flying armor and the Depth Perception Gene Mod, this sniper can achieve close to 100% critical chance on regular shots against exposed enemies.

Double Tap Crit Monster

Role: Long Range Offense.

A sniper that prefers to dish out two high damage crit shots each turn, versus one extreme damage shot. Kill two squishy enemies each turn, or focus both shots on one tough enemy. Potentially highest damage output of all builds, but has to stop to reload often. Give him flying armor and Depth Perception late game to rain death down on the battlefield.

Sample Sniper: Lone wolf -> Precision Shot -> Sharpshooter -> Platform Stability -> Bring 'Em On -> Double Tap

The Most Interesting Sniper in the World

Role: Mid to Long Range Offense, Cleanup and Utility

See classic In the Zone build, but with Disabling Shot and a Marksman Rifle. Disabling Shot is arguably the best control perk in the game, completely neutralizing some of the most dangerous enemies in the game for a turn, and is too good to give up. Using the Marksman Rifle ensures the sniper won't have blocked Line of Sight in a moment of desperate need. It also allows the build to use In the Zone without Snapshot, and allows moving and shooting without an accuracy penalty. Requires careful planning to keep enemies out of range, but within the +5 tile Squadsight range of the Marksman Rifle.

Sample Sniper: Deadeye -> Disabling Shot -> Ranger -> Vital Point Targeting-> Lock N' Load -> In The Zone.

Note: Deadeye is especially useful on higher difficulties, when the extreme defenses of flying units make them very difficult for hit. Especially useful to reliably clean up swarms of Floaters or Drones with ITZ.


Role: Mid to Long Range Offense, with Utility in Disabling Shot

A sniper that can play at mid or long range, and can save the squad with a clutch Disabling Shot to take a Cyberdisc or Mectoid out of commission for a turn. Low Profile and Tactical Sense allow safe use of the Marksman Rifle to get closer and in position to land a crucial shot.

Sample Sniper: Low Profile -> Disabling Shot -> Ranger -> Vital Point Targeting -> Tactical Sense -> Double Tap

See also

Lone Wolf (EU2012).jpg Long War: Soldiers
Class Infantry (Long War).png
Class Rocketeer (Long War).png
Class Scout (Long War).png
Class Engineer (Long War).png
MEC Troopers
Class Marauder (Long War).png
Class Valkyrie (Long War).png
Class Archer (Long War).png
Class Goliath (Long War).png
Class Jaeger (Long War).png
Class Pathfinder (Long War).png
Class Guardian (Long War).png
Class Shogun (Long War).png
Sub-classes and abilities
Gene Mods Soldier Icon (EU2012).png
Gene Mods