Assault (Long War)
The Long War Assault is similar to the vanilla Assault. Their signature ability is Run & Gun, which works exactly as it does in vanilla XCOM.
- Primary Weapons: Carbines, Assault Rifles, Battle Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns.
- Secondary Weapons: Pistols, Machine pistols, Sawed-off shotgun.
- Class-Limited items: Impact Vest, Shredder Ammo, Breaching Ammo.
Run & Gun
Allows firing or Overwatch after Dashing on the turn Run and Gun is activated. 2 turn cooldown.
|No other bonuses.|
Never panic as a result of getting wounded, allies panicking, allies getting wounded or killed, or the intimidation ability.
Close Combat Specialist
Confers a reaction shot against any enemy who closes to within 4 tiles. Does not require Overwatch. Warning: Will activate even if unit is concealed.
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.
|+5 Will.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (max +30%). Aliens visible via squadsight are not counted for bonus.
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.|
The first standard shot made within 4 tiles of the target does not cost an action. Cannot combine with Run And Gun.
Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.
Hit and Run
Your first standard shot of each turn against an uncovered or flanked target does not cost an action. Does not work against flying units, and cannot be used if Run N' Gun activated.
|+3 Will.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
Confers immunity to critical hits.
Activating Run and Gun grants +50% critical damage for the rest of the turn.
Confers +10 aim and +10 critical chance against targets at or below 50% health.
|No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.||+2 Aim, +2 Will.|
Confers +5 Defense per enemy in sight (max +20).
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.
Grants +4 mobility (roughly 3 tiles movement).
|No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
Confers 1-4 bonus health based on which type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
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.
The hit chance of reaction fire against this unit is reduced by 90 percent for the first shot, and by 70 percent for additional shots.
|+1 Mobility, +4 Aim, +4 Will.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
- If Training Roulette is on, and Lock n' Load is acquired: reloading as the first action also stops Hit and Run from activating.
- 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)).
Role: Mobile Offense
Long War Assaults are quite similar to vanilla Assaults. They are more mobile than Infantry while packing less firepower, swapping Light 'Em Up for Run & Gun. Due to the existence of the Infantry class that excels at mid-range combat with rifles, Assaults tend to equip shotguns and use their mobility to engage at close range, though using them as a medium range flanker with an assault rifle is also viable.
Assaults are fairly simple soldiers, and the choice in their build tends to be a simple one of offense vs defense at each rank, with some mobility thrown in. A role-changing perk however is Lightning Reflexes, allowing them to draw out overwatch fire much like a Scout can, though they have to wait until Master Sergeant to do it.
Assaults make very good covert operatives. They have high base HP, allowing them to survive better without armor, Lightning Reflexes to not be hit by overwatch when running to comm arrays, and they can use Run & Gun to hack arrays on the same turn after dashing.
Tank Psi Assault
A durable, tanky assault for early-mid game, especially before you get MECs (which will take over the tanking role). Perks also provide plenty of bonus will to make a good psi soldier later in the game. They gain a total of +15 will from perks in addition to average will stat growth, putting them above a Steadfast-Revive-Extra Conditioning Medic (40-47 will growth vs 39-46 will on Psi Medic).
At Lance Corporal: Close Combat Specialist for situations where enemies will close to point blank range in attempts to flank or melee your Assault. Alternatively, Steadfast can be chosen for the +5 bonus will for soldiers you're grooming for psi.
At Corporal: Will to Survive is a key perk, providing 1.5 DR when in cover, improving survivability when your assault inevitably takes hits.
At Sergeant: Close Encounters for maximum flexibility and the bonus Will. Since the tank build is less aggressively focused, you won't be using as much Run & Gun and flanking, so Rapid Fire and Hit and Run are less useful, whereas you will often be at close quarters to encourage enemies to shoot at the tank assault instead of other soldiers and it pairs well with Close Combat Specialist, allowing up to 3 shots a turn on a target.
At Tech Sergeant: Resilience is another key tanking perk, granting crit immunity, limiting how much damage your assault can suffer, greatly increasing durability.
At Gunnery Sergeant: Sprinter to allow the use of Titan Armor without using an item slot for Walker Servos, as well as getting into position generally. Tactical Sense is a trap - you want the aliens to fire at your Assault Tank. Raising defense will make it more likely that they ignore your assault and shoot your squishy troops.
At Master Sergeant: Extra Conditioning to provide extra HP, aim, will, and mobility, increasing tanking and versatility.
Equip completed build with: Shotgun weapons for increased damage and crit chance. Heavy armor for durability (they'll draw a lot of fire!). Reinforced armor, Psi Screen, Alloy Plating, Chitin Plating and Impact Vest are all good tank items. Breaching rounds to improve damage against armored targets. Mind Shield for late game psi.
Go for Offensive Psi powers so your Assault has options to engage the enemy at range. Iron Skin is crucial. Secondary Heart is a good as well.
Gene-modded Covert Operative build for assaults with great base HP and mobility. When not used for Covert missions, deploy on missions where powerful single foes are expected and will need to be kill-confirmed with Run and Gun Rapid Fire. Chop into a Marauder once EXALT is out of the game.
At Lance Corporal: Steadfast In your campaign, the operative will be hit by EXALT grenades at least once. On an extraction mission, a panic will result in a guaranteed dead operative and failed mission.
At Corporal: Ranger as a core perk, allowing assaults to contribute significant damage at all ranges on covert operations, as well as have increased damage on alien missions.
At Sergeant: Rapid Fire works with Run & Gun, which is key to chaining transmitters on covert ops. With Ranger, Rapid Fire allows good pistol damage even on a Covert Extraction. Be careful that you don't empty your magazine, or else you can't use Run & Gun the next turn to hit a transmitter! Alternatively, Close Encounters synergizes well with Close Combat Specialist to allow your covert op to deal decent amounts of damage or shoot and then reload to allow Run & Gun the next turn.
At Tech Sergeant: Resilience to increase the durability of the covert operative and prevent them from being one-shot by grenades, since they are limited in health.
At Gunnery Sergeant: Sprinter to hit relays on the far opposite side of the map with Run and Gun, and get out of a Covert Extraction before EXALT swarms your small squad.
At Master Sergeant: Extra Conditioning for the extra mobility and durability. Covert Extractions are about covering distance and having your operative survive grenades. The extra Aim benefits Rapid Fire outside of Covert Operation missions.
Equip Completed build with: Operative Missions: Respirator Implant for +1hp without movement penalty, and Motion Tracker to plan Transmitter runs. As for alien missions: Shotguns and machine pistols to make best use of crit bonuses and Gunslinger. Heavy armor (Titan and/or Archangel) as this Assault will have the mobility to handle it. Breaching rounds to penetrate high-armor targets. Situational picks for remaining items.
For Gene mods, pick any head mod, Depth Perception (synergy with Muscle Fiber Density, and improved pistol reliability at elevation), Secondary Heart (when something goes wrong on a covert op; bring a medic with revive along on Covert Extractions so you can continue the mission!), Bioelectric Skin (bonus visibility at the start of EXALT missions; feel free to switch to Iron Skin if you like once EXALT's Base is gone), and Muscle Fiber Density (Makes Run and Gun charges more versatile and safer when you can dash up to elevated, hard-to-flank high cover and still dispatch your target.)
Specialises in slaughtering helpless EXALT as fast as possible, but also useful in some other missions, especially Terror missions.
Suitable Recruits: High Mobility is important, as the soldier will usually be burdened with a shotgun and heavy pistol, and EXALT missions often require covering a lot of ground.
LCPL: Close Combat Specialist. Essential perk that will provide the large number of extra shots needed to whittle down EXALT numbers, and the high Health of some higher level EXALT.
CPL: Ranger. Essential perk as it will slightly boost the damage of every shot, and this build will take an awful lot of shots. The bonus to pistol accuracy is also useful, so that the soldier has an effective long-range alternative to its shotgun. At the same rank, Aggression is not useful to this build, as its CCS reaction shots cannot crit.
SGT: Hit & Run or Close Encounters. Either option can work for this build. H&R has the advantage that it can be used with longer-range pistol shots. CE that it can be used despite cover (and against flyers, though this is not relevant to EXALT missions).
TSGT: Resilience. EXALT missions often involve abandoning cover to advance as fast as possible, and getting in among the enemy. Usually, this is made safe by keeping EXALT's main guns deactivated, but Resilience helps to keep a soldier safe if there is a slip-up. If you are confident in your ability to keep the soldier safe, Executioner makes for a good alternative. (Killer Instinct is not effective as it does not combine well with Hit & Run or CE from SGT rank, above.)
GSGT: Sprinter. Helps to cover ground, without needing to use Run & Gun, on EXALT missions.
MSGT: Vital Point Targeting. Like Ranger, affects all shots taken. And no Autopsies are needed for it to affect EXALT!
Role: EXALT come in large numbers, and often have fairly high Health, but should be unable to fire on most turns and have no damage resistance. All this makes Assaults of this type the best possible source of damage per turn against them. On Data Recovery missions, two or three Assaults with this build, supported by a few other soldiers, including some with Overwatch builds, should make short work of the enemy, often not even giving them a single turn of effective fire.
The build can also be effective on Terror missions, with CCS coming into its own against Chrysalids and Zombies.
Gear: These Assaults should be armed with shotgun-type weapons and heavy pistols (Machine Pistol-type). On EXALT missions, use light armour to maximise Mobility (as long as the Assault's Health is not so low that you are worried about being taken out by a single grenade). Also on EXALT missions, take Hi-Cap Mags, and Alien Trophies to ensure that a turn of fire isn't missed to panic if the Assault gets grenaded. On Terror missions, take heavier armour and Chitin Plating.
Limitations: On regular missions, where it is not practical to get in among the enemy for fear of activating more pods, this build is less effective. Although it can still contribute a bit at longer ranges with its pistol thanks to Ranger, many other types of soldier (including other Assault builds) would offer more. Therefore, you may not want to develop more than two or three of these Assaults, and may want to chop one or more of them into MECs once EXALT is no longer a going concern.
This is a mid-game build that comes into its own when Gauss Stutterguns, plus the Ammo Conservation Foundry project, have been obtained. Its role is as an Assault that can provide effective firepower in all firefights, not just close-range shotgun work, can break enemy lines and cause massive damage on flanks.
Suitable Recruits: Above average Mobility and decent Aim.
LCPL: Flush. The kind of mid-game squads a Stormtrooper should be accompanying should include one or more excellent Overwatchers (appropriate Infantry, Medic, Rocketeer or Gunner builds) who can take advantage of an enemy flushed into their fire. Also has general utility for finishing off weakened enemies.
CPL: Aggression. Essential perk for boosting this build's crit rate.
SGT: Hit & Run. This build prefers to operate with an SMG, whose much longer effective range than a shotgun's means that H&R is preferred over Close Encounters.
GSGT: Bring 'Em On. Essential perk that gives this build much-increased damage potential.
MSGT: Extra Conditioning or Vital Point Targeting. This build takes no other defensive perk choices, so Extra Conditioning can be a good cautious choice for keeping the investment alive. On the other hand, VPT will further boost damage capacity.
Role: This build is enabled by the Gauss Stuttergun (with upgraded ammo from Ammo Conservation). Although shotguns are the usual weapons associated with Assaults, SMG-type weapons make for a good alternative owing to their Mobility boost, which creates more opportunites to flank. However, at the start of the game they are severely limited by their low ammunition (2), poor base damage (25% worse than Assault Rifles, 50% worse than Shotguns) and poor crit rate (no crit bonus at all). Early on, SMGs should only see use on soldiers not expected to contribute much from their shooting at all.
However, tech progress and soldier promotions change the picture significantly. With Ammo Conservation, the Gauss Stuttergun now has twice as much ammunition (4) and base damage that is only 17% worse than the Assault Rifle equivalent at the same tech. Its lack of crit bonus can now be compensated for through perks like Aggression and Executioner. The result is a highly mobile Assault who can contribute in all types of engagement: Flushing enemies into Overwatch fire when bogged down into cover-to-cover firefights; and taking high-damage flanks (or shots against targets with destroyed cover) when feasible.
Gear: Gauss Stuttergun. When Pulse Lasers are researched, higher-ranking Stormtroopers can take Pulse Stenguns for the boosted crit chance. Before Stutterguns, an SMG should not be used: take a Shotgun or Assault Rifle instead as you see fit. Either heavy or light armour can be used depending on mission and expected level of resistance. Shredder Ammo is recommended: it combines well with Flush, and also allows the build to contribute more against very high Health enemies. The other slot is relatively free, and may be used for armour plating, a crit bonus item, or an Alien grenade or support grenade.
Limitations: Before the Gauss Stuttergun (with Ammo Conservation) becomes available, this build will likely be outperformed by Assault builds that use Close Combat Specialist and shotguns. Equally, when most squads do not have one or more reliable Overwatchers (and when you don't yet have Shredder Ammo), their Flush will not be especially useful. It is suggested that later recruits (reward soldiers who start at CPL or SGT) be used to make most Stormtroopers.
A major use of this build is to break cover-to-cover stalemates by flanking the enemy position. As always, be aware that such moves may activate more enemy pods: it is wise to check the situation with a Battlescanner before making an aggressive flanking move.
Also note that, even with flanks and Aggression, and relying on crits for its high damage rate, this build will rarely manage to get guaranteed 100% crits (100% to-hit rates can't be assured either!). It should be used early in a turn, with other soldiers available to follow up and take advantage of its success, or compensate for its failures.
|Long War: Soldiers|