Infantry (Long War)
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The Infantry class borrows elements from vanilla XCOM's Assault and Heavy classes. Their signature ability is Light 'Em Up, which behaves identically to the vanilla Heavy's Bullet Swarm perk.
- Primary Weapon: Carbines, Assault Rifles, Battle Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns.
- Secondary Weapon: Pistols, Machine pistols, Sawed-off shotgun.
- Class-Limited items: None
Light 'Em Up
Standard shots no longer end the turn, if taken as the first action.
|No other bonuses.|
Never panic as a result of getting wounded, allies panicking, allies getting wounded or killed, or the intimidation ability.
Allows certain reaction shots to trigger on many enemy actions, not just movement (excludes reload, overwatch, and hunker down actions).
Confers +10 aim and +10 critical chance against targets at or below 50% health.
|+5 Will.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
Eliminates the Aim penalty on reaction shots, and allows reaction shots to cause critical hits.
Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (max +30%). Aliens visible via squadsight are not counted for bonus.
|+3 Will.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
Confers +15 aim against flying targets.
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.
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.
|No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses|
Confers +5 Defense per enemy in sight (max +20).
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.
+10 critical chance in all situations, +10 Aim against enemies in full cover.
|No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.||+2 Aim.|
Confers immunity to critical hits.
Allows two reaction shots during Overwatch, instead of only one.
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.
|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.
Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.
|+4 Aim, +4 Will, +1 Mobility.||No other bonuses.||No other bonuses.|
- 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: Medium Range Offense
Infantry are mid-range damage dealers. They can fire twice per turn if they don't move, which makes them excel at eliminating enemies by attrition. Because they must remain stationary to fire twice, they tend to perform best with assault rifles rather than shotguns, which are more position dependent - if you want a more mobile soldier who's designed for mobility and getting flanks, look to the Assault class. Infantrymen's ability to fire twice per turn makes them competitive with Snipers at direct damage. Due to their high fire-rate it is very important to keep an eye on the Infantry's ammunition, as it can run out very quickly.
Infantry have decent aim progression and have relatively uncomplicated builds - they have at least one talent at each rank that improves their proficiency with their primary weapon and also have a selection of defensive abilities available at each rank. The Infantry does have a powerful utility perk combination to improve overwatch in Covering Fire, Opportunist and Sentinel.
Team Leader/Crit Infantry - Gene-modded direct attack build on early Infantry with balanced stats or particularly high aim, deploy with most squads on missions with low-moderate enemy counts. Also makes great officer material due to heavy reliance on primary weapon.
At Lance Cpl: Executioner for confirming kills. Periodically, you may want to grab Steadfast instead for your first officer candidate if they have low will, or for officers you plan on having babysit low-level troops.
At Corporal: Aggression for confirming kills. OR Tactical Sense if the trooper has low mobility and thus can't always exploit full cover.
At Sergeant: Ranger for up to 2 additional damage per turn. Pistols don't deal enough damage (especially early on) to usually justify boosting for infantry, and most of your shots won't be from Overwatch.
At Tech Sgt: Sharpshooter for bonus overall crit chance and for confirming kills on full-cover targets. OR Lock N' Load on early officers when you don't have many ammo upgrades, although reloading provides a great excuse to change cover!
At Gun Sgt: Resilience for the protection of the officer, especially if running the combat rush genemod over secondary heart. OR Bring 'Em On to help confirm kills when first fight a pod.
At Master Sgt: Extra Conditioning if you're grooming a future Field Commander officer for the extra 4 will. OR Vital Point Targeting If you're happy with the infantry's movement and will and would rather increase potential damage by a further 4/turn.
Equip completed build with: Heavy Rifle weapons for bonus damage and clip size. Archangel armor (Aegis beforehand) for mobility and cover-agnosticism (getting a reliable +20% accuracy, while ensuring no melee or flanking attacks, is great!). Scope and Laser sight to counter Heavy Rifle aim penalty; situational third item if available.
No core psi talents. Take Neural Dampening (psi training impossible/undesirable on this build anyway), Depth Perception (even better flying aim), Adrenal Neurosympathy (kill things early in a fight to improve the efficiency of rest of squad), either skin mod, and Adaptive Bone Marrow (reduced wound time great for officers).
Fire Support - Overwatch Control/Support build on infantry with at least good base aim (especially those with high mobility). Deploy in squads that use a different class as the officer, on missions with large numbers of enemies expected (Transports, base assaults, terror missions, etc.).
At Lance Cpl: Covering Fire as a core perk, increasing overall aim and overwatch efficiency.
At Corporal: Opportunist as a core perk, making overwatch shots on grounded moving targets strictly better than standard shots (target doesn't get cover), and all other overwatch shots equivalent.
At Sergeant: Suppression is ok if you lack other troops with good suppression builds, since you'll get a guaranteed opportunist reaction shot if the target takes any action, but very ammo intensive (2 shots for suppression, 3rd for reaction shot). Ranger will increase the damage output and help increase the odds a reaction shot will be a kill shot. Deadeye could be a solid choice for helping to deal with Floaters, Drones and Cyberdiscs.
At Tech Sgt: Lock N' Load as a core perk, allowing at least two shots per turn regardless of ammo state once Sentinel is unlocked.
At Gun Sgt: Sentinel as a core perk, allowing three shots per turn when firing as first action, two shots after a move/reload.
At Master Sgt: Vital Point Targeting is acceptable if you are content with your trooper's will and mobility and are ok with potentially losing them to a crit. Extra Conditioning for the added stats will help with survivability and mobility if these are lackluster by this point and the extra 4/dpt is negligible for your squad makeup.
Equip completed build with: Heavy Rifle weapons for bonus damage and clip size (standard rifles are fine too, especially if you take vital point targeting at MSGT). Archangel for mobility/toughness (Aegis armor over Titan beforehand). SCOPE and laser sight/neural gunlink to cancel Heavy Rifle penalties or augment a standard rifle pick (latter resulting in extremely accurate reaction fire, enough to give any alien pause before trying to move). Situational third item if available.
Support/passive Psi talents recommended (Inspiration, Feedback, etc.), as you'll mostly rank up psi for the ability to safely use neural gunlink late in progression, and will be overwatching at end of most turns with enemy contact. No core gene mods, apart from one of the eye mods if available.
Suitable Recruits: Unlike many Infantry, this build does not focus on taking regular shots, so high Aim is not so important. High Will is good as these troops make excellent officers. Above average Mobility will help with all the heavy gear they tend to take. High Health is preferred. Defence can be a dump stat as the idea is to attract fire to these soldiers and absorb it, not be impossible to hit in the first place.
LCPL: Steadfast. Since this unit is designated to be the one most likely to be shot and hit, preventing panic on it not only stops its own panic, but cuts off panic chains (where other soldiers panic at each other's wounds, death and panic) at the source. Make the Infantry an Officer and the whole squad can get the benefit of the +5 Will bonus too, reducing the threat of enemy psi and intimidate.
CPL: Will to Survive. Key perk which lets the whole build function. Added to the DR from cover, the soldier can prevent the first 2 or 3 points of damage from each hit. Other sources of DR (e.g., officer bonus, Titan Armour, Iron Skin, Reinforced Armour) can make the unit immune to anything short of critical hits and/or heavy weapons fire. On top of this is a further +3 Will.
SGT: Suppression. Suppressors get fired at a lot, but this soldier is designed to be fired at. Unless there's an opportunity to end the engagement, Tank Infantry should be suppressing the biggest threat (or the second biggest threat if a Gunner is also suppressing) in every turn of combat.
TSGT: Lock 'N' Load. Lets the Infantry maintain continual suppression and not miss a turn of effective action.
GSGT: Resilience. Rounds out the tank build by preventing critical hits, reducing the threat from flanking attacks and destroyed cover too (the big weakness of Will to Survive only).
MSGT: Extra Conditioning. Makes for a nigh-indestructible soldier — as long as the rest of the squad doesn't abandon her. If you were already happy with the toughness and stats of your soldier, you could take Vital Point Targeting instead.
Role: XCOM players know that firefights — multi-turn exchanges of fire between two sets of cover positions — are to be avoided at all costs. Use Snipers, use explosives, use flanks, use recon and ambush, use everything you've got to avoid getting stuck in firefights, where the aliens' raw power and special abilities favour them in the battle of attrition, while another pod could join the fun at any moment.
However, if a firefight does happen, Tank Infantry are the soldiers you want on the front-line. They should take the half-cover position (unless everyone else visible to the aliens also has full cover) closest to the alien positions (but still at mid-range). (Similarly, don't give the Tank Infantry smoke cover unless all other potential targets have equal smoke cover too.) It is more important that the cover be indestructible than low/high, as this soldier is vulnerable to cover destruction: the grenade itself won't do much damage, but will expose it to further shots against which it will have much less DR.
Each turn, the soldier should shoot once, and then suppress (they can also shoot and hunker down, shoot and reload, shoot and heal, etc, as needed). They are not expected to do major damage to the enemy: the shot is free and any hit is a bonus. The aim is simply to have a soldier who continues to contribute to the firefight while also providing maximum damage absorption.
A Tank Infantry will usually be the easiest target for the enemy to hit, and may also attract attention because it is suppressing. Some of these shots are expected to hit, but the damage taken will be greatly reduced by the various sources of DR.
Gear: Tank Infantry should be equipped with a Heavy/Battle Rifle: usually, the soldier will only take the single free shot from Light 'Em Up each turn, so the penalty on shots after acting is not a problem, and the extra damage is welcome. They should wear the heaviest armour available, Reinforced Armour and another defensive item(s) to taste (Plating, Medikit, Respirator).
Limitations: The Tank Infantry's weaknesses include lack of mobility (heavy armour and equipment) and lack of firepower. It is the job of the rest of the squad to find the enemy threat and neutralise it. The Tank Infantry is there to weather the worst of the storm until it's over. Vitally, other soldiers must eliminate enemies, such as seekers and floaters, that threaten to flank the Tank Infantry, eliminating its cover and Will to Survive defence. Tank Infantry is not the right choice for all situations: since its offensive capacity is limited, Tank Infantry can sometimes cause there to be a prolonged firefight when a more aggressively trained/equipped soldier could have helped end the threat before it began.
Suitable Maps: Tank Infantry perform well on Roadway maps: lots of cars means lots of indestructible half-cover for both sides. They are also invaluable whenever heavy resistance is expected and the quality of available cover may be poor.
Other Notes: Note that bringing a Tank Infantry does not mean you can neglect protective choices on the rest of the squad. The AI considers chance to kill as well as chance to hit, and may pass up an easy shot on the Tank for a less accurate shot on a squadmate that might do a lot more damage in the event it hits.
Other classes are also capable of "tanking". Gunners are a common choice, but do not have Steadfast, and lack Lock 'N' Load for maintaining indefinite Suppression. Engineers are unsuitable as they can only get Will to Survive or Suppression (and lack Steadfast or LNL). Rocketeers can get Will to Survive and (Mayhem!) Suppression, but this means passing up improvements to the rockets that are their main feature (and they lack Steadfast or LNL). Medics, Scouts and Snipers all lack the essential Will to Survive.
Leaving aside Mechs and SHIVs, this leaves only Assaults as competing main "tanks" or fire magnets. Assaults can get many of the same protective perks as Infantry — Steadfast, Will to Survive, Resilience, Extra Conditioning — and get more Health per rank. Assaults make good tanks in unpredictable situations, but contribute less in bogged down cover-to-cover firefights where all the enemy is in the same direction: they lack Light 'Em Up to take a free shot (except when it's possible to use H&R or CE), they cannot suppress and don't have LNL to sustain continual fire.
Finally, Tank Infantry make excellent officers: they get +8 Will from their first two perks and would be good choices for the first Lieutenants you promote. Their battlefield role puts them front and centre in the squad: those who need the Will bonus (and other officer benefits) most are likely to be close to the Tank Infantry.
|Long War: Soldiers|