Whenever a selected unit has a weapon equipped, the combat panel is visible in the bottom right corner of the screen. This is where you can control all your weapon-related actions.
A: the middle, big panel with the weapon's image, name, and ammo information also serves as the aim toggle (or ready/holster weapon) button (hotkey: SPACE). Use it to enter targeting mode in order to attack, or holster your weapon manually.
Ammo information not only shows how much ammunition is currently loaded in the weapon (e.g. 40/40), but tells you how much of the exact same ammo is available from your inventory (e.g. +200). Subtypes of the same caliber (e.g..223) aren't taken into consideration.
On the right, you can also see an icon of the loaded ammo, and an icon related to its primary type, such as armor piercing, incendiary, acidic, etc.
B: Above the aim toggle button are the three attack mode selector buttons. These are used to switch between the different attack capabilities of the weapon (see the Attack modes entry.) The green numbers, as always, indicate the Action Points cost of using (not just selecting) an attack mode.
Disabling FF lock to fire at a neutral object
C: The Friendly Fire Lock button is used to toggle the possibility of aiming at neutral (empty ground, walls, objects) and friendly targets. When the button is green, friendly fire attacks are DISABLED. When it's red, they are ENABLED.
Note: Having FF lock enabled (safe) doesn't mean you can't do friendly fire damage accidentally; it means, however, that your units won't attack even during Defense mode if that attack would primarily affect any friendlies.
The buttons in the bottom are for unloading, reloading your weapon, and initiating / canceling Defense mode. The concepts of these actions are covered in other Encyclopedia entries.
General / ranged attack mode panel
There are a lot of properties that make up an attack mode. Very often a weapon's different attack modes are quite different, and are better suited for a specific situation.
Ranged weapons all have 2 ranged attack modes and a generic, fallback melee mode that is not really suitable for efficient melee combat, but can help in Melee Defense if there's no other option.
Properties from left to right, top to bottom:
Melee attack modes
Melee attacks have a few different properties. These are:
Most melee attacks don't cost ammo, but some might (see the Stun baton for example.)
Selecting different attack modes while aiming, then attacking an enemy
To attack, you first have to have toggle aiming on (ready your weapon). This is done by clicking the big weapon button on the combat panel, or by pressing SPACE.
Depending on what attack pattern the currently selected attack mode has, some grids will become marked with different overlay colors.
To perform an attack, left-click on a grid marked in red. While the mouse is over that grid, the attack popup window will be visible. It will tell you your actual chance to hit, and provide info about the target's status.
You can move while the targeting is on.
You can holster your weapon by clicking the big weapon button again.
You can more read about Attack patterns in the next Encyclopedia entries. In general, bear in mind that different obstacles can block the Line of Fire. It seems evident for walls, but, for example, a small (half-height) target may take full cover behind even a small (half-height) object, etc.
Although the Wurm is small, it can be attacked while a marine is “leaning over” the small barrel
Defense Mode puts all current Action Points into reserve and provides Ranged Overwatch OR extra Melee Defense Value (based on the current weapon/attack mode).
It can be freely cancelled, earning you back all APs in reserve.
Defense Mode has a default AP requirement of 10 and a Morale requirement of 20!
In Ranged Overwatch the unit will automatically fire on targets entering its overwatch area while they have enough reserve APs and ammo. The range (area) of this overwatch can be adjusted. Under bad visibility conditions and against some “cloaked” enemies, firing is not guaranteed.
Melee Defense Mode gives you extra Defense Value and Reserve AP % physical damage reduction against melee attacks until the next turn. This bonus is not cancelled or diminished even if Morale falls below 10 or the unit is knocked back, etc. 20+ reserve APs are recommended against tougher enemies.
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