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How does overwatch work?


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I'm not all that clear about the workings of overwatch for example what difference does drawing a large targeting cone have over a small targeting area?

Also how is overwatch triggered? Is it just movement in the area or someone taking an action such as shooting?


I hope you folks can help me.

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Overwatch is only really triggered once the enemy has spotted you. If you're not in turn-based mode yet, it's basically just an "in case things start happening" thing.

The cone is the area they'll watch, and if someone moves in(to) it, they'll try to shoot it.

Keep in mind that:
- they only shoot with burst (if your gun has burst mode)
- they only shoot at the chest
- the number of AP they had left when you put them on overwatch determines how many shots they can fire in overwatch. 
- once combat starts, they're locked into overwatch for their first turn. So if you've set up overwatch on your whole team -1, use the last merc to shoot an enemy, the rest of them spend their first turn in overwatch (after the "scramble turn" that the enemies get).
     - Fox gets her AP back for her first turn because of her Talent. 


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2 hours ago, Mordante said:

what difference does drawing a large targeting cone have over a small targeting area?

Mostly tactical considerations:

  • long cone engages at larger distance - less likely to hit, but if it does, keeps enemies at a safe distance
  • short cone lets enemy get closer (may be risky) but once activated, more likely to hit and cause damage
  • similar considerations for wide, short cone vs narrow, long cone (influenced by weapon type, ammo type, gun modifications, ...)

Practical examples: some enemies are very dangerous even when far away (snipers, rockets...). Others become dangerous only at a medium distance (e.g. enemies with pistols). And then there are enemy types who are completely harmless until they can literally touch your merc. If you know the enemy type, you can draw your cone based on that. Or have multiple mercs set up layered cones.

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