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Basic Guide to HOCs

I'm not going to cover the super basics. The official twitter covers that:

Those cover the super bare bones basics of operation, and frankly we have no desire to teach you what everyone else covers. If you really need a guiding hand on the superbasics, there are other resources. 


What the hell are HOCs and FSTs?#

The Heavy Ordnance Corps (HOC) are the forces available to G&K that field heavier weapons than T-dolls are able to normally use. That is, crew served weapons. Fire Support Teams (FST) are the branch of the Heavy Ordnance Corps that field reasonably portable crew-served weapons. While the terms FST and HOC are often used interchangeably, they technically refer to different, albeit related things. However, as FSTs are also currently the only type of HOC in the game, it's kind of moot.


Unlocking HOCs/FSTs#

The FST related rooms are unlocked after clearing Ch8 of the story. After that, using the facilities and starting up your first analysis gives you enough pieces of the BGM-71 TOW missile team to start it up at 1 star and give it to you. From there, you need to level and prepare them for actual use. Even at low levels, the TOW team is quite usable for the role of shieldbreaking. As it damn well should, given it's an anti-tank missile.


FST Types#

There are 3 classes of FST currently in the game. ATWs, MTRs and AGLs. Each type has their own advantages and disadvantages, and all units in a type share a basic attack.

  • Anti-Tank Weapons (ATW): Originally "RPG" and then "ATM" (as in Anti-Tank Missile, not Angry Trap Midget) and then finally ATW after they figured that "missile" is too limiting so now they can have rockets and such. These weapons have powerful shield break and building-busting capability and tend to have VERY high Pierce stat compared to the others, at the cost of generally being meh at everything else. Their range is short. All ATW attacks consist of a 2 part attack like M4's special cannon: a 1.5x/0.5x Damage/Shieldbreak Direct hit, and a 0.5x/1x blast with a 1.5 unit Radius. Because any boosts will benefit both parts of this and both parts apply to the target, their ability to bust shields utterly dwarfs all other FST types.
  • Mortars (MTR): Having extremely low capacity to break shields, they instead have a wide 2 unit blast radius on their basic attacks and are lethal to basic enemy footsloggers. They are suited for use against conventional forces, basically annihilating tight groups and greatly thinning enemy ranks. However, they suck against buildings and aren't very helpful vs shields.
  • Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGL): Sort of inbetween ATWs and MTRs, and attempts to offer a decent mix of range, killing power, and shield break capability. However, they suffer greatly from the fact their damage and shield break capability is split evenly between the 3-shot burst. Because FST attacks focus on the CURRENT HIGHEST ENEMY SHIELD, this means multiple heavy shields absolutely fuck them over, spreading the damage around but not really breaking any.


Basic Stats#

There are 4 basic stats for HOCs/FSTs

  • Lethality: Affects the raw damage of the unit. The higher this is, the more damage the shots will deal vs enemy HP. This makes them die, obviously.
  • Pierce: A weird term used by EN server's official translation, this is the units ability to break shields AND damage buildings. This does NOT, by itself, affect HP damage at all. Also, this component CANNOT MISS EVER, EVEN IF THE MAIN DAMAGE DOES NOT APPLY. Basically, Pierce damage is ALWYAS applied whenever it hits a shield, regardless of all other factors.
  • Precision: ...Basically Accuracy. However, the calculations are completely different, and there is a baseline hitrate of 40% and it cannot drop below this under any circumstances. Also, unlike normal T-dolls, they are unaffected by the night combat accuracy penalty Also, this does NOT AFFECT PIERCE AT ALL EITHER as that always autohits.
  • Reload: ...Guess. However, like Precision, the internal calculation is different.

While these 4 are the stats you can raise, HOCs actually all have a HIDDEN, fifth stat: Armor Penetration. This is shown precisely nowhere in the game and cannot be raised, and is fixed to each type of HOC (so far anyway). ATWs have 400, AGLs have 80, and MTRs have 40.  Unlike every other stat, this one works exactly like normal Armor Pen stat that your dolls have.

There is also 1 more stat, Range. This is basically how far away they can fire. Like AP, this is fixed per class of FST (ATWs have 2, everything else has 3). Unlike AP, they actually put it on the unit so you can tell.


Leveling FSTs#

There are technically 2 ways to gain EXP with your heavy units. As a practical matter, there's only 1: training on the firing range. Every battle gives HOCs a small percentage of the XP for the battle. Unfortunately... they cost as much as full SGMG teams (or more even) and the amount of XP is so pitiful it isn't worth noting. You can get the Special Combat Reports you need to level them from your data room. Just enslave Kalina as you normally do, but select "Special Combat Report" as the desired output.


Using FSTs#

In the field, using FSTs is surprisingly unintuitive. You actually need to tap them twice to bring up the menu. From there, it's simple enough to get the idea: Resupply lets you resupply, and withdraw lets you withdraw. Note that unless they're withdrawing from a heavy helipad, they will lose ALL THEIR CURRENT AMMO AND RATIONS. Regular Helipads and your HQ count as RETREATING IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. 

Finally, there's an on-off switch labeled "Fire Support." This determines whether or not they have authorisation to fire.

If they ARE authorised to fire, they will automatically back up any echelon within range that goes into combat. If in doubt, select them and open up the menu, and it will show you any current Nodes in range by outlining them with glowing circles. In addition, an echelon with active FSTs in range to back it up will have a lighning bolt over their heads, with the number of active FSTs that can back them up displayed (in this case, 1). If they're set to off, they just sit there and wait until you tell them they can fire.

Note that FSTs can only provide fire support while they have ammo, and like normal dolls, they only pack enough ammo for 5 battles worth. Take that into consideration, especially during enemy turns: They will support the battles in order, and unlike normal dolls, they can be involved in multiple battles during the enemy turn as they fire in every battle they're in range of.

Oh, and they can't actually fight back, so you cannot order them to engage enemies in close combat and will automatically flee if attacked. This is expensive, so avoid that and protect them.

Author: Katyusha
Tags: Game Mechanics
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