Chimera Squad Enemy Analysis: Sacred Coil Turret

HP: 4/4/5/5 (+1/+3)
Armor: 1/1/1/2
Aim: 85/85/90/90 (+2/+5)
Mobility: 0
Damage: 3-4 (+1/+2)
Will: 50
Initiative: 50
Tech: 30/30/35/35

Turrets are, on higher difficulties, slightly more likely than Androids to resist Patchwork taking control, but you still very much expect to succeed at such attempts.

Alert Actions: Targeting System.

Yes, this means an Alert Turret will do nothing if it can't use Targeting System on anyone. As Targeting System has a fairly low maximum range, it's actually pretty common for an Alert Turret to be essentially a Surprised Turret aside that you won't get the Aim bonus against it.

Ammo Belt
Passive: The Turret's primary weapon never runs out of ammo and cannot be disabled.

This isn't actually a listed ability in-game in any form, but it's a quality Turrets have nonetheless, just like in XCOM 2.

Unlike XCOM 2, Chimera Squad Turrets do not get the ability to fire without it ending their turn, hence why I've come up with a new name and all. As Turrets in XCOM 2 were unreliable about actually leveraging their ability to shoot twice, I am perfectly okay with that quality not making a return; I imagine plenty of players don't even realize this is a difference.

Also, notice this is the second Sacred Coil unit to be immune to weapon disabling effects. As Sacred Coil also has a surprisingly large number of dedicated melee units, Cease Fire Grenades/Bombs can randomly turn out to be mostly or completely a waste of a slot during the Sacred Coil Investigation. Androids being so insistent on self-destructing ASAP contributes to this point, as they're technically susceptible but unless you catch them before their first turn it often does nothing in actual practice to have drained their ammo. I personally tend to just leave Cease Fire Grenades/Bombs behind during the Sacred Coil Investigation unless I'm still filling out equipment slots such that there's nothing better to sub in.

Passive: Does not make use of Cover, but does not suffer penalties from being in the open.

Notably, this means Turrets don't benefit from peek-out mechanics. In conjunction with being immobile, they can end up spawning in awkward positions with no firing line on your squad and no way to fix it, rendering them pretty useless. Importantly, they clearly just use the regular unit initial spawn locations (Unlike how Turrets in XCOM 2 had a special spawn routine), and so can easily end up eating a good defensive position that a normal unit would've appreciated (Because it's a High Cover location), so when this happens it's often making the Encounter easier twice over, since a Cover-using unit would've been potentially difficult to take down if it spawned in that spot.

Also, an oddity with Turrets is that they cannot be targeted with Subdue, which is very relevant given it would bypass their Armor. An oddity to this oddity is that Cherub's Subdue-replacement does work on Turrets, meaning he can be very helpful against Turrets and often is better off bashing them with his shield than he is shooting them, especially if you're playing on the highest difficulty where they pick up a second point of Armor. At that point, an uncharged Bash is doing 3 damage whereas his unupgraded Pistol is hitting for 1-2 damage, and even with his Pistol fully upgraded it's only doing 3-4 damage and so Bash is at least as good if it has any Charge backing it, and will be straight-up better if he has 2 or 3 Charge. (Unless you've equipped him with Caustic Rounds, Bluescreen Rounds, or AP Rounds, of course)

Mechanical Chassis
Passive: Immune to Poison and Fire, but susceptible to anti-robot effects. Cannot be rendered Unconscious.

As Turrets are often pretty ignorable, this tends to be kind of whatever. It can be annoying to have Torque missing out on some damage because her Poison Spit is catching a Turret incidentally but not hurting it, that kind of thing, but ultimately the main time I feel it's particularly notable is when dealing with an Aggressive Turret in the Breach Phase, assuming you have Venom Rounds in specific and so can really feel the missing damage and inability to Poison the Turret for an Aim penalty.

Their susceptibility to anti-robot effects is a lot more reliably significant assuming you brought Patchwork, of course. Their susceptibility to Bluescreen Rounds and Shock Grenades is also worth keeping in mind if you have any, though I personally reserve Shock Grenades for the robots that actually move.

Targeting System
1 action point: Marks a target the Turret can see that is within 7 tiles of the Turret, adding +10 Aim to all attacks targeted at that unit. This effect lasts for 2 of the target's turns, but ends immediately if the Turret is destroyed.

A reminder that Turrets start from 90 Aim if you're above the lower two difficulties, and thus by default they can't miss if their Marked target is in the open or flanked. (And if you hit Sacred Coil last, even in the lower two difficulties they'll have enough Aim for this to be true) If other units have cleared the victim's Cover before the Turret's turn with no intervening chance to move the agent or otherwise protect them, this is a very realistic scenario to crop up!

Also note that you can't use Targeting System yourself if you hack a Turret. Further note that Targeting System includes an AI component, where Turrets under AI control will only target Marked units, to the point that if a Turret has no Marked target in sight it just won't bother shooting! This sort-of-kind-of gives Turrets an effective maximum range of 7 tiles -only sort of, though, for two reasons. The first reason is that this limitation doesn't apply in the Breach Phase at all, where an Aggressive Turret can freely open fire from across the room. The second reason is that once a target is Marked, Turrets are free to fire on that target no matter its distance. (Aside that they do still respect standard maximum range and all) As such, if you've got an agent Marked and can't get them to completely break line of fire with Turrets, moving away isn't actually helpful until the Mark fades. And keep in mind any Turret is willing to target any Marked target, not just targets they personally marked!

Do note that the Mark operates on standard debuff rules, and so one way to deal with it is to just get the agent to take another full turn early, such as via Team Up.

Incidentally, though this is clearly a recycling of the ADVENT Officer's Mark Target mechanic, I'm actually not sure it retains the XCOM 2 thing of the AI broadly preferring to target Marked units. If it does retain that quality (Which would be difficult to definitively test for given the Aim bonus already encourages the AI to target a Marked unit), my experience seems to suggest it would have to be more mild an influence on general AI decision-making than in XCOM 2; Marked targets don't get blatantly dogpiled by non-Turrets in Chimera Squad.

Anyway, by default Turrets have a pretty stringent behavioral chain: if something is in Targeting System range, they Mark it, then they shoot it. If nothing is in Targeting System range but a Marked target is visible, they shoot the Marked target. If nothing is in range and nothing is already Marked, they activate Radial Overwatch -so time to cover that.

Radial Overwatch
Turn-ending action: The Turret's Overwatch designates every tile in every direction up to 3 tiles out as target zones. This replaces standard cone-based Overwatch.

Radial Overwatch is only ever turned to by Turrets as an option of last resort when they can't shoot something. In practice you'll often be seeing it from Turrets stuck behind High Cover, and this often actually makes for a bit of a nuisance, as the mechanics are such that even if it feels like you should be able to melee the Turret without entering the Radial Overwatch zone, in actuality you'll be shot for your trouble. A number of maps are also prone to setting Turrets in positions where they actually completely cover a 2-wide path, which can make it surprisingly tricky to get a line of fire on the Turret without getting shot, and there are some maps where a Turret can end up placed such that it's outright impossible to do so. (In part because they don't use peek-out mechanics and so the game is much stricter about drawing line of fire to them than it is with Cover-using units)

I'm particularly diligent about bringing grenades during the Sacred Coil Investigation if I can in part due to this situation, as grenades can work around the problem. Since Radial Overwatch is still cleared by any damage at all, just like regular Overwatch, any damaging grenade is adequate for this. These situations are one of the few contexts Claymore really stands out from the crowd, as his ability to infinitely toss explosives neatly sidesteps such situations at no resource cost in a way no other agent can really match.

Anyway, less common is to be on a larger map where the Turret is simply placed too far away to Targeting System anyone, and in that case Radial Overwatch generally doesn't matter at all. You can either completely ignore the Turret while dealing with the objective, or ignore it until you've dealt with every other enemy in the room and then shoot the Turret from beyond its range at your leisure; it's not like the game will let you deploy a squad of 4 Zephyrs or something, and normal missions in Chimera Squad are simply not designed to rush you into clearing a room, so in such situations there's really no reason to let the Turret do anything to you at all.

The game probably shouldn't have let Turrets generate on such maps at all, honestly...


I've already mentioned this before, but even though the Sacred Coil Turret's model is completely new, the audiovisual elements when it fires are exactly the XCOM 2 Turret's audiovisual elements when firing. I'm kind of curious if that's meant to be in-universe meaningful, like Sacred Coil literally gutted ADVENT Turrets and shoved their weapons system into a new frame, or if this is simply one of the examples of Chimera Squad's development being a bit thrifty. It would honestly make a lot of sense for it to be in-universe meaningful, but as far as I'm aware the game doesn't actually directly address Sacred Coil Turrets in a narrative capacity, so... ambiguous.

Aesthetically, Turrets being a brand-new graphic is intuitive and sensible enough; the XCOM 2 Turrets seemed to have an element of modular convenience to them where ADVENT forces could ship them in and plug them in relatively conveniently, but the design is such that it seems likely this required specialized equipment, if only in the sense of heavy machinery to cart a Turret about, and they were clearly largely long-term emplacements where ADVENT set up Turrets in expectation of them remaining in place for months, years, or possibly decades. Chimera Squad Turrets have to make sense in the context of Chimera Squad, where you're generally supposed to be interrupting something transitional; the only time the XCOM 2 Turret design might've fit in reasonably well is in the Take Down Sacred Coil mission. For regular missions, Sacred Coil forces are supposed to be hitting a place with intent to be gone in a matter of minutes or hours, so long-term emplacements would obviously not make sense.

And the Sacred Coil Turret design is quite natural to its context, with handles on each side and a frame that looks relatively light, probably primarily plastic instead of metal; it's easy to buy that a pair of Sacred Coil grunts hauled a given Turret out of a truck and into position and there you go.

There's narrative questions to raise about Sacred Coil's willingness to do this; are they intending to abandon the Turrets, or to retrieve them? If abandonment is the default plan, why is Sacred Coil so willing to throw away resources in this way? Or maybe the Turrets are meant to be a just-in-case measure, where the idea is the worst-case scenario is fleeing while Turrets cover their retreat vs the best-case scenario being that nothing happens and they just pack the Turrets up and leave once they're done?

I'm not terribly concerned by these questions in practice as Turrets are clearly first and foremost 'let's adapt this existing XCOM 2 enemy', and there's enough gameplay jank attached to them I suspect the devs didn't really realize what they were committing to in this particular case, both narratively and mechanically. A Chimera Squad that had a longer development tail might've cut the Turrets entirely, or reworked them significantly, given the obvious jank.

But I do have to wonder if thought was given to the narrative context of the Turrets and just not communicated, or what.


Next time, we move on to Guardians.

See you then.


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