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is it always more advantageous to flank an enemy? I am asking this because even thought sometimes my percentage to hit an enemy hit on like really in the face is 80% and yet i can miss it from like 2 spaces away (this happens in Classic mode).

and its not an isolated case, I have been getting crappy hits with recurring high percentage to hit the alien like 80-93% even.

do i really need to flank the alien to guarantee a hit?

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As other answers have stated, yes, it is advantageous to flank. But I know the pain you speak of, and something's not right in the game because my guys don't miss 10% of the time when the game says they have a 90% chance to hit...it's more like 30%, and that is frustrating for the player. –  Bernard Dy Mar 3 '13 at 16:34
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@BernardDy confirmation bias. –  kotekzot Nov 5 '13 at 16:49
    
You're probably right, but it's just a game I like and I was just making a comment. –  Bernard Dy Nov 6 '13 at 4:35
    
@BernardDy and I was all set to send you to a concentration camp for people who don't understand probability theory. Guess I won't do it now. –  kotekzot Nov 6 '13 at 15:17
    
Sometimes the random number god just hates you. Don't worry, his wraith doesn't last for long... most of the time. –  Philipp Nov 6 '13 at 15:53
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2 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Your question is not correct.

It IS advantageous to flank an enemy, because it gives you better chance to hit. But if your chance to hit is, say, 90%, it does not matter if you are flanking - flanking is already factored in these 90%, and your chance to hit is 90%. There are no "normal ninety percent" and "flanking ninety percent", that would be kind of stupid.

To guarantee a hit, you need to GUARANTEE a hit - i.e. get a one hundred percent chance. I've missed from 98% percent, and this is correct - approximately two shots out of 100 should miss.

The only thing you can do to "game" hit percentages is reload and shoot in a different order. The game remembers random number generator state after save-load, and will always roll same numbers for same actions - but you can switch your shots around to miss with low-damage shot and then hit with a high-damage one.

EDIT: upcoming Enemy Within expansion is promised to have a configurable option of saving random number generator state. I.e. with it off, you would be able to simple reload and take the shot until the outcome becomes "fair" ;-)

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As gaming the system goes, its even better to use bad rolls for enemy fire (owerwatch or don't fire at all and let them fire. But do you want to game the game, or play it? –  user470365 Nov 5 '12 at 8:26
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Also note that the game rounds numbers (as it only displays whole numbers) So even though it displays you have a 100% chance to hit you could actually have a 99.5% chance to hit and thus miss. This has happened to me on multiple occasions. –  AdamP Nov 6 '12 at 18:18
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Flanking prevents a cover bonus (so up 40% swing), and increases the critical chance by 50%.

There is no other trick to hitting; sometimes, your guys just miss.

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