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Reaper rounds provide the following benefit:

  • Affects conventional weapons only
  • Adds 20% to critical chance against organic targets
  • Doubles the weapon's range penalty

At higher difficulties (classic and impossible), in XCom Enemy Within, is there a valid reason to use Reaper rounds ?

Or is it better to always beeline to laser weaponry from a cost/opportunity point of view ?

  • I usually end up with a period for which rifles are lasers, but the heavies are still shooting bullets. I've been using reaper rounds with the heavies to bridge this gap a bit. I have thought about trying them with the sniper, given that the sniper has no (long) range penalty, but SCOPE + respirator is too valuable. Plus, no crits from squad sight anyway... – Flyto Nov 18 '13 at 15:12
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Reaper rounds increase the damage of conventional weapons (by increasing the crit chance by 20%), but double the weapon's range penalty. It's your choice of whether to use them or not according to your play style and preferred tactics.

Take notice that they only affect conventional weapons so once you move all your squad to laser/plasma weapons, the Reaper Rounds will have no effect.

Here are two notes about their usage from Xcom wikia:

  • Reaper Rounds are an effective way to increase the potency of conventional weapons before better items, such as Beam Weapons are researched and manufactured. The added technological and research options in XCOM: Enemy Within can delay a player's progression up the basic weapon research tree significantly, especially at Classic or Impossible difficulty. Reaper Rounds can help give a damage output boost to classes such as the Assault, Heavy and Sniper, the enhanced weapons for whom must be researched separately, incurring greater costs in money and time compared to upgrading the base Assault Rifle quickly.

  • Reaper Rounds shine when given to Shotgun build Assaults, given that their weaponry specialization largely negates the range penalty, and increases crit rates that such troops are often reliant on to clear an enemy. Reaper Rounds also work well when given to Snipers, as the range penalty on Sniper Rifles is for close-range attacks versus long-range. Heavies benefit less from Reaper Rounds, since their lower base Aim reduces the number of crits that actually hit, though if a player adopts a strategy of Heavies closing with enemies more this deficiency can be compensated for. Supports and Rookies benefit the least from the use of Reaper Rounds since the range versatility of their assault rifles is negatively impacted.

As to my own experience, I didn't use them because I prefered to have the scope to increase aim instead of them, and I researched laser weapons before I got tactical rigging, so it wasn't relevant any more. I did research the tech needed for tactical rigging before the laser weapons, but didn't have money for the foundry project, and didn't see it as important enough.

At the start of a game I usually have very little funds and can't afford a lot of things so I try to get only the absolute necessity. At the start, the soldiers are poor shots anyway and the enemies have relatively low health, so a penalty to aim in my mind is much worst that an addition to damage.

On second thought, they might be good to take on the first terror missions to deal with the problematic chrysalids, they don't take cover, so hit percentages are usually high, but they have a lot of health and a 1-hit kill attack, so killing them quickly from close range is a priority, although I didn't try it for myself.

  • my question was more: is it efficient to use them from a cost/benefit point of view ? – BlueTrin Nov 18 '13 at 14:44
  • @BlueTrin It is for the shotgun using assaults. – Lyrion Nov 18 '13 at 14:51
  • @BlueTrin, I didn't use them, I prefer the scope over anything else, in EU I used the scope for all my soldiers and went to missions without grenades. You might have different tactic and preferences. What is YOUR definition of cost/benefit? – SIMEL Nov 18 '13 at 14:52
  • I think your answer is very good, if you add a line explaining why you thought it was more efficient to beeline, I am happy to accept this. At the moment I cannot see a reason for going for reaper rounds as it slows down your research for little benefit, but I may be wrong. If you update your answer with a one liner I am happy to accept. – BlueTrin Nov 18 '13 at 14:55
  • @BlueTrin, It won't necessarily slow down your research, The Experimental Warfare research gives you a lot of benefits, as it'll open up the foundry and give you other benefits. I didn't understand what line exactly you want me to add. – SIMEL Nov 18 '13 at 15:27

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