If your mercs see an enemy, they might gain a bit of information on him. If your team has collected enough information, they know his role. Think of it as seeing a guy with an antenna, and then deducting that he might be the guy that radioed artillery on your squad. Or the other guy, with that shiny uniform and the medals? He might be an officer of sorts. Taking him out might sow confusion among enemy ranks.
At the moment, the following enemy roles have been defined:
- 1 - Officers
- 2 - Medics
- 3 - Snipers - anyone with a sniper rifle (trait not required)
- 4 - Radio operators - anyone with the radio operator and a working radio set
- 5 - Mortar guys - anyone with a mortar (trait not required)
What is an officer you ask? Well, if the enemy team size is high enough, a soldier with the squadleader trait might become an officer. His officer rank equals the number of his squadleader traits, so there are 2 stages. The highest-ranking officer grants boni to suppression resistance and morale to the entire enemy team in the sector. So these guys are very, very high-value targets.
Another new addition are enemy medics. These guys are enemies that have a first aid or med kit and the doctor trait. They will seek out wounded comrades and bandage and heal them: they perform surgery on them, like your doctors can do. For balancing reasons, they perform it slightly different, can do surgery just with a first aid kit, and drain their kits less. A medic can restore a lot of enemy health points if 'not taken care of', thereby greatly increasing their chances of survival.
Enemy generals is a new feature that builds on enemy roles.
The idea is that, as strategically inept as the arulcan army is, it is still lead by a few individuals (As the cutscenes indicate, Deidranna doesn't lead directly, Elliot is inept, and Joe is just a bodyguard). These are her generals.
The generals are distributed in several cities in the country... but you, the player does not know where. As generals are the ones organising the army, every general still alive gives a bonus to decision speed to the army. This speeds up how fast the army reevaluates the strategic situation - the army will send out patrols faster than normally. A second bonus is a global bonus to travel speed. Similar to the ranger trait's travel speed bonus, but for all enemy forces.
As a result, a player would be well advised to take out the generals. Taking out a general will help your forces everywhere.
But wait. You don't know where the generals are! How can you take them out?
Well, they will still be there among the enemy forces. You just won't know they are generals, but they die like everybody else. So you could just do what you always do, invade city by city an kill everybody... but the generals aren't that dumb. They know of their value.
A general has a few AI modifications. Notably, he will always flee from combat once he is aware of your forces. You might get lucky and still kill him, but most likely not. If a general flees, he is relocated to Meduna. You can still kill him there, but if you have forces there, then the game is almost over... to late for this kill to be of any meaning.
How do you know who is a general and who isn't? That's were prisoners come into play. If a prisoner interrogation gives you intel, there is a chance that they might tell you about a general you don't yet know about. This is indicated on the strategic map (see last picture in the first post of the story). You now know that a prisoner is there. If you now enter the sector, you can identify a general just like other enemy roles (a red '!' indicates a general).
A general is never alone. He has a loyal retinue of bodyguards that always stick around him. These elites have orders to stick close to him, making it much harder to get to him alone.
Hmm. But how to kill a general? You have several options.
- You send in a huge assault, and hope to get him before he can flee. An approach form several directions is advisable.
- A covert operative is more discrete. If you know that a general is present, you can take your time to identify him, and then plan your kill.
- Suicide bombing wasn't planned as a viable tactic, but it works very fine. Covert Ops gives several EPCs, like, Joey, Maria and the Kulbas, the civilian disguise (they are civilians after all). With Inventory arming, you can prepare remotely controlled bombs (use C4 or C1 as these have the 'covert' flag that makes it undetectable by enemy troops) and apply these items to the civilian. This won't work in sectors where the army is suspicious of all civilians though, but for the rest, you can go full taliban.
Special tip: almost all generals are unknown to the player, but there might also be an NPC who is one of them. 5 rubber points to the first person to pick out the obvious culprit.