5/26 update: Added M2.
1/10 update: Updated FAQ.
1/6 update: Released the Acquiring and Leveling HOCs subguide.
1/4 update: Released the HOC Combat Basics subguide.
12/28 update: Added "Are HOCs F2P-friendly" section by popular demand.
Note: This article is a work in progress, released on Early Access due to MICA's announcement on the January 2020 Roadmap. Expect extensive updates on this page over the next few days.
If you already know the basics of how HOCs work and want to know what you should do in-game to make the best of this feature, skip to the HOC Performance Optimization section.
GFL’s Continuum Turbulence event brought with it a new set of played-controlled units called Heavy Ordnance Corps (HOCs). They are special support units intended to provide a wide array of effects during missions, including enemy stat debuffs, allied stat buffs, direct damage, and providing methods around enemy Force Fields in future content.
With the release of Theater, another HOC will be made accessible to players! Participating in the Theater #1 limited-time event will let players unlock AT4, with additional Central Data earned for accumulating more points.
The fifth HOC, M2, will eventually be added to Intelligence Analysis. (AT4 will follow suit when Theater #3 is released.)
Players will unlock Heavy Ordnance Corps after clearing Chapter 8-5. HOC units must be deployed from Heavy Heliports.
Their in-game UI Help has existed for quite some time now, but they haven't been accessible to the player due to the lack of HOC units.
When HOCs are released on GFL EN, Heavy Heliports will be retroactively added to Chapters 9 and 10.
Each Heavy Heliport grants 3 Deployment Points, of which 2 are consumed by each HOC deployed.
A single Heavy Heliport therefore only allows up to one HOC to be deployed. To field all three HOC units, a commander must control at least two Heavy Heliports.
HOCs cannot directly engage in combat - if an enemy unit walks into them (or vice versa), they will automatically lose and retreat.
Instead, HOCs will provide in-combat Fire Support to all units within their firing range if the option is enabled. The HOCs will periodically bombard enemies in battle.
BGM-71 has 2 range while AGS-30 and 2B14 have 3 range.
Like regular units, HOCs have 10 ticks of rations and 5 ticks of ammo. They are far more expensive than typical combat echelons, however, and an echelon supported by multiple HOCs will drain resources from every single HOC.
This extremely heavy resource consumption is a good reason to only enable Fire Support when the player actually needs the help from HOCs, namely when fighting enemies with Force Shields or dense enemy packs that need 2B14's carpet bombing.
For more detailed information about how HOCs work in combat, please check the HOC Combat Basics subguide linked below!
Are HOCs F2P friendly?
The Heavy Ordnance Corps feature is incredibly F2P-friendly; all players will unlock all HOCs and raise them to max rarity easily over time, unlike Fairies and T-Dolls that require good gacha RNG.
HOCs cost no resources to roll for aside from its own in-game item, Original/Pure Samples.
F2P players and whales generate samples at the exact same speed as long as they upgrade their HOC dorm facilities. While MICA did sell a Sample package in CN previously, it was prohibitively expensive (over 4000 gems a day) and barely made a difference in HOC acquisition speed, so very few people bought it.
Regular F2P players can expect to max their HOC rarities at the same time as dolphins and whales, as long as they remember to do Sample Dailies (<5 mins per day) and collect their Samples for Analysis.
Continuum Turbulence itself requires minimal investment in HOCs to clear - a 1★ BGM-71 at Level 40+ is more than sufficient (though raising HOCs to Level 60+ is recommended to let them equip 5★ Chips).
Note: Since it's literally free to roll for more HOC copies, players are still advised to collect and analyze Samples daily to make their HOCs stronger.
This package is incredibly expensive for what little it offers and doesn't even offer a tangible gameplay benefit; people whaling this package to raise their HOCs very slightly faster won't even clear content any more effectively than F2P players who just use the natural regeneration, so it is 10 billion percent not recommended to buy this package.
HOC Acquisition and Leveling
Heavy Ordnance Corps units are made available to the player through a set of new Dorm Facilities, the Intelligence Center and Hangar.
They will, of course, need to be upgraded with batteries for full effectiveness. Fortunately, not every facility needs to be maxed - see the miniguide linked below or the HOC Performance Optimization section for more details.
Circuits & HOC Tetris
HOCs come with a much-dreaded mechanic of Circuits and Chips, colloquially referred to as "HOC Tetris" for reasons that will become abundantly clear in a moment.
Players need not worry about minmaxing the HOC tetris until their HOCs reach 5★ rarity, which can take 6-7 months even for players that diligently do the Briefing Station quests every single day. While at low rarity, it is sufficient to simply insert chips with desirable stats, prioritizing in the following order:
- Chips with stats amicable to the HOC's role:
- Chips of the same color, if two chips have similar stats
- Filling out as much of the board as possible
As this is a very complicated mechanic, a far more detailed separate guide is included.
HOC Performance Optimization
This section is intended as a tl;dr for players wanting to optimize their gameplay for the HOC release. For detailed mechanics, consult the rest of this article above.
Players should prepare as many Batteries as they can possibly hold, as the HOC mechanic is a massive battery drain in almost all aspects.
Over x13,000 will be required just to upgrade all the dorm facilities to the bare minimum recommended levels, not to mention the battery consumption from HOC Skill Training and EXP Training.
Lv. 4 > 7 > 10
This is BGM-71's most important Skill for her role of breaking Force Shields, and should be maxed ASAP.
Initial CD: 0s (~3s until it lands)
Lv. 4 > 7 > 10
This is 2B14's primary AoE nuke and should be leveled as much as possible to make the best use of her.
Lv. 4 > 7 > 10
This is AGS-30's third skill and her main shield-breaking ability. AP Concussion should be upgraded as high as possible ASAP, though not higher than that of BGM-71's skill.
- A total of x3000, x3000, x3000 will be needed to max all three skills shown above.
- Players who cannot max all of them should train them equally.
- To max all 9 Skills for the three HOCs, a total of x7200, x7200, x7200 is required.
For more information on the Skill Training priority for each individual HOC, check out their individual pages below.
After HOCs are officially released, the following dorm facility upgrades should be prioritized:
Because HOC rarity can only be raised through getting more copies from Data Analysis, maximizing the income of Samples is the #1 priority.
- The Listening Station directly contributes most of your Sample generation and should therefore be maxed first.
- The Analyzer should be leveled high enough to process the Sample income.
- The Briefing Desk should be leveled also, though the Listening Station takes priority.
- The Sample Storage Facility is helpful for stockpiling Samples, which can be especially useful for HOC rate-up events.
The most important facility in the hangar is the Training Grounds, as it raises the speed and efficiency of EXP Training for the player's HOC squadrons.
- HOCs effectively require Special Combat Reports to level up, and upgrading the Training Grounds increases the number of reports per battery spent for EXP Training, boosting both the efficiency and speed of the process.
The Repair Facility can be left at a low level since Quick Repair Contracts can be used, and the Storeroom can be upgraded on a need basis as the player acquires Circuits.
Players who have not yet upgraded their Data Room should level it slightly (Level 4-6, depending on battery income) after all HOC facilities are upgraded, so that Special Combat Reports can be written more quickly.
Should I save my Pure Samples for later?
- No, always analyze all of your Samples ASAP. HOC Rate-Ups give you plenty of time to save because they are announced way ahead of time.
How does HOC damage interact with Armor?
- Anti-Tank Missile HOCs such as the BGM-71 have 400 AP.
- Automatic Grenade Launchers like the AGS-30 have 80 AP.
- Mortar units have the least; 2B14 only has 40 AP.
I heard about a "HOC Rework" - what does that mean for GFL EN?
- Heavy Ordnance Corps units will be in the post-rework state when they are released on the Girls' Frontline Global Server according to the official Twitter Q&A.
This means that guides written by foreign players predating the HOC rework may have outdated information. The list of changes (compiled by Armand#6969) are shown below for your convenience: (HOCs will already have these changes when they are released on EN.)
- In-battle firing range of HOCs improved.
- HOC now have 1 vision range during night battle.
- HOC can now resupply at normal helipads and resupply nodes.
- Force Shield changed to provide % damage reduction, and HOC damage is no longer affected by Force Shield.
- HOC's shield break effect is no longer affected by accuracy.
- Excess shield break value is converted into damage at a certain rate when attacking.
- Increase HOC overall accuracy (formula change, actual stats unchanged)
- Adjusted Reload formula for HOC; additionally, HOC details now show the time between each shot.
- Added more Resonance Bonuses for HOC at 4 tiles and 10 tiles.
- BGM-71 changed to deal single target + AoE splash damage.
- AGS-30 support range increased to 3, AoE radius increased.
I didn't prepare nearly enough Batteries or Training Data for HOCs. Will I be OK for Continuum Turbulence?
- All of Continuum Turbulence can be cleared with a 1★ BGM-71, which is given for free. Upgrading its skill to MAX is helpful but not 100% necessary for clearing the event - a strong combat echelon can compensate.
Preparing batteries only really gives you a small boost at the start; once all facilities are maxed, you'll gain HOC copies (Central Data) at the exact same rate as the people who went into this update with capped batteries. Being a few days behind at the start won't make any difference after a few weeks.
Where can I see the exact details and numbers regarding HOC Dorm Facilities?
- See the HOC Facilities Megasheet compiled by DMesse.
In what order should I level the HOC Dorm Facilities?
- This is answered in great detail in the HOC Dorm Facilities Optimization section.
How high should I raise HOC Skills if I don't have the Training Data to max all of them?
- The recommended Skill Training order is provided in the HOC Dorm Facilities Optimization section. For the non-primary skills, check out the individual pages for each HOC.
- Ceia#0027 for providing clips and detailed explanations of HOC units in his Continuum Turbulence Preparation Guide.
- DMesse for compiling the very useful HOC Facilities Megasheet.
- salty emp#4632 for sharing his foreign server experience and providing recommendations and insight on the HOC unit skill trainings and dorm facility upgrades.
- Jetroyz#1366 for fact-checking the obscure technical details of some HOC skills.
- Yuko#1428 for the numerous recommendations about how to ELI5 the Heavy Ordnance Corps mechanic.
- corsage#0001 for translating the KR doc and explaining the obscure idiosyncrasies associated with HOCs.
- Shuvi#1220 for his feedback on the visual elements and design of this guide.
- Totenkopf-chan#3321 and hina#8787 for contributing a more accurate estimate of 5★ HOC acquisition bottom line.
GFLCorner has made another set of excellent infographics for this mechanic! Make sure to check them out if you'd like some infographics to go with the wall of text you've just read.
DMesse compiled a HOC Facilities Megasheet that explains everything there is to know about the dorm facilities!