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Raiders are enemies that spawn in groups at semi-regular intervals. Group size, health, skill, and equipment depend on both the set game difficulty and the time already elapsed in the game. Typically on Tough Cassandra Classic only one wounded raider spawns in the first group, and the subsequent group has 3-5 raiders; eventually, there are groups of more than 20 raiders with the lowest health being above 80. Raiders will invoke a message when they spawn, and an alert will come when they begin their assault.

Raiders can enter "steal" mode if they see enough value. In this mode, they will grab your stuff and carry it off.

If the raiders see that they are losing, they may try and kidnap someone of your colony by letting some do the actual kidnapping and some covering them. Only colonists will be kidnapped. After one of your colonists has been kidnapped, a ‘ransom demand’ incident can fire, demanding silver for the colonists that has been kidnapped.

As of Alpha 15 (August 28st, 2016), raiders steal a bit more often now.


Raiders have limited equipment possibilities. Usually on Cassandra Classic they come equipped early on with mostly pistols and crude melee weapons, some survival rifles and pump shotguns later down the line. In the late game they can come equipped with things such as frag grenades, sniper rifles, incendiary launchers and machine pistols. Rarely some will have assault rifles or even Charge Rifles. A raiding party may include members equipped with melee weapons and personal shields. When a raiding party includes grenade throwers, the AI is intelligent enough to run way from grenades thrown by their own faction.

As of Alpha 14 (July 15th, 2016), the AI dressing algorithm is now better at making outfits to withstand cold temperatures. If there is no way to make a survivable outfit, pawns won’t arrive at all. No more raids arriving and keeling over in -60C weather.

Raiders' Strategies

Immediate Attack

Raiders, upon either landing in their drop pods or arriving on the map sides, will proceed to instantaneously converge on your colony and attack. The best thing to do is to defend.

Immediate Attack Smart

Like Immediate Attack, but the raiders are unusually clever in their tactics because they simply steal some of your items and run. This can be devastating in early game, because a raider may steal your stockpile of components, leaving you without any means of using electricity.


Raiders, upon either landing in their drop pods or arriving on the map sides, will proceed to stand around in a small group near-by where they spawned for a period of time and then proceed to attack. It is possible and a completely viable strategy to attack them while they are "preparing". This preparation has no effect on their attack other than the fact that it gives you more time to prepare yourself.


Raiders, upon either landing in their drop pods or arriving on the map sides, will proceed to instantaneously converge on your colony but not attack. They will instead mine a separate way into your colony away from your defenses. This can be a fairly dangerous way (for you) for them to try and attack. The best thing to do is instantly assault them before they can mine too much. Sappers will also avoid high-health ore veins, like compacted plasteel.


Raiders, upon landing in their drop pods, will proceed to receive building supplies (things such as metal, food, medical supplies, and artillery shells) and construct any number of the following:

  • Mortars
  • Incendiary Mortars
  • Sandbags

After constructing the amount they desire, they will proceed to bombard the colony with mortar shells, potentially causing a great deal of damage. The best strategy is either to assault the mortar base or wait it out and repair the damage as best as you can. The choice mainly depends on the surroundings of the mortar base and your base's position. If your base is located under a mountain (your base tiles will read Overhead Mountain when you hover your cursor over them), the mortar shells won't be able to hit those tiles at all! This makes deep mining a very effective strategy against heavy bombardment. If you don't build your base into a mountain, you should at least consider digging out at least one panic room for your colonists to hide within from the shells.

If you assault their base, one possibility is sniping either the shells or the mortars, hoping an explosion kills many of the raiders.

Note, the raiders always spawn in with ranged and melee weapons -- they can't all spawn with melee.

Defense Strategy

Raiders will start by standing around in a group where they spawned and will continue this until they see a colonist nearby or they hit a certain preparation time limit, at which point they begin the assault. Because a colonist can set them off early, you can plan out the time you want them to attack. It is generally best to set them off early if you're well-prepared, to avoid potentially troublesome scenarios such as having no power when their timer runs out. Conversely, you should not set them off early if your defense is not prepared. Note that raiders usually take less than one day to begin, meaning that if there is an eclipse and you rely on Solar generators, you should not wait for them and should instead set them off early while you still have some power left. Also it's good to note that raiders will remember where your traps are. This doesn't apply to other factions, though -- if, say, the Vipers of Power come in and sets off your traps, then they would remember that. But, if the Rippers of Fire later attack, they won't have that knowledge and will still set off the same traps.

Raiders will attack randomly chosen constructed objects and colonists. They will not attack prisoners, rock walls,animals (unless the animals are hostile) or unpowered turrets. Raiders will usually set fire to Food(As in growing zones), power generation, walls, nutrient paste dispensers, equipment racks, drop beacons; they will melee-attack lamps, beds, stools, short tables, long tables, and doors; they also use molotovs and frag Grenades on auto-turrets, sandbags, and other targets. They will not attack blasting charges, power conduits, zones, flooring, or graves. It is thus recommended to keep power generation, eating areas, lighting, doors, and walls near or behind a protected entrance. Raiders will prioritize firing on colonists or turrets when those colonists or turrets are firing on them, but will otherwise prioritize random objects, meaning you can put doors or walls near your defenses to temporarily distract them.

Turret Nested Entryway

Turreted outside areas are generally only viable for the first several raids (in Tough Cassandra Classic), after which the areas will quickly get overwhelmed each raid due to not being able to focus fire on the spread-out raiders. Remember that raiders will run from exploding turrets! While protecting the outside starting area, you want to rapidly pause the game during raids and give orders to repair damaged turrets. Turrets should each get their own sandbags to reduce incoming fire both to the turret and the colonist behind the turret repairing/shooting. Putting a turreted defense in an underground base with a narrow entrance and wide turreted area is best because it forces the raiders to take a single-file approach to where all the turrets will be able to fire on them. There should be more than one line of turrets so that the innermost line or lines can be used to position colonists where they are not immediately under threat from grenades (grenadiers will target the closest turrets first) or if colonists are positioned closer so they can repair, to retreat colonists further back when turrets are about to be or have been destroyed. Every line of turrets should have a line of sandbags directly in front and every supporting wall/rock should also have sandbags to lessen the likelihood of collapse due to collateral damage. Turrets should not be placed directly (within three tiles) next to wall/rock or other turrets for the same reason, as they explode when they run out of health. Outside or in front of the defense area, you can put blasting charge minefields in areas they are likely to group up in. Gun Turret Cooling is a priority for later raids, but should not be rushed. The extra shots tend to help kill raiders, but early on you will want to incapacitate them so you can capture and imprison them for recruitment.

By enclosing your entryway in a large unroofed room, you have created a "killbox".

Note: as of the Alpha 11 "Sappers" attack strategy for raiders, this method of defense can be avoided by any of the slightly higher level raids, but is still a viable option for many of the raids as not all of them will attempt this strategy.

"Attention Suppressor" Entryway

Once you have lots of bulk materials, but don't have enough industry to build proper defenses, you can build an attention suppressor out front of your basic defensive line. This is usually out of wood, although the flammability of wood is a problem.

Start like you're making a 29×29 room(27×27 interior), but instead of doors, just leave one-tile openings at opposite ends. That way it doesn't get a roof. If needed, use a no roof area. Down the middle of the attention suppressor leave an open path, 3 tiles wide, which will actually be travelled by your colonists. Pack the sides with alternating walls, leaving numerous blind alleys branching off the open path. The attention suppressor should look like two giant combs facing each other across the path, or perhaps like a cutaway of an especially-blocky sound suppressor.


#############   #############
#                           #
#############   #############
#                           #
#############   #############
#                           #
#############   #############
#                           #
#############   #############
#                           #
...and so on

A raider entering through an attention suppressor is presented with numerous blind alleys, each one of which could hold something important. Raiders will typically only resist the lure of a dozen or so blind alleys, after which they'll turn off into a blind alley to look for something to attack. In many cases they'll attack the walls, but the general effect is that a raiding force will spend a long time milling around in the attention suppressor, deeply distracted, and slowly trickle out of it toward your base alone, or (for a large raid) in twos and threes. This slow trickle of raiders is easily handled by a few colonists with basic weapons, or later a few turrets and a repairer.

Colonists and visitors with specific business on one side or the other of the attention suppressor will go quickly down the middle without being distracted. However, colonists pursuing joy activities like going for a walk will usually be diverted to do so in the blind alleys of the attention suppressor. As a result, it's not safe to fill with deathtraps.

Mortar Tactic

A mortar attack on siege and tribe raids can be effective while the attackers are still preparing. It's fun and most times raiders would flee before begin their assault due to huge losses of men during preparation. If you managed to destroy the mortars and crew members during a siege, you can dismantle the sandbags and take their supplies (400~600 steel) (If you're lucky enough, you can get an intact mortar)

It takes at least 4 mortars to be effective, any around 8 mortars will be enough for most attacks. Do note that each mortar needs its own shell storage, mortar shells can stack up to 25, you will need around 200 shells for 8 mortars to work effectively/automatically (manually un-man the turret can solve this issue) Normal Raid Prep - 3 Rounds per mortar Siege - 4-5 Rounds per mortar