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Royalty added a new type of hostile event - the Mechanoid Cluster. These may be associated with quests, or can spawn in place of a normal raid. During this event, a fleet of drop pods will land and deploy mechanoids, walls, turrets, and assorted buildings. These mechanoids will initially be dormant and are eventually awakened by the player attacking, a Proximity activator being tripped, or a Count-down activator finishing its count down.
|Building Type||Image||Health||Description||Effect||Size||Must be destroyed to kill cluster|
|Mech capsule||180||A mechanoid storage and deployment capsule. It can contain a number of mechanoids, ready to emerge and fight upon being awakened||Deploys between ? and ? mechanoids when triggered.||2x3||No|
|Mech assembler||260||An automated mechanoid factory. It periodically assembles and deploys new mechanoids.||Releases 1 mechanoid of a single type periodically. Exact time varies. As of 1.1.2624 shuts down after producing 4 mechanoids.||3x3||Yes|
|Mech drop beacon||100||A mechanoid reinforcement drop beacon. When activated, it calls in a group of mechs to land in drop pods nearby.||Calls mechanoid reinforcements in a local area.||1x1||No|
|Proximity activator||100||A proximity alarm for dormant mechanoids. If it detects a human-like threat nearby, it will awaken any nearby dormant mechanoids or structures.||Activates any nearby sleeping mechanoids.||1x1||No|
|Count-down activator||100||A timed mechanoid activation unit. After counting down, it will wake nearby dormant mechanoids and structures.||Activates any nearby sleeping mechanoids.||1x1||No|
|Bullet shield||200||A shielding device which projects a momentum repulsor field. Shots can go out, but not in. This one is tuned to low angles, so it will block ground-level projectiles like bullets. The unit can be temporarily disabled by EMP attacks, either by shocking the projector unit itself, or using EMP munitions on the shield.||Blocks pawn's projectiles from firearms.||1x1||No|
|Mortar shield||200||A shielding device which projects a momentum repulsor field. Shots can go out, but not in. This one is tuned to high angles, so it will block mortar rounds. The unit can be temporarily disabled by EMP attacks, either by shocking the projector unit itself, or using EMP munitions on the shield.||Blocks mortar rounds.||1x1||No|
|Gloomlight||50||A self-powered mechanoid light. Gloomlights can be deconstructed to yield valuable resources, or used as lights - but only if they are captured intact. The internal micro power cell will flame out and ruin the materials if the unit takes too much damage.||Emits light||1x1||No|
|Unstable power cell||200||A mechanoid power generation unit. The vanometric power core will run forever, extracting energy from quantum foam fluctuations.
An internal amplifier system makes it unstable. If damaged, the unit will generate a massive explosion.\n\nSome brave humans steal these from mechanoids for their own use as power plants or defensive bombs. However, an unintentional detonation can be devastating.
|Provides 400W of power||1x1||No|
|Building Type||Image||Health||Description||Effect||Size||Must be destroyed to kill cluster|
|Auto mortar||?||180||A self-powered, self-loading, automatic mortar. It can hit targets at any distance, over walls, but is quite inaccurate.||The auto mortar will slowly destroy even the best defended and equipped bases from a distance, making these one of the biggest threats of a mechanoid cluster.||2x2||Yes|
|Auto inferno turret||?||380||A self-powered turret mounted with an Inferno cannon (Turret).||A defensive turret that shoots incendiary shells.||2x2||Yes|
|Auto charge blaster turret||?||380||A self-powered turret mounted with a light charge blaster.||Defends Mechanoid clusters with a fast firing blaster, making this one of the most dangerous turrets to try to disable.||2x2||Yes|
|Mini-slugger turret||100||A self-powered defense turret mounted with a weak but long-ranged mini-slugger. May explode when damaged.||A small common defensive turret used by mechanoid clusters. Fairly harmless but has incredible range.||1x1||Yes|
Mech Clusters are best dealt with from extreme range, to avoid placing your colonists in unnecessary harm.
Walls and Cover
If a mechanoid cluster has not yet activated, your colonists may have an extensive interval in which they can perform preparation work. Building a wall between the cluster and your base will prevent turrets from shooting your colonists, and allow your troops more flexibility to maneuver while dealing with mobile units. Be careful to use the Architect menu to remove the designation that the wall is part of the home area, lest a colonist decide to go cleaning or firefighting just in front of the wall. (Designating allowed areas for your colonists can also help keep them safe.)
If you intend to use direct fire attacks, you should take care not to wall the cluster away entirely, or you may be unable to disable the turrets. Leave a way for your troops to shoot at the cluster from cover, and provide a protected path to access this site.
If a mech cluster is well beyond your colony's abilities, you may be able to wall it in entirely while you prepare better armament.
For a Mech Cluster without any proximity activators, 1 explosive IED can take out any turret or small building. 1 EMP IED has a bigger area of effect than a EMP mortar shell. IEDs can be daisy chained to cover a greater area. The IED can be set off with a targeted attack such as a sniper rifle, a mortar volley, or by waiting for an activation timer to count to 0.
Care must be taken to keep colonists 2 squares away from units or buildings while constructing the IED, to prevent the cluster from waking up.
Indirect Fire Tactics
For Mech Cluster without a Mortar Shield, mortars are obviously the best way to deal with them, especially as the mechanoids linger in a small, confined area. Prolonged shelling can easily destroy mech clusters and weaken the mobile mechanoids substantially before triggering them to attack your colony (where you can take advantage of your base defenses).
For Mech Clusters with Mortar Shields, you can either try to destroy the shields first with snipers, or simply overpower the shield. Each mortar shield is temporarily deactivated for a few seconds when they block a mortar shell. As such, a battery of 4-8 mortars timed to all fire at once can easily penetrate the shield with most of its shells. Mixing a few EMP shells in can also help disable the Mortar Shield, allowing successive salvos to ignore and hopefully destroy the shield before it can come back online.
Orbital Bombardment/Beam Targeter
Another easy way to destroy a Mech Cluster is to save your Orbital bombardment targeter or Orbital power beam targeter for them. These are quite rare as they are found only via quest rewards and ancient dangers. However, the damage they rain down can easily destroy even a double or triple strength mech cluster, leaving only Centipedes as survivors to assault your base.
If a colonist has the appropriate imperial permits, he or she can call down either an aerodrone strike or an aerodrone salvo.
Direct Fire Tactics
The Sniper rifle, Triple rocket launcher, and Doomsday rocket launcher are all long range weapons. The two rocket launchers also do extra damage vs buildings. Using these three weapons with a coordinated first salvo from prepared forward positions, you can inflict severe damage upon Mech Clusters as soon as they wake up. Opening volleys should focus on taking out any defending long-range mechanoids (Lancers/Pikemen) and the Auto-Inferno Turret.
While the Mini-Slugger Turret and Auto Charge Blaster Turret both have high range, the former has weak shots and the latter is wildly inaccurate at range, which means your colonists incur minimum risk from them by attacking from long range, behind cover, while wearing appropriate armor. You can also use a smoke launcher to further protect your colonists as they assault turrets.
Depending on the damage you inflict from opening salvos, and the mechanoids' behavior, you may have to decide between withdrawing to your base or mounting a shootout from your forward positions.
EMP grenades can disable both mechanoids and mech cluster buildings. Meanwhile Fragmentation grenades inflict high damage vs buildings and can destroy any mech cluster turret with one hit. Thus a grenadier team, taking advantage of cover from steel walls that often come down with mech clusters, can inflict significant damage if the mobile mechanoids can be lured away and defeated first.
Alternatively, a colonist with the Skip and Invisibility Psycasts can move into a Mech Cluster, use grenades to quickly destroy priority targets, then use Skip to withdraw as soon as the Invisibility wears off.
Tactics to avoid
While you may benefit from melee blocking as you face mechanoids, you should not destroy effectors with melee weapons. They are liable to explode, harming the troops who are attacking them.