Mechanoid cluster

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A small mech cluster with a climate adjuster
High shield (White) and Proximity Activator (Red) radii visible

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 types

Miscellaneous buildings

Building Type Image Health Description Effect Size Must be destroyed to kill cluster
Mech capsule MechCapsule.png 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 MechAssembler.png 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 MechDropBeacon.png 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 ActivatorProximity.png 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 ActivatorCountdown.png 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 ShieldGeneratorBullet.png 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 ShieldGeneratorMortar-0.png 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 Gloomlight.png 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 Unstablepc.png 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

Condition causers

Building Type Image Health Description Effect Size Must be destroyed to kill cluster
Psychic droner PsychicDroner.png 450 An archotech device transmitting the thoughts of a mad superintelligence. It generates a massive psychic drone tuned to one gender and affecting a whole region of the planet. People of that gender will be disturbed by the effect, reducing their mood and possibly driving them insane. The effect is modulated by an individuals psychic sensitivity. Creates a gender specific Psychic Drone 6x6 Yes
Toxic Spewer ToxicSpewer.png 450 An ultratech weapon of mass destruction designed for area denial. This device harvests available compounds and converts them into self-reproducing poisons. By spewing these into the atmosphere, it can poison a whole region of the planet. Causes toxic fallout across the map and a radius of 3 hexes on the world map. 6x5 Yes
Smoke Spewer SmokeSpewer.png 450 An ultratech weapon of mass destruction designed for area denial. By harvesting available compounds and converting them into self-reproducing opaque molecules, it can spew enough smoke to block the sun in a whole region of the planet. Prevents sunlight shining through during day. Affects the worldmap with a radius of 10. 6x5 Yes
Sun Blocker SunBlocker.png 450 An ultratech machine that generates a sheet of exotic fields at high altitude, turning the sky opaque and blocking the sun. Blocks the sun akin to an eclipse. Affects the worldmap by 10 hexes. 4x6 Yes
Psychic Suppressor PsychicSuppressor.png 450 An archotech device that generates a massive psychic suppression field tuned to a particular gender. People of that gender have their psychic activity suppressed, reducing their consciousness. The effect is modulated by an individual's psychic sensitivity. Causes a specific gender to be in constant pain, reducing their consciousness and making any psycasts less effective. Affects the worldmap by 10 hexes. 6x6 Yes
Weather Controller WeatherController.png 450 An ultratech device for controlling weather. Using chemicals and exotic fields, it forces the weather into a particular configuration. Causes a local weather phenomena on the local and world map by 10 hexes. 6x6 Yes
EMI dynamo EMIDynamo.png 1500 A massive electromagnetic interference generator. It interferes with or shuts down electrical devices in nearby regions. Causes electrical equipment to malfunction akin to a solar flare. Affects a radius of 10 hexes on the worldmap. 4x6 Yes
Defoliator Defoliator.png 400 An area-denial device which annihilates nearby plants without affecting animals. In planetary wars, these weapons are scattered across farmlands or jungles to deny the enemy food or cover. They're usually associated with orbital-drop mechanoid swarms. Kills all plant life in a slowly expanding radius eventually affecting the whole map given enough time. 2x2 Yes
Climate adjuster ClimateAdjuster.png 450 An ultratech device for controlling climate. Using chemicals and exotic fields to manipulate the atmosphere, It shifts the temperature in this region of the world. Causes the Local and Map temperature to dip by -10 degrees. 6x6 Yes


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 TurretMechMini.png 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.

Nota bene: Smoke launchers and the Smokepop psycast are some of the best tools to use against mechanoid clusters and almost every stratagem, including those listed below, benefits from their employment. Turrets are a primary threat for all clusters, and turrets cannot target pawns through smoke. Placing a smoke cloud between the turret and your pawn effectively disables the turret.


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.

Imperial Airstrikes

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.

Smoke from a smoke launcher or the smokepop psycast is heavily recommended. It will prevent turrets from firing at your colonists so long as two tiles of smoke are between the pawn and the turret, while the pawn can maneuver to fire at unobscured targets or even fire back through the smoke, although with decreased accuracy.

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.

A mech cluster from Total Timewaster's video. You can see that the mechanoids are asleep.

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.
  • Using an imperial permit to call a light trooper squad can help you deal with mobile units, but if they are exposed to extensive turret fire they probably won't last very long.

Version History

  • 1.1.2575:
    • Implement mech shield generator charge cycle. Shields now go down for a random day every 10 days
    • Condition causers and mortars now sometimes take several days to initiate threatening the colony.
    • Make mortar/bullet shields shut down when the cluster is defeated.