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I just ran into my first sectopod map today and it utterly destroyed me.

From what I can tell, it had a long range aoe attack and a super deadly beam cannon. The little drones hovering around it and repairing doesn't help either.

What are its attack patterns and what is the best way to take one out? Does it take multiple turns to charge up an attack? What are its weaknesses?

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These guys were ridiculously dangerous in UFO Defense too. I honestly have no idea. Stay spread out? Shoot rockets at it? Who knows!? –  Paul Z Oct 10 '12 at 20:25
    
does the heavy ever get a better rocket launcher? Their default launcher gets pretty weak over time. –  z - Oct 10 '12 at 20:38
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I don't know, I'm actually not that far in yet (spent too long doing WoW daily quests last night instead). I think the rocket launcher is really intended more for destroying cover than killing aliens though. Once the cover is all blowed up, you can blast aliens with plasma rifles. I don't think sectopods bother taking cover, so that doesn't really matter, but a good rocketing should still wipe out all the drones... –  Paul Z Oct 10 '12 at 20:53
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It might be worth mentioning that, in UFO Defense, sectopods were specifically resistant to plasma fire and explosives but weak to laser fire. Don't know if that's still true. –  Paul Z Oct 10 '12 at 20:54
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Good news, everyone! There IS a launcher upgrade. Although I don't yet know exactly how much of an upgrade - a little short on funds to actually build the thing. –  Trent Hawkins Oct 11 '12 at 14:46
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Have a heavy learn 'shredder rocket' and 'heat ammo'... Hit the sectopod with the shredder rocket, so it takes more damage from hits over the next few turns. Then have the heavy with 'heat ammo', which allows it do double the damage to robots, attack it. Furthermore, if your heavy has 'bullet storm', then he can fire at the sectopod twice.

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Well then use logic -_- 'shredder rocket', 'heat ammo' and 'bullet swarm' are on different skill tiers, so you can train one heavy with all these abilities. But really, you can never be 100% ready for all situations... Just create the mode effective strategy you can at the time. –  Callum Walker Oct 11 '12 at 3:22
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this time around properly trained heavies rained destruction to all things robotic, sectopods and cyberdiscs are now much easier, thanks :) –  z - Oct 14 '12 at 1:57
    
I would drop the shredder rocket and go straight for a heat ammo shot, that way you have a chance to kill it before it gets a turn and annihilates your squad. –  kotekzot Nov 2 '12 at 19:56
    
Second kotekzot's comment on straight shots. I prefer to make a bullet swarm/heat ammo heavy simply shoot twice w/ a heavy laser/plasma. That will kill a cyberdisc/sectopod as long as both hit even w/o critting. Any other units to mop up. –  peakxu Nov 27 '12 at 1:57
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My strategy was: Snipers. Snipers Everywhere.

Basically I had a max rank sniper with a laser sniper rifle and a mid rank sniper with the regular rifle when I first encountered the sectopod. They both have the Squad Sight perk so I basically put one guy up close enough to see it and then threw some smoke on him and had the two snipers shoot the damn thing to death. When I actually started fighting it, the sectopod was the only thing in the area (It did have the drones and two elite mutons but I retreated back so I could unload on it when it appeared, I later found out what you mean by nasty AoE)

One sniper had Double Tap (The laser one) and I basically just dropped it's health from full to about 1/4 quarter left by having my entire squad focus it while it could only shoot the guy in full cover in smoke. This may have been a one off thing though since it was on an overseer crash where there was a high vantage point for the entire area I parked my sniper at.

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A heavy with HEAT ammo works well, especially if cloaked (100% critical hit chance). I just took one out with one shot with just my regular heavy plasma. Granted, I think that's the maximum damage (30), so I probably got a bit lucky, but even if it does a bit less than that, another solider should be able to finish it off.

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Yup. Heavy Plasma can crit for 15, and heat ammo knocks it up to 30. Getting your heavies to actually hit, on the otherhand... –  Raven Dreamer Nov 2 '12 at 19:46
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Colonel Assault with full Right-side promotions, ghost armor and an alloy cannon. Cloak, Run & Gun, move next to Sectopod and unleash rapid fire. Both shots are near 100% hit and 100% critical, with bonuses to crit damage due to Bring 'Em on (leave the drones until afterwards) and Killer Instinct. This will destroy the beast in 1 move and if you cloaked before spotting it, then it doesn't even know what hit it.

I did exactly this the first time I ever encountered a Sectopod (Classic diff) and wondered what the fuss was about! I destroyed a drone with my next soldier and hacked the 2nd for a free flying expendable scout. I realised at that point that I had won the game; nothing can compete with Ghost armor and a Soldier that can kill ANYTHING in 1 move...

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