What is the most efficient way to do it on classic ironman? Lost about 7 of them, never won. Overwatch tactic just don't work since you should advance really fast. I'm most interested for tips for the first of those missions, when you don't have access to advanced equipment and perks.

4 Answers 4


The key, as you say, is advance really fast, but not recklessly. The power nodes are typically spaced out in such a way that you'll be able to deactivate one of them per turn as you advance to the bomb. If you can't, well there's a little leeway since you have a 2 turn buffer.

These aren't too hard since the enemies that show up are nearly always thin men and sometimes mutons (or muton elites late game).

Some general tips:

  • Rely on support to disable the power nodes. They have +3 movement (assuming you get that skill), and they can use smoke grenade to cover themselves in times of trouble.
  • If you have access to skeleton armor, I highly recommend it. The +3 movement bonus from that stacks with the support for some truly ridiculous movement ranges. Late game, ghost armor makes these missions trivial as you can just dash from node to node while cloaked.
  • Keep 1 sniper back to provide long range cover support.
  • Assaults are also great for this mission with their run and gun skill.
  • Don't get into a extended fire fight with aliens, that's what they want you to do. If you have any explosives, use it to try to blow up their cover (especially if they are hugging a car).
  • Make liberal use of hunker down rather than taking a pot shot at an alien at 30% hit chance.
  • The bomb is almost always in the opposite edge of the map, and there's usually 2 'paths' to get there if you follow the line of power nodes. I don't recommend following both as that'll expose more enemies, but on the flip side, you get a little more leeway and the chance to flank said enemies.
  • With a squad sight sniper I suppose mission will be easy. The problem is I never managed to make sniper with this rank to the first diffusal mission.
    – boulder
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 11:12
  • Though extensive use of smoke and explosives may do the job
    – boulder
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 11:17
  • @boulder squad sight snipers are what I always try to get as early as possible in my games, whether or not you get it by the first diffusal, you may get lucky on that since it shows up randomly.
    – l I
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 11:23
  • True. But damn aliens doesn't ask you who they can crit and who not =) Moreover it's hard to level sniper to second rank since them are almost useless with that "can't shot after move" penalty.
    – boulder
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 11:31
  • 2
    yes, that's true. I give my snipers grenades and send them into the front line until they get squad sight usually. Hunker down usually keeps them alive until they can shoot.
    – l I
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 11:40

I'd discourage using heavy guys. The bomb missions tend to have weaker units, and heavies often have low ammo. The only thing worthwhile about them are long range explosives.

Assaults + run and gun are key. I would also recommend liberal use of supports, mainly to cover your assaults with smoke when they get too far ahead.


Easiest way is to ghost and run. 2 supports with that can clear the bomb in less than 3 turns.

I almost never even bother to hit the nodes. After you clear it, you should still have 1 more ghost use. RUN your ass back and then take your sweet sweet time in killing the enemies.

  • 3
    ghost armor is very late game though, so this won't work for most of the bomb missions through the game. On the plus side, ghost armor is awesome, I managed to save all civvies on a terror mission by bum rushing via ghost armor once
    – l I
    Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 15:42
  • The most difficult bomb diffusal is the first one
    – boulder
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 8:55

I've only played on Normal so far.

But usually you need to "turn off" the power nodes on the way (the green glowing "boxes") on your way. Each power node you turn off, gives you another round before the bomb is powered up.

If you weren't playing on Ironman I would usually start the round by doing a quick save (F10) and then sprinting with my guys, as this is usually safe to do in the first round.

On Ironman you could try to sprint with an assault class soldier and use "run and gun", to either end in Overwatch or shoot if aliens appear. Using the Snipers combat scanners or archangel armor is also ok to start with.

So far I haven't had a problem with these missions yet.

  • he can't F10 on ironman mode...
    – l I
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 10:52
  • @spartacus ah yeah, missed the ironmode thing, I'll update
    – Holger
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 10:52
  • 1
    normal difficulty is piece of cake
    – boulder
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 10:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .