Centipedes are the heaviest attack platforms deployed by the mechanoids. Heavily armed and armored, they resemble early tanks and specialize in the direct assault of fortified positions. Capable of shrugging off damage from most small arms, they require specialized weapons and tactics to defeat and can be extremely lethal to an unprepared colony.
While they’re often outpaced by lighter and faster platforms such as the scythers and lancers during the course of an attack, together they form a dangerous combined arms threat of speed, suppression, and firepower. If a colony finds itself already decisively engaged by other threats by the time Centipedes enter the fight, the situation can quickly become dire.
While the best approach to defeating Centipedes will vary between colonies, some of the more common and useful elements are detailed below.
Right tools for the job
EMP weapons are a prime choice against Centipedes. In Combat Extended, EMP munitions not only stun mechanoids, but also deal electrical damage, against which they are especially vulnerable. Slow moving Centipedes make especially juicy targets for a well-aimed mortar strike. While less effective, cheaper, more readily available EMP grenades and slugs can also give an otherwise hopelessly outmatched colony a fighting chance.
Heavy weapons are the right choice for any occasion. This covers everything from anti-material rifles and shoulder-fired anti-tank rockets to heavy machine guns and emplaced anti-tank guns. While ideal for engaging Centipedes at range, those with a slow rate of fire may find themselves at a serious disadvantage once within weapon range. Moreover, while a direct hit can yield devastating results, their heavy armor means they’re less affected by a near miss from a rocket or HE mortar shell than other foes. In some cases, the lethality of a particular weapon system can hinge upon ammo selection.
Light weapons is a large and diverse category that generally covers the vast majority of a colony’s arsenal. This means pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, and almost anything else that shoots a bullet with a diameter smaller than double digits. While obviously a common choice against a variety of threats, if a colony finds itself battling Centipedes with nothing on hand but light weapons loaded with FMJ rounds, things have gone desperately wrong. In this case, the Centipede will march forward defiantly as the hail of lead fails to do more than chip the paint, its circuits aglow with savage mirth as it cuts down any colonist too stupid to flee. While AP ammo can make it possible to kill a Centipede with small arms, this “death by a thousand cuts” will still leave it ample time to wreak havoc.
Centipede weapons have warmup and cooldown time as any other ranged weapons. You can use this to your advantage by engaging a centipede during a break in between its salvos.
For example, have a colonist peek out around a corner for a moment, grabbing centipede's attention. As soon as it starts warming up for a shot, get the colonist to safety again. After it finishes its attack, you have a short window for action. This may include, but not limited to:
- Firing off an RPG-7 warhead
- Throwing a grenade
- Running to a new position
- Engaging it in melee
- Blunt: 45 MPa
- Sharp: 20mm RHA
Note: Centipede are equipped with either one of the below weapons, but never both. Heavy Charge Blaster: A pulse-charged rapid-fire blaster for area suppression. Heavy cooling allows long, deadly bursts.
Inferno Cannon: An incendiary shot mini-artillery device. It fires a large incendiary warhead.