|“||Mark a large area, and after one turn, saturate it with a barrage of explosive mini-bombs.||”|
– In-Game Description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Cluster Bomb has a 4 tile radius (needs confirming) and hits up to 3 times for 4-7 damage (one soldier can potentially suffer 12-21 dmg). Once the bombs have been launched, the Sectopod can use Cannon Fire once, which can spell trouble for soldiers without cover after Cluster Bomb. This ability has a 4 turn cooldown.
When activated, Cluster Bomb takes one turn to prepare, and will fire on the next turn if the Sectopod has not been destroyed. A Sectopod preparing this attack will lean forward, projecting a red/orange light from its eyes and a row of smoking bombs align on its back, ready for launch. The camera may move to the targeted area where the bombs will be landing; allowing the player to coordinate moving of his soldiers to avoid being hit. The Sectopod cannot change the target area of Cluster Bomb while preparing to fire.
It can be visually difficult to tell if the Sectopod is preparing this attack, especially if the player used Hunker Down on a soldier, preventing sight of the Sectopod during its turn. A player can predict that this attack is being used via the following ways:
- If the Sectopod did not move and only used Cannon Fire once, it is typically preparing to Cluster Bomb.
- If the Sectopod did not move, run a soldier past the Sectopod's Line of Sight to test if it is in Overwatch (preferably with Lightning Reflexes). If it does not fire a reactive shot, it is preparing to Cluster Bomb.
- If a triggered Sectopod cannot see you but its allies can, and you are in range of its Cluster Bomb, the Sectopod will use Cluster Bomb. This is one of the most dangerous situations because in such a case Cluster Bomb often takes players by surprise. Some players never know what hit them.
- If your unit is invisible near a triggered Sectopod, it will likely use Cluster Bomb on you.
- Disabling a Sectopod with Electro Pulse does not stop Cluster Bomb from firing the next turn. This may be a bug.
- As this attack hits three times, Soldiers will always die instead of being critically wounded if they lose their last HP on the first or second hit; the third hit will kill the incapacitated trooper. In XCOM: Enemy Within, players relying on the Secondary Heart Gene Mod should be especially wary of this.
- Cluster Bomb requires overhead clearance above the Sectopod, because the projectiles have a high arcing trajectory. The Sectopod does not take this into account when targeting enemies, so roofs and other overhead obstacles may prevent Cluster Bomb from actually hitting the intended target area.