|“||A powerful arm upgrade for the MEC, allowing the wielder to pulverize adjacent cover and enemies. Also boosts mobility.||”|
A rocket-assisted punching fist that can perform a free-aiming melee attack that deals 12 damage to enemies or directly destroy cover; the attack can only be performed against adjacent tiles (not diagonally) and may cause some collateral damage to adjacent tiles. Enemies killed by the strike are typically knocked back two tiles; this can cause the corpse to smash through destructible terrain causing further environmental damage and even detonate vehicles. This subsystem also improves the MEC's movement by 2.
The Kinetic Strike Module (KSM) can be upgraded through the MEC Close Combat Foundry project to deal 18 damage. Additionally, the upgraded KSM no longer ends the turn when used as the MEC's first action; this allows the KSM to be used up to two times a turn.
When compared with the Flamethrower, the alternate Tactical Subsystem of MEC-1, the Kinetic Strike Module offers quite a few advantages:
- The KSM has unlimited uses per mission.
- Although KSM has extremely short range, it offers a slight mobility boost that is useful in many other situations.
- The KSM reliably kills standard infantry (everything up to and including, with damage upgrade, Muton Elites) in one hit. However it's worth noting that the KSM can't be used against targets in flight mode and hovering higher than (starting) ground level, such as airborne Cyberdiscs or Floaters.
- Flamethrower can't be upgraded to be a non-turn-ending action, while KSM gets that benefit via MEC Close Combat.
- KSM is an effective alternative to Collateral Damage in terms of obstruction clearing, but doesn't empty the main weapon and causes about six times more damage to any enemy caught in its path. With the MEC Close Combat Foundry project, a MEC can perform a "dynamic entry", punching through a wall to open a line of fire for their main gun or other soldiers (this will also increase the base damage from 12 to 18, allowing the MEC trooper to kill a non-shielded Mechtoid with a single punch on the Easy difficulty).
- The Flamethrower destroys Weapon Fragments and Meld when killing enemies.
- The Flamethrower does not affect mechanical units.
The Kinetic Strike Module is more useful for offensive MECs that readily move to react to threats and opportunities (i.e. based on Assaults and Heavies) and combines well with Grenade Launcher and Electro Pulse.
As an actual tactic:
If you stand next to a normal terrestrial door blocking it with any unit, hostiles will be unable to cross it, but will be unable to notice this situation before moving right onto the door way tile, and if they dashed or used both of their movements/actions, they will be unable to move away from said door. If the soldier you previously located to the doorway tile happens to be a MEC with a KSM, he still would not be detected even though clipping through with it's model, and won't be able to gently open the door manually, he can only run through it like hurrying entities, but this time he also will be blocked from passing. Now in such cases - either by accident, or carefully planned - you'll have a nice chance to use the KSM, hopefully upgraded with MEC Close Combat not to end the turn. This can actually be planned because a doorway attracts the A.I. as a fine passage to change cover relations in a conflict, not knowing in time that it won't be able to cross it. Now comes the funny part! When you do use the KSM next to the door, the giant MEC Trooper will open the door gently, which normally he is unable to do so.
- The Kinetic Strike Module has special kill animations when finishing off the Mechtoid, Berserker, and Sectopod. Note, however, that the Sectopod animation fails to knock the wreck back any tiles resulting in the MEC being caught in the Sectopod's death explosion and sustain full damage.
- Ethereals do not explode if killed by the KSM; their robes still disintegrate but their mask remains.
- Using the Kinetic Strike Module to kill a Berserker will grant the "Someone Your Own Size" Achievement.
- It is possible to score a critical hit with the KSM, if used it while under the effects of a Ghost Grenade, allowing the ability when fully upgraded to do up to 23 damage.
- Using the KSM with the Absolutely Critical Second Wave option enabled guarantees a critical hit every time, effectively increasing the Module's power by 50%. The punch will do 18 damage before the MEC Close Combat upgrade, and 27 damage after.
- Caution is advised when using the KSM near the Encoder during Covert Data Recovery missions as the Encoder may not highlight as collateral damage when (accidentally) targeted.
- When a humanoid enemy is killed by the KSM and causes the corpse to fall down to a lower elevation, a bug might occur causing the corspe to impale the ground head first and remain in a stiff vertical posture upside down when touching ground. This is likely a programming oversight in Enemy Within with the new weapon and Nvidia PhysX.