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Demonic Spiders / Turn-Based Strategy

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Enjoy this turn while it lasts, because the Demonic Spiders are up next.

  • Anti-Tanks in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin qualifies to a slight extent. If there are only land units, what makes it the epitome of Crippling Overspecialization (killing tanks efficiently, short range, weak against an infantry swarm) makes just one of them a pain to deal with properly. This can apply somewhat to indirects, but the Anti-Tank is the case worth mentioning, considering that it slows you down way worse. At least you get Anti-Tanks first though.
    • Don't forget that they can just as easily blast Battle Copters out of the sky, surprising at first, considering that the only ground unit that could handle them before were Anti-Airs and Missiles.
    • Ironic that the game's Demonic Spider is vulnerable to the games' Goddamned Bats...
    • Advance Wars: Dual Strike also features Piperunners, which are typically too tricky for the player to use, but the enemy makes deadly use of them in maps intended to showcase them. Firstly, they have huge range, second only to the battleship, and a ton of fuel and ammo. Secondly, they are one of the few units in the game that can hit anything except submerged submarines and cloaked stealths and do a lot of damage. Finally, since they move on the otherwise impassable pipes, they can be quite difficult to approach and hit.
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  • Roaming armies in Age of Wonders 3 are, by and large, Goddamn Bats at their worst. That is, unless you leave the structures that spawn them alone for too long. Brigand hideouts and necromantic circles aren't generally too drastic in the long run, but a haunted boneyard can render entire islands untouchable and a pirates' nest can make naval travel impossible, by virtue of the armies of ships it spawns devastating any naval capability you have, then promptly destroying any new naval army you attempt to assemble. Oh, and let's not forget that pirates' nests are unreachable at the start of a game by default, and it's entirely plausible that the entire map might be connected by underground caverns, meaning that the undead archon titans a haunted boneyard spawns in groups of *six* (a full army) can get everywhere and assault your cities. Oh, and there's the further fact that player armies require upkeep, which roaming armies do not. And that the guards for spawners can be reinforced by the roaming armies they spawn. And that even if you can reach them early enough to make a difference, you might well not have the strength of army to be able to.
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  • A lot of enemies in Battle Brothers are deadly (the game is Nintendo Hard), and you might think that hulking Orcs or the clever Brigands or the relentless Undead are the most daunting of all, and the little Goblins are pushovers, right? Well, Goblins are anything but pushovers, in fact many players avoid fighting Goblins entirely. They are deadly accurate at range with armour piercing, poison-tipped arrows and annoying bolas and nets that immobilise your troops. And when you finally corner one, you find his evasion is annoyingly high... and they often use spears which have a high hit chance and almost never miss.
  • The frigging Winged enemies early in Disgaea. They've got the best mobility in the game when you first encounter them, and they can spam an area attack that inflicts Universal Poison before you probably have the spell to cure it (and certainly before you can cure multiple people at once). Ironically, running into higher-level and more powerful versions later becomes easier than their first appearances; the A.I. Roulette will cause them to use attacks they learn later on more frequently, which are much easier to deal with. Plus, by then you probably have several characters that can cure poison (presuming you don't just stock up on the cures at the store).
    • The winged return in force in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Their base evility (as in the one they always have) halves the accuracy of all attacks made from an adjacent space, making them a pain for most melee classes, especially axe users. The game also loves throwing them in with "No Ranged" Geo Effect panels, making them infinitely more aggravating. The game also has Ninjas. Now, Ninjas have been in every Disgaea game to date, but never have they had the ability that, like the Winged above, halves accuracy of certain attacks (from the front this time). Normally, these enemies only appear in small squads. However, Chapter 4 breaks this rule by having just about nothing BUT Ninjas (labeled Office Workers), in almost painfully small maps where being anywhere but in the frontal cone is either painful or impossible. And then a Winged magichanges with a Ninja...
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    • Random pirate encounters in the Item World in Disgaea Dimension 2. Sometimes, they'll be a crowd that's difficult but survivable. Other times, you will come up against a single opponent who outranks you by 100+ levels, at which point you run for the exit.
    • The Ninja class in Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance fits this bill for one very good reason: they have a random chance of instantly killing a unit whenever they attack which is completely unlisted. Add this to the fact that some Item World floors can be nothing but Ninjas, or roaming Netherworlds can drop a bunch of them at a time...
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, some enemies (the Antlions) learn a technique that instantly kills any of your party members providing their level number ends in five or zero. So if you go into a battle with them with a group leveled at those numbers, there's pretty much no way to win.
    • But since the computer just uses random abilities at random times, they are beatable if you are lucky enough.
    • These spells have been a staple of the Final Fantasy series since time immemorial. However, it should be noted that in FFTA, your maximum level is 50, which makes leveling to avoid the requirement impossible. Other Final Fantasy games have had the level cap at 100 (same situation applies), or 99, in which case your nemesis is the spell that damages characters at levels with multiples of 3.
    • Fairies are surprisingly deadly, especially with their "Level ? Holy" (holy damage on units with the same last digit of their level) and Angel's Whisper (heals and gives auto-life to one of their units), making them easily able to complement other monsters.
  • Malboros of Final Fantasy fame are pretty much guaranteed to be this in every game they show up in, but the worst case is the Cassie variety in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. They can heal each other and use a number of buffs, put your characters to sleep or Charm up to 4 of them at once. At a 100% success rate. At the same time, they wear Ribbons, making them completely immune to Debuffs. And did I mention none of these abilities cost any mana?
  • Demonic Spiders in Fire Emblem games are easily Wyvern/Draco/Dragon Knights and Manaketes/Dragons/Dragon Tribe Laguz... The former especially if they appear in the games' earlier chapters where you still don't have powerful units/weapons just yet, and they are a 'lot' more common than the latter. This doesn't mean the latter is any less nasty though...
    • Wyvern Riders are pretty nasty opponents. They have very high strength and defense, which makes them difficult for your melee units to kill. They're also flying units, so they can just zoom in at any opportunity to harass you once a unit is in their range. And despite being flying units, their defense is often so high that they can occasionally laugh at their apparent weakness to arrows, unlike their Pegasus Knight counterparts. And they love to pick off weaker units and healers, thanks to their higher movement range and the fact that they wield lances in most games, so getting ambushed by one with a javelin is not uncommon. And in the games with Super-Canto (the ability to move after attacking), they will (or at least attempt to if they have movement spaces left) fly away from their target to terrain non-traversable by ground units after attacking, denying you the opportunity to finish them off when your turn comes. And they often spawn in said terrain so they will almost always get the first strike. Magic, especially Wind (or Thunder in FE10) Magic, extremely high-ranked bows, and Wyrmslayers are about the only effective tools to dispose of them.
    • Manaketes/Dragons/Dragon Tribe Laguz usually show up in the last quarter of the game, but they're often the hardest hitting enemies in the games outside bosses, since many of them have attacks that ignore both defense AND resistance. Some of them are even immune to magic, killing the mage strategy and forcing one to use a melee character and/or the aforementioned Wyrmslayer. Even with that sword, they can still take at least two good hits to kill, unless the unit crits or is very over-leveled, due to them having really high defensive stats. The only upside to them is the fact that they're usually not too mobile or too fast, which makes them a bit more manageable.
      • The Wyverns in Mystery of the Emblem and its remake deserve a special mention though. Remember all those things said about high-movement Wyvern Riders above? Yeah, imagine that on a defence-ignoring, fire-breathing dragon. It's just as bad as it sounds. Not to mention, the first time you encounter them is in a desert map, massively hindering your own movement while they can just fly around picking characters off at their leisure. And as if that wasn't enough, on Lunatic Mode their breath has increased range.
    • The literal spiders (okay, Bael) in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, largely because they often spawn with the 'Sharp Claw' weapon equipped, with 14 might — is effectively a 'Silver Lance' at the point in the game where the vast majority of the mooks' weaponry are the basic 'Iron' level quality. Like Wyvern Knights, these things are very nasty early game when most of your units have barely 20~25 HP and can be seriously injured, if 1HKO'd outright, by the spiders. And the mooks usually have 20+ attack depending the chapter, unit's level, and the difficulty. They get easier later on, thankfully, and are balanced out by their low speed and accuracy.
      • The Gorgons also qualify. Fairly strong magic attacks, which could be murder on units with low resistance, but the worst is 'Stone', which completely immobilizes a character and makes the enemy unable to miss and increases the petrified unit's chance to be critically hit by a whooping + 30%. Worse, they often carry the spell Shadowshot, which can let them bombard your units at very long range.
      • The Draco Zombies from the same game are borderline Boss in Mook Clothing. Incredibly tough, take ages to kill, and their attacks are nigh-undodgeable and ignore your units' defense (because of this, their attack will always do exactly 32 damage — more than half the maximum possible HP for any of your characters). And the final floor of the lagdou ruins is filled with them. The only saving grace is their weakness against bishops and arrows.
      • The ROM hack FE Girls has Whispers. They have no map sprite, an absurd movement range, make no sound when moving, and one of their inherent abilities is Critical+100. Meaning that whenever they attack you, unless you've been abusing Supports, it will be a critical. They also have Bane, which has a (Crit/2) chance of making the attack HP to 1. They also appear predominantly in maps with Fog of War, making it that much harder to see them.
    • Any long-range attack — which is to say, any attack with at least 3 range — is going to make you gnash your teeth in frustration since the only ways to defend against them is to keep any unit that is likely to die to them as far away from the action as possible, or to simply charge in with some tanky unit. Special mention goes to long-range magic in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (which never runs out), the Berserk staff in any appearance (inflict a status which causes the afflicted unit to attack the nearest unit, friend or foe), and stoneborn from Fates (high damage, high defense — most long-rangers are Squishy Wizards).
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade:
      • Berserkers and Swordmasters, which get a massive boost of +30% in criticals. While this is bad on its own, considering that said units being promoted, they appear with generally more powerful weapons, and Berserkers in particular also have high Strength that can turn a crit into a One-Hit Kill. Those with low luck and/or low speed should steer away from them—thankfully, Berserkers tend to have low accuracy, while Swordmasters are rarely seen outside of the Sacae route.
      • Nomads are incredibly mobile, none too frail physically (especially due to not being weak to horseslayers), accurate, and quite fast. Due to being bow enemies, they have great range, can shoot down fliers, and can only be countered by other characters with ranged weapons. Their only real weakness is that their raw power isn't too great, so a unit with high Defense (particularly a Wyvern with a Delphi Shield) can tank them, but because of their absurd range, they can often run past your tank and start attacking everything else. Nomadic Troopers are even worse, though—they have swords, meaning that bow units can't counter them, either. These guys are everywhere on the Sacae route, and seen as a major reason to avoid it when Story Branching kicks in.
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon:
      • Fighters and Pirates in the DS version. Normally, these guys aren't much of a threat, but on higher difficulties, they are easily some of the scariest enemies to face. The generally high accuracy rates of the game make the Powerful, but Inaccurate axes incredibly strong, they have good Speed and enough Strength to kill a lot of units in two hits, and they're the most common enemies in the early-game before anyone's had a chance to grow. They even have weapon triangle advantage over Crutch Character Jagen's strongest weapon. What really puts them here, though, is that there isn't a Weapon of X-Slaying that hits them, which is your main recourse for dealing with the game's incredibly dangerous enemies. While Generals, Dracoknights, and Paladins can be brought down in a single shot by an expensive forge, these guys only go down after getting a few licks in, in a game that runs on Rocket-Tag Gameplay.
      • Ballisticians have the highest range in the game, hit extremely hard with certain weapon types, and don't go down easily when you reach them. It is rather hard to bring one down without taking a hit from it first, and they're often positioned in such a way that their ranges overlap. The only reliable counter is the ballistician weapon Thunderbolt, which has limited uses, and requires you to reposition a very slow unit.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening adds several more spiders to the pile, but mostly only on difficulties higher than normal, where enemies receive improved stats and extra skills:
      • Enemies using Ruin could easily be the poster child for extremely sudden deaths, thanks to its enormous critical hit rate, as well as the game's... fascination for having its users pop unexpectedly out of nearby stairwells. It gets worse on difficulties above normal, as enemies universally have forged weapons in the later chapters, so Ruin's poor accuracy and damage are almost negated.
      • Assassins are more worthy of their name than ever, as they now have bows to snipe you down, and the "Pass" skill which lets them walk right through your units to reach more vulnerable targets. What's that? You think blocking that hallway with a general is going to protect the healer behind him? HA!
      • High-level warriors and entombed have the "Counter" skill, which causes any close-range attacks they take to deal the same amount of damage back to their attacker. This skill is much more useful for the enemy than for the player, as the player's units are valuable and much more limited, while the enemy can afford to send their fragile, disposable units out to get slaughtered and still do tons of damage thanks to that skill. And while damage is only reflected at close range, warriors have access to throwing axes and bows, so even attacking from a distance can put you at risk. And in Lunatic+, the highest difficulty? EVERY enemy has a chance of getting this skill. Happy trails.
      • Dark Fliers can be an absolute nightmare. They're high-speed, high-movement magic users that frequently come in groups. Units with poor resistance will be descended on and ripped apart in the blink of an eye, or even faster if their speed isn't up to par. And if you send someone with high resistance, better hope they have high defense too, because Dark Fliers can use spears just as well. Taking them out quickly can also be surprisingly tough; even if you exploit their weakness to bows and wind magic, they have enough HP, speed and resistance to last a decent while. But the final nail in the coffin that adds a truckload of insult to injury is their class skill, Galeforce. If a Dark Flier kills one of your units, it doesn't end there. Instead of going dark, they remain active as if their turn had just started from that exact spot. A second turn with no restrictions that allows them to, say, fly up to someone on the front lines, kill them, then use that extra movement to get behind your army and cause even more chaos. In Fire Emblem, the idea of one person being able to do that much, that quickly, is just infuriating.
      • Surprisingly enough, Lunatic+ turns Soldiers into this, mostly regarding them in chapter 2. While in any difficulty below Lunatic+, there are some workarounds that allow Frederick to essentially tank a good amount of them. On Lunatic+, there's a chance that they will spawn with Luna+, which is a guaranteed half defense debuff, essentially turning Fredrick to a tank to a wet paper towel in seconds, and while the other enemies have at least Weapon Triangle advantage due to Frederick's Silver Lance and Robin's Bronze Sword, here, Soldiers are neutral due to the fact that they have Lances, and you only get an axe in the second turn, where Miriel arrives right in the middle of the enemy horde, turning an already difficult chapter into absolute bullshit, meaning that you have to pick a god and pray that Soldiers don't spawn with Luna+.
    • Fire Emblem Fates adds quite a few spiders as well: namely, enemies that have a Seal skill: they reduce by 6 the stat marked in the skill. In the early game, there's A LOT of enemies with Defense Seal, among others. The catch? Well, get this: no matter what you do, the attack, no matter if it's a counter or not, will seal your unit. The guy missed the attack? You get sealed. The guy can't counter your attack? You get sealed. His attack was negated by a Dual Guard? You still get sealed. The attack doesn't do any damage? You guessed it: you get sealed. The only way to avoid getting sealed is if the guy actually dies in the attack. As in, your counter or attack MUST kill the guy so the seal doesn't activate. Have fun.
      • Also from Fates is the Master Ninja. These guys are a MASSIVE pain in the ass for several reasons: Firstly, they have super-high Speed and Skill, so unless you have the weapon triangle advantage, you can safely bet that you aren't gonna hit them, while they can hit you in addition to double-attacking with near-impunity. "What's so bad about getting hit by them?", you may ask? While their below-average Strength ensures that they can't hit hard, their primary weapon of choice are shuriken. Shuriken, while weak by themselves, inflict debuffs to your Defense and Resistance, and to other stats depending on the shuriken. The Silver Shuriken in particular drops your units' Speed, Defense, and Resistance by 4, which means that not only will they take more damage, they will also be more susceptible to being doubled by stronger, beefier enemies that would hitherto be unable to kill your units in a single round of combat. Guess what type of shuriken that Master Ninja almost always have equipped? Compounding the issue is that Master Ninja in the late game have the slightly annoying tendency to be in groups with more powerful units and have access to the Poison Strike skill, which cuts your units' HP by 20% if they are hit by them. And on Conquest Chapter 25... Well, I hope you like dying.
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has Dread Fighters, which are bar none the most broken non-DLC units in the game. A whopping 7 spaces of movement in an FE game where every other foot soldier has a movement of 4-5? Check. Two skills that effectively make their minimum Resistance 12, in an FE game where almost every other unit's Resistance growths are absolute shit? Check. Insane Speed in an FE game where Avoid bonuses granted by terrain can make even Barons untouchable? Checkamundo. Dread Fighters are even more irritating to fight with Celica's army, since over half her units (including herself) are mages. You know, against Dread Fighters, the textbook Mage Killer? In summation, you've got an enemy that only cavalry and Pegasus Knights will be able to run from, has no real exploitable weaknesses statwise, and is likely to double and/or destroy a unit with a critical hit.
      • Witches are another lethal enemy the player has to watch out for. Since Resistance is so hard to raise in this game, their attacks will be deadly against the vast majority of the characters, especially if they land a critical hit. What truly makes them dangerous is their ability to warp anywhere and attack on the same turn, meaning no matter how the player arranges their units, Witches will be able to attack anyone they please. The only respite is Witches use an A.I. Roulette that prevents them from making the best use of their abilities, but they only need one good move to cost the player a unit.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic
    • Ranged units, especially in the first two games. Most non-flying units are rather slow, thus giving enemy ranged units a free turn or two to attack you. It gets even worse in siege battles, in which if you're the attacker, you'll have to breach the wall to get at the enemy ranged units, who may have the towers backing them up. The third game somewhat nerfs ranged units by reducing damage inflicted against distant units.
    • Flying units. In the first two games, they could cross the battlefield in a single turn, and usually attacked your more vulnerable ranged attackers, who have a weak close-ranged attacks. The sprites were especially bad, since despite their unimpressive statistics, they have an ability preventing units from countering. Thankfully, in the third game, it's harder for flying units to go all the way across the battlefield, although some units can manage this.
  • Ghosts in Heroes of Might and Magic II. They're decently strong for a level 2 creature to begin with, but their special ability is killer. Anything killed by a stack of ghosts turns into a ghost. This means to fight them, you have to attack with only high enough level creatures to prevent the ghosts from killing too many things and replenishing their numbers. If you make the mistake of fighting ghosts with level one creatures, watch in horror as a stack of ten ghosts hits your stack and is suddenly a stack of 30 ghosts.
  • Medieval II: Total War:
    • The Pope will be a campaign-long pain in the ass even if you're a Catholic faction. You can expect random "requests" to show your piety by building churches or spreading Catholicism while you're trying to consolidate your realm, or worse, the Pope will call a Crusade on Buttfuck, Nowhere and be very disappointed with you if you decline. The Pope also hates it when Catholic powers fight, and will order you to cease hostilities even if you weren't the aggressor in a war, or are trying to retake a settlement your neighbor conquered from you. Losing papal favor by failing these missions — or if a cardinal from a rival faction becomes Pope and puts you on the holy shitlist — will result in Inquisitors appearing in your lands, looking for excuses to burn your less-pious generals and family members at the stake. And if you're unlucky enough to get excommunicated, your Catholic citizens will be miserable, and all your rivals will be able to attack you with impunity.
    • Around the midgame the Mongols show up on the eastern edge of the map, and if you haven't spent the campaign preparing for them, they will ruin you. Their faction consists of multiple stacks of highly-experienced heavy cavalry and horse archers, led by dreaded, expert generals capable of annihilating any foe in an open battle. They're not much better in siege battles, where their sheer numbers and unwillingness to retreat means they can overwhelm even dug-in defenders. A lot of strategies therefore advise avoiding combat with them entirely, and using an army of Assassins to take out the Mongols' leadership and destroy the faction that way.
  • Any CPU Hunter unit in Nectaris upon reaching 4 stars or more, as the CPU is much less likely than a human player to try and win a battle it's outmatched in, and will retreat everyone experienced back to a factory (but doesn't care about generic inexperienced grunts to its disadvantage.) At that point, surrounding them for the support-fire damage bonus is the only way to take them out. They're bombers who are as sturdy as your average main battle tank and on top of that have anti-air missiles as a secondary weapon. A maxed-out Hunter is quite fearsome indeed. Luckily, on some levels, the factory where they're stored is unclaimed and, with a few sacrificial lambs to hold back enemy soldiers, within your reach.
  • The Squeakers from Odium, thanks to their earthquake attack, which not only causes a lot of damage, but it works in a very large, cone-shaped radius, making it very hard to keep your men out of the range of their attacks. Very often, you'll find a Squeaker or two managing to suddenly nail your entire team in an attack you never noticed was possible.
  • Cockatris in Ogre Battle, these creates can will turn your characters to stone for the rest of the fight. This wouldn't be so bad unless A.Ogre battle expected you to "win" most battles (rather than force retreat via dealing more damage, then following it up once or twice THEN dealing enough damage to kill, meaning your chance of winning is lower because you don't have that character dealing damage) and B.said monsters didn't have godly dodge and accuracy.
    • And in Ogre Battle 64, the petrification status effect lasts even after the battle ends. The unlucky unit afflicted with it stops gaining EXP and is treated as dead. On the plus side, the computer treats a petrified opponent as dead and you can easily wipe out enemy units that way (though you won't get EXP for them.)
  • Star Wars: Rebellion has a lot of Game Breakers, but on the other side, they are, you guessed it, Demonic Spiders:
    • In naval combat, we have TIE Defenders, as usual. Any Rebel fighter, and therefore any Escort Carrier. The Death Star with a Death Star shield makes a battle unwinnable. Interdictors are particularly demonic when combined with the above.
    • Force-sensitives are the only ones that can level up. They are particularly demonic when they do. By the way, Vader starts at Jedi Master level, has a ridiculously high Combat stat, and Luke encountering Vader and not getting captured to learn of his and Leia's heritage qualifies as that game's That One Sidequest.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Super Robot Wars Alpha has the Ghost X9. They have one of the highest dodge rates in the game and extremely good movement; without the Strike spirit command, they will fly around depleting your units' health until you manage to land a hit; units with lower armor will be hard-pressed to survive, and they can drain valuable energy from counterattacking Supers. They are less annoying in Alpha 3, with the exception of a stage that shall not be named.
    • Super Robot Wars Z2 has the DAMONs, Eldritch Abomination Mooks with high dodge, armor, a very powerful and very low-energy barrier effect, and powerful attacks that drain both Will and Energy. Also, they turn up a lot. However, most of the attacks can break through barriers.
      • The sequel now adds the Angeloi Arca, the black-colored Elite Mook version of the Angeloi, they have high armor, powerful attacks and are 10-20 levels above your roster when they're first encountered. It's no wonder everyone in Z-BLUE trembles in fear whenever they show up.
    • Super Robot Wars UX:
      • Any Festum successfully hitting an allied unit drops the pilot's Will and armor value. While these Standard Status Effects aren't such a big problem, the "demonic" part lies with all Festum units having an ability that grants them greater accuracy and evasion rates against non-Fafner units (except Heroman).
      • Individually, ELS units aren't strong, but they come in large numbers. Alongside dealing normal damage to HP, they also absorb EN, at a minimum of 10% per attack. UX treats the case that if any unit's EN is rendered to zero by ELS, it is automatically destroyed.
  • Sword of the Stars has a few of these:
    • The Swarm, aka space bees. They will eat small groups of ships with ease if you have no point defences or strong rapid-fire weapons.
    • Von Neumann machines "consume" your ships quite quickly and can take a fair bit of punishment from small weapons. Their strong point defences make missiles useless except in giant Macross Missile Massacres, and missiles will probably be your most reliable heavy weapon early-game unless you rush something else at the cost of economic or development technologies. And that's just the little ones.
    • The Crows, aka Morrigi Durable Deathtraps. No problem for a Morrigi player or anyone who's researched the third-level Morrigi language, but anyone else is going to be either dragged into the planet's atmosphere, beset by asteroids, or just outright swarmed by drones.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II has two:
    • The first candidate is the V2 soldier, which first appears during an Escort Mission. V2 Soldiers are essentially invulnerable until the Supply Vehicle powering their shields is destroyed, and constantly pepper the player's squad with hails of highly damaging laser fire. However, with high-end equipment, they become less threatening, reducing them to Elite Mooks.
    • The second is the Ghost Tank, which appears in the post-game missions. They have ludicrously high HP and defense which can even shrug off a Lancer Elite or Mauler attacking from the rear, and they have souped-up versions of the V2's laser. In the very last non-DLC map of the game, the squad starts with three of them right from the start, each of them having over 5000 HP.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate has the Flamers. These demons are tougher than your average space marine, quite fast, can set your guys on fire (meaning they take damage and are effectively helpless until it goes out), cannot be set on fire themselves and, worst of all, they will simply set you on fire if you try attacking them in melee.
  • Wild ARMs XF: Very common enemy starting from the beginning in non-storyline battles is the "harpy." (It's a bat.) Has special attacks that can steal your items, confuse you, make you unable to heal, diseased, miserable, or insta-kill. Did I mention that it's probably faster than most of your characters? Did I mention that it's also more agile, and will dodge most of your attacks?
    • Interestingly enough, Harpies are part of a glitch that can be used to get massive amounts of money very quickly by duplicating an item from 1 to 255. The problem is, they need to STEAL that one item you want to duplicate. Which you then sell to the store for massive money.
  • 3-hit combo from the original X-COM: UFO Defense: Cyberdisks, Psi-using aliens, and Chryssalids.
    • Cyberdisks can fly and come with an accurate plasma cannon capable of rendering your units dead in a hurry, along with the fact that they react violently to dying; the one advantage you do have against them is that they're much larger than a normal enemy and thus easier to hit, which is just as well because the only starter weapon that can reliably One-Hit Kill them is the rocket launcher. Oh, yeah; there's also a 50% chance that they'll show up in the first month.
    • Psi-using aliens can show up in the first month too, and these guys are just as fun. Once one of their allies spots one of your units, the psi-user amongst them gains the ability to go through your entire team for the unit with the lowest psi-defense (that you can't even see without the proper upgrade) and promptly makes that unit their bitch. Enjoy having that unit either run around randomly without their weapon, fire all over the place, or get Mind Controlled and take out 2 or 3 of their former teammates. The only way this crap gets more broken is when you get it.
    • And then there are Chryssalids. Oh dear God there are Chryssalids. These things have one attack and one attack only: an infectious bite that instantly converts whatever was hit into a zombie (and kills tanks in a hurry). Said zombie becomes a new Chryssalid upon taking sufficient non-fire damage, which can then convert more units, and so on. And there is absolutely no defense against this bite: your Supersoldier of a Commander falls just as easily as your Rookies. On top of this, they possess enough Time Units to charge at a unit from beyond visual range and transform it into a drooling zombie before the player is even sure it's there. Upon finding out that these things are involved in the mission, players are known to take drastic measures such as carrying a primed grenade at all times, killing civilians in the area to prevent them from being infected, and blowing up the body of every single Chryssalid that goes down, just to be sure. The only good news is that Chryssalids will be rendered rather harmless once the player acquires the Flying Suit: Their horrible attack won't reach you on air.
  • XCOM Terror From The Deep replaces Chryssalids with Tentaculats, floating brain monsters that do the exact same thing, except these sons of bitches also fly, so all those clever people that thought Flying Suits saved them from the Chryssalid plague in the first game will find that their floating Mag-Ion Armors do absolutely nothing in the second. The game also replaces the Cyberdisks with Bio-Drones, which have the same traits as the Disks only now they're smaller, harder to hit, and it's near impossible to tell where they're facing making it real hard to sneak up behind them. Trying to attack them from the front is practically suicide since they have a high reaction stat and near-perfect accuracy.
  • XCOM Apocalypse continues the fine tradition with Brainsuckers, which don't transform targets into more brainsuckers, nor do they have a 100% success rate, but make up for it by the fact that some enemies can fire them at you. Y'know, in case the little buggers can't reach you on their own, 30 foot vertical jumping range. And while the Chryssalids and Tentaculats (along with their zombie hosts) could only do melee harm, Brainsucked soldiers can and will shoot at their former comrades. This gives them the dubious honor of being a horrible combination of the mind control the first two games' psychics had and the Body Horror of their predecessors.
    • And let us not forget the Poppers. These are ridiculously fast suicide bombers which not only explode once they're near your troops, but also explode from almost every type of weapon you have, and their explosions are huge and very damaging. Apocalypse players have learned to fear the little pitter-patter sounds they make.
  • UFO Aftermath has the aptly titled Deathbellows. It shoots swarms of bees, that scatter on reaching the target, Evaporates health so quickly you barely get time to pause the game, swarms are able to slowly chase any squad member able to dodge the first attack, have no limit in the number of swarms active, are fired rapidly and to cap it off the range of the Deathbellows is entirely line of sight. If it starts on land that's a an inch higher in elevation on a sparse map, then kiss your squad goodbye as Total Party Kill seems to be its only purpose. Two of these bastards present on a map guarantees the loss of any team member with less than maximum speed. Three... Well lets just say you'll be thankful for the autosave. Its possible to kill, but only if you've got the most blessed terrain setup and a maxed out sniper and then only just.
    • Reticulans have a superior rapid firing rocket launcher, compared to humanity's RPGs and LAWs. Not to mention they weigh less then a feather and some plot missions occasionally spawn several Greys with these together. Oh and don't forget the near instant-kill damage for your Powered Armor troops, the rest might's well be naked for all the good armor does.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown has some good news in that alien psychics require line-of-sight to target your troops. The rest is bad news.
    • Cyberdiscs are back, and have gained the ability to chuck a grenade at your bunched-up soldiers, or to blow them out of cover.
    • Chryssalids have received a makeover to turn them into a nightmarish cross between a spider and a Hydralisk. Their bite attack isn't a One-Hit Kill, and you can harvest their carapace to make melee armor for your soldiers, but their mobility has been enhanced to let them leap onto and off the top of buildings, in case you thought taking the high ground would save you.
    • The game also introduces Thin Men, aliens that aren't much more durable than the humble Sectoid, but which are hellishly-accurate with their light plasma rifles, can spring up to take the high ground in a single move, have an always-accurate attack to spit a cloud of poison at your soldiers that will doom them to a slow death if you don't have a medkit available, and even release a similar cloud of poison upon death. They show up in the very first month of the campaign.
    • Sectopods, like in the original game, are a major pain in the ass (especially since they can perform two attacks per turn with their Wave-Motion Gun and still use their reaction plasma turret or launch a missile barrage), although a Heavy with certain skills and a rocket (or guided fusion) launcher can make short work of them in later stages. They actually become full-blown Demonic Spiders in the Enemy Within expansion, where all damage they receive is halved (giving them 60 HP in practice), and the Heavy bonus skill against armored enemies is reduced from 100% to 50%.
  • XCOM 2 has almost as many Demonic Spiders as the other games combined.
    • ADVENT Stun Lancers show up very early in the campaign, before the player is really equipped to deal with them. These units have both shock swords and assault rifles, high health, and innate dodge chance. They can attack after making a dash move, allowing them to threaten your troops from obscenely long distances with high-accuracy melee strikes. Their weapons have a chance to stun or even instantly knock unconscious your soldiers, rendering them helpless — often for the entire duration of the mission — and requiring yet another precious soldier to be pulled from active combat in order to evacuate them safely. Making matters far worse, the game considers them fairly mundane units and often deploys them in large numbers. Finally, if all that wasn't enough, they have an 'elite' version that gets introduced later on with even more health and dodge.
    • ADVENT MECs are another early-game threat, and might be the first enemy you encounter with actual armor, which isn't fun if you're still using ballistic weapons. Their signature ability is a mini-missile barrage that doesn't deal much damage in itself, but can set your soldiers on fire, destroy their cover, or send them plunging to their deaths by blowing the floor out from under them.
    • Chryssalids are back, and somehow worse. They're just as fast and nimble as in previous games, but changes to melee attacks mean that they can maul your soldiers after a dash move just like Stun Lancers, delivering a lingering poison that will kill them unless you have a medkit. And Chryssalid poison doesn't zombify people, no, instead it turns them into incubators that will spawn three more Chryssalids unless destroyed, Chryssalids that can in turn poison victims to turn into more incubators. They can also burrow into the ground to hide, leaving them to ambush your soldiers when you get too close, attacking you on your turn. Finally, they seem to be behind one of the worst Game Breaking Bugs that can be encountered, and just saving on a map with them can stop an Ironman run from progressing.
    • There's also the Codex. Good lord, the Codex. Their standard attack does a "mere" 4-6 damage, enough to One-Hit Kill soldiers at the start of the game, but they can also drop a psionic maelstrom on the battlefield that jams your soldiers' weapons, requiring them to spend an action reloading before they can shoot again... and if your troops are dumb enough to stay in the AoE to do that they'll take heavy damage when the maelstrom goes off on the Codex's next turn. They can also spend an action to teleport anywhere on the battlefield, like an elevated position on your flank, in preparation of giving you a reaming next turn. Codices are robotic units, so poison and fire don't effect them, but unlike MECs they're impossible to hack. They have enough HP that you're unlikely to be able to one-shot them until the midgame, they have a high Dodge stat to let them downgrade a hit into a grazing wound, and if they take damage that isn't enough to kill them, the Codex will immediately spawn a clone somewhere nearby, splitting its remaining HP between them — and in multiplayer, that means the Codex's player gets to choose where the clone shows up. The kicker is that the Codex appears after you complete a certain early story objective, with no forewarning that doing so will unleash this unit upon you, and afterwards the game will start fielding entire pods that contain nothing but Codices. It's no surprise then that some veteran players will put off completing that objective until well into the midgame.
    • Archons are almost as bad. They're some of the only flying units in the game, and can go up to absurd heights, making them nearly impossible to hit by all but Sharpshooters. On top of that, they can unleash a Macross Missile Massacre on your troops that gives you one turn for you to get out of the way, then hits for heavy damage and chews up cover. Thankfully, you encounter a fair few of them indoors, where vertical space is limited and they can't use that attack without destroying the terrain.
    • Andromedons are large, heavily-armored aliens that love launching acid bombs that deal high damage up front as well as a lingering DoT effect that also shreds your soldiers' armor. And you have to kill them twice — after depleting the Adromedon's health bar the first time, the alien's suit AI activates, turning an organic ranged unit into a robotic melee unit with a devastating punch, and which leaves trail of damaging acid behind it as it runs across the battlefield.
    • To top that, the game has the Gatekeeper. These Starfish Aliens-in-a-ball have the highest armor value in the game, a whopping six points on Commander difficulty. They're also absurdly tough to hit, and can just crash through cover like a hovering wrecking ball. In their ball form they have a deadly laser attack, while they can also downgrade their armor, come out of their shell, and unleash an AoE psionic attack for great damage (7-10) that can also reanimate any nearby corpses as psi-zombies. And when they die they cause another explosion, which may create new zombies, should the explosion kill any XCOM soldier.
    • Sectopods are somehow even scarier than they were in the last game, with insane hp and armor and extremely powerful weapons that can potentially wipe out your entire squad if they are too close together.
    • Specters come in with War of the Chosen, and they are a nasty piece of work. They avoid the first Overwatch attack directed at them, can drain health, and themselves have a lot of health, but what truly makes them tough is the Shadowbound ability. This attack disables a friendly operative, taking them out of the battle until the Specter or duplicate is killed or a revive ability is used, and creates an exact duplicate of said operative that fights for the aliens. If a Specter catches you off-guard, that move can easily turn the tide of battle against you.


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