The Brainsucker launcher is the first alien weapon X-COM agents usually encounter on the battlefield. As its name implies, this weapon is used to fire Brainsucker Pods (which hatch into Brainsuckers) in a manner similar to a grenade launcher. The effectiveness of this weapon (mirroring brainsuckers themselves) varies wildly depending on game mode. In RT the hatched brainsuckers are easily dealt with. In TB however this weapon is monstrously effective, landing brainsucker pods next to your troops, which will hatch immediately and only your agents with good reactions will be able to fire at them before they can suck an agent.
Agents cannot bring Brainsucker pods into battle, but may use the launcher to fire pods on the field. This isn't very useful as the Brainsuckers are always hostile and are much safer to keep in the inventory. Brainsucker ammo can not be sold, as it is instead sent off to alien containment for research and incineration. The launcher is the first money maker you'll get from the aliens, but not a very good one, selling for a paltry $200 at full price.
Brainsucker pods will only hatch if on the ground and there is nothing blocking the square to prevent them from spawning. This means that if the aliens are uncharacteristically accurate and land a pod directly at the feet of an agent it won't hatch and he can simply pick it up. A pod that lands on an impassable square will be a dud and will never hatch.
- Grenade any corpses to destroy the pods.
- Pods can be safely approached in turn-based mode and picked up to prevent hatching. Real time agents must kill the wielder up close or use the Personal Teleporter to grab pods.
- If you get a chance during combat, dispose of the pods by throwing them out one at a time and defeating the Brainsucker as it hatches. Think of it as a high stakes brainsucker skeet-shoot.
- If all else fails, simply do not approach a dead alien which was armed with a brainsucker launcher, or approach it only with android units.
Refer to the Brainsucker page for tips on fighting the launcher's payload.
- Pictures courtesy of XCommand
Official Entry: "This weapon is an organic launcher for Brainsucker Pods. If the pod lands within the vicinity of a human target it will burst open and the Brainsucker will attack the victim. It is not a useful weapon for us to replicate, even if it were possible."
Official Entry: "The pod has a hard and extremely tough skin, this peels back in the presence of human beings. A creature popularly referred to as a "Brainsucker" then emerges fully formed and active. Our conclusion is that these pods are a genetically engineered device designed to attack only human life forms."
- Brainsucker Pods cannot ordinarily be sold, as they are recovered as aliens rather than items (thus requiring a Bio-Transport Module rather than Cargo Module, and occupying Alien Containment rather than Stores space). Considering the nature of their contents, this is eminently reasonable.