Well, some helpful advice:
If you are a peaceful person, do NOT accept any quest in which Mechanoid Clusters will be involved.
If you aren’t a peaceful person, don’t accept any quests with Mechanoid Clusters until you are well-armed and well-armored.
Holy shit. They are ROUGH. They drop from the sky in cargo pods, and build ridiculously defended positions, surrounded by barricades, with randomly assorted other items:
- Mechanoids themselves
- Mechanoid building factory things that construct new mechanoids
- Turrets, turrets, turrets… and more turrets
- Shield generators
- GIANT… FREAKING… MORTARS…
- Proximity detectors
Everything (in my experience so far, anyway) arrives in a dormant state. If they have proximity detectors, it will all awaken when you get close. Otherwise, they usually also drop with a timer which will also awaken things after so much time has elapsed. Barring that, they will all awaken as soon as you attack anything in the cluster.
The freaking mortar tore holes in my base almost immediately. I was not far along in tech, so I was attacking with some standard rifles and pistols, and had a group of four champions of the Empire to assist, who all came with shield belts and awesome weapons… but melee only. First mechanoid cluster killed two of the champions and injured the others. Second wiped out the rest, and most of my colony.
One of these days, I’ll have a colony survive more than a couple of years…