Ukkon in Gears TacticsSource: Xbox Game Studios

The main plot of Gears Tactics involves hunting down Ukkon, the Locust responsible for creating many of the different war beast-machine hybrids used by the Locust Horde. As such, several of the classic Gears of War Locust foes are here, along with a few unseen specialty types Ukkon has called in. Here's a list of all the enemies and monsters you'll face in Gears Tactics. We've also taken the time to describe their behavior in combat and what you'll need to know to beat them.

Please be aware that there are some mild spoilers within the following list. It's also worth noting these are just the "regular" foes you'll see on the battlefield and does not include boss fights.

Gears Tactics guide: Best class builds, gear, weapon mods, and combat tips

Tactical action

Gears Tactics

Survive the Locust

Gears Tactics brings tactical, turn-based combat and marries it to classic, frenetic Gears action. Outfit your squad and take down a Locust leader creating monstrosities.

Boomer

Gears Tactics BoomerSource: Windows Central

Remember these guys? They're big, and they always yell "Boom!" before firing their Boomshots, a heavy grenade launcher. They have a large amount of health, and despite slow walking speeds, they can cover ground faster than you might think. Boomers will prioritize squadmates out of cover or any group bunched up.

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To beat the Boomers, you'll want to keep your squad split up and in cover. If you're out in the open or bunched up — or both — you'll be a prime target for getting blasted apart. Try to rotate around the Boomer. If you have a Sniper, using some critical hits can whittle away the Boomer's health. If not, lob frag grenades and use repeated Lancer/Mulcher fire from your Supports and Vanguards.

Once you kill the Boomer, grab the Boomshot if you can. You can then use it to quickly clear clusters of enemies for the remainder of that mission.

Disciple

Gears Tactics Disciple ImageSource: Xbox Game Studios

The Disciples are a new breed of Locust Drone empowered by Ukkon with Imulsion gas. The result is a foe that's tougher, smarter, and dangerous even in death. You can tell them apart from regular Drones with the glowing yellow cracks in their hide and the tubes hooked up to their backs. Disciples are smart and will use cover, flank you, and apply Overwatch overkill with enthusiasm. Upon death, they release poisonous gas that will harm any of your soldiers that are right next to them at the time.

If there's more than one Disciple close together (and there usually is), a well-placed frag grenade or the Vanguard's Intimidate skill are perfect for flushing them out of cover. From there, repeated Lancer fire works, or you can use a Scout to Cloak and get behind them before emptying a Gnasher into their backs.

Kantus

Gears Tactics KantusSource: Xbox Game Studios

The Kantus are the infamous screaming priests of the Locust Horde. In addition to a scream that will stun any Gears who get close to them, they can encourage and toughen nearby Locust troops, giving their allies massive defense boosts. It means a few Wretches and Drones can go from cannon fodder to tough bruisers capable of tanking a grenade.

Needless to say, because of their dangerous ability to buff surrounding Locust allies, a Kantus on the field needs to be your primary target. They usually stay in cover and keep away from close combat, though their Gorgon submachine guns can undoubtedly dish out damage at close range. Using a Sniper's Precision Shot ability is an excellent way to put them down. If you don't have a Sniper, try to pin them down with multiple Gears using Overwatch.

Locust Drone

Gears Tactics DroneSource: Xbox Game Studios

The bread and butter of the Locust Horde. Drones are a simple foe, using the Hammerburst to do decent damage while moving up your squad, attempting basic flanking maneuvers. Their most significant strength is their numbers, as you'll often be facing wave after wave of several Drones at a time.

Honestly, deal with them in whatever way is most straightforward. Chainsaw them, bayonet charge them, use grenades to knock them out of cover, turn them into a red mist with the Mulcher-wielding Heavy class, the list goes on. However, using your most basic guns like the Lancer or even Snub can sometimes ensure they are down-but-not-out (DBNO). You can then execute them, granting bonus executions to the rest of your squad. Chain together several executions, and you'll find yourself pulling off increasingly-complex tactical plays.

Locust Grenadier

Gears Tactics Locust GrenadierSource: Xbox Game Studios

Grenadiers are particularly sturdy and usually eschew cover, wielding Gnasher shotguns with terrifying efficiency. They'll make a beeline for your Gears, often vaulting cover and kicking your unfortunate soldier out in the open before following up with a Gnasher blast. Grenadiers also get an opportunity to attack if you move close to them.

This opportunity attack means you shouldn't try bayonet charging them or chainsawing them unless they are enraged. When enraged, Grenadiers become even tougher but lose the opportunity attack. Keep a distance between you and them, if possible. Snipers are usually good at dealing with Grenadiers, as are repeated frag grenades. Close-range Scouts should stay clear though, as Grenadiers deal damage with Gnashers far more quickly than they take it.

Locust Sniper

Gears Tactics SniperSource: Xbox Game Studios

Snipers will, if unchecked, rapidly become the second-most annoying enemy you'll face. Snipers tend to stay in the distance, using cover or vantage points to get every advantage possible. In addition to dealing serious damage with their Longshot rifles, Snipers can "Pin" your Gears. You'll know they are pinned if a red laser is shown from the Sniper to one of your soldiers.

If you try to move your Pinned Gear, the Sniper will instantly fire and down them. Additional Snipers often accompany snipers, so you can rapidly have a big problem on your hands. Because of this, a Sniper that currently has someone Pinned should be an immediate priority. Using Support characters to charge and chainsaw the Sniper usually works well.

Theron Guards

Gears Tactics TheronSource: Windows Central

Theron Guards are the most annoying enemy in the game. Using Torque Bows, Theron Guards stay in the distance, using cover and almost always operating in pairs, or groups of three. Theron Guards can mark your troops, directing other Locust to focus firepower on your location. Theron Guards are also irritatingly skilled at knocking your soldiers out of cover with their Torque Bows, dealing high amounts of damage in the process.

With a Theron Guard on the field, get everyone into cover immediately. If you can, have a Scout activate the Cloak skill and flank the Theron Guard, using a frag grenade or Gnasher blast to put an end to its deadly shenanigans.

Once the Theron Guard is dead, have your Gear pick up the Torque Bow, which can use high-powered blast to obliterate a particular target or a low-powered blast to deal damage to a wide area.

Ticker

Gears Tactics TickerSource: Xbox Game Studios

Tickers travel in small swarms, with several of these living bombs approaching your troops to blast them and down them with ease. One explosion can take out a Gear, and several can destroy your squad. Worst of all, every time you shoot at a Ticker and don't kill it, it gets a free action to move closer.

Using Overwatch with a Heavy is one way to clear them, but the best approach is to kick them, as every Gear gets the Kick Ticker skill when Tickers are on the battlefield. When booted, a Ticker loses the ability to advance and is easier to hit. If possible, have a Support soldier kick the Ticker (perhaps even into other Tickers or Locusts) and open fire with their Lancer.

Wretches

Gears Tactics WretchesSource: Xbox Game Studios

If the Locust Drones are the bread and butter of the Locusts, the Wretches are the warm soup. Wretches travel in packs, clambering over the cover and smacking your troops out of cover. They can't be chainsawed or bayoneted either, gaining an opportunity attack when you move into range.

If a frag grenade is handy, let it fly. Otherwise, using a Heavy soldier's Mulcher is a reliable way to clear out the Wretches as they come into range.

Zealot

Gears Tactics ZealotSource: Windows Central

Zealots are Ukkon's second Imulsion-empowered Locust soldier. This time, a Kantus has been improved, making for a headache-inducing combination. All the standard powers of regular the Kantus are here, with the bonus of them releasing a poisonous cloud upon death. Unlike the regular Kantus, the Zealot is aggressive, openly standing out of cover at times.

Targeting Zealots as quickly as possible is critical since they can toughen surrounding Locusts and turn battles into a slog. Don't try and get close, as the Zealot's scream is even more damaging than the regular Kantus. Using a Sniper ability like Precision Shot is a solid choice for quickly ending a Zealot's career.

Adapt, improvise and overcome in Gears Tactics

Gears Tactics is the promising start of new series of Gears of War games, with the aggressive gameplay mixing with a strategic XCOM-style approach quite well.

Related: Read our Gears Tactics full review!

Tactical action

Gears Tactics

Survive the Locust

Gears Tactics brings tactical, turn-based combat and marries it to classic, frenetic Gears action. Outfit your squad and take down a Locust leader creating monstrosities.

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