I stick by my statement that playing a entire game on superhuman with ironman* rules means it would be very tricky to win the game with less than 100 deaths.
Depends on how quickly you nab a sectoid leader (ideally your first terror mission, at the expense of a few rookies--requires both luck and planning) and rush to psionics.
* I do cheat and reload right before a base assault to do spring cleaning.
It takes a masochist to stoically accept the 80-item storage loadout when your depot base gets invaded.
... just wait a turn or two until they've moved to a more favourable position. Depending on the situation, patience can sometimes be more effective them blowing them away the moment they're spotted.
I waited 100 turns and it wouldn't come out of it's hidey hole. I also find they tend to stay put inside terror ships if they are on the second floor.
I have encountered this same tactic. They find a cubby they like and just sit there while the rest of the aliens move forward. Fortunately in most cases so far I have been able to circumvent the disks and form a pincer (including in my own hangars as well as terror ships and sectoid bases). This sometimes does involve intentionally exposing troops to lethal fire, moving enough at once that they can still take shots in the same turn if one or two goes down.
A 4-man fire team (or what is left of your whole squad after killing everything else) can usually split into twos and perform a pincer with 25% or less casualties.
Law of Combat: If the enemy can't get in, you can't get out. There was only one passage and he had that covered. After waiting 100 turns I realized the aliens were going to starve me out.
A 4-5 man team can do it, but it may end up killing them all. They need to be armed right, which is why I advise killing the rest of the aliens elsewhere and then reorganizing a team specifically for this (which I assume you did). They should be mostly rookies armed with laser or plasma and explosives, use smoke if they have it, and file down the hallway rookies first ready to die. The result for me has been that the disk peeps out, uses up some TUs, kills a guy or two, and then goes to cyberdisk he11 by the end of the next round, possibly taking someone else out with it. I ain't saying it's pretty but it's a solution if you don't have the right indirect weapon to blast it down the hallway.
I know this can work because I have run into it once or twice in base assaults. As best as I can recall, I basically advanced on them and sprayed lasers until they went boom. Not usually my style, but I know what you mean about them lurking like that. I definitely lost a couple of rookies that way but I can't say from memory how bad the casualties were. They don't always peep out, which is why you need plenty of meat for the grinder when you actually run under it or whatever to attack it. You have to soak up its TUs; overwhelm its reaction fire, which means the whole squad (whoever is left) has to move at once, saving TUs to react if it does peep out, then group together the round before attacking (just out of its line of fire), then spring on it at once, with almost all of their TUs available to fire on it. Of course you are still moving one at a time on that turn, so you (usually) only risk as many as it takes to kill it when it explodes.
Note: You can throw bombs farther in tunnels when kneeling. Sometimes you can get a better angle on something like a Terror Ship murder hole as well. I have taken out more than a few disks I couldn't see with Hi-X.
Your only hope here would be to have launcher carriers and missile carriers, and hope that you get a couple of guys free long enough to toss someone a loaded launcher and kill some of those b1tches. Obviously don't keep a loaded launcher in hand when ending your turn.
I tried this. I never got anyone unpanicked. In fact, after about 100 turns of constant panick, I aborted.
I must admit that I don't even mess with Ethereals when I don't know who my psi-strong are. I touch down and dust off from Ethereal missions until then, but usually I have psi before they appear if I am playing with it enabled. They seldom raid your base unless you have been attacking their missions.
Leaving the smoke behind was a choice for me on this mission. My supply chain is in good shape. I had done the same mission, with the same loadout successfully several times. It just turns out there is one particularly brutal starting setup for a supply ship in the desert with a sky ranger that I hadn't seen before. I have since changed my tactics to keep at least two smokes on the ranger at all times. Smoke is a no brainer for terror missions.
Law of Combat: The exception proves the rule, and destroys the battle plan.
And there's this one on the Murphy's Laws site:
"If you think you don't need something for your combat load for an OP PLAN, you'll probably wish you had it after the sh1t hits the fan in combat."
Others pertinent to this discussion:
If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.
There is no such thing as a perfect plan.
Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.
Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.
The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard.
When both sides are convinced they're about to lose, they're both right.
Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
I've dealt with a lot of the same stuff man. I only play on Superhuman these days, and those bastids have a lot of TUs, Accuracy, Reactions, and HPs. I'm mostly meta-thinking these days when it comes to strategy, using principles of martial philosophy and a lot of research on modern warfare. It turns out a lot of it applies to X-Com, as you are no doubt aware.