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Strategy Central

Last Updated on Thursday, April 02, 1998

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13. Mission With No Name
Togra

Step by Step Walk Through

Example#1

Both sides don't shoot you for the first 5 or so minuites. So what I did, was to quickly build a training facility & factory, then a phase thingie. I then upgraded until a phase runner was available, and then put 5 construction rigs in. I then moved them into the Imperiums base at the bottom left and built defense turrets. These were followed up (after they cleared some space) by neutron blasters. By the time they started fighting back, they had lost most of their power plants, and most of their factories. I abandoned my base in the bottom right (too hard to defend) and built a base in the top left. Then I just Took the remanants of the Imperium apart, and the Freedom guard were only a matter of time - the top left is heaps more defensible as there are plenty of choke points.

Example#2

1. Build up defenses to the north and to the west. 1st line plasma turrets, 2nd Neutron accelerators, 3rd Imp air defense.

2. Expanded base to the east: lots of power, lots of assembly plants, another HQ. This keeps the defenses fed and allows quicker construction of units. Built cranked out some Hellstorm artillery for base defense (two batteries of 5), and about 10 Tachion tanks.

3. Build advanced phasing facility and two temporal gates (built in the east to avoid early destruction). At same time, cranked out the assault force (10 SCARABs, and then all Tachions).

4. Phase ran a mix of scout runners and tachion tanks to the northwest corner (near monolith island). This gained the line of sight needed to use the gates for transporting more tanks (keep 'em coming) and the 10 SCARABs up there. Loaded the runner with construction rigs and moved it to the north end of the imperium base (this could also go the the unoccupied ground west of the FGs water hole).

5. Then, attack smart. Using the scout runners, gain LOS with the Imp defenses on the edge of the water, smoke them, assault with the Tachions to gain a foot hold, unload the C. rigs (before you lose the phase runner) and build HQ, Tng Fac, multiple Ass. plant (set exit point away from building as it will be under constant artillery fire initially), power, etc. This will probably happen concurrent with the final assault on your old base. Don't worry about it! You have gained a foot hold on the enemy's terrain from which you can easily gain control of his water and complete his destruction while his major assault force is occupied with cleaning up your base in the SE!

6. Don't forget defenses. The FG is still out there but doesn't have the combat power to overwhelm you (until you elliminate the Imp). Put up a line of plasma turrets, accelerators, etc. Crank out the artillery (FG attacks are primarily infantry). The terrain east of your new base provides many choke points which are easily controlled by artillery.

7. I then completed the ellimination of the Imp, built up another assault force, secured the FG's water hole in the west and defended it (build another base there), built a third base south of the FG (north of Togra's lab), and the rest is history.

Example#3

Initial Actions:

The first part of the mission is time critical. The sooner you have set up your base the sooner you can divert attacks away from the Orbital Defence Matrix.

The Imperium will soon smash their way through the Freedom Guard defences and attack the Orbital Defence Matrix. The Matrix is never repaired, this means that all attacks upon are accumulative. A close eye needs to be kept upon it, more on this later.

Initially your priorities are twofold:

Setup a defence to survive a dual frontal attack with all elements of the enemies arsenal (Rifts and Shock Waves are not used, as such you do not need to space out your base defensive setup).

Setup an attack force to stifle Imperium attacks on the Orbital Defence Matrix. This is the more time critical, but only by a matter of minutes.

Base Setup:

This is crucial to the mission. Initially do not explore more than what you need for the base. This only draws unnecessary attention and early enemy attacks will divert time away from your initial actions.

You need to setup a rapid strike-force as soon as possible. Imperium Cyclones are the best as they attack air and ground targets. This is your first priority. Gear your base setup towards this. This means an Assembly Plant and a Training Facility are first to be built. Followed by immediate upgrade of your Headquarters.

While this is happening build Construction Rigs (you will need quite a few) and get them to build Power Generators. Plan all the Power Generators along the bottom of the screen. Build to the far left against the rock (the western side of the Togran Landing Vessel). More Power Generators can be build up the eastern boundary.

Plan to build two Assembly Plants and one Training Facility (this is due to my bias for armour over troops). Remember to leave at least one unit space around the Assembly Plants (place them next to each other) for ease of movement. Build theses buildings in line to the east of the Headquarters as this gives optimum space usage. Start building SCARAB artillery until you are able to build Cyclone air units.

Next build the requirements for a level III Headquarters, setting space for two Repair Stations. One above the Assembly Plants and one to the east works nicely. The aim here is to build a Re-Arming Deck as soon as possible. Place it to the west of the Landing Vessel as it will fit nicely between it and the nearest Power Generator. One is all that is needed.

While this is going on, build your base defence. A northern line of towers above the western Power Generator (six towers works well). Do not forget to leave at least a two space gap in the middle for access. Across from this an eastern line of towers is needed, this defensive line does not have to be straight, taper it as needed. An access gap is also needed here as this will aid in movement around the base.

An equal mix of Heavy Rail towers and Neutron Accelerator Cannon towers works very effectively. Build Heavy Rail towers on all the corners with towers two deep only on either side of the entry path and on the intersection of the tower lines (i.e. the north west corner). Behind the towers build Imperium Air Defence Sites.

While Heavy Rail towers have less fire power than the Neutron Accelerators, they do have the ability to engage two targets simultaneously and have a greater range. It is for these reason I place them on all corners.

An integral part of your defence is artillery. A tactical group of around twenty SCARAB's is perfect. Initially around ten do well until you build more. These are extremely useful for attack as well. These units are vital for defence. With controlled group salvos into the enemy forces you will obliterate masses of enemy. SCARAB's are slightly better than Hellstorm artillery pieces as their blast radius is bigger, as such more damage is done over a wider area. However a mix of artillery pieces is adequate. It should be noted that for later stages, SCARAB units can retreat to the water in the north-west corner when you are attacking Freedom Guard units. Hellstorm artillery will have to retreat further down the map.

You will find that if you have planned your base well you should have a large area to park your squad of artillery which has ease of access to and from the base. This is important.

Plan of Action:

Now that you have about twenty Cyclone units you can start to defend the Orbital Defence Matrix. It is important that at this point your defence is near completion, but does not have to be ready. After your initial attacks you have a few minutes up your sleeve. Send your tactical squadron of Cyclones to bottlenecks of Imperium movement. Leave them there as they will return when they have emptied their salvos. Their main targets should be SCARAB artillery, but they are not worth losing units over if there is a large amount of Bion troops present. Position your units close to the enemy, do not overfly them as you will usually take large losses.

The Imperium will counter attack after you have attacked their base, however this said, if you only attack their forces in the field then the counter attack will come, but after a few minutes. This means that a few skirmish raids with your Cyclones is fine before you are set to attack the Imperium base, in fact this is needed as the Orbital Defence Matrix will take hits early if you are not careful. Note: after attacking Imperium attack waves, the Freedom Guard will often send their troops against yours. This means that you have to find a balance between attacking Imperium advances and letting them through to destroy the Freedom Guard forces.

If you are having problems defending the Orbital Defence Matrix, then attack most Imperium waves and leave your base defences to deal with the Freedom Guard attacks. Generally these come from the north but later also come from the north-west. These are easily dealt with as they do not employ artillery nor large aerial weapons (i.e. Sky Fortresses). If the Orbital Defence Matrix is under attack and the Freedom Guard seems incapable of repelling it, then station your Cyclones to the south west of the Matrix. Here they are out of range of Freedom Guard defences and can easily pick off the Imperium threat.

Imperium attacks generally throw a mix of all combat units together. This said, Tachion tanks and Bion troops are the main elements. Early attacks (indeed until you have destroyed most of the Imperium base) will have around five to ten Sky Fortresses as lead elements. This is no big deal. Although you will take an occasional tower lose, the best defence is to leave your tactical squadron of Cyclones just outside your western perimeter. They will however, attack all enemy units, but usually, the Sky Fortresses are lead elements and will be destroyed. Using Cyclones for defence in this way is a good idea, although they will take severe damage before returning to reload, overall few losses will be incurred (as long as they are repaired after each skirmish).

Taking damage is not a problem and indeed this is one of the critical elements of this game. IT COSTS NOTHING TO REPAIR. A damaged unit is easily repaired and will save you much needed resources for use elsewhere.

Attack the Imperium base only. Do not attack the Freedom Guard base until all Imperium forces are eliminated. Attacks upon the Imperium should use SCARAB artillery as the main strike elements, if not for the fact that they are very useful, but for the reason that now you have twenty of them. These will make up the backbone of all early attacks and defences.

If you are having trouble defending against Imperium or Freedom Guard attacks, or if you are on the back foot after a particularly viscous attack, then do not despair. If you desist in attacking the Imperium base they will eventually lose interest in you and send their main strike force against the Freedom Guard. You will get smaller skirmish forces, but no large strike forces. This will not happen immediately and may require you to hold on for a while.

When attacking the Imperium a couple of things should be noted. Outer perimeter defences and indeed the majority of internal structures are not rebuilt. This is very helpful. Secondly, after every attack, large counter attacks will ensue.

The usual tactic of using Scouts and Infiltrators to spot targets for artillery fire does not work very effectively, as they are almost always engaged. Note: there is no landscape features available for your scouts to morph into. You do not want to leave your units exposed outside your base for more time than is necessary or you will take large losses. For this reason, a tactical squadron of Cyclones or a squad of Tachion tanks are very important for use as lead elements. The best tactic is for these units not to directly attack the target but to make strategic passes to highlight for artillery bombardment. Targets of opportunity will be engaged automatically (i.e. enemy units waiting for the order to attack you) and this is very useful.

Using Cyclone units is not the best option as they will take large losses from anti-air structures and units (they are useful early before you have built up a large Tachion squad). You do not want them drawn into a conflict. For this reason Tachion tanks are the best forward units. This means that after building Cyclone and SCARAB units, Tachion tanks are your next priority. Although twenty works very effectively (especially later on), ten will work well in the early parts of the game or until you can build up some more.

The Tachion tanks are better than Triple Rail Hover tanks but only marginally. Although your armour squad is very capable of engaging and destroying enemy buildings on their own, you will suffer large losses against a superior force (especially over a long drawn out conflict such as this one). Imperium defences also rely upon artillery for defence, that is why the forward armour must be moved constantly. Note: do not move them deeper into the base and do not waste time or resources trying to eliminate the enemy artillery. It is no problem if forward units engage the target building as this will cut down on exposure time. It will however, compromise their ability to defend themselves. The only exception are the Neutron Accelerators , these should be engaged directly. Using Cyclones is not very effective as Air Defence Sites are always nearby and losses will be occurred.

Another advantage of using a squad of Tachion tanks is that this now frees up your squadron of Cyclones. The Cyclones should be placed over or in front of your artillery units to protect them from counter-attack or marauding enemy units. This is very important as you can not afford large losses. If all the Cyclones successfully defend the artillery and return for re-arming, considerable thought must go into breaking off the attack to cut down on possible future losses.

The most important aspect of this attack scenario is your ability to withdraw quickly and repair. The adage of 'he who runs away gets to fight another day' is very important here. As mentioned earlier repairing is free and the enemy do not rapidly rebuild structures. Time is now more on your side.

When you attack the enemy, DO NOT BE GREEDY. To be greedy and be drawn into a conflict against larger forces will lead to more exposure time and larger losses. Destroy one or two structures at most and fall back into your defended base. This is your best strategy. Note: its often best to retreat the Cyclone squadron to just outside your western perimeter for reasons discussed earlier.

The thrust of all attacks upon the Imperium base should be directed along the southern boundary. This ensures that you are not always tied up fighting defensive buildings, but are able to take out some producing facilities. Although you can not take them all out in this way, it will give you the south west corner which is a very good area to stage further artillery attacks from as it is easily defended and evacuated.

If you are running short on credits (or if you are just plane vengeful) then the Freedom Guard water source to the west of their base on the northern boundary is your target. It is poorly defended (which is an understatement) and even better it is hardly ever attacked. Attacks are infrequent and only by a small force. One or two Heavy Rail Platforms is all that is needed. Station at least two Mobile Air Defence units around the site, but within the perimeter. Another very good idea is to have a mechanic beside the water source, with a medic behind him. This means that when the Freighters are attacked, they are very shortly repaired.

Once you have secured the Imperium base you have access to two more water sources. If you plan to utilise these for production than beware as the Freedom Guard attacks are large and from all aspects, as the surface layout allows more avenues of attack. To defend these sites you will need a defence setup very similar to the one surrounding your base. Use the squad of Tachion tanks and the Cyclone squadron to help facilitate safe construction of the defences. More Power Generators will be needed. Place these between the Water Launch Pads and the coast. Note: your towers will have to extend up this far and taper back to the coast to properly defend this area.

Cleaning Up:

The hard part of the game is now over. All you have to do is destroy the Freedom Guard base at your leisure. The same attack technique used on the Imperium base will also work. The advantage of utilising artillery for this final thrust is the position of the Orbital Defence Matrix. Around the boarder of the Orbital Defence Matrix you can see (and target) many structures, including the Freedom Guard Headquarters. Attack from the north west corner and retreat your units either over water to the west or below your defensive position surrounding the two Imperium water sources.

The Freedom Guard will pull back their attacks to defend their base. This means that your avenue of retreat may be blocked or hindered. More importantly you do not want a direct engagement of your land units, let your defensive setup take care of them. Again, DO NOT BE GREEDY. Although you can probably afford losses at this part of the game, it is still not desirable. Attack and pull back to a strategic position. Over the water to the north-west is an ideal position or behind your defences surrounding the Imperium water sources.

Sky Fortresses (at least ten) will wreak positive havoc upon the Freedom Guard base, as long as you fall back to recharge and repair. If employing this technique watch out for Skirmish tanks and use caution when attacking from the south. As the constant stream of enemy will quickly give large losses if you are not careful.

This is the easy part of the game. The hard work is over. All that is left is final administration. Destroy the Freedom Guard base, visit the Monolith (transport some troops over or fly over it) and visit Togra's Laboratory (which you may have done by default as your troops may already be beside it). Now watch the pretty pictures, which by the way are not very exciting. The purpose of war should be to expound its existence, giving its master more and more power, not to be used as a petty tool to find God. Oh well.

General Tips:

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY HUNTING

When you have decided that you are Dark Reign competent, then try these adaptations for fun on the last mission. They are all achievable and add a little spice to the game:

Overall - Mission Thirteen:

This is the best mission in the game, but relatively this was still an easy mission. The enemy needs to be more aggressive, with positive efforts to rebuild their base. All weapons need to be used by the enemy (i.e. Rifts and Shock Waves) and used effectively.

Example#4

You start out with 500000 credits but no water source. You have several neutral camera towers showing you the battle between the IMPs and FG as you build up. You have your scout ship, togra's lab, and the orbital defense matrix to protect. The defense matrix is in the FG base and they will fend off the imperium for a little while as your prepare to destroy them both.

Base layout and defense

As you build your base, build a bunch of rail platforms and neutron accelerators in a wide perimeter around it. Make the northern border flush with the rocks and the western border also flush with the rocks to provide cover. Your south and east sides are on the corner of the map. You'll want to have about 15 of platforms, with air defense sites behind them. Your base is going to be SLAMMED, so don't get caught without defense. Now build about 25 hell storm artillery and move them to the south-east corner of your base. As the enemy approaches, slow time down to a crawl. By judiciously using your artillery to all attack at the same well-chosen spot, you can usually knock out 9-13 tanks per attack with nearly zero loss. Keep your base repaired and you will not need to ever use any units to defend ( no super weapons on this scenario ). If you're getting hurt, build more artillery and platforms. The enemy will not usually attack until you hit one of them, so just take it easy and let them waste themselves on each other for a while.

Build 1 training facility and about 10(!) assembly plants. Make two re-arming stations. Don't bother with temporal gates, phase runners, etc.

Offense.

Now build 40-50 sky fortresses and 20 cyclones. Don't waste money on other things. You want to take out the imperium first so they won't threaten the orbital defense matrix. The battle see-saws back and forth and you can mostly ignore it for the first four or five imperial assaults.

Now take your aerial assault force and move to the south of the imperium base. The cyclones should take out any bions, MADs, or cyclones that threaten your fortresses. Work your way up north, taking out structures. Four or five fully charged fortresses can take out an air defense site no problem. Just make sure not to move up too fast. You are working your way up toward their water supply where you can nuke their launch pads, and in the mean time robbing them of power.

The imps may successfully assault the orbital defense matrix. Keep your eye out for it, and if you see a group of tachion tanks at the matrix, immediately move in 6-8 fortresses and 8 cyclones to save it!

Clean up the entire imperium base with your fortresses. It takes some patience, but you invested a lot of money in this solution. Use it well. Remember to keep bringing your cyclones back or you will lose all of those precious sky fortresses. Don't let them waste ammo on anything but sky fortress protection.

Once the imps are wiped out, hit the northern FG water spring with six sky fortresses or so to cut them out. Keep the fortresses there and move in a rig. The FG will largely leave this spring alone. The Imps have two springs to build on. Keep your fortresses there as this position will be heavily assaulted. Your money should be running low, so bring in the rigs and start building a base. One launch pad with a hover freighter on each spring will bring money in quickly. Your money should be running out just about now, so this is crucial for abolishing the FG.

Now consolidate your gains and build massive defenses! Suddenly the FG gets more fierce and is continually harassing you. They have all kinds of resources and ferocity they seemed to lack for the imperium. Build defenses at both bases, but don't go for infantry. Just use artillery, air defense, and platforms.

Once you've gotten to the point that FG assaults are barely pinching you anymore, build up those sky fortresses again! Once you have 30-40 again, build up a support team as FG plays the base defense smarter. A few tachion tanks, spider bikes, sky bikes, martyrs and skirmish tanks should do, overall a group of about 30.

Take out the FG water and power on the east and north east side of their base. Kill the HQ early because the bastards are good at rebuilding what will annoy you the most. Then cross west and take out those assembly plants that are generating all of your trouble. The rest is just clean up.

Don't expect too much from the ending. It's a pretty sorry movie compared to the opener.

Credits: Davin, Ender, Sam Salada, Francis Taylor

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