hide results

    FAQ/Strategy Guide by cs982005

    Version: Final | Updated: 09/28/05 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    *******************************************************************
    *            TheOne's guide to dominating Homeworld 2             *
    *******************************************************************
    * Copyright notes: You may distribute this file in its            *
    * entirety only without changes or additions. You may             *
    * quote parts of it as long as you cite it properly. This file    *
    * is property of TheOne (cs982005@yahoo.com)                      *
    *******************************************************************
    
    General Game Notes:
    -------------------
    
    About Dynamic Difficulty:
    
    -HW2 features a self-adjusting difficulty level. However, in reality it is 
    based on a very simple model. The AI itself will always act the same way and no 
    damage or armor modifiers are introduced. Basically, Whenever you finish a 
    mission; the game will examine the size/power of your fleet and the Veygr will 
    have a fleet of a size proportional to your own (to ensure that you will ALWAYS 
    be at a disadvantage).
    
    -Also, note that the nature of the Veygr fleet will be a reaction to your own. 
    Meaning, if the brunt of your force was anti-capship. The Veygr will start the 
    next level with an overwhelming fighter-based force, and vice-versa.
    
    -You may consider this cheap, but remember that you have the ability to replay 
    the level (the CPU doesn't have the same advantage). However, combined with 
    many other aspects of the game that I discuss later in the guide, HW2 comes out 
    as a strictly hardcore, extremely difficult RTS.
    
    -Thanks to a good friend of mine (Blackwolf), the thing to keep in mind about 
    this game is that it has been designed in such a way that the only technique 
    that has a realistic chance of finishing it is power-player style (aka 
    "Hoarding"). In other words, quick hit-and-run style ("hotdogging" - WC4) will 
    most likely fail. You really do have to harvest every last RU, build every last 
    possible unit and kill every last enemy unit to make it to the ending.
    
    Scripted Events:
    
    Automatic sequences (think of them as videos, except that they are built using 
    the game engine) which when triggered (either via a certian timer, action, or 
    objective completion) begin to take action without you being able to control it 
    (because it has been pre-written for the level). Most of these you can skip by 
    hitting the Esc key.
    
    Fleet Carryover:
    
    Like HW1, this game continues the welcome tradition of bringing along all your 
    units from previous missions to your current mission. This adds a tactical 
    aspect, because you can't simply just attempt to win a mission but instead you 
    have to do so with enough grace to support your next challenge (getting to 
    mission 12 with no RUs and no BCs is simply a ticket to restarting your game 
    from scratch!)
    
    Units (and abbreviations) that I usually rely on,
    the reasons behind it,
    and the max # of units you can have of each:
    ------------------------------------------------
    
    scout:
    with enhanced sensors, these guys can see way farther ahead than anyone else. 
    Moreover, you may use their sensor ping ability to temporarily locate enemy 
    units (ever wonder where the heck is that carrier that keeps spewing frikkin 
    fighters at you constantly? ping her ass!)
    
    bombs: Bombers 14
    fast, agile, hurts capships withouth them being able to retaliate much
    
    guns: Gunship Corvettes 12
    can shoot everything all around them
    
    torps: Torpedo Frigates 21
    when upgraded, hurts fighters, corvettes AND caps. Also because you can have a 
    HUGE army of them
    
    MS: Mothership
    because I have no other choice
    
    BC: Battelcruiser 2
    because - like I said in my HW guide - they are such beautiful things
    
    D: Destroyer 5
    fairly fast, packs a punch and eats frigates alive
    
    DN: Dreadnaught 
    they are cool to watch in action
    
    Units I usually don't use, and why:
    -------------------------------
    
    ceptors: Interceptors
    Because I would rather use all my fighter limit on bombers. Plus it is somewhat 
    easier to use other units for defending against enemy fighters.
    
    pulsars: Pulsar Corvettes
    Because I would rather use all my corvette limit on gunships. Pulsars are 
    originally designed as an anti-corvette/frigate weapon. But I find other units 
    better suited for each.
    
    miners: Mine-Laying Corvettes
    Albeit interesting in concept, strategies involving the use of miners would 
    (IMO) contradict the highly on-the-offence nature of this guide.
    
    flaks: Flak Frigates
    Although excellent against fighters, they're pretty much useless against 
    anything else. Plus I'd rather use up all my frig quota on torps
    
    ions: Ion Frigates
    Excessively vulnerable. Those things fall like flies. Even anti-fighter 
    weaponry can seriously damage ions. And being the slowest unit in the frigate 
    class doesn't help either. Also my strategy leaves only the frigate class to 
    cover against fighters/corvettes thus making it impossible/illogical for me to 
    use such a strictly anti-capship unit from the frigate class.
    
    dff: Defence Field Frigate
    I feel sorry for including this one in this section. This is due to the fact 
    that (theoritically) this unit can have great strategic potential. However, the 
    amount of micro-management needed to guide it, plus the extreme shortness of 
    the life of the field makes it not worth it to dedicate so much attention to 
    driving it around your fleet.
    
    mf: Marine Frigate (#$%$!$%#^&@) (excuse my French)
    Huge disappointment is all I can say. Those of you who have read my HW guide 
    know that capturing was a major strategy for me. Your ability to capture enemy 
    units in this game has been nerfed to the point of being absolutely useless. 
    This is a result of the following main factors:
    
    1. Capturing used to be done via corvette class ships, making it relatively 
    easy to at least latch on before you start being in extreme danger.
    
    2. Capturing used to be a way to circumvent the unit cap in HW. This is no 
    longer the case (i.e. you cannot capture a unit if you already reached its unit 
    cap)
    
    3. The AI in HW2 has been designed to leave whatever it is doing and 
    concentrate all fire on any nearby MF. Thus hugely decreasing your chances of a 
    successful capture.
    
    4. Salvage vettes used to be so cheap (270RU) that if you were to lose a couple 
    in the process of getting a BC, it would still be so much worth your while 
    because a single BC used to cost 3700RU in HW. In HW2 however, a single MF is 
    700RUs. Combined with its lack of speed and the AI's tendency to rape any 
    incoming MF makes for a very costly capture that nullifies the need to do it in 
    the first place.
    
    5. Many units in the single player campaign are not capture-prone per se. As a 
    matter of fact, the only units (worth the trouble) that I have been successful 
    capturing are destroyers and even then, it is so costly to do so that it makes 
    no sense.
    
    NOTE: In mission 4, there is a single destroyer that I found useful to capture 
    ONLY because it shows up long before you have the ability to build your own. 
    And let me tell you this, Veygr Ds are EXTREMELY slow!
    
    Things to note about this guide:
    --------------------------------
    
    1. This is not a complete guide. It is simply for those who are fairly familiar 
    with this game but still find it unusually difficult (and rightly so). It will 
    not discuss in detail unit stats or multiplayer tactics etc.
    
    2. This guide is designed to reduce spoilers as much as possible. However, be 
    careful when reading it as names and capabilities of certain units will be 
    discussed which may allude to some parts of the story.
    
    3. To maximize the use of this guide, you will need to go through each level at 
    least once to be familiar with the scripted events. I will not be describing 
    the course of those within this guide (unless necessary)
    
    General Strategies:
    -------------------
    
    1. Always have the maximum possible number of units from each unit type. Use 
    the "I" key to display your fleet stats and fill them accordingly. Most 
    missions expect you to do something specific so as to end the mission. Try to 
    keep at least one objective "alive" so as to allow you to take your time in 
    building your fleet before ending the scenario.
    
    2. In the heat of battle, it is always useful to hit "pause"... zoom in and pin 
    out that single enemy frigate that is nearly dead and tell all ur close-by 
    units to finish it off. Boom, one less gun shooting at you.
    
    3. Again, the "pause" key is your best friend. Use it from time to time to go 
    out into your sensor view, get an idea about what's happening in each of your 
    battles and switch plans accordingly.
    
    4. No, this is not cheap-play. Remember, you are dealing with a CPU opponent 
    that: 1) cheats (sees all your units all the time) 2) Can multitask so much 
    better than you can that the 30 secs you spend in pause mode while planning is 
    nothing 3) has no unit cap (you heard me. While you're limited to 2 BCs, the 
    Veygr can have as many as 8)
    
    5. If things are really hot, and you notice that a certain unit type is getting 
    reduced on regular basis, try to fill the production queue on all your 
    production ships with that unit. This is to help keep your fleet at max unit 
    per type at all times.
    
    6. The above rule has a very interesting (and useful) side effect. HW2 unit 
    production is designed to automatically "pause" if the unit being producded has 
    been completed by another production ship and has reached its unit cap. So 
    basically, if a similar unit gets destroyed... you already have a replacement 
    that is nearly ready!!! Imagine the amount of frustration of your enemy when 
    (just as he succeeds in killing one of your destroyers) he sees a replacement 
    emerge within seconds!
    
    7. Remeber to always pause the game, go back to your production site and bring 
    all the newly made units to the frontlines.
    
    8. Unlike in HW, HW2 allows you to move your MS! This is a major advantage 
    because you are no longer forced to have two fronts whenever the AI decides to 
    get smart and attacks your MS. As you will see in the individual missions, I 
    personally generally recommend setting your MS on a course towards the mission 
    objective as soon as the mission starts. Moreover, by keeping both your MS and 
    carriers at the frontlines, you can constantly replenish your forces without 
    the need to wait a long time before those newly born units move up to the 
    battlefield.
    
    NOTE: There are certain situations where this may not be a good idea. For 
    instance, you may not want the MS to move right in the middle of a BC fight 
    because (unlike losing a BC) losing your MS ends the game!
    
    9. The AI will always attempt to harvest the resources available in the level 
    (However, I do question the fact whether the AI really needs them. Given the 
    cheating nature of HW2's AI, I wouldn't be surprised if it can build units 
    infinitely). It is in your best interest to cut the AI off by ruining all his 
    attempts at it (seek out and distroy all his harvesters, refinaries and 
    carriers)
    
    10. Since harvesting is done automatically at the end of each level. It is 
    better (and more economical) to have the max number of harvesters at all times 
    auto-repairing the largest of your ships. This will lower your expenditure 
    dramatically (one BC is 4000 RUs in this game, so losing one is a BIG loss). In 
    other words, you generally will not have any need to actually manually harvest 
    RUs.
    
    *****************************************************************
    *			Mission Walkthrough			*
    *****************************************************************
    
    Note: I will use asterisks (***) to rate the level of difficulty for each 
    mission. 5 being the hardest in the game (which means that to the average gamer 
    it is EXTREMELY difficult)
    
    Mission 1, Tanis Base (*):
    --------------------------
    
    Nothing much to say. They are basically holding your hand through it. However, 
    here are some recommendations:
    
    1. Don't make too many fighters. 3 groups should be about enough.
    2. Make as Many bombers as you can.
    3. I highly recommend not losing any groups here.
    
    Mission 2, Angel Moon (***):
    ----------------------------
    
    You may need to replay this one a couple of times to get the hang of it. Here's 
    some tips on how to deal with the Veygr threat:
    
    FYI: Saving all crew ships is possible and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I would reload 
    my saved game the moment I would lose any, simply because it is really worth 
    it. Saving the 5th and 6th crew ships causes an Elite gunship and an elite 
    bomber groups to launch from the MS. They pack a punch and live longer than 
    their normal counterparts (plus it is a matter of pride! lol)
    
    1. NOTE: each supply ship will be attacked ONLY ONCE. Meaning, once the 
    attackers of any of the ships are removed (triggering fleet intel to announce 
    that it is safe), that one ship will not be attacked by any additional 
    reinforcements.
    
    2. TACTIC: It is much harder for fighters to hurt an enemy fighter group once 
    it has been reduced to 1 or 2 units only. As such, it is best to go for 
    attacking bomber groups when they are complete. Once reduced (thus becoming 
    much less of a threat to the crew ship), turn towards enemy fighters. 
    Otherwise, if you were to completely ignore the fighters, by the time you move 
    on to defend the next ship your fighters would have suffered heavy losses at 
    the hands of the Veygr's.
    
    3. Enemy forces are attacking the supply ship closest to you. send everything 
    you have to it.
    
    4. Once done, send your bombers (and one fighter group for support) towards the 
    carrier in the middle of the map and have them knock down the fighter facility. 
    Have the other fighters move on to the supply ship further ahead.
    
    *NOTE: the carrier in this mission will NOT rebuild the fighter facility. You 
    don't have to worry about that once it's down.
    
    5. By now there should be at least 2 crew ships under attack simultaniously. 
    Divide your guns and work on both.
    
    6. Enemy frigs jump into the fray. This is your cue to move away your fighters 
    (otherwise they'll be shredded tres-rapide).
    
    7. Once Captain Soban arrives, begin preparing for the next mission. If you're 
    the paranoid type, you may have your bombers remove the carrier engines (making 
    it a sitting duck).
    
    *NOTE: IMO, this should be the last time you would ever have ceptors. Retire 
    all of them and use the resulting RUs to make bombers and gunships. one-to-one 
    ratio is ok
    
    8. Mission ends once the last crew ship docks with the MS. 
    
    Mission 3, Sarum (**):
    ----------------------
    
    Having completed mission 2 as described, you'll arrive into this one with a 
    force capable of keeping it very well under control. Try to max them out during 
    the course of the mission through gathering some of the nearby RUs.
    
    This mission is entirely event driven. Here's how:
    
    1. Go ahead and clean up around the shipyard. Should be a piece of cake.
    2. An alert about a couple of probes will occur, one of them is near the 
    shipyard and the other is halfway between it and the MS. Have someone waiting 
    in both general areas. Kill them!
    3. Shortly after, a carrier appears in the general area around the secondary 
    objective (the forward resourcing op). Have bombers and gunships waiting.
    4. In a few minutes, ahead of and above the Shipyard,  3 carriers will arrive.
    5. Here's my recommendation... Knock out the two carriers that have fighter 
    facilities ASAP. This cuts off the constant fighter threat.
    6. Having done so, the situation freezes. As you will be able to easily kill 
    every capture frigate the 3rd carrier will be able to send at you.
    7. If you have completed mission 2 as described. You should be at a point where 
    you have very little RUs left. Start harvesting and use what you get for maxing 
    out all your ranks.
    8. Once done... kill that last carrier and away we go.
    
    Mission 4, Gehenna Outskirts (****):
    ------------------------------------
    
    There is two ways to do this mission. I rated it as 4 stars based on only one 
    of the two methods (the other is more like 3 stars).
    
    - METHOD 1 (the way THEY want you to do it)
    
    Here's the deal, you are supposed to destroy that huge starbase that is very 
    far from your starting position. To do so, you are expected to kill the three 
    groups of Hyperspace inhibitors. Thus allowing the MS to perform a tactical 
    jump bringing it (along with your fleet) VERY close to the starbase.
    
    BUTTTTT... here's the catch:
    
    A very large fleet is sitting just around the spot where your MS will 
    materialize. I have attempted this before and I can assure you that doing the 
    mission like this is a HUGE mistake. You may be able to survive the onslaught, 
    but your losses will be so severe that you might as well pack up and leave 
    anyways!
    
    Moreover, you will discover 3 jump gates near each of the inhibitor sites. They 
    all lead to a spot where a Veygr Destroyr is sitting waiting to be captured. 
    Going through the tactical jump sequence before doing so causes that D along 
    with her escorts to completely disappear from the map.
    
    - METHOD 2 (my recommendation):
    
    1. There are two Veygr carriers patroling the routes between each of the 
    inhibitor sites. Locate them with a scout then clean them out.
    
    2. Capture one of the enemy jump gates (not all, for doing so makes them a 
    target for the AI and losing all of them at once may not be convenient for you.
    
    3. Send a scout through it first, have it fly straight up above the enemy 
    forces (to avoid getting hammered) so as to provide recon.
    
    4. Go in with fighters first, try and maneuver in such a way that forces the D 
    to turn away fromt he jump gates.
    
    5. You will need at least 2 MFs to make a run for the D once it is looking 
    away. Chances are you will lose at least of of them.
    
    6. After killing everyrthing that is still standing, gather your forces 
    (including your new D) and head for the star base.
    
    After that the mission becomes a no-brainer. Just kill whatever you encounter 
    on your way to the starbase. Once there, wait until you have rebuilt your 
    forces to full power and then ruin her shit!
    
    Mission 5, Gehenna (***):
    -------------------------
    
    This is a straight forward mission. It is also reminiscent to a mission in HW1.
    
    Basically, the MS is standing in the middle of a dust patch. The patch forks 
    into three arms of dust clouds roughly going NE, N, and NW of the MS's starting 
    position. at the tip of each of the branches there is a "garrison" (basically, 
    just an assortment of Veygr ships) idling.
    
    The idea is, if any of your units strays outside of the cloud, a count-down 
    from 1 minute begins and if complete before your ship(s) get back in the cloud, 
    all garrisons will move towards your MS simultaneously. Thus making your life 
    miserable.
    
    Also, you will be warned of an enemy probe. Failing to destroy it within a 
    short while will also trigger the AI to abandon posts and attack you.
    
    There is one thing to keep in mind as well. Eliminating any two of the three 
    garrisons will trigger the third one (along with the forces surrounding the 
    dig-site itself) to attack you (i.e. the cloud stops making a difference. Odd! 
    since theoritically the cloud should continue to hide you even if the enemy is 
    alerted... but then we're forgetting that we're dealing with a cheating AI... 
    GRRRR)
    
    I personally recommend dealing with the garrions at the NE and NW first. I say 
    that because in reality we are dealing with 4 garrisons, the 3 indicated ones 
    and the one defending the dig-site itself. Once the Veygr is alerted, the 
    garrison directly ahead of you will attack from the same direction as the 
    defenders will. This is good, because (say) if you were to kill the 2 
    right-most garrisons first, the third one will attack from the NW while the 
    defenders attack from the N, being attacked from 2 different vectors (ask any 
    military general) is a BAD THING.
    
    If you have managed to capture the D from mission 4 it will really help in this 
    one. Once done with the defending groups, you will have a very quiet, safe 
    break where you can rebuild your forces. Once done, send a MF to the site and 
    grab "The Oracle" (whatever that is).
    
    Mission 6, The Karos Graveyard(****):
    -------------------------------------
    
    Here's the lowdown on this mission. I'll keep it simple and point-format:
    
    -Torps are your main weapon against movers
    -the MS will perform a short hyperspace jump twice, once landing right in the 
    middle of the map and the second time will land it right in front of the 
    derelict that is all the way at the end of the map ahead of the MS
    -"anti-mover defence tech" basically lowers movers' armour from 5000 to 1000, 
    Nothing more.
    -movers are specially interested in vette-class ships and will eat them up very 
    greedily so keep them docked at all times if you can afford to do so!
    
    Mission 7, Derelicts (**):
    --------------------------
    
    This mission is relatively simple (if you do it right). You also should end up 
    with a HUGE amount of RUs after completing it, and with time to regroup and 
    rebuild to boot! There should be three enemy "bases" if you will. More on that 
    in the tactics section.
    
    NEW UNIT: MOVERS (again!!, but this time they're yours):
    
    Movers are basically bombers (in the sense that they fire the same projectile 
    and they are not turret-based) but with the speed and maneuverability of a 
    vette. Their somewhat limited speed comes as an advantage, however. As it 
    allows your group of movers to annihilate a frigate in only one pass (they 
    aren't fast enough to pass by the frig before actually killing it). They also 
    have the special ability of being able to go through radiation clouds undamaged 
    (more on that later). The bottomline is, once they become available you should 
    immediately start having a full group of them (10) as they are extremely useful 
    and fairly durable and cheap.
    
    Mission Tactics:
    
    As I mentioned earlier, this mission (with the following tactical info) will 
    prove to be a walk in the park (oddly enough, it can be a very difficult 
    mission otherwise). The enemy carriers will show up in three locations.
    
    NOTE: you will encounter one of those fleet intel messages that warn of a 
    probe. That probe will fly straight from the eastern side of the map westbound 
    and will eventually pass directly north of your MS. Just have a scout group 
    sitting somewhere along that path and you will be able to handle the probe.
    
    The first carrier (and the most difficult to deal with due to it sitting in a 
    radiation cloud you cannot completely remove) shows up near the huge derelict 
    directly west of your starting point on the sensor map. I recommend simply to 
    ignore it till the end of the mission. Just make  sure that you have some units 
    (I personally used my entire capship and frigate group) to watch for forces 
    coming out of that carrier and deal with them.
    
    The second and third carriers appear conveniently close to each other. 
    Basically, the second carrier appears withint the cloud surrounding the tiny 
    derelict that is sitting by itself a short distance Northeast of your starting 
    point. While the third carrier is a short distance south of the second one.
    
    The idea is, once you have your movers ready, go ahead and destroy that 
    derelict. That way, once that carrier arrives you'll already be expecting (and 
    seeing) it. proceed to immediately handle it with all your bombers and vettes 
    (to take care of its fighter escorts).
    
    In the mean time, have your movers start working on the derelicts farther south 
    one by one. Note that you may encounter groups of 3 movers guarding some of the 
    derelicts. You should deal with them BEFORE destroying any such derelicts 
    (otherwise they may cost you a couple of your movers). Eventually, you will 
    expose the last carrier and by then your bomber and vette groups should have 
    been done with the 2nd one so just move on and assist your movers in taking 
    care of it.
    
    The rest is easy, keep clearing off the radiation clouds (by destroying the 
    derelicts) until the way is clear enough for your Ds to take care of the first 
    carrier (about time) and then continue to clear the derelicts.
    
    *Note about the derelicts: There are many more derelicts than the ones required 
    to end the mission. It is in your best interest to destroy as many of them as 
    possible since they leave behind RU patches when destroyed (thus maximizing 
    your RU collection at the end of the mission).
    
    Try to leave one of the mission objective derelicts standing till the end (to 
    allow you to rebuild). Once done, kill it and mission successful!
    
    Mission 8, Dreadnaught Berth (**):
    ----------------------------------
    
    This mission can be relatively hard if you didn't bring your whole fleet closer 
    to the hulk. Basically, bring your MS and everyone else towards it, this makes 
    the trip very short for your movers to bring the DN to dock with the MS.
    
    special briefing, THE KEEPER (aka that piece of shit mofo ship that looks like 
    it has eyes and a mouth):
    -The Keeper(tm) is pretty much invulnerable. He has a (kinda like) Ion beam 
    turret plus golden coloured pulsars that cause some serious damage to anything 
    it touches. He also releases (periodically) a band of little drones that are 
    very tough to kill and cause bomber-type damage. The only way to deal with it 
    is to keep the drones busy (or kill them) while continuously repairing your 
    capships from his damage.
    
    Once the DN docks, just send your movers to the little debris patch North-East 
    of the 3 power generators. Just hang in there and finally the game will allow 
    you to salvage the 3 pieces. Try to have more than one mover targeting each 
    piece (that way, if one dies another will countinue the journy right away). 
    Have fighters cover the mover group and soon the mission with be over.
    
    Mission 9, Counter Attack (*****):
    ----------------------------------
    
    IMO, this is the most difficult mission in this game. Everything here has been 
    setup in such a way as to give you a control-nightmare (in a RTS, this happens 
    when you have to handle too many tasks at the same time while each of them 
    requires a great level of attention by itself).
    
    The mission starts with a minor clash with a couple of Ds and their escorts. 
    You then have to wait until the Shipyard Nabaal joins you (and yes, it will 
    henceforth become part of your fleet) and then have it complete repairs of your 
    newly acquired DN. Once done you are required to eliminate the enemy forces.
    
    Basically, you are surrounded by carriers and jump-gates that keep spewing 
    fighters and frigs at you. They have been specifically placed in opposite parts 
    of the map to make it as hard as possible to deal with each of them (since you 
    would be moving away from each of them when trying to nail another).
    
    Also, a number of Ds (and eventually a BC) will be happy to join the fray as 
    well. the key here is to play the mission one time and find out exactly where 
    the Shipyard appears and then restart then tell your fleet to move towards that 
    location immediately when the mission starts. That way, once they start 
    attacking you will be sitting there waiting (instead of having to divide your 
    forces).
    
    The way i did it (aside from what I said above) is that I had my main force 
    protecting my "concentration" while a special task force (a couple of Ds) goes 
    around and tries to eliminate each of the enemy threats. I used the bombers to 
    take care of the jump gates once they became visible as well.
    
    NOTE: leave one jump-gate alive to postpone the end of the mission (when no one 
    else is standing) so as to have a breather and rebuild before moving on.
    
    Mission 10, Keepers of Sajuuk (****):
    -----------------------------
    
    This is a true survival mission. Meaning, you are faced with a power that is 
    infinitely superior to you, you have no means of stopping it and the only thing 
    you can do is stay alive while the clock ticks!
    
    Anyways, all I can recommend is, make sure your slow-ass shipyard moves ahead 
    with your fleet. all of you sit by Bentus and wait. Make sure your harvesters 
    are hard at work repairing your big guys. Basically the only measure of how 
    good you finish this level is by calculating how many RUs did you spend 
    replacing stuff.
    
    Mission 11, Sacrifice (***):
    ----------------------------
    
    Ok, the three core fragments are shown on sensors view. Don't worry too much 
    about retrieving them before disposing of the enemy forces first. There will be 
    three enemy "bases" if you will that are close to each of the 3 fragments.
    
    special briefing, THE DREADNAUGHT:
    -Let's begin by saying that it can eat BCs for breakfast. It has a range fairly 
    longer than that of a BC, fires off little blue pulses that are very painful, 
    and has a cannon that runs across it's entire hull that fires at a slow rate 
    but causes damage equivalent to one third of a BC's life everytime (not 
    combined with the damage from the blue stuff).
    -You must realize that it will refrain from using the cannon at anything 
    smaller than a D. It also has to be forced to move in range to its target AND 
    have it pointing towards it before the Phase Array Cannon will work.
    
    Mission Tactics:
    
    -Ignore sending a probe. Instead move your entire fleet towards the fragment 
    closest to the right edge of the map (assuming you are looking at the 3 
    fragments with the MS being at the bottom of the screen).
    
    -Once you're close enough, you will trigger the scripted event and soon enemy 
    forces will emerge from hyperspace. Try to go through them from right to left 
    and eventually you will have cleaned the map off of them.
    
    NOTE: be careful in navigating your fleet as they will stupidly pass through 
    the radiation patches (the ones surrounding the fragments) if they lie in their 
    way.
    
    -Once done, replenish your forces and prepare to capture the fragments.
    
    NOTE: About Salvaging the Fragments:
    
    The way I did it (possibly the easiest way) requires careful micromanagement 
    including extensive use of the pause key. It will guarantee success without 
    losing any units in the process.
    
    Bring a harvester and a DFF within close range to each of the cores. Have the 
    DFF move as close as possible to the fragment without being within radiation 
    range. Once done, set the harvester in such a way that forces it to pass right 
    by the DFF while on course to grab the fragment and then send it to do so.
    
    The moment the harvester is just about to cross the DFF, turn on the DF and 
    order the the DFF to move closer to the fragment. Stop once you realize (using 
    the sensor view) that the fragment is well into the DF (i.e. deep enough within 
    it to guarantee that the harvester will not move out of the DF while 
    maneuvering to grab it).
    
    Once the harvester touches the fragment, Order the DFF to move away. However, 
    order it to stop once it has turned away (don't allow it to start moving away 
    and put the harvester in danger). By now the harvester should be starting to 
    move towards the MS, order the DFF in the same direction and in the worst case 
    the DF will run out in time for your DFF to barely be scratched by the 
    radiation. Repeat the process for the other fragments, and you're home free!
    
    Mission 12, Thaddis Sabbah(****):
    ---------------------------------
    
    This is one of the toughest missions in this game. In addition to an already 
    large number of BCs present, there are 3 shipyards hard at work making more. 
    Also, there is a significant number of carriers (plus the station itself) 
    pumping out all kinds of annoying little fighters.
    
    Mission Tactics:
    
    -This is a mission that (IMHO) emphasizes the advantages of moving your entire 
    fleet ahead (including your MS). Set your MS, carriers, and shipyard on course 
    to the resource patch straight ahead the moment the game starts. Make sure your 
    capships are all in formation and moving together with your frigs in close 
    persuit.
    
    -Ensure that your MS queue is full of Ds and your shipyard queue has a couple 
    of BCs (although I would consider it a huge shame if you were to lose a BC in 
    this mission). All your carrier queues should be bogged with frigs and 
    bombers/vettes
    
    -You may send your bomber and vette/mover group ahead to create an earlier 
    encounter. This will (in the least) give you an idea about the locations of 
    your next enemy. Preferably, have your single scout group pass high and far 
    ahead of your frontline to have an early warning of incoming ships at all 
    times.
    
    -By the time your main force reaches the resource patch, you will probably be 
    just about to encounter the main Vaygr BC force. Remember, concentrate all your 
    fire on one at a time. Make sure your harvesters are on repair. Good luck.
    
    -Once you make it through those guys, you will shortly watch the Makaan 
    Sequence. He prompts his forces to go for your MS. However, by now your MS 
    should be so close behind you that defending it will only be a brief 
    interruption.
    
    -When done, it is now time to ruin the Veygr's life (by killing all their silly 
    Shipyards). There are 3 of them as far as I know (excluding Makaan). One should 
    be in close proximity to the station. One slightly farther and to the right of 
    it. And finally, there is one that is a good distance beyond the station and to 
    the left. The Veygr will continue to build Ds and BCs to stop you. Make sure 
    you eliminate all shipyards.
    
    -Take care of Makaan!
    
    -This is it. You now have a chance to rebuild and regroup. Make sure you have 
    repaired and rebuilt all your capships and frigs before sending the MF to save 
    Captain Soban. You may want to keep your vette group close to the station as it 
    is able to (and will) build fighter squads. Once done, grab Soban and that's 
    it!!!
    
    Mission 13, Balcora Gate (****):
    --------------------------------
    
    What makes this mission difficult is that it begins with the power generators 
    already under attack (i.e. the attacking forces are already in position and 
    firing as you emerge from hyperspace).
    
    Between you and them lies what may be the highest concentration of enemy 
    vessels ever witnessed (including a set of around 5 BCs!!!). There is also a 
    Shipyard and possibly a couple of carriers (and again, the usual assortment of 
    Ds and frigs).
    
    Basically, the 3 groups attacking the power generators will continue to do so 
    until each of the three is down. Please note that they will NOT attempt to help 
    each other (i.e. if one group is done, it will not move to assist one of 
    others). The rest of the enemy ships are intent on taking care of YOU. Only one 
    generator is required to win this mission.
    
    Mission Tactics:
    
    The method that worked best for me was to select one power generator (the top 
    one in my case) and place all my hopes on it. Send all your fighter/vette class 
    ships there and have them systematically terminate the ships that will continue 
    to fire at the generators (yes, some of them will turn to try and kill your 
    fighters and vettes). Continue to send in your newly made replacements (you 
    will be continously losing some since some of the attackers are assault 
    frigates).
    
    On the other hand, move your main force towards the shipyard. Make sure once 
    you encounter that huge group of BCs to concentrate your fire on one at a time. 
    Veygr BCs tend to love smoking your frigates first (a very good thing, since 
    you should have about 20 of them, which will take a long time to take care of 
    while you continue to pound those BCs). Once one generator survives and you 
    finish off the shipyard it will be over.
    
    NOTE: This mission tends to end abruptly (i.e. when you're not expecting it) so 
    try to ensure that your BCs survive at all times.
    
    Mission 14, Balcora (***):
    --------------------------
    
    This mission is fairly simple in the sense that you will get a chance to 
    regroup before it is over. You begin by taking care of a welcoming party 
    consisting of a bunch of Ds and frigs right ahead. Once done with that there is 
    also a small task force coming in from the west-top of your MS starting 
    position. If you were to follow that direction with a scout you will discover a 
    shipyard, 2 carriers and various defences. Take them down and you may now rest 
    and rebuild.
    
    Make sure you are back in full power before going after Makaan. He has a couple 
    of BCs and a DN to boot (plus your usual assortment of Ds and frigs). Chances 
    are you will have no issues disposing of them. Mission Complete.
    
    Mission 15, Return to Higaara (**):
    -----------------------------------
    
    Special Briefing, SAJUUK:
    
    Abilities to note:
    -It is capable of performing Hyperspace jumps (yes, you can teleport to 
    wherever you wish instantly... well... almost at least)
    -The main Phase Array Cannon has such a long range that you may fire it at 
    targets that are (by AI standards) out of range of detection.
    -Sajuuk has a pair of what you can think of as pulsar cannons but they pack 
    such a serious punch that they may toast a BC within less than a minute (yes, 
    without using the main cannon at all)
    
    Recommended use (major capship rapist):
    Have Sajuuk set as its own strike group. Use the jump feature to land just 
    outside of the firefight you would like to join. Then use the main cannon to 
    toast the enemy capships while far from harm.
    
    Mission Tactics:
    
    Begin by moving your entire force towards the front lines. I personally use the 
    attack-move command so as to allow my forces to engage whomever they find while 
    I concentrated on using Sajuuk to smoke the capships from behind (heheh)
    
    Shortly after, you will watch the sequence where the Planet Killers arrive.
    
    Special Briefing, THE PLANET KILLERS:
    
    They are huge, Octopus-looking things that fire missiles that supposedly 
    destroy a planet's atmosphere, and consequently resulting in mass-extermination 
    of the inhabitants. I have not yet attempted attacking them with conventional 
    weaponry so I cannot confirm or deny fleet intel's claim that they are 
    invulnerable to such weapons. The missiles - however - are very easy to kill. 
    Note that they are faster than corvette class ships so do not attempt to 
    "chase" them with such units.
    
    I have finished this mission twice, once with no missile impacts and once with 
    a single one making it. I have not seen any indication of the game punishing 
    you for the slip-up.
    
    For fun, I have allowed the missiles to go through and if I remember correctly 
    it took about 6 of them to exterminate the Higaarans (and thus losing the 
    mission)
    
    Mission Tactics (ctd.):
    
    Once the Planet Killers arrive, I continued to pound the enemy capships with 
    Sajuuk. In the mean time, move your bomber team to an intercept position of one 
    of the side Planet Killers and your vette team to the other. Continue to 
    dispose of the missiles as they come in range. be careful not to have your 
    units get busy fighting off enemy units and forgetting the missiles. The 
    missiles coming in from the middle will be taken out by your main force if you 
    have been following my lead.
    
    Sajuuk has such a huge reach that if you were to jump right in the middle of 2 
    planet killers, you will be able to finish off one and immidiately start on the 
    other without any significant moving (except for the time it takes to turn 
    around)
    
    When done, jump in position to shoot the 3rd one then mission accomplished!!
    
    *************
    * GAME OVER *
    *************
    
    Final Thoughts:
    ---------------
    
    Did I like HW2? Hmmm... I would probably say that HW1 (with HW2's engine) would 
    have been more fun. I am not sure why, but I feel as if in the effort of 
    maximizing the strategic part of HW2, they have lost some of the fun of HW1.
    
    Was it much different from HW1? Not really... It is prettier for sure (I 
    reinstalled HW1 just for fun... loaded the game and was horrified lol). But the 
    game itself is essentially the same (albeit somewhat bigger scale). Lots of 
    annoyances from the original game have been eliminated which is good. Overall, 
    it is a fun, intense experience that I recommend to any hardcore RTS gamer.
    
    As a departing note, and as I mentioned earlier, this game can be 
    discouragingly difficult for some people. But trust me, the feeling you'll get 
    when you end it is worth it (and the ending scenes too). Good luck and enjoy!