Zauron's Complete Guide to Moonbase Commander TABLE OF CONTENTS: ==================================================================== INTRODUCTION I. GENERAL GAMEPLAY INFO A. Review of the game B. Game play structure C. Game controls D. Game utilities II. UNITS AND TACTICS A. Bomb B. Cluster Bomb C. Repair D. Anti-Air E. Bridge F. Tower G. Missile H. EMP I. Spike J. Reclaim K. Balloon L. Mine M. Crawler N. Virus O. Energy Collector P. Shield Q. Offense R. Hub III. CHALLENGE MODE TIPS A. Challenge Mode Example Replays B. NiceCo - The Three Pools C. NiceCo - Barbarian at the Gate D. NiceCo - DeWulf-icide E. NiceCo - Fog of War F. DeWulf - King of the Hill G. DeWulf - Twin Trouble H. DeWulf - Winds of Change I. DeWulf - Last One In is... Dead J. System 7 - Wind Advantage K. System 7 - Over the River and Terminate L. System 7 - DeWulf Pack M. System 7 - Divide and Conquer N. Team Alpha - I Smell Team Spirit O. Team Alpha - Island Breeze P. Team Alpha - Tough Customers Q. Team Alpha - Three's a Crowd IV. SECRETS AND CHEATS V. CREDITS VI. VERSION HISTORY VII. CONTACTING THE AUTHOR VIII. LEGAL STUFF ==================================================================== INTRODUCTION ==================================================================== Hi. Welcome to my Moonbase Commander guide! :) Also be sure to check out the utilities I've made to help people get the most out of Moonbase Commander. You can read about them and where to get them in section I. D. Game Utilities. If you need more help with the game's Challenge Mode than this guide can provide, check out the demo replay files available on my website (http://www.zauron.net). ==================================================================== I. GENERAL GAMEPLAY INFO ==================================================================== ------------------------------------------- I A. Review of the game ------------------------------------------- Moonbase Commander is a turn-based strategy game with a fast paced real-time feel. It uses a very unique gameplay system unseen before in this genre, combining a hands-on aiming system similar to the classic PC game Scorched Earth but with a deep strategic core. Speculated at first to be a strategy game for beginners, players will quickly discover the opposite is true - this game is easy to understand and pick up, but takes much more skill than most other strategy games to really master. It features single player skirmish mode, a challenge mode (a bunch of maps with special objectives you must defeat in order and get ranked on your performance, an excellent introduction to the game), and best of all multiplayer mode (up to 4 players over LAN or Internet, uses GameSpy, can do free-for-all or teams). It also comes with a very nice built-in level creation tool and it can save cool replay files of your battles - excellent for gloating or to study your opponents and learn from your mistakes. The story isn't very important to the game, but here it is: Set in the future when Earth's natural resources are all but used up, a Moonbase project lead by the world's best scientific minds create the first Moonbase probe. Controlled remotely by a single Moonbase Commander, the probe is capable of landing on the surface of any planet or moon. From the landing site, the central Hub is able to replicate itself and expand across the planet in search of energy or to prepare for colonization, and can eventually spread across an entire planet. Once the power of this technology is realized, greed causes the coalition that started the project to split into four distinct factions. These factions now use the probe not only to seek out new energy resources, but also to attempt to destroy each other and claim each moon or planet as their own. The graphics are great, especially when considering the game's low system requirements. They are clear and colorful and feature excellent animations (especially the explosions). The different factions all have unique graphics with distinctively different feels to them. They are very pleasing to the eye and crisp and detailed. The sound effects are spot-on and satisfying, and the music is pretty catchy without being irritating (it is also dynamic and will get more exciting along with what's happening in the game). Each faction also has voices to go with it. The voices say interesting and often humorous things, but they can get annoying after extended play. Fortunately, you can set it to only say really important things or turn them off altogether. I would recommend leaving them on at first though - they say some really funny stuff and they even give hints once in a while. You'll even notice that when they give you the briefing on a challenge mode map, they often have multiple versions of the briefing and one is randomly selected when you choose the mission. Any game type (single or multiplayer) can have AI bots added in place of a human player. There are many bots to choose from and they all have different play styles. Some of them can be extremely difficult and challenging to defeat. Gameplay is what really counts in my opinion, and Moonbase Commander is top notch in this department. The controls are very easy to pick up and you'll figure them out in seconds. The different units all have unique and useful purposes, and there's no such thing as a useless unit you won't use any more in this game. The use of these units and the interactions with each other give the game great strategic depth you rarely see, while still remaining simplistic enough that you won't have to go look up stats or memorize tech trees to play it. The game is easy to learn but difficult to master, and should appeal to anyone who has even the slightest interest in strategy games. It also has great replay value if you play multiplayer mode: you and your friends can be entertained playing with or against each other for limitless hours. I highly recommend that everyone try this one out. Buy or rent? Definitely buy, it's clearly a keeper and it comes at a very reasonable price to boot! My rating: 9/10 ------------------------------------------- I B. Game Play Structure ------------------------------------------- Since this game is pretty unique it's a bit hard to explain how it works on paper. However, if you actually play the game or the demo then it will make sense very quickly. It's known for being easy to pick up and learn. Each player starts with a single Hub unit and 11 Energy to spend. Each player then gets to take a turn. On your turn, you can fire one of 18 available units or weapons out from your main Hub. Each unit takes 1, 3, or 7 energy. You only get one shot on your turn. Turns continue until someone runs out of Energy or skips their turn (if they skip their turn then all remaining Energy for that round is added to their Energy for the next round). Then that person gets no more turns but anyone else who still has Energy gets to keep taking turns. This continues until everyone runs out of Energy. Then the round ends and everyone is granted 7 more Energy for the next round. For the next round the turns are reordered such that whoever went last in the previous round goes first this time. As you can see, Energy is important as the more you have, the more turns you can take (depending on how much you spend each turn). If you have lots more Energy than your opponents do, you'll get to keep going while they have to wait for the round to end. This gives you the opportunity to hammer them with weapons while they can't counter at all. I'll go more into how to get more Energy in a bit. There are two types of things your Hub can shoot out - buildings and weapons. Buildings are unique in that they are linked to the Hub that created them by a cord. If a Hub is destroyed, all the buildings that it created are also destroyed when their cord is severed. If the first main Hub is destroyed, your entire base is destroyed since all buildings are connected to it in some way. One type of building you can create is other Hubs, which you will need to do to expand your base. But no matter how many Hubs you have chained together, if the first one is destroyed all the ones down the line blow up too. You will notice that the cords have lights flowing down them. The lights always flow toward the Hub that created it. Thus, if you see a Hub where all the cords linked to it have their lights flowing toward it, you know you've found the main hub of that player's base. Any other Hub would have at least one cord flowing the other way toward its parent Hub. This makes much more sense when you actually are playing the game, trust me. When shooting out buildings, they must land on a flat surface or they will be instantly destroyed and the energy used to create them will be lost. Thus, you must aim carefully to make sure not to waste energy. Also, their cords cannot cross any other cords or buildings or water. This can make getting a building into the spot you want difficult, and trying to arrange your buildings to not cross over each other is part of the strategy of the game. Another important building is the Energy Collector. Laying one of these grants you 1 more Energy per round from then on (unless it is destroyed of course). However, spread around each map are glowing Energy pools. If you land an Energy Collector on an Energy pool, that Collector will give you 3 Energy per round instead of 1. You can land more than one Collector on the same pool if you arrange them well. Energy Pools are often the focus of many battles as players fight over their valuable Energy. Note that even with skipping your turn to store up Energy and having lots of Energy pools that your base has a maximum capacity of 35 Energy per round. The rest of the buildings and the weapons will be covered in more detail in a later section. The maps have no borders, they wrap around so firing something off the bottom of the map will make it loop around to the top, and ditto with all the edges. This means you can always flank someone or be flanked. There's no corners to back up into in this game. There is an optional Fog of War feature similar to many other strategy games where you can only see what your buildings and weapons can see. There are special units you can use to see further in the Fog. The game does take height into consideration. Things fired from high up will fly farther, and if you are trying to land something up hill you will need to put more power behind it to get it up there. There is also a wind factor that you can toggle on and off. The wind factor will affect where your shots go while they are in the air. For multiplayer, you can set a shot timer to force players to make a move before too long. This is to keep everyone from getting bored while one player decides what to do. Also, if a player gets to take several turns in a row (because they have Energy and no one else does any more) then each turn the shot timer length will get shorter until it reaches a minimum length (about 5 seconds) to keep them from waiting the full time for each shot and dragging the game on. If you destroy another player's main Hub you are granted a free 7 Energy for immediate use as your reward and they are out of the game. When you are the last player remaining you win the game. ------------------------------------------- I C. Game Controls ------------------------------------------- The controls in this game are pretty simple. Click on a Hub or Offense unit to select it. Choose what unit or weapon you wish to shoot from the menu on the right. There are three categories of units and weapons divided by how much Energy it costs to use them - 1, 3, or 7. Change categories by clicking on the buttons above the unit/weapon buttons. You can move your view around in a few ways. There is a mini-map in the upper right corner - clicking on it will center your view on that location on the map. You can also click and hold your left mouse button on any building and "drag" your view around using the building as an anchor. The most common way to move the view is to click and hold the right mouse button and move it around to zoom around the map - the camera will move in the direction your mouse is moving. If you turn it on in options, there's also an option to scroll the view by just moving your mouse to the edge of the screen. Finally, if you click on a cord the camera will zoom to one of the buildings at the end of it. Click it again to zoom to the building at the other end. Once you've selected a weapon or unit to fire, you can click the left and right arrows to rotate your aim. You can also click Cancel here to change your mind. Once the aiming indicator is pointing in the direction you wish to fire, click and hold your mouse on the Launch button and the power meter will begin to increase. When it reaches full it will start going back down again. Release the button to fire your unit or weapon at that power and in the direction you selected with the arrows. If you don't let go of the button it will eventually automatically fire at the absolute lowest power. The unit or weapon will then fly out in an arc in the direction you choose with the arrows and at the power you selected (the power just affects how far it flies). If there is any wind, the wind will affect its trajectory while it is in the air. There are Track In and Track Out toggles on the top of the mini map. Turning them on makes the camera automatically track units that are flying toward you or away from you respectively. I recommend turning these on, but you should also turn on the Auto Return camera feature in the Options menu so that after it is done tracking something it will automatically return to what you were looking at before. In between these toggles is the wind indicator. If it's just a dot, there's no wind. If there is wind it will become an arrow. The arrow points in the direction the wind is blowing and the length of the arrow indicates how strong of a wind it is. There are some other buttons and indicators on the interface like a button to zoom the camera to your current Hub or Offense or switch Hubs and Offenses quickly, as well as remaining energy indicators, turn order indicators, shot clock indicator (if you have set a time limit for each turn), and so on. Refer to the manual for more details. There are also several useful hotkeys you can use. Here are the default ones: D - Toggle showing armor levels on all buildings (turn this on!) R - Toggle showing the detection radius of Anti-airs and Mines (this one too!) C - Center current unit on screen N - Select next Hub or Offense P - Select previous Hub or Offense L - Select the closest Hub or Offense A - Show the last attacked unit Tab - Bring up a chat bar to type a message to other players You can change these by selecting Options from the main menu. There are other options you can change too such as your player name, volume levels, voice commentary, and various camera options. ------------------------------------------- I D. Game Utilities ------------------------------------------- I've made a few utilities for Moonbase Commander to help you get the most out of the game: Direct TCP/IP Multiplayer utility - Moonbase Commander uses GameSpy for Internet play. However, if you want to just play with your friends directly without messing with GameSpy, you can get a direct TCP/IP game setup launcher. It's Freeware and is not officially supported in any way whatsoever (so don't e-mail me if you can't get it to work). Just search the Internet for a file called MoonbaseIP.zip or, if it's still up, get it from my website at http://www.zauron.net. It's also currently hosted at http://www.strategyplanet.com/mbc/ Map/Replay Importer utility - If you want to import maps or replays you've downloaded from the Internet into Moonbase Commander, get the Moonbase Commander Importer. It's also Freeware and is not officially supported in any way whatsever (so don't bug me about it). It is not needed for playing custom maps with others though - custom maps on a game you join will be automatically downloaded for you by the game. This utility is only needed for maps and replays you download outside of the game (i.e. from web pages). It also is useful for map authors as it has a feature for exporting your maps and you can include the utility with your maps to make it easier for your users to install them. It's easy to use and supports drag-and-drop functionality. Just search the Internet for a file called MBCImport.zip or, if it's still up, get it from my website at http://www.zauron.net. It's also currently hosted at http://www.strategyplanet.com/mbc/ It's not really a utility but while you're on my site you can also get replay files demonstrating how to beat all the Challenge Mode levels. Just check in the Game Guides section. There's also a great new utility made by another author called Moonbase Console that allows you to generate random maps for single and online play and is highly recommended for good fair games. Get it from http://www.strategyplanet.com/mbc/ ==================================================================== II. UNITS AND TACTICS ==================================================================== The units and weapons of the game are divided into three categories according to how much Energy it costs to use them - 1, 3, or 7. All units and weapons must be fired from a Hub or an Offense. An Offense can only fire certain weapons. ------------------------------------------- II A. Bomb ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 1 Energy Damage potential: 3 (lower if not direct hit) Can be fired from an Offense Description: Bombs are your most basic weapon. They must be aimed and launched manually. Since most buildings have 3 armor, a well-aimed Bomb can destroy most things in one hit. If the Bomb doesn't land square on, it can still do partial damage to a building it lands near. Bombs are stopped by Anti-Air missiles and Shields. How to best use it: Bombs are great because they are so cheap. An undefended Hub or Energy Collector takes only 2 Bombs to destroy, and everything else only takes 1. At 1 point each that's a real bargain! They are good for intentionally setting off Crawlers, both yours and your enemies'. They are also useful for setting up a shot with a more destructive weapon. Use the 1 point Bomb to make sure your aim and power level are true, then roll out a high damage Crawler or other weapon. Bombs are also a cheap way to destroy your own buildings if they are in the way and need to be removed. What to do against it: Just make sure to place an Anti-Air or Shield around anything important so they will intercept incoming Bombs. Since they have to be aimed manually they are not usually a big threat unless the shooter has great aim. ------------------------------------------- II B. Cluster Bomb ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 1 Energy Damage potential: 1.5 (lower if not direct hit) Can be fired from an Offense Description: A Cluster Bomb fires out as one bomb but at the apex of its flight it splits into 3 that fly at slightly different angles. The middle one will still land where a normal bomb would have landed (so keep an eye on it if you want to duplicate the shot with a more powerful weapon). Each separate bomb in the cluster does 1.5 points of damage. Not many things are going to die to these. How to best use it: The major use of Cluster Bombs is scouting and taking out Anti-Air units and Mines. You see, in the Fog of War you can see the area around a weapon while it is in flight. This makes the Cluster Bomb great to just fire out into an unexplored area and see if any enemy buildings or energy pools are there without spending much energy. They are also good for setting off dangerous enemy Mines because they split in the same fashion Mines do, allowing you to take out 3 Mines in one shot. Their most important use is taking out Anti-Air units - not by destroying them, but by disabling them. You see, an Anti-Air unit can only destroy one incoming unit or weapon and then it is disabled for the next time you take a turn (it turns back on after you take the turn while it was disabled). However, there are often multiple Anti-Airs protecting something. When you fire most other weapons and units, it only sets off one Anti-Air leaving the others still active. But with a Cluster Bomb, you can disable three at once which is usually enough to get at whatever you were after. At only 1 cost, this use alone makes Cluster Bombs a very important tool. You will find that often Cluster Bombs are the first thing you fire toward a newly found enemy base to both scout it out and disable any Anti-Air units before you begin your real assault. They are the perfect way to start a battle. Pay close attention when firing them so you don't miss anything they see. Also take note of where the middle bomb in the cluster lands so you can repeat the shot with a more powerful weapon if needed. What to do against it: Don't worry too much about the Cluster Bomb itself, as it doesn't do much damage anyway. Instead, worry about the fact that it probably just disabled a bunch of Anti-Airs. If you have a Shield you're probably fine for a bit though. If not, fire out another Anti-Air or a Shield on your next shot after you see a Cluster Bomb fly overhead. That way if they follow it up with an attack, your new Anti- Air will intercept it. Then the older Anti-Air's will re-enable (and you may want to then destroy the new one with a Bomb or Reclaim to leave the spot open to repeat that trick). Often they were also using the Cluster Bomb to scout and they won't realized you popped up another defensive building until they have wasted energy on an expensive follow-up shot. Finally, you should be able to tell where the shot came from by the direction it was traveling and how far it had spread - use that knowledge to strike back when they don't expect it! If you notice the middle bomb of the Cluster Bomb was about to land on a building or cord, your opponent probably did too. It's easiest for them to duplicate the exact same shot and they probably will with a Crawler or Spike now that your Anti-Airs are down. If at all possible, put something up to defend that spot in particular before their next turn. ------------------------------------------- II C. Repair ------------------------------------------- Type: Special Cost: 1 Energy Description: A Repair restores 1 armor for whatever it lands on. It acts like a weapon but has the reverse effect. Note that it can repair enemy buildings and even Crawlers. Like any other unit, you must aim and fire it. This means a Hub can't repair itself - it must be shot at by another Hub. How to best use it: The most obvious use of the Repair is to fix up damaged buildings. You'll often want to do this at the end of the round when you don't have quite enough energy to launch a hub or powerful weapon but need to repair some damage. It is especially important to repair Hubs and Energy Collectors. Only fully repaired Hubs and Energy Collectors can withstand the blast of a Crawler. The repair can also be used to help aim difficult shots for laying down buildings. Its 1 point cost is better than a botched 7 point building shot attempt. Just fire the Repair and make sure it lands on nice flat ground, then repeat the shot with your more expensive building. This works better than using Bombs because you don't risk damaging any of your own buildings while doing it. There are times when you want to repair enemy buildings as well, particularly if you are using a protected enemy building as a vulnerable line for Viruses or Spikes into the rest of their base. Keeping the building repaired gives you more opportunity to exploit it (see Spikes for more details on this trick). What to do against it: Usually nothing, but if you want to be a punk you can guard a damaged enemy unit with an Anti-Air or Shield and it will intercept their Repair shots just like any other shots. Also if they are purposefully using these to repair one of your buildings to continue using it as a line into your base for Spikes and Viruses, you should try to destroy the building they are using with a Spike of your own (or a Bomb or Reclaim if you can land them). ------------------------------------------- II D. Anti-Air ------------------------------------------- Type: Building Cost: 1 Energy Damage potential: 5 Armor: 3 Description: Anti-Airs are your most common defense against weapons. They have a large radius of protection. Since everything in the game must be launched through the air, including buildings, Anti-Air's get a lot of use. Anything that enters their radius is destroyed by them firing a fast Anti-Air missile. Highly explosive units like Crawlers that get shot down by an Anti-Air don't damage anything (unless they land first) and EMP's won't go off. Unfortunately, their protection is not absolute. Their missiles DO take a tiny bit of time to hit their target, and occasionally a weapon heading for something at the edge of their protection radius will hit it's target before the Anti-Air missile can catch it. Also, as just mentioned, if a Crawler hits the ground just before the Anti-Air missile gets it, it will explode with full force. Buildings are particularly vulnerable to Anti-Airs, as they can be destroyed even after landing by an Anti-Air missile. Even a Hub will be instantly destroyed by these. Anti-Airs have a vital weakness. Whenever an Anti-Air fires one of its missiles, it is disabled to restock. It will stay disabled until after the next turn of the player who disabled it (or at least when their turn would have been if they still had Energy), giving them the opportunity to destroy it or whatever it was protecting on their next turn. Anti-Airs are particularly vulnerable to the use of Cluster Bombs, as one Cluster Bomb can make up to three Anti-Airs fire, disabling all three of them for that player's next turn. How to best use it: The uses of Anti-Airs are many, and they are an excellent unit for their cost. You should try to protect all buildings and cords by at least one Anti-Air whenever possible. However, you may not want to take up all the space around a Hub with Anti-Airs, you should leave at least one spot open. Why, you ask? Because if someone disables all the Anti-Airs in the area with a Cluster Bomb, on your turn you can put another one in the blank spot. Now when they fire their next shot, your new Anti-Air will intercept it and then the other Anti- Airs will reactivate. Then you can remove the new Anti-Air with a Bomb or Reclaim for the next time they try it. This trick can keep you nearly invulnerable to attack for as long as you have at least a point of energy left while your enemy wastes lots of energy with expensive weapons. Another good trick with Anti-Airs is to use them offensively by landing one next to an enemy Hub. This will prevent the player from being able to fire anything at all from that Hub unless it disables that Anti-Air first. It will even prevent them from being able to Repair the Hub as the Anti-Air will shoot down Repairs. Anti-Airs also make decent scout buildings to fire into unexplored territory, as they don't cost much if they don't end up landing on something flat. They do not reveal anywhere near as much as a Tower would with the same use, but they do have the advantage of really annoying any enemies they just happen to land near. Also, like Towers, they make excellent sacrifices to stop an oncoming Crawler. If you see a Crawler heading for a vital Hub or you know your enemy likes to send Crawlers to it, fire an Anti-Air to land in its path. This will make it stop and destroy the Anti-Air instead of something more valuable. You may even be able to shoot down something with it before it is sacrificed to the Crawler. What to do against it: The best thing to do is throw a Cluster Bomb past it to disable it, then follow up with any other weapon. Also, note that the edges of Shield domes actually intercept Anti-Air missiles. Thus if you are fighting a close-in battle, drop a Shield so that the edge of its dome is right next to the Anti-Air. Then when you fire a shot, the Anti-Air will try to take it down but its missile will hit your Shield and be vaporized. Then your weapon or building will be able to continue on without getting shot down. ------------------------------------------- II E. Bridge ------------------------------------------- Type: Special Cost: 1 Energy Armor: 3 Description: Bridges are the only way to get buildings across or on water. When a Bridge lands on water it expands out and covers a decent sized square of the water. At that point it is safe to land buildings or cords on it. Any building that lands in water or tries to fly over water will be destroyed without a bridge (when the building's cord hits the water the whole thing goes). The bridge can be destroyed with any weapon, however, and anything that's on top of them will be destroyed along with it when they fall into the water. If there's a cord on top of it, the building the cord leads to will also be destroyed. Destroying a bridge that links two large sections of a base together can devastate an opponent. How to best use it: Bridges make excellent aiming devices. If a bridge hits the ground, it will leave a scorch mark but it will not do any damage. This is great for really tricky shots as you won't accidentally destroy your own stuff nor will you accidentally repair an enemy's building, and you won't have to worry about getting rid of it later like you would if you used a Tower or Anti-Air. At 1 cost, bridges are perfect for lining up a shot and making sure it will land where you want it to before spending the energy on an expensive building or weapon. Bridges are also useful in defending against Crawlers and Missiles. Crawlers are the only things that can go under water. Once they do, nothing can hit them besides other Crawlers. However, if the Crawler runs into a bridge, it won't blow up, but will just drive up on top of it like it was a piece of land. Thus if you put a Bridge in the path of a Crawler you can get it to pop out of the water and be exposed to your defenses. You can also drop the Bridge in front of the Crawler and plop a Mine onto the Bridge so it will run into the mine. Note that you can't drop a Bridge directly on top of the Crawler, it won't form. You need to drop it in the Crawler's path but not directly on it. If you are fighting a player who likes to fire Missiles at you from across the water, shoot a bridge out into the water between you. The Missile will home in on the bridge as the first thing it detects and destroy it, leaving your base alone. What to do against it: Try to destroy whatever Bridge is closest to their main base, and make sure it's one that has a cord or Hub on top of it. Taking out that one Bridge will destroy whatever is on the other end of the cord and can often take out a huge chunk of a base. You can kill them with Bombs or Missiles. Crawlers will not go off when they run into Bridges, but they will destroy them if they go off nearby. ------------------------------------------- II F. Tower ------------------------------------------- Type: Building Cost: 1 Energy Armor: 3 Description: Towers are tall buildings (literally - you'll notice stuff hitting them as they fly over that wouldn't hit other buildings due to their height). They don't actually DO anything. However, if you are playing using Fog of War, the Tower will reveal a very large portion of the area surrounding it. No other unit can reveal as much of the map as a Tower can. This makes Towers one of the best units for scouting the area for enemies or energy pools. How to best use it: In addition to giving you a better view of your surroundings and scouting around, Towers are useful for lining up tricky shots. Sometimes a Bridge, Repair, or Bomb isn't enough for really difficult terrain because although these other units show you where a building will land with the same shot, it's not always clear if the ground is flat enough for a building to survive there. So, you can shoot a Tower instead and if it does land safely, remove it with a Bomb or a Reclaim and replace it with the building you intended to go there. This has the added benefit of showing you the area around the targeted spot when the Tower lands there. The other common use of a Tower is Crawler protection. When you see a Crawler heading for a vital Hub, fire out a Tower to intercept its path. When the Crawler hits the Tower or the Tower's cord, it will explode. This means you lose the Tower but hopefully nothing else, and at 1 cost that's not a big loss. Anti-Air's also work for this, but if you use a Tower you also temporarily get the added visual range which is useful for making sure there isn't a second Crawler coming up right behind it. If you are playing with Fog of War turned off, there's absolutely no reason to ever use a Tower - just use an Anti-Air for situations where you would normally use a Tower, since Anti-Airs have the same cost but added functionality. What to do against it: Since it serves little threat unless you are worried about what it lets your opponent see, use any unguarded enemy Towers to your advantage by landing a Virus or Spike on them. If you really need to take a tower down, a Bomb or Missile will do the trick. ------------------------------------------- III G. Missile ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 3 Energy Damage potential: 3 Can be fired from an Offense Description: Missiles are excellent weapons because they are the only ones with homing ability. It's the primary weapon for people with poor aiming skills or just when you don't want to risk screwing up a vital shot with a Bomb. When a missile reaches the apex of its flight, it will begin scanning in a 180-degree arc in front of it. The first enemy unit it detects in that arc, it will home in on with fast rockets. Often if it was shot with a lot of power it will even fly past its target and loop around to hit it. Once it's locked on, few things can stop a Missile due to its speed. When it hits it will do the same damage as a perfectly landed Bomb. Missiles technically have a longer range then any other weapon because if it detects an enemy just before the end of its flight, its rockets will kick in and take it the rest of the way. Because of its added speed, it's harder for Anti- Air's to destroy it once it's locked on, and you can often destroy buildings near the edge of an Anti-Air's range by shooting in from the side opposite the Anti-Air. Learning to use the Missile's homing ability to skirt around defenses and hit vital spots is a key skill to learn. Just remember that it can go after things on either side of it, and often will if they are closer to what is straight in front of it. The Missile's only real downside is that it will often home in on the wrong target. You can't specify what it should home in on. It's important to know how its targeting works to help it go after what you want it to hit. For example, if you shoot it with a lot of power and there's an enemy unit right near you, it will often fly past it and ignore it because it doesn't start scanning right away. Sometimes when you want to shoot something that's past another building, you can shoot it with much more power than it needs to make sure it gets past the first building before it starts scanning. Then when it locks on to the second building, it will loop back to get it. Its rockets are powerful enough that it can make it back to its target even if it was fired with enough power to fly far past it (as long as it doesn't get too low and hit a cliff or something on the way back). How to best use it: Missiles are often your primary weapon. Other than learning to make it hit the right target and to come in fast enough to hit things that are protected by an Anti-Air, the only real Missile tactic is understanding that they are the key to the "quick kill." When the game has first started, an Offense blindly shooting out Missiles from halfway across the map can often kill an unsuspecting opponent before the game even really gets going. Of course, anyone that knows what they are doing will just put up an Anti-Air after the first hit to prevent further damage, but this cheap tactic often works on the computer and is sometimes the key to getting Gold medals in Challenge Mode. What to do against it: Make sure your vital buildings are near to the center of your Anti-Air's protection radius, to be sure your enemy can't get a fast low-flying missile to hit before the Anti-Air can intercept it. Or, if you can afford it, the ultimate protection against Missiles is a good Shield. If you can't arrange either and you know you are about to get shot with one, throw a Bridge (on water), Mine, or Balloon in the direction it will come from and hope it targets them instead of something important. ------------------------------------------- II H. EMP ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 3 Energy Damage potential: 2 Can be fired from an Offense Description: If an EMP lands, it will disable every building and Crawler in a large radius around its impact point (including your own). It will also do 2 damage to a building if it lands directly on top of it, but that's not its main purpose. Disabling units has many different effects, which makes the EMP a powerful offensive and defensive tool. All disabled units stay disabled until just after the next turn of the player that shot it (or at least when their turn would have been if they still had Energy) - letting them take advantage of the disabled units on the next turn they get after they shot the EMP. If you EMP a unit that was EMP'd the last round, it will stay disabled until after your next turn. This means you can continue to EMP units over and over until you run out of energy and they will never be able to become re-eanabled. Of course, this won't accomplish much unless you are depending on the EMP's minor damage to destroy the disabled units. How to best use it: Disabled Hubs and Offenses will not be able to fire. This is the EMP's main defensive use - disabling a Hub or Offense that is shooting at your base will halt its attack until after your next turn. If all of your enemy's Hubs and Offenses are disabled, their turn will be skipped. Disabling Hubs will also prevent the cycling Anti-Air trick mentioned in the Anti-Air section above. Disabled Anti-Air's and Shields prevent them from performing their defensive tasks. Disabling Shields is the most common use of EMP's, as there's not many other ways to take them down. Of course, the trick with disabling these defensive buildings is to land the EMP just outside of their radius - close enough to disable them with its blast but far enough that they won't destroy the EMP before it lands. Disabling Anti-Airs in this way is more difficult since their range is larger. It may be easier to turn them off with a Cluster Bomb first then keep them disabled with the EMP. Landing EMP's just outside of a Shield's dome is often the only way to take out a well-defended base. It might help to use Bridges or Bombs to line up the shot. Once you do disable the Shield though, it may be a good idea to land a second EMP right in the middle of the Shield's radius on your next turn. This will keep the Shield disabled for another turn and also disable any other defenses around it that the first EMP couldn't reach because of the Shield. Often you can kind of dig your way into a base with several EMP's until all their defenses are down, then take out a vital section with a Crawler or something. Disabled Crawlers will not move if they are disabled just before the round ends (all Crawlers move at the end of the round). This can sometimes save you from their devastating power. Also, if a disabled Crawler is destroyed with a Missile or Bomb or whatever, it will not make its normal large explosion and will instead just go away. A common way to safely take out a Crawler that's dangerously close to one of your buildings without blowing yourself up is to disable the Crawler with an EMP and then shoot it with a Missile. Disabled Energy Collectors will not give their Energy supply to the player when they normally do if they are still disabled by the end of the round. Also, they will not go nuclear if destroyed while disabled. Sometimes you may want to EMP your own Collectors if you know your opponent is going to destroy them on their next turn so that when they are destroyed they don't blow up all the stuff around them as well. Disabled Mines will not explode when something gets within their radius. You can use this to safely land a building within their radius (but not directly on the mine itself) but it's usually easier to just set them off with a Cluster Bomb. However, if the mine has cleverly been placed so that a vital building is within it's radius already and you don't want to damage this building, you can EMP it and then safely destroy it with any weapon. You can also use this trick to clear a path through Mines for your Crawler to get through. Any building that is disabled with an EMP that has a Virus on it will not be able to pass the Virus on to other buildings. You can use this to contain a Virus until you can dispose of it, or at least delay it getting to a more vital building like a Shield. Just EMP any of your own buildings that currently have the Virus symbol on them to stop it from moving until the EMP wears off. What to do against it: Anti-Airs are your best bet, as they have enough range that it's difficult for an EMP to disable them - they will shoot it down before it can get close enough to disable them most of the time. A really excellent general defense is a Shield with an Anti-Air just inside the edge of the Shield's dome. When your opponent tries to use the EMP to disable the Shield, the Anti-Airs will shoot it down. If you do this, leave a spot open where you can deploy another Anti-Air in an emergency. This way if they first Cluster Bomb the Anti-Airs, you can put out another Anti-Air to stop the EMP from disabling your Shield. ------------------------------------------- II I. Spike ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 3 Energy Damage potential: 1 - 3 per building Can be fired from an Offense Description: Spikes are very unique. They are the only weapon that has any effect when hitting cords. When a cord is hit with a Spike, the Spike travels down the cord in both directions and damages the building on either end. The amount of damage done depends on how far the building was from the spike's strike point, and varies from 1 to 3 damage. If a building is hit directly with a spike, it will do 3 damage to that building and then travel down its cord to the Hub it came from on the other end, doing some damage to it as well (but less than 3, and lower the longer the cord is). How to best use it: The main use of Spikes is a surprise attack. Most players are smart enough to defend their units, but many neglect the cords connecting them. Often a well- defended base will have a cord sticking out you can land a spike on. Two or three spikes will usually take out whatever Hub is connected to that cord (unless it's a really long cord and your hitting the other end of it, then it might take more) and destroying a Hub often means a big chip in their defenses, since any Shields and whatnot the Hub created will go with it. Many players are shamefully defeated by a well placed Spike or two on a cord connected to their main Hub or a nearby Energy Collector, destroying their entire base in one fell swoop from just that one exposed cord. If you are scouting with Cluster Bombs and you notice the center one lands safely on a cord, shoot a Spike with the same shot on the next round. Same thing with any weapon that happens to land on a cord. One problem with Spikes is when you want to use it on a vulnerable cord to destroy a particular building on that cord (usually a well defended Hub) but if you keep Spiking the line the other building will be destroyed first. When that other building goes, the cord goes with it and you may lose your ticket to getting the Hub you're after. In this case, simply throw a few repairs on the other building after each Spike (2-3 repairs) so it can survive the next spike until the building you are after is destroyed. Also try to hit the spike as close to the building that you want to destroy as possible for maximum damage to that building. Finally, remember that although it is hard to see sometimes, this game does take height into account. A weapon fired with enough power can actually fly right over top of a Shield's dome and land behind it. Spikes are a good thing to do this with, as they can often be used to hit a random cord or building on the other side of a Shield you are having problems with and can sometimes take out the Hub responsible for the Shield! What to do against it: Protect your cords! After firing out a new Hub, drop an Anti-Air just alongside the new cord, on both sides if you can, to protect it against Spike attacks. This is especially important for any cord coming from your main Hub and any cord leading to an Energy Collector or to a Hub that created an Energy Collector. For these you may even want to use Shields if you are dealing with an opponent who is known to use Spikes a lot. ------------------------------------------- II J. Reclaim ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 3 Energy Damage potential: 3 for enemy units, 5 for your own units Description: When a Reclaim hits a unit it will do 3 damage to it (5 if it's your own unit and is not infected by an enemy Virus) and for each point of damage it will add 1 Energy to your total for the NEXT round. Of course, since the Reclaim itself costs 3 Energy, this isn't as great a deal as it sounds at first - most buildings have 3 or less armor so you break even. But it does let you destroy any 3 Energy unit for basically no Energy cost, you just have to wait until the next round to get the Energy back. The main intended use of Reclaim is to get rid of badly placed buildings (which is why it takes 5 from your own buildings, so it can dismantle a Hub in one shot) but there are many other not-so-obvious uses for it as well. Plus, if you really need your Energy THIS turn instead of next, it may be better to just blow up your building with a Bomb for only 1 Energy, so it's not always the best option even for that. How to best use it: The best known use for a Reclaim besides fixing a placement mistake is as Crawler protection. You see, unlike any other weapon, when a Reclaim destroys something it just disappears instead of blowing up. This means if you hit a Crawler with it, it will give you 3 Energy next round and the Crawler will harmlessly disappear even if it is inches away from your Hub. If you aren't totally confident in your shot with a Reclaim, use the cheaper Bridges to help line up your shot without fear of accidentally setting the Crawler off, then Reclaim it. If the shot looks too tricky and you can afford it, its easier to take out a Crawler by EMP'ing it then shooting it with a Missile, or just sticking a Tower or Anti-Air or Mine in it's path if it isn't too close to your base. But if you can pull it off a Reclaim is the best way to get rid of it - it essentially costs you nothing (you get the 3 Energy you spent on it back in the next round) and it gets rid of it cleanly in one turn. Although less commonly used for this than for Crawlers, Reclaims can also safely take out Energy Collectors without them going nuclear. An enemy Energy Collector will take 2 Reclaims to get rid of though (or some other weapon to damage it then the Reclaim to finish it off). A Reclaim is the weapon of choice for destroying one of your own buildings that has been infected by a Virus. If you can Reclaim the building before the Virus moves you can stop the Virus from spreading to the rest of your base. Unfortunately, if the building has more than 3 armor left, the Reclaim won't be able to take it out in one shot and the Virus will move, completely wasting the effort and damaging the building more. In this case, you will need to Reclaim the Hub that created the infected building before the Virus moves in order to cut it off, or use something else like an EMP (see the Virus section for more details). You can technically destroy any enemy unit with a Reclaim, however, it's just as hard to aim as a Bomb is and does the same amount of damage (well, technically a Reclaim can be off a little bit and still do full damage where a Bomb would only do partial damage, but that's rare). It's all a matter of when you need your Energy. If you need more right now, use a Bomb for a cheap 1 point cost. If you don't mind not getting the Energy until next round (or are purposefully trying to save up Energy to have a lot of it in one round for a big attack rush) then a Reclaim can do the same damage for technically 0 Energy cost (assuming whatever you are killing has at least 3 armor left to convert into Energy). What to do against it: Other then shooting it down with an Anti-Air or protecting something from it with a Shield, there's not much you can do. If you are using Crawlers and are worried about it being Reclaimed, try protecting the Crawler itself with an Anti-Air or Shield until it can safely get to it's destination and explode. Or, fire your Crawler just before the end of the round and hope they don't have enough Energy to Reclaim it. Other than that, protection from Reclaims is the same as Bombs, and they don't do any more damage than Bombs do anyway. ------------------------------------------- II K. Balloon ------------------------------------------- Type: Special Cost: 3 Energy Armor: 1 Description: Balloons are basically an alternative form of Towers with advantages and disadvantages compared to them. Balloons are essentially buildings but unlike all the other buildings, they have no cord connection. Instead, they just float in the air and reveal the terrain around them through Fog of War. They don't have as large of a viewing radius as Towers though, and they are weaker and can't intercept Crawlers. However, not getting in the way of any other buildings is a really big advantage, as limited real estate is one of the biggest challenges in the game. It's easier to deploy them as well, since you don't have to worry about them landing on uneven ground or water. This means it's fairly safe to launch them blindly into unknown territory, with the only risk being that they could get shot down by an enemy Anti-Air. Also, they DO protect against incoming Missile's pretty well, as a Missile will often think the Balloon is the closest target while it is in the air and will hit the Balloon instead of a building down below. Balloons are harder to kill than Towers despite the fact that they can take less damage, because it is difficult to aim a shot to hit something that's floating in the air. Missiles are the only really reliable way to take out a Balloon. Then again, the only reason to worry about killing Balloons is if you don't want your opponent to see that area. Unlike Towers, Balloons do not make your base more vulnerable to Viruses and Spikes. A Virus or Spike that hits a Balloon won't affect anything else. So it's really a trade off between Balloons and Towers for your recon needs: A Balloon will probably last longer, doesn't get in the way, is easier to deploy and scout with, and doesn't leave any vulnerabilities into your base - but, it's also 3 times as expensive, doesn't intercept Crawlers, is more likely to be hit by a random Missile, and doesn't have as much viewing range. Which one is best to use depends on the situation and personal preference. How to best use it: Use it to reveal areas through Fog of War and possibly blocking Missiles. Most players shoot a Balloon or two as their first move in Fog of War maps to view the surrounding area in search of an Energy Pool, but you could just use a Tower (then blow it up with a bomb if it is in the way) spending only 1-2 Energy. On the other hand, having the Balloon always revealing the area around your main Hub to keep a look out for Crawlers is a good thing. Which you do is up to you. Balloons are also a decent way to scout unknown terrain, by launching them as far as they can go into an unexplored area. It's cheaper to use a Cluster Bomb for this, but the Balloon will reveal more and it will give you more time to actually see what's there (provided an enemy Anti-Air doesn't shoot it down when you launch it). What to do against it: If you don't like a Balloon watching you, the only really reliable way to get rid of it is to shoot it with a Missile. ------------------------------------------- II L. Mines ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 3 Energy Damage potential: 3 each mine, 5 if target still in air Armor: 1 Description: When you shoot a Mine, it splits into three at the apex of its flight in the same pattern as a Cluster Bomb. When they hit the ground they activate. They each have a detection radius (press R to see it). Whenever anything moves while in that radius, the mine will explode and do 3 damage to it and anything else within a radius slightly larger than the dectection radius. If the thing it detected was still in the air when it goes off (basically anything but a crawling Crawler or a building that was already there) it will destroy it completely no matter how much damage that building can normally take (just like an Anti-Air missile). Mines can be disabled with EMPs and will not go off while deactivated. In fact, you can EMP a Mine and land a building inside its radius and when it reactivates it still won't go off because the new building is no longer moving. Of course you still can't land the building directly on top of the mine itself. You can also destroy mines without them going off while they are EMP'd. Just be careful to land the EMP outside of the mine's detection radius but close enough that the EMP blast will disable it. If a Mine hits a building or cord before it lands it is destroyed and does no damage. It also cannot land in water just like every other unit (besides Crawlers). It can, however, land on uneven ground just fine so there's less work involved in making it land in a good spot. Mines WILL go off from your own units moving while in their radius. Mines will also go off when another Mine goes off that is too close to it, or when a large Crawler or Energy Collector explosion's radius overlaps the Mine's detection radius. How to best use it: Mines are great defenses against Crawlers, particularly if you aren't sure any are coming. Just throw a group of Mines out past the perimeter of your base and if any do come your way, the Mines will blow it up before it gets to anything vital. It's cheaper to let a Crawler hit a Tower or Anti-Air but Mines have better ground coverage and don't have any of the vulnerabilities associated with having a cord attached to a Hub. Mines also are a decent way to take out a Crawler that's under water. Just drop a Bridge in the path of the Crawler then drop a Mine onto the Bridge. Towers and Anti-Airs don't work as well as Mines for this because they would need a complete Bridge path out to the crawler to keep their cord out of the water. Mines can effectively cripple expansion, as no buildings can be deployed where Mines have been laid. You can effectively do the same thing with an Anti-Air or Shield, but with a Mine you don't have to worry about having room to fit the cord or landing on a flat surface. So if you see an Energy pool you plan to claim later but can't yet get a building to it, toss out some mines onto it to stop any enemies from getting it very easily. Mines also make decent spies, as just like any other unit they can see what's around them. Toss some near an enemies base to not only disrupt their expansion attempts but to keep an eye on what they are doing. Remember that Mines can take out buildings too, but you must land the Mine next to the building instead of on top of it. Then when the mine gets set off, it will do 3 damage to the building as well as whatever set it off. This works especially well on Hubs. If you can land a Mine next to a Hub, the next time that Hub fires anything at all the Mine will destroy whatever the Hub shot and then do 3 damage to the Hub itself. If you managed to land 2 of the Mines close together next to the Hub, it will destroy it completely because the first one will go off and damage the Hub as well as set off the second one, and the second one will then finish destroying the Hub. Use this on newly created Hubs to keep them from defending themselves or attacking you. When they try to put out a defensive building or a weapon, they'll just damage or destroy themselves from the Mine(s) going off. Then you can just use another Mine to finish it off if needed. They won't even be able to repair this Hub because the Repair will also set off the Mine. Mines can sometimes be used to take out buildings that were placed at the edge of the protection radius of a Shield or Anti-Air. If you can plop down the Mine just outside of the Shield's dome but have the Mine's explosion radius covering the building, you can then set the Mine off with a Cluster Bomb and it will damage the building. On the other hand, if you can land such a tricky shot it's just as cheap to use an EMP to disable the Shield and the building instead. What to do against it: If nothing of yours is near the Mines, just use Cluster Bombs. If you aim them right, they can set off all three of the Mines in a set at once. Often this isn't even necessary, as Mines will commonly set each other off when one goes off because they are too close to each other. If you want to get rid of Mines without them damaging something of yours that is already within their radius, EMP's are the only way. Land one just outside of the Mine's range to disable it. Then shoot it with any weapon (a Missile is good if you don't think you can hit it in one shot with a Bomb) to safely destroy it. ------------------------------------------- II M. Crawler ------------------------------------------- Type: Weapon Cost: 7 Energy Damage potential: 4 Armor: 3 Can be fired from an Offense Description: Easily the most destructive weapon, you may have noticed in the other unit sections I have described several defenses against these expensive and dangerous devices. This should give you an idea how powerful and scary these things are. When launched, a Crawler can land on any surface including uneven ground and even under water (and is the only thing that can get under water). At the end of the current round, if it not disabled (from an EMP) the Crawler moves forward a certain distance. If it runs into water while moving it just dives under the water and crawls along the bottom. It does this at the end of each round until it runs into an enemy building or cord, at which time it explodes. It will not explode if it hits a Bridge, however, no matter who owns it. It will just drive over the top of the Bridge as if it was a normal piece of ground. A Crawler's explosion radius is huge, and many buildings can be within it. Note that the radius is actually slightly larger than the explosion graphic you see when it goes off. Everything in that radius will take 4 damage - there is no partial damage with a Crawler. This means the only thing that can survive the blast is a fully repaired Hub or Energy Collector. Everything else is toast, including anything from the same player as the Crawler. Even a Balloon may pop if it's directly over top the Crawler when it goes off. Even though it can damage them when it explodes, the Crawler will not go off from hitting your own cords or buildings or an allied player's cords or buildings - it will just get stuck if it hits them. If it hits another of your own Crawlers (or an allies), it will just stop until that Crawler gets out of the way. Crawlers all move at the end of the round only and they move one at a time in the order they were dropped. Note that a Crawler will also explode with just as damaging an explosion for other reasons besides running into an enemy building or cord. It will explode from being destroyed by something such as a weapon or a blast from another Crawler, Mine, or destroyed Energy Collector. It will also explode from landing on any buildings or cords when it is first fired, meaning you can just drop it on an enemy building or cord like you would a Bomb but with much more destructive power. The only times a Crawler will not go off in a large explosion is if it hits a Shield's dome while in the air, is shot by an Anti-Air missile while in the air (but if the Anti-Air missile hits after it lands on the ground it will still go off), is destroyed while disabled from an EMP or Virus, or is hit with a Reclaim. Anything else will make it go off and if any of your stuff is nearby when it does, say bye bye. These things are volatile! Since Anti-Airs and Shields only defend against things flying in the air, they are no use against a Crawler once it has landed. It can drive right through a Shield dome and right past an Anti-Air. Thus Crawlers are the only weapon that can go through an active Shield dome (but only after it is on the ground). Also note that no weapon can affect a Crawler while it is under water with the excetion of another Crawler or the blast of an EMP (remember that an EMP won't go off if it hits water - it will only affect the Crawler if it lands on a Bridge or piece of ground nearby). How to best use it: Crawlers are expensive but are the main weapon to use once you have an Energy advantage. Although there are many techniques to try to stop them, they are still extremely dangerous and if you have a lot more Energy than your opponent then sending Crawler after Crawler into their base is eventually going to destroy them. In fact, waves of Crawlers are the most common way for a battle to end once a player has gained the upper hand. One of the most frequent uses of Crawlers is to take out Shields. Once a Crawler is on the ground a Shield can't affect it, so it can crawl right in and explode, destroying the Shield. If you have the Energy advantage and want to use a Crawler on a savvy opponent, use your Energy on minor things like repairing or Towers or Anti-Airs until your opponent no longer gets any turns that round. Then send the Crawler after them. Now they won't have any chance to do anything about the Crawler since they have no Energy to defend themselves with before it moves at the end of the round. This works very well for taking out Shields if you are careful to drop it outside the Shield dome but close enough that it will hit the Shield when it moves. If you have enough power, especially with an Offense, you can sometimes fire a Crawler right over top of a Shield (use a Cluster Bomb first to clear out any Anti-Air's and help line up your aim) to any vulnerable buildings behind it. Remember that you don't have to let the Crawler do any crawling - just landing it on something will make it go off and most likely do some good damage. If you can, try to arrange your Crawler to land in water or stop in water in between movement sessions. This will help prevent your opponent from setting it off before it gets to them as all other weapons can't get under water. There are a few tricks you can use to get rid of a Crawler that is under water but it is still difficult to deal with (and many players won't know how to get rid of it, at least at first). If you know exactly where your opponent's main Hub is but you aren't currently near it, try to aim a Crawler to start crawling toward it. If you're lucky they may not be paying attention as it crawls right in and devastates their base. One neat trick is to purposefully block a bunch of Crawlers behind a long cord for a Tower or something. Build up a bunch of Crawlers, then Reclaim the Tower to get rid of the cord. Now the Crawlers will all move at once as a big army of Crawlers at the end of that round! This can destroy an unsuspecting opponent if you can arrange it, but there's not many times when it's really practical to do this. If you drop a Crawler nearby something you want to blow up, but your aim was such that when it moves it will move past your target, blow up the Crawler with one of your own Bombs or Missiles to set it off immediately. Remember that Crawlers will not destroy Hubs or Energy Collectors if they have full armor. Try weakening these units with a Virus, Spike, or other weapon so that the Crawler can destroy them when it goes off. What to do against it: The most important thing to know when dealing with Crawlers is to pay attention and reveal as much area around your units as you can with Balloons and Towers. If you don't see the Crawler because it is just outside of your field of view, it can easily crawl to a part of your base and destroy it at the end of the round without you even knowing it was coming. Also, pay attention when it is Round Over. If there's a good delay before the next round starts, it means Crawlers are being moved so keep your guard up. Listen especially for the Plop! sound that Crawlers make when they enter or leave water to help you figure out where it's coming from. If you suspect Crawlers are on their way toward you, surround the perimeter of your base with Mines - they will set off the Crawler before it gets too close. Once you see a Crawler, there are several ways to deal with it. If it's far away, you can plop a Tower or Anti-Air or Mine in its path and let it blow that up instead of something important. Remember that it will go off just from hitting a cord, so if you can arrange it try to drop a building such that the Crawler will hit the middle of a long cord and not damage anything. If you can make the shot, a Missile or Bomb will destroy it as well. These methods should only be used when the Crawler is far away from you though. If the Crawler is close enough to your base that setting it off will damage your units, there are other ways to take care of it. The best way is with a Reclaim. Drop a Reclaim on a Crawler and you will destroy it without it going off, and it will cost you a net total of 0 Energy (3 to do the Reclaim but you get 3 extra next round for the Crawler's armor). If you aren't sure if you can make the shot, don't waste Energy on 3 point Reclaims trying to get it. Instead, use 1 point Bridges or Repairs to try to line up your shot. These won't set off the Crawler. Once you get one of these to land on the Crawler, follow it up with the Reclaim using the same power level. If you don't want to mess with a Reclaim, just hit it with a blast from an EMP, then follow up with a Missile. This will safely take care of it without it going off and is very easy to do in terms of aiming, although somewhat expensive. It also has the risk of shutting off sections of your own base. If a Crawler is under water, there are only 2 ways to get rid of it. One is to drop another Crawler of your own. Your own Crawler will also go under water and will destroy the first one. A cheaper method is to drop a Bridge right in front of the Crawler and drop a Mine on the Bridge so that when the Crawler moves it will hit the mine. This costs 4 Energy instead of 7. If the Crawler is close enough that setting it off will damage your own base there is nothing you can do. You can set it off early if the explosion will do less damage where it is, or just let it march up and explode. The only other option is to delay it's progress by landing an EMP on a piece of ground or a Bridge nearby it to disable it and keep it from moving (be sure to do this right before the round ends though). ------------------------------------------- II N. Virus ------------------------------------------- Cost: 7 Energy Damage potential: 1 per building Can be fired from an Offense Description: Viruses are very unique and can be devastating if used properly. When a Virus is shot, it comes out as a capsule that bursts on impact (and can be safely destroyed with an Anti-Air or Shield while in flight). When it bursts, any nearby buildings (and I mean very near) will become "infected." While infected, these buildings are disabled and have the same effect as if they'd been EMP'd. This includes Shields and Anti-Airs dropping their defensive abilities, Hubs and Offenses being unable to fire, and Energy Collectors not giving Energy (and not going nuclear when destroyed). Immediately after the next turn of the player who landed the Virus (or at least when their turn would have been if they still had Energy), the Virus moves down any cords connected to that building to the buildings attached to it. These buildings are then disabled as well. The building the Virus just left is also damaged by 1 point, however, a Virus can never actually destroy a building - it won't damage a building that is already down to 1 point left. When a Virus moves, it can only move toward a building that that particular Virus has not yet infected - so it will move in all directions from a building, but it won't backtrack and infect the same building more than once. The Virus will continue to spread until every building in their entire base has been infected. Thus, by the time the Virus is done, every building will have been damaged by 1 point and will have been disabled at some point. In addition to the damage and disabling of buildings, the Virus will show the player who launched it anything that the buildings it is infecting can see. This means that that player will soon know the entire layout of that base if the Virus isn't stopped. Viruses can act fairly strangely when there is more than one involved. If a Virus moves to a building that has another virus already on it, it will "eat" the other Virus (but it won't affect the other parts of that Virus that splintered off to other buildings if it has already done it). Then, the new Virus will reset its travel logs, as if this building was a newly infected one, meaning it can now travel back the direction it came and re-infect buildings it already went through. Multiple Viruses shot from the same player will move in the order they were shot. Note that if you drop a Virus on your own base, it will only disable the buildings and not do damage or reveal anything. If you can arrange your own Virus to "eat" an enemy Virus by moving into it or initially landing directly on it, you will have destroyed the enemy Virus and now only have to deal with your own Virus disabling your buildings. How to best use it: Anytime a player has a building clearly exposed, Virus it if you can. This is most commonly used when they first shoot out a new Hub that lands in range. The Hub can't put out anything to defend itself until the next round. Resist the urge to destroy it right away and instead use it to infect their base with a Virus. After the Virus has moved a step, you can Virus the Hub again, Spike it, or destroy it. Another building that is good for putting Viruses on is Towers, since these are ofen unguarded. However, they could Reclaim the Tower easily enough making the Virus a waste (they can't Reclaim a Hub in one shot which is another reason they are the best thing to put a Virus on). Viruses make one of the best recon tools. Not only do they reveal the base while it is infected, but with that 1 point of damage they cause all the buildings to start smoking. Smoke can be seen through the Fog of War, helping you see where all their buildings are. When you have infected a player with a Virus be sure to watch as it moves and take note of any weaknesses in their base. In particular, look for a Hub where none of its cords are flowing away from it - this is the main Hub, and should be your primary target. Viruses can be used as expensive localized EMP's. They are another excellent way to take out Shields. If you can't get the Shield itself for some reason but there is another building nearby, Virus the other building. When the Virus spreads to the Shield you can take it out. You can also Virus Crawlers to disable them and safely blow them up. It's more expensive than using an EMP though, and if you can hit it with a Virus you can also hit it with a Reclaim to instantly get rid of it, so there's really no reason to ever do this. Viruses are the perfect weapon to use just before sending in Crawlers. By doing 1 damage to all the Hubs and Energy Collectors, a Crawler explosion will destroy them in one blast. A Crawler only does 4 damage so a Hub or Energy Collector would normally survive it, but they won't if they have been infected with a Virus and are not yet repaired. Having two of your viruses bumping into each other in an enemy base is not a bad thing. When they do they will reset their pathing and can expand back over buildings they've already damaged. If you can manage it, dropping Viruses on buildings in different parts of an enemy base at around the same time can make them really hate you. What to do against it: First, try not to get infected in the first place. Don't leave buildings unguarded, even unimportant ones like Towers, or you are just asking for a Virus (or a Spike). Just because a building is safely under a Shield doesn't mean it's safe - if it has cords leading to other buildings outside the shield, it can be damaged with Spikes or Viruses. Remember that when setting up your defenses. If you are infected, there's only 4 things you can do. The first is to get rid of the infected building before the Virus gets a chance to spread. A Reclaim is usually the best way to do this, but only if the building has 3 Armor or less. Remember that you only have one shot before it starts to spread and becomes uncontrollable, and it will take 2 Reclaim shots to get rid of a virused Hub (cheaper to use 2 Bombs or 1 Bomb then 1 Reclaim in that case). This isn't really a good option if the Virus infected something with more than 3 armor. The second option, good for when you can't take the infected building out in one shot, is to destroy the Hub that created the infected building instead. A Reclaim will do a full 5 damage to an un-virused building of your own. In this way you can at least cut off the Virus before it spreads beyond your control. For each of the above two options if the infected building or its parent Hub is being guarded by an enemy Anti-Air or Shield, your only option for destroying it may be to Spike your own line - try to land the Spike as close to the building you need to destroy as possible. The third option is to EMP the infected building. The EMP will stop the Virus from moving until after the EMP wears off. This won't stop the Virus completely but it will delay it a while. The EMP will make the Virus hold still just long enough for you to perform one other move and then EMP it again. You can use this time to try to destroy the building or to fight off your opponent so he won't be able to take advantage of the Virus bringing down your Shields. You can also use the EMP's damage itself to destroy the Virused building if you land the EMP directly on the building. Then you can continue to drop EMP's on the building until it is destroyed and take the Virus with it (it would probably be easier to just EMP it once, then use a Bomb followed by another Bomb or a Reclaim to finish it off though). You can also use the EMP trick to help execute the fourth option. Note that you can only alternate between EMP'ing and doing another move for so long before the Virus will eventually move anyway. The only way to get it to hold still indefinitely is to use nothing but EMP's on it every turn instead of alternating EMP's with other moves. The last option is to drop one of your own Viruses such that it will move on top of the other Virus when it moves, which will make it destroy the other Virus. Your own Virus will still travel around your base disabling things, but at least it won't do damage or reveal your base to your opponent. You can also just drop the Virus directly on to the infected building to instantly destroy the enemy Virus. Using the EMP trick above can help to arrange it so your Virus is the one moving when the two Viruses bump into each other. Note however that if the enemy Virus has already split off onto multiple buildings, your Virus will only destroy the one part it runs into. It will have to run into the rest of them in the same way to destroy them. Thus once the enemy Virus has spread a bit this tactic won't be very effective. If you aren't able to stop the Virus, make sure to at least Repair any Energy Collectors and Hubs as soon as possible, to make sure they can survive a Crawler blast. You will eventually want to Repair all your units though, since the smoke gives away their location. Start with the buildings closest to your enemies, but always Repair your main Hub and your Energy Collectors first. Take comfort in the fact that at least a Virus can never actually destroy anything, just damage and disable it. ------------------------------------------- II O. Energy Collector ------------------------------------------- Type: Building Cost: 7 Energy Armor: 5 Damage potential: 5 Description: The Energy Collector is one of the most important units in the game. Dropping an Energy Collector will provide you with 1 extra Energy per round as long as that Collector is still active at the beginning of that round. If you drop the Energy Collector on or very near an Energy Pool, it will give 3 extra Energy per round. You can place more than one Collector on a pool and each one will give 3 Energy. You can only have a maximum of 35 Energy per round though. Having extra Energy means you get more turns per round and can use more expensive units and weapons without losing as many turns. Remember that when a player runs out of Energy, they get no more turns until the next round. That means they can't defend themselves from attacks by building Anti-Airs and Shields. If you have lots of Energy, you can take advantage of this fact by waiting until they run out of turns and then disabling their defenses and destroying them while they can't lift a finger to stop you. Thus, having lots of Energy Collectors and Energy Pools is the key to success. This also means that a lot of battles will be fought over the control of Energy pools. When an Energy Collector is destroyed either directly or by losing the Hub that created it, it will go nuclear and explode in the largest and most damaging explosion in the game. This explosion is even more devastating than a Crawler's as it has higher range and it will instantly destroy ANY unit within that range. Note that its damage range is actually slightly larger than the explosion graphic you see when it goes off. This basically means if a Collector gets destroyed, all the other Collectors on that pool as well as any protecting Shields and Anti-Airs are going to go with it. An Energy Collector won't go nuclear if it is destroyed while it is disabled from an EMP or Virus or if it is destroyed using a Reclaim. Landing an Energy Collector incorrectly when first launching it won't make it explode either, and neither will getting it destroyed by a Shield or Anti-Air while it is in flight. Energy Collectors are the only other buildings besides Hubs that can take the full brunt of a Crawler explosion and still be standing (if they had full armor before it hit). How to best use it: Try to get as many Collectors on a pool as you can. There are two techniques to do this. The first is the easiest. Just drop a Hub right next to the pool. Then using the smallest power shots, shoot out 3 Collectors as close to each other as possible so they can all fit on the pool. Do one of the edge ones first then very lightly move your arrow toward the other end until it indicates you can make the shot, then do the next one. Repeat with a third. Protect them with a Shield or two. This way is risky though because if one of them blows, it will take out the Hub as well. An alternate method is to spider web around the perimeter of the pool with more then one Hub and land Collectors on the pool from different angles. This method is more tricky and expensive, but you can get more Collectors onto one pool if your aim is true (use Towers or Bridges to help make sure you have correct aim). Also if you arrange it right you can make sure none of your Hubs are close enough to the Energy Collector to be caught in its blast if it gets destroyed. Then it will be easier to remake them if something happens. It's also easier to defend a pool with this system, but the time and Energy it takes to set this formation up may not be worth it. One thing many players forget about Energy Collectors is that they don't HAVE to be put on an Energy pool. They still give 1 Energy per round when they are put anywhere. So why does that matter when you can get 3 Energy from a pool? Well, some maps are designed to make the players fight over a common Energy pool or pools, or the pools are hard to get to. Rather than battling it out with the other players, you could hang back and give yourself an Energy advantage safely protected in the back of your own base. Just shoot out a Hub and make sure it's a good distance from your main Hub (far enough that an Energy Collector explosion won't reach your main Hub) and has a decently sized flat area around it. Now aiming as close as possible to the cord, fire a Shield or Anti-Air at the very lowest power level. Then drop an Energy Collector as close to that building as possible, also at the lowest power level. Circling around the Hub, fire another Energy Collector, then another Shield or Anti-Air, then 2 more Energy Collectors, then a Tower, then 2 more Energy Collectors and one final Shield or Anti-Air. Now destroy the Tower and leave that spot open for emergency deployment of an Anti-Air or Shield if they somehow disable the others. Now you have a nice circle of buildings around this Hub providing you a constant, well-guarded 6 Energy per round. Make another one of these and that's another 6 Energy for a total of 18 Energy per round, plenty for most anything. Only use this technique when Energy pools are difficult to get though, or you may spend too long doing it while the others expand out and take over more land. Once you have Energy to spare, you will probably want to replace any Anti-Airs you used with Shields. Due to the immense power of an Energy Collector explosion, they can also be used as an offensive weapon in some rare cases. They are actually quite a deal - the same cost as a Crawler but larger explosion radius, eneough armor that it would take at least 2 Reclaims to safely destroy them, and enough destructive power to destroy Hubs and other Collectors in one blast. On the other hand, they can't move around or go under water like Crawlers, they can't be shot from a long way off with an Offense, they are more difficult to make explode and they are more difficult to land where you want them (you have to watch for their cord and if they don't land correctly they don't explode like a Crawler would). However, few things are more satisfying then dropping an Energy Collector in the middle of an enemy's base (after disabling their Shields with an EMP usually) then Reclaiming the Hub it came from and watching it wipe out a giant chunk of their base. If you pull it off your opponents will hold you in fear and awe. What to do against it: Destroy Energy Collectors whenever possible. These should be your main targets after their primary Hub. Destroying an Energy Collector usually leads to destroying many other buildings in the blast, and will also devastate their Energy supply. This leaves you with a large advantage and you can then go in for the kill or take the pool they were using for yourself. Destroy these using any method you can, but keep in mind they can survive a full Crawler blast since they have 5 armor. It's a good idea to damage them some with a Virus or something before using a Crawler if that's how you plan to destroy them. If you can disable any defense buildings protecting them, it will take 2 Bombs, Reclaims, or Missiles to destroy one. If an enemy gets brave and drops an Energy Collector on an Energy pool you were using, don't just blow it up or you'll destroy your own Collectors too. Instead, use 1 Bomb then 1 Reclaim on it or use a Virus/EMP to disable it, then destroy it. It won't give off a nuclear blast if it is disabled when you destroy it or is Reclaimed. ------------------------------------------- II P. Shield ------------------------------------------- Type: Building Cost: 7 Energy Armor: 3 Description: A Shield is the other defensive building besides an Anti-Air, but it costs 7 times as much to deploy. When dropped, it creates a visible Shield dome around it (it has a limited height and a smaller radius than an Anti-Air though). Anything from an enemy that is flying through the air that touches that dome is instantly vaporized. Weapons like Crawlers and EMP's won't go off if vaporized by a Shield's dome. Shield domes will even vaporize enemy Anti-Air missiles! They won't vaporize a Crawler that is already on the ground and crawling through it, however. The major advantage Shields have over Anti-Airs is that they don't disable themselves after each use. It also is 100% reliable, whereas Anti-Airs can sometimes fail to protect what's in their radius because the Anti-Air missile couldn't get to the weapon in time. They also offer complete protection while only taking up the space of 1 building, where with Anti-Airs you need 3-4 to get this level of protection and that takes up a lot of space. If you really want to protect something well, the expensive Shield is the way to go. Shield domes are hollow, only the edges of the dome actually vaporize something. This means if an enemy has a Hub or Offense that somehow got under the Shield's dome, they can fire at the Shield building or any other building under the dome without their shots being intercepted (because the weapon never actually touches the dome edge). This is one way that Anti-Air's are superior. An Anti-Air would still intercept a shot from a Hub or Offense that was right next to it. Still, it's pretty rare to see an enemy Hub or Offense end up undeneath a Shield's dome. Shield domes can overlap with other Shield domes, including enemy Shields' domes. Each dome's edge will react to flying objects appropriately without interference from the domes it is overlapping with. How to best use it: Protect the most vital parts of your base with these, particularly Energy Collectors and your main Hub, and any Hub that's connected to a significant part of your base. If you find yourself with lots of extra Energy, you may want to replace some of your Anti-Airs with a more reliable Shield. It's also a good idea to place an Anti-Air or two just inside the edges of the Shield, to shoot down any EMP's that try to disable the Shield. Shields also are great cover for a Crawler. If you can arrange for your Crawler to be under your Shield's dome for most of the time before it gets to the enemy, you'll be able to prevent them from disabling the Crawler before it does it's job. An Anti-Air may be better for this though, as 7 Energy to protect one Crawler seems awfully expensive. Shields can also be used offensively by slowly making more and more Shields and Hubs as you inch close to an enemy's base. Get close enough, and they'll soon find their Hubs can't fire any weapons or buildings without hitting a Shield edge. Thus disabled, they are easy to take down. This is a pretty expensive tactic in terms of Energy though. What to do against it: There are very few things that can get you past a Shield. First, there's Crawlers. If you land a Crawler on the ground outside the Shield's dome, it can crawl right into the dome and explode, destroying the Shield. Second, there's EMP's. If you can land an EMP right outside the Shield's dome edges, it has just enough blast range to disable the Shield. This is often a very tricky shot, as you have to land the EMP close enough to disable it but far enough that the Shield doesn't vaporize it before it can go off. It may be a good idea to fire cheaper Bridges or Bombs first to make sure your shot is lined up right before using the EMP. Once the Shield is disabled, a well-aimed Bomb or Reclaim or a Missile will destroy it in one hit. You could also EMP it again, but land the EMP closer to the Shield building itself, to keep it disabled and also disable anything else nearby it. You could also Virus it to keep it disabled another round and force your opponent to either destroy it themselves or let the Virus infect their whole base. Finally, you could Spike it, which if landed right will destroy it and also do damage to the Hub it came from. Third, you can use a Virus on another building and when the Virus spreads, it will eventually disable the Shield. Then you can do any of the things mentioned with EMP's above. Fourth, if you can reach it, you can Spike the Hub that the Shield came from to damage the Shield, or otherwise destroy the Hub so that the Shield will go with it. However, most of the time Shields are protecting the Hub that created them so this isn't really an option. You could try to Spike the cord leading from the Shield's Hub to its parent Hub though, to try to destroy the Shield's Hub and the Shield with it. This would generally require you to fire a shot with enough power to fly right over top of the Shield's dome. Fifth, if you can somehow get one of your own Hubs or Offenses underneath the Shield's dome (by disabling it first or by your opponent dropping the Shield too close to one) you can destroy it with any weapon (or better yet, use it to Spike or Virus its Hub). The Shield won't be able to intercept shots from a building that is already under its dome. This method is very difficult to pull off and usually not the most efficient. Finally, you can destroy the Shield with a blast from a Crawler or destroyed Energy Collector that explodes just outside of the Shield's dome. The blast has enough range that it should take out the Shield. ------------------------------------------- II Q. Offense ------------------------------------------- Type: Building Cost: 7 Energy Armor: 3 Description: An Offense is like a special limited Hub. It has less armor so it can only take one Bomb or Missile hit. It can only fire out certain weapons - Bombs, Cluster Bombs, Missiles, EMP's, Spikes, Crawlers, and Viruses. It can't shoot out any buildings at all, so it can't defend itself with Shields or Anti-Airs like a Hub can, and it can't shoot out other Hubs to expand your base or Towers and Balloons to get a better look around. The weapons it fires do the same damage as weapons fired from a Hub. The big deal about an Offense is that for each notch in the power bar when firing a weapon, it is actually twice as much power as what a Hub would give out. This means that everything it fires goes twice as far (and high) as what a Hub can do. This allows you to lob weapons at an incredible distance, and easily make them fly right over Shield domes. However, they are less accurate then Hubs are because the power bar doesn't get any extra notches when you use them, it just makes each notch worth twice as much. This means sometimes one power level will make the weapon fall just short of the target and just one notch higher will make it fall just past the other side of the target. This isn't usually a big problem though. The double distance you can fire weapons in is the ONLY advantage of an Offense over a Hub. How to best use it: Offenses are best used in the early rounds of the game, for defensive players (as backwards as that sounds), on maps with Fog of War turned off, or for getting Gold on Challenge Mode levels. In the early rounds, an Offense can get you a "quick kill" by firing weapons at an opponent before they really have a chance to build up any defenses for their base - Missiles are excellent to use for that. Defensive players will find Offenses helpful as it will allow them to fire on other bases without having to expand their own. If you have Fog of War turned off, you always know exactly where your opponent is, so an Offense will allow you to fire on them from a distance easily. With Fog of War on, you generally can't actually see your opponent's buildings unless you are close enough that you could just use a Hub instead. You'll use Offenses to get Gold on Challenge mode levels quite often by getting quick kills on the enemy. This works because enemies in Challenge Mode are usually not well defended and after the first time playing it you already know where they are so can fire at them right away. Many people make the mistake of dropping an Offense whenever they are about to begin an assault on an enemy base. This is really pointless - a Hub is actually much better at this because it can defend itself and use offensive tactics unavailable to an Offense (like Mines, Reclaims, or offensive uses of Energy Collectors and other buildings mentioned in above sections). The ONLY time you should drop an Offense is to fire at something out of reach of a Hub. If you are already pretty close to their base (and you probably are if it's a Fog of War map and you know where they are), drop a Hub instead. They cost the same but they will serve you much better. When you do use an Offense, remember to drop it close enough to the Hub that the Hub can properly defend it. Sometimes you need to shoot it further out to get the distance you need, but be prepared to lose it easily to an enemy Missile when you do this. What to do against it: If your close enough, just use a single Bomb, Reclaim, or Missile to destroy it or take advantage of it with a Virus or Spike. Many opponents make the mistake of firing an Offense far from their Hub and it ends up completely unprotected. Sometimes the only way to get rid of an Offense that's annoying you with long distance weapon fire is to make an Offense of your own and fire back at it. Offenses generally are not a priority target unless they are being used a lot - it's better to just destroy the Hub that created it if possible. ------------------------------------------- II R. Hub ------------------------------------------- Type: Building Cost: 7 Energy Armor: 5 Description: Hubs are the backbone of your base. You start out with only a Hub, and must shoot out all buildings, weapons, and other Hubs with it. Hubs are the primary method for everything you do in the game, including expansion, offense, defense, resource gathering, and repair. The only other building that you can control and do something with is an Offense, but it can only use a limited selection of weapons. When a Hub is destroyed, every building it created is also destroyed. If one of those buildings was another Hub, that Hub's buildings are destroyed as well, and so on. If one of your first Hubs is destroyed, most of your base could go with it. If the Hub you started with is destroyed, since everything else somehow links back to it, your entire base is destroyed and you are out of the game. Be sure to protect your first Hub and any cords leading directly from it very well. There is no way to relocate this first Hub. Notice that all cords have light flowing down them in one direction or another. The light travels toward the Hub that created it. Thus, most Hubs will have several cords with lights flowing toward them, and one cord with light flowing away from it toward its parent Hub. The exception is the main starting Hub. It only has cords with lights flowing toward it since it has no parent Hub. This is a good way to figure out which Hub is the main Hub in an enemy base and make it your prime target. Just follow the flowing lights, as they all eventually will lead you to the main Hub. Hubs are the only building besides Energy Collectors that can take a point blank Crawler explosion and survive it. In fact, the only thing that can destroy a fully repaired Hub in one shot (besides killing its parent Hub) is an Energy Collector explosion. How to best use it: You use Hubs for everything. Defense by placing Anti-Airs, Mines, and Shields. Expansion by placing other Hubs. Resource collecting by placing Energy Collectors. Offense by firing the various weapons, and Repairing damaged buildings with Repairs. Basically, every tactic mentioned for any other unit or weapon involves a Hub in some way. Learning to properly use your Hubs is the most important factor to how you play the game. Don't be afraid to deploy new Hubs to expand your base or to make it easier to get another building where you want it. Just be sure to defend them well. Also, it is a bad idea to have just one continuous chain of Hubs with other buildings coming out of them for most of your base, because if one Hub is destroyed further up the chain everything after it goes too. Try to design your base with Hubs splitting off into multiple Hubs in different directions, so that losing a primary Hub will only lose one section of your base and not 90% of it. In particular you should have at least 2 Hubs coming from your starting Hub most of the time. Be careful when shooting out a new Hub a long ways off. It won't be able to defend itself until your next turn. You might want to wait until any nearby opponents have used up their Energy before doing this, or at least make sure they can't see you drop it, so they won't attack it before it can defend itself with a Shield or Anti-Air. Fortunately, it will always take at least 2 turns to kill your new Hub, so even if they do attack it they won't be able to completely destroy it before you can defend it if you have turns remaining. Try not to fire a Hub into an undefended area at the end of the round if possible, make sure you will have enough Energy left to put out at least an Anti-Air to protect it before the round ends. What to do against it: Destroy it if at all possible. Make Hubs your primary target besides Energy Collectors, and make their main Hub your #1 target if you can find it. In particular, try to destroy Hubs that are closest to the center of their base. Why mess with some well defended section of their base when you can destroy a Hub that's further up the chain and take out that entire section in one go? Keep your eye out for undefended Hubs that were hastily placed while your enemy was expanding towards something. Take that Hub out and watch as all their work past that point is lost. Things like Spikes and Viruses can help you damage and destroy Hubs closer to the center of their base. Just remember that you can't destroy Hubs in one shot, you need at least 2 to destroy a Hub even with a Crawler (with the exception of blowing up an Energy Collector that's next to one, but those take 2 shots as well). Damaging Hubs with a Virus then using a Crawler is a really mean way to get them, but any other combination of two shots from a Bomb, Spike, Missile, Reclaim, Mine, or Crawler will work fine. If an enemy plops a new Hub within shooting distance of your base, drop a Virus on it. This will force them to either try to destroy the new Hub or its parent Hub, or suffer the Virus to infect the rest of their base. If they haven't destroyed it by your next turn, drop a Mine right next to it. Now they won't be able to finish destroying it, and the Virus will be able to move into the rest of their base. Plus, any attempt to do anything to this new Hub, or if the Hub itself tries to shoot something, the Mines will be set off and will destroy the shot and damage the Hub. Alternatively, you can drop an Anti-Air near a new Hub to prevent it from doing anything very easily, then Spike its cord a few times to destroy its parent Hub (Repairing it in between Spikes to make sure you don't kill it prematurely). This technique is usually safer with a building that can't fight back though, like a Tower. There are many other tactics for taking out Hubs in the rest of the unit sections. Destroying Hubs is really the main point of the game, so it is the major focus of offensive strategies. ==================================================================== III. CHALLENGE MODE TIPS ==================================================================== The rankings you get at the end of each Challenge Mode map are based purely on how long it takes you beat them (in terms of rounds/turns taken) - no other factors of your performance affect your ranking. You can get Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Getting Gold requires you to beat them very quickly and can be difficult to do. Unlike Skirmish or Multiplayer, if getting Gold is your goal you'll want to concentrate on destroying the enemy as quickly as possible and spend less time defending your base well than you normally would. Go all out offensive. If you beat all 16 missions you'll get the game's credits and you'll be allowed to use the Challenge Mode maps in Skirmish and Multiplayer modes. If you beat them all with Silver or better, you'll get a special reward at the end of the credits. If you beat them all with Gold, you'll get another special reward at the end of the credits. You can go back and replay a level any time you want to try to get a better rank. Also, once you've beat them all you can just replay the last level to see the credits and your rewards again. I believe you can even kill yourself in the last level and you will get the credit again (if you've already beat it once before). The nature of this game doesn't allow me to make a true "walkthrough" for the Challenge Mode since the AI will do different things every time, and you will have to react appropriately using the tactics described in the above sections. However, I can give tips to help you beat them, which is what this section is for. The biggest tip of all for levels 4-16 is to learn the layout of the map - namely where the Energy pools are and where the enemies' starting locations are. The easiest way to do this is watch a replay of that challenge. You will be able to see where the Energy pools are and where your enemy is at. Do take note, however, that in some Challenge Mode levels the enemy has more than one possible starting location. Fortunately, they are usually pretty close to each other. IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE: Any time I refer to shot angle I am using straight up as 0 degrees, right as 90 degrees, down as 180 degrees, and left as 270 degrees. Also, I will refer to shot power as how far the bar should be full using terms like half power (half the bar is colored in), full power, quarter power, etc. ------------------------------------------- III A. Challenge Mode Example Replays ------------------------------------------- If you want to see some replays demonstrating how to beat each of the Challenge Mode levels, you can get them from my website (http://www.zauron.net). Check the Game Guides section there. These replays are what I used to write these tips so they might be useful if the description here isn't sufficient. ------------------------------------------- III B. NiceCo - The Three Pools ------------------------------------------- This is the only time you will be playing Moonbase Commander without an opponent. Your goal is to put an Energy Collector on 3 seperate Energy Pools as fast as you can. This is pretty simple, here's how you do it: Fire the first Energy Collector directly on the pool right near your starting hub at about half power, then skip your turn after it lands correctly. For your next move, fire a Hub straight up as maximum power. Aim for the second pool and again at half power fire an Energy Collector to land on it. Now aim at about 25 degrees for the river and fire a Bridge at maximum power. It should just barely land on the river. Repeat that shot to fire another Hub at maximum power and make it land on the bridge you just made. Finally fire the final Energy Collector from this new Hub to the third Energy Pool and pass the level. ------------------------------------------- III C. NiceCo - Barbarian at the Gate ------------------------------------------- From this level on all I can give you is tips, since the AI will do different things each time. For your first shot land an Energy Collector on the pool right near your Hub. If you miss this shot your going to have a difficult time, so you may want to restart if you do. Now skip your turn and on the next turn fire a Hub down just below the pool (at about 225 degrees) at nearly full power so that it lands between the small river and the few hills in the direction of your enemy. Now you can begin your assualt using Crawlers, Bombs, Cluster Bombs for Anti-Airs, and Missiles. Don't even bother with defenses in this level. When you can, press your advantage by firing another Hub at maximum power straight toward the other Energy Pool. This will also give you more range for your shots to finish off his main Hub. Once it's gone this new Hub can fire an Energy Collector at maximum power and land right on the edge of the large Energy Pool, finishing the level. ------------------------------------------- III D. NiceCo - DeWulf-icide ------------------------------------------- There's 2 ways you can go on this - towards the upper right at a 45 degree angle, or down through the valley in the opposite direction at 225 degrees. The 45 degree option gives you access to an Energy Pool but has tougher terrain to deal with. I personally use the 225 degree method. Either way, shoot a Hub at full power in your chosen direction, then skip your turn. Next turn fire another Hub at full power in the same direction. This third Hub should land fairly close to the enemy base and you'll have 4 Energy to start your assault with. Don't bother with defense, keep him on the defense instead. A good way to open up your attack (depending on how their base is set up) is with a cluster bomb (if they have anti-airs) followed by an EMP. Their base is small enough the EMP should disable most of it. Then just alternate between EMP's and Bombs, Mines, and Missiles with a focus on the main Hub. Destroy it to win. ------------------------------------------- III E. NiceCo - Fog of War ------------------------------------------- This is the first map where you can't see exactly where everything is. See the Towers and Balloons sections above for more info on how to scout out the fog of war. Your enemy is nearby and is down and to the right or straight right, their location varies randomly. There's also an energy pool down and to the right. Use normal tactics if you want, or go for the quick kill. For the quick kill, aim an Offense for your first shot at about 150 degrees (slightly past the bottomright tick mark) and shoot it at about 75% power. This should land it right on the large Energy Pool. Now if you are lucky your opponent will fire a Balloon that you will see and know which direction they are in. Once you know that, fire a Missile in that direction at about 75% power and hope it finds their base. Once you know where their base is, use EMP's, Missiles, and Bombs to destroy them before they can build more than 1 or 2 buildings. You may have to restart the level several times to use this method in order for the computer opponent to start in a good spot. ------------------------------------------- III F. DeWulf - King of the Hill ------------------------------------------- There's an Energy Pool at 125 degrees at about 75% power that you can make in the first shot. If not use a Tower or a Balloon right near your Hub and you'll see it. As soon as that's taken care of, shoot a Hub straight up at 0 degrees at maximum power. Your enemy is 45 degrees from this new Hub (up and right). There's another pool off to your left if you want to claim it, but I usually skip it since the time and Energy it takes to get it gives the enemy more time to build up their defenses. Fire a cluster bomb at maximum power at 45 degrees to see if he has any units nearby. If not, throw a Balloon that way to see his main Hub. If he has something nearby, start your assualt with perhaps a Cluster Bomb followed by an EMP to disable whatever he has built so far. Follow it up with more destructive devices. You will need more range eventually to reach his main Hub. Use an Offense shot up at 0 degrees at about 90% power and come in from the side, or shoot a Hub up at about half power at 45 degrees (or both). Stay on the offensive but don't be afraid to use an Anti-Air or 2 if he starts to shoot back. You should be able to destroy him fairly quickly. ------------------------------------------- III G. DeWulf - Twin Trouble ------------------------------------------- For your first shot fire a Hub at exactly 225 degrees (lined up with the tick mark on the bottom left) and at exactly 4 bars less than full power (so the last 4 bars are not highlighted when the shot is fired). The Hub will land near an Energy Pool. Skip your turn. Now fire an Energy Collector (from the new Hub) angled down at minimum power so it lands just past the bottom left corner of the pool (but close enough it still gets full Energy). Skip turn. Next turn you have just enough power for 2 more Energy Collectors. Land them as close as possible to the first one and above it, and they will both get full Energy as well. Now you have enough power to fuel your campaign of destruction. See the demo replay file from my site (http://www.zauron.net in the Game Guides section) to see the formation of Energy Collectors I'm talking about. To begin your attack, fire a Hub from your main Hub at 60 degrees and full power and it should just make the ground level. Fire a Tower at minimum level from that one to get a look around. Fire another Hub from that one at maximum power at about 5 degrees (straight up and a bit to your right). Use a tower from that one and you should start seeing your enemy. The main hub of this enemy is pretty much straight above you (watch where the cord lights flow). Destroy it as quickly as possible using crawlers and missiles (with cluster bombs and EMP's if necessary, although he's not usually that well defended). Now that he's gone, shoot a Hub out at about 30 degrees from the one you've been using to land just above the large Energy Pool you should see there. Have the new Hub drop out a Tower for sight and 2 Anti-Air's for defense. Your second enemy's main Hub is straight to your right usually. Disable it's defenses with Cluster Bombs and/or EMP's and nuke it with Crawlers. ------------------------------------------- III H. DeWulf - Winds of Change ------------------------------------------- This is the first level where you have to deal with wind. What a pain it is! You'll have to be careful with each shot to rememeber where it will actually land when the wind affects it. This one may take a bit of practice. Start with a Tower if you need it and you'll see an Energy Pool down and to the left a bit. Fire an Energy Collector at it at about 70% power and about 215 degrees. Remember to not aim directly at the pool because the wind will move the Collector while it is in flight. Now shoot an Offense to your right to land on the hill right above an Energy pool (85 degrees, 100% power). From this Offense, fire a Missile at 75 degrees and about 80% power to hit one of your enemy's main Hubs. Repeat to finish it off (use Cluster Bombs and EMP's if they've actually defended it already). Now you'll want to take out the other guy who's somewhat protected by a large body of water (that he's slowly been trying to get across to get to you while you've been busy). It's much easier to go around the water than through it. Fire a Hub straight downward at full power. Now have this one fire another Hub to the left across the top of the water. Keep making a chain of Hubs (with towers to see better) around the perimeter of the lake and down the left side until you run into a hill. On the other side of the hill (below it) is the enemy's main Hub. Destroy it to win. ------------------------------------------- III I. DeWulf - Last One In is... Dead ------------------------------------------- There's 2 ways to do this - the way you're supposed to or the really cheap way. The way you are supposed to is pretty simple - use the Energy Pool to get some more Energy than keep launching Hubs and the occasional Anti-Air as you make your way to the goal pool at the top. Fend off attacks from the enemy and be the first to land the Collector on the pool. The cheap way is to just launch Crawler after Crawler at the enemy's main Hub across the water. He will stop most of them with Crawlers of his own but eventually will mess up and they will get him. Try to vary the distance you launch them. Use the nearby Pool if you need more Energy for your Crawlers. Alternatively you can drop an Offense on the edge of the water to your left and use Missiles to kill him. ------------------------------------------- III J. System 7 - Wind Advantage ------------------------------------------- This level is pretty easy if you do it right. For your first shot, fire an Offense at about 25 degrees (halfway between straight up and upperright tick marks) at about 50% power. It should land just below some water. Now for your next move, use the Offense and fire a Cluster Bomb at 20 degrees and 70% power (just at the second bend in the power meter). Watch carefully to see what your enemy has built so far. If he has no shields, follow up the Cluster Bomb with an EMP and try to have it land where it will disable his base. Now on the next round, use Missiles, Crawlers, or Spikes for damage and alternate them with EMP's to keep him disabled and unable to defend himself. Keep this up until he's dead. ------------------------------------------- III K. System 7 - Over the River and Terminate ------------------------------------------- You have 2 opponents in this level but it's best to start it out kind of like the last one and take out one of the enemies right away. To do this, fire an Offense as your first shot at 170 degrees (little to the right of the downward tick mark) and 4 bars of power. This will land it just below your Hub alongside the river. Now from the Offense your enemy's main hub is around the area of 228 degrees and 70% power (just at the second bend in the power bar) from your Offense. Start off with a Cluster Bomb followed by an EMP to disable it. Then follow up with Missiles and other weapons alternating with EMPs until it's dead. It should only take a couple turns to destroy it. If it puts up a shield right away you may be in trouble. You may want to restart unless you think you can disable it and kill him quickly (see section II P. Shield for details on taking out Shields). You will be rewarded with 7 bonus energy to help you kill the other enemy. Almost directly above your starting Hub, across 2 small rivers, is an energy pool. Use a Tower to help you see and build Bridges on the river above you, then drop a second Hub between the 2 rivers. Drop another Brigde and put an Energy Collector on the pool above the second river. Fire an Offense from this same Hub straight left at about 80% power. From this Offense the enemy's main Hub is at about 317 degrees (upperleft tick mark) and 90% power. Start off with a Cluster Bomb to scout and disable Anti-Airs. Then follow up with the standard EMP's, Crawlers, etc. to take him out. ------------------------------------------- III L. System 7 - DeWulf Pack ------------------------------------------- Many people consider this to be the hardest level in the game - and I tend to agree. This is one where you may want to check out my replay for how to beat it in the Game Guides section of my website (http://www.zauron.net). During this level you will have many many Crawlers heading from different directions right for your main Hub. You will have to use every technique listed in section II M. Crawler to survive. When they get too close, Reclaim them. When they are far off, put a Tower or a cord in their path, or shoot them with a Missile. If you get really desperate, an EMP followed by a Missile may be the only path. If you have really good aim and they are far off, a Bomb could do the trick. If you need to take the heat off, some Mines thrown in their path will do well but be careful they don't get in the way of your planned offensive manuevers. For your first shot, fire an Energy Collector at the nearby pool but make sure it lands on the nearside of the pool so that most of the pool is still uncovered (and thus has room for another Collector). Skip the rest of your turn. Now on the next round you have exactly 14 Energy. Fire a Hub at 25 degrees and half power. It should land right near a ledge. From there fire a second Energy Collector down onto the pool next to the first one (about 4 bars of power should do it). Now that we have Energy we need to put up a Tower cord to defend from incoming Crawlers from Orange coming from the upper left. From the second Hub, fire a Tower at full power and 260 degrees. It should land just above a small crater. Now Crawlers will hopefully harmlessly blow up when they hit the cord. Sometimes they will destroy the Tower, in that case just re-make it. Other times they will damage the Hub - be sure to heal it back to full before the next Crawler hits, or at least defend it more actively when it is is weakened in this way. Fire a Missile straight right from your main Hub to take out the incoming Crawler from that direction before it gets too close. Then put out a Tower from the main Hub down and to the right (around 150 degrees and 65% power). Hopefully this will get in the way of the Crawler coming from that direction, but if not we can use a Reclaim on it later. Either way you should at least be able to see it coming in with the Tower's increased viewing range. Now we need to take someone out ASAP to stop their Crawlers and to get some bonus Energy. To this end, from the upper Hub fire an Offense at 317 degrees (up and left) at full power. It should land at ground level just before a stream. As soon as you can (making sure you have enough Energy to hold off the incoming Crawlers with Towers, etc.) fire at about 312 degrees and full power from this Offense to destroy Orange's main Hub. Start with a Cluster Bomb then follow up with Missiles until he's dead. You will get 7 bonus Energy from the kill. Use it to assist in defending from Crawlers. Remember, even though Orange is dead any Crawlers he already made are still active, so don't slack off in defending from them. You may want to use a few Missiles or Mines to destroy them before they even get close to your base if you have Energy to spare. Okay, one down two to go. From that same upper Hub fire 2 bridges straight right at around 70-80% power to form a Bridge going right across the stream. Then fire another Offense straight right at maximum power. Remember to keep your defenses up - if you need to, use up a round of Energy to take out as many Crawlers as you can. Just don't spend too much time at it. From the new Offense fire a Missile at 110 degrees and maximum power. It might hit a Crawler or Balloon, but just keep firing Missiles until they hit the enemy Hub. Eventually it should go down, but again remember that it may still have some active Crawlers to worry about. Don't let up on your defenses! Now there's only one enemy left. Fire a Hub from your main Hub straight down at full power. It should land on a small cliff. It can help defend against Yellow's Crawlers from here using Towers or Reclaims or what have you. But it's main purpose is to make some Bridges straight down to cross the river below. Once that's done, fire an Offense from it straight down and across the river at full power. From this third Offense, shoot a Cluster Bomb followed by a barrage of Missiles at 135 degrees until the last enemy Hub is destroyed. Be careful the Crawlers don't kill you while you are doing this. After that you've won the level. ------------------------------------------- III M. System 7 - Divide and Conquer ------------------------------------------- Compared to the last level this one is a breeze. Take a look at a Replay of it to see where the enemy is. For your first move fire an Offense at about 80% power at 45 degrees so it lands right on the Energy Pool there. From it, fire Missiles at the enemy that's around 45 degrees from you and at full power. After a couple of those he's dead. Now from the same Offense fire a Cluster Bomb straight up at full power. Follow it up with EMP's, Crawlers, or Missiles until the other enemy is dead. Piece of cake! ------------------------------------------- III N. Team Alpha - I Smell Team Spirit ------------------------------------------- This level is a lot like the last one in terms of how to beat it. The fact that you are supposed to be protecting a teammate really doesn't affect it much - the teammate can defend themselves well enough and actually help you by being a distraction for the enemies. You can pretty much ignore him. For your first shot, fire an Offense at around 300 degrees and full power. Next fire a Missile from the Offense at full power and around 340 degrees. This will hit either the main Hub or a Balloon from the enemy up there. Follow up with more Missiles or EMP's, Clusters, etc. like you've done with other levels using this tactic. Once that enemy is destroyed, fire another Offense from your main Hub at 135 degrees and full power. From that one the enemy is at about 70% power and in the same direction (135 degrees). Start with a few Cluster Bombs/EMP's to scout out and disable his defenses and then go in for the kill. ------------------------------------------- III O. Team Alpha - Island Breeze ------------------------------------------- This level is a big pain. The wind factor is random and the starting location is random, so I can't give you really good specifics on it. You may have to restart several times until the conditions match what you want. At least there's no Fog of War though. To start, use bridges to help line up your shot (remember the wind factor) and land at least 1 Energy Collector on the nearby Energy Pool. Now the way to do this level quickly is to forget about building bridges toward the enemy but instead fire Offenses that land on the edges of your island. Then use the wind to your advantage (by throwing shots into the wind so they fly further) and remember that the map wraps around. Try to take out the enemy Hubs using Clusters, EMP's, and Crawlers. Generally Missiles won't help you because they will home in on some random bridge instead of what you want. They also tend to crash into hillsides a lot because of the wind. One thing you might want to do is intentionally skip your turn at full Energy to save up for the next turn. The point of this is that the enemy will Reclaim any Crawlers you use. So what you do is save up a lot of Energy then waste it throwing out Cluster Bombs (use them to perfect your later Crawler shot) until the enemy you are after runs out of Energy for that round. Then you should still have enough Energy left to drop the Crawler and they won't be able to Reclaim it before the round ends. When the round ends it should move forward and hopefully hit the target. Remember to try to go for their main Hub as much as possible, don't waste time with their expansions. Since there's no fog of war your target should be easy to keep track of. If one of them builds a lot of bridges and gets too close to your base, try taking out a bridge with a cord over it to collapse their whole operation. ------------------------------------------- III P. Team Alpha - Tough Customers ------------------------------------------- One nice thing about this level is that although all 3 of the enemies want to kill you, they also want to kill each other (well, sort of. The 2 system 7's will work together but they will fight against the 1 DeWulf player). To start, toss an Offense at minimum power and 325 degrees so it lands right next to your main Hub. From this Offense your first enemy is almost straight to your Left and a little down (260 degrees?) at full power. Use Missiles to reach him. Destroy him. For your next target, fire pretty much straight up (and a tad to the left) at full power to reach the other System 7 enemy and try to take him out. Even at full power your shots won't quite reach him though, so you'll need Spikes, Crawlers, and Viruses to take care of him unless you want to spend Energy on another Offense. Use the bonus Energy you get from killing the second System 7 enemy to fire an Energy Collector from your main Hub at 167 degrees and around 70% power to land on the small Energy Pool up on the hill there. You can do this at any point really but I generally wait until then because I don't like to give the enemy time to build up more defenses. Now DeWulf's main Hub is a bit harder to reach. You need to fire another Hub out from your main Hub at 280 degrees and half power to land on the small round hill up there (use Bridges to help line up the shot if need be). From that Hub drop a Bridge on the nearby river straight left of it, then deploy another Offense that crosses the bridge. From here about 300 degrees and full power should just about reach DeWulf's main Hub. Use Cluster Bombs to scout it out and disable Anti-Airs, then bring in the Crawlers and such to finish him off and complete this challenge. ------------------------------------------- III Q. Team Alpha - Three's a Crowd ------------------------------------------- This map can be very hard and very easy. You have 3 enemies all right next to you and very little room to build, no Energy pool, and a wind factor to boot. However, if you keep restarting you can win pretty easily with a simple and cheap tactic. Just fire Missiles at the enemy straight down from you and destroy him in the first round. Then from the bonus Energy take out the one that's up and to the left of you with more Missiles. Finally take out the last guy up and to the right of you with yet more Missiles. If you are lucky and they don't put up defenses in time, you can take out all 3 of them in the first round from the bonus Energy! Congratulations, you've completed Challenge Mode! Now watch the credits and at the end you'll see your reward (what you get depends on what rankings you got). ==================================================================== IV. SECRETS AND CHEATS ==================================================================== You can play all the Challenge Mode levels in regular Skirmish or Multiplayer mode once you have beaten all of them and seen the credits. You get one of the codes listed below from beating all Challenge Mode levels with Silver ranking or higher (and wait at the end of the credits). You see another one for beating all Challenge Mode levels with a Gold ranking. The third code was discovered by players. You don't have to earn the codes to use them. Press Tab to bring up a chat box while playing, and type in one of the following codes: /udderdestruction - Turns Bombs into Cows /fowlplay - Turns Cluster Bombs into Chickens /EMPIG - Turns EMP's into Pigs Remember to include the / mark when using these. These only affect your own units and can be used in multiplayer, and the change is stored in the Replay file. The units functions do not change at all, just the graphics and sounds. Note that some of them sound different when fired from an Offense rather than a Hub (I love the Cow sound from an Offense). These are great for freaking out an opponent that doesn't know about them. Finish them off with an exploding Cow for a real insult. If you type the code in again, your units will start to use the regular graphic from then on. You can toggle them on and off as often as you like. You can edit a lot of the settings for the game from the moonbase.ini file found in the moonbase directory. There is also same settings stored in a 'hegames.ini' file found in your Windows System directory (to edit it easily just click Start, then Run, then type hegames.ini and click OK). You can tweak some different settings this way, but be careful that you don't screw the game up! You can delete the .ini files if you mess it up and they will be recreated (although the game may need to be reinstalled if you delete the hegames.ini file). One useful thing to edit is your Challenge Mode rankings if you feel you need to cheat. Look for the [Challenge] section in the moonbase.ini file. It will list any challenge level you played and then what ranking that level has. 0 means not completed, 1 is Gold, 2 is Silver, and 3 is Bronze. Only ones you've played at some point will show up, but you can easily type them in yourself using the same format as the ones that are already there. Note that if any are set to 0, all the levels after that one are ignored until the one set to 0 is set to something else. You can use this to set them all to Gold then go and pass the last level and you'll see both the cheat codes at the end of the cedits as well as unlock all the Challenge Mode levels for regular play. ==================================================================== V. CREDITS ==================================================================== Improvius - Alternate way to beat Challenge level 8. Vandal_4 - A new cheap way to beat the last Challenge level. Other than the info from the above credits this guide was written entirely on my own and the information contained within was gathered from me personally playing the game. Thanks to Rhett Mathis, Pat Wylie, and the others who worked on the Moonbase project for making the game :). Thanks to CJayC and www.gameFAQs.com for hosting my guides. See my other guides at http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/8343.html ==================================================================== VI. VERSION HISTORY ==================================================================== 0.1 - (6/12/2) Initial concept, design, layout, and the first sections. 0.2 - (6/14/2) Most of the Units and Tactics section complete. 0.3 - (6/15/2) First submitted version, includes all the sneaky tactics and information I've gathered on using the 18 units in the game effectively, as well as basic stuff like a review, game play structure and controls, and the basic layout. Completed proofreading and revision on written material to remove spelling/grammar errors and make it as clear to understand as possible. Since this game is pretty small in scope, I consider the guide to be at least 50% complete now. 0.4 - (6/17/2) Reorganized a bit, added intro to Challenge Mode tips section, added more tips to Units and Tactics section (some stuff about Mines and Hubs). Fixed some misinformation about Crawlers. Added note about getting the direct tcp/ip game launcher. 0.5 - (7/11/2) Corrected some minor mistakes in the Mines, Crawlers, and EMP sections. Mentioned the shot timer in the game play structure section. Added MBC Utilities section and added info on the map/replay importer. 0.6 - (8/01/2) Modified/corrected information on how Reclaims react to Virus- infected buildings. Proofread entire guide again and fixed minor errors. 0.7 - (8/15/2) Fixed a few minor errors, updated Utilities section. Added tips for NiceCo and DeWulf's challenge levels. Once I finish the last 8 Challenge Levels I consider this guide complete. 0.8 - (8/26/2) Added System 7's Challenge Levels tips. Also added info on getting replays showing how to beat the challenge mode levels from my website. Getting close to done! 0.9 - (8/30/2) The last Challenge Level tips are done. Proofread and fixed typos and such. This means the guide is now complete! I still have .1 version numbers remaining before 1.0, but I will save it just in case I find a mistake or new piece of information or something somewhere down the road. For now though, I consider this guide a 100% complete guide to Moonbase Commander. Yay! Final - (2/20/3) Added Cheat Codes section since everyone knows them by now anyway. This is the final version of the guide. ==================================================================== VII. CONTACTING THE AUTHOR ==================================================================== Please don't ask me if you can put this on your site, 'cause I'll just say no. See the Legal Stuff below for details. That said, you can reach me at zauron (at) zauron (dot) net and you can view my homepage at http://www.zauron.net ==================================================================== VIII. LEGAL STUFF ==================================================================== Unpublished work Copyright 2002-2003 Taron Millet (aka Zauron or Rubikant) This document is protected by US Copyright Law, and the Berne Copyright Convention of 1976. It is for private and personal use only--it cannot be reprinted in part or in whole, or reproduced in any way or in any form (written or otherwise). It is a free document that cannot be used in any sort of commercial transaction, including selling it or giving it away as a gift. This FAQ cannot be referenced, altered, or used by anybody (including webmasters, publishers, and magazine staff) without my express written permission. This FAQ was created and is owned by me, Taron Millet <zauron (at) zauron (dot) net>. It can be found exclusively at (www.GameFAQs.com) and (www.zauron.net or whatever my current homepage is). All copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged and respected that are not specifically mentioned herein. I expressly forbid the following publishers/publications from using this FAQ, namely: Cheat Code Central (www.cheatcc.com), Ziff-Davis Video Game Group (publishers of Expert Gamer), IDG Media, Game 13th Magazine, Brady Games, and Prima Games. Remember, plagiarism is a crime and is punishable by law. If you want to use my guide, you'd better be offering to buy the copyright from me. In other words: "No, you may not post this guide on your web site, so don't even bother asking. This guide is to be found on my own personal web site and www.gameFAQs.com ONLY." If I somehow change my mind I will change this section, but it is unlikely. Moonbase Commander is (c) 2002 Infogrames Interactive and was developed by Humongous Entertainment.