==================================================== Valkyria Chronicles: Walkthrough and Max Rank Guide Written by Jason Long (evilbob) Copyright (c)2015 Jason Long. All rights reserved. Version 1.81. Last Updated 02-09-2015 This guide may not be reposted, in whole or in part, without my written permission. The only website that has permission to display this FAQ is gameFAQs.com. For questions contact me at evilbob65535 at yahoo dot com. ======================================== Searchable Table of Contents ======================================== Copy, Control+F, and Paste the codes in  to search for something quickly. 0. Version History [0VERH] 1. What This Guide Does [1WTGD] 2. Tactics - a Crash Course [2TACT] 2a. Speed Matters for XP - Not Tactics [2SPED] 2b. Killing Enemy Leaders is Also Important [2KILL] 2c. Your Leaders and Command Points [2LEAD] 2d. Shoot Them in the Head [2SHOT] 2e. Other Battle Advice [2BATL] 2f. Save Constantly [2SAVE] 2g. Differences with the PC Version [2PCDF] 3. Headquarters [3HDQT] 3a. Command Room - Who to Recruit [3COMD] 3b. Training Grounds - How to Level [3TRAN] 3c. R&D - What Weapons to Use [3RDWP] 3d. The Writing on the Wall [3WRIT] 3e. The Cemetery [3CEMT] 3f. Audience Hall [3AUDH] 4. Other Tips [4OTIP] 4a. Orders [4ORDR] 4b. Touching Dead Enemies [4TDED] 4c. Capturing Weapons [4CAPW] 4d. Personalities [4PERS] 4e. Potentials [4POTE] 4f. New Game "Plus" [4NGPS] 5. Episodes [5EPIS] Prologue [5E000] Episode 1 - In Defense of Bruhl (A and B) [5E001] Episode 2 - Escape from Bruhl [5E002] Episode 3 - Vasel Urban Warfare [5E003] Episode 4 - Operation Cloudburst [5E004] Episode 5 - The Kloden Wildwood [5E005] Episode 6 - A Desert Encounter [5E006] Episode 7 - The Battle at Barious [5E007] Episode 8a - The Woodland Snare ("Life") [5E08A] Episode 8b - The Woodland Snare ("Reunion in the Forest") [5E08B] Episode 9 - A Midsummer Incident [5E009] Episode 10a - Liberation of Fouzen ("Infiltration of Fouzen") [5E10A] Episode 10b - Liberation of Fouzen ("Liberation of Fouzen") [5E10B] Episode 11 - The Marberry Shore [5E011] Episode 12 - The Fight for Bruhl [5E012] Episode 13 - The Clash at Naggiar [5E013] Episode 14 - Loss Within Victory [5E014] Episode 15a - Citadel Ghirlandaio ("Fight for Ghirlandaio") [5E15A] Episode 15b - Citadel Ghirlandaio ("Selvaria's Last Stand") [5E15B] Episode 16 - The Maiden's Shield [5E016] Episode 17 - The Bridge to Hope [5E017] Episode 18a - Shadow of the Valkyrur ("Marmota's End") [5E18A] Episode 18b - Shadow of the Valkyrur ("Final Showdown") [5E18B] 6. Bonus Missions [6BNSM] Extra 1 - Largo's Passion [6BN01] Extra 2 - War Without Weapons [6BN02] Extra 3 - Signs of Awakening [6BN03] Extra 4 - What Lies Beyond Hate [6BN04] Extra 5 - Flower of the Battlefield [6BN05] 7. Skirmishes - Normal Mode [7SKIR] Skirmish 1 - Outskirts of Bruhl [7SK01] Skirmish 2 - Vasel Riverside [7SK02] Skirmish 3 - Kloden Wildwood [7SK03] Skirmish 4 - Barious Desert [7SK04] Skirmish 5 - Upper Fouzen [7SK05] Skirmish 6 - Marberry Shore [7SK06] Skirmish 7 - Windmill Plaza [7SK07] Skirmish 8 - Naggiar Plain [7SK08] Skirmish 9 - East Bank of Vasel [7SK09] 8. Skirmishes - Hard Mode [8SHRD] Skirmish 1 - Outskirts of Bruhl [8SH01] 9. Skirmishes - Expert Mode [9EXHD] 10. Downloadable Content [10DLC] Pack 1 - Enter the Edy Detachment! [10EDY] 11. Thanks [11THK] ======================================== Version History ======================================== [0VERH] 1.00 - 03/05/09 All episodes (first run through); first 8 skirmishes on normal; all bonus missions; tactics, headquarters, tips. Guide posted to gameFAQs.com. 1.41 - 04/13/09 Minor updates to episodes 1a, 1b, 2, and 6. Completely redid episode 3 to include A rank with all leaders/tanks/ace (updated skirmish 2). Redid episode 4 to remove the miracle shot. Completely redid episode 8a to be MUCH easier! Redid episode 12 to include A rank with all leaders/tanks/aces option (updated skirmish 7). Minor wording edits and structure changes. 1.60 - 04/21/09 Minor update to episode 7. Redid episode 12 again with a better strategy (updated skirmish 7). Added skirmish 9. Added Hard skirmish 1. Added DLC pack 1 (Edy's mission). Minor edits and structure change. 1.70 - 01/23/15 Soooooo six years later this game was re-released for PC and I had to pick it up. I've had so many responses to this FAQ I decided to go ahead and try a hand at fixing it up. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. Edits include: slight text changes in many places, and adding several suggestions. Tightened episode 2 and 4; redid episode 3 and skirmish 2 to avoid the "miracle shot." Some strategies remain overly difficult; I will fix these as I can. I will also try to compare PS3 to PC whenever possible. 1.72 - 01/26/15 Tightened up episode 5 a good bit; improved episode 6. 1.73 - 01/28/15 Minor edits/clarifications on episodes 7, 8b, and 9, plus a few more edits. Still have a problem with east and west; sorry! 1.77 - 02/02/15 Added list of ace weapons. Improved episode 10a, 10b, 11, and 13. Clarified skirmish 5. 1.80 - 02/05/15 Minor edits abound. Improved bonus (extra) mission 5 (renamed 2) and 15b. Redid skirmish 7 to actually kill all leaders and the tank. 1.81 - 02/09/15 Minor edits and clarifications; slight improvements to episodes 17 and 18a. Hopefully one day I'll be able to complete the guide for the remaining DLC, the other eight Hard skirmishes, and all nine Expert skirmishes. ======================================== What This Guide Does ======================================== [1WTGD] This guide is a functional walkthrough of each mission of the game. It is designed to give you at least one repeatable, reasonably achievable path to gaining an "A" rank (maximum possible rank) for each map during the normal (first) playthrough. (Note: the Japanese version of this game uses "S" as the maximum possible rank while the US version uses "A" - either way, this is a guide for the maximum rank. There are some slight differences between the two versions, including occasionally some slightly different totals for how many phases constitute an A rank, but I assume this guide should work for either one.) It is intended to be a guide for anyone who gets stuck or wants tips on strategy. Additionally, it will help maximize XP/money gain by including how to take out the maximum number of enemy leaders, tanks, and aces, all while trying to maximize your rank. This guide will not give spoilers or talk about the story, other than using some names that are unavoidable which may give slight hints. This guide assumes you understand the basic concepts of the game (either by reading the manual or playing a couple missions) and will not reiterate them. It is also assumed that you spend time leveling up your classes as much as possible between missions, buying upgrades whenever they are available, and generally doing the things you need to do to make your troops better. Given that you will be getting the best possible rank each mission, it should be trivial to afford every upgrade and your troops should always be at a good level. ======================================== Tactics - a Crash Course ======================================== [2TACT] ================================== Speed Matters for XP - Not Tactics ================================== [2SPED] Sadly, while an excellent tactical side-based (as opposed to turn-based) strategy game, to get the highest rank in each mission requires only one thing: speed. Ranks are based solely on how many player phases pass before you complete the objective(s). For example, in some missions you must complete your objective in one player phase to get the best rank. This means that tactics - especially including ducking, covering, flanking, etc. - can sometimes be completely worthless. In fact, in some missions, actually playing intelligently will never gain you the best rank. You have to act like a complete moron - running out into the middle of multiple enemy troops, ignoring fire completely - just to get your mission objective completed as fast as possible. Things that do NOT matter include killing enemy troops, taking damage, or dying. On the plus side, that means that it doesn't matter how stupidly you run around and get shot, or how many enemies you kill - only speed matters. Each mission (or piece of mission) starts you with full HP, so damage is easily ignored unless it is fatal. Also note that it is PHASES (not CP use) that count toward your speed, so sometimes saving CP to use all in one phase can be a good idea - although you cannot have more than 20 CP at any time. ======================================= Killing Enemy Leaders is Also Important ======================================= [2KILL] That said, another important piece of maximizing XP gain is killing enemy leaders, aces, and tanks. Leaders are special dark red-colored troops on the field which can be identified fairly easily. This is double-bonus, since killing enemy leaders also reduces the total CP available to the enemy during their phases. Aces look like leaders but have "unique" names and no leader CP star. Sometimes tanks are also leaders, which is another good reason to take them out. Destroying leaders, tanks, and aces gains bonus XP/money, and killing aces also gives a bonus weapon (see below). It can be worth your time and effort to kill them all, as they yield very good bonus XP for the beginning of the game - sometimes in the early levels it can be more than the difference between A rank and B rank. However, in later levels the difference between A and B rank far outstrips the tiny bonuses they provide (these bonuses don't scale). =============================== Your Leaders and Command Points =============================== [2LEAD] Another important thing to keep in mind during deployment is that you get a bonus command point for each of your leaders, just like the enemy. That means pretty much every single mission needs to include Alicia, Rosie, and Largo - even if you never use them, just deploying them will give you more actions each phase. In fact, sometimes it's better to hold them back and use someone else more suited to the job. This guide will give a command point total for each mission, but it will assume that you deploy these three individuals every time (if possible) unless otherwise noted. If you don't want to use one or more of them, subtract that number from the CP total. ====================== Shoot Them in the Head ====================== [2SHOT] One of the best tactics to killing enemies and clearing levels quickly is to run up and shoot the enemy in the head. This is a horrible tactic for the health of your troop, but it's incredibly effective and very fast. One thing to look out for is that if you are TOO close to an enemy, your weapon may actually point just past their hitbox, causing you to miss entirely. Also, if an enemy troop is taking cover, you cannot target their head, even if you run around and are behind cover with them! In this case, grenades are preferable - even if it doesn't kill them, the blast will force them to stand and make their head vulnerable again (later in the game, you'll have more options). On the flip side, you can use this magical protection to your advantage: crouching near something will still give you a good defensive boost even if the enemy is standing right next to you! For best results when shooting, try to make sure you're not in the enemy line of sight - this gives enemies a bonus to evade and can cause you to miss entirely, especially in later levels. =================== Other Battle Advice =================== [2BATL] Here are some uncategorized general battle tips that don't fit well into other places in this guide but are worth mentioning. - This game uses the horrid system where if any of your units drop to zero HP and are not revived (touched by a friendly troop or tank) within 3 rounds or before an enemy touches them, they are gone forever. But the good news is that it is extremely easy to get through the game without losing anyone, especially with a liberal use of this new thing called "constantly saving the game" (see below). On the other hand, a very small amount of bonus material is unlocked by losing specific characters, including a medal and some "secret" characters. For more information about both, see gameFAQs.com. Is it worth doing so? I never bothered. (Note that on the PC version you get Steam achievements for some medals, so you may want to look into it for that.) Also worth noting is that typically some troops may cause a Game Over if they go down (such as Welkin) - others only when they die permanently (like Alicia). Some troops are occasionally immune from death because they "retreat" as soon as they go down (the Shamrock pilot often does this). And lastly, keep in mind that as long as you finish a mission before a troop dies permanently, they'll be completely fine and healed to full after each map, so it's usually not worth trying to save them. - Remember: grenades do not ever cause counterattacks, but flamethrowers do. Also, flamethrowers are amazingly effective against cannon and bunkers. - If an enemy is crouching near a sandbag or crawling in the grass, they have high / extremely high defense boosts against everything - and it doesn't matter where you are in relation to them, they will always have the boost. However, you can use a grenade to get them standing. It usually won't kill them, but the blast will force them to stand, even from a good distance away. Another good way to get an enemy standing is to run over them with a tank. This (weirdly) does no damage, but it will get them up. - Your tanks cannot be hurt by infantry fire except on their weak spots, and even then it's really not enough to matter. - Tanks can perform combo attacks with ground troops using their machine guns. It's harder to do because they have a more limited field of fire. - Do your aiming while the enemy is not shooting at you! Don't turn to shoot in-game, always go into targeting mode and then turn. - If you're out of an enemy's line of sight, it's harder for them to evade you. Aces might still evade no matter what. It's always worth saving before you try to kill an ace. - Since movement is so key to this game, try to keep your lines as tight as possible. Sometimes veering off to the side - even a little bit - can cause you to run out of AP before you reach your objective. - Take advantage of the rhythm of the game; practice your timing so that you can control when certain events happen to your advantage. For example, a great time to take aim is just before an enemy starts to fire again. If the enemy has just paused to reload, don't stop moving yet - get into a better position first. Always try to end your turn before the enemy fires again as well. Little differences like these can make a huge difference overall. - Finally, the reason this guide even works at all is because the AI is fairly consistent. Shots may miss more or less, but if the same troops are in the same places the AI tends to have very little variation in what it does. This is great for writing a guide and also something you can exploit when playing the game; reloading a turn means you have a very good idea of what will happen next, and you can adjust your strategy accordingly. =============== Save Constantly =============== [2SAVE] This is true of any RPG or hybrid RPG, but save all the time, and try to use different save slots whenever you can. One of the best times to save is during a battle before any moves have been made. That way, you can reload to the beginning of the battle, but skip all the explanation that happens when the battle starts (although you can't re-deploy). It is also useful to save between phases, just to make sure you get everything covered before moving on. In fact, "wounded" units are permanently killed if an enemy touches them - but since you can save after each and every move you make, there is really no reason you should ever have someone permanently die. Finally, always save before trying to shoot an ace or taking other tricky shots. =============================== Differences with the PC Version =============================== [2PCDF] As far as I can tell, there aren't any significant differences in maps, time for A ranks, etc., between the two systems - but if I find anything, I will list it here. Here are a few general tips. - The most important thing to know is: hit Enter to skip the intro movie! Seriously, that was way harder than it needed to be. - Driving a tank sucks! Depending on your system, the default control scheme may render your tank absolutely unplayable. It's apparently a problem with how your mouse (which unfortunately is both "look" and "move" for the tank) interacts with the refresh rate. I was able to fix my system by adjusting both the refresh settings and the mouse sensitivity (specifically, I turned it way down; this also made aiming easier). Look around online to see what you can find, but you absolutely need to get this working in order to complete this game, much less get A ranks. - Disappointingly, the PC version has a limited number of save slots while the PS3 version effectively doesn't. It's easy to hit your limit; be aware. - The "back" button (circle on the PS3) defaults to ESC on the PC. While this makes sense for menus and things, when you're in battle you can't afford the time it takes to move your hand to ESC to cancel a unit's turn, especially if you're trying to be as efficient as possible. I would suggest remapping this to something closer to WASD (or whatever you use to move), the right mouse button (what I did), or using a controller. ======================================== Headquarters ======================================== [3HDQT] Your headquarters is the tab you can come to between each battle to level, purchase upgrades, equip weapons, etc. It is unlocked gradually as you complete the story. The game handles a lot of micromanaging for you, but you can also choose to do some of this yourself. ============================= Command Room - Who to Recruit ============================= [3COMD] The new recruits you gain after each chapter are randomly selected. Every time you finish a chapter you'll have a new chance for more troops to show up. However, you can also save right after you start a new chapter, then go to your headquarters and look to see who has joined and if you don't like the offerings, you can reload for a new random selection. This might be worth it if you're low on snipers or engineers, but eventually (about halfway through) you will have access to almost all units in the game. Who to Recruit This is entirely based on your play style and personal preference. There are no "wrong" choices, so feel free to pick who you like. That said, I always tried to recruit those who have minimal "negative" potentials (Darcsen Hater, Chatty Cathy, etc.), although you won't know until you've used the unit a lot whether or not their hidden potentials are very good or very bad (see below). Some decent rules of thumb: potentials that lower accuracy, evasion, or damage are really bad; likewise things that raise them are really good. Things that don't get triggered often (like when a unit has a single digit of health) are easy to avoid. Potentials that complement the unit's role (like being a loner for a sniper) are great. Here are a few of my personal favorites, but again this is entirely subjective: Scout - Aika: She has mostly good positive potentials - and who doesn't like sky pirates from an old Dreamcast game? :) - Ted: He's an oddball, but he has good potentials - including Undodgable Shot, which is a nice one to have late game when everything is evading you. Shocktrooper - Jane: I love Jane: she's crazy, but also crazy good at dishing out the damage. Her potentials make her extra deadly and she has little drawbacks. Give her your most damage-dealing weapon and watch her chew through anyone. - Vyse: Love his voice, plus he's a good troop with good potentials (also: sky pirates). - Salinas: Just a solid, all-around unit with decent potentials. Lancer - Jann: His potentials are awesome plus he is hilarious! Always team with Largo for maximum effect. Engineer - Nadine: ALL engineers have SEVERE personality defects for some reason - except for her. So I used her. Plus, she's a solid troop. Sniper - Catherine: She has a couple bad ones but she's mostly positive - good for non-nested activities, especially with Roof Hunter. Plus I love her accent. - Marina: Ok, you know how I said there are no wrong choices? I lied. Marina is just about the perfect sniper; she's great in a nest with Nest Master and Lone Wolf / My Way. And best of all, her Ultimate Accuracy potential means she'll never miss after level 16. Definitely use her. =============================== Training Grounds - How to Level =============================== [3TRAN] Each mission gives you XP to divide among your troop types (all troops of one type level together). I recommend a balanced leveling scheme, where you never have one type of troop more than 1 level higher than any other type. I typically upgraded my shocktroopers and scouts first, but it's really up to you. Additionally, I highly recommend playing through the skirmish battles at least once or preferably twice each time they become available - however, playing much more than that isn't as useful, because each subsequent mission tends to give more and more XP. As a general rule of thumb, some or most of my units were around the same level as the chapter number I was on the whole time (level 11 by chapter 11, etc.). This is a good rule to follow to make sure you're strong enough to follow the advice in this guide. I also recommend that since a relatively easy skirmish map (number 5) opens up after chapter 10, before moving on to chapter 11 go ahead and play it enough to make sure you hit at least level 11 for all troop types. Also, after chapter 14 you have access to Skirmish 7, which is even easier and faster, and you can use it to reach level 15 with all troops easily. Otherwise, the game paces you pretty well without the need for excess grinding - especially if you follow this guide and get an A rank for every map! Elite Units Once you hit level 11, your troops will upgrade to elite. All troops will get a boost to their stats in some way. Scouts also get grenade launchers, which use their normal grenades (so you can't use a launcher AND throw a grenade). This just increases the distance they can cover by about two or three times. It also means a higher arc on the shot, which can sometimes get in the way, but usually it's a boon. You can still throw grenades normally, however. Shocktroopers get access to flamethrowers. (You'll also be able to purchase flamethrower upgrades in R&D.) The flamethrowers look cool and are extremely useful against bunkers. They're also good against standing enemies that tend to evade or bunches of guys crowded together, and against guys behind sandbags, since they leave sandbags standing. However, using a flamethrower makes you vulnerable to counterattacks (possibly multiple counterattacks), while using a grenade does not - so don't use one unless you know you'll kill your target. Lancers get the ability to start using a mortar lance (unfortunately it's a different load-out) when you research them later in the game. Snipers and engineers don't get any new weapon options. ========================= R&D - What Weapons to Use ========================= [3RDWP] Once you get several episodes in, you'll start getting choices in how you want to upgrade your weapons. You can even micromanage your troops and give different units different types, but other than giving them limited-quantity weapons, I never bothered. To equip the different types of weapons, head to the Barracks. Be sure to check there each time you kill an ace or receive weapons as a reward (see below) to see if that weapon is better. For tank improvements, you will need to use the R&D menu. Everyone plays the game differently so the weapon choice is really your own, but for myself I favored accuracy over anything else for the scouts (but I always purchased the damage weapons for occasional use), damage over anything else for the shocktroopers, accuracy when possible but usually damage for lancers (if it costs you an extra turn to take out the tank, that's too weak), and solely accuracy for snipers (you're only going to shoot them once). I also favored damage over effects for flamethrowers, and anti-tank damage over anti-personnel attacks (mortar rounds) for lancers - although there are a few places where lancer mortar rounds are useful. Generally, while you can afford pretty much everything with this guide, I never bothered upgrading the "effect" path for any type of weapon. Why inflict a status when you can just kill them? One thing to note is that the letter grade of the weapon (E, D, etc.) is the measure of its accuracy, which translates into the size of the circle area that you are aiming at. The better the letter, the smaller the circle. Tanks For your tanks, I again tended to favor accuracy over defense, but it's best to have at least a little of everything. Make sure you always equip at least one extra mortar round when possible, as this can really help (more than that seemed too expensive to me). I tended to skimp on the crit defense, because I figured if they're shooting you in the back, you're pretty much done for anyway - but that's not necessarily the optimal thing to do. My load was all accuracy items, followed by some tread HP and defense, and then stick maybe a 1x1 crit defense in there somewhere if you have room. Always purchase tank body upgrades and troop armor upgrades immediately, even if you have to run a skirmish to afford them. Finally, once you get the Shamrock you get a choice of how you want to outfit it. I constantly left it on anti-tank rounds, but the flamethrower would probably not be a bad idea for some missions. This guide will mention which way to equip it when necessary. As for its defenses, you get so few choices just stick with whatever suits you best, although again I favored multiple mortar rounds whenever possible. ======================= The Writing on the Wall ======================= [3WRIT] The reporter will have new stories for you at completely random times. The "reset trick" you can use on the command room does not seem to work on her very well, leading me to believe it is something more story-based or unit- based that triggers her articles to appear. Since her stories sometimes lead to bonus missions, it is always worthwhile to purchase them. (Also, cash is extremely plentiful, especially with A-rank performances.) ============ The Cemetery ============ [3CEMT] The old gentleman in the cemetery will occasionally teach you new orders after a mission. These start at 6500 XP each and go up to 10000, and then 15000 XP. The last one will cost 50000. It is completely random whether or not the old man can teach you when you go to visit or not, but you can save right after a mission, then go to your headquarters and look for him and if he has nothing for you reload and try again. He may also change what he offers. Since some orders are more useful than others, this may or may not be worth it to you, but I recommend purchasing them all. For more information, see Other Tips, below. ============= Audience Hall ============= [3AUDH] Once you reach episode 10a, you'll start to receive bonus weapons for a job well done - about 4 or 5 each time, usually 1 to 3 of a couple different types. They end in "R" and madSomnambulist's guide on gameFAQs.com calls them "Royal" weapons: I think that's a good name. As you progress, they will get stronger and stronger (1R vs. 3R, etc.). These are also randomly assigned, and you can save after each mission before you head over there to generate new selections. For the most part, these are slightly better in some way than the weapons you can build - however, in the beginning they are not always better in the way that you might prefer, so sometimes they are not worth it. Eventually they will outshine just about everything else in the game (20R). You also receive medals in the Audience Hall for special rewards granted for in-game achievements. Similar to other achievement systems, they mean nothing and are completely worthless other than bragging rights. (Note that these medals do NOT tie in to PS3 trophies; this game does not have any trophies. Some seem related to achievements on Steam, though.) For a complete list of possible medals, check gameFAQs.com. Please note that the "reset trick" only works the very first time you go to your headquarters, so you cannot, for example, check out the audience hall, then save and try to reset the old man or your command room. You have to be happy with all of these at once. ======================================== Other Tips ======================================== [4OTIP] ====== Orders ====== [4ORDR] You can gain orders either by leveling troops, or visiting the cemetery as above. For an excellent guide on orders and when you obtain them, please see your name here's guide on gameFaqs.com, available here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps3/942165-valkyria-chronicles/faqs/55162 In general, this guide tries to avoid the use of orders you obtain from the cemetery due to the inconsistent nature of when you may obtain them. Please note that some actions may be easier with the use of certain orders, and if you have a few CPs to play with, it might be faster or easier to use an order instead of following this guide exactly. Particularly Good Orders Defense is an amazing 1 CP order that you will receive early on (Engineer level 3). It's great to load onto a unit to help it survive anything from charging headlong into a gatling gun or moving around behind a tank. Do not underestimate the power of this order. Another order that deserves special mention is the Damage order that costs 2 CP. You get this order when your lancers hit level 7. This order is extremely powerful because it allows scouts and shocktroopers to suddenly be able to destroy tanks (and ironically renders lancers far less useful). Not only is their mobility an asset, but spending 3 CP (order + move) to destroy a tank often works out to be far more efficient than trying to use lancers or your own tank(s). It is assumed you get this order at least halfway through the game, as many of the later map strategies make use of this ability. The Demolition order you get from your lancers hitting level 8 is also good, but often unnecessary since the Damage order will often do. Other orders that are worth noting are Attack (it helps more than you'd think) and Penetration (this can double or triple your effectiveness against super- armored targets, of which there are only a few). ===================== Touching Dead Enemies ===================== [4TDED] At least for the US version, this seems to do nothing. It's possible that touching dead enemies (and thus, clearing them from the map) causes the enemy to be able to call in more reinforcements, but they seem to have a pretty limitless pool regardless, so I doubt that matters. The only real discernable effect seems to be the fact that it slows you down - which is usually a hindrance. May as well avoid them. ================= Capturing Weapons ================= [4CAPW] You recover an enemy weapon when you kill an enemy ace on a map. The type of weapon relates to the type of ace, so a sniper ace will drop a sniper rifle, etc. (Note: you do not have to touch their dead body to get the weapon.) You don't find out until the end of the mission when you recover one. You can equip them in the barracks, although each ace only drops one. They are usually pretty bad compared to what you can make, but they often trade accuracy for firepower, so if you like up-close and personal attacks (shocktroopers), they may work well for you. Overall, collecting them is a fun side-game but you're not going to miss all that much if you ignore it. The only exceptions I found to this are the ZM MP 3(g) and the flamethrowers VB FW 1(g) and 2(g). The ZM MP 3(g) is a shocktrooper weapon found in episode 8a and it trades a decent amount of range for a VERY decent amount of firepower - far above anything else you'll have for a while. Since shocktrooper range isn't that great anyway, I recommend looking for this one and equipping it to your favorite shocktrooper - especially one with Melee Fighting or damage boosting potentials for even more carnage! The VB FW flamethrowers you find later on - the 1(g) is from episode 11, and the 2(g) is from Rosie's bonus mission - are better than any flamethrower you'll have at the time, and the 2(g) is better than any you'll be able to make in the game! They wield a devastating amount of power: suddenly you'll find yourself able to kill any crouched enemy in a single turn. These are highly valuable and worth seeking. Be sure to give one to Rosie or any other shocktrooper you use to bust up bunkers or crouching enemies. Also, here is a list of all enemy ace weapons/parts by when you get them. Ep. 2 - ZM Kar 1(g) - Scout Ep. 3 - ZM MP 1(g) - Shocktrooper Ep. 5 - ZM MP 2(g) - Shocktrooper Ep. 6 - ZM SG 1(g) - Sniper Ep. 7 - ZM Kar 2(g) - Scout Ep. 8a - ZM MP 3(g) - Shocktrooper Ep. 8b - ZM SG 2(g) - Sniper Ep. 10a - ZM Kar 3(g) - Scout Ep. 10b - ZM SG 3(g) - Sniper Ep. 11 - VB FW 1(g) - Flamethrower Ep. 12 - ZM SG 4(g) - Sniper - En. Blk Pin - Edelweiss Ep. 13 - ZM Kar 4(g) - Scout Ep. 14 - ZM MP 4(g) - Shocktrooper Ep. 15a - ZM Kar 5(g) - Scout - Firing Calc - Edelweiss Ep. 16 - ZM SG 5(g) - Sniper Ep. 17 - ZM MP 5(g) - Shocktrooper Extra 2 - VB FW 2(g) - Flamethrower ("War Without Weapons") Extra 5 - Firing Calc - Shamrock ("Flower of the Battlefield") ============= Personalities ============= [4PERS] Using a unit a lot - I think you actually have to use them in battle and not just deploy them - will unlock more "personality" potentials for that unit. Most units have 3 or 4, and they will typically start with 2 or 3 unlocked. Most of the time, these are positive, and will help reward you for sticking with the same units. However, some are negative, and either way the bonuses are not particularly game-breaking. If you like switching up a lot, then you're not going to hurt yourself. Also, paying for newspaper stories will sometimes unlock missions that have those as a reward for main characters. That said... ========== Potentials ========== [4POTE] You have 3 or 4 personality potentials for each unit, and also 4 total "training" potentials that they will receive for leveling up (these are always good). Personally, I found them all too randomly triggered to be especially reliable, and most of the time I never went out of my way to set them up. Plus, the bonus is hard to quantify, and sometimes it doesn't make any difference for what you're trying to do at the time (an accuracy boost when you're just moving the unit up, for example). This guide does not assume you will have potentials triggered at any given time, so if you trigger them during the game it may help you clear some areas easier or faster. There are a couple of exceptions to this: Undodgable Shot, and Extra Shot. Undodgeable Shot is extremely useful in general - especially late in the game when enemies evade constantly - and Extra Shot helps tremendously with your limited ammo classes. Look for these in your recruits. =============== New Game "Plus" =============== [4NGPS] Fans of old-school RPGs will remember this term, but once you beat the game, you will unlock lots of stuff. You can load a "complete" game save and then play through the entire game again, except your money, XP, level, available orders, and equipment do not reset - so you'll pretty much breeze through the early parts, although the amount of XP and gold you receive doesn't change either. Interestingly, your roster -does- reset, so you will need to play through a few missions to get everyone back again. This resurrects dead troops as well (thanks Johnny So for that tip). You will also be able to skip most of the story cutscenes more quickly, and you can replay every map once you beat it as many times as you'd like - so if you missed an A rank before, you will certainly be able to get it now. You will unlock Skirmish 9 and Hard mode for all Skirmishes (and Expert mode if you downloaded that content). You'll also have access to a few extras, like a medal and one "hidden" scout recruit (Musaad) who is quite good (he is one of the better scouts). (Note: Rafael wrote in to say this may not be true, as Musaad was available in the first playthrough for him.) ======================================== Episodes ======================================== [5EPIS] ======== Prologue ======== [5E000] A Rank - 1 phase CP: 3 Leaders: 0 Aces: 0 Tanks: 0 Note: I highly encourage you to play through this mission twice: once to learn about the game, and then again to actually get an A rank. You CANNOT actually get the best rank when following the game's advice here, because you have to complete the mission in 1 phase. So start it up, save, and then reload to the beginning of the mission when you're done. To get an A rank, select Alicia or Welkin (they're better than the nameless guard) and run up, go over or around the bunker, and shoot the first enemy in the back of the head. Don't be afraid to get point-blank: he won't notice you until you're almost on top of him and will not fire at you unless he does. In fact, if you want an easier shot, go ahead and wait until he turns around since it is harder to hit the back of his head than the front. Continue moving as far as you can over the bridge and directly toward the second enemy. For your second CP, choose the same unit again and run up to the second enemy and shoot him point-blank in the face. Don't worry about getting shot - you can take it. Then, continue moving toward the third enemy. For your third CP, run up and shoot him point-blank in the face as well. Simple enough. ======================================== Episode 1 - In Defense of Bruhl (A and B) ======================================== [5E001] A Rank - 2 phases (1 phase each part) CP: 3 Leaders: 1 (A) Aces: 0 Tanks: 1 (B) part A Tactics are generally worthless for this one. The only objective here is to kill the enemy leader, which is a slightly tougher (and dark red colored) scout hidden at the back of the map near the roman numeral I just off the left side of the path. There are several hidden enemy scouts along the way. Select Alicia (since she has a grenade) and run like a madwoman straight through the gauntlet toward the back of the map. Don't bother shooting any enemies; killing one will slightly decrease the total number of shots fired at you, but on the other hand it will take longer - thus increasing the total number of shots fired at you. You may wish to use her Ragnaid to heal once her health is below half, but be careful - pausing to heal yourself may leave you open to getting shot. Quickly end her turn if you decide to heal, then reselect her. Either way, continue forward toward the back of the map. You should be completely behind enemy lines and have discovered the hidden enemy leader. You can't kill him quickly enough by shooting (and he'll pulverize you in a counterattack anyway), so just get close (but not TOO close) and throw a grenade (switch weapons when aiming). I suggest actually running just past the bunker to be sure you get a clear shot. Be careful not to stand too close! part B Once again, bothering to fight is wasted time on this map. Note that there is a tank, but you can't actually kill it in 20 rounds, so don't even bother firing at it. Simply select Welkin (he has slightly more HP) and run east (forward from where you start) around behind the tank and then south (turn right) toward the objective. You can actually make it in one CP, but if you need more that's fine. You can even stop and heal if you need to, but again it's probably more trouble than it's worth. The only way you can really mess this one up is to run in front of the tank, although the far south part of the map is also safe and has fewer soldiers shooting at you - but it doesn't matter, since they really cannot kill you if you just keep moving. ============================= Episode 2 - Escape from Bruhl ============================= [5E002] A Rank - 3 phases CP: 4 (5 on phase 3) Leaders: 2 Aces: 1 Tanks: 1 *Thanks to Ragnorok450 for pointing out the hidden enemy ace. Killing the tank is your main objective, and there are several hidden enemies, including 2 leaders and an ace. Saving between each phase is recommended. The big secret to this map is: save your CP for phase 3 when Welkin arrives. That said: it is advantageous to kill the enemy leaders as well for bonus XP. My suggestion is to completely skip your first player phase. This will cause the enemies to advance toward your generally well- defended position (even if no one is crouching, you still might evade). The tank will advance and shoot at the gate. Several soldiers will advance. Two or three of the scouts should die against your troops; most likely the scout leader hidden behind the tank will be one of them. The shocktrooper is the only real threat, but thankfully he is more interested in taking out the gate than killing you. On your second phase, select Alicia and have her run up the hill on the right, killing the advancing scout there with point-blank headshots if he is not already dead. Hug the right wall tightly to avoid noticing the troops hidden up and to the left. If you shot the scout, go ahead and end her turn and reselect her, and then immediately around the corner to the right is an enemy leader hiding near the houses. Run up and serve him a healthy dose of point-blank shots to the face. (Be sure not to get TOO close or you'll shoot through him!) At this point Alicia should be standing behind a hill so that she isn't being targeted by any enemies, which is a relatively safe position. Make sure she's NOT standing next to the barrier! If the other enemy leader did advance but didn't die, you can try running your healthiest guardsman up and finishing him off (although that tank is murderous). Try to save at least 4 or 5 CP for the final phase - you need at least 9, and you'll gain 5. End your phase. The enemy will pound the gate and may take out a town guardsman. For the final phase, move Welkin forward through the barrier wall. Note that you can drive a tank through trees, so don't bother to swing wide around the one in your way. Once you're past the wall, drive up and throw a mortar on the group of enemies just to your left. (You don't have to, but it's easier to drive that way if you clear the sandbags.) Aim between the shocktrooper and the crouching scout; this should kill them both. You can completely ignore the final scout if he survives as he will do absolutely nothing of consequence (and you can drive right over him, although this does nothing). Now, SAVE and select Alicia. Run her north and east back toward where Welkin started. There's a small alley up to the left between two houses that you can access; run forward between them and behind a tree is your first enemy ace! He's a tough one, so be careful approaching him; use the tree for cover, and get as close as you can. You will need to shoot him in the head to kill him, but he has a nasty tendency to evade (all aces are harder to hit that way). If you miss and he doesn't kill you AND you have more than 6 CP remaining, feel free to reselect and try him again - otherwise, just reload. Once he's dead, save again and then select Welkin. Move him around the corner of the building and fire on the enemy tank; aim for the weak spot on its back. It will take two shots minimum, or 4 CP, although if your shots veer off it might take more. If you miss too horribly more than once, don't be afraid to reload. Always try to get as close as possible before firing, but don't get so close you can't aim. If the last scout leader is still alive, be sure to finish him off before you take down the tank, as killing the tank ends the mission. Your reward for killing the ace is a scout weapon called ZM Kar 1(g). It has horrible accuracy and range, but twice the damage per shot. Personally, I prefer accuracy for my scouts. You should save after you beat the battle, as you will get access to the barracks and leveling your troops for the first time once the next chapter unlocks. =============================== Episode 3 - Vasel Urban Warfare =============================== [5E003] A Rank - 1 phase CP: 9 Leaders: 4 Aces: 1 Tanks: 2 *Thanks to Joselo Balderas for ideas on my original strategy. Also this guide no longer uses the "miracle" shot, although it's not much easier... This is your first battle with a full squad and being able to deploy your troops generally however you'd like. It's also the first battle that is extremely difficult to get an A rank along with killing all the enemy leaders/ace/tanks - so much so that I have included two strategies: one for killing everything except the last tank, and one for killing that tank (although the deployment remains the same). Keep in mind the last tank is only worth 300 XP and gold - so if you get frustrated trying to nail it, I would strongly suggest just skipping it. Be sure to upgrade ALL troop equipment - since you can easily afford it - and level your troops. The first skirmish just opened up and it's a great way to get some extra XP. After completing it on Easy and Normal, I had enough XP to level my scouts to 4, and my shocktroopers and lancers to 3. These levels unlock potentials for them, so it can help. I'm not sure if those levels are required for this strategy. The basic strategy is that the "river" side takes too long to get there, so pushing up through the city side is the fastest way to go. Start by placing a shocktrooper in the top-left-most slot on the left ("city" side), and a scout in the only remaining spot on the right ("river" side). The other empty slots are unnecessary to fill. If you don't care about the last tank, you can spend 4 CP clearing the river side, using the "safe" method. To do this, start by using Rosie on the right. Run her due north (you may want to touch the grass to get the explanatory cutscene about crawling), past the bunker (try to get to the ramp) and then once you can't move further turn around and use a grenade to blow up the two scouts and the bunker behind her. Make sure you don't blow yourself up as well! Next, select Alicia and have her run due north all the way up to about halfway up the ramp, then turn to the right. When you get to the edge, you should see an enemy ace in the bushes get up to try to shoot you. Quickly go into targeting mode before he can and then lob a grenade at him. He'll hide back in the grass, but if you hit him with the grenade this will get him standing - and grenades never trigger counterattacks either. This is an important tactic you'll use a lot throughout the game. Once you've hit him, move to the other side of the ramp and then run up and quickly duck left around the corner and into the alley. Hopefully you were able to get the attention of the enemy shocktrooper leader without getting too shot up. Now, save the game and then reselect Rosie. Have her run up the ramp to the edge where the enemy ace is standing, and take him out. He's extremely hard to hit and evades nearly all the time, so try using a grenade if you can't seem to get him (although he evades those as well). Once he's dead, turn left and continue straight up the ramp as far as you can. Finally, reselect Rosie and run north as close as you can to the shocktrooper leader and blow him away - be sure to aim for his head. If Alicia did her job correctly, he'll never even turn your way. If you are crazy and want to get that last tank, you'll need to use the "not so safe" method to clear the river in 3 AP. Start by selecting the extra scout on that side. Run toward the ramp, ignoring fire, aiming to go up the ramp hugging the right edge. As soon as you see the enemy ace off to the right below you pop up, immediately go into target mode and toss a grenade at him. Do yourself a favor and try to aim it right behind him if you can, so he will get blown closer to the ramp. Then run away from him up the ramp, trying to duck into the alley on the left while also getting the shocktrooper leader's attention. You'll probably go down, but that's ok. (Yay cutscenes.) Next, SAVE and select Alicia. Head due north. You're aiming to continue straight and almost touch the right side of the bunker where the two scouts are, but continue in a straight line up the ramp. The reason is that if you're about a meter away from the edge of the ramp, the ace can't target you (you'll notice the sightline stays yellow). Once you get to about the point where you can see the enemy shocktrooper leader ahead of you, go into targeting mode and get ready to make a tough choice: you can either try to shoot the ace or hit him with a grenade. Unfortunately he evades SO much it's really frustrating either way; not to mention the shots might miss or the grenade may not completely kill him. Just keep at it. One trick for grenades: try to place them exactly on the ground right between the enemy's legs. They won't roll through, and that gets them right next to the target so the maximum amount of blast affects them. Once he is dead, immediately end the turn so the scouts don't continue to shoot you. SAVE again (unless you are so close to death you can't pull this next step off) and reselect Alicia, and this time run pretty much right at the shocktrooper leader. (You can also run to the right and use the tree to block a few shots and then get closer while he reloads.) Try to go into targeting mode right before you're about to get shot the last few times but get as close as possible, and then shoot him in the head. If you managed to kill the ace with your gun, you can take the much easier option of just chucking your grenade at him. Now that the river team is done, save again and select Largo. Run north through the small alley to your left using a tight path and try to get as close to the scout as you can without him hurting you too much, and blow him away. It isn't crucial that you kill him, but it will help you stay alive a bit later. Continue running out into the square just a bit and end your turn before you get shot much. (This is so you're out of the shocktrooper's way.) Now select your shocktrooper on that side and do your best to keep to as tight of a path as possible - it is crucial to run directly from point to point. First go due north again toward Largo and as soon as you get into the square, turn toward the bunker with a scout behind it next to the tank, at about 2 o'clock from where you entered. Start running toward the left side of that scout, but once you get past the bunker immediately on your right (just a couple meters into the square) go into targeting mode and aim for the scout leader off to the right, in the southeast corner of the square. Take him out, then continue toward that bunker you were heading toward and end your turn when you're out of AP. Reselect your shocktrooper, head to the bunker and over it (the scout should be on your right) and then turn back to due north and run toward the shocktrooper leader standing in the base. He is helpfully not crouching so run up and shoot him in the head; if he evades just reload. You should be able to just make it over the bunker where he was before you run out of AP - be sure you made it this far and push as far north as possible. Then, save and reselect Largo. You want to run to the RIGHT side of the same scout now, just past the bunker, so that you can see the exposed core of the leader tank in the middle of the square but ALSO still see the "crouch" command. You can target it while still close enough to the bunker to crouch. Also, going into targeting mode BEFORE aiming is a good tactic because it saves you precious seconds of being shot. This is another trick you'll use throughout the game. Once you're in targeting mode, swing around and aim at the weak spot on the back of the tank. You'll know you're over it when the "shots to kill" number drops to 1. Blow it away and then quickly CROUCH and end your turn. Crouching isn't important if you are not trying to kill the last tank - in that case, Largo is done and it doesn't matter what happens as long as he gets the leader tank. But if you are trying to kill the last tank, you should have two CP left at this point. SAVE and then reselect Largo. Wait for the scouts to stop shooting you while you are still crouched. Then stand and run toward that last tank, getting as close as you dare before the shocktrooper in the base can chew you up. Go into targeting mode and then aim as best you can and blow the last tank away. This is not the miracle shot my original guide had, but it's still a difficult shot and lancers have terrible aim, so it still may take a while (it's much, much easier, though). When that's done, end Largo's turn. Whether you went for the last tank or not, the final CP goes to your shocktrooper, who needs to run forward just a touch and then kill the last enemy shocktrooper in the base so you can occupy it. If he gives you trouble, try a grenade - as long as you can blow him outside of the base, you can occupy it, whether he's dead or not. You should have just enough movement to make it all the way to the flagpole after that and hit "occupy." Your reward for the ace on this level is the shocktrooper weapon ZM MP 1(g). Its range is absolutely horrible but it does great damage. It's often worth trading range for stopping power on shocktroopers since they will often be in close quarters, so it might be worth giving to one of your troops. ================================ Episode 4 - Operation Cloudburst ================================ [5E004] A Rank - 2 phases CP: 9 Leaders: 4 Aces: 0 Tanks: 5 *Thanks to David for an idea about Rosie's path. You might be happy to learn that you actually get 2 phases for an A rank on this level (you can take up to 4 for a B rank), but if you want to get every tank and leader, you'll need to use every single AP you have and get a few mildly decent shots with your lancers. And, in order to catch the last tank, you will need to use a more advanced strategy that you don't learn about until later in the game. The "trick" to this level is that there are destructible walls your lancers can knock down to open shorter paths for your troops. The basic plan for this level is to push north to the first mini- base (you get no bonuses for grabbing bases, but they help a lot) then continue north through a wall and toward the final base. For your deployment put Rosie in the top-left spot, Largo next to her, and a shocktrooper positioned to the top-right. I will refer to this position as shocktrooper 2. Also, put a sniper on the right somewhere, put Alicia anywhere for CP (she won't move), and make sure at least one deploy spot is empty before you start (you'll see why). First, move Rosie north toward the northwest corner of the far building near some rubble, then select her again and continue on, turn right around the corner and shoot the shocktrooper hiding there. Push north and hide behind the first (west-most) rubble wall north of the dead enemy. Be SURE to go as far east as you can along that wall without exposing her too much to enemy sightlines from the north - this position is important. Next, take your sniper and climb the watchtower immediately northeast of your deploy position. You'll need two good shots, so save before each one (although they are not really that hard to get, since you're aiming at large targets). You will suddenly see lots of enemies, especially tanks - but more importantly, lots of ragnite canisters. You will be aiming for these, because each one is positioned to blow up near a tank and hurt them badly. Note: enemy tanks that are not "on" do not count! They also don't show on your map as enemies. They gain you nothing so don't waste time blowing them up - however, they are often in the way, which is a pain. For your first shot, aim for the canister near the southeast leader tank (east of the southern base) and blow it up. This will badly injure that tank. Then, reselect and look north to shoot the canister near the second leader tank due north to do the same. Once you've blown up both canisters, get down out of the watchtower to protect your sniper from getting shot by tanks. Next, move shocktrooper 2 northeast and take out the poor surprised scout near the first base. Then save your game and move Largo northeast as well and head him as far toward that leader tank as possible. Shoot it and finish it off. It's a slightly tricky shot, so if you miss, just reload. Next, reselect shocktrooper 2 and go east toward the enemy scout leader and take him out. You can try to get behind some cover if you have any movement left, but their sniper's aim is pretty bad, so don't sweat it (and it doesn't matter if this troop goes down, as you won't use them again). Next, reselect Largo and run toward the base and occupy it. You'll want to end Largo's movement as far to the northwest of the base area as possible, but definitely within that area. You can tell if you're in the base area because "retreat" will be an option and you'll see a little "Status UP" boost in the bottom right. Before you end his turn, aim your lance toward the half-wall to the northwest of his position (at about 11 o'clock from the base). Shoot and take out that wall, and end your turn in the base. (For best results, take out the wall first and then make sure Largo isn't targetable by any tanks wherever he stops moving.) That's 8 CP down. Now, in the overhead map, place your cursor over the blue flag symbol for the base that you just captured and hit the action button. This will bring up a list of troops you can call in from that base. Calling troops costs 1 CP and you have to have a free deploy spot available, but it's a great way to get slow units around the battlefield. You'll learn more about this tactic in episode 6. Go ahead and call one of your lancers with your last CP and your phase will be over. The enemy will take a few sniper shots at you and otherwise waste time. When it is your turn again, Largo will be full of ammo. Save, and then select him and run toward the hole you just opened. You'll want to run slightly to the left of some of the rubble, and then duck back to the right around an inert tank, through a narrow opening between the inert tank and the building, headed north. As soon as you clear the inert tank, go into targeting mode, turn left, and shoot the back of the normal tank to blow it up. Push north if you can and end your turn. Now save and select Rosie. You'll want to circle left around the wall where you were just standing, headed generally northwest. Continue through this short path and you should see a ragnite container to the northwest (next to some rubble but blocking your path) and a hidden shocktrooper leader just behind it to the north. Position yourself so that your targeting circle overlaps the ragnite container when you target the shocktrooper's head, and then shoot them both. (Don't stand too close to the ragnite!) This should kill the leader and blow up the ragnite, clearing a path for you to continue northwest toward the enemy base. Push as far as you can, then switch back to Largo. You are ultimately aiming for the back of the northwestern-most normal tank, so start heading that direction and try to avoid all the rubble in the street. As soon as you get into the street - or soon thereafter - the wounded leader tank will start to shoot you. Try to get as far as you can before it does, and then target the front of that tank - so that the "shots to kill" drops to 1 - and fire. This isn't a terribly hard shot but lancers are generally bad at aiming, so it may take a try or two. Once it's gone, continue north / northwest toward the back of the other tank. When you run out of AP, save and reselect Largo again and push as far as you can, ignoring the scout. Shoot the tank; once again it is a tricky shot so if you don't blow it up in one hit, reload. Unlike the "extra" tank to the east, it's pretty important to get this one. That's 4 CP and 4 enemies down. At this point, it takes at least 3 more CP to run Rosie up, clear the base, and occupy it. That leaves you with 2 CP to take out the final tank off to the east. It's only worth 300 XP and gold, so if you find that Rosie just can't make it to the base in 3 CP, it's fine to skip it - although she should have some room to spare. To take out the final tank to the east, select the second lancer that you called from your captured base. Move this unit east between the inert tanks and slightly left toward the tiny alley between where shocktrooper 2 is probably standing and the sniper. Go east down this alley as far as you can, hugging the right wall, and then go into targeting mode and aim for the breakable wall toward the end of the alley on the left. It shouldn't be too hard to hit, but if you have a hard time it's not necessary; it just makes your next shot easier. Either way, reselect your lancer and continue east. Run up behind the tank (either straight for it or through the break in the wall) and blow it away. It's not a particularly hard shot, especially without the wall. Once you finally kill it, save the game and select Rosie again. Have her bum-rush the final base, ignoring enemy fire. Once you get as far as you can, throw your grenade to get the shocktrooper in the base to stand. Aim just to the left of him so you're sure to get the bunker down as well. Quickly end the turn, then reselect and finish him off. Push into the base as far as you can, and then reselect a final time and turn and take out the final scout crouching there. You should have enough AP to get to the flag and see the word "Occupy" on your screen. =============================== Episode 5 - The Kloden Wildwood =============================== [5E005] A Rank - 4 phases CP: 9 Leaders: 6 Aces: 1 Tanks: 1 Boss: 1 This one isn't as hard as the last one, and you end up with enough CP to snag all the bonuses as well as finish the map in 4 phases. I recommend saving before every enemy phase, just in case they get a lucky shot. Note that skirmish 2 opened up just before this map; it's worth doing that to at least get your shocktroopers and lancers up to level 5 before you begin. The trick to this map is once again using destructible items in your environment to create safer / shorter paths. Also, it is important to note that when you breach the enemy's main base, a boss tank will show up. YOU GET NOTHING for killing this tank - not even a tank-killed bonus - so don't bother! The only advantage is that once it is dead, all remaining enemy units will disappear. Frankly, by the time you get a lancer all the way up to the point where you can kill this guy, everyone else will pretty much have to be dead anyway. Also, I am unsure if this will cut short your bonus for killing enemy leaders if you happened to have left any on the field - but I'm guessing it probably does, making this extra not helpful. Also, the story doesn't change one way or the other. I've included instructions for how to do this if you're crazy and want to see one extra cutscene, but it requires much tighter use of your CP. You'll need two good shocktroopers and one good lancer. I recommend Rosie for shocktrooper 1, anyone good in short-range fights for shocktrooper 2, and Largo for the lancer. Shocktrooper 1 will be positioned in the furthest east spot on the northern deployment point, with Largo next to them as far east as he can go. Shocktrooper 2 will be deployed on the furthest east spot on the southern side. Your other troops don't matter, but if you have trouble with running around mines you can put an engineer on the northern side. Finally, put Alicia anywhere for CP. The general strategy here is to have your first super sol- er, I mean shocktrooper go along the northern path and take out everything on it, pushing into and across the main base. Your lancer will cut across the middle of the map and clear the tank from the southern base, and your second shocktrooper will push up the middle and into the main base to support the first one. Begin by taking your northern shocktrooper and pushing them east. Avoid the landmine in your path and try to circle around the houses. You should be able to make it far enough to target the anti-tank unit; take it out with regular fire (note: the unit and the guy driving it are just one enemy, so you can just aim for any part of it). If you have trouble reaching it, use an engineer to clear the mine (and then get them out of the way). Immediately reselect this unit and push over the sandbags toward the enemy scout leader slightly south; take him out (poor guy never sees you coming). Occupy the base, and then push as far east as you can toward the path. I like to stop just to the left of the 3 boxes on the ground, slightly behind the embankment that forms the right wall of the narrow path that continues left. The idea is to try to position yourself as far east as you can, but not to where you are completely exposed, as someone will likely be shooting at you soon. Be sure to end your turn facing east (down the path). Next, select Largo and push him east along the same path (avoid the mine again!). When he's out of AP, select him again and continue toward the 3 boxes just east of the camp. Take out one of those boxes with your lance (I hit the far right one, to avoid splash damage on my ally and because it's the most efficient way) and you'll open up a short path through the woods. Push through as far as you can, bearing right (south) toward the southern camp. Reselect and continue as far as you can (which isn't very far) south through the woods. This move isn't strictly necessary, but it will buy you some wiggle room next phase. (If you used your engineer, you won't have a CP for this, but hopefully he got a little further because you didn't have to run around the mine.) Lastly, take your second shocktrooper and move east toward the fallen logs. Use a grenade to clear them and push on. Then, reselect this unit and run them even further down toward the enemy's southern camp. Save, then reselect again and push southeast in front of the tank (not too close!), aim and take out one of the lancers flanking the medium tank. You shouldn't have much trouble killing either of them from this range if you aim for their heads. Reselect again and take out the other one, then double back slightly so that you can put the last tree on that path between you and the tank. This position is extremely important! Doing this will keep the tank from blowing you away (it probably won't even attack you). Finish facing the tank. Save the game and end the phase. Since there are many enemy units and they have a lot of CP, predicting what the enemy does is slightly harder. However, they will likely move around a bunch and an enemy leader shocktrooper will run west down the northern path toward your first shocktrooper. If your southern shocktrooper does get killed, just reload (probably to an earlier save so you can position them slightly better). On your turn, select shocktrooper 1 and take out the enemy leader immediately in front of you, and continue east down the path. (If he didn't run at you, be aware that he'll be ahead of you and take him out when you see him.) There will be another landmine to avoid, and around the corner a second shocktrooper. Push as far as you can under fire, then reselect the same unit and take that shocktrooper down as well. Continue pushing east again once that's done. Next, save and reselect the same unit and push all the way down the path, avoiding a final landmine, and head toward the gate in the fence. Immediately before the fence, on the right, is a hidden area with another shocktrooper leader. You should be able to push far enough so that you can chuck a grenade over the embankment and take him out. If you somehow have enough AP left to get to the gate, do not go through it. Next, save the game and select Largo. He will need to make a somewhat precise shot, so be aware. First, push south down to the chain link fence gate, being sure to keep it or a tree or something between you and the shocktrooper on the other side as long as possible. You are going to run like a madman through the gate and immediately target the weak spot on the medium tank on your right. You should be able to take it out in one hit before it takes you down. As soon as you have control back, run back through the gate and duck left (south) to the other side of the chain link. That's right: chain link is magically bulletproof and impenetrable, but you can still see through it. Hopefully, you will still be alive - but if not, that's ok, as he is now done (and your shocktrooper will be coming through soon and can call a medic for him if necessary). The only reason you need Largo to live is if you want to take out the boss later. Also note: technically you can do this in two turns if you messed up your path earlier and don't have enough AP to make it into the base, but it will keep you from trying to get the boss (which is pointless so don't worry about it). Now take control of your second shocktrooper. Move this unit toward the base as far as you can without getting the enemy shocktrooper's attention, and when you get close chuck a grenade at him to get him standing. Quickly end your turn, reselect and shoot him down. Push forward into the base while the scout shoots at you (crouch if you want); you'll need to run in over the bunker because the scout blocks the direct path. Finally, select this unit again, kill the enemy scout leader, occupy the base, and end your turn crouching and facing northeast (up the path). Make sure you're in the base for the extra defense and healing (you'll want to crouch near the north corner; you'll know you're in the base because of the "status up" in the bottom right) then save the game and end your phase. (You should have one or two CP remaining, depending on how well your lancer did.) At this point, there are fewer enemies (and less enemy CP), but there are still several different paths they may take. The main issue is the enemy ace, who is a named shocktrooper and very dangerous. He'll either run down the main path towards shocktrooper 2, or toward the back of the base and shocktrooper 1. Most of the time he went for shocktrooper 1 for me, since 2 was well-bunkered. This is good because 2 has a worse time dealing with him. On your third phase, save your game and then move whichever shocktrooper is near the enemy ace toward him as best you can. This guy can be extremely difficult to kill, as he has an extremely high chance to evade your attacks. If you can catch him out of his line of sight somehow, that's good. Otherwise, my best effort was to run up point-blank (which is VERY painful) and then aim at a spot just -between- his knees or a little higher - that is, aim so that your targeting reticule is NOT red, but the main part of your targeting area includes his legs. This is pretty cheap, but the idea is that if you are not actually targeting him, he may not evade - and as long as your bullets hit his legs, that still counts as shots on him. (Another thing you can do if he runs toward shocktrooper 2 is to call a sniper at the end of the last phase from the southern base and deal with him that way.) In any case, once he's dead, either push on toward the base if shocktrooper 2 took him out, or run into and across the base if shocktrooper 1 attacked him (see below for details). Either way, as soon as you enter the base this triggers a cut scene and the enemy boss will appear. (If he didn't run out, the enemy ace may be hiding in the westernmost corner of the base - take a CP to take him out!) Once the ace is dead, the idea is to run shocktrooper 1 across and to the southern side of the enemy camp, where there are some piles of stacked wood behind a house. (You can also run directly across the camp to some boxes between two houses; it just makes it a little trickier for shocktrooper 2, since they will need to run and gun a bit more instead of use a grenade.) Use a grenade to clear the wood (or boxes) and run around and behind the houses, pushing northeast toward the base, but stop before you get close to the little alley on the left (I tend to stop behind the small tent on the right). Next, move shocktrooper 2 toward the main entrance of the base (ignore the anti-tank mines) and have them move to the right and also go behind that same house toward shocktrooper 1. This will take 2 CP. Reselect shocktrooper 2 and run near the little box beside the tent in front of you, and then take a grenade and throw it into the alley that you can't quite see into, just up and to the left. Angle left as hard as you can and still get it to land in the alley. This should blow up a scout standing there and severely injure a black shocktrooper. (If you took the other path, the grenade may not make it and you'll need to run in and shoot both of them.) Note that black troops are basically "elite;" they're tougher than normal, but do not count as leaders and there is no additional bonus for killing them. Unfortunately, we need to kill the ones on this map. Now reselect shocktrooper 1 and run into the alley and blow this guy away. End your turn facing the other black shocktrooper across the base in another alley, close enough so that he is shooting you (so you can hit him in a second). Now reselect shocktrooper 2 and go into the alley and push far enough that you can target and shoot the black shocktrooper across the base. Normally this would be difficult but with both of you together you shouldn't have much trouble. Note that this will probably take 2 CP since you have practically no AP left on shocktrooper 2. If it takes more than 2 CP to inch up there, that's ok (you will miss killing the boss tank, but that's ok). End your turn with this troop facing into the middle of the base like shocktrooper 1. (The reason you are standing here is because the tank has a tremendously difficult time targeting this area, and will try but end up just wasting several AP trying to get to you.) It'd be nice if you could rush the base and end the mission this round, but I found that I never really had enough movement left to cover the remaining distance as well as take out everyone (at this point, there are probably 4 enemies standing in the base, including a scout leader, a crouching shocktrooper, and two black shocktroopers). On the other hand, for some reason the enemy rarely ever leaves a fortified position to attack you, so standing nearby should be fine. Now, if you are somewhat insane and would prefer to destroy the boss tank, you will need to use your last 3 CP this phase. Select Largo and start running him up toward the base, ignoring the mines again. You will need to spend 3 CP to get him close enough (which is probably all you have left). Try to position him near the southern side of the enemy camp, out of sight from the tank and the anti-tank gun. End your turn facing the main part of the camp, since the tank will likely take a shot at you, but thankfully you heavily resist mortar rounds. (If you die, reload and try a slightly different position.) Save, and end the phase. The enemy will probably move the tank several times in a fruitless attempt to get at the shocktroopers in the alleyway. He may also issue orders, and someone might try to run around and shoot your shocktroopers (HA!). Hopefully, no one will die. After the enemy's turn is done, save, and select one of your shocktroopers. At this point, it's pretty free-form, but you'll need to run toward the base and run to the right. Try to line up as many enemies in your line of fire as possible and let loose, although you can still kill them one at a time and be fine. You may also need to use a grenade on the bunker where a shocktrooper is crouching to get him to stand up (if he is there). The good news is that the boss tank will probably be positioned so that standing in the base area is safe from its attack. Just use both of your shocktroopers and the gobs of CP you have left to take everyone out. I personally ran one troop around to the right, killed the scout, and then used a grenade from the other shocktrooper, and then used combo shots to take out everyone else. Just mind the tank and try to avoid getting the black shocktroopers to turn around until you can nail them. But between your two shocktroopers and their two grenades, you should be able to get it clear with plenty of CP to spare. Once again, if you are slightly insane you'll need to save 3 or 4 CP for the very end. Once everyone in the base is dead, don't occupy it. Instead, select Largo and run him up following the same path behind the houses toward the base, then through the base and behind the tank. This will take 2 or 3 CP, depending on the position of the tank. Shoot its tiny weak spot to take it out. After the cut scene, use your last CP to occupy the base and end the mission. Your reward for the ace is the ZM MP 2(g). If you liked the ZM MP 1(g), you may as well use this instead. ============================== Episode 6 - A Desert Encounter ============================== [5E006] A Rank - 3 phases CP: 10 Leaders: 5 Aces: 1 Tanks: 3 *Thanks to Chris and Jon for pointing out the hidden enemy ace. Yay snipers! Get ready for a lot of reloading for missed shots. But with 10 CP and 3 phases, the good news is that you will have plenty of time to get to the enemy base and take out all leaders and tanks. However, the deployment of your team (or rather, lack of) is absolutely critical, and there are some slightly tough lancer shots toward the end that are needed to take out all the tanks - so be sure to save often. The general strategy for this map is to deploy a skeleton crew of a sniper and CP-boosters at first, push to the middle base quickly, and then call the rest of your crew from there. You'll save a lot of CP this way on this long map. Also worth noting is that there are very few hidden enemies, since you have great sightlines and lots of open space. Lastly, once you push past the middle base, whenever you get there you'll trigger a sandstorm that will last until the end of the enemy's next phase. It will then start again at the beginning of every other one of your phases (so if you trigger it on phase 1, it will come back on phase 3, 5, etc.). It is important to control this effect to your own advantage. First, you'll need to deploy your team exactly this way: load one sniper on the western (left) point of the eastern deploy zone. On the main team, load Rosie and another shocktrooper that you don't care about in front on the left and right, Alicia behind them, and Largo somewhere in the back. Largo and Rosie are only there to boost CP; Rosie's horrid in a dessert and a lancer can't do anything useful from this far back. The two shocktroopers are actually set up as a distraction to the enemy and won't be moving. Do not deploy anyone else! That should give you 3 remaining (empty) slots. Start the mission. The sniper will need to act first, and they will need to take out 3 targets in just 3 shots. Before you begin, search the overhead map for a scout leader to the northeast, near a sideways T. That is your first target; save and then select the sniper. Look down and to the right; you should see him with his head juuuust poking out. Take him out. All these shots are hard, so don't be discouraged if you miss a few times - just reload. Once he's dead, save, and look at your map again. North of the now-dead scout is an ancient building with a shocktrooper leader and two scouts near a base. Your next two sniper targets are there, but first Alicia will be running toward that spot. Select Alicia and have her run northeast into the giant trench that cuts a huge rock in two, between the rocks, and then turn left (north) toward that ancient building while staying in the trenches. Before you actually jump down into the trench, stop and shoot the scout to your left along the way; it's a close shot and you shouldn't have any trouble. Once she's gone as far as she can (the enemy leader shocktrooper may notice you but you shouldn't be in range), end her turn, save, and reselect your sniper. Move your sniper as far forward and to the right as you can (northeast) on their little perch. Look through your scope at that building; you should see a standing sniper, a standing shocktrooper leader, and a crouching sniper on top. Your next two actions are to kill the standing sniper and shocktrooper leader by shooting them both in the head. Once that's done, your sniper is out of bullets and done for the encounter. You may want to move them back south toward the wall and completely out of the way on their last move. Next, select Alicia again and run all the way to that building, up the stairs to nearly the top, and chuck a grenade at the final sniper. Once he's dead, run back down the stairs and over a bunker to the middle base and occupy it. (Oddly you can't jump down from the building or stairs.) Try to move her to the east so that she is out of any enemy sightlines, including the lancer just to the north, as the tanks can and will shoot at her in the base if she's just standing there. As long as you see the blue Status UP symbol in the bottom right, she'll get the bonuses for being in the base. Next, use 3 CP to request your best lancer (or later when you're running this map as skirmish 4 and you have access to the 2 CP Damage order - which you get when your lancers are level 7 - get a scout instead) and two more shocktroopers. That's 8 of 10 CP so far; end the phase. Hopefully the enemy will waste a lot of time moving tanks or otherwise advancing on your extremely well-defended position at your main base. Rosie and the other shocktrooper should keep it pretty safe, and their lancers shouldn't be able to do much to you. On your next phase, you'll have 12 CP. First, start by selecting your least favorite shocktrooper at the middle base. Have them run due west past a lancer - watch for the landmines! - and keep running like a madman toward the crouching lancer leader in the trench to the west. At the end of your AP, fire at him. Then, reselect, run in, and shoot him to death. After that, try to back off a bit and be sure to crouch down, but otherwise just find as decent a spot to hole up in as you can with your remaining AP and then ignore this unit completely. They will draw some serious fire but their job is done (which was to take out that enemy leader). You can end your turn facing west since we'll be killing everyone behind you who is close. (Optionally, you can try to spend another CP to back off a bit, but honestly that trench is the best spot you'll be able to find with the AP you'll have left.) Next, select the second shocktrooper you called in and run north / northwest toward the enemy shocktrooper who is foolishly standing in a trench. Execute him and keep moving. At this point, the sandstorm will start. You'll end up spending 3 more CP to do all this, but continue to move your shocktrooper north toward the crouching enemy shocktrooper in the trench in the middle of the map (NOT the leader shocktrooper to the west, but the one in the middle, near the northern end of the trench). Throw a grenade when you can to hit him and make him stand up, and then use your final (fourth with this unit) move to shoot him down (if he isn't already dead) and then take cover and crouch in the trench about where he was, facing northwest. Now save the game and select your lancer, and follow that similar path toward where your shocktrooper ended up, but more east. Your goal is to push all the way to the northeastern corner of that trench, so that you actually end up juuuust behind and to the west of the easternmost light tank. This should happen after about 3 CP. (I like to run toward the northernmost light tank. It's about the right line to take, and an easy landmark in all that sand.) This is a slightly tricky shot, but shoot that tank in the back and destroy it. Afterwards, be sure to save again and then move into the trench and crouch. It's really hard to detect where you need to be to crouch, but do the best you can; you'll see the crouch command come up when you're in the right spot. Technically you can use an extra CP here if you need another shot or have a hard time finding the trench. (If you have access to the Damage order and brought a scout in before, give a Damage order to the scout and move that scout along the same path and navigate behind the tank; take it out, and then head for the trench and crouch.) For your last turn, select Alicia and move her all the way up to the left side of your lancer (or scout), stopping before you leave the base to shoot the lancer whose back is turned to you on your way if you want. Get in the trench and crouch. Save your game, then end the phase with 1 (or zero) CP left. At this point, the enemy's moves will be harder to predict, but they will have limited CP, and they always call for reinforcements with one. They usually call snipers, and at this point an additional sniper will probably have shown up in the base. They will probably move their tanks around, and may try to hit your poor lone shocktrooper back in the middle of the map. The sandstorm will generally help you. However it happens, so long as your 3 northernmost units survive and have a few HP, you're good to go. On your turn, save and then run your lancer north toward the middle light tank. Ignore the anti-tank mines. If you're low on HP, it's ok to run pretty wide around it - you actually have enough AP to get what you need done. Run to behind that tank, get close, and blow it up. Continue to move slightly west after that if you can, and then save your game. The next shot is a hard one. Reselect the lancer, move west (behind the enemy shocktrooper leader, if you want - he is amazingly inattentive) and as south as you can without getting the shocktrooper's attention, and then aim for the final tank. This is a tricky shot, and you should still have 2 shots left and can try twice before you need to reload the game. Also, you can spend a few extra CP moving if it helps. In fact, I recommend spending at least 2 CP on this, and don't fire until the end of your second CP, so you can have a third CP and 2nd shot ready to use if you miss. The shocktrooper may chew you up a bit, but this is all you have left to do. (Alternately, if you have access to the Damage order, give it again to your scout and they should have plenty of movement to take out both of those tanks; it's a much easier shot - just be sure not to draw attention from the shocktrooper in the base.) Once that tank is finally gone, save and then select your shocktrooper. Push them southwest toward the crouching shocktrooper leader, and chuck a grenade to get him on his feet. Reselect, push forward again and take him out (if the grenade didn't kill him). Don't go too far west, though, because after that you'll need to do an about-face and run north / northeast toward the final enemy shocktrooper leader. Try to stop short of his firing range. Finally, select Alicia and run northeast toward a small group of suspicious ancient walls. Head between them and you'll notice an enemy ace sniper hiding back here on the right. Shoot him in the back of the head and then go due west toward the enemy base, circling north just a touch to get behind that enemy shocktrooper. The idea is that you need to get her up there and behind him without him noticing you. Reselect her, move into the base, and chuck a grenade from behind him to get him standing. If the reinforcement unit (probably a sniper) is also crouching next to him, be SURE to hit him with the blast so that he is standing as well. Immediately end Alicia's turn before she gets mangled, and then reselect your shocktrooper. Move north - hopefully you'll have just enough AP to get into decent range - and shoot the final shocktrooper leader in the back, killing him. (This tactic - shooting one enemy from two different directions to avoid cover fire - is something else you'll do throughout the game.) Lastly, reselect Alicia, execute the remaining sniper with headshots if he's still alive, and occupy the base. I finished with 2 CP remaining after all this, so you have a bit of wiggle-room here and there if you need to take another turn to position someone better or take an extra shot, although you do need to make sure you are taking out everyone who needs to be taken out each turn. The enemy ace drops a ZM SG 1(g) sniper rifle which is absolutely horrible. Snipers care about range and accuracy and this one has neither. On the other hand, if you actually hit anything, you may be able to kill it without a headshot. ================================= Episode 7 - The Battle at Barious ================================= [5E007] A Rank - 9 phases CP: 10 Leaders: 0 Aces: 1 Tanks: 1 (the required boss counts as your tank kill) Boss: 2 Wow. This battle doesn't so much have a set strategy as "things you should try to accomplish." 9 phases seems like a lot, but the problem isn't you having enough time to get things done - it's waiting on the enemy to do things, which is never good. The main issue is that the battle changes several times, including one drastic change that will totally rearrange your strategy. This section will guide you on how I survived (and got the ace along with the A rank), but note that it is a very hard battle and I recommend saving constantly - in different slots - and everyone's final strategy will be different. Also note that if you've been getting A ranks, done each of the skirmishes on Easy and Normal, and had at least one bonus mission, it should be trivial to have all your troops to level 7 by now. I also recommend loading all the +accuracy items that you have onto your tank. First off, here's what you need to know about the flow of battle: - The giant boss tank has 6 turrets. These are best dispatched by one tank shot and one lancer shot - or at least, that's how much it took for me. If you can't do it that quickly, don't fret; 4 AP per turret is not bad, either (use two tank shots, since they are infinite). It's a VERY good idea to kill all of them. (I'd recommend saving between shots, too.) - In fact, I would recommend killing every single thing on the map. You'll have plenty of time to do it, and that will get them out of your way for later when you need to be able to roam more freely - and keep them from stealing your bases and calling reinforcements. - Once the boss has taken 2 turns, on its third turn it will overrun your middle base. If you still have troops there, don't sweat - surprisingly, getting run over by a mountain doesn't really hurt. At this point, your goal changes: you need to knock down two ragnite walls by hitting them on the flat side with a lancer. There are five on the map; you can see them on the command mode. You don't need to hit the westernmost one directly in front of the tank (it's already knocked over), but the next two are critical. The final two don't really matter either, since it will hopefully never make it that far. - Once the boss tank stops to shoot a broken wall with its main gun, it will expose three radiators which you can then destroy. It took me 4 lancer shots each (or one grenade - see the note at the end of this episode below). You can also take them out with tank shots, although it's a little harder and still takes 2 shots. You will need to climb the helpful ladders on the sides of the thing to get to them, although you can shoot them from the ground - it's just harder. I recommend damaging each radiator 3 times with your lancers before destroying two of them, so that they all have 1 hit left. Once you break one, the remaining ones retract. They will not heal themselves. - Once you have broken two radiators, the game changes. Another super boss shows up in the northeastern corner of the map with a small squad of elites and an ace, and at this point, strategy is mostly a matter of luck and reloading. You can be smart about it, but the super boss is invulnerable to ALL attacks. She also can and will kill ANYONE but Welkin without batting an eyelash (and can take him out if his weak spot is exposed). - When you finally destroy the third radiator, you will STILL need to blow up the giant boss tank! There are no weak spots, but you can't really miss the thing, either. It took me 6 lancer shots and 3 tank shots (or 2 lancer shots and 8 tank shots), but by the final turn you'll probably have 20 CP without a problem - you just need troops left alive who can use it! To begin: Place two good lancers on the northern deploy spot (Largo is a good choice here). The third spot is a good place for Alicia - she'll grant you some bonus CP and also be able to get out of there fairly easily. However, you could leave this spot blank, too - you don't really need bonus CP for this map, and you'll see why. For the lower side, I recommend putting an engineer on the northernmost point (hilariously, the boss tank sometimes misses this spot entirely when moving through), a good shocktrooper below that, and then on the bottom row two more lancers and another shocktrooper to cover them in the middle (like Rosie). Your first phase, use your two northern lancers and your tank to take out the far front and front-left turrets and return the lancers to the trench. These are hard shots, so be sure to save between them. Use range to your advantage - those turrets will murder anyone who gets close enough, although your tank should be immune. Generally, you won't need to move the tank much. Once that's done, end your phase. The boss will move but otherwise not do much. The ground troops will close in on your southern position. There are a lot of places they may go, but the scout (if he doesn't kill himself attacking your shocktroopers) will aim for the southwestern base, along with the sniper. The rest will try to flank, or just hang out. On your next phase, move your tank east and use it and your two lancers to take out the back-left turret and the far rear turret. (These shots aren't as bad.) Try to make sure your tank doesn't leave itself open to their lancer. Also, behind your tank is a good place to park your lancers when they're done. Next, you'll want to take your western shocktrooper and run south and around to the east and take out the enemy scout. Also get their sniper. Make sure you're out of range of the turrets and behind something. End your phase. The boss tank will overrun your middle base (your engineer will be fine) and your goals will change. This phase gets a little tougher but you should have tons of CP by now. First, like previous turns, take your tank and two lancers and advance and take out the right two turrets. Whew - breathing room. Park your lancers in the trench with your allies, crouching if you can, and make sure the tank is facing the giant boss, although you can leave yourself exposed to the lancer because we're about to take him out. Once the turrets are dead, take your already moved shocktrooper and do your best to take out the two enemy shocktroopers. Hopefully you'll be able to get them both with this one unit. End this unit somewhere safe - crouching, behind a wall, etc., or just retreat them if you're near a base. After that, run your still-trenched shocktrooper up the slope and take out that lancer. This should clear all the troops. Now, take one of your trenched lancers and run southwest up the slope so that you can get a good shot at the two ragnite walls you need to knock over. You'll want to aim for the western one that is still standing (southwest of your starting position) and the southern one (south of your starting position). Your tank may also be able to nail one. Either way, you only need to hit those two. Be sure to aim for the flat side (not the edge). You can head back toward your comrades if you have movement left, but try to stay behind cover or crouching. Once all that is done, end your phase. The boss tank will move south and take out the first ragnite wall. Once this happens, on your turn move one of your trenched lancers to the far (currently northern) side of the thing and go up the ladder and shoot the radiator three times. I recommend descending down the ladder between each shot; the game occasionally glitched for me and caused the "descend" option to be unavailable if I didn't use it between turns, which was weird. (Note: if you -do- get stuck on the thing, don't worry - once it moves you will fall off but this does no damage. It does leave you rather exposed, however.) Hit it three times and then crouch near the remaining bunkers in what used to be your base. Then, take another lancer and go up the nearest (currently south) ladder and hit that side three times. Then, re-trench (or at least crouch) this lancer as well. At this point, you can try to hit the rear radiator as well, but that's not as crucial. I just went and finished off the northern side. You could also use your tank to shoot the southern side if you did hurt all three. (See the note at the end of this episode below for a slightly different idea about radiators.) Once this happens, you'll hit a cutscene. Go ahead and end your phase. The enemy will advance, and probably shoot your tank with its rear cannon. That one packs a punch, but it should not take you out. On your next phase, the best thing you can do is start to move your troops into better positions. Advance your lancers so that they can get to the boss in one move, but be sure to stay out of the 180 degree arc directly behind it. Use the engineer to repair your tank (do this by targeting it and selecting the repair tool), refill your lancers (just get near them), and park them nearby. Also, try to keep people crouched, and do NOT go around the "corner" of the bottom side- wall. In other words, keep your lancers and your engineer in the "inner" area where you started, and do not go into the long trench that slopes upward toward the ancient dome (marked as "Trench A4" on the map). You should also move your tank down to the bottom of that side wall as well, to keep it near the boss but not behind it. Next, what I did was to move all my remaining troops - scout, two shocktroopers, and lancer - up to about the top of the long trench near the dome (marked as "Trench A3" on the map). Have them face northeast, or to the left of the dome from their position. However, you may instead wish to start moving ALL of these troops - except the lancer - to the far southwest base and start retreating them. If you're REALLY confident, once they're retreated, you can call in a sniper reinforcement and a shocktrooper to cover them from the southeast base for some fun shoot-miss- reloading action in a couple phases. (Although if you wait one more phase to call them, you won't have to worry about them drawing fire.) Once they're all good, end your phase. The enemy will advance and shoot the second ragnite wall, which is the first one you knocked down. This opens up its radiators again. However, before you run up there, be SURE to have all your other troops either stationed where you want them or retreated completely. Once you're all set, run one lancer up the back and shoot it three times if you haven't already - be sure it only needs one more hit. (I highly recommend making the rear radiator the last one.) Then, make sure that lancer is back in cover! Lastly, move a lancer up to the remaining side radiator and take it out. At this point, after another cutscene another super boss will show up with a small contingent of troops. DO NOT go near them. Move your lancer back down and run for cover - even behind a wall is better than nothing. Make sure your tank is hugging that side-wall and between the giant tank and your troops. Once you're all good, end your phase. At this point, the mission is sort of a crap-shoot, and it will probably play out differently every time. What happens next is that the super boss will zoom around and probably execute lots of your guys. What you WANT to happen is for her to get distracted by your tank and NOT go around it and shoot your lancers/engineer. The other enemies will advance as well; what happened for me was that my remaining units who weren't blown away by the super boss lucked up and pretty much took them all out in counterattacks, including the ace. However, this is really a matter of luck, and if you retreated your guys then they will obviously not stop anyone from advancing. The enemy will have 20 CP easily by this point, so expect it to be bad. And to top it off, the boss tank will only move forward and possibly fire at you. Not a good phase for you. Although, if you brought in some snipers you might have a chance to get a few yourself on your next phase - especially the ace for the bonus XP - but expect it to be tricky, and you still may get a few troops dropped. For the eighth phase, you have two specific things you need to get done - besides cleaning up any non-boss enemies left alive. (Your tank mortar rounds tend to do a good job of cleaning up the remaining non-boss enemies, and you'll probably be moving the tank anyway.) You should also have about 20 CP at this point, so take your time and be smart about it. Effectively, you need to move those lancers (and the engineer if you want) to behind the enemy boss tank. They need to squeeze behind it - or the other side if you can - and avoid the other super boss at all costs. She has about a 270 degree field of vision and can take down any troop with one volley. But, you have two things going for you here: first, her primary fire takes a short while to recharge, so you can wait for her to finish shooting and then make a dash. Second, she can't shoot through your tank, so you may need to move your tank slightly, then move the troops, then move the tank, and so on, until they are out of sight. If you still have anyone else left alive you can try to rescue your fallen friends, but you'll be done in less than 3 phases anyway. The main thing to keep in mind is to make sure you save however many CP you need to have 20 for your next and final phase. Hopefully on the enemy's next phase, the super boss simply won't massacre you. She doesn't seem to think about going behind the boss tank for some reason, but I wouldn't leave yourself exposed, either. She tends to just stand between your tank and the boss. They did next to nothing against me. Also, the boss tank should shoot the third ragnite wall - the second one you shot - thus exposing its radiator again. On your ninth phase, immediately run a lancer up the back (aren't you glad you left this one for last?) and take it out. (Your tank could do this as well if you can't make it back there due to the other boss.) At this point, you'll have one more cutscene and the boss tank is suddenly vulnerable. Use every lancer shot you have left, using the engineer to refill if you have to, or switch to your tank if you run out of shots. You should have plenty of CP left, even if your other leaders are downed, and be able to finish off the whole thing. Once that's done, you're finally finished! The ace drops a ZM Kar 2(g). Similar to the ZM Kar 1(g), it gives up range and accuracy for loads of damage. Note about the radiators: MANY people have written in to let me know that you can also use a single grenade instead of 4 lancer shots to take out the radiators once they are exposed. Barry Erkenbrack summed up this strategy nicely: "Once you climb up a ladder onto the tank, you can see that the radiator is open on top and is hollow inside - like a house with no roof. Just aim the grenade so that the aiming arc is on top of the radiator and throw the grenade and it will disappear inside and destroy the radiator in one go. [The grenade] also doesn't hurt the character standing right next to the exploding radiator for some reason... A scout ... can hide behind the rocks on the east side of the map, run up the side of the tank and toss in a grenade and run back to hiding in one turn." This seems like a completely viable tactic and you should certainly follow it if you find it useful. I haven't tested it, but it doesn't really change the core strategy. Why? Because first of all, saving CP is not something you really care about on this map. You have gobs of CP - you will max out at 20 easily - and while this will end up saving you about 9, it won't make the map end any sooner. Secondly, once the main tank gets disabled, you will still need at least one lancer to help take it out. You may be able to handle it with Welkin alone - he'll have 19 CP at best which is 9 shots - but using lancers guarantees you will take it out. Either way, it's up to you. ======================================= Episode 8a - The Woodland Snare ("Life") ======================================= [5E08A] A Rank - 4 CP: 3 Leaders: 2 Aces: 1 Tanks: 0 *Thanks to G-man for pointing out the magic flowers. This level is either EXTREMELY difficult or relatively easy, all depending on whether or not you figure out the secret trick to this map. In fact, I personally hate this level due to the cheap nature of this trick, and I apologize to everyone who tried to follow the version 1.00 of this guide, because while possible, getting an A rank without the trick makes this the hardest map in the game and extremely frustrating. (Also note that you should be able to level your scouts to at least 8 by now.) This map seems rather difficult when you start: you've got an enemy ace shocktrooper that you need to take out with two scouts, which isn't fun. There are security lights which trigger explosions, additional mortar fire at the end of each turn, Alicia is hobbling and can barely move, and did I mention there are an ample amount of mines thrown in for good measure - usually in hard-to-spot places? You may die several times, so save often - at least after each phase. And to top it all off, you only get 3 CP and you have to get BOTH Alicia and Welkin to the objective in 4 phases? Bleh! Sounds impossible, right? Well, it just about is - unless you figure out the tricks to this map. The main trick here is that in three locations on the map are special blue flowers that glow. Using these flowers will heal Alicia slightly each time, and increase the total distance she can cover with her AP - although they never stop her from hobbling (which is only dangerous when she's near an enemy). These were mentioned in one of the cutscenes I believe, but they are incredibly unintuitive to use. You have to have Alicia nearby, but only Welkin can actually trigger them. That's right: both of them have to be in a rather specific location for this to work. Yuck. The other trick to this map is mastering how to use security lights to your advantage. If you try to avoid them you might trigger them where they can kill you, but if you trigger them in the correct spots, the lights will stop chasing you and you can get past them easily. This is an important lesson you'll need for later on in the game as well. Start the map with Alicia. Move forward and hug the right wall. Near the end of her movement (watch for mines!), you'll see an enemy scout leader off to the left; turn and shoot him in the head. You'll be firing through trees but you'll know when you're targeting his head because the "shots to kill" count will drop to under 5. If you don't kill him, that's ok. Continue her movement hugging the right wall toward some glowing fireflies. Select her again and finish off the scout if you didn't before, and then push toward the fireflies, triggering a cutscene. You'll want to move through them and follow the path on the other (south-most) side of the berm. Don't worry about stopping near the glowing blue flower, but take note of its location on the right. Continue forward as far as she can go. Now, select Welkin, follow that same path (watch for mines!) and finish off the scout leader if he's not already dead. Go through the little path and head for the glowing flower. When you get close, you should see "view event" on your screen. Press the action button to see a short cutscene which heals Alicia slightly. After that, continue his movement through the path turning north, and head for the bridge (watch for the mine near the bridge!). You should end up juuuust at the edge of the bridge. If you need to end near the mine, be sure to fudge to the right side of the bridge so Alicia can get past you without stepping on the mine as well. On your next phase, start with Alicia. Move forward and north across the bridge, triggering another cutscene (if Welkin didn't already). Go across the bridge and then do your best to immediately trigger the searchlight. This makes sure it falls in a completely harmless area. Reselect Alicia and then turn left (west) and follow the left-most (southern) path. Toward the end you'll see a large rock on your right and some grass. If you move slowly here, you'll notice an enemy scout leader in the grass right before he can shoot you. Immediately go into targeting mode and toss a grenade at him, then immediately end your turn before he can shoot. Now, select Welkin. Move him across the bridge and take the same path, and once you get to Alicia stop just short of her and toss a grenade over the rock at the scout leader. If you hurt him pretty good before, getting your grenade anywhere close should kill him. (Alternately, you can just run around the corner and shoot him, but it's good to save your HP for the next phase.) Continue on past Alicia toward the next area with a searchlight. Here, it's best to avoid it. Welkin is fast enough that if you wait for it to pass, you can beat it. Take the right-most (northern) path here; the light travels clockwise and you want to take the counter-clockwise path. Continuing forward past the light you'll see the second glowing flower on your right, and a tree just past it. Stop Welkin just past the flower while the words "view event" are on your screen, and end his turn. End the phase. The mortars should fall harmlessly nearby. Start your next phase with Alicia once again. Move her all the way to the tree just past Welkin, but do NOT go around that next corner. (The trick here to avoid the clockwise spotlight with Alicia is to wait for it to pass, then make it to the tiny bush on the left side of the path and wait. If you're standing there, the light will miss you. It's not really necessary, though.) Now, save and then select Welkin and use the flower again. This heals Alicia quite a bit more. Now take Welkin forward around the corner and move to the right as quickly as you can, hugging the right wall tightly! You'll most likely get shot up a bit, and probably trigger another searchlight, but that's ok. You'll see an area with more fireflies on the right wall again - take note of its location. Continue north through the grassy area so that you're on the other (east) side of the rock from the two troops. Inch north juuuust enough to spy the enemy ace around the corner of the rock and toss a grenade to wound him. (You can't shoot him or he'll murder you.) I found that if you do not actually target him, just throw real close and behind him, it seems to lower the chance he might evade. If he does evade, that's ok, but it will make Alicia's job much harder - so it's best if you can hit him pretty hard (don't be afraid to reload). Once you've gotten his attention, run back south and turn left through the shortcut with the fireflies, and head north through that path. Once you get to the end, you'll see the third and final blue glowing flower to the north (and slightly left) of you, again on the right side of the path near a rock wall. Head toward that flower (try to avoid the light) and end your turn when you see the "view event" message. Save again. Now, select Alicia and go around the same corner, hugging the right wall again. The ace will be facing the other direction, so once you get a good shot at him, aim for his head and take him out. This is a very difficult shot; not only does he have a tremendous chance to evade, but you might have to shoot through tree branches again, depending on where Welkin's grenade sent him. You may need to reload a few times, but it is worth it for the weapon he drops. Once he's dead, shuffle through the grass and head north through the same secret path that Welkin used. You should come out in another patch of grass; go ahead and end your turn here. The enemy mortar fire will likely kill their final scout. On your last phase, start with Welkin. Use the flower and get the last cutscene (if she's not close enough, just skip it - it isn't necessary), and then head straight for the objective. Avoid the mines, but don't worry about the searchlights - it doesn't matter now if you trigger them. When it splits, the path on the right (south) is shorter and has fewer mines. He should make it to the objective easily. Now select Alicia and move her all the way to the end as well following the same path. It may take two CP if you weren't able to heal her a third time; otherwise that's it! Killing the ace nets you the ZM MP 3(g), which is an extremely powerful shocktrooper weapon with horrible range but tremendous firepower. Equip it immediately. ========================================================= Episode 8b - The Woodland Snare ("Reunion in the Forest") ========================================================= [5E08B] A Rank - 3 CP: 8 Leaders: 4 Aces: 1 Tanks: 2 The important facts you need to know about this mission are: to get Welkin to the tank, you'll need to run east down to the river valley, then back west to a ladder where the broken bridge is. And it's required, because there's a wall (behind the second enemy tank) that can ONLY be cleared by running your tank into it (nothing else damages it). Also, the mortar will make things tricky but a lancer can reach it at the very beginning and shut it down. (Don't forget to upgrade your equipment after the last battle!) For your deploy, I chose two shocktroopers on the front line (east-most), then two lancers behind them, and then a scout and a sniper. If you gave the ZM MP 3(g) to a shocktrooper, put them in the southern spot. It will help buy you a couple of AP, which can be nice. For the lancers, you want someone tough in the southern spot and someone accurate (if you can) in the northern spot (make sure Largo is one of these). First, start across the river and choose Alicia. Move her down and around to the east, take out the first scout, and then avoid the mine on the left as you run forward and take cover beside the house. Save, then select your northernmost lancer, run north toward the broken bridge, and take out the mortar. This is a very difficult shot so it will likely take many reloads, but it's really the only way to get this thing out of the way early. Run this lancer back to your camp and crouch; he's done (save again!). Next, select Welkin and run him along the northern path toward the house and take out the next scout waiting there. Push him ahead (watch for the mine around the corner of the fence!) and down the path as far as you can go. Now, select Alicia again, and continue her to the edge of the fence, around the corner, and target the shocktrooper leader who is conveniently facing the other way. Kill him, then run down the path to the first grassy area and take cover (face behind you). Reselect Welkin, and run him down the path (watch the multiple mines) and turn the corner right, running to the end of the second grassy area - and crouch (just in case). Next, select your northern shocktrooper and run toward the two snipers. Take out the first, save, and then take out the ace sniper. This guy evades like CRAZY so the best way to handle him is to run around the other side of the sniper nest and shoot him in the back (thanks to Jacklyn Theil for that tip!). Grenades also work. If you do throw a grenade, be aware that it is possible to take out the sniper nest ladder as well, so try to leave the nest intact - it's useful later. This should leave 1 AP; save and end the phase. The enemy will likely call reinforcements and then batter your tank. They may also beat on your forward, relatively-exposed shocktrooper. Hopefully their west-most tank will move up, and you won't suffer losses. On your next phase, you'll want to run Welkin the rest of the way down the path, up the ladder and to the group. At this point your tank will be healed completely, which is great. The rest of this phase is a little more free-form, depending on where the enemies have moved - so feel free to adjust the order as necessary. One nice trick you can do is take your northern shocktrooper, go up the sniper nest, and then throw a grenade into the southern enemy base (thanks to Jacklyn Theil for that tip as well!). Try to kill either the sniper and blow the shocktrooper out of the base and get his attention, or the other way around. Don't worry about the leader shocktrooper. You'll also want to push the Edilwess forward (toward the gate) and use a mortar blast to take out the crouching enemy shocktrooper and knock a few lancers back, and then continue forward at least to where the shocktrooper was (so you can reach the wall next turn). Be sure to leave some room on your left so a character can squeeze past you. Hopefully all lancers will still be in front of you at this point - otherwise don't go past them and expose your weak spot. Use your sniper to kill the enemy shocktrooper leader at range - you can run up a bit behind Welkin for some cover if the enemy light tank isn't in the way - and then park them anywhere out of the way (they're done). Your southern lancer is going to need to sadly run like a madman directly for the closer tank, run around behind it, and blow it away. This will likely be very painful but either you'll do it later, when only the scout and the light tank are shooting you, or you'll do it super early because the light tank is so far forward. If you do it later, be sure to crouch next to the bunker directly behind the tank. After those events have happened, move your battered southern shocktrooper all the way forward and take out the enemy scout leader. If you gave this person the ZM MP 3(g), they should be able to do it in one turn regardless of whether the scout is crouched. Otherwise, you may need to spend a turn chucking a grenade at him - careful of your lancer if they are nearby and don't blow up the bunker, either - and then spend another turn killing him. Either way be VERY careful not to get too close to the second tank or you will get mangled. Crouch here. At this point there should be only lancers, a tank, and a lone shocktrooper (or sniper) left on this side of the gate. Run your scout through the enemy lancers (who will ignore you) to the central base, stopping to shoot the last shocktrooper or sniper in the back of the head. Your job is to grab the base (since this ruins their reinforcement call) and then crouch - or retreat, if you want to be more conservative. Either way, mind the tank and act quickly. If you killed the scout leader in one turn, on your last AP heal your lancer if he needs it and move him up near the crouching shocktrooper and crouch there as well. If he doesn't need to heal, take another lancer out on your way. (This is optional, it just helps get him into a better position - however, you can save the AP for the next phase if you want to do the same thing.) On the enemy's phase, it will probably try to hit the tank a bunch, and it may take out the scout - that's ok, though, their job is done. Reload if your tank treads get shot completely to pieces (they can stand a decent amount of damage), or if the forward shocktrooper or lancer bite it. On your turn, run the lancer like a madman up to the wall and get a bead on the weak spot of that second tank. Take it out, and then move away from the wall as best you can. If your lancer is too wounded, spend two CP to get there and heal before you go. Next, select your tank and drive it up through the wall. Feel free to kill someone on the way; it doesn't matter. However you do it, leave a bit of room on the left side of the tank so that someone can run through there. (If you can't make it to the wall, you may have to reload to before the lancers shot you. But you may have enough CP to make it anyway.) Lastly, select your shocktrooper and push through the hole to the base on the other side. It should take about two moves, and you should be able to handle the enemy shocktrooper leader guarding it. You also have a few AP to spare if you need some wiggle room. Your reward for the ace is a ZM SG 2(g), which is almost as bad as the ZM SG 1(g). Disregard. ================================ Episode 9 - A Midsummer Incident ================================ [5E009] A Rank - 5 (2 is plenty) CP: 6 Leaders: 0 Aces: 0 Tanks: 0 Boss: 1 This level is all about knowing what's going to happen. The objective is actually VERY easy and you can complete it in just two phases; however, moving into the correct place is not unless you know where to go. Also, the game gives you horrible advice because as far as I could tell there are no leaders or aces, so you might as well finish as quickly as possible. In fact, after three of your phases (if you continue to block the enemy), they will call for reinforcements. The enemy actually moves first on this one - however, that turn is of no consequence. There are several strategies that can work, but the simplest is to start with your strongest shocktrooper - with your best armor-damaging weapon - in the northeastern spot (it's actually more northern-middle). Load Alicia and Largo and Rosie somewhere on the map; it doesn't matter. Start your phase and move your main shocktrooper west and hide behind a box. You can move your tank if you want to see a cutscene; I moved the tank in to assist if necessary, but do NOT take the game's advice and block the enemy's path with your tank. End your phase. The enemy will move around a lot, and pretend to attack your tank. The main point is that the enemy vehicle will move south 1 block (it only moves 1 block at a time). Then, on your phase, save and select your shocktrooper. Run at and circle right behind the enemy vehicle. Heal if you need to, take out anyone shooting at you, or otherwise just make yourself comfortable. Then, simply aim at the vehicle's weak spot and blast away. Reselect as necessary. You should have 9 CP total and you can make it on your first one, so you should have plenty of time. Add a Damage order if you want it to go even faster. Simple, eh? But what's that? You say you're lazy and can't be bothered to spend two whole phases on this boring map? Well, that's fair. If you have the ZM MP 3(g) and your shocktroopers are at least level 9, you can actually complete the map in one phase (thanks to KommandeurMumm for the main idea!). Throw a defense boost order on your northeastern shocktrooper and run north toward a lancer and scout; ignore them and turn left and go as far as you can. Heal yourself and quickly end the turn. Reselect, run up to the back of the tank and start blasting it. Squeeze in behind it so that it can't get you, but otherwise rinse and repeat until you win. Yawn. ============================================================= Episode 10a - Liberation of Fouzen ("Infiltration of Fouzen") ============================================================= [5E10A] A Rank - 5 CP: 10 Leaders: 8 Aces: 1 Tanks: 2 Ooo, tons of leaders, snipers, mines - and you have to move the tank all the way across the field through mortar-launching searchlights in just 5 phases? Sounds hard, but really this level is a cakewalk. You'll have plenty of time to kill every single enemy on the map and still get your tank to the objective. The secret to the searchlights is not to avoid them, but rather to trigger them in places that you know you can avoid - just like in episode 8a. Smart triggering of lights helps a bunch. Also worth noting: the lights move on anyone's turn, so if your tank is parked in an area they can cover and you move your scout, expect the tank to get detected. The other secret to this level is that the helpfully-placed mine carts can easily take your troops behind enemy lines to get to all their squishy units. At this point my scouts were level 10 and I had them equipped with the +accuracy line of scout rifles; it really helps to use accurate weapons on this map. You'll need one good scout - Alicia works well - and an engineer both as far forward as you can, along with Rosie and Largo in the back for CP (they won't be acting). I also loaded another scout in behind the front two (the left- middle), which I'll call scout 2. Start by selecting scout 2 and running forward, through the cutscene, toward the rail cart. Get up on the ramp, and use the rail cart to go to the next stop. You should immediately see a sniper next to you. Take him out, then ride the rail cart back and park this troop off the path and out of the way - they won't be used again. Next, select Alicia and run her to the cart, get in and ride it to the other side. Follow that path north toward another sniper; get close and take him out. Watch out for the two mines just north of him! Reselect Alicia and run her forward again. You basically need to move her twice, take out both snipers (including the sniper leader), and get her to the far northern side of this area where there is a path that leads down to the lower level, as well as heading down that path a bit. I shot the third sniper at point-blank, then ran down the path and targeted the sniper leader from lower down - but you can take it slow (and shoot them both at point-blank) instead if you prefer. Next, select your tank and roll it forward; you should find a scout and take him out. Reselect your tank and move forward again; again, you'll see a scout you should take down with your anti-personnel gun. Push as close as you can toward the bridge, then select your engineer and run them forward toward the grass north of the tank and take cover. That's 9 CP; end your phase. The enemy often ends up not doing anything. They may run the closest shocktrooper up and commit suicide on your tank, or they may not. However, they probably won't do much. On your next phase, take Alicia down the path and hug the left wall; try to trigger both searchlights in this area (near the bridge) so that you know where the mortars will land and can avoid them. Continue south and duck between two houses, where you'll find a shocktrooper leader facing away from you. Shoot him in the back of the head, and then run back northwest across the bridge (watch for mines) toward the enemy tank. End your turn just before it starts to shoot you (a couple of shots are ok). Next, select your engineer and run toward the first shocktrooper (if alive). If you come at him from the right, he won't see you and you can get close enough to take him out with a few well-placed shots to the head. While you're down here, trigger the southernmost search light and then try to trigger the next one as far south as possible (this may involve a lot of waiting). This way your tank will be able to drive past their target zones, since he should end up near the second set of houses on your right. Reselect the engineer and head for the second shocktrooper, who you should also be able to sneak close to (duck between the houses if you need to). Take him out, and head toward the bridge (don't end in a mortar zone!). Then, save and select the tank. You will want to move the tank forward three times (for 6 CP), all the way past the mortar spots, and each time at the end of your movement shoot the light tank on the bridge. This should take it out. If you miss once, just reload. (For reference, by the end of your first move you should be at least to the other side of the first bridge.) And lastly, on your third move, angle the tank so that your nose points a little bit to the left (west, toward the far side of the canyon), because if you leave yourself completely exposed their second tank will take pot shots at you, and that's never fun. Finally, on your 10th CP this turn, reselect Alicia, run forward past where the tank was, and shoot the standing lancer in the head. Hug the left wall and head toward the second rail cart. Reselect, get on the cart and take it to the next stop. You can run forward to the patch of grass and crouch if you want. I also like to throw a grenade at the lancer in the grass before I go to get him standing, although it's possible he will just re-crouch in the grass in a second. If you did that phase right you'll know because the enemy will again do almost nothing. They might call for reinforcements and - if you aren't positioned right - shoot at your tank a bit. Hopefully they won't ruin your treads because then you'll need to reload. On your next phase, select the engineer and move toward the bridge. Disable the anti-tank mine, and try to trigger both the northern lights in the same spot again. (The tank will probably trigger the southern one while you wait; that's perfect.) Run the engineer across, aiming for the crates ahead on the right side, and toss a grenade at the lancer who is hiding (or just take him out), but be sure to not get shot by the enemies guarding their base if you can. Next, select your tank and continue toward the bridge, and then reselect and push as far as you can across the bridge, hugging the left side (so that their lancer has to run around you to the right to shoot your weak spot). Depending on how far you can move your tank, this may or may not leave a decent mortar shot toward the enemy base. You want to save 2 CP for next phase, so you can afford to take 3 moves with your tank here so that on your last move, you can use your mortar round. Ideally, you want to launch it at the enemy shocktrooper crouching in the base around the rock to your right. (This will probably be a blind shot.) You can tell if you're targeting him because the target line will turn orange. It's possible to actually kill both the shocktrooper and the scout, but not likely. Hopefully you'll mess them both up really badly, and kill at least one of them. Again, try not to leave room on your left side for the lancer to run past you if he is alive. (If you are REALLY good at driving the tank, you can do the mortar round on your second move and shoot the lancer with your third.) Finally, select your engineer again, run at the base, finish off the scout (or whoever) with a few point- blank shots to the head, and occupy it. If you have AP remaining, turn around and repair the sandbags and then go ahead and crouch behind them. This will leave you 2 CP; end the phase. At this point, the enemy should again have very few options. The lancer, if alive, will likely kill himself running around your tank's machine gun, and your engineer can likely contribute a few shots as well. On your turn, start by selecting Alicia. She's going to do a ton of work this phase. Run her up the path to the high ground on the far western edge of the map. There are two sniper leaders up here and a scout ace hiding just past the last house on the left. Use 3 CP to take them all out with generous helpings of lead to the face. (You might even be able to kill both snipers in one turn.) The ace can be tricky, but only because 5 headshots can just barely kill him. If you can't get him in one turn, you have 1 extra CP this phase you can throw at him. Now save and stand where the snipers were and head-shot the two enemy lancer leaders. These are hard shots, even with the accurate rifle, so be sure to save between them. Technically you can use 3 CP for the two of them if you want to try twice on one of them, assuming you only needed 1 CP for the ace. Now select your tank and start moving forward, shooting the enemy tank at the end of your first two moves, and then at the beginning of your third move. Ignore the mine; one mine won't stop you, and if somehow it does use that last CP to move your engineer up for repairs. You'll also want to trigger the search light on the bridge as close to the beginning (east) side of the bridge as possible so you can drive past it. Once you get to the other side of the bridge, you'll be at the only place on the map where you might want to be careful about not triggering the searchlight, especially since this last one is easy to avoid if you wait for it. You can also just end your turn on the bridge and not fool with the thing. End your phase. The enemy has nothing left to move. On your 5th phase just move the tank forward for the win. =========================================================== Episode 10b - Liberation of Fouzen ("Liberation of Fouzen") =========================================================== [5E10B] A Rank - 6 CP: 10 Leaders: 4 Aces: 1 Tanks: 3 You have two objectives and you're forced to follow them in order. Unfortunately, all enemy units are elites or leaders now. I had my scouts and shocktroopers upgraded to elite at this point (level 11), and it really makes a huge difference. I also loaded Welkin with two mortar rounds. You'll also have to deal with lots of tank mines and annoying barricades that can only be taken out with explosive damage. Reinforcements show up each phase after two phases until you take out both bridges. The enemy train also moves position each round and targets random (but pre-set) areas on the map each phase with mortar fire. However, if you save before each enemy phase starts, you can reload before their phase and it may select a new random location. The train will also murder you from half the map away - not fun. And finally, there are lifts all over the level that can only be activated from one side. The place where they can be activated is marked on your map with a circle. The one that is impossible to reach will be activated by the enemy once you've completed the first objective. Interestingly enough, this map is still pretty easy because you'll have gobs of time to get everything done and still kill everything on the map. There are two completely viable tactics: "slow and steady," and "quick and dirty." Slow and steady involves methodically moving your tank across the map while taking out all the mines and barricades along the way. This way costs a ton of CP, but it's also generally safer, since your tank has an easier time against tanks and counter-fire and can bust up bunkers easily with mortar rounds. Quick and dirty involves never moving Welkin more than once. Ignoring the mines and barricades will make you much faster, but you'll also need to rely more on luck as your troops will have to leave themselves open more and you may take more casualties. However, if you move quickly you can actually blow up both bridges by phase 3 and finish the map early. This guide will describe the slow and steady way, but you can extrapolate the quick and dirty way pretty easily (just ignore the tank after phase 1 and move out more scouts instead of the engineer). Also worth noting is that from this point on it is often FAR more efficient to take out a tank with a damage order on a foot soldier, rather than rely on lancers with horrid aim or the expensive-to-move tank. This map will rely on the Damage order several times; you should have it by now. To start, load a sniper, a shocktrooper with a your best damage weapon who isn't Rosie (Jane works very well), and an engineer in the triangle that is the two spots in the base and the spot just above it. These will all be moving your first phase. (This is important because the enemy will try to bomb that spot, so anyone in the base needs to move.) Additionally, load Largo toward the back (east), Rosie more north, Alicia, and another scout (these can be anywhere). Start with your engineer; move them up and clear the bridge of its 3 mines. Then move the sniper forward onto the bridge and take out the only standing enemy shocktrooper you can see; he's down by the first medium tank. (He's way north, near an enemy base.) Next, move your tank forward and place a careful mortar round to the west; your goal is to take out the barricade in front of the rail car, as well as hit the shocktrooper to make him stand. (You might even kill him.) Next, take your heavily armed shocktrooper and run forward twice, killing the enemy the second time. Then, go ahead and use one more move to get on the railcar and push toward the lift, triggering a cutscene. Grab a scout (Alicia works well) and run forward as far as you can all the way to the west. Lastly, reselect your tank and aim another mortar blast (if you have two) or tank round at one of the barricades on the next bridge north of your position; you should just be able to take one out (if you aim directly between them with a mortar, you might catch two). Continue west and park. End your phase. On their turn, the first medium tank will move forward, and they'll take a few pot shots at your guys. Their train will fire on you, then move, and reselect another spot on the map to hit. You'll get used to this pattern. On your next phase, give a damage boost order (cost: 2 CP) to your heavily armed and far forward shocktrooper. Have them activate the lift ("activate" the button on the box on the right side) and THEN go back to the now-glowing button on the right side of the front and "ride" it down. Immediately go into targeting mode and shoot the medium tank in the back, destroying it. Continue north toward the bridge. Reselect, chuck a grenade onto the small wooden bridge just to your northwest, and after the cutscenes circle toward the enemy leader shocktrooper. The enemy will activate one of the lifts for you. At this point, you'll want to reselect the same shocktrooper and take out the enemy leader, occupy the base, and RETREAT (otherwise you'll get killed later). For me, this only took one turn; my shocktroopers were elite and she had the best weapon I'd found in the game so she could even take out someone crouching in one turn. This might take you two turns, but either way kill the guy and get out. (You may find it easier to kill the shocktrooper leader first and then grenade the bridge; it doesn't matter as long as you get everything done.) Next, take your advancing scout and take out the lancer to the north - standard procedure: grenade to make him stand up, then another CP to shoot him in the head. Park yourself near the edge of the bridge, but don't expose yourself to the second tank. Then select your tank and use your mortar to take out another barricade. Push forward, down, and around as best you can. If you have a final CP, go ahead and run the engineer forward toward your scout, but again don't let the tank see you. End your phase; they should move the second tank up and then go through their normal motions. On your turn give another damage boost order (cost: 2) to your sniper this time, who should have a great shot at the back of the second medium tank. Have them shoot it twice; this should weaken it significantly. Select your tank and move it forward; take out the enemy tank. Stop just shy of the mines. Then, select your engineer and run down the path; take out another barricade with a grenade. Reselect (if necessary) and have the engineer take out all six mines on the second bridge; push forward after that, but don't go too far past where the last barrier is so your tank can cover you. Reselect your tank, take out the final barricade, and push as far as you can. If you have a CP left, move your scout up near your tank (this is probably optional). End your phase. The enemy should react poorly and push a few guys your way; they may even kill a scout on your tank if you're lucky. It's also worth noting that since the enemy will target random areas of the map, you may have to readjust these strategies somewhat. Sometimes they will target their own men; sometimes they will force you to move people in your base. Just continue following these basic ideas and you should be fine. On your next phase, move the tank across the bridge and blow the lancer out from hiding. Push forward a bit more, then reselect and continue forward until you see a shocktrooper to your left. Execute him, and then end your turn. Ideally you should be nearly north of the little "activate" switch for the southern lift, to give your scout a little cover. Next, save and then select your scout. This is a hard move and it may take a few tries. You'll want to move all the way across the bridge using your tank for cover from the scout, kill the scout (tank can help) without getting shot by his "defense down" weapon if possible, then run toward the gray box to the south (right), activate the lift (the control is on the left side of the box and you must face it) and quickly move toward the lift and spam the action button so you can ride it back to your starting base and safety - all while getting pummeled by the train. Two things that can help are that once the scout is dead you're fairly safe on the right side of the tank, so you can aim yourself and then go. Also, you have to be very close to and FACING the button on the gray box, but you can be anywhere near the lift to activate it. Spam your action button for both. Once that's done, select your poor engineer and head across the bridge as well, but park yourself next to the building on the left so you aren't getting shot, and finish off the lancer. Next you will want to select Rosie and use the now operational lift nearby. Once you get to the bottom back up slightly and aim left between the two buildings and shoot the hidden shocktrooper leader who happens to be facing the wrong way. Then, run up near the northern lift and use it for cover against the train; face east. (If any other enemies moved up, face them. At most there should be one more lancer.) Next, select your uninjured scout, go down the lift, immediately run around the corner to the right and shoot the hidden enemy scout leader between two buildings in the back of the head, then continue around to the right and take the rail cart. Activate the final lift (near you, to the right), and go stand near the sniper ace. Note the "makeshift bridge" off to the southeast. Reselect, take him out, and head back to your base using the lift you just activated. (Sometimes this is hard and sometimes it isn't; I find standing behind but not right on top of the guy seemed to help.) Now take Largo, go down the last lift, and run over to where the ace was and blow up the southeast bridge. (It's worth noting that the hit detection for when you can "ride" the lifts is really a large area; be sure to take advantage of this when you're moving your slowest units to get the best movement out of them.) Go ahead and end the phase. The enemy will pester you a little and move the train. They might have one more troop run up from the previous reinforcement; for me it was a lancer. On your turn, select your engineer, kill the remaining guy, and go up the lift and clear the third bridge of mines (go ahead and get to the bunker and crouch; the engineer is done after this). Next, move your tank forward to the lift, up the lift and across the bridge; at the end of your turn place a mortar round between the two bunkered lancers and make them stand up. Reselect your tank and push all the way up to where you are litterally bumping into the medium tank (this will give Rosie cover), and then use your anti-personnel gun to kill the lancer who is still in the base (the furthest north one). Now, use a damage boost order (CP: 2) on Rosie and have her take the lift up and run up to the back of your tank and take out the remaining lancer; push up toward the enemy tank but don't expose yourself to his fire just yet. Save, and then reselect her. Your job now is to run up to the base, occupy it, crouch down by a bunker, and then shoot the tank in its weak spot, destroying it. You can do this in whatever order makes the most sense to you. Face the remaining troops when you're done and quickly end her turn. You can now either try to run your least-injured scout all the way up and heal her (and crouch as well), or the easier way is to just call another scout from the base. That should end your phase. The enemy will hopefully not retake the base or kill your scout if you moved them up; it tends to waste CP like crazy. As long as someone is alive up there, you should be fine. On your last phase, you have gobs of CP and not much to do. Use your tank to bust up the final scout leader and shocktrooper's positions, and then reselect and shoot them down as needed. Once the path is clear, take your scout up the path, activate the final lift, ride it down and run forward to the little island and shoot the bomb (go into target mode and hit "next target" if you need help finding it; it's due north of the island). Anyone can shoot it; it just needs one shot. Your reward for the ace is the ZM SG 3(g), another in a long line of useless sniper weapons. =============================== Episode 11 - The Marberry Shore =============================== [5E011] A Rank - 8 (4 or 5 is plenty) CP: 12 Leaders: 3 Aces: 1 Tanks: 4 This seems like a tough map but it's actually not too bad; the enemies will all be elites from now on, but you can actually get every piece of bonus XP and finish the map in just 4 phases - far fewer than the 8 you have. The two "tricks" to the map are not deploying the majority of your troops, and a quick mastery of the smoke round. The level is pretty linear and lined with tough bunker positions, lots of tanks, a few mines, and turrets that can be destroyed. There are also "invulnerable guns" that, as the name implies, you should not try shooting. However, with intelligent troop movements and lots of smoke for cover, you can navigate this level without much trouble. (Also note that thanks to the latest skirmish opening up, it should be easy for you to have all your units upgraded to elite by now.) To start, load ONLY your CP boosters on the right (east) deploy point, including Alicia in front and Largo and Rosie in the back (they won't be used). Start with Welkin: move him toward the opening in the wall until he starts to get shot, then stop and place a smoke round as close to the front of him as you can. Continue forward through the smoke until you can't move anymore. Next, select Alicia and run her through the smoke and turn right; occupy the enemy base, and kill the scout standing ahead on the right. Crouch in the base. Next, reselect Welkin and move him forward through the smoke and turn left once you are through the gate (no easy task - driving a tank through smoke is hard). Kill the enemy scout on the left after pushing forward as far as you can. Congratulations, you have now made it past the first set of guns; they will not target you past that wall. Use the rest of your turn to call reinforcements from your base: get a sniper, a shocktrooper, and a lancer. That should leave you 4 CP; end your phase. The enemy won't do much; they might move their medium tank up and hit Welkin pretty hard (he'll be fine). On your next phase, start with your sniper. Move them into the sniper nest nearby and take out the standing shocktrooper due north (an easy shot). Descend from the nest and end your turn; they're done. Next, move your tank, and run all the way up right next to the enemy medium tank - but leave a little room on your right. Your goal is to shoot another smoke round in front of the northeast gun turret, but you also need to cover the enemy scout positioned near it and most of the upside-down "U" shaped bunkers just north of him. I aimed for the scout and then pushed barely left a couple times. Next, take two CP and move your lancer up to the medium tank. Be sure to stay on the RIGHT (east) side of the tank, since that side is clear. Blow it up and then run back toward the base; this lancer is now done. Since the shocktrooper to the east has an attack-down gun, I found it best to hit him with my tank mortar. Save and then select Welkin and move him forward slightly, then mortar the bunkered shocktrooper due east. This should kill him completely; if it doesn't, reload. It will also take out the next sniper nest, but that's ok. Next, select Alicia and run her northeast and then slightly left, past the broken sniper nest, near the smoke, and run up behind the northeast turret (there's a ramp just to the right of it). There's a ragnite canister there; shoot it to blow it up (do NOT use a grenade or you will dissipate the smoke). Continue moving her back down from the turret and move north past the scout in the smoke and push north without leaving the protective smoke. Crouch at the northeastern corner of the upside-down "U" bunker facing north. Next, run your deployed shocktrooper up the same path toward Alicia with two moves and get as close as you can to the top of the smoke without leaving it. Throw a grenade at the crouching enemy scout (who is outside the smoke near the base) north of you to get him to stand up; you should juuuust be able to make out his outline from your position. If you can't reach him, then your smoke was too far south; it's not the end of the world, though. You can even kill him if you can get close enough. Now, save and give a damage order (2 CP) to that same troop; reselect and have them run up and quickly get behind the heavy tank. Blow it away, and then quickly end your turn. If the scout is alive, reselect one more time, finish off the scout, and then run and crouch by the sandbags at the 2nd enemy base (skip this turn if the scout is dead). This should leave you with at least 2 CP; spend one to have Alicia rocket grenade the shocktrooper leader in the base, and then kill him with your shocktrooper and occupy the base. End your phase. The enemy did basically nothing but called reinforcements at every base and tried to kill Alicia. If your shocktrooper or Alicia dies, reload. On your next phase, start with Welkin and place another smoke round in front of the northwest turret; you'll want to aim toward the northern (right) side of the turret, so that you cover it completely but leave the shocktrooper leader just southwest of it exposed. (If you mess up that part Alicia's job will be harder later.) Now, if the south near Alicia is still alive, select Alicia. Kill the scout with a grenade, and then run toward the northwest turret and get yourself around behind it; there are stairs just to the left of it this time. End your turn back there. If the scout is not alive, select your shocktrooper. Run southwest into the smoke around the barricades toward the northwest turret. Reselect your shocktrooper, run toward the 3rd base (watch for mines - this is why you should head toward the turret first and then the base), kill the scout standing there and occupy it. Also, push up to the edge of the barricades; the guns won't target you until you're past the barricades. Now switch to Alicia. Whether or not she already acted, run through the smoke to the area just behind the northwest turret - the little ramp is on the left side this time - and shoot the canister behind it to take it out. Continue south pushing toward the 3rd enemy base, following the shocktrooper's path, but swing down near the barricades and look north. You should see an enemy shocktrooper leader standing there, facing into the smoke. If you don't, reselect Alicia and fire a grenade way up into the smoke to dissipate it if she has one; if not, you can try your shocktrooper's grenade. If neither of those are options, you may just have to fire blind until you kill him. Either way, run up and shoot him in the back of the head. Finish your movement by going back to stand next to the left (southeastern) barricade (so the enemy doesn't have sightlines on you) and face south. At this point you should have a few CP remaining. End your phase. The enemy doesn't have many troops left, but they'll probably get one reinforcement who, for me, ran up to the bunker near the last wall. This turned out to be great. They'll call again for more troops. On your turn, select Welkin and position him so that you can fire another smoke round directly into the middle of the area between the final two invulnerable guns. I aimed for just behind (south of) the central barricade. Next, if the enemy shocktrooper ran up like he did for me, select a shocktrooper and run them forward into the smoke. Get to the very edge and chuck a grenade at the enemy shocktrooper (you can just make him out) to get him to stand, then reselect and push through the smoke and blow him away. Bunker down after that. (You might even kill him in one turn.) Next, save and then select Alicia and run through the smoke, bearing right. Once you're through the gate, go around to the right of the buildings in front of you, avoid the obvious mine, go around the corner to the left and you should spot the enemy ace shocktrooper. Get as close as you dare and quickly blow him away, then end your turn before the tank mangles you. Next, take your other forward shocktrooper who hasn't moved yet, and give them a damage order (2 CP) and a defense order (1 CP). Now run them down the same path as Alicia. It should take 2 turns to catch up with her, at which point you should be able to take out the enemy scout foolishly standing in their final base. Then, save and reselect, and run behind the medium tank and blow it away. (If you're really good, you can get both tanks in one shot.) Crouch and hug the sandbags and get closer to the heavy tank. Reselect, blow it away, and then start a mad dash toward the enemy shocktrooper leader crouching just north of you. Reselect the same troop and toss a grenade at the enemy leader's back. Then, either quickly reselect and blow him away or pull your other shocktrooper down and shoot him in the back. Then, use Alicia to run into the final base, hugging the right wall, and aim a grenade directly behind the shocktrooper crouching there. Blow him up and out of the base, and then quickly occupy it (or kill him if he didn't fall outside the base). Even if something goes horribly wrong, you should still have a few CP and ultimately multiple phases left to finish the map. The ace from this mission drops the coveted VB FW 1(g), which is an incredibly powerful flamethrower. It remains useful until nearly the end of the game. Be sure to equip it immediately, probably to Rosie. ================================ Episode 12 - The Fight for Bruhl ================================ [5E012] A Rank - 1 CP: 12 Leaders: 5 Aces: 2 Tanks: 1 * Thanks to Allan Hsu and others for suggesting ideas that ultimately helped build this strategy. There are... a few snipers on this level. Fortunately, they'll never get a chance to fire. The main "trick" to this map is to deploy to the correct spots and to load the correct weapons. It's also worth remembering that the Heavy AT Cannons and snipers do not cover fire. (And that damage boosting orders last all phase.) You'll want three good scouts for this level; Alicia and two others that I will call scout 2 and scout 3. Alicia should be equipped with whatever weapon does the most damage to ARMOR; scout 2 and 3 need accurate weapons. The 1R scout weapon actually fills all three of these goals, so if you have three of those, you're golden. A captured ZM Kar 3(g) isn't bad against armor, either. If you have to make tough choices, favor Alicia. Also, you'll want to make sure you have purchased the new lancer mortar weapon in R&D, and give that to Largo. I recommend switching him back immediately after this mission. (Also, my scouts and lancers were level 12 by this mission.) For your deploy, put Alicia in the top left position. Put scout 2 to the right of her, Largo behind her, and scout 3 to the right of Largo. Throw Rosie in there anywhere for CP. Save and then start with Largo. Move him directly forward (around Alicia) until he cannot move forward anymore. You'll get shot a little by a shocktrooper toward the end. Go into targeting mode and auto-aim at the shocktrooper shooting you, then move your arc just slightly to the right. You want to include both him and the sniper leader in your blast, but you need to fudge toward the shocktrooper since he has more defense. You should also pull back (down on the controller) a tiny bit so that you're shooting just over the edge of the sandbags. Fire the mortar and this should kill both the shocktrooper and the sniper leader next to him. If it doesn't (or one of them evades), reload. Now, save again and select scout 3. Run north taking the same path as Largo and continue forward straight toward the enemy scout leader near the trucks. He'll start to shoot you, but run through at least one volley before you target him so you will be sure to hit him in the head. Take him out, then continue toward the middle sandbags near the two trucks. Do NOT go over the sandbags; the shocktrooper hidden on the right behind the truck will shred you. Now give a Damage (2 CP) order to Alicia. Select her and run straight for the enemy tank ace. Hug the left wall as you go around him to avoid the shocktrooper on the right; once you get behind him immediately go into targeting mode to stop getting shot, then turn around and blow him away. Continue forward to behind the truck. Reselect Alicia and run due north or even a bit to the left; you're taking a wide arc here because of the shocktrooper leader on the right. Go straight past the cannon and up to the enemy base. Toss a grenade at the sniper ace to get him standing. You should have 6 CP left. At this point, you can just go ahead and spend two CP with Alicia to blow away the ace (walk behind him) and the final cannon in the base (thanks to your damage boost that is still active), and occupy the base and finish the map. This will net you the A rank and both aces. I highly recommend this strategy when you come back to play this map as skirmish 7. If you want to get all the remaining leader kills, save and select scout 2. Run this scout forward following Alicia's path toward the sandbags. You'll want to get to where you can see the enemy sniper leader on the roof off to the left, but not where the nearby shocktrooper on the right can see you. Once you're there, line yourself up so that you can see the sniper, and then dash forward to the back of the truck on the left. (Note: I find that scouts have enough movement to run AROUND the sandbags rather than over them; this is better because going over them exposes you to shocktrooper fire for a slightly longer period of time.) You should still just be able to target the sniper's head on the roof but the shocktrooper should not be able to shoot you anymore. Aim for the sniper's head and take him out. This is a rather tricky shot, but you can do it. Finish your movement by moving due west - getting as far from the shocktrooper as possible. Reselect this scout and move forward using the same path as Alicia toward the enemy base. Go up to the sniper ace, walk behind him, and shoot him in the head as well. Reselect scout 2 and head behind the two crouching leaders; head for slightly northeast of the shocktrooper leader. Aim a grenade just to the west (right) of him so that the blast will knock him east (left) toward the crouching lancer leader. After he gets thrown, make sure he faces north toward you and then end your turn. Now, select scout 3. You'll want to follow the same path as scout 2 around the trucks and then head north, but once you get past the two tank mines, turn northeast toward the two leaders. Avoid the mine in the middle of the square and run as close as you can. Use this scout's grenade launcher to place a grenade between the two leaders. You want it to be very close to the standing shocktrooper, but close enough to the lancer that he will be affected. This should kill the shocktrooper leader and do basically no damage to the lancer leader, but he should stand up. Reselect scout 3, walk up to the lancer leader, and shoot him in the head. With your final CP, select Alicia, finish off the cannon in the base, and occupy it. Your reward for the two aces are a useless sniper rifle and a useless tank part. ================================= Episode 13 - The Clash at Naggiar ================================= [5E013] A Rank - 5 CP: 10, then 12 when the tanks arrive Leaders: 2 Aces: 1 Tanks: 1 Boss: 1 This can be a tricky stage but you'll have plenty of time to complete it and can kill pretty much everyone while you do it in just 4 phases. Note that running straight up through the middle of the field does not get you shot by the bunker on the left since it is a cannon bunker, but the right gatling bunker will chew you up - therefore it's much easier to advance through the middle/left of the map. Also, once you reach the "middle" base (the first objective), the "rocket fire" stops and Welkin and the Shamrock appear - but so does the enemy boss, who cannot be beaten. Fortunately, she can be dealt with: hitting her with a mortar round stuns her for one turn, and you can do this each phase. The main trick here is to take out everything you can before she shows up and save at least 4 CP to move the tanks to safety and stun her. Also worth noting: so long as you are in a trench, the enemy "rocket fire" won't hurt you and the enemy boss won't target you - however, she can hit just about anywhere else up to half the map away, especially the second sniper nest. And if you do not stun her, she'll pretty much just murder everyone. (Also note that by this point, with the new skirmish you should be able to get all troops to level 13 without trouble.) Start by loading four troops on the left side: a sniper (someone with Nest Master is a good choice) top left, Rosie top right, Largo bottom left (he won't be moving) and Alicia bottom right. Be sure to give Rosie the VB FW 1(g) if you have it; it will come in handy. On the right deploy spot, but one good shocktrooper on the top right. Select your sniper and head up to the nest on the left; immediately take out the scout just to your northwest that starts shooting you. Save, reselect, and shoot the standing enemy shocktrooper by the gatling bunker on the far right; it's a long shot and he's facing away from you. (On the map he's at the first base to the northeast just past the orange zone.) Next, take Rosie and run just about straight north across the field toward the enemy scout; run up on him and take him out. Reselect and do the same with the shocktrooper just north of you, but aim toward the right side of the stairs going down. Finally, select her a third time, push right down into the trench and turn left at the fork around a corner; you should see yet another shocktrooper: take him out. Next, save and select Alicia and then run the same path toward the northern trenches, but this time aim for the left side of the stairs and break left - however, hug the right wall of the trench. Once she's moved as far as she can, use her grenade launcher to aim left and see if you can target the cannon bunker over there. Try to aim just to the right (north) of it, as there is a ragnite canister just behind it. Launch a round and take it out. Now, select your eastern shocktrooper and run north and bear right; you should run into a scout around the corner to your right. Take him out, but keep pushing north out of the trenches. Reselect and push north and take out the second scout, but move quickly as you're getting mangled by the cannon. You'll want to bear left as much as you can, and head down into the trenches to the left when the scout is dead. Now reselect a third time and continue to push left down into the trench and then turn right (face north); you should be able to make it around that corner and see another shocktrooper. Take him out and then push forward to the boxes on your left, but DO NOT go around the corner to your left so you aren't noticed by the shocktrooper just around that corner. (If you did NOT load the ZM MP 3(g) on this troop, you can actually run around the corner and shoot the south-facing shocktrooper this turn - the ZM MP 3(g)'s range is too short otherwise. However I found that by staying completely hidden, the enemy always ended up just ignoring this unit, which was even better.) That should do it for your phase; end with 1 CP left. The enemy will possibly call for reinforcements and may try to kill your poor shocktrooper; just reload if they die. Hopefully they will do nothing. On your next phase, start with Rosie and go north, turn left, and hug the left wall as you sneak up behind another shocktrooper in the trenches; execute him and then backtrack toward a ladder you passed (it was on the right but now it will be on your left). Now, select Alicia and go forward and up the ladder directly in front of you; immediately target the crouching ace to your left with a rocket grenade; end your turn. After this, you can either reselect Alicia and shoot him in the head, or select your sniper and snipe him - either way, he evades a lot, so be sure to save (I went with the sniper). Next, reselect Rosie and go up that ladder near you and toward the shocktrooper leader in the western base; chuck a grenade at him to get him standing and then run back and down the ladder. Alternately, if you have the VB FW 1(g), you should be able to flamethrower him to death instead and save some HP. Either way, hopefully you'll just make it down the ladder. Reselect Rosie and continue to push east, and take out the shocktrooper in front of you near the second sniper nest (if you made it back down the ladder you should have the movement to get to him). Now, select Alicia and take out the enemy leader (if alive), occupy the base, and move her down and stand next to Rosie. Alternately, you can snipe the leader and have Alicia run the same path but heal Rosie if she's pretty hurt. (If Alicia killed the ace instead of your sniper, she won't quite make it to Rosie.) Now, select your other shocktrooper and head around that corner to the left. Get close enough to blow the poor shocktrooper facing south away, then go up toward the bunker. Reselect, blow up the ragnite container, and occupy the base. Turn around and head back northwest toward the shocktrooper you just killed, then turn right (north) and head up the path. Reselect a third time and continue north; around the corner to your right is a shocktrooper leader, probably looking the wrong way. Take him out, and then turn left (west) toward the objective and try to end near it - but don't go around the corner there this phase, either. At this point you should have 1 or 2 CP left; you can heal this troop too, if you need to. End your phase. The enemy will continue to call reinforcements and otherwise do nothing. On your third phase, there are two crouching shocktroopers left guarding the first objective. If you gave Rosie the VB FW 1(g), she can just run in there and flamethrower both of them to death and occupy the base in 1 CP. (You should still bring your other two troops into the base for the status up.) If you can't kill them both that way, have Alicia go up to the second sniper tower (the ladder is just ahead and south) and use her grenade launcher to make them both stand up. Be SURE to get down out of the sniper nest and head as close as you can to their base before the end of her turn. Next, just run your two shocktroopers in there and finish those guys off; you may even be able to flamethrower both of them at once at this point if the grenade was placed well. Otherwise, move both your shocktroopers into the base, push them as far west as you can (toward the closed gate) without leaving the base, and then occupy it. This will trigger a cutscene in which the gate will open, the rockets will stop, and Welkin shows up - but then a bunch of reinforcements appear along with the boss. The boss will start in the middle of the map near your tanks. Select Welkin and move forward toward the large pit/dip in the field due east of where he starts. Before you move in, mortar her; this should turn her purple and keep her from moving on her turn, but she's still just as dangerous with her cover fire. Move all the way into the pit and be sure you are not being targeted by their heavy tank up on the hill. Select the Shamrock and move him due east into the second pit and make sure he's covered as well. Lastly, call for an engineer reinforcement at the base you just took. This should leave you with about 3 or 4 CP. End your turn. The enemy boss will shake off being stunned and blow up some random tank. Hopefully their reinforcements will advance out of their base as well. Start your phase by taking out their advancing troops; one of your shocktroopers should be up to the task. Once that's done, select the other shocktrooper and run due west - go all the way to where you can see another enemy shocktrooper waiting in the trench and take him out (watch the mine!). Now, select your engineer. Move due west along the trench and disarm the mine near the fallen shocktrooper. Reselect and continue around to the north to the crazy minefield back in that corner. Do your best to clear a solid path through all the mines, and eventually head up the ladder. Select your engineer one more time and dart south around the corner and kill the scout standing there; immediately run back to safety. (You might even be able to do this in 2 moves.) Now, select Alicia and run her past your new base and follow the same path that the engineer cleared for you. Save and give her a Damage order (2 CP) or a Demolition Boost (3 CP) if you have it. Reselect her and go up the ladder and around the same corner; take out the shocktrooper standing in the base. Reselect her and take out the heavy tank - this will take one or two CP depending on the order. Finally, reselect and take out the poor scout who is facing the wrong way and the last thing left in the base; occupy it. You should finish with a few CP to spare. Note that if for some reason you cannot finish this turn, be sure to save 2 CP for Welkin to move out of the pit, re-mortar the boss so she will be stunned again, and then move back into the pit. Your reward for the ace is a ZM Kag 4(g), which trades away nearly all your range and accuracy for an insane amount of anti-personnel damage - higher than any other scout weapon in the main game other than its big brother, the 5(g). But I'd still rather have the accuracy. ================================ Episode 14 - Loss Within Victory ================================ [5E014] A Rank - 3 CP: 11 Leaders: 0 Aces: 1 Tanks: 3 Boss: 2 This map is extremely difficult unless you know what is about to happen, and then it's pretty reasonable. You'll start with a special partner who will do a lot of the dirty work for you. Don't worry - the game implies she might be dangerous, but she won't attack you (at least not in the first two turns). The trick to this map is that when you occupy the base, two tanks show up with small squads on either end of the map and close in on your position. Also, your special partner will go away, leaving this up to you. (You didn't think it'd be that easy, did you?) The tanks are particularly tough: using a Damage order of any type is useless; only anti-tank rounds from either of your tanks will damage the thing, and it'll take two direct blasts to the weak spot to kill it. Be sure the Shamrock is equipped with anti-tank rounds. Also, it's important to note that you should completely ignore the enemy troops that show up on either end of the map: any of them that you kill will be replaced with "reinforcements" on the enemy's turn every time! Because of this, there's no reason to bother with any of them. For your deployment, I recommend adding no one. Any additional troops are a hindrance on this map, since you'll largely be ignoring their troops and attacking with your tanks. The general strategy is to move into position before you occupy the base, and then occupy it when you're ready to attack. The Shamrock is particularly vulnerable to getting hit on this map so be sure to load it up with any improvements you can afford (especially on its treads). Also, give Rosie the best flamethrower you have. When your turns start, your special partner will have two moves before you can go; she'll help quite a bit. When it's your move, select the Shamrock and move forward toward the Heavy Cannon; blow it up. Reselect and mortar the ace in the trench; he'll probably evade but you'll do a good chunk of damage and get his attention. Head toward the base and get as far north as you can. Next, chose Rosie and run -directly- toward the Cannon Bunker. It won't fire (it only does anti-tank rounds). Reselect and run up to the edge of the wall just below it, getting as close as you can to its southeast corner, and then target it with your flamethrower. As long as you are actually targeting the thing, you should be able to hit it - and flamethrowers do massive damage to bunkers. (If she has the VB FW 2(g), she can kill it in one shot.) Reselect Rosie and finish it off, then turn around and head for the enemy ace. Select her again and finish the ace off; I recommend more flamethrower action so long as she can kill him in one hit. Before you end her turn push as far north as you can (you'll probably end in the pit where the ace was). Now, select Welkin and go north only until you can push right and then circle back around to the south. You can go through a bunker to save some time (watch the mines); you're aiming to go southeast as far as you can. Once you're done, end your phase with one CP left. The enemy only has one thing on the field and it will attack your partner to no avail. On your turn she'll take it out. Now, reselect Welkin and push as far southeast as you are able. You're aiming toward the tip of the rock wall that is pointing at you (if that makes sense). Now, go ahead and select Rosie and have her run up to the base and occupy it. This will trigger a cutscene, your partner will leave, and the enemy tanks will show up with a bunch of guys (and two snipers will appear near Rosie). Be sure to end her turn facing west; crouch if possible. Now, reselect Welkin - you should be behind their line of enemies. Go down and target the back of the enemy boss tank A. It should take two hits to take it out; on your second hit, turn around and head back toward the enemy troops. You want to try to get all of them in your tank's machine gun range, so they have a hard time moving. Now, select good old Largo and just run him toward the nearest bunker and crouch, facing southeast. (This isn't crucial but they will be attacking him.) Lastly, select the Shamrock and push northeast around the south side of the building with the ladder; reselect with your last two CP and push north and turn left immediately to see all the enemy troops. You want to go as far west as you can, but be sure to finish by facing north, and be away from the edge of the cliff. This is important, because it will only take their lancers two moves to get behind you if you're not facing north, and the further back you are from the edge, the harder it is for them to hit you. I ended up parking next to the trench area north of the row of small houses. Save and then end your phase. This will take a while, as the enemy probably has 20 CP and tons of guys to move around. They'll try to get Rosie with snipers, but she should kill them in the return fire. They'll try to hit Largo, too, but hopefully your tank will keep them from moving much, and you'll probably kill their southern sniper. The main thing is that if the Shamrock dies or loses his treads, you need to reload: he HAS to make it down the ramp next turn. Once it is your turn again, ignore the incendiary fire warnings and just select the Shamrock; move it down the ramp to the west toward the enemy tank boss B, ignoring everything else. I made it back behind him (it's a tight fit!) on the second move; you have plenty of time but you have to make sure you get back there. Use two turns to blow him away. Your reward from the ace is the ZM MP 4(g). If you liked the 3(g), you'll love the 4(g) - and you should. In fact, the 3(g) can probably go on another unit, as - other than the short range - it's still completely amazing, even compared to the 3R weapons you'll probably have by now. It is worth noting that after this battle, Skirmish 7 will become available. It is possible to beat that map in only one phase and it gives you over 50000 XP and 100000 gold each time you do on "normal." I highly recommend taking just a few minutes and playing through that map several times. With little time invested, you should easily be able to level your troops up and buy anything you haven't already; I had all of my troops up to level 15 before the next battle. =========================================================== Episode 15a - Citadel Ghirlandaio ("Fight for Ghirlandaio") =========================================================== [5E15A] A Rank - 6 (4 is plenty) CP: 12 Leaders: 3 Aces: 2 Tanks: 4 What a surprisingly easy map. For all the buildup, it's really not that hard to complete with TONS of room to spare - thanks in part to the fact that your shocktroopers no longer need damage orders to kill a medium tank (and probably haven't for a couple maps); they should be able to do it in two CP easily, especially if you've been keeping up with upgrades and/or been getting their R-type weapons (mine had 3Rs by now). One useful thing to note is that the elite ace shocktroopers you've killed recently have dropped powerful flamethrowers; I had both the VB FW 1(g) and 2(g) at this point. They are so powerful that you can take out even a crouching shocktrooper in one turn (as long as it isn't a black elite). Equip one to Rosie and one to your other favorite shocktrooper. (These are not necessary, but they make things easier. If you only have one, give it to whoever you load on the left.) The general strategy is to run up the map and activate the first two switches, then around the wall and get the third. Gatling bunkers will chew you up if you get near the third switch, but you can run up ladders on the far wall and take them out. You can complete this map in 4 phases easily with plenty of room to spare. For your deploy, put Rosie and your other good shocktrooper in the left front and right front positions (I put Rosie on the right), have Alicia in there somewhere and put Largo in the back (once again: unused). Select Rosie first, head northeast up the right path and kill the crouching scout there (watch for mines). Reselect and continue north around the corner to the left and shoot the medium tank in the back; quickly end her turn, reselect and retarget it to finish it off. Push toward the first enemy base. Reselect a fourth time and take out the heavy gatling gun; crouch inside the base near the enemy lancer. Now, select your other shocktrooper, run forward toward the enemy shocktrooper and use your flamethrower to kill him in one shot. (If you can't, you may need to level up more.) Reselect and push toward the enemy base: activate the first switch, flame the lancer (be careful of your buddy!), occupy the base, and crouch in it. Now choose Alicia and move her due north along the same path hugging the right side of the wall to avoid the hidden scout to the left, and plant her in the base. Her job is to defend the base, so finish by facing her southwest. Call an engineer and a sniper from your new base. You should have 3 CP left: end the phase. The enemy will call reinforcements, but generally waste their time. The mortar bunkers will also start targeting random areas of the map: again, always try to end up outside of these areas, and you can probably reload the enemy's turn if you want to reset them, but you have lots of wiggle room on this map. I never found them to be any trouble. On your turn, save and then select your sniper and run east toward the closer nest; go up top and target the enemy sniper leader up on the far wall north of you. Take him out, reselect, and target the enemy shocktrooper leader near the next switch (he's facing the wrong way), and then reselect and target one of the shocktroopers in the trenches. I hit the one on the western side. Descend for cover before the end of your turn. Next, select Rosie and run east past your sniper and turn left around the edge of the berm. Reselect her and go up to the back of the ace tank destroyer and blow it away; it should only take one CP (but it's fine if it takes two). Reselect and push northwest toward the enemy heavy gatling gun - mind the barricades - and take it out. (If you can't make it in just three turns, you have plenty of wiggle room here.) Be sure to face east (opposite of where you were heading) when you're done. Next, take the engineer and start moving slowly toward the second base. You'll want to take your time and deactivate all the mines along the railway and north path (you can leave the ones to the sides). You should have enough movement to clear a path, go straight up to the second switch and activate it, and then go back south to the second enemy base and occupy it. If you have more movement, go crouch by the switch. You'll also want to face east. Now, take your remaining shocktrooper and push north through the path that your engineer just cleared. Veer to the left, however, and head toward the medium tank. Reselect and run behind the tank and shoot it; reselect, finish the tank, and continue as far west as you can go. This should finish you up with 5 CP (or 4 if you needed extra last phase, or possibly less if you took a little longer to finish something else - you really do have lots of time to get things right). The enemy will continue to call reinforcements from its final two bases, and will probably move their last tank. They may also move the shocktrooper reinforcement they already called, or they may move the hidden ace scout in the grass off the east. They will probably also attack the first base you took, but Alicia can easily defend it without a problem. On your turn, start with Rosie and move her down into the trench; aim for the final trenched shocktrooper and take him out, and then move east as far as you can (but end near a wall so you don't block the middle of the trench). Next, select your engineer. Your job here is to grenade the enemy ace. If he moved, this should be easy, and since Rosie probably tore him up a little, one grenade might even finish him off. If he did not move, you'll need to run due east - through the trench is fastest - and find him hiding in the grass near the corner of the eastern wall (he's actually right of the two tank mines if you are facing due east). Toss a grenade to get him standing. If you didn't kill him with the grenade, select your sniper, go up into the nest, and finish him (or just use the engineer). Likewise, if the enemy moved their reinforcement out into the open or your sniper can get a bead on him, go ahead and kill him first. Once the ace is dead, reselect Rosie and have her run left around the edge of the wall and straight for the northeastern enemy base. Kill the reinforcements if you didn't already (or heal if you can), occupy the base, and crouch facing the tank. (This will likely take 2 moves.) Now select your other shocktrooper and do the same thing on the other side: head around the corner and go for the northwestern base and occupy it - but since you have the movement, go ahead and push past it toward the ladder just northeast of the base. Go up the ladder and now you should be close to the enemy gatling bunker; run up to it and use your flamethrower on it. Reselect and finish it off. Try to end your turn near the back wall so that the tank can't target you (look for the blue target line instead of the yellow one). (This will likely take 3 moves.) At this point you have tons of CP left and several more phases, so feel free to use your sniper and/or Alicia to kill the remaining scout if you want, or position anyone you think might be in danger. Otherwise, go ahead and end the phase. The enemy will take some shots at Rosie and target new areas with mortar rounds. On your turn, take the shocktrooper up on the wall and head east toward the second gatling bunker; spend two CP with your flamethrower taking it out. Now, just select Rosie and run for the final tank. Shoot it in the back, reselect and blow it up; then reselect again and kill the final leader (either flame him or grenade + shoot him) and flip the third switch. Your reward for the aces include the best anti-personnel scout weapon in the main game, and a very nice accuracy item for Welkin. I traded one of my other accuracy items for this one, since it took up less space. =========================================================== Episode 15b - Citadel Ghirlandaio ("Selvaria's Last Stand") =========================================================== [5E15B] A Rank - 8 (much more than you need) CP: 12 Leaders: 3 Aces: 0 Tanks: 5 Boss: 1 *Note: Deploy redone to give Rosie a better chance; thanks to Febry for reminding me of how she originally survived. Also I had this amazing tip sent in by czap1221 for clearing the level very quickly without any bonuses, so use this if you just want to get through it: For deployment, position all four snipers in your back row - equip them with the most accurate rifles you have. Select Welkin and use a smokescreen that lands centered just behind your units. Then, in turn, move each sniper to the edge of the smokescreen and take a headshot at the boss. You have to use a different one each time; also being just at the edge of the smokescreen will keep her from counterattacking. You'll know you're in the right place when you see the puffy smoke clouds in the foreground, instead of the washed out chalky smoke background. The boss will not dodge the first shot fired from each of them in a single phase, and the end result is that she goes down in 6 CP. On to the main strategy! The boss on this stage is incredibly powerful: she has the movement of a scout, the HP of a medium tank (or thereabouts), the range of a sniper, and she'll evade pretty much anything you throw at her. To top it off, her weapon acts like a heavy gatling gun and will tear you up just as quickly. However, you have two things going for you that really make this map rather easy. First, you have a million years to finish this map. There's no reason you can't get an A rank in fewer than 8 phases. Second, while the boss is tough, she -is- able to be hurt, and since she's just a normal troop she's still susceptible to one very important thing: undodgable shots! That's right, you actually have a reason to use potentials in this map: both Alicia and Rosie (among others) have Undodgeable Shot, so they (or anyone else with this ability) are great to use. If you have the Awaken Potential order, that makes it even easier since you can use that to give them an even better chance; otherwise, you may have to reload a few times since she will always evade otherwise (but it often seems to trigger). But what if you don't like using potentials? All is not lost: you have SO much time that you can easily get Welkin up there and cover her in smoke as well. If she can't see you, you can easily walk right up behind her and shoot her in the back. However, you do need to be careful and plan ahead: hurting her significantly makes her trigger a cutscene that heals enemy units (although it does not seem to affect her), and she'll constantly use the Heal All order on her own turn (which DOES heal her), so you'll want to finish her off in one phase. The basic plan is to push hard early so you can cut off their reinforcements, then get one unit up there and load up on tons of orders so that you can get close, then shoot her with Undodgable Shot (the Attack order works great on her, too). Surrounding her with smoke works as well, as you can easily sneak up on her and walk right behind her so that she won't evade. However, her own movements will often make this map a bit random, so this strategy is more general than most. All the enemies are black elite units (even tanks) and they are extra tough to kill. It really helps to be at least level 15 at this point (mine were all level 16 thanks to skirmish 7) and have some R-type weapons, especially on your scouts - in fact, make sure your scouts have the highest damage weapons they can get. Rosie should be carrying the best flamethrower you have as well. Also, your starting position is crucial because the enemy boss and a bunch of snipers will be chewing you up. Start with Rosie on the top left corner so that she starts bunkered, and put Largo to the right of her. Put another good shocktrooper to the right of Largo (I'll call this one your eastern shocktrooper), and then a tough shocktrooper you don't care about as much in the top right slot; I'll call him tweedledead. For the back row, start with Alicia on the bottom left, another shocktrooper you don't care about next to her (I'll call them tweedledeader), and finally a sniper on the bottom right. The function of the tweedles is to get shot down, so don't worry about giving them good weapons. You should have one open slot. Start with Welkin. Move him forward and slightly right toward the enemy shocktrooper in the bunker and run him over so he stands up. Continue to push forward on that side and launch a smoke round directly at the boss. You won't be able to hit her, but you'll get close enough to stop her crazy cover-fire. I like to back up a bit after that as well. Now, select Largo and run him toward the heavy gatling gun on the left; use the house on your right for cover until you get close, then pop out and blow it away. Continue toward the bunkers and crouch a bit north so that the boss can't see you; he's done. Next, select your sniper and take out the recently displaced shocktrooper. Reselect, and aim for the standing shocktrooper on the stairs off to the west. Kill him and move to the left side of your base, reselect, and snipe the standing shocktrooper off to the right who is also on the stairs. Before you end your turn, run back to the flag and RETREAT (very important). Now, take your eastern shocktrooper and run toward the first medium tank, ducking left between two houses and circling right around behind it; stop near the bottom of the stairs to shoot it. Reselect, finish it off, and then push up the eastern stairs to where the enemy shocktrooper was dropped. Stand a bit in front of his body, but north against the staircase's stone wall; make sure the boss can't see you. Now give a Damage order (2 CP) to Alicia. Select her and run north-northwest to the left side of the row of houses near the heavy tank. Run all the way around behind the tank and shoot it; this should nearly kill it. Reselect her and blow it away; now through the houses head back toward Largo, and finish her move crouching at the foot of the stairs (get as close as you can to the stairs but stay in cover). Save and finish phase one. The enemy boss will run along the rampart shooting anyone she sees - which is Rosie and your poor sacrificial tweedles. Enemy snipers will also come out of the woodwork and take out anyone they see. Hopefully they will prioritize the tweedles over Rosie; if she dies reload. (Many people have written in to say she tends to get killed, but she tends to evade very well for me - sometimes not getting shot even once.) Most importantly, they will call for reinforcements from either the western two or the eastern two bases; this will affect your strategy somewhat. Hopefully they will call from the western bases. On your next phase, start with Welkin again and shoot another smoke round at the boss. You'll probably have to position yourself a bit to get close so that she's covered up by the smoke. (I like to back up each time so I can more easily make the next move.) Next save the game, and then select your eastern shocktrooper. This is tricky: run up the stairs, turn right, and hug the left wall as you run south. Stop a bit before you get to the sniper leader, and throw a grenade at him but also just past him - ideally you can also get it to land just behind him. Your goal is to kill him but also blow up the stack of logs just past him. A bonus goal is to also throw his body to the right, so you don't stop for half a second to touch it. Once that's done, steel yourself and get as far to the left as you can, then run straight, headlong into the gatling fire. IMMEDIATELY after you run out of AP, end your turn - the faster the better. You'll probably want to save again. Now reselect, and start running as hard as you can toward the gatling gun and duck as soon as possible to the left to the top of a small stairwell. Push hard to the left; the gun can swing wider than you think - but once you're there, immediately target that gatling gun and blow it away. Now head down the stairs and occupy the enemy base, and then turn back around and crouch at the sandbags just to the north. You're probably very hurt but you can make it. Now spend a CP to call for a scout reinforcement here (the best you have - Ted is a good choice, since he has Undodgable Shot as well). Now, save again and select Alicia. She needs to run all the way up the stairs, take a left and hug the left wall, stop and kill the sniper leader, and push all the way down to the lift button and activate it. It's on the gray box right next to the shocktrooper. The shocktrooper will mess you up, but once you slam the button immediately end her turn. Now, select Rosie. Call a medic for any downded tweedles and then go up the newly activated lift and use your flamethrower on the shocktrooper there; this should kill him in one hit. Sneak toward the lancer behind you and then end your turn. Reselect Rosie and flame him to death as well, then south and try to push down around the bottom column. Reselect her one more time and keep pushing northwest around the column, and end your turn facing east. Now select Alicia and run down into the enemy base and occupy it, and then follow Rosie around the lower part of the map. Reselect her and push north, taking out the enemy scout that starts shooting at you. Make sure you get all the way to the bunker and crouch. At this point you'll have 1 CP left; I actually had my standing tweedle still alive so I ran him forward and bunkered down for the next enemy phase. At this point the enemy's movements are too hard to predict accurately to really give a step-by-step anymore, especially depending on which bases have been calling troops, so we're going to go with general ideas for some things. The enemy will call more reinforcements. They may also spread out their remaining troops, and if there were reinforcements called on the right, they'll move that troop down. Most importantly, the boss will continue her pattern of running back and forth across the ramparts, continuing to fire at tweedle if possible, although with so few snipers left this troop should make it through the turn if bunkered. On your third phase, have Welkin smoke the boss again; you can be more haphazard about it. Now turn him around and head for the lift on the west side. You should make it up the lift, and turn north and start heading toward the boss. Now put a defense order on Rosie. Select her and continue running around the bottom of the column and toward the tank destroyer. When she gets close to some stacked wood that is perpendicular to her path, stop and throw a grenade at it to clear the wood. Run up on the RIGHT side of the tank destroyer, and stop before the very end. Reselect, run past the end and turn around and blow the thing away. Continue running northeast toward some bunkers just to the east of the base; get to them and crouch. Hopefully their shocktrooper reinforcement will have watched you the whole time. Now select Alicia, run up to the poor fool and blow him away. (If he is crouched, you may need to reselect Rosie and have her flamethrower him instead.) Occupy the base, then head east next to Rosie, and crouch so that there are no sightlines from any enemy to your position. On the eastern front, you should have a shocktrooper and a scout in that base. Start with your shocktrooper, continue east, and kill the sniper leader that ran down that way. Note that it is slightly better (shorter path) to move clockwise around the giant pillar and go up the stairs than to back out of the base and go counterclockwise down and around the rampart. Once the sniper is dead, go ahead and park this shocktrooper somewhere safe; they're done. Now save and give a damage order to your scout. Select them, and run the same direction toward the dead sniper and then up the ramp on the left. However, JUST before you get to the top of the ramp, target the gatling gun just north of you and take it out; it's a slightly tricky shot but aim for his head. Continue pushing north to the right side of the house where the gatling gun was. Now reselect, and head to the right of the next house as well, but duck back left and continue north through the alley. The tank should get a few shots at you but not much; circle left around the house and occupy the base, then target the heavy tank's weak spot and damage it. Reselect, finish the tank, and then crouch inside the base as far to the west as you can. This should finish up your third phase. However, if the enemy called reinforcements on this side it could complicate things; you may need to hold your scout back and finish up the eastern side next phase. The good thing is, once this side is clear all you have left to kill is one tank destroyer and the boss, and the enemy is being pincer attacked. You really have plenty of time from this point on, so don't sweat it too hard. At this point, it's anyone's guess as to what the enemy will do, but generally they will call even more reinforcements, move troops around to defend the central base, and for me, the boss used a Heal All order, which was a great waste of time. One of their snipers even killed himself on my scout. Hopefully the boss won't just murder your forward troops; she did next to nothing against me. The main thing you need is for Alicia or anyone else who can reach the boss in one move to survive, along with someone who can take down the tank destroyer (completely optional). On your fourth phase, select a scout (or whoever can take it down) and run to the tank destroyer. It is pushed up against the wall as hard as it can get, but you can actually target the weak spot: look at your "to kill" counter, and when it shows a number, you will hit it. I took two turns with a scout to take it out, but you may have more luck moving Rosie over in two or three turns and shooting it that way. The enemy is unlikely to have tried to defend it, but if they are, take them out as well. Feel free to even grab the base if they left it alone. All in all, you'll need to save about 9 or 10 CP for your final attack. If you can't do it all this turn, that's perfectly ok: just focus on attacking that central base to stop reinforcements. It should be extremely easy to kill everyone this phase other than the boss and take their base, since you're in such a good position. Go ahead and push the button on Welkin's side so that he can get through the doors and start pushing him up toward the top, too, if you'd like. Just make sure all non-tank units end their turn behind boxes and avoid the boss's detection. At this point, you have two choices: either go ahead and take out the boss, or get Welkin up there and take her down while she's in a smoke round. Doing that is extremely easy, but if you'd like to go ahead and finish her, pick your Undodgable Shot unit that can reach the boss in one turn - Alicia works great if the boss is on that side - and load her up with orders. You'll want to hit them with Defend (1), Attack (1), Neutralize (1), and maybe even Caution (2). These are all orders you should have if all your troops are above level 13. Finally, if you received Awaken Potential (2) from the old man in the cemetery, use that as well. Now SAVE, and then run like a madman straight at the crazy thing. Get up close and fire. I don't think headshots matter, but I aimed for the head anyway. Hopefully your potential will trigger and you'll hit her. Quickly end your turn, reselect, and fire again - repeat as necessary until she is defeated. Hopefully you have a few CP to play with, or else you'll need to save each time you hit and then reload if Undodgable Shot doesn't trigger. With all those buffs, it should only take two non-misses to take her down (you might need three if you don't have the best damaging weapon). Your other choice is to get Welkin up there and smoke-round the area around the boss. At this point, you only need the Neutralize and Attack orders. The smoke will keep her from shooting you as you approach her, and you can walk right up and shoot her in the back, and then reselect and move to her other side and do it again and again. There are other options as well: Rosie makes for a great offensive against the boss, too. You can definitely skip Caution in that case since she has her own potential that helps with that. Be sure not to bother with the flamethrower; it doesn't hurt her as much for some reason. You have PLENTY of time to deal with her, however, so just be sure to wait until you have enough CP to take her all in one go. ================================ Episode 16 - The Maiden's Shield ================================ [5E016] A Rank - 8 CP: 10 - but you'll have 8 Leaders: 0 Aces: 1 Tanks: 0 As much as the story is heating up, this map is a real snoozer. There are only 6 enemies and no bases. Bringing in many additional troops is actually a burden, since you have to keep moving the whole time. Because of this, I suggest leaving Largo and Rosie behind (although that won't stop their cutscenes where they are commenting on what's going on). The "trick" to this map (this whole map is one big trick, which is also annoying) is that the giant ship will continue to advance unless you use cleverly placed ragnite explosives to cause landslides to block its path. These will also slow it down - but you do NOT want to slow it down, or you'll miss the A rank. In fact, you do NOT want to blow up any of these ragnite bombs except the ones that are strictly necessary to beat the mission. It's actually possible to block yourself off if you blow them all up and cause yourself to auto-fail the map, which is also pretty annoying. Lastly, while the ship will shoot at you, it's not targetable - so don't even bother. You can probably beat this map easily with just your tanks, but I suggest loading Alicia, another scout, and an engineer just to make it somewhat interesting (and since scouts have a much easier time hitting those explosives). Start by selecting Alicia and moving south toward the enemy shocktrooper you can see. Along the way, you'll see a ragnite explosive (looks like two canisters on top of each other; also, if you go into "aiming" mode and press "next target," they will be targetable). Ignore the first one. Continue southeast, along the left (eastern) wall, and you'll see a fork in the path (you will have noticed it from the overhead map). On either side of the right (west) path are two explosives. Shoot one (they're easy to hit, even from far away), and continue south so that you're on the left (east) side of the gulley wall, near a bush or something for some cover. Select your other scout and follow Alicia's path, only this time shoot the other explosive on the other side of the right path. Park as close to Alicia as you can get. If you've done this right, you'll see on the overhead map that the "bad" path will be covered completely; that's what you're going for. Now, select your engineer and tanks and move them each toward Alicia as well. You should finish with 1 CP. The enemy should run their shocktrooper and a hidden lancer at your scouts; together they should kill them both with cover-fire and counterattacks. Each turn their ship will move forward (it's still pretty slow, but it seems to speed up toward the end), and it will target two random spots with mortar fire. These rarely came even close to being in my way, but you may need to adjust your final position each turn accordingly. You have lots of time to move your guys down, so don't sweat it. On your turn move your tanks forward again. Now take your engineer and head through the first wall and toward the barricades on the left; throw a grenade to clear them. (If you don't get them both, one of your scouts can clear the remaining one on their turn.) Reselect your engineer and push south through the barricades and start clearing a path through the mines. (Don't worry, it doesn't have to be a wide path.) I just cleared a small path toward the grassy area on the left, since there are fewer mines there anyway (although I did get the first tank mine on the left). Continue south but stop short of your maximum move - you want the scouts to get in front of you. (The tree on your left is a good mark to shoot for, distance-wise.) Now, move both scouts down in front of your engineer and finish with 1 CP again. On the enemy's turn, it should spring a shocktrooper out from behind the wall; your scouts should take him down again. Your next phase is similar to the last one: start with the engineer and clear a path toward the next set of barricades and take them out with a grenade. (There's a mine just behind the last blue arrow sign on your left; it's worth getting as well.) Here, you'll also need to clear some of the tank mines near the barricades - I cleared a total of three - and then push past the broken barricades and hug the far left canyon wall. Finish facing the last three enemies. Run Alicia down past the engineer - hugging the left wall - and you'll see another split in the path ahead, again with some ragnite explosives conveniently placed near the edges. From where you end up, you should just be able to hit one on the southern side of the left path; it's just behind a small corner. Set it off. Make sure you are back as far as you can be toward the gulley wall facing the final three enemies and then move your other scout down next to Alicia. Now, move your tanks down as well - they can plow through the normal mines, so just head straight from one broken barricade toward the other. Be sure to avoid the tank mines. You'll want to move Welkin twice this phase to catch up with the Shamrock. You should end your phase with no CP left. Their sniper might shoot at Alicia if you're too close, but you should be fine. Now, move both of your tanks on through the minefield and toward the objective. Move Welkin twice again. Shoot a smoke round in front of your scouts if they're getting shot. End this turn with 2 CP. Next turn, move Welkin down and mortar the group of enemies, favoring the shocktrooper (this should kill him). Now move the Shamrock down twice and feel free to hit one of their troops again (I shot the ace). Move Alicia down toward the objective and finish off the ace (shots from behind help keep him from evading). It might take two CP; he's tough! Move your other scout down and kill the lancer. Now, take your engineer and start to move toward the rest of the troops, but stop once you can see the other ragnite explosives on the other (eastern) side of the second fork in the path. It's behind a rock. This should completely cover the second "wrong" path with landslides. Be sure your engineer clears that entire area. Now it gets boring. On your next phase make sure all of your troops who aren't already there get close to the objective area and end your phase. Continue to end your phase until you win. Your reward for the ace is the ZM SG 5(g), the last in a line of awful sniper weapons. Technically, giving this weapon to Marina isn't a bad idea; her Ultimate Accuracy potential means the poor accuracy goes away, leaving you with massive damage. But sadly the range is about half your other weapons, which makes it really difficult to use effectively. =============================== Episode 17 - The Bridge to Hope =============================== [5E017] A Rank - 5 CP: 10 Leaders: 4 Aces: 1 Tanks: 3 (4 including boss) Boss: 1 Wow, now this is a tough battle to get an A rank and all the bonuses. There are few tricks: it's just plain hard to do. It will take some skill and a little luck to pull it off, but it can be done. You only have 5 phases, and you have to capture all four bases to make the boss keep from healing himself between phases - and THEN it takes more than one whole phase just to kill him: you have to break through his armor and THEN take him out. Did I mention that all the units are black elites as well? You'll want to give your most powerful lancer weapon to your favorite non-Largo lancer: it needs to be someone with Extra Shot and good anti-tank potentials. I highly, highly recommend Jann for this; he has exactly the potentials you want. (Hopefully you'll have gotten at least one 10R lancer weapon as your reward from episode 16 as well.) Also, if you have the Awaken Potential order (gotten from the Aged Gentleman) and the Penetration order (sniper level 15+), those will help. It's possible to do it without them, but you may be doing a lot of saving and reloading to get the Extra Shot potential to go off. Also, thanks to the newly available skirmish 8, all your units should be at least level 17 by now. For your deploy, put Rosie and a good sniper in the forward spot with only 2 units; Rosie should be to the left (west) and the sniper to the right (east). Rosie should have your most powerful flamethrower equipped. Put a good shocktrooper and an engineer - preferably one with Repair Boost - in the upper and lower spots, respectively, next to Welkin in the upper area. Lastly, put Alicia in the northwest position in the third area, and Largo in there anywhere just for CP. This should leave 2 open positions. First, select your sniper and go north and up the ladder there. Head forward and turn left; go to the edge of the building where you can see pretty much everyone. Take two turns (two headshots, mind you) and snipe the enemy ace first; he's to the west, in the southern base. It's really annoying and you'll probably have to reload a few times, but he's a HUGE pain otherwise. After you kill him, back up a little (stay on the rubble pile), then reselect and kill the scout leader next to him while you're up there. End your turn by running back behind the wall near the ladder; the sniper is done. Now, issue a Damage (2 CP) order to your northern shocktrooper unit. Select this unit and run to the right of Welkin and then toward the northeastern base, heading for the heavy tank. If you do it correctly you will not get shot at all. Get close, and then once your movement is up shoot the enemy shocktrooper crouching there; you'll do a little damage but he won't return fire since you're still out of his range. You have to injure this unit a bit now or else you won't be able to kill it in one hit with a flamethrower. (Note: this may not be true; you can try the next few turns out to see if you need to, and then reload and not get his attention if you don't.) Reselect and run on the right side and behind the heavy tank; take it out. Reselect and flamethrower the enemy leader just north (he should be facing away from you); reselect and flame the crouching shocktrooper still left in the base (you may want to change up this order so that the black elite shocktrooper doesn't shoot you as much if you got his attention), but DO NOT occupy the base! Finish your turn next to the ladder with the word "occupy" on your screen, but we want to give the enemy the best possible chance at wasting reinforcement orders. End your phase with 1 extra CP. The enemy boss will attack and fire a smoke round into a random base on the board each turn; he may also issue orders, and he will call reinforcements, usually in the pattern that one base calls a single unit and another calls two. Hopefully the southernmost or eastern base will call two; if not, you may have to adjust this strategy slightly (or reload). You may also need to reload if the southern base gets smoked. Everyone will generally attack Welkin (he's a great target and useful to waste their turns) and maybe Rosie (reload if she dies). They will also run their southern shocktrooper that was hidden between some buildings toward Rosie; hopefully she'll kill him in the counterattack. On your turn, start by saving and selecting your northern shocktrooper. Occupy the base. Now you'll want to go up the ladder, move slightly left, and then aim so that you can shoot both the heavy cannon and the sniper's head in the same shot. It's tricky, but you CAN do it. Move forward after that to the lancer; reselect and take him out, then go north toward the other ladder and descend. End your turn just out of site at the northwest corner of the building. Hopefully the southern base called some reinforcements this turn, because we're going to take it. You can adjust your strategy somewhat if the middle base called two troops, but the main point is that you have to stem their tide quickly to save your CP for the boss. Now, give Rosie a defense boost order (1 CP) and a damage order (2 CP). Select her and kill the enemy shocktrooper if he's not already dead (otherwise, heal) and head due west toward their southern base. Reselect and run toward the closer shocktrooper and take him out with your flamethrower; continue toward the flag. Reselect and flame the guy at the bottom of the base to death; occupy the base and move south toward where he was; get JUST on the other side of the bunker. Now reselect again and have her take out the heavy tank as well, clearing that side of the map. Move a bit west on that bunker so the boss doesn't have a yellow line to you (if possible), then crouch, face north and end her turn. Now move your engineer up and repair Welkin; directly behind him is a safe place to stand. End your phase with 1 CP remaining again. The enemy should continue to pound Welkin and waste time on orders. They tend to also run their second sniper out into the open for some reason, and hopefully their single reinforcement from one of their bases will run forward as well. For me, they ran a scout at my northern base but didn't take it. If the boss kills anyone, just reload. Now, hopefully the enemy will call two reinforcements from the central base, because we're taking it next. Also, while the enemy generally does nothing useful with smoke rounds, they may have hit the middle base at this point; if this is the case, you may need to modify this part slightly (or reload). Take Welkin and move straight forward as far as you can and shoot the heavy cannon on your left. Save, reselect, move him forward as far as he can go again and then place a mortar round right in the middle of the central base: this should take out both their scout leader and the standing shocktrooper. Now, take your engineer and move toward either your northern base or up to Welkin, and kill their first reinforcement troop (it was a scout for me). Be sure to end behind something (Welkin or a wall at your base). Now take Alicia and move northwest toward Welkin and the middle base; take out their foolish sniper and then occupy the base (if your engineer didn't) and take cover behind Welkin. This should leave you with 5 CP; end your phase. The enemy can't do much on their turn, but they will have one reinforcement unit (hopefully only one), which may come after you. Hopefully it will suicide into Welkin. Also hopefully the enemy will smoke their final base this phase - they usually do. If they don't, reload; you need that smoke round. On your turn, give your northern shocktrooper a damage (2 CP) order and move them west using the smoke for cover toward the final heavy tank; take two turns and get behind the thing and take it out, then move back toward the base. (Febry writes that you can use your flamethrower blind toward the base at the end of your first move and you may get lucky and take someone out.) Now select Welkin and move toward the last base; place a mortar as close as you can to the enemy flag to clear the smoke and get their lancer and shocktrooper leader standing. Run over the enemy shocktrooper leader there to get him standing if you didn't with the mortar, but try not to leave yourself too exposed - end facing west / southwest as best you can. Don't go too far west, though; make sure you are on the east side of the flag in that base. Now reselect your shocktrooper in that base and take out their reinforcement troop (or troops, if there are more than one) and reselect again to take out their leader. End crouching at a bunker. Run Alicia up to take out the lancer and then occupy the base, and then crouch. Call your best tank-killing lancer with the highest damaging weapon and the Extra Shot potential from this final base (probably Jann). If you have more than 15 CP remaining, run your engineer up, repair Welkin, and hide behind him. At this point, you should have about 5 CP remaining in phase 4, and the only enemy left should be the boss. You will need a minimum of about 14 CP to kill him (maybe less if you're lucky), so if there are any other units remaining ignore them if you can. If you just can't get to this point with 14 CP left, you'll need to go back to an earlier save when the boss is somewhat forward and you have at least the central base captured and just call your lancer then. The trick is, you don't have to capture every base to defeat him, just to keep him from healing - so if you can save 14-15 CP for a single turn, you should be golden. Killing every unit is only to make things easier. Once you're on your last turn, you'll want to use Awaken Potential (2 CP) and Penetration (2 CP) on your called lancer. You may be able to do it without Penetration, but it really seems to help. Sadly, Damage Boost does nothing until the armor is gone, and afterwards it's not really worth it (don't even bother using it on a non-lancer, as your other troops won't do a thing against the boss until its armor is gone). Your tanks are equally as useless, just because they don't do enough damage per CP. Awaken Potential is there only to get Extra Shot to trigger almost every time (sometimes it still doesn't; you may want to save a lot). Now, select the lancer, run close enough to hit it without it starting to target you (try to work your way behind it as well), and shoot him repeatedly until his HP drops to zero. This took about 7 shots for me, even with a 10R weapon. Then he'll shed his armor and heal to full, and you still have to shoot him THREE TIMES in his weak spot in the back to actually kill him (or if you get another good potential, maybe fewer). Hopefully Extra Shot will continue to trigger repeatedly and you'll get about 10 shots off in a row. Another way to do this is to use those extra CP to instead move your engineer next to the lancer and refill him after each volley of three shots. It's better to call two lancers if you are going this route, so that the engineer's turns will be more efficient (thanks again Febry for that idea). This can be harder, however, since you won't get the bonuses from the other potentials as often, and your engineer absolutely cannot take many hits from the boss's cover fire. Either way, once you take him out, the battle is won. Your reward for the final ace in the main game is the awesome ZM MP 5(g). The range is still bad but slightly better compared to the 4(g), but the damage is still amazing. I recommend trading up on whoever has the 4(g). (By now the 3 is less impressive.) ====================================================== Episode 18a - Shadow of the Valkyrur ("Marmota's End") ====================================================== [5E18A] A Rank - 5 CP: 10 Leaders: 0 Aces: 0 Tanks: 0 Taking out this giant ship amazingly isn't as hard as taking out the giant tank in the desert. Units will appear each phase either from the "front" of the ship, or from the eastern corner (near the Shamrock), or from the southwest corner where several enemy troops start out. The side cannons are pretty ruthless and interestingly the unit most vulnerable at the beginning is Welkin. However, it's still pretty easy to beat this map with an A rank with room to spare, and the secret is the Penetration order. The end of this battle will look very similar to Episode 17, and for that reason I suggest getting your lancers to level 18 by now. You'll want to deploy into all your available positions. Start with a good non-Rosie shocktrooper up top. Put Rosie (left) and your best damaging lancer (right) in the short second row - I will call this unit lancer 2. (I once again recommend using Jann or someone with Extra Shot.) In the third row put, left to right, Alicia, your best sniper, and an engineer with repair boost. In the back two positions put Largo on the left and another good lancer on the right - I will call this unit lancer 3. At this point your lancers should have anti-tank lances with at least "C" accuracy but 1300+ damage, and hopefully some royal lances with "C" accuracy that do over 1400 damage. I used 10R lances for all three of my units. The more of these, the better. If you have to give someone a less powerful weapon, give it to lancer 3. Start with lancer 3. All these moves will be under fire, so try to focus and not get too distracted; you won't get torn up too badly. Also, with "C" accuracy weapons none of these shots should be very hard, but you should probably still save between all of them. Move lancer 3 all the way up to your furthest north shocktrooper and bunker down. Aim for the left-most gatlin gun (pretty much in front of you) and hit it; reselect and hit it again. Now select lancer 2. Shoot the same gun a third time, destroying it, then push northwest all the way up to the far left front-most bunker; you will know you're in the right place because you'll stop getting shot. Now select Largo. You are going to run forward all the way up to a ladder on the side of the giant ship; you're aiming for the ladder right next to the gatlin gun you just destroyed. You can swing a bit wide to the left to avoid getting shot too much; you only have to get up the ladder on this turn. Climb that ladder, and then aim west; you should be right up next to an anti- tank gun. Shoot it, then reselect, shoot it again, and go down the ladder and run back to lancer 2 and bunker down, facing northwest. Reselect lancer 2 and shoot it a third time, which should destroy it; end facing northwest as well. (If you don't run up next to it, it will take 4 shots to kill.) Once that's done, select Welkin and aim a mortar toward the troops in the southwest corner. You should be able to blow up their sniper and a shocktrooper with one shot (and probably knock their lancer around a bit). After that, push Welkin backwards toward the wall of the map behind him; you're never going to advance, despite the hints that you should, so you want your weak spot as covered as possible. Try to also cover your troops from the southwestern enemy squad a bit, but don't get flush against the wall - leave room for someone to stand behind you. Lastly, use your sniper to kill the lancer in the eastern corner of the map, and re-bunker. End your phase with 1 CP remaining. They should beat on Welkin pretty bad, and one extra troop will show up (a lancer). The ship will also target the area in front of it, which is a great place to use your tanks to shoot it... but don't bother. On your next phase, you're going to target the remaining two gatling cannons with your lancers again. Use lancer 3 to shoot the far eastern one twice. Then have Largo run to where lancer 3 is and finish off the far eastern one. Reselect Largo and target the last one. Now select lancer 2 and shoot the last one twice, destroying it. Once those are gone, you have room to breathe. Use your sniper to kill both of the remaining shocktroopers, and one of the remaining lancers (if something more dangerous than a lancer showed up, kill that instead). Move as necessary but try to stay near your other troops and leave the easiest to hit one for last (whoever you don't have to move far from a bunker to hit). Now select your engineer and move in an arc front to back: refill lancer 2, your sniper, and then repair Welkin. Go ahead and hide behind him when you're done. Reselect your sniper and take out the last lancer; re-bunker down. That should finish your phase. They should call one reinforcement again (a shocktrooper) and he'll probably run at your tank and die in the crossfire between it and one of your shocktroopers/Alicia. Also, a special guest may show up and heal all your troops if you're hurt - yay! On your third phase, choose your sniper and look up on the ramparts of the ship, west of the last anti-tank cannon. There's a lone shocktrooper there you should just be able to hit in the head; snipe him. Now, select lancer 2. Shoot the "plating" that's near the anti-tank cannon on this side; that will create a path onto the ship. Run up onto the ship and toward the ladders up; you should be able to climb both the first and second ladders and go a bit further. (Note: you may get "stuck" on the ramp up; it happens to me pretty much every time, and you just have to fiddle around with your movement to get by. Hopefully it won't waste too much AP for you.) Push as far as you can, but when you end your turn be sure to leave some room for someone to get past you. Now select Rosie. Run up onto the ship, up both ladders and toward the lancer. Reselect and continue to follow the path to the area between the two propellers. There will be one enemy shocktrooper here; take him out, and then try to end in the southern corner of the catwalk; specifically, you need your lancer to get by, but more importantly you want the ragnite core above you to be between you and the tip of the main gun (also above you). It can and will shoot individual units each phase as well. Now reselect lancer 2 and run toward Rosie. Once you're there, you can see the giant ragnite cores exposed above you near the propellers. They are only exposed on the east side, so you have to get east of them and then you should see the blue radiator bits. Target the close one and take it out (you shouldn't miss, they are easy to hit). If you have a hard time finding them, go into targeting mode and hit "next enemy" to find them easier. Continue toward the other side of the platform; reselect and take out the other core on the other side. Be sure to hide in the corner over here as well, so that the cores are between you and the main gun. Destroying these cores exposes the main gun and makes it able to be hurt, and it should leave you with 4 CP on phase three (and no shots left). Now select your engineer and run up onto the ship all the way to your lancer, following the same path. (Avoid the enemy shocktrooper if it wasn't killed earlier.) It will take two turns; feel free to heal yourself, Rosie, Welkin, or whoever on your way. If no one needs healing, just shoot the main gun - you won't do much, but you'll see what it looks like when you damage it. Specifically, you need to aim for the tip, not just anywhere - the part that glows the brightest is your target. Once your engineer is up there, try to hide them in the corner next to your lancer. Save your last two CP and end the phase. More reinforcements will arrive; the main gun may shoot at you if you didn't place yourself well. So long as lancer 2 and your engineer survive, you're golden. On your fourth phase, give a Penetration order (2 CP) to lancer 2, and run to the middle of the catwalk. Now just continually fire up at the main gun and reselect your lancer. After three shots use your engineer to refill them. You should have 8 shots (more if Extra Shot goes off a few times and you don't need the engineer); this should be enough to either take it out or almost destroy it (it only took 7 shots for me with a 10R weapon). If you don't finish it this phase, just make sure everyone lives through the enemy's next turn, and then repeat the process to win. ======================================================= Episode 18b - Shadow of the Valkyrur ("Final Showdown") ======================================================= [5E18B] A Rank - 3 CP: 12 Leaders: 0 Aces: 0 Tanks: 0 Boss: 1 Well, for a final showdown, this battle is somewhat anti-climactic. It's pretty obvious what the "trick" is: you need to destroy the towers to have a chance to kill the boss. You only get 3 phases for an A rank, but honestly the longer this battle lasts the harder it is, since the boss eventually gets an attack that targets everyone on the screen for massive damage and can kill your tanks rather quickly. Make SURE both of your tanks have at least two mortar rounds each, and be sure you've upgraded both tanks with the best body armor you can get; go ahead and re-spec entirely to HP and defense, since you won't need to aim. Also, at this point I had bought all the best armor for my ground units and had 10R, 20R, or 30R weapons for each of the ones I was using. Your shocktroopers, lancers, and snipers should all be level 18 as well. For your deploy, put two snipers in the back, Rosie and another shocktrooper in the front two positions (one on each side), and Largo and another lancer behind each of your two shocktroopers. Throw Alicia in there for CP. It's also worth noting that some rubble falls all during the battle; you can completely ignore it. On your first phase, use your two shocktroopers to run around the outer sides of the walls in front of them and shoot the close towers directly in front of them. (Don't run in the middle!) These have miniguns but they shouldn't be much problem for these troops. The real trick to this map is that these towers have extremely tiny spots to hit and you might not find them without going into targeting mode and hitting "next enemy": be sure to do this so you know you're hitting them. (Also, you'll see a number in the shots-to- kill box.) Take each one of these out on either side and hide your units behind those walls so that the boss can't see you. Now, select your best sniper (Ultimate Accuracy helps) and shoot the tower on the far side of the map: one shot should kill it. You'll probably need to duck behind the nearest tank for cover, then pop out and shoot between volleys by the boss. Be sure to end in cover as well. Now, move both of your tanks forward and up the ramps on either side of the boss. Note that the "rubble" on the deck is harmless to your tanks and you can drive through it; don't bother going around. Mortar the boss with each of them (mortars do more damage than tank shots; use the Shamrock's anti-personnel weapon if it does more than your mortar). Select Welkin and mortar him again; this should be enough to take him to just over 1/2 damage, which will trigger a cutscene. He'll power up and reset his position further back away from your troops. Try to finish with Welkin just west of where the boss started, facing that spot. Now, reselect the Shamrock and go forward just until you can mortar him again, and then back up and try to end just east of where the boss started, facing that spot. Save your last CP and end your phase. The boss will heal on his turn a little and walk slowly forward and do nothing (yay!). Then, he'll attack a huge area around him (boo) and move forward toward his original position. Your tanks should have survived; if not, you may need to buy more of their upgrades (you should easily have over a million gold by now!). Now, three more random towers will activate and power the boss. You can tell which ones they are on the overhead map, as there will be special blue lines going from the tower to the boss. This is the tricky part: you need to take out all these towers in 5 CP or less. Each tower can be taken down in 2 shots or fewer; the forward towers can be killed by your shocktroopers with one shot (try to save Rosie for later, though), and the far back and two far side ones can be shot by snipers. The side towers take two sniper shots, but they're easy to hit. The armored towers (closer to the boss) will take two lancer shots, and for this you may have to save/reload a few times. Your lancers will need to run so that the boss can't see them but they can still hit the towers; that's why you have one lancer on either side (probably about where your shocktroopers ran to shoot the close towers is a decent enough spot). For me, it was one front tower, one side tower, and one armored tower, which I took out in 5 CP. That leaves you 8 CP to kill the boss this phase - your tanks can't take another round of his power. Use the Attack, Neutralize, and possibly the Defend order (this is optional if you're good at hitting the "target" button quickly) on your best shocktrooper; I used Rosie. Now, select Welkin and try to move north of the boss and fire a mortar at him; this should get him facing north (toward Welkin), and take him close to 1/2 HP. (This may not be necessary with the defend order.) Now, run Rosie up toward the Shamrock and stand close to it so that it fires when you do: shoot the boss (I don't think headshots matter), quickly end your turn, and then reselect and do it again. 3 CP should be all you need with the Shamrock's help (her double- attack potential helps a bunch if you get it), but if you need 4 just don't use the Defend order and hope he doesn't get you between shots (it takes a second or so for him to aim). Once you finish him, congratulations! ======================================== Bonus Missions ======================================== [6BNSM] There are a few extra missions you can unlock by paying for enough newspaper stories. They're completely optional, but they're good XP and worth doing, especially since the cash needed for the stories is so easy to come by. They also unlock personality-based potentials for certain main characters. Note that there is absolutely no order to these missions; you can and probably will encounter them in a different order, as they are handed out pretty randomly. ========================= Extra 1 - Largo's Passion ========================= [6BN01] A Rank - 3 phases CP: 4 Leaders: 2 Aces: 0 Tanks: 2 This mission is extremely linear but deceptively tricky since you really only have two units and 4 CP. For your deploy, pick either Alicia or Rosie for the extra CP; it doesn't matter which because you won't be using them. Start by picking Welkin. Run him northwest toward the first ladder area. Go right at the fork and shoot the enemy leader scout in the head, and keep pushing on. Go up one side and down the other, ignoring the hidden shocktrooper. Next, reselect Welkin and run east. You can stop to shoot the hidden scout if you feel like it, but I didn't bother - he will only circle the building and waste CP for the enemy anyway. Go down the hill to the left a bit and stand against the northwestern-most tree and face the road (something will be coming around that corner). You can also try standing against the wall or to the left of the tree. Next, select Largo and run him along the same path. He won't make it to the ladder on the first turn, but select him again and push him up and over and then I like to park him behind the tree just around the corner to the right, so he has some cover from the roving scout. You might want to face backwards, to give him a better shot at evading if the shocktrooper behind you heads your way. On the enemy's turn, they'll move around a lot and possibly try to shoot Largo a little - he'll be fine, though. The real danger is the enemy shocktrooper leader that will come around the corner where Welkin is. Hopefully, you'll evade or otherwise survive his burst. If you die repeatedly, reload to an earlier save and try a slightly different spot. On your turn, select Welkin and immediately shoot or grenade the shocktrooper leader. Then, turn around and head west up the hill and try to duck immediately to the left behind the wall so that the gatling gun doesn't mangle you. Run up to the edge of the wall, but don't push to the right yet. End his turn and select Largo. Run forward and around, and then save and select him again and run straight for the gatling gun. He can take it down in one hit, but his accuracy is horrible at night. Try to get as close as you can, but don't go beyond the second bunker. Once it is destroyed, crouch. Then, select Welkin again. Run him up and turn right. At this point, depending on enemy movement, there will likely be a scout and a lancer in this small area. Your job is to find and kill the lancer, as he's the only thing that can threaten Largo on the enemy's next phase. After that, avoid the scout, climb the tiny ladder, and run and hide in the grass, facing back the way you came. That ends your turn. Hopefully the enemy will just waste a lot of time, although you might even get lucky and the scout could try to kill Welkin several times and die in the counter-fire. Either way, once that's done run Largo up and around the corner, across and toward the ladder. Save the game, then run up the ladder and to the far back left- (northeast-) most point. Aim and fire at the two tanks with your remaining 3 CP and 3 shots. They're hard shots, so don't get frustrated if it takes a few reloads. Your reward is a (funny) personality-based positive potential for Largo. ============================= Extra 2 - War Without Weapons ============================= [6BN02] A Rank - 4 CP: 9 Leaders: 4 Aces: 1 Tanks: 2 The main things to know about this map are that there are 17 enemies, and once you have killed their 3rd leader (whichever that is) they'll start to retreat toward the three exits. The general plan is to set yourself up in a good position and then start their retreat so that they run into your waiting troops. Load Alicia and Largo in the back (they won't be used), a sniper anywhere, and fill the remaining ranks with extra shocktroopers to help cover the southern exit. Start by moving the Shamrock up the cliff and right smack up next to the medium tank up there; execute the lancer on your way up (a tricky shot, since your aim is so poor). Reselect and push past the tank; shoot it from behind. Then take the time to run through the grass on the right; this will pop up two troops, including a leader. After that, save, reselect, and then head down toward the northern exit and fire a mortar into the patch of grass just south and left; aim for the area between the three standing rocks. You should catch the enemy ace and make him stand up. Head down the hill the rest of the way, make sure you aren't exposing your weak spot to the tank and end your turn. Next, take your sniper and snipe their sniper who is out in the open (to the west), and then hide behind Welkin or otherwise get in the middle of your troops. Then take your toughest shocktrooper and run into the patch of grass immediately to the right of Welkin; you should find another sniper there who you can take out in one round. Hide in the western edge of that brush facing east. You'll have 1 CP left; end your turn. The enemy will move the tank leader forward, take a few shots at the Shamrock, and otherwise move uncovered troops toward your base. On your next phase, reselect the Shamrock and go after the lancer in the brush to your right; run him over and then shoot him in the head. Next, head toward the tank leader; get just close enough to get a good shot and blow him away. Head back toward the northern exit but be sure to face south along the road. Next, take your sniper and drop anyone you can easily hit; this was two guys up the hill for me, including the second leader. Then, take your crawling shocktrooper and throw a grenade to get the guy directly in front of you (or near you as the case may be) up, and then run past him north toward the edge of that grassy area and face northwest (be sure to crawl before ending your turn). Select a different shocktrooper and finish that enemy off, then push as far west as you can, hugging the wall. This is just to cover yourself in case they make a break for that exit. Lastly, select Welkin and move him forward and turn right into the first brushy area you can get to: you should run over an enemy leader here. (It's just past the 2nd rock on your right.) Execute him and move yourself toward the middle of the map. Killing him should trigger the enemy retreat, and now it's their turn. They will graciously leave their protected hiding spots and run toward the exits - but they'll stop short of your tanks. Once it is your turn again, you should just have 7 guys left to mop up, minus anyone who killed themselves on you trying to get away. The tactics at this point are less specific since they may move differently each time, but you have two turns to get them all, so don't feel like you have to rush; just try to mortar and flame them from behind and snipe anyone you can. In my case, I moved Welkin north and mortared 3 shocktroopers and the ace in the back (the ace didn't die but the others did). Then, I took my shocktrooper who was furthest north and ran up and flamed the ace (he's a tricky devil), then reselected and killed the final enemy leader. I then sniped the last two guys. Your reward is Rosie's final personality-based potential, and the best flamethrower in the game - the VB FW 2(g) - thanks to the enemy shocktrooper ace. I put it on Rosie and the 1(g) on my next best shocktrooper. ============================ Extra 3 - Signs of Awakening ============================ [6BN03] A Rank - 2 CP: 10 Leaders: 4 Aces: 0 Tanks: 2 How you handle this mission may vary based on when you get it. When I ran it, I had level 15 elites... so it wasn't very challenging. The basic plan is to run up units on both sides and squash the enemy in the middle. If you're using elite units, it's easy enough to do it in one phase, but two phases should be more than enough even if you get this mission earlier. Start by loading Rosie, Largo, and a scout on the right, with a shocktrooper behind them and two more scouts (or the last unit can be another shocktrooper). Select Rosie and run forward and up the ladder; immediately swing around and kill the scout. Push up against the barricades so that you're clear of the ladder. Save and select a scout and run up the same ladder; nudge left, and then throw a grenade so that you kill the engineer and also bust at least one barricade. This scout can move on to the left (if you think it might take two phases) and get near the far west ladder. Ascend and then quickly descend to get the enemy's attention. Reselect Rosie and go through the downed barricades and climb the second ladder. If you're elite, just run over to the sniper and flame all three units; otherwise, toss a grenade, and favor the shocktrooper leader (make sure he dies). Push on to the west (left) once that's done as far as you can toward the western barricades at the top of the hill leading into the base. At this point, I chose to select Largo and move him east around the corner; reselect him, run behind the light tank, and blow it away. You'll take a few hits but nothing serious; quickly end his turn (or face the enemies if you might take two phases). Now, select Alicia and run forward to her ladder on the north face. Go up, and then immediately go up the next ladder in front of her. Now, swing west (right for her) and sneak up behind the standing shocktrooper leader and shoot him (or throw a grenade to kill him and the engineer if you can). Select one of the remaining scouts in your base, follow Rosie's path up the mountain and then when you get to where she's standing, throw a grenade at those barricades on the western side of the base. If you're pretty powerful, save and select Rosie. Run her into the base and take out the tank, then reselect and run to the final two shocktroopers (including the leader) and flame them both. Lastly, reselect one of your scouts standing near the base and run in and toward the objective; run past the flag and turn left immediately to find another shocktrooper leader hiding behind the house. He's facing the wrong way, so take him out (careful of the guy behind you shooting you up). Then run back to the flag and occupy the base. If you're not that strong, you may want to instead use your last few CP for some defensive moves. Run your shocktrooper up toward Largo and take out the engineer or scout (or both) - in fact, you might want to do this before you move Largo. Make sure everyone near Alicia is dead, and make sure if you don't kill both the scout and engineer near Largo that you have one more person standing at the base. Otherwise, you're in good shape. The enemy will mostly go after your tank. They might also make a dash for your southern base, but you should be ok if someone is guarding it. They'll also reposition some guys in their base, but with the crossfire you have set up, they will not get far. Once it is your turn again, just mop up; you should have more than enough moves, grenades, and whatever you need to take out the last leader and occupy the base. Your reward for this mission is positive personality potential for Alicia. =============================== Extra 4 - What Lies Beyond Hate =============================== [6BN04] A Rank - 2 (1 is plenty) CP: 4 Leaders: 0 Aces: 0 Tanks: 0 This is the easiest map in the whole game. Seriously: it's as easy as the prologue. There are three enemies and your job is to kill them all. The only way to mess up is to not kill them all in the same phase; ironically, not finishing in one phase makes this map harder. Load Alicia in front and put Rosie and Largo in the back. Start with Alicia and run up the incline to the left, hugging the fence. Almost all the way up, you'll see an enemy on the roof. Back up slowly until there's a blue line to the enemy, then push backwards so that you're against the wall to get a good angle on the shot. Take him out. Or push forward and use a grenade if you feel like you can't shoot well enough. Or use your grenade launcher if you have it. You have a second CP to use if you miss. Now select Welkin and run straight forward toward the house on the right; circle to the right of that house and go around the corner to the left. Target the enemy scout's head and kill him. Reselect and run forward (west), target the third enemy scout's head from behind and kill him. You win. There is no reward that I can tell (well, at least it was easy). =================================== Extra 5 - Flower of the Battlefield =================================== [6BN05] A Rank - 5 CP: 6 Leaders: 4 Aces: 1 Tanks: 3 If you want an A rank you'll need to kill all the enemies, since waiting it out nets you a B at best. However, it's quite tricky since you only have 5 units and the enemy has 20, most of which are hidden initially. However, with large, open areas and plenty of places to hide, this map is truly a sniper's dream come true. The general strategy is that your tank and Rosie can defend the left side just fine, but your right side is susceptible - especially to scouts who can run quite a distance, and to lancers, who can get close and kill your tank. You only get two choices for who to load, and I recommend a sniper (pick your absolute best shot) and an engineer. Put the sniper on the right. Start with your sniper: snipe the enemy sniper from where you start (he's just behind the heavy tank to the northeast) and then run straight toward the hill in front of you. There are two distinct trees and a rock to the right of them: head for that rock. Reselect and kill the enemy shocktrooper leader to the east, then head further up the hill. Reselect and snipe the second shocktrooper leader to the north, and then hide in the grass behind (south of) that rock. Now select the engineer and run to your sniper to refill their ammo, then move southeast from there toward a rock in the middle of a small grassy patch. Just northeast of the rock is a lancer hidden in the grass; discover him and then use a grenade to get him standing, then hide your engineer in the grass south of that rock; push east but make sure the rock is between you and their tanks. (Ironically this lancer is one of the most dangerous enemies on this map since he can take Welkin out with one move.) Now, move Largo northeast toward your engineer as far as he can go; get a bead on the enemy lancer's head and take him out. It shouldn't be a particularly difficult shot. Now hide in the grass next to your engineer, probably on their left. For your last CP, reselect your sniper and snipe their engineer off to the north. Hide, save, and end your phase. The enemy likes to waste time with tanks and hitting Welkin. They'll also move some of their shocktroopers around counter-clockwise toward your base and probably snipe at Rosie (reload if she dies, but she should be fine). This map played out very differently for me from time to time; sometimes the heavy tank would get two of their troops standing by running over them, and sometimes it wouldn't. If the scout and lancer leader are not standing, you'll need to adjust this strategy somewhat. On your turn select your sniper and shoot the scout. Then move south until you can see the two standing shocktroopers due east of the now moved heavy tank. Reselect twice and take them both out. Then move back to the safety of your rock and hide. (If the scout isn't standing, just shoot the shocktroopers. Also you may want to save before all sniper shots sp you can reload if they evade.) Shifting to the other side of the field, select Rosie and run her almost due northwest - there should be a shocktrooper near the signpost you can take out on your way - and aim for the rock in the middle of the grass in the grassy patch just northwest of the curve in the road. Specifically, you need to get to the west side of that rock, and maybe a bit south of it; you want to make sure that the enemy ace tank cannot shoot directly at you. (It's a ridiculously good shot.) This should leave 2 CP (or 3 if their scout wasn't standing); end the phase. (These rocks are useful as cover but they're even more useful as places that are easy to describe using text; this map is a huge open field and you need points of reference for a guide!) Their ace and heavy tank tend to get stuck on the hills, which is great. They'll continue to advance. Importantly, one of their scouts (maybe both if they are still alive) will run south and hide in the grass. (Even better if your engineer shoots them a bit on the way.) On your turn, start with Largo. Crawl through the grass toward the heavy tank; it can mangle you easily so don't get up until it sees you, then make a mad dash behind it and blow it up. Continue your movement west toward the medium tank. Reselect, run toward the medium leader tank, and when it starts to shoot you, blow it up. Duck southwest around the nearest rock and put it between you and the ace tank. Hide in the grass; he's done. Now select your sniper. Take out the hopefully standing lancer leader (if you can't get him, get a shocktrooper to the north). Save and switch to your engineer. Run south toward the scout now hiding in the grass; as soon as you see him, throw a grenade to get him standing and immediately end your turn. Now reselect, immediately go into targeting mode and blow him away. (If you hurt him before, the grenade will probably finish him instead.) Run back toward your sniper and refill their ammo, then find a nice spot in the grass. Reselect the sniper, and kill anyone you can see; this should be their three shocktroopers north of you. You want to kill the ones furthest away first, and work your way west. If the lancer and extra scout didn't get up before, you may have to use your engineer to flush them out with a grenade and then snipe them. It's ok so long as your engineer ends in the grass with hopefully a rock between them and the ace, and just use your sniper as much as possible. Depending on how well your troops did you should end with 1 or 0 CP remaining; end your phase. On the enemy's next turn, they will try to advance and generally pester Rosie, who will likely return the favor by killing half of who is left. At this point, the maximum number of troops remaining are a scout, a shocktrooper or two, their sniper and a lancer hidden up near where their sniper is (both hidden northeast of Rosie), and the ace tank. You have two phases and plenty of time, so just do whatever you need to do to take them all out. I suggest starting with your sniper if anyone is standing, and leaving the hidden ones to Rosie. She can run up to the lancer and sniper and use her flamethrower to take them both out at once (back up a bit, make sure you can target them both, and then aim between them), but if it takes you two turns that's fine, too. What she does with the rest of her movement depends on how many CP you have left. If you don't have at least 3 CP remaining, run Rosie back to the nearest rock for safety and wait for next phase. (Use another CP if you have to.) Otherwise, push on toward the enemy ace tank. Either way, when you have the CP to do it, put a damage order on Rosie, run up behind the ace, and blow it away. Your reward is positive personality potential for Welkin and tank part for the Shamrock courtesy of the enemy tank ace. I actually like accuracy for my tanks so I use it, but you will likely sacrifice some defense to do so. ======================================== Skirmishes - Normal Mode ======================================== [7SKIR] The majority of skirmishes on Easy and Normal are simply maps you've already defeated with a few minor changes and no aces. Most are slightly different and require slight tweaks to their strategies, but the general ideas are similar. Once you've unlocked skirmishes (they unlock after certain battles), they are a great source of extra XP and cash. It's not a bad idea to play through them once on Easy just to get a feel for the level, and then go back on Normal to get the better rewards. (If you are a completionist you'll need to get an A rank on both Easy AND Normal anyway.) You can expect Easy to net you around 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the XP and cash as the Normal difficulty, although you will use the exact same strategy. Sadly, Easy is not really less difficult, except that the enemies tend to have slightly lower defenses (which typically don't matter) and a lot less CP (which they also tend to waste). =============================== Skirmish 1 - Outskirts of Bruhl =============================== [7SK01] A Rank - 1 phase CP: 8 Leaders: 2 Tanks: 0 This might seem tricky since the map is quite different but the key information about this skirmish is that a scout can make it to the enemy base in two turns. That means you have plenty of CP to clear a path and get leader kills, and then you can run a scout all the way to the end quickly. I would load at least one good scout (Alicia is fine) and two good shocktroopers - that's all you really need. Their positions aren't that important but one shocktrooper will be going east and one west, so you can start them closer to their destinations. First, run a shocktrooper over to the far east leader, hugging the left edge of the map, and either run behind the sandbags and shoot, or toss a grenade and kill him. This should get the attention of the shocktroopers on that side. Next, take another shocktrooper and run southwest toward the scout crouching behind a sandbag. Toss a grenade, since you'll likely not get far enough to shoot effectively. Then, immediately re-select the same shocktrooper and charge at the enemy shocktrooper slightly southwest of your position. Run behind the bunker and blow him away. (It's necessary to clear the path or your poor scout will get mangled.) Next, take your scout and run all the way southwest to the second leader crouching behind some sandbags and toss a grenade to take him down in one hit. Keep going to the bridge. When your AP runs out, select that scout again and run across the bridge and right up to the final enemy and shoot him in the head. Step forward and complete the mission. (You cannot occupy a base unless no enemies are on it.) It actually possible to kill every single enemy on this map in one turn without much trouble, but again you get nothing for killing anyone other than a leader. ============================ Skirmish 2 - Vasel Riverside ============================ [7SK02] A Rank - 1 phase CP: 8 Leaders: 4 Tanks: 2 This is EXACTLY like episode 3, except you get 8 CP instead of 9. Ouch. But, the enemy ace is replaced with a normal shocktrooper - yay! This makes it easier to get all the bonuses, although you really don't need to bother. It's much easier and faster to just go for the A rank on this one and not worry with the rest. In fact, you can get through really quickly (only 3 CP) by just moving your western shocktrooper and ignoring the river side and tanks completely. You may want to play through it several times this way for quick XP. If you really want to get every bonus, deploy Largo and Alicia in the same spots as before, put a shocktrooper (I prefer Rosie) on the northwestern corner of the city side, and a shocktrooper where Rosie was on the river side (furthest left). Start with the river-side shocktrooper and run straight up and kill the two scouts with a grenade, like the "safe" strategy. Then, select Alicia and run a sort of arcing S pattern toward the shocktrooper leader up the hill. Start by swinging wide to the left so you don't trigger the scout in the grass, stay in the middle on the ramp, and then cut to the right at the top of the ramp so you can quickly duck behind the tree just to the right to avoid some of the shocktrooper's fire. Don't stop moving the whole time, and continue running directly for him while he reloads. Quickly go into targeting mode before he can fire again. You should have no trouble shooting him in the head from this distance. Otherwise, run the city side exactly the same as before. You should have enough CP to get the northern tank with Largo again if you want. ============================ Skirmish 3 - Kloden Wildwood ============================ [7SK03] A Rank - 4 phases CP: 9 Leaders: 7 Tanks: 2 This is set up exactly like episode 5, except that it's a bit easier in some ways. Your southern troops start out slightly further back, but the medium tank is replaced with a light one, the ace is replaced with a normal scout (whew!), the black shocktroopers have been replaced with normal ones, and the boss is replaced with a medium tank that's there from the beginning. That last bit is really a blessing in disguise, since the enemy loves to waste CP moving that thing around, and has an amazing talent for ending up turning the tank around backwards. Although once again, the enemy gets a lot more CP. Generally, you'll want to follow the guide for episode 5, using the "I'm slightly insane" portions as well. One small difference is to start your southern shocktrooper in the lower eastern slot; otherwise you have to run around your own tank. Also, you may want to move Largo only twice on the first phase, and actually spend 5 CP on your southern shocktrooper to get them in place. For phase two, move Largo twice into the base to kill the tank, and then call in an extra lancer at the end of the phase at the southern base - you need someone as healthy as possible and a bit closer. Otherwise the first two phases work the same way. Another difference is that because the scout doesn't run out of cover - unlike the ace - he will be a little tricky to deal with. You may need to run your lancer up before trying to cross the base as well, as the tank may be further west and could really hurt your shocktrooper as she's trying to run across. Conversely, if you make it through the base ok, you may only want to move your lancer toward the base once so nothing in the base will run out and target you (especially the tank). The last difference is that the enemy tends to call reinforcements, so you might have one more troop to deal with in the base - but since they are all clustered, a well-placed grenade will work wonders. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are alive and standing 1 inch outside the base, so long as no one is alive and IN it! =========================== Skirmish 4 - Barious Desert =========================== [7SK04] A Rank - 3 phases CP: 10 Leaders: 5 Tanks: 3 Same as episode 6, except that there is no sandstorm or ace, and the enemy again has ludicrous amounts of CP. The strategy for episode 6 works here again. ========================= Skirmish 5 - Upper Fouzen ========================= [7SK05] A Rank - 4 CP: 12 Leaders: 4 Tanks: 3 This map is exactly like episode 10b, except thankfully the train is gone! Also, the ace is just a regular sniper and the enemy actually has fewer CP, but best of all, you don't even have to blow up the bridges. Your only objective is to reach the same place on the map (there are no new enemies guarding that new last base). You only have 4 phases to complete the mission this time, but with the addition of a second tank and more CP, it becomes trivial to complete this skirmish in only 3 phases. The same general strategy is fine, but don't bother moving Welkin more than once, and don't bother having an engineer clear the first bridge or even move on phase 1 (but still load one). With your extra CP on the first turn, have your advancing scout take out the first bunkered lancer down the hill and park them near the beginning of the second bridge (you may want to face north so the northern tank doesn't hit you). Go ahead and save your last 3 CP. On your second phase, take out the northern area with your shocktrooper again (mostly just to get the leader and tank), although if you are doing this level when you first get it, it may take two turns to kill the bunkered shocktrooper leader regardless of what weapon you have. That's ok; you can skip the bridge entirely. After that, put a defense order on your scout and run them past the tank and activate the lift that leads back to your base. (You can throw a grenade at the lancer if you want; sometimes it knocks him into a position to cover for you from the tank!) Take the Shamrock down after that and blow away the 2nd tank from behind. Then send Rosie to mop up down there. I just hit the shocktrooper leader and the other standing shocktrooper and left it at that, and I completely ignored the bunkered lancer (don't leave the Shamrock exposed, though) and the distant enemy shocktrooper down near the southeast bridge. After that, go ahead and use a scout and lancer like before to clear the scout leader, sniper, and south east bridge - although this part is again completely optional. (It may be worth doing anyway just so you don't have to deal with their annoying reinforcements on that side.) Essentially, you are combining the second and third phases from before. On your third phase, use an engineer to go up and clear the third bridge and then run the Shamrock up there. I actually like to push the Shamrock forward right up to the third tank (providing cover for Rosie again) and mortar the scout leader and shocktrooper behind it to get them standing. Then, use a damage order on Rosie and have her run up and take out the third tank, scout leader, and shocktrooper in whatever order makes the most sense. You have a couple CPs of wiggle room. Finally, you can use a scout from your base to run all the way to the objective in two moves. You never even need to bother with the enemy's second base, or the bunkered lancers (since they'll never act). =========================== Skirmish 6 - Marberry Shore =========================== [7SK06] A Rank - 8 (still twice what you need) CP: 12 Leaders: 3 Tanks: 4 The map is the same as episode 11, except the ace is a normal (elite) shocktrooper. The same strategy works just as well. =========================== Skirmish 7 - Windmill Plaza =========================== [7SK07] A Rank - 1 CP: 10 Leaders: 5 Tanks: 1 Exactly like episode 12, except the aces are normal units now and you only get 10 CP. The same basic strategy works here (you can kill the sniper in the base with just the grenade now, saving you 1 CP), but it will leave you missing one leader (probably the lancer, unless you skip the sniper leader since he's harder to kill). It's worth noting that an A rank on Normal on this board leaving out all the extra leaders (since they are only worth 250 XP and gold each) nets you a total of 56800 XP and 112000 gold, and you can complete the whole thing in just 7 CP. If you don't want to bother loading a mortar round, you can spend the extra CP to have Welkin make the first move instead of Largo (it's an easier shot), or use Rosie's flamethrower instead of Largo (switch their deploy spots). Use scout 3 and then finish Alicia's moves to take the base. Overall, this is an imminently "repeatable" board that is a very quick way to earn tons of cash and XP. But if you want every bonus, you'll have to change up your strategy somewhat, and learn the new "trick" that even a mortar-round-using Lancer can blow up a tank. I also used a pretty cheap tactic that is hard to get to work. Start like before but put Largo in the top left spot (you only need 2 scouts as well). Begin with him and take out the shocktrooper and sniper leader like before, but then continue to push on toward the medium tank, following Alicia's path she would have normally taken. (Be sure to go OVER the sandbags for that extra bit of movement as well.) Reselect, mortar the scout leader shooting you, and push on toward the left side of the tank. Save, then run around behind the tank and aim however you need to so that the mortar round's arc is going through the tank's weak spot. This will actually take it out. Continue north a bit and make sure the shocktrooper to your right sees you. (Note: if Rosie can take out the medium tank by herself, you can use her instead of Largo; it's much easier since she can flamethrower the first set of enemies. However when I first hit this map I wasn't able to do that - hence the Largo requirement.) Next, move scout 2 straight up toward the middle of the two trucks and sneak around the corner and execute that shocktrooper. Continue pushing north. Now select Alicia and move up like scout 2 did in the previous strategy, and take out the sniper leader on the roof. Continue forward as much as you can. Save, and reselect Alicia. This is the cheap trick. Go up toward the base, but go on the RIGHT side of the heavy cannon so that you intentionally get the shocktrooper leader's attention. Run like crazy toward the base and crouch at the sandbag direct behind the enemy sniper. You may need to position yourself slightly better, and it may take a few tries, but your goal is to get their shocktrooper leader to kill their own scout while you crouch just behind him. (Her potentials also help a bunch, since she'll get shot a lot; also she should have full health before this move.) Once he's dead, immediately go into targeting mode and use her grenade launcher to place a grenade exactly up against the shocktrooper leader. This should kill him; if it doesn't, that's ok as long as it blows him toward the lancer leader like before. Make sure he's looking at you, then end your turn. Now take scout 2 on a more direct path toward the two leaders; either use a grenade to kill the shocktrooper and get the lancer standing like before, or use your grenade to get the lancer standing. Reselect, shoot the lancer in the head, and move to the base. You want scout 2 to be basically next to the flag, aimed at the heavy cannon still in the base. At this point, you should have 2 CP left and every leader should be dead. Select Alicia, position yourself next to the flag as well, and target the heavy cannon. Both of you will work together to hurt it; reselect a final time, finish it off, and occupy the base. ========================== Skirmish 8 - Naggiar Plain ========================== [7SK08] A Rank - 6 (4 is plenty) CP: 10 Leaders: 2 Tanks: 3 This map is a lot like Episode 13, but it is set up somewhat differently. First, you only get 10 CP the entire time, but your tanks start with you on the field. The enemy ace is completely gone (no replacement), but there are two extra tank destroyers on the field, and which enemies are leaders has been changed around a bit. The enemy near the gatling bunker is also crouching instead of standing (sometimes). There is also no "rocket fire" to contend with, and you get 6 phases instead of 5 - but you do still have to deal with the "double objective" thing where extra troops show up once you capture the central base. Start like before but put an extra lancer on the right side (top left). Your first turn should go the same way, except if the enemy shocktrooper in the eastern base is crouching you can instead shoot the shocktrooper on the western side of the map, near the western tank destroyer. (Sometimes he is crouched and sometimes he isn't; if he isn't, just snipe him like normal.) Be sure to move your sniper back down out of the nest and back to the base at the end of their turn or else the tank destroyers will shoot at you. On your second phase, having no enemy ace to worry about will save you 2 CP (just use Alicia to grab that base as normal and continue on) - which you can use to take out crouching shocktrooper near the eastern base. In fact, you can grenade both him and the bunker at the same time; after that, have your sniper take him down to save on movement for your shocktrooper. (Or, if you already killed that guy, go ahead and snipe the shocktrooper in the center area near the western tank destroyer.) Once you've done everything else you were supposed to do this phase, you should end with 3 CP remaining. Now select your eastern lancer and push north and take out the eastern tank destroyer in one move. Then send Largo out toward the western tank destroyer; use the same ladder your sniper used and continue that way. He can get behind it in two moves and blow it away. This should finish the phase with no CP and no enemies on the board below the first objective. On your third phase, you can probably kill both shocktroopers guarding the central base with Rosie in one move. At this point you can advance further toward last base or just set up a great defense and then save lots of CP for your fourth turn (don't forget to heal); either way, the basics of the strategy don't change much. I like to bring Alicia and a shocktrooper up to the narrow area just before the mines and plant Rosie firmly crouched guarding the central base; this encourages the enemy to kill themselves trying to hit me. Then, snipe anyone you can; now that you have access to 1500 range rifles you can probably tag a couple of them. Be sure to remember the engineer. Fourth phase, just mop up like before. Alternately, once Rosie has cleared the objective area and opened the gate in one CP, you could snipe the far eastern enemy shocktrooper, then load up your non-Rosie shocktrooper with a defense order and damage order and send them in the "front" way to take out the heavy tank in two moves. (Heal on your first move. If it takes 3 moves that's ok, too - just be sure to kill someone in the base on your way.) Then send Alicia in to shoot the remaining two troops in the base and occupy it, all by the end of phase 3. =============================== Skirmish 9 - East Bank of Vasel =============================== [7SK09] A Rank - 3 CP: 8 Leaders: 4 Tanks: 4 The final skirmish map is not available during the first playthrough, and unlocks immediately after you complete the game. This level is set up generally the same as episode 17, but there are some major differences. First, the boss is gone, and replaced with a heavy tank, shocktrooper leader, and a fifth base. The ace is also gone with no replacement, and there are no black elite units (yay!). And, the only objective is to capture the new, fifth base (western most), so you don't even have to worry about the others. But you only get 3 phases - so this map is still rather hard, especially if you want to grab all the bonus XP (which you probably don't need any more). You'll want to change your deploy up slightly. Start with your sniper in the same spot (east slot of the 2-person area), but put Alicia next to them. Give her the most powerful scout weapon you have (I used a 20R). Put Rosie up top next to Welkin, and an engineer behind her. Throw Largo in behind the Shamrock just for CP, and then put a good shocktrooper in your base (bottom right slot of the lowest starting area) just for defense. Begin with your sniper again, and go up the ladder to the nice clear vista and look south. Now the only thing standing in the southern base is the scout leader, so take him out. After that, change tactics and aim north (right) at the lancer standing on the roof. He's fairly easy to spot. Take him out and then go hide behind a wall like before. Next, put a Damage (2 CP) order on Rosie and charge her toward the northern base. You don't have to shoot the crouching guy on her first move. Reselect her and go past the heavy tank and take it out from behind. Move into the base, reselect, and torch the shocktrooper leader crouching there. Turn around, reselect, and torch the final shocktrooper in that base. However, once again don't occupy the base yet - just end your turn next to the ladder. That should be all of your CP this phase. The enemy will take a few shots at you and call lots of reinforcements. On your next phase, save and then start with Rosie. Occupy the base then head up the ladder. Move next to the cannon so that you can shoot it and the sniper like before. You will need to aim for the sniper's head to actually get them both; it's still a tricky shot but it is still possible. Once they're dead, run all the way to the back side of that building, down the ladder, turn west and finish near the corner of the building in the alley. Now, give a Damage order to Alicia. Have her run southwest all the way down to the southern-most path leading west. You'll pass a shocktrooper waiting in hiding there (but facing north) and head straight toward the heavy tank. Duck to the left into a side-alley to avoid the tank fire, go through it and come out on the other side right next to the tank. You should have just enough movement to get behind it and blow it away. (If you can't kill the heavy tank in one turn with Alicia, you'll want to level up more - I was level 18 - and make sure she has the best weapon possible - I used a 20R weapon.) Now, reselect her and retreat back down that same alley that had the heavy tank and go back to the hidden shocktrooper facing north. Shoot him in the back of the head, and then go back into the side-alley and crouch near the sandbag. This is a purely defensive (and optional) move but it helps quite a bit with keeping her alive (you need her for the CP more than anything else at this point). Now select Welkin. Move him straight forward and when you can't move further, aim for the heavy cannon in the middle base just to your left and take it out. For your last CP, if Welkin is damaged select your engineer and move her forward to just behind Welkin and repair him completely. He needs to be at full health or just barely shy. If he's still full, you can save the CP for your last phase. Save the game and end your phase. On the enemy's phase, they will pound you pretty hard. Welkin will take the brunt, but their second sniper will do his best and they may run a few guys around to harass your other troops. Make sure none of your leaders die (unlikely but it can happen) and reload if they do. On your last phase, start by moving Welkin straight forward again and aim a mortar round into the enemy's middle base. Feel free to try to get as many of them as you can, but you only care about nailing the scout leader crouching there. Once he's dead, give a Damage order to Rosie again. Run her straight (due west) and hug the right wall as tightly as you can. She'll get shot up a bit but just ignore it. When she can't move anymore, quickly end her turn and reselect her. Continue west just past the heavy tank and then turn around and take it out. Head toward the final tank. Reselect her, come up behind it, and take it out as well. Move toward the final base. Reselect a fourth time, flame the guy to death (he shouldn't even see you coming), and occupy the base. Overall a fairly similar strategy, but done much faster. ======================================== Skirmishes - Hard Mode ======================================== [8SHRD] "Hard" difficulty skirmishes are unlocked once you beat the game. Yikes! When they say "hard," they mean HARD. These levels are all tougher than anything you faced going through the game. The maps are laid out COMPLETELY differently and all the enemies are stronger as well, so you really need some creative tactics to get through them. There are two important points to note about the Hard difficulty maps in this guide. First, don't worry about nabbing all the leaders and tanks. All of the following strategies try to maximize your bonus kills, but since there are no aces and the bonus kills give you effectively nothing, they simply are not worth it anymore. (Not to mention that you're probably almost capped at XP for the game anyway and can't possibly need more gold!) Just go for the A rank and be done with it. Second, every single move you make for each of these maps should be considered extremely precise. You would do well to save after EACH move. If things do not go exactly as described, reload. This is a blanket statement that covers all of these maps so I don't have to keep repeating it. I did not start the Hard skirmishes until almost all of my troops were level 19. I had also purchased all of the equipment in the game. It is actually extremely easy to repeat the first skirmish for just under 75,000 XP and 150,000 gold each time, so you should be able to max out your level and get all the cash you need fairly quickly if you have not already. And lastly, even though you really don't need the leader/tank extras, I will post my bonus kill count for each map just for reference. If you can come up with a better strategy that also nabs more leaders and tank kills than me, feel free to write in and if I post it I will credit you. =============================== Skirmish 1 - Outskirts of Bruhl =============================== [8SH01] A Rank - 1 phase CP: 9 Leaders: 4 Tanks: 4 My best: 4 leaders, 2 tanks You start completely surrounded with a lot of guys who can pound the crap out of you. The enemy has three bases but you only need to capture the southeast one, which is good - but it currently has three occupants, including a shocktrooper leader, a tank, and a tank destroyer. Thank goodness for smoke rounds or this map would be nearly impossible. You only need Largo and an engineer to complete this level, but you can throw Alicia and Rosie in there too for CP. I put Largo at the very bottom and the engineer next to him, and filled in all my extra slots (other than Alicia and Rosie) with shocktroopers to help absorb cover fire. Start with Welkin. Immediately go into targeting mode with your smoke round and aim for the dead middle of the bridge. You can auto-target the shocktrooper just behind the gatling guns and then fudge to the right slightly; that should do it. End your turn immediately after the shot. You'll know you have it right because the gatling guns AND the very front of the light tank will both be obscured. Now, reselect Welkin and aim a mortar round directly on top of the enemy shocktrooper leader's head directly in front of you. This should take out all three shocktroopers there; this move is necessary to reduce cover fire, but it also nets you one leader. Now, select your engineer and carefully WALK through the smoke across the bridge. Once you're a couple of steps in, you should be able to pretty easily make out everything - it will all just be covered in white and grey. Skip all the enemies and disarm EVERY mine as you move across the bridge. Some are tank mines but get them all just to be safe. You might even step on a mine, but as long as you disarm it before you step off, it won't blow up. Be sure to clear the path completely, and then at the end of the smoke you should be able make out the enemy leader shocktrooper in the base. Aim carefully for his head and take him out. Then, simply step out of the way. Select Largo and follow that same path toward where you just killed the enemy leader. Go to that exact spot and aim either for the light tank's weak spot or the tank destroyer's weak spot and take one out. At this point you have 3 CP left, so you can spend two CP to kill the two sniper leaders in the other bases. Select your two strongest shocktroopers and head one toward the northeastern base to take out that leader, and the other toward the northwestern base. You should be able to get there before the tank destroyers mow you down. (If you have trouble, moving Welkin forward a little on his second shot helps open a path behind him for a shocktrooper to run more directly toward the sniper leader up the hill.) Then reselect Largo, take out the other tank, and occupy the base. Getting an A rank plus two leaders, 1 tank, and 1 tank destroyer nets you 74940 XP and 148940 gold. Skipping the extras, you can easily defeat this map quite quickly (just 7 CP in one phase) and should do so if you are not at least level 19. It's even worth doing it a few more times to get everyone to 20 as well. More strategies coming... one day! Hopefully! ======================================== Skirmishes - Expert Mode ======================================== [9EXHD] Downloadable from the Playstation Network as of April 16, 2009 and originally priced at $4.99, Expert skirmishes are also unlocked once you beat the game - so you may want to hold off on your purchase until then. Once you download the content, you simply have to go to the Skirmishes tab to access the Expert difficulty for each map. Alternately, if you purchase this game on Steam (available in November of 2014 and originally $19.99), all DLC comes with it automatically. Strategies coming... one day! ======================================== Downloadable Content ======================================== [10DLC] Downloadable from the Playstation Network as of April 16, 2009 and originally priced at $4.99 each. Two different packs are available. To play the extra missions, go to the new Extras option on the main title screen and select them there. Be aware (the game makes sure that you are aware) that since these missions are not part of the main story, you should always save your game in different slots than you normally use. (Alternately, if you purchase this game on Steam - available in November of 2014 and originally $19.99 - all DLC comes with it automatically.) ================================== Pack 1 - Enter the Edy Detachment! ================================== [10EDY] A Rank - 4 CP: 8 Leaders: 5 Tanks: 4 This DLC pack is one mission only - you may wish to take note of this before you purchase it. You can repeat it over and over as much as you like, but as far as I can tell, you get nothing in the main storyline for this completing this mission. You -can- see how well you've done on the Extras screen (just like the Statistics tab in the game). For this mission, you do not get to set your weapons or choose/deploy your troops. All of your units are level 11 (elite) with their normal upgrades and a decent weapon equipped. The map is actually the exact same map as Largo's bonus mission, except that it is set up completely differently - however, playing that mission first will help you know the ins and outs of this map. The main handicap of this mission (which honestly, isn't too bad) is the unit selection: you get stuck with several units with HORRIBLE potentials. Susie in particular has a devastating potential that will randomly cause her to NOT attack and end her turn instantly when you try to fire at something; Edy is "panicky" and even the normally awesome Jann is allergic to pollen, of which there is a lot on this map. All this to say: the best strategies tend to minimize every unit's weaknesses, but it's still a good idea to save before every turn. The way this map works is that you must defend the area you start in for 3 phases, and then after that you must get Edy to the objective at the south end of the map. The "trick" to this map is to start moving Edy long before the end of the third phase. Enemy reinforcements arrive every turn near your base on both sides (it's not actually a base but I will refer to it as such because it is easier), and all they have to do is enter it to make you lose. Additionally, mortars will fall every round on half the base and to top it off there is a generous sprinkling of mines spread throughout the level. Tricky, right? To start, select Jann and run due north. Go far enough behind the northern tank to be able to target its weak spot and then take it out. Continue your turn (ignoring getting shot) and run south as far as you can; hug the right (at this point, western) wall. Next, select Homer. Shoot the scout to the north to reduce cover fire and continue to stay crouched and facing north. Aim toward where the scout was and end your turn. Now, select Lynn and run forward out of the base and slightly to the right. You'll get shot a lot, but you want to run so that you can target both the close (southern) scout, and the scout leader behind him. It's not that difficult, but aim at the scout leader's head to make it easier. Take them both out, then run back to the safety of your base above the mortar line and crouch facing south. There are two sandbags inside the base: a northern one and a southern one. Get behind the northern one. Now, select Edy. She's pretty horrid in battle but we're going to use her anyway. You'll want to run a very straight line to the left (eastern) side of the southern light tank. Run all the way behind it so that you can target its weak spot. Sadly, she can't finish it off in one turn, but she'll probably miss some, anyway. Target the weak spot and hurt it badly; reselect and then finish it off. Now run directly toward the sandbag that Lynn is hanging out behind. Edy should have just enough movement to get back there behind it and crouch. Turn to face south as well. Save and then pick Susie (she's so unreliable you should always save before using her). Move forward and west (right) a little ways so that you can target the shocktrooper leader's head reliably. Don't go too far or the other shocktrooper up behind the sandbags to the west will fire at you. Shoot the leader in the head and then retreat back to your base and head back next to the middle sandbag on the top row next to Marina and crouch facing north. Lastly, select Marina and run straight toward the sniper nest to the south. You should have enough movement to get there and climb up it. Target the enemy sniper unit just southeast of you and take him out. Finish your turn facing the newly discovered heavy tank to the west. End your phase with 1 CP remaining. At this point reinforcements will appear both in front and behind your base and attack. Hopefully they will not kill anyone (including Marina who is vulnerable to that tank) and hopefully Susie (or whoever) will counterattack the sniper leader that appeared on the hill and tear him up a bit. The main trick to all these phases is that you want to space all of your units out so that the enemy cannot get all of them to face in a single direction with their attacks. Your units will always turn to attack anyone who shoots at them (or NEAR them), and the fastest way to lose this mission is to have all of your units turn to face in one direction, which lets one side sneak in. On this phase you should have 4 units in your base so it shouldn't be a big deal, but later you'll have only three, so be mindful. Another useful trick is that the enemies who attack from the south will always run until they start to get shot - so it pays to have only shocktroopers facing south, since they'll be the ones to shoot these enemies and thus the enemies will be in shocktrooper counterattack range once they attack. If you put scouts AND shocktroopers facing south, the scouts will stop the enemies too far away for your shocktroopers to effectively counter them - thus leaving more enemies alive at the end of each phase. When it is your turn again you'll see that the next mortar attack is against the northern side of your base (where everyone is). Start once again with Jann. If the scout who appeared north of your base is still alive, go ahead and blow him away with your lance. Then run south, turn right around the wall and head straight toward the heavy tank. Once you run out of movement end your turn immediately to avoid getting shot too much. Now select Homer again. You'll want to shoot any remaining troops near your base (for me, it was one shocktrooper facing the wrong way) and then rebuild all the sandbags that were just destroyed. Keeping these repaired gives you better cover and also slows the enemies down if they get too close. Once that's done, crouch next to the southern middle sandbag facing north toward where the scout appeared last time. Next, select Marina in her nest and target the enemy sniper leader. If he's a bit wounded, one shot should take him out. Now we get to use Edy again. Heal anyone in the base who has been hurt (probably Susie) before you head out, and then dash toward the heavy tank to the west near Jann. Continue past Jann to the left and behind the house to avoid the heavy tank chewing you up. However be VERY CAREFUL and watch for mines! There are tons of them behind the house - especially along the most direct route - so step lightly and go slowly to avoid them. You should just swing wide around them to the south (left) - it's pretty much impossible to walk through them without triggering one. Go as far as you can around that house, and then reselect Edy and continue. As soon as you clear the next corner you'll see a shocktrooper between you and the back of the tank: take him out, and then continue past the tank to the west (left). Head toward the next building with a ladder on either side and get as close to it as you can. Now, save and select Jann. Immediately head to the left along the same path as Edy (WATCH FOR MINES!) and go as far as you can, swinging wide to the left around the minefield. At the end of your movement heal yourself. Now select Jann one more time and continue around the corner toward the heavy tank. Get as close as you can to its weak spot and blow it up. (*Note: Tim wrote in to suggest that if you can't get Jann close enough, intentionally hit a mine near the side of the tank - or presumably anytime during your run - to blast you forward. It will hurt, but will also gain you several meters.) Lastly, use your final two CP to move Lynn and Susie in the base. They should both heal as necessary (especially Susie) and park Lynn more east (away from Homer) and face south behind a sandbag. Put Susie on the western side of Homer facing north. This should cover both directions from the next attack. Reinforcements will arrive and for the most part run suicidally into your shocktrooper. Again, your only worry is if they target all your units and make them all face in a single direction. You should be well covered, however. Once it is your turn again the mortar may fall either on the north or south side of your base. Start this time with Homer and have him repeat his previous turn: shoot anyone left, heal otherwise, and repair all sandbags. Assuming the mortar is falling to the south again, place him in a similar position facing north. Otherwise, adjust his position accordingly, but leave him guarding north. Do the same thing with Lynn and Susie as well: heal, mop up remaining enemies, and reposition as necessary. Susie should continue to guard north while Lynn guards south. As long as the north-facing troops are more north and the south-facing troop is more south, and none of your units are right next to each other, you should be fine. At this point you pretty much know where the reinforcements will run in so just be sure to aim that way. Now select Marina and aim due west for the shocktrooper on the roof across the map. Take him out, and select Edy. Run her toward the ladder that climbs up to that roof, head up and over, and climb back down the other side. One tip for climbing here is that you have a pretty generous range for how far away the "climb" or "descend" options appear; be sure to hit them as soon as possible to maximize your movement. Once you descend immediately move forward around the corner (watch for the mine near the corner!) and aim left toward the scout leader down the path. Take him out, push south (right) toward the southern path, past the other scout still shooting you, and end your turn. Mind the heavy tank around the corner and try not to get shot up. Now choose Jann and heal if necessary. Follow Edy's path up and over the building and down again, past the angry scout and toward the southern path. Go as far as you can and then heal if you didn't before. Reselect Jann and continue forward around the corner to the left toward the heavy tank. You can try to crawl through the grass to avoid some shots but it's not really necessary. Push past on the left of the tank and you should be able to get behind it and blow it away. Finish facing north (or hide in the grass if you want). Now select Edy, finish off that poor scout and continue following Jann's lead around the southern path and stop near the end of the grass facing north. (You're facing north in case the two shocktroopers around the corner try to head this way, but there are so many mines they don't usually bother. Face back to the west if you're worried.) At this point you know the drill: reinforcements show up and kill themselves trying to get to the base. As long as you keep them out this last time you're golden. At the end of their third phase, the objective changes and you need to get Edy to the bottom of the map. On your turn, select Edy and head east out into the open and then turn right toward the objective. Chuck a grenade once you get into range at the shocktrooper leader on the left (east) - your flamethrower won't be enough to finish him off. Reselect, kill the final leader, and head to the objective to finish the mission. An interesting side note is that there are at least two different endings for this mission, based on whether or not you get an A rank or a B rank (and presumably they both change if you lose anyone, but maybe not). Considering that they involve Edy, this may or may not be a reward. :) They are somewhat funny, however, so it might be worth holding out for one more phase to see the B rank ending - especially considering you paid for this map! Another completely uninteresting side note is that the voice actress playing Susie does not seem to be the original actress hired for her part. ============================== Pack 2 - Behind Her Blue Flame ============================== [10BBF] Strategies... may happen one day! ======================================== Thanks ======================================== [11THK] Thanks to the following people for sending in tips: - Ragnorok450 - Joselo Balderas - Allan Hsu - Chris M - Jon Parsons - G-man - Rafael Domenech - Johnny So - David Ericsson - czap1221 - Tim - Jacklyn Theil - KommandeurMumm - Barry Erkenbrack and the many others who wrote in about using grenades against the radiators in episode 7 - Everyone who wrote in about episode 15b - Febry Gavenchy for letting me know the game had come out on Steam! - And everyone who sent in minor typos and other corrections - sorry to everyone that I occasionally have a problem with east and west! :) ==================================================== Valkyria Chronicles: Walkthrough and Max Rank Guide Copyright (c)2015 Jason Long. All rights reserved.
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