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Oh I remember this like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 1999 and I wanted a new PC game. I was one of the lucky people with a graphics card that had a 3dfx ship in it; you could not play the original game otherwise.
It was only later on that I discovered how to use FP mode. For weeks, I was stuck on Behind Enemy Lines and I was jubilant when I got it done.
Every time I play that level I rememeber how frustrated I was lol.

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Reclamation of Talonthia 8

This is a challenging level. It takes a bit of work but it can be easily beaten with the right strategy and some patience.

Start out by assigning your techs to the labs. I use 3 in the military and one in the civilian lab. Research whatever you can, but dont worry about the heavy assault units yet.

You only have the little transporters. Recycle them, make two larger ones, and build the medium combat factory. Research and then build triple plasma knights and as many plasma reapers as you can.

Build another smelter just to the south of the one you have so the mines can be serviced. Build mines on the two deposits at the east of your base. Use one transporter there and another at the northern mine. You will run out of minerals to the north quickly so you can swing the other transporter over to service one of the mines.

Right to the east of the starting mine, at the NW of the base area, build a SAM turret; this is for later on, and if you can, build another near the western most mineral deposit.

Okay. You have two things to worry about - the walkway to the east and that darned hill to the west. here's how to handle that:

  • Take a large group of plasma reapers to the eastern walkway, include a knight. Position the reapers in a semicircle just north of the walkway entrance. High initiative, stand ground except for the knights.
  • Build a missile turret or two along the base of the hill to the west. Position reapers here too, but don't stand ground.
  • The minute you get a triple plasma knight online, send it over there too. You will need them there first. If you have enough, you can send some to help guard the east- Build a scavenger and send it east too. If it survives you will pick up a lot of resources.
  • Replenish reapers, trying to distribute them equally between the two places.

First you will have a small nuisance attack at the west by some turret reapers and a few missile knights. You can take care of this easily with a Plasma knight and a few reapers. Then the party starts; TWO gorillas, a knight or two and reapers... accompanied by a squad of wasps. Do the best you can with the Knights, using the circling first person tactic. I have dusted them all with a single kinight, though it took a while. The wasps will get torn apart by the SAM you built; use the Knight to lure them over there.

The key to this strategy is guarding that entrance from the walkway. Don't let the enemy infiltrate the base from the east while you're battling it out at the west! This has happened to me, and after I finished with the gorillas/wasps I lost a mine and a few units. Now that that's overwith, there are two ways to proceed:

  1. Keeping up your production, fight your way up the walkway. You will regain control of a big smelter and a satelite uplink. You will also get to the factories to the north and regain control of them too. Again, Plasma reapers and triple knights. The enemy medium and heavy assault factories are at the NE corner of the map as well as an aerial factory. If you use this strategy, build your own aerial factory and maybe a heavy assualt factory at your base or just regain control of the northern factories. Use wasps to help kill, and get an APC or two to get units deployed quicker.

  2. Much more fun and risky- Research up to the aerial units and factory, build a behemoth mek and recycle it. Now, using two or three Eagle APC's (faster than the shark only less capacity) Load up Transporters, builders and knights. Reapers wont be useful here, leave them and the base and take everything, first to the SE corner, and then slide up the east side of the map, clear of any combat units.
    You will arive at an island of sorts where the aerial factory, two mines and a smelter are located. SPREAD OUT all combat units, the enemy is getting ready to use the Ion Cannon! Capture the factory and smelter and get your minerals going. Your old base might be obliterated but you have a new smelter. You can build a factory here and make knights but I'd wait until the ion cannon is eliminated. You don't have to capture the mines here yet.
    Across the water to the west from here, you have several things to deal with. Make missile wasps, and take the knights one at a time, destroying the factories on the western shore. Avoiding the missile turret, make sure to hurry up and get those factories out. If you get killed bring another knight across the water. Get a wasp to take care of that turret.
    Now, as soon as you can, post a single knight near the pod. The Ion Cannon nails the closest combat unit to it. Load a constructor on an APC and wait for the ion cannon to fire, then deploy the constructor to capture the ion cannon, then the big smelter, and then the uplink. Build a medium combat factory here if you can, you will need knights.
    Once this is done, using the knights and wasps and whatever else finish up by eliminating the enemy and the their combat factories.

Additional thoughts:

  • I don't know what the trigger is for the ion cannon to suddenly start attacking. It seems to be getting within a certain distance of the pod, or it may be on a timer. Anyone?
  • Deconstruct all buildings and mines you upgrade or stop using. You don't need the really big transporter, so stop research there and send the tech to the military research lab.
  • If you pursue strategy #1 the AI will alter its strategy and focus on the invading force.
  • At the top of the hill there is a substantial (for this level) mineral deposit. If you've built the behemoth you can build the bigger mine and use the bigger transporter to keep the minerals flowing. For some reason, after the double gorilla attack the AI doesnt approach from the west anymore. Interesting.

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I gotta try that APC infiltration thing... do you destroy the SAMs by the canyon first? I usually take them out with a first person knight as soon as I can ^-^

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Yes, that suicide attack strategy works very well, I left out the thing about going BEHIND the factories like that in first person which works out well. If you enter the fortress from the west (I assume thats what you meant) that big rocket turret is there but its really easy to take it out with that sqaud of knights. The medium factories to the east are only guarded with a single missile turret and I have been able to decoy it into firing on the factory lol.

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You start this level with a small squad of units. Three little bolters, a couple of

plasma reapers, a commander and a tank. Form a squad and move south.

The standard walkthrough (Jebali) says to use the high initiative/stand ground technique,

but I have had no success with that. It concentrates your firepower but also

concentrates your units. Since the AI is sending heavy weaponry at you they will take you

apart in good order. And you need enough left over after the battle to take out the

satellite uplink. So, the best thing to do is to just bring everything forward. If you

can manuever well enough through the canyon entrance, put the little bolters up front.

Once you kill off the smaller units, yikes - a triple missile knight shows up. Get the

tank in first person and nail the knight, and then you can proceed to destroy the uplink

and have enough units to kill whatever comes after you in the meantime. Preserve the tank

at all costs, you will need it to destroy the uplink. I have been able to salvage as

many as three units to walk south. If you can preserve that healing commander, your

Goirilla will last longer and you can heal damaged knights too.

Once the uplink is gone, you have your main force ready at the south. Get rid of that

stupid little turret near your base and get the minerals found and mine built. In this

level, you have more than 1000 BMU's to start so go ahead and build a smelter, civilian

factory and advanced combat factory. Position your first mine so as to have a clear path

to the smelter, that's the nothernmost mineral deposit. You can get back to the others.

On that note, I have found the most effective use of resources to be building triple

plasma knights and technicians for research. Build both labs and get a scavenger going

at some point.

You will experience several waves of attacks. The ones from the north use gorillas to

great effect, and if you have a plasma knight the old circle and destroy method is called

for. The attacks from the east, though, are devastating unless you build some turrets to

protect your flank, or better yet post some knights to deal with it. That's where your

mines are and they will be assailed repeatedly. A plasma turret is useful, but not

always prsctical unless you can defend it.

Once you've got your defenses set up, the fun begins in earnest. Take a triple plasma

knight east and north in first person mode, trying to avoid the heavy units there

especially that Rocket Warlord. DESTROY the heavy combat factory and voila, no more

Gorillas. The AI likes to sneak in a Vortex eradicator that will approach from the east

of your base, watch out for it but eliminating that factory will solve that.

Also, the enemy starts sending triple rocket knights from the north, accompanied by

reapers. These attacks can be devastating. Try and keep your Gorilla alive to guard the

northern approach! Sneak a healing commander into your knight production. If you can

research up the behemoth mek, you can build the bigger mine and get a bigger transporter

going.

Now try, using triple plasma knights in first person, to destroy all the other factories

and take care of any remaining heavy units like the goliath. Then its just a matter of

fighting your way up to the two remaining factories. Send your units north and then east

into the enemy base. Watch out for turrets on the ramparts!

Additional Thoughts:

  • Again, no plasma weapons used by the enemy
  • Your resources are limited, theirs are not
  • The benefits of static defenses are debatable on this level. They tend to get

overwhelmed. Building the rocket turret risks friendly fire, be warned!

  • Likewise, the benefits of making heavy assualt units. Vortex eradicators are not

useful, nor the other tank. And you can't build Gorillas. Goliaths can come in handy

but they move slowly, take a taxi and try an APC!

  • At the mineral location, you can build another smelter closer to the mines if you like.

Bear in mind that the terrain nearby is "uneven".

  • The triple plasma knights are also very effective against all those turret reapers. Get into first person mode and you can take each one out in one shot.
  • The enemy has no constructors. They do not rebuild anything.
  • Along the southern side of the map, the enemy has built turrets on the ramparts. Your units run the risk of getting hammered by them if you get too close, watch out. This applies particularly to the units posted to defend your mines, they tend to chase the bolter knights that attack there and ride right into the turrets' field of fire.
  • Cluster your factories at the extreme southwest of your map. Line them up along the western edge of the map at your base in a straight line.
  • Plasma reapers, although effective, are not needed. They are best used to stand ground and be defensive if you use them; I have however won this level without even building the light combat factory at all.
  • If you find yourself flush with minerals, build another medium combat factory and make healing commanders or more plasma knights. while your knights go and kill.
  • Remember that for the most part you're fighting in tight, confined spaces. Adjust your attacks and watch out for traffic jams.
  • Scavengers seem like a good idea but they always get nailed at some point if you don't watch them. You can use them if you like though.
  • The enemy seems to post two Gorillas, one to the north and one near the eastern heavy assault factory. Find them and kill them after you eliminate the factory. There's a Goliath there too, they are easy to kill with three shots from a triple Plasma knight. Use the circling method and its easy.

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I have heard it suggested that we put together a community walkthrough. I think it's a great idea. I'm going to post some preliminary thoughts on some of the levels and welcome commentary, observation and criticism.

I'm starting with this level because its my favorite.

You start out with a big turret pointed right at your troops. The first thing you need to do is knock it out so the civilian units can appear. Take the three triple missile knights to do this BUT first move your two commanders out of the line of fire. This way you will keep the healing commander intact, you'll need it. Also, if you maneuver the knights properly, the next shot from the big turret will miss. If you lose one knight, restart the level.

Send the knights to knock out the nuke next, but take one knight in first person east and kill the titan mek thats building the other turret. And destroy the turret becuase if you don't, a constructor will complete it. Watch out because the aerial factory will spit out a missile wasp; if you can kill it don't worry about losing a knight at that point.

Meanwhile your other two knights have knocked out that nuke, and if they haven't destroyed all those SAMS nearby, do so. Immediately take them back to the base and heal them if you need to. Keep the healing commander on low initiative so it doesn't get killed.

Now, in the middle of all of this your builders and transporters have beamed in. You need to locate minerals, build a mine, defend the base from attacks from the south, and most importantly build the advanced combat factory and crank out Judas Warlords and nothing but! Building other units is a waste of BMUs.

Two things will happen next, in addition to all that chaos. The enemy will send an onslaught of Bee Bombers and two tanks will approach from the east. The trick is to get that first Judas online before the Bees get there, and its not easy to coordinate everything. And if those two tanks slip through you risk losing that combat factory.

Try to set up a defense near the bottom of that southern ramp near the base. You can use whatever units you want, do the high initiative/stand ground thing.Send the gorilla, a scavenger and a bee bomber south; using ground units risks having them destroyed by the Bee. You can use the bee in first person to destroy the OTHER big turret at the enemies southern base. If you lose it get the other Bee and try again.

More critical, though, is the other Nuke to the east. If you killed that Mek in the beginning, the enemy will send a builder constructor to build that other nuke. So take your wasps over there and kill the builder and the nuke, and if you don't get hammered by then, destroy the nearby aerial factory.

If you accomplish all these things the rest is easier, but not easy. You need to take a Judas, in first person, east and south to the area where the Gorillas, Bees and Wasps are gathering. Circle around, avoiding the fire from the big turrets, and treachery units which will then occupy the enemy. KEEP MOVING and this will work well. And if you're good you'll have enough units left there to destroy those two factories. But south of that area there are a whole bunch of triple rocket knights so watch out. If you're really good, you can treachery them too.

So to recap, you need to take out the nukes and destroy the factories to the east. Once that's done, you need to get down to the south and get rid of those four factories. The advanced factories are turning out knights and the others are churning out small units and turret reapers. If you've perserved the rocket knights, you should be okay. If you can treachery the enemy knights there, so much the better.

Directly to the east of the southern base, the enemy has a Titan mek and some builders. If you can defend them, treachery them and you will at least be rewarded with advancing your construction level and if you've done it all right, the ION CANNON.

It's all a matter of timing and getting things going quickly. Your main concern is that second nuke. I have survived a nuke attack on this level and still managed to finish all right, but most of my units were away from the base when it happened. I just got lucky.

At least twice, after I nailed that Mek in the beginning, no units attempted to build the second nuke. I am still gaming out things to see what makes that happen. It may depend on how soon you can get a judas over to the gorilla/bee staging area.

Another strategy is to concentrate on the south while keeping an eye to the east. This will result in an eventual parade of Gorillas headed your way. Meet them with a first person Judas! If you play this out you will end up with a butt-load of Gorillas, and they can defend you from any further attacks from the east.

The endgame is just destroying or capturing all the enemy mines and smelters. The entrance to the controller is defended only by SAMS, destroy them or just walk 5 units over there and game over. I like to build a nuke and do it in style.

Thoughts:
-The Ion Cannon is never used by the enemy. Why?
-As in almost all levels, the triple plasma knights are never used by the AI. Yet they are devastating and well armored. Ditto for plasma reapers.
-The reason to use the BMUs for Warlords is that the deposits are tiny. You can get that second mine going to the east of the pod but you won't be able to access the other deposits nearby till the end of the game. The Judases are the only really effective defense against all the heavy artillery the enemy sends.
-Sometimes the AI gets devious and sends a Vortex Eradicator. Watch out for this!
-If you keep the healing Commander alive, you can heal the knights repeatedly. You'll remember I said that :-)
-The other Commander, without the healing charger, can be used to defend your base by using the stand ground method. This is the most effective use of it.
-The southern ramp to your base is narrow, watch out for 'traffic jams' or you'll be shredded by turret reapers.
-And make sure your Bees dont destroy your own units over there, move them south. You can keep one by the base on low initiative in reserve and use the other to take out that southern big turret.
-Likewise, use the wasps only to take out the second nuke and the aerial factory. They are expendable and you'll capture more.

Any comments are welcomed!

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@Judas Yep, all this levelis is a test of speed and reflexes. Ditto all else that was said here, you just gotta get the Judas in first person, watch out for reapers - Judas is not well armored - and keep the treachery attacks going. I usually pull back any of the enemy's Judases that I have flipped over to save for the next round. Don't build anything but Judas warlords! It's a waste of resources, which are very scarce for the player but unlimited for the AI. You dont have to knock out those silly generators, that's largely a waste of time. 4 Gorillas and some knights/smaller units will do it. Just mine, and build Judases.

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Correction: You can NOT build a nuke in the last level. I just finished it. That was a fantasy I guess. You can build turrets and Aerial factories though. I found there are a lot of small mineral deposits in the west of the last level that I did not know about. This is only relevant in the end game, after everything has been wiped out, it's not safe otherwise. The western factories are the last lynchpin of the AI's defense and it pumps out missile knights and judases and TONS of machine gun reapers, Yikes.

It's fun how I just "convened" all the units at the Controller and basically just lit the fuse, so to speak. Took about 30 seconds with everyone firing, "Music from the entire Orchestra"!!!

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Satisfying isn't the word. You found/researched everything, took the pass, reclaimed Talonthia 8 (yikes thats a whole other posting), espionaged and assualted and FINALLY that damned controller is finished!

Off topic: Why are the non-campaign levels' AI so weak? I can't help but win straight through evry time.

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The only thing I ever end up bulding is Judases. That room with the turrets is key, the only way I have been succesful is to burm through that room with a Judas and hope that there's a gorilla there. Once you judas some key units they go for the other ones and the turrets kill all the friendly units and all the enemy in the line of fire. Best thing to do next is to get up into that northeastern room and destroy those factories, This way the units have to travel farther from the western factories to get to you. It's really, really easy to get hammerred in the last level, saving at succesful points is paramount.

The end game is hard too. You have a very inaccessible area that contains MORE factories. I like jusasing the builders there and builing a turret lol or better, decontructing the factories which you dont need. And yea the AI just keeps at you with the light infantry units so those factories have to be dealt with. A great level!

Once I built a nuke and actually nuked the controller to death :-) that was fun.

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