Hard Campaign Guide
Mission 18: Show Stopper
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Player CO: Sonja
Enemy CO: Adder
Perfect speed limit: 38 days
This mission starts off tricky as Adder will have a good amount of units ready to attack you, while you have only a few forests to hide in and no choke points to take advantage of. So this means that you'll just have to hold off Adder with whatever means you have until his initial assault is over. After that, you can slowly advance and complete your objective, which is destroying the 8 minicannons surrounding the giant fortress. HQ capture is also an option, but since the HQ is all the way to the northwest and guarded with B-Copters to boot, destroying the cannons is a lot quicker.
Your main concern when keeping Adder at bay will be guarding the two neutral bases. As long as Adder can't capture them, you can outlast him easily enough. It's possible to send an APC with infantry toward the northern neutral base and capture it before Adder arrives there to stop you. To accomplish that, you'll have to build an APC from your northwest base and an Infantry from another on day 1 and drop it off in the forest three spaces south of the northern base. You'll have just enough time to capture it and get the Infantry safely back to a forest. You can guard it by placing an Artillery in a nearby forest. Most of the time, Adder won't spot it and you can pick off the Mechs heading towards it. Don't bother deploying anything from it yet, though. That'd be basically suicide at this point. The APC you an use later on to ferry an Infantry towards the neutral base to the west, but only attempt this once you're sure the road is clear.
Adder will immediately send a Bomber assisted with three B-Copters towards you from the west. Build two A-Air to deal with them, but keep them pretty close to your base, so the Bomber doesn't get first strike. He'll also have a few Recons near your base that will move in to strike. An A-Air together with a Recon of your own can take them out easily enough.
The rest of your build pattern will be pretty straightforward. You'll mainly deploy Tanks and Artillery at first to repel Adder's ground forces. Then, when the coast is clear, send som infantry to capture the remaining properties before advancing west beyond the mountain range. At this point, you'll want to have a couple of Rockets and MD Tanks. Carefully use forests to hide and Recons to scout ahead. You'll quickly discover that Adder has a pair of Rockets guarding both passes. Both are placed on cities, one on the north and one on the south. Also, in the north is a B-Ship tactically placed to make your life miserable. Use a pair of Rockets of your own, placed in forests to take out the rockets. For the B-Ship you'll need a couple of Artillery and the Rocket that took out the northern Rocket and maybe an MD Tank for the final blow. Try to distract it by having an infantry attempt a capture at one of the cities. The B-Ship is likely to attack the infantry instead, allowing you to blow it to bits with your indirects.
Once these units are down, the Minicannons are safe to destroy, using mainly MD Tanks. Or are they? Nope, Adder still has some units positioned near the cities to the west. Among those are a Neotank, an MD Tank, yet another Rocket and yes, another B-Ship as well. The best way to get rid of them is to use your MD Tanks as bait for the Neotank and MD Tank by advancing them forward slowly until they attack you. Preferably you'll want them to attack while Counter Break is active. Have some indirects and fresh MD Tanks stationed behind them to take them out. To take out the B-Ship, use the same strategy as with the previous one by having one infantry work as bait by attempting to capture the western one of the two cities south of the fortress. At the same time, move your indirects into position and blast it into oblivion next turn. The Rocket is hiding in one of the forests. Use some tanks coming in from the north to flush it out and kill it. It's probably in a forest just west of the fortress.
Finally, there are still a few B-Copters guarding Adder's HQ. Watch out not to move in their range with anything other than an A-Air, as they will attack you as soon as you move into their range. Also, the southwesternmost city should be captured, as this is the city which holds the secret Lab Map. Make sure to get it before you smash the final minicannon. Once you get it, destroy the final cannon and complete the mission. Phew.
Strategy by HPD. Map image by Tsuruya.
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