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X1CA_005
Forged Alliance official campaign map
X1CA 005 preview
Size: 20x20 km
     Because of the events on Hades, QAI must be destroyed once and for all. Using intelligence acquired from the Seven Hand Node, the Coalition has learned that QAI's mainframe is on the planet Pearl II. Your mission is to establish a foothold on Pearl II, thus clearing the way for Dr. Brackman, who will arrive and personally shut down QAI.
Previous map:
X1CA_004
Next map:
X1CA_006

X1CA_005 is an official campaign map from Forged Alliance. It is the fifth map.


Strategy/Walkthrough Edit

OPERATION:MINDGAMES

PRIMARY MISSIONS:

  • Clear the Landing Zone
  • Defeat Hex5
  • Protect Dr. Brackman
  • Escort Dr. Brackman to QAI Mainframe


SECONDARY MISSIONS:

  • Destroy Hex5's Firebases
  • Rescue Loyalist Commander
  • Protect Commander Fletcher
  • Capture Order Science Facility(Aeon Only)

UNLOCKED TECH

  • UEF Novax Defense Satellite (After Hex5)


On this mission, you can capture a Cybran POW facility that allows you to use an Aeon support commander. If you are a UEF or Cybran, this is an opportunity you can't miss. When you are playing be careful to fortify the area north of your base since that's where QAI's base is and when the map expands and he attacks you might find yourself in a bad situation.

You start with nothing but your ACU, so a standard Build_Orders beginning is necessary to get a base up and running. Small waves of harrassing units are coming from Hex5's 3 firebases, so you will want to crush them when you can. Capture any rushing engineers to gain access to Cybran units. As usual, get upgraded to a Tech 3 economy before completing this mission. The Landing Zone is covered by T3 Cybran factories, so bring T3 and Experimental units to the party.

Once you clear out the Landing Zone for Fletcher, the map expands to your south and UEF Commander Fletcher will teleport in and stating building his base. Fletcher will need some ground and air cover while he builds up a base. You need him alive to make this mission much easier, so don't let him be attacked to the point where he would die, or else he will gate out and you will be on your own. Your first task however is to defeat fairly large enemy force containing Bricks and a Monkeylord which will be advancing from the south towards your initial base along the coast line. This formation also contains anti-aircraft units, so you need to plan carefully how you counter it. Simultaneously with this land attack, enemy strategic bombers will seek out your experimental units, usually at Fletcher's incipient base. Therefore it's a good idea to build T3 anti-air throughout his base, preferably before he warps in.

After Fletcher finishes building his base, he will join you in an assault on Hex5's base to the southeast. While this is going on, do not neglect however to build your best defenses near the northern edge. T2/T3 torpedo defenses in the channel are very helpful for the later fight north.

When Hex5 bites the big one in a mushroom cloud, the fun really begins. The QAI Mainframe is to your northeast and QAI is very unhappy about Hex5. Expect waves of T3 units and Experimentals to counter-attack you and Commander Fletcher. If you can maintain air superiority with T3 fighters, you can use T3 bombers/gunships to cut down the waves. Send your own mixed force squads, northward killing off the factories and economy of QAI. If you are playing as Aeon and Amalia is still alive, she will inform you about an Order Research Facility near QAI's Naval position. It has a Galactic Colossus under its control and if you capture the Facility, It will become yours to command. If you take too long though, the order forces will manually use the Colossus to attack your position, so use a support commander with Teleportation equipped to capture the Facility Quickly. It is important to note that QAI may send Experimentals periodically to Fletcher's base, so help him out. Once attack waves slow to a trickle, you can move Dr. Brackman's Megalith forward from your base (you did park him by your base,right?).

When Dr. Brackman's Megalith reaches the designated point, he will "shutdown" the QAI Mainframe and the mission will be complete.

Strategy/Walkthrough (Hard Mode)Edit

Welcome to the Hard Mode section. Many of the tactics used here are unnecessary in normal mode, but crucial in hard mode. The order and timing of your actions are crucial in the beginning of each mission (and each stage) in order to survive the early assaults, and in most cases you'll need to capture enemy factions in order to make things easier. A general rule to remember in hard mode is that you must allow yourself to build up as much as possible before ending each stage in order to prepare for what's coming, thus you must be familiar with the flow of the mission.

This mission is one of the toughest in the game, especially in the beginning. It is the only mission where you're given neither an initial base nor reclaimable wheckages. You start off in a competely empty area and has to build up your base the conventional way, while under attack by T2 gunships constantly. The final stage also begins with a very large strike consists of strategic bombers as well as multiple experimental assaults at once, thus you need a very well fortified defense line to survive the attack.


Stage 1Edit

You start off with nothing whatsoever, so you need a proper build sequence. Build a land factory, 2 power plants, 2 T1 extractors, then another 2 power plants, and finally another 2 T1 extractors. Watch out for early T1 assaults and incoming engineers trying to capture your buildings. Build 2 T1 engineers and build a radar to spot those units. Quickly start upgrading your factory to T2. Try to capture the Cybran engineers if you're UEF/Aeon to gain access to Soul Rippers, which will help distract some of the ASFs from your CZARs later on and, of course, help combat experimentals later on since they're very tough even though they have 33% less HP than in skirmish. You have only precious moments before the gunship assault arrives so try to assist the factory to reach T2 faster.

After your factory reach T2, immediately start build mobile flaks until you have 6 of them. Those T2 gunships will arrive very soon so its vital that you have them when they do. Remember to scatter the mobile flaks around the base because the gunships and bombers can come from northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast, and their splash attack can damage the buildings if you stick too close. Build more T1 power plants and get a T2 shield ASAP, using those destroyed gunships to fuel your mass level. Watch out for ground attacks as well, you have to use your ACU to counter them for now. For Cybran upgrade the shields to ED2 at least since ED1 only has 4000HP which is broken easily by a few of their Renegades, but get to ED3 whenever possible. With the shield in place you can get T2 defenses as well as a T2 power plant under it. If you need to build while under heavy attack, try to use your ACU to attract those gunships and units, it is tough enough to take a few Renegades since their splash rocket attacks isn't 100% accurate. If possible, try to build the shields under the extractors so they're protected as well. Remember to build shield and defenses on the southwest facing the shore because there'll be sneak attacks from T2 Wagners soon.

You'll be constantly attacked by gunships for a while so make sure the shields are in good condition. The enemy will also start using T2 ground units to attack you so make sure you have those T2 point defenses. Get some tactical missile defenses as well to counter those missile launchers. Continue using the destroyed gunships to refuel your mass; they worth 300 mass each and with the amount of them dying each time the enemy attacks you do not have to worry about lack of mass at all. Get all extractors to T3 and start upgrading your factory to T3.

With your factory reaching T3, get T3 engineers to build SAMs everywhere to stop those gunships putting immense pressure on you. Get a quantum gate and get sACUs to build a defense line at the northeast entrance as well as building a long defense line between the two mass deposits at the south entrance. Let the SAMs destroy one gunship wave, then quickly move the sACU to the spot and build SAMs before the next wave arrives to secure the area, then only build shields. With the two defense lines in place you'll have the whole area ready to build your T3 resource farms. Start building experimentals and use one to wipe the nearest forward base to oblivion to slow down those gunship attacks, then build a group of them and seek out the other two forward bases. With the three bases destroyed you can now go rescue Amalia, which for Aeon is a free sACU and for others is access to Aeon tech. Build an Aeon quantum qate and get some more sACUs to help build the Salvation, which is a super T3 heavy artillery with experimental-level DPS and experimental-level cost to build. Be sure to surround it with power plants to double its fire rate. If you're UEF get a Mavor up as well. Also build some Collosuses and CZARs and position them at the south entrance, with the collosuses standing outside the shield.

When you're ready, destroy the main base, but leave some alive so you have time to move your army back, because the next stage starts with strategic bombers seeking out your experimentals. Use the Salvation to kill the rest.

Powergaming approach (first twelve minutes) Edit

Alternatively, if don't mind gaming the scripting of this level a bit, you can beat the first stage with little trouble if you mount an early attack and capture, rather than destroy the nearest Cybran base. It has three T3 mexes and two T2 powergens, which will more than offset the loss of the spread out T1 mexes. You do not need many land forces to beat its defenses early. If you can even preserve your original base, if you are so inclined, although you'd probably have to slow down the game a bit because you'd be fighting on two fronts simultaneously, and the lack of "fire only on my target" feature in this game means that capturing buildings while the enemy pumps out units nearby requires micromanagement of your units fire control (you need to repeatedly switch between fire at will and hold fire).

The plan for least losses requires you to keep back your ACU at your initial base so it can fry at least half of the first wave of the ten Wagners, which come knocking around ten minutes in the game, preceded by three waves of totaling 16 gunships (four, then six and six). During this furore, most of your T1 mexes will probably be destroyed. If you playing UEF, in order to maximize the profits from your initial base investment you should plan to upgrade and hold the two mexes immediately to the east of your starting position. These are the only ones than can be covered by a single T2 shield built half way between them. The same shield can cover two factories, which should be placed one to east and one to west of the shield making roughly a cross-shaped base together with these two mexes. You can also squeeze a T2 power generator on the same axis with the mexes.

In brief, in order to minimize the time you need to build up your forces to mount an attack on the Cybran base you should build, in roughly this order, 1 powergen, 1 land factory, 2 mexes with your ACU (the aforementioned ones) while the factory puts out its first T1 engineer. After that, keep the ACU in the middle of your the base to both defend against enemy incursions and use it to assist the factory, speeding up its production while you pump out more engineers. Quick capture of mexes is crucial in this early phase, but beware that the initial raiding by Hunters and enemy engineers is random, although it appears to lock into a plan after you've built your first factory. You need to also produce about three to four scouts, because they are cheaper than fixed radar so preferable at this point in the game, so you can see where the enemy coming is coming from with sufficient time for you to react. Around the two-minute mark you should already have two mexes, one power generator, a land factory, two scouts (one patrolling to north-east and one to the south-east) and two engineers out (headed to build mexes for the two points to your rear), while you're producing a third engineer. (Capturing enemy T1 engineers is nice, but not essential. Only do so if they come close to your ACU. Don't waste time chasing them. Building Cybran factories is not really worthwhile because you can capture them quicker and cheaper than you can build them to T3 yourself.) By the 2:30 mark, you should have four mexes, two T1 power generators and four scouts and four engineers out, while your factory is producing your first tank. Build your 2nd power generator with your ACU while the factory is making the extra scouts because the actual production times for these are short, comparable to the times they need to come off the assembly line, so the ACU assist provides negligible benefits to building scouts. Your scouts should also have spotted the first enemy engineers by now. If they land close to your base and head for a mex, capture them with your ACU, possibly with an engineer assist. (You'll probably lose a mex briefly if you want to capture both of them. Or you can kill one and capture the other. It makes little economic difference which way you go.) If the enemy eningeers land far, they will chase one of your scouts instead. Which is why having four scouts at this stage is optimal, because one can act as bait, leading the enemy engineers to your ACU, while the other three provide early warning to your north, east an south.

You will see a raid by two hunters soon, if you haven't been hit by one very early on. Sometimes you can even see two waves. (Basically, if your luck is that they get built at the Cybran outpost rather than their main base, you get hit by them a lot sooner, as early as 1:40 in the game. Those built at their main base will hit you from the south, the earliest you'll see them is probably around 3:00.) If have not been hit by those hunters yet, that's what the tanks are for. They need to catch up with your engineers, which should be fanning out for the outer four mex points surrounding your base. If you have been hit by the two hunters close to your base and the ACU killed them, you can probably build a total six engineers before switching to tanks. Anyway, roughly at the three minute mark, you should have produced (or captured) six engineers and two tanks. If the ACU isn't busy capturing enemy engineers, it should be assisting your factory.

It's possible to get too many mexes and not have enough power at this stage. The engineer headed for the north-east mex points should first reclaim the forest in his path before building the mex closest to the Cybran outpost closest to your. This approach will harvest you both mass and power. (Use the alt-shift right-click attack-move for this purpose, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't wander too far from the intended path. This plan also has the added advantage the engineer won't get to close to the danger zone before its tank escort is produced.) Two other engineers should be building the hydrocarbon power plant, which should be around 75% complete around the three minute mark. When that happens, your ACU should start building your 2nd land factory; as soon as it's ready, start upgrading it to T2. You want the factory closest to the enemy bases upgraded to T2 first because it will save time with unit movement for your attack on the Cybran outpost. The engineers that built the hydrocarbon plant should also be re-tasked to assist the factory upgrade to T2. Your first factory should be still producing tanks, from now on unassisted.

Around the four minute mark, you should have four tanks ready to swat more Hunter pairs or Medusa artillery pieces. You should also have built all eight mexes in your area by now or at least the seven closest to you and have an engineer very close to the last one. (This depends on whether you have prioritize tanks over engineers.) After the mexes are built, three engineers should be reclaiming the forests to your west, north-west, and north-east, while the T2 factory upgrade is in accelerated progress with the ACU and initially two then four engineers assisting it. The power drain from this assisted upgrade is substantial, so you need those forest reclaimed so you don't suffer a power stall. It's also a good idea to build a fixed radar now at the base of the north-east escarpment; you want it to provide coverage of the enemy patrol that's roaming this area. This patrol has two Rhino tanks in it which will provide a juicy and much needed mass boost. You're not yet ready to attack this patrol, but having a fixed radar ready around 4:30 is a part of the plan in nabbing it. You can tell apart this patrol from the attack waves on the radar in that it has only six units instead of the usual ten of an enemy attack wave. You should also send another engineer far south initially to reclaim forests there; it will come in handy to build another fixed radar in the very narrow forested ravine in the southern escarpment (it is closed at one one end, and it runs parallel to the larger valley used by the enemy to attack your base). Also around 4:30 you should have six tanks out and your factory upgrade should be more than half way done with the ACU and four engineers assisting it.

The first big attack of ten hunters happens around the five or six minutes mark. Depending on your luck it will happen earlier if it's coming from the outpost to your east or later if it's assembled at the main Cybran base and comes from the south. You need to have your scouts far out to figure out where it will be coming from, so you can mass your tanks in the right spot.

At the five minute mark your T2 land factory upgrade should be completed. The first thing to build with it is usually one Parashield (or equivalent), followed by a T2 engineer. The mobile shield is key to costless (mass-wise) victories against the ten Hunter party and the patrol with Rhinos in it. (If you're playing the the Cybrans you'd have tank it with your ACU, although that means you'll have to be more careful with it later on, because it won't have recovered all that damage when the deluge of enemy gunships begins.) If the enemy pack of 10 Hunters comes from the east, you can probably kill it before the patrol. If instead it comes from the south, you should probably take on the Rhino patrol first. Use your ACU for extra firepower. This is basically the first New York minute of the game. By the 6:00 mark the patrol should be dead as well as the 10 Hunter pack. Meanwhile your engineers have produced three to four more T1 power generators (for a total of five to six), and have started construction of the T2 power generator. You should have produced eight T1 engineers, one T2 engineer and eight T1 tanks (and one mobile shield) by now. The factories should now be retasked to building anti-air units. Make two T2 anti-air and four T1. As soon as the fight is over, turn off the shield and redirect power to the building of the T2 power gen. At least two T1 engineers should be assisting the T2 one in building the T2 power gen initially. Aim to have two more doing that towards the end. Ideally, your T2 power generator should be completed by the seven minute mark. A wave of 10 enemy artillery units is probably headed your way. Do not turn on the shield to fight them if the T2 power gen is not ready; use maneuvers with your tanks instead to avoid their fire.

Now you need to marshal your forces for an attack on the Cybran outpost. It may be tempting to use your ACU for this, but this is sub-optimal because (unless you are Cybran) it is much better to keep the ACU by your base to tank damage from gunships while reclaiming the wreckage of the downed ones and zap Wagners with Overcharge. None of your other units substitute well for this task at this point in the mission. So assemble a strike force of T1 and T2 units to hit the Cybran base. Ideally this comprised of six T1 tanks, two mobile shields, two T2 engineers, (as UEF preferably Sparkys), two T2 long range units, e.g. Mongooses and—for air defense of this party—two T2 and four T1 units. All these should be about to engage the enemy outpost at around the eight minute mark. Depending on your luck (or possibly on whether you build any T1 anti-air) around the same you may see enemy bombers flights in formations of three. On some playthroughs these don't show up though. The enemy outpost will be defended from the air by one lonely T2 gunship and possibly bombers if they show up, which is why you want the aforementioned anti-air with your strike party.

After the two T1 turrets guarding the enemy outpost are dead you only have to deal with a trickle of land units coming out of his T3 factory. The priority for your T2 engineers here is to capture, in this order, one power generator, one T3 mass extractor then the other pair in the same order. With two T2 engineers it only takes about one minute to capture one of these buildings and this costs you no mass.

Meanwhile, back at your base, you should build a fixed shield surrounding it (after T2 power gen completed), while your factories churn out more anti-air units. It's possible to have 4 T2 and 6 T1 anti-air meeting the first wave of four gunships around 9:30, which is enough to bring them down before the next wave shows up. Use one of your mexes as meat shield, possibly protecting it with a mobile shield. After the first enemy power generator is captured you can begin serious defense construction back at your base. Build another T2 shield overlapping the first if you're feeling paranoid or more mobile shields to escort your anti-air around if want to save more of the outlying mass extractors. Also build anti-ground turrets because you'll need them soon enough.

The 10:00 to 11:00 is the second New York minute of this mission. You need beat two flights of six gunships. Easily doable from under fixed shields with something like 7 T2 and 10 T1 anti-air units. Meanwhile your ACU is best used to collect gunship wreckage outside the shields without fearing death from above. By the end of this time period, the first enemy T3 mex should be captured at the Cybran outpost, ensuring economic survival. Three T1 and two T2 anti-ground turrets are a good insurance against the Wagner wave which is going to hit between 11:00 and 12:00. With a well placed ACU Overcharge your can halve the enemy strength. At the end of this minute you can easily have 5 T1 and 3 T2 anti-ground turrets which make your base all but impenetrable. Enemy artillery and missile launcher will probably be in the next wave to hit you, but these should be easy to handle with a combination of tank rush with mobile shields and T2 turrets. From here on the mission is smooth sailing. Upgrade your ACU to T2 engineering and go capture the T3 land factory in cooperation with your engineers which should have finished capturing the other economy units at the Cybran outpost. Then free Amalia etc.

Stage 2Edit

Get a CZAR over to Flecher's position in case there're units around. Flecher has always been unhelpful with him sending Fatboys into Hex5's base only to have them destroyed for no reason. Unfortunately, it gets worse in hard mode, since he now builds his base at an absurdly slow rate thanks to him not building engineers at the start. Still, you do not have to worry about him since rarely will Hex5 send any units to his base, because he'll send all of them to you. Make sure you have those Collosuses to take those strategic bombs rather than your shields. Be aware of T3 mobile artilleries shelling your Collosuses; use the CZAR to fry them. Hex5 may send Monkeylords to your base; your Collosuses will make short work of them.

Now, get your Aeon sACUs to build a long defense line at the north; that's where QAI will attack from later. Build some more Collosuses and have them stand in front of the shields, backed by point defenses and SAMs. Get some Soul Rippers and CZARs as well. Use the Salvation and Mavor to siege Hex5's base, or you can use CZARs because he has weak AA defenses, just dont use ground assaults because of the number of Monkeylords and Soul Rippers he has. Try not to accidentally kill Hex5 until you're ready for the final stage.

If you're Aeon, make sure you have one sACU with the teleportation upgrade.


Stage 3Edit

Get ready for a huge assault involving strategic bombers, ASFs, T3 Loyalists and Bricks, as well as a CZAR. Quickly bring down the CZAR first, using your Collosus as bait to prevent it entering your base and drop onto your defense line. Don't worry, QAI has only one CZAR available. After the first wave, it'll send 3 Fatboys in quick succession, use CZAR and Soul Rippers to destroy them before they do too much damage. A Soul Ripper quickly follows, again use CZARs and Soul Rippers to distract it while your SAMs do the work. At the same time, QAI will use his Scathis (it only has it in hard mode) to begin sieging Flecher's base, so use the Salvation to kill it quickly. Build more Collosuses to replace those that may have been destroyed to prevent further experimental assaults should there're any (in my game QAI also sends a Collosus later). QAI will continuously send T3 units to your base; those are easily held back by your Collosuses. Move your CZAR that're protecting Flether to the river to protect against QAI's Fatboys and Monkeylords that it sends to his base. Use the Salvation to destroy its structures. If you're Aeon, you'll get the chance to have a free Collosus if you capture the building in time, just teleport your sACU over and capture it, but QAI has Monkeylords, Fatboys, Soul Rippers as well as a Collosus guarding the base, thus you need a full-scale Soul Ripper and CZAR assault. 

Keep at it until everything's destroyed, then send Dr Brackman's Megalith to the destination.

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