Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour/USA Air Force General vs. General Leang
General Leang is known as the Dragon General for good reason. She is pure evil -- even though she is kind of cute.
And yes – this mission is winnable on the hard setting.
The race is on to destroy General Leang before she launches her Scud Storm, Nuclear Missile and – deep sigh – Particle Cannon. The launches can be postponed by destroying one of the three weapons bunkers located in the middle of this elongated map. Each time a bunker is destroyed, the timer is reset to twelve minutes.
As if that isn’t challenging enough, it gets worse. The Dragon General seems to have an endless source of supplies. Any structures destroyed on her main base will be quickly rebuilt. Destroy her Nuclear Missile four times – it will be rebuilt four times. The same applies to her three Command Centers.
(The one important exception to this is the Airfields, which will be discussed further in just a bit.)
But wait! There’s more! A constant onslaught of heavy armor will be rolling toward your base, making base expansion practically impossible.
On top of this, even without her Superweapons, her General’s Powers are devastating to your base. Cluster Bombs and Artillery Barrages will wreak havoc on your structures way before the Superweapons are ready to launch.
Basically you have 30.5 minutes, according to the countdown timer, before Cluster Bombs and Artillery Barrages start ripping your base apart. The first twelve minutes, reset the timer for another twelve minutes, then six minutes into the next reset.
With all of the above said, there is a way to beat this mission. It may not be fancy or pretty, in fact, it is downright ugly and ungraceful, but it will work – barely.
This mission is even more difficult than with the Superweapon General. It is the same basic technique, modified slightly. The Particle Cannons cost twice as much, so Aurora Bombers are more heavily relied on.
The onslaught begins immediately. A very tight sequence of defensive posturing will help you survive the first few minutes.
Build a Reactor, Barracks and Supply Center.
Important: Pack everything tightly as you build, with the Supply Center being as far against the western edge of the base as possible and as close to the supplies as possible. Use this same philosophy for all of your building and you will be able to fit seven (one more than needed) Particle Cannons, five Supply Drop Zones, a Strategy Center, plenty of Reactors, and your Fire Base to the east.
Upgrade the Reactor and build an extra supply helicopter. Research the Capture command and recruit a Ranger at the Barracks.
Build a Fire Base to the east of the base. Position it a bit back from the bridge so that Rocket Buggies cannot target it from the other side of the river. Place it slightly to the south of the bridge to keep from being shot at from the bluffs.
Start building a Weapons Factory. Fight off the hopped-up Rangers that attack. Don’t lose your Ranger but you can use him to help out a bit. After the enemy Rangers are disposed of, capture the oil derrick.
Build a Humvee.
Place four Missile Defenders inside the Fire Base and you are good to go for your eastern defense. Destroy the two Paladin tanks rolling in your direction.
It is imperative you build a Humvee immediately to help deal with the Rocket Buggies that are coming and then the infantry from the sneak attack tunnel. Upgrade it with a Battle Drone.
Build two Patriots along the northern bluff in anticipation of the Sneak Attack.
Keep a close eye out for the Rocket Buggy. As soon as it targets your Fire Base, attack it with your Hummer. It helps out the process if you place some of the Missile Defenders in your Humvee.
Create three more Missile Defenders so your Humvee maintains some firepower while the Fire Base remains effective.
Start building your Strategy Center and a Reactor while waiting for the sneak attack. Don’t forget to choose your free upgrade.
At the Sneak Attack, target the enemy Tank Hunters with your Humvee before they destroy your Patriots. Rebuild any Patriots that are lost.
Build a Supply Drop Zone and then your first Particle Cannon or vice versa. Either way will work. You want to make a bee’s line to get your Particle Cannon working to destroy the Air Field. The enemy jets are the main threat to your base and you want to alleviate this pressure as much as possible.
Build Reactors as required.
Build an Air Field. Hopefully you left room.
Use one dozer to keep the Patriots repaired as they are attacked from the air. Don’t lose your dozer.
Wait until you have sufficient funds and build a second Supply Drop Zone.
The timer is getting less than a minute now, so attack the southeastern bunker with A10 Missile Strike (Level 2). The Particle Cannon should be charged up, so destroy both Air Fields with it.
Choose your Spectre Gunship General’s Power and destroy the bunker to the east, combined with the Carpet Bomb.
As soon as the toxins settle from the destroyed bunker, land your Paratroopers in the area to capture the oil derrick. It will eventually be destroyed, but hopefully not too soon.
As soon as you can destroy the bunkers to the east, do so, then send your Helicopters over to start collecting supplies.
Keep three or four Patriots up and running on the northern edge of the base. Not too many – you need to conserve resources.
Go ahead and build a third, fourth and even fifth Supply Drop Zone. You don’t have much time.
Keep your oil derrick repaired, along with your Patriots. If necessary, permanently park your dozer next to the oil derrick to keep it from being destroyed.
This mission can be successful with or without a Tomahawk missile. Try to go as bare bones as possible. This mission can come down to the seconds. The Aurora Bombers can do the job of keeping the northern bluffs free from attack vehicles.
The jets may target your Fire Base, so as an insurance policy you may want to build a second one near your oil derrick. If you have a recent save, you can empty your Missile Defenders out of the Fire Base and the enemy jets will target another area.
Important: You can actually successfully destroy an Air Field with your Carpet Bombing, so do that whenever possible. Every time your Particle Cannon is ready, destroy them both simultaneously with the moving beam. If only one Air Field is built, destroy the War Factory and Air Field in a single strike.
When opportunity arises, destroy the two bunkers north of your base. This will help assure that all of your Auroras survive to destroy the bulldozers when the time arises.
You can actually sell your Weapons Factory and Barracks around now – about 18 minutes into the mission -- which is not a bad idea, since you need to start building plenty of Reactors and Particle Cannons. Start early and build an extra dozer or two to keep the process running.
Keep building until you have a total of six Particle Cannons.
If necessary, sell one or two Supply Drop Zones for fast cash and more room to build Reactors. If you planned your base well enough, this won’t be necessary. When your supply helicopters have been lost in flight, go ahead and sell your Supply Center for even more room.
The attacks from the bluffs pick up about now. Utilize Auroras on Guard mode to suppress them. If there is an Avenger in the area, immediately target it with two Auroras to knock it out of commission.
Feel free to utilize to your General’s Powers to help clear the ridge. It can get hectic about now.
Hopefully before the timer ticks down to 5:30 or so (with one enemy bunker left undestroyed) you can destroy all of the Command Centers with your Particle Cannons. There may up to five bulldozers roaming the base, and it will be very hectic to destroy them all with just four Auroras, although it is possible by quickly rebuilding as your Auroras are lost.
To help assure you have less dozers to deal with, as you get closer to the end of the 30-minute time period, start locating and destroying dozers by your General’s Powers. Sometimes they won’t be replaced, making the job much easier later on.
You can also destroy dozers by sacrificing your Auroras on one-way bombing runs. Replace the Auroras immediately if you utilize this method.
Destroying the Command Centers is going to agitate General Leang – be prepared for a tough counterstrike.
Destroy any remaining Air Fields and War Factories before destroying the Super Weapons. You have plenty of time to take care of them. Destroying the third bunker gives you an additional twelve minutes for this task.
Keep the Auroras on Guard mode protecting the northern ridge and soon a well-deserved victory will be yours.
General Leang is actually quite gracious in her defeat. She will concede your victory without having to destroy her Reactors, Bunkers, Patriots, Supply Centers and Speaker Towers.
 Alternate walkthrough
This is a similar approach without the need for an airfield. Except where mentioned, use the same concepts as mentioned above.
- Base defenses
Use two patriots placed just back from the bridge to take out incoming traffic. Add a sniper at the bottom right of the base right by the river. Keeping a construction dozer behind the patriots and an ambulance behind the dozer keeps everything in good repair. This approach is more resistant to MiG fire bomb attacks than the artillery technique. Other than two at the gate, place one Patriot at the base of the ridge just above the left side of the Command Center with a dozer and ambulance to repair. This helps draw MiG attacks away from the bridge area and the patriot was able to engage some targets on the ridge.
Build only six particle cannons. Instead of Aurora bombers, build three assault transports (supply helicopter with firing ports) loaded with one sniper and seven missile defenders in each transport.
Gen Leang's base has a massive defensive network and many buildings. To sustain this network requires a massive power grid. With this power grid taken out, the base is actually not very strongly defended. She has a total of 26 power stations conveniently arranged in seven groups of three, with five other randomly placed power stations. The strategy is to take down the power grid with particle cannons and generals' powers and fly in with the assault transports to keep the power grid down while slowly destroying the base. Timing is critical – definitely save your game before launching this assault.
- Particle Cannon 1: Destroy the three power stations located to the left of the enemy's southernmost airfield. If you start the beam at the top right, you can destroy all three and have the beam travel south to destroy a vehicle staging area. This will also draw the first of a number of dozers into a nice target area.
- Particle Cannon 2: Destroy the bank of three power stations at the leftmost point of the enemy's base. If you plan the beam correctly, you can destroy all three and zap the group of hackers collecting resources.
- Particle Cannon 3: Destroy the bank of three to the left of the top left Command Center. Start at the top and send the beam to the nearby tunnel network when done. Send the assault transports to the bottom right corner of the map. Target the MOAB on the weapons bunker area on the right side of the map just under the river in order to clear any anti-aircraft capable vehicles from the area. Target carpet bombing on the bank of three at the far right of the enemy base right beside the airfields.
- Particle Cannon 4: Destroy the bank of three between the top left Command Center and the Scud Storm.
- Particle Cannon 5: Destroy the bank of three between the Scud Storm and the top right Command Center.
- Particle Cannon 6: Destroy the bank of three to the right of the top right Command Center. Ensure the assault transports are at the far right of the screen and then instruct them to move to the top right of the map (by the particle cannon).
- A-10 Strike: Target it in the area of the first group of three you destroyed (to the left of the bottom airfield). You will likely destroy three in-progress power stations and some dozers.
- Assault Transport attack techniques
The transports will automatically pop any infantry around them. However, you have to continually point them to targets or they'll start destroying base defenses (and get the power back on line). The following are target priorities. Working from the upper right to the upper left of the enemy's base, destroy power stations and dozers. You may have to pause your attack if your transports hit a tunnel network and enemy anti-aircraft capable units pop out. Otherwise, once you've worked through the power stations, work your way back to the command center area. Target the upper left command center but watch for any dozers being built from any of the three command centers. If they come out, take a break, destroy them, and then return to the target. In this way, destroy the top left, top right, and then bottom command centers.
When attacking the bottom Command Center, destroy the war factory so that an anti-aircraft vehicle doesn't pop out while you're attacking. If you've made it this far and destroyed all three, then clear the left side of power stations again and return to the command center area. Clear the right side and then return to the command center area. Continue in this fashion and systematically reduce the base. If you've destroyed the command centers, then the remaining dozers will have to return to the top part of the base in order to restore power or rebuild command centers. Once you've destroyed all dozers, then it's just a matter of time for you to bleed the enemy dry with your assault transports and generals' powers. You may lose the assault transports when you begin attacking the southern parts of the enemy's base.
The advantage of the helicopters over Auroras is that the Auroras will typically get destroyed flying back to base because of the large vehicle formations at various points on the map. This quickly gets expensive. The helicopters, on the other hand, can just loiter over the target area.