Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour/USA Laser General vs. GLA Stealth General
This missions plays very similarly to the other USA generals. The Laser Turrets are more effective at controlling infantry is one minor difference. It may have been this contributor’s imagination, but it seemed like the Sneak Attacks were more vicious in this mission. Perhaps the lack of Tomahawks made them more damaging -- and the regular Raptors did not have the same punch as King Raptors. Still, this mission is just of moderate difficulty.
This map is littered with GLA structures that are not visible – even with the Intelligence ability available from the Strategy Center. It is necessary to constantly use the Spy Satellite – which recharges every minute -- to outline targets of opportunity.
The GLA wastes no time attacking your base. Your Laser Turrets are multifunctional against both armor and infantry, so this makes initial defensive efforts less complicated.
Your base will be attacked mercilessly by Rocket Buggies. It is possible to lose this mission even after the Scud Storm is destroyed. A horrible combination to deal with is when the Anthrax attack destroys your defensive vehicles and the Rocket Buggies overwhelm your Patriots. Your Command Center could be the next thing to fall.
At least one Particle Cannon must be built as soon as possible to get the jump on the GLA’s Scud Storm. Afterwards, keep building Particle Cannons and continually destroy the Arms Dealer located in the northwest and the second Arms Dealer located in the southwest. This will slow down the onslaught of the Rocket Buggies and allow you to continue building up your base.
Start with building a Reactor, an extra dozer, a Barracks and Supply Center. Immediately research the Capture command and send one Ranger to capture the Artillery Platfrom and one Ranger to capture the oil derrick. Immediately build an extra Supply Chopper. Upgrade the Reactor.
Build one Laser Turret to the south of the Artillery Platform and one to the north of it. Do not build them too far away from your base or they will be picked off by Rocket Buggies. They should form a shallow triangular pattern with the AP. Build a third by the oil derrick.
Have a bulldozer constantly stationed at the Artillery Platform to keep it repaired and the nearby Laser Turrets. Replace the bulldozer if it is destroyed.
Next build a War Factory, then a second Reactor. This mission can be won without creating armored units.
Build a Strategy Center. Don’t forget to choose one of your free upgrades.
Important: Create Colonel Burton as soon as the Strategy Center is built and station him to the west of your base to help fend off Rocket Buggy attacks.
In the very back of your base, build a Supply Drop Zone, a Particle Cannon, then a Laser Turret to help protect them from Sneak Attack tunnels.
This turret alone won’t be sufficient to fight off Sneak Attacks. Build an Air Field and four Raptors. Have them guard the area of your Particle Cannon.
When funds permit, upgrade your Raptors with Countermeasures and Laser Missiles.
This is a pretty chaotic period of the game. Try not to lose “too many” of your base defenses so you will not go broke replacing them. Some casualties will be sustained.
You are about to experience your first Anthrax attack. Don’t keep any of your infantry or armored units near your base or they will be lost. If possible, save the dozer near your Artillery Platform by placing him further away from the base.
Even while the Anthrax residue is present, you can continue to build structures to the very back of the base.
Build a secondary Air Field (with four more Raptors) and a secondary Particle Cannon as soon as possible. The sooner you destroy one of the Arms Dealers, the better. The sooner you have your base well-defended, the better.
Destroy the Scud Storm with an A10 Missile Strike (second level) and your first Particle Cannon. It will rebuild once and then you can move on to other structures.
With Colonel Burton stationed to the west of your base, destroy the Arms Dealer located in the northwest part of the map first so that the northwest valley approaching your base will not have to deal with as many Rocket Buggies.
Have some of your Raptors patrol the northwest valley and some patrol your base. Have each aircraft numbered so you can call them in when necessary to destroy Sneak Attack tunnels.
As your frontal defenses are destroyed, replace them with either Fire Bases or Laser Turrets. Each have their disadvantages. Fire Bases with four Missile Defenders are easily destroyed and expensive to replace, which Laser Turrets have limited range. They are mainly there to slow down the Rocket Buggies while either Colonel Burton or the Raptors destroy them.
Fire Bases protecting your Particle Cannons may be destroyed during Sneak Attacks, but they will help your Raptors destroy the Quad Cannons and Rocket Buggies. These attacks can be quite a distraction.
When opportunity presents itself, continue to build extra Particle Cannons. Another Supply Drop Zone will ensure ample cash flow.
Together with your General’s Powers, first and foremost, target the Arms Dealers. After that, keep your Spy Satellite busy unveiling other targets of opportunity. Command Centers will take two PC blasts and an additional strike from a Spectre Gunship or an A10 Missile Strike to finish the job.
Once their base is fairly well obliterated, especially the southwest base, you may want to target individual workers to keep them from rebuilding.
As mentioned above, Stinger Sites, Tunnel Networks, Artillery Platforms and garrisoned structures do not have to be destroyed to win the mission. The most isolated building that is easy to overlook is the Barracks to the east of the northwestern base. Also, the Palaces are squeezed into the peninsulas jutting into the lake. The land masses are so small you may not think that a building would fit in there. Don’t overlook them!
Here is a list of the eleven buildings that must be destroyed:
In the northwest base, going counterclockwise from the top: Barracks, Arms Dealer, Command Center, Black Market and Palace.
In the southwest base, going counterclockwise from the top: Palace, Command Center, Supply Stash, Black Market, Barracks and Arms Dealer.
Try to pick out individual workers for destruction whenever possible. If you can destroy a structure and a worker at the same time, so much the better. It will speed up the process to destroy the Supply Stash in the lower southwest corner, along with the larger number of workers milling around in this area.
If you choose to do a land assault, Pathfinders will prove to be invaluable in locking in all forward progress that you make. Pathfinders will destroy any workers that try to rebuild areas that you have previously destroyed.