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Hard Difficulty[edit]

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Prepare for one rough battle. This map has you starting on the southwest island and the Superweapon General heavily fortified on the northeast island. The island you are on extends all the way to the east via two narrow straights. There is another larger land mass in the northwest corner of the map with a supply pile that is initially used by the superweapon general. Near the center of the map is another mid-size island with an oil derrick. the rest of the map is a virtual archipelago, with tiny islands serving as a small base for a EMP Patriot site or a Laser Avenger hideout. You have a difficult fight ahead of you...

Beware: If you are like me the first thing you normally build is a barracks, a Red Guard unit and then the capture building ability. Normally, you send your Red Guard units to the building you want to capture while waiting for the research to finish. Doing that on this level will end your game really quick. If you start moving your infantry to the Oil Derricks on the west edge of the island you will attract the attention of 3 Commanche Helicopters that will come back and destroy your base before you can even begin to defend against them. Try it, you will see what I mean. Instead, on this level, Research the upgrade before you build a Red Guard unit. Then move the units to the Oil Derricks. By researching first you delay long enough for the Commanches that were there to leave.

Space everything far apart on this level and do not leave your dozer next to a building after completing it. At the start of the game build 2 nuclear reactors. The first one you build will most likely be the target of the enemy's A-10 strike. Everything you build will be constantly destroyed. The superweapon general initially has just one particle cannon. A second particle cannon appears at the same time the first one strikes, and a third particle cannon appears when the other two make their first strike in unison. While 3 particle canons can wreck a lot of havoc if aimed to take out the proper targets, the superweapon general seemed fixated on my barracks and one nuclear reactor that I build to the south of my command center. I kept rebuilding both those buildings in the same spot and she kept destroying them; ironically I liked this and continued it, because it is a lot cheaper to rebuild a barracks and a nuclear reactor than what it costs to rebuild either your War Factory or the Propaganda Center.

How to survive after such tragedy: Build lots of Emperor Tanks and Hackers. Keep everything spaced apart. It is not unusual for your Emperor Tanks to draw the attention of the constant A-10 Strikes. Accept the loss and build another. Do not forget to upgrade the Emperor Tanks with Gattling cannons. These tanks will provide your base defense against the Commanches that attacks in small groups of 3. A single Emperor Tank with a Gattling cannon can survive (barely) against a 3 Commanche attack. A fixed Gattling gun or a Gattling tank would not have a chance against those odds.

Build hackers and an Internet center. Put a low priority on the internet center. Build the hackers and spread them to all the edges of your island to protect them from all dying in mass. Keeping them single will stop the enemy from taking out more than one or two at a time. Always have at least 10-15 Hackers (having more won't hurt.) I would build (and rebuild) the Internet Center on the western edge of the map just south of the two Oil Derricks. Do not put hackers inside the Internet Center!!! The Internet Center draws the fire of the A-10 Strike. It will be constantly destroyed. It is cheaper to replace a $2500 Internet Center than both the Center and the $6240 worth of Hackers inside. You may ask why build it then? To research the upgrades and see the whole map, and to provide a target for the A-10's that is cheaper to replace than a $3100 upgraded Emperor Tank.

On the Defensive: (The Superweapon General's attacks)

  • Particle Canon: The Superweapon General's main attack. Your only defense is to keep your base spread out and rebuild (until you can destroy them.)
  • Commanche Attacks: Best defense is a Emperor Tank upgraded with a Gattling cannon. This is easiest with another tank or two nearby helping with the defense. Just be sure to even keep some space between your tanks as well.)
  • A-10 Strike (General's Power): Once again there is no defense against this, but this will be used against your internet center more than anything else; so keep rebuilding the Internet center and do not put hackers inside.
  • Alpha Aurora Attacks: For some reason I had a few attacks against me initially then they stopped for a long time until later in the level. (A guess is that they only come out and attack when you have buildings and or units north and east of Command Center.) Usually they would attack a single Emperor Tank destroying it, but I had tanks to either side, far enough away to not be hurt by the explosion, but close enough to destroy at least one aurora after its attack. I might not be able to save my tank, but at least I can take some of them with me.
  • Combat Drop Attack: So sneaky you would be surprised that an AI is doing it (Its probably specifically coded into the level) A Supply Chopper comes in and drops off a few infantry, rocket infantry, and a recon drone (with a machine gun.) The first time or two that this happens the target is the two Oil Derricks on the west of your island. The chopper lands on the northwest edge of your island drops of troops and leaves. The troops took out one of my derricks before I noticed. The other derrick was lost by the time I reacted and finished them off. After the initial attack, the enemy will use it again from the southwest corner. No, that is not a typo, in a move that can be considered cheating, the attack comes offscreen from the southwest; the troops land on the western edge and attack anything nearby. No matter where it comes from, a single upgraded Emperor Tank is usually sufficient to defend against this attack.

Pressing the attack: Once you have a steady supply of funding from the Hackers and the few other resources, it is time to start pushing back. Start by training Black Lotus, a pair of Emperor Tanks (and upgrade them), and about 6 Tank Hunters.

Take Black Lotus to the narrow land bridge between your part of the southern island and the center. She should uncover two units, A Scout Drone and a recon Drone; have an Emperor Tank take them both out. She can now go and capture the Artillery Platform in the middle of the island. (Be careful of Commanches.) Unfortunately the artillery platform does little except take out a nearby EMP Patriot (if it is not destroyed by the enemy.)

Now for the tricky part. Take Black Lotus next to the Eastern part of your island. There is another Recon Drone that she should uncover, a Laser Avenger, and an EMP Patriot all near an Oil Derrick.Send your Tank Hunters in first to wipe out the Recon Drone and start attacking the EMP Patriot. Do not worry too much about the Laser Avenger because they have a very poor ground attack. You send your infantry in first to draw the fire of the EMP. Infantry will not be disabled by the blast (but they will be hurt by the missiles.) Start attacking the EMP with your Emperor Tanks and hopefully you will destroy it before it finishes off your Tank Hunters. Mop up the enemy infantry and Laser Avenger after the EMP is destroyed. There is another Scout Drone here that will be destroyed by your Emperor Tank, then Black Lotus can capture the Oil Derrick.

Next target is the EMP on its own island to the south of your current position. Spread your two tanks far enough apart that the EMP blast can only affect one tank. Then destroy the EMP with the other tank. Be careful not to spread your tanks too far to the east; you want to stay out of range of the Rocket Infantry inside the artillery platform until after you take out the EMP. With the EMP Gone use your tanks to take out the artillery platform and the other defenses north of the Particle Cannon. Have Black Lotus capture the particle cannon. It will be a small and quick lived victory because after the particle cannon is captured, a remaining EMP Patriot to the south will attack it. You can use Migs (if you have an airfield built) to take out the EMP but you will probably lose one or two Migs in the process. This is ultimately futile as the next particle canon attack will destroy the particle cannon that you captured before you ever get a chance to fire it. However, This is one round that you will not need to rebuild your barracks or Nuclear Reactor.

Now that I have complete control of my island what do I do to win? Act like the Superweapon General (Or like a Nuke General if you prefer;) build Nuke Silos and blast her back to the stone age. Target her particle cannons first, then her command center (to stop the A-10 Strikes), and then her Airfield. The particle cannons and command center will require two hits with little delay (so that her structures can not be repaired or heal) in order to destroy them. You can also use the artillery barrage(general power) as an additional attack. Her particle canons are not in a position where they can be rebuilt, but she will attempt to rebuild her command center and airfield. Once those structures are gone, make sure to target her dozers (if any) then finish off the rest of her base at your convenience. Do not forget to take out the Supply Center on the northwest island.

You may complain that you are a tank general and want to attack with tanks. Go ahead, but the mission will last a lot longer and be a lot more drawn out. Until your Emperor Tanks can fly, you will need to transport them one at a time in a Helix. While they are in a Helix your tanks can not attack and they are very vulnerable. There is a lot of anti-air on this level and a single EMP hit can take out a Mig or a Helix. You can easily lose 3 or more Migs trying to destroy a single EMP Patriot site. For the cost of 3 migs, you can build a Nuke Silo. A nuke does not require that you clear out all the anti-air between your base and the target; a tank assault does. Are you sure you still want to use tanks instead of Nukes?

Alternate strategy for eliminating enemy aircraft: This works for any of the Chinese Generals - When you have achieved the second level of Artillery Strike, first target the Supply Center in the Northwest, then the Airfield in her main base (if you attack her Airfield immediately, she will just rebuild it). This is often my first real offensive move, because while Particle Canons can't end the game for you, her Comanches and Aurora Bombers certainly can.

Alternate strategy for dealing with enemy aircraft: Once you capture the Artillery Platform noted above (and before eliminating her Airfield), put Gatling Tanks in that area to hit Aurora Bombers on the return leg. It doesn't save your buildings, but does reduce her force temporarily and builds your experience.

Your main "game ending" problem comes with an Aurora (or A-10, or Particle Canon) attack that takes out anti-air defenses followed by a Comanche attack that methodically destroys everything you have. The best way to deal with this is to get 2 (more?) Helixs in the air with Bunkers and Tank Hunters. The Superweapon General doesn't build any Fighters, so the Helixs will decimate both Comanches and Aurora bombers after they've dropped their load. Once you have 2 of these (North West corner of your island, and just North East of your Command in case they come straight across).