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 Super Weapons 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.
This walkthrough is practically identical to that of the Air Force General. This mission is slightly more difficult because the General’s Powers are not as powerful. No Carpet Bombing is available in this mission and it takes longer to acquire the Spectre Gunship.
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 Laser Turrets 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 Laser Turrets. Rebuild any Laser Turrets 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 Laser Turrets 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.
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 Laser Turrets 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 Laser Turrets. If necessary, permanently park your dozer next to the oil derrick to keep it from being destroyed.
Use the Aurora Bombers to keep the northern bluffs free from enemy 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.
Every time your Particle Cannon is ready, destroy both Air Fields 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, Laser Turrets, Supply Centers and Speaker Towers.
In some ways Laser General is one of the easier USA Generals for this mission, thanks mainly to the cheap avengers which neutralize migs and rocket buggies with utmost efficiency. These avengers are also available without a strategy center.
- Build a Laser Patriot at the bridge to defend it, I kept a dozer stationed permanently to repair the patriot - over time build up the bridge defense force with additional units: 3 missile defenders, 3 laser tanks, 2 avengers, 2 ambulances.
- The sneak attack will take place the moment the strategy center completes - it can be fended off with a couple of laser patriots built along the top, a few missile defenders and an avenger to neutralize the tank hunters.
- Once the sneak attack has taken place immediately train a Burton to go grab the money crates to the east and north-east.
- Defend the north from migs with 1 laser patriot, 3 missile defenders and 2 avengers - the avengers neutralize the migs, the missile defenders can sometimes shoot at things standing on the ridge.
- About the time the superweapon countdown hits 45 seconds, destroy the first bunker with Burton (if you didn't lose him) or an A-10 Strike.
- Now send out your bridge defense force and a dozer across the bridge, use flash bang rangers to clean out the bunkers and move the force up past the bunkers so you can occupy the choke point and defend the supplies - in general try to tank damage with the laser tanks while the avengers neutralize migs and buggies, a hummer with MDs and pathfinders inflicts damage. The ambulances should keep everyone healthy. The bridge defense force should handle all patrols just fine as they are only 2 units usually.
- Now the east is secure start gathering from the east supply dock and capture the derricks, also build a forward war factory.
- Move your forces up to the next supply dock, moving quickly but carefully taking pains to keep your hero tanks up front to absorb damage, with the avengers close behind to protect them. Once at the docks build a barracks to pump out MD and secure this area with additional laser patriots, start gathering from the dock and capture the derricks in the area. Hold this position for the rest of the game. (note that generally she absolutely hates it when you build near her base and mercilessly targets your forces with migs - but the avengers stop her protests most effectively)
- Now you have income from 2 fresh docks and 4 oil derricks, mass produce particle cannons and scour her base from the map - focus initially on eliminating the command centers and dozers with a massive strike of ~8 PCs - this will prevent her using her Generals powers (but if she does, she seems to prefer to target your forward position, so if you've built the power plants and PCs in your original base they should be safe).
- Alternatively to mass particle cannons it should be pretty easy to simply overrun her with laser tanks, missile defenders, pathfinders and avengers. Her attacks are a bit "dribbly" and her base is not that well defended, but due to a lack of artillery it is definitely helpful to have some PCs to help crack open the defensive positions - in particular the bunker at the bridge is a hard nut to crack and some of the turrets built on/behind ridges are pretty annoying too.