There are two ways to get through this mission: the easy way, and the hard way (or, possibly more accurately, the fast way and the slow way). Time is of the essence no matter what strategy you use. The easy way involves destroying the radio tower and enemy base with Colonel Burton early on, the hard way involves establishing your base and advancing through the oil fields.
The Easiest Way
When the mission starts, immediately build a Cold Fusion Reactor. When the reactor is completed, start building a Supply Center and Command Center. When the Supply Center completes, move Colonel Burton into the Chinook created by the Supply Center. Navigate the Chinook to the bottom left corner of the map and then navigate it to the top left corner of the map by hugging the left edge of the map as you go north. Drop Colonel Burton to the right side of the GLA Command Center. Use Colonel Burton to destroy the Radar Van first and then the closest Arms Dealer. Use your Promotion Points to unlock the drone and have it go above the Quad Cannon. While the Quad Cannon is distracted, destroy it with Colonel Burton. Proceed to destroy the other Arms Dealer on the left side of the Command Center. Move Colonel Burton to the right side of the base, kill the Worker next to the Supply Center and then destroy both Barracks. Destroy the SCUD Storm next. You can now unlock the A-10's and use them to target the Palace on the left side of the base. While waiting on the airstrike, move Colonel Burton near the Palace and destroy the SCUD Launcher and Toxic Tractor. If the Palace still stands after the airstrike, finish it off with Colonel Burton. The mission should now complete.
The Easy Way
The basic strategy is to move Colonel Burton through the northeast village, destroying the radio tower and base defenses, the Scud Storm, and the enemy base, while maintaining just enough defenses at your own base to fend off attacks. The faster Colonel Burton works, the less the enemy can throw at your base. Speed and multitasking is the key to this strategy, and will allow you to defeat this mission after one A10 strike with only minimal base defenses, without seeing a single Bomb Truck or SCUD launch.
The moment the mission starts, direct Colonel Burton and a single pathfinder to the northeast bridge (but do not cross it yet). While they are walking there, load your Humvees with your starting Rangers, use them to destroy the demo traps near the oil derricks by your base, then have a dozer clear the booby traps so your Rangers can then capture the derricks. Position a pathfinder by each bridge, build Battle Drones for all of your vehicles, and separate the vehicles into two equal groups, having them guard the two bridges near your base. Your Avenger will not see much action on this mission but can be used to destroy Scud missiles and rocket buggy salvoes. Once the dozers have cleared the booby traps, build a Command Center and a Cold Fusion Reactor, upgrading it with Control Rods. Build them just north of the airfield on the eastern edge of the map, this will reduce the number of fronts you have to defend on. You only need to keep your Command Center around long enough to pull off a single A10 strike.
Save your General's powers for the third level A10 strike, do not get the spy drone. The A10's will be key to supporting Colonel Burton, bringing them up to level 3 will ensure that they survive any enemy air defenses.
At this point the Colonel and the sniper have reached the bridge. Have the sniper disable the Stinger Site just across the bridge, then have Colonel Burton finish it off.
From here on there are two things that you must do at the same time. You must move Colonel Burton through the enemy base while establishing your own base defenses. Both are described separately for clarity. Colonel Burton is the priority; while you are waiting for Colonel Burton to destroy things, return to your base to build up defenses.
Build a Barracks and a War Factory as soon as you can. Upgrade your Cold Fusion Reactor. Keep your base compact, it will be easier to defend. You will want to build two Patriots on the west edge of your base, but keep them close to your base. They are your last line of defense against Technicals and Scorpion Tanks, and you do not want them too far forward or they will be destroyed by SCUD Launchers.
These are all the structures you need. Build all the Humvees and Rocket Soldiers you can afford, and load all troops into Humvees. Use Battle Drones to keep your vehicles in good repair. The enemy does not attack often, but when they do, the attacks are fairly large. They are very easy to defend against as long as you can pay attention and prevent your troops from sitting idle while they are taken out by SCUD Launchers and Rocket Buggies.
The large attacks will come across the second bridge. Direct your Humvees and Missile Defenders to guard there, leaving a small force to defend the south bridge. Keep an eye on your radar, and if you see the enemy crossing the bridge, be sure to direct your forces to destroy SCUD Launchers and Rocket Buggies.
This is pretty much all you need to do at your base. Reinforcements will occasionally arrive to help out. You will only have to endure one or two large waves of attacks as long as you can keep Colonel Burton moving quickly. After you make the first A10 strike (described below), you no longer need your base, and you can let the enemy destroy it at will.
You have just crossed the bridge and destroyed the Stinger site. Walk just east of the Stinger site to free the agent, then walk Burton, the sniper, and the agent directly north until you see the radio station. Position the sniper right at the west entrance to the village, he will take out enemy troops moving through the village. Have Colonel Burton and the agent both set a timed charge on the radio tower at the same time (this is a good time to return to your base and build your Barracks). Immediately move Colonel Burton towards the sniper, and, once the timed charges go off, have the agent shoot at the building until it's completely destroyed. You can forget about the agent now, the village will be overrun with GLA troops soon, but his sacrifice will not have been in vain.
Moving into this area causes the SCUD Storm countdown to begin, so your next target will be the SCUD Storm.
Take out the mine to the west of the village with Colonel Burton. The entrance to the enemy base is guarded by two Stinger Sites and a Tunnel Entrance. The tunnel houses quite a few enemy vehicles, and if Colonel Burton gets too close, the Quad Cannons will make short work of him. Save your game often.
It is critical to take out the Stinger Sites as they can detect your Colonel Burton. The first task is the southern Stinger. Have Colonel Burton attack the sandbags in front of the Stinger Site to create a hole, and your Pathfinder can disable the site through the hole. Then, destroy the site with the Colonel. Be sure to keep your soldiers as due east of the Stinger Site as possible -- again, you do not want to get too close to the tunnel. If the GLA has taken over the village in the mean time, the troops in the tower in the village may start firing rockets at Colonel Burton. They're generally harmless.
The fastest way from this point is if you climb the mountain just south of the SCUD storm and destroy it from above. If you do it like that you can leave the stinger sites that guard the base entrance where they are and just sneak through the base destroying the arms dealers, the command center and the palace. You don't even need an A10-strike to do so if you keep far from the tunnel networks.
If you want to do it the hard way take out the north Stinger Site. Walk Burton and the sniper north but stay as far east as possible without going in the village, to avoid the tunnel. Watch out for the demo trap. Move Burton and the sniper to the very northern most edge of the map, use Burton to take out the sandbags again, and destroy the Stinger site as usual.
The Pathfinder has now finished his job, you can leave him in the area to snipe enemy troops on their way to your base. Your base is now safe from northern attacks. From here on out it's only Colonel Burton. Your next goal is to move Colonel Burton towards the enemy Supply Stash via the north edge of the enemy base. Take out the northern most sandbags and walk through the hole. Be careful to stay as far north as possible. While it's tempting, if you've managed to get the A10 strikes at this point, do not waste them on the tunnel. If Burton gets close to the tunnel and the enemy vehicles come out, ignore them and keep him moving west, staying as far north as possible. He will eventually move out of range and the vehicles will return to hiding.
Colonel Burton can now take out the SCUD Storm. If your timetable is right, you should have at least 1 minute remaining before the SCUD Storm fires. Do not place charges, you will be detected. Position yourself directly north of the west edge of the SCUD Storm and fire at it until it's destroyed. You will be able to take it out before it even fires once. This is a good time to return to your base and build up defenses.
Next, shoot at the barrels next to the Supply Center to the west to take out the worker. Take out the Radar Van, then you should be able to destroy the Supply Center with your gun without being attacked. Next take out the Barracks just south of you. Do not walk south or Burton will be targeted. At this point, the A10 strikes should be available. You will see two Arms Dealers to the west. One of the Arms Dealers has a Quad Cannon parked next to it. If you try to take out the Arms Dealers with Colonel Burton, the Quad Cannon will rip him to shreds. Use the A10 strike to take out both the Quad Cannon and the Arms Dealer next to it. Once the A10's hit, use Colonel Burton to take out the second Arms Dealer. Stay as far east as possible. At this point, you no longer need your base! You can concentrate entirely on Colonel Burton. If your base is destroyed, you will not lose the mission.
Your next targets are the final Arms Dealer and the enemy Command Center. Because of the Command Center's placement, you will have to walk around the west side of it. You should be able to do this undetected. Walk around the west, destroy any Radar Vans and the Arms Dealer (you may have to either destroy the Rocket Buggy guarding the Arms Dealer, or run away from it), then position Colonel Burton behind the Command Center, to the north. Take out the Command Center with demo charges and your gun. Once the Command Center has been destroyed, only a Toxin Tractor and a SCUD Launcher stand between you and victory.
Move southwest and destroy the Toxin Tractor, avoiding the toxins that spill out of it when it is destroyed. It is very important that you stay clear of the nearby Tunnel Network. If you are spotted, retreat north until the vehicles move back into the tunnels. Once the toxins clear, take out the SCUD Launcher as well. Finally, destroy the Palace, and the enemy will surrender.
A Slower Approach
Some parts of this strategy are similar to the one above, although this is more of a turtling approach, heavily relying on Burton to wreak havoc inside the enemy base without worrying too much about losing your own. It's a good idea to save often in case something goes awry.
Send a Ranger or two into a Humvee and have it destroy the demo traps near your starting position, then move in with a dozer to disarm the booby traps on the oil derricks. Capture said derricks. Have your other dozer build a command center as well if you plan on using the A10 Strike, otherwise build a Power Plant, Barracks and Supply Center. Train up nine or ten Missile Defenders and split them into the midwest and southwest towers. Bomb trucks will occasionally try to get in via the southern bridge so station your Humvees there to back up the Missile defenders.
Garrison each watchtower by the bridges with a single Pathfinder - these will take care of all incoming infantry. Optionally, the Pathfinder heading to the northeast bridge can tag along with Burton when infiltrating the GLA base, but make sure infantry don't get past and onto the bridge. Snipe out the Stinger Site, then destroy it with Burton. Heading over towards the right will reveal a CIA Agent as well as some precious money crates. Take these then do whatever you want with the CIA Agent - we'll be mainly using Burton for this mission. Have the other remaining pathfinders set to guard the base from Rebel ambushes. Make sure they're actually on guard mode too, otherwise they'll just sit in the same spot while Rebels kill off your dozers because they were around the corner of a building.
The main attacks will come from the midwest bridge, so send your Crusader and Paladin tanks as well as Avengers there - their lasers will prove useful against rocket buggies and scud missiles and their laser painters' 20% increase to fire rate will become extremely useful. Make sure to put your Avengers slightly behind the tanks otherwise these very expensive units will find themselves eating a lot of tank shells. Build a War Factory and build an Avenger so that you now have two on the middle bridge to essentially nullify any Rocket Buggies and Scuds that try to attack your defenses. If possible, build another Paladin and have it replace the Crusader's position, then send the Crusader to the south to reinforce against incoming Bomb Trucks. The watchtower may get scratched from the pressing GLA forces so have a dozer buff out the paintwork.
Set up remote demo charges on the radio station and the 2 or 3 of the closest buildings on the same block. These buildings can be identified by a spotlight mounted on their roofs highlighting the radio station. If you're quick enough, these should be all ready to go before the local pro-GLA population suddenly pops into existence all around Burton. Have him run off to the northeast, then while the locals are busy garrisoning the booby trapped buildings, blow the explosives. If pulled off correctly, Burton should instantly become elite or heroic. Either way, the important thing is, no more Bomb Truck and car bomb attacks from the northeast, and Burton now knows how to apply band aids on himself. Keep him there for now because if you move further west it will start the Scud Storm countdown, thus putting unneeded pressure on you. Until you're sure your bridge defenses can hold up without too much maintenance, don't move him.
If you have enough money build a Strategy Center and pick the Search and Destroy strategy, it's incredibly useful since your Tomahawks now have 20% further range, easily covering against Rocket Buggies and Scuds. Get the Supply Lines and Advanced training upgrades too, more money and faster promotions to elite and heroic status are incredibly helpful if not essential for the boys holding the midwestern bridge.
You've probably not realised about the reinforcements you've received during all this commotion. There may be a waiting Tomahawk Launcher on the airstrip just begging to be unleashed on the Rocket Buggies and Scud Launchers so without further ado, send it away. Select the Tomahawk and click the Guard button, then pick a spot on the river ensuring that the furthest rocket buggy or scud launcher is still within the guard radius - this makes the Tomahawk automatically target these units without even crossing the river, leaving you one less thing to worry about. The extra Crusader can be sent anywhere really as your Paladins should be elite veterancy at this point and combined with the Battle Drones, repairs will keep them going. In fact, at that point Hellfire drones may be a better option since they deal heavy damage to enemy armour, while the heroic veterancy will allow for self-healing. Have your Dozers build some Patriots to help the Pathfinders on guard duty defend against the Rank 3 Rebel Ambushes - non-veteran pathfinders will be too slow against 16 Rebels. Even Humvees will quickly fall against the onslaught of Rebel gunfire. As they rank up though ambushes will become less and less of a problem. Eventually Microwave tanks get dropped off at the airstrip - the AI seems to place ambushes in more or less the same spots - just camp the Microwave tanks near these spots and soon everyone can enjoy toast Rebel for dinner.
At this point everything should be going quite smoothly, assuming the Scud Storm hasn't started its countdown. Where we last left Colonel Burton, there's a spot just to the east of the tunnel network there where a demo trap lies, so be careful of that. Use your Spy Satellite to uncover its location if needed.
Anyway, we want to destroy the Scud Storm because nobody wants anthrax in their toast Rebel, so position Burton between the northernmost Stinger Site and the destroyed wall so that the locals in the garrisoned tower don't blow up Burton with their RPGs, then quickly shoot the Stinger Site to death. Force Burton to destroy the sandbag walls near the location of the former Stinger Site so he can get by unnoticed. Burton may move in such a way as to get too close to the Tunnel Network - if he does this, get him to enter the watchtower directly to the north, then exit it before anyone can react. He should then leave in a westerly direction, at which point you can guide him away from the Tunnel Network and towards the Supply Stash. Blow up the innocent Worker with the explosive barrels.
Colonel Burton will suddenly find himself feeling very exposed...and not because he doesn't have a shirt on. It's that Radar Van hiding out behind the Supply Stash. There's also another Radar Van towards the lower left of the GLA Command Center. Kill both before they get him killed, then destroy the Arms Dealer to the left so that no vehicles will ruin your Scud Storm stomping party. This also opens line of sight to a deadly Quad Cannon which Burton, combined with the extended range of the Search and Destroy protocol, can pick off with impunity from inside the watchtower near him. Once the Quad Cannon is a pile of scrap, boot Burton out of the tower before other GLA forces (including idling Scud Launchers) converge on him. You can plant remote charges on the Scud Storm if you really want to, but make sure Burton does it in a spot where he's not in direct line of sight with any bad guys. During play, you may notice that even while planting charges, nobody seems to do a thing. They may only attack Burton if he occupies the watchtower.
Either way, blow (or shoot) the Scud Storm to smithereens, it won't be rebuilt and you can now coast along in this mission...sort of. Kill off any remaining production structures to stop the flow of attackers going towards your base, then mop up from there.
The Hard Way
This strategy is considerably more long and drawn out than The Easy Way just described. However, this is an alternative strategy that can be used if you are unable to move Colonel Burton quickly, or you simply want to try an alternate strategy. Rather than using Colonel Burton to destroy the enemy early, this strategy uses Burton to help defend your base, as you build up base defenses, establish two separate bases, and wear away at the enemy with offensive strikes and A10 runs (again, this is a much more drawn out strategy).
The majority of the challenge is to keep your base intact long enough to build a missile strike to destroy the Scud Storm. Colonel Burton will play a key role by aggressively attacking incoming GLA vehicles.
Defenses must be set up north of the base and at the bridge to the west of the base. A few oil derricks across the river can be temporarily held for much-needed credits. Two A10 Missile Strikes must be used to take out the Scud Storm before it launches. The next three missile strikes will be used to take out three different Arms Dealers, then the Speaker Tower. The GLA base must be destroyed to win the mission.
Establishing Your Base and Western Defense
Although the brunt of the attack will come from the north, GLA forces will still have a significant force crossing the bridge from the west. Even with a strong defense on this bridge, you should not forget about it while fighting in the north. Scud Launchers and Rocket Buggies can seriously erode your forces when you are not watching. A well-placed Avenger may protect it from these vehicles.
The western defense is established first so most of your attention can then be devoted to the north. Because of this, you will probably be “fighting for your life” as you finish setting up your northern defense.
- Use the bulldozers to clear the booby-trapped oil derricks. Use your tanks or Colonel Burton to destroy the other Demo Traps. While doing this, load up five Rangers in a Humvee and move it half-way across the bridge to the west of camp. Any further, and a Demo Trap will destroy it.
- There will be two Rangers left. Use them to capture the oil derricks south of your soon-to-be-built base.
- With the two bulldozers, simultaneously build a Cold Fusion Reactor and Barracks. Research the Capture command at the Barracks.
- Next, simultaneously build a Supply Center and a Patriot near the western bridge entrance.
- While the above is happening it is very important to be positioning your Pathfinders. There will soon be an ambush to the east of your base on the runway, so put one Pathfinder at the north end of the runway and another a reasonable distance down to catch them in a crossfire. Send another Pathfinder onto the bridge to help spot the Demo Trap that is lying in front of the Humvee. Send another two to the west side of the base to be ready for future ambushes. Send another one up north to play a key role in controlling infantry in the battle to come.
- Exit your Rangers from the Humvee and destroy the Demo Trap near the bridge and any that exist near the two nearest oil derricks. After destroying these Demo Traps, send two Rangers on simultaneous “suicide runs” to attempt to capture the booby-trapped oil derricks. When they are blown up, send another two more Rangers to take their place to successfully capture these two oil derricks. If you have time and so choose, you can repeat this procedure on other oil derricks, but it is not necessary to win the mission.
- Drive the Humvee west down the narrow valley on the far south side of the map, picking up the U.N. supplies for credits. Don’t get too distracted doing this, as you must keep the base-building operations moving at all times!!
- Label Colonel Burton with a number for easy locating and move him to the north near your Pathfinder.
- Build eight Missile Defenders and move them toward the western bridge.
- Try to keep the building of your base as fluid as possible. Build a Cold Fusion Reactor every time the power bar turns yellow. If and when time allows, build an extra one or two in case one is destroyed.
- Next build another Patriot near the western bridge, while the other bulldozer is building the War Factory.
- Build a Fire Base in-between the two Patriots and put three Missile Defenders and the Pathfinder that is already on the bridge inside of it. Keep an Avenger nearby to help destroy missiles fired from Rocket Buggies and Scud Launchers.
- If and when time permits, a Tomahawk by your western defense will help destroy pesky Rocket Buggies.
Northern Defense of Base
- Now let’s turn our attention to the north. It is necessary, while carrying out all of the chores listed above, to build Cold Fusion Reactors, a Strategy Center (for Avengers), and a Command Center. The Command Center is absolutely key as you must have this to use your A10 Missile Strike ability.
- Build an Avenger and three Paladins and send to the north side of the base.
- Move five of the Missile Defenders that are still at the western bridge up north.
- Suggestion: Garrison the North tower with the maximum number of Missile Defenders and one Pathfinder. Nothing will get through, not even the Truck Bombs.
- Now is probably a good time to save, in case a Truck Bomb gets through your northern defense and all your work goes up in smoke.
- Under the watchful eyes of Colonel Burton, the Pathfinder, your limited number vehicles and four Missile Defenders, you must build a cluster of two Patriots with a Firebase in-between them. There will be Truck Bombs in the area. Place the Missile Defenders inside the Firebase. If the Pathfinder is placed slightly to the east of the action, he can usually keep himself pretty safe.
- Set your units on Guard mode, as they seem to be more proactive destroying approaching GLA.
- Use Colonel Burton to help control the mass of units that start coming your way in an extremely chaotic manner. He is pretty darn resilient. The one mistake you can make is standing in front of a charging Truck Bomb or Car Bomb. Keep him to the northwest of your base to give him first shot at incoming Truck Bombs. Be sure he is off to the side a good distance when one of these vehicles is about to be destroyed.
- Important: Choose no more than one of your General’s Powers until you get third level A10 Missile Strike capability, as this will be essential to knocking out the Scud Storm. Your Command Center must be built before the Scud Storm countdown begins, as you must strike it twice in order to completely destroy it. You can choose Paladins first and still have time to build up to Level 3 A10 Missile Strike in time.
- Have the Avenger placed south of the Firebase to give it some protection. Use Colonel Burton to proactively destroy Rocket Buggies, Scud Launchers and Truck Bombs first before focusing on other vehicles.
- Important: Use the Guard command to keep your troops proactive. Slow response is a dead response when it comes to Truck and Car Bombs. Set the center of their “active range” in the center of the Firebase, so that everyone has equal opportunity to strike the targets.
- If you have the time and funds, place an ambulance slightly south of the Firebase to keep your Missile Defenders and Colonel Burton healthy.
Destroying the Scud Storm
If you have not done so already, use up three of your General Powers getting the third-level A10 Missile Strike. When the Scud Storm five-minute timer begins, immediately attack the Scud Storm. Your Missile Strike will recharge in four minutes and you can finish destroying the Scud Storm. If there is less than 4 minutes and 20 seconds left on the Scud Storm countdown when you strike, you may be too late, as it takes time for your planes to reach their destination.
Save the game occasionally, as the slightest distraction will allow a truck bomb to destroy your northern defense. During the four minutes waiting for the A10 Missile Strike to recharge, you will have to continue fiercely defending your base.
Although two more Missile Strikes will knock out the Speaker Tower that incites Truck and Car Bombs to attack your base, the next two strikes can be put to better use taking out two of the Arms Dealers at the GLA base. This will significantly slow down the attack rate on your base. The third strike will take out the final Arms Dealer. The fourth and fifth strike will then destroy the Speaker Tower.
By now, you are very low on funds, but no more vehicles, including suicide bombers, will threaten your base. A line of three Pathfinders on the other side of the river (fairly far north to protect most of the oil field) will set up a gauntlet that no infantry can pass through, and you can safely capture as many oil derricks as you see fit.
You can now attack the GLA base to the north at your leisure. Build up a fleet of seven or more Tomahawks and move them due north from your base led by a Pathfinder. Destroy all GLA structures from a distance with your Tomahawks while keeping them safe with your sniper. Be careful and avoid getting caught in a crossfire with your Tomahawks between two of the tall minaret structures. They seem to blend into the background and can do a lot of damage.
Before heading to the western part of the base, have your Tomahawks joined by a battalion of Paladins, as the GLA defense is more aggressive in their counterattack. Watch out for Scud Launchers that can destroy a large number of your Tomahawks.
Finish destroying the base and your mission is accomplished.