[fadden-logo]

Incubation Walkthrough - Wilderness Campaign

This is for the expansion "Scay'Ra" campaign.  I played through the entire campaign in an unmodified version 1.52e of the game, following these rules:

The game has a certain element of randomness, so you can't always follow what I've done as an exact script.  I avoided using the first two (of four) commendations to make it easier to play with the skill plan.

The "goals" for each mission always include "Sgt. Bratt must survive", and eventually "Major Rutherford must survive", and usually mandate the survival of any NPCs that are along.  I don't list that in the mission descriptions below.

General notes:

This campaign isn't as much fun as the original.  There are some long slogs early on, and the last third of the campaign is dominated by the need to capture Scay'Ger, which can be very frustrating.  The result is that this campaign is often less "challenge" and more "chore".

Unrelated to this walkthrough, you can find a 36-hour series of "let's play" videos, by Willy Wonka, on youtube.

Missions:

  1. Mission 1: The Two Gore'Ther
  2. Mission 2: Transmitter Hall
  3. Mission 3: Simon's Hiding
  4. Mission 4a: Antenna Search Route A (preferred)
  5. Mission 4b: Antenna Search Route B
  6. Mission 5a: Next Antenna
  7. Mission 5b: Next Antenna
  8. Mission 6: Batteries Needed #1
  9. Mission 7: Batteries Needed #2
  10. Mission 8: Wayne's Escape
  11. Mission 9: On the Road Again
  12. Mission 10: The Tr'Yns
  13. Mission 11: To the Fuel Station #1
  14. Mission 12: To the Fuel Station #2
  15. Mission 13a: Where's the Fuel? Route A
  16. Mission 13b: Where's the Fuel? Route B (preferred)
  17. Mission 14a: Fuel Up
  18. Mission 14b: Fuel Up
  19. Mission 15: To the Jungle
  20. Mission 16a: Retreat - This Way (preferred)
  21. Mission 16b: Retreat - The Other Way
  22. Mission 17a: Back in the Scrap
  23. Mission 17b: Back in the Scrap
  24. Mission 18: Thirsty
  25. Mission 19: Even More Thirsty
  26. Mission 20: Hope
  27. Mission 21: To the Jungle - 2nd Try
  28. Mission 22: Into the Green
  29. Mission 23: Sculptures
  30. Mission 24a: Dazed
  31. Mission 24b: Confused (preferred)
  32. Mission 25a: Steele
  33. Mission 25b: Steele
  34. Mission 26: The Capture
  35. Mission 27: To the Alien Site
  36. Mission 28: Further On
  37. Mission 29: Chainsaw
  38. Mission 30: Vaccine
  39. Mission 31: Getting Closer
  40. Mission 32: The End

 

Prep 1: (none)

There is no pre-mission prep.  You are given 100 equipment points and four soldiers: Bratt, Austin, Rock, and Knox.  They all have light armor.  Bratt and Austin have Standard Assault Rifles, while Rock and Knox have Advanced Combat Guns.

Mission 1: The Two Gore'Ther

Goal: Reach the exit area, with all marines in the exit room
Enemies: Gore'Ther (4), Ray'Ther (60+)
Ammo boxes: 1
Equipment boxes: 4 (50/50/20/20)
Commendations: 0

The level is divided into four sections, each of which presents a different challenge.  The initial section requires killing the two Gore'Ther, which must be shot in the back.

Turn 1 & 2: send Rock north, then north-northwest (he has to go one square west to draw both Gore'Ther).  The other three move west at full speed hugging the south wall, and then turn north.  The idea is to have Rock draw both Gore'Ther, and the other soldiers kill them just before Rock gets shredded.

Turn 3: Rock should be two steps from each of the Gore'Ther, and can rest to gain an AP.  The other soldiers are streaming north, dodging west around the bodies.

Turn 4: Rock backs up east.  The other three move north.

Turn 5: Knox kills the northernmost Gore'Ther (probably takes two shots).  Rock retreats to the NE corner.  Everybody moves up.  The Gore'Ther must die; if Knox fails with two shots, have him step north and let Austin take a shot or two.

Turn 6: Bratt kills the second Gore'Ther.  Everybody heads for the central area.

Turn 10: you want to create a 'T' shape, with Rock (who has the Light Stimulant) in front of the door to the NE area, Austin to his right, Knox to his left, and Bratt below.  Rock rests, gaining an AP.  Bratt and Austin shoot any Gore'Ther that come down the hall from the east, and Knox uses has bayonet to defend the west.  Defensive fire shouldn't be used, as the Ray'Ther tend to jam up at the choke points, helpfully limiting the number of attackers.

Turn 11: Austin opens the door, then shoots a nearby Ray'Ther.  Rock runs up, pushes the barrel, pops the stim, and runs back out.  Knox closes the door and kills a nearby Ray'Ther.  Bratt heals anybody with wounds.  We're now safe from attack from the NE.

Turn 12: Rock and Bratt head for the door to the SW area, but don't open it.  Knox stands guard, killing with the bayonet.  (Knox will need to advance or retreat slightly depending on the position of the next inbound Ray'Ther.)  Austin heads for the NE chest.

Turn 16: Austin is back with the group, Bratt and Rock are rested.  Austin opens the door and the other two rush in.  The idea is to have Bratt far to the west, Rock in the middle, and Austin at the door, so that when the next two Gore'Ther move up, they'll be between a pair of soldiers.  Note that the Ray'Ther spawners open.

Sometimes the Gore'Ther movement gets disrupted by Ray'Ther, in which case it's probably best to spend some ammo killing the Ray'Ther to allow the Gore'Ther to advance.

Turn 22: the Gore'Ther should be dead, and your soldiers advancing southward.

Turn 26: pile up on the entrance to the southern area, everybody on defensive fire.  The idea is to clear out all the units and rush through during a spawn lull.  There seems to be a mechanic where, if all recently-spawned units are killed in one turn with defensive fire, no new spawns appear for a few turns.  There is a great deal of randomness involved, so some save/load shenanigans may be required.  The soldier who loots the box to the west can mitigate this by stepping out and north, and then defending while the soldier to the east retreats.

While the two soldiers rushed in, the third moved behind the barrel.  When pushed, the barrel will move four spaces, which is exactly where we want it, so there's no need to "back stop" the barrel with a unit.

Turn 34: we're done down south, so bring the units back to the central area.  Reload from the ammo crate as needed, preference given to the assault rifle soldiers.  (My assault rifles had one shot each, and Rock had 4 shots.  Knox, guarding the top passage, still had 6.)  Form up around Knox.  Heal anybody who needs it.

Turn 40: breach the room, leading with the units that still have ammo.  Use of defense fire is necessary because there are a fair number of Ray'Ther just waiting to spill in.

Two units standing in front of the entry tube can hold it indefinitely.  One will need to step forward, strike, step backward.  A third unit runs for the exit point.

Victory on turn 46, 67 kills, +140 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 1 / Prep 2: Walker's Last Stand

Nothing of any use here.  Your starting equipment will have to suffice.

Mission 2: Transmitter Hall

Goal: Block tubes with boxes, and kill all Scay'Ger
Enemies: Ray'Ther (40+), Dec'Ther (20+)
Ammo boxes: 2
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/20, crowbar)
Commendations: 0

The mission ends when the last box is moved into place, so we need to grab all the equipment before then.  The safest way to manage this is to shove one of the boxes while a newly-spawned unit is in the target square; this will trap the unit, preventing additional spawn without triggering mission-complete.

The level has pipes on the north and east walls, and is nearly symmetric.  The east pipe is a bit more open when pushing the boxes from the south, allowing two soldiers to push while a third covers, but the middle box must be pushed twice before it's in place.  You seem to get hit harder sooner if you go north, so we're going to go east.

The number of spawned creatures significantly outnumbers the amount of ammo carried, so anything with fewer than eight legs must be killed with a bayonet whenever possible.  Unfortunately, when you get close to the spawn pipes, it's possible for a Dec'Ther to pop out, move, and explode in one turn, so defense mode must be used when up close.  They have 7 AP, one more than Ray'Ther, so count carefully.  You need to save enough ammo to be able to defend when closing the second pipe.  (The nearby ammo crates will be handy.)

Ray'Ther tend to move before Dec'Ther, which can save you sometimes because they'll block the Dec'Ther.  If you play with "show enemy moves" and the sound up, you can hear which incoming green blobs are Dec'Ther.

There is no time to rest until the mission is essentially over, which makes it hard to take damage and then heal up.

Positioning: deploy in a square.  I put the assault rifles in the north spots.

Turn 1: move east in a blob.  You should be able to move at near full speed, pausing occasionally to swing a bayonet.  Count squares carefully to ensure that the Dec'Ther stop next to your unit.  Only shoot Ray'Ther if they'll be able to hit you three or more times (i.e. less than 4 moves away).

Turn 6: you should be well on your way to the boxes, but it's starting to get ugly.  Use your guns sparingly and keep moving east along the south wall.

Turn 9: almost ready to shove the first box.  When you're close enough to shove it, you're also close enough to be spawn-killed by a spider.  So we want two units next to each other, below the boxes, with one empty space between them and the box.  A third unit is to their left ready to defend.  The fourth is to the west, dealing with the units that come through from that direction.

Turn 10: some additional Dec'Ther come crashing through the ceiling in the NW corner.  If we had gone for the north pipe, those would have come down on top of us.  Which wouldn't be an entirely bad thing, because it makes them easy to kill with bayonets.

Turn 11: second box pushed.  Two down, one to go.

Turn 12: more Dec'Ther crash through in the NW.  We need to sprint across the middle while not dying to spawning Dec'Ther, so we need to advance with a unit defending.  The defending unit should be snug against the wall to the left so that he doesn't trigger on everything headed in from the northwest.  The trick we're going to use is to block the spawn point with one of our units; that will give us more time to push the last box in place.  The unit that was to the west will move up past the ammo crate and slide the box.

If you trapped a unit in the boxes previously, you will need to kill it and shove the box into its final position.  Otherwise our spawn-blocker unit will be attacked each turn.

Turn 18: shove the crate in place, using two units.  One unit reloads ammo.  East tube is done, now we need to get in position for the north tube.  Head west, below the partial room with the equipment crate.  If you go north of that room, you can be spawn-killed by Dec'Ther.  The goal is to move to the west of the two boxes in the northwest corner, then come back for the center box.

Turn 28: in position on the boxes, standing one square away to avoid instant death.  Move all four units up, reloading one of the assault rifles from the ammo crate.  Shove the near box, advance, and defend.

Turn 32: 4 out of 5 boxes are in place.  If you haven't been picking up crates, and don't have a handy unit to pin, have Rock stand in the last spawn square while the other units pick up gear.  In particular, have Knox pick up the crowbar -- it's essential for the next level.

While the level is quiet, collect all equipment.  I hadn't opened any of the equipment crates, so I had to run across the level and do it at the end.

Victory on turn 40, 68 kills, +40 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 2 / Prep 3: Walker's Last Stand

(nothing to do)

Mission 3: Simon's Hiding

Goal: Goal: get all marines to exit zone
Enemies: Ee'Ther (1), Cy'Coo (2), Gore'Ther (6), Ray'Ther (lots), Ray'Coo (lots)
Ammo boxes: 4
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/50, crowbar, crowbar)
Commendations: 0

This is a very long mission.  There are multiple paths through the level, but ultimately you arrive at the NE corner, where you are set upon by Ray'Ther, pelted by Cy'Coo, jumped on by Ray'Coo, and have to get past a final Gore'Ther.  On the plus side, it's very easy to max out the experience for all of your soldiers.

There are two entrances to the exit-room antechamber in the northeast.  One goes through the central room, which has two spawn points and little room to maneuver, but also has the two equipment boxes.  The other goes through the east side, which is a wide open space featuring Ray'Coo spawn portals and some Gore'Ther.  It also has a couple of ammo boxes.

There are Cy'Coo "artillery" on platforms in the SW and NE corners.  Their field of fire is fairly limited, but enough to be annoying.  It's possible to kill the Cy'Coo with defensive fire, best done with an assault rifle because of the range involved.  This is particularly important for the NE Cy'Coo, because you'll be dealing with lots of other hostiles at the same time.

You are accompanied by an NPC, Simon, for the next few missions.  He has Standard armor, an Advanced Combat Gun, and an Explosion Pack, which means he can destroy the spawn points on this level.

There are two crowbars on this level, in the northwest and northeast rooms.  These are somewhat difficult to access, but fortunately we picked one up in the previous mission.  (If you didn't, go back and replay the previous mission.)

Positioning: square, with Austin NW, Bratt NE, Rock SW, Knox SE.  Knox has the crowbar, so we want him to be closest to the door where Simon is.

Turn 1: move Simon straight west.  This should move him out of jump range of the Ray'Coo, which makes life simpler.  He'll be targeted by the Cy'Coo each turn, so he'll need to keep moving.  Sometimes a stray Ray'Coo will come visit, but two swipes with a bayonet will usually fix it.  (If it doesn't, you'll either need to reload, or take a third swipe and hope the Cy'Coo misses.)

Move the two rearmost soldiers east and one square north, so all of your units are in a horizontal line.  The Ee'Ther will move straight south, ending in melee range of three units.  The Ee'Ther has 3/3 armor, 20 HP, and fully regenerates at the start of its turn.  You can soften it up with defensive fire when it moves, but it's probably better to just have Bratt and Austin rest to gain an additional AP, as their bayonets have about the same chance of damaging the Ee'Ther, and don't consume ammo.

Turn 2: save your game, then kill the Ee'Ther.  If he doesn't die, he will kill or panic one unit, and your remaining units won't be able to finish the job.  If the random number generator doesn't go your way, reload.  You can hit him 12x with bayonets if you rested Bratt and Austin; if that isn't enough, it's just not going to die with the current RNG state.  (On different attempts, I've killed it with 8 swipes, and barely scratched it with 12.  This is an early example of a mandatory reload-retry situation.)

Don't worry about the Cy'Coo just yet.  They have very limited fields of fire.  The SW one can't target you until you're about halfway across the current room.

Turn 3: move Knox east toward Simon's door.  Send Bratt after him.  Take slightly different paths so the Cy'Coo doesn't nail Bratt.

After two full moves, when Bratt is almost to the obstruction in the middle of the room, have him face west and defend.  At this range he'll likely kill the Cy'Coo.  Sometimes it takes two tries.

Rock and Austin move northeast, toward the broken door.

Once Simon is released, he heads west toward the unbroken door.  It's a long walk, but there's not a lot of ammo on this level, and he's empty.

Turn 11: Knox and crew rush in through the broken door, and move to defend attacks from the spawner to the north.  Simon opens his door and rushes in for the ammo.

Turn 14: Simon runs south, shutting the door behind him, just ahead of the charging Ray'Ther.  Knox and Austin are in a horizontal line even with the broken door to the room where Simon just was, which allows them to bayonet everything that comes their way (Austin has to step-hit-step).  Bratt and Rock are behind them.

We're in a stable state here -- all enemy units can be handled with bayonets.  We'd be safer still if we could kill that spawn point.  What you want to do is leapfrog down the corridor, one unit doing step-defend, the other stepping farther, alternately.  When you get to the end, camp on all three possible spawn positions until Simon gets back.  (For me, this used six rounds of ammo, and nearly got Knox killed, but it simplifies things.)  The alternative approach is to wait until Simon returns before opening the first broken door, then pile everybody into the central room and pull the doors closed behind.

The NE Cy'Coo may start shooting when you get near the spawn point.  It seems to target the soldier fathest south.  I used Bratt in defense mode to kill it (took two tries).  It was actually rather convenient to get this out of the way early.

Turn 20: the portal in NE corner opens on this turn (timed event).  This generates Ray'Coo, which will be jumping on you as you near the exit room.

Turn 22: Simon has returned, spawn point is closed, units are healed up.  Now we can either head through the central meat grinder, or try our luck on the east side of the map, which we can access by blowing up the barrels at the end of the hallway.

The trouble with going east is that, as soon as we walk past the barrels, we will be greeted by about 9 Ray'Coo shooting, 4 Ray'Coo leaping, and a pair of Gore'Ther for good measure.  (Sadly, no partridges in pear trees.)  More Ray'Coo will generate.  There is really no way to push through here -- the opening volley will kill any exposed soldier.

We could have one group enter from the north, and one group approach through the room where Simon started, and use step-shoot-step tactics, but the Ray'Coo are continuing to spawn, and the single box of ammo won't be enough compensation.  The Gore'Ther will eventually catch up and mince us.

So we need to go through the central chamber.  We can enter from both doors simultaneously.  An assault rifle from the west can clear out the Ray'Ther lurking on the portal, while we charge in through both doors.  We can't really rest until both portals are closed, so while Simon and his cover push toward the portal, one unit will need to open the equipment boxes and chase after.

Send Bratt in followed by Simon.  Other units pile in after.  Defensive fire can hit some angles you might not expect, especially for Ray'Ther approaching from the north -- some impassable squares can be fired through -- so this isn't quite as bad as it looks.  Bratt moves east and then north, covering Simon as he moves east.  You may get hit a few times.

Turn 31: first portal destroyed.  Much ammo gone.  One Ray'Coo came vaulting in from the east.

Turn 36: moving steadily to the north, with Bratt in the lead, and Simon following.  The idea is to position Simon to the SW of the ammo crate, so that Bratt can cover him, firing over the ammo crate.

Ray'Coo are continuing to rain down, but Austin, Knox, and Rock can manage it with bayonets.  Keep everyone close together.

Turn 37: Simon moves north, so he's just to the west of the ammo crate, and defends while Bratt runs south and west.

Turn 38: Bratt kills the spawned units so Simon can charge in and destroy the portal.  We're back in a stable state, with a manageable number of Ray'Coo raining down on us, and an ammo crate for one lucky soldier.  Make sure everybody is healed up.

Now we need to push north through the door, then west to the exit room.  Ray'Coo will continue to rain down on us in quantity, from the two spawn points to the east.  They don't seem to like walking forward and then jumping, so once we get sufficient distance from the spawn point they will stop coming.  We can't just rush north though, for reasons that will shortly become clear.

Turn 41: everybody is piled up on the door.  The unit on the door rests, the others kill Ray'Coo.

Turn 42: everybody moves away from the door, killing Ray'Coo.  Two units move south, two move west.  The unit on the door opens it and runs south.  The reason for doing this should now be clear: there's a Gore'Ther in the room, and the leaping Ray'Coo will block its path.  We need to create a travel path for the Gore'Ther so it will come in after us and we can kill it.

Turn 47: Gore'Ther goes after the party to the west, which split north/south with a gap between them.  Because he's facing one unit, the other can take one step, then swipe once or twice with a bayonet to finish him off.

Now we need to drive forward, skewering Ray'Coo.  The transition into the next room is easier if you run up, close the door, get everybody ready, and then breach the door; otherwise the Ray'Coo will tend to cluster around the door as you're trying to move through.

Turn 55: everybody has moved into the antechamber.  Close the door you came through.  Keep killing Ray'Coo.  We either need to bolt straight for the exit, or make a quick dash for a second crowbar.

The room with the crowbar will have about four Ray'Coo shooting, and several more will jump in over the wall from the south.  The odds of surviving the initial volley are very low, but it's possible to reload until the random number generator is friendly.  Driving in to kill the spawn point is very hard, because they can spawn and attack in the same turn, and the current weapons aren't really sufficient in defense mode even if you can get everybody in the room with Ray'Coo constantly leaping in.

So we'll head straight for the exit instead.  Position Knox (with the crowbar) north of the door, with Bratt next to it, and everybody else in a vertical line above them.  The idea is to kill as many Ray'Coo as possible, ideally "draining" any excess that want to jump at us, so each turn we only have to deal with "new" spawn.  Do this for several turns -- with both spawns running it's not uncommon to have 6 per turn as a *stable* state.  You can have a unit move away from the wall to try to draw more in at once.  (In retrospect, I should have kept Bratt farther up the line, since he and Knox have the medic kits.)

This is a great place to farm experience, as the Ray'Coo yield experience even at high levels.  Many of the upcoming levels are filled with Dec'Ther and Ray'Ther, which won't boost your skills once you reach a certain point.  Take the time to kill stuff with bayonets.  Try not to kill stuff with Simon, as he's not a permanent member of the team and doesn't benefit from experience gains.

At some point it'll be "go" time, perhaps after a round where relatively few Ray'Coo jump in.  As you escape you'll probably want to use your remaining ammo for defensive fire to chew up Ray'Coo as they pop in -- it'll make most of them die in one bayonet swipe, which gives you more AP for running.

Turn 76: Knox opens the door, then resumes stabbing Ray'Coo.  Bratt steps in, moving two squares west.  The position is very important -- we need to be able to run past the Gore'Ther.  Everybody else shifts south, keeping the vertical line.

Turn 77: Bratt rests.  Everybody else kills stuff.  With 4 AP, and the Gore'Ther right next to him, he'll be able to sprint past.

Turn 78: Bratt runs for it.  Everybody else kills stuff.  Don't move anyone else onto the door or the Gore'Ther will get them.

Turn 79: Everybody piles through the door, and somebody with ammo left kills the Gore'Ther.  Ideally you were able to heal everybody while you were killing jumpers, because you'll get hit a few times as you run out the door.  (The last guy through the door for me was Rock, which helped -- he used the Light Stimulant to get an extra step out, and took less of a beating.  Farming Ray'Coo for experience can get soldiers up to 15 HP and 12 fighting strength, which also helps; just don't forget to heal up to the new HP limit.)

Once you're all in the exit room, the spawn point on the east wall should stop contributing Ray'Coo, and you just have to contend with the northeast portal.  Move toward the exit, killing Ray'Coo as you go, and soon you'll out-range the NE portal as well.

Victory on turn 84, 226 kills, +70 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 3 / Prep 4ab: Walker's Last Stand

Again, nothing to get here.  Which is unfortunate, because after that last mission your soldiers probably have a large number of unused skill points.  (In my game, Austin and Rock have hit their skill caps at 144 exp each, with Bratt and Knox close behind at 135 and 134, respectively.)

You won't see Simon in the list -- he's not really part of your squad.

You have a choice of mission paths.  The rewards are very similar, but the 'A' path will get you an extra 10 equipment points.  On the other hand, the 'B' missions are a bit more interesting.  For the walkthrough we'll use path 'A'.

Mission 4a: Antenna Search Route A (preferred)

Goal: Activate the lever
Enemies: Ray'Coo (20+), Ray'Ther (80+)
Ammo boxes: 5
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/20/20/20)
Commendations: 0

This is, for once, a very straightforward level.  Initially it appears as though you have some choices, but Ray'Ther will pop out of the pavement and leave impassable holes.  Just follow a simple path, destroying each Ray'Coo spawn point in turn.

Ammo is tight as always, but there are four ammo crates along the path, and if you managed to get through the last couple of levels then you should have no problem here.  Try to use assault rifles whenever you need to kill something at a distance, and prefer to drain + reload those as they hold more ammo and do more damage.

Positioning: Deploy in a box, Bratt and Rock on the left.

Turn 1: Simon moves west and opens the door, but doesn't move onto it.  Everybody else moves to form a horizontal line below Simon.  When the turn ends, a bunch of Ray'Ther will pop in from the south, and some Ray'Coo will leap in.

Turn 2: kill everything nearby, preferably with bayonets.  Anybody with leftover APs can start moving north.

Turn 3: Simon needs to cautiously work his way west, backed by Bratt and Rock, who will provide cover.  Austin and Knox move north, taking care to avoid walking into the line of fire of Ray'Coo to the northwest.

Turn 6: Simon destroys the grate.  Everybody pushes north, possibly taking the opportunity to heal if something landed.  As before, it's okay to take 1-2 hits, but no more.

Turn 10: Austin and Knox are holding the north junction, just south of the place where the pavement-holes are keeping incoming traffic to a trickle.  Bratt is about out of ammo from defending and sniping at Ray'Coo, but he's standing next to an ammo crate, so that's fine.  Simon and Rock are moving up to hit the grate to the west.

Turn 12: Simon blows the grate.  Everybody moves north.

Turn 17: everybody is north of the "potholes".  Simon is rushing toward the NE grate while everybody provides cover.  Don't send Simon alone -- Ray'Coo will continue to spawn, and Simon will have trouble shooting and advancing at the same time.  (If it comes down to it, prefer to advance -- Simon can take a couple of hits.)

Turn 20: Simon blows the NE grate.  Everybody moves to an assembly point below the leftmost ammo crate.  Heal up before the next push.  The Ray'Ther spawner on the north wall will have stopped, but Ray'Coo will occasionally come vaulting over the wall to the west, and the spawner in the southwest is active.

Occasionally Ray'Ther won't have a direct path, and will end up taking the long way around to the east and hit you from behind.  Keep an eye out for that as you move south.

Turn 30: we've reached the equipment crates.  Ray'Ther spawn from the SW wall appears to have stopped.  Continue to press south.

Turn 35: we're on the door.  Everybody is at full health and rested.  Knox will open the door and everybody else will charge in, assault rifles in front.  We don't need to blow the grate, but we do need to grab the equipment boxes and throw the switch, so we want a wall of people moving forward.

As you advance, Ray'Ther will pop out of the ground, and Ray'Coo will shoot at you.  Use the assault rifles to kill the distant Ray'Coo, and other weapons to kill the Ray'Ther.  If you do blow the grate, the level will be completely pacified.

Victory on turn 42, 116 kills, +80 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 4a / Prep 5a: The old Fort

We get access to Sniper Rifles and Flame Throwers, as well as Standard Armor, Ammo Packs, and Servo Systems.

Everybody needs an Ammo Pack, which requires 2 Battle Fitness and 1 Technical Skill (and 70 EP each, which is why it's vital to open all the equipment crates).  This makes Standard Armor skill-free (2BF), so we want to pick that up for everyone as well.

Bratt has enough to pick up a Sniper Rifle, and will have just enough free skill points to collect a Banner when that becomes available.  Austin will keep his Standard Assault Rifle because the bayonet has been very useful so far.

Rock will pick up a Flame Thrower.  These have situational value, but it's a handy thing to have one of (and it's very useful on the next mission).  Knox will keep his wimpy weapon because there are no other heavy weapons at this point, and the bayonet continues to be useful.

We could give Rock a Small Medic Kit, and light stimulants to Bratt and Knox, rounding out the equipment they're already skilled for, but there's no rush.

Heavy weapons often have high AP requirements and/or TS skill requirements, so we definitely want to give Servo Systems to Rock and Knox.  Bratt won't be able to use one without a commendation because of the high cost of the Banner, but we can't get a banner for a while, and having more APs is incredibly useful.  In the end, Servo Systems are just too useful to not get one for everybody.

We have 430 equipment points.  We divvy them up like this:

Bratt: Ammo Pack, Servo System, Sniper Rifle (-110)
Austin: Ammo Pack, Servo System (-100)
Rock: Ammo Pack, Servo System, Flame Thrower (-120)
Knox: Ammo Pack, Servo System (-100)

Note we get a refund when exchanging a weapon, but not armor, so we'll need another 80 EPs to put everybody into Standard Armor.  We don't have enough available equipments points to load up on "skill-free" items yet.

Mission 4b: Antenna Search Route B

Goal: Activate the lever
Enemies: Ray'Coo (20+), Ray'Ther (100+)
Ammo boxes: 7
Equipment boxes: 9 (10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10, +1 Battle Fitness)
Commendations: 0

There are three entry grates along the north wall.  We need to start by disabling all three, then work on the rooms.  The doors to most of the rooms are activated by switches, so we need to work through all of them.

Positioning: horizontal line, more or less.

Turn 1: shoot Ray'Ther and advance.  Some Ray'Coo will come vaulting in, so stay together as you advance northward.

Turn 6: with the squad at the southern end of the buildings, it's time to move west.  Moving north along the east side of the map doesn't really work, because there's a lamp post that reduces it to a single-file line, and it's tough to get cover fire.  The best approach is to move west, past the ammo crates, and then turn north to get the grate.

Ray'Coo will jump in occasionally.  Keep pressing forward against the tide of Ray'Ther, trying to conserve ammo -- avoid defensive fire when possible.

Turn 16: Simon blows the first grate.  Two ammo-less soldiers reload.  Time to start moving west.

Turn 23: Simon blows the second grate.  The Ray'Ther are still swarming at us, but we're making progress.  We need to move west past the grate, then north, then west to the final spawn portal.

Turn 30: we've reached the north wall, now heading west.  The group is taking a pretty serious beating, and a couple of soldiers are out of ammo.

Turn 33: Simon blows the grate, Austin pops the last spawn (and runs out of ammo).  We need to heal up and reload for the next part.

What we need to do is open the door below the central spawn portal, cross the wall on the footbridge, and activate the switches to open the doors to the left and right.  There are two problems.  First, there are some Ray'Coo in the switch room who would like to make our acquaintance.  Second, there's a big pile of Ray'Coo in the room to the left, and they will be able to shoot at us if we stand on the walkway.

The NW corner of the walkway is protected.  If you stop there, rest for a turn, and run down the ramp, they only get one turn to fire.

In my game I passed up one of the ammo boxes, and 3 out of 5 troops are empty.  So Knox and Rock are going to head back for the ammo box, which would also allow them to shoot into the rightmost room from the elevated pathway -- but we're not going to do that, because the room is empty, the spawn jump out where we can bayonet them, and standing on the walkway is extremely dangerous.

So while Knox and Rock head east for the ammo -- it's a bad idea to go alone when there are leaping Ray'Coo -- Austin, Bratt, and Simon will breach the central room and pick up the equipment in the east room.  Bratt will be the one to rush the switches because he can heal himself once he's through the gauntlet.

Turn 42: Bratt and Austin are rested.  Simon opens the gate and they rush in, staying off the walkway.  It's common for a Ray'Coo to jump onto the walkway, but it'll be in bayonet range, so that's fine.

The upward ramp has three sloped segments.  If you step onto the middle segment, you can shoot the Ray'Coo in the central area, using step-shoot-step to kill them.  You're also out of the line of sight of the group to the west.

Turn 46: Knox and Rock are returning.  Bratt is sleeping before his run.  Simon is heading to the eastern room to blow the grate, which seems inactive... but you never know.

Turn 50: Rock and Austin are moving toward the western room, drawing some Ray'Coo jumpers.  Knox is moving to the east to get the ammo crate that's to the NE of the central room; he will then head south and open the crates, freeing Simon to head west.  Bratt opens the eastern door, and Simon rushes in.

Turn 52: Simon blows the grate, heads for the ammo.  Bratt heals himself.  Austin makes another new friend.

Turn 59: Simon has almost reached the western door.  Knox has finished looting, thrown the switch (nothing will happen -- the exit door is a two-parter), and is heading out.  Time to open the door to the western room and get busy.

With Austin in front of the door, having slept on the previous round, you get three shots before you have to step back.  Rock gets to step - shoot twice - step, but will likely miss.  Happily, the Ray'Coo will probably jump at you, and Rock's bayonet is far less likely to miss.  The room should fall before Bratt is in position to help.

Bratt's next job is to move out of the rooms and then head west toward the final switch.

Turn 63: Simon blows the grate.  Loot the crates, but note that the the top-right crate has a Battle Fitness implant.  Everybody will need +1 Battle Fitness for Ammo Pack and Standard Armor, so it could go to anybody, but it should go to one of the heavy weapon guys who will need a ton of skills for the advanced weapons.  Rock is closest.

Throw the switch to open the door to the exit room.

Victory on turn 72, 130 kills, +80 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 4b / Prep 5b: The old Fort

You have the same amount of gear as you would on the other path, so see the "post 4a / prep 5a" comments for what to buy.

Mission 5a: Next Antenna

Goal: Activate the lever
Enemies: Ray'Coo (10+), Dec'Ther (60+), Gore'Ther (5+)
Ammo boxes: 5
Equipment boxes: 4 (10/10/50, +1 Technical Skill)
Commendations: 0

There are four Dec'Ther spawn portals that will vigorously spew spiders at you.  This mission is considerably easier with a flame thrower, because you can use it to block off areas as you advance.  A sniper rifle is handy but not required.

Positioning: Rock, with the flame thrower, goes in the SE position.  Knox is next to him in the SW.  Austin is NW, Bratt is NE.

When moving around it's vital that you do not stand near an active spawner -- Dec'Ther can spawn and attack in the same turn, and if they don't have to move then defensive fire won't kill them.

Turn 1: we're going to be fancy and position soldiers on the spawn points to stop incoming spiders while Simon moves around.

Knox moves east twice and defends SW.  His weapon can fire three times before overheating, and we could get three spawn, so he doesn't fire this round.

Rock shoots the west side of the grate with mode B, killing any Dec'Ther and blocking off five of the eight possible spawn points.   (If your shot isn't blocked, hitting the southern side works too.  Don't shoot the north side of the grate, or Simon will have trouble reaching it.)  Rock moves east twice.

Bratt and Austin kill all remaining live units.  Bratt moves east, Austin moves south to form a horizontal line with Rock and Knox.

Simon blows the grate and steps south.

Turn 2: depending on your spawn on this and the previous turn, you may be able to step onto all three spawn points this turn.  Bratt can shoot the new spawn and everybody else can use their servo-enhanced movement to get into position.  If not, just slide everybody one square east and have Austin defend.

Simon advances to join the horizontal line and/or rushes if you've got the spawn points covered.  If he walks too far south he can be spawn-killed.

Turn 3: Simon blows the grate.  Everybody forms up next to the ramp to the east.

We have two threats: Ray'Coo shooting at us from the north, and Dec'Ther spawning from the south.  If you get lucky the Ray'Coo will do us a favor and stand in the doorway, blocking other units from advancing, in which case you'll want to leave him alone.  It's often better to ignore them anyway, as there's a spawner to the north and more of them will just fill in if you kill one.  They Ray'Coo will shoot us a few times as we advance south, but we can heal up to eight HP per turn with our servo-augmented soldiers.

The first Ray'Coo "activates" when you step on the ramp, and depending on position may be able to shoot any of your soldiers once he switches on.  He tends to prefer shooting soldiers in the back over soldiers who are closer, so watch your facing.

Rock will take the lead so he can use his flame thrower when we get close to the Dec'Ther nest.  Bratt will hang back with the sniper rifle; if he gets hit by the Ray'Coo he can heal himself.  The others will advance behind Rock, shooting Dec'Ther.

We don't get too many shots with the flamethrower, so we want to hold off on using it until we get to a choke point.

Turn 5: Bratt went up the ramp and as far east as he could, and is killing spiders by firing south and then facing back north.  The other soldiers are preparing to head south, with Austin pausing next to Bratt to provide additional cover as they move down the single-width walkway.

Turn 6: Austin and Bratt kill the spider spawn.  There was one they couldn't reach, below the ammo crate, so Rock moved south to the open area and three east, allowing Knox to step up and provide defensive fire.  Simon catches up.

Turn 7: big surge of Dec'Ther.  Rock wants to fire mode B just to the left of the ramp, which will block off the spiders.  He needs the other soldiers to clear out the spiders that are in the way.  Bratt and Austin can do some long shots, Knox and maybe Simon can handle some of the closer units.

Turn 8: with the Dec'Ther temporarily bottled up, everybody moves south.  Remember to face north at the end of each turn.

When the flames die down, we want to have Rock fire one shot to partially block the grate, have a bunch of units firing defensively, and rush Simon in to shut the spawner down.  Position Rock just below the ammo crate.

Turn 10: the outer ring of fire is gone.  Rock moves south 3 squares, and fires mode B at the eastern side of the grate.  This kills five spawn and restricts the other three to a single long path -- a spider spawning SW of the grate will need seven moves to reach the square east of the grate.  You can kill it with a bayonet next turn.

Simon advances.  Bratt heads toward the ramp.  The Ray'Coo are still shooting, but they're far enough away that they'll often miss.

Rock will be facing the wrong way, so put Knox and Austin near him to block incoming fire.

Turn 12: Simon is in position and resting, everybody else is clustered up, just waiting for the flames to die.

Turn 13: Simon blows the grate.  Everybody heals up, grabs equipment (10/50/10), and assembles for the trek north.  There are two ammo crates to the north.  Rock will need one, as he's down to two mode B shots, and Knox is a bit dry.  You may or may not want to leave the ammo crate nearest the ramp to Bratt -- with the sniper rifle he should still have about 20 shots left, but if he runs out of ammo the mission will fail.

Bratt will be staying behind.  To the north, next to the mission goal switch, is a Gore'Ther spawner.  The only way to get to the switch is to have Bratt kill the Gore'Ther as they turn north to attack.  You can't kill them quickly enough otherwise.  Bratt will stand on the walkway and kill Gore'Ther while the rest of the group advances on the Ray'Coo.

Heal anybody with damage.  Simon has the heaviest armor, and will be taking point on the long trek north.  Bratt can help with healing on the way out.  If more than one Ray'Coo is dealing damage, kill it with the sniper rifle -- sometimes they do 5 damage with a single shot, so in theory two shooters could kill a soldier in one turn.  (During this game, a single Ray'Coo did 9 damage to Rock in one turn, while he was facing them.)  Try to keep that choke point blocked though -- we want to keep the Dec'Ther and Gore'Ther bottled up.

Knox will follow Simon, healing as needed.  Austin is behind Knox, and Rock brings up the rear.

It's a long walk down the hallway, so we want some cover.  There's a barrel at the top of the ramp that we can use.  Doing so will reduce the dependence on lucky rolls and defensive fire, especially as you get farther north and the Ray'Coo hit percentage improves.

It must be pushed west twice, the second time with a soldier standing above the rightmost equipment crate as a backstop.  Then it's north twice, with a soldier standing on the walkway to block it.  Then west once into the apparently-impassable corner piece, and then north.  Line everybody up behind it and push it along.

Turn 25: when the barrel is pushed this turn it will stop at the end of the walkway.  We will proceed around it to the wider area, at which point the Ray'Coo will start jumping on us.  Remember that Rock does not have a bayonet, so try to keep him in a corner.

Turn 26: the first Ray'Coo jumped in.  Bratt got his first Gore'Ther kill.

Turn 31: the leapers have thinned, so Austin is heading toward the grate with Simon close behind.  Knox and Rock are going to head west toward the ramp where the Dec'Ther will appear.  There's an ammo crate here but it's almost superfluous.

Watch out for Dec'Ther from the east.  They come in a trickle, but continuously.  (If you let one Gore'Ther live, it moves slowly enough to block the stream and probably saves you some ammo.  But we can do the same thing with the flamethrower.)

Turn 33: Simon blows the grate.  Everybody else kills Ray'Coo and Dec'Ther spawn and moves east toward the ramp.  We'll want Austin in front, followed by Rock, because we'll probably need a round of defensive fire when we get to the top of the ramp.  Once Rock is in position he can flame the hallway with mode B and everybody else can stream in.

There's an ammo box at the bottom of the ramp.  I ignored it.

Round 37: after Knox clears out a lonely spawn, Rock runs out and flames the hallway with mode B, striking as far south and east as possible (below the ammo crate).  This cuts of the Dec'Ther.  By reloading from the nearby ammo crate, Rock could hold this hallway for a very long time.  If you position him against the wall to the south, the Gore'Ther tend to "feel" his presence, and will face north after spawning, making them easy kills for Bratt.

There are two Gore'Ther advancing.  The southern one was facing toward Bratt, which made it impossible to kill either, but next turn they should both flip as the squad nears.

Turn 41: the Gore'Ther didn't spawn this turn, so Austin runs to the square between the equipment crate and the lever.  (It's unclear whether Gore'Ther can spawn and attack in the same turn, but don't take chances.)  The crate contains a +1 Technical Skill implant, which we'd really prefer Knox to have, so we're going to play a game of chicken and have Knox run in.  If a Gore'Ther does spawn, we'll have to kite it and kill it as usual.

Victory on turn 43, 59 kills, +70 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 5a / Prep 6: The old Fort

We gained 70 equipment points, which is enough to buy Standard Armor for 3 soldiers.  Equip it on Bratt, Austin, and Rock.

Mission 5b: Next Antenna

Goal: Activate the lever
Enemies: Squee'Coo (10+), Ray'Ther (60+)
Ammo boxes: 8
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/20/20)
Commendations: 0

There are a couple of Squee'Coo sniping at us, and a pair of spawn portals nearby to the east.  The plan is to snipe the snipers with Bratt, and then take out the spawn portals north and south.  The southern ramp provides better access -- the hallway is wider, so more units can fire.

Positioning: square, with Bratt NE (for sniping), Rock SE (to obstruct the southern spawn portal), Austin NW, Knox SW.

Turn 1: Bratt shoots the Squee'Coo, who drop into melee mode.  Stop shooting once they do -- they're harmless for now.  Use any leftover APs to advance.

Rock moves east three squares and then uses flamethrower mode B on the west side of the southern grate.  This kills the spawn and blocks any new Ray'Ther from advancing.

Simon, Austin, and Knox advance.  There's no need for defensive fire yet, as the enemy can't yet reach us.  Simon will blow the northern grate first, so move him that direction.  Try to get the full 3AP movement out of him each turn.

Turn 2: Austin and Knox clear a hole through the riff-raff.  Rock moves three squares north and fires mode B at the western side of the northern spawn portal, sealing that up.  Bratt takes out a Ray'Ther who came down the ramp.

Turn 3: Simon and Knox move toward the northern portal.  Simon will seal it, and Knox will kill the strays.  Bratt, Austin, and Rock move toward the southern portal.

Turn 4: the southern flames have died, so Rock needs to apply a fresh coat.  Another Squee'Coo has made itself known.

Turn 6: Simon is moving toward the southern grate.  It will be a few turns before he gets there.  Everybody else is killing Ray'Ther as they appear.

The plan is to have the group move up the southern ramp.  It may be worthwhile to have Rock, supported by Knox, go up the northern ramp and block off the passageway.  However, that would leave him out of position to help when we get near the spawn point.  So for now everybody is just hanging out waiting for Simon.

Turn 7: the fire is out again.  Simon needs two moves to blow the grate, so we have to flame it out again.  We can move Austin, Bratt, and Rock up the ramp now.

Turn 9: Simon, at the southern edge of the flame field, rests.  Knox stands next to him.  After Simon takes out the grate, Knox can either direct-fire all three, or step next to Simon and defend.

Bratt, Austin, and Rock are continuing to advance.

Turn 10: grate is blown, and Simon and Knox kill the Ray'Ther.  They're starting to come down the northern ramp, so both of them need to do some shooting.

Turn 11: Rock flames the passage east, giving everybody a chance to catch up.

Turn 14: flames have died.  Rock advances and sets fire to the western side of the spawn portal.  Everybody else advances.

Turn 15: Rock uses mode B on the bottom-left corner of the ramp to the north.  This cuts off access from the ramp and the nearby spawn point.

Turn 17: Simon destroys the grate.  Austin kills the three previously-trapped Ray'Ther.  Everybody faces north, preparing for a push to the grate.

Turn 18: flames have died.  Rock flames the eastern side of the grate, sealing it.  (Austin or Bratt may need to eliminate a few Ray'Ther to open up the line of sight.)  Simon moves north while everyone else prepares to receive strays and pick up ammo.

Turn 20: Rock flames the top of the ramp, halting enemy movement, then moves north toward ammo.  Simon is in position.  Everybody else slides around toward the ammo crates.

There are four ammo crates, so everybody but Simon gets to open one.  Don't forget the two equipment boxes (+20 each).  (There's still that ammo crate back west that we didn't walk past, but it's not really worth going back for -- Simon had 7 out of 8 shots left, and we're about to walk past another three ammo crates.)

Turn 21: Simon blows the grate.  The last of the strays are killed.  Collect ammo and equipment, and form up on the ramp.

Turn 25: the Squee'Coo we injured earlier are coming.  They're hard to kill unless you hit them from behind, so Rock runs east and flames the choke point that the Ray'Ther are entering through.  Simon runs east.  Everybody else slides north and defends.  The hope is that we'll get a back shot on the Squee'Coo where their armor is weaker.

Turn 26: got 2 of 3.  Killed the last on the following turn.  Form up to charge the spawner.

Austin clears the way, Rock rushes in and flames the north side, Simon wanders in after.  Knox handles cleanup.  Bratt and Austin, shifting north a bit, discover another pair of Squee'Coo.

Turn 31: Simon blows the grate, Knox kills stuff.  (Knox actually missed one, who ran up and took a couple of swipes, doing minor damage.  Bayonet finished the job next turn.)

Turn 34: up the ramp.  We need to collect an equipment crate and throw the switch.  Knocking out the spawn point is not required, so we don't need to get Simon out front.

Turn 39: so close -- but a Squee'Coo has spawned and planted itself in front of the switch.  Austin runs past and bayonets.  Bratt runs even and snipes.  Knox runs up but there's nothing left.

Turn 40: Austin takes a couple of hits from a newly-spawned Squee'Coo.  Bratt hits the switch to end the level.

Victory on turn 40, 85 kills, +60 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 5b / Prep 6: The old Fort

As in the other path, we can pick up Standard Armor for Bratt, Austin, and Rock.  Knox will have to wait.

Mission 6: Batteries Needed #1

Goal: Reach all areas marked with 'A', and open all crates
Enemies: Ray'Ther (80+)
Ammo boxes: 3
Equipment boxes: 6 (10/10/10/10/10/20)
Commendations: 0

There are spawn points along the walls, with only one inside a room.  The wall spawners can project out an extra space, giving them 8 possible spawn locations, and making it impossible to block the spawner with soldiers alone.

The plan is to tag the 'A' and crate to the south with a couple of units, then work the level clockwise.  The northern hallway is 3 spaces wide, making it easy to travel across, and we can use doors and the flamethrower to cover the flank.

Positioning: Rock NW, so he can quickly flame out the spawner to the left.  Bratt SW, to cover Rock.  Austin SE, Knox NE.

Turn 1: Rock moves 3 spaces west and flames the spawn portal with mode B.  Bratt shoots the Ray'Ther inside the room to the north (which saves us some annoyance later), moves two spaces west, and kills the Ray'Ther to the SW.

Simon moves west and defends south.  Austin moves SE and defends south.  Knox moves to stand next to Austin.

Turn 2: Austin opens the crate (+10 equipment), Knox tags the 'A'.  Simon moves west.  The Ray'Ther approaching from the east is too far to do any damage.

Turn 4: the flames have died, and Rock and Austin are still too far to pitch in defensively, so we'll need another coat of flames on the nearby spawner.

Bratt opens the door, moves two steps north, and shoots the SE Ray'Ther.  Rock flames the nearby spawner, takes two steps north, and flames the other spawner.

Simon, Austin, and Knox run to catch up.

Turn 5: Bratt opens the door and runs for the equipment crates.  Rock will run in, grab ammo, and run out.  Simon stands next to the southern door.

Turn 7: flames have died.  Rock, having rearmed, flames the portal again and moves north.  Bratt finishes grabbing equipment (crates hold +10 and +20).

Austin and Knox have just enough movement to get through the door, which Simon closes behind them.

Turn 8: form up on the northern door.  Rock is to the side, Austin is in front, with an empty space behind him; Knox is behind him, then Simon, then Bratt.

Turn 9: Austin opens the door, shoots the two Ray'Ther he can see (SE and E of the spawn pile), and steps back.  Rock steps into the doorway, uses mode B on the spawn point, and steps back.

A single Ray'Ther from the east will probably take a swipe at Rock, but it'll block the doorway, which keeps the rest of the enemy units from advancing (because the AI doesn't see a path).

Turn 10: the flames have died, which makes maneuvering a bit easier.  Austin steps up to the corner of the doorway and kills the Ray'Ther with a bayonet.  Possibly shoots a spawn in the room.  Rock moves north and east, and uses mode B to create a choke point as far east as possible.  This will give us time to assemble outside the room.  We can also shoot over the flames to clear out the advancing Ray'Ther.

We're not going to flame the portal in the room again; instead we'll retreat with defensive fire to save flamethrower ammo, and close the door on the way out.

Turn 12: Rock uses the flamethrower on the portal to the east again, covering our flank.  Simon, Bratt, and Austin get clear of the room and close the door.

Turn 13: push east.  Austin, Knox, and Simon defend.  There are enough bad guys to overheat all of their weapons, but we need to clear them out.

From here we push forward, avoiding defensive fire when a bayonet will get the job done.  We need to collect the crate (+10) and 'A', then crash the room to finish the level.  The spawn point to the east is fairly vigorous, so we'll want to flame the hallway leading to it as soon as possible.

Turn 17: a bit of a brutal stretch, as the spawn portal back west is also quite vigorous.  We only have one shot left in the flame thrower, so we can either block the passage east or west.  The western passage has a long line of sight, making it easier to choose how we kill things, so we block the eastern passage.

We continue to advance toward the doorway.  The plan will be to ignore the spawn portal and just dash for the goodies, so Austin and Rock will rush in while the other three provide cover.  Austin can kill spawn for one turn with defensive fire (assuming his weapon has cooled sufficiently), so Rock will move in first.

Turn 19: Rock opens the door, runs south.  Austin moves into the doorway and defends SE. Rock will stand on the 'A' and grab the gear (+10, +10).

Victory on turn 20, 88 kills, +70 equipment points, 0 commendations.

Post 6 / Prep 7: The old Fort

We can get Standard Armor for Knox.  There's nothing else we really need, so we'll bank the remaining 60 equipment points for now.

Mission 7: Batteries Needed #2

Goal: Find the batteries, and throw all 3 switches
Enemies: Squee'Coo (7), Ray'Ther (30+)
Ammo boxes: 4
Equipment boxes: 4 (10/20/50, Batteries
Commendations: 0

We have four areas to drive into.  The first is to the north, where a switch is surrounded by four spawn portals.  The rightmost spawn portal is a dud, so a single flamethrower shot can block the room.

To the east is a small room with a couple of equipment boxes.  There are no spawn portals to worry about, so we can take our time through there.  The third room, to the south, is wide open, so guns and a bit of flame will make that easy.  The final room, in the southeast, has a narrow entry tunnel that faces directly into an active spawner, so we'll save that one for last.

For some reason, Simon dropped from 11 HP to only 5, so don't let him get hit.

Positioning: front row, top to bottom, is Bratt, Knox, and Austin.  Rock is behind Bratt.

Turn 1: that barrel isn't really any use, so Knox shoots it to kill the Squee'Coo.  Everybody moves as far east as they can.

Turn 2: Bratt opens the upper door to the east, moves onto it, opens the door to the NW, and shoots the nearest Ray'Ther if one has spawned that will block the flamethrower shot.  Rock runs into the room and fires the flamethrower south of the spawn point to his NW, blocking the active spawners and leaving a narrow corridor to the switch.

Austin opens the bottom door to the east and moves through.  Knox follows.  Simon moves to the wall and stops.

Turn 3: Rock hits the switch.  Some Ray'Ther drop in from the ceiling.  Bratt and Simon kill them.

Austin and Knock are moving to the doorway of the small room.  Austin will stand in front of the door, Knox to the left side.

Turn 4: Rock runs for the exit.  Austin moves east, opens the door, fires twice.  Knox moves east, fires twice, closes the door.  They will continue this pattern until both Squee'Coo are dead.  Austin will start with the enemy on the left, as Knox can only hit the one on the right.  When they're both reduced to Squee'Ther you could just leave the door open and take a few hits -- weapon heat will otherwise make this a tedious process.

The rest head toward the leftmost southern door.  Bratt, Simon, and Rock will move through the door on the left, while Austin and Knox simultaneously head through the door on the right.  We'll want to open both doors at the same time because the enemies don't move unless there's a path.

Turn 9: Austin opens the crates (+50 equipment, +1 Batteries), and heads out.  Knox is sitting on his door.  The others are resting, with Bratt on the door, Simon to his left, Rock to his right.

Turn 13: charge through both doors.  Simon, the last one through, will close the door behind him.  We don't want to give the Ray'Ther a path when we're working on the final room.

Bratt moves straight east.

Turn 14: Bratt shoves the barrel southward.  It doesn't have much strategic value, but we can once again use it to blow up a Squee'Coo with one shot.  If you rested before opening the door, you should have enough APs to shove it and shoot it.  (In my game, it killed three Squee'Coo.)

Rock moves to the doorway.  Austin and Knox move south to provide cover (and deal with any Squee'Coo in case you didn't get a nice formation like I had).

Turn 15: Austin and Knox kill stuff.  Rock runs west, but he'll be too far to make the shot we want.  Bratt follows.  Simon limps after.

If Knox misses, Rock will take a few hits, but he should be good for it.

Turn 16: people with guns shoot things.  Rock moves east, and flames the square two NW moves NW of the equipment crate.  The idea is to block the passage without blocking access to the equipment crate.

Austin runs back up the hallway; he's going to reload from the ammo crate.  Rock will reload from the ammo crate in this room.  Knox is going to grab the equipment and hit the switch, while Bratt and Simon prepare to receive visitors that arrive when the switch is hit.

Turn 18: Knox loots the crate, hits the switch, and runs.  Bratt and Simon kill stuff.  Rock moves to the east edge of the hallway; he will flame to cover our retreat.  He can fire as soon as Knox is clear -- the AI won't advance without a clear path, so unless you want to increase your kill count there's no need to wait.

We need to form up on the door.  There's a Squee'Coo waiting for us, which we need to take care of first.  Bratt and Austin will line up and do open-shoot-shoot-step, step-shoot-shoot-close.  Closing the door is important even after the Squee'Coo is dead, as it will prevent Ray'Ther from advancing.

So we'll have a box, with Bratt in the NE on the door, Austin in the SE below him, Rock SW (ready to go but out of the way), and an empty space in the NW to move into.

Simon and Knox will cover the passage to the south, though we have enough flame thrower juice that they won't likely have to do anything.

Turn 20: the Squee'Coo died quickly, so Rock moved into the "empty" slot to be one square closer.  We need somebody with a gun in front to kill the foremost Ray'Ther, exposing the square we want to hit.  Rock will need to move four spaces east and then fire, so he either needs to rest or use a simulant.  As it happens, he's the guy with the Light Stimulant, so we can do it without resting.

Turn 21: Bratt opens the door, shoots a Ray'Ther, and gets out of Rock's way.  Rock moves forward and flames the spawn point.

Turn 22: Rock runs out.  Bratt and Austin run in.

The flame barrier to the south has died.  Rock will move down and refresh it next turn.

Turn 24: the flames at the spawn portal have died, and three Ray'Ther popped in.  Kill the closest, push into the room, and have the rearmost unit defend to kill the rest.

Turn 25: grab the equipment and throw the switch.  Ignore the spawn -- the mission is complete.

Victory on turn 25, 38 kills, +80 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 7 / Prep 8: The old Fort

We've got 140 equipment points, but Small Medic Kits cost 80, and the occasionally-useful Light Stimulant is 30.  So we hold on to what we have.

Mission 8: Wayne's Escape

Goal: Get Wayne to the exit square
Enemies: Pyr'Coo (6), Ray'Ther (many)
Ammo boxes: 4
Equipment boxes: 2 (50/50)
Commendations: 0

We've lost Simon, but gained a new (permanent) soldier.  We need to get him from the SE corner to the exit point in the SW.  He starts with only 5 HP, but has Standard Armor, a Servo System, and a Double Fire.

There are four different entry points, each of which can take two soldiers, so the squad will be split.  We could put somebody with Wayne, but really we just want him to run north as fast as he can.  Starting a couple of soldiers north of him will provide cover as he runs.

The northwest start point is in an area where we have no interest in going, and it's farther from the door than the southwest start point, so we'll want to use the SW start.

Positioning: Rock and Knox will start in the NE, Austin and Bratt will start in the SW (in that order, left to right).  That gives us a medic kit and a bayonet in each group.

Turn 1: Austin and Bratt are going to sprint for the door, run through it, and close it behind them.  Standing around just gives the spawned units more opportunities to move.

Wayne runs north.  Knox and Rock head east and a bit south.  There's a Pyr'Coo between them that will present a bit of a challenge.  It will shoot Rock, but he can take it.

Turn 2: Knox moves southeast and shoots straight south, hitting the weak part of the armor.  Wayne moves north twice and kills the Pyr'Coo with one or two shots.  If you get bad rolls you'll probably need to reload.  Wayne has only 5 HP, so if the Pyr'Coo shoots him he'll probably vaporize.

Austin opens the door and steps in.  Bratt moves up and takes a shot at the Pyr'Coo to the north.  This doesn't usually do much, but he's got nothing better to do, and you might get lucky.  Bratt will probably get shot, but he too can take a hit.

Turn 3: Bratt and Austin pile into the room, greeted by a pair of Pyr'Coo.  Austin uses his bayonet, Bratt uses his sniper rifle.  Pyr'Coo have AoE damage, so both soldiers will be getting hit.  The Pyr'Coo seem to like to close the distance, so they can actually end up hitting each other with the splash damage.  (In my game, one killed the other.)

Knox opens the door so the Pyr'Coo will advance toward us, where we can apply more firepower.  Rock hangs out, preparing to flame the approaches.  Wayne runs north.

Turn 4: Rock flames north and south.  Knox and Wayne aim at the doorway and defend.  Bratt and Austin work on the remaining Pyr'Coo.

Turn 6: defense mode and Knox's bayonet killed the inbound Pyr'Coo, so now the guys are headed south, with Wayne in the lead.  Knox follows.  Rock closes the door behind him, and refills ammo.

It may take a few rounds, and a few hits, depending on your luck.

Turn 8: the middle spawners pop -- this appears to be a timed event.  Fortunately the first pop is just spawn, not spawn+move.  We need to kill Ray'Ther until Rock can get in place to lock things down.  It's best to use Wayne, because he still gets experience points from kills, but there will be plenty spawning for everyone.  Knox can swing through and collect the equipment (+50).  Wayne will want to use the ammo crate here, but there may not be time.  Not really a problem, as Bratt and Austin walked past two crates without opening them, and most units aren't hurting for ammo.

Turn 10: Rock starts flaming.  We can't fully block the spawners because that won't leave us a place to walk through, so we need to use a combination of mode B against the west wall, and mode A against individual enemies, to block spawn points outside the area where we need to walk.  The best bet seems to be to hit the middle of the west wall, and again in the SW corner, and possibly north of the spawner.

Turn 13: it got a bit ugly, but everybody is out.  Rock seals the entrance.

Turn 14: heal up and position for the final push.  Austin will lead to clear the way, Rock will follow to block approaches, and Wayne will come after.  To get the right position on the door, Rock needs to head down the hallway first, and then move back by the ammo crate while Austin moves in front of the door.

The only time limitation we have is on the ammo in Rock's flamethrower.  He can use the ammo crate near the door before the final push, so we've got some time to recuperate before we head out.

Turn 15: Rock fires a mode B blast centered on the choke point -- the center flame lasts for a round longer than the outer flames -- and heads south.  Austin follows him, then Wayne.  Bratt and Knox wander after.

Turn 18: time for a bit of house cleaning.  There are two Ray'Ther in front of the door.  Austin opens the door, shoots them both, then closes the door.  (Could also have Wayne open the door if we needed three shots.)

Turn 20: after a turn of rest for everyone, Wayne opens the door.  Austin runs two west and one south, and defends.  Rock moves three west, fires a mode B blast to the west that blocks off that area, and uses mode A to kill the Pyr'Coo to the north.  (The Pyr'Coo might survive, in which case Wayne will need to take a shot or two on the way out next turn.)

The flames to the north have died, and Ray'Ther are approaching.  Knox defends.

Turn 21: Austin and Rock push south, killing Ray'Ther.  You don't want to block the goal square, so use Austin to kill anything on the 'A', and mode A on the flamethrower to kill others.  Move Wayne south to the 'A' to complete the mission.

Knox has more friends coming, but moving down the hallway should have bought him a turn out of range.  Next turn he can pull the door closed behind him.

Before finishing, have Wayne defend for a turn or two to pick up some extra experience. The spawners were idle in my game at this point, so he didn't get much.

Victory on turn 24, 51 kills, +100 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 8 / Prep 9: The old Fort

We have 240 equipment points.  We spend 70 to buy an Ammo Pack for Wayne.

Wayne starts as a "level 0" character, with 5 HP and no skill points, but he already has 12 points worth of skills.  This makes him fairly awesome.

He's currently packing a Double Fire, which we can't yet purchase, so he'll hang on to that.  It's a great weapon for getting experience from low-level enemies.

Mission 9: On the Road Again

Goal: Reach the exit square
Enemies: Gore'Coo (3), Ray'Ther (100+)
Ammo boxes: 4
Equipment boxes: 6 (10/10/20/50/50, Explosion Pack)
Commendations: 0

This level introduces the Gore'Coo, which have 14 HP, 4/2 armor, 6 AP, can use defensive fire, and open doors.  Stat-wise they are equivalent, if not superior, to our experienced soldiers.  They need 2 AP to fire, which means they can fire 3x per turn.

Whoever opens the crate with the Explosion Pack gets to use it, even if they don't have the skills.  For the long term we want it to go to somebody who will eventually use a Jet Pack (4BF, 3TS).  That means Rock, Knox, or Wayne; since Rock is currently our flamethrower guy we don't want him to have it.  (He's also a bit tight on skills in terms of getting a jet pack and using heavier weapons.)  Knox got a +1 TS implant earlier, making him a good candidate, but since Wayne is essentially made of awesome we might as well let him have it.

The Explosion Pack is in the crate to the south, so that's where we need to go first.  We can then proceed south or backtrack and take the door to the west.

The western route takes us past a spawn portal that is nicely blocked by doors, so we'd like to leave that alone.  The Gore'Coo are generally south of us and shouldn't open those doors.  There are vigorous wall-spawners on the south and west walls, so we want to minimze the time spent in those rooms.  So the plan is to head south, clearing out the east side, then moving west through the middle of the map.

Positioning: Knox SW, Wayne S, Bratt SE.  Rock above Wayne, Austin above Knox.

Turn 1: Bratt moves south, giving him an angle on the two Ray'Ther.  Kill both.  Wayne runs in and toward the crate.  Knox, then Austin, then Rock follow after.

You'll see a bunch of doors open.  Gore'Coo seem to like opening doors they're standing next to, whether or not they want to move through them.

Turn 2: Wayne gets a new toy.  Knox moves south and one square west, aiming at the door.  Austin moves straight in front of the door.  Rock and Bratt move in behind, closing the door behind them.

When you end the turn, the door to the south will open, and a Gore'Coo will say hello.

Turn 3: kill the Gore'Coo.  It'll probably take both Knox and Austin.  It may take a couple of turns -- 8 bayonet swings may not do the trick -- but three hits on your armor shouldn't be a problem.  And Bratt is standing by with a Medic Kit and nowhere else to be.

If the Gore'Coo didn't move onto the doorway, you can either shoot him or just close the door and give him another chance to move.  It's possible for the Gore'Coo to open the door and enter defensive mode, which means that every time you shoot him he'll shoot back, so it's usually best to wait until he moves onto the door itself.

Wayne's Double Fire seems to be very effective.  Depending on how things go, you can have Knox open the door, slash with the bayonet, and then step east; Wayne, standing one square to Knox's north, can fire 4x at the doorway.  Austin can finish the job and close the door when it's done, preventing spawn from moving while we recharge our action points.

Turn 5: open the door and advance.  The goal is to get Rock in position to flame the spawner, followed shortly after by Wayne, with guns covering them both since we won't be able to shut it down entirely.  Austin opens the door and moves south 3x.  Rock, fully rested, pops his stimulant, then moves south 3x, east 1x.  He flames the NW corner of the spawner, then steps south.  Wayne moves into the doorway and defends.  Knox and Bratt fidget.  (If Knox got hit by the Gore'Coo, you can heal him now.)

Turn 6: Wayne moves south, 2x east, north.  Austin moves NE and defends.  That should be enough to keep Wayne alive so he can pop the spawner next turn, after which he can defend himself.

Rock moves south and closes the door to suppress the spawner to the west.  Bratt and Knox run down to join.

Turn 7: Rock needs to flame the wall spawner to the south, but there's a Gore'Coo just around the corner.  If it's feeling frisky, it will have come around the corner and started whacking away.  Either way, Rock needs to move south so he can flame the wall spawner south and the floor spawner to the east.  I had him move into the entrance to the eastern area, which minimized the number of hits from Ray'Ther.

Wayne needs to finish the portal while everybody else runs south to help eliminate the Gore'Coo.

Turn 8: Rock got beat up but is okay.  Knox, Bratt, and Austin team up on the Gore'Coo, saving one shot for the Ray'Ther in the NE corner of the southern spawn formation.  We want to take him out so Rock can hit the middle of the pack, just north of the spawn point.

Turn 9: Rock moves south and west, flaming the area near the open door to the west.  We'll want to close that in a bit.  There's another Ray'Ther coming at us from the room immediately west, so it's not a bad idea to close that door while continuing to pummel the Gore'Coo.  We've got some Ray'Ther coming in from the east now, so Wayne will need to defend as he moves south.

I had Austin run around behind the Gore'Coo where the armor is weaker, and backstab.  Worked.  When the turn ended, the third and final Core'Coo made his appearance in the room to the west.  He ate some defensive fire.

(Another approach to all of this is to hang out in the room to the north and wait for the Gore'Coo to come calling.  You'll have to kill a lot of Ray'Ther on the way back down, but using the Flame Thrower to block passages and the Double Fire to clear rooms works pretty well, and you're less exposed to bumps in random number generation.)

Turn 10: we need to keep the Ray'Ther contained while we work on this area.  Rock will move west, with the goal of closing the door and reloading ammo so he can keep the southern spawn point suppressed.  Wayne will move east to blow the grate and collect equipment.  Everybody else is on Gore'Coo duty.  We shut the door at the end of each turn to slow any Ray'Ther spawn and force the Gore'Coo to use an AP to open the door.

Turn 11: Wayne blows the portal.  Austin runs over and helps him swat a Ray'Ther.  Austin got a bit beat up, and Wayne has a nice weapon, so we're going to have Austin collect equipment while Wayne heads back to help with the Gore'Coo.

Knox, who was in front of the door, closes it and moves NE to encourage the Gore'Coo to step into the doorway, instead of hanging back and shooting.  Rock refreshes the spawn flames to the south, running out of ammo, and prepares to run west to close the door.

Turn 13: Austin loots crates (+50, +20).  Rock closes the door and runs south for the ammo crate.  Bratt, Knox, and Wayne try to kill the Gore'Coo.  They finally succeed.

Turn 14: everybody piles through the door.  Ray'Ther will trickle in from the northwest entrance, so some defensive fire will be necessary.  The goal is to close both doors, so we can take a moment to heal up.

Turn 17: we're buttoned up and temporarily safe.  Heal injured units, and loot equipment (+10).

It's not a bad idea to have Wayne open the door and defend to gain some experience.  With a cool weapon he can kill 6 Ray'Ther, but be aware that more than 6 might attack.  He can reload ammo from the nearby chest when he runs out of ammo.  He doesn't really need skill points, but he very much needs to improve his ability to take damage.

(My soldiers were pretty beat up -- the Gore'Coo got some hard hits -- but Wayne was in good shape, so there wasn't much else for him to do.)

Turn 26: we're in position on the door.  Austin in front, Wayne behind, Rock south of Austin.  Bratt is south of Rock, and Knox is south of Wayne.  We don't really have enough APs to blow the grate in one turn, so Rock will open the door, then Austin, Wayne, and Knox will run as far as they can and defend.  Next turn we can blow the grate and move to secure the door in the SW, either with flame or just by running to them and closing them.

Turn 28: that worked pretty well.  We can't quite close the doors on this turn, but the Ray'Ther are just trickling in, so we don't really need to flame the doors.  Try to avoid using defense mode; live Ray'Ther block the passage of additional Ray'Ther.

Turn 30: room secured.  Knox was about out of ammo, and used the crate.

Form up on the door, Wayne in front, then Rock.  We need to charge in, take out any Ray'Ther blocking the flame point, and have Rock shut the spawner down.

Turn 32: Knox opens the door from the diagonal.  Wayne rushes in, steps north, kills a pair of Ray'Ther.  Rock runs forward and uses mode B to the east of the spawn portal.  Bratt and Austin stay put.

Wayne will grab the equipment (+10, +50), Rock will refresh the fire and grab the ammo, then everybody groups back up around the south door for the final push south.

For the next phase, the positions will be: Wayne on the door, Bratt to his east, Rock to his north.  Knox and Austin in back.

You should take the opportunity now to open the door, kill any nearby units that aren't part of the spawn formation, and then close the door.

Turn 41: all units have rested.  Bratt opens the door, then shoots the Ray'Ther in the NE corner of the formation, exposing the central unit.  Wayne moves two south and one east, then defends with the Double Fire.  Rock moves south and pops the spawner.  This will also flame out the exit point.

Once this is done, everybody can move into the room and wait for the flames to die down.  Wayne can try to score a few more kills.

Victory on turn 46, 120 kills, +140 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 9 / Prep 10: Scrappy ComBots

New place with new stuff.  We have access to the Heavy Machine Gun and Light Plasma Gun, as well as the Banner, Attack Armor, and Heavy Stimulant.

For the next mission we're going to want a little more firepower and range for Knox, so he will pick up a Heavy Machine Gun.  Wayne and Rock each get a Small Medic Kit.  That leaves us with 120 equipment points.

Austin would love to trade his Standard Assault Rifle for a Light Plasma Gun, but that'll cost an additional skill point.  Right now he has just enough free points to pick up a Rapid Fire Machine Gun when that becomes available.

The Heavy Machine Gun is a difficult weapon to love.  It has pretty good range, accuracy, and ammo count, but it takes two APs to fire, and cannot be used defensively.  The stream of bullets spreads causes a splash damage effect on nearby squares, which is good when there are multiple enemies standing next to each other, but bad when you're trying to hit a melee unit that is engaging one of your soldiers.  It's vastly inferior to the Rapid Fire Machine Gun, but we won't have access to that for a while.

Depending on how you want to play mission 10, you may want more than one bayonet in the group, and might consider leaving Knox with an Advanced Combat Gun.  Dropping Bratt back to a Standard Assault Rifle also has a certain appeal.  For this walkthrough I had Rock with Flame Thrower, Knox with HMG, and Bratt with Sniper Rifle.

Mission 10: The Tr'Yns

Goal: Reach exit area with all units, including Major Rutherford
Enemies: Tr'Yn (2), Ray'Coo (many), Dec'Ther (many)
Ammo boxes: 6
Equipment boxes: 22 (20/10/10, 20/10/10, 50/50/50/50, 50/50/50/50, 50/50/50/50, 50/50/50/50)
Commendations: 0

(I think I spent more time on this than any other mission.)

The Tr'Yn is the "boss" creature from the original campaign.  Here, a pair of them are trapped in the middle of a pit with four narrow ramps leading out.  They are effectively immobile, and can only hurt us by spawning Dec'Ther.

We can bottle up the Dec'Ther by pushing barrels.  If we close off all four ramps, we can ignore the Tr'Yns.  Making this effort more challenging is the real threat: two Ray'Coo spawn points, at the top of buildings in the east and west.  As always, the Ray'Coo can spawn and attack in the same turn, which makes them a constant hazard.

We can finish the mission quickly by having Major Rutherford sprint across while the rest of the squad provides cover fire, but there's a twist: there are four sets of four equipment crates, worth 50 points each, in the bottom of the Tr'Yn pit.  That's 800 equipment points, which will pretty much set us up for life.  The trick that makes it possible to get the equipment is that you can open the crates while standing on the ramps above, so if you can get barrels in the right places you can block the Dec'Ther and loot freely (subject to being shot by Ray'Coo, of course).

The plan is to move in a group to concentrate firepower and take advantage of the AP boost from Rutherford's banner.  Bratt and Rutherford both have sniper rifles, which can be used defensively against the Ray'Coo, though that just means that at best the bad guys get one shot instead of two.  Wayne's Double Fire will be very effective here, as the enemies are lightly armored, and the heat capacity is important because the Dec'Ther seem to move after Ray'Coo (which means your weapons can overheat firing at Ray'Coo and fail to kill inbound Dec'Ther).

The southern side has a slightly more convenient layout, so we'll send everyone that way.

A few notes on ramp mechanics.  A ramp is 4 squares long per level, though graphically it appears to have 3 sections.  The Tr'Yns are two levels down, so the ramps are 8 squares long.  The crates are adjacent to the upper-level ramps.  The ideal position for a barrel is directly adjacent to the farthest equipment crate, on the first square of the upper ramp, as it gives us access to all of the crates while preventing Dec'Ther from coming up.  To get it to that position, we need to push a barrel squarely into the doorway, and then a second time down the ramp.  Barrels aren't always right where we need them, so we need to play positioning games at most corners.

Complicating this is the ability of the Tr'Yn to spawn spiders above certain barrels.  Normally it reasonably spawns them at the square where the barrel will be ("reasonable" because it's a square diagonally adjacent to the Tr'Yn), but sometimes in the northeast corner it seems to "fling" them onto the upper ramp.  So we either need to cap the entrance with a second barrel after looting, or just deal with the occasional spider in the backfield.  It's mostly an issue when collecting equipment, as it means the soldier can be spawn-killed unless he's standing right next to the barrel.  We can avoid this by not standing partway down the ramp -- be all the way in or all the way out.

We'd like to flame the Ray'Coo spawn points, but it's… complicated.  The flamethrower's mode B attack will not strike the peak of the roof (where the spawn portal is) and the sloping sides of the roof in the same shot.  It cannot target the hole in the roof.  In addition, to hit the roof peak with mode B, you have to be standing at the top of the ramp -- you can't do it from ground level.  This makes mode B not very useful.  On the other hand, mode A *can* hit units at the roof peak and on the spawn hole, and will leave flames behind for 3 turns, so we can get some suppression effects.

Rutherford starts with a Banner, Ammo Pack, and Servo System, and wields a Sniper Rifle.  Her gear and a special agility boost give her 6 AP per turn.  The Ray'Coo will come after her quickly, so she needs to move through cover until other units arrive.  She can easily kill a couple of Ray'Coo, but her weapon will overheat in a sustained fight, and she needs it to kill spiders.  The other soldiers will "help" as soon as they enter line of sight, because the Ray'Coo would rather shoot an exposed unit than jump after an obstructed one.  The sawtooth objects in the corners of the map can be walked over, and will provide cover if you're standing on the ground right behind one.  (Easy way to check: if she can't hit the Ray'Coo, they can't hit her.  Very important if a Dec'Ther is approaching and she needs to defend.)

We're going to get hit a fair bit, but everyone except Austin and Rutherford has a Medic Kit now, so healing should be quick.  Bit of trivia: in one attempt, Bratt survived a Dec'Ther attack, with 1 HP remaining.  So sometimes the computer gets bad rolls too.

Positioning: group up in the south part of the entry area.  From left to right, bottom row is Bratt and Austin, second row is Wayne and Rock, third row is Knox.

Turn 1: move out, heading south.  Rutherford hugs the wall of the building.

Turn 2: Rutherford runs around the corner, shoves the nearest barrel, and then stands where the barrel was, facing west.  She's going to be hit by one Ray'Coo next turn, but the barrel has blocked all spiders, forcing them to take a much longer route.

Turn 3: more Ray'Coo are jumping on Rutherford.  She runs south into the sawtooth structures.  Make sure she doesn't have a line of sight on any Ray'Coo.  She's now far enough away that she won't get any more spawn-leaps, so she can start killing the local Ray'Coo, firing twice and then moving to new cover.  Remember that barrels can be used for cover too.

Back east, they're killing jumpers and watching for spiders as Rock moves into position with the flamethrower.  He'll set up below the roof, next to the ammo box.  He can also flame a spider coming across the bridge, blocking that path.

Bratt will set up on the barrel with Wayne supporting.  Knox is moving up, with Austin providing rear guard (the bayonet is handy for the jumpers).

If you get hit hard, you have to reload.  It's unavoidable -- three Ray'Coo can spawn and attack in a single turn.  If they all do 5 damage, your soldier is dead even with effective defensive fire that only allows them one shot.  You can mitigate the damage by staying in cover, but you have to expose soldiers to push barrels and grab equipment.

Turn 6: Rutherford runs for the equipment boxes to the southeast (+10/+20/+10).  She won't be in cover there, so she'll need to grab them and run.

Turn 9: barrels are pushed, Rutherford has the equipment and is almost to us.  Everybody but Rock forms up on the wall, waiting for Rutherford to arrive.  With her 6 APs she's ideal to rush in and grab the two low crates; Bratt will follow after and grab the upper crates.

Rock is still flaming the eastern spawn point, targeting individual enemies with mode A.  When it's time to leave, he'll loot the ammo box.

Turn 12: didn't get clobbered while looting, so Bratt and Rutherford move out.  Rock grabs ammo and heads SW.  Austin is killing spiders west, Knox is killing spiders east, and Wayne is reloading from the crate to the south.

Turn 13: everybody heads west, sticking to the wall, healing as needed.  There's a lot of Ray'Coo and Dec'Ther scattered about, so we'll need to thin them out, moving Rock up to flame things.  So long as you're flat on the wall, you're safe from Ray'Coo.

The SW corner can't be done perfectly because the building is in the way.  The best we can do is to push the barrel near the ammo crate northward, in front of the entry way.  The eastward push down the ramp won't go far enough to reach the bottom crate.  So we can either leave 50 points behind, or push the barrel again, un-corking the ramp.  If we do this, we'll want a second barrel ready to plug the gap when Rutherford runs out.

In most cases, you'll actually have a Dec'Ther spawn in just the right place, and act as the backstop when you push the barrel down.

Be careful where you stand as you work -- Dec'Ther can attack diagonally between the barrels.  The first barrel push will plug the pit entrance, but there are plenty of Dec'Ther nearby.

In my game, the arrangement of the barrels and the use of the fence as cover inspired most of the bad guys to walk north around the building, which made for a relatively quiet barrel-pushing session.

Turn 19: Rutherford had shoved the barrel and grabbed the first three boxes.  This turn, a Dec'Ther appeared in the exact right spot, so she shoved the barrel, stepped, grabbed, and ran.

...

At this point you have three choices:

  1. Head north across the bridge.  This will expose you to fire from Ray'Coo, though you can mitigate the point-blank shots with flames and defensive fire.  May require reloading if the Ray'Coo get very lucky.  It's high risk, but fast.
  2. Head west around the building, hugging the walls.  This takes several extra turns, but it's much safer because the distant Ray'Coo can't see you, and the local Ray'Coo have trouble getting a line of sight.  They can, however, leap, so if you didn't bring two or three weapons with bayonets, this approach will be very costly.
  3. Head back east, abandoning half the equipment.  You don't strictly need it, so there's little harm in just packing up and heading out.

I recommend saving a game here in a separate slot before continuing.  For the walkthrough, I tried approach #1.

Turn 22: running across the bridge.  Few Ray'Coo in evidence, but there's a *huge* pile of Dec'Ther waiting for us on the other side.  (Did we hit a unit cap?)  After Wayne kills a bunch of spiders, some Ray'Coo pop in nearby.  Rock says hello.

Turn 25: we're across, a bit worse for wear.  The barrel we want is 4 spaces north and one east of the entrance, so we need to push it west then south.  We're okay on ammo, but will want to hit the two crates next to the building northeast of here soon.

Turn 28: working on the barrels, lots of Dec'Ther.  There are nine Ray'Coo on top of the eastern building, six of which can fire (the slanted roof allows the back row to fire over the front row), plus an additional one on the walkway.

Moving the barrels around requires reload/retry antics, because there is so much incoming fire from the remote building.  The Ray'Coo on the western building are also shooting, and while they're less numerous due to our suppression efforts, they're a lot closer and thus hit more often.

...

At this point I decided to roll back to the halfway point and give up on the northern equipment boxes.  The effort required just isn't worth it, and I'm not sure it's feasible with my chosen loadout.

I left the building-ramp unblocked, so the Dec'Ther could use their movement to chase me from behind, hopefully resulting in fewer coming at me from the front.  However, by the time I got to the gap in the wall by the SE ramp, both spawn points had a full complement of Ray'Coo, and the Dec'Ther were the least of my worries.  (And, curiously, I wasn't mobbed by Dec'Ther.)  Crossing the gap between the fence and the building was absolutely brutal.  It might be wise to spend a little time during the initial visit to arrange barrels for cover.

At one point, five Ray'Coo jumped around Rock.  He stepped out and used flamethrower mode B to fry the lot.  Glorious.

Thoughts for future runs:

It's unclear whether the easy time I had at the SW ramp was due to an exploitable game mechanic or simple luck on the spawns.

Victory on turn 36, 111 kills, +440 equipment, 1 commendation.

Post 10 / Prep 11: Scrappy ComBots

We'll stick with the weapon loadout from the previous mission, but now everybody gets a Small Medic Kit.

Mission 11: To the Fuel Station #1

Goal: Move all units to the exit point
Enemies: Pyr'Coo (2), Squee'Coo (several), Dec'Ther (some)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 0
Commendations: 0

No ammo, no equipment, no doors or switches.  Just a bunch of spawners, a ramp, and an urgent need to run.

Positioning: top row, left to right: empty, Rock, Bratt, Knox.  Directly behind them comes Wayne, Rutherford, and Austin.

Turn 1: everybody moves north 5 squares.  The Pyr'Coo don't have a line of sight on us after we move.

Turn 2: repeat.

Turn 3: the front row moves east, up the ramp.  Rock follows.  Austin and Rutherford end the turn in defensive mode.

Turn 4: up the ramp.  Wayne defends.

Turn 5: run for the right edge, and the exit beyond.  You will get hit a few times.

Turn 6: move into the exit room.  Soldiers with a shot at the nearest Pyr'Coo should probably take it -- the AoE effect of their weapon is trouble.  Just make sure you're back from the edge so the Squee'Coo can't hit you from below.

Victory on turn 9, 6 kills, +0 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 11 / Prep 12: Scrappy ComBots

(nothing)

Mission 12: To the Fuel Station #2

Goal: Move all marines to the exit area
Enemies: Ee'Ther (5), Gore'Coo (2), Gore'Ther (10+), Dec'Ther (60+)
Ammo boxes: 4
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/50, 20/50)
Commendations: 0

Our initial problem, besides the uselessness of the top-down view, is a group of five Ee'Ther.  These have good armor, 20HP, and regenerate at the start of their turn, so we want to focus on killing one at a time.  The most effective weapons are the Double Fire and Flame Thrower (mode A).  We will have an opportunity to reload the flame thrower before we need to use it on the central spawner, so you can use it to deliver the killing blow.  With Rutherford nearby, you can use it up to five times per round, so you're generally guaranteed to be able to finish off an Ee'Ther.

Positioning: from north to south, leaving the top and bottom points empty: Austin, Rock, Rutherford, Wayne, Bratt, Knox.

Turn 1: shoot the nearby Ee'Ther in the south, starting with Knox (with the HMG), then Wayne, then the snipers.  Let the weapons heat up.  When the first Ee'Ther dies, switch to the nearby unit in the north.  Don't try to hit the others yet, they're too far.  Rest through turn 2 to cool weapons and let them get close.

Turn 3: start with the one in the south; after resting, Knox should have three shots.  Wayne goes next, then everybody else fills in.  Austin can use his bayonet on the unit to the north.  You should be able to kill all three with gunfire; if that doesn't work out, Rock can finish them off.

Turn 4: time to move out.  The group will split, three north and three south, according to their initial positions.  Head NW and SW toward the ramps.

Turn 7: the trouble we're about to face should now be apparent.  There's a spawn area filled with Dec'Ther and Gore'Ther, and a pair of Gore'Coo sitting off in the distance shooting at us.  We need to hit the spawner from two directions to kill the Gore'Ther, while trying not to get killed by the oncoming Gore'Coo.

We can try to take out the Gore'Coo with the snipers.  It will probably take several rounds though, as many shots will miss, and many of those that hit will do no damage.  It will be easier if we can get Wayne into range of the first one and hit it with the Double Fire.  So we're going to head down both ramps, minding the Dec'Ther, and healing the Gore'Coo damage as we go.  Fortunately the Gore'Ther tend to block the Dec'Ther in.  For this reason we want to avoid killing them until we're in closer, unless they're near the top of the initial ramp.  Once you get to the bottom of the first ramp, the Gore'Coo will lose their line of sight and move up, which helps our strategy.

If you can get a unit on the flat section next to the ramp, you can create a "local" crossfire on the Gore'Ther.  It's pretty easy to have Austin run past and use his bayonet since he has the AP boost from the banner.  Just make sure you finish the turn facing toward the Gore'Coo.

Turn 9: Bratt and Wayne are killing Gore'Ther as Rock moves into position to flame the spawner.  We want to hit it twice to flame the whole thing out so we don't have to use defensive fire.  When the flames die, Wayne will use the Explosion Pack.

Turn 11: spawner is flamed out.  Rutherford runs back up the ramp to get a better shot at Gore'Ther.  Wayne moves west and defends -- when the Gore'Coo move up and attack, he'll counter after every shot.  Don't worry about rushing the spawner -- we have plenty of ammo in the flame thrower, there's two ammo crates nearby, and two more near the exit.

Turn 16: in case you hadn't noticed yet, the spawner is capable of creating both Dec'Ther and Gore'Ther.  This makes the final approach something of an adventure, but with concentrated cover fire Wayne is able to blow the grate.  Now we just need to kill the second Gore'Coo, reload ammo from the nearby crates (Rock and Wayne), and head down.  Everybody but Austin will head down the south ramp, which is closer to the exit point.  Austin will take the north ramp so he can grab equipment.  Knox will come last, as his HMG is incredibly effective against groups of Dec'Ther from this position (you can get a 5x5 area of effect on every shot from this elevation).  The Dec'Ther are spawning.

The equipment crates are near the top of the final ramps.  Use the overhead view to spot them.

Turn 23: there's one last twist to this level.  The fence makes an 'L' shape near the exit point, and the Dec'Ther are coming out of a wall spawner.  They don't spawn where you think they spawn.  They can spawn below the bottom line of the 'L', four squares from the wall, as well as just inside the wall.  So a flame shot into the entrance will leave one spot open, and you need to stand back and defend.  On the bright side, they can't spawn directly in front of the wall spawner itself, so once you get to the 'A' you're safe.  The spawn grate to the north is harmless.

It's very difficult to get everybody through the door in one shot.  So we'll get some of the people in, refresh the flames, and repeat.

Turn 26: flames have died.  Wayne and Bratt run north.  Wayne is on the bottom-left 'A', and Bratt is right next to him.  As soon as they're through, Rock refreshes the flames.  The rest of the group prepares for their run.  Rutherford stands on the spawn square so we don't get attacked.  Everybody rests; the extra AP matters here.

Turn 29: everybody charges in.  Rock and Rutherford make it into the room but not onto exit squares, so Rock flames the entrance.

Victory on turn 30, 82 kills, +140 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 12 / Prep 13ab: Scrappy ComBots

This is the last opportunity we will have to adjust equipment for a bit, so we should take a moment to plot out where each soldier is going.  We can't rely on commendations to the same extent we could in the original campaign.  There are a few crates with implants in future missions that can help us get to the bigger weapons.

Here's what we have right now:

Name              BF LW HW TS MD LD Avail
Sgt. Bratt         2  3  0  2  1  0   3
Austin             2  3  0  2  1  0   3
Rock               2  1  3  2  1  0   2
Knox               2  1  2  3  1  0   3
Wayne              3  4  2  2  1  0  11
Major Rutherford   2  3  0  4  1  5   1

"Avail" is the number of skill points available when they hit level 12. Wayne and Rutherford haven't actually reached that yet.

For reference, Jet Packs require 4BF 3TS.

Sgt. Bratt and Austin are identical.  They'll have to spend all remaining skill points to get Jet Packs, so we'd need to find implants to get the 4LW weapons (Double Fire, Light Plasma Gun).  Austin should probably pick up a Rapid Fire Machine Gun instead, which will mean spending all remaining skill points on 3HW.  Bratt will keep his weapon and save up for a jet pack.

Rock would need to spend 3 points to get a Jet Pack, so that's not happening.  Spending his points on 1HW 1TS will get him Mine Thrower and Plasma Gun.

Knox started with an extra skill point, and got a point of Technical Skill from an equipment chest, so he's two ahead of Rock skill-wise.  For 3HW he can get the High Energy Laser, and if we can find a Battle Fitness implant he will be able to use any heavy weapon.  He needs an additional 1BF beyond that to use a Jet Pack.

Major Rutherford should have two free skill points, as she starts at level 10 with no available skills, but in my game she only had one free skill when she reached level 12.  This means she can't get a jet pack, and even if she could, she would be limited to 3LW weapons.  So we'll get her a 4LW weapon and leave her grounded.

Wayne can do anything.  We could give him a Banner for 5LD; the effects don't stack with Rutherford's banner, but having two bonused groups could be handy.  We could also get a Target System for 4TS, but the weapons he'll be carrying generally have high accuracy.  With a Banner he'll still have 6 free skill points, and only needs 3HW 1TS to use the Enhanced Laser Gun and another 1BF for a jet pack.  Like Major Rutherford, he has one fewer skill point than he should, but in his case it just doesn't matter.

We can pick up 1BF and a combo 1LW/1HW implant on the missions ahead.  And we have one commendation to spend.  The long-term plan is to have Bratt go jet+sniper, Austin RFMG, Rock plasma gun/thrower, Knox jet+heavy (needs +1HW and +1BF), Wayne jet+whatever, Rutherford 4LW.  Giving the 1LW+1HW implant to Knox allows him to use the RFMG with no additional skills.  I'm trying to avoid using the commendation, but spending it to upgrade Bratt to jet+4LW may prove useful.

We'll keep our current loadout for now.  All soldiers have Standard Armor, Servo System, Ammo Pack, Small Medic Kit, and we have 540 equipment points remaining, so we're in pretty good shape.  It would cost another 150 to get Light Stimulants for everyone, but we can manage without those.

The mission forks into two paths.  Route A gets us 70 equipment points, route B gets us 230, neither is particularly egregious.  So we favor route B.

Mission 13a: Where's the Fuel? Route A

Goal: Reach red exit area with every marine.
Enemies: Pyr'Coo (1), Squee'Coo (15+)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 2 (20/50)
Commendations: 0

The NW elevator can't be operated from the bottom, so we'd like to send everybody along the southern path.  The problem with this plan is that the shooters will pile up in the northeast corner, and we can't hit them from the ground floor of the southern section, so whoever goes up the elevator first will face a firing squad.  To deal with this, we'll send Wayne and Bratt along the northern path, and everybody else south.

The southern equipment crate can only be accessed by walking the full route along the path, so we'll use Rutherford to pick that up.  The only spawner on this map is in the ceiling, right in front of the northern equipment crate, and it can be blocked by the flamethrower or units.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Bratt, Wayne; next row is empty; third row Rutherford, Rock; bottom row Austin, Knox.

Turn 1: advance along the catwalks.  There's a Pyr'Coo ahead in the southern room, so get everybody across the walkway quickly.

Turn 2: just advance, don't shoot.  If you let Rutherford use her full movement, she can be a square separated from the rest of the group, and the splash damage from the Pyr'Coo won't hit anyone else.

There will be a couple of Squee'Coo on the central walkway above you.  If you stick to the median they can't get you, but if you step toward the middle of the room they can shoot.  You don't have to eliminate them, but you do want to knock them down to melee form.

If you keep Rutherford against the median, she can provide the banner AP boost to Bratt and Wayne, who are sniping at Squee'Coo.

Turn 6: we're piling up on the elevator.  To get everyone up quickly, it's best if each soldier manipulates the lever, rather than moving onto the platform and letting someone else do it.  Next turn, Rutherford goes up and starts heading for the southern equipment box.  Everybody else will start heading north, picking up Bratt and Wayne along the way.

The Squee'Ther have reasonably strong front armor, so it's best to hit them in the back.  With the banner boost it's easy to just run around behind them.

Turn 10: Rutherford grabs the equipment (+50).  While she can't move through the structure behind the crate, she can shoot (and be shot) through it, so make sure you keep her facing north.

Turn 11: Bratt and Wayne come up the elevator.  Everybody heads east.

Turn 15: Rock flames the area in front of the equipment crate.  This will stop the Squee'Coo spawn.  We can use the time to move everyone closer to the exit.  Rutherford will grab the equipment (+20) when the flames die, Rock will refresh the flames, and everybody will hit the exit.

Victory on turn 21, 16 kills, +70 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 13a / Prep 14a: (none)

You have no access to weapons or equipment.

Mission 13b: Where's the Fuel? Route B

Goal: Reach red exit area.
Enemies: Cy'Coo (5), Pyr'Coo (16)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/20/20/50)
Commendations: 0

This is a straightforward run & gun, with a fixed set of enemies.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Wayne, Bratt; second row Rock, Austin, Rutherford; third row Knox in the center position.

Turn 1: Wayne and Austin move two north, one west, and defend facing west.  Their job is take out the nearby Cy'Coo.  Bratt and Rutherford move three north.  Knox moves north to the edge of the platform.  Rock, who won't be doing much this mission, hops on the platform and hits the switch.

You will see some doors open when the turn ends.  This appears to be some sort of automated mechanism.  The doors will continue to open even if you manually close them, until the nearby enemies are dead.

Turn 2: the nearby Cy'Coo should be dead.  There are two Squee'Coo at the end of the hallway.  Knox moves north three and takes the first shot.  Wayne and Austin move up and defend, Austin diagonally.  Bratt and Rutherford need to take out two Cy'Coo in the northwest, so they move north and defend (in my game, Austin and Wayne killed them).  Rock mopes along, trying to stay out of the way.

Turn 3: Austin and Wayne finish off the Squee'Coo, moving down the hallway.  Knox sets up on the door.  Rutherford stands next to Knox and will defend diagonally in case the Squee'Ther comes after.

Turn 5: Knox moves down the hallway, trailed by Wayne, then Austin, Rutherford, Rock, and Bratt.  Knox will engage enemies on the platform near the exit square while Wayne and Austin take care of business to the west.  The Squee'Coo to the east will have to move before it can shoot us (and vice-versa).

There's a third Cy'Coo that will shoot at units in the hallway, so we need to be careful moving through it.  Defending from the doorways doesn't work.

Turn 6: Knox, Wayne, and Austin move their full allowance to get into position.  They will all get hit, but they're in prime condition and can take it.  Rutherford moves near the equipment box.  Bratt and Rock rest.

Turn 7: everybody will be in Cy'Coo range, so it's important to move.  Knox takes two shots at the Squee'Coo to the north, and steps east.  (With the HMG he should be able to knock them down to size.)  Rutherford cleans up Knox if necessary, opens the equipment crate (+20) if possible, steps, and defends.  Austin and Wayne advance one square west, firing as possible, healing if needed, and defend.  Bratt and Rock run north.

Turn 8: continue advancing.  Bratt will be in the rear in case the Squee'Coo to the southeast comes after us.  If it doesn't, ignore it.  Proceed through the room to the south, leading with Wayne.  You have to go through single-file, and the doors sometimes refuse to stay closed, but the Double Fire is very effective.  Austin comes behind, healing as needed.  Keep Rutherford near the middle for the AP bonus.

On the door to the southwest, which is a bit more open, you can put Knox on the door with Austin and Wayne to either side.  Knox opens it, shoots once, steps back, then Austin and Wayne pile in.

Turn 21: we've killed the next pair of Squee'Coo, and Wayne is on the elevator.  Next turn, Rock will hit the switch to send him up, and he'll move 3 squares north and defend.  Knox will hit the switch to bring the elevator back down, and Rutherford will step on, hit the switch, move northeast, and defend.  Bratt brings the elevator back down, then Austin steps on, elevates, steps north, and defends.  So we need to position Austin and Rutherford next to the elevator, and Rock, Bratt, and Knox near the switch.

Turn 22: execute.  After moving, nobody will be in the line of sight of a Squee'Coo, which means they'll have to move.  The defenders should cut them down before they get a chance to fire.

Turn 23: finish killing Squee'Coo, and send Rutherford and Wayne to the other elevator.  Austin heads for the last equipment crate.  Everybody else can rest, since we only need to get one soldier to the exit point.

Rutherford should be able to handle any leftover Squee'Ther on the exit platform.  If not, Wayne can help.  The last elevator descends when you step on and ascends when you step off, no switch required.

Victory on turn 26, 21 kills, +110 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 13b / Prep 14b: (none)

You have no access to weapons or equipment.

Mission 14a: Fuel Up

Goal: Kill all enemies, and throw the switch
Enemies: Gore'Coo (3), Ee'Ther (5), Dec'Ther (29+)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 0
Commendations: 0

This is a "kill everything" mission.  There is one low-speed spawner, an elevator that brings a Dec'Ther up every couple of turns, which must be switched off.

Positioning: middle row, left to right: Bratt, Austin, Rock; bottom row: Wayne, Rutherford, Knox.

Turn 1: there's a Gore'Coo outside.  We need to go after it, and then start hitting the critters inbound from the west.  Rutherford pushes the box and stands aside, Wayne charges through, the rest follow.

Turn 2: the Gore'Coo probably didn't move.  That's because he's in defense mode, and any movement or shots you take will cause him to retaliate.  Have Wayne push the box into the Gore'Coo, then move up and defend.  We want the Gore'Coo to move to a position where it can fire, which will take it out of defense mode.  Have a unit defend SW to deal with the oncoming Dec'Ther.

Turn 3: pesky Core'Coo didn't move again.  Have Bratt destroy the box, then have Wayne duel with the Gore'Coo.  The Double Fire should do solid damage, and a shot from Rock's flame thrower should finish the job.  Other units heal Wayne and advance west.

There's an Ee'Ther coming across the northern span, and Dec'Ther on the southern.  There's no spawner up here, so kill everything you can see.  Let the Ee'Ther get a little closer before beating on him.

Turn 4: Knox and Wayne kill the Ee'Ther.  Bratt and Rutherford snipe some Dec'Ther.

We need to split into two teams.  One team (Wayne, Austin, Rutherford) will use the nearby teleporter to move to the platform to the southwest.  They will kill the locals and hit the switch to stop the spawn.  The other group (Bratt, Knox, Rock) will head across the north bridge and deal with the units there.  Far to the west there are a pair of Gore'Coo, which are most easily hit by teleporting to the platform where all the barrels are.  The trick is to bump them out of defense mode before charging in.

We want to save the flamethrower shots for Ee'Ther, because they regenerate between turns.  Bratt's group will need to kill three in the area ahead.

Turn 9: Rutherford's group is set up on the corner.  Austin shoots the box and defends.  Wayne shoots a couple of spiders and defends.  Rutherford defends.  The plan is to kill the spiders and do some damage to the Ee'Ther, so the latter will be easier to kill next round.

Bratt's group is getting a couple of Dec'Ther moving up from the south.  Kill them while moving west.

Turn 12: Rutherford's group is near the switch.  There's another Ee'Ther coming.  Bratt's group is set up on the entryway.  Bratt is to the right of the entrance; he will shoot the box, and defend.  Knox, to the left of the entrance, will fire to kill spiders.  Rock sleeps.

Rock could flame the interior to kill all the spiders, but the juice is probably better saved for mode A shots on Ee'Ther.

Turn 13: Wayne kills the Ee'Ther, which was softened up by defensive fire.  Wayne defends, while Rutherford hits the switch.  The switch prevents the elevator from going down, but does not prevent it from coming up.  If the elevator is currently in the bottom position, there will be a spider on it, and the spider will attack when you end your turn.  So don't stand next to the elevator square when hitting the switch.

Up north, we're killing the first Ee'Ther.  Remember that only Bratt can defend, so if there are spiders left alive, Bratt's weapon heat will be very important.  You will probably need to have Rock use mode B on the SE part of the room, then wait for the flames to die down to kill the remaining Ee'Ther.

Rutherford's group heads south for the teleporter.  When they get close, one of the Gore'Coo will start shooting, so they should end their turns facing north.

Turn 17: Bratt's group has killed the second Ee'Ther and all spiders, and are waiting for the flames to subside.  Rutherford's group is behind a the wall near the transporter.  The Gore'Coo are in defense mode, so stepping through the transporter is risky.  The Gore'Coo are facing toward Bratt's group, so Rutherford can step out, take a few back shots, and step back into cover.  Weapon heat is a hindrance to killing it quickly.

When it dies, Rutherford's group can pile up on the transporter.  They should be able to take the hits from a single Gore'Coo, so you should be able to send them through without waiting for Bratt to link up.  With all three defending, the Gore'Coo should be dead or near death after its turn.

Victory on turn 22, 37 kills, +0 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 14a / Prep 15: (none)

Mission 14b: Fuel Up

Goal: Reach all squares marked with 'A'
Enemies: Gore'Ther (18)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/50/50)
Commendations: 0

You can only bring four soldiers.  We don't need the flamethrower, and the HMG is too cumbersome to use against Gore'Ther, so Knox and Rock will sit this one out.

Positioning: Bratt and Wayne top row, Rutherford and Austin bottom row.

Turn 1: Bratt and Wayne head through the northern teleporter, Rutherford and Austin through the southern one.  Before Rutherford steps through, she shoots the Gore'Ther to the northwest, which has its back conveniently turned.

Turn 2: Bratt and Austin take care of the first Gore'Ther in the room.  With two soldiers and 4 APs it should be easy to get a back shot.  Rutherford and Wayne set up on the northern door; next turn they will rush in.

Turn 4: Rutherford runs behind the green barrel.  Austin advances slightly, just out of range.  With 6APs, Rutherford can run all the way around the barrel and kill both Gore'Ther next turn.

Bratt and Austin grab the equipment (+20) and open the nearby door.  We're going to let the nearest Gore'Ther come through.

Turn 6: Austin and Bratt kill the Gore'Ther and shut the door.  Rutherford runs out of the room to the east.  Austin bayonets the box and sits on the door.

The plan is to have Rutherford open the eastern door to the central corridor to draw Gore'Ther to her.  Bratt will open his at the same time.  The Gore'Ther will slowly advance toward both of them, but because Austin is the closest enemy, they will always turn to face him.  The two snipers will have no problem finishing off the enemy.

Turn 11: central corridor is clear.  Everybody moves to the central area, with Bratt tagging the 'A' on the way up.

Rutherford and Austin will take the NW room.  Austin will move west to act as bait while Rutherford runs north behind the barrel and then west across the top, shooting the northernmost Gore'Ther in the back.  Bratt and Wayne will take the SW room, opening the door and then splitting north and south.  Wayne will stay close to the north while Bratt stands off down the hallway to the south, and shoots them as they move out the doorway.

Rutherford can't shoot through the chunk of stuff in the middle of the room, but she can run completely around a Gore'Ther and shoot it in the back twice.  So long as Austin draws two his way, Rutherford can take care of the west.

Turn 16: the last of the Gore'Ther go down.  Rutherford and Wayne tag the 'A's, and Wayne loots the crate (+50).

Turn 22: Rutherford is on the door to the final room, Wayne nearby.  Rutherford will rush in to the SW corner of the room.  Wayne will close the door.  When a Gore'Ther gets close, it will face Rutherford, allowing Wayne to open the door, shoot it in the back, and close the door.  Repeat for all three.

The right side of the chunk in the middle of the room is impassable.  You can't actually run all the way around it.

When all three are dead, Rutherford loots the crate (+50) and stands on the final 'A'.

Victory on turn 28, 18 kills, +120 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 14b / Prep 15: (none)

Mission 15: To the Jungle

Goal: Reach the exit area
Enemies: Gore'Ther (7), Dec'Ther (150+)
Ammo boxes: 5
Equipment boxes: 7 (10/10/10/10/20, Cooler, Cooler)
Commendations: 0

There are seven Gore'Ther in the exit area to the north.  They won't move until we get into visual range, so four can be killed conveniently by lever-activated lasers.  There are five indestructible Dec'Ther spawners, two of which will cease when we get close to them.

The lasers aren't exactly "barriers".  One kind fires at the end of every enemy turn until you disable them, the other fires once, when you pull the lever.

The plan is to go up one side, grab the equipment and hit the levers, then head over to the other side.  Looking at the north side of the map, the left approach to the exit area has a narrow corridor, while the right has a more open path, with a couple of equipment crates well toward the exit.  The right side seems like it'd be better to do last, so we'll start on the left and then double back.

There are two Coolers on this mission.  They double the heat capacity of a weapon.  We want to give them to soldiers who are likely to wield heat-limited weapons, e.g. lasers and plasma guns.  With our current skill plan, that means Wayne and Knox get them.  While Knox won't get much benefit out of it right away -- it's tough to fire the HMG often enough to overheat it -- Wayne will turn into an instrument of mass destruction on this mission, which will be extremely valuable when charging spawners.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Austin, Wayne, Knox, Bratt; second row, starting left edge: Rock, Rutherford.

Turn 1: Knox shoots a spider and moves north.  Bratt moves north and defends.  Austin moves north and defends.  Wayne moves north and one square west.  Rutherford and Rock move as far north as they each can.

Turn 2: Wayne runs to the equipment crate.  Austin and Rock move one north then fully west.  Everybody else moves west next to them.

The idea is to set up on the door, with Wayne in front, Rutherford behind him, and Rock behind her.  Knox will sit on the diagonal, Bratt south of him.  Austin will sit below the ammo crate.

Turn 3: Wayne opens the crate (+1 Cooler) and heads for the door.  Everybody else fills in.

Turn 4: Knox opens the door, shoots a spider, closes the door.  Everybody else rests.

The two squares north of the door will be hit by lasers.  The row two squares north of the door is the only safe place.

Turn 5: Wayne moves north, and defends.  Rutherford moves north and west; with one AP left she shoots a Dec'Ther.  Rock moves into the doorway, and uses mode B to flame the doorway to the east.

The rest of the crew just hangs out -- they will not be following the others.  Their primary job will be to draw spiders once the flames go out.  They can either shoot the spiders, or in most cases just allow the lasers to do that.

Turn 6: Rutherford moves west, and defends.  Rock moves into the safe zone.  Wayne follows.  Wayne may not need to defend this turn, as Rutherford has a limited line of sight and can kill four Dec'Ther.

Turn 7: Rutherford and Rock move south, face west, backs to the wall.  Wayne moves west and defends.  (Ideally he'd just defend south, but with the banner near you defend in all directions.)

Bratt's group will shortly come under occasional attack from Dec'Ther.  Austin should move southeast, so he's out of line of sight of the door, and attack or defend as appropriate.  (Could also use Bratt -- put the bayonet where it will do the most good.)

Turn 8: Rock moves four west and flames one side of the portal. Rutherford runs three west (not four -- want Wayne to be able to shoot past her) and defends. Wayne runs southwest to the corner and defends.

The plan at this point is to push north, flame the spawner, hit the northern switch (which will fry two Gore'Ther), and grab the equipment crates.  The southern switch turns off the helpful lasers nearby, but it also seems to turn off the spawner that we're sitting on top of, so we want to do that next turn.

Turn 9: Wayne moves around the corner and shoots 4x, leaving the closest enemy alive.  Rock flames the other side of the nearby portal to kill recent spawn, moves north 3x, and uses mode B as far north as he can.  This doesn't block the spawner at all, but it does give them a longer path, and we can finish it up next turn.  Rutherford kills the nearby enemy that Wayne left for her, and moves up behind Rock, hitting the switch.  (If you only had one critter spawn at the SW spawner, have Wayne shoot it, and Rock can move one AP farther north.  He still can't completely isolate the spawner, but it leaves a narrower path.)

Turn 10: Rock seals off the northern section, then runs for the ammo crate.  Rutherford picks off a straggler and grabs the equipment crates (+10, +20).  Wayne shifts south and lets his weapon cool down.

Bratt's group is now fully engaged with spiders.  You can count on one standing in the doorway, which Austin can kill with step-bayonet-step.  Once that's cleared, Knox can kill a pile with the HMG using step-shoot-step.  Bratt can defend on the diagonal if any are missed.  Don't forget incoming spiders from the southeast; if it gets busy, Austin can shoot without moving and defend.

Turn 12: Rutherford and Rock run like hell.  Wayne moves east and defends.  The goal is to get everybody through the door without having to waste flamethrower ammo on the spawner to the east.  Wayne will reload from the ammo crate near Bratt's group, so it's okay to let him run low.

Turn 14: Rutherford's group moves through the door and shuts it behind them.  Wayne had two bullets left and his weapon was overheating.

The group needs to move east, to a door that opens north.  Bratt's group will hold off the Dec'Ther approaching from the east while Rutherford's crew will collect the gear.  (Rutherford can easily dash across the lasers, grab the equipment, and dash back.)  There's an ammo box there that we'll let Rutherford collect -- by and large we have plenty of ammo.

Turn 17: Bratt's team sets up on the southeast corridor.  Knox opens the equipment crate, which contains the second Cooler.

Turn 19: Rutherford's group is moving through.  The hallway to the west is so narrow that usually only one Dec'Ther can get through, so we don't even need to flame it.  Rutherford can shoot the spawn each turn while running back and forth.  (Wayne can stand by just in case.)

Turn 21: Rutherford shuts the door.  Time to form up for the push east.  (Looking at the map, we could shoot a box or two and leave a unit in the laser hallway as a distraction.  Not necessary though.)

Wayne will lead, followed by Rock, then Rutherford.  Wayne will take the brunt of the impact moving through the last bit of narrow passage.  If they form up on the north side, Bratt and Austin can provide support along the south until they're ready to push through.

Turn 25: Wayne defended until his weapon overheated, but we're all still alive.  He needs to move east, shooting anything nearby, to clear room for Rock, who will move through and flame the west or south side of the portal.  Rutherford will step out and defend.  Everybody else piles after.

Next turn, Knox steps out and shoots bad guys to the north, Rock flames the far side of the spawner, and everybody advances.  The nearby switch will turn off the hallway lasers (and, I think, the spawner we're sitting on), so we will need to flame the hallway to the west to protect our flank.  There's equipment and ammo in this room; the ammo will have to go to Rock since we need to flame the spawner in the northeast.

Turn 27: Rock refreshes the flames and runs north.  Austin and Bratt run north to defend the hallway.  Rutherford moves up, trying to stay in the middle of the group.  Wayne and Knox tag along.

Turn 28: Rock grabs ammo and equipment (+10), Bratt hits the switch, everybody keeps pushing north, defending against the spawn.

Turn 30: Knox puts the HMG to good use.  Wayne works his way forward.  Rock tucks in behind Wayne.  The spawn from the west is just a trickle, so no flames for now.

Turn 32: Wayne killed a disturbing number of Dec'Ther, Knox kills some more.  Rutherford moves toward the final switch as Rock flames the west side of the spawner.  There's a Dec'Ther approaching from the west, so don't advance Knox to the point where he blocks Wayne's defense.

Wayne is nearly out of ammo, but this is the last defense-a-thon.

Turn 33: Rutherford hits the switch, moves west, shoots the next oncoming Dec'Ther.  Wayne moves to open the equipment boxes (+10, +10).  Rock flames the other side of the portal.

Everybody else needs to pile into the corridor going west.  Knox will be in front, clearing a path with the HMG.  Rutherford will need to move up along the north wall.

Turn 35: Rutherford moves to the end of the wall.  She can see one of the Gore'Ther from her, but they won't trigger.  If she moves on square farther west, to the south of the laser, they will activate.

Knox and Rutherford kill stuff to the west.  Everybody else piles into the hallway, and Rock seals the east entrance with flame.

Turn 36: Rutherford moves northwest, so she's standing to the west of the laser.  She will be just outside Gore'Ther range.  Everybody else chills.

Turn 37: Rutherford moves onto the 'A'.  With one AP left over she can shoot a Gore'Ther.  End the turn to finish the mission.

Victory on turn 37, 157 kills, +80 equipment, 0 commendations.  (Should be +60 equipment, but the mission-end screen says +80.  Maybe the crates with the Coolers also count as +10 equipment?)

Post 15 / Prep 16ab: (none)

The mission forks here again.  The implant on path A is slightly more useful, so we go that way.  Path B would give us an extra 110 equipment points, but we're in pretty good shape there.

Mission 16a: Retreat - This Way (preferred)

Goal: Reach the exit square
Enemies: Al'Coo (1), Cy'Coo (4), Ee'Ther (11)
Ammo boxes: 2
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/50, combo +1LW +1HW)
Commendations: 0

There are no spawners, just a handful of Ee'Ther and Cy'Coo, plus the mini-boss near the end.  Take your time, and don't worry about ammo (but save a couple of mode B flamethrower shots for the end).

For the first part of the level, the lasers fire in a pattern.  The "long" horizontal laser fires before turn 1.  Next turn, the two "short" lasers fire.  The pattern repeats.  (YMMV, but the pattern should be stable.)

Positioning: left column has Bratt, Austin, and Rutherford, who will take out the Cy'Coo.  Right column has Rock, Wayne, and Knox, who will kill the nearby Ee'Ther.

Turn 1: we're in range of two Cy'Coo, so everybody needs to move.  The snipers step back and defend, the rest step forward and attack.

Turn 2: kill the two Ee'Ther.  Move south then east.  Dodge the lasers.

Turn 8: the next Ee'Ther is dead, but now a Cy'Coo is shooting at us when we get near the door.  Hit the switch to enter the next room to get a better firing position for Bratt and Rutherford.  There's one more Cy'Coo to the northwest, but you can't hit it yet.

There's an Ee'Ther to the north.  If you advance a unit to just south of the laser line, the lasers will kill it for you (after it hits you a couple of times).

Move Wayne up into the row between lasers; he and Rutherford are going to charge forward, with the rest of the team following.  Grab the equipment (+20), and ammo if anybody is remotely in need.

Turn 14: Rutherford runs to the switch and throw it, disabling the bottom three lasers.  Everybody else runs forward.

At the end of the turn, the Cy'Coo to the northwest will start shooting.  Find a firing position for Bratt and Austin.  Wayne chases after Rutherford.

Turn 15: Rutherford runs to the next switch and activates it.  This disables the fourth laser, and makes an ominous "opening" sound.

There are three Ee'Ther approaching from the northeast, so Rutherford and Wayne need to get clear before we get boxed in.  Wayne in defense mode can do some serious damage if they get close enough to attack.

Turn 19: Ee'Ther are dead.  Prepare to move east.  Rock will need to be out front.

Turn 22: Rock and random others are heading east to see what's there.  Wayne and Knox are dealing with an Ee'Ther approaching from the narrow hallway to the south.

The nearby switch enables a laser that fires every other turn.  We're going to use that to kill the Al'Coo.  We may need to freeze it in place for a turn with flamethrower mode B.  The laser fires completely through the building, so be wary when moving south toward the equipment.  Throw the switch now -- no need to time it.

One of the crates to the south has the implant, so Knox will need to open it.  Rutherford will go with him for the AP boost.

Turn 23: the Al'Coo ran forward and was annihilated.  Yay.  Knox managed to run forward just the right amount to also get annihilated.  Reload.  There are three Ee'Ther coming, which should be no trouble.

Once the Ee'Ther are dead, just send one unit to the exit.  Rock is very effective here, setting up kills that Wayne can get experience for, though you'll have to wait a turn or two for the flames to die down.

Victory on turn 33, 16 kills, +70 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 16a / Prep 17a: Useful Scrap

The equipment available -- Long Range Scanner, Heavy Armor, Large Medic Kit -- isn't useful for us.  On the bright side, we gain access to the Double Fire, Rapid Fire Machine Gun, Mine Thrower, Enhanced Laser Gun, and Chain Saw.  Note that older equipment isn't available, so if you switch away from Flame Thrower or Sniper Rifle there's no going back for the next few missions.

We have 920 equipment points.  Rutherford spends her only skill point to get a Double Fire, Austin spends all three skill points on RFMG, Knox gets an RFMG with no skills required, Rock spends a point for a Mine Thrower (1 left), and Wayne picks up the laser.

The laser doesn't pack a lot of punch, but it has a very long range, requires no ammo, and ignores armor.  And we can experiment with the mind-controlling mode B.

We have 840 equipment points left after the upgrades.  We're losing the Flame Thrower, which has proven indispensible on a number of occasions, but mines will be better for the next few missions.

The Chain Saw has heavy skill requirements (3BF 2HW 3TS), but we need 4BF 3TS for Jet Pack, so our jet+heavy guys (Wayne and Knox) will be able to use it.

Mission 16b: Retreat - the Other Way

Goal: Reach the exit square
Enemies: Ee'Ther (8), Pyr'Coo (5)
Ammo boxes: 3
Equipment boxes: 6 (10/20/50/50/50, +1 Battle Fitness)
Commendations: 0

This is a "dodge the laser" level, with a few enemies thrown in.  There are Ee'Ther at the start and end, and Pyr'Coo in the middle to make laser-hopping trickier.  In most cases the lasers are sequenced in pairs, and you have to advance through squares when the lasers aren't about to hit them.

There are no spawners, so take your time.

Positioning: middle row, left to right, has Rock, Rutherford, Bratt; bottom row has Austin, Wayne, Knox.

Turn 1: there are two Ee'Ther to the south, and one to the east.  Knox moves south and as far east as he can.  Bratt and Rutherford follow.  Austin and Wayne move south, two east, and defend.  So we end up with a horizontal line, except for Rock.

Turn 2: the defenders should have done a fair bit of damage.  Work left to right, killing Ee'Ther.  You probably won't be able to kill the third one this round.

Rutherford runs southwest to pick up the equipment crate (+50).  Everybody else moves east toward the door.  There's one more Ee'Ther tucked into the crates, but it won't move until you're past it.

Turn 5: last Ee'Ther is dead.  Rutherford is returning.  Open the door to start the lasers firing so you can see the sequence.  Knox and Rutherford will head through first, Knox leading.

Turn 7: the nearby ("short") lasers, just outside the door, fired before the turn, which means the farther ("long") lasers will fire next turn.  Wayne and Rutherford step southeast to the south wall, just shy of the lasers.  Wayne advances into the doorway, with Austin behind, then Bratt.

The reason Knox is going with Rutherford is that there's a crate with an implant to the south.

Turn 8: Knox runs in a U-shape, ending up south of Rutherford.  Rutherford runs east, south, west, south, stopping at the end of the wall.  A laser will start firing across the hallway to the south.

The "long" lasers fired last turn, which means Wayne and company could run out there this turn.  It's a bit easier to just wait another turn before moving though.

Turn 9: Rutherford can make it to the boxes, but we want her to have an action point left.  If she opens the crate on the left, the laser will stop firing, allowing Knox to move up.  So this turn she rests.  Knox stands next to her.

Wayne and Austin step east and north.  Bratt moves into the doorway.

Turn 10: ("long" lasers fired) Rutherford runs east and opens the crate on the left (+50).  Knox runs after.

Wayne and Austin run around the wall to the north, where they will deal with the Pyr'Coo.  Between the Double Fire and Austin's bayonet, it should go down quickly.  The equipment crate is worth +10.

Bratt could run east and get ahead of the group, but there's another Pyr'Coo ahead, and we really want to have Wayne in front.  So Bratt just rests.

Turn 11: ("short" lasers fired) Austin moves next to the Pyr'Coo and hacks.  Wayne shoots.  Rutherford and Knox deal with their new friend.  Knox opens the box on the right for +1BF.

Once everything is pacified, move units around until Wayne and Rutherford are in the narrow strip between the "long" lasers and the next stretch of corridor.  Other units follow along.

Turn 16: Wayne and Rutherford are in position.  However, before this turn the east-west lasers fired in the next stretch of corridor, which means the north-south laser fires next.  So they rest.

Everybody but Knox is stacked up near the equipment crate.  Knox heads back for the doorway since there are no other safe squares nearby.

Turn 17: Wayne and Rutherford charge.  Bratt and Austin move to their old positions.  Knox advances.  Rock hangs out.

Turn 18: Wayne and Rutherford kill the Pyr'Coo.  Wayne can reload from the nearby crate.  Bratt and Austin rest.

Turn 19: Wayne moves to the entrance to the next section.  Bratt and Austin move up the corridor; one will need to stop well short to avoid the east-west lasers.  Rock and Knox run across to their old positions.  Rutherford chills.  (She could move south a bit to provide additional APs, but it's not needed -- you can move from below the lowest laser to safety with 4 APs.)

Turn 20: Austin and Bratt are through, Knox and Rock rest before their next move.

In the next room, the middle north-south laser fired.  Before the next turn, the outer north-south lasers will fire.  So Wayne and Rutherford move into the middle section, above the laser.  There's a Pyr'Coo south of them, but its shot is blocked this turn.

Turn 21: Austin moves to the doorway.  Wayne and Rutherford run around the laser to the south, taking up position in the safe zone.  Wayne will get hit, and Rutherford will catch some splash damage, but they both have Small Medic Kits.  Rock and Knox start moving northward.  Bratt chills.

Turn 22: Wayne kills the Pyr'Coo.  Rutherford can contribute with step-shoot-step; just be tucked in at the end of the turn.

Everybody else is in a holding pattern until the Pyr'Coo to the south is dead and any healing is taken care of.  Don't worry about the Pyr'Coo to the east, it won't move.  Remember to grab the equipment (+20).  The ammo shouldn't be needed.

Turn 25: Wayne and Rutherford move next to the last Pyr'Coo, and fire.  Austin and Bratt down the leftmost laser path.  Knox moves into the doorway.  Rock chills.

Turn 26: Wayne moves south above the ammo box, Rutherford moves north where the Pyr'Coo was.  We can get five units in here, plus one in the safe zone below the middle laser.

Turn 28: Bratt opens the door and charges out.  The others follow.  Wayne and Rutherford defend.  Two Ee'Ther approach from the south; there's two more to the east that will come after us.

Kill the Ee'Ther, loot the crate (+50).  Rutherford runs for the exit.

Victory on turn 32, 13 kills, +180 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 16b / Prep 17b: Useful Scrap

Similar to the post-16a situation, except that Knox can't use an RFMG, and will have to stay with the HMG.

So: Rutherford gets a Double Fire, Austin gets an RFMG, Rock gets a Mine Thrower, and Wayne picks up the Enhanced Laser Gun.

Mission 17a: Back in the Scrap

Goal: Kill all the Scay'Ger
Enemies: Gore'Coo (5), Gore'Ther (5)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 0
Commendations: 0

There are four Gore'Coo on the remote platform, and one Gore'Coo in the middle of the platform you start on.  There are five Gore'Ther nearby.  The Gore'Coo will open all the doors and enter defensive mode, which makes it annoying to move across.  If you can capture a Gore'Ther, you can use them as bait to draw fire and lure the Gore'Coo out of defensive mode.

Positioning: make a triangle, with Wayne at the bottom and the RFMGs on the right edge.  Wayne will zap Gore'Ther, the RFMGs will push east and kill the Gore'Coo.

The ramp to the teleporter is on the south side of the central area, so you'll need to walk around.  A Gore'Coo will start sniping you in a couple of rounds, so try to have a Gore'Ther on the SW side of the platform ASAP.

Turn 1: nothing specific -- kill the Gore'Coo, capture a Gore'Ther in the SW, kill the rest.

Turn 10: the Gore'Ther is happily absorbing damage.  Everybody is piled up on the teleporter, with Rutherford and the RFMGs in the front.  Everybody piles through.

Turn 11: we have two goals: (1) kill the nearby Gore'Coo; (2) close doors to prevent the others from hitting us in defense mode.  Once the doors are closed, we enter defense mode ourselves.

If they don't want to come at us, well, that's what the Mine Thrower is for.

Turn 12: nasty round, but we survived.  Rock fires over the walls to kill the last one.

Victory on turn 12, 9 kills, +0 equipment 0 commendations.

Post 17a / Prep 18: Useful Scrap

We need to prepare to face the Tea'Ther.  These are melee units with 3/1 armor, 30 HP, 8AP, and a devastating melee attack.  Their only weakness is that they can't move and attack in the same turn, so you just need to keep stepping back.

To deal with these we want strong melee weapons.  We have access to the Chain Saw, which Wayne and Knox can wield without disrupting their skill plans, so they both grab one.

Mission 17b: Back in the Scrap

Goal: Kill every enemy
Enemies: Gore'Coo (6), Gore'Ther (9)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 0
Commendations: 0

This is a slightly wacky mission.  There are two platforms, each with four teleporters that move between them.  The remote platform has Gore'Coo.  Enemy units will walk over teleporters while pursuing you, sending them to the remote platform; if you try to teleport on top of an occupied platform, you will die.

You cannot step across a teleporter destination square.  So once you step off of a teleporter destination platform, you can't step back on.

Positioning: top row Bratt and Knox, middle row Rutherford, bottom row Wayne, Austin, Rock.

Turn 1: Wayne shoots the Gore'Ther to the west with mode A.  Using mode B is dangerous due to heat, so he'll wait.  (I don't think the heat level actually affects the chance of failure until the weapon is fully hot, but you never know.)  Austin moves 4 squares south so we can draw the SW Gore'Ther into a crossfire.  Everybody else stays put.

Turn 2: Rutherford shoots the Gore'Ther to the south in the back.  Wayne shoots the Gore'Ther to the west with mode B, then heads south and west to get out of the way.  Austin moves north, next to the teleporter where Wayne was.

The plan is to have the captured Gore'Ther move through the teleporter first, because there's a Gore'Coo right next to it on the other side.  Austin and Rutherford will follow.  Wayne will pick off some Gore'Ther with the laser once it cools down.  Bratt and Knox will head west to get different angles on the central teleport destination squares.  Rock will throw mines at any Gore'Coo that pop through.

Turn 7: Rutherford, Austin, and their pet Gore'Ther are tearing things up on the SW platform.  A few Gore'Ther and one Gore'Coo have teleported NE, where they were cut down quickly.  Gore'Ther are kind of awesome when they're on your side.

Victory on turn 12, 14 kills, +0 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 17b / Prep 18: Useful Scrap

Same as Post 17a / Prep 18.

Mission 18: Thirsty

Goal: Reach the exit square
Enemies: Tea'Ther (20)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/20/50)
Commendations: 0

This mission has two time limits.  There is a hard limit of 28 turns, after which the mission fails.  The central walkway will collapse and become impassable in ten turns.  So you need to make swift progress.

Positioning: Wayne and Knox in the southern corners with their chainsaws; everybody else fills in.

Turn 1: move south in a clump.

Turn 2: Wayne and Knox take 3 swipes with the chainsaw, then move two south.  If the Tea'Ther didn't die, the other units will kill them with guns as they advance.

Turn 3: continue moving south in a clump.  Wayne will have to stop one short.

One of the incoming enemies may die when the floor gives way.  The floor appears to be on a timer, so it doesn't matter where you step, but try to stay away from the edges.

Turn 6: we're getting some pursuit from the east, but the pathway is degrading.  Keep moving west, slashing and shooting.  So long as you don't end your turn standing next to a Tea'Ther, you can't be hurt by them.  The mines dropped by Mine Thrower mode B will usually kill a Tea'Ther, so you can drop those on your flank.

Turn 9: we're all on the solid 3x3 platform outside the door.  The chainsaw guys are heading through.  They'll stand at the top of the corridor, slashing the Tea'Ther 5x each, and get some machinegun fire support through the doorway if they don't manage to kill both.  Three slashes is often enough.

One Tea'Ther is still in pursuit from the east.  The central platform is nearly gone.

Turn 14: local Tea'Ther are dead.  Bratt is running for the ammo, and will stay behind to work the switch.  Everybody else heads for the door and the 3x3 platform.

On the platform, the chainsaw guys will stand in front with Austin.  Rock will be at the bottom left to provide support with the mine thrower, and Rutherford will be on the upper left to give an AP boost (and maybe shoot something).

Turn 16: Bratt hits the switch to move the platform.  The front row needs to kill the three Tea'Ther facing them.  This should be easily doable.  (If you come up short, try again, but have everybody sleep before moving.)  You can take shots at the other Tea'Ther if you like; after sleeping, Rock can fire the Mine Thrower twice in one round, which may be enough to kill a Tea'Ther.

Once the Tea'Ther are out of the way, just step onto the exit square.

Victory on turn 17, 22 kills, +90 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 18 / Prep 19: Useful Scrap

The plan was to have Bratt keep his Sniper Rifle and pick up a Jet Pack, but the low power and poor cooling on the rifle are becoming a problem.  It can't do effective damage to armored enemies, and most of what we're facing from here on out is armored.  So Bratt is going to pick up a Double Fire, and we'll have to spend a commendation to get him the Jet Pack.

Mission 19: Even More Thirsty

Goal: Reach the teleporter in the south
Enemies: Tea'Ther (17), Pyr'Coo (11)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 5 (10/20/50, Absorber, +1 Battle Fitness)
Commendations: 0

This is a straightforward mission with a fixed number of enemies and no time limit.  The rooms on the platform to the left are optional, but contain useful equipment.

We find our first Absorber on this mission.  These absorb all damage from the first four enemy attacks, and recharge between missions.  They're particularly useful when you need to charge a room full of Gore'Coo in defense mode.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Rutherford (Double Fire), Rock (Mine Thrower), Austin (RFMG), Bratt (Double Fire); bottom row Knox then Wayne (Chain Saw).

Turn 1: the left half of the team goes through the left teleporter, the right half through the right teleporter.  Rutherford and Knox sit in front of the doors.

Turn 2: open the doors.  Rutherford moves in, shooting at the Pyr'Coo, while Rock throws mines at it if it lives.  Knox comes in behind.

Over on the right, there's a bunch of Tea'Ther in the room.  Just leave Wayne where he is and let them come to him.  He'll cut them up, and if they survive, Austin or Bratt can shoot them on the diagonal.

Turn 3: the second Pyr'Coo charged, so Rutherford kills that (again, Rock with the assist if needed).  Try to move so Knox can take out the resident Tea'Ther next turn.

Wayne slices and dices.

Turn 6: Rutherford opens the equipment boxes (+50, +20).  Her group heads to the teleporter to rejoin Bratt's team.

Turn 8: Bratt's Tea'Ther are all dead.  Wayne grabs the equipment (+10).  Everybody else runs in.

We're going to form up on the southern door.  Wayne and Rutherford go first, Rock goes last (since he can shoot over walls).

Turn 10: everybody has formed up on the door.  The three Pyr'Coo to the left of the door are now targetable, so Rock can dispatch the whole bunch with one mine.  (If they don't all die, fire again next turn.)

Turn 11: move through the door and fan out, chainsaws on the bridge side.

There are four Pyr'Coo and five Tea'Ther scattered to the south.  Advance and exterminate.  Don't crowd your chainsaws; they might need to back up if the rolls don't go their way.

The goal is to move everybody to the switch to the southwest.

Turn 17: all enemies are dead, Rutherford hits the switch to call the platform over.

Turn 19: everybody is across, Rutherford runs one square south of the door, where her long-range scanner shows the nearby enemies in the room.  There are two Pyr'Coo and six Tea'Ther.  Wayne will stand below the door (so he can diagonally attack a Tea'Ther standing in the doorway), Austin will stand to his right to help out if things fail.  Rock will fling mines at Pyr'Coo as they become targetable.

Pyr'Coo move before Tea'Ther, so you may have to clear out a Pyr'Coo with Austin and Rock.

Turn 28: enemies are dead.  Rutherford, Knox, and Wayne enter the room with the equipment chests.  The rest of the team gets back on the platform, activates the switch, and proceeds east toward the exit point.

The chest on the left holds a +1 Battle Fitness implant, which we want Knox to have.

The chest on the right holds the Absorber.  Usually Rutherford and Wayne are the first to charge into a room, making them good choices.  Rutherford does seem to get shot rather often, so she's the right choice to pick this one up.  Eventually both Wayne and Knox will want them in case they need to jet-jump into a dangerous situation.

Victory on turn 33, 28 kills, +80 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 19 / Prep 20: Useful Scrap

Nothing to do -- we're keeping our current loadout.

Knox now has 4BF 3TS, so he's ready for a Jet Pack.  He has 3HW and two free skills, so he can use any heavy weapon.

Mission 20: Hope

Goal: Reach the exit teleporter within 35 turns
Enemies: Gore'Coo (some), Tea'Ther (lots)
Ammo boxes: 2
Equipment boxes: 8 (10/10/20/20/50, Cooler, Absorber, empty)
Commendations: 0

We get another Cooler.  Wayne and Knox already have them.  Rock could use one, but Rutherford is now carrying a Double Fire, and with her AP bonus she can overheat it easily.  So we'll give it to Rutherford.

The Absorber should go to Wayne or Knox.  Knox will probably need it sooner, so he gets it.

You have plenty of time to kill everything, so don't try to rush past the Tea'Ther.  The Gore'Coo don't like to move around, and tend to sit in defense mode and wait, so you may have to take a few hits.  Fortunately, Rutherford has an Absorber, and Rock has a mine thrower.

Positioning: northwest group: Rock on top, Bratt left, Wayne right; southeast group: Austin on the left, Rutherford on the Right, Knox below.

Turn 1: Wayne chainsaws the nearby Tea'Ther.  Bratt assists, then shoots the other Tea'Ther to soften it up.

Rutherford's group heads north so they don't get blocked in by the six Tea'Ther surrounding them.  There's a Gore'Coo standing to the north, so they need to defend.  Austin moves 3x north, Rutherford moves 2x north 2x west, and Knox tucks in behind them.  Defense mode will also shoot at the Tea'Ther, but fortunately the Gore'Coo move first.

Turn 2: Rutherford's group should be able to kill the Gore'Coo this turn, and move out of the way of the Tea'Ther.  Knox can take a swipe or two.

Bratt's group reshuffles so Wayne can easily kill the Tea'Ther next turn.  Bratt will be in front for the corridor to the south -- there's a Gore'Coo there.

Turn 3: a rested Wayne carves up the Tea'Ther.  Bratt moves south to where he can just see the Gore'Coo, which shoots him.  Bratt enters defense mode, so he can counter the three shots from the Gore'Coo.  Rock throws a rock, which probably won't kill the Gore'Coo but will make it easier for Bratt to do so when defending.

Rutherford's group works its way along the ramp.  It's hard to get single-file enemies here.  It would be easier in the doorway, but there are Gore'Coo in the room, so we'd really like to kill the Tea'Ther out here.  Give ground slowly, keeping units near Knox so they don't cluster around him.

Turn 4: Bratt's Gore'Coo died, so he's moving to the barrel.  Wayne and Rock will fill in behind him.

Turn 6: Rutherford's group has killed all the Tea'Ther, and is heading for the building.  Rutherford leads, followed by Austin, then Knox.  Bratt's group rests.

Turn 7: Bratt pushes the barrel, which flies majestically off the edge.  He's going to run around to the north side of the next barrel, and shove it into the two Tea'Ther approaching from the south.  (If you didn't rest, he won't have enough AP, and you'll have to fling a mine at it... but barrels shot with the mine thrower seem to do less damage than barrels shot with bullets.)

Rutherford steps north until she can see a Gore'Coo to the northeast.  If it's defending, she defends; if it's not, she shoots until she has two AP left, and then defends.  Austin is behind, healing her if needed.  Knox is catching up.

Turn 9: Bratt pushes the barrel into the room, steps into the doorway, and gets shot.  He defends.  Rock bombards the Gore'Coo.

Rutherford finishes the eastern one, and moves north and defends against the western one.  Austin moves up and defends too.

Knox and Wayne heal their squad leaders.

Turn 10: Bratt gets rushed by a Tea'Ther.  Shooting the barrel will solve the problem.  Next problem: there's two more Gore'Coo, and one more Tea'Ther, standing to the north.  We need to let the Tea'Ther come to us so we can rip it with the chainsaw.  Bratt needs to leave the room, but we want him to take a sneak peek so Rock can throw a mine.  If the Tea'Ther is in the way, the Gore'Coo defensive fire can't hit Bratt.  So Bratt steps one west, then two east, and shoots the barrel.  Rock flings a mine.

Rutherford's group finishes with their enemies, and it's time to loot the crates.  Two of the crates have special goodies.  The one to the east has a Cooler, which we're going to give to Rutherford.  The area to the west has +20 equipment in the southern crate, and an Absorber in the northern crate.  The Absorber goes to Knox.  Collect the goodies and head for the platform.

Turn 11: Wayne and Rock take care of the Tea'Ther and one Gore'Coo that rushed us.  Bratt steps into the room, gets hit, and defends facing north.  We've already hit that Gore'Coo with a mine, so it should die to Bratt's defensive fire.

While we were shuffling around a Gore'Coo sitting on a platform to the northeast of Bratt's position took some shots at us.  Rock can throw some mines at it before reloading from the nearby ammo crate.

Rutherford should pick up ammo on the way out.  Her group heads to the platform, which they will use to travel west and join up with Bratt's group.

Turn 13: Bratt collects the equipment (+50).

Turn 17: we're gathering up on the elevator, which operates automatically when somebody steps on.  Wayne will go first, heading east then south down the narrow hallway.  Rutherford, comes next, heading for the two-wide corridor to the west.  Rock will move up and stand near the elevator, shooting over the walls, and Bratt will follow Wayne. Austin and Knox will follow Rutherford.

Turn 19: Wayne goes up, but stops short of the corner (there's a Gore'Coo).  Rutherford comes up and heads the other way, but her long-range scanner makes the Gore'Coo targetable.  Rock comes up and shoots it with a mine.

The Gore'Coo will likely charge, hitting Wayne once but making itself available for melee attack.

Turn 22: Wayne gets rushed by a Tea'Ther.  Three slashes and step back.  Rutherford advances, allowing Knox to move to the front to deal with the upcoming Tea'Ther.  Rock shoots hapless Gore'Coo.

Turn 25: Rock killed one Gore'Coo in the middle area, but there's one left.  It and the last Tea'Ther rushed the group.

Turn 27: grab the equipment (+20, +10, +10, empty), stand on the teleporter.

Victory on turn 28, 27 kills, +110 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 20 / Prep 21: Fresh Supplies

The new supply base has a full set of previously-seen equipment, but nothing new.  We can buy Light Stimulant for everyone, leaving us with 990 equipment points.

Here's what we have right now:

Name              BF LW HW TS MD LD Avail Misc
Sgt. Bratt         2  4  0  2  1  0   2
Austin             2  3  3  2  1  0   0
Rock               2  1  4  2  1  0   1
Knox               4  2  3  3  1  0   2   Cooler, Absorber
Wayne              3  4  5  3  1  0   7   Cooler
Major Rutherford   2  4  0  4  1  5   0   Cooler, Absorber

Bratt and Rutherford are using 4LW weapons, Austin has the RFMG.  Rock has the Mine Thrower, and could eventually spend a point on Technical Skill to use a Plasma Gun.  Knox can use any heavy weapon, and Wayne can wield anything.

The next mission has spawners that produce Dec'Ther and Tea'Ther.  We'll want a flame thrower to block the spawn points, so Knox switches to that.  Everybody else keeps what they have.

Mission 21: To the Jungle - 2nd Try

Goal: Move everyone to one of the exit areas
Enemies: Cy'Coo (1), Tea'Ther (lots), Dec'Ther (lots)
Ammo boxes: 1
Equipment boxes: 1 (20)
Commendations: 0

This mission has multiple spawners.  Some create Dec'Ther, some create Tea'Ther, some generate a mix.  The mix is a problem because Tea'Ther movement can overheat our weapons and leave us vulnerable to Dec'Ther.

There are some crates scattered about, but choke points tend to be hit by lasers, which are of the every-other-turn variety.  The spawn points are 3x3, so you can't trivially block them off.  In addition to the small holes in the ground, the large open area in the south of the map may also spawn Tea'Ther.

We can go left or right.  Left seems a bit easier, but right has the lone equipment crate.  So we'll go right.  If we move quickly we can minimize the number of enemy units that we have to deal with.

Positioning: bottom row, left to right: Knox (switched to flamethrower), Rutherford; middle row: Bratt, Rock, Austin, Wayne

Turn 1:  Everybody heads southeast.

What we'd like to do is flame the spawner and then slip past it on the east side.  Unfortunately we can't target the center of the spawner, which means we have to hit two sides.  This is expensive ammo-wise, and forces us to run down a narrow corridor between the flames and the north-south laser.  What we want to do instead is go farther south, past the big open area, and stack up in the room with the equipment crate.  We can defend the entrances, and eventually move east into the exit room.

We shouldn't need to flame the first spawner, as it only produces a few Dec'Ther per turn.

Turn 2: Rutherford moves south to the wall, and defends.  Everybody else runs as far as they can.  Bratt will end up sitting on a laser, but it won't fire this turn.

Turn 3: everybody runs past Rutherford, Wayne moving a bit west in case Tea'Ther appear and don't get fried by the dual lasers.  Keeping him at the edge of the lasers, one step north of the chasm edge, makes it likely that Tea'Ther will line up in the killing zone.  (Too bad they fire every-other turn.)

Knox is in front, but needs to leave room for Austin to defend -- once Rutherford moves next turn, the spiders may start heading south instead of west.

Turn 4: keep everybody moving through.  Bratt will bring up the rear to defend against spiders; it's easy to get a good angle when firing across the chasm, but beware of cooling issues caused by Tea'Ther movement.

Turn 6: Knox needs to flame a point two squares north of the 4-way intersection (so it blocks the spiders, but doesn't block us).  He needs to move into the center, fire, and then move either east or south to get out of the path of the beam.  We'd prefer him to move east, since that's where he needs to go, and all the other units can stack up in the east-west hallway.  If your game is out of sync with mine and the lasers are about to shoot east-west, you need to wait an extra turn.

Rock grabs the crate (+20 equipment).

Turn 7: Knox continues moving east, flames both sides of the spawner.  Rutherford and Austin follow.

Bratt, Wayne, and Rock line up for their run.  Bratt kills a spider and Rock leaves a mine for an oncoming Tea'Ther.  The Tea'Ther are essentially harmless when they're behind us, so long as we keep moving, but there's no harm in causing harm.

Turn 8: the laser just fired east-west, so we can pile into the hallway.  Wayne and Rock pop their Light Stimulants and run, making it to the other side of the north-south channel.  Knox moves west -- Tea'Ther will try to sneak in that way.

Turn 9: Knox flames two squares east of the spaw hole; this blocks the hallway and the eastern side of the spawner.  Everybody else runs like hell.  Keep Rutherford near Bratt to give him the speed boost.

Turn 10: Knox flames the west side of the spawner, where the flames had died.  The spawner is once again completely covered.

Run to the exit.  Keep everybody moving -- there's a Cy'Coo shooting at you.

Victory on turn 11, 10 kills, +20 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 21 / Prep 22: Fresh Supplies

Knox goes back to the Chain Saw, Wayne switches to the Enhanced Laser Gun.  These will be crucial to completing the next mission.

The other soldiers keep what they have.  This will be your last opportunity to change equipment for a while.

Mission 22: Into the Green

Goal: Reach the exit area with every marine
Enemies: Gore'Coo (20+), Tea'Ther (130+)
Ammo boxes: 10
Equipment boxes: 4 (10/20/50/50)
Commendations: 1

I finished this mission on "hard" difficulty to prove that I could.  I don't recommend it.

The mission features spawners that create Gore'Coo and Tea'Ther, two of the toughest enemies in the game.  Some of the "houses" along the east and west sides will continuously generate units.  The west side tends to be Gore'Coo, the east side seems to favor Tea'Ther.

The primary problem is the Tea'Ther.  In past missions they were in limited numbers, so we could kill them all, or they were behind or beside us, so we could ignore them or cut off their access to us.  Here, they are in front of us, which means we have to cut a hole through them before we can even get near the spawn points.  We can't simply distract them with a soldier; with 8APs and instant-kill melee power, they will surround and overwhelm any distraction, and be back attacking the main group quickly.  We can't block them off with flame, because the level doesn't provide many useful choke points, and because their ingress route is mostly the same as our egress route, so we'd just block ourselves in.  We can't run before they build up, because there's no short path to the exit (even if we ignore the equipment crates).

Even if we ignore the initial buildup, we can't kill half a dozen Tea'Ther and Gore'Coo every turn unless we reload from a saved game after every failed attack we make.  Even then, we'll overheat our weapons and be crushed in a couple of turns.  The high skill requirements for chainsaws means only a couple of our soldiers can handle them, and bayonets are not going to cut it against armored enemies.

So that leaves us with "recruiting" enemies with the Enhanced Laser Gun.  This is annoying for two reasons.  First, the unit has to be down to 2 or 3 hit points.  More than 3 and we can't capture them, only 1 and there's a good chance that a mode B shot will kill the unit we're trying to capture.  We can't know how many hit points an enemy unit has, except by tallying up the damage done, and the damage range for most weapons means we'll more than likely kill them rather than leaving them wounded.  So some amount of saving and reloading will be necessary.

The act of capturing a unit with the laser's mode B carries with it a high risk of damaging, destroying, or detonating the weapon, even if the weapon is completely cool.  So some amount of saving and reloading will be necessary.

The level is filled with lasers that fire somewhat unpredictably.  Laser fire will alternate between north-south and east-west, but the set of lasers that will fire is almost totally random.  While it would be nice to never stand in the path of a laser, it can be very hard to manage that on every turn, especially when handling captured Tea'Ther that can move at most one space if they're attacking that round.  An even bigger drawback is that it's also difficult to cleverly use the lasers to kill approaching enemies, because you can't know if the laser will actually fire.  So some amount of saving and reloading will be necessary.

This is a painful mission, because you will spend much of it fighting the game, rather than fighting the enemy.  It's made even more painful by the game designer's bizarre choice to disable the "undo" and remind/recall features at higher difficulty levels.

At any rate, we can capture Gore'Coo and Tea'Ther.  Gore'Coo are amazing units to take control of -- they can defend, have unlimited ammo, and their weapons don't overheat, which means a single captured unit could suppress multiple Dec'Ther spawners indefinitely.  They do okay at killing other Gore'Coo, but they're not very useful against Tea'Ther, which is our primary source of trouble.  We need to capture a whole lot of Tea'Ther, and use them as a bulwark against the hordes spawning against us.  A single hit from a Tea'Ther will usually, but not always, kill another Tea'Ther.  (...so some amount of saving and reloading will be necessary...)

There is no set plan for this mission.  Head east, capture some enemy units, then push south.  Keep your Tea'Ther healed and in range of Rutherford so they get the Banner bonus.  Gaps in the middle of the line are okay, because the Tea'Ther will stop as soon as they can attack something, and will often block other enemy units from advancing.  Be vary wary of exposing an outside edge or a salient unit -- always try to form so the enemy blocks their own advance.  Save your game before ending your turn so you can re-roll the lasers if necessary.  Captured units can open equipment boxes, so if you really want the equipment you can use them to grab it (suicidally, if necessary).  Keep your captured units healthy in case Gore'Coo shoot them.  Don't use defensive fire; the Tea'Ther will just soak it up, and you'll be out of ammo when a Gore'Coo comes calling.  Use the chainsaw to soften up Tea'Ther, and guns to soften up the Gore'Coo.  Line up just behind laser paths and let them do the killing; just keep reloading until the laser fires.

(One possibly viable alternative strategy: have Rutherford go solo.  You may have to reload when a Gore'Coo gets a lucky shot, or to get the lasers to thin out the opposition.  This seems equally frustrating but possibly faster.)

The first equipment crate you encounter in the east is worth +20 equipment.

Turn 12: I have five Tea'Ther "helpers" now, but we're still in the northern area.  Enemies have been trickling steadily from the south, though they've abandoned coming at us from the pathway that leads back to the entrance.  (I dropped mines on that path, so the Gore'Coo who made the journey died rather abruptly.)  The single-square opening from the south can be held by a single Tea'Ther, because the first approaching Tea'Ther will stop in the doorway and block it off.  (Mind the lasers, of course.)  The other passage toward the east side is only two squares wide near the spawner -- one column of which is occasionally hit by the laser -- which slows their advance.  Things will be more difficult once we hit open ground and the Tea'Ther can try to move around us.  We'll need to thin them out for a round or two before we can really advance, which we'll do with a combination of Tea'Ther melee and laser fire.

The north-south lasers are firing at the end of even turns, the east-west lasers at the end of odd turns.

We need some Gore'Coo to counter the enemy Gore'Coo.  The Double Fires are barely half full.

Remember that you can hold the right mouse button down to speed through the enemy turn.  Do a head count at the start of each turn to see if you missed a laser.

Turn 20: six Tea'Ther, two Gore'Coo.  The Gore'Coo are currently defending the "back door", which a couple of Gore'Coo decided to try again.  The rest of the team has pushed even with the second spawn point, which just popped a Gore'Coo right on top of me.  It may be necessary to keep a Tea'Ther nearby to suppress it.  At the moment this is sort of convenient, since it gives me another unit to capture.

Turn 22: six Tea'Ther, three Gore'Coo.  Last turn we lined everybody up above the horizontal-firing laser (with a couple units west, below the equipment box), and for a wonder the lasers did what they were supposed to do and wiped out the whole row.  So this turn we get to make a big move forward.

From about this point on, the only soldiers using weapons are Wayne and Knox.  The captured units do the fighting.

Turn 26: seven and three.  After several reloads, the east-west laser fired and cleared out the hordes.  The Tea'Ther can loot crates, so we pick up +50 equipment points.  We'd like to push south, but there's a still a large collection of Tea'Ther moving up (as well as four new on the southern spawn point), and a couple of Gore'Coo moving in.  Gore'Coo aren't a problem so long as we can heal faster than they can do damage, but we need to get our Gore'Coo into position.  So we'll stay put for a round or two, maybe gather some more recruits.

Rock is on a quest to place six mines in front of the 2nd house on the right to prevent Gore'Coo from spawning in our backfield.

Turn 36: nine and four.  Three of my Gore'Coo ran southwest, and are setting up to defend the long east-west corridor that runs above the two ammo crates.  If I can hold this line against advancing Gore'Coo, and keep the southeast spawner contained, I should be in good shape.  We'll probably need a few more recruits.

Planting mines seems to have suppressed the Gore'Coo spawner in the northeast.  The southeast spawner is probably too vigorous to get mines down -- at 4+ per turn, spawn are likely to step on them and spoil the show.

Constant reloading of the game is incredibly annoying but it does make the tactics simpler -- I don't need to have backup plans if there's a bad roll.

I've noticed that some lasers are "stubborn" -- on a given turn, they almost always fire (or don't fire) across multiple reloads.  Taking advantage of this requires re-doing the turn, but it can be useful.

Turn 39: ten and five.  the new battle lines are taking shape.  The three Gore'Coo facing west have managed to crush all opposition, mainly by their 3-to-1 odds and their ability to defend indefinitely.  They're going to push forward to expand our lines, which will contract in the east, forming up behind the nasty north-south laser death zone.  Austin is standing behind them, healing as needed.  I may need another Gore'Coo to help hold the east, but there's so many Tea'Ther coming at me that I'm not sure either side will get many clean shots.

We're pretty close to being able to just run for it, using the captured units as nonhuman shields while we move to the exit.  However, as part of doing this walkthrough I pledged to get all of the equipment boxes, and there's two left on the west side.  We can send a spare Tea'Ther up that way to collect them.  If it's a one-way trip, that's fine, so long as it grabs the gear before it expires.

Turn 46: nine and five (lost one Tea'Ther to Gore'Coo fire).  Two Tea'Ther have been providing an extended distraction in the northeast, and a lone Tea'Ther scout collected the equipment from the northwest (+50 for the crate nearest us, +10 in the crate near the west wall) before being gunned down by four Gore'Coo.  It's time to go.  Everybody -- humans and Scay'Ger -- runs for the exit.

One last bit of idiocy: the mission won't end until all friendly units are in the exit area.  That includes captured aliens.  Since we don't have enough room to bring the whole collection, we have to get them all killed.  Fortunately the enemy Tea'Ther are both effective and numerous, so once all soldiers are near the exit you can just have all the captured units rest for a turn or two.  The Gore'Coo spawning in the west chased after my equipment collector, so none of them are within firing range, and the massive wall of enemy Tea'Ther to the east makes it impossible for Gore'Coo to shoot anything from that direction.

Victory on turn 51, 153 kills, +130 equipment points, 1 commendation.

Post 22 / Prep 23: (none)

You have no access to weapons or equipment.

Mission 23: Sculptures

Goal: Reach the exit area
Enemies: Bea'Coo (50+), Ray'Ther (50+)
Ammo boxes: 3
Equipment boxes: 0
Commendations: 0

This mission introduces the Bea'Coo, a flame-throwing beetle.  They work just like a Flame Thrower, but without the pesky ammo limit, so you'll want to capture a few of these to suppress spawn points.  You might be able to do the mission without them, but some of the spawners are extremely vigorous, generating Bea'Coo and Ray'Ther in large numbers.  Another useful attribute of Bea'Coo is that they explode when killed, causing massive damage to all surrounding squares, potentially setting off a chain reaction.  (Knox, with his chainsaw, won't be doing much with it this mission.)

Because of the capture mechanics, some amount of saving and reloading will be necessary to whittle the Bea'Coo down, and to perform the capture without turning Wayne into a meat shower.

This level also introduces flame-spewing heads.  The fireballs destroy the first thing they hit, but they have limited range, and the flames stop after hitting something.  So you can use crates or captured units as a single-use shield.

The Explosion Pack can be used to disable the spawners.  As always, enemies can spawn and attack in the same turn from any square that wasn't previously covered with flame, so safely destroying a spawner is best done with an assist from the bugs.

The mission ends when any friendly unit stands on the exit square.  That includes captured units -- it is not necessary to get a marine all the way to the exit.

Positioning: east column, top to bottom: Rutherford, Bratt, Wayne; middle column: Rock, Knox, Austin.

Turn 1: we need to capture one of the Bea'Coo.  Rutherford weakens the one that's farther to the northeast (your goal is 9-10 points of damage), then shoots at the near one.  Bratt finishes off the near one and advances.  Stay on the staircase, or move one step past it, to avoid getting fried.

Austin weakens the Bea'Coo on the platform far to the south.  We'll capture that next turn.

The captured unit flames the south side of the spawn portal, sealing it.

Turn 2: everybody shuffles down the stairs, except Wayne, who captures the second Bea'Coo.  The captured unit flames the nearby portal.  If you move to where you can fully seal it, it's likely that a Bea'Coo will survive the flames and kill your new unit.  So instead of sealing it completely, we settle for sealing the near side and frying all existing units.  (It's possible that we could be spawn-killed, but this is largely an opportunistic move to reduce ammo consumption, so it's not critical that this bug survive.)

Turn 3: Wayne moves toward the NE portal, supported by Rutherford (for the AP boost, and any last-minute spawn killing).  Everybody else moves cautiously south, Rock and Knox bringing up the rear.  You can use Knox to heal the bugs, though if they're getting hit then we're probably doing something wrong.  Refresh and extend flames with the bugs.

We're going to want to capture a Ray'Ther, which takes several attempts -- laser mode B tends to kill them.  Their speed makes them ideal for the hallway run.  Keep an eye out for opportunities to isolate and capture one.  We'll need to snag one before we blow the southern spawner.

Turn 4: Rutherford and Wayne head to the NE spawner.  Everybody else keeps moving south.

Turn 7: the NE spawner has been destroyed, the SW spawner is neatly contained, and the next spawner to the east is starting to flood us.  The flame-spitting heads are not lasers -- they only kill the frontmost enemy.  Try not to kill a Bea'Ther when it's next to the nearby boxes, as they are helpfully providing a bit of a choke point.  Remember that Austin's RFMG has a very effective mode B, and that the mine thrower can lend a hand as well.

Three Ray'Ther appeared as Wayne was moving to destroy the spawner, so Rutherford killed two and Wayne snagged the third as a pet.  That group is now moving south to rejoin the others.

We're going to suppress the eastern portal with gunfire until we can apply a Bea'Coo to the situation.

Turn 10: our pet bug from the north has come south, and starts flaming the eastern hallway to discourage additional visitors.  Push one of the boxes to make a fireball-free path for the Bea'Coo to advance.  Wayne, assisted by Rutherford, continues heading toward the SW spawner.

Turn 12: Wayne blows the spawner.  Rutherford moves to stand next to the crate that's in the hole in the north-south wall.  Our pet Ray'Ther stands behind her.  Austin moves to join the bug advancing on the eastern portal, while everybody else moves to stand near Rutherford.

Turn 13: Rutherford and the Ray'Ther rest.  Everybody else continues moving.  The flames coming down the long hallway stop where the stone walls end, so it's okay for Austin and the Bea'Coo to stand in that area.

Turn 14/15: Rutherford shoves the box east, runs below it, and shoves it north.  The Ray'Ther, which has 8APs thanks to the Banner and a round of sleep, runs behind the box and pushes it a second time.  Bratt runs in as well.

The flames will destroy the crate next turn.  We won't be out of the hallway by then, so the Ray'Ther will eat the next shot.  If the enemy are positioned badly, you may have to delay a turn, or you'll lose your Ray'Ther "cover" to enemy attacks.  Remember that Rock can throw mines, and Bratt can shoot some things from the entryway.

Turn 16: the Ray'Ther moves straight north and stops.  This should make any approaching enemies targetable by Rock's mine thrower.  Bratt and Rutherford run north.

Turn 17: Bratt pops a stimulant and runs to on the 'B'.  The fireballs are now disabled for the rest of the mission.  The others can move freely up the hallway.  Kill any nearby bugs and move up.

The Bea'Coo we've been using to suppress the spawner to the east will remain there for the rest of the mission.  There's no value in having Wayne destroy the spawner; just keep flaming it every turn.

Turn 19: there are two paths to the exit room: a long skinny bridge to the north, past the two ammo crates, and a path that goes past another spawner.  The northern path isn't really of use to us, except that it provides an elevated vantage point that Wayne could use for his recruitment activities.  Enemies will trickle through it, but it's not really worth worrying about.  Leave a couple of mines on it and have Rock reload.

Turn 24: we're well in the room, getting near the spawner, advancing as the flames die down.  We captured a "kamikaze" Bea'Coo to speed things along.

Beware of putting units next to the eastern wall, as Bea'Coo walking up the narrow bridge can strike there.

Turn 26: spawner destroyed.  Now we just need to walk southeast.

For a cheap victory, we can capture a unit already in the room and park it on the exit.  That feels wrong somehow, so we're going to use a marine.

Advancing into the room is simplified somewhat by limited AI: if a Bea'Coo doesn't have a path to you, and can't attack from its current position, it won't move.  So you can stand at the edge of a fire field and they won't move to the opposite edge, even though doing so would put them in range to attack.

(Side note: if you've killed lots of units with your Bea'Coo, you may have noticed that it is gaining levels and has more hit points.)

Turn 32: flames and defensive fire have provided a narrow but very well-lit path to the exit point.  Rutherford runs for it.

Victory on turn 33, 100 kills, +0 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 23 / Prep 24ab: (none)

Still no opportunity to change gear.

The mission path forks here, one last time.  The "confused" path offers better rewards, so we'll go that way.

Mission 24a: Dazed

Goal: Reach the exit area with all marines by turn 20
Enemies: Gore'Coo (7), Bea'Ther (many)
Ammo boxes: 2
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/20/50/50)
Commendations: 0

This mission introduces the Bea'Ther, bugs with no offensive capabilities.  What they do have is 3/3 armor and 20HP, which makes them difficult to kill with guns.  They also have a deep desire to be near you, and will flock in your direction.  This mission has a short time limit, and the narrow paths will become congested with Bea'Ther.  There are also some Gore'Coo on this level, which wouldn't be an issue except that we'll generally be strung out in a narrow hallway, and the Bea'Ther are "short" units and don't block shots.

The key to making it through this level is to hack a path with the chainsaw, avoiding narrow choke points that make it difficult to shoot at Gore'Coo.  The chainsaw usually kills a Bea'Ther in 3 or 4 swipes, so with the Banner bonus we'll be able to at least inch forward every round.  You have to get everyone to the exit area by turn 20, which makes it difficult to pick up all four equipment crates.  There are multiple Bea'Ther spawners, but after a few rounds the map will be pretty well choked with Bea'Ther, so we don't really need to worry about them.

We need to keep everyone in the following order: Knox, Bratt, Rutherford, Wayne, Rock, Austin.  Knox must be in front to clear a path with the chainsaw.  Bratt can take out Gore'Coo near the front.  Rutherford is in the middle to provide the Banner bonus.  Wayne will destroy spawn points as we walk past them (probably won't matter, but it makes me feel good).  Rock throws mines over walls at Gore'Coo.  Austin shoots Gore'Coo from the rear.  If Knox isn't in front, or your troops get separated, you will probably fail the mission.

It is possible to collect the corner equipment crates (+50 each) with captured units.  However, captured units will draw Bea'Ther and Gore'Coo to them.  If they get trapped, and a helpful Gore'Coo doesn't kill them, you will fail the mission because you won't have all friendly units in the exit area.  The chances of success are low.  (On "easy" difficulty I was able to grab the western equipment crate, and the Gore'Coo near the exit killed it the next turn.  Didn't try the eastern one.  On "hard" difficulty the units got pinned quickly.)

Positioning: top row, left to right: Rock, Rutherford, Knox; second row: Austin, Wayne, Bratt.

Turn 1: Knox moves five squares north, and everybody follws in a single-file line, in the specified order.  Gore'Coo will approach from the west and south, so make sure you're facing an appropriate direction.

Turn 2: a Gore'Coo has appeared to the south.  We're going to keep running and hope it get caught behind Bea'Ther.  We want to stick to wider paths, so we'll jog east then travel north into the room with the spawner.

Turn 3: the Gore'Coo popped around the other side.  Knox will chainsaw his way into the room, and everybody will move after him, using any spare movement to shoot at the Gore'Coo.

Again, capturing the Gore'Coo is a double-edged sword: it's handy to have additional units, but we could run afoul of the mission success conditions.

Turn 4: Gore'Coo nearby to the east, and in the distance to the west.  Kill both as Knox continues to hack his way through bugs.  Make a path that goes by the spawner so Wayne can destroy it as he goes past.

Turn 10: we're near the equipment crate (+20), which Rutherford will grab.  We killed a Gore'Coo to the northwest, but there's another to the east that is now shooting at Knox.  Knox's absorber takes the first few.  The mine thrower solves the problem.

We want to "tunnel" along the north edge of the spawner, leaving a Bea'Ther blocking the passage north to the exit.  That way no additional units will try to come through there.  Wayne will destroy the spawner, and Bratt will dash up the stairs for the equipment crate.

Turn 14: Bratt grabbed the equipment (+20).  Knox is trying to keep the area clear.  The tunnel north is free of all but one unit, so Knox will be able to open it up by attacking diagonally, and everybody else can pile through while he makes sure Bratt doesn't get cut off.  (The unit to the north actually wandered off... not sure what the game logic here is.)

Turn 16: Rutherford and Rock killed a Gore'Coo in the exit area.  Everybody is now streaming north.

Victory on turn 18, 21 kills, +40 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 24a / Prep 25a: Ruins

We gain access to two new weapons, the Mine Thrower Enhanced and High Energy Laser.  We can also now use the Jet Pack.

Wayne and Knox get jet packs, as planned.  Knox won't need his chainsaw, so he trades it for a High Energy Laser.

Mission 24b: Confused (preferred)

Goal: Reach the exit area
Enemies: Gore'Coo (4), Bea'Coo (40+), Bea'Ther (15+)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/50/50, Absorber)
Commendations: 0

This level introduces a new hazard.  The pillars to the east will kill any player-controlled unit that ends its turn standing next to them.  It's okay to move right next to them, you just can't stop.  They don't seem to attack enemy units that are initially positioned near them, but do seem to attack enemies that move near them.  The upshot is that you have to pick your path carefully.

We will want to capture a Bea'Coo to suppress the spawn points, but we have to be careful because there are Gore'Coo on the other side of the wall, and after the first turn they may be in defense mode.  Any human that goes up past the bottom stair could be attacked by three Gore'Coo.

This mission can be finished very early by capturing a unit near the exit point and using it to kill the Bea'Coo sitting there.  Then either move that unit or a second captured unit to the exit.  You probably need to wait until the Gore'Coo are dead, as their defensive fire will hit your captured unit.  For the walkthrough I'm going to finish the mission with a soldier on the exit.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Rock, Rutherford, Austin; second row: empty, Knox, Bratt; third row: Wayne, empty, empty.

Turn 1: Wayne moves southwest and destroys the spawner, then heads east.  The rest of the group is going to snake through the obstacles, moving north to the wall then south to pass between them, about level with the staircase.  Austin, then Bratt, Knox, Rutherford, and finally Rock; the idea is to have a couple of shooters up front, with Rutherford in the middle for the AP bonus.

Turn 2: you can only move 3x, so Austin and/or Bratt soften up the incoming Bea'Coo.  Wayne can capture it from where he is.  (Happily, a lack of accuracy is not among the laser's many faults.)

The Bea'Coo can mostly block the nearby spawner with a single shot to the south of it, but there's a catch: spawn can appear to the spawner's northeast corner, which is on the small platform.  The Bea'Coo must be on the second stair to hit it with a mode B shot.  While this would be somewhat painful for a human due to the nearby Gore'Coo, the Bea'Coo are short, and the Gore'Coo can't see them until they move up to the third step.

Turn 3: continue advancing through the pillars.  We need to wait for Wayne to move up and destroy the spawner, so Rutherford should hang back to provide the AP boost.

Turn 6: still advancing.  You need to tuck people into corners to make room for the newcomers.  The Bea'Coo is running back and forth, alternating between flaming the top of the stairs and the spawner.

Turn 8: Wayne blows the grate.  Rutherford moves up to the second step and looks south.  Only two Gore'Coo are visible, and only one is defending, so she takes a couple of shots at it before stepping back.  Rock kills it with the mine thrower.

We need to repeat this process with the other two Gore'Coo.  We could try to capture one, but with all the Bea'Coo running around it probably won't survive long.  The mine thrower is very useful here, but once two are dead you might as well move Bratt and Rutherford up to trade shots with it.  Bring the pet Bea'Coo up to flame the southern path while the shooting duel takes place.

Turn 10: the Gore'Coo are strangely passive this game, so Rutherford gunned down the next one.  The third is behind an obstacle, so we need to move onto the platform.  Rutherford, then Bratt, then the Gore'Coo move up, the others trailing after.  Austin grabs the equipment (+20).

Turn 12: last Gore'Coo is dead, we're assembling on the platform.  The Bea'Coo flamed the platform as far south as possible, so none of the bugs are trying to advance.  Rutherford and Wayne are going to capture a Bea'Coo in the room and use it to kill the other Bea'Coo.

There's a Bea'Ther spawner in here.  The harmless green bugs are well armored and tend to get in the way, so Knox will carve them up with his chainsaw until Wayne can destroy the spawner.  The Bea'Coo won't have given up on us, so we'll need to get our captured units to the western entrance of the room to cut off access.

Turn 13: the captured Bea'Coo moved a bit west, flamed the staircase, and took a shot at two others nearby.  Bratt chipped in to finish them off.

The spawning Bea'Ther will move north to be near the captured unit, but the pillars will kill them if they move near.  Position the Bea'Coo so that it can keep the staircase blocked.  Don't worry about the spawner to the south.

When moving soldiers into the room, bear in mind that there are Bea'Coo along the south wall that can shoot you.  It would be wise to kill them when you get near.

Turn 15: flames have died, we're charging the room.  Bea'Coo in front, chainsaw behind, the rest after.  We need to go south then west to avoid the pillars.

Turn 23: Wayne destroys the spawner.  Knox and the captured Bea'Coo will kill the remaining Bea'Ther, partly for convenience, but mostly out of spite.  We need to line up for the push to the next area across the stairs.

Turn 27: the staircase flames have died.  The captured bug is going to use its 6APs (Banner + rest) to run up the stairs and flame a point as far up the narrow bridge as possible.  This gives everybody time to assemble on the platform at the top of the stairs.

We want to grab the equipment boxes to the west.  They're blocked in by a Bea'Coo spawner.  What we need to do is capture one of those Bea'Coo, and use it to flame the spawner.  We don't want our new friend to die, so we'll have to kill the other nearby units.  Because we've kept the pathway blocked, none of the bugs have moved off of the spawner, so if we kill one the chain reaction should kill the rest.  Once the spawner is blocked in, we can just send Wayne and Rutherford across to collect them.  Meanwhile, our pet bug will keep the pathway blocked to prevent bugs from coming at us from the east.

Turn 30: we're all up the stairs, time to grab a bug.  There's a loner next to the staircase; if we grab it, it only needs to move once to get out of shockwave range, giving us 3 shots instead of two.

Turn 31: the bug we captured wasn't able to completely cover the spawner, and was killed, so this turn we capture another, and again use it to flame the spawner and kill other bugs.  After this we should be able to keep the spawner suppressed until Wayne arrives.  Position the Bea'Coo so that it can flame the north and south sides; that will leave the stairway clear.

The flame blocking the narrow walkway south has burned out, so our pet once again charges forward.  With 6APs, it's able to flame the NE corner of the platform ahead; by placing the center of the flame off-center we'll be able to proceed a turn earlier.

Turn 34: the flame blocking out path is out.  The Bea'Coo runs southeast and flames as far east as possible.  Rutherford and Wayne follow and head west.  Everybody else hangs out on or near the platform.  This is a good opportunity to shoot some of the Bea'Coo to the east of us.  Don't bother with anything adjacent to a spawner, but kill the stuff on the paths.

Don't move your Bea'Coo past the first segment of the walkway heading east.  There's a Gore'Coo near the spawner at the bottom.  If you position a unit in the SE corner of the platform you can shoot at it, though you'll have trouble hitting it from here with anything other than the mine thrower.

Turn 38: the bug near the equipment chests hits the south and northeast sides of the grate.  Next turn, the northwest corner will open up, allowing Wayne to destroy the spawner.  (It may well spawn; Rutherford can handle it.  Do not end the turn with Wayne standing next to the potential spawn point.)  The Bea'Coo also grabs the leftmost equipment crate (+50).  The rightmost crate has another +50 equipment points, and the one in the middle has an Absorber, which we want Wayne to have.

The Bea'Coo in the east continues to push forward as flames die, maintaining the flame wall but moving it farther and farther along.  Once it can flame the approach to the spawner to the east it can stop.  Austin, Bratt, and Rock will need to take care of the Bea'Coo on the narrow walkway to the exit point, though they will probably need to get a fair bit closer.

Turn 40: Wayne grabs the absorber.  He and Rutherford will run back to meet up with the group, which is just waiting for the flames to die before making the final push east.

There's one last little trick: despite the difference in elevation, the Bea'Coo at the spawner can hit you.  Even if they're all clustered around the spawner, they can start to shoot when you reach the 4th segment of the narrow walkway.  It's too long to run past -- maybe Rutherford with stimulants could do it -- so we're going to have to suppress the spawner.  Once the current barrier flames die down, we'll press forward and hit the spawner.

Turn 45: Austin kills some bugs, and our Bea'Coo seals the spawner.  Bratt edges up the walkway, killing a Bea'Coo near the exit.

Victory on turn 47, 62 kills, +120 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 24b / Prep 25b: Ruins

We gain access to two new weapons, the Mine Thrower Enhanced and High Energy Laser.  We can also now use the Jet Pack.

Wayne and Knox get jet packs, as planned.  For the next mission we're going to want a couple of High Energy Lasers, but Rock can't use one, and Wayne needs to keep the enhanced edition.  So we'll make do with one.

Mission 25a: Steele

Goal: Move Chainsaw Steele to the exit point
Enemies: Gore'Coo (14), Bea'Coo (25+), Bea'Ther (2)
Ammo boxes: 1
Equipment boxes: 1 (50)
Commendations: 1

Chainsaw Steele isn't going anywhere, but she's not in any danger.  We need to push north, recruiting bugs and destroying spawners.  We'll initially move east, head directly into the central area, and leave the path to the northern section blocked while we cap the southern spawners.  The northern part of the level is kind of like a fortress, with gaps in the walls that can be fired through but not moved through.  There are Gore'Coo defending each of them.

The only equipment change we want is for Knox to swap his Chain Saw for a High Energy Laser.  He can use it to paralyze defensive Gore'Coo, so they don't get to shoot back while we kill them.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Austin, Rock, Rutherford; middle row empty; bottom row: Knox, Wayne, Bratt.

Turn 1: we're going to capture the bug to the east and use it to flame the nearby units, clearing the way for everybody to move north through the eastern room.  Bratt softens it up, Wayne captures it.  The Bea'Coo gets four 10-power shots on a Bea'Coo and a Gore'Coo, so it should easily kill both with mode B.

Rutherford moves northeast, and kills the remaining bug.  Austin and Knox defend facing west.

Turn 2: form up in the room.  We want to be in the north-central part of the room, a little bit south so the Gore'Coo can't shoot us, a moderate bit east so the Bea'Coo can't reach us.  Make sure Knox is near the north wall.

Turn 3: we'd like to grab the Bea'Coo that's nosing into the room, but there's a Gore'Coo behind it in defense mode, so we'd lose it as soon as it moved or attacked.  Knox steps north into the firing line and kills the Gore'Coo with his laser.  The Absorber will take the initial hit.

Capture the Bea'Coo, and use it to kill the one behind it.  Wayne moves northeast toward the spawner, jumping over the wall.  The angle should be sharp enough that the Gore'Coo lined up to the north can't shoot him.

Bratt and Austin deal with a Gore'Coo approaching from the west.

Once you've spotted the various Gore'Coo across the way to the north, start shelling them with the mine thrower.

Turn 4: the captured bug moves to the entrance and flames the area.  It's going to be killed shortly by Gore'Coo from the west, so don't worry too much about keeping it alive.  Rutherford and company move that direction.

Wayne blows the spawner and rejoins the group.  Rock continues to bomb the Gore'Coo to the north.

Turn 7: we kill the second Gore'Coo on the right of the entrance across the way.  There's one more back a bit that can still give us trouble.  Have Knox step slowly out the doorway north, then use the laser to kill whatever shot at him.

Wayne is going to run for the western spawner.  It's not producing anything, and we'd like it to stay that way.  The rest of the group will hold position until the spawner is down and the stray Bea'Coo coming at us from the west are dead or captured.

Turn 11: we're working our way along the wall without entering.  The two Bea'Ther in the doorway don't seem interested in moving.  Our Bea'Coo isn't able to target the "arrow slits", which means it can't attack a Gore'Coo without being attacked itself.  However, the power of its attack does mean that it has a decent chance of winning a duel with a defensive Gore'Coo.

There are some "invisible holes" in the wall, notably near the west side, where you can shoot and be shot through a solid wall.

We want to kill all the Gore'Coo we can reach from here.  Use the light weapons people for the close stuff, and the laser for anything farther out.  Keep everybody healthy and keep throwing mines.

Turn 16: Rutherford kills the last Gore'Coo in gun range.  Everybody heads for the entrance, except Wayne, who hops the fence in the SW corner.  Next turn he'll pop the spawner, then run east to destroy the SE spawner.

The group will move east around the building, clearing a path for Wayne.

Turn 20: Wayne blows another spawner.  He and Knox are hopping north now.  The rest of the group chases after.  Rock is out of ammo.

Turn 26: the last Gore'Coo falls.  Wayne is making his way to the final spawner.  Now to clear out the inner room and free Steele.

Turn 28: the four corner Bea'Coo spawners open.  Freeing Steele was probably the trigger.  Everybody is heading east then south, except for Knox, who is collecting equipment (+50).

(I seem to have missed the SW spawner in my game.  Not really an issue -- Wayne can draw them north for a couple of turns.  When he runs out of room he can jump up on a building just out of attack range.  More spawn will appear, but guns and flame bugs will be in range by then to halt them while Steele sprints for the exit.)

Victory on turn 35, 40 kills, +50 equipment, 1 commendation.

Post 25a / Prep 26: Ruins

See Post 25b / Prep 26.

Mission 25b: Steele

Goal: Move Chainsaw Steele to the exit point
Enemies: Al'Coo (4), Bea'Coo (15+)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/20/50/50)
Commendations: 1

We have to kill four Al'Coo.  We could settle for containing them while Steele runs, but we'd like to grab the equipment crates, and it's easier to do that if they're dead.  Besides, it'll be fun.

We have three effective damage dealers, two of which we've used extensively: Bea'Coo flamethowers, and the chainsaw, which Steele is providing.  In both cases we will want to prevent the Al'Coo from counter-attacking.  We manage this by pinning them down with flames, and by using the High Energy Laser's mode B, which can paralyze them.  With the Cooler we get six shots, but still only cool one per turn, so we can't paralyze all four Al'Coo for very long.

The third and most effective method of killing Al'Coo is to shoot an adjacent Bea'Coo.  The death explosion is powerful enough to insta-kill a 100HP Al'Coo.

Positioning: eastern column, top to bottom: Rutherford, Austin, Wayne; middle column: Knox, Rock, Bratt.  (You might want to swap Rutherford and Bratt, though it doesn't matter much.)

Turn 1: Rutherford moves northeast.  She's going to head to the green "window" in the wall, where she will help soften up Bea'Coo for capture.  Austin and Wayne capture the Bea'Coo to the southeast, then head toward the stairs.  Bratt kills the nearby Bea'Coo with help from Knox, who should take one shot only (we want to keep his weapon heat minimized).  Rock heads toward the stairs as well.

The captured Bea'Coo runs over to the nearby spawn point, which it will keep suppressed for the duration of the mission.  It can also grab the equipment.

Steele runs west.  The building has two spots that are safe from Al'Coo, both in the northwest corner.  The southeast corner is too open.  The Bea'Coo can get at her, but the pillars will kill them if they get too close.  It's not a perfect defense though, so we can't leave her here without support.

Turn 2: Rutherford kills a bug to the east.  Rock throws a mine at the other.  Everybody continues moving east.

Turn 3: spawn have appeared, but they're not in our sights yet.  Wayne jumps to the middle of the NE tower, which will give him easy capture shots north and east.

Our pet flames the east and west sides of the "indoor" spawner, sealing it.

Turn 4: The first Bea'Coo is visible in the north.  Rutherford and Knox weaken it, Wayne captures it.  Knox joins Wayne up on the tower.

Our first pet grabs the equipment (+50).  Our second pet flames north to block the Al'Coo from attacking it, then east to jam up one side of the spawner, then moves south twice to avoid being killed.

Turn 5: our northern Bea'Coo goes after the spawner again, covering the east side and killing any units that didn't die last round.  We want to capture a second Bea'Coo up north, but first we need to take care of the eastern spawner.  (I'm limiting myself to one capture per turn -- Wayne doesn't use the laser when it's overheated.  This is slightly silly, considering the gun can malfunction or detonate regardless of the heat level, but it feels less cheap this way.)  Bratt can move enough to be in range to weaken a Bea'Coo, Wayne can capture it, and the captured unit can hit most of the spawner and kill any active units nearby.  (If this doesn't work out, Bratt and Austin will be in better position next turn.)

There's an Al'Coo heading toward our Bea'Coo, so Knox uses his laser to paralyze it.  Rutherford shoots at a Bea'Coo that's coming around the bend.  Steele hangs out.

Turn 6: The northern Bea'Coo fires north and south, for self-preservation, and throws a bit more at the spawner.  There are three other Bea'Coo floating around, which we will soon put to use.

The northern Bea'Coo is no longer reachable by Al'Coo, so Steele pops out of the shelter through the southern exit to give them something to move toward that isn't our southeastern spawn-guarder.

The plan from here out is to kill the Al'Coo with Bea'Coo, either by shooting well-placed enemy bugs, or by capturing them, driving them up to the Al'Coo, and letting the Al'Coo suicidally melee them.  Keep the eastern side of the spawner plugged up to limit their movement and maintain a clear space between the two buildings.  The Al'Coo are faster than the Bea'Coo, so you may want to use the High Energy Laser mode B to paralyze them and let the Bea'Coo catch up.

Turn 10: just killed our third Al'Coo with exploding Bea'Coo.  One left, which is being paralyzed by Knox and carved up by Steele (just to do something different).  Wayne heads west to collect equipment (+20).  Time to fully seal up the northern spawner.

Turn 11: Steele finishes carving.  Knox jets north to pick up the NE equipment crate (+50).  Steele heads for the exit.  Bugs throw flames.

Turn 15: Wayne grabs the NW crate (+20).  Steele hits the exit.

Victory on turn 15, 19 kills, +140 equipment, 1 commendation.

Post 25b / Prep 26: Ruins

At this point we have 3 commendations, so we're going to use one.  We can give Bratt a jet pack, or give Rock a "heavier" weapon (e.g. the High Energy Laser).  The mine thrower has been pretty handy, and we're about to be joined by a new heavy weapons specialist, so there's little motivation to upgrade Rock at this time.  The commendation is better spent giving Bratt a jet pack.  (I'd rather give Rutherford a jet pack, but that would require two commendations, and for the walkthrough I'm leaving two in the bank.)

It's also time we spent the rest of Wayne's skill points.  If he has a Banner, we can give the AP bonus to two groups, one with jet packs and one without.  So we spend 5 of his remaining 6 skill points on that.  We also switch Wayne to a High Energy Laser, giving us two soldiers with the ability to jump and shoot long distances without spending ammo.

This leaves us with 690 equipment points and 2 commendations available.

Mission 26: The Capture

Goal: Reach the exit area with Ramone and a tame Bea'Ther
Enemies: Gore'Coo (7), Bea'Ther (8), Bea'Coo (60+)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/20/20)
Commendations: 0

The mission description and in-game text can't agree on "Bee'Ther" vs. "Bea'Ther" and "Ramon" vs. "Ramone".  The in-game text uses the latter spelling, so we're going with that.  The in-game tips helpfully explain how the Enhanced Laser Gun works.

We gain a new soldier, Ramone, who has no experience but good equipment and an Enhanced Laser Gun.  He won't get much in the way of experience in this mission -- it's hard to get lots of kills with the enhanced laser -- but with his starting abilities he won't need many more skill points.

There are three Bea'Coo spawners on this level.  We're going to destroy the one to the east, contain the one to the west, and ignore the one to the north until we get closer.  The southbound spawn will usually get killed by the pillars, so we don't need to worry about it until it's time to move into that area.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Austin, Chainsaw Steele, Ramone; second row: Knox, Rutherford, Bratt; third row: Rock, Wayne.

Turn 1: the laser twins (Knox and Wayne) jump north to the bit of wall between the two doorways.  There are three Gore'Coo nearby, so one will face northeast and the other northwest.

Steele moves north and weakens the nearest Bea'Ther for capture.  She tends to overdo it, so Rutherford may need to finish the softening-up with the Double Fire.  (Bea'Ther have 20HP.)  Any leftover movement points should be used to move northwest and hack up the Bea'Ther that's blocking the western doorway.  Rutherford moves north, into the middle of the group, and shoots one of the obstructionist Bea'Ther.

Ramone captures the Bea'Ther and moves northwest.  Bratt and Austin move to the outside sides of the door.  Rock moves to keep the other two Bea'Ther company (so they don't move into our way).

Turn 2: Steele and Rutherford clear the Bea'Ther obstructions.  (Steele can use extra APs hacking up the Bea'Ther near Rock.)  Knox moves into the doorway, paralyzes the Gore'Coo that shot him, shoots the nearby Bea'Coo with mode A, and jumps back to his starting position.  Wayne steps out into the hallway and paralyzes the other two Gore'Coo.  (He'll be hit a few times, but he has an Absorber.)  Bratt moves into the doorway, where he can shoot the Bea'Coo to the west a couple of times before jumping north to end his turn in the hall.  Austin moves into the hall and takes a shot at a Gore'Coo to the west.  Ramone moves out next to him.

Rock heals our captured Bea'Ther.

Turn 3: a Bea'Coo has moved between the two Gore'Coo, making it a very tempting target, but we want to capture it instead.  Austin weakens it and shoots Gore'Coo.  Ramone captures it and moves east.  The captured Bea'Coo shifts position, blocks the passage west, and throws some mode A flame at the northern Gore'Coo.  Steele moves up, then Knox paralyzes them again.  Next turn we can kill the Gore'Coo with the chainsaw.

On the eastern front, Wayne paralyzes his Gore'Coo and shoots a bug.  Bratt and Rutherford finish the job.  We'll need to capture a Bea'Coo to suppress the spawner so Wayne can get in close enough to destroy it, but we need Ramone up front first.

Turn 4: Steele gets a few swings at Gore'Coo.  If she doesn't finish them both, Austin should be able to.  The captured bug fires mode B south to block that passage, then begins the slow push west toward the spawner.  There's no real rush on this spawner -- once you take away their eastern travel route, they have to go a long way north, past pillars that will probably kill them.

Turn 5: Steele hacks up a sycophantic Bea'Ther and moves toward the equipment crate.  She's going to grab it and run.  With 6 APs she can outrun Bea'Coo, and with a chainsaw she won't be trapped by Bea'Ther, which makes her ideal for this.  (If you've got Bea'Coo nearby to the north, you should probably just capture that Bea'Ther and let it open the crate.)

There are five Bea'Coo near the spawn point.  We capture one close to the spawner and use it to block the spawner, then kill the rest, most of which are clustered tightly enough to cause a nice chain reaction.

Everybody but Wayne moves north toward the equipment crate.  Wayne will hang back and destroy the spawner just so we don't have to flame it constantly.

Turn 7: we're forming up to the east of the equipment crate (+20), below the death-pillar.  Bratt and Knox are on a special mission to the equipment box on the far east edge.  Besides equipment, this will give Knox a clean paralysis shot against the Gore'Coo waiting for us above.

We'll need Austin and Rutherford to move up after we stun the Gore'Coo.  Rock can throw mines to simplify matters.  We'll have to deal with some Bea'Coo visitors from the north, so Ramone needs to be ready to go as well.

Steele grabs the equipment (+20) and runs east.

Our bug in the southwest corner is firing east and west to block the passages, and is just now starting to cover spawn points.

Turn 8: Knox steps out, standing just east of the equipment crate, and paralyzes the nearest Gore'Coo, as well as an approaching Bea'Coo.  He shoots the Gore'Coo once.  Bratt steps out and shoots the Gore'Coo, then jumps away south.  (I got lucky and killed it -- you may need to finish it off with Knox next turn.  The second Gore'Coo will shoot before I can paralyze it, but Knox has an Absorber.)

Rutherford, Austin, and Ramone move into place for their push north.

Wayne destroys the spawner, shoots a bug, and jumps away.  The Bea'Coo that we used to suppress the spawner finishes the job.

Turn 9: we're not quite ready to go.  Knox grabs the equipment (+20), steps south into cover, and shoots the bugs coming at him from the north (kaboom).  Austin, standing one square below the pillar, shoots bugs moving south.  Rutherford, standing to the left, and Rock can do the same.  Ramone stands just south of Rutherford.

Bratt and Wayne jump west; they're going to hit the Gore'Coo from below.

Our bug in the southwest shuts the spawner down.  From here on out it's a simple matter of killing any strays that are in reach.

Turn 10: Knox paralyzes the Gore'Coo and jumps away.  Bratt moves west, shoots, jumps away.  Wayne moves west and finishes the job.

Austin weakens a bug, steps aside, and Ramone captures it.  The bug gets one shot off, blocking the passage north, before defensive fire from the next Gore'Coo kills it.  Rock throws a mine to kill off Bea'Coo coming the other way (with a very nice 10-bug chain reaction).

Rutherford runs north and faces west.  She's going to get hit a few times, but her Absorber will take most of it, and the Gore'Coo will be out of defensive mode next turn.

Turn 11: Wayne runs north and paralyzes the Gore'Coo in the west.  Rutherford moves north to the wall to get out of the line of fire, and fires a couple of times.  Everybody else needs to shift into the northern area.  We want to capture another Bea'Coo in the northeast to block that spawner, but we don't need to be too careful about it, since all we really need to do is run Ramone and the tame Bea'Ther into the exit area.  We do need to kill the local Gore'Coo though.  Once paralyzed we can safely jump Bratt into the exit area to kill that one.

Victory on turn 16, 75 kills, +60 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 26 / Prep 27: Ruins

We can buy some gear for Ramone.  He's one skill point away from a Jet Pack, and can use any heavy weapon, so his only drawback is his inability to take damage (due to his low level).  We get him an Ammo Pack and Small Medic Kit, leaving us with 600 equipment points.

For the next mission, we're putting Wayne back on Enhanced Laser Gun duty, and giving Ramone a High Energy Laser so he can accumulate some experience.

Mission 27: To the Alien Site

Goal: Reach the exit area
Enemies: Bea'Ther (15+), Bea'Coo (50+)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/50/50)
Commendations: 0

At first glance it appears that Chainsaw Steele could just run for the exit.  However, entering the room causes a seismic spawn event which she is unlikely to survive.  You can't jump east, either.  So we're going to have her run west and meet up with the group just ahead of the advancing Bea'Coo.

The little mounds scattered around will pop open, creating a new Bea'Coo or Bea'Ther.  They can't pop and attack in the same turn.

The plan is to move north, using the tower to capture and kill Bea'Coo at the northwest spawner.  The spawner nearest the tower creates Bea'Ther, which we will also want to shut down just to avoid being overwhelmed.  Once the west is secure, we'll move east, lock that spawner down, and grab the equipment.  Finally we'll have Steele run south to the exit, this time with cover fire.

Ramone needs enough experience to go up at least one level, preferably two.  Make sure he's the one to kill large groups of Bea'Coo.  Take an extra turn or two to farm experience.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Austin, Rutherford, Ramone; middle row: Knox, Rock, Wayne; third row, Bratt (on the right).

Turn 1: advance north, shooting bad guys.  You want to get the jet pack crew up on the tower, and everybody else near the narrow entrance.  Hold off killing anything in the north until Ramone catches up -- he can get some good experience by causing chain reactions.

Steele will run west.  When she runs to the west side of the narrow entrance, a Bea'Ther will follow, plugging the entrance, and causing all the enemies in the north to stop moving.  We just need to make sure that there are no Bea'Coo waiting for her on the other side when she arrives.  (You may want to have her run a little wide to the north to prevent drawing a Bea'Coo.  If you get unlucky, the mine thrower will usually kill a Bea'Coo in one shot.)

Turn 3: Steele moves into place.  Bratt and Wayne capture a bug inside, so we can block passages.  Everybody else continues to move north.

Turn 6: Ramone, having arrived at the top of the stairs, shoots a Bea'Coo near the spawner.  The chain reaction puts him up a level.

Bratt weakens a Bea'Coo, Wayne captures it.  The Bea'Coo locks the spawner down.  Knox kills its former companions.

The first Bea'Coo we captured is flaming some passages to keep the poppers in check.  Ramone can kill them for additional experience as he moves back down the stairs and out the passageway.

Steele starts hacking her way through Bea'Ther.

Turn 7: Steele has hacked a couple of squares west of the Bea'Ther spawner clear, so Wayne jumps in.  Knox clears out some excess Bea'Coo back east.  Ramone starts down the stairs.

Turn 8: Wayne is standing at the western edge of the spawner.  Austin weakens a Bea'Coo approaching from the east.  Wayne captures it, destroys the Bea'Ther spawner, then jumps north toward the Bea'Coo spawner.  Keep him two squares away so we can destroy anything that pops next turn before he moves in.  The captured Bea'Coo will flame the west and north sides, leaving the southeast corner available next turn.

The Bea'Coo in the east steps away from its companion and flames the entrance.  Knox and Bratt can finish off the nearby Bea'Coo if they don't die from the flames.

Turn 11: we're preparing to move east.  Steele has substantially reduced the local Bea'Ther population.  Wayne, Bratt, and Knox will capture a Bea'Coo in the east and use it to flame the portal.  It's not vital that we keep it alive, as the bug we captured in the west will be on-site soon after.

Turn 13: Wayne grabs equipment (+20, +50).  The jumpers will set up on the tower, while everybody else piles up just outside the room to the south.  We have two banners, so both groups will get the banner bonus.

Turn 14: gathering, resting, and letting the weapons cool.  Bratt, standing on the tower, grabs the equipment (+50).

The bug in the east re-flames the spawner.

Turn 15: charge!

Turn 16: we've got bugs popping out of the ground, and new cocoons dropping in.  Steele just keeps running while everybody else shoots.  Rutherford runs with Steele to keep the Banner bonus going.

Turn 17: Steele moves, but is one square short of the exit.  On the plus side, this gives Ramone a chance to shoot another bug, and he levels up a second time.

Victory on turn 18, 68 kills, +120 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 27 / Prep 28: Ruins

Ramone gets a Jet Pack.  Equipment-wise he's equivalent to Knox, but with 24 experience he only has 7 HP and will panic easily when hit.  This won't change much without some level grinding, and I don't want to do any more of that, so we just need to make sure he's not the one out in front.

For the next mission, Ramone switches back to the Enhanced Laser Gun.  Wayne keeps his as well.

We have 520 equipment points in the bank.

Mission 28: Further On

Goal: Step on all of the 'A' squares
Enemies: Bea'Coo (20+), Dec'Ther (0 or many)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 3 (20/20/50)
Commendations: 0

We need to step on all three 'A's.  This would be entirely trivial with Jet Packs but for two things: we can't jump directly into an 'A', and we want to collect the equipment.  The former is a major issue, because it means the local Bea'Coo get a swing at us after we land, and a single Bea'Coo spawn is easily capable of killing a soldier.  So we need to neutralize the spawn points and then move in.

Wayne can destroy two spawners before they really even get going.  Wayne, Bratt, and Knox will jump to the east and north spawners to neutralize them.  The rest of the party will work up the west side in the more traditional fashion, capturing units with Ramone and using them to secure the other two spawners.

One final twist: the spawners create only Bea'Coo until you start capturing 'A's.  After that, they can also create Dec'Ther, which is a nasty mix with Bea'Coo because you have to be very careful with defense mode (defensively shooting a Bea'Coo after it runs up to you is not healthy).  Secure all equipment and spawn points, then hit all three 'A's in one turn.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Austin, Rutherford, Wayne, (Steele); second row: Rock, Ramone, Knox; third row, east side: Bratt.

Turn 1: Wayne, Bratt, and Knox head for the spawner to the northeast.  It's open, but won't produce anything for a couple of turns, so Wayne can land right next to it.  Mind the north-firing trap.

The rest of the group moves north, Ramone taking the far west passage.  Keep Steele in the back, as she's generally useless on this mission.  Mind the two east-firing traps.

Turn 2: Wayne destroys the spawner.  The jumpers head north, standing in the narrow strip next to the fireball path.

The spawner near Rutherford has opened, so it's time to go to work.  The ideal unit to capture would be north of the portal, allowing the unit to step north and flame the east and west sides of the portal, damaging all other units.  If the initial spawn is north/south/west, then killing the western spawn will kill the southern one.

Rutherford takes a step west, then weakens one Bea'Coo for capture, and uses her remaining shots to weaken (but not kill) another nearby unit.  We want to be sure the second unit doesn't die just yet, so stop shooting once it has taken 4 points of damage -- it appears Rutherford's Double Fire can do at most 8 points of damage to a Bea'Coo.  Capture it with Ramone, who then jumps north past the pillars, right below the wall.  The captured unit flames the portal and kills the other Bea'Coo.  If they stubbornly refuse to die, Austin and Rock can help out.

Turn 3: Wayne jumps right next to the northern spawner.  Knox and Bratt jump after, but stay a couple squares back.  Some units will spawn next turn, but it appears the initial spawn group can't attack immediately, so Knox will be safe.

The captured Bea'Coo stays near the spawner to help Wayne destroy it in a couple of turns.

Rutherford's team moves north, preparing to capture a second Bea'Coo near the northern spawner.  Rutherford and Ramone will work the west side, Austin will move up the east side toward the equipment crate.  There's a couple of bugs coming down that we're not in a very good position to capture just yet, so Rock throws a mine at them.  If they're only weakened, Ramone can fire once, and Rutherford can fire once or (if she pops the stimulant) twice.

Turn 4: Wayne destroys the north-central spawner, then jumps to a position one north and two east of the spawner to the southwest.  The captured Bea'Coo will flame the west side and southeast corner.  Next turn the northeast corner will open up.  Bratt and Knox clean up the new spawn in the north, then Bratt jumps west near the equipment crate while Knox jumps near Wayne.  (Bratt is really just backup in case the northwestern room isn't going smoothly.)

Rutherford and Ramone capture a Bea'Coo to the north.  There's a couple heading for Rutherford, so we grab the farthest one that isn't right on the spawner, and kill the closer one.  The unit is just close enough to the spawn point to flame it out.  (If you're not so lucky, just create a barrier, and move the captured unit so it doesn't get killed.  Next turn, Austin and Bratt can kill the strays while the Bea'Coo moves up to fully cover the spawner.)

Austin and the other captured Bea'Coo move into the room.

Steele picks her nose.  With the chainsaw.  She's *that* good.

Turn 5: Knox kills a newly-spawned Bea'Coo, and jumps east.  Wayne destroys the spawner, and jumps after.  Bratt can't find anything to do, and jumps southeast after them.

Rock moves east to make sure he can bombard the southeastern room.  Ramone jumps toward the northeastern room.  The rest of Rutherford's crew moves into the northwestern room.  They'll keep the spawner suppressed while the others clear out the southeastern room.

Austin opens the equipment crate (+20).

Turn 6: Knox, Wayne, and Bratt jump below the spawner.  The five Bea'Coo to the south don't seem interested in attacking us yet.

Turn 7: Rock throws a mine at the cluster of Bea'Coo.  Knox, Wayne, and Bratt advance and do some damage.  Ramone opens his crate (+50).

Remember that Bea'Coo have short range and seem to prioritize getting close over firing more.  This fact makes moving into the southeastern area fairly safe.  Remember that you don't need to kill all the enemies, just keep them from attacking you while you grab the equipment and tag the exit point.

Turn 8: Knox shoots a last Bea'Coo and stands on the 'A'.  Bratt opens the equipment crate (+20).  Ramone and Austin move onto their respective 'A's.

Victory on turn 8, 18 kills, +90 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 28 / Prep 29: Parachuted

The full set of equipment is available here.  We now have access to the Multi-Target Destroyer, Plasma Gun, and Explosion Pack.

The only change we want to make is to give Wayne a High Energy Laser.  Knox has the skills to pick up an Explosion Pack, so we get one of those for him.

Mission 29: Chainsaw

Goal: Move all marines to the exit area
Enemies: Gore'Coo (4), Bea'Ther (many)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 4 (20/20/50/50)
Commendations: 1

For this mission we get Chainsaw Steele and one other unit.  The obvious choice is Wayne, as his Banner and Jet Pack provide a huge mobility advantage.  We'll equip Wayne with a High Energy Laser, so he can paralyze units if necessary.

The spawners on this mission produce Bea'Ther.  They try to slow us down as we race for the exit.  To make things more interesting, there are a few Gore'Coo scattered around to shoot at us.  We can outrun the first couple, and kill the pair near the exit.

Positioning: fixed.

Turn 1: Wayne runs and jumps southeast, landing just west of the equipment crate.  Steele runs one square north and then west.  The Gore'Coo to the east will pummel Wayne, but his absorber will take the damage.

Turn 2: Wayne loots both crates (+50, +50).  The Gore'Coo from the south will come shoot at him, but he's got one absorber point left.  (Alternatively, pop the stimulant, and jump away northwest after looting the second crate.)  Steele cuts her way west.

From here, just keep pressing west.  Wayne can paralyze the Gore'Coo as they come up behind, but once you start moving south they'll be caught behind a Bea'Ther roadblock.  Be careful though -- sometimes a Gore'Coo will step up the stairs and be able to shoot over the wall when you're at the next set of equipment crates.

Steele takes the shortest path, Wayne jumps to collect equipment (+20, +20).

Turn 8: we're passing the equipment crates.  The spawners down here are annoying, but there's a gap open next to it, so Wayne jumps next to it and will destroy it next turn.

Turn 10: Steele is making good progress.  She stops at the "top" of the vertical wall.  There's a Gore'Coo down south, so Wayne will hop into the spot she has carved to her east.

Turn 11: the Bea'Ther surrounded us, so Steele hacks diagonally, opening a path for Wayne to step south.  Wayne moves south and gets attacked by a defending Gore'Coo.  He paralyzes the Gore'Coo with mode B, and then tries to kill it with mode A.  Finish the turn in this square, so the Bea'Ther don't close in around Steele.

Turn 12: if the Gore'Coo didn't die last turn, finish it this turn, and jump south.  Steele chases after.

Turn 13: Wayne moves south, staying just out of visual range of the last Gore'Coo.  Steele runs up behind, staying where the Gore'Coo can't hit her.

The Gore'Coo may move and attack once, or remain where it is and defend.  Paralyze it and kill it, and run to the exit.

Victory on turn 15, 16 kills, +140 equipment, 1 commendation.

Post 29 / Prep 30: Parachuted

We have another commendation, but we don't need to spend it just yet.

For the next mission we're using Bratt and Ramone.  Ramone will carry a Multi-Target Destroyer, and will spend one skill point for an Explosion Pack.  (If you didn't get him up to level two previously, spend one of the "spare" commendations.)

Mission 30: Vaccine

Goal: Touch the 'B' squares, then return to the 'A' square
Enemies: Bea'Coo (9), Dec'Ther (40+)
Ammo boxes: 3
Equipment boxes: 2 (Cooler, Cooler)
Commendations: 0

This level features a pair of Dec'Ther spawners, and a room full of Bea'Coo that will trickle out one at a time.  Capturing a Bea'Coo to use against the Dec'Ther spawn points would take several turns.  The nearby spawner to the west won't produce anything until turn 4, so we can easily blow that up.  The one in the north we'll have to destroy with some intense cover fire.

Making this more complicated is the unit limit: we get Steele, plus two units.  Complicating the choice of unit is the presence of two equipment crates with Coolers.

We need a unit with a Jet Pack and Explosion Pack, and another with good defensive capabilities (and maybe a Jet Pack as well), and neither unit can have a Cooler already.  That pretty much narrows it down to Ramone and Bratt.  Ramone will kill massed spiders with his Multi-Target Destroyer, then rush in and destroy the spawner while Bratt provides cover.  We can use Steele a little, mostly while dealing with the pre-positioned Dec'Ther.

There are a pair of south-pointing flame traps that don't fire on enemy units, so they're no use against Dec'Ther or Bea'Coo.

Positioning: Ramone on the left, Bratt on the right.

Turn 1: Ramone and Bratt jet to the SW corner of their respective equipment crates.  Steele moves 5 north and 1 east, which will put her just outside the range of the incoming Dec'Ther.

Turn 2: Ramone opens his crate, then steps and jumps west next to the spawner's NE corner.  Steele kills a Dec'Ther, moves one west and two north, and kills two more.  Bratt opens his crate, takes a step left, and defends.

Turn 3: Steele moves between the two Dec'Ther, kills both, and ends her turn.  Bratt jets to the square to her west.  Ramone destroys the spawner and jumps to the NE corner of the nearby tower.

The goal from here is to get everybody north, relying primarily on the MTD to wipe out spiders.  Once we get to spawn-kill range -- you'll be killed if you stand on the horizontal line where the eastern 'B' is -- we'll switch to defending with Bratt while Ramone rushes in.

Turn 7: we're just below the 'B' line.  Steele does a bit of dash-n-slash.  Ramone takes care of a stray Dec'Ther and a Bea'Coo approaching from the south.

Turn 8: Bratt takes two steps forward and defends.  Ramone kills the new spawn and jumps forward two squares.  Steele tags along.  What we're trying to do is get close enough to the spawner that Bratt won't miss when defending.  (You can do this one more time if desired -- ammo and weapon heat situation is reasonable.)

Turn 9: Ramone jumps to a position three east and one south of the spawner.  (One east is where spawn appears, two east is instant death, three east offers a chance.)  Bratt takes two steps forward and defends.

Turn 10: Ramone moves in, destroys the spawner, and jumps away.  Bratt does cleanup.

Now we just need to wipe out the Bea'Coo.  We may need to grab ammo from the crates, but probably not.  The tower outside the Bea'Coo room offers a good vantage point, but be sure to jump Ramone to the northeast corner so the Bea'Coo can't shoot him after he lands.

Steele runs for the 'B' on top of the raised area to the east.

Turn 12: Ramone clears the room with a single shot of the MTD.  And gains a level.

Victory on turn 16, 47 kills, +0 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 30 / Prep 31: Parachuted

Wayne and Ramone will switch to Enhanced Laser Guns.  Knox keeps his High Energy Laser, and everybody else has their usual weapons.

Mission 31: Getting Closer

Goal: Reach the exit area
Enemies: Bea'Ther (lots), Bea'Coo (many)
Ammo boxes: 2
Equipment boxes: 15 (20/20/20/20/50/50/50/50/50/50/50, Absorber, Absorber, Absorber, Absorber)
Commendations: 0

This level could be done fairly quickly if it weren't for all the equipment crates, four of which have Absorbers.  We'd really like to get an absorber for Ramone, as his HP is still very low.  We'd like everybody to have an absorber -- currently Wayne, Knox, and Rutherford have them -- but absorption points stack, so it's not a total loss if the "wrong" person opens a crate.  It'll be easy enough for Bratt and Ramone to jump and collect them once the level is pacified.  The crates with absorbers are near the northern pyramid (jets recommended), in the two southwest rooms near the spawners, and in a hazardous corridor along the south edge (again, jets recommended).

A new hazard is introduced: rotating two-headed fireball throwers.  There are three of these, in a vertical line down the center of the map.  At the end of the turn, the heads will rotate, and flames will shoot out of the "ears".  So don't end a turn facing the "eyes".

We have three units with Explosion Packs -- Wayne, Austin, and Ramone.  This will be handy, as the level has four Bea'Coo spawners and one Bea'Ther spawner.

We need to do some spawn containment, but relatively little shooting, so Wayne and Ramone will use the Enhanced Laser Guns to recruit Bea'Coo.

Positioning: top row, left to right: (Steele); second row: Bratt, Ramone, Rutherford; third row: (empty), Rock, Austin; fourth row: Knox, (empty), Wayne.

Turn 1: Steele runs to the east to get out of the way.  Austin moves two steps east, and weakens the southernmost Bea'Coo for capture.  Wayne moves two steps east and captures it.  The captured unit moves south, flames the south side, moves north, and flames the north side -- killing itself and the adjacent Bea'Coo.

 Bratt and Ramone capture the Bea'Coo to the west, which we'll use to help capture spawn points.  Ramone jumps northwest, so he's just the other side of the wall NW of the spawner (above the line of fire from the fireball spinner).  There's a pair of Bea'Coo coming, which are now in scan range, and Rock can attack the one closest to the spawner.  (If he kills it, Knox can jump directly next to the spawner, and you can destroy the spawner next turn without any fuss.  If not, you'll need to move into the entrance and kill things before Knox jumps in.)

Rutherford shoots a Bea'Coo approaching from the northwest.

Turn 2: Austin, Wayne, Rock, and Bratt will deal with the southern spawner.  Rutherford, Steele, and the captured bug will push west through the equipment room, minding the various traps.  Ramone and Knox will jump west, passing through the northern spinner room on his way to the Bea'Ther spawners to the southeast.

The SE corner of the tower to the southwest of the start point seems to be safe.  The rest is subject to attack by nearby Bea'Coo.  Bratt can jump up there to shoot things.  The equipment chest there is worth +20.  The chest near the start point is worth +50.

Turn 4: Ramone jumps next to the first of the two Bea'Ther spawners in the southwest.  Knox is moving west to the "pyramid", while Rutherford's crew navigates the traps.

Wayne's crew destroys the SE spawner and heads west.

Turn 5: Ramone destroys the spawner, jumps to the one in the southwest.

Turn 6: Ramone destroys the other spawner, starts jumping north to the pyramid.  He's going to open the Absorber crate there, since it's hard to access without a Jet Pack.

Steele opens crates in the northern spinner room (+20, +50, +20).  They're going to be harassed by Bea'Coo from the spawner to the west until they can get the captured bug in place to flame that hallway.

Down south, Bratt is leaping into the lower fireball spinner room.  Austin and Rock are tip-toeing forward, boosted by Wayne's banner.  Rock throws a mine at the lonely Bea'Coo guarding two equipment boxes in the SW.

Knox, at the top of the stairs in the NW "pyramid", starts shooting things with his laser to clear a path for Rutherford and the Bea'Coo.

Turn 8: throwing flames, killing stuff, grabbing crates.  Steele heads toward the Bea'Ther spawner with the equipment crate, and starts carving up bugs.  Rock follows behind to grab the Absorber.  Austin will run toward the exit and pick up the Absorber to the south.  Bratt heads south for the bottom pair of equipment crates, one of which holds an Absorber.  Knox grabs the crate west of the pyramid (+50).

Our captured bug slowly presses forward toward the spawner.  No need to capture it since the hallway is so narrow.

Turn 15: still running Austin, trailed by Rutherford, to that last Absorber box.  It's a long way.

Victory on turn 17, 45 kills, +430 equipment, 0 commendations.

Post 31 / Prep 32: Parachuted

We have 1160 equipment points and 3 commendations.  Every soldier has an Absorber, and everybody except Rock and Austin have Coolers.

For the final mission we will want two High Energy Lasers, which we'll give to Wayne and Knox.  Ramone will carry an Enhanced Laser Gun to capture units.  Rock will spend a skill point and a commendation to get a Mine Thrower Enhanced.

Mission 32: The End

Goal: Kill all enemies
Enemies: Tr'Yn (2), Dec'Ther (60+), Gore'Coo (10), Bea'Coo (8)
Ammo boxes: 0
Equipment boxes: 0
Commendations: 0

The only spawners on this level are the two Tr'Yn, which will create three Dec'Ther per turn from their rear side.  Tr'Yn have 200 HP and 9/1 armor, so you want to hit them from behind.  They have 10 AP but are limited to melee attacks, which cost 8 AP.  We can paralyze the Tr'Yn to stop them from moving, but it doesn't stop the Dec'Ther from spawning.

Scattered across the map, notably on three very high platforms, are Gore'Coo.  We need to kill the snipers quickly.  We also want to capture at least one nearby Gore'Coo to kill the onrushing Dec'Ther.  We don't need a Bea'Coo to manage the spiders, but we do want one or two as damage dealers (either by direct attack, or by mode-B-induced suicidal explosion).  Capturing units is risky in the first couple of turns because of the Gore'Coo, so it's best to paralyze certain targets until the field is a bit more open.

There are no ammo crates, so we want to use our guns sparingly.  The approach described below was probably a bit too conservative; we could have ended it a turn or two earlier with more gunfire and by detonating the captured Bea'Coo.  The Bea'Coo don't seem to explode when the Dec'Ther kill them, which makes it slightly harder if you want to hit the Tr'Yn from behind.

Positioning: top row, left to right: Wayne, Bratt, Rutherford; second row: Austin, Rock, Steele; bottom row: Ramone, (empty), Knox.

Turn 1: we're going to capture the Gore'Coo to the south, paralyze one Bea'Coo near it, and kill the other one.  Ramone and Austin will handle that, assisted by Bratt if necessary (Gore'Coo can be tough).

Wayne and Knox will paralyze the Tr'Yn, one Bea'Coo, and take out two Gore'Coo snipers.  Knox will need to step east a couple of times to get the sniper on the right; use a stimulant if necessary to get an extra shot.

Steele will find a corner to hide in.  It's dangerous for her to attack Tr'Yn because of the Dec'Ther spawn, so there's not a whole lot for her to do.

Rock will launch a mode B spider at the west wall.  There's a Gore'Coo around the corner that needs to be smacked.

The captured Gore'Coo moves north.

Turn 2: move the Gore'Coo northeast and defend.  Make sure he has good firing lines toward the Tr'Yn; he will kill all the Dec'Ther.  Heal him up in case a Gore'Coo takes a shot at him.

The explosive spider moves next to the Gore'Coo to the west.  It has to position itself in the northwest corner, or a Gore'Coo in defense mode to the SE will shoot it (which prevents it from exploding).  Once it's next to the Gore'Coo, attack.

Wayne and Knox refresh the paralysis on the Tr'Yn, then try to find angles on other Gore'Coo.

Austin, Bratt, and Ramone recruit a Bea'Coo to the south.  It comes north and gets some healing.

Turn 3: with the big spiders paralyzed, and the Dec'Ther managed by the captured Gore'Coo, we're in a stable state.  We can sit here for a few turns and let things come at us.  Grab some more Bea'Coo, and perhaps a second Gore'Coo.

Turn 4: two Gore'Coo are approaching from the south, one from the north.  Capture one with Austin and Ramone, kill the other two (Knox, Wayne, Rock).  Keep the big spiders paralyzed.

There are Bea'Coo approaching from the east, but they're not close enough to hurt us yet (or be worth capturing).  Our defending Gore'Coo is weakening them for us.

Turn 5: got two Gore'Coo and one Bea'Coo.  We're going to grab another Bea'Coo this turn, and stop paralyzing the Tr'Yn to the southeast.  We'll let it move toward us for a turn so we don't have to move in after it.

Turn 6: the new Gore'Coo will be dedicated to defending the NW passage.  Wayne will stay near him, both to paralyze the Tr'Yn and provide the Banner's 360-degree defense bonus.  Knox will focus on the SE Tr'Yn, which we will start paralyzing again.

There's one more inbound Bea'Coo that we can capture, but we'll ignore it for now -- it may run up next to the Tr'Yn all by itself.  The Bea'Coo we captured are moving toward the Tr'Yn; they'll flame its backside to stop the spawn, then focus on killing it.

There's a green blip to the south, a lurking Gore'Coo.  Knox jumps south to get a scanner reading.  Rock launches a spider for use next turn.

Turn 7: a Gore'Coo appeared to the east.  It made the mistake of standing next to the Bea'Coo, so they both died.

The mechanical spider runs around the Gore'Coo to the south, whose facing is visible thanks to Knox's scanner, and explodes.  Our southeastern Gore'Coo shifts south to get a better defense angle.  The bugs follow, moving south, taking care to stay out of the line of fire and away from the Tr'Yn's backside.

A Gore'Coo sniper in the far NE spotted our Gore'Coo and is shooting.  Our Gore'Coo is shooting back.  Since Gore'Coo don't panic, all we need to do is keep ours healthy, but there's a risk that the other Gore'Coo will shift targets.  We'd like to pop him with a High Energy Laser, but we're a bit heat limited, and we have to prioritize paralysis of the Tr'Yn.  Ramone's Enhanced Laser Gun will get the job done, though it'll take a bit longer.  (And remember that our Gore'Coo can take a couple of shots before defending... he might get lucky.)

Turn 8: the Bea'Coo are in place behind the Tr'Yn, leaving a two-square gap so the Gore'Coo has a chance to kill the spawn.  From here they just hammer away with mode A.

Turn 10: the first Tr'Yn is down.  Rutherford got bored and ended up landing the killing blow.

The NW Tr'Yn will be allowed to advance for a couple of turns.  We want it to get clear of the fire trap.

Turn 12: it came at us and turned south, which is exactly what we want.  One side of it is against the wall, so the Dec'Ther have only one way to move.  We resume paralysis, and get the Gore'Coo set up.  The Bea'Coo will head west down the narrow passage to come out above it.  Jumpers can land behind it and attack -- it's the last thing on the board, so ammo no longer matters.  Steele can try to hack on it from the front.  Rock can use some explosive spiders.

Victory on turn 14, 88 kills, +0 equipment, 0 commendations.

Final tally: 2031 kills, 0 losses, 9293 points. 1150 equipment and 2 commendations still available.