First off: Always repair and stock up on ammo when you have a quiet minute, it might sound obvious but it is way to easy to get carried away walking off to investgate and attack when one still have red blips on the radar.
In all missions where you have a lancemate, make sure you target him or her with the 'W' button early on so you can issue orders to follow, stop or to attack enemy units. It's a good idea to check back on your lancemate now and then - since they tend to get stuck on bridges and sometimes at the MFB after they have repaired.
This problem will be somewhat less of a burden when you have a heavy mech and think you can spare the space for a C3 computer, but it really dont do the job as it's supposed to. Your lancemates are supposed to aim and fire at the target you are attacking, but they really dont. Are the game developers unable to read? There's a whole rulebook, and if they dont care to check, there's websites that tell what the different units are supposed to do.
I would have preferred a set of icons for the lancemates where one could have issued the commands directly by a click instead, but perhaps you cant get everything.
In the missions where you have four lancemates you can opt for leaving one of those behind defending the field base, this can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Since the enemy will try to take out your MFB's in at least three missions.
Personally I think the management of resources, read ammo, weapons and mechs, which is one of the things that make this game rise above the rest of the shoot'em'up games.
Yet if you feel this is a chore, try to focus on keeping the weapons that got the most punch and secondly those you have got lot of ammo for. Its not a good idea to hold on to several Ultra AC's if the stock of ammo is depleted or a lot of armour if you have to throw away clan rated ER PPC's. The latter is a good energy weapon, but it also generate a terrible amount of heat, so you will hardly have more than two of those on at any given time. Talking about weapons there's one which I grew fond of, the long range pulse laser. Not that it cause a lot of damage on heavy mechs, but it was excellent for finishing off Elementals, helicopters and some of the crawler units such as Harassers and Stinkers er Strikers.
And there's also one detail which I overlooked at first, if you have one type of heatsink installed, you're unable to fit a heatsink of another kind. So when you have gotten several clanrated double heatsinks, rip out the old one and upgrade your mechs with the better sinks so you can load better long range lasers and PPC's.
I always gave priority to major firepower and played with somewhat less powerful engines and not so much armour. This walktrough will mostly describe how to play with my more agressive style of getting close with major AC's flashing. But in most situations you can also be a bit more careful, and if you have added a lot of LRM's and long range lasers you will be able to take several enemies from a distance without taking much or even any damage at times.
So if you're a more careful and defensive player you could instead add more armour and upgrade the engines so you will be able to back out of range when the enemy fires their multi LRM warheads at your mechs. I've tried it and it works, the missiles will blow just before your feet instead of causing any damage. Then you make a rush forward while the LRM locks on target and fire - to withdraw again. A neat trick to keep damages and 'pitstops' down to a minimum.
Operation 1. Mission 1:
Well this mission actually starts in the water, so you're wet from the beginning! Move your mech and even if you done the training provided in the game you better familiarize yourself with the controls and different views since this be the last time you will have….time thats it! You will hear the seagulls here an on a few other location - the guys who made the game sure had their attention on detail!
Walk up to the village and two APC's will approach, use the laser to finish them, conserving ammunition but machinegun fire is ok also - the only kind of ammunition you will have a surplus of in fact.
Moving toward your first waypoint, press 'N' to cycle trough those - only two in this mission however, and you will see where to head. Getting closer you will see red targets pop up, use 'E' to cycle trough the targets two are trucks another two SRM launcher emplacements and these can be disregared - check the hill and you will see one Owens approaching - target it with your laser or LRM's and start to fire until it pulls back. (In most games it will withdraw but not always, you might get a dogfight in the lowland already - which is to your advantage.) Using only the laser will make your mech overheat, so this might be your first opportunity to learn to cycle trough the weapons changing to missile and guns when your mech gets to hot.
You will have to go a bit to the left to find your way up the hill.
But take out at least two of the SRM emplacements before you get any closer else their fire could become a problem then move first left so you find the bridge that just blew up and turn right to get up toward your first waypoint.
The Owens mech will either stop in the small valley leading up the hill, in which case you will have a close dogfight. But it can also decide to move towards your mobile base, and if you see it are more distant you are in a bit of hurry since it can decide to attack the mobile field base - MFB.
Finally you shoot down the rotating radardish which ends your first objective. Moving down the road to the west will get you close to the MFB, marked in blue as all friendly will be trough the game ending this misson.
You could play for retrieving the Owens, but it isnt really important - the Bushwacker is a better mech to play with. If you have gotten it, all is well, you have some weapons to strip from it in any case. Remove the machinegun and its ammo - to make space for another missile weapon or gun of your choice.
Operation 1 Mission 2:
Getting a platform
In this mission you are to capture enemy barracks at point able and take out two missile platforms. The latter one have quite some punch and could knock your mech over if you expose yourself to them. So try to take on the other closer targets while you are protected from the platforms.
Right from the start you will be harassed by another Owens and two APC's, they should be easy targets.
Move towards the barracks, but choose to go a bit to the left to get protection from the platforms to get closer to the barracks, you will see 4 APC's there take those out but dont proceed further as of yet.
Instead you move back towards your fieldbase, the move closer to the cliff in the same direction as the missile platforms are found, you will get engaged by a Strider - it runs around a lot but its weapons really are no great danger to your mech. If you do take damage from this battle repear now.
Dont take the barracks now but head for the missile platforms, dont move in a straight line towards them but zig-zag to minimize your damage. You might run into some Bulldogs on your way to the platforms, but they could also have moved to another more distant location. In case the Bulldogs are in your path - dont fire at them but aim for the platforms with the ER laser and/or your LRM missiles.
If the Bulldogs still are around after that you can take them out on your way to the barracks, moving there will complete your first objective and finish the mission.
Alternatively you can move left of the ridgeline towards the enemy barracks and be protected from the enemy turrets, but then you risk that the Strider get past and attacks your MFB.
You should get one clan rated AMS in this mission, it was mounted on the Firefly, if you have it put it onto your Bushwacker, it will be helpful on your following missions.
Operation 1. Mission 3:
The tale of two (plaza) towers
Here you are to take out a number of buildings on pillars, labeled Plaza square and Plaza annex, and to escort your MFB to a new location.
At the start you are in front of the blown out missile towers, walk up the ridge and you will hear that a mech have powered up. Its just a firefly, the game doesnt say but its most likely drived by mr Rufus T, regardless of that it's a small mech with few weapons and minimal armour so feel free to experiment by aiming for the legs and taking it down for salvage.
You see more targets in your display they are all APC's, dont walk down to engage them but remain on the ridge and use your laser to finish them off. If you are qurious you can take a walk to the right to see the inside of a tunnel, some barrels and a pair of dice can be found there - least I think they're dice. Large ones at that, is that what the mechs do when their pilots are asleep, playing with oversized dice, qurious huh?
Eh, gotten sidetracked here, time to move down. You can shoot at the pillars from the top of the ridge or even from a platform in the tunnel if you like.
Moving down and approaching the plaza square you will hear a radio communication where commander Freya states that she will cut you off. A Strider will come in from the right, fire away, try to capture if you like it shouldnt be too hard but you really dont need this mech in any case.
Getting closer to the plaza you might want to take out any building that might still be standing, there's a missile platform between the plaza and the river - walking closer it will pop up so you can take it out.
Walk a bit to the left and you see two targets at top left - those are missile emplacements. Take them out now if you like, they are a bit to close to the last waypoint of the MFB in any case.
Getting back towards the plaza you see Bulldogs move around, use your long range laser to blast away but dont walk closer yet. A missile platform might pop up if you have the AMS on your mech it will finish the few missiles that it shoots before they could damage you.
Moving towards the bridge to get to the plaza annex will get close enough for a new target to show, this is Freya in another Bushwacker. Dont get over the bridge but let her move towards you, giving you time to fire away at her with more precision. To play this simple you shoot for kill, but if you replay this mission you can try to capture the mech - if you do it will be the first captured mech that you actually will bring back into battle - at least for some missions.
When the mech is finished, check for eventual remaining targets, one or two Bullfrogs. er -dogs, might still be aruond. Move towards point charlie and when you get close press M to have your MFB move over there, this will end the mission.
Operation 1, mission 4:
Now you gotten started and you will get your first lancemate in this mission. Bring one long range laser, the other weapons depends on your playstyle, but you better dont fill your mech up with machineguns if you can take a hint.
You are also to take on a jumpmech and a Blackhawk, and one of the first really savvy enemys in the end while issuing commands to your lance buddy to keep him convering your back as well as keeping him alive at the same time.
Move toward the enemybase and you will soon see two targets, dont get to close but fire at the cloer Blackhawk as soon as it expose itself. Firing at it might make it approach to attack you, no problem with that shoot for the legs since you will want to salvage this one.
When the Blackhawk is down move over the bridge and then left to get at the jumping Strider, your lance mate will most likely team up with you during this fight. If he doesn't press F8 to call him and get him up close.
Your first target is right here, strangely enough labeled 'greenhouses' in your target display.
Well the idea is perhaps to stop the clanners from breeding since they wont have any flowers to present to their girlfriends. *G*
Though the radiak warning posted on the side of the greenhouses suggest they are they contain strange flowers indeed, luckily we get them this early in the game so you wont have to face any mutated strangler plants later on.
When the greenhouses are out you can fire and take out the poweplant from the same position. You should already see two targets, those are SRM emplacements, take them out with long range laser. Move up a bit more and you will see yet another SRM but also two blips moving towards you. One is an Owens the other a Strider.
Shoot to kill, you most likely have one of each already, but dont move towards them and you could expose yourself to one Orion who are up at the laser towers - your third objective.
Having finished those two you can move sidewice to get at the remaning SRM with the laser, then start shooting for the Orion. If it shoots missiles at you, you've gotten to close. Back off a bit to about 800 meters, it doesn't matter if you see the yellow circle when you aim at it - keep the laser low and its still possible to damage it legs.
Having taken down the Orion you can clear out the rest of the objectives without any more disturbance, those are the laser towers and finally the mech factory. When you are there take a good look around and you will see that the wall that protected the factory and the Orion in fact is a potempkin wall, looks like wood from the back - funny detail!
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