Cold and snowy, could you go without heatsinks here? Well not really. This screendump from the early part of op4 mission4.

The Madcat carries a major load of weapons, the Inner sphere designation might be derived from the resemblance to a Catapult. The Clan name for this mech is Timber Wolf however.

Hot and cold in the caldera, but you have dunnit, the enemy is down - get over to that shuttle at left to leave this sad rock already.





Background image a screendump with external view when the mech was under repair.

    You now have gotten to the last set of missions, and your final goal soon will be in reach. Transport offplanet. But before that you will have to face the best and most versatile enemies of cource - not one but several 'end of level bosses' in each of these missions. One will test your aquired skill to the limit, the second last when you will have to go on your own!
    We also provide some different examples of playing, all which can be winnable - but some will strain you more than others.


Operation 4 mission 1:

Well hope you are rested from the previous mission, this time you are in for a major one, perhaps the most difficult mission in the game. You will have to change your lole from lanceleader to landspeeder for the first part of this mission.
Ive had to replay it three times before I eventually won it, the limited time to press forward to waypoint Baker certainly makes it problematic. A summary for what you need to do is that you have to get over to the other side of the map which crawls of enemys to stop a train without any time to make a pitstop. In both versions of this mission described here you will leave your lancemates for some time so you need to check on how to issue commands for your buddies. If worse comes to worst play the mission with the cheats the game is provided with. You wont be able to continue to the next mission unless you have succeded however. One could choose to reconfigure their mechs so one or two could follow but they better defend the MFB's which will be assaulted several times. Regardless of how you play, you will need to use the ECM unit.
There's one alterative way to succed, and I will mention that one first is case you have gotten serious problems with this mission.

Alternative one:

Strip down your mech a bit and upgrade the engine, remove one or two heatsinks depending on the mech you have chosen, but balance so you still will be able to have one or two long range lasers add good clanrated LRM's and then a short range Ultra machine gun or two. Now you add the ECM and two AMS's. Check how much armour you can add, if there is tinnage left get back to weapons fitting and see if its possible to get on another good laser - if not boost the engine further - speed will be essential for this variety.
At the beginning spend a some fewe seconds leave two of your lancemates protecting the MFB's, let the fastest follow you toward waypoint dog. You will face two Shadowcats, send your lancemate in to attack and follow yourself while you fire away, when they are out you can press F9 you stop your lancemate if you like. Hurry past the three towers with radardishes, feel free to use lasers on them and continue along the valley, you will see a strange monolitic building at left go past it and check the left side for a ramp on the ridge. It should be just about in the direction for waypoint Baker. Walk up the ramp and follow the ridge keeping a bit left of waypoint Baker, you should see another set of three radartowers. Also these can be taken out but dont let that delay you from pressing forward, you'll soon hear a radiomessage that the train is leaving so you are in a hurry.
You should soon see a railroad track on pillars, there's most likely a Thor patrolling nearby, but that ECM you have on his mech will mess with his sensors - Electronic counter measures. Find a spot where you have a good look of the tracks and start to fire as soon as you see the train coming, aim carefully on the engine to make it derail. It doesn't take many hits to stop it but your aim needs to be good so you might reconfigure your guns so all fire on the same trigger and not on separate groups.
When the train is down you can start on your way back, and the rest of the mission description that follows is the same except for the part of attacking the train at point Baker of cource. You will also have a somewhat less active position in the battles, instead sending your lancemates to attack while you keep more in the background since your mech have less armour and weapons. If you get attacked order your lancemates forward and back from the attacker while firing at it - never turn your back since that is the weakest part of your mech.

Alternative two & the way I played the mission the first three times:

In this variety of the mission you pilot the most sturdy and powelful mech yourself. Ive played it both with a Sunder, a Thor and an Annihilator, one Orion will most likely also be good enough in all but one of the games I had one ECM without it I ended up in one battle with a Thor at Baker which almost finished my mech completely.
Since there wont be time for refitting I put on maximum armour and brought twin long range lasers and two ER PPC's, in one of the testruns I also had one Ultra AC which was used in one efficient way. You will spend your coolant to keep your mech from overheating, but its worth it since you need to battle most efficiently here.
Start towards your first waypoint, two Cauldron born will attack from the right, turn the torso of the mech to aim and keep fire it them while you press forward. Send in one of your lancemates to take on one of the CB's at close range. No less than three mechs will come in from waypoint Baker, those are one Bushwacker, one Shadowcat and one Avatar. Make your lancemates take on the two later each or in pairs while you finish the third mech.
Press forward and meanwhile you order the MFB to move to that waypoint you just passed.
Two Shadowcats will try to attack the MFB's from behind, if you left your lancemate at the startingpoint he or she is likely will take them out. But dont risk it, you can also order the MFB's forward but give a contraorder to stop the relocation and they will stop at that point - done that once where they stopped by the lake where they are relatively safe. Ive had given the the lancemate the order to 'protect my target' so it followed when the MFB relocated to the position of the two other mechs.
Heading towards waypoint baker you better check that no lancemate follow, im not sure about the efficiency of the ECM but it very likely that they will try to attack the Thor and this could mess up this important step of the mission.
When you found the railroad you wait for the train, it wont be a long wait in any case. Make sure you have stopped so your aim will be good and start to fire as soon as you spot the yellow circle even if the train isnt clearly visible. Just a few hits will make it go off the track and you can head back and repair you mech and those of your lancemates, you certainly will need to since you cant avoid taking some damage from the reckless push for the train.
Now its time to head for point Able, you will see three Harassers there and you might also get engaged by a Thor, if you get too busy with the Thor any surviving Harasser will relocate to the point where the train started.
This position is also guarded by a second Thor plus one Avatar.
If you havn't checked in at waypoint Dog you do so last, there's Shadowcats there, one time I played it one of my lancemates had taken down one of those without me even noticing - well the battle when I pushed toward Baker certainly was intense so hardly any mystery.
When all the radartowers are out you will be able to finish the mission, so you have the option not to engage at least one of the Thors and the Avatar if you like. Finally, its also possible to leave one of your lancemates with the MFB's at the startingpoint for the duration of the mission and go forward with two lancemates. Ive managed also to win the mission this way -so you actually have three varieties which all can be concluded successfully.

Operation 4 mission 2
Smash and run

Now the clanners have decided to take you out for good, you will face a major assault from the very start of this mission so check on your armour and dont rely fully on weapons that risk running out of ammo - some ER PPC's are a good idea. In this mission you are to take out a village and lasertowers, one extra objective is to bring down three bridges. From the very start you will see three turret emplacements. Its likely that you will be able to take out two of them so dont stall doing so for the enemy will attack this time. Quite soon you will see a Champion coming from the right. Two Madcats will also arrive from the direction of the bridge you have in front of you behind the hill. Those are followed one Annihilator, then a Champion and finally a Supernova. A major assault indeed. If you survice the worst is over, if you dont you can start over since you hadnt wasted so much time playing this mission in any case. If you and your lancemates are intact, and not seriously damaged you can now get over the hill to point Able and take out the village and the bridge - the village and small town have quite a number of targets so its better to refit afterwards else your lancemates will waste precious ammo on the houses. When you head towards your second objective a Supernova and a Daisy… er make that Daishi will try to defend point Baker. Try to get the Daishi for salvage, it's a mech that's very steady when it moves so it can be useful in missions when you have to walk up towards a target and still keep your aim. Bring down the lasertowers and go looking for the two other bridges if you like - mission accomplished.

Operation 4 mission 3
All your base are belong to us!

(We've included an extra item on the frontpage of Gamespotter explaining what that piece of bad english is about - an inside joke really)

Yup that's your objectives, to get a supply depot and a shuttle pad. You are also getting close to the end of the campaign so now you can use heavier weapons like the clan rated LRM 20's and the Ultra AC's if you like. The opposition is in fact heavy so bring the heavy mechs fitted with those best weapons, ive played the mission with a Thor, one Annihilator and a Supernova, one Orion is also ok, one Daishi woould also fit the mission requirements.
Again you have a mission that can be played two ways, the more agressive is to move over the bridge you see at the start and move over towards Able on the open terrain. Ive played it that way since im more agressive.
You will soon see two SRM turrets, lasers from long range as usual. Then one Orion and one Annihilator will turn up, when those are down you move back to restock and repair. And you will need to do so since one Orion and perhaps two Vultures will try to mess up your MFB's. Getting over the bridge you might encounter one Orion and one Annihilator at about the same time, you will hear the clanners bitching on the radio - a good sign since they are in such a foul mood they dont make a syncronized attack.
When those are out you can move over the bridge again and head up the river you will see four Strikers and two Supernovas at point Able, one of the Supernovas will be up the ridge from the start - an opportunity to damage it from a distance.
Move your MFB's toward Able, but first check for another Orion that might be wandering around - despite playing the mission some times i still havnt figgered out how the Orion moves. The Vultures does however come out in a valley left of the river in the direction of point Able in the beginning of this mission. So overall you need to keep some attention on your MFB's here.
Getting over to Able you will see several turrets, two Supernovas and four Strikers, from this position on theright side of the river you can bring all down from the distance. Since you are exposed and in the front you can use the 'C' button to duck when the novas fire at you - about half of the laser shots will hit the ground in front of you if you have placed yourself in front of a low hill. The rest of the mission will play as the later part of alternative two.

Alternative way of accomplish this mission:

You can also start up along the river and take on those two Vultures directly, as said before they will come in via a valley from the left. When you approach you will see some turrets, four Strikers and only one Supernova - the second will pop up on your radar when you get a little bit closer so take out the other targets first so you dont get overwhelmed. When getting close to Able three helis will turn up, you probably also will have one turret left if you came this way since it have been hidden by the ridgeline. When all those are down and smking you just back out, your triggerhappy lancemates will fire at the buildings at Able - I dont know if this would mess up the objective, but it's a waste of ammo in any case so just back out and refit. Heading for Baker you will see four Elementals, I made the coice to take those out myself so one didnt have to waste time for yet another pitstop. Getting closer two Annihilators will turn up in tandem, a good end boss and the last time I played this game my buddies blew my left arm off and the finn Alan Mattila lost his Annihilator. But I captured two Annihilators, two Orions and one Supernoca so overall there was a gain in good mechs and hardware. Not that it was possible to save them, but your getting to the end so it really didnt matter. Just said in case you are stocked up with Thors and even lesser mechs - you better replace them now with the big guys.

Operation 4 mission 4:
On top of the situation

Its winter time and snow is falling! But dont stay and enjoy the scenery, you will be assaulted in a major way from the start. The first time I played this mission I didnt check for the MFB's and simply played on, winning without repair or refitting. Neither had I included jumpjets but this is one mission they really could be useful, though it can be played without also if you like.
Well regardless pick weapons for maximum power you can use the Ultra AC 20's and LRM 20's here, no need to save on ammo at this late stage. The last slots could be fitted with extra ammo for an prolonged fight, better not risking gettin short on the most powerful guns here. Firepower is of the essence for survival. Overall I suggest you play the waypoints of this mission in reverse order: Charlie, Baker and finally Able. You will see five Elementals on radar from the start, but dont bother with them as yet. One Thor and two Madcats will attack soon, two Orions will also pop up on your right. So this will be one of the most intense battles in the campaign. Dont push forward or send any of your lancemates far in towards the base, one Madcat patrols on top of it and will start to fire as soon any mech gets into range.
For a somewhat more easy game you can push towards point Charlie for a repair after this first battle. You are bound to spot two Thors and perhaps one Orion which might not have engaged you in the initial assaul, this depends on if your lancemates decide to target it - so if possible try to get them to fire at the Madcat or Thor from the beginning. Engage the Thors if you judge your mechs to be fresh enough. They will however move over to and climb the side of the fortress where they will exposed and easier targets. The MFB's have a bit of problem to deploy for repairs at Charlie, but if you press 'M' repeatedly they will break off and try again so you can make repairs and restock. Now youre all set for the Elementals you spotted at the beginning, engaging them will also bring in three helicopters, as usual they are no swet and will crash and burn from a single hit. One turret will be hidden behind a building if you come in from this direction but it poses no real threat.
Getting to this point might get you close enough for the Madcat on top of the fortress to begin shooting, if so pull back a bit and use long range lasers and LRM's. You wont find much in the back of the enemy base, a single turret are found in the far distance only.
If you have jumpjets you better walk up the rear and get over the final summit with a jump, especially if you havnt finished the Madcat. Else you get to the right side, as seen from the starting point of the mission - left id you have gotten to the back. and simply walk up. You might check on your lancemates so they dont get stuck. When on top of the fortress you will have one installation to take out and two Daishi mechs who hides in a depression in the middle, dont expose yourself to them but get to the back and try to fire down on their heads.
If you place youself right it will be possible to take both out without taking any major damage. You can also jump in when one Daishi is down, and there's also one corridor leading down into that area. I dont know if its boobytrapped at at 90 degree angle or if there's any machinery but one of my lancemates blew up in that corridor when I replayed this mission - so the best choice is to jump down.
There's a big can or barrel in the back in this oval area which need to be taken out, when you have done so you will hear a radiomessage that the fortress have been rendered powerless and you can finish.

Operation 4 mission 5

The second last mission is a single onem and yes the title is a hint on how you should configure the mech. You are to take out a geothermal powerplant, unusual one, no steam generators but power directly from molten lava - hey I want the blueprints for it!
Again you need major firepower, but beware, you will be in a very hot location and a bunch of ER PPC's will overheat your mech so much it would power down repeatedly. So strip them off, well you could keep one single of those but you need extra heasinks - clan rated double sinks. The long range lasers generate a little less heat and are able to shoot straight over the cave, two of those is the must you can fit on though. For the remaining slots rely on guns, one Ultra AC is a very good idea, plus the long range pulse laser for the Elementals - place it in a weapon group of its own so you dont fire with the AC on the Elementals by mistake. You might also need jumpjets, there's a risk that the two bridges in the cave are brought down and then you will need to make two or three jumps to get over to the elevator which is the final objective of this mission.
At the start you will have two Elementals just in front and one Sunder will soon get over to your location. Aim for the Sunder as soon as it gets visible and bring it down, if you see a risk of overheating flush coolant with 'F' but very briefly since you can restock and might run out of coolaid, then take out the lava tube closest to you.
Those tubes are boobytrapped, and if you dont take out at least this one, they will all blow at the same time, bringing the bridges down - well if that happens you better have jumpjets. The easiest way to get out is the full circle around the cave, you will only need two jumps to get past that way. Dont think that you will be able to rush past though, there's still two Sunders and quite a number of Elementals around. If you go round the cave you will be able to take the Elementals out one by one while you use the buildings to your advantage so the Sunders won't target you.
This mission will conclude when you have destroyed the lava tubes and gotten to the elevator.

Operation 4 mission 6
Au revoir, we won't miss ya!

Now its time for the final showdown, put on the best weapons you have ammo for. Discard any lesser weapons, and put on AMS for all your mechs if they dont have those already - if you can fit several its even better.
In this final mission you start with the shuttle that will take you off planet in full sight.
Rhi will tell you to get up in front so the enemy wont shoot up the shuttle and that's a good idea.
The shuttle can become a target and even though it seems to be able to take some hits without blowing up -ive tried to fire a few shots at it without any problem so it's obviously not that weak- but you will have a better position for taking out the mechs in any case.
You will soon be attacked by one Cauldron born, one Madcat and a Daishi - a Supernova will also come walking to engage your mechs. The enemymecs will have some problem getting close - sometimes walking sideways so fire away. Target one enemy at a time and you really should have no problem winning, even though this is one intense battle - you have the odds stacked at your advantage. Well done, its all over - waaaah! I want more missions, well -sigh- there's always the instant single missions where you will see part of the land which you have passed in your campaign.

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