(reposted from the Mission 26 - Dunes of Doom Forum - if playing the game in the order the missions are presented, this is actually mission 26, not mission 27)
Just a few more missions to go, and still Wolfman manages to throw new curve balls at me.
With this mission I suddenly wasn’t my usual confident self with regards to what team and equipment to bring into the mission. Why not? Because, like in mission 1 where I could only use infantry, I was again unable to bring in mechs. My options this time were from a variety of hover craft and helicopters. After some experimentation I decided to bring in 5 50 ton heavy copters (well below the 800 ton maximum drop weight).
To me copters are preferable to hover craft for the following reasons: they have significantly more armor, they fly vs. hover, which means no painfully slow up hill speeds (and they are reasonably fast to begin with), and perhaps most appealing… their weapon load outs can be customized!
I brought in Steel, Wicked, Claymore, Rooster and Nuke each with their own customized weapon configurations. I decided to try a few of Wolfman’s experimental weapons such as the Desintegrator (I’m pretty sure this should be spelled Disintegrator – perhaps a typo to fix for a later version). This team was actually quite a deadly helicopter force, able to blow the tar out of vehicles and mechs alike!
When I began the mission I was given control of 3 mercenary mech pilots in heavy clan mechs, Needle, Pyro, and beloved Delta from mission 2 (and in Delta’s case, also mission 3), but they were in a different part of the map than my choppers. My first priority was to get them together as a combined assault force.
I sent my choppers south east of their starting position to objective 2, where I got to see them in action against a combined enemy force of vehicles (copters and hovercraft) and mechs (primarily bushwackers). They did well! While I was near objective 1, I decided to pick up the sensor tower (objective 3?). I next sent my 3 mechs to capture the bunker (turret control), and take out the relatively light enemy presence in that area. With that done I was free and clear to fly my copters to meet up with my mechs.
I had plenty of resource points so I salvaged in a couple of Highlander IICs from hangars (Meat and Ghost), completing another objective. I also salvaged my medium mech specialist Payback into an unoccupied Storm Crow. I had located a repair bay on an island to the north east, so I sent my copters to test whether vehicle repairs were possible. Well, before I could test, I had a take out like 3 additional Bushwackers… and then… I repaired my copters at the repair bay!! (very, very cool game enhancement, by the way).
I next moved my combined force north west to the main base, fighting a handful of Hollanders along the way. I used my Highlander IICs as meat shields for these fights. The base was simply FILLED with Highlander IICs (like 12 of them), but because they joined the fight only 1 or 2 at a time, defeating them wasn’t overly difficult. During the fight I salvaged in numerous pilots into defeated Highlander IIC chassis (Psycho, Venom, Xenomorph and Wolfman).
I repaired and captured base buildings to complete another objective, and went to the northwest of the map where I battled a very large force of heavy copters. With this battle completed it was really just a matter of mopping up and stragglers. I went ahead and brought Gunner into a Highlander to fill my 16th slot. With the final enemies mopped up I achieved the final primary objective of “defend bunker” as well as the secondary objective of destroy all enemies (which means that technically destroy all enemies isn’t a secondary objective, as you cannot win with mission without doing it).
Another fun mission. It was less intense than some of the recent missions, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I’m pretty sure I heard Longshot’s voice among the Mercenary pilots (I’m thinking she was posing as Needle).
Oh, and another small glitch I noticed. In the mission Delta did not have her skill increases intact from missions 2 and 3. She was a 70/70 skill veteran, instead of a 78/78 elite pilot as she was when I last saw her. Yet, when the mission completed she was listed as an 81/82 elite pilot, as I would have expected.
Since screenshots are becoming a regular part of my mission recaps, I'll include a couple more so you can see my copter/mech mixed force in action.
Approaching the Main base. Enemy Highlander IICs inbound. Copters in flanking position.