Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Star Wars: Empire at War - Ilum

Star Wars: Empire at War - Ilum
This is a hint / walkthrough for a planet in Star Wars: Empire at War. The index of all our guides for Empire at War is here.

Imperial Campaign
You have to conquer Ilum in Mission 4 (The Pirate Menace) / Tech Level 2.

Space Battle
Boba Fett's mission here is straightforward if you take your time and let his shields regenerate first, and draw the Pirate Assault Fighters away (if any are left after his seismic charge) before finishing them off -- you can sometimes be too close to the asteroid space station and after a while sound the general alarm.
Afterward, have Boba Fett take out all missile platforms and patrolling fighters before calling in the Empire.

When you call in reinforcements, you can split them into three or four approaches. Against the fighters that appear later with the Pirate leader's vessel, you can try to engage and clump them, then have Boba Fett run by and drop a siesmic charge.

Note that this mission is practically impossible if you are using a ship rescaling mod that resizes the pirate frigate to Star Wars canon size. The reduced size makes it very, very, hard for some of your larger vessels to hit it.

Land Battle
Assuming you don't immediately know where the (only) building is located, the first thing to do is race for the other reinforcement point to get more units -- especially when playing on Hard and the pirate forces are thick. Build turrets on the Building Pads (probably two Anti-Infantry) to keep the enemy busy while they try to contest that reinforcement point.
Run Vader east and follow up a short distance later with AT-STs. Once you're at the next reinforcement point, you will probably have to fight some pirates first. Try to secure at least one Building Pad and build a Vehicle Repair Station to give your AT-STs longevity. Call in reinforcements, then slowly fight north. There is no need to hold either Reinforcement Point, as by now you would have called in the maximum number of units (10).

Around the middle of the map are two Building Pads close together -- another good place for an overlapping Vehicle Repair Station. As you abandon your old positions, if you are worried about being flanked, you can convert Repair or Bacta Stations into Turrets.

On the way from the southwest Reinforcement Point to southeastern one, you may see a Pirate base on the mountain above (especially if you have a Field Commander, which will extend the radius at which the fog of war is revealed). If you can call down a bombing run early, you will have a much easier time as it pumps out a lot of vehicles. It is also the only structure on the planet, so if you just hold ground and use bombing runs, you can stem the tide of pirate reinforcements. Even if you can't target the building, you can try to target the nearest land you can, and after a few runs the splash damage from the explosions should eventually destroy the building.

You can also do an AT-ST Walker blitzkreig toward the only building. Along the way, one bombing run typically becomes available before you reach the vehicle factory. You can either use that to help you clear a thick clump of pirates, or to clear out the factory.
One of the reasons you can do this with just Darth Vader and three squads of AT-STs from just the initial Reinforcement Point is because AT-STs can walk and shoot at the same time. Darth Vader takes point to soak PLEX missiles. By continually walking forward, you squash almost all the infantry in your way using your AT-STs. The typically lightly-armored pirate vehicles (Bantha II Cargo Skiff, Swamp Speeder/Infantry Support Platform) can be taken down by the continuous AT-ST weapons fire. The occasional heavier Pod Walker/All-Terrain Attack Pod can be very quickly handled by Darth Vader's Force Crush.
One of the main advantages of a blitzkrieg is that you can run past the Building Pads before the pirates can use them to build turrets. Turrets will slow your advance considerably as you will have to wait for Darth Vader or a bombing run to clear them (or take losses doing so yourself).

Rebellion Campaign

Space Battle
Land Battle


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