1. CAPTURE BLACK SUN CONTROL CENTER

Immediately build air defenses around your island and your T2 torpedo launchers – a mix of T2 and T3 works best so that you can get coverage quickly but upgrade eventually. Most initial attacks are from the southeast, so build up your naval forces there and get shields over your base before moving in to capture the control center. Although transport drops are rare and easily countered, you’ll want siege bots and their support units so you can make your own transport drops to take the Control Center. Air attacks will come from the north, so make sure you have T3 air defense there and your T3 generator/fabricator farms are well shielded. When you’re sure that nothing can touch your base (make sure to have an Air Staging Facility along your fighters’ patrol route to keep them fueled), upgrade your ACU with Advanced Resource Allocation for another resource boost and build Strategic Missile defenses and launchers. Nuke the middle of the island north of the Control Center to take out inner defenses while your sea fleet destroys the defenses along the shoreline. Once you’ve cleared a route for your transports, move a land force in. If you have trouble taking down the Heavy Shields and siege bots around the Control Center, nuke to the edges of the base so that it doesn’t kill the Control Center but takes out the siege bots. Move your own land forces in to secure the area. This next part is pretty hard, so save the game before capturing the Control Center. The enemy attacks from the north and south with increasing ferocity, but it’s important to have heavy defenses in place. Put your naval units on patrol to cover the air route of your transports, and use air units to take out enemy counterattacks before they hit you. Make sure you don’t hit the unit limit before you get a couple T3 shields up around the Control Center, with T3 air defense inside. Move all your land forces here to protect it and at least 20 T3 Engineers for what comes next.

2. DEFEND BLACK SUN CONTROL CENTER

Map expands to the north
The Cybran base is revealed, and they have lots of spiderbots and siege bots. Fortunately, you have nukes, and your nuke launcher should aim ahead of enemy troops so that it lands where the army is. You can take out most of the assault force this way. For the rest, immediately after the map expands, have all your Engineers start work on a Colossus, which eats spiderbots for lunch – as long as you can get it finished in time. Alternatively, you can build a line of T2 point defense and artillery with heavy shields, if you don’t have time. On Normal difficulty, the invading army from the north has no spiderbots, only T3 land units, so 2 nukes will destroy their entire forces for free.

3. DEFEAT THE CYBRAN COMMANDER

Meanwhile, your naval fleet should move to the shoreline of the Cybran base. If the Cybrans are not destroyed quickly, they’ll start building Soul Rippers, which are a big problem for you. If you have two nuke launchers at this point, you can overwhelm their single Strategic Missile Defense with nukes; you can also use your airforce to take out their defense and nuke a couple times, or simply pump out increasing numbers of ships and they’ll usually take out the Cybran commander on their own. Make sure to fly over after he’s destroyed to confirm the base is killed – you don’t need any sneak attacks when you’re busy with Marxon. The easiest but slowest way is to have an overwhelming naval force, which also helps for the next objective. Battleships are worth every penny of their cost in this mission, as they can destroy most of the Cybran base and Marxon’s T2 artillery defenses.

4. DESTROY MARXON

Map expands to the south
Black Sun is on the southern coast of the island. As soon as the map expands, a huge naval fleet moves from the south towards your base. Move your naval and air units to intercept ASAP. Artillery starts firing on the Control Center, so build more shields while you construct several Colossi and a Czar or two. Once you have your experimental force ready, send them south while your naval fleet takes out Marxon’s navy and his Naval Factories. Marxon is also building Colossi, but your superior numbers and Czar should work well against those. If you’re lucky enough to see Marxon before your Colossi go down to his vast array of defenses, target him for a quick kill. Otherwise, target his Strategic Missile Defenses, one on the west and one on the east. Once they’re gone, you can nuke his base. Colossi aren’t absolutely necessary; T3 artillery in your island can shell Marxon very slowly, your battleships can take out most of his defenses, and if you destroy one of his two nuke defense positions, you can overwhelm his nuke defense by firing 2 or 3 nuke launchers simultaneously.

Mission 6 – Operation Beginnings – Video Guide