From here, I’ll assume you know how the game works and I’ll stop reminding you to build Mass Extractors, queue up orders, put factories on repeat, etc. This mission is actually rather difficult; be sure to build up a large force instead of accomplishing early objectives as fast as possible.

1. CLEAR VILLAGE OF AEON UNITS

Build Land Factories first, without neglecting Air Factories (since air assaults come early and often), and get a force of land units up. You can clear out the forces from the first temple relatively quickly, but don’t destroy the temple itself before you have a sizable base, because when the temple is destroyed it triggers a counterattack of T1 units.

2. DESTROY TEMPLE TO FIND TECH

Manually attack the temple once you’re ready with a well-defended base, a thriving economy, and a few Torpedo Launchers in the water before you build a Naval Factory (to avoid attracting enemy Frigates which will tear into your base and land units). Make sure to eliminate any Aeon units in the area before moving on to the next objective.

3. GUARD THE FIRST PIECE OF SERAPHIM TECH

This shouldn’t be an issue – simply keep your forces around the temple until an Engineer comes to retrieve the Tech.

4. SEARCH SURROUNDING TEMPLES FOR MORE TECH

Map expands to the north and south (I think)
The Tech is in the southeast temple, but you should destroy the units which defend the other temples first, to prevent surprise attacks.

5. DEFEAT AEON REINFORCEMENTS

The Aeon start sending in T2 units to defend their temples now, so be ready with your own ground forces, plus your ACU if absolutely necessary. Keep your units on patrol, but concentrate on the south. Start building naval units, mostly subs, to defend against enemy naval attacks. Try to bait them into running into your Torpedo Launchers.

6. GUARD THE 2ND PIECE OF SERAPHIM TECH

The Aeon will ignore the Tech if they recapture the area, so this simply equates to “Secure the area”.

7. DESTROY SOUTHERN AEON NAVAL BASE

Map expands to the south and east
Send your naval units south, destroying naval threats first and then moving to destroy the enemy frigates and factories. The air defense is light once you’ve destroyed the Attack Boats, so bring in your bombers. Move your naval units along the river after you’re done and build more Frigates than subs.

8. DESTROY EASTERN AEON BASE AND RECOVER ITS TECH

Send your naval units up the river at the same time as you move in with an enormous T2 ground force. With your extra resources, build T2 defenses along the new edges of your base; try to lure enemy ground forces back to them if you need help.

9. GUARD THE 3RD PIECE OF SERAPHIM TECH

While your army accomplishes this (which your naval force should be doing well) have some Engineers capture the mass points of the southern and eastern bases. Maintain air superiority at all times over your territory, as the enemy will attack with both bombers and air transports full of ground units.

10. DEFEAT MACH

Map expands to the east
Build several Air Transports and use them to transport your ground forces to the south of the map (don’t fly over Mach’s base in the southeast), just east of the southern Aeon base you destroyed. A mixed force of units, with shields and Mantises for protection, works best. Move north and destroy the Power Generators to cut his production, then sweep through the defensive turrets. Once you’ve cut off his anti-air ability, bring in bombers to the southeast corner of the map so that you can destroy Mach when he appears without flying over anti-air in the northeast base.

11. DEFEAT THE AEON COMMANDER

The Aeon Commander usually comes out very quickly once you kill Mach. Your ground forces can surround and destroy her, especially if you’re ferrying them to Mach’s base now. Meanwhile:

12. MOVE YOUR COMMANDER TO THE GATE

Walk it into the center of the Quantum Gate to finish the mission.

Mission 2 – Operation Artifact – Video Guide