Operation Black Earth is the first mission in the UEF campaign of Supreme Commander. As a new recruit, the player is tasked under the auspices of Commander Arnold to assist in securing the planet of Capela which is under Cybran revolt after two of their commanders warped in to enrage the Symbiant population. The research facilities on this planet must not be compromised by the enemy and it will be up to you to see to this.
1. BUILD 3 MASS EXTRACTORS
Schematics added: T1 Mass Extractor
To do this as fast as possible, hold Shift to queue up all 3 Mass Extractors. If they are relatively far apart, queue up a Move command between each one so that your ACU won’t have to walk as far; if you just tell him to build, he will walk right up next to the Mass Extractor before building it.
2. BUILD 3 POWER GENERATORS
Schematics added: T1 Power Generator
Queue up the 3 power generators next to each other, away from the extractors, so that you can place the factory (objective 3) next to them for their adjacency bonus. In general, your first few factories should be accompanied by a row of Power Generators so you don’t run out of Energy – an Air Factory can produce interceptors on repeat almost for free using this method.
3. BUILD A LAND FACTORY
Schematics added: T1 Land Factory
Place the factory next to the Power Generators. Have your ACU continue to build Mass Extractors and Power Generators, and if you’re making more than you can spend, build another Land Factory. Normally, while factories are being built, you can queue up orders for them. In this mission, you’ll have to wait for the next objective before doing so.
4. BUILD 3 MEDIUM TANKS
Schematics added: T1 Engineer, Medium Tank, Wall Section, T1 Point Defense, T1 Radar System
As a general tip, don’t complete objectives before you have to. In this case, build a few Engineers as well as Medium Tanks. Have the Engineers develop your economy with Mass Extractors and Power Generators, while one Engineer is set on patrol around any surrounding trees or rocks to collect their resources. If you have extra resources, your Engineers can assist your factory with its production, as can your ACU, which builds as fast as 2 Engineers.
5. DESTROY THE ENEMY RADAR
The map expands to the south Move your tanks to the Cybran radar tower and they’ll automatically start attacking the defending Hunters and the nearby Cybran buildings. If they don’t kill the radar, tell them to attack it by right-clicking on it. Keep building Medium Tanks for the next objectives. Now would be a good time to set your tanks into a group. Select them either by double-clicking on one of them, pressing Ctrl+L (for Land units), or selecting one and pressing Ctrl+Z (for all units of that type), and make them a group by pressing Ctrl+1 (or any number you choose). In the future, pressing 1 will select those units without having to track them down. Use this for any groups or single units you might want instant access to.
6. DESTROY THE ENEMY AIR FACTORY TO THE SOUTHWEST
Schematics added: Remaining T1 land units
Map expands to the west Construct a mix of medium tanks, artillery, Mech Marines, and anti-air tanks. Once you have your preferred mix, press the Repeat button in the lower left corner to keep producing them indefinitely. Continue expanding your economy and building more Land Factories (which are significantly faster than your lowly T1 Engineers) until you have a large mixed force (100 units should be plenty). Move in and attack the base using Ctrl+Alt+click, which keeps the units moving in formation even when they encounter resistance; otherwise, your marines will rush in and get killed instead of providing cover for your tanks and artillery. Have all your other factories assist the first so that they will produce from its build queue. If you need to issue different orders, the factory will build those and then go right back to assisting.
7. DESTROY ALL TOWERS ALONG THE DEFENSIVE LINE
Units received: Heavy Tanks, Mobile Missile Launchers
Map expands to the south. Build a few more Engineers and send them over to the southwestern base you destroyed, so you can grab its mass extraction points. You’ll need it to continue building up your forces. Be very careful with your Mobile Missile Launchers, as they can destroy the opposing T1 Point Defenses without being hurt themselves. If you set them on patrol just outside the defenses’ range, they’ll provide fire support while the rest of your units move in to destroy the towers to the south.
8. DEFEAT THE CYBRAN COMMANDER
Schematics added: Air Factory and units (except T1 Transport), Anti-Air Turret
Build some Air Factories, surrounding them with Power Generators (because aircraft cost a lot of Energy to build). Have your Engineers (some of which should be idle by now) assist the Air Factory to build a large force of bombers and interceptors. The interceptors should go first to engage the enemy interceptors, clearing the way for your bombers. You’ll need a lot of bombers to break through the Cybran air defenses, but they’re the best way of reaching the Cybran Commander. Don’t charge in directly; instead, do the next objective.
9. CAPTURE ONE TECH 2 POWER GENERATOR
Schematics added: Mass Fabricator
The Cybran base to the west is lightly defended; your ground forces should be able to handle it. Bring a couple Engineers with you so that you can capture the T2 Power Generators (although only 1 is needed, you’ll want all 3).
With your newfound income, build Mass Fabricators to even out your Mass and Energy production, then move any available Engineers to the base you just destroyed and build more Land Factories there. Get used to commanding multiple bases so that your units have an easier travel to the front lines. Stop building Mech Marines here, as they are much more useful for engaging enemy armies than entrenched, walled bases like this one. If you have enough fighters in a group, you can also get away with building only a few anti-air vehicles. A mix of tanks and artillery, with air support, works best. Move your forces carefully through the pass past the Power Generators.
Once all of them have arrived, move in from the south, doing as much damage to the towers as possible before the Commander moves in to ward you off. When the Commander comes out and starts killing your ground units, order all your attack units, land and air, to target him. If you’ve built up enough bombers, you should have no trouble finishing him off while he’s occupied with your ground forces.