Mission 8 The Defense of Argus Gate
Day 6 (extra deployment 2/2).
Fury 4 (71%), Resilience 5, Speed 5 (9 minutes). No extra deployment awarded.
Phase 1 - Killing Mek BadZappa
- This is pretty straightforward until the fight with Mek BadZappa.
- If you are using the save-mission-in-progress mod and you save when you have the objective to lay down 3 turrets, when you reload you will have -997/3 turrets, and if you haven't laid down any you won't be able to unless you have your own turrets from holding Automated Factories. The mission also plays out slightly differently in the scripted cutscenes related to reaching Davian Thule later.
- If you have your own turrets from holding Automated Factories, laying one down will count against the 3 free turrets from the mission, so use your free turrets first.
- For your fourth squad member, you can take either Thaddeus or Cyrus, but I recommend Cyrus with a sniper rifle since he can quite quickly suppress any enemy squad you need to slow down. He can even suppress Mek BadZappa.
- On Sergeant Difficulty, during the initial battle in the courtyard, if you can charge up to the north side and quickly wipe the orc grenadiers before they destroy the Predator Tank, you can save it to help you against the subsequent enemy waves. It's explosive shells help A LOT. On Primarch Difficulty, it takes too much damage and is usually destroyed early during the initial assault.
- The enemy waves come in two directions: North and East. Both beeline for courtyard and attack only anything in their path, but otherwise stop for nothing until they get there. Then they fan out according to what enemy is closest.
- For turrets, you have 3 from the mission and maybe 2 from Automated Foundries you hold. Set up two killzones:
- Against the east, set them near the mouth of the passage on either side to catch the enemy in a crossfire; if you only have one left, set it more or less where it is recommended by the script: near the centre of the courtyard.
- Position Cyrus with a Sniper Rifle and possibly Blind Grenades in the centre of the courtyard to Suppress or stun enemies as they come in. Both of these weapons have good range.
- On the north side of the passage, behind the barbed wire, place Avitus and Tarkus (throwing Master-Crafted Grenades if you have it, otherwise regular grenades). You could put one of them on the south side of the passage in case one side gets tangled in melee so that the other can still shoot, but Avitus is very vulnerable to being engaged in melee because of his long set-up and tear-down time for his Heavy Bolter.
- In any case, between the three of them plus at least one turret, enemies shouldn't get close to the courtyard centre. Your Force Commander can intercept anything coming from the north if you have a turret helping, though if your grenade tosses there are not dead centre, some will trickle down. Hunt them down quickly.
- When Mek BadZappa appears with a final invasion force, grenade his entourage quickly to make them flee if possible, then tangle Mek BadZappa. Usually Mek BadZappa will break your front lines, however, allowing his orks to disperse and cause chaos. In any case, focus on his entourage as they break morale quickly.
- Mek BadZappa's force field is dangerous only if you walk into it or he moves into you. Chopping at him is apparently safe, but it is safest to move away.
- If you have Thaddeus, his jetpack charges can knock down Mek BadZappa but this is infrequent and therefore inferior to Cyrus's sniping rifle frequently suppressing him (from range, and even while his force field is up), limiting his movement and making him more often than not wander around slowly.
- We found that without Cyrus, Mek BadZappa tended to force his way into the compound, and when that happens the allied Blood Ravens will not follow to help as they try to maintain their positions.
- BadZappa is quite vulnerable to being grenaded when he is suppressed or when he comes out using his force field and is briefly immobile. Blind Grenades have no effect on Mek BadZappa.
- Do NOT move into any tight location for cover. Cover is not important against Mek BadZappa as he has no ranged attack other than throwing dynamite. Having room to move is more important as a static unit could find itself surrounded by dynamite packs that BadZappa can throw, and with no room to move out. Squads automatically move during combat, and on Primarch the unit is basically stuck and too dangerous to even order an attack unless you don't mind the squad going unconscious. Only invulnerabiilty (e.g., a Rosarius) will let you safely extricate the squad.
- The radius at which the dynamite will detonate is quite tight--basically you have to walk over one; some clipping of the blinding red circle is allowed. The main problem is that they have a wide blast radius and one detonation can set off the nearby ones, compounding damage. When possible, move your units far away and manually detonate the dynamite by shooting at them. Otherwise, the area becomes a dangerous minefield where you can't even Retreat a squad because they will run right through one.
- Phase 2 involves getting to Davian Thule. You need to do it twice -- once to get near, once after he is "killed".
- It is not obvious, but most of the Tyranids are attacking someone else unless you're at the edge of the village and the new Tyranids swarming in see you first.
- Also, it appears that you are invulnerable once the objective to move all your squads to Thule is marked as complete, so the second time you need to get to Thule (once he's unconscious), just grab all your squads and click them to move to Thule's body.
- In previous cutscenes in previous missions, you are not invulnerable (and can end up in big trouble if you were in a busy firefight when a cutscene starts), so this is an unusual case.
- If you have saved all your Stimpacks up to this point, that helps. You can also use invulnerability from a Rosarius if you have it from having captured at least one Shrine; use it early to preserve your health, and save your Stimpacks for last.
- When you get near Thule, he is ringed by barriers and you cannot walk in. When the Tyranid Warrior arrives, it is scripted to bust in and kill Thule. If you manage to get to Thule early enough that this hasn't happened, you could try your Force Commander's "To Victory!" charge power to bust a hole and get your troops into position (set your end-point to be behind the barrier). The Tyranids do not generally move into that area behind Thule unless they were already chasing you in hand-to-hand.
- You do not really have to capture the Teleporter Relay Beacon near the village, and in any case it is prone to being swarmed by Tyranids because they can keep swarming that area and if you capture it, it becomes your rally point instead of running more safely back to Argus Gate.
- The never-ending streams of Tyranids have a 1% chance to drop wargear, so if you are farming for gear, you could try to set up a safe killzone somewhere outside the village and just keep killing until you get what you want. There are only a limited number of non-white superior gear, after which only white-name generic gear will drop. You lose time, but the XP loss can be made up by Donating wargear to the Librarium.
- You can get 5 stars for speed if you finish this mission in 9 minutes or less, which generally requires grenades on Mek Badzappa and then rushing to Davian immediately, pausing only briefly to fight the few squads of Tyranids that come out. If you delay (or use the mid-mission-save mod and reload a save), they may come in a near-constant stream and can make your approach into the village harder.