At the start of the mission, cross over the bridge located southeast of your base and begin your attack with the Force Shield Generator protecting you and an Engineer accompanying you. Even though you’re under the protective umbrella of the Force Shield Generator, be sure you have Bofors in the group — every bomb and bullet that hits the Shield weakens it a bit. Destroy the Soviet Bunker and build a Pillbox where it stood (you might have to knock down a building with tank fire to clear a space), then order the Engineer to build a Weapon Factory near the Pillboxes location. A smart move here is to have the Engineer throw up Pillboxes, AA Turrets, and AT Turrets around this Weapon Factory; the Soviets are sure to target it, and you don’t want to have to “babysit” it with the units you’re using to slam into the Soviet base.
Use the armored units from this Factory to reinforce the “covered juggernaut” of Core Units and Force Shield Generator as it pushes east into the main base area. Focus your fire first on buildings and vehicles that are threats (especially MG and AT Bunkers), then on Propaganda Towers and War Factories. If your units do take some damage, use Lynch’s Quick Repair skill to bring them back to strength. In just a few minutes you’ll have cleaned out everything except a few Aggregators — and found a new Scrapyard to exploit. Northeast of your new, secondary base area is a bridge that crosses back over the river; just north of it is a bank. Send MG Infantry with the Capture Building skill here to seize it and add even more Resources to your war chest.
If you pause the game and assess the situation at this point, you’ll see why we’ve recommended this strategy: you now have three Scrapyards, a Drop Zone, and a Bank under your control. If you had instead chosen to advance north at the beginning of the game and simply threw up defenses to protect you from the southeast Soviet Base, you would have only two Scrapyards for Resources. Oh, you might have seized a Bank or even both of them, but trust us: if you capture those buildings early in this mission, you will unleash a tidal wave of Soviet armor and infantry that not only reclaim the Banks, but keep on toward your primary base.
After capturing the Bank at the eastern edge of the map, position your Core Units and a Force Shield Generator on the south side of the bridge near the bank. This will force any heavy Soviet units to cross the bridge to engage you, but leave you close enough to the bank to protect it from capture. The only real problem you’ll face here for a while will be Katyushas: their extremely long range means they can drop rockets on the protective shield and still be out of range of our Pershings. Use M40s to return the favor to the Katyushas, and if necessary send a Pershing or two (along with Lynch) out from under the shield to deal with any enemies the M40s can’t reach (but be sure to return them to the safety net once they’re done!). Also, remember to build a Headquarters or two at this secondary base, allowing you to construct even more Force Shield Generators (one per Headquarters). And this open area is a good place to build several Airports, so long as you protect them with liberal construction of AA and AT Turrets and Pilllboxes.
One thing those defensive installations won’t help you with are those powerful Moving Giant Turrets. When you hear a massive explosion and see your buildings start to crumble but there’s no enemy in sight, you know those gargantuan weapons are at work. Fortunately, their shells leave a trail of smoke as the head for a target, and you can trace it back to find where the Turret is located. Track these down relentlessly the moment you find them, or they’ll be a constant hindrance in your effort to bring the battle to an end.
Above: Seek out and eliminate the Russians dreaded Moving Giant Turrets as soon as you determine where they have deployed to unleash barrages.
With this strong foothold in the south, it’s time to start advancing clockwise from the main base. Just beyond the small Scrapyard north of your primary base is a Russian reinforcement route; destroy the bunker and replace it with a Pillbox. Next turn your attention to the two airfields northeast of the reinforcement route. These are heavily guarded not only AT and AA Bunkers, but also by AA vehicles, IS 3 tanks, and Kharkov Rampagers. Use heavy armored units like Pershings to batter down the AA Bunkers and smash the ZSU 37 AA vehicles, giving your P-38 Lightnings a chance to deliver their high-explosive gifts to the Commies.
By this time in the battle you’ll probably have access to strong Call-In Bombers like the Earthquake or Nuclear Bomb; finish off the Soviet Airfields with these. If the AA fire is still intense, you can drop the bombs a little distance away from the Airfields at first, then work in closer with subsequent bombing runs. Once the two Airfields are destroyed, you’ll pretty much have complete mastery of the skies. What’s more, you’ll have the room — and the Resources — to build as many Airports as you like. Go ahead, build eight or nine more: since your army is limited to 150 Army Points, Call-In Bombers are invaluable from here on out because they don’t count against the army limit.
Continue pushing north to discover yet another Scrapyard at the German base. There may or may not be German buildings here, but by now it really doesn’t matter. Build a Supply Stash and start yet another base, this time to feed vehicles into an army that will drive east to another Russian reinforcement route. If you have trouble destroying the Bunker there and getting a Pillbox built before more reinforcements pour in, use P-38 Lightnings in conjunction with Pershings on the ground to cover the Engineer.
Staling might not know it, but blocking this route basically sounded the Soviets’ death knell. Deprived of the fresh Kharkovs and IS 3’s that have been flooding into the city and lacking the production of the base in the south, the Soviets will not be able to generate enough units to hold back your assaults. Drop Paratroops at the two Banks in the middle of the map to rob the Commies of even these sources of income, and then repeat what the Allies did to Berlin and other German cities in the Second World War: bomb them into submission. Yes, you’ll lose several or even many Call-In Bombers to the pesky Zsu 37s. But this helps your ground forces: the Soviets will waste Resources and Army Points frantically producing the AA vehicles at the expense of tanks and artillery.
Continue moving clockwise around the map to take out Bunkers and closer reinforcement routes, drawing away opposition to their advance by occasionally venturing across the bridge with your army of Core Units in the south. With the last bunker down, you’ll have the Soviets in a vise grip: armies will be positioned to the north and south of Red Square, and you can even send units from the west (either the main base or that first Weapon Factory you built in the southeast). Under the reassuring blue glow of a Force Shield Generator, Lynch and Sagnier can wipe up the last tidbits of resistance in the very heart of Moscow — and finally look forward to a peace that really does have a chance of lasting.
Ready for more? Beef up your multiplayer skills, or prepare for the German campaign with the rest of our exhaustive guide.