I just discovered that you get an increase of one full point to engineering skill every time you repair a weapon at base using an engineering item (screw driver or weapon brush). That means that over the course of game, your engineer will have about 60 extra points :). Purchasing a screwdriver for 100$ means 3 skillups. Just repair all those slightly damaged weapons you'd plan to sell - and have your own weapons repaired by the arms dealer (because that means losing only 1 of their durability cap, whereas doing it yourself lowers the durability significantly. I haven't done any extensive testing, you probably don't get those free skillups once you reach your level cap, but anyway it's much easier to get those skillups for 33$ each than for either direct money or for endless boobytrapping of doors with cheap grenades. The increase gets slower once you get over a hundred, though - but still very cheap compared to buying the skillups with cash.
Play on custom difficulty and let the enemies have +3 XP levels. That will guarantee you to reach up to 18th level without having to do too many random encounter. (I must have done about a dozen, not more - roughly once each).
There supposedly is a secret mission (Tech Factory) in Poland. Here's the most "detailed" gossip from forums: "Judging from what I read on the Nival forums, you just need the coded message from the Penemünde Archives mission, speak to the THO Agent after capturing him at the Finnish border and then get the code book in the Switzerland covert mission.".
Well, I am fairly sure that I've done all three (the coded message from Peenemunde mission disappears after you put it into inventory, but does play the "objective accomplished" sound. The VIP at Border mission was compulsory as well, nothing strange here. And the deciphering book from the Firm in Switzerland - again no problem. But, compared to the message from Peenemunde, this one does nothing when put into inventory and cannot be used. And, no bloody mission in Poland appears.
If anyone has played this mission, can you provide a list of other activities? Namely, have you interrogated the Soviet official in the stealth mission? That seems to be the only thing where I was going against what the game suggested.
About the only useful thing you need to know is that the locked door in the basement leads to a chest with goodies :). So find the lockpick somewhere on first floor and give it a go. If you fail picking the lock, just beat the door down or shoot it to pieces :). If you drop down the console, you'll see the damage reports so you'll know that even the melee attacks will get you there after some time.
At higher difficulties, this mission will actually be very tough - the enemies will be much tougher. I had to reload a lot before I could beat it at +3 exp. levels. Having the goodies from the basement IS a necessity on higher difficulties.
Headshot the first man, take the letter and his gun and go downstairs. Pick the two grenades. Use a knife to hack the crates (or a grenade to blow them away, but this will most likely be heard above and you'll get a nice welcome party). Pick the two grenades at the other end and try to sneak your way up to second floor and nail the rifleman on the balcony. With the rifle, you should have no problem killing all remaining pistoleros ;). Some of them might remain out of sight - then it should be possible to get out and crawl along the road edge all the way behind the car to get close enough.
Note that on higher difficulty levels (more experienced enemies), you might have problems a) killing the first guy quick enough to disappear from sight b) defeating all the bad guys that on this difficulty meet you in the basement of the second building (on normal difficulty, they probably can't hear you in the basement so they just stay in the street.) (See above - when I played on normal difficulty once, blowing the crates with grenade was not heard outside, but on higher levels most of the pistoleros got into the house and I had a rather nasty shootout with them on the stairs to basement).
Early random (but not so random) encounters
The game is much easier if you get the Shade random encounter as soon as possible. You'll get two scoped rifles and a lot of other goodies as well as a free scout. Shade will have excellent throwing, quite useful later, but he develops slowly. You cannot dismiss him, too, but once you'll feel that you'd want him replaced by someone else, just get him killed in a battle :)
The Bank Robbery random encounter in Germany is perhaps too good :) - it allowed me to recruit Viper and Fritz - and between these two, I had no problem killing most enemies. Viper's "always inflict ranged critical" along with his wonderful shooting skill means that a JHP-filled SMG with snapshot mode will become a good sniper rifle :). He will be able to snap-shot 2-3 guys dead at the distance of 20 squares.
There is a late random encounter (taken from S2 - the Ufo in Switzerland, defended by PK and infantry, reward a PK-mounted rocketlauncher, but it comes so late in the game that it's just not worth it.
Mission selection - the first mission set
When you're presented with 4 missions to select from, completing 3 of them will advance, skipping the last mission. Therefore, to get the most fun, experience and loot, it is necessary to intentionally fail one of the missions.
From the first selection, "Snitch" is quite easy to fail, as the informer tries to run away going to the left near corner (from where you appear). So just head to the right and then get noticed :). On the other hand, letting him run away is not nice since he has a silenced Sten SMG. You might have to do some reloading, but it is well possible to snipe aiming at his hand - when he drops the gun, he will not pick it up again - at least he did not in my case. Best done on uneven terrain where the gun drops to the ground and rolls downhill.
In this mission, you're supposed to kill an enemy informer. He's in the middle of the map. Behind the ruins to the left, there will be a sizable enemy squad including some heavy weapons.
Also, in the farther part of the ruins on the left, there are two riflemen and one sniper (he's on the only flat piece that remains of the second floor and can be killed easily by a well placed grenade). Those riflemen can be a pain to kill.
Intentionally failing this mission can be a bit tricky, if you want to get the silenced SMG. If not, just kill the officer that talks to the agent and stay away from the ruins on the left, the agent will run there. If you want the sten, you have to lure the agent into shooting at you, then hand-shot him and THEN convince him to leave the map. Sometimes he does, sometimes he does not, which is a big pain, because, if I recall correctly, he has a few grenades in his inventory, too.
Here's how it could be done: Move your squad stealthily a little up and right. Your scouts shoud be forward and prone to lie in ambush of incoming enemy soldiers from the far right ruins area (2-4 would be there I think).
Your MG should cover the left hill from which a patrol group will come once they're aware of you. Use your snipers to kill the officer.
If you're lucky, you will be able to eliminate the big patrol group before the agent runs away - so you can then rush one of your soldiers to draw his attention. Once he shoots at you, snipers should knock his gun out of his hand... Pull back then and hope that AI will not forget that he wants to leave the map.
There's another possibility - use one sniper and one soldier on the right side, scout and grenadier sneaking to the ruins. With some luck, you can then eliminate the whole patrol with grenades and smg fire. The agent will then definitely run towards you - snipe his gun again and run outside his grenade range.
Two snipers with their rifles and 20 bullets, nothing else.
Two grenade throwers with light nades (one of them scout with silenced SMG). Unless the rest of the squad has good weapons with familiarity already, bring them emptyhanded, it will be easy to get some rifles/SMGs for them.
Once down, head right and clean up all the way before the T-intersection that leads to the exit to another level. Leave one or two guys hidden and camping here. Take rest of the squad back to the beginning and follow the straight corridor. Clean up the big room, blow up or shoot up the wooden partition and slowly proceed till you almost link up with your two campers. Cleaning the "exit area" might be a little hard as the two guys with SMGs are no rookies, but hidden snipers and a few well placed grenades will do the job.
Now shoot all the wooden partitions in dead-ends and gather the loot before going down.
On the next level, throw a grenade immediately. It should set off the gas tanks and wound both the enemy you see and the officer round the corner. Finish them quickly and then hide and camp - one or two guys come for you.
The only tricky part is clearing the last room. The best you can do is crawl hidden into the room just before it. (Quicksave and experiment to avoid triggering the cutscene before your snipers are in place.). The snipers should first nail the rifle guy at the far side. Then the scouts can grenade the right side, snipers should spot the important guy trying to escape.
The main room can seem very dangerous to storm, but somehow the few bad guys that are there seem to be pretty confused and they rarely ever get an interrupt on you, even on +3 levels difficulty. All you have to do is rush with 3-4 guys with grenade in one hand and a burst weapon in another. The snipers, after having killed the first enemy, should move only a little forward and more to the left so they can hit one or two guys that are on the right side (so that your rushers can gain a foothold to the left. I suggest a grenade or two thrown to the leftmost side of the room, just next to the pile of crates in the middle - somewhere there will be a few enemies and if you get them a little shaken and worried, it will be easier to finishe them off.
Again shoot up all the wooden partitions to gather goodies. (Best done using burst fire with those characters that plan to use MGs and SMGs throughout the game.
One or two MGs, two snipers and two SMGers, preferrably scouts/grenadiers.
Run immediately to the right corner and then to the street. Prone MGers and crouched sniper or two behind them will take care of most of the enemies, which will appear along the map edge behind the next house. The scientist is up in that house and will run into the street, so try and have your character nearby so that the scientist will come under your control soon and can duck somewhere safe. Your scouts/grenadiers only have to cover your flank. There will be a few bad guys in the house next to the scientist, covering the main crossroad - and some of the enemy killer squad will go around the house, not running at you. (But, if you keep hidden, they might run straight at you - they only flank when they spot you.
About the toughest part is getting the scientist to safety as the house on the corner contains a few skilled enemies - going there 1vs1 might be painful unless it's a scout that kills everything in one burst.
Rocket prototype mission
A couple of snipers, a scout, an MG. It would be a good idea to have at least 2 guys with JHP-ammo in their SMG (and good skills/familiarity with those guns).
You'll hardly need anything else, but having about 3-4 frag grenades on two guys that can throw precisely would not hurt. At the very start, hit the dirt and hide. Then use your scout to crawl along the rail tracks. When the enemy patrol nears the gas drums on the last carriage, shoot it from afar with a sniper and cleanup with the scout. One more guy will run to investigate, and you should also snipe the guy at the MG emplacement. The rest of this outdoor part is pretty boring - get the snipers to near the MG, from where they'll be able to clean up most of the map. Get the scout over the tunnel slowly, kill the guy on the roof of the tower buidling. Clean up the bunkers and the tower. Then move all your guys to the hatch in the bunker in corner.
There is about one guy roaming in the trenches - after you eliminate him, put the snipers prone on the roof of the first bunkers and patiently clear everything you see. A scout and a soldier can in the meantime advance through the trenches, cleaning the bunkers and opening all lockers.
Cleaning the tunnel part might be a bit dangerous, but lots of hiding, silenced SMG and grenades work fine. Can be made with one or two scouts and little else.
Remember to pick up ALL goodies in the tunnels, they won't be on the post-mission loot screen (whereas the stuff from the outdoor first part AND the third part will be).
Reload and equip JHP ammo. Then go up. The 7 guys above you look menacing, but when you start shooting, they DON'T ever get an interrupt. (Might on higher difficulty levels, though, I played on default). With JHP ammo in two SMGs, it is doable even with "normal" party (without bank robbery money to recruit top-level guys). Snipers might need quicksave/reload as they will be asked to provide two headshots each :). When I played with Viper and Fritz, those two alone Bursted 5 enemies easily. When playing with normal gang, it was a little harder, I had to rely on a lucky nade (getting it to explode on the catwalk and incapacitating two enemies instead of dropping on my head and wiping the whole squad :)).
Act of Terrorism
Snipers are only of limited use in this mission, but with "Always ranged critical" and anything that fires cheaply, they're wonderful in disabling enemy troops. (Any single-shot SMG does wonders, but any 18AP carbines are a good compromise - there will be some long-range shots as well.
Bring a lot of grenades (at least 6 for each grenadier would not hurt). Bring two mine-probes or one hank of wire. JHP ammo in pistols or SMGs recommended, and a little else (probably one MG).
Snipers should cover the long corridor (the enemies that will come from here are easy to spot. Use your scouts/grenadiers to clear up rest of the tunnels. Note that there are two groups of very hard-to-spot enemies. (Shade will spot them for sure, but any "normal" scouts might fail. The first group is right in the first side corridor, but you can clear them with blind grenading even if you don't see them. Hidden and crouched is a necessity. The second group is in the blind end behind the wooden partition (off the long corridor). These are also pretty tough to fight, but again spamming the corridor with three or four nades (just from behind the corner) should hurt them significantly to bleed out. (If you have no problem spotting them, it will be a little easier).
When prowling around the corridors, be sure to have at least one guy looking back :), as there is at least one group that WILL move after you.
On the far side (the one with the complicated pipes), there are three landmines. After you defuse them, take your engineer, sniper and grenadier to this side (and the other three guys to the other side).
Now position your three troops closest to the door, but NOT on the square from which the door can be opened. (Stepping on that square triggers the cut-scene). When both teams are ready, take the final step on the engineer's end.
Now, you have to move quickly. On the engineer's end, the two enemies are behind the first row of barrels. Your grenadier should be able to destroy the two closest barrels with first grenade and throw second one at the enemies. Hopefully the closer enemy won't interrupt - so engage him with engineer's SMG and headshot the farther enemy with sniper.
On the other end, there's one enemy right behind the column and one on the right side - so have a SMGer run to the left of the column - with JHP you should be able to kill that enemy. A grenadier/scout should be able to kill the other enemy with grenade. Use the third guy to help on either side, if necessary.
Also, if you want some extra engineering experience AND a landmine or two, you can clear only the second end and just pile the engineer's team behind the column. When the terrorists set the two bombs on that side of room, you should see them (and engage them) with the other team at long range, so that the engineer's team should be able to finish them off (nades, blind fire, whatever) - and you will have about three turns to defuse the two bombs (should be a piece of cake - I remember that on my first play, with no good troops, this is exactly what happenned - I killed the closer enemy just after he set the bomb, defused it immediately, then in next turn another bomb was set off and it took two turns to kill that enemy and defuse the bomb.
Mission selection - the second set
From the second selection, the Corrupt official (stealth mission) is easy to fail (whey you find the official, shoot instead of talking). I'm not sure, however, if this does not block the late Mech Factory mission in Poland. Will test in the next run :).
Make sure that you have 1000$ left before you take this mission. Spend it to bribe the border guards and start at the Finnish side of the Border. You'll appear behind four or five bad guys that are busy advancing forward and fighting the Russians. You can get as close as 15-20 steps behind them and still not get shot at. Take down the sniper and the machinegunner first. I suggest that you leave the last enemy alive but wounded (snipe his hands and legs if possible). When the last guy dies, you'll have only a very short time (2 turns in turnbased, something like 15-20 seconds realtime) to prepare for the next wave - so if you have this guy disabled but alive, it will give you time to move.
Ideally, you'll want your two scouts/grenadiers run into the small building at the far end of the road. Give them 3 identical grenades each, position them inside and close the door (and hide them). Your snipers and machinegunners will be just fine lying on the ground in the middle of the road, Russian side of the bridge is just fine, or a little further.
Also, especially if you managed to keep the last enemy alive and harmless, heal wounded Russian border guards. I'm not sure how many are allowed to die, but it will most likely be one or two only.
When the enemies appear, aim for the left "column" of troops with the MG and snipers. Four sniper shots and five MG bursts should kill or disable most of them. Ideally, you'd want your soldiers positioned on the same "line" as the column or one square off to each side - so that all your shots will pass through multiple enemies. Snipers positioned exactly and MGs on the side would be ideal - sniper aims for the last guy, MG aims for the middle guy (so that all his "misses" hit the guys on the sides"). If possible, spare one or two sniper shots for the guy at the front.
Then, your hidden scout should open the door and with medium/light grenades, you should be able to wipe the other flank. Note that killing most of the enemies (all but 3-4) triggers the cut-scene as the enemy surrenders - so you don't have to worry about hiding if you can kill both left and right columns.
Make sure that you "visit" all the lockers - one in the MG emplacement and all in the main building - they're full of goodies.
If you try this mission without the bribe, your life will be much harder as you'll have to storm the main building full of enemies. I haven't bothered with that so I can't tell what follows (or if there's more experience and loot gained this way).
The Corrupt Official
Bring 2 mine probes and 2 lockpicks (that is, at least 2 uses for each left). Quite a lot of loot. You won't need too many grenades or ammo.
You want to take this mission soon and fail it on purpose. It is worth the equipment found there. Bring at least two silenced weapons if you wish to at least pretend trying. (It will allow you to eliminate at least 6-7 enemies without raising alarm. (Two guards that walk the outside perimeter, two more guards at the front gate, two more guards that walk the inside perimeter. Possibly another one or two could be shot at from the garage and corridor. Meanwhile a sniper or two can get into position to nail the two guys at the front gate.
There's one more enemy in the bathroom that can be taken down silently with a good scout. I've discovered that when I shot the guy that guards the stairs on the main floor, even when he did not spot me, all the remaining enemies got alarmed (probably a trigger scripts) and started converging on me, sooner or later spotting me... so at that moment, I MGed the two at the front gate and let all hell break loose.
Camping in the side room (between garage and main hall), I was able to kill a few guys that came from the outside. The team on outside then opened the gate, shot two guys, closed the gate. Next turn opened the gate again, killed the officer in the gate house.
After that, I could rush the outside team to the door, getting the bad guys that were coming from the first floor. The last step was killing the corrupt official without interrogating him.
Your engineer can the get a ton of grenades from two booby-trapped crates upstairs (behind two locked doors).
Crazy Gringo says on the stealth-issue: "If your any burst shots misses and hits the surroundings terrain/enviroment your jig is up and your stealth is blown. Also there seems to be a 'global' enemy spotted feature which alerts all enemy personnel of your whereabouts when your stealth is blown. This feature didn't to my knowledge exsist in S2 where you merrily could walk around and stealthy pluck your enemies out one by one without blowing your stealth."
That would mean that you'd have to kill the guard under the stairs with a sniper or singleshot. I plan to give the game one more go this year so I'll try this :).
Pretty easy mission - the only tricky part is the ending where you have to kill all but the main bad guy in one room (that means grenades are out, you'll have to use snipers well, and possibly a flanking MG that will take down the walls as well as the bad guys.
Basically, at start there will be a bunch of workers (melee attack only) and only a few armed enemies. (You should see one or two, there's a few more in the same direction (towards the engine). The first few rounds are a frag fest. Just spread the squad to the sides a bit - there will be a few shovellers running along the trains at you, so you want to spot them at distance. When approaching the small building with the Godfather himself, be careful about the paths the game engine picks for you. The enemies can see under the trains or the top of the trains in some places - it's best to do a frontal approach - two or three soldiers at a good distance, one scout that gets close to open the door. Clear what you can, then try to sneak to a window to spot the remaining enemies and nail them through the walls.
The Prison Break
Another boring mission, just worth the experience and the Russian SMGs. Bring just rifles, there will be little short-range fighting (one MG or a few pistols will do the trick, and anyway you'll be able to pick the SMGs from the ground before going into the buildings. Two snipers, one rifleman and one grenadier with some cheap grenades should be enough. I'm not sure how many prison guards can be killed before you fail the objective, but try this out for maximum loot - their SMGs sell well :).
I went in fully equipped just for the fun of clearing the prison with MGs and such and still was able to bring all the loot back, anyway...
Bring at least two snipers with Always ranged critical, an MG or two with good penetration (DP, MG34/42, 150+ bullets for each) and those heavy grenades - and little else, there will be a lot of loot in this mission.
At start, have one of your snipers snap-shot the barrels at the end of the road. Rush a light-grenadier diagonally left so that he'll get behind the building at the crossroad. Advance your MGs along the road, more on the left side. Use your snipers to incapacitate enemies. There will be 2 guys near the barrel, 3 guys on the left and 3 guys on the right side, plus an MGer in the left building. The scout should be able to kill from behind the enemy that hides behind the corner, while the snipers and MGers deal with the rest. Note that getting the guys on sides requires the snipers to position well, basically both to the right from the road.
When you're done here, prepare the heavy grenades. You might also want to pick up the bazooka and load it with AP rocket.
When you talk to Boris, 5 PKs will appear. 3 on the road where you started, ignore them for now... one each on the side roads. First, make sure that you eliminate the closest one (bazooka plus little extra should do the job). Kill the driver unless you manage to Stun/Blind him, while he is inside the PK. (Yes, it takes a lot more than when he's outside, but if he exits the PK, he can nade your whole group into oblivion.
Run Boris into the hangar for cover, equip the heavy grenade. The remaining Allies should occupy the MG PK on the road for a while, so you don't have to worry about him. Have your MG and Scout run towards the first hangar on the right side of the road (there's a ladder up). First round, run down the ramp, but not inside. Second round, climb and run behind the big box, third round, run to the ladder, fourth round, get on the roof and prone (I think you could get up and prone in third round). A good grenadier or Shade should be able to throw the heavy grenades into the middle of the road.
Ideally, you'll have killed the first PK in first round just with bazooka and one heavy grenade, incapacitate the driver with a few sniper shots and start handing criticals to the 3 PKs on the main road :).
The MG PK on the right should be easily killed by your MG + Boris with his 2 heavy grenades, while the PK is busy engaging the remaining allied troops.
Your snipers should start in first or at worst second round to slow down the PKs on the main road. Once the MG and grenadier are up on the roof, crouch, hide behind the two superstructures, then go prone and crawl slowly forward. Shade was able to get to the very edge unnoticed, but the MG will be spotted sooner.
With some luck, Shade will be able to land a few grenades on the street. Unless your luck is very low, he should survive prone on the edge - the MG rarely ever hits him, the PIAT explosive rocket will either go overhead or hit the wall beneath him, giving him only a slight damage. Meanwhile the MG should go crouch from prone, fire a few bursts and drop down again.
It will take some time - and if you don't want to risk, just use the snipers and MG along the full length of the road. I had two 98 carbines and fired 5 shots in two rounds (reload, sniped snap shot, sniped with rest of points, end of turn, 2 sniped snap shots, 1 sniped with rest of points). You should have over 50% accuracy and your snipers will get points for attacking enemy in PK even if they miss. (For the same reason, you can even waste ammo from SMGs across the map :))
Anyway, after you've finished them, talk to Boris again. Then run around the map, opening the lockers and one crate. With your engineer, repair all five PKs once and then move the weaponry into 3 of them. You should exit the mission with 3PKs (5 weapons), a whole lot of other weapons and namely those HUGE ammo clips with russian/german rifle ammo :) - and all those Mortar Shells
If you're not comfortable with all that long-range work or risking your assault squad on the roof, one or two heavy-penetration land-mines placed where you originally enter the level will significantly help you, but I prefer to save all those for the next level.
The most boring alternative with two snipers is to eliminate the closest PK by bazooka and one heavy nade, the other close PK with heavy MG fire and heavy nades from Boris - he'll be busy shooting at at least two allied soldiers so you should have time for this) and have rest of your squad using well-penetrating snipers and rifles down the main road. It takes time, but with Always ranged critical, the three PKs have very little chance to get into effective range for their weapons. They might try some MG spraying, but the chance of hitting your prone soldiers are next to nil.
Defending the base:
2 snipers with high-penetration rifles and ammo, one engineer/soldier loaded up with all the landmines you could loot AND buy.
2 PKs with MG and a lot of light and medium mortar shells (when I say a LOT, I mean it. 5 reds and 10 blues will do).
First, place a whole lot of landmines. You should have at least 5 with high penetration values (50+) and 12+ infantry ones. Place the infantry ones regularly spaced about 3-4 squares from the far edge of the map in the woods. Place the heavy ones in a cluster in the middle of the road (again close to the map edge).
Note that there will be HUGE amounts of loot in this mission. If you bring a lockpick, there's a vault with panzerschreck and ammo. There's about two inventories-full of heavy russian grenades. Also the enemies will drop lots of useful rifles (Stg43, DP, FG42, also panzerfausts). If you bring just enough weapons to defeat the enemies, you'll still have to leave goods behind :), so don't bring anything else.
Position your 2 PKs about 15 squares from the far edge of the map, close to the side edges. Quicksave and verify that they both can shoot mortar shells into or close to the mined area. Verify this by live fire (especially if you have tree crowns disabled, you might be surprised when the mortar shell hits a tree branch and explodes right in front of you.). Put the snipers somewhere close behind the trench level or on the roofs of the MG emplacements.
When the battle starts, a lot of mines will explode. With some luck, out of the 3 enemy PKs, one or two will be wasted and the remaining seriously damaged. Your two PK soldiers, should now fire off three light mortar shells each, pretty much decimating most of the enemies. Make sure you go after those with heavy weapons and ignore the SMG-equipped guys.
The first phase should be fairly easy to finish. Note that when you kill the last guy, you'll have very little time to prepare for the second phase. I would suggest sniping the last guy into legs/hands to make him lose weapon and/or mobility. This will give you enough time (several turns before he bleeds out) to move your soldier PKs closer to the enemy spawn. Switch to medium mortar shells and position both your PKs about 10 metres from the far edge, in the middle of the road. Pick up mortar shells and/or repair and PK damage you've suffered. Also your snipers and other troops could move a bit forward.
When the next wave appears, both your soldier PKs should get an interrupt. Firing the red mortar shells on the enemy PKs should, with some good positioning, enable you to destroy at least the laser one, but with some reloading destroy another one and seriously damage the 3rd. Use your snipers, if possible, to critically hit any panzerschreck/MG infantry close to the middle.
The leftmost enemy PK will most likely be intact and will unload a long burst at one of your PKs. Unless you're unlucky, it should only score something like 40-60 damage without a critical. Enemy soldiers with AVS rifles are a bigger worry, in fact, but it is understandable that you try to finish the PK first. Anyway, after two rounds, any big threats should be removed. The rest is just cleanup.
There are of course alternative solutions:
The last mission set
I haven't really tried hard to fail any of the following missions, anyway you can do only 2 out of 3. I don't think it is even possible to fail any of those. (There's no objective that can be failed and still allow you to leave the mission... you either die or succeed).
I brought in two soldiers in PK with light mortar shells and MGs, but instead, two grenade throwers with medium/heavy grenades could well do the trick. Also, two sniper PKs with 3-4 clips each, and a light-grenadier or smg scout. Possible to do without PKs at all - snipers with high-penetration russian rifles AND several high-penetration landmines would do the trick. Bring lockpick (4+ uses) and mine probe (1)!
If you've brought landmines, mine the place you've started at. Position your two grenadiers in two far corners of the map, facing the spawn. (PKs with light mortars are best). Position your snipers (PK or not) near the pillars, facing spawn. Hide your scout with light grenades behind the rock on the left side (when looking at spawn from ruins). Have your last member shoot up the wooden plate in the ruins and head down the ladder.
Now the fun starts. With 3 light mortar shells fired smack between the 5 soldiers, they should be all either dead or criticalled :). Your two sniper PKs will spend several rounds firing away at enemy PKs (start with the sniper ones). Stun or Motionless criticals on the PKs in front are lovely, because the PKs behind them have to walk around them. The scout unloading a bunch of light grenades over the rock hilltop should cause big worries for the supporting infantry without losing his cover. Meanwhile, your two soldiers can exit their PKs, pick up any suitable weapon from the 5 corpses on each side and rush towards the middle along with the guy that went down the ladder first.
This should allow you to bring back the maximum loot (you'll be bringing in 4 PKs with total of 2 weapons, so that's 6 weapon slots - and apart from the sniper PK ammo and 6 mortar shells, the only guy that actually needs to carry a weapon will be the scout with a bag full of cheap light grenades and an SMG in one hand.
The shipping company
A boring level. With several snipers, just opening and closing the gate lets you clean almost the whole level. I brought in 3 PKs for fun (2 snipers and one MG + mortar), but next time I'll give the MG a PIAT instead of mortar - there will be a large concentration of infantry near the first hangar door.
Get a few guys over the wall (or through it, creating a door should be easy :))
No PKs, basically no financial reward, because the Swiss police will engage the enemy and get killed, counting as 9 dead civilians at 1000$ each. It would be theoretically possible to take four snipers with silenced kar98s or DeLizls to the park in front of the firm and do a lot of hidden shooting from there, while two scouts with silenced SMGs take the building from behind, but I'm not sure how many policemen could be saved this way without spotting any of your troops with a gun in hand, so I did not bother.
Run your team down the road on stealth and get behind the firm's house. Here the police won't see you. You'll want two guys in the side room, two or three in the back room and one or two running around the building, but be careful about roaming enemies.
If you time your strike well, you should take all three rooms simultaneously - and in the next round demolish a whole lot of enemies in crossfire :). (I killed about 7 bad guys in one round in the main hall - mostly with JHP ammo in SMGs).
As a bit of a spoiler, to save the money, try to find a phone :) - it is possible to send the whole police force on a wild goose chase.
Assaulting the Thor's base:
2 good throwers (light/medium frags, some high-penetration rifle)
2 snipers in PKs with Sniper rifles and 8 clips of ammo
Anybody who can repair PKs (plus the repair tool or two). No other equipment necessary, apart from medics.
The snipers in PKs should be able to fire 1-2 shots per round, effectively keeping enemy PKs outside effective distance of their weapons. The enemy sniper in the watchtower can be either sniped, or killed by machinegunning his tower into pieces (took about two turns at 7% accuracy).
It does not hurt to send your scout to the left, if he manages to get near the rock unnoticed (so he may then throw grenades below the fence unseen, once he kills the 2-3 enemies on the top).
Anyway, the idea of the outdoor part is just to kill everything with your PK snipers. It takes one headshot to kill or at the very worst incapacitace any enemy soldier, and about 3-5 shots with enemy PK. With some luck, you'll get a Stun critical every now and then and so they never get close.
Once you've cleared the area, repair your (or any) PKs. Now, put your soldier/grenadiers into PKs, give them all collected mortar shells and any automatic weapon. Collect all the PWM-1 grenades and equivalent. Collect any good assault/sniper rifles for snipers.
Head down. First, kill the laser guy (preferrably small arms fire). Put a sniper on top of the truck, two PKs side to side into the corridor mouth. Your only worry is to spot the enemy bazooka infantry before they fire. Nail them down with sniper fire. (A good sniper like Viper will kill or incapacitate two guys per turn at the full distance of the corridor length with an AK47.) Just make sure that you've got the exit from the offices covered well. Alternatively, run a scout and another guy with a JHP-ammo SMG to there, open the door, fire away and close it again.
When the enemies stop appearing (I think it's something like 4 guys in the corridor and 5 guys in the offices, too lazy to count exactly), advance your PKs with mortars slowly. Three mortar shells fired at maximum range into the T intersection should give hell everyone who's there.
When all bad guys are finished here, again reequip. Put your snipers into their PKs, ideally with two loaded sniper guns each. Give your good throwers each all the heavy grenades (PWM-1 and similar) you can find.
All other guys are next to useless here, but you can pick up bazookas and panzerschrecks just for the fun of it.
Open the blast door, skip the cinematics and quicksave :).
When I was there, Shade was just about able to throw 4 heavy grenades from his starting point exactly at one robot. With some reloading, 4 PWMs should kill the robot just fine, or leave him for a finishing touch by someone else. On the other side, Fritz could only throw three grenades, after running for four squares to get within reach, two or three sniper shots will finish that one. Next turn, with some luck, you survive all the fire from the remaining robot. Now, both your throwers should run around, down to the middle area by the sloped bits, as close to enemy as possible, and lay prone! Two snipers can meanwhile attempt 2-4 shots from their PKs.
Next round, if your grenadies have found the right spot, the robot will fire full auto at them, but should miss. (I caught one bullet). Next round, they should be able to get up and throw 3-5 heavy grenades, killing that bot (even 3 nades should do, it should be already damaged from your snipers).
The last bot could be a little harder to kill, but if you move your two snipers into the middle lower area and the grenadiers nearby, you should be able to run the grenadiers into the corner once the cut-scene ends. The snipers in PKs should survive long enough to let the grenadiers unload all their inventory :).
I'm not 100% sure, but I THINK that the last robot will appear randomly in either of the two side rooms, but if he appears in a predefined location, then have the grenadiers positioned just near the door, out of sight.
That's it, you've beaten the whole final battle at the cost of the PK sniper ammo only :)
This is ridiculously boring... on higher difficulty (enemy +3 levels), I cleared the whole level with Shade and Carm alone, using just silenced Sterling Patchets with JHP ammo. Well, almost alone - towards the end of the first part, I used my two snipers with TKB assaults rifles on snap shots to nail the guy behind the heavy MG as well, to clear it all in one turn, because I was not sure if he would not want to trigger the alarm (Could not kill all three of them in one turn with the two scouts).
The ending is somehow less satisfactory, too.
Normal random encounters
Many members of strategycore.co.uk forum. I put all the wisdom I could find anywhere into this article - and I'll be naming only those who submit suggestions once it has gone public :).