In 04 Arcadia City you begin with 6 Hornets and SGT Forge’s Warthog.
I list primary and secondary hints below. If you are not comfortable splitting your forces up then stick with the primary hints, but if you are good at multi-tasking and moving around the map go for the secondary ones as I feel they offer you better strategic positioning and economic benefits.
MAP MOVEMENT HINTS
Left Bumper = All units, selects all of your units on the map
Right Bumper = Local units, selects all of your units on the screen
Tap A = select unit
Hold + A = paint to select units, move the cursor around while holding down A to select more units
Double Tap A = selects all of your units on the map of that type. If you Double Tap A on a Warthog it will select all of your Warthogs on the map
Ok, just scroll down, there will be no secrets, no surprise, this is a total spoiler.
Note – Winning: This is not the only way to beat this map, and doesn’t guarantee success. This is what I used and it worked for me on both Normal and Easy levels.
FIRST SOME 04 ARCADIA CITY GAMEPLAY TIPS
– CARGO 3 DIES: Don’t bother expending any of your resources to protect Cargo 3. No matter what you do it will attempt an early take off and you will see a cutscene of Cargo 3’s attempted emergency takeoff where it is surrounded by Covenant forces and it will be destroyed (even if you’ve killed all of the Covenant forces in the area previous to the cutscene). There are cargo crates and other things in the area. Don’t sacrifice any of your units or spend any resources trying to heal Cargo 3, because it WILL be destroyed.
Tip 2 – HEALING: Try to be strategic with your healing; for example keep in mind its costs less to build a new Warthog or infantry unit than it does to heal it. You can heal the Cargo ships. When you plan to do any healing, other than emergency healing, try to get several friendly units around a Cargo ship and heal the ship and your units at the same time.
Tip 3 – UPGRADE PATH: The upgrade path I followed got me turrets add-ons of Flame Mortars (anti-infantry) and Missile Launchers (anti-aircraft), upgrade from regular turrets to medium turrets, upgraded carpet bomb, reinforcements, a barracks and an Air Pad. To do this you need at least 2 Reactors and a Field Armory.
Tip 4 – SUPPLY CRATES: Supply crates dot the map, so watch for them and collect them as you have a chance.
Tip 5 – NEW SUPPLY PADS & REACTORS VS HEAVY SUPPLY PADS & ADVANCED REACTORS: Start our with regular Supply Pads and Reactors and upgrade to Heavy Supply Pads and Advanced Reactors after you’ve run out of room – it costs less that way.
Primary 1. Move forward (east) and engage the Covenant forces at the outside of the city square surrounding the subway exit, then turn right (southeast) and engage the ones inside the city square as they exit the subway. Then follow any large group toward their Landing Zone (LZ) 1, 2 or 3. This may help you toward the optional objective of rescuing civilians, and sets you up to protect LZ’s 1 and 2. After the cutscene where Cargo 3 is destroyed a Spartan from Red Team will come on screen and suggest setting up new ground operations, then Serina will highlight 2 possible locations on the map for bases to the southeast and southwest of the LZ’s just outside of the subway station exit where you begun the game.
Secondary - Leave 2 Hornets behind to help protect Cargo 1 and Cargo 2. Send them back and forth between the Cargo ships as they are attacked.
Primary 2. Next, move your forces to one of the bases Serina pointed out, I chose as my primary base is the one that was southeast of the LZ’s because it seemed more defensible. I began with a Reactor to gain access to the Carpet bomb and then built a Warthog.
Secondary – Send Forge’s Warthog along with 2 Hornets to the other base and start building. If you establish the other base first, it is the one the Covenant will launch its main attacks against and this one will only be attacked by scattered Covenant now and again, but doesn’t require heavy defense. 2 turrets, the 2 Hornets and Forge’s Warthog should be defense enough. Use this second base for:
- upgrade from Firebase to Station
- build a turret to defend the station
- build a Supply Pad or 2
- build a Reactor
- add Flame Mortars (anti-infantry) and/or Missile Launchers (anti-aircraft) add-ons to your turrets to keep your bases safer
- build more Supply Pads and Reactors
- upgrade from Station to Fortress if you run out of building slots and have time left
Primary 3. The flow of this part of 04 Arcadia City can depend upon whether or not you’ve built a second base… you will need to upgrade your primary from a Firebase to a Station, and build a turret. Next, as the flow of the game proceeds decide to build either a) a Field Armory so you can upgrade to medium turrets, or b) or a Supply Pad or 2. Add a Barracks next, and when you’ve got enough Reactors and resources add an Air Pad, though I’m pretty sure you could build a Vehicle Depot instead.
Continue building new units, healing several units as mentioned in the Tip on Healing, above. When the Covenant attack your primary base (or only base) they will sometimes attack from 2 sides, and at the end possibly from 3. I split my local forces to deal with both prongs of their attacks, sending the larger, or more powerful force against the largest threat. Watch the recharge time on your Carpet bomb, you may need to use it during the last minute of this map!
Secondary – There is a Covenant base to the east of the primary base. I wouldn’t stir up that hornet’s nest unless you a) come across it very early and its weak enough (I didn’t check) or you get farther on through the game and have upgraded your Carpet bomb and have some strong forces. Try sending a Warthog or 2 in there to see what I mean.