I’ve been playing Field Commander on the PSP for many months now. It’s a great game and for the most part, once you get the hang of the units, each map can be completed in one or two tries in usually less than an hour. I went through a good deal of the game playing for a little bit right before bed or when I had some time to kill here or there. Everything was cool and fun until I got to a level called Eve’s Study. I got so frustrated that I almost quit the game. Looking online for help was futile. Others had the same problem but no one came forward with a solution. I’m here to document what I did so that others can hopefully not get as frustrated and continue to enjoy this fantastic game.
The level’s goal is pretty straight forward. Capture the airport, ferry a trooper over to an island and capture the city, all in 40 turns. It’s not that easy though, as the enemy uses snipers and stealth tanks to stop you. Whenever I would get close, they would nail me from a distance. I could never get that airport and when I did, I would run out of time before I could get a unit over to the island. After the first five or six failures, I started trying different strategies until I came across one that worked.
The default division is the Swarming Wasps. At first they don’t seem like the best pick for the map. They are cheap to build, but can’t use terrain very well and capture slowly. They will be the key to victory, however. The enemy is the Black Bears and they have no real strengths or weaknesses.
To beat this level there are three things you have to do:
- Counter their snipers and stealth tanks with your own snipers and regular tanks
- Stop their reinforcements
- Use your division’s special abilities
At the start of the level, move your units up the two roads; one on the west of your main base and one on the east. On the west road, capture the building. On the right road, don’t bother with the building; your units will just get killed trying to capture it. The forest is helpful here, because it mostly keeps the enemy blocked from coming directly down to your base and it gives your units a place to hide. As soon as you can, make two snipers and send then up into this forest and into stealth mode. Use your scouts to get them up there faster. A truck would help you ferry guys faster as well, so build one in the next turn or so. Don’t go rushing into the area north of the forest. You’ll just get cooked. Use your snipers to pick off their units as they get close and un-stealthed. After the city along the west road is captured, send your trooper west to the factory and capture that for an easier time inserting units into the battle. If possible, capture the other building as well.
This map gives you the ability to call in an Air Strike. Don’t waste it on single units unless you are poorly matched up in an inevitable face-off. If I didn’t see at least two enemy units in a line within five squares, I waited a turn or two to use it. Don’t forget it exists, and use it to soften up units before making your attacks. Once you use it, you’ll have to wait for it to build up again.
Just as you get a special unit to Air Strike, the enemy has a special EMP-like attack that will cause the target and nearby units to not be able to move for the next turn. They tend to use it well enough to slow you down right before you are about to make a move.
While you’re capturing on the left side and snipering in the center of the map, you’ll want to help yourself out by slowing the enemy reinforcements. I’ve had success moving either a tank or an anti-aircraft gun up the east road to their factory and just camping out there. If you wait until your trooper is capturing the factory in the west, you may be able to avoid trouble as they move units west to counter. They will occasionally try to destroy the unit on the factory, but if you keep the number of their units low, the AI will prefer to reinforce the battle rather than free their factory.
Scouts are helpful in revealing stealthed enemy units so that your snipers and tanks can attack. Stealth units are not as effective when they aren’t stealthed, so you can take advantage of that. On the flip side, your own stealthed units can help stall the enemy, as they will stop moving and end that unit’s turn when they come across one of your snipers waiting in hiding. When they stop moving, it usually means they have missed a chance to attack so you should strike first with a tank or other sniper. Afterward, move your unit away and back into stealth mode.
So far, I haven’t mentioned anything about capturing the airport. That’s because you don’t need to. Yes, I know that is what the mission briefing tells you to do, and I’m sure it’s possible, but that’s not the only option.
Your division has two abilities that you can take advantage of. Double Shot creates two stealth fighters at half strength near your base. As soon as this ability is available, use it. Then send those two up the left side of the map. Park them over a captured city to recharge them if you want, but it’s not totally necessary. I’ve had to use them in combat a few times to protect the capturing trooper, but that’s not their main goal. When you get a chance, send them up to the island in the northwest corner that doesn’t have the city on it.
The second ability of the Swarming Wasps is Eject. This destroys one of your fighters, but does 100% damage to that square and 75% to adjacent squares. It also dumps a half-health grunt on the ground. It can only be used next to or on an enemy unit.
Well, what do you know? After awhile, the enemy decides to reinforce the target island with an anti-aircraft gun. You might think that is bad, but in actuality, you need it there. Since the Eject ability requires an enemy to be nearby, you’ve just been handed victory. Take one of your fighters and end it’s turn over the anti-aircraft gun. Do the moves for the rest of your units. If you aren’t in the middle of combat, send your units up between the water and the enemy’s second factory, and be sure to sit someone on the actual factory to stop the enemy from building anything. Go back to the fighter and select Eject. It should blow up the anti-aircraft gun and leave you with that damaged grunt. Take the unit and begin capturing the city.
You aren’t home free yet. Once you start the capture, the enemy will bring in yet more reinforcements from off the map. An anti-aircraft gun and a rocket launcher. The units you moved near the water should be able to overrun these two before they can do any damage. Keep capturing the city, destroying any other enemy units you find, and prepare your victory speech.
I hope that this guide can help at least one person get unstuck on this level. This is one of my favorite PSP games and an extremely well-done representative of the genre. If this solution helped you, please comment and let me know! If you need more assistance, well, I can try that too.