Story Mode is mostly very easy, even on Hard Mode, where all character-piloted enemies will always beat the player at their own card games. Most players will probably check out the Badlands, play some Badlands maps repeatedly to get more gear and cards, and sometimes level up. It is irrefutable that the Badlands nets the player more exp, and better cards and gear, even if only a little. However, for an experienced player, who already has played the game at least once, it is absolutely no problem to ignore the Badlands, and challenge themselves with playing Story Mode without the benefits the Badlands bring. What isn't absolutely no problem is the challenge itself. For a large amount of the game, only a few units will actually do sizable damage, and if the player doesn't know what they are doing, only a few units won't be one-hit-killed by enemies who are three times the level they are. Without the Badlands, players only have a limited amount of scrap ore to collect, and therefore can't afford the weapons which will made their units powerful before, and have a very limited amount of cards. A thorough knowledge of the game and all of its intricacies are required to beat the Story Mode this way, and even the last two chapters are outrightly impossible to beat. This is a very enjoyable and rewarding challenge, as players beat the odds and triumph over specialized and impossible AI's, waves of enemies, and especially beat all enemies on maps they are supposed to run away from on a normal mode. In fact, not visiting the Badlands until the game has been beaten is actually canon- which is an almost equally impossible feat on Easy Mode.

Preparing for Chapter 16Edit

Chapter 16 is an important chapter, for every unit, in terms of the hangar. Every slot for Honey-B, in fact, will be fully-upgraded by then, including the Quadra-Drill she will have bought 2 chapters ago, and she will never upgraded again for the entirety of Story Mode, nearly half of the game's length. The three main melee units will have the Megamotor 60, Honey-B and K-Buto will have a Side Armor 3 which makes them nigh-impervious to damage, and Grand-E will simply have a Giga Balancer. Sev-N (and Hopp-R if cannon drone) will have a new Antenna 3, while Y-Ite and Friz-B (and Hopp-R if not) will have Hawk-Eye 3's. If there is enough scrap ore left, equipping a Thorax Armor 2 on Y-Ite and Friz-B if that hasn't been done yet is an idea. A Radar 2 won't help Clove-R too much, and the Thorax Armor 3 would've been made a long time ago. and obviously D-Scythe can't have a good attack power and high defense yet and he is almost always the best choice to avoid using in battle, even with a low-cannon Hopp-R, due to the higher MOV.

Making economous choices is somewhat important, especially if you want to keep old equipment. If not, it is a little less important, and you may end up with 800t in the end if you do, but there still may be a few conflicts, as 800t can be burned through quite fast, even with recycling. Keeping off making a gear that will be outclassed in two chapters isn't much of a big problem, like with Sev-N keeping a low-range low-damage cannon for 2 missions until getting the Missiles X3 which he will keep for a large chunk of the story chapters, or not making Hawk-Eye 2's at all.

Chapter 5 - The SubordinatesEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 5
Mission 5 is the first mission that will actually be a problem for you if you are playing Hard Mode and not levelling in the Badlands, as is intended. If you haven't upgraded K-Buto, he will be weaker than the two rhino beetles, and K-Buto is always the most powerful unit in your group for the first half of the game.

The mission is split into three groups, with the first group being very very difficult. That is the Stag Beetle, Waterbug, Firefly, and soon the Rhino Beetles, all making a beeline directly for you. The problem with this first part is you want the tetra, you don't want K-Buto or Dor-O or Hicar-E to die, you have to dodge the firefly and keep back, you can't enter any of the subordinates' attack radiuses, but you need to kill the first three units fast so the two rhino beetles aren't attacking with them.

The best thing to do is to draw the firefly very close by backing to the left of the map, and have a few units waiting for the firefly before it gets into range of the rest of them, and attacking at the lower right-ish, keeping one drone in range of its attack if you can't kill it in one turn so it won't run away (unless you want it to). At the same time, you'll be fighting the waterbug and stag beetle on the upper left. The firefly takes a few attacks to go down if unlevelled, but taking it down is priority.

Once the rhino beetles come into range, you will have an easy time dying. Using an attack card is actually a smart idea, but use the attack card first, the attack card will be very effective and near-kill one of them. Stay away from the Tetra if you don't want the rhino beetles targetting it, they are aggressive. Going for an all-out risk attack is not the best idea, but isn't the worst either. It could lose the entire battle for you, but might also save it. Again, they're either stronger or as strong as K-Buto, and you know by now that K-Buto is incredibly powerful. So don't just attack them with melee attacks willy-nilly. If you can subdue the rhino beetles, probably making good use of Dor-O's full healing ability and using at least a healing card to keep K-Buto attacking,

you can take a breather and destroy the tetra finally. The rest of the Swarm are easy.

Now for the subordinates. It should be easy to co-ordinate a group attack using Y-Ite, K-Buto, and Hicar-E against Grand-E, due to how slow he is, around the forest and sand. Unfortunately, Dor-O and A-Geeto can't even do damage, and Y-Ite does little without a card. Three rounds of Hicar-E, without any help, will kill Grand-E (and both of the others), and his attacks can be restricted keeping him in the sand, so there is no actual rush. K-Buto can take 2 shots, so letting Grand-E attack K-Buto so he can counter is a strategy. The other two won't come for a while and their AI has problems figuring out which direction to get to you, so if you really need to, you can put them off, but again, three turns is going to be enough.

Get them to come via the upper right instead of the lower left, utilizing the forest for defense while forcing the mantis into the sand. The mantis has a high attack power and can take out drones surprisingly fast. Honey-B will probably come before the mantis, but will run away from damage and defer to D-Scythe for a turn if she needs to. This could potentially kill you the next turn. But because you have the forest, even level 9 vs level 2 is actually good odds, and utilizing the sand dune will knock the two down in about two or three turns.

Chapter 6 - The OriginsEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 6
Chapter 6 is actually pretty easy on hard mode and no Badlands. The stage provides a huge gap between no defense for all enemies and two-shield defense your two ground units will stand in most of the time. There are just a few things to remember.

The subordinates each have only one attack card, and unless they target one of the girls, they can't kill your drones if they defend and aren't attacked by others too. They are easy to take down because of the wealth of attack and healing cards you have now, and the heavy amount of cover, which none of them will take advantage of.

While it looks like the various rocks and bases with three-shield defense will absolutely help you and you'll run to them as soon as you can, you won't. This time, all enemies rush to you, regardless of whether you're in their attack range, with the exception of the mosquitos and the ladybug. Including the subordinates. You will never make it as far as the upper left rock, and you'll spend half the mission about two squares away from the lower-most rock if you choose to go right. If you go right, you will always be protected by the trees, and it will slow the mantis quite a bit, he will jump out of the forest before planning to attack you, netting you easy killing. Going right means splitting the rhino beetles away from the fighting. While this provides more defense, you'll use all your healing cards (if you only have four) to do this, and will lead to a few gambits. If you go up, there is less chance you'll stay in the forest, or even the bases, and you'll probably be out in the open because of the issue of mobility. This is quicker, and somewhat easier, although has more opportunities to fail. No enemies will try to get the capsule, despite what K-Buto says, only one enemy in the game is designed to take capsules, although this will be very relevant in the next mission. So don't be scared to go right and ignore the capsule completely.

Yui can handle a lot of hits from ants, and Dor-O recieves 0 damage from every enemy except the rhino beetle, who he can take as many hits from. Shoya can handle two hits from a rhino beetle if he defends. If Dor-O runs to the capsule without support (going right), he will get trapped between one of the ants and the rhino beetle, and because of Dor-O's defense, and the importance of the rest of the battle, you'll probably forget about him and the fact that it will take at least 3 turns to actually get the rhino beetle off of Dor-O without a teleporting gambit, unless you plan on letting the beetle one-hit-kill a flying unit as a distraction, and the fact that this cuts everyone off from full-heal docking. A fully-healed flying unit bait for the surrounding ant and a well-placed teleporting get-away right before Dor-O is killed is a good gambit, because the battle is busy and keeping one LV5 rhino beetle away is very useful. The other rhino beetle can be kept away by a well-defended Shoya until Yamato finishes all the subordinates off. Again, don't attack rhino beetles with Shoya! Not even with a card, it's a waste of a card.

Chapter 8a - Through Enemy LinesEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 8a
In preparation for this chapter, build a thorax armor or laser sight, depending on what you want to equip Clove-R with in the next mission, and equip that to Y-Ite if you want her to be active in the mission. Do not build the drill for K-Buto, he will get a much better weapon in this very chapter as a capsule.

This chapter is the simpler and easier but most haphazard of the two missions, and has less rewards for it. It wouldn't be advised to take this chapter instead of the other if you are restricting the amount of scrap ore earned.

Cross diagonally and spawn K-Buto up-right, A-Geeto up-left, both will be standing on sand that immediately goes to road, and Hicar-E down-left. K-Buto's position is so that he can attack the tetras from the north-east so that Jet-I will attack him, if the others attack from the south-west. Just don't get in his 2~3 range or he will use his catapult.

Both tetras can go down in one turn, and then Jet-I in another turn.

Clove-R will try to attack the pillbugs and will result in 0 damage, and sometimes even melee attack them! Most probably, both will die, wasting numerous turns with the pillbugs attacking them instead of you. If the pillbugs don't start running to the corner, K-Buto planted on the rocks will actually be enough to prevent one pillbug from attacking, while the other will do minimal damage to K-Buto even in a counter, considering that K-Buto will probably need at least two heals in this chapter, every two rounds. A card hit and a counter is enough to kill each unit.

The difficult part of the round only lasts for as long as the two pillbugs and one stag beetle are around. Then, the stage becomes incredibly easy and consists of just purely clean-up. So while K-Buto is working, it may a good idea to send A-Geeto in Dor-O to the warp pad and start that.

Chapter 8b - Winding Roads of DestinyEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 8b
In preparation for this chapter, build a thorax armor or laser sight, depending on what you want to equip Clove-R with in the next mission, and equip that to Y-Ite if you want her to be active in the mission. Do not build the drill for K-Buto, he will get a much better weapon in this very chapter as a capsule.

The first thing you should know: despite the cannoneers having bad damage, Hydel can kill the girls with cannons. Strangely, in the editor's personal game, he hit Hicar-E less than 30 the first turn, but then one-shotted her the next. It happened exactly the same 3 times, not sure what happened. Do not use Hicar-E on Hydel anyway, it will only be about 20 damage due to his higher barrier.

After Hydel, there is an easy choke-off point after the sand, where the player can place two units with one on the rocks. This is for dealing with most of the enemies in the chapter. Now, the trouble is, the AI will avoid targetting K-Buto every time they can, even if they do 0 damage (in the case of Dor-O), so if you place K-Buto on the rocks, you will be damaging one enemy at a time, with one enemy in counter, maximum, if you want the rocks. I should note that even attacking with three units probably won't kill an enemy without cards, and this is probably going to take a long time if done correctly. Don't get pissed off or impatient, these drones can kill Y-Ite, A-Geeto, and Clove-R, in just one turn, if they have more than one side vulnerable, especially because of the cannons. This means Clove-R will always die. Don't let your units die too. There is a sweet spot between the two ladybugs where Hicar-E can stand and attack with K-Buto. Dor-O can help with cover fire with minor damage. Keep in mind, even after using cards, enemies with a even low speed can and will dodge her cannon. After killing all the units who drive to you, you should only have the ladybugs left, where you can easily grab the capsules and finish the mission.

Chapter 9 - The Origin of WisdomEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 9
Before you start the mission, there are a few very important things to note. You have probably noticed by now, the guns are significantly weaker, despite their accuracies being much higher than melee accuracy. Well, in order to be at the same strength, a gunner will have to have double the accuracy of a melee user. Damage is made from multiplying power and accuracy together, and if you want to, you can bust out a calculator every time you want to equip one of your drones. For example, if a melee unit's accuracy is 190, a gun unit needs to have 380 to be at the same level, because most probably, the melee unit's power will be 190 and the gun unit's power will be 90. Anti- gunners with a good attack power in the first place forego this completely, essentially doubling their output anyway, with the accuracy increase on top of it, but for only those units which it affects. When it comes to these units, the doubling is only after the entire damage formula, however, so attacking, say, a pillbug with 3 damage would result in only 6.
Clove-R's introduction also opens up the world of defense ruling, speed drooling. Defense has double the power of speed, to offset the slightly more common full damage evasion and the inclusion of beam evasion. Clove-R, as well as most other units, would like to trick you into raising speed, and then coming to the conclusion that speed-based units suck. Most units, especially Clove-R, will become like tanks if you equip one defense-raising booster. Especially legitimate with high natural speed units, who will have even much more defending power than other units with the same defense as them, especially in countering rather than defending. This is one of the most important things to remember. Clove-R needs to be in the heat of battle, so she needs to have the Thorax Armor. It is optional to equip Y-Ite with a thorax armor too, but if you don't want units dying easily, especially if you reset if it happens, the costly 120t is for her too, and becomes terribly effective in this mission.

Now, the mission. The mission is definitely more difficult on Hard Mode, with the added benefit of an endgame-equipped Hydel, and it will require probably the most strategy yet, but you have so, so much more strategy at your disposal. So, actually, after 3 enemies, the mission becomes incredibly easy- albeit really long. Jet-I will have a beam bumper, a full armor, and a moderate cannon. The beam bumper can kill any unit in one hit if they don't evade and/or aren't lucky, depending on level-up. Furthermore, because of the defense, not even Clove-R will be able to even scratch him without a card. A level 6 K-Buto with full balancers and using a Neptune Horn card just barely one-shots all his health, which is a measely 150. Do not underestimate his low health, what with that endgame armor on.

The mantises are also a threat, because they are on the ground, thus gaining terrible defense on the bases, and half your units are flying. Granted, with the Thorax Armors, only one (or two) will be vulnerable, they can be killed easily. With thorax armors, both can take about 2 hits before in dire need of healing. It will require everyone attacking one mantis to kill it, which ultimately requires you to keep all flying units away or with throax armors and healed. Properly positioning Hicar-E on a blockade of one or two units, with the mantis' poor MOV, makes Hicar-E capable of getting very very close without threat, once it is down to only one mantis.

Now there are four corners of the map to run over to to finish the mission, each with varying levels of difficulty. Though it's highly doubtful that it's needed to be said, with the last few brutal chapters, but DO NOT SPLIT UP.

The obvious choice would be the most dangerous-looking one of them all, up. Goading even one of the rhino beetles triggers all the units standing on bases to immediately come after the player. Fortunately for you, the ladybugs' accuracy is off, and they will probably all finish their turn before their cannons can reach you. Unfortunately for you, in order to execute a coup to take out the two beetles, one or two units will have to step right into all four ladybugs' range and attack the one further back. Using a level 1 card will not be enough, so a level 1 card and another attacker, or a level 2 card, must be, to finish them off in one turn. Now, before executing the goad for the coup, make sure that none of the cannoneers can be targetted by the stag beetle within two turns. Count the tiles, if they are not within 7 squares of the upper-left of the tetra, they are okay. Again, fortunately for you, the ladybugs' cannons won't even scratch your drones if they have the coveted 50+ defense, and the stag beetle to the left can be killed with two cannoneers, again, one with a card and one not, or just one with a level 2 card. If one misses, don't worry, Shoya can back them up, and they can last a turn if they just defend. If the cannoneers do miss, the ladybugs are not important and your guys can come help. These stragglers are very easy and go down in a few hits. Although it's not exactly a hardpoint in the game, the butterfly will fly over to your cannoneers. Simply put Hicar-E on a healing pad and defend. No damage will be made.

Again, if you get within 1 square of the ant's attacking range, it will trigger the ant and ants will start coming out of the colony, and the mosquitos and skimmers will rush toward you. But again, and especially this time, they can't hurt you. In fact, the ants and striders will attack any melee attackers in range before the weaker units, yes, even on hard mode. None of them can damage Sev-N in forest, which says something for their damage to Hicar-E. In fact, this editor finished the last 2 turns of the mission with Minoru's adorable Sev-N jumping at the mosquito and strider doing 50 and 30 damage respectively as their death blows.

Chapter 11 - General JegardEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 11 firefly
Any amount of ease had in Chapter 10 is thrown into Chapter 11 at full force. Look at the map before playing it. Thanks to Hard Mode, the Fireflies are equipped with the "FCS Mach 2", a powerful item only gained from Badlands 48, a mere 2 levels away from the hardest maps in the game, and a nice Aura Beam 2 to boast. What this does is it makes over two thirds of the relevant battlefield severely wounding territory, for every unit in your group, unless they wear two barrier boosters. There are also four useful capsules littered across the level, all protected by the fireflies and the generals, who are all level 15. All enemies are also 2 levels higher than your strongest drones, and all have either high mobility or are ranged, so every enemy will attack you before you hit them. If you delve further, there are traps carefully laid out, like how the ladybug is fully-protected by the firefly, or how trying to get the south capsule on the first turn will result in one of the flying enemies stealing it.

On turn 5, all the generals will come out. This is not necessarily difficult, as long as you have one trump card. Minoru's Sev-N. He can nearly one-hit-kill both the lead generals the four even if they use a Bagworm Shell card if he is fully-equipped with Missiles X3, the best cannon boosters, and uses both level 2 cannon cards. Move him to the corner where it's open grass right next to the line of trees, and he can one-hit-kill the ladybug, and severely wound two of the generals. Yamato and Yui should wait for the moth, and make sure you position Hicar-E correctly. These three generals are incredibly easy and killed without hurting anyone, with merely two units.

Drone Tactics Chapter 11 screen7
and then there is Hydel. He appears right next to the Cicada Song card, and will grab it if you don't. What you're going to want to do is position Y-Ite, Clove-R, and Honey-B, all so that on the next turn, they will land perfectly outside of the firefly's range, on the south-east side of the map. Now, this can be difficult, but if you can't figure it out, you probably shouldn't be doing this challenge. By no means should Honey-B or Clove-R even try to get the capsule or go close to Hydel's attacking range. Remember, the capsule is within the range of the firefly, who uses beams, and Hydel's bumper is a beam bumper. Both can one-hit-kill low-HP flying units with an unlucky evasion. The butterfly has somewhat of a chance at least, though admitedly, not good. The main problem is you will probably end up with 70t after outfitting your units, and barriers and speed boosters are costly and largely ineffective. It is highly advised you don't make any for this, let alone across the entirety of the game, the extra pain from being attacked by the bee can simply be cured, and most of your fighting is going to be indirect and one-hit-kill fighting, so heal cards are not an issue. Even with a card and fully-outfitted, none of your flying units will do enough damage to take him out. This screenshot is of Clove-R fully-outfitted and using a level 2 card.

The large collection of melee attackers and cannoneers out of range in the south of the map are almost never in danger of being hit, and can always trap the enemy into running to them and then rushing them, still out of sight of the fireflies. But most probably, Minoru will deal with two of the generals on his own, and the other general will for sure be killed the turn they show up on, which only leaves, in the entire mission, the fireflies and Hydel. Everyone else is easy pickings and killed immediately, or the stag beetle left at the very end. Hydel also needs to be carefully controlled. His missiles are damaging, but not so much that it is an issue. Of course, this doesn't mean Tsubasa shouldn't be healed after nearly being killed, especially if she isn't wearing the thorax armor. Hydel may try to get the capsule north, but keeping his missiles in range, or at the end, his physical attack, should keep him from doing that. He should die quickly from being battered by cannons and fully-outfitted melee attackers.

MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE FIREFLIES' RANGE. They will probably move, especially in the later half of this battle.

After that, the chapter is as good as won. Collect the capsules, kill the stragglers, the end.

Keep in mind, defeating the generals is entirely for posterity. You will only get about 90 or so more scrap ore from defeating them. and while defeating them nets the three amigos new gear and is very easy, this is not canon. For nearly every mission from now on, with this chapter included, you will have the option of running to the end of the map. Clearly, you cannot do this, no matter what. This will net less exp and scrap ore, which is needed to continue making it through the chapters and to the final one. But know that every mission that has that option, it is canon that you did run. Don't let this discourage your fighting.

Also, you now have the benefit of leaving your drones out of the fighting. If a drone has been killed, their exp will be 80% as much as everyone elses', but the worst is 70% for those who weren't brought in the fight, rounded down.

A warning: you will lose Shoya and Yui. You will not get them back for the entire duration of the middle third of the game. Congratulations, you just passed the first third of the game. The exact chapters are chapter 19 and chapter 20. Yui and Shoya will have been in your group for
about 16 chapters by the end of the game, which is only about over half of it.

Again, congratulations! You've just beat a third of the game!

Chapter 12a - Dash Across the Plains!Edit

Drone Tactics Chapter 12a
It is STRONGLY RECCOMENDED to play the other chapter.

Once again, they have it mixed up. The 'plains' is a forest and a beach against each other, with a big rivienne in between. and this chapter has just the same amount of enemies, and they are easier. Yes, this editor sees the dragonflies and cicadas. Think about how this guide does things for a minute. Yeah, one-turn kills with cards. Flying units, you say? They have less health and defenses so that they can fly. and what are these? Flying units, you say? Hmm.

Move carefully around the line separating the poison beach and from the rest of the 'plains' (forest clearing) east (if the fireflies in the previous mission weren't enough, the 'line' is the attack range of the cicada and dragonfly). Now, not that you absolutely must be scared, but there is a trap laid here. Compare the ranges of the cicada and the dragonfly, you can't trap the cicada because his range separation is on the water, while the dragonfly's is on the land. Guess which one you can actually handle. Now, look at the area where the south corners are single-square trees, with the northeast corner as an ant and the northwest and middle just grass. That is where you want your bee to be. But if you land anywhere near there, the ants will of course be angry and come after you, right? Well, so do the other dragonfly and cicada, the butterfly, and all 8 ants will come out of their colony. and just the 2 ants and the dragonfly are enough to near-kill Honey-B without defense. So if you are really scared and don't trust evasion (you shouldn't by any stretch of the means), don't attack the ant. The next turn, simply send in your mantis and rhino beetle and one-hit-kill the cicada and dragonfly, probably sending Honey-B back into Dor-O, and leave the mantis and ladybug defended. For this part, this editor left Sev-N to deal with the ladybug on the island and Grand-E to deal with the the ant colony and rhino beetle. Despite the fact that the mantis is the worst unit, easily-proven, he also makes the bee and the 3 anti-gunners incredibly easy by one-hit-killing them. You need only one card to deal with all of them.

The ants are very easy, and cannot do damage against someone with thorax armor. Three hits from an ant will kill Sev-N, but Grand-E, Sev-N, and some healing assistance behind them are enough to destroy the oncoming horde of ants and the rhino beetle.

The rhino beetles are similarly easy. If K-Buto is level 8-9, has the buzzsaw horn, and has +70 MA for motors, he can half-kill a rhino beetle on one turn, and then finish it off on the next, only recieving about a third or half of his total HP as damage. So K-Buto and well-placed strategy alone will kill both of the north rhino beetles.

I don't think I have to tell you to not send ground units to destroy the colony, and continue with the land units across the bridge.

From there, the pillbugs can be handled by the melee units, and the stag beetle can be handled by the gunners.

Chapter 12b - Through the MountainsEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 12b
It is STRONGLY RECCOMENDED to play this chapter. It results in an incredibly useful Mosquito Bite card and enough Butterfly Kiss cards to make a Monarch Kiss card, along with more difficulty and tactics, and a whopping 504t more. To understand what to do with these new cards, see Rewards/Cards#Healing_Cards and Rewards/Cards#Melee_Cards.

This mission is somewhat hard, and easy to mess up, but isn't too hard if you know what you are doing. Look at the map all you want, know that there are 30 enemies on this map all you want, that won't change anything. Two units, a pillbug and rhino beetle, are enough to take on 3 level 11 pillbugs, without cards. This is because of the magic of Dor-O, which you will have to use right when the mission starts.

The pillbugs have anti-air, so do not attack them with your bee. Hide all your air units away from their range (which isn't much), and release only Grand-E and K-Buto to the northwest, and southeast. Deploy one drone northeast, and drive up, and deploy everyone else, making sure to deploy Sev-N southeast. This is to get his missiles in range. K-Buto can take about 3 hits, but if you've underlevelled him with bonus exp, it might be two, so make sure Grand-E is always being attacked at least once. Do not use Clove-R or Honey-B as backup, Clove-R won't do much damage, and the pillbugs can dodge, so it's not a sure thing, no matter how low the enemy's health is. Always make sure to keep the shield with Grand-E, Dor-O, and K-Buto, or Sev-N will be killed.

You can let one of your drones fly off to the ant colony to piss them off, but look at the fireflies' range. The bottom one has one single square of the ground over the mountain, and the other firefly has a large range that will hinder you against the stag beetles. The ant colonies both have four enemies total in them, let them come out or you will earn less scrap ore and experience, and also, for future missions, less cards if there are enough cards, it works by percentage. The ants are easy, and they are essentially the only enemy you should use the mantis on.

Getting in range of the Stag Beetles will also trigger the butterflies. If you're letting the bee run around without side armor, which is a legitimate strategy to save on scrap ore, she can take maybe 2 hits, but her higher speed makes damage unreliable. In a few more missions, she gains the ability to equip the Quadra-Drill, a weapon that not only is 4 missions before her 'final weapon' (in the Story Chapters), but is stronger because speed has half the strength of defense. Until chapter 14, she's fine. 2 chapters after that, Side Armor 3. It's your choice. But the Side Armor 2 costs 150t, and normally you should avoid that high cost. To equip her fully costs 540t over the course of 2 missins, so watch out. The stag beetles and butterflies shouldn't be any worse than the pillbugs at all, but remember to keep everyone above the little lake, again creating a barrier, especially Sev-N, who will mop them up very fast if he's not running dodging the stag beetles. Remember, the butterflies' AI is fooled by their straw whips, so your three melee attackers will recieve 0 damage and brutally hurt the butterflies if they attack non-cannon.

When dealing with the soldier units, Dor-O can actually do good damage, so don't be afraid to put him into cannon position.

The last part of the mission is, again, arguably the bulk of it, but it's just the fireflies and ladybug. Sneak Honey-B or Y-Ite around the southeast forest to get that mosquito bite card, you'll probably get a lot of use out of it in this mode. and by the love of god, take out that ladybug with your own, or any gambit you're planning on making won't work. and please remember to look at both ladybugs' ranges before moving your drones. If you don't, guaranteed you will be hit. Their attack power isn't too too bad, the melee units and Dor-O can withstand one blow, which is what you're banking on to kill them. Get Clove-R in range of the less-ranged base-hovering firefly, and next turn, run over, attack it with a card, and move Dor-O into the other's range, and far enough to where he will land right on the 2RNG spot on the next turn. You do have 5 healing cards, so you can afford one turn of damage to Dor-O. After that, because the ladybug isn't there, you can take all your time using Dor-O's cannon and Clove-R's guns to kill the last one. If, for some reason, the gun card does not work, essentially, you are screwed.

If you haven't started the mission yet, I'd say take multiple gun cards, and more than one teleport card in case you make a mistake along the way. This editor only used one gun card and two healing cards in the entire chapter.

Chapter 13 - EscapeEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 13
You have 10 turns to combat enemies who can kill you in one hit if you make one wrong move. Do you try to defeat as many enemies as you can to gain rewards, or do you just try not to die? Well, the answer is simple. If you don't die but don't kill anything, you have no experience to gain anyway, so there is no 20% to knock off.

The first order of business is knowing whether you are going to waste 200t and one of your units on a Cicada Song card. For completion, you may wish to do so, but just know it's a silly thing to do. Construct a Booster 2 and equip it on a flying unit, it doesn't matter which one really since flying units can't do good damage at this point in the game. Make sure they are wearing a thorax armor. When you start the chapter, release that drone upwards, and rush them to the Cicada Song and thus to their death.

The second order of business is getting cards. You'll want at least one locust leap, multiple defense cards, and lots of healing cards, with at least four melee attack cards. It is up to you if you want to use Sev-N to help out, but he will die in two turns if you do. Tread is a bitch when used against you.

As soon as the chapter starts, do not release any drones but the Cicada Song drone, run toward the forested area, and release a well-defensed flying drone. The next turn, leap the base forward with the flying drone and hope it doesn't get killed. Only one centipede should be able to attack it if you place the drone right. Keep running to the forest, and the mountainous wall will confuse the cowardly moths. Now, you can release Grand-E, and possibly Sev-N, but again, don't keep tons of cards for him. Grand-E will act as a distraction while Dor-O trudges forward. You will have pissed off the butterfly, which will trigger dragonflies and fireflies to come out of the colony, which is not good. As soon as the first firefly moves, it will cover the capsule. But the capsule is a Cricket Song, which is really honestly the kind of card you need here. You will not find a higher healing card than the Cricket Song, despite the fact that it is incredibly weak until it reaches its next level. Guaranteed, the sooner you have a Katydid Song, the better, and this will be one of the six that make it. Like before, any high-HP drone won't be killed, and can go back into Dor-O. You should avoid deploying the mantis or Sev-N if you haven't already. For the rest of the chapter, just keep driving up, and leaving behind sacrifices along the way when you need to to survive. Grand-E alone can take out all of the centipedes, a butterfly, and probably a dragonfly, but once the fireflies come around, he is dead.

Most probably, you won't see many of the Butterfly Kiss cards, and probably none of the special attack cards, and you will have a very small amount of the total exp and scrap ore, probably around 100 each, with maybe +50 bonus exp, and one of each common attack cards. But the more you kill, the more rewards you get, and the rarer the rewards. Since you are playing No-Badlands, you can't possibly kill everyone, and you don't have enough cards to do so anyway, not even if you were maxed out at level 30 with the best endgame Badlands weapons. So however you do, don't be ashamed.

Chapter 18a - A Changed WorldEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 18a

After carefully looking at the map and remembering how chaser flags work, it should be obvious why you should not go anywhere near west. This firefly trap doesn't exist in easy mode at all, and neither do most of the bees, or half of the enemies. In fact, this is why it is better to play this chapter than the other one. Instead, go east.

Unlike in the other chapter, where there are only air drones and ground drones, these drones are split into five seperate chaser switches. The two beetles, the striders, the 2 other soldier units, the mantises and pillbugs, and the flying units. Be very careful near the flying units, do not set them off, or the firefly trap will begin moving from its easily-destroyed position. You will be back to them after cleaning up the ground units.

When you're ready, place all of your units (not Grand-E or K-Buto, who should probably go to the south to the butterflies, although K-Buto is just fine without help) against the mountain on the north west, on the fringe of the enemies' range. Be careful not to accidentally land on firefly cannon range. Planting one unit on the bee's attack range will coax all the flying units out next turn, which allows you to charge forward cards blazing and one-hit-kill the fireflies. Don't use a blast gun, it won't kill them even with a card.

Chapter 18b - A Changed WorldEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter 18b
So you've chosen the harder one with less rewards. However, chapter 18b is fairly easy, like the past 6 chapters have been, but there are a few key things to take care of.

First, the northmost firefly can't hurt you even if you move all the way north to deploy the second wave of drones on turn 1. As long as you keep your units at least on that fringe, you are safe.

Speaking of fireflies, you might not exactly want to bother any of the flying units at all, as we know that like drones are flagged with chaser switches, and there are a lot of flying drones here who all have chaser switches linked to each other, and each other includes the fireflies. If you come within any flying drone's attack range, or accidentally get hit by a firefly, every single flying drone will try to converge on your location, which is the only reason why this Hard Mode article is even being written. Be extremely careful around any flying drone you see. After you've dealt with the ground units, set up a coup with your two anti-gunners ready to strike the two 6-range fireflies. The ground units are all linked as well, except for the ants (who are linked to mosquitos), so you never have to split up.

and be very careful with your 90HP cannoneer. A locust can near-kill it. However, your 'fragile' flying units can withstand some damage because they have defense, and locusts happen to have soldier AI's, meaning they will attack gunners with guns and meleers with melee.

When staging the coup, if you have outfitted Clove-R with a blast gun, pair her up with Honey-B and try to steer the lowermost firefly into a trap, because any non-card attack will do 0 damage, and that is not exactly feasible when you have a butterfly following the firefly for 3-4 turns healing all the damage you do, even if you do use cards. Friz-B does fine with the northmost firefly, he will near-kill the firefly for a few turns if you have a Thorax Armor, and he needs it if he's against a hard-attacking bee. Sev-N and Dor-O should distract the other firefly by moving 1 each turn. Dor-O obviously should dock the three ground units. Make sure that when you're dealing with the last firefly, to trap it, don't box it into a corner or you won't be able to attack it without only losing half HP and using one of your many heal cards!

Chapter 24 - Break Through!Edit

Drone Tactics Chapter 24 no
First thing's first. K-Buto, Grand-E, Honey-B, Jet-I and Sev-N, and be patient. Kris-T is useful as another high-defense high-damage maker, Clove-R is useful to attack the ladybugs. Hopp-R and Hicar-E are not going to get much use because the bulk of the chapter is the ladybugs.
This chapter is 35 turns long exactly. What does this mean? Beating everyone in the first few turns is not fun.

There are also a few very important things. The butterflies, as you know will heal repeatedly every turn. When you're standing on 0 shield defense and being pelted by 5 ladybugs and 2 spiders, this isn't exactly the best plan. Avoid the butterflies' range at all costs. Also, stay away from the road in front of the centipedes. They are easy to one-hit-kill with Honey-B, Kris-T, or Clove-R and cards, and they should be saved for last. Saving a ladybug is harder than it seems. The base pads are fine, while cannoneers should steer clear of anywhere near them.

The locusts will immediately attack the hero deployed ahead, so let that be Grand-E. The locusts will all start converging to you, and if you keep the shield of high defense units, you are never in danger. Keep the shield away from the ladybugs' cannon range, until you're ready to attack them. The locusts will just kill themselves.

Then, all you need is to place Kris-T or Grand-E in front of one of the base ladybugs' range, and they will all go crazy and abandon their posts. This is good, because they are easy to one-hit-kill on 0 defense than 3 shield defense and constant healing. This is when you place Jet-I and Sev-N on the 'front lines', behind the cannon range. On the next turn, they will advance, and the two 6-range cannoneers can destroy them. The ladybu
Drone Tactics Chapter 24 Screen4
gs will team up sometimes, but only by two, so two cannon cards can and will do the trick.

It is also optional to bring in Clove-R and K-Buto, as they can deal with the ladybugs and spiders easily. When talking about the spiders, 'easy' isn't the best word, however, as they have hefty attacks that can hurt all drones quite a bit, and have a habit of dodging for 10HP damage. However, if careful, it should be easy. If Jet-I stands on a base, he will be the last choice to attack with a cannon, so planting a high-HP and defense decoy will allow Jet-I to pelt for as many turns as he needs to. The spiders will attack melee drones with melee attacks until they or you have low HP, which means Clove-R and Kris-T are useful here. Then, the butterflies are destroyed easily, and the group can wait at the base for 35 turns.

If Honey-B uses a level 2 card, it might not destroy the centipede. If you want to, you can simply attack with both lesser flying drones after Kris-T's dealt with the first, but cards must be involved with both centipedes.

Bonus Stage - Secret StoreroomEdit

Drone Tactics Chapter BONUS highlights
Capsule in iron aside: Beam Blade
Capsule in left-most lower box: Monarch Dance
Capsule in right-most lower box: Converter 2
Capsule in middle forested box: Blast Scythe
Capsule in upper forested box: Aura Beam 3

This is the hardest chapter yet. The attack difference between Jet-I and Sev-N will be raised to the point that neither Jet-I or Hopp-R can reliably destroy an enemy drone even with cards, K-Buto will be brutally attacked over and over, most drones will be unusable, there must be perfect placement, perfect cards, and perfect luck, there is an unstoppable wave of drones who will destroy a tetra and steal a capsule and you cannot stop them, there is no way to take out the pelting cannon wall until halfway through the stage, most drones will be destroyed in one turn if placed wrong, and then you have to deal with the rest of the chapter after all that. This stage will last at least 50 turns, about half an hour, and if you do one thing wrong, the entire stage is lost.

First of all, you must remember that the game has a system which will randomly one-hit-kill any drone if the drone they're attacking is low on HP, and if their attack power is NEAR enough to kill them. This can go so far as 80HP in error or more.

Second, the wall of ladybugs is impossible to defeat without a melee drone. This is no exaggeration, it is impossible. It is also impossible to get the Beam Blade, and it is impossible to save the nearest tetra without destroying your most important drone in this stage. It is impossible to defeat the fireflies without a very good plan and care. It is impossible for your cannoneers, even Jet-I, to cross the wall of ladybugs, and so must stay behind. It is impossible to meet the huge rhino beetle wave in the middle of the stage. It is impossible to destroy a rhino beetle over time because of the butterflies, which means that any attacks leaving any drone with some HP, even incredibly low, will probably result in all of that damage being taken away by the butterflies.

Lastly, DO NOT GOOF AROUND, DO NOT TRY TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF, DO NOT TAKE CHANCES. Bring at least one Locust Leap, the Scarab Secret, and the Scorpion Rush card, and at least the 2 Morpho Dance cards, possibly more healing cards. This stage is incredibly long and one missing adjacent attack drone literally can destroy all chances of beating the stage.

When making a group, there are few choices, there needs to be at least K-Buto and Honey-B, arguably Clove-R and Kris-T as well, you need a strike force of flying units who can withstand damage. Clove-R is very useful at certain parts, and probably should be equipped with a Gatling Beam, but unlike the other two, cannot withstand cannons. Grand-E has a lack of speed, which if you couldn't tell from Y-Ite, creates a bad multiplication that sinks down whatever defense he does have, and his attack power is quite low, but he can pick up the slack as a shield in place of a cannoneer. Nyght-R can be used for cannons, having the same attack power at the same level as Hopp-R, higher than Jet-I for now, but with less range. You should be giving as much exp to Jet-I and Hopp-R as you can, though. The cannoneers and Grand-E are incredibly important in the first half of the chapter, but will become nonexistant in the later parts. However, if you don't have enough cannons, you probably won't survive. The last half of the mission requires only 3 drones. Jet-I is useful as a backup 6-ranger, which comes into use more often that you'd think. Hopp-R is useful for shifting around, but has less need for it through the entire chapter. R-Nej, A-Geeto, D-Scythe, Friz-B, and Y-Ite should not be in the fight at all.

Also, make sure to have the Steam Roller for K-Buto and Side Armors instead of Hybrid Armor. If you are equipping all 3 melee attackers, Honey-B is the best for wearing the Hybrid Armor due to evasion multiplication. The Stabilizer for Jet-I is not so useful as to waste the scrap ore on it if you haven't already, no Badlands ladybugs have 6 range until he gets 8.

Drone Tactics Chapter BONUS screen3
his first part of the stage is simply defending against the onslaught of pillbugs. Clove-R can survive one hit, Kris-T two or three, and Honey-B can survive many (when defending). Do not disturb the defensive line or pass your cannon range, and keep the cannoneers 3 spaces away.
Drone Tactics Chapter BONUS screen4
There is a sweet spot where K-Buto can stand and defend, with all cannoneers ready right from deploy (except one if you bring four, obviously, but that is easily fixed within one turn). As more pillbugs are destroyed, the last two can be killed in the same turn with good planning. Do not try to destroy the roach, you cannot kill him, not even with Sev-N and a level 3 card. The snail will probably begin attacking whoever it can reach from over the wall, so be careful with your cannoneers. Also, behind K-Buto's sweet spot is a safe square from the cannon wall, but the stag beetle will attack, so avoid that until later. Most probably, you won't destroy
Drone Tactics Chapter BONUS screen5
all the pillbugs before the snails release their payload of rhino beetles on Turn 4, which means that the many butterflies will come, making it very important to be sure that you will one-hit-kill your enemies, and not to sacrifice yourself with counter-attacks. You can avoid their healing cards entirely by simply only one-turn-killinging enemies and only defending in counter. Their attacks are harsher, and the snails can attack your cannoneers, but twice as many drones can attack now, and obviously the defenses of the rhino beetles are lower than the pillbugs. You can kill them in about 2 hits. Having Jet-I and Sev-N standing directly behind the attacker units allows their 6 range to reach the snail without advancing.

You should probably begin the air strike team when the rhino beetles come, however. Your flying units are free to fly to the end of the stage, while K-Buto and the cannoneers ward off the rhino beetles and snails, or if they've finished, K-Buto can run across the pelting wall. The ladybug wall can only be taken out by Honey-B and Kris-T, Clove-R is too fragile. Even Kris-T can't survive for very long without a heal card, but can act as a good meat shield. But a good Clove-R can tank the very end part of the stage by herself with a heal card and the Gatling Beam, although you may want to take it careful and attack that part with your entire air strike team. What Clove-R or Kris-T cannot do is retrieve the Aura Beam 3, or they will be one-hit-killed, but this opens up the possibility of K-Buto warping there for whatever reason.

Most probably, you will open the lower forested box first instead, by taking out the cannon wall. A straggling rhino beetle may try to attack Honey-B, but don't attack back, she won't recieve any damage from anyone except the pillbugs and fireflies as long as she defends (if you've also raised her level, which shame on you if you haven't). Once the first ladybug is down, Hydel can sneak to get the Converter 2, and after the second is down, all of your cannoneers can sneak into the warp as well, although they may be better suited to destroying the bees down the hallway. Don't ever counter-attack a rhino beetle, unless you are sure you can get to a base pad or heal. Leave two heal cards, especially a Morpho Dance, until you really need them, and just plain don't use the Morpho Dance. K-Buto can join up with Honey-B by warping to her, but the air strike team can easily deal with the rhino beetle by themselves.

The dragonfly/Aura Beam 3 box, again, can be defeated by Clove-R by herself, but luck can kill her, and it's better to use the air strike team. Get Kris-T into position behind the cannon, Honey-B can be a turn behind, then bring Kris-T in to wall off the box and counter-attack the dragonfly. This will clear half of the dragonfly's health, where you can simply bring Honey-B in and dispatch everyone, while healing Kris-T. When using Clove-R, always defend, even if it's the dragonfly, the dragonfly may kill you.

Now, be very very extremely careful around the fireflies, as their range covers a third of the map and they will chase you with all of their range. Cannons and evasions do not get along, which may save one of your drones, but most of the time, will save a firefly from a cannon gambit. Which you do not want if you have spent the past half hour micro-managing a 50-turn epic defend stage. The fireflies, however, are easy to trap because they are so rabid and will abandon their well-placed positions and split up to move into attack range. Remember that fireflies run away, and may collide back into each others' ranges if you push them. The best bet is to utilize your high-MOV cannoneers on one side, Honey-B and Clove-R on the other, and K-Buto running to attack. The others should be in the snail back at the pillbug colony, including Kris-T. You must at least use two Morpho Dances or one Morpho Dance and a Scorpion Rush, plus the appropriate attack cards to ensure no evasion and one-turn-kill damage. Once you have everyone in position, probably with Dor-O and Kris-T running through the level, move Honey-B onto the Aura Beam 3. One firefly will run to destroy your cannoneers and K-Buto, while the other attacks Honey-B. Pull them apart one square by one square, until K-Buto is safe to one-hit-kill the first firefly by one of your cannoneers running ahead to Scorpion Rush him.
Drone Tactics Chapter BONUS screen6
After that, try to manipulate the last firefly with all five or six drones. Don't steer the firefly into the forest! K-Buto will probably reach the firefly before Honey-B, where, again, one-hit-kill, and the chapter is over.