In this event, a pirate group called the Neo Skullz have stolen many nuclear weapons, and are threatening to use them. Every Ark Commander, including the player, is called upon to destroy them and their bases.
The leader of the Neo Skullz is Scorpio. He is the brother of Hector, but even more aggressive. Each mission in this global event will see an increase in Scorpio's attacks, and the player must be on guard at all times. Upon successful completion of the third mission, the player gains access to Scorpio's portrait.
Warning: Goods piled up in the ark are not carried over to the next mission like in the campaign!
In this first mission, the player can take their time building up a strong economy before destroying the Neo Skullz base. Scorpio will not attack, or patrol the sector unless he's attacked first, and even then he will not pursue the player to the harbor. All the ships required for this mission can be purchased from Rufus Thorne and Yana Rodriguez. The player must earn enough credits through production and trade to build a sizable fleet or air force before going on the offensive.
In this scenario, the player will have ample time to prepare for the Neo Skullz, and can get by with limited defenses for harbor protection. However, unlike the first mission, Rufus and Yana don't sell unlimited quantities of ships. To build a sizable fleet in this mission, it is advisable to upgrade to engineer class, although this is not completely necessary.
Be careful not to encounter the Neo Skullz in the beginning because they will patrol the sector instead of staying at their base. Once they are discovered, they will pursue the player, so obtaining hovercrafts is recommended to outrun their ships.
The nuclear silos can be destroyed by targeting the Depot (lower HP).
This scenario is completely different from the previous two missions in the following ways:
- The player's main island has 0 ecobalance, while every other island is at -600.
- The main island lacks one fertility required to reach the engineering class forcing the player to expand to the smaller islands.
- Rufus Thorn only provides 2-3 battleships at a cost of 18K - 18.6K each, and the player can only receive a maximum of 3.
- Neo Skulls raiders patrol in pairs across the sector.
Warning: 1 red dot is 2 ships. Raiders tend to stack.
One way to complete this mission is to build an air force consisting of three Firebirds. Use the firebirds to bombard the Neo Skullz HQ (air raid does 2k damage and the HQ has 5K HP). The mission is completed if the HQ is destroyed regardless of how many units still roam the sector, or how many Pirate turrets are left.
How to start this mission
The player is given a commando ship, 2 freight ships with a total of 80t tools, 80t building modules, and 10t fish along with 1 warehouse on the fertile mainland filled with 40t tools, 40t building modules and 10t fish.
A word of warning: Never leave a ship at an undefended harbor or an ark. Raiders will come from the Neo Skullz HQ to seek and destroy any ship they find. Their attacks are relentless, and they will attempt to overwhelm the player with numbers. Even the Colossus is not safe from their attacks. These raiders also stay in the area for a period of time to look for new ships and undefended harbors. The solution is to build enough strong defenses to repel the attacks, while at the same time maintaining a sizable fleet for adequate protection.
Build up to worker class as quickly as possible to unlock the munitions factory, then focus on building harbor defenses. Next, either buy a colossus or use the command ship to lure the patrolling Neo Skullz units into your harbor. Only lure the patrolling units around an island you want to settle. Ignore any other patrols, as they will not attack unless provoked. This method seems to make raider spawning less frequent.
Example of harbor defenses with repair cranes to fend off the first attack.
Once the patrolling raiders around the chosen island are defeated, settle and build farms. It is advisable not to waste resources on maintaining a positive eco-balance, as this is not the goal of this final mission. Remember one farm operates at 50% and the coffee and sugar beets only at 25%.
Buy glass and materials to build an initial fleet of 2-3 hovercraft, then add additional harbor defenses to protect the warehouse. If the raiders haven't attacked yet, they will now, with brute force. Building ships on the back side of the island away from the Neo Skullz HQ, and leaving one decoy at the harbor is a good strategy. Raiders will attack the first ship they see, or they may break off into groups in an attempt to swarm the player. In any case, having a substantial number of ships to defeat this massive attack is critical.
Once the first raid is repelled, the hard part is over. Repair any damaged ships, and create an additional 3-4 hovercraft for the occasional raiders the HQ will continue to send, then use the Tech faction to build Assistants' Domiciles. The goal is to reach 100 Assistants in order to unlock the airfield.
Next, build three firebirds. Firebirds require high-tech weapons to create, so it is recommended to buy the weapons instead of producing them if the player has enough credits. Once the firebirds are fueled and ready to go, send them on a bombing run to destroy the Neo Skulls HQ and complete the mission.
Method 2: The Smart Micro Build
This walkthrough is much faster, but requires some careful micromanagement of ships during combat.
- Expand the main island population until you reach the unit limit of 10, and can unlock the munitions factory.
- Build 4-5 defense turrets at your main harbor to keep the patrol ships away from your coast.
- Raise diplomatic standing with Thorne (Lobby, Quest, etc) until you are able to use all diplomatic measures.
- Build commando ships until you reach the following: 8/10 or 9/10 if you have a trading vessel.
- Ask Thorne for a war fleet via diplomacy.
- Buy the ships near his ark.
- Acquire the top-most island near the Neo Skullz base, and build 3-4 defense turrets, along with 3-4 repair cranes.
- When the fleet is ready, hot key your ships and move in unison to pick off patrol units and take out Scorpio's turrets.
- Return to your harbor after every major battle, and repeat step 8.
- Do not let any of your ships go below 25%.
- Do not lose any of your ships as you won't be able to build any new ones.
- Make use of your spare licenses to buy combat upgrades.
- The AI attacks the closest ship relative to the attacking vessel. So you can use Vipers and the Colossus to soak up the initial damage, then pull them back, and let other ships get attacked instead.
- Save often!
- Hot key your ships by dragging the selection rectangle around them, and then press CTRL + any number key to bind them to that number. Right-click an enemy vessel to attack it, and the group of ships will attack in unison.
Method 3: The Lazy, Yet Foolproof Build
This method is a little tricky because it requires some time, but it is possible to complete the final mission without reaching the Engineer Class. The player only needs a swarm of command ships, 2 Vipers, and 1 Colossus. It is recommended to use the Tycoons for this, as they are the most efficient for tools and munition production which is critical using this method.
1. Settle the main island, then expand the population to reach a unit limit of >90. This is necessary to defeat the Neo Skullz HQ.
2. Reach the employee class as soon as possible, then build a tool production chain and as many munition plants as you can afford. If your current Command Ship or Freighters are attacked, transfer the goods to your warehouse and destroy them. (Used this method twice, and the Skullz never directly attacked my ports).
3. Once you have enough munitions, build turrets in your harbor. Build them close to each other, and far away from shore in order to maximize coverage. You will need 2-3 shipyards in order to build ships fast enough, so the turrets must be built with that in mind.
4. Let the game run for a while (hold + to speed it up). You will need a lot of credits to build the massive fleet this method requires. You can also set the residents taxes to yellow to speed up this process.
5. After accumulating the credits (about $60,000-$90,000 should be enough), and the munitions (about 90 tons), build as many Commando ships as you can afford. For example, a unit limit of 92 is enough to build more than 20 Commando ships. Next, buy a war fleet of 2 Vipers and a Colossus from Thorne.
6. Use all of your ships and start attacking the patrolling Raiders! Pick them off one group at a time. Use your entire fleet to attack each group, then repair as needed.
7. Once you have eliminated the Raiders, send your ships to attack the Neo Skullz HQ directly. Use the entire fleet to destroy the turrets one by one. Send your fleet back to your harbor and repair them if you need to.(You need to plan a specified location for your ships to stay when they open fire on the HQ, this makes it much easier and more secure to attack the HQ...).
8. Open fire on the HQ! It is important that you make sure that none of your ships sail into the turrets firing range. Hammer Scorpio into submission.
Congratulations! All score aside, you beat the mission with minimal effort.
Usually, this method lets a player to complete the mission in about 1-2 hours.
If you choose your ships, and than click CTRL + any number key, like CTRL+1, you will be able to choose these ships faster by clicking the 1-key. This is helpful when attacking the Raiders...
As a side note, a colossus with a single +30% range upgrade outranges the turrets and can bombard them with impunity.
(This method is meant only for players not skilled in micromanagement. It can be accomplished with a much smaller fleet in a better time with method 2.)
After Mission 1
- "Active Disarmament" achievement.
- Title: Pirate Hunter
- 50 Career Points (faction is determinable)
After Mission 2
- 150 Career Points (faction is determinable)
After Mission 3
- "Ground Arms!" achievement.
- Portrait: Scorpio
- 300 Career Points (faction is determinable)