During some missions you may have up to three strategic options available to you at any given time. These are: the spy drone, artillery barrage, and bomb run. To use a strategic option hold down on the screen without any ‘mechs selected, and select which option to use. The selected strategic option will then be deployed to that location.
The spy drone provides radar coverage in a large radius for a minute and a half and can be used again immediately after the time period has elapsed.
The artillery barrage is an area affect attack that does damage to all targets with the attack radius. It can be used once every three minutes.
The bomb run calls in an aircraft to attack an area with incendiary bombs. The incendiaries will turn the designated area into a fiery inferno for several seconds. Any ‘mech that stands in this area for more than a few moments will accumulate incredible amounts of heat and shutdown. Bomb runs can be used once every 5 minutes.
The commander needs to keep a cool head and stay in command of his units in the midst of battle. In the chaos of war it seems like chance decides the fate of men, but the skilled commander knows how to manipulate the odds. Using advanced tactics allows you to remain one step ahead of the enemy.
The most important aspect to controlling the battlefield is positioning of your units. When you face an enemy head on you can only rely on your pilots skill to outfight the opponent, and while your lance may be exceptional, you cannot exercise much control over the outcome.
When you attack an enemy with two units at the same time however how you position your units becomes important. As the enemy turns towards one of your ‘mechs to attack his flanks and back become exposed for your second unit to step in. Hitting an enemy from the side will cause your attacks to land on that side of the mech, and thus have a much higher chance to destroy a specific limb. If an enemy is has severely damaged armor on the right side, sending a unit to their right flank will allow you to land more hits on their weak side and destroy weapons and limbs with ease.
An even deadlier use of positioning is to surround an enemy to land hits from behind. Any shots that strike the back of an enemy have a large damage bonus, allowing you to take out an opponent in short order if you have successfully surrounded them.
The facing of your own units is equally important. Getting surrounded by opponents will cause you to get destroyed very quickly, and getting hit on the same side repeatedly will quickly cause your ‘mechs to lose legs and arms. A good strategy to prevent enemies from getting behind you is to execute a firing retreat, by ordering your ‘mech to attack an enemy, and then guiding him away from the opponent. This will cause the ‘mech to walk backwards while firing at the enemy, preserving your rear armor as you maneuver into a more advantageous position. Trying to turn and run can be successful if your unit is fast enough to get away, but for larger ‘mechs exposing their back is usually a fatal mistake.
The game will tell you when you have scored a side or rear hit by displaying a small animated icon in the enemy’s status floater.
Since your mechs cannot shoot through each other you have to spread them out on the battlefield to project the largest amount of firepower. If enemies are moving toward your position you can create a firing line to stop them dead in their tracks. You could keep some units off to the side to hit the enemies flank once they have engaged the rest of your force.
Another important factor in controlling the battlefield is to use your various orders to your advantage. When you face a large enemy mech that is supported by several small units you can use an order like Charge to put the most dangerous enemy out of the fight for a short time, so you can focus your attention on his smaller companions. Alternatively you could try to destroy all of the smaller units quickly with a series of alpha strikes, leaving you with a single slower enemy that you can then surround and easily defeat.
Using orders at the right time can make all the difference between beating an enemy soundly or limping away with a severely damaged lance.
Lastly, sometimes a commander has to know when to let his warriors make their own judgment. When engaging swarm enemies like elementals it is potentially easier to let your pilots engage enemies at their own discretion by simply not issuing specific attack orders at all than try to issue an attack order for every individual opponent.
With this overview of orders and advanced tactics you should be able to dominate the battlefield and truly take command.