Into The Breach Beginner's Tips and Strategy Guide
Humanity has it pretty bad throughout the course of Into The Breach, brought to the brink of ruin by global warming, unrestrained corporate greed run amok, and giant insects that can burrow beneath the ground.
No matter how hard you try, some of the Earth's timelines will be overrun and utterly destroyed, but with some forethought and planning, you can at least save a few versions of the world.
In the guide below, we cover everything you need to know to perfect your Into The Breach strategy using the starting Rift Walker squad. For specifics on using other mech groups, check out our complete Into The Breach squads guide here.
If you don't want to use the starting Rift Walker squad, focus on achievements to unlock new mech squads, even if it means losing a map or dropping to zero power. Due to the randomized maps and the ability to take your best pilot with you to another timeline, starting over isn't really a setback.
No matter which squad you utilize, one concept above all else needs to be etched into your mind -- buildings are essentially health, so defend these over mechs. Buildings supply power, and if power drops to zero, you have to go to a new timeline and start over.
If a mech dies, on the other hand, you still get that mech back in the next map. The more population you defend by saving buildings from destruction, the higher your reputation will go, which means you can buy more cool upgrades at the end of an island as well. Reputation can also be spent on a one for one basis to upgrade your power if you lost any points during an island campaign.
Keep in mind that you don't end up visiting every map on every island, so you have some choice in what types of missions to play. When you get a feel for the best strategy of your squad type, stick to the map missions that work with that strategy -- like killing X-amount of bugs in a short amount of time, or defending a moving train -- so that you end up with fewer building losses.
For a further edge be sure to complete the optional objectives every time on every map to increase your power and reputation, unless nabbing an objective means you will lose buildings in the process. Likewise, always recover the time pods that occasionally crash land on maps to get reactor cores so you can upgrade your mech capabilities.
Use Repositions To Achieve Victory
With the exception of using the Hazardous Mechs squad, in nearly every single squad and map combination it is more important to control enemy movement than it is to deal direct attack damage, even in large quantities.
Always push non-flying enemies into water if you can, as it results in an instant kill on most bugs. Pushing them into each other deals damage, as does pushing them against obstacles like buildings. Positioning enemies over spawn points (or standing there yourself at the cost of 1 damage) prevents new monsters from joining the fray.
The push mechanism can cause problems, however. Using an ability that pushes an enemy into a city will destroy that city unless you get very lucky and make the grid defense percentage roll, which is usually in the 15% - 20% range.
Pushing enemies to change their attacks so they target each other is one of the most effective ways to quickly whittle down their numbers. When going this route, make sure to view the attack order so you don't accidentally kill an enemy before he can damage another enemy. This can also be useful to force one bug to kill another one before that second bug can hit your mech or a city.
Don't forget that you can push your own mechs as well if necessary, like by using the artillery launch that pushes all adjacent units 1 tile. If all else fails, this sort of tactic can at the very least get your mech out of harm's way if you are out of movement.
Like with the ability to view attack order, you can also see an enemy's movement grid by clicking on it, which gives you a huge advantage if you control the terrain.
You will want to frequently light forest tiles on fire for continuous damage, or hit desert sand tiles to create smoke where enemies can't attack. Using fire will let you kill an enemy unit before it can launch its damage, even if a mech or city is in harm's way, as terrain effects go off before attacks.
While navigating a flaming, smoke-covered map, don't forget that mechs can walk over hazards safely – you will only be affected if you end your movement there. If you do end up on fire, ending a turn in water will turn off the damage effect, although most mechs can't attack from water without a flying upgrade.
When possible, be sure to employ effects like shields or changing up the map by destroying dams. The latter gives you more water tiles for dispatching ground units, while the former keeps your power grid alive longer. While some buildings start with shields, a mech in the Zenith Guard can actually add shields several times in every map, keeping buildings safe even if you can't reposition a bug prior to its attack.
Those are all the basic tactics you need to know to defeat all four islands and complete your first timeline! Have any other Into The Breach tips and tricks we should try out for completing any of the maps? Let us know your strategy in the comments!