STRIKE MISSION 03: Winter's Run
Recommended Level: 14
Objective: Infiltrate winter's lair
From your starting point, you will have travel to and clear an enemy camp before entering the caverns behind it (don't worry, the enemies in the camp should be quite a few levels lower than your character and the worst fallen enemy you will find there is a captain. Once you reach the caves however it is back to business.
Objective: Fight through the lair
A little way down the tunnel, you will cross into a darkness zone and seconds later run into your first strike level enemies. Vex goblins will be fighting fallen dreg in a pool just below the catwalk at which you arrive. Peg a grenade into the mix before targeting weak spots from your superior position. This tactic should make short work of the group.
Pass by the bodies and a bit further on you will encounter another firefight in progress between the vex and the fallen. Use your location to your advantage and open fire on the backs of the fallen troops in front of you (shanks, vandals and dreg) before moving on to the nearby vex forces (goblins, hobgoblins).
Make sure to take out the hobgoblins at the back of the area quickly as their sniper shots do ridiculous damage per hit. At the rear area of the same cavern, a fallen captain is engaged in all out warfare with two hobgoblins and several goblins. Help them end the fighting (no diplomacy here, people) in a terminal fashion.
Once the place is clear of enemy forces, continue your adventure deeper in the crystal caves. After a little trek, your objective will change.
Objective: Expel enemy forces
As the objective changes, you should emerge into an open air cliff area. These provide a good vantage point for observing the enemy forces below (and picking them off with sniper fire or a decent scout rifle). A good tactic is to have a team member camp up in the cliffs to act as a spawn point if the other players get killed. Mainly due to the enemies that spawn shortly.
As you reach the overlook, you'll spot the vex and fallen forces facing off in the camp below. The fallen consist of vandals, two captains and dreg. The vex have goblins, hobgoblins and (yellow health) minotaurs on their side. Depending on your parties capabilities, weaponry and ammo stash you may want to let them weaken each other for a little bit first or just go in guns blazing.
Objective: Breach the hatch
After clearing the camp, you will need to gain entrance to the nearby doorway. This means another terminal hack and the usual waves of enemies.
Objective: Kill them all
Great objective there isn't it? Very dramatic. We all know the drill by now, x enemy waves consisting of y enemies that gradually increase in difficulty. Well, this time it's three waves and they consist of the regular vex troops, with a sprinkling of hobgoblins and topped off with minotaurs and hydras (sorry, been thinking about desert for a while).
Each wave has a large number of goblin troops but the additional enemies are what make things dicey. The first additional troops (hobgoblins) can be a real threat as about five spawn all at once and each one can take half a life bar in a single shot. Grab cover and take potshots to survive. They are fragile, so as long as you aren't caught in the open things should be fine.
The second wave is a more direct and in your face threat. Axis minotaurs (yellow health) will storm towards you, teleporting forwards every few steps. Shotguns and fusion rifles work best in dealing with these intimidating foes as you backpedal to avoid their damaging melee strikes.
The third wave is the most sedate, but no less of a threat. Two hydras will appear in the center of the encampment and open fire on any visible guardians. Use the path above their heads or good cover to avoid their purple blasts and fire back at their weak point.
Once the final wave is defeated, the path forward will lay open for you to follow.
Objective: Track the archon priest
Time to travel through some more gulleys and see the local sights. Rocks. Rocks. More rocks. Along the linear path, you will stumble across a line of pikes just waiting for you to steal (similar to the regular vehicle your guardian uses but with weapons). They can be useful, but that depends on your driving skills. You seem to take more damage riding vehicles but strafing is much faster and their weapons can be quite powerful if used in bursts.
Make your choice of vehicle (pike or sparrow) and continue along the path. The valley opens up a little further along and with that comes another lot of vex to deal with. The force is a few harpies and a minotaur. Nothing to demanding, especially with the pikes.
Follow the tunnel until you reach another set of enemies. Two hydras. Yes, I'm serious. The rock at the entrance of the area makes maneuvering pikes difficult so some players may want to use the small waterlogged cave nearby to dance in and out of as they shoot the hydra.
There are also goblins and hobgoblins to deal with here so play defensively to stay alive. You will probably need to jump up to the second hydra to reach cover immediately. Traveling up the path leaves you pretty exposed and likely to die.
Once the place is clear, continue further along the crags until you reach a large open are full of fallen enemies.
Objective: Kill the fallen
Once again a very direct objective. Although there are also vex enemies scattered around the area. Do we leave them alive? Nah. Minotaurs, harpies and goblins make up the vex forces. A yellow health captain will be attempting to hold his own against them. Dreg will also be supporting their leader.
After the initial group is polished off, another wave of fallen enemies will spawn in at the other end of the area. A heap of dreg, shanks, vandals and more captains will show up. Before you can even take on the boss of the strike you need to deal with all of these guys.
Objective: Release the archon priest
After the enemy population is zero, you need to approach the archon priest's cell and it will open automatically. After triggering it, run for cover near where you entered the area (the other end is where minions spawn during the boss fight. Making it a death trap).
Objective: Slay the archon priest
Definitely an objective that is easier said than done.
Boss: Archon Priest
Weak spot: Head
This guy is (like most strike bosses) a serious threat to a guardian's health. He has two attack, plus the ability to teleport short distances towards a target (this can make him difficult to hit). His primary attack is a powerful shotgun blast that he fires rapidly.
Backing up is essential to avoid the flying shrapnel and to avoid his second attack. His second attack is the massive AoE melee smash which has a surprisingly large radius. The key to survival against this fella is (obviously) keep your distance.
The problem with that is twofold. His short teleports make it hard to keep away from him when he targets you and his supporting minions make even paying attention to the boss difficult. Oh yes, the minions. Let's talk about the minions.
The minions summoned by the archon priest consist of two different sets, depending on the health of the archon priest. The first set consists of vandals, shanks, dreg and are led by a yellow health bar servitor. The second set (who become active once the archon priest is under fifty percent health) add stealth vandals to the mix of the prior set.
Due to the constant high speed minion spawn and quick movements of the strike boss, mobility and cover are your two best friend. Also avoid standing in spawn points. Hunters with the invisibility ability and warlocks with the auto-revive ability may find they get more use out of these skills than usual here.
Hold back most of your secondary and special ammo until the second half of the fight if you can, as this shortens the length of time you need to engage stealth vandals. With enough coordination and skill, your team should be able to snatch the win by downing the archon priest.
After he hits the deck, the mission is over.