Alternative journal entry:
Files from an encrypted geth terminal indicated that the geth may be amassing a large fighting force in the Armstrong Cluster. If true, this could be the precursor to a full on war with the geth.
This assignment can also be gained by hacking one of the geth terminals at the ExoGeni building on Feros or by hacking into a terminal in the Genophage Labs on Virmire. It is labeled Geth Activities if obtained on Feros.
All of these worlds are full of geth, large and small, so Tungsten Ammunition for your weapons is strongly recommended. Apart from that, the appropriate squad and equipment selection will depend on which tactics you plan.
General Tactics Edit
On many of the worlds for this assignment, you will find the geth base in a valley - which makes it easy to fight from a distance if desired. Several strategies for taking on the outdoor foes are possible, and you may also wish to use a mix of methods depending on the situation. In these outdoor fights, the important thing is to find a good location for your party to fire from. You might want to circle around each geth base for the "perfect" location. When you head indoors on Rayingri and Solcrum, more typical strategies, powers, and shorter range weapons will become more relevant.
- Drive in close: Reliable cover for an on-foot strategy may not seem immediately accessible, but creative use of the Mako can alleviate this. Many of the geth bases feature a series of metal walls around them which can be used as cover, and the Mako's speed facilitates an approach towards it. This reduces the geth advantage - being very close to the fortification limits the number of foes you will face at once when dismounting the Mako or engaging in close combat. First, move around the base to minimise the time spent driving from hill/ridge cover to the wall (when under geth sight and fire). Then drive as close as possible to the wall, ramming it if necessary, before dismounting and engaging. The geth come around the wall and can be picked off. Note that while the geth don't tend to come to flank you from behind, around the other end of the wall, if you don't have enough damage you may be quickly overwhelmed by their numbers.
- Sniping from a distance: if you are trained for sniper rifles, the layout of the bases and the fact that you can use the hills and higher ground makes sniping quite tempting. It is important to find the location that fits the job - choosing a location that's too far away will mean the party is out of range and can't hit, while choosing a location too close might not reduce geth fire (in which case, the effect of the higher ground is lost). While executing this strategy you will usually be too far away to make much use of squad powers, so you will want to concentrate on a squad with high weapons damage and preferably with sniper rifle training, such as Garrus or Ashley. You may park the Mako in a good position, and then get out and use it as cover. This will earn you full XP from every kill; you will just need to avoid incoming missiles from the geth. Just remember that once the Mako has been pounded on by enemies and is "sparking", you can't get back in it until all enemies are dead - otherwise you will die instantly. In an emergency you can return directly to the Normandy by going to the Map screen from the game menu, once you are out of combat.
- Fight in the Mako: It is entirely possible to eliminate the above-ground forces of all four bases without leaving the Mako, it just lowers the total XP you will receive. After finding a good firing position, it is possible to snipe all geth forces with the Mako's main cannon while zooming in. This has the added benefit of removing yourself and your team from immediate danger, although it is important to prioritize the high damage enemies first, especially Geth Snipers whose Assassination is the most difficult to dodge. You can always jump out after softening up an enemy to deal it the final blow on foot for higher XP rewards, but this is not recommended when there are still lots of geth shooting you and missiles flying around. Note: Be sure to learn how to double-zoom the sight on your cannon, as it will make eliminating the snipers from the towers much easier.
Squad Planning Edit
Neither biotic nor tech abilities will be effective at long range, so if you're going the sniper strategy you'll probably want to emphasis squadmates with sniper training on the outdoor worlds - Garrus and Ashley.
For indoors or close range work, however, powers of either type can be most useful. Some of the most valuable powers include Sabotage to keep the geth guns silent, Hacking to turn the geth on each other, and Lift/Singularity to keep even a massive Geth Armature off its feet. Obviously many other powers will help as well, and ultimately the best squad mix will depend on your strategy and Shepard's own class and abilities.
You can do the first four planets in any order you like; here they are simply listed in geographic order from the side the cursor starts on by default. As it happens this means the first three worlds are all-outdoors, while the fourth one plus the final Solcrum base which appears later have substantial indoor components.
A long, winding route into the mountains will take you past five turrets. Destroy them if you wish but they are not required to complete the mission. The turrets will always launch their missiles at the front of the Mako, so backing up slowly, perpendicular to the missile tracks, is an effective method for taking them down. Since you usually only face one turret at a time, you can also jump out of the Mako when a turret is heavily damaged and apply the killing blow on foot to receive a higher XP reward. Just be careful not to jump out at the moment a missile lands.
Continue to a small outpost at the top of the hill with a set of 4 Geth Rocket Troopers and 2 Geth Snipers, all in sniper towers behind the barricade. Once they've been cleared, a Geth Colossus will be dropped from overhead. Since you fight the Colossus by itself, it can be treated somewhat like a mobile turret - jump or back up to avoid the bolts it aims at the front of the Mako, while applying damage as fast as your guns recharge. Again you can jump out at the last minute to receive higher XP rewards - just time it so you don't get disintegrated in the process.Geth Snipers and six Geth Rocket Troopers. Once they have been destroyed, a Geth Dropship will fly and linger overhead. It drops off Geth Shock Troopers. You can either attack the dropship until it is forced to retreat, or engage the Shock Troopers. After dropping twenty or so Shock Troopers, the dropship will give up and leave.
There are also three Geth Armatures and three turrets at a post in the mountains marked 'Anomalous Signal'. It is not necessary to eliminate them to complete the assignment on Casbin. If you decide to do so anyway, be careful, as frontal approach can get your Mako overwhelmed by the sheer amount of firepower. A much easier method is to drive beneath the hills on the right side of the outpost until you encounter the lone turret. It will alert two armatures, which will come in range after about three minutes, giving you ample time to defeat the turret and wipe out unsupported armatures, then deal with the rest of the outpost.
Antibaar (in Tereshkova system) Edit
The geth have built another outpost in the mountains in the north central of the map. It is also guarded by 3 Geth Snipers and 6 Geth Rocket Troopers, but this time they're joined by the Geth Colossus. When you get closer, unless you have high level combat optics, your radar will be jammed. Once the ground troops are taken out, a Geth Dropship will drop reinforcements consisting of two Geth Primes, 3 Shock Troopers and 2 Rocket Troopers. Focus on the Primes first as they provide damage and defense bonuses to the smaller geth, and they are the greatest threat.
Insanity Tips: This is by far the most difficult of the worlds because the geth base is tightly surrounded by mountains that make it very difficult to obtain a good firing location - even for the Mako - without having all ten geth unloading on you. The direct fire (bullet) damage alone is pretty gruesome even if you avoid all the rockets.
- After the ground troops have been taken out, a decent position for sniping is behind small humps in the lower valley side of the ridge to the south-west of the outpost.
- Otherwise, stay in the Mako, don't worry about scrounging extra XP, at least until you've winnowed the numbers down a lot.
- The best firing location for the Mako is on the north side of the camp (the ground at the south is very uneven and throws the aiming reticle way off), so drive around on the east side of the mountains and come in from the north. From there you'll be able to at least partially obscure the Mako while winnowing the field.
- Take out the snipers first because they do the most direct fire (undodgeable) damage.
- Sneaky way to avoid death: if the Mako gets damaged really quickly and you don't think you can make it to safety in time, you can go to the "Map" screen and instantly return to the Normandy.
Insanity Tips: Before fighting the last few geth, assign your squad to stay in cover in the main chamber and then drawing the husks out to the waiting squadmates. That way, when the geth force appears, you avoid being trapped in the back rooms with a bunch of Geth Destroyers rushing you.
The force has two Geth Destroyers, two Geth Snipers, and three Geth Troopers. Once the geth are down head to the back rooms and loot the place. The right room holds an unlocked crate and a malfunctioning object, while the left has 3 unlocked crates and another malfunctioning object. Head outside when you are done.
When you leave the outpost, you will find a Geth Dropship sending in reinforcements. There are 3 Geth Troopers, 2 Geth Rocket Troopers, a sniper and a Shock Trooper. When fighting on foot, the main source of cover is the other side of the facility which will prevent the geth from attacking all at once, although they will still try to flank you. If the Mako was parked at the facility's entrance before you entered it, you can use it as cover during this battle. Be careful not to ram the spikes in the outside battle, as the Mako can get stuck on top of them (if this happens, you can still return to the Normandy via the map. Alternatively, use the rocket jump). This outpost is clear when the ground troops are gone: the dropship will not linger and drop multiple waves as it did on Casbin.Grissom system, where the geth have a main base of operations on Solcrum, the small moon beside Notanban.
The entrance to the underground base on Solcrum is guarded by three Geth Rocket Troopers in sniper towers and two patrolling Geth Colossi. Take out the Rocket Troopers first to quickly reduce the firepower of the geth. Stay on the move to avoid rockets and the blue missiles.
Insanity Tips: The armatures work together and will charge you if you take cover in the hilly terrain, so your best chance is to isolate them from each other. This can be done by circling the base – allowing you wear down one, while the other one is to blocked behind the base. This technique works well in reverse if you're good at that sort of thing. Alternatively, ramming them will also knock them down and temporarily disable them, and if you move away a short distance you can keep shooting them. Either go into reverse, and back up a bit; or spin the Mako's turret to the rear and shoot them as you drive away.
The base is manned by a mixed contingent of elite geth: three heavy Geth Destroyers on the ground floor, with a Geth Juggernaut upstairs on the balcony, as well as three mobile Geth Hoppers (two Stalkers and one Sapper). The sappers will likely come down to the ground floor soon after the combat starts. The usual anti-geth tactics apply: Lift or Throw are useful to stun the hoppers, keeping them still long enough to be shot. You should be able to safely snipe the Juggernaut from inside the entrance chamber once a few of the hoppers are down. Watch out for the Destroyers trying to get close – you can save a biotic ability like Lift or Throw, or a tech ability like Damping or AI Hacking to stun one if it rushes you. Switching ammo to Tungsten Rounds VII can be an advantage if you are struggling. If you wish to complete the supplementary assignment Tali and the Geth, stay in the building after the end of combat.
At the end of combat, a paragraph summary will appear saying a terminal has transmitted a recording of a quarian lament to the geth homeworlds; this is important to the assignment. Go into the door in the back of the ground floor (straight ahead from the entrance) hack the data terminal (Easy Decryption) for geth data files. As Tali will not comment on this even if she is in the squad, Shepard must talk to her after the mission in the Normandy Engineering Bay in order to pass on the data. Other loot such as an upgrade kit and a secure crate (Average Decryption) are in the room also.
Once you are done, complete the assignment by returning to the Normandy. Don't forget to give Tali access to the geth data after the mission is complete! As usual, Admiral Hackett will have a congratulatory message for Shepard when the galaxy map is next accessed, explaining that Shepard contributed valuable intelligence on the incidents in the cluster and that the Alliance will investigate further into the incursions.
- Geth Colossus
- Geth Destroyer
- Geth Hopper
- Geth Juggernaut
- Geth Prime
- Geth Rocket Trooper
- Geth Shock Trooper
- Geth Sniper
- Geth Trooper
- Geth Turret
- If you start off with Rayingri, then move to Antibaar and clean up there, one squad member will comment that there's "only one more outpost to go", although you've still got two more to destroy. After going to Casbin and wiping out the outpost there, you will get the location of the geth headquarters.
- Similarly, if you do Maji, Casbin, and then Antibaar, the conversation for destroying all four bases will trigger and Solcrum will become available without having to complete Rayingri. The conversation at Casbin will still say the system is half cleaned out, despite the next location (Antibaar) triggering the last base. Rayingri can still be completed, however.
- After taking out the fourth base and deducing the location of the fifth on Solcrum, whoever speaks last in the short cutscene will say their last line twice — once in the cutscene and once after you've regained control. This may be the result of a bug.