Scorched Earth is the fifth mission in the Chinese campaign of Command & Conquer: Generals. Taking place in Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan, a major GLA stronghold in Central Asia. The objective is to eliminate GLA presence in and around the city.
The Chinese military was able to remove all GLA cells inside China's borders. However it did not mean that China was secure; the GLA could still infiltrate China from its strongholds in neighbouring Aldastan, a region consisting of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In order to fully eradicate the GLA Asian cell, China needed to destroy all major cells in Aldastan before moving onto Kazakhstan. The first step was to liberate the GLA-controlled town of Balykchy. For the operation the Americans lent their carpet bombing services to the Chinese forces.
First Bombing Run
Taking positions in the port area of the city, the PLA had finally gotten support from the UN and the American government, whom had provided the Chinese with B-52 bomber support. The first US bombing run destroyed multiple GLA troops and positions, though the affected area was too far to make any difference to the Chinese forces present.
Taking the City
After receiving intelligence that the GLA had heavily booby trapped the city, PLA forces moved cautiously, first establishing stronger defenses around their base, then moving forward into the city. The GLA, aware of the Chinese presence in the city, made multiple attempts to dislodge them from their position, suffering heavy casualties from the heavily-entrenched PLA forces.
With the discovery and capture of an oil extraction and funding complex to the southwest of the city, the PLA started to put pressure on the main GLA base. Having been granted clearance by the main PLA command, the Chinese Commander ordered Nuke Cannons be brought to the front, in order to shell the GLA occupiers and garrisoned fighters that were at the front of the GLA defenses. It was no easy task however as the GLA had multiple demo traps across the entire city, and the urban environment restricted the Chinese tanks into a tight column formation which providing nice opportunties for car bombs to ambush them. With the GLA infantry garrisoning civilian buildings at strategic points, Dragon tanks were a neccesity in burning them out. Carpet bombing support had its uses, though many planes were initially shot down by the numerous Stinger Sites in the city.
Nevertheless, the Chinese task force, which also included the infamous Overlord tanks, persevered, slowly but surely took out the three GLA camps. They now struck at the main base of all GLA operations in the city. With overwhelming firepower brought about by some of the best weapons in the PLA arsenal, they succeeded in utterly destroying the GLA presence, liberating Balykchy from the GLA takeover.
- Build defenses near 3 attack points. Long-range rocket buggies can be real annoyances, but deployed nuke cannons will outrange them. Also, a single MiG strike, without napalm, will destroy a buggy.
- Black Lotus alone can capture 3 outer GLA bases with careful positioning and adequate off-map fire support. However, most captured buildings will expose to enemy fire, so be advised to sell them immediately.
- One arms dealer, located to the southwest, can be safely captured. It can be used to build Quad Cannons that are surprisingly effective in this level. Quads can easily surpress stinger sites and garrisoned buildings. Before advancing, be sure to detect and disarm demo traps.
- The key to eliminate/capture the last GLA stronghold is to clear a few bunkers garrisoned by RPG soldiers. Nuke cannon, dragon tank or artillery barrage will do.
- Capture of oil derricks and refinery in the corner is completely optional as resources are plenty. If a quick finish is desired, ignore them.
- Overlord tanks are not recommended. Low maneuverability makes them easy targets for terrorists and rocket buggies in urban combat.
The battle not only marked an important but a key turning point in the Chinese war against the GLA, but it also was the first major involvement of American forces in the war.
This was a mark not missed by the GLA warlord and his remaining forces who had managed to escape to Bishkek by train.
- This is the only China mission in which the US army is involved. The US provides air support via Carpet Bombers. It is also the only circumstance that the player can call in carpet bombers in vanilla Generals.
- In the cutscene, Stinger Sites did not even make attempts to fire at the American Bomber.
- Carpet Bombers, being the same B-52s used in US missions to drop fuel-air bombs, are much more fragile than the latter. One salvo of Stinger missiles is enough to set the bomber on fire; a few more, the bomber is gone.
- Of all missions in vanilla Generals, this one probably has the longest average finishing time. While not particularly difficult, there is virtually no shortcuts to finish it with unconventional tactics.