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Choosing a Mission
2.1 All missions have the same objective: conquer towns. The variables include the number of towns, the level of soldiers in the field, the region the battle takes place in, whether or not there is an allied town to defend, and finally any sub-missions. Of these, "level" and "sub-missions" are the two most important.
2.2 The number of towns is simply how many towns are marked as being necessary to capture in the given time limit. This is not divulged to you before the mission, but usually it's more depending on the difficulty level of the mission. There is one specific hint, though: if the mission refers to a specific area within a region, then there will probably be less towns involved than if it simply says the name of the region (compare "defend this town and the surrounding area" to "fight in Normandy"). When picking a starting point, it is of course best to start as close to your objective as possible.
2.3 The level of soldiers is represented by the number of stars for the difficulty level (more stars = higher level, though it's not one star = one level). All soldiers - allied, enemy, and summoned mercenaries - will be this level, or somewhere near it. Quickly ascertain the exact level range by looking at friendly soldiers at the base you start at; unfortunately, there is no more exact method prior to fighting. Keep in mind the level of the soldiers that you will be using - missions with one star are a great place to start on a new unit type and raise their levels. However, the lower the difficulty level, the less fame you will receive for winning.
2.4 The region is generally unimportant, except that towns do not change hands when you are not fighting. Therefore, it is possible to almost entirely conquer a region for one side, then reconquer it for the other. Each region has three gates for each side that cannot be captured, so there is always a way for units to get in even if the entire map has been conquered. Or, alternately, try to keep the battle at a stalemate so that you can get as much work as possible. The only other note about regions is Ile de France, which contains Paris, the nation's capital. You don't get anything special for conquering it, but it is a pretty big, notable city.
2.5 Defending allied towns is no big deal; essentially, there will be a friendly town (or towns) marked with a shield; these towns need to be in friendly hands in order to complete the mission. It's just like conquering enemy towns, except these ones start in your hands. These towns tend to be under more enemy attacks than other ones, though.
2.6 Sub-Missions are little bonus missions attached to the regular missions. These can be anything from "spy on the enemy camp" (a mission best accomplished alone) to "guard this VIP to his destination point". Look out for the ones with exclamation points, as these ones progress the story somewhat. Also, try to make sure you have enough time to do both the sub-mission and the real mission. When deploying, press the shoulder buttons to switch between the main objective and the sub-objective. Always do the sub-objective first; finishing the main objective finishes the area. To this end, start as close to the objective as you can (some missions will limit you to a single spawn point, usually the VIP ones). If you don't want to walk all the way to your main objective after you are done, simply kill time until the day is over and then redeploy nearer to the objective.
2.7 Missions marked with an exclamation point will advance the story. It is usually worthit to do these, because it leads to story advances later. The world may change depending on story parts you missed or completed. Ones with "time limit indefinite" are no hurry, but ones with exclamation-marked sub-missions need to be done quickly and can also be failed at, so watch out. This is one of the few unforgiving circumstances in the game.
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