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Stealing a Zeppelin
You should do this one first if you just want a good vehicle defense mission. Don't worry, it's not going to be the boring scouting mission that Dexter thinks it will be. Advance down the road and stick to the tall grass. There are 6 Germans up ahead. If you want, you can shoot the big tank on the back of the truck to kill all of them. They aren't exactly hard to snipe though.
More forward and spot the giant zeppelin. It looks like you are going to have a change in your plan. Go forward and stick to the rising hill. It will keep you covered from the machine guns on the perimeter. You should be able to snipe the guard in the tower on the right, then charge up and kill the man on the machine gun by the first post.
After you do that, it's a simple shootout. Just take up a position by the sandbags and hold your ground. Keep an eye out for the 2 main groups of enemies. About 6 should manage to come up to the right of the sandbags. Lean out and shoot them. The rest will stick to the center. Just pick off these stragglers.
The only rule is that you cannot shoot the hydrogen tanks below the zeppelin. Dexter wasn't kidding about that. It will blow up the zeppelin and strand you there. Watch your fire.
When the center looks pretty clear, move over below the stairs and look out to the front of the zeppelin. There are a few guards and one machine gunner. Send a shot into the muzzle flare from the machine gun. Then move forward and pick off the few guards by this platform. Dexter will signal when they're all dead. Charge forward and get onto the little platform below the zeppelin. This gondola will be your position for the rest of the level.
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Death From Above
Use the machine gun to pick off any other stragglers inside the base. You might need to hop off of it for a minute to officially trigger the objective and launch. You should have a sniper rifle and some bombs in your inventory after this happens. Use the rifle to shoot at the mass of incoming Germans. Put 2 rounds into any of the hydrogen tanks to blow up the entire camp when Dexter gives you the order.
Okay, this zeppelin ride is interesting. Your setup is pretty straightforward. You can drop bombs by switching to them in the inventory. You can hold ten at time. The only trick is that you need to aim a bit above the railing to get them to fall properly outside of the gondola. They won't blow up if they fall inside, but they'll stay inactive until they roll out and hit the ground uselessly. You also have a sniper rifle. You can get more ammo by walking up to the box by Dexter and hitting “e.” There are also 2 machine guns to use. If you are ever wounded, fall back to the steel plated area by Dexter and crouch to heal in safety.
The zeppelin's health appears in the corner. Only machine guns and rockets can damage it. It's also pretty hearty and regenerates. I know from my first run that you can be fairly incompetent and still survive just fine. You can actually ignore all of the soldiers if you want. They can not hurt the zeppelin, and the steel tends to protect you fairly well. Feel free to enjoy the shooting gallery though. I'll highlight all of the spots you need to watch carefully. Shooting any of the other Germans is optional, so feel free to snipe and bomb to your heart's content.
After you take off, you should be pretty safe. Just keep an eye out for more soldiers who want to take a shot at you. Keep your head low to avoid them. Your first challenge isn't until you reach the end of the village and the crew complain about taking rounds in the cabin. Look for a lone machine gunner by the last house. Snipe him.
After that, just keep your eyes open. If you nail the hydrogen tank in the back of the moving truck ahead, it will cause the one behind it to crash. That's kinda cool. You can also drop a bomb and kill off the whole group of Germans moving along the hill.
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A Bumpy Ride
Your only big challenge is keeping your eyes open as you approach the lake. There are 2 machine gun positions to the right. You need to snipe the first gunner, and watch the position closely. Another German can jump on and resume firing. As you pass this position, look to the right to kill the next gunner by the house. If you want, you can return fire on the hillside to the left. The balloon will turn around and pass close to it, so you might want to take a few of them out if you can. It's your call though.
Once you get turned around, watch the bridge closely. Once you pass over it, a machine gunner will set up and start firing. Snipe him before he does any damage. Hang on and look ahead to the edges of the battle. Look down and snipe the machine gunner. Keep the Germans off of this position until you pass overhead.
There's one big firing position ahead. There should be 3 machine guns and a few trucks full of soldiers Try to snipe the machine gunners and gun down a few of the other soldiers. You'll probably get pinned down quickly, so just focus on weakening them fast and ducking back into cover. You can take a bit of fire without any worry.
You should see some Russian soldiers on the left once you pass over. No reason to bother them. There's one machine gun out in the forest that should take a few pop shots at you. You can safely ignore it. Keep your eyes open for the big base ahead. Snipe the machine gunner by the guard tower on the ground. You should be able to see the muzzle flare as he fires at the advancing Russians.
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The Rocket's Red Glare
Right after you kill the machine gunner, look at the main base. If you can't see it now, then just look for the rocket trail. You need to snipe each of the soldiers by the mortars. Start firing as soon as you can with the rifle. Pick off all 4 along the bottom row. Then jump onto the machine gun and just fire wildly into the line at the top to keep them suppressed.
The bulk of the battle is basically over. Keep an eye along the left side. There's one guy on a mortar. Just snipe him while you pass by his position. Wait again and watch for a another position ahead. Petrovich's truck should go past it. If you're bored, you can also shoot at the Germans in the truck chasing Petrovich. It doesn't do much, but it's a decent challenge.
There's another mortar up ahead. Snipe him and then blow up the hydrogen tank after Petrovich passes it. Turn to the right and snipe the last mortar position. After this happens, just sit back and wait it out. You can't do anything about the mortars. If you want, you can get on the machine guns and blow them up in midair. That won't change anything though. Dexter and you will teleport out as the zeppelin crashes.
This second part of Darkest of Days really heats up. You'll need to hijack a zeppelin, finally rescue Welsh and Petrovich, and take part in the final confrontations for Antietam and the Russian front line. If you neeed any help turning the tide, then look here for help.