Assessing the Threat - Gold Medal Guide - Defense Grid: The Awakening

This walkthrough guide will cover how to attain gold medal scores for all modes of Assessing the threat, the second level in "The Awakening" campaign of the game Defense Grid.

Each mode has its own section, covering effective build strategies along with videos showing full walkthroughs showing step by step how to get the score needed to attain a gold medal.

Contents:

  1. Level Overview
  2. Story Mode
  3. Story Challenge
  4. Relaxed Mode
  5. Fully Loaded

A look at the layout of the level Assessing the threat, with the core on the left and the entrance/exit to the bottom right.
A look at the layout of the level Assessing the threat, with the core on the left and the entrance/exit to the bottom right.

Level Overview

The map in Assessing the Threat consists of a communications tower that sits in the center with the enemy's path looping counterclockwise around it, starting with a 90 degree angle at the entrance, making two half circles, one large, one small, before taking a second sharp 90 degree turn to the core. Three tower placements spots sit on the inner portion of the map, which the path circles, only two of which are in any real prime spots for exceptional tower coverage.

The other two placement areas come in the form of three blocks of land, one pair of spots on the bend by the entrance, five spots in a strip midway through the first big half circle and three spots in another strip at the end said half circle, before the start of the second smaller one.

Available Towers:

  • Inferno Lv1
  • Gun Lv1

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The first two Inferno towers established for the first wave.Building the third Inferno for wave 2.Showing how the range indicator circle of the gun tower, overlays perfectly with the path as it loops around the spot selected.
The first two Inferno towers established for the first wave.
The first two Inferno towers established for the first wave.
Building the third Inferno for wave 2.
Building the third Inferno for wave 2.
Showing how the range indicator circle of the gun tower, overlays perfectly with the path as it loops around the spot selected.
Showing how the range indicator circle of the gun tower, overlays perfectly with the path as it loops around the spot selected.

Story Mode Gold Medal

Score needed for Gold: 49,600

There are a few spots suitable for Inferno towers, two of which should be established right away, the first being in the center of the second small half circle, and the other on the right side of the bend in the path near the entrance. The third suitable spot closest to the middle of where the two half circles meet, should be built on with another Inferno as the second wave begins to enter the map.

Pay attention to the range indicators when you build turrets and notice how the spot on the inside of the small circle is overlayed almost perfectly with the Inferno tower, subtle hints like these are what can help you determine where what towers will be most effective. The longer an enemy unit is underneath that circle showing attack radius, the more value in damage dealt you are getting for the money spent on that tower.

From here on out, all you will be building is Guns, starting with one in the lone spot situated in the middle of the large half circle for wave 3 which is a perfect spot for that tower type, which you can see when looking at how the attack radius circle matches up with the shape of the path, just like mentioned above for the flame turrets and the small circle.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The beginning of wave 5 showing the first 4 gun towers, built in the most optimal spots first.Building up for wave 6 while trying to maintain a sizable bank for interest.The final defensive force which should be finalized as wave 6 starts.
The beginning of wave 5 showing the first 4 gun towers, built in the most optimal spots first.
The beginning of wave 5 showing the first 4 gun towers, built in the most optimal spots first.
Building up for wave 6 while trying to maintain a sizable bank for interest.
Building up for wave 6 while trying to maintain a sizable bank for interest.
The final defensive force which should be finalized as wave 6 starts.
The final defensive force which should be finalized as wave 6 starts.

Try to have around 300-400 saved as the mission continues from this point to accrue needed interest. If you're building mostly when you need to, this shouldn't be much of a problem.

As you continue onwards through waves 4 through 5 you can start building more guns, a couple to fill up the last remaining open spots near the entrance and another two on the open spaces around the large half circle, prioritizing the spots which offer the most coverage first and then building out from there. By wave 6, you'll want to have 7 total machine guns built, making 9 towers total with your two Infernos which will be sufficient to keep any cores from escaping.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Starting off the challenge mode the same as regular story, with Infernos in the right spots.Continuing onwards into wave 4.The final build for Story Challenge mode in Assessing the Threat, showing all available spots filled with Gun towers besides the first 3 Infernos.
Starting off the challenge mode the same as regular story, with Infernos in the right spots.
Starting off the challenge mode the same as regular story, with Infernos in the right spots.
Continuing onwards into wave 4.
Continuing onwards into wave 4.
The final build for Story Challenge mode in Assessing the Threat, showing all available spots filled with Gun towers besides the first 3 Infernos.
The final build for Story Challenge mode in Assessing the Threat, showing all available spots filled with Gun towers besides the first 3 Infernos.

Story Challenge

Score needed for Gold: 49,600

The story challenge mode for Assessing the Threat follows a similar build strategy as in story mode, Inferno towers in the same places, with Guns established everywhere else starting with the spots offering the best coverage and working your way elsewhere.

The only major difference is by wave 6, you'll want two additional Gun turrets on the two spots you left open last time around. In the video bellow, I manage to build the last Gun towers a bit later than preferable, barely stopping the aliens on their way out, so it would be recommended that the last couple towers are established sooner than shown.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Relaxed Mode

Score needed for Gold: 49,600

Like the challenge mode, the relaxed mode follows a similar strategy as the regular story mode, except in the opposite direction, with you only needing to build a total of 4 Gun towers by the end of the level, which helps you push your top score even higher. Unfortunately there isn't much variation available since tower options are limited and the level is so short.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Changing things up in fully loaded mode by upgrading the Inferno tower with the better coverage, rather than building a third.Adding a Laser next to the entrance Inferno.The final defense during wave 6, with the Gun now at level 2.Alternative strategy starting with one lv2 Gun tower.The second Gun added and the first with the best coverage upgraded to level 3.The final version of this strategy with the second Gun at level 2 for the final waves.
Changing things up in fully loaded mode by upgrading the Inferno tower with the better coverage, rather than building a third.
Changing things up in fully loaded mode by upgrading the Inferno tower with the better coverage, rather than building a third.
Adding a Laser next to the entrance Inferno.
Adding a Laser next to the entrance Inferno.
The final defense during wave 6, with the Gun now at level 2.
The final defense during wave 6, with the Gun now at level 2.
Alternative strategy starting with one lv2 Gun tower.
Alternative strategy starting with one lv2 Gun tower.
The second Gun added and the first with the best coverage upgraded to level 3.
The second Gun added and the first with the best coverage upgraded to level 3.
The final version of this strategy with the second Gun at level 2 for the final waves.
The final version of this strategy with the second Gun at level 2 for the final waves.

Fully Loaded

Score needed for Gold: 49,800
*All towers and upgrades available


The build strategies for the Fully loaded mode can differ greatly from the previous modes, although the story mode build should work equally fine here. Interestingly, while there are many options on how to proceed, all of the effective builds seem to end with around the same score, typical just about 150 points or so above the requirement, making it a bit of a tight goal to reach.

The strategy used in the run covered in the video below, involved building the first two Inferno towers, same as in Story mode, however instead of building a third, upgrading the tower in the small half circle to level 2 around wave 3. You'll then want to build a Gun in the spot in the middle of the large half circle and a Laser tower next to the Inferno by the entrance afterwards. Around wave 5, before 6 shows up, the final piece will be upgrading the Gun to level 2 to get the damage dealing you'll need.

One alternative strategy is to use just a pair of Gun towers, one in the big half circle at level 3 and a second level 2 tower in one of the better coverage spots, like the corner where the two half circles meet. Check out the pictures to the top right for examples of this.

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