Welcome to the TA boards, rsgong. First up, honor items. While a lot of the wargear is elite only you can still buy weapons and armor with the free version. I know there is a decent amount of gear available to the free players, you'll have to forgive me for now knowing exactly what gear is though.
Also, if you are worried about losing honor or your progress if you do upgrade to elite, don't! You can import your free squad to the elite version and keep all gear/honor/xp you have earned. Of course, you might want to start a new squad with the elite only start squads, but that isn't our fault
If you have other questions or concerns please feel free to post them here or make your own thread. I'll do my best to help you with anything you have questions for, there are other TA vets floating around, and Cory Trese and fallen (the Trese Brothers) frequent the board as well.
Hey Cory Trese, I just made it through the tutorial - the final mission is still waaaaaaay too hard for the novice player. I waltzed through the first few levels, and found it decently challenging in the middle, but the last level had me clinging on for grim death using every ounce of skill I have built up. The biggest problem is that there seems to be too many spawn points. You don't have time to move your novice team through, keep ammo levels up (even with splitting the team), AND defending against the hoards of Xeno's that come.
I didn't buy any extra ammo - I'm saving the honor for bigger guns. Ammo kits should not be needed on a tutorial mission anyway. I made it through with 3 out of 4 knights having 2HP, and 2 out of the scouts were resorting to fists (ordinary fists too).
I did "waste" 1000 honor on buying a 3rd Scout though - that money could have gone towards better weapons, but my squad was tired of waiting for Pvt Grunt to keep up. Man, he must have been eating bricks before the campaign he was that slow!
Guess the theory is that nothing teaches you squad tactics like altering them 7 or 8 times before you complete the tutorial with your squad intact.
More about luck than tactics on Brutal I'm affraid. Get the right Xeno spawns and kill them with only one or two attacks and your good. The wrong spawns or needing more than a couple attacks to kill a bug and your toast.
Guns! We need BIG Guns! Then again what do I know I'm crazy!
The tutorial is NOT designed to be a friendly experience on Brutal <grin> ... you don't have time to build up anything, and then you're torn multiple new ones!
For the tutorial mission where you have to defend a spot against hoards, one trick that you can utilize is to camp your squad on the spawn spots (captain on top spawn spot, two soldiers on bottom spawn spots, and the last knight is a floater. THen you only have to deal with the Xenos that come from the other corridors
... or at least I think that's the mission we're talking about