Beating Sanctuary Of Sin on BRUTAL (step-by-step example for those who don't do RTS)
I read some people's comments saying the stage battles are killing their fun in this game so I thought I would write up my method for this battle and hopefully it translates well to the other stage battles coming up towards the end of the game. This game is too fun to abandon just because it seems too hard or because you just don't get the RTS system. Here's a step-by-step process for this fight and hopefully it shows you a bit about how to set up other battles for yourself.
The enemy's main goal is to start up the fan geysers in the middle of the map. If they achieve this it becomes a game of Whack-A-Geyser(tm) because the AI starts cranking out units very quickly. You have to disrupt their early efforts and the easiest way is to start some activities that attract them away from their goal. If you start this mission over a few times (Start, Load Checkpoint) you can fly around to see what the enemy is doing and you'll notice that as soon as you approach their single merch tower and do something there (attack, solo, build...) all the enemies abandon everything they're doing to rush back to their tower. Therefore, getting to the enemy tower relatively quickly gives us the best chance of winning by reducing the number of fan resources Lionwhyte has as his disposal.
TIP: It costs nothing to reload the levels so I usually check out what the enemy is doing to plan ahead. Be aware that if you reload a level AFTER you have completed it it resets the story continuity to that point so you'll HAVE to beat that Chapter again.
Before you start, make sure you have collected the Call of the Wild and Recall Flag solos. Equip the electrified Axe and upgrade your Guitar strings. The only combos I use with any regularity are Earthshaker(A+X) to stun, plus the ranged (LT,X) attack to zap at a distance, and (A) to melee if the guitar is too hot. If I'm about to die I fly upwards rather than give the enemy a free 50 fans. Hold (RT) to get high up in the air and look down while you're healing up to keep an eye on what's going on (you have freed a few serpents for the healing and health bonuses right?)
1. When the level starts, immediately play Call of the Wild. This solo will recharge in about 5 minutes in case you need it again when you defend the merch tower in enemy territory.
2. Bring up the build menu with (RB) to build a Thunderhog and also upgrade your stage to level 2.
3. Now run to your troops and push yourself into the middle of the skirmish in front of your merch tower. Do the Facemelter solo and it should kill all the Hair Bangers.
4. Have a quick look around by pressing (LT) to make sure you killed everything before you leave your merch tower area. You should still have at least 6 Headbangers left (preferably 8) plus your Thunderhog and 2 beasts after this fight. If you don't, restart and run through the steps faster until you execute them smoothly. Your stage should be upgraded by now too.
5. Hold (LB) then hit (DPad-Left) so everyone follows you (make sure you hear them acknowledge your order). Fly straight up with (RS-click,RT) and veer a bit to the right, then follow the right hand stairs and fly over to the
enemy's central merch tower.
Note: As you get to the enemy merch tower the General and 4 Hair Bangers should just now be getting to the 10-oclock Fan Geyser. Ignore them for now but you can use their progress as a milestone to know if you're doing your deployment fast enough (you can reload the checkpoint over and over if you want to check yourself and your timing.)
6. Land at the enemy merch tower and do your Recall Flag solo. I put it on the right side of the blue pool by the topmost of the 5 pillars. This will attract the attention of Lionwhyte and he'll race right to you and begin his "canned speech". Press (RS) and fly straight up. Since there is nothing for him to melee yet Lionwhyte flies away back to the fan geyser at 10-oclock. Sweet!
7. While you're in the air build a Razor Girl unit. They will muster right here at your flag where they are most useful. Land and take out the Warfather coming down the stairs on the right side. Don't worry too much about the 4 Hair Bangers following closely behind him. They will distract your troops a bit but they're not a big deal. Kill them after the merch tower falls.
8. Your troops will be reaching your position now so tell them to move towards the enemy merch tower. Hold (LB), then while highlighting the tower using the (RS), hit (DPad-Right) and make sure your army complies and starts to attack the merch tower. This aiming scheme sucks because you have to hold (LB) then maneuver the attack beam with the (RS) which is awkward (it is for me anyway because the plane of action on that stick switches from up/down/left/right to forward/back/left/right, anyway....)
TIP: Do NOT tell your army to Charge (DPad-Up) or you might send them to the enemy stage! Once your army is engaged it's almost impossible to call them back. They ignore you unless you're right on top of them. Always Move them to a target where they will execute their default Attack behavior. They will start Guarding their immediate surroundings when there's nothing left for them to attack. The horrible button polling really shines in these close quarter parts too because it doesn't queue up your button presses. Make sure you hear your units confirming your orders.
9. The General will show up (he has been attacking the 10-oclock tower with 4 Hair Bangers) and he will harrass your efforts to destroy his only tower. It's pretty easy to chase him away because he probably only has the Hair Bangers and maybe a Glitter Fist.
10. When the enemy tower falls, do the Fan Tribute (make sure you clean up the immediate area of enemies first) then hold (LB) and hit (DPad-Down) to tell everyone to Guard right below your new merch tower (make sure you hear them acknowledge your order and make it a rule to always listen for your army to respond). Look around to find your 2 Tollusks or look for your Razor Girls if the beasts are dead. Whoever you pick, hold (Y) and approach them so they have a "purplish aura" around them, and press (DPad-Left) so they're the only ones following you. Release (Y) to confirm the order and move away from your main army to make sure your strike unit is following you while the rest of the army waits and guards.
11. Fly down to the middle of the map and look around at the fan geysers. Claim all three of them in this order: If there are any green ones (uncapped) go there and and do Fan Tribute; If there are leaches on any of them go there and attack it by double-teaming (it's faster) and then Fan Tribute; If Lionwhyte has built a tower destroy it and Fan Tribute it.
NOTE: While you're doing the 3 fan geysers in the middle of the map, your stage will become ready for upgrade to level 3 so do it. If you hear Mangus say "Our Merch Tower is under attack" while you're mucking about just go into buld (RB) and create units up to 37/40. This leaves 3 units for Roadies.
12. Once all 3 middle towers are yours fly back to your army. Create your Tollusks again if you have the room and once again, hold (LB) then hit (DPad-Down) to tell everyone to guard just below the merch tower. Clean up any remaining enemies and wait for your stage to be ready to create Roadies.
13. Check your build menu and make a unit (or two) of Roadies when you have enough fans. When they arrive focus on them (get up pretty close to them) by holding (Y) and pressing (DPad-Left) so they follow you. Press (Y) and jump on a Roadie's back and run up and around to the Impaler Towers (you'll be stealthy too).
14. Run up to a Tower and start attacking it with (A). Make sure you're right up against it. Don't worry about the other Roadies as they will join you soon. If they're not right behind you it means they got sidetracked by some enemies but your army is strong enough now to clean up anything around the merch tower so they will join you soon. If you happen to attract the attention of Lionwhyte while you're doing this, jump off and fly away to go grab your other Roadies down below at the merch tower.
NOTE: You could also just have the Roadies follow you to the top of the stairs and then hold (Y), hold (LB), turn around with (RS) to highlight the Tower, and finally hit (DPad-Right). When you release (Y) they will go on to the Tower and attack it on their own but it takes a bit of practice to get that sequence just right.
15. When the Impaler Tower explodes the Roadies will start to work on the gate. A few more seconds of pounding and you'll get your BRUTAL VICTORY!
This is only one of many ways to do it but I had fun running variations on this fight for quite a few nights. Hope you liked it!