The first (and to date, last) time I tried to play the FOB Spectre mission, I was slaughtered in 3 minutes. It seems any 1 of my units is incapable of taking out any 1 enemy unit, and I only have 3 to defend 3 objectives. Is there a trick I'm missing? Apparently the number of retries I have is limited, and so is the number of story missions I can do before the tactical missions expire. Do my strike teams regenerate at some point, or will I be a total loser if I fail 3 times?
I found that, once you've gotten inside the mainframe for defense and position yourself under the ramp, all the enemy AI will immediately target you, refuse to plant the EMP device, and essentially be unable to kill you.
Your remaining units will kill off anything not paying attention, and all you have to do is destroy the enemy AGR.
He who defends everything, defends nothing.
Forget the cooling tower - too far away to save, especially in harder modes.
Keep claw near power transformer using tactical instruction. Leave one squad of men on ground level between power transformer and communications satellite using tactical command. Position second squad on platform around satellite. I usually control one of the squad members near satellite because from that platform I can fire turret down corridor toward cooling tower, fire on men dropped on platform across from satellite and fire on men dropped on ground level near power transformer.
Biggest challenge in harder modes is defending swarms of quads. Stay on the move and use cover. Use turrets to take out as many ASDs and claws as possible.
The answer, unfortunately, seems to be micromanagement. Assume direct control over soldiers who are about to get into a firefight, the AI is very bad at staying alive. Accomplishing objectives manually can also be helpful, for example if you need to plant a hacking device, position it in such a way that it is defensible. Don't overextend your forces - going for 2 objectives simultaneously might seem faster, but will probably be longer due to your mini-mes dying before they can do anything.