Yes, after I knew, it was easy to stockpile ammo, fortify to a level that would be silly for this stage in regular freeplay, and disable anything else. That's the part about "telling".
In particular, you're asked to automate green circuits, then are supposed to completely stop them or you severely hamper your chance of success.
Edit regarding "connecting the dots": I was obviously expecting that there would be some kind of scripted attack coming. I assumed something like perhaps three waves of the ~50 biters we had seen before. I did indeed NOT expect an auto-scaled brutality of assault that requires me to shut off anything except ammo production.