Part 123: Paradime & NomlandParadime & Nomland
A couple of planets this time in our new stomping grounds.
Tide is the smallest and is on a more distant orbital path, so I decided to save that one for last. As for which of the others to go for first - I didn't really have a good reason, but Paradime's preview seemed the least complicated so I dove in there.
There's a bit more territory below this shot but none of it matters. There's only one emitter, in the northeast island, on the entire map. It does however pump out 500 creeper per half-second, so that's something. The exclusion tower covers all the Spore Towers in the southeast and some of the emitter island, while that one in the west has a trio of Totems and appears to be ours for the taking.
Not wishing to stare a gift horse in the mouth, I took it with a Forge and a few Beams going up. It doesn't appear that we have to fight any ground-based creeper until we feel like it, so I might as well fortify our position against the spores and get upgrades going.
Reactors and more beams followed, then these Berthas to deal with the creeper buildup on the northeast island. The Spores themselves are a bit unique - they have a 250-creeper payload, five times the normal amount. But that only matters if you screw up and let them hit.
The massed landing with Guppies of Mortars and Cannons after the artillery had softened things up was indicated.
Some were lost but not most, and after moving over a Command Node it wasn't much trouble to take out the emitter. After all, there was nothing else for our berthas to shoot at.
Hopping the islands to the south of there with Relays to finish it up was all that was left. This was very quick - less than 19 minutes and it could be done a lot faster. There just isn't that much to this level, but it's solid for what it is.
With Paradime an appetizer at best, I moved on to Nomland immediately.
Three more islands here, but Digitalis! I think this one could be pretty easy if handled properly, but you've got to be careful and smart at the beginning. More careful and more smart than I was.
The AE Towers cover all of the southern island, and there's nowhere on it big enough to land. So you can basically rule that out. The big one is destined to become a mess of Runners rather obviously. It's also got the most important goodies - Ore and Totems. Four Spores each for the towers, and all of the Emitters are 120 per 2 seconds. The northern island has an obvious digitalis chokepoint to keep the enemy off. There's space to land on the middle island right away, but I doubt that'd be doable because you'd just end up getting everything stunned pretty quickly.
First attempt ended pretty quickly, when I overbuilt and none of the Beams got done in time and the Spores came in to smash everything. Might have been able to recover it, but early enough here that I just restarted.
[b]Take 2[b/] - 24:01 video
I soon jump to this point, a minute and a half in. We've got some beams up this time; the spore impact on the last one was after less than two minutes, and they are pretty rapid-fire once they start coming.
A couple hints here from this shot; there's still a lot of dry parts on that middle island, and the siphon, just 25 energy. Building a connection across there and knocking out one of the Runner Nests ASAP will save you a lot of pain. I did not even consider this, preferring to secure my position first. The main reason this is a nearly two-hour video is because of the various ways in which I failed to do so, and it'll soon become apparent how much getting an early foothold would have helped.
On the other hand, it's also easy to see why I didn't IMO. There's a Collector stunned here already as the Runners are starting to come. That string of Digitalis had to be defended against, several beams are needed for anti-spore defense, energy is always important, and I'm going Snipers next. Before the four-minute mark, the coastal areas are covered with creeper and most of the interior, so if you haven't made your move by then it's a lot harder. As for me, I expand the sniper operation and get going on the necessary Reactor Farm.
A little before 14 minutes in, I figure I'm ready to start working on getting a beachhead. A half-dozen cannons to clear out enough room for a Nullifier to take out one of the nests. This fails because runners. They stun stuff too often and snipers back on our own coast are too far away - with no Totems yet to upgrade them - to take them out before they do. The areas with the digitalis are at terrain height of 9, and just 1 for the rest of the middle island. So moving snipers across to be effective means putting them on the digitalis. And no way we can protect them there.
Next attempt, with a Shield added. And you can see the problem. It's stunned, so are half the cannons. That doesn't help, and it's another total failure.
I switched areas to the northern tip of the target island, further to the east. There's a little more room over there, and the crossing point isn't right by a nest. I moved mortars and snipers that way, and threw in a couple of Berthas to help out - and here I was trying to see if Strafers would help in cutting off the digitalis flow. I was unimpressed enough with the results that I soon deleted their bases.
All of this worked a little better, but not well enough, with the same basic problem as before. The improvement though convinced me to keep trying. I wish it hadn't.
After a similar attempt failed again, I tried this; a shield protecting a relay across. Nope.
Then I started experimenting with stuff like this, to see how much I would need to disrupt the digitalis pathways. This is the woefully inadequate 1 Runner and 2 Digitalis cannons.
Here I've got more weapons than before, and a third Bertha trying to help out. I've even evenly staggered the artillery impacts. It doesn't matter, because once again half the weapons get stunned by the runners, and then we get overrun with Creeper ... same result as before.
At this point I saved the mission and took a break from it for a couple days. In thinking about it, I decided to take a different approach. A lot of creeper was building up on the target island, so I switched the berthas to target the emitters and lower down the amount. Auto-targeting wasn't a real good idea because then they'd also be shooting at that third flooded island in the southwest. After doing this for a bit, overall depth in the middle of the island was around 18, which meant several even on top of the pathways.
After adding more reactors and a couple more berthas, I used the extras on the coast near us to try and clear that out while keeping the first three on the emitters. This proved enough to gradually lower the total creeper level, which only three were not enough for.
Then I went to Terping my way to having an elevated position on the far side so that any small amounts of creeper wouldn't be a problem. This wouldn't help with runners of course, but at least I could keep whatever I'd built/moved in place. The cannons here serve to help clear out the area enough so the terp can do its work.
Building slowly in-between stuns, this Relay-Nullifier combo worked in taking out one nest. That was something at least.
Another platform was added, and I had a sniper and a Digitalis SuperCannon. Progress - not great progress, but it was a start. Meanwhile the overall creeper level had sunk below the platforms, which made things a bit easier as well.
Then I added more platforms, and also put a couple of snipers just in front of the supercannon. This did not eliminate the stunning, but it wasn't happening quite as much now.
A similar approach further to the west netted another nullified nest. I've got more relay platforms than I need, but that was intentional to help insulate against them getting stunned. This was important for a second reason; it finally gave me access to the nearby Totem to get the Forge rolling. There also wasn't nearly as much pressure from the runners on the west anymore, due to most of the island being in the other direction and a number of snipers in place. So a few digitalis cannons were transferred over with a goal of eliminating all resistance in this direction.
It didn't take too long to eliminate the emitter on this end, plus a couple more nests. Now we were secure, with beams having been moved across as well and an Ore Mine running. It was just a matter of logistics to eventually make my way through the rest of Runner Island. In some cases supernullifiers worked; in others the PZs were spaced just far enough apart that progressing down the digitalis pathways was necessary.
I expected to have some trouble getting onto the final island, and was terping a spot here to put a SuperBertha up. That proved completely unnecessary, as you can see that the existing artillery plus the nearby SuperMortar and SuperSprayer are getting the job done quite effectively.
With the amount of AC now available, I didn't even need to move much in the way of weapons over to finish the job.