Part 131: RoundupRoundup
We're headed to Hunter Seeker, the very top-right system. As of the start of this update we have just 99 planets left to visit. Hope you're enjoying the journey, because there's still several months of this left to go.
The order here will be Roundup, Boss, Wind, and then NoWasteLand. Nothing stands out particularly dramatically from the previews.
We've got a big Digitalis Lollipop for all intents and purposes, slightly extending below this, with an emitter and a runner nest in each corner. Ore and Totems appear to be reasonably plentiful. The emitters all produce 200 per 5 seconds; standard strength, just a slower interval.
Superb. I never did figure out how to 'slow down the digging', for reasons that will soon become clear.
I briefly investigate trying to nullify one of the corner emitters quickly, but that doesn't appear to be a useful idea. Moving to the center, I deploy and go with a basic collector grid. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do on this map, which is the only thing vaguely approximating an excuse for not using all three Nodes.
I decide I want this Totem to the northwest early, and then just try to defend and do upgrades.
I went with Snipers first to combat the Runners, then Sprayers. This was not the best strategy. I didn't realize what was going on at the time, but at the very left side of the screen here, one of the 'tunnel emitters' has emerged close enough to spill some creeper over on to the grey, elevated plateau. And so is my connection to the Totem severed before the Forge is even built.
I add a few cannons, expand the collector grid, and generally make a basic attempt to defend my perimeter and expand a bit. The Terp is there because I'm supposed to need one.
I start pushing back to the west, but I don't have enough firepower yet to cover all approaches and the Creeper starts invading from the north, and buildings start blowing up. At this point I mention that things seem to be slowly moving against me - I'm not getting stuff done as fast as I need to in order to equalize. I've got a few Reactors up here - but they don't look to be particularly safe. Running a deficit of about 8-10 energy and losing ground, I decide I've had enough and restart.
Take 2 - 12:01 video
Next time my goal, which I felt was borderline aggressive, was to control the entire grey plateau right away. So I put down all three nodes, covered it in collectors, and then went right to building reactors.
Then I started getting a Pulse Cannon perimeter going. This is a slight mistake in that I already know we're going to get hit first from the west, and a I should probably worry about that first with the southeast generally being the last direction covered due to the digitalis paths and how the creeper spreads on this map. Still, I had enough energy to batch-build several at once here, and doing so I was quickly able to reach a reasonably secure-for-the-moment position.
A few Mortars and Snipers were next, but my energy supply wasn't keeping pace so I started to face a deficit. Meanwhile one of the 'underground tunnels' surfaced here. It's that cloud just on the plateau at the left of the screen, between a mortar and cannon. I don't see any way to 'slow down the digging' here as you don't know where they are coming until they surface. They do have a specific pattern of locations - but that's not announced in any way. The best I found was just to focus fire on them when they appeared, then nullify. Also, you can see we have SuperRunners on this level also. They take quite a few shots to destroy.
As it turns out, the 'hole' left when one of these tunnel-emitter-things is destroyed isn't at level 0 as I expected - it seems to be four levels below whatever the terrain is. Filling them in with Terps turns these into a gift, as I'm then able to use the PZ for my own purposes.
By now, this is really the only section of my plateau/island that isn't surrounded by active Digitalis. It's a race here as I need to be regularly adding weapons, yet I also need to be boosting energy to catch up and compensate. Still, creeper depth is enough that I really need regularly-spaced mortars around the entire perimeter. And it's a big perimeter in this case. At the worst of it, my deficit reached about a third - 20 energy short while producing 39.
A second tunnel emerged, again in the northwest - note that both of them here are squarely in the middle of digitalis paths - and now with a SuperSniper and SuperMortar here things are more secure in this area, and I move a couple of regular mortars away to deal with other locations. The Digitalis Cannons are also much-required to deal with those situations where the digitalis path comes up over 'my' plateau. That happens pretty much all along the northern border.
By the time a third one appeared on the plateau, energy was caught up and maxed out, and I was rebuilding my reserve of weapons in the center of the island. It was time to go with some SuperBerthas and start clearing out the surrounding areas to support an offensive.
Marching through all that digitalis is not something I was looking forward to. Depth was less than 30 everywhere so this shouldn't take too long as far as that's concerned. Time at this stage is closing in on 23 minutes. Another batch of Reactors pushed energy income north of 70, ensuring I had enough to support a credible attack force.
I headed northwest first simply because it was the closest, and it wasn't long before I discovered the location of more tunnel-emitters, like the one bubbling up beneath the AC blanket here.
I didn't realize at first how much damage I'd done by nullifying that one. Apparently they are connected in 'rings' of a sort - and taking one out also destroys the others in that ring. So there's a series now of power zones around the map, where creeper was emerging and isn't any longer. Soon afterward, I knocked out another one further out -- and a second Power Zone Ring appeared just 'outside' of this one.
Having cut off the flow at the western map edge, I pushed north to the first corner emitter and soon had that under control. I haven't yet noticed it, but you can see where more creeper is coming out of another tunnel just northwest of the Totem, causing my nearby weapons to go a little bit nuts.
It was now time for mop-up; this is a bit later with more of the PZ Rings taken out. This does provide the benefit of giving me useful positions to weapons on as I approach each emitter.
Next up for Boss, I just thought I'd throw out there that it might be one for DmitriX to look at if you enjoy the scripting thing. I freely admit I didn't enjoy the playing side of one of the scripts in particular on that map while going through it.