Part 139: Altiar & Lil GlieseAltiar & Lil Gliese
These two finish up the Michionlion system.
The west end of the map is definitely out.
That number is there just in case I'm tempted to think there are too many planets in the Alpha Sector. 18 digits. Oy vey.
Using the modest siphon resources in the east seemed the best play. I wanted to get rid of this nearby Spore Tower right away. One of the towers in the west sends out four at at time, so it's 8-9 of them we'll need to be dealing with. Combating the Digitalis early on will also obviously be necessary. I overbuilt energy-wise, but didn't get a Beam up fast enough in the south where I was building reactors. I say was building reactors because the one spore that went that way pretty much wiped them out. I couldn't afford that kind of a loss, so there goes the first fail.
Take 2 - 5:56
Didn't get that first Nullifier up quickly enough this time, and it struck its own island in self-defense. We got mostly charged, but not all the way there.
Take 3 - 6:49
A little better, but not fast enough to stop the first launch. However, this one chose to hit a less sensitive location, and it didn't take much to clean it up and rebuild collectors in that area. Interestingly, most of the spores on this map have the standard 50-creeper payload, but this nearby one has just 5. The 4-spore tower has 10. So there's more variety than usual in their strength. At this point it's probably useful to talk about the limitations on this map.
Aside from the usual no Thor, we are permitted just one Command Node, and can't build Snipers (who cares with no runners), Shields, or Ore Mines. Also, the following are reduced:
** 5 Pulse Cannons
** 5 Mortars
** 8 Strafers
** 2 Siphons
** 1 Terp
** 2 Guppies
** 2 Berthas
After getting all our energy structures in place, a Forge and all the Cannons/Mortars we are allowed went up roughly in a perimeter. Given the situation, upgrades will be vital and intelligent use of weaponry is required. Those two AC emitters at the bottom help, but they aren't nearly enough to get the job done on their own.
This emitter pair in the north was an obvious first target, the only ones really on 'my half' of the map. Standard Berthas had been deployed by now to try and combat the flood. I also started building some Strafer pads, just because it was the only other thing I could use to kill the enemy.
With only modest success, the Strafers went after an arm of the digitalis. They needed artillery support to really accomplish anything. Then I started transitioning the PZs to utilize either SuperReactors or SuperBerthas, in order to maximize our energy and impact.
Combined with gradual upgrades, that allowed a steady advance to this ridge which defines the midpoint of the map.
It took most of the firepower at my disposal to get it done, but this central emitter going down was a big help. A considerable depth is rushing at us from the west, and at one point I tried retargeting the artillery to deal with that. Which led to a major retreat as the digitalis recovered and came at us quickly. It's a bad idea. Once you get a Digitalis Cannon on that power zone though, that's much less of a problem.
Focusing first in the northwest, I was now in position to take down the enemy stronghold. The end was now near for them.
Altiar is sort of a 'Bardel Lite' in my mind. You get upgrades sooner and it's not nearly as hard or long, but it definitely comes from the same sort of space and design philosophy. You get roughly just enough to complete your task, and have to use it well to make it happen. I must give this level a stamp of approval.
This is the message that greets you on beginning Lil Gliese. How charming. How inspiring and optimistic!!
This is all there is to it. Two small islands facing each other. We start with some things in place ... and two Guppies? Full set of Command Nodes, but nowhere they can fit just yet. This really threw me for a loop at first, because of how different it is. Wouldn't be the last time that happened on this map.
Then I discovered that you can't build any Beams, 5 Collectors only, no Terp or Siphons either. That's right, we're fighting Spores with no anti-air defense. No, it's not any more fun than it sounds. Weapons allowed are Cannons/Mortars/Nullifiers only.
After pondering that, scratching my head, etc. I began the necessary first step: moving the guppies in range of our starting collectors and nullifying the Spore Tower on our starting island.
Serving no more useful purpose, the first guppy is destroyed when empty. We've got enough left for a SuperNullifier to eliminate the nearest emitter on the eastern island. You are pretty much forced to get rid of the guppies, because ...
It's the only way to create just enough room to put down a Node.
My first idea was to put up a SuperShield and a Reactor. It didn't power up in time, so that was an impressive fail.
Take 2 - 51:10
Now I understood how to at least start the level though.
This is a better idea. I soon stopped building Reactors, because they cost too much to build and you can't stop them from being destroyed without beams. A SuperMortar to take down the Creeper on the other island, along with Cannons to destroy the enemy and limit the damage on spore impacts, is the best way to go I think.
Collectors were re-built and guppies gradually funded between spore attacks, preparing for the crossing.
The first attempt, with a pair of guppies and cannons each, proved ineffective though. I didn't have quite enough energy to fuel the cannons and get a nullifier going to eliminate the spore tower.
Next I went back to the shield idea - the Mortar lowered down the creeper to a minimal amount, then a Super Shield protecting a guppy-nullifier combo. This worked the second time I tried it, after I realized I needed to deactivate the guppy pads after setting it up, so that as much energy as possible went to the shield.
Now I could safely build reactors, because there were no more spores coming. I tried out various methods of landing here, needing one that allowed a stable situation on the eastern island so I could nullify the emitters.
Moving a SuperCannon up to the second level was key - it could do most of the work itself but needed some help from a second weapon. The lower-level SuperNullifier was protected though, and able to provide the killing blow.
I quite enjoyed this, which defintely needs points for originality and being a clever CW miniature. Quite well-designed simplicity.