Part 142: SuperFlatSuperFlat
The current state of the Alpha Sector. MuadDib and snowmaker(JM) are the next two systems, adjacent to each other in the upper-left. Near them you can see J, the largest at 17 planets. But it'll be a while till we grind our way to that.
Three massive and three on the small-ish end of the planet scale. Anyone who lives as I do in a climate with relatively cold and snowy winters will appreciate the name 'Pothole'.
This is SuperFlat, our first target. It could better be called SuperBoring or SuperTedious. For the first time in quite a while, I pull out the 'time-lapse' technique and show less than half of the footage in the video. This map is a spiritual successor to the FiringRange ones from a ways back. If you've seen the first ten minutes of this map, you've seen the map.
A perfect square of grey, SuperFlat has an energy siphon and AC emitter in each corner, with spore towers, emitters, totems, and ore deposits scattered throughout the rest. There are no breaks in the landmass, no elevation changes.
It was clear right away what the deal was going to be here, so I went with a Cannon perimeter and three Reactors at a time early on. That's a little more aggressive than usual in the energy buildup, but I wanted to get the income boost as quickly as possible. Ditto with the Forge, which is why that's underway here after just over a minute.
The Spores come about every minute, so that was a significant tax on the early energy. After a few more minutes of buildup, I was able to get the first Emitter down - careful to hit only that one and not the nearby AC source. At this point, an ever-expanding attack was on the menu.
At first I didn't go the Bertha route, but as creeper depth increased I changed my mind, adding a trio of them at about 12 minutes in. As the front slowly progressed north along the western edge of the map, I generally used new Power Zones for weapons at first, often switching later to something else - reactors for a while to ensure energy supply.
Eventually our firepower outstripped the ability of the AC to even keep up with us and help.
A later shot, a few minutes shy of an hour mission time, that gives you a better idea of the scope. By now I've got a dedicated always-on SuperSprayer, multiple SuperBerthas, and more PZs that I know what to do with. It's just a matter of advancing as quickly an intelligently as I can, slapping down new relays and nullifiers, again and again. And again. And AGAIN. Lather.Rinse.Repeat.
Another 15 minutes and the job was complete. My verdict on this type of map continues to be that it could be a fraction of the size and not lose anything. Just too much of the same repetitive thing - particularly when there's no variety. A point that will be illustrated in our next adventure.