Part 149: A River Runs Through ItA River Runs Through It
The 'river' in this case is a river of deadspace. There's quite a few above-normal strength emitters on this map, plenty of spore towers, runner nests ... but mostly a lot of Digitalis. It covers almost the entire map. On the other hand we have a pre-built Forge, a few available PZs, a number of totems nearby, siphon resource deposits, and even some ore and an AC emitter. So there's a lot going on here.
I got quite lucky here. That Sprayer is just barely out of range of the digitalis, as our anti-creeper is holding it back. We just managed to drain an Ore Siphon that was in the same area. While this is I'm sure not an accident, the map was probably designed and balanced to give you just enough space for this, I didn't know this and just plopped stuff down on the first run.
The digitalis gradually pressed further, up to the edge of the hill I've started on, and I lost the sprayer anyway.
This is what I settled on for the early part of the struggle. The SuperSniper aims to keep the runner population under control while I build a perimeter of Digitalis Cannons to co-ordinate with the anti-creeper in keeping the enemy from overrunning us.
I came very close to losing said sniper right after this, and had to move it off the power source until I could beat back the digitalis. Two things worked in my favor; the spore towers don't get going for quite a while, and all the early aether to get upgrades rolling.
All of that led to this, about 11 minutes in. I'm building up more reactors, have about 40 energy income, and slow progress is being made on pushing back the perimeter.
Mortars were next. With their help, I started pushing east. Soon I focused particularly on creating a strong guard along the river itself, cutting off any possible digitalis reinforcements from that direction.
I know this is ridiculously shrunk down, but I wanted to show how flooded the rest of the map is. Also, that emitter along the far eastern edge? That's 200 per 0.5, or 10x 'normal' strength. There are many more of lesser power. Combined with the digitalis, that makes clearing this map take a bit of doing.
This is part of the first spore wave. Thankfully they are slightly staggered and only fire once every roughly 10 minutes, but there are still dozens of them so they should not be underestimated. You can also see that, while I've paused a bit to deal with this, I've begun pushing the front gradually eastward. Soon I'd moved far enough that I no longer wanted the power zones for snipers or beams. The naturally solution was to begin deploying SuperBerthas.
By the time the second wave of spores was dealt with, I was beginning to plow into the main structures north of the Void River. They wouldn't have time for those timers to tick down a third time.
Once the north bank of the Void River was secure - and a SuperMortar placed to help pound the south side - I needed to cross. The southwest region was the obvious choice, containing the only area not covered in digitalis.
After doing my usual tradition of underestimating the first attempt, I turn up the volume and also add in some almost certainly unnecessary Guppies. And hey look, another Aether Siphon!
The main complication here is fighting uphill. I'm just starting to take the high ground in the very south. Once that is achieved, I still have almost half of the map remaining to pacify. It's only a matter of force, time, and trying not to do anything stupid. In our case, roughly 15 minutes of finishing things up.