Part 151: Faithful & strings attachedFaithful & strings attached
A couple of small maps now as we near the end of this system. With Faithful, we get a Forge and a couple of Power Zones. We'll need them. There's a winding path of Digitalis coming straight for us, and most of those emitters are standard. But what makes this level 'fun', along with the spores, is the fact that the emitter in that southeast crater is ... different. A thousand creeper every two seconds.
Here comes our first Spore, as we approach three minutes in. My starting build order was pretty terrible here, wasting packets on too much stuff that didn't bring in energy. Main goal was to get as much Ore as I could.
A lot more came soon, and you don't have enough time in between waves to do much. These wrecked everything that wasn't on my starting island, and that's pretty much fatal. Ok then.
Take 2 - 4:51
A couple things to notice here on the restart. I put a lot more effort into energy here, including using our starting PZ for a SuperReactor. I'll need more Beams that way, but I also should have a lot more energy to power them. Also, that Aether Siphon contains 1000 aether, but there are no Totems on this map. It's designed so that it is up to you how you use that 1k, but you don't get any more.
I still lost a couple of things early, but a handful of beams and the energy to supply them allowed me to handle the waves of spores. As you can see however, I've got a serious problem with getting stunned by Runners. And even here, one of the spores got through and blew up a bunch of stuff. I had just enough in place that I was able to rebuild ... but I nearly lost this one again.
At least six, and preferably more, beams are required here. Next step: Terping up to get myself more room to place things on the same level as the runners are, so I can start fighting them off.
Here's the result of that operation; snipers and a Mortar to combat the increasing creeper flow. Critter count is now manageable, and more reactors are being added regularly. I should be able to secure that second Ore Mine also.
A larger terraforming operation flattened out the plateau more, and I was able to cut off the digitalis and snag the closest PZ. There, a SuperNullifier knocked out one of the standard emitters, preparing the way for an invasion of this mess. Our position is secure, but it'll take a lot of firepower to beat down this pathway. You can see here that I already have a Bertha sighted ... and that depth is over 150.
Here's the setup when I think I'm mostly ready. Two SuperBerthas, a lot more energy support prepared, more Mortars and whatnot ready to start pushing around the pathway.
One thing about a cramped map is that artillery is super-effective; the creeper can't spread out in many places. The final crater still ended up being rather annoying even with SuperMortars and both berthas targeted in there. It overflowed and killed the Nullifier a couple times, but eventually I added enough shooting to the mix and took it down.
That was just under a half-hour for the winning attempt, and I moved on to strings attached. Once I realized what the deal was here I was pretty impressed with this level. This wasn't just thrown together - it was truly designed with some thought put into it.
Worth noting at first is that there are only two places with enough flat land for a Command Node. Most of the NE landmass is AE excluded so we can forget about guppies there, and of course we'd get overrun landing directly. That leaves the southwest - but with the Totems and Aether resource there what room do we have to operate? And we will eventualy need to defend against those Spore Towers. Not relevant to the beginning, but some of those emitters are over 100 creeper every 0.5 or so seconds. They aren't the standard wimpy ones.
Here's how I started it off. On our initial island we can't build a Forge to make use of all that glorious Aether ... there's no space. So after getting energy going, I build a Guppy and a Terp to go to the second island, where I need to terraform so that I can land another Node so that I can start actually doing something useful. I don't think there's another way, and I thought this was a cool change-of-pace.
I get some Beams up also, but take a pause from the terraforming to fund this Nullifier, so that there are fewer spores to deal with. Prevention is worth more than the cure, and all that.
More guppies are added, the new Command Node lands, and I start to get moving. Almost ten minutes of work to get this far.
When I finally get the forge up, it soon has hundreds of aether between several totems and two Siphons feeding it.
This island allowed for a strange Guppy Experiment. I don't know why this works. The Ore Mine sends the ore to the Not-Ore Guppy, and then to the Ore Guppy, from where I can transfer it to where it is needed. Why it can't send it straight to the Ore Guppy I don't know. But whatever. Still learning new things a hundred and some missions into this game.
Naturally, Berthas to prepare the way. I was surprised to see it would allow me to place that SuperBertha, as it seems bigger than the island it is on. Not complaining though.
I landed in the closest place, and the one narrow spot that isn't AE covered just in case, and then used a Convert Artifact just because. From here, it was just a matter of gradually beating back the flow.
Simple when you know how, but also a cleverly-designed planet in my opinion.