Part 152: space & Total War[space & Total War
Two planets that could not be more different. The first is quite a quick one. The second takes a lot longer, and is only recommended viewing if you have lots of time and want to see my OCD come out and play. Or if you always wanted to know the answer to this burning question: What can you do with three Thors that you can't do with only one? Yeah, it's that kind of map. I also apologize for the sound - I have no idea why it is distorted since I haven't had that happen recently before or since.
First things first. This is space ... or rather lack of space. The title might be a play on the fact that while there are three islands here, only one has space to land on. That one in the west is great, but also out of reach initially.
I try a Relay connection but it's too far, so Guppy Time it is. Note: this Beam was a waste of energy. I didn't realize how long the Spore Towers would take to charge up.
Once I get to set to attack, I notice that after several minutes of building the towers have several minutes more to countdown. You've got time on this map to just ignore air defenses period and win before they do anything. Of course, I didn't know that at first.
Mortars did most of the heavy lifting in a slow crossing. This Aether Siphon is just there to get the thing out of the way, not because I actually need the aether particularly at this point.
Up the narrow steps I go, having absorbed the first wave of Spores finally. I also for some reason kept trying to move the shield up the hill here, instead of doing what I eventually did - uh, build a second one and leapfrog them? Leapfrogging is the CW Way(tm) so I'm not sure why it took me as long as it did to figure that out. Quite a few range and other upgrades are in place by this point also.
Per usual, once the heights are gained this fight is over. This wrapped up the snowmaker(JM) system, some solid levels in there to be sure. The sheer volume of Digitalis on most maps is what I'll probably remember the most. And now it's on to
TonyP2000 is the one of only two remaining systems in the bottom half of the Alpha Sector. The other one is virgilw, which of course we're saving for last. Nine more planets to our wondering eyes appear. The order will be slightly different as you can see three 'pairs' in the naming. But first up, we'll head to the insanity of Total War. It is well-named.
Extends a bit further to the north, but this is over 90% of it. We've got multiple landmasses connected by our good friend Mr. Digitalis. Totems, Ore, Siphons, Runners, AE Towers, Spore Towers ... you name it and this map has it.
Oh look, these weird things are back. In this case, they dispense creeper every so often, I never checked exactly how often and they probably take it from somewhere else on the map. Maybe one of the Script Maestros(TM) would like to look into that?
I thought those white flat areas called out for a multi-network beginning. Naturally, I tried to take all three of them.
Tried ... and failed. This is the second one of the three I lost, and the other was getting overrun with digitalis. 2:35 mission time here. Clearly this was too fast a start for me to successfully multi-task it.
This struck me as the best location; I thought I could protect the perimeter against any digitalis approach fairly quickly. The others would be a little harder to secure because there would be standard uphill creeper coming as well. The nearby Totems aren't a bad thing to throw in there either.
Of course, this meant all the Spores were coming for the same target. It was pure dumb luck the first one, at just 1:15 in, didn't hit anything particularly vital.
Not long after, this happened. From six reactors down to two. That's not a small setback, but I didn't give up.
Just under five minutes. There were smaller incursions in the interim, but by this point I have all the barricades pretty well manned. And then, thinking about what to do next, I got fixated on something that would change the course of how this adventure would go.
Nearby to the northwest, this island has a caldera. With one of those devices in it. The barely-legible readout says the depth is 7.84. It will overflow at 9. Why do I care? Well first of all, those ore deposits on the west end of the island are tempting. But then I started thinking how cool it would be to send AC flooding down from that caldera instead of the other way around. And then I just thought to heck with it - this was interesting enough to me that I stopped thinking about how to win the level, and just focused in on making this happen.
First up, a couple of Strafers to make sure it didn't overflow. Then, a new outpost.
Worth noting because you do NOT want to get hit by that big one.
The strafers bought me time, and I bolstered defenses at our base. That included getting Snipers up, as the creepy crawlers were coming around.
Took me a while to get this up and running and all the kinks sorted out. Energy Guppies brought the supply to get everything up and running and maintain the beams and cannons. Ore Guppies brought the brown goodness back to the main island, where the Command Nodes turned it into AC, which more Guppies brought back here. Is this worth the effort? Of course not. But I felt like doing it anyway.
Creeper is coming around the sides, but a SuperSprayer is in place and the crater belongs to us now. Working on filling it up here.
More than 20 minutes into the level. Just getting started in other words. And we're now overflowing the AC.
While the anti-creeper slowly regained territory from the enemy on Volcano Island, I moved on to standard acquisitions. This is the southwest corner, second landing attempt. Naturally the first once was horridly botched.
A node was moved down there and that area was gradually reclaimed. Took some time to build up energy infrastructure in place, and meanwhile this continued to happen. The creeper was getting pushed back down the eastern slope.
As more ore deposits were secured, more guppies were built and tasked to deliver AC to the volcano. Also, I put this Terp in play to lower the rim on the north, south, and east of the crater. That way more of the aqua-colored goodness would flow towards the enemy instead of some going over the lip away from it.
That's when I noticed I could build not just one Thor, but three of them. Why not. This area was nearly secure, and they would make it easier to bring justice to the rest of the map.
A lot of this right here happened. The firepower was devastating, and there is still one more to be built, but there were still the usual annoyances. Having to keep them close to existing relays, and I forgot a few times about protecting that supply line with beams. Also, I couldn't have all the weapons on at once. Not because I didn't have the energy, but because these behemoths still dispense firepower faster than they can be replenished, no matter how high packet speed is. But still, when I managed them correctly they made stuff going away. In a hurry.
Kind of reminds me of clearing entire maps with Gen. Duke's Battlecruiser in Starcraft, for those who are familiar. Meanwhile, as ore income continued to increase, more guppies were built to send it to the volcano. And more sprayers to dispense it in ever-larger amounts. These were the twin initatives as I gradually cleared the map.
The 'eruption' is starting to look pretty ridiculous.
Here's thors and strafers preparing the target area for our next network to go up.
Then I came to these ruins in the very north of the map. By this point I was almost done, just needed to push west and get the final corner.
This is my favorite shot. A bit far away, but it shows the stupid amount of guppies I have taking all the AC in. Most of the island has been subdued, and I'm about to bring weapons in and finish the rest of it off to end the level. Also ... just noticed that I do this relay connection hopping over a nearby island to my main network.
So .... most of those guppies were completely unnecessary and I could have just relay'd in the AC a long time ago. Heh.