Part 177: Creeper WallCreeper Wall
There are three creeper wall planets in the J system. They're a little ... special. Non-standard. Unique you might say. And I definitely didn't get them figured out right away.
Not an overly-large map, and there appears to only be one emitter.
That's an awful lot of information for someone who didn't know what it was going to do like 10 literal seconds ago, Lia.
Before long, the wall appears moving from left to right. We have a lovely slip-emitter in the west as well, while the one in the east goes for 200 but only every 30 seconds.
First time I was basically just doing a 'let's see what happens' approach. On its way through, the wall incinerates anything fragile including all energy structures. The Command Node takes significant damage but remains mostly intact.
The wall 'crashes' on the east end, creating a tsunami headed my way from that direction. At the same time - though for reasons to be explained in a bit it appears to actually happen a bit later - a new one forms in the west.
Take 2[ - 4:56 video
I then quit and restart. As we'll see, and you may even have noticed by now, I didn't need to restart. I would have been fine, if I knew what to do. I had an idea at this point. A bad idea, but an idea. I noticed at this stage that you are allowed three Thors. I thought about that, but it was obvious that I wasn't going to have the energy to build those in the allotted time.
So here I'm focused on getting Mortars up to try and defend against the wave that comes from the east. Skipping/flying them over the wall as it eliminates my collectors - and then rebuilding them after it passes.
Here's how well that does not at all in any way work. I could probably have gotten a couple more up, but there's no way to terp an effective barrier or get enough weapons in time.
Take 3 - 9:11
At this point I did some offscreen stuff and failed more in the same general way. But then something occurred to me. The key to this level is noticing that the creeper wall, as it moves across the map, sucks up creeper at its location. So if you are patient and don't just ragequit when that wave starts flowing from the east, you'll realize that it will never make it further than halfway across the map. The wall will simply pick it up, drop it back down on the east end, and the process will repeat.
From that realization came the plan to not fight the wall at all at the beginning, but just basically ignore it. Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Terps!
Why? Well because we want to move west. The creeper is all going to keep getting dumped in the east, which means we want to be Not There. This is the first, initial pass - future ones won't have as thick of creeper. A few Collectors to get enough energy for the terp, and then I work on flattening out the terrain. I need some mobility for the command node, or it will eventually take critical damage. .
By the time the wall gets back again, I've made significant progress. I can get better efficiency from the collectors, and have some room to manuever if I need it. As ever, the approach from the east looks a lot more dangerous than it actually is.
There's a lot more work for the terp to do as I push further west, and also more competition from the creeper. Eventually I need a Pulse Cannon to clear dry ground for it to work on.
Pushing a little bit further each time, the progress continues. I knew that nullifying on this end was risky, but I wanted to try it and see what happened.
Here the northerwestern third or so is closed off to the creeper. The wall tries to expand that way, but cannons can keep it 'pushed down'. This is big though - it means I can actually build stuff and keep it protected permanently.
This is about as close as I've ever come to winning while still losing. Shades of Titan here perhaps in terms of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, only I don't think this was that dumb.
Don't get me wrong, it was still kinda dumb because I suspected what might happen. Nullifying the slip-emitter stops the wall from doing its thing. And that means all that's left here is the one weak emitter in the east ... and a whole bunch of creeper. I'm trying to get a Forge up to do some upgrades. And I eventually got an energy boost or two, and I was killing creeper for sure faster than it was generated. But it wasn't enough to stop the wave.
Almost enough, but not quite. Slowly, inexorably, bit by bit it pushed me back and destroyed my stuff. I was very close to being able to stop it ... but I just didn't have the energy for a sufficient fighting force. Grrrr!!
Take 4 - 38:09
So this time I didn't take the trojan horse. Once I got to the west I started getting upgrades in and, with sufficient perimeter cannon defenses to secure them, constructed a basic Reactor farm.
Not until I had a Bertha in place did I do the nullifying this time around. As the wave advanced I threw up a few Mortars to assist, this time with plentiful supply. The Creeper whined for a while but it had no chance this time. Our 'armies' were victorious, and the enigma of the Creeper Wall was defeated.