Part 195: Hyper TowerHyper Tower
The second, and for the moment last, PAC map continues the Arc Eternal: Redemption campaign. Lots of jump-cuts in this one as I got rid of dead space while I was waiting to see if things worked, and also some incongruous and unintended background music through most of it. But I did gradually get a handle on how to play better in the PAC mode.
Here on Carcere, the incompetent human fools have set up a somewhat better defensive position. They've got a more energized and focused defensed around their Command Node, complete with Shields and Mortars that we didn't have to contend with last time. Also, they seem to have more Beams than before.
A new use for Inhibitors, which of course gives this mission its name.
I ended up getting distracted by other goings-on, and never really got to trying this out.
We begin in the center of a ruined structure. It was clear pretty quickly that grabbing the nearby Power Zone and the Totem that is mostly obscured here would be the first priorities.
With a second Emitter up, you can just see the first smidge of a health bar forming on the Hyper Tower in the lower-right. It needs a lot more Creeper though.
By the time I'd secured the interior of the ruins are and upped to a quartet of emitters, the tower was complete and sending out occasional spores. This was not enough to be a threat to the anti-air defenses in place, but still progress.
I found myself at somewhat of an impasse at this point. The main thing to notice here is that there are no other nearby PZs ... I've got to expand quite a bit to increase my supply, and that's not easy to do with what I have on hand. It's quite possible, but I didn't really have a grasp on what was needed just yet. So I tried various things, knocked out some stuff including a local Beam and tried funneling creeper through the tower more. We got more spores out, but it wasn't enough to do more than drain some of their beams, and almost all the spores were eventually shot down. I didn't have enough fuel for the thing to get the needed critical mass.
I'm also not, getting back to one of the points Olesh made, being nearly aggressive enough with Digitalis yet.
That would soon change. After the spore bombardment was shown to be clearly failing, I finally figured out that yeah, you can expand the digitalis to paint big areas, and I started just flooding everything I could with it. This helped a little, and would become more necessary later.
After trying different things without success, I went with this. My goal here is to knock out that Mortar, thinking that if it goes I just might have a chance to reach the PZ behind it as the creeper would last longer. This wasn't the best plan ...
But combined with the increased overall amount of digitalis around it worked just well enough. Finally I had a foothold outside the ruins. More of the enemy defenses would now inevitably fall.
The entire corner went away, and the eastern edge of the map now belonged to the power of the Creeper. I tried for that shield at the top for some while, but couldn't make any significant inroads. I was able to grab this second totem though, and you can see that with the larger brush spreading the digitalis has now become the trivial matter it is supposed to be.
I tried supplying the tower again, but found that we still hadn't reached a tipping point. It was closer though. As seen here there were usually close to ten active projectiles at any given time, thanks to the increased creeper supply. The closer beams were soon overwhelmed and drained of energy, but the Abraxis has good defense-in-depth on Carcere, and the ones further to the rear cleaned up whatever got through.
Then, light dawned on marble head. I decided to try the time-honored military strategy of taking the high ground, going for these cannon emplacements to the west of the ruins. This was overdue, and is how I should have approached things earlier.
It was much more effective than I expected. A couple of these I had knocked out before, but prior to discovering the larger brush for the digitalis. Once the heights were covered with the webbing, the front expanded fairly quickly. Also notice the two arrows on the Field direction there, a graphical indication of the increased power from having multiple totems. I would soon grab that next one, giving me three ...
Which was absolutely vital, because it gave me the power to focus the creeper advance enough to take this position, which I'd failed to capture before. Once that hilltop Cannon went ...
The adjacent shield fortification fell very quickly, unable to withstand such an unreachable nearby elevated digitalis position. Then the fourth totem - four arrows of the field here - which would help me lay waste to the other two nearby shield positions. The decisive breakout maneuver had finally been achieved.
I switched back to supplying the tower, and this time things were different. Initially the core defenses around the enemy command node held just fine ... but in the southwest they didn't have enough left, and couldn't deal with the increased spore frequency. Gradually more and more spores made their way through the defenses, crashing into shields, weapons, collectors ... and they didn't have enough firepower to clean up the mess and withstand the creeper approaching from the E and NE directions.
Eventually I grabbed a new emitter in this area. Then two, as the human forces were overrun. These contributed even more support to the creeper flowing into the tower, and ever-more spores flowed out. Now they had only one target to hit, and were a steady, unrelenting stream pounding the primary fortifications.
Soon even that concentrated defense couldn't sustain itself against the incessant barrage. The shields failed, then we started pounding their SuperReactors, and from there things got bad in a hurry. A horrible shower of projectiles obliterated the remaining human presence.
Interestingly, this displayed while we were still wearing down the Command Node.
The vile anomaly!
It appears the deal here then is that we would chase Abraxis and Lia all over the galaxy.
And so it goes on, but without us. Our next objective is to give Sleepers a try.