Part 206: StretchStretch (30:51)
Wouldn't be a CW game if we weren't flagrantly violating the laws of physics, would it?
Pretty sizeable map. And I didn't get started well, beginnig right where the camera was centered in the middle. That plasma, energy crystals, etc. in the upper-left though, benign particulate, etc. all are begging for me to go that way. So I just relocate.
I feel I've got a decent handle on how to begin levels now; they all pretty much seem to be a case of getting an energy source and some storage going, then a Lathe to expand the economy more, then build whatever else you can afford. Also we can see that we have the 'bound' clumps of benign particles here.
Partly because of my initial fuddling about, a pretty thick band of enemy particles approaches from below before I'm ready.
This early battle is not without casualties - a lathe in this case and some of our energy reserves. If I'd waited any longer to get the cruisers up this could have gotten even more 'interesting'.
There are two of these - we've got one at this point. Here's the other:
The seemingly added-on text-box instructions continue.
We sure do like that rift space. Good thing it wasn't destroyed halfway through CW2.
Ogun may only have one note to play, but you have to hand it to him; he hits that note hard and consistently at the slighest provocation.
Here's our Cruiser, and the control panel shows the option for mounting a Graviton Energy Modulator.
And after it's on, they get a little orange indicator showing they have been so enhanced.
I decide to throw the other one on our Destroyer, but am rudely interrupted before I can acquire it. It seems that even civilian ships of use require a license? Uhhh ...
Hence why this mission is named Stretch.
A welcome lapse into sensible practicality.
Our initial area seems in hand and we've mired the land in the corner. I set up a Grabber and proceed to spend far too long fiddling with it to get a stream headed downwards to aid an expansion effort. I eventually figured out what I was doing wrong, but not before this level was over. Basically, you have to move it to a new position before adjusting where it's aimed - even if that just means setting it down in place again. I was trying to adjust it without moving and ... well, I don't think that's possible.
Knocked out the emitter in this area just fine, but had some issues with the range. I think maybe I was supposed to go to the right first. Anyway, hiding under the interface is the MicroTank and you can see it supplying a couple of ships here ... but the lathe is too far away. We'll get a clearer look at this later, but the bottom line is I piddled around with this for a while before grabbing the land at the bottom. I also managed to get myself into a nice big energy deficit at the same time by going nuts on Omnis.
Also down here is the Info Cache.
Well it appears we're going full Mass Effect Reapers, or Freespace Shivans, or whatever your favorite trope here is. At least our mission has been validated though. For the first time, over a third of the way into the Story, we are given a clear description of why the heck this whole endeavor is even necessary. Better late than never.
Apparently none of the directors are surprised by this - seems they already knew quite a bit about the true nature of the Particulate.
Here are the two ends of the whole rift wormhole thingy. I'm able to send particulate in the green opening and it comes out the blue one, though at the moment there's too much resistance for that to do a great deal of good. You may notice that mass of hostile particulate along that island that is doing it's best impression of Crete; I make for that next.
A clearer view of the map centre, as I have divided my fleet so that we have sufficient defense at the top as well.
Here's a better look at that MicroTank. Positioning it at the edge of our operational energy range is optimal, where it then extends further. Here I'm slowly moving in and peeling off groups of the enemy small enough to handle.
I discover that the benign particulate is especially useful in establishing beachheads of sorts, creating a safe-ish zone for omni deployment. By the time we finish off this island we have almost equalized the balance of mire on the map, but are still outnumbered roughly 2:1 in terms of particulate.
After knocking out the emitter down by the rift entrance, I redirect our particulate here and continue working on miring activities below. It'll take some time to plow through this plasma, but we're seizing control of the center here.
Eventually we work our way around to approach this passage, which leads to the final obstacles. There is considerable particulate and a few more emitters holed up back here. .
Using a combination of the rift to get our particulate in place and the microtank to push combat ships through the opening, I'm able to gradually create a wedge. Once the mass of hostile particulate breaks up, it's soon over.
At the end, the last blob of it breaks off and ... floats away to the edge of the map instead of attacking. Uh, why?
Oh, they did notice.
That concludes your True Fairy Tale for the day.
More Amp Gems ... I'm sorry, Graviton Energy Modulators ... and what appears to be some kind of defensive construction?