Part 212: DoppelgangersDoppelgangers (1:00:41)
Didn't they just get done saying there was no way to tell from the scans? Also good to see you Thoth, we don't get to hear from you much these days.
Clearly the upper-right is bad news, and just as clear is where we'll start.
We're under attack almost immediately, and it's not subtle. That's our initial energy mine blowing up which is super-great. So I don't really welcome Danu's additional bad news.
'Unbelievable' in the sense that it doesn't sound in any way novel with what we've already seen.
You know, as powerful as the Particulate is, you'd think they'd have better ideas.
Everything is their fault. Everything, without exception.
We get a decent defense up fairly soon and start getting the military together. You can see there's a lot of hostile activity of various types. Two of the Doppels are visible, one looks like a lathe and the other a destroyer. Also note the bottom-left corner. For reasons that I have no justification for whatsoever, I never moved the omnis quite close enough to get that ship schematic. And didn't notice it for an embarassingly long time.
Early tech investment was of course in energy-enhancements per usual, and soon after this shot I started focusing on miring the group of islands surrounding our initial area to improve the situation. Emitter Control also helped with utilizing that far-off benign emitter usefully. It was able to combat and draw off the doppels themselves.
Utilizing that resource, we move off in that direction for our next expansion while the stream of particulate heads almost directly into a similar hostile one coming at us the other way. It's sort of a standoff. As you might well have guessed, I next use Omnis to claim the nearby land, but we're still outnumbered 61-39 in mire after that, with over 1.8k hostile particulate on the map and nearly maxed-out hostile emergent.
Next I ran into a situation where we could defend our territory effectively, but multiple attempts at pushing back the enemy failed. This is along the left side of the map, and attempting to clean out this emitter was met with a sizable response. We were pushed back in failure once more, much of our fleet destroyed.
Here's what I was using on the tech side of things; I felt I needed the rest of the amp gems for some of our key ships. I probably could have gotten by with using more tankers to attack with and dispensing with the energy range increase ... maybe. There was enough energy to run a full fleet, but not a bunch extra. And of course still that ship blueprint that I had totally forgotten about.
This veritable light show was my next try, right smack dab in the center of the crossroads of constant conflict on this map. I wanted to flip that energy mine and work on the plasma here, though frankly I hadn't even much taken the plasma into consideration.
Didn't take too long to secure the area, and the Hammer was turned into that impressive stream of particulate coming in. And hey look ... a nearby cannon, if we could secure it. Gradually our fleet and improving plasma gained tenuous control over the area, and a Grabber was deployed followed by omnis to gain that emplacement. The battle in this area started to turn more in our direction after that.
Better late than never, I took an amp gem from one of the ships and put it into Benign Emergent. Mire was now a 50-50 split.
The Doppels kept coming, and they can take a rather absurd amount of punishment. Still, it wasn't enough to prevent a gradual push towards that prodigious emitter in the upper-left. A few minutes later, we took it down. Hostile particulate was now at 'only' 1300. We'd dealt the enemy a significant blow.
Of course, all of this yet remained just in case you thought I was almost done here. It was already well over half an hour into the fight. And then I finally noticed the ship that I was supposed to get at the start of the mission ...
Apparently so-named because GalCorp ran out of better words to use. Definitely shouldn't have prioritized getting this deployed sooner at all.
The time-honored military maneuver of the pincer was enacted, most of our ships coming from the left while a steady stream of particulate aided the attack from the bottom. Not everything could be safely committed here yet, because the doppels kept circling around both below and above this attack vector on their at-least predictable predetermined runs.
Pushing through their initial strongpoint, we started to turn things more decisively when this landing was achieved. That's a hostile Mire Spawner going boom. The Big Nose's prominent cannon can be seen in the bottom left. As you might surmise, it's particularly effective against doppel formations though they still require combined firepower to take down in a reasonable timeframe.
I'm not a big fan of the Doppel structures themselves. Look too much like some of the others. But I was happy to see this first one get taken down.
This was really the final piece of significant resistance, in the upper-right corner of the map. Almost a thousand particulate remained but it didn't take too long to power through it, and the longest battle of the campaign to date was soon over afterwards.
Nah. More time was needed to make the Story last a reasonable length, add in Abraxian 'intrigue', and reveal more game mechanics.
We're now entering the home stretch, with four more missions remaining. Bit of a spoiler here; next time up I actually am forced to restart for the first time in this game.