Part 215: OriginOrigin (1:11:28)
Unthinkable is a really strong word. Esp. in this franchise. And look at the size of the landmass in that preview!
Hyperbole is getting the best of Ticon here. Not countless, not even all that many, as we'll see shortly.
Umm ... what? How many intact worlds have we seen on our way here? Based on literally everything that has led up to this, I'm more shocked at how much of it is left - not how much has been destroyed.
In other words, some serious 'physics' happened here.
Okey-dokey. It seemed obvious to me that we're talking about Earth here. Light will be shed on that assumption later but let's not get ahead of ourselves. A sizable grey moon in orbit, origin world etc., it's all so very convenient. This is also another example of there being one and only one reasonable starting location, so we'll just head off to the lower-left where there's some defensive plasma, some land for miring, multiple energy sources, and so on.
Here's our target ... and it's clear conventional measures won't suffice to reach it. No ship is ever going to get there, nevermind the new stuff here we haven't seen before. Although that big thing looks an awful lot like a Bertha ... anyway it wouldn't take too long for me to figure out that the only way we'd ever reach that Info Cache is by using Omnis. But we have bigger problems first.
Luna. A 'bomb factory' of CSM fame, and ore deposits scattered about. Am I playing Particle Fleet, or did I boot up Creeper World 3 by mistake?
This pops up 30 seconds into the mission. I'm still building our first Lathe.
As we already noticed. No 'refining' of the sensors was the least bit required to find this.
13 seconds later, as I'm just starting to deploy omnis to expand our energy supply. The are strong with this one ...
Bravado quotient satisfied, Ogun. One thing they are doing a really good job of here is hammering home the point that you need to deal with the moon before the planet. It's so obvious that even I figured it out.
I'm actually allowed to play for a while now. This is a minute and a half in - a couple omnis up and I'm starting to expand while getting some ships up. Try to expand anyway - as you can see the Particulate is already voicing its displeasure at our existence. Almost 2k strong it is.
We're pushed back just before getting this, which we can't use yet but certainly will. I also do the usual early-mission energy amp gem investments.
Going upwards instead of right gets us further away from the worst of the particulate spam. It's not free from attack, but it certainly works a lot better. Note the big island absorbing a lot of the punishment and buying us time - the omni I have there helps with that as well, which is why I'm getting a second one in place.
This is extremely good advice, which I attempted to follow and succeeded more often than not.
For the record, the 'grace period' here appears to be that it takes the cannon about four and a half minutes to charge for the first time, 30 seconds after this message I think it accelerates that later.
The first salvo. It fires a concentrated 'line' of particulate. A Cruiser is targeted and destroyed, while the particulate hangs out and eliminates the Energy Mine for good measure. My thought process at first here was to focus on the smaller, cheaper combat vessels to avoid anything particularly major getting destroyed by the incoming artillery and hopefully minimize losses.
Thirty seconds later, our HQ is vaporized! Fortunately, in PF you simply are able to 'jump to safety'. There's no such thing as actually losing it. Good news is we just have to warp it back in once the timer (lower-left) expires. Bad news is ... we produce no energy whatsoever in the interim. This is not the only time I lost the HQ in this mission, not by a long shot. I rapidly learned to keep a healthy energy store and be conservative on usage, to have a buffer for such eventualities. I think it's fair to say that's more important in this mission than ever.
The next shot was aimed at the next ship I built ... the Marauder. However, it seems the plasma served enough of a defensive purpose, because the stream of particles didn't actually quite reach the ship ... or else it barely did. There were no casualties from this shot, which was a welcome thing indeed.
Also visible is the enemy ship/orbital battlestation around the moon. It has significant weaponry, and the missiles from there would eventually form an extended, amusing standoff with our missiles from the Marauder and Wolf. Generally I tried to keep a safe distance from that thing for a while, and it does serve well the purpose of making invading the moon it protects a major undertaking.
By now I had Benign Emergent and Mine Dischargers on. Both seem essential with how many spread out mines there are, and the amount of enemy emergent (capped at 30 instead of 25 on this map) and mire that is available.
Particulate is 2.2k to 0; Mire 77 to 18. The good guys aren't winning.
The push to the right resumed. That emitter could be flipped eventually, we were running quite short on energy here as we grabbed this mine back, but converting as much land to our cause as possible was clearly going to be key in gaining critical mass - both for economic and defensive purposes.
And than another shot from that Bertha took out a Discharger and our HQ again, both in the same blow. Ouch. No sooner had I warped it back in, than it got zapped to rift space once more. This was now officially getting annoying.
Persistence did eventually pay off though. I positioned the Shield ... aka the Hammer used for defensive purpose ... in the most heavily used approach and continued pushing along the bottom of the map, taking more land, that emitter, and another energy mine.
A lot of gradual plasma work remained - enemy plasma had penetrated well behind that initial defensive perimeter, which was all but destroyed. Still, the trend was positive. Particulate was a few hundred lower than before, mire was up to a quarter ... a long way to go but heading in the right direction.
I eventually realized that the land, when mired, could shield us from the Bertha Blasts. Once I realized that, I did nothing useful with the information and continued to allow my HQ to get vaporized. Because I'm just that awesome.
I used the Grabber in a bit different way than before, burning through the land once again to release the particulate, then sending it on a vector coinciding with our defensive plasma. Essentially the idea was to strengthen that barrier and push up into the hostile plasma, defending against incoming particulate and perhaps eventually reaching the moon itself. I rather like this particular tactical choice.
It's also quite clear here that our plasma barrier is healing well.
I felt it was time for a more serious offensive. Shifting the Hammer and one Cruiser to the Moon Front, we eliminated the defensive ship and starting pushing into more of the outlying defenses, such as this energy mine. The Big Nose Doppel proved the most stubborn of the resistance.
Progress was steady until I started landing on the moon surface itself. Notice how the particulate from the central emitter there is flowing to the left into that section of land where I've got a couple of omnis failing to get a foothold? Well good for you - I didn't notice for quite a long time and lost many omnis uselessly. That's literally the worst place on the moon to try to land IMO.
I eventually figured out that it was best to just ignore that section and instead working on taking everything else, cutting off its support. Also, I grabbed the schematic that had been just out of reach before
Finally, someone has stopped being surprised by these kinds of eventualities. We can't put it in service right away - we still don't have enough energy to support our full fleet.
This was the turning point on the Moon. Once that emitter went down, resistance was greatly reduced. Our Omnis swept over the surface, destroying the base and even the ore deposits themselves ... missed opportunity to allow us to commandeer them for own use, perhaps in producing additional Amp Gems or something? In any case, it didn't take long after this to secure it.
Oh. We do get to use them after all. This I didn't see coming. Each ore deposit became a minimal-yield energy source. With our tech enhancement, they upgraded to six each or 24 additional energy. Before landing on the moon we'd had just over 40 so this plus the additional mire space meant we were now flush with power.
The bottom of the map was our closest point of approach to the planet. Its defenses were now compromised, and that Bertha was nothing more than an oversized paper-weight with its energy supply cut off. The Benign particulate helped to cut a path there, and the new Carrier was deployed. It's probably a little hard to see here, but at the top of the screen there's a targeting reticle. That moves on its own. There's a couple of the 'stealth fighters' nearby it, which I don't think can be hit by the enemy. They fly around and shoot down particulate until they run out of energy and have to return to rearm. My conclusion is that this ship isn't super-powerful, but effectively has long range and is almost impossible to counter.
Deploying tankers, I added the C-Class into the mix as our point ship on this assault. We, uh, needed it. The Particulate was none too pleased and wasn't about to just let us stroll into the Origin World proper. So I built the Big Nose as well, and redeployed the Hammer and Wolf to this attack. The other fronts were drying up anyway - this is where things were being decided. After knocking out the nearby emitter, the hammer crashed through the protective struc and we made landfall.
But not before realizing that Omnis can't fly over struc ... which should have been obvious. Several of them were blown up trying. Don't know why I thought they could avoid it when ships can't, but I did.
Our initial landing, while the fleet was very much necessary in holding off more particulate coming in from above. But nevermind that - it was time for the Omnis to get to work. The Reactor/Cannon combo was once again very much essential.
Enemy emergent remained a problem for quite a while, knocking out our omnis. As our mire grew though, that plus the benign emergent concentrating on the planet eventually turned the tide. By the time the total mire comparision was about 2:1 in our favor, their numbers started to decline significantly and we were closing in on the Bertha and Info Cache.
From Liana's lips to Kami's ears.
At risk from what? And how do we jump without a destination??
My initial plan was to view the Codex and also do the next actual mission, Duty, which appears to be the final one of the Story, together. However, my computer had other ideas. Less than two minutes into Duty I was already getting significant slowdowns. So in the interests of acceptable LP quality, just Codex will be a brief update in hopefully a few days, and then the conclusion of the story will wait until the new system is up and running.