Part 222: Industrial ComplexIndustrial Complex (57:05)
All that blue plasma looks inviting, but it really isn't. There's a Doppel structure there, no energy sources, and a quick strike against that structure is a really bad idea because of how fast this starts. The only real choice is the lower-left.
Not too difficult to see where the threat is - the jaws in the opposite corner boast a Regenerator, and I hate those things.
My typical cautious start gets me in trouble here. There is a thousand particulate on the map inside of 15 seconds, eventually peaking at 1.9k. This is almost three minutes in, and I'm already stalemated though I don't realize it. The problem is where to expand, though it also didn't occur to me to turn lathes off on my Omnis which I really should have done. A struc border constantly builds around the islands, and the lathes eat up too much energy. I have 14 income right now, which unfortunately isn't enough to take on that island with the three energy sources.
I tried, then kept trying, and then eventually restarted. It wasn't so much a loss as a definitive non-win. It gets more hopeless the longer you take, because more and more particulate builds up on the far side of the island.
After experimenting a bit, I come up with this much better plan; a quick strike on the emitter at the center of the island and a follow-up omni attack. I have full control of it about two and a half minutes into the mission, and now I have a foothold to much better combat the enemy. Then I take Omni Reactors with that nearby Amp Gem, reserving more energy for other operations.
It's still a bit of a flow build. While Omnis spread out on the islands above to increase our income, the fleet is gradually built, holding off the incursions and eventually working into the hostile plasma to the right. I clear out one foe in that emitter in the plasma field first, then head to that island in the upper-left of this image.
Then there's this one along the bottom, which brings us closer to another energy source. One that has lots of 'friends'. Default fleet options are a pair of Destroyers and a pair of Cruisers, along with a Wolf. And we don't have enough energy left for that last one. Cruisers do the vital work of gradually clearing out plasma.
BiLathe comes in handy again here dealing with this rather interesting struc defense on an emitter in the center of the map, after the Wolf aids in clearing out that energy source. I basically just ate away enough of this with lathes to get close enough. You can see that we're getting close to worse problems. Oh, and particulate is nearly at 3k. Yikes.
There ... uh ... are a couple-few Doppels on this map. And other Bad Things (tm). It seemed a good point to me to raid up into the friendly plasma zone and grab the schematics there - a Grabber and a Big Nose. Hard to see here but to the right of that plasma is the greenish area there is a modest benign emitter.
That took some while, and this next part would be no walk in the park either. Wherever possible I forayed forwards with the bilathe to eliminate 'blade emitters'. Short-lived Omni assaults on the island and gradual clearing out of the buildup above and below the landmass also proceeded. The further we got, the more resistance there was from all manner of doppels. We had enough to get the job done ... but not enough to do it anything resembling quickly. It was six to seven minutes before a foothold was established ... after that as usual things accelerated quickly. And I had an energy surplus now with the entire fleet deployed ... so I built something new.
In this mission, the RegSmash sees it's first action. 'Doppel Sponge' might be a better name. This was a slog at the end, and would have been a worse one without it. The main problem I had with it is that it's best at attacking along a narrow front ... and this is a wide one. It's easy to have something come in from the sides, where the cockpit has limited armor. But head-on doppel collisions like this one end very badly for the enemy. It can take a whole full-size doppel, Wolf variety for example, and yawn as it loses about 3% or so of it's hitpoints.
Also visible here is that the enemy fortress is basically ringed with doppel-generating structures. They come from different direction and getting a lathe forward to kill something is ... touchy while still protecting it because of the different directions they come from.
Here both problems and solutions can be seen. I've made a path up to the blue emitter so a grabber can send in a stream of benign particulate to help. Meanwhile doppels attack from all directions, but eventually we grind down the perimeter. At the end, the RegSmash completely blocks off one of two paths out of the enemy defenses, while the BiLathe takes down that Regenerator and it's over.
The sheer number of things to destroy at the end of this level is a little much, but I still thought it was overall a fun one. Up next is Square Land. Which looks like what it sounds like.