Part 46: Day 4: UC-1004Day 4: UC-1004
Quite the generic name for our next world. Obliteration goals once again.
Apparently the Council doesn't have a particularly well-developed sense of humor.
So apparently the Commander is not to be fired, or even demoted per se ... but merely relegated to insignificant backwater assignments as the NHA presses home its attacks, pursuing the inevitable glorious rebirth of human civilization. Or somesuch.
It seems there might be trouble in paradise ... Admiral Abraxis and CentCom might not be entirely on the same page.
It appears that Adm. Abraxis, in addition to being humanity's greatest hero, has also become a skilled political manipulator.
The top of the map here shows that the training wheels have finally been removed. We have the Liberation Ship and that's it, no structures in place. Although in this game, that's not as much of an issue as it was in the original, since reactors are very cheap. Note the yellow thing in the center-bottom, bearing a resemblance to the roman numeral I and single-battalion pieces of the board game Risk. That is the Remnant spoken of in the briefing.
Another one down below, along with four Emitters. There's lots of territory for them to fill up, so we aren't in any immediate or even medium-term danger, but we do have to start from scratch and contend with significantly more resistance than in the previous missions. The process of ramping-up the difficulty is definitely underway here as we approach the end of the first act.
Here's what the detail section in the lower-right of the screen shows about the Remnant. The Cost of 20 is how much energy is required to acquire them; 3 to excavate the ground; 100 Points we don't care about for our purposes, that's just for setting map records; and 2k of some kind of resource. It's not immediately obvious what resource it is. The one up top is a bit more valuable, at 2.5k.
If you watch the video, you'll note that I thought 'Res' meant 'Research', aka Tech. I was thinking I'd get to do a ton of upgrades. In my defense, that fits with how the first game worked with its nano-schematics, nanobot upgrades, and the like. That's what you got from the specials in the original, but I was incorrect here as will be seen.
I built a few reactors at first, taking care not to overbuild -- I would soon become less concerned about that in future missions. Creeper World 2 has a faster, more frenetic pace to things and it's a lot harder to expand optimally -- hard enough that it far exceeds my clicking and multi-tasking abilities. It soon turned my style into keeping only a general eye on the balance there, and sometimes not even that much(to my detriment). In any case, after getting a beacon, a tech dome, and a decent number of reactors up I proceeded with excavating ground to reach the first Remnant.
After excavation was complete, due to not knowing any better, I built the same Blaster Trio(tm) I'd used with good effect in the last couple of missions. The Remnant is still there, I haven't gained anything from it, but the game doesn't really tell you how to access it either here or in the help files and, well, this being a blind playthrough I didn't know what I was doing. So it sat there and I proceeded onward, thinking I'd done what was necessary.
So I proceeded with taking out the first emitter, which went just fine. The Creeper has some terrain to the left but we got to it far before it could eat through that and link up with the other emitters below. During this process I also activated the Remnant, literally by accident. This is done simply by clicking on it. You can see it's got a bar with a bit of red -- it's only received a couple of packets here because specials only get energy when there's a surplus. Right now most of the energy is going to the Nullifier I'm building, and I really should have more reactors up but I'm still very much in the 'figuring things out' stage.
I didn't even realize what I'd done in activating the Remanant for harvesting. I thought the packets were just going to it automatically. Noob. In any case, the first emitter was about to go boom.
Once the Nullifier was finished, I moved Blasters over to the left but didn't have the beacons in place to get them within range of the creeper on that side, much lower down. That left plenty of energy to finishing harvesting the Remnant, triggering this bit.
Lt. Hale doesn't seem to know a whole lot of anything about these things.
There's some more competence showing through from the lieutenant.
From what I've seen, this sort of tactical advice never really goes away. Fortunately it's usually sound, competent advice, as in this case. And we also now know what the Remnant specials contain; Ore. Not Tech.
This notification pops up every time a special is harvested, telling you what you just got.
I spend a bit of time at this point talking about the fact that, as seen at the top here, we have a storage limit of 20 on the Ore ... but now have 2500 in reserve. And we can store that much because space magic reasons obviously. You can always harvest everything from a special regardless of your storage limit, and they will only be used if your 'normal storage' is depleted. If you ask me it's a bit of handwavium design there. We might stipulate that the specials are of such advanced construction that they store stuff in a hyper-condensed state, only in this case it would be infinitely-condensed since you don't lose even a fraction of a point of storage to deposit their riches. But whatever.
I built a Maker as instructed, clicked on the second Remnant(STILL not realizing I was activating it as I did so), and moved the remaining blasters over to get in place for the assault.
Paging Platius. Platius, come in please. Emergency cleanup on Aisle ... nevermind.
Here's the 'front' after another beacon is up to extend our operational range. This is a good display of what I think is a cool effect in the game, the Creeper-AntiCreeper point of contact. Lots of not-nice things happening on a subatomic level there. The third blaster is on its way over but not here yet. What is basically a stalemate was turned into a steady retreat of the creeper once the blasters were moved into range.
After adding a couple of packet speed upgrades with the very limited Tech I've acquired with the lone dome, a couple more beacons extended to give us range to reach the emitters. Time for the final push.
After the second emitter is silenced, two remain -- and the Anti-Creeper will be less useful here as it will concentrate on the left thanks to gravity. Even so, it's just a matter of time until victory is secured.
I decide I want to get things done faster, and add a couple more blasters and another maker. And more reactors to power them. And not enough energy is left for the blasters on the front line, resulting in a Nullifier getting partway built here, then getting blown up by Creeper. Overbuilding is still a thing. A bad thing.
I then add to my brilliance by not actually turning on the second Maker when it is finished. So it just sits there. Doing nothing. For the rest of the mission.
The final emitter is secured by virtue of the 'Blaster Leapfrog' technique, which will be featured a lot with different variations. Here, the lower-left blaster is moving to the right, joining the front line. By staggering which blasters you move properly, a steady advance can be sustained in this way, the blasters in front keeping the creeper at bay, then being replaced by those from the rear, only to then jump in front again themselves, etc.
Also to be seen here is another bad habit I still haven't gotten rid of ... waiting to run out of space before building a beacon to extend range. It's definitely better to do that a little bit earlier, where practical.