Part 5: Himalaya
Defense Manager Shattan says the LC mining operation in the Himalayas is in danger. Let's check out how bad it is. If they're bringing in General Fang things probably aren't so hot.
Only Fang can pull off "resource larceny" Somba, you know that. Well let's try and keep things from spiraling out of control here.
The LC have finished preliminary work on a defensive structure in line with what they've seen from the Eurasian Dynasty and United Civilized States. But give the Lunar Corporation credit for improving on things, the Defender defensive tower has two guns instead of the measly one on its ED and UCS counterparts. A defensive structure is going to help out, so I'll begin by finishing up the research on it.
Yikes, we're starting to get pretty close to the units cap. We'll see if we can hold the base with our carryover units and some creative defense with laser walls. I'd like to save the little bit we have left under the cap for some newer units.
Our creative defense has been thwarted! A single Gruz construction unit is going to make it into our base before the laser walls guarding the Northwest approach is complete. Fortunately it's just one Gruz and even these puny Lunar m1 20mm units are able to destroy it before it can build anything.
The wall is up but Pamir tanks are a bit more of a problem since they can, ya know, shoot at you. They're able to blast a hole in the laser wall as well as blow up a few Lunar m1s. Not the end of the world but so far this mission isn't off to a great start. I really need those Defenders for my defensive strategy to work here.
We've got 9750 credits we can mine out of the ground on top of the 20,000 we need for our mission objectives. This is why I'm trying to keep my budget tight on this mission. When resources are scarce like this, bottling yourself up while using cheap defensive structures and carryover units is going to be the best strategy to preserve your precious cash.
This lady deserves some sort of "improbable survival" medal. One more shot from the Pamirs and she would've been blown to bits. I'm glad she made it though With our Moon m1 Rs and General Fang unloaded, our defenses are nearly set.
This is what makes the LC's laser walls worth it. You can turn the wall on and off at will, allowing your units to get out to face the enemy while denying them the chance to run to your base and cause havoc.
We've finished exploiting the mineral field at our main base. From now on we're going to need to fund research and excess unit construction with funds from missions. Fortunately we're sitting on a nice 40,000 CR nest egg. That should be enough to get us a few techs this mission. Since we're close to the unit limit I'll be throwing more money at research than unit construction (for reasons that will be apparent in a few minutes). I set the mine to auto-destruct and use the extra money to build two more Research Centers. 2,000 CR isn't a lot for quicker research and getting that weapons upgrade a few minutes faster can be the difference in tough missions.
Hah! The Gruz can't get around the laser wall. As you can see, this is not the first time the ED has tried to send a Gruz around my barrier. General Fang loves shooting
Or not so silly AI. The base has an exposed back entrance near the Main Base. The ED sneak in some Pamir and Taiga units. Fang is able to drive them off, but I guess now would be a good time to add some weapons to the Main Base. Once that's done I doubt the Dynasty will be able to get past it.
The research is complete and we have our first defensive structure! But with these two buildings situated behind the laser wall we'll need to give them more range so they can hit anything attacking the wall.
Double rocket launchers will do nicely.
Since we've focused pretty heavily on rockets so far I work on grabbing the first ammunition upgrade for the rocket launcher. Unlike other ammunition upgrades which only increase damage, rockets also acquire warhead guidance. The higher the guidance level, the more likely the rocket is to track a unit. At 100% guidance hits are guaranteed unless the unit flees or there's an obstruction in the way.
I built another wall in front of the front-line Defender building. Now the ED units have to bust through two walls to get into the base. Between the two walls and the three Defenders the Northwest approach is pretty secure. The Main Base on the Northeast approach should hold off anyone there as well. The only other entrance is a small pass to the Southwest.
I move my army down to the Southwest, completing my defensive alignment. With this setup my base has gone from a leaky sieve to a nigh-impregnable fortress. The Dynasty is going to need to throw a large attack my way to have a chance of cracking my defenses.
With defense in hand I send Fang out on a scouting expedition. Maybe there's another bridge he can blow to halt ED attacks entirely. That'd be nice. I've also used the advanced scripting his unit now has to specify auto-targetting of the weakest unit (rather than the closest) and switched Fang to "Hold Area" which works like "Hold Position" but allows for maneuvers rather than having the unit stay put.
A Gruz sneaked in through the Northeast. It didn't last very long trying to build a Mine right next to the Defenders though. You'd think the ED would stop throwing their builders into my base without escort, but I guess they really really want those resources.
Ooh, more Small Towers for Fang to blow up! Sadly they're behind a wall so he can't get at them. Let's try going around...
Oh my. Looks like the Small Towers are guarding the Western approach to the ED base. There's no way to get behind them without blowing through the walls and Small Towers themselves. The AI can use walls to deny entrances too. Let's see if Fang can find another way into the base.
The Southern approach is much more open, unfortunately the Dynasty has gotten the Cossack light helicopter. Fang's energy cannon can't hit air units so he's a sitting duck without some air support. I'll have him retreat back to base for now. From here on out, Fang typically can't take on a base by himself due to the AI's love of air units. You're going to need an air force to counter the enemy's or your ground-to-ground units will get chewed up.
Good thing we just finished up our research on the homing rockets! We'll have Meteor fighters in only 4 minutes and then we can deploy them on the mission battlefield. Looks like the extra Research Centers I built will pay off.
Another Gruz comes in from the Northeast and promptly gets blown up by my defenses. Good job Dynasty!
The Meteor m1 research is complete and our first one is on the battlefield! For now we can only stick a chaingun on it. I saved the ~3,000 CR so I could use it to build an airforce to counter the incoming incursions from the ED's Cossacks. Sadly the Meteor m1 is made out of tissue paper just like the Lunar m1, so I think my next move will be to research the Meteor m2 upgrade.
Cossacks are made out of extra-super thin tissue paper and will lose a fight one-on-one with a Meteor 10 times out of 10. For once the LC seems to have made a unit that's hands-down superior to its counterpart in the Dynasty army. Nice job ladies!
Two Meteors vs one Cossack isn't even fair. That Cossack blew up almost the instant it stopped to attack the laser wall. Just imagine how fast they'll blow up when faced with a whole fleet of Meteors
Another Gruz tried to sneak in but it's not even worth showing at this point. They just blow up right after they pass the Main Base.
As you can see the Meteor m2 boasts more HP for the same cost as the m1. The m3's improvements are even greater so I'll have that be my last piece of research for this mission. The production at the Main Base has auto-switched to the m2, which is great when you can't upgrade units in the field.
Now that I have 5 Meteors I want to show off the platoon system. Clicking on the "Create Platoon" button will make these 5 Meteors a platoon.
Units in a platoon act as one. As you can see their HP and damage output is reported collectively. Any commands I give will have to be given to the platoon as a whole rather than a single unit in the platoon. They also get a snazzy platoon badge that I'm sure the pilots are proud of.
From a practical standpoint though platoons aren't that great. They don't allow you to micro at all and the usefulness of having all units selectable at once is already implemented with the hotkey system. Still, I give Earth 2150 credit for including platoons. When I first played this game I made platoons all the time because I thought the whole mechanic was neat and I didn't understand how to micro.
Well look at that. While I was off playing with my Meteor platoon the Ore Transport Refinery sent off it's last shipment for the mission requirements. However there's still a good chunk in the ground, so I'll stick around and finish mining.
The Meteor m3 is done and with that so is half our chassis research. The Lunar Corporation only has 14 chassis (15 if you count the Crion) and we've already researched 7 of them. Another reason I recommend the LC on a first play-through is the relative simplicity of their unit construction. They only have 6 different types of offensive chassis, making unit construction much less daunting.
Hey look at that! We've put enough into the Spaceport for our first transfer to the orbital construction yard. LC News has a report:
We've finished resource extraction and things are quiet in our little mountain base. The snow makes it look rather peaceful.
This is amazing. At the end of the mission, once the resource field was fully exploited the ED finally sent a Gruz with an offensive escort. They were able to blow up one of the Defenders and punch a hole in the laser wall. True, they did this because their base was out of money (notice the Mine in the background that has stopped construction due to lack of funds), but it's still pretty damn funny.
Once again we kicked Major Wlad's ass. And we weren't totally outclassed on research this time around either! I'm guessing most ED soldiers really don't like being assigned to the Major's command given his atrocious attrition rate.
Next mission we'll be headed to Kamchatka to finally go on the offensive against the Eurasian Dynasty. Thank god. Success here would really cripple their research and allow us to get back to even on tech-parity.
We're on the last of the ambient-type songs for the Lunar Corporation. Starting next update we'll see combat music. For now enjoy LC Night 2.