Part 121: OPERATION ION, Part 2
from the Journal of Selena Shattan, Chief of Security, Project ESCAPE
October 29th, 2150
I can't believe Aemi is dead. Sure, there was a good chance she was going on a suicide mission, but she should've been able to make it out. Damn that ED jamming! And damn her for being so headstrong and not listening to me!
But I can't let myself get distracted. We're going to start our assault on GOLAN today. We've spoken with the UCS technician, a man by the name of Gernon Hawn. We've yet to meet face-to-face but there will be time for that when we head back to Poland. For now, he's laid out a very complicated battle plan. We have to deactivate GOLAN without triggering it's automated defenses. Of course, GOLAN still has plenty of manual defenses around it. Gernon has promised us additional support from the UCS rebel units so hopefully they'll be able to share the burden somewhat.
May the Goddess protect us.
Briefing Video: video link
rest of the briefing posted:
Lunar luck, Sister!
Kilija makes it sound easy, but I think it's going to be a bit more tricky than she's letting on.
Gernon has given us a few more details. GOLAN itself sits on a high plateau, we'll need a Unit Transporter to get him and the Ion units into place. He's not sure exactly what the defenses will look like, since GOLAN can modify its own defensive matrix, but he's sure that they'll be formidable.
These three Ion Caspians are the only Ion Cannons we were able to construct from Aemi's data. It'll have to do. We mustn't lose them!
True to his word, Gernon has brought along some additional rebel troops. It's not much, but it's better than nothing. Having eaten UCS plasma over and over again the past few missions, it'll be nice to give GOLAN a taste of his own medicine!
First thing out of the gate, I begin scouting to the north and south. The north has nothing of note but there's a small UCS mining facility here. It's lightly defended and should pose no problems for us. I decide to take it.
An array of Small Towers is nothing compared to a squad of Panthers and Craters. With the towers out of the way I start dropping in mines.
Continuing to scout, we find a bridge here which looks like the only route into the southern part of our base. Good. We can set up a choke point here to keep the UCS at bay.
Orrr maybe not. Looks like GOLAN's one step ahead of us on that count.
But GOLAN forgot to put shields on his Fortresses. Without those they're quickly disabled by our Craters.
Unfortunately, we take heavy losses from the Small Towers but we've now mostly neutralized this outpost.
After a bit more fighting the Power Plant is destroyed and I've dropped down some Guardians.
Unfortunately, they're out of range of our power plants so I set up a solar farm on the other side of the river. I also angled the camera so you can get a sense of how far away the other bank is (not far at all).
Shit. Invisible rockets are hitting our units. That can mean only one thing: Shadow Generators. Damn you shadow tech!
There's nothing to do except let them destroy the towers that are there and pray they don't cross the river.
We luck out, as this stealth battalion moved north instead of east. I've now re-established the defensive perimeter and stationed a Phobos so we can detect any more stealth incursions. If GOLAN is using stealth our detectors will need to follow all our squads.
I'm also moving the air force down to deal with any future attacks. From what I saw, the attackers weren't carrying any AA so hopefully the Thunderer hS bombers can take care of them.
Ah, just in time too. Looks like GOLAN is sending in 120 mm cannons and grenadiers. Funny that it's using that instead of plasma.
Some of the grenadiers have rocket launchers but for the most part they're helpless against the Thunderers.
However, there's a more concerning situation developing to the north. A bunch of Grizzlies are moving towards the bridge. I order most of the land units down to our outpost to counter.
Well that's a welcome sight! Thanks Gernon!
And they're fully shielded and upgraded too? Be still my heart!
I order our new Panthers to meet up with the sentries at the main base.
Shit! It's a trap! The Grizzlies sent down to the outpost must be a diversion. There are a number of cloaked UCS units on their way to the base. Without a Phobos we're fighting blind (all those plasma blasts from me were from me having them force-fire on one spot). Shit. These reinforcements might not make it.
Making matters worse, the fog at dawn rolls in, rendering me almost completely blind. From what I can see though, we're being slaughtered to a
It appears GOLAN has sent a strike team of both Grizzlies and the stealth units that earlier attacked the outpost. We have to counter! I order the majority of my army stationed at the outpost to swing around. We'll perform a classic "hammer and anvil" maneuver. The base will be the anvil and our army will be the hammer. I just hope we can hold out long enough for the hammer to fall
The last of Gernon's reinforcements have fallen. You fought bravely.
As our army rounds the corner, I see a Condor fly out of the area to the southwest. I'm guessing that's where GOLAN is located. We'll need to counter as soon as we shake off this attack.
Holy fuck, that is a lot of Grizzlies! Hurry up ladies, I don't think the base's defenses can hold a force like this back...
It's not even been an hour of in-game time and we're down a tower and a quarter of our sentries. Hurry!
The army has fully rounded the corner and are moving into the valley. GOLAN's forces are now trapped between the hammer and the anvil.
Unfortunately, our anvil is starting to falter. Grizzlies are now walking into the base with impunity. Our only hope is that we can managed to whittle them down enough that the internal base defenses can finish them off.
Oh my Goddess, there are more coming?
But just as it looks like we're going to be overrun, the hammer shows up! Hooray hammer!
With the Grizzlies forced to pick between the mobile units and the stationary defenses they end up confused and split up 50/50. This would be their fatal mistake.
We've just about neutralized the force inside the base.
And the hammer chases down the last Grizzly to turn to face them.
Holy shit. We did it! I don't know how, but we managed to repulse an attack of what must've been over 30 Grizzlies!
Unfortunately our army is badly damaged from all the fighting. Almost none of the sentries placed at the base survived. I've started constructing a continuous stream of Thunderers, Craters, Fat Girls and Crushers to replace our losses.
But just as I'm celebrating, I notice that we're very low on power at the outpost. Our solar array is...gone? How could that happen?
Oh shit. The decoy force! I forgot about them completely! They must've blitzed their way past the Guardians, taken out the solar farm and rushed into our mining operations.
I send the survivors of the last attack out to counter.
Fighting is pitched, but favors our side the entire time.
This is what we have left now. There's no way GOLAN has any defenders left, it'll need time to rebuild. It's risky but I'm going to try a fast counter-attack. Maybe it'll be enough to end this battle and give us the upper hand.
My suspicions were right. GOLAN's base was over to the southwest. There's a series of small towers lining the bottom of the plateau. Let's start there.
Shit! GOLAN's no idiot. It's a genius. GOLAN has placed artillery near the edge of the plateau. There's no way we can advance through the valley without taking horrific losses. Pull back everyone!
Fortunately, I brought along some artillery of my own. These Crions should be able to soften up the defenses and we can go in the hard way.
Another Grizzly attack? Ugh.
This one was much less intense thankfully.
We've taken out the last tower in the first line. It's now safe to move up and engage the back-line defenses.
Welp, GOLAN is way smarter than I am. It put artillery on both edges of its base. I can't see a way we get in there without getting absolutely pulverized.
The eastern side is no good either. We have to clear out the towers as we go and we're sitting ducks as long as that artillery is working.
...Wait a second. I have an idea!
You played the underground game quite well last mission. Well I can play the underground game too!
Kilija informs us there are more UCS reinforcements ready to assist. Let's see if I can actually get these to the battle in one piece this time.
To help bottle up GOLAN I've started boxing it in with Guardians. There's some minor skirmishing while I construct the Guardians, but GOLAN is unable to stop me.
Oh well look at that. Looks like those Grizzlies that keep attacking us are a bunch of cheating bullshit from the game.
They can't shoot aerial units so I'll just have my Thunderers sit over there and sonic cannon them to death. But dropping 30+ Grizzlies is absolute bullshit. That's not a challenge, that's being lazy. Shame on you developers.
Now, this is a challenge. A bunch of our solar panels just "randomly" exploded. And everything nearby has a faint hint of ozone around it. The same sort of ozone smell you get when you fire a plasma cannon.
This can mean only one thing. GOLAN has brought the Plasma Control Center online and is targeting our base. We need to disable it quickly, before it cripples our base.
We've got a ways to dig, but with the Tunnel Entrance so far from GOLAN's base, they'll never see us coming.
15 Earthquake generators should be enough. I put in an order for 5 from each of the idle Main Bases.
We're hit by another plasma blast. This time it takes out one of our Xyrex plants. We can keep operating with only one online, but if we lose the second we're in trouble.
We have a small skirmish with the 120 mm Panthers and Panther grenadiers. Our Panther reinforcements take care of them without breaking a sweat.
Gernon's vehicle and the Ion Cannons are unshielded. It's too dangerous to keep them in the base with all the plasma that's raining down from the sky. If GOLAN manages to get eyes on them it needs only to direct a single bombardment their way and our mission will be for naught. So I'm going to move them to the only place safe from bombardment: underground.
Our Tunnel Digger has penetrated GOLAN's base and found no sign of resistance. Good. Gernon and his crew will definitely be safe in the tunnels. Once we've dug out a bit more of GOLAN's base we can send in the earthquake generators.
Another small skirmish with GOLAN's units. Nothing all that interesting to report, but the screenshots look pretty!
With preparations nearly complete below the surface, I've moved in a Phobos Detector. With it we can see two locations of note: the artillery battery and the Plasma Control Center. This will be our first target with the earthquake generators (EQs from here on).
Whatever you do, don't let GOLAN see you.
Our EQs are in place. Time to start shakin'!
It's working! And GOLAN has no idea what's going on.
There's one down! Quick, move to the other artillery battery while the repairers try and take care of the remaining two. We can ping pong back and forth until they're all gone.
And with the nearest battery destroyed our Crions can get close enough to begin shelling the base again.
And I send the Panthers in to engage and distract GOLAN for good measure. They have to take some artillery fire, but are much more suited to it than our weakly armored units.
We've cleared most of the towers and the batteries on the eastern side of the base have gone silent.
The western side of the base only has one battery left. They also have a lot of repairers. That aren't helping to repair the battery. Don't know why that is but I'll take it!
GOLAN launches an assault in an attempt to put units underground to destroy our EQs. It fails miserably.
There it is! The artillery batteries are down! Everyone open fire!
I'm holding the bulk of the army back while the Crions soften up the defenses.
With GOLAN's artillery out of the way I figure we should get things really going and order some stationary artillery of my own.
Meanwhile, I've had the Panthers blockade the valley to engage and halt any reinforcements.
Our assault is going beautifully. I can only imagine the terror our artillery puts in the hearts of these robots.
Fighting has intensified in the valley. GOLAN's reinforcements are absolutely frenzied in their attempt to breakthrough and stop our assault.
But their counter-attack fails.
With the defenses down I order the main army group in to silence GOLAN's power plants.
Meanwhile, the Panthers work on advancing through the valley.
Or at least they would if they weren't under artillery fire. I order a retreat.
The EQs get to work on destroying the artillery battery.
We took a lot of losses from the artillery (note all the smouldering Panther chassis) but GOLAN has yet to make a breakthrough.
GOLAN's base is in absolute ruin. All we have to do now is push a little harder and we'll be at the control center.
There! Can you see it? On top of the hill. That's GOLAN! We need only take out the last of its defenses and we'll be able to shut it down.
The Panthers have reached the last set of defenses in the valley. Once they're destroyed we'll be able to interdict any reinforcements before they can go anywhere.
Our Crions are ordered to take out each defensive building one by one. Most don't have power, but we have to be careful.
We've received more reinforcements from Gernon and with that we've made it through the valley. Our Panthers will remain here to intercept any reinforcements GOLAN might send.
Huh, some of the buildings still have light. That means there's power somewhere. I'll send the EQs to shake things up at the back of the base.
In the mean time, the situation is now such that Gernon and his crew can approach GOLAN in relative safety.
The EQs have destroyed the last of GOLAN's power plants. I'm now sending some Fat Girls through the base to remove the last of its defenses. Artillery is a bit risky so close to the command center. I don't want a stray shot ruining this whole operation.
There. The last tower is destroyed. It's all yours Gernon.
While Gernon begins moving towards GOLAN, an evacuation back to Poland, the likes of which have never been seen before begins. Our first priority is moving our new UCS friends back to HQ.
Welcome to HQ! We'll have GOLAN deactivated in just a bit.
Gernon's Ion Cannon crews have done their job. All we need to do now is get Gernon in there and GOLAN will be no more.
I'll use the Unit Transporter and set him down right at the entrance.
You should just give up GOLAN, you'll be deactivated in just a few more minutes
And there it is! GOLAN is deactivated! We did it!
...Wait a second. If GOLAN is deactivated why are these units still fighting us?
Something's not right here...
When you and the enemy get huge unit injections the kill and death count gets freaky.
TRANSMISSION FROM UNKNOWN SOURCE posted:
What the hell did you just do? You have no idea who you've been working with!
Head back to your HQ...NOW!
Oh my Goddess! The UCS rebels...they're...they're attacking us! What are they doing!
TRANSMISSION FROM UNKNOWN SOURCE posted:
If you want to live turn off the jam you have on Dynasty communications, reset to frequency 551.780 and transmit the file I've attached!
The UCS rebels are absolutely decimating our base. Our Crions have engaged but there's no way we can stop a force of this size. I don't know who's on the other end of the transmission or why they want me to stop the Dynasty jam, but we don't have any other option.
TRANSMISSION FROM GENERAL FEDOROV, EURASIAN DYNASTY posted:
Jesus Christ, thank god one of you Moon ladies listened. You can thank NEO for leaving some of his code around. If we were friends I would've turned the units back over to you, but I'm not about to give more weapons to the women who are trying to kill us. So I've just disabled them. You can do what you want with them now.
Look, we've been trying to get through to you since that UCS attack in Spain. There are no UCS rebels. There never were. This was all a plan from GOLAN to get a foothold back in Europe so it could destroy whatever it is you're working on. That's why we tried to stop you in China. That's why we jammed your transmissions. Hell, go take a look at your radar, you'll see that they've already taken out your positions in France and are storming towards your bases in Germany. You'll never be able to stop them with all your units still tied up in America. Ugh. You played right into their hands!
That's why I'm offering you a deal. We want off this planet and we're pretty sure you ladies have something figured out. I admit, our initial contact was...less than ideal. I've talked with the few scientists who have survived and they all agreed that if we had succeeded in our attack on your base we'd have doomed the project. I get that we're not scientific geniuses like you are.
But we have one thing you don't: military experience. I'm not asking for us to become best friends, and I'm not asking you to give up your spots off this rock. All I'm asking for is that you let us leave with you. In return, we'll help make sure that people actually get the hell off this planet and those damned robots don't kill all of us.
So what do you say? Are you with us?
-General Fedorov, Commander of the Mobile Commandos & General Ivanov
This...this is all a bit shocking. GOLAN was playing us all along? I'll...I'll have to talk with Kilija about making room for the Dynasty, but right now I think the General is right. We don't have a hope of getting our forces back in time.
I'm making an executive decision. As Chief of Security for Project ESCAPE I have decided we are entering into an alliance with the Eurasian Dynasty remnants, terms to be officially decided at a later date.
Kilija isn't too happy about my unilateral decision to ally with the Generals but she's been talking with them and is trying her best to hammer out an agreement. But while she deals with that, we have to hold off GOLAN, at least until the Generals arrive.