Part 127: A Pursuit
from the Journal of Marcus Gordon, Former Defense Minister, UCS
November 23rd, 2150
It has been 2 days.
Two days of following these Panthers through the tunnels. I have absolutely no idea where we are going, nor was I ever informed about these tunnels in my time as Defense Minister. Why would something like this be kept from me?
The robots lost contact with me about 8 hours into the tunnels or so, necessitating my presence in person. I'm keeping a few miles back for safety's sake and the robots still seem to be in full working order. A few miles back... Miles! These tunnels are unbelievable. If Earth had suffered just a normal calamity like the 21st century nuclear war, we would've been able to rebuild our entire civilization under here. Maybe that's why they were built?
Despite all my pondering about these tunnels' purpose I can't shake my mind from one thing:
Where are we going to come out?
Briefing Video: video link
Sorry no fancy animations this time, just some text and Marcus' voiceover explaining what's going on.
Hmm...it seems like the other factions' Panthers are slowing down. Perhaps they're exiting?
Yes indeed! There's the exit!
Hello friends! You sure have taken us a long way from home. Why did you destroy your base? Who are you? Can we work together?
Wha? No! No! It's a trap! Run!
Each unit exits, only to be slaughtered by the mystery faction's plasma.
But now something else seems to have caught their eye. What the hell is going on!?
The...LC are here? What the...
Why did they run 2 days just to attack an LC base? What in THE FUCK is going on right now?
We're in Newfoundland. Why the hell would anyone want to go here, there was barely anything here during the war, much less now with the whole continent empty. And why are the LC here?
Good thing Marcus stayed far back from the main force. We have nothing to work with but this Mammoth. And we've no way to resupply from HQ; we're way too far away. Great. At least we've got Shadow and Radar tech though?
SWEET JUMPING JEHOSHAPHAT! One of the Panthers managed to survive the ambush! Quick, get to our new base!
I doubt the alternate UCS knows we had some other units along for the trip so they probably aren't expecting us. We'll only need a small base and this peninsula is far more defensible than anywhere else nearby.
Research Doesn't Stop Just Because You're Away from HQ!: Bomb Bay I
Winds of 13 m/s? That's a steady 30 MPH wind. Damn. I'm guessing the LC are monkeying with the weather here with their Weather Control Centers...but why? Why would they want to ground all aircraft? That hurts them as much as anyone else? We're not getting any closer to answers and the mysteries are really starting to pile up.
So I'm an idiot. I built Condors for resupplying my base. Except, whoops, they can't get off the ground so:
We Cannot Resupply Any Ammo All Mission (or at least until we figure out why there's so much wind and stop it)
Yes, really. This is gonna be one hell of a fight
With no air units, hell no units of any kind I'm forced to do scouting with a friggin' Mammoth. But at least we found another mineral patch.
Research : Bomb Bay II
Well things are going along nice back at the base and we can start building an arm-WHAT THE HELL IS THAT! Is that...orbital plasma?
Oh fuck. The alternate UCS must have spotted us. We're in deep shit now
I make the necessary repairs and, more importantly, put up a wall here. We're in deep enough trouble as it is, I don't need the other UCS or LC coming in my backdoor.
To alleviate the plasma bombardments I've distributed my power grid among these 3 plants. The one on the left is almost dead due to bombardment so I'll be selling it ASAP
Yep, I think it's time to sell some of these buildings and do a bit of re-organization.
Uh wow. That's a lot of Crions.
They're destroying the alternate UCS base!
What in the blazes is going on? How did the LC assemble a strike force like that? What the hell is going on here that's so damned important?
The alternate UCS counter-attack is utterly hopeless against that firepower. Well it looks as if the LC has done our work for us. But still...why?
Well now we're in a real pickle. We have no hope of navigating that tunnel system again, and with the winds being what they are an air evac, even we had the range, is out of the question. The only way out is overland, but with the LC base there we'd be cut to shreds if they pursued. We have no choice but to destroy it.
And if we didn't have enough problems, there's now an LC detachment out looking for us. Great...
This is my entire army. Thankfully only one of the units showed up, but I have no hope of repelling them if they come in force.
Thank god I had the foresight to research the mobile stealth platform. If we can't out-range the enemy, and we can't beat his numbers, our only hope is to hope he can't see us to fire back. It's a huge gamble, but it's the only strategy I see for us now.
We'll first attempt to intercept the LC attack force, scouring the land for any UCS survivors (like us!) And it seems they've found a lone little Harvester
Defend the Harvester!
Sweet candy corn! The LC took out our SHADOW generator and now we're sitting ducks. They're picking us apart and the few non-plasma units I've built are completely out of ammo.
Thankfully they move within range of the plasma. It was close, but I think we're going to manage to drive them off.
But how the hell are we going to penetrate that base? With Crions and Electo-cannons they'll shred us long before our plasma gets in range.
Hmm...maybe if we bait them into a trap of our own? This spot looks good for some Fortresses.
Actually, a little further and the choke point will be that much closer to their base. Let's go for it.
NOPE NOPE NOPE
They can absolutely see us and their Crions will outrange us every time. Hmm...
I've set up a small little advance production base while I try and figure out how to crack this nut. Maybe if I just build and scrap lots of grenadiers? But that's going to cost a fortune and we're not exactly rolling in money.
Hm? This is odd. We're definitely in range of the Crions...but they aren't firing. Is our SHADOW system actually working?
And now one of our Panthers opens fire on a (useless) Aerial Supply Center. Great. Here comes the barrage
...Except it hasn't come. I don't think they can see us, even if we are firing our guns.
I have a really, really, really crazy idea to pull this off. I don't know if anyone has ever done this in the history of the Earth 2150 Trilogy, or strategy games in general for that matter.
Yes! It seems to be working! Okay, let's try it for real.
Meet: Panther Corps Nightblade. Or as I like to call them: "The slowly moving wall of plasma death that no one can see."
You see, with the SHADOW generator in the rear and the units lined up like this they can hit every building, but no one can see them. And as each line of defenses falls they can move up one space.
This way we can take the base one row at a time. And yes, even that Crater sitting there can't see us. Literally no one can see us unless we turn on our lights, get out of range of the SHADOW generator or otherwise do something stupid.
The whole reason this is working of course, is because the LC's radar is not a building, or a land unit. It's a Phobos Detector. Which are air units. And thus the wind has kept any that might be around grounded. If this wind weren't howling this strategy would never work.
Piece by piece the LC base is coming down.
Oh yeah, see that there in the back? Yeah that's artillery. As if this wouldn't have been enough of a suicide mission using a traditional assault methodology.
Shit. One of our units has gotten out of range of the SHADOW Generator. I'd love to save him, but there's simply no way to do it without risking the entire corps. Sorry little guy
LC units are now trying to make their way out of the base...which normally would be fine with me except almost all these units are out of bullets and sitting ducks. And I can't move the Nightblade Corps out of position or they'll be spotted. Just have to hope she's dumb enough to go near the Fortress I built.
We've trashed the defenses enough that their Solar Power Plants are in range. I literally cannot believe this is working.
Defenses are almost completely down.
The LC units that attempted to break out have decided to harass my structures...which again I'm okay with. So long as they don't discover Nightblade Corps they can do whatever the hell they want.
All the defenses are down!
First power plant down!
This is it. If we can take out this Solar Power Plant we've won the mission in all but name.
And there she goes!
How the hell did this plan actually work? I still can't believe it.
Like you'd think at some point they'd just blindly fire at the plasma coming out of thin air.
But nope. They just sat there and died. God damn.
With no trace of the alternate faction we have no choice but to go back to HQ and return to our original plan. What a waste of time.
I'm gonna be straight with you here. If there wasn't crippling wind this would've probably been the hardest mission in the whole trilogy. So for once, thank you game for being a dick and making my life harder.
It takes 2 days to get back, and while Marcus is still concerned about the whole mystery UCS faction we can't dwell on it any longer. The plan remains the same: we sneak into GOLAN's deactivated control center and try and figure out what happened. Sadly, we don't have that convenient nearby base for stealing the vehicles so we'll need to take a bit of a trip to get them...
Next time: Venezuela...and a theft (for real this time!)