Part 15: Australia
So the Eurasian Dynasty is working on some kind of Ion Cannon and we're here to stop it along with the UCS. I've told the UCS robots to change their passwords to a format that is 20 characters long with at least 6-bit entropy per character stored with a different salt for each server and that can't be found in rainbow tables. This should slow down Neo's hacking attempts!
Math Nerd Explanation
1. Use a random number generator to generate each character from the list of all ASCII printable characters, stopping at length=20
2. Append a unique string to each password for each AI server before storing it
3. Check the hashed password and make sure you haven't selected anything that would appear in lists of pre-computed tables of hashed passwords, if yes then start over
This is complete overkill and it's impossible from a practical standpoint to crack a password generated and stored like this.
Yes, I do have a degree in math and took a course in number theory/cryptography why do you ask?
Sadly we don't have a pre-built base this time. Nor do we have a nice easily defended valley to build in.
I'm only lowering down the power plants here since I have no idea what our terrain looks like and I'd like to avoid bad building placement. I'll wait for the Jupiter to land and use my units to scout.
The UCS wastes no time and sends out a small scouting party to look for the ED base.
They find it rather quickly but are cut down almost instantly when they try to march in the front door.
We'll be beginning our research with the first heavy rocket upgrade. This works just like the standard mount rockets.
Our base is mostly constructed and I used a fancy angle to show off how spread out it is.
The mines are all the way in the front and are very exposed to an attack. I don't like this since our mines can't shoot back like the ED's.
There's a nice ridge to the south (left side of the picture) that should keep any ground units away but we're still vulnerable to an air attack from that direction. Let's fix that.
You can mount heavy weapons on (some) buildings so I throw heavy rockets on the Main Base and Aerial Supply Depot. This should cover our southern flank from any pesky Cossacks.
Here's my solution to the exposed mine issue. ED ground troops will need to move up through this valley to get to my base. 5 Guardian towers should cut any attack off at it's knees. I think the former pilots of those burnt-out unit husks will agree that the valley is a bad way to move up north.
Fang does his harassing thing while I wait for the Jupiter to bring the rest of the army over. I'm going to try to beat this mission without an air force as the map is very tiny and I'm up for a bit of a self-imposed challenge.
Harassment status: smashing success. The ED made a very loose power grid and the destruction of this plant shuts down the Vehicle Production Center. Unfortunately all those rockets hurt so I send Fang back to the defensive line to lick his wounds.
On the way he runs into a very curious unit. This is the Minelayer and it is totally useless against the LC. Why, you ask? Because LC units all hover. Kind of hard to hit landmines when you never touch the ground. They're useful against the UCS (or ED) so Fang has no problem blowing this guy to smithereens.
Ammo upgrades researched, I move to the Special tab to upgrade our Recharger and Regenerator. We saw how useful they've been and with our HQ overflowing with resources there's no reason not to spend a little cash here for the upgrades.
Fang's attack triggers an ED counter and it brings out the Caspian Ion Cannon. The Caspian, just like the Volga is an ED amphibious unit. Unlike the Volga, the Caspian usually mounts an Ion Cannon that can fuck your day up. The energy weapon attacks a unit's electrical systems and allows ED repairer units to capture the unit. Or pummel you to death while you can't move or shoot back. They're very nasty and if I hadn't already gone 100% shielded I would be doing it this mission. You don't want to lose a strong unit during a retreat because they get disabled.
Fortunately the Caspian can't hold up to a barrage of rockets and electro-cannon bursts and it goes down before it has a chance to go after any of our units.
This little Taiga has found a backdoor into my base. I'm glad it's just one puny Taiga L (which can't hurt buildings anyway) since a major attack force would've been a huge setback here. I build a Guardian to block entrance from the south and call it a day on base defense.
This is the UCS's Plasma Cannon. Do you see how fast the Siberia's hp went down? It looks like it lost about a fifth of its health in just one shot. It's a very strong weapon and you should be very afraid of it. It's not quite the insta-kill the ED laser is on unshielded units, but it's far more effective against shielded units. Do not underestimate these little Tiger Ps, they can and will take out a force many times their size without shields. Good thing the UCS is on our side!
Fang has recovered and I've found a weak spot in the ED base. We can dash right into the back of the base and start wrecking havoc, just like we did in Madagascar. News must not have spread about our last battle yet.
GOD DAMN IT! These robots were supposed to be uncrackable! My math skills have clearly failed me
The UCS traitor army is actually quite strong and the UCS was sending units down to the ED base to join my assault, meaning the ED just got another army for free. I'm going to need to pull back here to make sure they don't waltz right into my base, since we have no defenses in their way.
I hate you so much Neo
The retreat ended up being pointless as all the UCS units marched down to the ED base to bolster base defenses (you can see two stolen Tiger II Ps here). I move my army back to their advance position and try to draw out the damned plasma guys.
The plasma guys die surprisingly fast and we're able to move right back into our rear assault location.
BOOM! There go the ED Research Centers. Looks like the Ion Cannon won't be getting off the island. With that the base has mostly fallen, and you know the drill by now: Blow up power plants, then anything shooting at you and finally the rest of the buildings.
The ED-controlled UCS units are very into blowing up the UCS Harvesters. Can't say I blame them. How many missions have I won by crippling the enemy's economy now?
The ED production structures are all gone. Time to advance and take out the mines and defensive line.
They're fighting back pretty hard here. Tons of rockets flying into my units, a Spider P harassing anyone who tries to retreat, more Spider Ps attacking my units, the few remaining Caspian prototypes trying to disable Fang and lasers on the mines are doing a number on everyone's shields. Good thing we used the back door or many of our sisters would've gone to an early grave.
The damaged LC reserves are doing a good job of opening a second attack avenue that will divide ED attention. Or not divide their attention as none of the ED units or structures are attacking them, not even the Heavy Tower with a laser on it that only is in range of one of our Craters.
Once the ED mines and stolen UCS units are down the rest of the base falls in under a minute. And we get some Gargoyles to help out, not that it matters much.
Fang's being very cagey about his past with Neo. What's going on here? We haven't seen this mysteriousness from him.
Although, Sombra has also been acting a bit odd lately. Fang saw a memo about something called PROJECT SUNLIGHT the other day and when he asked she quickly pushed it under a bunch of other papers. I think the LC leadership and Fang are trying to hide things from each other at this point.
Neo is really increasing the strain on this partnership. The Celestial Council is visibly annoyed and after two attacks from Neo who can blame them? Our allies have been unintentionally stabbing us in the back ever since we decided to spurn Neo. We haven't lost a mission due to his shenanigans yet but it's only a matter of time until a large UCS force turns their plasma cannons on us. Once that happens, who knows if the alliance will last.
Our research now turns to the Heavy Electro-Cannon.
The Heavy Electro-Cannon lets us mount a regular weapon on top of the cannon so now we can do 126 damage in a single attack. I think we just found our shock troops!
I'm not even surprised at this point.
The ED-controlled UCS units are making quick work of the UCS base. It'll only be a few minutes before they head east.
We'll be leaving almost 15,000 CR behind but it's better than risking the safety of any LC sisters at the hands of the evil robot army. I throw what money I can on the Jupiter before I order it back to base.
We "won" this mission but I'm still pissed about losing out on those 15k credits. It's almost half of what we collected!
Back at base I finish up the upgrade to the Crater m3 hE, allowing it to do 169 damage. This gal is going right at the front of any of our assaults, I just can't say no to that firepower.
rest of the UCS President's message posted:
Destroy the suspected base of Neo in Mozambique, together with all other ED structures.
It's about fucking time! Also the President of the UCS is your character in the UCS campaign so this is actually the player giving alternate-player a mission. Weird.