Part 27: Baikal
Oh boy. Baikal. This is probably the toughest mission we've seen in any campaign so far even though it seems like a cakewalk based on our experience as the LC. If you recall the LC version of this mission just required us to send Fang into the base to trigger a bomb. We will not have it so easy this time.
We start with 6 Tiger I Rs and no Mammoth. Things are already annoying as we'll need to ship one over from HQ to get started on construction. Better hope you have one or you'll fail this mission.
We can finally research the Repairer. This will let us repair damaged units and do some other neat tricks.
Our Tigers have found a mineral patch near the LZ. We'll have to wait for the Mammoth to get building.
Here are those remotely activated robots the briefing talked about. They don't seem that impressive. Maybe they're really well-armored or something.
Guess who forgot to load the Mammoth?
On the upside at least we'll have enough mobile defenders to fend off any attac-hey why's the camera moving?
Oh. It looks like our captured robots have started shooting things in the ED base. It would've been nice to wait until I was, ya know, ready to attack but sure you just do whatever you want KAIN IX. I'm sure 6 Tiger Is can destroy this ED base on their own.
Oh wait no they can't because the Eurasian Dynasty has fucking lasers and none of these units have shields!
This is going to end badly.
I don't think trading a Taiga transporter for a Tiger is a good trade.
And that one transporter is all we get. Thanks a lot KAIN IX. I hate you.
The ED knows we're here now and will be sending an attack force out any minute. We still don't have a base.
I move my mobile defenders to a good defensive position. They won't be able to reload until I get the base up, so let's hope the ED are slow in developing this attack.
I use two Mammoths to speed things up. We don't have time to waste.
The Repairer is finished. Now we can build some to heal our injured units from the Arctic missions. Our loss rate can finally stop looking like Stalingrad in 1942.
May as well give the Gargoyle its best weapon mount. Unlike the LC campaign, I'm going to stick with mostly rocket air units for reasons that will soon make themselves clear.
Our base is up and we've yet to be attacked. Thank god for small miracles.
This Tiger was close to death before our repairer got there. The repairer can heal damage very quickly and sometimes will be able to outpace the damage the enemy is doing to your units or structures. Remember that.
We're out of money at HQ. Also looks like the Earth is starting to warm up, all the snow has melted.
I worry what NOAH I would've said to us if we weren't on schedule. I don't think its' a very sympathetic AI.
Looks like the Dynasty has repairers too.
Not anymore though!
The Gargoyle rockets are done. They work the same as the LC version. I realize some of these descriptions of the same tech are very but there's not much to say about the common weapons.
We get a look at the backside of the base. It looks pretty vulnerable but the air force here is going to be tough.
We do a pretty good job of taking them out. Unfortunately the Gargoyles all decided to fly over the small towers when they went to reload and all died. Why didn't I do anything about it?
I was too busy dealing with the ED counter-attack.
The fighting is absolutely withering. Tigers are dropping left and right and I'm worried if the ED bring the lasers on to the field we'll have to fall back to our base. And our base is not well-defended at all. I've only got a few small towers in it to deal with possible Cossack raids.
The Tigers fight hard though and after rallying to the middle they're able to drive off the attackers.
To ensure we're not caught with our pants down during the attack, I have the Mammoth build a bunch of small towers on the path to our base.
Too little too late. This Taiga laser could've turned the tide of the battle. But he was slow in showing up and now doesn't even manage to get a shot off before he's buried in bullets/grenades/rockets.
With the rockets upgraded, it's time to build a new, rocket-oriented air force. This will pay off handsomely in a few minutes.
Our forces make their way down into the unoccupied south via the woods. Pretty nice visual, eh?
Unfortunately, a sneak attack may not work. The ED have us outmanned and outgunned with those lasers. We need som way to get the upper hand. If we can get into the base proper we'll be so spread out the lasers won't be able to hit us in time. But how?
Wait, what's this?
We can use the repairer units to repaint our armies. This will make them look exactly like Major Wlad's units, even down to their coloring on the minimap. This is the exact sort of thing we need. By the time the confusion over our coloration ends it'll be too late.
I research some new grenades while we wait for the paint to dry.
All done! It looks like there's a massive ED force in that southern valley now. But we'll need something else too. We can't have just a single point of attack.
Behold our blackout Gargoyles. They're running with their lights off so they won't be visible unless a unit is right underneath them. And since the rockets have a longer range than the chainguns the ED likes to put on its towers we can use these like aerial artillery without worry about enemy fire.
I'm a genius
Here it is, our moment of truth. Will the paint job work?
I think it did! Only the ED air units are responding to our attack. I've got a video of the confusion in the base.
Our Gargoyles are completely unnoticed. The Cossacks aren't going after them even though they could wipe them out in seconds and the towers aren't shooting them because they can't see them. It's working! I think we just may be able to pull this off.
Final grenade upgrade, because why not?
We're through the rear lines! We need to be careful though since a number of ED buildings have mounted lasers. Focus on the power plants robot buddies!
Thank you stealth Gargoyles. Also note the small tower eviscerating a unit that strayed away from the pack.
The supply center is down. Pretty soon the ED will be out of ammo and we'll only need to worry about the lasers.
Speak of the devil. But once again the lasers are too late. Had they been waiting for us at the southern entrance they may have been able to make a fight of it. As it is we can overwhelm them before they overheat us.
And this is why you do not try a frontal land assault here. You're not going to be able to get the power plant or the towers in time to prevent horrific losses. On a map like this that's pretty tight on resources you're not going to have enough time to build a second attack force. You could easily end up in stalemate situation: both sides out of resources and mobile attackers but with both bases fully intact. At that point the only way to move the campaign forward is to destroy your own base and accept a failed mission.
Good thing we're smart and went around.
The base is clear, we just need to take out those towers. And with the power plant blocking one half, and the other half out of range if we approach carefully this should be easy.
Yep. Pretty damn easy.
I really wish the writers had put more effort in these briefing and debriefings. After all the fun banter we had with the LC these feel extremely lazy.
While I'm waiting for my repairers to re-paint my army I turn up the game speed and work on this Harvester upgrade. It's got more HP and I think it also moves faster.
I've landed my air force here so the repairers can fix them. I suppose this is why you might want to put shields on your air units, but if you're doing this right the only time you should be repairing your air units is when things are calm.
Our new Harvester II.
Suck it Wlad
New robot unit? I like new robot units! We've gotta stop the ED.
In honor of our sneakiness, today's track is the second UCS night theme.