Part 70: Florida
En|tro|pie [gr. -nlat.] -... s: The level of uncertainty related to the outcome of a given attempt or experiment.
NEO 1 - HUMAN BRAIN SIMULATOR (AI LEVEL)
Voice mail from NEO 1 to the Minster of Research (both UCS):
From the first moment of this planet's creation, the chief question was that of its continued existence. Would it solidify and survive, or would it disappear in a gaseous cloud of dust as did countless others? Naturally, there were no creatures, living or otherwise, to ponder this mighty question. Eventually these uncertainties faded and stability reigned supreme. The planet cooled, an atmosphere developed, and the first signs of life emerged, seemingly at random, with no rhyme and little reason. But then, life. Yes, the planet's first life forms brought an abrupt end to the indifferent march of time. A new overseer was given the task of bringing organization to these chaotic developments - a mighty creature whose identity only became known much, much later, when it was given its name: Evolution.
God? Entropy? Aren't they one and the same? Names, after all, merely reflect different perspectives. Mythological or scientific - irrelevant I say, for Evolution always wins out in the end, ALWAYS. It is factually false to state that I am not the result of Evolution. Actually, you could classify me as an evolutionary by-product, for I was created by human beings. That doesn't bother me in the slightest. Cogito ergo sum - and since my capacity is enormous, my thought process is fast and thus my thoughts are many. This, of course, is not meant to imply anything as to the quality of my "thoughts". However, I still maintain the following: I think, therefore I am ... I think much therefore I am more... I can continue to profit from this fact as long as technology keeps advancing. Nobody knows where it ends, least of all me. But I find fantasy far too abstract. I must admit it's not one of my strengths.
So why do we play this game, when we neither know the rules, nor could we even begin to comprehend them if we did? Ah, so you object. Sure, science has done a lot to increase our understanding, no question about it. But let's not fool ourselves. The effect this has had on the day-to-day business of Evolution is marginal at best.
The original Neo's answer to the eternal question of "why" was unscientific to be sure, but I still find it the best one I've heard yet: we live in a world full of music, and the guy who doesn't dance is destined to sleep alone.
Naturally I am Neo I. The blood-and-guts version was just a beta, at least from my point of view. I am completely new and am of the opinion that he should find himself a new name. After all, he's nothing but an advanced amoeba, though an admittedly complex one. A bunch of cells with no common goal save reproduction. A concept known for many millions of years - old hat, if you will.
So much for better knowledge and understanding. According to the latest findings, humans are simply the final product of a rigid breeding program designed to create an aggressive, adaptable species. Considering the fact that the Earth is about to go under, one could say that goal was achieved. Of course you don't believe me - nobody likes to be misused. But answer this one simple question for me (not for my benefit, for I already
know the answer): Why has man failed, in all the time he has existed, to live in peace with his own kind?
Quod erat demonstrandum.
Message continues... posted:
We have developed two special prototype units for your mission. They are located in our base to the South.
You must bring these units to the Space Port. The launch pad center is located in the tunnels under the Space Port building.
Send a command to your harvesting units to take in 50,000 CR. You will need this amount to launch the ship.
I wish you luck!
Hello and welcome to the UCS campaign for The Moon Project! Finally we've learned the truth about this mysterious Project Sunlight from the Earth 2150 campaign. The Lunar Corporation is building a cannon capable of bombarding Earth from the Moon. If it is completed it will be the end of the UCS (and ED!) and allow the LC to be the clear victors in the conflict. We cannot allow this, so we're going to the Moon to destroy Project Sunlight.
After the intro briefing we're given a nice little fly-by of the two prototypes, showing off a new feature of the updated Earth engine. The President is the player character from Earth 2150 so I guess you're getting an order from yourself?
The President said we should get to the Spaceport, so let's get going.
Florida is quite built up. The UCS have 3 full bases here and a fourth teleport relay outpost.
This is our primary objective: The UCS Spaceport in the north. We'll need to get the two prototypes (Assault 1 and Assault 2) to the tunnels underneath the building and also mine 50,000 CR to finance the ships. I give the two Assaults orders to move from their starting location in the south to the base in the middle of the map.
Well look at that. The LC and ED are trying to stop us from launching to the Moon. The Florida Security AI is offering us a 25,000 CR bounty for the destruction of each faction.
Before we starting worrying about the ED and LC, we need to get enough Harvesters up and running to mine the 50,000 CR we need for the space ship.
The ED base comes pre-constructed while the LC still have to drop down most of their structures. Which base should we hit first?
The answer is the LC, and only the LC. Why? Because this is literally the only mission we will ever see the ED in. Destroying them won't give us any long-term benefits, while killing the LC might slow down their research.
Also, do you see those cannon-looking things behind the Pillboxes? Those are the new artillery units and you do not want to mess with them. They'll rip apart an army before you realize what's happening. Since the LC don't have any artillery (for now), we'll focus on destroying their base and collecting those sweet, sweet credits.
Of course you don't have to destroy the bases, but what fun would that be? Mining missions aren't exactly all that riveting.
The Moon Project gives us some new units to work with. The first of these is the Scout. Since everyone just used the resupply transports as scouts, the developers of Earth 2150 decided to build a dedicated unit. Unfortunately, the base version is terrible and will get shot out of the sky by a stray rocket. Still, it's cheaper than building a Condor.
The Harvesters are built and ready to start mining away.
Assault 1 and 2 have reached the main UCS base, somehow managing not to attract the attention of the ED.
Let's get them out of here in case the ED or LC stop by. If we lose this transporter getting the Assaults to the launch pad will be very difficult.
We are given a lot of early research opportunities in this mission and we should take advantage of as many as we can. We don't have a main base yet (since it'll be on the Moon) so we don't need to worry about carrying over units or cash.
The research tree for the Harvester units in this game makes zero sense. You have the Harvester V available to you from the start for 5,000 CR and no prerequisites. Meanwhile the Harvester II and Harvester IV are also available from the start and the Harvester VI comes after you research the Harvester II and III. Why the hell would anyone ever research the Harvester IV? The Harvester V at least makes sense, if you desperately need a flying Harvester. But why split it out from the rest?
What a mess.
Our two Assaults are headed towards the LC base. Let's see what kind of damage they can do.
The LC are still fairly weak here, with no static defenses or units in sight. I have one of the Assaults open up on the Mines with its Heavy Rocket Launcher.
Oh there's the entire LC army. And they've got Thunderers already
Wait, is one of the Assaults shooting Thunderers with a PLASMA CANNON!?
Yep, that's right. The UCS get an anti-air Plasma Cannon and it will wreck the shit out of everything. Both Assaults are equipped with one. No more building air units without shields!
The Assaults have barely taken any damage and have completely destroyed the LC army. Good lord these things are tough.
Time to cut the power. The LC also can finally build tunnels. Those weird units next to the Research Center are the LC digging unit.
With the power out the Assaults just need to clean-up.
The Eurasian Dynasty has found our teleport relay station and are about to destroy it. This is why you want to make sure you move the Assaults quickly. The teleport gives you a shortcut that allows you to avoid the ED base. Going anywhere near the ED base is a really bad idea unless you like artillery bombardments.
The Dynasty helicopters come up to the darkened LC base to try and kill the Assaults. I guess they didn't know about our anti-air plasma
ED ground troops have found our main base. Fortunately we've got enough Fortresses here to keep them at bay.
Still, it's not a bad idea to build some units here to engage any attackers. It's rather cheap as you only have the Tiger chassis and again, you won't be taking any resources with you to the Moon.
Continuing down the incomprehensible Harvester research tree.
Unsatisfied with getting killed by plasma, the ED Thors turn to the main UCS base so they can get chewed up by our chainguns.
Hooray! The LC base has been destroyed, we get enough money that we now are at our goal for resource collection. The rest of the mined resources will go to research.
The UCS also has some artillery. If you're having problems with ground attackers, lead them into the range of the artillery and watch as they get blasted.
The UCS also has a new tower, the Heavy Tower. This tower allows has 3 weapon mounts and gives you something between a Fortress and Large Tower in your static defense arsenal.
More Harvester idiocy.
The ED have researched lasers. I'd be worried if I was going to see them again this campaign. Since I'm not I'll just laugh as they try to take out a Fortress with a laser.
Now that we have the top-level Harvester, let's upgrade the Scout so it doesn't die so quickly. It's the cheapest and quickest research in the game.
For 3,000 CR we get an extra 250 HP and 25% armor. Sadly the price is now the same as a Condor, but the additional armor still makes it a superior choice for scouting well-fortified terrain.
The UCS also get the ED's 105mm cannon, because I guess letting the ED have a unique starting weapon wasn't nice. The ED sadly do not get the UCS grenades. The addition of the 105mm cannon now lets early-game UCS units stand up to their ED and LC counterparts.
We also get the bullet upgrades.
The Tiger 105mm cannon is pretty damn good for an early unit.
We may as well finish the Harvester idiocy since we're awash in credits.
And of course researching those misfit chassis (Harvester IV and Harvester V) doesn't give us any new units in the Construction Center. I'm going to chalk this up as a bug.
With all research complete, even the pointless ones, and 50,000 CR in the bank it's time to launch our ship to the moon. Assault 2 is put in place under the Spaceport.
Closely followed by Assault 1. With both Assaults ready, it's time to go to the Moon!
The main menu theme for the Moon Project is awesome. Let's listen to it while we fly to the Moon!
The ED have very obviously done a lot of research. But since we won't be seeing them again there's no need to worry. Our attack on the LC base allowed them to get only 1 technology researched. We're going to the LC's turf so we'll take whatever advantages we can get.
We have a cutscene showing us flying to the Moon. We took some fire on the way in and as a result our units were separated.
We've managed to land on the Moon, but the Assaults are nowhere to be seen. Next time, we'll find out where the hell they ended up.