Part 73: Alpha Quadrant
Welcome back everyone! Sorry about the delay, real life and the difficulty of this update got in the way. Consider this mega-update an apology.
This is not an easy mission. I may have had to restart a few times because of the deaths of the Assaults or the game auto-saving me into un-winnable situations.
While KAIN IX has been working on decrypting the LC microchips, a Cargo Salamander has encountered a strange building.
While we wait, I suppose we should-oh? The analysis is done? Well let's have it then!
rest of briefing posted:
"Sunlight" poses a very serious threat to our MARS project and must be prevented at all costs!
-A- Destruction of the cannon prototype
-B- Interruption of the energy supply
GOLAN IV - Central Processing Unit posted:
Subject: Mission orders
Attack on the prototype is not possible because the cannon is located in space on the Moon Defense Ring.
Continue with plan -B-.
We have located power shield generators in ALPHA QUADRANT. You can use them for both Assault prototypes.
Our engineers have created a new type of battle unit - Cargo Salamander. This unit is designed to be used on the Moon. It is very strongly armored. Use it instead of Tiger or Spider units.
Wow. That's a lot to digest. With this information we have confirmed the danger Project Sunlight poses to the UCS. And, thanks to KAIN's analysis, we know a direct attack on the cannons is impossible. An assault on the power supply is viable however, and thus our goal will be to disrupt this power and bring the cannons offline.
This won't be easy.
Back to our Cargo Salamander, it has found a very strange LC structure here in Alpha Quadrant. Our initial intelligence indicates this is a new type of power plant, known as the Zyrex Power Plant. It is rather unstable but provides a massive amount of energy. I think it's safe to say these things are powering Project Sunlight.
This warrants further investigation. With a bomb.
While the Cargo Salamander does some "scans" to confirm our suspicions, we need to get our base up and running. Alpha Quadrant is no picnic; it's one of the 4 main areas we believe the LC are using to power Project Sunlight. That means they're gonna come down on us like a thing that is heavy once they figure out we're here. So it's rather important we get a functioning defense going.
The Cargo Salamander can mount the same things as our Tiger. It also boasts far more HP, making it less likely to explode into little bits when a meteor comes around. Unfortunately it also carries a price tag comparable to a Panther so they're not a great use of your money.
Odd. A scouting group has found a high level of radiation near the base. The LC look to have quarantined it with a laser fence, but the fence is powered down. Are they trying to trick our units into walking into it? (Yes. Also the Zyrex Power Plant at the start was powering this fence. No power=no lasers)
Our intrusion into the radioactive waste has triggered an LC response. Or the destruction of their Zyrex Power Plant.
A few unshielded Moons are no match for the Assaults and plasma cannons.
Two Crushers on the other hand are more of a problem.
The LC at this point have almost their entire tech tree. You're going to be outgunned until you start pushing the LC out of the Quadrants. Have fun!
The overwhelming technological superiority of the LC at this point make this probably the hardest of the Quadrant missions.
We've beaten back the assault and have our base fully established. We're going to need to be clever to beat the LC here as we cannot hope to defeat them in the field.
To that end, I order research on the Repairer to begin so we can at least recover from enemy fire.
The Recycler is a new addition to The Moon Project. I'm sure you've seen me send out-date and out-matched units to their death just so I could get around the credits limit and build newer stuff. Unfortunately, suicide your units doesn't give you any cash back. But no more! Now you can order your brave countrymen into a trash compacter, destroying the unit and giving you back half of its original build cost.
It's not always useful but it pays for itself after only a few crushes.
A second LC faction has become aware of us and launches an assault. Great...
We need the shields the briefing told us about. To the north, my Assaults!
The Moon Project never really runs out of stuff for you to research. Since the LC aren't using shields, our best use of the cash is the Plasma Cannon.
We find more deactivated laser barriers, but more importantly, we also find 2 shield generators for our Assaults. They already had a very high energy weapon resistance, but with these shields added they now can go toe-to-toe with a few Thunderers and come out on top.
The Chaingun is not a real defense against aerial attacks. Gimme some rocket launchers guys!
I've sent a Scout out to try and find the locations of the LC bases in the region. The Scout has an absolutely crazy sight range. The Scout currently sees two LC units heading into the base and is probably twice as far away as you usually need to be to see the enemy. The research was money well-spent I think.
The Scout still dies in a few seconds, but we have found the first LC base. The orange faction is in a crater to the southeast and looks to be guarding a power cache for Project Sunlight. It must be destroyed.
Rocket launchers are no good without their rocket upgrades.
To try and relieve the pressure we've been getting from the north I have the Mammoth construct a wall. This will force all LC attacks to come through the south, allowing our mechs to concentrate there.
Er, well, it would. If the Mammoth wasn't disabled and destroyed by an LC attack force.
Main Base Mammoth, your turn!
The LC really do not want to see this wall get put up. Fine. I'll build another Mammoth and have him do it!
Some time later
Hah! Look at that wall! And it only took 3 Mammoths to do it.
Now defeating the attacks on our base will be simpler. Although as you can see in the upper part of the first screenshot, we still are getting some intrusion from the north.
With our defenses established, I send out the Assaults to well, assault the southeastern LC base.
Nothing a few Gargoyles can't fix though.
The Assaults have found a rather robust deployment of Guardians. This will take some thinking to get around.
In the meantime, we need to build up our anti-air defenses. The LC will surely try an aerial attack now that we've stymied their ground assaults.
We've finished mining the Main Base, so off to the Recycler we send the Harvesters. Crunch, crunch!
While I was trying to develop a clever strategy one of the Assaults developed one for me. The Assault with the rocket launcher out-ranges almost every LC weapon. I...guess that works then.
More towers. And what is this? Is that...
IS THAT FANG'S HOVERCRAFT WHAT IN THE FLYING FUCK!?
Yep. The LC get mass-produced Fangs. They're called New Hopes and I hate them. The only upside? They die in one or two shots.
The LC really, really do not like that wall. They dislike it so much they are trying to destroy it and ignoring everyone else.
Yeah I dunno either.
Once we have shields we'll have at least the bare minimum necessary to construct a competent army.
The Assaults have made their way into the LC base and have effectively crippled their mining operation. Unlike past missions, the Zyrex plants give the LC enough energy that focusing on the solar power plants is pointless. Thus, going for the credits is now the best way to cripple the base.
Assault 1 has almost been disabled by the LC. Fortunately we took out the offending unit before it happened. We'll need to wait for the shields and electronics to recharge before continuing our assault.
The Cargo Salamander can mount some shields. Might as well put them on there.
The way to the Zyrex plants is clear. Time to tear them down.
Well, after we re-group and re-charge our shields.
Time to put the flying Harvester to use. The LC have tons of minerals down there. We need them. So let's get them.
A spaceport? Why do the LC have a spaceport here? Did we attack the Moon's resource gathering operation, and not Project Sunlight? Are the LC putting both of them together?
Eh, we'll figure out the answers later.
The Zyrex plants are very weak, so you shouldn't have any trouble destroying them.
What's that I see on our research tree? Is it...is it a flying plasma cannon?
Why yes, yes it is. I'm sure you can imagine what I'm going to do with this thing.
One more Zyrex plant to go.
The LC did keep some Solar plants in reserve, however I don't think they counted on us already being at the back of their base. They fall in seconds, thus permanently shutting down this base.
Hooray, we're not getting shot with electro-cannons anymore!
While the Assaults finish up down south, I research the Unit Transporter. This allows you to pick up any ground unit and fly it to another location. No more digging endless tunnels or huge bridges to get to islands; now we can just use the Unit Transporter. Yay Unit Transporter! I like you.
We spared the LC's tunnel entrance on a hunch it might get us to the second LC base undetected. Worst case scenario, we find some neat tunnels. Best case scenario, we ambush the LC.
Our first Gargoyle P. It's so...beautiful. I can't wait to use it.
Looks like my hunch was right. These tunnels criss-cross the entire map.
Next research item: rocket launcher upgrades.
Although the regular rocket launcher seem to be doing just fine...
How 'bout upgraded Tigers instead.
Well, it looks like this is the entrance to the other LC base. The first one, while well-guarded on the outside, wasn't so tough once we were in it. I hope the same happens here.
Normally this would be great. Coming out right by their power plants would cripple the base and allow me to pretty much end the update here.
But this isn't a normal mission.
Damn you Zyrex plants!
Hmm, it looks like the Zyrex plants are over to the west. It doesn't look very well-defended. Let's get closer.
Hey, what's that thing in the sk-
The LC have artillery cannons. And they mean business. We're lucky that wasn't a direct hit.
We'll need to stay out of their range or the Assaults will be destroyed. Or we'll have to destroy them without getting in range. Maybe using some kind of...
The Gargoyle P never needs to go back to base to re-arm so once he clears the initial defenses, he's perfectly safe back there plunking away at the artillery.
I have the Assaults destroy some fences to let them vent a bit.
I also trick the LC into shelling their own structures. I'm so clever.
With half the artillery destroyed by the Gargoyle, we're able to race behind the remaining two pieces. From here the Assaults can destroy them at leisure.
And with no more artillery, they can destroy the Zyrex plants and the rest of the base at leisure too.
AI NEO is a bit of a perv. That's...not weird and creepy at all. Nope.
The Moon Project added the ability to sell your buildings, which is less fun than watching them explode but a bit more useful. Just like recycling units, this gives you half the build cost. Since we won't be coming back to any of these missions, I'll be selling everything I can at the missions' completion.
It was 2 vs. 1 and we came out on top. And we did 19 researches while outgunned, building an army and destroying 2 well-fortified LC bases.
The LC's artillery proved too much of a challenge last mission. It's time we develop our own artillery to counter this threat. We have some units in Mare Pacifium ready to test this new weapon.
Today's musical selection is the final UCS battle track. It's a battle track.