Part 15: We happy fewSorry for the short delay! Have a big-ass update with the hardest fight of the game.
We happy few
It's time, for my least favorite battle in the game. I'll expand on this is in a minute, just know that it's fucking hard and took me like 5-6 attempts. Even with my knowledge of the game and the battle.
:"Just a second, I need to take a bath, have a cup of cappuccino! Alright, alright...let's go."
We move out of the city, and it's quite a hike this time.
Of course, there are already some scoundrels at the missile base. And while I appreciate Zhirik's confidence, this won't be easy at all. Not in the least.
Okay, let me break this down.
As you can see, our goal is on the other end of the map.
The way there leads through the forest area with a camp and rail yard. The rouges will be around the camp and there are many of them. But that isn't the reason why this is difficult. The main obstacle is the terrain itself. The map is large, very open and has no good cover spots. There are trees, stumps and rocks everywhere, which fucks with your line of fire and sight. It's very important to constantly check your map to see where the enemies are moving and how many you can see. Otherwise it's very difficult to see the rouges in the forest and if you don't pay attention to their numbers, they are very likely to flank you. You also have to be mindful of your lines of fire as it's easy to pump rounds into trees instead of bodies.
All this means that there is no good way to deal with this battle. If you take an aggressive approach and move too far, you'll get flanked and shot from all directions. If you're going slow and defensive, you won't find good spots to stay in, and eventually get overwhelmed. I tried this several times and have to say that a mix of both approaches, with the right tactics, is the only way to solve this. I like to think that my strategy is sound but it still comes down to a coin flip. If the game decides that one of your guys gets shot in the face immediately, then you're just boned.
This fight is also very chaotic and I had no means of controlling the flow. This means that I couldn't capture most of the kills/events and have to describe a lot of things so that you can grasp what's going on. I'm going to make heavy use of the map this time, to give you a visual aid, as my words probably won't be enough.
With the stage set, let's do this!
My first order is to have everyone crouch and move, in single file, through the rocky area so that they can hunker down behind the big hill. This is important as you will trigger the rouges if you just walk or move straight into the forest.
Once at the hill, everyone drops their backpack. I want them to be able to roll, if they have to. Also don't worry about Panevin, he'll just chill out at the spawn.
Now let me tell you about my plan for this battle.
This crude drawing shows my first moves, and then the paths I intend to take afterwards. The letters designate who goes where, and my plan mostly worked out. Though I had to make some quick adjustments.
Vitek will go out on the far side, all on his own. I want him to flank the rouges once they move against the other guys. This is dangerous and not as straightforward as it seems. He will not have a good line of sight for the first part of the battle and can't really move freely. The thing is that there are some scattered enemies on his side, and if they take notice of him, he won't be able to deal with them. Also there is another thing that'll come up later.
So for the first part of the battle, he'll move very carefully and take some shots with bad CTH. He may get some lucky hits but I don't count on it. Once I have a grip on the situation, he's free to move and headshot dudes. A thing to keep in mind is that I can't move him all the way, right from the start. Otherwise he'll trigger the rouges. I took me some save scumming to find out how far I can move him in the beginning. His abysmal stealth score sure didn't help!
The rest of my unit will take the other side and will aggro the brunt of the rouges.
Zhirik will go prone with his MG and just fire a long burst in the general direction of the enemies. He may get a lucky hit, but I mostly want him to distract them for now. After his first burst, he'll move to another spot and fire again. His new spot is dangerous as it's in the open, but this is the only way to give him a clear shot through the middle. I want him to divide the rouges, so that they don't group up and bumrush me. When I deem his job done, he'll switch to the Bizon and either move right or left. Depends on the situation at that point.
Serb will go to the right, alone at the beginning. I want him to fire some shots before moving farther and switching to the launcher. If my plan works out, he will have a bunch of guys on his side. By extension, I also want to prevent a flank from his side, and give him a good angle to shoot to the left. When I control the situation, he'll push down his side, cleaning out whoever is left and should enter&clear the camp.
Akhmet will stay near Zhirik at first. I want him to fire some rounds and throw a grenade. The thing is, that there will be some rouges close to me and I want to discourage them from charging me with their own grenades. Once that's done, he'll move over to Serb's side, supporting him and reacting to whatever comes up. Akhmet is my skirmisher, and it's important to keep him flexible so he can plug any hole in my line.
So, my ultimate goal is to divide the rouges, engage the isolated groups with grenades and bullets, have some snipe shots on the way and pincer what's left. This is a sound approach on paper but it can still fall apart in a matter of moments.
Well, no other choice than to say a quick prayer and get it done.
Vitek could move a bit farther but it's okay, for now. He's dangerously close to being spotted at this point and has a good way to his next spot. When the rouges are triggered, he'll move on.
The lads charge around the hill and the party is on.
:"Morons. No guards, but lots of shit!"
Let's hope you're not going to eat those words.
Doesn't look so bad, right? Well, here come the shitty lines of sight into play. The actual number of enemies is like 3-4 times of what I can see right now.
Zhirik fires his first burst. He won't hit anyone but this is only a distraction for now.
And the first shots whiz over his head, while Akhmet runs towards his throwing spot. This is a dangerous phase as a ton of bullets pour out of the forest, and I can pretty much start over if somebody gets hit.
It's a bit hard to see, but Akhmet lobs a nade into the way of three charging rouges. I should have cooked it, in hindsight, but I didn't expect it to do anything. It was planned as a distraction but worked out much better.
Serb has reached his first spot. I have him engage the charging rouges, to bog them down next to the grenade that Akhmet just threw. Didn't plan this, but thought it would be a good idea. Spoiler: It was.
Zhirik is still blasting rounds into the forest. The rouges are not that phased by his current angle, so he has to move very soon.
Vitek will not get a better CTH than this for now. I let him take a few shots, without planning on him hitting. And he doesn't.
Despite my distraction efforts, the chargers still whipped out their nades. It would have helped if Serb would have hit his first shots. But no matter, as this nade flies short of my position.
The rouges start to cluster, I really need to move Zhirik ASAP.
Serb finally lands a shot and Akhmet's grenade lands directly at their feet. Had I cooked it, this would have been dealt with faster.
Here I tell Zhirik to roll to his new spot, as crawling takes ages and running probably gets him hit. As I've said the new spot is in the open, but the only way to give him a good shot down the middle. I would have liked to place him next to the rock, but due to how the maps work this is impossible.
Serb moves farther to the right and takes cover behind the rock. I want him to be ready to launch grenades when Zhirik divides the rouges.
Vitek goes to his next spot. He won't have a better CTH from there but he's slowly getting where I want to him to be later.
Akhmet takes a hit here. But the round went through a tree and was no match for his armor.
While the rouges rejoice...
...Akhmet's nade kills two and takes the third out of the fight. You want to make good use of the stun system in this battle. This means, if you hit a guy but don't kill him, shot at the next guy while the first is stunned. You really want to minimize the fire coming your way as best as possible.
Zhirik is ready to fire again, and I have Akhmet charge to the left so he can support Serb.
Speaking of Serb, he launches the first grenade.
While it's hard to see in this shot, let me quickly describe how the launcher works. First off, quick fire is bugged and will make the nades fly into the sky. Dunno why, it just does. When you aim, you get a dotted line like with thrown grenades. But the crosshair is actually the point where the grenade will lose altitude, not where it will land. The line also shows that but it's not immediately obvious. A good rule of thumb is to aim halfway to your target. I don't really fuck with the angle though as I prefer to take clear and straight shots.
But I get punished here as Serb sends the first grenade into a treetop. Time to relocate!
I also have to adjust Zhirik's fire on the fly. I forgot to pay attention to the angle. The standard setting will have the rounds arc upward and whiz over enemies that are far away. I tell him to fire horizontal and he actually lands some lucky hits. Sorry for not being able to show the MG better. But I still think that it's useless in this game, aside from this very specific situation.
By now, the rouges shift to Serb's side and the MG fire has done it's job. All according to plan.
I want to give Serb a better shot, but the map won't let me!
At least I have found a good spot for Akhmet.
Here you can see how bad the lines of sight can be.
Looks clear right?
This is literally a second later. You really have to pay attention to your LOS all the damn time.
There is no point in keeping Zhirik on the MG by now. So he moves up.
Things get quite hairy on Serb's side.
Vitek gets a quick headshot, before moving to a new spot.
I have Zhirik move around the left to flank the main group, and to prevent stragglers from flanking me.
From his new spot, Vitek spyes this cheeky sniper all the way behind the main group. He once again turns out to be awesome and lands a shot at 18%. The sniper survives but is out of the fight.
From a better spot, Serb fires grenades down range.
OH NO WHAT HAPPENED!?
Easy, the launcher sometimes makes the models bug out. But they're fixed on the next action.
There seems to be no end to them! At least they have fully split.
Serb lands a nade and Vitek also hits someone in the left group. A word on the jumping Vog grenades - they are not good for killing. The normal ones do a better job, but the jumping nades cover a wider area. As said, in this battle it's more important to damage several enemies than to kill a few.
Zhirik engages whoever he can see on the left. But his weak 9x18 ammo makes this a pain.
Serb catches a bullet, but the armor saves him. I'm sure glad that I had plates for everyone but Vitek.
The battle is pretty much open at this point. I'm shooting what I can, but they keep coming.
Akhmet putting rounds into trees doesn't help either!
Serb fires more grenades. He bogs down guys and Akhmet shoots them. Teamwork!
A couple of kills happen, while Zhirik keeps the left side clear.
It really isn't Serb's day.
His armor saves him again, but there is an enemy very close to him. Let's hope he'll recover fast enough to shoot him! Spoiler: He will.
The rouges keep pushing against me and the battle is still open. Right now, it's very possible that one will slip through the trees and shoot me in the back/side.
I have no idea where this came from!
Vitek keeps shooting into the left group.
While Zhirik catches a round from somewhere.
I'm really glad that I gave plates to my fighters. This is also the danger of moving up. You open yourself to many angles from which you can get shot.
He's sitting literally a few feet away from Zhirik. Fuck you, line of sight! I guess he hid behind a tree or something and popped out when Zhirik wasn't' looking.
Due to his fast Bizon he gets the drop on him, but the weak 9x18mm actually does almost no damage. I have no idea why they didn't include AP ammo. Well, at least he's passed out so I tell Zhirik to beat him to death. Due to his melee skill, he kills him with one whack from his gun.
Serb switched to his rifle, so he can kill wounded dudes. But first he fires the grenade in the underbarrel launcher.
Seems like I finally got this.
Or maybe not.
This group is the reason why I was so careful with Vitek. If they aggro on him, he's done for. I'm not sure if they spawn in, or are there from the beginning. But as they're here now, he can move freely and headshot the shit out of them.
Serb's grenade kills guys in the back and Akhmet shoots one in the front.
And then some bullshit happens.
:"Scars make a man more beautiful. Don't they?"
Somehow a lone guy managed to sneak into Serb's back and blasted him with a shotgun. The armor mostly saved him but he's in real danger now!
Akhmet to the rescue!
Vitek keeps dropping dudes.
This is like wrestling with jelly! But I got this. Most of them die over the next moments.
And here I make a mistake.
I figure that distance, armor and trees will keep Zhirik safe from that grenade.
Vitek kills another dude.
And if you look at Zhirik's face, you can see that he's shocked. The nade hit him after all! Before I can do anything, he catches a round to the face and passes out. Praise that dinky helmet!
Serb clears out the wounded on his side and pushes into the camp.
Zhirik is still sleeping.
Vitek gets charged by a grenade maniac.
But lands a CQC headshot. The game even rewarded him with a level-up! But I forgot to spend his point.
In the camp, Serb finds a lone guy.
I like to think that he's a bandit in training that had to stay behind. His face seems like he knows what's coming. "Ahw, shit."
:"Ah? What? Crap, I had a dream about one nice girl..."
Zhirik wakes up again, but he has to recover his stamina and is out for the rest of the fight.
You lucky, lucky devil.
Time to mop up.
Serb kills the bandit trainee and Vitek headshots one more dude.
This only leaves the leader alive. And he's as well armored as my guys are.
A burst from Akhmet..
Vitek pops him in the side...
...and the head..
He takes a couple more rounds before I get fed up..
..and tell Serb to magdump his AKM into his face.
:"We're not going through the gates. U.S have blown it up. We'll crawl in the ventilation."
Thanks for doing nothing!
Well, I think that went good. Nobody is seriously wounded and I managed to record this fucking battle. I hope I made a good job with telling you what happened and describing the things I couldn't capture. I really don't like this fight that much. I'm good at tactic games but it still took me several runs to make this. Not because my plan was bad, but because there are so many things that work against you.
Looting this map is also kind of a hassle as bodies and weapons are strewn about everywhere. Like always, have some impressions while I collect the stuff.
I leave the weapons in a crate and only take ammo and small things. But I made sure to take all the additional backpacks with me, I'm going to need the space.
Down we go!