The Let's Play Archive

Stalin vs. Martians

by Zombie Samurai & Paingod556

Part 3: MISSION 2 REDUX: My New Technique Is Unstoppable

MISSION 2 REDUX: My New Technique Is Unstoppable

So, Mission 2 can go double-plus fuck itself. Going into today, I had tried and failed to beat this clusterfuck 4 times. Clearly, some soul-searching was required. I watched a YouTube video of one guy beating the level and...I didn't want to believe it, but I saw how you're supposed to do it. Now, let me share with you all what a finely-crafted shitheap this mission is.

The first chunk of the mission is a piece of cake. Survive the initial attack, and take the village to the north. From there, I started to mix things up, and pay a bit more attention to things.

Like these. As I mentioned, you get new tanks in this mission. I had assumed (for some dumbass reason) that they were slower and fired further than the standard tanks. Well, I tested it in this mission, and I was half-right. They're sure as shit slower, but actually have LESS range. They seem to do more damage, but fuck that if they're going to get shot to hell on the way in. I suicided mine against some Dumboids before moving on.

I decided this time to defend one village at a time. You get free reinforcements when you "liberate" the village, and keeping everything together seemed to be easier. Until I rolled back up to the starting checkpoint and saw this.

No worries there, though, because Dumboids are about as clever as my name for them. Turns out that you have to get INCREDIBLY close to get them to attack you, and more of the time, tanks can shoot them from outside that range.

This village is now dumbsass-free. Now's the point where things always go to hell.

I move my infantry south, towards the wasteland that cuts across the center of the map. Near as I could tell, the other half of the map is FULL of sprinkles, three-eyed lawsuits, and Dumboids. Every time I rolled down there, I got my ass handed to me from about six different directions.

But this time, I have a plan. A GOOD plan, for once.

I think at this point I should call out Paingod for totally saving my ass on this mission (and probably most future missions, too). After all, he posted this:

Paingod556 posted:

As for the winning strat-  In Blitz, you roll up in range with your armour, stop, and concentrate fire on the enemy. Works against the big aliens, but not against the littlies. So, you do the opposite against the small ones- keep moving, and have your tanks use their co-ax MG's (which they do have) It's kind of like kiting, but you have your tanks drive THROUGH THE ENEMY UNITS, back and forth without stopping and ideally out of range of the ranged aliens. Why? So you kill them with MG fire, and then immediately retrieve the dropped coins. Then you buy more tanks, and eventually just roll over them Uranus-style. 

So, it turns out that your basic tank has TWO attacks. One when it's stationary, and one when it's moving. When stationary, it fires it's slow, high-damage main gun. But when moving, it mows down nearby enemies with a mounted machine gun. How in the living FUCK you're supposed to know that without exhaustive experimentation is beyond me.

In fact, the game makes it harder to figure this out! See that fifth button on the bottom right there? The tooltip calls that something like "Shoot while moving". If you click it, it does nothing, because your tanks do their little machine gun bit by default. But I thought it was supposed to let them fire their main gun on the move! If anything, those buttons just confuse me more, but whatever. We're making PROGRESS, comrades!

So my new plan is to roll in the tanks, get into trouble (This is trouble, if you can't tell. I couldn't either until my tanks started exploding.)...

...and roll back to my infantry, where they and the tank machine guns finish off whatever sprinkles follow me back.

This works incredibly well, and I'm able to roll up to the first village, full of oooOOOooohs.

They fall, of course, to my amazing command skills.

The green guys are by far the worst enemies so far. Their attacks do damage over a wide area, and just a few shots can destroy tanks. Likewise, just a few tank shells take one out, so focusing fire on them is essential. Regardless, you can see I'm down two tanks here.

My remaining three tanks bravely piss off a gaggle of sprinkles, and draw them back to the firing line. Stupid, stupid candies.

I rotated the map about 90 degrees counter-clockwise, in case this is disorienting to you. That's so I have a better chance of spotting these assholes early. They can fire at me from way outside my field of view, which leads to a lot of spontaneously combusting tanks.

I send some new tanks to join the old, and proceed cautiously towards the next village. Those green assholes are seriously everywhere.

Forced to retreat by a new horde of sprinkles, I make an important observation. Sprinkles only have a melee attack, and have to come to a full stop to use it. If you keep ordering your tanks back and forth over the same few yards of ground, they never stop long enough for the sprinkles to do much damage. Moreover, it keeps all the StalinBucks and other zany powerups nearby so you can actually collect the fucking things. That is why I am now COMMU-RICH.

I explode another angry tree and roll into the lion's den. Hey, remember when I said those trees seem to be important? Well, I might have lied. Compare this to the previous screenshot, and you can see that they poop some purple crap on the ground when they die. This doesn't appear to do anything to anything. Thanks for nothing, game.

Thinking elevation might confer some kind of advantage, I move my infantry atop this hill. Good luck spotting them against the shitty textures. Oh, and elevation does nothing, of course.

At this point, I'm just slogging my way across the map. It's surprisingly like an MMO dungeon...inch forward until an enemy attacks you, then pull back to safety and kill it. Lather, rinse, repeat, uninstall.

I spend some of my obscene war chest on more tanks, and push aggressively towards the village. I just want this shit to end.

Here you can see how the Dumboids set fire to the ground along their path of attack. These guys were a virtual non-issue in this battle, since I almost never got close enough to piss them off. I think they just exist to remind you that infantry is useless and you should never use it.

A shot of my tanks rolling back and forth in place, gunning down technicolor toppings. It's even more retarded in motion.

Fuck this green guy.

Wait, really? Does that mean-


So, what have we learned? Tanks, man. Tanks all day, erry day. You don't need infantry, and you sure as hell don't need those slow-ass big-barreled fucks. Get about 5-7 tanks (because more take longer to arrange themselves around your move commands), roll up to some enemies, and see what happens. If there are sprinkles, pull back and wiggle back and forth. Anything else, just shoot it. As long as you make more money than your units cost before they die, you're golden.

Here, for anyone playing at home, I've fashioned a handy flow chart! Now you don't even have to use your brain to play this terrible game!

Anyway, it's done, it's over, and now we know how we're supposed to play, despite the game seemingly doing everything in its power to prevent us from figuring it out. It's all sunshine and lollipops from here...right?