Tuesday, 1 April 2014

C&C3: The North African Campaign

NOD had created a Liquid Tiberium weapon. It has a yield 10 times that of a Nuke (of course), but it ALSO creates an endothermic reaction which will detonate any Tiberium fields caught in the blast radius. In the strongly infected 'Yellow Zones' this could be catastrophic. We know they're using an old Chemical Factory in North Africa, so that's where I'm off to.

First up is a recon mission to find out if we're in the right place. I'm given Zone Troopers for the first time, rocket-pack powered, heavily armoured troopers who are immune to Tiberium poisoning and carry vehicle busting rail guns.
No build options for this mission, I only have the base I'm given which consists of two Barracks, three Power Stations a Radar Station and the Tech Centre required for building advanced troops (Grenadiers, Zone Troopers and Snipers). I don't have a Tiberium field either, NOD has set up Tiberium spikes which are basically mines. I have to capture these in order to increase my productivity, which forces me to move out of my base rather than just turtle.
I build a few zone troopers and head off to secure some Tiberium Spikes. I also make sure to upgrade them at the Tech Centre meaning they can take more damage and heal whilst in the field. I hunt out all the crates with XP and money in so my Zone Troopers all end up as the highest rank giving them increased damage and healing.
However, while I'm away from the base my meagre defences are briefly overrun by NOD troops and my base takes some damage. Specifically, one of my power stations is almost destroyed. My Zone Troopers nearly arrive back in time, but I realise I'm going to have to spend some money to repair my Power Station before the NOD troopers finish it off. I click on the repair button and then on my Power Station and it disappears.

I've sold it.

I clicked the sell button instead of the repair button.

I now have no power to my base and no way to build a new power station.

So that's bad. My Barracks can still build units, although at decreased efficiency so it's not the end of the world, but I have no minimap because my Radar Station has no power. I consider my options. I should probably sell some buildings to get power back (your power needs increase with each building you build so this will lower my overall power requirements and hopefully bring my radar back online), but which ones? Can't sell the Barracks or the Radar Station. Can't sell any more Power Stations, obviously. That just leaves my Tech Centre. Well that should be fine, I've built all the upgrades, it's essentially useless now, so I sell it and reap the quick cash bonus.

Unfortunately my thinking is flawed in this regard in several ways. Firstly, why sell it when you can just turn the power off? If I've miscalculated the power I'll save I can turn it back on. Secondly, you don't just need to build the Tech Centre to do research there. You can't build the advanced troops at the Barracks without it, so now I can only build standard machine gunners, rocket guys and Engineers... Thirdly, I can just capture a Power Station from NOD if I need power, and FOURTHLY, it didn't even give me the power I needed to get my minimap back.

I really am making things needlessly difficult for myself.

Luckily, despite this setback my Zone Troopers were so upgraded that I could just mass vanilla troops and still roll over the enemy base (after capturing an enemy Power Station like a boss). Boom! Roll on the next mission.

Next up is a mission to destroy NOD's shipping operations in Alexandria. If they can't get bomb stuff in or out then we've bought ourselves some time. Thingy from House says I'll be getting Mammoth Tanks and suggests that the mission might actually be "fun" *sexy, raised eyebrow*.

What followed was over an hour of tedious backwards and forwards in which I tried to just brute force my way into a well defended base and failed to protect my secondary Tiberium fields. I spent ages rebuilding lost Harvesters (I just love their Jerk Chicken Burgers) and slowly building my troops up only to have them whittled back down by waves of enemies.
My problem was that I expanded too fast and bought two Helipads when I didn't have money for Orcas. When I streamlined my base a bit and probed the back of the NOD base with my Zone Troopers I was able to shut down their power and roll over the base, but it took an absolute age, and was probably the least fun mission so far.
So up yours Thingy from House!

I'm still alive though!

For now...

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