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Strategy Central

Last Updated on Thursday, April 02, 1998

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4. Teron Occupation
Freedom Guard

Step by Step Walk Through

I felt pretty good just to get a good foothold the first couple of times I played this, but I couldn't get anywhere after that. Being completely new to real time play I figured my poor show was a newbie issue - I was reassured to see a number of others had been stymied.

Well I came up with a plan. Construct a killing machine to chew up enemy attacks and produce a force strong enough to win.

First I built a Training facility & Hospital and produced a modest force of Mercs and Raiders as I like their capacity in combination to keep down most threats. They held out a long time and nicely supported my carefully micro-managed defence system. After a while though I had to build skirmish tanks, the shredders were doing too much infantry damage. I eventually discovered the skirmish tanks integrated better with my 'turrets of death' (more later) than the infantry. I probably wouldn't use any infantry if I were to do this again. I used medics and mechanics a lot to support all my troops throughout - made sure they were set at least to medium independence otherwise they wait around for repair/heal orders.

An important key was money management - I played slow and steady and made sure all production stopped once the money went down to 700 credits or so. I needed this in reserve to keep my turrets in good repair, the leading edge turrets often took a lot of punishment, but the spanner kept them going along with a little mobile support - in fact I didn't lose a single structure in this campaign and mainly because I kept money in the kitty.

I figured that anyway you cut it, this battle was going to take time, so I used time to my advantage. I built turrets in corridor formations (roughly) so that when the enemy attacked he would have to travel down a 'corridor of turrets' - my 'turrets of death' - to get to anything of value. Naturally he'd get shot to pieces. Now it took awhile to build this turret corridor thing up, but it was amazing how consistently the AI went streaming down these lanes of death. At first the shredders would get through easily, so I had to stick 2 or 3 turrets out back to finish them off. Power was in great demand as I had so many of these things, but that was okay. I was killing more troops of his than he was of mine - that was the aim: to make a defence system so efficient that he bore a greater cost than me, even though he had greater production capacity with his two springs. The river also worked in my favour, as it split his forces - his infantry had to do a lot of walking to get to me and that forced them to come at me piecemeal.

I also cleared any trees near my turrets (I had built right out to the river edge) to ensure I had the best possible line of sight - whether it made much difference or not I couldn't say, but it felt significant! When things were quiet I sent out the odd tree scout to build up a clear view of the road going to the SW spring. As I saw my plan working I had that marvelous feeling that I knew I had this thing beat even before I went to the next spring.

I built up a force I felt would (1) unquestionably capture the spring - that proved easier than I expected, (2) could defend it securely - his counter-attack worried me for a few moments, but it quickly ran out of steam, and (3) would quickly build Water LP and Assembly plant (my second one). There was a fourth consideration, and that was to build up cash reserves to fund the war on the other side of the river. All in all it was like a savings program of both equipment and credits. I could have captured the south spring sooner, but Ididn't want to split my forces and defences - I was grinding him down with 1 base and no risk; didn't want the back and forth hassle of defending two bases.

The time came to advance. I had been stock-piling my forces in the trees and hill area just south of my base next to a farm - ended up having to use skirmish tanks to guard against the odd Shredder attack. I rolled down the road, took the spring, built a WLPad, Assembly plant and a couple of turrets - with Rigs from the carefully sheltered group 9! I had organized my forces into 3 to 5 ctrl # groups, after the spring was captured and construction finished -and repelled a counter-attack, I secured the bridge.

Reinforcement were now arriving - eventually I directed them to meet me well inside the town. Using that marvelous ctrl # system I swung my armies into various attack patterns that cleared the enemy out in less than 15 minutes - only had to regroup 2 or 3 times. Very satisfying. As I looked at the stats after the game I saw that he had produced twice as many units as me and had lost three times as many as me. So, figure-wise, I had been quite successful with a smaller force.

P.S. Don't know what makes me think my enemy was a 'he' - probably some inbred genetic sociological imbalance that afflicts males!

A friend of mine made a line of turrets just near the river edge so that as the enemy came over the little ridge there he'd get shot at straight away and gave the enemy would have no range advantages. In my system I used the skirmish tanks to neutralise the odd ranged attack and I felt my turrets chewed them up quicker resulting in less individual damage. I'm glad those turrets have some endurance in a fight.

Also, once I made my first attack the campaign went (overall) very easily by keeping the momentum going - essentially regrouping was only a minute to do and the major one was before crossing the river bridge.

Credits: Peter Kelly

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