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Mission Impossible
(in Turn Based or Sim mode)

Several people (David Brake, Pathless, io Hiss) have reported that Mission 3 of Campaign 2 is impossible to finish in Turn Based or Simultaneous modes.  I have now been able to confirm their reports, based on the following (jump to the bottom if you just want to get the summary and conclusion).   Note: if anyone finds any errors in these calculations, please let me know immediately so I can correct them.

NOTE: Patch 1.31 increased the turns from 25 to 75, but I have received reports that the mission may still be impossible to beat in SIM or TB modes. Please EMail CaptComal@hotmail.com if you beat it in SIM or TB.

1) To win you must build 4 Missile Turrets and 4 Anti-Aircraft Turrets (mistakenly called Towers in the Campaign Briefing) within 8 squares of 100,10 within 25 turns (now 75 turns).

2) Turrets must be built by Engineers.

3) You start with 2 Engineers.

4) Engineers can move 6 grids in a turn (remember a diagonal move counts as 1.5)

5) Engineer#1 starts at grid 26,2

6) Engineer#2 starts at grid 27,2

7) It takes 7 turns to build a Missile Turret

8) It takes 4 turns to build an Anti-Aircraft Turret

9) The nearest required grid square is 95,5 (8 grids from 100,10 with 1.5 grids for each diagonal).

NOTE ON GRIDS:

Each diagonal counts as 1.5 grids. So 8 grids within 100,10 would provide the following grids as the nearest to the Engineer as it moves into the area:

                100,2
            98,3 99,3  
        96,4 97,4      
      95,5          
    94,6            
    94,7            
  93,8              
  93,9              
92,10                

10) In his journey towards the target area, there is one spot that requires him to move up one grid (even though his target is a bit below his starting point). That requires 1.5 movements to get there, and another 1.5 movements to get back on track (sliding along the 2 grid line). That is one extra movement grid required for this.

11) It takes Engineer #2 12 turns to get to the nearest grid. From 27,2 to 95,5 includes 2 diagonal moves adding 1 (plus the extra 1 grid noted in the step above) to the distance of 65 making total travel 67 ... so 11 turns at 6 grids moved per turn will be 1 grid short of the closest grid.

12) Engineer #1 is 1 grid further from the goal so it would take it 12 turns as well (to get to, say, 96,4).

13) Anti-Aircraft Turrets build the fastest ... so if Engineer #2 built 4 of them, one right after another (4 turns to build each one) it would take 16 turns.

14) When the game starts if you IMMEDIATELY click on GOAL, it tells you that you have 24 turns to completion - not 25 as stated in the initial briefing (this is a BUG in itself, and only makes it that much MORE impossible to complete).

15) It would take Engineer #2 (the closest one) 12 turns to walk to the nearest allowed square to build and then 16 turns to build the 4 fastest building turrets ... or 28 turns (yes we are already 4 turns over the 24 turns the mission actually gave us when the mission started).

16) It takes 3 extra turns per turret to build the Missile Turrets, so Engineer#1 could be building them and during the 28 turns the other Engineer is using to build its 4 ... but will only have built 2 and be 2 turns into building the 3rd when the other engineer has completed all 4 Anti-Aircraft Turrets.

17) Engineer#2 could build a Missile Turret after building the 4 Anti-Air Turrets taking 7 more turns (28+7=35) ... thus he would be done in 35 turns.

18) Engineer #1 would be done with Missile Turret#3 just a couple turns before Engineer#2 gets done with Missile Turret#4.

19) Therefore, the least number of turns possible to achieve the goal is 35 turns.   And that assumes that nothing delays, disables or destroys your engineer(s)... and in my first test, one of my Engineers was disabled right away (within a few turns).

20) HOWEVER ... you must have enough MATERIAL and POWER in order to build these 8 turrets, so that will complicate things even further (finding a place for a mine and building it, etc).

21) Picky detail ... when playing the mission, clicking on GOAL tells you how many TURNS you have left to go.  This number is one smaller after each turn (confirming that each turn played reduced the alloted turns by one as well). However, in the mission briefing you are told you have 25 TIME UNITS (not turns), but before you even do anything on the first turn, the GOAL states that you have 24 turns left!

22) Also note: you are not allowed to build an Air Units Plant, so air transports are not possible.

23) Also note: you do start wtih one APC, but an APC is not allowed to carry an Engineer, so it could not be used to speed up the movement.

24) What the heck is a TIME UNIT?  And why do we start with only 24 when the game starts rather than 25 as stated in the initial briefing?

25) If these calculations are true, then this mission was not fully tested or calculated in Simultaneous or Turn Based modes.

SUMMARY

If my calculations above are true, then this summary should be as well. Your goal is to move two engineers 67 squares (includes 1.5 squares for each diagonal required). At 6 squares per turn it would take each Engineer 12 turns to just GET TO THE required location. They then must build 4 Anti-Aircraft Turrets (16 turns) and 4 Missile Turrets (28 turns). That is 44 turns of building for 2 engineers, or at least 22 turns each! So movement time requires 12 turns, and building requires 22 turns. They can't be building while they are moving, so add the two to get the total number of turns AT A MINIMUM of 34 TURNS in theory, but would take 35 TURNS in reality since it is not possible to perfectly split the total building time between the two engineers. And this assumes nothing delays, disables or destroys either of your engineers (in my first test of this mission, after a few turns I found one of my engineers had been disabled). Noting that the game actually starts giving you 24 turns to complete the mission (not 25 as stated in the briefing), it is not only impossible to accomplish ... but it takes at least 11 turns longer if everything is done exactly right!  That is nearly 50% longer than required moving everything perfectly! This could not be done even if all the turrets only took 4 turns each to build!

Conclusion

If the calculations above are true, then this mission, as released, was not fully tested or calculated in either Simultaneous Turns or Turn Based modes.

 


If you find any errors please report them to
CaptComal@hotmail.com so they can be corrected. Thanks.
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