As the release of the game draws closer, I can talk a bit more about what it's like to play the game. This is a battle report of a game that happened recently.
Posted by AlexVostrov on May 25th, 2011
Welcome to the first Infested Planet battle report. This is the story of a random game that I played yesterday. I decided to play at "Master" level, to make things interesting.
I've taken lots of juicy screenshots to illustrate what happened. Click them to zoom in.
This is our randomly generated map. Looks like the random generation gods have gone easy on me today, since the basic strategy for this map seems easy to figure out. My plan is to knock out the bases on top and bottom of me and then steamroll down the middle.
The first question that I have to answer - how am I going to defend my initial base? I have a couple of choices. I can leave a member of my squad, I can construct a defensive turret or I can upgrade my base bunker to shoot at enemies. I don't like the idea of leaving my attack team short on soldiers, so I'm going to build a turret.
With that matter settled, I'm going to head north to destroy the aliens there and plunder their resources. With what I've left, I make a fusion rifleman. It's not much, since I used most of my build points on the turret, but it helps.
As it happens, taking out this hive is pretty easy. There is a crate full of ammo points next to it, so I can toss grenades and then immediately get back the ammo from the crate. The first hive quickly goes down and I get the delicious resources when I capture the point.
It's here that a slight misfortune strikes. The alien hive that I attacked specialised in ranged poison attacks and my team was dead or poisoned when I captured the point.
This gave me some extra resources to play with, so I thought that I'd be clever and upgrade one of the remaining soldiers to a medic. Well, as it happens, the aliens mutated "Virulence" - a mutation that prevents the healing of poisoned soldiers. I noticed this too late and everyone dies.
Thankfully, this is early in the game and I don't have to defend that much territory. My team re-spawns quickly and I'm ready to attack the base below me. I research "Regeneration" to allow my marines to slowly gain back health.
Now, this will require a little bit of finesse. Their base is protected by an infested shield generator. This means that if I just went in with my team from before, they'd barely make a scratch. I'm going to need something to take out that generator - like a sniper.
I don't have enough resources for a sniper though, so I have to tweak things a bit. I sell my defensive turret, since my team can protect that area anyway. I could have sold the "Regeneration" research, but I thought that I would need it up ahead.
With its generator down, the hive goes down in a barrage of grenades and machine gun fire. For my efforts, I get some more build points and the aliens get a nasty mutation - "Mimicry". This one's pretty evil. Every time I kill an enemy hive, it leaves behind mimic eggs. These can hatch into clones of my team, if I let them live. Yikes!
The good news is that the alien base has a resource crate nearby. I'm going to tow it back to base and buy some more hardware. My general plan is to parry the enemy attackers with a turret and then swoop in on the side.
I sell my sniper and buy 3 fusion rifles. These guys are good against crowds, which is something that I'll need up ahead. As I charge down the middle of the map, there's a small barrier.
A proto-hive is sitting in between me and the next point. It's no match for my team and we rip it to shreds with well-aimed fusion bolts. Those proto-hives can be dangerous at a distance since they spawn reinforcements, but they're wimpy up close.
I tweak my team to include a sniper and stomp all over the next hive. It seems that the random generator really liked me, because right to the next hive rest two build point crates. Once I get them, things will be a lot easier and I'll be swimming in cash.
And the hive explodes in a shower of purple!
As a last-minute complication, it leaves behind three mimic eggs. Because of this nasty mutation, I lose my sniper to clone attacks. While he's being brought back to life, I kill the towers guarding the goodie crates and drag them to base.
Pumped up with my new resources, I immediately attack and capture the point below the current one. It's the first of a chain that's soon going to give me lots of trouble. For now, I'm doing pretty well and I use my new resources to secure the area that I've just captured.
I'm going to need more resources to take on the next hive, so I look for things to recycle. I decide that I can hold the advancing horde where I'm standing. I sell all the other defenses that I made and purchase a team of 6 fusion rifles. That's going to pack a punch.
I also invest heavily into technology. I buy tech that allows me to toss more grenades, gives me an extra soldier (up from 5) and disperses damage among the whole team.
As things stand, I really need that last tech. The aliens have evolved "Sharp Spikes" and "Hardpoints". Now their spit towers will do damage right away, instead of just poisoning me. To make it worse, they get the ability to grow structures that deploy more spit towers. The dispersion technology should give me a measure of protection against their attacks.
Having countered their mutations with my technology I descend upon my next objective.
Here's where it gets tricky. I get the point, but the job is only half-done. Its sibling is still pumping out swarms of aliens in my direction. What's worse, I come within the field of fire of an infested siege cannon. This is going to make my life much more difficult.
I decide to make a tactical retreat and to attack from the flank. I'm a bit worried about the aliens growing hardpoints out there.
While I'm occupied with the battle on the western flank, the aliens retake the location I just captured. Looks like I was overconfident in the effectiveness of that lone turret that I plopped down. Worse, I didn't even destroy the hardpoint in this debacle.
I swivel back to the lost point and rush to recapture it.
Fortunately, my veteran team quickly cuts through the newly built hive. If I had waited longer, then it would have regrown its defenses and I'd be in some trouble. I finally face the fact that I'll have to deal with the hive that's two steps away and that infernal siege cannon. I focus my efforts on cracking those defenses.
My new plan works perfectly and I make a turret to celebrate. The question now is whether I want to head north or south. Still smarting from my retreat from the western flank, I decide to finish what I started.
Since I have more build points to play with, I upgrade one of my guys to a flamethrower. They can be deadly up close and I'm going to need their fire to get through the shell of the hardpoint.
Over the next couple of minutes I spar with the aliens. They try to sneak past my defenses to my unprotected bases, but I kill them with my team. I rack up another small success and kill the hardpoint that's been blighting the western flank.
While all of this is going on, the aliens punch trough my eastern frontier and take back my point. I have to turn around and push them back into their slimy hole.
Clearly, my current approach isn't going to work. I'm nervous about the western flank, so I'd like to make a push from that direction. Still, it's obvious that I can't leave the east to fend for itself. I could leave some soldiers there to prop up the defenses, but I dislike weakening my team.
I decide to sell my two flamethrowers and to buy the "AP Grenade" technology. This gives all advanced units and turrets free grenades to toss at the enemy. I still have to use ammo to kill buildings with grenades, but I'll have less trouble with crowds. At this point I've researched all but one of the available technologies. I'm the science king!
Now that my turrets can handle themselves a bit better, I charge down to the southern hive.
Using a team of 6 fusion rifles, I smash their defenses, though at a heavy price.
My entire team is completely poisoned. Their health dripping down, I know that I only have a few seconds before they all die. I decide to dive in for the point that I'm attacking. I might have saved the team by retreating, especially since I have that regeneration tech, but I choose not to.
The advantage of pushing forward is that I can get the resources from capture, even if I lose the point afterwards.
My team is dead. The site of their demise is marked with 6 mimic eggs. This is the effect of a previous mutation - "Necrophage". Thankfully, my dispersal tech meant that they all died at the same instant. Otherwise, it would have been a ton of trouble to fight mimics as each soldier died.
While my team respawns, the aliens send a strike team through a crack in my defenses. I manage to catch them when I get my soldiers back. and disaster is averted.
At this point, I have to decide on my next plan of attack and I choose to finish off the hive in the north. I was a bit reluctant to go so far from my main defenses, but there are compelling reasons for the attack. The main argument is that I'd be fighting one hive up there versus two in the south. I could kill it, consolidate my defensive perimiter and win the game.
Before I do that, I need to make sure that nobody's going to sneak through again. I can't afford to split my team to fight infiltrators again. I decide to firm up my defenses in the west. Thus begins a comical and almost tragic misadventure.
The first thing that I do is reposition the old turret to cover the bottleneck better. Nobody's going to creep past this time.
Then I get the brilliant idea to put a minefield in the path of the advancing horde. This will make sure that nothing can pass through that area. I foolishly decide to send one marine on a suicide run to build the minefield. Thinking that I'm just going to run in and out, I forget about the mimic eggs that were left over from my previous death.
You can guess what happens - the mimics hatch and copy the form of my fusion rifleman. I'm in a pretty bad spot right now. If things get worse, the mimics could blow though my defenses and undo all my work. On top of that. I could also lose my entire team. Even though it's only one soldier getting attacked, his health is linked to the rest of my team through the dispersal technology that I've been using.
I run for my life with the mimics after me.
Thankfully, the turret that I had up north shreds the mimics to bits. As it happens, fusion rifles are iffy against small, single targets like a turret. Also, my turret can regenerate health and shoot grenades due to my technology. So in the end, I probably did myself a favour. Those mimic eggs were going to be trouble later, and taking them out was a good idea.
I decide to build the minefield much closer up and resume my original plan to capture the northern hive.
Things work out perfectly. I pounce on the northern point, get its resources, and run back to destroy the two remaining points in the south. The aliens give me a bit of trouble, but it's nothing that retreating and healing up can't solve. At this point I've gathered so much resources that I'm unstoppable.
I punch through the last two points, ignoring the other side's feeble attempts to mutate their way out of the box that they're in.
Victory! I managed to defeat my slimy opposition in 17 minutes. 16,596 bullets were fired in the production of this battle report and 34,156 aliens were blown to purple bits. Their spokesperson couldn't be reached for comment.
I hope that you liked this report. I want to do a couple more before the release of the trailer. Things would have gone very differently if the map that was generated was more sprawling in nature. Also, I didn't even use the majority of my weapons, due to the mutations that were thrown at me.
I hope that you check out the next report when I post it.