Since I previously didn't do so well on Estann All (which is another mission where wrecks are resurrected as zombies), I dreaded to think what this mission would be like. Turns out it wasn't as bad as I had feared, since the Ultimatums could easily overkill most enemies (2 Ultimatums can kill a Dante in a single volley), since I had decided to supplement the Ultimatums with equally hard-hitting Phantoms, and since my ally, which I had feared would do more harm than good by needlessly-sacrificing units to the zombie horde, actually helped out immensely by not only expanding our economy, but also providing support with heavier units like Grizzlies and Lances, which not only hit hard, but are difficult enough to kill that either they stay a safe distance away, or, in the event they're badly damaged, they're durable enough where they have a much better chance of successfully returning for repairs.
Sadly, the Ultimatums demanded a high level of micromanagement, since they tend to kill themselves when bunched up. Near the end, when my Ultimatums chain-exploded while trying to destroy the Desolator wrecks, and with the 15-minute timer almost running out, I opted to skip out on claiming 4 Geothermal Generators, and rush my commander, whom had shields and cloak to help survive the trip, to the Artifact to end the mission.
Because the enemy launches such massive attacks on you from early in the game (including sending a Dante in the 1st or 2nd wave), I've decided that the best form of defense is to terraform a ditch that can't be crossed easily by most enemy land units, and use mostly Funnelwebs and Scorpions to deal with any enemies that do manage to cross (which would usually be weak spiders and jumpjet-capable units that usually can't deal with striders well). Meanwhile, Badgers and Firewalkers would create extra layers of defense that would pick off any weak units trying to cross, including cloaked units like Scythes. As for covering air attacks, while I'm confident in the Funnelwebs' ability to weather aerial assaults, I had thought that a single Artemis near this defensive line would've been sufficient to really keep them at bay, but I was wrong. Finally, in order to improve my units' survivability, I opted to try to create a line of Aegis shield generators and Cornea area cloakers.
1st problem that I encountered with my plan is that, without lesser anti-air structures like Razors, Threshers, or Chainsaws to quickly pick off weaker flyers like Pigeons and drones, the Artemis tended to waste its stockpile of missiles, which meant that it could find itself without any missiles to shoot.
2nd problem that I had was that I was caught off-guard when the enemy sent Nebula motherships towards my base by hugging the north side. (Note that they might instead hug the south side.) Since the Nebula was such a formidable unit, and since 3 of them were attacking the northern side of my base, and threatening one of my Singularity Reactors, I had to pull all my striders back to shoot them down, which left my defensive line open to an enemy push that destroyed the Artemis that I had built there, plus several Aegises and Corneas. (This surprise attack also costed me one of the bonus objectives where I needed to hold onto at least 12 mexes from 10 minutes to the end of the mission.) Thankfully, my Funnelwebs and Scorpions were able to push the enemy back to the other side.
During the mission, I had encountered a White Dragon (which my Scorpions took care of without a problem), which made me wonder if I'll have to fight the Chicken Queen herself. SPOILERS: Yes indeed. Near the end of the mission with only a couple minutes left, I had to throw everything I had at the Chicken Queen to hopefully fend her off long enough for me to win. (I ended up taking her down instead, albeit at the cost of most of my striders.)
Other enemies that I encountered during this mission included Merlins, Scorpions, and even Paladins, though thankfully, I was well-equipped to deal with them without any problems (though I lacked any means to take out the Merlins from afar, though my Funnelwebs' shields could weather their assaults fine).
As for the buildings that were introduced, I didn't feel any need to build Desolators or Lucifers, since I had more faith in my Funnelwebs and Scorpions (especially when they're hidden by Corneas), and besides, I couldn't afford to risk building any Lucifers near the front line due to the bonus objective requiring me to not lose any (which I don't think is as exciting a bonus objective as, say, defeating the Chicken Queen). Meanwhile, my 2 starting Singularity Reactors meant that I could focus on building up my defenses, and save building additional reactors for later. In fact, I only started building the additional reactors late in the mission, and barely managed to finish the final reactor before the mission ended.
Overall, that was quite a fun survival mission. Sure, I cheaply erected a ditch to keep most enemies at bay, but still, I found it challenging.
+0 / -0