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  #61  
Old 04-05-2018, 05:22 PM
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Hey yeah we won good for us!



And the mission pays us the grid power we need to keep afloat.



Nice. Hopefully I can get Chen a good alternate weapon before long.



We have no choice but to accept this mission, since the other two feature "kill 7 enemies" missions, which isn't happening.



Let's see what we can do.



Thank you for this correct statement.



Okay, this isn't great. Already we're forced to sacrifice a structure. Maybe I should've parked the Mirror Mech further back a bit during placement.



At least we can protect the objective reliably!



By the way: basically any mission with an objective of less than 3 grid damage is a gimmie. If you fail one of those missions, you were probably going to fail an equivalent mission elsewhere.



Next turn, we start REALLY getting into the Frozen Titans' weird-ass synergy. The Mirror Mech both pushes the Firefly away from the Solar Farm AND frees Chen with one attack.



In turn, Chen freezes it shortly after, while parked right onto a Vek spawn. And when spawns are blocked, they deal the unit atop the spawn 1 damage, right?



Normally, yes.



But in this case, the Ice Mech just instantly breaks free with no penalty to itself! If you can get the Ice Mech over to where the Vek spawns are, it becomes incredibly powerful.



At this point the mission lapses into a much safer sense of things, as evidenced by my lack of screenshots.



If you want to freeze the Ice Mech but have no better priorities for things to freeze, try hitting structures. For them, it's functionally a layer of shielding.



One of the harder achievements for the Frozen Titans is Trick Shot, requiring you to kill three enemies with a single use of the Janus Cannon. It's tricky, but not impossible, and I'm sure you can see how it might happen.



THIS IS UNNECESSARY



I realized I prioritized the little buildings shouting and cheering over the giant MISSION COMPLETE banner. I like the little guys more.



Not perfect, but we're picking up momentum.



Always do terraformer missions.



HELLO FRIENDOS



ALPHA HORNET

FIRE A STINGER AHEAD OF YOU TO VANQUISH ROBOTIC FOES!



Anyway, business as usual. And we have seen Earth Movers, they SUCK compared to terraformers.



Aegis Mech is pretty nice sometimes.



That'll buy the terraformer a bit of defense up until we terraform that side.
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  #62  
Old 04-05-2018, 05:23 PM
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Maps like these, where only a small portion of the map has structures to look out for, are great for the Mirror Mech.



I like to terraformer



And let's take it home.



You can also freeze allied mechs to improve their spawn-blocking capabilities!



Two Leapers and a Hornet are all that remain. Sure, all right.



We don't even have to worry about saving Chen since the self-freeze also works as an excellent defense against single Vek.



CLONG.



Cool, what's up next?



There's our first no casualties mission, here's to many more.



This mission looks normal on the surface, but in all honesty it's one of the meaner ones. The key is in the description.



Also I severely misdeployed my Mirror Mech again. WHOOPS.



Well, forget about that for now. Why are these unremarkable missions so remarkable?



That's why. Instead of normal spawns, Hornet class Vek will just fly in from the pit each round, although none of them will act.



The smart place to deploy the Mirror Mech would've been right here, where it could do crazy combo nonsense with the Ice Mech. As is, it can only move there.



Oh well!



THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED



Next turn brings more Hornets, because aside from the initial spawns that is all you have to deal with. Squads that have high per-target damage and mobility can handle these missions better than most. Frozen Titans aren't too bad either if you're a bit more clever than I am, the Ice Mech can drop them right back into the pit with the Cryo-Launcher.



The nice thing about Frozen Titans is that you will naturally accumulate a group of frozen enemies in play as time goes on, forming natural barriers or bait for the Vek. The downside is that this can and will constrict movement for your mechs, who can't go through enemy spaces even if they're frozen.



This would've gone so much better had I not been a fool with that initial Mirror Mech placement!



BLEEEP BLEP BLEP BLEP.



This is a mission where, looking back at it, I can see exactly how I could've made it easier. At least now I know!



Anyway let's move on.



All missions complete, at least.



This seems familiar somehow.



Big bad boss time!
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  #63  
Old 04-05-2018, 05:25 PM
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The core goes to the Mirror Mech to help solve my own bad play.



Anyway, Hornet Leader. We saw them briefly at the Volcanic Hive.



Let's have another shot.



OKAY, DAD.



I can solve a lot of the problems on this first turn via bodyblocking, but basically any time I have a clean shot with the Mirror Mech on the leader, I'm taking it.



Their attack has a lot of potential for damage, but it's also very easily disrupted on this map by the Aegis Mech.



And with the Ice Mech here, we're in very good shape for next round.



Perfect, we can drop the big one this turn.



This is an instance where I'd really like to fire adjacent, but the Cryo-Launcher is artillery, so it can't.



UGH FINE.



No way around it, something's taking a hit this round. The smarter thing to do would've been to smack the Firefly away so it dealt less damage, but I wanted to secure a kill with the Blood Psion out.



Can you really blame me?



At least I can block the last spawn.



OW.



So of course the next turn Chen can solve everything in one move.



Woo yay



It's harder than it looks to get a boss kill with the Frozen Titans, especially if their opening attack is dangerous enough that you have to freeze them.



Myra picks up a skill.



And we have our perfect island reward choice.

The gear is Kickoff Boosters, a passive that awards mechs extra move if they start their turns near one another. I can see some squads using this one, but I never really try it out and I don't think the Frozen Titans are the right squad for it.

Plus, the pilot here, Prospero, is excellent for the Frozen Titans. Their trait allows them to turn any mech they pilot into a flying mech. There's just one catch...



All of the robotic pilots require some reactor power to use their personal trait. As such, they're usually considerably more powerful than the other pilots' traits. Still, this will solve the problem of frozen Vek buildup for the Mirror Mech, at least.



Some neat gear here. On sale we have the Shield Tank, which generates a shield next to it. Having a tank for the Ice Mech would be nice, but they require a lot of reactor cores to run, more than I'm comfortable with this early. Shame, I'd take it otherwise.

Already seen the Self-Destruct, so we'll skip that and move onto the Def. Shrapnel. This is a cheap, unupgradeable Brute-class weapon that fires a non-damaging projectile. This projectile pushes everything around the target. It's a weird weapon, but not a bad choice for us given the Janus Cannon's awkwardness. We take it.

Next to that are the Boosters, a universal weapon that lets the mech launch itself like an artillery shot, pushing anything adjacent to wherever it lands. They're nice, I guess, but now that we have Prospero this team isn't so hard up for mobility that we'd get this.



Equipping stuff.



Myra picks up the shield generator for the Spartan Shield, which should let her take some stray Janus Cannon shots.



Prospero, meanwhile, gets a bit of extra move.

Prospero was originally designed as a reforestation AI, which leads them to consider most battlefields like a nature preserve. They're pretty cool.

Anyway we'll see what island we hit next time, I guess!
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  #64  
Old 04-07-2018, 09:39 AM
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I'm sorry, guys, but Detritus keeps having good enemy selections! The Burrowers were awful for the Flame Behemoths, but are one of the better enemies for the Frozen Titans to face. The only unit that would care about their Stable feature is the Mirror Mech, which usually doesn't want to push whatever it's shooting anyway! And if we freeze it, that removes it from play for potentially the whole map in one shot, which you can't often say of Burrowers.

On top of that, the Mirror Mech is very strong against the boss and the Shell Psion will find its boost negated more often than not by A.C.I.D.



Hi again!



Right into it with this mission. I think I had a chance to do this with the Flame Behemoths, but didn't take it.



For this mission, we have an A.C.I.D. Tank. They fire a projectile that applies A.C.I.D. to whatever it hits, and now we have the firepower to actually capitalize on that.



Like so. This mission is a little easier than it looks at first, since anything that dies while affected by A.C.I.D. leaves a pool where they were.



Can you tell the positioning mistake I have made here?



No mistake made! Haha punks. I'd like to have that Shell Psion killed first, but this isn't too bad.



Once the Aegis Mech gets its shield upgrade, it becomes a lot more useful for the Mirror Mech in a lot of ways. Bodyblocking with mechs is always somewhat viable, but it can take it to ridiculous lengths.



Burrowers can't be moved, remember?



IM THE MITIGATOR



Honestly the whole nuance with the Mirror Mech is just finding good angles to shoot from. We're not really using it to full effectiveness here, but it's doing a fine enough job for what we're facing.



Between that and the Aegis Mech smashing that Firefly into the pavement, the mission is complete!



Woooo



Right, what to spend this reactor core on...



This'll work for now. Gonna work up towards +1 damage.



Moving right along with a more moderate mission.



Right, here we go.



Let's see what we've got.



Sure, whatever.



Frozen Titans are hard to work with, but sometimes the situation just lines right up.



Hi, Prospero, welcome to level 2!



The real trick with the Frozen Titans is getting around their mobility restrictions, which means any enemies that can further throw a wrench in that are a big problem.



This is why Prospero's so good for them. Ordinarily, we'd be stuck with that Shell Psion up there and no good way to deal with it, but he can just float on over and fix it instantly, using the Aegis Mech as a pinball bumper.



Man, I know you're a generic pilot, but can you be a bit less generic?
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  #65  
Old 04-07-2018, 09:41 AM
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Not a lot to say here, we've got the dudes on a pretty decisive lockdown.



Got it done!



You will always get "fleeing" messages whenever the mission ends with any living Vek, even if they're frozen. Weird.



Oh, hello!

Gana's another robopilot, as you can see. They're an odd duck in mentality and mechanics, and one of the more situational pilots, but not bad.



Yaaaaay



The Janus Cannon has a pretty cheap damage boosting upgrade, largely because that can be an active detriment should your shots not be checked.



We haven't done a conveyor belt mission yet, have we?



Here's Gana's Preemptive Strike at work. Deploying anywhere is nice, but what's even nicer is the free 1 damage splash attack. On some maps, that can win the mission before it happens.



WHAM.



Weapons-grade gardening!



Chip damage might not seem like a lot at first glance, but if it wasn't for Gana's Preemptive Strike, this Burrower would survive this turn.



This feels more efficient than freezing the guy outright since it'll leave Chen freed up for a turn.



Gana's personality is hard to nail down accurately, but try to imagine a former hardass military commander forced into construction work. Gana treats all of its components as recruits.



The conveyor isn't factoring into this mission a lot so far, but give it time.



Reviewing this, I can see a slightly different solution: have Gana smack the Leaper, freeze the Scarab, and then just break Chen out with the Mirror Mech. Done right, I could even have him block a spawn via Sidestep afterwards. But this way, we can avoid the self-damage from the spawn block.



I love it when these things line up like this.



Keep it coming, buddy!



I don't like these guys as much as the Flame Behemoths, but they're pretty rad anyway!



Nailed it!



Right, what's up next...



Hey, now that's a conveyor mission.



Even without factoring in Preemptive Strike, mechs cannot deploy onto anything but a blank space, so it's hard to find somewhere to deploy Gana to. None of the viable options damage Vek, so we'll settle for F4. You'll see why in a second.



The conveyors are sure gonna help us out right now. Gana might be pinned, but one attack is negated and the Shell Psion will block a spawn for us.



Nothing to it.



Honestly, a lot of the game is won on those first turns. It's hard to see how they play out so far in advance, and I'm not good at it by any means, but it's pretty important.
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  #66  
Old 04-07-2018, 09:43 AM
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Don't be such a stick in the mud.



Anything that can apply shields every turn is really powerful, and the Spartan Shield is no exception.



This mission just went by in the blink of an eye. Between the spawn blocking and the conveyors throwing off the Vek aim like so, it barely happened.



Nothing to it.



Let's see, does that make mission #4?



Yes it does.



Finding Gana on the very island we encounter the Spider Leader is incredibly beneficial.



We can now dedicate all of our forces towards pummeling the boss in.



AND they're jumping into the A.C.I.D. for us. Come ON, this is too easy!



Turn 1 boss kills on the Frozen Titans are not a common thing.



And of course, we can just freeze the Burrower.



Ah, what do they call that again, pride goeth before a fall? Because that web is EXTREMELY inconvenient.



Well, guess that's what I get for focusing down the boss at the expense of the spawns.



Honestly though, killing the boss early is what I'd do in that situation again anyway!



With that wave handled, though, that's about the only major risk we'll likely see this mission.



Freeze all structures, especially if you can do so from atop a spawn.



Our last turn isn't too scary at all.



Sure, okay.



Anyway that's Detritus down!



That last hit was unfortunate, but we still came out of this island much more nicely than we did R.S.T. so I'll take it.



Isaac's a considerable pilot choice with their +1 reactor, but I'd much rather have that mean-lookin' Prime Spear. I'll give it a rundown in a bit.



Aside from the on-sale Flame Thrower, all of these weapons are new. We'll start with the Grappling Hook, a non-damaging Brute-class weapon that is found on Blitzkrieg's Hook Mech. It pulls units to the mech, or the mech to terrain features, and can shield allies with its upgrade. It's nice, but not something I'd go out of my way for, especially with the Def. Shrapnel already onboard.

Next to that is the Titan Fist, found on the Rift Walkers' Prime-class Combat Mech. It's a straightforward 2 damage and push attack, although it can be upgraded with a Dash Punch that lets them attack like a Beetle. Some mechs want it, but we don't.

The other doodad is a Heat Converter, a curious once-per-mission weapon that freezes and ignites the tiles on either side of a mech. It's a novel enough toy that I pick it up for Chen's Ice Mech, since it'll be nice to have them with a method of disruption that doesn't likely eat up their turn.



Anyway, the Prime Spear is a pretty rad weapon. It functions like a Flame Thrower with +1 range built in, except that it deals 2 damage instead of igniting. It can be further upgraded for a range boost or to apply A.C.I.D. to the furthest enemy hit.



The only upgrade for the Heat Converter is an extra use, and we'll get that eventually. For now, though, I'm mostly just giving myself a reason to give the Ice Mech cores; if we find a nice Ranged weapon that'll let them attack directly, we'll replace the Heat Converter. Hell, if we get a really nice cross-class weapon I may throw that on anyway, I once replaced the Cryo-Launcher with a Rocket Fist and just called it Punch Mech.
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  #67  
Old 04-09-2018, 12:41 PM
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It's not very common that two islands will have the same second-tier enemy available to them, but it does occasionally happen, and who am I to say no to a second bout with Burrowers and the Frozen Titans?



Guess that means Archive is last again, but that happens sometimes. I know some people consider the islands ordered in difficulty, but I don't.



Anyway let's start off with one of the most disliked Pinnacle missions. Remember the Hornet spam one at R.S.T.?



Well, this one's another in that vein. In exchange for reduced Vek spawns, the robot factories will deploy inactive robots each turn, so you have to fight against two factions (with the same goal).



Still, even with the time pod, this shouldn't be too bad. Prospero can theoretically down four enemies in one attack, remember.



But we'll see.



Yeah, this one spawned right next to the Alpha Scarab. As you can see, it's not currently powered, so like Vek spawns, it takes a turn to become an active threat.



At the very least, I think I want this done, but the Soldier Psion isn't a huge immediate threat while everything else kind of is.



Unfortunately, the Beetle would still be a threat even if I followed through to the second part of that plan, so here's my fixing scenario.



Prospero shoves the Scarab and Beetle out of the way and Gana flips the Beetle, leaving just one threat for Chen to handle.



And as it happens, this is a threat that gives us an excellent chance to demonstrate the Heat Converter.



It might not look like much considering we've been playing with the two squads who can easily freeze and ignite tiles, but the Heat Converter doing both at once without consuming the mech's ability to do things is pretty dang nice, especially when the positioning is juuuust right as seen here.



I've heard people say that freezing the robot factories can disable them, but that's not been my experience with them, and the missions are not so hard that this would be a mandatory strategy even if it worked.



We're only just into using the Prime Spear and Heat Converter and already they're working excellently.



See? No need to fret over collateral damage when the buildings have an icy shell.



I couldn't think of anything for Chen to do, since the Heat Converter has limited charges and I don't want to burn them all out before the mission's really gotten started.



Oh dear, that Burrower is in a very hairy spot. We're still doing this for sure, but we might have to get Clever about them.



Or just freeze them, that's good too.



And the last turn is saved from disaster by virtue of the Firefly attacking Prospero. Nice move speed you got there loser.



Most Vek will not queue up attacks that could be interrupted by later Vek, although Beetles and some of the spawning enemies can do so.



Hello friends I am here.



WHATS THE BEST THING YOU GOT



Nice. Couldn't have asked for a better pilot (aside from Bethany, who is cheating).



Henry Kwan's innate Maneuverable trait is like a cheaper version of Prospero's Flying. He can't function over water or chasms, but he can pass through enemy spaces harmlessly, which is basically the entire reason we wanted Prospero on the team anyway. Between the two of them and the innate flight of the mech, we can now happily bypass any Vek on the board, frozen or otherwise. Also: the core that went towards Gana's Preemptive Strike can instead be used for the A.C.I.D. Tip of the Prime Spear, letting Henry shift between offense and defense with style.
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  #68  
Old 04-09-2018, 12:43 PM
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Chen gets a second shot of the Heat Converter, because Pinnacle is one of the best islands to use that on and the Ice Mech doesn't have much else to use cores on.



Save the little guys again!



This is gonna be a pretty harsh start though.



Henry's expression says everything you need to know about his personality. He's a hotshot pilot who laughs in the face of danger and can't pass up an opportunity to show off.



Anyway let's get that new reactor core and hope for a neat prize.



We start off by mitigating a full set of four attacks, but that fifth one will be tricky since I don't know if the Beetle's attack destroys the pod if it passes over.



Rather than chance losing the objective that way, I have Henry stand between the two. Don't worry, the attack order will protect him from the worst of it.



Nothing to it.



And all three mechs are operable for next round.



I think we came out of that round okay, all considered. If my assumption about the pod was wrong, though, then Henry lost his shield and health for nothing.



And the cryo-mines are already doing work.



Let's test out that A.C.I.D. Tip feature, how about?



Brutal. The days of the Frozen Titans not having a guaranteed shot at island leaders are over.



I do, however, wish to point out that freezing a pool of A.C.I.D. will render it inert. Everyone can walk over it and experience no misfortune.



We're wasting the cold effect of the Heat Converter here, but the flame effect is going to instakill that enemy through a block of ice.



SUNKEN AND DUNKEN



Most squads would've had a tough time of this mission with the first turn, but the ability to handily mitigate multiple threats at range put the Frozen Titans in a very good spot.



GOOD TURN



Right, one enemy spawning and they're on fire. How do we deal with such a dangerous opponent.



It's a Burrower! We do not have to do literally anything whatsoever.



But I WANTED TO.



Henry showed up at the right time to accurately showboat.



Whoops forgot the results screen. I think you can infer from context, though.



Getting Chen the last upgrade his Ice Mech will ever need, unless I find a really good replacement for the Heat Converter.



Prospero's getting a bit for progress towards that next damage boost for the Janus Cannon.
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  #69  
Old 04-09-2018, 12:44 PM
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And now for a mission where we legitimately can fight these robots, rather than leaving them alive.



Mech-class robots are the equivalent of Alpha Vek, and as you can see they pack some seriously deadly weaponry.



Even the normal bots have some scary weaponry. Of course, none of this actually matters because of their paltry health, but still.



Bring it, beepy quest.



Starting off by applying A.C.I.D. to the Burrower. It doesn't go away when it goes underground, so that'll make the next attack a guaranteed kill unless it's push damage.



Splat these two with one shot...



And this is a bit wasteful again, but do note that the cold effect will extinguish the flames on the forest tile.



Like so.



Okay, that's a bit annoying.



Still, Henry can finish off the Burrower with the Spartan Shield no problem, and Prospero can down the bot.



And Chen gets a really nice shot with the Cryo-Launcher.



Doink.



Look, don't blame me, the Ice Mech is always good at blocking spawns.



See?



You say that like it's a problem.



IF I WERE A BAD DEMOMAN



Now I'm just being silly.



Keep it coming, buddies.



Still not at full grid power from those earlier missions, but eh.



This is one of the nicer gimmicky spawn missions. No new enemies will spawn into the map; instead, all existing spawns are in place already, just frozen. The enemies will break out over time.



This means that rather that blocking spawns to cut off reinforcements, you can break them out early and attack them. The Flame Behemoths are very good at this, but the Frozen Titans aren't bad.



This is also a map that heavily favors Henry and Prospero as pilots, as they can get into spaces like this for maximum damage.



Prospero could free two Alpha Burrowers in one turn, but somehow that strikes me as a bad idea.



Not a great second turn. I can still handle it, but it's awkward.



Okay but Prospero is a robopilot.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:46 PM
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Curious that you didn't mention having two thumbs. Very curious.



Enemies continue to break free, but we're doing fine.



Both Burrowers lined up in such a way as to make this a really easy turn.



And that's not even taking this half of the map into account.



Sometimes the Heat Converter can be inefficient, but that's okay when you have two charges of it and your other gun is also a sometimes food.



I enjoy to A.C.I.D.



Okay, NOW I am just being silly.



But yeah Pinnacle is good to the Frozen Titans. There's maybe one mission there that doesn't treat them kindly, and even there it's pretty safe to take on anyway.



Zenith is never happy about the loss of machines on their missions, but functionally the only thing differentiating them from the Vek is the lack of ability to use Psion boosts and the frequent interconnectivity with missions.



Sure, Prospero can have 7 health, that's fine.



Right, let's do this.



Earlier, with only the Spartan Shield and Janus Cannon as our attacks, the Firefly Leader would've been hell to face. Now? Psh.



COME GET SOME



WHAT HE SAID



Right, let's see what we can do for this first turn.



Always A.C.I.D. the boss.



Chen dunks the scorpion with the Heat Converter, leaving Prospero free to go cover a spawn.



We do not have to worry about attacks for this first round.



The Firefly Leader is VERY good for teamkilling.



I'm really liking this combo.



He really is.



There we go. Maybe on a later turn we can Heat Converter it.



Next turn also proves very harmless.



I just leave Henry there, because why the hell not, the dude is invincible.



What else you got.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:48 PM
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This will kill the scorpion, not that I really need to.



You're not the only pro here, buddy.



Don't let anybody tell you the Frozen Titans are a bad squad.



Anyway what's this I heard about a perfect island reward?



Oh right, that first, very good.



Oh dear, that's a tempting choice. Not Abe, screw him, but the Pull Tank. It does what it says on the box: the tank can pull its target one space using a Brute style projectile. The only problem is that I like most of the equipment I already have on my mechs, so I don't know if I can find space for it.



And if anyone's getting it, it's not Prospero, because the shop is packed with lots of fun toys for Brute-class mechs. The Phase Cannon is one such example, being a projectile that ignores the usual limitation of Brute shots by passing harmlessly through structures. It can even be upgraded to shield them as it goes! Super cool, and definitely a consideration.

Next to that is the Taurus Cannon, found on the Rift Walkers' Cannon Mech. It's basically a single-direction version of the Janus Cannon. If it wasn't right next to the Phase Cannon I'd consider it, but it is.

The on-sale weapon is the Heavy Rocket, which I've discussed before during the Flame Behemoths run. That's also a very good contender for the Mirror Mech, since the Janus Cannon is almost always viable with Prospero at the helm, so a limited-use sidearm complements it nicely.

Following that is Repulse, a Science-class weapon found on the Pulse Mech of the Rusting Hulks. The basic usage of this is to push everything around the mech without damaging it, which is nice, but it can also be upgraded to shield itself and/or friendly targets on use. It's a very nice weapon that none of our mechs is the right class for, which is a shame. I could maybe see a case for Chen getting it to replace the Cryo-Launcher, but that would be very silly.



In the end, I go for the Heavy Rocket, since I figure this team has enough defense as is with the Ice Mech's tools.



The Spartan Shield can't get much higher damage compared to many other Prime-class weapons, but this makes the combo we already have even better, and means we can two-shot most enemies without needing the A.C.I.D. if necessary.



I also fully kit out the Heavy Rocket, so one shot of this will almost certainly kill anything it hits. We're looking good going into Archive.
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  #72  
Old 04-11-2018, 10:01 AM
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One skill that becomes very important for people playing the game in ways I'm not is to look at the islands left to you, and based on what you see, decide if it's worth risking the run for the extra points rather than just taking it all to the Volcanic Hive immediately. The Frozen Titans, when faced with an enemy set like this, with a Blast Psion and that particular leader, should not take this island on.



OH WELL TIME FOR THE CIRCUS OF FAILURE



Let's start this one off really painfully.



Centipedes we're already familiar with. The Frozen Titans can work with them a bit more than the Flame Behemoths can, but not by much.



Oh good another objective.



So this is a fine start. All four of the attacks here are lethal, and there's not a really good way to handle most of them. The Centipede in front of the train is the lynchpin holding the entire mess together: we HAVE to either kill them in one turn or move them out of the way, which means either Prospero Heavy Rockets them or Henry shoves them away with the Prime Spear. Neither of these is a good option.



In the end, I elect to use the Prime Spear.



Oh yeah, and we can't instakill any of the dudes near the train because of the Blast Psion.



Which means this is the best solution I could think of. Is it a good solution? No.



At the very least, the grid defense decided to play nice for us.



Next turn is almost as hairy.



YOU DO NOT LIVE.



Thankfully, the existing damage and A.C.I.D. makes outright killing them a much more viable option.



Chen could've used the Cryo-Launcher to block the spawn below, but I'd prefer lighting one of the existing spawns on fire in the process.



It turns out to be overkill anyway.



There we go. We recovered from that one better than I expected to.



Maaaaybe I shouldn't have jumped right for the hard train mission.



(The reason I did is because the other mission only had one objective, which I consider to be a bad idea.)



Oh boy, Auto-Shields. Sure can't wait to sell this off.



Working up to that second damage boost for the Janus Cannon.



Maybe this mission will go better?



Oh good, a Blobber. Blobbers we saw for a little while in the Volcanic Hive, but now we have a whole island where we can see how awful they are for the Frozen Titans in particular.



Anyway the mission premise is simple: protect the tanks. Functionally, they're unupgraded Light Tanks, which you can get for your mechs.



But there is, as you might guess from a mission where you get five units, a catch. For the first two turns, they will be unpowered, so they cannot take any actions. We have to protect them until they are ready.
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  #73  
Old 04-11-2018, 10:03 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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As before, there is just one attack too many for us to realistically handle.



Still, a double kill with a Heavy Rocket is a good start, especially if one of those kills is the Blobber.



This should keep the Scorpion harmless for future turns.



And we finish it off with a Heat Converter. DO YOUR WORST, SCARAB.



What.



I'll take it, but that's a hell of a fluke.



Yes, please line up right in front of Henry.



The other two attacks will be tougher to handle, but doable.



Strictly speaking, I don't need to Heavy Rocket this guy. BUT I WANT TO.



This turn's looking pretty safe, at least.



By turn 3, the tanks are online and able to assist.



Their cannons aren't very strong, but the push effect is much welcomed for the Frozen Titans, who lack much in the way of moving enemies.



We'll start by doing this.



Largely because I wanted the extra chip damage from breaking the Centipede out. They were dead either way.



Heat Converter is pretty good.



When Henry blocks the spawn with his shield, it goes down and he catches fire from the tile, but that fire won't damage him until we take our next action. Fire is very much in favor of the mechs even without playing Flame Behemoths.



The little guys can get a kill of their own at the end of the mission, too!



We should have taken grid damage this mission, but I'll be happy with our results anyway!



We really couldn't have.



Ah, landmine missions. Always a breather.



These work much like the cryo-mines we've seen on Pinnacle, with one minor tweak.



That tweak is that they are instantly lethal to anyone dumb enough to step on them. Contrary to many mission types, the first turn of these missions is usually the easiest.



Look at that. Two enemies down on turn 0.



Not saying its perfect, we have to spare the Blobber this turn, but still.



Anyway, that'll handle that guy.
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  #74  
Old 04-11-2018, 10:04 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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I go for the Spartan Shield rather than the Prime Spear on this Scorpion.



Gotta get dem spawnblocks.



STAND AND FIGHT, THOU KNAVE



Landmine missions are fun.



Cleaning house, NBD...



But then I notice the damaged mountain with the FTL beacon inside. And here I am with only two guys able to damage mountains. Oh well, we'll handle it next turn.



Whatever you say, man.



We can handle them this turn, at least. Don't have to go get the beacon just yet.



That guy we can hit with the Heat Converter for sure.



And the Spartan Shield fixes the other problem.



Next turn, though, we have an actual problem. We can just walk away without ever activating the beacon, and we won't suffer in our objective count this way (and are thus eligible for the perfect island reward). The real question here is whether I think we can get a better pilot than Chen for the Ice Mech, since Prospero and Henry are already basically perfect for what we're doing.



Again, we could just go up there, Heavy Rocket the remaining Hornet, and call it good.



And that number is a very big number.



But damn it all, there IS a possible pilot who would be better, so I have to take the shot.



We'll just call this a do-over on one of those earlier fluke grid defense rolls.



I'm a hero, I swear.



Sorry Chen, your C.O. is a douche!



Anyway spawning the pod on the final turn doesn't mean it's ineligible for claiming, so if you are under pressure to do so later in play, go right ahead.



And my effort was slightly wasted, as Ariadne, while certainly a fun pilot, isn't what I was looking for. The fire immunity would play nice with the Heat Converter, but her skillset isn't good enough to replace Chen.



We still got a core out of it, though.



I end up taking the point out of Prospero's Move for this, which is a bad idea.



But hey, we'll be fine, right?



We have some pretty decent lines of sight to fire from here.



Sure, bring it on.



Okay, thats a problem.
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  #75  
Old 04-11-2018, 10:06 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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First off: Blast Psion has to die, no question.



The trickier part is what we do about this down here. It's precisely the wrong order for what we want, and Prospero's move was lowered by exactly enough that it's actually a problem for us this mission.



The idea I have here would be nice, but the turn order doesn't favor it.



So I'm forced to use my Reset Turn.



Now it's stupid overkill time.



Oh this just gets better and better.



Thankfully, Chen can do a really stupid daring maneuver to block off the worst of the assault.



Prospero is forced to waste their second Heavy Rocket on a single Blob, because I'm good at longterm planning.



That's the objective to block spawns handled, at least, plus a bit of A.C.I.D. all over.



Screw all of you, Ice Mech best tank.



This is not great, but better to take mech damage than grid damage.



This looks mean, but mostly because of that Hornet. We should be able to take them down.



Perfect.



Get the hell out of my house.



It's cool, we'll bomb their hive in like an hour, tops.



That went better than it had any right to.



But yes, it can get worse.



SCREW THIS, YOU NEED THAT POINT OF MOVE.



Hi there, worst boss in the game.



Don't let the low health and lack of flashy traits fool you. The objective is the clue as to the real threat this boss poses.



Anyway let's get on with it.



The Goo has a melee attack that moves into the tile if it kills everything there.



But hey, Henry can (and should) kill it turn 1, so let's do that.



This, of course, splits it into two Medium Goos, which have only two health. There's your gimmick for the mission, hope you enjoy it. I won't. Don't forget I have three more attacks to mitigate and can only actually stop two.



This will be a good idea, at least. Freezing Blobs means they block that space so no other Vek can use it.
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  #76  
Old 04-11-2018, 10:07 AM
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I didn't have a good answer for this!



Next turn is about as awful.



Henry can take these two down with one attack, so that's a start.



Small Goos have one health and do not split further when killed, so this guy is ALMOST in a great spot for us.



We'll make it work somehow.



Hey, all attacks stopped that turn, I'll take it.



Still got a lot to deal with.



Henry flattens the Medium Goo, leaving me with just two actual threats since the Centipede's going to miss.



That should do the trick.



Blobbers, Centipedes, and a Goo boss. Y'know, in case you wanted every single tile on the map to be targeted at once.



That said, the friendly fire from the Centipede will solve the last bit of it for us, resulting in a rare complete eradication of the Goo!



How did we only lose one grid this mission.



AAAAAAAAAAAA



We did it, we perfected that island, SOMEHOW.



I think I deserve some cheating for the last mission.

The Attraction Pulse on the left is a Science-class weapon that pulls a target 1 square. It is decidedly junk and outclassed by the artillery-style Grav Well, but it does have one advantage over the Grav Well in that you can pull close range enemies into your mech for chip damage. It's rarely a good idea, but Zenith Guard's Defense Mech starts with this, so keep that in mind if you intend to play as them.



No, the cheating we will take on is Bethany Jones, Isaac's alternate-timeline sister. Ordinarily, her ability to start each mission with a shield is kind of nice, but not usually going to break the game in your favor. Absorbing one hit and blocking status effects isn't that good... until you realize that this includes self-inflicted status effects, like the Cryo-Launcher can do. I said early on that I wouldn't use any pilots that would obsolete the main weakness of the squad, and Bethany absolutely does that for the Frozen Titans, in a way few other mech pilots do.



Thank you for your service, Chen Rong, and enjoy your retirement.



Anyway, stuff in the shop. The Teleporter we've already seen, and while it is delightful, we lack the Science mechs to make it attractive.

Next to that is the Rocket Fist, a classic Prime-class weapon. Functionally it starts the same as the Titan Fist, save that the user gets pushed back by recoil as well. It can be upgraded to turn the attack into a projectile, of course. There's very few legitimate ranged attacks for Prime mechs, but range isn't really a problem for Henry.

On sale, we have the curious Sidewinder Fist, another Prime-class weapon that pushes enemies to the side rather than away. It's an oddball weapon for sure, and someday I'd like to try it out, but this isn't going to be that day.

Following that, we have the Vulcan Artillery, already seen on the Meteor Mech of the Flame Behemoths. This we actually will pick up, because now that Bethany's making the Cryo-Launcher safer to use more often, we don't need the Heat Converter as much as we used to.



We'll upgrade this sucker to high hell, of course.



Like Isaac and Harold, Bethany is one of the signature scientists of the game, but she distinguishes herself from either one by her compassion. More than anyone else on the cast, Bethany comes across as a considerate, good person, who does her best to protect everyone she can at all times.



I'm pretty much out of things to upgrade for everyone, so I load up on grid power and defense with my last scraps of reputation.



The Volcanic Hive won't know what hit it.
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  #77  
Old 04-11-2018, 10:33 AM
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JBear JBear is offline
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Huh; I've never seen the Sidewinder before! I wonder if there's any other weapons I've missed.
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  #78  
Old 04-15-2018, 02:53 PM
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Ready to dunk another Volcanic Hive?



As before, the only spot we see the Crab enemy this run is the Volcanic Hive. Sometimes it can spawn on other islands, I swear.



This is your only shot in the LP to give us a personality, Bethany, so make it count.



Already the new Vulcan Artillery is paying off. I could also do this with Prospero, though.



I'd rather have him take down a guy with a Heavy Rocket, though.



Sometimes mech HP is a good thing, I guess.



Let's keep wearing them down.



Killing them counts as wearing them down.



And here is why Bethany is so powerful on Frozen Titans. She can use the Cryo-Launcher every turn without outside intervention as long as the shield holds.



Unfortunately, this makes the Psion Tyrant a slight problem. Not a major one, losing the shield isn't the end of the world for the Ice Mech, especially with a sidearm, but it is inconvenient.



Or rather, it could be.



Vulcan Artillery is pretty good you guys. The move effects are the same as many Ranged weapons, and they're good on those squads, but it's kind of underpowered compared to the usual Swap Mech you have access to with the Flame Behemoths.



MINCEMEAT'D



And we can keep spawns blocked with ease.



That's it? That's all you got? Okay sure.



Where's the fun in playing fair?



I don't even need to do this, but I want to.



Next phase, let's go.



This is a true statement.



Occasionally, your three mechs land adjacent to one of the Vek.



This Vek is an extra that is generated outside of the usual rules for Vek generation on this map.



And they exist solely to get crushed by the Renfield bomb when it deploys. This is a delight to me and I'm sad that it didn't happen during this LP.



Anyway, business as usual. We'll keep everything from doing too much damage to the grid or the bomb.



I'd have liked to keep more boulders on the field since my team can ignore them, but I don't want to waste a Heavy Rocket on the Digger.
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  #79  
Old 04-15-2018, 02:55 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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If the Renfield bomb is destroyed, as mentioned, a new one will be deployed, resetting the timer to victory. Since the tentacle environment threat creates lava wherever they happen, they balance this out by the cave-in creating solid terrain should it land in lava tiles.



Psion Tyrant comes out.



Considering there's about to be a tentacle attack there, yes, I think it will.



I mean, I can save Henry, but that's still a pretty aggravating threat to deal with.



You did it! She gets a point of mech reactor, which is irrelevant for the rest of this run for obvious reasons.



Since Bethany's going to lose the shield anyway, I want her to at least lose it in service of killing more Vek.



It's fiiiiine



Either way we'd lose the shield this turn, and mech HP is only important when it's the last one.



We should be able to handle this, I think.



That's the good stuff.



Haha I'm an idiot and this attack would be redirected to hit Henry either way. He can't reach the Psion Tyrant no matter what he does, so eh.



Fine we'll kill it with fire.



Splep.



Don't die, Bethany, you just joined the team!



Agh that's SO CLOSE to finishing off that Firefly!



I could do this but I really do not want to.



Then I remembered I still have Heavy Rockets and we NEED a 10 damage attack before the LP is over.



Also screw you jackass.



We win!



You all know the drill here.



Each pilot gives their own farewell. Bethany, I'm sorry and you're cool, but you were REALLY bland for this mission.



This is not something I would ever expect me saying, but maybe take a page out of Henry's book.



And that's it, thank you for joining me for Bug Billiards.



A lot of people try to compare this to FTL and find Into the Breach wanting, particularly in terms of replayability, but I feel like they miss the point. Sure, as far as raw mechanics go, you've seen a lot of what there is to see in just these runs, and runs go much faster when played personally. But the point of Into the Breach's gameplay isn't that it's a roguelike, but that it uses roguelike elements to generate puzzles for the player to solve. Rather than identifying items or allocating skill points or avoiding deadly monsters, the game is about positioning, and for some people that can carry a game like chess well beyond the expected shelf life. I think Into the Breach can fit that seat, no problem.



Thanks for joining, and give this game a play yourself! DO IT
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