Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 15 - Last Exit For The Lost (ending)

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 15 - Last Exit For The Lost
  • You can hold ground indefinitely at a clump of Stations but it is pointless. Do so only to grab Discoveries, at least one of which gives you +3 Replicants for a maximum of 15 (depending on how quickly you lose Stations that give Replicants).
  • You are given a brief reprieve at the start to basically set your fleet because if you lose too much along the way you will be in trouble. On Explorer Scientist, I went for four Rovers, one Trojan, and dropped my Small squadrons. With four Rovers, you will constantly Repair every step of the way.
  • Consider also having at least one Corsair. If you are pressed for time, you can rush it to a Discovery faster than any other ship because it has two Dash powers instead of just one. Also, their Boarding power will immediately neutralize a Station or ship if you need it, and ultimately take over a Station or leave a ship permanently disabled.
  • Consider not dumping the Violator because it is actually your anti-Small ship unit and is strong against Bases.
  • Get at least 1 Trojan, if not 2, so you can rush the wormholes. They typically have 1-2 Interdiction Stations so the Trojans can not only give force fields but if only 1-2 units are disabled, you can revive them with the Trojan's ability and keep going.
  • Once through a gate, clump your units and head for the Discovery. While it is being scanned, your Rovers can repair your fleet. There is one Discovery in each of Sectors 2 to 5.
  • Since you are being pursued relentlessly, every now and then make sure your Rover Mk.2's poop one of their bombs -- the one time in the entire campaign that this power will reliably hit anything.
  • Otherwise a fairly easy mission especially if you allow yourself the use of Officers, which we did not.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 14 - Search and Destroy

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 14 - Search and Destroy

A very easy mission although possibly by design oversight. If you secure all Stations before completing main objectives, you should be fine.

Part 1 - Unlock Gate from Sector 1 to Sector 2
  • All Discoveries in Sectors 1 and 2 can be acquired without fighting enemy forces. The last Discovery is in Sector 3.
  • Two Yellow Violators will enter Sector 1 and start warping in reinforcements. Grab one there and maybe pull a Wasp to board the other as a spare. Warp one Violator to Sector 2 and start gating in reinforcements.
    • Possibly because neither Violator was destroyed in our playthrough (one under our control, one abandoned), there were no further attacks on Sector 1 while we cleared Sectors 2 and later Sector 3.
    • After this initial attack force is clear you can recycle pretty much all your ships in this Sector except for your mission-critical flagships (Ulysses I and Olympus). This lets you maximize your units securing Sector 2.
    • Sending a Violator over to Sector 2 is very helpful for the additional reason that their weapons are strong against Bases and have enough range to engage a Station one at a time if positioned properly. You can therefore destroy Detector stations and sneak in Wasps to steal the rest of the positions.
  • An alternate start in Sector 2 is to use Wasps to capture Stations and trilobites.
    • Wasps can Board in this Mission. Therefore there is a very real possibility of taking over the whole of Sector 2 before unlocking the gate.
      • Note that since Wasps can Cloak, if the Boarding action takes too long, Wasps will also Cloak during the Boarding action and stay cloaked after.
    • Look for a clump of Stations with no defenders and take them over with your Wasps.
      • If there is a Detector Station and you cannot approach Cloaked, use Wasp EMP to disable Turrets or Artillery or Interdiction before boarding.
      • Hang your Medusas back cloaked to counter any reinforcements from the Support Hangar in this Sector.
      • Remember that since a Boarding action also disables the ship or station being boarded, so you only have to rush them and start the Boarding action.
        • Often the Boarding action will not initiate but the target will still be neutralized. Not sure if it is just a GUI problem with the red lines and Boarding countdown not showing.
        • If you have enough Wasps you can sneak up on and neutralize a clump of Stations very quickly although the Boarding actions will take a while to complete.
    • Once you have secured a Station, reinforcements will continue to stream in to retake them. Let them come instead of destroying the Support Hangar because this is your chance to steal Trilobites. Get at least 4 (and drop all your Rovers) and also maybe keep a few inactive to be boarded later if you lose some.
    • Using the forces you amass, secure all Stations before unlocking the gate between Sector 1 and Sector 2.
  • The optional objective to board inactive ships should definitely all be done before unlocking the gate because each ship boarded adds to your Replicant total.
    • Two are cloaked but you can target them because of the mission-objective marker. After you have boarded at least 1 of these mission-marked ships, all markers disappear and you might not be able to find them again. Therefore use two Wasps to simultaneously board both.
  • When you unlock the gate, a bunch of Scythe units will come from Sector 3. Use Wasps to grab their XL ships. You may want to take one Hydra (which is good against all unit sizes and can transform into a self-healing Remora) and a Zaratan (which has very long range on its attack and therefore good for sniping enemy Stations). Dump your Medusas to do this.
    • Do NOT dump your Wasps! They are 1 Replicant each only and combined with their Cloaking ability are superbly useful.
Part 2 - Destroy Enemy Hangars
  • Leave one Support Hangar for last since they are the least dangerous and you do not want to rush to the end of this Mission -- again, our doctrine is to secure as much of a Sector as possible before advancing the story.
  • Capital Hangar guarded by Hydra and one Triton (that has a medium-range area EMP blast):
    • The conservative way is to try to lure these extra guards away or snipe at them until the extra guards are gone. Steal a Zaratan for this, dumping your Dreadnought(s) if you have to.
    • The faster and more exciting alternative is to rush if you have enough Wasps.
      • Start by sneaking Wasps into the area (their EMP range is very short). You basically need enough Wasps to disable everything that can kill them too quickly.
      • Being your approach with the rest of the fleet. Before the Triton can EMP your fleet, use your Wasps to EMP the Triton as well as other key units or Stations. To disable the rest, begin Boarding actions on them with your Wasps. With 4 Wasps you can basically neutralize, at least briefly, 8 targets.
      • Rush your fleet in and support your Wasps with Force Fields from Trojans or some ability from the Ulysses I as well as repair by Trilobites. By the time the EMP on the buildings wear off you should be in position to area EMP again with a Trojan or your own Triton.
      • If you have a Dreadnought, you should be able to wipe out the Capital Hangar quickly with its main gun although that power is notoriously unreliable. If you can do without, swap your Dreadnoughts for Hydra or Tritons.
  • Once the Sector is secure, destroy the last Support Hangar. Since the Sector is clear, you should have plenty of time to finish the final time-limited mission objective without interference. After that, the mission is basically won.
In this video you can see the reinforcements that enter Sector 2 once you have opened the gate from Sector 1 to Sector 2. A lot easier to handle if you already controlled the Stations around the gate.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 13 - The Figurehead

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 13 - The Figurehead

Sector 1
  • No point holding any Stations because of continual reinforcements of Dreadnoughts, Centurions, Violators, and Corsairs.
    • The Scythe units can handle the Dreadnought reinforcements but not before they destroy some stations or do serious damage.
    • You don't have to hold any Stations here but at least briefly grab the one Station that provides Replicants briefly because you retain your ships even if you lose the station and your Replicant Total becomes less than your Replicant Used count.
    • Near the dead wormhole where Violators and Corsairs appear is a trio of Stations. On the Station nearest to the wormhole, build an Artillery Station. Support it with two Repair Stations and it should hold out indefinitely because the Scythe won't let the Dreadnought close enough.
  • Be sure to jump the Violator BEHIND the locked Warp Gate in Sector 2 so you can safely destroy it without drawing attention.
Sector 2
  • You can clear out Sector 2, so might as well take all Stations.
  • Handle the hangars first since your Scythe allies are endless and will keep the PRC Trojan side too busy to come over.
  • Your Violator shouldn't need help with this gate, but if it does, change to warp gate mode and call in two Trojans is a good option. Make sure to hang one Trojan back in order to release the other from EMP stun.
  • Taking out the hangars also seems to stop the flow of enemies into Sector 1 (?) except Violators (in part because you need a source of them if you lose them trying to open the locked gates). After clearing Sector 2 you can go back to secure all Stations in Sector 1.
  • There are explosive barrels you can take. You could do a suicide run on the gate in Sector 3 using Rovers warped in but we were striving for no unit losses so we didn't do that.
Sector 3
  • Part 1 - Open Warp Gate
    • Opening this gate is complicated by the Artillery Stations, and cloaked units coming in to EMP your Violator.
    • Artillery Stations:
      • You can position your Violator outside the fog of war and behind the Gate, and usually avoid Artillery fire.
      • If you can't avoid artillery fire, move to one side and handle one Artillery Station at a time.
      • The warp gate is a big enough target that your Violator can automatically shoot at it even if it is in a fog of war. Therefore, at most you only need to take out one Artillery Station.
    • Cloaked Ships:
      • Cloaked enemies can be visually detected by their engine trails. If you see them coming, warp your Violator out. They will leave and patrol elsewhere.
      • If you lose your Violator, just go back to Sector 1 and Board another with a Corsair or your Ulysses I if on Offensive Setup.
    • Theoretically jump your first Violator into the explosive barrels in Sector 3 should cause a chain reaction to destroy all the Stations there, but it doesn't (?).
      • You can safely warp to that region first to destroy the hangars: Warp outside the ring and approach one Station at a time. That should limit the number of Scouts that come to EMP your Violator at the Warp Gate. Enemy ships don't seem to harrass the Violator there.
  • Part 2 - Destroy Generator
    • Gate over into corner a safe distance from the fog of war around the Generator -- try the corner near the last Discovery in this Sector.
    • Warp in a Javelin to Hyperspace scan into the fog of war for the Generator. Use the Javelin to destroy it and other key Stations from a distance -- once the target is spotted and being attacked, you can move your cloaked unit and attacks will continue into the fog of war.
      • Doing it this way puts you far enough that you shouldn't draw attention from cloaked squadrons that would otherwise EMP your ships.
    • After the Generator is destroyed, slowly move your main fleet in with Trojans hanging back to undo EMP effects on key units that are strong against Small ship squadrons.
      • There are no Hangars so once all cloaked Squadrons are gone, there should be no more.
      • Keep to the clump of Stations around the Generator to draw Small ships. Once their attention is in that direction, you can bring a unit over to get the last Discovery (e.g., the same Javelin you used to destroy the Generator).
    • Since the Olympus is marked by a mission-target marker even in the fog of war, it should be easy to find and EMP with a Trojan area-effect blast.
In the following video you can see what happens when you try to move a ship into a force field.