Chapter 6 - Endgame

Door Plasma_Wolf op zondag 9 mei 2010 19:00 - Reacties (3)
Categorie: 1: The UEF Academy, Views: 3.601

“Jeff, you’re at the large beach, ensure you’ll get some ships quickly, so you can keep that sea under control. You’ll have to get some battleships, then they won’t ever be able to cross that passage again.”

“Leython,” Jeff answered, “you’ll better get to the passage immediately, have you seen how much mass you can get from there?”

“I started with an air factory,” Josh said, “I’ll get six engineers down there, give two to both of you, and then we can reclaim that stuff.”

“I’ll upgrade to tier two as soon as possible, Triads will stop Eric’s irritating spam.” Leython concluded. “I’ll send my ACU to the middle as well. I can always retreat with it to the water.”

“Then retreat to my sea, I can send in ships to protect you sooner.”

On the opposite side, Michelle had formed a plan as well:
“Temera, use your tank swarm to cut off their access to the Fatboy and Galactic Colossus wreck, we need those wrecks if we want to get an advantage over Dygonn.”

“Yeah, I understand what you want me to do, Michelle. I’ll just get started and send my ACU in too, I will stop whatever they send in there and use the reclaimables to support my tank spam.”

Michelle immediately continued and talked to Simon: “Beck, your job is to get some navy out, stop whatever is trying to cross the sea. We’ll bombard the enemy positions and send in units with air transports. Get intel structures too, in the same way as Dygonn does that.”

“Got it.” Simon answered.

A couple of minutes later, the battle on the land bridge commenced. Leython’s and Eric’s commanders exchanged fire, while Josh’s engineers were just dropped near the Fatboy. Leython’s ACU was in between the Eric’s one and the engineers, by doing so, he had secured one of the two major wrecks. Josh transmitted engineers and they all started to reclaim, except one of Leython’s, which started to build a SA1-1000 radar tower.

Jeff blindly started to upgrade two mass extractors, his naval factory and his land factory, before noticing he did not have the required energy available: “Erm, guys, “he said, “I need energy.”

“I think we all do, Jeff.” Josh answered.
“Actually, I have plenty, I’ll transfer some, but not too much, I can see that many of Eric’s forces are coming, so we have to retreat within thirty seconds, even if I have some overcharged shots. I can’t kill everything.”

“No problem,” Josh said, “I have found the way how to spam units too and they are now on the move. Along with two bombers.”

Leython saw that Josh had send in five transports, all carrying striker tanks. It would probably not stop Eric’s forces, but it would give their engineers the chance to further reclaim the Fatboy and perhaps even make the start on the Galactic Colossus.

“Josh, don’t drop your forces too close to the Eric’s commander, but when they are dropped, let them attack it. Thirty tanks and my ACU will kill him, or at least force him to go to the water.”

Jeff understood what he had to do now: “I’ll construct some submarines as soon as the upgrade of my naval factory is complete.” He said. “Thanks to the energy you transferred, I can continue on these upgrades a bit faster again.”

“Just get the required amount of power generators by yourself next time. I can’t use my overcharge cannon any more. Luckily, Eric’s forces are down now.” Just at the moment Leython thought he had won the battle in the middle of the field, and therefore had claimed the Galactic Colossus’ wreck, one final artillery shell came down on the engineers that almost completely reclaimed the Fatboy.

“Blast, I lost my radar in that explosion as well, I can’t work properly anymore, Josh, get some air cover, I haven’t seen anything from Simon or Michelle, so they got to be up to something. I want air cover over my ACU so we can see everything here, as well as some scouts over their bases.”

I’ll send in what I have, it’s not much though. I have just upgraded my Air factory. I’ve built a torpedo bomber now, my tanks are moving in on Eric’s commander, keep your ACU there as well, Leython!”

“My commander has lost fifty per cent of its integrity, I can’t push it.” He answered.”
“Hey, you forget that you already have a shield generator. Send it in there.”

_____________
Colonel Stirling saw that Leython’s team had an advantage because, thanks to Josh Funky’s air drops, they had the reclaimable Fatboy to their disposal, and they used it well. Eric’s team did not reclaim anything, but Michelle Aiko and Simon Beck were keeping up with Jeff and Funky.

They did not interfere in Eric who managed to keep both Leython and Josh occupied with his units. Eric would haveto retreat his ACU to Simon’s sea however, because Jeff had the other side under control. Despite the fire it got from Leython’s ACU, Eric’s commander was still in good shape, it would be able to stand for a little while longer.

For the use of the economy everyone had, Jeff was doing the worst job, while Simon did the best. Of the resources that Jeff received thanks to reclaiming, he used half of it to construct his navy. The other half was put in economy upgrades, or it was wasted.

Simon did, as usual, not waste anything: he had the perfect balance between mass and energy income. Additionally, he used everything to upgrade his economy, before building his naval yard and upgrading that to tier two. Now he was constructing ships as fast as Jeff did.

It was only twelve minutes since gating on planet, but the battle had already heathen up quite much. Leython had his first mobile shield generator to guard his ACU, and a second one was coming to assist. Eric’s supply of tanks to his ACU was cut off by Josh Funky’s air drop, which was a very good tactic. The tanks were now moving on Eric’s commander, ready to force it into the water.

Simon had constructed radar towers at the front, so Leython’s team knew a little bit about what he was doing. However, Michelle did not even seem to exist, until….

“Temera, get your ACU out of there, it has lost more than two third of its armor, and I am about to kill Dygonn.” She said.

“Oh you’ve got those gunships completed already? Let me do one final shot.” Before moving towards the water Simon was supposed to control, he aimed the cannon of his Command Unit aimed at the point the shields of the two generators joined, and fired an Overcharged shot.

Both shields collapsed instantly, exposing Leython’s commander to the deadly guns of Michelle’s gunships moving in. Unfortunately for her, Funky’s air scout, that was moving in on her base, met the gunships. Leython noticed it:“Josh, get your interceptors here, NOW! I won’t make it to Jeff’s sea.” Leython yelled.

Josh immediately sent in the interceptors, but half of his air force was shot down by a cruiser that Simon had send to lay in wait near the beach at the land bridge. Simon had turned it’s guns and tactical missile launcher off, so it would not let itself be seen firing before. The rest of the interceptors managed to take only one gunship out, before being shot as well.

“Damnit, I’m dead, transferring everything to you guys.” Leython failed at his standard intelligence work. He only had a tier two radar tower in his own base. Eric was keeping him so busy at the front, that he only had the time to construct a tier one tower there, which was killed by a lobo fragmentation shell a couple of minutes ago. Jeff, however, came to the rescue.

“I’m here Leython, expect the gunships to go down in a couple of seconds.” While he said that, his two cruisers charged in and shot two gunships down with their first salvo of anti-air missiles. The other two crashed on the ground at the second salvo. Leython let his command unit go to the water immediately.

“Expect that Michelle is going to build torpedo bombers, so keep those cruisers near my commander.” He said, “Josh, get interceptors over here to keep the air save, two cruisers won’t be enough to stop a group of torpedo bombers and I can’t get another hit.” He saw that his command unit had eight per cent of its initial integrity. It might sustain one torpedo, but would certainly go nuclear on a second.

Jeff started to move his fleet in: seven submarines formed a group near his ACU, not a nice looking perimeter, because then Michelle would guess that the commander would be in the middle of it, but a strange formation. This way, the chances were that Michelle would target the wrong unit at the first passes, and submarines would be destroyed instead of the commander.

In the meanwhile, Leython had managed to construct some defenses at his side of the land bridge. The front gate was protected against land attacks now. Additionally, his economy was boomin. The first omni sensor would be on-line in one minute. As soon as that happened, they would be able to keep track of half of the battlefield.

Josh Funky’s tanks on the land bridge had been destroyed in the meantime. They appeared to be a nice obstacle for Eric, but he had just spared up his units and overwhelmed the Strikers. Josh however, was already on the move again. He tried an attack on Simon, blindly. After the air drop on the land bridge, he sent back his transports, to prepare for another air drop, somewhere behind Simon’s base. This attack consisted of more than sixty striker tanks, a good amount of lobo artillery and Tier two and one engineers.

While the Tanks and artillery were dropped near Simons base and in the middle of the would-be fourth base in the far back of the area, the engineers were sent to a random empty location. They started to work on a factory and a SA2-2000 radar tower immediately, but Leython told him to do something else:

“Josh, stop building that tier two radar, you’ll need a stealth generator first!”
“Ok, got it, I’ll do that first, then I’ll give you that small group to manage, you’ll probably know it better.” He answered.
“Actually, I don’t have a plan yet, but I want you to send a new group of engineers as well, this base will shortly be attacked, they have probably noticed by now. You do the management of all those tanks, perhaps you can take out Simon’s whole base.”

However, none of the opponents saw what was going on with at the engineers’ building site, they were too busy trying to protect Simon against Josh Funky’s trick. Michelle almost panicked, but Simon’s reaction was worse.

“Damnit, I can’t do anything against that! Michelle, Eric help me!”
Eric immediately sent in all of his tier one units, everything back towards Simons base, and the rear field of their area. They would be far too late though.
Michelle barely managed to keep control of herself, but she succeeded in making the correct choices.
“Beck, calm down, retreat your ACU in the water and build as much point defenses as you can, just use your tier one engineers, he may not reach your mass extractors. I’ll send in my Broadswords, we’ve got no choice but to show that I am at tier three already.” She said.

Due to the sudden change of events, Eric’s team did not notice that a couple of gray dots suddenly disappeared from Simon’s radar, Josh Funky succeeded in the construction of the stealth generator.
He completed the radar tower, and a tier one land factory was standing as well.

Josh transferred his buildings and engineers to Leython, who immediately went to work. He upgraded the radar tower, but had to turn the one at his own base off for that. It did not matter, he now still had intel on half of the battlefield and what was even better: he had it on his opponent’s part.

While Josh caused mischief with his tanks, Michelle moved her units towards them. Leython looked closely while the units moved in further and further. He saw what he feared to see: deadly plasma bolts from above: “Michelle is at tier three air, guys. We’ll have to do something about her immediately.” He said.

Jeff was the first to reply: “I only have naval, remember? I don’t think I can do much about it, apart from building a lot of cruisers. I’ll just do that. If Josh tanks can still do some more damage, Simon won’t be much trouble to us.”

“I’m one step ahead of you Leython. While you still worry about it, I am already upgrading my tier two air factory. Upgrading air is cheap in mass, you know? That Fatboy wreck really helped us out. In the meantime, what are you doing?”

“Upgrading my economy and preparing to build a strategic missile launcher.” He said.
“You’ll have to build titans and Fatboys too. If Eric is teching up already, and assume he does if Michelle is giving orders, then you’ll eventually have to stop his Fatboys.” Josh replied.

____________
Colonel Stirling watched closely: within a couple of minutes, he saw moves that usually did not occur in simulation combat with pilots-in-training, but remained seen only in real combat. Funky’s deep strike was an incredible idea and it had worked out. Michelle was the only one who had air to her command, but she did not have much interceptors or, at her tech three stage, air superiority fighters.

Those could be used very well to shoot the air transports down: they would have seen it coming from far, because of Simon’s micro management.

Eric’s team had been faulty here, although they were working very well together in their attempt to kill Leython’s ACU, which now stood safely regenerating under a couple of shields. He now saw that Leython’s team had increased their advantage.
The economy of all three opponents had severely been damaged. They had access to a wreck of a Galactic Colossus, but they did not use it. Half of their mass extractors were destroyed before Josh’s tanks and artillery were taken out.

As if things were not bad enough, another air drop was on its way from Josh Funky. This time, his transports were moving Leython’s units. Leython ordered Josh to move the units into the middle of Eric’s base. If Eric would lose his base, he would be dead. His ACU was still under water and he did not upgrade his factories, so he only had tier one units available.

These units were near not his base though: he made the stupid move to send them towards the units Josh had dropped off earlier, but did not note that Michelle would take care of them. The units that were now pumped out of his factory just moved to the land bridge to stand idly by.

Yes, colonel Stirling had much to be proud of, but there was just as much he had to teach before they would be real commanders. He still had one year to go, that would be enough.

Ten seconds later, Leython’s units were dropped in Eric’s base: Pillar tanks, parashields, tier two mobile flak cannons and even three titan assault bots started to tear the structures apart. Michelle did exactly what Leython expected, she moved in her Gunships. While she did that, he moved his units, all well protected by the shields, towards the cliff at Jeff’s sea.

He had ordered Jeff to move in his cruisers and Josh had his first air superiority fighters ready for combat. Michelle’s Broadswords followed the land units, only to find themselves trapped. With minimal casualties on Leython’s side, Michelle had lost all of her firepower.

“Ok,” Leython said, “now we have got control over almost everything, it’s time to end this battle systematically. We started this with a plan, now we will end it with one.”

Jeff took a look at his sea and said: “I’ll move in on Michelles base, she’ll probably have some Klink Hammers at the cliff, but I think I can manage my navy so that they will do minimal damage. If my fleet gets hammered badly, I’ll retreat and wait for my battleship.”

“Send a couple of cruisers and destroyers at her side island over there too. We’ll have to push her away from those resources.” Josh said. He immediately talked again because of a sudden strike from Simon Beck “Guys, I’m in trouble here, Simon’s going to send his fleet to my base. I’ll need assistance immediately.”

“Transfer all of your tier two and three engineers that you’ve got there to me, I’ll build some defenses, you will continue with your air support. Build torpedo bombers, tier three gunships, Ambassadors and Wasps.” Leython answered. “I’ll build Klink Hammers and shields, that should keep your base safe for a while.”

Josh transferred his engineers and Leython immediately started with his work. Building these tier two artillery was very expensive, but it would keep Simon busy micro managing his fleet, or he would lose it. If Simon would start to micro manage, he would have no time to keep track of things in his base, which would soon be overwhelmed by the tier two arsenal that Leython had built at the secret base.

Leython did not forget the army he had near Eric’s base, he had already sent it back towards it. Although the tier one units came closer, he let his small force continue firing on the structures. One after another, mass extractors, power generators, even a radar tower, all buildings would be destroyed.

Just at the moment that Eric would think that Leython forgot about his own army, he saw it being destroyed. Only the tier three siege assault bots seemed to care about the army though. Leython’s tier two part of the army continued on the base. Eric realized why: He had sent in the units without a second thought, no formation move order was issued.

The result was that the units just moved in one long line. As if they queued up for entering a rollercoaster, but they only queued up for entering oblivion. Before Eric could correct his mistake, he lost seventy per cent of his forces and his entire base was destroyed. His units may have been put in a proper formation now, the tier two par of Leython’s army joined the battle of the titans.

Eric had been taken care of, only his ACU remained.

“Leython, pay attention to my base please.” Josh said.
“Hmm, oh sorry, did it get damaged badly? I thought I put up more and more shields and artillery guns?” Leython answered.
“Yes you did,” Josh continued, “but Simon is micro managing his fleet.”
“Good, then his base is dead.” With those words, Leython moved in his secret army: a formation move, all up into the middle of Simon’s base. Michelle appeared to have a surprise yet: Five strategic bombers took out the shields of the mobile generators and another five decimated the army underneath.

“Guys, we’ll need some air support,” Leython said, “Jeff, how far are you on destroying Michelle’s base?”
“I’m working on it,” was his answer, “the artillery are destroyed, so I can just move in on it. Even better: my battleship has been completed, it is moving in as well.”
“Ok, get those cruisers to defend the battleship against air attacks, a spy plane has now spotted my secret base, so I’m building as much shield generators to protect that omni sensor. We really need it.”
Josh was sending in some air support, hoping to destroy the ten Ambassador strategic bombers before they could take out the advanced radar tower.

“Josh, when those bombers are down, ensure that the Air superiority Fighters will fly above Michelles base, then she won’t be able to get any air units flying anymore.”
“Got it Jeff.” After twenty seconds, Josh spoke again: “Leython, we’ve got Eric’s base now, we are about to take out Michelle, her commander is still in her own base. We still have to deal the final blow to Simon though, he repaired the damage I have done with the initial drop and you’ve got to start all over again with your army. It will take some time and he is still micro managing his navy, but if he’ll get much more ships, I will lose my base.”

“Don’t worry, remember I talked about building a strategic missile launcher. Well, it is finished now, as well as the nuke. Now get a spy plane over his base, I want to see if he’s got a nuke eliminator.”

Josh did as asked, but the spy plane did not reveal a strategic missile defense. A moment later, all seven commanders, heard the automated voice over: “Strategic launch detected.”

____________
Colonel Stirling saw the target point. In a minute, Simon’s base would be turned into nothing but a pile of ashes. He would be unable to do anything until he had reconstructed his economy. That would take too long.

He also saw that Jeff’s battleship arrived at its destination Josh had retreated the Air superiority fighters away from Michelle’s base a couple of moments ago. She had constructed SAM sites to take care of them. However, the battleship was carefully protected by cruisers. Mrs. Aiko did not stand a chance, half a minute later, her ACU was the first to be destroyed.

She had transferred the remainder of the base to Eric, so that he would be able to do something again, but it would not be for long. The base, that was severely damaged by the ACU’s nuclear explosion, was flattened in mere seconds, thanks to the Summit class battleship

Another nuclear explosion lightened up the virtual sky of Seton’s Clutch. Simon’s base was destroyed. A third explosion followed. Not from another strategic missile however. It was Josh Funky who issued a torpedo bomber attack on Eric’s ACU. Eric had constructed a tactical missile launcher on the back of his ACU and launched a missile on Leython’s base. Utterly useless, because Leython had constructed some buzzkill tactical missile defense guns to protect himself against Simon’s cruisers.

Josh had seen this missile being launched and he had sent all torpedo bombers he built, just for this moment. Thanks to a tier three sonar device, he could also see the gray dot that represented the commander.

Josh’s seven Broadswords were sacrificed to draw the cruisers’ fire. The torpedo bombers could harmlessly fly through and take out Eric’s ACU. Five Governor class cruisers went down in this explosion, Simon knew that he could not win this battle anymore.

He still tried to micro manage the other cruisers, but Leython had built so many tier two artillery guns now, that they would hit eventually, which they did.

Jeff had constructed a second tier three sonar device in Simon’s water zone now, so that his ACU would be detected as well. There was still a large submarine fleet in that sea, but Jeff immediately started construction on a naval yard. Soon, his own Tigersharks swarmed the sea and engaged combat with Simon’s ones.

Newly built torpedo bombers of Josh joined in the battle: Simon’s Tigersharks quickly sank to the bottom of the sea, but Simon’s ACU was nowhere to be found.

“Where is he, where is he,” Jeff said, “I want the final kill.”
“Hey Jeff, it should be my kill,” Josh replied. “Why is that?” Jeff argued.
“Well, because I am awesome!” He answered.

Leython did not even bother to say that he wanted the kill because he did not get either Michelle or Eric. He just loudly said: “My kill!” When his rebuilt tier two army, that had moved out of the secret base a couple of minutes ago, destroyed Simon’s commander at his beach.

Simon had tried to rebuild his base, but as colonel Stirling already guessed, that would take far too long. Again, he concluded that these pilots-in-training would become good commanders. They would survive their generation of the Infinite War. They would be able to train the next one. They were the ones the UEF needed.

Chapter 5 - The fortress of Matar

Door Plasma_Wolf op donderdag 6 mei 2010 19:00 - Reageren is niet meer mogelijk
Categorie: 1: The UEF Academy, Views: 1.347

Monday, the twenty-third of June, it was three weeks after Leython and Eric started their contest. The score remained two and a half for Leython, versus one and a half for Eric. Leython was allowed to choose the fifth battlefield, but they still were not up for it. Finally, they were really busy.

Michelle Aiko could tell how busy they were. Since the showdown three weeks ago, she noted everything Leython had done. He broke several records. He was the first pilot-in-training who had managed to defeat two teamed-up opponents on his own, but not because he turned into an exceptionally good commander.

The battle was five days ago, at the Evad River Conflux. In that area, two rivers met and continued as one. The three commanders who would gate in would be separated by these rivers. It gave a very good opportunity to dig in and survive any enemy assault. Leython put it to good use: he constructed as many interceptors as possible, to prevent any areal drop from the enemies.

By the time his opponents, Jeff Lancet and Josh Funky had found out that areal drops would be useless, they were far behind in the production of air units. Leython had already constructed two tier two radar towers and used the information to damage the economy of both of his opponents while dodging any possible archer, the UEF’s mobile anti air gun.

Leython did had not won the battle by that time yet, but he had turned his economical disadvantage into a small advantage. He used the time to upgrade one of his radar towers to an omni sensor, using four tier two power generators. By building everything in a special lay-out, he was able to lower the energy drain of the omni sensor by 50 per cent, allowing the further construction of bombers.

Jeff and Josh lost the battle ten minutes later, when Leython used Ambassador strategic bombers to take them both out. They did not have the time to construct the proper defenses, because their economy was being pounded the whole time.

When battling evenly experienced opponents, the two commanders who battled the third would have won with ease. The problem with Jeff and Josh was that they did not have a plan. If one of them would have devised a plan, they would be much more efficient.

Together, they would be smart enough to assume that Leython would try to mass as much interceptors as possible, but they did not communicate. The two were very good at doing what they were told, they would obey orders to the letter and make a strategic plan work. They just had to learn to work in a team and create a plan on their own.

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This record was not the only one he had broken. Michelle also gave him, without letting any other person know, the award of most heartless person known in her live. Leython had managed to make three girls run away at his dates. Every time Michelle told that this particular girl was not one for him, but he did not really believe any girl would suit him.

Leython was glad that the training he did on the Saturdays allowed him to think of something else. It made him cheer up to get some advice from senior commanders, including general Clarke and the somewhat ‘crazy’ commander called Zachary Arnold. He said he was bored, and therefore visited the Academy’s training rooms. Arnold gave him a quick lesson in how to use a commander offensively.

This had almost turned into Arnold’s own defeat, when Leython tried to trap the commander, but that was not very effective, since they were battling on an island and the beach was nearby. Leython had built a naval factory, but Arnold already sent tier two torpedo bombers as backup. The Storks made short work of the enemy submarines.

Five minutes later, Arnold utilized a sniping shot with three Tactical missile launchers and Leython’s commander was destroyed.

Not only Leython made his progress in learning, the others did as well. The others joined him and Eric in a weekly training on Saturday.

____________
Additionally, they had made an enormous progress in designing the fortress of Matar.
The planet was very similar to Earth itself. Both shared the climates and had the same percentage of land mass. The major differences were the lay-out of the land masses and resources, Matar’s resources were mostly located undersea.
This was very important for the group, if they want to create a fortress capable of protecting the planet.

Most of the battles between two armies would be fought on land, and even though the same situation would occur here, the battles on Matar would be determined on who had control over the seas. The person who had naval control had the chance to build a much better economy and finish the job if necessary.

To keep the planet under control, thus not losing it to Aeon or Cybran forces, the fortress constructed would have to be able to hold out against any sort of siege. In the war, ACU pilots would travel via the quantum network to wage war on a distant planet.
If a planet was attacked, it would naturally be defended by the opposing faction. However, the attackers would mostly be ahead of the defenders, if there were no defending ACUs on planet as a pre-emptive measure. Despite the regular attempts to take over Matar, there were no commanders sent for standard defense.

President Riley wanted to have that changed, so there would come a fortress with sufficient commanders to keep control of the planet at any time. Additionally, they commanders could be sent to nearby planets if those were under siege of the Aeon forces.
The pilots would have their ACUs equipped with teleportation modules, so that they could get anywhere on the planet in little time.
The armored units would also have a resource allocation system and the Tier three construction upgrade so that the pilots would be able to build a faster than any recently gated enemy.

The fortress itself would be protected with the most advanced weapons developed by the UEF, ensuring it would be impenetrable.

These were all instructions the team had been given. They would have to find out how to design the fortress by themselves.

The first obstacle the team had to topple was the energy cost of teleporting. It would take four of their advanced EG 900 type fusion reactors to go anywhere on planet. The fortress would have to give the energy for multiple commanders to teleport.

Of course, these generators were not allowed to be destroyed. Simon came up with the idea to place them all in the middle of the fortress, but that would make a too large target. Enormous defenses would not stop a deep strike of strategic bombers and only a couple of bombs would be able to lay down the entire power plant.
Michelle had the idea to build two smaller fortresses, both on a different continent. If enemies would attack and take out one fortress, the other one was still perfectly save, and there would be more than enough energy.

This plan was put into action. Jeff, who made a good assumption that eight pilots would be able to throw off any assault on the planet, continued on this idea and told that there had to be six pilots for each fortress. Four to teleport anywhere at any time and two to protect the fortress.
This meant that there had to be up to sixteen tier three power generators on-line non-stop to suffice to the energy drain.

After finding the locations for the two fortresses, Eric Temera, Jeff Lancet and Josh Funky designed one and Leython, Michelle and Simon Beck would design the other.
When that was done, they would compare both fortresses and make comments on each other’s flaws, so that they could be removed.

The two fortresses were now almost finished in design, being located on the coast, near two of the most important resource fields on the planet.
In the middle of the base, there would be housing for the commanders, along with the ACU hangar and a quantum gate.
The vital fusion reactors would stand close to these buildings, everything well shielded and protected against air assaults. The bases were located in two of the most resource rich regions, so mass extractors were available on site for the construction and continued protection.

As for the protection, the fortresses had been given the most advanced arsenal. A Mavor, the UEF experimental artillery, made a part of it. Land, naval and air factories would construct the necessary units if the enemy would actually dare to attack the fortress. They would overwhelm any ACU that gated in.

If enemy pilots actually managed to hold out and attack the fortress, they had to blast their way through a strong layer of shields, triad defense towers, tier two stationary artillery, anti air weaponry and fatboys. These mobile factories would work very well as tanks, and when an enemy assault was repelled it could start a counter-attack.

Leython’s most important job, ensuring proper intelligence support, was no big deal. He just pointed out four locations of tier three onmi sensors in the base itself.
Additionally, some sensors under protection of stealth generators would be placed on islands about twenty to thirty kilometers away from the coast. He hoped that the others would come up with a similar idea. Just at the moment he thought of that, Josh had to have a talk with him.

“He Leython, can you help us with the omni’s?” He aksed.
“Sure, I’ll come, what do you guys have at the moment?”
“Nothing apart from a couple of ideas.” Josh continued: “We’ve found a couple of nice places, such as a plateau near some mountains but that’s it. What Eric and I have thought of, is to keep some transports available near those radar towers. Those will transport tier three engineers, titan assault bots, mobile anti air guns and a parashield. Such groups will rush towards the enemy who just gated in and then keep him busy and build a small base.”

“I don’t think that the Aeon can take over Matar, ever. Unless they send their whole military at it, or gate in the middle of the fortress, so that when the ACUs blow, the fortress is taken with it.” Leython concluded.

“Yeah, with the defenses we have, the fortress can hold out infinitely.” Josh said, “we just need the omni sensors, this is how it looks like.”

The fortress that Leython saw was similar to his own, but only for the most vital part: the live support, quantum gate and vital power generators were located in the same way, however…

“You guys don’t have a Mavor.”
“No, because it is not necessary. If enemy commanders gate in out of sensor range, the Mavor won’t target it.” Jeff said.

“It can be targeted manually. Sensors can accurately point out the source of a quantum wake from over two hundred kilometers. The current Mavor can reach targets up to sixty-five.This means that you’ll be able to manually target an enemy commander with ease.”

“But what if the commander moves directly after gating in, Leython?” Eric asked him.
“Then you’ll delay him, that is worth quite a lot because your transports take some time to move in. He’ll be delayed so that he’ll have no proper base before you can mount a serious attack.”

“Ok, we’ll put in an experimental artillery, now, about those omni sensors, any ideas?”
“Yes, but why don’t you go to our design and tell Michelle and Simon to add weaponry and engineers for transports, Eric? Then ours will be complete.” Leython said. Eric left immediately and Leython took a closer look at the area.

He had come up with the idea, which should fit “Hmm, there are no islands within eighty kilometers from the shore, so no place to put an omni sensor. You’ll have to use some tier three sonar devices there. If a commander gates in underwater, he’ll be able to hold out long if he is undetected for a while.
The base is located at the shore, but that mountain ridge is about thirty kilometers away. Josh, you said you found nice locations with a plateau large enough to house an omni sensor and those units to be transported.
Just use those and then see to it that the perimeter is closed so that units won’t get through without being noticed. That should be more than enough to keep this fortress from being taken.”

____________
Almost four weeks later, colonel Stirling had planned a meeting on Friday, the deadline day. The team had to bring a data chip with their idea. He could also access the group’s shared account but he’d rather have it this way.
It would be easier to take a look at the ten different designs he would get, while he was at home. It meant that he had to spend the weekend with work again, but he didn’t mind that at all. Otherwise, he would just be wasting time tomorrow.

At the first glance, all of the designs had their good and bad points. He was the most surprised by Michelle’s idea to build two bases instead of one.
The concept of building the two fortresses close to major resource fields was a smart one as well. The drawback of the design was that there was only a small life support structure. The team only thought of the pilots themselves, not of the twenty technicians for each ACU to maintain it.

Additionally, the fortresses were too expensive. Fatboys and mavors? Forwarded outposts, consisting of omni sensors and units ready for transport, all protected by stealth generators? It would only take one teleporting commander to deal with an enemy, no matter where on Matar this enemy gated in.
If he would arrive close enough to the base for the mavor to fire at it, a teleporting commander would still be a better idea.
It would take no more than five minutes to build a large army consisting of striker tanks and lobo artillery. Tier one bombers would join in as well. The enemy would just have built his basic structures by then. There really was no need for such expensive weaponry.

“Ok, the sixth team,” he said, “Dygonn, Temera, Aiko, Lancet, Beck and Funky. Your idea of using two fortresses is nice, but they are both way too expensive.
When I said that you have the whole UEF arsenal available, I didn’t imply that you had to use everything the UEF military offers. Still, there are some good points on the design. Using two fortresses means that they can work in shifts.
One can be off duty for a while, for maintenance on those power generators for example. You guys should know that if those power generators are used non-stop, they will get worn and perhaps even break down.” Leython was disappointed and he could see that the others were as well.
The fortress had better be expensive and impossible to take, than cheap and badly protected. With such a bad protection, surely the Cybrans would come with a trick to humiliate the UEF….
Suddenly, he lost interest in the whole design, part of him wanted to see the fortress that these “expert commanders” came up with, to go down. 
____________
The next Monday, the twenty-first of July, colonel Stirling addressed the group again:
“Good morning, today, you will train in three versus three combat. Such battles will take some time and they take place in a large battlefield. A plan and intelligence are the things you’ll need most. Since mister Dygonn is the one who is the best in both concepts, he’ll be playing on point. The battlefield will be Seton’s Clutch. Mister Temera, you’ll be the person at the opposing front. Both of you may choose their teammates.

Temera, you’ll make the first choice. If mister Dygonn survives long enough, you’ll lose, if you manage to rush him to death with a T1 spam, you’ll win. The actual battle will be determined in the first fifteen minutes, but it will take over fourty. So you guys have to keep your concentration at all times. Seton’s Clutch is known for a vast diversity of strategic movements, so if you lose concentration only once, you can let that fatal deep strike kill you.”

No questions were asked, and Eric chose the assistance of Michelle, who never failed in a game of concentration. Leython asked Josh Funky to be his teammate, because ‘awesome’ was the only word that would fit as a description of his sudden strikes. The second teammate of Eric was Simon Beck, because he was the second best person with intelligence for this group of six. That left Jeff to be Leython’s second assistant.

As the battle began, colonel Stirling addressed the group once more: “Another note, you are now almost halfway through the training of the Academy. If you improve at this rate, you’ll be fine commanders.”

Chapter 4 - A new contest

Door Plasma_Wolf op maandag 3 mei 2010 19:00 - Reageren is niet meer mogelijk
Categorie: 1: The UEF Academy, Views: 1.672

Leython expected to be defeated here, and he assumed he wasn’t wrong as soon as he saw what came at him in the first couple of minutes. From every possible direction, he was attacked. Leython knew it was too late to turn the tables, so he took every unit he had towards his commander to make a run for his enemy’s one.

As was to be expected as well, Eric didn’t have proper intelligence. As soon as he saw Leython’s commander approaching, by noticing that his units died too quickly on the eastern side of the plateau, he sent his commander in. Additionally, he sent all units coming from his fifteen factories to catch up.

What he didn’t expect was that Leython’s entire army was directly behind it. Even though Eric was outnumbering him with at least three to one, he didn’t have all units concentrated together. As his commander met Leython’s, he finally realized that he was the one being outnumbered at the most important moment.

The commanders exchanged fire, Eric’s army was finally assisting, but his ACU had already lost fifty per cent of its armor. He started the retreat with his commander, but now his own units prevented that. He tried to kick a tank out of the way with his commander, but to no avail, the commander had less than one third of his integrity, and Leython immediately ordered the self-destruction of his own commander.

“That’s probably the best what I can get out of it. Here you are, a draw.”
“Why did you do that mister Dygonn?” Stirling asked him.
“I knew that I wouldn’t make it. My own commander would be severely damaged in mere seconds now that Eric’s army had arrived. I had no way of retreating, and Eric’s commander would get away just in time.
His army did not only “body block” him, but also prevented my army from advancing. I couldn’t hit him anymore.”
“Ah, ok, but you seriously need to train your skills in rushing to build a large tier one army, so you can finally deal with those early surprises you see on your radar. Next battlefield, mister Temera?”

“Theta Passage.” Eric knew what he would have to do there, assuming he learned from his mistake, Leython could not hope to turn a draw against Eric again. However, Eric gave the best knowledge Leython could hope for when he said: “You might even be right Leython, I could use ‘some’ intel.”

“Too bad for you that I have learned something about spamming and using radars this weekend, on this battlefield.”

Eric was not caught off guard by his words, but Leython knew that he would put his radar towers at exactly the same place as he had done when he faced general Clarke. Leython’s first scout and Mech Marines started moving as soon as they were all finished, plotting a course to the lower passage.

He chose not to build an engineer at the first moment, but a bit later on, after he constructed the first raiding group. His commander would build the first four mass extractors, by the time that was done, the first engineer rolled out and started constructing the hydrocarbon plant. His ACU would assist, then build the second tier one factory…

Leython expected Eric to construct an engineer at first, by the time that his Mech Marines arrived, the engineer, which he assumed to be the second, would be moving to the lower passage. He was not far off. The engineer was just leaving the base, with two Mech Marines and a scout at its side.

“Yes, you have learned Eric, now you can finally see me coming from far enough.”
Three seconds later, the engineer died, another moment later, Leython’s raiding group was dead, but Eric reacted like he had already lost.
“Arrgh, you foul….”
“Too bad Eric, I’m at an advantage, oh wait, no, damn it. That makes us even.”
Leython had suffered the same loss in the open field.

Leython wanted to directly copy the strategy general Clarke employed to defeat him, but he knew that he would never be able to mimic it perfectly, it just gave him another thin to take care of: he then had to think while he ordered his units to construct, move and destroy his opponent’s units.

He sent a new engineer, this time with the addition of a scout, a tank and two Mech Marines to guard it. This engineer would not die so easily. While he was sending his commander towards the passage in the middle, he saw that Eric was sending his towards the very same passage as well. What he expected was that Eric would construct a radar tower near the mountain ridge, so he would copy only this part of Clarke’s movement and send his own commander towards the spot.

Unfortunately, Eric did exactly the same thing, blocking the passage. Leython’s only advantage on that side of the field was that Eric had lost his first engineer sent that way, delaying the construction of the radar tower.

While the minutes passed, the number of skirmishes were increasing, both parties were keeping each other in line almost perfectly. Leython had gained the upper hand, solely by holding out. His amount of energy was increasing, he was upgrading his first factory, and soon Tier two engineers would move out.

Additionally, the upgrade of one of his Tech one radar towers was almost completed. Eric might do the same, maybe he had finally learned to use intelligence. Leython would not give him the opportunity to do so however, he would do another attempt to destroy a possible radar tower.
Now he had completed the upgrade on his SA1-1000, he saw a square at the location where he expected Eric’s radar tower to be: near the mountain ridge.

Such a location was an issue though. A bomber would not damage it on its first pass, because the bombs would collide with the mountain itself. A second pass would be impossible, because fighters and mobile Anti-Air would take it out. Managing the bomber so that it would fly parallel to the mountains would also take too much time. Only a gunship would be fast enough to deal with it, but Leython didn’t have a tier two air factory available yet.

When he saw that Eric was about to bring in a transport with six units in it, he wondered why he would attempt a futile air drop. As soon as the units started to fire on his land units from out of the transport, he knew Eric had just employed the tactic of the Ghetto Gunship. Leython’s issue on how to get rid of his enemy’s radar tower was solved by the enemy himself, he would make his own Ghetto Gunship.

Interceptors took care of Eric’s improvised gunship in little time. The tactic was useful as long as the enemy would not be able to intercept and eliminate the transports with Light Assault Bots with air units, in other words, at the very earliest stage of the battle.

Any time beyond that and the Ghetto Gunship would be a waste of resources if it was just blindly used. Eric did do that. He did not take a good look at what he faced and did not send in his gunship at an unprotected part, to drop down the Mech Marines on the ground as the next move.

Leython’s Ghetto gunship was ready to strike, but first he would send in two bombers from different directions to draw the enemy interceptors. As the bombers started to attack the enemy units, he moved the Ghetto gunship in, ordered it to drop near the radar, which was already destroyed by the time that the Assault bots hit the ground.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if our titans would be able to fire from transports?” Jeff asked colonel Stirling.
“Yes, but they can’t, unfortunately. It is because of the room the titans need to use. They are so large and have such destructive guns that they would damage themselves or the transport while they are in the air.”

Leython’s Light Assault bots moved forward, while he sent his interceptors to take out one group of Eric’s, now he had the opportunity. He had, as Leython expected, split his group of interceptors in two and issued the attack. His total number was larger, but half of it would be defeated by the whole group of Leython’s air.

While Leython was busy managing everything, he noticed that his tier two engineers had completed the construction of a Tech two Power generator. He was now wasting so much energy per second, that he quickly constructed four additional air factories. This time the spammer would be spammed to death. His tier two factory started the construction of as much mobile shield generators as possible.
Lower numbers would still emerge victorious, simply because of the enormous amount of Tech one fire that a couple of parashields could sustain. Just at the moment that Leython thought he was save, Eric started a massive assault with all of his units.

“What?! Where are they coming from?”
“From my stealth generator. Intel manipulation. If I can’t take your radar tower out in one way, I’ll deal with it in another way.”
“So you finally learned the importance of Intel, don’t you? There is one thing though. I have learned about the use of large unit swarms. I am pretty sure that your forces won’t like this!”

With pressing a couple of buttons, Leython’s tier one bombers were sent out for a devastating carpet bomb. Eric did not have intel whatsoever, Leython’s Light Assault Bots saw to that a few minutes ago. Even now, three of them were still causing mischief near a mass extraction point, killing any engineer that came too clos.

By the time Eric would notice the bombers, they would already bomb the land units for the first time.
Leython’s interceptors started flying as soon as Eric’s ones got from the ground. Because Eric sent them all the way back to his own base, Leython had the advantage of distance, and more than thirty per cent of the enemy fighters were destroyed before they could even touch the bombers. The bombers made their second pass and on this run suddenly forty per cent of all of Eric’s tanks and artillery burned a painful end.

“Now the tables have turned, you may have gotten to my base, but I’ve got tier two Point Defenses, how’s that?” Eric could only watch and see his units go down. As if it were not bad enough for him, all of his energy production was now being destroyed by those bombers. He decided to forfeit the battle.

“I’m not going to win this one anymore. Next place is Canis river.”


A battle on Canis river usually was a short lived one. It was not unusual that both commanders that gated in there, would both die in the same battle. It was one river, with some hills near it. The river had two points that were traversable for all land units. For the rest of the river, only amphibious or hovering units could pass. This would probably create a standoff at two points, Leython thought.

He started his early build order. After the construction of his first engineer, he immediately queued the construction of the hydrocarbon plant and with it, he planned his own downfall.
Eric’s first unit was a Mech Marine, which he had sent all the way towards Leython’s Hydrocarbon point.

By the time it arrived, Leython was already constructing the plant, but the engineer was killed and the Marine made short work of his construction. By the time Leython had finally completed the construction and constructed a radar tower near it, he had lost more of his engineers which should be building mass extractors on every available point.

Things got even worse when, half a minute later, three bombers dropped their payload on the hydrocarbon plant. His radar was killed immediately and, two passes later, the plant went down it as well.

“That’s a short one, I’ll forfeit now, that makes one and a half point for you, two and a half for me. Next battlefield is –”

“I don’t think that we should be continuing this,” colonel Stirling interrupted, “ I believe that you both have learned to respect each others’ qualities. Mister Dygonn, you are in no way fit for the early combat at the front if things remain as they are, but for a pilot in training for only nine months, you are the most talented intelligence collector I am aware of. With more training, you’ll be the best commander in such a supporting role.

Additionally, as soon as you’ve got intel, you only build the necessary equipment. You never waste any recourses from that point on.
Mister Temera, you are exactly the opposite. You fit best for that early combat, but you lack intel. This means that you can back up mister Dygonn, so he gets his intel, then the tables turn around: he backs you up, he will guide you in constructing the right weaponry. On your own, neither of you cannot achieve much, but that is what we make teams for. The two of you fit together perfectly.”

“Apart from the fact that we can’t stand each other, you are right, colonel Stirling.” Leython agreed with Eric when he heard him saying it, for once… he agreed.

“Ok, that is the only issue, you also still have to work on the basics. Now then, the reason why I stopped this contest is for another one. You all know that the planet of Matar is under our control but that Cybran and Aeon forces are trying to take it over there.

Matar is so popular for battles because it’s a key point in the quantum network is located there. That location provides a quick passage towards Cybran, Aeon and UEF territory for all three factions, travelling via that gate is cheap and save in energy costs. The faction which controls Matar literally controls a good part of the quantum network.

Due to this, Matar is attacked regularly. It is very important that we establish a good base of operations there so we can hold control. The plan to construct a fortress there has finally been put in action. Our best strategists, and that includes me, are designing such a fortress, that would give us the ability to respond to any assaults on the planet, no matter where they are executed, yes mister Lancet?”

“What does that have to do with us sir?” Jeff asked.

“You are going to design the fortress. It has to be a proper one, which will make that neither Cybran nor Aeon forces will take over Matar. It is not that we are blindly going to construct what you come up with though. Every team of pilots-in-training are being given this challenge. You will design this fortress in cooperation, the team of experienced strategies will do so as well.

The six of you form that team. You’ll be allowed to do anything with our UEF arsenal. All designs, by every team, will be examined by us.
We will not only give advice after you have completed your job, but we will also tell which design is the best. It is not only an opportunity for you to learn about strategy on such a large scale. The deadline will be in forty six days, that is Friday the eighteenth of July.


“Where do we start?” It appeared that Michelle Aiko was unable to handle the size of the situation.
“We should know about the planet’s lay-out. Where the most important cities are, how about the landmasses? Where are the places which are rich on resources?” Jeff answered her.
“Good idea, but let’s have a break first. We’re already busy for two hours now.” Leython said.
“We’d better try to beat our own fortress as well. If that is doable, we know that we are not done yet.” Eric said.
“Yes, but before we do that, we’ll have to design a fortress in the first place. Let’s get to work in twenty minutes.”

Colonel Stirling addressed them for the last time of today, before seeing them again on Wednesday:
“Good luck, guys. I’ll have to instruct the next group by now. I’ll see you soon.”

“Now, we don’t have anything to do until one o’clock.” Aiko said, “shall we just begin immediately?”
“Yes, after our break, we’ll take a look at how Matar exactly looks like.”


_____________
Colonel Stirling left the Academy two hours later, he had to talk with Clarke.
By the time he finally entered her office, she already was about to leave: “You’ve made quite a journey, colonel.” She said.
“So did you on Saturday, didn’t you ma’am? You spend the day at the Los Angeles Academy quite regularly, correct?”
“Yes, I did, why are you asking?”

“I am asking because I saw that one of the pilots-in-training had improved very much in one weekend: Leython Dygonn. He suddenly was able not only to hold his ground on Theta passage against another pilot, Eric Temera, but he actually took him out.
Temera is a real spammer, Dygonn is the opposite. He should have lost on Theta passage, but he was able to use some quick Mech Marines with a scout to slow Temera down as much as he was slowed down by him.
For as far as before, Dygonn was unable to deal with his enemies until he knew everything about him. However, suddenly he is capable taking some initiative in the battle and he spent resources on units without knowing about his enemy. You must have helped him. Is that correct?”

“Yes, it is,” Clarke continued: “I thought him how to predict what he needs based on the lay-out of the battleground. I also did a training battle against him on Theta Passage.
He was quite a misery in that occasion, but I am glad that he remembers what I told him, so he was capable of dealing with his opponent.”

“I think we’ll have to intensify the training. We’ve got one and a half year to go until they have finished their training, but I doubt that they have enough knowledge about battles, I don’t think they’ll survive for so very long. The best may survive, but they all have to be the best if we’ll want to train the next generation well.”

“Yes, you’re right, but in eighteen months, they can still learn much. They’ll get better, and a bit tougher, so they can survive this long lasting war.” Clarke answered.
“Something else, did Temera get a stealth generator up and running on Theta passage?”

“Yes, surely you gave him some advice as well?” Stirling asked

“Yes I did, I broke off Dygonn’s training when I got a false alarm, but went back to the academy afterwards.” Clarke said. “I had knowledge about Dygonn and I experienced that Temera rushed his swarm of tier one units much better. However, I thought that Dygonn would be able to hold him off, so I told him that he had to play along. Give Dygonn the false idea of control, then he’ll stop the construction of tier one units, get radar towers online to get a full cover of the battlefield. Temera had to construct stealth generators to hide the swarm and initiate a surprise attack.”

“That surprise attack failed on the distraction of Temera’s interceptors, so Dygonn could plant some bombing runs in his tank swarm later on. Additionally, Dygonn quickly constructed tier two Point Defenses, and he had more than enough energy to support several shield generators.
Temera’s forces were repelled and he forfeited the battle. Dygonn’s got extraordinary movement skills for a first year’s pilot. They both made some terrible mistakes as well. Rarely any reclamation and I have even seen that tanks, in groups of four, were sent towards the ACU several times.”

“Hmm, maybe a regular contest during the training is in order. That’ll challenge them. These people all have just finished their high school, some even didn’t. They are competitive, they want some status. You can give it to them in this way. It’ll increase their ambition, and so they will do their best.
I think I’ll start helping when I can on Saturday, if I don’t get bothered by more false alarms.”

“General, what was this false alarm about?” Stirling asked.
“EarthCom believed that the Cybrans had recovered the Sung leeching technology, but it appeared that they just miscalculated the amount of mass extractors our commanders had under control. No mass was leeched away from us at all. Eventually the Cybrans retreated.” Clarke answered, she was glad that the mystery of the warlord called Sung did not become reality.

“What disturbs me is our policy in the training of these pilots.” Stirling said, he mentioned the real reason of his journey only now. “Because president Riley wanted to have us to be nicer and add be less of a critic, our pilots are not doing their best as they should be. They’re not ‘encouraged’ to do something.
Here on Earth, the war essentially doesn’t exist. The pilots get into the Academy, without knowing what they will face three years later. If we don’t make them a bit tougher at the Acedemy, they’ll still not know what they’re up against when they leave the Academy to fight on whatever distant planet they are needed.”

“Yes, I must agree to that.” Clarke answered. “However, Riley has promoted the Academy because war would be ‘great’, it would make the pilots popular and ‘all-powerful’. It is easy to understand why fourteen year-olds want to join the army. He wants to keep it that way, and use the of the pilots-in-training opinion’s about the Academy to promote the war even more. For that, he wants the pilots to have a good time at the Academy.”

“I know that general, but there is one important thing. Quality must be chosen above quantity. What is the use of ten per cent more enlistments because of this… ‘we have a good time here’-academy, if fifty per cent of the pilots dies at their first mission?
Now I may be a bit exaggerating, but I do believe that our casualty rates of today are higher than in the time you were enlisted, or when I still served as an ACU pilot in action. Please try to convince the president that we’ll have to go back to our old policy, by telling that we have more use of one tough commander, than of ten softies who haven’t learned so much here.” Stirling said.

“I’ll do my best, you’ve got a point there, but just let it to me. You know that the president is not too happy with criticism, I would not like to hear that you are going to be fired because you want some changes in our policy. I’d rather not lose a good teacher at the Academy.” Clarke concluded.

___________
In the Academy, the six pilots had been busy for the whole day, they finally had something more to do than what was on their standard schedule, something that might encourage them to think of their career for when they would be too old pilot an ACU.

“Hmm, we’re at a good pace already, guys.” Jeff said, “shall we continue on Saturday?”
“In our weekends Jeff? No way!”
“Come on Eric, it’s not like you haven’t spent last Saturday at the Academy.” Leython answered him.
“How do you know?” Eric asked him, surprised.
“I didn’t know, I just guessed because I saw you using that stealth generator. I couldn’t think of an explanation on how you got that idea, apart from that a senior officer has told you the trick. Now that guess has been correct, you just gave it away.”
Jeff quickly talked before Eric could retort to Leython: “Damn, to think of it, people tell me that I talk too much.”
He continued on the idea he just thought of: “But what if we just do it. It’ll leave us plenty of time for parties and such. I mean, we’ve got the Sunday to rest from a hard week, and still have the Friday and Saturday evening to party and have dates.”

Just at the moment that Leython thought he had made the last Friday evening disappear from his thoughts by keeping him busy for the whole day, Jeff had to ruin it.
To make things worse, it was Michelle who confronted him directly: “Speaking of dates, how was yours Leython?”

“Don’t ask. It is already frustrating that Jeff had to talk about it in general, why do you have to ask me directly Michelle? It was a disaster. Didn’t take me more than half an hour to make her storm away, I was heartless, she said.”

“Now that is an accurate assumption she made…”
“Yeah, thanks Michelle, that is really cheering me up.” Leython said.

Leython and Michelle shared the most of the way to their own apartment together. When the others left in a different direction, Michelle asked for a better explanation. When Leython told her what happened, she understood.

“Well, my conclusion is that such a girl is just not the one for you. There must be one somewhere on this world, or at least on the core worlds, that ‘suits’ you, that is just as emotionless as you are. To be honest however, I must agree that she was quite a whining girl. During my school time, I only hang out with those that were direct and didn’t moan so much about how horrible their life has been. Don’t think you’ve done everything wrong, you actually did quite well. Just don’t act so emotionless when you’re at a party, don’t be so silent and don’t try to be so… ‘professional’ as you are at the Acedemy.”

“Thanks for the advice, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Chapter 3 - Challenges

Door Plasma_Wolf op vrijdag 30 april 2010 22:58 - Reacties (4)
Categorie: 1: The UEF Academy, Views: 2.186

Leython knew he didn’t stand a chance, he knew he would be obliterated. However, this idea made him perfectly calm. There would be no humiliation, only a moment to learn. He remembered it from his training in dueling with the sword: he lost dozens of times against his master back in those days. Being defeated by Clarke wouldn’t matter. He would learn how to put up a decent fight.

The battlefield was called Theta Passage. Most of it was no passage though, it was one large open field. Leython expected that general Clarke would send out raiding groups, early on, to deal with engineers which would go in all directions in order to build mass extractors everywhere, was this the way he had to think? Assume that things are going to happen? Leython’s commander would take the lower passage. Large amounts of tanks and mobile artillery would take the open field and as soon as he had bombers and interceptors online, he would attempt to hamper Clarke’s energy’s income.

As the first minutes had passed, Leython had, obviously, already two tier one radars up and running. One in the open field and one near the mountain ridge. Small raiding groups were moving in from different sides and the first squat, consisting of two Mech Marines and one scout, had already encountered his commander and paid the price. Another of such a squat met two joined groups of him and had been taken care of as well, but on the other side…

The rest of his groups died as he watched, he didn’t stand a chance against Clarke’s unit management, his engineers had, in the very beginning, just barely survived the arrival of her light assault bots but that had only delayed their survival up to now. He was incapable of holding on. Clarke’s economy was superior as well.

Just at the moment Leython thought he had a chance of beating back, he saw that one of his radars was destroyed instantly. The worst part was that it was the radar near his mountain ridge. His commander advanced from the lower passage, but had no intel whatsoever. He had to fall back.

Air was no option either: his first bomber was shot down quickly, without doing any damage. Leython stopped building air units, enemy interceptors flew over his base regularly.

While his command unit walked back, he saw what general Clarke had done. All of her forces that were available moved in, all at the same time. His only radar left was showing one mass of red dots, marked as land units. One appeared somewhere in the lower right of the field covered by the radar. It was a slow unit and it was the very one that destroyed his other radar tower. It could only be the commander and Leython summarized the battle.

“So, sending the commander through the lower passage does not work, it takes too much time.
Raiding groups have to be properly micro managed so that they can take out all the outlying mass extractors. Additionally, destroy enemy radar structures as soon as possible, to blind him.”

“More important is that you must not place radar tower at such an obvious point. I knew I would make it impossible for you to perform at your maximum capabilities if I would hamper your intel support. ACUs can take a real punch, so they’ll make it towards a single target, even if it is protected by some forces.

In your case, it wasn’t supported at all. You needed all units to defend against my tanks. What’s more important –“

General Clarke was cut off by a call from an EarthCom officer: “General, we’ve got something disturbing. Please report as soon as possible.”

“Too bad Dygonn, I’ve got to go, my work to check on ‘disturbances’ is more important than the personal training of a student. Good luck on your training.”

“No problem, good-bye ma’am.” Leython decided to have something to eat and then go home and relax a bit. Surely with this information he would be able to deal with Eric. No problem at all, just as long as he remembered everything and that… he would.

____________
The next Monday, the second of June, as soon as Leython entered Stirling’s simulation room again, he was confronted by Jeff.

“Ok, take your seat Leython, Eric is already prepared and Stirling agrees to the contest rules: best of seven, first battlefield is chosen by him and it is the Bermuda Locket.”

“Oh god, that strange island houses enough place and mass to support eight commanders, that means he’s going to let us handle an army and economy that is four times as large as usual?”

“Yes that’s right Leython,” Eric had heard him, he was even more excited as Friday, “prepare to deal with my swarming skills”.

“Oh, don’t count yourself so lucky yet. There’s no real open field here, so your tier one warm is useless. A couple of Scorcher bombers and everything is burned to the ground.” Leython had already devised his strategy: He would construct air transports as soon as possible, so he could occupy the alternative parts of the island. If he would be able to pull that off, Eric would only have one third of his economy and he would naturally lose the battle. As usual, at least for him, he would construct tier one radar towers at every place he had a construction engineer. Then he would see enemy units coming.

He didn’t forget Clarke’s words: the lay-out of the battlefield gave away intel already. There was no need to fear making the wrong startup decision: he would advance to tier two so that he had pillar tanks and, more importantly, riptides hover tanks available before the tier one swarm would arrive.
He would also have bombers ready to either weaken the swarm or destroy enemy engineers that might try to gain a foothold on the alternative points.

As the battle began, another thought sprang into Leython’s mind: what if Stirling would make some fun again, what if he made up a surprise? He could control the gating points after all. Leython was at the left side of the island’s top section. For a good balance and a battle that would take the best of each pilot on several grounds, Eric should be on the lower-right. However, Stirling mentioned that commanders had to be in for surprises, and that he would see to it that they could handle sudden events without any problems, so it could very well be that Eric now was building his first mass extractors, Power generators and factory on the eastern side of the islands’ upper part, directly next to him.

His solution was simple and effective in all forms: the third unit rolling from his factory was a land scout. Leython would know everything about Eric within minutes, when air scouts would join the search.

It appeared that Eric was not found in the upper right by the land scout, but on the upper side of the island’s left part. It was still a good distance away from Leython, but it would still change the way the battle would be fought. The distance between the two bases was drastically shortened, so the use of tier one units was reasonable.

Leython suddenly had pick one out of two options again: construct tier one strikers and lobos, or tech up and block the direct passage with tier two Point defenses. He counted himself lucky that he had an air scout flying over Eric’s base already: he would know what Eric did and do the same.

Leython’s first air transport was sent out, all the way towards the other side of the island. He hoped to be there before Eric. In the meanwhile, he had lost his air scout patrolling over Eric’s base. He would be unable to mimic him.

The transport carried six engineers. As the transport landed, on the right part of the island’s lower section, his second Hummingbird was shot down by Eric’s mobile anti-air units. Leython’s Air scout had given away that Eric’s first transport took off, though.
Eric was late with his air factory. Leython however, did not have interceptors to take the transport out before it would arrive at its drop point, which was still unknown. Little time later, the transport appeared in Leython’s base and dropped of three engineers. Leython’s command unit destroyed them in six shots. He could not use his overcharge cannon for that. It would be a massive waste of energy so early in the battle.

“What!?” Eric yelled in surprise. “What are you doing there? There’s only one explanation…”
“Yes Temera,” Michelle Aiko answered, “colonel Stirling has done some work on the gating points.”

“Well, that changes the whole scenario: tier one units are useful! You’re dead Leython.” Eric said.

By mistake, Eric had realized what was going on. Leython’s short advantage in intelligence had been lost. Eric did not notice earlier by the direction the Air scout came from, because he thought that it had scouted the upper section of the island first. It all appeared differently. He would produce a large amount of tier one units and attack.
Additionally, he would construct bombers to attack at all different sections. He would not be stopped, he thought, while his second C-6 Courier transport landed at the lower section.

The dropped units were destroyed. Leython was there. “How can you be so fast!? I thought you wanted to know everything about the battlefield before you even planned your movement.” He said.

Leython answered him with similar words Clarke used to let him know how to collect his intelligence: “I know where you gated in, so I know where you are. By noticing that you didn’t have an air factory yet, I knew that you were only at the left section. You didn’t have anything else.”
However, Leython made a stupid mistake. After he had sent the first transport out to occupy the island’s lower section, he forgot about the eastern side. When he finally had constructed mass extractors at the land bridge in between, he noticed this. He quickly send engineers, this time forgetting about his lack of intelligence in the eastern region. Eric had occupied it in secret.

Cursing that he was so stupid, Leython had to come with a plan quickly. He did not realize that Eric was so adaptive. As far as he knew now, he stuck to his first plan, no matter what happened. Surely he would not come up with the idea to go to, for him, the far side of the island? Even now he realized Leython started in the upper section, he would understand that Leython would be at the eastern part earlier than he? The questions did not matter in the least. The fact that Eric had occupied half of the island, Leython had the other half meant that the battle was balanced between both sides.

The best of the island, for Leython, was that the land bridges could be closed by the construction of a pair of Triad point defenses. The land bridges were not very wide, so swarms of land units would move slowly, or in groups packed together. The triads weaponry caused large explosions on collision, so it would damage more units at the same time. Leython noticed that all of his plans had changed as the game progressed, his strategy to hold his ground was not as it was before he started the battle.

The next fifteen minutes went by without anything special happening. Leython had upgraded his tier one radar towers and now he had four SA2 – 2000 systems. Additionally, he provided himself with two SP2 – 2000 sonar systems as well. He continued upgrading those. The tier three sonar, as opposed to the tier three omni sensor, did not require enormous loads of energy to maintain. He would be able to see almost the entire sea, which would be very helpful for his idea to attack Eric’s bases with cruisers, destroyers and even a couple of battleships. He would need much more time for building such a navy, however. At the moment, he only had some gunship and triad point defenses to stop any of Eric’s possible attempts to attack via the land bridges. The rest of the resources were spent in the production of more resources.

Just at the moment he finished the upgrades on his Sonar systems, he noticed a large group of hovering units moving on the water, both from the western as well as the eastern section. He did not understand why those red hovering dots were shown, while the radar towers did not cover that area yet. He wanted to ask colonel Stirling, but he was instructing Jeff what to do in a particular situation.

Leython noticed that he lost all notion of what happened around him. He did not notice that Stirling has teamed up Aiko and Lancet against Beck and Funky. Those were practicing a two versus two war now. Leython was distracted for a moment, but he suddenly noticed that all of the hovering units were moving towards the upper section, he had to work on the problem quickly. He did not want to send in any of his air forces to deal with him, he would give away what he had.

Leython had already constructed various tier two defenses near the land bridges, now he sent his engineers closer to the shore to build some triads there. He was out of time however, he had to think of something more….

He quickly sent his tier one engineers at work. They would construct factories which, in turn would build lobo artillery. They packed quite a punch and Leython could station them behind the hills. The riptides hover tanks would be unable to reach the lobos, but they would be destroyed by the fragmentation artillery.

A minute later, the battle commenced. Riptides moved in on the shore, immediately being fired at by the small group of Triads Leython had constructed. The swarm was large, however and it advanced quickly. It looked like one destroyed hover tank was replaced with two new ones. By the time the riptides moved in on the tier two point defences, the lobo artillery kicked in and started their fire.

The first group of shells came unnoticed and Eric was surprised to see them coming. He tried to make adjustments, but the riptides did not respond well. Neither of the commanders had ever seen such behavior. The tier two tanks refused to change course and now only stayed where they were. The force was suffering badly now. What could have become Leython’s defeat turned into a major setback for Eric.
He lost the battle and Leython gained a large amount of mass in wreckages, which he ignored.

Eric had to think of a new strategy now. He had concentrated all of his resources on building this hover army and now it was lost. He was at a disadvantage. He and Leython both had no chance of winning the battle by land or hover units. That was made certain now his attack had failed.

He guessed that Leython could to attack in the same way, but he thought that his opponent would not event try. Leython would assume that he expected such an attack and therefore he would take pre-emptive measures. Eric would not have to try another attack by the use of hover tanks. Leython had dug in.
Eric realized that he was overconfident. He did not think of a second plan. He would not make up for a good commander in this way, he couldn’t stand his own if things did not go according to his own plan.

Ten minutes later, Leython had produced a fair amount of tier two gunships and added some tier three broadswords as well, he decided it was time to attack. He did not forget to continue the upgrade on his radar towers. He now had the best intelligence a commander could wish for. He only had to spot the enemy commander. Eric’s ACU was nowhere to be found, but suddenly Leython noticed a single red dot moving in, in the water.
This dot moved slowly, it was the enemy commander. Completely unprotected. It continued moving in and stopped in between the western and the northern section of the island. Leython saw that the commander suddenly launched tactical missile. This missile had something special, Leython noticed on his third screen, which gave a zoomed in view on the commander now it was exposed. The special thing was a word written on the missile.

Billy.

Leython remembered that he did not build shields or tactical missile defenses. How could he forget so much things? He quickly ordered the removal of all of his gunships, so that they would not be destroyed…

His commander stood underwater, on the outside of the island, near some cruisers. Since those ships automatically were equipped with tactical missile defences, he did not have to worry so much. He moved a small portion of his fleet, away from the shipyards he constructed.
The fleet would go to the land bridge, the cruisers would stop the billies and the destroyers would kill the enemy commander with their torpedoes, but Leython estimated that at least four of the tactical nukes would be able to make it through.

By the time he finally found his tier two engineers, they were destroyed in the nuclear explosion, along with the rest of his base. He would have to use every other engineer he had to build the buzzkill gatling guns he suddenly needed.
He had lost his air factories, so constructing torpedo bombers was not an option , but luckily his gunships remained unharmed. He sent them towards the eastern part of the island. If he, by chance would be forced to abandon the northern section entirely, he still would pay Eric back in kind.

Leython lost one of his omni sensors, but his intelligence was not bugged down by that at all. He still had three others at full capability… If they had energy.
Leython had built sensors at more than one location, but he had not done the same with his energy structures. He in fact had only one large base which provided his energy income and his air construction.
That base was lost, most of it had been destroyed in the first nuclear missle. For the rest, the other three gating zones he controlled…

Those only consisted of one land factory, he did not even give the proper tier two upgrade, the mass extractors that could be built there and a couple of tier one power generators.
His energy income was destroyed, he had no intelligence. If Eric would come with one large group of hover tanks again… He would lose.

The group of Stingers and Broadswords arrived at the eastern part of the island. There were no Riptides in sight. Had Eric stopped building them? It did not matter in the slightest, this base was going down. It consisted out of four tier two land factories and the engineers that assisted them were still there, idly standing by as the base was destroyed.

Leython’s fleet also arrived at Eric’s commander, but some torpedo bombers moved in, as well as a large fleet Eric had constructed. Eric expected Leython’s move, he built a large fleet that could support his commander. Leython was surprised by everything that had happened in the past moments.

Eric’s sixth billy missile was launched. It would destroy the last remains Leython’s main base, but one of Leython’s cruisers shot it down. Leython only saw one chance, he now moved the cruisers in between his destroyers and Eric’s fleet. Those would serve as a metal shield, so the destroyers could not be reached so easily. The torpedo bombers were destroyed and Leython had rearranged his gunships, they would join the fight.

By the time Leython’s cruisers were destroyed, the Gunships arrived. Broadswords and Stingers made short work of the enemy ships. Five tier three air superiority fighters now joined the brawl above the water. Eric’s Wasps concentrated on the Broadswords, destroying two in each pass. Unfortunately for Eric, it was too late. Seven of Leython’s Valiant class ships were still launching torpedoes on Eric’s commander, which exploded not long afterwards.

“Mister Dygonn, you had a hard time with it, didn’t you?” Stirling addressed him personally.
“Yeah, but would you please not tell the others?”
“Well, no, I’ll not keep it between the two of us. Now, why didn’t you respond to everything immediately? You did not link groups of engineers to hotkeys in your console. That is a one-way train to problems.
If you would have done that, you would be able to put up that one vital Buzzkill you needed, before the missile would arrive. Don’t think about relocating the gunships. That is not necessary because you would have constructed the missile defense in time. You are the one who comes up with the quick and flawless plan, aren’t you? I have seen little of that this time.” Stirling said.

“I don’t really know how it happened, but it could be that I panicked.
“It does happen regularly, sometimes that pilots are surprised by the sheer amount of enemy forces suddenly popping on screen, like you did when all of those riptides attacked. You’ll have to learn to live with it, so that you can respond accordingly.”

“Yes, panicking only wastes time.” Leython replied.

“Yes, but you’ve got one advantage now. You are not the one who faces a defeat. He’s got to make up for it. There is something more important however,” Stirling addressed the whole group now, “listen up everyone. There are a couple of things I want to talk about. I have watched both battles.
Both show that you all still have a lot to learn.

Let’s start with Mr. Dygonn and Temera. Mr. Temera, you lacked intelligence. You just started the attack with the tier two hover tanks without knowing anything. It turned out that you took Leython by surprise, but you did not check in on his forces at all.
Even if you would have scouted the area just before attacking, you would be too late. What if Leython would have taken pre-emptive measures? Then the construction of those riptides would be one waste of mass.
When you sent in your commander with the tactical nukes, you again lacked intelligence. That was the very reason of why you lost the battle. If you had proper intel, you would have known that he had a naval force and you would send in your own.
When it comes to that, why did you not send in your navy at the first place? I don’t know what you thought back then, but it is really bad.” Next, it was Leython’s turn to be lectured:

“Mr. Dygonn, you were not as good as usual. Now it can happen sometimes, but you must prevent it at all costs. You did not send in engineers at the eastern part of the island. You were so fast getting the southern part, but you forgot about the only section left. That allowed Eric to do everything he has done.
For the rest, don’t let yourself be surprised by a sudden appearance of large numbers and be very happy with the end of the battle as it was. It could have ended differently.” Stirling was not done yet.

“For you four, it was kind of a mess. You did not really have a plan. Now you can see how much you lack without someone as Mr. Dygonn, you guys stumbled around a bit, until Mr. Funky comes with an idea which was, I must say, quite awesome.
Apart from the sudden air drop in Ms. Aiko’s base, the battle was not worth mentioning. You also make so much mistakes.” Stirling continued, with another important note:

“I have already mentioned the importance of reclaiming, but it seems that you have not really remembered it. In total, I saw one pilot actively reclaiming. Mr. Lancet, good job. It was too bad however, that you did not have the proper energy income available to use all that mass. That is one important note for you.
Don’t forget about one thing, if you try to remind yourself of the other. For now, that is all. Get these basic concepts perfectly under control, before you can go to the more advanced tactics and strategies. You may have been able to do so many things good during those exercises I gave the last months, which explicitly told what to do, but you don’t remember it here. Do so from now on.”

Colonel Stirling ended his lecture and very one mumbled with “yes sir” in the next two seconds, before he asked Eric what the next battlefield would be.
As Leython expected in one way or another, Eric picked Open Palms. “Let the spam festivity begin,” he said.

Chapter 2 - Preparations

Door Plasma_Wolf op dinsdag 27 april 2010 21:30 - Reacties (2)
Categorie: 1: The UEF Academy, Views: 1.716

Saturday, Leython entered the simulation room, with a Friday evening in his mind, while he would rather forget what happened. He wanted to train a bit in the virtual combat simulation to get rid of his thoughts. He knew however, that as soon as he would leave again, his memories of the disastrous date would return and strike in his head twice as hard, but he’d rather have that and be distracted for a couple of hours, than having to listen to all this girl’s emotional problems again for the whole day, only to remember her storming off after he said he wasn’t really interested about everything she had on her mind.

Surely he had said that in a gentle way? Apparently not and here he goes again, remembering the previous evening.

Back in reality, he logged in into the simulation computer, he knew he had to do a bit of training because even though Eric would not understand a single thing about intelligence warfare, he knew exactly how to rush ahead and take control of areas early on, using nothing but tier one units.

Leython would not survive if he started construction on his base and army as usual. However, if he managed to live the first ten minutes without getting significant damage, he would be able to deal with Eric.

The simulation program was constantly updated, every battle of the UEF, no matter on which planet, was carefully recorded. Every pilot would contribute his or her strategy to a large database. While all strategies were analyzed, they would be managed in profiles, creating a variety of more than fifty in total, from the steamrolling profiles to the ones which would only construct an economical base as support.

Every person in training would face all profiles, all in combination with other ones, but not so much in their first year of training. Aside from that, they would also face each other. The best way to learn was by experiencing how other humans fought.

Leython would experience it in two days and even though he probably knew Eric’s combat strategy - by analyzing his way of fighting and the way he talked and worked here at the academy he already learned a lot - Leython thought that he would face a surprise.

A person’s strategy in on a battlefield, or in a war-game, could be predicted by this person’s closest friends and colleagues, by putting together all of the abilities, tricks and ideas he had. One requirement was that the colleagues also had some experience in the game.

If the person was able to make his statements, say what he thinks and do what he wants, all without fear of that other people might think badly of him doing so, then he would be a confident commander on the battlefield.

However, if he was uncomfortable with almost every situation, uncertain of what others might think of him, it would take a serious amount of time and effort to train him into a good soldier. He had to learn to make decisions, think fast when facing a thread and be able to counter it without a second thought. Not only he had to be familiarized with the way a battle was fought, he also had to grow confident.


Eric was arrogant when he was talking and working. He thought he could take things on, alone, he underestimated his assignments sometimes, but he could usually make up for his faults just in time.
On the battlefield, he would work fast, make his decision immediately, and he would act without even a first thought, because he already assumed his battle would be won with his moves.

Leython knew that he was not arrogant like Eric, but leaning more to the opposing edge: uncertain. Not that he literally was uncertain in situations, he knew what he had to do, if he knew what he faced.
The only thing that made him in uncertain in some way, was that he had to know what he was facing. This made him a slow starter in a battlefield. If he would not know whether tier one tanks would fit for the first battle they had to fight, he would not build them. What if his enemy already advanced to tech two? His tech one rabble would be turned down into smoking debris in moments.

However, if he advanced to tier two, but his opponent would start up a quick rush of tier one units, his base would be levelled and Leython would not be given a second chance. He needed intel before he could do the job.

What Leython had never noticed, was his own arrogance. He would be just the same as Eric, as soon as he knew what he was up against. He devised a strategy, a tactic and then he would strike.
His movements were always correct, so he did not think of himself as arrogant, but only as smart and a correct thinker.
Whenever someone else told him he was arrogant, because his ideas worked, he only thought that this person was mad because he did not think of it.

Eric would not think of an issue like the lack of intelligence, he would send in his tier one tank swarm and see what would happen, certain that he would put his opponent at a major disadvantage by destroying at least some mass extractors, engineers and power generators.
If he suddenly would face a much stronger army, he would be the one put at the disadvantage and he would have a hard time turning the tables.

Leython’s main issue was his slow starting. Eric was just so much faster that he really had to train himself in the skill called rushing. What would be a real “rush and spam” battlefield? Certainly Open Palms would be one.
If only two commanders would wage a war there, it would be one festivity of tier one spam. A smart commander would keep his tier one swarm to a maximum, while upgrading a factory towards tech two or even tech three, build up a large force of stronger forces and then suddenly strike with an all-out attack on the enemy.
This would be Leython’s strategy on dealing with a scripted profile. He started the simulation…..

Within sixteen minutes he was swarmed to death.
“That’s not the best use of a commander like you I hope, you can’t start a decent tier one swarm. What are you best at?” Leython heard a female voice and wondered how it was possible that he was observed without getting the request to let her observe.

“Ma’am, how is it possible that you can observe me from your console, without having to request it?”

“My rank is high enough to bypass such requirements, now please answer my question. I saw you getting that intel pretty fast, and then suddenly speeding up your build process on tier one units, but before you had that radar coverage, you were working so very slow, you did not even expand a little bit.”

“Well, that’s the problem, I only expand to locations I am sure of that are under my control. To know what is under my control, I build those radars as soon as possible.”

“In these simulations, the commanders all arrive at exactly the same time. In reality, there is some time gap between the arrival of two opposing commanders. That difference can be deadly, but usually, you’re not put a such a gigantic disadvantage.
This should ring a bell to you. What do you know if your enemy arrives at the same time, but more than 5 kilometers away from you?”

“Well, I could reach about my half of the battlefield in between the two of us, while he gets his…”

“Correct, so get those engineers towards the mass fields on your sides. As soon as you have got some tanks, send those to protect. You’ll have to rely on speed instead of intel for the first part of the battle.”

“Yeah, I know that, I just don’t know why I don’t change it. It has been my bad remark since we started these simulations. I’m perfect if it comes to rushing intel coverage all over the battlefield.”

“That’s a good member for in a team, but it is useless if you are on your own, and such moments happen regularly.”

“Ok, so that’s one thing. Expand without relying on radar coverage, anything else?”

“Yes, definitely. What about building an early raiding group? A scout unit and two Mech Marines. Our Marines are the strongest Light Assault Bots, stronger than those Cybran or Aeon ones. Such a small raiding group is faster and more versatile than a larger army, or even a couple of tanks. Use the Mech Marines to kill unprotected engineers, or guard your own engineers with them until you have tanks to take it over.”

“Ok, then I’ll send those engineers into the unknown, build a radar tower immediately, then I’ll even have more radar coverage, even if it means working without for a small time.”

“That is pretty much a requirement on a battlefield like that. Construct a radar tower in the middle of those mass fields you have at your side. Those fields are a priority to control, so put structures that you need at the same place.
You’ll get three major zones that you’ll have to control by that. If you put radar towers at distant places, or, like you did, in front of that plateau in the middle, you’ll create a much larger area you have to control.
You are fast with getting intel on-line, but slow with unit construction and base expansion. In such cases, you are best with a not too large area you have to control, and then utilizing a steady advance strategy.”

“Ok, I understand. I’ll try again.”

“You’ll notice that a scripted profile is very repetitive and predictable. As soon as you have toppled it, you’ll be able to beat it always. Train with other people, that is a much better idea. We have an open lobby on-line, in this simulation room, since a couple of years. You can ask other commanders any time they are around.”

Leython thanked the unknown officer and started the next simulation. It didn’t take too long before he was in trouble again, with enemy units coming from all possible directions. This time, he was capable of keeping them away from his three important zones. All three were equipped with tier one radar structures, so it knew exactly where to send and how to manage his forces.
As strikers and lobos moved in on each other, Leython saw what happened why training with a scripted profile was a problem: the micro management was not optimal. He wondered whether it was so hard to script an artificial intelligence to make it capable of micro managing it’s units correctly. The artificial tanks were trying to evade Leython’s first series of lobo shells, but it was impossible, while Stirling had taught his pilots a simple trick. He stopped the two lines of tanks from moving forward, while his artillery continued. The enemy units were all moving forward.

Since all units were designed to calculate which direction to fire at by checking their own moving speed, the enemies’ moving speed and the muzzle velocity of their own projectiles, they would all target a bit in front of the enemy units. Artillery shells needed the longest time to travel, so they would be targeted at a point very far in front of the enemy advancing unit. This would give time to redirect the unit, something Leython did, but the profile didn’t.

While Leython’s tanks stopped, he saw the lobo shells crashing into empty ground. However,his lobo shells decimated the enemy army. The tanks moved forward again and took care of the enemy mobile artillery.

“Ah, I’ve got my radar on the left side upgraded to Tech two. I’ll be able to see his left side and guess what, no protection.” Leython said, speaking to himself. He moved his attack group in on the enemy’s mass field.
In the meanwhile, he had to defend against a slightly larger group on his secondary base on the right, but he had his ACU, which killed one tank after another.

Suddenly the enemy’s stream of units stopped. He wondered why, until he saw an enormous group of enemy units moving in the left radar’s field of coverage.
The AI had regrouped all units and was going to charge an attack on the left. Leython immediately knew that he could stop the enemy attack by regrouping his forces in his own mass field on the left, but then he would lose all of his progress and the whole situation would fall back in balance. He had a better idea.

He sent his commander in on the right, along with all the forces he directly available at that point. The AI had a choice, continue the attack, with the possibility to destroy his base on the left, but then it would lose his own base on the right.
The AI could also split his troops into two again and attack or defend on both sides of the plateau. This would not gain him anything, but not make him lose anything either.
A quick upgrade of his radar on the right and one air scout flying over the enemy base told Leython that the AI had completely chosen for the first option: all units were going to attack on the left.

Leython knew he had won the battle on the right, but now had to prevent losing on the left. Bombers would deal with the problem at hand. If he only had ten, he could severely damage even up to more than twenty units if they all managed to bomb one run.
The five bombers that he already packed up did one run, and then immediately went down against enemy air and anti-air unts, but they damaged and destroyed a couple of tanks. All the little bits would help.
Leython’s second trick would come shortly. He still had lobos around, which continued shelling the enemy tanks, which didn’t stop moving. The lobos superior range took them out of commission, making the enemy’s main force fail in its movement.

The rest of the battle was not worth noting. It had taken more than sixteen minutes, but Leython had won.

“A decent job, Dygonn, but you still do several things wrong. Now, are you going to train more? If you’d like, I’ll battle you. It’ll be a challenge for you to keep up with me, even for the first few minutes, but if you expand and construct radars like you just did, you’ll be able to slow me down a bit. Don’t’ worry about losing, just analyze my work afterwards. Then you’ll know what unit swarms really mean.”

“We’ll, I’d love to learn, so get it on. However, I don’t believe ‘keeping up’ is that much of a challenge, surely I can do that, even if you’re a high ranked officer.”

That thought quickly ended as soon as he saw that he was up against major general Clarke.
“Hmm, I’ll take that back. This will be a challenge.”