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Re: Balance Mod tournament Saturday 3rd of December 2016

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:21 pm
by The Troglodyte
Ok, so I think that perhaps I can be the free-lance beat writer and TLJ Games can cover the live commentary!

So with that… we’re back! And you know what that means! That’s right! It’s once again time for…

Star Control: Grudge Match!!! Part 3

At the end of the last skirmish, Nuclear’s Avatar dismantled the remainder of Gekko’s Orz ship unscathed, since the Nemesis was down to a sparse crew and couldn’t do anything to penetrate the Chmmr’s defenses.

Gekko had kept a Druuge up his sleeve, and felt that this was a perfect time to bring it in. An interesting choice too, since the Mauler can pose a threat to the Avatar because its high-velocity cannonball can withstand the ZapSats laser defenses, but the Mauler itself is vulnerable to the tractor beam, plus you have to be very accurate with the cannon and know when or not to propel yourself backwards, or when to sacrifice your crew.

Nuke waits for the Druuge to begin its approach, and then activates the tractor beam when the Mauler vessel comes into range. The Mauler fires its weapons several times, and it serves a dual purpose: One reason is to escape the pull of the tractor beam, and the other obviously to attack, and one of the shots lands successfully, taking the large Chmmr crew down a notch.

However, this expends a good portion of the Mauler’s energy, and before it sets up for its next engagement, an unlucky crew member is chunked into the furnace to replenish. The Druuge fires another shot from a long distance away, and a loud booming explosion signals a hit has occurred, but closer inspection reveals it was only a nearby asteroid that got shattered.

The Avatar activates the tractor beam all the way to full strength, and the Druuge is dragged seemingly helplessly across the screen towards the Chmmr’s weapon, but the Druuge uses the weapon to angle itself away the other direction as it passes by while simultaneously taking potshots at the Avatar. It certainly must be difficult for Gekko to aim and fire while dealing with Nuke’s powerful tractor beam, but Gekko persists in a determined fashion.

Unfortunately for him, Gekko’s will and determination almost becomes his undoing, since the momentum he had quickly gained suddenly backfires, as he re-emerges on the other side of the screen towards the Chmmr’s “danger zone” at incredible speed! Nuclear takes full advantage by firmly clamping down on the tractor beam, but more importantly, fires the laser beam directly on the Mauler, and a split second later the Druuge are down to only 3 crew! -- it’s only retaliation was landing one more shot of its own.

At this point, it looks as if it’s going to be curtains for the “chain gang,” but surprisingly, Gekko gathers himself and prepares for yet another run at the Avatar, but this time around he tries for a different approach, and this very subtle adjustment makes a huge difference, as you will see. So far, Gekko had been using the thrust caused by the Mauler’s cannon to whisk his ship to safety, which was always short-lived and consumed tremendous amounts of energy while only inflicting little damage.

Realizing that the Druuge was in a dire situation, Nuclear remained focused on fully using the tractor beam to bring the Mauler in to finish it off, but Gekko positions his ship to line up the shot, the remaining 3 Druuge play rock, paper, scissors, the loser is thrown into the fire, and then it begins firing on the Avatar, but the firing pattern is spaced out to diminish the effect of the tractor beam, but at the same time allows the Mauler to maintain it's relative position and pointing towards the Avatar vessel, and many of shots are finally hitting their target and a big chunk of the Chmmr’s crew is obliterated, almost half, but Gekko is down to only Captain Peeru, as well as a small portion of energy for only a few more shots.

Gekko once again manages to line up correctly, and fires the remainder of the Mauler’s salvo and takes out one of the ZapSats while also doing heavy damage to the Avatar, which pulls the defenseless ship within firing range and blasts it into pieces. Nuclear comes out on top, but I bet she expected to get a lot more mileage out of the Avatar, which is now down to 6 Chmmr.

What will Gekko pull out this time as he reaches into his bag of tricks? And will it be enough? Even a critically damaged Avatar posed a big threat, and Nuclear has other big hitters ready to bring in as well, so we’ll just have to wait and see!

Until next time…

Re: Balance Mod tournament Saturday 3rd of December 2016

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:54 pm
by The Troglodyte
And… we’re back! And you know what that means! That’s right! It’s once again time for…

Star Control: Grudge Match!!! Part 4

When we left the battle last time Nuclear had just finished off Gekko’s Druuge, but not before taking severe damage to the Avatar, which is down a ZapSat as well.

Gekko chooses the Yehat Terminator and it immediately performs a strafing attack, taking the Avatar to the brink of destruction, but its ZapSats manage to intercept the follow-up attack.

The Terminator gets whipped around the space field by a combination of the gravitational pull of the planet and the pull from the tractor beam, but once it got its footing it barreled in and finished the Chmmr ship off, but the Terminator is reduced to half crew when it failed to raise its shield during the final assault.

Down to only 4 ships, Nuclear has to make this next one really count, and chooses the Orz over the Androsynth, Utwig and Ur-Quan. Unfortunately, this proves to be a big mistake, and Gekko shows off his skills of how to properly handle the harassing space marines by keeping good distance and firing upon the would-be intruders. Then, a gravity whip later and the Orz is destroyed while only managing to kill a few Yehat crew with its Howitzer cannon. That's gotta hurt.

Nuclear goes with the Ur-Quan, and it probably should’ve been the choice over the Orz, since its fighters give the Terminator much more trouble than the marines. Gekko uses the Yehat’s defenses in a similar manner as before, but the fighters are much more maneuverable and slip past some of the pulse cannons shots and try to get behind the Terminator, whose only defense is using its shield and rotates the ship around to return fire on the little aggressors. Nuclear wisely sees an opportunity and fires a spread of powerful Fusion Blasts upon the distracted Terminator, and one of the first blasts connects with the hull while the shield temporarily lowers, and the ship is blasted to smithereens.

Then, it happens. The wild card is played… in the form of a Mycon Podship. Most folks would probably pass on even having a Podship in their fleet, and even if one were available, why bring it in against a Dreadnought? Won’t it be too slow and therefore vulnerable to the Ur-Quan fighters? Gekko provides those answers:

Fortunately for the Mycon, it spawns with the planet in plain view and immediately moves towards it and fires a homing plasmoid as the Dreadnought unleashes a small squadron of fighters. The Podship performs the gravity whip to send it laterally across the screen, but a few of the speedy fighters land a couple of laser shots before the Mycon ship comes buzzing by, but shortly later it reaches full strength and replenishes its lost crew.

While maintaining the momentum from the whip, Gekko carefully releases more plasmoids well ahead of the direction of the Ur-Quan vessel so they can make their way coming from the opposite direction, and the Dreadnought fires on the Podship as it flies by, but it’s too fast for any of the blasts to hit (some of which come within inches of the Mycon) and it soon has to switch its attention to the approaching plasmoid.

Everything unfolds very quickly as the fight heats up, and the Ur-Quan reacts by releasing more fighters into the hectic melee, but the rapid screen-flipping causes the Dreadnought to become disoriented, and it fails to see the planet until its too late, and hits it broadside, which deals a significant amount of damage to the bulky ship.

Several of the fighters return to their mother ship, and Nuclear handles up on another approaching plasmoid and tries to regroup, but Gekko’s not done attacking yet and releases 2 more plasmoids behind the Ur-Quan vessel. One of the densely-packed projectiles hits the Ur-Quan as it launches some more fighters, and then it turns and defuses the 2nd plasmoid before further damage is done.

The Mycon remains persistent, and another pass inflicts more damage, this time firing on opposite sides, taking down the Dreadnought to only its caterpillar captain. Stuck between an asteroid and a hard place, the Ur-Quan waits for its remaining fighters to return to the ship to maximize its crew.

In desperation, the Ur-Quan performs a gravity whip to try and get closer to the Mycon ship, but the trajectory is unable to bring it within range, and it slows down and releases two-thirds of its crew of 3. The Mycon uses another gravity whip and closes in for the kill and fires, and Nuclear intercepts the glowing glob with its fusion blaster. But then, out of nowhere, another plasmoid enters from off-screen and destroys the Dreadnought!! :o-smf I actually had to go back in the vid to determine when Gekko fired the fatal plasmoid. Very sneaky!

Down to only two ships, a Guardian and a Jugger, what will Nuke choose next? And will it be enough against an interestingly controlled and unorthodox Podship? Be sure to tune in next time for another installment of SCGM!!!

Re: Balance Mod tournament Saturday 3rd of December 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:21 pm
by The Troglodyte
Well, it looks as if it’s just about time to go ahead and wrap this one up…

So, without further ado, it’s time once again for…(big drumroll)

Star Control: Grudge Match!...AND THE STARTLING CONCLUSION!!! Starring Gekko and Nuclear.

The last time we left our combatants, the fighting got really intense, but some clever maneuvering and plasmoid placement by Gekko’s Mycon eventually wore down Nuclear’s Dreadnought to its demise.

Down to only a Guardian and a Jugger, Nuke goes with the Androsynth. That would’ve been my choice too, especially when you consider how although the Utwig is the better choice against the Podship, but then it becomes vulnerable during its next engagement, since Gekko would likely be able to use a couple of counter ships to whittle the Utwig down to nothing.

At first it looks as if Nuclear is going to have a decisive advantage; the Podship comes flying directly at the Guardian, which switched over to Blazer-mode when the Mycon ship drew near, and it rammed the side of the fungoid fighter, but it also had to absorb a mostly depleted plasmoid in the process.

Nuke quickly veers the comet ship away as Gekko’s Mycon unleashes 2 more plasmoids, and then tries to collide with the Podship on the other side, but due to the Mycon’s gained speed from the previous impact, even the speedy Guardian Blazer is unable to catch-up in time -- it can only retreat before it otherwise takes a facefull of plasma! Yowzers!

Unfortunately, during its regrouping the Guardian’s tank runs dry and it takes another weakened plasma attack, so it’s at around 70% crew. Out of a gravity whip to avoid another plasmoid, the Guardian switches back to Blazer form after it regenerated power, but it’s still unable to overtake the Mycon ship, which is continuing the same high speed as long as it doesn’t use the engines.

The Duchess is persistent, but she must’ve been still feeling the ill effects of the night before’s imbibing activities, because she tries three times in a row to ram the Podship by flying from the opposite side only to barely miss each and every time! Believe me, I’ve been there… it’s incredibly difficult to make “minor” adjustments to a blazing Guardian trajectory without making it jump and jerk all over the place!

Finally, an asteroid runs into the Mycon and slows it down, and Nuke’s Comet lands some significant damage by ramming the Podship with full intensity, but not before taking the full impact from a plasmoid fire at point-blank range! Ouchie! The Guardian charges back in to dish out some more, and Gekko fires the main weapon, but its homing mechanism returns the plasmoid right back and the Podship takes heavy damage! Ouch again!

Nuclear tries to capitalize on Gekko’s error, but the Mycon has just enough energy to fire again, and after the Blazer whiffs a few more times by failing to make contact, the plasmoid creeps in and finishes of the Guardian as it runs out of energy and comes to a halt!

While waiting for the last ship to arrive, the Podship (down to 1 crew) reaches full energy and replenishes some mushrooms, and it happens just barely in the knick of time, since it quickly finds itself doing some ramming of its own…headfirst into the planet!! It’s really of no consequence, however, since the Jugger has no problem taking down the troublesome Podship while easily deflecting the plasmoid attacks.

Then… a surprise attack! Gekko’s Pkunk Fury warps in nearby and immediately attacks the Jugger, inflicting a good deal of damage before the Utwig could raise its shields in time, but when it comes back around for a second pass, the Jugger blasts the Fury into oblivion! …well, temporarily anyway.

The resurrection of the Pkunk ship brings new life (literally) to the fight, and Gekko’s piloting skills when using the vessel displays much of the mannerisms and strategy one might expect from an actual Pkunk: It zips back and forth while rapidly rotating the ships followed up by darting in and out when it sees an opening as the Jugger can only do its best to try and keep up.

The widespread fire of the Jugger makes things very dangerous for the low-crewed Pkunk vessel, but Gekko’s bold approach proves worthwhile as it fearlessly rushes in and fires its Molten Pellets while attempting to avoid most of the Utwig’s cannons. The Pkunk steadily hurls insults at the Jugger to gain its energy back, mocking the Utwig crew repeatedly, but then it fails to see the planet and runs into it, killing the final crewmember and the Fury explodes into the side of the planet!

At this point, Nuclear must’ve screamed “Are you F$&%ing kidding me?” as, for a third time, the Pkunk rematerializes back into the battlefield with a shiny new ship! No rage quitting for Nuke though, and her Jugger remains focused and deals with the Pkunk quickly, cutting the birds’ lives short with a few well-placed cannon blasts – and finally… no resurrection.

Gekko opts for an Ariloulaleelay Skiff, and it races in to engage the Jugger, whose shields are low on energy and down to only 2 crew. The Skiff teleports several times until it feels it’s in an ideal location to begin the attack, but it takes a defensive cannon strike from the Utwig which wipes out a third of its crew. The Skiff teleports a few more times until it luckily finds itself positioned behind the Jugger, and then it swoops in and finishes off the Jugger with a few laser shots!

Wow!... an amazing end to an incredible battle! Both contestants deserve bountiful applauds of appreciation for their efforts as wells as for providing the rest of us some great entertainment! Congrats Gekko and Nuclear! :D

Re: Balance Mod tournament Saturday 3rd of December 2016

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:37 am
by Gekko
Entertaining to read. Thanks for writing it!

Re: Balance Mod tournament Saturday 3rd of December 2016

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:23 pm
by The Troglodyte
Gekko wrote:Entertaining to read. Thanks for writing it!
My pleasure. :)