Rather, difficulties with Greed Corp. Level 23, Asaphyr’s Harbor (Campaign Mode).
Second to the last level, and I got thoroughly stuck. I lost a couple dozen times over the course of a week, before deciding to give up and find a hint on-line. Silly me. I didn’t find one walk through of this game, and the only reference I to this particular level was another poor stuck person, asking for help. Okay.
No way was I going to stop playing this game so close to the end. I decided to be more analytical in how I approached the problem. No more, “whee, I’m the Evil Empire crushing this world,” I had to start breaking it down like a computer bug. What were my bot opponents doing, and how was it better than what I was doing?
Warning: only read below the break if you want the play by play of how I figured out this level.
First of all, both oponents have the advantage of turn order. Because of the layout of the board, the obvious choice for all three of us is to send one walker in one direction and two in the other. Leaving a walker on the starting tile means that you run into an early numbers disadvantage against your oponents. The bots always choose to put an armory on the tile with one walker, they also always put those single walker/armory combos on the frontier facing me. Aha! Neither of them has to deal with two full frontal assaults once the armories start producing walkers; I do. Therefore, I need to avoid mimicking their plays, as I have an automatic disadvantage, and will lose — there is no way I can fight both armories unless I can gain a serious resource advantage to build and support two armories, which is unlikely with both of them playing first each round.
Here is what I do instead:
If I can’t fight both fronts, I’m going to have to let one go. I choose to build my armory on the newly claimed territory with two walkers on it. This means that I will always be ahead, in numbers, of the armory across the way. My single walker in the other direction will be a sacrificial lamb.
Both the bots send single walkers out from their leading edges, heading for the border of the board. They build harvesters on the oposite side of their territories from their armories, and I do the same. If I don’t build a harvester now, I add resource disadvantage to my turn disadvantage, and lose. (Trust me, I tried.) The major difference in my turn is that I do not send any walkers away from my armory. I want to fortify that border.
Next turn, the bots continue to expand a drop harvesters. If you have played this level several times, the actions of the bot closest to your sacrificial lamb will be very familiar. However, since I have not made a move out from my armory, the bot on that side of me will move and place a harvester farther inland. I move my sacrifical lamb back a step to where it came from, away from it’s harvester; then I send one more walker to keep it company, as there is now a single walker threatening that tile. I build more walkers at my armory, so now I have 11 on that tile, facing off across a single tile of waste-land to a bot with 10 walkers on an armory.
Next turn, more bot walkers are facing down my sacrificial lambs, so again, I send them company, boosting their numbers to five — the bot has three on each of two connecting tiles, so they can now take that spot, but in order to do so, they will lose most of the bots that are a direct threat to that side of my territory. I build walkers at my armory, rising the numbers to my full 16. The hardest part here is not sending all those walkers out to gather local resources, but if I do, I spread too thin, and the bots will eat me for lunch.
At this point, the bot closest to my armory also has a full sixteen, and because of resource advantages, has built a cannon, and put a bullet in it (yeah, I skipped mentioning that on the earlier rounds, focusing just on my fronts). In the nature of the game however, they have also built more harvesters, weakening their own stronghold. On my other side, those sacrificial lambs have been slaughtered, and there is now a harvester and two walkers on their former territory. There aren’t any walkers on the next tiles over, so putting four walkers facing that side will hold up that front for at least a turn or two, which I do. I re-stock my armory with walkers, and have enough left over for a cannon.
My next turn, I move one walker to take over the harvester on my border, to earn a few resources off it’s last run. I carefully don’t make a move toward the unclaimed land near my armory, since my oponent there has a loaded gun, and can easily kill any ranging walkers, and effectively cut me off from that territory permanently. Instead, I bide my time and save up for bullets.
Next turn, I buy a bullet and wait.
The bot on my far side (from my armory) has gained a carrier by this point, and I know I look like easy prey, so I need to spread out. Fortunately, my closer opponent is not looking too much worse, so I know they will have to waste their bullet for this turn on the other bot, so their main base can’t be taken, which means I have a turn to send a couple of walkers out into that unclaimed territory. (Which is now only connected to me, because of the bots’ early harvesting.) I make sure to re-stock the bots on my armory.
Oddly, the bots don’t attack exactly as I expect, but do focus on each other, rather than me. Also, the bot closest to me builds more walkers, rather than buying another bullet. I colonize the high point of the uncliamed territory near me, building another armory on it, and then shoot my bullet at the bot with the carrier, making sure they don’t have a tile with 16 to send over and take my main base. I buy another bullet, so I can do the same next turn.
From here on out, the decisions are pretty much the same as with other levels. Finally, a victory!
After that, the final level is a breeze, and my little completionist heart is satisfied. (Funny that, how I feel the need to finish some games, but rarely finish real-life personal projects.)