Ladies and gentlemen, users and warriors... Let the counteroffensive Invasion of Stroggos begin!
The Mobile Infantry, hard-working and tough-gutted space soldiers dedicated to the defence of the Earth from the Bugs...
The Strogg, vicious warmongering cyborgs whose goal is to assimilate other species in the universe and transform them into one of their own...
WHO... IS... DEADLIEST?
Lets Meet the Combatants
The Strogg are cybernetic constructs of unclear origins that reproduce by taking biological components and fusing them with advanced technology in the brutal surgical process of stroggification that enslaves their minds and enhances their bodies for war.
The Strogg's need to harvest biological components for their own augmentation, and the flesh of slain enemies for the creation of stroyent, is their primary motivation, since it is necessary for their survival. This motivation led the Strogg to Earth, which they promptly invaded, slaughtering millions of humans just to harvest their corpses. This Strogg aggression led to humanity's long war with them that has continued unabated ever since.
The Light Guards are the weakest of the three guards, wearing light grey body and leg armour with orange shoulder plates and kneepads, and carrying a Strogg blaster. Even though they are the weakest of the lot, they may attack in packs or summon a little help from other Strogg units.
The Shotgun Guard is slightly stronger than the Light Guard, wearing dark grey body and leg armour. They are slightly low in health but otherwise pack a powerful Strogg Shotgun (action probably pump-action) that they can fire in quick succession and can be lethal (plus hard to dodge) as well as hunt in groups or call in for reinforcements.
The Machine Gun Guard is the strongest of the three Guard units, wearing black and gold body and leg armour, and carrying a Strogg Machine Gun (often firing 4 to 11 bullets a time out of say 100). They are very accurate with their shots (although they are dodgeable) and often like to close the gap between them and their target. Much like the other two guards, they will often fight in packs or call for reinforcements when necessary.Tactics-wise, the Guards shout "Clear!" when they've spotted a target, and generally just charge straight at it, stopping to fire. They are very accurate with their shots and will fire deadly rounds at a moving enemy (although they are not as accurate when that target is still). Because the Guards are swift in their fighting, they can charge up on someone hiding behind cover. Another tactical thing the Guards can do is that when they die they will sometimes lean on one elbow and take a final blind shot wherever their feet are pointing.
Despite having no ranged attacks, the Berserker has a decent amount of health, making it hard to one-shot kill it. It is also often strategically positioned behind doors and around corners to scare the living daylights out of the player. This is not merely a scare tactic, however, as just a moment of hesitation brought on by surprise is all that is required for the Berserker to land devastating blows on their target, inflicting massive damage very quickly. It is at its most dangerous in claustrophobic, small or narrow rooms where the target's room for maneuver is severely restricted and avoiding its melee attacks is that much more difficult. The Berserker is also a very fast Strogg unit being able to close the distance between it and its target in the space of a few seconds; when it runs, it runs erratically meaning long-ranged attacks will be quite difficult.With regards to their melee weapons, these lumbering monstrosities are equipped with a huge swinging spike hammer on one of their arms that can do quite a bit of damage as much as their hammer on the other hand.
The Tank is a large, heavily armed and armored behemoth. Due to its array of armaments and heavy armor plating, it is slow and cumbersome, but no less deadly. Despite its name, it doesn't look like a traditional Human-operated tank. However, just like a Human tank, it is highly resistant to small arms fire, and carries a powerful arsenal of weapons rivaled only by the Tank Commander. They are big and scary and have powerful weapons - the Tank's right arm is a Machine Gun (less scary than the Gunners or the Enforcers), the Tank's left arm is a Light Blaster that fires three blasts in a row (i.e. three-round burst action) and their most powerful attack is a shoulder mounted Rocket Launcher which seems to launch an unending (so it seems) barrage of devastating rockets at its targets.The Tank Commander is a heavily armed and armored behemoth of almost identical design to the standard Tank, with black and red armor and a golden Commander's insignia on its chest plate denoting its rank. Like the Tank, its movement speed is drastically cut by the weight of its armor and armaments but it possess a higher durability than it.
A Tank Guardian (or Tank Boss) essentially a giant Tank torso mounted on a caterpillar tank tread base, hence the trademark "squeaking tread" sound they make while rolling about, and their faster speed than a normal tank. Because of its adaptive mechanics, the Guardian possess armor that outclasses even the Tank Commander making it extremely durable.
Its primary ranged weapon is a chaingun on its right arm that fires a long stream of accurate bullet fire, much similar to the Makron although the Tank Boss only has one. It is very useful at pinning a target behind cover and can be damaging if the target is caught in the spray for a period of time.For engaging enemies at a longer distance, the Guardian has a shoulder mounted rocket launcher which fires three rockets one after the other. Whilst easy to dodge, getting hit by this attack will surely be lethal and kill a target if not devastate his/her armour or life.
The Makron is the apex specimen of the Stroggification process as he is just an organic brain sitting in robotic battle suit. The Makron will always go into battle piloting the Jorg exoskeleton until it succumbs to damage, at which point the Makron will dismount it and attack the player on his own.In his Jorg exoskeleton, Makron wields dual high-powered chainguns. Both in and out of the Jorg exoskeleton, the Makron will often fire his arm-mounted BFG10k - this, unlike the regular BFG10k, has been modified so that it has no charge-up time and it can operate in a semi-automatic/burst-fire action. Outside the exoskeleton, the Makron's main weapons also include a Light Blaster that fires 20 shots in a fanning motion, and a Rail Gun mounted on his head which works like the Gladiator's railgun except there is no cool-down time meaning the Makron can rapidly fire the weapon without it overheating.
The Mobile infantry are the soldiers of the United Citizen Federation, a totalitarion government that relies 100% on war to fuel it's economy. As a result, military service is mandatory in the Federation. The men and women of the Mobile infantry are put through training that is brutal and painful. Any mistakes in training can get a recruit 10 lashes or killed. In battle they love killing and fighting, because whoever kills the most enemies gets to take the rest of the day off surrounded by beer and cigerettes.
|Bladed||All-Metal Combat Knife|
|Short Range||E-Pulse Pistol|
|Medium Range||Tactical Assault Shotgun|
|Long Range 1||Morita MK I Rifle|
|Long Range 2||Morita MK II ASR|
|Long Range 3||Morita MK I Rifle (w/ Sniper Scope Attachment)|
|Explosive||MX90 Hand Grenade|
|Special Weapon 1||E-44 Pulse Rifle|
|Special weapon 2||MK55 Tactical Nuclear Launcher|
Since weapon comparison for me on this blog is going to be very long and tedious, I'm skipping to the X-Factors.
Consider the following when making your vote (If I'm allowed to copy these from you, EA):
Which warrior is more mentally susceptible to the other's attacks? This might be one-sided but then again you might consider otherwise
Which warrior can form a more solid game-plan beforehand, and which warrior is more adaptable to changing their plans if things go south?
Which warrior has more experience fighting other combat-capable warriors?
Which warrior can sustain physical damage (and mental trauma) for a longer amount of time before giving in?
Which warrior is more intelligent in the battle space? Which warrior will be able to figure out their foe and exploit their weaknesses first?
Which warrior will be able to use the environment and any other X-Factors in the area to their advantage more successfully? Given the puzzle-like nature of some of the areas, this X-Factor also includes teamwork in the mix so there's a little pointer for you
Which warrior is more skilled in the usage of their weapons?
Which warrior is more physically brutal in the battle space?
Places that the Mobile Infantry will go through in this match will be inside Cerberon.
The Installation consists of two buildings. The first one houses a storage area and a control room with a schematic of the Base complex. A shallow pool of Water separates the two buildings and the bridge between them has been blown up, yet the gap is small enough to jump over.The second building holds the exit to the Detention Centre, yet the bridge to that area can only be lowered by pushing a lever that is not readily accessible. A narrow sewer leads out of the Water pool between the two buildings. It ends in a small room with a hatch - underneath it is the path to the Comm Center.
The Comm Center is primarily one large building. The lower levels have been flooded after the recent TCM bombardment, while the upper chambers are storage rooms filled with ammunition, other supplies, and computer equipment. The most important room houses both the communications array and the blue key, which grants access to a section of the complex that leads back into the Installation. The Comm Center building is more heavily guarded than the areas faced previously, and contains several hazards such as toxic waste and explosives.The task is to locate and activate the Communication Center and retrieve orders, then collect the blue key and use it to enter the other end of the Installation.
The Detention Center is the facility where the Strogg keep many of their human prisoners. The dark cells bear the traces of pain and death, and the force fields make any attempt for escape futile.The center itself lies behind a heavy locked door. It houses many guards, as well as a computer console that controls the yellow lasers throughout the Jail Unit.
The Processing Plant is a gruesome facility filled with large machines, whose only purpose is to dismember, crush, grind, melt, liquefy or otherwise process captive humans. The resulting bloody slime is then used by the Strogg as a means of sustenance.The Plant is heavily guarded and the air is filled with moans and cries of pain from dying captured TCM marines.
The Reactor is the main hub of the Strogg power plant - it houses the reactor core and connects with its supporting facilities. The area features huge skyscraper-like machines, large pools of coolant liquid, as well as a master switch, which can expose the reactor core.The map undergoes several major changes as the player progresses through the hub. First, the coolant liquid disappears, leaving exposed overheated machinery visible. In the final stage, parts of the level are flooded with toxic waste and the whole area becomes unstable, with periodic explosions and tremors.
The Launch Command is a the facility that controls one of the most valuable Strogg assets - their Black Hole Generator, which allows them to travel across the vastness of space and invade other worlds. Shutting it down is crucial to humanity's war effort.The facility itself houses an enormous CPU core, with a large cooling installation. Shutting down the cooling would damage the CPU and allow access to the main control room. A little destruction there would put the Black Hole Generator out of commission for good.
The Outer Courts is the outermost area of the Strogg Palace complex, and as such it serves as a security checkpoint and houses several support facilities.
The level begins with an outdoor area and an entrance blocked by a portcullis. Breaching the Palace grounds will inevitably sound the alarm and put all Strogg guards (Tanks and Tank Commanders in this case) on alert.Somewhere within this area is a Data Spinner...
The Lower Palace is the central hub of the Palace city. It features numerous opulent hallways, a number of maintenance rooms, and a large central chamber with a supercomputer.
The computer is needed for the reprogramming of the Data Spinner, in order to disable the Strogg communications laser.
Numerous security measures are active throughout the area, such as locked doors, lasers and force fields. It takes some time and exploration to deactivate most of these devices.
The Upper Palace is the heart of the Strogg Palace city. It stands as an imposing symbol of Strogg might and conquest. It is also the place that houses the communications laser, which allows the Makron to communicate with his armies throughout the planet.The area is heavily guarded and riddled with security devices. An intruder might need to use several different entrances before effectively removing all barriers.
Since this is a tournament I kinda am passionate about, I am imposing a stricter voting policy.
For your vote to count as full, it MUST contain the following:
- Weapons Comparison
- Stage-by-Stage Breakdown
Compare weapons as such:
- Blunt weapons (the hammer of the Berserker, the shocking prod of the Technician, the feet of the Icarus and the chaingun club of the Enforcer) vs Savate
- Bladed Protrusions (the spike of the Berserker, the claws of the Technician and Iron Maiden, the bladed wings of the Flyer and the clamp of the Gladiator) vs All-Metal Combat Knife
- Strogg Blaster (used by the Light Guards, Flyers, Icaruses, Technicians, Tanks, Tank Commander and Makron w/o the Jorg exoskeleton) vs Railgun Blaster
- Strogg Shotgun (used by Shotgun Guards and Berserkers) vs Morita MK I Bullpup
- Strogg Machine Gun (used by Machine Gun Guards, Tanks and Tank Commander) vs Morita MK I Rifle
- Chaingun (used by Enforcers, Gunners, Tank Boss and the Makron w/ the Jorg exoskeleton) vs Morita MK II ASR
- Grenade Launcher (used by Gunners) vs MX90 Hand Grenade
- Rocket Launcher (used by Iron Maidens, Tanks, Tank Commanders and Tank Boss) vs Morita MK I Sniper Rifle
- Railgun (used by Gladiator and Makron w/o the Jorg exoskeleton) vs E-44 Pulse Rifle
- BFG10k (used by Makron) vs MK55 Tactical Nuclear Launcher
And the stages to this Squad Survival Match (using 50 Mobile Infantry Troops vs 147 Strogg Troops and given the size of the areas, these troops are scattered almost sparsely so...) are broken down like this:
- Stage 1 - Installation & Comm Centre - 45 Guards, 10 Flyers
- Stage 2 - Detention Centre - 10 Enforcers, 10 Bersekers
- Stage 3 - Processing Factory - 10 Gunners, 10 Technicians
- Stage 4 - Power Plant & The Reactor - 10 Iron Maidens, 10 Gladiators, Tank Boss
- Stage 5 - Launch Command & Outer Courts - 15 Icaruses
- Stage 6 - Lower & Upper Palace - 10 Tanks, 5 Tank Commanders
- Stage 7 - Final Showdown - Makron
- Objectives - Set Up CommLink, Shut Down Processing Factory, Shut Down Power Plant, Destroy Black Hole Generator, Destroy Communication Laser, Assassinate Makron
Voting will be left open for at least 2-and-a-half weeks into August and once thats done, I will begin the simulation.
Good luck with getting your votes done!
Video Entry of Pvt. Robert Higgins, dated 30.10.2130
Mom. Dad. If you are watching this recording, you'll by no means know that I am dead. Dead on this godforsaken planet that my colleagues I have been assigned to invade. Right now, me and a few other squad members stand outside the palace of this dreaded warlord named Makron - the warlord who brought hell to the Infantry ever since we landed...
Installation Unit, 28.10.2130
"OK Guys, touchdown will commence in thirty seconds!" Rico yelled as the door to the pod opened up. Immediately the industrial stench of the Stroggos planetary machine began to seep in. It almost smelt like the filthy muck the Chinese factories back home were pouring out but a lot worse. The roar of the landing pod did nothing to help anyone inside feel comfortable but with a war about to begin and guns tightly clutched by their side, the Infantrt knew that they had to get their feet wet.
"We're here Marines! Go, go, go!" the order was barked out. Immediately, the Infantry spewed out in large numbers onto the platform. Higgins was the last to get his boots on the ground, his fear of the unknown trying to get the better of him. His stomach churned with uncertainty as he pointed the camera around the place. Banners flying everywhere, an eternally orange sky, the acid-stained soil... all indicators he was indeed on another world - a terrible one possessed by the inner demons of patriotic nationalism.
"Welcome to Stroggos, Higgins" Rico slapped him on the shoulder. Higgins smiled as he aimed the camera at Rico, dressed to kill. "I know this might seem like a new job for you but..." he gave a sly wink before turning to rush up the stairs with the last of the Infantrymen. "Trust me, I'll guide you along!"
Higgins followed him up the stairs and into the main building. Strange as it seems, to him, it almost felt like he was deep in an Earth bunker. He gazed in awe at the sheen of the steel grids and the neat arrangement of the crates.
"So this is how the Strogg like to prepare for war, huh?" a female voice chuckled behind Higgins.
Higgins got startled as Dizzy came up to him with a smile on her face. "How you holding up? This..." she made movements mimicking that of a reporter "...gonna be the new headline for the day?"
Higgins chuckled with her as they saw the soldiers slowly jog towards the open corridor. "I suppose this is your idea of a summer vacation then..."
"Higgins!" Rico shouted as the last man in bulky armour disappeared down the hall "If you're not busy, I suggest we move it. We might have an idea on where the Strogg are holed up. They know we are here."
Higgins almost dropped his camera as Rico tossed him a Morita rifle. "I suppose we give them a good reception." Dizzy joked as she joined the ranks. Higgins quickly followed suit after quickly fumbling the camera away. Action was about to commence.
The next room the MI entered was empty of Strogg but still full of crates and supplies, complementing the feel to everyone that their location was within a giant factory.
"Alright everyone, listen up. Here's how we are going to deal with this threat..." Rico gathered as many people as he could. The majors, the sergeants, the corporals, all of the high-end officers attentively listened to Rico as he outlined the plan. The whole battalion will be split into smaller squadrons that will enter in succession through the elevator. Seemed simple enough to Higgins, but a sense of uneasiness swept over him. What if they all get killed the minute they step out?
"Yo, paperboy! You mind? This is classified military material!" Rico shouted as soon as he saw the Private's quivering young face. Apologetically, the young private slinked away.
"Alright men! I need at least 10 of you to come with me and we'll take the elevator. Rest of you will be briefed by your superiors..." Rico looked at Dizzy with a smile on his face and a wiggle of the finger.
"Wish me luck" Dizzy said to Higgins as she joined the others in the elevator and shared a look with Rico.
"10 seconds to contact!" Rico held his breath ready for the triumphant moment.
The lift slowly but surely came to a stop at the Installation room. Boxes of Strogg crates neatly stacked up on the sides of the room... a pillar of rusted steel holding up a rusty walkway... and a lone Strogg machine gunner patrolling the area. A young private in front of Rico immediately shoots it down with the Morita ( x 14). Before everyone knew it though, the first step outside proved to be fatal as out of the corner of Rico's eye, a blaster bolt hits the boy ( x 49). Ducking to dodge the next blaster bolt coming his way, Rico spies another Machine Gun Guard coming out of his hiding spot. Quick on his reflexes, Rico shoots at and decapitates the guard ( x 13) before landing hard on the floor next to the crate. Seeing this act of boldness, Dizzy then charges out of the elevator, Morita rifle blasting away. Before Rico knew it, everyone was stampeding out of the lift towards the corridor at the end of the room and taking out the two light guards on the gangway ( x 13) in the process.
"Up on your feet, man!" Dizzy stopped to help Rico out just missing the bullets coming from a surprise attack by two sneaky Machine Guards hiding behind the crates that instead hit and kill the two Infantry personnel ( x 47) to come rushing up the ramp. Quick on the ball, Rico dispatches the hidden Machine Gun guard just as another soldier takes down another ( x 11).
The rest of the soldiers jogged on into the corridor, where two Shotgun guards are seen patrolling, backs turned towards the Infantry. Without hestitation, an African-American colonel fatally shoots them before they can react ( x 13). The noise of the Bullpup however got a few more shotgun guards' attention, as noted when Rico enters the corridor to witness the colonel being shotgunned by the Guard ( x 46) before he and some friends of his charged forward, shotguns aimed at the group. Acting quickly, Rico motioned everyone to get to cover in the room before tossing a MX90 at the guards and making a quick dash. In a flurry of motion, Rico somersaulted down the ramp before the grenade explodes taking down one shotgun guard ( x 12) and incapacitating the two others though not for long.
"I thought those grenades were supposed to send them flying!" a female soldier incredulously yells before a shotgun shell pops just centimeters from her face. Rico was just about to throw out another MX90 when he espies the guards being shot down by laser fire ( x 10). Looking behind him, Rico grinned as the next squadron of 10 MI personnel exited the area, trying to ignore the pungent smell of rotting Strogg corpses.
"Sergeant, you OK?" Col. Goddard approached his superior as the rest of his small squad carefully scanned the place, making sure the coast is clear.
"Couldn't be better" Rico and his men followed Goddard down the Strogg corridor and making their way into another section of the structure, this one slightly dark.
"Sarge? You got any lights to use here?" a hapless Caucasian male asks upon entering the shadows of the pillars. Before long...
CLEAR! A sharp voice resounds as that young man gets shot between the eyes with a blaster bolt ( x 45). As the women screamed in abject terror, two more Light Guards responded to the call by running out from their hiding places; and as if that wasn't clear enough to the MI that they've attracted some attention, 2 Machine Gun guards come running out, weapons locked and loaded. In a flurry of motion, one MI personnel fell ( x 44) and in retaliation, the 4 stampeding Guards get blasted away by Dizzy's shotgun ( x 11, x 9).
"Damn that was close!" Dizzy recovered her breathing before heading towards the lift. Turning to his own men, Rico sneered "Next time, don't do anything stupid like that. Understand?" No one shook their head as a group of 7 (including Rico and Dizzy) entered the small lift. Rico could see the look on all the faces of his men and women - it sure seemed intense but everyone seems to be holding together, even Dizzy.
Coming up to the secondary floor, Rico motioned for a few personnel to check all corners before entering the corridor and facing himself against another lone Shotgun Guard that he quickly dispatches with the Railgun pistol ( x 9).
"All areas here secure. No sign of any living Strogg." a young female approaches Rico with the good news.
"OK," Rico looked out towards the rest of the Installation complex, resting in front of an eternally orange sky, "Intel says that there should be a bridge crossing over to that side, so grab the rest of the team and let the other squadrons follow my lead."
Rico rushed out to inspect the surroundings only to find - "O... K..." - the supposed bridge to be demolished down the middle. He peered down and saw the small creek underneath the bridge. For a planet that was seemingly toxic, the water supply must be desalinated well. Suddenly, something else caught Rico's eye.
"Umm, Colonel?" Higgins asked the tall redhead at the front of the elevator "Are you sure Rico and his men are OK?"
"Relax, kid!" came the reply as he craned his neck to see the hapless cameraman "I'm sure they be doing fine. I know the man well enough to be as courageous as a hillbilly in a rodeo". Higgins couldn't help but smirk at the bad simile, but he knew well enough that soon he might be confronted with danger. Keeping the camera steady as the lift doors widened, Higgins jogged out with the squadron.
"So we're here at the Strogg Installation unit. Looks very... much like a factory, if I may say so" Higgins narrated as he panned the camera all around the place, watching as some personnel tend to each other's wounds or chat away by some crates. "Strong stench. Must from the dead..." Higgins stops mid-sentence upon seeing the dead guard, and the operational mess it suffered. Higgins almost loses his balance at the apparent gore but a call from the redhead colonel got him unfazed. Apparently, Rico needs all the men to move up to the second floor of the building.
"Rico?" Dizzy approached him as he continues to switch his vision from the rotting corpse that lay in the spike presently in the middle of the canal and the other side of the bridge.
"Diz? How far long do you think the gap here is?"
Diz inspected the jagged edges. "Probably only a couple of feet. It's possible to make the jump."
"Why don't you do it then?" Rico had faith in Dizzy's ability to go the extra mile, even if it means a high percentage that she'll get killed.
Dizzy distanced herself as far back as she could, almost bumping into Higgins, before leaping over the gap to land just barely onto the other side of the bridge to Rico's fascination.
"Nice leap, Diz!"
"Does she seriously expect us to do that?" Higgins blurts out as he approached Rico. Apparently he saw the impaled corpse of the TCM soldier as well but was more overtly disgusted.
With a smile on his face Rico wiped the sweat off his forehead and patted Higgins on the back "Relax, Paperboy! If she can get there, so can we!"
"Uh, Rico? We got a problem..." Higgins looked up at the sky and saw 4 thinly-veiled Flyers come into plain view. Before the MI could ready their rifles, the Flyers fire their laser bolts at the group waiting outside. As the Infrantry unit scramble for cover, one young woman gets severely hit with the bolts ( x 43) while others are merely injured - whether they were scraped by the bolts or landing hard onto the water didn't matter so long as they were alive.
"There must be more around here! Make the jump as soon as I say go" Rico looked over at Dizzy as he motioned for her to check on the door inside. Higgins faced became slightly worried - make the jump? Does Rico seriously believe he can do something like that? Well there was only one way to find out as Rico started counting down. Higgins felt the heat rise in him - this was a stunt he did not want to capture on camera.
Just as Rico got to 1... "Wait!" Dizzy yelled running back out "The door here is locked!"
"Oh you got to be kidding, Diz!" Rico yelled back as Higgins resumed his standing posture.
"So what now, Sarge?" the redhaired colonel approached Rico, rifle slung over his back.
The experts agreed that while the MI were more intelligent and strategic than the Strogg, it is their inferior weaponry, heavy armour and lack of resolve that got them killed in the end. The MI were able to valiantly complete the objectives until the destruction of the Black Hole Generator when there were only a handful left to storm the palace - a goal that was rendered unachievable by the devastating weaponry and high durability of the stronger Strogg troops. If you think this battle was unfair in any way, shape or form, you can go ahead and do a rematch.