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Topic: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!  (Read 7196 times)
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Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 10:00:20 AM
Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« on: January 19, 2013, 10:00:20 AM »

(gonna post this here first so you guys can give me some critique before I unleash it on SA okay)

When I was young, there was a game I played. It was a great little DOS game, a game that I'm sure I sunk many hours into, and I probably sucked at it. I played it with my brother, I played it with a friend. That game was...



...by Sierra.

See, childhood Kenny was utterly, utterly fascinated with bugs and insects of all kinds (and I still am, because they are awesome). And what better way to express that fascination by playing a game that is about two things bugs very much do in real life: Stealing food and killing the shit out of each other?

...well, okay, but it's still a pretty great game - and we're going to play it all the way through. It's a strategy game, but it has a lot of little features that makes it really fun to play. Many different units, a bunch of different environments and more stupid bug puns than you can shake an antenna at.

And the learning?
Well, since this game added to my childhood fascination with bugs and introduced me to a bunch of new ones, I'm going to include a little information about the real world equivalents of the bugs when we see new ones in the game. Don't think you're getting away without learning something!

While the game itself does a good job about being slightly spoilery about things that are to come, I'd appreciate if you don't talk any specifics about things that haven't been seen yet.

A list of updates will be here when there's any updates to put in a list
Part 1: Introduction and Boot Camp
Part 2: Gather and conquer
Part 3: Pain and... more pain, really

(SA thread here if anyone's curious)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:01:38 PM by KennyMan666 »

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
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Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 10:01:01 AM
Re: Learning with violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 10:01:01 AM »

This post reserved for potential future things.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 11:03:39 AM by KennyMan666 »

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
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Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 11:03:15 AM
Re: Learning with violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 11:03:15 AM »

Part 1: Introduction and Boot Camp


Oh, copy protection of old DOS games, how I love thee.


Alright, the main menu. KennyMan666 is the profile I'm using normally and will play ahead on to not get any nasty surprises for the LP because it's been a while.


So we're going to enlist a new general.


Naming him after one of the most awesome war generals ever. And don't worry, the game will be making stupider puns than that.

And to show off some of the other animations you can get by clicking things in the main menu:


Obviously, used to delete a profile.


Clicking this card...


...brings up the list of cool people who made this game.


But that's all, so let's get to the fighting!


Here's our headquarters.


Gustavus Antolphus starts his conquest.


Mission briefings come in two kinds. For the first kind, the commander-in-chief merely tells you to eliminate all enemy forces in sector Q7 or B3 or some other code like that. I'm not sure they're actually consistent with what type of map comes with what code.

The Boot Camp is five small battles long, to teach you about most of the ins and outs of the game.


But as I said, the game actually features fairly varied environments. First up, the picnic on the lawn.


And, well, here's our first battle. It's US in red and green vs THEM in black and red. While our units are mostly coloured red here, it's actually green that's going to be the identifying colour for us, and red for them.

The game helpfully points out that there's help to be gotten on channel 5 on our Fony TV, but let's check out the other channels first.


Channel 1 is simply the map. Right now the entire map fits on one screen, so we're not going to be using that much here.


Channel 2 shows us information about the unit we have selected.

So let's talk about the units!

The first unit we learn about is the Ant.

In the game: They're the rank and file of our bug army, and we'll be sacrificing a lot of them on both sides before this campaign is over. As the little text blurb implies, ants are one of only two units that can throw items. With six attack and three defence, they're not bad or great at anything, but they have the advantage of a fast walking speed.

In real life: I could talk about real ants a bit, but why bother when there's an excellent Sim Ant LP right here where you can learn everything you never knew you wanted to know about ants?

Gotta give shoutouts to that LP since it was what gave me the idea to LP this.

Have to note that for some bugs, the channel 2 picture is different for the enemy units if you click them, rather than only a different colour. So this is what the opposing ant looks like close up:




Channel 3 gives us the menu.


Channel 4 is entirely useless and just has some funny ads. There's four in total, the other three are the following:




And channel 5 is, indeed, game help. It's... pretty comprehensive. Ten pages telling you everything you need to know about playing the game, like so:





The manual pathing option is a godsend because automatic pathing tries to move straight towards the goal, turning only if it runs into an obstacle. The defensive perimeter is a circle around your unit, and if idle, it will attack any units that come within it. And to tell the truth, I had no idea what the crosshair option did until reading these today.


So, let's give some orders.


Actually, let's be efficient and give two orders at once.


And the natural course of action is of course to set both our ants to pursue the one lonely ant. Harsh, but efficient.


And yeah, this is the path the game made for me, rather than be smart and go southeast right away. I didn't bother with manually pathing something better here, but that option is going to be important in later missions.


And then we hit the pause/play button on our Crapio watch. Up until now, everything has been paused, so you can give your orders without having to worry about the AI cheating to give orders faster than you. You can still give orders when the game is running, and when you click a unit to bring up the menu, the game does pause until you've actually given the order.


The black ant didn't start moving until I had walked almost all the way. Lazy slob.


This can really only end in one way.


Remember, kids: If you're going to beat up someone the same size as you, bring someone else of the same size along with you.


After each battle, you get this victory screen with all your surviving units.

If you care to study this screen, it's full of spoilers for units.


Well, moving right along.


Our next battleground is Big Buns Burger.


...well, this hardly seems fair. But let's check out that unit before we say anything about these odds.


...whelp. But, yes, it's a Spider!

In the game: Very powerful attackers that will hit all units that attack them. Luckily, 4 is not a very high defence value.

In real life: Well... since the depiction in the game hardly resembles a spider at all beyond having 8 appendages and being one of the most hilariously anatomically inaccurate (even by the standards of this game) depictions of a spider I've ever seen, plus there being about a gazillion different species of spiders, I don't know what spider I'd say that's supposed to be. My best guess would be a common house spider or a black house spider, but really, you probably already know more about spiders than you want to. This learning section will become more interesting once we start running into the more obscure types of bugs that are featured.

Also, this stage starts the trend of the enemy getting the cool, more powerful units long before we get to play with them. Get used to it.


Hitting this little button tells us what kind of ordnance is being carried by various units - and it looks like we have bombs (if you're surprised by that, you didn't read the mission name)! Well, that should even things out a bit.


Three bombs, three spiders... but we actually need to hit all three of them with all three bombs, or we're not going to be dealing enough damage. I thought I knew how to deal with this stage.


Just go here...


...and wait.


Apparently my memory of the stage was completely off, though, as when I had thrown my bomb (and there was supposed to be a screenshot of said action, but for some reason it wasn't in the folder), I caught myself in the blast.


At least it lets me show off the spider's attacking animation - it spins around with its arms out, hitting everything around it. Except for other enemy units. Either way that didn't end well so let's go at it again.


Okay, this should work.


Or so I thought. I honestly thought I was out of range of the bomb there.


I run northeast, and thanks to the fact that that white sticky stuff slows down the spiders, I managed to get them into comfortable bombing distance. That's the most trouble that stage has ever given me. I wish I knew why.


But we celebrate our lone surviving ant.


Alright, this one gets a slightly different briefing speech. He says that intelligence reports that food targets are under enemy attack, and your mission is to secure it at any cost.

So this is the second type of mission - food battles, where you need to capture food to get points.


Pizza slices are worth a lot. All those stats mean things. Also: make sure to read the ingredient list because they are hilarious.


The smaller the point value of a food is, the faster it is to capture. I'll explain how that works in a moment.


Not ever having eaten poptarts myself, I can't vouch for the "cardboard" part.


Okay, only units we haven't seen before! And we need ten points to win. Securing five pepperonis and the slice of pizza will ensure that. That isn't entirely my plan, though.


But let's check the units! First up, our first flying unit: The Lightning Bug.

In the game: Pretty much the middle ground of flying units. From the description you'd think it's the second weakest flying unit, but there's a few flyers that are weaker fighters but have other merits, so if I remember correctly, there's actually only two flying units that's stronger. Good attack, but low defence and HP means this is a unit you don't want to lead your charge, but flying units in general tend to not have the best defence. It's fast, though.

In real life: So yeah, "lightning bugs" are fireflies. They're actually brown with green light, but hey. Both the larva and adult beetle have bioluminescent light, which happens through an enzyme, magnesium, ATP (Adenosine-5'-triphosphate - read more about it on the internet) and oxygen. The enzyme has some medical use, including checking for the presence of magnesium and ATP. The adult bugs use the light to, unsurprisingly, attract mates. Females of some species of fireflies can't fly.

Speaking of which, all our units in this game are male bugs. I'm going to point out when this becomes funny.


And on the other side, we get introduced to some big guns with the Praying Mantis.

In the game: As the blurb states, this right here is pretty much the second strongest unit in the game. A defence value of 5 however means something I'll get into in a later mission in this update. The enemy tends to get these units often, but it'll be quite a while before we get to play with one.

In real life: Mantises are one of the coolest bugs ever. There's over 2000 valid species in the order of mantis insects. The nickname "praying mantis" is derived from the prayer-like stance it regularly has with its claws, but there is a specific type of mantis that is actually called mantis religiosa which is called praying mantis in Europe and European mantis elsewhere. Mantises are exclusively predatory and so it fits very well that they're one of the strongest units. While they're somewhat known for the female killing the male while mating, this is actually more common with mantises in captivity, if I have my sources correct.


Yellow arrows means flying. The yellow bar below the HP is flying power. But I want to save that a bit, so I set them to walk.


Capturing two pepperoni slices while the mantis goes for the pizza. The AI, as far as I've noticed, will always go for the highest value food it can.


One of my bugs grabs a pepperoni and the other goes for the ploptart. I then send the other bug to the ploptart as well, because the more bugs you have on a food, the faster it gets captured.


Surprising noone at all, the mantis makes a beeline (that one wasn't actually intentional) for the ploptart.


I grab another pepperoni and then decide to go for the big one, since if the mantis would capture the ploptart while still having the pizza, it would only need to capture a single pepperoni to win. We can't have that.


So I can safely capture the other pepperonis while the mantis re-secures the pizza, and now it's time for the wild plan.


This plan works because of one thing: You only get points for a food if it's captured and not being touched by an opposing unit. Because of this, it doesn't matter that he gets another pepperoni as I have nulled his points for the ploptart. But if I send both my bugs to something else now, the mantis would catch up at the food, destroy both my bugs and win. And we can't have that.


So I send one of my bugs on a suicide mission to stall the mantis while I grab the pizza...


...getting another five points and winning the battle.

Obviously, it is possible to win a food battle by defeating the entire enemy army as well. But as food battles often give you a far weaker army, this is not to recommend. There's cases where it's a valid strategy, though.


The survivor is hailed as the hero while noone remembers the noble sacrifice of the other guy.


I'd make a Charlie Brown-related insect pun here, but I can't think of any.


And another new location. Okay, it's actually the same location as last battle, but they don't show you the exterior shots for food battles.


And yes, once again, they get something awesome. We get an ant. Here's the Cockroach.

In the game: It's a cockroach, so to the surprise of noone it's made for tanking. High defence and lots of HP means that this is often the unit you want engaging the enemy first, if you have several units including a cockroach. Harmful terrains is a thing we'll run across later.

In real life: Cockroaches: Legendary for being horrible pests that are almost impossible to kill. They're in the same evolutionary group as praying mantises, and it is believed that termites evolved directly from cockroaches way in the past. They're nocturnal, eat everything, leave a bad smell and are good and transporting microbes that are not good for you to places where you don't want them to be (like your food). They can live for three months without food and one month without water and if you cut the head off one it'll live until it starves to death. One of the few creatures on the planet believed to be able to survive full scale nuclear war. Certain wasps are some of the very few effective predators of cockroaches, but bringing in wasps to deal with a cockroach infestation seems like an idea with several problems of its own.


So, we have three rocks to our disposal.


I can reach him from here, but that wouldn't actually cut it. Remember the help page: best when thrown from a high place.


So let's head up here.


The purple goop slows the cockroach down, but the cereal slows our ant down (I think. Maybe it's just that it's an upwards slope). Still, we move faster.


Aaaand yeah. Higher up means more throwing range, but that's not all of it.


Rocks deal more damage the higher up you are. If I had thrown the rocks from ground level, I wouldn't have dealt enough damage to the cockroach before it would destroy me.


So let's continue harassing him.


Three rocks later, he's almost dead...


...and we can easily finish the job.


Hooray.


Alright, the final Boot Camp mission. This one teaches you about something I touched upon during the last mission.


And we're in the house again.


Right, two units for us, and it's two new ones. First up is the Pill Bug.

In the game: Pill bugs are good units that we'll see a lot of. Good defence and a not bad attack means it serves a similar purpose to a cockroach: good to tank with. It can also throw things and won't take damage from explosions, meaning you can throw bombs into a battle where you have pill bugs yourself. They won't take damage.

In real life: Actual pill bugs - or rather, woodlice - are less awesome, and not immune to explosives [citation needed]. They pretty much look like that, though, but with more legs and without the helmet. They can curl up into a ball, which pretty mcuh makes them the armadillos of the bug world. Indeed, their family name is armadillidiidae, and the most common type is called armadillidium vulgare, generally known as the common pill bug, so that's probably the one the designers had in mind for this unit. They're completely harmless and can be kept as pets. And yes, they're in the order of isopods, which you might have heard of - you've probably seen a picture of a giant isopod, and they very much resemble giant pill bugs.


Then we got a Grasshopper, our first jumping unit.

In the game: Jumping units, just like flying units, have move power. When the jumping power is empty, it has to walk. The grasshopper is the best jumper in the game, but is painfully slow to walk. High attack and good HP but pathetic defence, this is not a unit you want on your front lines. The jumps means it covers long distances well, though.

In real life: Grasshoppers come in a lot of varieties. Their colouring is often dependent on where they live, and some are capable of changing colour for camoflague. They're omnivores, but usually eat grass, leaves and crops. They're also being used as food themselves in various places, as they're a pretty good source of protein. Just don't eat them raw. The swarming phase of certain grasshoppers are what's known as locusts. They tend to eat any plants or crops they come across, and are a safe bet when you need to send a plague to Egypt.

So it should be pretty obvious what we need to do here.


Put the grasshopper out of harm's way...


...and set our pill bug to attack.


They engage, and yes, the pill bug attacks by headbutting. Now having the mantis locked down, the grasshopper takes charge.


The pill bug holds up well...


...and the mantis is getting pounded.


Pill bug can't live forever, though, and dies in one of the best death animations in the game. I haven't been showing them off in particular as almost all of them up until now are simply the bug falling down. The cockroach wiggles once after falling, and I missed getting a screenshot of the death animation of the lightning bug, but I'm sure we'll kill more of those eventually.


Mantis almost dead...


...and the grasshopper still going strong.


And that's that. The mantis slowly sinks to the ground, but as there's another part of the death of it I want to show, I choose to inspect the battlefield when prompted, as this causes unfinished death animations to continue playing.


Yep. It's a praying mantis, so of course it gets an angel flying out of its body after death.

And that's the boot camp done!


And for that, we get rewarded.


By the queen herself, of course. She makes a little speech.


And pins a medal onto you. Silver ladybug! Antolphus is now a decorated war hero as we continue our campaign in the next update!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:03:30 PM by KennyMan666 »

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 03:10:47 PM
Re: Learning with violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 03:10:47 PM »

Oh shit, this is pretty good.



I like how they copy pasted the bugs fighting on the left to put them on the picnic cloth, only they shrunk them hardcore.

Quote from: Lolicon Jon
i got anime of all tastes and sizes
come down to jon's anime emporium where we can satisfy your anime needs
1000 episode shounens, WE GOT IT
men(or little boys) kissing and loving each other, WE GOT IT
Nosebleeds from seeing the tiniest bit of skin of a woman, WE GOT IT
so come on down to jon's anime emporium down on the highway
like right on the highway
Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 06:50:03 PM
Re: Learning with violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 06:50:03 PM »

Pre-first impressions. Posting this when I've only read a few images: the cursor is hard as shit to see on the main menu. You'd do well to spotlight the cursor/object of attention a bit on busy screenshots like those or it becomes awfully close to a game of spot the difference.

Alright, carrying on with my reading!

EDIT: Alright, done. Good news is that stopped being an issue after the main menu, as the captions became more informative and the screenshots started changing enough to be distinguishable from one another.

Fantastic first post you got there. There was a typo where you spelled "lightning but" instead of "lightning bug"... fix that if you care.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 07:18:54 PM by Soaprman »
Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 07:04:21 PM
Re: Learning with violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 07:04:21 PM »

Pre-first impressions. Posting this when I've only read a few images: the cursor is hard as shit to see on the main menu. You'd do well to spotlight the cursor/object of attention a bit on busy screenshots like those or it becomes awfully close to a game of spot the difference spectre.

fixed

Quote from: Lolicon Jon
i got anime of all tastes and sizes
come down to jon's anime emporium where we can satisfy your anime needs
1000 episode shounens, WE GOT IT
men(or little boys) kissing and loving each other, WE GOT IT
Nosebleeds from seeing the tiniest bit of skin of a woman, WE GOT IT
so come on down to jon's anime emporium down on the highway
like right on the highway
Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 07:20:07 PM
Re: Learning with violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 07:20:07 PM »

Spectres are basically the worst kind of bug to have in your house because they're hard to find and they bite pretty hard and they're as big as you are.
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Permalink  •  January 19, 2013, 08:58:01 PM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 08:58:01 PM »

Well then, posted it on SA.

But I'll post the updates here as well. Maybe keep using you guys as my third party quality control to catch stupid shit before I post them there. :V

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
Scrow Funk
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Permalink  •  January 20, 2013, 12:58:00 AM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 12:58:00 AM »

ganbare. here's hoping those nazi mods and the insane + insular lp community don't run you out of the forusm

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Permalink  •  January 20, 2013, 04:11:28 AM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 04:11:28 AM »

I've had an SA account for 2½ years and mostly used it to read LPs so I think I'm fine!

I've planned to LP other games before, but the first one I planned just kinda ended up with "no" and the second one lost steam when it turned out that the emulator kinda dies and just produces a black screen after a particular cutscene... the final cutscene of the game.

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
Smokin' Jesus titty cinnamon! That is a monster!
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Permalink  •  January 20, 2013, 11:41:31 AM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 11:41:31 AM »

Where'd you even find this game Kenny? This is something I'd be amused with at work if I had my hands on it. Simply brilliant!

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Permalink  •  January 20, 2013, 12:04:49 PM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 12:04:49 PM »

Well, as I said, I played it waaaay back in the day... and then some time I remembered it and found a download for it. Try some abandonware site, but you obviously want to play with DOSBox.

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
押忍!
  • 押忍!
  • Precursor
Permalink  •  February 01, 2013, 08:43:07 AM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 08:43:07 AM »

Well I'm retarded and so had to type this update twice.

Part 2: Gather and conquer

Alright, we're back for another five missions! We'll see how long five missions per update keeps up, there's going to be longer missions in the future. They're all pretty short this time, but I think I'll never do more than five in one update.


Okay, so last time it was Gang of Two, this time it's Gang of Four.


We're back at the picknick. Now, surely it's just the name that's similar, they wouldn't rehash the last mission so-


Nope. It's the same fucking mission except we get three ants instead of a grasshopper and it's won in exactly the same way so this will be short.


Move the ants to the middle...


...and the pill bug past them.


Let the pill bug attack first to tank...


...and follow up with the ants.


Yeah, this is pretty much the most boring mission in the game just because it comes directly after a mission that did the exact same thing.


At least the pill bug survived this time.


Moving swiftly along.


We got us a food battle. Supposedly.


And the first mission where the map is wider than one screen. Here's our force.


Here's their force.


And as you may have noticed, we have one new unit here - the Mosquito.

In the game: Not the weakest flying unit, but not something you want to get into a fight on its own due to pathetic defence and health. But it has good attack, so if something else is tanking another bug it can help out a fair bit. But the primary purpose of it comes from it being pretty much the fastest unit in the game.

In real life: Mosquitoes exist just about fucking everywhere. Note that the mosquito in the game is clearly supposed to be male, but in real life, only female mosquitoes have stingers and suck blood. The blood sucking makes them excellent transmitters of all kinds of horrible diseases, of which malaria is the most known but only one of a few blood diseases they can carry. At least it's been found that it's extremely unlikely that you could get HIV from a mosquito. Scientists argue that for these reasons, the mosquito can be considered the most dangerous animal on earth. Scientists also say that exterminating all mosquitoes forever would not have serious ecological consequences. And you should always trust scientists because they use science.


We also get to play with a spider of our own this time around. It is going to play a very key role in this mission, but the mosquito has perhaps the most important rule - making sure we don't lose right away.


This lightning bug is going to do what it can to make us do that, though. Since the lightning bug will rush to the olives, we have to do the same with our mosquito - but if they get into battle, the mosquito would not stand a chance.


But we'll deal with that later. First, let's-


Nuts to that, let's manually map out a path for the first time.


Spider also gets a manual path because we need him to get to the olives as fast as he can.


So, no surprises here. The flying bugs snag one olive each.


Now, the lightning bug would attack our mosquito if we allowed it to. We can't have that, so I make a wild play by trying to send the mosquito off to stall the enemy ant. However, flying bugs have to land to attack bugs on the ground. The enemy bug moves while it's landing. Mosquitoes are slower walkers than ants. The ant is moving the opposite direction the mosquito is attacking from.


So surprising noone, the mosquito fails in stalling the ant, but it has taken enough time to allow the spider to come close. The ant has the ant held up, so I set my spider to attack the lightning bug, as it's the only real threat.


The mosquito helps taking out the ant, and the spider is in range.


Both ants are down, and we're attacking their lightning bug with a spider and a mosquito. This can only go one way.


And here's part of the lightning bug death animation I promised to show off - it pretty much disintegrates.


Our heroes are celebrated and our ant will be remembered for his sacrifice. Oh, wait, no, he won't.

So, this was a food battle because if it didn't have any alternate win condition, they wouldn't have stood a chance. This concept will return in various forms.


This is an... odd mission.


It's also a food battle. Supposedly.


That actually looks like a pretty accurate ingredient list.


Okay, so this is... a thing.


And the shards over to the right.


Two new bugs for us here. First up, the Water Bug.

In the game: One of the weakest bugs there is, the water bug has pretty much one point: It's a very fast walker on wet surfaces. When water bugs are involved, there's often convenient paths of wet surfaces. Low attack, sucky defence and one of the worst health values in the game. Nearly anything can kill it.

In real life: There's several types of bugs known as water bugs, and the bug in the game has nothing in common with any of them save for that some of them are green. Most likely is that it's supposed to be one of the types of bugs that kind of skid on the surface of water - a pond skater or a smaller water strider. They do this by having long, hydrophobic legs, letting them use water surface tension to stay on top of it.


There's also the Diving Beetle in one of the game's few instances of us getting a quite strong bug to play with before the enemies do.

In the game: One of the strongest bugs in general, having one less attack and one more defence than a praying mantis. The only thing that actually prevents it from being able to successfully take on a mantis in single combat is the fact that the mantis has enough more health. Like the water bug, it's a slow land walker but faster in water (and there'll be actual deep water to cross later, not just wet surfaces).

In real life: Remove the diving gear and give it the appropriate number of appendages and this is one of the bugs that looks the most like its real life counterpart. They're slow on land but in water they're effective hunters, eating other insects, tadpoles and small fish. They can become the top predator in small ponds. They collect air bubbles in their wing cases before they dive. They're actually edible and are enjoyed in Mexico, Japan and Atlantis.


They only get two pill bugs. A diving beetle can easily defeat a pill bug, but can't catch up to them on land. We have two other bugs. The pill bugs are positioned in the middle of our units. But I figure I'll try to do this properly and make paths through the oil for my water bug and left diving beetle - when it comes to crossing wet surfaces with water-crossing bugs, you pretty much never want to let the game path it.


The idea is to get my ant and other diving beetle over to the Shards, but then I realize that... if I sent them there, they'll end up fighting anyway. So I set my ant to catch up to the pill bug and lock it in combat, and then have the diving beetle join.


It went about as expected. It was at this point I looked at the clock and realized that there is no chance in hell this battle is winnable by trying to capture the food.


So I just do what I did with the other pill bug except with the water bug instead of the ant.


Obviously the water bug doesn't stand a chance, but two diving beetles pounding on one pill bug is somewhat unfair.


So that happened.


And oh huh I did not expect another queen ceremony already. I was sort of hoping for them to be every five missions because it would be a good cutoff point for updates, but yeah, not the case.


Another medal for Antolphus. The, uh, order of the bitten cookie. Or something.


Next up, a partly new kind of battle.


Looks like a food battle. And, well, it half is.


It's a food battle for them, but not for us. This is the first mission with food where the idea is not to capture, but only to defend. As you may notice, they have a point value victory condition, but we don't. So we have to eliminate all enemy forces.


And we get new units. Here's the Commander.

In the game: A beefed up ant, the commander's primary function is to buff other units. Any friendly bugs within the command radius - that's the circle of stars, if you didn't figure that out already - gets +2 attack and defence. And yes, all of them are named with dumb ant puns.

In real life: Hahahahaha no. I guess this is where I should take the opportunity to mention that just with the mosquitoes, the ants in this game should really be mostly female. But the only female ant in the entire game is the queen.


There's also a new flying unit, the Bee.

In the game: The bee is the second strongest flying unit. High attack, good health, lots of flying power. Average defence. Slower than the mosquito but in all other ways superior. A pretty great unit in general.

In real life: There's many different kinds of bees, but most of them are non-agressive unless threatened. The European honey bee is the best known, and perhaps the best known insect in general. They're well regarded for their involvement in pollinating flowers and producing yummy honey. Everyone loves bees. Including you.


If the bees would attack first, I suspect I would have a problem. Luckily, the AI doesn't think like that, and will instead sent the mosquitoes to the slaughter first. But even then, a pill bug wouldn't be able to take down a mosquito/bee assault on its own.


So, we position our commander where he can buff them.


And then we just wait until the flying fuckers appear and-


...wait. Are you seeing what I'm seeing? That pill bug isn't actually getting buffed. What.


...yep. It's just outside the command radius.


The other pill bug is close enough and gets the buff, thusly being able to hold its own against a bee even after having dealt with a mosquito first. 9 defence is a lot in this game.

But yeah without the buff we can't deal with the bee so I had to start the mission over.


This time I move both the pill bugs up a bit to ensure nothing less than total victory.


It works well.


Bees stand no chance, and total victory is what we claim.


Who's the boss? That's right, I'm the boss.


Alright, one more mission for today.


Once again, it's a food battle... supposedly.


Well, this hardly seems fair. Until we take a closer look.


Because we have a new unit here, the Moth.

In the game: One of only two bugs that can transport other bugs, this here is our dropship. That's also the only thing it's good at. It's slow, has very little health, sucky attack and pathetic defence. Second worst fighter in the game, if I remember correctly.

In real life: Moths are related to the much more well-liked butterfly, and outnumber them immensely. There's about 160,000 species of moth and something like 20,000 species of butterfly, and there's still thousands of unidentified species of moth. They're generally nocturnal. They're considered an agricultural pest in many places, causing damage to forests and fruit farms. The larvae of some kinds also eat clothes, but essentially only those made of natural fibers. Adult moths generally don't eat at all. Some moths are farmed, most prominently the silkworm.


So, it's clear what we have to do here. Pick up the pill bug.


I'm pretty sure I gave the ants manual paths because yeah this pathing is retarded. In general, when there's not a straight, unbroken line of ground between you and your target, manual pathing will always be superior.


And so we get a dropoff command as well.


Flying unit pathing isn't as retarded since they can fly over surfaces other bugs can't cross.


Okay, I can't let that other pill bug reach the salami.


So let's harass it a bit with our ants. In retrospect, one ant would have been enough to stall it, but it doesn't really change anything.


So, doing battle with pill bugs. I have no idea what determins who wins when two identical, full-health bugs attack each other - I should check that out in the multiplayer mode some time - but let's not take any chances and have the moth smack the pill bug as well.


It gives us the edge we need.


Meanwhile, I learn that two ants can't defeat one pill bug. But it's almost dead.


And this one IS dead.


Aaaaand yeah.


That was four food battles that we won by eliminating the enemy forces rather than actually capturing food. Okay, three and a half.


And that's all for today! Next time: Naval warfare!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:03:59 PM by KennyMan666 »

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
押忍!
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Permalink  •  March 16, 2013, 11:34:39 AM
Re: Learning through violence! Let's play Battle Bugs!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 11:34:39 AM »

Okay, let's bring this back. The reason this update is 1½ months after the last one is totally because of university and totally not because I've been dicking around and playing Xbox 360 instead.

Part 3: Pain and... more pain, really

What's that? Five more missions? Yes indeed.


So, remember when I said "naval warfare"? Turns out that's not happening this mission because in my head I juxtaposed the name of this mission with a later mission that actually involves naval warfare. There's no actual naval warfare here.


But yeah, we're in the house. And this is an interesting mission!


'cause here's our force...


...and here's their force. Notice something? Yes, this is the first mission where there's two identical armies squaring off, so you have to win by carefully picking what to fight.


I start by sending my two cockroaches to either side of the sink, as sentries/meatwalls/something. Then I wait to see what the enemies intend to do.


Okay, this doesn't tell me a ton, but I know one thing - the bees are by far the largest threat.


So I send both of my bees and one mosquito to attack one of their bees, and my other mosquito to stall the other bee.


So it turns out they send all their forces to the right side of the sink, except for a lonely ant, who thus is doomed to get eaten by my cockroach.


And to confirm, it's not the ant with the explosives they're sending off alone, which would have made sense if it was.


The aerial battles begin, and they have two mosquitoes pounding on my cockroach. I send all my ants off to join it because it's clear that that's where most of the fighting of this stage will stand.


I should probably just have waited, or even sent my other cockroach away to the other fight, because this ant is a complete non-thing now.


My mosquitoes have fallen, but the bee is getting double teamed by two full health bees. However, the other bee has a nasty plan.


Without any regard for its ally mosquitoes, it drops its bombs on my little party here.


For reasons unknown to both man and mosquito, it then decides to fly over here instead of land and keep fighting the cockroach.


Meaning that when it eventually DOES take action, it has to lift, fly over and land again, meaning I have more than enough time to start picking off the rest of the enemies coming my way.


My own bees are done over there so I send them in to join the fray.


And in an act of supreme stupidity even by the standards of the AI of THIS game, the ant with the firecrackers throw them where it hurts its own army more than mine.


Because basically the explosives hit everything there, damaging and stunning them, except for my two bees who were still in the air. Naturally, I take this chance to have them start battling.


The results are surprising noone.


And I still have this healthy cockroach who can come and fight with the others now.


The rest is a pretty sad affair for the forces of THEM.


Oh hey, medal ceremony.


The... golden cross of... the flying bee... or something.


And now: Actual difficulty


Once again...


...two identical armies. And a much more open battlefield. No chokepoint strategies here, and very few opportunities for stalling. The grasshoppers are key to this mission, as I painfully learned.


And we get a praying mantis of our own for the first time.


So, I identified the praying mantis as the biggest threat, and as so figured I would send all three of my grasshoppers at it. I also set the ants at the very end to battle their closest enemies. That's all I wanted to do before I saw what the enemy would do.


They sent their grasshoppers off in different directions, and the other ants to the sides. Seems like this is going to be a three front battle.


My mantis can take care of the central grasshopper, I figure.


I send the ants off to the flanks except for the central one and watch in horror as one of the grasshoppers in my mantis killing task force is intercepted by its opposite number and locked in battle. This does not bode well.


I'm finding myself fighting a losing battle on both edges, which isn't surprising, and my mantis is taking its sweet time to get into action. This is going to hurt.


Grasshoppers from both sides fall and my praying mantis is at least still at pretty much full health. The bad news are that I'm down to the mantis, a grasshopper about to die and an ant. They have a mantis, two grasshoppers and a shitload of ants.


My attempt at salvaging anything at all of the situation...


...end poorly. Let's try that again, shall we?


This time, I set all three grasshoppers to intercept the grasshopper opposite it, and my mantis with an ant posse towards the other mantis. The flanks get two ants each, and since the grasshoppers join them, it should go better.


Ironically, when I set the central grasshopper to attack the opposing central grasshopper, it jumps into a position where it's attacked by the mantis. Remember that when I set it to attack the mantis, it jumped into a position where it got attacked by the opposing central grasshopper. Such is life.


End result: One dead grasshopper


I concentrate on the praying mantis now, because it needs to die. Meanwhile, I'm not doing well on the flanks.


Whelp.


To make a boring story short:


My next attempt doesn't fare all that well either.


Okay, let's try something new. I wait until the opposing grasshoppers have made their first jump, and then send all three of my grasshoppers off to the right flank to fight that grasshopper. I completely ignore the left flank, making the ant standing over there a sacrifice to stall everything that goes over there.


My central grasshopper gets intercepted, though. This does mean that the enemy grasshopper is very close to my mantis. I waste no time and send it plus all the other ants to attack the grasshopper.


That worked out well. Time to pound a bit on that other mantis.


As it falls, I'm doing good on the right flank. The stuff from the left flank has finally joined the middle. Too little, too late.


One of my grasshoppers fall, but they've been doing a good job keeping those ants in check.


Due to the middle being mostly a big ball of violence at the moment, and all the opponents are now ants, I do this for all my units. When they're not fighting, they'll attack whatever's closest within that fence now.


The rest goes about as expected.


So, question: should I include screenshots of my failed attempts at missions if they don't become too long, or play on my other profile so I can be sure to get screenshots of a successful mission when I play with Gustavus?


Let's hope next mission is something simpler.


Spatulas, you say?


Okay, this looks like chokepoint: the Battle Bugs mission.


Placing my strong defenders in front and everything else ready to attack whatever shows up.


Things attack.


Things die.


Oh no, the mantis is approaching! HOW WILL I EVER SURVIVE


Like this, maybe!


Aaaand yeah that was actually pretty sad.


So that was easily done without a single casualty. Difficulty curve in this game is a bit weird.


Will the puns ever end? (spoilers: no.)


Oh hey, a food battle. Maybe this one will be about actually capturing food rather than destroying all enemies? (spoilers: no.)


Three ants and a water bug against an ant and a bee. That... could get hairy. (spoilers: it does.)


And there's the prize. So, the coleslaw is one of those terrains that landwalkers can walk on, but it slows them down a lot. The cola is like oil, only bugs that can cross water can walk on it.


So as you might realize, this is pretty much the mission that will destroy you if you don't have the hang of manual pathing. We need to make sure the water bug walks through as much cola on the way to the food...


...while the ants must not cross the coleslaw.


Without manual pathing, my ant would not have reached the food before the bee captured it.


So let's fight a bit.


And that's pretty much what the rest of the mission is like. I try to have my water bug go fight the bee as well but it never manages to make its way there because automatic pathfinding in this game is a thing.


So I have it fight the ant while the bee gets drained.


Things die and we're down to ant vs. ant. Both damaged.


But in the end I emerge victorious, but that was kind of close.


And oh huh another medal already.


Sure, I can go for that.


And it's the, uh, iron beetle or something.


One more for today!


Food battle!


Of the defending variety, it seems. So, okay, they have a few but heavy bugs, we have many mostly small ones.


The bee has bombs. It cannot be allowed free. Mosquito and lightning bug, attack!


Because of the spider's property of attacking multiple bugs at the same time, I identify it as the second threat that needs neutralizing. My grasshoppers will take on that job.


Then I want to see where the rest of the enemy bugs go before I take any decision on what my ants should be doing.


Okay, left and right. I know what to do.


Just like the mosquito and eventually lightning bug, this ant will be sacrificed. It needs to stall the mantis for a good reason.


Except for the ant with the firecrackers, I take all my other ants to go join the grasshoppers. Try to spot why this was a bad idea.


My ants stupidly stop as the spider dies, since I had set them to attack that. At the same time, firecrackers ahoy, and this is why I wanted the mantis stalled.


With no regard for the safety of my own ant, I blow up the mantis a bit, taking off about half its lifebar. At the same time, my lightning bug falls, giving the bee free reign.


It's at this point I realize that the bee will go for the bread. I should have left an ant so it couldn't just sweep in and capture. The mantis needs more stalling so I have my ant attack it...


...and gaze at the screen in absolute astonishment when the bee flies over and DROPS ITS BOMBS ON THE ANT AND MANTIS. Meanwhile, my ants set off on operation kill the pill bug.


Sadly, operation kill the pill bug puts my ants just outside of the reach of the bread. Just a moment before this screenshot, the red flag was almost completely up.


The mantis, at this point, has only a few pixels of life left after the genius actions of its bee ally, so my ants should be able to make short work of it.


Mantis dies, bee dies, and it's four healthy ants against a healthy cockroach. This could go either way.


Luckily, I come out on top in the end.


So yeah, that was some heavy losses, but it worked out in the end, and that's all for today.

Next time: I actually have to think.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:04:21 PM by KennyMan666 »

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
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