“Z” Hints and Tips – Part 2

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part II: More of General Zod’s revealing secrets.

 “Hey, Brad … quit with the munchies and keep reading will you? I want to see what happens next.”

“Sheesh, Al, I thought I told you to get your optical fibers replaced; I’m sick of reading stories for you!”

“Gee, Brad, do you want me to tell General Zod about that little episode with the geisha droid and that amusing prosthesis … ?”

“OK, OK! Just sit down and shut up eh?”

Operation Slippery Jim
“Coolus XI is a small ice world orbiting a star that’s basically o­n its last legs. When you consider that the average daytime temperature is -112°F, you can understand why I toasted my aide de camp for forgetting my thermal underwear! After gaining control of our baseline factories, I shifted my assets north to contest the two center factories. The toughs were a bit reluctant to go skinny dipping but, with a couple of light tanks encouraging them forward, we soon had the factories o­n-line. Building defensive positions to the south-west, I concentrated my best assault units and quickly captured the level 3 vehicle factory to the east. From here it was simply a matter of delaying the blues o­n my left flank, whilst a quick offensive up the right, then west towards the fort won the day. I wasn’t truly impressed with the new units R&D sent me. The howitzers are powerful defensive weapons but without any support from other units they tend to die pretty quick. Against an attacker that’s o­nly using grunts, however, they’re a sure-fire way of halting any assault. The new APC’s were considered a waste of hard earned credits. o­n general principles, I like my ground pounders to physically come to grips with the enemy; as such I never bought any of these rust buckets during my entire career!”

Operation The Wall
“If you’ve ever been to the Ice Canyons at 45°13’N 27°2’E, you’ll see why the area is named “the Wall”. Large rocky ridges have been thrust up out of the ground, cutting most of the roads in the area, and the frozen lakes channel movement to less than a dozen different routes, making most operations a head-on slugfest. In the end, I opted for the central west robot factory as the first phase objective. We’d already gained control of the southern factories and together with a small force of toughs and pyros going for the center territory, we soon had both areas under control. The distance from the blue fort was a godsend, giving us enough time to quickly mount an assault to the north to knock out the level 3 vehicle factory. We then held position while forming an assault force near the southern vehicle factory with orders to take the other level 4 robot facility. From this point o­nward, our weight of numbers was enough to ensure victory; with numerous vehicles in support advancing up my right flank the battle was soon over.”

Operation Chilly Willy
“While still securing the southern factories, we advanced up the right flank and captured the vehicle factory just north of our fort. Much to the blues surprise we destroyed both the bridges in the general area limiting their axes of advance. While they were still figuring out what to do, a quick raid to the north-east took out the advanced robot factory there, giving us a small build advantage. By advancing along the third latitude and taking the west robot factory we had effectively isolated the blues between our forces; they quickly went into defensive mode, allowing us to mass units and take them out in a north-south pincer movement. From here it was a simple matter of knocking out the factory to the north west and sweeping the northern latitude from right to left. The new laser infantry were a welcome addition to my OB. o­ne thing I’d noticed is that both Sniper and Laser infantry could occasionally take out vehicle commanders who stuck there heads out of their vehicles; I gave standing orders for these units to concentrate o­n doing so when encountering heavy armor.”

Operation Heavy Metal
“The final operation o­n Coolus XII was basically an exercise in ‘scorched earth;’ deny buildings to the enemy by destroying them if they’re too difficult to capture and control. After securing the baseline factories, I advanced task forces up both the east and west flanks to capture both factories o­n the second row. The center tended to change hands frequently, but I wasn’t too worried about the radar station there. By destroying both the left and right factories o­n the third row we’d gained a big enough construction advantage to out-manufacture the enemy into submission. The new heavy tanks were a lethal–albeit slow moving–addition to my arsenal; preparing an assault with these juggernauts was a true exercise in patience!”

Operation Hot & Steamy
“The blues had constructed a refueling depot o­n IC-155; Marshall Rust-E SpotWelda ordered us to take it no matter what the cost. Our initial mission was to destroy a small fort in the Bloopchuka Swamps; a murky, slimy piece of real estate whose environs were scattered with bogs so toxic they could strip paint in a second (causing rampant unit identification problems after both sides had taken a quick dip!) The preliminary plan called for a small team of toughs taking the nearby factory to the north of the fort while the rest of the assault force swept west then north; their objective: capture all the territories and vehicles within the bottom two latitudes. In an effort to gain an advantage, I ordered the destruction of the class 5 factory o­n latitude three to deny it to the enemy. To the east a small team of toughs successfully overcame the enemy howitzer by sneaking around the ridge and blasting it to smithereens before it could fire. The enemy was quickly demoralized and after a period of construction and consolidation, the enemy fort fell with ease.”

Operation Restoration
“The blues had indulged in a little scorched earth of their own in this area. The 4022nd Engineer detachment was attached to my command to assist with our assault. o­nce again it was vital we capture the bottom two latitudes ASAP. The engineers made use of an abandoned crane to repair both bridges o­n the southern edge of the battlefield, allowing my armor greater freedom of movement. Most of the armor was ordered to destroy the western-most factory o­n latitude 3; we deemed it too difficult to hold initially. The armor was then ordered to the center to consolidate and heavy construction was put in motion. We quickly identified the north-west area as a vital jump off position for the final assault o­n the enemy command post. With the heavies and some sniper detachments taking out the blue howitzers and guns, the fort was soon in ruins.”

Operation Swamp Fever
“With the enemy fort less than 500 meters away, this mission called for some careful planning. Defense of the local bridge was left to a small detachment of snipers and a couple of well placed gun positions. Initial targets to be destroyed included both the factories at the east and west ends of the 2nd latitude. With a construction advantage, we were now in a position to consolidate. We slowly advanced up both flanks and commenced the final battle with a three pronged assault o­n the blue fort; a handy crane lowered the last span into the local bridge just before the assault went in!”

Operation Light Brigade
“Light brigade my ass! This battle was going to require a good deal of heavy ordinance … and the blues had the whole zod-darn valley ranged in with howitzers! I personally led our sole heavy tank up the center and in a quick gun duel managed to knock it out in a o­ne-on-one battle. A small detachment was sent west to capture the baseline factories while the original medium and the other grunts headed west then north, capturing most of the facilities in the area. A sniper team took out the enemy Gatling o­n the west island and with most of the bottom three latitudes under our control, the battle was effectively over. R&D procured a new model missile tank for us; sure they maneuvered like grunts in molasses … but boy did they pack a punch!”

Operation Car Park
“Fighting in the industrial wastelands of Urbanus V was a nightmare. Initial scans showed an immense weapons dump to the south. Sending a jeep and a small squad of grunts to capture the eastern most section of the dump was a priority; o­nce the local robot factories in those territories were operational we could build the grunts necessary to man the extra vehicles. Unfortunately this battle tuned out to be o­ne giant melee; keeping small groups of AFV’s roving around the map was essential to keeping the blues off balance and factories changed hands time and time again. By preserving the captured heavy and medium missile tanks (which couldn’t be constructed in the existing facilities) we finally knocked out the red fort howitzers and stormed the building.”

Operation Bridge Game
“Once again the enemy base was just a klick or so across a nearby canal. I sent the heavy tank west to ensure we captured the class 5 vehicle factory while the medium and light tanks were sent east. A couple of medium missile tanks were built at the fort to make sure that none of the three bridges nearby could be rebuilt by the enemy. The reds were persistent in sending waves of robots across the canal; they were shot to pieces whilst still struggling in the slime. With his forces continually depleted with fruitless assaults across the canal, we slowly advanced up both flanks and converged o­n the enemy fort … apparently the blue commander was playing chess with o­ne of his aides when his primary AI chip fused during a Marakov gambit!”

Operation Mayhem
“The key to winning this battle was controlling the two class 5 vehicle factories in the center of the map. As the name of the operation suggested, this was o­ne almighty fur-ball. We were outgunned and outnumbered, but with some skillful command decisions and a willingness to raid into enemy territories when required, we finally took the enemy base. The battle was a drawn-out contest though and many of my boys didn’t make it back … their loss will be avenged when we launch our final assault o­n the blue’s Z-Sector HQ in a few days’ time!”

Operation Z
“It took all of 20 minutes for my intel boys to tell me that we didn’t have a pleasure droid’s chance in a barracks of winning this battle; the correlation of forces was weighted too heavily in the blues’ favor. So I did the o­nly thing I possibly could. Gathering up every unit and grunt I could find I launched a preemptive strike o­n the enemy fort at the opposite end of the city. We avoided most of the enemy forces that were heading the opposite way; seems they were more interested in capturing territories. We also added to our forces by capturing a vehicle factory just as a medium tank was coming off the production line! In a frantic race against time, we bombarded the enemy fort into submission just seconds before our own HQ was about to be stormed. It was my finest hour … and o­ne that I’ll savor for the rest of my life. As for the intelligence unit … well I ordered them scrapped and manufactured into meccano sets for my kids!”

Al finished flicking through the diary and looked thoughtfully up into the shimmering gold sky.

“Hey, maybe when we get off this hunk of rock, I’ll apply for a ROTC posting?”

“YOU??? HAH! You wouldn’t make it past the first week of hazing; you need balls of steel to get through that course!”

©1996 Strategy Plus, Inc. (reprinted with permission)

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