Author Topic: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR  (Read 6301 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« on: March 05, 2016, 06:32:38 PM »
Previously on 7 Days to Fly...


Finally off Omicron, and on my way home, to what promises to be a lucrative class action suit against the designers of the survival kit which, although it got me off the planet and out of the system back to civilization, didnít include basic things like a freaking radio to call for --


...uh, granted, the law firm is shuttling me back home on fringe-y trade routes, so as to prevent sabotage before the case, but surely this little refueling station carries some artillery to deal with rogue meteor storms...


-- annnnd fire!

--- annnnnnnnnnnd fire!

-- oh no.










The impact throws me from the cockpit. Behind me, a soft explosion, and some fire.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 06:38:28 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: 4 Hives to Fry
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 06:36:27 PM »



And this wasnít even due to some kind of attack! It was just a freak accident!

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

Checking suit for deep breaths...

Good news: this isnít the same suit as my previous nightmare. And the competitionís suit is overall better made. It can take in trace amounts of material from the environment, and keep me alive with air, fluid, and nutrients. So, as long as Iím not floating in mere vacuum, I wonít have to worry about starving or smothering or dehydrating. The flashlight is built in, and comes with three settings. It has a small fabricator built in, although at the moment it seems pretty useless. It doesnít have jump jets, or any way to make me temporarily run faster; but it does have a great wrist-mounted grappel gun! Iíll take that. It can generate an unknown supply of green gel lights, and the toolbelt comes packed with...

Bad news: the toolbelt comes packed with five torches. And thatís pretty much it. Also, the suitís construction capabilities are worthless.

Good news: this suit uses batteries to operate, so it isnít steadily killing me by using my own bioenergy!

Bad news: this suit needs battery power to operate. And the batteries have kidneys the size of lint.

Good news: once the batteries wear off in about half an hour, Iíll die of hypothermia long before I smother or starve to death.

Bad news: ditto.

My lawyers will be so glad to hear this if -- once I get off this rock.

Good news: this rock is... was... near a minor waystation. Mining operations were going on, by drones, on larger planets nearby.

Bad news: but not here.

Good news: but this system is clearly another of those dwarf-star-fragment clusters where the core molecules generate enough heat and gravity for an atmosphere and even life to survive.

Bad news: Iím pretty sure this particular rock wasnít being mined because itís much smaller than the nearby planetoids. Itís tumbling around its not-very-nearby star so that its day-night cycle is only twelve minutes.

Good news: eventually, the federation will wonder what happened to their waystation, and come looking for it. All I have to do is survive until then, and find some way to get their attention. While protecting myself from anyone or anything that Iíd rather not draw attention from.

Bad news: that could take a week or a month or who knows how long.

Good news: Iím not going anywhere soon!


...wait, sorry, that was bad news.

Good news, the screwy zipline thing is super-keen!


Even though I can barely see where Iím going in the dark snowy foof!

Bad news: the shuttle is a total loss. No survival kit. No resources.

Good news: the shuttle had enough sense to eject the survival kit (and me) before impact! And it isnít far away, outside the impact crater!


Bad news: This Central Power Hub (CPH) also has no resources. And doesnít seem capable of making much. Including no radio.

Good news: it does have a five everglow ďtorchesĒ, which I think is Old British for ďflashlightsĒ, which I can place on surfaces and even get a bit of heat from. Nor will they ever (apparently) go out.

Bad news: apparently I can catch fire or overheat or something from standing too close to one for too long. I guess thatís a reasonable tradeoff for an tiny particle accelerator, though.

Good news: packed along with the survival kit are a nanogun which can harvest materials and spit out machinery!

That... kind of ends the bad news for a while.

There are five stacks of wood which my suit instantly transfers into its pack -- and thank God its toolbelt and pack are more reasonable than the old suit! Why it uses wood, instead of something more energy efficient, is a mystery my army of civil suit lawyers will investigate later at my leisure.

After all, it holds a power core for something called an ARTHR, which once I pick it up and put it in my pack, allows a little pet hoverbot thing to follow me around at some distance, waving at me, and generally flashing messages which could have much more easily been displayed on my suitís HUD without draining more power from my suit batteries.

[Gamenote: actually the mandatory Ďtutorialí which starts any fresh world, requires me to spend my only two copper ingots creating the ARTHR battery. Also, it starts the player next to the CPH; the crash site is nearby, but for sake of cheap dramatics Iíve reversed a few things in the gameís order of presentation.]

More importantly, while the CPH doesnít have any resources (to speak of, beyond the 5 wood blocks), it does have a scanner which I can use to research nearby material -- the least of which is high in silicon, including in its organic matter, so I shouldnít have to worry about circuitry issues -- and to scan for ore.

Most importantly, the CPHís internal inventory transmits no less than three basic Ore Extractors into my suitís pack.


And now Iím dying of cold...

suitís out of power, already...?

okay okay okay uh

okay, on one side of this central kit is a green glowing cube. If I access the kitís main structure, I can put one block of wood in, and the kit starts breaking it down into joules, which then go phew into the green glowing thing, from which I can then draw power back into my suit.

So noted.

Also, the CPH starts with enough battery power to top off my suit once. Yay.

Before my scanner can locate very useful minerals, first I have to teach it what isnít useful, which is one thousand percent insane -- how does it not already know what copper or iron is???


Or ďdirtĒ in this case.

Worse, the scanner canít figure this out by itself; I have to go back to a second cube on the side of the CPH, which is a research computer, and tell it to research whatever Iíve scanned. Which could be several things, admittedly -- I donít have to go back and forth for every scan -- but still. I have to scan ďsnowĒ this way, too. Which by the way isnít watery snow; it melts almost instantly on contact with anything solid, and so thereís only a slight nominal accumulation which I suppose Iíll be thankful I wonít have to worry about.

So Iím scanning a purple glowy plant nearby, and what I suspect will turn out to be ďrockĒ, and I turn around and --



yíknow what. fine. Iím just going to let some giant spider robot thing walk around nearby, and if it doesnít bother me, fine, and if it bothers me, I doubt thereís anything I can do about it for now.

This proves to be a reasonable if desperate plan.

I guess it saw the CPHís purple sky beacon and ambled over to -- I donít even know.

With daylight coming, or maybe to welcome the giant spider cyclops, my CPH opens its arm panels to the sky.


It takes this as a sign of peace, or cannot compute the gesture, or whatever. At least the spider doesnít leap over to stab me or start shooting death rays.

Back to researching my environment.


Thanks, computer. I would never have understood how much of a purple glowpod that purple glowy thing was, without you.

The research computer is constantly tapping the CPHís power to build up a dedicated reservoir of its own energy, which it then uses to process samples I give it.

Not long afterward I teach it what a ďtree trunkĒ is. And ďrough hewn rockĒ. I canít teach it what the giant robot spider is. Nor what my flaming shuttle is. sigh.


Of course, teaching it what isnít a useable mineral ore takes energy from my suit. But I still have some wood blocks remaining, and I can get more from that large ďtree trunkĒ nearby, plus whatever this stuff is I guess. (ďOrange glow podĒ and ďleavesĒ.)

As I return to base from my little investigative foray...


...I find that the giant robot spider does not understand personal boundaries.

Or maybe it does, because it seems to have waited until I was gone from the area to crawl over to caress my CPH (hopefully not a euphamism!), and then to ease down the cliffy-slope to where my shuttle still merrily burns.

Since it didnít tear my base to shreds, Iíll call that a win, and let live. The ARTHR helpfully zooms into my line of fire just in case I did want to shoot the giant spider, though.

I continue my quick trot around the perimeter.


Wherever that is, it looks a lot emptier than here. Iím glad my ship got pointed somewhere marginally useful.

Not even marginally useful: trying to scan this little thing.


Whatever it is. At least it doesnít seem harmful. Yet. For all I know it grows teeth and wings and spits fire at night.

With night coming on, I trod back to base to offload my scans. There are ďprojectsĒ I could be spending research points (earned by scanning) and research energy on, which might help me figure out what these life-forms are, and if theyíre of any use -- or threat -- to my survival.

I feed my last wood chips to the hopper, and then go vip some more (based on the sound the extractorís nanotech makes when it disintegrates and absorbs things.)


Jeez, ARTHR, you little passive-aggressive thing sucking life out of me for no real benefit!

I rename it PSSY -- like a cat wanting attention all the time -- and return to base again with plenty of firewood for the night.

Hoping that Iíve taught the scanner enough to distinguish crap from gold, or from something more useable than gold at the moment like tin or copper, I sacrifice some energy for a widerange ping.


See, if my suitís HUD can do this, why do I need a PSSY meowing at me?

Walking around as the image fades gives me a clear idea of which ores (whatever they are) are near me -- these three are right next to my CPH, so Iíll go for them first.

I dig down a bit, take a scan, bring it back for research (only a step or two away)... and itís coal ore.

Well, thatís more efficient at powering things than wood, I guess.

I try digging a bit with my excavator, but I donít get much coal -- rather more rubble! The suit suggests I try super digging. Okay.

{Imageshack has decided to put someone else's image here for no good reason}

Well, that pulled out a lot more, I guess, but it also depleted my suit to 1/3 power!

I step back to recharge, then go back to digging in the dark around the ore a bit, then try another super-dig, which...


...agh, which drops my suitís energy to zero, leading to hypothermia!

I power back up at the CPH in time to avoid damaging my health, but this super-digging thing is for the dogsWHAT ARE YOU SAYING PSSY!?

Oh. Ore extractors.


Still less helpful than an extra message on the heads-up display, but fine, I take your point.

While Iím at it, why not use the first of my five torches down in my little pit?


Nice! I even locate another block of coal!

Not long afterward, I have two extractors placed, and with a little jiggering theyíre carefully mining coal into their little hoppers quite effectively.


Well, kind of effectively. Theyíre throwing fragments in the air. But the little cutter heads are doing much better at the job than my extractor would.

So, pick up some coal; feed coal to the CPH; harvest its energy into my suit; feed that energy to the extractors; and they mine lots of coal with a small amount of energy; which I then walk by and pick up, to feed to the CPH.

Is that my circle of life from now until whenever?

...time to go look at that fourth cube on the CPH.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 01:21:16 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 08:03:44 PM »

I can already tell thereís no point in trying to keep track of days here: this rock flips so fast that a Ďdayí and Ďnightí take only twelve minutes each.

Besides, I doubt Iím getting out of here in 14 days.

So the next days and nights pass by in quick succession, and I learn several lessons. Some of them hard lessons.

1.) It is currently next to impossible to do anything worthwhile at night. I canít even forge ingots at night, because the CPH runs mostly on solar energy and I canít get enough coal or anything else into the generator fast enough to convert to heat energy for the forge. And I need a lot of that energy myself to heat the suit.

2.) Most of the things near the surface canít be forged into ingots, or made into machines of any kind. I sheerly lucked into finding a few blocks of copper while trying to get my extractors to mine something I thought was tin or iron but which turned out to be super-hard resin.

3.) I spent 10 research points on ďlocal life formsĒ. What did this gain me in practical terms? Nothing. How do I get more research points? Apparently by scanning things I havenít scanned -- but Iíve scanned almost everything except, what? ďLOCAL LIFE FORMS!Ē Why canít I scan those and get research points? ARGH!

4.) Some blocks of ore last a whole lot longer than others -- the first coal block I worked on crapped out before night had fallen again, possibly because I had used the suitís super-dig function on it. The other coal block has kept right on providing me coal for several days and nights now.

5.) My constructor gun can Ďvip!í up machines and store them as nano-tech in my suit. So that extractor didnít go to waste (although I think the remaining energy in it did).

6.) I need some way of marking the terrain for navigation around the site. I found some tin ore close to the surface across the Valley Of My Burning Ship, and then promptly forgot where I found it. A new project soon: using blocks of snow and other worthless ďdirtĒ and ďrockĒ etc. to write visual markers. It isnít like my scanner keeps track of these things.

7.) Sometimes what seem to be completely random cubes of trash ďrockĒ glow red. Why? Donít know. The scanner doesnít read it as anything different. Yet.

8.) I not only need to blaze clear paths to the tin and the copper -- and hereís my little copper mine, btw, with a mother lode of ďhardened resinĒ nearby...


...I need to make safe paths to follow there and back. Not safe from the local fauna (or flora for that matter) -- even the robot giant spider thing seems to have bemusedly adopted me as a pet, and Iím starting to think Iíd feel bad if anything happened to it, although it gives me quite a scare on occasion.

No, I mean safe from me falling off a cliff in the dark, down into a hole, and being unable to see clearly to get out again even with my wrist-grapple because Iím already dying of hypothermia because I gave the copper extractors too much of my suitís energy thinking Iíd be able to get back safely to the CPH. In the dark. On the cliffs.

Fortunately, even with my vision obscured by hypothermia, I was able to grapple out.

Unfortunately, I kept grappling to areas from which Iíd fall and hurt myself. Eventually I knocked myself out, hurtling over that tall silicone tree near the base, but PSSY dragged me back to the CPH and saved enough energy in her capacitors to charge the suit to resuscitate me. After which I drew a full suit-load from the CPH, which healed me completely in short order.

9.) I should give PSSY another nickname, since after all she saved my life. I probably wonít, but I wanted to acknowledge here that I should. Also, she picks up sunlight like my suit, and so if my suit runs low she can charge me back up to the limit of her emergency capacitor charge anyway.

10.) Also, torches are cheap to make, and even my suitís little constructor can make them (out of coal, although they look more like torchlight-colored mood lamps.) So I made 25 of them -- I would make more but Iím not sure how much coal Iíll really be getting from these blocks -- and threw several of them around the copper / resin cliff area.


Which already had several glowing orange plants, but since those werenít enough to guide me out the first time...

11.) Iím pretty sure, although the dark and hypothermia were messing with me, that I fell down considerably farther than that into a proper cave; because while I was down there my scanner found some things it couldnít identify, which I didnít have energy left to scan, and whatever that is I know it isnít up here on the surface of the cliffs or the nominal bottom of the pit.

12.) While I can shuffle things around in my inventory HUD, I canít figure out how to shuffle things on my Ďbeltí HUD. Right now is isnít so much of a problem to have mostly useless things there, because I mostly have mostly useless things. But eventually itíll be a problem. I do like that my belt HUD has 70 slots to work with, though!

13.) I spent another whole 25 points of research and 1500 power on ďanthropological osteologyĒ, hoping this would give me the ability to scan alien fauna and so earn more research points. What did I get from it?


Alien fauna wonít be whose corpses Iíll be coming back to drape over my base, o designers of this survival kit.

This may have unlocked an ability to create an ďorganic cutter headĒ which presumably would help me harvest the hardened resin, since normal extractors nor my gun will do so.

14.) I spent 10 research points on ďsuit upgradingĒ, another 1 point on ďimproved ore scanningĒ, another point on ďsolar cell mk 1Ē, another point on ďsuit power mk1Ē -- and I could still construct nothing new, even with managing to finagle a copper ingot.

15.) Eventually I figured out that by using my suitís solar batteries (and PSSYís I guess), combined with what the CPH picks up in the snowy daylight, and with an occasional new block of coal, I could get the forge up to the 1400 degrees necessary to smelt copper ingots. So I did end up with quite a few copper ingots, a good dozenish. And nothing really to use them on yet, because I also need tin, iron, and/or lithium for most things -- and I had forgotten where I found the tin.

16.) This is why I should only go exploring in daylight.


I nearly fell into that. Even in daylight, took one wrong step into a nook and phew.

I can see the glow of some kind of ore I havenít researched yet -- maybe iron, at that depth -- but I have less than no good idea how to even safely get down there, much less get back.

That wasnít the only huge deep cavern I nearly stumbled into, but itís representative.

17.) Pursuant to finding a way safely into those pits, I canít use my grappel hook to drag myself safely downward. I know, it seems stupid to even try; I blame an old video game I played once, ďJust BecauseĒ.

18.) Did I mention I got lost at least once trying to scout around within a hundred yards of my base, in daylight, while trying to get back before dark?


And that the spider is creepy?

19.) Last and certainly least, I learned that spending one of my few precious remaining points on researching the Black Box readings my suit recovered from the crashed shuttle, told me nothing I didnít already know.


Still, my project for tomorrow (so far as there is a Ďtomorrowí here) is to get rid of some of the useless rock blocks in my inventory by setting up safe tunnel paths (lined with heat torches) to my copper patch, and to the tin patch. I think I saw my suit can even create signs, although I have to say I feel pretty dubious about that at the moment.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 04:55:07 PM »
[Gamenote: due to a new main build update/patch, I spent much of the other day trying to figure out why my draw distance was suddenly tanking and my inventory was suddenly stuttering almost unmanageably. Eventually I discovered by testing that the Dynamic Framerate feature is, for some players like myself, going berserk and acting totally opposite to its purpose. When I opt out of this feature, my framerates and max draw distance are solid as a rock, and inventory is smooth as butter; although the snowmist has been cranked up a ton, to the point that itís now impossible to see far outside. This could be intentional, although it runs at cross purposes with improving the skybox; but if my screenshots suddenly show all mist all the time instead of clouds of mist obscuring part of the landscape as before, thatís why. I would expect the plan later is to tweak things so that the snow falls more variably and so thereís less or more sky, less or more snowmist, but at the moment this is where weíre at: the mist obscures the sky completely even when there isnít snow. The mist does partially part down here near the surface, though, so long as it isn't snowing, as we'll see in today's entry.]


I feel a little better after, while taking a break, reading in the kit instructions the [Gamenote: entirely imaginary] explanation that there is, in fact, a radio in the kit! The big purple light beacon is part of the local rescue signal along with the radio beacon!

Itís only a beacon, and it has the natural limitations of radio: it only travels at light speed, and itís easy for enemies to intercept. I could [Gamenote: not really] turn it off if I thought I was in danger, but around here there should be no pirate raiders. Unlike my previous two week stint trying to boostrap myself off a planet.

The kit also explained that a hyperspace signal, while naturally more secure, requires stupidly vast amounts of energy -- more than I can get burning coal -- and in most cases also orbital distance outside a planetís gravity well. In other words, a long-distance satellite.

Okay, I feel slightly more charitable toward the designers of that other survival kit. They still clearly could have included nano-compressed ingots of enough exotic minerals, and non-exotic for that matter, for me to fabricate a capital ship which would act as a defensible base from the start; and certainly didnít have to make me prove my worth by passing little experience goals to unlock those things. But Iíll let my lawyers know not to go after them on that point.

This kit frankly could have stood better design, too, with all its nanotech -- I have to find practically all my materials and refine them into ingots. Iím doubtful I can even build a warp-capable ship with it. But if Iím reading this right, I should be able to build the next best thing: a hyperspace communications satellite.

Eventually. Itís a lot less efficient than the first kit in many regards.

But beggars canít be choosers, so I endeavor to persevere until someone comes to the rescue.

Which for now means tunneling straight through a hill of rock to where I previously found that tin deposit, setting up an extractor there, and then building a safe, clear path there and back; also to the copper mine, on a much dicier cliff face; while keeping them powered up, and emptying their internal hoppers, and forging ingots with them during the day, and not freezing to death at night.

Plus, using the copper and tin ingots to build my first little conveyor belt system, with external hoppers collecting the coal from the extractor, and passing coal into the Central Processing Hub.

Plus, using more copper and tin ingots to build my first little laser-power transmitter, for sending back some of the CPHís power to the coal extractor on a regular basis.

So hereís how my base looks for now.


...well, this isnít my base, rather a semi-exposed cavern in one cliff of which I have my copper mine (behind me). But soon it will be mine. I claim it pre-emptively in the name of me.

Turning around...


...thereís my little copper mine with an extractor, digging leftward into the wall. The blue light behind it is one of the local ďtorchesĒ. (Iím taking these photos at night. Iím not entirely sure how well theyíll show up, come to think of it.) The wavy-lined rock blocks to the right of the screen are hard resin, which I canít mine (or use) yet. I repurposed a number of blocks nearby to make a walled stair up the cliff so that I donít risk falling off -- the open space would be rightward going up the stair (where I was looking at first). Leftward is the actual cliff face, overhangs this little outcropping.


Going forward, thereís the stairs going up the side of the cliff away from the copper mine. The cliff top will be leftward at the top of the stairs.

At the top, turning leftward:


The path straight ahead leads safely around that tree (and past that purple glow pod) to my CPH plateau. Coming to these stairs from the CPH, Iíd pass the tree on the other side (tree still Ďleftwardí on approach) to meet up with a walled path around the tree to this point, so I donít risk falling off the cliff in a rush. You can see the end of that path to the left coming down to the stairs here.


...and the local giant spider probe is busy fondling my base. Weíll... weíll just step past him for now and come back later. In the distance (a little rightward of the spider), you can see the light above the entrance to my tunnel to tin.


And hereís the entrance close up. Turning rightward a moment...


...thereís my crash site. My shuttle has finished burning, but my nanogun doesnít recognize it as a mining or tech source, which is insane. I built a short wall around it to keep from stumbling into it by accident and burning myself. A short mining tunnel entrance can be seen (or the light over its opening anyway) to the left, but it only leads to more coal -- useful later perhaps but not now. I built a safe, wide stair leading out of the pit to my baseís little plateau, and you can see a bit of the stairway in the rock wall to the right.

Okay, turning back left to the tin tunnel.


I go inside and thru the hill. The dark blocks on the ground are more coal. The multicolored blocks at the end are a wall to keep me from rushing off a steep hillside in a hurry, so I edge safely right instead onto...


...this stairway and walled path which Iíve built down the hill and across the valley to the tin deposit. You can see the extractor signaling a problem to my HUD, in the middle distance at the end of the path.

Hereís another shot from a little way along the path, showing much more of the surrounding hills at night.

You may not be able to make out much detail at night, unfortunately.

Lastly, Iíll get to the end of the path, and turn around to show where I came from at a reverse angle, with my (now emptied) tin extractor happily grinding away in the foreground...


...annnnd the creepy stalker 30 foot tall robot spider is walking over the hill toward me!

But thatís my base for now. (I shortly afterward added a few bits of shrubbery to the wall to mount those torches on, since if I stopped near them they were burning me.)

Oh, wait, I forgot to show my actual base! Duh.

{running back through the tunnel, under the creepy robot spider, to the other side of my actual base}


Here we go; the solar panels are opening as dawn approaches, and you can see the spider following me over the hill again.

Iíll step over for a close up look:


...and thereís the self-sustaining coal conveyor system.

Hereís the same shot with some markups.



...I mean, whoever Iím fictionally talking to. Is insane. Now.


Next up, probably setting conveyor belts from the copper and tin mines.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 11:05:26 AM »

In one regard these thoughts are unpicturable because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why my new conveyor line from my copper mine to my smelter wasn't feeding ore like it should. And aside from showing pictures of the new conveyor line itself (which I'll give later), there isn't anything to 'show' for that effort.

In another regard, these thoughts are unpicturable because I mentally cussed a lot in frustration trying to figure out if something was simply broken in kit design or whether I was doing something wrong.  >:(

Eventually I discovered I hadn't understood the logic rules for hoppers correctly. Which leads to the topic of hoppers.

I can't make basic "hoppers" yet -- that's a project dependent on iron, about which see anon. I can make "Minihoppers" which hold 10 units (whether ore or ingots or whatever), but slowly dispense them onto conveyors once every 30 seconds; and I can make "Logistic hoppers" which only hold 2 units but pump them onto conveyors a lot more quickly, once every two or three seconds I think. Many machines also have their own internal hoppers; my first basic extractors can hold 20 units internally for example, whereas my forge can hold I-don't-know-how-many-yet ores and ingots in separate internal hoppers. External hoppers however are necessary for transferring units between machines, because 'machine hoppers' for no clearly good reason cannot work with conveyors.

You can see some of each kind of 'external' hopper already in prior photos; minis are green, and logistics are white. My coal mine -- which ran out last night and so which I had to move and expand equipment a little to another larger vein nearby -- uses a green minihopper to collect coal from the extractor, which it then gives to the conveyor belt (because the extractor is a machine and disdains the use of conveyors  :buck2: ) which then sends the coal ore to a white logistic hopper which then transfers the coal from the conveyor into my CPH which then burns the coal.

At this time there was really no reason to choose one over the other, but I didn't know that because I didn't understand the transfer rules.

The hopper rules work like this:

1.) Relative transfer rates ONLY APPLY TO PLACING UNITS ON CONVEYORS! Machines and hoppers will shuffle material between themselves, not instantaneously, but pretty quickly, several units per second. I thought the transfer rate was, you know, the transfer rate, but minihoppers transfer between machines as fast as logistic hoppers, and both kinds of hoppers will accept conveyor units as fast as the conveyors can bring them.

2.) Any hopper will always automatically accept units in from conveyors up to its storage limit, even if the hopper is otherwise "locked".

3.) If a hopper is "locked" it won't let any units out to conveyors or machines (but I can pick them up manually anytime. I can also set a hopper to vacuum mode, which I think sends units automatically into my inventory when I pass close by but I'm not sure. More research needed there.)

4.) A hopper can be otherwise set to add, receive, or add/receive. These settings do not affect conveyor operation in or out at all, meaning the hopper will still always accept conveyor in, and will also be passing out onto any outbound connected conveyor at the hopper's transfer rate.

5.) On "add", the hopper will try to fill up its slots with any currently-unused units from any connected machinery; meanwhile it will take all conveyor units as fast as they arrive, and it will send out any conveyor units at its transfer rate. It will NOT add any units to connected machines, even if the machines are seeking units.

This was my key problem, which I'll explain in a moment.

6.) On "receive", the hopper will NOT receive units from connected machines. It will only receive units from conveyors, as usual, and still send out any conveyor units at its transfer rate. It will also send out requested units from connected machines.

So when on "add" the hopper doesn't add to machines, and on "receive" the hopper doesn't receive from any machines, and that's the key difference between the two modes. Simple!  :tickedoff: :idiot2: :crazy2:

7.) On "add/receive", the hopper will send out units to machines on request, and suck up unused units from any connected machines, as well as doing its usual conveyor in/out duties.

Consequently, I couldn't just run my conveyor belt into my CPH's smelter; I had to run it through an external hopper first.

But there was no point making it a logistic hopper, because my smelter only operates in 8 ore units -- if it doesn't have 8 ores available, it doesn't pick them up at all. I can't drop in less than 8 from my inventory either, or in other than multiples of 8; the remainder stays in my inventory.

[Gamenote: I'm running this world on "scarce" resources, which I don't know actually affects the density or spread of resources so much as how many ores are needed to make an ingot. On this level it's 8. On "plentiful" it's 4. On "Greg" level, it's 25.  :o No starting hopper can hold 25 ores.]

So I had to make a minihopper, which can hold 10 ores -- or stack four logistic hoppers (each holding 2 ores), but that would only work if I understood the transfer rules, which I didn't.

At first that seemed to work fine, but then suddenly my smelter kept reporting it could only see 7 or 6 ores instead of the 10 in my hopper.

To make a long boring story only long instead of longer: what was happening was that I thought I needed to have the hopper on both add and receive so that it would receive ore from the conveyor and add ore to the smelter.

What that actually did was this: the hopper would receive 8 ores, pass those over quickly to the smelter asking for 8 ores, receive another 10 ores while the ores cooked, the smelter would poop out 1 ingot in its internal ingot hopper, and the smelter would take another 8 ores. But then the hopper would suck up the ingot from the smelter! -- and then pick up 7 ores from the conveyor. Now the hopper had 9 ores and 1 ingot.

After another circuit, the hopper would have 8 ores and 2 ingots.

After a third circuit, the hopper would have 7 ores and 3 ingots; and the smelter would finish its job, pooping 1 ingot into its internal ingot hopper, and look for 8 ores -- and only find 7.

Things would get more convoluted when, trying to figure out what the hell, I would manually feed ores to the smelter from my inventory. With the hopper grabbing things to feed its slots, and the smelter grabbing from the hopper to make up a total of 8 from the stack I dragged, I soon had 6 ores in the hopper and 4 ingots.

But I finally, finally figured out the problem [Gamenote: after poking around on the internet], and now I can live happily ever after, until I die on this rock or someone rescues me since I can't build a ship with this survival kit.

Except I need iron.

This leads to the plan for today.

I could sit around ferrying tin to make tin ingots until I have enough to make sloped conveyors, which require 1 copper and 1 tin to make a standard conveyor and then 1 more copper to make that conveyor unit slope. (Most of my conveyors are currently sub-basic, which only needs one copper ingot to make 5. This is also why I created a copper conveyor first.) And I probably have enough tin ingots by now to build the sloped conveyors I need to get a tin-mining conveyor up the stairs and into the tunnel through the hill and into a new hopper (because I would make tin ore runs while trying to figure out what was wrong with my copper-mine conveyor).

But I'm running at the limit of my power generation already. So I can't really forge ingots all day, much less all night; nor can I laser power over to my copper and tin extractors.

Also, my threat footprint is growing, normally somewhere around 15% right now but reduced to zero with a pheremone threat reducer -- but those take power out of my tiny budget surplus.

In short, I need to start making furnaces to burn coal and generate more power than my CPH can do by itself. But for that, I need iron.

And on this space rock, iron can't be found on the surface. (Ditto raw silicon, which I also need to start mining to improve my power collection and distribution, including suit and PSSY batteries. There's enough in other ores for basic electrical circuit work, but I need more refined stocks of that element.)

Fortunately, my unknown ore ping shows a few deep pockets of something near my small base plateau, one of the largest being almost directly underneath my base.

Unfortunately, the pocket is a few hundred feet down.

Digging isn't exactly a problem with my nanogun, which is VASTLY much better than the drill tool back on Omicron. What's a problem is surviving the dig, since I've still got to get up and down the shaft to recharge my suit batteries (at the very least). And the lower I go, the colder things get, which makes my suit burn more energy.

Not realizing how far down I really had to go (the scanner being somewhat unclear about this, other than obviously 'far'), I started digging an underground 'tower', walking down around in a squareish fashion, starting a couple dozen feet down already in my shuttle's crash pit, leaving coal everburn torches at regular intervals (and still too close for standing comfortably nearby -- if I'm not constantly moving past them, they start to burn me enough that my suit can't keep up with the cooling.) Eventually I started to panic when I realized with an unknown-ping that I wasn't appreciably nearer the vein, and that it might take so long to go down the tower stairs that I'd be in danger of running out of suit power before I got back to the surface.

Anyway, I can build a lift piston platform with my tin; or I might gin up a way to jump down safely a straighter shaft in blurps, while also being able to grappnel back up safely. I haven't decided which one will work better yet; I'll need to make tests as I go.

But that's the next plan.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2016, 04:12:40 PM »

Right after I took a set of shots for my new archive journal entry (for sake of something to do other than ferry minerals and power around until I can forge enough ingots to build things to effectively ferry my minerals and power around for me...) {inhale!} copper mine ran out. Meaning my nice copper conveyor would have to be picked up and relaid -- and hopefully not expanded far to do that! But first I had to find more copper, and that was a pain. Thereís no way, currently, for my scanner to clearly mark, or even to scan for, particular lodes. So I spent a lot of time digging narrow holes with my nanotool, ideally ones I wouldnít accidentally fall into later and have to be dragged out unconscious by PSSY, and scanning for results.

My main result was to ascertain thereís a lot of coal near the surface nearby.

I did finally, finally find a new copper deposit, not very big either, on the half-cave valley floor beyond my original mine. Which I proceeded to mark with a big stone ďCOĒ so I could find it again! But that was a good 30 or 40 blocks farther out, maybe 50, and while I had basic conveyors to help reach that far, I wanted to find something closer if I could.

Eventually, I lucked into a slightly larger copper node 10 or 12 blocks down below my crash site crater, much closer to base. So Iíve got a full normal-speed (instead of creeping slow speed) conveyor system rigged up from there, and a nice stair tunnel leading down and back easily. Weíll see that in a minute.

So 1.) Find a new copper mine, hopefully closer, accomplished.

2.) Get a conveyor going for the tin mine. Also done; and even upgraded to full speed normal conveyors by now. Iíve done a lot of work.

3.) Get down to what I hoped was an iron mine. Accomplished before the copper ran out; and it was indeed an iron lode. It is freaking huge, and I couldnít afford the energy to keep scanning as I went down, with the somewhat humorous result that I ended up slightly under the lode, almost 90 meters down! -- and the thing extends up at least 40 meters! I promptly brought down all three of my starting extractors and devoted them to this mine, because I had enough copper ores and ingots left over, plus tin and ingots, to make at least two new extractors to replace the ones I had taken from those mines if I could mine around 120 iron ores per new extractor. This took a while, but three times less of a while with three extractors instead of one. (My copper mine ran out soon after I put the new extractor back there.)

I did build a set of two lifts, one lift not being tall enough to get me back up to the surface (at a limit of 64 meters without pneumatic extensions). This was nearly fatal as my energy started running low while I was fanatically digging a lift-path downward, but I got back high enough to grapnel out.

Relatedly, Iíve learned how to mostly-reliably shoot my grapnel at nearby walls to cushion my fall.

So I donít have any way to get the iron ore back to the surface automatically, much less get power down there, but I do have a good iron mine now.

4.) Upgrade my power generation. Iíve just finished building a pyroclastic generator (or whatever) which picks up coal from the same hopper that delivers coal to my CPH. I thought some of the energy burned would go into my CPH, by putting the generator in touch with it, but clearly I was wrong. Still, I can probably do that with a laser. I re-set up my laser grid to send power from my new coal burner to my new coal extractor -- now giving me a total of 6 extractors, 3 on the iron and 3 elsewhere. So Iím generating an energy surplus. And God knows I have plenty of coal nearby when this vein runs out!

What my threat level looks like I donít know, but Iím sure I have enough of an energy budget to tamp it down with a pheremone-er. And if I need more energy, well I can build another coal burner now.

That brings me up to date. Time for the photo tour!

Before I start, let me note that Iíve been on this rock for 16 hours. This survival kit doesnít seem to have the weird nano-temporal displacement factors of the kit on Omicron, but I felt like I only spent 10 hours there, maybe less (depending on the fluctuating day/night cycle as I moved around) before being able to launch a warp-engine ship home.


There are no compass directions on this rock -- something I wish I could assign as a default in the HUD somehow -- but Iíll treat the line from my central processing hub to my crashed shuttle crater as pointing north.

So here Iím up on the hillside south of base, looking north. The CPH has its solar panels open in the morning sun, and is sending out its purple rescue beacon.

To the right, you can see the trough I dug originally for the first copper mineís conveyors. Iím sure Iíll use that again for another copper mine farther off in that direction, but meanwhile Iíve moved the conveyors to come up the crater from the much nearer mine I discovered down there. You can see them a little up and to the left of the CPH.

More directly left of the CPH is my conveyor trough line from the tin mine. And directly south of the CPH, below me, is the much slower conveyor line from the new coal mine.


Hopping down to ground level, you can see the lasers transmitting energy back to my coal extractor more clearly. Almost as importantly, Iíve consolidated my operations to be on the west side of the CPH. I can stand there between the tin minihopper and the smelter, and have easy, warm access to both hoppers so I can pick up ore and put it in the smelter. In fact, at this point I could extend the tin line a little farther to connect by its hopper directly to the smelter, and have the smelter running constantly with either tin or copper. But Iíd still have to toggle the hoppers manually to start or stop feeding the smelter, since I canít smelt copper and tin simultaneously (much less iron ore which is totally manual at the moment), and I still need to take ingots out of the smelter manually on occasion, especially if Iím going to switch over between different ores since the smelter wonít run a different ore if different ingots are still in its internal hopper.

To automate this better, I ought to build a third hopper to pick up ingots out of the smelter and put it in a crate system nearby. Iíd have to put the battery on top of the smelter, because it helps fire up the smelter and keep it going; but that wouldnít be a problem.


Looking back westward, hereís the tin line going back into the tunnel. (And the copper line coming up out of the pit.)

I wonít follow that down again, as other than the conveyor trough itís the same tunnel as before. But up on the western hill...

(I should really take a few minutes to build a proper stair system up there, as grapneling up sometimes goes horribly wrong)


This is just a nice daytime photo from the top of the westward hill looking west across the small valley. But I wanted to show that I could (and for a long time did) stand up here in the wind, on the left side of that small wall I planted, where my torchís heat would wrap around to keep me warm but I wasnít in danger of walking into it and burning myself. Eventually Iíll be lasering power up here I imagine.


Now up next to my heating wall, I can look down to the west and see the tin mine, as well as my quasi-tunnel out to it, which now has a conveyor belt (though hard to see from here). The little red sign above it means the extractor needs power. And the way the suit works, I can not only access the extractor to give it power, but also to take ore from its internal hopper -- which is what I did for a long time, up here on the hill, until I got the conveyor completed (and now fully upgraded from slow basic to normal conveyors.) Thereís an interesting pit to the right which I havenít gotten into yet. But more importantly, thatís the only tin deposit I know of unless Iíve found one I forgot to mark somewhere. And I donít really know how much is remaining. But itís super important.

Now whatís nice is that, from here, turning almost completely around but not moving from this permanently warm spot...


...I can see and remotely manage the smelter, the copper hopper (ha), and the battery which at night helps keep my suit powered! I can even manage the new coal mineís extractor, giving it energy and taking its coal if I want. That hasnít changed with the new copper path.

Speaking of which:


Going down (as night is falling -- days only last 12 minutes here) to the north face of my baseís plateau, I can show my copper conveyor, and the little stair tunnel I built leading down into the mine. Originally I had meant to make it a lift system, but eventually I realized this was easier.


The original vertical shaft is still open, so I can just look down it to give power to the two extractors there (, I guess I have two not one there, three for the iron, one for the tin, one for the coal, thatís 7 not 6...).

I can also fall straight down there trying to do this which I promptly do, splitch. {smacking my head}

Trotting back up the tunnel stairs to the CPU (after topping off a thirsty copper extactor, and healing from the fall), I grab some power, drop down my threat estimator while the powerís good (apparently a little more than 6% so thatís fine) and pick that up again (since it drinks power for no benefit if Iím not around to watch it), and then start northward to the crater again down my main stairway.


The robot spider pet is down there doing whatever it does when it isnít fondling my base or lumbering after me. Currently, itís squatting (and hopefully not taking a robospiderpooop) near my first lift.


Stepping on that takes me down about a dozen meters to another lift which takes me down another 64 meters.

At the bottom is a narrow tunnel which leads to my three iron extractors up in the ceiling, all needing milking and to some extent rejuicing though I donít have much power to give them (only about enough for each to pick up a full 20 ore load).




Iím looking up at the extractors in that last shot.

And thatís my base so far. After 16 hours.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 12:46:40 PM »

My base hasn't changed a whole lot, so while I did take some photos I may wait to post them up later. Anyone finding this journal on my dead body, or buying the coffee-table edition after I'm rescued, can refer to the photos of the previous chapter, or maybe my editor will add them later. Editorial note to self: need to hire editor.

Topically in order of establishment of mines:

1.) The coal mine is still running, but I've added a second coal burner on the other side of the logistic hopper (eastward). Now the hopper picks up coal from the slow conveyor belt and feeds it to three burners: my CPH; a burner mostly dedicated to keeping a threat reducer running (without which I'd be up over 20%); and the new burner which is sending power out of its other five sides (there being six sides to a cube) to laser power transmitters. One of those transmitters is going back (in a two laser chain) to power the coal extractor. Two lasers trails are beaming off to...

2.) The copper mine. (The new one down in the crash crater, not the original which ran out some time ago.) This now has two laser chains beaming power from the coal burner to the extractors. I've also simplified the conveyor belt to merge with the tin belt at a large standard hopper where I can easily control access to the other large standard hopper that feeds the smelter. That's two large standard hoppers nearby, each capable of holding a hundred ore cubes, and I can drop iron ore cubes in at either place (or go back to the large hopper at the tin extractors and add them there.) A large hopper now picks up and holds up to 100 ingots of forged metal. The smelter is now capable of running for a good half hour (full day) without management.

I've located two more copper deposits somewhat further away but still in viable locations, and marked them with big rock "CO" signs lit up with everburn torches, which I find hilarious looking.  :D One of those is near...

3.) The tin mine. I haven't found another tin deposit yet, or if so I've forgotten where, but fortunately this one is huge. Even with two extractors constantly running I won't deplete it for who knows how many days. There's plenty of coal nearby, too, so I built a third coal burner to power the extractors, and a three-leg laser system to send power back to the extractor, plus a slow basic conveyor system (with logistic hoppers) to bring coal to the burner.

4.) The iron mine. This took by far the most time, but I finally dug three channels for three laser networks, linked to the final remaining 3 sides of the second coal burner (so that it's now powering five extractors: 2 copper and 3 iron). I still have to run down the lifts to pick up iron ore, because at that depth they get infested quickly with pulsing orange fungus things the suit calls "mynocks". (I did try to set up a conveyor out from the mine.) Until I can power guns to clean the shaft at depth, for which I'll need a battery distributor, I'll have to harvest the iron myself. But at least the extractors are permanently powered now, and I already have all the iron ingots I'll need for the near future anyway.

At this point, the only piece of machinery without a power source is the coal extractor, which I can easily power by transmitting from the CPH (or its battery pack) through my suit, or by my suit's and/or PSSY's solar charger. And the extractor uses very little energy because the two burners and the CPH don't eat coal that often (yet).

I'll post a few new photos soon. But next up: hunting for lithium. There's nothing "unknown" near the surface, and I don't think I've found any deposits yet, and my scanner can't distinguish ore types by itself yet. There's a deposit of 'something' another 30 or 40 meters (I think) below the iron, but nothing around it in any scannable distance up to surface level.

Rather than dig that, though, I'm going to try grappel-diving into a giant pit near my tin deposit, and to build a transit system there since I imagine I'll find something useful down there eventually. That'll be worth some photos! {shiver}
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 03:06:39 PM »
And here are the photos! Not of the Pit dive yet, but of the current base arrangement.

First a shot from near The Pit, showing the current tin mine setup (and the annoying giant robospider probe).


Zoom in on the key components. The laser is shooting power next to the main coal conveyor leg.

Going through the tunnel and up the south hill to look over my main base:


A closer look at the laser redirection network:


The three iron mine lasers go down about 90 meters, including through another set of three lasers extending the range downward, and then through a final three laser redirect to...


...the iron extractors (although I needed a final redirecting laser to get around part of the setup there.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: 4 Hives to Fry -- a FortressCraft Evolved AAR
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 03:12:46 PM »

Iíve only been here a day and a quarter really, by Ďmyí Earth time; but it feels like Iíve been here half a month already. Who knows how long itíll take to acclimatize me now, if once Iíve been rescued!

Looking back over my last journal entry, I can safely say Iíve fulfilled my goals of exploring that Pit -- although I havenít found anything new of use down there yet -- and of setting up a lithium mine, which I actually found down in my iron mine. Which is handy, because thatís a lot closer than the Giant Gaping Pit.

Behold what I nearly killed myself several times (but didnít thanks to PSSY) to reach, 190 meters down!


...that. That nondescript looking sandstone down there in the 9x9 area.

Thatís called ďdeep rockĒ.

It is completely useless. Except that when I scanned and researched it, I earned some research points I could spend on unlocking some tech. More on that later.

So I plopped down a lift base, at 191 meters, and...


...went up this shaft I spent forever digging.

To get on this lift (at 165 meters):


To go up this 64 meter shaft that I also spent forever digging.


To get up into the bottom of this cavern, the natural bottom of the Pit, which I didnít dig but did build a platform there above me.


(Still going up there.)

Which is reached from the lift by natural stairs I shaped in the wall.

Here they are going up from the lift, and then looking back down the stairs from the top of the platform.



On this platform, about 98 meters down, is yet another lift.


This one leads waaay up through the bottom half of the natural pit....


...which is large enough and deep enough that my ever-burn torches canít sufficiently light it. (Still looking up.)

At 50 meters I arrive at another lift, about halfway down the pit, built on a platform I made here.


And this zips past a platform and a lift 1/3 down (which I donít use currently because Iím not using anything at this level yet though I suppose I will someday), to go up through the darkness...


...and past the creepy stalker robospider, whoís waiting for me to return, so I know I must be near the top!


And at last Iím out of the pit (on a platform I made to get to lifts leading down.) Iím looking off toward my tin mine here, which Iíve slightly upgrade with a path over the laser and conveyor troughs onto my open semi-tunnel.

If I look back toward the Pit from the outside (at night for this shot):


Thereís the lit sign showing where a copper mine is (inside the cliff wall a ways); and the platform I made to get to the two lifts (one going halfway down, one going a third down).

Due to the weird way light works here, I can see around better in the deeps if Iím standing way above it in the sunlight, as this shot shows looking down from my surface level platform next to my 1/3 lift.


And if I fall off that with a horrifying crunch, and look down again from my 1/3 platform I can see:


Specifically, I can see this if Iíve gotten dizzy looking down and stepped out a little too far to take a photo. :P

Leading me to see this, soon after another bone-crunching splat.


Thatís my vision blurring as I wake up from near-death, having been dragged back to base by PSSY. Whom I should really call something else, I guess.

Anyway. The Pit adventure has turned up nothing new except some deep rock to research, although Iím glad for the new points to spend.

I wonít show my delve down farther past the iron mine, because there are no impressive natural caverns to go through, but at about the same depth I ran into the first of several nearby lithium deposits at last.

After setting up a trio of extractors and a communal hopper, I got plenty of ore despite having to run down to power the things constantly; which in turn allowed me to upgrade my suit battery, doubling to 512 units of storage, and build a docking power station for PSSY so her battery can be charged a lot faster to a full 2048 units. Which in turn allows me to stay down deep much longer, and to give the lithium extractors more of a charge.

It also allowed me to build upgraded laser power-shooters, and power storage batteries (like that glowy green thing Iíve had since I crashed here). With a set of those, I replaced one of the laser lines going to an iron extractor (which I didnít really need, since Iím not using much iron right now -- so I took off the extractor to save for later), with an upgraded line going down to the lithium. Which took quite a while to dig.

Lithium also allows me to build small teleporters! -- which in turn will send small items, like for example lithium ore, across 64 blocks of distance without needing conveyors. The problem is that the teleporter requires a lot of power to shoot, so I had to take off one of the extractors, and add a new coal burning system at a small coal patch along my iron mine shaft to power an extra laser for sending down to the lithium extraction node.

Even then I just didnít have enough power (yet) to set up enough teleporters to get the lithium out of the mine shaft. But I had gotten high enough that I could lay out a conveyor belt without worrying about those mynock fungus things sucking ore off my belt. (Not a euphamism.)

So now I have lithium arriving on a third conveyor line to my smelting system, and I can twiddle the lines around to emphasize forging various kinds of ores when I run short of ingots. I still have to manually go down and bring up iron from the hopper, but Iím not using much iron yet so thatís no big deal.

Around this time my second coal mine failed, which I almost didnít notice in time to avoid disaster since I suspect if my passifiers werenít working something would be attacking me now. But I set up a third coal mine nearby, and other coal deposits are waiting so as long as I notice in time I should be able to keep things burning along safely.

My next plan will be to build an advanced laboratory, and a research station to make special Ďresearch podsí I can spend at the lab. This will require me to set up a small new conveyor line for stamping ingots into plates and wire; and wire into coils; and plates and wire into PC Boards of various types.

Why I need to do this when clearly more advanced computers are running things already, who knows. Iím starting to suspect these survival kits are actually designed by psychologists to experiment on survivors. My lawyers will be looking into this eventually.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.