This morning I finally managed to get to XP 47 and acquired enough resources to begin building a HQ 19. I still haven’t finished my goals while I was working towards HQ 19, which was to really push my landing craft. But the opportunity came up and I decided to go for it and use most of HQ 19 to upgrade my landing craft. However, after reading the forums, it sounds like the grind is going to be really painful.
Now, the main benefit of an HQ 19 is receiving Critters for your GBE usage. It wasn’t my biggest carrot on the stick for this level but I do believe they will come in really handy, especially considering that I use Tanks-Grenadiers-Medics as my troop load out. For me, besides Grapplers, my biggest irritations in bases is seeing two layers of Boom Mines on the beach just barely out of reach of my Grenadiers. Since Grenadiers cannot undershoot, I might make a critical mistake where my Grenadiers and Tanks incidentally run into mines and wipe a portion of my troops out. So one immediate advantage in using Critters is potentially helping to clear these situations before my Barrage abilities get too high in cost.
The other benefits include another Cannon and Rocket Launcher on top of your standard upgrades. Now, one critical upgrade is getting two levels for your Vault. The extra +4% can make a monstrous difference, especially as you require higher and higher amounts of resources. So having this inherent protection will save you in the long run. Not to mention that after this, you only need to upgrade your Vault one more time to max out the protection, thus allowing you to allocate your resources to other important upgrades.
Right now, I’m in the process of upgrading my Tanks since I just got my Armory to 18. Before pushing my Armory any higher, I intend to upgrade Barrage, Artillery, Shock Bomb, Medics and Grenadiers roughly in that order. The sheer gold requirements will keep me busy for a while on that. Also, that implies I’ll avoid upgrading my radar anytime soon since pure offense is more important at the moment. So most of my upgrades in this session will focus on my Landing Craft.
Now, here’s the thing. From what I’ve read, you essentially want to make sure most of your Landing Craft are ready for HQ 20 since you gain a huge number of benefits in upgrading your Landing Craft to 20. However, just because you hit HQ 20 doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be able to max level your Landing Craft. The worst aspect isn’t the time it takes to upgrade your Landing Craft; it’s the resource cost. I read that some people in lugging to LC20 they would take roughly a week. I’m not sure if that means a week as a result of 19-20 or if from another point. But even taking a week to do 19-20 sounds generous. The way this player handled it was to just do Doctor T and NPC bases in trying to avoid pushing his VP too far.
In my case, I still have quite a bit of work to do here. I still have two LC 12s and recently upgraded one to 13. Three are 17 and one is 16. What I’ll probably do is upgrade the lower end ones to around 14 and in between do small defensive upgrades. If I can work in a Gunboat upgrade, I might but again the cost for such an upgrade is pretty monstrous at this point.
While I work on these upgrades, one of the things I’m beginning to think about is end game load outs. The main load out people have been praising is RZM + Cryo. The idea is that RZM + Cryo does not require expensive boost to deal with heavy Ice bases. Also, replenishing your troops is faster than say Scanks and Grank type of load outs. In my case, as someone who uses Grank-Meds, the benefit for me is that I’ll have my medics upgraded. However, I will slowly have to catch my Zookas and Riflemen up (as well as Cryo). Once I get the Cryo and extra Landing Craft, I’m somewhat wondering how feasible adding the Cryo to my current load out would be. There is an appeal to having a unit capable of CC’ing buildings. Nonetheless, I don’t think I’ll be able to worry about this until hitting HQ 22 just because a switch right now would be pretty disastrous.
On the side, I’ve been working on my second account and just hit HQ 17. I will say that getting to this point has been a horrible pain. But part of what helped was upgrading a few key defenses like my Rocket Launcher and Boom Cannon. I think keeping those upgraded prevents your base from constantly being easily one shotted from artillery and barrages. In addition, just before my HQ upgrade, I also went for the Weapons Lab. The goal here was to begin accumulating parts. I’ve noticed that with things like Shock Blasters, Doom Cannons and Grapplers, there are far less attacks against my base. It’s mostly a deterrent since people will probably end up going after easier targets.
At any rate, one thing that I will have to contend with soon is lowering my overall VP. That part won’t be fun. I’m finding it difficult to main a low enough VP since I’m trying to push offensive upgrades quickly. On the other hand, I think it’s not so horrible to have a moderately high VP just because the daily rewards and bonuses can make a difference. Also, the quality of loot from NPC bases really aid in allowing for low to mid level upgrades in between the really high end ones.
Overall, I’m looking forward to HQ 19. It’s been pretty painful but that just means HQ 20 is around the corner…