Though I’m sitting pretty in Tixa, I can’t train militia there, and I’ve got to abandon it for Cambria to the north. There’s another S.A.M. site right nearby, as well as the Cambria mine and the hospital, right in a convenient line.
Unfortunately, you won’t see any of it, because at some point while playing, Fraps stopped taking screenshots when I told it to, and I have no screens of the S.A.M. site or the hospital. At least Cambria was relatively uneventful…except for things getting a little hairy at the hospital.
Afterwards, though, I have a run-in with Mother Nature.
After the jump, the hunt begins
First I’ll quickly cover what did happen in Cambria. While taking the hospital, thanks to reinforcements from the east, Raven and Buzz both end up on the verge of death. So I take advantage of another new feature of 1.13: facility staffing. Instead of just setting Chopshop to act as a doctor, I order him to staff the hospital in Cambria, which significantly improves his speed and efficiency at healing teammates.
Even so, he uses up a lot of medical supplies, so to replenish his stock, he takes some from the hospital. Then for the heck of it, he robs the town pharmacy.
What? I just saved the town! I’m entitled to some free drugs.
Going into the final zone, the university, I end up deploying my mercs almost right on top of a soldier guarding the doors. He spots them immediately, and the noise is sure to attract attention, so I hunker down to wait for the enemies to come to me. It works reasonably well.
With all the loot from Cambria, the Dispensables are loaded down with stuff. I could stash it all somewhere, and actually, Cambria is a good place to do so, thanks to its central location. However, I know that somewhere out there is Hamous, a merc with an ice cream truck. Yes, ice cream truck. I already have Skyrider for transportation, but more importantly, the truck can act like a mobile supply depot, carrying all the extra ammo and weaponry I want to save.
Hamous is usually located on the road between Drassen and Cambria, but for some reason, I just haven’t found him yet. I leave Ira and Dynamo to finish training militia in Cambria, while the rest of the team takes to the roads to look.
The Dispensables dispatch one patrol along the way, but after entering a zone to fight another patrol that seems particularly weak, I see this at the top of the screen:
Uh-oh. Bloodcats are like mountain lions on amphetamines, and not something to mess with. They’re fast as hell, and at night you’ll never see them until they’re right up in your face, mauling you to death. In this case, there are only two of them, and they’re kept distracted by the soldiers. By the time I get to them, they’re weakened, and I can kill them easily.
Then I realize how close I am to their lair. After following the road all the way back to Alma, (still no ice cream truck,) I remember a woman in the town telling me about the bloodcat lair nearby. As long as I’m hunting for something, it might as well be bloodcats.
The lair is only two zones to the east of Alma. I go in the daytime; even with night vision goggles, there’s no way I’m taking on these natural hunters in the dark. With his binoculars, Shank is able to spot just about all of them before they spot me. There are a lot of them. This requires careful setup.
I set up a firing line in the northeast corner of the zone. Everyone who has some is equipped with hollow point or glaser ammunition, for extra damage against unarmored targets. Raven and Buzz are set up to do most of the killing, while the rest will blast any cat that gets too close.
Ultimately, though, Raven isn’t much help. Her sniper rifle is too slow to be much help, as even with HP ammo, she can’t one-shot a bloodcat. Buzz, however, is all I expected and more. Her glaser ammunition and burst fire kills one, even two cats per turn.
After I successfully wipe out the indigenous population of a species found only in this one place on Earth, I return to Alma. My contribution towards the extinction of a rare big cat pleases them, and I get a significant boost to loyalty in the town, which increases the money I make from the mine there.
That’s great and all, but seriously, where the hell is that ice cream truck?
Dufresne, known to his friends as Sam, lives and works in the Boston area as a game designer. His hobbies besides gaming include the guitar, LEGO, and the occasional regime change.