Saturday 30 April 2022

April 2022: Day 65 of the war

Or in Russian, it would be Day 65 of the special operation. There are now laws in which saying what the government doesn't want to hear or agree with a crime worth 15 years in prison. For similar reasons they've sent a wikipedia a hefty fine for spreading misinformation.

After losing a war ship, a few more tanks, being chased by drones, and being poisoned by locals, Russian forces were redeployed from attacking Kyiv to partake in a major offensive at Donbas to the East which includes the long besieged city of Mariupol. They have also started deploying dolphins, because that's apparently a thing that the USA does as well?

That's an artsy destroyed tank turret.

With the supposed default of the Ruble coming soon (speculated May 4th), Vladimir Putin has announced that the Russian lunar program will continue. Perhaps that's an additional reason why Russia is cutting the gas supply to both Poland and Bulgaria. To quote reddit: "Russia can't get enough fuel to drive a few hours to Kiev. Moon is a bit further".

Less people using Russian gas is exactly what the outnumbered Ukraine wants though, who are going hard on their propaganda with an excellent writing team - though sometimes a single picture can be pretty moving too. Support continues to flow for them from overseas, with Britain's Boris Johnson visiting Zelensky in Kyiv, USA's Joe Biden labeling Russia's action as genocide, France's Emmanuel Macron boosting weapons supplies for Ukraine after winning a second term of presidency over a pro-Russian opponent, hackers continuing to do their thing against Russia, and chef Jose Andres providing food to those he can reach.

It's also funny that Germany's Green party is saying the German government isn't being aggressive enough arming Ukraine. Again quoted from reddit: "Green party: Fuck it you know what would reduce emissions? BURNING MOSCOW *heavy metal riff*"

While I've been impressed at the use of drones in the theater of war, China is using them a different way - using mounted speakers to instruct the people locked down in Shanghai due to COVID to comply with the restrictions and "control the soul's desire for freedom". Sounds like another step towards a dark cyberpunk future! Actually, how is Hong Kong doing? Oh. Not great.

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Thursday 28 April 2022

Jumanji: The Next Level and Spiderman: No Way Home

A poor sequel and a great sequel.

Jumanji: The Next Level

Having not learned the lesson from last time, people find themselves in Jumanji once more in this action comedy which is somehow even lighter / more nonsensical plot wise. While the acting is ok, what kills this is the script and comedy aspect with repeating jokes and honestly a few mind numbing fools that deserved to be offed. It also over stays its welcome and is a threat of being a snooze fest as some points. Not recommended.

Spiderman: No Way Home

When Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and those closest too him start feeling the problems of fame, he decides to visit master magician Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for a spell to make people forget who he is. A spell he promptly keeps interrupting until it misfires, opening tears to dimensions which just lead to more problems for spidey and his gang.

While the start is a tad slow, this is an excellent superhero action flick and one that rewards long time fans by putting in many familiar faces on the screen. While non-spidey/non-superhero viewers might not like this, I found it to be really great once it started to pick up. Good pace, good story and basically a lot of fun. Highly recommended!

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Jaws (the board game)

Dun dun...

In this neat game three players (or one/two players controlling three characters) are cooperatively trying to protect Amity island from a very hungry great white (played my the fourth player) which takes place in two phases, which is almost two different games! The better the humans do in phase one, the stronger they are in phase two and the same goes for the shark.

Phase one is a hidden movement game where the shark player keeps track of their moves on a little hidden notebook simply wants to eat as many swimmers as he can while the humans try track it down using various abilities and obviously try to save as many people as possible. Phase two is the showdown where the heroes then try to kill the shark and the shark either tries to kill them or destroy their boat fully. Each round the shark gets a choice of three locations to attack, locks one in and then the humans get to prepare and strike first if they chose correctly!

Having played both sides I can say that it is quite fun and tense regardless of who you are but it is most tense playing as the great white in phase one. Instead of being a terrible monster you will really feel like the prey! Also it is harder to win as the shark. I came close as a full powered monster once (1 driftwood piece of boat left) but there's a bit of dicing in phase two and the humans simply get more dice. 

Gah, so close!

Very cool and quite fun. Recommended! Rare for me since it's not pure co-op but the way I get around it is the shark player isn't really "against you". He is the dungeon master trying to make the game fun for everyone, but instead of having a whole slew of fantasy creatures to send at the party, he just has one big fish. :P

Monday 25 April 2022

BraveRats (card game system)

Why rats though?

BraveRats is a two player competitive card game where each side has eight cards representing their clan trying to compete for territory, or you know, just trying to kill each other. Play is simple: both players play one card face down and reveal at the same time, then usually the one with the higher strength value wins and the first one to score four victories wins the war. 

All cards have unique special abilities that can alter the battle though, like if you play the princess (strength 1) and the enemy plays their prince (strength 7) you not only win this round but the entire war immediately because the prince falls in love with the princess.

It's a super simple concept which means once you have the rules you can play with regular playing cards or in my case, we used the ones from Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue to make it Starks vs Lannisters. Not a bad little game to try outwit your opponent, but ultimately Love Letter uses a similar mechanic, is simpler, and can host more players.

Friday 22 April 2022

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Not sure how her arms are still attached.

After her previous experience made her face the supernatural, this game sees Lara Croft set out high in the mountains to finish her father's work of finding a magical thingymabob that conveniently, an evil cult is also trying to find at the same time. Much better controls this time around, and top notch area design too of a few HUBs connected by little zones used for story. 

This time you can deck her out in plate armor.

Because the last game did it, you also lose lots of your gear right at the start here to force that hunting/gathering/crafting side of things and by denying you tools to reach certain areas till later means you will probably come back for completion at some point. Seriously though once you can make the deadly poison arrows you almost don't need firearms anymore until the end because you can only carry 5 of the said arrows at a time. That said you can craft on the move which is pretty cool but its probably easier to just pull out a shotgun at that point.

The puzzles aren't too hard, provided you look around properly, and once again the optional bonus tombs are my favorite part of the game. Definitely an improvement from the last one, pity the story is quite run of the mill.  Still recommended though!

Thursday 21 April 2022

Mary Magdalene Risen

Two movies for Easter.

Mary Magdalene

When home life becomes far too aggressive, Mary (Rooney Mara) makes the decision to follow a wise healer (Jesus, played by Joaquin Phoenix) to travel and teach across Judea until the end of his mortal days. Pretty good cinematography in this one and I do like their take on Judas too. If anything I'd complain they whisper too much. Obviously a movie for religious people though, and if you aren't one of those there's not much in it here for you. I suppose it's pretty challenging to make a movie about a tale people already know about (or on the flip side, don't care about). This was an OK attempt.


With the impending visit of the Emperor, Roman Tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) is tasked with keeping the peace which includes finding the missing body of a recently crucified man claimed to be the Messiah  "Yeshua" which could act as the spark for rebellion. Props on making a different story to tell for the Easter season and while it still falls well into the religious film category they managed to get some fight scenes in there too. However, there are way too many quiet scenes which quite literally were putting us to sleep. For that problem alone Mary Magdalene is a better movie.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

The Insurmountable Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Two games that left me scratching my head.


This game is meant to be about climbing a mountain... by clicking tiles? But the truly Insurmountable bit is the camera which is always forward facing. Guess what happens when you go into one of the many dead ends? You quit that's what. Surely you can pivot the camera right? Yep, but you can't click on any tiles while doing so and when you let go it puts you back to the forward facing view. Stupid design and honestly, it's not giving me a lot of inspiration to try fix it anyway.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
"This game will not hold your hand," is touted right at the start of this walking simulator that happens to have puzzles scattered around the place... and I use the word "puzzles" lightly. For example, apparently walking into all the traps you can find counts as a puzzle. Eh? The gorgeous area is pretty vast which is great if you just want to stroll, but this makes finding said puzzles and story beats a chore - worse when you try to complete puzzles and have to "find the spot" which might be a tiny rock. Might be working as designed, but to me it just feels like a waste of time.

Monday 18 April 2022

GTFO: R6BX - Dust (Main)

Rundown 6 was extended last week and the first mission is pretty easy compared to what we were just doing. All you need to do is get to a terminal and type in a command, but you'll need to visit the entire map to gain access to it. Our loadouts were as follows:

Jim: DMR/Shotgun/C-foam/Hammer
DL: DMR/Sniper/Mines/Hammer
Me: Pistol/Shotgun/C-foam/Spear
Archer: Carbine/Scatter Gun/Mines/Hammer

Yep, double mines and double c-foam because there are a number of scans and a number of doors. Most of the map is divided into two "types" of rooms. The ones with regular sleepers which you should absolutely assassinate, and the ones with giants which you should probably stealth, but it's probably better to kill the ones near scan rooms.

Remember lone striker giants are easily killed quietly by four people going for limb break (call which limb to prevent doubling up and also strike from the back for x2 damage). If you need to be noisy the sniper rifle and space can handly giants easy, and if they are bunched together the scatter gun will destroy them just as easy. Shooter giants just strafe while full striking and they die easy, but you'll probably need to shoot their friend.

Clear your drop zone for loot and find the door you need to get through to the North is under lockdown, so head East for a Class IV checkpoint scan. Enemies will attack both North and South doors so mine and ice as needed. We didn't bother doing ice duty and we were fine. After an area with giants you'll find another Class IV alarm with two doors leading to it. Enemies will attack both so ice and mine. You won't be done with the scan when they bust through so fight well.

On the bridge in the room beyond is the terminal to lift the lock down to the objective path, but it is password protected. Enjoy the easy busy work as you first must open the zone to the East to get a key card then open the zone to the South (checkpoint) to get the password to the bridge terminal. Gear up and prep both ends of the bridge as typing the command initiates a pretty long hold. Foam is actually useful here as it slows the waves. Also, the scan area is huge so you can move about a little if you want. We didn't need to, and just held by the terminal to the bitter end.

Once done rejoice! Then sneak past all the giants again and head to that Northern door which is open now and into a zone that features SCOUTS. For us it was one in each room here because we couldn't find the path through. For you, just try go NORTH as much as possible and if you can't go North, look for a door to your West, go through that, and try go North as much as you can again. Breath a sigh of relief as you come across checkpoint door #2 and soon beyond that is the terminal you need to type something into.

As you do so... surprise! You are in the open desert again and there are no enemies for now. Loot the entire area and take note of the little passages you can't go through. You'll want to mine these as sleepers will be coming through momentarily. There will be fliers too coming from the look out, as well as the new rock flyer who is invulnerable except for when he's just about to fire: he opens his eye - a nice target for snipers.

All those monsters spawn once you put the terminal command in, and again you must hold but the scan area is huge so you can maneuver a bit. We didn't, and pretty much held at the terminal again. Survive the scan and you are put right back where you were in the facility. Find the nearby security door which is now open and go for an easy extraction to GTFO. :)

Shang Chi and the Eternals

Two separate Marvel movies.


In 5000 BC, a band of human-looking aliens who never age, the titular "Eternals", arrive on Earth to defend the planet against a band of alien-looking aliens, who possibly also never age? The Eternals, who for some reason each have a different power, are so good at their job they focus on it exclusively while ignoring other Marvel Universe threats like Thanos. I quite like the fact that it is them being too good at their mission that is the problem plot wise, and indeed when the main villain explains what's going on I was thinking "damn, that is excellent".

Alas, that excellent plot line is burdened by rather shitty and stupid side plots that just highlight the excess and poor judgement of the writers or producers. As usual, the movie would have been much better with a greater named character death count but no. Even the excellent CGI can't save the film from this which ruins it from being a good movie to just an ok movie. If you have nothing else to watch, sure - give this a try. It doesn't even inspire me to watch a sequel if one is ever made.

Whoever designs the outfits does a good job.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Born from two powerful parents, Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) tries to run and hide from who he is but is soon made to face it. The story is good and the action scenes are great - at least the ones that involve martial arts. Towards the end it becomes the usual MCU CGI fare which is ok but not really unique at this point. This is heavily set with an Oriental theme too (the name should have been a hint) so unless you understand Mandarin expect to be reading subtitles for 40% of the movie.

I also found it to be quite funny, but humor is subjective so your mileage may vary. Ultimately, even though the main plot wasn't as "epic" as the Eternals main one, this fit together much better and thus was more enjoyable. Recommended for superhero or action fans. It's a better watch than the Eternals.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

From (Season 1)

Better nail those windows shut.

This supernatural horror drama focuses on a little town which doubles as a prison for all the residents and come sun down they must either be indoors or well hidden to survive against the things that eat them. Apart from being a good show that keeps the tension up all throughout, it is also an excellent example of world building.

He rings the bell of doom.

How do people end up in this town? Why can't they leave? How do they survive? What are the monsters? While there are as of yet no full answers given, there are plenty of clues and tidbits of information provided to satiate the viewers ravenous appetite - but it's never quite enough and leaves you always wanting more. Also, big thumbs up for not hiding "the monsters". When they do come out, they aren't hiding in some dark shadows and when they kill you... well. Let's just say there's a fair bit of gore in this series.

Hoping there's a season 2. Highly recommended especially if you like this genre. If you don't, try the first episode anyway.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Peaky Blinders

"Intelligence is a very valuable thing, innit, my friend? And usually it comes far too fucking late."

This six season gangster series is set in England and begins soon after the First World War and follows mastermind Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and the rest of his family in their unending quest for power and riches through almost whatever means necessary. Gorgeous cinematography and a good story help it along, and it is rare that an episode ends without you wanting to start the next one.

There always seem to be horses around.

My main gripes with it are minor. At the start I had a hard time understanding the accent, and this might be the only English language show that I needed to turn subtitles on, but after a few episodes I was alright. The second gripe is that, especially in later seasons, there are lots of walking, or standing while the camera pans around shots which seem do be designed purely to let you hear a song / no dialogue or plot advancement. I don't mind if there's some heavy acting taking place while these shots happen, but simply walking or "look menacing for thirty seconds"... eh? All up though it's still a good series and one I recommend.

Monday 11 April 2022

Windows 10 Emoji Trick

 If you are on Windows 10, you can press Windows + period to bring up an emoji menu.

Sunday 10 April 2022

GTFO: R6C3 - Pressure Point (Overload)

Moved up from doing a Secondary to an Overload for today, just in time before Rundown 6 gets extended too.  Our load outs were as follows (full hammer squad for jousting):

Archer: Carbine/Scatter Gun/Burst Sentry/Hammer
Me: Pistol/Shotgun/Mines/Hammer
DL: DMR/Sniper/Mines/Hammer
Jim: DMR/Shotgun/Burst Sentry/Hammer

As this is also a "bonus" objective, you need to win the main mission as per before. The general overall tips are GO FAST and lock melters are amazing.You don't want to still be dealing with the lower levels as the infectious fog rises. The change to the path is a minor one: right after plugging in the bulkhead key select OVERLOAD instead of main (that's around the 5th paragraph in my previous guide).

The white path is what I did (key grabber) for the overload section.

Then make haste back to the North while following the HUD display. The overload bulkhead is down some stairs and doesn't need a scan or anything, first one to get there just pull the door open. Once inside rush up the stairs directly to the big door across, get inside mine, cfoam and turret that thing. Right beside the door is a terminal where you must type a command SCP_ZONE_PURGE and sit in a really long team scan.

Survive the waves that come and once that's done go back out the door and open the security door across from you, the one beside the stairs you came up. One person needs to run in there, turn right, go through two doors and find the next bulkhead key BUT BEWARE! Inside that zone is a sleeping father/tank. If you are lucky, you can stealth past. If he's at the door like he was for us, setup reverse waterfall of mines (floor to ceiling at the door) and make him run through it then kill it quick, remembering you need to destroy the cancers on its back and it is invulnerable from the front.

While the key grabber (me) does his thing the other three must continue to hold the waves which likely include giants. On any downtime they should loot as much as they can, prioritizing ammo over health. When the key grabber returns, everyone must make a dash back to the bulkhead controls, plug the key in and activate the MAIN mission, which you will then need to finish off.

The only wrinkle at this point is a second father appeared during the checkpoint scan for us. Archer made a good strategy to kill him as the room right beyond the checkpoint door has a balcony - while he and DL held off the spawn and sniped the father Jim and I scavenged more ammo deeper in to give to them (we were out at that point). After killing the father as a team we continued the escape part of the mission, with scarily low amounts of ammo! Fight well, hammer when you can, and remember the father and giant strikers can actually hit through the balcony grating. Took us a few goes but we finally managed to GTFO!

Saturday 9 April 2022

Trese and My Son

Mysteries in various degrees.


This animated story is all about the titular modern day supernatural detective Alexandra Trese dealing with forces from Philippine folklore. While the animation is ok, the plot is a bit average not helped by featuring a nearly all powerful and somewhat bland heroine who isn't really ever in any danger at any time. Also, things like having a ghost hacker (who wears ghost glasses) that needs a physical computer to do his work may cross your barrier of disbelief. Not recommended.

My Son

When a boy goes missing, his usually absent father (James McAvoy) goes through extraordinary challenges to find him, and I am so happy that some of these challenges are of the violent variety. Don't let me fool you into thinking this is an action movie though - it's solidly in the mystery category with dreary backdrops, lots of talking, and a good amount of rain. I do feel it runs a bit long though. It's an ok flick if you don't expect anything from it.

Thursday 7 April 2022

Peacemaker (Season 1)

"You don't wanna believe in miracles, that's on you."

I watch a lot of superhero TV series and while I can't say this is the strangest one I've seen, it comes close to having the stupidest lines ever. That's not necessarily a bad thing because this action comedy is actually all forms of great. The story follows the titular Peacemaker (well played by John Cena) as he is put in another black ops squad following the events of "The Suicide Squad" to save the day, and he makes for an excellent protagonist wanting to change his ways.

So many likeable characters!

Every episode gets better and better as there is no filler, and while the comedy is hit or miss depending on the viewer (mostly good for me) the plot, acting, and action pieces are all very good. Right from the opening credit dance number you know what you are in for, and given my wife wants us to learn it speaks volumes of how much we enjoy the show. Highly recommended, with the small caveat that you probably should watch The Suicide Squad first (which is not a chore at all as it's a good movie). Here's hoping future seasons are just as good as the first!

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Total War: Warhammer and NBA 2K21

OK games that I didn't get into.

I didn't like Cris Tales due to bad design, but these two just aren't my style.

NBA 2K21

OMG I played a sports game? Yeah, well I tested it out at least - and it was alright! Obviously more fun if you aren't playing solo and you definitely need controllers because keyboard is just wonky. I mean hold num-pad 5 down (and release at the appropriate time) to shoot? Blergh. I did like that the Women's Association is available here too, and I almost exclusively played using them because... why not? Ultimately not one for me, but basketball enthusiasts would enjoy this.

Total War: Warhammer

My last experience with Total War (Troy) was a complete disaster. This time around the battle field is set for the fantasy armies of Warhammer, and it thankfully plays MUCH better thanks to shorter loading times and an advisor who gives more tutelage.

Alas this too isn't for me since I find the Total War battle system to be boring, to the point where I explicitly prefer to auto-resolve every fight. Sure, you can command little guys into various formations on the battle map but rather than watching them you'll be watching their status bars and the enemy status bars and hope their bar goes down faster than yours. Super dull.

I suspect they even knew this, and included buttons to speed up time on the battle field... or better yet, just skip the battle sequence altogether with auto-resolve which is what I ended up doing most of the time. Anyway, if that part still sounds ok to you then this might be one to take a peek at. For me: uninstall.

Tuesday 5 April 2022

Cris Tales

Beautiful... and stupid.

Following on from a game with good systems and good design comes this fully voiced JRPG with excellent artwork and a really cool premise. You play a girl who can control time (or maybe it's the girl's frog, whatever) but only in the general sense of past, present and future.

The art is amazing.

This is good for puzzles where you say plant a tree in the past to get the fruit now, or in battle where you poison an enemy then send them to the future to die. Or simply send an old enemy further into the future and young enemies further into the past to make them cease existing.

Then come the bad design decisions. In battle, where you cannot reposition your party, you can only send enemies to your right to the future and only the enemies on your left can go to the past. What? Then add in that enemies quickly become HP sponges that make fighting a drag and top it off with (after the intro) lets put a random encounter every 15 steps. Sorry, I don't care how good your art, story and music are - if your game isn't fun that it has failed as a game. Not recommended!

Monday 4 April 2022

The Last Stand: Aftermath

A well designed hamster wheel.

Following on from games that you need to "start from the beginning if you die" is this apocalyptic zombie survival game where you play as volunteers from a human stronghold who are sent out further and further afield in search of... anything really. These volunteers are all infected (so maybe "voluntold" instead of "volunteer") which means you are fighting a time limit on each run and as expected, the further distance you get away the worse things become.

However, these designers were clever in sprinkling story missions so that there is actually a plot to the game - even if it is experienced piece meal by different player characters. Also, when you collect knowledge you can unlock and improve skills for ALL the volunteers, current and future as well as incrementally better gear for them to start with and find.

Tip: Unlock knowledge & level boosting skills first.

This net gain per death does a decent job to keep my interest, even though it is grinding (bleh), as my initial people were struggling to get through the first area but now each of them are breezing through to area four which is appropriately titled "Hell". LOL.

It also helps that all the systems work well together. Crafting, Scavenging, Stealthing and Fighting are all good. You can be sneaky and throw things to distract mobs away, but it takes longer to do that (and your infection will worsen) instead of just going guns blazing... but might you need the ammo later? I do wish they'd just put extra gas in the back seat rather than ditching the can though.

All up it's a decent game, just not one I play in large chunks of time - basically one survivor per session. Worth a look if this sounds like your sort of thing.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Demon's Tilt and City of Brass

It's all about your score?

Demon's Tilt

This is a very odd multi tiered pinball game that makes use of pixel graphics and bit tune type music. Unlike conventional pinball, you get all sorts of odd stuff blocking the ball here - like flying eyeballs, fireballs from an evil mage and many more.

Since there are in built gutters (where you have no paddles) and the gap between your paddles is big enough for the ball you have the additional control of "tilting" the game, which basically just moves the ball over a little bit in the direction of your choosing. An odd one for sure, but since it's just about getting a high score its not one I stuck with for very long.

City of Brass

In this first person game your goal is to get through each randomly generated level of a cursed city as quickly and with as much treasure as possible while dealing with the many traps and undead within. Unfortunately the combat (which there is plenty) feels very off, and worse this is a roguelike which means if you die you get to start all the way from the first level again. The only thing you get to keep is a score to remember how well / poorly you did previously. Not my cup of tea at all.

Friday 1 April 2022

Mechwarrior 5: Twenty Tips

I thought I'd follow up yesterday's post with a few general pointers with things I've picked up while playing this game:

1 - In a fire fight kill weakest things first (usually). Luckily these are often also the fastest so if you draw them to you, you can pick em off before the heavies arrive. Heli-planes (especially the fat Igors) should always be a priority.

2 - Cover is important. Trees are actually OK temporary cover but they block your fire too.

3 - Salvaged mechs will sell for less than the displayed amount, depending on damage and reputation in your current system.

4 - Putting together a mech from scrap is expensive and you won't make money if you only intend to sell it. Only put together something you intend to pilot.

5 - Putting a mech into storage strips it of gear. It will cost time and money to refit again.

6 - Keeping mechs ready in the hangar costs money, as do pilots. You can review this in the operations / stats tab.

7 - Due to inbuilt perks, "hero" mechs are superior to everything else. If you can buy them, do so. We no longer look at rare mechs on the market or salvaging any because of this.

8 - Jim loves fighting in close quarters but this also puts him at risk since he would be the closest target for everything and occasionally gets too blood thirsty in chasing down quicker enemies that lure him into ambushes. Remind players like him to pull back every now and then, preferably behind cover. It helps that his mechs can jump(jet) into or over cover and usually have lots of armor.

9 - I love using light mechs that go fast. Speed and distance usually mitigate lots of damage, so much that I strip out jump jets so that they can run faster. Combined with LRMs this is great for scouting to find target buildings / mechs and taking down turrets / light tanks / heliplanes and artillery emplacements. For raid missions (destroy one structure here, there and there then escape) this rocks. The flip side is standing still is a death sentence, so I leave any "capture the objective" to my brothers unless there is fantastic cover (and even so, then heli-planes will get me).  

10 - DL loves sniping so he's usually pouring on the hurt from far away. As long as Jim or I can see the enemy, he can get a  missile lock on them even if he doesn't have line of sight. Now that he has a thumper armed Cyclops, he does want line of sight though because that's pretty much a giant sniper rifle he has mounted on his mech. You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out to help aim for long shots.

11 - Heat sinks are important, shutting down in the middle of battle sucks. Don't rely on the planet temperature to do it for you (yay for snow storms). In a pinch you can also run into some water (if you can find any) to cool down faster.

12 - Don't punch mechs heavier than your mech. You'll just wreck your arms.

13 - When things blow up they can damage you. This includes your own missiles and tanks you've punched or stepped on.

14 - I always try to design my mechs without any gear in the arms as those are always the first to go, even if you aren't punching. Put all your weapons, ammo and heatsinks in your torso where there is more armor. This isn't always possible on every mech due to slot availability but it's a good starting point to work towards.

15 - Many cantina missions are easy and give nice upgrade rewards, always load up on those. Also remember to actually install said rewards after you earn them!

16 - During defend the base missions, always try to fight away from the base. If the mission is a "setup your hold" without a base, we normally pick some high ground to hold and then the fastest mech (usually me) goes to trigger the objective to spawn enemies... who then hunt for you. If you can outrun your enemies, you can lead them on a merry chase while you allies whittle down other foes. Just don't run in a straight line.

17 - During "destroy the base" missions, if you don't have machine guns it is simply faster to ram all the buildings. You'll take a little damage but you'll take much more if you take your time destroying the base as infinite enemies keep spawning in. Airstrikes are very fun in flattening large zones too, but its often better to negotiate your reward to be loot shares and repair insurance.

18 - Beach head missions are probably the hardest to do, so its always worth taking down the radars to get additional allies to assist. Note: if you don't take out the artillery as well then said allies won't last very long as they don't know to stand outside the red circles.

19 - Don't be afraid of cliffs, even if you don't have jump jets. Your legs can take it. More importantly, enemy units will NOT walk off cliffs - meaning this is a great way to get distance from them.

20 - If you need to escape to your drop ship to end a mission, it only requires one mech making it there so send the fastest.