And now, for something completely different :P
We always have these strategies where we pick teams, characters or powers all based on the situation. Under the premise that no good plan survives contact with the enemy, I have a fresh idea. How about I get you guys to pick a team and powers without knowing what you're up against. For this thread you will not know what you are up against in advance. I will post the opposition in 2-3 days time. All I will say is that you will up against an army of enemies from a popular alternate universe. This means you might go up against Xenomorphs from Aliens, Orcs from LOTR, A squad of Street Leveler Villains from DC/Marvel, some Halo Convenant, Geth/Reapers from Mass Effect, Darkspawn from Dragon Age etc. But you won't know until *after* you post your team.
You will personally lead a 5 man squad into battle. The team you choose will consist of yourself and 4 other Comic Vine members. You will choose for each of them 1 power-set and 1 skill-set and 1 special item . By this I mean you can give someone Cyclop's powers, Batman's fighting skills and Black Panther's Vibranium Suit or Sabretooth's powers, Bullseye's perfect aim and Hawkeye's Custom Bow/Trick Arrows etc. I highly recommend you create a balanced team of viners you know or understand reasonably well as you will have to command them and rely on them in the battle. Your team of five will face the unknown army after 1 month of training in a suitable facility equipped with a danger room, a firing range, a team of expert chef's and some luxury living quarters. During this time you will have an opportunity to train with your new powers, abilities, weapons etc, bond with your team mates and run battle simulations. The facility will be equipped with a hyper intelligent but non-threatening AI that will help provide you with any danger room scenarios you may want or suggest specific team building exercises.
You will have to post your team first and after I announce the opposition you will post how your team will overcome the threat using your original squad. I already have the army I will use in mind and I won't change it to spite anyone's tactics. I will post links to wiki information on all the units in the army selected so someone who isn't familiar with them will not be disadvantaged. I will edit this post with the army when it is time.
RulesPowers: To clarify, powers are superhuman abilities that characters possess that put them above the capabilities of a peak human. Passively, The powers may not be above Spider-Man's powerset in terms of physical attributes like strength, speed, durability etc. For active powers they may not be anything that would solely be enough for someone to easily defeat Spider-Man. Please, do not try to bend this rule. It isn't witty or clever to try to evade rules or find loopholes. If this rule requires a more exact definition I will provide it but consider it the same as similar threads. Ask me if you're unsure. You may only use characters from DC, Marvel (616 or Ultimate), Dark Horse or Devil's Due. You may use character's from any fiction but please run them by me as they will be assessed individually for balance.
Abilities: To clarify, abilities are things that can be taught within the range of regular humans. This includes knowledge or skills of any kind. I don't think this is particularly hard but let's use Taskmaster as a benchmark. If something requires superhuman powers to work you can't do it. i.e. Gambit's ability to dodge couldn't be performed without his superhuman abilities. The abilities will be injected into your brain Matrix-style. You will just know stuff. Examples of this would be to learn Batman's martial arts mastery or Black Widow's Assassination techniques. Anything that can be theoretically learned by a human is an ability. For instance, you couldn't use Dick Grayson's acrobatics unless you enhance your body because he is known as the only person in the world capable of certain acrobatic maneuvers. If you took Gambit's powers, however, you could reasonably execute skills in Dick Grayson's ability-set. Abilities also don't have to be physical learned skills nor are characters limited to a single attribute, you can have Nick Fury's weapon skills and his tactical experience. You can have Bullseye's aim and martial arts knowledge for the same character. But you are limited to one person's skills. The decision making, however, will still be made the CV member in question and whilst they will have a character's insight they won't actually be that character. You can gain Tony Stark's knowledge of engineering if you really want but it doesn't mean you can go all MacGuyver with some scrap metal in a cave and come out with a home made tactical nuke or something. Also, you have to explain your actions. "I gain Captain America's tactical brilliance, come up with an insane battle plan and stomp forty-one flavours of ass" is not acceptable, you still need to write your own battle plans, even if Captain America's tactical brilliance would help you do it. If there's a plan involved, it's your plan because you're the leader.
Equipment: I'm pretty sure this is the part people will try to evade so I'll be extremely clear. No magic, no alien technology, no future technology, nothing that would give you an unreasonable advantage. You can't have Thor's hammer. You can't have Iron Man's suit. You can't have Midnighter's battle computer. Nothing enchanted or futuristic or crazy hoo-hah. You can have things like Spider-Man's web shooters, Black Panther's suit, Wolverine's Adamantium Skeleton, Nick Fury's optical camoflague, Captain America's shield etc. If you have a question about equipment please ask me but keep it reasonable or the army I post will be something I promise you won't like. In addition to the special item you may equip your team with any reasonable weapons and armor you might expect a low level street vigilante to have. For example, if the Punisher has it or could get it, you can get it too. You will be up against a serious army here so I suggest if your team mates don't have offensive powers or abilities you learn them to use an assault rifle. If the army you come up against is from a space opera like Halo or Mass Effect you can have similar weapons from that Universe. Characters you deck out with Swords or Bow/Arrows will be upgraded with material that will let them use their expertise and still damage the enemy reasonably.
Ammunition: You will have unlimited ammunition for all intents and purposes. You will still need to reload. Conventional weapons you choose will have conventional ammo. If you choose Hawkeye's trick arrows whenever you take an arrow from the quiver, it will be replaced by one of it's kind. Regular ammunition will respawn instantly from where ever it was taken from. Custom ammunition like trick arrows or adamantium bullets will respawn at a rate of 1 magazine every 30 seconds for guns and 1 arrow every 5 seconds for arrows. Simple explosives like grenades will respawn once every 2 minutes, anything more complicated will respawn every 10 minutes on your person in it's appropriate location.
Team Members: Whilst you can't truly know, please assume that no one will fight you for leadership of the squad (unless its in character that they're a tool). I should say this isn't a popularity contest or anything but pick people you think would work well with each other. Kind of like the 'who would you take into a zombie apocalypse' thread from ages back. You can bring pretty much anyone but be honest about their attributes, both physical and mental. No one here is Captain America in H2H with a solid brass set like Dirty Harry. Pick people you trust because if I get enough people I'll post a bonus round based off the tactical decisions made.
Although only a few people attempted my clues I shall solve them before continuing.
"This morning I met my friend Luke for breakfast at 8:30am"
Luke 8:30 refers to a biblical passage that reads:
And Jesus asked him, saying, "What is thy name?" And he said, "Legion": because many devils were entered into him.
Legion is the Geth member of the squad in Mass Effect 2. A similar passage is even mentioned when the character is introduced.
“Enigma is Over”
Some guessed correctly that this was an anagram. They did not, as far as I know, guess correctly what it was intended to be deciphered as. The correct solution is:
“I am Sovereign”
Sovereign is a Reaper and the main villain in Mass Effect 1 who orchestrates the attacks on colonies by indoctrinating the Geth and other sentient life-forms.
“ Granted, everything touches home”
This was by far the easiest of the three, the first letter of each word when put together (in the same order) spells “Geth”. You will be facing Geth and in large numbers.
Mission 1 – Purgatory
Purgatory is a frigate that acts as a prison ship by holding criminals in cells out in space (where they can’t escape). The Warden of the ship also does some dirty business on the side. Such as kidnapping anyone in the galaxy he thinks he could ransom back to their homeworld for some credits. When the one month’s prep time is up you will be teleported into a low-tech but reliable shuttle equipped with the same Artificial Intelligence you had in the training house.
The AI will inform you of the fact that you’re on your way to the Purgatory and the AI has arranged for the transfer of a prisoner/kidnap victim. This individual has extremely important information that is needed to save the galaxy from a potentially overwhelming threat. You will need to negotiate their release in order to reach missions 2 and 3. Additionally, the AI will report, from it’s scans that the prison guards are unusually well armed and give you a report on weapons they have and the stockpile of Mechs they have in the main cargo hold. Your team will have 30 minutes with this information before you dock with the Purgatory and your party boards their ship.
When you board you will be greeted by a squad of commandos who inform you that travellers with such valuable equipment such as the 5 unique items you picked would probably be worth more to them as prisoners to be ransomed back to Earth/Alliance Military than they would gain from you purchasing the informant. They will try to take you prisoner at this point.
You can either go with them and be taken to the prison cell block (near the informant) and get his information then break out and fight through all of the mercenaries and get back to your ship or you can tell the welcoming committee to shove it and fight your way to the prison cell block (other end of the ship), reach the informant and then walk back to your ship. Either way you will have to kill or incapacitate all resistance on the ship in order to complete the mission. The order you do it in is up to you. Please assume each sequential area leads directly into the one that precedes it. If you decide to get captured just do it in the opposite order to the one I’ve listed.
The informant’s cell is in a reinforced steel room, it’s protected. Assume your battle will not result in some friendly fire bonanza. The ship’s hull is also made of reinforced steel. Small Arms fire will not pierce it and it may even be resistant to something like a rocket launcher or high powered sniper rifle. It can be ruptured though and if that happens your team and the informant will die in the vacuum of space.
Environment : It’s just a 10x10ft room between the docking platform and the rest of the ship, nothing unusual. The opposition will be within 10 meters of you if you choose to fight and they’ll have their guns drawn on you already.
6 Blue Sun Mercenaries - 4x with Assault Rifles, 2x with Shotguns. All have suits with Kevlar-quality protection across their bodies. No helmets. They’re just some experienced human mercs.
Prisoner Processing Office
Environment : This is basically a large office where paperwork is done. There will be desks and computers in a tidy arrangement. These can be upturned for cover if you need it. At the end of the room is an elevator that leads to/from the Cargo Hold. The disturbance will have by this point activated security protocols.
20 LOKI Mechs - Armed with Pistols, think of a basic bi-pedal robot with the intelligence of a mall security guard. A Loki Mech’s armor can take around 5-10 Assault Rifle rounds to the chest before it is incapacitated. All Mechs and synthetics (Geth) have a weak point in their head. However, if this point is damaged when the Mech is destroyed (i.e. the killing blow) the Mech will explode. Loki’s explode with roughly the force of a high impact grenade.
10 Blue Sun Mercenaries – 6 with Assault Rifles, 2 with Shotguns, 2 with Rocket Launchers. They will take cover behind desks when they aren’t firing, will use group tactics like suppressing fire. They’re flank you if you stay behind cover too long etc. They will generally use the Mechs as fodder to distract you while they use superior weapons to take you out.
Environment: This will be the main event for mission 1. Think of any cargo hold on a ship, it’ll be a really big, wide area like a warehouse and it’ll have boxes and crates all over the place on both sides. It is otherwise a flat and featureless square room. It’s really big though, let’s say 300x300 ft. This area will lead directly into the Prison Cell Block. The opposition here will protect the Warden. Once they’re out of action you can beat a key out of him and release the informant. Or if you got captured, just for fun.
50 LOKI Mechs - Armed with Pistols, still quite stupid, still fodder. They are reasonably accurate with those pistols and they will try to overrun you.
4 YMIR Mechs - ( Video) Much larger, heavily armoured, moderate shields. One arm has twin, high calibre machine guns, the other arm has a rocket launcher. They use both liberally and more intelligent than Loki Mechs. Their size however, does make them much slower. It takes around 3-5 seconds for a YMIR Mech to turn 180 degrees. A major stumbling point is that whilst a Loki will explode like a grenade, a Ymir Mech will explode with the force of a low-yield nuclear weapon if the killing blow damages it's weak point. Not even kidding. The critical self-destruct on a Ymir Mech is the same as the M-920 Cain (The Nuke Launcher) in Mass Effect 2. ( Video of the M-920 Cain)
The shields on a YMIR Mech will take around 200 bullets from an Assault Rifle before it is depleted. High Cal weapons or shotguns may deplete it faster. The Armor is thick enough to take even more than the shields before it is appreciably damaged. The armor around the targeting system (the head) is roughly half that of the body, however. Important note: Melee weapons of any kind will not be effective until the Shield is down.
The informant will tell you that he interrupted Geth communications coming from the planet Haestrom and that they’re planning a major assault on human colonies. Oh noes!The AI on the ship will then auto pilot your team Haestrom and you will have 2 hours to recover and learn what you can about the Geth.
Mission 2 – Haestrom
If you’re reading this and you don’t hate me right now, you may soon reconsider your position. The planet Haestrom revolves around a Sun that is in the process of prematurely becoming a red giant. It is giving off extreme levels of heat and radiation that only the synthetic geth can survive in. Being in direct sunlight is enough to melt a gun in 30 seconds. Video might help you understand it better.
Basically if you don’t fight for the shade you will die here from heat or radiation (fire proof suits are not radiation proof). The well armoured and shielded Cmdr. Shepard can last around 10 seconds in direct sunlight. For the purposes of the thread, an unarmored human here will have a horrendous sunburn after 3 seconds of expose. After 5 seconds of exposure your skin will burn off your body like a vampire and after 10 seconds you will die. People with healing factors may last marginally longer but anything over a few seconds and regular team mates will suffer permanent damage.
For the battle fields there will be pillars of roughly human width every 10ft. They will be around 8ft high and cast an appropriate shadow on the ground where you will protected from direct contact with the sun. The catch is, while the enemies will be in front of you, the sun will be to the left. So to be out of the sun you have to stand to the right of the pillar and in the line of fire or behind the pillar and in the sun. Your choice on that one.
The AI will give you the mission of recovering data concerning the location of the mounting Geth attack. You’ll be sent to a small outpost that your ship’s scanners will confirm is sending and receiving major amounts of data through burst transmission. The ship cannot tell where these transmissions are being sent to however. Your job will be to find out where the army is amassing. You’ll land on a small platform and take a sheltered ramp down to the Quarry, after that you’ll have to fight through to the Observatory to see where the communications are coming from and find the source of the threat.
Important Notes: Unlike Mechs, Geth don't blow up if a killing blow is dealt to their head. Instead they radiate electricity outwards in an arc of a few feet regardless of what kind of Geth they are. Husks do not blow up or radiate anything, they're just zombies.
Environment: The pillars will run through the middle of the Quarry which will be roughly 100x100 ft with a large door at the end. There will be a large pile of excavated stones in the center of the quarry that can be used for cover. Even though it is called a Quarry the ground is all level with the exception of a 10ft deep pit next to the pile of stones. The entrance to the quarry will be surrounded by chest-high concrete walls and will have shade from the landing platform building that extends 10ft past the chest-high walls.
20 Husks – Think space zombies. They’re exactly like regular zombies except they follow very basic commands from the Geth. i.e. Attack, stand around drooling, etc. They are synthetic lifeforms but they’re as fragile as unarmored humans and have the motor skills of a 12 year old girl. They do however have clawed hands that can rend steel plating and if they get close enough to you they’ll radiate a huge arc of electricity. They’ll all just run at you like mad as soon as they see you.
5 Abominations – The same as Husks but instead of the electrical discharge, they explode like they have TNT strapped to their chests. You can tell them apart since they glow red.
20 Geth Troopers – Basic shock troops of the Geth, their bodies have around twice the durability of Kevlar but they have no other armor or shields. They will all carry Assault Rifles. They’re intelligent enough to use cover and other basic tactics. Due to their heat and radiation resistant plating, Geth are essentially flame/heat-proof even without shields or armor. Their natural resilience to gunfire is around 3 times that of a Loki Mech.
5 Geth Rocket Troopers – The same as shock troops but with Rocket Launchers.
5 Geth Scout Drones – Basically small, flying robotic drones that have a mounted machine gun and an optical camouflage cloak.
1 Geth Prime – A Geth Prime is about 12 foot tall and has roughly the same durability as a YMIR Mech. The difference is these guys aren’t slow or bulky at all. They’re extremely fast, agile and skilled. Think a special ops commando thats slightly bionically enhanced and has incredible durability. They carry a light machine gun and a rocket launcher. They’re tactically brilliant and will use any tactics they deem appropriate to take out their enemies. They also have all the physical abilities of a 12 foot tall super soldier, whilst they usually stick to their weapons in combat it would theoretically be possible for them to tear a human limb from limb with their bare hands.
The worst part of a Geth Prime, however, is that Geth share programming routines when they’re close to each other. So when a Geth Prime is in the same room as regular Geth Troopers, they all gain his special ops skills and tactics. This will cease when the Geth Prime is destroyed.
There will be a 40x40ft ft flat area with two ramps leading up on either side. The ramps will lead up to an elevated area with a chest high wall on it. Behind that wall will be a lot of Geth and behind that will be the Observatory they’re sending transmissions from. I’m willing to draw a map if need be.
The pillars will still be here but in addition to that the area you start in will have crates and boxes to take cover behind. However, you’ll need to leave this cover to get to the observatory. On the left hand side of the room there will be a wall of crates that will create shade for the entire left half of the battle field. However, there is no cover in the shaded area at all and you’ll have to get 40ft to the ramp without any environmental protection if you go this way. The right hand side has a thick smattering of crates every 10 ft. The crates themselves will create shade but they are made of wood and can be destroyed. There are no pillars here.
5 Geth Snipers - Same as a trooper but with a Sniper Rifle.Geth Primes
5 Geth Hunters - Like a Trooper but with a Shotgun and an optical stealth unit.
5 Geth Hoppers - These guys basically have the agility of Spider-Man (they can even stick to walls), they're twice as resistant to gunfire as a shock troop and they are capable of firing an energy blast out of their head that would cut a human in half. Additionally, the mere presence of a Hopper will scramble any electronic, non-geth equipment in a 50 ft radius. Your radio communications or specialized electronic equipment (which I don't even think anyone has) will be jammed in their presence.
1 Geth Colossus – Yeah, the big daddy of Geth. It’s an enormous armoured Geth, probably 20 ft tall. It has roughly 2-4 times the durability and shielding of a YMIR Mech. Explosives certainly work better than bullets here.
It has twin machine guns mounted on each side and they are very high calibre rounds like the YMIR. It’s main weapon, however, is an enormous siege pulse cannon. It fires an orb of energy big enough for a human to fit inside. It would instantly incinerate a person if they’re hit. It could obliterate a 5ft thick concrete wall in one shot. It fires these at a rate of roughly 1 every 3 seconds.
Even worse, it has a self-repair mechanism. If it is sufficiently damaged it is capable of huddling up like a turtle with only it’s back armor exposed and it can completely repair any damage in about 5-10 seconds.
The transmissions will be tracked to a planet called ‘Virmire’ where Geth are being drawn from numerous worlds and are massing into an Army to conquer and decimate human colonies across the Galaxy. Your squad will have 10 hours to rest and recuperate. You may also study the Geth during this time but you’re probably right familiar by now.
Mission 3 - Virmire
ok, obviously this will be the final and possibly most challenging mission. Your task will be to destroy the Geth army, but since they now number in the millions you will lead your team of five on a stealth mission. You'll be bringing a bomb into a lightly defended installation and then defending the bomb while it is armed. This is designed to test not only your powers but your equipment and abilities. The first area will see you cross a ravine, however, the switch to lower the bridge will be on the other side of the ravine. One of your team members will have to somehow make their way to the other side, defeat a squad of Geth and then hit the switch to let the rest of your team across. The means by which you do this is up to you. If you do not have the means to lower the bridge you will have to walk around, by which time the enemy will be stronger and area 2 will be substiantially more difficult.
The second part of the mission will be a 'final stand' sort of thing. Waves of enemies will fall upon you in increasing numbers and you'll have to hold the installation while one of your team members arms the bomb you're carrying (which we'll assume is the size of a back-pack and has the power of 50 nukes). The problem is, the bomb you have is a Taurian bomb and you can't figure out the instructions for it. If you have a demolitions specialist or a genius on your team it will take him 15 minutes to figure out how to arm the space bomb. No exceptions. If you have no one with that skill the AI from your ship will attempt to retrieve the user manual in English for the explosive device from nearby star system. This will take 25 minutes and you will thus have to face more enemies before you can escape.
Environment: You'll have to land at a Spaceport roughly 20 kms out from the base. You'll trek through thick jungle until you come to a ravine roughly 15kms in. At the ravine there will be a raised draw bridge. The switch to lower it is on the other side. Between it is a 500ft drop off the side of a waterfall. Additionally on the other side there will be enemies, whom you may shoot at from your side or engage in melee if you can cross the ravine without the use of the bridge.
25 Geth Troopers
5 Geth Rocket Troopers
5 Geth Snipers
15 Geth Scout Drones
3 Geth Prime
Environment: Ok, this will be a basic Scout Outpost for the Geth. It'll be on the edge of their occupied territory but the bomb you're bringing will scour half the planet. However, once you breach the perimeter you will alert the main Geth forces to your presence. The moment you enter the outpost, the units listed will appear every 5 minutes. Each wave will double in strength, so if theres 25 Soldiers, the second wave has 50, third has 100, etc. On the third wave Saren Arterius will engage your team and try to stop you. Even more than this, the person you choose to set the bomb may not help your team. You must defend your demolition expert with just 4 men. If you have a specialist you will face 3 waves. If you do not, you will face 5 waves. Even if you don't have a specialist you still have to leave someone behind to arm the bomb.
25 Geth Troopers
5 Geth Snipers
10 Geth Prime
2 Geth Colossus
5 Krogan Warlords - A Krogan is an extremely well armored fighting machine. They have the strength to throw humans around like ragdolls and a powerful healing factor. Probably on par with Deadpool. A Krogran can heal from life threatening wounds in around 8-10 seconds. They'll be carrying Assault Rifles, Shotguns and Grenades.
Remember, every wave after the first will have double the units that proceeded it.
Third Wave only:
Saren Arterius - Saren is the deadliest and most experienced Spectre in the Galaxy. Basically the guy who would pimp slap James Bond in space. His weapons skills and tactical knowledge are truly extreme. The most challenging part for you guys will probably be his biotics. He is capable of raising telekinetic barriers, picking people up and throwing them, removing the gravity from a person or freezing a person in stasis. These high tier powers do have limitations though. Saren cannot employ them with the kind of control you'd expect from Jean Grey or something. He can only use these kinds of powers at a rate of once every 5 seconds. Basic powers like telekinetically throwing someone won't tax him much but the gravity removal or trying to rip someone apart telekinetically will tax him appreciably.
It should also be noted that his body is reinforced with super-dense metal and cybernetics. Kind of like Cable. He even has a Geth synthetic arm replacing one of his. Physically, he is superhumanly enhanced to a low level, The strength in his synthetic arm would be enough to easily rip a humans limbs off.