Airmech: Wastelands


#1

Article

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It’s a CooP PVE focused standalone split off from the original Airmech (now know as Airmech: Strike), a departure from the original idea to just develop the single player aspect of the original Airmech release. Some people are annoyed that Airmech: Strike is F2P and Wastelands is a paid, Early Access title, but those who have spent money in a certain way on Airmech: Strike before a certain date get Wastelands for free. Otherwise it is currently £13.49 with the 10% off release price or £15 standard.

So, what we’ve got here is basically more AirMech as you remember it – a solid, refined game of fast shooting and quickfire strategy, built on a classic foundation – but with a single-player focus that kinda reminds me of Starcraft 2’s campaigns. In among the usual basic shooter missions and RTS-focused stages are some missile-heavy setpiece boss battles, and there’s an increased focus on stat-based progression. You’ll level up, find loot and buy upgrades to help your plucky band of resistance fighters take back post-apocalyptic Earth from The Iron Hand, an army of sentient robots.

Basically, you have a world map with a variety of missions on it that you can run to your hearts content, collecting random item drops and cosmetics for your mech, scrap that you can exchange for money to spend in the item shop or for other items that you can sell on the player market for “crystals” which can be used to buy things from the player market. Currently there isn’t much on the player market and what is there is confusing or - because they’ve actually linked Airmech:Strike with Wastelands, creating a shared inventory - items and loot boxes from Strike that you can use in either one. You can’t currently spend any real money on Wastelands after purchase, but I feel this might come later which would change my perspective on the game some.

I’ve only played a couple missions of AirMech Wastelands so far, but hope to sink a little more time into it over the weekend. While I didn’t get far enough to see it myself, I saw mention that some events such as the aerial battleship boss fight shown in the trailer above are a little borked in the current iteration of the game, although there does seem to be a generous slab of content outside of that battle. We’ll hopefully be able to get a better idea of just how far AirMech Wastelands goes once the dust has settled, and the game gets locked down into beta.

It is a little broken at the moment with mission 7 being unwinnable as of logging off last night, caused by a bug that stops you using your two primary weapons and leaving you with your missile ability which is just about possible to pull off (although I haven’t quite managed it yet…lost one civvie too many seconds from winning) but pretty frustrating. Oh and the update possibly to fix this bug killed the servers this morning when I hopped on to see if the aforementioned bug was fixed.

Still, I had fun with the 2 hours I’ve played, it plays like Custom Robo Arena from the DS for those that have heard of it. Basically sat waiting to get home and play some more at the moment.


#2

Update fixed that bug and the servers are back up. Just noticed while playing that the Devs are active in the chat feed and discussing stuff with players which is pretty nice.

Binned the starting Mech in favour of two I bought with my free crystal from the market place:

  • The Helix a chopper bot with a charging rocket attack and a charging mortar attack in ground mode and guns/missiles when in chopper mode

  • The Bomber which is based on the B2 but is a melee/tank class (weirdly) and an absolute monster in the survival mode. Two sword arms and a spin ability in ground mode then guns and an unlockable bombing run ability in flying mode

The starting mech doesn’t dole out enough damage and doesn’t have very interesting abilities

Just got some drops for the Angel (Sniper mech) and the Warthog (After its name sake the A10 - found me a minigun for it!) so I’ll either do the missions to get the free version of the mechs or wait and see if I can pick them up on the player market with what I have left from the free diamonds.

Good fun so far although I do feel like this should be priced at £9.99 rather than £15, that would probably make a few more people jump ship - currently there are 80-130 concurrent players according to the chat window.


#3

I played the original Airmech for an hour or two, might have a look at this in a while, or when I get my Steam Controller.


#4

Gimme a shout if you do and we can CooP!


#5

Hit a wall on a mission where the difficulty curve is off the charts from previous missions.

You’ve got to defend your Fortress and capture three outposts so you can then destroy a fuel dump while three or four infinite enemy spawn points pour out troops and smash your defenses.

  • Manage to capture 2/3 but then lose my base
  • Manage to capture 1/3 and defend my base but end up losing both mechs
  • Manage to capture 2/3 and defend my base but end up losing both mechs

So I used some of my diamonds to buy the Warthog which is another melee beast but - suuuper disappointingly - has a rubbish gattling gun as main weapon and I’ve dug out the default mech you start with and I’m doing some survival mode grinding to get them kitted up and to level myself and my fortress health up so I can do another run and see if it will let me go through four mechs if I have four equipped in my hangar - I don’t know what the mission limit is if there is one.

Still, really good fun so far and I think it would be good fun in CooP.


#6

Mah Meeerchssss

In order of my roster:

The Warthog - I have the ‘Pirate’ version:
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  • Strong enough to tank with
  • Has a gattling gun in flight mode and ground mode with quite a long spin up and fairly low damage
  • Has a melee in ground mode which is just bashing things with the gattling gun which is oddly monstrously powerful
  • Shield ability that I have mixed feelings about since it slows you to a crawl, doesn’t last long but does protect you and is on a cool down

Bomber
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  • Not as strong as the bomber but strong enough to tank with
  • Has guns in flight mode which are piddly and weak
  • Bombs can be unlocked for flight mode which are chargeable - one click/one bomb, hold click/more bombs
  • Has two claw arms in ground mode that are a double swipe attack quicker than the Warthog but lower damage
  • Spin attack in ground mode which spins your claw arms around, no cool down but uses power

Helix
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  • Not brittle but weak enough to require using it in ranged or doing lots of kiting
  • Gun in flight mode which does average damage
  • Missiles in flight and ground mode which are charging like the bombers bomb ability
  • Has a grenade/mortar ability in ground mode which is really powerful and is also charging like the bombs/missiles
  • Has an unlockable missile ability that fires four on a cool down

Striker - default starting mech

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  • A bit weaker than the helix but plays the same
  • Has guns in flight and ground mode, about as powerful as the Helix gun
  • Can unlock missiles for flight/ground mode that work the same as the Helix missile ability
  • Has a sword in ground mode that is pretty hit or miss for me

Saucer

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  • Paper thin, can kite with it but best to use its abilities
  • Gun in ground and air mode, weaker than the other guns
  • Has a death ray that has a charge up very similar to the Warthog’s gun, slightly stronger than the Helix/striker gun
  • Has a ‘warp’ ability that lets it dash in short stints
  • Main ability is ‘abduction’ which converts enemy units to fight for you

I find myself using the Warthog and Bomber almost exclusively with the Helix coming in for times when I need lots of ordinance. The Saucer is interesting but very weak in solo and seem to be geared towards CooP play like the Osprey (healer class).

Leveled everything up to 15 so far, now on to grinding for new parts and grinding scrap to level them up to 20.

Having a good amount of fun so far even though it’s been mostly grinding the survival mission. The rewards are enough to keep me plugging away.

Might pick up the Osprey and grind it up so I can do some support in CooP and then maybe grab the Neo and check out it’s stealth abilities.


#7

Also forgot to mention that I managed to complete the really difficult mission and found it was difficult because I’m a spaz.

The mission is to capture and hold three pump stations across the map that are heavily defended and continually reinforced by infinitely spawning enemies from two spawn points South and North of your fortress. Holding the pump stations reduces the enemies tickets/health bar which results in the fuel station exploding.

I took it literally that I had to hold all three before I could win but just couldn’t do it because I was having to defend my home base and then capture and defend three pump stations simultaneously all with a limited unit cap (Which does increase with each captured station).

What I didn’t notice was just holding one still reduces the tickets/health bar but at a much slower rate. When I realised this I just focused on defending one pump station and home base and managed to win!

The failed attempts worked out for me though because I learned a load more about the units/build system and developed a strategy beyond “BUILD ALL THE SHOOTY STUFF AND HOPE FOR THE BEST!”


#8

I’ll have to film a run through of my current mission because it’s awesome.

They have missions specifically to introduce and unlock new mechs. The one I’m on is for the Warthog (I was a slag and spent diamonds to unlock it early). I’m a person on foot with a machine gun, EMP grenades and C4. There are a selection of enemies and turrets with vision cones that you have to dodge or they’ll spot and shoot you. Everything put the turrets can be kited and killed with the gun but the turrets have to be EMP’d and then C4’d.

It’s like 3rd person mini MGS!


#9

Mah Warthog:


#10

New survival mission that is a beast. Bought a load of new units and had a play around, found a nice mixed force:

That has lots of shooty:

From memory (Can’t remember all the real names):

  • T45 turret - Starting unit, average damage (AA/Ground) and armour/strength, lots of them with healer units are good defenders
  • T90 turret - Stronger version of the T45, lots more health and damage (AA/Ground), grouped with the T45s and healers they are excellent
  • Gatty - Gattling gun version of the turret, average armour/strength with low damage but high rate of fire which is good for inf/light armour/AA. With the T45, T90 and healers it’s a proper wall of lead
  • Healer infantry unit - Cheap and small, I drop loads of them behind the turret units in overlapping fields (circle of influence is quite small)
  • Healer light truck - More expensive but quicker to heal and can take more punishment, I’ll sprinkle these in if the waves are battering my armour
  • Goliath - Heavy anti-air unit (supposedly does ground, but they don’t seem to want to shoot ground units), expensive, slow and long spin up for the weapons, but strong and absolutely mince the heavier air units spawning on this mission. Throw them right in behind the turret walls on the flanks with healer units.
  • Heavy tank - Expensive and slow but really strong and packs a huge punch, can only have 5. I throw these in on my flanks with a few healers
  • Arty - Light artillery I throw at my rear flanks within range of the main killzone created in front of the turret walls. They have a range cone that starts a distance in front of the unit and stops an average distance beyond that, narrow though. Useful for when there is a lot of armour in a wave that clogs up the turret wall, adds some punch to the walls of lead. Also slow to fire.

Also just started paying attention to the companion units but so far nothing beats the scrapper companion that deconstructs exploded chasis that you can’t pick up like normal salvage. You can have a maximum of 4 companion units (at least at the moment) so I’ve been using 4 scrappers which increases the scrap haul on this mission from 900/1000 to 3500/4000+ scrap.

Also getting some beastily parts for my mechs and a few new parts I’ve gotten good rolls on have made the Warthog even more of a beast and my favourite mech.

I fucking love this game.


#11

Added to the above post with a list of the units I’m using. I have three times as many units as I’m using, some I’ve used but don’t like, some that don’t suit the missions I’ve had so far, some are useless and a bunch that I’ve not gotten around to using yet.


#12

Quick screenie of some BRRRRRRRT which is loads better now I have a new gatty that gives +98dmg instead of the only +10dmg my default one was putting out:


#13

Grinding the current survival mission I’m up to (Snowfall) I’m getting loads more standard drops and finding that I’m getting at least a rare drop almost every game if not several rare and one (sometimes two!) very rare drops.

My Warthog gun is devastating now.


#14

Update on mah mechs with stats:

Pirate Warthog:

Apache Helix:

Phantom Bomber:

Striker:

Saucer:

Angel:


#15

Hit another wall on one of the survival missions called ‘Spiral’. I was able to get to the last 10% or so of the last wave but then got battered every time.

Two problems:

  • The map design means the enemy have their guns on you and your defences for almost the entire run in to your fortress because the map is a ‘spiral’ of two entry roads entering from opposite corners of the map and leading to your fortress in the middle (see the mini map below):

  • New units. The last two waves spam some super heavy units with 12,000 health and tri-barrelled rotating AP cannons that 1 shot infantry and can knock out my heaviest tank in maybe 6 shots. They make a mockery of my fully constructed defences and my gattling gun with the booster ability to give me another 10% damage on top.

So after a few different strategies of overlapping fields of fire, mixing units with low fire rate but high AP and high fire rate and low AP, making layered walls of tanks, turrets and healing units I gave up for a bit.

Frustratedly though I came back to it and went looking for new units in the markets to start experimenting, looking at high HP, high DPS and high AP values and then anything else that I might be able to make a dent in the last few waves with.

Tried both lots mines to no avail. Tried air unit spam which was laughably under powered. Tried APC units with weird abilities and rockets for lots of spam. Nothing was working.

Then I found the Devastator and the Ultimate.

The Devastator is the little brother of the units hitting me at the end of the last two waves, having 6000 HP, lotsa damage and lotsa AP:

It lets me build 5 of them like the Goliath, so these became my front line on my first try with the Devastator and made a significant dent in the last units but just couldn’t hold up to the assault.

Mixed it up with a front line of ‘Busters’ which are basically WW2 Panther tanks with high AP but low HP and DPS:

This made a bit more of a dent but I still couldn’t whittle down the waves with my guns enough for my defences to hold out. I tried some of the companion units like the gun drones but they didn’t help. I switched around where I built my defences, building them on the outer boundaries, building them right next to the base. Nothing was working - I resigned myself to just need to to work on grinding better parts for my Warthog.

Then I remembered I bought the ultimate. I had no idea what it did because there is a distinct lack of descriptive text at the moment, so I loaded up an older mission (Snowfall, another survival mission) and constructed it to see what it did. It takes 40 seconds to construct and spawns a little glowing disc outside the base that you collect like a pickup.

All it did was put a counter set to 1500 on the screen and made a few lighting effects around my mech.

Then I fired at a line of tanks…

It is something ridiculous like 10x damage for 1500 rounds…not even a timer, a counter of 1500 rounds…insane.

First attempt with this I messed up. I spawned it early in a place I could get to it quickly and then forgot about it until the time came and…it had despawned.

Next time? I chewed through every single tank like they were made of paper. I still had to build my defences because of the sheer volume of units pouring in, but they only had to act as a barrier for long enough for me to chew up one end and fly to the other to finish them off. Not a single ground unit even got through my defences!!

I love this game so much.


#16

Well looky looky!


#17

The other four Mechs I’ve not used very much:

Angel
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  • Weaker than the Striker but stronger than the Saucer
  • Sniper unit - powerful sniper rifle and machine pistols in ground mode
  • Gun and (I think) rockets in flight mode along with an evade ability that seems useless

Not used it much since it feels like it is aimed at CooP play maybe as a response to the heavier units…dunno.

Neo
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  • About as strong as the Striker
  • Stealth unit with infinite stealth field
  • Guns and (I think) rockets

Only used this in the unlock mission.

Paladin
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  • Stronger than the Striker but weaker than the Bomber and Warthog even though it is a melee unit
  • Gun and Throwing Hammer in ground mode - hammer is charging and can pass through multiple units in one shot
  • Meant as a support unit with good lift capacity and some healer/buff ability I haven’t used much

Again, this feels like it is aimed at CooP, maybe as the sole Mech dealing with units, I dunno.

Osprey
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  • Somewhere around as strong as the Paladin
  • Guns and missiles
  • Support unit with healing abilities (Heal beam and an AOE healing ability)

Another one that seems like it is aimed at CooP and support of units and other mechs.

And why not? The units I currently use excluding the ones I’ve already posted above:

Boxer
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  • APC with missiles that give decent fire for effect
  • Can apparently carry infantry and are good at soaking up damage but they’re pretty paper thin

Rebel
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  • The ‘HUMVEE’ unit that I don’t use too much anymore
  • Light armoured, reasonably fast, lower-moderate damage

Longhorn
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  • Nice upper-medium unit
  • Decent damage and armour, medium-slow speed

Gemini
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  • Devastators little brother
  • Decent armour, damage and AP but pretty slow
  • Good tank spam unit

Goliath
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  • Heavy tank unit
  • High armour, high damage and AP, very slow speed

T45
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  • Basic, default turret unit
  • MUST be supported by healer units
  • Moderate damage and health, large area of effect, good in lines with overlaps

T99
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  • Bigger brother of the T45
  • Still needs support from healer units
  • Higher damage and health, replace this as my main front line defence turret

Gatty
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  • Gattling gun version of the T45
  • High fire rate, lower damage, low AP, low health
  • Great in bulk sat in lines behind T45s or T99s
  • Desperately need healer units

Tesla Tower
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  • Does what is says on the tin
  • Doesn’t seem to die easily but doesn’t hit very hard
  • Needs to charge between discharges
  • The jury is out on this

Arty
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  • Default artillery unit
  • By its nature it wouldn’t be hit by anything but air units unless your lines have failed or you’ve placed it in crap place
  • Only really works at choke points on slow units and in massed fire because of the odd way the fire cone works
  • Second version that is almost identical, slightly higher damage but dunno what else

Bertha
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  • Heavier version of the Arty/Archy

Jury is out on Artillery for me - I’ve seen them mince units when placed right to hit a choke point but only when the makeup of a wave is just right so that there is a dense portion of light units at the right time or a lot of heavy and slow units. Only really build these at the end of a game if I have supply left.

Gorgon
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  • Mobile heavy tank AA unit
  • Very slow so I use them as turrets essentially
  • Has a ground attack value but I’ve never seen them attack ground units
  • Four of them with some turrets will mince even the heaviest air attack I’ve yet come across

Fixer
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  • Infantry healer unit
  • Cheap
  • I used them in overlapping areas of effect inside my lines of defence

Patcher
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  • Light vehicle unit version of the above really

Lunchbox
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  • Place around your base to give it a light shield

I also use an air unit that isn’t listed on the Airmech Strike wiki. Very light and easily killed, if you build 20 of them and surround yourself with them they will mince through AI Airmechs.

Some units I’m going to have a play with:

Honeypot
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  • Like the lunchbox but for healing

Turtle
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  • Mobile shield unit
  • Slow with lots of health so I’ll probably use it as a stationary unit

SPAAAAAAAAAAAAM


#18

Is there anyway to upgrade specific units?


#19

Not as of yet. There are different versions of units, but I don’t seem to be able to use them in Wastelands after buying one of them.