Talking about those first few moments of the game every time would get a little tedious. So I'll only do it every so often or if something interesting happens. If you need some more detail have a look at the entries for earlier expeditions. This time just take it that I leave Sid's place, talk to Wolf and tool around camp gathering my usual stuff before heading on up to the hill with Petruha and co. The Nimble rescue is on.
I've had a bit of a rethink on the front door approach. Heading in that way seems to either get me killed, or leave me being fairly ineffectual with none of the others able to help me. There must be something in the right side approach that the others always take. I figure if I go in a little wider I might be able to get the drop on one of the bandits by the camp fire. Then our spread will leave the remaining bandits with multiple targets, making it easier to pick them off.
Well, it sounds reasonable anyway.
I head in quickly, ahead of the others so I've got time to creep up nice and close.
It's not quickly enough. The guys start shooting 30 metres out and wake everybody up. I dash in to the fence for cover (because its bulletproof, like all good mouldering picket fences) and get pegged through the hole in the wall by one of the bandits. It's a glancing shot and I peg him back for good measure.
The other guys steam in, guns blazing, while I take a moment behind one of the brick piles in the fence. All the bandits in the Garage are shouting things and heading our way.
But while I stand there for that split second there's a loud, angry grunt to my right. Two boars come sprinting towards me down the fence line from behind the complex. I hug the fence even closer, pathetically holding my pistol out in front of me as though it might deploy some kind of magic shield at the last second.
The boars race past me and go straight at my comrades by the corner of the fence. My guys are forced to break from the attack to defend themselves. The bandits don't waste the opportunity. I see what I think is Petruha himself spin to fire off a desperate blast at a boar. A bandit then virtually walks up to him from out of the building and gives him both barrels in the stomach, just as he turns back around. I back off down the fence as more come out, shooting as I go.
All is not lost however. The boars run on, not interested in sticking around, and two of the guys are still standing. Between me on the flank and their advance, the bandits nearest them go down and they can move into the building. I head their way and follow them in.
I'm not entirely sure what happened next. I do know that one of the guys expired, possibly from boar injuries, just inside the building. I also know that Max Perp is a lethal shot with that silenced pistol and we have won.
Nimble is very glad to see me, as always, and I even manage to get myself some gear out of it all. The two of us leave Max behind to hold the place by himself.
0845 - It's raining again. Storming in fact. The dogs and boars are all stirred up and running all over the countryside. None seem all that interested in biting me.
On the crest leading down to camp I see there's no guard at the usual post.
He pops up a moment later though. He must have been seeing off some dogs. Is it a bad thing that I assumed the worst and hoped to be first to his corpse?
I check in with everyone at camp and cash out, keen to get moving. I head to the Factory for a rummage, not expecting any trouble this time.
The presence of these army boys troubles me. It'd be so convenient if I could just deal with them somehow, but those are lingering thoughts from easier games long ago. Otherwise known as stupid thoughts that will get me killed. I'll have to sneak around again.
1124 - I get a tweet that the next blowout is due in about 24 hrs. Strangely, this is the first time I've noticed one of those warnings since starting this project.
1211 - Heading down the hill on the other side of the embankment towards the distressed Fox, I hear gunshots from further up the road. Staying behind the building I can hear them yelling to each other. It's bandits, and it sounds like they're tangling with some dogs.
I know exactly where these guys are headed; the Garage. So I think to give Max some assistance. Maybe I can pick one or two off unawares, or soften them up for the dogs. I really don't want their full attention.
I leave Fox lying on the floor, moaning. He's probably better off there if I'm going to start a firefight.
The bandits sound like they're spread across both sides of the road and some distance away, but I can see one on the other bank just across from Fox's building and he hasn't seen me yet. Shotgun shells would be useless at this range, so I switch to the pistol.
I pick him off and he slides down the bank to the road. Just as I dare think about going down to collect his loot a pal of his on the same side of the road, much closer than I thought, spots me. He sprays MP5 rounds my way as he advances and I dive behind the wall shooting back. He's cautious and I lean out and try to keep him discouraged. Then there's the sound of someone shooting at dogs behind me and it's close.
I turn and go over to one of the windows. It's nothing. Or at least nothing close like I had thought. Some stalker by the sounds of it. I look back over to the bank and the bandit is gone. How stupid can I get?
I creep over to where I was before, expecting he's behind a tree on the other side and liable to pop out at any moment. But I stick out just far enough over the bank on my side and cop a spray of rounds from shins on up. He's coming at me from below to my left, obscured by the bank and the tree I was using for cover. I dive back into the building and bleed for a moment.
He'll come straight for me and his accuracy and damage will only increase as he gets closer, so I have to get him now. Changing guns would just slow me down. I duck out again and give him all I've got.
He falls down to the road with his buddy. I take a moment to patch myself up before collecting his MP5 (an MP5! With sod all bullets. But, an MP5!).
Now, where was I? Oh yes, Fox. Sorry about the delay old boy. After I get him to his feet we have to face a ravening pack of one dog. More things to thank the bandits for. Incidentally there's usually four or so in a group on the move like that. I personally know what became of two of them. Any others haven't come our way.
Fox tells me to check in with his brother on the way to Agroprom Research. I hate to break it to the guy that it could be a while before I can even attempt that run. But from here it's not too much of a stretch to at least investigate the crossing post, however. The bandits usually hold that as well, but it gets a lot of travellers and other things coming through.
It's also a place I haven't even seen since the start of this little experiment and on the whole things are going well.
1358- I don't have to get too far up the road before I spot the movement of something large further on. A damned Chimera is running around.
A Chimera is one of the mutants left out of the release version of the game. But it was still there in the files so various mods turned it on and added it to the Zone's already... uh, interesting wildlife. It's basically a big lion sort of thing with two heads. They're fast, aggressive and territorial. They can also leap ridiculous distances onto their prey. If you've got a nice rifle and you see them at range, they aren't too much of a problem. I'm only filling one of these requirements at the moment.
Luckily it's more interested in whoever is inside the crossing post and it charges in. I sneak up closer hoping to hear the action and find out who wins.
1402 - It was bandits, and they won!
It's both impressive and dissappointing at the same time. I get in closer to check for remaining numbers on my scope, but I rustle a damned bush don't I. Inside, several foes can be heard priming guns and getting ready for a fight. And me with no grenades to chuck over the wall.
Backing right off seems like the thing to do. I hide behind some nearby rocks and wait.
One bandit comes out looking for me. I step out. My few MP5 rounds hit home and he collapses moments later. Before even considering my next move another steps through the gate and makes a throwing gesture. You know how sometimes your eyes widen so fast it feels like you tore something?
It's a long throw. But spinning on my heels and sprinting for the next group of rocks still wasn't enough. The grenade almost blows me the last few steps, knocking my MP5 from my hands. My health shredded to a tenth of the maximum with the remainder rapidly leaking onto the ground, I stagger behind the rocks. My one medkit and all of my bandages just manage to keep me alive and I cram in what little food I have for good measure.
A short time later he comes for me, right to the rocks I crawled behind. It's just as well I already moved to the next group of boulders.
I pick up my second MP5 from his corpse. This is great. If I sell it I might be able to afford bullets for the first one.
The crossing post is quiet now and it's all mine, but I wouldn't dare carry on. Not at this hour, or with my banged up armour and no bullets. But the road back to camp is looking clear at least.
1710 - On the road not far from Fox's building I stumbled into a Whirligig anomaly. As it tried to drag me into oblivion I thought about how far I hadn't gone yet, despite surviving so much. I was terribly sorry for being so blasé and angry at the injustice of it all. If there's such a thing as praying to a computer game, it might be something like this I suppose.
Somehow I manage to break free. I spend enough bolts to build a battleship on the rest of the journey.
1815 - I arrive back at camp to find a boar stirring up all sorts of trouble.
More than a little weary, I take a seat at the top of the driveway and wait while they deal with it. I'm not doing anything but checking in with Sid and turning in for the night.
Continued in part 2