Individual Mission Help Guide for The Wasted Land

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land info pageIf you’ve got stuck on an individual mission, then below are level-by-level hints to help you (and humanity) prevail!  However – SPOILER ALERT – to discuss each level, bits of plot and the like will be revealed…

  •  Mission 1 (The Battle of Pudding Lane) – You have the advantage here in both access to cover and the use of Medical Stations, so use it!  Group your units around the upper-middle Medical Station and put one out in front in the outer trench, so that the waves of soldiers and cultists will see him first and so move to kill him.  This means they tend to move through the gas as they come in from the west and take damage from it.  Hold this position, swapping the unit out front as he gets damaged until all the enemy are killed.  Use Sapper Brown’s artillery and rifle fire against groupings and armoured units.  Then once they are all dead and no more enemy units are arriving, as a group, move your team down to the south of the trenches and head east moving from crater to crater to stay in cover.  It is only Hill who needs to get to the last objective, so you can keep the rest of the team in cover (in the trench before the mud) keeping the enemy busy.  Then run him over the mud to the last objective.  Team Management: Once the level is completed, make sure you stock up on medical kits from the Quartermaster.  It also helps, going forward, to have a couple of units with full Chemical Protection (99%) skills and gas masks.  Note that it is good to get armor for units, but the stronger the armor, the most the AP cost (e.g. see the ‘Human Tank’ tactic here).  There is also more information on the skills and stats in the Character Upgrade screen here.

Pudding Lane - hold the Medical Station to give your forces the advantage!


  • Mission 2 (The Raid) – Group your people around the initial Medical Station and kill all the units there except the Cultist Officer (who is Objective 1) as this will lull them into a false sense of security.  Then move all but one Investigator (not Brightmeer, he needs to go up) to the north and take the Medical Station by objective 2 – but don’t complete it yet.  Then kill the Cultist Officer (Objective 1) and keep in cover while you kill any who come next.  Now move to complete Objective 2 with Brightmeer and again keep hold of the Medical Station and trenches and clear the cultists who arrive next.  Once the coast is clear, move Brightmeer down, supported by the unit who completed Objective 1 and head for the exit.  The danger here is with any isolated unit who gets hit and goes unconscious, so the unit you leave to deal with Objective 1, should remain close to the southern most Medical Station and when you move Brightmeer, make sure there are no direct threats to him.  Team Management: See the advice from Mission 1 (above).

The Raid - This is a rotated 180 camera view of the starting view.

  • Mission 3 (A Handful of Dust) – Get into the trench to use the cover and shoot first two turns then shoot/knife and move…  If you spell the messages out backwards you get a clue for later…
  • Mission 4 (The Many Voices) – Initially equip Sapper Brown with his gas mask at the start and move him past the Medical Station but still in the trenches.  Keep him the most forward of your units and he’ll draw the enemy cultists down through the gas.  Use him and Captain Hill to deal with the Iron Cultist, moving them back to the Medical Station if need be.  Once all the cultists are done you can move the other units around up through the western trenches, dealing with Reanimates as you go.  Once the time comes to cross the bridge, use the same tactic with the gas – move everyone back down south.  Get Brown (supported by Hill, because he’ll take a lot of fire) to move to the bridge to draw the next wave of cultists to him then retreat to the Medical Station, and hold this position while you kill the cultists.  Once clear you can make for the church.  Once in the church, position Green and another supporting Investigator on the upper First Aid post to east of church.  Put the other units in the church behind Green and in position to protect Brightmeer.  Then when the waves of Reanimates come, use Green and his support to draw them off and kill them (again)  and when the upper waves are weakened he can support those in the church.  Again use Brown’s artillery strikes to get groups of Reanimates wherever possible.  Use Emma Gold to help with Sanity for the units in the church, for Green and his support if they go Manic they can heal each other, if Paralysed then being on the Medical Station keeps them safe.  Team Management: See the advice from Mission 1 (above).  You can also buy magic now, which is very helpful as the game progresses, so worth spending some XP on the Cthulhu Mythos skills of Brightmeer.
  • Mission 5 (Burying The Dead) – This is the first underground mission, so you won’t be able to use artillery requests.  Keep as a group and move down and west towards the first objective.  Move into the room where the objective is and kill any enemy units inside.  Use this as a strong point.  Put your stronger units around the exit of this small room and force the enemy to come at you in single file so you can attack them with more than one Investigator.  Complete the first objective and stay around that room until the enemy units are all dead.  Then you’ll need to split the team into two groups of three; whoever has gas masks, send them to the eastern objective (normally Brown & Hill) in the gas and send those without to the northern most objective (normally Gold).  With the eastern objective, place a unit or two on the Medical Station and hold this as a strong point.  Don’t place any unit on the objective point until both are ready as you’ll lose the use of them until that point.  Once the objective is completed, move all the Investigators, fighting as you go, down to join the Medical Station just below the gas.  Use this to heal all the units before you move forward.  Not all the units need to go through the gas, but if you don’t have enough gas masks there is a trick you can use to help (see ‘Swap it!’ in the general tactics guide). Move down through the gas, and hold at the bottom.  Force the Leng Spiders to move you, shooting them at a distance before they can get to you.  Move up towards the exit as a group killing the spiders as you go.  Team Management: See the advice from Mission 1 (above).  Also it is helpful to have a second Investigator who can use Psychoanalysis, so spend some XP building another unit up as well as Emma Gold and buy them a Psychoanalysis Book from the Quartermaster.  It is worth buying lots of First Aid Kits and two or three Vitality Jabs (as the next mission is timed, there is a clue in the end mission dialogue).  Also Health of Rlyeh is a very helpful spell as it enables healing at a distance, so it is recommended.
  • Mission 6 (Death By Gas) – Now you’ll be facing Flying Polyps and Dark Young plus time is against you, so each turn counts!  From the start, move gas mask enabled units south to trigger, then engage the Flying Polyps and lure the cultists into the gas.  Move the rest of the team around the back of the building you start next to and through the mud.  Concentrate fire where possible on the Flying Polyps or they will pin you down.  Reassemble your team in the trench and keep shooting until the Flying Polyps and any cultists are dead.  Move forward as a group down to the house at the bottom and then bring your units just around the corner to the east so they can shoot at the approaching Dark Young.  Hold this position and shoot all the enemy, concentrating on the Dark Young until they are all dead, then try to move forward and take the crater before the mud and hold that until the cultists guarding the bridge and the Flying Polyps are dead.  Then move over the mud and take the Medical Station to your east.  Heal your units here, but don’t take too long.  Move them up over the bridge, round to the east and up to the trench.  This is a good spot to weather the Reanimate/Dark Young onslaught from.  If you can’t get to here, then keep your team just around the corner of the building but over the bridge, so the enemy are coming at you more in single file.  Then move up to the Medical Station and keep the key units (Brown and Hill) moving forward wherever possible (but not too isolated they can get healed).  If time is short just run them towards the exit and use the other units to keep the enemy busy.  Vitality Jabs, if you have them, are good for making a run to the exit.  Team Management: See the advice from Mission 1 (above).  Also in the Quartermaster the Elephant Gun is now available.  It’s a great rifle replacement for the Lee Enfield if you can afford it.  Again, it is helpful to have a second Investigator who can use Psychoanalysis, so spend some XP building another unit up as well as Emma Gold and buy them a Psychoanalysis Book from the Quartermaster.  It is also worth buying lots of First Aid Kits and two or three Vitality Jabs (as the next mission is timed, there is a clue in the end mission dialogue).  Also Health of Rlyeh is a very helpful spell as it enables healing at a distance, so it is recommended.
  • Mission 7 (The Fire Speaks) – This mission is a long fight around to the church.  In general use the tactics of keeping as a group and using the cover.  Hold your position initially and kill the units near the Medical Station shooting the Dark Young before they can close in.  Then move up and use the Medical Station to heal your units.  Once ready to move, go up where the Dark Young emerged from and move from crater to crater until you are the upper one before the mud and hold here until the waves of Reanimates are dead.  Also try to kill the Iron Cultists in the trench before you move on.  Then move your gas enabled units into the gas and shoot at any units you see.  They will also draw in some of the cultists and Leng Spiders into the gas to damage them.  Move the rest of the team up north around the barbed wire and into the trenches.  Move to the end of the trenches, keep the cover on your side.  Then move into the trenches and follow them around to the entrance of the ruined church.  Stay in the trenches to kill off the waves of Reanimates.  Once done move into the church.  This next objective will mean Brightmeer is busy so if he has spells, weapons or equipment you need, now is the time to swap them out to others.  Once Brightmeer starts his work to complete the objective, you can cluster your team around the Medical Station and force the enemy to come into the church – this is good if you don’t have good ranged weapons or spells and/or First Aid Kits are low.  If you have a unit other than Brightmeer who can use magic and they have Health of Rlyeh, then you can put a couple of units in the trenches to the south of the church and draw the enemy there and keep healing them from afar.  Team Management: The same advice for the end of Missions 1 and 5 applies here too.  Also if you’ve not yet got one unit with a Hotchkiss and a good Heavy Weapons skill, it is an investment in money and XP that is well worth it!  And the Trench Knife is a good buy for any unit with good Martial Arts skills.
  • Mission 8 (Chess With The Dead) – Another underground mission, so Artillery Requests are again not available.  For this you need to turn off each machine to stop more Reanimates being made.  Move your stronger close combat (i.e. good Martial Arts skills) Investigators forward in front of the first objective square, then move Brightmeer up to switch it off (this takes 2 turns) and move another Investigator in behind him to protect him from any Reanimates that spawn in while it is being disabled.  Once done, repeat for the next machine.  Then head round the corner for the third machine.  Here, before you advance, try to take out the Iron Cultists, as they can cause problems.  Then advance as before but watch for enemy units appearing from the  top of the level too.  As you move in for the 4th machine, you can also move a couple of Investigators up to the Medical Station and use this as a strong point to draw the enemy away from Brightmeer.  Once the 4th machine is shut down, go back to the Medical Station and heal everyone and make sure Sanity is restored before you proceed to the next objective (the papers).  Once you complete this objective it will be a close fight with the enemy coming in from the east, so if need be, position stronger units out front and weaker units behind them.  Don’t move any unit to the existing objective until all are safe.  Hint! Before you exit the mission, use Psychoanalysis on Hill as it makes the next level easier.  Team Management: The same advice for the end of Missions 1 and 5 applies here too.  The Lewis Gun is now available; a great weapon for Investigators with a good Heavy Weapons skill.  The Trench Knife is a good buy for any unit with good Martial Arts skills.  It is also worth buying a couple of Large Vitality Jabs as the next mission is timed (there is a clue in the end mission dialogue).
  • Mission 9 (The Dream Land) – If Hill’s Sanity (SAN) is low, then keep moving away from enemy units and avoid either attacking or being attacked (as both cost SAN) unless you go manic.  If Hill’s Sanity is ok, then use the cover of a crater and focus your attacks on the larger Leng Spiders (who can paralyse).  If you spell the messages out backwards you get a clue for later…
  • Mission 10 (The Warning Thunder) – Time is not with you on this mission and each turn counts.  Remember that only the key units named need to get to the exit zone.  Move into one of the craters south of the start position and use these as cover while you kill the Iron Cultists and Dark Young.  Once this has been done, move, using cover where possible as a group to the south-west to take the bottom (middle-south) Medical Station.  Use this as a strong point and kill the Flying Polyps that protect it. Then move your team around to the adjacent Medical Station just to the west and hold that position.  Then use the non-key units to keep the enemy busy while you rush Brightmeer, Gold and Hill to the exit point along the south of the map and around the barbed wire.  Team Management: The same advice for the end of Missions 1 and 5 applies here too.  The Lancaster Pistol also becomes available, which is a great pistol for those with a good Handgun skill.
  • Mission 11 (Not Dead But Dreaming) – This is a tough fight.  You need to concentrate fire on the Leng Spider and the Flying Polyps so that Brightmeer can be freed from their paralysing attacks.  Use Investigators with machine guns and/or rifles for this while units with good Martial Arts skills and weapons protect you from the advancing Reanimates and Cthulhoids.  Once the bulk of the enemy units have been killed, you can advance north.  However it is a fight each step of the way, so don’t let any units get too isolated unless you can support them.  Try to take the first Medical Station as you approach it and use as a strong point.  Hold here until you’ve killed as many units as you can and until the Dark Young and Cthulhoids who appear are dead.  Move on from here and try to take the next Medical Station along.  When the larger Leng Spiders (who use magic) spawn, focus your attacks on them as they cause a lot of damage.  Then move to the Medical Station to the south of the summoning site.  From here kill Kaul and the other cultists, then heal all your Investigators and restore Sanity (SAN) before you move on.  Leave Hill and Gold near this Medical Station and move Brightmeer and any other units towards the summoning site and the objective.  Once Brightmeer completes it the Star Spawn will appear.  It is big and does a lot of damage in close, so move Brightmeer away from it as soon as possible and move other units (except Hill and Gold) in to intercept it.  Use the other units to keep it busy and concentrate your attacks on it.  It has a lot of armor, so weapons like Elephant Guns and some magic like Bane of Nyogth help a lot here.  Keep attacking it as much as possible until it is dead.

Feel free to share your ideas and tactics via the comments.  Also see our general tactics guide and the game’s information page.

About Tomas

Design & Production Director at Auroch Digital. Designer of Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. Writing and blogging things that surprise, entertain and interest me...
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32 Responses to Individual Mission Help Guide for The Wasted Land

  1. Philip Wolff says:

    I really must say, that of all the games I’ve played so far on the Iphone, this had more game play, suspense and cosmic horror than any I can think of. I used to play Call of Cthulhu back in the late 80′s and greatly appreciate Lovecraft’s fiction…In terms of design, strategy, and an obvious affection for the material – as well as the sheer talent to realise it – The Wasted Land is a work of art. If the same game mechanics could be expanded and adapted for any of the great Lovecraft locations – Arkham, Kingsport or even the Dreamlands – with a little more RPG thrown in, this could become a game I never dared believe would ever find it’s way into our dimension.
    Tomas, many congratulations to you and your team! I’m still waiting for a film adaptation that does Lovecraft justice, but it’s fantastic to have played a mobile phone game that does exactly that!

    • Tomas says:

      Thanks Philip, that means a lot to us. Any reviews on the app store saying that welcome (unless you’ve already done that in which case ‘thanks’ again!)

  2. Mark says:

    Hi there, just finished the Wasted Land. What a great game – unbelievable that you were able to produce something this engaging and visually appealing (or should that be unappealing?) for the iPhone. It took me back to my days of tabletop gaming, which is no mean feat in itself and encouraged me to reread Herbert West.

    I wonder whether you have plans for a follow-up? I’d love to see something else Cthulhu-related using the same game engine. If you do have plans for another game like this, I would like to see a bit more roleplay and investigation (I recall that there was a ‘library use’ skill!) and perhaps a little less linearity in the levels.

    Oh, and in case you haven’t already seen this, Lovecraft got a write-up on the BBC website the other day: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17472580

    • Tomas says:

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed the game. We’re looking at some DLC for the game at the moment.

      Tomas

      PS. Thanks for the BBC link!

  3. John says:

    This game is phenomenal and even more so seeing as it was developed for the Ipad. I played it
    on an Ipod touch (MC544LL v 4.2.1) without problem. An H.P. Lovecraft fan, I love the fact that you guys developed a game based on “Call Of Chtulu”.

    I agree with the earlier comments about DLC, this game was very tactical. The AI and game design are great and the art, design and sound were nicely done! Combat was well balanced and I appreciated how range and cover affected ranged combat. Level difficulty might have been a little tough in the beginning and perhaps too easy on the last level, considering how tough mission 10 was. I was able to kill Dr Kaul and Cthulu’s star spawn in two turns with a well placed shot by an elephant gun and several machine gun blasts.

    On the Ipod touch I quite often I had to tap the screen multiple times
    to trigger an action and it could be maddening if you accidentally moved to a square you were not intending. This could be because of the smaller screen size on the Ipod.

    Thanks so much for developing this! I look forward to extra missions and new titles.

  4. Seth Porter says:

    Wonderful game – I found it through the Register’s list of top ten iOS games, and am so glad! The best echo of XCom I’ve played in years (and that is very high praise indeed!). Ignore the reviews, controls are fine on the iPad. Going to play through again on hard, and hoping for dlc – all I really want is MORE! Thank you for making this.

  5. James says:

    I love this game so much! Hours and hours of enjoyable gameplay. Definitely the best strategy game I’ve played on the ipad. Now that I’ve beat the last level on hard I’m jonesing for more. Can’t wait for new levels to come out :-)

  6. Zach says:

    Really, really great game. It takes a while to figure out how everything works and reading this web-site definitly helps but once you get a hold on it game play is very addictive. The missions are well designed and you are always wondering “will I make it”. This is especially true for the timed missions. If missions are not timed it gets more easy because you can always use a medical station and the book of hysteria to bring your crew up to normal level in a calm moment.

    In general I agree to the mission guide above. However for mission 11 I do not see the point of leaving Hill and Gold behind? All investigators should stays with Brightmeer. Brightmeer enteres the circle. The Star Spawn emerges. Brightmeer retreats behind the group. The Star Spawn approaches the group till it is in close combat range. Now Carl Green (the close combat character) will attack the Star Spawn till it is dead powered up by the group behind him. They just have to provide enough AP by using Vitality Jabs on Green. If Green gets maniac this is a easy win because from now on he can attack without loosing any SAN. If he goes in the shock he can be brought up again with book of hysteria and another Vitality Jab.

  7. Dylan says:

    Tomas,

    Wonderfully moody game that really does justice to Lovecraft’s (lunatic) universe. I’m a big fan of the old 1990s/2000s turn-based games and I loved that the Wasted Lands combat system was so reminiscent of the XCOM/UFO series. On that note, though, I found myself thinking that the game is held back from its real potential by the combat system and the AI. I don’t want to sound like an armchair critic (I’m sitting on an office chair anyway) but I reckon some tinkering would lead to a new version, a new game, that could become legendary in the genre (like XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Baldur’s Gate II, Commados: Behind Enemy Lines etc). Anyway, here a few quick thoughts.

    1. Combat system additions/revisions:
    i) add crouch/crawl (reduced speed, less chance of being hit)
    ii) add an ‘overwatch’ button so players can be more strategic about moving while leaving enough APs for shooting in opponent’s turn
    iii) make it so inspectors can’t shoot at anything but the enemy closest to them (mirroring real life) unless they improve some existing or new skill, and the same goes for enemy – you know grunt baddies will only shoot at closest inspector but the more elite enemies can shoot at your important characters

    2. AI:
    i) the paths the enemy takes are often not particularly intuitive and they will zig-zag through gas when they could avoid it or take a more direct route
    ii) the issue above where you know the enemy will only ever shoot at the closest inspector is also a shame, as it makes the tactics too simplistic

    3. Miscellaneous:
    i) bigger maps that remain black until you move through them
    ii) more characters (eight-person teams?)
    iii) more gameplay outside the battles? That was what made XCOM so wonderful, the fact that you could engage in big battles but there was also a strategic world above that which impacted on it. Maybe you could have several teams running around France finding different clues etc. The player could actually run MI47 and have a Mythos/psychoanalysis training school etc!

    (I know what I’m suggesting is simply a bigger game, but you’ve made such a good one it seems a shame to not go the extra mile. Size shouldn’t be a problem, either – Infinity Blade etc are up to 1GB in size, so clearly there’s room to expand.)

    Anyhoo, that’s my 5 cents worth. You have hit on such a wonderful world for a game, and you’ve really gone the extra yards with the design and style to ensure it really is Lovecraftian (if that is a word). By blending ideas from XCOM and Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines you couldend up with a masterpiece of the genre.

    • Tomas says:

      Hi Dylan,

      Thanks for the feedback and kind comments. I’ll do my best to answer some of the points…
      1.
      i. I like the idea, will pass it on.
      ii. The Overwatch here is automatic, but I think I see what you are saying so it would preserve the APs if pressed.
      iii. Might be interesting to add as an AI option? I designed a TD game Star Wars: Battle for Hoth where each unit has AI options for what they would target.

      2.
      i. That was sort of the point. There is dialogue that points to this; I wanted them to be fanatical and not care about gas. This means you can use it strategically in your favor.
      ii. I can see what this would make the game deeper. We went for the idea of predictable AI and shooting at the closest is that.

      3.
      i. Ah, Fog of War! We had a huge discussion about this and on balance decided against it. I can see how it would be good though.
      ii. See the upcoming DLC for this…
      iii. I like this idea, it is a lot of work, but agree it would be good.

      Thanks again for taking the time to share this with us.

      Tomas

      • Pete says:

        Is the “upcoming DLC” related to the “Extra Missions” button, or do I have to win on hard to unlock something (I’m playing the PC version)?
        Also, re Fog of War? I killed Kaul on the last level almost immediately with an Artillery strike, the second try.
        After getting swarmed and killed the first time. Damn those polyps anyway…
        Fog of War might have prevented that strategy. Not sure what you were aiming for.
        Good game. Captured the mood very well, except for the part where you win. That’s probably whet makes it marketable, though.

      • Tomas says:

        Hi pete, extra missions is where we hope to put the DLC for PC. It’s not there yet though. Also thanks for feedback on game anf fog of war! Tomas

  8. Kat says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to find a call of cthuhlu type rpg that I could play solo. That alone would be good enough, but also the graphics are just beautiful, revealing the dark overtone of war and lovecraftian horror.

    My only “complaint” if you can call it that, is that it was over too soon!

    Can’t wait for the DLC, and maybe a whole new game set in Arkham or the Dream Lands…? please? :)

    On another note, I am definitely more of a role player than a tactitian and normally I hate turn based strategy games (because I am terrible at them), but I actually enjoyed the challenge (at least for me) of finding a way to complete each mission. It did take me more than a few times, especially in the beginning, but I eventually got the hang of it and really began to enjoy that aspect of the game.

  9. hoffmaniacal says:

    Just finished playing through on both normal (mix of attacks) and difficult (guns only). I was hoping that would unlock the extra missions, but I guess that button is for a later expansion.

    I loved the mood! Graphics (iphone 4) and music were great! The storyline was good for a short game, though the rapid progression of increasingly alien horrors should have rendered even the most battle hardened soldiers into a mass of gibbering insanity!

    A few things I would have liked to see:
    1) An actual ending. Hopefully I’ll get to spend those xp from the last mission if those extra levels show up.
    2) An “undo movement” button is a necessity for the iPhone.
    3) Sticky zoom. It zooms back out if I switch any equipment or investigator. I would prefer to zoom to set my destination point rather than having to rotate the view back and forth. For people with fatter fingers than mine, the current zoom is a source of sanity loss.

    I really enjoyed playing and hope to see more.

  10. Danegerous says:

    Great game guys: well thought out the levels, inescapable sense of urgency/dread, and perfect difficulty levels.

    Most impressive was the character development – for a short game it must have been hard to get the weighting for all the different stats right. No skills/ability was overpowered, and calibrating the team against increasingly tougher enemies always seemed organic.

    Please keep adding to to this body of work, you’re onto a good thing!

  11. Vincent says:

    This is a splendid game. Great work, Tomas! But I got to say the french translation of the game was terrible. The lovecraftian mythos is very popular in the french speaking world…Since your ressources are limited, I would be pleased to help you for the english-french translation. For free of course. And one last thing about the game: please, please, give us an undo button!

  12. Peter says:

    My first experience with Call of Cthulhu was the pen and paper RPG some years ago which I only played a few sessions. It stuck with me though and I enjoyed Dark Corners of the Earth on PC.

    I came across The Wasted Land doing a search for WW I games and as soon as I saw COC I thought I`ve gotta look at this. After finishing it on normal I was regretful that it was over (tho looking forward to hard replay). The Atmosphere and setting was great and brought back earlier memories of the RPG. Thank you for this memorable experience.

    I think it is worth more than the $5 I paid at GG. Voted greenlight and will buy again on steam.

    Regarding improvements if I may, I noticed enemy pathways mentioned above, though your own characters will also do this if not micro-managed. And a reset button at the quartermaster would be handy in the case you don`t manage your spending well.

    PS Thanks for your quick response earlier Tomas and I look forward to the DLC (any date mentioned for it`s release?).

  13. Dan Beck says:

    I just finished the game on normal, and was pretty thrilled by it all. Lots of suspense and fun from both the atmosphere and mechanics of the game and from fumbling around trying out different things. There were many heart-stopping moments (also many crashes resulting in my iPad mini rebooting…), but my favorite occurred at the very end:

    My first approach to defeating the Star Spawn of Cthulhu (in 1 round!) was anticlimatic, as a lucky critical from an elephant gun helped a lot. My replay of the round was a lot more interesting. As before, my plan was to have everyone up close, in 2 ranks just in front of the red squares, with full health and sanity. I’d made sure everyone had at least 75 SAN by the endgame. The closest rank was Hill, Brightmeer and Green (all with good pistol skills, with Mythos a high secondary skill for Hill and Brightmeer, and Martial Arts a high secondary skill for Green). Second rank was Gold with her Winchester shotgun as a primary skill and Mythos a secondary skill, flanked by the 2 soldiers with elephant guns as primary skill (I didn’t build up artillery in either one). The first rank advances into the red squares, the Star Spawn emerges and the fight is on! The second rank fires into the Star Spawn (no criticals this time, but they each hit for 10-20 dam. Star Spawn is down by 1/3 HPs. Brightmeer gives Vitality Jabs to Hill and Green. Hill casts the spell that bypasses armor three times. Star Spawn is at about 1/3 HP now. Green advances and whacks away with his Trench Shovel, taking its HPs down to a barely visible sliver of red before he freaks out and freezes in catatonia. If he’d gone manic, it would have been easier, but oh well–this ending worked out anyway. Brightmeer is the only one with APs now, and out of Vitality Jabs. He fires his pistol. One point gets through the Star Spawn’s armor, and its HP bar is no longer visible as a red sliver, but it isn’t dead yet (maybe he’s dreaming?). Last shot, and the Star Spawn goes down before it could engage with the group at all. Again.

    I tried a third time with this method, but a different number of APs from VItality Jabs meant it took two rounds, and I got to see what the Star Spawn could do to Green before a second fusillade from the elephant guns finally did the deed;-)

    Time to replay the whole thing, this time on hard. Knowing where to optimize now should make it doable, though I anticipate a few more heart-stopping moments.

    Thanks for creating such an engaging game and bringing it to mobile devices. I’ll go rate it on the App Store, now.

  14. Dan Beck says:

    Just finished the game on hard. I have a few more questions and comments.

    First off, it didn’t seem significantly more difficult than on normal–what is the difference between them in terms of game mechanics? More HPs for the bad guys?

    I’m wondering what the Recruitment Sargent button does and if it is implemented. It never highlighted for me in any runthrough of the game, on normal or hard.

    I was able to far better optimize the roles each unit was playing this time through, so the handgun and shotgun wielders had weapon skills into the 90s and Action Points into the high 60s and low 70s (for Green) by the final fight, as well as SAN levels of 75. The elephant gun wielders had no hope of firing twice in a round w/o vitality jabs, so I didn’t bother trying to increase their APs beyond 50, and limited their SAN to 60, using the EXP to better effect on the others. I maxed out chemical protection and first aid for everyone, psychoanalysis for Gold, Brightmeer and Hill, and that was it–all other skill points spent were for weapon skills (handguns for Brightmeer and Hill, shotguns for Gold and Green, and elephant guns for the 2 soldier units). No points spent at all on Cthulhu Mythos, Martial Arts or Artillery Spotter. I did purchase the healing spell and one that burns from within, bypassing armor, but ended up not needing to cast either this time through, so those were the only misspent $. Oh, at one point I must have accidentally traded a rifle for a homing pigeon, but noticed before exiting the screen and fortunately still had enough $ to rebuy the rifle. No “backsies” with the quartermaster kind of sucks–how about a confirmation dialog when leaving the quartermaster in case anyone needs to redo their purchases?

    I’d like to try a different approach that emphasizes the spell casting, martial arts and artillery skills, but they don’t seem to offer enough bang for the buck in terms of AP and SAN penalties compared to the damage output and versatility they provide. Increase artillery and spell damage a bit, reduce AP and SAN penalties a bit, and maybe provide a martial arts weapon (calvary sword, perhaps) with lower AP cost but decent damage so our hand-to-hand specialist isn’t stuck swinging a shovel at his highest level of capability.

    I noticed a couple of errors in spell descriptions that you’ll want to fix in your next update (I think one spell that affects all enemies is described as affecting one target, and the corresponding spell that affects one target is described as affecting all enemies.) I seem to recall “affect” or “effect” being misused on one of the spell descriptions, as well.

    There were many more app crashes resulting in a reboot on my iPad mini than last time. Sometimes 4 or 5 times in the same chapter. This is very concerning (and was very frustrating). I’ll be taking it in to the Genius Bar to see if there is some hardware-based problem that results in app crashes. Never had any such problems before installing The Wasted Land, though–have any other iPad mini users been reporting trouble like this?

    Once again, thanks for an entertaining and challenging game that keeps you on the edge of your chair in trepidation that there’s just no way your current resources can overcome the oncoming waves, yet somehow you squeak through. There is less of this on 2nd and third run-throughs, of course, but it’s still there, even knowing what is coming and that you’ve prepared as best as you can for it. Keep up the good work, and I’ll hope for further expansions (I passed on the “evil” one–just not my thing).

    Best regards,
    Dan

  15. Mike B says:

    How about some help with the optional missions? I get to what I assume is the last mission (the previous missions were fun and balanced) and just when I think I might win it, a boatload of enemies pop up and mow down everyone in sight. The Doctor doesn’t have near enough powers to restore even the more essential monsters. It would have been a LOT more balanced if we could have brought the spider guy from previous missions, or more of the spiders from the previous missions to help out. Those big lumbering monsters are powerful, but make too nice a target and get killed rather easily. And they are two slow to aid in winning the mission. No rifleman. Only one spider. And a time limit that is pretty much impossible to accomplish. Someone needs to go back to the drawing board with that mission.

    • Tomas says:

      The key is to use the big lumbering ones as cover and cannon fodder while using your ranged units to hit them over and over from a safer distance… I’ll try to get some time to wrote more soon. Thanks.

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