A Bridge Too Far on Hard with Workers Only

WaffleGuy

Queen
Note: Cold Blood on Hard with Workers Only is being postponed to after this challenge is completed, specifically if and when Aphid Snatching RNG gets reduced. The Other Foot on Insane with Workers Only will take its slot, thus making it the fourth major challenge, this post the third major challenge, The Other Foot the second challenge, and of course, Queen of the Hill the first challenge.

ICS Invite Link:
https://discord.gg/u4JJzRUuNt

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the next MAJOR CHALLENGE of the ICS! After repeated on-and-off work by all of Heolx, Medin, and me, I and Medin are finally putting in an effort to get this done for good. While you read, have some music to listen to:

Contributors

- Heolx
- Medin
- Incand

Timetable​

  • Incand
    • Creating Video

Strategy​

Day One - Preparing an Army for the Challenge​

  1. Excavate surrounding food. Create a group of seven workers and create another one that you will expand into a combat group later on. Excavate the surrounding area heavily as well as tunnels to the woodworms. Excavate a path to the right grubs, receive woodworms and kill any wandering grubs. Kill the excavated grubs, divert the new group of seven workers to the surrounding nest food outside and the pinecone to the right outside.
  2. Excavate the five grubs to the right, use the combat group to kill them and take the food, and then excavate the false bombardier larva to the top. Kill it, add additional food stores there, and take all the food up top. Meanwhile, create a path to the woodworms and extra food to the top. Start a new group after you have 60 workers in the original group. This new group will have 20 ants and will be used for extra purposes such as gathering later on.
  3. Just in time before the attack wave strikes, take that food. Kill the jumping spiders outside the nest and hope they don't pack up, fight the rest of the attack wave at the entrance, and hope you win, which will probably happen. Once you do, gather the food, rush the group of 60 ants and the crown group to get aphids with gather off, rush the group of 20 ants with the group of 13 ants with gather on to the pinecone, and wait till night falls.
Progress Check
  • 0 Aphids on the Milkweed Plant
  • 100 Ants, None Upgraded
  • 100 Reserve Food In Stock

Night One - Aphid Collecting and Killing Tree Frogs

  1. Use the group of 60 workers to gather the northern aphids. Meanwhile, use the group of twenty workers to gather the northeast pinecone before the tree frog comes in. After the aphids have been gathered, retreat the group with gather on and retreat the second group too. The pine frog should go into its little hole. Meanwhile, excavate one group of bombardier beetles to the left. Once done, go straight west, and wait for the first tree frog to pass.
  2. Keep switching the nest group to the aphid plant and back to the nest whenever needed. Kill the second western tree frog and take the southeast path aphids. Next, retreat and kill the first tree frog who is now right next to your nest eating your ants. Finally, wait till the southeast land is cleared of pine woods tree frogs then rush to get the southern patch of aphids, leaving ONLY seven workers behind. Hope that no velvet ants spawn there.
Progress Check
  • 13 Aphids on the Milkweed Plant
  • 135 Ants, None Upgraded
  • 120 Reserve Food in Stock

Day Two - Aphids, Pinecones, and Underground Chambers

  1. Receive the aphids, harvest the magnolia to the right, and hope no velvet ants spawn on the eastern area. Harvest the two pinecones there while killing any enemies except velvet ants, where, if there are any, you will have to turn attack off. Then, retreat back into the nest as fast as possible. Put all combat groups on the entrance and hope you survive this wave with about 500 food in stock. Make sure to use aphids as a back up source whenever needed.

Progress Check​

  • 170 Ants, None Upgraded
  • 0 Reserve Food in Stock
  • 18 Aphids on the Milkweed Plant
Night Two - Unlocking Chambers and Killing Skimmer
  1. Excavate the bombardier beetles to the northeast. Make sure to bait out their attacks before striking with one group which will save a lot of food later on. Then, excavate the bombardier beetles to the left after killing the other oens. Once you're done with that, you can excavate the group of toads to the west for extra food until the skimmer lands. Remember to collect all the food and store it for the skimmer, which will cost a lot to dispose of.
  2. Strike at the skimmer from the top of the nest, making sure to ATTACK SWITCH as much as possible to conserve a lot of food when she does the dumb area damage attacks. This should be quick and should only cost about 300 food. The skimmer pays 200 as well as the fact that it has a load of other benefits such as more food from aphids and getting to the nuts faster. You can then excavate one more underground chamber, the three checkered beetles.

Progress Check​

  • 210 Ants, None Upgraded
  • 250 Reserve Food in Stock
  • 18 Aphids on the Milkweed Plant

Day Three - Rushing the Nuts and Scraping the Wave

  1. When the water rises, rush the nuts to the south of your colony. Don't mind any enemies, you can just defeat them, turn attack off, then keep rushing. Gathering these things should be pretty quick, so afterwards you can kill more enemies including that toad then retreat into the nest to fight even more toads which spawn for some reason. Remember to keep one group outside to defend against bombardier beetles, this will be important later on.
  2. Gather all the food, then rush to the east and kill a couple of spiders stationed before the attack wave counter starts. All bombardier beetles should have died so now you can fight off an enemy chamber. Do this multiple times (three would be ideal) before the wave starts. Be sure you have at least 700 food in stock, then retreat all ants into the nest entrance to fight the wave. Hope that you win. If you do, you can progress.

Progress Check​

  • 220 Ants, None Upgraded
  • 100 Reserve Food in Stock
  • 18 Aphids on the Milkweed Plant

Night Three - Defeating Last Underground Chambers

  1. Kill every underground chamber you can (except for the northern checkered beetles because that's not a positive food trade). First start by killing the flase bombardiers to the southeast. You can then kill the checkered beetles to the right, gather all the food, and be just 80 workers away from finishing the objective. Defend the aphids outside up to a certain point, you'll hit this point when mobs pile up on the surface, then you can abandon the aphids.
  2. You can harvest from the aphids but only in rare cases where there are NO mobs in the path. There's still no need to defend them. If you have nothing else to do however, you can kill the two pine wood tree frogs to the north but THAT'S IT. However, when night starts to finish, position your ants right next to the southern pinecone as soon as the counter till daytime hits 20 seconds. When the water rises, you can harvest the pinecone. Loot every last piece of food.

Progress Check​

  • 260 Ants, None Upgraded
  • 200 Reserve Food in Stock
  • 18 Aphids on the Milkweed Plant

Day Four - Rushing out Workers and Winning the Game

  1. Defend the aphids at all costs while maintaining a positive food trade from the surrounding enemies. You want to get the most food value out of everything, so do that. You should maintain a steady income before the attack wave starts via the aphid plants, and make sure to kill any wandering predators for a positive food trade whenever possible. Also make sure you gather the pinecone to the north, as this is 300 extra food otherwise sitting there.
  2. When the thirty second mark before the wave hits, station all combat ants south of the nest where the milkweed is. Meanwhile, station all nest workers in some random place far away. Gather the carcasses to the east, rush a couple more workers, and finally, rush all combat groups and ants for that matter on top of the hill, even the nest workers, all with attack off. If you are able to clutch everything in time, you WILL win.

Progress Check​

  • You have just completed a challenge amazingly insane. Feel free to praise yourself.
Reference
  • Heolx's Strategy Testing
  • Incandescent's Prototype Testing
  • Incandescent's Challenge Stream
 
Last edited:

WaffleGuy

Queen
Thanks to @Heolx and @MedinBurnic for participating in this challenge, and I can finally announce that this has been COMPLETED. Just five minutes ago I just barely completed the level with exactly as many ants as needed, and I can now say this is one of the hardest challenges the ICS has ever pulled off. This will definitely be history. Unfortunately, however, OBS just decided to stop recording for no particular reason whatsoever adskfjashdfjkasdf, so the video isn't coming out just yet.
 
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