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ACM Concept in UCCE v1.01.04

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I'm new to the boards and indeed, new to the UC/BK/GC Universe. I'd like to mention as I was looking for an engaging game to play, I ran across this title. As I read up on reviews I had no idea that I'd step into a mixed bag of conflicting opinions and the tumultuous history of a game. Yet, I was faced with seeing a game that had everything I wanted in a space based sim and listening to reviewers who complained about manual size, a steep learning curve, and (dated) buggy gameplay. Of course, they lumped it all in with all the legendary controversy surrounding Doctor Smart as well. I decided to go with my gut and bought the game. I have to say it was daunting to read through the manual (2x) and go through the tutorial, but it was challenging and fun. So, thank you, 3000 AD for developing a game I was looking for a long time.

Now, on to my question. I decided before taking up a ROAM career to try out the ACM career. I understand how the basics work and the time limits for each mission. What I don't get (and it's probably been covered in archived topics which I don't have access to) is how to get to a mission zone in time before scripted events occur without prior knowledge?

I'll give an example of my AWA Pt. 1 campaign. Usually I keep my carrier and escort group in Jupiter system for the first mission, send 3 fighters out to Treas and keep one fighter in Jupiter to attack the shuttle carrying missiles (which I then jack with a combination of carrier tractor and my Mk 3 shuttles) when and if it becomes stationary. When my fighters get to Treas for the next mission, they are absolutely useless in intercepting the raiders because they have such low AI in the beginning. However, if I don't send these fighters out, there are only sounds of gunfire and the stranded vessel in Varan does not get destroyed whereas if I engage the raiders, the stranded vessel in mission two gets destroyed and I lose EP. Is there something that I'm doing wrong here because I want to keep my carrier group around Jupiter so I'll have an easier task in escorting Sphynx group in mission 3 from Mars? Again, I only know about this positioning through trial and error. That is to say, how does one keep from relying on prior knowledge in order to successfully complete missions as well as acquire resources, EP, and eventual promotion?

Thanks in advance.

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Trial and error :D

Usually the game gives you barely enough time to get to the location of your next mission. What this means is, often the mission already began when you get there, some targets are destroyed already, some of the ships you should have escorted are gone, etc. In your first ACM campaign ,you're probably not going to win every mission, not going to earn every medal there is to earn. My feeling is that this is the way the game is meant to be played. You can't win every time, and sometimes, well, bad stuff happens at random. Though the campaign is very linear, the world around you continues to live and breath, thus producing lots of unexpected situations .You can't shield yourself against every one of them, so you have to get over it. My own experience is that unless you do have prior knowledge of the missions, some of them are impossible to beat. It's all right, I think I've gone through The Future Is Now campaign quite a few times before I managed to beat it perfectly.

Overall this makes for some frustrating situations, but it also keeps you constantly on edge, always anxious of what's going to happen. I quit enjoy it that way.

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