Phoenix Logs/UNSC Buildings
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Forward operating base.
Lightweight firebase modules can be delivered directly to the battlefield by Condor dropships. The modules then unpack and can assemble basic structures and UNSC weapons systems, protected by up to four turret emplacements. Upgrading the firebase to a combat station allows basic infantry to be deployed. While the command center and headquarters expansions make additional units available. Each upgrade also opens additional build locations for support structures.
The Spirit of Fire's expeditionary firebases trade a portion of the original Heron-transported "pod" system's operational flexibility for substantial mass and resource savings. Unlike the older pod firebases, additional pre-manufactured base structures must be transported to the firebase rather than assembled on-site, but this method saves irreplaceable strategic resources aboard the Spirit of Fire. The older pod bases remain in reserve, with the Heron dropships used exclusively for mass deployment of cargo and troops in secured rear areas.
Minibase outposts have an armory for equipping basic infantry, and slots for one, two, or three additional support buildings.
Minibases are deployed from Condors to opportunistic locations in the operations zone. Each minibase is built using stripped-down modules assembled and packed aboard the Spirit of Fire before being loaded on the dropship for deployment. Minibases that survive a battle become unmanned sensor and communication relays in the ever-growing system of control nodes being extended across the Ark by Isabel and Captain Cutter.
Supply landing zones.
Supply Pads allow the firebase to receive a constant flow of Supplies from the Spirit of Fire. These are vital logistical ports for UNSC combat operations, and the force commander should carefully weigh the cost of delaying their construction. To sustain high-tempo missions the Heavy Supply Pad upgrade is needed, which accelerates Supply generation. Though important to the war effort, too many Supply Pads can impede efficiency if they take the place of unit-creating structures—you can't win a fight with just raw materials!
While some useful assets can be salvaged and tapped on the Ark's surface, the bulk of the UNSC's supplies must still be delivered from the Spirit of Fire. Sustaining combat operations on the Ark would be practically impossible without the use of supply pads to quickly unload cargo from dropships and the on-site direction of logisticians to efficiently redistribute the incoming food, ammunition, spare parts, and power cells.
Each firebase has an integral power plant to meet immediate needs, but additional Generators are needed for the accumulation of Power used for unit assembly and purchase of upgrades. A Generator should be among the first support structures added to a new firebase. The Advanced Generator upgrade significantly improves Power output.
The older "pod" bases deployed by the Spirit of Fire used hydrogen-burning reactors for power, which required expensive and bulky fuel storage and safety systems. However, new firebase structures require far less power to function compared to the legacy designs, allowing Isabel to adapt modern UNSC vertical axis turbines as a more sustainable replacement.
Infantry staging area.
Infantry shipped down from the Spirit of Fire muster in the firebase's Barracks. The Barracks allows the requisition of Hellbringers, Cyclops, and Snipers and unlocks their upgrade options. Multiple Barracks in a firebase reduces infantry requisition time.
Army and Marine Corps troopers are detached ("chopped") from their parent unit aboard the Spirit of Fire and deployed to reinforce key firebases on the Ark's surface, replacing injured personnel who are then medevac‘d out of the combat zone. While they await assignment to a fireteam, the "new blood" acclimate and review tactical situation reports in the barracks, which doubles as a recreation area and mess hall during lulls in battle.
Automated weapon towers are installed around UNSC firebases to deter attack. Most firebase facilities have power and control hookups prearranged for up to four Turrets. Turrets can engage a variety of targets, but each can be upgraded to specialize against one particular threat: aircraft. vehicle, or infantry.
The base towers used by the Spirit of Fire are relics of a defensive-in-depth tactical doctrine the UNSC was eventually forced to abandon as the Covenant War ground down Humanity's armies and industrial centers. Turrets are still invaluable tools for the field commander's arsenal on the Ark, however, freeing up troops and vehicles needed to find. fix, and destroy the Banished.
Requisition and tech upgrade structure.
Armory structures contain advanced manufacturing modules and electronic support measures that unlock structure, training time, and population capacity upgrades. Construction of an Armory allows the requisition of UNSC Spartans and Operatives to the battlefield. as well as deployment of the Condor gunship. These are key facilities for a UNSC field commander, though their full potential is only unlocked once sufficient resources are available.
The Armory contains specialized machinery and robotic assemblers needed to support the logistical upgrades Isabel has added to the Spirit of Fire, as well as additional communication and sensor systems to expand the force commander's option when assembling battle groups.
The Garage and its kit assembly line allows the requisition of Warthog, Scorpion, Wolverine, and Kodiak armored vehicles from the Spirit of Fire and unlocks their upgrade options. This should be one of the first infrastructure upgrades made to a new firebase, as the Garage constructs vehicles that will remain useful throughout the mission. Multiple Garages in a firebase reduces armored vehicle requisition time.
Pelicans and Darters are not rated for transatmospheric transport of most UNSC combat vehicles, due to the potential for damage and loss of control during reentry. While travel to and from the surface of the Ark is dramatically simplified due to its artificial gravity, the Spirit of Fire is not currently configured to make effective use of this deployment method. Instead, UNSC doctrine states that when use of heavy lifters and surface staging areas is not available, combat vehicles can be partially disassembled, "crated" for transport, and then reassembled near the combat zone.
Airpads are firebase support structures that allows the requisition of Hornet, Nightingale. and Vulture flyers from the Spirit of Fire and unlocks their upgrade options. Multiple Airpads in a firebase reduces flying vehicle requisition time.
Expeditionary airpads house the maintenance crews and equipment needed to assemble, repair, refuel, and rearm UNSC aircraft. Airpads also support the force commander with sensor feeds and intelligence uplinks which allow for proper battlespace deconfliction, kill chain assignment, and other aerospace management tasks.
The Watchtower is an elevated sensor platform that increase the firebase's line of sight and can detect nearby cloaked units. Additional Watchtowers extends the cloak detection range. Each Watchtower occupies a turret slot.
The multi-modal stealth and jamming systems employed by the Covenant and Banished are a significant strategic challenge for the UNSC. Though improvements have been made, there is still a significant capability gap in detection range versus cloaking capabilities. Nevertheless, with microdrone clouds and hyper scanner technology acquired from former Covenant sources, UNSC firebases can deploy a short-range sensor network that will reliably reveal enemies otherwise shrouded by cloaking generators and active camouflage. Once detected, their location can be shared to all friendly units for targeting.
Siege Turrets are long-range artillery systems built to counter enemy bombardment platforms that would otherwise be out of range of standard Turrets. These structures occupy a turret slot.
The UNSC learned the dangers of relying on fixed installations against enemies with orbital fire support early in the war against the Covenant. The modular firebase system was developed in response to pinpoint Covenant targeting of large military command and control installations with orbital strikes. and the inability of standard counter battery systems to detect, deflect, or defeat plasma-based artillery bombardment. The siege turrets can do little against threats in the orbital high ground, but they will deter enemy artillery systems by matching or exceeding their range, making ad-hoc assaults on UNSC firebases a costly proposition.
Multi-purpose staging area for Strongholds.
Based on rapid-deploy fortifications in the War Games training simulations set up by Isabel, these bases are vitally important objectives that define the win conditions of the Strongholds training mode. Each Stronghold has infantry, air, and vehicle support structures already attached. Each captured Stronghold increased population capacity.
The concept of Strongholds began in War Games, but Isabel continues to run optimization routines on the design templates she uploaded to the Spirit of Fire's databanks. Isabel has gleaned many novel upgrades from the logs kept by the ship's previous AI, Serina, of the many prior engagements of the Spirit of Fire.
Home away from home.
The Bunker Drop is an air-droppable garrison building used by the UNSC. It is permanent, but does cost population capacity. It has enough fire points for squads, and has a built—in table for card games while the troops wait for enemies to wander by. The Reinforced Bunker upgrade increases its infantry capacity and adds a shield.
Cryotech area denial system.
Serina learned much about warfare from monitoring the activities of Sergeant Forge and Captain Cutter, including the value of controlling the flow of battle by manipulating the terrain. Among her tools to accomplish this is the Ice Barrier leader power, which creates a frozen block at a target location. The block of ice can be used to block chokepoints and disrupt enemy formations, and will chill nearby enemies. The barrier can be shattered by enemy attacks.
Ice Barriers are weaponized versions of an Ander's early, failed, experiment with creating compact, zero—point energy condensers. Activation overloads the delicate barrier generators, but not before the area around them are drained of thermal energy.