|“|| The armies of Epsilon Headquarters are expanding their bases beyond Antarctica. Their superior genetically enhanced infantry is a threat to the entire world and to make things worse, there is an entire air armada coming to reinforce their positions.|
- Map description
Ascension Challenge is a Challenge map that pits the player(s) against three Epsilon Headquarters armies. Enemy reinforcements consist mostly of aircraft that arrive every 15 minutes, as well as buffed infantry by the masses.
Every 15 minutes, the Golden Armada, a group of 12 Basilisks, 7 Salamanders and an Aerial Fortress Irkalla, will appear in the central point on the top edge of the map, then proceed towards the south where the players' bases are located. Their arrival is signaled by an EVA announcement and the sudden change of music (which is the same theme used in Godsend); music will return to normal once the Golden Armada is destroyed. Note that since the rest of the aircraft are escorting the cumbersome Aerial Fortress Irkalla, it will take time before they reach the players' base. It is recommended that the challengers have plenty of anti-aircraft defenses before they arrive, as the SAM Bunkers aren't enough to stall the armada for long. The only way to stop these continuous aerial reinforcements permanently is to destroy the main Epsilon Headquarters base located directly north of the players' starting areas.
All enemy infantry also receive a permanent defense boost. This is further supported by the Epsilon HQ's bases start with 2 Cloning Vats at the ready, which make their infantry numbers nearly unstoppable and limitless. These Cloning Vats can also affect Rahn, whose build limit is raised to 2, meaning that there can be 6 Rahns per base in this map. In addition, he cannot be trained by the challengers if they capture one of the HQ bases.
- Tech Oil Derrick x4
- Tech Field Hospital
- Tech Machine Shop
- Tech SAM Bunker x3
- Tech HMG Tower x2
- Tech Turret x2
Both players spawns on a plateau in the south. The two entrances are located in the west and in the east, each guarded by a Tech Turret and a Tech HMG Tower. It's much easier if ground defenses are organized around these chokepoints. Send troops or build stationary defenses there as soon as possible (base expansion or MCV pack-up may be needed).
The ground fight doesn't differ much from ordinary Skirmish battles. Even with permanent Kinetic Barrier effect, the enemy troopers stand no chance against static defenses, given that Stalkers and Rahns are handled swiftly with a mobile taskforce. Stalkers don't blink here. Deploy stealth detection at the entrance to deal with Shadow Tanks, as well as proper Infiltrator counters.
For the Golden Armada, really potent anti-air units are required to intercept it. Some $20000 worth of any advanced AA units/defenses barring Catastrophes and Shadrays can fend it off with minimal loss. Considering the fact that Salamanders still tears aircrafts and tanks even without confusion weapons on-board, Pacific Front's Skyray Cannon and Last Bastion's Giantsbane are arguably the best choice, as are interceptors launched from PsiCorps' Gehenna Platforms. Ignoring the casualties, a swarm of rubbish AA units triumphs over the Golden Armada
Favorable sub-factions for this challenge: