The Bloatick (portmanteau of "bloat" and "tick") is an Epsilon creature that acts as a living bomb, which releases a deadly poison blast upon combustion or when killed, making it a dangerous creature to anything nearby.
One of the more curious and deviant "infantry" units produced by Epsilon, the quadrupedal creature known as the Bloatick is an artificial bio-mechanical organism which carries within itself glands that naturally secrete a highly explosive toxic substance. Bloaticks honor their namesake by violently discharging this condensed liquid towards enemies, inducing powerful explosions which annihilate infantry, vehicles and buildings alike, if the number of Bloaticks is large enough.
The Allied and Soviet forces have quickly learned to take down large groups of approaching Bloaticks from a distance, however, they are yet to figure out a method for dealing with the ones that ambush them from inside the tunnels and other holes in the ground.
Bloaticks, while fragile and possessing no attacks of their own aside from detonating their bodies and spreading their toxic payload over a small area, are nonetheless one of the most dangerous infantry units an Epsilon proselyte can field. Their Condensed Toxic Bomb is lethal against any infantry (including cyborgs and hero units) and can inflict serious damage to all kinds of structures.
One thing worth noting is that they are a death sentence for any melee-oriented attacker. Units such as Attack Dogs, rogue Spooks, and Terror Drones will be destroyed almost instantly if they try to attack a Bloatick, as the creature will explode upon death and take their attacker with them.
Once an Epsilon proselyte has access to a Cloning Vats, they become even easier to deploy en-masse, costing only $200 for one of these suicidal organisms. This makes it easier for them to break heavy defense lines and throw enemy forces into disarray if they lack the proper weapons to quickly take them down before they get within range. Because they do not cause friendly damage if they perish (unlike Crazy Ivans), Bloaticks can be sent in large swarms and their proselytes do not have worry about all of them exploding at once in an unwanted chain reaction.
Scorpion Cell has access to an exclusive support power called the Bloatick Trap, which allows their proselytes to deploy a Bloatick Tunnel anywhere on the battlefield that will periodically spawn up to eight of these creatures unless the tunnel is prematurely destroyed. This trick up their sleeve is particularly effective against sudden infantry ambushes or rampant hero units.
Nonetheless, Bloaticks are rather ineffective against heavily armored tanks, and they often require large numbers to deal significant damage. Units with the appropriate anti-personnel weapons and decent range will also make easy target practice out of them.
Bloaticks controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 2x targeting anything, accompanied by Malver
- 7x targeting anything
- This task force may be accompanied by 7 additional Bloaticks
- 3x targeting infantry; loaded inside a Driller then unloaded near a Barracks
- 7x targeting structures, accompanied by 2 Magnetrons
- 7x targeting anything, accompanied by 2 Plague Splatters
- 7x targeting anything, accompanied by 3 Stalkers
- 10x targeting anything
- This task force will only be constructed if a Radar Spire is present
- This task force may be accompanied by 10 additional Bloaticks
- 10x targeting power plants
- This task force will only be constructed if a Cloning Vats is present
|“||It seems that the Bloaticks managed to escape from the base during Russian assault. When these units approach enemy objects, they explode with poisonous clouds.||”|
|—Epsilon intel during Operation: Memory Dealer|
- The first mission where Bloaticks appear in the main campaign is Memory Dealer. A group of Bloaticks have fled the Epsilon base when it was captured by the Soviets, and took refuge in the nearby forest. Once discovered, the Bloaticks will fall under the player's control and become trainable.
- Bloaticks will continuously spawn from permanently-active Bloatick Tunnels in the missions Stone Cold Crazy, Fullmetal and Neuromancers until said tunnels are destroyed.
- In Earthrise, Bloaticks are one of the few infantry units that are fully operational on the Moon.
|“||A small blob of toxins on four legs.. I can't tell if it's a machine or a monster.||”|
|—Yunru during Operation: Time Capsule|
- Chronologically, like most basic Epsilon weaponry, the Bloatick first appears in the Foehn Special Ops mission Time Capsule.
- Bloaticks appear as enemies in Intoxicated. Exterminating them alongside all other wild Epsilon creatures in the city is the main mission objective.
- In the Contagion Challenge, a swarm of Bloaticks will appear at the beginning of the game and destroy both the Tech Hospital and Tech Machine Shop located near the challengers' starting location, making this challenge the only one where the challengers have no easy access to unit auto-heal.
Behind the scenes
- The Bloatick's original SHP sprite is a public asset and can be used by other modders. The link can be found here.
- The name of the sprite is simply "Spider" and it is larger than the Bloatick uses.
- The author of the sprite mentions that the design is based on a sketch by El D34dlyto, and that the original idea was to make a cyborg APC.