Part 10: Larry Vs. Blue MoonPART 10 - Larry Vs. Blue Moon
IT'S BOTE TIME
So, let's get into it. I'm intrigued to see how naval units differ from the ones we have so far!
Nell I don't cope under pressure.
How many TIMES
Oh joy. I bet they're useless transport units, too, aren't they?
As opposed to all the naval units I have seen yet?
Actually, thinking about it, the one naval unit I HAVE seen was a lander, Olaf had some in that last mission!
I have no idea how Orange Moon's geography works, and I suspect the game designers don't, either.
I'm on it. Here we go.
Dammit. Give me my precious Lucy already.
Well the map's like 90% water, so I'm hoping it's botes.
I know it's boats. But it just looks so much sillier written like that.
Or "naval units", if you wanna be fancy like Nell.
Here we go!
This looks like a busy map at first glance, but the enemy density is surprisingly low - I outnumber Olaf, for once. That middle island connecting to the mainland looks like the most interesting part of the map - and there's several new units around.
Ah yes, that should be my first priority. To be fair, it's in a terrible position. This may be tricky.
You said it.
Well, I said it first, and then you said it.
Hey, Nell, mind giving us some good news?
Nell continues to deliver bad news like she has a personal vendetta against the idea of happiness.
I will! But how?
Yeah, it's pretty screwed.
Oh joy. How do we save it, then?
...Wait, is this-
"Uh, hey!" Bernard says. "God knows how I got separated from the rest of the army, but thanks for letting me land."
"No problem." replies a sailor on the lander, picking his nose. "I'm Omar, this is the Omar Outfit. Pleased to meet ya."
He stretches out his hand and Bernard visibly recoils. "Uh, cool, nice to meet you too. I'll... I'll be getting back into my copter now."
Omar shrugs. "Suit yourself."
I see! That's pretty handy.
This amuses me way more than it should.
Oh, nice. To be fair, with the huge movement of Bro Copters, I can't see that being all that useful, but I guess in situations where I have to protect it, it could help.
Oh my god.
Now THAT's an interesting unit.
I sure will, Nell.
Wait, Omar can attack as well? Man, if this thing was on land, Michael would be out of a job.
Ah, no, I guess APCs have the Supply thing.
I'm sure I will be surprised. Let me see what it can do!
Why can this thing do so much? Was there just some game designer who realised that they'd have to design boat versions of all the land units, so just said 'fuck it' and made a powercrept APC/anti-air/all-in-one unit? They must've clocked off for a very early lunch.
Let's murder a sub! Or at least do chip damage to a sub.
Nell is surprisingly bloodthirsty at times.
That's a promising amount of damage. Omar begins to impress me.
The missiles go...
And it's a one-shot, ladies and gentlemen! Ten outta ten!
"They really do murderfuck the shit out of them, huh, my dude?"
When Nell says "very effective" she basically means "they reduce that unit type to a fine red mist", it seems.
Hey, this is still a really cool unit. I'm down.
Yeah, I sure am! The Omar Outfit is pretty cool.
I am constantly forgetting what can fire on what, to be honest. Air units messed things up.
Nell gets unreasonably excited over the R Button. Calm down there, Nell.
You don't really see it a lot, because I don't usually bother to screenshot R-button usage, but I do use it quite a bit when I'm planning stuff out. It's pretty handy.
This tutorial in a nutshell. What kind of tutorial has 11+ missions?
More friends? More friends!
"Ahoy!" shouts a man from the deck of the battleship. "The name's Lloyd, and we be the Lloyd Lads! I'm not stranger to Orange Star's shores, and I've washed up 'ere plenty of times - for the first time, though, I'll be takin' part in your conflict. Hope to be o' service!"
"Oh my god it's an actual pirate." Barry says. His eyes are lit up with glee.
"I must admit, I don't give my respect to most." Gareth says, shouldering his guns. "But a sailor as hardened as him? Instant respect."
I can, Nell. C'mere, Lloyd.
Ranged unit? Fair enough, but there's not much nearby.
Wait, are those rockets... in range?
oh my god
this is the most obscene attacking range we've seen yet
Lloyd is already the best, even if he didn't instantly murder these enemy rockets.
I might've caught on to it, yes.
Two to six, holy shit. Lloyd can just nuke everything into oblivion.
Fred grumbles to himself. "Five foot ten is still BASICALLY six foot. Lloyd's got nothing on me."
Being in the water is handy, too. It means Lloyd can fire on land units without having to be particularly close to land.
This really is a whistle-stop tour. How many new units are we being introduced to this mission?
That also reads more hilariously written like that. I like submarines! Let's see what Advance Wars ones are like.
"We sure do!" says the voice over the intercom. There's a noticeable sense of admiration across the army when they realise it's a young woman. "We're the Selena Set, and my name is Selena. We're gonna do our best for this army."
OK, so subs are pretty much limited to naval warfare. Understandable, really.
"Hey, go fight that big fuckoff battleship with your tiny sub."
Seriously. Nell, tone it down with the constant "Fire!" and "Attack!" It's concerning.
Decent damage, but not great. Do subs avoid counter damage by submerging, maybe?
Oh, it's a battleship, it can't counter anyway.
Welp, Selena did quite well.
Omar one-shot something earlier this chapter, though. That's kind of what I expect from a good unit.
Honestly, the only thing I could think of with this dialogue was a panel from an old webcomic I used to read.
I feel like it's a pretty similar sentiment.
Ah, yes, the thing that Olaf had. It can't attack, so I'm calling it - it's a transport-esque thing.
Alright, let's do some stuff! Our land units might actually be able to cross water now!
"Hi, guys. My name's Balthazar, and I run the show here on the Balthazar Boat. But you're welcome to join the party whilst we ferry you over to places." Balthazar says, giving a wave to the army. He looks concerned, and looks over his shoulder frequently.
Ah, yes, I should introduce the newbie.
"Um, hey..." the young man says. "My name is Alfonse. We, uh... I guess we're the Alfonse Alliance? But no worries if you don't like that name, I can change it... I'll leave if you want me to."
"No worries, man, we're all nervous." Steve says, realising that this squad is Colin's replacement. "High command sent you to replace Colin, huh? Well, hop onto the boat. We support each other in this army, alright?"
"Thanks." Alfonse murmurs, heading over to the Balthazar Boat. "I'll... I'll give it my best shot."
I sure did! Although I think Alfonse would appreciate being called 'him', not 'it'. Come on, Nell. It's 2018.
Yup. Thanks for explaining what I already knew.
Shit, Nell predicted my overconfidence. What am I missing?
...wait, any land unit? Like, even Tina?
Well, the woman has spoken. Even Tina!
"Hell yeah!" Tina shouts. "Alright, boys, see you on the other side!"
Tina vanishes onto the Balthazar Boat, and it was sometime around this point that I began giggling with joy.
Nell doesn't want to be too happy just yet, so she invents some bad news on the fly.
Oh, right. Well, I'd already discovered the awkwardness of loading units during my time with the transport copter, so that's not too bad. As bad news goes, we've had worse from Nell.
Ports, and airports, and bases... when do we get to see these? I'm very intrigued as to how the main game actually works, since I'm not all too familiar with it.
Noted. Can we get to the fun part now?
This is so awesome. Man, boats have only been around for one mission, but I already love them all.
As much as I would love to dunk the infantry into the fucking ocean, that's fine by me. It just so happens that we are at a shallow shoreline!
DEPLOY THE ONE PUNCH TINA
now is not the time for a pop quiz, Nell
is it because my units and enemy units don't get along
and also tanks and mountains don't get along
I just said that.
Right, back to what we were doing...
DEPLOY THE ONE PUNCH TINA
That was markedly less exciting than I was imagining. I'd hyped it up in my head.
Nell repeats this advice for, like, the third time.
You've drilled it into me enough times by now. I think I'm fine with how landers work.
Loud and clear.
Advance Wars has got to win some kind of award for the most thorough tutorial in any game ever.
"They float on water. Also, they can only land at shallow shorelines and ports."
Thanks for reiterating what they all were despite us meeting them several seconds ago.
Do they actually sink, or do they blow up like every other unit in this game?
...What was that? Me? Get tired of Advance Wars' tutorial?
Which we conveniently don't have on this map. Excellent.
I... Nell, are you listening to me? I've been saying everything you're gonna say for like, this entire mission so far.
The rest of Nell's strategy takes the patented "fuck it" approach.
With that, however, the map is ours to begin! So, we have some new units, but they've all moved. Unfortunately, there's little else we can really do on this first turn. The enemy has two medium tanks, which is pretty concerning. These assholes are also pretty concerning:
They cover a lot of the map by themselves. We need to take them out immediately, before the medium tanks get involved and fuck everything up. And when I say 'everything', I mean 'everyone'.
Barold, realising he's in the range of the rockets, scarpers.
My Dude, Sticking Wilbert Into the Battleship's Range Despite Literally Just Checking the Range (circa 2018, colourised)
What's Olaf got to say today? I'm guessing it's gonna be "Oh no, it's Nell! But that's fine, I can win!" and then afterwards it'll be "Curse you! Just wait until next time!"
OK, Olaf's become competent enough to recognise what kind of battle it is. That's a good start.
Huh. An in-world explanation for why we outnumber Olaf and why he has no planes.
Gameplay/story integration! I like it.
Somebody's never heard of landers, evidently.
Probably because I sunk them all last mission.
But yes. To battle!
Hey look, it's my dumb mistake coming to bite me in the ass. Excellent.
That's all Olaf can do this turn, though, so it's back to m-
Sometimes, I really understand why Olaf hates Nell. I mean, they totally boned, but I bet she also used to constantly interrupt hi-
I open the menu, partially to humour Nell, partially out of interest, and mostly because that's my only option.
Ooh! Is this what I think it is?
OK, Nell's forgiven, this is cool. Undersea warfare is taken to a new level!
Nice. That's pretty cool, so, Bad News Nell, what's the catch?
I don't think fuel has ever actually been a problem. Nell's bad news has been relatively tame this update.
...Wait, it is? I swear subs had a bigger supply than that. Isn't it 99 for most units?
So, a sub uses fuel to... sink, and then... sinks if it runs out of fuel?
You said that last time. Are you really going to stop popping up now?
...I think she's gone. Right, on with the mission.
Larry goes for the rockets. We need to get rid of these two enemy rocket squads before we do anything else. And the medium tanks are getting worryingly close.
As always, the Larry Lot does decently, but not fantastically.
And that's OK.
Tina does an obscene amount of damage to everything as usual, and will absolutely squash these rockets.
Looks like Team Rocket is blasting off agaaaaaain!
Wilbert pulls a retreat, heading for the nearest base to heal up. Sorry, Wilbert Warriors. You deserved better than this.
Since my usual murdering machine got shot at by a battleship, I load the Carl Crew onto the Balthazar Boat. We'll bring him over next turn, if necessary firepower is needed.
I also bring Omar down, carrying the injured Bernard with him.
This battleship continues to be an asshole. I could really do with a quick and easy solution for this guy.
The rockets just kinda... yeah, they did a thing. They'll die next turn.
The next turn conveniently comes around.
Selena puts herself forward as a quick and easy solution.
She takes this battleship out, and not in the romantic way.
I loaded up Dave onto the boat, as well. I drop him here, but I decide against dropping Carl. I need that space.
BECAUSE IT'S TINA TIME, BITCHES
This also leaves Larry free to take out this infantry.
Larry continues to not-quite-impress.
In lieu of something to do, Lloyd fires on a random boat that was minding its own business.
He proceeds to casually one-shot it. Lloyd is already the goddamn best and I've only used him twice.
I load Barold, because I have a plan.
Remember last time I had a plan? Well, it's gonna be like that, except nobody's gonna die this time.
Hopefully. Those medium tanks are still frightening.
OR SO I THOUGHT.
Then this happened. So, just to explain what occurred here: the infantry can't move because it's surrounded by water, but it also has no weapons with which to fire on Larry. The medium tanks can't fire on anything indirectly, and Olaf isn't smart enough to move his infantry out of the way to get the tanks in range. So, uh, nobody can move.
If I purposely spare that infantry, I've effectively got Olaf's forces in lockdown.
Time to capitalise on this immediately.
Bernard shoots for the HQ. The foe by the HQ is a lander, so a complete non-issue. And I'm not in range of anything more dangerous, so this will actually work!
Since there's not a whole lot left to do, Selena just kinda shoots this guy to pass the time.
And also casually one-shots! Man, I love Selena and Lloyd.
And speaking of Lloyd...
This is a still image of Olaf's enemy phase. This is what it will look like for the rest of this mission.
Out of concern for Selena's fuel usage, I pull her back and have her rise.
And I drop Barold off at the enemy HQ.
God, I can't believe this is working.
Right, let's put Olaf out of his misery.
Because with this setup, the end...
Is a complete inevitability.
God, I can't believe that worked.
Olaf must've used all of his strategy choosing where to attack, because his tactical acumen certainly wasn't present in this mission!
Anytime, Nell. I think I'm actually starting to get the hang of strategy now!
Olaf is, as I'm sure nobody is surprised to hear, not happy.
He said the thing! Again. I should've kept a "Wait 'Til Next Time" count instead of a "Times The Name "My Dude" Hasn't Worked Out" count. Dammit.
I agree with the second point - not so sure it was a challenge. Did you see what I did to his poor forces?
Ooh, this is the first we've heard of CO Powers, though I know a little about them. Looks like the missions are going to be ramping up from this point on! ...Which is pretty fair, since we're still in the godforsaken tutorial.
Next time, we'll do some stuff and murder Olaf again. I'll try not to entirely break the AI again, but no promises.
The Barracks: My dude and Nell 1
I knock at the door. Nell calls from inside the room. Come in!
Hey, Nell. I say. What you up to?
Shes sat at the table, her blond hair a little frizzier than usual, and her blazer on the back of her chair; its a warm afternoon, and the office is uncomfortably hot.
Not much. Im trying to leverage with my superiors to get you some more air units, but theyre not being very quick about it. Ill keep trying, though.
Thats nice, but seriously, you dont need to work so hard. I reply. Its a weekend. Why not take a walk with me, cool down a little?
I do need to work hard. Nell smiles, chiding me good-naturedly. Its fine, I dont need to cool down.
Youre sweating. I observe. Youve already taken your blazer off, and it feels like a sauna in this office. Why are you still here? Everyone else will be playing poker or having the da-
I dont usually work myself like this. Nell interrupts, looking down at the letter she is trying to write. Youve been really impressing me lately, so I wanted to make it up to you by doing my best as well.
I wasnt sure what to say, so for a few moments I remained silent.
Well, thanks. I eventually say. Seriously, though, youve done enough already, and helped me through a lot of this. I only became an ACO recently, and I still have a lot to learn.
You do, but youre the best Assistant CO Ive ever had. Nell says. So stop being so hard on yourself. Go get some rest, OK? Youve earned a day off.
I nod, and turn to leave the office, then stop. Hang on! How did this turn from me telling you take a break to the other way arou-
Nell chuckles to herself. I know my limits, my dude. How about I join you for a walk later?
Please do. I reply, stepping out of the office. I shiver a little - something about her makes me nervous, but... in a good way.