The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by cosmicPostman

Part 12: Tina Hates Fog Of War

PART 12 - Tina Hates Fog Of War

Alright, scrubs, here we go.

Even Nell is aware of how close we are to finishing the tutorial. This is all she says before the mission begins.

Speaking of, let's get to it!

Joy. Can't wait.

Fog of War is a terrible mechanic in virtually every game it's in. Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is a particularly irksome offender.

Yes, Nell, it's almost like it's actual fog.

If you thought Nell was done tutorialising, then boy, you are in for a ride.

Like actual fog, you mean?

Now, I don't like Fog of War, but I do appreciate that infantry and mechs have a larger vision range than most of their vehicular counterparts. It gives them a little edge.

Oh my god. Is Nell about to explain sight?

Yes. Yes she is.

It's not much, but it's something, I suppose.

See, what annoys me about Fog of War (I talked about this in more detail on my YouTube channel a few months back, so I'll paraphrase) is that ostensibly, to me, the point of a strategy game is to plan ahead, using the map and your units to defeat the map's trials and the opposition. Fog of War, meanwhile, covers up the map and the opposition, preventing you from planning ahead and basically defeating the point of a strategy game.

tl;dr fuck fog of war

...Are they not lit because there are people living in them who need light? They are cities, after all. Presumably people live in them.

Olaf needs to pay his electricity bill, evidently.

I think I understand the concept of things being dark, Nell.


Hop to it, Alfonse.

Alfonse hops to it.

Yes they did Nell


"Approach with caution" is the second-best way to approach a Fog of War mission, the first-best being "do not approach at all if fucking possible".

"Getting one-shot by anti-air units, despite not being air units!"

For a tutorial unit that over-explains god damn everything, I feel like Nell does the "see for yourself" thing really frequently.

The Barry Band go mountain climbing.


Blind terror at deploying a mother fucking medium tank within range of literally all my units notwithstanding, I do like this. I feel like Advance Wars' Fog of War at least promotes the idea of approaching tactically, scouting things out and making plans that way, so it's not quite flying in the face of the idea of strategy like Fire Emblem's Fog of War does.

The smaller maps help, too. It's not fun, mind, but it at least requires more effort to plan around than Fire Emblem's "send a thief and your strongest unit and body everything" approach.

Oh yes. Nell was talking.

I had forgotten.

Uh, yes..?

oh my god

Every time I try to compliment Advance Wars, it has to introduce something else stupid to compensate.

Oh gee! I wonder which of these two forests has a big fuckoff enemy unit in it!

I'm sure that'll come in handy for that one bote map with Fog of War.

(I'm taking a wild guess here, though I've been told that bote maps are infrequent and bote maps with Fog of War even more so. We'll see if I'm right!)

Yes, let's focus our efforts on the BIG TANK RIGHT NEXT TO US, shall we?

This is Nellspeak for "there's something in this forest".

Ah, perfect! Now that infantry and mech have a use besides being dragged around to capture things, they can finally do tasks that other vehicles can't d-


"Uh, hey guys!" a nervous man says, evidently the leader of the recon unit. "We're the Gordon Gang, and um, my name is Gordon. I guess I should tell you a little about myself, um... I'm an aspiring photographer! I really enjoy taking pictures of s-"

"Oh, right, yes..." Gordon murmurs dejectedly. "I guess we should focus on the mission at hand."

That's pretty good, actually. And a huge improvement over infantry as always.

"But not forests and reefs, because fuck you!"

We shall disprove this later by having Gordon finish off an enemy.

...That was weakened heavily by Tina.

I mean, it's quite obvious that it won't be great in combat, since it already has a really solid support use.

Yes, let's find out what other horrible enemy units are sitting three feet away from my entire army.

Thinking about it, if not even recon units can see into forests unless they're right next them, why bother using Gordon for this when anyone else will do?

Oh my god, seriously? Come the hell on.

Turns out enemies are more dangerous when you can't see them coming. Thank you, Nell, I wouldn't have figured that out myself.

If I'm honest, Nell, I would rather there just not be a rocket squad and a medium tank within murdering-me range.

I plan to be extra careful.

I suppose I should say that this isn't my first time doing this map. You'll see two big reasons why later on.

Oh, man. I just realised. Nell's being extra tutorially because it's our last mission together, isn't she?

Now I feel bad.

Yes, they sure were. Your point?

And here I was, expecting bad news. Yeah, I suppose that's a good strategy, but is the AI affected by Fog of War the same as I am?

I'll have bigger problems than being spotted at that point.

Like being shot.

...Yeah, I did.

And of course it wouldn't be a Nell tutorial without some R button worship.

And like that, she's gone. Time to show her everything I've learned - here we go!

OK, so this map starts pretty simply. There's no point worrying about the Fog of War yet; our first goal is to delete these two enemy units.

Luckily, with careful management of damage, we can pretty easily hit them hard enough to defeat them both.

First, the Fred Fusiliers fire on the medium tank, which is conveniently in range.

Well, that's already looking a whole lot less threatening.

Tina, who is furious about the Fog of War, finishes them off.

"Fuck you and your fog!" yells Tina, shaking her fist in indignation at the grey haze ahead of her.

Wilbert snickers. "Fuck of War."

"Oh, grow up." Barry replies. "There's still a rocket squad, from what I can see. Someone needs to deal with it, sharpish."

The Bill Battalion, finally separated from Eric, heads out to do the thing.

And they sure did do it.

Meanwhile, the Eric There-Are-No-Fucking-Words-Meaning-“Brigade”-Beginning-With-E finishes off the rocket squad.

And with that, the first part of the map is already over. Honestly, this one isn't that threatening, really. There's definitely been harder maps.

The Dave Division hops into the Michaelmobile, ready to go HQ-capturing as per the usual.

I also send the Wilbert Warriors out, since they're itching to get into combat.

What exciting murderers are going to come out of the fog today? Let's find out.

It was a tank.

Alfonse finishes capturing this city, under the misguided belief that it will have an impact on the battle.

I move Gordon and reveal-

Lo! Another tank!

...Yeah, the enemies aren't all that threatening in this mission.

Tina's hateboner for Fog of War continues.

And she takes it out on this innocent tank.

Bill helps.

Eric, Bill and Tina are basically all you need to curbstomp this map.

And Wilbert. Forgot about Wilbert. He'll do useful things soon!

Michael drops Dave off down here. Thinking about it, I probably didn't need to use the APC... ah well.

And this is how things shape up before the next enemy phase.

Oh no, what are they gonna do, try and attack Tina?

The little tank that could goes for Bill instead. Which is fair enough, I guess. Luckily, he's now been lured into Wilbert's attack range, or as I like to call it, the murder circle.

Ow, that stings. A surprisingly intelligent move from Olaf. Thinking about it, Olaf didn't say anything before his first turn like he usually does... for all I know, it's somebody competent running the show instead.

The infantry make the correct and sensible decision not to engage Tina.

Wilbert is desperate to murder some things. Go on, buddy!

He did good. Tanks are pretty hardy, after all, and this tank is the last overly threatening thing on this map.

Dave can't help himself, and wants to go for the Ultimate Disrespect.

Close. And still hilarious.

Speaking of hilarious, look how much damage Tina does to infantry. No wonder they didn't attack her; it would've genuinely been suicide.

Tina's rage sure is something to behold. Also, medium tanks are great and I want twelve.

I decide to stop bullying the little tank that could.

More like the little tank that couldn't, am I right?

Am I right?

I move everyone closer to the HQ. We're almost there now.

It's Possible-Maybe-Olaf's turn now.

Damn, an actually good move from him. The mountain will prevent Tina one-shotting him, though that doesn't mean he'll be hard to take down. I have more than enough firepower for him.

Anyway, you wanna know why this map took me two attempts? As I said before, there's two reasons.

Because the first time I did this, Tina was right in range of...

Firstly, this asshole.

Fuck this asshole in particular.

And secondly...

THIS asshole.

Jokes aside, I sent Tina for the rockets because they have the larger range. Now I've weakened their damage, anyone can be in range of the rockets. The artillery can pretty much only attack Tina, and due to previous experience I know that both of them would need to hit her to kill her. So everyone's safe.

I'm not a tactical disaster area after all!

Speaking of strategy, I suppose I should delete this idiot before he hurts himself.

Tanks are good. I like tanks.

But it's our man Alfonse who gets the kill.

The Alfonse Alliance aren't too bad at cleaning up enemies.

Alright, do your worst, secret hidden bullshit ranged enemies.

The rockets go for Alfonse, though out of this selection of badasses, I'd go for the weak link, too.

It was a mistake, though.

As predicted, the artillery goes for Tina.

And they hurt. That's impressive damage on a medium tank.

Dave begins the process of whittling down this artillery.

It's, uh... gonna be a while. Might need to speed this up.

Hey, this is the bit I mentioned earlier!

Gordon kills a thing after Tina weakens it! See, told you.

And I'm glad Gordon isn't really horrible at combat, because that leaves Tina free to obliterate this artillery.

I'm pretty sure Tina's Fog of War hatred is next-level hate. She's attacked or killed almost every unit on this map, barring a tank and an infantry unit, I think.

As usual, our tanks can clean up just fine. That's everything down!

For some reason, though, this mission doesn't end when everything is dead. You have to capture the HQ.

Unless there's another enemy who's just been hiding in the far corner of the map or something.

Steve heads to the HQ.

And, skipping past an enemy phase where literally nothing happened, we're done here. That is the tutorial officially over!

Also surprise it was Olaf all along

Even at the end of the tutorial, this guy's still doing the "wait til next time!" schtick. Come on, man.

Thanks, Nell.

Thank god. He was starting to annoy me.

is she gonna finally admit her love

come on nell



...Oh. Yeah, of course.

Please don't remind me.

I can't lead, Nell! Do you not remember?

Craigsworth. Colin. Alfred. And also Michael, like, 4 times or something.

my new what

no no no no no


Times The Name "My Dude" Didn't Work As Expected: 3


I... guess? It's been unclear what my role is, honestly.

I wish I could say the same, Andy.


Oh, I give as good as I get, Nell, you know that.

I'm gonna eat this kid alive.

What was wrong with me? With us?

Oh my god, Nell, are you seriously ending the mission like th-

Yup, she is.

This feels hollow.

No longer an ACO at least! (Even though that was a thing I totally made up without knowing anything about the game and it's plot.)

At least I managed to A-rank every mission. Though they were tutorial missions, so...

I am a gray rat.

But I'm least I'm not a snake, Nell! Get it? Because you're abandoning me?

Welp, looks like the campaign is gonna be more of the same. Though I'm intrigued to see how it differs, especially considering the whole buying-units thing.

...I don't know if I am.

But I've come this far. Time for the pain to start proper, I suppose.

Next time, we begin the campaign! It's been a long time coming.


The Barracks Extra: Until We Meet Again

Two figures stand, framed by the sunset, on the edge of the barracks. A truck is sitting, waiting for one of the figures to get on. The figure in question nods to me.

“You know everything I could possibly teach you. With Andy… you’ll make a good team.”

“But he’s not you.” I choke. For the first time, Nell’s face softens and she looks into my eyes with a mixture of pity and caring.

“You are a unique ACO.” she murmurs. “I’ve never had an advisor so… emotional. The look in your eyes shows me how much you care. Not just about me, but the army as a whole.”

I do not respond. I simply have no words to say.

“My dude, you have fought tooth and nail to keep as many members of this army alive as possible. I could not have asked for a better ACO. Continue to care - that’s all I ask.”

“So, that’s it, then?” I ask.

“Yes.” Nell replies simply. “I’ll see you again, my dude. But this is a part of the journey you have to take without me. We have our different places in this army.

And yet… I have very much enjoyed getting to know you.”

She begins to walk towards the truck. My heart aches with a strange pain, and I cry out. Nell turns around as a tear begins to roll down my cheeks.

“Did… did you like the Christmas present?”

A brief moment of confusion crosses Nell’s face, then she smiles. Slowly, stately, she brings he hand up and slides it inside her shirt. Moments later, she brings it back out, revealing a necklace that had previously been hidden. It was glittering, and the pendant was in the shape of a star, coloured a bright orange.

“It’s beautiful. I wear it always.” Nell replies. “I shall treasure it, my dude, until we meet again.”

I can’t help it. I collapse onto my knees as the truck drives away with Nell on it. I can’t do this without her.

Slowly, I stop staring at the ground and I stand up. I have to do it... for her.

Until we meet again.