Part 15: Shot Through The HeartPART 15 - Shot Through The Heart
Last time on Advance Wars, we were about to fight Grit. So, uh, let's do that!
Ah yes. I had forgotten about the extended range.
At least we can choose our own units now! Hm... I'm not sure what I need. I don't have a particular plan for this map, besides "don't get into Grit's range", so I don't know what to go for. Maybe another artillery. Although he doesn't have any medium tanks, so two artillery might be overkill.
Wait, never mind, missed one.
Artillery it is! I deploy Ingo.
Steve begins capturing towns. If I'm going to utterly curbstomp this idiot with Tina, I need more funds first.
"Cosmic!" I hear you saying. "You're a tactical disaster area!"
That's where you're wrong, dear reader. This was intentional - I wanna drag the tank into range as soon as possible so I can just artillery it to death.
Artillery is a verb now. Deal with it.
Alright. Let's see what Grit's all about then. Open fire!
Wait, what? What's he talking about?
...Is he shit-talking his own nation?
OK, this feels like the kind of conversation you have with enemy units in Fire Emblem moments before you recruit them. Are you about to just stop fighting, Grit?
of course not
Grit's soldiers have attended the Olaf School of Prioritising Capturing Buildings Over Your Own Lives, it seems.
But hey, at least this worked out.
...Mostly. I'd have preferred a bit less damage. Eh, if it's above 5, we can still capture the city in two turns. Doesn't set me back too much.
Right, let's start doing the things. I'm ready to begin formulating a strateg-
GIVE ME SOME WARNING, NELL, JESUS.
Andy, phone for you. I'd answer it but Nell probably doesn't want to listen to my heavy breathing.
War is going on, Andy.
...............somebody fire the Orange Star central intelligence division, please.
I suppose I technically wouldn't have known this if I hadn't been checking ranges before I started. Useful information, but I'm still counting it as bad news. Nell continues her streak.
What, seriously? Fuck. 1 extra range, and then an additional 1 range when he uses his power? Sigh.
spoilers for next week: I mistakenly assumed he just got an additional 1 range when he uses his CO power. Next week's part will prove me wrong in a variety of painful ways; but yeah, no need to correct me, I do actually know it's +2 range.
Oh, I was doing that already. I'm a paranoid guy, I always gotta check the ranges.
Andy if you ask her out I'm going to fucking shank you
...Technically not a stupid question, I guess. We'll let it slide.
"...friends."? That sounds like...
Grit... and Nell? No, no, no, no...
Nell, tell me it's a lie.
WHAT'S WRONG IS THAT HER AND GRIT TOTALLY BONED AT SOME POINT.
Hey, Grit. Let me level with you for a sec.
My name is my dude, but you can otherwise call me the man chasing Nell's heart.
And, look, I have no trouble with you. I just have a sneaking suspicion that you made moves on my girl.
Nothing personal, but I'm not going to be capturing your HQ. That's too nice a defeat for you.
I'm going to tear every single one of your fucking units to pieces.
The newly-deployed Ingo In-Crowd heads north. I want to start shooting over the river at the infantry; once they've finished capturing up there, they're probably going to head south to take my buildings, and I really need the cash to get Tina.
The Bill Battalion finishes things here.
The first kill of many.
The Steve Squadron valiantly continues capturing. Almost there, dudes.
Meanwhile, we have to deal with the recon with the absurdly large range.
I'm just gonna hope he comes to us in the enemy phase, really. But now it's time for everyone's favourite show: People Capturing ThingsTM!
We hope you enjoy today's show, People Capturing ThingsTM.
Also a second artillery is coming to join us. Because that's what we needed, more of those hanging around with their 1 extra range.
I see you up there, mech in the river. I'll get to you.
BUT FIRST. TODAY IS A GOOD DAY.
The Tina Team join us, increasing the competency of my army by several points simply with her mere presence.
Also, this mech is getting way too close. Wilbert decides to take him down a peg or two.
Or 9, apparently, leaving him at a scant 1 HP.
Barold finally does something on this map!
Nice one, Barold.
Meanwhile, my clever placement of Ingo allows me to shoot this guy.
Man, I wish I has +1 range.
Steve also does something! Slightly less exciting than Barold, but hey, money.
"...Huh." Steve murmurs.
"What's up?" Barold asks.
"Capturing cities just feels different now." Steve says, looking around at the city around him. "Like... money is worth a damn now. We're not just doing it to waste time."
"Finally, Alfonse can do what he does best and have it actually contribute to the battle." smirks Barold.
Mother fucker. I forgot entirely about this guy.
I plug Michael into the gap.
...Grit, sorry. I just got really used to saying Olaf.
I think I've seen this episode before.
I think APC must stand for All Purpose Chokepoint.
Look at that. Hardly a scratch.
Here's a fun image! I can tell you exactly what I was thinking at this very moment.
Fuck, I forgot infantry can cross riv- never mind, I also forgot how useless infantry are in combat.
The second artillery approaches menacingly.
Right, we're fighting on two fronts now. Admittedly, one of them is mostly useless infantry, and one of them is terrifying +1 range artillery, but hey, they're technically both threats.
Before both of those, though, I need to deal with this recon.
I send Ingo back to base to be healed. Don't, uh... don't ask why I went with this circuitous route.
Tina has entered the lobby.
I missed you, Tina, for the two or so turns where I didn't have you.
Barold heads up. I need to make a start on capturing those buildings and thinning the infantry population a little.
The Wilbert Warriors decide that this recon has mildly inconvenienced us for the last time.
God, I miss having two artillery.
Wait, no, I HAVE two artillery. Ingo! Get healed up and help us out already!
Meanwhile, I need to move Steve. He's captured the building and he did great, but infantry are the only units I have capable of crossing rivers at the moment. Michael, away!
I drop him off next to his good pal.
This guy was just annoying me and I needed something for Bill to do.
Man, Grit's forces really aren't all that much in direct combat. I've practically decimated all his non-ranged units.
...Yes, I'm aware of the medium tank. I'm working on it.
You know what, speaking of the Alfonse Alliance, let's get them out here.
"Oh, thank god." sighs Bill.
"What's the problem?" Tina asks, and Bill chuckles.
"For a minute I thought he was going to deploy Eric. I'm just glad to get a break from him."
Thanks for reminding me, Bill. I could do with another tank.
It's the Eric Echelon, everyone!
One thing I've not mentioned yet. I vastly prefer Grit's theme to Olaf's in the enemy phase. It's so different from all the other songs in the game thus far, I love it.
This is the only thing Grit does this turn.
Oh, no, that second artillery keeps moving. The other one stays in the same place, but the second one moves every turn. It is... immensely annoying.
The fact that this asshole is in range doesn't help. I don't think there's anyone in my army who can go destroy one of those artillery and survive the second artillery's attack combined with the tank. Maybe the Tina Team, but I wasn't willing to risk it.
I mean, she's still coming along, since she hits like... well, a tank.
"Hey Eric." Bill says.
"Look, are you still annoyed about this bet? There's only one day left, and then you can go back to being your usual OCD self."
"Doesn't matter." Bill replies. "Let's just get on with the mission before Tina shows us up again."
This is annoying. I'm also not fond of him being that close to my HQ or my cities, honestly.
Barold and Steve move up, but swap spaces, since Barold's not injured.
The artillery head up to back up my infantry. Just in case we get any surprises. The quicker I can subdue them, the sooner I can focus on the harder part of this mission: approaching that right side of the map.
I decide to put Alfonse on the city. At the very least, he'll soak a few hits if need be.
Grit me up, motherfucker.
Grit's infantry unit just kinda leaps into the river and doesn't advance further.
Well, let's, uh... win, I guess?
Ingo does a shooty.
It goes well for us! Not quite a kill, but we have a couple of infantry sitting around killing time.
A full-HP infantry can capture cities quicker, so I send Steve (8 HP) to fight the enemy unit; Barold can focus on the cities.
I feel like it's been a while since the Steve Squadron had a proper showing. Good on them.
The Barold Brigade attack a city in the usual fashion; standing on it.
Michael has one job, but he's damn good at it: stand in places and attract enemy fire.
Since this guy didn't come to him, Alfonse decides to engage the enemy.
Not bad, Alfonse. You aren't entirely superfluous.
meanwhile, how the fuck
am I even supposed
to deal with this shit.
Let's not forget this asshole! Sigh.
I move the tanks into a vaguely threatening formation. It's not terribly useful, though.
Fuck. I could really use a unit with more than 5 or 6 movement and doesn't hit like a wet noodle.
The Gordon Gang can achieve... one of those.
Well, whatever. Grit does some things.
To continue the trend of Grit's units moving in weird ways, this infantry moves between my units but doesn't attack. I think he's going for the HQ.
And this artillery continues to just... slowly orbit the other artillery? I have no goddamn idea what is making this thing move like this.
...Right. Let's just, uh, do some stuff. It can't be that hard, right? It's only technically the second mission.
It would be so easy to just...
But I can't risk it.
Gordon proves his worth by murdering the hell out of this infantry.
NO HQ FOR YOU. Who do you think you are, Dave or something?
We start taking the enemy cities. Alfonse's single point of damage adds an entire extra turn to proceedings.
It is very irritating.
Hurray! For once it's my People Capturing StuffTM!
Wilbert and Ingo have helped as much as they're going to, so I move them back down here, though I don't know how much use they're going to be. I still don't have a plan to approach this.
I just inch everyone closer. There's gotta be something I can do next turn, right?
Grit must be a Christian.
On the seventh day, he had a day of rest. (Don't mind the artillery that moved one space to the right.)
Alright, come on, please tell me there's something I can do!
"I'm gettin' antsy." Tina sighs. "We aren't going to win sitting around doing nothing!"
Also it's at about this point in the mission that I remembered the CO dossier exists.
...Wait, it scrolls down?
Huh. That's handy.
SNIPE ATTACK = NOTHING PERSONNEL KID
Cats and rats? Odd choice, but sure.
Man, we should check out Andy's.
Wait, never mind, I stopped caring. On with the mission!
The artillery continues to just... do whatever.
And it's my turn. We're at a real stalemate right now.
Also last turn I entirely forgot that I had a whole squadron of dudes over here doing stuff.
The capturing continues.
Steve heads to Barold's recently-vacated city to heal up that few points of damage.
Also, I can do something! Now that the artillery moved up, there's a few spaces down here where I can sneak in.
Gordon also moves into position - his Big Range should be handy if I need a bit of extra damage anywhere.
Take a wild guess at which unit is about to move in a weird way.
If you guessed the artillery, well done. Have a pat on the back.
Now take a wild guess at which two units are about to get FUCKING RUINED.
Tina utterly decimates this first one.
"Where's your one extra range now, bitch?!" Tina shouts.
"Almost as bloodthirsty as Carl." sighs Eric.
"Better social skills." Bill replies with a grin. "That's the key difference."
We can't beat this artillery outright, but we can do enough damage so that it stops being a threat.
That's all I needed - any of my tanks should be able to handle a weakened artillery hit plus the tank's follow-up.
Well done Alfonse
You can also have a pat on the back.
The Barold Brigade also did the capturing thing, but he doesn't get pats on the back. He gets MANLY BROFISTS OF RESPECT.
Do your worst, Grit.
...Welp. I think we have this first part of the map under our control.
The tank doesn't even go for the same unit as the artillery. Man, Grit, learn to strategise.
We should be able to take them the next day with ease.
that CO power bar is looking more full than I remember
...Uh, OK then. I guess he's just gonna save it until next turn. Hey, it gives me a chance to prepare, so I'm not complaining.
Next time, we'll clean up these enemies and then figure out a way to deal with the medium tank and the rockets. Grit will continue to be an asshole but he cannot win, because he is an Enemy of Love.
I will destroy him.
The Barracks: Tina and Wilbert 2
Tina brings her food over to Wilberts table and sits beside him. She looks at him intently until he puts his fork aside and goes What?
Look. Youre still pushing yourself. You remember that chat we had about why were pushing ourselves? I dont think you told me the full story.
I did. Wilbert replies, playing with his food. I want to find worthy opponents and defeat them.
Then why do you keep checking the barrack reports from Nell and my dude?
Wilbert falls silent. Tina eyes him carefully.
Ooh, cat got your tongue? Ive seen you there, eyeing the reports. Youre angling for a promotion.
Look, its not like that. Wilbert says, and he gestures as he tries to explain. I uh
Go on. Tina says. Theres a warmth in her eyes, with no hint of malice - she genuinely wants him to open up, and for a moment hes caught off-guard.
My dad is sick. The treatment isnt going great, but theres some surgery he could have. Just need money for it. he mutters. I was always good with machines. Figured Id join the army, get promoted by being the best, and earn enough money to get him the surgery before he before he
Wilbert falls silent, and Tina places a hand on his shoulder. He shudders at the sudden contact, but calms down.
Wilbert. You can do it. I dont care why youre pushing yourself; Im just worried youre pushing yourself too hard. Lean on me when you need to, alright?
Thank you. Wilbert says. Hey, uh itd be nice to see you more outside of battle, too. Maybe we can hang out more often.
Of course. Tina replies with a smile. Let me know anytime you wanna get a coffee or something. See you later, Wilbert.
Bye. Wilbert replies, watching the young woman walk away. The moment shes gone, his heartbeat returns to normal and he realises he was holding his breath. Taking a deep breath, he turns back to his food and tries to ignore his rising feelings.