Part 26: Strictly, This Was All Tina's FaultPART 26 - Strictly, This Was All Tinas Fault
Welcome back, folks! Sorry for the week's delay, but you'll be pleased to hear that prom went well. I was a couple of years older than her so there was a hullabaloo about letting me actually come visit, but it all worked out and the girl who I shall refer to as Nell had the most magical night of her life. So yeah, it was good!
Continuing the good news, it's my birthday today! And I figured what better way to celebrate than get back to my dude and his shenanigans? So without further ado, we continue! As an aside, I have been given the task of clearing the next few missions in a strict time limit. The first one, for this mission, is 8 days.
For the first time there wasn't an overwhelming majority, so I had to actually count the votes prior to playing. Max won with 5!
Ah, Kanbei. This guy amuses me greatly, he has such a silly design.
His clothes are so god damn yellow it's almost aggressive.
As you can see, this map is set up in such a way that (for once) we're kind of at the advantage. We have a lot of natural mountain cover, with two very defensible bases between the two exits of the mountain range. Kanbei's only real advantages are the river and his two rocket squads.
Speaking of, we've also got two rocket squads. Fred Fusiliers! Introduce the new guy.
"I wondered when you'd ask about 'im." Fred shrugs. "He's quiet, but he's been training under me for quite some time. This is Patrick, of the Patrick Posse."
"Hello everyone..." murmurs Patrick nervously.
"What?" asks Dave.
"I l-look forward to w-working with you all..." he continues. The army can barely hear him over the transceiver, so shrug and move on.
That is troublesome.
Come on, Andy. Kanbei = the leader. Imperial = of the empire. Forces = do I really have to explain this.
Am I right, Sami?
Interesting. That's fine, unless they trained at the Olaf School of Prioritising Capturing Above All Else.
At least they can support their families. Maybe if Wilbert had been part of Kanbei's army he would've had enough money to treat his dad... but don't tell him I said that.
I would hope so, their country is like, within fucking walking distance.
Man, they really are hyping Kanbei up, aren't they? A new and powerful foe, evidently rich, and apparently the sole defender of his country.
But as usual, Max "Gives No Fucks" Nothector gives no fucks. And is not Hector.
That's his canon last name, you know.
Alright, silliness aside: strategy. The reason Max was probably a popular choice by people who know this game well is right here: he's the only one who can take out these two rocket squads on the first turn. This map is one of those where everything charges you, so the sooner we can duck out of hiding, murder these guys, and get back to the safety of the mountains, the better.
The Rose Rank does an excellent job, as usual.
Grumpy, and more than a little threatened by Rose, the Tina Team head out all guns blazing. As you can see, the forest defensive terrain means a Max-powered medium tank can juuuuust eke out this kill. This'll be crucial.
Because really, the sooner the better when it comes to removing enemy rockets.
Next, we need to prepare for the onslaught of dudes coming our way - including four tanks and two medium tanks. To ready myself, I move Fred, Patrick and the Wilbert Warriors into position. Limited range means I have to ensure that they are in the exact right positions for when the enemies come. Luckily, enemies that always charge ahead (and ignore medium tanks because they're too stronk) are pretty predictable.
Here's a look at Kanbei's entire force. Pretty similar to our own, but still quite a lot to deal with.
The two enemy tanks, as expected, go right past Tina and Rose, and head for the mountains. Directly into death range.
This is how things shape up. I think it's pretty clear why I needed those rockets gone on turn one - I have to retreat so I can prepare for the approaching medium tanks. By turn two they'll be reaching the mountain range.
...Yeah, Kanbei really doesn't fuck around.
OK, preparing for onslaught.
The first thing we need to do is start attacking these smaller tanks. They'll become a problem if we keep them around, especially when we need to concentrate our firepower on the approaching medium tanks.
Nice job, Fred.
It's at this point that I decided to check Kanbei's CO meter, and I figured I'd look at the dossier whilst I was here.
Hm. So by the looks of it, he gets a complete statistical advantage, but the cost of deploying is higher.
In a map where there's no...
In a map where that's pre-deployed, he has a complete statistical advantage with no drawback?
Is this what I'm reading?
"Boss, boss! You know that gold-plated dude with the really good units that has no drawback on a pre-deployed map?"
"YES GERALD, HE WAS YOUR BEST SUGGESTION IN THE LAST BOARDROOM MEETING"
"I've figured out his CO power! It just gets his high-stat units, and makes their stats even higher!"
"INCREDIBLE WORK GERALD, GO HOME AND FUCK MY WIFE, YOU PUT THE 'INTELLIGENT' IN INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS"
Dunno who Sonja is, but his dislike amuses me greatly. I can just imagine him outlawing computers.
Tina, unleash your bloodlust!
This map is proving to be surprisingly tame. I'm just curbstomping everything with ease right now.
...He said, thus guaranteeing that something was going to fuck up.
And down below, Patrick copies Fred and opens fire on this tank.
This map is very heavily based around the idea of mirroring. Kanbei's forces are split pretty evenly between your two, uh, mountain entrances (which should not sound as dirty as it does) and thus the best way to deal with both equally is to do the same thing up north and down south.
And up here, Rose retreats and attacks at the same time for maximum efficiency.
Thinking about it, that probably gave Kanbei his CO power.
Yup. This is going to be interesting. If it's an across-the-board buff, I can only assume it's not a massive increase? ...Right?
Luckily the medium tanks aren't in range of anyone. So I don't have to worry about those, at least.
I am quaking in my boots.
I feel like a better name for this skill is "MASSIVE BRIBES".
This tank goes for the luckless Vladimir Volunteers.
And wow, fuck. They'd have been one-shot if not for the mountain terrain. At least we did a point of damage in retaliation?
Better than nothing.
Damn, this tank is getting a little too big for its-
I mean, yes, took a massive amount of retaliation damage, but my god, he did damage to Tina.
"Fucking hell," Tina grunts, grabbing a spanner and leaping up to the top of the medium tank, and staring down the gold maw of a tank cannon ahead. "...Just what are this guy's forces made of?"
But wait! It's not just Vladimir who's getting bullied by tanks today. Gareth, come join in on the painful, painful fun.
Does it hurt?
On a scale of "like, a bit" and "like a motherfucker", how much would you say it hurts?
Silliness aside, my turn again. Let's rid ourselves of this useless chaff.
...I meant the enemy, Alfonse, don't look at me with those sad eyes.
The medium tanks are in range, and we'll need a lot of concentrated firepower to take them down. First things first, a frightening Fred assault falls on the foe from afar.
Man, Kanbei's medium tanks look dumb.
Second first, same as the first verse.
Man, Kanbei's dumb-look medium tanks.
Up north, we have the additional advantage of the Wilbert murder circle, so may as well use that. Wilbert opens fire on the tank, mostly because he has a tiny goddamn range under Max.
"Going for the tank?" asks Tina.
"I was hoping you'd take care of the medium tank - I'm not really in range of it."
"Can do." Tina grins. "Let's roll out!"
Tina rolls out.
OK, we've basically finished off this medium tank. It'll hit for virtually nothing with 2HP, and we can finish it off next turn.
The Bill Battalion advances in order to continue cleaning up.
He is a clean freak, after all. And he cleans up well.
Ooh, I'm pretty close to charging my own CO meter. Can one last push do it?
Let's annoy this artillery and find out.
Von Panzer fails to annoy the artillery to death. However...
WE GET BIG POWER.
Which is just enough for the Rose Rank...
To decimate the enemy medium tank down below. Phew, that's one big threat out of the way!
Nice work, Rose and Von Panzer!
Alright, Kanbei, begin the fucking around doing nothing, now you've lost most of your strongest units.
And it does barely anything.
Unfortunately I forgot to guard this bit and one of Kanbei's massive tanks invades my mountain entrance.
Also he shoots my rocket and it is very annoying.
His tanks, which I swear he gets more of every turn, now turn on my tanks.
Von Panzer gets shot!
And things is how things shape up at the end of the turn. Note the medium tank that has now fled to safety.
"Oh no you don't." grunts Tina, preparing to give chase.
I've been thinking about it. Right now, I'm morally superior. The area beyond the river was neutral territory, so it suggests that the river and beyond is Yellow Comet. Thus, Kanbei has come out to attack us, and so long as we don't reach the river, we're not technically in his territory, right?
This is great! I can morally lay the smackdown now, which feels twice as good as a regular smackdown.
Never fucking mind. Tina just started a war with Yellow Comet.
But hey, the first battle was a victory. With that tank gone, there's basically nothing that can threaten me now. And if we are invading Yellow Comet, may as well do it properly.
Firstly, the Fred Fusiliers turn their attention down below to help the poor Patrick Posse.
And they sure do help! We're almost ready to fully rout Kanbei's forces.
Continuing the trend of the experience dudes up north helping down our newbies down south, Bill comes by to finish what Fred started.
Kanbei's face amuses me greatly in these 'loss' pictures. He looks like he's been mildly inconvenienced on his train ride to work.
I send Von Panzer to get rid of this last tank down below. The sheer number of them could be a problem, but we're slowly removing them now.
Damn, Von Panzer is playing a dangerous game with his HP. I'd best keep him out of the way in future.
Rose goes for the artillery.
"...Careening into Yellow Comet territory like an oaf." she's muttering to herself. "It's almost admirable, her tenacity..."
Lost in thought though she might be, she easily dispatches the artillery. We're almost done... come on.
I'm a little nervous about that tank, weak though it is right now, so I move Michael down to bait it. This will have an additional advantage that we'll see next turn.
Here we go. Surprise bullshit CO power?
Nope. Just classic 'AI capturing territory despite pointlessness of it all'.
To nobody's surprise, this tank halts everything and fucking goes for Michael's jugular.
Unfortunately, Michael's jugular is made of titanium.
There's not even any credible threats left. Can't the rest of the enemies just surrender?
Evidently not. So Fred fires on this enemy mech who isn't doing anything and poses no threat to him.
I'm a gracious and merciful tactician.
Tina finishes him off because it's quicker than lugging Alfonse over to the enemy HQ.
Also, it's more entertaining.
Rose has had enough of this mech's shit.
However, he irritates her by continuing to live.
...We'll deal with that momentarily. With guns.
Firstly though, Vladimir is out for blood.
And he wins!
Von Panzer continues this winning streak against enemies with absolutely no way of even permanently harming my units by going for this nutjob on the base.
He doesn't get hit in retaliation, but also doesn't hit very hard. We're on a time limit, folks, we haven't got time to play around!
DO IT, DAVE
GUNS. Told you.
"Everything alright?" says the transceiver, crackling with Michael's timid voice.
Dave ignores him. "Dave. Dave. Come on, how long are you going to not speak to me?"
"He's not talking to you?" asks Wilbert.
Michael shrugs. "After he claimed to have figured out my secret, he's been furious with me ever since. Let's not worry about it for now, though."
Looks like extra firepower will be needed down here. Von Panzer Volksturm, get to it.
This one infantry refuses to die, my god.
Eh, at least they won't do anything this turn.
Besides capture useless territory, but that's par for the course.
Up he jumps! Come on, little man, you can do it!
Pfft. Ahahahah! Just 9 more turns until you've captured this base!
OK, I'm done here.
This guy will get the special all-female medium-tank double-penetration treatment. First, Rose...
And then Tina commences the second part of the enfuckening.
Ah. That was relaxing.
"The all-female medium-tank double-penetration treatment? Nobody's been able to pull of that technique perfectly!"
Also a valid question. But yeah, they weren't too hard.
...Alright, god, fine. It's not my first time attempting this map. To be fair, this was only my second attempt. The lack of Fog of War probably helped.
Yes, do that. Fuck off.
Max is under the misguided belief that we were in danger at some point during that map. Unless he means "that was close" in terms of how close Tina got to Yellow Comet. Because yeah, we definitely started a war.
I ranked up to being a Rose Rat. I mean, rose rat.
No offence, Rose.
Ah, we're going to meet the mysterious Sonja now.
His daughter. Should've guessed really. He seems like the type to employ nepotism.
She was pretty fucking clear, Kanbei. Battle conditions. What were they?
Sonja has a much longer fuse than I do, thankfully.
"I invaded his, uh, mountain entrance?"
I like Sonja. Admittedly with Olaf/Grit and now Kanbei/Sonja, it seems that there's a shortage of character archetypes going round, so everyone's gone for "incompetent main leader/sassy and more competent subordinate". I'm hoping for more diversity of character as we go.
"That's why Fog of War makes people want to cry, Father."
Lose. Which he did spectacularly, to be fair.
He's Kanbei, he's 46, and he's never read the Art of War.
As an aside, I actually read the Art of War a year or so back, on a train ride. Pretty interesting text, though it didn't improve my Fire Emblem any. Still, I'd recommend checking it out, a lot of it can be applied to life in general, which I think is cool.
Damn, Sonja does not hold back.
You weren't even at the battle! What intel did you possibly get?
...Here. Where here? "Here" is immensely fucking vague.
It's not like we need a large force when we have, you know, Tina.
Dammit, he knows my weakness: the enemy having an obvious numerical advantage!
"Or you could not, you dumb fuck."
...Wow, this guy might be dumber than Olaf. But at the same time, an idiot with a massive gun is still a credible threat. This next map may be tough if he does bring in superior numbers.
No use, Sonja. You can't talk down a charging bull.
Note to self: do a casual pre-Kanbei seizing next map.
Trying to prove? Interesting choice of words. We'll see whether that means anything relevant later on, I guess.
As usual, Andy has nothing of value to add...
Max is thinking combatively...
And Sami is being somewhat sensible. Business as usual.
That said, though, we've reached the end of today's update! Vote next time on whether I should take on the next mission with Pokemon Andy Version, Pokemon Max Version or Pokemon Sami Version (released a few years later, merging the plots of both Andy Version and Max Version). See you then, folks, and in the meantime, I'll go enjoy the rest of my birthday.
The Barracks: Dave and Michael 3
Dave looks up at Michael. Hmph.
Michael sits down in the virtually-empty barracks room and looks evenly at Dave, who eventually begins to look back.
Im sorry. I didnt mean anything by it.
You almost had me going. That you were psychic.
I know. Michael said, trying to hold back a smirk. After you told me to be brave you really inspired me. I thought that pretending to have a special power would impress you, in the same way that your physical strength impressed me.
But you arent psychic. Dave said.
You know my secret. You dont have to say it. Michael muttered.
Instead of miraculously surviving all combat, you simply hammer the eject button every time your APC hits critical mass, seconds before exploding. Thats why you wake up, completely unharmed, in a nearby field.
Yeah, you got me. Michael replies.
I mean, its a fine strategy to keep yourself alive. I just wish youd told me straight. Or told anyone at all, really. Dave said, gesturing at the few people in the room, all busy chatting to each other and eating food.
Can you forgive me?
Yeah. Dave said. We have to stick together, I just had to work through my annoyance for a couple of days
Cool. Michael replies, grinning at him. I do respect you, Dave. Thats why I wanted to impress you.
The pair stare at the table for a little while.
You already do. Youve become pretty brave since you signed up, being the bait when nobody else wants to be. Dave answered eventually. Michaels grin breaks out into a wide smile.
So, what now?
Now, if you really wanna keep being mysterious to everyone else, Ill keep your secret. But you have to keep a secret of mine. Dave replies.
Michael nods. Of course.
Dave fixes him with an even stare. Ever since I avenged Craigsworth Ive felt lost. Purposeless. Im thinking about quitting the Orange Star army."
He walks away without another word.