The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by cosmicPostman

Part 32: I Swear, Rose, I'm Not Trying To Kill You

PART 32 - I Swear, Rose, I’m Not Trying To Kill You

Last time on Sonja's Variety Hour, we were about to start a rousing game of Monopoly for the rather unappealing prize of getting Dipshit back. This time, it begins.

And this one's a fucking doozy. Here we go.

Hey look, Fog of War! You'll also note that there are ships and islands. This is pretty reminiscent of History Lesson!, Grit's most recent map. Unlike that map, which was described by people better at the game than me as a paper tiger, this one's chock-full of murderers and does not play fair at all. I expected to curbstomp this map, but boy, did Sonja fuck me up.

Day 1. Of many, many days.

Sami's secret CO power is to be really sarcastic.

OK, so Sami definitely has a history with this bitch. But how's that possible? She looks about twelve. When on earth did you and her spend any time together?

Nope. Commander My Dude is safe as houses.

You do look quite pleased.

Aw, Sami... jeez, the game is making me feel good about myself lately. It's almost definitely because Dipshit is no longer with us.

Sami has only just noticed that she can't see half the map.

I noticed. This is going to be an absolute slog, isn't it?

That's up there with "we should capture buildings to win" and "let's make sure we shoot the enemy" in terms of strategic planning, Sami.

"We'll lose if we die."

Thank you, Sami.

That's decent advice. I can only assume there's a couple of battleships lurking about..?

By which she means, we're coming vaguely near you so we can capture neutral territory.

So before we begin, let's talk strategy. I'm not too familiar with this map, but I've had a couple of failed runs. Firstly, the southern island is very quickly overrun if you don't get down there turn 1. There's a tank, rocket squad, medium tank... you name it, it's down there, waiting to slit you up. We need both this southern and northern island captured to win, but diving our army isn't a good plan.

The only threats on the northern island are a tank, an artillery, and a battleship nearby. We can pull the old, yet highly specific "Selena submerges and skips half the map to kill the battleship behind enemy lines" manoeuvre on the battleship, but it's made more awkward this time by less room to move around and a sub and a cruiser which are going to be trouble. So, what's the plan?

We'll be moving most of our ground forces down to the southern island. We can't safely capture the northern island until the battleship is out of the way, and we can't do that until we draw out and destroy the cruiser/sub, therefore we get the southern island sorted, move on to the naval combat, then finally finish with the northern island.

...We'll see how well this goes.

First things first, we load Arthur...

...and the Vladimir Volunteers into the Rin Roundup. Rin's just happy to be here.

You have to take care who you drop where, here. If you drop them in this formation, Vladimir can reach the port with his 2 move and Arthur can reach the base with his 3 move.

...Yes, there was a run where I dropped them the other way around. It costs a couple of turns that you just don't have.

Next, we need backup. The Rose Rank will be a solid tank for the southern island; there's a chokepoint with her name on it, provided we get there fast enough.

And hey, with the size of the island, the Fred Fusiliers will be able to cover pretty much all of it, so he's a good option too.

The Balthazar Boat can't approach the island whilst Rin's dropoffs are still hanging around, so he lurks near the island and waits for day 2.

The Selena Set moves in. I need my botes ready and waiting.

Speaking of, I need Omar front and centre. That sub is going down the SECOND I see it pop up.

The Gareth Group hop into Michael. A fun thing I learnt in my previous attempts of this map is that an infantry unit can be loaded into an APC, which can be loaded onto a lander. It amused me.

This is how things look at the beginning of the first turn. Alright, Sonja, whilst I usually say something along the lines of "do your worst" to my opponents, I'd really appreciate you just leaving me alone, honestly.

Oh god. It begins.

It was at this moment that I had a very minor heart attack and thought Grit was the enemy CO for a sec. That would have been a horrible surprise. But no, Grit's just... here?

Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are. Grit!

...Discover? I'm intrigued.

"Definitely didn't spend all the time I was supposed to be investigating playing Counter Strike."

Heh. That's my second favourite Olaf description now.

"Nell's papa" is a close third, and my favourite is "Military Santa".

Probably for being completely ineffectual in military combat against a nine-year-old holding wrenches almost as big as his ego.

I wouldn't bet on it, Grit, my old buddy.

Craigsworth, Reginald, Colin, Alfred and Barry would like a word.

Grit neatly avoids my hard-hitting questions about how many of my men Olaf has callously murdered and changes the topic.

"I was with you up until the chloroform thing, darlin'."

Oh, all of Orange Star are out for fucking blood right now. This bitch is getting what's coming to her.

Sonja cares not.

Oh my god, I am going to slap you

Sacrifice more of your men for intel! Fuck it, sacrifice some of mine too! Intel, intel, intel!

That's intel, baby!

Oh, that quite literally is the definition of intel

You win this round, Grit

Uh, can we get back to the actual map at hand?

I wish I hadn't asked. There are many ominous movement sounds coming from the fog.

Right, back to what we were doing.

Arthur and Vladimir begin their capturing.

Michael nests like a Russian doll.

Shortly followed by a very confused Bill Battalion.

Tina and Fred get dropped off, now ready to fuck some shit up. And not a moment too soon.

The rest of the botes move in. I put the Lloyd Lads on the reef, so they can just fire at anything vaguely threatening in range.

Wanna know how quickly Sonja's units reach the south island?

Boom. Yeah, it's ridiculous. I don't think it's possible to get a medium tank at the chokepoint by the beginning of day 2. A tank could potentially do it, surviving one turn and then being replaced by a medium tank... huh. I actually wanna try redoing this mission sometime. Maybe there's a way of doing it slightly more stylishly than, uh, this run.

You'll see what I mean. Overall, it's about as stylish as falling down the stairs.

Ow. Sorry, Arthur.

THERE he is! I knew there was a cruiser somewhere. Right, he's left himself wide open. Excellent.

Also, the enemy sub dips down here. Remember this. Because I certainly didn't.

OK, so the southern island assault is already beginning. We've got a lot of shit about to descend on us, and it is not going to be pretty.

The tank is the least of our concerns. Fred can soften it up.

And Rose will definitely be able to take it out.

Movement is definitely an issue on this island. There's so many trees about that you can't get anywhere, despite the small size.

But hey, this offending thing's gone now.

And our boys...

Have finished their capturing. We've got a port now! They're pretty much the same as the airport and base - they heal ships and you can buy boats from them. At extortionate fucking prices, I might add.

Lloyd, meanwhile, removes one of the most annoying components of this map.

Fuck you, cruiser. Right, now he's gone, Selena can go for the battlesh-

God dammit. I forgot.


Well, Omar can at least hurt it enough to stop it from doing any proper damage to my ships. I need Selena at nearly full health to two-turn the battleship.

Omar contributed.

Man, cruisers are weird. They can only fire on subs, and they don't even oneshot, usually. Like... why do they exist?

Oh, I guess they can shoot air units. On the rare occasion that it would be necessary.

A fun bit of attention to detail here - subs can't use shoals. Which means that even with the enemy sub right there...

We can still safely drop these nerds off on the north island.

Balthazar goes to pick up the stragglers. We might need them.

Come on, Barold, you might be useful at some point.

And now, for Sonja Annoying Me In Hilarious Ways: Not So Hilarious Edition.

Phase 1 is what you'd expect.

Enhanced Vision. Though to be fair, it's not terrible useful for her since I don't really have any units making use of the trees or reefs.

oh god what

"Argh!" yells Arthur at the top of his voice. "I've been shot!"

"You're standing in a base." sighs Vladimir. "Just retreat and get some first-aid."

As you can see by the vague smoke trails, the sub flees. I always forget that enemies can run away, since they rarely do in Fire Emblem.

So, hey, I guess that problem solved itself.

Tina heads to the chokepoint so I can finally sort out this godforsaken isla-


Well, I found the artillery.

Alright, Fred, this is why I brought you, so you can

oh god dammit

I move Fred into a position that will be slightly more, you know, able to hit things next turn.

...I have a lot of money, but the base is in a bad position. Anything I deploy here will have to survive an artillery and then a tank, and nothing less than a medium tank could do that. Even then, it'd leave the medium tank with like 3HP and thus be useless to me.

Well, whilst I stew on that little brainteaser, I decide to send Selena off on her mission.

And let's dive, so she doesn't get murdered by the battleship that she's going to kill.

And hey, here's a sneak peek at all the murderers on the south island. ...Yeah, Sonja doesn't fuck around.

Also, there's that injured sub. Omar, do your thing.

Well done. Right, I think that's all the threats to Selena's safety gone now, so she can freely whale on that battleship. Which is good, since my conquest of the northern island is set to begin soon.

I also move the Lloyd Lads into position. Might be nice to have some in-range firepower for this conga line of douchebags.

Michael, meanwhile, heads up here. There's an artillery in one of these trees, and I forget which. Whilst finding out, he also drops off Gareth.

Hey, look, there it is! And Gareth's in range, perfect.

By which I mean, not perfect, but hey, Sami increases capture strength anyway so taking damage isn't as much of an issue.

Annoyingly, I can't go at it with Bill unless I risk getting into battleship range.

...Wait, no...

Hurrah! We go in from above and avoid damage.

That should lessen the sting a bit for Gareth.

This artillery, meanwhile, is very annoyingly positioned. And I still don't know whether I should deploy a unit or not.

However, it occurs to me that I can move Vladimir and start taking this city.

And boom. Rather than deploy from the base, I can deploy from the port.

Everyone, meet the Landon Load.

"Hello, compatriots." Landon says. "I'm the third-time world champion of the popular board game Battleship, and a tactical genius who can calculate the locus of objects moving through the air at set velocities in my head. If you ask me to fire on something, you can rest assured that I will hit it."

"Fuckin' nerd." Fred remarks.

Meanwhile, I drop the Barold Brigade and the Eddie Ensemble to, uh, I dunno. Do something useful.

Here we go.

The artillery, predictably, goes for Gareth.

And hurray, it's not completely horrible damage. We can still finish the capture easily.

Uh oh. Omar's in trouble.

Whew... survived that by the skin of his teeth.


"Guess I should've seen this coming." Omar says, shrugging, and turning to his crew. "Any female crew members willing to give me some before we die?"

The female crew, thankfully, are not willing to give Omar some, and he sinks beneath the waves, cruiser and all, without a goodbye.

"Damn. I mean, unfortunate that we lost him, but..." says Michael, trailing off.

"Yeah, he wasn't the nicest guy." Selena replies, remembering previous dealings with the lecherous loser.

Rose, meanwhile, is assaulted by the enemy medium tank. This could hurt.

Oh, wow, yeah, that hurt.

OK, let's start deleting all the things that are annoying me. Starting with every single mother fucker on this southern island.

The Lloyd Lads help out. "Open fire, troops! Don't let a single one of the scurvy buggers walk away unscathed!"

Welp, that's a very good start. I'm very glad to have two of these. Because it means I can do this now!

Yeah, two battleships and a rocket squad is pretty potent. I can poke this tank a little with Landon...

And by poke, I mean "bombard with rockets".

And last but not least, Fred can finish the medium tank.

Phew. Now that's out of the way, we can finally block off this chokepoint.

Well done, Rose. Now just sit there and don't die until the end of the map.

Also capturing I guess

Remember when this map was about capturing and not just desperately trying to stay alive?

I suppose it's my own fault for my self-imposed no-dipshit-left-behind policy. Anyway, Selena finally goes for the battleship.

One hit, two hit, red hit, blue hit. Shouldn't be long before we don't have to worry about this guy anymore. Selena's probably running low on fuel, too, so not a moment too soon.

Bill, meanwhile, cleans up.

Spotless. Right, the northern island is virtually out of things to murder us now, so we can just slowly wander around and capture properties.

Which Gareth starts doing immediately.

I also decide to move Eddie to the southern island, instead. We need the recon more down here, since there's more foes; and hey, a meatshield is never a bad idea.

I want to start Barold off on capturing the city just above him, but it's still in battleship range. It's been a while, but I think it's time for a patented Michael bait-em-up.

Barold makes a start, safe from being shot at from halfway across the damn map.

This map drags on forever.

Come on, Sonja, just roll over and lose already. I'm tired...

Oh, come on! Didn't you use that, like, two days ago? Fuckin' CO meters...

Some stuff is captured, too. Sonja's getting worryingly close to success.

...Ah, right, the artillery. That could be a problem.

"Ngh!" Rose yelps, hearing the noise of explosions and gunfire around her. "...Calculating probability of survival... 0%. We'll be overwhelmed. My dude; permission to retreat?"

I guess I should let her leave, but I don't think anything else is in range of her. Maybe the rockets?

Meanwhile, on another entirely different part of the map, this happens.

"Same old, same old." Michael says. "You try, but you just can't kill me."



Rose, who is trundling towards the nearest base as the rest of her squadron is destroyed, sighs. "I am several steps ahead of you, my dude, as usual. This is the second time I would have died at your hands. I pray for your sake that it is the last."

Boom. Yeah, wow, that wasn't good. Rose successfully makes it back to the base, but... that was too close for comfort.

Fuck this map, honestly. Fog of War continues to make a genuinely fun strategy game waaaay less fun. Regular Advance Wars is like looking at a menu and trying to figure out what everyone at the table wants to eat by listening to what they think of all the dishes.

Fog of War, meanwhile, is like a restaurant where you don’t get to see the menu and half the dishes are poisoned, but you’re still expected to figure out what everybody wants to eat. Also the waiter hates you and your napkin has a spider on it.

Eddie does the recon thing, by which I mean "stand in places and reveal all the bumblefucks"

And now we can murder this artillery with rockets.

Yeah, get out-ranged, bitch! Where's your "indirect fire" now, huh?!

Of course, we didn't kill it. And that's why it's now time for My Dude's Complete Waste of a CO Power episode, like, probably 30 at this point.

Here we go. What's the plan, you ask?

As Sami says, Sonja should be trembling in her boots.

Double time, troops! Move it, move it, move it!

Inspired by the sheer power of me yelling at him, Vladimir gains the mystical ability to ignore the existence of trees and can move enough spaces to shoot this prick.

He would have almost one-shot, too... what's that about? I didn't think mechs did that much to artillery, even weakened ones.

With nothing else to really do, the battleships just pick off the infantry units, so at least if they reach my bases, it'll take them several turns to actually capture any of them.


And once more, Lloyd! Just like Landon, please!

Boom. OK, the southern island lost Rose, but we are looking a little bit better murderer-wise, so there's that.

Speaking of Rose, she's got her tank all repaired now.

And we even outfit her with a new set of troops. It's as if she never died!

(She didn't die. I assure you.)

Also, capturing.

Now that everything has taken a second to calm the fuck down, I've got back on top of all the capturing I'm supposed to be doing.

...I am worried about Selena, though. With all the capturing left to do, she's gonna have to surface at some point to conserve fuel. But looking at this, she doesn't have the fuel to make it back to either of the ports...

But then I had a genius idea!

Firstly, we fuck this battleshit's ship up.

And then Michael, like a saviour from above, comes by and refuels her.

...How does that work again? Does he just throw fuel in the ocean so it sinks down to her sub?

Also, I need more capturing dudes. This is Arthur, who after being injured as an infantry, has decided to take up being a mech for the remainder of this mission.

Sonja's chance to do some more things to screw me over begins once more.

These two infantry down below perform a fusion dance, which is cute, but still leaves them in range of Lloyd and Fred, so whatever.

Damn. I think Sonja's got, like, 2 buildings left to capture.

Also this fucking tank continues to annoy the shit out of everybody by going for the Fred Fusiliers. I swear, I'm going to kill this thing.

Luckily, it doesn't do all that much damage at 3HP. Small mercies.

But here's a big problem.

This lander is going directly for the starting island.

And I don't have any units there. To like, stop it from dumping infantry units and taking all my cities.

God damn, this is not good.

Unfortunately, this update is already 160+ screenshots long and there's still a lot of map to go. Next time, I will desperately attempt to prevent the lander from nicking all my hard-earned properties whilst continuing to fuck up everything on the southern island, which you might call petty, but I call justice.

See you then, folks!


The Barracks: Lloyd and Elvin 1

With a strange sidling motion, Elvin comes to sit with Lloyd during dinner. It’s not unusual behaviour for him, but he looks particularly perturbed.

“Hello, C-captain…” he murmurs. “You look good. Well fed.”

“I did just eat.” Lloyd says bluntly.

“Uh, I just wanted to ask… my application to become a munitions officer on your battleship was denied.”

Lloyd nods. “Aye.”

“Well, um…” Elvin replies. “Captain, I’m sorry to be blunt, but… did you have a say in that?”

“I’ll be honest, Elvin, I did.” Lloyd replies.

Elvin’s look of shocked betrayal cause Lloyd to wince, and he places a muscly hand on Elvin’s, steadying the young man.

“Look, Elvin. I think you know full-well that I know how you feel. But you know that I don’t swing your way.”

“Mm…” Elvin mutters.

“It’s not that I didn’t want you on my ship. Hell, I enjoy your company from time to time. But you’re not a munitions officer, and I know that. You’re a born special submarine operative, laddie.”

“I know.” Elvin says, and he looks up at Lloyd. “But surely I could have had the chance to learn? Work alongside you, pick up the basics, and become as good a munitions officer as anyone else…?”

“No.” Lloyd says, shaking his head. “Elvin, you gotta realise where you’re supposed to be. I ain’t making you an officer on my ship.”

“I understand. Goodbye, Captain.” Elvin replies, giving Lloyd one last wistful glance before dramatically walking out of the barracks. The effect is ruined somewhat by him stumbling slightly as he exits, but Lloyd can tell that he isn’t happy.

“Ah, hell’s bells.” he sighs. “I ain’t never had a subordinate as troublesome as ‘im."