Part 33: The Worst Possible RewardPART 33 - The Worst Possible Reward
Welcome back, everyone. If you recall, we'd just started after Sonja's turn had some worrying developments; namely, a lander heading for the island where my HQ is, and where none of my units currently are. So, let's get on with capturing property and also not getting captured ourselves.
This very annoying tank finally gets what's coming to it when I set the Rose Rank on 'im.
Phew. That's definitely a relief.
This infantry unit was two weakened infantry units last turn, but unfortunately for them, they're still weak enough when joined for Fred to casually one-shot them.
Like so. The southern island is slowly getting way less threatening.
Let's move one of my landers over and see if we can't scope out the threats on the bridge. This reef provides some handy cover.
That was useless though, so I moved my actual recon in. Eddie scopes out a tank and a rocket squad... that's going to be annoying.
Good old Lloyd can make it much less annoying.
Just shy of a kill, but hey, this thing is completely neutered now!
The tank's in range of some of my dudes, though. Looking at this matchup though, I'm 95% sure he's gonna go for Eddie.
I remembered something important - specifically, that my boy Arthur was on this starting island. So rather than have him join in with the capturing, he now has a new mission: he's the key component of Operation Stand On HQ And Don't Fucking Die.
Meanwhile, my other units do the capturing. We're getting there, I think.
I mean, Sami's capture boost helps a lot. It means infantry and mechs can join in on combat if need be, since they don't HAVE to be at full HP to two-turn a city.
Also, now that Selena's done her job, she deserves a nice rest. Let's pull her out of enemy territory for the time being.
And, uh... I think this is Rin? The Rin Roundup heads back to the original island. We need more units to capture more quickly, and so...
It's the Bernard Batch! Because frankly, we have too many characters as is and it seems viable that Bernard would drive both transport copters and APCs. And he's joined by everyone's favourite awkward niceboy, the Alfonse Alliance.
Day seven. Or if you're the Rin Roundup, day theven.
The rocket squad fucks off to heal up, which I'm not too surprised at.
And the tank attacks Eddie, which I called. And, uh, didn't do anything about.
I am a nice and caring commander.
On the left there, we can see that lander heading off to the north, for... whatever reason. Why not just land at the shore there?
Ah well. If we mused on all the AI's weird quirks, we'd be here for hours.
Right, we're so close to being done with this nonsense! Let's just blaze through the rest of it!
Fred Fusiliers! Fuck that tank like it's your girlfriend on prom night!
Landon! Finish it off like it's your maths homework!
You lot! Get inside each other like you're Russian dolls!
Nice and tight!
Rin drops our pals off at the northern island.
Capturing things, woo. I can't even pretend to be excited about capturing things.
As you can see, we're both on 2 buildings remaining now. That number could change drastically depending on what units Sonja just dropped off at my HQ island. Let's see how it plays out.
Also, Sonja built a sub. So I figured I'd just annoy it with the Lloyd Lads before it can do any real damage.
Welp, that's lost almost all of its bite. It'll heal 2 from the port, but hey, still weak enough.
I pull everyone on the south island out of rocket range. It's gonna heal 2 each turn, and I'd rather not get taken by surprise.
And the Selena Set needs to get further out of there. She carried this map, and I don't need her to get accidentally murdered due to my incompetence.
"These private missions are getting very stressful." Selena frets. "I'm doing alright, aren't I, Lloyd?"
"Yer doin' fine, lass." Lloyd replies. "Arr, don't get so bogged down. You did your job in helping all of us, now let us cover you!"
Sonja's turn. Let's see what surprises she's got.
OH FUCK TANKS
I was expecting infantry and mechs! Why the hell did she ferry a tank over here?
The Arthur Assembly pulls his weight, but that was some heavy damage. I don't think he's gonna be able to last.
The only other moderately threatening thing is that sub from earlier ends up here. This will become annoying later.
Day nine. Or if you're the Rin Roundup, day nine.
I drop Alfonse on the first city. And in just a moment...
The Gareth Group hops into Michael to get taken to the other one.
Once we capture these two cities, we're done. Thank god for that.
It's about this point that my brain starts working again and I remember that a) you heal 2 HP on HQ and b) mechs are better at player-phasing tanks.
So, uh, yeah, there was nothing to worry about.
Well, not wrecked, but weak-enough-that-it'd-die-to-a-counter-on-enemy-phase isn't nearly as cool or easy to say.
Either way, Operation SOHADFD went off without a hitch. I'll add it to the list of 'perfectly executed operations'.
This is me, forgetting that Selena revealing the enemy sub is pointless because she's the only fucking person that can fire on it and I wasted her turn just finding the fucking thing
Sonja decides that she hasn't been irritating enough lately.
Hindsight is 20/20.
A tank comes flying out of the darkness. It doesn't actually attack Rose, though.
This fucking tank gets the wacky idea of attacking Rin.
"Wath that a tank?" asks Rin, turning around to see what the noise from the shoreline was. "...That theemth ineffective, but I thuppothe he'th happy..?"
A second tank comes flying out of the darkness, and finds that there's a queue.
The sub I revealed and couldn't actually murder decides to attack Lloyd.
That's not terrible damage, but it's annoying nonetheless. Luckily, we're almost done with the map, so we won't need Lloyd's firepower much longer.
And at the end of the queue, an infantry unit shows up.
OK, let's just get this over with. Provided nothing goes horribly wrong, and provided I've made no tactical errors (I know this sounds like a stretch, but work with me here, folks) we should have this map done and dusted in two days.
Firstly, that lander was getting suspiciously close to the southern island. We've had enough trouble with the southern island, so I just block it with my landers.
Selena bothers this enemy sub, since we have a good chance of snagging the kill and
Right, whatever. Just capture the shit, for the love of God. End this travesty of a map.
Fuck it, I'll capture the port as well. I don't need to, but hey, it's there. Gives Barold something to do.
Speaking of doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff, it's Sonja's turn. Gonna be another quiet turn of useless nothi-
Ah. Seems those tactical errors I was discussing have come back to bite me - Rose was in range of the rocket the whole time! Goddammit.
See, that's not the issue here. The issue is that she's now weakened enough that the tank's probably gonna have a go.
Yup. Oh, god.
"Rose, hang in there!" shouts Fred. "True heroes always come out on top!"
"I have nothing to worry about." Rose mutters, staring down the oncoming tanks.
"Ngh! Haah... there we go. I'm made of tougher stuff than that."
Barold nods. "That's fair. For a small kid, she's pretty fucking metal."
And a second tank! So, the lander had two tanks? ...And how were you going to capture the HQ, Sonja?
Whatever. It doesn't even attack Arthur.
COME ONNNN ENDDDDDD ALREADYYYYY
Oh, I have my CO power. Fuck it, may as well use it. I don't need it, but hey, flashy graphics.
HUP TWO HUP TWO! CAPTURE THOSE INNOCENT CITIES FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF THE PREPUBESCENT CHILD IN THE GIRL SCOUT UNIFORM THAT WE'RE FIGHTING!
...We have it. Thank God for that.
Or rather, thank me. For only losing Omar (and technically Rose I guess).
Sonja fluctuates wildly between me liking her character and me wanting to kick her down a flight of stairs. This is just dripping with sarcasm.
That's what we call "grinding". Wait, this isn't an RPG.
Eh, I'll let Sami take this one. I'm tired out after that map.
Sonja perpetuates the myth that capturing property is necessary for victory, instead of the provable fact that there's only about 5 maps in this campaign that require it.
What? Like, the only reason we won is because Fred, Lloyd and Landon fucking saved our asses on the southern island. Were you even watching the same map that we were?
"But aha! In this arbitrary map where I made up the rules for victory, you were at a disadvantage!"
Sonja's asking a lot of questions, isn't she?
That's annoying, isn't it? I don't like it, do you?
Basically my response to everything anyone says in this game.
Considering how she entirely missed the fact that indirect combat swung the battle, no, no she isn't.
Don't be silly, Sami! Sonja's not going to give us an adequate motive for the deaths of all those innocent countrymen who died for her amusement! That would be fucking ridiculous!
Hey, look who was right as always. Let's just move on and do whatever we're doing next.
Oh, god. I actually forgot, in all the chaos of this map, why we were doing it in the first place. I think "more Dipshit maps" is possibly the worst reward we could have received, honestly. I bet that was her plan, though.
Sonja's final fuck you. Genius.
If we go now, we can just leave him here, Sami. Please don't-
I mean, fuck, that says it all, really. Dipshit's dipshittery is off the charts.
And for once, somebody in the game shares my frustration.
please take dipshit with you
Sami's punctuation here, with the ellipsis, really makes it seem more romantic than I think it was intended.
"We never arranged what restaurant we were meeting at next week."
"...Think about me, my dear. Until we meet again."
"By which I mean, you'll pay for this romantic evening meal! Because I paid for the last one!"
Hey look we won Monopoly
I'm not too surprised at my rank; this was a really tough map, and Fog of War as always. Still, I did alright, besides Power.
More coins and stuff, too.
Unfortunately, all the wishful thinking in the world couldn't take Dipshit away from us. He's back for good.
And sleeping like a motherfucker.
Kick him, Sami. Don't worry, he's too stupid to feel pain.
All jokes aside, this interaction amuses me greatly.
This is the most casual "morning" after being drugged I've ever seen. I love it.
Yeah! Sami does have a point here! But, in Dipshit's defence (and there's three words I thought I'd never say), he was forcibly drugged against his will.
You're a wonderful voice of reason in this game of complete idiots, Sami.
Sami is definitely fighting unrequited feelings for Sonja somewhere deep down.
And also possibly some resentment from her school days. Firstly, nobody calls her that, I can guarantee it. If she's the Queen of Strategy, then I'm the King of Operations.
Hey! We only lost Omar, and nobody liked him anyway.
"Losing units left and right..." Come on, Sami, I'm doing quite well, considering the average Advance Wars player probably sacrifices three infantry units to make breakfast in the morning.
I mean, there's no reason it's up to Dipshit, besides "the plot demands it", so whatever.
Dipshit's not wrong here. But god, looks like we're stuck with a Dipshit-only map next time, so that's going to be fun. Dipshit + Fog of War is going to be a godawful combination.
But hey, that's next time! For now, I'm gonna take a nice rest from the stress of this map. This was tough, but I'm glad it's done. Next time, we shall boldly see what other nonsense Sonja's got for us.
The Barracks: Mulligan and Cassandra 1
Mulligan barely looks up as a young woman sits in front of him.
Mulligan. says Cassandra.
With a disinterested stare, Mulligan begins to pick at his food.
Mulligan, please. Cassandra says. Are you going to ignore me for the rest of our service together? I cannot I dont want to be without you.
Cassandra sighs to herself, and sits with Mulligan for a few moments longer.
I know I failed you. I failed all of our team. But I I never wanted this to occur.
Mulligan continues not to say anything, trying his best to block out Cassandras voice.
When we were first conscripted, I tried speaking. Once I had realised that you would be mute, I gave up. But recently, speaking to the girl, Lucy, rekindled my desire to connect with you. This army is a family. And I want you to be part of that family.
Mulligan breathes in deeply, and breathes out.
Say something. Anything. Cassandra replies. Even if you just throw insults at me. Even if its a tirade of abuse. Please speak to me, Mulligan.
I need time.
Cassandra is so shocked by Mulligans comment that she doesnt react as he walks away from the barracks. Mulling the phrase over in her mind, she wonders how much more time he needs.