The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by cosmicPostman

Part 34: Fog Rolls In, Francis Rolls Out

PART 34 - Fog Rolls In, Francis Rolls Out

Today on Let's Play Advance Wars, we're hoping that you're not sick of Fog of War, Sonja, Andy or botes!

Because there's a lot of all of those.

So, you can kinda see the map in the background. The two islands there are actually all one connected mainland which Sonja pretty much controls - it's also connected to the landmass on the right, which is the path we'll be taking to deal with her - her HQ is north-east.

Yes. Though I also wish it was anybody but you, to be honest.

Oh, I can't do this. Sami, take the reins.

Fog of War maps often have me replaying them over and over, which makes me bored of the opening dialogue very quickly. However, I don't even care how many more times I have to play this map - Sami yelling at Dipshit is very cathartic.

I like the drastic change in her character, honestly. People do get like this when stressed, and it really emphasises the extremely difficult situation the three COs are in.

And this last line is just the best. Of course, Nell will still give us sympathy, by which I mean "advice varying from informative to downright useless", but Sami is a stone-cold bitch, evidently.

I mean, she did kill Cedric like nine parts ago.

So, what's the strategy for this map? I've attempted the map a couple of times, and got screwed over by rockets, battleships and a big fuckoff bomber. Yeah, it's very reminiscent of the Eagle map that I had so much trouble with, but this time with more naval combat to fuck me over further.

The goal is to survive the initial assault of bro copters and bombers with my land units, whilst moving my naval units from reef to reef to neuter Sonja's naval forces. Hence, we'll be moving Lloyd into the reef.

I love the Rin Roundup as much as anyone, but one lander and rocket squads hidden everywhere makes it pretty pointless to try and shift units by sea. Best to park her in this reef for the entire map where she can, I dunno, catch up on the latest season of Tabitha High.

It was whilst I was figuring out how best to move my units that I discovered that cruisers can carry air units. It's not terribly useful for this map, but I really ought to bear that in mind. I think it was tutorialised and I just entirely forgot it was a thing I could do. In my defence, the tutorial was reaaaaally loooooong.

Oh, right, Omar died. Everyone meet his replacement.

"Hello, everyone. It is most fortunate that we should meet in this curious fashion / For I am the leader of the cruiser known as the Francis Faction."

"Poet and he didn't know it," sighs Bill. "Pleased to meet you."

Francis nods to himself as he murmurs into the transceiver.

"Two birds watch an egg.
One bird flies away for good;
The other leaves soon.

"Well, he's a change of pace from Omar." shrugs Tina. "Right, let's stop being all poetic and focus on finally driving Sonja back!"

Eh, Tina's not wrong. I continue planning the naval segment of this first few turns by getting the Selena Set to dive here. You know how Selena has a habit of doing dangerous missions in enemy territory, risking death by fuel?

Yeah, we're doing that again. I swear I'll give Selena a holiday after this.

This is how my first turn setup looks. Mulligan is going to be handy for any air units that come out of the fog unexpectedly, and everyone else is bunched around to meatshield, mostly.

The botes are just doing their own thing.

OK, Sonja. Please, for once, don't be the absolute worst.

He mostly struggles at remedial colouring in whilst real adults do all the army stuff.

The first bro copter comes out, and it's positioned in perhaps the most awkward possible spot.

A battleship comes out of the fog, too.

That's all, though. Sonja's content to just let us stew in misery for a little while longer before she actually begins the enfuckening.

Unresolved homoerotic tension is my best guess, Dipshit.

I don't want to confuse the poor kid about the internal politics of their relationship, so I'll just say Yes.

Dipshit has mastered the skill of Reading the Room! Everyone be proud of him.

Everyone will die, Dipshit. Even worse, Sami will yell at you some more.

Well, for once, he's not being completely insufferable. Alright, I guess we'll do it.

The Selena Set can only do two things: go into enemy territory to shoot battleships, and be in danger of running out of fuel.

I prefer this one to the other, though. Well done, Selena - that takes the heat off my land units, who would have to go past this thing to get to Sonja's HQ.

Selena's movement reveals the bomber. This is the real problem with the opening part of this map, and dealing with it is top priority. Selena's safe, since bombers can't fire on submerged subs. Everyone else has to stay the hell out of its range, though.

The Lloyd Lads head to the next reef, and Francis takes the recently-vacated reef. Always important to be safe, especially when bombers are involved.

This is the setup at the end of the second day - the land units have reshuffled a bit to hopefully convince the bro copter to attack expendable things.

We'll, uh, see how that goes.

The bomber just kind of moves down and left a bit. I'm not sure what that's about. On the right, there, you can see a second bro copter also coming for the sole purpose of annoying me.

The first bro copter, meanwhile, goes for the Barold Brigade. Not really expendable, but I don't think it'll one-round, and that's all I care about.

That was a hell of a lot closer than I thought it would be, though. Were copters always this effective against infantry?

A cruiser comes down to visit...

...And the battleship flees north.

Also this sub just showed up out of nowhere. It's right next to Rin, which could be a problem.

OK, there's a lot of moving parts in action now. Let's take of things, one at a time.

The cruiser is easy pickings for our well-placed Lloyd Lads.

Nice one.

Continuing the indirect-fire-oneshots and the weird trend of this map being very reminiscent of that Eagle map...

~Let's begin another Mulligan interlude.~

~We hope you enjoyed today's Mulligan interlude.~

And if we're lucky, we'll have enough damage to oneshot this sub with Francis. Man, this map has been relatively painless so far.

Barold, clutching his wounded arm in abject pain, glares back at HQ.

Oh god dammit. Ah well, it's weak enough that it won't do any damage to anything. Meanwhile, THIS

is the bomber's range. So, uh, just like the last turn we're going to shuffle everybody vaguely in the direction of 'the fuck away' and let it come to us.

Yes, I know it's not the best way to play, but honestly, I'm sick of Fog of War and Sonja, and the fewer attempts I have to take at this map, the better.

Selena refuses to let the battleship flee to safety and hunts it down.

She's now very deep in enemy territory, but the battleship is very deep

in the ocean

because we sank it

And here we go. She's safe from the bomber - the game confirms it! I knew I wasn't just making that up.

New day, new ways to annoy me. That's how Sonja approaches the passage of time, I'm pretty sure.

...Oh god no.


So instead of advancing, the fucking bomber can now see Lloyd and heads over to just one-shot him like an asshole. Ugh. I wish bombers weren't such powerhouses, they're absolutely abysmal to play against.

"Arr!" Lloyd yells as the bombardment hits the deck. "Back up, men, and prepare for evasive manoeuvres! We're damaged, but we ain't done for!"


Huh. Apparently battleships are one of the rare units that don't get one-shot by bombers. Good to know.

A tank shows up out of nowhere, also. We will reduce it to dust without thinking.

Man, remember when tanks were threatening? Craigsworth remembers.

The enemy sub sneaks round and goes for Rin. Surely it can't do damage at 1 HP?

...Right. We'll let him plink away at Rin and deal with him later.

That was an absurdly lucky enemy phase, all in all. Let's just pray I can mop up the enemy units this turn - that bomber is still a very potent threat and I can't move on until it's gone.

Luckily for us, Francis has anti-air capabilities. This is the first map where naval and aerial units properly coexist, I'd say - it's a lot of fun to see how they interact.

Let's just move Lloyd to safety, first.

And Francis does a solid amount of damage to it! It no longer completely ruins my entire team, but it'll still pack a decent punch. Now we've got to lure it over to my land units.

The Fred Fusiliers open fire on the tank.

Boy what a threat

Now we crush it with the Tina Team, as per usual. This is an intentional decision, though - anyone who attacks the tank directly will be in range of the bomber, so I'd prefer it to be something that can take a hit. Tina fits the bill.

"Yes! Feels good!" Tina gloats. "Come on, you pompous yellow bomb-spitter! Come get me!"

We perform one more shuffle 'the fuck away'-wards and prepare for bomber assault.

Yeah, this map opens really slowly if you're not too willing to get units hurt. I swear we'll make actual forward progress soon.

Bait was taken successfully.

Damn. 4 HP bomber still does four damage to Tina of all people. Glad I made the call to bait it with her.

Uh oh. Uh, Francis, don't get murdered by the copter!

"When one enters battle after exiting a reef / Expect to hold on by the skin of your teeth." Francis rhymes, gesturing grandly with one arm at the cruiser that refuses to sink. One map in and he's already proving his worth on the field. That's the kind of unit I like.

Right. Time to turn things around.

And yeah, I mean really pull out all the stops.

I have a lot of injured units and a lot of things that need to die. This only made sense.


Let's just look at what happened here, shall we? A bomber flew into fog and attacked Tina.

#1 It shouldn't have known that Tina was there. I can't attack enemy units in fog unless I remove the fog.
#2 It purposely positioned itself below Tina as to be out of the range of my missiles. WHICH IT ALSO SHOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT.

This is complete bullshit.

Tina heads back to a city to heal up, anyway.

Francis hides in a reef so he's no longer under fire. And props to him, he worked hard in these first few turns.

Out of concern for Selena's fuel, I move her to a reef so I can have her rise for a bit. The last thing I need is a death on my hands because I wasn't paying attention to how long she'd been underwater.

Today's anti-air is the Cassandra Corps, who should make short work of this bomber.

Indeed she does.

One last shuffle-everyone-out-of-murder-range for the road. Once this bro copter is gone, we're finally, finally in the clear to make actual progress.

Come get me already; this greeting squadron has long outlasted its welcome.

This idiot also goes for Tina, as apparently he's not heard the memo that Tina Doesn't Fucking Die.

Though Tina can't do much damage to him, which is probably why he prioritised her over Cassandra.

OK for the love of god let's go

One last problem to deal with.

I really like anti-airs, I dunno why. They're just fun little delete buttons to have around.

Now, another thing. I know through two failed attempts that there's a rocket unit somewhere on this right side of the map, close enough to be able to hit the reef where Lloyd is at the moment. I'm convinced that it's in this very spot I've selected. Selena could hang around next to it to prove that theory.

Unfortunately, fuel is becoming an increasing issue. She's got four turns of diving left, and that's if she doesn't move at all. We need a solution, and fast.

This is my setup. We're moving everyone forward now - Mulligan and Fred will be bringing up the rear, but they probably won't be able to get through the mess of forests and mountains that we have to pass through to reach Sonja.

Meanwhile, I thought of a plan for Selena, and decided that we have enough fuel so that she can reveal the rocket. Lo and behold! I was right, thank god.

Let's ruin this thing.

Ngh. Annoyingly, Lloyd being weakened means it'll take three turns minimum to drop this rocket squad. Selena doesn't have three turns, unless she rises and risks getting ganked by any enemy units nearby.

Still, damage is damage. Let's do what we can, and even that will help keep the rest of my idiots alive as they head north.

Oh, jesus, Selena, you're really not making this easy for me.

"I need more fuel..." Selena sighs, staring at the bleeping gauge in front of her. "Damn! I just wanted to succeed in this mission... I've been doing so well lately. But it looks like I might not make it back..."

Sonja's turn, though.

Nothing of note happened.

The enemy sub showed its face again, though, so Francis can remove that problem permanently.

Nice. That's pretty much all the naval units Sonja has. And with all the air units also gone, it's just the land units left. Let's push through and finish this map off!

distressed postman noises

I move everyone forward down below, so I can put my clever plan to save Selena into action. As you can see, Fred can attack anything that walks into our range to attack my frontline units. I'm a genius.

Meanwhile, I bully the rocket squad some more.

Man, the Lloyd Lads are still contributing hard after taking so much damage earlier. I'm pretty impressed.

The final step in this plan is to put the Selena Set here. You'll see what we're doing shortly.

She does have to rise though. Gotta conserve fuel - this is tight enough as is.

However, this map isn't even close to done. We'll be calling it here for now, folks - next time, find out if Selena will be saved, what bullshit Sonja has planned for us, and why you should always bring two mechs to an HQ-capturing mission.

See you next week!


The Barracks: Bill and Ingo 3


Ingo isn’t surprised to see Bill stood at the door to his room. He allows Bill to enter, and Bill sits on the bed next to him.

“What do you need?”

Bill draws a pocket knife. “I know you don’t want me for a brother. But I feel like I need to look after you, so I thought of a good way to prove that I’m determined to keep you safe.”

Ingo watches impassively - his eyes widen when Bill carves a thin line in his hand with the knife, drawing droplets of blood. He hands the knife to Ingo, and the young man realises what Bill is getting at.

“…I see.”

He does the same thing, slicing into his hand. Once done, Ingo and Bill clasp their hands, feeling the blood mingle as they look one another in the eye.

“We’re blood brothers now.”

“Thanks, Bill.” Ingo says. “Sorry for being such an ass about it. I’m just… scared. What’s the point in making friends if any of them could die at any moment? Best to be alone, right?”

Bill chuckles. “Knowing that anyone could die isn’t a reason to avoid making friends. If anything, it’s a reason to befriend everyone in the army.”

Ingo is quiet. Bill looks pensive and glances up at the ceiling for a moment.

“I didn’t get on with Eric when we first met. But that small group, that first army… I made sure to get to know them all. I’ve lost comrades, but I’ve had so many good friends in my time here. When we lose someone, we all support each other. We don’t stand divided.”

Bill nods at Ingo.

“I could die at any time, and so could you. So could everyone in these barracks. Do your best to befriend everyone, and support one another, OK? No matter who you lose, all you have is one another. Alright?"

“Alright.” Ingo says. “…Sound advice, from one blood brother to the other.”

“I’d like to think it is.” Bill replies. “Right, let’s get these cuts cleaned up; see you at teatime, blood brother.”

“See you then.” Ingo replies. Bill doesn’t see it, as he’s walking out of the room, but for the first time in weeks, a smile crosses Ingo’s features.