The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by cosmicPostman

Part 42: Saving Private Alfonse

PART 42 - Saving Private Alfonse

You guys are just determined to make me go Sami for the rest of the game, aren't you.

Welcome back to Let's Play Advance Wars, everyone, where today we'll be finishing off Green Earth with a final battle against Drake! I think I see how this game works now. I'm 90% sure that we've fought every main CO precisely three times - which explains Eagle's random appearances in the early missions. They didn't want to have a ton of Eagle/Drake maps in a row, evidently.

The only mystery here is why I haven't topped myself yet, considering the number of Fog of War maps in a row we've had.

Let's just hope that this last mission is- ah, who am I kidding. It's gonna be Fog of War.

Number Of Fog Of War Maps In A Row: 7 Godforsaken Fuck of Bore Maps, Because Intelligent Systems Is Allergic To The Idea Of Fun

Oh, this map looks delightful.

Ah, hey Nell! Missing you lots, but it's always nice to hear from you.

Of course, hearing from you usually means... bad news?

It's bad news. I can guarantee. It's not like Nell ever rings up just to say hi.

Called it.

Wait, what? You don't mean-

Who's missing from the barracks at the moment?!

Why aren't you more panicked? This isn't going to be easy!


Alfonse! Oh, god, he can't survive on his own. We have to save him at all costs!

Oh, mother fucker. Eight days to pull off a rescue, huh?


It is a him, and he has a name: Alfonse.

When it comes to keeping my units alive, I do everything I can. Alright, everyone, form up - this is a mission that we cannot afford to screw up!

I didn't skip any screens or dialogue. She just kinda comes out with this. I said yes, just out of intrigue as to what I was supposed to have been asking her.

Oooooh. Yeah, that was not obvious at all.

Are you sure though

I see. Man, it seems fuckin' everyone went to this one military academy.

Right, right. So, strategy. Well.

Not much strategy besides “employ Operation Saving Private Obvious Movie Cliche”. So let’s just do that.

First, we need to move Alfonse here. You might be wondering why I selected this alcove rather than, say, on a mountain with 4 def stars. The reason is that everything in range of Alfonse - the anti-airs and medium tank, most crucially - have treads.

What does this mean? Whilst Alfonse is occupying this position, the only side that he can be attacked on is the left. If we leave him on the mountain, he'll get attacked from three sides, and even the defence stars won't help him survive an assault like that.

Next, we move Bernard forward so that Alfonse can escape the next day.

I park Dave, who is a mech today, on the mountain. I want advance warning of where everything’s moving.

Get used to the phrase “who is a mech today”.

We also have to worry about the waters. Most of our ground forces are on this southern island, and we'll need to clear out the seas before we can safely transport them north.

Luckily, Francis can help with that. I split the Francis Faction into two units today (mostly because I could not be bothered coming up with yet another recruit who dies in the map they're introduced in).

Moving him over there also revealed an enemy cruiser. That's annoying - we'll need to bear it in mind whenever we're moving Selena around.

In the meantime, the other half of the Francis Faction sinks this guy.

And hey, the cruiser is right in range of Selena. That's a rude trick for turn 1, Drake.

Boop. She's safe now.

Von Panzer and Eddie go with Balthazar, whilst Rin stays there for a moment. The plan is to get Alfonse and the copters out of there, and use the bridge between the two areas of the northern island as a chokepoint for Von Panzer to hold.

Let’s put Arthur, who is a mech today, on this mountain and see what else there is in this ocean.

Oh, that’s disappointing. At least the mountain gives him some solid defence; he'll need it.

In the meantime, Gareth joins Rin to get dropped off up north. Our force needs backup of the non-air variety.

One drop done...

And there's the other. Our defensive preparations are almost complete.

Meanwhile, Barold, who is a mech today, does a capture mostly because I can’t think of anything else for him to do.

Please don't be a bastard. I just want ONE Fog of War map which has no bastards.

Drake helpfully outlines all of his main forces. I wish every Fog of War map did that.

Oh, you think you’re going to take Alfonse from us? Cute.

Time for us to use an Uno reverse card on your big splash, because we need to get after Eagle and get to the bottom of what is going on.

Today, I discovered that battleships one-shot my cruisers. I could’ve positioned them better… had I known there was a godforsaken battleship there.

Fog of War is to blame for the death of the first half of the Francis Faction.

Stick it out, Alfonse! You can survive one hit!

I think..?

"Man down, man down!" Alfonse screeches into the transceiver. "I'm under heavy fire in Green Earth-controlled territory... please respond!"

"Bernard respondin'." comes a voice. "I'm just beyond the next mountain ridge, Alfonse, ready to pick you up. D'you think you can sneak away?"

"I... I think so. I'll come to you as soon as I get a clear escape route." replies Alfonse.

There’s… quite a few anti-airs here.

And on the naval side of things, three fucking cruisers and a sub. That’s just unfair when I only have one battleship… especially since Lloyd doesn’t one-shot Drake’s buffed cruisers. The sub’s not much of an issue, thankfully.

Right. The escape attempt continues!

First priority today is getting Alfonse, to put it in your layman’s terms, “the fucking shit out of there”. Fly, Bernard, fly!

"Heya, Alfonse. You made it." Bernard says, nodding.

"I did! Now let's go!" Alfonse cries.

And he's relatively safe. Thank goodness for Sami's +1 move to transport units. That bridge just next to the copters is where we'll be holding the line, so they're almost to safety now.

Dave retreats.

Barold finishes capturing a thing, which is good, I guess? I dunno, maybe it'll distract an enemy later on.

And if we shift Fleur one space to the right, we can rescue Dave. Probably should’ve realised that I needed to get everyone out of here… I could’ve had Dave gone by this turn, but oh well.

Meanwhile, we have cruiser 1 of 3 to deal with. Lloyd does not like cruisers.

"Arrgh, the sea be looking mighty choppy today." Lloyd replies. "Lads, form up. We've got to protect the landers and defend Selena!"

"Oh, please don't trouble yourself on my account..." Selena murmurs, but Lloyd isn't listening.

Fred can finish this cruiser off, anyway. Thank god for rockets.

Excellent job, Fred. Let's hope the other two also come into your range, because that'd be convenient.

I place Selena on the reef and dive her. We need to keep her safe whilst there’s so many cruisers around.

God, still so many days to go. Let's trust that Drake's forces aren't quite nipping at our heels yet.


Fuck you, Drake, fuck you. I didn't even hit your battleship this time. How expensive are cruisers and subs that it got you a full CO power charge?

The battleship adds injury to injury by shooting Arthur.


Oh, good, his forces WERE nipping at our heels the whole time. Luckily, Dave's got more protection than Alfonse had, thanks to the city.

Of course, anti-airs still hurt infantry/mech like a bitch. ...We are doing a terrible job of this rescue mission. Dave, don’t worry, we’ll get you out next turn!

The cruisers head north and I don’t know why. Pretty sure the top one is in Lloyd’s firing range, though, so I’m not complaining.

This dipshit is sick of being alive.

That sure worked out well for him.

OK, today is make-or-break day. Let's get this defensive wall set up!

Of course, I'd rather have Tina, but all the game has given me to work with is Von Panzer, so Von Panzer it is.

Dave flees northwards in Fleur. Time to get him and Alfonse out.

Balthazar heads back - I want to take Fred up here to back up the poor sod who has to facetank that whole load of anti-airs and the medium tank.

Alright, that'll be helpful.

It also occurred to me that I should move Arthur, since he's dead meat if I leave him in the battleship's range any longer.

Von Panzer, it's almost time for your last stand.

Barold, you hang there for a moment. I, uh, kinda forgot you were here, and now I don't know if I can get you out safely. Your two movement isn't helping matters!

Rose, the last member of the Kopter Krew, gets the hell out of dodge. Provided Von Panzer stays alive, everyone’s gonna be fine.

That’s a very big “provided”, I know.

The other half of the Francis Faction continues to poke this sub.

Aaaaaaalmost there.

Lloyd, meanwhile, can fire on this cruiser from the relative safety of his reef, which is convenient.

But taking two hits is really annoying. We need these cruisers gone ASAP!

Oh, boy, here it comes.


Oh, I am not confident in Barold’s survival.

“Gah! Steve, what would you do?” Barold gasps, as his troops try to weather the heavy fire. “…I need to live. I wanna go home. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna die…”

By some immense stroke of luck, none of the other anti-airs are in range. Barold will survive the turn, though his survival still isn’t guaranteed… how do we get him behind Von Panzer?

This sub decides to inconvenience Balthazar. It's not too troublesome, really.

Poke. Yeah, Balthazar's fine.

As expected, the battleship comes out of hiding. It’s so tempting to set Selena on him, but those cruisers make it a suicide mission.

My turn. Now then... I've been thinking about Barold, and I have the perfect solution. Hopefully...


All we need to do is shift Von Panzer here...

And Barold's escape route is clear! He's gonna be fine!

Speaking of "gonna be fine", this cruiser certainly won't be.

As expected. Nice job, Lloyd - just one cruiser left.

…Fuck. I can’t get at this sub without abandoning the rest of the Francis Faction.

Sorry, Francis. Hopefully a miracle saves you.

But hey, at least he did his duty. Gotta be proud of him for that.

And we drop Fred off up here. He should be helpful if we get into a hairy situation - specifically, if that medium tank decides to come and play.

Halfway there, too. We can do this.


"Taking on water..." Francis mutters, staring at the bleeping screens before him as explosions rock the cruiser.

He sighs, and grabs the transceiver, pulling it close to his mouth and whispering into it.

"It falls from the sky.
I drink the rain
Like bitter wine.
This isn't goodbye -
I'll see you again
When it's your time..."

The cruiser sinks beneath the waves.

And now begins the Choking Of The Point.

Luckily, the anti-air does barely anything to Von Panzer, but still, he can't put up with much of that. Hopefully we can just bring it's HP down enough to make it refuse to move or attack us. That'll help a lot.

But we don't really have much else to do on land, besides minor adjustment of positions.

Our naval forces are still in use, however; with the sub gone, Lloyd moves one space down to target the other cruiser.

Hold the line, Von Panzer!

The looming threat of the medium tank is making me nervous, too. Hopefully that doesn't show up, though it wasn't too far away...

Uh oh.

Sheesh, this is going poorly. If we kill this anti-air or weaken it any more, Von Panzer's gonna have to defend against a full-HP anti-air, and I'm not convinced he can do it in this state. And I haven't captured any buildings to heal him, either... dammit.

The battleship heads closer to my HQ. I think he's after Arthur.

Almost there... almost there. Keep it together, my dude.

Thankfully, Arthur has the movement to get out of this thing's range.

So let's do that quickly.

And Lloyd can make a start shooting this idiot, too.

Although, perhaps I should hold off. I don't want to give Drake his CO power, especially not in such a dire situation.

Come onnnnnn

You got this, Von Panzer. I think. Probably.

Oh, god, we've hit worst case scenario. That anti-air is gonna flee next turn, and a full-HP anti-air is going to replace it, destroy Von Panzer, and open up the way for the other to start murdering my units.

And the medium tank has shown up, too. You know, because I wasn't in a bad enough position already.

Think... think! What should I do?

I decide to buy some thinking time by finishing this guy off.

Alright, excellent.

OK, I have a brief solution. Dave and Barold, when joined, have full HP. So if Von Panzer falls, they'll survive one hit from an anti-air, I think. That'll buy me enough time to beat the map, I believe.

Oh god, it begins.

Well, I was partially right. This infantry was distracted by my captured property, though let's be real, he wasn't going to do anything useful anyway.

And the anti-air runs, right on cue. Shit, here comes a full-power one. Hang in there, Von Panzer!

shit shit shit shit shit

The gunfire ricochets all around the small tank team as explosions rip through the allied lines. Von Panzer grits his teeth and watches as the ceaseless gunfire begins to strike his own tank.

“Ngh! Nein! I… will… persist!” grunts Von Panzer, glaring hatefully at the enemies amassed before him. “Good soldiers follow orders. And I was ordered to hold this point!”

oh he did it









(edit: the original update skipped over some dialogue because I missed it! Thanks to Paul.Power, though, we have the dialogue right here!)

Drake: Same old shanty! I just can't beat you guys.

yada yada, insert Von Panzer praise here

Sami: Commander Drake, would you please tell us why you've been attacking us?

You know, I'd like to know that myself.

Drake: Haven't you sensed him? The person behind all of this fighting? Sonja and Grit have been trying to lure him out of hiding.

And how the fuck have they been doing that by attacking us?

Max: The person behind all this?

Drake: We've been trying to keep Sonja's movements a secret. So, we staged these battles to draw his attention away from her. But I think we're finished now. It seems Sonja's found something.

Oh, Sonja's found something. Thank god. Is the "something" any semblance of a plot this game has, by any chance?

Sami: That sounds like something Sonja would do.

Sonja is a well-known busybody. Getting into everyone's business is kind of her deal.

Drake: I can't leave Green Earth unprotected. I promised Eagle. You understand? So... Would you go in my stead? They need your help.

Who the hell is going to attack Green Earth? It's not like we're attacking you, we only defended ourselves when you attacked us. And this "him" has been lured out of hiding, so like, he's probably not going to be able to attack Green Earth at any point. But fine, whatever. I guess we can go.

Dipshit: Of course! We'll do all we can! Eagle, Sonja, and Grit are our friends!

I... Dipshit, no. No, no, no. Grit's a romantic rival as well as the murderer of Eric, Sonja LITERALLY DRUGGED YOU, and Eagle is responsible for killing pretty much everybody in our army at some point or another.

But holy shit, I won't lie, that final turn was downright exhilarating. Also, another fun fact - this was my first attempt at this mission. S-rank and just one (ok technically two) casualties this time, all in Fog of War!

I mean, hell, I didn't even beat the Training Mode's Fog of War map first-time. This wasn't so bad, as maps go.

More coins, more victory, a good time all around.

Not quite as cathartic as the Dipshit-dunking from last time, but hey, I'm pleased. Now then, what's Eagle talking about?

Don't tell me Olaf masterminded this. I will officially quit the LP.

...I guess that doesn't match up with our version of events. What's going on here?

Yes! Now will you fucking explain it, or do we have to go another mission without finding anything out?

"It is strange that Olaf was attacking Orange Star, considering that he's got the tactical prowess of a gibbon."

I mean, hey, all I'm saying is, Nell had to leave the front lines to do some stuff. Maybe she was behind this.

Uh. Of course, Nell's my girl and I trust her immensely. I'm just suggesting possibilities.

You didn't show him shit, though. You just explained events. Why did you need to bring him all the way to the Blue Moon/Orange Star border to say "hey, maybe the fact that Orange Star was in the middle of a war at the time suggests that it's not actually them".

For once, Eagle, I'm with you!

Oh you have got to be kidding me.

THIS is the plot twist we're going with, Intelligent Systems? Seriously?

If you mean the writing, I agree. Just what the fuck is going on?

please for the love of god just tell me who the real villain is

Read this as "What are your planes?" for a second there. Oops.

...Wait, are we playing as Eagle now? Based on his statement here, he's now fully on our side.

No, we can't be. The game wouldn't be nearly so kind as to let me use such a powerful CO.

Though they did make Max playable, so who knows...

Uh, thanks? I don't quite know where Orange Star fit into this next battle, honestly. Let's find out with a word from our three COs.

Dipshit not being a completely unlikeable character for once. Impressive.

I miss you, Max. Sami's great but One Punch Tina is greater.

To be frank, Sami, I really don't give a shit. Though I guess he's our ally now, so... eh.

Well, there's no Eagle on the menu, so it looks like we're stuck with the usual suspects. As per, vote for Freddy, Bonnie or Chica! Looks like we're almost at the end of this campaign, and hey, we're done with Green Earth, it seems.

As an aside, something I've been meaning to mention. We have a lot of supports left to go, but not very much of the game left. So, uh, we won't get to see all the supports completed by the end of the adventure. So, hey, you can also vote for which supports you want to see before the game ends - I figured that was the fairest way of ensuring everyone sees the supports they view as most important. The rundown so far:

Barold and Bernard (1 remaining)

Tina and Lucy (1 remaining)

Gareth and Carl (2 remaining)

Alfonse and Mulligan (1 remaining)

Cassandra and Lucy (1 remaining)

Lucy and Michael (1 remaining)

Mulligan and Cassandra (1 remaining)

Lloyd and Elvin (2 remaining)

Lucy and Ingo (2 remaining)

Rin and Dave (2 remaining)

Howard and Mulligan (2 remaining)

Selena and Alfonse (2 remaining)

Thanks, all! See you next week!


The Barracks: Selena and Alfonse 1

Alfonse, walking up the corridor to the CO offices, sees Selena stood at the door to one of the offices. Andy is looking at her curiously.

“I… I’m sorry, Commander Andy. Once again, my fuel shortage in this mission jeopardised the land units and directly contributed to our imminent failure. I will not mess up again.”

“Uh, submarine unit, in case you missed it - we won.” Andy says.

Selena bows, blushing furiously. “Y-yes, but it was made more difficult because of me! I apologise!”

“…Right. Apology accepted, I guess.” Andy replies, shrugging disdainfully. The door closes, and Selena begins to walk down the corridor.

“What was that about?” Alfonse asks.

“Oh… I was just apologising for my poor behaviour in that mission. More comrades lost, just like Bill, all because of my ineptitude...”

“You’re Selena, right?” Alfonse says.

“Um, yes. Forgive me, I forget your name.” Selena replies.

Alfonse nods, as if unsurprised. “Most people do. I’m Alfonse. But, Selena, your contribution today saved me. I owe you my life!”

“That’s not true. I was just fighting my own battles.” Selena says, brushing her hair out of her eyes and fixing Alfonse with a nervous look.

Alfonse laughs. “Selena, you’re always tipping battles in our favour. You’ve done the missions nobody else would, destroyed battleships that could have ruined our ground forces. You’ve gone into enemy territory time and time again, and you seem to get special preference from my dude. You’re a legend.”

“That can’t be true.” Selena murmurs, staring at the ground, then back at Alfonse. “It’s n-not! For every mission I succeed in, there’s two more where someone important dies because of my mistakes!”

She walks away quickly, her head hung low. Alfonse stares after her with a worried expression. “…You really blame yourself for Bill and Francis’ deaths, don’t you?”

He sighs. He knows that he has to convince Selena that those deaths were not her fault.