Part 45: Outgunned And Outnumbered, But Not OutbotedPART 45 - Outgunned And Outnumbered, But Not Outboted
Welcome the fuck back to Advance Wars! Today, we finally meet our mysterious opponent, so let's get on with it.
Max won the vote, so for the first time in friggin' forever, I can enjoy the feeling of punching through stuff in a single strike. I'm very excited.
Enigma? No way. I recognise that face.
Glad to see King Kaliente had some gigs before he landed a big role in Super Mario Galaxy.
I will talk about the map in just a moment - let's just allow the COs to talk about whatever first.
He sure is. Not quite what I expected, honestly. Like... what's under the mask?
I was about to peg this as a stupid question, but
Apparently this is completely logical for Wars World.
Right, lets get started. Welcome to Micromanagement: The Map.
Its tough even without my arbitrary restriction of keep as many of these fuckers alive as possible, but with it? You have to know EXACTLY what youre doing. Thankfully, after many attempts, I do! Lets not even talk about the number of times Ive done this map now.
First things first: Michael is the absolute cornerstone of the first section of this map, closely followed by Selena, who will be crucial. What exactly are we going to do? I shall explain, my dear readers.
For you see, over to the east there's a port and an airport. We will need these if we want to stand any chance against this guy's army. Oh, right, this guy is called Sturm. He's the big villain, apparently, and he's got an absolute bitch of an introductory map. So, yes, our attack will be threefold: we'll be moving Tina and the rest of her squad south to meet Sturm's army head-on, having Selena clean up the naval units, whilst Rin ferries Dave and Gareth to the port and airport to capture them. This is what we call "the first half of the map".
So, that's enough talking. Let's get on with it.
Rin drops Dave and Gareth off.
Selena moves this way, but not too far. There's an enemy submarine and battleship that gun straight for her, and another sub/battleship that don't move unless you're in range. Four units with just one bote is going to be tough, but we'll even the odds soon enough.
Von Panzer leads the way, whilst Tina, Cassandra and Fred follow up. These guys will be taking on the brunt of Sturm's first assault.
Mulligan moves up for reasons I'll explain later. (Yes, it's because of plens.)
And I deploy Michael.
"But there's already an APC on the field!" you cry.
Ah, that's not Michael. That is an unmanned APC with dummies in. It is what we call an underhanded tactic.
Anyway, that's all for this turn, so let's talk about Sturm.
He's not very eloquent at the moment. This is all he says.
This fucking guy.
So Sturm's whole gig is basically controlling battle initiation. His units have a 20% attack bonus but a 20% defence penalty (numbers may not be entirely correct but you get the point), so victory tends to come down to who initiates. However, in order to help him initiate more frequently, he has another fun power: his units suffer no terrain penalties.
This isn't quite as ridiculous as it sounds - units that can't move through specific terrain still can't move through it, but stuff like forests slowing treads and plains slowing tyres? Sturm cares not. Infantry can glide through mountains and rivers, medium tanks just ignore everything, and mother fucking 7 movement recons suddenly become an actual force to be reckoned with. (For infantry/mechs, anyway, but they do annoying amounts of chip damage with that 20% attack bonus.)
However, we won't be worrying about his main force just yet. Right now, our focus is on taking out the two fighters and the bomber. They need to go, because if we capture the airport, he'll have no other air units. Well, almost.
There's this fighter up here, which will instakill anything I produce from the airport. We'll need to get a cruiser to deal with him. Also, the sub is advancing.
And so is battleship A. The other one is south of the stationary sub - it's really out of the way.
So, let's continue our plan. Everything that happens in these first few turns needs to be planned to perfection - nothing can go wrong.
First, we advance Selena and have her dive. The enemy sub won't spot us, and we can initiate safely on both the sub and the battleship.
Dave begins capturing the port...
And Gareth, the base. These are going to be very important captures if we want to win the map.
Rin heads back to base. She has another job.
Hey, Arthur! Just shove that unmanned APC onto Rin's lander, would you?
Michael observes the proceedings with a strange look on his face. "Just what are you up to, Commander my dude..?"
Von Panzer leads the charge. With a moment to himself, he looks at the advancing army.
"...Was there really a time when I was employed by this... Sturm? The pay was... gut, ja, but the work was dark and bloody. Just killing for killing's sake."
"Hey, Moustache! Keep your eyes on the enemy!" Tina shouts. Behind her, Cassandra and Fred are bringing up the rear.
"Ach! Yes, will do!"
Hey, it's Howard, being deployed as an infantry unit because I am running out of units
He'll be going south to begin capturing the neutral properties down there. We are going to need a lot of money if we're to match Sturm's military might.
Speaking of, it's Sturn's turm.
And hey, he's capturing things. Who would have guessed.
The fighter jets head west, making a beeline for Bernard, who's back at HQ.
The bomber moves up, either going for Rin or one of the capturing units. Either way, it's gonna one-shot the hell out of everyone.
Alright, so we have an angry bomber on our tails. That's gonna need dealing with.
But nah, I can't be bothered. Let's just capture stuff and hope for the best.
Well done, Dave!
And you too, Gareth! Having these captured by day 3 is going to make our lives much easier.
The enemy sub surfaced, so I have Selena go for that.
...What, the battleship and the bomber? Why would I worry about those?
Good job, Selena. Such a good girl. Best girl. Well done. Yes.
Selena is Good.
Oh, right, the battleship and bomber. Yeah, we can deal with those.
Drop the unmanned APC!
"I helped!" Rin says, punching the air. "Come on, you big ol' bomber, try and thtrike me down!"
Meanwhile, we need to make the right formation to stop Sturm's jets from getting to Bernard. Michael takes the right, Arthur goes below, and Alfonse takes the left. Mulligan's range is weakened purely due to Max's existence, but in his current position, he'll be able to take the jets. Of course, he can only take on one per turn, and there's two coming, so... let's go and check down south.
Cassandra can take one of them out here, which makes Mulligan's job a lot easier.
"Got it, Mulligan. Can you take on the other one?"
"Course I can." Mulligan replies through the transceiver. "Thank you, Cassandra. Let's do our best!"
Aw, they're working together. Cute.
Howard hoofs it south at his blistering speed of three spaces per turn. A far cry from the 9 that his fighter jet usually has.
sturm gets to do things again
Oh, whilst he's capturing useless bullshit*, I should mention. I don't know why, but Sturm doesn't have his CO power in this map. Doesn't matter how much damage you do, his meter never fills up. Handy, but it's kind of terrifying that this map is so hard even without him having Death Blow 4 or Über Lightning Strike or whatever.
*note: not actually useless bullshit. I'll be capturing it myself later, actually.
This infantry makes a start on the neutral base here. Whatever happens, we cannot allow Sturm to have it; this is why we had to be hyper-aggressive with Tina and co. We're barely on time to take it from him, and we started moving for it on the first turn.
Anyway, here, this unmanned APC is super useful. Usually a battleship and bomber would oneshot this guy. However, two very useful things happen. Firstly, the battleship attacks first...
...And secondly, it doesn't kill. This is because it was dropped onto forest terrain - thank the fucking lord for those defence stars.
The bomber's obviously going to make mincemeat of it, but that's fine. We ate up two strong units' turns with one useless APC, and as far as I'm concerned, that's a rousing success.
Sturm's bombers look really threatening. Thankfully, this is the only one he's gonna get.
Remember what I said about recons being dicks when they don't have terrain limitations?
"Fucking shit," Gareth gasps. "Friggin' recons are hitting this hard? Just who is this guy?"
"Are you gonna survive another round of that?" Dave asks.
"Nope." Gareth says. "This can't be the end, can it?"
"Of courthe not!" Rin replies. "Dropping off the APTH was jutht the firtht part of the plan. Next, I'm getting you two out of here!"
To be even more annoying, this transport copter drops off an enemy mech. There's quite a few foes up here now, and I don't have the firepower to deal with them.
Right, let's finally enact the next part of my plan: striking a huge blow to Sturm's forces and getting Dave and Gareth out of there, all in one fell swoop.
Here we go. First, this jet's gotta go.
"Nailed it." Mulligan says.
Arthur gets into Bernard...
...and Bernard flies over here. It's important that we don't drop Arthur, though - we need him for capturing, and right now, Bernard's in range of the enemy recon. The AI will prioritise Bernard over anything else, which buys Gareth and Dave the time they need to escape.
Since the bomber and the mech are making an effective wall over there, I can't get Dave out until the next day, but if I rescue Gareth and have Rin ready to pick him up, the recon will do a bit of damage to him. It's not too troublesome, since the mech will just try to capture something instead of attacking, but if I want to two-turn the airport capture, I need Dave to sustain no damage.
Alfonse heads over here. No longer necessary, he's gonna go and join Howard in the capturing of property.
What are Michael and Mulligan doing, you ask? You'll see.
Speaking of, Howard's begun the process.
Now, we want to hit this anti-air with rockets.
Fred can provide the rockets. There is a reason why we hit it with rockets instead of just one-shotting it with Tina or Von Panzer, I promise.
But first, I just need to murder this battleship with Selena.
There we go. Actually, I may as well take care of this whole area first.
Gareth hops into Rin, who prepares to head for port.
And Dave heads south to accommodate her. Next turn, he'll be picked up and they'll be on their way to the airport!
"Hang on," you suddenly say. "Why did you deploy Howard and say you were out of units? You still have Barold who hasn't been deployed-"
"Hey, gentlemen. I believe some backup is needed, right?"
"Barold!" Dave exclaims. "Good to see you, man. You're gonna be taking care of business here?"
"Yup. You guys get going already - I'll handle everything." Barold replies, nodding. "I won't be dying here, that's for sure."
"Good. Come back safe." Dave says.
So, for this next gambit to work, we need Max's CO power. Luckily, murdering the battleship and the fighter jet really pushed up our meter, just giving it to us.
ONE PUNCH TINA, BAYBEEEEEE
So, this is why we weakened the tank with Fred. We needed Cassandra to kill it, opening the way to Sturm's other units - if we'd used one of the tanks, we wouldn't have the firepower or defence to survive the rockets/other bullshit.
Luckily, she nailed it, and now the path is clear for One Punch Tina to go and punch! Once!
Von Panzer is Genos in this analogy, I've decided.
And boom. We were well within the killing range for Von Panzer, so Max Force wasn't necessary here. However, it WAS necessary for Tina.
"I'm feeling fired up! Let's dance!" Tina yells, and readies her bazooka.
There is nothing left of the enemy medium tank.
"Holy..." murmurs Cassandra.
"What happened?" asks Gareth over the transceiver.
"Tina just destroyed a medium tank squad in a single shot." says Von Panzer. "Das... what... how..?"
Well, Sturm sure lost a number of units that turn. But don't worry, with the power of infinite money he's going to keep respawning the fucking things.
We'll punish this guy for capturing all these things in a bit.
The rockets go for Von Panzer - this is why we need him and not Cassandra here.
Because Cassandra would have been eradicated by the anti-air, which is determined to go for her.
As for the bomber, we didn't need to worry - Michael baits it right into Mulligan's range.
In the ensuing explosion, Michael lands painfully in a field nearby, his trusty eject button keeping him safe. He stands up, nursing his shoulder.
"I'm not sure I get paid enough for this." he mutters.
And as predicted, the recon wants to spew bullets at Bernard.
Luckily, recons hurt non-infantry units as much as the insults of a six-year-old do.
And finally, this anti-air seems to want to go for Cassandra.
It doesn't go terribly well, though. And it's in range of Fred now.
Day 5, people. Let's keep this ball rolling.
First, Mulligan deletes the last of our aerial worries.
And Howard captures the first property of what will hopefully be many. Every extra bit of income is important.
Let's get Fred to remove this annoyance.
Nice work. Now we can turn our attention to exercising better control of this area.
First, Von Panzer moves up. He's damaged, but he'll still wall the recon quite handily.
And Tina can kill this thing almost twice over. She's just kind of absurd.
Max is a hell of a drug.
Bernard heads south and drops Arthur off on the base. He's just out of the missile range, so he's safe, and Arthur is safe from the recon thanks to Von Panzer doing what he does best, bodyblocking.
Dave finally gets the hell out of dodge.
And the quest continues. Next stop, airport.
Selena, meanwhile, heads back to port. She'll need to be underwater to take on the other sub and battleship, and I don't want to worry about fuel whilst she's doing that.
Barold moves in and opens fire. He's not messing around today.
The cleanest one-shot you ever did see.
Alright, it's the big octopus' turn again.
This guy is very proud of himself.
This guy, meanwhile, makes a start on the other port. It's not important that we capture this port, but it is important that we block it once it gets captured. The last thing we need is for Selena to have more problems on her hands.
The recon just kinda... moves here. Doesn't attack anything, it's just hanging out. Even stranger, it moved itself right into Fred's range. So, uh, yeah, that's no longer an issue.
Sturm's units advance, but don't attack. Also, see the two artilleries back there? They're gonna be a real pain in the ass if we don't deal with them soon.
Right. The botes are pretty much fine - we've got rid of most of the threats, and Selena will finish off the other two soon, but down here, there's still a lot of work to do. If we want to get through it with minimal casualties, we need to play carefully.
Tina, however, doesn't really need to worry. She can happily erase everything here - only artillery, rockets and other medium tanks can actually damage her.
This gives us the opportunity to go for the missiles. I'm going for a rout of this map, so we need to kill everything we come across, pretty much. Loose ends will cost turns.
Speaking of loose ends.
"The villains have been defeated! You should now advance, and catch up to the others." Fred announces.
"Uh, yeah, sure." Howard replies. "You do whatever."
Arthur, meanwhile, begins capturing this base. I don't really need it to deploy things, but I will need extra funds.
Cassandra comes round to slaughter this infantry.
...Cassandra, I said "slaughter this infantry". Not "spare it".
Von Panzer bullies this useless bunch of missiles.
We'll get them next turn.
Barold decides to show Cassandra how it's done.
I... Barold, for fuck's sake.
Rin drops off Dave. He'll be capturing that airport for us.
All refuelled, Selena's off to prove once and for all that she is the only master of the seas here.
And hey, we have a cruiser. It's, uh...
Oh, right, all our cruisers are dead.
Fuck it, it's Elvin. He decided to be a cruiser instead of a submarine today!
But now, we need rockets.
Welcome back, Patrick. It's been a while, but we require your rockety services.
The enemy infantry have now captured the port - we'll need to keep an eye on that until we can send Elvin to block it.
A whole slew of units advance. The anti-airs and the artillery are going to be the most difficult to deal with.
So, how do we deal with them?
Patrick, stand here.
An interesting quirk of the artillery units here is that they won't sit in Patrick's range. So long as he's putting pressure on them, they'll retreat, meaning Tina and the gang can advance without fear of ranged fire.
Elvin moves out to kill a fighter jet.
Selena absolutely fucks up this innocent submarine who hadn't even moved.
"Haah..." Selena says, taking a deep breath. "Almost done... just keep going, Selena. Just keep going."
Dave makes a start on the airport.
Cassandra needs to kill this infantry.
We go for this one over the 3HP one because we need to let Barold through. He's gonna be going with Tina and Von Panzer, and he doesn't want to get left behind.
Arthur finishes subduing this base, earning us a little more each turn.
He won't be useful for basically the rest of the map now.
Meanwhile, Howard's gonna be going for a ride with Bernard.
Time to take these back from Sturm. These take priority because I want to cut into Sturm's finances as much as I can. The less bullshit he can deploy, the better, really. Especially since I'm going for the rout.
Von Panzer helps with the rout by shooting this guy again.
Perfect. Now, he's in danger of being attacked by the enemy tank, though.
So we just need to move Tina in. The tank would be a bold one indeed to engage on a Max-powered Tina.
God damn, this map goes on forever. We're not even halfway through.
This nerd tries his best but doesn't succeed.
Meanwhile, the rest of Sturm's units advance - and hey, look! The artillery moved backwards. That's Patrick - if he wasn't there, they'd have moved forward to join the rest of these guys and made it much more difficult to get through without taking damage.
So, without the artillery around, we can just go ham on the enemies here.
This first one gets Tina'd.
That is to say, completely destroyed.
And Barold is just close enough to head in here and one-shot this anti-air. He'll be facetanking the enemies next turn, but don't worry, he'll be fine.
"And there we go." Barold says, wiping his brow.
"Nice of you to join us!" Tina replies. "You ready? I hate to say it, but this guy has some tough units; we're gonna have to bring our all if we want to win."
"Yes. Let's do this!" Barold replies.
Howard makes a start on Sturm's properties.
And Cassandra can clean up this useless infantry.
It was going to take him seven turns to capture that property. Let's be real, we just put him out of his misery.
And Alfonse starts capturing properties, too. More money, my men! More money! Always more money!
Fred moves forward. We'll need him for this next bit, so it's a good job he's in range. Do you see what I mean about how precise this map is?
I move Patrick a bit further forward. The artillery aren't going to get in his range, so what we're going to do here is push them further back.
And you know what? We need a little more firepower to take on Sturm's HQ.
"Aye, let's get to it! Look lively, lads, we've got the odds stacked against us this time!" Lloyd announces.
"Lloyd, sir!" Elvin gasps with a mixture of excitement and arousal. "Watch me! I'm going to help!"
And indeed, he does.
This irritating fighter jet is taken care of. We can spawn things from the airport without worry, now!
Selena, meanwhile, also gets rid of the last naval unit under Sturm's command.
The seas and skies are ours, people!
Dave captures the airport. Once we've got the money, we'll be able to churn out bombers - and besides, I'm sure we'd all like to see Lucy in action again. She's been in one non-tutorial map for this whole campaign so far.
Sturm Does Things: Day 8.
This anti-air goes for Barold, but I really have no idea why.
It doesn't work out very well.
But fine, whatever. We need to keep pushing forward.
And as you can see, we've got a tough section coming up. Those two artillery are going to be hard to take on, and now Patrick's being assaulted by a random infantry with a transport copter.
As satisfying as it would be to delete the infantry with Lloyd, we need him to make a beeline for a particular position.
With the fighter jet taken care of, Elvin sits in this port so Sturm can't spawn anything else.
Selena is going in the exact opposite direction as Lloyd, needing to refuel as soon as possible. I rise her, too, so she's not in danger of sinking entirely.
Rin drops off Gareth back at this bit of the island. She's gonna be sitting in the port so the infantry can't take it. And as for that base?
It's Eddie! With Max's strength, he'll have no trouble erasing any infantry that even consider the option of walking anywhere near to my bases.
We get a few more captures done, too. More to go, but hey, we're making progress.
Let's make a start on the other Sturm property now. We'll cut off his finances as much as we can, though most of his properties are near his HQ.
Fred is just in range to get rid of this anti-air.
And there we go. Keep moving forward, Team Tank!
Tina does an unholy amount of damage to this APC.
Poor guy never even saw it coming.
Well, we have our CO power, we're making progress towards the HQ, and we managed to nab the airport and port, and establish superiority of the non-land areas of war. Excellent start - this is what we'll call the first half of the map.
We can't quite afford a bomber yet, but hey, next time we'll reunite with Lucy.
...isn't too much of a threat right now, though that'll change once we mount the attack on his HQ.
With that, though, we'll call it here! The second half of the map is much less tight than the first half, though it's by no means easy. We'll need heavy bomber support, all the battleship firepower we can get, and an absolute fuckload of bazooka ammunition. See you next time, everyone, for the thrilling conclusion of the only map so far that didn't have an exclamation mark in the title!
Also, hey, here are the supports so far. Rin and Dave 3 won this week, so that's another chain finished.
Cassandra and Lucy (1 remaining)
Lucy and Ingo (2 remaining)
Lucy and Michael (1 remaining)
Alfonse and Mulligan (1 remaining)
Mulligan and Cassandra (1 remaining)
Lloyd and Elvin (2 remaining)
Howard and Mulligan (2 remaining)
Selena and Alfonse (2 remaining)
The Barracks: Rin and Dave 3
Hey, Rin. Wanted to apologise. Dave says, sitting beside her in the barracks mess hall, awkwardly watching her eat. Rin eats her dinner quietly, and only looks up once shes done.
I feel bad. Just trying to look out for you, but I didnt want to hit you with the hard truth quite like that. It... didnt come out right.
Im thorry, too. I shouldnt idolithe you. Rin replies. But I cant thtop. Youre my hero, Dave.
Why? When I die, youre gonna become just like me. Dave says. Thats what Im trying to prev-
No. Rin says, smiling softly. Dave, if you die on the battlefield, my idea of a hero wont die with you. Quite the oppothite; if you die a hero, then youll immortalithe my idea of a hero. Ill tell everyone the thtory of how you thaved the country. Ill be proud of you.
Dave doesnt know how to respond. Immortalised..?
And, you know Rin murmurs. She looks a little more unsure of what shes about to say. Your battlefield proweth was what imprethed me when I firtht heard about you. But now Ive got to know you as a perthon, Ive theen tho many more reathonth to idolithe you.
I dont understand.
Youre quite thomething. smiles Rin. Michael thayth you helped him find hith confidenthe. Alfonthe really rethpectth you. You taught the other tholdierth how to play cardth, and you never actually chathe anyone up if they lothe money to you in poker. Youre jutht a really nithe perthon.
Dave winces. I, uh yeah. I guess.
And thatth why youre thtill my hero! Thatth why I thtill believe in heroeth! Rin announces with a determined grin. Becauthe if you didnt care about me, why would you make the effort to make sure I dont become like you?
Dont get the wrong idea- Dave sputters.
Admit it, Dave, you care about this army, tho, tho much. Rin replies. She stands up and stretches. But, anyway, Id better get to bed.
Right. Night. Dave replies.
Just as she begins to walk away, Rin turns back to Dave at the table. Dave. Youre not invinthible; I know that now. But that doethnt mean you cant be immortal.
With that, she exits the mess hall, leaving Dave lost in thought. He watches her go, feeling a strange mix of feelings.
Huh. Sticking to your guns Im impressed. he murmurs to himself. Maybe I should be the one idolising you, kid.
He stands up, the idea of immortalisation stuck in his mind. Turning the word over in his head, and still somewhat bemused by the idea that someone thinks he is a hero, he also decides to exit the mess hall, wanting an early night.