Part 5: Interview 3 - Mounting Resistance (Or, I Dont Think Max Knows What An Ocean Is)Interview 3 - Mounting Resistance (Or, I Dont Think Max Knows What An Ocean Is)
And we're back. Are you ready, my dude?
Ooh, that sounds exciting. We get to see Max in action, huh?
Indeed. And also Flak, in case you missed him.
I've never missed anyone less.
Horrible thing warning.
OK, I dealt with it that time. They're still absolutely terrifying, but whatever. Also, did Flak seriously forget to use a microphone to talk to the army on the other side of a fucking ocean?
...Seems like it, yes. I struggle to understand how "talk into the bit that makes noise" is too complicated, in all honesty.
He's an idiot, that's your answer.
Maybe he is, Max. You don't know.
Black Hole soldiers seem to be fond of name-calling, don't they?
He said "Look! A gorilla!"
I don't think you understand what Max meant by that.
I don't think you understand sarcasm.
What a SAVAGE BLOW, Max! Fuck. Middle school insults really are the best way to argue with enemy officers who intend to invade your country.
My sister would probably refer to these two as "my last two brain cells".
You have a sister?
YOUR new empire?
Oh, my god, watch Star Wars. It's an absolute meme goldmine.
Flak might struggle with microphones, but thank god he's got the basics of manifest destiny down.
These two really are brutes when you get right down to it. Their power is virtually unmatched.
Anyway, let's take a look at the battlefield. This one's a little more complex than the previous ones we've seen.
Is... is that the ocean Max was talking about in the brief? You can't be serious.
He may have been exaggerating a bit.
IT'S ONE TILE WIDE AT POINTS. It barely qualifies as a river!
My dude! Calm down.
Why is Max so surprised to see Nell? He uses three punctuation marks where, like, one would have sufficed.
You'll be pleased to hear that I'm going to cut down on Nell's tutorial dialogue. It isn't relevant to the story, and I can see that you do indeed already know the basics.
It took your two and a half interviews to realise that?
Oh, he's angry for an actual reason? I just thought he was highly-strung.
Those words don't really describe Max's fighting style very well.
Well, hey, I think he'll be fine. He's not smart, but he's smarter than Flak, and that's what counts.
And so, the battle begins.
By which I mean, Nell has more to say first.
For fuck's sake.
Well, we may as well take this time to introduce the new units for this map, and the deployments, come to think of it.
Personality: Confident, legendary soldier.
Proficiencies: Submarine, Medium Tank, [redacted]
Hold the phone, Selena's back? Ah! I've missed her so much!
You like her, do you?
We've had an interesting history. But yeah, she's one of my favourites.
We already know one of the battle copters-
I'm not calling them that. We already know one of the battle copters, but the other one is new.
Personality: Lusting for blood.
Proficiencies: Rockets, Battle Copter, Medium Tank
And that's Michael?
Naturally. Oh, we have a new tank, too.
Personality: Respected mercenary leader.
Proficiencies: Tank, Battle Copter, Recon
Oh, fuck, it's the MVP! He's back in action!
And, so, here are the deployments for this map.
Alfonse, Battle Copter
Fred, Battle Copter
Michael, Transport Copter
Von Panzer, Tank
Selena, Medium Tank
Max is incredibly shocked to discover that copters have been deployed. Which is surprising, really; there are very few maps where copters of some kind aren't useful.
They do seem to be quite useful.
One thing I always agree with Max on is that medium tanks are fucking great. You can never, ever, have enough medium tanks.
I don't think that's how military strategy works.
How do you think I beat Sturm? I just deployed a million medium tanks.
That was... a really weird way of describing that. "Knock-down-drag-out world of direct combat"?
"Hey, your ability to shoot guns really hard might be helpful for shooting guns really hard but in the air!"
When you're quite finished insulting your own love interest, my dude.
Look, I love her, but I am VERY vocal about her overtutorialisation. When we went on a date, she spent twenty minutes explaining how to order food and split the bill.
Max is evidently less brave than you, and just goes along with it.
That's very true. Max was always my favourite CO. There's nothing more fun than just killing something way more than you actually need to. No kill like overkill!
Every CO has a weakness, though.
He's saying nothing, but in his head he's definitely debating how much trouble he'd get into if he punched Nell.
Wait, what does she mean by this? "You're so strong that you don't need indirects" or "You have a new mechanic that covers your weaknesses"?
Are you going to answer every rhetorical question with a serious answer?
Yes I'm aware that in itself was rhetorical, do not say a word
How's he gonna overdo it? He only has one artillery.
You'll be pleased to hear that the battle begins. Firstly, recognising the enemy copter as the biggest threat, Alfonse heads over to damage it.
He slices through it like a knife through really stupid butter.
That was almost funny, Ruin. You're getting the hang of this commentary thing.
Fred heads over to finish.
"Hey, guys and gals! I'm back to reclaim my throne as Orange Star's greatest hero!" Fred exclaims, turning on the enemy copter. "You are evil, and the evil must be destroyed. That's the way the world works!"
"You were never Orange Star's greatest hero. Do you just not remember Dave, Tina and Wilbert?" says Michael. Fred doesn't listen, and readies his guns.
Naturally, he finishes the copter off. The main threat is neutralised.
Fliss gets into Michael after this - can you see why?
Of course. With the copter gone, the tanks will have to move all the way around to reach the Orange Star troops. By my reckoning, they'll clash near that island in the top-right; capturing the city on it, and holding the island, will be the best way to win.
Well, well. Quite adept of you.
Nell's been monologuing about new units whenever Max uses one. I skipped most of them, but we'll look at this one.
Why this one?
It amuses me.
I must admit, there's a weird undertone whenever Nell tells Max he's bad at indirect combat. It's like she's telling him he's got erectile dysfunction.
I... really don't see what you mean.
No, no, you get it, right? "Your dick's a little small, so..."
Are you projecting, Commander my dude?
Nell has mentioned it quite a few times.
You really could read all of her dialogue as the most patronising thing if you wanted to.
It wouldn't be far off the truth.
That wasn't as funny as I was promised.
I'm not very good at humour. I just thought Nell repeating Max's ineptitudes would amuse you.
True to your prediction, Max's troops move to take the upper-right island.
Then it's time for the Flak Attack!
I... yes. It's Flak's turn, if that's what you meant.
Oh my god this guy is so dense. How is he a military officer.
Flak's soldiers ignore the copters nearby, and instead make a beeline to the island. Seems like Flak has some strategic ability, anyway.
I mean, it just makes sense. Even his medium tanks would barely scratch Fred and Alfonse.
Oh, Bad News Nell is back. I did not miss her.
Cue Dipshit with the classic "wHaT's An AiRpOrT???"
Please don't ask. Dipshit's stupidity knows no bounds.
Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak units stronger!
Max apparently believes that joining is some kind of witchcraft.
"TWO BECOME ONE??? HOW DOES IT WORK?!?" - Max, late at night, probably. Also he's using up all the punctuation again.
They... really wanted to hammer this idea home, didn't they?
That's fair, actually. I used it, like, three times in the entirety of my first campaign.
Still, it is useful in some instances. Options are important.
I mean, no, but can you imagine
15 HP MEDIUM TANKS, GODS OF DEATH, WREAKING DESTRUCTION WHEREVER THEY GO
Anyway, yes, Nell establishes what joining is about four more times.
With that done, however, the battle continues.
I don't see this being a problem.
Fred can move up and take the bridge, then protect the island whilst the rest of Max's troops move up.
That's what he does. Michael drops Fliss off at the property, too. But I must ask... why didn't he just attack the tank with Fred, rather than sitting one space away?
At first, it seems like doing that would be the best option. But copters don't benefit from defensive terrain, and attacking the tank would leave Fred open to being attacked from all three sides - plus, he'd be in range of two medium tanks. Even for a copter that's a lot to handle.
Ah, I see. Taking efforts to keep the troops alive?
After my victory, it seems that Nell made sure that Orange Star's focus is always on keeping soldiers alive.
The rest of the troops head up.
Selena, a confident woman with blond hair and red tips, directs the units as they approach the island. "Alright, everyone, form up. Fred and Alfonse will hold the line, then Von Panzer, Ingo and myself will follow up. Lucy, I'd like you to stay back with Fliss and Michael, and only get involved if necessary - this chokepoint isn't a great spot for you with your reduced range."
"Sounds gut!" Von Panzer replies. He faces the Black Hole troops with revulsion on his features. "I had thought Black Hole dead and in the ground already. I will not rest until they are completely gone from this world!"
"That's the kind of motivation we need. Ingo, Von Panzer! Move out!" Selena says. Alfonse smiles as he hears her commands over the transceiver - she's become such a motivational leader that for a moment, he can almost believe that Tina is back with them, driving them to give it their all in battle.
Flak recognises the might of the Wall of Fred.
By which I mean, all of his troops move forward, but not a single one of them attacks.
Classic AI move, that.
I suppose now is the time for a counterattack, then. Max isn't gonna let all this troops sit on his doorstep for long!
Quite so. Fred goes for the nearest medium tank, as he's the only unit in range that can do good damage to it.
The counterfire is quite weak.
So I see. I really underestimated copters in my last campaign, I think.
Then it was time for Selena to take centre stage.
Selena absolutely decimated the enemy tank, and it could barely scratch her in retaliation.
Do you see why I love medium tanks?!
"This dick captures a property."
I, uh... basically, yes.
Alfonse also goes to strike the medium tank - the weaker it is, the less of a threat it is.
Tina has proved many times that even a medium tank on 4HP is a bona fide threat.
Still, it's something.
The rest of the troops take their positions, as ordered by Max and Selena. They'll be able to launch a powerful assault next turn.
The enemy tank flees for the nearby city to heal.
God damn self-preservation, always getting in the way of the fun.
Wait, did I see that right? The medium tank move up to give the other medium tank space to attack?
Well, it only seems like a good idea.
Yeah, but I could swear the enemy never did things like that before. I wonder if they've gotten smarter.
Considering how much damage it did, though... perhaps they haven't.
The first priority for Day 4 was to finish the capturing.
Rock on, Fliss, you funky little soldier.
Then Selena turned on the weakened medium tank, and in an instant, crushed it.
Selena is hella strong, that's why.
Alfonse chases down the tank attempting to heal, which puts him in enemy territory.
Sure, it's enemy territory, but it's not like they can do much to him. He'll be fine.
And he ruined the tank's day. Good job, Alfonse!
Von Panzer, meanwhile, strikes one of the infantry.
He doesn't quite defeat it, but it's certainly been made harmless.
And good ol' Fred just keep shooting any medium tank in his range. Nice.
It's the biggest threat on the map, so it does make sense to do so.
True. I must admit, tactically, Max is doing very well here.
Ingo heads up to support Von Panzer.
Flak decides that now is the time for him to strike.
Wait, is someone going to d-
The infantry move out of the way...
And the tank fires on Von Panzer. He fires back, and they remain roughly equal.
Oh, that's not bad. You had me worried for a second.
Then the medium tank fires on Von Panzer.
"Von Panzer! Back down before you're destroyed!" yells Selena, and Ingo turns in horror.
"Don't do anything rash-"
The enemy medium tank opens fire on Von Panzer, and the bazooka shots ring through the air, coupled with loud explosions as they strike the tank. Everyone watches with bated breath, horrified at the carnage before them.
"I have told you too many times..." says a voice, filled with determination.
"I am Von Panzer, and I cannot be broken!"
Oh thank god. Don't scare me like that, Ruin!
He certainly seems to be strong-willed. Anyone else would have crumbled.
When you need him to hold the line, he holds the god damn line. I've never met a soldier quite like him.
However, he does retreat to the town that Fliss captured. He needs repairs after that.
Selena is unimpressed by the medium tank.
Does she shit it the fuck up?
Indeed she does.
Fred does a similar thing to the nearby tank.
I really have missed how much damage things do when they're Max-powered. It's just wonderful.
Ingo can just go over to this infantry and instantly murder it, and that's beautiful.
Ingo, I said "instantly murder it"
He tried his best, and that is admirable.
With just the infantry left, there's little left to do on the map. Alfonse takes one of them out.
It always takes one more turn that you expect it to. It's like the Advance Wars Curse or something.
The infantry probably spends his last day regretting his choices.
Indeed. He flees, but not nearly far enough.
Ingo catches up rather quickly, and well, the inevitable happens.
Oh, and then it's back to the grade-school name calling. Amazing.
Nothing to add to this dialogue, my dude?
It's funny enough on it's own, honestly. These two are the stupidest fucking dudes.
They are... uncouth, I think, is the best word.
And yet there's an undercurrent of pure gay energy that can't be denied...
OK, now you're definitely projecting.
I cannot think of something more awkward to say than "Wait, you dirtbag!" It just... sounds so weird.
Nell seems to agree that Flak is a dirtbag, however.
Is she about to start fuckin tutorialising
...I'll skip this part.
Another perfect rank. Nell seriously whipped these guys into shape whilst I was away, didn't she?
You're canonically called Maximum Forceps, you can't talk about dumb names.
I am almost positive that you made that up.
Still, that's all from me for today.
There's three missions! Where did you go next?
The audience already know the order I travelled around in. I'll let them tell you.
Three missions... West, North and South. Oh, right, yeah, I'll tell my side of the story now. Here we go.
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