Part 25: Interview 13 - Colins First Test (Or, The All-Consuming Power Of Money)Interview 13 - Colins First Test (Or, The All-Consuming Power Of Money)
Ah, my dude. Thank you for joining me. Let us continue with my side of the story.
It starts, as all the best stories do, with Olaf.
I'm not convinced that's how all the best stories begin.
Blue Moon Soldier: Yes, sir. They show every indication of attacking right away.
Hmmm. But, why? Theres nothing of importance there.
Maybe thats the reason.
What do you mean?
Well, theres nothing there, so maybe they figure the defenses are weak.
How should we respond? We could get there soon enough, but it may be a trap. We cant be careless.
For somebody who is supposed to lead this country, Olaf is asking a lot of really obvious questions.
That might be part of their plan, too. Ha ha, thats downright crafty.
Grit, at least, understands the basics of military strategy, it seems.
Were not here to admire them! Someone has to go Me or Grit
You and Commander Grit should remain here, correct? Well, that leaves me!
Now theres a good idea. Lets send the youngster.
"Oh, go on. Let's send this kid who's never been in a battle before and have him fight the invading force that might be trying to conquer the country. I see no way this could go wrong."
Grit, you lazy The boys as green as can be.
So you agree with Olaf for once? I thought I'd never see the day.
That may be true, but hes been fulfilling his CO duties without a hitch. I say its high time we start treating him like a full-fledged CO.
Hmmm I see what youre saying, but
Its all settled then. Colin, head up north, and defeat the enemy!
Oh, this should be fun.
Easy, son. Relax a bit, and do what you can.
Uh and troop morale? If Im not paying attention
Dont mistake what I said now. Being relaxed and being careless arent the same thing. The lives of your troops hang on the decisions you make out there. I know youre excited, and thats not bad. Just remember moderation. OK?
I see a lot of similarities between you and Grit, you know.
except I rule and Grit drools
What are you, eight years old?
Sir! Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!
He sounds excited.
Here's the battlefield for today. No pre-deployed units, and many capture-able properties between the two HQs. Oh - we meet some new soldiers this time around, too. Allow me to give you the deployment information.
Personality: Berserker in battle.
Proficiencies: Battle Copter, Fighter, Bomber
Personality: Mikhail's fellow veteran.
Proficiencies: Bomber, Battle Copter, Transport Copter
Diana, Battle Copter
Well, they sure sound fun.
Black Hole Soldier: Mistress Lash, Blue Moon troops have been spotted.
Well, its about time. Whos in command?
Black Hole Soldier: Its A young boy CO named Colin.
Huh? That kid? How boring is that? I wanted the bearded geezer, or at least the scarecrow.
Pfft. Hahah, they're excellent nicknames.
Yes, they are. She's almost as childish as you, my dude.
GASP. Such slander, Ruin. I can't believe this.
Black Hole Soldier: What are your orders? Do you want the troops to attack?
Its not going to be any fun if neither of em shows up. Sound the retreat.
Black Hole Soldier: Er maam?
Oh, OK. Lets just attack and wipe em all out. Tee hee hee!
Ah. She's just very indecisive.
Tactically, what do you make of this battlefield, Commander?
Well, theres an airport down below, and hm. Four properties, thats 4000 next turn. Which is perfectly enough to get three infantry this turn, and then be able to afford a 5000-funds APC next turn. Nice. Hopefully Colin goes for that.
Colin is an interesting CO.
You don't say!
Unsurprisingly, Lash also begins with three infantry. There's little else to do on a first turn such as this.
Never mind that. What's Colin all about? Lemme see his file.
That's got to be the most characterless hit and miss I've ever seen. He likes Grit and Olaf and doesn't like Black Hole? Fuck, next you'll be telling me he likes being alive and doesn't like being dead.
Oh, OK, I see. He's like reverse Kanbei, purchases cheaper units that are weaker. That's pretty interesting, actually!
Well that's definitely abusable.
No kidding. His units are already cheaper, so increasing his total money will allow for some rather interesting strategies.
Actually, it will allow for my favourite strategy: lots of tanks. But like, even more, because he has more money.
We won't see his Super CO Power in this battle, unfortunately. But rest assured that it is there in case he ever needs it.
I'm just wondering, since it's a bit vague, whether it uses up your funds or just uses the funds to increase damage. Paying funds for damage would be good, but just increasing damage based on funds would be even better.
We shall see. And yes, as you can see, every single one of his units receives a firepower decrease. Unfortunate, but not necessarily crippling.
Anyway, Boris and Ivan are headed west to capture some properties, whilst Peter moves south to take the airport. Colin deploys Ludmilla and Eduard, who will be travelling-
Yes, actually. How did you guess?
Theres three airports - whichever CO captures 2 of them will have a numerical aerial advantage. Plus, that airports pretty close to the enemy side of the field, and getting bombers over there quickly will be really useful.
True. Meanwhile, on Lash's turn, more infantry are spawned. The gaggle of infantry head off in search of things to capture.
I believe the correct term for a group of Black Hole infantry is an "infestation".
Colin's turn again. Eduard hops into Ludmilla.
And the others begin their capturing.
The enemy have reached some properties of their own though. The capturing on both sides has begun in earnest.
That is my one qualm with maps like this; there's so many turns of just nothing but dudes wandering around capturing property. The actual map doesn't really start until a few days have passed.
And of course one of the enemy infantry has headed north to the airport. Typical.
Peter's got an airport of his own to capture, though. That should give Colin a foothold.
That's true, actually. I hadn't considered the usefulness of bombers with a 20% price reduction...
Quite. There's a lot of possibilities for Colin, especially considering he has access to Neotanks.
Anyway. Ivan has gone north to capture the properties, whilst Boris takes the southern ones. He'll be going for that base next. Ludmilla also drops Eduard off next to the airport.
He's gonna have to capture it quickly. Those infantry down there are too close for my liking.
Admittedly, like all infantry, they seem more interesting in nabbing buildings than silly things like 'defeating the enemy' or 'having any kind of self-preservation skills'.
You have a rather disparaging view of infantry, I see.
Hey, whoa, my infantry are great. It's everyone else's infantry that are useless.
Lash has decided that the map has begun, meanwhile - she's deployed an artillery.
And a single APC. Gosh, how threatening.
If he keeps capturing and avoid deploying anything new, Colin will get a monetary advantage, at least. An early bomber or medium tank could go a long way.
Well, Peter's captured the airport now, so anything is possible.
The rest of the soldiers continue their capturing. I, uh... I can assure you, the fighting does actually start soon.
oh thank god
Airport captured. That could be troublesome, but Lash has been spending more funds than we have, so it'll take a while before she can afford anything dangerous
The other infantry are heading north, too. They're on target for Eduard.
And he still has one more turn of capturing to do... hm. Well, if he can survive a hit and get out of there, but how..?
Well, it's Colin's turn, and he has lots of funds to play with.
Does he, now?
Indeed. He can't get anything from this base, since he only just captured it, but...
oh hell yes.
"Hi there!" says a voice over the transceiver. "My name is Klara. I'm pleased to meet you all!"
She wears round spectacles and speaks quite nervously, and the group are momentarily confused.
"...And you fly a bomber?"
"Oh, yes. I'm told I'm very good at it, hee hee!" Klara replies. "I'll do my best to help!"
Come on, Eduard, it's just one enemy infantry and you have so much defence. Survive this.
It wasn't even close. And Ludmilla is exactly in range to help him make a swift retreat.
Thank goodness. But now Colin's got to defend that airport - giving Lash two of the three airports is suicide.
Lash doesn't seem to be using her airports to their fullest, though. All she deploys from this one is a transport copter.
It's probably all she could afford.
Not to worry. Colin's surprisingly talented as a commander.
Ah, first Eduard heads for safety whilst Klara heads into battle in the south.
And Ludmilla drops him next to Ivan, on a freshly-captured property that he can use to heal himself. Rather perfect, wouldn't you say?
Mm. Not bad, Colin.
"You two lugs stay here." Ludmilla says to Eduard and Ivan. "I've got some stuff I still need to do - Ivan, keep an eye on him."
"Yeah, don't sweat it." Ivan replies, shrugging. "You get going. We'll handle things up here."
"We could do with some backup though. Someone send for the commander, tell him to get some reinforcements up here!" gasps Eduard, clutching a wound in his arm.
In the name of defending the airport, Colin deploys Diana. We've seen this one before.
Diana slams her head into her control panel as she realises that her mission, for the second deployment in a row, is to defend an airport by not moving.
"Urgh... you have GOT to be kidding me. Again?!"
"Hey, don't get too irate." Boris says. "There's a lot of the bastards out there, and you don't have to play defensively for too long. Kill 'em all!"
"Oh, I get to attack today?" Diana says, brightening up a little. "Alright, well... I suppose I can stay here for the time being."
I'd say the tides are beginning to turn, but... hm. There's a couple of enemy tanks coming up. I'm not sure Colin's got the firepower for those. Sure, he has a bomber, but it can only delete one target per turn.
Mm. He's going to have to be aggressive if he wants to get away with capturing so much of the middle area's property.
Aggression is what bombers are best at, though.
"Alright, you monstrous invading bastards! I'll bathe the battlefield in your entrails with bomb after bomb! This next bombardment is gonna separate your head from your shoulders and leave your bones in the ground to rot! GRRAAAAARGH!!!"
Peter jumps as the roar comes out of his transceiver. "Heavens above! Was... was that Klara?"
"I heard about this." Ludmilla replies, chewing her nail thoughtfully. "She gets into some kind of berserk frenzy in battle. That's probably why she flies a bomber despite seeming so cute and kind... because there's a hidden ferocity underneath that sweet veneer."
"Well, it worked." Peter says. "The tank's been completely destroyed!"
Not one to be outdone, Diana opens fire on the nearest infantry to her. She doesn't kill, but brings him down to 1 HP.
The enemy turn is quick. A second tank replaces the one Klara just destroyed, and the, uh, infestation of infantry have headed further north. Ludmilla has headed down a bit - she's going to pick up Peter.
I see. Peter isn't going to be much use against that horde of enemy infantry, though. They're going to need some proper backup, otherwise Ivan and Eduard will be overrun.
Correct. Boris has headed south, but he can't progress much further with the tank and artillery there. Stronger units than mere infantry will be necessary to press the advantage.
At least Klara can just delete this tank like she did with the last one.
Um, about that...
Oh god dammit Klara.
We do have something more fun coming up, though.
The very earth shakes as the immense wheels of the mighty vehicle exit the base. A curved sphere of steel and titanium, borne by huge legs granting the thing a spidery, almost lifelike appearance as it rolls into battle; the immense cannon at the front looks like a maw, open wide, ready to swallow up any enemy who dares to stand in the way of the wall of merciless death: the Neotank is primed and ready for action.
And atop it, sitting like a king on a throne astride the machine, is Dimitri "The Meteor" Volkov, commander of Olaf's Mercenaries and one of the many heroes who defeated Sturm in the Final Battle.
"Now this is a weapon fit for a real warrior. Zlata and I have engineered this machine to perfection, so stand aside, soldiers! I will carve a path through every foe that faces us, and I will not stop until the enemy is completely gone from our land!"
God DAMN that is cool.
Peter gets into Ludmilla, in the meantime, bound for the part of the battlefield where actual stuff is happening.
He gets dropped off next to Boris. Colin seems to be planning to capture those two southern properties, but finding a good time to do so will be rather difficult.
Meanwhile, it looks like Diana is struggling with the sheer number of infantry. Is this what they call the 'zerg rush' tactic?
I'm not sure if four infantry count as a 'zerg rush', but yes, I'm aware of the strategy.
Finally for this turn, Colin deploys Leo. That should help with the infestation.
Well, they did ask for backup. One angry tank should do the job.
Nothing happens this turn, really. The tank goes one space south to heal, and an anti-air is on the way.
Anti-air? Well, that would normally be worrying for Klara, but we can destroy it this turn.
Wait, why is she- why is she going for the artillery?
She was in a berserk rage, and Colin wasn't yet skilled enough to properly control her. So... yes. She went for the wrong target.
Leo gets in position, ready to decimate some infantry next turn.
Ah, I see Diana is focussing on a different target now. Spreading the damage should be a useful strategy - Ivan and Eduard can pick off the weaker infantry, like that one on 4 HP.
Correct. Dimitri, meanwhile, makes his way to the site of the battle. His assault, alongside Klara's, should provide enough distraction to allow Boris and Peter to capture some more properties and begin advancing on Lash's HQ.
Although, when I say Klara...
Oh no, please don't say-
"GAAAAAH! Is that the best you motherfuckers have got?! You'll have to hit me twice as hard if you wanna down me! And now you've left yourself wide open for another opening of piping hot DEATH FROM ABOVE!!!"
"I was worried for an ol' minute there." Dimitri says, shrugging. "Guess there was no need."
"That girl's insane. She'll get herself killed if she keeps this up!" shouts Diana over the transceiver. "Get her up here to make repairs at the airport!"
She'll get herself killed... Dimitri thinks. Yes, she will. She almost reminds me of Wanda, actually...
Oh, and an enemy infantry has gone for Ivan. Poor dude.
He'll be fine. He's in a very defensive position at the moment.
OK, but Colin needs to go more carefully now. Another mistake here would be, you know, the absolute worst.
I mean, his position is precarious, but the enemy also has several weakened units. For example, Boris is more than capable of finishing this artillery off.
Yeah, and- my GOD, Dimitri. Is that with the attack reduction from Colin? What the hell are these things like normally?
Terrifying, frankly. The ultimate in offence and defence.
Now it's time for a little pest control. Leo severely weakens this first infantry with a single shot.
And Diana does the same to that loser.
Now here's the fun part: first, Ivan finishes off the weakened infantry.
And Klara retreats north, providing just enough damage to finish off the other one. Do you see what's happened here?
...Aha, I see. Excellent strategy, Colin!
Precisely. With Diana and Klara blocking that full HP infantry from advancing, Eduard is free to finish off the last weakened infantry without having to worry about being attacked on the next turn.
Beautiful tactics, if I do say so myself. And down south we've got two infantry ready to Take! Those! Towns!
The foes are advancing, though the only ones close enough to worry about are a weak infantry and a laughable APC.
It's hard to say what the best plan is from here, honestly. I guess just advance and destroy everything?
Well, that does usually work.
Dimitri pimpslaps the cannon into pieces before it can heal up any further.
And, with the infantry situation under control now, Diana attacks the transport copter before it gets any funny ideas.
Aw. I used to say that. Then I became the best tactician to ever live.
You are definitely not the best tactician to ever live.
Ah, whatever. Still, he's prepping money. What's coming next?
He deploys Zlata in a second Neotank, and Olga in a second bomber.
"We're the backup crew." Olga says. "Everyone else, get to battle stations. The commander's ordered us to charge the HQ now."
"I'm here, Dimitri!" says Zlata into the transceiver. Dimitri chuckles to himself.
"Yes, I noticed. Come on, now, gal. Let's get this battle done!"
Man, Klara's damage went downhill after sustaining such heavy damage. Chip damage. On an infantry.
Aha, but a bit of chip damage, plus an attack from Leo...
...allows Eduard to finish the infantry off. The infestation is over.
All the enemy infantry down, Boris and Peter getting the last few available properties, and several Neotanks and bombers ready to go. Yeah, this is looking good!
Almost. The tank does land a hit on Ludmilla, but she survives.
Oh, and the APC was hiding a mech in it, huh? Party's not over quite yet, then.
Unfortunately not. Still, at least we have a full HP bomber again - Olga gets to work immediately.
...As do the infantry, not that we really need more money right now.
Leo can take out the weakened tank, allowing the Neotanks to advance on those mechs.
Sheesh, they really are the ultimate offence.
It is in the range of the artillery, though.
Thank goodness they're so defensively strong.
Once more, Colin's forces need to gang up on this mech to defeat it.
Well, Ivan's more than capable of taking the kill. Klara really ought to heal on the airport after this, though...
She really should. In the name of yet more unnecessary money, Eduard begins capturing another property.
Pfft. This artillery's going to try and attack the Neotank. Yeah, see how well that works ou-
Well, Neotanks aren't perfect. And haven't you been long documented as saying that artilleries are functionally the absolute best unit?
They are the best unit in the game, to be fair...
Quite. But anyway, the way is open for the rest of the troops to march on Lash.
And also capture some useless things?
...And also capture some useless things.
"Dimitri, I've got your back!" Zlata says, firing on the nearby infantry.
"Thanks. That was a heavier hit than I was expecting... can't make repairs right now, either. Let's press on."
Dimitri opts to get his revenge on the offending artillery.
Whoa, and Diana and Leo come to help, too. We're having a great little party down here.
Even Peter manages to snag a kill.
But, as Olga lands a final heavy blow on Lash's forces...
Oh god it's tactic time
And all of her troops are on bases at the moment... friggin' six defence stars.
Thankfully, the actual damage is negligible.
But the real trouble of this power is the defence boost. It's gonna be a nightmare to break through.
Mm, it's not going to be easy, even with this sort of firepower.
Leo and the Neotanks break through, though. It's a slow process.
Sounds like a band name, Leo and the Neotanks.
why doES NOTHING DO DAMAGE
Lash is rather determined not to lose, isn't she?
At least she didn't attack that turn. Plus, now she doesn't have stupid defence boosts on her side.
For the sake of brevity, just assume that everything attacked anything that was nearby for that turn. Plus, Boris is ready to capture HQ once it becomes available.
Oh my god Lash, give up, why do you keep spawning mechs.
Well, with a final hit from Dimitri, the way forward is opened.
And now, the map is effectively over.
Mm. Colin did pretty well in retaining control, I have to say.
Up above, a copter drops a mech off, but it is a pointless gesture.
It's over. So that's the power of a Neotank, huh? I must admit, I can see what the fuss is about. Those things were stupid strong under Colin... now imagine what Max's Neotanks are like.
I can only imagine.
Thats enough. Im going home!
Black Hole Soldier: Mis Mistress Lash? Wait for us!
Did they really retreat?
Blue Moon Soldier: No doubt about it. Weve secured the enemy HQ, sir.
I accomplished my mission! Wow, is that a relief!
Blue Moon Soldier: Your command was Audacious, sir.
Thank you. Im glad you think so.
Im not sure that was a compliment.
Ive just got to keep this up and drive Black Hole out as soon as possible.
Two Neotanks and two bombers is certainly audacious.
So was letting one of your bombers sit right in front of an anti-air.
True but it was S-rank worthy, apparently.
And now back to you, if you will, Commander. I'll tell you where we're going next once you've filled me in.
Uh, alright, but this is the last bit of Dudecon, I'm afraid. We're reaching the end of the evening.
I expected your story to last as long as mine.
You thought a story about a single party one night would last as long as a story about a world-hopping campaign set in four countries?
In hindsight, it was not a bright conclusion to come to.
Part 13 Additional