Part 52: Interview 26 - In Broken Glass (Or, Where The Hell Is Von Panzer When You Need Him?)Interview 26 - In Broken Glass (Or, Where The Hell Is Von Panzer When You Need Him?)
Oh boy, adventure ho! Where we off to next, Ruin?
You're awfully chipper. We'll be seeing to Lash's battle with Sonja next.
What is this? There is no enemy in sight. Sonja, whats the meaning of this?
Youre right, Father. Theres no one here This is an important piece of the puzzle, though. The enemy must be targeting this area.
Sonja, honey, I know youre really smart, but please tell me how you got to this conclusion.
You are aware of the concept of military subterfuge, right?
If theyre here, Sonja, show me where theyre hiding. If there is no enemy, there can be no battle. We must move ahead to the next battlefield.
I suppose youre right, and yet, something seems strange
Ive no time for your stubbornness! Come, Sonja! We must go!
Hmmm Yes, Father I understand.
That's an awfully foreboding mission name. What on earth does it mean, though?
You'll find out. Anyhow, here's the map.
Ordinarily Fog of War would disappoint me, but it's a Sonja map, so I kinda figured. This is a weird setup, though. If Lash's army is in this middle bit... I guess it's gonna be mostly an indirect fire bonanza?
"I, in my infinite wisdom, decided not to actually check the fog for enemy units, though."
Does no one in Yellow Comet have a brain? Oh well, I guess Ill just march right in and capture their HQ.
Took your time getting here, didnt you?
Hey, its the one person in Yellow Comet with a brain. How unfortunate for Lash.
Who? Sonja!? Youre not supposed to be here! I was told your army had moved on!
Sorry to disappoint you. That intel came from me, actually. It was false. It took some doing to get my father and Sensei to agree to this plan, but
It seems Lash has, as you say, played herself.
I was beginning to wonder if you would take the bait.
Wait a minute Are you saying that YOU trapped ME?
Wow, Sonja isnt fucking around today.
There are rockets on both sides of you, and artillery waits ahead. If you try to get to our HQ, youll be wiped out.
Its not like youre a combat specialist or anything, right? I really wonder if you can take me.
Oh shit, shes calling Sonjas bluff.
I have a pretty big army here. If I keep marching, I think Ill take your HQ and win. Dont you agree?
Impossible. My calculations are not wrong. Your army will be destroyed before you ever touch our HQ.
I think I can make it. Care to bet on it?
Ah yes, the betting with soldiers lives begins once more
If you really want to try, whos going to stop you? Oh, thats right. I am.
Damn, Sonja. You were so stone-cold right there, I thought Rose was speaking.
Hows this? If even one of your units gets to our HQ, you win.
Sonja, what the hell? I rescind my earlier statement about her not fucking around. Apparently she is totally up for a bit of fucking around.
Lets determine which of us has the better grasp on reality.
Yay! A game! A game! Tee hee hee!
Oh my god.
Shall we begin?
Alright, here are the deployments for this map.
Personality: Almost constantly stoned.
Proficiencies: Medium Tank, Artillery, Recon
Ruin, there's like a million rockets on this map. How come only Ellis is listed here?
Ah, yes. In order to
That is a satisfactory and logical answer and I am not going to question it.
Top priority, naturally, is to protect the HQ. The enemy wins just by reaching it, so having something on it at all times is a must - Ellis, however, is not very bulky, so he makes his way to a nearby forest whilst Kyril takes care of the actual HQ. Andromeda and Sofia hide in the forests, ready to join with Kyril should he sustain any damage.
Not bad. The rockets on the outside are pretty braindead to use, just move to forests and fire at whatever's closest. But managing the four units on the inside of the valley, that's going to be the deciding factor of this map.
Leopold discovers some members of Lash's army. Nothing too threatening yet though.
I heard the word "yet" there, Ruin. What's in the fog?
This is how the troops arrange themselves, anyway. I trust that, with most of them simply bunched up against the mountains ready to fire on the foe, I don't need to go into the details of where they move?
Yeah, I'm good. Just cut to the fun part.
Is this 'fun' enough for you?
Oh fucking shit. How many medium tanks? And goddamn Neotanks? There isn't enough rockets in the world to take out all of this nonsense. And all Sonja has to defend her HQ is one regular tank?
You're having way too much fun with this.
Ah, Ellis is going into those trees there. I see! That should be a nice surprise for anything that comes up to the HQ.
Well, one of the rockets opens fire on the enemy, but...
Sonja decides to spend another turn getting her rockets into a more advantageous position before properly beginning her assault.
That's brave. If she wastes any more turns, she'll get completely overrun by tanks.
And those rockets are doing the same thing. Let's hope this all works out as Sonja expects.
This was not part of the plan, I imagine. Peregrine is not an experienced mech, either, so she sustains quite a bit of damage.
"Aw, hell, that hurts like a bitch." Peregrine says, gritting her teeth. She stumbles backwards, her back against the firm cliff of the valley, and grips her transceiver. "Rose! Can you order an attack down here? Got a friggin' infantry trying to climb over the mountains."
"Rose is concentrating on the enemy tank squadron." comes the reply. "I'll get right on it."
"Yo, Vanessa, is that you?"
Further up the battlefield, manning her recon whilst she performs other duties, Vanessa nods. "I'm helping Rose out - hang in there, Peregrine. We'll crush them as soon as we can."
My fucking god. I'm not gonna lie to you, Ruin, this is an absolutely preposterous number of dudes.
The 'dudes', as it were, care not for your disbelief at their preposterous number. They will simply keep moving towards their target.
At least the rockets are in position. Those Neotanks have got to go.
It seems that Rose agrees - the unmanned rockets begin firing on any Neotank in range.
Some of them have to go for less... threatening targets, however.
And more attacks on the other side. But Sonja's not actually killed anyth- ooooooh.
Using the enemy's tactics against them! Black Hole troops almost always join when there's nothing in range and they're damaged. If Sonja spreads her damage out, not only will most of the enemies that reach Kyril be quite damaged and therefore not much of a threat, but they'll also waste turns by joining with each other, buying her more time!
Bright as ever, my dude. That is indeed a large part of Sonja's game plan. For now, though, Vanessa directs one of the unmanned rockets to delete the enemy infantry.
Talora, manning an artillery, can take out the anti-air.
And the rockets are gonna go for the other Neotank. It's getting some defensive benefits from the terrain, though. That's annoying.
The last of the west side rockets launches an attack at the Neotank.
Heh. Sounds like a musical about rockets falling in love. Anyway, at least one of the Neotanks will be destroyed this turn.
Seems like someone forgot about Sonja's luck penalty.
That's so stupid. Sonja's already got a difficult enough time carving a niche for herself. So what do you do? Give her a luck penalty that lowers her damage even further, my god.
You'll be pleased to hear that whilst most of the enemy troops simply head north to the HQ, the Neotanks join instead, buying Kyril a bit of time.
There are, however, a lot of enemy units, especially medium tanks.
This feels so brutal. But, on the other hand, rockets are really powerful - especially on a map like this, that was practically built for them.
Rose's unmanned rockets target the recon next - the less Lash knows about Sonja's units, the better.
Ellis targets the Neotank. You're quite right - it's got to go.
Damn straight. Those things are horrific.
Thankfully, one last rocket volley takes it out. One threat removed - now just ten or so medium tanks to go.
The east ride rockets are doing some cleanup in the meantime, I see.
Correct, they remove some of the damaged units. Next up, however, is a horde of tanks that need weakening.
Dymek in the artillery targets the closest tank to him.
"Now this is gettin' fun! Let's blow these things wide open!" he yells.
"Whoa, dude..." says Casimir, ever-so-slightly out of it. "What if, like, you killed a medium tank and then a regular tank came out of it? And if you killed that, an infantry came out of it? And it just kept going forever?"
"What are you-" growls Iago, in the recon nearby. "Casimir, focus on your mission. This is your first trip in the field, is it not?"
"Yeah, man, it so is. Let me tell you, I'm super jazzed 'bout this whole protecting king and country thing."
"King and country?" Dymek says. "Casimir, pal, buddy. We're in an empire, we have an Emperor."
"Emperor, yeah, that's what I mean, man..." Casimir says, giving a lazy grin.
"A thousand curses... I can't put up with this army's nonsense any longer." grumbles Iago.
Well, the unmanned rockets are doing their job. Spreading all that damage out.
You know as well as I do, though, that a half-HP medium tank is still a threat to a regular tank.
Kyril is on the HQ, though. That gives hella defence.
I'm not sure "hella" is a quantifiable value.
Of course it is, I use it all the time. "Sturm had hella troops", for example.
I'm getting "hella" confused about this. Anyway, the combined efforts of Talora...
And Kiran take out this enemy tank.
And some more rockets attacking medium tanks just to round off Sonja's turn.
It does get rather samey from hereon, I must admit.
No kidding. Can't wait for seven more turns of stabbing medium tanks with rockets.
OK, I don't know if you know how rockets work, but no stabbing occurs. That's... that doesn't even make logical sense.
Also, having sustained some damage from that earlier fight, Peregrine makes a small retreat.
Well, this should be interesting. Hopefully all these medium tanks don't move too far north, otherwise they're going to be super annoying to deal with.
It gets worse.
Oh yes. She lost two Neotanks and sustained immense damage on everything else - of course her Super CO Power has charged by now.
And as usual, the attacking part of the power isn't even the most annoying part. No, doubling the effect of defensive terrain is the really irritating thing; thank goodness the Neotanks were taken out before Lash got this off.
Oh, they didn't move too far, actually. Nice.
Mm, medium tanks thankfully don't have the movement of tanks or Neotanks. Now for a counterattack.
Well, an attempt of a counterattack. That defensive bonus is going to make everything very hard to kill this turn.
"I saw an enemy go into the woods! I'm closing in!" says Peregrine, running forward to spot the group of enemy mechs. "Found 'em!"
"Wait, don't-" Vanessa says, but it's too late. "Peregrine, you weren't ordered to go back into the field!"
"It's just one mech, we can take it out, right? We have rockets!" Peregrine says. "What the hell's the issue?"
"The issue is that you took the bait!" Vanessa replies, sighing. "The enemy rockets have their sights on you now, I can guarantee it. You-"
Vanessa stops and takes a deep breath. I mustn't lose my temper. Rose, Sonja, Peregrine... they're all depending on me to deal with this problem.
"Did you say, speak, Peregrine?!" comes the voice of Andromeda over the transceiver. "Vanessa, what's-"
"Andromeda, don't worry. Peregrine, stay where you are. Keep your eyes on that enemy mech - we'll take care of the rockets."
"Are you sure?" Andromeda asks breathlessly.
"Don't worry about me, Andy." Peregrine replies. "I'm gonna get out of this unscathed, and we're gonna go flying in my jet after the battle. Alright?"
"I... I hope, pray, so, Peregrine. Come back safe."
Vanessa narrows her eyes, wishing she felt as confident as she sounded. "I've got this under control. I promise."
One of the rockets can at least take heavy damage from the unmanned rockets. Actually, that's a lot of damage...
Remember, Lash's CO Power only doubles the effect of defensive terrain. And roads provide no defensive bonus, so double zero is still...
Zero. Nice work.
In the meantime, however, the rockets further up are struggling to even scratch these tanks.
Lash's defensive bonuses, plus Sonja's poor luck, mean that most of these tanks survive these hits on 1 HP, by the way.
Oh, fucking perfect.
Aymil and Aanisah, being APCs, don't have an awful lot to do, but Aymil is helping out by refuelling the rockets when they get low.
Dymek can finish off the medium tank that survived the rocket hit, too.
Don't get too excited. This one also survives with 1 HP.
As much as I'm not amused by how they aren't finishing the tanks off, I must say, the rockets are doing good work. Put them in the right place and they can shred any number of enemies.
This reminds me of the map where Grit fought Adder - where we saw missile silos for the first time. It's got a similar concept.
This one does not survive.
Ellis opens fire on the tank.
"Thanks, Ellis! I hope there's nothing else coming out of the fog. How's it looking down there, Ellis?" Kyril says. "I'm going to stand firm, whatever comes our way."
Ellis looks at the horde of medium tanks coming out of the fog like an army of avenging nightmares, and nods to himself before picking up his transceiver. "Yeah, no worries, Kyril. Looks like we're through the worst of it. Just, uh, hang in there, alright?"
Minerva, the mech stood next to Ellis, leans over and hisses at him, "Why would you lie to him?"
"We're going to deal with most of this before it gets to him. No point worrying him unnecessarily." Ellis replies, shrugging. "He's the difference between victory and failure, and that's a lot to put on one kid's shoulders. I don't wanna add to his burden."
"...I suppose so." Minerva replies. "I hope Kanbei is watching."
"Oh, right, you like him, don't you?"
"I don't-" Minerva says, blushing. "I just... for once, I don't mind if he doesn't notice me. But Kyril is his nephew... I just hope he notices how brave his nephew is."
Ellis nods. "I hope so too. I guess we'll see."
Oh my god, a ranged unit attacks a medium tank. I simply cannot believe it.
And again. I'm just the messenger, my dude. If you have a problem with this map, take it up with Sonja.
I shall write her a strongly worded letter.
The rockets continue to put in work, however. They're slowly thinning the medium tanks.
Emphasis on slowly.
Still, I suppose it's not a very long map. But that's also the dangerous part, since the enemy is so close to the HQ.
Speaking of, Kyril is suddenly faced with a rather powerful medium tank attacking him.
"Ellis, you said-" screeches Kyril as a bazooka shot rings past him, just barely missing his tank.
"Sorry! Couple of medium tanks broke through, but I didn't want to worry you. We've got rocket support on all sides - hang in there, alright?"
"Alright. For my country, I won't fall here!" Kyril says.
"The enemy's landed a huge hit on the unmanned rockets!" shouts Peregrine. "Vanessa, what the fuck's happening?"
"I'm... I'm working on it!" Vanessa says. No! No getting flustered. Calm. Focus. "Peregrine, I'll need you to follow my every order from now on, alright?"
Peregrine nods. "I trust ya."
Oh, shit, the rockets moved instead of going for Peregrine. That's a lucky break.
Plus, the undamaged rockets are current in ranged of Yellow Comet's rockets. This isn't going to be much trouble from here.
Alright, let's see how things progress from here. There's a lot of working parts to this map all of a sudden.
First, the enemy rockets get slammed by Yellow Comet's rockets.
"Alright, Rose! Sonja!" Vanessa cries into her transceiver. "Send the damaged rockets north!"
"Do you have a plan?" asks Rose, back at HQ, leading the unmanned rockets. Sonja is sat beside her, and she looks up as Vanessa's reply comes crackling through the receiver.
"And what would that be?" asks Rose.
"I guess it's just part of who I am," Vanessa says, partially to herself, and partially to the rest of the army. "But I've never been one to stay out of the battle and command it from afar. If my troops are putting themselves on the line, then I want to do the same right alongside them. Maybe that's why I never got the position of CO or ACO. But right now, I'm a soldier, and a soldier's job is to put themselves on the line."
Peregrine watches as a recon comes screaming out of the fog, manned by a stone-faced girl with gritted teeth and blazing eyes.
"So my plan is to just do it myself! Peregrine, strike from behind!"
"On it!" yells Peregrine, opening fire right after Vanessa does. The bullets fly through the air, catching the mech squad unawares, and shredding them down to the last man. Rose and Sonja observe in silence, but Sonja seems to be lost in thought.
"Good work, Vanessa." Rose says. "That lone mech isn't much of an issue anymore. Now turn your focus back to the main threat - this battle isn't over yet."
Am I allowed to say that the Yellow Comet soldiers are just the absolute cutest?
No. Not because it's disallowed or anything, but hearing you say the words 'absolute cutest' just feels wrong. Anyway, Kiran fires on the infantry in his range; artilleries certainly aren't as useful as rockets on maps like these.
The medium tanks are getting absolutely fucked up in the meantime.
Quite. Talora finishes off yet another one, and somehow, you'll note that almost all the medium tanks are gone now.
Except the one right outside the HQ.
That one's a work in progress.
Though, strategically, a medium tank on full health is more of a threat than the one outside the HQ, so Ellis goes for that.
And the unmanned rockets take out a tank. Jesus, how has Lash's army taken this many rocket hits and still have this many troops? She had such a massive army, my god.
Most of the remaining enemies aren't really threats, though. Ranged units, however, are potential threats, so the rockets go for her artillery.
Frankly, at this point it's just a formality of clearing everything up.
I will feel a lot more comfortable once those last two medium tanks are gone. The rockets should be able to move into a good position to cover the sides of the HQ that Ellis can't access.
Sonja also has a trick up her sleeve.
Stronger counterattacks, that's pretty useful. Let's hope it dissuades the enemies from attacking Kyril.
We shall see.
I suppose so. This map feels very close to finishing.
I just had to say it, didn't I. If the tank attacks from there, he's out of range of all the rockets!
It's down to just 3 HP though, so it shouldn't be too much of a bother.
Yeah, but look, the other medium tank is on the way. Somebody finish it off quick!
That's, uh, not the medium tank, but A for effort, I suppose.
It's big and square, they must look very similar.
Medium tanks have a big fuckoff cannon on the front!
The rockets joined, but... they joined whilst still in range of the unmanned rockets. So they won't be around much longer.
I'm sure Peregrine is thrilled to hear that. Now she can finish off this mech without needing to worry about rockety death from above.
Happy now? The big scary medium tank is gone.
I suppose. Still, there's one last medium tank left...
The east side rockets do heavy damage to the enemy recon.
Ellis finishes off another tank, too. And that's when Sonja notices how few enemies are left...
Oh, the tanks are attacking!
Correct. Firstly, Andromeda finishes off this recon.
"...If Vanessa can prove herself, then so can I!" Kyril says, turning his tanks towards the enemy medium tank bearing down towards the HQ. "I won't allow Yellow Comet to lose. My uncle, the Emperor... he's made this country strong. And maybe he won't recognise my efforts... but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. I don't do this for glory, or for the recognition my family deserves... I do this because it's the right thing to do!"
The medium tank stands no chance - the first of Kyril's shots rips through the central part of the tank, causing it to rupture and explode, leaving nothing left. Kyril takes a breath.
"Whew... didn't think I was going to manage that. Is that the last of them?"
"The medium tanks are gone. You did it, Kyril." Vanessa replies, allowing herself a grin. "Now let's finish off the rest of these useless layabouts and show Black Hole that we're not to be messed with!"
Sofia finishes off the artillery down here. The rest of the army is in shambles, virtually, so it shouldn't take much time to finish them all off.
Sonja really wasn't kidding about how much her rockets would shred Lash's army.
She's still up for a game, though, apparently.
Oh, of course she has her CO Power.
Finishing off the army might take slightly longer now.
A lone infantry goes for Lysander, but it doesn't go very well for them.
I mean, they're now in the range of like, three ranged units. This is going to be a bloodbath.
Quite. The unmanned rockets do their best to make him regret his attack.
Meanwhile, Issam goes to fight the enemy APC and whatever it happens to be carrying.
And Braddock takes it out. Nice.
A single rocket volley finishes off the recon, even with the six defence stars afforded to it by Lash. Rather amusing, that.
Pfft. I see that Lysander wanted to take the enemy infantry out himself instead of relying on rockets.
Sometimes, it's just about sending a message.
This attack isn't quite enough to shift this infantry, however...
So Kiran has to finish the job.
And this unlucky mech just gets absolutely clapped by a rocket strike.
Kyril goes to finish it off, seeing as the HQ is mostly safe.
That seems very overconfident, for Sonja and Rose.
Oh, don't worry. They put Andromeda on the HQ, they're not that overconfident.
The last enemy of the map, the artillery, flees into the fog.
Sigh. It's gonna give Yellow Comet the runaround for a while, isn't it?
Nail on the head. Kyril and Sofia are on the case, however.
Issam scouts our friend out in the fog, allowing the troops to move in.
And it runs away again?
Kyril runs into it accidentally, and is directly in range. Slightly problematic.
I swear to god, Kyril, if you die to the last enemy on this map...
Wouldn't that be demoralising?
He's a tank on a city. I kinda figured.
OK, NOW they can finish it off.
He survives on 1 HP. Sonja's luck, remember?
For fuck's sake.
"Alright, I'll finish it off." Kyril says. "Everyone, this battle is won. With just one more shot..."
The final shot destroys the artillery unit, and Lash's army stands, completely destroyed at the hands of CO Sonja and her ACO, Rose.
Aaaah I lost. Oh well, I still have plenty of pieces to play with.
P-Pieces?! I cant believe you said that!
Hey look, Sonja cares about her troops after her talk with Kanbei. Good stuff.
This isnt a game! Youre not on some kind of playground!
Oh, but it IS a game. A wonderfully fun game between you and me! I know you feel the same way. Come on, you can tell me.
Im getting real Sherlock and Moriarty vibes here.
Dont Dont be silly Im nothing like you, Lash.
I assume you now understand why this mission was called A Mirror Darkly.
OOOOOOOH I GET IT NOW
Youre exactly like me. You and I. Were the same. Youre always thinking about it, right? Which move will bring victory?
Fucking ANYONE who has the role of CO, at some point, will have to consider what to do to win a battle. What kind of argument is this?
You enjoy war like a good game of chess.
Thats ridiculous. War is strategic, of course it has some comparisons to chess. Doesnt mean theyre the same thing, though!
My dude are you defending Sonja here, or defending yourself?
Were not different at all, Sonja. Youll feel it someday, the joy that war brings. Wait You feel it now, dont you? Oh, Sonja! Tee hee hee! Toodles!
Wait! Hold it! Am I really like you?
Oh boy, Lash has gotten into her head.
By the sounds of it, shes in your head, too.
I mean, she has a point, I wont deny it. Theres a cold kind of fun to be had in warfare; but that fun ends the moment that somebodys life is in danger. There is no fun in playing with peoples lives, only in protecting them. Thats the difference between COs like myself and Sonja, and COs like Lash. Thats the line well never cross.
I wont become you, Lash. I cant...
Seems like Sonja agrees. Well said, my dude.
Still, the battle is won. Only one more fight left before the final battle of Yellow Comet.
Oh, right, Sensei's map, right? That should be fun.
So... we're done here, for now.
Seems like it. I'll see you next time, yeah?
I look forward to it.
Part 26 Additional