Part 66: Interview 33 - A Foggy Fracas (Or, The King Of Boring-But-Functional)Interview 33 - A Foggy Fracas (Or, The King Of Boring-But-Functional)
Hello, my dude. Ready for the lab map?
Meh. We've not really used Neotanks that much in the campaign so far. I'm more interested to meet Hawke and find out his whole deal.
So the freebooters are working on some sort of new tank?
Its hardly new' at this point, is it?
From what we know, the contingent guarding the place is fairly small.
If they got this intel from their troops, its probably wrong. After all, it's troops that brought us such things as No enemies are in this area or This part of the country is completely safe.
There has been rather a lot of misinformation when you think about it.
So if were going to attack, we should do it now.
What is it?
You two can agree on something.
I see Drake is a tell dont show kind of guy.
Were both trying to come up with a plan to save Green Earth. It seems to me that sharing some of the same opinions is only natural.
Eagle being the most reasonable character? Man, things really have changed in Green Earth.
Thats right. Eagles exactly right.
Ill take Things nobody in their right mind wants to admit for $500, Ruin.
What the hell are you talking about?
What, do they not have TV in this fancy inter-dimensional police station?
Even if we did, we wouldnt watch Jeopardy.
So you DO know what I was referencing!
OK. Say no more.
There is one thing that concerns me, though. The enemy has a large force heading this way.
Oh boy, a time limit! It wouldnt be a lab map without it.
When will they arrive?
According to our intel, in 10 days.
So we must capture the lab by then. Its going to be a hectic 9 days.
That isnt very long at all. This is going to be an interesting map.
You dont know the half of it.
I hope you realise how suspicious that sounded. Oh, hey, we're playing as Eagle. This should be satisfying.
You have some respect for him, don't you?
I have respect for three things: planes, medium tanks and Lightning Strike. Eagle has mastered two of those things, and thus has earned my respect. A map with him is gonna be great. The only way this could possibly be bad is-
Fuuuuuuuuck. Fuck it, the map's in ruins. Uh, no offence.
On a more serious note, this is odd. There's boats, for if you choose Drake, and vehicles, for if you choose Jess, but if you choose Eagle, no pre-deployed planes for you.
Eagle doesn't seem to care. Besides, at least he has an airport - all he needs is a bit of money and he'll start to snowball.
Yeah, I suppose they do start with every type of base. Meh, fine. Let's see the stats! What's Hawke got?
Don't you want to see Eagle's first?
"Great planes, shit boats, lucky goggles, Lightning Strike."
...Well, yes, that was basically it. Here they are anyway.
Oh, he has a dad. How exciting.
Do you... not have a father?
I'm pretty sure my dudes just spontaneously pop into existence. What about you?
...The less said about my father, the better.
His air units use less fuel? Either that wasn't a thing in the last campaign or I just totally forgot. That's actually really useful, though; planes use a lot of fuel, and Fog of War makes units use even more fuel, so this should be nice.
Hey, look, it's a "no one would ever use this" CO Power. Because why use that when...
...When this exists?
Precisely. It's worth going for this every time. Such a stupidly good power. Alright, now onto the main event! Hawke! What's he like?
I'm really not sure that it's going to be that exciting for you.
Well, that doesn't give anything away about his capabilities. Fucking... "Miss: incompetence". Like, buddy, have you met your subordinates?
Perhaps it's because they're incompetent that he dislikes incompetence.
More to the point, who likes incompetence? It's like saying "Oh I like being happy and I don't like being sad". Yeah, so does literally everybody else ever.
...Everything just gets stronger? Uh, alright, I guess. Going off his name I really assumed he was a plane dude.
His power is...
Hm. What's the Super CO Power?
2HP doesn't seem like much.
Ah, but it's 2HP healing and 2HP damage, which is basically a 4HP swing in total. He could have a 6 HP tank and I could have a full-health tank, and with one use of this, suddenly our tanks are at the same HP, and with his superior firepower he's at the advantage if he initiates. Yeah, I think this is a lot more dangerous than it looks.
An interesting analysis. I do understand what you mean - I suppose from that perspective it has the chance to be quite potent. Oh, but before I forget - the deployments for today.
Abelard, Medium Tank
Personality: Tired war veteran.
Proficiencies: Medium Tank, Submarine, Mech
Heh. I see bombers. That'll be something to look forward to.
Quite. So, let's get started. First Eagle deploys Mulligan here - though he's stuck in the pipes, he can capture the nearby airport, which will prove to be very useful.
Roland in the cruiser, and his father Wallace in the battleship, make their way to the reefs to hide from any potential enemies. Eagle only has vague intel about what's in the fog, so understandably, he's quite careful in these first few days.
I would be too. Fuck Fog of War.
Now, Cassandra is good, but Cassandra and Petra will be better, so Petra gets deployed to help out.
"Hey guys! Pleasure to see you. Or not see you in all this fog, I guess!" Petra says, grinning. She glances around, then looks back, a little disappointed. "Still no Edgar? I wonder where he's got to?"
"Don't worry about Edgar for now. Right now we must focus on the mission at hand." Cassandra says. "Intel has reported that a large copter force is headed right for us, and you and I will be taking care of most of it."
"Of course!" Petra says, grinning as she replies to the transceiver. "I'll do my absolute best!"
Most of Eagle's units will be hiding in the nearby woods for the first day or two. The rightmost recon, Noah, however, is on a slightly different mission. He's got some useful scouting that needs to be done.
Actually the filename is Screenshot%202-
I know, it was a joke Ruin
Well, nothing came out of the fog, so that's good.
Correct, there's still a little more time before the fighting starts. Mulligan begins his capturing efforts.
Noah places himself here, revealing a good number of foes hiding around.
An enemy tank and anti-air? They're big problems.
Correct, but now that the tank's location has been pinpointed by Noah...
"Hah hah hah! Roland, my boy, watch how a warrior does his work!" Wallace booms, readying his cannons on the enemy nearby.
Roland, manning his cruiser, sinks into his seat. "Ugh, dad, I can fight by myself. You really don't need to show me up..."
There is one more piece of the anti-copter puzzle, though. Cassandra and Petra will be joined by a fighter jet, manned by Howard.
Howard in a fighter jet on a Fog of War map. I've seen this before.
Either way, the next day is done - now it's Hawke's turn, but...
As you can see, his units don't do a whole lot. Of course, there were plenty of ominous movements in the fog, but little else.
The tank stayed exactly where it was, too. That thing's so dead today.
First things first, though, capturing this airport.
Oh wow. If those rockets had showed up just a day earlier, Mulligan wouldn't have been able to capture the airport.
Quite. But he can survive one hit and then flee, so he'll be alright.
Wallace finishes off the enemy tank, since it'll be a problem for the anti-airs.
And Howard heads north.
"Man, I hate fog." Howard sighs, staring out at the endless ocean, with the dense fog rolling in slowly, making things virtually impossible to sea. "Reminds me of smoke. And it's a bitch to fight in."
"Are you complaining to yourself again, Howard?" comes a voice through the transceiver, and Howard allows himself a wry grin.
"A bit, yeah." he replies to Mulligan. "How about you, did you get that airport captured?"
"Just finishing things up. Keep yourself safe, Howard. See you later."
The other recon, Lorelei, isn't doing much scouting. Instead, she's placing herself in range of the enemy recon to lure it over.
That's brave. But I suppose she's on a property so she should be fine. In theory.
Abelard is an old hand at war, so he feels safe exiting the trees, but he doesn't stray too far. It's not quite time to strike back; Eagle's waiting for Hawke's primary force to show itself.
...I guess "one mech capturing a property" isn't really a primary force, huh.
"Under heavy rocket fire!" Mulligan shouts into his transceiver as he sprints away from the airport. "The airport is secure, but I'm going to have to move south!"
"You keep scaring me, Mull!" Howard says, sighing. "Are you OK?"
"I'm fine. How are things looking over there, Cass?"
"We're just waiting for Hawke to overplay his hand... not long now." Cassandra murmurs, observing the fog. Soon, she sees shifting movements in the darkness, and narrows her eyes.
As the enemy recon targets and fires on Lorelei, Abelard turns to her.
"Miss Lorelei! Everything alright?"
"Oh, just fine." she replies, shaking the hair out of her face. Her hand reaches up to grip a rabbit's foot on a rope around her neck. "My rabbit's foot protected me. Thank the Goddess I decided to wear it today."
"If you say so." Abelard replies. "Troops, form up. The enemy's primary force will soon break the fog perimeter, and we must not be caught lacking when that occurs. We will only have one moment to strike back - if we miss this opportunity, we may not have enough time to secure the lab before our time is up."
"Correct, Abelard. Thank you." Cassandra says.
"No need to thank me. If Edgar were here, he'd be taking charge right about now - he isn't here, though, so I shall fill my comrade's place. Now then, Miss Cassandra... are you ready?"
Cassandra and Petra steel themselves.
"Let's do this! For Green Earth!"
Oh, shit, that's primary force. Four battle copters?! In one turn?
Hawke is not messing around.
Oh, and he has an anti-air specifically to fuck up Howard. Yeah, Wallace, that's gotta go.
The fighting begins in earnest here, but Eagle's not been caught completely unawares - he's prepared to handle most of these copters.
Good job, really. By my calculations, with his extra firepower on all units, two of Hawke's copters attacking the same unit is almost guaranteed to be a death. Unless it's like, an anti-air or something like that.
Mulligan fled south to avoid further rocket attacks. He's badly injured, but he survived, and now the airport is ready for use.
bombers bombers bombers
oh hell yes.
Yes indeed, bombers. First up is Matilda.
Of course, she can't do anything this turn, so let's turn our attention to the actual battlefield. Abelard finishes off the enemy anti-air, just to ensure that Howard can safely engage on the foe.
I mean, anti-airs are one of the only things that can fire on him so it's probably best that it gets destroyed ASAP.
Now for the copters. The first one is crushed by Cassandra.
And the second one is pulverised by Petra.
Hee hee, alliteration. The next one is, uh...
...hurt by Howard! There we go.
The fact that his fighters do almost the same damage as anti-airs, which are designed to do extra damage to copters, goes to show Eagle's raw strength when it comes to aerial combat.
Yeah, Eagle fighters absolutely dominate the sky. No doubt about it.
There are still a few enemies hanging around, but nothing nearly as threatening as that gaggle of copters.
Oh dear, this loser's captured the base. Eagle had best protect that - Hawke doesn't have another base, so giving him a chance to deploy new units is absolutely not ideal.
Yes, that would slow down the map somewhat, and Eagle does not have the time for that.
The enemy copter goes for Abelard, but makes the mistake of engaging on him from this side, where Roland in the cruiser can get to it.
What are you surprised about? He lost a lot of troops last turn, of course he got his CO Power.
...Yeah, but the AI never activates it mid-turn, unless it's Eagle. How the hell did he do that?
I... suppose that's true, yes. How strange. Still, it's only the Co Power, so it's just one damage to everything. Still troublesome, of course.
And now the screen's glitched a bit. I don't think it's supposed to look like that.
My dude, the fourth wall, how many times- oh, no, that does look strange. Hold on, let me fix that.
Anyway, Roland can quite easily engage on this copter, though he's not close to a kill, unfortunately.
And with this mech's capturing finished, it's probably best that he gets removed before Hawke can start deploying things from this base. Lorelei engages on him.
No kidding. The last thing you want is to give this guy a foothold.
Oh, that's not a lot of damage at all. Come on, Noah, you've gotta beat these guys.
He's only a recon, my dude. Besides, in a map with such a strict time limit, any damage is good damage.
Petra pops back to finish off the copter that Roland weakened, finishing off the major threats. There's more waiting in the fog though.
Oh, no, more threats. The copters are all gone now.
Oh thank god.
The classic fighter-block strategy. I suppose it's not foolproof since the medium tank can just go around Howard, but with all those trees, it's a moderately effective solution.
Let's just hope that there's no other anti-air units ready to spoil Howard's day.
Cassandra finishes off the enemy mech, leaving the base open. However, not for long.
Ah, Abelard's gone to sit on it. That should work.
Correct. In the meantime, Matilda is breaking her way out of the pipes, ready to lay waste to the enemy.
For now, though, time to see what else Hawke's got up his sleeve.
Not a whole lot, frankly.
Oh? What do you mean?
Well, the map-wide CO Power and extra damage on everything is really solid, but... it's really fucking boring. Just a dull, functional way to make Hawke seem more difficult than the other COs. Most of the other COs at least have an interesting niche, though.
I'm very unimpressed.
Good to know. Anyway, a tank attacks Petra, but she survives.
I really hope there's not too many enemies on the other side of the map. One or two bombers isn't going to be able to clean up all that quickly if there's quite a few enemies hanging around.
I don't think you'll have to worry about that.
There's enough firepower at hand to deal with the tank, so Wallace is instead focussed on getting rid of that medium tank, though... Eagle's boats are not terribly strong, so it's going to take a good few turns.
Goddamn, you suck at botes, Eagle.
On the other hand, a medium tank just offered itself into Matilda's waiting bombs, so she can instantly destroy it without even having to expend fuel.
And then a second bomber joins the fracas: Amarah.
"Hi, everyone! How are things looking out there?" Amarah says in her usual musical tones.
"Oh, you know. Bit beaten up, but fine." Mulligan says, shrugging.
"Indeed, we shall prevail." Abelard replies. "These foes will not last much longer - Amarah, I trust you and your bomber compatriots can help remove the opposition nearer to the lab?"
"Definitely, I like the sound of that." Amarah says, nodding. "Time to see what's hiding in the fog... I wonder."
Oh, yeah, that tank made a mistake being next to Abelard. He doesn't even need to move off of the base to absolutely shred it. Though Petra's not in an ideal situation - she can't take another hit safely.
Don't worry - that's under control too.
"Petra, I've got you." Cassandra says, combining her anti-air forces with Petra's beleaguered group. "We just need to hold out for a little longer."
"Of course! I'm not going to go down that easily." Petra says with a grin, but Cassandra can see fear in her eyes. "What would Edgar say if his protégée couldn't even handle a plain old enemy tank?"
Hey, Ruin, do you win a lab map if you kill all the enemies, or do you have to capture it?
Capturing it on this map doesn't seem terribly easy in 9 days. Thankfully, destroying all the opposition will count as a victory.
OK, Eagle's not in quite as bad of a position as I thought then. He should potentially be fine.
Petra/Cassandra survive another blow from this enemy tank, and it's still in range of Abelard, so... yeah, by next turn, it will no longer be a threat.
That enemy artillery is sneaking around Howard, too. Hm.
Matilda heads into the fog to try and scout some enemies, and locates a few. Neither, thankfully, is a threat to a bomber.
I was going to say, missiles in the fog is supremely dickish and I'm going to stab Hawke if he's got missiles hanging around.
The last of this map's bombers is then deployed - Frederick. The three of them should be enough to clean up the other side of the map on their own.
Meanwhile, having sustained heavy damage, Lorelei and Noah decide to pair their recon forces together. That said, there's probably not much use, since recons aren't the best combat units.
I take it you've never met Sturm's recons, then?
There are several things that Wallace could attack, but the most dangerous thing, really, is that artillery that you spotted earlier. That'll cause problems for Abelard, who has to remain on that base.
And Petra/Cassandra finish off the enemy recon, I see.
Indeed, they just about manage to score a kill. And though it looks like they're in artillery range, we are still in Fog of War, remember, so the trees will keep the girls safe.
In the meantime, Abelard stomps the enemy tank; with that, most of Hawke's initial forces have been dealt with. It's just the ones near Howard that remain.
"Roland, lad!" Wallace says, chuckling. "Don't go toddling into the fog willy-nilly! You won't be able to see, and I'm sure you've noticed what's on the beach nearby..."
"Seriously, dad, I know what I'm doing!" Roland snaps.
"Look, I've revealed another foe. I'm contributing!" Roland continues.
Wallace nods. "I know you are, and that's great, but I just don't want you to-"
"What? You don't want me to what? Prove myself? That's what it seems like, with you always making fun of me!"
"N-no!" Wallace says, shaking his head. "Now come on, boy, don't talk to me like that. If you got hurt-"
"I'm a soldier, dad! I'm just as good as you. But you always show me up and downplay my achievements, even when I do bold things like head into the fog on my own!"
"Wait, did you say head into the fog?" Lorelei replies, going white. "But Roland, there's a ranged unit in range of-"
"It's just a weakened artillery!" Roland replies fiercely. "I can deal with it!"
"Wait, Roland-" gasps Wallace, suddenly feeling all the levity leave him. "Retreat! Retreat, son, it's not safe!"
"What are you-" Roland starts, but then every solder falls quiet as they hear the noises of weaponry screaming across the sky from somewhere in the foggy mists.
"It's not the artillery she's worried about," Wallace says. "It's the r-rockets in the fog!"
"Wh... rockets..? Dad? DAD!" Roland murmurs as explosions crash around him. The cruiser is taking on heavy water, and Roland can't focus as the sea surges around him; there is nowhere to go but down. As the cruiser begins to sink beneath the waves, Roland goes to speak into the transceiver, but water soon clogs up the speaker. All that Wallace hears of his son's final words is garbled static and then silence.
"No... NO! ROLAND!" Wallace booms. "ROLAND!"
"He was..." Amarah whispers.
"Just a boy." Abelard replies. "Troops, maintain your positions! I know it's not easy, but we cannot afford to lose this battle!"
The scream of a father without his child cuts through the air like a lightning bolt. "ROOOOLAND!"
...I'd almost forgotten that units could even die. It's been a long while since we had a casualty.
And as casualties go, the death of one so young... it is not easy to watch.
Wallace attacks the battleship in complete silence.
Matilda goes to eliminate the rockets. Thankfully, Eagle's bombers still do preposterous amounts of damage.
Victory all depends on how many units Hawke's got left, though. Hopefully not many, though we at least know there's some rockets current unaccounted for in the west...
Indeed. Amarah attacks this infantry, but she's just shy of finishing it off. However, that will not be an issue much longer...
Oh yes. Oh hell yes.
I had a feeling you were looking forward to this.
BEST CO POWER.
I literally beat Sturm with this. That's how much I respect it.
It's rather good, I must say. The bombers will make excellent use of it, along with their high movement, to skip over most of the map.
"But it's not your turn-" the medium tank operator says as he spots Wallace's battleship preparing to fire.
"You took him from me." Wallace replies darkly. "You really think I'm gonna pay attention to your 'turns' and 'etiquette'?! Hell no!"
With the medium tank gone, Howard can now head forward and find those troublesome rockets.
Rockets in fog is just an absolute dick move. Fuck rockets in fog.
Even in his weakened state, Abelard does rather immense amounts of damage to the rockets. He was probably incensed by the loss of one of their own.
I mean, everyone got so angry that they got an extra turn. Safe to say they're not holding back any longer.
Petra and Cassandra combine their forces to attack the artillery - they're in range of the rockets, but they won't do very much damage now that Abelard's weakened them.
And Matilda flies back to finish off the infantry - she started farther away, so it makes sense for her to deal with the infantry whilst the other bombers head north.
Makes sense, very efficient.
These are the only enemies left, and there's little chance of them outrunning Amarah and Frederick.
Well, the rockets went for Petra/Cassandra as predicted. To say that they're, you know, anti-airs, they've done a surprising amount of front-line tanking on this map.
Yes, I suppose they have. Still, we're close to the end now, and good thing too.
Oh yeah, the time limit. Man, Eagle's cutting it close.
I'm sure he'll be fine.
First things first, the APC tried to flee, but Howard managed to find it first-try. If it had been hiding anywhere else, Lorelei/Noah would have been able to cover the other woods.
Frederick wastes no time in eliminating it.
"This one's for Roland." Amarah says. "I only met him recently, but he was a friend. And you had no right to take him away!"
"Well said, Amarah." murmurs Abelard as he watches the bombs fall, remaining stoic.
And now, with one enemy left...
Abelard finishes the map off. Nice! That is the last enemy, right?
Correct. It's over.
I heard that theyd just been found.
This brings us one step closer to matching the enemys strength.
Uh-huh. Im looking forward to trying out those new tanks.
At last, a chance to demonstrate my specialty.
Eagle, buddy, your specialty is planes.
I would have been on board if hed said superiority', but specialty is factually inaccurate.
Excuse me? Eagle, youre just a glorified flyboy, right?
Oh wow. Theres plenty of COs you can make fun of, but Eagle absolutely is not one of them.
Leave those new tanks to the ground-combat expert. Thats me!
Whos a glorified flyboy?! If we leave these new tanks in your hands, Red, theyll be wasted!
What did you say?! I dare you to say that again, Eagle!
Children, the lot of them.
My dude, you call one of your professional colleagues Dipshit instead of his actual name. I dont think you can pass judgement on childish behaviour.
Stop it, you two! Whew And it all comes back to an argument. I wish this were more than just an excuse for you two to fight.
Either way, the map's done. Eagle handled that well. I've no fucking idea how you beat that map with any other CO, but hey, I guess we won't find out. What's next?
Well, no new maps have opened up yet, so we still have... what was it again...
We've got Eagle or Drake. I can't think of any funny names this time around.
Aw, you're not even going to try? What about... huh. I'm drawing a blank as well.
Alright, fine, Eagle or Drake next time. Sounds good to me. Until then!
Part 33 Additional