The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars 2

by cosmicPostman

Part 68: Interview 34 - “Drake Under Fire” (Or, “The Mother Of All Bote Maps”)

Interview 34 - “Drake Under Fire” (Or, “The Mother Of All Bote Maps”)

Oh boy it's a bote map

You're understating it by calling it "a bote map". This is the boat map.

Oh god, how big is this map?

Hee hee. Wait and see.

BH Soldier: They appear to be gathering on a small island on the inland sea.

And our troops have surrounded the sea?

BH Soldier: Yes, sir. A complete wall encircles them. All that remains is to destroy them unit by unit with the Black Cannon.

This is… not a good start.

Worse still - Hawke is a pragmatic villain.

It’s too early to relax. Much could happen before they are annihilated. Tell the troops to keep on their toes.

Oh wow, he does not take chances. That’s troublesome.

Yeah, I'm gonna take it that Drake does not have A Good Time on this map.

Well, see for yourself...

Oh, mother fuck, Fog of War again?! This is taking me right back to Green Earth from the previous campaign. Seven maps of Fog of War in a goddamn row.

The fog isn't even the biggest problem, though. What do you make of the map?

It's not ideal. It's huge, for a start, and there's enemies everywhere, if those rockets are anything to go by. Hawke did say that he had Drake surrounded, after all...

yes i just said that drake

I’ve got to find a way to turn the tides, or we’ll all be swept away. Should I weather that cannon’s fire in the reefs or transport troops to the HQ with landers?

Oh yeah, his HQ’s in the south. He’s gonna have to defend that quick-like.

GE Soldier: Commander! Incoming call from Commander Eagle!

From Eagle? Patch him through.

Drake, are you OK?

Eagle? We’ve hit a patch of rough sea here. The enemy’s surrounded us.

I gotta say, the Green Earth crew are much more endearing this time around. Drake’s staying so calm under pressure, I respect it.

We’ve got to find a way to save the troops…


Anyone who cares about their troops is a good CO in my book. It seems like you taught every CO of Wars World to look after their men.

And a damn good lesson it is too.

Hold on. I’ve got some good news for you.

What is it?

I received a communique from Yellow Comet. They’ve sent reinforcements!

Woo! Just when I thought we weren’t going to see Yellow Comet in a while. Please tell me Rose is here.

Do you think she’d miss the opportunity to test her wits against Hawke?

And that’s not all. They’re being led by the emperor himself, Kanbei!

That IS good news! OK, I’ll launch a counteroffensive timed with Kanbei’s attack.

You’ll be aiming to take out those 2 Black Cannons, right?

They’re so huge… that’s not fun.

They must be destroyed if Drake is to win, I’m afraid.

Yep. We can mop up the rest of the enemy once that’s done.

Understood. I’ll request that Kanbei’s troops target the Black Cannons, too.

Thanks, Eagle. You have this old sailor’s gratitude.

Save it for the victory celebration. Good luck to you, Drake.

They just sound so badass by taking this so casually. Goddamn it, you guys, I’m supposed to think you’re kind of lame, but…

You’re allowed to change your mind on people, my dude.

That's a slippery slope, though. I might start changing my mind on Dipshit, too.

What do we know of Green Earth’s Commander Drake?

He’s fuckin’ rad.

YC Soldier: He’s unharmed, sir.

Oh, right, they meant… yeah, that makes sense.

I don’t say this often enough, but you’re an idiot.

I know…

Let’s establish our field HQ. When that’s done, we’ll send out the troops. Our mission is to eradicate the 2 Black Cannons.

The mission is clear, at least. Kanbei works best when he has just one thing to focus on.

Heh, that’s true.

You think you’ve got Drake where you want him, Black Hole? Prepare to taste steel from both sides!

And with that, you'll note that there are... rather a lot of units. If you give me a moment, I have their documents right here...

Oh, god, how many newcomers do we have?

Green Earth
Mulligan, Infantry
Sebastian, APC
Finn, APC
Adelaide, APC
Stefan, Artillery
Matilda, Medium Tank
Johanna, Lander
Kurt, Cruiser
Karin, Cruiser
Harlow, Cruiser
Gilbert, Cruiser
Lorelei, Submarine
Abelard, Submarine
Leon, Submarine
Edelson, Submarine
Mina, Submarine
Wallace, Battleship
Otis, Battleship
Frederick, Battleship
Moritz, Battleship

Yellow Comet
Vanessa, Infantry
Lysander, Infantry
Kyril, Tank
Andromeda, Tank
Sofia, Tank
Arqa, Tank
Rose, Medium Tank

Age: 30
Personality: Sweet-toothed, loveable rogue.
Proficiencies: Anti-Air, Artillery, Battleship

Age: 41
Personality: Tight-lipped, professional soldier.
Proficiencies: Bomber, Submarine, Lander

Age: 37
Personality: Karin’s grumpy cousin.
Proficiencies: Transport Copter, Cruiser, Anti-Air

Age: 33
Personality: Kurt's assertive cousin.
Proficiencies: Recon, Cruiser, Submarine

Age: ??
Personality: An absolute enigma.
Proficiencies: [any]

Age: 45
Personality: Hardy and venerable.
Proficiencies: Cruiser, Fighter, Battle Copter

Age: 21
Personality: Ignorant rich kid.
Proficiencies: Rockets, Artillery, Submarine

Age: 17
Personality: Polite and focussed.
Proficiencies: Infantry, Recon, Submarine

Age: 26
Personality: Drake’s sailing student.
Proficiencies: Mech, Bomber, Submarine

Age: 37
Personality: Quaint, curious fellow.
Proficiencies: Rockets, Battleship, Tank

Not gonna lie to you, I looked for the names "Rose" and "Vanessa" and then ignored the rest. Let's go!

Sigh. Why do I bother working so hard on these nice informative documents?

Anyhow, Drake's first turn is mostly establishing a foothold in the midst of Hawke's troops. To that end, Moritz fires upon the enemy rockets.

A lesser-known facet of submarines is that their vision range is quite large. The submarines won't see much combat, but their ability to avoid attacks by diving and scanning the local area makes them incredibly useful - such as Lorelei, who has just discovered that several ranged units stand between Drake's units and the way down to the Black Cannons.

That's not good. Hm... I suppose they'll have to go one-by-one through the reefs. Taking out the rockets will probably take too long, but I guess we'll see what Drake does.

Oh boy, I was right, more shitheads in the dark.

Indeed - Abelard and Leon have discovered more threats.

I'll be honest, it's probably worthwhile that you skipped a few of the units. The cruisers will be hiding in the reefs and doing absolutely nothing for this map. Still, the battleships and our lander, Johanna, are going to head south.

Fun times. Who's that in the reef?

Ah, right...

"Wallace, what are you doing?" asks Otis as he spots the heavyset man's battleship moving past him.

"You guys focus on the Black Cannons." Wallace grunts. "I'm going to sit right here and take out every single one of these units. Need to let off some steam somehow, you know?"

"Of course." Frederick replies, putting on his shades. "You do what you need to, man. We'll forge ahead and crush this thing!"

So, yes. Drake's forces are going to head south and rendesvous with his HQ before moving onto the Black Cannons.

In that case, I guess it's time to see what our friend Kanbei is up to.

Unfortunately, he has little money and no pre-deployed troops, so it's not going to be quite as easy for him as in previous maps.

Yeah, I was gonna say... there's not a whole lot Kanbei can do there. He's on the other side of the ocean from the Black Cannons, and the nearest port is a fair walk away, plus I can guarantee it's moderately well defended. I guess we'll see.

He starts simply, just deploying two infantry - Vanessa and Lysander.

Good to see Hawke's units aren't actually that competent. More capturing that's completely unnecessary.

He does have some dangerous forces, though. Up north, a medium tank shows up.

I mean, it's dangerous, sure, but it can't attack the botes, and by the time it gets aaaaaall the way round to Kanbei, it'll be out of fuel. It looks way more threatening than it actually is.

Interesting. I suppose, in a way, you're right.

That's all that happens, though. Drake's troops are well-hidden, and I don't think Hawke is even aware that Kanbei is here yet.

Hm. Leon's hoping to use his vision to ensure that tank can't hide, I take it?

Correct, at which point Moritz in the battleship plans to crush it.

Drake also deploys an infantry, Mulligan. He may as well capture that nearby base for some extra funds.

And Wallace is beginning his assault on the entire Black Hole Army, one troop at a time.

Indeed. The battleships will come later - right now, getting Johanna to the HQ is top priority. To that end, Mina and Lorelei are opening the way by using their submarine vision.

I mean, I know periscopes exist, but like, a dived sub should not have six vision. What's that about?

Unsurprisingly, Kanbei's slow start continues.

Ah, just capturing things. Yeah, there's not a whole lot else they can do right now, which is unfortunate.

Let's just hope that Hawke's troops aren't too close.

Dude, they arrived yesterday. You missed it.

If they use those missile silos, it may prove problematic. Can the cannons withstand direct missile fire?

That’s a fantastic question, actually. I’m assuming not, though.

BH Soldier: Yes, sir. Mistress Lash says the missiles won’t even leave scratches.

If that’s true, we’re safe. They don’t have many troops deployed yet, do they?

Hawke is unerringly observant.

How does he know that, anyway? We’re in Fog of War.

Attack immediately. An ounce of prevention as they say.

Goddamn. I have to admit, Hawke leaves nothing to chance. I’d feel a little nervous going up against him.

"Attack immediately," says Hawke, as his units decide instead to continue capturing things. Never change, enemy infantry. Never change.

The medium tank, perhaps sensing oncoming doom, hides in a nearby forest.

That's fucking cheeeeeap.

Oh, I wouldn't worry-

-a completely different medium tank shows up from the other side instead.

...Alright then? A target's a target.

Also, there's some om-

Ominous noises in the fog?

I, uh. Yes. That.

Delightful. Well, let's see if Drake can get any more of his units down this little river. The more battleships in range of the Black Cannons, the quicker this map is over.

Well, first, Mulligan captures this base. On the base he recently vacated, Drake decides to deploy a new unit.

An APC? Finn, I assume, but- oh, no, I get it.


Subs - they use a ton of fuel when diving, and they don't have very much to begin with. Finn's going to be helping out Mina and Lorelei once they get down the river safely, I'm assuming.

Very adept. In the meantime, Moritz fires on the medium tank in view.

And now that Johanna is on her way south, the battleships can start moving in. First is Otis.

And Wallace is just... doing what he's doing, I guess. I mean, they need to go at some point - we can't have the ships just hiding in the reef for the whole map, it'll be so awkward.

You know what else is awkward? The new friends that Mina and Lorelei have discovered.

Oh, god, more rockets?

More rockets. So instead of dealing with those, we'll go back to Kanbei, who is capturing things.

Hey, he can afford a tank now, though. Who's this?

Who else but the noble nephew of Kanbei, the young Kyril?

Kyril! Hi! Missed you, buddy. Man, I miss Blue Moon, too. I think I just miss everyone.

I am sure that you'll live.

There really isn't much for Kanbei to do right now. He can't contribute until he has a standing army ready to go.

Oh, boy, and Hawke wasn't kidding about attacking immediately. Here comes the recon crew.

Thankfully, Vanessa isn't too shaken by this. She's killed medium tanks and tanks - a recon doesn't even slightly frighten her.

Our friend, the medium tank, shows up too.

Come out of the forest to show his solidarity with his friend, I guess?

Perhaps. Back to Drake, anyway, and his mission to get all of his units in position to take on the Black Cannons.

Lorelei and Mina get in range of Finn, at last. Lorelei, adjacent to him, will be restored to full fuel next turn, then Mina will get her chance.

What about the enemy rockets? Someone needs to stay in range of those so that they can be attacked.

We'll get to that, just after Wallace continues his onslaught against everything Black Hole stands for.

Ah, and now this tank is taking big damage in solidarity with his friend. Well done, Moritz.

Mulligan has successfully captured the other base, so Drake's getting a little bit more money now, which might be useful. Furthermore, Johanna is now on find-rockets-in-a-forest duty.

The most noble and sacred duty of all.

Oh hey, looks like Drake did need money after all. He's deploying more ground units.


I'm glad you've caught up, Commander my dude. Meet Stefan.

There isn't much to do in this map, besides make progress towards the objective. It's a slow and deliberate kind of map.

I'll be honest, Drake's getting close to the point where he can start taking out those Black Cannons. What on earth can Kanbei do to support that? He's not even close to being able to capture that port, and his troops can't ride in Drake's landers... Kanbei seems really unnecessary in this mission.

He's protecting Drake's HQ, I suppose.

Even then, though, Drake can protect his own HQ with a couple of battleships or a medium tank blocking the chokepoint, plus everything will have run out of fuel by the time it reaches Drake. I really don't think Kanbei's gonna be able to contribute much, as disappointed as I am to say it.

Well, right now, he's taking out enemy recons. Kyril erases the first one.

...The first one?

With Vanessa damaged, Lysander takes charge and goes to capture another property. Any funds Kanbei can get are worthwhile. His finances are not in a good place right now.

Well, hey, he's got enough for a second tank, at least.

Indeed - Andromeda joins the fight.

Whilst Vanessa makes her retreat, the rest of the troops prepare for more battle. And with that... Hawke's turn.

Wh- why did you say it like that.

oh god here we go

Seems like murdering all of Hawke's units has given him his CO Power.

To be fair, Drake only damaged Hawke's units; he hasn't killed anything yet. The only thing we murdered was that recon that Kyril took out!

That's such a nonsense CO Power, especially on bigger maps. 1 damage on absolutely everything, unavoidably, is kind of insane.

It is only 1 damage, though.

Ah, but the weaker a unit is, the more damage you do to it when you initiate. So that 1 damage also means that your units do more damage to the foe.

Wait, how the hell are the rockets targeting Lorelei? I know she's in range, but she's dived! AND in fog!

It's not the rockets.

Oh, the silos, completely forgot they existed for a sec there. Huh, there must be a few infantry or mechs in the fog.

Do you know what else there's more of?

Is it recons.

It is, indubitably, recons.

Rockets and recons, that seems to be the bulk of Hawke's entire force this time around. Even for Fog of War, this feels like too many recons.

Mulligan has more important jobs to do now. Once Finn's refuelled Mina, Mulligan hops in, ready to be carried across the ocean. Well, once Johanna arrives, anyway.

Moritz is continuing his very important work of slowly whittling these two tanks down.

They're being repeatedly fired on! Why aren't they moving?

Meanwhile, Wallace, having taken a shot at almost every ranged enemy in range, decides to start laying on the finishing blows. The rockets are first to fall.

The artilleries joined up, but they're still not a threat - whilst Otis continues southward, Frederick stays in range for a moment to help take out the artillery.

And Johanna has finally arrived! How very exciting. An artillery will definitely help take out these Black Cannons quickly.

Indeed - to that end, Stefan gets into Johanna.

Finn will be taking Mulligan across, too, but since the submarines might need refuelling later, Drake deploys a third APC, Adelaide.

Oh, Sebastian's bitchy girlfriend, I remember her.

Now refuelled, the submarine crew are back on task: Lorelei has gone to scout out the shore for Johanna, whilst Mina heads back up to reveal the enemy rockets, so that Otis can engage on them next turn.

Seems like being hit by Black Wave and attacked by a recon has slowed down Lysander's capturing considerably.

Even with all of that damage, it's only an extra turn. It'll be fine.

The recon does need removing as soon as possible, though, so Andromeda smacks it around a bit.

Kyril's gotta finish it, though. I suppose Andromeda couldn't quite bring herself to kill the enemy.

And with that, a third tank has joined the crew. Sofia is in the field and ready to help.

I was told that Rose would be present.

We're getting to that. Be patient.

"Patient"? You don't know me very well, do you?

Well, try to be patient, at least. Kanbei's turn is done - he's slowly building up his forces, but it is taking time.

Our old friends, the medium tanks, decide to join.

It's like they're asking to die. They're flatly refusing to move out of bote range, and they could quite easily move out of bote range.

Kanbei's forces can't breathe easily just yet - another recon has shown up to harry them.

Oh my god, Hawke, vary your troops a bit. Recon after recon after recon...

Says the man who deploys medium tanks for every single feasible situation.

Hey, that's not true! Sometimes I use bombers.

With all the setup out of the way, it's almost time to begin the assault on the Black Cannons.

Uh oh, though. Looks like we've got some complications.

The submarines have been doing a lot of reconnaissance in this map. They need to refuel as soon as they can.

Edelson is still another turn of movement away, so he'll have to wait, but Abelard can refuel at the port, at least.

Wallace lands a strike on the rockets - not a moment too soon, since Leon is heading back up to get refuelled by Sebastian.

Went off without a hitch. Nice.

And with all that... I do believe it's time.


Ooh. Halves fuel?! That's so interesting... and absolutely ruinous for Hawke. Fuck your recons and their big movement! Plus, one damage on everything, pretty nice.

Indeed. Time to give Hawke a taste of his own medicine.

Wait, does that mean-

What's up?

Just pause the action when I tell you to.


Ah. Tsunami has given you a sneak-peek that there's an enemy in those trees, where the circle is.

Indeed. How interesting. We still don't know what it is, but hey, we know it's there, at least. Let's hope Drake spotted it.

Either way, it's time for Johanna to begin her journey to the opposite shore to drop off the ground crew.

Oh, boy. I assumed it was rockets or something ranged - that's a bit of trouble for poor Stefan.

Unfortunately, this is all the time I have for today.

Aww. You really know how to leave a man unsatisfied, don't you?

I'd... prefer not to answer that. See you next time, my dude.


Part 34 Additional