Part 70: Interview 35 - Steel From Both Sides (Or, Hawke Fights An 11-Year-Old)Interview 35 - Steel From Both Sides (Or, Hawke Fights An 11-Year-Old)
Oh, it's time for Funtimes In Fog of War With Ruin And Friends!
...We're friends? That's news to me.
Aw, c'mon, we're friends.
If you say so. Anyway... I do believe Drake had just pummelled Hawke with his CO Power, and now it's Kanbei's turn.
Yeah, that rings a bell. Lysander's finished his capturing, though! Good for him.
Sofia, now that she's here, wastes no time in protecting her son from this offending recon.
It is on half fuel, though, I can't imagine it's got much left.
Kyril, meanwhile, goes to take out this artillery, to help open up the way for Drake's cruisers. He doesn't quite succeed, though.
1 HP is practically dead anyway.
Andromeda heads to the east, and discovers a couple of enemy units. She'll be holding this sort-of chokepoint for a little while.
Oh god, are more recons on the way?
Oh, absolutely. Anyway, that's Kanbei's turn - since Hawke was just hit with Tsunami, he should be relatively weaker this turn, so we won't have much to worry about.
Although silos do not care about Tsunami damage, and unfortunately, Hawke's infantry just arrived at a missile silo.
And he... targeted a bunch of units who weren't doing anything?
He's doing his best, I'm sure. At least Drake's attacking force is unharmed.
This anti-air decides to inconvenience Stefan. Thankfully, he didn't do much damage.
I mean, true, but there's no unit that's in a good place to actually attack it, though.
Sebastian, meanwhile, refuels our suffering submarine, Edelson.
Wallace is, uh, doing his thing, I see.
He's slowly working out his anger, I'm sure. The rest of the battleships are on their way south.
The soldiers rearrange themselves like so. Stefan is now in range to attack... so long as Finn survives. Mulligan is just here to watch, really.
Yeah, why did they bring Mulligan, anyway?
God that's so valid.
Andromeda continues to hold the line against the enemy recons that keep showing up. They all die in one hit so it's not terribly hard for her.
She's doing good work, though. Keep it up, Andromeda!
Lysander continues his mission to make Kanbei even richer, since funds are still scarce.
Kyril makes this go from 'practically dead' to 'actually dead', meanwhile.
Sofia engages this infantry, but doesn't even get close to killing it.
Wait, do silos give three defence stars?! How did I not notice this before? That's huge!
Evidently, 'master tactician', you need to pay more attention.
I'm paying attention. For example, using my mastery of tactics, I'm going to guess that another fuckin' recon is going to come and harass Andromeda.
I guess we'll see if you're right. For now, though, this rocket plinks at Otis.
This anti-air turns it's guns on Finn, since Stefan is out of range.
"Finn, is everything alright?" asks Mulligan as the anti-airs advance through the forest towards him.
"It's gonna get rough, Mulligan. But hey, it's a beautiful day out. Let's finish this battle and then enjoy it!" Finn replies. He ducks into his APC as bullets ricochet around him, and Mulligan winces.
As the smoke clears, however...
Oh thank god for that. The spirit of Von Panzer fills ye!
Finn is safe... for this turn, anyway. And with that, it's back to Drake.
Let's see if he can make a head start on those cannons already.
Heh. It seems like Otis is more concerned with helping his ground-based buddies out with that anti-air problem they've got.
They are delightfully willing to help each other out.
Stefan manages to finish it off, removing the threat to both himself and Finn.
Frederick, on his way south to take out the Black Cannons, makes a pit-stop to target these rockets.
OK, now they can make a start on those cannons. Next turn, anyway.
Wait, hang on.
I almost forgot. Up here, Moritz is continuing to terrify the local medium tank population.
Ah, hunting the deadliest game of all. Medium tanks.
I'm very glad you took several seconds out of our time today to show me that. I'm sure it'll be crucial to beating the map.
You have wasted an awful lot of my time, my dude. Give me these brief moments to waste yours.
Hey, look, another recon showed up! Truly I am a master strategist.
You won't be prepared for what's coming next.
What was that?
Nothing. Andromeda one-shots the recon as per usual.
Lysander continues his capturing, though his damage from Hawke's CO Power is slowing things down considerably. And now... my dude, promise you won't squeal.
I promise nothing.
"Soldiers, please accept my apology for my late entry to the battlefield. But now that I am here, we shall absorb Hawke's blows and give Drake the covering fire he needs to finish off the Black Cannons. Do not falter, and do not back down!" Rose shouts, throwing her fist in the air. The Yellow Comet troops cheer, and Mulligan turns around, a wry grin on his features.
"That sounds like Rose. If she's on hand, then we've nothing to worry about." he says. He turns back to Stefan. "Give those Black Cannons everything you've got! We're not going to lose here!"
Rose sits back in her medium tank and goes back to her transceiver. "Andromeda, I need to speak to you. I have a plan."
Andromeda nods. "I'm... I'm listening."
...The Desolate Flower is here? Then I must not hold back.
Ahaaaaaah, Hawke's scared of an eleven-year-old.
When the eleven-year-old in question is Rose, I feel like that's quite understandable.
He is certainly showing us his full power now, though. Another CO Power.
"Bluh bluh, his meter takes a million years to fill up, except when it doesn't, bluh bluh"
And OH BOY is that another recon? Who would have guessed?
That's not all, I'm afraid. Hawke learns from his mistakes.
"Hey, all my recons die when I send them down here, maybe I should send more recons. Or maybe I should-"
"Andromeda!" screeches Vanessa, whirling around. "Get out of there, that Neotank's gonna-"
"Rose, you said you had this planned out!" Lysander shouts. "Was this part of the plan?"
"Are you doubting me?" Rose asks.
"A Neotank can rip through a normal tank in a single shot!" Vanessa says. "I... I trust you though. Is Andromeda going to make a daring escape at the last second?"
"Oh, no need." Rose says, a wicked grin crossing her features. "A Neotank can rip through a normal tank in a single shot, you're right."
"But..." Andromeda gasps, as the horrific blast of the Neotank fails to critically endanger her vehicle. "But... this isn't a normal tank. This... this, vehicle, is a Kanbei tank."
"Every aspect of this battle was planned out before I even arrived on the field, Hawke." Rose says aloud, hoping that the Black Hole CO can hear her, as her coat flaps in the wind. Stood atop her medium tank, she looks a fearsome sight, despite her small stature. "You think yourself a formidable force, and for a while, I wondered how you had managed to conquer so much of Green Earth in the face of Eagle's power. But now I've seen your skills firsthand, and now I know: you're no better than your idle compatriots, Lash, Flak and Adder. You got lucky."
Rose fucking Kuroda, ladies and gentlemen.
She puts most other soldiers to shame. How did she even know that Hawke had a Neotank in the back?
Don't ask me. Rose is a host unto herself at this point, even I couldn't say how she does it.
Anyway, with the ranged threats taken care of, it's finally time to mount an assault on the Black Cannons. Stefan opens proceedings by attacking the rightmost one.
Otis, uh, helps. He's not really close enough to contribute to destroying the cannons.
The other battleships are getting themselves in range, though, that's good. And a medium tank down there?
Ah, yes, that's Matilda. She's just there to help out Yellow Comet.
And sure, Rose predicted that Neotank, but I have no idea how she's actually going to kill it.
Well, let's see, then.
Firstly, Sofia, from the safety of her forest, takes a shot at this enemy recon, but... doesn't quite kill it, unfortunately.
That's not ideal.
"Perfect, it's weakened." Rose murmurs. "Andromeda, join up with Sofia. Trust in me."
"I... I do!" Andromeda says, nodding, looking back at the fearsome form of the mighty Neotank. She shivers.
God, just look at that range. The infantry are going to get squashed, and they can't run away that quickly...
Rose moves out of range, whilst Vanessa and Lysander flee - Vanessa goes south whilst Lysander heads north.
"You better have a plan for this Neotank, Rose!" Vanessa gasps, sprinting as far away from the Neotank as she can.
"I wish I could say that was the worst of it." Rose says, narrowing her eyes. Vanessa comes to a dead stop, and stares at her transceiver in silence for a few seconds.
"...What the hell do you mean by that?"
"Well," says Rose. "Hawke's been saving up money for many turns, and whilst this Neotank charges into the midst of our soldiers..."
"He's more than likely built up funds for a second Neotank."
ARE YOU SHITTING ME?
I have never 'shit' anyone in my life, my dude.
...This is war.
Anyway, Wallace has finally gone south after taking out all of the Black Hole rockets, and takes a shot at the Black Cannon on the right.
Matilda moves out to help out the Yellow Comet group with their multiplying Neotank problem.
It's simple maths. Two times 'boned' is still 'boned'.
I thought Rose was a tactical genius?
Hm? Oh, yeah. I was talking about Hawke. He's boned.
Anyway, Stefan and the battleship boys - excellent name for a band, that - gather next to the leftmost Black Cannon. Next turn is going to be rather interesting.
Bring on the boom!
"What was your plan for me, Rose?" Vanessa pants, running as far as she can before having to stop. Rose's voice, soft, comes through the transceiver.
"Come on, Vanessa. You're a bright tactician yourself - you can see what we need to do."
Vanessa's eyebrows lower with determination. "...Yeah. Defensive wall, buying just enough time for Drake to finish this fight."
"Precisely." Rose says.
Arqa, the beautiful and catatonically lazy tank operator of Yellow Comet, looks back and gives a faint wave to Vanessa behind her. "I'm told I'm gonna sit here and protect you? Seems easy enough. A real battle would probably chip my nails."
Vanessa rolls her eyes. "Just hold the line, Arqa."
"Arqa, Matilda and myself..." Rose murmurs, readying her medium tank. "This is about the time that I would say 'I really hope this works', but there's no doubt in my mind. For Vanessa... this must be done."
Hawke's turn. And two Neotanks are barrelling towards Rose's defensive wall.
If they both attack different targets, they should be fine, but Hawke's smarter than that. He'll focus on one vulnerable target...
The first Neotank opens fire. Rose narrows her eyes and strains against the blast, letting out a gasp as cannon fire rips through the ranks. However, they hold. She wipes her brow.
"Hold tight. We're almost ready."
"Rose, what are you-" Vanessa gasps, but Rose doesn't respond.
Wipe her out. I will not take my chances.
The Neotank points the huge front-loaded cannon into the fog and with a single mighty boom, launches an incredible shot at Rose...
Or rather, the spot where Rose was just moments prior.
Rose's voice comes out of the fog. "I had already predicted my own destruction and removed myself from the scene. The wall was already broken, and Vanessa was in danger. But you, Hawke, you did not expect this. You thought I remained, and fired blindly into the fog at nothing but shadows. I said before that you got lucky, and ordinarily, you might expect that you would get lucky again."
The fog clears, revealing Rose, stood atop her medium tank once again, staring down at the Neotank that missed its shot. She shakes the hair out of her face, and folds her arms.
"That was a foolish mistake, Hawke. My command of the battlefield is absolute - that means that I account for every possible strategy and move, and I also account for the luck of my enemy. My planning is so precise that no amount of luck can change the outcome. No matter your planning and preparation, you will always come second to me. But please, feel free to take another shot. I'm only serving to distract you from what's happening on the other side of the river..."
Holy shit, Rose. Holy shit.
I, like Hawke, thought there was no way out for Rose.
Nah, Rose never dies; she always predicts her own death ages in advance, and avoids it. It's... kind of impressive, really. She did it several times in our first campaign. Mostly because I kept getting her almost-killed...
Wallace lands another blow on the rightmost cannon, and...
OH THERE'S THE BOOM
Stefan and the Battleship Boys continue their assault on the leftmost cannon.
And with the combined efforts of Frederick...
And Otis... c'mon, give me your best kaboom noise, Ruin!
...If I must.
Yeah, there we go!
Oh wow, Hawke almost showed an emotion there. Rose must've really got under his skin, huh?
Well withdraw for the moment. Adjust our preparations.
Ah, Commander Drake. I am pleased to see you unharmed.
Drake wasnt even in danger; it was your troops that were about to get two Neotanks to the face, Kanbei.
You have our gratitude for the reinforcements. I believe we might have gone down with our ships if you hadnt come.
Was Drake watching the same battle that I was? Kanbei was fighting his own separate battle, pretty much.
He didnt seem terribly useful, did he?
Nonsense. Even surrounded, I believe you would have turned the tables and emerged victorious. We simply sped the process up a bit.
You didnt speed up shit, Kanbei. I mean, that said, it was nice to see you.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
I would like to battle at your side again someday.
The feelings mutual. Maybe when were storming Black Holes fortress
Oh, right, that cant be far away. I wonder which countries go to fight Sturm. Do you know, Ruin?
I dont know.
You dont know? I thought you had an eidetic memory?
May that day come soon. Until then, good-bye.
Ill explain later. Now then, were just about done here.
Eh, not an ideal score, but everyone's alive, so fuck it.
I'll say. That was an incredibly boat-heavy map.
It was fun to watch, though! Kanbei should've been more involved, but ah well. Plus it would've been nice if there were more enemy boats so that the cruisers and subs had, like, something to do besides find shit in the fog.
Anyway, we've got more missions open to us now. So next we shall one of the following:
The Sea Fortress,
Another Drake map,
The Romance Side-plot,
or An Actual Fucking Volcano???
Well, that should be fun. I'll see you next time, my dude.
Part 35 Additional