Part 85: Interview 43 [Part 1] - The Final Blow (Or, Incredibly Stressful Planes)Interview 43 [Part 1] - The Final Blow (Or, Incredibly Stressful Planes)
(doubleposting because this part was super long, part 2 is directly below)
Sup, Ruin. Pinch me, because I must be dreaming. Did the last part actually happen?
You aren't. Tina did actually return in the previous interview. You screamed "hell yeah" at the top of your lungs and really frightened one of my coworkers.
That rings a bell, yeah. Alright, let's see what the second half of this map has got for us!
I thought you'd be more excited about the end of this map, considering that we'll be solving the mystery of Dudecon.
I was going to focus on that, but now Tina's here, the Orange Star folks are battling against Hawke, and it's all pretty exciting.
Hmm. I suppose so. Anyway, Mulligan gets dropped off so he can start capturing this airport.
And the rest of the planes just kinda hang around like they forgot what they came over here for.
Meanwhile, the important thing for Dipshit is to remove that Neotank as quickly as humanly possible. Carter, in the rockets, can do that pretty well.
Ingo completely eradicates this useless infantry, which opens the path for Fliss to advance.
It's not much damage, but it can't counter and it can't fire on her, so that's a pretty good place to be. Enemy ranged units are super annoying when you're trying to choke a point.
Just wait until Hawke gets some rockets over here.
"Tina, let's push forward!" Selena says, readying her medium tank and opening fire on the opposing anti-air, crushing it beneath her treads.
With the way open, Tina sees the enemy Neotank and her eyes glint with excitement. "Oh, hell yes. Come on, you big 'secret weapon'! Show me what Black Hole's finest creation can do!"
The answer is "fucking nothing".
She did initiate on it, and it was only on 3HP. Hardly a fair fight.
It could've been on full HP and Tina Motherfucking Van Koning would have one-shot it.
That's... literally not how the game works.
Anyway, the Orange Star crew are doing a good job of holding Hawke back. Admittedly... one of these defences looks sturdier than the other.
Yeah, one anti-air is... a bold strategy, for sure.
Yellow Comet are helping.
Every time you say that, I believe you less and less.
I'm serious. Aymil drops Vanessa off over here, and she'll be capturing that base - luckily, it's just out of range of the Black Cannon.
Hawke, however, is not fond of this idea. His air force is making a beeline for Yellow Comet's area of the map.
Ah, and that's why Eagle's needed over here. They're blundering right into his fighters' hands!
Planes don't have hands, but yes. Eagle's goal is basically to stonewall anything that tries to bother Yellow Comet.
Well, time for the murdering to begin. Three fighters - even if one took a cannon to the face - is a pretty unbeatable air force.
So you'd think, but it's not as simple as all that...
Argh, Hawke, you clever bastard. OK, so the bomber's a no-go, but the fighter's dead meat. And then they can take out the bomber next turn!
Indeed. Howard is also going to take out this transport copter before it can start stealing these airports. I did say that transport copters are top priority.
It's a good job he can still take it out, even when he's weakened. I suppose the copter was weakened too, though, so it cancels out.
And Mulligan is doing such a good job. Look at him.
Well, if he doesn't capture it soon, the planes are going to have some fuel troubles.
And, with a well-performed dual strike, Edgar...
And Petra take out the fighter jet.
Aw, mentor and student working together. Good job!
Conrad continues to do Conrad things.
Well, that was a pretty good turn for Eagle. He's shown Hawke that it won't be easy to get to Yellow Comet.
The countries really are working well together.
I dunno. Eagle and Sonja are working in unison, but Dipshit's just kinda fighting his own completely unrelated battle.
Hm, I suppose so. Anyhow, he now deploys Carl, just in case Hawke's planes decide to stop going after Yellow Comet and go after Orange Star instead.
Oh, fuck, good point. A single bomber could shatter their defensive line if it's not pre-empted.
And Tina's just rampaging through the enemy as per usual. I suppose there's not much else to do but help out the lower chokepoint with their small problem.
She is in range of Minicannon Island, though, so she's going to regret it a bit when Hawke's turn comes around.
Meanwhile, this artillery is deleted. The enemy infantry isn't a huge threat, so for now, Orange Star don't have anything to worry about. But don't worry. More nonsense is on the way.
Oh joy. Can't wait.
Anyway, phase 1 of Yellow Comet's strategy has begun: Kevin will be taking out this cannon.
Is that super necessary? It's not like the cannon's in range of anything except Hawke's own dudes.
It is, actually - there's a section of the map where rockets can just about reach the pipe seam. It's in range of the cannon, though, so it needs to go.
Oh, well, colour me corrected.
That's not... sigh. Whatever.
Anyway, for fun, mostly, Casildo is also deployed as a battleship. He'll be helping support the Yellow Comet forces.
And Vanessa's now capturing this base. It's a short trip from the base to the pipe seam, so once the cannon is gone, they'll be deploying rockets from here.
And with Eagle defending them from attack, there's nothing Hawke can do about it. Brutal!
This map's getting exciting now. The question is, will Dipshit be able to hold out against Hawke's forces whilst the adults actually beat the map?
I think Tina getting cannoned in the face should answer your question for you.
Howard does get hit by a cannon, but it was worth it to destroy that transport copter. He can heal up at the airport once Mulligan captures it, anyway.
Uh oh. Hawke's fucking pissed.
Do you think so? I get more of a 'cold' feel from his dialogue. Like it's not even worth his effort to put his full attention on the battle, and that he already knows what's going to happen.
That's a fair analysis, actually. He's like... evil Rose, I guess. Except for the fact that he's massively incompetent.
Plus he's not eleven years old.
Black W... Storm? Wait, shit, that's his Super CO Power!
He's been biding his time, it seems. This could turn things around.
Man, Tina got a cannon to the face and Black Storm. Losing 5HP in one turn is rough.
Thankfully, most of his units were either at full HP or dead, so the healing effect of Black Storm wasn't very effective.
Small mercies, I guess.
I see some bombers hanging around. They've gotta go.
There's a small issue with that.
Eagle's planes have taken enough damage that they can no longer one-shot the bombers. And with just two fighters, they can only really take out one bomber.
If that's the case, at least they're going after the most threatening one - that one's in range of Vanessa. The other one's just in range of all the fighters which it can't even fire on.
Oh, fuck, Mulligan. Yeah, he's pretty fucked.
We'll have to wait and see how that situation resolves itself. For now, Petra and Edgar take out the other bomber, keeping Vanessa safe whilst she captures that base.
Howard decides to join with Petra to conserve their fuel and HP. Two fighters is still a force to be reckoned with, and besides, most of the really threatening things are dead.
Yeah, but Hawke has a factory. It could just spit up 3 fighters next turn and we can't do a damn thing about it.
A good point. Mulligan, having taken some damage from Black Storm, can't quite capture this.
Why the fuck isn't he running for the hills? Maybe he's not spotted the bomber, or maybe he's just really fucking determined to capture this airport.
Well, it is his boyfriend up there in the sky. He probably doesn't want to have any problems with running out of fuel and dying in a horrible explosion.
Adelaide's still carrying Seb and Amarah around. I assume she's going to the other airport on the other side of this island?
Correct. You know, just on the off-chance that Mulligan, say, gets bombed into oblivion. To pick a completely random example.
...I don't like this.
Dipshit remembers that he has the ability to completely negate all the damage of Black Storm.
Ah, Ryper Hepair. A classic. Tina really needed the healing, to be fair, and I suppose everyone else is back up to full now, too!
Tina also needs to get out of the range of Minicannon Island. To that end, Carter blows up the enemy infantry.
And he violently explodes. Carter does not hold back.
This lets Tina get back into the allied lines, whilst up above, Carl prepares to meet the enemy battle copter.
Dave heads down to capture this building...
...apparently forgetting that the property is in range of Minicannon Island.
He's probably still in shock from Tina coming back; poor dude doesn't even know what day it is.
Well, Dipshit's in a decent position, at least. He's just got to keep this up for a little longer.
You'll note with some amusement that the 2 damage from Black Storm was completely useless - Kevin still has exactly enough damage to take out the cannon.
Pfft. Amazing work, Kevin. That's both cannons down!
Minerva is just busy capturing things in the meantime. She's not got much to do right now.
But Vanessa's base is actually important. She needs to capture that soon if we're going to beat this map before next Christmas.
Correct. Black Storm only adds an extra day onto the capturing. It's not too bad, though it is annoying.
Dave. Dude. You gotta focus.
For some baffling reason, this fighter decides to park right next to Fliss.
Hawke really does do some downright weird shit sometimes.
The enemy bomber, meanwhile...
"Mulligan! Watch out, there's a-" Howard yells, and Petra turns, her face white, as she looks at Mulligan.
"Come on, Howard..." Mulligan says, grinning. "Are you still going to stress every time I get into a little bit of danger?"
"But..." Howard replies, gulping.
As the bombs fall, Mulligan closes his eyes. The explosions rock the airport, creating smoke and dust everywhere, but as it slowly clears, it is evident to see that Mulligan is still alive, as he sits at the edge of the airport, coughing.
"Hm. That was a bit closer than I expected... still, I can take a mulligan for now. I'll see you back at base, Howard. Do your best out there!"
"I will. But you really need to not be so rash!" Howard sighs. "God..."
"Does he, uh, do that a lot?" asks Petra.
"Yeah. He's got a weird... talent, for avoiding being murdered, let's say. My dude relied on his 'mulligan' talent every now and then in our previous campaign."
I did rely on Mulligan every now and then! Good to see he can still take mulligans, I was worried he was gonna be killed.
He's fine, thankfully. He's like Michael, Dimitri and Rose. Meanwhile, here are Hawke's units.
Perhaps that's the best strategy to beat Sturm. I'll just deploy those four and nobody else, and they'll never die.
That sounds an awful lot like pushing your luck.
Anyway, Howard and Petra avenge Mulligan's unfortunate near-death experience, and thanks to joining up, they're at a high enough HP that they can one-shot bombers again.
Yeah, fuck bombers. What have bombers ever done for us?
There's at least three maps that would have been unwinnable without bombers. Also, they are, by your own admission, your second-favourite unit.
And since the missiles decided to get into the lander here, there's nothing to stop Edgar from taking out this newcomer. Hawke's certainly not doing well on the aerial side of things.
In Hawke's defence - never thought I'd say that with a straight face - he is up against fucking Eagle. If a sea fortress full of anti-air units couldn't down Eagle's planes, I don't think anything can.
Things feel like they're slowing down. Like, we're so close to this being over, but it's gonna take a few turns before Yellow Comet is ready. It's just holding off Hawke until then; that's all this map is.
I'd agree. Fliss decides to shoot the fighter that stopped next to her. It's not a kill, but it's also no longer as threatening.
Huh, the bro copter up top also didn't attack Carl, but just... stopped next to him. Weird.
He dies for his stupidity, don't worry.
There's not really much else for Dipshit to do, though. Charging into Hawke's forces would be suicidal, and unnecessary to win the battle, so holding down this area is pretty much all that has to be done. Selena sits in front of Carl just in case anything more dangerous comes along.
And Tina's healing up at the base. Nice.
Vanessa's finally captured this base.
"Alright, folks! Can everyone in the other armies hear me OK?" Vanessa calls into her transceiver. There's a few moments of quiet, and then a crackle of voices.
"Loud and clear, Miss Vanessa." Edgar replies.
"Mhm. It's a good job we all use the same transceiver frequency, huh?" Dave says, grinning. "So, what's the update?"
"As I said, we're covering the primary assault. We're almost ready to begin, but we'll need a bit more time - how many days do you think you can buy us, gents?"
"Hm..." Edgar muses for a moment. Dave does the same, trying to think.
"At least a couple more, but..."
"Yes, I can't see it being more than, say, three days-"
Two voices simultaneously cut through the musing. "No!"
Vanessa's eyes widen, and she listens carefully.
"You want days? You want time? We'll buy you as much as you need. Hawke's not gonna be able to make a single move towards Yellow Comet once I'm through with him!" Tina shouts. "No more pessimism out of you, Dave - we are Orange Star's finest, and by god, we're going to prove it today!"
"Right! I know you've taught me all about practicality, Edgar, but this is no longer about what's practical." says Petra with a determined grimace. "If we give it our all, we can buy more than double that time! Seven, eight, nine days! However long Yellow Comet needs, we'll fight our hardest to provide it!"
Edgar chuckles. "Hm hm hm... perhaps you're right. Now is the time to give it everything we've got, no matter the cost. Alright, Vanessa. Ten days - that should be more than enough."
"Oh, I could do it in half the time." Vanessa replies airily. "Thank you all, brave soldiers of Orange Star and Green Earth. I promise, we will free your country! Now look lively, battleship boys, you've got a job to do!"
Minerva doesn't really need to capture this, but she may as well. The battleships make their way north, meanwhile, to find out what Vanessa wants.
My guess is taking out the minicannon in front of the pipe seam. The battleships outrange it, so they'll be perfect to get rid of it before the rockets arrive.
As an aside, Green Earth is having really horrendous luck when it comes to getting shot at with cannons.
To be fair, there's so many goddamn cannons on this map than even I wouldn't have been arsed to check their ranges every turn. I'm surprised they're not getting shot more.
Oh, fuck you, you got your Super CO Power like, two minutes ago.
Hawke does not play by the rules, it seems.
Meanwhile, here's a troubling development. Have you spotted it?
That bomber's not going for Yellow Comet... it's going for Orange Star! And Selena!
Yes, it's not good. Let's see what Dipshit can do about it.
He's not gonna be able to buy more days for Yellow Comet if all of his tanks die to that thing, that's for damn sure.
Well, firstly Eagle still needs an airport. Adelaide drops Sebastian off, who drops Amarah off. She'll be capturing this airport, provided no more bombers are hanging around. Speaking of-
Bomber? What bomber?
There was a bomber here. It's gone now.
Since things have calmed down a bit on the Eagle front, Edgar heads north to help out with Orange Star's bomber situation.
And everyone in Orange Star just kinda retreats. Thank god they could all get out of range. If anyone had been too far away to get out, they'd be dead meat.
They're still not safe, though. It's still after them.
You might recall that earlier on in the map, Orange Star's Alfonse and Fleur went south to capture some buildings. They've finally caught up to the other soldiers, and are capturing the properties that Dave missed earlier.
Oh yeah, those guys.
Well, this has made things difficult. If that bomber doesn't get sorted soon, Hawke's going to be able to push the advantage and break through the chokepoint, which is not what we want right now.
Vanessa's job is done, anyway. She's captured the base, ordered the battleships to help out, and now she just has to hope that the plan goes off without a hitch.
She's done good work. But yeah, this is the diciest part of the map, in a sense...
Dymek has been deployed. The plan begins - once the minicannon is gone, he can situate himself in range of the seam and then just blast away at it.
And then there's Minerva.
At least she has company now that Vanessa and Aymil are at her island.
Also, Hawke's turn.
Oh, god. This is exactly what I meant when I said that Hawke was going to advance with absolutely everything. Rockets, artilleries, and a fucking Neotank in the back. Not to mention the bomber!
Yes, it's not a good setup, is it?
And here's another tense situation - when is this god damn airport going to be captured? Petra/Howard can't hold out indefinitely. Their fuel's gonna run out sometime.
Well, so long as Hawke doesn't use his CO Power again, Amarah will have it captured in just one more day.
Edgar's not even close enough to the airport to refuel. He is taking some real risks.
He's after this fighter - the enemy bomber isn't easy for him to get to and Hawke has some anti-airs hanging around, so he has to be careful. But he can at least mostly kill this thing.
Oh, boy, the fuel symbol. Yeah, Petra/Howard are running low.
So, that bomber? Dipshit handles it quite well, I'd say. First, Carl initiates on it, and takes some damage in return.
And then Fliss joins with him, bringing him back to full HP.
Oh, that's perfect! A 3HP bomber is weak enough that it won't want to attack Carl/Fliss, but it's not low enough on HP that it'll retreat. That bomber is effectively choking the point on behalf of Orange Star!
Now that things are a bit safer, the other troops can attack the enemies in the south. Selena goes to take out the infantry.
And Ingo finishes it off. Good job, Dipshit. I wasn't sure if that was going to work out, but I think he did alright there. Let's just hope he can keep it up.
Alfonse captures a property whilst Dave and Fleur catch up to him. The infantry don't have much to do anymore, so they may as well just all hang out together.
You're goddamn right they can. Those rockets are troublesome, though... they're going to be annoying if they get any closer.
Funny, Vanessa has also noticed this. She decides to help out Orange Star by using this silo.
She thoroughly weakens all the ranged units, which should help.
Mm, good call, Vanessa. Silos have been pretty useful in this map, I must say.
The two battleships of Yellow Comet, Kevin and Casildo, were a little bit damaged by Black Wave, so they heal up by joining. Since there's only one tile where they're in range of the minicannon, it's a useful option.
And there's the minicannon, just below the seam. Dymek can't advance until it's gone.
Yeah, I see. Well, a battleship should fuck it up very quickly, so we won't be waiting long.
And now it is Hawke's turn. Edgar gets shot.
Green Earth! Stop sitting in cannon range, how many times...
The rest of the enemies advance, but as you can see, the ranged units stayed back, and the bomber didn't move at all. The chokepoint is holding.
Thank god for that. Now let's see what Hawke's gonna do next. He must be getting desperate now.
Hurray for Amarah! She's captured an airport.
Quite so. The stress of running out of fuel is over. Howard and Petra are going to be OK, though it was certainly close...
There's not much else for Eagle to do right now, though. Hawke's not sending any planes after him, so he gets a bit of downtime today.
Dipshit, however, has Hawke's entire army to deal with. To that end, he gets Carter to remove one of the ranged units - the artillery.
That'll make things slightly less annoying. If the rockets move up to try and break through the chokepoint, they'll have to get in range of Carter, so that's not too bad.
The infantry are just capturing spare stuff, I love it. At least things are less hectic than they were at the start of the map.
Well, yes. I suppose starting out was more challenging. If Tina hadn't showed up, it might have been a very different story.
This is the thing with three-person maps. Eventually, you get to a point where only one army has actual stuff to do, like capturing the HQ or whatever, and so you just have to skip through multiple turns to get to the army that's actually relevant. In this case, Yellow Comet.
And even then, they're relevant, but they're not doing much. Just this one shot on the minicannon and then it's end-of-turn.
Slow and steady wins the race, though, as Nell's always reminding me. This is a low-risk way of finishing off the seam, so it makes sense to go with this option.
Hawke's not going to give up without a fight, though.
Oh, god, two Neotanks now? Urgh. You can't choke a point against a fucking Neotank unless you have like, a bomber and several artilleries.
Yes, those Neotanks will cause trouble if they try going through the south. There's nothing that can really hold them off in Dipshit's army.
With the job done, Amarah and Sebastian hop back onto Adelaide, which opens up the airport for Petra and Howard to use.
Whew, 14 fuel left. That was much closer than I would have liked, but at least they're OK.
Indeed, they are refuelled just in time.
Meanwhile, Amarah gets dropped off over here. There's one silo left to use, and it might be useful to help out Dipshit against those Neotanks.
Goddamn, this map was FILLED with silos. How many have we used, like seven?
I don't know. And you're right - there's nothing that could hold off the Neotanks in Dipshit's army, but...
Aha, I knew it. The classic fighter defence! This really shouldn't be a thing, but... hey, it works.
Indeed. Lucy pulled the same sort of thing back in Blue Moon, if I recall correctly - which, of course, I do.
That should buy Yellow Comet the last few days they need to take out the pipe seam.
God, we're so close. Victory is basically assured, but I'm paranoid that Hawke's gonna kill someone before the map ends...
It's probably not going to be Dave, Alfonse or Fleur, at least. They're pretty far away from the action.
The ranged units position themselves near to Edgar, so they can rain death on anything that tries to come down the south route.
And thanks to Casildo/Kevin, the minicannon goes boom! Take your place, Dymek - it's now or never.
Dymek's in place and in range of the seam. There's virtually nothing that can stop him now.
Don't jinx it, Ruin. That sounded like jinxing it.
Jinxing is nonsense.
That also sounded like jinxing it!