Part 88: Interview 44 - Sturms Botening GambitInterview 44 - Sturms Botening Gambit
So theyve arrived
Ill smack em. Lord Sturm, let me have em.
Flak will make a mess of it, sir. Let me take command.
The command is mine.
I will ascertain how strong theyve become with my own eyes. You wretches report to the missile platform and assist Lash.
Good riddance. Pathetic fools. They have served me poorly. When this is finished, I will make adjustments.
So long as he isnt with them, they have no hope of defeating me.
[YC] Dymek, Rockets
[YC] Casildo, Rockets
Abelard, Medium Tank
[YC] Rose, Neotank
Raynald of Châtillon, Bomber
I dont care what they call it. All I know is, everything they pillaged from Orange Star is here.
Thats been confirmed by our allies, too.
So if we can capture this place, we can get all of our money back!
Im not so sure of that.
What do you mean, Nell?
Just because it was all sent here doesnt mean its still here.
Are you saying they might have moved it all to another location?
What makes you think that?
We gotta assume they werent gathering it just for kicks. Theyve got something planned, and more n likely, theyve moved all our stuff to where they need it. That sound bout right, Nell?
Grits exactly right. Which means this battle is all about deciphering their ultimate plan.
Hmmm Regardless, we must still attack. The longer we wait, the stronger their defences become. Our target
Our objective is to destroy the 3 Black Cannons.
Hm? Just the cannons? Are you sure, Sonja?
If we eliminate those, we should be able to rout our foe. If theres nothing here for them to protect, theyll run.
Ah. And if they do That would tell us whether or not this was their true headquarters.
Thats brilliant, Commander Sonja!
As we can see, indirect fire will be useful in this battle. The other vital elements will be selecting the right first CO and using decoys effectively against the Black Cannons.
OK, lets go!
Howdy there, Nell, Sonja. Me, Max and Drake can handle the battle, sure, but 3 COs working together can be complicated. Whos gonna be taking care of the big picture?
I can do that! Id be happy to help out!
Your enthusiasm is admirable, Andy, but I think a CO or ACO with a bit more experience would be best.
I have some ACOs that might be able to do the job, Nell. We must ascertain Black Holes true motives during the battle.
Right. Our armies are gathered and ready for battle. I know it might seem strange, but Id like to wait for just a bit longer.
Nell, we've got to strike whilst the iron is hot! What are you waiting for?
...Its been exactly one year since he
There aint no changin Nells mind when shes in a mood like this. Lets take it easy and see what shes waitin for.
The whispers are quiet at first. The soldiers, gathered at the edge of the Black Hole citadel, watched over by their COs, deep in discussion, notice a change in the air. As each step is taken by the two figures who have just arrived, the various soldiers begin to move aside, shifting like the tides. Some of them look - some of them recognise the figure, and they are the ones who whisper those words.
The whisper spreads like wildfire through the ranks of every army. Soldiers from across the world have realised that hope is with them. A figure most presumed would be absent could he really be back?
Some people cant believe their eyes as they catch sight of him - the long black coat, emblazoned with the symbol of Orange Star. The iconic headphones with their black and white. The arrogant, cheeky grin of a man who knows that hes back.
As he reaches the front of the armies, where the COs stand discussing the problem, silence falls as the whispers come to a close, and the COs turn to see him. The armies stand aside, all eyes on him. The woman with him stands aside, and allows him to step forward. He could look around, but he doesnt - hes focussed entirely on Nell.
Youre back. Nell whispers. She doesnt look surprised; shes smiling. And I know why shes smiling.
I am. Exactly one year from when I left. I didnt want to be late.
You werent late, Nell says, and in a surprising move, hugs me tightly. She usually doesnt show this much emotion when on the job, and especially not with so many COs and soldiers around. You were right on time, my dude you were right on time.
We'll talk later, my dude. We must focus on the task at hand first. So...if nobody objects, I nominate my dude to lead the charge against Sturm.
That sounds fine to me. Nobodys better-equipped to face him than Commander my dude.
We would never have beaten him last time without my dudes help. Id be grateful to have your help again, my dude.
Alright, well, if you all insist... Im ready to go - whos taking part in the battle today?
Thatd be myself, Max and Grit. These seas are looking a lot less rough now that youre here, my dude!
My dude! Its good to see you. Lets strike Sturm together, as hard as we can!
This is bringin back ol memories of the last time we fought Sturm. Itll be good to fight alongside you again, my dude.
Still havent forgiven you for Steve and Eric, by the way. Alright, that sounds good. Im a little rusty, but Ill do what I can. Lets get the deployments ready and get started
Looks like youre ready to retake your place. Ill see you later, my dude.
I promised I would save one soldier if need be. Ill be close to the battlefield, keeping an eye on proceedings. Good luck.
Thanks, Ruin. Alright, you three! Grit, take the middle, Max and Drake take the sides. Lets do this!
Hey there, goons. Betcha missed this kind of commentary, huh? Its good to be back.
You've seen the map and deployments already, so we'll jump right into the strategy. Sturm, as per usual, has an opening gambit prepared for us, but it's made up of 6 botes and 4 minicannons defending the Black Cannons. It's... not very threatening. Once we've taken care of it, we can make a move on the Black Cannons, our actual goal for the map.
So. Lets go wreck Sturms shit, shall we?
First up, let's get a look at Sturm. I assume he's the same as usual but you never know. Oh, I guess he has a CO Power this time around, that might be horrible. Also, fuckin... "Misses: Peace". Sturm really is the most generic villain.
That all looks the same. That annoying terrain-ignoring ability is back, anyway... I remember that being irritating as all hell.
...Huh. And, if I had to guess, his Super CO Power is-
Oh boy. Sturm is certainly back with a bang.
Anyway, this first turn is pretty dull - mostly because we need rockets and they're too expensive right now. You might think it's worth deploying some foot units to go for those properties up north, but they're in minicannon range, so we need to remove the minicannons before we capture them. And the only thing that can engage on minicannons without being in range is Grit's rockets.
Drake also needs rockets - botes are super expensive, and there's no way to deploy enough botes to take out the cruiser, sub and battleship that are on the way to fuck him up before they arrive. They'll be bearing down on us in like 2 turns.
Orange Star does something! It's very minor, just deploying Dave. Max, interestingly enough, also needs rockets, even though they're not great. You'll see why.
"Somehow I knew you were gonna show up sooner or later. It's a damn good thing you got here when you did, Commander." Dave says, grinning. "I've never seen Lucy and Selena so fired up for a battle, and I bet Rose is beside herself with joy, too... just tell me where I need to go. Let's do this!"
Ah, I've missed you, Dave.
Not only do we have a metric fuckload of cannons and minicannons to deal with, there's also these two lasers set up at the top of the map. They'll be harassing us throughout the map, so keeping them in mind is important. Strategically, it's also good to keep the left laser undestroyed, if you can - it's blocking off a bunch of annoying units which would otherwise murderfuck our rockets when we made a move on the cannons.
As stated, the botes charge us quite aggressively. But they're not nearly as threatening as an actual opening gambit, y'know, with bombers and fighters.
OK, now we've got a bit of cash to our name, more interesting things can happen today.
Grit deploys Valentin and Dimitri.
"I remember you. You were the one who had me survive about three meteors to the face, weren't you?" Dimitri says, and though his tone sounds accusatory, he gives a wry grin. "Heh. That was a hell of a battle... let's hope this one is just as exciting. I'm all yours to command, my dude."
Drake deploys Noah in the meantime. Rockets, more rockets! Drown Sturm in rockety death!
(Spoilers: that is basically what we do for the rest of the map.)
Dave's making a beeline for the unaffiliated base over there - we'll need that later, so I want to capture it as soon as possible. Max also deploys Carter in the rockets.
"So you're the famous my dude? You don't look all that special, but everyone says you're some kind of legend. If Dave says he'll follow your orders, then I guess I'll follow your orders too."
Sturm's turn. The boats on the left are charging us too, and the biggest threat is that fucking battleship. I've got a plan for it, though.
It involves rockets.
Right, more rockets. Grit's got a whole lot of minicannons to destroy before we can make a move on the big boy cannons.
Before that, though, Valentin's got places to be - he's going to help out Drake with the opening gambit. Max, thankfully, can look after himself, and needs no help from Grit.
Grit deploys more rockets, to absolutely nobody's surprise. Anton's got minicannons to break.
Second verse, same as the first. Matilda will be supporting us. You might think this many rockets is unnecessary, but Drake's units have a secret second purpose that we'll find out later.
Max isn't deploying shit yet. See that cruiser? Anything we try to deploy from the airport will get instantly crushed, and obviously, I'd like my planes to not be on 2HP when they get deployed. However, the AI is stupid and we'll see exactly why in a sec.
Even though there's nothing in range to attack and nothing to do, this cruiser blunders right into the range of Max's rockets. His rockets have reduced range, too, so this is extra-stupid on Sturm's part. But hey, I'm not complaining.
The botes on Drake's side of the map are moving into range now, too, so let's go bother those guys.
We move Valentin on top of this base - he covers practically all the area, and Grit's rockets hit stupid hard, so this should suffice.
And yet we need even more rockets. Next up is Mark.
As you can see, though, Anton is in range to start shooting the minicannons, so we're making progress. Grit's rockets two-shot them quite easily, too. Have I mentioned that Grit is amazing?
Another cruiser blunders into the range of another rocketeer. Noah makes him pay for the crime of being the worst kind of bote.
Matilda gets closer to Noah, just in case the enemy move further forward.
This cruiser also gets punished, by Carter this time. And now that the cruiser is weakened, we can get on with Doing Actual Shit.
But first, Dave starts capturing this base.
Alright, Max bomber time!
"MY DUUUUUUUUUDE!" squeals Lucy, waving from her bomber. "I missed you so much! Now watch me fly - look at how much I've grown whilst you've been away!"
Adorable. Our little killing machine is back in action, and there's lots of botes just begging to be absolutely slaughtered.
We're certainly making a good start, though this map isn't terribly challenging once the opening gambit is out of the way.
...Actually, scratch that, this map isn't terribly challenging even with the opening gambit. This is hardly Sturm's best effort.
The sub does take a dive on Sturm's turn, though. That's going to make it annoying to find, but it's only delaying the inevitable, really. You can hide, but you can't run from a bomber.
...These botes just kind of do some absolutely baffling things. The cruiser goes for the port, which I guess makes a strange kind of sense, prevents Drake from deploying botes. The battleship and the sub just kinda hang out in rocket range. Again, though, not complaining.
Right, let's keep on bullying Sturm.
Fuck your minicannons!
Fuck your battleship!
Dimitri's almost reached that base, too. He'll be capturing that so we can deploy rockets more conveniently. Their nonexistent movement over grass is... troublesome.
Grit's weakened the battleship, so Drake's rockets decide to go for the other botes. Noah lands a hit on the enemy sub.
Matilda finishes off the cruiser, freeing the port. Not that we'll be deploying any botes, but hey.
No, what Drake needs is a medium tank called Abelard! If you haven't already guessed, Drake's units are this map's "take meteors to the face repeatedly" group, hence the expensive-but-mostly-useless units I'm deploying.
Well, these boats are looking much weaker, which is a massive relief. How's Max getting on?
That's a good start. We'll need that later.
Meanwhile, Lucy's going to start taking out these ships. First up, the cruiser that thought it could run.
We've not quite got the money to deploy another bomber yet, but rest assured, another one is on the way.
Sturm's battleship goes for Grit's rockets, but they can take that. His power meter is looking uncomfortably close to full, though...
Aaaaand the sub pops back up, sees Lucy about two spaces away, and promptly shits itself.
We're making good progress on getting rid of the bote section of the opening gambit, but more work needs to be done on the minicannons.
Good work, Dimitri. This should come in handy.
Mark begins targeting the third minicannon along.
And Anton takes out the second one along. One down, three to go!
Fuck it, another rocket. Why not? Get out here, Eva.
Annoyingly, even though Valentin did survive the hit from the battleship, it did weaken him enough that he can't kill it. Still, it's pretty low on HP now.
Grit's rocket army is slowly growing. Be scared, Sturm.
So, onto Drake, who simply moves his units. The battleship will probably fire on one of them, but they'll take the hit no problem. What's a 1HP battleship even capable of killing?
Lucy absolutely roasts this submarine, meanwhile, but it survives on a sliver of HP. Siiiigh.
If you're curious, the battleship has fucked off north, but we'll chase it down in a bit.
You know what? Another fucking bomber! And it's goddamn Raynald of Châtillon!
With two bombers at his disposal, Max really has completely dominated this side of the map. Then again, bombers are stupidly good, so that makes sense. This entire campaign has just been map after map of "bombers being absolutely amazing" feat. anti-airs every so often.
Ah, fuck, I forgot to check the power meter-
Go for Drake go for Drake go for Drake
Oh thank god, looks like it's going for them.
An almighty explosion erupts from Drake's HQ, as a meteor slams into the ground, causing devastation all around. The blast can be heard for miles around, and across the battlefield, Dimitri looks up.
"What was that?"
"S-sir... you're not gonna believe it," Valentin says. "But the Green Earth Army just got decimated by a meteor!"
"A meteor, huh?" Dimitri says, giving a dark smile. "Heh. At least it's not landing on my head for once. They'll be fine, Valentin."
Yeah, at least it's not lethal- I FORGOT ABOUT THE 1HP BATTLESHIP
"what's a 1HP battleship even capable of killing, bluh bluh"
how about some 2HP rockets, past my dude, you fucking idiot? it could kill those!
"Gah! That was close." gasps Noah as battleship fire rains down. He grips his rockets tightly, pulling himself to his feet. "First the meteor, then that... this Sturm fellow doesn't hold back, does he? Still, we all seem to be alright, so let's not lose hope!"
Phew. OK, panic over, back to the battle.
Meteor Strike's still a bastard of a CO Power, then, good to know.
Back to the minicannon fuckery, anyway. Mark takes out another one.
And Dimitri's captured the base! We can deploy rockets here that'll be directly in range of that fourth minicannon, so that's convenient.
Sturm's sub resurfaced, so Valentin sinks it. Now that basically everything's dealt with, he can go back and join the other rocket boys to actually, you know, beat the map.
Then it's Drake's turn, and his weak as shit rockets can still kill this battleship. The threat is over! Man, Drake's side of the battlefield is so much harder to deal with than Max's. Even with Grit helping, that was a near thing.
Noah and Matilda join up. We need to start healing these units up, just in case we need to bait Meteor Strike a second time.
And hey, fuck it. We've got the funds, let's deploy a Neotank. Conrad, hope you're ready to sit around doing nothing all battle.
I'm sure he's going to love it.
Lucy's found the enemy battleship on this side. She's got to be careful how she approaches it, since there's lasers and missiles and murder, oh my. But she'll be safe here.
Raynald crusades slightly to the left whilst he waits for that 1HP submarine to show itself again. It's around here somewhere...
There it is. It can run as far as it likes; Raynald has 7 move.
We're making good progress now. The first of this map is almost done - and yeah, this is going to be a two-parter, just so you all know.
Oh, and that infantry down there is Boris, forgot to mention him. He's not got too much importance, he's just helping Dimitri capture these properties.
Valentin is just in range of this house so he can restore some HP and ammo, and he's still in range of the minicannon over there! How exciting.
Anton goes for the pipe seam behind the minicannon, though. We'll need to break that too if we want to head up north and destroy the Black Cannons, and the far left entrance is the most convenient one. (Mostly because it's the furthest away from those units on the right which will charge at us once we come through the pipe seam.)
I decided we didn't have enough rockets, so we've got Anatoly too. This seriously is "shitloads of rockets: the map".
Two minicannons left, and more than enough firepower to take them both out. Now we just need to get rid of those botes on Max's side and the opening gambit is completely done with.
Oh yeah, we've got some artilleries, Ivan and Peter. We'll be needing those later due to Some Tomfuckery that I've got planned. That's not until next time though.
We deploy Cassandra over this side, again, just to increase the amount of bait. Sturm's meteors won't be able to resist Cassandra's excellent curves.
Meanwhile, Lucy can target the battleship from over here; she's safely inside the missile's range, so it can't hit her, and she's not in laser range. It's a pretty perfect setup.
And hey, we'll be needing a Neotank soon enough, so let's deploy one.
"Well, well, I thought I'd made a badass entrance, but here you are, showing me up, my dude!" Tina bellows joyously. "Good to see you! Tell me where I need to go, and I'll do it. I've been dying for a chance to clash with Sturm again, after all!"
Unfortunately, Tina's probably going to be disappointed. I've deployed her for a very unexciting but important job.
Anyway, let's deal with these minicannons, shall we?
Anatoly lands the finishing blow on this one, leaving just one minicannon left.
The artilleries move up, since we'll need them in a bit.
Mark lands the first hit on the minicannon, and now...
Valentin can finish it off. Anton, could you do the honours?
"Open sesame!" Anton says, activating his transceiver. "The way to the Black Cannons is open, folks. We're almost ready to move in on the citadel!"
"Take care of yourself, gentlemen." Dimitri says. "Those cannons have a huge range and hurt a lot - do you have a plan?"
"Nope." Ivan says, shrugging. "But my dude and Grit probably do, so let's leave it in the hands the professionals, yeah?"
Dimitri chuckles. "That sounds good. Best of luck!"
"You've got this, Blue Moon!" says Cassandra from the other side of the battlefield.
"Yeah! We're here with you all the way!" Tina adds, punching the air.
Boris and Dimitri get started on these properties, now that the minicannons are out of the way.
We could do with a third artillery. God, I just fucking love ranged units. Inessa's going to be supporting the other ranged units, but I'll explain my actual plan next time. I swear I do actually have a plan, I'm not just mindlessly spamming rockets.
...Well, OK, I have a plan and it involves mindlessly spamming rockets.
But yeah, the entrance is open, the minicannons are gone, and we're ready to roll. We've just got two tiny things left to do.
And no, it's not deploying Mulligan. But it's good to see him, anyway.
"Commander my dude, it's a pleasure. I'm ready to help in any way I can."
No, the last two things we need to do will be taken care of by Max.
That's the first one...
And that's the second one. That sub doesn't even get a battle forecast; it had 1HP, of course Raynald crusaded all over it.
With that, the opening gambit of this map is dealt with! Next time, we'll be facetanking cannon hits and abusing Grit's ranged units to absolutely trash Sturm, so look forward to that!
It really is good to be back.
Part 44 Additional
...One last question. Why are you still calling the parts 'interviews'?
I don't know. Consistency, I guess?