Part 7: Mission 6: Mountain Ops (or "Mechs, Mechs, Mechs, Eggs, Bacon and Mechs")
Mission 6: Mountain Ops (or "Mechs, Mechs, Mechs, Eggs, Bacon and Mechs")
Next stop, the mountains.
That's correct. It seems that Lash is working on another destructive device.
So, we need to launch an assault, capture their HQ, and shut her down. If all goes well, we might get some intel on Black Hole's forces, too.
Being able to move in the mountains is key to making this work.
Which is why you chose me for this mission. I understand.
We have reports of Black Cannons and missile silos in the mountains, too. This isn't going to be a walk in the park, Sami. Be careful!
I will. You can count on me!
Okay yeah, two of the game's most serious COs having a serious conversation. Don't worry, we'll be meeting the least serious one any second now.
What would you like us to do?
Just go and engage them or something.
Engage them... or something?
Uh, yeah. I'm a little busy researching my latest invention right now. Duh! Once this is finished, I'll bathe all of Orange Star in a sea of fire... Oooh! I love new toys!
... not the most mentally stable of girls, our Lash.
Um... That is... I'm not sure we can do this on our own.
Ah! You're hopeless! Fine! Let's get this over with!
Before we begin, let's get an overview of the map.
South-west corner: our base of operations. Also note the two missile silos to the east of our base. Missile silos are one of the few new bits of tech in this game that we get to use ourselves, besides neotanks - although Black Hole get to use silos as well. We'll see what they do in a few turns time, but for now, let's leave well enough alone. South-east corner: Lash has a base down here, that she can use to get to those silos. It'll be a struggle to get the one nearest her, but we should get the second one fine. North-west corner: a couple of nice bases up here that we can use an APC to capture quickly. North-east corner: Lash's base of operations; that HQ is our eventual target. And, oh yeah, a Black Cannon. That could cause some issues.
Here's the range of the cannon. Annoyingly, that central base is covered by it. The bottom two rows of the map aren't though.
Once more, with annotations - APC advances to grab the bases, while some "commandos" head across the bottom of the map in a bid to grab the silos. After that, a mech flood in the centre of the map while the bases in the north give us the indirect firepower to take down that Black Cannon. Once the cannon's down, we've got the freedom of movement to storm the base.
Finally, some intel on our opponent:
Paul.Power's CO Notes: Lash Theme
Lash gets a +10% attack bonus for every terrain defence star a square has: so +10% on plains, +20% in woods, +30% on cities, +40% on mountains and so on. In addition to this, she has no weaknesses, which makes her one of the more powerful COs in the game. Her CO Power is nothing particularly special, it just eliminates movement costs for a turn (so her units can drive through forests and so on without movement penalties). Her Super CO Power, however, doubles the terrain stars for a square, as well as negating terrain cost. This can give her a massive boost to both attack and defence, especially on a map like this one with all these mountains.
Background/Personality: Black Hole's twisted wunderkind, Lash is responsible for designing and building Black Hole's many weapons of mass destruction. More than any other CO, she treats war as a game and units as expendable toys. Despite these faults, she is an effective CO who uses terrain to her advantage. Lash is in charge of the invasion of Blue Moon. In evil counterpart terms, she is the evil counterpart to Sonja.
Okay, let's get this party started by building an infantry and an APC, to go and get those northwestern properties.
The infantry and APC start their grand journey. I make a mech to head over the mountains and secure that silo (mechs may move slow, but they cross mountains and rivers at the same speed they cross anything else, so they're good for cross-country work), and an infantry to grab that city in the far west.
I estimate that Lash's infantry will reach that silo in four turns. Probably too short a time to worry about stopping her getting there.
Still, we can have a go. At the very least, we need to claim this first silo.
My APC takes an infantry up towards its first capturing target.
Let's have another APC and another Mech.
Those infantry are three days away now.
Keep marching, guys. Meanwhile, let's have an artillery.
In the north, my infantry begin capturing the first of those two bases, as well as that western city.
Two days. Doesn't look like I'm going to make it there in time. Oh well, it's not a massive issue: my units are fairly spread out right now.
More mechs, more!
One day to go. No chance. I may as well capture this city next to the silo and make sure the area's secure.
Last turn I captured the first of those two bases. This turn I think I'll deploy another artillery from the new one.
Moving up the other artillery and APC.
Lash launched her silo at the APC and artillery near my newly-acquired base. Okay, explanation time: Silos are one-shot buildings that do 3HP of damage to any unit two squares away from a central point. So imagine a mech, and all the squares it can move to in one turn (see Day 3 for help on what that would look like). For obvious reasons, silos are more useful on small maps or when you have a lot of them. Right now, the damage is fairly easy to weather - my new base has already repaired 2HP worth of damage, although I guess that the attack has cost me some money.
Well, let's move up into these woods and build a third artillery. Starting to gather a formiddable battery there now. Meanwhile, let's start capturing that second base.
I'm going to hold on to my missile silo for a little bit longer, I think.
Keep on moving up, artillery.
And you APCs can get on with ferrying troops.
Now, what to do with this silo. It's burning a hole in my pocket. I guess if I launch at these two infantry here, then that'll make it harder for them to capture that city. My mechs can then move up, finish the job, and I'll be able to get that city for myself.
To launch a missile, move a footsoldier onto the silo. There's no capturing involved and the footsoldier can have any amount of health. Then select Launch. Nell will tell you to pick a target.
This'll do nicely. The diamond around the target shows what will be hit.
And there y'go.
Time to move up the mechs. Next turn, we engage!
# I'm gunning down bad guys, whoa-oah / And don't it feel good? #... ahem. Sorry.
Just as planned. Well, I guess it would have been nicer if I'd managed to kill that 1HP unit rather than leaving it at 1HP, but it's no big deal.
Meanwhile in the north, Lash is starting to have issues with my buildup of forces there.
Well she can have issues all she likes, I'm not budging.
Mech production begins in earnest.
A recon assaults my infantry guarding the chokepoint. Well, it beats them attacking my artillery.
So, I guess I'd better get that infantry to some kind of safety.
That works. I could use my other artillery to hit that infantry, but I have a better plan...
... bring in some proper chokepoint firepower in the form of a rocket launcher.
That city in the middle is just out of Black Cannon range, so I guess I'll capture it. Meanwhile APCs keep shuttling back and forth...
... because those mechs still gotta travel.
Their foes vanquished, my little "commando" squad set about capturing that city before pushing on towards Lash's southern base.
Some of Lash's infantry decide that they may as well take a pot-shot at my artillery, and scratch off 1HP of health.
Have at you. Although I'm not sure I should really be entrusting holding a chokepoint to a 3HP infantry, but never mind. By the way Lash, your artillery's arrived too late to stop me taking that central city.
The commandos keep moving forwards. They should be engaging the enemy next turn.
I must have more mechs!
Well, there's my first casualty - that 3HP infantry from before. Still, he did his duty bravely.
Eat hot... rocket shells!
That's that artillery pretty much neutralised. Meanwhile, I'm blocking my chokepoint with... an artillery? Well, I guess there isn't much other than that 4HP tank that can actually attack it, so...
At this point I finally realised that, you know what, screw the Black Cannon. Sami's boosted capture rate means that her Mechs can take a Black Cannon round and still capture in two days. I won't be able to deploy from the base without getting shot, of course, but at least it's another 1000G per day. Other than that, my commando squad does some more shooting in the south.
Chokepoint holding may not be an artillery's normal job, but he did it admirably.
Pushing on out of the chokepoint now the region's mostly under control. Next stop: taking down that Black Cannon. Although Black Cannon fire can't stop my Mech from taking that base (bottom of the screen)
Go, commando team!
Mechs, mechs, everywhere.
And now, the continuing adventures of those three mechs I keep referring to as my "commando team".
Well, they took down that wave pretty easily.
Yet more mechs. This is starting to feel like one of those photo albums where you've taken lots of photos of the same thing and are trying to show them all to grandparents...
Things are a little more exciting in the north, though. I want to get that artillery at the top into place so it can strike the minicannon, but to do that I need to get Lash's artillery out of the way. But to do that I need to clear out that APC so my tank can reach the artillery.
So, okay, let's clear out the APC.
Tank and arty move in for the kill.
Everyone else keeps on moving up.
Uh-oh, my commandos got attacked from the side when I wasn't expecting it. Sneaky.
That's what we do with sneaky infantry around here!
The artillery I damaged still manages to fire a shot off, knocking the artillery I put into place down to 4HP. I guess that isn't the best thing to attack the Black Cannon with.
Time to move my rocket into range of it, too. And now, the moment you've all been eagerly waiting for...
... let's get one of these weird, pig-like Neotank things on the road!
As with grabbing that base before, let's send a mech in to brave the Black Cannon fire and grab this neutral city.
One of the commando unit perishes to a tank.
Oh, well. Time to start bringing down the Black Cannon.
... in hindsight, I could have used the rocket this turn to bring down the cannon now. But nooo, I had to use it to beat that one Mech...
Well, at least that city's mine now.
The commando team are probably doomed now. But still they fight on.
The mechs just keep on coming.
Right, enough of this Black Cannon. Rockets, fire!
That crazy white-out and screen-shaking effect happens every time you knock down a Black Cannon.
The cannon down, my mass of mechs seizes the opportunity and pours into the area that it was previously denying access to.
In a last desperate bid for survival, the two remaining commandos join together. They're probably still doomed, but at least it's one less for the "units lost" counter.
My northern units join their southern comrades by moving into the area that once stood in the Black Cannon's shadow.
Oh good grief, more mechs.
The last of the commando team perishes. You did us proud, boys . Although that reminds me, let's check how we're doing on the units lost count.
Still well within operational parameters. We could probably lose another four units and still get 100 technique. Let's hope it doesn't come to that, though.
Clearing out another mech, while also moving my shiny new Neotank up.
A small tank rolls in and deals damage to that tank that butchered my commando squad. Revenge!
And we'll hit this one too for good measure.
# Keep movin', movin', movin' / Though they're disapprovin' #
# Keep them doggies movin' #
# RAWHIIIIIIDE # ... clearly moving all of these Mechs is messing with my mind...
Well, it had to happen eventually. Not the messing with my mind, Prime Tactics. Lash's "I get to double my defensive ratings" SCOP.
So she now gets four stars on forests...
... eight stars on mountains...
... and six stars in cities. I'm kinda lucky she couldn't do more damage than she did that turn, really. In later missions while fighting through Blue Moon, Prime Tactics will prove a real handful.
So where were we.
The good news with Prime Tactics is that the actual defence boost you receive from terrain is also a factor of hit points. So a 10HP unit on two-star terrain gets a 20% defence boost, but a 5HP unit on three-star terrain only gets a 15% defence boost.
Mechs, Mechs, Mechs, Eggs, Bacon and Mechs.
So, things much the same as they were when I finished the previous turn.
Die, random 3HP tank!
I've cleared a path to this artillery.
We've had it smashing up damaged infantry, but now it's time to take this Neotank out for a proper test-drive.
Victory March charged up. Should I use it?
Well, a Mech with Victory March can move four squares. This Mech's five squares away. So I guess not.
I'll get you next time, Gadget! Next time!
Just for the hell of it, let's build another Neotank. It won't get to see any action, but hey.
And here we go.
Took my screenshot just a tad too late, but you all know what it is.
One more gratuitous Neotank kill, and...
... game over, Lash.
Toodles! Hee hee hee...
... well, at least it's not "Heh heh heh..."
No sign of any of Lash's files yet.
They're thorough, I'll give them that. Hardly any time to evacuate, but they still managed to destroy her notes.
Well, I'm sure we'll have more chances to gather intel in the future. We captured an enemy HQ today, and that's good work.
You're right. There's still a lot of ground to cover... We need to move ahead base by base and ensure that we take 'em all!
All in all, a decent showing all round.
Tune in next time for...
... something a bit weird... I guess?