Part 10: Mission 8: Liberation (or "Andy's redemption")
Mission 8: Liberation (or "Andy's redemption")
There's only one place left to go...
"At last"? Well, I guess he has been hanging around here at the factory ever since the end of mission 4...
You look like you're having a rough time, Flak.
Huh? What rock did you crawl out from under, Adder?
Heh heh heh... I wanted to see the military strength of this world myself.
You saw it when you tried to take those POWs and Max kicked your ass, Adder.
Should you be here? I thought you were supposed to be invading Yellow Comet?
... well, Lash is supposed to be invading Blue Moon and Hawke Green Earth, but you didn't mind them paying you a visit, right Flak? Then again, this is Adder, so I guess it's an automatic special case.
Leave off, Flak. You'd do well not to waste your energy on my affairs. Look! The natives are knocking on your doorstep... and they look restless.
Grrr... I won't lose.
"Won't"? Heh heh heh... You mustn't lose, Flak. That's closer to the truth.
I'm looking forward to your performance. Heh heh heh...
By popular demand, this mission will focus on Andy's efforts to redeem himself following the Sea For All debacle, by leading the fight for the liberation of Orange Star. Things get off to an interesting start...
It seems to be some sort of an installation. What are they planning now?
I believe they call it a factory. This is the center of all the damage inflicted upon our forces.
So there's no doubt that it's the key to the entire Black Hole invasion!
Yes, but... There's still so much we don't know. I've got a spy on the inside, so I'll let you know if I hear anything. In the meanwhile, let's launch some sorties and see the enemy's response.
Go get 'em, Andy.
So, factories. I discussed the nature of factories in the strategy post, so not much to say now. Very soon though you'll get to see just how broken the little beggars are.
So for now I'll just build a recon to "launch some sorties" as Nell suggested, and an infantry to head north and capture that northern base.
What is it, Nell? Is everything OK?
No, it isn't, Max. Our army's not the only thing being attacked here. The enemy's been stealing weapons, money, and other materials, too! Somehow, they transport everything here to this factory, then it all goes into that pipe and winds up... somewhere else.
Black Hole goons... They're even more dangerous than we originally thought.
Don't worry! As long as we're in this together, there's no way we can lose!
You're right, Andy. You've all made it this far. I know you'll emerge victorious.
See, Nell does still believe in you, Andy
Good grief, the factory spat out a Recon and a B-Copter on Flak's first turn. That's the trouble with these Hard Campaign factories. And there'll be much worse than this to come.
Can't afford an anti-air this turn, unfortunately. I'll have to make do with a tank. Meanwhile, the recon moves up so it can at least look like it's engaging the enemy, and my infantry moves up. Next turn I'll reach a missile silo. Might be worth a punt.
Flak gets an anti-air and a mech from his factory.
Sod this, let's launch a missile at them. With no anti-air defences in place yet, we're going to need everything we can get to wear that B-Copter down.
Hmm... should I attack with the recon as well? Might help things.
The recon does an okay job of it. The extra defence from the base helped.
I still can't afford an AA, but these infantry will help me capture stuff and secure silos, and I'll also be able to save up some cash for an AA.
I got lucky this turn, the factory decided not to build anything.
My tank and recon take on the AA. The tank does well, the recon... less so (It had already been knocked down to 2HP by Flak's B-Copter, I thought maybe it could finish off the 1HP AA, but all that happened was that the recon got knocked down to 1HP).
And finally, I get an anti-air deployed.
The factory produced a bomber. Now that's just not on.
The good news is that if I use my anti-air to finish off the B-Copter, it'll still be out of range of the bomber. That's good, I don't want my one defence against the bomber getting scotched by the very thing it's supposed to be stopping.
Eat hot missile silo, bomber.
Well at least I've started capturing that base to the north. That's going to be the key, I think. Nice and near the pipe seam.
My tank goes off and finishes off that 1HP AA, while also seeing if it can't go up and block one of those factory openings. Meanwhile I get some capturing done, and produce an APC. I'd quite like that base next to the bomber.
Well, I got hit by a missile silo that round. And Flak's bomber came down to pay a visit. Happily, it didn't finish the capturing infantry off.
Have at you, sir.
Let's join all these infantry together so we can get this city captured. Meanwhile, I decide that maybe blocking up the factory isn't the best thing to do, what with that mech hanging about. Let's guard this base instead. And let's move the APC up so we can take the base.
Happily, the northern base is now captured. I think we're probably going to have to use this base as our platform for taking down that pipe seam.
Let's have a bunch of infantry to replace the ones that got joined together.
Flak's factory delivered a fighter, among other things. Although at this rate I'm not even going to get an airport, so it's not that worrying.
Let's start out with a small tank up here. Should help secure our new base.
Our new challenge is to capture and secure this base.
More infantry. Sure, they're weak. But they're cheap, and I've a feeling we're going to need all the cannon fodder we can get here.
You don't need to think when you've got a bloody factory on your side.
Yow, that smarts.
This mech gave quite a nasty counterattack to my anti-air, too. Although at least it's charged up Hyper Repair.
And from this day forth, let it be said that the nation of Orange Star shall not be fooled again. Not by factories, or by bizarre challenges involving only air and naval units, or by smooth-talking COs. We shall stand and fight these Black Hole oppressors.
We shall strike down their footsoldiers where they stand.
We shall build engines of destruction to take down their absurdly broken structures.
We shall reclaim the land that is rightfully ours, and protect it so that it never falls into their hands again!
We shall - two neotanks and a rocket?!?! Now you're just shitting with me, Flak.
I... I don't know what to say.
Sod it. No matter how grisly it gets, no matter how absurd Flak's army gets, we're taking this factory down. It cannot be left to keep threatening Orange Star.
And you lads are the key.
Okay, let's move this artillery across here. Lets us cover a fair bit of ground for when that Neotank shows up.
And we're going to need a second artillery up there, too. Meanwhile, the rest of you have a simple job: fall back, and defend that HQ with your lives. We have a duty to the civilians of Orange Star. The buck - and Flak's army - stops here.
... and we're going to need a lot more infantry.
Flak's force moves ever closer.
His tank in the north goes and attacks my artillery, but the good news is that his base up there is now unguarded. We can now block it up, and we can finally begin to chip away at that seam.
Those capturing infantry are decoys. If I've got this right, that neotank will attack them rather than go gunning for my tank. That means I can keep chipping away at that seam.
Flak may have attacked one of my artillery, but the other one can return the attack with interest.
Everyone must work to hold the line, and that includes APCs.
But lines aren't everything. The longer we can hold this base, the longer it will provide us with the vital funds we need to complete our task.
Damaged units, join together. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
The rest of you... fill the breach. Reinforcements are on their way.
We're going to need more firepower than a humble infantry can provide. Commence Operation Mech Flood.
Flak's forces grow more and more absurd by the day.
However, slowly but surely, we are chipping down that pipe seam. The decoy infantry did their job: they may have perished to the machine of war, but they have bought my tank some time.
My 5HP artillery knocks a couple of hit points off that Neotank. It isn't much, but every scratch, every dent, brings us closer to freedom. Meanwhile my other artillery moves in to temporarily fill that bridge, and my decoy infantry keep capturing. Everyone must play their part.
And every turn where we can keep this line secure is a turn where we can deploy more artillery, more tools to take down that seam.
Fall back, boys. It's all going to come down to our HQ and their pipe seam. Symbolic structures, but symbols that carry great power.
Flak's armies continue to advance.
His forces are an iron boot, looking to crush our nation.
And yet, that boot is the boot of Achilles. And that boot has a heel. And I like mixing metaphors. Regardless, day by day that pipe seam is losing armour. My decoy infantry performed their duties admirably, and that neotank has been distracted from the true threat.
Distracted long enough that I no longer need to trick it and can combat it with true force.
Move up, move up for Orange Star and the free world!
Our bases shall never rest.
Our defenders shall never tire.
We must win. And we will win.
Do your worst.
That accursed factory produced three B-Copters last turn, and they are bearing down on my artillery. This cannot be tolerated.
With victory and defeat hanging in the balance, our field commander steps up to rally the troops. He has been foolish in the past. He has been led astray by enemy trickery, and let the enemy in while his back was turned. But this is a new day, a fresh start, and he will not back down from his duty.
He will win. For sure.
His units, restored with fresh vigour, know that victory is at hand.
The seam continues to crumble, faster and faster under this renewed assault.
The wounded Neotank continues to be buffeted by artillery fire.
The artillery move into position by the seam, knowing that they will strike the crucial blows.
No mistakes. No skimping on firepower. There is no such thing as overkill.
But just in case - we need an insurance policy. This anti-air is our insurance that we will win.
The HQ defence is weakening by the day. But it will not have to hold on for much longer.
The HQ defence is broken.
Flak's army stretches forever, like a motorway tailback of destruction. He even has the funds now to build a legitimate bomber, rather than one spawned from his hellish factory.
But it matters not.
Artillery fire has done the trick. The pipe seam is down to just 7HP. Can we finish the job with this tank?
We can. And we will.
The enemy's gate is down.
There'll be no more units coming from that factory!
Give it up, Flak! You lose!
My invasion of Orange Star may have failed, but I'm not alone. There are other Black Hole COs, with more armies.
What are you saying? Are Yellow Comet and Blue Moon under attack?
Hah! You'll find out soon enough. They'll be coming for you next! I'm gone.
Hey! We're not done with you!... He got away again! We can't ignore his warning, can we? We've gotta contact the other armies.
Yes. You're right. Let's ready reinforcements. In truth, though, our own Orange Star Army is in pretty ragged shape. If that battle had gone on much longer, materials and morale might have dropped to dangerous levels. I can't tell you how grateful I am for all of your aid! Nice work!
C'mon! Let's hurry and check on the other countries!
Yeah! Let's get busy and drive those Black Hole thugs off the planet!
You said it! We'll knock the stuffing out of 'em, then head home for a victory feast!
Score is immaterial. The factory is down, Orange Star is free, and the first real step to defeating Black Hole has been taken. And we have one boy to thank for it.
You did indeed, Andy. Redemption is yours.