Part 12: Mission 9: Tanks!!! (or "An offer you can refuse very easily")
Mission 9: Tanks!!! (or "An offer you can refuse very easily")
Time for some fun with our resident long-range unit expert.
Grit! Curses, man! What are you doing?!
Uhh? Who... What's all the ruckus? Even the chickens are still sleepin'. Oh, Olaf... Yaaaaawwwnn!
Open your eyes and get up, you lazy scoundrel! I entrusted the defense of these mountains to you! Who do you think you are, lollygagging about like...
Calm down there, O Bearded One. No need to get all riled up. If things get a bit dicey, we can always sound the retreat. I doubt the enemy's gonna do anything too rash.
You fool! Let me tell you something...
What? What is it? Don't attempt to divert my wrath with that dour look of yours!
I do believe that someone's payin' us a visit.
What? Grit! Where do you think you're going? Grit!
Coming up is, IMHO, the best chunk of dialogue in the game:
Goin' head-to-head with those boys makes no sense at all.
Very perceptive, Commander Grit.
Black Hole Army, huh?
My name is Adder. I came here specifically to offer you a proposition.
Yes. Let me cut to the chase. We'd like you to join the Black Hole Army. What do you say?
You possess much skill... Wasting it for Blue Moon is such a shame. You don't really buy into the whole "protect and serve" business, right? Dying to save a country you care nothing for? Admit it. It's nonsense.
You can see with your own eyes, the might of our army. We passed through several cities on our way here... Heh heh... Crushing them beneath our boots took no time at all.
Be it Blue Moon or any other country, no one can stop us. Come, Grit. You know that joining us is the smart thing to do.
Well now... You got one thing right. I never did care much which territory belonged to which country. I couldn't have cared less if y'all decided to set up shop here.
Heh heh heh... In that case...
However... You've got no call to be treating the folks who live here any way you please.
You destroyed whole cities? You did just say that, right? Well, listen here, I don't care how powerful you say you are... You, Adder, are now my number-one enemy.
Heh heh... If that's the way you want it, I'll destroy you here as well! Md tanks, advance! Grind this fool to dust!
Wait a minute, I'm reminded of something. Let's skip back a few missions here for a second...
... Adder, you are the hypocrittiest hypocrite to ever take the Hypocritic oath.
Why yes, Adder does have a lot of Md Tanks. He also has a lot of Neotanks, too: that's the main difference between Normal and Hard Campaign for this map. There're also a few small tanks. That's pretty much all the differences there are between this mission and its NC equivalent: the map is exactly the same. Sorry.
That is a lot of middies and neos. However...
... with Grit at the helm, it's not going to make much difference how much Adder sends at us.
Paul.Power's CO Notes: Grit (Blue Moon) Theme
Grit is essentially the polar opposite of Max: his indirects take a +20% attack boost and - significantly - a +1 increase in range, allowing him to hit a heck of a lot more stuff than anyone else. To counter this, all of his direct-combat units (other than footsoldiers) take a 20% penalty. Given that most of the units in the game are direct combat, you'd think that'd be crippling, right? Not really: Grit's long-range units rock so much that he's easily a more powerful CO than Max, and one of the strongest in the game. Grit's CO Power and Super CO Power increase the attack range of his indirects a further 1 and 2 squares, respectively, while also boosting his attack strength with them to ridiculous levels.
Background/Personality: If Grit were any more laid back he'd be horizontal, but his folksy demeanour hides a sharp strategic brain and peerless abilities as a marksman. Completing his CO training in Orange Star at the same time as Nell and Max, prior to the events of Advance Wars 1 he defected to Blue Moon for unexplained reasons. Grit can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but he's usually just messing around and is, on the whole, a nice guy.
So, let's get going. First up, let's do some damage to one of these Neotanks.
Just beautiful. Note that the background for city tiles varies depending on which army your CO is: for Orange Star you've got big city streets, for Blue Moon, quiet country lanes. It's another one of those nice little graphical touches the game has.
Now I guess I'll move these mechs back a bit so they're not in harm's way. They should be safe on these "mountain corners" - no way a tank can get them there.
Move these recons up to get a bit more vision...
... and move those other two mechs back to get at those silos. I also moved my central rocket north: for whatever reason, Adder always sends the majority of his units north here.
Hey, Olaf! What in tarnation are they?
Those are missile silos. Infantry and mech units can use them to launch a single missile. They can strike anything on the field of battle.
Well I'll be... A distance weapon... That's nice. I wonder which of us has the better range of fire.
Fool! It's a weapon, not a rival! Those missiles have a wide blast radius, so watch for your own troops. You can check the blast radius by pressing the R Button.
Zippity doo dah!
Now, imagine something called an R Button...
So explain this to me, Adder. You're up against Grit. Grit has a lot of rockets. He also has a big mountain range stopping you from getting at his rockets easily. The map is covered in chokepoints and hiding spots that he can exploit. And to top it all off, Grit has uncontested missile silos. And you're expecting him to surrender and join Black Hole.
What were you thinking?!
Delicious crunchy neotanks, now available in Black Hole flavour. That probably wasn't what he was thinking, but it's definitely what's happening.
As expected, most of Adder's units headed north, but there is one Neotank down here I can bombard.
Which I promptly do.
Shuffling some recons around, while also moving my mechs ever closer to them silos.
I've done so much damage to Adder that he's getting Sidewinder already.
Nice use of Sidewinder there Adder, that "moving a whole bunch of units right into the killing zone" thing worked really well for you.
Y'know what? I'm not even going to fire this missile at his tanks. The mechs are getting it.
Mechs are actually the greater threat here, because they can cross the mountains. Heck, you may as well have called the mission "Mechs!!!"
Good grief, look at all the units I can hit.
Bye bye, northern Mech team.
We're not having any full health medium tanks around here, Adder.
These units are a lot tougher to kill when they're standing on mountains.
My own mech and a recon lend a hand.
My recons and artillery are kind of under threat, but it isn't life-threatening.
Adder shuffles some units fairly aimlessly and does a bit of damage.
Range competition. Sorry, Grit, it looks like the missile silo wins. Good effort, though.
Adder's units are starting to look significantly worse for wear.
Generally attacking units - particularly the ones with more health. Also, looks like my power meter's full. Guess I'll break out my SCOP next turn.
That's the last of the mechs down - and pretty much the end of any real threat to my base, as a result.
Before we try out Grit's SCOP, let's do a bit more missile launching.
Okay, here we go! Let's see what happens when we boost the range and firepower of Grit's rockets to even more insane levels.
COWER, BRIEF NEOTANKS, FOR I HAVE BECOME A GOD!
HAHAHA... oh, you get the picture. But yes, even my artillery's getting in on the act. For this turn, it's got a range of six squares.
And the shells keep raining down.
That was pretty sweet.
You're doing it wrong, Adder, it's HAHAHAHAHA!!!
A bit of cleanup work to do.
One tank survives. Annoyingly, I could have used Super Snipe here to hit him. Oh well.
... this? Oh, it's not over. There must be some units left.
Well, I guess I've got to bait them into coming forward. Sorry guys, you're up.
Moving all my rockets into position to finish the job.
Unfortunately, one of my mechs died during its role as bait. The recons decided to gang up on it rather than one go for each. Makes sense I guess, but it's still sad .
One last missile silo.
Now we get to finish it.
What happened? My Md tank brigade... Routed? Hsss! Retreat!
Grit! Where are you, Grit? Forcing that villain Adder to retreat, it was quite...
Hm? What was that? Something I can do for you, Frosty?
You... you impertinent fool! Is this the way you speak to your commander? Stand right there! I'm going to teach you a lesson!
Not in front of the boy. Hey, son, I'm gonna catch some shut-eye. You're in charge.
Um... Huh?! Me? Did you mean me?
Aarrgh! Grit! Hold it right there!
Well, those bloody recons cost me 100 speed, and therefore 300 points. Still a healthy S-Rank, though. My average so far after 9 missions is 289.8 recurring, and as I understand it, if I can average over 280 for the whole campaign then that's an S-Rank for the whole of Hard Campaign. That'd be pretty neat, the only other time I've played through HC I got an A-Rank (I have average-S-Ranked NC, though, so I've got Sturm ). Not that I'll mind too much if I don't get that S-Rank, but it's a goal of sorts.
Chalk up a second stuffing we've handed out to Adder - so far that's one where he tried to trap the direct-combat specialist, and one where he tried to blast through the indirect-combat specialist. The guy can't win. Hooray!
Tune in text time for...
Olaf's coming home, he's coming home, he's coming...