Part 13: Mission 10: Toy Box (or "Olaf...")
Mission 10: Toy Box (or "Olaf... ")
On to Olaf's first mission.
There's a city up ahead. We can rest there.
Commander, you're certainly in high spirits today.
Yeah, is it snowing up ahead or something?
Pardon me, Commander... May I ask what lies ahead?
Hah! It's about time someone asked me that! To be honest, we'll soon arrive in the town where I was born!
What's that? Your hometown?
That's right. It's been a long time since I left to join the army. I imagine everyone will be surprised to see how far I've risen in the world. Ho ho, yes!
So you're really just excited about showing 'em how important you are. Watch out, y'all! Olaf's comin' home!
The city's coming into view, sir. It's... It's...
What!? What's happened here?
What indeed? Let's find out...
Since you've come so far, would you like to play?
You... You fiend! What have you done?
Hm? Is there something wrong? You don't like my playground?
My home! The town square!
What are you talking about? I don't see any of that stuff! Oh... Those must be the places that got broken during my field tests. Anyway, I've hidden a goody in one of these properties. Think you can find it? Tee hee hee!
Thanks for the hint about the lab map, Lash. Couldn't've done it without you.
Grit... Colin... Stay out of this! This fight is mine!!!
Geez, Lash, what did you do here? This terrain's more broken than a hypothetical hybrid of Sturm and Colin. In Hard Campaign, we even get pipes to deal with. Of course, broken terrain is a great asset to Ms. "I get bigger attack bonuses the more crazy the terrain"... but then again, it's pretty handy for Olaf, too. The map's also slightly larger in Hard Campaign, with a couple of extra rows added to the bottom. And there are a few predeployed units. Most notably, we start out with an APC. It's going to be very handy for us.
Here's a sketch of my general strategy, focusing in particular on the first few turns. That central base by the mountains (circled in green) is going to be the key, and we can use our starting APC to get it captured on Day 4. Try doing that with a MD Tank and a Rocket, Lash. With that base safely secured, we can work on capping all the cities behind it. Meanwhile, in the South there's a rich vein of cities behind that pipeline, waiting to be tapped. With artillery to break the seams and infs and mechs to grab the cities, that should be easy enough. Those units can then sweep round ("commando-style") and help us trap Lash in a pincer movement - even though it looks like there's water between them, it's possible to travel from that broken bridge end to that beach, indicated by an arrow I've stuck in there. They'll also be key in capping the lab map city, circled in red.
So, let's get on with that. First up, I'm moving my APC to here so's I can load an infantry into it next turn. My tank just moves up generally, to guard my precious APC, and the mech begins its journey south.
Now I've built a couple of infantry - one to go travelling in the APC, one for capturing the southern properties.
Lash moved up her tank and recon, but her other units stayed put. I guess they've been specifically assigned by the map creators to stay put and guard, or something. Still, I'm not complaining.
Up comes the APC, dropping off its passenger nicely in range of the base. I also want to move my tank into that chokepoint between the mountains and the pipes - pretty much the only way of getting at my infantry with a tank.
But I'd rather Lash didn't get first strike, which she would if I put my tank right onto that chokepoint square.
So the tank's going to go on the square behind the chokepoint.
An artillery joins my team in the south, ready to go round busting pipe seams.
Lash moves her tank into attack range. How jolly sporting of her.
Almost makes me feel better about her trashing Olaf's hometown. Almost...
After that spot of tank war, time to start capturing this base that I keep extolling the virtues of.
And my APC shuttles back to pick up more infantry. Meanwhile, the southern team are in position to start some capturing.
So let's go and do that.
Lash keeps herself busy.
Finishing off that tank, and capturing the base.
In the south, the first city gets captured, and my artillery begins taking down that first pipe.
The APC returns to drop off its new passenger, and I build a second artillery. You can never have too many artillery on a crazy map like this one. Heck, if you're a Grit fan you can never have too many artillery period.
Lash is starting to build up a bit back there. She's got a new tank to replace the one I destroyed, for example.
Back on my side, life just rolls serenely on. Tanks attack, infantry capture and my shiny new base produces a third artillery.
Bam, there goes that pipe seam. What riches lie beyond it. An extra 4000G per turn, that's what.
So far, so good.
Hmm, Lash's infantry have started capturing that neighbouring base.
We'll soon see about that. Of course, my artillery firing from the base like that means I can't produce from there this turn, but it's a small price to pay.
That wounded recon tried to attack my infantry, but didn't fare so well. The infantry comes back round to finish it off.
Once again, a tank is threatening that chokepoint. Once again, my own tank backs off to ensure a first strike.
Meanwhile, an artillery moves up to provide extra chokepoint cover.
To the south, my troops march through the gap left by the destroyed pipe seam.
My tank's starting to look a little battered at 7HP, so let's bring in a fresh tank to help out.
Hi there, Mr. Tank. I see you like infantry.
But you don't like artillery fire or other tanks. That's a shame.
Moving up the other arty again, to cover the tank. Also, there's a city back here I haven't captured yet, I'd better get on that.
Here comes my new tank.
To the South, general capturing and moving up.
Lash is still trying to capture that base. I could take it out with my base artillery...
... but I'm going to use my tank instead. This is because I'm going to actually build something from that base this turn.
Try capturing that base now, Lash.
In the south, two more cities join the cause of Blue Moon (come to think of it... if this is Blue Moon territory - Olaf's hometown, no less - why is there neutral stuff around at all?)
Yet more city capping, and that poor 3HP infantry gets to rest on a city for a bit.
Okay, Lash is still trying to capture that base.
I'll deal with that in a second, but first, some capturing of my own down south.
Lash's capturing infantry gets blown away by rockets and tank guns. I did warn her. Of course, that new full-HP tank of hers is a threat to my 7HP one. I could get my fresh tank in, but there's a recon in the way.
Luckily, artillery fire can quickly take care of that recon.
And my fresh tank moves in and damages Lash's fresh tank. It also blocks up that base, meaning I don't have to worry about infantry capturing it for a turn at least.
So, once more I lack a tank on full health. I'd better get another one then.
Right, let's start off by finishing the capturing of those cities below the pipe.
It looks like Lash's 5HP tank decided to go and attack my 7HP tank, resulting in both sides taking 3HP damage.
My arty finishes off that 2HP tank, and my other two tanks join together. The 2 extra HP get converted into funds and would you look at that, 16000G. Guess what that means.
Yup, it's Md Tank time.
That's a pretty solid-looking knot of units up there now. Although it's kind of silly how my APC is the primary meatshield when there are tanks hanging around behind it.
In the south, my commando squad move up to just outside the range of those enemy artillery. I don't think Lash ever manages to raise the kind of money needed to build from that port, so it's not a major concern.
Lash is still trying to get that base.
My APC took a right dinging from its unexpected bit of meatshielding, so first of all let's get it to safety.
Just accept it Lash, you're never getting that base.
You aren't going to get much chance to threaten my chokepoint, either.
Move on up, boys.
In the south, discretion remains the better part of valour as I try to pussyfoot my way around those artillery.
More artillery, more!
One of Lash's infantry slipped over the mountains and damaged my rocket. Curses. She also joined two infantry together in a further bid to grab that base.
Getting that medium tank into action, and good gracious look at the damage that recon's going to take.
While my middie is annihilating recons, my rocket gives that capturing infantry what for while a small tank comes and deals with that pesky mountain-crossing inf.
Arty fire damages a tank and finishes off that capturing infantry. Then my other small tank moves in and does some tank-on-tank damage while once more making sure that base is good and blocked.
My southern infantry finds a nice little niche in between the two artillery ranges.
The rest of the southern team moves up.
Yeah, why not, let's have another medium tank. We're pulling in pretty serious money in now, after all.
Lash's power meter is full, so she's going to get Prime Tactics tomorrow. So this seems like as good a time as any to launch a little surgical strike, while it can't charge up her power meter any more. Our target is that rocket launcher, and there are some tanks in the way.
Artillery help clear the way by taking down one small tank and softening up the other.
The middie rolls in to clean up the small tank, and my small tank gets a good shot in on the rocket launcher. Nicely done.
Cleaning out Lash's damaged units that were hanging around near my forces.
Shifting the rocket to here lets us put some pressure on that artillery next to the port.
Getting that 6HP infantry out of the way, and building yet another medium tank (get used to it, we'll be swimming in them by the end).
Things're a bit dull in the south. Lash has arranged her two artilleries so that they cover each other without gaps, and I'm not going to march my troops into that mess willy-nilly.
Ridiculous terrain bonus time.
lololol eight stars.
Apart from that infantry's attack and the 3HP rocket chipping the paint on my medium tank, that was a fairly quiet Prime Tactics.
The really hard part, though, is chipping away at Lash's defences afterwards.
Still, my artillery manage to make some inroads into that capturing infantry, knocking it down to 4HP.
Dealing damage after Prime Tactics is like pulling teeth.
Well, I guess if I move this artillery up then it can't be hit by the full-health arty and the 7HP arty won't be as big of an issue. Or something.
In the north-west corner, tank brigades crunch their way through rockets and recons.
How many more times, Lash? You aren't. Having. That. BASE.
Lash never listens.
Clearly she needs a blast of cold air to wake her up.
Paul.Power's CO Notes: Olaf (Blue Moon) Theme
Like Andy and Adder, Olaf is a vanilla CO - almost. His units don't get bogged down in snow the way that other CO's units do. So naturally, his CO Power, Blizzard, makes it snow for a turn. His Super CO Power, Winter Fury, makes it snow for a turn and inflicts 2HP of damage to all enemy units (although, as with most such things, it can't kill units). Olaf is weak in the rain - while it affects other COs movement slightly, rain affect Olaf as badly as snow affects other COs.
Background/Personality: The commander-in-chief of Blue Moon may be a pompous braggart, but there's no denying his patriotism to the extent that, in Advance Wars 1, he is willing to work with Sturm in exchange for gaining more land for the glory of Blue Moon . Olaf feels so strongly for his country that he thrives in the colder weather of Blue Moon, and he uses this affinity for cold weather to his advantage. As much as Olaf and Grit squabble, they respect each other a lot and make for an effective chalk-and-cheese pairing.
So, how about this weather? Snow makes it a lot harder for units to get about the place (unless you're Olaf, of course) - the movement point cost for a number of terrain squares doubles, although roads seem to remain clear all the time (that's a good gritting service they've got in Wars World). But yeah, plains, mountains and forests all become tougher to move through. Air and sea units struggle to move too, although you won't see any of them on this mission.
Lash's artillery to the south are almost down. Soon we'll be able to move in and grab that lab map city.
An infantry attack finishes off the last artil, and my other footsoldiers down there move up.
In the north, one of my tanks took a bit of a beating and is down to 2HP. I'll do something clever with it in a minute, but we've got some clearing out to do first. First up, yet another infantry that's been trying to take that base gets polished off.
Then my middie rolls in and neutralises the tank that did all of that nasty damage to my poor tank.
And now for cleverness - the 2HP tank goes up and blocks Lash's northern base. With no real threats around, I can entrust the job to this crippled unit and not have to worry about taking firepower away from my main strike force.
My infantry take on that one inf that's looking speculatively at my mountain base. Seriously, Lash, if I won't let you take the other base, why d'you think I'd let you take this one? Although, once more, it looks like I won't be able to build from that base. My money's starting to stack up, too.
Snow's over, folks.
First up, let's start capping that lab map city.
Happily, it's just out of the medium tank's attack range, and that middie's programmed to stay put unless something actually ventures into its attack range.
Rocket and arty fire takes down a tank.
Still trying to capture that base, eh? Good grief, Lash.
There, that should stop you trying to get that base any more.
Let's use up some of this cash by buying some more rockets.
Move up, lads.
Lash is a little short on options, but she's still managed to put together a decent chokepoint defence with that mech and artillery. More on that in a minute, first we have something to take care of.
Hm? What's that?
Well, I'll be... What you've got there is a map pinpointing the enemy lab.
A lab? What do you mean?
It's where the enemy's workin' on their new weapons. It would make things a mite easier if we could get some of those new weapons for our side, too.
Hmph! I don't like it. Using enemy weapons...
Well, we know the location. Least we can do is stop in and take a look-see.
But yeah, about that chokepoint. There's an artillery that'll smack anything that tries to attack that mech. It's not going to be easy to remove that mech in one shot, and even if I did, there's an infantry behind the mech that's still blocking things up.
Oh well, guess it won't be fatal to move in and attack.
And this is why you couldn't have that base, Lash. I want it.
Time to get round to healing up that rocket.
Moving up some of my ever-increasing family of medium tanks.
Yeah, Lash did serious damage to my "point" middie, as predicted. Good job I built another one.
This turn, though, the chokepoint falls.
Guess I'd better grab that port.
Moving everyone up, including a very annoying mistake. Can you spot it?
Yeah, that Mech climbed up onto the mountain and used Lash's 40% attack bonus there to wipe out an artillery. First unit loss of the mission .
In the south, capturing and infantry battles.
In the north, punishment for that upstart mech.
Joining together two of my infantry to help hold the line there.
Moving up my medium tank to attack Lash's tank, and oh hey, now I'm in range of her middie.
Maybe some snow will slow her down.
# Walking in a winter wonderland #
Oh well, I guess it doesn't. I guess tanks are as happy on snow-covered beaches as the are on normal ones.
Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. At least that's another of Lash's bases blocked up.
Finishing off a mech, and moving up.
Lured off its HQ, Lash's medium tank does some attacking. Still, I guess it's better to fight Lash out here in the open where she only gets +10% attack, as opposed to her HQ where she gets +40% attack.
That's the medium tank down, as I join my two 4HP ones together. A small tank takes over base-blocking duty.
Moving up an artillery and a middie...
... and the rest. And yeah, now I've got that base, may as well use it to make sure I have an insane number of medium tanks at my disposal.
And now for a demonstration of why Prime Tactics is so very, very annoying.
Full-health medium tank attacking full-health mech on HQ: 9% damage.
The mech didn't even get scratched. The medium tank tanks 2HP of damage for its trouble.
The other units aren't quite as bad to attack, but it's still like pulling teeth.
Well, at least it looks like we should win tomorrow.
Two of Lash's mechs combine to take out a small tank. Second casualty of the mission.
Fortunately, it will be the last.
Artillery and medium tank combine to take out the HQ mech.
Let's finish this.
Bed time, Lash. Time to put your toys away.
Oh, well. I guess I'll have to find someplace new to play. Toodles!
This is it. This is where my house used to be.
And over there, that was the town square. I played here all day with all the other kids in the neighborhood. It didn't matter how much snow was on the ground. It didn't bother us at all. Look, right here... Can you see the outlines of the square?
Black Hole! For this, there can be no forgiveness!
300 points and a lab map is scant consolation for poor Olaf.
Beating two missions in Blue Moon has opened up a lot more options for us, but we have a schedule to keep, so
Tune in next time for...
... more annoying time limits!
... another choice of CO!