Part 14: Mission 11: Neotanks!? (or "I think the AI felt sorry for me")
Mission 11 - Neotanks!? (or "I think the AI felt sorry for me")
What's wrong now? Getting all worked up like that ain't good for you, Boss.
Doesn't this bother you at all, Grit? These Black Hole mercenaries! They trespass on our land and have the gall to build wherever they like! This land is ours! More than anything else, it belongs to our people! We cannot allow these fools to invade it and divide it amongst themselves!
The man's got a point...
Commander Olaf! There's a base or something up ahead!
Just like the map said. Which means we've found their research laboratory.
Troops! Prepare for battle!
By popular demand, we'll be using Grit for this. Personally I usually use Colin here - his low costs mean that it takes less time to get a force up and running, which is useful in a timed mission like this. Still, let's see what we can do with Grit.
Defensive system Backlash initiated... Taking damage from intruders. Initiate document-destruct sequence. Research lab will self-destruct in 15 days.
I... guess that's some sort of robot clone of herself that Lash invented? Given if it was the real Lash, there'd probably be more manic laughter or something.
Lash starts out with quite the hefty pre-deployed force. Four B-Copters? Good grief. We do have a weapon against this, though: a nice bunch of missile silos. The main problem is that Lash has a massive advantage economically with all of those bases in the north-west. Nothing much we can do about that, it's just a storm we'll have to weather. Because of Lash's advantage there, our goal is lab capture: rout is out of the question. Happily, Lash's neotank and medium tank stay put until you move into attack range. We'll have to do that eventually, but at least we don't have to deal with it at the start.
Let's start off nice and easy by moving these tanks and recruiting some infantry.
Lash moves her stuff up a bit.
Some of my infantry get into position so they can start launching missiles next turn.
Let's have an APC, why not (we can't afford artillery yet. See, this is why I like Colin for this mission).
Lash's copters get to the river, and her mech starts capturing the base up there. We won't have a cat in hell's chance if we don't acquire that base, so we can't let her have it.
So let's use some of these missiles.
There we go. Much better.
Building a couple more infantry to help us take those bases to the north (still no artillery, sorry. Maybe next turn)
Lash's injured copters go and assault the infantry that dared bombarb them with missiles.
Joke's on you, guys.
And another missile aimed at Lash's capture crew for good measure.
Meanwhile, though, Lash's bases up in the north-west are starting to develop ominously.
Oh well, let's finish off this infantry.
And finally, the moment you've all been waiting for: my first artillery.
Y'know what? I think I forgot to move my western tank forward last turn. D'oh.
Well, at least he can damage this AA. A bit. Stupid 20% attack penalty.
Moving stuff up.
My eastern tank is almost certainly doomed next turn...
... but at least he can finish off that artillery.
Yep. Doomed. As was my infantry that had been hanging around those northern missile silos.
Avenging the infantry with my western tank.
Setting up at the river chokepoint just before that key base. The APC acts as a lure for Lash's tank...
... while the arty behind it is perfectly capable of smashing that tank up.
Let's have an AA to help us finish off Lash's pesky B-Copters.
Well, the tank took the bait.
But first up, let's clear out one of these B-Copters with our shiny new AA. Although Grit's AA is pretty much the weakest in the game. Weak in the sense that there's a chance it won't kill a helicopter.
Now that's done, let's finish capturing this property so that we can get the magical 6000G per turn needed for an artillery every turn.
Meanwhile we can start grabbing that northern base.
My APC shuttles back so it can ferry up more infantry.
To help with that, let's have another APC. We're going to need all the help we can get to capture this lab.
My western tank continues its lone struggle against Lash's ever-expanding base.
Incidentally, you may be wondering why I haven't launched these two missiles yet. Simple, really: I'm saving them up for the big assault on the three units around Lash's HQ. If I hit them now, they'll just heal up by the time I'm ready to fight them.
Anyway, let's grab this base.
General moving up of things.
Let's have a second artillery. It'll take a little while to reach the front line, but every little helps.
It's starting to look like a lost cause for my western tank, especially now that Lash has a tank of her own over there.
Still, keep struggling on, li'l dude.
RIP Mr. Western Tank. My CO Power's charged now, but it's still going to be a while before I use it.
Lash is starting to bring in some reinforcements around her HQ area. This is a concern.
But at least I'm starting to gear up production around here, as my third arty rolls out of the new base and I start capturing the neighbouring cities.
Although to the south, the first of many units has managed to slip through my lines.
Lash groups her units around her lab into a nice little cluster.
Meanwhile she's taking that western airport pretty much uncontested :-/.
... okay, that just takes the biscuit.
Righto, first let's finish capping these two cities.
Move up some artillery and build a new one.
Finally time to launch one of those missiles.
Moving up the all-important APCs, and sending my AA back to provide some cover against that very cheeky recon and Lash's impending invasion.
Lash's army keeps rolling along.
The last missile strikes home, and it looks like labs can't repair units like other properties can. Who knew?
We're running out of time here, so it's time for a gamble: moving up my artillery battery into range of Lash's stuff. This, of course, is the main problem with artillery in a time-limited situation like this: because they can't move and fire on the same day, you've got to get them into position before you launch your deadly assault. And if it's a fairly open-field battle like this, that means the enemy gets a chance to strike you first. Oh well.
Die, annoying recon! Or at least take some damage!
The all-important APCs move up with my artillery. I've got to ensure I leave at least two days for capturing, so those infantry have got to be out of the APCs by Day 13 at the latest.
Eesh that didn't go very well.
Oh well, the die is cast.
Let's just do what we can. First, this neotank.
Badly-damaged units attacking other badly-damaged units. War can be messy sometimes.
Moving up the APCs to drop infantry into position...
... and bringing up other infantry to help support the assault.
Down south, Lash's army is starting to pour into my HQ area.
This is going to be a tough ride. Let's build some tanks.
Well, thanks to Prime Tactics I can't really attack that capturing infantry without a) not doing much damage and b) taking a massive counterattack. And it and that arty are blocking me from starting lab capture this turn.
Let's just take on these tanks with what remains of my artillery battery.
Infantry assault that artillery near the HQ, wearing it down a bit while also getting ready to start capturing next turn.
Another infantry comes up to chip some damage off Lash's tank, and I'm not really sure what I'm doing with those APCs. Distracting?
Hold the line!
Maybe some fresh infantry will help.
Cutting it very fine here.
First up, let's take down that artillery. It's charged up my power meter again, so I may as well...
... do some sniping. Sniping with... artillery. Yeah. Funny how the game translates one man's special talents into something kind of different when it comes to army command.
Let's taking on that full-health tank first.
And now, we'll start capturing that HQ. Hmm... doesn't look great, what with Lash's infantry sitting right next to it.
They're all over me.
Building another arty for the sake of it, and...
... this does not look good. If Lash attacks my infantry, I can't capture that lab tomorrow no matter how much joining I do. Looks like I'm going to lose .
Thanks for rubbing it in, Ms. Robot-Clone-Thing...
... wait, what? Lash's infantry didn't attack? What... but how... what?
Well, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth, I know that much.
With these plans, we'll be able to use this new weapon in the next battle.
Start building new weapons! I'll be waiting at the next battlefield.
Screw the rank, I'm still in shock that I won. I think the AI felt sorry for me...
Tune in next time for...
... Crazy Colin's Used Tank Showroom! Nearly-new military hardware at low, low prices!