Part 17: Mission 14: T Minus 15 (or "The Super Cool Power of getting in each other's way")
Mission 14: T Minus 15 (or "The Super Cool Power of... getting in each other's way")
The Blue Moon COs were just wandering along, when suddenly...
Look at that! It's... It's...
What... What... What in winter's name is that?!?
It looks like a missile silo... A really big missile silo. I doubt we can just walk up and push that monster over.
Hit it with everything we've got! No Black Hole base is a match for our might!
Do you see the size of that thing? I'm worried about you, Chief.
Wha-What should WE do?
Well, son, you and I are on intel duty. We've gotta find a way to beat that thing.
Aw man, if we'd done Two-Week Test before this, Two-Week Test would have been Mission 14 and T Minus 15 would have been Mission 15 and it would have been vaguely amusing. Oh well.
... wait, what?
Hmph! It's Andy of Orange Star. What are you doing here?
I just told you... I'm here to help.
Blue Moon needs no aid! We have the power to...
That's a giant missile silo. When 15 days have passed, it'll launch a missile! That missile will take out half of Blue Moon's troops in one blow.
That's what Nell said anyway.
That... That's... We must stop that missile!
I'll help you! Let's stop that missile together!
Grumble grumble... If you're going to insist, you can help!
Welcome to the first allied COs battle of this Hard Campaign run-through. For this mission, we control both Olaf and Andy against Flak. Each day goes round in the order Olaf (blue units) --> Andy (orange) --> Flak (black). As Olaf and Andy are allied for this battle, their units can pass through each other, but they can't both stand in the same square, they can't help each other out (i.e. can't supply fuel or ammo, or let each other's units heal up on properties) and you can't move Andy's units during Olaf's turn or vice versa. Sounds obvious enough, but damn me if it isn't annoying.
It's also yet another time-limited mission, with fifteen days to take down that giant missile silo. As of yet, we don't know how to do that... well, okay, yes, I do. But for the sake of some kind of immersion, I'm going to wait until Grit tells you tomorrow.
First of all, let's move these units in the centre up a bit.
Same sort of thing in the south. A lot of bombers will be headed our way pretty soon, so the AAs down here need to brace themselves.
In the north, we load up the APCs with Mechs, keep out of the way of that recon, and do a spot of impromptu capturing.
Okay, that's all of them moved. Right then, over to you, Andy.
Andy gets a fighter, three bombers, four B-Copters and an APC to help keep everything fuelled up.
You know, I don't actually know why I was worried about that recon given I can just bomb it to pieces with Andy.
Moving things up.
Damaging that pipe seam with a B-Copter so that a Bomber can take it down tomorrow. I left the APC there rather than moving it another square forward, so it doesn't get hit by rocket fire. I've made that mistake in the past. I've also left another B-Copter to guard the APC.
We found a way to put the kibosh on that giant missile base.
What was that? Are you sure?
There are 8 properties surrounding the launch tower. They're supplying the power for the base to launch the missile. If you can capture those 8 properties, the tower should be helpless. It's up to you, Frosty!
I'll take care of this! Easier said than done... This accursed pipe is preventing my units from advancing!
If you blow up that seam, you can pass through the hole in the pipe. That's what Nell told me!
Oh, yes... Of course! I already knew that! I thank you all the same, though.
... sure you did, Olaf, sure you did. Anyway, nice intel there Grit. Where does this new information leave us?
It leaves us here. We need to capture these eight cities, but all of Olaf's infantry are stuck on the outside of the map. Blasting through the seams with Andy's bombers lets us get them into the centre. It also lets Andy's fighter get down to the bottom third of the map, to help deal with Flak's bombers... and then block up that chokepoint because neotanks and medium tanks can't attack fighters, and can't pass under them either (you should be used to this by now ). Andy's APC is also important, as his planes are going to be using up a lot of fuel, and annoyingly, Olaf can't resupply them.
Right. Any questions?
Can I sit on Santa's lap?
... maybe later, Andy.
Flak's bombers look menacing.
Here I'm trying to set up just out of range of them.
In the centre, my small tanks took some hits.
Rocket fire takes out one tank.
The middies sort out the other tank and the AAs. Meanwhile my two damaged tanks combine.
In the north, my APCs advance as far as they can.
dammit get out of the WAY, Andy.
Well, okay, I'll try I guess.
Well, taking out that pipe seam gives Andy more room to move out of Olaf's way.
Although we've gotta steer clear of these missile launchers.
That ought to do it.
Finish off my moving up my APC. This give you any more room, Olaf?
The bombers are now on Olaf's doorstep.
But at least we can grab this airport.
And start attacking the bombers before they get a chance to attack us.
That's the worst of it dealt with, although my mechs and rocket are still very vulnerable to the B-Copters.
Now let's take a look at the centre. Flak's neotanks are advancing ominously.
But at least we can get to work on clearing out these rockets.
Moving Olaf's APCs and other medium tank in from the north.
The Super Cool Power of... getting in each other's way. I'm blaming you if I don't get these cities captured in time, Andy.
Geez, gimme a break.
Andy's turn. We need to attack stuff, but missiles want to kill me.
Maybe I can take down this rocket and tank and hit the missiles...?
Screw you, Flak.
Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound. I may as well attack the pipe seam with my third bomber, even if it is in missile range.
Last but not least, a couple of copters I left behind take out an APC.
Owch, that was brutal. Andy lost all three bombers to Missile and AA fire. Good job his units don't count towards my technique score: only Olaf's Power and Technique matter (This is true of any two-CO match like this: the "Home Nation" is the only one it counts for).
Y'know, I think the AI knows what luck it's going to get in a battle, before the battle. Hence how sometimes with Barbaric Blow AI Flak decides to just sit there and do nothing, and yet other times he'll go ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK and cream you. It's like, if he knows his luck is going to be bad, he just won't attack. Ah well.
The south got trashed badly, too. A B-Copter took out one of my AAs. That's how bad it was.
Oh well, at least my retaliation shall be instant.
Beautiful white snow. Even more beautiful 2HP damage to all of Flak's troops.
First up, my middle missile launcher can help the south out and take out this last healthy bomber.
My various tanks can take out these AAs and missiles, so that the remains of Andy's air force can safely operate.
And the rest of my medium tank squadron take on one of Flak's neos.
Moving the rest of Olaf's stuff up.
Hey, what the? I can hardly move with all this snow about.
... hmm. You'd think when the designers made an "allied" mission, they wouldn't have picked a CO whose power screws over his allies... then again, they do something similar with Drake later on, so maybe it's a deliberate theme.
That's the spirit, Andy. Although it's a shame no bombers survived that last turn. They could have used this.
As it happens, the snow won't hurt us that much. Flak's stupid artillery means that we can't move very far anyway.
This'll have to do.
The northern B-Copters don't have much to do either, this turn.
No more snow .
Let's start by killing a B-Copter with my remaining southern AA, and then making a B-Copter of our own from the airport.
Artillery fire softens up a neotank...
... medium tank fire takes it down.
Meanwhile, other medium tanks make some progress to the south.
And next turn we're going to start capturing. I could move that infantry up to capture, but it would get smashed to pieces by rockets and AAs and medium tanks.
So we'll just move the infantry to here.
Gratuitous battle screenie telling the world that the fighter's arrived.
This Neotank worries me. Time to stop it.
Hold on, what? You only just had one!
Well, it didn't hurt as much as the previous one... although my medium tanks are looking a lot worse for wear.
An AA from the north heads down to help finish off the last of Flak's air force.
I can finally start capturing a city!
We need to start cleaning out around here. This small tank is just going to have to bite the rocket. With luck, he'll lure that medium tank forward too.
Not sure why I didn't move that other medium tank to take out one of the units south of the giant missile. I think I wanted him to help deal with the north.
Andy's turn and hey, those Black Hole neotanks have nearly reached Olaf.
I think only Andy could understand how a Fighter could block a Neotank. Still, it's a very, very effective shield, as long as Flak doesn't get an AA up here - and as those neotanks don't know the meaning of the word "retreat", they won't let any AA get close enough.
Andy's other units go help out with the big push for the centre.
And finish off that neotank and mech to the north.
Oh shush, Olaf, there's plenty of time.
Look, I'm capturing, I'm capturing.
I did lose that small tank, but at least Flak's medium tank took the bait.
BLAM oh hey, power meter charged. Well, the extra damage will help finish off that middie.
Flak's troops get a touch of frostbite.
With the medium tank down, my units rush through to attack the rocket. Better be careful of that artillery behind the pipe, though.
On the south side of the giant missile, the 1HP units are dispatched, and I move my infantry and mechs in to capture more stuff.
Another B-Copter will do nicely.
Time for Andy. You may have wondered why I did nothing about that 8HP small tank on Olaf's turn.
Well, there you go.
And now I have an APC in place to refuel the fighter, the defences here are watertight against Flak's tanks.
That's lovely, Flak.
That wasn't so bad, although one of my capturing infantry is going to take a little longer. He'll get healed up after the capture, though, so it's all good.
Anyway, capturing. And destroying a tank. And APC loading.
Putting my tank and medium tank in harm's way to take on this missile launcher, but it's got to be done. Can't capture these cities until we destroy the units hogging them.
Guess I'll move this B-Copter up to try and flank that missile launcher.
I think about trying to get that artillery, but the missile launcher behind it doesn't want me to do that.
Very much into the end game now, the next few days are mostly just capturing.
Four down, four to go.
Ferrying a mech around to one one of the rear cities.
There was an infantry advancing over the mountains here. An AA stopped it in its tracks.
Finishing off the 1HP missile launcher was all that was required of him.
Again, not much to say.
That APC is now in rocket range.
I'll just move it to safety.
Moving this rocket towards my new cities so it can get some ammo.
Andy... does nothing.
Flak... also does very little. He has an AA now, but there's so much stuff between it and Andy's fighter that it's pretty immaterial.
Once city to go.
Random B-Copter attack, woo.
And a bit of attacking over the pipe with my rockets, too.
Andy... does nothing again.
Not much to say still.
Time to start capping this final city, anyway.
These numbers don't look great for my technique, but I can't do much spamming with only one airport.
Some infantry-killing with B-Copters.
And my rockets use Flak's tanks for target practice. Hitting enemies over pipes is a tricky skill for soldiers to learn, given they block air units and all .
Yet more nothing from Andy.
Flak sort of does something, though.
One more B-Copter to try and improve technique.
And that's enough of that.
If we could've launched this missile, we would've blown 'em all to bits!
Cry me a river, Flak.
Yes! We've captured them all! That neutralizes the missile silo!
Wahoo! We won!
Right! We did it! Of course, I could've done it myself. What are your plans now, whelp? If you like, I will let you continue to battle here in Blue Moon...
I'm gonna head back to Orange Star for now.
Hm? You're leaving already?
I'll be back as soon as everyone at home's ready to go!
Oh, is that so? Well then, see you aga... No, wait! There's no need for you to come again.
Wow. He didn't even remember to sit on Santa's lap.
Not perfect, but still an S-Rank, so we're still rumbling along nicely.
Tune in next time for...
... absurdly overwhelming enemy forces!
... desperate last stands!
... time being on our side for once!