The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars 2

by Paul.Power

Part 21: Mission 17: Sensei's Return (or "Sensei vs. Adder: Round 1")

Mission 17: Sensei's Return (or "Sensei vs. Adder: Round 1")

Turns out I can squeeze one more mission in before I go on holiday. How could I resist this one, though? It's my favourite CO and least-favourite CO coming to blows for the first time.

They're en route to our factory even as we speak, sir!
So quickly? Excellent... Heh heh. Our plans are moving right on schedule, eh? Even so, what a beautiful sea. Gazing upon it fills me with an overwhelming desire to see it all... destroyed!
We're under attack! It's Yellow Comet!
So much for "me time" and tender thoughts... Send out the order for reinforcements! Prepare for battle!

You have an interesting definition of "me time and tender thoughts", Adder...

Even if we move in numbers, we're sure to take heavy casualties.
Hmmm... I think I'll take a crack at it.
Just sit back and watch. We'll see if my air units can't do some good. Even us old folks like to help out now and again.

The 17th mission of 34: this is the halfway point.

Have they run out of beds in Yellow Comet's infirmaries?
So you're the Black Hole, eh? What do you want here?
I have no reason to tell you, old man. In time, the entire world will kneel at our feet. Any who dare stand in our way will be ground beneath our heels.
Oh, can't have that, now can we? I don't like war -- it's tiring. But someone's got to stop you. Let me tell you a little secret. Did you know that when you join two damaged units together, and their combined HP is over 10, the surplus gets converted into funds?

This is of course just one of the many uses for the 9HP infantry and mechs supplied by Sensei's CO Powers.

What are you babbling about? Do you think some loose change is going to sway the course of battle? Heh heh heh... Or are you just worried about your pension?
If you don't grasp what I'm telling you, boy, then you've got no hope of defeating me. He who laughs last laughs best. So long.
You're quite the orator. Still, you're a bit long in the tooth to challenge me. Since you're so tired, I'll make this quick and finish you in 10 days!

Note: this is just Adder bragging. It doesn't mean that all you have to do is survive for ten days and you win. This is still a standard rout-or-HQ-capture mission.

Day 1

Sensei and Sonja are both right, the land routes here are narrow, but that makes it pretty awesome terrain for Sensei. Nicely broken up with water and forests and with plenty of airports around the place. Should be fun.

This battle will take place on two main fronts. The first one is down along the south of the map, then up the west of it. This front will chiefly be a ground war, with some support from B-Copters flanking in from the other front. The second front is up along the big L-shaped peninsula, before storming Adder's base from the east. This front will mostly consist of B-Copters shooting mechs. Eventually, the idea is to trap Adder in a pincer movement. Adder has various types of anti-air deployed: cruisers at sea, missile trucks near his base. But we should be able to out-produce him enough to take care of that.

So, Sensei. I've been jabbering excitedly about Sensei for a while now, but now it's time to meet the man himself:

Paul.Power's CO Notes: Sensei (Yellow Comet) Sensei's maddeningly hilarious theme tune
Sensei's infantry and mechs are even stronger than Sami's, although they don't get Sami's faster capture rate. His B-Copters get the largest attack bonus of any unit in the game, with a whopping +50% boost to attack, and like Sami his transports have an extra movement point. His vehicles and ships take a 10% attack penalty, however. Sensei's biggest feature though are his CO Powers: for just two stars on the power meter, Copter Command drops a 9HP infantry onto every city Sensei owns (provided nothing's sitting on it) and boosts the attack power of his B-Copters further. His Super CO Power Airborne Assault drops 9HP mechs onto every city, and again boosts his choppers.

Background/Personality: A retired paratrooper, Sensei mentored Kanbei in the art of war and in his heyday he was rumoured to be an unbeatable CO (His name in Japan, "Yamamoto", is a reference to a CO from Super Famicom Wars who had 140/140 stats ). Nowadays he'd rather be enjoying his retirement, but with Black Hole invading his homeland it's time to clean the rust from his helicopter blades. Hilarious to play as, annoying as hell to play against, Sensei's my favourite Commanding Officer. And no I don't know why he still has his parachute strapped on.

So let's get rolling by moving up these two predeployed infantry and building a T-Copter and a couple more infantry from our bases.

Day 2

As of yet, nothing to report. I heard a bunch of noises as Adder moved stuff around on his turn, but nothing distinct and so far there's no visual confirmation.

So let's load up the T-Copter and send it over to this peninsula.

Moving infantry up towards that city and base, and building more infantry and T-Copters.

Day 3

Well, I heard some boats moving that turn. Adder's cruisers are on the move.

T-Copter drops off its infantry cargo over by the airport. I moved it round the back of the peninsula to give it the best chance of being out of range of cruiser fire. Meanwhile my infantry start capturing that city and base.

Here's a little secret: before this run I tried moving this second T-Copter to follow the first, but it got hit by a cruiser. So this I'm playing safe and sending it along the bottom of the map after the capturing infantry. I also build an infantry and a recon from the HQ bases - I'll need the extra vision.

Day 4

So far, so peaceful.

Capturing occurs.

While that infantry's capturing, I'll send my T-Copter ahead to scout out the rest of the peninsula. Looks clear so far.

The other T-Copter picks up its cargo again and moves on to the city in the south-west corner.

Moving stuff up, and building what will be the first of many, many B-Copters deployed during our various encounters with Sensei.

Hello, what's this?

Day 5

First blood to Adder: he's got an artillery hidden in the forest around here, and it attacked the infantry that my T-Copter just dropped off. Well, that infantry's no use trying to capture now, may as well explore and see if we can find that arty...

... whoops. Well, now we know what all those noises were about.

That infantry's doomed, so I'm retreating my T-Copter away from there. I'll also build a tank, to deal with that AA.

While moving things up, my recon spotted one of the cruisers out in the water over there. Always good to know where stuff is.

And let's conclude the day by moving everything up and building some more infantry.

Day 6

Yep, lost my 4HP infantry, and the vision that it brought me as well.

On the plus side, it's now time to see one of Sensei's B-Copters in action, attacking this tank.

Blammo. Funny how the best copters in the game look like something from the Korean War...

I follow up the B-Copter assault by attacking with an infantry to reduce the tank from 2HP to 1HP.

Attacking Adder's T-Copter with an infantry.

Let's build a second B-Copter. Oh hey, the extra vision from the B-Copter's revealed the location of Adder's other cruiser.

Moving everyone up.

Day 7

Adder's 1HP tank retreated, and his AA moved in and destroyed my B-Copter. Even Sensei's choppers can't really do anything about AAs .

My tank exacts some revenge while an infantry harasses the guy capturing that city.

And everyone moves on up.

Cruisers vs. B-Copters: an aside
Cruisers are meant to be the anti-aircraft units of the sea, yet a standard B-Copter attacking a standard cruiser deals 55% damage with a first strike (if the cruiser gets first strike, it annihilates the B-Copter). In some ways, this makes it a very fair fight: the copter costs half as much as the cruiser, and does about half the damage that the cruiser does to it. Two B-Copters vs. a cruiser is a very even match-up.

Two COs disturb this match-up more than anyone else. Green Earth CO Drake's naval units have +1 move, which means that his cruisers will usually win first strike against an enemy B-Copter: when we get to the mission "Navy vs. Air", you'll get a good idea of what I mean. Sensei is the other CO that affects this balance: adding his +50% attack modifier on means that he does 82% damage to a standard cruiser, as seen above. Throw in the fact that no other ship can attack aircraft, and it turns out that Sensei's B-Copters are very effective at crushing enemy navies. I'll be looking to demonstrate this when we get to the YC Lab Mission, "Sea of Hope" - one of my favourite missions.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, blowing up cruisers.

To finish the turn, my T-Copter brings an infantry up to the base and airport in the peninsula's "elbow". Happily, these two properties are outside the area that those two minicannons can hit.

Day 8

Adder was fairly quiet that turn. His trapped AA attacked an infantry, though.

First I'll start capturing this base up here.

Taking out the capturing infantry with an infantry.

A tank and a T-Copter go exploring, and my own infantry starts capturing the recently "liberated" city.

The other tank finishes off the AA while my infantry keep attacking Adder's T-Copter.

Building another B-Copter up here reveals Adder's other cruiser.

Well then, let's attack it!

Didn't go quite as well as last time (my copter started with 9HP this time, after all), but a pretty good result.

Aye, that'll do nicely. Meanwhile I train a mech at the south central base.

Northern T-Copter goes exploring again, while also holding up this chokepoint by the mountain to protect my capping infantry.

Sidewinder? Snakebite? THING.

Day 9

Unfortunately, my exploring T-Copter got taken out by an anti-air. Adder's artillery hit my capturing inf, and his 3HP cruiser attacked my B-Copter (the 1HP cruiser then joined with it)

Situation's looking a bit grim on the scoreboard right now, but it'll turn itself round soon.

Reinforcing my capturing infantry by joining another one with it, and finishing off Adder's T-Copter

Oh boy, another mess of arrows. 2HP Recon moves behind the infantry, tank moves into space left by recon and attacks Adder's tank, 3HP and 7HP infantry move into the square vacated by the tank and join together. Away from the action a little, my other tank attacks that artillery.

Building an artillery and a T-Copter, and loading the T-Copter. Now then, let's finish off this cruiser.

My fresh B-Copter finishes off the cruiser, and the 2HP copter goes on a bit of a wander.

Day 10

Right, I don't know about you but I think it's time for some free mechs.

Perhaps not the best Super CO Power in the game, but definitely the one most likely to send your opponent mad, Airborne Assault paradrops free 9HP mechs onto every (unoccupied) city Sensei owns. The mechs can move on the turn they appear. It also boosts the attack power of Sensei's B-Copters even further.

As I currently have four cities, I get four mechs. Obviously the more cities you have the more spectacular the power is, but this isn't bad.

As Sensei noted at the start of the mission, joining two of the 9HP mechs together (green arrow) means that there's 8HP left over - which gets converted into 2400G for my coffers. Meanwhile, a second T-Copter heads towards the peninsula and the mech there moves off his city - we've got two neutral cities to capture there.

With the waters now clear of cruisers, my choppers have more room to operate (minicannons aside). I can send this B-Copter over here to take up a flanking position on the west side of the map. I also build another B-Copter up there, and move this newly-made artillery up.

9HP tank attacks Adder's artillery, and I continue the long process of capturing that city.

Reducing a 9HP infantry down to 2HP. Don't mess with Sensei's infantry.

Moving everyone up a bit.

And now that "elbow" base is mine!

Day 11

Hey, Adder, we're more than 10 days in and you haven't finished me yet. Just thought I'd let you know.

It's taken a while and a lot of unit-joins, but I've finally captured that city.

Artillery and infantry clear a path...

... for a mech to hit Adder's anti-air.


Everyone moves up while the B-Copter moves into a nice position to flank Adder from, where no AA can hit it.

Moving a B-Copter up reveals an infantry unit capturing stuff at the peninsula's base. I can also finish off capturing this airport.

T-Copter drops off its passenger, and I set about capturing these two cities. I missed them out earlier so I could get to the "elbow" base and airport, but now I can grab them to consolidate this position.

Day 12

So, Adder's got another AA has he?

Retreating my injured mech to bring the other up.


Moving a tank revealed some more units, and I take the opportunity to do a round 100% damage to some poor infantry unit.

Tank takes out tank as I move everyone on the southwestern front up, building a mech in the process.

On the peninsula, attacking that infantry unit reveals that there are several mechs around here.

Next turn we'll look to take those guys out, but for now it's a case of moving everyone into position and building more copters.

Oh, right, yeah, what are you going to do with -

- that?

Well that's an ugly surprise.

Day 13

So... Adder has a medium tank. What shall we do about it?

What Sensei always does with problems like this: throw a B-Copter at it. Taking off 4HP for no significant damage in return is a good result.

Meanwhile my 8HP tank attacks Adder's artillery, and the 7HP tank joins up with it. The artillery moves up into medium-tank-attacking range and an infantry slots into place to meatshield it.

The 1HP and 9HP mechs join together to get a full-health one while everyone else on this front - yep - moves up.

Now then, the peninsula. Adder's taken the northern base here and seems to be pumping out a lot of infantry and mechs from it.

B-Copter attacks take out the infantry sitting on the base, and the T-Copter ferries over an infantry to block it up, with a view to starting to capture next turn.

Got a rather silly diagonal line of infantry going here now. B-Copter heavily damages a mech, and off the bottom of the screen you can just see that I've finished capturing the two cities down there. With a tank and a B-Copter built from the "elbow" bases, it seems like things are going pretty well...

... although it looks like surprise rockets have turned up to ruin my day .

Day 14

Hmm, so there's rockets to the north of the peninsula eh?

I'll look more closely in a bit, but first I need to clear all the units standing on my properties because I think it's time to demonstrate...

... Copter Command, Sensei's CO Power. Similar to Airborne Assault, except that it paradrops 9HP infantry instead of 9HP mechs. While infantry don't have the firepower of mechs, they have a lot of utility value: meatshields, capturing, joining together for money and technique-score boosting are just some of their uses. And at two stars it's one of the cheapest CO Powers in the game, alongside Colin's Gold Rush and Adder's Sideslip. Like Airborne Assault, it also boosts B-Copter attack power.

Look at all those infantry...

The artillery and B-Copter finish off that medium tank.

The tank finishes off Adder's 3HP artillery, and a 4HP infantry parks itself on the base: I'm not going to wait five turns for it to capture, but at least it makes sure Adder can't deploy anything there. Meanwhile, a second B-Copter moves into a flanking position.

Moving all those infantry up, including some joining of the 9HP guys.

Back on the peninsula, a B-Copter beefed up by Copter Command takes on a mech with ease.

The other B-Copters work to help clean up (with these rockets hanging around it's a good idea to lead with B-Copters here), with one of them spotting a rocket. Everyone else moves up.

Finally, I build an APC in the south to help with the ferrying of all these guys.

Day 15

Adder had a fairly quiet turn from the look of it. He didn't even try to attack my 4HP infantry sitting on his base.

I reinforce that 4HP infantry by joining another inf. onto it, and do some exploring. Eventually I hit a tank.

We know what we do with tanks by now, don't we?

And that's everyone on that front moved up.

At the base of the peninsula, I engage that rocket launcher I spotted last turn.

Moving up a mech and a T-Copter while I finish off that capturing 1HP infantry as well.

I've got enough money to buy two new B-Copters, so I guess that's what I'll do.

I'm starting to get a silly number of B-Copters now. Cue Ride of the Valkyries?

... maybe not just yet.

Day 16

So, missile trucks up ahead. Let's see if we can find them.

That was easy - Adder's got two of them here, plus a damaged anti-air. Well, I guess given I'm spamming out B-Copters like there's no tomorrow, it makes sense.

Right then, let's damage one of these missile launchers - with my B-Copter conveniently parking itself inside the range shadow of both of them.

Similarly in the north, it didn't take long to find Adder's other rocket launcher.

B-Copters take it out. Now that the infantry don't have to worry about rockets, the infantry get to capturing and the tank makes its way up around this curious diagonal mountain range here.

Moving another B-Copter reveals a tank and an APC... and the slow realisation that I left it in minicannon range. Lovely. I guess it beats missiles.

Moving everyone else up on both fronts. Building an APC along with my regular dose of B-Copter, as that T-Copter blocking Adder's base is looking rather low on fuel now.

Adder gets another Super CO Power.

Hang on, hang on - he's got a third missile truck? (incidentally, you can tell from the background that this one's sitting on top of his HQ).

Day 17

Adder's other missile units retreated as well - looks like he's getting ready to make a desperate last stand by his HQ.

Oh well, I guess all we can do is keep on trucking. An artillery and a tank take out the AA on a base, while infantry capture the base below it.

That 2HP B-Copter makes itself useful by finding an artillery that was hiding in the far northeast corner. After that silly debacle with a lone artillery on the previous map, I'm not going to let something like this spoil my chance of a rout. A tank heads over there to start taking it out.

Crunching my way through Adder's mechs.

Semitransparent arrows again, describing a vaguely complicated move to get that 7HP T-Copter refuelled. It flies down, the APC moves up to refuel it and the other T-Copter goes and blocks the base that the 7HP T-Copter vacated.

Finishing up moving stuff in the west, and building another B-Copter and a tank from the elbow properties.

Day 18

Hmm. A bit of extra firepower would probably help me push through Adder's lines.

So let's have another Copter Command, this time mostly for the B-Copter firepower boost.

Although it's always fun to laugh merrily as yet more 9HP infantry swarm the map.

Joining 9HP infantry together.

In the west, tank and artillery combine to take out the mech on Adder's base, and infantry, APC and mech swarm up to secure the ground.

Okay, now it might be time to cue Ride of the Valkyries. My B-Copters steamroller Adder's mechs, revealling one of those missile launchers and a rocket.

Destroying the missile launcher revealed the one on the HQ, though. Well, I guess that means I'm going to lose at least one B-Copter on Adder's turn. But the good news is, all those uses of Sensei's CO Powers mean that I have a pretty solid buffer when it comes to my technique score.

My newest B-Copter attacks a minicannon, and the first bomber rolls off the production line.

Yeah, as well as the missile unit on the HQ there's one in a forest. So that's two B-Copters down.

Day 19

As predicted, I lost two B-Copters. I still have more than enough, though. Once Sensei reaches a "critical mass" of B-Copters, he's very hard to stop.

The missile unit on the HQ falls to B-Copter fire, as one of my mechs takes on another mech. In addition, my bomber takes down a minicannon.

All of this activity charged up Copter Command again, and it's too tempting not to use it on two turns consecutively. Because of the "two - four" shape of their power bars, this sort of thing is an option for both Colin and Sensei - instead of filling their bar and using Power of Money or Airborne Assault, they can fill their bars and then go "Double Gold Rush" or "Double Copter Command". DGR is particularly amazing, but DCC can be handy - particularly for driving opponents completely around the bend .

B-Copter takes out an artillery while a tank on reconnaisance duty finds the last missile truck.

Missiles and rockets both reduced to 1HP by B-Copters.

Joining units generated by Copter Command gives me just enough extra money to buy a second bomber. Not that it'll get much use.

Wriggle all you like, Adder, there's nowhere to run now.

Day 20

Last stop, everyone off.

Artillery and tank finish off what's left in the west.

A spot of cherry-tapping as a 6HP infantry finishes off Adder's 1HP rocket launcher.

Four mechs reduced to two by B-Copters.

Scoreboard looks pretty good. With 78 units built (good ol' Copter Command) I could afford to lose 15 units, but I've only lost 11. With Adder building 41 units, I think I'd have to destroy 5 of his on any one turn (and I'm destroying 7 this turn, so that's easy enough). And I think this is the fastest I've ever done this mission, so yay.

Time to end this.

Obligatory "Sensei B-Copter finishing the job" shot.


Who... Who are you?
Sensei! You did it! You are victorious!
Hm? I am? Oh, that's nice.
Wait! Now I remember... It was in the reports... This country once boasted a CO who was said to be unbeatable... A man whom everyone feared... Impossible... It couldn't be!
Who, me?
Uh... Today was... unlucky. A bad day. We'll meet again, old... This is not finished!

Yeah, you keep on thinking that, Adder...

Seemed to have pulled through in one piece. Sonja? Are you all right?
Sensei? You were unbeatable? Everyone... feared you?
Who, me? Oh, that's so long ago, I'd almost forgotten. There might have been a rumor of that nature at some point, but... Come now, there are battles yet to be fought. Let's go.
Yes... Yes, sir!

They don't come much better than that. As I said at the start, we've reached the halfway point of Hard Campaign, so let's see what the average score is so far:

(297 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 217 + 296 + 300 + 274 + 300 + 280 + 288 + 290 + 280 + 300)/17 = 289.5

So still way up above the 280 line, although it's slowly going down. Now I've had my fun with Sensei, it's time for Operation Get The Neotanks. The lab map is in Sonja's first mission, so that's where we're off next. And this time, it'll definitely be after the holiday .

Tune in next time for...

... Yellow Comet's little genius!

... her overprotective father!

... whatever the hell this thing is...