Part 25: Mission 20: Silo Scramble (or "Kanbei is a tank")
Mission 20: Silo Scramble (or "Kanbei is a tank")
Eh? What's that? Danger! Sound the alarm!
Oh, Father, calm down! That's no danger to us. Those are the missile silos we installed for our protection. With those, our country's self-defense network is perfect!
Mmmm... Attacking from afar is not to my liking, but at times it's unavoidable. While we await the enemy, instruct me in the use of these... silos.
Commander! We're under attack!
What? The enemy is here?!
Impossible! It can't be! My intel reported no enemy troops in this region... The silos! They're unguarded! The enemy is trying to take them!
Don't worry, Sonja. I will go.
But... But... What if the enemy reaches them first? You'll be...
I am the leader of this country. I shall not fail in my duty. Move out! Kanbei's forces ride!
The missile silos can only be operated by infantry or mech units. If you reach them first, you'll be able to launch a single missile!
Yeah, yeah, this is Hard Campaign, we've used missile silos a ton of times already... still, it's a fair point. In Normal Campaign, there are two missions - this one and Tanks!!! in the Blue Moon campaign - that mark the first appearance of silos in each of those campaigns (there aren't any in Orange Star NC), and give you this little tutorial about missile silo firing.
I understand. Do not fear, my loyal subjects. Kanbei rides with you!
Here's the map. As you can see, there's an awful lot of missile silos here. Other than that, this is a fairly straightforward mission: aside from a handful of pre-deployed units, it's a straightforward "war room" type map, with rout or HQ capture the ultimate goal.
This mission will be fought on 3 main fronts, which I've labelled 1 to 3 in order of importance. You'd think Front #2 would be most important given it's down the centre and has all those missile silos, but Front #1 wins out because of the series of bases in the central-east, south-east and south-central parts of the map, keeping the supply line of fresh units nice and short. Ultimately, this is where my main assault on Flak will come from. Front #2 then becomes the centre, where securing and launching the big cache of silos there becomes the priority. The units there then meet up with Front #1 at the south-central base after crossing the bridge. Front #3 is the least important. Grab the silos, defend against Flak's main force... and in particular, distract that main force so that Fronts #1 and 2 can get on with things relatively untroubled.
In the meantime, we want to grab as many silos as we can, and at the same time, make sure Flak can grab as few as possible. There are two silos that we won't be able to get before Flak, but with a whole bunch of infantry and APCs we should be able to grab all the others.
Okay, let's get the ball rolling by buying some infantry and... hmm, these units seem a bit more pricy than usual. That's only to be expected though, because today we're riding with Kanbei.
Paul.Power's CO Notes: Kanbei Theme
Kanbei is essentially the opposite of Colin: Colin's units are weak but cheap, Kanbei's are expensive but strong. As it happens, both COs are better than average because they both come out of the trade-off on top: we've already seen this with Colin, but now let's look at Kanbei. Kanbei's units are 20% more expensive, but they get a 30% attack boost - and, crucially a 30% defence boost. Defence boosts are pretty rare in Advance Wars 2 (only four COs have them), and with good reason. Because of the slightly odd way that defence boosts are calculated in Advance Wars, a unit that somehow managed to have a total defence boost of 100% (say, a Kanbei mech in the mountains during his SCOP) would be invulnerable. Nothing would scratch it. Even with only a 50% defence boost, it would only take half damage. So Kanbei can soak up (and dish out) a lot of damage, making his units worth their extra cost.
Background/personality: The Emperor (and commander-in-chief) of Yellow Comet, Kanbei - "that self-styled samurai", as Olaf put it - is fiercly proud, honorable and loyal - but not the sharpest tool in the shed. From losing socks to building bases on isolated islands, he gives Andy and Flak a run for their money in the contest for dumbest Advance Wars CO. He's protective of his daughter Sonja to a fault, although ironically Sonja spends a lot of time making sure he doesn't get into too much trouble. But ultimately he's a good leader, always looking out for the welfare of his people.
Kanbei is known proudly to boast,
That his armies are better than most,
But they come at a price,
Which isn't so nice,
When Colin's the choice of your host.
Oh well, extra costs or no extra costs we've got enough cash to crank out a pair of infantry on this first turn, and move the mech and APC up.
Flak's pre-deployed B-Copters have moved up. We'll deal with them soon enough, though.
Not much to do just yet, so I'll just keep moving the APC and start capturing cities. Given we're playing as Kanbei, we're going to need all the properties we can get to fuel his costly armies.
Looks like the B-Copters are preparing a welcoming committee for my APC.
On the plus side, there are still some spots on this central island that they can't reach yet.
So let's set up just out of range of them.
And keep on capturing, moving and building back at home.
Flak's B-Copters move up a bit. They'll attack next turn, but at least I'll be able to knock some HP off them first with the first missile of the mission.
Meanwhile, building and capturing continues around my base.
During his turn though, Flak reaches the two missile silos near his base. Something to think about, certainly.
The good news, though, is that my missile-launching mech managed to survive a missile and two B-Copter attacks, hanging on with 2HP left. Kanbei is a tank.
Let's take advantage of that by launching another silo at this pair of B-Copters.
Meanwhile, the units that got hit by Flak's other silo get to work capturing properties. Just because they're injured, that's no excuse for slacking.
More infantry and APCs, more!
Flak decides not to finish off the 2HP mech by the central silo cache, instead opting to attack some random infantry who was harmlessly capturing a port.
Not exactly the smartest decision he's ever made. My mech fires off another silo, while everyone else continues capturing stuff.
Moving the 7HP APC down to cover the bridge chokepoint, to give my 2HP mech a little more cover.
And finishing off with the moving and building of yet more infantry/APC teams.
Flak's joined his two copters together, and it so happens he's also finished capturing the southern port and base.
Once again, I'm shifting the 7HP APC around, this time to keep the southern base and silos out of the hands of Flak's soldiers.
Meanwhile, the mech on the central island launches another silo, this time attacking Flak's rockets in the west.
Launching another silo (from the east this time) knocks them down to 4HP.
Moving, capturing, etc. I'm sure you're fed up watching infantry and APCs scurrying around the place by now, so let's have a recon to give me a little more firepower.
Flak's moved up an artillery unit to threaten my APC.
I'd best retreat it outside of the artillery's range. Meanwhile, the other units on Front #1 move up to support this gallant APC... or something.
Lobbing another missile over at those western rockets, also hitting a tank and some infantry that Flak has moved up there.
With the rockets neutralised, I can start moving in troops to take Front #3
Moving the recon, building another APC (sorry ) and cranking out the first unit from my eastern base.
Flak's dropped an infantry off on the central island. I'm afraid you're a little late, Flak.
Still, at least you get to watch some fireworks.
With the threat of that artillery neutralised, Front #1 is effectively ours. Also note that I've knocked down the submarine to 1HP. I haven't mentioned the submarines before now because really, they aren't a bit threat - there's no real reason to build a navy here, especially given how much it costs to build a navy with Kanbei.
But first, a lot of crazy APC shuffling as I retreat the 5HP APC to go and pick up a new passenger, while the full health APC rolls forward.
Yet another missile silo, this time hitting the west again (as my infantry move to take the north-west island). I know the rockets are already at 1HP, but at least we can attack the tank and infantry again.
Well, that's Front #3 fairly secure. Time to capture the base there.
Meanwhile, my recon and an APC move to the central island to help defend it against Flak's infantry unit there - as it stands, all I have there is a 2HP mech, so this is pretty key. I also end up building a tank up by my HQ by accident - I'd've been better off building it at my new base closer to the front line. Still, this might work to my advantage - I can use it to finish off that pesky 1HP B-Copter
Once more, that 2HP mech seems to be leading a charmed life. I guess the draw of capturing a city was too much for Flak's infantry...
... shame it was a trap. First time I've attacked something (as opposed to hitting it with a missile silo) this battle!
And another silo, this time focusing on knocking some HP off that other submarine.
Closer to home, my new tank finishes off that B-Copter
And it's time for one last missile launch. The Battle for the Silos went pretty well: I launched 12 of the 14 silos, Flak only launched two. It's certainly been enough to give me the upper hand so I can push through to victory.
Moving the Front #1 units along, ready to capture this southwestern base.
And moving APCs up along Front #2, including sticking one into the all-important chokepoint. Once I've captured these cities, I'll have a serious money stranglehold on Flak. This time I get my deployment right, building a tank from the western base.
That APC took only 2HP damage when that tank attacked it. Kanbei is a tank.
A tank on both attack and defence, mind you.
Hmm... okay, it's a bit silly, but let's see just how much of a tank Kanbei is.
Okay, that could have gone better, but it's still impressive than an 8HP tank could only do 3HP damage to a recon. That 60% defence boost (Kanbei's 30% plus 30% from the city) really helps.
Meanwhile, let's keep moving. We've captured the southeastern base and built an artillery to help with clearing chokepoints and sinking subs.
We've also captured the northwestern base. Flak's kind of stuck in a corner now.
Looks like some infantry are coming to try and get me.
By the way, did I mention Kanbei is a tank?
Oh well, I'm sure you'll get a lot of other chances to hear me say it. Speaking of tanks, let's have another one up here.
Meanwhile on Front #2, I've shuffled out the recon because it's starting to take heavy damage, and I've put the APC back. I've also captured a couple of cities here, and moved the tank up, ready to start attacking Flak's tank next turn.
What about Front #1? Well, I'd rather attack that 7HP infantry with a full health one, but where to move my 6HP infantry to?
Why, into the APC of course! Thus giving me room to attack.
Tanks, tanks, tanks.
During Flak's turn, one of his tanks attacks my infantry on a bridge. Thanks to the defence boost, the infantry only takes three damage. Kanbei is a... well, you know what I'm going to say.
Hmm, Flak's moved a tank and artillery up to guard Front #2.
Oh well, that leaves Front #1 relatively unguarded. So let's push through there. My tanks finish off a couple of injured infantry, letting my infantry push through to attack the base.
Okay, let's get this injured APC out of harm's way, and then we can attack.
I know this is leaving the tank in the artillery's attack range, but it should be able to cope given Kanbei's defence boost.
A whole bunch of moving and building concludes my business in the south.
In the north... well, guess I'll just keep attacking.
Tank takes down tank, infantry damages mech. And we'll have an artillery up here as well, to help defend the chokepoint.
During Flak's turn, he does attack my tank with an artillery, but the tank only takes three damage. Oh, that Kanbei.
First let's clear out the 1HP submarine and tank.
Before using my tanks to trap Flak's artillery in a pincer movement.
Tank and infantry combine to clear out the southern base...
I'll park an APC there for now, join a couple of damaged infantry and move everything else up.
Meanwhile, in the north, things are going okay.
Kill a mech, join another pair of damaged infantry.
With Fronts #1 and 2 joined up, we're well on our way to victory. So let's start capturing the southern base.
Now you may have noticed I didn't buy anything last turn. Well, there's a reason for that.
Gotta try out them Kanbei neotanks, after all.
Okay, so they cost almost as much as a normal Battleship, but still... 130/130 neotanks. Ahahahaha...
Anyway, the usual sorts of things happen. Taking out an APC, continuing to capture the central island...
And the usual "just moving everyone up".
Time to advance on Flak's base of operations.
First, while my artillery attacks Flak's lander, I send forward a tank to attack his artillery.
Infantry and 7HP tank take out a mech while my 9HP tank rumbles forward and finishes an arty off.
Finish off capturing up here...
Now, in the north, it's time to start thinking about getting rid of that rocket launcher. But there's an infantry in the way of my tank.
Oh well, not a problem for Kanbei's artillery. With the hole duly punched, I can roll my tank through into the rocket's range shadow.
And general moving up of units.
Well, I've finally triggered Flak's super power. I guess it took a while because of how long it took to actually start attacking him properly.
Well, that cost me my first unit loss of the mission. But at least I can lauch a power right back at him.
Morale Boost isn't a particularly exciting power, all it does is boost the attack power of all your units. Kanbei's Super CO Power, Samurai Spirit, is a bit more fun - it throws in an absurd defence boost and a boost to counterattacks as well (translation: the enemy may as well not bother attacking next turn) - but I'm afraid we won't be using it this mission. Maybe next time we play as Kanbei.
Neotank and artillery combine to take out that lander that's been sitting harmlessly in Flak's port (what is it with AIs and leaving landers in ports?)
And it's time we built a cruiser to take out that submarine in the western lake. Kanbei's navy has quite the price tag. You know you've made it if you can build Kanbei battleships.
Operating in the Rockets' range shadow, my northern tank deals some damage.
And in the south, the assault on Flak's HQ area continues.
Move on down the line
Made a bit of an error putting my infantry here - it's in rocket range and will probably die on Flak's turn. Still, gotta protect that artillery piece.
Moving out the cruiser (you should be able to see that the infantry unit got killed behind the info panel).
Arty attacks APC, tank kills low-health tank.
In the north, let's finish off this rocket.
As an arty attacks a mech, I build a second neotank to help clear out the north...
... just like my first neotank is helping to clear out the south!
Taking out that mech gives me a clear route for a tank to attack Flak's artillery.
And a couple of infantry finish off the APC.
Right then, everyone move up.
Stats are looking pretty good. I can afford to lose four more units and still get 100% technique, and I'm pretty sure I killed four units in a turn at one point.
Flak's HQ area has nearly fallen.
He's still putting on a bit of resistance in the north, though.
The neotank and artillery help to stamp that out, while my cruiser finishes off the submarine (never mind leaving landers in ports, you'd think that sub would've made some sort of effort to dive and escape. Oh, that AI...)
Flak runs out of units in the south.
So let's capture these bases to make sure he can't build any more.
Tank attacks mech...
Everyone moves up...
And I spam out a few more infantry, just in case.
Right, last turn. I could wait another one and get an HQ capture, but with only three mechs to go, let's not muck about.
Two mechs to go.
One mech to go.
And the final blow.
Must find a way... to escape...
And that's the last time we'll be fighting Flak in this campaign. We'll be seeing him occasionally, talking to Adder or Hawke or whatever, but from now on, no more battles with him.
The enemy has been routed!
I'm sorry, Father. I almost destroyed us all.
What, your silos? Don't be ridiculous, Sonja. It is because of those silos that we won here today.
There's no rest for the weary! Battle awaits, and we must ride forth to meet it!
Looks like I took a little longer than I should have, but other than that, another successful S-Rank.
Now then, having cleared out the first group of Yellow Comet missions and the lab, our new target is the second group of these missions. We met them last time, but let's recap:
Duty & Honor Kanbei vs. Adder. In which Adder tries to lure Kanbei into a lasery, lasery trap. This mission is pre-deployed only, so it's a chance to see all of the awesome bits of fighting as Kanbei with none of the drawbacks. But equally, no chance to roadtest the Neos.
A Mirror Darkly Sonja vs. Lash. The game's two smartest COs go head-to-head in what I guess could be called the inverse of Nature Walk: there you had to reach your HQ, here you have to stop Lash reaching yours. Pre-deployed only, so no neotanks.
Foul Play Sensei vs. Adder. Round 3. In which Adder attempts to pull off a nasty trick but it all goes a bit pear-shaped for him. There's a lot of pipes in this mission that we have to blow up with bombers to save the day, and an interesting use of Airborne Assault. We've got bases, so there's a chance of Neotanks. And it is of course a Sensei mission, so I'm keen to do it.
So once more, votes please!