Part 40: Mission 30: To the Rescue (or "Unresolved Romantic Tension")
Mission 30: To the Rescue (or "Unresolved Romantic Tension")
Ho! Ho! Ho! Meeeerry Christmas!
Uh-oh, looks like the boss has been at the sherry again.
Adder's back for one last go at pissing me off in Hard Campaign, anyway .
Full steam ahead! I've tweaked it so it can fire every single day! It's sooo dangerous!!!
"Actually, this version's been ready since the start of Hard Campaign and Flak and I have used it already, but we forgot to tell you. Sorry!"
Heh heh heh... Delicious... How's Flak?
My troops've been deployed, like you wanted.
At last, we will neutralize the Orange Star Army completely.
Why is Orange Star even here? We're in Green Earth now, aren't we?
It seems they're here bearing supplies. Meddlers! They shouldn't have come!
So are we going to attack soon?
No. First, we suggest they surrender. Their CO's a young girl, you know. Perhaps she can be convinced to come along quietly. Heh heh heh...
Green Earth's reinforcements are on their way. Just hang on!
Commander, we have a communique from the Black Hole Army.
What does it say?
They recommend we surrender. They're awaiting our response.
Surrender?! Right, here's my reply, and I want you to take this down word for word...
Commander! Black Hole has demanded that Orange Star surrender.
Hm... I believe Sami's commanding the Orange Star forces... What was her reply?
Well, in a word, she turned them down flat.
What exactly did she say?
Um... I'd rather not say. It wasn't the most... polite response.
Be that as it may.
Er... How about I write it down on this paper, and then you can read it?
Hm... ... ...? Ha... Ha ha ha ha!!!
She certainly is outspoken! It would be a shame to let her get captured by Black Hole.
Er... Yes, sir, it would.
Get anyone who's available ready for combat. We go now!
Sir, the enemy outnumbers us by...
There's no reason for us to attack them head-on. Either we pour everything at their laser cannon or we capture their properties. One of the two. Our goal is to break their siege. That's all. For the pride of Green Earth, let's save the Orange Star Army!
You know, I end up being a bit puzzled about this bit of dialogue, and in fact by Advance Wars 2's "plot" in general. There were a couple of B-plots in the first game involving Sami developing a crush on Eagle. It's pretty much not mentioned here, although I guess it is kind of hinted at or something. But the Max-Nell-Grit love triangle gets left out completely. Yes, I know, I'm going to look really weird talking about this. But it does bug me that the scriptwriters left all of this unresolved romantic tension hanging in the air.
Our goal, as Eagle notes, is to take out the four laser cannons or capture Adder's HQ (no I don't know how you'd go about that either). We lose if Sami loses all of her units.
The lasers are positioned so that they make a grid two squares thick, covering more ground and making the cage around Sami stronger. It does at least give you some "blind spots" to attack each laser from, anyway. Our first goal will be to take down Adder's two main groups of air units with our starting fighters and AA, then use our own bombers to knock out the southeast laser. Together with taking out Adder's southern ground forces, this gives Sami's mechs enough wiggle room to escape over the mountains and relative safety. A lot of the guides don't suggest this, but I find it works for me so we're rolling with it. For Sami, it's a case of sitting tight until the escape route's ready and taking out as many units as possible without wandering into the range of rocket fire. Once Sami's in the clear, it's just a case of getting bombers in the right places to take down Adder's other lasers.
Let's start out with some geometry. Checking the attack ranges of Adder's fighters and the lasers, it looks like this bridge is the safest place to put one of our own fighters.
So we'll move one up there, along with our two anti-airs. I'm sending the AAs this way because of the make-up of Adder's two groups of units: he has fighters guarding his bombers and B-Copters in the north, but no fighters in the south. And AAs deal with fighters better than other fighters.
Similar geometry leads me to put my other two fighters here, out of AA and missile range. These two fighters will lead the strike against Adder's southern air group.
Meanwhile, my bombers and B-Copters line up out of laser and AA range over here.
And all the other units move up behind them as well.
For now, Sami just has to sit tight.
For the heck of it, here's a screenshot of one of the lasers going off.
That's a lot of incoming units.
Well, let's deal with the north first. Fighter and two AAs vs. fighter and two bombers - Adder's other fighter is hanging back for now.
Fighter one-hit kills bomber, letting one of my AAs in to attack the fighter. My other AA attacks the other bomber.
In the south, first we want to cripple this AA so that my fighters can operate without worry.
While my small tank gets on with that, my fighters take out two of the three bombers down here and my copters get rid of some random small tank.
Moving other units up. While it would have been a good idea to let one of my bombers attack the medium tank, my small tank is now blocking the one place where they could attack safely from - the other options are covered either by a missile launcher or a laser. As the bombers' primary duty is taking out the laser cannons, I'm not going to risk them on attacking a medium tank, even if it does leave my ground forces exposed to a nasty counterattack.
Adder's 4HP fighter can't reach right now, but I have the feeling he'll be launching a Sidewinder on his turn, so it'll be able to move two squares further. To keep my bombers safe, I'm moving a B-Copter round to shield them.
Build a couple more infantry, and there we go.
Sami's turn, and those infantry are starting to encroach on my lines here.
AA and mech deal with two of them, while the other mechs move into more useful positions.
As predicted, it's Sidewinder time. Although saying that, all those battles against Hawke and Black Storm have made Adder's powers seem a lot easier to deal with. Sure, he might be able to launch a few unexpected attacks, but it's not the game-changer that Black Storm can be, even if it's a lot cheaper.
Also as predicted, Adder's 4HP fighter goes and worries one of my B-Copters. Could be worse, could be a bomber.
Took a lot of damage there, but the good news is that my power bar's full up. This wouldn't be a bad turn to use a Lightning Strike, all things considered.
We'll start off by taking out this first laser cannon with a bomber. There's an AA in range of us here, but we've got a Lightning Strike up our sleeve to get the bomber to safety.
Adder's remaining full-health bomber had attacked one of my capturing infantry. Time to deliver some payback.
While that happens, a crazy spaghetti mash-up of arrows occurs as I take on Adder's remaining units in the south.
Setting up some B-Copters so they can attack the missiles and rocket during Lightning Strike (and finishing off the middie while I'm at it).
General building, moving and capping, including finishing off the AA with the medium tank.
In the north my damaged fighter and AA run away from
Fasten your seatbelts.
I want to destroy this anti-air with my bomber, but I want to make sure it's out of fighter range. Now, remember that Adder's currently using Sidewinder so his units now look like they can move further than they can. If we just look to see how far the fighter can move by counting nine steps away from it...
... then we can see that there's a safe spot around the back of the AA here.
A good, clean hit there.
B-Copters and recon attack the missiles and rockets over here. Rockets down, missiles at 3HP.
Well, I've got a B-Copter and APC in the line of laser fire here. We'd better do something about that.
B-Copter moves around to finish off its opposite number and APC heads off after the copters and recon.
Fighter finishes off fighter...
And the other fighter goes off and attacks one of the copters that are now threatening Sami. There should have been a bit a dialogue there saying that Green Earth's forces had made contact with Orange Star's, but it didn't show up. Odd. Oh well, perhaps it'll turn up later.
Speaking of which, it's Sami's go, and she's still under considerable pressure here.
Rocket and mech take out one of the infantry intruders, and the AA removes another.
But yeah, with a laser down and Adder's southern forces mostly destroyed, time to think about evacuating some of Sami's troops.
There's a lot of copters around Sami's base now.
First we'll take out this damaged one over here (Sami's AA and missiles can deal with the full-health one on her go).
Hmm, this laser cannon is guarded by missiles. Should I bomb it?
Well, do you remember back in "Foul Play" a missile unit had a chance to attack my bomber and declined? That happened to me once on this mission as well. So I'm going to risk it. Even if the bomber does get downed, I still have another one, and the sooner we finish this mission the better.
Bringing in a B-Copter to kill a damaged infantry unit, and dammit I still haven't seen the "joined up" message. Hmm. Maybe it's because all of my moves around here so far have been attacks. Perhaps I should try just moving a unit over here and not attacking...
There we go. Finally.
OK. Now guard them. Our purpose here is to save the Orange Star troops.
Now then, what's going on around Eagle's HQ? Well, Adder's stuff in the east is coming to pay a visit. We can't really deal with his ground forces yet...
... but we can take out the remains of his air units.
Clearing out the 3HP missile truck and moving up. I end up being a bit indecisive about who should get this airport. On the one hand, Eagle's air units rock. On the other hand, Sami has a lot of funds saved up thanks to the fact she starts with four cities and nowhere to build units. I end up spending an annoying amount of time dithering over this.
More general moving up of units.
Sami's turn. Now then, these copters.
Pretty easily dispatched by AA and missile.
A silly error here, although not especially costly: I didn't realise that I had Double Time charged up. I could have used it and got those mechs to the other side of the laser cannons: instead they're stuck in the mountains, waiting another turn to get past them. Still, no biggie.
Hello again, Adder.
No magically forgetful missile launcher crews this time, sadly. Although thanks to Eagle's defensive bonus for air units, the bomber does survive with 1HP.
Well, I decided to have Eagle start capturing that airport (but then I'll change my mind again next turn anyway).
My bomber dodges around a bit. I couldn't reach the area inside the range shadow of the missile truck from where the bomber started, so I'll move over here instead.
Meanwhile at Sami's camp, Adder's ground forces are starting to leak in.
Two B-Copters take out a tank.
My 1HP bomber tries (unsuccessfully) to damage the other tank, while my 5HP fighter sprints over here to damage a random transport copter. Because it might... transport stuff. Gotta be careful.
Back at Eagle's base, Adder's ground units have shown up and are trying to eat through my infantry spam.
We don't have that many attacking units on hand here right now, given my medium tank can't reach the enemy tanks. But my mech and B-Copter do what they can.
My middie gets in closer while my fighters try and block off Adder's escape.
Sami's mechs finish crossing the mountains. Can't capture the base though because Eagle's infantry's parked on top of it. TEAMWORK.
I attack that capturing infantry with my AA, only to realise too late that I've parked inside rocket range. Uh-oh.
Now my bomber's in a decent position, that third laser cannon's ripe for the taking.
So let's do that, slipping inside that missile truck's range shadow. I also decide to have Eagle stop capturing that airport: Sami has the funds to use it better, and even a Sami bomber is a pretty handy bomber.
Random copter manoeuvres as I take out a capturing infantry and move the other two into position to protect Sami's mechs.
T-Copter heads over here to try and capture these southwestern properties that don't really serve much purpose. But hey, it's something to do.
Back at base, Adder continues to be a pain.
Good thing I've got painkillers. Painkillers shaped like medium tanks and battle copters.
The fighters head out to give that 1HP fighter a good seeing-to while my footsoldiers move towards the neutral cities over here.
My first mistake with a laser cannon this mission - I parked a recon in the line of fire over here.
I start grabbing the airport and retreating the other mech, while my APC tries to get away down this tree-lined corridor - probably doomed to failure, but with a medium tank approaching it's out of options.
The medium tank attacked Sami's APC anyway .
Oh well, we have stuff to do. Bomber and B-Copter take out missile truck, B-Copter attacks rockets, fighter attacks copter.
We've got that fighter cornered now!
Back at base, my units spread out in order to hunt down some of Adder's retreating artillery.
Capturing the airport at last as the APC tries to make a break for it along the forest corridor.
Got you now.
Er, anyway. Bomber finishes off rocket launcher, copter takes out Adder's copter.
Over in the east, the artillery hunt is going well.
Let's check the scoreboard. I'm going to have to build some more units to get a decent technique score, but I should be okay. Power-wise, I think I took out enough units during my Lightning Strike earlier.
Tech-spamming with infantry and T-Copters.
B-Copter attacks medium tank - with the added benefit of blocking up this forest corridor. I doubt the AI will think of moving the medium tank out of the way so that the anti-air can attack. I also move some other stuff up - although in hindsight, I think I should've retreated that 5HP recon.
Sami's turn, and we have an airport!
Let's have a bomber. It won't see any active service since we've nearly won, but... let's have a bomber.
The traditional "Sidewinder just before the end of the mission"
Whoops. Hence the "in hindsight, I think I should've retreated that 5HP recon."
We could keep fighting and charge up a second Lightning Strike, but why bother when my bomber's in range of the final laser cannon?
I'll just quickly spam out a few more guys. With 35 units built and 7 lost, we've just about met the technique requirement.
So let's finish this.
Eagle! So it was you who saved us. I apologize. I never mean to be a burden on Green Earth.
Don't be foolish.
We were trying to bring you supplies, and we let ourselves get surrounded...
Everyone makes mistakes. It turned out all right. Let it go.
Sami, I'm not just saying this to save your wounded pride. Orange Star came here to fight alongside Green Earth. That alone has raised the morale of our troops more than you know.
Thank you, Eagle.
I should be thanking you. We're very grateful for the supplies. I think they'll ease our burden a bit.
Three 300-pointers in a row! That's really saved my bacon. I now need to average just 217 over the last four missions. Remember that number? It's what I scored on Liberation, way back at the end of Orange Star's Campaign. So if I do better on these last four missions than I did on Liberation, then I should be home and dry.
I'm going to be fairly busy over Christmas and New Year, so I'm going to be taking a break from the LP for a few weeks. Hey, at least you're getting a warning this time . When I get back, there'll be one more normal mission left in Green Earth before we head off for the factory, and it's back to Drake again. So tune in next time for...
... what would, under any other circumstances, be a walkover for the guy with the planes...
... the reason why it's not going to be a walkover for the guy with the planes...
... and a stupid number of airports - but only one base?