Part 42: The Green Earth Factory - some strategic notes
The Green Earth Factory - some strategic notes
Well, this is the finale of Green Earth, the last time we face Hawke and the last time we have to square up to one of these hateful factories. Note how big the map is: we took long enough plowing through the Yellow Comet factory mission, and this is even longer. On the plus side, we now three armies to fight for us: Green Earth, Orange Star and Yellow Comet (in that turn order). For some reason you can't use Blue Moon here. Apparently they're a bit tied up at the moment, even though they've had longer to recover than Yellow Comet have. I suspect the real reason for a Blue Moon no-show is that the level designers realised that Grit or Colin in either the Orange Star or Yellow Comet position would tear this map wide open. Oh well.
Green Earth are in charge of establishing air/naval superiority - but mostly air. Of course, it's tricky to do this when your opponent has a pair of Black Cannons, but it's up to our allies to deal with them. The Power and Technique scores are directly tied to them: the other armies don't count towards it.
Eagle is probably the best choice here for the simple reason that he has the best air units. That's it, really. Despite being called "Great Sea Battle", ships don't play a massive part here unless you're Yellow Comet (more on that story later).
By the same token, Drake would probably struggle - after all, we still had to use fighters as a crutch in Navy Vs. Air. I guess Tsunami might make life awkward for Hawke, but the trouble is that he can always just Black Wave it away.
As for Jess, well... on the plus side, she'd be able to help Orange Star out with the ground war. On the minus side, that isn't really Green Earth's job.
That's because the ground war taking place along the top of the map is Orange Star's job, pushing Hawke back along his bridges up here and just generally keeping him in check. It's also Orange Star's job to destroy the northern Black Cannon so that Green Earth have got some freedom to move.
I don't say this very often, but Andy is the best choice for Orange Star CO here. His balanced forces make it fairly easy to take down the Black Cannon with artillery, and he can establish a solid chokepoint on the bridge beyond the cannon. His CO Powers also provide a very nice counter to Hawke's powers. You can also think of this as Andy's chance to finally get revenge on Hawke for the Sea For All debacle.
Max's powerful direct combat units can give him an edge in the ground war, but with his short-range long-range units he has the hardest time taking down the Black Cannon. But he can be effective here if you use him well.
Sami can probably do an okay job with a mech flood backed up by indirects. She'll have an easier time capturing properties than the guys, since she can shrug off the effects of Hawke's powers more effectively. She'll also find taking down the Black Cannon just as easy as Andy. But she doesn't have Andy's flexibility, or Hyper Repair/Upgrade, which probably makes her a worse choice.
Despite an odd starting position, Yellow Comet has the key role here: they're the ones sneaking around the edges of the map and taking down that all-important pipe seam (well, unless I exceed my expectations with the other two armies and we manage to take out the seam simply through overwhelming Hawke. Apparently it can be done but hahaha) by landing a rocket launcher in the area below it.
In an odd sort of way, despite the lack of fog of war Sonja may be the best choice here simply because she's an all-rounder whose indirects pack more punch than Sensei's, but without Kanbei's cost issue. I don't normally use her though because...
... well, Sensei . Okay, so it's pretty difficult for Yellow Comet to grab an airport here, and he will suffer a little with weak vehicles and ships, but +1 move for landers can be helpful in evading Black Hole's units. He also won't suffer from Sonja's luck penalty, and his CO powers will actually do something, even if it's just filling the map up with footsoldiers. But it's a close call, really.
Well, you always know what you're getting with Kanbei: lots of bang for lots of bucks. He does usually end up being good value for money, but bear in mind that we have pretty limited resources on Yellow Comet, and Kanbei may be a luxury we can't afford.
Anyway, that's the gist of it. I should probably warn you that this has a chance of being the toughest mission so far - even tougher than Liberation. But I'll do my best .
So, time for some votes!