Part 44: Mission 32: Great Sea Battle (or "Hawke, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!") - Part 2
Mission 32: Great Sea Battle (or "Hawke, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!") - Part 2
So, how to deal with the aftermath of a Black Storm...
Well, let's start by damaging this infantry unit here in an attempt to stop it capturing that base. (the medium tank moves up a square, but no further: I want to avoid rockets).
Meanwhile the fighters get to work on Hawke's air force, particularly his own fighter. My planes are looking kind of worse for wear now, but they're holding together.
Infantry move up.
Andy knows exactly how to deal with the aftermath of a Black Storm.
Leading a charge on one of Hawke's tanks.
I need to try and shuffle these units around a bit so that the artillery actually have things to attack.
And the other guys move up.
Sensei's HQ AA is still doing its job, this time attacking Hawke's dozy fighter.
Speaking of doziness... this Black Cannon didn't actually attack me last turn. I don't know whether Black Storm interfered with it or what, but neither my AA or infantry got hit by it.
Oh well, not complaining.
I kind of have more landers than I need...
So let's join these two together and raise some funds in the process.
Sadly my attack on that tank earlier was not without its consequences...
New turn, new targets.
First let's have my B-Copters finish off the capturing infantry and then push through to damage the artillery unit behind.
Over in the east, there's some bombers just hanging around waiting to be damaged. And a 1HP fighter that just won't die >.
B-Copter kills B-Copter, and with my fighter squadrons increasingly worn down and under threat from enemy units, I'd better build a fresh one.
Blam, take that APC (Forgot to shrink this picture. Oh well, enjoy the glorious pixel art).
Technique-wise things look okay (remember we only care about Eagle for power and technique), but with Hawke having already built 69 units, we're probably going to get a rubbish power score. Stupid factories...
And now it's time for Andy...
... to show off his shiny neotanks in a display of disproportionate force!
Arty and neo clear out the tank and recon, the other units shuffle around a bit.
That neotank was so effective I think I'll have another one.
Well, this time the Black Cannon did remember to attack me.
It's the last thing it does, though.
And with the cannon out of the way, I can attack Hawke's B-Copter without worry.
In case you're interested, that fighter finally wised up and ran away from Sensei's island AA.
Time to advance on the pipe seam and the minicannon blocking it.
Uh-oh. I just realised that I flew one of my B-Copters into the range of one of Hawke's armed lawn gnomes. And now that cruiser's on the loose...
Hmm. Better build a replacement chopper.
But ignoring the cruiser for now (and trying to stay out of range of it), let's attack this infantry unit over here.
And join these two damaged B-Copters together as well, while I'm at it.
Now then, what can Andy do?
Those of you who said "take down a tank with his neotank" get a gold star.
The indirects move up to give the neo the necessary backup at the chokepoint.
Followed by the infantry cavalcade and that second neotank.
Now then, let's see what's going on with Sensei.
With the Black Cannon gone, I'm free to station a rocket launcher to take down the minicannon. Another seven turns after this one should be enough to finish taking the seam down (that's the trouble with Sensei, his rockets need three turns to take down a Black Hole structure...).
For the sake of it, let's have a battleship. It probably won't have the time to make a decisive contribution either way, but it's still cool.
And I guess I may as well Copter Command.
Think we're done here for now.
Hawke isn't, though. First Eagle loses an infantry unit to his rockets, and then Andy's rockets and neotank take damage from his injured bombers.
Took some damage last turn, but now it's time for REVENGE!! Or, er, something.
We'll start by attacking this cruiser with a B-Copter.
A tight battle, but I think I've come off the better for it.
B-Copter attacks rocket launcher, tank destroys infantry to unblock this city.
Fighter finishes off bomber, infantry gets to capturing the freshly-unblocked city.
Over in the east, I send a fighter to attack a B-Copter that seems to be threatening to pay Sensei a visit. Nothing can go wrong with this, right?
And let's finally build a bomber, because those minicannons are becoming a real pain.
Meanwhile, here's Andy.
Rocket and arty dole out the damage to Hawke's medium tank.
And the AA rolls up to take out the other bomber.
Of course, it plonks the AA right into rocket range, but what can you do? Anyway, more chokepoint reorganisation.
And with my rocket launcher damaged and my AA doomed, it's probably a good time to dial up another one of each.
Black Hole structures have 99HP and Sensei's rockets do 49% damage, so as noted earlier each structure takes three turns to knock down. This is pretty darn frustrating.
Oh well, what can you do?
Battleship moves up a bit. I may as well take down these minicannons, even if they aren't a threat.
Let's land some more infantry (and build another rocket launcher).
This... isn't good.
At least I was expecting that part, but...
... not this. Looks like my "Nothing can go wrong with this, right?" fighter in the east blundered into the range of yet another lawn gnome. D'oh.
And of course, since it's Black Storm time, the 6HP B-Copter vs. 4HP cruiser fight switched round into a 4HP B-Copter vs. 6HP cruiser fight. Bugger.
Stupid storms of blackness.
Still, nil desperandum. As my new bomber takes down that cruiser and a copter and infantry combine to take out the southern rocket launcher, Eagle gets a fully-charged power meter of his own to play with.
I'll just move the remaining units into position...
Before we go for the Lightning Strike though, turns out that we've rather quickly gone from being in a good position technique-wise, to being in a very bad one.
So it's time to start infantry spamming.
Okay, now it's time for LS.
Okay, let's go.
Bomber takes down minicannon to give the B-Copter and medium tank more room to manoeuvre.
Meanwhile the fighter flies over here, to this relatively cruiser-free area. Granted that wasn't the most exciting of Lightning Strikes, but it did a job.
Andy's time for a tune-up.
The indirects take down an AA...
... and the neotanks pile into the gap - braving rocket fire in the process.
Move up, lads.
How're things with Sensei?
Things with Sensei are B-Copter-and-minicannon-destroying-y.
So, okay really.
Hawke's doing nasty things to our units here, though.
Neotanks and rockets and bombers, oh my.
Well, that's the rockets and bomber dealt with, at least.
B-Copter attacks APC, while also conveniently acting as a shield for my infantry - which join together to help them capture this city.
Technique spamming goes for T-Copters as well as infantry.
It's looking a bit better now technique-wise, but I still need to work on it.
Now then, what's new with Andy?
Well, this neotank's going on a bit of a suicidal charge against Hawke's neo, but fear not!
For I can join it with the other one afterwards!
Fun with unit-moving.
And let's have a third rocket launcher and an APC to bring supplies to those 7HP rockets.
Over with Sensei, the minicannon is down!
Which gives me a chance to start capturing this airport and base, and bring a second rocket launcher up to take over from the 8HP one.
Off in the distance, battleship attacks minicannon...
7HP and 6HP AAs join, another rocket launcher gets built.
And now Andy's combined neotanks are facing artillery fire. Oh well, guess it was bound to happen.
Oh good grief.
Things aren't looking too wonderful over here either, what with the neotanks and everything.
But we're almost there: a few more turns and Sensei will have broken that seam. In the meantime, let's finish off a 1HP bomber and capture a city.
B-Copter finishes off APC as my bomber flies around to take out a tank. I know there are bigger tanks to fry, but that full-health neotank is annoyingly in range on a AA. Andy will just have to handle it on his own.
Scenes of technique spamming.
It's slowly turning the ship around though: another few turns like this and we'll be back to 100 technqiue.
Back with Andy again.
Rockets take care of the 4HP neotank, although the full-health one is still a threat.
But hey, at least I can damage some random infantry down to 4HP, right?
And then finish it with my damaged neotank. This isn't the greatest bit of meatshielding ever, but it'll do for now.
Especially given I've brought another rocket launcher into range. Next turn should be veeery interesting...
The other units continue to move up.
With the minicannon down, the pipe seam is in sight.
And now it's in range. I've also finally grabbed an airport for Sensei. Even if it is a bit on the late side...
Attacking minicannons or something.
Owch, unexpected fighter assault.
Fighters and AAs and stuff
RETREAT! And regroup around a newly-built fighter. We'll let Andy handle the attacking this turn.
So what's Andy's attack plan?
Concentrate fire on the neotank, essentially. It takes three salvos of indirect fire, but it works.
Infantry follow up, and not that I make a bit of an error here. I had to move that infantry unit off the base to build a neotank, but he should probably have joined with the 2HP infantry rather than heading down south. Oh well.
Keep movin', movin', movin'...
Time to start the attack on the pipe.
And build the thing you've all been waiting for, Sensei B-Copters! Okay, so they won't get to see any action. But still: Sensei B-Copters!
Hooray for Eagle's defensive bonus that means his battle copter just about survives an encounter with Hawke's fighter.
Even if it does trigger one of those annoying end-of-turn Black Storms >
Hmm, Lightning Drive's charged up. Oh well, not like we're going to fill the other six stars in two days.
Because I use Lightning Drive so little, you'll have to excuse the lack of a backup screenshot to replace "ightning Drive"
Fighter attacks fighter, 1HP fighter joins with it.
Except oh dear, that's put my bomber in range of yet another fighter. Let's hope Andy can do something about that on his go.
The good news is that I'm pretty much up to speed on the technique front. Although I'm still totally screwed power-wise.
Let's do some more technique farming to be on the safe side though. T-Copters EVEN MORE EVERYWHERE.
So, Andy, I hear you like repairing your units after Black Storms.
Thank you for the demonstration.
Rockets clear a path to Hawke's fighter by destroying the AA in front of it...
... and my own AA rolls through to damage the fighter.
Meanwhile infantry attacks infantry.
Okay, Sensei, what've we got?
Well, we've got the pipe seam being knocked down to 11HP and two rockets joining together.
We've also got another B-Copter. I guess I could have lured the cruiser over here with one copter and then attacked it with the other, but why send good men to die pointlessly?
Eagle's 1HP B-Copter wasn't so lucky, though.
Oh look, a battle copter menacing Andy's infantry.
Wish I could say the same to all these T-Copters...
So, units in range of my indirects.
Let's have some fun.
One final fling of curly arrows...
And we're done here. Hawke you magnificent bastard, I read your book!
Commander? What are your orders, sir?
Do as you please.
Um... and you, Commander? You're not planning on going down with the ... er... factory?
Fool! This place may be important, but I've no desire to die with it. Now go! If you want to save your skin, you must do it yourself!
Yes, sir. Farewell, sir.
Hah... This is one situation I never expected myself to be in. I survive, though. And where there's life, there is opportunity.
And so Hawke disappears mysteriously into the shadows, until he becomes a useful plot device again...
And the enemy CO?
Missing in action, sir. He disappeared at the time the factory was secured.
Really... Nice work, soldier.
Thank you, ma'am!
It's over at last.
Mm. Peace will now return to Green Earth.
Whew... That's nice.
Huh? That was unexpected.
Hm? What was?
"Nice"? I thought you'd be more... excited.
Oh, I'm thrilled. I just want to take a nap is all. Yaaaaawn! I'm bushed!
Hm hm hmm...
Ha ha haa...
This. This right here is why Drake is awesome. Sod the fact that navies are underpowered.
We couldn't have done it without your assistance. On behalf of the people of Green Earth, I thank you.
Hearing that makes the journey worthwhile.
Yes, it does. Now, Commander Eagle, I think you grasp the situation, but...
Yes. The war is not yet finished.
Correct. You know where that pipe leads... Until we've defeated Black Hole on their own turf, the war will never truly be finished.
It sounds like things are just going to continue getting tougher.
It's not like the combat we've seen up to now has been child's play. No matter who the foe may be, we won't lose.
Well, about the only thing I can say here really is "still a better score than Liberation". And still good enough to keep the HC S-Rank dream alive.
Now, I know Eagle just said "Next is the enemy citadel". But these last two missions are just as big and long as Great Sea Battle was, and I don't know if you noticed from my commentary but I was starting to lose my marbles towards the end there. So in order to keep things fresh, I want to do something a little... different. Before we move on to finishing the job in Black Hole, I'm going to take a brief look at what this game has to offer beyond Campaign mode. And to add a little extra spice, I'll be playing as the final boss, Sturm. So, tune in next time for...
... a trip to the shop!
... fighting in the War Room!
... and a chance to play as a character so broken, even Colin weeps...