Part 4: Blackout
Welcome back. When we left off, the Mayor let us know he knows where the bandits make base. It happens to be fairly close by. How the villagers still live, we'll never know.
:Take what ya want! Steal what ya want! Kill who ya want!
Beast's Law: GWAR HAR HAR
:That's probably where they scavenged their weapons and vehicles.
: They lack the discipline of a comptent army unit, but not the fighting skill.
: Agreed. And we know there are former soldiers and mercenaries among their number.
: Let's put them down before they do any more harm to the survivors.
: Good. Still no sign of the enemy?
: No, sir. But this dust prevents us from seeing much of anything. Of course, it keeps us hidden too, so I guess it's not all bad!
:All units, move out!
New CO, New Theme. Of course, Lin's recon knowledge plays no part here, but still. Good song.
: Scount unit Bravo reporting. Visibility is poor, and we've lost visual contact with the enemy.
: Understood, Bravo. Get somewhere safe. We're on our way.
: Watch the woods, sir. I think the raiders are hiding there.
Time to begin. Well, almost. As is clear, we're in a
The Flare does what it's name implies. It launches a flare to pierce fog of war, revealing everything in a small range around the spot you targetted, including woods and ruins. Beyond that, they're a treaded recon with less mobility, only having a machine gun to use against targets. Don't let them see combat too often. Let's give it's ability a shot.
Hitting the largest concentration of woodlands I can, and also revealing if there's anything near my artillery. Here goes nothing.
Well, shit. At least we know that area is safe. On the top screen there's an information box with how many units the Beast has. He's got five units hiding out there, most of them likely in woods, as our scout unit reported. I then move the infantry and one mech into the mountain ranges, which increase their individual vision ranges by three, making them on par with recons. Next, I move the other mech towards where Bravo is, and introduce a new change to the way IntSys decided to handle fog of war in this game.
By moving him two spaces forward, we get to see everything along the path the mech took to get there. This effect lasts until the end of the turn, as does the flare shot. Gone are the days of endlessly moving a recon until you run into an enemy, as you can now motor them down a road and have full vision on all sides. Now, let's get Bravo back to the main force.
Or not. Bravo just walked into an Ambush, which occurs when you hit a tile occupied by the enemy while you can't see them. Movement ends, and you can't take another action with that unit. Bravo is now stranded, I hope he'll be fine.
At the start of his turn, The Beast has a few words for us.
: No one attacks The Beast in his own home! No one! Swarm, roaches! Show no mercy!
Welp. Sorry Bravo. Could have seen this coming if I used the flare properly. Rest in peace, brave men...
: I'm trying to raise them on the radio... Bravo, do you read? Over.
: Scout unit Bravo reporting! We're taking heavy fire! We can't
continue the mission! We have to retreat!
: Understood. Double-time it back to base, soldier.
: Roger that, sir!
: Pay attention, Will. Remember that soldiers are a precious resource. We know there is risk in war, and some casualties are inevitable. But it's our duty to get as many of them home as possible.
What? No. No. That infantry unit just got gunned down by TWO recon forces. They're DEAD. This is WAR. They do not escape. They were surrounded, for God's sake! IntSys, if you're going to make a post apocalyptic war game where life is at an all time low, and we're killing the Beast's men left and right, at least reciprocate it. I blundered, make it so I pay the consequences and lose some damn men for it.
Anyway, the Beast, fresh off his
I decide to get some better positioning. As I said earlier, Enemy AI can't see you in fog of war maps if you hide in woods. Hopefully they'll come searching.
Eh... yes and no. We've lost sight of the recons since our recon fled the scene, but the enemy mech is in range of the artillery. Since half our units are vehicles, it gets nailed first.
Then I move the flare to where the cursor is pointing to, and use it and the infantry beside the artillery to attack the Beast's bike. It sadly lives with 1 HP. Our tank and bike move closer to the action. Only one of these will actually get used next turn.
Our turn again. The enemy mech suicided on our flare (AI logic fails nicely sometimes), the recon that took out Bravo is harassing our infantry, and the flare got rocked by the other recon. We begin by targetting the full health recon with our artillery.
As shown, we use our mech to destroy the recon, leaving the Beast with two units. Our flare takes out the 1 HP bike, and our tank rolls up and blasts the other recon.
:The world is over! Why do these do-gooders care what we do?! I'm The Beast! No one says no to me! Not even a bunch of soldier boys! I'll be back, losers! And I'm gonnakill every last one of ya!
: I never miss a thing.
Speed took a hit. Still an S rank. If you're more daring with your units, you can finish a turn earlier for the full 100. Also not having the distraction of Bravo unit if you let him get out safely.
Oh good, it's YOU again.
: I don't think they'll bother you again.
: Thank you, Captain Brenner! I think my village can sleep soundly tonight.
: I'm glad. Now let's talk about your side of the bargain. We drove them off. Now you need to provide Will and the other civilians with shelter.
: I didn't agree to that.
: ...What are you doing? We saved your village. You promised to take in the civilians.
: I said nothing of the sort, Captain.
: Isn't that right, people? That's what I said! Your mayor is a man of his word!
: Yeah! That's right! That's what he said!
Oh for fuck's sake. The only consolidation I have here now is beating down The Beast again. And that's getting tiring now.
: I don't believe this!
: Captain, please! Control yourself! Even you can see that this "bargain" of yours affects my entire village. I may be the mayor, but I do not rule by fiat. We are civilized men, after all. We will come to a decision in due course. Until then...you must be patient.
: Why, you double-crossing--
: You have only yourself to blame for your anger, Captain.
Spoken like a true politician.
: I see.
: Will you threaten us now? Will you let your guns take the place of your honor? Perhaps we should have taken our chances with the savages!
: ...No, Mayor. I won't threaten you. I won't do anything to unnerve these people that you pretend to care for.
: Wh-what? How dare you!
: I remember you. I remember how you were. Scared. Alone. On the verge of death. Do you remember your words to me when my men gave you food and shelter? "I will save others as you have saved me, Brenner." "I will construct a village where all can live in peace and rebuild their lives." Do you remember that? Or did I misunderstand your words again?
: Who are you to say such? You're a killer! A soldier! A relic of the past! I give these people peace. I give them hope. You give nothing but horror and death!
: Captain Brenner!
: Sir, I know you have our best interests at heart, but it's OK. Look, I know it might be safer here in this village, but I don't want to stay.
I wonder how much of this is Will actually liking Brenner, and how much of it is him hating the Mayor. I'd stick with the military over that ass anyway.
: Out of the question, Will. It's too dangerous. People who truck with us don't live very long. You're young. Your life is ahead of you.
: Please, Captain. Please. Let me stay. Let me fight with you.
: Honestly, I don't seem to have much choice. And I admire your courage... All right. Lin! Will! Prepare to move out! ...Good luck, Mayor. I think you'll need it.
Brenner gets one last shot off at the Mayor before leaving, but we're not done with Character Development yet.
: Hey. How's she doing?
: Oh, Will! Thanks for coming again today! She's going to be very pleased.
: I hope so. Sometimes, I... I just don't know if she even gets it.
: She looks forward to your visits, Will. When you're here, she is bright and cheerful. Otherwise, she seems a bit...sad.
: Really. But don't worry about it. We'll take care of her. She's going
to be OK.
: Um... Hi. How's it going today? I... brought you something! I hope you like it.
: A flower?
: Yeah. Well, it's not a real flower. It's plastic. You can't find many real flowers anymore. I found it while I was on a recon mission a few miles over.
: It's... It's beautiful. What do you call it?
: Huh? Oh, I don't know. I'm not much of a flower... scientist...guy. Let me ask Lin.
: No, I wait! I remember... This is a Cattleya isabella. It's a natural hybrid of the orchid family. Cattleya... Yes, that's it! That will be myname.
All right, we have a name for this person. Meet Cattleya!
: Uh...Cattelya? Wow, that's...that's uh... That's kind of hard to say, actually. How about we call you Isabella? That's really pretty. It fits you better.
: I'm so happy!
All right, we have a name for this person. Meet
: Yeah? Oh, good! I think it suits you.
: Thank you, Will!
: Lieutenant! Um...what are you doing here?
: I've been here. The whole time. Juuuust keeping an eye on you.
Creepy. God damn Lin, reconnaissance and intelligence isn't supposed to be disturbing.
We actually get to make units like in other Advance Wars games!