Part 6: Overpowered? Nah.
Welcome back. Today we continue on our merry way through the apocalypse, having saved New Wolfington and Dr.Morris. But there was something we could help Dr.Morris with. To do that, we head East.
Not forboding at all.
: Huh? No, but I bet Captain Brenner does.
: Not likely. Lin! Front and center.
: There are many possible explanations. I assume you're referring to the meteor theory?
: Oh ho! Right you are. The theory states a meteor struck the planet millions of years ago. The impact caused megatsunamis upward of 300 feet in height to sweep the globe. The shock waves spawn earthquakes reaching 12.0 and 13.0 on the Richter scale. Pieces of the meteor ignited global wildfires, causing enormous devastation... Dinosars, without the benefit of fireproof surfboards, were ill equipped to survive.
: One day they ruled the world, and the next, they were a few pages in our history books.
Lin says more or less what I think any time Morris tries his hand at comedy. The writers knew the lines were groan-worthy, and they KEPT THEM IN. For any other character, I'd hate them for being so terribly written. For some reason, I don't with Morris. Maybe because they acknowledge it right at the start, and continue to point it out as being bad. Better than hoping we'd be amused at the joke itself.
: But we survived our meteors.
: So we did, so we did. Cockroaches aren't nature's only durable creature, are they?
Hooray for being compared favourably to cockroaches! WOO!
: Can we move this along, Doc? What is it you want to tell us?
: Yes, of course. Meteors...dinosaurs...cockroaches... Oh yes! The clouds of ash! That's it. The ash blocks out the sun, which of course means that plant life withers and dies. Some may say the fate of the dinosaurs was sealed by similar sunlight-blocking clouds.
: So you're saying we're going to share their fate? Is that it?
: No need to panic, Captain. Unlike the luckless dinosaurs, we possess knowledge and science. If we can get the automated crop factory running, we'll have as much grain as we want.
: Automated what?
: A factory with an environmental system designed for the cyclic cultivation of genetically...
: Whoa! Spare me the scientific mumbo jumbo. You're giving me a headache. Cut to the chase, and tell me what I need to know--no jokes, no science. Clear?
: Yes, of course. Ahem. If we can get the systems running, we can produce food. We won't be able to sustain a population of millions, but we'll be able to feed New Wolfington. I trust that was clear enough. Oh, but there is one thing I worry about...
: What's that, Dr. Morris?
: The kind that revels in the destruction of the world and of mankind with it? The kind of evil that thrives on the pain, suffering, and sorrow of innocents?
I used to, then I met The Beast. Now I just believe in rampant stupidity. Also, this question? Still not forboding at all.
: Uh...what are you talking about?
: Oh, I'm just thinking out loud. Pay me no mind at all.
Dr. Morris, it's been 15 seconds since you asked the question. Your attention span can't be THAT bad.
: Unidentified units in the field, sir. They're ignoring all communications.
: They're advancing on our positions! Move out!
What's wrong Beast? No glib remarks? No "I'm gonna kill that dogface! GWAR HAR HAR!"? I'm disappointed now.
Let's do this. Will takes the lead here for... some reason. Not complaining, his theme, like the others, is really good. If I sound repetitive, it's because IntSys has never stopped making awesome music for their games.
Day one, and things are already looking alright for us. One factory on the map, and we'll have it captured by the end of Day two. Our tank number matches the enemy's, AND we have an artillery that I won't completely waste. This mission doesn't seem so hard. We of course begin with the necessary "capture everything you can."
We've also moved the tanks forward to give a bit of covering fire for the capturing units.
Moving the last of our units around. I leave the recon in the middle to be able to sweep to either side as necessary. We end turn. Maybe our silent foe won't remain silent?
: Of course, little one. Play to your heart's desire. Do remember to record the battle, though.
: Father, I cannot condone this. I can see no reason for us to attack these people. It is meaningless--
: Meaningless? Whatever are you babbling about? Is there a more meaningless expenditure of energy than life itself? I think not!
: Get 'em! Get 'em! Boooom! Tee hee!
...Who ARE you people? Why are you letting the six year old command the army? I mean yes, we let Andy become a CO in the original Advance Wars, but he was at least 10...
Day 2, and I've already taken the liberty of finishing the captures. The tanks have moved up though, and they're in range of just about anything we want to do.
Not much else we can do right now aside from trying to make favorable battles as best we can. The artillery is safe for the moment, at least, and can hit anywhere the tank tries to attack in the north. The recon flees the middle towards the safety of the artillery, and we set up the bike to be in a world of hurt if he attacks us.
Day 3, and some things happened. The tank in the north couldn't pass up a chance to deal some damage to our tank, however it wandered into range of our artillery. Let's deal with it.
I've moved the infantry back two to give the northern Mech space to finish off the tank after our artillery all but annihilated it. The south end is still a mess. The enemy bike is weakened, but that Mech down there concerns me. We move our own bike two east to attack it, then use a combined force of our infantry and our southern tank to take out the weakened bike.
Our recon takes on the capturing infantry, and our mech needs a heal, so it steps onto the unoccupied city.
Finally, our weakened tank takes out that infantry the recon had attacked. One of the beautiful exploits of enemy AI in the Advance Wars series is that enemy infantry will always attempt to capture a building if they can't actually deal decent damage to your forces. Even if it means they get boxed in by a recon and tank that just finished killing another infantry. I end up building a recon from our base, having only 4000G to use. Kinda derpy, given what all's left, but I think it'll wind up being somewhat useful.
Like clockwork, that infantry attempts to get control of the city in the middle. The north looks fine for the moment, with the mech slowly advancing on our position. In the south, meanwhile our other tank is now damaged, and the enemy mech continues smacking our bike.
Of course, he's in range of just about everything down there, so it's not too hard to find someone willing to kill him off. Now, the tank. I first use my mech to weaken it, then hope my tank will finish the job.
Which doesn't happen. In hindsight, I'm guessing my Bike MAY have been able to do it, I might have checked and not liked the odds, who knows. What I do know is our other tank will esaily finish it off. Our recon weakens the infantry that blindly walked into firing range of it, so we head to the north to take out the mech.
Good old Mech on Mech combat. Our newly constructed recon comes in to deal with the remaining HP.
Now I derp a little, and move the artillery to the forefront. I have no idea why I did this, save maybe keeping my mech decently healed. I also move the bike up as bait in the south for the other recon.
This just about does it for the map, I think. First off, I use the middle recon to take out the infantry, then I roll the artillery onto the enemy City for protection in case something goes horribly wrong, and now it's time to take out the norhtern recon.
That'll do, Mech. The south end is a whole other story though. The tanks are the obvious solution, so let's get them moving.
Crap. Alright infantry, your turn has come to shine!
Luck is on my side (I'm pretty sure the recon is barely scraping the 10% total health line anyway at this point from lucky shots. Map finished.
: I suppose you'll be wanting more. Well, what's the magic word?
: PLEEEEEEEASE! I wanna big BOOOOOM!
: How could I deny such a well-mannered little girl? I look forward to seeing how they respond to the world's mightiest tank. This should prove to be most enlightening.
: Ohmygosh! Th-that tank! It's enormous!
The FUCK? Where can I get one of those? I want it.
: Bring us to speed, Lin! Give us what you have on that monster.
: I'm sorry, sir. Our database has no intel on that tank.
: A war tank?
: Compared with standard tanks, it has vastly superior armor and firepower. It is currently the most powerful ground unit in the world today.
Of COURSE you know what it is. Still not a suspicious character, right?
: And how are we supposed to stand against it? It's too darn big!
: ...I don't know.
Well now, map isn't done yet. Hope you weren't stupid like me and left half your forces sitting in range of the new tanks that just spawned in. Let's take a look at these things.
First, the Md Tank. The Mid tank is a bigger, stronger, slightly slower version of the regular tank we have access to. It deals more damage, takes less damage, and moves 5 spaces. Of course, I left our two 5HP tanks exactly 5 spaces away from where the southern Md tank spawned in. Now, what about that monster in the middle?
Yeah... fuck. The War Tank is the Megatank from Advance Wars Dual Strike, only buffed up a little. It has 5 shells that can outright kill a tank on a road and enough armor to only take 2 HP damage from a full health tank (right before dropping that tank to about 2 HP in retaliation). It's downside? It's incredibly slow. 4 tiles of movement means this thing isn't going anywhere fast.
In any case, they dropped right at the end of our turn, all we can do is move our south mech east a little, and try to stem the Md Tank damage as best we can. We build a tank at the base, because somehow I feel we're losing one. On the enemy phase, my thoughts are confirmed as the south Md Tank takes out our tank on the road.
: Isabella! What is it? What's wrong?
: It's...nothing. I'm fine. The factory...
: She's right. The system just rebooted.
: Anti-tank units will prove to be very effective against the war tank.
: I think she may be right. Amazing! We may have a chance after all!
: Isabella, I want an explanation. Now. How in--
: Later, Lin. We've got a battle to fight. Anti-tank units, huh? Let's see how tough that war tank really is.
Day 6, and I flee away from everything. My artillery takes a pot shot against the Md Tank, knowing it doesn't really have that much longer to live. I move my 8 HP recon to the east of the arty to try feebly to protect it as best I can, however I leave a hole to the south of it. And since we know the Anti-Tank is available...
The Anti-tank is exactly as it sounds, an anti tank unit capable of firing three spaces away. The kicker? It can hit copters, and it can fire directly in front of it, so it can also counter attack. It's damn powerful too, we'll see that a little later this mission when I eventually get one out. It's not cheap, and buying units beforehand has robbed me of the chance to get one ASAP, which we kind of need right now.
Day 7, and my poor recon bit the dust. My artillery lives to see another day, somehow. We're still at a serious disadvantage here. Nothing can really damage the war tank short of the anti-tank, so we have to stall until one is out and available to destroy it.
And what better way of stalling than taking out one of the Md Tanks? My southern tank rolls up, dealing the first shot, followed by this tank, and finally the mech takes the killing blow.
Our disadvantage is lowered slightly with one less powerhouse roaming the fields. For old time's sake, I send my infantry over to capture the city. An extra 1000G a turn could be useful if this drags out.
In the enemy phase, the war tank does what a war tank does. It takes out 80% of our more healed tank's health. The Md. Tank takes out the low health tank, leaving us short on armor.
The middle of Day 8. I've finished capturing the neutral city, taken a stupid shot at the Md Tank with the mech, and finally built the anti-tank. The artillery returns to the city to get patched up, and the remaining recon positions itself to cover the anti-tank when it starts moving out. I've also pulled the infantry off the city so the tank can get a bit more health, though it won't matter that much at this point.
Day 9, and at this point there isn't much point showing off the start of the turn, as I'm not trying to catch up to the two tanks. However, I've made a serious tactical error in my anti-tank defence. See if you can spot that.
Day 10, and my tactical blunder hurts. My artillery couldn't hold a shot back, and the Md Tank came in and smacked the anti-tank. Still, a full health anti-tank gets reduced to 7 HP, and retaliates by doing 40% damage to a veteran Md Tank? It's a pretty good trade off, but it won't save us against the war tank. Let's fix that.
That's better. Holding out on buying anything for three days gets us another anti-tank, ready to crush the war tank. But the Md still lives...
Not anymore. The mystery team's advantage has dwindled to the oversized cannon. And we have something to take it out, finally. Just need to get into position...
Day 11, and the war tank REALLY didn't like our anti-tank taking out it's buddy. Couldn't manage to destroy the anti-tank, and took 1HP of damage. More importantly, the war tank has been using it's ammo pretty much every turn since it came out, and it now only has one shot left. I retreat my low health anti-tank back, and manage to derp a little again, putting it on the city instead of the factory. You'll see why that was a problem in a moment. I also move the new anti-tank east one to the other city, and then surround it with the infantry and recon. I also move my mech into the forest to try and bait the war tank a little more.
Day 12, and the war tank gunned for the anti-tank. Thankfully though, it's now out of ammo. It's damage dealing capabilities are reduced to a machine gun, which can still one hit infantry if it's at full health.
But then again, it's not nearly at full health anymore. A veteran war tank, which gets the defensive boost from that experience, still took 4HP of damage from the anti-tank, who in turn took no damage. Things are looking up. That is the only move I make this turn, trying to keep targets for the war tank in range of the anti-tank.
The target was the mech, which is fine. The war tank is still in range, hopefully I can end this.
Will I get lucky?
Of course not. Despite it saying 0%, there is what is normally negligible damage dealt by the infantry. Negligible is all we really need though. So, second time lucky?
That's a negative too. Will the lowly recon I kinda stupidly build on Day 3 save us?
Yes, yes it can. Recon > war tank
: It wasn't a walk in the park, but you're right. We won.
: And it was all thanks to Isabella! If it hadn't been for her...
: No...I didn't do anything.
: Don't be modest, dear. Now let's check on those crop-growing systems!
: Now if we can just find that factory...
Ugh, A rank. Power took a hit because I had to use two 0% damage shots to take out the war tank. Had I waited a turn, maybe it'd have been fine. Oh well. I may revisit this and S rank it in the future, who knows.
: Yes, well, hmm... I've got some good news, and I've got some bad news...
: The system's useless. The factory has been destroyed.
: What are you doing, Lin? I had a joke I wanted to tell first!
: Save your jokes for when I'm not around. What do you mean, destroyed? Do you mean we can't repair it?
: That would be quite difficult, I'm afraid. The factory was extremely sophisticated. The components needed to repair it are not likely to be found at the corner grocery.
Our physician, ladies and gentlemen. Ignore the bedside manner, he's just a really terrible comedian doing extra work on the side.
: That's terrible, Dr. Morris. What are we supposed to do now?
: I'm afraid I don't know. And to tell the truth, there's something else that truly disturbs me...
: There is? What?
: It appears the enemy's goal was to destroy the factory all along. If we had gotten the factory up and running, we could have solved our food-shortage problem. We could have lived here peacefully. What did they gain by destroying our factory? It's as if...
Ah yes, they're so they broke our food machine. Dammit unnamed villain!
: Flowers. They're quite beautiful, aren't they? But there's something odd about them...
: Whatever you do, don't touch those flowers!
: Dr. Morris?
: ...Maybe. I'm not as young as Isabella, but... Are you implying something, Doctor?
: No, of course not! And there's no need to glare at me so. It's quite unsettling! I only ask because these flowers have yet to infect anyone over the age of twenty, and...
: Infect? What are you talking about?
: Have you heard of Endoflorescens terrbilis virus? It's common name is Creeping Derangea.
: This young man was about your age, Will.
: ...He WAS my age?
: The flowers aren't decorative. They're the result of a parasitic virus. And there is nothing beautiful about them, Lin. This boy is dead.
: Wait, so the flowers...came out of his body?
: It acts like a parasite, but it spreads like a virus. I don't claim to know how it works, I just know that it does. Since the meteors fell, I've buried many victims of this scourge.
: In his ears... In his eyes... Little roots creeping behind the eyes... ...What if you could hear them...?
Augh, why must you do that Lin? God damn, I don't need to envision it creeping through veins and arteries, sprouting through pores and... oh fuck, I just made it worse, didn't I? Sorry folks.
Dr. Morris: voice of reason. When he's not trying to be funny, anyway.
: Curiously, the virus seems to only infect young people. You're in the right age range, Will, which means you're at risk. If you meet anyone suffering from this, you must stay away! Is that clear?
: Oh yeah. It's clear...
: The world's certainly not making it easy for us, is it? But we can't give up.
: As long as there's life, there's hope.
More new units! The... third? biggest asshole in the storyline! Those guys we were fighting before the meteors!