Part 23: Clipping a Bird's Wings
Well, here we are. For many, this is a road block. A point where they just stopped playing. For others, this was a slog of a mission. In the thread, people were posting their day count while I worked on this update. The average ended up around 37 days at the time this went out.
This will be one of my longest mission for sure, but will it be that long?
: By using a few common materials, we've managed to create a vaccine of sorts.
: That's great news, Doctor!
: Unfortunately, we are running low on materials to create more of it. The nearby medical facilities have all been looted, most likely by raiders.
Bluesky. Greengrass. Redsea. Colourtypeoflandform.
: Hmmm? What do you mean?
: Admiral Greyfield's number-one priority is his own safety and well-being. I'm sure he is behind the looting of those facilities you mentioned. And I have no doubt he possesses huge quantities of the vaccine.
: Remember how I said emotion had a time a place, Will? This isn't it.
: Sorry! Sorry. You're right. Let's just track down Greyfield and finish this once and for all.
: Got it!
: That's the spirit.
: I understand, Captain.
: Will? Are you all right? You seem distant.
: ...Huh? Oh, sorry, Isabella. I was just remembering what Captain Brenner said after he rescued me. Whenever things are at their darkest, I try to think about those words. I owe my life to Captain Brenner, so it's just... It's my way of remembering him.
: No. Don't worry about me. I know what I need to do.
: I'm going to end this war.
: ...Wow, that's going to take a little getting used to...
I find it hard to accept that we would expect the NRA to be attacking us from anywhere beyond behind us. We aren't about to let them circle in front of us.
: Ground or aerial?
: Is it Waylon?
: Looks like it.
Let's do it. Let's wipe the smug right off his face.
Looking at the map on our side, Tasha, controlling the Lazurian units, has a good anti-air force deployed. meanwhile, we have 7 cities and our HQ to our name. No building capabilities yet. That is priority one. There are also two paths around the north and south of the mountain range for us to use to get to the middle.
Waylon, meanwhile, has complete control of his side of the field. He also gets easier access to the middle thanks to a cut straight through the mountain range. His predeployed force is also mildly terrifying, but once you get past it he doesn't have much going for him.
Waylon as a CO, meanwhile, enjoys obtaining blubber for lamps, which is apparently a pleasure of his. He also gets absurd defence (a bonus of 270% when using his CO power), but is overall less terrifying than Tabitha in a plane. That defence boost still isn't fun to go up against, as defence boosts are annoying in general. The CO zone being more than just his own unit makes him flying with a squad terrifying.
As mentioned, first priority is securing factories and airports. We'll need them.
Two captures underway, AA retreated to help provide cover, bike looping around to capture south cities. All I can really do right now. The bonus to not having production is that on day 3 I can build anything I want once I get a unit producing building.
: Life of luxury, here I come! Now hit me! Whooooo!
Poor guy, he just jinxed himself. He's the cop one day away from retirement now. The soldier one tour from seeing his wife and kid. The guy... alright, you get my point.
Waylon moves his air force up, his duster now in striking range of my bike. And because of my AA placement, it can't hit anything thanks to the rough terrain surrounding it.
Meanwhile, I finish grabbing the unit building facilities.
I also die a little inside when I realize what I did to this AA.
Ultimately, it goes north. Not much else I can do for now. Waylon, meanwhile, finally realizes who he's facing.
: You think you got a chance against me, brother man? Think again! I'm gonna get you like I got Brenner! Whoooooo!
How is that a saying? How the hell is "well I'll be dipped in nacho cheese" Something someone would want to say!?
: Keep talking, Waylon! It'll be the last thing you ever do!
: Aw, don't sound so hostile, kid! I know you missed me! You gotta live my life, brother man! Food, drink, girls... I got it all! I'm living the high life while you're out there eatin' bugs and whatnot. So how about it? Make things easy on your old selves... Just hand over the Lazurians, and I'll see that Greyfield rewards you. What do you say, brother man?
: Aw, hell! You're as bad as ol' Brenner! All ready to die just to defend a buncha damn Lazurians. Well, nothing for it! Looks like I'm gonna have to teach you a lesson!
: I don't need your lessons, Waylon.
: Stuff it junior! You and your little toy soldiers make me sick! All self-righteous... Struttin' around like you own the damn joint... You ain't helpin' people because you care! You do it to feel important! You're a hypocrite, and you ain't better than me! Least I'm honest! Least ol' Waylon's honest about who and what I am.
: ...Maybe you're right.
: Waylon... It's an earthworm.
: Maybe we are the same. You do what you want to do, and so do I.
: And I help people because it's what I want to do.
: Does that make me a hypocrite? If I do nothing, people will suffer. People will die. You say I do this to feel important, and maybe you're right. But if that saves even one life, then it's worth it. Understand?
: Aw, nuts! I heard enough! Folks like you never live very long, anyway.
Captain Courageous is probably chilling with Admiral Obvious and Major Problem. With that dialogue done, we're in the long haul of the mission. Nothing else is said until the end. Grab some popcorn, we're here for a while.
Waylon's air force has reached our mountains. Given there isn't much I can do, I roll the AA his bomber attacked away, and move the infantry west to continue capture. An AA and a duster are also bought. The duster is mainly to see how much of a distraction it can create. The observant will see Waylon is kind of stupid, however.
Stupid because he left his duster in range of Tasha's missiles. I am perfectly okay with this. His dusters are possibly the biggest threat, given 5/8ths of my force is currently foot soldiers.
Up north, Tasha loses her tank to the bomber, and Waylon strikes my bike, while leaving himself in range of that same missile. "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it", I suppose.
The duster, having not been attacked last turn by the fighters,moves south to assist the tank being harassed by a B copter.
I'm hoping she targets the duster, given the AI's love of attacking for pure monetary reasons.
I send the AA I made last turn north, since the majority of the air force is up there. Also, more dusters! What has become of me? The answer is dusters are surprisingly great at this mission. Between the number of infantry Waylon is churning out right now, and the air force that flies around the map at the start, dusters are a cost effective way of winning.
...I think I need to lie down now. I've found a use for dusters.
Tasha attacks the B copter with her missiles. Oh well. I'm not too worried.
Because she also cripples the duster with her AA. She also moves her tank to one of our central cities, hoping it'll live to get repaired. That is one interesting mechanic this game threw in. Allied units heal on teammate's cities. Makes trolling fun in multiplayer games when you heal a unit on your team's factory.
In the end though, it doesn't matter. That tank got shot down by an enemy B copter. Waylon's 2 HP duster also attacked the mech capturing the factory, to no real effect.
City total keeps rising. At this point, I control 14 cities to Waylon's 13. My production will very quickly eclipse his.
Because of the fighters in the north, I keep the dusters down south. A lone B copter isn't worth losing a duster this early in the fight.
I pull our north AA back because of the bomber, and build another AA to help control the flight of units holding the north and middle of the map.
Our central AA finally goes down to the bomber, and Tasha kills the weak duster, getting a veteran missile out of the deal. Waylon begins trying to grab control of the center buildings from us.
Almost half a bomber is a great deal for no return fire.
The bomber is basically neutered at this point, so while I could finish the job with the other duster, I choose otherwise:
Instead opting to go and attack the bike capturing our city. While I won't be able to kill it right now, at least I stall him by a day in getting more money per turn.
Another duster bought, capturing more territory around the HQ.
And AA moved south, where I feel it'll be needed soon.
Day 7, and Waylon makes a few mistakes. Only my capturing infantry was attacked, and his fighters are running low on fuel, so he retreats them from the north-middle.
Every day I'm capturin'
The bomber I'm completely unconcerned about right now.
So instead I go and kill the B copter covering the factory.
Meanwhile, Waylon continues harassing our center buildings. I harass right back.
Well then, that was nice to get. Looks like I may save that building after all.
And I attack the other infantry as well, keeping him from thinking about capture.
Our anti air capabilities are looking nice, but I need to think about armored units. An Md tank should help.
Missile kill count: 4.
Enemy Waylon spotted!
Let's NOT do that. How does that sound?
Well that option sucks too!
And his range means just about anything is threatened by him. Great.
Weakened duster back, bike killed.
Then I screw up a little and attack before looking at city HP left. Guess he's capturing this city from us.
Missiles bought as an insurance policy for our airport.
More armor bought. Regular tank this time.
Waylon didn't do to much in the center, opting to retreat his fighter. Waylon also pulls back, due to the missile and AA Tasha rolled in.
This duster has an important job to do, which is to block the tanks from reaching our production for a short time.
One day too late, I kill off the infantry in the middle. One out of four isn't too terrible, in all honesty. We still have the advantage.
Meanwhile, the missiles move slightly up into the mountain range to provide a shadow for the duster to hang out in.
Capturing continues, our source of funding continues to grow.
More armor is built in preparation for the eventual battle in the middle. The weakened AA is also retreated, and I swing the bike out from the south to just below where Tasha's missiles are positioned. I want that city back, dammit!
Waylon hasn't done much since the first few turns, has he? He brings his armor towards the middle, but there's an easy way to stop them.
Anti tanks continue to be solved by bullets and bullets alone.
This also ensures that nothing bad will happen to this Md tank.
What are the AA's vulcan shots if not larger bullets?
There we go, crippled the anti tank some, capturing continues, tank rolls up a little as well.
Then the big guns roll out.
Things are starting to look up in this fight.
With the dawn of Day 11, Waylon has pulled back his anti tank, making it so only one of our units can attack it at a time. Along with that, he has dropped a mech onto the mountain close by. Something will have to be done about that.
The anti tank is a large priority here. With the slight damage over the 50% mark, this should work favourably.
And it does. No damage to our Md, and the anti tank is at 1 HP.
It'll turn out this attack wasn't needed. I wasn't taking chances at this point.
First, the AA takes down more than half the remaining squad.
Then the tank mows down the remainder in a storm of bullets.
The west is now decidedly ours.
A fighter is built to help cover our bomber.
Last shot of the center for the day.
Waylon strikes at Tasha, damaging both her missile and her other full health AA. On the plus side, Tasha took out another mech, and her missile kill count is at 5 after it shot down the T copter.
Blood for the blood god!
Even heavily damaged, our army contributes.
Staying in the missile shadow, and getting in position to deal with that war tank.
Everything else gathers up in the middle, and another fighter is built.
Waylon strikes at the AA after his own attacks it as well, and Tasha is now down to two units left in the middle.
First thing though, this war tank needs to die. I want that duster back out harassing air units.
Md Tank comes in hoping to get the kill. Will he be lucky?
This should be better than it is. Screw you, Waylon!
Still, a double strike from my fighters will clear his presence from the field for a bit.
AA attacks the lonely infantry in the south.
This mech needs to be weakened.
With the middle more or less ours, I begin moving the missiles towards the road to get them to there as well. An Md tank and Rig are also built. The rig is more for supply than a possible infantry run.
You know, at the time I played through this, it was a late night and I had a pretty bad headache. I didn't notice Tasha had an AA still standing in the middle until she moved it to kill the war tank. I fully expected her missiles to absorb the shot from it.
I mean, small victories, right? It really just means I now have room to maneuver another unit instead of wasting time on the war tank, but still. Day 14. I lose a duster to Waylon's fighter, and his AA chips away at one of my own fighters. Plus side is the fighter is in range of Tasha's missiles.
Look at this infantry, trying to be all sneaky and circle by the AA. Doesn't work, but the thought was there.
Look, a city not owned by anyone! This must be fixed! The mech in the middle begins the journey to the captured city to reclaim it.
More bombs from above.
And I continue moving the missiles and the Md tank. The rig swings north instead, to resupply the duster hanging around up there.
Noticing a lack of air units, I join the fighters together. Money is always nice to have.
A duster goes and kills that mech.
Never thought I'd see the day a duster hit veteran on my side of the field.
Everything else makes a line by the eastern entrance.
Missile kill count: 6.
Aww, look. He's frightened!
Once again, joining up my fighters after yet another Waylon fighter gets lured into missile range.
He may have shot my duster with an AA gun, but that won't stop it getting a fourth kill of the mission.
Rig does it's job admirably. I kinda love and hate the timing of this one at the same time.
Screaming in at the max distance, the bomber built last turn gets blood early in it's life.
The Md tank closes the land route off as it kills an infantry.
Another fighter is built, just in case Waylon decides to get another Air Force running. That does it for this day.
Missile kill count: 7.
Farewell, sweet veteran duster. I'll never forget you. Rest assured you will be avenged. By Tasha. With her missile battery of death.
Knowing that the fighter is going to be taken care of, the bomber gets smacked around a bit.
The infantry capturing the south city gets covered by the AA and Md tank, and the bike goes for a ride.
New fighter comes up and gets a front row seat for the explosion of Waylon's fighter.
This tank attacked my Md tank. Here's why it's really a bad idea.
Dusters: still surprising me constantly this map.
May as well keep that fighter in good condition.
And I go and attack this infantry hanging out in front of my Md tank.
This recon is introduced to a world of pain. I have no idea why Waylon even has one of these things.
Another bomber, because there's no kill like overkill.
Missile kill count: 8.
Hey! Bomber! That is the God Missile! You leave it ALONE.
I reclaim our rightful territory.
Waylon's back. Time to teach him another lesson.
Our own missile has finally reached road. Won't do much at this point.
Our fighter proves a worthy adversary for a damaged Waylon duster.
I like this. He can stay like this.
Any enemy AA death is a good enemy AA death.
Should I need to repair my planes, at least I have something a little closer than our base.
Sometimes I forget just what kind of range dusters have.
A fighter for some reason. Should have gotten a bomber.
And that's a wrap for day 17.
Missile kill count: 9. I'm scared now.
And Tasha's AA takes out the bomber. Once again I forgot it existed.
This is Waylon's turn, by the way. I have no idea what the hell he was thinking here. Recon versus Md tank ends poorly for one side. It tends to be the side that gets shelled over the one that has bullets go "tink" on the steel plating.
Granted, he took 1 HP off my Md tank. But that's still an Md tank. It's still damaging at 6 HP. Anti tank blew up the AA in the south. Waylon retreated.
Poor mech. Never saw it coming.
Finishing up the T air.
Fighter just clears the entire center on it's way to the action.
Md tank takes out the weak infantry.
And the bomber makes sure he doesn't get too hurt by the anti tank.
A necessary attack, since the fighter would otherwise wreck our shit.
Waylon loses again. Poor guy.
Light tank kills off the mech. Waylon has nothing anywhere near the center now. Well, the recon, but it's busy attacking my Md tank.
I think the time of night I did this run is getting to me. This is way too many fighters.
The fighter heals 2 HP and attacks my bomber. Waylon builds an AA and an infantry.
Good bye anti tank. You won't be missed at all.
That basically keeps all armored units completely safe now.
That mech just happened to be on the way to the actual battle.
I'd be fairly annoyed if that 1 HP it did in damage happened to be the reason it lives another turn.
Thankfully, it dies in that shot.
Time to prove that the fighter purchase last turn was a terrible one.
Should have killed this duster, bud.
Biggest threat remaining is an AA. That says something.
This is a terrible idea. Never do this.
Bad things happen. I was hoping to get it to 1 HP.
Oh well, live and learn.
Nearing the end now.
Tasha sent up her AA to kill the 2 HP AA. My bomber sacrifice is really stupid now. In response, Waylon builds 2 more AA.
Airport blocking with fighters. Seems realistic.
One bomber. Shouldn't have bought this. My technique score!
I still have no idea why he builds recons this late in the mission.
No sacrifice this time. AA dies.
And the duster blocks that factory.
Another AA bought by Waylon, he opts to attack my AA with his old one.
One unit left.
: The world's gone, brother! Ain't nothing out there worth fighting for! And yet here you are with your friends and your...hope! I don't get it! You oughta worry about YOU! Just like me!
: We'll need our hope when we rebuild this world. That's what you'll never understand.
: It's time to take down Greyfield!
21 Days. S rank. A couple small mistakes, but nothing too massive. I'm very happy with this run.
: What is it?
: Over there... There's someone in that building...
: OK. Let's check it out.
: And I can't imagine anyone would be here during a battle--
: Um... Hi there.
Will doesn't even seem phased this pasty freak just popped up out of nowhere.
: Ah, Will. It is so very good to finally meet you. I believe you are the new commander of Brenner's Wolves. Congratulations are in order.
: And why are you taking notes in the middle of a war?
I guess Caulder heard Greyfield bitching to Davis about this upstart child Will commanding Brenner's Wolves or something.
: My name is Dr. Caulder. And as for my copious note taking... Well, I am researching the effects of warfare of the human spirit.
: You're doing what now?
: Ever since the meteors, I have traveled this world observing and recording.
Dr. Morris would disagree with you.
: You're...researching us?
: I have been able to witness and documents the true nature of humankind! I have watched people fight among themselves as their food supplies ran dry... I have seen villages panic at mere rumors of disease and famine...
This line. THIS LINE. You ask someone to remember a line said by Caulder, nine times out of ten they'll remember "FASCINATING!"
: You're disgusting!
: No! Merely curious. At first, I allied myself with the Lazurian Army. I wanted to see how war would be conducted in a world without law. But that Forsythe had a misplaced chivalrous spirit and was of little use to me. I offered him all manner of terrible new weapons, but he denied me at every turn. Little men such as he have always stood in the way of human progress.
: General Forsythe was a decent, honorable man.
: Qualities that I hope will no longer be respected in this new world of ours! At any rate, I had no use for him.
: He embraced my weapons! Even now, he prepares to use my masterpiece!
A great line for Greyfield's tombstone, right here.
: You... You're evil!
Oh God, not only is he evil, he's... CANADIAN.
: Dr. Morris once asked me if I believed in evil. In people who felt glad the world was destroyed.
: Were I a more emotional man, I might be hurt by such words! I have done nothing wrong, Will.
: Like all men of science, I have merely followed my heart and studied what interested me. But I see you will never understand that. A pity!
You know, I might not be in research, but I am a man of science. This line burns me to the soul. Pretty sure most scientists wouldn't look at a war as something FASCINATING.
: Oh, before I forget... I must recognize all the hard work my daughters have been putting in...
: ... ... ... ...
: We are making steady progress. Do carry on.
: Aah... AAAAAAAAAAA!!!
: Isabella! What did you do to her?
: Greyfield is on his way with my masterpiece in his hands. Whatever will happen...? Hmmm... I think I will need more notepads.
: Isabella! Can you hear me! Are you OK?
: Y-yes... I'm s-sorry, Will.
: I was so worried.
: That man... I've seen him before.
: I don't know. I don't know who he is or where I met him. But I know him. He is a very, very frightening man...
: You know him?
: I know of him! And more than I'd like... Caulder is an infamous figure in the medical world. A mad genius despised by all his contemporaries.
: A year later, he sustained terrible injuries in a suspicious plane crash. But this is only emboldened him to continue his horrible research. This world is a much more dangerous place with him in it.
: Wait. Are we talking about the same Caulder? The one in charge of IDS?
REALLY IntSys!? Effectively namedropping YOURSELF?
: Before the meteors, they were the world's largest military contractor. They had connections at the highest levels of Rubinelle government, with contracts in everything from weapons to medicine to food. The war between Rubinelle and Lazuria was especially profitable for them.
: Why, he's nothing more than a common war profiteer!
: Caulder said he gave Greyfield all of his new weapons. He was happy too. Like a kid with a new toy. He said he wanted to study the results when Greyfield used his masterpiece.
: Isabella? Something tells me you know about this.
Ah, a humble man, I see.
: That doesn't sound good.
: Caulder Missiles were developed by IDS and located in Rubinelle and Lazuria.
: In theory, they functioned as deterrents. But now...
: Greyfield, you madman...
: ...Sorry. Even I thought that was bad.
: We have to stop him.
Lin is the BEST CHARACTER.