Part 26: Bombing Run
Welcome back. Last time, we witnessed the marvel of the Great Owl, while Penny let her own units actually feel the power of said Great Owl. We also learned that, shockingly (not really), Isabella is related to Caulder, and is in fact a clone of that lunatic.
I wonder how the rest of the group will feel about that last point?
: According to Caulder, yes. She's one of group of mass-produced clones. And his daughter.
Truly, a fate worse than
: Hmmm... I'm not sure that is completely accurate.
: What do you mean?
: Technically, it is possible to create human clones. But even if you duplicate the DNA... The clones are not perfect copies. They're more like a set of twins. We don't know if he used recombinant DNA or an extra chromosomal--
: Wait, stop. Small words, please.
: Well, if I were to make a clone of myself, I would have a baby with my DNA. But we would have different ages, different environmental influences, and so on. It would not be possible to engineer a perfect copy of my adult self.
: But Caulder talked about them like they were interchangeable.
: There is another possibility. What if you took those cloned babies you were talking about and isolated them? Completely cut them off from the outside world, like rats in a maze. By eliminating all outside influence, you could theoretically mass-produce identical clones.
: Well... I suppose... In theory, that might work, yes. But such an existence would likely shatter the mind of anyone who had to undergo it!
: Yes, but...
: Never mind. We're getting distracted. Isabella is what she is. That's not the problem requiring our attention right now. We need to figure out how we're going to survive.
: If we don't hand over the girl by tomorrow, they will launch an all-out assault.
: I know I'm not a military man, but I don't see how we can survive another assault!
We had airports in the last map. We could have churned out 50 fighters and attacked the damn plane.
: But we won the last battle!
: True, but in that battle, bombs were dropped on a fixed area only. They weren't trying to win. They just wanted to display their power. If they decide to start bombing our forces directly... Well, like I said. Victory would be impossible.
: I can't stand this! That man is simply toying with us!
People in positions of power do tend to do this. Attrition wins many battles.
: Commander? What are we going to do?
: Isabella stays with us. We aren't going to abandon anyone.
: I am not going to lead my people on a suicide mission. The life of one girl against the lives of all of us seems an easy choice.
: What's wrong with you, Gage? How can you think of handing her over to that monster?
: Or has your newfound love of Rubinelle clouded your judgement?
We lost Gage's instruction manual, so we have no idea how to reprogram him. He's stuck on this mission forever.
: You're a jerk. You know that? And did you forget what happened to Forsythe? He surrendered with honor and got a bullet in the back for his troubles. Caulder isn't going to take the girl and just walk away to let us live in peace! He'll take her and then bomb us all into the ground! I say we fight to the last man!
Pretty sure he took the bullet to the front, Tasha. Greyfield didn't really wait for him to turn around.
: Commander? We need a decision.
: I made my decision. She stays. We all stay. Things looked bleak before, and yet we managed to come around. Right?
Just in case you've forgotten our game's motto. I almost did, once.
: ...Who let him in here?
: The civilians are agreed! We should hand over that stupid girl and end this! Then all our problems will be over!
: What?! Hey now, stop... Get your hands off me! Don't you know who I am?!
: Ready yourselves. I think Caulder is coming.
: ...Mary? Why are you looking at me like that?
: Like you don't know.
Like talking to a dog that's been sick on the rug...
: You heard me! You're not wanted here anymore! You're going to get us all killed! Now get out of our sight!
: Everyone agrees with me! You're useless baggage! What are you still doing here?! Get out of here! We can't stand the sight of you!
: But I... I didn't...
: I know. I can hear it.
Right, the mission at hand. Conquer the area. We have a pretty strong starting force, with even more units safely holed away in the landers.
Will also is in Command of our forces. Not that it matters, as once again I don't use the CO this mission. I'm terrible at this game that way.
Tabitha, our enemy for the day, has a pretty defensible position.
There are some silos guarded by plasma to the northwest.
And also in the southeast.
Our additional units. Not the best, but they'll do. The two holding mechs will obviously make a path right for the silos, as Tabitha does know how to use those as well.
First though, we need to begin gaining control of the seas.
Battleship gets the kill.
With nothing threatening the southeast, I drop off the mech to begin firing missiles.
Same thing in the northwest, only dropping the anti tank too to kill the plasma.
Everything else in the water moves up a bit, and prepares to hold the line.
Tabitha is in control, as I mentioned.
First order of business, damage this meteor.
Next, attack this rocket, then...
Kill this rocket, and make a HUGE mistake.
See, the Great Owl shows up next turn, and guess who just threw 50000 worth of unit close enough to be hit by a missile? This guy! I try in vain to place enough units together elsewhere.
Well, may as well save myself the trouble and just build a new one...
Still trying to save my battleships. Still not working.
: All units, disperse! Large groups are an easy target!
Will, you should have said that BEFORE this moment.
Yeah, turns out the lander was also in range, so nothing I could do would have saved those battleships. The Great Owl operates just like Sturm's power did in AW1 and 2. Pure money total. I'll be abusing this starting this turn.
Minor revenge, the southeast silos begin launching.
Northwest is also opened up.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
Joining up the two damaged battleships.
Sacrificial units, ho!
Spreading dudes out, just in case.
It works like a charm though, and on Day 4, the war tanks get hit instead.
The solution to all life's problems: Throw more money at it.
More missiles rain down on Tabitha, meanwhile.
Battleship targets the artillery, leaving it basically worthless.
Which lets me safely drop units off here.
Anti-air is simply bought to throw even more money at the Great Owl. I think this makes me a terrible person, doesn't it?
This tank got dropped off on day 3 by the lander. All I know is it got first shot in on mine, which isn't cool. The bombings cease for a turn to deal with this menace.
Trading blows between two weak units is just silly, but it works.
Mind you, I'm throwing cruisers at each other, so I really can't talk smack about tactics.
This is silly. This whole mission is silly.
Actually doing damage again, the battleships cripples the north cruiser.
End of day 4.
Beginning of Day 5. The pain continues on our HQ.
Joining war tanks together seems strange. It's one giant unit, how do we go about making it whole in one turn?
I'm not building anything new, because things happen on day 6.
The most effective 9% ever.
I really like battleships in this game. Move and fire? Sure thing.
Counter attack this, rocket!
The next lander prepares to dock.
Lady luck, be kind.
Sup enemy sub?
You're not getting anywhere near my battleship, thanks.
And the other cruiser drops too.
Which allows this lander, after picking up the anti tank from the northwest, to start coming to the mainland.
Is it the mainland? I can't tell. The map at the start of the update shows this fight to be beside a lake.
: Ah! It's you! So you remembered how to make emergency communications! Don't push yourself too hard, dear. You know how fragile you are.
: Promise me.
: Hmmm? Promise you what, sweetie?
: I don't care what you do to me...
: You're a curious specimen aren't you? Your sisters love chaos and death, whereas you embrace mercy. This is a worse design flaw than I anticipated...
: I'm... I'm not like them.
: Listen to me, Isabella. ...Bah! What an absurd name... I want you to join us on the Great Owl.
: You seem confused.
: You said you wanted to dissect me! To analyze my malfunction! ...Isn't that why you want me?
What, Caulder lie? A man with his moral compass wouldn't lie, right?
: You are not important to me in the least. I have countless identical copies of you! What's another, more or less?
: Th-then why...?
: Dear girl... I was interested in THEM! I contrived a moral dilemma to make those people fight among themselves. I was curious how they would react. That is all.
: You're terrible!
: ...You're an odd one, aren't you? What did those people do to you? But we can experiment on such things later! Cyrus! Turn about! Secure the product and fly to the nearest base.
: Father... When will your madness end?
: Eh? Do you have something to say, Son?
: I know I am not human. I know that you made me in a lab. But I will no longer stand idly by and let you do this! You treat us like puppets! Toys to be used and broken and then discarded.
: My my, Cyrus, you are a perceptive boy. That's exactly what you are to me! A puppet! A plaything!
No, fuck YOU, dad!
: Hmmm... I don't much care for this line of reasoning. I may need to get another model.
: Who cares why! Let's take our chance and finish this!
Yes, the mission gimmick is over. I don't have to worry about not stacking units together anymore. It's stupid, really. I enjoy the thrill of changing up strategy, even if it's just "Keep a mass of war tanks at base for the Great Owl to hit." Making me do it for only three turns is a waste.
As for what's going on, Tabitha does not get this forward factory. It'll be mine eventually.
The other battleship takes out an anti tank.
Which allows a war tank to just wreck a light tank.
Thanks to the lander's sacrifice, both cruisers get to attack the enemy sub. This is good.
The seas are still mine, Tabitha. Do not forget that.
Shifting the units on the southeast island so the lander can't actually land there this turn. Planning!
And now that we can actually spend our money, a carrier. Seaplanes are amazing, and if nothing else it will force Tabitha's AI into wasting turns making AA units.
Shoving the anti tank into the rocket shadow for safety.
And dropping off another anti tank. The peninsula is slowly becoming red.
I also purchase a rig, and move up the AA gun and a war tank to be picked up by the landers.
Tabitha immediately sacrifices her 5 HP AA on my anti tank for 1 HP of damage. Okay then...
I start the turn by killing off more indirects.
I'll just add in a bit of outmatching as well, with a war tank destroying an infantry.
Carrier builds it's first seaplane
Then I remember I still have a silo left. All indirect damage all the time.
Poor lander. Never knew what hit it.
Cruiser takes the kill.
Our other battleship keeps the anti tank alive a bit longer, taking out the nearby infantry threat.
Peninsula is decidedly ours at this point.
And capturing, because why not?
At the start of Day 8, a gunboat attacks one of the cruisers.
More seaplanes. Always more seaplanes.
Resupplies can finally begin, which is good because a number of units are low on shots.
Tabitha, this is MY peninsula. You don't get more buildings here.
This would seem mean...
If I didn't do this right after.
This poor gunboat. Why did you think this was a good idea, Tabitha?
I mean, really? Ignoring that the two could easily destroy the gunboat, I had the battleship right here too.
The peninsula is secure, save for that mech that will sit there capturing until the end of days.
Day 9 begins with the other battleship being resupplied, the first getting ammo at the start of the day.
Tabitha elects to send a single war tank forward, hoping I won't just crush it.
The mech dies in the meantime.
Poor mechs. They should have caulked the wagon and forded the river. Less chance of sinking, you see.
Can't attack the east mech though, that rocket would hurt in retaliation.
So we'll start conglomerating our forces around our shiny new factory.
Carrier moves up, planes are launched, and a new battleship is made.
Oh, hey there other Rocket. I don't like that positioning.
And I really don't like this war tank actually getting a shot off on our own war tank. Well, one of our war tanks.
The joys of indirects.
Quick shot from the anti tank.
Followed by the war tank finishing the job.
Followed by damage to the meteor to open a path.
Followed by a seaplane laying the hurt on the mech.
And another seaplane being built, because they're great when a rig is close by to keep them fueled up.
Combining the cruisers, since one Veteran cruiser can take out a sub with ease. Not that Tabitha is building much in her ports. She's busy in the ground war.
I also combine the anti tanks. Their use has dwindled some, as rockets block the path and there isn't a whole lot of enemy left for them to help out with.
This force is a thing of beauty.
Tabitha responds to the seaplanes with an AA, and she also landed a tank and a recon behind us. Hmm.
First things first, rockets need to get hurt.
God I love seaplanes.
Resupply one of them, the other will get it next turn.
I'm amused the rocket took on the anti tank. Wouldn't have been my first choice. I use it to pick away at the mech.
Battleships open fire on the landed units.
Cruiser attacks the lander. I may as well try preventing this from happening again.
I opt to not kill the meteor this turn. I can't take advantage of breaking it right now anyway, and with my luck I'd have it blocked up by a unit like Tabitha's AA and waste time clearing it out.
Poor seaplane, it has to pull back.
But, with the help of another seaplane,
I WILL have my revenge.
Lucky shot, maybe?
Killing the rocket threat once and for all.
I fire on the lander, than I notice something.
Battleship moves along the east, ready to hit the missiles next turn. In the meantime, it kills the lander.
And thus, the peninsula was saved from the threat of a weakened recon. The battleship was lauded as the MVP of the chapter for this shot alone.
A bike, just in case an HQ capture seems more feasible.
Mechs done over here, so he gets loaded up too.
Seaplane gets shot out of the skies, and not much else happened. Well then.
Seaplane flies in and takes a shot at the infantry.
Other full health seaplane takes a chunk out of the Md Tank.
Which gets finished off by the war tank.
Mech gets hit hard by our second war tank.
And the damaged infantry gets killed by our damaged war tank.
First battleship sails up and attacks the missiles.
The cruiser sails to keep an eye on the port, just in case a random sub was waiting, and the other battleship comes in to exact revenge.
Not much left now.
Taking the comm tower from Tabitha. Not that I really need it at this point, but removing the boost to her defence is always nice.
Battleship 2. Goodnight, sweet infantry.
Now to deal with the rest.
Killing the weakened unit with the war tank.
This should kill this tank.
And it does. Perfect.
Because with that kill, this seaplane-
And this war tank can combine to kill the Md tank.
While the other seaplane-
And bike work together to kill the final unit.
: I let my guard down for an instant, and you go and smash all my nice soldiers! Poo! If I had reinforcements, I would squash you like bugs! But Father wants me to spare you. So I guess I will this time!
Ah. More S ranks. This isn't a hard mission once you get through the three days of bombings. Preferably using the war tanks by your HQ to buffer the attack. What does Will think of the win?
: That was a costly victory...
Monetarily, yes. But look! We only lost two units Will! That isn't too terrible!
: What do you mean, she's gone?
: There is no evidence that our camp has been infiltrated. It looks like she left of her own volition.
: But why?
Twice this mission Tasha has been the rational thinker. This and earlier in calling out the fact Caulder wouldn't spare us.
: Dammit! This isn't the way it was supposed to happen! I didn't want to abandon anyone, and now Isabella abandoned us!
Can we kill him? I want to kill him.
: You again?
: Look around you! Look at the wounded and dead! Look at the civilians on the brink of starvation! No one had to fight. No one had to die. If you had just surrendered and handed that girl over, this would never have happened!
: ... ... ... ...
: Save your words! All I know is that we can't trust this brat with our troops anymore!
Armchair quarterbacks in this war. Go back to SAS.
: Even without training, I would be a far superior commander to this one! No one wants you in command, Will. I speak with the voice of all the people on this matter!
: That's right.
: ...I see. You know, a long time ago, I advised you to walk away and not look back. So I guess it would be hypocritical of me to make you stay now, huh? Just tell me you're doing this for the right reasons.
: No, it's not that. It's just... I've learned some things about me, Lin. I don't think I"m the kind of person who should be in charge. I want everyone to be safe, but I'm unwilling to sacrifice even a single person.
:And I think it was wrong. I should have sided with the group instead of the individual.
: I wanted to be like Captain Brenner, you know? Strong and generous and...well, perfect. But I kinda made a mess of the whole thing. I'm appointing you as our new commander, Lin. These people need your logic and good sense.
: Where will you go?
:I'm going to go save Isabella.
: By yourself? I thought you had seen enough needless deaths. Are you really so eager to check out?
: No, Lin. I'm not. But I know it's a possibility. But at least this time, I'm the only one being put at risk.
: OK. I won't get in your way. You're free to decide your own path. But for what it's worth... I'm sad to see you go, Will.
: Please don't call me that. I regard you as an object, not as family.
: So I am a clone?
: Yes, you are. And you served your purpose well. I am satisfied with what I have been able to learn from you.
: But... Why did you create me?
: Th-that's the only reason?
: That isn't enough?
: So that's... That's all I am.
: Where are you going?
: Gyaaa! Who are you?
: You are William. You are their commander.
: OK, let me ask this again. Who are you?
: I was given the name Cyrus. I am a creation of Dr. Caulder.
: You're one of his clones?!
: ...Why would you want to do that?
: The girl you call Isabella... I don't know her, but she is my sister. I know how you can save her.
Will and Cyrus go on a wacky adventure! Hijinxs! Hilarity! Easily my favourite dialogue in the game!