Part 28: FINALLY.
We edge ever closer to the end. The Great Owl is no more. What this means for Will, Lin, and Isabella, we don't know. But we can't dwell on this right now, as Tasha and Gage are left with our main force, while Tabitha and Caulder are still being themselves.
But something more pressing than even that has to be dealt with first.
: Now we expect you to be true to your word and give us what we need.
No, we already have one of those in this conversation.
: We need medicine! We need the antidote to that wretched virus.
: Yes, I understand. Without this antidote, you will surely die. But this is not easy to mass-produce. It will take time until I have enough for all of you. Right now I have just this single dose, which is surely--
: Give it to me!
: But, Mr. Mayor, this is only enough for one person.
: That's fine, that's fine! Just give it to me!
: Very well. Just press this against your skin to inject it.
: That's it, right? Now I won't die from that terrible virus?
Remember these words. It'll come up in about... 15 seconds.
: Now, about food supplies. We require a large quantity of...
: I'm sorry, I have an experiment that is about to begin.
: Wait a second! What do you mean by that! You said that if we handed over the girl, you would give us what we needed!
Caulder, LIE? Perish the thought! Also, Tasha totally called this one two chapters ago.
: B-but...you promised! We gave you the girl! You have to help us!
Could it... could it be?
: Oh, and that medicine you took was not the antidote. Hello? Can you hear me? Mr. Mayor?
You know, maybe we've gone about this all wrong. Maybe Caulder isn't all bad. Like the T-Rex in Jurassic Park. Sure, he kills without thought or morality, but at the same time, he killed the
: ... ... ... ...
: So, young Cyrus. It is your turn to die. Does my treacherous son have any final words? An apology perhaps?
: My death will not be in vain. They will defeat you.
: It is too late, Son. Your champions perished when the Great Owl crashed.
: I do not believe you! You are capable of nothing but falsehoods and lies.
: No, I speak the truth. Your pitiful attempt at a rebellion was entirely meaningless. I will live on, Cyrus. But this represents the end of days for you. Have you no desire to apologize for all the trouble you've caused me?
: Are those truly your final words? Oh, how you disappoint me. The end will not come quickly. That's not how this particular poison works, you see?
: ...They will...defeat you...
Oh right, our remaining forces.
: Tasha, the enemy forces are mobilizing. It seems the girl was not all they wanted.
: So it seems.
: Everyone criticized Will, but I knew it would end like this.
Girl, I like your style.
: Don't give up! There still might be a way for us to pull this out!
Tasha. I like how she's gone from just pure rage and revenge, to the emotional counterpoint to Gage's logic. She thinks clearly, but is biased towards the gut feeling. Now, Lin took only a handful of our forces to recue Will and Isabella, right? This shouldn't be too bad. Let's take a look.
No CO right now though, despite both Tasha and Gage being present. Sure.
Where the hell is our army?
We don't stand a chance. We have six units. Tabitha has six war tanks alone. May as well make the most of this, I suppose. Tank starts out by attacking the missiles.
Duster flies over to escape Tabitha's side, and also take a shot at the missiles.
Goddamn dusters. 18%. Couldn't take 2 HP off.
Our Md tank gives a display of bigger is better.
Meanwhile, the AA starts moving after the missile closest to our HQ area. Our mech goes for the airport close by. For all the good it'll do us.
Time to start the inevitable.
: Then the world will belong to Father and me, with no one around to bother us!
Tabitha begins her moves towards us. This isn't good.
With basically a third of our force already gone, we may as well do all the damage we can.
Maybe we'll get a T copter out of this before we die, hmm?
Thankfully, I can actually capture it for sure, since the bomber is just far enough out.
Finishing off the tank. We actually got a kill, guys!
And the AA does quite a bit of damage to this missile.
But The floodgates are open. We'll be swept up soon enough.
: What is it, my dear?
: I just heard that additional enemy forces are heading this way.
: Will! Holy cow, is it really you?
: Let's take down Caulder and end this thing right now!
: But this... This is impossible! I ordered Penny to crash the plane and kill everyone on board!
: Thank you, Penny! Thank you for listening to me!
: Daddy told Penny to die, but you told Penny to live!
: Penny is confused...
: It's OK, Sister. Everything is going to be OK.
This is decidedly more forces than Lin took to the Owl...
Not looking a gift horse in the mouth, though. Finishing the capture first, before I forget about it with this mass of units I can now play with.
This Md tank is dead no matter what, so lets have it kill another missile off. You hopefully see now why I was killing these off in the first place.
Speaking of killing these stupid missiles off...
Quick cut to after the infantry moved to capture stuff around our HQ.
BOMBER. WHAT ARE YOU DOING. COME ON. Rocket starts taking out the nearby meteor to open up some movement.
Which the antitank immediately finishes the work on.
May as well clear the south. My line of thought here is pushing the plasma away as we work forward to Tabitha, as she's started doing the same on her end. When we clash, our forces should be enough to overwhelm her, so I want movement to be as unrestricted as possible.
Md tank gets started on this side of the meteor. A bomber will be able to open up that avenue of attack next day.
Things are looking better now that Will and co. have shown up.
That feeling is cut short as Tabitha continues her advance towards us.
Dear recon: Die now, thanks.
Just enough damage dealt for the southern AA to kill the plasma arc.
I should have gotten this infantry moved last turn, but hey. It won't kill me in the long run to get this started a day late.
And suddenly, we'll have a place to spend our nonexistent money at next day too.
Md tank leaves this meteor crippled, but not destroyed. I'd rather be tactical about dropping that plasma, rather than having half my force exposed at the end of my turn.
The war machine slowly rolls and flies forward.
: You must be Isabella's--
: My name is Tabitha, and I am a true little girl!
: You're wrong. She's a human being.
: She is nothing more than a mass-produced imitation. A cheap toy! She as created as a subject for my father's experiments. Nothing more. I suppose I should feel sorry for her, but that was her fate.
: Quiet, you! Such experiments benefit all mankind. Sometimes sacrifice is necessary in the name of progress. My father says so.
: Isabella is one of us.
: Ha! I could make ten more tomorrow and you would never know the difference.
: Psh! This is like trying to reason with an infant. I grow weary of talking to you!
See, everyone knows you don't insult a guy's girlfriend. He doesn't take kindly to it. Tabitha just dug her own grave now.
We're done talking this mission, so lets get back to work. Infantry move on after capturing the unit producing buildings, splitting up nicely to get the most out of this.
Meanwhile, the forward factory begins being captured by us.
And we open the floodgates for our attack.
Now, there's a great thing about that fighter. See how its rank 1?
Yeah, it attacked our duster, so it had damage on it from that altercation. That's gotta sting a little.
And the crippling of Tabitha's air force continues.
Now that I'm out of air units to strike, these war tanks seem menacing. Lets fix that.
Ooh, so close Tabby. So close, but so far.
Checking my own range, now that I've moved this missile forward some.
Rig begins making a T air away from the fight, just in case, and everything else moves forward. That small northern force will be great, mark my words.
Day 6, and I enjoy that, instead of attacking one of our units, Tabitha's full health bomber elects to attack the meteor. Priorities. I also spy Tabitha in a duster. That could be a problem for our air force.
First though, more capturing.
Fighter takes a pot shot at the bomber, and sets up for a potential counter.
See, Tabitha's duster is now in range of that fighter. Let's make that a safer thing for us.
Moving this missile should help.
Now the bomber can die.
Now we move this bomber out of the way of her duster. By the end of this turn, I plan on having just that fighter be a target. See if she takes the bait.
At the bridge in the north, a very strong anti-ground layout is created.
And another Tabitha bomber bites the dust as the Md tank pulls back for the AA to get in.
And a fighter death, because any HP damage on a bomber is too much damage on a bomber.
The lines have been drawn.
Oh, that poor, poor war tank up north. What was it thinking?
Sadly, Tabitha didn't take the bait, so the fighter opts to massacre a T copter.
Missile opens the salvo,
And antitank finishes the war tank off.
Will blazes forth and kills off a second war tank this turn.
The bomber seals off the edge for Will, ensuring he will see another turn in that war tank.
Then the second bomber kills the AA and happens to trap that war tank in.
Another bomber is built back at base, since I don't fully trust the mid range airport to remain safe.
Everything else moves up. We're slowly making ground towards Tabitha.
Of course, now we're more or less up against her entire army.
Infantry jumps into the Rig, as an extra precaution for the end game.
Bomber #1 punishes the war tank that was trapped last turn.
Bomber #2 attacks the other war tank, and Will retreats for now, having done his job.
Then our own war tank rumbles forth and lays down the pain on the forward AA.
Missiles get refueled, having made the arduous trek through plains on wheels.
And I think we're good for the day.
Tabitha elects to join her weakened war tanks together, and builds a new one at the base directly in front of our war tank. Sure.
Now I feel safe about building here, since she's moved her duster far enough away.
Rockets begin the day's attacks against that new war tank.
Antitank moves up, bomber moves back.
Missiles continue trying to figure out where would be a good place to sit.
I feel sorry for the mech and give him a lift.
Meanwhile, I drop an infantry off to capture more property, and maybe let Will heal up some.
Range checking, because missiles hurt.
Infantry isn't safe though.
AA moves in to fill a space in the procession line.
Another of Tabitha's war tanks takes a hard hit.
And this is just to deal some more damage before this one decides to attack us.
Things are looking pretty good for us right now. Lets hope it lasts.
Well, I lost a bomber, and a bike got in against the antitank. Things could be worse though.
First off, rocket takes out the antiair.
Md tank has just about lost relevancy, so he rolls back and attacks the bike.
This leaves Tabitha's duster wide open to attack, so I get started on that with the fighter.
And get it finished with this AA.
Tabitha threat down, but now the missiles actually become threatening.
Getting an infantry in position to begin capturing the new forward factory.
T copter gets rocked by the missiles.
And the AA gets rocked by the war tank.
Not enough to kill it, of course. Bloody random luck not going my way. Antiair removes the bike from the field, at least.
At this point I realize I'm not reaching that missile this turn, so I opt to take out what I can. The artillery is a threat to our infantry, so it has to go.
AA completes making the infantry safe while taking out the damaged AA.
And I protect the next most threatened unit, the rig.
Everything else moves up. I also build a new bomber.
All things considered, that could have been a much worse turn.
Infantry begins capturing, indirects shuffle around a little.
Now, it's time to begin our attack. Bomber toasts the AA.
Then I join the recently damaged bomber with the one sitting back at the T.air.
While I'm at it, may as well make the missiles effectively worthless.
Forming up a wall, and building a new war tank.
About all I can do this turn, I think.
Oh... oh dear.
First things first though, the factory is mine.
And soon, this city will be mine too.
Joining Will with the weakened war tank, which also throws his CO zone into the fray. The rockets took a shot at the war tank.
Even at 7 HP, antitanks are scary things.
I mean, the attack was basically redundant, given bombers are just great, but still.
Doing what damage I can to Tabitha before she gets a chance to attack us again.
An acceptable exchange.
Our bomber proceeds to do some slight overkill on the damaged war tank.
This has the unintended, but definitely welcome, result of Will's CO meter filling up.
Unit shuffle commences, and I think we're good for another day.
Yeah, definitely good.
Rockets took a shot at Will's war tank, but aside from that, Tabitha has a fairly empty day. Just our veteran AA downed.
I celebrate with fireworks. Dropped from above. That cause a lot of pain.
Unit shuffle early in the day. Will is now sitting on our new forward factory.
And thanks to the expanded CO range he got last turn, the bomber gets the small boost to attack. I'll take it.
A duster? I built a duster? I THINK I did this only for tackling Tabitha's fighter. Or bait. Could be either.
Even more unit shuffle. I wish I could explain every move I made, like why I put Will on the factory instead of just joining him and building a new war tank. In this case, I have a reason. The rocket and antitank now have complete coverage of the main ground attack zones. Because the threat of a war tank and light tank makes this completely necessary. Absolutely.
I lose a bomber, have the second hammered pretty hard, and Tabitha is basically out of range again.
The duster gets hammered a lot harder than my bomber did, though.
I realize I need to make some headway here.
Which would of course mean...
We finally use our CO Power again.
Now that everything has a 10% boost, and direct fire ground units have a bonus 20% on top of that, we get to work.
The main reason for the CO boost is, of course, to harass Tabitha some more.
Because really, I don't have a huge number of ground units to fully use the CO power.
Still though, breaking down a decent chunk of Tabitha's force is always welcome.
I pull the duster into the main force, and have the Md tank finish off the turn with a chip shot on this infantry.
Some things will die here, but I feel it was worth it.
I'm amused at the start of this day. The AA lived, somehow, but the forward war tank died. However...
That bomber took the bait, and is in missile range. Whoops.
Tabitha killed our 3 HP bomber, so I take her out with the duster.
Dusters being used properly all up in this thread.
Meanwhile, rockets make infantry cry.
And Will is usable again at least, being at 5 HP now.
This AA isn't all that useful anymore, so I have it take a chunk out of the B copter.
Which basically neuters that threat too.
And, having seen the HP bar in the combat phase, I know this war tank will finish the job.
We've continuously pushed Tabitha back, killing almost as quickly as she can build most days. Our forces are looking a little ragged though.
Tabitha chose her attacks poorly, and my war tank lays down some hurt on her tank. The enemy AA killed our 1 HP AA as well.
Bolstering the forces again with a new bomber.
Rockets continue being a worthy investment in most every fight this game can throw at us. Rockets are some of my favourite units in Advance Wars.
And I resupply them with the rig, so they can continue being useful.
In hindsight, I should have moved Will forward one, so I could get the CO meter boost from this attack. Oh well.
It does open up capturing though, so I'm happy.
Duster goes and strafes the other infantry.
And with this and the next attack,
The center is fully ours.
Insult to injury, really.
And another Md tank. I like doing a build phase like this, with a bomber and tank at the same time. It confuses the enemy AI some, since it tries to counter what you build. Because I have both armor and air, it'll build units to try and stop both at the same time. All it means is her defence is that much weaker for it.
Move the antitank beside three tanks. Yes. Solid plan, Tabitha.
More capture, indirects move up.
Md tank takes the opening shot from the antitank.
not what I had in mind when I made this other Md tank last turn, but it'll work.
Will drops back, but is still close enough to give the CO zone boost to this war tank as it fires on the antitank as well.
This rounds out the day, at least. There was also a bomber built this turn.
Mechs attack the war tank, and the antitank pulls back. Aside from that, an uneventful turn from Tabitha.
To start our turn, I begin stealing Tabitha's property.
But much more tempting.
War tank attacks this one.
I then join Will to that war tank. 9 HP for Will now.
Infantry finishes the job the war tank started.
Everything else moves up, and the war tank in the north strikes out for the missiles.
And time for the thing I feared most: Tabitha in a war tank. She just ROCKED Will.
Rockets do 30% damage to it. That's just terrifying.
But between the rockets and the antitank, we chip off half her health.
I'm hoping the Md tank can do the finishing blow.
But that was too much, so Will does the honors.
And, in so doing, fills out his CO bar again.
Blocking Will from any attack from that mech with the T copter.
And with that, this AA becomes nothing more than a target.
As does this further mech.
I move the missile here, so it can block the forward airport, just in case Tabitha decides to build there.
Everyone else moves up some.
Rig gets hit hard, but everything else is okay. Let's begin.
Chip damage from indirects is good damage.
Hoping for a lucky shot here, as I often do.
No such luck, so I use a second infantry to finish the job.
Will also hopes for a lucky shot, as this mech is exactly at 40%.
New bomber flies up.
Another bomber is built, and the duster flies back some more.
Sorry indirects, I just don't like you all sitting up here.
Blocking a factory, attacking an antiair? Absolutely.
And now the range gets better.
Bomber toasts the newly built AA.
And a mech gets dropped off on the newly unoccupied factory.
We are looking mighty fine.
Oh, that duster will be a problem.
Nothing we can do about that right now, so I take on the northern force.
That antitank needs to drop. Luckily, I have a bomber to help with that.
And the war tank finishes it off.
The army moves forward.
I drop the infantry simply because I would rather lose one unit over two.
Luckily, missile covers every single unit we have out, which will help when Tabitha inevitably jumps into that duster. But that's all we have this turn.
Thankfully, even a Tabitha duster can't kill a bomber.
Missiles still hurt her, though sadly they can't one shot her.
Making a fighter, mainly because I forgot to keep moving the duster back to heal.
War tank down.
Not down. Damn. Infantry begins capturing the HQ.
Artillery gets smacked pretty hard, but it'll fire on our infantry.
Tabitha is boxed in, at 3 HP. She's screwed.
She does build another bomber, and hurts our infantry, as expected.
Revenge for not being able to finish this turn is oh so sweet.
Capture continues, and I choose to NOT kill Tabitha. Why?
Well, because the duster she just built would have been able to kill the infantry if she jumped into it.
Boom goes the new duster.
I join war tanks together to clear up some space. At this point, I could win by capture.
But where's the fun in that, right?
: Failures... FAILURES!
: I must retreat to The Nest and plan my next move...
: Is everyone OK?
An S rank is not quite what I expected here. I will happily take it though.
: ...Knew you would...survive...
: Don't worry... T-too... Too late for me. ...You survived. That is...enough...
: No, Cyrus, don't give up! You have to hope! There's a doctor on the way right now!
: ...Have one...request. Please listen...
: ...I'm dying. Death should...should mean something.
: We will defeat him, Cyrus. I swear it.
: ...Good. He is...north of here. His main lab...called...The Nest...
: Cyrus, hold on!
: ...My life has...meaning...now. That was all I ever wanted.
: ...He's gone. Cyrus, I will keep my promise to you. We will live. Your death will have purpose.
We finish this.