The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 7: Chapter 7 (Battle) - Finally, Some Good Fucking Selena

Update 7 (Battle) - Finally, Some Good Fucking Selena

Welcome back, folks! Sorry for the delay, but we're back at it with a new map once more. And, hey, look who's here!

Ah! I see tents! We're here, Sister!

Yes, and so it begins.

Commander Rachel! Blue Moon COs are here! They're on their way in now.

I'm so glad you're here. Welcome to the allied forces frontline HQ.

it's a party all year round

shut up

Thank you. My name is Sasha. It's an honor for our country to fight alongside yours.

The honor is ours. Let's pool our resources and defeat Black Hole's army.

Colin, introduce yourself.

Oh, I'm Colin of Blue Moon, sir! I'll do my best for the cause!

I heard you were instrumental in winning the last war.

He was there for the final battle, very true. But it was mostly me.

ACOs don't get credit. As far as the history books will remember, Kanbei, Colin and Eagle won that battle.

Wait, what--

Anyway, it's good to have you aboard.

S-sir, thank you, sir! Thank you very much!

And your famous leader, Commander Olaf? Did he come with you here?

Commander Olaf is still in Macro Land, defending the motherland. His hometown was ravaged... He sends his regrets that he is unable to join us.

I see... I was looking forward to meeting him, but I understand the situation.

Hey, it's Colin! Long time, no see, little buddy!

Max! So you're here, too?

You don't think I'd let those Black Hole losers do whatever they want, do you? Is that your sister, Colin? What a babe!

It's nice to meet you. My brother has told me all about you, Commander Max.

Max, you freak! Watch how you speak to our allies!

What's up, Blue Moon crew? We're gonna kick some Black Hole butt, am I right?

Oh, please! Not you, too, Jake! ...My dude, no scathing comments to add?

Nope. I'm just enjoying you being annoyed at people other than me for a change.


It's OK, Command--er, I mean Rachel. We're going to be fighting side by side, so there's no reason for us to be overly formal, is there?

EXACTLY! God, preaching to the choir, Sasha.

Yeah, she's right. We're in for some rough times together, so let's be friends!

Commander! Enemy forces to the west! Land and sea units, both!

Understood. Looks like we're going to have to end this welcoming party early.

Rachel, please let us handle this. Colin and I need to see the enemy for ourselves.


C'mon, Rachel! It'll be fine. Let Blue Moon show us what they can do!

Watching them fight would rock!'m sure I'd learn a lot, too.

I suppose so, then. Oh--take my dude with you, too.

Your finest ACO? But he'll be away from your side for quite a while if he comes with us. Are you sure?

Trust me, you'd be doing me a huge favour.

Please, god, yes. The less time here with HER, the better.

Superb! It's decided then. Let's go survey the battlefield. Come, Colin.

Right behind you!

And on with the mission! Here's the deployments for today - mostly Blue Moon soldiers, fittingly.

Today’s Deployments
Boris, Infantry
Dimitri, Tank
Ivan, Artillery
Nika, APC
Fred, Rockets
Alina, Battle Copter
Eva, Battleship
Valeria, Cruiser
Selena, Submarine
Ludmilla, Lander

Age: 32
Personality: Usually grumpy, always complaining.
Proficiencies: Infantry, Medium Tank, Anti-Air, [unknown]

Dimitri Volkov
Age: 33
Personality: Legendary leader of men.
Proficiencies: Mech, Tank, Neotank, [unknown]

Age: 34
Personality: Chilled out, constantly relaxed.
Proficiencies: Infantry, Artillery, Transport Copter, [unknown]

Age: 25
Personality: Friendly, talented mercenary engineer.
Proficiencies: Submarine, Mech, APC, Battle Copter

Age: 27
Personality: Lives for battle thrills.
Proficiencies: Rockets, Battle Copter, Medium Tank, Neotank

Age: 26
Personality: Brave, scatterbrained mercenary leader.
Proficiencies: Mech, Battle Copter, Submarine, Bomber

Age: 24
Personality: Intelligent but compulsive gambler.
Proficiencies: Rockets, Missiles, Battleship, [unknown]

Age: 30
Personality: Mercenary scout, quite detached.
Proficiencies: Cruiser, Submarine, Anti-Air, [unknown]

Age: 25
Personality: Confident soldier, restless sleeper.
Proficiencies: Submarine, Medium Tank, Neotank, [unknown]

Age: 25
Personality: Kind, helpful, sexually liberated.
Proficiencies: APC, Lander, Recon, Anti-Air


Finally, best girl is back with us.

Take command. I'll back you up. Don't worry. You've got the numbers to pull this off. This is a fight you can win.

Oh, OK. I'll give it a shot. I hired some mercenaries to help out, so hopefully...

Make sure you keep track of your air and naval units' fuel supplies. Don't forget that you can supply them with your APC.

OK! The enemy's awfully close, though. This is going to be quite a battle.

It's OK. Don't be nervous. I'm going to walk you through this step by step. And my dude's here to help. Speaking of...I don't believe we've formally met. I'm Sasha. You're Nell's husband?

Yup--my dude, of Orange Star. Pleasure to meet ya!

The pleasure's mine. Colin and Commander Olaf have told me a lot about your performance in the previous two wars against Black Hole. I must say, I'm excited to see your prowess for myself.

I'll try not to disappoint, then. Right, Colin--ready to go?

Y-yes! I think so, sir!

Sasha explains botes, but we already know how they work. Battleships are long range and hit like a truck, submarines can dive to hide from attacks and kill pretty much any bote you point them at, and cruisers suck.

"Did Colin mention we've got some backup on the way?" Dimitri asks over the transceiver.

"Yeah, it should be here soon. With any luck." Boris grumbles. "Couple of Orange Star soldiers, and a few mercs."

"Mercs, huh? I wonder..." Dimitri mutters. "Oh, hello, here they come now."

The conversation between the mercenaries who have just arrived can be heard quite loudly over the transceivers - it seems to be a couple, arguing.

“Wait, why have you only charged 80% of our usual rate? We’re mercenaries, honey, not charity workers.”

“Oh, well, um… Commander Colin was just so… I felt sorry for him! He looked like a lost puppy when he was hiring us, and I thought the reduced rate would be fair, seeing as we fought for Blue Moon last campaign…”

“Wait, Colin hired us? He’s got so much money! You should’ve charged more, if anything!”

Dimitri bursts out laughing, and Ivan raises an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me…”

“Yes, you can hear them bickering a mile off, can’t you?” comes a refined voice. “I believe we’ve all met before, so let’s make the introductions quick - I am Valeria, and they’re Eva and Alina - along with Nika, once more, the Snowbound Free Company have decided to lend their services to Blue Moon.”

“It’ll be a pleasure fighting alongside you all again, Alina.” Dimitri says.

“And I with you! Seems like we’ve got some Orange Star soldiers here too, how exciting!” beams Alina. “Let’s do our best then - just like old times!”

“Oh, man, here we go…” Alina’s long-suffering girlfriend, Eva, says, sighing. “I’m just gonna say it, though - I’m not putting in 100% if we’re not earning 100%.”

Right, let's get on with the battle now, shall we? First things first, I want to check that Colin is still the same disgustingly overpowered CO he was in the previous game.

This looks promising. I enjoy that "Sasha" is not among his list of Likes. I kinda vibe with your sister, Colin, not gonna lie.

Yup, they look the same to me. Nice, so he can still do stupid things with money. What else..?

Excellent, that also looks the same. So he can get units for 80% of their price, but they have 90/100 attack/defence. Absolutely busted.

I can't wait to use him on a deployment map.

No deployment map for us right now, though, so we may as well get going. First things first, Eva opens fire on the enemy cruiser. This thing is the only real threat to Alina's air superiority on the map, and I want to have her harass the battleship, so the cruiser's gotta go.

Fred can finish it off, no problem. You have to feel sorry for enemy units that start their first turn in range of our units. It's practically a free kill.

Next, we'll need some of our land units to vaguely make their way to the south-east island to kill Lash's ground units. I doubt she's going to leave them all in range of Eva.

So, to that end, Boris gets into Ludmilla's APC. Nearly said "Boris gets inside Ludmilla".

"Hey there, Bo." Ludmilla says, giving the man an easygoing smile. "Been a while. How're you doing?"

"I'm fine. I'll be better once Black Hole are done with. We moving?"

"Not one for conversation, then." Ludmilla sighs, rolling her eyes. "Right, let's get going, then. Heads up, Nika!"

"Come on board, I'm ready for you!" Nika says cheerfully, readying her lander.

So Ludmilla's APC, and Ivan in the artillery, get onto Nika's lander. I'll probably just send Boris to capture the buildings on the middle island. I suppose the extra money will help improve Colin's Super CO Power.

...Just gotta be careful where exactly I put them. Sticking them into battleship range would be an easy mistake to make, and as you can see, there's a shoal in the ship's range. Unfortunately for Lash, whilst Colin might be that stupid, I am not, and will avoid putting anything there.

I drop our gents and Ludmilla off. We'll have to go back for Dimitri next turn.

Right, now the cruiser's gone and everything else is dealt with, let's start on that battleship. Alina can't do much damage, but it's solid enough.

This fucker, though. This fucker's going to be trouble. The way I see it, the only thing in range it can attack is Valeria, currently, and a submarine initiating on a cruiser is, tactically speaking, what we call a Big L.

So I decide, hey, why not let Lash do something dumb? I move everyone around in such a way that Valeria is still the only viable target for the enemy submarine. It'll either initiate and get wrecked for its trouble, or run away, both of which are good outcomes for me.

Selena, meanwhile, gives me a smile. She knows I'm the one giving the orders.

"Commander my dude. It's a pleasure to fight for you again... do keep your eyes on the battle, though, alright?"

"I will, provided you look after yourself. Now show 'em what you can do, Miss Hartford."

Selena gives a grin. "With pleasure."

And with that, I decide to end my turn-

What? No, those two units have orders! Dimitri's is "wait there until we can come get you" and Valeria's is "murder anything that gets near you".

Just to stop Sasha bitching at me, I click Wait on those two units, and then she graciously allows me to proceed to the enemy phase.

Let's see how the other side lives, shall we?

Couldn't we...uhhh...rethink this?

No! No! No! We can always build more units! As many as we need! Everything's disposable. Everything!

Good to see Lash has become, if anything, even more unhinged since we last saw her like four missions ago.

What's the point of having all this stuff if we don't get to break it!?

Disposable? But...

Quiet, you! I'm the one who designed our power source, the black crystal. So any ordnance we make with it is mine to play with! Tee hee hee! Attack!

Uhhh... Can somebody please talk some sense into Commander Lash? Please?

Of all the characters from AW2 they brought back in Dual Strike, I'm glad they went with "that one sassy Black Hole soldier". He's my favourite.

The sub decides not to fuck with Valeria, which is a good decision, and instead dives vaguely near my battleship.

The rest of the enemies just kinda shuffle about. Nothing major.

That said, I may as well take advantage of that sub coming very close to us - we can get engage it without getting into range of the rockets or battleship now.

Annoyingly, Lash had the same fucking idea - both of her ranged units are juuuust out of Eva's range. She did that on purpose.

"Eva, you can't shoot, right?" Alina asks.

"Nope, not from here. Even that Landon guy couldn't make that shot." Eva sighs. "Too risky, and I can't believe it's ME saying that."

"Not to worry, honey! This is what I'm for - I'll keep strafing it as it moves towards you, alright?"

Eva nods. "If you say so, babe."

"These pet names are going to be the death of me." sighs Boris.

"Aw, I think it's cute." Ludmilla replies.

You know, whilst Alina's attacking the ship, let's check and see if Valeria can do any-

Cruisers suck.

They can still do other useful things, though, like finding submarines. Here's the one we saw earlier!

"Submarine sighted. Free to engage, Selena?" Valeria announces.

"Ready." Selena replies. "Moving in now - I'll make quick work of it."

Indeed, Selena does a number to the poor sub, though she takes a little counter damage. If I'd been a slightly smarter tactician, and slightly less biased against cruisers, it would have probably been better to find the sub with Selena, and then attack it with Valeria, rather than the other way around. Ah well.

You’re doing well so far. Your command of the battlefield feels so natural.

I’ve been doing this for a while now. You get used to it. So, Sasha, did you say Olaf talked about me?

He did, yes. Every now and then--usually after a few drinks at the Christmas party.

Man, what was that like? That guy was usually frothing at the mouth in fury every time I saw him, so I can’t imagine it was very coherent.

I think he’s grown to respect you at this point. Though he does sometimes mention that he’ll “get him next time”...

Commander Olaf spoke at length about your incredible prowess during your first encounter some years ago, sir! Do you remember? He went on about how you were a virtually unbeatable military commander, able to outpace him in every battle.

Wait, our first…? Oh, dude. I was in training during that! I didn’t even know what I was doing!

You were…? Oh. That, um, re-contextualises things a bit…

Oh, Commander Olaf… somehow, this doesn’t surprise me.

Anyway, let's pick up Dimitri, our main man. We could probably use a tank, come to think of it.

Everyone else just gathers up, ready to push forward once the enemy battleship and rockets are out of the way. I must admit, this could be a scary turn for Selena, in range of both the battleship and the enemy sub, with 8HP...

"Selena, the battleship's aiming for you! Should you not retreat?" Alina says, panicking as she watches the battleship, far below, turning its enormous cannons over to the section of ocean Selena is in.

"I'm an Orange Star soldier. We don't retreat for nothing."

"Besides..." Selena murmurs. "My dude always makes sure I'll survive. He's calculated everything. I'm certain."

As the BOOM of battleship fire echoes across the ocean, Selena narrows her eyes.

"This is a test of faith. And my faith in Commander my dude is just the same as everyone else's - absolutely unshakeable. He's unbeatable."

"You're damn right. Trust him, Selena. Trust him with everything you've got!" Dimitri cries.

The battleship fire rips through Selena's submarine and the surrounding ocean, churning the water. For a few moments, nobody can see through the froth, but soon...

"Hmph. I'm not known as my dude's best soldier for nothing, you know." Selena replies. "It'll take more than that to down me - now then, everyone, let's forge ahead. We've got an opening, and we can take good advantage of it."

Phew! I was really nervous for a seco-

"What about the enemy sub?" asks Fred.

...Oh, right. That.


The submarine prepares its assault.

Mistress Lash, I'm in position to fire on-

W-wait! Not that one! Do not kill, you hear me?! She's important to our plans!

Mistress Lash..? Uh, if you say so.

"It's gone for me! You're in the clear, Selena - a lucky break, huh?!" Eva cries, as the weakened submarine strikes her. Selena narrows her eyes.

"...I suppose so, but why? Lash could have easily..." she murmurs. "What on earth is she playing at?"

This absolute Einstein of an infantry decides to attack Alina, a battle copter.

...Yeah, it goes about as well as you would expect.

Well, that was an interesting turn for several reasons. Let's get on with killing all of the things, shall we? I'll breathe easier once the battleship and sub are done for.

Thankfully, we no longer need to poke it with Alina. I thought the battleship might be tempted to fire on Selena, so I moved Fred into range, and the battleship prioritised attacking my girl over getting the fuck out of the way. So, no more battleship! Thanks, Fred!

The sub can just as easily be crushed by Valeria, so yeah, we're all done in terms of naval fights.

...Well, OK, the lander, but how hard can killing a lander be?

In the interest of bringing some heavier land-based firepower over to the other island, Ivan hops back into Ludmilla also. Ivan and Dimitri should be able to handle the tank and rockets on the island, especially with Alina's air support.

Boris is just grumpily capturing stuff and wondering why he doesn't get to do anything fun.

Well, we can't really approach until the rockets are weakened or destroyed, so Alina makes a start on them. Maybe that suicidal infantry will keep attacking her on the enemy phase, that would be fun.

We're all in position, now. We just have to be careful not to over-extend until the rockets are gone. Lash probably has her CO Power now, too. Probably should've checked that, huh.

Yeah, no, I destroyed several botes, which are expensive as all hell. She definitely has it.

Oh yeah, there we go. Thank goodness most of the threatening things are dead already.

I have not missed this, Lash, I promise you.

The tank harasses Alina a bit, but that's not too annoying. No, the worst part is this:

Her rockets pull a retreat to the HQ. Under the effect of Prime Tactics, I will remind you, that's eight fucking defence stars. Yeah, we're not breaking through that with just a battle copter this turn.

So, Lash has bought herself some extra time. Let's see if we can do anything to harass her vaguely in the meantime, and we can do our proper attack next turn. Ooh, I can get Eva in place to fire at the HQ, too.

Boris is capturing things! It is... not very useful on this map!

I don't know what's more impressive, that these rockets are taking barely 19% from a copter attack, or that even after eight fucking defence stars, Alina is still doing 19% damage.

It's like that question of "If you slap yourself and it hurts, are you strong or weak?"

(The answer, obviously, is "Neither, what you are is an idiot for slapping yourself.")

Anyway, my units are in position for when Lash loses all her defensive bonuses next turn.

And now, it's time for that classic Advance Wars map trope...

That's right, it's the "turn where nothing happens"! So, let's make something happen, since Lash obviously isn't willing to.

First, Eva's now in range to fire on the rockets, which is excellent.

And that's more like it, Alina. Fuck those rockets up.

Meanwhile, Selena's reached the lander and-

Oh. This... this is going to take a while, isn't it?

I'd better get Valeria up there ASAP to help.

Boris is continuing to capture stuff. Colin's almost got his Super CO Power, so hey, every bit of money will increase Selena's damage, right..?

Lash you have no units left, what are you even doing with your turns now

Mildly irritating Alina, apparently.

Welp, it's our turn. Let's see if we can't clear out these last few enemies.

God, we're not doing much damage to this thing. It'll heal 2 per turn, too... damn it. Even my battleship isn't gonna help much..?

Well, we can drop off Dimitri, anyway. He'll be able to help out - I'm keeping Ivan away for now, since he's an artillery, and a bit squishier than Dimitri.

Now then, let's really ramp up the damage. 20k, that's a lot, right?

You sure aren't, Colin. Or at least, I hope not. I like you.


In honour of all of the Advance Wars AI who activate their SCOP and then immediately and POWERFULLY capture something, I decided to powerfully finish capturing this thing with Boris. Right, onto the main event now.


See this image? I regret saying this like five minutes ago.

At least Alina can delete you on the way up there.

...Yes, I know copters can't fire on landers. I had forgotten in the heat of battle, alright? I bet it's happened to all of you at least once or twice, cut me some slack.

......Yes, I know I make this can/can't fire mistake at least twice per campaign. I never learn.

Cue me, making the mistake.

At least Selena can keep poking it. Sigh. I will say, I did play this map again and finished it in 5 days with some more aggressive, slightly riskier plays, but I wanted the actual update to be my first, blind attempt at this map, and will probably keep doing that (unless my blind attempts involve losing units, at which point I may reset or replay, as per usual). But yes, I promise I'm better than this.

Dimitri can make a good start on the tank, at least.

"Enemies nearly defeated out here. How's it looking everywhere else?" Dimitri asks.

"Things are quiet up here." Boris replies.

"Working on it..!" Selena says. "Some backup would be nice."

"Valeria's on her way - I see her!" Alina replies. "Hang in there, Selena!"

And hey, look, we can finish off the tank, and thus every actual threat on the map, with one last hit from Eva.

Lash, uh, can't do anything now. So no point showing these.

And rather than a million screenshots saying "Selena shot them again", may as well just skip to the end.

Even with Valeria helping, it takes a couple more days, but soon, the lander is down to 1 HP. Let's take it out, Selena!

Wait, where's-

Oh, my god, she's out of ammunition. That's embarrassing. Right, Plan B - VALERIA!

thanks valeria

That's what you get, Lash! What is it with you and these wasteful, foolish battles?

He's definitely referring to Two-Week Test here, where he won by doing absolutely nothing. Still can't fucking believe that worked...

Shut it! YOU are NOT going to lecture ME! You're not the boss of me! I'm gonna pay you back for the last war! You better get ready!

How utterly childish.

I mean, she IS a child. To be fair.

I suppose. Under different circumstances, she could have been a brilliant commander. What a shame.

Man, wait until I introduce you to Rose Kuroda. Now there's a child who's a brilliant commander.

Rose Kuroda? I'm not familiar with the name.

Oho, we've got so much to talk about.

You spanked 'em, Colin!

No, no... I didn't do anything. I was just following orders, as always!

I bet you can rock deployment maps. Every CO has got their own thing, and you know how to work yours!

Jake is right, Colin. Set your shoulders straight and stand with pride.

Sir, yes, sir! But I'd rather get back to the war! This is...embarrassing.

My dude, you were very impressive, too. These soldiers trust you with their lives, don't they?

For the most part, yep. I mean, Selena's a special case, we, uh...


...It's complicated. Anyway, I'd rather not sit in debriefing with Rachel, so how about we grab a bite to eat with Max?

...Sure. Colin can handle the debrief. I would like some more information on the previous war.

Sweet, let's get out of here, then. Max, you coming?

Yeah, let's get going!

I can't believe I still got an S for that awful 3-day delay in killing that one lander. God, they're forgiving in the early missions.

Pffthahahahah oh my god I love Colin. He's like Andy, but likeable.

And hey, another mission down. Not bad! I don't feel like we're out of the tutorial zone yet, though. Any other mechanics we've not run into yet..? Hm... I can't think of any.

So, next time, with all of our main mechanics taught to us, we'll do the next mission, Fog Rolls In!

Fog Rolls... In. Any mechanics we've not run into...

Mechanics... fog...





Update 8 - The Mercenaries Meet Again