The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 11: Chapter 11 (Battle) - Bombers Are The Reason I Get Up In The Morning

Update 11 (Battle) - Bombers Are The Reason I Get Up In The Morning

Good day, folks. We've already reached the first two-parter of this LP, would you believe? This map was long as hell, so let's get right into it. Two enemy COs! It's gonna be interesting.

So, let's find out exactly what nonsense we're in for.

Probably. Recent troop-movement intel points to this location.

The fighting is gettin' fierce, too. Black Hole is all up in our business. Who knows what they're up to?

I don't know, but I don't like it. And where on earth is my dude?

Looks like he and Sasha have just arrived.

...And I think that’s where this obsession with no casualties came from, because I couldn’t save Eric.

You’ve been blaming yourself for every loss, and seeing Fog of War reminds you of it, doesn’t it?

Oh my god, you’re right. I associate Fog of War with losing people. That’s why I hate it so much. Because suddenly, whether they live or die isn’t down to my strategy - it’s down to luck. Oh my god! I never realised how much I repressed this stuff!

There, there. Let it all out. You’re making such good progress.

I'm not quite sure what you two are talking about, but are you ready to go, my dude?

Oh! Yes, right, sounds good. What are we doing again?

We've tracked Black Hole to this location--and we're expecting trouble.

No kidding. There's no telling what they'll do when they get backed into a corner.

New strategy analyzed and understood. New weapon system deploying... Piperunner online. Enemy defeat imminent.

Tee hee hee! It's time for a tag battle!

A what.

So, my dude, who's gonna be best for this battle, do you think?

I mean, we're working off of basically no intel, so I really don't know. Hm...

Don't do it...

Rachel, I guess? Nice generalist.

Oh, I just KNEW you were going to say me. Alright, let's go, my dude.

Right, we've got Rachel in tow for this one. Technically she and Sasha tied in votes, but you all said Rachel would work better narratively, and I'm all about that narrative.

Oh, that does lead me onto an important point worth mentioning though: from now on, the CO selected for a map will also determine the soldiers used (i.e. Orange Star COs will use OS soldiers, Blue Moon COs will use BM soldiers, etc.) for the most part, which will naturally also determine who appears in the intermission updates. Some of you plot-focussed people may want to vote for certain soldiers and intermissions rather than the optimal CO for a map.

Right. Deployments.

Today’s Deployments
Dave, Infantry
Rin, Infantry
Fliss, Infantry
Alfonse, Infantry
Michael, APC
Fleur, APC
Julian, Tank
Ingo, Tank
Selena, Medium Tank
Fred, Medium Tank
Carter, Rockets
Lucy, Bomber
Raynald of Châtillon, Bomber

Raynald of Châtillon
Age: Unknown
Personality: Dependable but mysterious crusader.
Proficiencies: Bomber, Fighter, Cruiser, [unknown]

Heeeeey, it's Raynald! Been a while, buddy, let's go crusading.

Now get out of the way!

You heard the lady. Move or be crushed!

OK, so, let's talk strategy. There's three possible avenues connecting the top and bottom of this-

god damn it

I see it. It's sitting on one of Black Hole's infamous pipes. They're impervious to any type of attack.

My dislike of these pipes is long established.

This weapon is new to me, though.

Rachel, that's got to be an indirect-combat unit.

How can you tell?

Check out the size and angle of the barrel. I bet that thing can rain some hot death!

Huh, he's right. You're not just a pretty face, are you, Jake?

You think he's pretty?

Hey, you can't just twist everything I say! How would you like it if I spotted euphemisms in everything you say?

Anyway, Jake, I see what you're saying. In that case, we should get next to it and pound away.

Oh, you said it like that on PURPOSE.

It may be big, but there's only one of them. It'll blow up like anything else!

OK, now we can talk strategy. So, three chokepoints: the bridge in the middle, the passage on the left near the piperunner, and the small island with the airport. Of these, the rightmost one is most important. It's the only airport on the map, so having it will give us a massive advantage. However, Black Hole aren't going to give up these chokepoints for free; we'll have to play very aggressively to begin with.

And we can't play aggressively until this stupid pipe bitch is out of the way. So! Game plan: destroy piperunner, obtain airport, deploy a million bombers.

To start with I deploy two infantry - Dave and Rin. You will also note that we no longer have any deployment limitations. It's medium tank time, boys.

As usual with these deployment maps, the first few turns are going to be pretty slow.

Black Hole start with fewer properties and fewer bases than we do, though, so we've got an advantage. The important thing, of course, is maintaining that advantage.

Black Hole is totally scheming something.

They've deployed ONE INFANTRY.

Yeah, but I only see one army, but there are two COs. What's up with that?

Who knows? Just stay on your toes. They may be evil, but they're not stupid.


So, Dave begins capturing; Rin's gonna be heading to the airport once her Uber arrives.

Ah, there he is. Michael, everyone!

"Hey, Rin! Ready to roll?" Michael asks as he prepares his APC to drive off.

"Sure am!" Rin replies, beaming. "I'll meet you further ahead, alright?"

"On my way. We've got to grab that airport before Black Hole do, otherwise we're ruined!"

Rin nods. "Besides, I want to get back early so we can watch the new season of Spann Island!"

"I don't know if it's as watchable as Tabitha High, to be honest. But I'm happy watching whatever you and Lucy want, Rin!"

It's the worse team's turn.

Oh, THIS should be good.

What we do is change COs mid-battle to adapt to any condition on the field. When the time is right, we can use our Tag Power and attack on the same day!



What that means is that, once one CO is done, the other CO can issue orders. Do you understand the genius at work here? Huh? Do you?

Oh my god, it's fucking...

I told you, my dude, we've been studying you! And we figured out your biggest weakness by looking at your first campaign - Lightning Strike! So I developed my own version of it, and now we can issue orders twice in one day!

Oh my god. First the black bomb, now this... Lash is determined to bring me down, huh?

Whoever's running the show at Black Hole now obviously knows that you were the one who beat Sturm twice. They're not messing around when it comes to you.

More importantly, my dude, can you win?

'Course I can. I'm the goddamn KINGMAKER.

Don't be so cocky--our Tag Power is super strong! If you and I were more compatible, our attack would be even stronger, but...

Twice the pain equals twice the terror.

Tee hee hee! That's Black Hole math! Prepare to get served!

OK, we might be fucked. That sounds absolutely obscene, and of course we don't get access to it. I suppose we probably will after this map, but for now, we're on our own.

The infantry, at least, aren't being very threatening right now.

So, let's get on for that airport and that piperunner. We can't waste any time now.

Michael drives ahead, and Rin hops in, ready to reach the airport next turn.

Dave finishes capturing the thing he was capturing. There's... not much else to do right now.

Fuck it, two more infantry. Fliss and Alfonse are here to capture even more stuff!

Black Hole are really slacking in the capturing department, for once. I'm sure it'll start up this turn.

Ah, yep, here we go.

They still haven't deployed anything more threatening than an infantry, though. I suppose Lash is very confident in her piperunner.

S'gonna be really embarrassing when it doesn't kill any of my units.

Admittedly, it has a pretty large range, which is annoying when there's a building right there that Dave could capture. But I suppose we'll have to play this one more tactically.

By which I mean, I'm going to throw tanks at the problem until it resolves itself.

Julian! If you wouldn't mind?

"Pleasure to be of service. My, my, Black Hole never learn, do they?" Julian murmurs, observing the battlefield before nodding. "Alright, let's get started."

"Newsflash, pal, we've already started. You're late to the party." Dave says sharply. Julian chuckles.

"I suppose so. Alright, I'll have that monstrosity on the pipe out of the way in a jiffy. One moment, gentlemen."

And Fleur as an APC, too. My infantry need more manoeuvrability.

"Fliss! Are you alright?" Fleur says, looking down at her sister, who nods.

"I... I'm OK! Let us fight the enemy together, Fleur."

"But of course, mon cherie. Stay close to me, now."

Meanwhile, Michael drops Rin off at the airport. Black Hole's not even close to getting it, so hey, we're good to go. The only question is going to be keeping the airport, but I have a plan for that.

Like most of my plans, it involves copious amounts of bombers, medium tanks and fucking with the AI.

This Dick Captures A Property: 5

This one's partly-capturing a property. The good thing is that his slight delay in capturing this property means that he's gonna be too late to capture the base just above him, which is probably the more strategically useful of the two. I love the AI being unable to prioritise capturing the right things.

Hm. They have deployed a tank now, though. I'm going to have to get some more combat units on the field before long.

But right now, I've got a million things I need to capture, so may as well do that first.

Well, OK, it's more like three things, but still. Alfonse makes a start on the base over here; he'll be capturing most of the properties in this area, whilst the rest of my infantry handle other matters.

Like this airport, which Rin's almost done with. God, I can't wait for Operation Bomberstorm.

Fliss hops into Fleur, and the sister prepare to head south. Whilst staying out of piperunner range, anyway.

I'd kind of like to nab that middle base, but I don't feel like that enemy tank is going to let me do that. Worth a shot, though.

Guess we'll see how it goes now.

This Dick Captures A Property: 6

There's gonna be a lot of captures on this map, isn't there?

As predicted, the tank makes a beeline for Fleur and Fliss. I can't drop Fliss off on that base unless I want her to die, so... I guess I'll take them somewhere else. Maybe to capture that other base next to the piperunner.

And they've got a recon out. Huge movement, but not much damage.

I'm just concerned that the recon might go for Rin on the airport before Operation Bomberstorm can commence.

Julian goes for the piperunner, anyhow - that damage suggests to me that it's more bulky than rockets, but not a brick wall like the Black Cannons. Two shots from a tank is fine by me.

In case anyone's curious what they look like on the combat screen, here we go: rather dangerous-looking. No threat to a close-range target, though.

"Airport captured!" Rin announces delightedly, and Dave nods, holding up his transceiver.

"Atta girl. Now keep yourself safe, and my dude will handle the rest."

It's also a place where B copters and bombers can repair and refuel. Capturing this airport put us a lot closer to victory. Let's keep on rolling!

OK, that's a great start. Now I just need to worry about the other two chokepoints...

Alfonse is still merrily capturing stuff, so good for him. We'll need all the money we can get for those million bombers I ordered.

Whilst we wait for those, though, let's get our girl back on the field where she belongs. The Head Bitch of Orange Star, heavy tank driver and expert soldier, blonde bombshell with a heart of steel: Selena Hartford!

"Finally, I'm back with everyone else." Selena murmurs to herself, before picking up the transceiver. "All units, I'm ready to deploy. Fliss and Fleur, my dude's orders are to go for the factory beside the piperunner. Let's not waste any more time."

"R-right!" Fliss says, nodding.

Dave gives an excited grin. "Good to have you back with us, Selena!"

"But if Fleur and Fliss move away... Selena, what about the middle chokepoint?" asks Alfonse.

Selena's eyes flash as she turns her medium tank towards the battlefield, where moving visions of black hint at the advancing Black Hole army on the horizon. "I'll handle that myself. Now let's show Black Hole - and Commander Rachel - just what my dude's finest soldiers can do!"

Fleur drops Fliss off right on top of the factory - Fleur's in range of the piperunner, but she can take a hit. Fliss, who needs all her HP for capturing, is totally fine.

Let's see how this works out, anyway.

This Dick Captures A Property: 7

Thanks to Julian doing so much damage to it, this is barely any damage. Fleur's fine, and the piperunner's fucked next turn. I have a horrible feeling we're going to see lots of these things in future, though.

And because I had to get the girls out of there before that tank showed up, Black Hole soldiers have managed to get the middle base at the chokepoint. Selena can choke the point perfectly fine, but man, I really wish I'd got that one. It's going to be very annoying pushing ahead now.

I don't know why these assholes keep deploying recons. They're not even that good on plains, and they do fuckall damage, and it's not even Fog of War.

CO Power? Oh boy.

Oh, no, it's a CO Swap. Intriguing. So can they do that at any time, or just at the end of a turn? Either way, guess we're dealing with Lash now.

Right. Well. That was interesting.

I mean, Lash's existence doesn't change my game plan in the slightest, so let's just keep going. First, Julian eviscerates the piperunner.

And piperunners are such a pain to make, too.

Not a problem. Piperunners can now be built in factories.

And THIS is why we're wanting to capture that factory next to the piperunner - so they can't build any more of them.

We have Tag Powers and advantage. Victory is certain...

It still bums me out, but... Whatever! All we have to do is not get overrun or let them capture our HQ! Tee hee!

Speaking of that factory, let's capture it. Off you go, Fliss!

In the meantime, I move Fleur to Fliss' left. This means that the infantry can't reach Fliss this turn and attack her, so she'll be able to get the base without any problems.

And Dave can finally start capturing this building that was in the piperunner's range. That was starting to annoy my OCD.

Loooots of capturing this turn. We need hella cash.

Rin's gonna be capturing some stuff around here, too. My infantry are doing a great job, but I suppose that's what happens when you deploy four of them.

Selena heads for the middle, meanwhile. Whatever they deploy will have to sit face-to-face with her, and I highly doubt that they can afford anything more powerful than, like, a recon.

The enemy are not very good at saving up, I've noticed. It's a distinct advantage for the player, provided you can play around the numerous things they deploy each turn. Which, y'know, a single medium tank can usually do.

Oh boy, they have the base. This is going to be troublesome.

Unable to attack Fliss, the infantry settles for bullying Fleur some more. She already took a hit from a fucking piperunner, so this infantry is barely anything to her.

Hm. There is a recon on the way, though... and an artillery, the natural predator of chokepoints. That could be a problem.

OK, this is going to get interesting.

For now, we're just

finishing off all

of the capturing.

Right, so now let's get rid of you. Julian can weaken the infantry, no problem.

Fliss captures the base, too! Now we can deploy things to the middle of the battlefield instead of about three to six business days away.

Selena embodies the spirit of Tina by using her medium tank to just slaughter whatever's in front of her. She can't one-shot the infantry, but she can do enough damage to make it think twice about fucking around with her.

I think that's gonna be it for this turn. We're close to Operation Bomberstorm, though... very close.

god, why are bombers so expensive

These fuckwits haven't done anything remotely threatening yet, I'm not gonna lie. Are they just waiting for this mysterious "Tag Power" to activate?

The infantry shoots Fleur again, and does even less damage than last time. I'm surprised he didn't just explode with embarrassment; imagine doing no damage to a 6HP APC.

The recon and artillery are bound for the leftmost chokepoint, which is probably the best result for me. Meanwhile, a tank shoots Selena. It takes more damage than Selena does.

Oh boy, is it swap time again?

It is indeed. I didn't even notice that these guys were swapped. Their day-to-days are so inconsequential - y'know, if I was facing, like, a team of Grit and Eagle, it'd be worth keeping track of who's in control at any given team. But this? Meh.

Note to self: do not allow Grit and Eagle to work together ever.

Wait, wait, wait.

Can you take advantage of swapsies? Like, I assume the stats of the units are dependent on the current CO. So could you, say, deploy a Neotank with Colin at a knock-down price, then switch to Kanbei to give it 130/130 offense and defence without needing to pay for it? That can't be how it works, can it..?

I need this strategy for myself. I've got to see what kind of bullshit can be done with it.

I move Michael down to block off this forest before the recon can come in and annoy Rin all the way to death. He'll only have to hold it off for a little while - once Operation Bomberstorm is underway, we'll have a new, permanent solution to this pesky recon.

Speaking of, let's do it...

"Bomber C-0820 reporting for duty. All hail the Queen of the Skies, back where she belongs!" comes the triumphant cry of Lucy Ophelia Maxwell. "What am I bombing today?"

"I don't know yet; I'd await orders from my dude for now." Selena replies. "I'm sure you'll be perfect, though, Lucy. Everyone, prepare for incoming air support - we have the advantage now, so let's push ahead if we can!"

"Sounds perfect to me." drawls Julian. "Fleur, Fliss, are we ready to move on? Black Hole's waiting, and so is their HQ?"

"Y-yes!" Fliss says nervously. "We must capture it... we must win!"

And indeed, Julian and the girls will be handling the capture of the enemy HQ, if everything goes well. I just need to make sure everything, you know, goes well.

Selena can take out the tank, at least. She can't quite choke the point properly, either - I forgot that foot units can ford rivers. Ugh.

In order to keep her out of harm's way, I put Fliss back into Fleur. Admittedly, Fleur's not doing fantastically for HP, either... she's got to keep it together for now, though. We've not got time to heal her up, even with Rachel's faster repairs.

I don't remember how much damage recons do to APCs, but I decide not to risk it and weaken them with Julian.

Julian could do with some backup too, come to think of it.

Another tanks comes rumbling out of the base, and a familiar voice can be heard over the transceiver. "Hey, guys. Heard you need backup over to the west?"

Julian raises his eyebrows. "Ah, you must be Ingo, correct? Brother of Eric?"

Ingo's breath catches in his throat; it's not often that he hears someone mention the name of his deceased brother. Lucy puts her hands over her mouth - most soldiers know not to bring up Bill and Eric around Ingo, but evidently nobody told Julian.

"I... y-yeah. How did you know...?" Ingo murmurs. "Uh, never mind. Let's focus on pushing back against Black Hole!"

"Good luck, Ingo, Fleur, Fliss!" Lucy trills. "If you need backup, just let me know!"

So, yeah, that's about how everything shapes up this turn. Next turn, we begin Operation Bomberstorm.

And what's that, you ask? Well, you'll see after Black Hole do some useless stuff.

The theme of this turn is "Black Hole shoots APCs that can't fire back". It happens here and over there with Michael and Fleur.

Also, when I said useless stuff, I was wrong. This infantry attacks Selena and gets killed in the counter, which is worse than useless.

It's also a bit weird. I don't remember the AI suiciding on my units in previous games. Is that because it just didn't happen, or is this game's AI different?

These assholes keep poking at Fleur, too. Don't worry, she'll be fine.

...Mostly. She'll die if anything with an actual attack stat tries to hit her, so I'm going to have to be very careful.

Tee hee hee!

They're swapping again. Still don't care.

Righto, bomber time.

So, first stage of the operation: we get Michael the hell out of there. He's not gonna be able to tank very much, being, y'know, an APC. The squishy clerics of the Advance Wars world.

Then we capture a thing! This has nothing to do with the operation, I just wanted to show it off.

This is Operation Bomberstorm: as we know, most units can't fire on bombers, so they'll make the perfect chokepoints as we converge on the HQ. Lucy will put herself here for now and destroy this recon...

"Take THAT!" Lucy yells. "Man, it's good to be back in the sky! I've missed this, y'know?"

"You're doing great, Luce. Don't get cocky, though - just keep holding that line for now." Alfonse replies.

Julian finishes off the infantry, meanwhile.

And Ingo takes out the recon. Now we're free to move ahead! A little bit. Without running into that artillery.

Selena's just holding down the chokepoint as expected. Fantastic work from best girl - especially seeing as we do not want anti-airs hanging around, as they could challenge my bombers.

She could do with a friend, though, since I think Ingo and Julian might want backup. To that end, I deploy Fred.

That said, we're almost out of time here. We'll have to do the actually dangerous part of this map next time. Let's watch Black Hole do nothing useful for a bit, first.

This Dick Captures A Property: 8

Wow, they've managed to double their captured property numbers in one update. I'm almost impressed.

And then the rest of these losers hang around outside Lucy's area, none of them able to get past her or fire at her. Well done, Black Hole.

So! Next time we'll push ahead, get Fliss to the HQ and capture it, deploy way more bombers* and finish the map. All without running afoul of the dreaded Tag Power! (Hopefully.)

Later, folks!

* one more bomber


Update 12 (Intermission) - Tell Me Honestly