The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 13: Chapter 13 (Battle) - The Most Irritating Chip Damage Ever Taken

Update 13 (Battle) - The Most Irritating Chip Damage Ever Taken

Right, let's get back to it. So, if you remember last time...

It was our turn, these losers nearly have their Tag Power active, but Operation Bomberstorm means I'm prepared to block off/murder everything using my bombers now, which hopefully means the rest of this map will be smooth sailing.

Alfonse is still capturing things up here. There were a ton of buildings - I'm kind of surprised he's not finished getting them all yet. Ah well.

Meanwhile, our crew on the right are going to be our advance squad - Julian and Ingo in the tanks, Fred in the medium tank, and Fleur carrying Fliss to the HQ. Will our little Fliss get the HQ safely? Time will tell, but for now we're hanging back a little and staying safe.

Now that Lucy's holding the bridge down here, Michael and Rin are free to head back up, so I decide to load Rin up. I'm not sure what I want them to do now, honestly.

I also get some rockets to help support Selena in the centre. They'll take a few turns to actually move into range, but hey, should be useful. Carter, get in here!

"I-is that Carter?" Fliss asks over the transceiver. The cocky, self-confident reply is evidence enough.

"Hey there! Yeah, it's me. Where am I needed, chief?"

"It's 'Selena', not 'chief'," Selena sighs. "I need reinforcements at the centre bridge. Can you get here soon?"

"I'll do my best!" Carter says, and Dave nods, impressed.

"The kid's really growin' up." he murmurs to himself. "Now let's hope Fliss can do the same in this battle..."

And this is how things stand at the end of my turn. As you can see on the right, I'm actually pretty close to getting Rachel's SCOP - but they're close to their Tag Power. Not great.

My general strategy for getting through the Tag Power is pretty simple: I'm thinking if I destroy and weaken enough units, they won't have enough actual firepower to take advantage of their two-turn bullshit. That's a double-edged sword, though - if I play too aggressive trying to weaken everything, I may end up wide open to take a huge counterattack when the Tag Power drops.

You might have noticed that I moved Selena one space up at the end of my turn. That was primarily to make her job easier - yeah, she's gonna take quite a potent hit here, but she can choke this point way easier here, since anything in front of her will be on the bridge (0 defence stars) rather than the base (3 defence stars). Plus, it means that Carter can be in range to fire on anything in Selena's way by next turn, instead of in two turns' time.

...Admittedly, that was a bit more damage than I was expecting. 5HP on Selena, hm...

It's OK, I'm a genius, I'll figure this out. First things first, keeping up the aggression.

Let's get Carter onto the field to start shooting the lads. That should hold things back a bit, hopefully.

That said, Selena is getting a bit damaged now, and I care about her wellbeing slightly more than I did with Tina. So I pull a retreat - Lucy can fill that gap, I reckon.

And this image is called "my dude overestimated Lucy's movement capabilities".


No, it's OK. I've got a brilliant solution in mind. It's called... something completely different on a different part of the map. Fred attacks this infantry with his violence!

Ingo follows up to kill it. Now we can make a neat little wall to keep Fleur and Fliss safe.

Like so! And everything will get restocked next turn too, which is good. We're getting closer to the enemy HQ!

OK, I need to do something about this god damn middle bridge. Lucy kills the mech that was about to cross over.

Michael can go back to holding this point off in the meantime. He'll be fine.

Right, let's just let these two do whatever and then figure out how to hold off the middle bridge next turn. I need thinking time.

I don't understand it. Usually applying a bomber and a medium tank to a problem makes it go away...

Unsurprisingly, the infantry shoot Michael, but they don't do much damage worth talking about. He'll survive.

And, uh, the middle chokepoint just kind of solved itself? The recon didn't even move into my territory. Weird.

Meanwhile, the anti-air's gone over to the rightmost bridge, so it's probably a good thing I moved Lucy away from that point - it was probably going for her.

Welp, not going to complain about Black Hole being useless dipshits. Let's take advantage of that.

Lucy massively weakens the recon, but it's not quite a kill. Still, it won't be a problem any further.

And I can afford a second bomber! Woo! This one's the one we've all been waiting for. The one, the only, motherfucking Raynald of Châtillon!

"Good morrow, fine soldiers! For the motherland, we fight! For the motherland, we CRUSADE!"

"Raynald! Nice of you to join us - let's fight from the skies together!" Lucy cries. "Or, crusade, I guess!"

"That guy really is a riot." chuckles Ingo. Fleur nods in agreement.

"He is... passionate, oui. But passion is just what we need to succeed."

Carter can now target anything that comes up to him, like so. Would've been a bit nicer if something was blocking off the middle, but honestly, maybe this is better? I want to keep the enemy distracted whilst the advance team take the HQ, so getting them all to cross the bridge might be useful.

Then again, I could just murder them all with bombers. That sounds like a more permanent solution.

This artillery is poorly-placed, meaning we can approach and attack that tank without fear of taking ranged fire. So, hey, let's kill it!

I mean, we're so close to...

Fred initiates on the poor bastard, ripping it to shreds. We can only attack it from two sides, so I'm bringing the big guns to guarantee I get the kill.

Next, we have Ingo finish it off, just like the infantry before. Julian's just going to just follow them and create a defensive wall to keep Fleur and Fliss out of danger.

But I think that was enough damage! Which means...

Hey, Rachel, can I ask a favour?

That was oddly polite of you. Are you feeling alright?

Oh my god, drop the sass and give me a fucking airstrike.

That's more like the my dude I know. What do you need it for?

I... fuckin-- covering fire! What the hell else would you use airstrikes for?


This is pretty fucking crucial - the Tag Power's coming next turn, as you can see from the rightmost side of the screen. And what better way to weaken the enemy forces than dropping several missiles on 'em? I'm ecstatic that I managed to get the SCOP before their Tag. That might've just won us the map.

Time to get missilinated!

Are... are you piggybacking off of my Super CO Power?

Everyone else gets to say cool one-liners when a SCOP goes off! Why do I never get to?

The first blow lands in the midst of this lot, bringing them down to 7HP...

Then again to 4HP...

And BOOM! The dust clears, leaving the largest portion of the enemy forces with just 1 measly HP. Try and threaten me with your Dollar Store Lightning Strike now, fuckers!

The most terrifying thing about them getting two turns is the possibility of their ranged units using the first turn to move, and the second to attack. This artillery's gonna be trouble, so I checked its movement range to make sure it can't go for Fleur/Fliss. If they fall, we are fucked.

Thankfully, I think we're fine! You'll note that I've also moved Selena over to the rightmost bridge. She'll, uh, make a slightly better wall than Michael in an APC, especially with a bit of Rachel-powered healing.

Oh boy. Let's see what the hell the Tag Power is.

Ah, Jugger. You sound like you mean business.

Flashy lightning crosses the screen, as everything grinds to a halt...

This would probably look better if I hadn't organised the top and bottom screens like this, but ah well. 100% power! How exciting. Looks like that bar can go beyond 100%, so I presume that's what Lash meant about the attack being stronger if they were closer. Different COs must have different power levels depending on who they're working with.

And then this infantry decided to attack the rockets, and I remembered Jugger's SCOP was one of those "maybe big damage, maybe not" powers.

...0 damage. I'm relatively confident this was a "maybe not" kind of attack.

Lash's turn! This is slightly more threatening. Probably.

Wait, I didn't check where the artillery had moved-

oh ok it moved north into a position where it isn't able to fire on anything..?

What the fuck, Black Hole.

Oh yeah, Carter takes more damage, also. Thankfully, he's fine.

The other infantry goes for Alfonse, meanwhile! He's getting kind of close to my HQ, and I am not fond of that.

Oh, uh, never mind. He suicided on Alfonse.

Seriously, what the fuck, Black Hole?

This is probably the only actually threatening thing that happens - Ingo takes a pretty heavy hit from this enemy tank, leaving him on 3HP. Thankfully, poor artillery movement means Lash can't even capitalise on this for a kill.

This infantry pokes Michael. Bridges provide no defence stars though, and Lash's power scales from stars, so... yeah, this still does the regular damage, somewhere in the region of "diddly" and "squat".

And that was the Tag Power! I can't be the only one who felt like that was supposed to be more threatening, right?

well, ok, the first time I did this map I lost like 4 units to it, but

So, uh, that happened. Let's get on with it. Michael beats a hasty retreat so Selena can do his job better than him, by murdering this infantry.

This thing's going to be an absolute motherfucker, though. Lash's SCOP just happened, so this tank technically has goddamn 6 defence stars, and I'm virtually 1 tank down because Ingo's barely going to scratch it. Right. How do I deal with this?

Well, first, may as well take advantage of the fact that this base was left empty. Raynald crusades over to sit on it, so that they can't deploy anything else from it. That also means Lucy is free to do what she wants now, so she can support the advance group.

I also move Carter down and Alfonse around a little bit. The infantry aren't much of a threat, but I still need to pay attention to them.

OK, first things first, let's get Ingo out of there. Julian and Fred can cover this.

Especially with Lucy's help.

Fucking look at this. 31% from a bomber against a tank. This should be illegal.

Julian follows up for a bit more damage, and the tank's looking ragged now. If we're lucky, we might just have enough...

Oh, medium tanks, you beautiful bastards. You never disappoint. The tanky, uh, tank, is gone!

So, hey, let's make a bit more progress with the map. Fleur can drop Fliss off here, which puts her exactly in range to capture the HQ, and she's safe from being attacked on all sides!

Dave's not got much to do now, so I just have him capture some stuff. It's... probably not going to be necessary, since we're so close to being done here.

At least the doubled defence stars are gone now. I really hate that CO Power.

Carter continues to get harassed. I might have to retreat him, now - he is taking a fair amount of damage.

"Hold on, Carter, I'll back you up!" Alfonse says.

"Oh, thank goodness. Thanks, Alfonse!" Carter replies. "How's things down south?"

"We're making progress." Julian replies silkily. "The girl - Fliss, was it? - is about to move on the enemy HQ now. Is everyone else holding out alright?"

"We're fine over here." Selena says, then her voice drops to a murmur. "I was hoping to see... well, it doesn't matter."

Rin looks across at Michael, grinning widely. "Looks like things are gonna be fine! Lucy and Raynald will easily crush the rest of the enemies, right?"

"Oh, certainly." Michael replies, with a lazy smile. "You remember what they were like during our first battle against Sturm? My dude knows how to use his bombers well."

All systems, go.

They're swapping. I probably prefer fighting Jugger to Lash now. The differences are minor, but Lash has a more consistent firepower advantage with her terrain-based attack damage, whereas Jugger's is just luck-based.

Right, let's not waste any more time. Fliss!

...I said Fliss. Not Dave. But uh, well done. Suppose I ought to check on the others before I move on the HQ.

I retreat Carter and Alfonse up here. Anything that goes for Carter will get harassed by Alfonse, and anything that targets Alfonse will be in Carter range, so theoretically, they should be fine now.

Selena's totally fine, but we already knew that.

OK, NOW Fliss can target the HQ. And with that, our victory is secure! Next turn, we're done.

Of course, we do need to kill everything nearby that might be a threat. Fred gets started on this anti-air.

I very wisely finish it off with Julian, and somehow didn't notice that he's now in artillery range. I took such pains to avoid this thing for most of the map, and then blunder like this? How typical of me.

Thankfully, this is why bombers were invented. Lucy, solve my problems for me!

And hey, if this is the final turn, we may as well finish off everything else. Raynald crusades up here to crusade this infantry's face off.

Right, now we're done. Looks like everything's taken care of!

This was quite the map. Lots of places where an unexpected problem could have made things much worse-


It's only chip damage, but any damage on a capturing infantry, as we all know, adds an extra turn onto proceedings. Goddamn recons and their massive range...

"Hang in there, Fliss!" Fleur shouts. "We'll defeat that recon, so stay focussed on capturing the QG!"

"I... I will!" Fliss replies, holding her gun firmly. "I must."

Smashin' you is gonna be fun!

Fuck off, Lash.

Sigh. Right, one more day, then, I guess. Let's kill some things to blow off some steam.

And also to stop them murdering Fliss. But mostly to blow off some steam.

Selena's broken through the group on the right, so she's just clearing up over there.

This is the most irritated I've ever been at the end of a map. Goddamn recon and its chip damage.

There's a tank here which is also going to be a problem for Fliss, so I liberally apply Lucy to the issue as per usual. It helps.

Fred can finish it without any trouble. Looks like Black Hole literally can't afford anything that's an actual threat to my team now.

Raynald can kill something too, which will be satisfying. 99% damage, nice, I love a good one-shot.


Fine, I suppose Alfonse is going to clear this up. Wow, this map is going out of its way to irritate me right at the end.

Carter can finish this 1HP infantry off, too, who survived Raynald's previous attack. I think that's all the main problems dealt with now.

Oh yep, just one anti-air left.

This is, like, what? The sixth map where I've been in a position to both rout the map or take the HQ in the same turn?

I'm kind of surprised. I've not been planning it that way. I usually rout, so I think this time I'll go with the HQ capture. Fliss has worked hard for it, after all, and she's a good girl.

And Black Hole didn't do anything. They know that it would only piss me off further.

"I... I captured it!" Fliss announces, and beams with pride. Fleur nods, smiling back.

"Beautiful! Très bien, dear sister!"

"Nice work, kid. Congrats!" Dave replies. He knows the satisfaction of capturing an enemy HQ, and he's equally happy to know that Fliss pulled through.

God damn it, Jake, keep your mouth shut.

So that was a tag battle... It seemed odd at first, but it has its advantages. It seems worth studying.

I agree. This is no time for us to worry about appearances, either. Let's steal every technique and weapon Black Hole comes up with.

Did they really invent "working together with another person"?

Did you really invent "deploy a million medium tanks"?


You may look all prim and proper, but you can get low-down and dirty, Sasha!

They built their empire with our materials. We're merely taking back what is ours.

Let's analyze the battle data so we can use tag tactics in our next fight.

Now we can drop some science on those fools. Things are finally lookin' up!

Indeed, we won pretty handily despite the odds being against us! Tag Battles look like they'll be fun once we get access to them. Now, let's see the mission scores-


I hate everything. One extra day... god damn you, recon. My eternal nemesis.

Right, what are we doing next, anyway? Seeing as I have continued to be incredibly awesome throughout these fights, and despite Black Hole's every effort to find my weaknesses, I feel like I'm on a roll.

Agreed. We must stop them here and now.

Black crystal perimete bases... Operational. Deployment of Black Arc flying fortress... Initiated.

Very well, Jugger. Report our preparations to that...Hawke. Lash and I will team up and attack. We will divide the earth and the sky between us, and our guns will sound a requiem for the allied troops. Spare no cost in defending the black crystal. Our foes will fall like leaves.

Tee hee hee! I can do death--no problem! Dibs on the Black Arc! Oooh! This is going to be so much fun!

That girl worries me...

Commander Koal. Am I to advise the land or the sky division?

Hmph. You will serve me better on the ground, Madam Director. The black crystal perimeter must be held at all costs. You will see to that.

Very well.

Oh, shit. This map looks pretty desert-like. Not good.

My poor Omega Land... I can't believe how far the desolation has spread. And these nasty sandstorms... I've got a bad feeling about this.

Tell me, Allied halfwits, how are you feeling today?

We were doing OK until we saw you, you pasty freak!

Your name is Rachel, is it not? You have an abrasive personality.

Hey, that's my line, fucker!

And you're an arrogant twit!

Wait, were you talking to him or me?

Both of you!! If you think we're not more than your match, you're in for a nasty surprise.

Learning to tag battle does not make us equals, you silly little cheerleader. Look at your precious homeland. It's like an old woman--wrinkled and wilting.

So you Black Hole vampires sucked this land dry?

Who else, young lion? Allow me to share with you the secret of the black crystal. In short, it bleeds a planet's life force and uses it to make physical materials. It is the source of Black Hole's miraculous regenerative powers.


If the crystal is used too much, the earth suffers and becomes, well... Like this.


I'd tell you that we cared, but I'd be lying. And that would be wrong.


That's horrible! No... You're horrible!

What?! This is my homeland. These are my people. You can't... Ooooh... Don't even think I'm gonna squeeze out a tear after I bury you!

Hell yeah, Jake! That's the fire we need!

Heh heh! Such passion! Such bravado! We will twist it into abject despair.

Cool it, Jake. And stop egging him on, my dude. Biting at the enemy's taunts will only play into their hands. The black crystal has no attack power of its own. Let's rush it from the factory at the centre of the map.

Seems like our best shot of victory. Selena should be able to steamroll the enemy forces.

No. I'm afraid I can't allow that. Lash! Come out, come out wherever you are.

Oh, I'm gonna enjoy this!

Whoa! Look up at the top screen!

God damn it. To quote my best friend, can we at least try to have a passing relationship with the fourth wall, guys?

How'd that get there?

This is Lash! I'm calling you from the fabulous flying fortress, the Black Arc! I'm roughly 33,000 feet above the battlefield. And the view is spectacular!

Black Arc? Flying fortress? It's huge... How did you get that thing to fly?!

Tee hee hee! You're surprised! You're surprised! But wait! There's more! I'm even going to throw in a free bomb shower!

Damn it... That's what I was afraid of. We're powerless whilst that thing's above us.

Umm... This isn't good.

Yeah, you think?! We have got to do something about that thing!

Rachel, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Probably the same thing I'm thinking, too.

Yep. If they're going to tag battle, then we have to do the same! Let's choose two COs--one for the main front and one for the second front. The main front is on the surface, and the second is up there with the Black Arc.

Oh, no. I assumed that was a given. I was thinking "those Black Cannons around the Black Arc are probably what power it, seeing as every Black Hole fortress you guys fought in the previous campaign worked like that". S'cool. Evidently we're on different wavelengths.

My dude, focus! I don't need to remind you that we can't afford to lose this fight!

Hey, I was talking ABOUT the battle!

You were being sarcastic! I'll confine you to the barracks if you keep talking back to me like that!

Please, you need me too much for that. Why don't you take a break from this battle, huh?

Oooh! I'm just as crucial to this war effort as you!

Only because of your fuckin' airstrikes! Got any more strings to your bow besides that?

...And off they go, arguing as always. I worry about those two.

Ah, I wouldn't. They've been like that since the wedding. Whilst they're, uh, busy, shall we choose our COs for this battle?

That sounds like a good idea. We've got to destroy that crystal!

Colin's right, ladies and gents. I'll see you next time with quite an intriguing-looking map - and we'll need some COs for it!

So, vote for which COs you want to use, from our usual list of Rachel, Jake, Max, Sasha and Colin. And also remember to vote for whether you want them to take the ground battle or the sky battle! Also also, voting will end on Wednesday, since I think I'm gonna need a bit of time to practise this map, based on what I've heard.

I got a bit of warning about this map, so I believe that in terms of COs, I can't control the sky battle directly, so I'd like some advice on who best to choose to minimise losses. Otherwise, see you next week!


Update 14 (Intermission) - The Impenetrable