The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 21: Chapter 21 (Battle) - The Subtle Art Of The Surprise Anti-Air

Update 21 (Battle) - The Subtle Art Of The Surprise Anti-Air

Sup. Let's get this battle started, shall we? Time to show Yellow Comet what we can do.

Well, partially. This is a two-parter; for this first part, I'm intending on beating the second front. Let's see how that goes.

So, first things first, we need to choose a CO for the second front.

And a skill for Rachel - I'm taking Slam Guard, as recommended by you guys. It seems like the best choice for facing Grimm, what with his units having a firepower boost.

For the second front, once again, we're taking Max. He should be able to deal with Sensei quite handily.

The most important thing we need to do is turn Auto CO right the fuck off. I'm not relying on this thing to keep my units alive.

Otherwise, we're ready to roll, so let's get going!

I keep thinking about Eagle's SCOP. Surely they realised that lightning as a motif is most heavily associated with Eagle, right?

Anyway. Right. Deployments.

Today’s Deployments
First Front
Felix, Infantry
Elena, Infantry
Diana, Infantry
Alfonse, Mech
Von Panzer, Tank
Dave, Tank
Rin, Tank
Fliss, Anti-Air
Carl, Anti-Air
Gordon, Anti-Air
Ludmilla, Anti-Air
Carter, Artillery
Fred, Rockets

Second Front
Fleur, Infantry
Fenya, Mech
Michael, APC
Yakov, Recon
Inessa, Recon
Julian, Tank
Ingo, Tank
Lucy, Artillery

Age: 23
Personality: Professional photographer, loves nature.
Proficiencies: Recon, Anti-Air, Missiles, Rockets

No offense, Mr. Lightning, but your luck has run out!

Pfft. Mr. Lightning.

So, what's the plan here? Well, on the first front we only have Alfonse and Fliss on the field, and on the second front we have a ton of units, none of whom are going to be much use against Sensei's flotilla of copters. Oh, speaking of -

"Well, well! If it isn't Orange Star and Blue Moon's forces!" comes a commanding cry from the battle copter squadron. "Got all of your nonlethal rounds ready? Because we're not going to be holding back!"

"Oh, if it isn't the loudmouth of Yellow Comet, Peregrine Siddeley Lockheed!" Michael replies over the transceiver. "I think we're all ready for you; besides, it'd be an honour to fight against the one who destroyed the Deathray. You singlehandedly saved the world, y'know."

"Hah! I suppose so, but I was never bothered with any of that. All I care about is flying fast, showing off my skills, and protecting my friends!" Peregrine replies. "And, well, if you're ready, I guess we'll come at you with everything we've got. Ready, Andy?"

Andromeda, in another of the battle copters, nods with excitement. "Y-yes... I am ready, will, willing, to fight with Perry!"

Another girl in one of the battle copters sighs, and leans back, her tube top leaving little to the imagination. "Hey, Chakir, mind helping me out in this battle? I'm still new to this army, so I don't want to mess anything up. And I wouldn't want to have to exert myself in a mock battle..."

"Oh, I- uh- I could..." Chakir mutters, nervously fiddling with his shirt. "I guess I could help..."

"Shaia! Stop taking advantage of literally everyone you meet and just put the work in!" comes a commanding voice from Yellow Comet's HQ. "Whilst I'm leading the ground troops, you're going to listen to everything Peregrine tells you, alright? I whipped Arqa into shape, and I can do the same to you, you slacker!"

Shaia pulls a face. "Urgh, fine."

Dave laughs aloud as he hears the voice. "That's Vanessa, ain't it? One of Yellow Comet's three primary strategists?"

"The very same." Vanessa replies. "I'll be leading the battle on the ground as Grimm's ACO, so tell my dude - he'd better not hold back on me!"

"But where's-" Michael murmurs, before falling quiet. "Ah, it doesn't matter. I'm sure she'll be here soon."

When we select Fliss, Rachel gives us some more information.

On maps where both fronts are based on the ground, unit can be sent to the second front from bases that build units. Oh, and from the HQ, too.

Huh. That IS handy.

Units you've sent will arrive in the area around the second-front HQ. Naval units will arrive in the waters near the second-front HQ.

Exactly right. And even if you send loads of units, there's plenty of room. So don't be worrying about space! 'Course, I won't be so friendly if you send anti-air and missile units my way!

Gasp! Sensei, you wound me. I would never.

Guess I'll have to rely on Grimm to keep you too busy to bother me.

Our funding is tight, my dude. We can't possibly defend both fronts with this kind of income.

Oh, you'd be surprised. 6k a turn, huh? I can work with that.

Alfonse begins moving up - he's headed for the base on the middle island, since whoever nabs that will be at quite an advantage. Grimm does like to deploy units to prevent you from getting the base so easily, but as you'll see later, this doesn't always work out.

Meanwhile, I move Fliss to the HQ, but, crucially, I don't send her yet. You'll see why later on.

I deploy Felix in the meantime. He'll be heading north, too, primarily to get that airport and fire that silo.

On Grimm's turn, he deploys a couple of infantries - Alistair and Aanisah. This is actually a problem for us - whilst it might look like the main battlefield is going to be fighting over that central island, Grimm's foot units will actually spend most of their time wandering across the river to get at our properties directly. And Grimm's mechs hurt like a bitch, so we need to keep a careful eye on what he deploys to that left base.

Meanwhile, on the second front...

...I do absolutely nothing. This, too, is part of the plan.

"Sorry, did the orders come in saying to do nothing?" Michael asks.

"My dude says we must wait. For what, I do not know yet..." Fleur says. "But we must trust le commandant my dude, should we not?"

Lucy nods. "Definitely! He's got a plan, I'm sure of it."

As you can see on the right, Peregrine's copters are charging forwards. The mechs - Lysander, Dymek, Arqa and Issam - are way less of a bother, but those copters are going to be on top of us in just a few more turns. So... better get working on a plan, huh?

For now, Alfonse and Felix continue moving north, and I deploy a second anti-air, Carl.

"Even in a mock battle, I must fight like I always have. I will show you my strength." Carl mutters.

Alfonse raises an eyebrow. "He just got through a whole sentence without mentioning blood. Man, he really is making the effort to fit in, huh..?"

You will be unsurprised to hear that both infantry units begin capturing things. Sigh. At least it keeps them off my back for a while, but I don't want to give Grimm enough money to get something expensive, especially when we've not got very much money to begin with.

He deploys another infantry, Talora, and a recon, Khepri.

"Hey guys! It's so wonderful to see you all again!" Khepri says delightedly. "I'm gonna give it my all in this battle, don't worry!"

"Hi!" Lucy says, beaming. "I know we're on different fronts, but you sound fun, and I wanted to say hello!"

"You're Lucy, right? I know all about you! It's nice to hear from you!" Khepri replies, almost vibrating with excitement.

Ingo places his forehead on the dashboard of his tank. "Oh, god, now there's two of them..."

We continue to do nothing on the second front. I promise I have a plan.

Sensei's copters move closer and closer. We've got one more turn before they're on top of us, and despite how tight our funding is...

...We've got just enough for a third anti-air, Gordon.

"Hey! I'm sorry that I've not been around until now - been busy in Macro Land, helping with the cleanup. But I'm ready to support the rest of the 11th Division now!" Gordon says, holding up his camera. "I'd heard a lot about the natural beauty of this land, and I wanted to take pictures, but... seems like Black Hole are intent on ruining the land's beauty. I can't forgive them for that!"

"Nice to have you back with us, Gordon!" Alfonse replies. "Sit tight for now - my dude's got a plan, apparently, and it involves most of you sitting around doing nothing."

"Well, I won't question it." Gordon says, chuckling. "Ah, my dude's zany plans... it's good to be back."

The two capturing infantries finish their capturing.

This Dick Captures A Property: 18

This, however. This is the most important turn of the whole map, and I'm not even joking. Khepri, as a recon, could make it to the middle base in two turns if she went north - that's not enough time for Alfonse to reach the base and capture it, and Grimm's recons can put the hurt on even mechs. However, she has a small random chance to go south instead of north first, which, because she has to turn her ass around and go the right way, takes three turns to get to the base instead, which gives us just enough time to capture it with Alfonse before she arrives.

It's a pretty crucial move, but frustratingly random. Still, we got good luck, so let's keep moving forward!

Once again, we do nothing on the second front. I promise there's a reason for this.

"Anyone else feeling a little claustrophobic?" Michael says as the copters come closer forward, with Chakir, Peregrine and Andromeda leading the charge.

"They're almost on top of us, and we've not got the firepower to take them out." Yakov mutters. "Is this 'my dude' always like this?"

"Hey! He beat Sturm the last two times, right?" Inessa says, lightly punching her brother on the shoulder. "Have a little faith!"

"I dunno, this is a risky plan, even for him. Maybe he's playing it a bit less safely since it's a nonlethal battle." Ingo replies.

Ingo is incorrect, however - doing this deathless is exactly why I needed to do nothing. You see, the Dual Strike AI isn't quite as suicidal as previous AIs have been. What this means is that if I'd sent these anti-airs before this point, Sensei would have moved his copters in such a way that they were always out of anti-air range. After that, they'd sneak past the anti-airs and nab some kills on my squishier units here.

So, the easiest way to prevent the copters from running away from my anti-airs is by simply not sending them until the copters were right there for the taking. But now we can send them, so let's take 'em out!

Uh. Half of them, anyway.

Meanwhile on the first front, I deploy Carter as an artillery. Remember how I mentioned Grimm's infantry trying to cross the river? Carter's going to be on infantry-murderin' duty.

Right, everything's going fine here so far, so let's make sure the same is happening on the second front.

Grimm deploys some more units. The mech heading into Carter's range is Braddock, and he's also deployed another infantry, Sofia, and most annoyingly, a tank, Lowell.

Hm, Lowell. That's a new name.

"So, this is a mock battle against the finest of Orange Star and Blue Moon?" Lowell mutters to himself. "I'll bear that in mind. This will be valuable experience for me."

"Alright, copters! They're still not moving, so attack!" Peregrine says wildly. Andromeda gives a gasp, however.

"P-Perry! There's... counting, counters, anti-airs down there!"

"Where the heck did they come from?!" Kiran, in another copter, cries. "No time to retreat - how did...?"

"D-damn it! My dude played us. He knew I'd charge in recklessly!" growls Peregrine. "Uh, right, nothing for it! We've got to fight our hardest and keep my dude distracted so Vanny can win the first front!"

"Oh, alright, I suppose we should..." sighs Shaia.

Fliss prepares to target Shaia in the first battle copter. She readies her cannon.

"My name... is Felicity de la Fleuve! For too long, I've been unwilling to commit myself... to being a soldier. But I've met so many people that I want to protect. And I'll show Yellow Comet the depths... the depths of my resolve!"

"You got splatted three times!" Michael shouts. "You have to leave the battlefield now, right? They're the rules we're using, I assume?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm going..." Shaia sighs. "She splatted my cockpit visor, I can barely see. Chakir, mind avenging me? I'll make it worth your while later..."

"Shaia! I won't tell you again!" Vanessa barks through the transceiver, and Shaia stroppily flies off in her copter.

"God, fine, I'm going..."

Next, Carl takes on Peregrine.

"Man, I got beat! Can I have another go, Vanny?"

"What? No, that's not in the rules-" Vanessa sputters, and Peregrine prepares to fly back to base.

And finally, Gordon finishes off Minerva.

"Thank goodness Kanbei wasn't around to see that embarrassing display..." Minerva sighs to herself. "I'll retreat now. Well done, Orange Star!"

We then have to rearrange our units a little - the copters aren't dangerous now provided we do one very important thing: ensure that not a single non-anti-air unit can be attacked by more than one copter, since any more than one would take them out. Arranging them in a line like so should make that pretty easy.

The copters will prioritise attacking over running away from my anti-airs, so these three are going to stay right here in anti-air range now.

Kiran attacks Inessa first, but she survives the blow easily.

"Whew! You copters sure do hit hard, but you gotta hit me three times to get me out!" Inessa trills. Kiran chuckles.

"Hold on, I'm lining up my next shot..."

Andromeda decides to go for Michael, who's carrying Fenya inside him. Only one of her shots lands, however.

"Not bad, Andromeda!" Michael says.

Andromeda nods. "I will, must, do my best for Vanessa! I should, shall, fuck you up!"

Michael's eyebrows shoot up. "...OK, wasn't expecting that kind of language from such a nice girl."

"How unprofessional." sighs Fenya.

That went pretty well. We're at the advantage now, so all we have to do is maintain it.

So first things first, we take out Braddock with Carter...

And here, we can see Khepri's mistake in its full glory. Alfonse will half-capture the factory this turn, and Khepri can't reach him. So next turn, he'll fully capture the base, and whilst he runs the fuck away from Khepri, I can deploy a tank or something to take her out. Either way, we should be totally fine, and it's all thanks to this overexcited girl going the wrong way earlier. Thanks for that, Khepri!

Alfonse makes a start on his capturing.

"I'm capturing the middle base!" Alfonse reports. "I'm feeling pretty naked, though... there's a recon on the way, am I getting any backup?"

"Heck yeah! I'm coming to get you, Alfonse, and my recon's got some super-strong paintball guns!" Khepri replies.

"Also, why are Yellow Comet on the same transceiver line as us?" Alfonse adds. "That seems... bad for strategy."

"We have the private line if we need to discuss anything privately. Just hang in there for now." Michael replies.

"I'm going to back you up, um, shortly." Felix says. "Hold on!"

Felix, as promised, reaches the first silo! So now we can rain hot death (or more accurately, rain 3HP damage) to some of Yellow Comet's units. As always, sensible silo usage is key to winning the map.

And this seems like the best use of it. Weakening Khepri will help Alfonse survive more reliably, and damaging other units is just the icing on the cake, really.

The explosion strikes the ground all around.

The, uh, nonlethal explosion. I'm not actually sure how this works in mock battles. Maybe it's a giant paint bomb or something.

"DID SOMEONE FILL THE SILOS WITH PAINT?" gasps Vanessa, at Yellow Comet HQ.

"Well, we're using paintballs for the mock battle, so..." Alfonse replies. "Makes sense, doesn't it?"

"Still seems way too dangerous for a mock battle, but whatever. It's not going to hold me back!"

That's all we can do for this turn, so we'll leave it there. Still, things are looking good! Once we finish off Sensei's remaining copters, he's got basically nothing else threatening, so winning the second front shouldn't be a problem. It'll take some time to stamp out all of the mechs, but it won't be hard, at least.

Aanisah drops a silo on Carter.

"Aaaaargh! There's paint in the artillery cannon!" Carter yells. "This is going to take DAYS to clean up..."

As Sofia crosses the river, she decides to make Carter's paint problem even worse by firing on him.

"Oh, good, we've got more company. I know I can usually handle myself, but I need backup down here!" Carter says.

"I need backup up here, though!" Alfonse replies. "We're really spread thin, come to think of it... this might not be good."

We are, indeed, spread very thin. I'll put my focus back on the first front once I've wiped out these copters and mechs.

There is one good thing about this, though! Look at Khepri - after taking damage from that silo, both she and Lowell have retreated south to heal. Alfonse now has all the time in the world (but not actually) to capture this base! Thank goodness. Right, back to the second front murder circle.

First, I move Inessa and Michael out of the way, to make room for the anti-airs.

In short order, Fliss beats Kiran...

Carl beats Andromeda...

And Gordon finishes off Chakir. The copters are down, with not a single retreat from my units!

I know it's a nonlethal battle, but god, I wanted to try and do it deathless anyway, and now the hardest part is out of the way.

This means that the rest of my units can actually, like, go and do stuff now, so they begin heading out to find those last few mechs.

On Sensei's turn, he decides to use his Super CO Power.

Which, uh...

...Well, as most of you will know, it gives his copters (of which he has none) a major firepower boost and spawns 9HP mechs on all of his captured cities (of which he has none).

So yeah, all that happens is that he captures a couple of cities. This might be one of the most embarrassing uses of a SCOP I've ever seen.

This Dick Captures A Property: 20

Well, that just happened. Moving on.

I need to get Carter to a safe place, so I move him around the mountain. This also means I can deploy something new on the base.

Like a tank! Come join us, Von Panzer!

And Alfonse finishes capturing the factory, feeling a bit more relaxed now that there isn't a recon barrelling towards him at sixty miles an hour. Or seven spaces a turn, I guess.

You're in a bit of a pinch now, aren't you, Grimm?

What, are you senile? I'm just getting warmed up!

That's a contender for my favourite line in this game so far. "What, are you senile?" has such a powerful energy behind it.

And, y'know, that would explain why he just used his SCOP in the least useful possible way...

I also start capturing the airport. I'm not actually going to get much use out of it, but hey, nice to have.

Grimm's turn. Let's see what he does.

More god damn capturing. I should have known.

Grimm's deployed more annoyances, too. An infantry unit - Fadel - on the previous turn, and another mech - Iago - this turn. We've really got to stop him from deploying so much stuff.

Right. Let's make more progress on the second front.

Julian charges forward to strike at Issam, doing some decent damage.

Yakov lands the final blow, covering poor Issam in paint.

"Alright, that's definitely more than three times. I'll bow out for now." Issam says, smiling. "Ah, I'll have to wash my bow tie rather thoroughly now..."

Ingo, meanwhile, parks himself on a nearby property to wait for Arqa.

And on Sensei's turn, she takes the bait, charging forward with her paintball gun held high.

"Vanessa's been making me realise just how much I'm capable of giving!" Arqa shouts. "I used to be a slacker, but I'm not going to do that any more. I can genuinely contribute! Watch this!"

Though Ingo lands a hit on Arqa, she manages to land a hit on him, too. Ingo narrows his eyes.

"Huh. If I take on any more paint, I'll have to retreat, too. But I can't allow that." he murmurs. "What's the plan here..?"

The plan is to just send an anti-air to do it, but first, we need to keep up our pressure on the main front. Grimm's determined to drown us in foot soldiers, and I will not have it any longer.

Felix captures the airport, which is pretty useful. More money, on a map with funding as tight as this, is definitely game-changing.

So, I can see Talora just kind of lurking up here. If I use the silo here, it prevents her from getting it next turn, and Alfonse gets the defensive bonuses from the silo.

Again, I aim it vaguely down here - primarily I want to hit the tank, Lowell, because he's on his way north to fight Alfonse, and I'm not confident that my man will get through it unscathed.

Now I need to focus on the bottom of the map. The foot soldiers crossing the river now have to contend with Von Panzer, though, so that should hopefully slow their assault down somewhat. I can't let Grimm get any properties on this side of the map - and especially not the base that Von Panzer is on.

I get a tank up north, too - Dave!

"Alfonse! Glad you're looking alright. No troubles getting this base?"

"You know me, Dave. Not a problem." Alfonse replies, grinning. "At least, I hope we're not going to run into trouble... we've got to keep this base."

Von Panzer takes out one of the infantry, meanwhile. I have long since lost track of which Yellow Comet infantry is which.

And Carter gets into a position where he can fire on any foot soldiers who go for the neutral property - or more worryingly, those that try to attack Von Panzer. Like I said, Grimm's mechs hurt.

This could be an interesting turn. Let's see...

This Dick Captures A Property: 22

Both the airport and the property get captured, annoyingly. Now I really need to keep Grimm on the run, because the last thing I need is for him to deploy some air units that might challenge my tanks' superiority.

As I feared, Iago is going for Von Panzer. He lands a sturdy blow, but he's in Carter's range, so that should be fine next turn. Still, Von Panzer's gonna have to go heal after that.

Talora attacks Alfonse, meanwhile, and even with the defensive bonus, brings him down to 6HP. Jesus Christ.

"I'll take it from here." Lowell says, readying his tank's paint cannon. "I've observed your battle thus far, and have decided that you soldiers draw your strength from the bonds of friendship. Without them, when asked to fight on an individual level... you are all just another soldier."

He opens fire on Alfonse, preparing to coat him in paint.

"Lowell, was it?" Dave says, turning to the young man. He nods.

"Soldier of Yellow Comet. Hoping to learn all I can from these battles, so that I may better protect my country." Lowell says.

"Well, there's one thing you definitely need to learn, then." Dave says, giving the young man a wide grin.


"Simple." Alfonse replies, standing up and shouldering his gun. "You missed."

"H-how?!" gasps Lowell. "By all accounts, that should've..."

"You're not wrong that the bonds of friendship make us strong. But when you're tangling with the Allied Nations, especially those who serve under my dude, there's something you should remember: we don't go down easily. On our own, or together, we're strong either way."

Lowell lowers his head and nods. "Hm. I see. I've... more to learn, then."

Phew! Glad Alfonse got through that alright. Now I just need to figure out a way of getting rid of Lowell before he can finish the job.

On the second front, Gordon takes on Lysander.

"Gah! Man, you took me by surprise. Guess you guys are just as brilliant as ever, huh?" Lysander says, smirking as he is dripping in paint.

"Oh, I don't know if I'd go that far, but we do our best!" Gordon replies.

"You sure do. It's a pleasure to be back, everyone. I'm looking forward to fighting alongside you - that is, if you win."

"We've got my dude, of course we're gonna win." Dave grunts over the transceiver.

Vanessa, back at Yellow Comet HQ, sighs. "Of course, he's right. I can't outwit my dude yet, as I'm still learning my craft. But... if she gets back soon, maybe she..?"

Up north, Arqa is surprised by Ingo retreating and being replaced by a much more dangerous unit for a mech: Fliss. She finishes off Arqa without much trouble.

Just one mech left now, Dymek, but I've got Gordon and Carl on the case. They can finish him off next turn.

He does get a final "fuck you" in the form of another god damn property though.

This Dick Captures A Property: 23

Right, let's just blaze through this next turn so we can finish off the second front.

So, the fun thing about Alfonse is that you don't need any amount of HP to be capable of firing a silo, so he can still contribute despite being moments away from needing to retreat.

I bomb the group down here, since there's quite a lot of them now. And, wait, that artillery-

"I can command the battle better if I'm actually taking part!" Vanessa shouts. "If you want victory, my dude, I'm going to make you earn it!"

Fine by me. I like a challenge.

She's a bit less talkative after Alfonse drops a huge paint bomb on her.

Dave moves up to attack Lowell from here - he can finish Lowell off in one blow, and by doing it from this position, he also prevents Talora from getting any closer to Alfonse.

Felix gets on with his capturing, in the meantime. He's not got much else to offer right now, but I'm not going to complain about more money.

Down below, Carter finishes off another mech to protect Von Panzer. Things are going... alright down here, but I'd prefer to feel a bit safer about the endless waves of dudes headed by way. I need more support.

Especially since Von Panzer's gonna head north to heal for a bit.

I deploy another tank at the northern base to support Dave in the meantime - and it's Rin, because who else?

"Dave! Ready to show Yellow Comet what we can do together?"

"Of course, kid." Dave replies. "Just take care, alright? It might be a mock battle, but they ain't holding back!"

And that's generally how this turn ends. We'll deal with the lower problems next time, but for now Carter can just about halt the flow.

Let's see what Grimm's going to do about it.

He sends more units forward to capture that neutral property, and deploys another tank - it's Kyril, the nephew of Emperor Kanbei.

"I'm here to help, Vanessa!" Kyril announces. "Just tell me what I need to do - I'll hold the line!"

"I know you will, Kyril. Glad to have you on the field. Pay attention to my orders, and we'll stop Orange Star in their tracks!" Vanessa replies.

Right, second front time. Let's just get rid of Dymek and end it.

The extra bonuses from the property do mean that he survives a hit from Gordon, though, so Carl's going to have to finish it.

"...That is your third hit, isn't it? You're defeated." Carl replies. "We've defeated you."

"Yeah, yeah, alright! Guess you got me fair and square." Dymek replies. "Damn, I was hoping to take at least one of you down with me, but..."

Hurray! That's one load off my mind. Now to finish off the main battle.

Don't get cocky, my dude! It'll be your undoing!

What, do you have a plan, Vanessa? It better be good!

I'm doing my best, Commander Grimm! Just give me a moment to think...

So! Next time we'll push forward on the main front and finish off this map. Still, it's started well, and that's the major headaches out of the way. Now it's just a case of dealing with Grimm's remaining forces, but we're at the advantage.

Plus, we've got a Tag Power in the back now, so I'll be making good use of that later on. See you next week, everyone!


Update 22 (Intermission) - Sleepless Night