The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 43: Chapter 43 (Battle) - New Contenders For The Best Units In The Game

Update 43 (Battle) - New Contenders For The Best Units In The Game

Hoo boy, we have a long update today. Let's jump into the battle!

Max was voted for the second front (naturally), and we had a vote for Javier plus a vote to use COs I don't use as much, so... Javier!

Today’s Deployments
Boris, Infantry
Ivan, Infantry
Dimitri, Mech
Ludmilla, APC
Adelaide, APC
Carter, Artillery
Paul, Rockets
Raynald, Fighter
Valentin, Fighter
Diana, Fighter
Yakov, Fighter
Khepri, Fighter
Andromeda, Fighter
Lorelei, Fighter
Petra, Fighter
Alina, Bomber
Lucy, Stealth Fighter
Peregrine, Stealth Fighter
Klara, Stealth Fighter
Zlata, Stealth Fighter
Valeria, Stealth Fighter
Matek, Stealth Fighter
Quincy, Stealth Fighter
Rose, Battle Copter
Shaia, Battle Copter
Anna, Battleship
Von Panzer, Aircraft Carrier
Lloyd, Aircraft Carrier
Iago, Aircraft Carrier
Eva, Aircraft Carrier
Wallace, Aircraft Carrier
Kevin, Aircraft Carrier
Peter, Aircraft Carrier
Fenya, Cruiser
Selena, Submarine
Michael, Lander

I think, for the first time, maybe ever, I am justified in having so many characters. I wasn’t sure I was going to have enough units for this.

Yeah, and real knights died out years ago because they all got stabbed in the back. Max, bring them all back safe, alright?

Of course! Fortress, stronghold, hideout--whatever you call it, I'm bringing it down!

Attaboy, Max. I have nothing to fear.

So, there's a lot going on this map. Our main goals are to free our carriers from those cruisers, take out Jugger's forces defending the fortress, and get our strongest units in position to smash the cannons. Up top, it's a simple case of destroying the Black Arc. Again.

Moving our indirects, Carter and Paul, down here gets them in position to fire on the cruisers. Paul's already in range of the first one.

Our foot units capture some stuff. It's not super important, but hey, it's there. And there's a few things we do want to grab - namely, the comm towers.

There's a couple of comm towers near the carriers, so I organise the APCs and Michael, our lander for today, in position to carry the foot units down there once they've finished capturing.

Nearly done with all the preparations now. Next task is to send two of our fighters up - Valentin heads on up, and Raynald of Châtillon crusades up there.

"Truly incredible! Javier, a CO after my own heart - a noble knight who understands the true cause!"

"Oh lord, Raynald's got a new hero." sighs Michael. "Well, as long as he's happy..."

And we'll set Max to defensive posture so my fighters don't just blindly charge into the range of the enemy fighters. We can do the same tactic we did last time - lure them in, then crush them next turn with all our planes.

The rest of our forces move forward - progress is gonna be slow whilst Jugger has a fighter, a cruiser and two battleships hanging around. Once a few of the anti-air threats are gone, though... heh.

May as well check out the carrier just before we end turn.

Massive deck, more like massive di-

ANYWAY, while they're on board, they'll get a fresh supply of ordnance and fuel. Just load and drop units just as you would with an APC. It's that simple.

Wicked. I'll check that out.

This carrier has air units on board that I want to launch. But enemy units and pipes are in the way. We've got to create an opening.

Don't worry, I'm on it. I want to see the stealthy boys as much as anyone else!

Jugger's fighter is going to be aggressive and charge us. Annoyingly, though, his cruiser and battleships are just gonna hang back, and we can't fight them without getting into cannon range right now.

These neophytes genuinely believe they can defeat us with this shabby force? It's enough to make me break into laughter. Yes... I laugh at them. Aha ha ha...

Oh god, Kindle's laugh is contagious. Aha ha ha!

Unknown ordnance detected.

Hmmm? Yes. You are correct. They are fielding units that are unfamiliar to me. If they intended to shake my confidence, they have failed. The Black Arc has been refined--nothing the enemy possesses can match it!

Except for like, eight fighters.

Come, Jugger. The denizens of the deep are hungry, and I would feed them!

Jugger's cruisers also harass our carriers - Von Panzer, Lloyd and Iago. Jugger's shaky damage output means these cruisers can do up to 2 damage. But if you get lucky...

Then they take basically no damage.

"Ach! These weaklings will not stop Von Panzer!" Von Panzer yells.

Lloyd nods, his captain's coat flapping in the wind as he shouts to the sky. "Aye, these sea-monkeys are gonna regret the day they messed with us, lads!"

"Hmph. If you say so." Iago mutters.

No damage again...

Come on. Three for three, do it, Jugger.

Pfft. That's probably the best opening turn you can have with these cruisers - gives us more time to get the indirects down there to take care of them.

And there's the aggressive fighter, as mentioned.

There's also a good number of black boats hanging about, which is going to make taking out those battleships even more of a hassle.

Up top, our plane force moves forwards, and some of our planes can attack the cannons whilst staying out of enemy range! As such, Andromeda takes the initiative.

"I... I landed a struck, shot, hit!" Andromeda says. "It's... so high..."

"Hang in there, Andromeda!" says Khepri brightly, flying her own fighter towards the imposing Black Arc. "Peregrine said you're really improving as a flier! Why not show her just how good you've become?"

"I would, um, will!"

You can't really see them because Koal's stupid head is in the way, but anyway, the enemy fighters took the bait.

Down here, too. We can take them out next turn, no problem.

The black bombs are headed to our southern group. Thankfully, they're not a problem - once the enemy fighters are gone, there's only the bombers and black bombs left - neither of which can kill fighters outright, so victory is guaranteed after this, pretty much.

So, let's head back to the main front, where things are not so guaranteed yet. Lots to do first.

Like capturing a comm tower! One down, two to go - they'll help a ton later.

Paul opens fire on the first cruiser whilst Carter moves his artillery so he can finish it off next turn.

Now we need to send our final two fighters up so we can cleanly finish off the enemy this turn - up you go, Diana!

And Yakov, you too. We've got enough firepower, especially with Max, to finish off all the enemy fighters now, I'm pretty sure.

Speaking of enemy fighters, we've got to keep our copters out of this dude's range. We want to lure him further over here so we can cruiser him to death with Fenya.

We arrange our forces like this - Anna, our battleship, is also in range to fire on the other cruisers from here, so she'll be doing that to help out the grounded indirects.

Hopefully Jugger's plane takes the bait. ...Come to think of it, do cruisers even oneshot fighters? I probably should've checked that before I sent all my fighters up.

The cruisers attack our big burly aircraft carriers again, but this one, weakened by Paul, does fuckall to Von Panzer.

The other ones don't have as much luck, and take a bit of damage. Nothing to be concerned about.

The important thing is that these cruisers will all be dead soon.

Bait: taken.

The black boats head down to try and help out that damaged cruiser, but it'll be Carter-ed by the time they get there.

So, I won't show all of this, but safe to say...

This turn on the second front reminds me a lot of my favourite Vengaboys song.





I want you in my room, let's spend the night together, from now until forever...

So, yeah, we pulled off another deathless run of the AI-controlled second front! I really hope they don't get harder than this. Actually, I really hope this is the last mission with one of these outright.

The cannons take a few pot-shots at our fighters, but again, they can't bring our fighters below 1HP, so there's really no danger-

Although it'll go quicker if my planes have higher HP, so please stop fucking shooting them

The black bomb down here explodes, which brings our girls Andromeda and Khepri down a bit.

The other black bomb hangs back, obviously terrified after seeing all those fighters get destroyed in one turn.

Well, that was magical!

Now back to the actual battle. Paul's moving over here, since I need him to do something else. Anna and Carter can take care of the cruisers, no problem - Anna one-shots them, for starters.

Carter doesn't, but he still hits hard enough to finish this loser off. One down!

Dimitri, Ivan and Boris have places to be, so Dimitri hops into Ludmilla's APC.

And Ludmilla hops into Michael's lander.

Followed by Ivan.

"Well, this is a party!" Ivan says cheerily. Michael waves at him.

"Sure is! But we've got some more comm towers to capture, so no time to sit and chat, unfortunately." Michael replies.

"I just worry about those carriers. They sound like powerful new vehicles, but having them trapped like this..." Ludmilla says. She gives a sultry smile. "Well, the COs have a plan, I'm sure. Let's do our part to win this battle!"

"Agreed. Set sail, Michael - let's not waste time." Dimitri commands. Michael salutes and prepares to sail.

Boris hops into Adelaide to catch up via the land route.

So, uh, in-universe, my dude doesn't know this, but guess what? Fun fact about carriers.

They're ranged anti-air units with god damn 3-8 range.

Yeah, we lured the fighter in range of the delete button known as the carrier, no cruisers necessary. Delete him, Iago!

Goddammit Iago, put more effort in.

They can splash bogeys from three to eight spaces away.

Are you SHITTING me? You can't just casually say "oh here are these cool carriers, their main function is carrying planes and refuelling them, also they're the undisputed best anti-air weapon that has ever existed"!

You won't be thinking they're the best anti-air weapon when you see the price tag.

Oh, god damn it, why are all the units I like really expensive?

Well, I'm going to enjoy them whilst we have them, then. Open fire, Lloyd!

"Say no more! Pay attention, carriers! THIS is how you down an aircraft!"

"Urgh." Iago sighs. "I could've done that."

"Then why didn't you? What's your name, lad?" Lloyd says.

Iago grimaces and puts the transceiver down. "Doesn't matter."

Meanwhile, Anna absolutely dunks on the second cruiser. Battleships are so much fun and Advance Wars should have more naval maps, I said it.

The bro copters aren't quite as dangerous to my units as the fighter, but they can fire on submarines (and cruisers, technically, but that would be a suicidal option), so I'd like to move everyone out of this range. Rose, in one of the allied bro copters, shakes her hair out of her face.

"We're making great strides. Forces, move back and allow the enemy to approach. Move forward and crush them when the opportunity arises - we'll take care of the enemy's naval division afterwards."

"Yes, ma'am." Selena replies. "My sub is primed and ready - I'm waiting on orders from my dude to move in."

"I know..." Rose mutters. "We must be cautious. There's something bothering me about this battle, and I can't figure out what yet. What did I read about the Black Arc in the battle notes..?"

Von Panzer moves around so that he can drop off our new planes in a more convenient location, once the cruisers are all taken care of, and with that, our turn ends.

Come to think of it, a fighter, some cruisers... quite expensive. Jugger's CO Meter might be charging faster than I'd like - with the second front taking over the other screen, I can't see it at a glance, so I've not been checking it.

The copters move in and wisely decide not to suicide into Fenya. She'll have to oneshot them in her own time.

And this cruiser continues poking away at Lloyd, ignoring the enormous battleship on the other side of this pipe which is about to slaughter it.

The rest of the ships continue staying the fuck away from me, which I'm not complaining about. I'll deal with them later.

And with the fighters gone, our units up top begin working on attacking the cannons around the Black Arc to bring it down.

First one down! Seven more to go, but with Max-powered fighters, it's not going to be too much time.

I could send our bomber, Alina, up to oneshot them, but I'd rather keep her on the main front where her sheer power will be quite useful. We don't want Max to win the second front too quickly anyway, since I need to get things prepared on the main front before then. You'll see why in a bit.

That's it, Yakov. Keep murdering those cannons.

Our southern planes do eat another black bomb, but they can just join up next turn, so... yeah. This would have been a more dangerous map if the black bombs came first, then the enemy fighrers.

Not that I'm complaining - I like a nice, convenient map.

Back to our turn, and we have plenty to do - you see, there's some bad news.

Jugger's nearly got his SCOP. Thankfully, we can solve that problem - if we kill everything of Jugger's that's in range of our units, then his SCOP will be useless since nothing can attack us. So, uh, yeah, we've got to play very aggressively, and those copters are first on the hit-list.

Fenya takes care of one of 'em pretty easily.

Rose attacks the second copter, weakening it...

"Shaia, move in and finish it off. Take it out, quickly." Rose commands.

"Alright, alright, I heard you the first time..." Shaia says, sighing, before muttering to herself: "Taking orders from a kid is something else..."

With that done, I move Paul into place. He's got work to do.

And Anna finishes off the final cruiser, freeing our aircraft carriers!

So Von Panzer moves on up and drops off the first of our stealth fighters: Lucy.

"Ooh, this thing is slinky! I kinda love it!" Lucy says, taking flight. "Are you two catching up?"

"Yeah, yeah, we'll be with you shortly!" Peregrine replies, grinning. "Just gotta keep an eye on those rockets - don't park yourself in range of 'em, Lloyd!"

"Who do you think you're talkin' too, lass? I'd never make such an amateur mistake!" Lloyd says with a loud, proud laugh. "Let's get you airborne, then, shall we?"

"Get going." mutters Iago as he drops off the final stealth fighter: Klara.

"Oh, thank you so much! I'll catch up with you two now, Lucy, Peregrine... I hope I don't hold you back!"

"Nah, I've heard good things about your fighting, Klara! Just, uh, direct that rage towards the enemy, alright?" Peregrine says.

Selena moves into position and dives down. Now that we have the stealth fighters, we can more safely approach this little clusterfuck of boats, and Selena will be useful for doing some damage here.

Next it's time for Jugger's CO Power: Hit Very Hard, Except Not Because Nothing's In Range!

Yeah yeah. Get it over with.

Why do they even use it if nothing's in range?

Jugger's black boats use all this newfound power to REPAIR as hard as they can.

And nothing else notable happens.

Well done, Jugger. You may not be the best CO at, like, winning, but you have the best dialogue, and that counts for something.

Up top, another cannon goes down...

And another! We're making good progress.

And seeing as they, uh, can't do any damage, Koal's bombers refuse to come any closer. We'll kill them later, don't worry.

So, let's find out what the deal with stealth fighters is, anyway.

It can engage both air units and ground forces.

HELL yes.

Engage? I want to blow stuff up, not marry it.

I'm not done yet! I'm about to get to the good part. Stealth units can hide, blending seamlessly into the sky. While they're invisible, they can't be targeted.

Can't be targeted? What, so that's just like when a sub dives, right?

That's it, Jake! The only units that can attack stealth units while they're hiding are fighters and other stealth units.


Yes, FINE, they also get hit by minicannons. Aside from these, stealth units can't be touched.

Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Max! Focus on the second front before all of my soldiers die!

Relax, my dude, I'm on it!

Black Hole doesn't stand a chance against rad weapons like these.

I must admit, I'm excited to see them in action.

Word. You're that hotshot Yellow Comet ACO, aren't you?

Correct--Rose. And you must be Jake.

Sure am. You must've heard a lot of good things about me from my dude. We're pretty tight.

I certainly heard things about you from my dude, yes... Anyway, let's see what these new planes can do. We'll win for certain with these.

Don't forget that they're still vulnerable to enemy fighters. Though, I suppose that's a moot point since the enemy fighters are all downed. We'll need to get the most out of our new fighters to take out that fortress!

Fuck yeah, let's do it!

We have stealth planes now! Who's hyped? I am. First, though, we have some other things to do - Boris and Ivan get dropped off and go for the comm towers.

And Paul can do big damage to this anti-air! We need to get our bomber, Alina, through this area, but taking out the rockets and anti-air is inconvenient with the units we have. Paul's rocket support helps a ton, since we can do this now...

Rose, the bravest bro copter in the world, takes on the anti-air, and finishes it off.

Which lets Alina come in and blast these rockets, practically putting them out of commission.

The reason this is so awkward is the minicannon - we have to stay out of its range, since it'll chip our units, and Alina cannot afford to take a hit right now.

Klara suddenly charges forward as her demeanour changes once more. The noise can be heard over the transceiver. "Think you can threaten our land, you bastardly pieces of filth?! I'll crush every single one of you with one arm tied behind my back! EAT THIS! GRRAAAAARGH!!!"

"Goodness me." Rose says. "I see what people mean about Klara being a berserker now..."

"Classic Klara. Knock 'em dead, hun!" Ludmilla says through the transceiver.

As Rachel said, our stealth planes can hide just like subs.

And we get a cute little animation of them shrouding themselves in fog - Lucy is primed and ready for action.

Peregrine gets herself in position, too. We're almost ready to break through these fucking boats.

Just gotta make sure this cruiser doesn't spot Selena or the stealth fighters.

Actually, you know what? I can just sneak Anna into the cruiser's range and it'll go for her. Perfect. Once it's been lured away from the battleships, we can descend upon it and murder it, no problem.

And thus, my forces arrange themselves like so. We need to stay back out of minicannon range right now, but next turn we should be able to sneak some units between the cannons.

Let's see if Jugger continues taking all the bait that we're providing.

That would be a yes. Anna only takes like two damage from this, so it's a pretty decent trade-off.

And now there's just all these black boats hanging around like the annoying fuckers that they are. I'm not going to be bothered to murder them all.

Up top, there's more plane action as our brave boys and girls blow up more cannons!

Just three left, and the bombers. Let's go for a full rout, shall we? That'll be satisfying.

So if you're wondering why I don't just blow this minicannon up with Alina... yeah. That's not a very bomber amount of damage.

In my first run of the map, I saw this low damage and chose not to attack (because, like, why would you), but there's dialogue for doing so, so we may as well.

What the FUCK was that.

We can't seem to damage it. Is it being shielded by something?

I thought we were pounding it, but we did a lot of nothin'.


This is suspicious. Jess, do you think--

Yes, I do. Black Hole's utilizing a barrier field. It gave us fits back in Green Earth.

Oh, god, what?

A barrier field?

So it's like armor? You're telling me they've got something that stops all our attacks?

Yes. As long as it's functional, even a megatank couldn't scratch it.

"As long as it's functional", huh? Next job is taking it out, then.

Hold up. So we're pretty much rappelling down a cliff without a rope?

Not quite. Every unit has a weak point. It must take a lot of energy to project the barrier around the fortress. That energy has to come from somewhere, right?

...I thought it was strange.

An energy source? You may be right. I'll scout around and see what I can find.

Check the Black Arc.


Don't you think it's odd, my dude, that the Black Arc hasn't fired on us yet? I checked the battle logs of your first encounter, and it was capable of bombing you from on high.

That's a good point. It hasn't fired on us once yet.

You think the Black Arc's purpose has been changed?

I'm confident, yes. Take a look--time is of the essence.

Right, you do that and we'll handle the battle, Rachel. Come on, Javier, look lively!

There's some good news, though - we have the last two comm towers now! They'll be quite useful in just a second, actually.

Since she can't fire on the cruiser currently harassing her, Anna instead shoots one of the black boats.

I fucking hate this. Why am I keeping a counter of properties that dicks capture and not how many times I've left an enemy with like 1HP remaining?!

Anyway, Peregrine fires on the cruiser. Fun fact about stealth planes? When hiding, not only can they not be fired on, but they also don't get countered when attacking, so this cruiser does nothing. I don't know if that's the case for subs, but I feel like it's not.

Lucy, in the other stealth fighter, slams the battleship for big meaty damage. That's what we like to see!

Also, I haven't been showing it, but there's a base down south, and this transport copter has been slowly picking up and infantry and flying over there to capture it. Unfortunately, it put itself in Von Panzer range, and he instantly downs it. Tragic.

Selena sneaks in and lands a hit on the other battleship, too.

I want to weaken this cruiser as much as possible, so it doesn't bother my planes; as such, Fenya attacks it next, weakening it further.

Klara rampages up north and stealths, ready to sneak in and deliver missile-y death to the enemy.

Continuing the hyperaggressive turn we're having, Rose strikes this black boat.

Shaia can move in and do a bit more damage, but doesn't quite get a kill.

Oh shit, I have my Super CO Power. I should use that. Javier's ranged defence is the main reason I played so aggressively here - the rockets and battleships could fire on Selena now that she's been spotted, but with a nice SCOP to protect her, she'll be untouchable for this turn. Only the best for my finest soldier.

"YES!" shouts Raynald, from the second front. "Charge into the maw, slay the infidel, and spank all of their hinds!!"

"Oh my god. We can never let these two meet in person." Dimitri sighs.

"Agreed." Adelaide says, shaking her head and putting the transceiver down.

The reason I didn't, uh, do this at the start of the turn is because I wasn't 100% sure if I wanted to use it or not. But I'd rather not risk Selena's life - she's put me through enough stress in these last three campaigns as is, what with cruisers and fuel problems and all the other things that subs have to worry about.

So, with our units being functionally invincible...

The battleships join up, the rockets don't fire on anyone, and the cruiser gets the fuck out of dodge. Nice result!

Our planes up above have a few more cannons to go, as Raynald crusades over to this one and takes it out.

A few of the planes decide to go for these two bombers, just to finish them off and add insult to Koal's injury.

Second bomber down. This might seem like a waste of time, but it is actually handy, as it takes an extra turn to finish off the second front, giving me enough time to get everyone in position on the main front.

Two cannons left on the second front. Let's get everyone into position then, shall we?

That's the one drawback to these planes. When they're hiding, they burn eight units of fuel per day--they can't hide for long.

Ahh. That's the kind of drawback I like.

The kind that isn't a drawback if you win the battles quickly enough?


You've got to make good use of the carrier and its ability to resupply air units.

And before we can do anything, Rachel harasses us AGAIN-

Right on!

Rose, you were right. I've confirmed that a huge amount of energy is flowing from the Black Arc. It's coming from the second front down to the floating fortress on the main front! My best guess is the sky fortress is powering the barrier field.

I knew something was up.

So if we can cut off the power supply, the barrier around the ocean fortress will drop, leaving it vulnerable to our attacks!

It seems that way. That problem should resolve itself soon, then, with Max taking care of the second front.

Right. So how do we do that?

Same as always, Max--just keep smashing those cannons!

Ask me to smash something, and I will! Have I ever let ya down?

Once those cannons are gone, we blow the Black Arc out of the sky! Once that's done, we send that floating freakshow to the bottom of the sea!

We'd better get this map done quickly, too - the stealth planes aren't the only ones running low on fuel.

"Fuel supplies running low..." Selena mutters. "All forces, prepare for assault! The moment that field goes down, we must strike. Stealth squadron on standby!"

"Standby!" Peregrine shouts. "Once we get word from Khepri's air squadron, we'll move in and take 'em out!"

Low fuel isn't a problem for Selena, though, who is going to power through it and attack the joined battleship, taking it out for good. That's a huge relief!

This is why we've been moving Alina steadily over this way - to open up this seam.

"Eva! Sorry it took me so long to come save you! The way's open now!"

"Excellent work!" Eva says, grinning.

Eva drops off Valeria in another stealth fighter.

"Alina, let's move in." Valeria says coldly. "I'd like to pay Black Hole back for this... inconvenience."

"I'm with you, Val. Let's do it!"

"...Don't call me Val."

Shaia can take out the black boat, too.

And whilst it does put her in cannon range, Rose can finish off this other black boat. We're slowly whittling down the enemies!

Whilst Lucy and Klara move in, Peregrine follows the cruiser to make sure it doesn't do anything annoying.

And thus, everyone is in position!

Now it literally doesn't matter what Jugger does. He's done for.

Oh, he had his SCOP charged. Fun.

It will be useless, don't worry.

Since all of his units are, you know, dead.

Let's do something more productive, like finishing off this cannon...

And two of our fighters team up to destroy the final cannon! Second front, flawless victory! Not bad, Max!

Ocean fortress barrier collapsing.

The burns like a brand. The minicannon is a wounded beast, and the allies circle like ravenous wolves! They forget that I am the hunter, and I will bring these mutts to heel.

The Orange Star Army has won on the secondary front!

Aren't we the Allied Nations at this point?

Hilariously enough, despite using our Super CO Power like two turns ago...

We STILL have enough funds from the second front to charge it fully again. So let's tag, just to really rub it in these guys' faces!

Javier's lines are a fantastic mixture of genuinely badass and fantastically baffling.

Dual Strike time, baby! It's not even necessary, hilariously enough, since...

"Cannon 1... DOWN!" Alina shouts as she drops a payload of bombs on it.

"Second cannon destroyed. Damage to stealth fighter: none. An excellent victory." Valeria adds as she blows up the second of the cannons. Around the front, the stealth planes charge.

"Take THIS!" Lucy says. "That's another one down - just one more to go and this whole fortress sinks to the bottom of the sea, where it belongs!"

Klara yells as she opens fire on the final cannon. "When you SINK TO THE BRINY DEEP, you'd better tell Davy fucking Jones who sent ya! KLARA, the hardest-hitting soldier in the army! There will be NO MERCY and NO FORGIVENESS from the Allied Nations, so let yourselves drown in the waves or perish by my missiles!!!"

BOOM! And with that, we've done it!

Thanks to our new units, the road ahead just got a heck of a lot smoother!

Overconfidence will get us all killed.

Agreed. We can't be as brash as we were before.

Huh? My dude, being humble? What's up with that?

Black Hole has seen our new technology. It won't be long before they reproduce them through reverse engineering.

She's right. We have to assume Black Hole will deploy carriers and stealth fighters soon.

Still, it gave us a slight advantage in the short term.

Blast! I'm tired of playing games with these goons!

Just one more reason to drop these fools once and for all. C'mon, let's bounce--we've got sun to catch in the desert.

And another S-rank for us! Honestly, this was a hugely fun map, probably one of my favourites in the game so far. So fun I could play it twice!


Jugger, you might have a contender for best dialogue, Javier's is really good actually.

Anyway, a new mission for us! I'm curious as to what bullshit we'll be up against next.

What are you thinking, Hawke?

Well, look what the wind blew in--a little bird named Hawke and his little masked friend. What are you two doing here?

Hello, Kindle.

I wonder how the war against the allies fares. I trust you're fulfilling your duties. Did you know they've made it all the way here to Red Rock Desert?

The allied resistance has proved to be...greater than expected.

You are aware of the orders not to let them near our base here, right? The orders which came from our new leader, Lord Von Bolt?

What are you scheming?

Scheming? Whatever do you mean?

Do not play coy with me. The three of you, the so-called Bolt Guard, must know what Von Bolt's goal is. He's wielding Black Hole's army like it's his personal sledgehammer.

The land is falling to ruin, and as it does, the Bolt Guard laughs, as if that plays into your plans.

What does Black Hole gain by turning this land into scorched earth? Answer me. What are you after? Where is your master? Where is Von Bolt?

Aha ha ha! There's no reason for you to know that, my dour little bird. All you have to worry your head about is following the commander's orders.

And you, Madam Director, I had expected better. You were given your freedom because you followed orders, and you had the same distaste for this world that we do. Don't mess it up now.


If you find yourself incapable of doing so, then you leave me no choice. I will go and crush those allied fools myself. I AM up for CO of the month, you know? Taa-taa, little birdie, Madam Director. Aha ha ha ha ha...


The longer I fight for Black Hole...the more mixed-up I get.

Come, Madam Director. We must know what Von Bolt is planning.

Meanwhile, the Allied Nations move on to the next battle.

It looks like we're in for another tough Fog of War battle.


What's the holdup? We can see the road, can't we? Let's roll!


Something wrong, Sasha?

I...I have a bad feeling about this.

I feel the same way. I hate dealing with takes longer to formulate a perfect strategy.

Perhaps it's just a case of nerves, but...

Sasha's "bad feelings" are generally followed by bad events.

Oh, joy.

Once when I was little and fell down the stairs, she...

What are you babbling about?

Truly the voice of reason, Grimm. Weirdly enough.

Oh, sorry. It's just...

Whatever the case, we can't just sit here. I want everyone to stay alert and move forward.

Actually, Commander Rachel, I'm still formulating a strategy. Could we perhaps wait for a couple of hours?

If you think that's best, Rose. What now, then?

My dude looks deep in thought. Anything you want to tell us?

...I really think that last battle would have been easier if we could just blow up some of those ships.

Sorry, what?! Blowing up ships would have HELPED us win? Are you sure you're a strategist?

No, no, hear me out! So, let's imagine for a second that all of those ships were unmanned, or the soldiers, like, abandoned ship or whatever--we could have approached the battle like this...

Oh, THIS ought to be good.

I think I see what he means...let's hear him out. This might be interesting, and we have a few hours spare anyway.

OK, so, we start as normal...

In the meantime, here's one side of the battlefield...

And the other. Feel free to vote for some COs - we'll be doing another run of Omens and Signs with a fun new strategy next time, so you have two weeks to vote for COs! See you next time, folks!


Update 44 (Intermission) - Four Fingers On The Guitar