The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 65: Chapter 65 (Battle) - Several Copters Were Harmed In The Making Of This Update

Update 65 (Battle) - Several Copters Were Harmed In The Making Of This Update

Welcome to volcanoes: the map. Are you excited?!

You shouldn't be. The volcanoes will be relevant precisely one (1) time in this update.

So, our votes this time gave us Grit for the primary front and Javier for the secondary front! A pretty good selection - Sensei and Javier actually tied on votes for the secondary front, but I went Javier because there's lots of comm towers and also Javier is funny.

We're about ready! I'll explain the strategy once we get into the map, but the main thing to know is that this map is not NEARLY as hard as the previous several maps have been. This is a hell of a breather this late into the game.

Today’s Deployments
First Front
Rin, Infantry
Vanessa, Infantry
Dave, Mech
Alfonse, Mech
Carter, Mech
Lysander, Mech
Dymek, Mech
Arqa, Mech
Iago, Mech
Mina, Mech
Michael, APC
Darwin, APC
Eduard, Anti-Air
Fliss, Anti-Air
Cassandra, Anti-Air
Ingo, Artillery
Noah, Artillery
Sebastian, Artillery
Gordon, Rockets
Fred, Rockets
Yakov, Rockets
Inessa, Rockets
Mulligan, Missiles
Lucy, Bomber
Zlata, Bomber
Peregrine, Bomber
Conrad, Bomber
Julian, Battle Copter
Rose, Battle Copter
Andromeda, Battle Copter
Anton, Battle Copter

Second Front
Alina, Mech
Nika, Mech
Dimitri, Mech
Ludmilla, APC
Valeria, Anti-Air
Boris, Anti-Air
Eva, Missiles
Von Panzer, Battle Copter
Lena, Battle Copter

...That said, it's not a hard map, but it is a big one, hence the absolute truckload of deployments.

Ho, Sir Clone of Sir Kanbei! I challenge your honor on of honor!

Nice. Smooth.

Right, so here's the vague overview. We need to kill all the units to win, and Black Hole have a huge army on the first front. However, the island in the middle is completely separated from the mainland, so only foot units can get across - as such, all our ranged units on the middle island can target both the enemies on the outer ring, as well as the fuckers in the centre area. And since the tanks in the centre area can't get out... yeah, it's going to be pretty one-sided. Us having Grit for the primary front was insult to injury, really.

The secondary front, meanwhile, will be made much easier by the addition of several anti-air units and missiles sent from the first front - there's no air units on the primary front, and unless we really fuck up and let Black Hole capture the airport on this map, then there never will be air units on the primary front.

As such, our vague plan is such:

- Acquire airport as fast as humanly possible.
- Establish a defensive presence on the outer circle.
- Kill artillery units within the inner circle to establish dominance.
- Destroy the Copter SquadTM on the secondary front.
- Murder everything on the map with bombers.

So let's just fucking do it!

First things first, all our anti-airs, Eduard, Fliss and Cassandra, are heading to the secondary front, followed by our missiles, Mulligan.

There we go!

"Well, well, looks like we've got enough anti-airs to deal with anything now." Valeria says, eyeing the newcomers. "It'll be an honour fighting alongside the Morningstar."

"Oh, thank you, Valeria. I'm just as honoured to be fighting with the Snowbound Free Company!" Cassandra replies.

Mulligan chuckles. "Alright, I'm glad we're all feeling positive, but we'd better get moving. Those copters will be closing in fast!"

So, our bro copters on the primary front are actually in the perfect position - by moving as far north as possible, Julian can sit right where the path is 1 tile wide, making an excellent chokepoint. The enemy's only got a couple of anti-air units, so if we can snipe those with our ranged units as they come around, then Julian can hold this line basically forever.

Rose can do the same thing, but she's on a slightly different mission - there's another chokepoint further along, right next to the airport. Rose will be blocking that off whilst I send someone to capture the airport.

Our troops on the outer ring start capturing things, with Dave going first.

Alfonse starts capturing too, whilst Vanessa hops into Darwin.

"Darwin! Full speed ahead, in pursuit of Rose. We've got an airport to grab!"

"Indeed." Rose says over the transceiver. "That airport is the key to our victory, so we must do that whilst we let my dude handle the battle in the centre."

"Have you had any breakthroughs about the volcanoes yet?" Vanessa asks as Darwin salutes and begins driving away. "Me and Sonja think Black Hole has something to do with them becoming active all of a sudden."

"I'd agree." Rose replies. "I need a bit more intel before I come to a conclusion, but I think I've spotted something..."

Gordon will be heading up - he's going to be helping Julian block off the north chokepoint with my super-cool rocket strategy. You'll see it in a sec.

Rin heads across the river, waving to Dave as she goes. "I'm gonna go help out the central island crew! Keep yourself safe, Dave!"

"I always do," Dave replies, shaking his head. "Don't go fighting any medium tanks or Neotanks, alright?"

"I guess I won't..." Rin sighs, sticking her tongue out.

We have a shitload of mechs in this central area, which is weird because there's only like six things to capture. Still, Carter makes a start by grabbing this comm tower. Black Hole don't really need the comm towers, but we absolutely do, and you'll see why in a moment.

Arqa hops into Michael, giving him a luscious smile. "Hey, can you ferry me to the silo out west?"

Michael nods and smiles, but Arqa is surprised by how calm he seems around her. "Yeah, sure, one sec. I've got to do an ammo run, too, so let's get started. Ready to roll?"

"Yeah, sure. I gotta contribute by helping Rose out." Arqa replies.

Michael rides out, aiming for the silo. He's going to be doing a lap of the island, restoring ammo to all the rockets and artilleries positioned around the volcano. We need every bit of firepower we can get.

Mina, meanwhile, is going for this comm tower. "Hey guys, I can see a comm tower over here! I'll grab it - that should prevent all this crackly interference, right?"

"Yeah, that's the idea." Lysander replies. "Go for it, Mina - let us know if you need backup, OK?"

"Aye aye! I should be fine, though. The enemy can't cross the water, and I'll keep a careful eye out!" Mina announces.

You might have noticed that none of my ranged units up here have attacked yet. The main thing I want to take out, as I said, were all the enemy artilleries, which could threaten my ranged units. We have no properties, and thus no source of healing, so we can't allow that - as such, this turn is going to be spent moving my ranged units into better positions so I can take on the artilleries. For example, Yakov here is going to move closer to the mountains to get these two artilleries in his range.

Some of my artilleries may as well attack, though, like Noah here. We need to clear out all these tanks to let my mechs move in and capture the cities around here; we can safely ignore the black boats, too, since they can heal 1 unit for 1 HP and otherwise are doing nothing useful.

The other great reason to wait a turn before murdering these artilleries is that it's actually a damage roll right now. Next turn, however, Carter will get the comm tower and give us the firepower to make this a definite one-hit KO.

So for now, I'll have Fred attack this medium tank instead.

And that's our first turn! You can't see her, but our last rocket unit, Inessa, is up north and has been moving into position to kill shit more efficiently.

Black Hole, thankfully, have a very short turn which is mostly "EVERYBODY SCATTER"

Koal's forces divide themselves up, some heading south to the Rose chokepoint, and some heading west to the Julian chokepoint. All will die, so it doesn't matter what they choose, really. The only real threat in this bunch of motherfuckers are the anti-airs, so keep a careful eye on them.

And oh boy, we have a second front to deal with! As usual, the second front is... kind of simple. We have an overkill amount of anti-airs - the Neotank will be a bit of a problem, but we'll deal with that later. I have a special plan for him.

If we want Javier to do Javier things, we're gonna need some comm towers. Alina grabs the first one, and starts capturing it.

Meanwhile, Nika heads north to the next one, and Dimitri hops into Ludmilla's APC.

"We're heading up to the lookout, I take it?" Ludmilla drawls.

Dimitri nods. "Yup. Gonna take a retinue of anti-airs with us, though, so there shouldn't be any problems."

"Good - those copters look nasty, and there's way too many of them."

"They do look nasty." Dimitri mutters. "Kanbei copters... if they're made with the same quality that Kanbei vehicles usually are, they're not gonna go down easy."

Dimitri gets dropped off up north, accompanied by Boris, Eduard, Cassandra and Fliss. Valeria is remaining down below to take on any other potential threats.

Von Panzer and Lena, our copters, are staying down south too, and that's our first turn done.

"These volcanoes have such power." Lena mutters. "How did Black Hole manage to weaponise them?"

"It is their way." Von Panzer growls. "Ach! They would turn anything into a tool of destruction!"

Thankfully, Clone Kanbei (or Clanbei, if you will) doesn't have much to do on his turn.

Everything just kinda charges forward - the Copter SquadTM have split up, too, which is excellent. We shouldn't get overwhelmed this way.

Day 2! We get a few fun surprises today.

First is a motherfucking volcanic eruption.

The volcano blasts lava down onto a range of tiles...

...going around the edge of the map. They don't hit anyone this time around, though, so let's not bother thinking any further about it!

Rose, Arqa and Darwin continue towards the airport. Next turn we should be in position to start capturing it!

Up here, meanwhile, Dave finishes capturing the city. The next part of my plan is coming to fruition... this, too, is part of my super-cool rocket strategy.

And Carter gets the comm tower! We can one-shot artilleries now!

Get FUCKED, Koal.

So yeah, Fred and Yakov clear out the first two of four artilleries, which is great.

Michael drops Arqa off at the silo.

"I'll see you later, gotta go make the rounds now." Michael says. "Good luck, everyone!"

"Thanks, Michael. We'll do our best." Arqa replies, smiling back at Michael as he drives off.

Mina is partway through nabbing this comm tower. This is where we're going to need to do some cool strategic stuff.

Lysander, particularly, is going to be helping out with the cool strategic stuff.

We're going to be shooting the mass of units heading down to attack Rose, to help her choke that point more easily. Grit's not good at direct combat, so I'm pre-empting that we might not be able to defend against tanks as well as other COs might.

Why this specific group and not, say, the Neotank, though?

Well, one reason - we need to hit this capturing infantry. If Koal uses his CO Power, this infantry gets enough movement to go over and get the first strike on Mina, capturing the comm tower. However, by delaying him for a turn, Mina can capture the comm tower first and move out of the way. Maintaining Mina's HP is really important, since she's going to be doing some capturing up north, and ferrying any additional mechs up there will take goddamn ages.

Inessa, meanwhile, uses her second turn to move here, a pretty ideal position to shoot basically everything up north! Except that medium tank which is too close. Just... just ignore that.

The other reason I didn't need to hit the Neotank with the silo is that I've got Noah on hand. He shoots it instead.

"Hey, a direct hit! I've weakened the frontrunner, Rose!" Noah says over the transceiver. Rose nods.

"Thank you, Noah. Keep it up - Black Hole's army needs to be slowed down as much as possible."

And thus, that's all for this turn. Pretty solid all round, and now we're in a great position to start REALLY getting our murder on.

Plus, we can drop Vanessa at the airport safely next turn.

Since my artillery on the left, Ingo, wasn't in range to do much, I move him down so he can help the mechs that are going to be moving in across the mountains once it's safe.

Stay tuned for another turn of Black Hole units just kinda moving around.

You know, I think Black Hole might be sneakier than we think. Having two fronts around two volcanoes can't be a coincidence. And for them to be suddenly active when they should be dormant...

What are you thinking, Rose?

This battlefield's volcano is controlled from the secondary front, and vice versa!

I believe Black Hole have mechanisms to control the volcanoes, but chances are, the primary front's volcano is controlled from the secondary front, and vice versa.

To stop the eruptions, those fools have to capture all four of the cities that ring the opposite volcano.

We'll probably find their control mechanisms if we capture the cities surrounding the opposite volcano.

And I know where the lava lands... So I won't get hit!

If they're controlling where the lava lands, then they can ensure their units don't get hit, whilst ours will.

Feeble-minded imbeciles! Where will you hide when fiery death rains down upon thee?!

I've seen the truth of this battlefield. Let's not waste any more time.

Right. Let's get those cities and see if we can find those mechanisms!

So, yeah, Koal just kind of tells the player his plan, apropos of nothing. This is why we need those cities, anyhow, but I'm already making plans to do that.

And then he starts talking again, because he has a CO Power.

Sigh. The real downside to doing deathless runs and massively overpowering the enemy is that you eat a CO Power like, every other turn in some cases.

Thankfully, he's not in range to attack anything, so his units just head south...

...and west. They're not really close to our chokepoints yet, though, so there's not much to worry about.

Let's ignore it and do the secondary front for a bit!

The volcano on this front starts going off, too!

And it doesn't do anything. It hits all the tiles around the volcano, with a couple of exceptions. It is literally never going to be a problem.

As you can see, Kanbei has put his copter right in the safe spot between these two lava chunks.

Now then, our poor Dimitri is looking a bit frail with all those copters headed for him. This is why we needed four anti-airs to go with him.

To form a defensive circle like so! Even Kanbei copters would think twice about attacking an anti-air, and I don't think these copters are the suicidal type.

So, Dimitri and Nika start capturing their comm towers, whilst Alina finishes getting hers.

"All done over here! Status, Snowbound Free Company?" Alina asks.

"Almost done, just doing the final touches." Nika replies.

"Ready for action - I plan to help Cassandra with defending the HQ once we head back down." Valeria says. "I hope the COs and my dude have a plan for that Neotank coming our way..."

"No kiddin'." Dimitri replies. "Mechs and anti-airs aren't really the best solution."

And our group position themselves like this - hopefully all the copters will move in so they can get instantly murdered. That'd make things nice and convenient.

Let's see what Kanbei wants to do. Is he a moron? He usually is.

Nice! Up north, the Copter SquadTM have moved right into the anti-air's range, for some reason. Down south, they're not in missile range, but that's fine - my copters are close enough to attack them instead.

The Neotank's getting closer, though... that wasn't part of the plan.

Welp, all we can do is keep executing our plan as expected.

And first, the volcano erupts again. This is the one time in the map that it's relevant!

There's a huge explosion as a flaming chunk of rock strikes Darwin's APC, causing him to squeak in terror. Vanessa gasps.

"Whoa! That volcano's not messing about. We still in good shape, Darwin?"

Darwin writes 'Yup!' on a nearby whiteboard, then goes back to driving. Vanessa stares at the airport ahead of her, narrowing her eyes.

"Here we go, then..."

So yeah, the one relevant thing that happens is that my APC takes 5 damage. This will not impact the map in any way. I hope you enjoyed that volcano action, because there's none for the rest of the map!

Darwin safely drops Vanessa off at the airport, guarded by Rose. This is huge - this airport is going to help us win BOTH fronts.

Noah continues to contribute in meaningful ways, meanwhile, despite having not moved since turn 1 - he's gonna shoot the anti-air now, and take it out! With that gone, Rose is basically fine. The tanks will barely be able to scratch her.

Something unexpected now, though - thanks to the CO Power effect of +10% defence, I can't one-shot these artilleries any more. I'm still going to do this, though - Yakov attacks the artillery, and weakens it enough that it may as well be dead.

Inessa does the same with the artillery up north.

"I've almost taken an artillery down! How are things on your end, Kov?"

"Not bad, Ness." Yakov replies, eyeing the enemies in his range. "I wouldn't be so smug about nearly beating an artillery, though. I'm going to beat more units than you."

"Oh, is that a challenge? From my little bro? Hah! Sounds like fun!" Inessa replies.

"You don't mind if I join you, do you?" asks Fred. "I've got such a bloodlust inside me, and I want to show everyone how to smite evil properly!"

Inessa nods, laughing aloud. "With the three of us working together, Black Hole's volcano squad has no chance!"

Mina captures the comm tower, and it's about this point I realise that I would have had a better chance at one-shotting the artilleries if I'd captured this first. Ah well - it's not going to change much, anyway.

Arqa reaches the silo - she, too, is going to be helping slow down Rose's aggressors.

Yeah, you guys.

Go fuck yourselves.

Sebastian, our southernmost artillery, has moved into position to shoot some things now, so he does so. We just need to spread damage out, pretty much - the tanks will run to the four cities to get healed once we damage them enough, and every city except for the top-left one is in one of my rockets' ranges, so... yeah.

My mechs (and Rin) are all ready to move in! ...But not yet. Hold your horses, folks. These tanks are still dangerous.

Update 1 of Michael's ammo run is for Yakov!

"Here you go, fresh ammo!" Michael says, beaming. "Hope things go well in there - I've gotta get up to Noah next."

"Thanks. Give my sister a 'hello' from me." Yakov replies with a curt nod.

OK, I've been teasing you about my super-cool rocket strategy for like 60 screenshots now, so allow me to show you. (It's not actually that cool, but...)

We captured a city, just behind the chokepoint, and now we're putting Gordon on it, where he'll be in range to shoot anything along that row. That's already pretty cool, but... cities also restock ammo every turn. You know what that means?


Why is my dude laughing hysterically?

I believe he just figured out what cities do.

This Dick Captures A Property: 54

Oh, and I guess I missed the base being taken last turn, too, that's another one.

This Dick Captures A Property: 55

Not much else going on up here, though - the two artilleries decided to join up, wasting their entire turn since they're in range of Yakov. I'm not complaining.

The tanks FINALLY reach Rose's chokepoint in the meantime! And man, they're in bad shape. I think Rose is going to be totally fine.

Over here, Koal's units are slowly getting over to Julian's chokepoint. And they have an anti-air with them - I need to destroy that before it reaches Julian.

But first, we've got some fun things to do on the second front.

The volcano erupts, and doesn't hit anything. That wasn't the fun thing, don't worry. There's more fun!

"Man, Post," I hear you ask. "Kanbei copters are pretty bulky. If you get bad luck, you might not kill these guys!"

That's where I say, "You fool, you forget... we have two more comm towers to capture."

Javier with three comm towers is NOT to be fucked with. Two already makes him statistically on par (or close to it) with Kanbei, but three is kind of ridiculous.

The copter squad




Down south, we may not have missiles or anti-airs in range of the enemy copters, but we do have Von Panzer and Lena. Lena moves in first to slam the first bro copter.

Von Panzer does the same with this one, weakening them both to the point that they're non-issues.

And, with a quick check of the map, we can see that the Neotank isn't in range to murder anything yet, which is good.

So, all we need to do is move Mulligan and the other foot units out of the way of the copters, and we're golden for this turn!

I didn't screenshot it, but I also paid very close attention to how much damage I was doing. How close, you ask?

Oh, you know. Close enough that Kanbei didn't get his SCOP off this turn. Hell yeah.

The last of the copters move in up north, the Neotank comes down, and the two bro copters down below join up. Everything was as expected, really.

Back to the other front, anyway. We have important airport-capturing and tank-murdering to do!

also the goddamn volcano

Vanessa begins capturing the airport!

Rose watches the tanks heading closer to her position. "Hm... we'll need that airport soon."

"We also need funds, you know." Vanessa replies.

Rose nods. "I know. I've had Alfonse and Dave on the case, capturing the properties around the HQ. We'll have more than enough for our purposes."

This last unfortunate artillery, as I said, was still in Yakov's range, so...

Yeah, let's just murder them.

Sebastian shoots this Neotank. Have I ever mentioned how stupid Grit's artillery range is? I love Grit so much.

The rest of the units fled north, so Fred just has to shoot this tank. He can one-shot it, though, which is nice!

And Inessa makes a start on the undamaged medium tank over here.

Noah is still doing amazing work - now he's taking out this enemy artillery! Artilleries, too, are the enemies of chokepoints.

The second leg of Michael's journey takes him up to Noah, whom he restocks with ammo.

"There you go!" Michael says, and Noah waves graciously.

"Thanks, Michael! You're a saint."

"Ah, I'm just here to help." Michael replies. "Who's next..? Ah, yes, Inessa, up north. See you later, Noah!"

This is what I mean - Koal's CO Power is ready again, so this guy will be in range to attack Mina.

But I can just move her one space to the left. That way, the infantry will move in, then I can get the first strike instead of him.

Down here, meanwhile, all my mechs are still sat waiting for these fucking tanks to die. We're gonna be here a while, so... let's just move on.

Everything should be fine for this turn - Rose can hold the line down south, and the enemy's not quite close enough to reach Julian yet.

CO Power spam continues in the meantime. Sigh.

Adder sucks and so do you, Koal.

Over this side, the Neotank is getting close, and so is the anti-air, but still nothing to worry about. The Neotank is in the range of the UNLIMITED ROCKET WORKS, so it isn't going to be around much longer.

Down here, meanwhile, everything moves south, but nothing actually tries attacking Rose. Apparently they're all too afraid of her, which is fair enough. I wouldn't mess with the Flower of Desolation. (Except for that one time.)

Most of the secondary front can be sorted today, which is nice; the Neotank will be the only major problem left afterwards, so let's get a-murderin'!

after the fucking volcano

I love Javier's CO Power lines. Other COs are like "yeah, I'm the best, watch what I can do!" and Javier's just straight-up like "YOU'RE GOING TO HELL, FUCKER"

Tower Shield! Readers recommended that I use Javier's CO Power more than his Super CO Power, since you can use it more often and usually it's more than enough raw stats to work with.

Pffthahah, and indeed it is. Tower of Power would be kind of overkill, especially in this case.

With Boris and Fliss putting paid to the last of the bro copters up north, we just have one left now!

And Von Panzer has it totally covered.

Lena, meanwhile, flies north to face the Neotank herself. "My combat proficiencies were chosen specifically to counteract the vehicles my sister was skilled with! So you should know my battle copter was handcrafted for one thing: destroying heavy tanks!"

Cassandra, meanwhile, attacks the APC in front of her. She can't move, because if she does, the Neotank will come in and murder everything I love. At least this way, we can block it off from attacking stuff that can't fight back, like Mulligan and Eva in the missiles.

And that'll do for now! The really important thing is our CO Power - we prevented Kanbei from using his Super CO Power last turn, so we could use our CO Power before his SCOP is used, which means we benefit from Javier's huge defensive bonuses for the turn that Kanbei is at his strongest.

So, it's a new day, so we look to the right screen for the secondary front...

Then back to the left screen for Kanbei's, uh, very interesting dialogue...

And then back to the right for his actual Super CO Power.

We've not got much to worry about - his copters are all exploded, and his Neotank...

...just kind of nopes out of there. It didn't want to fuck with Lena, apparently.

The only thing that attacks us is this very gung-ho infantry.

He does no damage. To an APC.

God, I fucking love 3-comm Javier.

Admittedly, Kanbei's units are also going to have a huge defensive bonus now, which might make killing anything on the next turn a bit harder... but it's two infantries, how hard could it be?

The incredibly useless volcano erupts again, and hits nothing. Again.

Vanessa gets the airport!

"Got it!" Vanessa says. "I take it we're doing the usual Sonja strategy of overwhelming the enemy with misdirection and stealth fighters?"

"No, actually." Rose replies. "We're doing the usual my dude strategy of deploying as many bombers as we can afford. Get production started immediately."

"Heh, that tracks. These guys are owed some explosive, bomber-delivered death, that's for damn sure!"

"Calm yourself, Vanessa. We must still act tactically to make best use of our bombers."

The Neotank eats a hit from Gordon, using his super-cool rocket strategy.

There's two Neotanks that Fred could kill, but... one of them is currently bearing down on my forces to try and kill them, and the other one is stuck inside a mountain range where it can't hurt anybody. Obviously, we're prioritising the Neotank near Julian.

Besides, Ingo can mostly-kill this Neotank, so I get my cake and can eat it too.

Yakov goes for the medium tank, weakening it even further. We've got so much firepower in this central island, and we literally can't be stopped.

As predicted, the enemy infantry came walking in like he owned the place, so Mina gets the first strike and takes no counter damage. A perfect performance!

Noah, the absolute MVP that he is, is going to start weakening this megatank next. 12% may not be much, but when we're dealing with megatanks, any ranged damage (i.e. damage which means we don't need to eat a brutal counterattack) is welcome.

Inessa takes out the first medium tank up here! Yes, the other one is still out of her range. I swear I'm going to deal with that.

And since there's not much else for Sebastian to shoot from this range, he goes for the black boat. We'll need to kill them eventually to rout the map, so it's still worth doing.

Rose initiates against this Neotank, which didn't dare attack her. She does 2 damage and takes none in return like the absolute god of war that she is.

That said, this map is going on way longer than I expected. It's not been hard, but two fronts always takes a lot of time.

So, let's leave it here for now - we've achieved most of our goals! We got the airport, destroyed the Copter SquadTM, activated the Unlimited Rocket Works, and we're making good progress on killing everything on the central island.

Next time, we'll finish off the central island, win the second front, and then slaughter everything with bombers. You know, the usual. See you all then!


Update 66 (Intermission) - Over A Drink