The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by Alkydere

Part 25: Botes.


Who’s ready to face a clone of Drake and his boats? I’m not, mostly because this map’s focus is less on Drake’s navy and more on dealing with his bullshit powers.

The Macro Land reinforcements were... unfortunate, shall we say. But I know how to take out a group of low-class trash. Please, my lord, let me take them to task.

Hhh... Kindle...


No one...hhh...has caught my plan...hhh... Have they?

Aha ha ha! Not a chance. The allied forces are in disarray... Our surprise attack has panicked them. Those uneducated philistines have no idea what we are planning.

I hope you speak...hhhhhh...speak the truth...

My lord?

Bah! Enough...hhh... Leave me...hhh... I grow...hhh...tired. I

But...Hawke saw them before he and Lash got run out? I mean, yeah, he doesn’t necessarily know the ins and outs of whatever they have planned, but they’re definitely aware of who’s behind it and all.

The mud covers my foot with the foulest of slickness! I can barely keep my footing.

I heard this area gets a lot of rainstorms... That would explain the mud.

There's no time to gripe and moan. We'll just have to slog on as best we can.

We're near Black Hole's front lines... Who knows what they're planning? Everyone step lightly and keep moving! Hey, why are we stopping? What did I just say?!

The lead units are stuck in the mud!

Stand aside! I, Javier, will rescue you from any and all manners of distress!

This is what happens when you lose focus! Ah, hold on... Let me help, too.

It was inevitable under these conditions. We should have scouted ahead.

Every Allied CO in the continent is here, and none of them thought to scout.

Enemy troops detected. Launch primary defensive applications.

By your command.


It's Commander Drake!

By the keen edge of my blade! Could this be another of those clones?

We still have units trapped in the mud! They'll be overrun by the enemy!

Move it, people!

Here’s the map. As you can see Drake really doesn’t have that much of a Navy despite being the game’s Navy CO. If Orange can get enough money together it’s actually not hard to wrest control of the seas from Drake if you really want to.

To be honest, I don’t even recall this map. I must have either steamrolled it or gotten into a boring mess of a slog in my own playthrough. I guess the trick is going to be counting where Black Hole goes when the map’s gimmick pops up so you can take advantage of his movements. It’s almost novel to have a straight-up even slugging match this late, instead of the more complex scenarios of other maps.

We’re facing a clone of Drake, War’s World premiere naval CO. Normally he’s just got bonuses to navel units and debuffs to air units to balance it out, but when he uses his powers he becomes impressively frustrating to deal with. The one or two damage to all enemies is annoying, but workable, as is him summoning rain which creates Fog of War for one turn (and gives Olaf all the same debuffs that his snow gives to everyone else as an extra). No, the real bullshit is that both of his powers will halve the fuel supply of every enemy unit on the map. The fuel loss is frustrating on land, and deadly in the air and sea.

Getting hit with fuel loss can be pretty tough to handle. Most computer-controlled opponents don’t live long enough for it to matter as much for them, but used against you it can limit your options surprisingly sharply. Makes for a fun challenge, most of the time. Either produce a lot of APCs or deploy Jess against Drake. I’ve never used him that much as a commander, though.

All right, as I said in the thread, the majority of you voted I not give this map a chance, much to the dismay of the very vocal minority. I’ve got full CO skills of bullshit on Sasha and Lash, and Sonja and Colin are powerful enough in their own bullshit ways to really not need skills, so let’s begin.

I wonder why they don't just make a ton of those cloned COs? Then they could crank 'em out and let 'em charge! Tee hee!

That would be futile. Even an entire army of clones couldn't defeat a real CO. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! Hmm... I just said something meaningful. Lash! Write that down!

Hey look, my gimmick is being really loquacious!

Also an army can only have one CO at a time, and why would you even want to dual strike with yourself? There’s no other theatres of operations, after all.

Sis! What's going on? Are you getting a weird gut feeling again?

Yes. But I don't know if it's good news or bad news... Be on your guard three days from now. Something is going to happen.

Looks like I was wrong, they do use Sasha apparently being psychic more than once. Anyways, some other starting lines of interest:

Vile clone! I do slap thee liberally about the face with my leather glove!

Tee hee hee! Drake's clone is a big fatty, too!

Yea, the starting lines are a bit lackluster for this mission.

Anyways, Day 1 is as dull as normal. Orange goes about capturing property and heading out to face Drake on the sea while Blue shuffles about out of the range of the Rockets. There’s a method to my madness.


Awaiting orders.

Initiate battle programming...

By your command.


Jugger’s a lot more interesting when he’s got someone else weird to bounce off of. Or was this supposed to be menacing?

Jugger demonstrates that he’s not the sharpest tool in the box. I really need to figure out how to make gifs for moments like this.

Was anyone claiming he wasn’t?

Blue’s still hiding in the woods, shuffling about to avoid Black’s Rockets. Don’t worry, the pussyfooting about ends this turn.

Meanwhile I’m a dunce and left my Megatank in the range of two Rockets, each one knocking 2 HP off of my beast. Well, it’s still half of a Megatank.

And this is why I was fiddling about with Blue. On Day 3 it starts to rain, bringing Fog of War with it. Now Sonja can shine with her Fog based powers and Blue can advance without getting torn to shreds by those Rockets. Oh, and don’t think Blue hasn’t been doing anything. Remember, we’re dealing with the money siblings and each turn Sasha has been collecting 1200 G. from each of her nine properties.

It's raining!

This is no mere squall! It is like standing beneath a thundering waterfall!

This is more than a little inconvenient. We can't see a thing.

Looks like the Fog of War is rolling in. But we can turn that to our advantage if we use the woods wisely...

Anyways, I prepare Orange’s Navy to meet Drake’s head on. Guess how well the naval clash will go?

You said it wouldn’t really be that hard to wrest control of the seas from Drake. Ergo, you’re going to fuck this up spectacularly.

Anyways, three-fifths of a Megatank is still something to be feared as we start taking the fight to Drake.

The sooner the forces near Blue are cleaned up, the sooner Colin can start pumping out Bombers and Megatanks.

Blue moves to the edge of the forest and prepares to smash Black’s indirect units next turn.

Black goes and Drake manages to get just enough power together to piss me off before Blue gets any power whatsoever.

And now notice how every unit that wasn’t sitting on a city to refuel it has the “low fuel” icon? That is why fighting Drake can be so aggravating. Now imagine if you were using Olaf and after Drake used his SCOP you had a turn where all fuel costs were doubled too.

And Blue finally leaves the forests in a devastating blitz, smashing upalmost all of Black’s indirect units and all of their AA escorts. Once that factory and airfield are captured Colin’s going to flood the map.

On Black’s turn Drake gets the first blow in on the naval battle, smashing my Battleship with his Battleship and finishing the job with a Sub. I honestly wouldn’t have minded losing the naval battle, but losing it this badly is kinda painful.

I at least manage to smash up Drake’s submarine, but my Sub’s dead (only 12 fuel left) and my Cruiser’s about to get smashed up by Drake’s Battleship that I can’t see.

Did you know that the computer is very predictable in its motions and always advances straight at you at its full speed, so you can pretty easily count squares to figure out its current positions, especially at sea where there’s not much different terrain to throw off counts? Well, that’s just a reminder for those playing along at home.

At least things are progressing better for Orange on the main front. I swap to Lash so that at least she’ll get full power gains from the loss of the expensive navy.

I guess I’ll just have to be content with Sasha smashing the stray Battleship in the lake.

Another counter for the ‘how did this get here?’ pile.

And Blue finishes cleaning up it’s side starting area. Just need to capture the silos and properties and other than the occasional Infantry or Mech incursion we won’t be seeing any Black Hole troops dirtying up the left side of the mountain range.

Jugger and Drake are just inches from having a Dual Strike, this cannot be allowed to stand.

I’m not a huge fan of Sasha’s character, but she makes missions like these bearable. Also, watching Black Hole’s CO meter get wiped clean is always fun.

The best part is that it doesn’t use money to do this. You can do this sort of thing, then actually build stuff with the money afterward!

There goes my Cruiser.

And Drake’s Sub commits suicide on my Sub... Hooray I guess? It’s still going to run out of fuel and sink.

Anyways, my plan to feed CO power to Lash works flawlessly. It’s time to turn this rainstorm into a Brainstorm.

How is it that I manage to get caught in LPs that use terrible puns? Dealing with Fedule is more than enough, thank you very much.

Just something you have to weather.

Before and after. While Megatanks may be damage magnets they have the armor to take the abuse and even at half health their attack is something to respect.

Sasha’s +3 vision on her SCOP turn lets me finally see the enemy Battleship, so let’s go get some revenge for our navy!

Or...not... Damnit, Drake!

Fuck it, the Sub’s going to sink next turn anyways. Ramming speed!

We’ve reached the tipping point and the battle is more or less won at this point, despite the stupid mistakes I’ll be making. Like, for instance, I allow that Missile to live for way too long, letting it provide sight and targeting data for that one Battleship.

As I said before the only real threat Blue has to deal with now is a constant stream of Mechs crossing the mountain. Not really much of a threat, really.

The Megatank might be a threat if we weren’t using the Money Siblings. Oh, sure, the Megatank’s counter attack ripped our Neotank apart, but soon enough Colin will be spitting out Megatanks and Bombers just because he needs something to use his money on.

Oh and Drake’s power meter is fully charged now, so let’s fix that.

The eastern port is captured, in hindsight this wasn’t nearly the achievement I thought it was at the time.

And of course the first Silo will be dropped on the Megatank, that’s just good sense and lets Sonja steal a page from Sensei’s book.

The Blue Tide, it begins.

The second Silo is wasted on the Battleship out of spite. There’s Black Boats that will just repair it to full.

Oh, hey, there’s an Artillery hiding in the woods near the eastern isthmus. An Artillery that will bother me until the end because I never think to actually bring something heavier than Infantry or a Recon to destroy it.

You know, I really shouldn’t be buying one of these this turn since I forgot to switch to Colin last turn, but fuck it, Blue has so much money.

Hey, you guys know what would be a great idea?

Burning 20K to put a Sub where a Battleship can get free hits on it!

That’s our Alky.

Followed up by me forgetting to use Colin’s powers until after I buy expensive things like Neotanks.

Yea, with Drake commanding that Battleship my Sub is taken down to 2 HP in one whack, and I’m going to have to burn another 4K next turn repairing it.

And since Drake put his Black Bote next to the port I can’t even hide it. This is the point where I just abandon the naval battle and focus on pushing up north towards Black Hole’s HQ.

At least this time I remember to use Colin’s power before I buy things and I break 100K in the bank.

Battleship and Artillery nonsense and annoyance aside, the battle’s won, I just need to get up north and squash that HQ. Blue’s got a T-Copter, and Orange has APCs and spare infantry.

And Drake’s got a half-charged CO meter.

Just gotta be difficult, don’t you Drake?

Anyways, I’ll just bring my remaining B-Copter down to deal with this nuisance of an artillery. It’s not like Drake’s got a Cruiser about somewhere.

Yes, truly, what use would a naval CO have with a Cruiser?

Oh, right...

Well, no matter, not like the AI can do anything about my T-Copter flying some infantry over to their HQ.

I really should just stop talking.

First tripped up by an Infantry, then shot down by Infantry. What a way for a plan to go down in flames.

Lash, Sonja, work together and Brainstorm me a way out of this mess!

Ah, huge fuck-off cannons! Now, why didn’t I think of that?

Fuck the ocean, I’ll just take everything I can get on land.

I had to use the fallback plan of using Orange’s infantry to capture the HQ but I’m finally in a position to end this. Meanwhile, I could destroy the Recon sitting on the top right factory, or I could just build a wall of armor around it and let the Recon block the factory from building anything else.

Fucking finally. That wasn’t hard, and it was actually fun. This mission manages to find a happy spot between the bullshit that was Crystal Calamity and several of AW:DS’s missions that just check if you have a pulse. The mission just dragged on a bit too much, partly because I was a complete dunce dealing with the naval side of the battle.

Victory impossible! Units overwhelmed. Jugger must... Control-Alt-Delete.

Apparently Jugger runs Windows. I suspect this means that Lash didn’t build him since as a power user she’d use Linux, but then again I doubt Kindle built him either since she’s the type of pretentious bitch who’d use a Mac OS.

Jugger strikes me as the kind of guy who would use Vista. Or maybe ME. Probably ME.

Huzzah! The day is saved, and the people can slumber at their leisure once again!

We aren't far from the end now. We can make it if we keep at it!

I still don't like it... We thought that Black Hole was crushed, and yet they still have this huge army? Too many questions, not enough answers.

Well spoken, my lady.

It doesn't matter how many clones they toss our way. We'll blast 'em all! I'm itching to take down more of them!

I don't think we can solve the mystery just yet...

Where we goin' next, Rachel?

Out of the frying pan, into the fire, Jake. We're going to the Twin Crown volcanoes.

As for the score, well, yea. I’m pretty sure competency isn’t exactly expected from me, merely a pleasant surprise when it happens.

Next time:
Is one of my favorite missions in the game!