Part 4: Campaign Mission 2: Gunfighter!Mission 2: Gunfighter! (or "Time for some ACTION")
Grit! Grit! Where's Grit?
I think I like this guy already.
Bearded one? Why you...
A slip of the tongue. My apologies, commander.
Enough! Just get ready to move out! Now, listen. Orange Star forces have been deployed where I anticipated. Their commanding officer is an untested youngster, but he's not alone. He's working with an advisor, Paul. So don't let your guard down! Our contingent in the area has some indirect combat units for you to use. Now get going, Mr. Sharpshooter!
What? You want me to go personally? Like, in person?
Why you lazy, no-good... What do you think a commanding officer does? If you don't get moving...
All right. Keep your beard on. I don't much like the idea, but I'm going.
Gone at last... He's an impudent rogue, but he's also the best marksman I've ever seen. Those Orange Star fools will never know what hit them. Perfect!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Anything that makes Olaf that happy has me worried.
Oh well, it's probably nothing.
Advance Wars 1, wherein the COs are engaged in a "who has the scariest face?" competition.
Can you hear me?
What's up, Nell?
You've been given the authority to use bases to deploy new units onto the field. Paul hasn't received instruction on how to do this, but you're up to speed, right, Andy?
Oh, my. Well, let's go through it again. First, place the cursor on a base and press the A Button. A list of units will then be displayed. Use the + Control Pad to scroll through the list, and press the A Button to select the unit you want to deploy. Units that you can't afford will appear in gray. Don't forget that. Each day, you'll receive funds from all of the bases you hold. You'll have to make do with that amount. Remember, you can't deploy new units and move them on the same turn. Hope you got all of that. Good luck!
Don't worry if you didn't get all of that, I'll be showing it off in a sec.
Again a fairly straightforward map. As Nell noted, we get bases to use, but it looks like Grit doesn't. That gives us a huge advantage, because if the worst comes to the worst, we can simply swamp him with units.
Fairly straightforward. My tanks head east to the bridge before going north to approach Grit's HQ area. There are a lot of threats around there in terms of rockets and medium tanks, circled in red. Meanwhile, my infantry cross directly over the river and fight Grit's infantry for the cities up there.
My tank snuggles up into a nice chokepoint between two mountains, and my artillery sets up behind it. Meanwhile, I get to capturing a nearby city.
My APC picks up a passenger and deposits them in the river by these other neutral cities. Bit damp over there, but what can you do.
So, buying units. Selecting a base (one of the little factory-looking things) lets us choose from a list of units to buy. We have 8000G funds to spend right now, which is just enough to buy us an infantry unit and a small tank.
So let's do that, and end turn.
Blue Moon is just plain greedy. That's what it is. Fightin' for these folks just don't sit well with me. Well, I'll guess I'll just mosey on out and see what happens.
Pick up now!
Yeah, Nell. We're here. What's going on?
We've learned that Grit is the opposing CO! Grit is an indirect-fire expert whose attack range is larger than normal. Plus, his range gets even bigger when he uses his CO Power! Make sure you check Grit's attack range throughout the battle.
Understood. Hey, Nell... How do you know so much about this guy?
Well... we used to be... friends. Um, that's all I had to tell you. Nell out.
Huh? Nell was sure in a hurry. I wonder what was wrong?
Good question, Andy. So Nell and Grit used to be dot dot dot friends, huh? Interesting. Wonder what kind of impact that's going to have.
Interpersonal shenanigans aside, Nell told us that Grit was an expert with long-range units. Let's check that out.
Paul.Power's CO Notes: Grit Grit's Theme
Grit's the long range expert in Advance Wars: his indirects can hit one square further away. Artillery that normally hit 2-3 squares away from them get upgraded to 2-4 squares, Rockets that normally hit 3-5 squares away from them get upgraded to 3-6 squares, and so on. Interestingly, in the first Advance Wars he doesn't get an attack bonus on his indirects. What he does get though is a whopping 20% attack penalty on his direct combat units. Since the majority of the game's units are direct combat, this is a problem. That range boost is a big enough bonus that he can hold his own, though. His CO Power, Snipe Attack, makes it even crazier, adding another two squares of range and a massive attack bonus to his indirects.
Background/Personality: A brilliant marksman, at one point Grit used to work for Orange Star, but he defected to Blue Moon for some unknown reason. He's laid-back to a fault, and can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but he's dependable enough and a good person underneath it all. Isn't very fond of Olaf's invasion of Orange Star.
Well, Grit isn't the only person around here who knows how to use indirects. Let's take care of this tank.
And do some more capturing.
A little trick: you can load a unit into an APC and unload it on the same turn, provided the APC hasn't moved when you load it. Here this can help speed up the process of getting infantry over the river. Thanks to Sockerbagarn for pointing out this trick.
Pumping out another infantry/tank combo.
Grit strolled a suicidal recon up to my front lines, while a mech attempts to cross the river. Note that I get 9000G this turn due to the extra city I captured.
Artillery and 6HP tank deal with the recon, while my full health tank cripples the river mech.
Not going to try finishing that mech off with my infantry, though. Not with Grit's rocket launcher waiting to pounce. The area denial effects of that extra square of range can be pretty nasty.
Infantry continue to advance over the river (not going to pick a fight with Grit's infantry just yet though), and my third tank moves up.
Just going to build infantry this turn: I want to save some money up.
Not too much to report here: Grit's mech crossed the river, making my life easier.
Infantry kills mech, my damaged tank retreats and the healthy tanks plug up the gap.
Now then, about this battle for the northwestern cities...
Two of my infantry kill one of Grit's, and I get an attack in on one of his other ones.
More infantry follow up to reinforce that battle line.
Now then, the reason I saved that money up: it's time to get some heavy ordnance on the board.
While small tanks can deal with rocket launchers just fine, a few medium tanks aren't going to hurt. Especially for dealing with Grit's middie.
Grit's been moving his artillery around in a kind of knight's-move pattern, making sure they're covering each other's blind spots.
Two can play at that game.
Meanwhile in the north we've got a territory struggle to finish off.
So let's do that.
My infantry pile on to the remainder of Grit's footsoldiers. Only one 1HP mech left up there now.
More infantry shuffling.
And moving up my damaged tank so it's a little closer to the action, given it heals up next turn.
Okay, enough pussyfooting around. Time to attack.
It's risky, but one does not win wars by sitting around on the sofa eating crisps.
I send in two tanks to destroy an artillery. Leaves them in range of the other artillery, but what can you do?
Capturing in the north. That 1HP mech died somewhere in the fracas.
And just generally moving up other units, trying to stay out the range of those rockets as much as possible.
Owch. Still, that's the risk you take.
Alas, poor tank.
You shall be avenged.
Medium tank cripples small tank while my own small tanks pile on to Grit's artillery.
Of course, doing all that means that Snipe Attack is now charged up and ready to go. Time to prepare.
Doing some capturing, and making sure that my APC drops off its passenger. Naturally that APC is going to get targetted by Snipe Attack (but of course! What else could possibly present as great a threat to Grit?), and the last thing I want is for it to get destroyed with an infantry unit inside it. That way I'd lose two units instead of one, and I've got enough blood on my hands already (plus it's bad for my technique score).
I've been forgetting to build units the last few turns. Let's remedy that by using the saved-up funds to crank out another medium tank.
Faffing about moving a couple more units around.
But in some ways, that didn't go too badly. Snipe Attack packs a punch, reducing units to 1HP there despite them having a three-star defence bonus from the cities. But the combination of that city defence bonus and a bit of luck meant that neither unit died. And at least Grit didn't target my medium tank.
Okay, time to fix up some of the damage with Andy's own CO Power.
It's not perfect, but it'll do.
Hahaha holy balls look at that range. The good news is, that's already been and gone, because by his next turn the power will have stopped affecting Grit. But still, Snipe Attack is quite something.
My crippled tank retreats while my infantry move into rocket range. A bit of the old "target saturation" here: give Grit so many things to shoot at that it doesn't matter what he attacks, I still have plenty of backup. Kind of callous, but at least all the infantry are standing in mountains: they should be able to survive a hit.
Medium tank, small tank and arty move to what would be just outside of Grit's range on a normal day.
I built a couple of recons. I'm not exactly sure why. Recons are fast, so they'll be able to get up to the front quickly and slip into Grit's range shadow, and they do good damage to rockets and artillery. But they aren't up to much against tanks, even Grit's tanks.
More infantry moving.
One of the mountain infantry takes a hit for the team.
Moving up reinforcements.
Cycling out the infantry that got damaged for a fresh one, while also retreating my 3HP tank to a city and bringing those recons up.
But enough logistics. Time for some ACTION.
So yeah. We need to get a move on if we want a half-decent speed score, so again I rush some units into a risky position. Small tank cripples one rocket launcher while a medium tank finishes off Grit's 4HP small tank.
Getting another middie out the doors.
Grit responds with some action of his own, destroying my attacking small tank...
... and damaging my medium tank.
Well, at least I can hit back. Artillery, medium tank and small tank all combine to take down Grit's middie.
Or, if you prefer that without ACTION-O-Vision, we have this.
Bunch of infantry moving.
And it's time to start spamming units for technique. Technique is calculated as a fraction of units lost/total units produced: the more units you produce, the "better" your technique (This can catch people out in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict, where they change the way technique is calculated to penalise spamming like this).
Uh-oh, Grit's got another Snipe Attack. He could still do some damage to me with those rocket launchers...
... or maybe he could only attack with his tank and not actually use his rocket launchers at all.
Moving everyone in for the kill.
Every little counts, as this infantry chips a couple of hit points off the rocket launcher (and you wondered why I was bringing all those infantry over here!)
That 4HP Infantry's pretty exposed, might get killed by Grit's tank...
... well, unless the tank decides to attack a recon instead. Yeah, I don't even know any more.
Arty attacks tank, tank destroys rocket launcher.
Last stop, everyone off.
And what was your partner's name again? Paul?
Stop calling me Junior! I have a name! It's Andy!
Andy, Grit's only called you "Junior" once so far. Of course, now he knows it winds you up...
Well now! That's the spirit! Y'all are new to the Orange Star Army, right?
Yeah, so? Hey! How'd you know that?
Well now, that's 'cause I'm Grit! I was beholden to Orange Star not too long ago, myself. So, I'm pretty familiar with most of the military types.
So Olaf and Grit both used to work for Orange Star. That's a pretty serious brain drain. Blue Moon'll probably be after me next...
Well, y'all beat me this time. Who knows, maybe we'll see each other on the flip side. So long, Paul! You too, Junior!
Too late now, Andy.
And I got a rank up for my troubles! From Grey Rat to Opal Rat. Heady heights.
Anyway, back to Field Training for now. The next three FT missions contains one of my favourites, which caused me no end of trouble back when I first got the game. We'll get to see if I've improved any.
Oh, and one last thing: