Part 7: Field Training Missions 7 to 9Field Training Missions 7 to 9 (or "OLAF WENT FIRST???")
But I just did that in... oh well, never mind. Maybe we'll pick up a few tips.
Orange Star has hit a snag in its Md tank development program. On the other hand, Blue Moon seems to have more than enough tanks... I think it's safe to assume that they have mass production capabilities.
It's funny, given how the rest of the series plays out, how Orange Star always seem to have unit shortages and the like in Field Training.
I pulled some strings and had some B copters and T copters sent down from the front lines, but that doesn't give you all that much more firepower.
Well, it's better than nothing.
Nevertheless, let's make good use of them. I'll give you more details once we reach the staging area. Let's move out!
Debatable, but go on.
Look at the units he's deployed. He's always one step ahead of us. I didn't think he'd have any air units. I guess I underestimated him again. But, as I suspected, he has deployed a number of medium tanks... A frontal attack would be reckless. As always, we need to defeat all enemy units or Capture their HQ. But, looking at all of Olaf's units, I think we have only one true option. We must Capture the enemy HQ!
Gee, I'm rather reminded of a mission that I shouldn't already have done at this point in time. But yeah, pretty much every AW game has at least one tutorial mission of the form "bypass all the enemy's ridiculous army with a T-Copter" mission. Though not necessarily with a situation where you can land there on Day 1.
The enemy HQ is right below you. But infantry units can't cross seas. It might be possible to march there, but with all of those enemies...
Do you remember APCs? Like APCs, transport copters can carry infantry and mech units. But, also like APCs, they have no weapons and can't Fire. OK, go ahead and Load a unit onto your transport copter.
Good! You Loaded your troops! Now select the transport copter.
That's right! Transport copters can move over seas. Plus, the Movement Cost is the same over all terrain types.
Now Drop the infantry.
Well, if we'd dropped him anywhere else he'd've fallen in the sea. Which I can't imagine would have been a good thing.
Infantry can't move on the ocean.
Yep, there we go.
You can only Drop infantry on terrain they can move across. Don't forget that. You should check to see on which terrain you can Drop infantry. You remember how to check terrain... right? Move the cursor onto the terrain, and press the R Button to check it. Give it a try.
Dammit Nell, stop telling me to press the R Button to check terrain. I know what I'm doing. Most of the time.
OK, now let's test the battle copter's capabilities.
The battle copter is an air unit, just like the transport copter. This means terrain doesn't affect its movement range. Air units aren't affected by terrain bonuses, either. Which makes sense, since they're always flying. As for attack power, well... you should check it out for yourself.
Test your B copter! Fire!!!
Okay, okay, no need for multiple punctuation marks. Unless the situation really demands it, of course.
Nell's luck at work here. I'd never have hoped to do 6HP of damage on 49% expected damage with Andy (although 5HP would have been a reasonable expectation).
Well, "powerful" isn't quite the word I'd use. I'm impressed that it barely got scratched by the counterattack, though. Handy, that.
Battle copters are even effective versus tanks! Plus, with their superior movement capabilities, they're easy to deploy.
This is certainly true. B copters may only move at the same pace as light tanks, but they don't give a damn about terrain. Forests, mountains, rivers, seas, it's all the same to them. This makes them excellent flanking units at chokepoints, among other things.
Now, let me tell you a little more about your new copter units. As you know, they're both air units. All the other units you've used up to this point have been ground units. Since air units are always flying, they use fuel every day. The battle and transport copters use two fuel units per day. Don't worry about remembering that exact number, though. Just keep in mind that they burn fuel every day. Now you know all you need to know about these new units, right? I'm leaving the rest up to you. Do you want some strategic advice?
Well, you know what I'll say by now. Sure.
Pay careful attention to the enemy battle copters and medium tanks. All we have that can go toe-to-toe with them are our Battle copters. So, play it safe, and keep them out of attack range until necessary. Other than that, don't forget to Capture the enemy HQ tomorrow. I'm sure Olaf hasn't considered the possibility that it could be Captured early on! Good luck!
Well, what I basically want to do with my troops here is draw Olaf away from his HQ.
So let's retreat a little and set up shop around our own cities.
I see Nell hasn't deployed any medium tanks! Go, my troops! This time nothing can stand in the way of our victory!
Olaf, I already have an infantry unit sitting on your HQ. You need to pay more attention to detail, man.
All right, well, the only unit I have that can do decent damage to Olaf's B copter is my own B copter.
And it does a pretty solid job of it. I'm not quite sure where Blue Moon's B copters hail from (they look vaguely British maybe?) but they certainly look cute. More cute than usual.
While that's going on I begin capturing the HQ. Olaf's not a complete fool, he is sending some medium tanks that way. But they aren't going to get there in time.
Olaf's light tanks fall to artillery and mech fire.
Better get that damaged mech out of harm's way. My tank takes its place on the frontline.
Olaf's medium tanks attack. My B-Copter takes 1HP of damage, but I can cope with that. B copters don't take much damage from tanks, because tanks can only fire on them with their secondary machine guns, not their main tank rounds. My mech fares rather less well though.
Could just finish this off now of course. But I want to try something. Let's see if we can take down a medium tank with the units we have. With Nell's luck, we might be able to pull it off.
My artillery lands the first blow. 4HP is a good start, but where are we going to get the other 6HP from?
My B copter gamely provides some help. It'd be doing a bit more damage if it was at full health, but another 2HP is getting us there (I made a bit of an error here - should have attacked from the sea with the B copter. Would've let my mechs and tank get an extra attack in. We'll see soon whether it actually matters).
My light tank punches above its weight luck-wise, taking off another 2HP.
Hmm. Can my 6HP mech finish the job off? 8% expected damage, 2HP to take off...
Well what do you know, it worked. Handy thing to have on your side, luck.
Okay, enough fun and games. Let's finish this.
of his units...
It doesn't matter how good your units are if you don't know how to use them. Anyway, let me tell you a little more about those new air units. Even if you land them on allied cities and HQs, they won't recover HP or be supplied with fuel or ammunition. You haven't seen any yet, but you can only resupply units at airports.
Oh right, yeah, airports. I know what those are. Let's face it, who doesn't?
If they run low on fuel or ammo, you can restock them with an APC, just like land units. Now, keep up the good work!
What in the... My HQ has been stormed! Nell, you troublesome little... You saw that you couldn't survive a frontal assault, and so you pull this out of your hat!
Any sufficiently advanced tactic is indistinguishable from cheating
Grrr... This isn't over yet!
About as straightforward as they get, that one. Let's move on.
So hey Nell, made any progress with getting us some medium tanks yet?
Orange Star's Md tank development team has succeeded! Plus, you've also been given some new and improved anti-airs!
Cool. But saying that... I don't know about you, but I'm a bit worried about finally getting medium tanks in a mission called "Air Assault"...
Now, let's discuss the current operation, Paul. An entire company has disappeared on its way to the front lines. It was made up mostly of Md tanks and tanks, so this is serious. It may mean that they ran into an air squadron complete with bom... No, that's not possi...
Forget it. It's nothing. I'm sure I'm just reading too much into the situation. Well, time to get moving!
I have a bad feeling about this.
Nell! Mobilizing your troops again, are you? Well, you're too late! Fly, my masters of the sky! Finish off these surviving troops, then destroy that meddlesome Nell's units!
OLAF WENT FIRST??? WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?
See, now that's where you use multiple punctuation marks. But seriously, I can't think of another time this happens in the AW series. This is crazy.
He's got bombers... and fighters, too. This is bad. All of our units that were deployed here have been decimated. If we don't stop Olaf here, he'll push onward and cause even more damage. This is a major turning point! We must be strong!!! First, let me tell you about a new unit which has been assigned to you. You've seen plenty of medium tanks, so you know how to use them, right? Against other ground units, they're practically unstoppable. But -- as you've just seen -- they're helpless against bombers.
Select this one, please. This battle copter is in the perfect spot! Attack it!
Yeah, that's a lot of overkill.
That's what anti-air units can do! You can see how overwhelmingly powerful they are against air units. Plus, against ground units, mech and infantry in particular, they're more effective than tanks. However, tanks will defeat them in head-to-head combat.
Ah the classic AW rock-paper-scissors triangle. B copter > Tank > Anti-air > B copter.
Now that you understand anti-air units, I'll let you take command. Do you want some strategic advice?
Yup. That bomber looks scary.
Watch out for fighters, bombers, battle copters, and medium tanks. It appears the fighters and bombers don't have much fuel or ammunition. I was nervous at first, but we may get through this after all! With air units, you have to watch how much fuel they have. I already told you that copters use two fuel units per day. The other air units -- fighters and bombers -- use five per day. If they run out, they crash, and the units are lost! Try to make the most out of this intel. Let's talk more on strategy after the bombers and fighters are gone. Good luck!
Yeah, the fighter and bomber are in pretty poor condition here. And I don't think Olaf's got any way to resupply them here. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.
For now it's mostly a case of moving units. Let's bring up the heavy hitters first.
Loading up the transports with mechs. They'll probably come in handy at some point.
And moving everyone else forward.
Haha, wow, those planes are going down - the fighter's on zero fuel, and the bomber's only got one fuel left which is nowhere near enough. If you're curious as to how the fighter went from 12 fuel to 0 in a turn, recall what Nell said about planes: they use 5 fuel a day without even moving, and any movement they make adds on top of that. 5 fuel + 7 squares moved = 12. So planes can run out of fuel quite rapidly. This is why Eagle's little fuel bonus I mentioned in the last mission is quite neat.
Anyway, let's test out what this AA can do. Nell said they were really good against footsoldiers. Let's test that out.
Yeah, that's a pretty solid hit, especially against a unit standing on a city. AAs can actually one-shot infantry and mechs standing on roads. Granted, so can medium tanks, but AAs cost half as much.
My B copter takes a chunk out of Olaf's mech...
... and then I realise my error: I'm in range of Olaf's own B copter. Bugger.
Ah well. Let's move everyone up.
Olaf's planes explode violently when they run out of fuel.
First, the battle copters... The simplest thing to do is to use your decoys. Use them to draw the copters toward your anti-air units and Attack.
Yeah, news for you, Nell... I kind of already drew the B copter forward. Admittedly by accident
If you can take out the battle copters like that, then the fight is ours! As for medium tanks, try to trap them and pound away with your artillery. Once that's accomplished, you'll be in complete control. If your air units look low on fuel, you can resupply them with an APC. I told you that already, didn't I? Well, anyway, the rest is up to you! Good luck!
Okay, well like I say, the good news is that I've pulled Olaf's B copter out of hiding.
My AA takes it down, and my crippled B-Copter retreats to relative safety.
Arty and middie clear out a tank, and my own tank finishes off that capturing infantry.
Infantry move up a bit...
... and goddammit, I did it again: left a unit exposed to Olaf. I can be pretty derpy sometimes.
Tch. Still, it's not the end of the world. I can get out of this (would be pretty embarassing if I couldn't, given this is Field Training).
Artillery attacks Olaf's offending tank.
And can my battered B copter still be of use?
Yes, yes it can. Luck to the rescue once again.
AA and medium tank clear out Olaf's infantry, and my light tank goes on an adventure.
Everyone else moves up.
Things are looking okay here.
Light tank takes on mech, B copter goes along for the ride.
Time to lay a trap for Olaf. Nell suggested using infantry to lure out Olaf's B copter. That didn't end up happening because I'd already lured him out with my own B Copter. But I can still lure that medium tank into artillery range with an infantry unit. Hey, it's in the mountains, it'll survive.
Other units move up.
And here comes Olaf.
Okay, the middie's in range.
This'll teach Olaf to pick on poor, defenseless infantry. Well, ok, no it won't. But you know.
Cycling out the infantry with a fresh one, and taking down Olaf's mech with my middie.
Advancing on the HQ.
And moving my infantry and transports, including making another silly mistake: see if you can spot it.
Derp. The medium tank attacked the T-Copter, and moved itself out of artillery range in the process. I think the fact that Olaf went first is just getting to me this mission.
Oh well, time for Plan B: get the medium tank over here and finish it off with my own middie. T copters aren't quite as good as APCs for baiting the AI, but they still seem to get targetted a lot.
My light tank moves in to attack, and my medium tank and AA follow.
And some infantry and APC moving.
Olaf goes for the T copter.
First, let's clear this artillery out of the way.
There we go.
Once more we find ourselves relying on some of Nell's luck to finish off a medium tank...
... and once more, it works!
The fact that he had no clue about keeping them supplied saved us. Good luck in the next battle. Keep up the good work!
We forgot to refill the fuel tanks? What are you fools thinking??? Is is that hard to refuel an aircraft?
I don't know, but it must be kind of tricky for an APC to refuel a high-altitude bomber mid-flight...
Augh!!! Just wait until next time!
Well, dumb moves aside, anyway. I'm guessing all those units Olaf destroyed on Day 1 don't count towards my technique?
Anyway, time to go long-range.
You don't say.
The enemy already has fighters and bombers, but it appears that we don't.
They also seem to have developed some kind of bizarre first-turn-stealing superweapon.
But, I did arrange to have some experimental missiles assigned to you.
Again continuing with the theme that Orange Star are halfway through R&Ding all their units during Field Training mode. Explains why we don't get bases I guess?
And I also got you some rockets. With all you've done, Paul, it's the least they could do!
Just doin' my job, ma'am
It seems that the enemy always has superior units deployed. I apologize. Anyway, it's time to move out!
Yeah, as I noted previously, Olaf always gets the coolest toys before we do. Although infantry, artillery and B copters were dead heats and we got APCs, T copters and anti-air first. But hey, we're getting the job done.
You've assembled a pretty well-balanced army.
Guess we were only going to get lucky once there.
If you don't take them out, they'll do lots of damage to your units. But since they're across the sea, you can't easily attack them. This is where missiles come in handy! Let's see what they can do!
Missiles can Fire on air units from a distance. Units that are three to five spaces away fall within their range. Press the A Button to open the Command Menu. That's right! Fire!
Haha, nice one. Bombers can dish it out, but they can't take it.
See! Missiles can even take out bombers! Since they don't engage directly, like anti-air units, they don't take damage. However, they can't Fire right after moving. Your main focus is to draw units within their attack range. It's smart to use them in conjuction with anti-air units.
Yeah, missiles can be pretty vulnerable to bombers and B copters just waltzing inside their range shadow to attack. It's generally best to give them an AA escort. As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of missiles, they're pretty situational, but they can still be useful sometimes.
Now, let's test our rockets.
Rockets are basically powered-up artillery. They have the same attack range as missiles -- three to five spaces. Now open the Command Menu.
Any excuse to start wailing on medium tanks. I always wonder why they include rockets in a mission called "Air Defense" because rockets have nothing to do with that. But again, tends to be a theme in the other AW games - rockets get introduced at the same time as AAs and missiles.
That's good! They don't do as much damage as missiles, but it's not too shabby.
Hey, that rocket just did more damage to a medium tank than anything I've seen so far outside a bomber. I'll take it.
The greatest advantage of indirect combat units is that they don't take damage. But as with artillery, they take heavy damage from direct attacks, so you have to protect them.
Defensive walls, meatshielding, etc., etc. Got it.
One more thing about the missiles and rockets... Their movement is classified as tire movement. This is similar to tread movement, but the difference is clear on flat terrain. Select terrain or a unit and press the R button for more details.
Yeah, units on tyres do fine on roads, but while vehicles with treads cross plains like it's no big deal, tyred vehicles tend to get a bit bogged down. And they really struggle going through forests. There's one other unit with tyres: the recon.
I'm going to leave the rest up to you. Do you want any strategic advice?
First, try to take out as many enemy units as you can with your anti-air units and your missiles. If you surround your missiles and rockets to protect them, the enemy will move in to attack. If you can take the units around the HQ with your rockets, the battle will be yours. You can send troops in to the HQ by transport copter or surround it and slowly work your way in. Do it however you like! Good luck!
Let's check out some attack ranges. My infantry and B-Copter are currently shielding my rockets and missiles from Olaf's bombers. Although he could park his bomber in that square two squares north of my missile launcher, inside its range shadow, which would be pretty annoying. It's unlikely when he has so many juicy infantry to fire at, but no sense in taking a risk.
With the B copter meanwhile, well Olaf can attack my B Copter. But if I move my B copter, then his bomber could attack my rockets and ugh. I think the best way to solve this problem is with some decoys.
First let's get my ground troops moving up the road.
Then we can deploy the decoys. The APC is acting as classic "the AI hates APCs" bait for that B copter. The T copter is serving less as bait and more to stop Olaf's bomber entering that square - it does leave the B copter vulnerable to medium tank fire though. But even then, that'll help draw the middie towards my own troops, which is what I want. So it should work out.
Olaf strikes. There goes one of my infantry...
... and my APC manages to just survive a pounding from the two B copters.
My T copter takes a hit from Olaf's medium tank (he did pretty good damage there, actually), but again survives.
Okay, the decoys have done their job. Let's get them out of here.
And start work on revenge.
Missiles down bomber, AA takes out one B copter and my own B copter cripples the other one. I've left my rocket launcher a little exposed, but since the only unit Olaf has that can capitalise on this is a 3HP B copter, I think I'll be okay.
Rocket and medium tank combine to take out Olaf's full health middie.
Tank and artillery form up a neat little chokepoint in the north.
Yeah, like I say, my rocket took an attack but nothing serious. Even Nell's smiling.
Took a couple of hits that turn, but nothing to worry about.
It's pretty straightforward from here. The rockets clear out that medium tank I attacked back on day 1, my B copter finishes off Olaf's B copter and my artillery gets to work on Olaf's infantry in hte north.
My damaged light tank cleans up that northern infantry, and my medium tank takes out Olaf's light tank. Meanwhile I load a speculative mech into a T copter, although I think I can finish this faster with a rout than an HQ capture. Never hurts to have the option, though.
Olaf's mechs move obligingly closer.
Rocket and B copter combine to take out his remaining light tank...
... and arty and tanks reduce him down to his last unit in the north. I land on the HQ but yeah, rout's gonna be quicker.
Not much else to say.
So let's finish this.
Keep up the good work!
Augh!!! I never had a chance this time! NELL!!! Just wait until next time!
Woo, max score. Speaking of Max, he won the poll so tune in next time for...
... carnage. Complete and total carnage.