The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by Paul.Power, Sockerbagarn

Part 100: Advance Campaign Mission 18: Rivals! AC - Part 2

Advance Campaign Mission 18: Rivals! AC (or "No plan survives contact with the anime") - Part 2


Right then. Here goes. Joining me for THE LAST VIDEO are Sockerbagarn, Slur, and Fredrik1/Irregular programming.

Day 23

Here's where we left off - northern flank forever secured by a mech, centre held by a pair of missile launchers blanketed in infantry, and the southern flank finally starting to gain ground as Eagle's initial assault runs dry. No real progress got made last time, but we held the line - now it's time for the counterattack. As my ground troops push across the southern bridges, grabbing property and gradually siphoning funds away from Eagle, I'll be looking to build some fighters and establish air superiority. After that, it's a race (of sorts ) to the HQ between the army and the air force.

Nothing to shoot this turn, so just a case of moving everything up.

Day 24

Eagle brings up a pair of B copters to hassle my infantry meatshield.

No real surprise what happens to them.

Joining the damaged infantry, and finally getting a fighter on the board, along with a T copter to distract Eagle from first-striking my shiny new fighter. I also capture a city, finally bringing me up to the total amount of territory I started this mission with.

The infantry conga line goes ahead to see what it can see.

Unfortunately, my tank is just out of range of that AA.

Oh well. Sorry guys, hope you like being ablative armour.

Day 25

It's been a while since the last Eagle bomber. Naturally, it targets the APC. I wasn't even intending that one .

Still, let's patch up a few dings.

Although in hindsight, maybe I should have saved the Hyper Repair for after I attacked the bomber with the AA. A rehealed AA would probably be worth more than 10% extra damage. In extra hindsight, maybe I should have just attacked with the fighter first.

But nope, that fighter's going to be a huge coward. I'm probably being far too risk-averse here, I have plenty of T copters to cover that fighter's backside, but Rivals! does that to you. I've poured over two days' worth of funds into that fighter, I'm not letting it get blown up willy-nilly.

And speaking of things getting blown up willy-nilly... looks like one of Eagle's planes got fed up with existing. Given Eagle's lower fuel consumption on his air units, that's weirdly impressive (hang on... 25 days, 3 fuel per day... that's only 75 fuel. Did that plane move around back there as well? It would make sense if it was 4 fuel per day, but I could swear that Eagle uses 2 less fuel than usual...).

Day 26

A sort of half-tile screenshot to try and fit both the bomber and the B copter on my field of vision.

Tank and AA clear up the southern units.

Eagle's latest B copter goes down to another set of missiles, and I send some infantry into the middle.

Building a B copter to help deal with that island infantry, and moving the conga line up.

Day 27

Although it turns out the B copter gets a big chunk of it taken it out already (what was that about not wasting funds? ). Eagle brings a bunch more stuff to the party - two fighters, two B Copters and an AA. Those fighters are out of missile range, and there's no way I'm sending out one Andy fighter against two Eagle ones. Hmm.

At least one thing's in AA range, though - the B copter that attacked my B copter goes down. And the southern tank and AA do nice damage to Eagle's new AA (although I attacked with the tank from the road rather than the city... I can just see Sockerbagarn shaking his head...)

Operation Infantry Conga Line continues to do its thing.

Pulling the B copter back behind the infantry wall, and sending out more T Copters as bait. Gotta get them fighters into missile range.

Day 28

So somehow Eagle fails to attack the capturing infantry with his B Copter and bomber. Y'know, I was sure the AI would prioritise capturing infantry, but... maybe not.

Eagle's 2HP AA retreated to a city, but an infantry unit managed to spot it, letting the tank finish it off.

It's Day 28 and we finally have more properties than we started with! . My fighter finally sees some action (with the two fighters Eagle just sent to me reduced to 1HP, this is about as safe an opportunity as I'm going to get), although Eagle's defence bonus is still proving irritating.

At least B copters can still get one-shotted. Moving down one artillery to the south, and building another (you may be wondering why I left those artillery hanging there for so long in the first place. Well, after previous attempts at this mission, I was paranoid about bombers and/or rocket launchers taking out my mech in the north - the artillery were a second line of defence. By this point though, I realised that Eagle was never going to actually break through in the north).

Eagle moves up another bomber, and oh gosh is it Lightning Strike time?

It's Lightning Strike time.

Day 29

And uh... huh. The bomber stays put. As does the 2HP fighter that he made by joining together the two 1HP fighters on the first of his two turns. Um. Eagle?

I guess you're okay with me attacking your lowered defence units then?

And using the power meter buildup to use another Hyper Repair?

Seriously, I appreciate that footsoldiers only get to attack once, but I thought you might have attacked my AA with that mech. Oh well.

Spotting a tank. Even with the lowered defence from Lightning Strike, I'm not comfortable attacking a full health tank with a 7HP one. It stays behind the infantry wall for now.

More T copters for city-capturing purposes.

Day 30

Eagle's thought processes seem more coherent when he's not Lightning Striking. At least he attacked stuff.

This calls for a further turn of consolidation in the south, as I join my damaged infantry together and retreat the tank for repairs and supplies. At least another city has come under Orange Star control.

Taking down the B copter, landing more infantry on the island and going in to attack the 2HP infantry. Oh hang on... see that mech?

Well, now you don't. Whoops .

Oh well, not the end of the world. I can re-spot it with the fighter (attacking the T copter into the bargain), and then attack the mech with my 7HP B copter.

Continuing to move up infantry and artillery (building a nice little screen around one of the arties) while building another APC. These APCs are experiencing all three stages of their life cycle - supplying the missile launcher on the road with ever more missiles, transporting infantry forward, and then getting killed via somewhere along the line.

Day 31

Eagle drills away at the infantry wall, but can't break through to the vehicles.

My name is Paul, and I have a problem: I keep attacking from roads when better defensive cover is available. I wonder how much time gets lost this mission due to having to fix that tank up?

Probably about as much as not attacking this T copter with my infantry when I have the chance. I mean, yeah, it's not a threat. Maybe I'm trying not to think like an AI or something. But a bit of extra damage would have been handy here.

And continuing the theme of "minor but irritating mistakes that I notice during editing", if I'd dropped the infantry here east rather than north, I'd've made a nice little safe spot for the fighter to hide in. It's not a huge deal, but...

... ah well. The engine of war keeps on ticking over.

Day 32

Not pictured: the fighter that destroyed the front T copter, which I lost vision on after the T copter died.

The good news is, we finally have some serious firepower on the southern front: the artillery has arrived.

And here's why not getting that attack in on the T copter was irritating: it could be dead by now. All right, far more likely it'd be sitting there on 1HP, especially with Eagle's defence boost. But still.

Knowing that Eagle has a fighter out there, I once again retreat my own fighter. Even though I could probably take Eagle's fighter on with a first strike. I just really want to make sure I have good and proper air superiority before I take him on, and if that means just sitting around not engaging Eagle's fighters until I have a lot of fighters of my own, then so be it. However, cowardice is one thing: stupidity is another. Like deciding to attack Eagle's B copter with my damaged one before using my healthy one. Yeah, not really sure what Past Paul was up to there.

Day 33

I mean, if I was relying on the AI to be silly and attack the 3HP B copter instead of the full health one (hey, it worked with those bombers attacking my infantry!), then that plan Did Not Work.

Whittling away at Eagle's forces in the south - that T copter brought in a mech, nothing serious but it's still pretty "ugh".

Now I have a 2 to 1 advantage, I'm finally manning up and using my fighters for something. Notice how I've been putting it off for so long that one of the fighters has fuel issues.

Dammit, that T copter should be dead (or at least, running away) by now! Also, with the skies vaguely safe, it's time for another round of T copters. Let's see if I can grab that airport. Actually, first thing's first. Let's see if I can see that aiport...

Sending in a sacrificial B copter and hmm, yeah, those missiles could be problematic...

Day 34

... as could the bomber, and the two B copters. And maybe kinda the mech if it gets first strike on my tank or AA?

Can't do much about the second B copter, but the first is easy enough. Sending in infantry is probably a better option for dealing with that mech than using my damaged tank.

The convoy continues to move up, with yet more repairs for the tank.

Repairs and refuelling for the damaged fighter here, too. The other one gets stuck into the bomber.

And you know what, let's have a third fighter.

Eagle brings a bunch of new toys out of the cupboard, as well as a Lightning Strike to use them with.

Day 35

They mostly go for the option, but still, it's a good job I built that third fighter to help crowd-control these buggers.

It's also some nice timing on Hyper Repair. I've had a few of them straight after a Lightning Strike this mission, it certainly helps.

Eagle's LS-weakened bomber gets splatted by AA, while my artillery clears out the chokepoint. This finally lets me scout out that base.

And hey, let's inflict some damage on that mech while we're here.

The fighter war goes about as smoothly as could be hoped, aided by Eagle's lowered defence. The full-health fighter here took out an 8HP unit on a 70% shot, a nice result - I guess maybe the fighter I killed was really on something like 76HP out of 100?

Eh, I can cope with a few more T copters on my conscience. At least one of them's in the range shadow!

Day 36

All right, let's see about securing these production facilities.

Tank and 4HP infantry finish off the blocking mech, and I install my own infantry in its place, as my AA continues to get to grips with the B copter problem.

7HP fighter dives right in and gets that T copter out of the way. It's in missile range now, but a bit of insurance should take care of that.

The other fighters pile into the missile launcher's range shadow, while a new set of T copters flutters towards the front.

Day 37

Other than the expected attack on that T copter, it was a quiet turn for Eagle.

Scouting reveals some potential problems, though.

I can use artillery to clear a path for my tank to hit Eagle's tank, but what about that B copter? My AA is too far away...

... oh wait, duh. I'm too used to treating this fight as two separate fronts .

More range shadow shuffling!

Day 38

Hmm, I don't have enough stuff in position to take care of both the tank and the AA. What to do, what to do...

I decide on targeting the AA with my tank, since it won't just heal up most of the damage I do to it, and set up to rain artillery shells down on Eagle's tank. Meanwhile, AA kills copter and I continue to whittle away that missile launcher's health with infantry.

And finishing the missile launcher off, together with finding and neutralising a bomber. Handy that, it could have done a number on my AA or arty if I hadn't spotted it.

Dum-de-dum-de... hahaha whoops. It figures that as soon as I wrest that base and airport from Eagle's grasp, I hit the unit cap. I mean, I could delete some infantry or something... but, as stupid as it sounds and as happy as I've been to send them to their deaths, I just don't want to pull that trigger myself. Oh well, unit cap or no unit cap, I'm pretty sure I've got this. And in its own weird way, reaching the unit cap on Rivals! AC feels like something of an achievement in itself.

Day 39

I managed to get a fourth fighter built before the unit cap, though. Overkill perhaps, but let's see what we can do with it.

Well, it can help remove a B copter, as my T copters start prepping for an HQ assault.

Lots of T copters and lots of prepping.

Artillery defeat tank, tank defeats AA, while in the air I finish off that 2HP bomber.

And finishing the turn with some general-purpose scouting.

Day 40

Eagle brings out a B copter and that's kind of it.

Down goes the B copter, revealing a T copter. I also spot a mech that I can't shoot this turn, which will probably end badly for someone.

Everything seems to be under control, with Eagle's HQ is now tantalisingly close (although... why didn't I finish off that T copter with my 9HP fighter? Mysteries, mysteries...).

Day 41

Dammit Eagle, I was going to use that infantry. At least his mech decided not to attack, for reasons known only to itself.

Avenging the stricken infantry, and clearing out the mech.

Operation Finally Finish This Thing is a-go.

No, I don't know why I didn't block a base with that fighter when I attacked the B copter. Quite frankly, anyone expecting coherent thought processes at this point in time is wildly off target. Speaking of which, hey, let's use the fact that one of my infantry died to build a bomber! It won't see any combat, but hey, it's a bomber!

Eagle fires off another Lightning Strike, but all the action happens off screen. Perhaps he's realised the threat to his HQ?

Day 42

He's certainly built plenty of AA in the area. Hmm.

Well, let's try and baseblock this as much as humanly possible.

Day 43




Ahem. So, Rivals! AC! 43 days is still good enough for an A-Rank, especially with Power and Technique maxed out by default (imagine if they weren't... I think you'd have to invent a whole new alphabet for the grade I'd get here...). It is A Thing. But I hope I've shown that, with a little luck and a lot of AI exploiting and a huge amount of relentless infantry grinding, it's doable. And doable without a move-perfect strategy, either. I made plenty of mistakes, but in the end it didn't matter: I won. The monster has been slain.

A little slideshow of Socker's victories in his branch of Advance Campaign (hmm, looks like he carried on from the wrong save with Divide & Conquer!), capped off with my Rivals! A-Rank.

His string of S-Ranks wasn't enough to drag this to an S-Rank overall for Advance Campaign, but it was enough to get me from my original B to an A. So it's still something he deserves kudos for .

And I guess that's it! I didn't expect Advance Campaign to take three years to finish, but hey, no plan survives contact with the anime. Heck, I didn't even plan to finish Advance Campaign when I first started out on it, I just assumed I'd come unstuck somewhere along the way. But now, thanks to Socker getting me there, not only have I finished AC but I even have Rivals! AC under my belt! Sometimes bad things happen when plans fail, but sometimes good things can as well. I hope that this run of Advance Campaign has shown that as hard as it is, it's still beatable even when the plan goes out of the window. All of my silly mistakes have shown that you don't need to be a machine to beat Advance Campaign - and as Socker has shown, even S-Ranking missions can be done on the fly without tons of preparation.

Thank you all once more for all of your posts, votes, contributions, and especially for your patience for the ridiculous long haul that has been Advance Campaign. Since he joined the commentary crew after I did the credits roll, thanks to Slur for stepping in as a guest commentator over the last few missions. And thanks to Socker for all of his supplemental videos once the going got tough. And hey, thanks to Fredrik1 for coming in to help with the last video.

As for the final word? Well, I'll just leave that to the dictionary...

airport /'er,pôrt/ (n) A complex of runways and buildings for the take-off, landing, and maintenance of civil aircraft, with facilities for passengers.