Part 12: Campaign Mission 6M: Blizzard Battle!Mission 6M: Blizzard Battle! (or "Wait, "he"? Who's "he"?")
I don't see the need to get so worked up. It's not like this was Blue Moon property to begin with.
But... it's coloured blue on the map?
What did you say? After all my work and planning?
It's common theft, man! Nothing more, nothing less.
Why, you insolent little...
Whoa! Hold on chief! Don't you think it's time to move out? Like you said, the Orange Star troops are knocking on our door.
Grit! You're pushing your luck! Don't go anywhere, you understand? I'll deal with you when I get back.
How, exactly? Then again, better not ask that of a guy who can make it snow...
I mean, Olaf probably doesn't get cold when he makes it snow, but Grit would...
Maybe best not to think about it.
Andy! Max! Can you hear me?
What is it, Nell?
I've learned that this is a vital deployment point for Olaf. If we can drive him from the region, we may just cripple his army!
Really? This may be where we can end this conflict with Olaf!
That's right! You just need to capture as much property as possible, and fast! The first army to secure twelve properties will win this battle! Stay alert and good luck!
Let's see... Yep, we've got bases for deploying troops, and...
OK! Understood. Let's go!
And nothing, apparently. I guess Max doesn't want to tell Andy and me the rest of his thoughts. Bit of a shame, since he's taking no part in this battle.
Oh well, looks like we've got to sort this out ourselves Andy. As noted, this is a property capture battle: first to twelve properties (on this map that's HQs, bases and cities) wins. Now, Olaf starts out considerably more mobilised than us here, and even has six starting properties to our three. So, pretty much as always, we're going to have to box clever.
There are three key properties here, circled in green. First up, there's a Blue Moon city near the central bridge. If we grab that, not only do we get another city, but we set Olaf back one too! As each side of the map only has eleven properties, we're going to need at least one from Olaf's side - and this is the obvious choice. The base in the north is self-explanatory, it's always good to have bases. And then there's the city by the northern bridge, which is our most vulnerable property: Olaf may even get there before us. If he does, it's vital we take his vulnerable city first, to stop him getting twelve properties. After that... well, we'll just have to take it back from him.
Right, well, I'd better get to capturing then, hadn't I?
And my mechs head out towards that Blue Moon city. Now, you'd think I'd want to rush upfield for the base first. But you'd be wrong - I tried that out on my first attempt at the level, and it didn't exactly go to plan. You'll see why in a moment.
In the meantime, I send my tanks upfield as a welcoming committee for Olaf's troops.
Since this is a capturing mission, we'll want plenty of infantry. I mean, Rule 1 of Advance Wars is "you can never have too many infantry", but it goes doubly so here.
And here's why we don't want to send our footsoldiers after that base just yet: Olaf sends a tank and arty across the bridge to engage us, and that base is right in arty range. "But Paul! You can distract Olaf with the APC!" Yeah, that's what I thought. But remarkably, when I tried it out Olaf's artillery actually attacked my capturing mech rather than the APC (I know, right?). So best to have my tanks get rid of those units before sending my infantry up there.
I am going to use my APC as a decoy somewhere, at least. That Blue Moon city is vital.
Not going to move in and engage Olaf's units just yet, though - doing so would drag his medium tank forward, and while I'm going to have to deal with it at some point, I'd rather wait until we've cleared out the other units first. It does mean conceding first strike to his light tank, but I can work around that.
More infantry, more! Well, we don't have the funds for much else right now. Maybe next turn.
(Question is, how much am I going to abuse that gif from now on?)
Well, I took some damage there, but I can work something out.
First up, my gallant APC retreats. With that city now firmly in Orange Star hands, the mechs can take care of this bridge themselves.
My damaged tank takes on Olaf's arty, with an infantry unit providing assistance.
And now for Olaf's tank. Andy can only knock 6HP off it. Stuff like this makes you miss Max a bit, but Andy has his compensations. And it's still decent damage.
Now, that medium tank's hanging out in arty range, so it's probably for the best if I try to distract the arty with some infantry. Target saturation, my old friend.
Enough infantry for now. Let's have another tank to make up for my damaged one.
Olaf has his first shot at trying to clear me off my new city. It's not a bad effort, but...
... I get healed up 2HP from the city next turn. This is why I'm fairly confident that my mechs can hold the line here. For now, at least.
Especially with performances like that. I've now got an HP lead here.
Medium tank finishes off arty, and I get to capturing that base. Now then, about that retreating 2HP tank... if I go after it, that's going to drag Olaf's medium tank into play. That could be pretty dangerous.
But on the other hand, I think I've got the resources to contain it. I send my 6HP tank out, both to finish off Olaf's tank before he can retreat, and to bait the middie.
Loading the APC...
Moving all these other infantry up...
... advancing my fresh tank, and churning out a couple more infantry.
Olaf continues to battle for that bridge city. It's 3HP each right now, but don't forget I'm getting healed next turn.
My "bait" tank doesn't fare so well, though.
But on the other hand, for some reason Olaf decided to attack that tank from the worst position possible.
Because now I can attack him from a city and minimise the counterattack damage.
My new light tank follows up to reduce the middie to 3HP, while I finish capturing the base and start capturing some more cities.
This time my mech can finish that tank off. So ends the battle of the bridge. Well. The first battle of the bridge.
The other mech comes up to provide support, while my APC drops off his passenger. Leaving the APC there was perhaps a mistake. I think you can guess why.
Not going to build anything this turn, I'd like to save up a bit for next turn.
Hey Olaf, Andy and the readers are dying to know: don't you get cold when you do that?
Guess he's not answering. And yeah, he took my APC out, that was the mistake. It's one thing to lose an APC as a deliberate decoy, quite another to get one killed through sheer forgetfulness. , etc.
Of course, the big problem with Blizzard here is that that infantry's started capturing the northern bridge city - and because it's snowing, none of my units can reach it. Good job I captured that city by the central bridge, then.
Olaf's medium tank goes down...
... and back in the centre of the map, my mechs swap around so that the full health one can face the next tank.
Setting up a defensive perimeter around the base...
... where I'm going to build a rocket launcher. May as well make use of the fact that we're playing as Andy, here.
All right, everything looks like it's in a pretty good position here. Do your worst, Olaf.
I thought you'd never ask.
So yeah, we've got a recon, a tank and a bunch of infantry to deal with. At least it isn't snowing any more.
Medium tank starts us off by knocking that recon down to 1HP. And I capture another city.
That city capture puts us level with Olaf on 11 properties. The next capture decides the battle.
I join the 7HP and 4HP infantry together, receiving 100G for the "lost" hit point. Meanwhile another infantry finishes off the recon, and my tank attacks one of Olaf's infantry.
Better get that rocket off the base. Wouldn't want it to become a base-blocker after all the trouble I took capturing that place.
And let's deploy an arty from there.
Back on the bridge, battle recommences.
Whoa, déjà vu.
Building some infantry out of the other bases.
And the déjà vu continues.
All right, we've got a CO power charged up here.
May as well use it.
aaa it's so bright I can hardly read the numbers. Maybe that's Andy's secret, he makes his units look so bright you can't actually tell how damaged they are.
Mech kills light tank, rockets cripple infantry.
My own light tank deals with another damaged infantry, allowing my medium tank to roll through and take out Olaf's APC (oh no I'm turning into an AI ).
Infantry sneaks around the back of Olaf to take that 2HP inf out. Kind of weird to see Andy on the right half of the screen, there.
The infantry cavalcade moves forwards. I also send my artillery down south: my mechs could probably use a bit of long range support down there, battle damage is taking its toll.
And I churn out a tank, an arty and an inf.
Olaf continues his two-pronged assault on my lines.
He's not giving up without a fight.
Good job we're prepared to give him one, then.
Medium and light tanks clear out the city so I can start capturing it. Olaf seems to have decided to leave this city alone now so he can focus on the middle of the map: more fool him.
I get to capturing as my artillery start sending barrages at the opposite shore.
Mech attacks recon as reinforcements approach. Reinforcements I won't need, but I guess it's the thought that counts?
Producing an APC since my medium tank looks a little low on ammo. Again, it isn't going to make a difference because I win next turn, but you know.
Tech-spamming some infantry just in case.
All right, the moment of truth.
A silly bit of supplying. But it's nice to see an APC get used for something other than cannon fodder for once .
Taking down a recon because why not.
And finishing the job.
He will not be pleased with me if this losing streak continues.
Wait, "he"? Who's "he"?
Get out there and stop that cursed Orange Star Army!
Easier said than done, Boss. You didn't leave me anything to work with.
Oh I don't know, there's all those troops that we didn't destroy because all we had to do was capture twelve properties... unless of course they're all remote-controlled robots that shut down when they stray too far from their factories. But who'd design a system like that?
Don't get saucy! Rally the troops and do something! I have to go and pay him my respects.
"Him"? Yeah, this really puzzled me at the time. I thought maybe Blue Moon had some third CO, not mentioned in the manual, who was Olaf's superior. Well, I was right about the "not mentioned in the manual" part. Anyway, yeah, this is our second hint at the game's wider plot, after Eagle being really angry with Andy despite Andy not having a clue who he was. Still some way to go before we can fit all the pieces together though... feel free to speculate on it, I guess? Granted, "plot speculation" and "Advance Wars" aren't natural bedfellows...
Don't fail me, Grit!
Well, I'll be a... Olaf just tucked his tail between his legs and ran away. Where does that leave me? Guess I'll mosey on down and clean up his mess.
Seriously, Grit, why are you working for Blue Moon? I mean, sure it's fun to crack jokes at Olaf's expense, but you could do that from Orange Star. And you wouldn't have to deal with situations like this.
I'd forgotten about this, but apparently when we win property capture maps we get a little screen telling us about the property count. That's uh, that's certainly something, game.
I'd like to see Andy's comment here as being less about Blizzard and more about Olaf leaving Grit in the lurch like that. Or maybe just a remark to the game about giving us another A-Rank. The timings for speed in AW1 are a lot stricter than they are in AW2, it seems.
Oh well, A-Rank or no, I apparently got enough sweet XPs to reach the heady heights of Rank 93, Ebon Rat. There's no voting to do for next time, though...
... because Max has some, uh, "issues" to take care of.