Part 14: Campaign Mission 4A: Max Strikes! as AndyMission 4A: Max Strikes! as Andy (or "A (choke)point to prove")
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...
i am overly aggressive in greeting strangers! who are you and what do you do for a living?
basically over half my units are powerful enough to turn the enemy into a fine particulate
i also have some crippling weaknesses but i'm not gonna mention them here
That all sounds pretty good Max, but you know what? We've got a decent thing going here with Andy, let's stick with him.
Except he doesn't. But you know.
I'm not a little kid! I'm a CO in the Orange Star Army! And I don't need a nanny!... Whatever that is.
Here we go again. Somebody, please, buy this kid a dictionary.
Uh-huh. OK, little man, why don't you tell me how to use the bases on this map?
No problem! You use the naval base to deploy naval units and the air base to deploy air units!
Well, okay, fair enough, he does get it right at least once. Not that are any air bases on this map, but you know. It's going to be such an anti-climax by the time I finally get to the mission where he says that line.
Not bad! I'm surprised you know that much!
Owch. I can't say I'm the biggest optimist when it comes to Andy's knowledge, but even I think that's harsh.
But if a CO doesn't have guts, he's got nothin'. Show me what you can do, kid.
Don't worry Andy, we're going to make Max eat his words. The first thing you'll notice here is that we've got a very different map on our hands from the Max version of Max Strikes! We've got bases and a port, but Olaf's also got bases and a port. There's also two big chokepoints - the bridge to Olaf's island, and the mountain pass just before his bases - whereas Max's map was very open. Both maps are basically designed to show off our COs' strengths (even if Andy's strength is basically "no weaknesses").
Now then, strategy. Once more our foe has a very exposed HQ that we can readily exploit with our lander. This time round, what with the bases Olaf has, it's definitely going to be faster to capture his HQ rather than rout him. Once more he has a bunch of battleships, but nothing to support them, so they're toast. We only get one submarine this time, but that's okay because this time we have the benefit of a competent battleship. As for the land battle, this is an object lesson in why Andy is sometimes better than Max, and why a bucket of frogs would probably be better at chokepoint management than the AW1 and 2 AI.
Y'know, as fun as Max is, it's such a liberating feeling to have non-terrible battleships for once.
The ol' one-two punch.
Not even going to bother to dive my sub this mission. It really is a stroll.
Now then, chokepoints. I could have used my medium tank as the shielding unit for my indirects. But I went with the light tank because I figured I wanted to keep that middie at full health for as long as possible. Of course, given I've left my medium tank in a fairly exposed position it's possible that Olaf could attack it from, say, the empty city square. But I have a hunch that the AI will find that light tank too juicy to resist.
The other units move up, and I build a tank. Going to keep my lander back for now, though - ideally I'd like to wait until the waters are a little clearer for shipping.
medium tanks! battleships! who gives a damn about strategy? not me!
boss i think you need professional psychiatric help
And the hunch pays off. Olaf attacks the light tank and leaves his middie slap bang in the indirects' sweet spot. The light tank barely survives, but we can rebuild it: we have the technology.
You'd think a guy who works with Grit would be a bit more wary of the power of indirects.
So that's Olaf's medium tank down, as I cycle out my crippled light tank for a fresh one.
And speaking of indirects... Olaf's making a bit of a pigs' ear of using them here. I get that he has to move into my range to attack me, but if he's going to play that game then he needs to move two battleships into range at once and trap me in a fork.
As it is, I just get to repeat the one-two punch.
While that's going on, I'll move up my new tank.
And with Olaf down to one battleship, it now seems fairly safe to send the lander out.
No surprise there, then.
Now it's the turn of Olaf's light tanks to bash their heads against a brick wall.
I guess it's not the worst chokepoint placement ever? I mean, he at least has his tanks protecting his artillery. That's got to count for something, right?
Nah, not really. Not when I've got a rocket launcher.
Rocket and arty attacks charge up Hyper Repair, and I've got a couple of tanks that could use some patching up. So let's use it.
There, that helps.
With 2 extra hit points, that tank's raring to go and finish off Olaf's front unit. And my medium tank reduces the other tank down to 2HP.
Joining the two damaged light tanks as my third light tank rolls through and finishes off Olaf's artillery.
Enough of the land battle for now, let's check out what's going on in the sea. Naval units, like air units, have a torrid time of it in snow, with their movement ranges again effectively halved. Still, my sub can still attack Olaf's last battleship.
Can't one-two punch it this turn, but knocking it down to half health should help.
In fact, it helps enough that I'm emboldened to move my lander into battleship range. It should survive a hit from a 5HP battleship, and what's more if I move it up now I'll be able to land my mechs next turn. Win-win. The battleship moves up too, since Olaf's almost certainly going to attack the lander instead of it because .
Yup. 6HP ought to be enough for that lander to stay afloat.
And of course, by attacking the lander Olaf denied his battleship any chance to retreat.
So, yeah. All three battleships down without even needing to dive my sub.
Landing my mechs, ready for capturing. Speaking of landers, Olaf's been spamming them from his port because... well, because AW1/2 AI, basically . Must have transports at all times. At least he's not just leaving them blocking up the port, like the AW2 AI tends to do.
With naval superiority established, my battleship can start providing fire support for the ground troops.
On that subject, there goes one of Olaf's tanks.
And there goes an infantry.
The support units form up behind my tanks.
And the cavalcade continues.
All this activity draws Olaf's second medium tank out into the open.
You really shouldn't have done that, Olaf.
Especially not when Andy has a (choke)point to prove.
Medium tank can't quite finish off the infantry unit. Again, if we were Max we could've one-shotted, but we aren't. And besides, if we'd cleared that space there'd be no point in occupying it because it's in range of Olaf's arty. I'm no AI.
Everyone moves up.
And oh yeah, before I forget I'd better get to capturing. Blissfully out of range of any of Olaf's units.
Cranking out a pair of artillery. They won't reach the front in time, but it's a nice gesture to how useful indirects have been in this mission.
Too little, too late, Olaf.
Before I finish up, let's see if we can take down any more units.
Little bit of a tactical error here: I should really have fired at two separate units with my rockets and arty, rather than have them both hit the same target. That way they'd be nicely softened up for my tanks to finish the job.
All a bit academic, though.
Hey! Not bad, kid. Not bad at all. 'Course, I woulda finished that up a bit quicker, but...
*checks* Yeah, Max did Max Strikes! in 5 days to Andy's 6, and if Andy had tried to go for rout like Max did he'd've still been here a good few turns more. Still, Andy gets some plusses for finishing the mission without losing a single unit. There were some close scrapes, but no need to put sober red Xs on the map this time. Of course the map designs were very different so...
What did you say?
... are you guys even paying any attention to me?
Huh? You wanna piece of me?
What. All right, sod this, Orange Star didn't hire me to be a nanny either. Nell, you sort them out.
Knock it off, both of you! Max, this is hardly the mature behaviour I was expecting from you!
But he started...
If you keep this up, you're going to have your heads handed to you!
"Hooray!" is not a word I normally associate with angry faces and clenched fists, but okay. Perfect score for a mission that, as far as I'm concerned, was pretty much textbook.
And I rank up to Jade Rat!... err... again! (stupid alternate dimensions) So tune in next time for...
... huh. Looks like I was wrong about Grit only saying "Junior" three times. There's a reason I got that wrong: the game script I've been using only has the Max path through Blue Moon, not the Andy one, so when I counted all that up I missed all the Juniors here (this also means I had to transcribe the non-repeated dialogue for this mission. Ah well, that's not so bad.
MAX VS. GRIT