Part 15: Campaign Mission 5A: Max's Folly?Mission 5A: Max's Folly? (or "Max vs. Grit: Round 1... er... 3")
Stop calling me Junior!
"It's not even like my dad's called Andy!"
You're just a regular fireball, ain't you? By the way, how are you and Big Maxie getting along?
Grit? In the Blue Moon Army?
Yep. Things happen, you know. Blue Moon helped me out of some trouble, and I always repay my debts.
Hmm. Maybe there is a bit more to this whole "Grit leaving for Blue Moon" thing after all. Although again, I'm pretty sure we never actually find out what this "trouble" is.
But that's neither here nor there, big fella. You must be getting old if they've sent you out to test Junior here.
What? Why you...
Hang on, aren't they about the same age? I guess Grit just likes trolling.
I tell you what, why don't I just lend you a hand testing him out? You boys survive the next five days and you'll know what he's made of. Think you can take me, old dog? Bring it on boys!
Gotta say, he is a bit of a jerk in this mission. It works out in the end though, in a weird sort of way.
Wait, if it's Max vs. Grit, how's this supposed to test out Andy? Oh, whatever. Bring on the indirects.
Grit's troops are all around me! If I stay put, I'll be blasted to smithereens. If I retreat, our HQ will be captured... How am I gonna get out of this?
Blimey Max, I don't even want to think about how you managed to get in such a mess here. Your HQ's slap bang in the middle of all of Grit's stuff, all your troops are separated from it... deary, deary me. I turn my back on these COs for one day and they get into all sorts of trouble. The good news is, Grit's set us a time limit, and it's a time limit in our favour: surive for five whole days, and he'll call it quits. There are a few "time on our side" missions in AW1 (AW2, for instance, only has the one: Two-Week Test).
The bad news is, that infantry unit of Grit's only needs four days to capture our HQ. So goal number one: stop that infantry. Nothing particularly subtle about our methodology here: just charge all our tanks around Grit's obstacle course and reach the HQ. It's going to be costly, but this is an emergency. The indirects and mechs can provide a bit of support by firing over/crossing the mountains and softening up some of Grit's stuff before the tanks get there.
For once, Speed isn't our biggest enemy here: with "survive five days" being the goal, it would be churlish to penalise you on that. No, this time it's Technique we've got to watch for. With thirteen units, we can only lose two for a perfect score. I very much doubt I'll get away with that, but hopefully I can still get an S-Rank out of this.
Grit's artillery > Max's rockets.
Good job Max has medium tanks, then.
And since that artillery is in range of my rockets, may as well attack it.
So far, so good. Granted we haven't got very far yet.
Let's see if we can use these mechs to sneak attack over the mountains.
And meanwhile, the HQ storming squadron forms up around that first medium tank.
Max's artillery are pretty poor, but they can at least sit inside the range shadow of Grit's rocket launchers and attack safely from there.
Moving the final rocket out of range of Grit's indirects, and turn.
... yeah, okay, that's not great. But nothing's died, er, yet.
Well, the sneak attack plan didn't exactly work out.
But we can at least do something here.
After the attack, I join up the two mechs. I still don't exactly given them a high life expectancy, but at least now they're joined it'll only be one unit loss rather than two.
The plan with the artillery worked to a T though. Like I said in the other version of Max Strikes!, Max, sometimes it's not the range of the indirect that counts, it's what you do with them.
Wait, what other version of Max Strikes?
Umm... never mind.
Rockets move down to see if they can help those mechs deal with Grit's southern stuff.
The tank squadrons move up, doing their best to steer clear of Grit's indirects. They should be safe...
... unless, of course, this happens.
Aaand some light relief. At least Grit still sucks with tanks.
Well then. Well. Then.
Time for a spot of revenge, I think.
Clearing Grit's 2HP tank out of the way, so that a medium tank can head through and hit this artillery for hahaha damage.
Well, okay, so it wasn't a huge amount of revenge. Still, the good news is that Grit's assault focused mostly on my support units: I only lost one tank. So we're still on course to win here, albeit a rather bloody victory.
One last pot shot with my damaged rocket against Grit's damaged rocket.
Moving the rest of the cavalcade up.
Grit's turn, and my light tank takes a hell of a bashing. But at least Grit's tanks are weak enough that my tank survives, just.
All right, there's the infantry. We need to stop it this turn.
Miraculously, it's not in range of one of Grit's rockets.
So that's the mission won, essentially. I guess the easy thing to do at this point would be to just retreat everything and keep quiet for the next two days.
Naah. Got some more avenging to do first.
The other two middies roll in and clear up some of Grit's damaged forces.
And I join my two remaining light tanks together. With one of them on 1HP, it would be a liability to keep them separate.
Try as it might, that infantry isn't capturing my HQ.
Grit's artillery gets another pot shot in, though.
Again, I could retreat everything now and not take any more damage.
Or I could RAMPAGE.
Yeah, think I'll RAMPAGE.
It does of course leave all my medium tanks in range of Grit's indirects for the final turn. But they're big boys, they can take care of themselves.
Yeah, we just about made it through that.
You're awful beat up to be celebratin'.
Yeah, exactly. You know, Maxie, you never were any good at indirect combat. Why, if you'd have just used those big boys a little more, you wouldn't have taken such a poundin'.
Yeah, we took a hammering there. But I was playing recklessly towards the end and, to be fair to Max, without the speed and power of his tanks it would have been considerably trickier to reach that HQ in time.
And long as I'm givin' you what-for, what's up with you and the kid? He ain't got your particular shortcomings, so give him a break! He's pretty darn good, and you know it. C'mon, Maxie, what do you say?
Okay, that's more like it. If we can solve Max and Andy's little feud without Nell going berserk on them, then that'll make life a lot easier.
Yeah... I guess you're right. Hey! Andy! Sorry for being such a jerk.
Huh? As long as you're cool, I'm cool. Hey, Grit!
What's up, Junior?
Dammit, Grit, you had to say it, didn't you?
How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me Junior?
Whoa! I hear you, I hear you. My apologies. Well now, look at the time. Gotta go, boys! See y'all later! Take care, Junior.
You have been watching The Grit Therapy Hour: Better living through trolling.
Somehow I got an S-Rank out of that - I guess with Speed out of the picture, and Power easy enough, we still didn't take a big enough dent in Technique to get knocked down to A.
And look at that, up to Ebon Rat in just five missions! Only got that far in six missions on the Max timeline.
Now then, the next mission has me in something of a quandary. We're up against Olaf, and after three missions of forced COs, we're back to having a choice. But that's not the biggest issue here. You see, the outcome of this mission depends on whether we capture Olaf's HQ or rout his forces. Capturing the HQ is pretty straightforward: Olaf's land presence is fairly minimal (four light tanks and a rocket launcher, if you're curious). But if we rout it, then we get to play a special bonus mission. I want to show off as much of the game as possible, so I definitely want to show you guys this bonus mission. In fact, the plan is to show both an HQ capture and a rout on this map (because the outcome of this mission also effects something else further down the line CO choices for The Final Battle).
Trouble is, I've never actually routed this map before. Let me illustrate the problem by sending my sub forward to scout.
... yeah. That's a big navy. And it's got cruisers and subs this time, so we can't smash up the battleships and have done with. To fight that lot, we've only got one battleship and one submarine - although we do have a rocket launcher and an artillery at our disposal, and they're good against naval units. We've also got an APC and a lander to act as bait if necessary (although I'd like to keep the APC alive so that my sub stays fuelled), and a couple of reefs and forests to hide in.
So it's not just a simple question of Andy or Max, but which CO you want to use for the HQ Capture run, and which for the Rout run. Feel free to have the same CO for both, or to mix the two together (Being honest? Since most of my anti-naval attack power this mission is long-range, I'd rather use Andy for the Rout run. But I don't mind either way for the HQ Capture run). Also, since this is my first time trying to rout this, feel free to chip in any strategic advice you can think of.