Part 18: Campaign Mission 7O: Olaf's Sea Strike!Mission 7O: Olaf's Sea Strike! (or "The bad news is, we're Max - the good news is, we're Max")
guessed? I badly underestimated them.
Olaf, badly underestimating us is basically what you've been doing since Troop Orders. Though granted our chief advantage is "not being the Advance Wars 1/2 AI"
Still... I'm not done yet! I still have my elite Sea Strike Force. They'll clear up this mess!
Sea Strike Force, huh? It seems smaller than the last naval group, but...
Fight! Fight for him!
Good ol' "him"
This battle shall bring us victory!
... Hmm. Whatever.
All right, Max, the thread says you're up. At least the vast majority of our units are direct-combat. We're just going to have to see how the two battleships hold up...
Oh, come on. Sea Strike isn't even a colour.
Don't worry, Max, we're nearly done with him.
What's wrong, Max? Don't you like Olaf?
It's that blasted snow. It kills your movement range, doesn't it? It's so frustrating not being able to get around like I'm used to. Right, Paul?
Hmm. Can't say for certain. It's pretty to look at, and kinda fun to play in, but not much fun to have to walk or drive in. As a CO power, Blizzard is annoying but I can cope with it okay. I guess I'm kind of ambivalent? Hmm. Okay. Let's try agreeing with Max:
Huh? You don't like snow either, Paul? It's not so bad if you just keep your troops together.
That's probably the safest way to weather a storm. Anyway, let's move out!
I guess that's a useful piece of advice? Not particularly entertaining, though. But let's see what happens if I disagree with Max:
Way to go, Paul! I figured you for a snow lover! What's not to like, right? It's so white and fluffy!
Paul... I knew Andy was a bit off-kilter from the get-go. But, you, too...? Oh, well. Let's move out!
Well then. I caught a very brief glimpse of the unfogged version, but all I really picked up from that was "Olaf has some naval units, also some land units." So this is about as blind as it's going to get. At least Grit suggested that the Sea Strike Force is smaller than Olaf's previous navy was - and the good news is, our navy is substantially larger. So this should be a pretty engrossing naval battle. We've also got to look after our landers as much as possible, as - especially with Max's battleships - it's going to take a ground invasion to finish Olaf off. At least there's a good number of reefs to hide in. One extra challenge is that we have no APCs, so no way to refuel our subs. Better be careful unless we want them to start sinking... er, more than they usually do, anyway.
No annotated overview this time. I was thinking of maybe doing one with a giant "?" on it, but that'd probably just be a waste of time. So let's get rolling.
First of all we want to send out the subs to see what they can see. Well, we've got a battleship, a sub and a lander already. On the plus side, we can see that the reef the sub's next to is clear, so we can use it to hide a unit in shortly.
Sending the other sub forward - it spots a battleship.
Moving a battleship and cruiser into the reefs.
Here come the landers. I load a tank and inf into the northern one, and a middie and mech into the southern one. In hindsight I think I should have dropped either the inf or mech and taken the other tank instead. I wanted to have some options for capturing the HQ, but as I end up going for the rout in the end (ooh, spoilers!) and another Max tank would definitely have spend that up.
Taking a bit of a risk, I send my southern battleship forward into an unspotted reef. Luckily it turns out to be empty. My cruiser slips into the reef that the battleship just vacated. Well, all the ships are either in a reef or dived, so I should be in the clear, right?
Yeah! Right there! Get 'em! Ha ha ha ha ha!
"Yeah!"? "Right there!"? "Get 'em!"? I think if Olaf's brain wasn't broken already, it is now.
Okay, so I wasn't in the clear.
So yeah, Olaf's battleships decided to forget trying to be indirects for a turn and instead decided to spot my southern battleship - allowing Olaf's sub to go "thank you very much" and whack it for five damage.
Oh well, two can play at the sub-attacking-battleship game. And Max plays it better than anyone.
Two subs, two attacks, two 2HP battleships.
Next let's send my cruiser around the back to annihilate that submarine.
I make a serious tactical blunder here. Y'see, I didn't really spot where Olaf dived his other sub. I saw it, but didn't manage to screenshot it in time, and then I forgot where I'd seen it. So I figured I'd take a risk and send my battleship out looking. If I found the sub, I could blast it with my cruiser. But, of course, I didn't. The battleship's in range of those two 2HP battleships, as well. Whoops indeed.
Oh well, let's move up my landers and find out what the damage is.
I need to start making some snow puns, we're running out of chances. Umm... THAT WAS A BIT COLD! 'SNO JOKE! ICE TO KNOW YOU!
Normally I wouldn't be too worried about the scratch damage these two battleships are doing...
... but when it's followed up by a sub attack like that, then owch.
Well, at least I know where the sub is now. But yeah, my fire support for the invasion of Olaf's island now consists of one 5HP Max battleship. Fun.
The bad news is, we're Max - the good news is, we're Max.
All right, I've got you now, you little bugger.
Haha jeez so much overkill.
While that's going on, my subs finish off those 2HP battleships.
Battleship attacks cruiser, lander moves up into to the little alcove created by my battleship and subs, and my southern cruiser heads off to see if Olaf has any other ships hidden in the reefs.
Well, there's one.
Although it was my northern cruiser that took the hit. There's gotta be a battleship in a reef somewhere... (you can tell it's in a reef because it had a defence star in the battle screen).
Oh well, can't do anything about it for now. First let's take out a cruiser (subs are bad against cruisers normally, but they can finish off a low-health one without problems).
Well, the battleship's in neither of those reefs. But at least we're starting to build up a picture of Olaf's land forces: looks like he's got at least two light tanks...
... and two infantry...
... and a rocket launcher... wait, a rocket launcher?
Well, that's just going to make staging an invasion with only a 5HP Max battleship for fire support even more fun. Now where might those rockets be? North, East or South?
It's not south. Unless those rockets disguised themselves as a recon.
Please excuse me while I take out my frustration on this poor, innocent lander (crying Blue Moon APC?).
At least we've found that battleship.
And my own battleship sweeps across to begin its fire support job. We've got a couple of units in our sights, at least.
... but it seems we aren't the only ones. Olaf has an artillery as well. This is getting better and better.
At least finding out that Olaf has an artillery means we know where his rocket launcher is now. Since the arty can't shoot far enough for it to be in the northern forest, it must be in the eastern one - which means that the rockets are in the northern one.
There goes the battleship.
My subs are looking low on fuel, though. Better surface them soon.
Battleship giving fire support. Not much, but it's better than nothing.
And the cruiser retreats so you can't see the unit I fired at. Oh well. For some weird reason, I'm really proud of how that curly arrow turned out. Can't really say why.
You know, I think the person who said that Olaf was an Eddie Izzard fan was probably right.
Yeah, those subs are on the brink.
I can't say for certain, but I think we've probably finished off all of Olaf's ships. So those subs can just hide in the reefs for the rest of the mission.
Dropping off the light tank, but leaving the infantry in the lander for now. No sense in dropping it onto a square where it's only going to get smashed up by Olaf's indirects.
Cruiser and battleship move up a little. They should be safely out of range here.
That lander comes in for some punishment, but just about survives.
There goes the power meter.
Let's use Max Force to help us establish a beach-head.
Battleship attacks another tank, and yeah - the main reason I used Max Force was to be certain of one-shotting that recon with my tank.
Probably would have one-shotted it even with regular Max, but I've taken enough a bashing already without taking any more risks.
With that recon cleared out, I can drop my infantry into the vacated square.
And speaking of dropping, let's get that medium tank back on the board. It's in rocket range, but so's the full-health lander...
... and we can rely on good ol' to keep us safe.
My infantry unit also took a knock from one of Olaf's tanks.
Anyway, let's use my damaged cruiser to spot this artillery.
And my battleship to start damaging it. Can't do much more than chip away, but every little helps.
Meanwhile, Max's tanks do what Max's tanks do best.
You know, it was looking very hairy for a while, but I think we've got this. Biggest problem is still that rocket launcher though.
5HP lander moves its mech passenger into a reef, and the 3HP lander starts retreating. I was sending it back to pick up more troops, in case my current invasion force wasn't enough, but then it turned out that they were enough.
There goes the infantry . At least Olaf didn't target the medium tank.
And then Olaf's remaining 6HP tank goes on a bit of a suicide mission. Don't mess with Max's tanks when you've got an HP disadvantage, Olaf.
All right, enough messing around.
Hello, Mr. Rocket Launcher. I guess I could have used one of my subs to scout, but with their fuel as low as it is I didn't want to take the risk. My middie should get the job done just fine, though.
2HP tank goes down, and I keep whittling away at that artillery.
The 5HP lander can drop off its mech...
And the 3HP lander can keep heading back to my island.
Well, that looks like it'll hurt.
And I finish off the artillery for good measure. A 5HP Max battleship as fire support wasn't ideal, but it did a job.
Tank moves up, mech does a spot of capturing. I think that infantry unit's the last thing left...
A very similar piece of dialogue to Blizzard Battle! and Olaf's Navy! HQ Capture, but there's enough small differences to make it worth typing out in full rather than going into stream-of-consciousness lowercase:
He will not be pleased with me if this losing streak continues. Grit!
Get out there and stop that cursed Orange Star Army!
Easier said than done, Boss. You didn't leave me anything to work with.
Don't get saucy! Rally the troops and do something! I have to go and pay... him... my respects. Don't fail me, Grit!
Well, well, well... Olaf's finally off to see his mysterious benefactor. Think I'll just tag along behind and see what I can see.
Well despite all that chaos, we get an A-rank that was very nearly an S - probably would have been if we'd taken a day less. Not bad for a blind run. I guess if I hadn't lost a battleship to DERP it would have gone a bit smoother. Maybe I could have managed my subs' fuel better, so they could act as scouts for the endgame? Or if I'd loaded another tank? Oh well, what's done is done. I think on the whole playing as Max helped here - our battleships got trashed, but if we'd been Andy and our battleships had got trashed, we'd've been in trouble.
No rank-up for us. Still, after working through three different legs of the Trousers of Time, we're done with Blue Moon! We aren't going to come up against Olaf or Grit again in Campaign (but you may wish to note the exact wording of this statement).
And it means we can finally introduce our third CO, Sami. Here's the map for the next mission. We're up against Eagle (the "mystery" air ace guy from Mission 3) and here's a look at the map. Yeah, more Fog of War, sorry. Rest assured that there's going to be a lot of fighters, bombers and B copters out there.
It's been a while, but I think the best CO for the next mission might be Max? However, I suspect most of you will want me to play as our new CO for this one. Which is fair enough, she should be able to do a decent job, and I think she gets a bit of extra dialogue too? While we're here, I'll give you a quick briefing on her: Sami is a footsoldier specialist. Her infantry and mechs have extra firepower and are experts at property capture, and her transports move faster. Her weakness? All of her non-footsoldier direct combat units take a slight penalty - less than Grit, but it can still be an issue. Her indirects are average.
Anyway, yeah. Andy, Max or Sami? Plus, while you're all voting I'll be making a short post about what I'm going to do with all these temporal trousers I've collected.