The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by Paul.Power, Sockerbagarn

Part 21: Campaign Mission 8: Sami's Debut!

Mission 8: Sami's Debut! (or "Who needs T copters?")

And so, the Trousers of Time converge. This trio of screenshots does rather make Sami look like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Don't worry too much about being late, Sami, it's my fault for being so much of a completionist.

Andy, Max... and special advisor... Paul, wasn't it?

Hey there, good to see you.

Who are you?

And for once he manages to ask the question in a civil tone.

My name is Sami. I'm the Special Forces commander. I was supposed to join you earlier, but my last mission ran long. Well, better late than never, right? I'm an infantry and mech unit specialist. My units can seize and secure new bases faster than any other CO's. My transport units are top of the line, too.

Okay, sounds useful.

Don't hesitate to deploy me and my troops as you see fit. I'm ready for action!
Looking forward to working with you, Sami!
That's the spirit! Oh, I've got some information, too. Word is that Olaf's forces are marching toward Yellow Comet.

Not that we'll ever catch up with them, but oh well. I hear Yellow Comet's nice this time of year.

Let's go get 'em! ...Wait a minute... who's that?

Andy says "It's my turn!" on the "confirm CO selection" screen, Max says "Here I go!" and with Sami you get "Do I have the command?". Kind of fits their personalities.

Fun fact: depending on the route you took through Blue Moon, this is either mission 8 (M route, O route) or 7 (A route). I guess we'll call it 8?

Day 1

Best goddamn theme song

Do you remember them, Paul?

Yes, yes I do. Probably better than you do, Andy.

Those look like Green Earth troops.

"Either that, or I'm colour blind."

I've heard they have an independent battalion around. Maybe this is it. They're supposed to be really tough. Especially the air units.
Outstanding! Paul, Sami, you both know your stuff!

Hey, wouldn't be much of an advisor if I didn't.

But how did you get this intel, Andy?
I ran into 'em once, and...

... sort of flew over to their HQ and captured it without much trouble, really.

Hey, you survived, didn't you? That's pretty impressive, Andy.
Even with Paul's help, that's good work! Way to go, kid! All right, let's roll!

Nice to see Max get a bit more pally with Andy . But for the sake of argument, and since I had to play this mission three times anyway, let's see what happens if I'd answered "No" when Andy asked if I remembered these emerald enemies...

Those look like Green Earth troops. I've heard they have an independent battalion around. Maybe this is it. They're supposed to be really tough. Especially the air units.
That's a Special Forces commander for you! Always up on the latest intel.

Basically, this time Max only compliments Sami and not just me. Hey, guess I'd deserve it if I had forgotten about Eagle and Co.

But how did you get this intel, Andy?
I ran into 'em once, and...
Hey, you survived, didn't you? That's pretty impressive, Andy.
Yeah, Nice work, Andy. All right, let's roll!

Yeah, think I prefer the "Yes" version.

Sami says this terrain's made for her, and she's not far off. All these mountains and rivers are meat and drink to footsoldiers. Trouble is, they're also meat and drink to air units, which - given who we're facing - is a problem. This is kind of why Max is the best CO here, as in many ways his air force is better than Eagle's.

But Sami can hold her own here. Our goal is for our T copters and infantry to hug the northern border of the map while the other units move through the woods and along the roads to try and take out as much of Eagle's stuff as they can.

Sami's low firepower in direct combat and Eagle's superior air defence means we might have a few... issues damaging his planes and copters.

Oh well, still a pretty good shot. Might be more of an issue when we take on Eagle's fighters and bombers, though.

The B copters go in, and here we get to see Sami's happy face.

You're probably wondering why I used my B copters when I've got two AAs sitting back there that would have done a better job. Well, remember that bomber I pointed out? The AAs would have been in range of it. Not good. At least bombers can't hit B copters.

Anyway, let's load up the T copters and send them to the far north of the map so we can get this HQ capture plan started. Note that they moved 7 squares rather than 6 - that's Sami for you. Her transports get an extra movement point to work with.

Not that my APC's going to need it right now, as it picks up and drops off a mech on these cities over here. Don't really need them, but it wouldn't be much of an introduction to Sami if I didn't show off a particular... something about her.

Tanks, arty and missile launcher follow the road...

... while my AAs and remaining mech cross the river.

This time, I won't be beaten by Andy and his ilk. I shall crush them with one stroke!

But aren't you kinda more famous for crushing people with two strokes, Eagle? Oh well, whatever.

Day 2

Okay, so we can see a bomber and a tank. Probably a whole lot more out there though.

First up, let's keep these T copters moving.

Although I have a feeling they won't be moving much longer, what with all these fighters and B copters around the place. So I'm going to drop the infantry off here. Still some way to the HQ, but that won't matter too much.

Whole bunch of action. AA finishes off B copter, fighter attacks bomber, B copters work together on Eagle's tank. Can't finish it off though.

So okay then, what's the big deal with Sami? Well, let's try capturing a property. Hmm, is that an asterisk next to Capt? Wonder what that could mean...

... whoa. Yeah, okay, time to formally introduce our newest addition to the team:

Paul.Power's CO Notes: Sami Sami's Theme Awesome guitar cover
Although Max is the best CO in AW1, I'd say that Sami's my favourite. Certainly a lot of my fanboyism for Sensei in AW2 stems from learning to love infantry and mechs with Sami in AW1. They get superior firepower and, most notably, capture at 1.5 times the standard rate (rounded down). Now okay, that still means she takes two turns to capture a property at full health. But it means that a 7HP Sami footsoldier can still capture a property in two turns. It also means that if a full health Sami footsoldier starts capturing a property, you've got to knock it down to 3HP or less to stop it finishing the job the next day. Sami's transports also have an extra movement point, and her CO Power, Double Time, increases the firepower and movement of her footsoldiers. The drawback? Her non-footsoldier direct units take an attack penalty. Not as bad as Grit, but it can still be frustrating. Hopefully you won't have to worry too much about firepower with the queen of HQ Capture in charge, though.

Background/Personality: Orange Star's special forces commander, and one of the game's more serious-minded COs. While it's not official, she's effectively Nell's second-in-command by virtue of being more responsible than Max or Andy. Sami isn't particularly strong academically, but her diligence tends to make up for it. She does have some tender spots though... particularly where Eagle and a certain other CO we haven't met yet are concerned. Have I mentioned that I really like her theme tune yet? I really like her theme tune.

Setting a trap for the bomber via good ol' . Hey, at least it's on a city. Got more chance of surviving than those T copters.

And moving up the remaining units. Okay, brace yourself for a lot of Sami angry faces...

That's one T copter down.

There goes the other.

The APC just about makes it out alive.

But there goes my 7HP B copter.

Day 3

Yeah, owch . On the plus side, our power meter's charged up - and for once, we're going to get to use it before the AI gets to use theirs.

There's a reason for that, actually, and now seems as good a time as any to discuss the mechanics behind how the CO Power meter fills up, which I haven't really done yet. In AW1 and 2, your CO Power meter fills up according to the economic value of damage you receive, plus half the economic value of damage you dish out (e.g. if one of your medium tanks took 5HP's worth of damage, that's 8000G into your meter. If you hit the enemy's medium tank for 5 damage, it'd only be 4000G). Note that most of the time we're dishing out far more damage to the AI than they are to us - which is generally why they tend to get their CO powers first. One other thing to quickly note is that COs can't fill their power meters up again on the turn they use their power - which makes it a really good (albeit difficult, given all their buffs) time to launch a counterattack.

Different COs have different rates for filling their meter. In Advance Wars 2, it's pretty easy to see how quickly a CO's meter fills up, thanks to the star system that that game introduced (with each star being 9000G, and different COs having different numbers of stars to fill). Back in ol' AW1 though, all the meters appear to be the same length - but appearances can be deceptive. Most of the COs we've met so far require 30,000G to fill their meter. But Eagle and Sami are both different: it takes a massive 50,000G for Eagle to get Lightning Strike, and just 25,000G for Sami to get Double Time. Naturally this reflects how good their powers actually are: Double Time is nowhere near as much of a game changer as Lightning Strike. But it has its uses, as we'll see shortly.

Hmm... even with a CO Power active, Sami still isn't doing much damage with her fighter.

Well that could have gone worse. But the worry is what Eagle will do on his turn. Turns, even.

Oh well, let's focus on the positives. Look at this infantry unit. Just look at it. Not only does Double Time give Sami's infantry and mechs +1 move, but her infantry now cheerfully ignore terrain cost. Mountains? Rivers? Feh, all in a day's work.

And we're in range of the HQ already. Who needs T copters?

And now, a montage of air units blowing up.

Missiles take out the bomber that attacked my APC, as the APC retreats into the woods. Northern AA takes down the B copter that killed my own B copter, and southern AA finishes off that 2HP bomber.

May as well finish capturing this base.

B copter and middie take down an infantry unit, and it's Eagle's turn.

Yeah, Lightning Strike's charged. Though obviously he isn't going to use it yet.

First he's got to deliver some hurt to my remaining B copter. No idea what Sami's smiling about here, but she isn't smiling for long.

And then comes the lightning.

Fighter down .

Day 4

The good news is, Eagle did nothing to bother the infantry units headed straight for his HQ.

Not complaining.

Tank spots fighter...

AA takes it down.

Can't reach the other fighter though. I guess it doesn't really matter, though, since we're out of units that fighters can attack...

Day 5

Eagle did bugger all that turn, so let's waste no time.

Who are you calling Andy?
I think I'll take offense at your mistake. Do I look like a boy to you?

Well, Sami, you are a bit of a tom... all right, all right, I know when not to push my luck.

Who are you?
The name's Sami. I'm an Orange Star CO.
I... I lost to... a girl?

Hey, is it that surprising? The three female COs in this game are probably the three who have their heads screwed on tightest. And at least Sami's an adult. I think.

You're careless. That's why you keep losing! I don't think you're ready for war. You need to go back to basic training!

Owch. Wonder if Eagle can patch this up?

Excuse me, Orange Star CO... Sami?
I would like to apologize for my behavior. It was inappropriate.
Oh, OK...
I vow by my lucky goggles that the next time we meet, I will do better.

Lucky... pft... lucky goggles... pfhahahaha...

Now I will take my leave. Farewell.
Wait, wait a minute! No one said you could leave. Come... He's gone!

Yeah, sorry Sami, these guys have a bit of a habit of escaping. Even when we capture their HQ. I don't even know how they do it.

He seems like a pretty decent guy, after all.

... Hmm. I think I'll leave you guys to work out where the writers are going with this.

Well, it's an S-Rank - just. We took a bit of a pounding on Technique. Actually, there's a funny story here - you know how I had to play this mission three times anyway given the nature of The Plan? Well, this was the third attempt - the other two came out as A-Ranks, again with Technique at fault. I guess I lost one fewer unit this time - the APC, I think. The other two runs also took 7 days and 6 days rather than the 5 here because I loaded mechs rather than infantry into my T copters. That didn't affect the score, though, as this mission's Speed criterion is oddly lax - 12 days, I think. Not complaining.

One funny upshot of this? Technically you just watched Mission 7 rather than 8, as my third attempt happened to be on the A route save. Still calling it 8 though - it's tidier that way. I ranked up to Rose Rat on all three saves, incidentally.

Now then, we've found our way into Yellow Comet, and a mission that we have to finish in 8 days or less. Not that we fail the mission if we don't finish in that time, but as with the Rout on Olaf's Navy, we've got secret missions to gain access to. In summary, we've got to finish this mission in 8 days, the mission after that in 10, and the mission after that in 12. The upshot of this is that I'm going to declare author veto and say we're using Max for this next mission. Don't worry, we'll be seeing Sami and Andy soon enough (in fact, for the mission after I'll probably use author veto again for "anyone but Max"), but I'm gonna need Max's firepower here.