The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by Paul.Power, Sockerbagarn

Part 22: Campaign Mission 9: Kanbei Arrives! as Max

Mission 9: Kanbei Arrives! (or "Makes Andy look like Richard Feynman")

Hi there, I don't suppose we could ask for military access through your fine country? Only...

Like a plague, here comes the Orange Star Army! Not content with their own lands, they've come to steal mine!

Actually, no, we're looking for a guy named Olaf, our Special Forces CO says he was last seen heading this way. You might have seen him: kind of plump, big beard, wears blue a lot, fond of chairs and poorly-balanced armies...

Never, I say! Never! Kanbei's Imperial Forces shall drive them back!

Guess not, then.

Oh well, whatever. Sic 'em, Max.

For some reason, for a really long time I thought this guy's name was "Kanebi". Eventually someone else said his name out loud and I took a good look at how the name was spelled. Boy did I feel dumb.

Day 1

Kanbei's Imperial Forces spotted us before we even crossed the border.
Kanbei's Imperial Forces?
Uh-huh. They're supposed to be the best-trained troops around. The high equipment costs and salaries must make them hard to maintain.
I've heard of 'em before! Kanbei's supposed to be the reason no one messes with that little country. Even so, there's no way he's gonna beat me! Hey, Paul! Let's go get 'em!

Right you are then, Max. There isn't much to say about strategy here. None of Kanbei's units have that little shield icon on them, which means they're all going to come charging at us. If Andy or Sami was our CO here, we'd probably want to hang back behind the mountains and let them come at us. But we've got Max - and his speciality is in open play. So this is basically a straight-up barney between two of the game's toughest COs.

So let's get to work on smashing some rocket launchers up (though to be fair, we'd be smashing these rockets up with Andy or Sami too - they're a threat we need to deal with, and they're nice and exposed). Hmm. 100% damage. I mean, it's good, in fact it's precisely enough to do the job but I'm used to seeing ridiculous numbers when I use a Max medium tank to attack a rocket launcher. The forest tile certainly isn't enough to explain the lack of overkill damage. But something is...

Paul.Power's CO Notes: Kanbei Kanbei's Theme
All of Kanbei's units get a +20% boost to attack and defence. This can make him a tricky CO to deal with, especially in terrtain that boosts his defence even further. His weakness is that his units also cost 20% more: figures that this is a predeployed map. Kanbei's CO Power, Morale Boost, ramps his attack and defence up to crazy levels.

Background/Personality: The Emperor of Yellow Comet is proud, honourable, popular and so dumb he makes Andy look like Richard Feynman. He generally has to rely on his daughter Sonja to be the brains of the Yellow Comet outfit - which can cause problems, since he's also rather overprotective of her. Kanbei's armies are some of the best trained in Wars World, but the extra training and equipment comes at a high price. He's also got one of the game's uglier faces, although at least he doesn't stare into your soul the way Grit does.

Still, even with Kanbei as our opponent, Max has got more than enough firepower to cope. Kinda sad that I didn't get a chance to show what the Yellow Comet rocket launchers look like there, since they're pretty hilarious: YC's units in general have a very old-timey look to them. Oh well, no doubt we'll get another chance. And at least you get to see Kanbei's "unit lost" expressions.

So okay, that's the rockets down. What about all these tanks? Well, our medium tanks can look after themselves for now, because not even a Kanbei tank is going to try attacking a full-health middie. But we definitely don't want to let Kanbei get first strike on our light tanks.

Okay, there's the attack ranges on Kanbei's front tanks. Couple of nice blind spots there...

Let's move into them.

And everyone else moves up.

Unfortunately, Kanbei doesn't have any fun "enemy first turn" things to say to us this battle. So let's see how the opening conversation would have gone if we'd picked Andy or Sami for this mission. The first few lines stay the same, but Max's dialogue would get replaced by (for Andy):

The best trained, huh? This should be fun!
I don't think you'll have any energy left for fun, Andy. C'mon, show me what you can do!

And for Sami:

The best trained, huh? Boy, Sami, you have all the fun! I wish I was going instead of you.
I doubt if this is going to be all that much fun, Andy. Ready, Paul? It's time to get busy!

... well, I guess that's what you get when you put kids in charge of armies...

Day 2

Kanbei moved his tanks up but doesn't actually attack. Hey, maybe he's going to give us military access after all?

Well, no-one's waving a little white parley flag, and we did already kind of destroy some rocket launchers. So I doubt it. And here you get a somewhat fairer assessment of Kanbei's defensive power. Even with Max's indirect attack penalty, we'd expect to be doing more than half damage with a rocket launcher going up against a tank.

Still, better than nothing I guess. And although you can't see the rocket launchers yet, we do have some funny-looking YC light tanks .

My northern rocket launcher repeats the dose.

And the medium tanks clean up, looking to stay out of range of Kanbei's own middies. Hmm. Our light tanks seem rather exposed.

Not that much we can do about keeping them safe, though. So yeah, after saying I don't want to give Kanbei first strike... I'm giving him first strike. At least with my units sitting on cities, they'll have some defence. And the northern tank has an artillery backing it up.

Well, this isn't good. Saying that, Morale Boost doesn't do that much - it just boosts Kanbei's attack and defence even further. It's also quite an expensive power, too - 50,000G, same price as Eagle's - although because Kanbei's units cost more, they also contribute more to the power meter, allowing it to build faster.

It's not the end of the world - heck, Max's directs get a bigger attack boost day-to-day - but it does mean that Kanbei's essentially hitting these units like they've got no defences at all. If I'd been sitting on plains or roads, this would've been nasty.

Day 3

So yeah, took some damage there.

And Morale Boost makes Kanbei's units even trickier to attack.

But we've got to make the best of what we've got. Rocket takes middie down to 7HP, arty takes tank down to 4HP.

With that bit of softening up done, it's time to send it the tanks.

Does of course leave my northern medium tank sitting in artillery range. But that's better than having Kanbei's medium tank running around loose. At least it's got a city for some protection. I've got my CO Power charged up, but no sense using it now after I've moved most of my tanks.

APC retreats so that my mechs can get to work on a tank.

And my 5HP tank swoops in from behind to finish off.

The other units move up a bit while that's going on. Let's end turn.

That arty did a bit more damage than I was anticipating - I guess that's Kanbei for you. But I'll live.

And in the south, I lose one of my mechs to tank fire.

Day 4

RIP. Anyway, we've got a CO Power charged up, so let's get some use out of it.

My 6HP medium tank rumbles around behind the artillery unit that just attacked it and dishes out some revenge. I attacked from the east because I wanted to get my medium tank as close as possible to the retreating 1HP medium tank, in the hope of finishing it off next turn.

7HP medium tank taking down a 9HP light tank. Pretty good, considering Kanbei's defence.

And my rocket knocks down the other middie to 1HP as well.

Light tanks head north to work on some of Kanbei's forces there.

And my remaining mech gets to avenge its fallen brother by finishing off the southern medium tank.

Movin' on down the line.

Day 5

Yeah, like I said, that medium tank's gone back to a city to heal.

So let's not give it the chance.

Meanwhile my rocket launcher tanks down the 3HP mech.

And my tanks start their assault on these pointlessly capturing infantry.

I mean, what do they even want those cities for? (Actually, given we're deep in Yellow Comet, why are there even neutral cities anyway? Why are there neutral cities in any battle, at least in battles not near a country's borders? Why am I questioning AW logic again? It's just a show, I should really just relax...)

Well, we've got no tanks left to take down this mech - but we'd better, given it's a threat to one of our rocket launchers. 32% damage isn't much though...


I guess the good news is that we've got a fair few footsoldiers of our own to work with.

As a certain J. Stalin Esquire once put it, quantity has a quality all of its own. Certainly I can think of a few COs Not Appearing In This Game who'd agree with that.

Day 6

Finishing off those last two infantry, and done!

So many of Kanbei's forces defeated in such a short time? Withdraw!

With what?

Ah, don't sell yourself short, Max. We took some hits, but it's still an S-Rank and with two days to spare for the "win in 8 days" criterion. So, what's up next?

Fun fact: during my first ever playthrough of AW1 Campaign, this was the mission that I first got really stuck on and had to consult a walkthrough for. The irony? It's a pretty easy mission if you know what you're doing. Oh well, we live and learn. This is a classic mission for demonstrating how to take on a superior force with the help of strategy - Kanbei's got the numbers and the stat boosts, but we've got bases, chokepoints and AI fallibility. It's a mission Max would really struggle with, though: just looking at Turn 1, you'll see that his northern rocket launcher can't hit Kanbei's one.

So yeah, another author veto: you at least get a choice this time, but your choice is Andy or Sami - no Max. Andy's the best choice for this mission, but Sami should do an okay job. Bear in mind that we do have to win within 10 days to keep on the path to those bonus missions, though.

And speaking of author vetos... since I've got to play through Kanbei Arrives! twice more anyway, and I have to deliberately drag it out to 9+ days, and I feel kind of guilty about issuing that veto... would anyone like to see a bonus run of it with, say, Andy? Obviously the priority is getting on with the next mission, but it's something I could do if people want to see it. Thoughts?