Part 29: Campaign Mission 13: Sami Marches On!Mission 13: Sami Marches On! (or "Can't make an omelette without breaking some mechs")
I finally found you!
Yeah, this place is apparently easier to get lost in than Milton Keynes.
Max! What are you doing sleeping? Wake up, you big lug!
To be fair, this isn't his fault. Probably.
You're wasting your breath. I've seen to it that he'll be asleep for quite some time.
You... Sonja! I might've known! Splitting the three of us up... This was all part of your strategy, wasn't it!
Yeah, but how did she manage it?
Of course. Brilliant deduction. I've got Andy secured in a nice, safe place, too. If you want him back, you just have to get past me.
The first person to secure sixteen properties on this map wins. Got it? Good. Ready, set, go!
... oh wait, property capture mission with Sami. Never mind.
Hey! Come back here!
Now we've got trouble.
Obligatory "hell yeah, Sami's theme"
Set up by that little brat again! Paul, she didn't get you, too, did she?
Nah, she didn't even try. Which is a bit odd, given she acknowledged my presence. Maybe she just saw the futility of supplying sleeping drugs through a computer screen.
Oh, good. That's a relief. We'd be lost if you got knocked out, too.
Hey, always nice to be appreciated .
Oh, great. Fog of War... This is Sonja's forte. Well, we have to cross the water here, so we must protect our landers. We'll have no chance of victory if we can't transport our troops. Let's try and use the reefs for cover as we go.
The usual "hey this is a mission where you've gotta island hop TAKE CARE OF YOUR LANDERS" reminder. Although we do get some ports this time, so technically we could just rebuild. Still worth bearing in mind though, certainly wouldn't want to lose a lander that was loaded with troops. It's also nice to see at least one Orange Star CO around here thinking with a clear head.
I think Sonja's forgotten that I'm an infantry troop specialist, though.
She probably hasn't. Chances are, she reckons a property capture battle is the best option for analysing your strengths. But whatever.
If we need to capture properties to win this, then it's as good as done! Get ready, Sonja! We're comin' for you!
That's the spirit!
So I don't know if you've noticed, but our first couple of battles as Sami have been kind of anaemic affairs. We've basically been up against COs whose defence bonuses have exacerbated her problems in direct combat, our infantry have hardly seen any proper action, and we've basically snuck round the back and won with HQ captures. Not this time. This is a down-and-dirty property capture fight. It's not going to be pretty, but it should be fun.
Sixteen properties to win, huh? Okay. We start out with seven on our starting island, and there's three easy-looking ones to the south there. That means we're left with getting six of the seven properties on that big northern island. Now then, Sonja starts out with ten properties and has four more on her starting island, so she can get to fourteen easily. Her options for the last two cities are the base and port on the northern island, or maybe to storm the southern island across that bridge. A lot of stuff will be assaulting us over that bridge, but on the plus side that island starts out empty. The nothern island, however, has a tank and artillery on it - and a battleship guarding the eastern half (two can play at the intel game, Sonja!). There's a bunch of other stuff out there, like a sub and cruiser and so on, but those are the basics.
Enough talk, time for some action. One lander takes an infantry and mech to the south island. Since that island's currently empty, but will be experiencing a wave of troops pretty soon, it makes sense to get the capturing done now, and be ready to ship in or build tougher stuff later.
Bit different for the northern island, though. As it's already defended - albeit fairly lightly - it's best to send in the tanks now to take care of those defences, and then send in the footsoldiers in a couple of turns' time. The light tank's 3 vision range also helps us spot some of those defences.
Hello Mr. Tank.
While my battleship goes on the attack, my cruiser and sub move up a bit.
And, since this is Sami, let's build a couple of mechs. My initial thought was to build a tank, but hey, I thought you'd want to see some mechs.
Oh hey, it's Grit. Wait. What's Grit doing here?
Grit! Did you discover anything?
Nope. Not a darn thing. I was able to follow His Beardedness, but... I think Olaf himself has been tossed by the wayside.
Hmm. Well, you know, this is the kind of thing that happens to people who go around pointedly referring to their bosses as "he" and "him". Either way, I guess it's vaguely cool that the various nations' second-in-commands are working together to try and solve this enigma while their bosses are charging around going "raaar orange star!!!". Wonder if that trend'll continue when we hit Green Earth.
Maybe Olaf'll realize that he's been used. That'd be nice. He ain't such a bad guy, you know?
I... guess? He could use a few lessons in strategy, though. He's certainly a reformed character in AW2, albeit with a radically changed backstory.
Let's move on to somethin' else now, Sonja. Don't you think you're taking things a tad bit too far? There's a whole mess of folks after you, darlin'. Like all of Orange Star.
The man's got a point. You aren't exactly making friends here, Sonja.
Really? Actually, I don't think I've done enough. This is invaluable intel that I'm gathering. I must continue!
I'd certainly like to see what all this "invaluable intel" is leading towards.
Well, if you're that determined, I guess I ain't nothin' else to say. I'll go see what else I can find out.
OK. Thanks, Grit!
Oh well, no time to worry about that now. We've got smaller fish to fry.
Well, that looks pretty weird. For what it's worth, ports on the little capture display look like big shipyard cranes, and this one's been squashed to a quarter of its original height. So no wonder it looks a bit odd.
Inf and mech get capturing, lander heads back for more passengers - those two mechs I just built.
On the other island, first I finish off that damaged tank...
... and then I go spotting. Found the arty!
Can't reach it with my battleship this time, though. Ah well.
Let's move the navy around a bit to get a better position on that. Hey, there's a tank down there. Hmm.
And sending back the other lander to pick up more footsoldiers.
That tank attacked my capturing infantry, and my sub takes a hit from Sonja's cruiser after her own sub spotted it for her. Owch.
The "Owch" is mostly for the sub, though.
Because that infantry unit's got Sami power on its side.
First real use of Sami's 1.5x capture rate this Campaign . And while I'm here, that's what ports look like when they aren't being squashed into weirdness.
Hmm... what should I attack with my battleship? The artillery or the sub?
I plump for the artillery. I'm not really sure this was the best idea, but oh well. Tank finishes the job off.
Meanwhile, turns out medium tanks do pretty good damage to cruisers. Who knew?
After that, my own cruiser takes on Sonja's sub. The sub survives, which is why I was wondering whether I should have attacked it with the battleship first. Now that sub can continue to "spot" for Sonja, even if it isn't doing much damage. On the other hand, clearing out the arty is key to getting these properties captured, and that's the name of the game here.
Anyway, let's land some troops. Dropping the infantry to the north and the mech to the east makes a lot more sense than the other way round: this way, both troops can reach a city next turn.
These guys are both mechs, though, so it doesn't make any difference (indistinguishable electron mechs? Until they get attacked, I guess). These mechs are mostly here for their attack power, after all.
My sub tries to get away from that cruiser, but I suspect its quest is futile. Far too many units around the place that could spot it. At least we know just where the battleship is, now.
Someone mentioned how it's pretty neat that different battles get specific CO Power quotes attached to them. It is a nice touch, although it does make it a bit odd when the CO says nothing.
Sonja doesn't really use Enhanced Vision for much this turn, but she does do quite a bit of damage. There goes my base-capturing infantry (luckily I'd already finished the capture. Too slow, Sonja!)
One of my newly-landed mechs takes a big hit.
And yeah, the sub's gone.
I did manage to hammer down on the screenshot key just before it vanished from the map, though - gives us some intel on the stuff Sonja's sending over that southern bridge. Looks nasty.
Looking a bit ugly here.
But Sonja's not the only one with a few tricks up her sleeve.
68% doesn't seem that much compared with the kind of damage Max dishes out. But it's a pretty solid amount, and let's face it, we're spoilt with Max.
That attack knocks the tank down from 9HP to 2HP, and my 3HP mech is able to finish the job off.
Capturing a city, and building a medium tank. I think I could use some extra muscle down there: mechs alone probsably won't cut it.
Speaking of city capturing, let's grab a couple of cities in the north, too. Funny thing is, with Double Time active I needn't have worried about which units could reach which cities, since the mech would have been able to move three squares anyway. But I guess it was good practice.
Landers load up, one heading back to the starting island for a tank and infantry, the other picking up my medium tank from the north island with a view to moving it south. Given Sonja seems to be focusing on the southern front, and her landers seem to be more interested in mucking about in the water having a good time than transporting troops to the northern island, it seems a reasonable risk to take.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Battleship takes down cruiser, and my own cruiser and light tank hide in cover.
Hmm, an artillery's in range of my southern base and it just bashed up my shiny new medium tank.
Hmm, okay, let's just go out there and try to find this artillery and...
Fortunately, I've got a battleship on hand to help reduce the stinging.
Sami's mechs continue to work their way through Sonja's tanks.
3Hp mech mech tries to find some cover, and I can finish capturing this city.
Let's bring the other medium tank across. Should be able to help.
And another infantry (plus a tank) to help with capturing in the north.
I spent quite a lot of money at the start of this turn healing my medium tank up, so I don't have much left over for building new units. Maybe a recon will help me keep Sonja's indirects under control.
That's the 8HP mech lost
My medium tank also takes a hit, although I think I got the better of that exchange.
And there goes the 3HP mech.
I guess you can't make an omelette without breaking some mechs ( THIS IS THE PUN POLICE! PULL OVER AND STEP AWAY FROM THE JOKE! ).
Recon and 6HP medium tank get busy.
With the medium tank clearing out Sonja's one, and the recon starting work on that artillery.
Let's continue with the capture programme in the north. Looking at the city counts, I've almost drawn level with Sonja here: I really don't know what's taking so long for her to capture all the properties on her starting island.
My other medium tank rumbles in to finishes off Sonja's 4HP tank here.
And my cruiser and battleship do some reef-hopping.
Landers head back to pick up some of the remaining troops from the starting island. Rocket and APC get into the northern lander, recon into the southern one. I didn't build anything this turn because for some reason I really wanted to save up for a submarine, to replace the one I lost early on. Guess I thought it would make taking on that battleship easier.
My 6HP medium tank gets reduced to 4HP by Sonja's artillery, and her battleship attacks one of my capturing infantry down to 4HP.
You're going to have to do better than that if you want to stop Sami, Sonja.
We're at fourteen properties apiece, now. Sonja still hasn't tried to land any troops on the northern island, though. AIs vv. My mech creeps through the woods to get a bit closer to the remaining cities.
A rather misguided manoeuvre, here: I send my cruiser up to spot Sonja's battleship, so I can line my own battleship up in a reef to attack from. I reckon that the cruiser'll probably be safe in that port. Three defence stars have to count for something, right? Well, we'll see.
Here's that submarine I promised myself, and building a few infantry to help with the ol' Technique score. I've lost a few units, so it won't hurt to build some.
Recon continues to attack Sonja's artillery...
... while my mech and 4HP medium tank work together to take down one of her infantry. 6HP damage when your opponent's in a forest isn't to be sniffed at.
And the medium tank creeps up the field a little.
Bit of a blunder with one of my landers here, I somehow managed to not drop off the APC - messed up a key press or something, I guess. Unfortunately the other lander can't reach the northern shore from my starting port, even with Sami's transport movement boost. Ah well.
Some bad news as Sonja's rockets and tank take out my recon with a one-two punch...
... and then she completely surprise me as first her battleship does 7HP of damage to my cruiser, and then a submarine steams in out of nowhere and finishes it off.
Now where did that sub come from? Is it the one we saw at the start, healed back up to full health? Is it a new one Sonja built? Either way, it's led to another unit loss .
Oh well, one good thing to come from all this is a full power bar. I think we could use a Double Time right about now.
That extra movement square always comes in handy. This way I can reach that base this turn and save some time.
Bunch of capturing. I can see the sub, but without a cruiser I don't have many options for dealing with it.
I could send my own sub, but it's busy enough dealing with all these landers.
Oh well, let's use a tank to spot this battleship again.
Battleship down to 4HP, tank down to 2HP.
Mech cleans that tank up.
And my 4HP medium tank heads out and finds an infantry unit.
Can't quite finish it off with my full-health middie, though. Sami's direct combat nerf can start to grate after a while, even against Sonja.
Landing troops, moving stuff about... it's looking a bit messy here. Still, not far now.
Although Enhanced Vision isn't going to make it any easier.
4HP medium tank down.
A capturing infantry knocked down to 8HP (heh, if 4HP wasn't enough to stop Sami, 8HP certainly won't be).
And thanks to reefs suddenly counting for diddly squat, Sonja's sub manages to find my battleship.
Good job we can end this this turn, because this is turning into a real bloodbath. Let's have a montage.
Rocket and mech destroy light tank.
The Amazing Flying Infantry!
Medium tank narrowly fails to take down rocket truck...
... and sub narrowly fails to take down lander. Goodness knows what my Power score's going to be like.
Busy, busy, busy. Also note all the infantry and landers I've been spamming out to keep my Technique score in decent condition.
Okay, let's finish this.
You're much stronger than you used to be, aren't you?
Of course I am!
But your basic abilities haven't really changed at all, have they? In an area with lots of properties to capture, your skills are adequate.
Um, actually I think you'll find it's direct combat she's poor at, Sonja. Yeah. There's a typo here for some reason.
In straight-up battle, you'd move your infantry in and seize the enemy HQ. That's what you're best at, isn't it?
Ha... You're as good as ever at breaking everything down and analyzing it. But what are you doing, Sonja? Why did you attack us?
I can't... I can't tell you, yet.
Dammit, one of these days someone's going to give us a straight answer.
You'd better look over there.
Huh? That's Andy! How did you...?
I told him I had some new tools for him, and he followed me like a lost puppy.
... oh, Andy . Still, at least he has an excuse. We still don't know how Sonja managed to separate Sami from Max and me.
He should be waking up anytime now. Bye-bye.
Come back... She's gone. Great. Sonja... You'll pay for this!
A-Rank on Power, unfortunately. This is often the problem when you're up against an AI with deployment facilities at their disposal. I'm also vaguely amazed we got perfect Technique given how many units we lost, but again I guess that's bases for you. Still, it's been good to show Sami get involved in a proper battle. She's not always the prettiest option, but she can get the job done.
And I've got a rank up to Opal Hen! One more Sonja bonus mission left, and by a process of elimination I guess we're going to be using Andy. Let's see how Sami reacts to the news that he was lured away by the prospect of new wrenches...
... yeah, not well it seems.