Part 32: Campaign Mission 15M: Captain Drake! as MaxMission 15M: Captain Drake! as Max (or "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?")
Trousers of Time Convergence Point #2
Drake! What are you doing all the way out here? You've got to get into position!
Morning, Eagle. Wouldn't you rather just sit and bask in the sun a while?
I like this guy already.
Are you insane? The Orange Star Army is on the move!
"Where?" "Current location unknown"...
WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?
But seriously. Nice guy, scary face.
Is that so? Drake, are you...
Be cool - everything's under control. No need to rush. I've got everything set up. Now, doesn't this sun feel good?
Yes yes, I know, I know, commanding officers should be this blasé when there are lives at stake. But come on. It's Drake.
Oh... He's gone. Ah well. I guess I'd better get under way before Eagle gets his feathers any more ruffled.
Drake always finds some way to sidetrack me. He's absolutely peerless in naval combat, but sometimes I wonder...
Hmm. Echoes of this conversation.
By popular demand, Max is going to be the first CO to dip his toes in the waters of Green Earth.
It so happens that we're going to be doing the Mission 15 that actually is Mission 15 first, as my Max missions are going to be on the run where we've done all the bonus missions and already got Olaf and Kanbei sorted for the Final Battle. Also while I'm here, since I've been sharing some music in this area here over the last few missions, here's Drake's Theme - a sort of carribean/sea shanty hybrid, I guess? Either way, it's pretty cool. Not the hugest fan of Max's theme though, although you can go look in the OP if you want his music. Anyway, let's get on.
Right after Yellow Comet, it's on to Green Earth! We're just trying to pass by. Why does everyone keep attacking us? I'd never heard of any bad blood between our countries.
Really? In a place like Wars World? Huh. Either way, that's kind of interesting. If Orange Star and Green Earth are mostly at peace, why does Eagle seem to feel the need for revenge - and against Andy in particular?
I'm as puzzled as you are. Regardless, we're facing CO Drake... This is going to be rough.
What do you know about him?
I've heard that he's virtually unstoppable in naval combat. His armada is supposed to be a real powerhouse.
Should put up more of a challenge than Olaf, then.
Oh, man! Why does Max get all the fun combat?
Andy's still being Andy, then.
In head-to-head combat, I'm your man! We need to smash every unit to win. You ready, Paul?
Pretty much. Although I guess technically we don't need to smash every unit to win? We've got a lander and some infantry after all, we could go for an HQ capture. But that lander's looking pretty fragile, so I think Max has this right - rout's probably the best option. The Max version of this mission is a really simple map and although it's Fog of War, there's not much need to worry - with so many submarines, we have all the vision we need. And we can even take advantage of it and hide from Drake in the reefs!
There's no real strategy here beyond "head south and smash everything up", so I'm not going to bother with a second map screenshot. Let's just dive in. Hmm. 108% damage is good, no question, but I'm usually expecting to do more when I attack a sub with a Max cruiser.
And here's why. Drake has a few tricks up his sleeve, and one of them is that his ships get two terrain stars of extra defence. So in reefs he'd have three-star defence, and in ports he'd have five-star defence - this is the only time in the series you'll actually see a defensive tile with five stars (okay, Lash's Prime Tactics will give you six and eight, but not five). Hopefully I'll get a chance to show that off in one of these Drake missions. In AW2 they swap out the two-star defense thing for a regular +10% defence, which I think is kinda sad. You lose out on a unique, weird quirk that way.
Anyway, what else can Drake do?
Paul.Power's CO Notes: Drake Drake's Theme
Drake is the naval specialist, and not just because we can see his navel . In addition to the two extra defence stars, his ships and subs gain +1 movement point, but interestingly they don't get an attack bonus. A bit like Grit in that regard, then. Much like Eagle gets a naval attack penalty, Drake gets an air attack penalty, but also like Eagle his ground troops are average. Drake's CO Power, Tsunami, knocks 1HP off all enemy troops in a kind of anti-Hyper Repair (it also works even if there's no water on the map. No, don't question it, just shrug and say "Advance Wars"). It can't kill 1HP units, though, just like Andy can't heal beyond 10HP. Drake's also immune to rain the same way Olaf is to snow - and it's rumoured that random weather tends to follow him around...
Background/Personality: Character-wise, my favourite CO, this big-hearted former pirate likes to take it easy and - though he doesn't look it - is probably one of the smarter COs. If Eagle represents Germany, Drake represents Britain with his superior navy - and he seems to be specifically based around the privateer Sir Francis Drake, a major hero in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. In that battle, the English ships were more manoeuvrable and better defended than the Spanish ones - and just when Spain thought they could get away with a retreat, a storm whipped up and wrecked even more of their ships, which Tsunami parallels. Then there's the rain, I guess. We do get a fair bit of it over here . But yeah, I like Drake. Just a shame about that face...
Subs follow the cruiser down and spot one of Drake's cruisers. They're dived, so we should be able to avoid getting attacked. Still, best to watch out for it.
Moving the rest of Max's navy down.
... finishing with the Lander. I guess we may as well try to bring an infantry unit for an HQ capture, although I doubt it'll work. And the rocket launcher might just come in handy maybe? We'll see.
I need to know if Orange Star was behind that blackhearted act. Anchors, away!
Blackhearted act, huh? Well, if Orange Star is behind it, I think it was before they hired me.
Anyway, Drake moved up some battleships and dived a submarine in the circled square.
First let's get that sub spotted.
And then we can head in and blow it up with our cruiser. I kinda feel bad fighting Drake - look how sad he looks here.
Mirror image time as two of my subs get to work on Drake's battleships. It leaves them vulnerable to cruiser fire next turn, but we've got to take these beasts down somehow.
Arr-O-Vision version of those events (that was meant to be a pun on "arrow", but now it sounds like Pirate-O-Vision. Appropriate for fighting Drake.
Battleship and another cruiser move up into some reefs, but there aren't many other reefs around the place.
Let's see where this sub can hit. Hmm, it can hit up to seven squares away from it - because Drake's subs have six movement points, rather than the regular five. But I can see some places where we can park a ship and be relatively safe from harm.
Here, for example.
Lander keeps itself busy as my infantry and rocket launcher keep island-hopping. Another sub heads downfield as well.
Hoo boy, here comes Tsunami.
Not nice, and this is only the start of the problem.
First up my lander and one of my cruisers take hits from Drake's 4HP battleships.
And then my lander gets finished off by a full health battleship that Drake has squirrelled away somewhere. Losing the lander, of course, means that my infantry and rocket launcher are stranded on this island. Better than going down with the ship, I guess.
Cruisers taking out subs is the icing on the cake.
Painful stuff. Maybe I don't feel so bad about fighting Drake any more. But yeah, Tsunami may not sound much, but that attrition just means that he suddenly has to do less damage to be able to OHKO things. And of course, it builds up over time if you let him get more than one Tsunami off (unless you've got someone like Andy around to counter him). Tsunami does take a while to charge though - not as long as Lightning Strike or Morale Boost, but longer than average.
Anyway, let's hit back.
The extra move point from Max Force means we can manoeuvre on a par with Drake for a turn. With that, we can finish this battleship off from an angle that doesn't give our position away to one of Drake's marauding cruisers.
So let's get in there and bash some battleships up.
That's both the 4HP battleships down, although there's still a full-health one lurking out there somewhere...
Bunch of things factoring into this - the attack boost from Max Force, the defence boost from Tsunami, the knocked-off hit point - but cruiser attacking sub still works out at the same 108% I got at the start of the mission. Funny old world.
Drake's got that sinking feeling.
And I attack a cruiser with a battleship for good measure. Max's battleships may not be good for much, but they can do a job - and we kind of need them to when it comes to cruisers.
Spare battleship and cruiser head into reefs - and although I forgot to screencap it, I shuffled my infantry and rocket launcher about on their island - as indicated by the dashed lines.
Not that it does me much good in escaping the battleship's wrath. At least the city provides some defensive cover, I guess.
First let's get rid of this 4HP cruiser.
And while I'm at it, I send a sub down to spot that battleship. There it is.
Quick check of the battleship's range tells us that it can hit all but one square of this island. Meanwhile, Max's shoddy rocket launcher has no chance against it, even if it hadn't already been knocked down to 3HP.
Oh well. Since the rocket launcher's at death's door, I'll let it have the safe spot - the infantry'll just have to take the hit. It's got the protection of the city, at least. Meanwhile a cruiser checks to see if Drake's hidden anything in the south-east corner. Doesn't look like it.
Bringing the other battleship over so it can hopefully attac that cruiser next turn.
Infantry takes the hit, but just about survives.
Sub's running low on fuel, but hopefully we can finish this before that becomes a serious issue.
We can certainly use it to get a hit in on that battleship.
Of course, with the sub now spotted, that cruiser becomes a threat. Let's nullify that threat by attacking the cruiser with a battleship.
And now that the cruiser's crippled, I can send in a sub to rub salt into the wound.
Blocking the cruiser in for good measure, and sending my other battleship down to hold Drake's battleship hostage.
Wait, snow? Yeah, like I say, random weather tends to follow Drake around. Of course, snow messes him up as much as it messes us up, but if it rains he gets the advantage.
Drake attacks my battleship. Well, it beats him finishing off that infantry unit...
Let's finish this off the Max way by ramming submarines into things.
You've beaten me.
Compliments, huh? This is new.
You're a Green Earth Co?
That I am. I wanted to find some answers here, but all I've netted are more questions. I'll be seeing you again, lad.
You were so close...
Well, he wasn't that close, although Max's navy did get beat up a bit. But it looks like we aren't the only ones round here with unanswered questions...
We're a little off a perfect score thanks to Technique - Drake really did a number on us on his Tsunami turn. But an S-Rank's an S-Rank, and that was a short, sweet mission - which makes a nice change after Sonja.
And we get a rank-up to Jade Hen, too. Fun times. So, with the first Max mission of Green Earth down, where does that leave us?
Well, your choices now are between the second Max GE mission (16M) or Andy or Sami's first GE missions (which I'll call 15A and 15S for convenience's sake). So yeah, Andy, Max or Sami?