Part 36: Campaign Mission 15A: Captain Drake! as AndyMission 15A: Captain Drake! as Andy (or "The choker outchoked?")
ok come on we need you to... DRAKE WHY ARE YOU PLAYING BOWLS
there is time enough to win this game and thrash orange star too!
that quote is probably apocryphal and you know it
please can we just get some defences together? look andy's right over there
go on then since you asked nicely
Yes, Andy, yes it is.
Oh hey, found another cover of Andy's Anthem. And it's a rather remarkable one - goes through a variety of different styles. Still nothing for Drake's theme, though.
Oh hey, this is different from the other two Captain Drake! missions. What's up, Nell?
Is that you, Nell? What is it?
We have an emergency! The Coral Fortress is being stormed by Drake of Green Earth! We've never had trouble with him before, so we didn't see them coming!
There are a bunch of bad guys here!
Have you been reading Axe Cop, Andy?
This point is of vital importance to Orange Star. If the enemy seizes a lot of properties here, we'll lose control of the area.
But... it's coloured green on the map?
You have to beat them to it and secure as many cities as possible. Including your bases and HQ, you must secure twelve properties to win.
Oh. Guess I was wrong when I said that Sami's version of Captain Drake! would be our last property capture battle. For some reason, when I was doing my research I completely failed to notice that this was one as well. Oh well, no matter.
Secure as many properties as possible? Ok, I got it!
These bases are yours to use. Paul, deploy whatever units you see fit. I'm counting on you!
I've got it covered!
What is it?
Andy, how do you...? At least the writers had half an excuse with "What's an airport, again?".
So yeah, didn't realise this was property capture. Sorry about that. At least we're out of the fog for a change. I guess in some ways it's kind of appropriate that Andy asked us about what units we use to capture with, because we don't actually start with any of them. We've got bases, sure, but it's highly unusual to see a map where we don't start with any infantry or mechs at all. Drake has some though, and it's also pretty rare to see our opponent not only have more units than us, but be better organised as well. Of course, that's going to change as soon as the AI gets to work - as we saw in Sami Marches On!, when it comes to landers the AI is all at sea . Those things are just gonna sit there.
We need twelve properties to win - I guess that's going to be five on our starting island, the four in the centre and three of the four in the northeast and southwest corners. Drake is basically going for the same things as well. Since his landers are a bit derp, we can completely scupper his chances of victory by taking out that one infantry unit on the central island - so that's where my lander is headed off to first. Afterwards it's going to need to do some transporting of infantry to the centre and north east. The subs have got to both protect my lander from Drake's sub, and take down his battleship. Beyond all that, there's a lot of attritional chokepoint fighting over these bridges. Andy's been our go-to guy for chokepoints in the past, so this seems reasonable.
Anyway, let's get on. First I'm going to drop my infantry-killing taskforce (light tank and arty) on to the central island. Overkill for one infantry unit? Maybe. But if we take it out, then we basically can't lose.
Medium tank and rocket launcher roll onto the bridge.
It's infantry, Andy. Infantry and mechs. The ones that look like little mans.
And the subs head out and dive, ready to give Drake what-for.
paul what arrrrrrrr ye doin
What are you doing?
no what arrrrrrrr ye doin
Erm... anyway. Let's get on.
I've heard that he's virtually unstoppable in naval combat. His armada is supposed to be a real powerhouse.
Similar stuff again. But at least it's on Day 2 this time.
There you go again, Sami! You're a warehouse of intel.
But I could swear there was something else... something big...
"And I'm not talking about his stomach."
Drake starts sending his units out to greet me.
Erm... sorry about this.
And then I deliberately run my lander into an ambush to locate Drake's submarine. Yes, that lander's my lifeline and if I lose it then I'm horribly screwed.
But if I can damage Drake's submarine a bit then at least the lander will be able to take a hit from it.
Speaking of damage, let's take on this central island infantry.
... oops. Left the tank in battleship range when I could have moved it out. At least it's on a city, and the battleship's down to 6HP (can't see it here because HP disappears when you check a unit's attack area. But you saw me hit it a few screenshots ago).
Still, let's get our medium tank out of battleship range, bring an APC down and start capturing something.
You can never have too many infantry, especially on a capture map.
Drake seems oddly unsatisfied with his attack on my lander. Hey dude, you did perfectly reasonable damage.
Had a bit of trouble fitting everything relevant into one screenshot here, so for a change you get a crazy composite one that cuts out all the HUD clutter.
My sub keeps working on Drake's sub, and my lander tries to find some cover in a reef.
Wow, that was a lucky shot. Taking off 6HP with Drake's extra defence (even if it is down to +12%) is pretty good going.
'Course, all this damage does mean that a certain "something big" is around the corner... (also, that dossier lies. It's defence he gets a boost to, not firepower)
Oh well, since we're going to get pinged for 1HP anyway, may as well keep doing damage.
Medium tank finishes what the rocket started, and with the battleship gone my stuff is free to advance forward.
Begin... THE CAPTURING.
And oh right, better finish this island infantry off before it can grab anything for the glory of Green Earth.
Building another infantry and, why not, a recon. I can afford it, and it could come in handy.
Here we go.
Here's a shot of what Tsunami looks like in action, I kind of forgot to grab one before now. The little splash effects as each unit gets damaged can actually be pretty handy if, say, you're playing as Drake in Fog of War - if you pay close attention, you suddenly know where all your opponent's stuff is (although what is is is another question).
Sub attacks lander in a battle of the low-HP units. Also looks like Drake doesn't always have all his teeth showing. I bet they're still tightly clenched under there though.
More screenshot combining. I have no idea if this is something I'll keep up with or something I'm just going to use as a whim for this mission. We'll see, I guess.
Anyway, the great thing about playing as Andy against Drake: we can fix up all the damage he just caused. It doesn't always work smoothly like this, of course - sometimes there's a turn's lag between the Tsunami and the Hyper Repair, or something - and Drake still gets his own turn after Tsunami to attack your stuff when it's vulnerable. But it's a great help, and most importantly it stops the rot that accumulates when Drake is allowed to Tsunami more than once.
There we go, good as new. Mostly. Lander's still in bad shape, but we've nearly dealt with the sub so most of the threat's gone. After all, there's a world of difference between a damaged transport and no transport at all.
And now the sub's down.
Lander heads back and picks up the infantry and... yes, the recon. I'm going to go for the northeast island first, and the recon's on board to help deal with any of Drake's infantry that make it up there. Arguably I should have gone for the middle island first, and I do get into a bit of a tangle with all this, as we'll soon find out (I do make one definite "silly error" here: can you spot it?)
Drake's chokepoint is a typical AI mess, but in a weird sort of way it works: he's got his artillery covering the range shadow of his rocket launcher, so even without any armour to block things up he's given us a serious deterrent to attacking.
Okay, let's just set up outside of his range then. Meanwhile a sub starts heading towards those landers. The AI might be horrible at using landers, but can't be too careful.
Well, Drake's chokepoint still looks like complete nonsense, but again he's got his indirects covering each other nicely so we can't really go in and attack it. We've got a tank to worry about, anyway.
Lander heads to the northeast island, and here's where the silly error comes in: last turn I could easily have placed my lander somewhere that could have reached this island in one turn. But I didn't. Welp.
Taking my frustration out on one of Drake's landers.
While rocket launcher and medium tank work on taking down that light tank.
And the APC drops off its passenger, shielding it from anything that might want to come over here.
Finishing a capture - five cities each, now - and surfacing my other sub.
Kinda surprised we've made it this far before any rain rolled in. Oh well, plenty of roads on this map so it could be worse. On the other hand, Drake's chokepoint actually makes some sense now, with infantry shielding his indirects.
Let's land some troops. My infantry's steering well clear of Drake's infantry for now, although I suspect the AI would go "I am an infantry unit, I must capture cities AT ALL COSTS anyway.
And speaking of steering clear of Drake, I get to capturing this city while trying to stay out of range as much as possible.
Drake moves up to try and take a city, and again he's pretty organised with his chokepoint.
Well, we'll do what we can. First of all we need to disrupt that capture.
And complete a capture of our own.
Recon and infantry clear out one of Drake's infs in the north east.
While the lander heads back to pick up two more infantry. These'll be going to the central island.
Finishing off that infantry in the southwest.
It's risky - the tank's in the rocket launcher's shadow, but it's in range of the arty. So I'm going to do a bit of with my APC (Still haven't noticed that I've got a sub hanging out by Drake's landers doing nothing. Wonder what's going through those lander captains' minds right now).
Tank and the other infantry head down south to help me with that chokepoint, and I crank out an artillery and yet another infantry.
As predicted, .
And to make matters worse, that hasn't even really improved the situation at the chokepoint. The choker outchoked?
Oh well, better target this AA before it does unspeakable things to my infantry.
Although saying that, my infantry are actually in a position to finish this AA off.
Always fun to win a battle like this against the head, even when it's only chip damage to get rid of that last hit point.
And heck, let's take on Drake's new infantry as well.
This is going to lead to some hurt for my units. Hopefully my medium tank can weather an artillery hit. I think that my infantry's going to get unspeakable things done to it anyway, though.
Getting some troops onto the central island, ready to start capturing.
And I finally realise that my sub's been sitting there by some landers for the last couple turns, dived and rapidly eating up fuel. There's nothing around that can do much damage to it, so let's surface it.
Recon assaults Drake's capturing infantry while my own infantry gets to work.
Bringing down units from my bases, and loading the tank and arty from the island so that they too can be a part of the tank/arty assault on Drake's lines (feel free to be amused by the fact that I'm almost playing more like an AI than Drake here. Advance Wars Turing Test, anyone? Then again, think I'd still win that on account of MOVING MY LANDERS.
Down goes the infantry...
... and the medium tank takes a hit, too. Also, if you hadn't noticed, it's raining again.
On the plus side, we've finally got an opening where we can attack Drake from inside the range of his indirects (green circle)
So let's get in there and take on that artillery - and attack his light tank for good measure.
And then I mess up rather and leave my own light tank in rocket range. Okay, it's on a city, but it's still going to be in for a world of hurt. Not my day, is it? Ironic that Sami's version of Captain Drake! is regarded on the whole as the toughest one, but it's going to end up being the one I beat the most clinically.
Ah well, we've got plenty of reinforcements inbound.
We're keeping Drake in check in the northeast, too - and we're already leading in terms of property count.
Moving more stuff down.
And remembering to actually get the subs to do stuff for the second turn in a row! Amazing.
Green Earth has a CO named Drake,
Who leaves armies destroyed in his wake,
He's sufficiently round,
That Tsunamis abound,
When he "cannonballs" into a lake!
Already used in in the AW2 thread but hey, it's still a good 'un.
And yeah, that light tank takes some punishment.
Got a problem here. We don't have a Hyper Repair ready to cancel out the Tsunami. You win this time, Drake.
Still, got to make do with what we've got. Drake's left his rocket launcher exposed: okay, it's in artillery range, but we should deal more damage than we receive.
Thanks to Tsunami, we can't finish the capturing on the central island this turn. That's gonna set us back a bit. Draaaaake .
Still, let's get some attacks in. Rocket and light tank remove an infantry unit...
... and another light tank rolls through to take on Drake's APC.
Kind of a mishmash of arrows overlaying arrows here. Hope it's still clear what's going on.
And I join my two most damaged light tanks.
Still, even with a couple of unit joins, we don't quite have the funds for some heavy ordinance.
Oh well, we'll have to make do with another pair of tanks.
Subs take out landers. Hmm... I don't know how much damage medium tanks do to subs... I tore a fair strip off a cruiser with a medium tank in one mission...
Oi, that's my city, Drake.
When Indirects Attack.
And to answer the question of medium tanks attacking submarines... they don't do all that much damage, actually. Well that's a relief. Also, here's Drake's closed-mouth "neutral" expression again.
We've taken some thumps.
But we can repair it. We have the tecnology.
Probably for the best to get our submarines away from those crazy medium tanks.
Capturing continues. Only two more properties to go - the two remaining ones on the central island, I guess - and we're outta here.
Recon attacks the infantry on the bridge and has the added effect of blocking Drake from sending anything else up here.
And on the main front, let's teach Drake a lesson about trying to capture my properties.
Can't fire the rocket launcher though - it's out of ammo. Those things can burn through their rockets pretty fast.
The tanks are still in pretty good condition, though.
Finishing off Drake's 5HP rocket launcher, 3HP infantry and 4HP artillery. We've basically broken the back of that chokepoint now.
Better build an APC to try and get that rocket launcher rearmed.
Moving the rest of my stuff down.
Without his indirects, much of Drake's threat is reduced here. Even with first strike, an AA isn't going to do much against a tank.
Not much left to do now.
First let's get our captures started, and join our two subs together. You can actually join a full-health unit onto a damaged one, as long as it's the full-health unit you're moving. And sometimes it's useful, as here when we need to keep our subs from running out of fuel and sinking.
We also need to make sure that Drake can't finish off his capture.
Tanks shuttle back and forth, and my rocket parks itself on the vacated city for resupply.
Artillery and infantry move down. May as well start capturing this city too, just in case.
And yet more slightly pointless reinforcements.
Even the rain can't stop us now.
There we go.
You've beaten me.
So, you're Drake?
That'd be me.
Slightly different dialogue from the Max and Sami "you're a Green Earth CO?" runs, there.
I wanted to find some answers here, but all I've netted were more questions. I'll be seeing you again, lad.
You were so close...
No he wasn't, Andy, he'd only captured five properties by the time we'd won. I don't think I've seen a property capture battle that lopsided before, at least in terms of city count.
But it wasn't the easiest ride, I'll admit. Still an S-Rank, but Drake slowed us down enough to miss out on perfect Speed. Oh well, at least we're up to Hen rank on this save as well, now.
All three of our COs have had a taste of Green Earth now. Andy and Sami's next missions both introduce a new condition to mix things up: we have to prevent certain units being destroyed, or we lose. In Andy's case, it's just lasting out a certain length of time without losing his missile launcher (why it's so important when he's up against Drake, I don't know). Sami has to win conventionally and not lose her landers. Max, as before, has to face Eagle in an air superiority battle.
So yeah, Andy, Max, Sami, first preference, second preference, yadda yadda yadda.