Part 38: Campaign Mission 16A: Naval Clash! as AndyMission 16A: Naval Clash! as Andy (or "Adding injury to injury")
the best bit about being a pirate isn't the looting or the cutlasses
it's not the grog or the scurvy or the scantily clad mermaids
the best bit
about being a pirate
So yeah, guess which film I saw on the weekend.
The thread decided to get all these Naval Clashes out of the way so we can go on to the mission against Eagle. We won't quite be done with Drake after this, though, there's another mission (and therefore three missions) after the Eagle ones.
Now, there was a time, back in the days of dial-up internet and before MP3s became A Thing, when I really used to like MIDIs. Yes, I know, looking back most of them sound pretty horrible. But hey, Sturgeon's Law and all of that - there's some pretty damn good ones out there as well. Anyway, the upshot of all this is that this mission's obligatory link to a cover of Andy's Anthem or Sami's Theme is Andy's Anthem (Jazz Trio Remix) (first link under the Dual Strike section heading).
CO Drake has hit us again! We need you to come in and protect this missile unit. It's vital to Orange Star's strategic success.
"Missile unit". "Vital to Orange Star's strategic success". Hmm. Hmmmm. HMMMMMM.
Watch out for the enemy battleship to the south; it's moving in to attack.
I understand! I just have to protect this missile unit, right?
You've got it. Don't worry about the cities or your HQ.
I guess this basically means "Drake's got no infantry, so don't fret about losing those things."
Ten days, Andy! If you can keep that unit safe for ten days, I'll take care of everything else. Don't let us down, Paul!
Hey, have I let you down yet?
So we've got our second (after Max's Folly?) mission now where time is on our side and we just have to hold out for a specified period before we win. At first glance, this is your traditional "Andy holding the line at a chokepoint" mission that we've seen plenty of times before. It's much harder this time, though, because we don't have any bases to work with. So this is going to be considerably more fraught than Max Strikes!, Mighty Kanbei! or Captain Drake! were. In fact, without spoiling things too much, I'd say that if Sami's version of this mission was "really hard unless you know what you're doing but not so bad if you do", this one is kind of the opposite: not too difficult to win, but it's going to be a costly struggle.
Why isn't it too difficult to win? Well, we've got landers: we can stick the missile launcher in one of them and hide out in the reefs north of the island chain (Drake's got a big navy incoming along the southern border, but the area north of the island chain is mercifully free of units. It's cheesy, I know, but I did have a quick go at this one without trying it and the results were... not pretty. Meanwhile, I guess we'll try and hold this chokepoint. But even with Andy, that's a tough prospect. No bases and only two indirects - and furthermore, a pretty overwhelming navy that can flank our position fairly easily. We've dealt with navies before, of course but... I dunno...
Anyway, priority one: save that missile launcher. Into a lander it goes, and the lander heads into a reef.
Now then, Nell told us to watch out for an enemy battleship. We can do rather better than that.
No time to dive that sub yet, but I think the rest of Drake's navy is far back enough that it'll survive for a turn.
We'll dive the other sub though (one advantage of checking out the unfogged version of the map being that we know the water up top is clear and we don't have to fret about scouting it out. The battleship moves forward into a reef, too.
The other lander heads for a reef (in hindsight I probably should have tried to pile as many units as possible into those landers rather than let them sail off empty-handed. But oh well). Recon goes to sit on the HQ as well.
Drake doesn't have anything to say for himself this time (if he did it'd probably be something like "really? we're fighting over a missile unit? when was the last time I deployed a plane?"), but we do get to see one of his subs dive.
In addition to that sub (in the square with the cursor over it), we've got two light tanks queueing up at the chokepoint, and another battleship. A battleship I can't reach because of the sub blocking it. Off to a good start, then.
At least the light tanks aren't much of a problem.
With any luck they'll join together and give me one less thing to worry about.
Lander heads forward into the next reef, subs cluster around the battleship.
Here come the big guns. The biggest problem is that rocket launcher, but there isn't really anything we can do about it: once again, Drake's managed to outmanoeuvre me at a chokepoint.
Still, better give it our best shot.
Rockets attack medium tank, and our own middie finishes off the light tank. Trouble is, there's no real way we can hit the rocket launcher.
I guess we can do this?
Trouble is, a quick bit of scouting with a submarine reveals that Drake's got another battleship out there.
And that it's not just our light tank we have to worry about.
Better go on the attack, I guess? Try and minimise the damage that battleship'll cause...
... oh what the christ.
Drake really, really wants that missile launcher dead. Better keep running away.
Adding injury to injury.
Oh boy, cruisers as well.
And even though Drake looks sad here, this is still a pretty good hit on my light tank.
So yeah, holding the line here is really, really hard (though no doubt someone's managed it). I probably should have just loaded as much stuff as possible onto the landers and left, say, the medium tank and rocket launcher to fend for themselves.
Still, maybe this'll help.
Cancels out the Tsunami at least.
First up, let's punish this cruiser for daring to attack our sub.
And retreat the 6HP tank a little. I could have moved it back to a city or something I guess, but I'd've lost visual on Drake's medium tank and rockets.
Which would have rather defeated the object, really.
Medium tank finishes off its opposite number, and the full health tank bursts through and strikes the rockets. We still have a ton of battleships to deal with, though.
I guess this won't hurt.
And the lander's even further away now.
Of course, Drake's in no mood to play games. My light tanks on the bridge take a shelling.
Heh. Not so tough with your cruiser damaged, are you Drake?...
Erm... at... least... nothing died that that turn?
And I guess I can take out a cruiser.
Sub and medium tank chip in some scratch damage as well.
Let's get a tank out of there. We'll join the other one with it shortly, but for now we need the vision...
... so we can finish off that rocket launcher with the recon! (Killing two units in a turn, wow. Hey, we need this for the Power score).
And now we can join those tanks together.
There's one more reef for the lander to move on to, but it's right next to a beach and Drake does have a couple of light tanks defending the shores up here. The lander's probably safe where it is.
Wish I could say the same for the rest of my troops.
Land battalions on the verge of extinction...
... and here comes Drake's other cruiser.
And with the recon and the submarine goes most of my vision.
Yeah, that isn't helping much.
Although at least healing from the city keeps the situation from getting any worse. Yet.
I don't really want to die wondering though. Let's see what's down here. Ooh, battleships.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
I tried attacking with 4HP medium tank too, but sadly it couldn't chip off a hit point.
There goes the light tank .
I've probably drawn more red Xs for this mission than any other so far (granted that's because I sometimes forget to when a lot of units die).
Anyway, let's repeat the dose.
Still can't chip off that last hit point with my medium tank, though.
And yeah, doing this pointless damage caused another Tsunami. Hands up if you saw that coming.
Medium tank down.
... oh. Looks like we only really had to last nine days.
Nell! Boy, am I glad to see you!
Tell me about it.
You really stuck it out, didn't you!
Well... I... that's a matter of opinion, really. The missile launcher's safe. But at what cost? AT WHAT COST?
CO Drake! If you want to continue this, you'll have to face me!
Well, I'll be keelhauled! Nell and her troops have surfaced! We're outnumbered we are! Time to pull anchor!
Come on, Andy. Let's get out of here.
Erm... yes, Andy. Just about the only thing stopping that from being a complete trainwreck was that we "won". I really should have just packed as much stuff as possible into those landers. Although if I had, would that have hurt my power score? Hmm.
I think all three variations on Naval Clash! have given us some trouble - Max with the northern shore "Bridge Too Far" debacle, Sami where it took me several attempts to work out how to win and... well... this. But for now, we're getting a break from Drake. In fact, we've got a full convocation of Eagles before our COs face Drake one final time:
As I mentioned before, Sami and Andy play on the same map here, the differences being a) Sami is in Fog of War, Andy isn't and b) Eagle has more units in Sami's mission. Max's mission takes place on an entirely different map but isn't in Fog of War. All three are standard "rout or HQ capture", I think. With all that in mind, Andy, Max or Sami? And can I have a first preference and second preference, please.