The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by Paul.Power, Sockerbagarn

Part 44: Campaign Mission 18S: Battle Mystery! as Sami

Mission 18S: Battle Mystery! as Sami (or "The Great Escape")

i think paul's running out of ideas for silly dialogue
hey want me to do my crazy face again?
i think we'd better get out of here eagle
sounds like a plan
hey i can explain all this stuff to you or something
actually that would be pretty cool
oh well let's see if i can hunt down an infantry unit or something

With nowhere else left to go in Green Earth, it's time to finish up Sami's route.

Short on ideas for something to do for a music link, I made this. It's not the greatest bit of bass playing ever (I don't practice anywhere near enough, forgot to tune it first and the recording system was kinda jury-rigged) but hey, it's something. Maybe I'll get some more practice in and post an updated version in some later update.

What is it, Nell?
We have a problem. A recon force we sent into Green Earth has been ambushed!
So, we need to perform a rescue mission, correct? Understood.

Wait, after so long spent spamming out infantry units and callously sending them into the meat grinder, we now have to protect one?

Eight days, Sami! If you can protect if for eight days, we'll take over. I know you can handle it, Paul.

Actually, yes. Nell, when you say eight days, do you mean eight, or do you mean seven, like how Andy only had to protect that missile unit until the start of -

My attitude towards Nell? What do you mean? It's not like I'm sucking up or anything. I'm just polite because she was ahead of me in school. That's all! Let's get back to the task at hand!

... huh. I guess this is a continuation of that chat I had with Andy back in Sami's version of Naval Clash! Sami does seem to have a bit of an inferiority complex regarding people who did better than her at school (Nell, Sonja). Anyway, what if I'd said No?

There's nothing special about my behavior! Nothing at all! Let's get back to the task at hand!

Didn't say there was, Sami. Didn't say there was.

As I say, it does seem kind of weird to have a mission about protecting an infantry unit after throwing so many of them into the meat grinder over the years, but at least infantry offer better value for money than missile launchers, and at least they tried to construct a narrative around this mission with the whole "rescue mission" dynamic. Better than "we've got a shortage of them!" or "this thing is vitally important to our strategy but I'm not going to explain why!". Anyway, this isn't too bad of a mission. Certainly I'd say it's better than Andy's missile-launcher protecting one. Drake doesn't have four battleships chasing us down, although he does have a ton of cruisers and anti-air.

So we've got to get this infantry away from Drake's heckton of anti-air. We've got some T copters to load him into, but they won't get there this turn: fortunately we've got a couple of B copters to send in to sacrifice themselves for the infantry and T copters (reverse- at work). Then the T copter retreats past the bridge, which we can choke up by ferrying land units across with our landers. Finally use Sami's extra transport movment range to get across the sea without disturbing Drake's cruisers. Speaking of Drake's cruisers, our navy's going to do its best to take his navy on. It's not going to be pretty with Sami's direct combat penalty, but we'll give it a shot. Since someone asked, here's an unfogged version of the map. Since I was in Manchester when I played this, I didn't have access to the unfogged map when I played, so this one's semi-blind.

The first question is, what do we do with this infantry on Day 1? It can't move fast enough to get out of the range of this AA, and it's a sitting duck on the plains. On a mountain it could survive one attack, but not two.

Well, if we send our B copters in to attack this missile launcher...

... then that blocks out the AAs for a turn. It's suicide for the copters, but gotta protect that infantry.

Speaking of which, let's get him moving, and bring a T copter up for him to step into.

Moving the mechs onto mountains for a bit of extra vision.

And speaking of vision, let's see what our sub can see. Hmm. A cruiser. This could be awkward.

But there's also a sub that our own cruisers can take care of.

Battleship advances, and the other T copter retreats.

Mass loading. Tank, recon, rockets and mech make the journey across the sea.

cruisers to prevent escape by transport copter... All right! Everything's shipshape. There's no escape for that unit! Time to make a big splash and give Eagle some cover.

Drake's his usual organised self, but we should still be able to give him the slip.

Yeah, those B copters never stood a chance. Reverse-.

My sub also comes in for a pounding after it got spotted by a Drake sub.

Day 2

Units lost in the course of saving one infantry unit: two B copters.

At least we've got Double Time already. May as well use it.

My goodness. 100% for a mech attacking an AA.

Shame Drake has rather a lot more of them waiting in the wings. Anyway, let's keep retreating our T copter.

We aren't the only CO around here with a power charged up.

Best load everything back into the transports, then!

Okay, what about the naval battle?

Well, we can send in the cruisers to take out this sub...

... fire off a pot shot at one of Drake's massive cruiser fleet, and get our critically damaged sub out of there.

Bit late on the screenshot button for Tsunami, sorry, but I think you're all familiar with what Drake looks like by now.

I do wish that cruisers had a little more armour against battleships. They keep getting one-shotted .

And there goes the mech. Heroic in dealing with one AA, but two more were able to dogpile him.

Day 3

Units lost in the course of saving one infantry unit: two B copters, a mech and a cruiser.

Another attack on one of Drake's cruisers, although I moved my own cruiser off after I attacked but before I took the screenshot. So you get to see my battleship fire off its red arrow into an apparently empty sea tile.

All well and good. What about the continuing adventures of Private Brian?

Well, we're going to move our vital infantry-carrying T copter up to the edge of the beach, where the cruisers can't get at him. Next turn we'll be using Sami's superior movement range to get him across the channel before Drake has any idea what's happening. Meanwhile, unloading the tank and recon blocks up the chokepoint for us.

And we can unload the rocket launcher to exploit that chokepoint.

1HP sub finds a reef to hide in.

Day 4

The medium tank appears at our doorstep.

It's got no chance of stopping our Sami-boosted T copter though. Freedom!

Instead all it's going to get is rockets to the face.

Mechs and lander move about a bit.

Battleship shifts into a reef so it can snipe at Drake unobserved, and my remaining cruiser gets as far away from the action as possible.

Oh, I forgot about Drake's missile launcher. Luckily this is my "spare" T copter.

And his AA tries to take me on at the chokepoint - and comes off worse for it.

Day 5

Now then.

T copter flies even further into the heart of my territory. Drake basically can't win from here.

I still can't damage him that much though, what with a combo of naval defence and that missing hit point.

Not much to do now, really, but we've got to see out the required number of days. Didn't go on the attack this turn because I wanted to get a Power turn in where I take out battleship, AA and medium tank all in one go. Completely unnecessary, in hindsight: Drake only has 14 units (it's just that the 14 units contain a silly amount of AAs and cruisers), wwhich means I only need to take out two to get perfect power, not three. This apprehension over my Power score actually costs me a little bit, as we'll see.

Drake manages to get a shot in on a lander because I wasn't paying attention.

And his bizarre attempt to kill my tank with his AA continues. I guess it's a fair trade?

Day 6

Battleship continues to work at Drake's battleship, landers join (still in battleship range, to give Drake something to fire at so he doesn't move)

T copter reaches the bottom corner of the map, and my cruiser retreats to a reef.

Same old, same old.

Day 7

Now, if this is consistent with what happened in the missile launcher mission, this'll be the last "proper" day. Just as well really, this is getting tiresome.

Anyway, battleship down and it charges up Double Time.

May as well use it.

Medium tank down.

1HP AA down.

Full health AA d... ammit.

I rather get the feeling I'm going to lose that mech. Which will be my fifth lost unit of the mission, and will probably push me into non-perfect Technique territory. This is the thing I was talking about earlier when I said that my apprehension over my Power score would cost me. I didn't need to attack that AA, I just a) wanted to try and kill four units in a turn, just in case and b) wanted to use my mechs at least a bit during Double Time. The result is a dented Technique score.

Oh well, can't be helped. What's Drake got for us?

Tsunami. Lovely.

Yeah, AA knocks that mech down to 1HP and an infantry finishes the job . Units lost in the course of saving one infantry unit: two B copters, two mechs and a cruiser. Granted this one's my bad.

Day 8

Yeah, I was right about last turn being the last "proper" turn. Interesting how Nell doesn't show up to rescue us here, and Drake just kind of gives up.

I just can't beat you guys.
Commander Drake, would you please tell us why you've been attacking us?
Haven't you sensed him? The person behind all of this fighting?

Would it help if I said "yes"?

Sonja and Grit have been trying to lure him out of hiding.
The person behind all this?
We've been trying to keep Sonja's movements a secret. So, we staged these battles to draw his attention away from her. But I think we're finished now. It seems Sonja's found something.
That sounds like something Sonja would do.

Random extra line for Sami there. Finding something sounds like something Sonja would do. I... guess.

I can't leave Green Earth unprotected. I promised Eagle. You understand? So... Would you go in my stead? They need your help.
Of course! We'll do all we can! Eagle, Sonja, and Grit are our friends!

Eagle's been pursuing him with a vengeance. Sonja tempted him with new tools and drugged him. Grit keeps calling him "Junior". And there's the small matter of sending thousands of troops to fight and die in wars against them. But sure. Friends.

S-Rank - not perfect thanks to Technique. But hey, it's still an S-Rank so I shouldn't beat myself up too much. Damn sight better than a B-Rank.

And so we're done with Green Earth (although I still plan to redo Battle Mystery! as Max and post a highlights reel for it), and all the trouser-legs have converged. Let's see what the next mission has in store for us. It's quite a crazy one:

There are some Green Earth planes on the field (Eagle's, unsurprisingly) but we aren't fighting them: instead, they're an AI-controlled ally: they can't attack us, we can't attack them, and they'll help us out against our true foe: the black army. Of course, they're an AI, so they'll still be prone to some derpiness, but hopefully not too much. With them focusing on the air war, we can focus on the ground war, and most importantly the storming of the enemy HQ. But who is our enemy? Well...

... yeah. It's a clone of Andy. I guess now you all know why Eagle is so convinced that Andy attacked Green Earth: he did, sort of. But who made the clone? Ah, well, that would be telling... anyway, it's safe to say that we're pretty damn used to how Andy works by now.

So the question is, who do we send out to fight him? If I recall correctly, Sami's the best choice given we'll be gunning for an HQ Capture. But there's a certain appeal to an Andy vs. Andy showdown. Or you may just want to go MAX SMASH. Either way, since I have to play this mission four times I'll definitely post some highlights reels of how the two COs you didn't vote for got on (assuming I can beat it as them!). So yeah, Andy, Max or Sami? And can I have a first preference and second preference please.