The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by Paul.Power, Sockerbagarn

Part 74: Advance Campaign Mission 10: Kanbei's Error? AC as Max

Advance Campaign Mission 10: Kanbei's Error? AC as Max (or "What's an airport, again?")

Youtube Video

Yep, that's the longest video yet, folks, and with good reason. This one is mean - it's often regarded as the mission where the true Advance Campaign begins - and while it can certainly be done quickly (here for example we have Sockerbagarn beating it in eleven days), it took me rather a lot of attempts to string a successful run to beat it. By which point I wasn't concerned about niceties like ranking time limits. Curiously, although it's a longer video than Sami's Debut, it takes fewer days - just 25. Joining me on this odyssey into airport-induced brain failure are BrooklynBruiser, Sockerbagarn and Sylphid.

No real surprises here, using Max again. I did try using Sami on one attempt, thinking that I might be able to speed things up with her faster T copters, but we really need Max's stopping power here.

So, why is this mission so hard? Well, there are three main problems:

1. Most obviously, Fog of War. As previously mentioned, this is the first mission (so far!) in Advance Campaign that's added fog as an extra obstacle (though, to be fair, I have no idea if, say, Blizzard Battle also pulls this trick). Fog makes any mission harder, especially one with all-seeing AI planes.
2. Kanbei has a lot of aircraft: three fighters, two bombers and two B copters. These are a serious issue, especially the fighters and B copters.
3. He also has enough extra infantry that, if we don't sabotage at least one of them, it'll be game over in six days. The peril of property capture missions!

On the, er, plus side, at least Orange Star doesn't lose any units from its starting attack force. Goodness knows what this would be like if they did.

The first step is that we need to fend off Kanbei's air force - and in particular, we must ensure that our B copter survives the initial assault. That's because the B copter is our only starting unit that can both fly and attack ground targets - we'll need both of those assets if we want to put a spoke in Kanbei's capturing wheel. While we could perhaps build another B copter if the starting one went down early, with our low starting funds and the six-day limit, we can't really afford to. The easiest infantry unit to target is the one capturing the three cities on the north central island - incidentally, Kanbei now has an extra AA there, just to make things spicier. One that infantry is crippled, we've bought some time - though we'll need to finish it off to make sure. After that, it's a case of sealing the deal - capturing the remaining cities, while keeping an eye out for Kanbei's bombers and T copters. By the end, we'll even have a few bombers of our own.

Andy and Kanbei exchange the traditional pleasantries.

And after Kanbei's turn, we've already met two fighters and two bombers, and Max's starting T copter is already gone. At least it meant that our fighter didn't get toasted .

Yellow Comet fighters .

Max's fighter takes on one fighter, while the missile launcher and AA destroy the other. Note that I used my AA to finish off a 3HP fighter rather than attack the bomber sitting right next to it. Because protecting that B copter is our highest priority (incidentally, I've retreated it behind a wall of ground units), Kanbei's bombers will get be getting free reign for a few turns as I prioritise attacking the stuff that can take down our chopper. The ground troops will be taking a hell of a pounding, but that's Advance Campaign.

Our defences weren't quite strong enough: the missile launcher's gone, and the crucial B copter's had 4HP chipped off of it . But at least it's alive, and we've been putting out and taking enough damage that I get an early Max Force. Incidentally, another good reason to attack that 3HP fighter with the AA instead of a bomber is that if we'd attacked the bomber, Kanbei would have already had his first Morale Boost.

Downing the full health fighter and a B copter gives our own B copter a chance to head out into the open. Meanwhile, another sacrificial B copter is employed to keep that 3HP fighter at bay.

We could only delay Morale Boost one turn though...

Did I mention that Kanbei has rockets on his "base" island? Yep. Not sure if he built them or if they're pre-deployed, but they're certainly a nasty complement to that bomber force.

Speaking of bomber forces, we're still struggling to stay alive right now.

But we do have an opening - rushing in the fighter for vision, we can get our first hit in on that critical infantry unit. We can even hit it before it finished off the penultimate city (though saying that, Sockerbagarn recommended to me that I should have gone in a little later, when the inf was on the final city and protecting my B copter from attack by tank or AA. But hey, at least I've bought plenty of time).

Back at base, my AA fells the second B copter, and Kanbei only has one 3HP fighter remaining from his initial air superiority force. However, those of you keeping track of events better than me will note that the place where I left the AA isn't exactly ideal...

At least I didn't leave the AA blocking up my airport.

The chip damage war in the north continues, as tank attacks B copter, B copter attacks infantry, and AA destroys fighter. And for once one of my T copters makes it off the helipad.

Over the next couple of turns, I start to get derpier and derpier, running into two traps in as many turns. Still, it's Day 7 by now - on most of my attempts at this, it'd be game over by now.

Kanbei adding some insult to injury by trying to take one of my home island cities.

GET ORF MOI LAND (and yes, I did try to join two 3HP infantry inside a T Copter. I wish I knew why. At least I joined one of them with something else.

Another trap, though at least this time I probably couldn't have seen it coming: Kanbei's dropped a mech onto this island.

Deploying a B copter to take care of that mech. That infantry up there's a bit of desperation play, since Kanbei should have the resources to finish it off before it can do anything useful...

... operative word being "should". Okay, I get the AA wanting to attack the T Copter over the infantry. But what on earth is that tank doing?

So far this AC run really has consisted of me doing stupid things and the AI doing even stupider things, hasn't it?

A day later, and Kanbei still doesn't know/care about my infantry chilling right next to his tank . His 3HP fighter still continues to charge around like the Duracell/Energizer Bunny, though (thanks, Wikipedia, it's good to know that I'm not going crazy. Well, not going crazy in regards to battery-powered bunnies at least).

After another turn, Kanbei decides to try and stage another invasion.

No dice, even if it does put this B copter in harm's way (speaking of harm's way, I really should have attacked with the B copter before the infantry. Oh well). I also build an APC to distract those bombers away from my attempt to capture the airport island.

Well, that distraction worked perfectly (). I should try it again!

... ah. For whatever reason, the bombers didn't take the bait this time, preferring to assault the capturing infantry over the APC. Normally that only happens with HQ captures. Maybe because it's a property capture map, the AI has an extra little bit of code that lets it prioritise infantry capturing everything? Would make sense, I guess.

This does give me the opportunity to deploy an AA and use the APC as bait, though...

Add some Max Force into the mix...

... and we get a very cathartic one-shot in on this bomber.

B copter continues to police the aiport island, and all is (relatively speaking) well.

Even Morale Boost can't dent our, er, morale too much much.

Rolling along. Destroyed the T copter first because that 2HP mech can wait, and I am fed up with Kanbei's T copters by now.

Keeps going and going and going and...

... oh. Never mind.

Building a bomber for the final assault on the north central island.

And after a few turns of setup...

... it's action time. More catharsis, this time in the opposite direction.

Amazingly, that tank is still staying put. Seems a shame to destroy it...

... but, sadly, it's standing in the way of progress.

And that's it! We're done.

Sonja isn't very happy that we took 25 days, though. Sorry about missing out on the Sonja levels guys, but all I really have to say on the subject is:

What's an airport, again?

What's an airport, again?

What's an airport, again?

What's an airport, again?

What's an airport, again?

What's an airport, again?