Part 90: Advance Campaign Credits Roll and MusingsAdvance Campaign Credits Roll and Musings
You'll already find this at the end of the video in the previous post, but I thought I'd put in a few last thoughts.
So I had no idea when I first started the thread, that I'd be able to beat Advance Campaign. In fact, I had no idea I'd even be able to beat It's War! AC. But I did, and decided to make the run of AC a video/screenshot hybrid, on the basis that if I couldn't finish the job, at least it would make an interesting coda to the LP. Some coda. Normal Campaign (and that's with all the branching paths) took 223 days to finish... Advance Campaign (not counting the extra stuff to come!) took around 640 days. This is an object lesson in what happens when I lose momentum in a project and start procrastinating.
Still, let's talk about It's War! A run where Olaf reduced me to two artillery, a mech and an infantry by the end - a big, hearty "welcome to Advance Campaign!" right there. Still, victory (and an A-rank!) was secured...
... followed by a first taste of the kind of trouble my grinding playstyle could get me into in AC: the first B-rank of many. The bases made victory easy enough in the long run... but at what cost?
Trouble subduing a bomber dragged this one out, as many units gave their lives to let me land on Eagle's HQ.
I had to go the Andy route. Gotta get Max in The Final Battle, after all. This didn't look too bad at first, but it turned into a much grindier battle than I was expecting. Andy held the line well, but couldn't stop the B-rank.
The first mandatory S-rank, and as these things go it went pretty reasonably. Heck, Max could probably have powered on to overall victory if the game had let me. AC is full of these weird little lumps and dips in the difficulty curve.
A toughie - Olaf's ground forces surprised me here, and forced me to retry a few times. Fog of War missions provide some of the nastiest moments in Advance Campaign (although weirdly, two of my greatest triumphs too).
Oh goodness, Sami's Debut. 33 days, the longest mission by day count. Many failed attempts, including one that nearly took me all the way to victory. And in the end, a grinding, cautious rout took me to victory. I'm not sure why this wasn't a C-rank - I guess it was meant to take a long time.
Followed up by a mission that seemed easy - too easy. With a B-rank for an 8 day victory, this was Advance Campaign being just plain mean.
With Andy in Normal Campaign, the line held easily here. With Sami in NC, the line buckled and I had to sneak an HQ capture while Kanbei was busy running round my base. Andy in AC played out much the same as Sami in NC. At least it was an A-rank.
... which is more than can be said of this. Fog of War... . Property capture... . This one took many, many attempts, but eventually I found a way through. And then Socker asked if he could borrow the save file and promptly delivered an S-rank version... leading to his own run of the Sonja and Sami missions.
I bashed my head against the Sami version of this for a long, long time, even making an April Fools' joke about it... but eventually I gave up and took the Andy path instead. The result was a mission that was straightforward... but a serious grind. With the raw footage coming in at over 50 minutes, this was the first video that I used Avisynth to cut bits out.
The second mandatory S-rank, as everything got demolished by Drake's absurd forces except for the missile launcher and the lander carrying it. I hope Nell's happy.
A mission very similar to its Sami NC counterpart. Weird blunders and overcaution led to a B-rank that could, perhaps, have been an A.
I forgot to mention in the video, but Enigma wasn't my only non-mandatory S-rank: I got this one, too! In fact, this was the only AC mission I retried after a victory - I knew I could shave an extra day off somewhere, and I did.
And the elation of that S-rank was followed by my nadir. With Eagle's dodgy AI leaving the HQ capture plan in smoking ruins, I ground out a long rout with Andy... and got a C-rank, my only C-rank in both this LP and the AW2 one, as a reward.
But at least that C was sandwiched between two Ss. Enigma, my other non-mandatory S-rank. Even Fog of War couldn't help Sturm stand up against Max. In fact, despite Fog of War causing me tremendous problems in other missions, the fog in Battle Mystery and here couldn't stop me posting those two S-ranks.
Aaaand well, you've just seen this. No more recapping necessary.
So let's do something special. I mean, we've got this space at the end of the credits for it. Let's add some credits of our own. Thanks to Socker for adding a similarly blind (just more competent) look at the Sonja and Sami missions, and ultimately paving a road to Rivals! AC.
Thanks to everyone who provided commentary for the AC videos, and putting up with me saying "Anyway" whenever my train of thought gets interrupted.
Thanks to Alien Arcana for the neat extra analysis of the Normal Campaign missions, Lord Baxter for sparking discussion on real life counterparts for the units, Liebely for looking at Japanese versions of the COs and ultimateluigi987 for showing off the Design Maps Glitch in all its game-breaking glory.
Thanks to everyone who did some fanart for the thread, including that remarkable collection of Nightmare Drakes.
And well, thanks to everyone for posting, and voting, and so on. I couldn't cram everyone in here, but got down as far as people with seven posts or more (skipping those who'd already got a credits mention) before I ran out of room. These are roughly in "number of posts" order, but mixed up a bit so I could match up name lengths to fit as many people in as possible.
I wouldn't be able to get everyone in anyway, because the Who Posted? thing only lists the 100 most frequent posters. Still, let's cram them in too: thanks to Thadius, Kangra, Jabor, WirelessPillow, Sorites, ungulateman, i81icu812, Volatile Penguin, Kajeesus, GrabbinPeels, Anatharon, DarthXaos, Katsuma, ChaosSamusX, Delacroix, ... and that's where Who Posted (again, not recounting people already added under Fanart or whatever) ends, sorry. For the rest of you, you know who you are .
B-rank overall. Well, can't really have expected much better. In total, Advance Campaign turned up four S-ranks, five A-ranks, seven B-ranks and a C-rank. Hey, at least there were more Ss and As combined than there were Bs and Cs combined. Just.
For beating Advance Campaign, much like getting all A-ranks in Field Training, you get a shiny gold Campaign button in the menu!
So. In beating Advance Campaign, even in as mangled a way as I did, I guess I managed something that I never thought I'd do. But speaking of things I never thought I'd do... there's one last job for me to deal with here. I still don't know if I can do it, but I'll give it a shot.
At least Andy gets bases and airports in Rivals! AC, right?
What's an -
... but then again, maybe that won't help. It'll be a while before we get there - Socker still has to make his way through the rest of the Sami Green Earth portion of AC - but there's only one place left to go now...