The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by Paul.Power, Sockerbagarn

Part 93: Let's Commentate Advance Wars by Web! - Part 2

Let's Commentate Advance Wars By Web (or "My dreeeeeams of CON-QUEST!") - Part 2

darealkooky posted:

this is really cool, let me take you behind the scenes

- I moved the recon back because I was a big coward, and was used to awds where jess infantry would blow up my recon because they can actually do damage. I didn't really feel like hitting an infantry for decent damage (but not enough to majorly delay the base capture) and then losing almost 4k worth of units was worth it and waited until I couldn't get swarmed by three infantry at once. I wish I was sun tzu enough to think of the metagame excuse you came up with.

- My pro APC tactic is an official Advanced Technique in AWBW that they've refused to patch for years and years.

Roonerspism posted:

You basically brought up all of the interesting things about my first dozen turns, but to further explain what I've done:
I guess the mechs were an over-reaction to a) The recon and b) The gosh-darned snow. While I was considering a recon rush instead, the snow meant I had to play catch-up before considering anything agressive, I think. Those mechs ended up never firing their bazookas, too, so I just overpaid for infantry. How annoying.

I was kind of questioning Kenny's purchase of a T-copter (over another APC, on such a flat map, or just more infantry) and a rocket truck (over... anything, really) but they both ended up biting me in the ass on the eastern front so what do I know.

Finally: I'm sure Kooky understood that I was willing to surround that recon. Sure, it's still worth it to delay my capture. But my infantry know that their role is sometimes to peck vehicles to death in exchange for their worthless, worthless lives.

I hope you look forward to my infantry continuing to meat-shield important things and rush in to die gloriously for their 1000 funds worth of damage!

Fair enough, thanks for the insights .

Here's where we left off, at the start of Day 13. As before, Slur is Teal Galaxy (playing Hawke), Roonespism is Amber Blaze (playing Jess), KennyMan666 is Pink Cosmos (playing Sami) and darealkooky is Cobalt Ice (playing Lash).

Slur sends in the B copters in a bid to consolidate taking KennyMan's river city, and makes a pretty big mistake: when I chatted to him about it, seems that the movement overlay had confused him a bit. Either way, that B copter attacked from a position where Kenny's AA can hit back at it. Slur could instead have attacked the mech from the tile labelled with an "!": the mountain would have blocked the AA out. It's a pretty simple mistake, but something like this could well mess up Slur's whole assault on Kenny.

Slur fares a bit better against kooky here, delaying the capture of his two western bridge cities and dinging that AA sitting on one of the central cities.

Roonespism keeps up the assault on kooky's lines, and again this is one of those turns where I feel like there's so much going on I need to split this into before and after shots. First, some softening up as infantry gun down the 2HP artillery, we have another infantry battle, and the B copter falls to an AA.

Following up from that, we've got more breaking down of the infantry wall, as well as action on the cities to the east and north. The rain, by the way, began at the start of KennyMan's turn - Roone wasn't hit by this rain.

Kenny takes advantage of Roonespism's dwindling resources at the eastern bridge chokepoint, finishing off three half-finished infantry and coptering more infantry in with the goal of taking Roonespism's only city on those bridges.

Kenny also graciously accepts Slur's offer of a B copter, builds a second AA, and sets up a neat little meatshield to ensure that Slur can't nip his AAs in the bud. If it wasn't for the rain, Slur could strike that newly built AA from round the other side of the mountain... but the rain makes driving through woods tough work for tanks.

Kooky gets off a couple of easy shots against Roonespism, but his front there is crumbling - the tank moving back onto the base being both a retreat from Roone, a way to protect it from blocking by Roone's northern tank, and a way to get it away from Slur's AA. Speaking of Slur, kooky does look set to take those cities off of him - so that's definitely something.

End of Day 13/Start of Day 14 and we're seeing KennyMan build up an increasingly solid looking position against Roonespism, while Roonespism builds up an equally solid one on kooky. Slur's faltered a bit with that B copter error, and may need to change his approach. Power bar wise, we have our first full power bar - Overdrive is ready to roll whenever Roonespism needs it. Slur also has Black Wave charged - at least that B copter's martyrdom achieved something. KennyMan definitely looks like he's playing for a Victory March on Roonespism's HQ, but still has a couple of power bar stars left to go.

Slur pulls out of his assault on KennyMan - fair enough, losing that B copter was a big blow, and his tank and remaining B copter can't gain much from pounding on that infantry/mech wall. I've been told that the bizarre business with those two tanks back at base was a couple of misclicks on AWBW's somewhat... unforgiving interface. It does look like Slur's going to lose those two cities to kooky - he can't damage them faster than kooky can join new units on to them. Tough times for Teal Galaxy.

Again, in a mirror image of Roonespism's last turn, although it's clear in this shot, it was raining for him. He continues to push kooky, although it's a smaller push than previous turns - granted, kooky has fewer units to hit, but Roone seems to be running out of vehicles here. Back at base, he's gearing up to block out KennyMan's invasion force - as well as sending a tank with a plan to flank that rocket launcher.

KennyMan pushes up into the ground that Roonespism vacated - although he only launches one attack this turn. Those rockets are now a serious threat to Roonespism, being able to hit a good chunk of his front lines. That 7HP mech is also cannily placed, forming a rearguard that stops Roonespism hitting the rocket launcher from behind - even with an Overdriven tank.

Kooky pulls back from the conflict with Roonespism, and sets up what's actually a pretty good scramble defence. With Roonespism down to two vehicles on this front, there's no real way he can push further into kooky without suffering heavy losses - those two B copters, in particular, are nicely hidden from AA fire and well placed to take out Roone's tank if it advances further. Even Overdrive probably couldn't save this one for Roone. Kooky also finally takes those two cities from Slur, after much joining.

End of Day 14/Start of Day 15. It definitely looks like KennyMan has the upper hand on Roonespism, though Roone looks to be building a decent defence around his HQ in preparation for dealing with Victory March. Roone might just have gone as far as he can go against kooky, especially with a need to scramble back and protect that HQ. Supply lines really are an issue on this map, it'll take something special to force victory here.

Kooky is triumphant in taking those cities from Slur, and now has the most funds, but he may need to be wary of a counterattack - Slur has quite a decent force built up. Before it was directed almost exclusively at KennyMan, but now that Slur's pulled out of that fight (speaking of which, that's an imposing mech wall Kenny's got there), he'll be looking to redirect his forces at someone else. If he can master the AWBW interface and get his tanks going to the right places, at least.

Power bar watch: no Overdrive from Roonespism yet. Darealkooky is getting close to being able to use Prime Tactics. KennyMan's still got a way to go to get Victory March, though, and Black Storm is a long way in the future for Slur.

Slur starts gearing for an assault on kooky's lines - not so much happens this turn, but he's got three tanks, two B copters and an AA to throw against him, plus the usual infantry horde. One B copter stays behind to guard the river properties from Kenny - after all, where it is, it can't be hit by AA.

Roonespism pulls back from attacking kooky - pretty much the sensible thing to do here. He also builds a B copter - looks like the plan here is to use it to flank Kenny's rocket launcher, since his tank is being prevented from flanking by that mech. It seems like a pretty good plan, as long as it doesn't snow or something.

Heads up, here comes another complicated before-and-after turn. First we've got Kenny's rockets destroying one of Roonespism's frontline infantry, before he sends his 3HP infantry on a suicide mission to hit the other frontliner for chip damage.

More attacking and joining has left a dent in Roone's frontline - although saying that, it's also made Kenny's infantry look a fair bit more vulnerable, too. Especially with Roonespism's new B copter still in a position to flank that rocket launcher. Kenny does have some mechs coming to shore things up, but are we going to hit supply line problems again?

Kooky makes good use of Lash's terrain attack bonus to deal with Slur's first wave of attacks. We also see more AWBW "it's not a bug, it's a feature!" APC shenanigans in the north.

End of Day 15/Start of Day 16. KennyMan's assault on Roonespism is starting to weaken - looks like he's gambling it all on finding a way through to Roone's HQ with Victory March. Roone's assault on kooky may have stalled, but he does have control in the centre - which is helping to keep his funds on an even keel, despite Kenny's pressing. Slur's first wave of attacks against kooky got repelled, but he still has tanks in the bank. We're still waiting on the first COP or SCOP, although Overdrive and Prime Tactics are both now charged.

Oh boy, snow. That's pretty much the last thing Roonespism needed (again, note that the snow began at the start of Roonespism's turn: Slur doesn't have to deal with it here). Aside from that, let's talk about what Slur does here: his tanks mess up kooky's front line, allowing him to slip an AA through and take down one of kooky's B copters. While kooky did well in grabbing those cities, he dosen't have much backup left in that direction (since most of it was focused on Roonespism) - Slur can grab a chance here to gain a lot of ground.

Roonespism doesn't let the snow get to him too much, though, as he activates Overdrive. Jess's Overdrive SCOP gives her vehicles an attack boost and +2 movement, as well as refuelling and rearming all units. Without it, Roone's tanks wouldn't have been able to push through the snow to reach Kenny's AA, or kooky's capturing infantry. Shame about the B copter, but it might get another chance to do something about that rocket next turn. It depends on whether Kenny decides to keep shooting, or pull the rockets back out of harm's way. And to be honest, Kenny should probably have done that last turn - if it wasn't for the snow, those rockets would already be crippled.

Kenny keeps pushing though. And this is pretty interesting because until now, most of the big attacks have ended with the attacker pulling out when things got too hot to handle. Kenny is still counting on Victory March, though - one battered mech in the right place at the right time could still give him victory over Roonespism. But we could just as easily see a pretty big capitulation if Roone counterattacks. And with those rockets still open to B copter fire, that if's looking more like a when.

Kooky retreats and consolidates, perhaps hoping that his current funds advantage will let him build a decent defence against Slur. He does need to watch out, though: if Slur grabs those western bridge properties uncontested, kooky will have very little funding left. Speaking of funds, kooky splurges a cool 20,000G on a fighter. Kinda makes sense: with Slur's fondness for B copters, it makes a good counter. But that's a lot of funds tied up in one unit.

End of Day 16/Start of Day 17. With darealkooky retreating to his corner, the shape of the battle is twisting again. KennyMan's position against Roonespism is starting to look fragile, and Roone has the biggest stake in the centre. Slur's tactic of putting pressure on to kooky has caused him to get a large amount of open land, which he can now begin recapturing. Slur and Roonespism may have the fewest properties right now, but it feels like they're on the up.

Slur can't do much attacking this turn (other than the one infantry of kooky's that got left behind), and the snow (yep, still snowing, despite the screenshot - as before, the snow ended at the start of Roone's turn) slows his advance, but it gives him some time for a bit of reorganising.

Roonespism gets his man (or at least, his rocket launcher), B copter and damaged tank working together to reduce it to 1HP. West of the bridges, he begins running into Kenny's mech wall - originally designed to keep Slur out, but now looking more like a column of reinforcements to help keep Roonespism out. Roone also continues to make his play for the centre, starting to capture Slur's city there - will Slur intervene?

KennyMan's column of mechs and AA hits into Roonespism's advancing forces pretty hard - or at least, it hits the first wave of infantry pretty hard. Roonespism's got some vehicles to spare. We also see a few more attacks on the eastern bridges, still trying to keep Victory March an option. Kenny does have control of all four eastern bridge cities now. But that may be a hollow victory.

End of Day 17/Start of Day 18, and kooky is pretty much in full-on turtle mode now. I mean it's not the worst idea - we've seen in this battle how pushes can be stopped by stretched supply lines. But by letting Slur take those western bridge cities off him without a fight, he's seriously going to hamper his future income. Meanwhile, Kenny and Roone's battle sprawls across the eastern half of the map. Kenny has the position, but Roone has the momentum. Kenny does have Victory March ready, but no real opportunity to use it right now.

No attacks for Slur as he continues to move into the ground vacated by kooky - that's the first of kooky's four bridge cities down.

What is it about Roonespism and complicated turns where I need before-and-after screenshots? This one's still pretty complicated even with those. So first let's get the easy bits out of the way: 3HP tank finishes off rocket launcher, B copter takes out the T copter behind it. We've also got a 1HP infantry unit retreating so it can let the tank it.

The north-eastern bridges are a big ol' mess as Roonespism uses the power of numbers to grind down KennyMan's mechs up there (5 infantry vs. 2 mechs. Kenny's chances of Victory Marching Roone's HQ just dropped to approximately zero, if they weren't pretty slim already. Back in the centre, tanks and infantry start taking the edge off of KennyMan's column of reinforcements. Roonespism also finishes capturing Slur's city in the middle, as well as cheekily delaying Slur's capture of the last neutral city on the map.

I think it's fair to say that this is the moment where Kenny loses it. The rocket launcher getting 'coptered could be recovered from with some defensive play, but this is just kinda silly. With Victory March charged but nothing to use it on, he brings out a new plan: massed T copters. It seems like a bit of desperation ploy to find something, anything to capture. Trouble is, mechs in T copters are mechs that can't resist Roone's assault. The less opposition Roone faces, the more likely he'll be able to sweep Kenny up before he runs out of steam.

End of Day 18/Start of Day 19. Another turn of quiet turtling for kooky. Roonespism's CO meter is also building up again pretty quickly: Jess has the shortest bar of the four COs in this battle, and it's starting to show.

Slur continues to consolidate his forces. Fair enough: attacking darealkooky right now would be heading into a meat grinder. But if kooky's just going to sit there, Slur gets the option to capture all the western bridge cities, gain a funds advantage, and maybe time his assault on kooky with Black Storm. Slur's only real problem here is that if he takes too long about this, Roonespism may become unstoppable.

Speaking of which... you know what, I think I'm going to stop drawing arrows for every attack Roonespism does at this point. He did twelve attacks this turn. I illustrated ten of them in one screenshot. Good enough.

KennyMan continues to prepare for what the players are calling Operation Tour the Battlefield. I was a maybe bit harsh on KennyMan last turn for this. At least it's funny. And there's a certain sportingness in his refusal to give up on his Victory March ideals.

End of Day 19/Start of Day 20. Kooky continues to turtle, and it's starting to show on his property count. Will Slur go in to attack this time?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: so he starts out by attacking the unguarded artillery piece with his B copter from across the water, which takes out some of kooky's counterattacking punch (does leave him open to that fighter, though). Two infantry take out kooky's lead infantry unit on the eastern side of the water, while tanks and AA plough into kooky's infantry on the western side. Slur also finds time to punish Roonespism for halting his capture of the western central city.

It's all a bit risky, but risks are necessary with Roonespism in such a strong position. And Black Storm won't charge itself.

Roonespism's arrows are blotting out the sun as his assault on KennyMan reaches critical mass. The eastern bridges are all but taken, with only one 3HP infantry left for Kenny up there, and even his T copter squadron is coming under fire before it can begin its round-the-battlefield tour.

And so Kenny's exodus begins. Slur is his first target.

Darealkooky attacks for the first time since... yeah, since Day 16. He had three whole turns without attacks. He's making up for it now though, as Slur has presented him with a lot of targets. So many that we've got another before-and-after split. Artillery fire softens up the AA and tank on the western flank - and, thanks to Lash's terrain bonuses, kooky's infantry can chip them to death afterwards. Fighter destroys B copter, and kooky's infantry work together on the eastern flank to take out one of Slur's.

More infantry chip damage takes down Slur's damaged tank, before kooky's own B copter and tank swoop in and take out a healthy one. The infantry continue to push forward, and we've also got a little spat with Roonespism over the northern river cities too.

End of Day 20/Start of Day 21, and that was a pretty good counterattack from kooky. He's got two problems though, as indicated by the scoreboard: firstly, Slur now has the upper hand in terms of properties (and this'll become even more extreme once he takes the fourth of those bridge cities) - he can afford to take a few more losses, as it's easier for him to rebuild from them. Secondly, look what's charged and ready to roll next turn: Black Storm. 2HP damage isn't the end of the world, but it'll make it a lot easier for Slur to bust through meatshields.

Of course, Black Storm will be hitting Roonespism and Kenny as well - it'll probably hit Roonespism a little harder, I guess? Since he has more units and all. It'll also slow down Roone's capture of Kenny's eastern bridge cities, which also works in Slur's favour. Still, I don't think Roonespism will mind too much - he's definitely got the upper hand on KennyMan. And unlike kooky, Kenny isn't focusing on putting together a strong defence.

And here comes Black Storm. +2HP to Hawke's troops (leaving them with a maximum of 10HP, natch), -2HP to all enemy troops (with a minium of 1HP). With its extra damage, Slur punches through on the eastern flank and hits one of kooky's artillery, while also getting a shot in on a tank in the east.

And yeah, Black Storm's done a number on everybody (also note that Slur took out one of Kenny's T copter Tour with a B copter). Mostly that number is the number 8. It's like the Stanley Parable demo in here. Still, let's see how Roonespism and KennyMan respond to this.

Mostly, Roonespism carries on his merry way, strolling through the gaps in Kenny's front line and slicing up his infantry. He's also managed to block up one of Kenny's bases in the process, generally a death knell in any situation.

I imagine that round about this point (if not earlier), KennyMan yelled "My dreeeeeams of CON-QUEST!" at his monitor (What? No not the mind, probe. I have a sneaking feeling that I referenced this in one of the NC Final Battles, but hey, it bears repeating). He was so close, yet so far... and now he's got Roonespism on his doorstep. And no-one else wants his gracious gift of T copters either. That an a couple of kamikaze attacks pretty much sum up his turn, as he pulls back to defend the HQ.

Heads up, it's time for Prime Tactics. That's a doubling of all the terrain defence stars Lash's units sit on - giving her ridiculous defence and, thanks to her day-to-day, attack. She also gets lowered movement costs over terrain thrown in, too. Saying that... I'm not sure it's helped kooky out much here. It still takes a fair few attacks for kooky to subdue Slur's tanks. The damage Black Storm has kind of taken the edge off of it here. Still, you can argue that, without Prime Tactics, kooky might not have been able to clear out the tanks. And the defence should help on Slur's turn.

We won't be seeing that for a little bit though, as with Day 22 dawning, it feels like time for another break. How will the endgame play out? Will Roonespism sweep all before him? Can Slur finish kooky off quickly enough to counter him? Can darealkooky use Roonespism's eventual invasion of the west half of the map as a get-out-of-jail card? And will KennyMan666's transports ever find the promised land? Tune in for the third and probably final part!