Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Weekend Game and Why Hachi is Utterly Irredeemable

As you may or may not know, I have a brother named Dylan who also plays Advance Wars. While I have admitted to playing by myself now and then, some people have taken this to mean that I always play by myself. Folks, out of the last couple hundred sessions I've played, maybe 10 to 20 were me playing myself because I was bored or wanted to check something quickly. When you see my PvP Youtube videos, though, Dylan is the one controlling the other team. We have to do it that way because, as I'm sure GipFace knows fully well, that's the only way to PvP on a ROM! I mention this because, as I describe the following game, I don't want accusations flying around that I played this session by myself.

Dylan came over this past weekend, and we played a game of Grit vs Hachi with my standard Force Rank build for Grit. We played on The Coast, Dylan as red Grit and me as blue Hachi.

The game started with Grit taking an early lead due to the three money skills; remember, you're a mini-Colin with those. Grit was using his early advantage in purchases to shuttle over Infantry from his HQ while he pumped out Arties and AAs closer to the front. All Hachi was producing were Recons up front while Infantry got shuttled up from the back, though not in quite the same copious amounts. Grit pulled ahead with a unit count advantage while Hachi kept afloat with superior funding; though he didn't use that funding except when Merchant Union fired off.

Grit was killing Hachi day-to-day with these Force Ranks (remember, I'm playing bland), and with the Soul of Hachi Force Grit could easily keep up with Hachi in the production department. It became a question of whether Hachi's bartering skills could pull ahead of Grit's sniping while also compensating for the d2d disadvantage. That question was very much in doubt for awhile; Hachi held both center bases for awhile, but on the second SCOP Grit overwhelmed the northen front with sheer force of persistence. (It is amazing what 8 Arties can do on Super Snipe.) After that a stalemate erupted, in which Hachi banked like crazy to pump out two B-Bombs on every SCOP while still having enough for a bunch of Tanks. Grit was making the occasional B-Bomb and Bomber, but otherwise was concentrating on AAs to kill Copters and Arties to kill ground units. The southern front broke and the northern front was stabilized by the B-Bombs. Dylan avoided a mistake I consistently make, though, and decided to consolidate all his units in the south, since in mountains like that it's harder to get past a single 10HP unit than two 5HP ones. This gave him enough time to devise a new problem for Hachi: on the next Super Snipe he started dumping Mechs into the cities west and north of those mountains, which really bogged things down until after the next Merchant Union. The northern front finally broke by simple necessity as Grit had to divert resources to defending the home front, but once that southern expansion was captured we decided to call it good.


So you might be wondering why this post is titled the way it is. It's because there are portions of the match missing from the above paragraph. This was a game to test new tactics, and there were portions of the match where I, as Hachi, shut down the game with a stalemate while I cycled through every possible tactic I could think to try with Merchant Union. When the northern front fell, it was only because my attempt at a Md Tank rush failed spectacularly; you'd think after years of spouting the Gospel of Grit I'd have remembered that was something the Grit Wall was intended to counter in the first place, especially when assisted by Soul of Hachi. カ_カ Yet in spite of this massive, I mean 5-properties-lost massive setback, falling behind in both income and unit count, I was still able to pull this B-Bomb gambit out of my ass and win the game.

And that is why I say Hachi is not just broken, but irredeemable. For pretty much any other CO you can come up with a "no tiers" scenario without getting any more extreme than eliminating cities for Sensei. The only way to apply the same to Hachi is if you either give the other guy every neutral property on the map, or play a pre-deployed map with no cities. If Colin is the Advance Wars Zerg, Hachi is the Advance Wars Tyranids: sheer force of "fuck you" will hold an opponent at bay until he can produce something to counter them in epic fashion.

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