Silent Storm — Mission 4: Everything is Made of Explodium

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There’s some unpleasant business we need to tend to before the next mission: finding a replacement for Elf.

I know I originally said scouts were useless, and our first one may not have lasted long, but I’m beginning to think they may have potential. I’m convinced that melee is infeasible, but maybe a longer-ranged scout? Scout-sniper? Or give the scout a medkit and have him run around medic-ing from the shadows? I’m not sure, but I think we can still make it work.

Anyway, as far as scouts go, there are a few options. The one we end up picking (arbitrarily) is Mr. 2nd Lt. Kwon Sook.

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His file says he’s a go-getter and cold-blooded killer. Cool. He’ll fit right in. Also apparently willing to take charge if needed, which is great because our actual leader is a doofus.

ss_portrait_sookIt is an honor to be chosen for this mission.

ss_portrait_viperIt really ain’t.

ss_portrait_dougWelcome to the asylum, Lieutenant…

Sook here needs to be outfitted for the mission, which includes inheriting Elf’s pistol — sadly still in brand new, sealed-in-box condition.

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He ditches that starting revolver, though he does hold onto all the throwing weapons and the knife for now, even if he’ll never use them. (I should have given him some medical supplies here but didn’t think of it. It comes back to bite me later.)

Anyway, remember Warehouse #51? If you don’t (and I don’t blame you), apparently Newhouse was forwarding the Germans all sorts of information about it. I guess there are supposedly some fancy future weapons of some kind stored there, and the Germans are likely to be wanting those.

Could be bad news for them, so let’s make sure everything’s okay there, yeah?

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I doubt it’ll be under attack the moment we show up. I mean, how contrived would that be?

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Yep! Looks great. Everyone’s doing just fine; the base is quiet and the guards are watchful. Nothing to see here!

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Ohmygosh! A German attack?!

…okay, yeah. So the intense combat music playing the moment we entered the area kind of gave away the surprise.

Before we can do anything, a cutscene shows this sniper taking out the guard in the watchtower. Bogey announces that the warehouse is under attack and that we’ve arrived just in time. A quick look over the map and we can see just how under attack we’re talkin’.

Here’s an overview of the base, which I’ve marked up very professionally to clarify what’s going on.

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The whole complex consists of just two warehouses (the big buildings at the bottom), what looks like an administration building on the opposite side of the road, and a train parked at the northwest end. All of it is encompassed by a big wall topped with barbed wire. The blue arrow in the bottom right corner is pointing at the front door; the road runs through a large gate there, down the middle of the base, and splits at the back, with both ends of the fork ending at a wall. The second arrow is pointing toward another gate where the railroad runs out of the base.

Six Axis soldiers are highlighted in red up at the top, and there are at least three more in the circle on the right side. But we’ve got backup this time; not only that, but since the enemy soldiers are already showing up on the map, I guess we must share vision with friendly soldiers. Each of the green marks is one of our buddies — ten in total. Ten plus the six members of our very own Team Bogey (not pictured), who are just a ways down the road, outside the wall. That’s sixteen versus nine, and if I’m any good at math, that means we’ve got them outnumbered.

ss_portrait_sookCaptain Yeromeyev — if I may? I believe it might be wise for you to approach the main gate with half of the squad while I lead the other half around to the back entrance. You can direct an attack from the front as I will sweep in with our close-range weapons and drive the enemies further into your barrage. What do you think?

ss_portrait_bogeyI, uh… Yes. What he said.

ss_portrait_viperI like this new guy. Can he be in charge?

ss_portrait_bogeyNo.

We split into two groups. Sook takes off around the southern edge of the base, toward the back door. Doug follows, with Nessie covering the rear.

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While they’re trying to flank the enemy, Jerzey leads the offensive through the main gate, where we back up our boys who’ve already engaged the Germans.

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That’s Jerzey at the front with two Allied soldiers admiring his awesome combat prowess from behind. Bogey and Viper snipe from the back.

The resulting firefight is pretty nuts. I’ve never seen this many AI-controlled soldiers facing off before, and every round takes minutes just for the German attackers and the Allied defenders to lob their bullets back and forth.

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To add to the chaos, every few bursts from the invaders sends a stray bullet flying through the wooden door of the warehouse, blowing up one of the extremely flammable barrels we’re apparently housing there.

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It’s basically the Fourth of July in this joint.

The Germans don’t seem to be any match for us. With our combined forces, we’ve almost completely eliminated the eastern squad, though there’s proven to be more of them than expected, and occasionally another appears out of nowhere.

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If you can’t tell, that’s four down and two left standing. On the flipside, not a single Allied soldier has been killed… except for the one in the cutscene, obviously.

While all this is going on, Sook has made it around to the other entrance, with Doug and Nessie not far behind.

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As soon as he opens it, he finds one of our soldiers in mortal danger.

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The moment he spots the Three Stooges over here, the soldier takes cover behind that radio tower thing. I’m guessing AI allies must share our vision just like we share theirs — and be smart enough to act on it. Neat.

Still, that’s not going to save him. Time for some drastic measures.

ss_portrait_nessieFire in the hole!

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Multi-kill.

Nessie, sometimes I feel like you could complete all of these missions single-handedly. That’s three Nazis out of commission with just one grenade, and the friendly soldier only got hit for twenty damage.

Unfortunately, as well as Nessie’s doing, and as well as we’re doing on the eastern front, the friendly AIs are beginning to lose ground against the German squad coming from the northwest. Viper heads over to help.

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He makes his approach from behind this truck. Of course, the very next attack from the Germans wipes out the soldiers he was on his way to support — and blows up the truck.

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Okay — for future reference: do not hide behind vehicles. All vehicles in Silent Storm are made by whoever builds Bond villain cars.

The explosion drops Viper into single digit HP — inches from death — so we’ve got to pull him out for healing. So much for lending a hand. Sook and his boys’ll have to handle that side of the base by themselves for now.

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They do pretty well, actually. That one soldier we were trying to save gets wrecked, and there’s a close call with Nessie at one point, but he and Doug move up along the back side of the train and take out three more enemies in the narrows there while Sook watches their backs from in stealth. Afterward, they could really use some healing… but I forgot to give Sook any healing gear. Wonderful.

The three we down are only the stragglers, though. The rest of the guys from the west have already moved southeast, toward Bogey’s group — bringing a rocket launcher along.

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Viper and Bogey have set up further back to snipe them, and Jerzey leads his new-found bros against them from the other corner of the admin building.

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…all of whom are dead in a few turns, partly because the AI soldiers have no self-preservation instinct, and partly because this guy shows up out of thin air:

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Cutscene Man!

This is the guy who sniped the first guard from the window. He’s also our primary objective. Capture the leader of the attack.

At this point all our allies are dead. In the last few turns they’ve pretty much thrown themselves suicidally into direct rocket fire — which, as dumb a tactic as it was, managed to rid us of most of the remaining German soldiers. The battlefield is a charred, smoking mess, but the launcher is finally out of the picture. Only one soldier is left of those four. Here on the east side of the admin building is the last real threat: the German commander has breached the wall with three more soldiers alongside him.

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Jerzey wisely backs in through this window so he can blast them as they come.

Everyone else is converging on this last group. Nessie and Sook handle the loner on their way.

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We keep getting pelted by the commander and his merry band of snipers. Not a single one of our guys is undamaged now. Nessie has a bleed condition, which means he’s losing HP every turn. Jerzey has double bleeds, and the commander ends up coming directly at him — miraculously dodging a burst from his MG.

For the first time in a lifetime of badassery… Jerzey has to run.

He retreats through the building and into the entryway. Sook sprints in behind him. The two of them turn to face Mr. Cutscene Man Sniper Leader, who spends his turn running after Jerzey and doesn’t have enough action points to actually shoot at him until the next one.

Now who’s doing the ambushing, chump?

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While the rest of the squad mops up the one or two leaderless enemies — we now have to address the much bigger concern: Jerzey is about to bleed to death.

I thought we had plenty of time, but once we get Bogey into the building to work his magic, Jerzey’s down to just a small chip of his healthbar. It takes three rounds of healing before Bogey can even begin to fix any of Jerzey’s wounds: three rounds of him continuing to bleed out 12 HP per turn.

With Jerzey at less than ten HP, Bogey finally wins out, removing one bleed condition and healing just a sliver of health. But it’s enough; Jerzey’s out of the woods.

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It starts to pour as we look over the scorched earth for loot.

We managed to save literally no one at the warehouse, and judging by the number of explosions, the attack was a success. They may not have found whatever fancy technology they were looking for, but they probably did destroy it.

And what did we get from the captured commander? Was it worth it?

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More bad news: a German intelligence base inside our borders. How the heck are so many Nazis getting into the country?

On to the next episode!
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