We've got a milestone on monday, so didn't get to leave work early on friday like normal. Got home about 11:30, and then turned around and left again to drop off some audiobook CDs with Kialyn for her and her boyfriend to listen to on their drive back from the east coast at the end of their trip. Went back home after that and stayed up late reading and playing Advance Wars. I am now happy to say that after an hour or so of playing the final mission over and over and over again, i have finally beaten Advance Wars! Yay!
I gave up on Sami's Debut a while ago, after attempting to get through it 50 or 199 times following the FAQ walkthough, and kept failing everytime. After that however, the FAQ worked really well for the most part. Most of the missions it worked 100% on, a few it deviated a little bit but i was able to muddle through. Then came the final mission.
Like Sami's Debut, it was against Eagle, who is th most random of all the opponents. The walkthrough itself gave up on the step by step about two-thirds of the way through, because there was no way of predicting what it wouldbe like at that point. Unfortunatly, i found it starting to get really random half of the way through. The first major attempt i made a save at an unfortunate bit, and things kept getting out of kilter on day five. I stuck with that one for about a week, trying it a couple times a day hoping it would go right, which it never did, and tehn trying to salvage the remains, which never worked out. I finally played through, lost and restarted the level. The "second" time through, i saved earlier before things had the chance to get permenatly messed up. Unfortunatly things still kept being random. I finally managed to get to a point about day seven were things were still in line, but couldn't get past there.
At that point i started doing the salvage routine again, and finally managed to get to day nine or ten with my transport copter safe and away, and two and a half fighters. According the walk through, i was supposed to have three fighters, but i decided that that was better than i'd gotten in a long time, and i'd try to get through with that, and if not, i could start over and try again. So i saved, and started the long process of feeling my way through the level. Many many times. I tried going through the middle of the map at first, but there was a missle launcher and an airport there which made things difficult. Then i tried going north, and eventually managed to get pass the island there with AA units on it, but then ran into another missle launcher in the NE. I briefly tried the south and ran into a missle launcher there, and figured that since my units were starting out in the north, i might as well stay in the north half if i was going to run into missile launchers wherever i went.
I finally settled on a diagonal path down across the corner of the north island and past the missile launcher on the middle island. It was really strange seeing a pattern developing exactly like the ones i'd seen in the FAQ, patterns that made no sense at all without knowing what was ahead under the fog of war. Why are we moving this fighter exactly 2 south and 5 east. Oh, cause that will put us right next to a missle launcher inside it's minimum firing range. It was interesting gettng a better idea of how the FAQ writer figured all this stuff out. However i'm still amazed at what he did becuase i spent about an hour just trying to move four units across a map over a four or five turn period without getting the transport blown up. He'd figured out how to coordinate the entire army to whatever tasks were necessary for each mission. He mentioned in a few casses working on particular missions for five or six days to figure out how to beat them, and i don't think he's talking about the kinds of days i've been spending on it, with come home from work and spend a half hour or an hour playing and then quit again. This guy has to ahve phenomenal pantience and either an incredible memory are have done a copious amount of note-taking.
Anyways, i was ecstatic when i finally figured out how to get my transport coptor to the island with the enemy's headquarters, and only slightly disapointed when the enemy captured my headquarters a single day before i finished captureing his. I tried it again and this time built a few sacrificial units back at my base to slow them down while doing the exact same moves. This time i made it to the island and captured his base a day before he captured mine :)
So now i have finished the Advance Wars Advance Campaign, and to boot, i did indeed manage to do all the missions in the correct manner so as to unlock the rest of the generals! Woot!
I'll probably spend a few days abusing the computer with Eagle before i try out Advance Wars 2 :)