The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by Alkydere

Part 12: CO Rundown

CO Rundown

All right, here's a quick supplemental update to show off what we have in the war-room and because I'm honestly tired of dancing about old COs that we haven't seen. Some we'll see in the campaign, some we won't. So instead of vague references to "that guy over there" or "this guy over here", let's just get this out of the way. Most of the COs we don't have unlocked in the War Room from the start are new ones that are in the campaign anyways.

We're going to do this by taking a look in the War Room. The War Room is basically the real meat-and-potatoes of the game. You chose a map, with an enemy or enemies, you fight them, and you see how well you can do with various COs and strategies. The maps you fight on have the enemy pre-chosen and often give the AI CO some sort of advantage, like a wall of mountains for Grit (the artillery CO) to hide behind. Maps come in four categories: 2, 3 and 4 COs (though that's really a misnomer since you can tag-team) and DS where you'll fight an enemy tag-team. Also, the "harder" you make it on yourself (i.e. the less you cheat with skills and tag teaming) the bigger an experience multiplier you'll get. 2.5x for 1 CO with no skills, 2x for 1 CO with skills, 1.5x for 2 COs with no skills and a measly 1x for 2 COs with cheap ass skills equipped. The real sweet spot for general grinding is 2 COs without skills since you're effectively gaining 3x experience due to each CO gaining their own experience.

The only real complaints I have about the war-room are that there aren't any maps with toys like Black Canons for the AI to hide behind (though there's still plenty of Black Pipes) and you can't replay beaten campaign missions in it for fun. Anyways, let's look at the COs that are in the War Room, either that we can chose from or that we can fight against.

Here we can see the full CO screen which contains a slot for all 27 COs in the game. There's still a great many we have yet to unlock, though most of thsoe won't be unlockable until we at least beat the campaign. Anyways, lets start from the top and work our way down

First we have Andy, who was the all-around rookie character from AW and AW2. Like Jake, he has no real weaknesses and isn't all that bright. Actually, Jake is probably smarter than Andy, stupid dialog aside. There's really not much to say about Andy that

His powers are that he's a mechanical genius or "Ha-ha! My entire army suddenly gets to heal!" You basically get a quick-fix at 3 stars, or a really nice repair, +20% attack, +1 movement for 6 stars.

Next up we have Sami who is one of the more powerful COs in the game. You wouldn't think that from looking at a her powers (Strong foot soldiers, weaker direct fire forces) but Sami is a complete beast. Sure her tanks and planes have only 90% attack, but her Infantry and Mechs have 120% attack AND capture property at 1.5x speed (rounded down). She's actually been nerfed since AW2 where her transport units (APCs, T Copters, Transports) also had +1 movement and her foot soldiers had 130% attack.

Her powers improve her foot soldiers even more. While Double Time is nice (faster Infantry and Mech and +20% attack for them), the real killer is Victory March. Suddenly not only do her crack commandos have the range to reach your HQ this turn, they can magically capture it or any other property they can reach, in a single turn before you have a chance to react. Not bad for a 5-star ability.

It's communist Santa! In the game Olaf is the head of the Blue Moon military, currently cleaning up the mess Black Hole's invasion left Blue Moon in. He's got a gruff exterior but is a real softy underneath. He's another general CO and has the power of winter at his command.

Olaf's power is that he's apparently best buddies with Jack Frost and can cause it to snow on command. Snow makes all units not under Olaf's command burn double fuel per movement. The snow lasts for two of his turns, and gives all of his units +20% attack. Basically his powers aren't that strong until you realize they last for 2 turns. Giving him 130% attack the first turn (+10% for using a power) and 120% the second. It's just up to you if you want to call down a blizzard at 3 stars or wait for a bigger blizzard at 7.

Ah, Grit. How the mighty have fallen. Not in any mechanical sense actually, but Grit went from "laid back Redneck" to "cartoon country hillbilly". No seriously, his lines now include stuff like "I hope this gets easier. That was harder'n college!". Anyways, he's THE go-to man for indirect fire, giving them +1 range and 120% attack just for being on the field at the cost everything else (excluding infantry) having only 80% attack.

Grit's powers are kind of interesting as his SCOP doesn't actually buff his attack any more than his COP. Both give his ranged units 140% attack and +10% attack to everything else. The big difference is if you want to reach out and touch someone at 3 stars or REALLY reach out and touch someone at 6 stars.

Next up we have the Green Earth COs. With the exception of the new guy for this game the Green Earth COs form a rough "traingle", each one specializing in land, sea or air. Drake, as a "former pirate", is the naval CO, giving his boats 120% attack, but his flyer's are weak and only have 90% attack.

Drake's powers are such hilarious bullshit. The map-wide damage is nice, but the real killer is how it halves the fuel of every enemy unit. Suddenly your planes don't have the fuel to stay in the air and your boats run out of oil and start running aground. If you're fighting Drake you'll want to bring plenty of APCs and Black Boats. It doesn't hurt that the rain he summons halfs all enemy movement ranges for a turn, effectively rooting them in place.

Eagle is pretty much the opposite of Drake. His air units have 120% attack while his naval units have only 90% attack. His air units also burn 2 less units of fuel every day, meaning they can stay up for longer.

His powers are all about taking extra moves, and since his COP is so different from his SCOP it can be very worthwhile to use his COP as often as his SCOP depending on what you want to do. Being able to give your infantry a free action, and stealing enemy property in one turn, can be a truly nasty strategy. Then again, there's also the advantage of being able to attack twice with the rest of your army, three times with a Dual Strike.

HERP DERP I AM A MORON! Or herp derp I need to stop writing this stuff at 4 AM. Anyways, I miss-read Eagle's COP (seemed strange but I went with it) and thought it said it made his infantry move twice. It doesn't, it makes his non-infantry move twice. In other words, save up for his SCOP because you're really not going to be able to do much with 50% attack on an extra turn compared to saving up for a full strength extra turn.

Next we have Jess. All of her land vehicles have 120% attack, but her sea and air units all only have 90%, generally leaving those areas up to Drake and Eagle. She's pretty much a better Jake without the Plains gimmick.

Her powers are basically Jake's, gaining 1 or 2 movement for her vehicles, as well as boosting their attack to 130% or 150% depending on if you use her 3 star or 6 star ability. Her powers also negate Drake's Fuel Screw by completely resupplying her entire army.

Now we're onto the Yellow Comet COs. First up is the Great and Powerful Kanbei, Emperor of JapanYellow Comet. Kanbei is a likable, honorable, thick-headed oaf as his daughter has all the brains in the family. Of course, once doesn't exactly need brains when ALL of your units have 120% attack AND defense. Well worth the 120% price tag as Kanbei's troops basically get to carry a 2-star defensive bonus with them at all times.

Kanbei's powers are just lumping more attack and defense onto his already beefy units. 160% attack for 4 stars, and for 7 stars he not only goes around with a base of 160%/160%, but his troops will hit back at double strength after he ends his turn, giving them a basic attack power of 320%.

Sonja is the brains of the Yellow Comet royal family, and is the "Fog of War CO". Her units not only have +1 vision and doesn't let the enemy see her HP in Fog maps, but she also negates 1 star of terrain defenses. That last half is absoulely wonderful because previously she had no passive bonuses outside of Fog maps.

Her powers further increase her sight and negates more defensive bonuses, with one really nice effect tacked onto her SCOP. When Counter Break says "Counterattacks are stronger" it's not telling the whole truth. With her SCOP active, Sasha's troops ALWAYS strike first, even during the enemy turn. She's still the "Fog of War CO", but thanks to her buffs she's also the "Fuck terrain advantage CO" and is actually worth something outside of Fog maps. It doesn't hurt that she only needs 3 or 5 stars to use either of those powers.

Next up is Sensei. Sensei's been around the block a few times and it shows with him being one of the stronger COs in the game. Sensei is tired of all these young Black Hole whippersnappers ruining the lazy days of what was supposed to be his retirement. As a paratrooper specialist Sensei's infantry have 110% attack, his transports gain +1 range and his B Copters have a whopping 150% attack. The cost for that is that his naval units are a bit weaker. All that means is his tanks can still pound away full force at enemy AA trying to clean up his Copters and infantry.

Sensei gets even nastier with his Powers, especially with his short power gauge. Copter Command can be activated at only 2 stars and Airborne Assault only needs 6 total. Both powers up his Copters to 180% attack and fill the map with fresh troops, ready to be moved. The only real "balance" is that all the units have only 9 HP, meaning no spontaneous ninja-caps as it will still take three Capture actions for one of these paradropped soldiers to grab a piece of property. Unless you swap to Sami of course. Filling the map with Infantry and Mechs has a lot of advantages, especially when your APCs, Transports, Black Boats and T Copters all have +1 movement. If you don't have any use for them, you can always just start merging your 9 HP Infantry or Mechs together for 800 G. or 2.4K G. a pop.

Those are all the Allied Forces COs we can look at now. I'll save revealing the remaining Black Hole COs for the campaign. However, we can face a pair of bonus COs that we won't be able to unlock for ourselves until we beat the campaign.

First up we have Nell, Rachel's big sister and the woman at the head of the Allied Forces. I've already ranted about her abilities, which all revolve around luck and how "Luck damage" is applied. Whereas most COs can only do up to 10% luck damage (or up to a full 1 HP) tacked onto their damage. Nell can do up to 20% damage (2 HP) from her luck.

At 3 and 6 stars, Nell can increase her powers of bullshit, getting up to 60% or 100% luck damage respectively. Meaning that, regardless of what's actually fighting, she can get up to 6 or even a full 10 HP of damage tacked onto her attack. She's not overly powerful to be honest, but at the same time can be absolutely frustrating at times.

Now, while Nell has a chance to pull utter bullshit out of her pocket at random times, Hachi here makes everyone look weak. Normally you can find Hachi in Battle Maps, selling maps and other goodies to the player in return for the points you earn winning battles. Hachi normally pays only 90% for his army, but unlike Colin he gets full-strength units.

Hachi's powers absolutely break the game. There is no ifs ands or buts, if you use Hachi, you aren't being fair. His first power lets him buy EVERYTHING at 50% costs. EVERYTHING! AT HALF PRICE! Still, that's nothing compared to his SCOP, which allows him to buy ground vehicles from every single piece of property he owns! He can deploy tanks from cities, command towers, airfields, ports, AT HALF PRICE! Oh, and his powers only take 2 and 5 powers each.

Anyways, that's all we have right now. I'll show off the other Black Hole and new COs as we meet them in the campaign.