Advance Wars

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Pacman boardgame 75x75.jpg This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.
HEY KIDS - WAR IS FUN!.

Advance Wars is a video game series for the Nintendo consoles and handhelds and the older brother of Fire Emblem. Which means it's probably cutesy, family friendly, and costs less than competitors. To a normal person, this would sound perfect - to a veteran of /tg/, this is heresy and complete opposite of things they are used to.

But despite that, it is still about war, with all its glory and all its horror. I mean... just look at it

Summary[edit]

Advance Wars is a turn-based, Panzer General-inspired strategy game that is set in an alternate modern and weeaboo universe (with western cultural influences blatant, obvious, and yet amusing stereotypes). Gameplay involves making dudes from preset bases, using those dudes to take over buildings (by stomping on them.... tad odd, I know), and using those buildings to build MORE dudes to eventually kill all the dudes in the enemy base and stomp on the base itself.

However, only footsloggers can stomp on the buildings, while everything else can kill them - in a way, it's a perfect balance. On the other hand, it's annoying, because infantry is fragile as a piece of paper, when it's out of cover. And when in cover, it's slow. And there are dozen of nuances that are surprisingly simple to learn but annoying to overcome.

Oh and there's some aircraft and navy battle stuff but they're not really important, the stomping on things, is, though.

One important factor in the battle, is the CO (Commanding Officer) which leads the army. Each of them has a set of different abilities, therefore ensuring that the games will always be unbalanced as all hell.

And then we get to the latest game in the series, Days of Ruin. Turns up the grimdark fairly far and makes fog and weather the norm rather than the exception, creating an appropriately tense atmosphere far more appreciative of reconnaissance, cleverness, and just as planned. The single-player campaign is very polarizing compared to its lighthearted predecessors. Combined with a whole slew of very careful unit modifications and additions this is the evenhanded tactics game you really want.

Factions[edit]

The designs and COs various factions are all influenced by the four most important powers in World War 2 - or, at least, by stereotypes and cutesy re-imaginings of the 4 main powers, with less genocide and war crimes.

  • Orange Star (Red Star in the Japanese version) is the USA
  • Blue Moon is the USSR (You don't know how lucky you are, boy)
  • Green Earth is Nazi Germany
  • Yellow Comet is Imperial Japan
  • Black Hole isn't based off any singular world power, but goes for a much more "alien" look, with their soldiers all being clad in space-suits and their vehicles mostly being Blocky, angular things

Also, there are aliens or something, but fuck those guys.

If you want to think in terms of Warhammer 40k, you can think along those lines:

  • Orange Star are Space Marines as they are overall most average in power and style.
  • Blue Moon is the Imperial Guard as they love their artillery and cheap unit spam.
  • Green Earth are Eldar, because they are all specialized towards a certain unit type and also tend to be dicks about everything.
  • Yellow Comet are Communist Weeaboos for obvious reasons.
  • Black Hole is Chaos, especially since in the first game they were a reskin of Orange Star, and therefore were Chaos Space Marines. They have a lot of random-effect powers and specialized crazy shit.

...You should also stop calling your cat "Xeno Scum".

Units[edit]

Your army. They all have distinct roles, and depending on which CO you select, will appear as a certain faction. They're all identical (sans color and Infantry units) on the non-battle-animation map.

Foot soldiers[edit]

Foot soldiers are very important because you need them to capture properties and get gold. Or you can just spam them to jam the heck out of chokepoints.

  • Infantry: Infantry are the weakest- and yet most important- unit in the game. They move slowly (3 tiles a turn), countered by their ability to cross mountains and rivers slowly, and free movement through woods. Their firepower is VERY low, since they only have rifles; at best an Infantry unit will finish off a 1 hp Tank. Though they are plenty effective against other infantry and mech units. Their main draw is their ability to capture shit; they'll take cities, bases, airports, and other properties for you, at a speed dictated by their health. Most of the time they will be critical to your operations. They're commonly used at high tiers for their excellent spamming capability; as meat-shields they excel.
  • Mech: Anti-tank infantry units. Moves only 2 spaces a turn, but can cross mountains and rivers without penalty, and carry a bazooka that lets them engage light armor such as tanks and recon jeeps. They're another useful unit- while their mobility leaves a lot to be desired for, they can be spammed in obscenely large numbers if one does not care about winning QUICKLY. They stand a chance against armor, though their defense is still low, meaning you generally have to attack first. Also has a slight firepower bonus with their rifles over regular Infantry, but that really doesn't matter. Surprisingly potent up through mid-game: they're realistically as powerful as a regular tank, and while they're much slower sticking them in an APC gives them the option to either ride quickly or march through difficult/impassible terrain like mountains.
  • Bikes: Added in DoR. High-speed infantry unit. Though they slow down significantly when crossing non-road terrain, bikes let you get a head start on capturing distant cities and bases before your enemy can. Though they're vulnerable to anything that kills infantry (read: pretty much anything), bikes extend your reach and income quickly, and can beat down regular infantry with slightly more powerful guns.

Direct-attack vehicles[edit]

  • Recon: It's basically a jeep with a heavy machine gun mounted; fastest moving ground unit in the game, but suffers mobility penalties on literally anything that isn't a road. Can rape infantry units (but must be cautious against mechs). Has a huge vision radius, making them critical on Fog of War maps.
  • AA Gun/Anti-Air: Low anti-armor firepower, but their 40mm autocannons can one-hit kill footsoldiers in certain terrain, and they tend to one-hit kill (or at least very severely debilitate) any air units. Defense is also good, meaning that they can slowly beat Recons to death without much problem. If the enemy is shitting waves of footsoldiers at you, this is probably your best bet.
  • Tank: A set of light tanks, your bread and butter. Can fuck up Infantry and Mechs bad with their turret MG, and can also engage light armor with a tank cannon. Since they're so cheap, they can be spammed in mass amounts as a generalist tank. Though their firepower is low against heavy armor. They have high mobility, at 6 spaces, and also don't have as severe terrain penalties as tire-using Recons, meaning they are excellent flankers and versatile attackers capable of driving through the shattered bodies of a broken frontline to tear up the exposed artillery or rockets.
  • Medium Tank: Heavyweight bruisers that will smash up most other units while taking little damage in return. If your opponent went mostly for light-medium units like bikes, tanks, and anti-airs a few medium tanks will push them around without sacrificing too much in terms of speed or flexibility. The predators to watch out for are artillery, rockets, and bombers, though enough mech infantry can whittle down a medium tank's hp. Almost worthless in AW2 and DS, because of its bigger cousins, unless you really couldn't afford more than 16000 G.
  • Neotank: Added in AW2, removed from DoR. A monster of a tank which overpowers the Medium Tank in pretty much every way, packing slightly higher attack & defense and the same movement speed as a regular Tank. Same strengths and weaknesses as other tank classes, just bigger and better.
  • Megatank/War Tank: Added in DS and somewhat modified for DoR. Superheavy seige-breakers with superior combat ability but huge drawbacks in cost, mobility, and supply. Seriously impractical in most cases, but if you see your enemy fielding a heavily armored column, just one war tank with some support can flatten a path to victory (one war tank can happily kill two medium tanks or almost a half-dozen regular tanks given decent terrain and ammunition).
  • Oozium: An extremely rare special land unit that only appears in Dual Strike. Oozium cannot be constructed, so the only way it can be used is by playing on a map that has some at the start. These are extremely resilient giant slime monsters (yes really) with the ability to instakill any unit it attacks with no risk of being damaged by a counterattack. However in addition to being irreplaceable if present at all, damage done to Oozium is permanent, and it cannot counterattack. It also has the worst mobility out of any unit in the series, able to move at most one space per turn. It can somehow attack air units, however, making ranged attacks its only major weakness. If that's not an option, throwing enough non-ranged units at it, while expensive, will eventually kill it.

Indirect attack vehicles[edit]

Indirect attack vehicles can target squares which they aren't adjacent to. They usually can't move and fire, most of them have a minimum range, and they are usually sitting ducks when attacked directly.

  • Artillery: Dirt cheap indirect attack unit with a range of 2-3 spaces. That might sound like shit, but at a blocked-up chokepoint it is the difference between spending 5 turns shooting the same 2 infantry cycling back and forth, and breaking through to your objective. Also reasonably powerful even against stronger units like Medium Tanks, giving them a good use even in the late game. To decide whether you need artillery, just look at the map: Are there choke points, mountains, or dense forests? If so, buy you some basilisks. Is the map dominated by water, aircraft, or wide-open roads and plains? If so, ... don't.
  • Rockets: Expensive, longer-range version of the Artillery. Excellent damage but serious problems moving across non-road terrain. Surprisingly useful anti-naval units: their long range and high firepower projects a lot of power out into normally impassable waters and almost every naval unit costs more than a rocket group. Perfect food for battle copters, though.
  • Missiles: Same basic stats as the rocket, but can only attack air units. Will obliterate any flier in the game from far enough away, serving as either powerful area denial or a trump card hidden in obscured terrain. Too powerful to ignore, but too immobile to use unsupported -- it has a minimum range, and every flier is faster than its maximum range.
  • Piperunners: Only appears in DS. The silliest unit in all Advance Wars, and that's saying something. It's got the same maximum range as rockets and missiles, with slightly less minimum range, it has stupidly high attack and defense, and it can attack anything other than a submerged submarine. The only downside is that, as its name implies, it can only move along pipelines. If you're playing on a map without pipes, it'll sit on top of its factory for the whole game. These units are probably at least partially based on the Train unit from Super Famicom Wars (a Japan-only predecessor to the Advance Wars series), which were bound to railroad tracks instead pipes, could be used as transport, and were faster.
  • Anti-tanks: A DoR addition. Powerful and infuriating anti-tank artillery. Unlike the self-propelled guns representing normal artillery units, anti-tanks are crew-served weapons with large blast screens. Despite being moderately expensive, anti-tanks are difficult to counter and problematic to engage: they attack at range like artillery but also have no minimum range and are capable of counterattacking direct-damage attackers like tanks or infantry. Their offense is very strong, particularly against medium or war tanks, and an anti-tank's defense is nearly unmatched, with most units dealing less than 3 HP of damage even if attacking at full health. An attack force relying mostly on tanks (as most attack forces do) will very quickly find itself ground to a halt. The best countermeasures (bombers, seaplanes, battle copters, and battleships) are costly, restricted by available airports or seaports, and are efficiently countered out themselves. Only infantry and perhaps rockets fight cost-effectively against anti-tanks, and the former present the great difficulties of employing slow units against long-ranged indirect-fire weapons.

Utility vehicles[edit]

  • APC: Unarmed, but can pack an Infantry squad inside. Can also supply fuel, gas, etc. in unlimited supply to other units, giving it a critical role as a supply unit. Used for cheeky tactics such as driving past the enemy flank and plopping an Infantry unit on their HQ. Somewhat low defense though. Days of Ruin renamed them to Rigs and gave them the ability to build temporary airports or seaports to serve as fuelling stations for planes or ships. In the first game the AI was obsessed with killing these, so you could lure their entire army away from the objective with a few serving as distractions (something that is actually required for the completing certain maps as fast as possible).
  • Flare tank: Another DoR invention. Lightweight vehicles with an anti-infantry machine gun and a long-ranged flare launcher that clears the fog of war in an area, including revealing units hidden in forests or cities. Essential to breaking the line of a clever opponent, and to almost any big action in Days of Ruin if you're playing with Fog of War on.

Sea units[edit]

Sea units go on the water, as you'd expect. A lot of maps are based around islands, meaning that you need to build them to ship your units back and forth, but they're a very secondary consideration on non-island maps.

  • Lander: Vulnerable but essential transport ships capable of carrying two units of any size at once. An attacking army needs several of these, making killing or protecting these the prime directive for both sides. For some reason you can only stick two infantry units in one, but can stick two APCs loaded with two infantry units each (for a total of four) in one.
  • Cruisers: These were an odd duck in the noblebright AW games, where they were a hard counter to submarines and flying units, but couldn't actually attack other ships. This made them very dependent on getting the first strike -- if they took a hit from a full-health bomber or sub, or a battleship took a potshot at them, they were toast. Then Days of Ruin gave them the ability to shoot other ships, and suddenly they're one of the best units in the game. Weirdly enough, cruisers have always been able to carry and refuel helicopters, giving them a niche supporting role in a combined-arms sort of battle.
  • Battleship: Naval siege engine with superb damage and the singular ability to move and fire at long range, dominantly powerful but require support. Once you have a cruiser or two this is probably your prime naval unit. Days of Ruin cranked their price even higher but gave them the ability to move and attack, thoroughly breaking some maps.
  • Submarine: Stealth-capable naval superiority unit with enough firepower to sink a lander or cripple a battlecruiser. Can "submerge," as an action, using twice as much fuel but making themselves invisible to all but adjacent enemies. And the only unit besides a cruiser capable of attacking a submerged submarine is another submerged submarine. Fighting cruisers takes crafty and evasive tactics, and usually amounts to "don't". Used carefully a submarine can recoup many times its own cost, as even one solid strike on a battleship will cost more than the sub. If you can afford the expense, a hit squad of a few submarines and a scattered few cruisers and battleships can wipe out much larger and more expensive fleets.
  • Carrier: Both DS and DoR feature aircraft carriers. They're quite different between the two games, but what they have in common are a huge price tag, monstrous power in the right hands, but relatively low defense and a dependence on other ships to protect them. In both games, planes can land on them for resupply. In DS, they pack an anti-air missile with a massively long range -- just as powerful as the Missile but much less susceptible to being flown over. In DoR, they're unarmed, but can build very nasty seaplanes to harass the enemy.
  • Black Boat: A variant on the Lander which only appeared in DS. It can only carry infantry and mechs, but it can also repair adjacent naval units for 1HP. Unarmed, but dirt cheap, and good for spamming infantry in the early game on island maps.
  • Gunboat: DoR's replacement for the Black Boat. They can carry one foot soldier and have a single salvo of transport-killing missiles. Good for infantry spam on island maps but die horribly to most other naval units.

Air units[edit]

Air units can, um, fly. Which makes them the gamechangers on most maps. Helicopters can be shot at by most ground units, whereas planes can only be targeted by specialised anti-air weaponry.

  • T Copter: Transport heli, basically a flying, terrain-ignoring APC. But it can't supply units, and can also be mercilessly raped by AA guns, balancing it. Used for even cheekier HQ-dropping tactics.
  • B Copter: An attack helicopter, good defense against ground units, mostly because only machine guns and rifles can hit it. Can batter enemies to death with its autocannon and missiles, though an AA Gun will instant-kill it. Also is helpless against fighter jets.
  • Fighter: Air superiority unit with exceptional speed and enough firepower to cripple any other flier in one salvo. Also excellent as a fast but expensive reconnaissance unit. Fighters are quite costly to build, especially in the early stages of a map. With no anti-ground capability at all it's often reasonable to only build fighters when your opponent(s) already have an air unit or two, but sometimes getting an early fighter can dissuade your foes from ever taking off in the first place.
  • Bomber: The Fighter's fat, ground-attacking cousin. Pure offense fliers that hammer most ground units with impunity, but expensive, highly vulnerable to its counters, and can't counterattack air units. When you're looking to bust up a ground army with insufficient anti-air, accept no substitutes; a bomber is capable of reducing a medium tank to an expensive pile of scrap in one run. As most ground units cannot engage a bomber at all it's a key offensive weapon on some maps.
  • Black Bomb: Only appears in DS. It's the fastest unit in the game, but it doesn't attack -- you can instead set it to explode, which deals 5 damage to anything within 2 squares of it, be it Infantry or Neotank (although it isn't allowed to kill anything, it'll just leave them on 1 health). It immediately dies (without exploding) if anything attacks it or if its very small fuel supply runs out. In spite of these restrictions, it has the potential to be very very nasty, mostly because it can only be killed by dedicated anti-air weapons.
  • Stealth: Only in DS. Capable of attacking every unit except for submerged submarines, but not as powerful as fighters or bombers, and built like tissue paper. Acts like a flying submarine -- it can become invisible to other units at the cost of burning stupidly large amounts of fuel per turn.
  • Duster: Added to DoR. Propeller-driven WW2-era fighters, extremely cheap, highly mobile and capable of modest combat duty but badly outgunned against real anti-air or especially fighters. Do not expect these to win you the war; dusters are unquestionably budget fliers. However, a duster can make a real nuisance of itself by slowing infantry advances, especially if your opponent doesn't have anti-air tanks nearby.
  • Seaplane: Another DoR addition. These are built from Carriers and can attack every unit type in the game except for submerged submarines. They don't pack as much firepower as Fighters or Bombers, but are still incredibly versatile beasts and brutally overpowering if your economy is strong enough to support more than one carrier. Their main balancing factor, aside from dependence on Carriers, is their incredibly small fuel tank and ammo reserve, so they're somewhat tethered to their mothership unless you have some friendly airports on hand.

COs[edit]

The Commanding Officer, the one who directs the troops.

Abbreviations signify which games they are playable in:

  • AW 2 = Advance Wars 2
  • DS = Dual Strike
  • No abbreviation means they are in all of them aside from Days of Ruin which is their own list altogether.

Advance Wars Mainline CO list[edit]

Orange Star[edit]

  • Andy: The middle-roader of the middle-road. No real strengths and weaknesses, with a power that repairs his dudes and gives them a minor buff. Has a personality that fits his playstyle, plain and unremarkable, but reliable and without real annoyances. He does need to be reminded what airports are though. Generally unused in multiplayer beyond one's first few matches, because any CO with a particularly good day-to-day ability or CO power will have an advantage over him.
  • Max: Every crew of heroes needs a big beefy guy. Crappy with artillery, but great in a straight up fight, with big damage buffs to all direct combat. Has exactly the personality one would expect from a big, beefy guy. Might or might not be dating Nell. In the first game he was the most broken CO in the entire list, having 150/100 attack/defense stats (including his range-challenged indirects). Nerfed to hell in AW2 (though that in practice just makes him a good high-tier CO) with 120/100 stats.
  • Sami: Infantry specialist and standard issue Hot Chick. The most finesse-oriented Orange Star CO, relying on skirmish tactics and a bonus to capturing cities to gain a property advantage in the early game, followed by a wall of rapidly-replenishing mechanized infantry and tanks in the late. Also, that CO power that lets her one-shot-capture any property in the game in one go is cheating good if she can land it on the enemy base. Likes: Drinks, guns, camo, WW II fighter-pilot jackets. Dislikes: Straight fights, shenanigans.
  • Nell: Commander-in-chief of the army, and the sexy voice constantly bitching in your ear throughout the first game. Super-lucky, all of her units have a chance to deal extra damage and take less once she's finally playable. Rachel's big sister.
  • Hachi (AW 2): Is the map merchant in the first game. When playable he's one of the strongest COs in the game, focusing on decreasing the cost of units without making them any weaker. Also, his power lets him shit out units from ANY CITY. Which means you can suddenly plant some ungodly powerful unit like a Medium Tank or Neotank down next to the enemy's base in those maps with cities along them. He is absolutely hated, and is one of those COs that you basically have already lost to.
  • Jake (DS): The Japanese version is just kinda bland, while the American version speaks entirely in hip-hopisms which get so annoying that the main villain himself flat out says he's had it up to HERE with his "hipster slang". Your choice which is worse. Protagonist of the DS games, and gets an attack bonus when fighting in the open, the only CO who benefits from a terrain bonus on flatland.
  • Rachel (DS): Nell's little sister, and the serious one. Her units repair more quickly than others, and her CO power carpet bombs the enemy before giving her whole army Nell's day-to-day power. Dual Strike's "Andy" character, with few real strengths or weaknesses.

Blue Moon[edit]

  • Olaf: Grumpy Orange Star defector, who started out as a cowardly starter villain before succumbing to the ravages of time and transforming into Santa Claus as the games progress. Specializes in winter combat and fighting in the snow, with a CO power that summons a storm (inflicting damage in later games) and units that gain bonuses and ignore penalties for ice. Rain, unfortunately, fucks up his shit even worse than usual. He is mostly regarded as a midtier CO; having the same "nothing-special" problem as Andy, though his CO power works better for fucking up mobility-oriented COs. Basically has no downside if you are smart enough to disable random weather while your buddy is in the bathroom.
  • Grit: Indirect combat specialist, and another Orange Star defector. Max's opposite, a long-range specialist whose artillery shoots further and hits harder, but whose tanks crumble more easily under direct assault. Lazy gunfighting badass, who may or may not still be schtupping Nell behind their countries' backs. One of the more broken COs due to his utterly murderous indirects, which only get longer-ranged and more powerful with his CO powers.
  • Colin (AW 2): Sickly, insecure rich kid conscripted in the face of the alien invasion in the sequel. His units kind of suck, having 90/100 stats, but their cheap price lets him crank them out fast enough to do communism proud. One of the best COs in both games he appears in, because he can simply drown the enemy in troops, and you will be suprised how many infantrymen you can squeeze out from your budget having just built 2 neotanks already. His CO power multiplies his money by 1.5 (allowing him to asspull even more units), but his Super CO Power is widely regarded as immensely broken- you just need to save up and build no units for a few turns, pop the SCOP, and all of a sudden you will see mechs one-shotting Megatanks from full health. Jesus Christ.
  • Sasha (DS): Colin's sexy, confident older sister. Her units don't gain any advantage or disadvantage from her leadership, but she gets extra money from all her properties, and her powers drain enemy CO gauges and give her more money whenever her dudes shoot stuff. One of the nastiest one-two punches in the game when she teams up with her little brother, whose main weakness is enemy CO powers massacring his troops anyway.

Green Earth[edit]

  • Eagle: Badass fighter pilot and angry German who keeps getting fooled by clones. Air units benefit from potent buffs, and his CO power lets his entire army reactivate and move again, something that has proven more and more difficult to balance as the games go on. Doesn't like water so his naval units are weaker. Starts dating Sami after they almost kill each other, and mellows out a little by the second game. Basically the go-to Green Earth CO for any map that doesn't overly rely on naval units, as his vehicles and infantrymen are just fine. Pro-tip: Use his CO power to park your aircraft right above enemy factories/shipyards/airports and watch as they can't produce jack shit.
  • Drake: Badass fatass admiral. His navy is powerful, which is good when you have one and useless when you don't, his units all ignore rain penalties, and his CO power, on top of direct damaging the entire enemy army, halves their fuel, immensely fucking over them on Fog of War-enabled maps, and flipping the bird to any and all naval units, especially submarines. Done right it can single-handedly reverse the enemy's momentum. Fun, if situational. Personality-wise, a fun, good-natured guy who loves food and relaxing more than combat. Also apparently used to be a pirate or something.
  • Jess (AW 2): Grumpy German tank commander (inspired by Rommel) with a suit and a fuckhueg tank shell she carries everywhere. Good with, you guessed it, tanks and other mechanized units, and her CO power resupplies all of them and buffs up their firepower and speed. Cools down a little in Dual Strike, apparently dealing with Eagle just puts her on the rag. Surprisingly regarded as a low-tier CO; her infantrymen are nerfed (along with most non-vehicle units), and that means she will severely struggle at getting an economic advantage, which in turn means she will struggle to build her more powerful vehicles. Though she is good at trolling Sami hard. Her infantry were buffed in Dual Strike making her mid-tier.
  • Javier (DS): The odd-duck generalist among his more-specialized comrades, Javier focuses most heavily on defense and the new-fangled "Communications Tower" mechanic. His whole army gets harder and harder to hurt as he captures more and more towers, which is great... when the map provides them. Which is a shame, because a flamboyant Don Quixote clone is one of the better ideas for a CO in these sorts of games.

Yellow Comet[edit]

  • Kanbei: Angry Lion Clan-style raw raw Bushido stereotype. His powers mirror Colin's: better units at a higher price, especially in AW2 where they get buffed more than normal. Like Colin, really powerful, especially once he gets a good enough economy to put out tanks that can go toe-to-toe with other COs' medium tanks, and has a very straightforward CO power that just buffs the hell out of his entire army. Generally a very high-quality CO built for countering enemies that rely on sheer numbers. Has no drawback in maps that don't give you the option to build units and force you to fight with only predeployed ones.
  • Sonja: Kanbei's much more cool-headed daughter. Master strategist, passable tactician. Her units have a grab-bag of unusual abilities, including increased vision in fog-of-war and hidden unit HP (allowing you to troll the enemy with careful Medium Tank shuffling on Fog of War maps), and the ability to circumvent some terrain bonuses. Her CO powers let her units shrug off enemy attacks and return fire with full effectiveness. Very situational, but has some good counter-picks and makes a good partner in Dual Strike. She is utterly useless against AI, because they ignore her health-hiding abilities.
  • Sensei (AW 2): An increasingly-senile PC from the old series turned into an old man who won't take off his lucky parachute. Buffed out infantry and helicopters, with a powerful CO ability that spawns free mechs in any city he controls. Hard to master, but generally reckoned to be broken in high-level play. His CO power doesn't really take that long to charge, and shits 9 HP infantry in every city he owns that isn't already occupied. His super CO power does the same, but with mechs.
  • Grimm (DS): Fat pro-wrestler-turned-neckbeard. His units abuse steroids for a beefy attack boost, but suffer defense penalties from the side effects. Flat, but fun.

Black Hole[edit]

  • Sturm (AW & AW 2): Pretty much just Darth Vader. In the original game, the version fought at the end of the game buffed offense but lowered defense, the playable one doing the opposite. In AW2 both versions are the same, and as BBEG, he is the best CO in the game, buffing all his units without increasing cost (in fact Kanbei has his passive raised to keep Sturm's units from being as strong as his), with no real weaknesses and a CO power that summons a meteor shower to devastate the enemy army, even its long charge time not enough to balance it. Super-potent, but what do you expect from the final boss? Main enemy in the first two games, killed by Hawke when he tries to nuke the world into uninhabitability at the conclusion of the second. Badass theme and generally extremely broken CO. That doesn't actually even cover WHY he's so broken and not just a superior Kanbei; his units ignore terrain movement penalties. In other words, unless it's totally impenetrable (say, a tank trying to cross a mountain), his units will just fly through them, meaning that it's utter child's play for him to acquire a total economic advantage.
  • Flak (AW 2): Evil version of Max, and the Black Hole army's vicious, expendable muscle. Like Nell, has a chance to deal bonus damage, but unlike her sometimes whiffs completely. His CO and Super CO powers are the shittiest in the game; they increase dispersion, meaning that sometimes your infantry will fuck up a tank, but that also means your Medium Tank might do a single point of damage to the enemy's regular Tank. He DOES have an awesome theme though, and spouts some entertaining lines. Sometimes used as a self-imposed challenge.
  • Adder (AW 2): Juda from Fist of the North Star in a Nazi uniform with guyliner. An otherwise-average CO with a quick-charging movement buff that catches you upside the head when you least expect it. Extremely annoying and anger-inducing lines and smug personality, making it all the more fun to smash him with a superior CO.
  • Lash (AW 2): Mad, petulant teenage genius and Sonja's evil counterpart. Specializes in terrain use and builds all the evil superweapons. Defects to the good guys in Dual Strike, where she learns to use her dark science for good. Surprisingly good CO; her powers increase her unit's defense, and she gains firepower bonuses on terrain such as cities and forests.
  • Hawke (AW 2): The stoic, competent Eliphas in an army of cackling supervillains. His units have universal stat-buffs with no cost increase (though not as much as Sturm's) in exchange for a slow-charging CO power that does minor damage to enemies and repairs minor damage to friendlies. Not earth-shattering, but puts out a complete game that makes him hard to counter. Keeps killing off his bosses for being too crazy and evil, and defects to the good guys with Lash partway through Dual Strike. In AW2, he is the one Black Hole CO besides Sturm to be vaguely competent; when he sees his enemies surrounded and preparing to rebuild their army, he just immediately attacks instead of waiting or doing some sort of retarded time-limited superweapon plan.
  • Jugger (DS): Either a robot or a guy who likes pretending to be one. Gameplay-wise, pretty much Flak with even more erratic luck.
  • Kindle (DS): Smug, upper-class bitch who looks like a lit birthday candle. Gets a massive attack boost when fighting on urban terrain.
  • Koal (DS): Frustrated would-be kabuki actor. His units get buffs for fighting on roads and he's got Adder's quick-charging speed buff power.
  • Von Bolt (DS): The new BBEG, filling in Sturm's gigantic shoes as best as he can. An impossibly old man confined to a techno-throne, draining away other life into himself so that he can never truly die. Has Hawke's stat buffs, and his CO power fries a huge area, damaging and paralyzing friend and foe alike. No slouch, but not the monster final enemy his predecessor was.

Days of Ruin CO List[edit]

Rubinelle 12th Batallion "Brenner's Wolves"[edit]

  • Will: Idealistic kid struggling with a grimdark-riddled world. Unusually for a protagonist, he's somewhat specialized, equipped with Jake's movement buff CO power and plains bonus. Once his mentor pulls an Obi-wan, his balls grow three sizes and he takes over the army to keep his mentor's ideals alive. Finishes the game fairly happy, and boffing your worst enemy's daughter-clone after destroying him has got to be the best kind of vengeance.
  • Brenner: Grizzled veteran who leads from the front, favoring defensive tactics and coming through with powerful humanity. He saves Will and keeps his unit on the straight and narrow in the face of the apocalypse. Dies half-way through, because that never happens to the hero's mentor. Has Andy's repair power, but his CO aura boosts defense.
  • Lin: Cynical, gloomy skirmish fighter teaching tactics to the new meat. Also wants Brenner to slip her the d, which makes the ongoing comparisons on this page hilarious. Also the one who does dirty business for more-idealistic comrades, like blowing Greyfield's brains out rather than dragging him in to stand trial ( after giving him a speech on how much he sucks). Gameplay-wise, she's got Sonja's Fog of War powers, but also gives out a pretty big all-around stat boost in a fairly small area.
  • Isabella: An attractive and mysterious amnesiac girl Will finds and saves in the middle of the mountains, who turns out to have encyclopedic knowledge of military matters who becomes very important to the plot later on. Never actually fights in the campaign, which is a shame because she's probably the best CO in the game, with a big aura that gives out big buffs to all stats for all units, and a nasty power that buffs range and speed simultaneously, giving her army any number of viable builds.

Lazuria[edit]

  • Forsythe: Honorable old soldier who looks exactly like Lee Van Cleef. Pretty cool guy, shame the protagonists had come down with a bad case of the stupids and sided with Greyfield against him. Gunned down like a dog once he surrenders, kicking off Brenner's rebellion. Gameplay-wise, is the only CO with no power, but makes up for it with a giant aura that hands out a modest buff to all units. Thankfully you don't have to fight him before the CO power system becomes a part of the campaign.
  • Tasha: Angry, violent bitch out for revenge. Mellows out a little once Brenner's Wolves go rogue to save her and her army, and she joins the gang to help bring down Greyfield, then to fight Caulder. Fighter pilot who plays a lot like Will, but with air units instead of tanks.
  • Gage: ...Crap, ran out of Dawn of War characters. Cold-hearted sniper who follows orders without questions regarding the moral implications of his work. Joins the Wolves with Tasha halfway through the game, and takes charge to open fire on crazed civilian cultists attacking the army that he thinks his fellows might have qualms about shooting. Has Grit's buffs and CO power, but the reworked CO system gives him a much more complete game.

New Rubinelle[edit]

  • Admiral Greyfield: Fat evil sumbitch who sets himself up as generalissimo, then as a king of Rubinelle. About as stable as a house of cards, and guns down his own men to maintain morale at the drop of a hat. Nukes lots of his own men to kill Brenner, then gets counter-attacked by the resurgent Wolves. Picks the one member of the army who isn't Lawful Good to surrender to, who promptly airs out his skull. Gameplay-wise, he buffs defense to helicopters and naval units and has a power that resupplies all his men, which is okay... so long as the map has ports.
  • Waylon: Southern-fried mercenary pilot who ends up working for Greyfield. Not really 100% evil, but still kind of a dick. Mechanically, he buffs defense to usually-fragile air units, giving them a lot of staying power.

Intelligent Defense Systems[edit]

  • Penny: Calder's youngest "daughter," and bug-fuck nuts as a result of her creator's experiments on her brain. She talks to her bear, "Mr. Bear," and likes big explosions. Ultimately defects to the good guys once her father tries to get her to kill herself to take them down. Gameplay-wise, is the only CO in the game with an army-wide power (immunity to weather effects), on top of a minor buff in a huge area. Do not screw with the loli.
  • Tabitha: Calder's eldest "daughter," and a daddy's girl. Considering who her daddy is, this makes her kind of a bitch. Unlike most COs, she doesn't so much buff her army as pump one unit into god-mode with a gigantic buff to attack and defense. Her power calls in an air strike, but the big buff of her maxed-out aura means few ever bother using it.
  • Caulder: Loony mad scientist and sinister PMC owner. That's double evil and shit gets very bad when he shows up. The BBEG behind all the events of the game, because he's a dick and likes to watch everyone suffer, and the abusive creator of his "clan" of gene-tinkered clones. (Including, incidentally, himself, he killed the real Caulder). Makes the final battle an absolute motherfucker, with a gigantic aura that repairs all units for half their health every day and gives them a big buff to all stats (biggest in the game), on TOP of all the cannons and mortars his death factory is spewing at you. In short, a worthy successor to the throne of Sturm and a very memorable villain.

Others[edit]

  • The Beast: Crazy post-apocalyptic bandit king who serves as the primary villain in the first segment of the story. Unplayable and lacks any special abilities, but still rather memorable.
  • Mayor of Freehaven: Never fights, but manages to be a despicable, memorable villain none the less. Deliberately antagonizes the heroes and screws them over for his own gain knowing they morally can't shoot him. His eventual, well deserved death is glorious.

More 40k Relations and other Notes[edit]

Any 40k player who plays Advance Wars will breath with relief for the fact that he doesn't have to worry about morale of his troops. After all, the infantry for all factions are cheap and expendable - but they are fearless and don't need Commissars.

However, there is still nerdrage to be had, because:

  • Even the mighty Megatank, the biggest tank in the series to date, can't even crush a puny squad of soldiers. Instead, it has to rely on it's main armaments of eleven five barrels of hell. Which work on Command & Conquer logic, and therefore suck against infantry (and wasting precious ammo time on infantry is painful).
  • There are only two variants of infantry, although to be true, since the game is "Panzer General: Light", you don't really need dozens of different infantry units, since it can be assumed that infantry uses a variety of weapons, while only Assault Rifles/Rocket Launchers/Machine Guns are shown. It's a game for 12 year olds for god's sake!
  • No special characters appear, so all of the units are little more than minions for the slaughter. And units you can't build are also minions to be slaughtered. Truly, this is a game fit for all children in the Imperium of Man.
  • The last game of the TBS series has turned grimdark, but has a somewhat happy ending. Therefore it's too happy for 40k players and too dark for the vidja fans of the series. At least they gave the Megatank a heavy machine gun so it can save its ammo for other tanks.