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Post  Iordor on Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:10 pm

*This guide is incomplete, but still a great source of knowledge - other pro players can chip in with their knowledge if they feel they want it completed.

In this guide I will review the use of different COs. I will probably need a few precisions on some points, and some help on a few COs, since I don't master every single CO.

The first part of this guide will be about generalities: CO choice, COP/SCOP usage, and I'll review the CO's strengths and weaknesses after that.

This guide is far from being over, I will complete it when I will have the time.


How the whole thing works

Each CO has a D2D bonus, which affects his whole army every day, a COP and a SCOP (except for Von Bolt, who has no COP). You can use the COP/SCOP as soon as the meter is full enough. Your meter fills whenever you make damage or take damage. To fill one bar, you need to take 9000 worth of damage, or make twice as much damage (so, when you take damage, your meters fills faster than your opponent's). When you use a power, the money corresponding to a star increases of 1800 (it's supposed to revert to 18000 after the tenth COP usage, but so far no one seems to know exactly if this is implemented in AWBW)
(This applies to the meter already filled, so, if you have a COP worth 3 stars, a SCOP worth 6 stars, your meter is full, and you use a COP, you won't be able to use another COP just after that, because your 3 remaining stars are no longer worth 3 stars: for example if it's your first usage of a power, the 27000 funds are not enough to fill the 3 stars which are now worth 32400). Also, note that, while your power is active, your bar doesn't fill at all.

CO choice

The CO choice is one of the most important decisions of the game, since a bad choice can turn an even fight into an almost hopeless one.
Each CO has his strengths and weaknesses, I'll try to describe them afterwards.
When choosing a CO, you will have to consider:
* The "average" strength of the CO. People tend to rank COs by tiers, which gives a rough estimate of how strong the CO is. However, on a specific map, the actual rankings will certainly deviate from this. On this guide I will rather give a tier range for each CO, with the factors you should look for.
* The size of the map. Generally speaking, COs with a strong D2D will be good on small maps, because they will basically win before their opponent manages to use their powers, while COs with strong powers will be able to use them often on large maps.
* The presence of airports/seaports.
Since the presence of airports massively modifies the gameplay, some COs will be more adapted to maps with airports, while other will like land-only maps. The same applies to seaports, especially when there are no airports.
* The chokiness of the map. This is the narrowness of the map, which gives an indication of the indirects/directs ratio.
Generally, if you look at the possible frontline, take the number of "free" (i.e. crossable by vehicles) cases on this front, and divide this by the number of bases for each side, the map is chokey if you obtain less than 2, and open if you get more than 3.
* The funding. COs who rely on low-tech units, like Sami, will highly benefit from a low funds/base ratio. On the opposite, COs who enjoy expensive units, like Drake, like a lot of funds.
* The conditions: some COs do way better in fog (the specialists of course, but also those who do well with or against artillery).

COP/SCOP usage

The decision of activating a COP or SCOP can be a game-deciding decision, it should not be taken lightly.
Some might want to activate a COP or a SCOP as soon as possible, but it is often a mistake. Sometimes the threat of a COP/SCOP is more powerful than the COP/SCOP itself. Indeed, if your opponents tries to shield himself from your COP/SCOP, this means you can usually advance without even using your COP/SCOP.
Of course, this works better with a COP, since you keep on filling your meter, but it can also be worth considering for a SCOP.
However, if your opponent doesn't even try to shield from your COP/SCOP (because he doesn't expect it), you should send the full power of your COP/SCOP as soon as possible.

To defend against COP/SCOP, you should try to minimise the bonus your opponent can get from using his (S)COP (for example avoid putting copters exactly 8 cases away from an Adder AA...), but without overdoing it. Leaving him something to gain from using his (S)COP might not be bad: after all, once he uses his power, he can't threaten you with it anymore...

Another decision is often whether you should activate the (S)COP on the beginning, the end or the middle of your turn.
It depends strongly of the nature of the power, but a few things apply to all powers:
- If you have a few attacks which don't need the power (you OHKO the unit already), it is often good to do these attacks (and charge your power meter) before starting a COP.
- If you really need a COP/SCOP at that very turn, but you're a bit short on meter, you can try to fill the meter quickly, by doing all-out attacks, or even sacrificing units (like a copter attacking an AA...). This method is of course risky, since it costs you precious units, so it should only be done when you have something really interesting to do with your power, enough to compensate your loss (typically this is when you can take your opponent completely off-guard...) Also note that this will mean your power will not start at the beginning of your turn, so some units might not benefit from that.

CO List

I will list all the AWBW COs, with the tier range (going from 0 (broken) to 6 (worthless).), the units this CO enhances (meaning that they profit more from this CO's D2D and powers, and should thus be built more often than usual), the typical strategy, and tips on (S)COP usage. I won't fill every CO slot right now, especially since I don't know well some COs (especially brokens).

Concerning powers, note that every COP/SCOP gives +10/+10 for all units. I'll give the bonuses on top of that.

(these five are the infamous Broken Five, and I strongly lack experience with them...)


Tier -> Broken with 2+ towers; Tier 0-1 with 1 tower; Tier 3-5 with no tower.

Likes: Towers of course, Chokiness, fog.

Dislikes: Airports.

Enhances: Land units (+) and especially Md+ tanks (++)

D2D: +10% defense per tower; +20% against indirects.
COP(3): +10/10 per tower, additional +20% against indirects.
SCOP(6 ) +20/20 per tower, additional +40% against indirects.

Strategy: Javier is mostly used with 1 tower, where he is one of the best non-broken COs (and often the best, especially when the map is chokepointy enough to allow indirect use). He's much weaker without a tower, although still usable if there are enough chokepoints.
He doesn't like much air units since they essentially fight directly, but land units all like a bonus against arty, especially the units whose arties are the worst ennemies, meaning heavy tanks. The bonus against indirect is also very useful in sea/land battles.
Javier is pretty easy to play with one tower: secure your tower ASAP, play mostly as you would without towers. Javier's D2D is good, so he can hold his ground, but, unless you face a CO like Eagle, you don't need to be overagressive: Javier usually wins a stalemate since he's totally immune to arties during SCOP.
When you want to attack, use your COP (or even SCOP): tanks will then be nearly immune to arties, and will reverse first strikes against other tanks, virtually forcing your opponent to retreat, with heavy losses (this means you always need a good mix of directs and indirects with Javier). Without towers, he's much more difficult to play: You need to play more defensively to force your opponent to build arties, then use your SCOP on the turn you charge into his arty lines. (you have +70% against arties on that turn, meaning you are immune on cities, and take very little damage elsewhere).

Countering Javier: Javier does not change that much the opponent's play. The best way to counter him is to deny him access to the towers, if it's possible. You shoud also build less indirects, but do not be afraid to build one if the situation demands it. After all, your arties still make enough damage to be a deterrent D2D.
If you're fighting Javier 1T, be aware that the bonus he gets on (S)COP is enough to reverse first strikes. So, in this turn, try to avoid attacking full-health tanks with tanks, this kind of thing. Especially if they're on terrain. And, if you really have to, use several tanks.

Von Bolt

Tier -> 1

Likes: Small maps

Dislikes: Large maps.

Enhances: Everything.

D2D: +10/+10
COP: None
SCOP(10): A missile aims the largest enemy clump (meaning the most ennemy funds), making 3 damage and paralyzing them for the next turn.

Strategy: Von Bolt is really straightforward to play, you simply play like you had no powers. When you reach your SCOP, try to forsee where it can land (it can hurt your units), and fire. Unless you see your opponent has taken special precautions against it.
Note that if you attack the paralyzed units you will unparalyse them (Nota: it seems that this bug has been corrected. Confirmation?). The good point with paralyzed units is that you can if necessary gather the force necessary to kill them during the following turn.

Countering Von Bolt: He'll crush you D2D, so you'll have to rely on powers. You might want to avoid making a big clump with all your units just before his SCOP, but otherwise it's pretty straightforward.


Tier: 0 -> 2

Likes: Low funds, chokepoints, small maps, exposed HQs, FoW.

Dislikes: Airports.

Enhances: Infantry and Mechs.

D2D: + 30% attack for infantry/mechs; they capture 50% faster; + 1MP for transports.
COP(3): An extra + 20% attack for inf/mechs; + 1MP for inf/mechs
SCOP(8 ): An extra + 40% and +2MP for inf/mechs. All captures are instantaneous.

Strategy: When playing Sami, you'll rely heavily on his super infantry and mechs. She doesn't like air, since this obliges her to build copters and AAs, which she's not proficient with. Her main strategy is a mix of inf, mechs and arties. Tanks are less useful, but you might still want to build some, they make better meatshields and are still more mobile than mechs.

Sami usually dominates the opening, she can afford to be attacked while capturing and still finish her captures, and she rules in infantry battles. So don't be afraid to be aggressive in this phase, you might need the extra funds afterwards. You might have to build a few tanks to hold the front before your mechs start to arrive.
In midgame you'll need hordes of mechs in the frontline, don't hesitate to build transports if necessary.
Sami's COP and SCOP are both very good. COP gives her for 3 stars 160/110 mechs with 3 MP, which can basically slaughter everything in their range. If your opponent is wary, this means you can advance with the threat of the COP while saving for the even more fearful SCOP. But, unless you have a good reason to save for SCOP (typically an assault on a key building such as an HQ), use your COP if you gain enough from this usage.
The SCOP is even more fearful, with 180/110, 4 MP mechs, infantry able to OHKO enemy infantry on roads, and the ability to instantly capture any building with a simple 1 HP infantry (it is thus useful to keep your low health inf for this purpose). A Sami SCOP deserves some planning: you want to put a maximum pressure on the key point you're aiming at, and put your units in position before striking. If your enemy tries to turtle, just take advantage of it and delay the SCOP.
In FoW, Sami can be especially devious: if you can sneak a few infantry behind enemy lines, you may be able to capture a key property (or even the HQ) on your SCOP. If you can sneak a few mechs it is even worse, since you'll probably be able to destroy any unit he might have put on his HQ.

How to fight Sami: The main weakness of Sami is her lack of mobility. If airports are available, you will want to start building copters early: if you can bring Sami into a copter/tank/AA battle you've almost won. In a land-only battle, try to hunt Sami mechs with your infs at the first opportunity. Don't try to fight packs of mechs if you don't have enough firepower, but instead attack elsewhere. Use some arties to scare off mechs, but be aware that Sami can reach them from outside their range on (S)COP. In the later game, you can try to tech up: rockets can't be reached by mechs even on SCOP, and Md.Tanks are the cheapest land unit able to resist to a Sami mech (it's not cost-effective, but numbers are very important against Sami). They're weak against arties, though, don't build them if Sami is playing arty/inf.


Tier: 0 -> 2

Likes: Heavy terrain, towers, fog, rain.

Dislikes: Large fronts, snow, airports.

Enhances: most ground units, and especially recons.

D2D: -20 attack/+20 defense; terrain cost is 1 everywhere, except in snow.
COP (6): 4 damage with a range 2 (diameter 5) missile, aiming at the most funds.
SCOP (10): 8 damage with the missile.

Strategy: Sturm can be broken on some maps, because his super recons (8 movement on any terrain!!!) can prevent factory captures. Otherwise, he's generally a bit behind VB, except on really heavy terrain. He benefits a lot from towers, because going from 80% to 90 % damage is better than going from 100% to 110%. His super recons make him good in fog, and he ignores rain. He doesn't like airports, because air units don't benefit from terrain, and Sturm's copters are still OHKOed by AAs.
To play him, you must pay much more attention than usually to terrain, because the terrain bonus are even stronger on Sturm, and he can access the terrain easily. Both sides will need more arties than usual, because the meatshields will be more difficult to break. However, Sturm's ignorance of terrain also makes his directs good, even if first strike is not as crucial as it is usually. Sturm can sometimes use an early recon to harass the enemy infantry, especially when the front is wide, and thus the recon will be able to attack several infantries before the opponent produces enough tanks to cover the front.

To counter Sturm, you essentially need to play like him: steal the strategic points, use more arties than usual (but protect them well, since Sturm's directs are not bothered by terrain).


Tier: 1 -> 2

Likes: High city density, Large maps.

Dislikes: Sea battles.

Enhances: Nothing especially.

D2D: + 40% attack on urban terrain (HQ, bases, (air)ports, cities, comtowers, but not labs or silos).
COP: 3 mass damage on urban terrain, urban bonus increased to 80%
SCOP: +3% attack per city owned, urban bonus increased to 120%.

Strategy: Kindle obviously depends a lot of cities, and also depends a lot of her powers, which makes her better suited to large maps. She doesn't like naval battles, because there are no urban tiles on sea (except ports).
Her main weapon is her COP, which damages newly built units and slows down enemy repairs and captures. Moreover, a weakened unit sitting on a city can be destroyed more easily, giving your directs the occasion to strike the units near to it with nearly double damage! You can of course save the COP for later if your opponent has removed most of his units from cities.
The SCOP should be used only on very big (30+ cities) maps, where the attack bonus is significant. But on a large enough map it can be devastating.
Playing with Kindle means trying to abuse the power of cities: your directs on cities reverse first strikes, so you can advance easily with this in early game. Later in the game, you should use the COP to advance (breaking into cities, and slaughtering neighbouring units). Placing indirects on cities can be a good idea (since they will be able to attack a lot of tiles with a 40% bonus).

To counter Kindle, you need to be careful whenever you're near cities. When you attack a city, make sure Kindle can't take the city back immediately, which would be disastrous for your forces near it. Don't even try to repair costly units (infantry don't count) if they would take more than two turns to heal: you would be sure to be blasted by Kindle's COP. When you do repair (again, infantry don't count), try to make sure that Kindle can't use COP right now (just after Kindle's power is thus a good time to repair). Artillery support is often a good way to dislodge Kindle from an urban tile without taking too many risks.


Tier: 1 -> 2

Likes: Land/air maps

Dislikes: Sea maps

Enhances: infantries, recons, tanks, B-copters

D2D: 0-20% luck range

COP: 0-60% luck range

SCOP: 0-100% luck range

Strategy: Nell relies on luck. A reminder: luck damage is added to the base damage, and can be a random number between the two extremes quoted here (if you're attacking with a full-HP unit) Terrain defense applies
to this bonus.
This means that, on COP or on SCOP, infantry can attack a heavy tank or a copter, and make massive damage. However, it's not reliable, and the infantry can make no damage and be destroyed or crippled in the counterattack.
Since the bonus is low on D2D, this doesn't change the gameplay much. You may just attack a bit more easily than usual crippled tanks or copters with infantry.
With (S)COP, this changes.
You can use either Nell's COP or SCOP, depending on the situation. Her COP is good, but if you see your COP wouldn't be very efficient right now, it doesn't hurt to save for the SCOP.
When using your (S)COP, you should plan with a somewhat average luck, but have a backup plan in case you're unlucky, and be ready to use any opening created by a maximal luck. Try to make first the attack which can impact your whole strategy if they're lucky or unlucky. The (S)COP gives a nice firepower bonus to any "usual" attack, and can make you consider attacks you would not usually try, like attacking full-health heavy tanks/copters with infantry.
All these characteristics mean that Nell's infantry is very efficient (and make her mechs much less useful that usual), and that she can sometimes use a neglected unit like the recon (which can be used on (S)COP like infantry, only with a bigger movement range). This also means that she likes directs more than indirects, since directs will use her powers more efficiently. However, she doesn't need as many AAs as a normal CO, since any unit can take down a copter on powers.
Also, she doesn't like much sea maps, since infantry can't attack sea units, and a lot of the possible attacks on sea are already OHKOs, or nearly.

When playing against Nell, you must take into account the fact that some units are much more vulnerable than usual. These units are copters (the copter's strength is that they're only vulnerable to a few units, which is no longer true against Nell), and heavy tanks. In the other hand, the few units which are not vulnerable to infantry are notably enhanced. This includes sea units, bombers, and Stealths. To protect yourself against a (S)COP, you can try to put your important units out of range of the infantry, or, in the opposite, try to wipe out a lot of Nell's infs if you can. Also, be aware that Nell's counterattack after her (S)COP is still boosted, which implies that attacking an inf on a property with a tank might backfire badly.


Tier: 1 -> 2
Likes: Medium maps, sea maps, facing Eagle.
Dislikes: High funds.
Enhances: Expensive units.
D2D: +100 income/property.
COP: Reduce ennemy power bars (10% per 5000 funds)
SCOP: Receive 50% of the funds damage you do.
Strategy: Sasha is a good all-around CO, which can be especially devastating against COs who rely heavily on costly powers. She especially shines in maps where expensive units are crucial (such as sea maps), on medium sized maps (because on small maps her COP won't be enough to drain the enemy power bar totally, and on large maps the CO meter will fill so fast she won't be able to prevent an enemy COP or SCOP unless her opponent has a very long bar, such as VB or Eagle). She essentially relies on her COP to prevent an enemy COP, and, since her meter is short, she frequently enjoys a nice +10/+10 boost. The goal will of course be to delay your opponent's powers as long as you can (it thus can be useful not to start the power at the beginning of your turn, in order to wipe out the extra stars your dreadful attacks will generate. Try to ask yourself at which point you value the extra +10/+10 more than emptying your opponent's bar). Moreover, when your opponent can at least be in position to strike, do not be afraid to shield yourself as well as you can against it. He will use it anyway, since his power won't still be handy the next turn.
Otherwise, you can play as you would in a no-powers match.
Sasha's SCOP is hardly ever used, but can be handy sometimes, for example if your opponent managed to use his (S)COP to deliver a brutal blow, thus emptying his meter, charging yours and exposing a lot of his units.

Against Sasha, well, play like you would without powers, and try to use your D2D, or your short powers if you have some.


Tier: 1 -> 2
Likes: Large maps, air maps.
Dislikes: Sea maps, facing Sasha.
Enhances: Indirects, air units.
D2D: Air units are 115/110 and consume 2 less fuel; Sea units are 70/100.
COP(3): Air units get +5/+10 (in addition to the standard +10/+10)
SCOP(9): Air units get +5/+10. All non-infantry units which had already moved can move again.
Strategy: Eagle relies exclusively on his overwhelming SCOP. The only trouble is that he needs to hold his ground until he can use it. This makes him better on large maps, where he can retreat if necessary, and when his SCOP will charge quickly. His bonus with air units and his hate of sea units make him a good choice on air maps and a more difficult choice on sea maps. Also, Sasha is his arch-enemy, picking Eagle is a gambit when Sasha is unbanned. Eagle likes indirects, because he likes playing defensively, and because, on SCOP, they will able to move and fire, destroying your opponent's most valuable units, while tanks can be stopped by an infantry wall, and will take counterattack.
To play Eagle, you need to ensure you'll live to use it. So play defensively if you have to, and don't hesitate to retreat if necessary. As long as you have the units, your SCOP will enable you to take back the lost ground.
If you can stalemate a game, you've basically won.
Your SCOP should be game-winning, so don't waste it. If your opponent turtles against your SCOP, take advantage of this by advancing, but don't use your SCOP immediately, wait for an opening.
If you're not far from your SCOP, you should start to compute whether you'll manage to reach it with your first turn, because it will of course change your strategy completely. Note that, if your opponent doesn't expect a SCOP, it might be a good idea to make an all-out attack, even adding a suicide attack (a copter attacking an AA gives you a star, for example) to reach the SCOP right now and catch him off-guard. The sacrifice has to really be worth it, though.

To counter Eagle, you basically have to take a decisive advantage before his SCOP. So, play offensively, using your strenghts, and don't let him build a good defensive line if you can avoid it. Against his SCOP, you will have to limit the damage, by retreating a bit your most important units, but don't overdo it, otherwise a smart opponent will simply take the ground you just abandoned, without using his SCOP... Another solution, if you can afford it, is to make an all-out attack just before his SCOP, to destroy as many units as possible, making his SCOP less powerful. Mixing the two on different fronts can be especially effective.


Tier: 2 -> 3
Likes: Heavy terrain
Dislikes: Air, Sea.
Enhances: Land units, especially directs.
D2D: All units, not including aircraft, gain +10% attack per terrain star (+10% on plains, 20% on woods, and so on)
COP(4): Movement cost for all terrain is reduced to 1
SCOP(7): Double terrain stars; movement cost is reduced to 1.
Strategy: The heavier the terrain, the better Lash will be. On the other hand, bare terrain (sea being the best example) are hell for Lash, and she doesn't enjoy air units since she doesn't get a bonus for them.
Playing her is rather straightforward: Try to use terrain to your advantage even more than usually. Directs benefit a bit more from the added firepower, they will thus be a bit more efficient, even if indirects on high defense terrain can be devastating.
The COP is quite overpriced (Adder has a similar COP for 2 stars only), but can sometimes be useful if it enables you to reach key units (such as an AA attacking a copter). Only use it if it brings you a decisive advantage, though, since Lash's SCOP is way better. Indeed, it doubles the terrain stars, meaning offense AND defense. This means that units on mountains and HQs will get 190% defense, making them almost invulnerable (so, if you can reach your enemy's HQ, starting to capturing it during SCOP is a very good idea). Also, units on properties will get 170% defense (and offense), which makes perfect meatshields. You can thus advance recklessly during the SCOP, for example you can put fearlessly an arty on a property in range of enemy arty. It will also give you more firepower to clean enemy units on high-defense terrain and then attack from this high-defense terrain.

To counter Lash, well, try to avoid letting empty properties near your lines. Don't even try to attack full-health units on mountains/properties with a single similar unit (unless you have a good reason to do so), Lash can revert first strikes on these cases. Also, try to avoid letting empty properties next to your units, unless you are sure that Lash can't (or won't) use them. To prepare for Lash's SCOP, try to occupy yourself the heavy terrain (and make sure Lash can't kill the unit on it and attack the units next to it...)


Tier: 2 -> 3
Likes: Small maps
Dislikes: Large maps
Enhances: nothing especially
D2D: Properties repair 3 HP instead of 2 HP.
COP(3): Luck range 0-40%
SCOP(6): Three 3HP missiles (range 2) hit. They target the tiles which will damage:
1st missile - the most funds. (a Md. tank will be targeted over 13 infantries)
2nd missile - the most unit HPs (13 infantries will be targeted over 12 Md. tanks; however, a 10 HP unit will be targeted over two 1 HP units)
3rd missile - the most capturing infantries, and, in case of a tie, the most (non-capturing) infantries. [Extra precisions are welcome]
Strategy: Rachel mainly relies on her SCOP, which is a good stalemate breaker, especially on small maps. Her D2D is not big, but it's still an appreciable bonus: this means your heavily wounded units will be back to active duty in only a few turns. Thus, you can use repairs more than usual.
Rachel's most usual strategy is to play rather defensively until her SCOP, and then smash her opponent to pieces. Her COP is rather weak, but can be used sometimes (especially on large maps where the SCOP is not that strong) if you really need the extra firepower that turn.

To counter Rachel, you should try to avoid a stalemate situation (unless you are yourself at ease with stalemates), and prepare for the SCOP when you see it coming: build clumps of infantry to attract the last two missiles, and try to avoid massing too many units in the same place. An especially vicious way to deal with Rachel's missiles is to make sure that your units are intermingled with your opponents: the missile will thus also strike Rachel's own units!


Tier: 2-> 3
Likes: Large maps
Dislikes: Small maps
Enhances: Directs, and especially large tanks.
D2D: None.
COP(3): All units are healed (2HP)
SCOP(6): All units are healed (5HP), +1 movement, + 10% firepower.
Strategy: Andy's main asset is his SCOP, which basically sends back his crippled units unscratched into battle, and gives him a handy +1 movement. This means he will be more effective if he can use it often, meaning on big maps. He likes big tanks a lot, since they are very difficult to kill in one turn, and he don't have to pay anything to repair them.
Andy will have to hold his ground until SCOP, trying to preserve his crippled units (but, if you're far from SCOP, it's probably better to heal them in your cities anyways). Fighting 1 vs. 1 skirmishes is usually a good idea, even without the first strike if you're close enough to SCOP, since you will always be able to retreat your tank/infantry in this case. Also, teching up to md.tanks when your opponent starts to have a lot of regular tanks is a good idea. Your SCOP is your main asset, don't waste it: make sure you can heal a lot of units, and deal heavy damage to your opponent when using it. And don't forget the +1 movement.

Countering Andy: To counter Andy, you need to kill his units, especially if his SCOP is near. So, unlike what you would do with other COs, finishing off a 2HP tank is better than crippling a full-health one. Try to gain a decisive advantage before his SCOP, and be careful with Andy's extra movement.




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I lack experience with the last 6, so I'll need some help there.

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