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 Post subject: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS (Un-ordered Entries)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Hachi's relevant stats are as follows:

  • -10% cost
  • -40% cost (3*)
  • -40% cost, cities become bases (6*)

Schools of Thought
Tech Banking: By never teching above Recons and tansports on a daily basis, a massive amount of funds can be gathered by the time Merchant Union charges. This enables the purchase of units whose counters are nowhere in sight, and will waste far more of the opponents' funds than they cost to build before they go down.

Economic Out-Pacing: For COs in lower tiers, if one of them buys a Megatank the other CO can almost destroy it in a cost-effective way. When Hachi buys this unit for 14k 8-10 turns into the game, a cost-effective counter is impossible. Hachi's most expensive units are never alone, either; they will always be bought in pairs, or alongside a squad of Md Tanks and Tanks. This creates a situation where Hachi is the only CO on the field who is allowed to be cost-effective.

Overcoming Strengths: Thanks to this early access to high tech units, Hachi can also break the defense buffs of SCOPs such as Kanbei's Samurai Spirit, which would normally make that CO all but immune to reprisal. This same concept applies to powers such as mass damage and firepower, since neither can change match-ups to the extent of, for example, Tanks taking on Megatanks.

Disadvantages: NONE!

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Sensei's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +50% BCop, +10% soldier, +1 MP transport, -10% sea
  • +20% B-Copter, 9 HP infantry on all cities (2*)
  • +20% B-Copter, 9 HP mech on all cities (6*)

Schools of Thought
Super Spam: Though it is somewhat map-dependent, Sensei's COP is known for allowing him to hit the unit limit by the time most COs are lighting off their second SCOP. The Infantry can be used to attack and weaken enemies, but are generally better off either trying to swarm and capture properties or just clogging lanes of attack. This can include, but is not limited to:
  • Protecting units who have attacked from retaliation.
  • Protecting units moving into attack range.
  • Blocking routes to his properties.

Mech Spam: Sensei may switch to SCOP for a number of reasons, which can include hovering around the unit limit, fighting a more resistant opponent like Kanbei, or fighting a CO with similar numbers like Hachi. The Mechs are less efficient for accomplishing the same goals as the Infantry, but their firepower makes them better at slowing down mechanized waves from the latter two scenarios.

Self-Feeding: The units produced by Sensei's powers feed the bar like anything else, giving you more incentive to use them as meat shields. The more they die, the more he gets.

Super Copters: It should be noted that Sensei's B-Copters are the best in the game. They can one-shot any Copter that lacks a defense boost, and mostly close that gap on powers. 180 offense on powers is not the best in the game, but as frequently as Sensei gets this boost it barely matters. Because his Copters can pull double duty as anti-air and anti-ground, Sensei mostly doesn't need AAs and can get away with having a Fighter if the heavier air units come out. These Copters are also your linebackers when it comes to dealing with high defense units, such as any unit produced by Kanbei, Colin's teched-up force, and Hachi's Super-Tech, with Tanks playing support.

Fast Transport: Sensei's transports move faster, making all of them and particularly his T-Copters a key part of the expansion phase. Sensei can often rush a central production facility in slightly more time than it takes to hit a natural expansion, exaggerating his already-significant numbers advantage with expanded production capability in the early game on maps that allow this.

Disadvantages: If cities are few, or if the map has no cities for some reason, Sensei can have trouble with COs that have more boosts to their units. He also has a much weaker offense if airports are not present.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:02 pm 
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Colin's relevant stats are as follows:

  • -20% cost, -10% all
  • +50% current funds (2*)
  • +1% all per $300 (6*)

Schools of Thought
Tech Snowballing: Colin combines low costs with a fund-generating COP to fuel his tech and production. There are very few times when Colin is not at full production, and when he does drop down to normal production it's usually to purchase some tech units. By following the technique of firing off COP before buying anything, by the late game Colin can almost buy Md Tanks like most COs buy Tanks.

Precision SCOP Use: Colin does not use Power of Money very often; against lower tier opponents, it's possible to play a full session and never use it. Against his own tier, adding firepower becomes necessary. At no less than 18k funds, and no sooner than the third power use, the firepower combined with Colin's tech units is nearly impossible to resist.

Disadvantages: Colin doesn't really have an answer to spam, nor to anything higher tech than what he can afford.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Kanbei's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +20% all ATK and DEF, +20% cost
  • +30% all (4*)
  • +30% all ATK and DEF, counterattack doubled (7*)

Schools of Thought
Samurai Spirit: Kanbei's primary strength is in Samurai Spirit. During this power, it takes an extremely powerful match-up to deal anything but chip damage to his units, and even those low on health are very resistant to attack. Counterattacks (when applicable) will do chip damage at least. Most COs are thus forced to give Kanbei's units a wide berth during this power, essentially giving him a free move. Last but not least, if a full health soldier begins capturing his opponent's HQ, only mass damage or a Black Bomb can delay the capture; the soldier is otherwise invulnerable.

Superior Day-to-Day: Even during regular turns, Kanbei is all but immune to 1HKs. His prices are also not high enough to put him significantly behind in the tech and numbers department, and what little setback he does suffer is mitigated by Samurai Spirit.

Disadvantages: Kanbei is a little late getting transports out, and on low-fund maps he can fall further behind than normal. Again, Samurai Spirit can usually mitigate this, but it's something to consider.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Sami's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +20% soldier, +50% cap rate, -10% direct
  • +30% soldier, +1 MP soldier (3*)
  • +60% soldier, +2 MP soldier, instant cap (6*)

Schools of Thought
Super-Capture: Both d2d and on SCOP, Sami's soldiers are tough to slow down when capturing. Daily, they have to be knocked down quite low if they started capturing at full HP, and they are still very efficient even when damaged. (7HP can still capture in two days.) On SCOP, every Infantry becomes a deadly weapon at any level of HP. Mechs shoot forward to bust open paths, and the Infantry rush through and nab whatever they can; and there's really nothing to stop leftover Mechs from joining them.

Mech Rush: Sami has the best Mechs in the game. Combined with her SCOP, they are easily able to take down any vehicles threatening her forces. This isn't to say Sami has no use for vehicles, but Mechs will be far more prevalent in her force make-up since very few units are cost-effective against them.

Copter Rush: Because of the efficiency of the Mech Rush, Sami can devote more funds to building Copters as a mobile force. These Copters have little to fear against AAs thanks to the Mechs, and so can strike with impunity against anything giving those units trouble.

Disadvantages: Sami's Copters are very vulnerable to attacks by Fighters and buffed Copters. Sami is also at a disadvantage when she is forced to tech up, as it removes the cost-effectiveness from her army and reduces her capacity for instant capture on SCOP.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Eagle's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +20% air, -2 air fuel consumption, -10% sea
  • Non-soldier extra turn, non-soldier ATK halved (3*)
  • Non-soldier extra turn (9*)

Schools of Thought
Lightning Drive: There are plenty of ways to get two turns in the game. What sets Eagle apart is the frequency with which he gets them. Lightning Drive allows Eagle to finish kills, move up reinforcements, and protect captures.

Force Concentration: On Lightning Drive turns, Eagle can hold off buying units except on his front line bases. This way, when they've moved off, he can build more of his units up front. This creates a snowball effect where more of his units are up front to take advantage of the very power that allows this. If the front line gets too clogged, Eagle can even benefit from some Indirects.

Disadvantages: Eagle never gets anything in the way of firepower to overcome tech or defense. His SCOP doesn't reduce his firepower like Lightning Drive, but it's too overpriced to be useful in most cases.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Kindle's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +40% on urban terrain
  • +40% urban, -3 HP enemy units on property (3*)
  • +80+3%/prop urban, +3%/prop non-urban (6*)

Schools of Thought
Focus on Economic Damage: Kindle's main advantage is her COP, which doesn't typically hit the front line at all. What it does do is hit the rear line, and hit it often. It will also mess up captures for every CO bar Sami, emphasizing Kindle's focus on the economic portion of the Economic Triple-Whammy.

Delayed Gratification: Focusing on the enemy economy eventually sees the opponent's front line filled with 9HP units leaning on the cheap side. While you're not going to out-tech them, you'll find that your opponent has a harder time building appropriate counters due to being strapped for cash; a trait shared with the wave damage COs, but again more pronounced due to Urban Blight's frequency of use.

Urban Firepower: Kindle's situational firepower may not come into play often, but it's wise to remember that you have it, particularly when Urban Blight lights off. Often units will cluster around properties when trying to remove you from them, and using those same properties as part of re-establishing a presence is a nice way to temporarily turn into a firepower CO on top of your mass damage.

Disadvantages: Kindle does not affect frontline units in any direct way with her powers, and her units are mostly bland. This is a problem when dealing with COs like Von Bolt and Eagle, who can and will rip you a new one if you aren't gracefully giving ground. It's easy to lose any foothold you gain before Urban Blight starts to give results, and forgetting that is the quickest way to die while using this CO.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Sonja's relevant stats are as follows:

  • ? HP, +1 vision, -1 enemy t.star, luck -5 to +10
  • +1 vision, -1 enemy t.star, reef/woods reveal (3*).
  • +1 vision, -2 enemy t.star, reef/wood reveal, first strike (5*).

Schools of Thought
Counter Break: The meat and potatoes of Sonja's strategy is her SCOP. As a poor-man's Samurai Spirit, it forces her opponents to target units of inferior match-ups, sparing units such as Tanks from the SCOPs of her tier (or at least delaying them). There is very little offensive value to this power, so it can be used the moment it charges.

Hidden HP: Sonja's opponents cannot see her units' hit points outside of the battle animations. While they can remember the damage dealt from memory, of course, without the animations they can't see any luck damage dealt. Sonja can also shift her units around to try and make her opponent forget which unit has what amount of HP, though this is more feasible in Fog of War.

Anti-Lash: Sonja's terrain abilities make Lash useless.

Disadvantages: Not much in the way of offensive capability.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Sasha's relevant stats are as follows:

  • Extra 100g income per property owned
  • -1% enemy power meter (out of 10 stars) per 500g (2*).
  • 50% damage converted into funds (6*).

Schools of Thought
Which Power to Use: Sasha's CO powers have been a point of contention for quite some time in Advance Wars circles. While is is generally agreed at this point that both of them are very, very bad compared to some others, it has often been the consensus that Market Crash is the better of her two powers. It's argued that Market Crash's ability to delay other CO powers allows her daily ability to gain her a crucial lead in tech, however slight it may be. However, my own findings have recently shown that on some maps, particularly those with Com Towers, this strategy is so bad that a new tier needs to be invented just to describe how horribly she performs. At the same time, War Bonds has proven to be far more synergistic with her daily ability.

Monetary Synergy: Sasha's daily ability grants her extra funds for every city she owns. War Bonds grants her funds for half the amount of damage she deals. Sasha has a much easier time producing appropriate counters to the enemy units as such, and is even able to take a slight tech lead when towers are present.

Disadvantages: Sasha is in the tier she's in because as good as her strategy sounds on paper, it's only good enough to deal with fellow COs in the scatterbrained realm of the 2nd tier. Her slight tech lead is very slight, and COs with movement or firepower are all that's needed to render her advantage dead useless.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:12 pm 
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The Direct-attack COs' relevant stats are as follows:

Jess
  • +20% vehicle, -10% air, -10% sea
  • +20% vehicle, +1 MP vehicle, restock (3*)
  • +40% vehicle, +2 MP vehicle, restock (6*)

Max
  • +20% direct, -1 indirect range all
  • +30% direct (3*)
  • +60% direct (6*)

Grimm
  • +30% all ATK, -20% all DEF
  • +20% all (3*)
  • +50% all (6*)

Schools of Thought
Firepower: All three of these COs have SCOPs that grant large firepower boosts. It's the meat and potatoes of their offensive capability, and will use it to break through enemy front lines.

Minor Movement: Jess sacrifices some Firepower for this. It allows her to attack the front line with her rear units and push ahead further with her forward units for a deep strike. This concept is so-named because it only affects her vehicles.

Glass Cannon: Grimm's d2d attack power is high enough to do door-busting even without his powers. The damage he takes also causes him to fire off powers more often.

Disadvantages: Two of these COs lack movement boosts. Grimm suffers amplified damage on the opposite curve of COs with a defense boost, which must be kept in mind during assaults. Lastly, Jess has less firepower than the other two, and needs to concentrate her units a bit more to achieve the same results.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:12 pm 
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The movement COs' relevant stats are as follows:

Andy
  • +2 HP (3*)
  • +5 HP, +1 MP all, +20% all (6*)

Koal
  • +10% on road terrain
  • +10% road, +1 MP all (3*)
  • +20% road, +2 MP all (5*)

Adder
  • +1 MP all (2*)
  • +2 MP all (5*)

Schools of Thought
Major Movement: As opposed to Minor Movement, this boosts all units' movement. All three COs can conduct deep strikes, bring up reinforcements and move Infantry to enemy properties faster.

Healing Factor: Andy doesn't move as far, but his units can return from the brink of death. His SCOP has some offensive value, but it's just as feasible to use it after an assault that leaves units damaged.

Disadvantages: All 3 and particularly Adder are not very beefy in the firepower department.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:13 pm 
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The luck COs' relevant stats are as follows:

Nell
  • Luck range 0 to +20
  • Luck range 0 to +60 (3*)
  • Luck range 0 to +100 (6*)

Jugger
  • Luck range -15 to +30
  • Luck range -25 to +55 (3*)
  • Luck range -45 to +95 (7*)

Flak
  • Luck range -10 to +25
  • Luck range -20 to +50 (3*)
  • Luck range -40 to +90 (6*)

Schools of Thought
Managing Luck: These three COs have a very unreliable boost. Theoretically, Nell should be the best, but in reality Flak and Jugger get better averages. In any case, the trouble comes in breaking through chokepoints. Open areas don't make much of a difference to these COs, but because their firepower is so unreliable that it may take several tries to get through a chokepoint. Luck does have the advantage of ignoring defense, for better or worse.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:14 pm 
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The terrain COs' relevant stats are as follows:

Jake
  • +10% on plains terrain
  • +10% plains, +1 indirect range vehicle (3*)
  • +30% plains, +1 indirect range vehicle, +2 MP vehicle (6*)

Lash
  • +5% non-air per terrain star
  • MP cost reduced to 1 (4*)
  • MP cost reduced to 1, terrain stars doubled (7*)

Schools of Thought
Terrain Dependence: Both COs depend on particular pieces of terrain to receive their boosts, otherwise they become bland.

Minor Defense: During SCOP, Lash gains a certain degree of defense depending upon the terrain she's on. It's rarely more than what many COs get via d2d, though, so it doesn't help very much to weather attacks.

Minor Movement: Jake has the same boost as Jess in this respect. He can attack with his rear units, and deep strike with the forward ones.

Disadvantages: Chronic lack of firepower and defense.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Javier's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +20% DEF against indirect, +10% DEF per tower
  • +20% DEF against indirect, tower bonuses doubled (3*)
  • +60% DEF against indirect, tower bonuses tripled (6*)

Schools of Thought
No Towers: Javier is capable of defeating Grit. In fact his resistance to the one unit Grit powers up may very well make him the best at taking the guy apart. Other than that he doesn't have much going for him. He doesn't give any huge firepower boosts, and none of the defense from his powers wards off Directs. As such there is very little he can do to stay competitive.

1 Tower: This lumps Javier in with the Direct-attack COs. While having the worst all-around offense of the group, Javier1T has one thing that none of the others do: a defense boost. Once his SCOP fires off his stats become 140/140 (3x towers + default boost); it's no Samurai Spirit, but it's quite enough to make other firepower COs hold off on their own SCOPs.

2 Towers: This jumps Javier up another two tiers. Whether or not he's better than Kanbei is certainly a point of debate, but he does have the Kanbei0T stats without the accompanying weakness. His SCOP gets 170/170 out of his units, so at the very least his defense is better than Samurai Spirit if lacking in the counterattack department.

As a side note, while this Javier can appear as a result of Javier1T gaining his opponent's tower it's probably only going to happen within his own tier, so there's no reason to think that scenario might change his ranking.

3 Towers: It's debatable whether or not he's actually better than Hachi at this point, but Javier3T has an indisputably good d2d with a godly SCOP: 200/200 after the default boost. (Even his COP will still get you to 170/170.) The reason this Javier can tango with Hachi is because full-health units under SCOP can attack without receiving any damage; ergo, they can try and take down a Megatank and have a decent shot at actually managing it.

This particular Javier is most often seen in Javier2T scenarios where he takes a tower from his opponent, which is part of what makes the latter so threatening. (Of course it can also happen in the reverse, which gives all versions of Javier a pretty good incentive not to lose any towers!)

More than 3 Towers: This is only going to happen in situations like J2T or J3T capturing their opponents' towers, if only because it's just plain silly for a map to have enough towers for each side to get 4 or more. (Even having 6 for the previous scenario is pushing the border of outrageous.) There's nothing to really debate at this point either since even J4T can hit 190/190 just on COP, and they're all beyond invincible on SCOP. The only reason I can personally see for letting Javier start with this much firepower is if you're making an alien invasion scenario of some sort. (Which, by the way, I have seen... if Cthulhu counts as an alien.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Grit's relevant stats are as follows:

  • +20% indirect, +1 indirect range all, -20% direct
  • +30% indirect, +1 indirect range all (3*)
  • +30% indirect, +2 indirect range all (6*)

Schools of Thought
Grit as an effective CO: Grit needs a very specific situation in order to do well. Firstly, the map being played cannot have air units. Second, the map must be cramped. This is to say that it must be too terrain-heavy for Recons, and bases must be relatively close to each other. Choke points help.

In this situation, Grit is able to use a moderate Tank force to back up his primary strategy, which is a force of Artillery walled off by his Infantry. When the game moves this slow, he is able to strike from relative safety during his CO Powers, and dart ahead with his Tanks while he moves his wall up. Pretty simple, if a bit boring.

This doesn't actually bump him up as some parties may like to think, though, which leads us to the reasoning for his being bottom tier.

Grit as an ineffective CO: On any map type beyond what was outlined earlier, Grit is unable to compete due to the ease with which Directs can attack and break his wall, and because of having to deal with air units. If Grit has to fight a triangle war, it takes away focus from the one type of unit he boosts, instead forcing him to focus on units he never boosts. While some might argue that his range still matters, the fact of the matter is that Artillery are support units, and you must have a combat infrastructure of Directs to allow them. In other words, he can't even boost his front line until he can be sure his Indirects won't be overrun, a problem unique to him. It doesn't help that he weakens the units that are supposed to be securing things for him, further weakening him in this area.

Additionally, Grit never has an answer to the abilities of COs from the 4th tier up. Grit may be able to advance slowly by lancing out occasionally, but mass damage lances out while letting the CO using it advance in the same move. Double movement allows tearing down the wall and attacking the Artillery in the same turn. Sami powers up the very units that make up Grit's wall, but doesn't need to back them up... at all. After that you're contending with mega defense, tech, and spam up the yinyang, all of which don't so much defeat Grit as deconstruct him. Let's also not forget Javier, who is pretty much purpose-built to kill Grit in any and all situations.

The easiest solution to Grit's problems is just to not use him. He represents the worst CO concept in the game, and aside from a single boring scenario in which he's usable he has absolutely nothing going for him.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:46 pm 
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The wave-damage COs' relevant stats are as follows:

Olaf
  • Unaffected by snow, +20% all during snow
  • Snows for two days (3*)
  • Snows for two days, -2 enemy HP (7*)

Hawke
  • +10% all
  • +1 HP, -1 enemy HP (5*)
  • +2 HP, -2 enemy HP (9*)

Drake
  • +20% sea, -10% air
  • -1 enemy HP, halves enemy fuel (4*)
  • -2 enemy HP, halves enemy fuel, rains for one day (7*)

Schools of Thought
Economic Triple-Whammy: Wave damage is unique among mass damage in this game for the economic damage it does, and all 3 COs do this. Like all mass damage, free damage is dealt in which none of your own resources are spent, and the enemy CO bar is not charged. Repair costs for newly-produced units hamper production one way or another: either your opponent takes his licks, or he delays producing anything big for a turn and gives you an advantage anyway. Lastly, the damaged units have their firepower and defense reduced by 10% of the total for each HP of damage. (8HP Andy is 80/80, whereas 8HP Von Bolt is 88/88.) The economic triple-whammy serves as the mechanism by which these COs deconstruct their opponent, or even the odds against their own tier.

Drake's Contribution: Drake combines the triple-whammy with an inability to be attacked by his opponent. Drake has time to blind his opponent during the turn he fires off SCOP, helped by the default boost magnifying the effect of mass damage reducing HP and defense. He is then able to sit tight, absorb whatever the enemy lobs back at him, and finish off their damaged forces once the fog lifts.

His other stats are incidental. His air units aren't that weak, and his navy doesn't alter the rock-paper-scissors mechanic that section of the game is known for. The fuel cut is also incidental; aircraft rarely last long enough to be affected much, and land units have too many ways to refuel quickly.

Hawke's Contribution: Hawke brings healing and a bit of firepower into the equation. Free healing lets his units fight on a bit longer, and also remedies the firepower and defense losses associated with damage. This makes Hawke the best CO at dealing with his fellows, since he can at least reduce the damage while lancing out with some decent firepower himself, and it also makes him quite good at strangling lower tiers. I mention firepower because he comes up to 120/110 under SCOP, which combined with the mass damage makes him quite fearsome. It's not quite as good as a full firepower CO, but the economic damage makes up for that and then some.

Olaf's Contribution: All things considered, Olaf is basically a firepower CO who wrecks your economy. Of these COs he is by far the most destructive, getting two turns of firepower to capitalize on the mass damage. If you're playing on random weather or, god forbid, permanent snow, he's even better. The snow itself is incidental for the same reasons as Drake's fuel cuts: aircraft don't last long enough for it to matter, and land units can usually refuel pretty easily. Permanent snow can occasionally be a different story, but beyond that don't depend on it beyond the firepower advantages.

Disadvantages: Wave damage sort of loses its edge if you play on high funds, particularly if its high enough for everyone to just buy Black Bombs. At that point, draining funds really doesn't do anything, and units have such high defense anyway that firepower becomes more important. While it's undoubtedly helpful and by no means ineffective in these cases, don't expect wave damage to be quite as good as it would be on lower fund settings.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:09 am 
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The missile COs' relevant stats are as follows:

Rachel
  • +1 HP urban repair
  • Luck range 0 to +50 (3*)
  • 3 rad 2 silo strikes (-3 HP): soldiers, $, HP concentration (6*)

Von Bolt
  • +10% all ATK and DEF
  • 3 HP in a rad 2 area ($), units hit are stunned (10*)

Schools of Thought
Frontline Destruction: As opposed to other forms of mass damage, the ability to lob a missile on the opponent is solely aimed at breaking through the opponent's front line. It shares the trait of denying star power through free damage, and not wasting any of your own resources, and can overlap with the Economic Triple-Whammy if it happens to land on units sitting on their friendly properties. Among mass damage, it has the least effort involved with taking apart your opponent's frontline units, though it does not touch the rear line at all.

Rachel's Contribution: Rachel doesn't do anything special with this concept beyond lobbing extra missiles. You will usually end up with two missiles hitting one group of enemies, and the third hitting a second group, though hitting the same spot or all spreading out isn't out of the question. Either way, it softens up the enemy quite a bit for your bland units to easily cut through.

Von Bolt's Contribution: Arguably the more useful of the two, Von Bolt's single missile freezes the enemy front line for a turn. This has the effect of both making them easy pickings as well as clogging up the lanes for your opponent's reinforcements, allowing a Von Bolt player to move up fairly unhindered. His stats are just high enough to be annoying as well, so it's very hard to be pushed back when playing as him.

Disadvantages: As stated earlier, missiles do absolutely nothing to your opponent's reinforcements. Against any mass damage that does so, or against COs like Eagle or Sami who aren't bothered as much, you'll need to be prepared for a slug-fest even with the mass destruction you're wreaking. If the missile COs are fighting one another, they have the ability to reverse any progress made by the other's SCOP.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS (Un-ordered Entries)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:54 am 
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Preface
There are two things I wish to accomplish in this preface. The first is to dispel some still-common myths about Tags and how they operate. The second is to establish basic terms that apply to all Tags, and which I don't wish to repeat in every post.

Basic Terms
CO: Any playable commander in the game.
Component CO: Any CO being used as part of a Tag.
Tag: Any combination of two component COs.
Named Tag: Any Tag who Tag Break has a name, and whose component COs receive a luck boost. These Tags will be referred to by that name.
Firepower Tag: Any Tag that receives a firepower boost during Tag Break. Overlaps with Named Tags.
De-powered Tag: Any Tag that receives a firepower penalty during Tag Break.
Tag Break (TB): A third CO Power that grants the player two turns; one per SCOP of the component COs.
(S)COP-swap: The practice of using CO powers with a Tag, usually followed by an immediate switch to the other CO.

Basic Concepts
Super Lightning Strike: Every TB has the two turns benefit of Eagle's Lightning Strike SCOP, except that it also applies to soldiers and incorporates the effects of the component COs' SCOPs.

Ghetto Victory March: Every TB allows full health soldiers (or lower if Force Ranks are applied) to capture properties in one turn, and/or finish captures in the first turn and start new ones in the second.

The Primary-Secondary Relationship: In all but a few Tags, your component COs will divide their roles between being your primary and secondary commander. A few factors determine who takes what role:

  • Using TB: If you know you'll be using TB, you will need to plan a rotation based on bar length and power strength. Your primary is the CO who will be up front the most. Your secondary will pop out for a couple turns after the primary if they are to lead the TB, or a couple turns before if they are to end the TB.
  • Not Using TB: The fact is that not every Tag actually wants to use its TB, including firepower Tags. If one or both of the COs works better with COP, the (shorter-bar) COP user will be the primary. You will either want two COPs to every SCOP, or constantly trade off at the end of each COP. Unless there is a defensive benefit to the power (e.g. Sonja, Kanbei, Javier), you always want to switch after using one since the bars will continue to charge, eliminating post-power weakness. Eliminating post-power weakness is easily the biggest advantage to not using TB, and is what allows Tags like Hachi/Sensei to dominate the game.
  • Strength of the COs: If possible, the CO with the stronger day-to-day ability should take the lead. If the COs are roughly equal in capability, such as Colin and Kanbei, that's your sign that there is no primary/secondary relationship, as you will be using them about equally.

Myths
1. Tags Automatically Beat COs: Like COs, Tags draw their main strength from their SCOPs. While Tags have some minor advantages as you will see, these advantages are not enough to shake up the tier list. Each Tag is only a tier-and-a-half higher than its strongest component CO. Basically, Hachi is in no danger of being defeated by Creepy Crawly.

2. First Tag Break Wins: Related to the above. TBs are contingent upon their component SCOPs, and their strength is ranked similarly as such. In fact, some TBs are actually weaker than their component SCOPs or, in some cases, COPs. So as with the above, Grizzled Vets is in no danger of being defeated by Creepy Crawly.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS (Un-ordered Entries)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:55 am 
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Hachi's Tags
Hachi on his own is already one of the most interesting COs to play as. When combined with other COs for Tags, Hachi usually becomes a secondary CO who leads Tag Breaks. His abilities will typically be used to supplement the other CO's existing strengths with units they would ordinarily not have access to. Since this means that Tech Banking will be in force for most of the match, most any Hachi Tag can be thought of as "Hachi+."

Sensei - Grizzled Vets
  • +10 Luck Boost
Mega Spam: By alternating between Copter Command and Merchant Union, the Hachi/Sensei Tag can flood the map with Infantry providing a screen for high-tech units backed up by squads of Tanks and Md Tanks. The switch should occur immediately after either power is used in order to maximize the charging rate, as well as the turn following any Copter Command so that power can be used a second time before Merchant Union charges.

Mech Spam: Calling back to one of Sensei's tactics, switching to Airborne Assault may be called for against more resilient opponents or if the player is approaching the unit limit. The latter in particular is likely to come up due to the nature of these two COs.

Disadvantages: Grizzled Vets itself causes these COs to step on each other's toes, as it were, and hence is inefficient compared to the above tactic.

Colin
Tech Bank Snowballing: By combining the Tech Banking and Tech Snowballing concepts, the Hachi/Colin Tag can create more high-tech units on Merchant Union than Hachi can by himself. For review, this involves a combination of spamming Colin's COP and Hachi's SCOP, and not teching above Recons except when using the latter. Switch COs at the end of any power turn to cancel out post-power weakness. Gold Rush may be used more than once before Merchant Union is used.

Disadvantages: Tag Break itself is extremely inefficient for this Tag. It requires using the lesser of Colin's two powers, and this power must necessarily be used before the Merchant Union turn to be useful. In most any other Tag, these powers would be used in the opposite order for maximum efficiency.

Kanbei
Mega Unit Spam: During Tag Break, this Tag has Hachi lead and Kanbei end the turn. The result takes Hachi's access to top-tier units and applies Kanbei's near-invulnerability to them. This is not so useful for the upper tier units like Megatanks, but greatly increases the lifespan of any cheaper escorts produced during Hachi's turn. As such, the already-insurmountable force Merchant Union would create becomes even less open to counter-attack.

Disadvantages: The Tag suffers from some inefficiency due to the fact that most Merchant Union units such as the Megatank are already near-indestructible, and whose main benefit from Samurai Spirit can be found in the firepower COs as well. Additionally, Kanbei's prices cause slight difficulties in Tech Banking, to the extent that cheaper escorts for the expensive units may not always be affordable; thus compounding the inefficiency already present. The Tag is also lacking in utility due to the defensive nature of Samurai Spirit; like all Kanbei Tags, adopting a SCOP-centered strategy loses charging efficiency compared to other Tags due to the loss of the defense bonus if Kanbei switches out on the Samurai Spirit turn.

Sami
Better Economic Out-Pacing: By having Hachi out front initially, but using Sami as the primary, this Tag is able to set up a superior unit infrastructure for Sami to use. Sami will not resort to the normal Mech Rush and Copter Rush, as the combat economy will be provided for by Merchant Union.

Door Busting: Hachi will lead TB if possible. He attempts to deal damage without suiciding any soldiers, as well as getting into position for Victory March. After buying Black Bombs, Megatanks, and/or supporting (Md) Tanks, Sami will then use these units to clear as many paths as possible to enemy properties, particularly production facilities and the Hq, before moving in all available soldiers for capture.

Disadvantages: None. This is a perfectly synergistic Tag that can operate both with and without TB as needed.

Eagle
Tech Concentration: Hachi acts as the primary CO, and stays out until Merchant Union has been used, at which point Eagle switches in. Lightning Drive is used once to destroy opponent's front line before switching back to Hachi. If at any point Eagle's bar is charged enough, Lightning Drive will be used twice before switching back to Hachi. All other concepts from these two COs apply.

Disadvantages: This Tag has a very inefficient TB due to the need for Eagle to go first. Additionally, if Eagle does go first he will have few to no units for Lightning Strike to use.

Kindle
Urban Synergy: By using Hachi as the primary CO, using Merchant Union, and then changing to Kindle to continue charging, this Tag is able to breeze through heavily urbanized areas. When Kindle uses Urban Blight, she will also have access to the Black Bombs and Megatanks Hachi produced in addition to any escorts built, and is able to use the weaker units combined with the Bomb to clear off properties while the heavier units focus on pushing back the enemy front line. The disruption in enemy captures and repair costs also pushes the economic advantage already held by Hachi even further in this Tag's favor.

Disadvantages: While servicable, this Tag's TB is not as effective or powerful as simply using the COs with their SCOP and COP respectively.

Rachel
Of Missiles and Megatanks: This Tag will lead TB with Hachi and finish with Rachel. Two strategies can be pursued here: either Hachi buys his usual Merchant Union build, or buys a brigade of Md Tanks after the Black Bomb. The latter helps Rachel dismantle the enemy front line after the missiles drop, while the former allows continued projection of power during regular day-to-day sequences.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. The latter gives the benefit of avoiding post-power weakness.

Von Bolt
  • -10 firepower penalty in TB.
Of Lightning Bolts and Megatanks: This Tag will lead TB with Hachi and finish with Von Bolt. Two strategies can be pursued here: either Hachi buys his usual Merchant Union build, or buys a brigade of Md Tanks after the Black Bomb. The latter helps Von Bolt dismantle the enemy front line after Ex Machina, while the former allows continued projection of power during regular day-to-day sequences. The usual build is arguably better, as it is desirable in most cases to let the disabled units block the opponent's movement, and focus on those targets still able to move. In cases such as overcoming Samurai Spirit, though, attempting to destroy the disabled units immediately may be more beneficial.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. The latter gives the benefit of avoiding post-power weakness, while the former has the benefit of Von Bolt's increased defense.

Olaf
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Hachi, Olaf is able to compound his mass damage with a Black Bomb and tech units. The total effect of the Economic Triple-Whammy removes the opponent's ability to respond to these units, except in cases of tier parity.

Disadvantages: This Tag suffers from slight inefficiency due to the need for Olaf to remain for the duration of the snow effect, preventing the Tag from benefitting fully should the player choose to alternate SCOPs.

Hawke
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Hachi, Hawke is able to compound his mass damage with a Black Bomb and tech units. The slight healing effect repairs most damage incurred while Hachi attacks during the Merchant Union half of TB. The total effect of the Economic Triple-Whammy removes the opponent's ability to respond to these units, except in cases of tier parity.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. In fact, alternating SCOPs is slightly more efficient in this Tag due to the length of Hawke's CO Power bar.

Drake
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Hachi, Drake is able to compound his mass damage with a Black Bomb and tech units. Since Hachi leads the Tag, he also won't be impaired by Drake's rain-fog, and will have time to reduce the enemy Recon count somewhat to help Drake blind the opponent. The total effect of the Economic Triple-Whammy removes the opponent's ability to respond to these units, except in cases of tier parity.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. Neither tactic is more or less preferable than the other, as Drake's rain-fog will never last long enough to impact Hachi in either case.

Sonja
Speed: With two 5-star CO Power bars, this Tag is tied as one of the 6 fastest to charge its TB. As a result, in addition to Hachi's economy and Sonja's defensive potential, this Tag also has the advantage of frequent two-move turns.

Disadvantages: The Tag is not able to shift to an effective SCOP-swap tactic due to Sonja's need to stay out for her defensive benefit. This is minimized by the other advantages, though.

Jess
Tech Concentration: By use of TB, this Tag is able to immediately move Merchant Union tech through the front lines, though this is limited to land vehicles. Combined with Jess' firepower, this affords the Tag the option of using multiple Md Tanks in place of a Megatank to rush out and attack multiple points of the enemy front line; though this isn't to say that a fast Megatank wouldn't have its usual lasting impact.

Adaptable: This Tag is able to use a formidable SCOP-swap strategy in addition to TB, allowing Merchant Union and Overdrive to come more frequently than should normally be the case.

Max
Firepower: Max's firepower offers a choice between Hachi's usual high-tech units, or multiple "lower" tech units that can attack in multiple places. Using Md Tanks (or perhaps Neotanks) in place of Megatanks does trade off some of the long-term benefit, and can't really be used against a high-defense opponent such as Kanbei and his Tags. Most COs, however, do not have access to Md Tanks in large numbers, and Max Blast-enhanced Md Tanks will be able to make short work of these very quickly before turning their attention to the larger front.

Adaptable: Max and Hachi can pull off both TB and SCOP-swapping as needed.

Grimm
Firepower: Grimm's firepower offers a choice between Hachi's usual high-tech units, or multiple "lower" tech units that can attack in multiple places. Using Md Tanks (or perhaps Neotanks) in place of Megatanks does trade off some of the long-term benefit, and can't really be used against a high-defense opponent such as Kanbei and his Tags. Most COs, however, do not have access to Md Tanks in large numbers, and Haymaker-enhanced Md Tanks will be able to make short work of these very quickly before turning their attention to the larger front. Grimm's firepower is also high enough to take advantage of this even in d2d.

Adaptable: Grimm and Hachi can pull off both TB and SCOP-swapping as needed.

Andy
Healing Blitz: This Tag can take advantage of Hachi's ability to create swarms of cheaper units thanks to the healing capacity of Hyper Upgrade. Though not always advisable (there is not a Hachi Tag where Hachi's concepts don't apply), it does allow for a certain degree of recklessness on your part. A swarm of Tanks backed up by a B-Bomb, unlimited reinforcements, and a healing factor cannot be said to be easy to deal with.

Healing Wall: The ability to heal Hachi's high-tech units is also something to be considered. The Megatank, for example, is normally intended to be a unit that will eventually be taken down at great cost to the opponent (or against Kanbei, to break defense), and impossible to cost-effectively kill when bought by Merchant Union. With Hyper Upgrade, there is a greater possibility that the Megatank just won't be killed, period, and will be joined by many more. The only downside is that an APC may be needed to keep up its low ammo supply if you intend for it to continue killing vehicles.

Disadvantages: This Tag is inefficient when it comes to TB, at least during the first round, because none of the units Hachi needs repaired at that point will be ones that are usually worth healing. Subsequent uses don't have this problem, though.

Koal
Tech Concentration: Koal's movement allows any and all tech units produced during Hachi's half of TB to run out and kill stuff. This is especially useful for the Black Bomb, which occasionally doesn't have the movement range needed to get into a perfect spot to blow up.

Adaptable: Koal and Hachi can pull off both TB and SCOP-swapping as needed.

Adder
Tech Concentration: Adder's movement allows any and all tech units produced during Hachi's half of TB to run out and kill stuff. This is especially useful for the Black Bomb, which occasionally doesn't have the movement range needed to get into a perfect spot to blow up.

Adaptable: Adder and Hachi can pull off both TB and SCOP-swapping as needed.

Sasha
Auxiliary: Sasha is a fund-gathering auxiliary during TB. Hachi will be used during most of the game, even using SCOP, while Sasha's role is limited to following up Merchant Union with War Bonds and getting a few extra Infantry or a Recon up front after she uses the high-tech units.

Nell
Auxiliary: Nell is a damage-dealing auxiliary to Hachi. Hachi will be used during most of the game, while Nell's role is limited to following up Merchant Union with Lady Luck and trying to get some lucky rolls with the weaker units.

Jugger
Auxiliary: Jugger is a damage-dealing auxiliary to Hachi. Hachi will be used during most of the game, while Jugger's role is limited to following up Merchant Union with System Crash and trying to get some lucky rolls with the weaker units.

Flak
Auxiliary: Flak is a damage-dealing auxiliary to Hachi. Hachi will be used during most of the game, while Flak's role is limited to following up Merchant Union with Barbaric Blow and trying to get some lucky rolls with the weaker units.

Jake
Tech Concentration: By use of TB, this Tag is able to immediately move Merchant Union tech through the front lines, though this is limited to land vehicles. Since Jake's firepower is limited to plains, it is best to stick with a normal Merchant Union build rather than try other tactics.

Adaptable: Jake and Hachi can pull off both TB and SCOP-swapping as needed.

Lash
Minor Boosts and Mobility: During TB, Lash will provide some stat boosts to units as they cross terrain, allowing the high-tech units of Merchant Union to be slightly more indestructible than they already are. She also lets units like the Megatanks and the Recons get through difficult terrain more easily during this turn; especially valuable for the former, whose movement range is already quite small.

Auxiliary: Lash is an auxiliary to Hachi due to the gulf in power between them, coming out only during Tag Break.

Javier
Towers: Provided there is at least one tower on the field, Javier can provide Hachi's units with valuable defense during TB. At one tower, he can be treated like Sonja; at two towers and above, use him like Kanbei without the price-related difficulties.

Auxiliary: Without towers, Javier simply gives Hachi a Lightning Strike turn every now and again to go with Merchant Union.

Disadvantages: When the Tag has towers, SCOP-swap can't be used efficiently due to Javier needing to stay out for the defense boost.

Grit
Auxiliary: If you don't feel like being creative, using Grit as a two-turn auxiliary to Hachi is a perfectly viable strategy.
But where's the fun in that? You have 25 other COs to pick from who can do the exact same thing if you really want them to. On with the show!

Indirects: Indirects are normally produced for clog control, and typically don't get more powerful than the Artillery. Since you have Grit paired with a CO who can afford his strategy, though, you may as well get a little creative. During TB, much fun can be had plopping some Artillery onto forward cities near the heart of the action, and bumping your Megatank and/or Black Bomb further back to let Grit do his work. If you use Grit as an auxiliary, you don't even have to choose since you'll have already used Merchant Union once to get some good stuff up front. You could even put up a Rocket or a Piperunner on one of these cities just to give the opponent grief. Efficient? No. More effective than playing it straight? Probably not. Hilarious? Oh god yes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS (Un-ordered Entries)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:43 am 
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Sensei's Tags
Sensei is one of the more boring COs to play as, at least on his own. He uses more-or-less the same build order as everyone else, and all he really changes is his footsoldier count. This by no means makes him weak, but you can only swarm someone so many times before the whole thing loses its appeal. Once the realm of Tags is entered, Sensei becomes a bit more interesting, because now these soldiers are either gaining new boosts or being bolstered by some other effect. Sensei, in nearly all of his Tags, is the primary CO, and he always leads TB. This sacrifices flexibility, but makes up for it with a huge unit count that nearly every CO can work with in some way.

Hachi - Grizzled Vets
  • +10 Luck Boost
Mega Spam: By alternating between Copter Command and Merchant Union, the Hachi/Sensei Tag can flood the map with Infantry providing a screen for high-tech units backed up by squads of Tanks and Md Tanks. The switch should occur immediately after either power is used in order to maximize the charging rate, as well as the turn following any Copter Command so that power can be used a second time before Merchant Union charges.

Mech Spam: Calling back to one of Sensei's tactics, switching to Airborne Assault may be called for against more resilient opponents or if the player is approaching the unit limit. The latter in particular is likely to come up due to the nature of these two COs.

Disadvantages: Grizzled Vets itself causes these COs to step on each other's toes, as it were, and hence is inefficient compared to the above tactic.

Colin
COP-Swapping: Because these two COs both use their COP to a great extent, you can garner fantastic results by using one's COP, then switching COs so that the other one is (probably) charged the very next turn. Once combat begins, it will be quite rare for you to be spending a turn under the effects of Gold Rush or Copter Command. Their respective concepts, mentioned elsewhere in The Idiot's Guide, can be applied accordingly by both COs.

Precision TB Use: When you're ready to make the big strike that forces your opponent to yield, this Tag's TB will be what you use to break his back. Leading with Sensei, any Mechs and Infantry still too far away to be used in Colin's attack should be joined for funds. Pick weaker targets during this turn, and then during Colin's turn use the units gained from the Tech Snowballing concept along with any Mechs on the front line to annihilate the opponent's units.

Kanbei
  • +5 firepower buff in TB.
Auxiliary: Kanbei will be used as a defensive auxiliary to Sensei, being saved for TB while Sensei mainly uses COP or SCOP as needed. This is because Sensei's abilities, particularly with regard to transports, are more valuable than anything else Kanbei can contribute. Once TB is launched, though, the priority should be focused on capturing vital enemy properties such as production or the HQ. If a full-health Infantry is used, an HQ capture can be guaranteed even if it doesn't start until Kanbei's turn; keeping a T-Copter ready to do this can be useful even if it's just for threat value.

Inflexible: Due to the nature of Kanbei's SCOP, SCOP-swapping cannot be used as an effective tactic, making this Tag a bit of a one-trick pony.

Sami
Perfect Synergy: Due to the nature of both COs' abilities, this Tag benefits greatly from pursuing Sami's normal build and constantly switching off at the end of each turn once combat starts. (Sensei should stay out initially for the transport bonus.) Occasionally keeping one or the other CO out, such as for Copter or Mech firepower, can be done as needed. Sensei can usually get in a Copter Command before TB without messing up the latter's timing, provided that it is followed by immediately switching to Sami. Sensei will lead TB, and the excess of Mechs he produces combined with Copter firepower will be used to clear a path for Sami to capture as many properties as possible, with a preference for production. A T-Copter HQ capture should be attempted if possible.

Eagle
COP-Swapping: Both COs being COP-dependent, and both being able to use it at the end of the turn, this Tag can continually switch COs at the end of every turn once combat begins. It is entirely possible to go several turns in a row without having to stop using one of their COPs. Sensei's and Eagle's respective concepts apply as usual.

Inefficiency: Sensei and Eagle do not TB very well, as both use SCOPs that are preferred for first use. (Which isn't to say they can't do it, but Eagle must go first.) Additionally, Sensei produces units that Eagle can't use his COP on; not a weakness, per se, but certainly not as efficient as other Tags.

Kindle
COP-Swapping: Both Kindle and Sensei are COP-dependent, and both COPs are able to be used at the end of the turn. As such, they can go several consecutive turns before slowing down their use due to the cost increase. Their respective concepts apply as usual.

Rachel
Of Missiles and Mechs: Sensei will lead TB in this Tag, and try to destroy any odd units (such as Tanks) that are positioned away from the main clump of units. Rachel then deploys her missiles, which now are more likely to land on the desired unit clumps. Because the Mechs have already moved, Rachel can (map-allowing) use them to help with dismantling the front line.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. The latter gives the benefit of avoiding post-power weakness.

Von Bolt
  • -10 firepower penalty in TB.
Of Lightning Bolts and Mechs: Sensei will lead TB in this Tag, and try to destroy any odd units (such as Tanks) that are positioned away from the main clump of units. Von Bolt then deploys Ex Machina, which is now more likely to land on the desired unit clump. With at least one enemy front frozen, Von Bolt buys the Tag more time to move up any lagging Mechs.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. The latter gives the benefit of avoiding post-power weakness, while the former has the benefit of Von Bolt's increased defense.

Olaf
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Sensei, Olaf is able to compound his mass damage with Airborne Assault's wave of Mechs, who have (hopefully) moved close enough to the front in Sensei's turn to be useful; if not, rear-line Mechs can be combined to produce extra or more powerful units for Olaf. The total effect of the Economic Triple-Whammy removes the opponent's ability to respond to these units, except in cases of tier parity.

Disadvantages: This Tag suffers from slight inefficiency due to the need for Olaf to remain for the duration of the snow effect, preventing the Tag from benefitting fully should the player choose to alternate SCOPs.

Hawke
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Sensei, Hawke is able to compound his mass damage with Airborne Assault's wave of Mechs, who have (hopefully) moved close enough to the front in Sensei's turn to be useful; if not, rear-line Mechs can be combined to produce extra or more powerful units for Hawke. The total effect of the Economic Triple-Whammy removes the opponent's ability to respond to these units, except in cases of tier parity.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. Neither tactic is more or less preferable than the other, as Hawke's healing and mass damage can only help you.

Drake
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Sensei, Drake is able to compound his mass damage with Airborne Assault's wave of Mechs, who have (hopefully) moved close enough to the front in Sensei's turn to be useful; if not, rear-line Mechs can be combined to produce extra or more powerful units for Drake. The total effect of the Economic Triple-Whammy removes the opponent's ability to respond to these units, except in cases of tier parity.

Adaptable: This Tag can use both TB and alternating SCOPs effectively. Neither tactic is more or less preferable than the other, as Drake's rain-fog will never last long enough to impact Sensei in either case.

Sonja
  • +5 firepower buff during TB.
Auxiliary: This Tag will mainly play as CO Sensei, using Sonja as a defensive auxiliary during TB. Thanks to the firepower of the Mechs gained when Sensei leads TB, Counter Break will form a hard-hitting meatwall (map permitting) that is impossible for anything but a tech unit to attack without suffering major damage. The extra firepower this Tag gains magnifies this effect somewhat.

Disadvantages: This Tag is a bit of a one-trick pony due to the defensive nature of Sonja's SCOP, and the fact that she brings little to the table that Sensei does not completely out-class.

Jess
No Synergy: The two COs of this Tag have no synergy, as they never boost the same units and often step on one another's toes. As a result, Jess become an auxiliary who occasionally brings up vehicles to bust through the enemy front line during TB; beyond that, it's Sensei's show.

Max
Synergistic Auxiliary: Though acting as an auxiliary to Sensei, Max has the advantage of boosting one of Sensei's key units even more than Sensei himself during SCOP: B-Copters. Their TB is fairly devastating as a result, provided plenty of B-Copters are around to attack; rear-line Mechs can be joined for funds if you need more, as usual.

Grimm - Rolling Thunder
  • +5 Luck Boost
  • +10 firepower buff in TB.
Major League Door-Busting: These two COs give similar boosts to enough of the same units to be used interchangeably, quickly charging TB. Sensei will lead TB, moving up his Mechs and softening up the front line with his Max-quality Copters. Grimm then comes out with nearly the largest firepower boost in the game, and with the help of any near-enough Mechs annihilates the enemy front line.

Andy
Healing Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Sensei until TB rolls around. Sensei will lead TB and attack with little regard for counter-attack damage (but avoiding suicides). Andy comes and restores all units to combat strength, including Sensei's Mechs, and either continues or finishes the attack. The extra movement also helps the rear-line Mechs get up front faster, which can be a helpful alternative to joining them for funds.

Koal
Movement Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Sensei, bringing Koal out during TB to bring movement boosts into play. During Koal's turn, Mechs are able to move at double their normal pace, allowing them to reach the front line and clog the lanes sooner.

Adder
Movement Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Sensei, bringing Adder out during TB to bring movement boosts into play. During Adder's turn, Mechs are able to move at double their normal pace, allowing them to reach the front line and clog the lanes sooner.

Sasha
Fund Auxiliary: You'll mostly play as Sensei, bringing Sasha out during TB to gather some extra money and buy a few more units.

Nell
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag is different from other auxiliaries, as Nell can be used interchangeably with Sensei without much penalty. Since Nell boosts all of the same units and a little more, most assaults can go un-interupted, with the exception of those involving B- and T-Copters. She will sometimes do less than Sensei could have done on his own, but the overall effect makes near-constant CO-swapping and a focus on TB worthwhile.

Jugger
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag is different from other auxiliaries, as Jugger can be used interchangeably with Sensei without much penalty. Since Jugger boosts all of the same units and a little more, most assaults can go un-interupted, with the exception of those involving B- and T-Copters. He will sometimes do less than Sensei could have done on his own, but the overall effect makes near-constant CO-swapping and a focus on TB worthwhile.

Flak
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag is different from other auxiliaries, as Flak can be used interchangeably with Sensei without much penalty. Since Flak boosts all of the same units and a little more, most assaults can go un-interupted, with the exception of those involving B- and T-Copters. He will sometimes do less than Sensei could have done on his own, but the overall effect makes near-constant CO-swapping and a focus on TB worthwhile.

Jake
No Synergy: The two COs of this Tag have no synergy, as they almost never boost the same units and often step on one another's toes. As a result, Jake become an auxiliary who occasionally brings up vehicles to bust through the enemy front line during TB; beyond that, it's Sensei's show.

Lash
Mobility Booster: While Lash sits in back as Sensei's auxiliary, she is particularly useful during TB for her effect on terrain penalties. Since this Tag will have a lot of Infantry, Lash is a boon to Sensei on maps heavy with mountains and rivers, but also on ones with small concentrations of this terrain around key urban centers. This makes her one of Sensei's more useful partners.

Javier
  • +5 firepower buff in TB.
Towers: Provided there is at least one tower on the field, Javier can provide Senseii's units with valuable defense during TB. At one tower, he can be treated like Sonja; at two towers and above, use him like Kanbei without the price-related difficulties.

Auxiliary: Without towers, Javier simply gives Sensei a Lightning Strike turn every now and again to go with Airborne Assault.

Disadvantages: When the Tag has towers, SCOP-swap can't be used efficiently due to Javier needing to stay out for the defense boost.

Grit
Auxiliary: If you don't feel like being creative, using Grit as a two-turn auxiliary to Sensei is a perfectly viable strategy.
But where's the fun in that? You have 25 other COs to pick from who can do the exact same thing if you really want them to. On with the show!

Indirects: Since there are plenty of Infantry and Mechs in this Tag to cover up Indirects, it's entirely possible to pursue a build replacing all Tanks with Artillery. This allows for a good CO-swapping strategy culminating in a TB led by Sensei. During TB, Sensei will move all of the Artillery as far forward as he can, and let Grit worry about moving up walling units after blasting the ever-loving crap out of the opponent. Efficient? No. More effective than playing it straight? Probably not. More fun than using the same damn build you use with almost every other Tag and CO? You bet your ass it is.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS (Un-ordered Entries)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:40 am 
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Colin's Tags
Colin was a difficult CO to integrate into the Tag metagame in the early days due to his stats and powers. He is already a very powerful CO on his own, and while most COs have statistically better units than he does, using those boosts while also using his economic bonuses effectively was a challenge until more recently in metagame development. If you've been reading this guide in order, then you've already seen a couple variations of Colin's usage in Tags. He isn't an auxiliary, but he's never quite a primary CO either. Nearly every Tag of his involves constant or near-constant CO swapping, but unless the other CO is an auxiliary you will usually not see a Tag Break being used.

Hachi
Tech Bank Snowballing: By combining the Tech Banking and Tech Snowballing concepts, the Hachi/Colin Tag can create more high-tech units on Merchant Union than Hachi can by himself. For review, this involves a combination of spamming Colin's COP and Hachi's SCOP, and not teching above Recons except when using the latter. Switch COs at the end of any power turn to cancel out post-power weakness. Gold Rush may be used more than once before Merchant Union is used.

Disadvantages: Tag Break itself is extremely inefficient for this Tag. It requires using the lesser of Colin's two powers, and this power must necessarily be used before the Merchant Union turn to be useful. In most any other Tag, these powers would be used in the opposite order for maximum efficiency.

Sensei
COP-Swapping: Because these two COs both use their COP to a great extent, you can garner fantastic results by using one's COP, then switching COs so that the other one is (probably) charged the very next turn. Once combat begins, it will be quite rare for you to be spending a turn under the effects of Gold Rush or Copter Command. Their respective concepts, mentioned elsewhere in The Idiot's Guide, can be applied accordingly by both COs.

Precision TB Use: When you're ready to make the big strike that forces your opponent to yield, this Tag's TB will be what you use to break his back. Leading with Sensei, any Mechs and Infantry still too far away to be used in Colin's attack should be joined for funds. Pick weaker targets during this turn, and then during Colin's turn use the units gained from the Tech Snowballing concept along with any Mechs on the front line to annihilate the opponent's units.

Kanbei
Opposite Foci: Because these two COs do the exact opposite of one another in d2d terms, a very specific strategy needs to be used to get maximum results. To start with, Colin must stay out until the first use of Gold Rush. Kanbei is immediately swapped in to take advantage of the teched-up force, which he would not normally have access to. Colin comes back in until the next Gold Rush, then Kanbei comes in again. This repeats until Samurai Spirit is almost ready, at which point Colin stays out to charge Power of Money. Tag Break is then led by Colin. The purpose of this tactic is to get as much benefit out of each CO's most useful powers as possible. The reason TB is used as opposed to Power-Swapping is due to Kanbei's defense boost. Samurai Spirit doesn't give its main defensive benefit if you swap COs, so instead of trying to force it into that swapping structure, it is saved for the one time you can't swap COs at the end of the turn (giving it a nice two-turn push to boot).

Predictable: Since the Tag becomes rather inefficient if the above concept is not applied, it becomes a target for powerful Luck Tags such as Windfall, which are known to be capable of breaking through the defense of Samurai Spirit. Tags like this usually have inferior d2d potential, so it's best to try and force them into having the first TB use. Using Gold Rush liberally will ensure that you can eat the losses.

Sami
Opposite Foci: Colin will be used initially for his cost reductions and then until the first Gold Rush. Sami is switched in for one turn, and Colin stays out until the next Gold Rush. This continues until Victory March is almost charged, at which point Colin stays out to charge Power of Money. Colin leads TB, moving soldiers in range and clearing a path for their Victory March usage. Alternatively, Colin and Sami may be swapped constantly to charge Victory March as quickly as possible and use (S)COP-swap tactics with Gold Rush and Victory March. Both tactics make roughly equal use of these COs' abilities, though the former has the added benefit of giving Victory March more to work with.

Eagle
Super Speedy Tech: This Tag uses a COP-swap strategy that will result in COP being used almost every turn. Colin stays out until the first Gold Rush, and then he and Eagle are swapped in for one or two turns to trade off uses of Gold Rush and Lightning Drive. The result is a teched up force that gets two moves every 2-3 turns and bolstered in that same time.

Inefficient TB: It should be noted, for completeness, that TB between these COs is massively inefficient. Both use SCOPs that should not only lead TB, but become nearly useless on the second turn.

Kindle
Urban Destruction: Leading with Colin until the first Gold Rush, a COP-swap strategy is used wherein most every turn results in either bolstering your force with more tech, or destroying the enemy's economy. Due to the damage to their economy and the tech you bring to bear, the opponent may resort to replacing their Tanks with Artillery once forced onto the defensive. This leads directly into the next concept.

Precision TB Use: Once the enemy is forced to turtle, this Tag can temporarily shift its focus to firepower. Colin will lead TB, and Kindle mops up. They can then resume performing Urban Destruction.

Rachel
Frontline Deconstruction: Leading with Colin until the first Gold Rush, a (S)COP-swap strategy is used, alternating between Gold Rush and Covering Fire. Standard Colin (S)COP-swap setup is used here, letting Rachel come out for a turn and then keeping Colin out for another Gold Rush, lighting off Covering Fire whenever it charges. The combination of tech units and missile cover makes attacks by this Tag difficult to resist. It should be noted that while Colin does sometimes buy Black Bombs, Rachel's missiles make them largely unnecessary. Colin is able to focus on getting Bombers and/or Neotanks instead to supplement the damage he does.

TB Inefficiency: While by no means weak, Tag Break with these COs is inefficient due to both having SCOPs that are best used in the first turn.

Von Bolt
  • -10 firepower penalty in TB.
Frontline Deconstruction: Leading with Colin until the first Gold Rush, a (S)COP-swap strategy is used, alternating between Gold Rush and Ex Machina. Standard Colin (S)COP-swap setup is used here, letting Von Bolt come out for a turn and then keeping Colin out for another Gold Rush, lighting off Ex Machina whenever it charges. The combination of tech units and missile cover makes attacks by this Tag difficult to resist. It should be noted that while Colin does sometimes buy Black Bombs, Von Bolt's missile make them largely unnecessary, as the damage combined with the freezing effect makes a large chunk of the enemy force easy to pick apart. Colin is able to focus on getting Bombers and/or Neotanks instead to supplement the damage he does.

Slight TB Inefficiency: This Tag can function perfectly well with a TB strategy, since Power of Money is definitely intended to go first while Ex Machina is equally intended to go second. There is the loss of the default firepower boost to contend with, however, making it slightly harder to punch through the enemy than if a simple (S)COP-swap strategy were used. Neither CO is particularly reliant on firepower, though, and the benefits of Super Lightning Strike and Ghetto Victory March mostly out-weigh this penalty.

Olaf
  • +5 firepower buff in TB.
ETW Auxiliary: Olaf's power of the Economic Triple-Whammy is reserved for Tag Break in the case of this Tag. Colin stays out until Gold Rush is used, and then Olaf comes out for one turn. Rinse and repeat. When Winter Fury is nearing a charged state, Colin stays out to charge Power of Money and lead TB. The resulting Tag Break would be able to rip through the enemy front line even without the firepower buff, though said buff certainly helps.

Disadvantages: This Tag can't (S)COP-swap effectively due to the need for Olaf to stay out for a turn after using Winter Fury.

Hawke
Economic Triple-Whammy: Using either (S)COP-swap or leading TB with Colin, Hawke is able to compound his mass damage with tech units and, in the case of the latter, a prior pummeling by these same cash-enhanced units. His healing effect helps keep this units in the fight longer after they take eventual chip-damage from counterattacks and suicide attacks.

Drake
Economic Triple-Whammy: Using either (S)COP-swap or leading TB with Colin, Drake is able to compound his mass damage with tech units and, in the case of the latter, a prior pummeling by these same cash-enhanced units. The rain from Typhoon limits the enemy's ability to strike back, and always ends in time to keep from affecting Colin.

Sonja
Auxiliary: This Tag will primarily play as CO Colin, using Sonja as a defensive auxiliary during TB. Colin will use Gold Rush once before charging Power of Money and leading TB. His money-enhanced tech units blast the front line, and then Sonja mops up and prepares to soak up the upcoming attacks. Since tech units are involved, Counter Break is particularly powerful in this Tag.

Jess
Adaptable: This Tag can function equally well with (S)COP-swap or with Colin leading TB. Colin's tech units benefit especially in either case, particularly the Md Tanks, as Jess gives them a much needed speed boost with Overdrive.

Max
Adaptable: This Tag can function equally well with (S)COP-swap or with Colin leading TB. Max Blast is basically identical to Power of Money for this Tag's purposes, so the only things sacrificed by not pursuing TB are the usual effects of Super Lightning Strike and Ghetto Victory March.

Grimm
Adaptable: This Tag can function equally well with (S)COP-swap or with Colin leading TB. Grimm's weakness is not noticed as much in this Tag, as tech units are quite difficult to kill even with lowered defense. His strength, on the other hand, makes the units purchased by Colin capable of one-hit-kills more often than not.

Andy
Healing Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Colin, using one Gold Rush before charging for TB. Colin leads TB and attacks without regard for counterattack damage (but avoiding suicides), before Andy comes in and brings the units back to fighting strength to do this all over again. Since tech units are involved, this healing will mostly be aimed at restoring chip-damage. The extra movement helps units produced during Colin's turn move up and possibly attack; with Md Tanks involved, this is a big help.

Koal
Movement Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Colin, using one Gold Rush before charging TB. Koal comes out after Colin destroys the enemy front line to rush the tech units in for a bit of blitzkrieg action.

Adder
Movement Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Colin, using one Gold Rush before charging TB. Adder comes out after Colin destroys the enemy front line to rush the tech units in for a bit of blitzkrieg action.

Sasha - Trust Fund
  • +15 Luck Boost
  • +30 firepower buff in TB.
Fund Auxiliary: Despite the firepower and luck boost gained by this Tag, Sasha remains an auxiliary. Colin uses Gold Rush once before charging and leading TB. This is arguably Sasha's most useful Tag Break, though, because during her turn the firepower combined with the use of tech units allows enough fund gathering for a second round of vehicle production, giving this Tag some elements of unit spam. Power of Money is quite useful during this Tag as well, since it can often push him over the +200 firepower mark. At that point, most of the benefit is actually going to his low-tech units, but it helps them keep up with the tech units.

Nell
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag is different from other auxiliaries, as Nell can be used interchangeably with Colin with no penalty. Since Nell only reverts units to normal cost while she's out and deals more damage in the meantime, her presence will never interrupt an assault. She will always do more damage than Colin could have, and the overall effect lends itself to a CO-swap strategy focused on Gold Rush and Lady Luck.

Jugger
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag is different from other auxiliaries, as Jugger can be used interchangeably with Colin without much penalty. Since Jugger only reverts units to normal cost while he's out and deals more damage in the meantime, his presence will never interrupt an assault. He will occasionally do less than Colin could have, but the overall effect lends itself to a CO-swap strategy focused on Gold Rush and System Crash.

Flak
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag is different from other auxiliaries, as Flak can be used interchangeably with Colin without much penalty. Since Flak only reverts units to normal cost while he's out and deals more damage in the meantime, his presence will never interrupt an assault. He will occasionally do less than Colin could have, but the overall effect lends itself to a CO-swap strategy focused on Gold Rush and Barbaric Blow.

Jake
Adaptable: This Tag can function equally well with (S)COP-swap or with Colin leading TB. Colin's tech units benefit especially in either case, particularly the Md Tanks, as Jake gives them a much needed speed boost with Block Rock.

Lash
  • -10 firepower penalty in TB.
Mobility Booster: Lash serves a pure auxiliary role with Colin as the primary CO. Gold Rush is used until Lash is sufficiently charged to bank for Tag Break instead. Colin leads TB, and Lash provides minor defense at the end. Rinse and repeat.

Javier
Towers: If at least one tower is present on the field, Javier can play defense for Colin either in a (S)COP-swap or TB setup. (Swapping is slightly inefficient due to Javier needing to stay out for the defense boost.) At one tower, he can be treated like Sonja; at two or higher, treat him like Kanbei without the price difficulties. If at any point you own four or more towers, just keep Javier out: he's undefeatable at that point.

Auxiliary: Without towers, Javier simply gives Colin an extra turn now and then to go with Power of Money.

Grit
  • +5 firepower buff in TB.
Auxiliary: If you don't feel like being creative, using Grit as a two-turn auxiliary to Colin is a perfectly viable strategy. You can even get a little more mileage out of him thanks to the small firepower buff.
But where's the fun in that? You have 25 other COs to pick from who can do the exact same thing if you really want them to. On with the show!

Indirects: This Tag can easily afford to replace Tanks with Artillery in its build. Most of Colin's Direct firepower comes from tech units like Md Tanks anyway. Colin stays out until the first Gold Rush to get said Md Tanks, and then the Tag switches to a swapping strategy leading up to Colin leading a TB that is charged as soon as possible. Paths are cleared by whatever Directs you have built, and Artillery are moved as far forward as possible. Then Grit comes out and murderizes stuff, using the Directs to mop up anything that might be able to hurt the Artillery. Efficient? No. Better than playing it straight? Probably not. Damn funny to watch? Definitely.

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~JakeSamiRulz, on Boku no Pico.

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 Post subject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to AWDS (Un-ordered Entries)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:09 am 
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Kanbei's Tags
Kanbei is the best CO in Tag Breaks and one of the worst for (S)COP-swapping. Nearly every Kanbei Tag can be described like this: the other CO comes out initially to buy units and expand. Kanbei comes out and stays out once the fighting starts, and then switches to the other CO when Samurai Spirit is nearly charged. The other CO leads TB and murderizes stuff, and then Kanbei comes out and murderizes more stuff before digging in. That's it. You don't really need to read beyond this point. That being said, all Tag descriptions will have this portion in them due to the need to copy them over to the other Tag guides

It should also be noted that any Tag with Kanbei in it has his HQ capture potential: that is, if he starts capturing an HQ with a full-health soldier at the end of TB, he can only be delayed by mass damage or a Black Bomb. This gives you a lot of freedom to act when it comes to developing a strategy for a Kanbei Tag.

Hachi
Mega Unit Spam: During Tag Break, this Tag has Hachi lead and Kanbei end the turn. The result takes Hachi's access to top-tier units and applies Kanbei's near-invulnerability to them. This is not so useful for the upper tier units like Megatanks, but greatly increases the lifespan of any cheaper escorts produced during Hachi's turn. As such, the already-insurmountable force Merchant Union would create becomes even less open to counter-attack.

Disadvantages: The Tag suffers from some inefficiency due to the fact that most Merchant Union units such as the Megatank are already near-indestructible, and whose main benefit from Samurai Spirit can be found in the firepower COs as well. Additionally, Kanbei's prices cause slight difficulties in Tech Banking, to the extent that cheaper escorts for the expensive units may not always be affordable; thus compounding the inefficiency already present. The Tag is also lacking in utility due to the defensive nature of Samurai Spirit; like all Kanbei Tags, adopting a SCOP-centered strategy loses charging efficiency compared to other Tags due to the loss of the defense bonus if Kanbei switches out on the Samurai Spirit turn.

Sensei
  • +5 firepower buff in TB.
Auxiliary: Kanbei will be used as a defensive auxiliary to Sensei, being saved for TB while Sensei mainly uses COP or SCOP as needed. This is because Sensei's abilities, particularly with regard to transports, are more valuable than anything else Kanbei can contribute. Once TB is launched, though, the priority should be focused on capturing vital enemy properties such as production or the HQ. If a full-health Infantry is used, an HQ capture can be guaranteed even if it doesn't start until Kanbei's turn; keeping a T-Copter ready to do this can be useful even if it's just for threat value.

Inflexible: Due to the nature of Kanbei's SCOP, SCOP-swapping cannot be used as an effective tactic, making this Tag a bit of a one-trick pony.

Colin
Opposite Foci: Because these two COs do the exact opposite of one another in d2d terms, a very specific strategy needs to be used to get maximum results. To start with, Colin must stay out until the first use of Gold Rush. Kanbei is immediately swapped in to take advantage of the teched-up force, which he would not normally have access to. Colin comes back in until the next Gold Rush, then Kanbei comes in again. This repeats until Samurai Spirit is almost ready, at which point Colin stays out to charge Power of Money. Tag Break is then led by Colin. The purpose of this tactic is to get as much benefit out of each CO's most useful powers as possible. The reason TB is used as opposed to Power-Swapping is due to Kanbei's defense boost. Samurai Spirit doesn't give its main defensive benefit if you swap COs, so instead of trying to force it into that swapping structure, it is saved for the one time you can't swap COs at the end of the turn (giving it a nice two-turn push to boot).

Predictable: Since the Tag becomes rather inefficient if the above concept is not applied, it becomes a target for powerful Luck Tags such as Windfall, which are known to be capable of breaking through the defense of Samurai Spirit. Tags like this usually have inferior d2d potential, so it's best to try and force them into having the first TB use. Using Gold Rush liberally will ensure that you can eat the losses.

Sami
Capturing Machine: Both COs in this Tag have a much easier time getting captures, particularly during SCOP or TB: Sami by actually boosting captures, and Kanbei by boosting the defense of the soldiers doing it. While Sami does have to lead TB, it doesn't matter as much if she can't hit a whole bunch of properties: Kanbei is going to help with getting the rest. Sami's movement boost is especially helpful here if you're anywhere near the enemy HQ, due to Kanbei's special affinity for capturing them.

Eagle
Deep Penetration: The sexual innuendo of that name is completely intentional, because during TB these two COs do precisely that. After Kanbei has had time to soften up the enemy line, Eagle comes out to charge TB. Due to the unique nature of his powers, this won't actually take that long. Eagle attacks, then attacks again, aiming for the best possible match-ups to minimize counterattack damage. Kanbei comes in and goes for the riskier match-ups, which for him are not risky at all.

Kindle
No Synergy: These COs have opposite foci: Kanbei wants to Tag Break, Kindle wants to (S)COP-swap. Since Kanbei is the better CO overall, you're better off using Kindle as a weak firepower auxiliary than trying to force an inefficient (S)COP-swap strategy. (Especially since Kindle would have to be out a lot more often during such a strategy, weakening the Tag overall.)

Rachel
Nukes With Follow-up: This Tag has quite a bit of synergy with regard to the order of use during TB; that is, Covering Fire is intended to go first, while Samurai Spirit is intended to go second. As usual, Kanbei is used once the fighting starts until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged, then switching to Rachel to charge TB. The main benefit gained via Tag Break will have less to do with Kanbei's defense and more with following up Rachel's missiles with an immediate attack. There are relatively few Tags and even less COs that can recover from the losses inflicted by this, much less when the follow-up in question is Kanbei's trademark defense.

Von Bolt
  • -10 firepower penalty in TB.
Lightning Bolts With Follow-up: There are synergy issues with this Tag's TB since both SCOPs are best used second, not to mention the loss of the default firepower boost. It is still powerful, though. Typical with any use of Ex Machina, you can generally avoid attacking the frozen units and instead work over the other fronts; the frozen units can be dealt with afterward, when the danger of retaliation is mostly gone. The extra turn combined with Kanbei's defense ensures that most opponents can't simply bounce back and break through any exposed lines.

Olaf
No Synergy: Both of these COs are intended to go second during Tag Break, and neither is particularly suited to SCOP-swap. SCOP-swap must be the tactic in use for full efficiency, though. Kanbei stays out for the benefits of Samurai Spirit, and then Olaf is switched in the turn after to use Winter Fury. Rinse and repeat.

Hawke
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Hawke, this Tag compounds mass damage with Kanbei's defense. Most Tags will not have the ability to strike back again until at least the second turn after this is used.

Drake
Economic Triple-Whammy: By leading TB with Drake, this Tag compounds mass damage with Kanbei's defense. Most Tags will not have the ability to strike back again until at least the second turn after this is used. There are minor issues of synergy due to Drake's fog, but after having a turn to get your units close to the enemy it's only a minor issue.

Sonja - Battle Standard
  • +15 luck boost.
  • +30 firepower buff in TB.
Auxiliary: Despite their excellent Tag bonuses, Sonja will play auxiliary to Kanbei. This Tag will primarily play as CO Kanbei, using Sonja as a two-turn auxiliary during TB. Kanbei will stay out until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged, at that point switching to Sonja so she can charge and lead TB. Sonja's main benefit to this Tag is her terrain de-buffs dealt to the opponent, since Counter Break will not be providing its defensive boost during Battle Standard. Battle Standard is very heavy on firepower, and Kanbei can make use of the Grimm-level firepower he gets to have very favorable match-ups against any tech units the opponent may have.

Jess
Firepower Auxiliary: This Tag will mostly play as Kanbei, but lead TB with Jess. Jess' movement and firepower are used to punch through the front line and threaten units in the back. Kanbei then brings in newly constructed units to mop up the front and begin attacking the rear, without much risk of a counter-attack until after his defense wears off.

Max
Firepower Auxiliary: This Tag will mostly play as Kanbei, but lead TB with Max. Max's firepower is used to punch through the front line and threaten units in the back. Kanbei then brings in newly constructed units to mop up the front and begin attacking the rear, without much risk of a counter-attack until after his defense wears off.

Grimm
Firepower Auxiliary: This Tag will mostly play as Kanbei, but lead TB with Grimm. Grimm's firepower is used to punch through the front line and threaten units in the back. Kanbei then brings in newly constructed units to mop up the front and begin attacking the rear, without much risk of a counter-attack until after his defense wears off.

Andy
Healing Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, having him stay out until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged, at which point Andy switches in. There are a few different ways to approach launching TB at this point: It can be launched immediately, healing damage from the previous turn and working off of Andy's firepower and movement boosts, or it can be launched after attacking, reaping more of the benefits of Andy's healing while still being able to move up some rear-line units. Either way, Kanbei follows this up by mopping up the front line and zooming ahead to the next group, unconcerned about damage thanks to his defense.

Koal
Movement Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, using him until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Koal. Koal leads TB and gets his units as close to the front as possible, before Kanbei comes in and mops up without regard to leaving units vulnerable.

Adder
Movement Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, using him until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Adder. Adder leads TB and gets his units as close to the front as possible, before Kanbei comes in and mops up without regard to leaving units vulnerable.

Sasha
Fund Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, using him until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Sasha. Sasha leads TB and tries to gain money to buy better units, and then Kanbei uses said units to thrust past the enemy front line and stay there.

Nell
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, using him until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Nell. Nell leads TB and tries to get as many lucky hits with the weakest units as she can before Kanbei comes in and uses his firepower to do the opposite before digging in.

Jugger
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, using him until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Jugger. Jugger leads TB and tries to get as many lucky hits with the weakest units as he can before Kanbei comes in and uses his firepower to do the opposite before digging in.

Flak
Luck Auxiliary: This Tag mainly plays as Kanbei, using him until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Flak. Flak leads TB and tries to get as many lucky hits with the weakest units as he can before Kanbei comes in and uses his firepower to do the opposite before digging in.

Jake
Vehicle Booster: This Tag will mostly play as Kanbei, but lead TB with Jake. Jake's vehicle movement and minor firepower are used to punch through the front line and threaten units in the back. Kanbei then brings in newly constructed units to mop up the front and begin attacking the rear, without much risk of a counter-attack until after his defense wears off.

Lash
Mobility Booster: Lash serves a two-turn auxiliary role with Kanbei as the primary CO. Kanbei stays out until Samurai Spirit is nearly charged before switching to Lash to finish charging TB. Lash uses her free terrain movement to shoot through difficult areas before Kanbei comes in to to the real work at the enemy front line.

Javier - Code of Honor
  • +5 luck boost.
  • +10 firepower buff in TB.
Towers: If at least one tower is present on the field, Javier can play defense alongside Kanbei either in a (S)COP-swap or TB setup. (Swapping is slightly inefficient due to both needing to stay out for the defense boost.) At one tower, he can be treated like Sonja; at two or higher, treat him like a second Kanbei without the price difficulties. At two towers, you can decide for yourself if you'd rather have the extra 10 defense or the doubled counterattacks at the end of the turn. At 3 towers, Javier is the clear choice for ending TB since he's invincible. If at any point you own four or more towers, just keep Javier out: he's undefeatable at that point.

Auxiliary: Without towers, Javier simply gives Kanbei an extra turn now and then to go with Samurai Spirit.

Grit
Auxiliary: If you don't feel like being creative, using Grit as a two-turn auxiliary to Kanbei is a perfectly viable strategy. You can even get a little more mileage out of him thanks to the small firepower buff.
But where's the fun in that? You have 25 other COs to pick from who can do the exact same thing if you really want them to. On with the show!

Indirects: By switching around your build order for Tanks and Artillery, this Tag gives you an iron wall of a front line to occasionally lance out with at your opponent. Grit leads TB and uses the Artillery to blast away the front line, moving up your Directs to finish off units and get ready for Kanbei's turn. Kanbei comes in guns blazing with Directs and whatever Artillery are still in range to secure the ground Grit cleared out. This is the part where I usually make some snarky comment about how much less effective this is than "playing it straight," but this time I can honestly say that incorporating Grit's strategy is the better way to go. This Tag, unlike most others, actually has all of the elements that make Indirect-heavy strategies work in AWDS: A strong attack from long range (Super Snipe) followed up by Directs with boosted attack and defense (Samurai Spirit) that can secure all the ground that's been gained.

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~JakeSamiRulz, on Boku no Pico.

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