Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

Sami FAQ
April 7, 2005
V. 1.0

By: Danny Bourque (Ebooz)
E-mail: ebooz86@hotmail.com
Copyright 2005 Danny "Ebooz" Bourque


********TABLE OF CONTENTS********


1. Legalities
2. Introduction
3. Sami
4. Sami's Powers
5. Sami's Units
6. Strategies
7. Facing other COs
8. Closing


********LEGALITIES********


This FAQ is copyrighted by me, and should not be found on any other site of 
GameFAQs. If you want it on your site, you'll have to e-mail me. If I don't 
respond to you within a week, try e-mailing again.


********INTRODUCTION********


Hi, I'm Ebooz, and, at this point, a newcomer to the GameFAQs board (though 
I've been visiting GameFAQs for a number of years now). I've been playing 
around a year's worth of Advance Wars at thispoint in time with my friends at 
school (though I didn't actually get the game until a few months ago, due to 
the fact I didn't have a GBA until recently).

Regardless of the genre of game, I've always enjoyed close-combat; when I 
first started playing Advance Wars with my friends, I started using Sami and 
Max a lot. However, despite Max's overall power, a lot of other small benefits
of Sami began to have her take precedence over Max for me: the fact that she 
could use very basic and inexpensive units to inflict high damage, her faster 
capture rate, and her intimidating CO powers (especially her SCO power).

The strategies in this FAQ are not the be-all, end-all way to use Sami; 
however, I feel I am a pretty good strategist, and I will be glad if somebody 
finds a tip or strategy that they can incorporate into their own battle plans,
whether or not they are a Sami user.

Without further ado, the FAQ!


********SAMI********


Sami's personality is very appealing to me: her bravery, willpower and 
foresight are qualities that I like to see in people, and is also one of the 
reasons I enjoy playing as her. Chances are, with most COs (and characters in 
other games, as well), their personality will reflect their fighting or 
playing style as well, and Sami's playing style itself has a lot of strengths 
that jump out to me.


STRENGTHS


1. +30% attack power for infantry and mechs.
2. 150% capture rate (rounded down).
3. +1 move for transportation units (APCs, Transport Copters and Landers; 
   does not include Cruiser).


STRENGTHS IN-DEPTH


1. The game's most basic and inexpensive units are very powerful with Sami, 
   and her foot soldiers are probably the best overall in the game. Of course,
   while Sensei has 10% more attack than Sami with foot soldiers, her infantry
   and mechs have higher capture rates and can gain even more power and move 
   range with her powers.

2. A higher capture rate means that Sami's troops can take more punishment 
   while capturing properties; while she, too, needs at least 2 days to 
   capture a property (unless Victory March is in effect), she only needs a 
   total of 14 HP to capture a property; anyone else needs 20 HP total to 
   capture a property in 2 days.

14 HP CHART:

(10 * 1.5) + (4 * 1.5) = 15 + 6  = 21
(9  * 1.5) + (5 * 1.5) = 13 + 7  = 20
(8  * 1.5) + (6 * 1.5) = 12 + 9  = 21
(7  * 1.5) + (7 * 1.5) = 10 + 10 = 20

As you can see, the fact that Sami doesn't need full health to capture a 
property makes her much more reliable for taking big chunks out of the enemy's
income while adding to her own.

3. Getting additional move for transportation units means that you can get 
   your troops to where they need to be quicker; always a plus.


WEAKNESSES


1. -10% attack for non-infantry direct combat units.
2. SCO Power takes a while to charge (8 stars).


WEAKNESSES IN-DEPTH


1. Sami's recons, tanks, medium tanks, neotanks, anti-airs, battle copters, 
   fighters, bombers, subs and cruisers get a small attack drop; however, its 
   nothing devastating, and her directs should still be able to dish out good 
   damage.

2. Victory March takes a long while to build up; however, there are really 
   only a few times when you should use it (as discussed later), so that 
   should not be too huge of a problem.


MISC.


1. Indirect units have no strengths or weaknesses (Artillery, rockets, 
   missiles, battleships).


OVERALL

To use any CO effectively, you should exploit your strengths and cover your 
weaknesses, while being prepared for anything. For example, Sami's mechs can 
outdamage her tanks, so mechs would make up more of her main force, generally.
However, that does not make her tanks useless compared to her mechs; I will 
explain uses for her tanks later on.


********SAMI'S POWERS********


CO POWER  : DOUBLE TIME
Cost      : 3 Stars

Benefits  : 1. Infantry and mechs gain +20% attack (totalling 150%).
            2. Infantry and mechs gain +1 move.

Double Time is rather underrated, in my opinion; it's not a bad power at all. 
It's just very situational, and usually, by the time a scenario appears that 
would require the use of Double Time, Victory March would already be charged, 
and it would more than likely be a better choice of power for a particular 
strategy.

However, there are times when Double Time would be a good choice:

-If there are a large number of enemies or cities nearby, your infantry and 
 mechs can reach them; also, Double Time can be useful if your mechs are 
 standing just outside the range of several artillery (not including Max's or 
 Grit's; Max's have less range and mechs can get by them easily, while Grit's 
 have more range, preventing this tactic from working), you can use Double 
 Time and devastate the many artillery your opponent has without going into 
 their range at all.

-A Double Double Time is possible (=P); however, I can't seem to see much use 
 for it aside from the fact that your units will have +10% defense for 2 turns
 in a row. 2 Double Times have the same increased move range as 1 Victory 
 March, as well. I mention this only so that someone else may be able to find 
 a strategic use for it.


SCO POWER : VICTORY MARCH
Cost      : 8 Stars

Benefits  : 1. Infantry and mechs gain +50% attack (totalling 180%).
            2. Infantry and mechs gain +2 move.
            3. Infantry and mechs can capture ANY property, regardless of HP.

In the hands of a strategic player, Victory March is one of the most 
intimidating powers in the game. Infantry get 5 spaces of move, while mechs 
get 4, and their attack power is devastating. The most noticeable benefit of
this power is the new capture rate; you can capture anything, regardless of 
HP.

The timing of Victory March is very important, and there are times where your 
Power Bar may be filled for a long time before its use. Sure, you could use 
Victory March and capture those 2 or 3 cities and demolish those few tanks... 
but you could wait a turn or two, when you might be able to capture 6 or 7 
cities and demolish dozens of units in one turn, instead. Of course, be 
reasonable, too. It may not be so great an idea when an army of bombers is 
coming to destroy you and block you from accessing properties if you wait too
long. It's really more of a judgement call, but try to make the best use of 
your power and use it when you can get the most out of it, by capturing as 
many properties and taking down as many enemy units as possible.

This is what makes Sami so devastating in a number of ways; she can break 
stalemates a little easier with Victory March, by not only taking down her 
enemies' troops, but their production levels, as well. Just having it charged 
can make your foes fear your foot soldiers as much as your bombers and 
battleships. :D


********SAMI'S UNITS********


INFANTRY

You'll be using these early on for capturing purposes until you have enough 
saved up for mechs. While they do get 5 spaces for Victory March, their 
movement cost over mountains and rivers (2) can hurt, so keep that in mind. 
Still, they pack quite a punch to other infantry and mechs with Sami's 
30% attack bonus.


MECHS

Undoubtedly, the backbone of Sami's forces. They're strong on their own, and 
their strength becomes extremely beastly under the effects of her powers. 
They only have 3 ammo for their primary weapon, but I don't see it as a huge 
problem; more often than not, I'm joining hurt units together or capturing 
properties with them, so they hardly run low on ammo for me. Of course, 
though, other units WILL be required to back them up, since their move range 
is very small (only 2). Fortunately, though, their movement cost over all 
terrain that they can cross is 1 (unless it's snowing), so they can almost 
always move 2 spaces.


RECON

You probably won't be making much use of these on your offensive force; I 
usually just put some in forests where there are no nearby mountains for my 
mechs in Fog of War, so I can keep an eye on things, but usually, my mech 
flood handles a large portion of the reconaissance. =P Also, I use them
in my "Early Recon" tactic (explained later).


APCS

Handy early on for capturing too far away to reach normally. Handy later on 
for refuelling units. I usually have any of my leftover APCs trailing along 
beside indirect units such as rockets to keep them in top condition. Also 
handy for giving air and sea units more fuel. An extra space move is 
also a very useful thing to have.


TANKS

Of course, Sami's mechs do outdamage her tanks. However, her tanks are still 
very useful. Their defense and move range (6) are much better than a mech's 
is, and they are great for guarding properties and clogging choke points. 
Depending on the terrain, have a tank or two accompany your main force. I 
personally find that Sami's tank units should be used for defensive purposes 
rather than offensive; of course, her tanks are still strong, but as I said, 
I prefer using them defensively.


MEDIUM TANKS

I really don't use these too much; for Sami, they're a little too expensive 
for me, and I would probably put the money toward something else, such as a
bomber (terrain advantages), or rockets (range advantages). Still, I would 
use them in the same manner as tanks, although they are much stronger, 
offensively and defensively than a normal tank.


NEOTANKS

Similar to the Medium Tank usage, although they are tougher and have better 
move than a medium tank.


ANTI-AIR

It's good to have a few of these in your main force if there are airports and 
the terrain consists of mostly land (as opposed to islands). On top of taking 
down aerial threats, they are very strong against foot soldiers.


ARTILLERY

Artillery are handy to have during a mech flood, as they can soften up your 
foes before the mechs strike. However, during a mech flood, I find that the 
mechs take up a good deal of space, and since mechs do die easier than tanks, 
your artillery may not get great range, since more mechs will be needed to 
cover them, due to the mechs' low defense. I usually just leave them in 
certain areas next to APCs as snipers, as a result; however, this doesn't 
mean that they should be considered unusable in your main force.


ROCKETS

Rockets have a greater range than artillery, which would make them ideal to 
go with mech floods (also, since mech floods are not incredibly expensive, 
rockets may be easier to purchase). Just remember to keep an APC nearby, 
whether they're sniping or part of the main force to keep them refueled.


MISSILES

I usually keep these handy for island warfare where planes are a factor; keep 
some near your important properties, and some on your main force, so that you 
can be ready for any aerial menace that crosses paths with you.


TRANSPORT COPTERS

These function in the same way as APCs, except they can cross any terrain 
(except pipes) and they can't refuel other units. Once again, the additional 
move range is helpful here.


BATTLE COPTERS

These little darlings are awesome for a few reasons. First, they're effective 
against almost any unit. Second, they can move over any terrain except pipes. 
Finally, they come out at a low price of $9000 (or the cost of 3 mechs). Great 
to have a good number of these handy, but don't ignore your mechs for these; 
they ARE your main force in this, after all.


FIGHTERS

When airports are around, I find it best to keep around 2 or 3 of these handy 
(when you get the money, that is). They are more than likely the best way for 
dealing with those bombers that are harassing your mechs.


BOMBERS

I love these things to death; their power and terrain advantages are amazing, 
and the fact that very few units can hurt them put them on a whole other level
from other units. I usually get these to support my mech flood by taking out 
some of the heavier oppostion (medium and neotanks).


LANDERS

Very useful for taking up to two units long distances; I usually stick with 
transport copters, if available, unless I need to take rockets or tanks 
somewhere, though. The extra move is also invaluable for, depending on the 
map, getting your units where they need to be on time.


SUBS

Useful for recon in Fog of War, and also great for handling enemy battleships.
In naval battles, I always make sure I have some near the enemy's navy and 
some near my battleships as protection.


CRUISERS

Great for enemy subs, and for protecting T Copters (and any soldiers inside) 
from missiles and fighters. Make sure to keep some near your battleships to 
protect them from subs, battle copters and bombers.


BATTLESHIPS

Very awesome, indeed. Their huge range is great for both injuring enemy units 
at great distance and for scaring away enemy rockets (unless the opposition 
is Grit). Try to get several of these to back-up your main force.


********STRATEGIES********


MECH FLOOD

There is more than likely no FAQ out there that does not have this strategy 
for Sami. =P It's a simple strategy in itself; build as many mechs as possible.
Of course, since mechs are rather inexpensive, you can easily save up for 
other bigger units, such as rockets, battleships, fighters and bombers. Use 
rockets and battleships to slam enemy units and soften them up for your mechs, 
and use fighters and bombers to get rid of enemies that cause too much trouble 
for your mechs.

MANAGING A MECH FLOOD EFFICIENTLY

Of course, managing a mech flood is very important, as well. To make a mech 
flood at peak efficiency, make sure that you see what the mechs furthest away 
are able to attack, rather than check what the ones closest can go after.

Example:

M - Mech
E - Enemy
- - Terrain
= - Impassable Terrain (for mechs)

Layout:

======
======
MM-EE-
======
======

If Front Mech attacks first:

======
======
M-M-E-
======
======

As you can see, the back mech can only move forward one space, and no one can 
attack the remaining enemy. However...

If Back Mech attacks first:

======
======
-MM-E-
======
======

Then the front mech can now attack the enemy behind it.

======
======
--MM--
======
======

This is a very simple example, but it's very important to keep in mind when 
you may be managing around 10+ mechs, and there are multiple enemies 
everywhere, so that you can defeat or damage as much of the opposition as 
possible.

Also, if you can get a mech to move to more defensive terrain (even if its 
going from roads to plains) without interfering with the rest of the mech 
flood, do it. It's best if the mech from the safer terrain attacks before 
any from other terrain, so that the first attacker sustains less damage.

One last thing: take advantage of Sami's improved capture rate and go for 
properties with your mech flood, as well. It helps to hurt the enemy in their 
wallet, as well as their armies.


EARLY RECON

This is a tactic I only use at the beginning of small maps with a good deal 
of road. If you can afford it, make a recon (or 2, if you feel you can handle 
it), and send them up ahead to prevent the enemy soldiers from capturing 
properties (this will be a little more difficult to pull off if your opponent 
is also Sami). This can help slow down enemy forces, and the enemy may make a 
mech or a tank or any other more expensive unit in response, as opposed to 
infantry, to deal with the recon. Even though your recon may die, you may buy 
enough time for your mechs to get there and demolish the other infantry trying 
to capture properties as well as easily dispose of the recon killer/mech/tank. 
Not a tactic to rely on, but I had fun using it. =P


MECH FLOOD GROUPINGS

It's best if you have several different groupings of mech floods to deal with 
all sides of a battle. For example, in Spann Island in the War Room, send 
mechs both north and east in two different groups to surround the opponent. 
This way, you can deal more damage to the enemy army in total, because you 
have more units doing damage.

Example:

One attack

M - Mech
E - Enemy
- - Terrain
= - Impassable Terrain (for mechs)

One sided attack:

=================
=-----------EEEE=
=-----------EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=---MMMMMMMMEEEE=
=---MMMMMMMMEEEE=
=================

In the example, only 2 mechs can fight at a time, while the others sit there 
and do nothing (obviously, you would have indirects for such a situation, but 
I am just trying to show a simple example of what I mean).

Two sided attack:

=================
=-------MMMMEEEE=
=-------MMMMEEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=----=======EEEE=
=-------MMMMEEEE=
=-------MMMMEEEE=
=================

Here, 4 mechs are attacking the enemy, surrounding the enemy. Like I said, 
this is a very simple example. In general, make as many groups (which SHOULD 
include more than just mechs) and have them deal with each major area. If the 
enemy is hardly guarding one area, your mech group can easily take it out and 
capture the area.


********FACING OTHER COS********


VS ANDY

When facing Andy, make sure you destroy the units you face, rather than weaken 
them (unless he just used his powers, or has nearly nothing charged up), or he 
can restore up to 5 points to each for free (7 if they're on a town, though 
this costs money for him), saving him a lot of time and money for repairs and 
getting his army to be fully functional with increased attack and move. Make 
sure you chase that escaping bomber or fleeing neotank, or you will pay!


VS SAMI

Ugh. Facing yourself... -_-. This can be tricky, and you may have to use more 
tanks than usual to handle the mechs and guard your properties. Also, nothing 
can discourage a mech who snuck in back to Victory March your HQ more than a 
huge Neotank to guard it. =P


VS MAX

You may want to build more indrects than usual, since your indirects can 
scare his away. =P Also, his direct units may be a little too much for your 
mech flood, so even more indirects can help. Have some tanks on standby to 
help defend against his beastly strong powers (and don't forget Max's 
increased move range with his powers).


VS NELL

I actually face off against Nell quite a bit when playing the CPU. Her power 
is plain deadly, and her super power, more often than not, seems to be an 
instant death power to my mechs and takes more than a chunk out of any copters 
and tanks I build. Even weakened units of hers are devastating. Like Andy, 
kill what you can before she uses her powers.


VS HACHI

Yeah, Hachi... the guy who can build on cities with his SCO. Luckily for you, 
Sami's strength is taking properties. =P If his SCO is charged or nearly 
charged, make sure you have units of any sort blocking his cities; this may 
prevent a human player of Hachi from using it.


VS OLAF

Watch out for his powers. That mech nicely positioned for a Victory March 4 
spaces from HQ won't be able to win you the game if Olaf uses Blizzard and 
slows it down. Against Olaf, think a few steps ahead of your opponent and 
try to see how he plans to use his powers to devastate you.


VS GRIT

Oh, boy... this guy can clobber mech floods easily, since his artillery's 
range is so great, a mech can't get ANYWHERE near him without getting 
clobbered (unless you use Victory March). Make use of battle copters and 
tanks, since they got a great move range, and battle copters can't be hit by 
artillery (missiles are a much different story). Take down as many indirects 
as possible, or he will destroy you with Super Snipe. O_o


VS COLIN

His units are slightly weaker, but then, he gets more money to buy other units 
and enhance his powers. Take properties when you can; the less money Colin has 
access to, the weaker his powers will be.


VS KANBEI

Kanbei can be pretty tricky to fight. Indirect units are handy for dealing 
with his super tough units. Air units can devastate a lot of his ground 
units, too (since most can't counterattack them). Remember that Kanbei's units
are very expensive, so make every kill count. Also, be careful when attacking 
him when he uses Samurai Spirit; it may be better to just get indirects to 
attack and get your mechs to go after any weakened units (so it may be best to
damage many of his units rather than kill them, at times).


VS SONJA

Watch out for Sonja's strong counterattacks. You may want to build more 
indirects to deal with this.


VS SENSEI

His foot soldiers are a little stronger than Sami's, so make sure you get the 
first strike on any mech floods he has. Also, cover/capture any cities you can
to lower the effectiveness of his powers. Keep some anti-air, missiles or 
fighters handy for his powerful copters.


VS EAGLE

Lightning Strike is VERY scary (as scary as Victory March IMO O_o), and it may 
be best to weaken as many of his units as possible before he can use it, so 
his offense won't be as effective, or he may just not use it at all (human 
player).


VS DRAKE

Drake's powers can be quite annoying, but it shouldn't bother your mech flood 
too much. Like I said earlier, I usually join some of my weakened mechs 
together, so they can get their health and their "fuel" back. Of course, keep 
an eye on other units (especially air and navy) and keep a few extra APCs 
handy.


VS JESS

My second favourite CO. :) All of her land units (save foot soldiers) are 
above average, and her air and navy (except battleships) are as strong as 
Sami's. Keep a few tanks handy for defense and don't forget that Jess' powers 
completely refuel all of her units (ammo included).


VS FLAK

You can face Flak the way you would face Nell, though toned down a lot more. 
However, don't underestimate Flak (actually, you shouldn't underestimate 
ANYBODY), as Barbaric Blow can seriously devastate you... or it might not 
(though I find he has more of a chance to do normal or improved damage).


VS LASH

Watch out for her added offense from terrain, and go for indirects that are on 
cities or her HQ first. Her Super Power can completely destroy you if you are 
within range, so keep a space of distance from mountains, and stay out of 
range of any indirects on cities, HQ or in forests and reefs when her Super 
Power activates.


VS ADDER

He gets his powers quite often, so prepare for his units to have higher than 
normal move and +10% defense more often than other COs.


VS HAWKE

His units are above average, but his CO powers take a while to charge, meaning 
you don't have to worry too much about his powers at first. Be careful, 
though, as Black Storm can heal his units (making them stronger, in that 
sense) while weakening yours, so be wary of any large forces or nearby 
powerful units.


VS STURM

Well, we all love facing off against Sturm, right? Well, some of us... I 
guess. Mech flood groupings are very important here; when Strum uses Meteor 
Strike, you'll need to get a nearby group to back up the old group. Also, 
watch out for his increased offense and defense. Don't forget: even a mech 
pounded by Meteor Strike can Victory March Sturm to death. =P


********CLOSING********


This is my way of using Sami to face off against the oppostion in Advance Wars 
2; this does not mean that my way is the greatest, or the worst. It is up to 
you to experiment and incorporate anything I mentioned in this FAQ into your 
strategy and keep in mind any other things I mentioned. This guide is here to 
help people realise things they may not have thought about and to improve 
any aspects they feel need improving.


Thanks go to CJayC for GameFAQs. A great place, indeed. :D

Jax Omen's Advanced Tactics Guide gave me a new look at playing Advance Wars 
2, the same way I want others to look at the game from my guide.

Terragent's and ThrawnFett's CO FAQs were what made me want to write a CO FAQ 
to begin with, and their deep CO analysis was inspirational to me, and made 
me want to do the same with Sami.

And, finally, to my friends, who got me hooked on this game to begin with. 
Thanks. =P



Happy Victory Marching. =P

Danny "Ebooz" Bourque

ebooz86@hotmail.com
Copyright 2005 Danny Bourque