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    CO Usage Guide by FlyingHamsta

    Version: 1.3 | Updated: 12/26/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    By FlyingHamsta
    AIM: FlyingHamsta
    Version 1.3
    LAST UPDATED 12-26-04
    Press CTRL and F and type in the code to quickly jump to the CO you want.
    Orange Star
    Blue Moon
    Yellow Comet
    Green Earth
    Black Hole
    Adder..................coming soon
    Hawke..................coming soon
    Sturm..................coming soon
    1.3 - Wow, it's been forever since my last update (way back in March.)  I made
    this update mostly to update my contact information, but know that I finished
    Flak and Lash.  Three more CO's before this FAQ is done.  Whew!
    1.2 - Finished Green Earth.  Only one last country to complete!  I also fixed a
    bunch of grammatical errors.  Whew, this guide sure is getting hefty.  If you
    want me to keep going, please continue to send me IM's or emails with messages
    of encouragement (thanks to those who did so last time- all one of you).  It
    helps if I know people are still reading and using this FAQ.
    1.1 - I've finished up Yellow Comet and have begun Green Earth.  Does anyone
    still play AW2?  This is probably the last update of the walkthrough unless a
    lot of people show interest.  But keep watch for my walkthroughs for other
    1.0 - First release.  I'm done with Orange Star, Blue Moon and most of Yellow
    Comet.  I'm more for quality than quantity.  I'm working hard on getting the
    rest of the walkthrough done.  Thanks for being patient!
    I wrote this guide for people hoping to improve their AW2 skills.  The guide is
    NOT designed for use in the campaign (that's what the other guides are for).
    Instead, it will teach you how to be an effective force against humans and
    computers alike in the War Room and Vs mode.  Feel free to email me with
    questions, suggestions or comments.  You can use this guide on your web site
    without asking me (but please don't change a single part of it).  I hope you
    enjoy this guide and get a lot out of it!
    Please note that this guide assumes you are fairly experienced with the game.
    I don't want to bother with explaining what each unit does and how to use CO
    Powers.  If you're that new to the game this guide was not written for you.
    There are three descriptions of how quickly a CO's CO Powers are charged:
    Regressive- The CO Power requires less stars than the SCO Power.  An example of
    this would be Sami.
    Proportional- The CO Power's star requirement is equal to that of the SCO
    Power.  Examples of this would include Andy, Max and Jess.
    Progressive- The CO Power requires more stars than the SCO Power.  An example
    of this would be Hawke.
    These terms will show up in the text so it's a good idea to know them.
    THE COs
    Andy (Orange Star) t3t
    Andy is completely average.  He has no specific strengths or weaknesses in his
    units.  But don't be fooled: Andy is still a strong opponent.  His CO and SCO
    Powers are great whether you're on defense or on the offensive.  And because he
    has no special attributes, he is a solid choice for any map.
    Because of the nature of his powers, it is better to build his stronger units
    which sustain less damage than their weaker counterparts.  Plus, you'll be
    getting more value for your powers.  Repairing 2 HP of a bomber costs more than
    2 HP of three tanks.  That doesn't mean to neglect your cheaper units, but
    don't be afraid to use your more powerful weapons to blunt damage.  While
    capturing cities is still recommended, Andy doesn't have to worry about that as
    much since he can use his CO Powers (which come fairly quickly) to recover his
    units, which especially comes in handy when assaulting the enemy stronghold.
    CO POWER: Hyper Repair
    Many people wait for Hyper Upgrade rather than using a Hyper Repair.  And it
    does seem like a smart decision: for only twice the amount of stars you gain
    2.5 times more HP per unit plus a movement and attack boost (even though Andy's
    CO Powers are proportional).  But there are still some instances where you
    should use Hyper Repair rather than waiting.  In the time it takes for you to
    charge up your CO Power meter all the way you may lose some units.  At that
    point, using Hyper Upgrade wouldn't help them one bit.  Hyper Repair comes much
    quicker than its more powerful form.  It may lack the punch of its older
    brother, but it's still quite decent, especially when many of your units
    require repairs.  It's really situational: if you have a lot of units that took
    a graze, then Hyper Repair won't do you wrong.  But if your army has sustained
    heavy damage, sacrifice a few and bring out the big guns.
    SUPER CO POWER: Hyper Upgrade
    In the original Advance Wars, Andy was considered to be one of the worst
    characters due to the lack of a devastating CO Power.  AW2 now gives Andy one
    of the best CO Powers in the game: Hyper Upgrade.  Not only does it repair 5 HP
    to every unit, it gives them one extra movement space and a solid attack bonus.
    For its power it comes fairly quickly at six stars, which quickly shifts the
    balance of power in the hands of Andy.  It can save your butt from being
    destroyed and it can also replenish your army on the offensive who are far from
    allied properties.  The added strength it bestows upon your army can assist you
    in wiping out the enemies that damaged your forces in the first place.  One
    extra movement space is the icing on the cake, giving you an easier time of
    penetrating the enemys' defenses or retreating units who are still in danger of
    being destroyed.
    Mecha Storm- This strategy is best used for maps with no naval units.  Mass
    produce tanks and anti-air (yes, even if there are no airports).  If there are
    airports on the map, also build some battle copters to compliment your ground
    force.  Your goal is to overwhelm your opponent with these units.  Use anti-air
    to take care of enemy infantry, air units and weak ground vehicles such as
    recons or APCs.  Use tanks as your bread and butter unit, attacking pretty much
    any enemy unit that comes across their path.  When your units become seriously
    damaged, first combine them and then use Hyper Repair.  When you're on the
    outskirts of your enemy's home base, a Hyper Upgrade can be the nail on his or
    her coffin.  The monkey wrench in this plan is that your enemy may catch on to
    your strategy and produce tank-crushing, anti-air-bashing and copter-resistant
    neotanks and MD tanks.
    Crawling Zombie- The game plan for this strategy is to move along the map,
    slowly capturing properties and advancing your army.  Because of his CO Powers,
    Andy makes a great defensive player.  Play as you would normally play on the
    defense: a balanced mix between ranged and direct units.  Use his CO Powers to
    aid you in the capture of properties (the fact that he can heal units' HP
    without having them sit on cities is very useful on the slow offensive).  This
    strategy is harder to pull off in maps with air or naval units because of
    bombers and battleships, but it's not impossible.  Just move slowly, building
    up your force and reinforcing your front lines.
    Titans of War- This is perhaps the riskiest of Andy's strategies.  In the
    beginning you spend the minimum you need on defense: perhaps a couple of tanks
    and artillery.  You spread these units out thin and capture as many properties
    close to your base as possible.  Then you build a force of the most expensive
    units.  Neotanks, MD tanks, bombers, fighters and battleships fall into that
    category.  Your offensive strategy should be similar to that of Mecha Storm.
    Dish out heavy damage and combine your troops when they are weak.  Because the
    units you will be using are expensive, your CO Powers should come fairly
    quickly.  Join units and use your CO Powers to keep your troops fresh and
    strong the entire campaign.  Watch out for rushes early in the game, and be
    sure to still build a few cheaper units here and there to cover for your more
    brutal fighters.  Definitely not a strategy to use against more experienced
    Sami (Orange Star) y56
    Many expert players use Sami as their CO of choice for good reason.  Her mechs
    are very effective against many types of enemies and because of her faster
    capture rate and superior transport movement she can reach far-away properties
    quicker, allowing her to quite easily dominate the financial aspect of the
    battle almost as well as a CO like Colin or Haichi.  Her Super CO Power can
    help you pull unlikely victories out of your ass and her normal CO Power isn't
    half bad.
    She is not without weakness.  Like Grit, all of her direct-attack vehicles have
    inferior attack power.  On island maps or prolonged wars, the usefulness of her
    strong foot soldiers diminishes quickly.  Infantry units themselves have many
    weaknesses.  They are nearly worthless against all air units other than the T
    copter and nothing more than cannon fodder versus naval units.  Not even her
    stronger mechs can stand up to neotanks or MD tanks, and recons and anti-airs
    still do an alarmingly high amount of damage to even Sami's soldiers.
    Losing as Sami will quickly teach you some lessons about how to increase the
    lifespan of your foot soldiers.  It's a smart move to pair your strong infantry
    with anti-airs, neotanks and/or indirect units.  You need these units to help
    protect and back-up your mechs and infantry.  Don't get me wrong.  A balanced
    force is not the way to go with Sami.  Her mechs are strong against any land
    vehicle except for neotanks (even against anti-airs and MD tanks, if her mechs
    get the first hit they will do very good damage).  Her infantry can hold their
    own against enemy foot soldiers and weaker vehicles such as APCs and artillery.
    Just remember to build APCs and transport copters to move those troops around
    faster (also taking advantage of her +1 transport movement range) with some
    units that can hit enemy air units or to buffer damage dealt by the dreaded
    neotanks.  Remember that her indirect-fire units take no penalty in their
    attack power.
    On maps with mountains, you should always keep a squad of mechs on the move.
    In FOW situations, this improves your sight range and these mountain mechs can
    help you stay one step ahead of the enemy.  Also, having a force of mechs move
    from the mountains helps you flank your enemy more easily and can allow you to
    launch surprise attacks.  Mountain mechs are also relatively safe from attack,
    except from air units, in which case you need to use your own air units to
    cover your endangered mechs.
    In the game, Sami is a special ops commander.  When playing as her, that's how
    you should think.  Sami is meant to be played sneaky and not with brute force.
    Not that owning a neotank would hurt, but you'll soon find out that Sami has a
    solid advantage in FOW matches.
    CO POWER: Double Time
    Compared to her SCO Power, Sami's Double Time is worthless.  But don't be
    fooled.  Victory March takes an extremely long time to fully charge, and Double
    Time really isn't a bad CO Power.  It gives your foot soldiers a solid boost in
    both offense and defense and an increase in movement range.  In the early game,
    this CO Power won't do you bad, giving you an easier time of reaching vital
    properties.  Early in the battle, Sami's mechs powered by Double Time can
    destroy or severely injure practically anything your opponent will have built
    during that time.  In prolonged battles this CO Power's usefulness is
    diminished and you'll want to shelve it in favor of Victory March.  Just be
    careful not to use Double Time too many times in the early and mid game or it
    will be harder to charge up Victory March in the late game.
    SUPER CO POWER: Victory March
    This SCO Power adds numerous strategic possibilities to Sami's tactical
    arsenal.  Not only will it greatly increase your empire's terriority by
    allowing your troops to capture properties in one turn, but those troops will
    be given a huge boost in strength.  Your mechs and even your infantry will
    absolutely tear apart anything that comes your way.  And with a +2 movement
    increase, this is a great SCO Power to finish off an enemy.  In FOW, try to
    sneak a mech or infantry into a forest near the enemy HQ early in the game.
    While that strategy won't work against experienced players, it can be the ace
    up your sleeve if you manage to pull of a Victory March when the enemy least
    expects it.  If your opponent is very tight around the perimeter of his base,
    you'll have to plan a bit more carefully and place mechs and infantry inside
    APCs, and unload those foot soldiers a turn before you know you'll have Victory
    March ready to score a win.
    Fake Out- While her weaker direct vehicles may turn many players off, she can
    actually use this rep to her advantage, especially in fog of war games.  A
    clear-thinking opponent realizes that a player being Sami will use a lot of
    foot soldiers, right?  So that player will probably construct many recons and
    anti-airs.  After you've established a steady source of income, build some
    tanks and MD tanks.  Send these to the enemy base to take on the enemy's
    vehicles head on.  You may want to send in a recon early in the game to spy on
    the enemy or you'll risk a Reverse Fake Out and the enemy will turn the tables
    on you.
    Mech Flood- A basic strategy that works pretty well on small maps.  The goal is
    to build nothing but mech units (aside from the infantry you'll train in the
    beginning of the game, of course).  On small maps with no naval or air units,
    the only unit that can stop a horde of of Sami's mechs are neotanks, which are
    extremely costly.  You may also have trouble dealing with rockets.  Just
    remember to use mountains effectively and to keep a tight lock on the map's
    money source.
    Mech Flood 2- The more practical Mech Flood is to alternate between building
    artillery and mechs.  Once again, this should only be used on small maps with
    no pesky air or naval units to get in the way.  Artillery makes for a great
    companion to the mech; Sami's indirect-fire units have no attack penalties,
    making them no less tangible than they would be for Andy.  This method is less
    risky, but on the smallest of maps you should stick to the original Mech Flood
    Island Hop- On sea maps, a popular strategy is to use Sami and build
    battleships with landers occupied by mechs and infantry.  Build cruisers to
    protect your fleet from air units and subs.  Go from island to island, using
    your mechs and battleships to destroy any defenses on each one, and keep on
    capturing properties.  This is basically a naval version of Crawling Zombie...
    Crawling Zombie- Because of her 50% faster capture rate and stronger infantry,
    Crawling Zombie works great with Sami.  In the beginning, attack the enemy with
    two MD tanks, making sure both get destroyed.  This should give you a charged
    Double Time, which will let you reach properties sooner.  Sami's Crawling
    Zombie isn't actually crawling... you should be constantly moving through the
    map, swiping cities and bases from your helpless enemy.  You don't want to rush
    into things or spread your forces out too thinly- but don't play the defensive
    game as much as Andy would (whose CO Powers make him great for that kind of
    work).  Instead, you should be a constant threat, attacking on different fronts
    and seizing as much money as you can.  Rockets and tanks should be enough to
    back up your troops, unless there are airports, in which case some anti-airs
    wouldn't hurt.  An effective though initially tricky strategy to master.
    Max (Orange Star) ga7
    While not as strong as he was in the original Advance Wars, Max is definitely
    not a bad CO.  Beginners like him because he requires less strategic thinking
    than other CO's and is easier to use than most other CO's.  But Max has many
    qualities that make him a solid choice for a player of any skill level.  His
    units achieve one hit kills with alarming rhythm.  He relies less on his CO
    Powers than others do, but that's alright.  Whether on land, sea or air he's
    very effective.
    Max dominates the open battlefield.  When it comes to crossing tight areas and
    choke points, he suffers and becomes cannon fodder to enemy indirect units.  If
    you find yourself in a situation where you must pass through those areas, you
    must think strategically rather than throw everyone you've got at the site
    (which is a quick way to lose all your units needlessly).  Always keep your
    strongest units up front.  While it may seem wise at first to keep your
    neotanks and MD tanks in the back to prevent them from getting hurt, that's the
    wrong kind of thinking.  Your goal is to get out of the choke point as soon as
    possible, and if your weaker tanks and anti-airs are the ones up front, they
    will take heavy damage before breaking through.  With neotanks and MD tanks,
    your strong units will be harmed or destroyed, but you will have broken through
    much quicker.  At that point, the tanks in the back can now move up and swarm
    the enemy lying on the opposite side of the choke point.  It is smart to move
    your units through these passes in groups of three, with one space in between
    each group.  That allows your tanks up front to be able to retreat more easily
    if they are badly damaged and allows you to replace those front line units with
    fresh tanks.
    Unlike most characters who have a weak point, Max's disadvantaged units are too
    nerfed to be of even a tiny bit of use.  His artillery can only hit units
    exactly two spaces away and his rockets and missiles are just not worth their
    price with Max.  With his indirect-fire units suffering from low range and
    attack power, you're better off just avoiding them altogether, although the
    battleship may still be useful as a support unit to back up your ground forces.
    Because of his poor ranged units, Max has a very hard time on defense.  He
    should always be bringing the fight to the enemy, luring them out to open areas
    where his tanks can cut the foe to shreds.  Don't hide your tanks behind
    mountains.  Bring them out and make sure your enemy can't call in rockets and
    artillery to destroy you out of reach.  Early in the game try to give your
    enemy a hard time of defending his base.  Once an enemy base is fortified, Max
    can have a tough time breaking in.
    Because of these reasons, Max should also rely heavily on mechs.  Not only can
    they cross mountains, but Max's foot soldiers suffer no penalty, making them
    just as effective as the average CO.  They also make great units to finish off
    an enemy unit with.  Brought an enemy unit down from 10 HP to 1 with a neotank?
    Don't waste the ammo and turn of another neotank to finish it... use a cheap
    tank or even cheaper mech!  Though obviously they should not comprise his main
    army, mechs should be employed liberally as a support unit to your tanks.
    Just play Max aggressively and don't give your enemy a chance to tech up to
    rockets or neotanks.
    CO POWER: Max Force
    This is the more useful of Max's two CO Powers.  It comes much more quickly,
    and gives you a very solid boost in offense and defense, plus an extra space of
    movement.  With Max Force, few things can survive a full strength MD tank or
    neotank.  Your advance will go much quicker and smoother with the extra
    movement space, which can help you get behind enemy lines and take out those
    pecky indirect fire units.  Max Force is an all-around great tool for dishing
    out some serious pain.  While it won't save your butt on the defensive, it
    works great with Max's natural ability to punch through enemys' walls.
    SUPER CO POWER: Max Blast
    I'm not saying that Max Blast is bad.  It's just not worth the stars required,
    especially when Max Force is already a solid power.  But if you manage to build
    up to Max Blast without finding the need for Max Force the entire time (which
    is rare), then position your tanks and air units and subs and everything so
    that they are outside your enemy's base or territory.  Then, use Max Blast and
    annihilate everything.  Two extra spaces of movement is a lot, and the damage
    you dish out reaches incredible amounts.  Max Blast is literally twice as good
    as Max Force, but it takes twice as long to build up.  In Advance Wars, time is
    power (if time is money and money is power, that is :) and trying to save up
    for Max Blast could cost you the advantage.  Still, there are a few situations
    where you have no choice but to shatter your opponent's soul with Max Blast.
    Tank Flood- Like Sami's mech flood, Max's tank flood is a tough one to beat.
    Also like's its mech counterpart, Max's Tank Flood works best on small maps.
    The neotank, bombers and indirect units with cover can put an end to the Tank
    Flood, so plan accordingly in regards to terrain and properties.  It's not a
    good idea to use Tank Flood on maps with airports or ports.
    Power Punch- This strategy needs an open field around your base to be
    effective.  Position your tanks so that they can easily defend against
    invaders.  Once you have a perimeter defense of tanks and anti-air, start
    saving up and building tons of neotanks with a few APCs.  OVerwhelm your
    opponent with your machines of war.  You'll lose many neotanks, but in turn
    you'll build up Max Blast fairly quickly, allowing you to use it in rapid
    succession.  Since your enemy will probably own most of the properties on the
    map, this may be an uphill battle.  Fog of war are the best conditions to use
    this strategy under.
    Recon Rush- Max is a good player to use a Recon Rush with because his recons
    deal a lot of damage.  If you're willing to take a risk, instead of building
    two recons you could just construct one anti-air, which will kill most infantry
    in one hit.  But all it takes to stop either unit is a tank, which is why the
    cheap, fast recon may suit your tastes better.  Eitehr way, Max is great at it.
    Nell (Orange Star) 7tr
    To me, Nell is a decent but limited CO meant for beginners.  She doesn't
    specialize in anything and her CO Powers are simple: they let you do more
    damage (well, increase the chance of doing extra damage).  There are really no
    special strategies in which to employ Nell.  Just build a balanced army and
    exploit your opponents' weaknesses.  She'll do a bit better early in the game,
    but the match will be more even as weapons become more sohpisticated and
    expensive, when her extra damage becomes more ineffective.
    Because the attack boost comes in randomly, Nell is as predictable as Flak.
    Only she is generally "safer".  However, the returns she recieves is generally
    less.  Choose her over Flak if you'd rather not worry about the guessing game
    (although you'll still have to play it because her damage doesn't always show
    up).  It is suggested that you don't rely on her luck and play assuming she
    won't deal any extra damage.
    CO POWER: Lucky Star
    Generally, it increases the amount of damage you dish out.  No special way to
    use it.  I don't play as Nell much but when I do I find that Lucky Star is only
    useful early in the game.  After you've used it once or twice, you should start
    relying on her SCO Power to pull of some serious pain.
    SUPER CO POWER: Lady Luck
    Nell's damage increases greatly, but is still quite unpredictable.  You usually
    expect at least +1 or +2 damage, but it usually runs into the +4 or +5 range.
    Though not very practical, you can expect some one hit kills from attacks that
    normally take two units to complete.  Best used with tanks, artillery and MD
    Mecha Storm- Obviously, this works only on ground maps.  Like Andy, Nell's
    tanks work great when built in bulk.  If your enemy builds very many neotanks,
    don't panic.  Build up your CO Power and unleash Lady Luck on them.  Your
    opponent will scream when his neotank army is reduced to scrap metal.  Another
    good idea is to mix in some artillery with your force.
    Haichi (Orange Star) bvq
    Haichi is a cheapo, just like Sturm.  While he may not have a cost reduction as
    low as Colin, his units suffer no penalty.  Building expensive units saves
    Haichi the most money, but you definitely don't want to go into that mindset
    when playing.  Even with cheaper units, Haichi still needs a solid money
    source.  Build infantry just like everyone else in the beginning.  Mechs aren't
    too good of an idea unless there's a lot of mountains or hard to reach areas on
    the map.  Instead, make the jump to tanks as soon as possible to escort your
    infantry to new properties.
    Haichi's CO Power is good, but his SCO Power is awesome.  Because it allows
    Haichi to significantly increase his numbers quickly, it is great for both
    defense and offense, even to slow down the capture properties that your enemy
    has within its grasp.  Extremely useful and powerful.
    Unlike Colin, Haichi doesn't rely on having a lot of money to be effective.
    With Haichi, just spend your money on troops.  In the beginning you'll have to
    save a bit, but later in the game you'll be able to spend funds more liberally
    than your opponents, giving you a definite edge.  Don't worry too much about
    saving up like you would if you were playing as Colin.
    Don't get me wrong.  Haichi's CO Power kicks a ton of butt.  But his SCO Power
    is far better and only two additional stars away, giving little incentive to
    settle for Barter.  Perhaps very early in the game if you manage to build up
    Barter, you should use it and give yourself an edge over your enemies in the
    beginning of the game.
    Don't waste this power when you use it.  Spend as much of your funds as
    possible on new units when you use your SCO Power.  If you won't have enough
    money, try to reinforce the properties on the perimeter of your empire first
    since they are more prone to attack.  From there work inward until your funds
    are depleted.  Even if all you build is an infantry that costs 500, you don't
    want to let the chance slip by.  The point of Merchant Union is to build up
    superior numbers and overwhelm your helpless enemy.  Be aggressive.
    This is the best time to swarm your enemy with expensive, powerful units such
    as battleships, bombers and neotanks.  Haichi and Colin are the only CO's who
    can mass out on these behemoths, and Haichi's units are stronger.  Just don't
    start wasting your mass of units blindly- you don't want to build up your
    opponent's CO Power if avoidable, especially one like Sturm's, Hawke's or
    War of Symmetry- This is a very interesting but effective strategy.  It only
    works when there is no FOW and on maps that are symmetrical, though you can
    stretch the strategy a bit.  Build exactly like your opponent and move exactly
    like him.  Move where he movess and do what he does.  But once your enemy
    attacks you, in which case you can't pull off the same move anyways, begin
    spending the extra money that you have and start thinking for your own.  You
    may or may not want to begin this process before your opponent strikes first.
    Use common sense and decide when the best time to "awaken" is.  Doesn't work
    too well if your opponent is Haichi or Colin.  Remember, be player 2!
    War of Attrition- Unlike War of Symmetry, you'll want FOW for this to work.
    Hopefully your base will be easy to defend with mountains and choke points.
    Spend enough money on defense (rockets and neotanks for blocking) to keep you
    alive but from there on out start hoarding money.  Ahead of you is quite a
    difficult fight, but if you had enough properties before you started the turtle
    game, you can win this.  Build nothing but neotanks, APCs and rockets and begin
    a massive advance on your foe.  Infantry are not needed, but keep one or two
    alive through the entire defense period so you can capture your opponent's HQ
    should you be given the chance.  The hard part is staying alive.  This
    shouldn't be used if there are airports or ports on the map, as rockets and
    neotanks have a tough time defending against bombers and battleships.
    Olaf (Blue Moon) rp2
    I believe Olaf is underrated.  If played correctly, Olaf is a solid CO who is
    backed up by his CO Powers.  Olaf should have a few indirect units, but its his
    direct units that take full advantage of his great CO Powers.  Tanks and
    aircraft, normally hurt greatly by snowy days, can suddenly retreat or attack
    while your opponent struggles to move about in your winter playground.  This is
    especially great with units that move far, such as planes and tanks and
    neotanks (MD tanks only move 5 spaces instead of 6).
    Ownership is Olaf's game, and you must win at it.  To do so, you must make full
    use of your CO Powers.  If you need to retreat some units or make sure a
    weakened expensive unit cannot escape, call in your Blizzard (or Winter Fury if
    you want to inflict further pain).  Sure, it's nothing flashy, but many people
    underestimate the importance of the role nature plays in AW2.
    Olaf's CO Power is an interesting beast.  It can either be a complete waste or
    the turning point in the game.  You usually want to have a "reason" for using
    it, rather than just calling forth a storm and hoping it disrupts your opponent
    enough to set them back a lot.  Instead, pounce when the moment is right.  If
    you two are at a standstill, for example, you can ambush your foe with
    Blizzard, easily damaging the frontlines.  Your enemy, hopefully without many
    indirect units, will usually not even be close enough to counterattack with
    healthy fighters.
    Another tactic with Blizzard is to surround your opponent.  For example, some
    enemy aircraft are stationed in an area.  Move in with missiles, then call
    forth Blizzard to ensure they don't escape.  You'll soon learn that being
    effective with Olaf is to play strategically, calculating your opponent's
    possible moves.  This, of course, requires decent knowledge of how snow affects
    movement.  Your study will pay off with countless victories.
    A lesser-used strategy is using Blizzard when an enemy Olaf has Winter Fury
    built up.  This delays your opponent's SCO Power a turn as he will not want to
    waste it when it's already snowing.  This may not always work, depending on
    your enemy's mindset (using a power at any time is good, right?  noobs =P)
    I actually don't try to save up for Winter Fury very often.  It mostly comes
    when I just haven't found the right time to use Blizzard.  The damage Olaf's
    SCO Power deals is nice, especially if your opponents have a lot of units, but
    it won't ensure victory.  Once again, you'll have to rely on the right moment
    to use snow to your advantage.
    Winter Fury works great with the ambushing tactic described above since it
    softens up your foes before you strike.  Of course, it's also good on defense,
    whether you need to fall back or weaken your enemy's attack force.  It may even
    save you from losing your HQ or valuable properties.
    Use it to isolate and strand your opponents.  Enemy attack force en route?
    Wait for them to be somewhat far away from their own properties, then call
    forth your SCO Power and watch your opponent helplessly waste a turn either
    trying to return or combining his forces.  That's when you should swoop in and
    deal the deathblow.
    Endless Snowfall- A common strategy in team games is for two Olafs to be paired
    up.  While this means that you can work together to constantly bury your
    enemies in snow, you must be careful because your opponents will probably play
    as one or two Drakes, who have a nasty advantage over Olaf.  It's best if one
    player builds up Winter Fury while the other uses Blizzard.  The first player
    uses Blizzard once to slow your enemies.  Then player one builds up Blizzard
    again while the second player reaches Winter Fury.  The second player uses
    Winter Fury, then player one uses Blizzard once the snow has cleared.  It takes
    a LOT of teamwork as you must divide the destruction of enemy troops evenly (as
    best as you can of course, you can't be perfect) so the CO Powers build evenly.
    Very difficult to pull off, but very good strategy.  Afterwards, the two
    players switch roles so that player two is the one who gets Blizzard and player
    one goes for Winter Fury.
    Bullet Time- One interesting strategy is to build many indirect units and wait
    for the enemy to come for you.  You're hoping your opponent swarms you.  In
    which case he won't care what happens to his units and sends them all at your
    defense blindly, thinking he'll overrun you.  Use Blizzard and waste
    everything.  The survivors will be unable to reach you but they won't be able
    to escape either.  Once again, a difficult tactic to do correctly and very
    risky one at that but a very effective strategy.  Practice, practice, practice!
    Grit (Blue Moon) 8yi
    Many beginners like using Grit because indirect fire units are very appealing
    to them.  But his potential, which is fairly high, is often gone to waste at
    the hands of inexperienced players.  Too often I see Grit players save up early
    on for a rocket and then set themselves up for an early loss.  It's tempting
    because Grit's rockets are one of the deadliest units on land... if used
    correctly.  Two tanks, which together even cost less than one rocket, can
    easily work together and get by one rocket.  The problem with building one
    rocket or battleship early in the game is that even though these units have
    excellent range and attack power, they only attack once anyways.  Meaning an
    overwhelming force of cheap units can easily overtake your base.  Grit requires
    good tactical strategy and smart unit placement to succeed.  Maps with nooks
    and crannies are best for him, but on open field maps he isn't too bad if used
    The first thing to remember is that Grit's artilleries are a blessing.  They
    are nearly as good as any other CO's rockets, for less than half the cost.
    Most players would get a tank as the starting combat unit, but Grit should go
    with an artillery.  From there on out, a good combination of mechs or tanks and
    artillery will provide excellent early and mid-game defense.  You'll need ample
    money supply to build rockets and (on maps with ports) the wonderful
    battleships.  This is harder to pull off with Grit because he can't just be
    aggressive because his best units can't attack first.  The best way is to inch
    your way closer with rockets, with mechs and artillery as backup.
    Many people think Grit automatically loses on maps with airports.  Not so.
    Missiles, which are cheaper than planes, will go a long way to defending your
    troops.  Sprinkle them about your forces to cover them.  It's nice to have two
    missiles covering each other, but it's more cost-efficient to have one missile
    and one anti-air instead.  If your opponent comes by air in numbers, a solid
    mixup between missiles and anti-airs will easily save the day.  Grit's sky
    defense game is quite vicious.
    FOW is ideal for Grit because he can hide rockets and artillery in them.  But
    it's not wise to leave these units alone without further sight.  Recons and
    missiles (which can also help protect against helicopter patrols) go a long way
    to boosting your forest hide and seek game.  Even if you place recons out of
    the range of your rockets, they can be an early warning system as to when you
    should transfer or retreat your valuable rockets.
    While most of Grit's arsenal is weak, you must make the most out of his
    strength to hope to win against an expert or novice.  Mixing in a few direct
    units (especially anti-air and cruisers on maps with airports) will make your
    life much easier than going nothing but indirect units.
    This is a very solid CO Power that is great for catching your opponent off
    guard, who is probably very cautious about staying out of range of your
    indirect units.  It also gives those units a fairly large attack boost, which
    makes one-hit-kills even more common with Grit's powerful rockets.  Easily one
    of the best CO Powers.
    Super Snipe is exactly twice as beneficial as Snipe Attack, but for exactly
    twice the cost.  My suggestion is to simply keep saving up unless you need
    Grit's CO Power to deal some heavy damage (for example, if many enemy units are
    in range of your units).  If you manage to get Super Snipe, your opponents will
    cower in fear.  With it, your range becomes absurdly far, allowing you to hit
    poor units hiding across the map.  Though it can be a pain to build up, Super
    Snipe is Grit's trump card, placing all the control and power in Grit's hands.
    Definitely should be feared.
    Death from Above- This only works on maps with lots of money (or if you're
    playing with settings that yield a ton of money per turn).  This is one of the
    few cases I'd recommend going for early rockets.  Do so, and buy a few
    neotanks.  Escort your rockets to the enemy, and use your neotanks to wreck
    havoc.  Don't mind them being destroyed.  About three or four neotanks should
    do.  Once you've lost all of your neotanks, your SCO Power should be built up.
    Use it and your rockets will tear apart everything that has survived.  A very
    deadly tactic that requires a few mistakes on the behalf of your opponent (for
    example, you want to hope they go after your neotanks rather than your rockets).
    Crawling Zombie- Here's another CO who's quite good at the Crawling Zombie
    strategy.  A solid mixup of artillery and rockets will provide ample defense,
    allowing you to slowly inch towards your enemy, engulfing properties as you see
    fit.  Very difficult on maps with airports or ports, but still possible (you'll
    just have to spend more money on sea and air defense).  Otherwise, I believe
    Grit is one of the best at Crawling Zombie.
    Fake Out- Another tactic borrowed from Sami, Grit's fakeout doesn't work as
    well because the units that will normally bash Grit's indirect units will do
    the same for Grit's weakened direct units.  The better choice is to build
    direct units, but with help from mechs and artillery.  Your main force will
    still be tanks, but with indirect backup and unfiltered mechs you won't succumb
    very easily.  Your opponent will probably change tactics and go indirect units
    once he has realized your plan.  That's when YOU change gears and go indirect.
    Stay one step ahead of your enemy and you may pull off an unlikely victory.
    Colin (Blue Moon) mu3
    This little guy is unique both in abilities and weaknesses.  He has the ability
    to overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers and is backed with very solid CO
    Powers.  He's definitely not a bad choice, especially on maps with few
    properties.  Though some may be turned off by his weak attack power, which is
    definitely noticeable, if you play your cards right you'll overcome that
    Technically, it is in your favor to build more expensive units than cheaper
    units since you save more money with the stronger units.  An infantry will save
    you 200 funds while a fighter will be reduced by 4000.  However, don't let this
    discourage you from constructing some weaker units anyways.  Since Colin's
    strong units like neotanks aren't as powerful as normal, they require these
    cheaper units to finish off the ones that they mortally wounded.  Many Colin
    players simply build neotank after neotank, but as a result a valuable neotank
    attack is wasted on a unit with 1 or 2 HP.
    Also, even though you save more funds with expensive units, it's those units
    that tend to suffer more from the damage reduction, despite the fact that all
    units take an equal hit in power.  That's because it simply doesn't matter with
    cheaper units, who don't achieve one-hit-kills normally.  A tank that kills
    units in two hits will still require two hits to kill when under the control of
    any other CO.  It's when the enemy starts surviving your bombers and neotanks
    that hurt Colin's war machine.
    Both of Colin's CO Powers require a lot of funds to be of maximum
    effectiveness.  Gold Rush increases your funds by 50%; the increase will be
    larger if you already have a lot of funding.  Of course, perhaps the reason why
    you'd activate Gold Rush is because of a serious LACK of money in the first
    place.  Power of Money has no two ways about it.  You usually want to plan
    several days (game days, that is) in advance when you want to begin saving up
    for Power of Money, in which case you must build up both your money supply and
    your funds to dish out some serious pain.
    A lot of people seem to like this CO Power a lot.  And while Gold Rush
    certainly has its appeal, it has one major flaw.  While most CO Powers give you
    the upper hand, allowing you to take control of the battlefield in one swoop,
    Gold Rush simply allows you to build more units.  And while some may argue that
    Gold Rush achieves the same effect as, say, Hyper Repair or Snipe Attack, it
    doesn't.  Gold Rush gives no immediate tangible bonuses; you won't even be able
    to command the units you just built until the next day.  Use Colin's CO Power
    if you're on the verge of defeat and need a lot of strong units or if you're on
    the offensive and need more units to reinforce those already on the front
    lines.  Otherwise, I easily recommend Power of Money over Gold Rush anyday.
    One tip: Always, ALWAYS use this power before you begin spending funds to
    deploy units.  A common mistake is to buy a few units and then realize you want
    to use Gold Rush.  At this point you've already spent some of your funds,
    reducing the amount of money you get from Gold Rush!
    Colin's Power of Money is a unique, devastating CO Power that requires timing
    and perfect execution to pull off correctly.  You usually want your funds to be
    at LEAST 35,000 or more; it is generally recommended for them to exceed 60,000.
    Things get really messy when you have over 300,000!  While the CO Power still
    has its limits, for the most part you'll be dealing insane amounts of damage.
    Your infantry still won't be able to destroy Neotanks or MD Tanks in one hit
    (though they'll do about 25-30% damage if your funds are high enough), but they
    should be able to handle light vehicles and other infantry with ease.  All of
    your units suddenly become powerhouses; your most powerful units rain down
    damage and annihilate everything.  Power of Money is just plain scary in the
    hands of an expert.  One tip: Always, ALWAYS use this power before you begin
    spending funds to deploy units.  A common mistake is to buy a few units and
    then realize you want to use Power of Money.  At this point you've already
    spent some of your funds, reducing the attack bonus you'll recieve with Colin's
    SCO Power.
    Fury of the Swarm- Colin's power to overwhelm the enemy with superior numbers
    is great.  He can easily mass produce the more expensive units such as bombers,
    neotanks and battleships.  This strategy is simple.  Build what your opponent
    does but more of them.  A lot more.  Don't let a single base go empty unless
    you're saving up in the beginning of the game or just need some extra funds for
    your CO Powers.
    Way Hazard- This works best with ground or air maps.  Build lots of neotanks
    and tanks (not MD tanks).  Save up money this entire time and rush in to
    attack.  Your neotanks will probably fall if your enemy has a balanced defense.
    But in doing so they will build up your SCO Power (make sure you calculate the
    number of neotanks you'll need to do so).  Use Power of Money and have your
    cheap tanks swoop in and go for the kill.  Infantry, mechs and recons will also
    do the job efficiently and cheaply.  The air version of this involves bombers
    and helicopters.
    Kanbei (Yellow Comet) e9m
    Many people find Kanbei hard to use.  If used incorrectly, it's easy to be
    overwhelmed.  This is usually attributed to one simple mistake: I often see
    Kanbei users save up for a powerful unit.  After all, if Kanbei's units are
    super strong, wouldn't a unit that's ALREADY super strong be super super
    strong?  And while that may seem logical, think about this: Kanbei's units are
    super expensive, which in turn makes his already super expensive units super
    super expensive.  The units that truly benefit from Kanbei's strength increase
    and suffer less from his cost hike are the cheaper, weaker units.  His
    infantry, for example, are pretty much the strongest in the game, often
    withstanding incredible amounts of pressure.  You soon realize that there isn't
    THAT much of a difference when his most powerful units are involved since a lot
    of them already do massive amounts of damage anyways.
    The best way to use Kanbei is to build as many of the weaker units as you can.
    You'll want to have at least one or two of his stronger units (such as
    neotanks) to counter those of the enemy, of course, but other than that you
    must rely on the awesome strength of Kanbei's cheaper units to win the war.
    Tanks, recons, infantry, copters and artillery are all surprising powerful both
    in terms of defense and attack (although the increase is more evident in his
    units' resistance).  Treat your units as though each one were your last; avoid
    meaningless sacrifices that offer no strategic value.  Kanbei is one CO who
    truly relies on strength in numbers since those numbers are relatively low in
    the first place.  A strong unit, no matter how powerful it is, will not last
    long when outnumbered.
    Because it increases the strength of both, Morale Boost can be used either
    defensively or offensively, making it a very potent weapon.  It is especially
    useful for cutting through the enemy defenses.  Not only will you inflict extra
    damage on impact, but the counterattacks of your enemies will be reduced as
    well.  Furthermore, when it is your opponent's turn he or she will still have
    to get by your toughened defense.  Watch out for indirect fire units.
    This is one of my favorite CO Powers in the game.  It renders all of your units
    virtually invincible.  Not only that, but if your opponent is stupid enough to
    attack one of your direct units with a direct unit of his own, the
    counterattack will absolutely blow your enemy away.  Sadly, most people (and
    even the AI!) are too smart to attack after Kanbei has used Samurai Spirit
    (except with indirect units, of course), but that doesn't matter.  It more or
    less gives you a free turn, making it useful in many situations.  Trying to get
    through a narrow and heavily guarded canyon?  Activate Samurai Spirit and shrug
    off the pitiful attacks of your enemies.  It is hard to build up to Kanbei's
    SCO Power, but when you do- your enemies had better watch out.
    Relentless March- Use this strategy on ground maps.  Build a stream of mechs
    and infantry and simply march them along to your enemy's base.  You may want to
    throw in a tank here and there.  While it sounds incredibly limited, this
    strategy works wonders, especially on small maps.  Your foot soldiers are
    strong enough to resist many indirect attacks; anti-air assaults will be
    devastated by mechs.  Its one drawback is that the CO and SCO Powers take a
    VERY long time to charge up.  But if you manage to acquire them (usually from
    causing so much damage), your victory is further cemented.
    Ride to Eminence- Build tanks, artillery and MD tanks.  Load up some infantry
    inside APCs.  Rush your forces towards the enemy HQ, cutting through his or her
    defenses.  If your enemy has been playing defense, this may be harder than it
    sounds.  Use neotanks or MD tanks to absorb damage and your tanks to get behind
    enemy lines and destroy everything.  Protect your APCs and capture the HQ,
    ignoring enemy attacks.  Your infantry capturing the HQ may take damage, but
    they are so tough it won't really matter.  Be aggressive but remain vigilant.
    Fly to Eminence- This strategy is the air version of the above.  Instead of
    tanks and APCs, use T copters and B copters, backed up with some fighters here
    and there.  You really won't need bombers, but if you can afford them (and you
    usually won't be able to) then unleash them on the enemy as well.
    Sonja (Yellow Comet) csh
    To play as Sonja you must think as Sonja.  Play smart and strategically.  She
    is one of the hardest COs to use correctly, but if done so she is one of the
    best.  The first attribute you notice about Sonja is her reduced attack power.
    This occurs randomly and can be quite frustrating, especially when it pops up
    at critical moments.  One way to avoid surprises is to plan your attacks
    assuming that your attacks WILL be weakened.  Cheaper units suffer less than
    your strong units, strangely enough.  Neotanks that usually destroy in one hit
    may sometimes leave survivors.  Powerful units suffer more prominently and
    Sonja's HP-hiding feature is excellent, especially in matches with three or
    four players.  This creates a guessing game in which you can reap the rewards
    of your enemys' mistakes.  It is in Sonja's advantage to build many of the same
    unit.  A group of five tanks will leave your opponent frustrated.  Which one
    did he just bring to one HP?  By retreating and rearranging your forces in
    clever ways, Sonja's ability  to conceal her troops' health may be your
    greatest weapon.  Obviously, it is useless against the AI.
    Sonja's other strengths don't shine as much.  Extra vision is useful, allowing
    you to not rely on recons as much, but it rarely gives you much of a distinct
    advantage.  The increased counterattack force is a joke.  Do not be fooled into
    playing defensive with Sonja (unless you have her SCO Power activated).  While
    you may do some extra damage here and there, it RARELY makes a big splash.
    The game gives the impression that Sonja's greatest strength lies in her
    far-sight vision.  Because of this, you may be tempted not to use her if FoW is
    disabled.  Remember, though, that extra vision gives her a very, VERY slight
    advantage; you're not losing much if there is no FoW.  Also, her HP concealment
    ability is somewhat nullified by a lack of FoW, but not by much.  In fact, you
    can use this to your advantage and play mind games with your enemy further.
    Manipulate your units' positions so that your enemy will THINK he or she knows
    which units are at what state of health.
    Remember who you are: Sonja.  Think tactically, not brutally.  Many players
    think Sonja weak; use this to your advantage and blow your foes away.
    Obviously, Sonja's CO Power is more or less completely useless without FoW
    (though you get the standard VERY small defensive boost).  Have recons ready,
    use the CO Power and scout ahead to spot for indirect units hiding in forests
    and other nasty surprises.  You can also use this ability to spot for your own
    indirect units, or to help your tanks destroy anything that may lurk in the
    shadowy depths.  It requires very few stars, and if used at the right time,
    Enhanced Vision allows you to cut through sneaky defenses (which are usually
    well hidden but lightly defended).  Also, it can save your troops from needless
    death by warning you of an ambush.  The extra space of vision range isn't
    nearly as useful as the ability to peer into forests and reefs (though reefs
    are no where as dangerous as forests since they are rarely clumped) easily.
    Sonja's SCO Power can either be used similarly to Enhanced Vision or in an
    entirely different way.  Units attacking Sonja's troops after Counter Break has
    been activated will be crushed as Sonja's counterattacks deal damage as if they
    had attacked first (even if the unit is destroyed!)  This incredible
    destructive force can be used somewhat like Kanbei's Samurai Spirit, though it
    is no where near as potent.  Indirect units can also cause trouble as they
    attack without fear of retaliation.  It is not as good as it could be though.
    Counter Break adds no direct strength to your troops (aside from vision
    upgrades) and it definitely does not increase their resistance to attacks.
    Even so, Counter Break can be very useful, especially on the defensive (not so
    much when you're attacking).
    Double Headed Dragon- Build many units and clump them when Fog of War is off in
    multiplayer games.  That may, you can switch them around quickly, confusing
    your opponent and tricking him or her.  In FoW the clumping is not required,
    but it isn't a bad idea.  This makes your forces vulnerable to nuclear missiles
    and Sturm's SCO Power, in which case you should place your units strategically
    to minimize damage taken.
    Forest Spirit- On FoW with lots of forests, the logical choice is Grit, right?
    While certainly not a bad choice, Sonja holds her own in such situations.  A
    few recons scattered about will provide plenty of site for your indirect fire
    units; Sonja's CO and SCO Powers allow her to peer into forests for enemy
    traps.  With rockets, MD tanks and tanks, move through the forest slowly.  Keep
    your direct units in the back until you decide to move up your operation.  They
    will likely take damage, but that will just tell you that there are ambushers
    near by and it will also charge up your CO Power.
    Sensei (Yellow Comet) 4ka
    Sensei is perhaps one of the most unique COs in Advance Wars 2.  His abilities
    are very specialized and his tactics are unconventional.  If you play as
    Sensei, your advantage lies in the early game.  Into the mid game, your power
    begins to fade away; in the later game Sensei's infantry and copters will be no
    match for fighers, bombers and neotanks.  Avoid using him in the first place on
    naval-dominant maps.
    Because of this, speed is the name of the game with Sensei.  You MUST be
    absolutely ruthless and nip the enemy in the bud.  Rush with APCs and mechs
    early in the game (or T copters and mechs).  Move through the map quickly and
    take as many properties as you can.  Sensei's B copters, which are 50% more
    powerful, are excellent at destroying weaker units.  Your enemy might call in
    the anti-air (which is strong against both of Sensei's strengths) so you may
    want some artillery backup.  Overwhelm your enemy before they can invest in
    strong units.  If your opponent mangages an early fighter or bomber, don't
    despair.  Build your own fighters and counter.  Until your new fighters arrive,
    continue wreaking havoc because your opponent won't be able to fend off all of
    your attack force with just one or two planes.
    But that doesn't mean go for planes early in the game.  While they are not
    weakened, they do not serve Sensei as well as copters since they are neither
    strengthened.  Only build some once you're on the offensive, especially
    fighters.  Keep your enemy constantly repelling your attacks and reinforce
    yourself with Sensei's SCO Power.  He works well on FoW if you constantly
    mobilize your troops.  Scout, destroy and repeat.
    There are very few instances where Copter Command is preferable to Airborne
    Assault.  When you need a tiny, tiny amount of funds to buy that extra fighter
    or bomber, then you may want to use Copter command and combine those extra
    infantry.  But you'll usually use Sensei's CO Power when you need some extra
    firepower and you can't wait for his SCO Power.  Copter Command gives your B
    copters even stronger attack power, which is useful against tanks, anti-air and
    other light vehicles.  If neither of these situations arise, I suggest sticking
    with Airborne Assault since Sensei is progressive anyways.
    This is a very powerful ability at a very low cost.  You can easily reinforce
    undefended properties with strong mechs or combine them to earn you some cash.
    Remember to take them off properties if you don't want to spend money repairing
    them the next turn.  Of course, like Copter Command, your B copters receive a
    damage bonus to help you inflict even more pain upon your foes.  This ability
    makes Sensei very hard to beat on defense (as you may have learned on a few
    missions in campaign mode) and gives him the edge he needs on offense,
    especially in the early game.
    Copter Crush- Works well on maps with open areas at bases and FoW.  Load up T
    copters with mechs (a few infantry if you need to save money) and have a squad
    of B copters ready.  Now this is the hard part.  Move all your copters off to
    the side and move them in position out of sight from your enemy.  Stay far away
    but not TOO far away.  Meanwhile, at your base, build a tight perimeter
    defense.  Try to leave cities open in case you need to reinforce your army with
    Airborne Assault.  Artillery work great.  Keep building B copters.  The next
    step is up to you when you want to pull off.  If your enemy attacks you,
    immediately attack with all your copters and drop off your mechs at the enemy.
    Head straight for the kill at their HQ.  However, if your enemy waits a long
    time before attacking, he or she is obviously getting strong units, in which
    case you need to use that copter squad and begin capturing bases and cities of
    your own, giving you the funds to construct an air force of bombers and
    fighters.  Get to those islands and remote properties fast.  Confusing
    strategy?  Whatever works.
    Mech Flood- Like Sami, Sensei can pull off a strategy that works wonders on
    small maps.  His SCO Power is hard to build up, but you usually won't need it
    if your enemy takes too long to figure out what you're doing.  Stick to the
    mountains, capture as many porperties as possible (especially important for
    Sensei since his SCO Power needs cities to maximize its effect) and try to
    strike fast before your enemy builds up an army of neotanks and rockets (which,
    truthfully, gives you a lot of time).
    Mech Flood 2- While Sami's Mech Flood 2 calls for alternating the training of
    artillery and mechs, Sensei should instead turn to mechs and tanks.  That's
    right, tanks.  Sensei should go direct and bust up the front lines and secure
    the properties.  Mechs and tanks actually make quite a potent team.  Use tanks
    to absorb damage and mechs to dish it out.
    Eagle (Green Earth) p9k
    Many people love Eagle, and for good reason.  His bombers are absolutely
    incredible and his SCO Power is very powerful.  However, many newbies make
    mistakes with Eagle that lead to defeat.  The first thing to remember is not to
    neglect your ground force.  Eagle's ground troops do not suffer from any
    penalty at all (only his naval units do).  So don't try and build up that
    impossible-to-defeat army of bombers and fighters without building up a solid
    ground defense.  Yes, bombers and fighters can handle anything by themselves
    whether the threat comes from land, sea or air, but even a few planes costs a
    ton of funds, which you need to spend on defense in the early game.
    Eagle has quite an easy time commanding air units since fuel consumption is
    reduced.  B copters will make excellent stationary scouts since they can remain
    in one spot without having to worry about falling from the sky and crashing.
    This ability is extremely useful for attacks coming from multiple directions
    because you can position your air units the way you need them and not have to
    worry about fuel.  But that doesn't mean you can neglect them!  You should
    still keep an eye on fuel and ammo as any CO must do.  His air units still
    consume fuel whenever they move.
    Eagle has few weaknesses and is very powerful if you use him correctly.  The
    problem is that Eagle's greatest strengths can lead to his defeat if you aren't
    careful and play arrogantly.  His bombers may be his claim to fame, but Eagle
    is no one-trick pony.  Take advantage of his power.
    A bland but effective CO Power, Lightning Drive is Eagle's "other" power.  Most
    people neglect this and build up to Lightning Strike, but in many cases,
    Lightning Drive is a better bargain than Eagle's SCO Power thanks to its low
    cost.  It is great for both defense and offense, although you probably won't
    see much change in his bombers since they already kick so much ass.  Use your
    opponent's thinking against him (or her).  Logically Eagle will save up for
    Lightning Strike, right?  Once your opponent has planned accordingly (he'll
    probably play aggresively to prevent you from building up), strike back with
    Lightning Drive.  It's a smart tactic and gives you the element of surprise.
    Eagle was famous for his Lightning Strike ever since he appeared in the first
    Advance Wars.  And it was good then and it's even better now, people are often
    fooled into thinking it will win the game.  I've played many people who will
    purposely take damage to build up their SCO Power faster, thinking it will give
    them the edge.  But what good is another turn for every unit if they are dead?
    Smart, tactful use of Lightning Strike can win you the game, but if you play
    incorrectly your enemies may take advantage of weakness.
    First off, Lightning Strike should NOT be used in four player free-for-all
    battles.  In 2v2 or 1v1 matches, it is good, but does not help you very much in
    brawls.  Eagle may seem like a carefree, easy-going CO to you since his bombers
    are so powerful, but an expert Eagle player will begin to pay attention to unit
    positions and set ups.  You always want to plan ahead as Eagle.  Know which
    units you need to sacrifice to build up to Eagle's SCO Power, and have other
    units be set up accordingly (you'll have an easy time with helicopters since
    they don't consume fuel when standing still).  You want to decide if you want
    to lure the enemy to you or head over to the enemy base.  Luring the enemy will
    allow you to crush his or her army relatively safely, but you won't be able to
    touch your opponenet's base.  Choose wisely, plan wisely and strike without
    mercy.  It's the Eagle way!
    Control Ward- This is great for maps with many islands.  Build plenty of
    helicopters (doesn't matter which, although the B copter would probably be more
    versatile, if costly) and station them at strategic points (3-5 spaces away
    from land) and you will have much of the map visible to you.  The only problems
    are that this makes your main force weaker as it is harder to rally the copters
    when they're all over the map, and that a squad of fighters will quickly mop up
    all of your scouts if you aren't watchful.  But otherwise, I frequently use
    this techinique to stay one step of my opponent and using the strategy doesn't
    hinder you as much as you would think...
    Bombs Away!- In the beginning of the game, build the bare amount of units you
    need for proper defense and expansion.  Use cheap T copters to get to
    properties quick and use tanks, anti-air and B copters for defense.  You may
    want to throw in a few missiles for vision and added counterattack against
    enemy planes.  Then begin mass producing bombers.  Tons of bombers.  Also throw
    in some fighters for air defense.  Take a force of about 6 bombers and 3
    fighters (have about the same number of those units hanging back at the base)
    and strike.  You'll deal tons of damage but will lose them all.  Then throw the
    rest of the planes at your opponent.  The first group was designed to be blown
    up to build up your SCO Power.  You may want to forgo that part and just strike
    with all your might if your opponent has a very good SCO Power himself (or
    herself), like Sturm's or Olaf's or Drake's.
    Drake (Green Earth) 22w
    Playing against Drake is an uphill battle.  Your powerful vehicle units
    (especially sea units) struggle to simply survive against the onslaught of
    Drake's excellent powers.  To offset this advantage, Drake's actual units
    aren't that great.  Sea units, though slightly tougher, won't make too much of
    a difference.  Land units remain unaffected and Drake's air force is pathetic.
    Because of this, you must rely on your powers to diminish the strength of your
    enemies and then move in for the kill (if Drake's strength was air units, this
    second part would be a lot easier).
    To accomplish your goal of destroying your enemies, you have two options.  The
    constant halving of fuel, along with water damage, will force your opponent to
    constantly combine his units often.  You can either build strong units such as
    battleships and neotanks to bust up combined units (which cannot perform an
    action after combining) or construct many medium-strength units which can
    destroy weakened enemies before they can combine in the first place (or gang up
    on combined units to tear them apart).  The trick is to use your powers at the
    correct moments.  Don't use them whenever in hopes that they will disrupt your
    enemy.  Instead, save them for critical moments, such as before the storming of
    the enemy base or once you've rallied your troops for a counterattack.  You
    want to catch your opponent off guard to cause maximum pain.
    Drake should have a lot of troops positioned throughout the map.  This strategy
    makes retreating very difficult for your opponent (does not work against
    multiple opponents) because your troops will not only inflict damage, but get
    in the way, making your enemy's units eat up even more fuel.  Along with
    Drake's powers, entire forces can be decimated, creating a unit shortage for
    your opponent and making it impossible to regroup after an attack on your base.
    This is Drake's bread and butter ability.  Many of its uses were described
    above.  Tsunami works best on games without FoW because you can determine the
    enemy's whereabouts easily.  If your enemy is massing up units, Drake's CO
    Power works great because it can delay an attack on your base, as your opponent
    will have to spend a day replenishing his or her fuel; it will also cost your
    enemy a bit of pocket change to repair the damage.  This is even better on
    three or four player FFA maps.  Tsunami can also make retreating a difficult
    and painful process for your opponent(s).  Take out all the APCs you can get
    your hands on!
    Typhoon deals one additional damage to each enemy unit and also changes the
    weather to rain, giving your naval units an upper hand.  Works great against
    opponents who build lots of expensive units, because not only will you build up
    Typhoon faster, the damage dealt will be worth more (and expensive units
    generally suffer more from the fuel loss).  Normally, Tsunami will do the job,
    but Typhoon can add insult to injury and really change the course of a battle,
    especially when used at a critical moment during the war.
    Cover of Darkness- Remember that rain will reduce the vision of all units (even
    Drake's).  Use this and the fact that it tends to rain more often when Drake is
    playing to your advantage.  Use submerged subs to provide vision for your naval
    fleet; when it rains (whether by chance or Typhoon) move your fleet towards the
    enemy stronghold.  You need to be an intel expert and know how many spaces your
    enemy will be able to see (yes, this takes work but it is worth it).  Drake's
    extra movement for his naval units helps achieve this more easily; it renders
    his sea craft oblivious to enemy indirect units, especially those without
    spotters.  Obviously, this only works with FoW.
    Linear Drive- This is a risky and tricky strategy, but it works well.  You need
    to manage your funds early in the game.  Buy only what you need, which should
    mostly consist of APCs, infantry and a few tanks and artillery for defense.
    Capture as many properties as you can and begin building up your funds.  Your
    enemy will probably attack and take a few of your properties, but so long as
    you have a solid defense at your home base, you'll be fine.  Once you've saved
    up a considerable amount of money, begin constructing neotank after neotank.
    If the map you're playing is naval, build battleships instead.  Maps with
    airports should force you to throw in anti-airs or cruisers, depending on the
    terrain.  Send your force straight into the enemy base.  Chances are, if you've
    survived this long, your opponent has most likely built up a considerable
    defense.  This does not matter.  Once you're on the offensive, there will be no
    stopping you.  Your SCO Power will build up extremely quickly; as long as you
    keep sending in troops, you'll eventually overrun your enemy with your force of
    powerful units backed up by your crippling CO Powers.  Works only in one on one
    Rain of Despair- Use this tactic on maps with no ports or airports.  Build only
    rockets and artillery, with the occasional tank for some more diversity in your
    defense.  You may want to consider an anti-air or two for those pesky infantry,
    though your indirect units should be able to handle those.  Move up in a wave
    formation, obliterating everything in your path.  Your opponent, once he or she
    realizes what you're up to, will attack your force straight on, but the
    combination of your CO Power and your swarm of indirect fire units should win
    out in the end.  This strategy is VERY vulnerable to rushes, but if pulled off
    correctly you can claim a sweet victory.
    JESS (Green Earth) sjq
    Jess is my favorite CO.  Yes, you heard me.  Tons of people dismiss her as
    crappy, but they just don't know how to use her.  She is a solid War Room CO
    because she is so balanced.  In fact, I almost think she is a bit overpowered.
    Many people bitch about her lack of air/naval power and that her ground
    vehicles are barely any stronger than normal and her infantry suck and her CO
    Powers are bland and useless... but that is a bit unfair.  First of all, a CO's
    entire arsenal of units is almost 50% ground vehicles.  Of all the unit groups,
    ground vehicles are by far the most diverse and most used.  Both her direct AND
    indirect vehicles are boosted, which gives her quite an edge over pretty much
    any non-cheapo CO.  Yes, the boost is only 10%, but the extra damage can mean
    the difference between an instant kill and a survival with her stronger MD
    tanks and neotanks.  Just think of it as terrain breaker.  It nullifies one
    star of your opponent's defense, which is great for neotanks and rockets.
    Second, her air and naval units are NOT useless like Drake's and Eagle's
    (respectively).  No, she won't win the war with a straight on air or sea
    battle, but she can still use those units to compliment her stronger ground
    force quite nicely.  And last, for those wandering why the hell her infantry
    are weaker: she had to have some weakness on maps with ground bases only, so an
    infantry nerf was logical.  Besides, they don't see much combat anyways, so you
    have nothing to worry about.  You didn't pick Jess to fight a mech fight.
    Enough ranting.  Now for the actual ass-kicking.  Jess is very easy to use;
    there's nothing really special to know about her.  Build a balanced ground
    force of both indirect and direct fire units.  Use your tanks to tank (what
    else?) for your troops so they can capture properties which fund your war
    machine.  Your indirect units should back up your tanks nicely; missiles and
    anti-airs can handle themselves well against enemy air units.  By themselves,
    however, Jess's ground vehicle units aren't the most powerful, but the extra
    damage does allow her neotanks and MD tanks to perform more one-hit kills.  For
    example, if a unit would normally survive a neotank blast if it were hiding in
    a forest with 1 HP, now you can destroy it in one hit, giving you quite an edge
    against your opponent.  But where your tanks really shine is when you break out
    the CO Powers.  Their strength is vastly increased and as an added bonus, their
    fuel and ammo are replenished.  Because of this reason, Jess's air and naval
    units balance out with that of the enemy.  They may not be quite as tough, but
    they will rarely need to return to airports or ports to restock, allowing them
    to stay out on the field much longer.  Though definitely nothing special, her
    CO Powers pack a surprising amoung of punch.
    A solid, straightfoward CO Power much like Max's, though Jess's CO Powers are
    much more versatile.  The damage increase is significant enough to change the
    tide of any battle, whether defensive or offensive.  The extra movement is also
    useful for both defensive and offensive reasons: you can retreat a unit in
    trouble or advance your army onto enemy soil.  To top it all off, all of your
    units receive full ammo and fuel.  This incredible ability allows your troops
    to fight nonstop and is great for mechs, bombers and neotanks.  And since Turbo
    Charge costs only three stars, your enemy will be having trouble surviving
    under your onslaught.
    There's not much to say here.  Overdrive is excellent, but really not worth its
    cost.  You're better off sticking to Turbo Charge, though if you take a
    whooping then Overdrive could potentially save your butt.  Also, keep in mind
    that its movement increase is double that of Turbo Charge.
    Mecha Storm- Jess is excellent at this strategy.  Mass up tanks and anti-air
    and throw them at your enemy.  It works best on small maps.  Strike hard and
    fast; prevent your opponent from expanding and building up to neotanks and MD
    tanks.  Jess is better at this strategy than other CO's because she doesn't
    need to spend funds on APCs thanks to her CO Powers.
    Fast Neotank- In the early game, build an APC and a bunch of infantry.  Send
    those infantry out (with an APC hauling a few around) and capture lots of
    properties, really fast.  I mean FAST.  Leap frog your infantry for most
    efficient results.  As soon as you save up enough for a neotank, build it and
    send it to the enemy base.  Your opponent will probably be shocked to face a
    neotank this early in the game, but your neotank will most likely fall.  That
    does not matter.  Build tanks and send them to support your neotank.  Your
    enemy may break through your attack force and recapture a lot of your
    properties, but don't give up!  You should have plenty of funds saved up from
    the early game for you to get back on your feet and knock your opponent flat on
    his (or her) ass.  Only on FoW; watch out for those pesky recons.
    Volley Fire- Build nothing but artillery in the beginning of the game; then
    move onto rockets.  Do not do this if there are airports, ports or if one of
    your opponents is Grit.  Works great on small maps.  Jess and indirect units
    work great with each other because you don't have to keep them on cities or by
    APCs to keep them restocked.  If your opponent uses tanks to blunt the damage,
    use your CO Power and lay waste to everything.  It will be a slow, long but
    victorious battle.
    FLAK (Black Hole) o3i
    This is quite possibly one of my favorite CO's to play with.  He's a blast to
    use, especially in four player battles.  Granted, he's not the wisest choice if
    you're in a heated competition, but Flak is not as bad as he's made out to be.
    Overall, he generally does more damage than normal (otherwise there'd be no
    point in using him).  Of course, every hit is a gamble, but you can usually
    expect your attacks to break even.
    Without any powers, just play normally.  There's nothing you can do to promote
    or prevent changes in damage.  If you deal less damage, tough luck but it
    shouldn't make too much of a difference and a few bonkers won't cost you the
    game.  If you deal more damage, then congrats.  Where the real fun comes in is
    when you hit your powers.  You should treat your CO Power as a damage increase
    like Nell's powers, because the payoff is more than likely positive.  When you
    hit your SCO Power, however, watch out!  Miracles can happen- for either side.
    Your MD tank can graze an APC or your infantry can reduce the HP of a neotank
    by half.  Fun stuff.
    For the most part you receive a modest increase in attack strength.  A
    decrease, while rare, does occur once in a while and isn't that bad.  You
    should more or less play normally, especially with indirect units.  You won't
    be able to pull off crazy 40%-vs-neotank infantry moves, but in general you'll
    be causing a lot of havoc in one turn.
    Want to try someting fun?  Get nothing but weak units, build up Barbaric Blow
    and attacking strong enemies with your weakest ones.  Chances are, you'll die.
    But once in a while you heavily damage a neotank or MD tank with an infantry or
    recon.  On the flip side, avoid risky moves such as neotank vs neotank, or even
    neotank vs MD tank.  You may end up very pissed off.  Indirect units work
    great, of course, since there is no risk involved with them.  In singleplayer,
    if you want to be cheap then save a lot until you achieve the results you want.
    Mech Flood- That's right!  Flak is excellent at the Mech Flood, provided that
    he is not countered with air or naval units.  Your damage should be great
    enough to bring down even the toughest enemies, and since you have so many
    mechs, a decrease of damage shouldn't affect you too much.  Not a lot of people
    think of this, but it works surprisingly well.
    LASH (Black Hole) 1kx
    Lash is one of the more popular CO's.  Her SCO Power is solid but affordable
    and her overall strength is good with no weaknesses.  Despite being a rather
    easy to use CO, Lash is still pretty deep and takes a lot of strategy and skill
    to use.  Because of her dependency on terrain and terrain stars, a good Lash
    player will always be thinking in terms of the position of enemy units in
    relation to his or hers.  Lash is more versatile than people give her credit
    for.  Though strong on defense, especially at the home base, Lash can still
    dish out some serious pain in the front lines if she plays her cards right.
    Opponents who know what Lash is capable of will be cautious.  The trick is to
    lure these poor saps out of hiding and in range of your forces.  The problem
    with this is that it's usually a bad idea to confront an enemy when they have
    the terrain advantage, whether or not that enemy is Lash.  Because of this,
    Lash players are prone to a defensive mindset, constantly waiting for the enemy
    to approach them, which can be risky if their opponents know how to counter
    Her units are technically balanced, but certain ones take advantage of her
    powers more than others do.  Artillery, rockets and mechs in particular enjoy
    the benefits of Lash's powers much more than other units.  Also, her naval
    force can be quite dangerous on maps with lots of reefs.  Needless to say, her
    air force enjoys no benefits, but suffers no penalties either.  Also recall
    that her powers give the benefit of Sturm-like movement (all movement costs
    drop to one for all units,) which is another reason why Lash's rockets and
    artillery seem to excel.
    Lash is progressive for some reason; I don't really see why.  Terrain Tactics
    drops all movement costs of her units to one.  Her CO Power is useful for
    moving up, but at four stars it seems a bit unreasonable considering how it
    adds nothing else except for the standard +10% offense boost.  It's best to
    wait a bit longer and save up for...
    ...Prime Tactics!  In addition to having all movement costs drop to one, Prime
    Tactics actually doubles the defense stars of all your ground and naval units,
    meaning an even larger offense boost from terrain stars.  Prime Tactics is
    absolutely killer in the hands of an expert.  Most people try to use it
    offensively to inflict major pain, but don't forget that terrain stars mean
    defense, not just offense for Lash!  Sometimes it's easy to forget that.
    Because of this reason, sometimes it's better not to use Prime Tactics to
    strike but to advance your army.  With the help of the lowered movement costs,
    you can effectively move a very large force into the forests, mountains and
    narrow choke points right by your enemy.  Your boosted defense will render your
    enemy helpless during his or her turn.
    Mech Flood- Yes another good candidate for the dreaded Mech Flood.  Sure, Lash
    lacks cheap, fast powers to back up her mechs, but the terrain boost is
    absolutely killer on maps with lots of mountains and forests.  Your mechs and
    navigate the map and deal major damage from the safety of the mountains.
    Obviously this strategy is not any good on open maps, but in small, tight maps
    with lots of forests and mountains, it's tough to beat.
    Boom Town- This strategy works best with fog of war on.  Build artillery,
    rockets, mechs and recons.  Move through the forests and use your mechs to tank
    for your indirect units.  Recons, of course, are used for spotting targets.
    Take advantage of Terrain Tactics to move through the map undetected but
    quickly at the same time.  This takes practice and careful planning, but if
    you've got the skill this is a rather deadly strategy.
    War of Attrition- Lash is great at the War of Attrition because of her natural
    defensive abilities.  Make sure you use this on a map with choke points to your
    base and hopefully you're playing on FoW.  Use terrain to your advantage,
    naturally, and outlast your opponent.  Slowly build up rockets and, if needed,
    neotanks.  Eventually you'll have a large enough force to overwhelm your
    opponent.  This entire time you may have a rough time dealing with your
    opponent's constant attempts at breaking in, but you should be able to outlast
    him or her unless that person is Haichi, Grit or anyone else with a strong
    pressure game.