Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising By: Terragent FAQ - CO Jess Copyright 2004 Terragent ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. Table of Contents .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 0. Table of Contents 1. Version History [VER] 2. Legal Stuff [LEG] 3. Introduction [INT] 4. Jess Overview [JES] 5. Jess' Stats [STA] 6. Strategies for Jess [STR] (for strategy plans, search for [PLN]) 7. Jess Opinions [OPN] 8. Special Thanks [THN] 9. Contact [CON] You can use Ctrl+F (Command+F for Mac users) to search for the codes in brackets in order to quickly jump to the relevant section. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [VER] Version History [VER] .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.2: Fixed a horrible glitch that had turned some apostrophes into 'Í' characters... don't know how that happened. Also updated contact information and made a few minor adjustments to the strategy section. 1.1: Only a minor update. A few microscopic grammar fixes, and a heavily updated 'Jess vs other COs' section. 1.0: First 'complete' release. Several minor grammar fixes, more strategies, more opinions, and credit to Neoseeker.com were all included in this update. 0.8: Initial release. Large strategy and stats sections, but only a small range of opinions on Jess. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [LEG] Legal Stuff [LEG] :.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This FAQ is copyrighted to Terragent. This FAQ cannot be sold, copied, or posted on another website without his permission. The only sites that this FAQ can be posted on are GameFAQs.com and Neoseeker.com. If you wish to have this FAQ in your site, you will have to e-mail me. Provided that it doesn't require too much effort on my part, I'll probably let you post it. Jess, Advance Wars and all related characters are copyright of Nintendo. All rights reserved (including the right to repossess your GBA if you ignore this. You have been warned). ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [INT] Introduction [INT] .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I always enjoyed strategy games, and my initial thoughts on seeing the first Advance Wars on Xenesis Xenon's GBA were 'oh, how cute!' While Nintendo and Intelligent Systems may have toned down the cute look for this sequel, they have nonetheless managed to make a game that is worthy of (if not quite as good as) the original, IMO. I scraped my way through the campaign and the Advance Campaign, and bumbled through the War Room - but all the time I found that none of the COs ever quite fit my playing style. Max was too one-dimensional, Grit was boring, Nell was cheap, Olaf and Andy were bland - it goes on. As such, I was simultaneously overjoyed and disappointed when I got my hands on the sequel. The disappointment first: quite simply, IS made the game too easy. All of the challenge and hair-tearing missions that I fondly remember from the first were gone, along with much of the fun that they had brought. However, not all was lost: Vs mode beckoned, and I answered the call because I had found my ideal CO: Jess. Strong vehicular forces coupled with a navy and air force that (while weaker than average) still got the job done appealed to both my love of smashing things with tanks and my joy at seeing enemies blasted to bits by my rockets. My first glimpse of Jess was the now infamous screenshot commonly titled 'that's a big pencil', the image of her using her CO power. As it turned out, the 'pencil' was an artillery shell. Well, we live and learn. The minute I heard that a vehicle specialist was going to be included in the game, I was already hooked. I had always enjoyed playing with Green Earth's hi-tech machinery, and I still have a soft spot for Eagle's brash attitude and Drake's (now sadly absent) cheesy grin. Jess' persistent personality and funky music instantly clicked with me. 'So what if she's not as strong as Max,' I thought. 'I'm still using her!' ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. [JES] CO Jess [JES] .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- In-game description --- Name: Jess Army: Green Earth A gallant tank-driving CO who fought her way up to the top. Often argues with Eagle. Hit: Dandelions Miss: Unfit COs Skill: Vehicular units have superior attack power. Infantry, air, and naval units are comparatively weak. Power Meter: oooOOO CO Power: Turbo Charge Ð Movement range of vehicles increases by 1. Firepower increases, and fuel and ammo supplies are also replenished. Super CO Power: Overdrive - Increase in the attack strength of vehicular units and 2-space increase in movement. Also restores fuel and ammo supplies. Winning Phrase: 'Never give up! That's my motto!' How to unlock: Finish the Green Earth campaign and buy either Eagle or Drake. --- Jess is an oft-maligned CO, mostly due to her small strengths. As a rule, only Flak and Adder, the 'dirty pair' of the Black Hole army, are considered 'weaker' than her. However, it is a badly uninformed player indeed who underestimates Jess. While she's a native of Green Earth, Jess wasn't seen in the first game because she was training abroad to hone her tactical skills. When Black Hole returns, however, she comes back to her homeland just in time to help Eagle and Drake turn the tide and liberate it. Despite the fact that much of the fighting at that stage was on the ground (her speciality), she didn't come home to great fanfare, mostly because of Eagle. The two have been rivals for a long time, probably since they started in the military, and their antagonism is as intense as ever during the game. Jess, with her stoic attitude and hard-won position, resents Eagle's privileged status as a hero and scorns his reckless tactics; Eagle, on the other hand, considers her to be overly cautious and not up to the challenge of defending Green Earth from aggressors. While Drake does his best to smooth any friction between them, they nonetheless come to blows on a regular basis. However, it becomes apparent that their rivalry is not as hostile as others perceive it to be - as Hachi says, 'she and Eagle are always squabbling, but that just shows how close they are'. Through the course of the campaign, Jess tends to be quiet and keep her thoughts to herself unless she feels that they're needed. The few times she does speak out, she tends either to curb Eagle's rasher decisions or offer a soldier's insight into situations where most of the other COs have no direct experience. While she and Eagle patch things up a bit after Hawke's defeat and the liberation of Green Earth, it is obvious by the end of the campaign that it isn't over between them - both Jess and Eagle plainly state that each one intends to take the other down a peg on the training field. It seems that the one-dimensional flyboy's day in the sun may end soon. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [STA] Jess' Stats [STA] :.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This section details the stats of Jess' units. Both offense and defence are listed one after the other for each group of units, using a relative system which assumes that 100% is equal to the 'normal' strength of the unit - in other words, the strength the unit has when commanded by Andy, Olaf, Adder, or any other all-rounder. Foot Soldiers: 90/100 Direct Vehicles: 110/100 Indirect Vehicles: 110/100 Battle Copters: 90/100 Planes: 90/100 Direct Sea: 90/100 Indirect Sea: 90/100 APCs: ---/100 Transport Copters: ---/100 Landers: ---/100 CO Power: Turbo Charge Foot Soldiers: 90/110 Direct Vehicles: 130/110 [+1 Movement] Indirect Vehicles: 130/110 [+1 Movement] Battle Copters: 90/110 Planes: 90/110 Direct Sea: 90/110 Indirect Sea: 90/110 APCs: ---/110 [+1 Movement] Transport Copters: ---/110 Landers: ---/110 Additionally, all units' fuel and ammunition supplies are filled, exactly as if they had been supplied by an APC. Super CO Power: Overdrive Foot Soldiers: 90/110 Direct Vehicles: 150/110 [+2 Movement] Indirect Vehicles: 150/110 [+2 Movement] Battle Copters: 90/110 Planes: 90/110 Direct Sea: 90/110 Indirect Sea: 90/110 APCs: ---/110 [+2 Movement] Transport Copters: ---/110 Landers: ---/110 All units are resupplied in a manner identical to Turbo Charge. Note: All CO Powers give a +10% defence bonus to all units for one turn. This is included in the unit profiles. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:. [STR] Strategies and Techniques for Jess [STR] :.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- At first glance, it seems that Jess suffers considerably. Her vehicles are powered up by a minor ten percent, while every other unit in the game is weakened by an equivalent amount. Play around with her, however, and you will quickly find that she is anything but weak - her strength here is twofold. The first strength is obvious: her vehicles. Let's not beat about the bush, vehicular units are the most adaptable and wide-ranging in the game. It doesn't matter whether it's a tank, an anti-air, or even a rocket: if it has wheels or treads, Jess makes it go. While her normal bonus may be modest, her powers certainly change things. Her offense is set to 130 and 150% by her normal and super powers respectively - hardly timid. Bonuses that size are sufficient to ensure OHK attacks with her Medium and Neotanks even when the target has heavy cover, while her smaller units are now genuine liabilities to others their own size. At the same time, her sea and air units seem to suffer. Her fighters, bombers and submarines lose their OHK potential - and let's face it, who doesn't enjoy the vicarious thrill of annihilating their opponent with a massive air strike? However, astute players will quickly realize that Jess has a unique advantage with these units, particularly the naval ones. The often- overlooked secondary function of her powers - the refueling effect - allows them to operate longer and more efficiently than other COs'. In any naval clash, it is inevitable that, sooner or later, your units start running out of fuel. Even captain Drake, the master of the seas, occasionally finds himself running on an empty tank. Jess, on the other hand, can leave her navy on the front lines almost indefinitely, meaning that her battleships can park themselves in a good vantage point and pour uninterrupted fire onto their targets, and her subs can provide constant 24-hour surveillance. The same applies to her air force. While Eagle has fewer problems in this area, Max, Kanbei and Adder (amongst others) all find themselves commanding fighters and bombers which are stuck on the front lines with distressingly low fuel gauges. Once again, Jess has no worries on that front. Because of this, Jess is able to use her air and naval units to great advantage, despite their low firepower. At the same time, it's important to remember that 90% isn't exactly useless - Grit suffers a penalty of 80% for his direct units, while Eagle and Drake's sea and air units respectively are at 70%. You regularly see Sensei and Sami still using their tanks and subs, even though they don't even have Jess' fuel advantage; and with a penalty as small as ten percent, a good strategy can easily ensure victory against a 100/100 opponent. In this way, Jess is the most rounded of the specialist COs - both her strengths and weaknesses are small, and therefore difficult to exploit. As with any other CO, using Jess effectively depends on utilizing her strengths and preventing your opponent from exploiting her weaknesses, and as such she is a difficult CO to master. This is one way to think about it: While Eagle might swat her from the skies, Jess will be able to beat Drake or Grit almost as effortlessly in the air. And although she is just a landlubber when compared to the nautical know-it-all, she could still teach Eagle a thing or two about naval combat. Perhaps the most fundamental defining factor with the specialist COs in this game is whether they are a direct or an indirect CO - while Max and Grit are the only commanders who are explicitly one or the other, each of the others still tends to favour one method over the other. Eagle and Sensei, for example, are at their best when using rapid air units, while Drake is better served by a creeping approach, covering his units with his battleships and rockets. Sonja, with her fog of war skills, is also better suited to indirect combat - while Kanbei's superior defence allows him to wade into direct fights with fewer worries than most COs. At the same time, Olaf's wintry powers are extremely handy for trapping enemies within the range of his indirect units. Obviously, these rules are not iron-clad - but most players tend to lean toward using either direct or indirect units, and often choose COs to match. This is where perhaps the biggest misconception about Jess comes into play: Hachi's claim that 'she's a bit like Max in ability'. Most new players see this, think 'yay, tanks!' and proceed to rush headlong into a close- quarters brawl with their opponents. However, they very quickly learn that inferior firepower and weaker air units make for a direct assault that cannot be sustained - in short, no-one's better at being Max than Max is. To succeed with Jess, you need to take a balanced approach to your unit construction: an even spread of direct and indirect units on the ground supported by the occasional air and sea unit. --- This is the part where I examine the uses and abuses of the various AW units under Jess' command. Infantry are (as always) a highly useful choice, but in Jess' case, only for capturing. Because of this, she doesn't have much time for mechs; barring exceptional circumstances, you will probably never find yourself using a mech with Jess. Tanks and anti-airs are (as always) easy to use with Jess. High mobility and decent firepower are enhanced by her CO powers - her anti-airs swat even Kanbei's copters and are a serious threat to indirect units and isolated infantry and mechs - when her powers get rolling, they can even out-distance and OHK bombers. Tanks are just as juicy, great against any light or medium vehicles, and decent against infantry and mechs given first strike - the periodic firepower and movement boosts are wonderful extras for the most versatile ground unit in the game. Recons, while normally neglected, are often a good choice for Jess. The small amount of extra firepower really can make a difference, as it allows them to further terrorize infantry and indirects and can make isolated mechs think twice before tangling with them. Add a potential movement range of a staggering ten spaces, and you have a highly mobile (if rather fragile) and cheap addition to your arsenal. Jess gets considerable use from her artillery. While they still have the standard 2-3 spaces, the enhanced firepower makes them do roughly as much damage as the average Joe's rockets, and their superior movement type and periodic increases make them much more mobile. However, rockets are more often Jess' indirect unit of choice. Their enhanced firepower pretty much guarantees that any light unit hit by them without cover will be crippled if not destroyed, while her powers ensure both good mobility and a constant source of ammunition, conveniently covering the Achilles' heel of these wonderful machines. Her missiles are perhaps a little less special - after all, ordinary missiles OHK everything aerial anyway - but the extra firepower is still handy from time to time - Eagle's COP units and Kanbei come to mind. Remember, too, that periodic movement boosts are always welcome for a unit that is usually extremely slow. However, it is the Medium Tank that is perhaps Jess' most dangerous unit. Her powers ensure that they will have firepower and movement equal if not superior to an average Neotank, and at 16000 they're a fair bit more affordable than their bigger cousins. That's not to say that Neotanks aren't worthwhile for Jess - I've yet to see anyone complain about a big, nasty machine with lots of oomph and great movement range - but all too often the extra 6000 is better spent on an artillery or contributing toward a rocket or tank. APCs, for obvious reasons, are less useful for Jess than for many COs. However, they shouldn't be entirely neglected, as they still extremely handy for moving your foot soldiers from place to place, especially since (as vehicles) they benefit from her movement boosts. When using her SCOP, Jess has the best APCs in the game. Transport Copters are considerably more tasty. While they don't get the movement boosts, her powers ensure that they will pretty much never worry about falling out of the sky, thus providing you with a convenient way of ferrying your infantry past chokepoints or other inconvenient landmarks. Battle Copters, however, are far less helpful for Jess. A standard B-Copter has mediocre firepower at best, and Jess' ability doesn't help. At the same time, they tend to run low on fuel only periodically, so her powers aren't as useful for them as they are for planes. They still have a part in her battle plan, however, as they are good for softening up those nasty Md and Neotanks, as well as breaking through chokepoints and mopping up those pesky 2 or 3 HP survivors in order to let your superior vehicles focus on more worthy targets. Her fighters are also not too flash. While they are quite decent against bombers and B-copters (a 1HP copter is next to useless, while a bomber has nowhere to run), they get smacked down by enemy fighters. Although they can be kept aloft indefinitely thanks to her powers, their operational lifespan is generally determined by the first fighter they run into rather than their fuel gauge. Generally, Jess is better off sticking with her lovely missiles and anti-airs. Bombers, on the other hand, can be truly evil when used correctly by Jess. Like copters, they can soften up heavy units on good cover, and they can usually handle almost any ground unit on 7 HP or less. At the same time, they almost never have to worry about running out of fuel and ammunition, the twin curses of the bomber, and can operate independently of your main attacking force for flank attacks or isolated raids. While they lose all OHK potential, cover generally ensures against this anyway - only Max and Kanbei tend to kill rather than cripple with their bombers. Unlike Drake and Grit, Jess can confidently take on isolated anti-airs with her bombers - but, as with any other CO, they're still meat when faced off against missiles or fighters. The lander is another great unit for Jess to have. A nice supply of fuel ensures that she can transport her most dangerous units across the ocean whenever she wants to. Not as nice as Drake, Sami and Sensei's extra move, but damn better than anyone else's. Cruisers are another unit that Jess tends to do well with. Her cruisers still OHK copters and still defeat bombers if they get a lucky first strike - and their primary job of submarine hunting is only hampered a little by her mediocre offense. Note also that they can still carry copters - handy for sneaking nasty surprises behind enemy lines. In fog, her powers will let her leave copters hidden in awkward spots for as long as she wishes. Her submarines, unfortunately, are not as fortunate when it comes to offense. They lose the normal 50% chance of OHK-ing landers, and they are obliterated by even Eagle's cruisers - but on the other hand, they will still take down battleships in two turns. As scouts, however, Jess has the best submarines in the game. In intense situations, it is feasible for them to remain dived almost indefinitely, working as a near-undetectable means of providing Jess with all the latest intel on her opponents. Jess' favourite naval unit, though, is the battleship. Let's face it: unless you happen to be Eagle, battleships rock. Even the clumsy Max finds himself doing incredible things with these behemoths; the greatest range, defence and firepower of any indirect in the game make them a sensible choice no matter who's in command. While Drake and Grit have battleships that are considerably more dangerous than Jess', a protracted conflict (the situation where battleships are at their best) will inevitably result in them running out of ammunition and, eventually, fuel. Because coming near to the shore is a deadly mistake for a battleship in hostile territory, their commander will have no choice but to pull them back to safe territory in order to replenish their supplies. Jess, however, doesn't have to worry about this, and can merrily blast away at her opponent's shoreline fortifications without any annoying interruptions. This leads me to the (perhaps controversial) claim that Jess, after Drake, is the second-best CO in the game at using naval units to support a land war. While air units can often locate an APC with little drama thanks to their high movement and ability to go anywhere, naval strategies are frequently disrupted by low fuel and ammunition. Well, that about concludes my whistle-stop tour of the Jess armoury. As you can see, some of her units are far nastier than Andy's or Olaf's - and even some of her 'weak' units are, in actual fact, more effective than the all-rounders'. Remember, that lovely battleship's no use to you if it's stuck in port all the time. --- Now I'll start outlining specific strategies and tactics to use when commanding Jess. While I myself don't adhere to any rigid battle plan, I have nonetheless collected several such plans from other Jess players for your perusal. I myself will point out simpler, more fundamental things; how to gain the right leverage in situations and how to take full advantage of your both your units and your opponent's preconceptions about Jess. -Offensive Indirects. To the experienced AW player, this sounds like an oxymoron. As a general rule, indirect units are slower and suffer worse movement penalties than direct units, and additionally must make a choice between moving and attacking. Grit, the turtler's turtler, is well aware of this. Jess, however, is able to use her movement boosts and strong direct units to her advantage here. Powerful tanks allow her to hold out long enough to set up indirects, both as a deterrent and as a threat in their own right. Artillery are especially wonderful for this, as they suffer relatively few movement penalties and can usually keep up with her tanks. Additionally, the three most popular indirect COs - Grit, Olaf and Sonja - tend to be rather defensive in their strategies. Because of this, your opponent will probably not expect to see rockets knocking on his door as quickly as Jess makes them. -Think like a chess grandmaster. This goes hand-in-hand with Offensive Indirects. While chess may not be the most accurate representation of war ever made, it has built into it one fundamental principle that dictated modern warfare for more than fifty years: deterrence. Simply put, ensure that it is impossible for your opponent to attack your units without getting hit back, and preferably harder. Cover your directs with your indirects, and vice versa. Make sure that your opponent knows that any aggression will result in severe and immediate pain. -'I always give 100%! Always!' More than any other CO, Jess' personality reflects her abilities as a CO (although this particular bit of advice is useful for anyone). Never give up. Half-hearted efforts will get you nowhere in this game, and doubly so with Jess. Unlike Max or Kanbei, you can't just throw together some beefy units and hope for the best - a successful Jess game requires constant and exacting planning and attention to detail. You never know - that little tank or b-copter might just turn things around for you. -'All together now!' Don't neglect your air and sea units. Jess relies on a co-ordinated assault to work effectively. Just because your bombers and battleships aren't hotted up doesn't mean they're no use. When you can integrate each and every part of your army into a well-oiled machine, you can win with Jess. You might even find a use for mechs. -Bigger is not always better. Don't neglect Turbo Charge in favour of Overdrive. Remember, your units are refueled just the same, no matter which power you use, and 30% extra damage is always welcome. Bear in mind, however, that there are some times when you simply need all the firepower you can muster. Good judgement of when this is and is not appropriate is key here. --- Jess vs other COs: Andy: Fighting (Bl)andy is just fighting Mr Average. Use all of the strategies that Jess is best with and do your best to maximise your strengths while minimising your weaknesses. Also, Jess' extra firepower leads to more OHK attacks, which natrually means fewer units for Andy to heal, and her healthy fuel gauge means that her units will outlast Andy's, despite his repairs. Max: Unlike Grit, Jess is able to face down Max in tank combat - support your direct units with artillery and rockets, and build lots of anti-airs to swat those nasty air units. Sami: Jess has early-game capturing problems against Sami, but her recons are a handy counter to Sami's infantry. You'll have a rough time early on, but if you make it into the late game then you're pretty much guaranteed to prevail, as your big, boosted units will vastly overpower Sami's weakened vehicles and now not-so-nasty mechs, while your weakest units almost universally have the same firepower as Sami's equivalents, but have the advantage of near-unlimited fuel and ammo. Nell: See Andy. That, and cross your fingers that she doesn't get too lucky. Resort to four-leaf clovers and remember to consult the Tarot. Or perhaps you could borrow Eagle's lucky goggles? Hachi: Bah. No self-respecting Vs player uses Hachi. The best tactic? During your opponent's turn, point wildly while saying 'look, a distraction!' and then grab the GBA and yield while they're not looking. Olaf: See Andy for the first part. His CO powers can clamp down on Jess' otherwise superior mobility, but remember that your stronger indirects won't be overly affected by the snow. Grit: What beats Grit? A strong, early offense, often backed up by a co-ordinated air force. Rush him with direct units and threaten his indirect units with your own. In this way, Jess is well-suited to opposing Grit; early Recon Rushes can often pay off, and a well-timed Turbo Charge or Overdrive can often give you the much-needed punch required to break through his lines. Also be aware that your annoyingly persistent bombers make Grit's puny AAs very, very afraid. Colin: While her bad units are as weak as Colin's bargain-bin specials, they still have a substantial fuel and ammo advantage. Coupled with her vast vehicular superiority, this tends to give her an edge against Blue Moon's Richie Rich. Kanbei: Extra defence hurts. Like Colin, Jess simply can't do enough damage to Kanbei with her aerial and naval units. While she outmaneuvres him, a mech flood with his ultra-nasty units can often cripple Jess mid-game. The best tactic to use against Kanbei when playing with Jess is to think big, and temporarily ditch the tanks and artillery for Neos and rockets, and to remember that indirects are a perfect way to soften up his rock-hard units without having to worry about counterattacks. Sonja: Also see Andy. In fog, there's not much to do apart from remember that your indirects are more powerful than hers and try your best to out think the Sonja player. Sonja's stronger counterattacks are actually less useful against Jess than most COs, as the most frequently counterattacked units, vehicles, will be doing more damage and therefore taking less back, while most of Jess' weak units have lots of matchups where the counter is either pitifully weak (cruiser vs sub) or the enemy doesn't even get one (bomber vs tank). Sensei: Mech floods mixed with strong copters are painful. While her anti-airs do a commendable job, fighting Sensei is an uphill battle for Jess. Your best bet against him is to spam infantry and artillery while supporting them with plentiful anti-airs and the occasional Md or Neotank. Eagle: While it's debatable as to which of the two Green Earth rivals is the better commander, what isn't an argument is that Jess will more often prevail in a head-to-head confrontation. Her extra firepower makes her Anti-airs and missiles lethal against Eagle's boosted aerial defence, while her sea is so much better than his that he might as well not bother using any sea units. In the air, Eagle's so superior that he smacks down 100/100 COs anyway, so Jess doesn't really suffer much more than the average person in air battles against Eagle. On the ground, of course, she only has advantages against him, as most Eagle players tend to avoid over-using mechs for combat since they can't be Lightning Striked. Love those anti-airs and Medium Tanks. Drake: Jess' powers nullify what is perhaps Drake's most powerful advantage, the fuel cut resulting from Tsunami/Typhoon. As such, she is capable of using her air units to full effect against Drake's pitiful air force and average ground troops. An all-rounded approach with an eye toward bombers tends to produce very pleasant results against everyone's favourite pirate. Flak: Even more average than Blandy. No special tactics involved, but you can alway shope to get lucky. Since any competent Flak player will favour lots of small units (to best make use of his luck bonuses), it is often smart to respond in kind - better to have your 10HP tank annihilated by a lucky b-copter than to have your 10HP Md tank reduced to 3 by the same unit. Lash: More firepower = more damage = less HP = smaller terrain bonus. And since air and sea units rarely if ever get terrain bonuses, Jess excels at dealing with Lash where she's at her strongest. As such, it's best to aim for unit superiority when fighting Lash - try to focus on your big units (Mds, Neos, Rockets, Bombers) and bring them to bear where they'll be most effective. Adder: See Blandy. Their abilities are highly similar, but Jess' CO powers are considerably handier as (unlike Adder) they allow her to win in a war of attrition; while Adder burns fuel like there's no tomorrow, Jess is laughing all the way to the petrol station. Hawke: Well, what can I say? At her strongest, Jess is equal to him; at her weakest, she's lacking a full 20% firepower relative to him. On the other hand, her powers are vastly more useful than the overpriced Black Wave/Storm. As with Lash, aim for unit superiority and play to your strengths. Sturm: Come on. Sturm's a good CO to use against anyone. If you're the one using Jess, then look on the bright side: it will give you a great excuse to beat up your 'friend'. Keep in mind, also, that none of this is iron-clad: remember, what truly matters in a battle is who's smarter. --- Jess strategy plans [PLN] From Ababy: Pierce. Description/strategy: Form a defensive line and make sure that you can hold the opponent for two three turns, or you can accumulate joined, healed and reserve units while advancing relatively slowly. concentrate units behind your line and go for a gigantic attack on one concentrated section of the opponent's line. When you break a hole in the line, send directs behind and wreck havoc on indirects (you'll need to do this to secure or provide safety for the land that you've gotten). If you're confident, you can attack the middle, which is the most dangerous (opponents are surrounding you). Doing so successfully lets you split their line and force them to either launch a counter-attack at the position or retreat to regroup. The Left and Right are also good fronts to attack, especially with naval support (battleships can do wonders here, even just one can suffice). Either way, after advancing, make sure that you move some reserve indirects up to somewhat keep the ground you've gained. MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS KEEP YOUR LINE WHILE YOU DO THIS or you'll just gave your opponent a route to your HQ (you can make a trap out of that though.....). Advantages: You can cut off enemy reinforcements Split their forces and scatter them Gain ground really fast for a short burst Opponents do not usually know which part of the line you will assault, so you usually have the element of surprise. You can let the other parts of your line drop only for your opponent to advance into an ambush Devastates the opponent if sucessful Counter: The only way to counter a pierce attack is to be aggresive yourself, or to have effective scouts (as pierce relies on the element of surprise). If you know that a pierce attack will come and know which place your opponent will attack, you can easily set up a trap. Pierce, if not prepared against, is devastating. From konscript: Feint. Objective: Falsely make your opponent believe that you are retreating from an area you two have been fighting on for a while. Optimal Formation: (I=Indirect, preferably artillery; D=Direct, preferably super cheap+mobile tanks; E=Enemy) EE II EEE II II EEE II DDD How to perform: Well, most of the time, forests are moderately plentiful on a map, generally being to the sides of roads/plains. They also tend to stick near cities (useful). So put some of jess's beefier indirects in the tree area behind your original position. This is easier with the far more mobile artillery, however if you are closer to home, or have a base supplying them, you can use rockets. Well, generally you and your opponent will get into large battles near cities, considering you will both want them. Jess however, has a much more difficult time capturing cities because her infantry units are far less useful. But there are ways to make good use of her more useful (and mobile) units. Well once your indirects are located in some forests near the cities, take your tanks/recons and start to harass his infantry attempting to capture cities. This will most likely involve him chasing after you. Well, if you do this properly, he should run right into your covered area. When he comes in, you can litterally mow him down as he tries to pass through. Leaving him no heavy vehicluar protection for his infantry (which will probably be busy capturing). This forces him to either try and capture the cities, or fight you off with his infantry. Both will work for you, as one will give you star points, and the other gives you a better economy. Usage: Use this when you are a little bit on the defensive and your opponent is trying to take the properties that are located in the middle. Pros: Excellent for getting some extra properties. Very cheap (tanks and artilleries) considering this strat can take out md/neotank formations. Cons: Not very offensive, probably will only work once (other scenarios though that you can indirect flank with though). Nice to cover your infantry with. Additions: You may want to put a couple infantry/mech units to block your indirects incase you feel they are a bit more vulnerable, you can use the ones that would be capturing normally; or those that will take the properties eventually. You can also move your tanks in next to the injured enemy units so that he thinks your tanks did the damage. Success: I don't usually use this strat with jess as my friend sucks and i can usually play the offensive game, but if you are ever backed into the wall, go ahead and use this. From Linkman 145: Double Blitzkrieg. Description: Create a lot of Tanks and Artilleries, and make use of Jess' great Ground balance. Strategy: It's actually quite simple Ð just mass a bunch of Tanks and Artilleries. This should prove very useful in open maps, and chokepoints as well, and it's very cheap for its effectiveness. In large maps, you'll be able to control the Ground campaign. And in small maps, it's even better. Since the battle should be played with Tanks, Artilleries and Mechs, who better to do it than Jess? If played correctly, you can simply outperform your enemy. Jess' balance between Directs and Indirects put her above all other COs in Ground battle. Counter: A great way to stop this strategy is using B-copters. Your opponent will have his Blitzkrieg halted, as he now needs to buy Anti-Airs, and do something to stop your current force. If no Air units are available, then you should try a balanced assault combined with Mechs to stop her Tanks, and reach her Artillery. Remember Artilleries don't have such a great range - You can try and stay away from them, while pummeling Jess' tanks. From DragonDrake: Headbutt. Summary: Use 2 tanks and 1 b-copter to route off any roads. Diagram: (NOTE:T=your tank, = equals road, and B=b-cop, and e=enemy, - equals 1 space non-road) - - - - - TB==e T- - - - The basic strategy here is to achieve this, - B =Te= - T This small regiment of units can cut of almost any unit, just attack with the B-cop first then the bottom tank then the tank in the middle to take out any tanks, rockets, artillery, etc..And if it's an A-Air attack with the tanks first and if there is any thing left let the B-cop take it..another good idea is to keep a loaded apc around back for fuelin' and the occasional camp'n'capture. This is very effective for routing any stray enemy unit or small enemy force. From I Blame Video Games: Fog of War scouting. This tactic can be used in Fog of War, mainly with Battle Copters, but Fighters work just as well. ÊIt makes Jess one of the best FoW COs IMO. Y'know how every time you move a unit but don't confirm it, and you move it back to its original place, you lose fuel anyway? ÊWell, with Jess' powers, you can scout out a unit easily, as long as you know there is only one there, or you know that there aren't any units that can take down your Copter, as Jess doesn't really need to worry about fuel. --- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [OPN] Opinions on Jess [OPN] :.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the section where things get more subjective than usual. In addition to my own opinion of Jess, I have gathered the perspectives of various GFAQs users on this CO. From battle tips through to thoughts on her personality and music, this is the combined view that the GFAQs AW2 board has of Jess. To begin with, I'll regale you with my personal view of Jess. To me, Jess embodies AW2 at its best: a game which is not simply about huge bonuses and mindless destruction, but about outwitting your opponent. If you beat your opponent with Jess, then it is because you have out-thought them, as opposed to having made your units invulnerable with Samurai Spirit. In this way, Jess' need for a combined-forces approach is also more representative of real warfare than many of the other COs in AW2 - not that that's saying much. As well as on a gameplay level, Jess appeals to me through her personality. She's persistent and hard-working, and as such is a sharp contrast to both the arrogant Eagle and the laid-back Drake. I also find it very clever that she has replaced both Andy and Sami as a foil to Eagle - when you think about it, you realize that they really are good friends, if not more. Finally, Jess has (for me, at least) the best music in the game. She combines the funky techno/rock of Eagle with the strong rhythm of the Orange Star COs to great effect. A gradual, layered buildup with a great bass riff and the longest loop in the game make for a truly enjoyable aural experience when commanding. --- From here on, you will see the opinions of other users. I may not agree with them, and they may or may not be based in reality - just like mine! Just keep an open mind and see what they have to offer you! From MoogleGunner: Jess is a fantastic CO, in the right situations. The bonuses to all land units give her a strong land army, that can usually decimate most of the enemy army no matter where they are, with fairly good accuracy. But far more important to her effectiveness is that fact that she will probably save about 20K Gold throughout the course of a fairly long battle. This is because she should NEVER, EVER buy an APC. This fact even cancels out most of the weakness' of her armada and air force. However, the main flaw that I find with Jess is that in most situations the common tactics that one could apply to most any other CO, seem not to work well with her. That is one of the main reasons that I feel that a Jess CO Guide is necessary. But even if you don't like her (which i don't) no one can deny that her music kicks several kinds of ass. From ThrawnFett: Jess is the strategist's CO. She has strengths which help even out her weaknesses, and then some, as long as you use her right. Her vehicles are unmatched, but the stats seem hide that fact. With only 110/100, they seem to be merely above average. However, to offset that, she only suffers a 90/100 on other units. Not a huge difference either way, but the versatility of her vehicles is where she shines. She has great directs and indirects, where most COs specialize in just one (Grit and Max). And with her COP and SCOP, she gets a stats bonus, a movement bonus, and a refueling of all units. How many times has Grit or Max had to pull back due to supply issues? Jess doesn't have that problem, making her attacking drives all that more efficient. Her attack bonus bumps her vehicles to 130/110, not something that you want to mess with. The movement bonus is crucial for getting under the range of an indirect without getting killed. Now that I've analyzed the strengths, how do the weaknesses hold her back? Well, she suffers slightly in the sea and the air, as well as infantry. The main problem with most COs' sea and air units is fuel, seeing as how both require large amounts just to stay alive, not even moving. Battleships and bombers, while deadly, run out of ammo quickly. I'd much prefer a Battleship that can fire two times as much as normal and not sink while firing at 90/100, than a 100/100 Battleship that can fire a few times, then has to get to an APC. Now, for the infantry, 90/100 isn't going to hold them back from their ability to capture. That's the more important function as Jess, seeing as how her vehicles get the bonus. Now, with the Mechs, they are useful in combat, but I don't hear anyone complaining that Colin's 90/100 pack much less punch than normal. In fact, with Jess' refueling, the 3 ammo Mech can last longer, as long as the CO power is timed right. From Linkman145: Jess is a highly underrated CO, mainly because of the usual comparison between the other ground COs Ð Max and Grit. Having only slightly increased firepower turns off inexperienced players, so it's up to us to show them how wrong they are. While Jess is not as strong as them, she's a lot more versatile. Since she gets boosts in all ground units, she is like a mix of both! Instead of massing tanks, or just turtling with Indirects, you can combine Directs and Indirects into a balanced force that eventually bests Max and Grit's. And her weakness isn't too bad. You can work around 10% less attack, and the units receiving penalties are the same amount of units getting power- ups. It's much more plausible than Max's unusable Indirects, and Grit's crappy Directs. And if it isn't enough, her Powers are a bargain for their price. It's the same price as Max's and Grit's, and it re-fuels her! This allows her to save some money normally used in APCs, keeps her Air and Sea army going, and it gives her +2 movement to ALL vehicles. You can make much better use of tire units, especially Indirects. It's much easier to get Missiles and Rockets going, and tanks simply obliterate. Plus, she has a big pencil! Jess rocks! (more forthcoming) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [THN] Special Thanks [THN] :.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are a whole lot of people I'd like to thank - both for helping me put this guide together and for helping me to understand the game better. First off, I'd like to thank Linkman 145 and YuGiOh15 for coming up with the idea of doing CO guides in the first place, and for allowing me to use the formatting and ASCII art from their Sensei FAQ. Secondly, I wish to acknowledge Jax Omen for kicking the whole thing off with his Advanced Tactics FAQ - you didn't cover Jess too well, Jax, so don't think of me as a competitor so much as a helper! Next up is the AW2 General Board on GameFAQs. The number of these guys who've helped me in one way or another is staggering, but there are several people who deserve special mention. Without further ado, I'd like to give a big pat on the back to heropsychodreamer01, Crystal Gaurd 292, ShotgunMessiah, Stairwalker, Juigi, and (once again), Linkman 145 and YuGiOh15. Each of these has, in their own way, made a special (if in some cases intangible) contribution to both the board and this FAQ. Guys, I'm hoping to see you all on the Advance Wars DS board before too long! Additionally, I'm grateful to all of the people who've submitted their personal strategies for and opinions on using Jess - agree with them or not, they've worked their asses off helping me out and I'm grateful. A big hand, please, for the following tacticians: Ababy DragonDrake I Blame Video Games konscript Linkman145 MoogleGunner ThrawnFett On top of that, I am of course grateful to CJayC and the GameFAQs team for putting together such a great hosting service and running the forums - it's thanks to them that I can publish and be damned! Thanks also go to Neoseeker.com for considering my FAQ worthy of posting on their site! Finally, there's Xenesis Xenon. Author of the now-legendary CO Stats guide, a consummate tactician, devil's advocate, and (most importantly), a great friend. The guy who introduced me to the Wars series and proceeded to serve as my opponent for over three years, and who's been more than willing to let me both quote from his work and make use of his referencing system. I'm not sure if words suffice, but I'll try anyway. Thanks, Xenesis, for being a constant source of advice, amusement, and challenge - both on and off the boards - from the very beginning of my time as an AW tactician. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: [CON] Contact Information [CON] :.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you have any questions regarding this FAQ or Jess, don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (spot the reference and you'll be listed in future updates and FAQs!) If you're interested in posting this FAQ on another site, please email email@example.com - don't try contacting me at this address for any other reason, though: you will be ignored. Failing that, you can always draw my attention on the AW2 or AW DS General Boards with a topic titled 'ATTN: Terragent' or something similar.