Normally there are two ways of winning:
- HQ Capture Victories - By capturing your enemy's HQ.
- Annihilation Victories - By destroying all units your enemy controls.
Exceptions to the above happen in story mode where the winning terms may differ depending on the mission you are completing (e.g. protecting a certain unit, defeat a certain NPC unit). On this page, we cover most of the things you will need to know to play although there is an in-game tutorial.
Understanding Your Units
Your units, and how you use your units, will determine what your tactics are and how easily you can win. First, let’s go though a bit about your units so you’ll understand them a little better.
Just 10 HP?
All units have a max HP of 10. If a unit has 10HP, it has 100% of its normal strength. If a unit has 1HP left, it has just 10% of its normal strength. Units in Advance Wars all have a full health of 10HP. This means a tank still only has 10HP like an infantry – which may sound stupid at first.
Actually, the game is all about units being strong against others whist weak and open to other units.
So, whist a tank has just 10 HP it is effective against infantry units so its attack strength is about 120%. If the infantry attacked the tank, it will only have an attack strength of about 15% despite having 10HP. But say if the tank only had 1HP left, it only has 10% of the normal firepower. An infantry unit with 10HP (100% normal firepower) can destroy the tank even with the disadvantage it has.
This HP strength will apply to all units. Also Infantry must not take damage or it will be harder to capture a building and same thing for Rigs.
Gas, Ammo & Materials
Gas, not surprisingly, is needed to move any unit on the battlefield. Ground units only burn gas when they are moved whist naval and air units will burn gas even if they do not make a move that turn. Submerged submarines burn more gas than any other unit. If ground units run out of gas, they are unable to move until they are resupplied. If naval or air units run out of gas, they crash or sink so it’s important you keep an eye out.
Ammo is needed to use the primary weapon of a unit. Every time your unit fires its primary weapon (in an attack & counter attack), it uses 1 lot of ammo. If all the ammo is used up, then that unit will be forced to use its secondary weapon if it has one, otherwise it simply can not attack or counter-attack. It can’t use its primary weapon again until it has been resupplied. Secondary weapons do not need ammo.
Materials are needed to make temporary port / airports and ship planes. Unlike gas or ammo, materials used by mobile workshops and carriers can not be resupplied (expect by CO power of Greyfield / Sigismundo). It is wise to bear this in mind when building temporary port / airports and ship planes.
Moving Units & Loading
Each unit can move once per turn, unless it was produced that turn, is blocked by terrain or other units or has run out of fuel. Each unit has a certain movement type, which is how it travels. Certain terrain are impassable to others or are harder to cross.
To move a unit, select it and select any location within the green square zone.
To load units onto another, (e.g. infantry to transport helicopter), simply move the unit onto the transporter. If the transporter sinks though, the units onboard will also be destroyed. To unload, once the transporter has made a move (or simply moved to the same space so it never really moved) you have the choice of unloading if it is possible.
In Advance Wars, there are two type of attack units; direct attacks and indirect attacks.
- Direct attacks
- Attacks from units (e.g. infantry, tanks) that must move next to the enemy unit to attack it. Unless you destroy that unit in that attack, it will counter-attack you in the same turn if they too are direct units.
- Indirect attacks
- Attacks from units (e.g. rockets, missiles) that are capable of launching missiles or firing long range cannons from a distance at a target. With the exception of anti-tank units, they are unable to counter-attack when attacked by either enemy direct or indirect attacks. They can not attack after moving (except Battleship).
To attack, simply select your unit and move your cursor over an enemy unit so that the cursor turns into a crosshead. Remember to keep an eye on ammo and that indirect units must not have moved that turn to attack.
Properties = Funds = Production
Properties are the most important type of terrain in Advance Wars. All properties serve a purpose. They can:
- Be the HQ of your entire army.
- Generate funds for production & repair.
- Deploy ground, sea or air units.
- They can repair and resupply certain units, making your army ship-shape and ready.
- Boost your army's attack power by better communication.
- Contain a one-use missile that will cause splash damage around an area.
- Boost your vision in fog or war battles.
As you can see, it is important to capture as many of the properties on the battlefield as possible.
Properties can be captured by infantry armour type units (infantry, bazooka and motorbike units). Simply move one of these units over a property you don't own and the capture option will become available. Each property has a HP of 20 which your infantry type unit will reduce depending on its HP (e.g. A infantry with 5 HP will reduce the property's HP by 5).
Capturing a property takes at least 2 days (if at full health). If you move the infantry unit away from the property whist it's in the process of capturing it, the property will go back to full health and the capturing must take place from the start again.
Silos are slightly different in that they can be instantly fired by an infantry armour type unit. They do not have any HP.
Money Money Money!
At the start of your turn, you earn funds depending on how many fund generating properties you have and what the current rule is on your map (always 1000 in story mode). Funds are used to repair units as well as create new ones. The more money you have, the more units you can deploy and the more likely you can keep them all in working order.
Note: Caulders CO Zone repairs units by 5 HP but will require funds. Production of ship planes by carriers also require funds.
Also you will be lucky that Brenners CO Power repairs units for free.
Three of the most important properties are your factories, airports and ports. There places produce their relevant units as well as repair and refuel them if needs be. To see what units you can create, move your cursor over the place and click . This will open the production window for that place.
Any units that are faded can’t be bought as you don’t have enough money. If you do create a unit, it can not move until your next turn and each factory, airport and port can create 1 unit each per turn. (e.g. If you have two factories, you can create 2 tanks in one turn).
Repairing, Joining & Resupplying
Your units will get damaged as the fight enemy units. Often, it is better not to actually wait for it to be destroyed and buy a new one. Repairing units whenever possible is normally the best option. Any unit at their repairing bases at the start of their turn will get repaired by 2 HP as long as you have enough funds. The re repairing bases are:
- Temporary Airport
- Temporary Port
Resupplying is important as already mentioned in the above section. The repair bases above can all resupply their relevant units too. More often though, people will use Mobile Workshops or Rigs to resupply their units. Mobile workshops or Rigs can resupply the ammo and fuel of any unit, whether ground, sea or air so it’s always something to bring along in an attack.
Sometimes, you can’t repair your units because you don’t have the correct repair base, you don’t have the funds or your unit is too far away. Sometimes your supply chain fails and you have an air unit about to crash, burn and die. During times like these, it is useful to bear in mind something called ‘joining’.
Joining is when you merge two units of the same type (e.g. two infantry units) so that the new unit has the combined HP, fuel and ammo of the two units that were merged to create it. Still, the max HP a unit can have is 10 and the max ammo and fuel is only as much as the max for the type of unit it is. When you join two units together, you can't give orders to your new unit straight away so you have to wait until your next turn.
A unit can join with another unit that has already made a move that turn. If units join that are of different levels, the new unit has the level of the higher unit. Also if your join with a unit with a CO on it, the new unit will remain as the CO.
Carriers & Ship Planes
Carriers can make a max of 4 ship planes each. To build a ship plane, you will need a carrier that has not made a move in that turn with material onboard and 15,000 funds. Simply move your cursor over the carrier and click .
If you move the carrier, you will not be able to build a ship plane so select the same square it's currently on. Next it will ask if you want to build a ship plane or not. After building the ship plane, it is stored unboard the carrier until the next turn at the very earliest when you can order it to take off, by selecting the carrier and not moving it.
You can only produce one ship plane a turn, and you can not produce ship planes if any have taken off in the same turn.
Rigs/Mobile Workshop & Temporary Airports/Ports
Rigs or mobile workshop can make temporary airports and temporary ports which can resupply and repair their corresponding units. A rig can only build one temporary airport or one temporary port due to the amount of material they carry, which can not be resupplyed except by the effects of CO Greyfield.
- Temporary Airports are build by moving a rig unit with material onboard to an unblocked plain.
- Temporary Ports are build by moving a rig unit with material onboard to an unblocked shoal.
After you move the rig to the plain/shoal and click , you will be given the option to start building a temporary airport. Construction takes a min of 2 turns, with the total amount of time depending on the amount of HP on your rig. If a rig is destroyed whist the temporary airport/port, the base is destoyed as it is not completed.
Submarines - Dive Dive Dive!
Submarines wouldn't be submarines if they couldn't dive beneth the sea and out of sight. It's easy to submerge a submarine, simply move it to your desired location, click and select the dive / submerged option. To surface your submarine, simply repeat the same steps.
Whist submerged, your submarine burns off more fuel then if it's on the surface but the good thing is that, unless a enemy unit is along side the subamarine it can't be seen and unless the enemy has cruisers and missile boats (which are much weaker but can still pack a punch), it can't be attacked either.
It's fair to say that submarines that aren't submerged are of almost no use at all so most players will have submarines all the time. When you build a submarine, it is already submerged for you, even the sub captain knows the word 'Dive'.
Note: Submarines are very weak against cruisers and other subs - but their diving ability makes it unquestioned as the best weapon against battleships and carriers.
Terrain Advantage & Weather
Always know what terrain is more advantage. Mountains give Land Vehicles problems but gives infantry and jets advantages. Woods can hide ground units but expect movement to be disrupted. Reefs and the Mist hide units but the reef slows ships down. The River can be crossed only by foot soldiers and air units.
As for weather beware of certain weather especially the rain. The Rain will make all units only one vision and structures have zero.
Fog Of War
The Fog of War is bad. The reason is it is hard to see enemies and expect ambushes from Artillery or other units. Use flares, aircraft or send troops on the mountains to review enemies.
Units can level up and use this advantage to defeat the enemy. They can level up to a maximum of 3 levels. Also COs can board any unit to make it veteran right away.
Commanders, CO Zones & CO Powers
To have a CO Travel in a unit Board a CO into a unit to make it a vet right away. With it the unit can boast its CO Gauge by destroying foes. Once it is full it can use its CO Power but if the unit is destroyed before the Gauge is full or it is full you will fill it all over from the start and the CO returns to the camp ready to board another unit usually a War Tank, Battleship or a Fighter.
Caution Some COs Like Caulder or even the Lazurian Leader do not have any CO Power and use their CO zone ot boast attack.