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Here are some standard strategies for attacking and defending in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. It is important to experiment with different strategies when learning how to best use your COs, funds, and units to their full potential. It is possible to alter or combine strategies so don’t let the ones listed here limit your decisions. Some maps and computer AIs also have specific strategies that excel or falter against them.

Taking advantage of terrain[edit]

A lot of units have restrictions to what terrain they can travel across. It is important to scan the main routes of travel on the map. For both offensive and defensive strategies it is a good idea to leave a sturdy unit (or two) at narrow passages to block the way of your opponent. On some maps it is crucial to rush to these key areas to stop your opponent from advancing.

Offensive strategies[edit]


Probably the most basic kind of attacking strategy, overproducing is just basically stocking up on lots of units, and then go blasting through enemy lines. This strategy will only work if you have lots of funds and you are able to do mass production of at least anti-tank units. For a small 10-17 unit enemy force, only around 12 units would be needed to break through.

How to defend against this

Overproduce anti tanks if your enemy has lots of vehicles. Anti air units if your enemy has air crafts, or infantry. If your opponent stocks up on sea units, use whichever units you think will be most effective for whatever assortment you are up against.

Multiple attacking units[edit]

This strategy works best on levels with mountains and plasma, such as the campaign mission, A Hero's Farewell. If your enemy was smart enough to hide long range units behind a defensive barrier to avoid direct attack, they were pretty smart. You can’t get through with a heavy hitting war tank, and the mountains are guarded with all sorts of big units that seem impossible to get through. Just take a lot of long range units, get them close enough to the protected unit, and guard your unit with tanks (but even infantry will work for a turn if you are short in cash). On the enemy's turn, their long range will attack your long range, and the tanks that were guarding their unit, will not be able to finish the job because of the units surrounding your long range. The next turn, just attack them with your remaining indirect attackers, and the job should be done.

How to defend against this

Create a wall on the outside squares of a rockets range, as if it was going to attack yours.

Cover-Up 1[edit]

This may sound like a bad strategy, but it can win you the game. First, overstock on bombers, fighters, and med. to war tanks. Next, hunt down and annihilate all their anti-air units and missiles. Use your fighters to stall and destroy any aircraft, and then, destroy anything on enemy factories. You usually have to wait until your next turn, but if you still have units you can move, move them onto the factories. Doing this will halt production of your enemy. Try to especially cover them with air units, since ground units cannot attack them.

How to defend against this

If you feel that the enemy is going to do a "cover-up," start stocking up on anti-air units and anti-tanks. Since this strategy only usually works with air units, put 2 anti-air units for every anti-tanks you feel is needed.

Cover-Up 2[edit]

This is similar to cover-up 1. But you will use this to capture the HQ. Again, destroy all anti air, and as many tanks as you can. use bombers and war tanks to clear the way for as many bikes as you can build, straight to their HQ. You need at least 2 bikes so one can repair the other by joining if it gets damaged. Once you start capturing, surround your bikes with bombers and tanks. This can also be done for cities, but bombers aren't necessary.

How to defend against this

Make sure your HQs are guarded by big tanks and anti air units.

Defensive strategies[edit]

Long Range Hiding[edit]

This is the counterpart to the "multiple attacking units" strategy. Just put long range units, suck as rockets, into gaps in mountains, or plasma. Then when an enemy pops up, BAM! And it’s over for that unit.

How to attack against this

See counterpart strategy: "multiple attacking units."


Just like layers keep out the cold from your body, layers keep enemies out of your territory. This strategy has you layer units in a specific order, to effectively keep out unwanted units.

A Basic layer scheme
  • Front row: Tanks
  • Middle row: Artiallary
  • Innermost row: tanks

This is just a cheapo layer system. If you have the cash for it, use this one below.

Alternate layer scheme
  • Front row: War tanks
  • Middle row: anti-tanks
  • Innermost row: rockets

As you can see in the expensive layering system, you have a strong direct attacker in the front, a medium range in the middle, and a long range in the back, all perfectly positioned to destroy any unit that comes near.

How to defend against this

Get your own war tanks, put your CO in one, and attack like crazy. If you see a gap, fill it up with your units giving you an easier chance to destroy the sensitive core of the layers.

Other Strategies[edit]

Branch out before you power up! Send your infantry out to capture, and the cites will give you additional funds to use towards getting better units.