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To beat a level, you must be the last one standing typically. You can either capture all of the enemy headquarters or destroy all of the enemy units. The only exceptions are campaign missions where the goal will vary often
The best way to describe what happens is to look at how the game progresses turn by turn. First off, turns in Advance Wars are grouped into days. Every player gets one turn per round of the game. You get one-thousand credits every turn from all of your properties with the exception of communication towers. You can build or repair units at your properties with these credits.
Properties are terrains such as cities and airports. They generate funds (with the exception of com towers), repair units, and build units. In most maps, you will start out with a few properties, typically with a base. Bases can deploy one of the most useful, cheapest, and weakest unit in the game. Infantry. Infantry, as well as mechs can capture properties. Every property has 20 capture points by default. To capture it, you must remove all of its capture points by capturing it. To do this, move your infantry/mech on top of a property and select capture. When you capture it, you remove a number of captures points equal to the HP of the infantry/mech. To find out how long it will take your infantry/mech to capture a property, use this piece of algebra.
X=number of capture points left
Y=hitpoints of infantry/mech unit
Z=number of turns it will take to capture
If you have a remainder or decimal point, remove it and add one to the number of turns needed.
FoW (Fog of War) is a condition on the map. The only part of the map that remains visible through the entire game is the terrain such as woods and plains, properties will be shown but who they belong to will remain a mystery unless they belong to you. To see the enemy units on the map, is where vision comes to play. Every unit has a vision range, in FoW vision range is equal to the area that they can see through. For example, if a unit had 5 vision, it could see everything within 5 squares of it. Infantry and mech's vision will increase by 2 when they are on a mountain, making them useful scouts. Before we start on the advantages of FoW, there's one more thing about it. The terrain types forest and reefs, a unit in it of another army cannot be seen by your unit's vision unless your unit is right next to it. This can help with setting up ambushes and hiding essential units. Now, to take advantage of it. Hide units such as rockets and battleships in reefs and forests, then lure them out into range with a unit such as a battle copter or a recon. When one of them moves into range, OHKO it, and it will never get a chance to find you.
Weather Weather conditions are map conditions that affect your fuel usage, movement range, vision, and indirect range. COs like Drake and Olaf have the abilities to negate many of the consequences of certain weather conditions.
There are four possible weather conditions:
- Normal: The standard and has no special effects.
- Snow: Causes all units to use 2 fuel/movement point spent.
- Rain: Whether FoW is on or off, it is now on and all units have -1 to their vision range but the vision range will not go below 1
- Sandstorm: All indirects get -1 to their maximum range but their maximum range will never go below the minimum range.
Direct firing units need to be next to another unit to fire at it. They can attack on the same turn that they move.
Indirects are a type of unit that attacks without being next to another unit. Rather, they attack from a distance which lets them attack without fear of being counter attacked. However, vice versa, if they are attacked, they can't counter attack either so be sure to protect/hide them. These are incredibly useful in FoW because they can strike without being seen. They have a minimum and a maximum range that they can target which will change depending on the unit. Also, to keep the game fair, the indirect units are unable to attack on the turn that it moved.
How a turn goes
Almost all units have fuel. Whenever a unit moves it uses its movement points. Depending on what type of terrain the unit is moving over and the movement type it will use different amounts of movement points per square. Regardless, for every movement point spent the unit uses 1 fuel. Air and sea units also use fuel each day. If these units still have no fuel following the repair/supply phase then they are destroyed.
Now that you are all caught up, the next part after the weather involves money. For each property you control you gain money every turn with the exception of communication towers. The standard is 1000 g per property but can be changed depending on the map in a versus game. Any property except the communication tower that can be captured will bring in money, this includes an HQ. In a one on one battle, capturing an HQ will typically end the game. However, in larger battles it will usually just eliminate the player whose HQ was captured. In that case, the HQ will become a mere city. Airports, Bases, Cities, HQs, Ports and Towers can all be captured and thus will bring funds each turn.
Following the money portion of a turn, comes the repair/supply part. At this point all units that can be repaired and supplied will be. Certain units can repair and/or supply other units. The APC can supply units and the black boat can repair and supply units. Also, most properties can repair and supply certain units that are on them. Cities repair ground units, and a property that builds units will be able to repair a unit that it builds. However, the repairs cost money. You will need to pay one tenth of the total price of the original unit for each HP restored
Now, at this phase, land and sea units that require fuel but are out of it will sink/crash
Now the fun begins. You can move units, build units, attack, capture and use powers. Whenever you attack or are attacked, you will gain a small amount of CO power meter. This is used to execute your CO powers. Powers have many effects from healing your units to launching missiles at the enemies. You have CO Powers, SCO Powers and Tag Breaks. All of these and their effects are discussed in detail in section 8.
Building units is done on bases, for land units, airports for air units and ports for sea units. Each unit has a price and if the player does not have enough money, then the unit cannot be built. Units cannot take any action the turn they are built.
Moving units is done by selecting the unit and choosing a square within its applicable movement range,which is highlighted, and moving there. Remember how fuel costs and movement points the various movement costs of different terrain affect where a unit can move. Also, if a unit is hidden, either due to being unseen in FoW or hidden, like a Stealth of Sub, and the path the unit is trying to move crosses it, the unit will forcibly stop due to the "trap" and be unable to take any action. Following an accepted movement, the unit will be able to see from its new location. However, it cannot attack units that just now went into its vision range. When a unit is moved, a player can undo the movement before it is accepted and if it was not trapped. If FoW is turned on, all of these unaccepted movements will still cost fuel.
After a unit moves, it can attack if it is not an indirect type unit. Units can also attack without moving, but if they do so they will be unable to move afterwards. When a unit attacks, to determine the damage refer to the damage table in section 6. Various attack and defense bonuses will alter how damage is dealt. First, consider the attack bonuses. If a unit has X% attack, he deals the listed damage times X%. Easy enough. Then consider defense. Subtract the defense of the unit being attacked from 200%. So, 200% - X%. Then multiply the damage calculated after factoring in attack bonuses by this value. You will note that 200% defense makes a unit immune to all damage.
During attacks your CO Gauge and your enemies CO Gauge will fill up. Please see section 8 for more info on that.