Strategy fans have been waiting with their Nintendo Switch in hand for a while now for Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp to finally launch, and now that it’s here, players are finally able to showcase the might of the Orange Star army in either in the game’s twin campaigns, or playing as one of several other COs online against commanders from across the world.
Because Advance Wars is a strategy game, it’s a little bit more difficult than some of Nintendo’s other franchises when it comes to being able to pick up and play, so with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of essential beginner’s tips that you’ll need to reign supreme in the world of Advance Wars. With that in mind, these are the beginner’s tips that are essential for victory in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp.
Know Your CO
The most important tip for any aspiring strategist in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp is to become intimately familiar with your chosen Commanding Officer, or CO. Each CO in the game has their own strengths, weaknesses and special power, which can affect the battle in different ways. How Andy, Max and Sami, the three main Orange Star CO, should try to control the map and the units they should focus on varies between each character, and this is only magnified when other playable COs are introduced. They might have advanced air or sea units, better infantry, or better at direct or indirect combat. Learn these nuances and you’ll be off to a good start.
Advance Wars rewards those who press the advantage, and what that means is that combat between two users will always favor the attacking party. There are caveats to this, as there are unit match-ups to learn that add to the strategy of combat, along with terrain playing a fact, but in general, those who strike first will strike hardest.
On top of dealing more damage when striking first, it’s also worth noting that health and damage output are intrinsically linked within Advance Wars. All units have ten health, and with a few exceptions, those units are actually collections of five units, each with two health.
With every two health that that unit loses, they also lose 20% of their damage output, which means that they’re going to struggle more against full health targets, and they’re especially more susceptible to follow-up attacks from healthy units. Units can be healed by finishing a turn in a captured city or base, or by using Andy’s Hyper Repair skill, so try and keep your units’ health in check.
Know When To Capture Outposts
Often in strategy games, you need to capture outposts and territory in order to win, and that’s also an important part of the action in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, but it’s not the sole reason behind winning or losing. In some missions, capturing cities isn’t part of the objective, and while captured territory can be used to heal, it’s rather slow.
Unless the mission requires either capturing territory, or allows you to build units, capturing territory isn’t necessary. For those unit building missions in particular, any owned territory increases the amount of money you’re given at the start of a turn, so the more territory you control in that mode, the better.
Use Terrain To Your Advantage
Terrain is one of the most important aspects of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, as it can completely change the course of a battle. Trees, cities and mountains can be used to provide more cover, which can protect your units during fight, and trees can even hide your troops during Fog of War missions. We’ll get to those later.
Mountains are also an important part of the topography of an Advance Wars map, especially for the mech units. Sticking them on top of a mountain can seriously improve your vision during Fog of War missions, and the higher elevation gives mech units a massive advantage over tanks. Mountains are also impassible for ground vehicle units, meaning they can be used to establish choke points.
Make Use Of Range
Range plays a huge role in combat in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, with units being able to attack either directly or indirectly. Direct units are the most basic to understand, as they can only attack units right next to them, but direct units can attack enemies at a wider range. Depending on the unit, they can attack enemies up to six squares away, so try to keep these units in your back line, or placed behind mountains, allowing them to safely take out enemies who get too close.
All Units Are Useful, Even If It’s Not Intended
Each unit has their own purpose, whether it’s for their direct or indirect attacks, capturing locations or transporting units across the map, but they can always serve more purposes. Depending on the situation, it could be advantageous to use the passive units like the APC to hold an enemy’s base, stopping them from spawning enemies, or they can be used to gum up a chokepoint, distracting the enemy from attacking your more lethal units. If you’ve got units to spare, consider throwing them on the pile.
The Fog Of War Changes Things
Certain missions in Advance Wars will see the map enveloped within a Fog of War, which can make things especially tricky when you’re trying to defeat your enemies. Fortunately, there’s a few tactics you can employ to ensure you don’t get lost in the fog. We’ve already talked about how mech units on mountains can improve your vision, but another good tactic is to rely on recon vehicles. They can cover great distances and boast decent vision cones of their own, making them essential to success.
Something to be aware of with the Fog of War though is that you can be ambushed by enemy units when exploring the fog. If you happen to encounter a square where an enemy is residing, that unit will be stopped in its tracks, and will likely be left vulnerable on the enemy’s next turn. Pair your recon unit with another vehicle like a tank to ensure that the recon lads aren’t caught short by the enemy.
Resetting Your Turn Is Handy
One feature that Advance Wars doesn’t tell you about is that you have an instant do-over button hidden in the pause menu. Pressing the + button and diving into the options will offer you the ability to reset your turn, which can be handy if you’ve moved a unit into the wrong area, or you’ve found an enemy in the Fog of War and you want to change your strategy to accommodate for this information.
Take The L, Easy On The A
Lastly, it’s always worth keeping in mind that while Advance Wars is a simplified strategy game that’s designed to be more approachable for most players, losing is simply part of the process. You won’t immediately win every single battle in the campaign mode, but that’s fine. Losing can actually be really helpful when retrying, as the game will often give you hints about what you should do next. If you are defeated, try not to mash the A button to skip through the dialogue boxes, as there’s usually a lot of important information to learn.
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