Advance Wars 2 CO Guide




Andy




No strengths or weaknesses. All units have regular firepower, defences etc.

Hyper Repair: All units restore 2 HP, and their defences increase by 10%.

Hyper Upgrade: All units restore 5HP and get one extra movement space. Their attack power increases by 20% and their defence by 10%.

Meter:

Extra Info: Andy is an adaptive CO. He can be used quite effectively in many situations due to the fact that his units don’t have any specific strengths or weaknesses. Because of this, you can turn an opponent’s weakness on them. For example, if you are able to stop Drake deploying sea units, you can force him into an air battle, where you will have an edge. That said, in an even battle against a specialist CO when they’re at their most useful, you will have an immediate disadvantage, plus his CO Powers can be used to help cancel out “mass-damage” powers, such as Black Wave or Typhoon. Use carefully.





Max




Direct-combat units (e.g. tanks, submarines, bombers) have 20% more firepower, but indirect-combat units (such as artillery) have -1 attack range and 10% less firepower.

Max Force: Direct-combat units have their attack bonus increased to 40% instead of the usual 20%. Their movement range is increased by one space. All units get 10% more defence.

Max Blast: Direct-combat units have their attack bonus increased to 60% instead of the usual 20%. Their movement range is increased by two spaces. All units get 10% more defence.

Meter:

Extra Info: Max is good at all-out rushing due to his specialist units and CO Powers. Because of this, he is strong on maps with plenty of open space. Give him a chokepoint and he suffers though – he needs the room to get his rushes through. Generally useful when you’ve got room to move. On a Campaign-related note, under Max Blast, his Neotanks and Bombers have more than enough firepower to go through pipe seams, cannons, lasers etc., making him a good choice on the factory maps.





Sami




Soldier units have 30% more firepower and 50% faster captures. Her direct-combat units that aren’t soldiers have 10% less firepower. Transport units have an increased movement range (+1)

Double Time: Soldier firepower gets a 60% firepower boost instead of the usual 30%. Their movement range is also increased by 1. All units get 10% more defence.

Victory March: Soldier firepower gets a 90% firepower boost instead of the usual 30% and can capture a property in a single turn, regardless of their HP. Their movement range is also increased by 2. All units get 10% more defence.

Meter:

Extra Info: On paper, Sami seems weak. Granted, a strength for five units vs. a weakness for eleven isn’t very attractive. However, it’s using that strength to your advantage which is the key to using Sami. Rather than just simply rushing the enemy (which is more a tactic suitable for Max or Adder), use Sami’s abilities to get an early grip on properties. Next, use your superior income to build heavier units. Alternatively, you could rush the enemy with Sami’s superior soldiers. Remember also that Victory March works on any property, even the enemy HQ. However, you may also want to consider using Double Time excessively – it does charge rather quickly compared to Victory March.





Nell




Nell is a lucky CO, and her units may cause up to 15% more damage than usual.

Lucky Star: Nell becomes even luckier, and her units can sometimes cause even more damage than usual (up to 60%) and get 10% more defence.

Lady Luck: Nell practically becomes Lady Luck, and her units can sometimes cause even more damage than usual (up to 100%) and get 10% more defence.

Meter:

Extra Info: Nell, Nell, Nell. Commander-in-Chief of Orange Star’s armed forces and for all we know, is probably the kind to chop the legs off bunnies. Nell is actually a rather bland CO, luck aside. However, the ability to instantly destroy an enemy Neotank with an infantry is not to be scoffed at, although that only happens sometimes and only during her Super Power. Normally, I don’t approve of gambling but when you’re using Nell, go for it! Since she can only cause regular damage at worst, you can’t really lose. Because of her (occasional) extra damage, heavier units can be obsolete when Nell’s commanding.





Hachi




Units cost 10% less.

Barter: Unit prices decrease and his units now cost 50% less than most other CO’s units do. All his units have 10% more defence.

Merchant Union: Hachi sets up shop in every city under his control, allowing him to deploy ground units from them. His units also receive the discount from Barter, as well as the general 10% defence boost.

Meter:

Extra Info: Hachi, the dapper swindler. On a map which relies on air and/or sea units, Merchant Union is a bit limited so stick with Barter. On a ground-only map, it’s more a question of personal taste. Not that it matters much - this guy’s as overpowered as they come. No wonder he’s restricted to those who can beat the Hard Campaign!





Olaf




His units are unaffected by snow, but are affected badly by rain.

Blizzard: A snowstorm is created, slowing down enemies. It also raises his defence by 10%.

Winter Fury: Blizzard’s snow is nothing compared to this – not only does Winter Fury do everything Blizzard does, but it also damages enemy units by 2HP.

Meter:

Extra Info: It can get very chilly when Olaf’s around. Quite rightly so when he’s got two very nice CO powers at his disposal. Blizzard is adaptable – it can be used to cover a retreat, stop an enemy advance or just give yourself a mobility advantage which can only be countered by Lash’s CO Powers. However, in an Olaf vs. Olaf fight, it’s useless. Winter Fury however is probably just as useful – you have to wait longer but you get to hit every enemy unit on the map for 2HP. Of course, it won’t destroy a unit, but there is no denying that it helps. Weather aside, use him in the same way you would use Andy.





Grit




Indirect-combat units have 20% more firepower and a wider attack range – one square wider to be precise. Direct-combat units (soldiers aside) have 20% less firepower.

Snipe Attack: Grit’s indirect combat units are made even stronger – their attack boost rises to 50% instead of 20%. Their range increases by a further one space. All units get 10% more defence.

Super Snipe: Grit’s indirect combat units are made even stronger – their attack boost rises to 50% instead of 20%. Their range increases by a further one space. All units get 10% more defence.

Meter:

Extra Info: Grit’s ratio of strengths to weaknesses makes him seem underpowered. This couldn’t be more wrong. The thing about Grit is that his increased attack range is actually a massive advantage. With his immensely powerful artillery, you’re basically using a long-ranged Md. Tank. What’s more, there is nothing that can counter Grit’s range whatsoever. Kanbei’s strong defences can help but not that much – Grit could just outspend him. Adder, Max, Jess and (to a degree) Eagle and Lash’s faster movement can help a bit but give Grit a chokepoint and you’re buggered. Sad thing is, this was probably an oversight on the developer’s part.





Colin




Units cost 20% less but have 10% weaker firepower.

Gold Rush: Colin’s current amount of funds is multiplied by 1.5. Defence is raised by 10%.

Power of Money: Colin’s attack power raises depending on how much money he has – the more he has, the more powerful he is. (For every 300G he has, he gets 1% extra firepower). Defence is, of course, raised by 10%.

Meter:

Extra Info: Screw the rules, Colin has money. His slightly inferior firepower is barely a problem – with a (not really) fairly high discount, he’ll be churning out Md. Tanks while you’re saving up for one. Granted that this is in part by his very quick-charging, very useful CO Power. His Super Power’s good as a sort of “Final Smash” – for every 300G he has, his attack power goes up 1%. 3000G will give him standard firepower, 30 000 will give him roughly twice the normal firepower.





Eagle




Air units have 15% more attack and 10% more defence. They also use less fuel – 2 less per day. Sea units have 30% less attack power.

Lightning Drive: Air unit attack and defence goes up – instead of a 15% boost for attack and 10% boost for defence, they have +30% for both. All other units get +10% defence.

Lightning Strike: Does the same as Lightning Drive, plus all non-soldier units get to move again.

Meter:

Extra Info: Eagle is a somewhat useful CO because of his Super Power. If it took less time to charge, at least. Lightning Drive is as useless as they come – bringing your units up to Kanbei’s day-to-day strength is just terrible. Since it’s only for air units, it’s even worse. In an air-based map, the fuel efficiency and increased stats are very useful however. Remember that Lightning Strike works for all units aside from Infantry and Mech units, and is really his main strength. Even his sea units become somewhat usable with the ability to attack twice.





Drake




Sea units have 1 extra movement point and 10% stronger defences. Air units have 30% less attack power. His movement isn’t affected by rain, which occurs more often in maps with random weather.

Tsunami: All enemy units lose 1HP and half their fuel. His units get 10% more defence.

Typhoon: All enemy units lose 2HP and half their fuel. His units get 10% more defence. Rain falls for a day.

Meter:

Extra Info: With so much water flying around, Drake can be quite an annoyance. He isn’t really a firepower specialist, and he doesn’t need to be with his CO Powers. The movement boost is obviously useful for Subs and Cruisers, with them being able to move quicker. It’s also very good for Landers – they are meant to get your ground troops over sea quickly after all. Battleships have a little fight vs. flee problem which is a bit annoying, but it’s also good for getting B-ships into range. Generally you should save up for Typhoon, but using Tsunami in a fog-of-war map is probably preferable to losing some vision (Drake isn’t totally immune to rain, just the movement slowing).





Jess




Vehicles have 10% more firepower. Everything else has 10% less firepower.

Turbo Charge: Vehicle firepower rises to be +30% and their movement increases by 1. All units have their fuel and ammo replenished.

Overdrive: Vehicle firepower rises to be +50% and their movement increases by 2. All units have their fuel and ammo replenished.

Meter:

Extra Info: On a ground-based map, Jess is similar to Max with her stronger tanks. However, rather than relying on air units for assistance, she can use artillery and rocket units very effectively. That said, her CO Powers do resupply air, sea and soldier units as well as vehicles. Speaking of her instant resupplying ability, APCs may seem redundant because of it. However, since APCs count as vehicles, they also get the movement boosts. Put simply, Jess is very good.





Kanbei




All units have 30% more attack and defence, but cost 20% more.

Morale Boost: Kanbei’s attack and defence boosts rise to +50% and +40% respectively.

Samurai Spirit: Kanbei’s counterattack power rises to +50%, on top of his attack and defence boosts rising to +50% and +60% respectively.

Meter:

Extra Info: “I shall deploy a mountain of troops”. That’s something that he claimed in AW1, but with those prices, not likely. That said, he doesn’t need to deploy many units due to their sheer power. 30% stronger attack and defence is dangerously strong and unmatched as a day-to-day strength. Morale Boost is pretty much an emergencies-only power since Samurai Spirit is only three stars more after the four stars for Morale Boost.





Sonja




Counterattacks are 50% stronger. All units have one extra vision range. Units may do 10% less damage. Her HP is hidden from enemies.

Enhanced Version: Vision range is increased by another space and defence is raised by 10%.

Counter Break: Does everything Enhanced Vision does, plus counterattacks are “pre-emptive” – details in the extra info section.

Meter:

Extra Info: Sonja is a very good defensive CO. Aside from her good vision in foggy maps, she has good counterattacks. Her Super Power is particularly good – it makes her counterattacks “pre-emptive”. She actually attacks first during the enemy’s turn if she has her Super Power active, even though this isn’t reflected in the battle’s animation. The only thing which lets her down is her “bad luck”, but that’s only a minor setback.





Sensei




B-Copters have 50% more firepower, soldiers have 40% more firepower and transports have +1 added to their movement range. Sea units and vehicles have 10% less firepower.

Copter Command: On every available allied city, a 9HP Infantry is deployed, ready to move. All units get 10% more defence, and B-Copters have their attack boosts raised to +75%.

Airborne Assault: On every available allied city, a 9HP Mech is deployed, ready to move. All units get 10% more defence, and B-Copters have their attack boosts raised to +75%.

Meter:

Extra Info: Sensei’s a very odd CO. His Copters are immensely powerful, particularly during his CO Powers and his soldiers are pretty good too, but that’s about it. It’s when you take a look at his technicalities that you see that he is in fact, quite flexible. First off, CO Power Stars aside, the soldiers he gets from his powers are free. Don’t forget that they are at 9HP, so they can be joined together and you get 8HP’s worth of cash back which, sometimes, can be more than Colin’s Gold Rush if enough joins are done. Alternatively, you could use them to rush the enemy. If you’re doing a straight-forward B-Copter rush, just spam Copter Command. Sensei’s old, but he fights pretty dirty.





Flak




Units can randomly do up to 15% more or 10% less damage.

Brute Force: Flak’s attack range widens, allowing him to do between 40% more and 20% less. Their defence is raised by 10%.

Barbaric Blow: The attack range of Flak’s units broadens even further – between 80% more and 30% less. Defence is raised by 10%.

Meter:

Extra Info: Flak is sort of a diet Nell. His potential power boosts during his powers aren’t as good Nell’s and he does have the “ability” to do less damage. Most of what applies to Nell applies to Flak. The main difference is that your friends won’t loathe you if you choose him.





Lash




For every terrain star a unit gains, it gets 10% extra firepower.

Terrain Tactics: All units have their movement costs reduced to 1 on all terrains. Unit defence rises to +10%.

Prime Tactics: All of Lash’s units get twice the amount of terrain stars, plus all the effects from Terrain Tactics.

Meter:

Extra Info: Lash is a decent CO who can do both attack and defence pretty strongly. She is only really that strong on a ground-based map, unfortunately. Her air and sea units are by no means useless but they rarely (or in the case of air units, never) get to use terrain stars. In that sense, she’s similar to Jess. Lash’s CO Power is decent in maps with a lot of forests, mountains and (if she has a lot of tyre units) plains. Most of the time, you should save up for Prime Tactics – the true value of it really becomes apparent in property-heavy maps. 60% extra attack and 70% extra defence on properties is pretty powerful. See what I mean about her being good at attacking and defending?





Adder




No strengths or weaknesses, but technically has the shortest CO Power meter.

Sideslip: All of Adder’s units can move one space further for the day, plus get 10% more defence.

Snakebite/Sidewinder: Adder’s units get to move two extra spaces and 10% more defence.

Meter:

Extra Info: Adder may be the ugliest CO in AW2 and the second ugliest in AWDS, but he is a very strong CO when used properly. An extra movement space for just two stars is actually rather potent – it makes it easier for indirects to get into position but more importantly, it allows soldiers to get to neutral and enemy properties easier. It also allows directs to get the first shot on the enemy more easily. That’s basically what Adder’s about – using his improved movement for all his units to make the battle easier to win. It helps that his CO Power only costs two stars. His Super Power is somewhat useful, but stick with Sideslip as it charges that quickly.





Hawke




All units have 10% more firepower, but his CO Powers cost more than they should.

Black Wave: Hawke’s enemies all suffer 1HP of damage. Hawke’s units restore 1HP and get +10% defence.

Black Storm: Hawke’s enemies all suffer 2HP of damage. Hawke’s units restore 2HP and get +10% defence.

Meter:

Extra Info: Hawke is powerful, no doubt about it. He matches Jess at ground combat, and has the edge on most COs at everything. Damaging all your enemies and restoring your own HP on the same turn is a powerful advantage, hence why he’s such a tricky opponent in the Green Earth Campaign. So all of this makes him overpowering, right? Wrong. For five and nine stars respectively, his CO Powers aren’t actually as gamebreaking as they could be, but that’s fine. You should basically play Hawke in a similar way you would play Andy, only on a day-to-day basis you will generally have an advantage.





Sturm




Terrain has no effect on his units’ movement during clear and rainy weather. Firepower and defence are boosted by 20%. Technically, Sturm has the longest CO Power meter.

N/A: Sturm only has a Super Power.

Meteor Strike: A meteorite is dropped on the battlefield, doing 8HP of damage in a 5x5 square diamond, similar to a powered up missile silo. Where it lands depends on where the most expensive cluster of enemy units is. His firepower and defence boosts are raised to +40% and +50% respectively.

Meter:

Extra Info: Sturm is the German word for "storm". Quite appropriate, since he basically has Terrain Tactics and more attack and defence active as a day-to-day ability. The closest things to weaknesses he has are his long CO Power meter, his lack of a CO Power and his loss of Terrain Tactics-style movement during snow. However, even without the unhindered movement he is still always at an advantage over his enemies - his attack and defence is only surpassed by Kanbei, who has the weakness of his high deployment and maintenance costs. Then again, Sturm is the final enemy in the game - it's not like he's supposed to fight fair. Very overpowered.