Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Difference Other Game Modes Make... In AWDoR

Yeah, you thought I had forgotten about this little sucker, didn't you? But as much as there is to talk about with AWDS, AWDoR will always be hands-down the most interesting game in the series, and this is exemplified in its game modes. (US names are used; sorry EU, but if I can memorize your version you can memorize mine. :p )

Unlike AWDS, DoR fog does a lot more to affect the flow of the game. This has more to do with the nature of the COs involved than the fog itself; that being said, the fog mechanic of this game is better implemented. It brings a real element of guile and skill into the equation, and it rewards you for smart use of your CO. COs like Tabitha and Lin are going to be able to eliminate enemy vision with much greater precision and make it more difficult for their opponent to attack; this same pair of COs also have CO powers that are conducive to out-maneuvering the enemy in fog.
-Fog also rewards defensive play with Artillery since properties are hidden from enemies: if you put Artillery on a city and wall up, the enemy has to bust through the wall and get vision on that property before the Arty is actually in any danger. In the meantime the city still affords repairs and ammo, and that Arty is quite capable of going down fighting if you think it can do enough damage. And all this is before we even inject a CO into the mess, it's just that good for defense.
-While we're on the subject of using fog for defense, we probably should mention the Flare. Only useful in fog, the Flare is pretty much a requirement to break through the aforementioned defensive wall. In fact the Flare is incredibly helpful for pretty much any assault on a tightly-woven complex. It's also a decent choice for a CO unit.

Okay, enough about fog, time for weather. Random weather will cause some major headaches for some COs, and be a major boon to others. Snow isn't a terrible hindrance for most COs; Mech rushers like Will will get bogged down when that hits, at least temporarily. On the other hand, a sudden sandstorm takes away the biggest advantage of Tank rushing COs like Tabitha and Lin, and makes Arty-wall COs like Gage and Brenner very happy. But those last two really hate it when rain shows up, because that inability to see anything is just asking for an ambush the moment it lifts.
-One CO stands above the rest when random weather is turned on: Penny. Not only does she gain any potential advantages twofold from weather, she can take those same advantages and turn them on themselves. She is unique among all COs in this game in that her main ability applies itself like an AWDS CO; Penny does not need a CO unit to be immune to weather. For Penny, a sandstorm is just free defense, snow lets her play movement games, and rain just plain makes her unfair. Penny's CO power lets her summon weather, but in clear weather it's very difficult to get that charged since she is normally very weak. With random weather on, occasionally taking advantage of that weather will make that CO power much easier to charge; but most importantly, it means she can occasionally stabilize the weather and make greater use of a particular weather effect for the three turns she gets it.

Turning off unit levels, if you choose to do so, gives more weight to the CO unit than it already has, being the only unit on the field with veterancy. More significantly, it takes a little weight away from Tanks; you see, a veteran Tank is as good as a basic Md Tank in AWDoR. By turning this off, you have a decent reason to build Md Tanks occasionally.

Now as for tweaking income... it doesn't do anything we didn't already cover in AWDS. It will change your basic unit focus, but that's about it. Changing starting funds can be a big deal, though, since depending on how high you make them you can get a decent CO unit pretty early on. That's about all the difference, it will make, though.

Turn limits, again, don't do anything we didn't already cover. It doubles as the game's property victory, so much like its predecessor this mode just means that the battle will end in the middle of the map.

To sum it up, tweaking the game settings of AWDoR has a much greater affect on the flow of gameplay than it does for AWDS, and as such it gives you a much greater depth of gameplay to choose from. Hey, there's a reason I've always called this the superior game.

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