Monday, July 30, 2012

AWDS Match-Ups Part 4: Kanbei

We now look at the last of the COs who could generally be considered overpowered or broken, Kanbei.

Overview
Due to higher costs, your expansion may be slower depending on the map layout; 3 property starts are unaffected, but any maps with starting airports have you at a disadvantage. This disadvantage matters less as the game wears on due to your other advantages, though.

On a day-to-day basis your units are generally superior, but your real strength is in Samurai Spirit. Basically, unless you're fighting Hachi no one can overcome your match-up changing stats on that power, and so you gain a free turn to wreak havoc. This is also how you'll make up for slow early expansion, since later on no one can actually stop yours.

VS Grit
For Kanbei this match-up is neither hard nor frustrating. Aside from being generally superior, you have the firepower and defense on SCOP to just bulldoze him with no regard for safety. You can get away with a Recon build if you feel like banking on air units, but it's not necessary.

VS Javier
If it isn't clear by now, J0T is the easiest CO in the game to beat unless you're Grit. As long as you keep a standard Tank-Copter-AA triangle going you can't possibly lose.

J1T isn't a cakewalk but is still far from match-up changing. In a two tower match you still have a huge day-to-day firepower advantage, and there's no way he can  possibly overcome your SCOP. Standard build will do.

J2T is is your tier and is a legitimate threat. In a four tower game you still have the firepower advantage, but his defense is higher and he doesn't have the price issue. First person to capture one of the other's towers will probably win, particularly if it's Javier; Kanbei's SCOP may be a match-up changer, but even he can't compete with plain old invincibility. Capturing even one of Javier's towers gives you amazing firepower, and if you're able to capture the second one you basically have your COP turned on permanently. At that point you're dealing with J0T anyway, so bulldoze him.

VS Lash
Lash like to play defense. So do you. And not only are you just plain better at it, but you also have firepower. Standard build will do.

VS Jake
We've already discussed Jake's main strategies. They're no different against you and even less effective. Again, you're basically a one-trick-pony with one hell of a trick. Standard build will do.


VS Sasha
Sasha can take a slight tech advantage or slow down your SCOP. You can take her on day-to-day since her "tech advantage" doesn't amount to more than making it easier to maintain a Tank-Copter-AA triangle; plenty to deal with firepower, but useless on defense. She can slow down your SCOP, but she can't prevent it; and at any rate must abandon her "tech advantage"


VS Luck COs
Luck can overcome your defense. It is also very random in how it comes into effect, and you have reliable firepower. Standard build, as usual, is more than sufficient.

VS Adder
I realize I'm starting to sound repetitive, but there is just no variation in strategy to be had with Kanbei. Adder has movement, you have impregnable defense and therefore do not care.

VS Koal
Same as Adder, but with a bit of firepower and thus slightly more annoying. You have defense. You. Do. Not. Care.

VS Andy
He has healing, a bit of firepower, and minor movement. The healing will let him recover if you don't destroy his units. This is all fine and good, but your units are hard to kill to begin with, so there's nothing to worry about. Standard build will do.

VS Grimm
I'm going to lay out some math for you. If a Haymaker Tank on roads attacks a Samurai Spirit that is also on roads, it will take it down to 6HP. The counterattack damage will annihilate the attacking Tank. Done the other way around, Grimm's Tank still gets annihilated. This is the power of Samurai Spirit, where you can cripple or kill units of equal tech with the counterattack damage alone, and is what I mean when I say you get a free turn to roam: the opponent can't afford to attack you even on SCOP.

You have a pretty hefty advantage in firepower. Positive defense becomes exponentially more powerful at blocking positive firepower. What I'm saying is that Grimm only does 4% above base damage to Kanbei, as opposed to his usual 30%. Negative defense works the opposite way, and Kanbei does 44% above base damage to Grimm. You could probably take him apart even if you never activated SCOP.

VS Max
Sadly you don't have the same ability to one-shot Max as you do Grimm. If he tries attacking you on SCOP you'll still cripple his units, so it doesn't really matter. Standard build will pull you through.

VS Jess
We're still at that point in the game where movement does exactly two things, one of them being jack. As such you have very little to worry about from her, so just bull through with the standard build.

VS Sonja
Sonja is a poor man's Kanbei, which is to say you're superior in every way that matters. If she SCOPs before you your SCOP is sufficiently powerful to catch her during post-power weakness. Take no pity on her for being family: standard build, business as usual.

VS Drake
With his free damage Drake can defeat your day-to-day defense. However, even a damaged unit on Samurai Spirit is extremely hard to kill, as evidenced earlier. He and the other wave damage COs will hurt your funding base more than normal due to your higher costs, but not enough for him to break through. The rain makes him one of the more difficult enemies to exploit during post-power weakness, so bear that in mind when going on the offensive during that time. It doesn't make a huge difference whether you fire off before or after Drake, but going first is always better. This is because your bar starts building up first once the powers start wearing off, and you're almost guaranteed to be first in all future exchanges. It also means your best vision units will still be alive to help you cut through the fog.

Beyond that little bit of advice, the standard build will do. Have at him.

VS Hawke
The same economic damage applies, and the healing makes Hawke a bit more resilient to assaults. He still has nowhere near your defensive capability, though, and his firepower is far from threatening. Standard build will do.

VS Olaf
Same economic damage applies. You still don't need to worry about the order of use for SCOP. Olaf can do some damage, but his firepower never gets higher than Grimm's day-to-day firepower, and we already know how effective that is. Standard build will do. Just slog it out until you bust through.

A note on the standard build:
Again, I know I'll get called out on this eventually. A standard build is any map-dependent build that eventually leads to a Tank-Copter-AA triangle. The actual lead-in to this will generally be either a T-Copter rush or a Recon rush depending on the map. Any build that does not lead up to this, such as Sami's Mech rush or Grit's Artillery wall, would be considered non-standard.

VS Von Bolt
He can freeze and damage a clump of units, but it's unlikely that he'll actually cut through it. He has to wait to use this until after Samurai Spirit fires off, so you should have taken a decisive advantage by then anyway. Your units are generally superior and you have better powers, so have at it.

VS Rachel
Day-to-day she's no threat. Her SCOP can potentially defeat your defense if any units come down to 1HP, but even 4HP units on Samurai Spirit go down swinging, and she has no firepower to speak of that actually assists in easing the task. When invading Rachel's territory you'll want to be mindful of her properties since any units you damage bounce back astonishingly fast, the only downside for her being the reduced funding for reinforcements. Standard build will carry you through.

VS Kindle
Since Kindle hammers your economy like no one else you will suffer a bit in the mid-game until you can break through. Fortunately she can't affect you until the fighting starts, so your build-up before then will be unaffected. You may need to tech down to Recons occasionally to make up the difference, but a bland Tank attacking a Samurai Spirit Recon ends with 9-7 anyway so you'll be fine. Be mindful when driving through property-heavy areas since Kindle has superior firepower there, not to mention she loves playing shenanigans with late-game capturing. I have to stress this because even though the wave damage COs do the same thing, Kindle does it too often to ignore, and capturing and production can get decimated pretty quickly.

VS Eagle
COP-reliance makes him annoying for the same reason as Kindle, and always using it at the end of the turn can cause excess build-up that makes it come sooner. The silver lining is that he's so weak on COP that he probably won't dent you. If he gears up to SCOP you take an advantage in the order of use. Your defense let's you ignore most of the threats he normally poses, so standard build will do.

VS Sami
Again, tier gaps make a relatively strong CO fairly useless against you. Recons are sufficient unless Sami techs up from Mechs; and if she does, she's already lost. Spend the rest of the money on Copters; possibly something stronger should the opportunity present itself. Try and pile on enough units to keep Sami from breaking through in time for SCOP, otherwise she'll give you a bad time. If Sami does try teching up, switching to a standard build will be sufficient.

VS Kanbei
Matches against yourself, as usual, come down to skill and map layout. Neither of you can do serious damage to the other on SCOP, but whoever fires off first will catch the other with their pants down.

VS Colin
The only CO that's equal to you, and thus your only test of skill beyond a vs self match. Colin can tech up more quickly than you, but the defense disparity is great enough that even on a day-to-day basis his Md Tanks only do about as much damage to your Tanks as your own Tanks do to his. From there SCOP can be used to fight him to a standstill and eventually break through. Proper maintenance of a triangle is essential since you won't be competing with him technologically; you can take a pounding from the Md Tanks, but you'll need Copters to actually kill them.

VS Sensei
Time to bring in force ranks. Soul of Hachi is a pre-requisite in this tier, but against Sensei this should be sufficient. You'll want to spam Mechs on SCOP to make up the unit count. With that done, you should have the unit count combined with the defense to advance forward and take him apart.

VS Hachi
You're going to need the cost reducers and Mistwalker in addition to Soul of Hachi for this one. This will allow you to tech up to a degree so you can resist his assault. Expect Megatanks and Black Bombs to try overcoming your defense, so spam the Tanks and Mechs as much as you can and wear him down. Mistwalker will still use Kanbei's counter-attack firepower, so Megatanks will be less of a game changer than normal.

Final Notes
As you've seen, the math of this game makes high defense exceedingly difficult too overcome, and combined with the massive counter-attack damage lets you scoot by either with a free turn or a heavily damaged opponent.

We will now be in the 3rd tier for awhile, starting with Sami.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

AWDS Match-Ups Part 3: Colin

Now we hop down into the 5th tier to look at an often misunderstood CO, Colin.

Overview
Between his day-to-day and COP, Colin's main tactic is going to be achieving a massive tech advantage. On some maps where every CO might not be able to fill their bases after producing a T-Copter, the lower costs also help you do some early back-tracking. The funding snowball of these two factors allows you to produce Md Tanks by day 10, sometimes without even having to fire off COP first. You can fire off COP at any point in the turn, but always make sure to use it before spending any money for maximum effect. SCOP should only be used with at least 15k funds, preferably 18k or more. (SCOP is +1 firepower for every 300 funds. Think of it as +10 for every 3k to more easily keep track of it.) The default boost will bump you up to base firepower, so whatever you get from your money is how far above base you are.

Your strategy should be primarily COP-centered, as the benefits of having lots of Md Tanks to soak up damage tend to out-weigh the benefits of firepower. You should also consider building a Fighter or two to take care of Copters so that you don't need to waste money on AAs. If the choice presents itself, always build a Bomber instead of a Neotank; they do the same amount of damage and are more mobile.

As stated above, use SCOP only when you have in excess of 15k funds. Use it sparingly, as it is less powerful than most other firepower SCOPs. The benefit of Power of Money is combining firepower with high tech - if you haven't spent most of the game teching up then there's no point using it.

VS Grit
This match is pretty easy, if a bit annoying. When teching, focus more on air units than land. This distracts Grit from Artillery production, making his powers less destructive, and making him easier to deal with. As long as you keep up Tank production the AAs won't trouble you much. On the off chance this match doesn't include airports, bank on SCOP and shred his line before you start teching up. Throwing Md Tanks at him is a waste of money before the line is broken since he can burn through them almost as fast as regular Tanks, and you aren't a spam CO.

VS Javier
Javier0T is easier than Grit since there's no firepower involved. SCOP isn't necessary unless you're bored. Just tech up and take him apart.

J1T -which is to say Javier in a two tower match- still requires little effort on your part to beat. Nothing outside of what's stated in the overview is required to beat him, and once you've taken his tower you'll gain a rare firepower advantage for Colin.

J2T -to clarify, a four tower match- is in your tier, so it's possible to lose the match. The nice thing about this match is that it starts you out above base firepower, so anytime you must use SCOP you'll have an extra +20 bonus above what you can normally count on. J2T is similar to Kanbei, but without the price increase; and also without the super counter-attacks on SCOP. As with any game against Javier, your goal is to seize his towers and hold onto your own.

VS Lash
If the last two posts didn't drive the point home, the best defense Lash ever gets (mountains on SCOP) is equivalent to Javier with one tower sitting on that same terrain with SCOP. Nor is the firepower all that worrisome, as that same piece of terrain grants +40 firepower on SCOP. Wee. Anyone remember when she didn't suck?

Approach like a slightly more annoying Javier. Tech up, take her apart.

VS Jake
As usual, Jake powers let him choose between sticking with a conventional build or converting into a Grit build after getting established. Before that establishing point, treat him like Lash without the defense. If you see a Grit build, just chip away at it until he switches back.

Just to clarify, when I say Jake does a Grit build I don't mean he buys Artillery at the expense of Tanks. It's my shorthand for an old argument I once heard that, "Grit can build directs if his wall becomes too threatened." I guess you could say in his dream build, Grit builds whatever is necessary to defend his wall. Jake can wall up like Grit due to his powers and can actually pursue this dream build. I'm not saying it's a great strategy, but if COs at this level had great strategies they wouldn't be at this level.


VS Sasha
Colin's sister can actually threaten you a bit with tech. She can even delay your firepower boost once you start banking. That's the extent of what this match means for you, though. Due to the order and magnitude of her powers her focus is fairly divided between tech and power delay, while your focus proceeds in a linear fashion from tech to firepower. (Kind of the reason Colin is broken and Sasha is unerpowered, really.) Things will go a bit slower, but Old Reliable works as well against Sasha as anyone else.


VS Luck COs
I really hate trying to categorize luck since it can either be game breaking or a guarantee of loss. In any case, these COs might give you anything from minor annoyances to Infantry beating down Md Tanks. Either way, tech up and then bank on firepower; and as a reminder, don't let tech cause you to fall behind on unit count.

VS Adder
Javier with movement. He'll bring up reinforcements a little faster, but beyond that he's no threat. Keel heem.

VS Koal
Same as Adder, but with firepower. The firepower isn't much more than you face with Jake, though he does get it on a terrain type just about guaranteed to be on most maps in large quantities. Tech up, bank for SCOP, blast him.

VS Andy
As with anyone else fighting him, don't expect to get anywhere just chipping away at him. Tech up, bank for SCOP, blow him to bits, but ensure kills so his SCOP is less useful. Makes him less annoying.

VS Grimm
One of the few matches where you'll actually out-tech and out-gun the opponent. Well, maybe not out-gun exactly, but you will do better than bland damage. Grimm can put a dent in your units, which is more than can be said for most of the previous COs. Beyond that he presents no problems for you. Tech up, bank on SCOP.

I know I'm going to get called out if certain individuals read this so let me clarify: teching up includes the heavy use of COP. If you use SCOP before day 20 you're doing it wrong, and even that's pushing it unless I give a more specific emphasis.

VS Max
Not as great a weakness to exploit as Grimm, but he has less firepower to throw at you as well. (Recall: Grimm's footsoldiers.) Just stick with Old Reliable.

VS Jess
She's a threat on land since she combines firepower with mobility. Of course, this threat is overshadowed by the inability of both firepower and movement to effectively deal with tech, and she lacks any airborne firepower to speak of. She does have the ability to refuel and re-arm, so if you're playing a map with large barren areas like Nell's Land that's worth keeping in mind. Other than that tech up, bank for SCOP, let loose.

VS Sonja
The main threat from Sonja is first strike counter-attacks turning back assaults. What this does is make your Tanks unable to attack hers, and so on and so forth. What it does not do is change match-ups. You have tech. Ta-da!

VS Drake
As usual, Drake can attack your economy and hide while doing it. What he cannot do is hurt your ability to spam COP and tech up, as your powers are so disjointed that unless he decides to gear down to COP himself their effects will probably never interact. Even if your COP ever does interact with mass damage, your units are so cheap that Drake should never put you in a position where you can't even build Infantry. Besides that, mass damage alone isn't quite enough to allow Tanks to threaten Md Tanks. Tech up, bank for SCOP, blast him.

VS Hawke
Probably less of a threat than Drake since you can actually see his units post-power. The healing makes him annoying, but he's no Andy in that department and you have tech. You'll have two, possibly three COPs fire off before he ever fires off SCOP, which puts you at a massive advantage in tech that offsets any ill effects of mass damage. Just fire that thing off at every blasted opportunity until you're ready to bank up and, er, blast him.

VS Olaf
Of the three wave damage COs, Olaf is probably the most threatening to Colin. The firepower combined with mass damage will allow his Tanks and Copters to put a dent in any teched up units you have. Not enough to defeat you, mind you, but enough that Olaf will slow you down and generally annoy you throughout the match. The sooner you bank and blast his line, the faster this annoyance goes away.

VS Von Bolt
Von Bolt isn't fun to deal with. At all. Annoying as his freezing missile is, however, it's unlikely that he'll break down your tech advantage. Even if he manages to kill whatever units he freezes, your ability to bounce back is sufficient to overcome this. Like with Hawke, you can expect to use COP two or three times before this missile ever hits you, and it's likely you'll be set to SCOP-blast him before the second use.

VS Rachel
Even less fun than Von Bolt. Rachel has a random shot at being able to overcome your tech for a turn if she knocks anything down to 4HP. Your ability to bounce back is enough to overcome this, but it's very annoying to deal with. Unlike SeƱor Bolt, you will not be firing off COP a billion times before this power gets used, so you'll just have to hunker down and deal with it. You probably won't be using SCOP in this match.

VS Kindle
Her COP being so close to yours makes Kindle kind of funny to fight. Ideally she wants to hit you after you use COP so she can shut you down for a day with the repair costs; quite enough to defeat you, in fact. However, your day-to-day is more than sufficient to achieve a slight tech advantage, so you can force her to play her hand before you ever light off. If she takes too long, light off SCOP even if it's a bit weak at that point in the game. In fact if the Kindle player really wants to go down that route, Colin is more than capable of slugging it out as a firepower CO with her, because his day-to-day tech ability is just that good even without COP.

The other alternative is that Kindle is actually dumb enough to try using COP before you do. The funding drain will make your COP a little less effective, but still far better than what you usually haul. Depending on how far you charged in the meantime, you might actually be able to do it twice in a row, though you do risk getting hit by Kindle's COP that time. At that point it probably won't matter.

Okay, I lied, there's a third option related to the first. Just never light off. If neither of you light off Colin will win. Kindle will have to light off something eventually, and at that point you could just COP twice if you wanted to. There's no way Kindle can hurt your economy at this point; you're probably winning already anyway.

VS Eagle
Back in annoyance territory. Eagle can peck away at your, but can't actually threaten your tech advantage once you get it going. Just go with Old Reliable.

VS Sami
Kind of a threat. She runs a Mech-Copter economy that is very, very hard to break. It's very easy to fall into the AA trap with Sami, trying to chase down her Copters while getting shot up by Mechs. Tech down to an Infantry-Recon build and bank on a Fighter or two to deal with the Copters instead. After that you can return to Old Reliable and break the deadlock.

VS Kanbei
You're just about an even match with Kanbei. What he lacks in his ability to keep tech parity with you, he makes up for with a match-up altering SCOP. Even day-to-day, your Md Tanks only do 61% damage to his Tanks. Bland Tanks do 55% damage to other Tanks, that's not a small difference. It doesn't quite go two ways, but once SCOP lights off... well, let's do some math:

I won't bore you with the gory details, but a Samurai Spirit Tank attacking one of your Md Tanks ends with 8-8 or 8-7 favoring the Tank. That means a small mob can kill or cripple them without much in the way of consequences. On the other hand, because of how counterattacks work on this power if your Md Tank tries this the other way around, it'll end with 7-7 or 7-6.

The point being, while you achieve offensive and defensive superiority by managing money, Kanbei does the same simply by existing. His SCOP digs him in so much that you pretty much can't attack during it if you want to maintain your advantage. You're only going to beat Kanbei by banking on SCOP until the center breaks, because with the defense disparity you are just not going to win this match with tech. Besides, you have enough of a tech advantage just by the day-to-day alone.

VS Colin
Ah, yes, the vs self match. Beyond map layout, this match comes down to who blinks first. The first person to bank on SCOP is also the one who will probably lose while the other one takes a tech advantage.

VS Sensei
Okay, you need force ranks for this one. As a spam CO, the only way to beat Sensei is to become a spammer yourself; ergo, the Soul of Hachi force. You also need the cost-reducers and Gold Rush; the force, not the CO Power. This brings you down to 67% costs with Sasha income. With that, bank on SCOP and only SCOP. Sensei will run for the unit limit, so blast him for all you're worth (literally) and spam on that turn. Focus on tech only on a day-to-day basis. The idea is that hopefully your high-tech units all last long enough to deal more than their share of kills in order to knock down Sensei's unit count.

VS Hachi
Use the same force set. You can out-tech Hachi on a day-to-day basis, but Hachi gets SCOP sooner and techs up cheaper that turn. You're probably the superior CO with this set, but you can't swap out to make it more fair because removing even one force rank bumps you back down to having a disadvantage. In any case, tech up daily and spam on SCOP after blasting the shit out of him.

Final Notes
Colin is good due to a combination of tech and firepower. High tech units are harder to kill and do more damage, and his SCOP magnifies that firepower into something truly frightening. You can probably tell from the stats on Kanbei that firepower doesn't do jack to nullify tech. (Defense, on the other hand...) Mass damage can't really hurt the economy of a CO with low costs and free money either. This is pretty much how you tell where to put a break in tier lists: when defeating the COs below a certain point becomes child's play.

Up next is Kanbei. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

AWDS Match-ups Part 2: Sensei

We now move on to the master of spam and Hachi's equal in power, Sensei.

Overview
Against most COs, the main Sensei strategy is going to be spamming COP while pursuing a Direct build centered around Recons, Tanks, and Copters. Whenever you hover around the unit limit, switch gears to SCOP for Mech firepower. Your powers are there to wear down the opponent and are also self-feeding, so most matches will boil down to a brief war of attrition before your real army busts through. Rear-spawning units can be combined for funds, making Sensei a poor man's economy CO as well.

Don't neglect Sensei's transport advantage. Often that one extra movement from T-Copters is enough to get to the map's center a turn or two before your opponent, and also to get to nice forward bases earlier in general.

The bulk of your unit count comes from your cities, so placing priority on capturing them is a must. Normally a CO can depend on units all coming from a particular direction while attacking your bases and defending theirs, but as Sensei you will divide their attention without dividing your real army (the one you paid for). Any time you must choose between capturing a city or base you must do some threat assessment: if the area is basically free of enemies, such as during the capture phase, you'll need bases to do any expanding. If there is fighting in the area, cities will give you many units for free, probably by the time you finish capturing. Sooner or later you must capture both since you have a real army to attend to and need to plug up your opponent's production.

VS Grit
Sensei probably has the easiest match-up against Grit. Grit has to wall off Artillery with the same units you're constantly spamming, so it doesn't take all that long to wear him down. While your mass of Infantry constantly annihilates this wall, some flanking Copters can go in and tear apart the Artillery. Tanks can also go through the holes, of course. As usual, if Grit attempts to answer you with anything but Indirects feel free to educate him.

VS Javier
This match-up is even easier than Grit, mainly due to the fact that Javier is ranked higher only because he can beat Grit. Technically speaking he is actually much worse without towers. Since Javier0T is basically bland against you with stats never going higher than 110/110 (against anything you'll be hitting him with), any strategy centered on Directs will take him apart fairly quickly.

Against Javier1T, even without a tower yourself you're basically fighting Von Bolt with the missile substituted for more firepower and defense. This firepower is not high enough to decimate your forces, and the defense isn't exactly impregnable. Approach like J0T, but make sure you're properly walling off your Tanks and Copters when they finish attacking.

For Javier2T, you're fighting Kanbei without weaknesses. Here you want to step your powers up to SCOP after the first COP, otherwise you probably won't wear down his units enough. As long as the match has both of you even with towers, this shouldn't pose too much of a challenge. Do not allow him to capture any of your towers or you're pretty much done. Even if you can out-produce him, the J2T SCOP is now his COP in an emergency, and his SCOP is invincible at full health (and pretty damn close if not). The kill ratio will be largely in his favor as such, and until you get that tower back it's an uphill battle. If he uses this advantage to get the fourth tower, you're screwed.

(Hachi is the only CO who really stands a chance against Javier in a six tower match, so I won't be mentioning J3T here or in further entries.)

VS Lash
As usual the biggest problem Lash will pose for you is the moderate defense she receives, and even that usually amounts to equal or less than what some COs can achieve on COP. To put it in perspective, after the default boost she basically has 130 defense on forests in addition to the normal two stars. Kanbei and Javier1T can manage that on COP. She also has very little firepower to speak of, so you can safely approach her like a slightly more annoying Javier.

VS Jake
His only two viable strategies are playing a weak Jess or a strong Grit with less range. Either way, Jake can't bring any significant firepower to bear against you, and isn't helped by its situational nature. Approach more or less like Lash without the defense.

VS Sasha
If Sasha went with a COP strategy, your SCOP might be a bit slow getting out. Fortunately, you don't need SCOP to beat her and a Sasha player who knows what they're doing usually won't try to use Market Crash in any case. Copter Command is more than sufficient even with Sasha's attempts at teching up. She'll have more Tanks and Copters than you, but you have far more units to soak up the damage and weaken them. If the Tanks get out of hand you can just bank on your SCOP Mechs to shut them down. You have to think a bit, but it's not a challenge.

VS Luck COs
Plenty of potential for firepower, but against a numerically superior foe what you really need is defense in high proportions; something these three COs lack. The luck COs will punch holes in your army now and then, but they can't resist all the units you'll be throwing at them. Follow the overview, absorb the damage, and murder them.

VS Adder
He can get stuff to the front quicker and potentially meet you with more units. This does not solve Adder's problem with your sheer numbers, and once you whittle down his front line any concentration of units toward the front will give way either to a retreat or a lack of a fighting force.

VS Koal
Koal is pretty much Adder+. He has the same problem as far as overcoming your unit count (i.e. he can't), and his firepower doesn't make this much better. He's all about offense, and in a game where each unit can only shoot one other unit per turn, that doesn't help much against numerical superiority.

VS Andy
Andy's healing will allow him to resist your attempts at wearing him down with Infantry. Unlike him, you have better transports that can reach the center long before he does so that you can disgorge said Infantry on his front doorstep while another group grabs what you skipped. Ramp up production of Tanks and Copters, upgrade to SCOP, and just wail on him.

VS Grimm
After you've spammed COP a few times for a wall, Grimm folds pretty easily to a combination of SCOP and teching up. He can hurt you pretty badly with his powers, but as I've said before you can't beat numerical superiority without some of your own or some high defense; neither of which are things Grimm is known for.

VS Max
Treat Max like Grimm without the defense weakness. He'll take more punishment from your units, but he folds to the same strategy.

VS Jess
Jess is a slightly different breed of animal from the last two, but falls to about the same strategy. She incorporates some movement bonuses, but like many others she suffers from a lack of defense versus Sensei.

VS Sonja
Sonja seems to have that defense I was talking about earlier; the kind needed to hold up against numerical superiority. There are two problems in your favor. The first is that Copter Command hits about twice as often as Counter Break. The second is that you don't have to attack Sonja when she uses Counter Break, and so she still has to try and attack all of your units. It also doesn't make her immune to superior-unit match-ups, so your Tanks and Copters will still be able to attack weaker units and take minimal damage, and use your mass of Infantry to wall off and protect against Sonja's own units next turn.

VS Drake
Drake -and indeed all of the mass damage COs- isn't a huge threat to your economy since your COP and SCOP units won't stay on their cities long enough to get hit by a mass damage strike. The free damage he deals lessens the gains on your CO bar, but considering your COP is only two stars it won't make a big difference. He's a pain in the ass if he catches you post-power since you'll have a bunch of 7HP Infantry that aren't gaining you any stars, and as usual the rain makes it hard to take advantage of his own post-power weakness. Otherwise this should pose no problems.

VS Hawke
Like Andy, Hawke is equipped to deal with Infantry attrition, if not to quite the same degree. The moderate firepower combined with the healing can make him even more of a pain than Drake, and getting repeatedly hammered by it holds the danger of him breaking one of your forward centers (map permitting). Proper city hopping should let you reclaim any losses quickly, and from there it's just a matter of slow build-up until you can crush one of his expansions. Remember, as long as you're taking cities you're getting more units on each COP, which makes things much easier.

The biggest factor in your favor here is Hawke's colossal power bar. You can easily get off two or three COPs yourself before you have to deal with Hawke's SCOP, so you'll have plenty of units to keep soaking up damage once that hits.

VS Olaf
This can be more troublesome than Hawke since Olaf is basically a firepower CO who wrecks your economy. Fortunately like all mass damage COs -and all COs in general- he can't hurt you with SCOP before you do your super expansion. Then, he still has to deal with at least two Copter Command uses before he gets Winter Fury, and has to try and catch you post-power with it to reduce your numbers. If you're managing your powers effectively, this won't happen.

VS Von Bolt
Ol' Vonny isn't a huge threat to you unless he catches you post-power, and even then it only amounts to an annoyance at best. The nice thing about Sensei's super spam is that you can just reinforce the mass of units Von Bolt freezes, defeating the purpose of his SCOP as a delay tactic. This is especially hurtful to him on a multi-front map since your own powers reinforce every front while his only freezes one, and like the previous COs you'll get several uses out of Copter Command before you ever have to deal with it.

This is an important pattern to remember: anything powerful enough to hurt you in post-power weakness takes so long to charge up that you'll already have too many units for them to kill.

VS Rachel
This is another match-up that won't trouble you much provided you approach it correctly. Your normal spam tactic can get annihilated by the missiles unless you're exceptionally good at spreading out. An easier and arguably better tactic is to bank on your own SCOP and just wait her out. Sensei can beat Rachel on a day-to-day basis with that super expansion, so Rachel has to use her missiles. When she does, summon your free Mechs and bounce back. Lather, rinse, repeat. The unit count from super expansion should be enough on its own to keep Rachel from cutting through and hurting your ability to bounce back too much unless the map is very small.

VS Kindle
Out of all the mass damage COs this is probably your easiest match-up. Kindle only focuses on damaging her opponent's funding base, but Sensei is the one CO in the game that doesn't rely on it. She'll mess up your captures, but she's no different from her fellows in that regard. It seems like she'd have to revert to a firepower-based SCOP strategy, but even against other COs she doesn't get much firepower that way, and against Sensei's super expansion she's even more disadvantaged.

VS Eagle
Ealge is the only non-Tag in the game who can attack two of your units with one of his in the same turn, which gives him a better concentration of units toward the front. This is not enough units to match your superior numbers, though, and the awkward balance of his forces means that Eagle has nothing to fall back on once you penetrate and destroy his front line. Super expansion will give you the money needed for this strike, and spam will soak up damage from his units.

VS Sami
Sami's Mechs are stronger than yours, she spams them from the get-go, and she has super capturing. On her SCOP she also accomplishes a poor man's super expansion, and she likes to use Copters in place of vehicles.

You have a numerically superior force of similar composition to Sami's, and your Copters can one-shot hers. You also don't pay for most of your footsoldiers, and you'll primarily attack hers with the Tanks you're actually buying. Sami's SCOP might snag a property now and then, but often it will be to recapture lost properties rather than take yours.

VS Kanbei
This is going to be similar to Javier2T, except Kanbei's unit count will be a little lower. In contrast to your super expansion, Kanbei's expansion is a bit stalled at first. Once again you may be thinking that the defense I was talking about earlier applies here, but Javier3T is actually the only CO that has enough of it to take on Sensei. Kanbei suffers a similar problem to Sonja here since you won't be stupid enough to attack him when Samurai Spirit hits. It sounds like this should give him an advantage in numbers since you don't attack at all, but you'll have hit Copter Command at least twice before Kanbei hits SCOP the first time. This creates an insurmountable unit count advantage, typically a 10-15 unit lead. Though Kanbei can bog down these units with Samurai Spirit, he'll never be able to close the gap, and Sensei has plenty of time between its uses to kill Kanbei's units.

VS Colin
Colin will always out-tech and out-fund you. He cannot, however, out-number you. Even if he reaches full production from all bases, Colin can't match the numbers you turn out from your cities. The biggest threat here will be Md Tanks backed up by the occasional Bomber. Colin spams Gold Rush as often as you spam Copter Command, so this isn't difficult for him to do. You have to rely on Copters to take down the Md Tanks, otherwise you'll just have to whittle down their health. Fortunately this means Colin will be producing AAs, and do so prodigiously since your Tanks will be killing them. Wasting his time like this combined with your spam will allow you the necessary leeway to advance.

VS Sensei
Sensei is an interesting opponent for himself. Barring force ranks, this is the only time you'll fight someone who can expand as fast as you do. This match will quickly devolve into a shit-fight in the center which will result in early COPs jump-starting expansion. The rest of the game will be spent with obscenely huge armies duking it out in the center until someone blinks.

VS Hachi
This is the toughest match-up in the game since you and Hachi are about evenly matched. You both use spam, and while you expand faster Hachi techs up faster. Expect to have a combination of Black Bombs and mixed tank spam used to take your units apart. Spamming SCOP is necessary against Hachi; Infantry aren't going to cut it. You'll be working with slightly fewer units than you're used to with Sensei, but those units will be able to deal with the tanks being thrown at you. You'll be relying on Copters as with Colin to take on the heavier tanks, with Mechs acting as cannon fodder to destroy low-end units, dent high-end units, and feed your power bar. Your Tanks will serve the same purpose as the Mechs for the most part.

Map-permitting, abuse Sensei's super-expansion to the fullest. Your T-Copters can still reach the center long before Hachi can, and securing a foothold there will make the difference in getting your numbers up enough to deal with Hachi's tech-spam.

As far as using SCOP instead of COP, Hachi's own tactics work in your favor somewhat. To get his massive tech boost, Hachi likes to use Recons and lower on a day-to-day basis. If he didn't do this he'd just be a souped-up Colin, though it is by no means an easy fight in either case. Because Hachi usually stays low-tech at first, it gives you less reason to need Copter Command even if you weren't banking on Airborne Assault.

Final Notes
The reason Sensei is ranked so high is primarily a result of his super expansion combined with spam not having a good clear-cut counter. As I've said a thousand times in this post, Sensei's basic strategy comes down to rushing to the center, stonewalling, back-tracking, spamming, and attacking in that order. You can't get at his real force until it's already attacking you, sometimes not even then. His Copters can one-shot other Copters, reducing his Tank-Copter-AA triangle to a Tank-Copter line. His Tanks counter AAs, his Copters counter Tanks, and they also counter Copters. It's a huge money-saver that lets him be all offense all the time, and combined with the fact that opponents have to cut through his free units to get at his real ones there just aren't many good ways to beat him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

AWDS Match-ups Part 1: Intro & Hachi

In this series of posts I will be focusing on one CO at a time, discussing all of their single-CO match-ups and how best to approach them. This is because if you're new to the game or just not that great at multiplayer, it's easy to miss the advantages that get the COs ranked where they are.

A couple notes to start with: I will not be talking about Tags. If I do, it will be in a different series. I will touch on same vs same match-ups, but since they depend on map layout and player skill more than any other match-up don't be surprised if they get a bit repetitive. Occasionally I will insert clarification notes in italics in between match-ups, since everything a CO can do doesn't necessarily belong in a general overview. Lastly, lower ranked COs will only get strategies against higher ranked ones where force ranks are involved; and since these can sometimes radically change a CO's strategy, those sections may become a bit lengthy as I will have to give a rundown of totally new capabilities that CO does not normally possess. That said, let's start with Hachi, starting at the bottom and working our way up.

Overview
Hachi's primary strategy is based on mass production and tech. You will rarely use Barter and instead focus on Merchant Union. The reasoning for this is that even once you've bought as much high cost stuff as you can afford, you can still waste the rest on a bunch miscellaneous shit to bolster unit count, and Merchant Union gives you the production slots to do it. It also follows the general principal of SCOPs being superior to COPs as a result of the charging system. Of course, you should use any CO power at any time if you have something to gain, but the point is that for Hachi you just don't have much occasion to use Barter except (and sometimes even) at the worst of times.

Never tech above Recons outside of SCOP (unless T-Copters are called for). This will let you bank for the best possible tech spam when Merchant Union fires off.

You usually want Black Bombs if possible, Megatanks if not. When you've gotten good enough to know which situations these two units are less useful in, start experimenting with other air units and lower-tech tanks at those times. In any naval fight just buy whatever fixes your rock-paper-scissors problem. As Hachi you also have the option of bringing in a Fighter to handle your anti-air needs for a good long while; it's unlikely your opponent will get one of their own considering the other damage you'll be doing.

If playing in high funds (the game option, not the property count), Hachi may lose his tech advantage. This is not terribly concerning, as Hachi will always be able to out-produce opponents unless every property is a base for some odd reason. Your match will probably devolve into a slug-fest -and often a Black Bomb fest- but you'll probably still win.

VS Grit
This match-up is impossible to lose as long as you keep your focus on Directs, like any other CO. There are still some pitfalls to avoid, though.

Assuming your opponent goes for a Grit Wall strategy, avoid the obvious pitfall of spamming AAs. Except for roads, AAs are not guaranteed to oneshot Infantry and don't deal enough damage to Artillery to stop them from putting out some pain. While you can still win, it's quicker and less frustrating to just use Tanks until Grit whips out Copters, and even then one or two AAs is sufficient.

If there are airports, build Black Bombs when you fire off SCOP. Grit is at his best when huddled in choke points, and Bombs are best used against said huddles. Any remaining funds should go toward as many Md Tanks and Tanks as you can afford.

If the map has no airports, Megatanks are the next best thing. They won't deal the mass damage you want, but it will still punch through Grit's wall until its health gets taken down a good chunk, which combined with the above spam is more than enough to do what you need to do.

On the off chance that Grit tries to integrate Directs into his strategy... well, what can I say? Hachi's most basic strategy is tech spam, so just do that. Grit tries Recons, spam Tanks. He tries Tanks, Spam Md Tanks. Pretty simple.

VS Javier
Javier0T can be countered with any Direct spam you feel like, with the added benefit of not having to worry about him ever powering up to any great degree.

Javier1T makes things a little more interesting, but not by too much. Even if tower distribution isn't equal, the biggest worry is moderate defense, which can be overcome with moderate tech. B-Bombs as always, but Md Tanks also work in the absence of airports.

Javier2T finally makes things interesting and gives us a preview of the upper tiers. B-Bombs are still useful, but you will definitely want to invest in a Megatank or two for the land front. This is because you still need some big guns to punch through his SCOP defense, which would otherwise make him more-or-less immune to post-power-weakness. Since his units are generally superior to yours with no weakness, this fight is actually a challenge until you can steal one of his towers. That is unless...

Javier3T is created from one of your towers getting stolen. I say this because if there are enough towers for both sides to have three, it's pushing the border of outrageous and I doubt anyone would actually try playing it. Once this happens, continue the J2T strategy, but take it up to eleven. This Javier is invincible on SCOP when at full health, or even less depending on the terrain he's occupying. Continue using Black Bombs while attacking with Megatanks, but be mindful of Javier's combined SCOP and terrain defense: if you attack when his units still have 200+ defense, you're wasting ammo and taking unnecessary damage. This is probably the hardest match-up in the game, even for Hachi, so the best advice I can give is this: Don't let Javier get to this point!

VS Lash
This is the first CO who, by default, can threaten you with Direct defense, and to a lesser degree Direct firepower. Like Javier0T, Lash should not present a challenge for your teched up force. The biggest problems you may run into are movement and defense. If the map is heavy on the terrain, Lash might try out-maneuvering you, particularly if there are no air units to contend with. Again, high tech units have the defense to cope with this. As for her defense, she can give you difficulties if she parks on one of your cities during SCOP, but that's assuming she even gets that far. (Besides, "doubling" the terrain defense on a city is equivalent to her having 140 defense before parking on the thing after the default boost, so she's like a weaker J1T in this regard.)

VS Jake
Basically the opposite of Lash: instead of inconsistent defense, you get inconsistent offense. He has a movement boost for vehicles, but beyond that isn't too hard to bulldoze with superior units. You can mostly ignore his Indirect boost, since he will never exceed Grit's day-to-day range; and you already know how to deal with that anyhow.

VS Sasha
She'll try to tech up with her SCOP and may attempt to slow down your own. Sasha has no abilities beyond this and won't be able to compete with your tech spam once your units hit the field.

VS Luck COs
Let's face it, there's not enough difference between these three to merit their own sections. That being said, these three can be a threat at any skill level, luck permitting. Day-to-day, Flak and Jugger get better averages and are thus the bigger threat. Nell is the biggest threat when it comes to SCOP, as she can only score positive and pretty much any unit can score good damage against anything else. Fortunately the mayhem is random and Hachi has Old Reliable on his side. Tech spam is your friend, as usual.

VS Adder
For Hachi's purposes this is Javier with movement. You'll have to put up with an annoying +1 or +2 movement now and then, but other than that it's nothing tech can't take care of.

VS Koal
Think of this as Jake with a better movement boost and a more common terrain bonus. Koal will be able to harass you in much the same way as Adder, but like that CO won't be able to handle your tech once those units hit the field.

VS Andy
Andy has more limited movement than his Black Hole counterparts, but also has that very annoying healing power. However, because of how your SCOP works your Black Bombs will usually be timed such that they will either strike after Hyper Upgrade fires off, or Andy will just have to hold off. Either way you'll score some free kills before he has a chance to heal, taking down that all-important unit count.

VS Grimm
Grimm is a bit annoying to deal with outside of your SCOP binge-spending. His units will pretty much annihilate your Recon/Infantry force in the early game, and because of his own low defense his powers tend to charge quickly. If you're confident in your ability to use and protect them, spamming Neotanks can help you do some damage over the long-term. Grimm can't really hurt them, and they'll shred his units like wet paper.

VS Max
Max is exactly like Grimm except for footsoldiers, and presents the same potential threat without the weakness. It's usually a good strategy to send out a Megatank backed up by Tanks after SCOP. The Megatank can soak up damage and deal out good counterattacks while your Tanks mop up. You'll almost certainly lose the Megatank, but Max will have to spend such a disproportionate amount of money killing the thing that it will be worth it.

VS Jess
Jess has less firepower than the last two, but she is much more mobile. Approach her like you'd approach Max, but expect her to try flanking you when her SCOP rolls around. If it ever becomes relevant, also be aware that her aircraft are pretty much immune to running out of fuel and must be shot down by your own units.

VS Sonja
Oddly enough a step down in difficulty for Hachi. This is because you'll be teched up enough that the first strike counterattacks shouldn't trouble you any further than the first use (when you may or may not have had a chance to fire off Old Reliable).

VS Drake
Drake's fog may give you some minor slowdowns, but it shouldn't be a major hazard for you. The effects of mass damage are a problem, but Drake doesn't compound it enough to make it an issue for Hachi to stress over. Just try not to let it hit you right after you've bought a bunch of expensive units.

VS Hawke
As with any CO facing him, you'll need to keep track of Hawke's force size to make sure you're relatively higher on the health scale compared to him. Hawke's strategy is constriction, and he's one of the best COs at pulling it off. Since your SCOP is so disjointed with his, this will prevent you from getting money-locked from massive repair bills on your expensive units; and no, Hachi is not immune to money-lock if you play carelessly. If your SCOPs do line up, let Hawke fire off first. You have a better day-to-day, you can afford to wait.

In addition to mass damage and healing, combining the default boost with his daily boost gives Hawke appreciable firepower. While this isn't exactly on the level of a firepower CO, it's still something you should be mindful of. Watching a Megatank get hammered by Tanks due to your own carelessness is about as embarrassing as it gets, even if you did get it on the cheap.

VS Olaf
He's about as dangerous as Hawke for similar reasons. Healing is replaced with a greater emphasis on firepower that can be cause for concern if you're not being disciplined with your tech.

Olaf isn't too threatening day-to-day unless you have random weather on, and even then not much more than a firepower CO. Winter Fury can hit right after Merchant Union if you're watching the power bars, so once again make sure you're not standing there with a bunch of expensive units sitting on your cities when the dumb thing hits. Money-lock breaks your production for a turn, essentially turning your spam advantage into an Achilles Heel by means of your stupidity. Again, you have the better day-to-day, so if Winter Fury is around the corner then just wait it out before using your SCOP.

VS Von Bolt
Von Bolt is your first legitimate threat. Spam tends to have less impact if you can't move the damn units. It doesn't help that Von Bolt shares Hawke's benefit from the default boost, gaining appreciable firepower in addition to the damage and paralysis. You may be thinking that your B-Bombs are a free pass, but remember that Von Bolt's SCOP basically is a B-Bomb with paralysis and slightly less damage.

Paralysis effectively lasts two turns since you don't get to move the units until Von Bolt has had two turns to tear them apart or ignore them. To minimize damage, do a Tank spam with a Megatank like you would with a firepower CO, but move the Megatank away from most of the Tanks. This way Ex Machina can only hit one group, leaving the other to continue doing its business while you wait for the paralysis to wear off.

VS Rachel
If Von Bolt got the equivalent of a free B-Bomb on SCOP, Rachel basically gets 3 weak ones. Unlike facing Von Bolt, you can afford to wait for Rachel's SCOP for two reasons: your day-to-day is just plain better since Rachel doesn't have one, and your SCOPs are right next to each other on the charging scale. This is one match-up where you may want to ditch the "no tech above Recons" principle and just play normally. This gives you the option to out-last Rachel until she must fire off her SCOP, letting you follow up with Merchant Union to bounce back with slightly higher tech than before. Rachel doesn't really have a way to deal with opponents who can shrug off her missiles like this, as her daily stats are basically bland.

VS Kindle
Kindle can fund-lock you pretty easily if you're careless. However, her strength is in a 3 star COP while yours is a 5 star SCOP. Using the same strategy as with Rachel, just hold off using Merchant Union so you can bounce back from Urban Blight. You can out-tech Kindle on a daily basis, so you'll be fine.

VS Eagle
We now have a massive tactics shift from attacking your economy to an economy of force. Eagle has the ability to blow away your Recon/Infantry force with his first COP, but he will probably charge Merchant Union as a result. Once you've introduced tech into the equation, Eagle lacks the firepower to bring down your high tech units. Since his units tend to be very concentrated toward the front, Eagle is particularly vulnerable to Black Bombs. Megatanks backed up by Tanks also work very well, as per usual.

VS Sami
Sami's massively overpowered Mechs can be troublesome on land maps, and as I've said elsewhere she is a surprisingly good air CO because of these Mechs. Sami is a problem for you in spite of your numerical advantage, because her tactic is just that good. B-Bombs can help offset Victory March shenanigans, but you'll never completely escape it. The more fronts there are, the better her advantage.

Here's where the logic gets a little backwards. Normally Sami's Mechs make her exempt from "lol AAs." But since Hachi can spam, that's exactly what you should do: exercise tech discipline and just spam the hell out of AAs. There's no way she's going to answer these without Tanks, and you'll have blown away most of her Mechs and Copters by the time she gets them out in numbers. As stated in the overview, you are also able to build a Fighter or two pretty cheaply, so use one to maintain air superiority after your AAs die. Once you force her to whip out land vehicles it's pretty much over for Sami, because yours are just plain better. You should probably limit yourself to doing this just once, and switch to Megatanks backed up by Tanks afterward.

VS Kanbei
This match-up is the reason the Megatank tactic was invented in the first place. To take down Kanbei enough to deal with his SCOP, Megatanks are a must, preferably backed up by a B-Bomb. This takes several goes to get the desired effect, but after a few beatings with this tactic you'll gain some ground and eventually have leftover funds to get some Tank spam in with the Megatank and Bomb. Let me warn you, this is a slug-fest no matter what, and there is no quick way to beat Kanbei.

The reason this works is because Kanbei relies on Samurai Spirit to gain a free turn. Since you can still attack him with a Megatank and B-Bombs during this time, you can subject Kanbei to post-power weakness, which is normally a distant concern for him. He'll also waste more funds than most COs taking out these Megatanks, which hurts him even more having to replace the units lost.

VS Colin
Against Colin, your Megatank build will be somewhat less effective as it doesn't waste as many of Colin's funds. You may want to try the Neotank tactic again to project firepower over a larger area instead. You will have to build at least one Fighter for every airport Colin owns, because he will spam air units if you give him a chance.

Because Colin can tech up faster than you on a daily basis, you'll rely more on force of spam than force of tech for this fight. Yes, he'll have Md Tanks while you have Neotanks usually, but that's no reason not to try and mob him if you get the chance. If you try the Megatank strategy, back it up with Md Tanks, because those are probably what Colin will attack it with.

VS Sensei
Sensei can be a problem for Hachi, because as Hachi you are used to having the numerical advantage. Sensei is the one CO who beats you in this department.

Against you, Sensei is most likely to rely on SCOP to counteract your tech. This will not be like the Sami match-up: Sensei's Mechs may be damaged, but they are free, and killing them recharges the bar. You are not going to kill Sensei with tech save for B-Bombs. Use a Recon/Infantry force as normal, but always buy a B-Bomb before buying anything else on Merchant Union. Failing that, buy as many Megatanks as possible; support them with whatever you can buy with the leftover funds. If you can slam the wall of units hard enough before Sensei's SCOP wears off then you have a decent chance. The biggest problem you may encounter is that Mechs not near the front line will probably combine and start making a boatload of cash, essentially making him a poor man's tech CO as well. This fight is neither easy nor quick.

If Sensei starts building Copters then build Fighters, not AAs. Sensei uses neither funds nor bases to make these Mechs, and a swarm of AAs will be slaughtered by the Tanks he's actually buying.

Don't be surprised if Sensei occasionally lights off COP just to keep you busy. Like you, he is able to use sheer force of "fuck you" to stall for time while he gets the real attack together, and like you this is often his main tactic.

Lastly, remember that cities are deadly weapons for both of you. In all previous match-ups a lost city is a slight loss of income, but here you're handing Sensei another free unit and more money going into the real army. Each city you take is one more unit you can build and one less you have to deal with each time Sensei SCOPs.


VS Hachi
Approach very much like Sensei. As the test of skill that this is, you simply cannot pull any punches. B-Bombs and Megatanks with appropriate accompanying spam is the order of the day. Like the Sensei match, cities are vital for both of your SCOPs, and for your purposes might as well be bases. You must out-spam and out-tech someone who is trying to do the same with the exact same tools.

Final Notes
Playing with Hachi offers many insights into the basic mechanics of the game and why things work or don't work. Since tech sort of doubles for firepower and defense, in one CO you get to see the full range of power in the game. You get to see why Directs are king, why defense trumps firepower, why bounce-back capability is so important against mass damage, and why unit match-up changes so affect the game. Hachi is at once the most powerful and most educational CO, and playing him for any length of time is a good way to improve your skills at the game in general.

Thank you for reading. Next up will be Sensei.