A Guide to Tags in AWDS

Well there was a bunch of crap up here about our procedure and a link to the discussion thread, but the project's done. What we've basically found is that Tags are bogus and don't really change the game balance much, if at all. What this does mean is that the old assertion that "all Tags are broken" is false, so at least that's something. Now granted, the list that follows might be a little inaccurate. That being said, we also don't really care. There are nearly 400 Tags and COs on this list, and there are bound to be errors no matter how much balance testing you do.

Basically, Tag Breaks (TBs) are just glorified SCOPs. You would think that the whole two turns thing would matter more, but it really doesn't. Eagle is good for how frequently he gets two turns, not just getting them. A TB takes about a day longer to charge than its longest component SCOP assuming optimal charging. In other words, if a good enough SCOP hits before the TB, the power of the TB will cease to matter... which is exactly how SCOPs behave in single-CO play. So just like all the other game modes, Tags don't actually change anything major.

This is the map we used the most while getting the current list together:



This is the list
All 378 Tags and COs listed.

Tier 6
Hachi/Sensei 100** Grizzled Vets
Hachi/Colin
Hachi/Kanbei
Hachi/Sami
Hachi/Eagle
Hachi/Kindle
Hachi/Rachel
Hachi/Von Bolt 90
Hachi/Olaf
Hachi/Hawke
Hachi/Drake
Hachi/Sonja
Hachi/Jess
Hachi/Max
Hachi/Grimm
Hachi/Andy
Hachi/Koal
Hachi/Adder
Hachi/Sasha
Hachi/Nell
Hachi/Jugger
Hachi/Flak
Hachi/Jake
Hachi/Lash
Hachi/Javier
Hachi/Grit
Hachi
Sensei/Colin
Sensei/Kanbei 105
Sensei/Sami
Sensei/Eagle
Sensei/Kindle
Sensei/Rachel
Sensei/Von Bolt 90
Sensei/Olaf
Sensei/Hawke
Sensei/Drake
Sensei/Sonja 105
Sensei/Jess
Sensei/Max
Sensei/Grimm 110* Rolling Thunder
Sensei/Andy
Sensei/Koal
Sensei/Adder
Sensei/Sasha
Sensei/Nell
Sensei/Jugger
Sensei/Flak
Sensei/Jake
Sensei/Lash
Sensei/Javier 105
Sensei/Grit
Sensei

Tier 5
Colin/Kanbei
Colin/Sami
Colin/Eagle
Colin/Kindle
Colin/Rachel
Colin/Von Bolt 90
Colin/Olaf 105
Colin/Hawke
Colin/Drake
Colin/Sonja
Colin/Jess
Colin/Max
Colin/Grimm
Colin/Andy
Colin/Koal
Colin/Adder
Colin/Sasha 130*** Trust Fund
Colin/Nell
Colin/Jugger
Colin/Flak
Colin/Jake
Colin/Lash 90
Colin/Javier
Colin/Grit 105
Colin
Kanbei/Sami
Kanbei/Eagle
Kanbei/Kindle
Kanbei/Rachel
Kanbei/Von Bolt 90
Kanbei/Olaf
Kanbei/Hawke
Kanbei/Drake
Kanbei/Sonja 130*** Battle Standard
Kanbei/Jess
Kanbei/Max
Kanbei/Grimm
Kanbei/Andy
Kanbei/Koal
Kanbei/Adder
Kanbei/Sasha
Kanbei/Nell
Kanbei/Jugger
Kanbei/Flak
Kanbei/Jake
Kanbei/Lash
Kanbei/Javier 110* Code of Honor
Kanbei/Grit
Kanbei

Tier 4
Sami/Eagle 120*** Earth and Sky
Sami/Kindle
Sami/Rachel
Sami/Von Bolt 90
Sami/Olaf
Sami/Hawke
Sami/Drake
Sami/Sonja 110* Girl Power
Sami/Grimm
Sami/Andy 105
Sami/Koal
Sami/Adder
Sami/Sasha
Sami/Nell 105
Sami/Jugger
Sami/Flak
Sami/Jess
Sami/Max 105
Sami/Jake
Sami/Lash
Sami/Javier
Sami/Grit   
Sami
Eagle/Kindle
Eagle/Rachel
Eagle/Von Bolt 90
Eagle/Drake 115** Storm Watch
Eagle/Olaf
Eagle/Hawke 70
Eagle/Sonja
Eagle/Andy 115** Air Lift
Eagle/Jess 105
Eagle/Max
Eagle/Grimm
Eagle/Koal
Eagle/Adder
Eagle/Sasha
Eagle/Nell
Eagle/Jugger
Eagle/Flak
Eagle/Jake
Eagle/Lash 90
Eagle/Javier
Eagle/Grit
Eagle
Kindle/Rachel
Kindle/Von Bolt
Kindle/Olaf
Kindle/Hawke 80
Kindle/Drake
Kindle/Sonja
Kindle/Jess
Kindle/Max
Kindle/Grimm
Kindle/Andy   
Kindle/Koal 105*
Kindle/Adder
Kindle/Sasha
Kindle/Nell
Kindle/Jugger 105* Fireworks
Kindle/Flak
Kindle/Jake 90
Kindle/Lash
Kindle/Javier
Kindle/Grit
Kindle
Rachel/Von Bolt 90
Rachel/Olaf
Rachel/Hawke
Rachel/Drake
Rachel/Sonja
Rachel/Nell 130*** Windfall
Rachel/Jess
Rachel/Jake 120** Orange Crush
Rachel/Max
Rachel/Grimm
Rachel/Andy
Rachel/Adder
Rachel/Koal 65
Rachel/Sasha 105
Rachel/Jugger
Rachel/Flak
Rachel/Lash
Rachel/Javier
Rachel/Grit
Rachel
Von Bolt/Olaf 90
Von Bolt/Hawke
Von Bolt/Drake 90
Von Bolt/Sonja 90
Von Bolt/Jess 90
Von Bolt/Max 90
Von Bolt/Grimm 90
Von Bolt/Andy 90
Von Bolt/Koal
Von Bolt/Adder
Von Bolt/Sasha 90
Von Bolt/Nell 90
Von Bolt/Jugger
Von Bolt/Flak
Von Bolt/Jake 90
Von Bolt/Lash
Von Bolt/Javier 90
Von Bolt/Grit 90
Von Bolt
Olaf/Hawke
Olaf/Drake
Olaf/Sonja
Olaf/Jess
Olaf/Max
Olaf/Grimm
Olaf/Andy
Olaf/Koal
Olaf/Adder
Olaf/Sasha
Olaf/Nell
Olaf/Jugger
Olaf/Flak
Olaf/Jake
Olaf/Lash 80
Olaf/Javier
Olaf/Grit 115* Snow Patrol
Olaf
Hawke/Drake 90
Hawke/Sonja
Hawke/Jess 90
Hawke/Max
Hawke/Grimm
Hawke/Andy 105* Shaky Alliance
Hawke/Koal
Hawke/Adder 105 - Adder must initiate the Tag Break to gain the boost.
Hawke/Sasha
Hawke/Nell
Hawke/Jugger
Hawke/Flak
Hawke/Lash 110* Rebel Yell
Hawke/Jake
Hawke/Javier
Hawke/Grit
Hawke
Drake/Sonja
Drake/Jess 105
Drake/Max
Drake/Grimm
Drake/Andy
Drake/Koal
Drake/Adder
Drake/Sasha
Drake/Nell
Drake/Jugger
Drake/Flak
Drake/Jake
Drake/Lash
Drake/Javier
Drake/Grit
Drake

Tier 3
Sonja/Jess
Sonja/Max
Sonja/Grimm
Sonja/Andy
Sonja/Koal
Sonja/Adder
Sonja/Sasha
Sonja/Nell
Sonja/Jugger
Sonja/Flak
Sonja/Jake 
Sonja/Lash 105* Brainstorm
Sonja/Javier
Sonja/Grit
Sonja
Jess/Max
Jess/Grimm
Jess/Jake 110* Heavy Metal
Jess/Andy
Jess/Koal
Jess/Adder
Jess/Sasha
Jess/Nell
Jess/Jugger
Jess/Flak
Jess/Lash
Jess/Javier 110* Green Flash
Jess/Grit
Jess
Max/Grimm
Max/Andy 110* Power Wrench
Max/Koal
Max/Adder
Max/Sasha
Max/Nell 105
Max/Jugger
Max/Flak
Max/Jake
Max/Lash
Max/Javier
Max/Grit 110** Big Country
Max
Grimm/Andy
Grimm/Koal
Grimm/Adder
Grimm/Sasha 105
Grimm/Nell
Grimm/Jugger
Grimm/Flak
Grimm/Jake
Grimm/Lash
Grimm/Javier 105
Grimm/Grit
Grimm 
Andy/Koal
Andy/Adder
Andy/Sasha
Andy/Nell 105
Andy/Jugger
Andy/Flak
Andy/Jake
Andy/Lash
Andy/Javier
Andy/Grit
Andy
Koal/Adder 110* Creepy Crawly
Koal/Sasha
Koal/Jugger 110** Power Surge
Koal/Nell
Koal/Flak
Koal/Jake
Koal/Lash
Koal/Javier
Koal/Grit
Koal 
Adder/Sasha
Adder/Flak 105
Adder/Nell
Adder/Jugger
Adder/Jake
Adder/Lash 105 - Adder must initiate the Tag Break to gain the boost.
Adder/Javier
Adder/Grit
Adder

Tier 2
Sasha/Nell
Sasha/Jugger
Sasha/Flak
Sasha/Jake 105
Sasha/Lash
Sasha/Javier
Sasha/Grit
Sasha
Nell/Flak
Nell/Jugger
Nell/Jake
Nell/Lash
Nell/Javier
Nell/Grit
Nell
Jugger/Flak
Jugger/Jake
Jugger/Lash
Jugger/Javier
Jugger/Grit
Jugger
Flak/Lash 110* Bruise Cruise
Flak/Jake
Flak/Javier
Flak/Grit
Flak
Jake/Lash
Jake/Javier
Jake/Grit
Jake
Lash/Javier
Lash/Grit
Lash

Tier 1
Javier/Grit
Javier
Grit

How to Use These Tags (WIP)

As stated above, Tags behave the same as a CO. One thing not shown in the list above for the sake of organization is that Tags are generally a tier-and-a-half above where I've listed them. For example, Javier/Grit sits in between tier 2 and tier 3, which is to say it can beat COs like Nell and Jake, but not Adder or Max.

Primary and Secondary COs
In all but a few Tags, your component COs will divide their roles between being your primary and secondary commander. A few factors determine who takes what role:

Using TB: If you know you'll be using TB, you will need to plan a rotation based on bar length and power strength. Your primary is the CO who will be up front the most. Your secondary will pop out for a couple turns after the primary if they are to lead the TB, or a couple turns before if they are to end the TB.

Not Using TB: The fact is that not every Tag actually wants to use its TB, including firepower Tags. If one or both of the COs works better with COP, the (shorter-bar) COP user will be the primary. You will either want two COPs to every SCOP, or constantly trade off at the end of each COP. Unless there is a defensive benefit to the power (e.g. Sonja, Kanbei, Javier), you always want to switch after using one since the bars will continue to charge, eliminating post-power weakness. Eliminating post-power weakness is easily the biggest advantage to not using TB, and is what allows Tags like Hachi/Sensei to utterly dominate everything in existence.

Strength of the COs: If possible, the CO with the stronger day-to-day ability should take the lead. If the COs are roughly equal in capability, such as Colin and Kanbei, that's your sign that there is no primary/secondary relationship, as you will be using them about equally.

A note on Grit and Javier Tags:
Any Tag involving Grit is going to have the other CO be the primary, period. Grit is just there to give an extra turn when a Dual Strike rolls around. When he's not charged up, just use COP or SCOP with your primary CO.

Any Tag involving Javier is the same as Grit, unless there are towers available or your opponent is Grit. If towers are available, Javier will begin as your secondary CO and transition into a primary role when and if he surpasses the other CO's tier.

All this being said, let's take it from the bottom and work our way up.

Javier/Grit
On the list above, Tags are generally listed with COs in a lower tier being part of a higher CO's Tag. Within the same tier, I arbitrarily made certain COs "part of" another CO's Tag. In the case of Javier and Grit, however, they are each the sole member of the other's Tags. Now as I said earlier, a Tag from the first tier is technically in tier 2.5, making it better than the tier 2 COs just by teaming these guys up. So what makes this Tag so much better if its components can't beat those COs? It's the two turns aspect of a TB, plain and simple. Just pursue a standard build with Javier as your primary, switch to Grit at the fifth star, have him lead the TB. Lather, rinse, repeat. None of the SCOPs in the 2nd tier do enough damage nor grant enough defense to withstand a two-part assault, even if one part of that assault is Grit. It's important to note that in this and other Tags, the two-turn build that Eagle uses should be applied during any and all TBs for maximum advantage.

2nd Tier Tags
As stated above, Tags involving Javier and Grit don't vary much in their execution, so we are mostly going to skip them from this point forward. It's important to note that their Tags only get you as far as the next tier, not a whole tier-and-a-half. (Unless towers are involved, of course.)

Jake/Lash is fairly synergistic as Tags go. Both have decent enough offense on the day-to-day front, so using Lash as your primary and switching to Jake before TB won't require a huge change in strategy. When TB fires off, Jake will plow ahead trying to get his offense boost as much as possible while using his movement to get units in the thick of things. Lash will then finish making kills while trying to get units into as high-value terrain as possible for defense. This combination of offense followed by defense without sacrificing any day-to-day capability while switching makes this a very effective Tag in the first half of the tier list.

Pairing Lash with any of the luck COs is similar to Jake/Lash Tag, but with more universal and slightly random results. You don't get movement in the offense phase of the TB, but you do get potentially huge firepower boosts on every piece of terrain. You get the same trade-offs you get using them on your own: Nell has no negative luck, but Jugger and Flak get better averages. Either way, your assault will still try to break into the enemy line before Lash comes in and walls up. Given a choice, however, pick Flak over the others. Their 1 star affinity turns Flak into Jugger without the extra negative luck, and the firepower helps compensate for the offensive weaknesses of both COs.

Pairing Jake with a luck CO is an exercise in pure offense. You can use your COs any way you wish, and fire off TB in any order you wish. Use Jake when you want stability, and bring in the luck trio when it's time to roll the dice. I would advise using Jake first in TB if only for the movement boost, but it's not strictly necessary.

Using the luck COs in any combination is rolling the dice, but the nice thing about this trio is that you can tailor exactly how much you feel like rolling. Nell is a stabilizing factor. Pair her with Flak for his luck range, and you have a game that's about as stable as the luck game gets at this time. Pair her with Jugger instead for the extra range and get a little more risky. Either way, you'll use Nell for a more stable game, and the other CO when it's time to crack out the high averages. When Flak and Jugger are put together, though, your entire game will be one of high averages punctuated by a few duds. In any of these combinations, you'll be playing a very unpredictable game, and you'll need sufficient skill at adjusting your strategy to play the luck combos effectively.


You would think that Sasha's Tag would work better with a Market Crash strategy, but since most of her partners have powers that charge the enemy bar fairly quickly this would be an exercise in futility if you tried. You will instead use Sasha as a fund-gathering auxiliary to your other CO. It's also not a bad idea to use her during the capture phase to snowball some funds; the early Tank might not benefit her much, but the vast majority of her partners can put it to much better use. Sasha only has one Tag in the 2nd tier that I have anything to say about, so we'll focus on that one.
-Sasha gets a 105 boost with Jake as her partner. Jake will be your primary whether you lead with him or not. If you lead with Sasha your aim will be to use the extra firepower to gather cash and buy some higher tech units for Jake's turn. If Jake leads, then Sasha's turn will be spent gathering funds for a few extra units, making this a mini-spam duo. While this strategy is applicable to most of Sasha's Tags, this is the only one for this tier where she has the firepower to gain some meaningful funds.


3rd Tier Tags
Once again I will not be explaining these COs' relationships with Javier and Grit for the most part. However, three COs do have affinity with them, so I will cover those Tags. Beyond that, I will cover all Tags with COs from the second tier before I move on to the same-tier Tags.

Adder's Tags from the 2nd tier will always see him leading the Tag as a secondary CO.
-His first Tag is with Lash. This Tag is a little weird in that the firepower boost is only gained if Adder initiates TB, and only Adder gets the boost; most likely a programming oversight since Adder and Flak were added at the last minute. In any case, Lash has the longer bar and the stronger daily boost, so use her as your primary. Switch back to Adder when Lash is almost charged, finish charging, and initiate TB. The advantage of this Tag over Jake/Lash is Adder's universal movement, allowing him to move up soldiers for a ghetto-Victory March. You won't get as much firepower, but you do get it universally. As usual, Lash will finish for her defensive boost and some minor firepower. It's worth noting that Lash's defense matters more in Tags since the other CO has a chance to weaken the enemy first, limiting their ability to overcome her often-low boost.
-Adder's Tag with Jake is an exercise in offense. You'll still want Jake as the primary and Adder leading the Tag even if Adder is weaker. This is partly to exploit ghetto-Victory March with Adder, and partly to set up better positioning so that Jake has more opportunities to attack from plains.
-With the luck COs you will, again, want to lead with Adder. Any luck CO will give you some much-needed firepower on the second turn of TB, but given an option you should pick Flak for the 105 boost. The extra firepower helps Adder weaken the enemy and props up Flak's luck. (His high rolls are more devastating and his low rolls less of a handicap.)

Koal is similar to Adder in this tier, but with only a single named Tag. Said Tag does have a luck boost, unlike Adder's.
-When Koal Tags with Lash you basically get the same Tag as Adder with the strategy to go with it. The difference is Koal's high-but-situational boost versus Adder's low-but-universal one. On the other hand, Koal's daily boost gives you firepower on the one piece of terrain that Lash does not. Consider both factors when choosing your Tag.
-The Tag with Jake is very different, though, since either CO can make a good primary. Your order of use on TB will be determined by the layout of the map. If your assault is going to start out urban and then go off-road, Koal should lead. If it's the other way around, lead with Jake. You should try to lead with Koal if possible if only to assist with ghetto-Victory Marches.
-Koal's Tags with the luck COs are similar to Adder, but with an even more obvious preference: Jugger. On a daily basis their affinity turns Koal into Nell and Jugger into a monster. Jugger will be your primary, and Koal will lead Power Surge. The extra firepower makes Koal 120/110 off-road and 150/110 on them, giving you some decent one-shot potential even before Jugger comes out. When Jugger does come out, you have 120/110 stats mixing with a luck ceiling of 105 to produce so much chaos and destruction that your occasional dips of bad luck don't even matter.

Andy will give you a different game from the last two because of his healing. Interestingly, he has a Tag with yet another luck CO, making this a trio of sorts.
-In our first Tag, Lash should be the primary with Andy leading TB. Andy will fix up your front line and give you your offense boost, with Lash riding in second to shieldwall a bit.
-With the next Tag, Jake should be both your primary and the lead CO in TB, so you'll actually bring Andy out first for a bit. In TB, Jake should charge in with little concern for HP, though you shouldn't suicide any units this turn. Andy will come out and replenish these units enough to continue driving forward in a nice one-two punch.
-Like our last two COs, when given a choice team up with the CO you have a boost with. In this case, pick Nell for the 105 boost. Your primary doesn't matter too much, but for best results Nell should lead TB so that Andy can heal units for the second strike.

Now we have Grimm. Thanks to one of his affinity boosts, we'll actually have more to talk about here.
-Like the other two Direct COs, Grimm has a Tag in the first tier with Javier. The nice thing about using these two daily is that while Javier is bland on his turn, he at least doesn't suck. Their TB provides a decent boost to Grimm's offense, and if Grimm leads TB you eliminate his post-power vulnerability. That being said, pairing Grimm with anyone, much less Javier, will give you that same defensive advantage and typically some good boosts on top of it. Now, give this team a tower and it's a different story. On a daily basis you'll have a 140/80 Grimm and a 110/110 Javier screwing with the damage table, and you'll dish out so much damage on TB that Javier's defensive advantage may as well be Kanbei's for all the strike-back ability your opponent will be left with.
-On to Lash. Once again nothing too exciting. Use Lash to charge up the meter and switch to Grimm so he can lead TB. You'll do fairly high damage and be left with decent defense on Lash's turn.
-Jake is a little different. With his movement you'll actually want him leading TB to have Grimm in the thick of things on his own turn. While this does leave potential for post-power weakness, barring any disasters Grimm should be able to do enough damage on his own turn to eliminate any risk of a counter-attack. If you're already in close quarters to begin with, it may be worth delaying a bit to have Grimm light off first to melt the enemy front line before Jake surges ahead and claims more ground.
-Grimm has no particular preference for the luck COs, so just pick whoever suits your fancy. Lead TB with Grimm to avoid post-power weakness.
-His Tag with Sasha is the only one of hers I have anything to say about, for the same reasons as previous: her Tags aren't very special until she gets some bonus firepower. Grimm gets a above his normal SCOP firepower during the Tag Break, while you'll use Sasha to gather funds for some extra guys on your bases during round 2; and with the extra firepower she gets, she'll be able to do this better than for the other COs of this tier.

Max also has a Tag in the 1st tier, giving us a little more to talk about again.
-Max has a fairly boring Tag with Grit. They have a two-star affinity, so on a daily basis they do have Nell's luck. The TB firepower brings Max up to 200/110, and also gets Grit's Directs to 100/110, so at least we can say Grit doesn't completely suck on his turn. That being said, Max has better Tags to choose from.
-Max's Tag with Lash is nothing we haven't covered before. Lead with Max for offense, finish with Lash for defense.
-With Jake, follow a similar method to Grimm. If you're fairly spread out, lead with Jake to get Max into the thick of things. If you're already entrenched, lead with Max so that Jake can blitzkrieg ahead.
-Max has a 105 boost with Nell, so pick her if given the option. Max gets up to 195/110, clearing the way for Nell to come in and mop up.

Jess has a couple of interesting Tags below her tier, one of which is in the 1st tier.
-Jess' Tag with Javier is different from Grimm's in two ways. One is their affinity bonus giving both COs a decent luck factor. The other is a firepower bonus in Green Flash that doesn't suck. With or without towers you'll want Jess leading Green Flash so she get get Javier into the thick of things. Javier without towers is mostly there to mop up after Jess. If this duo does have a tower, Jess' SCOP firepower gets up to Grimm levels during Green Flash before Javier comes in with 150/140 stats and digs in. Take the other team's tower and it's Javier's show.
-With Lash as a partner, you have most of the defense bonuses of Javier while losing the affinity bonuses. As usual, lead with Jess and have Lash mop up and defend.
-With the Heavy Metal Tag, you basically have a better Green Flash unless towers are involved. Both COs have the same movement boost, and leading with either one will net you about the same results. However, you should usually lead with Jess and have Jake plow ahead, unless for some reason there are a whole bunch of enemies past the front line.
-Jess has no preference for any luck CO. Just lead with her to get into the thick of things and use the other CO like a damage bomb.

Sonja's defensive power is such that she take's over Lash's job for the 2nd tier. Her Tag with that CO is also the only one I have anything special to say about beyond, "Use the other CO as your primary and end TB with Sonja."
-Sonja's Brainstorm Tag with Lash opens up some minor luck and gives both COs an extra 5% firepower during Brainstorm itself. Lash will be your primary and will actually take the lead for once. End Brainstorm with Sonja for the best defensive boost.

With that out of the way, let's actually talk about some 3rd tier Tags.

Koal and Adder give you the Creepy Crawly Tag. This Tag nets these COs a minor luck boost and +10 firepower on Creepy Crawly itself. Koal has only one Tag with better luck, and for both COs this is as good as their firepower ever gets without force ranks. You have no primary here as you can change COs daily without significant difference. Lead with whoever happens to be out when Creepy Crawly is charged. The best strategy you can pull with these two is a Mech Rush, because each time Creepy Crawly lights off you'll be able to walk across the map with these little buggers. You basically get units that are better than Tanks for less than half the cost. (After this Tag Adder has nothing going for him in this tier, so use Koal if you have the option.)

Andy and Koal don't give you any Tag affinity at all, nor do you get quite the same degree of super movement as Creepy Crawly. What you do get is movement that's almost as good combined with healing and universal firepower on Andy's turn. Lead with Koal and avoid suiciding units, then let Andy come out and replenish your units for the second wave.

1 comment:

  1. On Max's Tags I believe you should mention Max + Sonja. As leading with Max on the tag with his 190A then ending with Sonja's ability to attack first when defending the following turn is much better than the mentioned Max + Lash tag.

    ReplyDelete