Let’s Play #43: Advance Wars

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advance wars
The first mission of the campaign.

Seventh in the “Famicom Wars” series, Advance Wars brings a great series of tactyical RPGs to the Gameboy Advance. From the same developers of Fire Emblem, the game plays out mostly the same but with some differences as well.

In Advance Wars, the player takes the role of an advisor for the army of Orange Star, which is attacked by the nation of Blue Moon . The player must order troops around a battlefield under the control of a CO (Commanding Officier) which provides the units special abilities.

Every mission has the objective of defeating all the enemy units or capture the enemy’s HQ. This is accomplished by moving units across the field and have them attack other units. After all units have moved, the other player takes a turn in the same fashion. Differently from the Fire Emblem series however, in Advance Wars every information and outcome of actions is laid out for all to see.

For this reason, many have compared a match of Advance Wars to a match of chess.

A bomber is very effective against ground units such as this poor Mid.Tank

The game gives the players all kinds of units: Tanks, veichles and soldiers travel by land and are genarally very useful but their movement is limited to the terrain type (woods slow down movement and mountains can only be crossed by soldiers for example) Helicopters and planes fly in the air and have no restricion of movement but at the same time they can’t take advantage of the cover the terrain offers. Finally ships and boats are generally quite powerful but can only move in the sea, and some of them can carry multiple units to move them across the map.

Other than units and terrain cover, players must also pay attention of the CO who’s commanding the units. Each CO modifies the base parameters of the units as well as having a special power which can be activated after suffering enough damage.

Drake is a CO who focuses on ships and boats but isn’t good with planes.

For example the protagonist Andy has basic units and his power restores 2 HP to all of his units. Andy’s friend Max has powerful direct combat units (like Tanks) but his distance units are weaker and can shoot less far. And the last CO of Orange Star, Sami, has weak tanks but stong soldiers, can capture cities faster, and her power allows her soldiers to move further and ignore terrain penalties for one turn.

Players must then make use of this knowledge too to best thier opponent.

While Advance Wars has a single-player mode (which is the one I’ve played through in the LP) the real fun begins in the multiplayer modes where you can challenge your friends. These mode offer unique maps, and customization for the matches such as “CO Power disable” to even things out even more, as well as a mode to create maps to fight in.

I’ve got to admit, that the first time I’ve played Advance Wars it felt kinda of overwhelming with all I had to think about. But trust me, as you keep playing you’ll realize how much rewarding and complex it is, and how much fun you can have.

In the LP, I went through the tutorial missions as well as the normal campaign (there’s an Advanced Campaign, but I’m not skilled enough to play it). Every episode of the campaign features one mission, so if you want to look at a specific one, just look for the episode with the same name.

Let’s Play’s stats:

-First episode aired on: Jun 5, 2019
-Last episode aired on: Aug 27, 2019
-Number of episodes: 40
-Total time of Let’s Play: 13 hours