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So far DoR has been my first and only AW game and I have been stuck on it for at least 7 years due to various setbacks or just loss of Will(power) to go on. The first time I got stuck was on the infamous Ch 14. I would try and try but still wasn't able to get through it so I let a friend borrow it. After getting it back since he is not good at strategy games and just messed around with map creator I noticed he somehow accidentally erased my file. So I worked my way back up to 14 and after 60 or more days I finally beat it by somehow getting a gunboat onto the bridge his base is connected to, blocking all of his units from moving since he didn't know how to get past it. I felt accomplished, I had the willpower to go farther than ever. Then I got to the Creeper and my willpower dwindled away.
I for some reason couldn't find out how to get past this map. So I gave up for a while and came back to it a while later. I found out a tactic to do. Bomber rush the Talon Gun since that's all you needed to do to win and it worked. so having gotten my willpower back I advanced forward. Making it all the way to the even more infamous Ch 20. This is where my willpower dwindled for a final time this playthrough. So the friend from before wanted to borrow it again since a couple years had passed since the first time he borrowed it and he wanted to test out his skills again. I told him not to delete it again and showed him what not to do so he wouldn't. A few weeks later I got it back and lo and behold the file was deleted again. This had dropped my willpower all the way down so I dropped the game for a long while.
Then one day I got the sudden urge to play it again after noticing it while looking through my library. This time I got to Ch 14 and beat it at around 40 days, so an improvement from before and made it all the way to 20 again. After 26 turns I was able to finish it. I was happy that I got over that hurdle and rode on to Ch 22 where I got stuck again. I could not get through this chapter after many tries so I dropped the game again for a couple more years.
Then about 2 years ago I was making a topic somewhere about listing favorite VGM. I ended up discovering the AW DoR OST after a while and that brought the will to play it back again. So I started a new game while keeping my old file and was blazing through it. I took out Ch 14 in 19 days, S ranking it. Ch 20 in 28 days also S ranking it. My determination was sky high after defeating those maps that gave me so much trouble in the past easily. I made it all the way to my rival Ch 22 and after a few tries.... I finally beat it with 27 days on the clock. After getting double the S ranks that I did in my other file I have made it to ch 25 which seems like it's going to be a tough one. I have not tried it yet but have heard the stories about how it is also one of the harder maps but no matter what happens I am finishing this game.
No idea why I typed this but here it is
I'm fighting for my freaking friends over here!
I also have only played this game, but while I have beaten it, I have not S-ranked 11 stages (including some of the ones you've mentioned).
Yeah, this game can be quite brutal. There's a lot of attrition that you don't get in strategy games like Fire Emblem, where there are a finite number of characters. It's really important to maintain momentum, because otherwise the game just stalls, and you don't get anywhere. I'm currently dreading S-ranking Chapter 19 (Lin's Gambit). It's just all of those Rockets make it tedious, and making a landing isn't too easy, either.... My personal stopping point was clearing Chapter 15 (Icy Retreat) for the first time. I had to look it up in a guide, because I kept trying to hold back my enemies with a few units, not getting rid of the Meteor to open up the path for Gage's Infantry. By the way, just like with Chapter 17 (The Creeper), Chapter 26 is best done by rushing through with powerful units. If you let it go on too long, it just keeps mounting in difficulty, and it quickly becomes impossible. (You'll see what I mean when you get there.)
Personally, I found chapter 25 to not be too hard if you're willing to give it time. The computer loves to use Fighters, but since Bombers are too pricey to be useful in all but a remote few cases, and B-Copters are extremely replaceable, I don't worry about them. The computer will never build Missiles, nor Rigs. I don't know why, but take advantage of it by killing her Missiles at the beginning (one of them requires a bit of luck to kill, since the Tank and Duster need to dish out a combined total of "luck" damage of 12 or more; the average is 11) and you won't ever have to worry about them again. Also, use your Mech to get that Airport. It's far more important than saving your Mid Tank 1 HP of damage, you know? Oh, and keep your own supply of Missiles. They're not horribly expensive, and if you can use them to keep each other safe, Tabitha will only send her Bombers in at extremely awkward (for her) times, without accomplishing much. I have seen her send Bombers to get one of my Infantry who was in a Forest. She didn't kill it, but she did upgrade my Missiles to veteran status. She also sends Fighters out to kill innocuous (for the moment) B Copters, and Dusters to hurt my Missiles (by exactly the amount they repair for being on a city, too!).
Some notable things about damage:
Level I gives +5% attack, Level II +10% attack, and Veterans get both +20% attack and +20% defense. That last part is very useful for Tire A ranged units (which are very important in this chapter), since a lot of things that would kill an ordinary one won't quite make it, allowing you to heal it nearby, so you don't have to drag another one all the way out there. Similarly, the CO Zone gives +10% attack and defense to all units, with the stars each giving an additional +10% attack or defense. (So Will gives air, sea, and ranged units +10%/+10%, but direct land units +30%/+10%. Tabitha gives every unit +60%/+60%, which is why her CO Unit is important to take out before her CO Zone grows.) These are added up, rather than compounded, so Tabitha's CO Unit (remember, CO Units are automatically at veteran level) gets +80%/+80%. But attack is divided by the opposing defense, so Will's CO Unit War Tank attacks Tabitha's for 150/180 times the normal amount (5/6). Of course, she just gets one unit, and it's often something ineffective like a Duster or a Fighter, but when it's a War Tank? Get the Rockets in place, pronto! (or prevent it from getting back to a city, since the machine gun isn't too bad to deal with once it loses its 5 cannon blasts)
Sorry, can't talk; switching feet!
4 weeks in and I'm finally getting around to it. Thanks for the advice Blanket
I'm fighting for my freaking friends over here!
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