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CO Gauge Mechanics Guide by Xendrick

Updated: 02/25/12

Advance Wars: Dual Strike CO Gauge Mechanics FAQ

Written by Paul Lawson (Xendrick@gmail.com)


1.	Introduction

2. 	Basics
	-- Charging the CO gauge
	-- Factors affecting charge rate
	-- Exceptions

3.	Advanced Mechanics
	-- Unit Charge Values
	-- Diminishing returns
	-- Diminishing returns in survival mode
	-- DS battles
	-- Sasha
4.	Tactics
	-- Kamikaze
	-- Unit Selection
	-- Target selection
	-- Starving CPUs
	-- DS battles
	-- Black Bombs and Missile Silos
	-- Refraining from early excessive use of the CO power
	-- When to use Star Power

5.	Conclusion

1.				Introduction

After picking this game up once more after many years of it sitting idle in my
collection, I noticed a severe lack of information regarding the behaviour of
the CO Power meter both in-game and on the internet. 
As such, the aim of this FAQ is to explain the mechanics of the CO Power Meter
in a depth not found elsewhere. Ideally this should give you an understanding
of how it works and allow you to manipulate the charge rate of both you and
your opponents CO meter to your advantage.

Throughout this FAQ I've attempted to include a multitude of examples and 
formula to help explain the mechanics and perhaps put them in context.

Later on in the tactics section I've included some basic ideas on how you 
could use some of this knowledge to your advantage in-game.

Note that this FAQ assumes that the reader has some measure of experience in
how to play Advance Wars: Dual Strike.

2.				Basics

	--Charging the CO gauge:

There is only one condition that must be fulfilled in order for the CO gauge 
to be charged:

*A unit must take damage

	--Factors affecting charge rate:

There are a multitude of factors that will effect the rate at which the gauge 
is filled and they are as follows:

*The type of unit being damaged
	Each unit in Advance Wars: Dual Strike has an hidden value that dictates 
	the amount of charge will be given when it takes damage, for ease of
	communication this will be referred to as the charge value of a unit. 
	(Discussed later)

*The amount of damage dealt

	The amount of charge generated is linearly proportional to the damage 
	taken by a given unit.

*Whether or not a player has ownership over the unit  

	If you own the unit taking the damage, you will receive the full listed
	charge amount. However if you own the unit dealing damage, you will 
	recieve only half as much charge.   

*Whether or not a CO is in play or swapped out

	A swapped out CO will receive only half as much charge as the one
	currently in play.

*Star Power Skill

	A CO with the Star Power skill equipped will gain approximately 10% more
	charge than a CO without.

*Diminishing Returns

	The more frequently a power is used, the more it will take to fill the
	same number of stars. (Discussed in detail later)


*A CO will not recieve any charge while their CO or SCO power is in effect.

*Damage dealt by Missile Silos and Black Bombs do not charge the CO gauge

*A Black Bomb destroyed by it's own explosion does not charge the CO gauge

*Sea/Air units destroyed by running out of fuel does not charge the CO gauge

*Damage caused by an SCO or CO power does not charge the CO gauge.

*A unit being deleted will not charge the CO gauge.

*A unit inside a transport that is destroyed will not charge the gauge. 

3.				Advanced Mechanics

	-- Unit Charge values:

For sake of convenience, suppose that each star in a given CO Gauge has a base
capacity for 100 points. 

Each time a unit is dealt damage, the amount of charge generated is given by
the charge value of that unit multiplied by the % of damage inflicted modified
based on the factors given in the previous section and finally rounded down to 
the nearest multiple of 2.

Charge Values
Infantry:	0.4
Mech:		0.4
Recon		1	
APC			0.8
Artillery	1
Tank		1
Missiles	1.4
Rockets		1.4
Medium Tank	1.6
Piperunner	2
Neotank		1.8
MegaTank	2.2

T. Copter	1
B. Copter	1.2
Black Bomb	0.6
Stealth		2
Bomber		1.8
Fighter		1.8

Battleship	2.2
Carrier		2.2
Cruiser		1.6
Lander		1.2
Submarine	1.8
Black Boat	1

Example 1:

Suppose you were to play as Andy - a CO with gauge 6 stars long (600 points) -
and your opponent were to completely destroy a tank under your command, you 
would recieve 100 points of charge (1 star) and your opponent would recieve a
measly 50 points of charge (half a star).  

This means that you would need to lose 6 tanks before you could use your SCO 
power or alternatively destroy 12 of your opponent's tanks.

100*1 = 100

Example 2:

Suppose an recon unit under Andy's command attacks an opponent's mech and 
deals 50% damage while the counter attack deals 40% damage to Andy's recon,
Andy will gain 50 points of charge, while his opponent will gain 40 points.

1/2(50*0.4) + 40*1 = 10 + 40 = 50
50*0.4 + 1/2(40*1) = 20 + 20 = 40 

Example 3:

Suppose a tank under Andy's command attacks an opponent's tank and deals 50%
damage and the counter attack from the tank deals 30% damage to Andy's tank,
Andy will gain 54 points of charge, while his opponent will gain 64 points.
Each side losing 1 point to rounding.

1/2(50*1) + 30*1 = 25 + 30 = 24 + 30 (Rounded) = 54
50*1 + 1/2(30*1) = 50 + 15 = 50 + 14 (Rounded) = 64

	-- Diminishing Returns:

Each time a CO uses either their CO power or SCO power the amount required to
refill each star in their gauge increases by 20% of their base capacity, up to
a maximum of 280% of it's original (or base) capacity.

However at ten uses, the maximum capacity will be reduced to 200%

Example 1:

Hachi has an CO gauge that contains 5 stars and therefore a total capacity for
500 points. Should he use his CO power, the capacity of each star in the gauge
will increase by 20% resulting in a total capacity of 600 points. 

Should he then use a power again the capacity of each star in the gauge will
once more increase by 20% of the base 100 points and therefore individually 
increase from 120 to 140 and the total capacity from 600 to 700.

In affect, Hachi will have to kill an extra Megatank after every successive
use of his power in order to completely fill the bar.

However, on the tenth use of his power, the total capacity will be reduced to
1000 points or 200% of his base charge capacity and successive uses of powers
will not adjust the charge capacity after this point.

No. uses	Total Capacity	
0		500
1		600
2		700
3		800
4		900
5		1000
6		1100
7		1200
8		1300
9		1400
10+		1000

Example 2:

Hawke on the other hand has a gauge that is a whopping 9 stars long - or 900
points. In order to fill the bar he would need to destroy 18 Tanks and after
using his CO power the capacity would increase by 20% to 1080.

That is to say he would now need to kill 20 Tanks and 4 Infantry in order to
completely fill it the second time.

No. uses	Total Capacity
0		900
1		1080
2		1260
3		1440
4		1620
5		1800
6		1980
7		2160
8		2340
9		2520
10+		1800

	-- Diminishing returns in survival mode
An unusual but useful property of diminishing returns is that the CO gauge 
capacity resets between rounds in survival mode whilst the amount of stored 
charge does not.


Suppose you were to play as Andy on a survival mode map and use your powers 9
times, resulting in a total capacity of 280%.

If you were to finish the map with the CO gauge fully charged, upon starting
the new map you will have 16.8 stars of charge although the charge beyond the
regular 6 stars is hidden, they can however still be used as normal - allowing
for the SCO power/tag to be used twice consecutively.

If any charge is gained while there is excess charge, the hidden charge will
dissappear and the charge will be reduced to the current maximum capacity.

However, as the CO gauge cannot be charged while any power is in effect means
that you can safely deal/receive damage without resetting the charge so long
as you first use a power.


	-- DS battles

When the battle on the top screen of a DS battle is won, both COs from the 
winning team will receive charge equal to the amount of charge that would be
generated if all the allied units on the top screen were completely destroyed.


Suppose that at the moment of victory on the top screen your team commands 3 
Mechs, a Tank, two recons at 5 health and a bomber on 2 health.

The amount of charge generated would be -

	3(100*.4)	3 Mechs
+	1(100*1)	1 Tank
+	2(50*1)		2 Recons at 5 health
+	1(20*1.8)	1 Bomber at 2 health

=	356 points of charge

	-- Sasha

Sasha's CO power 'Market crash' reduces the amount of charge each CO has by 1
star per every 10,000 funds.

This means an individual opposing CO will lose charge given by the equation:


	m =	Amount of funds Sasha currently owns	
	n =	number of times that CO has used his/her powers

4.				Tactics

	-- Kamikaze

For the price the recon offers a surprisingly large amount of charge, while 
less than the Infantry for the price I find it is generally much easier to 
kill Recons thanks to their high movement rate and low armour.

If your opponent commands as much as a Medium Tank (or better - a Megatank)
then sending Recons to attack it will charge your CO meter at an incredible 
rate and burn through their ammo equally as fast.

	-- Unit Selection

Particularly early on in the game, keep in mind the charge values of various 
units. If you're going for an early tag it will often make sense to use more
cheaper units such as Infantry, Recons, Tanks and artillery as they give a 
larger amount of charge for their price compared to the more expensive units.

	-- Target selection

In certain situations avoid killing targets that don't pose a threat to you as
killing them may benefit your opponent more than letting them live.
For example avoid shooting Anti-Air, Missiles and Recons if you are in command
of a predominatly mechanised force as they pose little threat to your troops
and killing them will simply speed up the charge rate of your opponents gauge.

	-- Starving CPUs

A CPU player will not use a power unless it is fully charged at the beginning
of their turn. You can use this to your advantage by refraining from dealing
enough damage in your turn to fully charge their CO gauge. While putting their
power off for a turn may not seem of great significance, one turn is sometimes
enough for you to use your own power and get the first strike, or position
yourself to hinder the effectiveness of their power.

	-- DS battles

In a DS battle - should you be at an advantage on the top screen - figure out
how much more charge you're likely to need to pull off a tag power. If you can
afford it and have available bases, send Infantry and/or Recons to boost the
amount of charge you'll receive upon victory.

Alternatively if the battle is beyond the tipping point and about to lose, 
target the units that give the largest amount of charge to prevent them from 
gaining the full benefit of those units.

	-- Black Bombs and Missile Silos

In order to decrease the amount of charge your opponent gains, use Black Bombs
and Missile Silos to soften groups of targets before you kill them as they 
will not gain any charge from the damage sustained the explosion.

	-- Refraining from early excessive use of the CO power

Regardless of whether you use the SCO power or the CO power, the same amount 
of diminishing returns will kick in. If you are using a CO with a CO power 
that takes only a small amount of charge to use and are using it every chance
you get before long you'll find that it will take a huge amount of time to 
save up for a tag or a SCO power. So only use your regular CO power when you 
know the benefits will be worth it.

However later into an engagement once you've reached the 5+ uses it will be of
little consequence as the diminishing returns will already be in full effect.

Alternatively, if you can pressure your opponent into using a CO power early,
you'll be at an advantage when you're able to pull off your SCO power much 
sooner than they.

	-- When to use Star Power

While the Star Power skill may seem like a good choice for all situations, if
you're using a combination of characters where one spends a much larger amount
of time in play compared to the other, you may find that a lot of the power
may be going to waste.

For example, when I use Kanbei and Sonja, typically Kanbei will spend 90% of 
the time on the field and Sonja will be swapped out. If I were to use the Star
Power skill on Kanbei, a large amount of the extra charge will simply put to
waste while waiting for Sonja's gauge to catch up seeing as I prefer to save
up for their 130% tag. 

5.				Conclusion

While I know this guide comes about half a decade late, I hope that if you've
decided to pick up this brilliant title again - or for the first time - that
you'll have learnt a thing or two to grant you an edge over your opponents.

If you've read this and have something to add or have found a mistake, feel
free to email me (Xendrick@gmail.com) and share your thoughts.

Special thanks to Luke for being my human spellchecker <3

And an even special-er thanks to Fidel for pointing out a few mistakes that
would have went unnoticed if it wasn't for his highly informative email!

Copyright 2012 Paul Cameron Giles Lawson

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