Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp Cadet Guide: Strategical Tips and Tricks

The strategist's handbook for aspiring Commanding Officers: Everything you need to know to emerge victorious from this major tactical challenge.

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Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising were two historic tactical combat games for the Game Boy Advance because, on the one hand, they showed you their friendly and cute side with their adorable pixel-art graphics and, on the other, they beat you up mercilessly with their combat suite. Meanwhile, you couldn't help but get hooked on their addictive gameplay systems. Now, Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp has debuted for Nintendo Switch as a prettier title for those who don't want to play the 2000s original, but are still looking for the series' iconic hard-hitting challenges.

We recommend anyone who has experience in the strategy genre to leave the game on Classic difficulty, and for newcomers to start with Casual. This can be changed during the campaign, with the difference being that Classic rewards more coins used to buy items in Hachi's Shop.

That said, pay attention, because no matter how much you boast about your strategist skills you are nothing more than a cadet in front of the AI systems of this title. One false move and in many missions you will end up defeated, so we at Gamereactor have written this war guide full of tricks, tips and recommendations that you will appreciate knowing before you start your campaigns, during them if they are posing to be too much of a challenge, or if you are looking for Rank S. Let's begin.

I wish I had been told these Advance Wars tricks before I started playing.

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Restarting a turn, the blessing of this remake

Alas, I could have used this twenty years ago.... In Re-Boot Camp, if you 'screw up' when moving a unit, this time it has a solution. In the old days you had to Surrender in the Options and retry the mission, but now, if you realise you've messed up during your own turn, you can Restart the turn in the same Options, and this comes in handy when you give the final review before declaring "End of turn" and letting your enemy exploit your cluelessness.

This can also be used to test a little, to see the enemy's behaviour and, above all, to learn from the map and the position of enemy units when there is fog of war. This trick is a bit of a dirty one, we know, but you have to outsmart your opponent in everything... and no one can outsmart a machine.

Surrendering gives a clue (or several)

In any case, many missions will go wrong or you will make a few test turns and end up using the Surrender option. In these cases (in Campaign, not in War Room) notice that the OCs and troops comment a little on the defeat and usually leave some additional advice to face the mission. Sometimes these recommendations are very good (and sometimes very basic). By the way: they are not always the same; if you fail again, don't run past the dialogue.

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Keep an eye on the enemy OC's Power and Superpower metre

If the enemy's bar is about to fill up, you can calculate that, except for Maverick, they will normally use it next turn, and so calculate your moves based on what they will be able to do. For example, in the case of Adder, his units will gain an extra square of movement, so if you've left your bomber at the edge of range of an anti-aircraft, the power will reach you.

The same goes for those that change their visibility, their attack or defence, or the passive effects they cause on your army, such as snow or damaging rain. Also, enemies tend to be more aggressive when attacking with their OC Power. Finally, keep in mind that when the enemy has just used their Power and it's active, actions that turn will not refill their bar, so when it's your turn you can attack without fearing that it will refill as well.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

Calculate when to use OC's Power

Similarly, at first it seems logical to use the OC Power right at the start of the turn once the metre is full, for example Andy's Mega-Repair or Kanbei's Moral Force, but in other cases you will have to save it for the next turn depending on the situation or in the same turn, but after moving some units.

For example, Eagle's OC Superpower, Lightning Attack, allows you to move non-foot units again, an incredible advantage that you should obviously take advantage of once you've acted on all those units in a turn. Likewise, Sensei 'drops' an infantry or mechanised unit (if it's a Super Power) into each city on his side, so it's in your best interest not to have any units on top of those buildings.

How to skip OC Power animations

Pending an update that allows you to skip these anime sequences, there is currently no option to skip them (e.g. you can skip dialogue by pressing Plus during them) and you will have to endure the enemy special every time. We have tested the different animation settings, but they only refer to the conquest and battle animations, as in the original, leaving out the OC Power animations. If you want to try them out, press A in a free box or Plus anywhere and go to Options: Anim. C to show only the players' battle animations.

Combine to gain funds

In case you didn't know, when the combination of two units exceeds the maximum of 10 HP, the remainder is added to your funds, which can come in handy to earn you some money and get a stronger unit out of your bases, ports or airfields.

  • Tip: As all infantry or mechanised units that Sensei generates with his OC powers appear with 9 HP, if cities are nearby you can combine several in pairs to make a lot of money in a short time.

By the way, the CPU doesn't tend to combine much... keep this in mind for your strategy when you see several enemy units depleted.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot CampAdvance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

Listen to him: stop by Hachi's Shop from time to time.

Hachi is a bit of a pain in the ass, and after every mission he keeps insisting that you go to his shop to spend your newly earned coins. He's right, because we spent a few hours with the maximum of 9,999 coins, so we weren't saving any more. Stop by every few hours, buy OCs and missions for the Battle Room, and save the music and galleries for last.

The fighter takes up space

When you start using air units, remember that they are not on two planes, but occupy the same squares as land or sea units. If there are no anti-aircraft, fighters or missiles in range, this can be useful for something as simple as protecting ground units with fighters or bombers. Just bear in mind that helicopters can be attacked from below...

The Artillery trick

The CPU has a slightly odd behaviour with artillery that you can take advantage of. If you block such a unit at a bottleneck (e.g. a bridge), you can put infantry in front of it and it won't move. Your unit will be out of range and the CPU will just stand there, not retreat to make way for its other units, even taking damage when you want to do it. If you take too much out of it, it will decide to go back to repair, but in the meantime it can be very useful to bog the enemy down cheaply and without damage.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot CampAdvance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

The AI's obsession with APC

If the CPU sees an APC (Armoured Transport Carrier), it will definitely go for it. It has an obsession and can't help itself. It prioritises these units that carry resources to others and can carry infantry and mechanised units, even ahead of more obvious targets. Use this knowledge to your advantage and even consider sometimes placing an APC as cannon fodder: they are tough and will hold up to several onslaughts in cities and forests.

Infantry AI's quirks

Similarly, CPU foot soldiers will choose to capture cities they have on the way... even if your HQ is very close and unprotected! Don't be afraid to leave it at that, because they have a habit of entertaining themselves along the way.

How to unlock the Challenge Campaign difficulty level

Hachi sells it to you for 1 coin... but then tells you he's joking and gives it to you for free. The Challenge Campaign will appear as a new save game file with its own slot, percentage and play time, so you won't be able to switch between levels like you did with Classic and Casual.

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