Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising Walkthrough

The Black Hole army has mustered an invasion force and threatens Wars World once again. It's time to rally the troops!

By Doug Radcliffe
Design by Katie Bush

It's time to rally the troops! The Black Hole army has mustered an invasion force and threatens Wars World once again. Command Andy, Grit, and Eagle alongside a host of new COs as you wage war in defense of your land. Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, Nintendo's sequel to the immensely popular Advance Wars, features new super CO powers, the new neotank unit, and a challenging new story campaign.

The GameSpot Game Guide to Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising includes:

Chapter 1: General Strategies

This section offers general strategies for succeeding in Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising campaign missions.

  • One of the most important things to remember about combat is that if you have the same unit as the enemy, and the same number of hit points, you will almost always do more damage if you are the one initiating battle. Take advantage of this by checking nearby enemy units' attack ranges before moving, and then move right outside their range so you draw them within yours to get the initiative the next turn.
  • You're rated on three categories in each campaign mission. The categories are speed, power, and technique. A combination of all three ratings determines your rank for the mission (S-rank is the best while A, B, C, etc follow from there). Finishing the campaign with an average of an S-rank unlocks Sturm as a usable CO in non-campaign games. To achieve a high speed rating, simply complete the mission as quickly as possible. To achieve a high power rating, you must be efficient in destroying enemy units (10% in a single day). Finally, to achieve a high technique rating, you must not lose more than 20% of your units produced or what you begin the mission with. To assist in achieving a high technique score, build lots of units near the end of the mission so your total units produce is much higher.
  • Several campaign missions feature unique enemy weaponry, such as large cannons or lasers. In the same way you can check any enemy unit to determine its movement or firing range, you can also check the firing range of any of these unique weapons. It's extremely important to do so. You don't want to move any of your units into the firing range of an enemy weapon. You'll suffer unnecessary damage and could leave the unit extremely vulnerable to a future attack. Take the time each turn to survey these unique weapons and avoid moving any of your units there.
  • Making wise combat decisions can keep your units healthy. Let's say you and the enemy each have a medium tank about to face off in a duel. But you also have an indirect-fire unit in range. Instead of attacking with your medium tank first, use the indirect-fire unit to weaken the enemy medium tank. That way, when you do attack with the medium tank, you overpower the enemy and will do more damage and suffer less damage in the counterattack!
  • Understand the unit strengths and weaknesses (check out the unit guide section of this game guide) and never fight a losing battle. For instance, don't send your infantry unit against the enemy's anti-air unit.
  • If a unit occupies the space that holds a base, airport, or port, then that structure can't build additional units until the unit on the space is moved. Use this to your advantage! Move a unit onto an enemy base to prevent reinforcements. It may also save your skin as well. Put a unit on your headquarters to prevent enemy infantry from moving on top and attempting a capture. It may hold off the attack long enough for you to generate your own reinforcements!
  • Just as you should understand unit strengths, also understand your CO's strengths. Don't bother creating indirect-fire weapons as Max. But as Grit, build artillery and rocket launchers until you can't build them anymore!

  • APCs can be essential in the early game in capturing properties that would normally take several days to reach. Build an APC and load it with an infantry unit. Send the APC toward the far property but don't go beyond an infantry's movement range to the property. Then in the same turn, drop off the infantry unit toward the property (which counts as a turn for the infantry unit). If you do this correctly, then on the next day, you can move the infantry unit to the property and begin capture, while sending the APC back to your factory for another pickup--all in the same turn. Likewise on the return trip, move back just close enough so infantry can board on the next turn--no further, so you can maximize the distance covered.
  • Study the CO powers and use them to your best advantage. Eagle's super CO power gives his vehicular units a fresh turn. Don't use it until you've already moved them all! For CO powers that inflict damage (like Drake), use the CO power before you attack the enemy's units, to maximize your advantage in your upcoming duels.
  • A direct-fire unit can only attack an enemy unit on an adjacent tile (not diagonal). Thus, you can protect units from enemy direct-fire units by simply surrounding your unit with other units. Those units will come under attack but the surrounded unit can only be assaulted by indirect-fire units. You can use this strategy to protect your own indirect-fire unit or keep the enemy at bay as you capture the headquarters.
  • Your CO's power meter increases depending on how much damage you've inflicted and how much damage you've sustained. It increases more quickly for the defender (100%), not the attacker (50%)! Each "star" on the CO power meter represents $9,000 resources. It's calculated directly from the unit's cost. So if you attack a medium tank (base price of $16,000) and inflict five hit points of damage, you increase your CO power meter by $4,000, which is the cost of the medium tank ($16,000) times 50% (because you did half damage to the tank), times 50% again (because you're the attacker).
  • Keep terrain bonuses in mind when deciding where to move and attack. Roads, bridges, rivers, and shorelines offer little defensive cover. Attack from mountains, woods, cities and bases whenever possible because they provide much better defensive bonuses to your units. They also make good places to park your units as you advance.

Chapter 2: COs and Units

This section compiles Advance War 2 campaign COs and units and provides important data about each one and its abilities.

Andy

Army: Orange Star
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then three more stars for super.
CO Power: Hyper Repair--Restores two hit points to all units.
Super CO Power: Hyper Upgrade--Restores five hit points to all units. Firepower rises, and unit movement increases by one space.

Andy has no real weaknesses or strengths. He's proficient with air, sea, and land units, and ready to fight wherever and whenever.

Max

Army: Orange Star
CO Powers Requirements: three stars for normal, then three more stars for super.
CO Power: Max Force--Firepower of direct-combat units rises slightly, and unit movement increases by one space.
Super CO Power: Max Blast--Direct-combat units receive firepower boost, and their movement increases by two spaces.

Max's non-infantry, direct-fire units are tops, but his indirect-combat troops are limited in range and firepower. Max gains 50% in direct-fire unit strength but loses 10% in indirect-fire unit strength as well as one space to indirect-fire attack range.

Sami

Army: Orange Star
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then five more stars for super.
CO Power: Double Time--Infantry and mech units receive a movement bonus of one space. Their attack strength increases as well.
Super CO Power: Victory March--Increases all foot soldiers' movement range by two spaces. They can capture in one turn even if they're not at full hit points.

Being an infantry specialist, Sami's foot soldiers move farther, capture faster, and cause more damage. She's weak against vehicles. Sami receives a 20% boost to infantry strength but loses 10% to direct-fire vehicles. Her default infantry also capture 50% faster.

Olaf

Army: Blue Moon
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then four more stars for super.
CO Power: Blizzard--Causes snow to fall, which adversely affects all units except his own.
Super CO Power: Winter Fury--A mighty blizzard reduces enemy movement and causes two hit points of damage to all deployed enemy troops.

Olaf's special powers cause a one-day snowfall, which reduces the power of enemy units and inhibits their ability to move. Enemy vehicles won't be able to move more than two spaces, while infantry are limited to one during the snowfall. Olaf's own units retain their normal movement privileges and are bolstered in combat.

Grit

Army: Blue Moon
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then three more stars for super.
CO Power: Snipe Attack: Increases range of distance weapons by one space. Attack strength of these units also increases.
Super CO Power: Super Snipe: Distance weapons can shoot two spaces farther than normal. They also receive a firepower bonus.

The range on Grit's distance weapons is one space greater than the indirect-fire units of other COs. They cause more damage, too. Grit is weak in direct combat, though. His infantry and direct-fire units are reduced in strength by 20%; indirect-fire unit power is increased by 10%, along with the extra attack range. Super snipe, Grit's super CO power, nearly doubles the attack power of his indirect-fire units.

Colin

Army: Blue Moon
CO Power Requirements: two stars for normal, then four more stars for super.
CO Power: Gold Rush--Increases deployment funds by one and a half times.
Super CO Power: Power of Money--Uses wealth to increase the strength of weapons. The more funds available, the stronger the weapons become.

Colin is the heir to a vast fortune, and he purchases all units at a special low price. His troops' low firepower stems from his lack of experience. All of Colin's default units are reduced in power by 20%--but they are also 20% cheaper, so he can have more deployed.

Kanbei

Army: Yellow Comet
CO Power Requirements: four stars for normal, then three more stars for super.
CO Power: Morale Boost--Increases attack strength of all units.
Super CO Power: Samurai Spirit--Strengthens offensive and defenses abilities of all units. Damage inflicted when counter-attacking is multiplied one and a half times.

All of Kanbei's units have high offensive and defensive abilities (a 20% advantage) but are more expensive to deploy. This means he won't be able to deploy as many!

Sonja

Army: Yellow Comet
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then two more stars for super.
CO Power: Enhanced Vision--Increases the vision range of all units by one space and allows them to see into woods and reefs.
Super CO Power: Counter Break--Increases the vision range of all units by one space and allows them to see into woods and reefs. Counterattacks are slightly stronger.

All of Sonja's units have an extended vision range in fog of war. She also hides hit points intel from her foes and her counterattacks are slightly stronger.

Sensei

Army: Yellow Comet
CO Power Requirements: two stars for normal, then four more stars for super.
CO Power: Copter Command--Attack copter firepower increases. Infantry units with nine hit points appear in all allied cities, ready to be moved.
Super CO Power: Airborne Assault--Attack copter firepower increases. Mech units with nine hit points appear in all allied cities, ready to be moved.

A former paratrooper rumored to have been quite the CO in his day.

Sensei has powerful infantry and high movement range on his transports. He also boasts superior firepower for copters, but is weak against naval and vehicle units. His infantry unit power is increased by 10% but he suffers a loss of 10% to ground and sea-based direct-fire units.

Eagle

Army: Green Earth
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then six more stars for super.
CO Power: Lightning Drive: Air unit offensive and defensive abilities are increased.
Super CO Power: Lightning Strike: Improves offense and defense of all air units. Additionally, all non-infantry units that have carried out orders can move again.

Eagle's air units use less fuel than those of other armies. They have superior offense and defense, too. Eagle's naval units are weak, though. Air unit power is increased 10% but naval units suffer at a loss of 20%.

Drake

Army: Green Earth
CO Power Requirements: four stars for normal, then three more stars for super.
CO Power: Tsunami--Causes a tidal wave that does one hit point of damage to all enemy units and reduces their fuel by half.
Super CO Power: Typhoon--Causes a tidal wave that does two hit points of damage to all enemy units and reduces their fuel by half. Hinders enemy movement.

Drake's naval units move one space more than other armies' ships do, and their defenses are higher. Movement isn't affected by rain. Naval unit defense is increased by 20% but air units suffer a loss of 20% power.

Jess

Army: Green Earth
CO Power Requirements: three stars for normal, then three more stars for super.
CO Power: Turbo Charge: Movement range of vehicles increases by 1 space. Firepower increases and fuel and ammo supplies are also replenished.
Super CO Power: Overdrive: Increase in the attack strength of vehicular units and 2-space increase in movement range. Also restores fuel and ammo supplies.

Jess' vehicular units have superior attack power. Her infantry, air, and naval units are comparatively weak. Superior units are bolstered 10% while weaker units are underpowered by 10%.

Unit Guide

The following offers stats for each unit and reveals their strengths and weaknesses against other units. Note that all stats are base stats. For instance, Colin's units are cheaper but Kanbei's units are more expensive. Also note that movement stats and range stats may differ between COs.

Infantry

Cost: 1,000
Movement: 3
Vision: 2
Gas: 99

Strengths: Infantry are used to capture neutral and enemy buildings, which is key to generating income to fund your war machine. It's also important to capture other bases, airports, and ports to build front line units, air units, and naval vessels. Additionally, infantry can climb a mountain to gain a wider sight range, and cross terrain that vehicular units cannot (such as rivers and mountains). In an equal battle, infantry should only be used to attack other infantry.

Weaknesses: Infantry are weak versus nearly every other unit type other than enemy infantry. Be especially wary of anti-air units, which can wipe out infantry in a single burst with little or no damage.

Mech

Cost: 3,000
Movement: 2
Vision: 2
Gas: 70
Ammunition: 3

Strengths: Mech units can capture bases like infantry but their movement is one space less, which makes infantry much better for any capture jobs. The mechs are superior to infantry because they carry bazookas as their primary weapon. Though they only carry three shots, the mechs are much more effective than infantry against vehicular units, primarily recons, rockets, and missiles (though they fare decently against anti-air and normal tanks). If you're out of bazooka ammo, the mech reverts to a machine gun, which makes it like an infantry unit, but slower.

Weaknesses: Mech units are very weak once their bazooka ammunition runs dry but are quite useful as a cheap defensive unit against enemy armor. They are also decent attackers against armor but will still be wiped out if attacked by an anti-air unit.

Recon

Cost: 4,000
Movement: 8
Vision: 5
Gas: 80

Strengths: Recon units are extremely mobile with awesome vision range, which makes them invaluable in games or missions with fog of war enabled. Recons aren't too strong on the attack however, and are best used attacking infantry, other recons, or an indirect-fire unit at close-range.

Weaknesses: Recon units will not inflict much damage against armored units and will get crushed by attacking mechs, tanks, medium tanks, neotanks, or indirect-fire barrages.

APC and Tanks

APC

Cost: 5,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 1
Gas: 70

Strengths: APCs are used to transport an infantry unit quickly. The APC should be used to get the infantry unit to a far property for capture and can also be used to supply mobile field units with additional ammunition and gas (even air and sea units). Simply park your APC adjacent to any unit and select "supply" to supply all adjacent units with gas and ammunition. This will also be done automatically at the beginning of a turn if an APC is adjacent to a friendly unit.

Maximize your infantry's movement by positioning your APC at the edge of your infantry's movement range. Then move the infantry onto the APC then move the APC to its max range and drop off the infantry on the far side. The infantry just moved a very far distance in a single turn!

Weaknesses: Has no attack, which leaves it very vulnerable. The APC has decent armor but will still not withstand much punishment from mechs and any tank or indirect-fire unit.

Tank

Cost: 7,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 3
Gas: 70
Ammunition: 9

Strengths: At less than half the price of a medium tank, the standard tank can complete most battle tasks nicely. The tank features a secondary machine gun to use against infantry; and it's highly effective. With ammunition, the tank is a dominating force against recons and indirect-fire units, and works well against an anti-air unit. Don't bother attacking a medium tank or neotank of equal hitpoint strength.

Weaknesses: Avoid indirect-fire, as you should with any unit, and beware of stronger tanks, the medium and neotank. Attacking mechs also have an advantage over the tank.

Medium Tank

Cost: 16,000
Movement: 5
Vision: 1
Gas: 50
Ammunition: 8

Strengths: A much more powerful version of the standard tank. The medium tank also features a machine gun and can be an effective infantry killer. It also dominates recons, anti-airs, tanks, indirect-fire units, and anti-air units. You will suffer more damage in an attack against a neotank, however.

Weaknesses: Don't fight neotanks! And steer clear of indirect-fire barrages, which will definitely punish the medium tank.

Neotank

Cost: 22,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 1
Gas: 99
Ammunition: 9

Strengths: The expensive granddaddy of tanks is strong against every other ground unit type.

Weaknesses: Don't be within range of indirect-fire weapons!

Indirect-fire and Anti-aircraft units

Artillery

Cost: 6,000
Movement: 5
Vision: 1
Gas: 50
Ammunition: 9
Range: 2 to 3

Strengths: Artillery are good ranged attack units but they're certainly not as good as the rocket launcher. Artillery deal great damage to infantry units and can deal strong damage against the lighter vehicles (medium tanks and neotanks are more resistant).

Weaknesses: Keep the artillery behind a screen of units to prevent the enemy from getting too close. As an indirect-fire unit, artillery can't fire at anything adjacent to itself. You can use a couple of indirect-fire weapons adjacent to each other to cover these blind spots.

Rockets

Cost: 15,000
Movement: 5
Vision: 1
Gas: 50
Ammunition: 6
Range: 3 to 5

Strengths: Offers very strong damage at a very long-range against all enemy ground and naval units.

Weaknesses: Rockets are similar to the artillery--keep them safely behind defenders. Bear in mind that rockets have more blind spots than artillery. Anything within two spaces of a rocket is inside of its range.

Anti-Air

Cost: 8,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 2
Gas: 60
Ammunition: 9

Strengths: Although its name might imply that this unit is only strong against air units, the anti-air is also a dominant infantry killer--it can wipe out an equal infantry or mech group without suffering damage. And as the name suggests, it can annihilate air units!

Weaknesses: Avoid tanks like the plague and being attacked by a bomber. If you're the attacker, the anti-air performs well but not the other way around!

Missiles

Cost: 12,000
Movement: 4
Vision: 5
Gas: 50
Ammunition: 6
Range: 3 to 5

Strengths: Long-range anti-air unit. The missile launcher can destroy all air units in a single barrage (given equal hit points).

Weaknesses: Missiles can be a pricey investment if you don't protect them against enemy ground forces, from which the missile launcher has no defense. Also, like the anti-air unit, don't let the bomber attack first!

Air Units

Transport Copter

Cost: 5,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 2
Gas: 99

Strengths: Transport copters can carry one infantry or mech unit, just like the APC. Unlike the APC, transport copters do not supply nearby units.

Weaknesses: Avoid anti-air, missile launchers, cruisers, battle copters, and fighters. The transport copter has no way of fighting back!

Battle Copter

Cost: 9,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 3
Gas: 99
Ammunition: 6

Strengths: Battle copters are strong versus infantry (they feature machine guns to complement their missiles) and light ground forces, but their missiles don't have much effect against more heavily armored units such as medium tanks and neotanks.

Weaknesses: Avoid anti-air units, cruisers, missile launchers, and fighters!

Fighter

Cost: 20,000
Movement: 9
Vision: 2
Gas: 99
Ammunition: 9

Strengths: The fighter only attacks other air units but does so quite well. A huge movement radius allows you to patrol air space quickly and efficiently.

Weaknesses: Avoid anti-air units, cruisers, missile launchers, and attacking fighters!

Bomber

Cost: 22,000
Movement: 7
Vision: 2
Gas: 99
Ammunition: 9

Strengths: Bombers can wipe out or severely damage any ground unit, including naval vessels. The bomber also gains the upper hand on anti-air units, missile launchers, and cruisers as long as the bomber is the one to initiate the attack. You'll also want to use the bomber and its large movement abilities in the campaign game to destroy cannons, laser weapons, and pipe seams.

Weaknesses: Don't let it be attacked by any anti-air units, missile launchers, cruisers, or fighters!

Naval Units

Lander

Cost: 12,000
Movement: 7
Vision: 1
Gas: 99

Strengths: The lander is a naval transport, which can hold two ground units, including vehicles.

Weaknesses: Like the other transports, the lander has no weapons!

Cruiser

Cost: 18,000
Movement: 7
Vision: 3
Gas: 99
Ammunition: 9

Strengths: The cruiser attacks primarily air units but can also bombard a submarine. It also serves as a transport of sorts--the cruiser can hold two copters, and refuel/rearm them. The cruiser's anti-air abilities can wipe out a transport copter and battle copter easily but is less effective against fighters and bombers.

Weaknesses: Beware of land units that can attack the cruiser, because you can't fire back. Artillery, rockets, or tanks along the shore can be dangerous. Don't get attacked by a bomber or especially a battleship.

Battleship

Cost: 28,000
Movement: 6
Vision: 2
Gas: 99
Ammunition: 9
Range: 2 to 6

Strengths: With solid damage across the board--from infantry and armored units to other naval vessels--the battleship is an expensive but strong force to be reckoned with. Its large range makes the battleship a powerful indirect-fire weapon from the sea able to target land units at a great distance.

Weaknesses: Avoid bombers and being attacked by submarines. Also, don't move into the range of a rocket launcher without attacking it first!

Submarine

Cost: 20,000
Movement: 5
Vision: 2
Gas: 60
Ammunition: 6

Strengths: Submarines can dive to conceal their location; however this uses more fuel. Attacks other naval units only, dishing out heavy damage to the lander, submarine, and battleship but light damage to the cruiser.

Weaknesses: Like the battleship, avoid being attacked from indirect-fire units from the land (which can only attack the sub if it's on the surface). Don't get bombed or attacked by a battleship!

Chapter 3: Orange Star Missions

This section covers walk-throughs for the Orange Star missions, including the secret mission "Test of Time." Several of these walkthroughs have day by day suggestions on what you should move and attack. Note that the enemy CO will not always move or attack in the same fashion (further, sometimes your own attacks don't finish the job), so just follow the general guideline and strategy of the mission to complete it with success.

Cleanup

Objective: Take out Black Hole's troops!
CO: Andy
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 1 star

You begin the mission in the lower left corner in the map with Flak's small army positioned in the upper right. This is primarily a tutorial mission. Nell walks you through the basics of infantry, APCs, movement, and combat. You should have little trouble dispatching Flak's feeble army. Nell has already eliminated most of Flak's army but has left a few enemy infantry units for you and Andy to clean up. Read Nell's instructions then get ready for day one deployment.

On day one, move your three infantry units directly east and move the APC up to follow. Keep your infantry in the same formation by moving each three spaces directly east. Send the APC up adjacent to your two top infantry units; the APC will automatically supply your infantry at the end of day one. End your turn and Flak moves his two infantry due south.

On day two, continue moving due east with all three infantry units. Send the APC into the middle of your formation and it will automatically supply your troops at the end of day two. But it's usually best to keep the APC back and leave the spaces open for your infantry. End your turn and Flak moves his troops into position.

On day three, Flak's closest infantry should be within range of all your infantry. Move one of your infantry units adjacent to Flak's troop and fire. Follow with the other two and you should easy dispatch the first of Flak's two infantry units. Move the APC up if you wish, but keep it away from Flak's unit. Leave a space open for your infantry to attack. If you put the APC close you may occupy a vital space next to Flak's unit and prevent one of your own infantry from gaining the attacking position. Don't put the APC in the center of your units as Flak will likely move into that space to spell his own doom. End the turn. Flak will counterattack with his final infantry unit but shouldn't inflict fatal damage to any of your troops.

On day four, it's time to finish Flak off. Move your strongest remaining infantry unit (not the one Flak just attacked) adjacent to Flak's infantry unit and fire. Follow up with your second strongest infantry unit if necessary to complete the mission.

Border Skirmish

Objective: Black Hole is closing in! Can I hold the bridge?
CO: Sami
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 1 star

Once again Nell is around to provide a helpful tutorial through the mission but even Flak offers some useful information regarding how to capture cities. After Nell gives advice on using terrain to your advantage, it's time to deploy your troops. Flak has a tank positioned near your forces and it's easy prey.

On day one, move your mech unit into the woods south of Flak's tank and fire. You should inflict some hefty damage with the woods bonus combined with Sami's infantry bonus. Next, move the tank across the road into the woods north of Flak's tank. This will finish off Flak's nearest tank. Notice the gray city just east of your infantry unit. It's a neutral city and available for capture. Move your infantry due east onto the city and select capture. Sami's infantry captures cities faster than other COs, as Nell so eloquently points out. Move your artillery and APC up near your forward city (it's also near the city that's in the process of being captured). End the turn when ready. Flak begins capturing another one of your cities in the upper right corner of the map and positions his tanks in woodland cover. Don't worry, you can't prevent this city from falling under Flak's control but it won't matter.

Attacking from the woods gives you a defensive bonus.

On day two, complete the capture of the city. Move your tank and infantry within attack range of the bridge. You want the artillery close to the front line so you will be within firing range after Flak performs his next move. Position your mech nearby and near your two cities so you can heal the unit if desired or it can provide support for the artillery. Flak finishes off his own city capture and moves the tanks west toward your forces.

On day three, use your artillery to bombard the tank, which you can finish off with your own tank, mech, or perhaps even infantry. Retreat any damaged units and keep them from being killed. Your strong defensive position at the bridge provides quite an advantage so it's important to keep units alive to achieve the best rank possible for the mission. Your infantry can cross the river adjacent to the bridge. Use this to your advantage so you can attack any of Flak's units that approach your position.

The remainder of the mission is mop up and you should be able to complete the mission around day seven (don't forget you have to destroy the APC as well). Finish by day nine and you can achieve an "S-Rank" but not with the full 300 point total. Surround the APC and ensure you get a shot on Flak's vehicle with your artillery to speed up its destruction.

Orange Dawn

Objective: Armies on both sides. An ocean in the middle. Let the hostilities begin!
CO: Max
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 1 star

Flak's getting under Max's skin but Nell faithfully comes to the rescue with soothing words and more helpful advice. This time Nell provides a very brief tutorial on medium tanks, battle copters, and transport copters. You begin with a couple of battle copters, a transport copter, two tanks, one medium tank, an artillery unit, and an infantry unit.

On day one, move both of your battle copters to attack Flak's sole battle copter on the shoreline just north of your position. Move your infantry into the transport copter and send the transport copter north toward the unclaimed city in the upper right corner. Move all remaining ground forces toward the bridge. As Nell reminds Max, the artillery unit suffers range penalties under Max--he's not an indirect-fire expert, but he's strong with the non-infantry direct-fire units such as the copters and tanks. End the turn and watch Flak maneuver his units east. Nell describes an additional tutorial regarding healing your copters (you'll need an airport, which is not on this map).

One day two, drop off your infantry from the transport copter onto the neutral city in the upper right corner. The infantry is immovable after dropped but on the next turn you can order it to capture the city. Move your medium tank in lead position across the bridge and follow with the smaller tanks and the artillery unit. Use your battle copters to assault one of Flak's tanks (not the medium tanks). You should finish off the tank after two barrages. End the turn and Flak will advance and attack. Retreat any heavily damaged unit in order to maintain a high mission ranking.

Make sure your medium tank takes the lead, and support it with copters and artillery.

From day three onward, you should have the upper hand. Move the medium tank west across the bridge and leave room for your additional tanks to maneuver and participate in the attacks. You could also choose to move the artillery second to provide indirect-fire support but remember that Max's indirect-fire range is limited. Use the copters and your medium tank to combine firepower on Flak's dual medium tanks. Don't worry about his infantry; you can easily mow them down later. Don't forget to capture the neutral city.

You should be able to finish off the mission in approximately six days and achieve the highest ranking. The copters' movement range prevents Flak from making any viable retreat. He may move a remaining tank west and into a defensive position but Max's direct-fire superiority should overcome any of these obstacles. Crush all of Flak's units to complete the mission.

Flak Attack

Objective: Enemy planes attack from the sea! Can the ground forces repel them?
CO: Max
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 2 stars

Flak has battle copters, fighters, and bombers inbound--things aren't exactly looking good for Max. Thankfully Sami is around to offer advice. Her infantry forces aren't exactly a lot of help against the inbound air assault--but there's good news because you have a-airs (anti-air units) and missiles! Read Sami's briefing on the use of these two new units. Check their range and read their technical info if you wish and prepare for deployment.

On day one, select your missile launcher in the center of your anti-air units and fire on Flak's nearby battle copter. You will be able to destroy this battle copter in a single barrage. There's a neutral city just north of your own headquarters. Send your mech unit into the city and begin capture. You have a battle copter in the middle of the sea. Attempting to retreat won't save it so it's best to inflict some damage on its way down. Attack Flak's copter just west of your own. Leave remaining units in position. This will encourage Flak to attack your anti-air position instead of your other units, which could get wiped by his air force. End the turn and Flak should attack your anti-air position and likely destroy one unit. Also, forget about your battle copter in the sea because Flak will probably destroy it with a fighter.

On day two, you need to take advantage of luring Flak's force within range of your anti-air units. Use the mech to complete the capture of the neutral city, which is actually a Black Hole lab and opens up a new level, "Test of Time" in the Orange Star campaign. Move two anti-air units to take care of the bombers within range (you'll inflict approximately nine damage with each barrage). Flak will likely have one crippled bomber left after you're done. Use the missile launcher against a copter and the final anti-air against the second copter. Save your CO power for the next turn. End your turn and Flak invokes his own CO super power (Barbaric Blow!) and attacks any of your units within range. Don't expect to sustain heavy damage.

Flak's CO super power gives his units an attack and a defensive bonus.

On day three, Max's CO super power should be ready. Max Blast increases the firepower of direct combat units and their movement increases by two spaces. Invoke it and finish off any of Flak's air power in range of your anti-air units. Flak will likely move a light tank toward your captured lab. Attack it with your mech unit. Your rocket launcher could be within range of the light tank too; fire it at Flak's tank to inflict further damage. The main key is to attack as many of Flak's units as possible and keep everything else near your headquarters to force Flak to come to you. End the turn and Flak makes a futile effort to advance his few remaining troops toward your positions. You will completely overpower Flak at this point. Win the battle on day four to complete the mission.

Andy's Time

Objective: Enemy cannons! Can they be destroyed?
CO: Andy
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 2 stars

The Black Hole has a huge cannon in the area and it's up to Andy to eliminate the threat (though Max sure would like to be involved). Nell once again joins the mission to provide tutorial advice, this time regarding the deployment of units. You'll notice that you only begin with a single infantry unit and a transport copter. It's certainly not enough to take down that Black Cannon! There are numerous neutral cities on the map, however, and each one provides extra funds to use toward a stronger army. There's also a base on the central island.

On day one, move the infantry onto the transport copter and load. Move the transport copter due west underneath the center island and its structures. Build two more infantry units from your bases and end the turn. Thankfully Lash hasn't gotten the Black Cannon ready just yet. It can only fire once every two turns.

On day two, move the transport copter north and drop off the infantry unit onto the northern neutral property--that's the base. You want it first so you can deploy units from this forward location. Move your two new infantry units north, putting one into the nearest neutral city to begin capture. You can make more units from your bases (you have enough for a light tank) or save up for a medium tank, artillery, or rocket launcher, which can be deployed from the forward position and close to the Black Cannon. End the turn and Flak makes some infantry units and tries to capture his own cities.

On day three, start capture of the center base and resume capture of the eastern cities. Move your second infantry up and closer to the second neutral city on the eastern side. Make some units from your bases but save enough money so you'll have 16,000 for the medium tank or 15,000 for the rocket launcher on your next turn. End the turn and watch Flak move his infantry around. You've probably been shot at by the Black Cannon by this point; don't worry about it.

Capture the center base, and build a medium tank to spearhead the attack on the cannon.

On day four and onward, complete and continue capture of the center base and eastern cities. Move center infantry to the other neutral city nearby. Deploy a medium tank from the central city and a few more units from your initial base. You'll want to move the medium tank toward the Black Cannon and next to its week spot, the doors at its southern point. It will take two turns to destroy the cannon with the medium tank (the first barrage will knock the Black Cannon's hit points down to 44).

You need only destroy the Black Cannon to complete the mission. It may take up to day eleven if you make a misstep, but you can still receive the highest rank for that amount of time. The key is to capture the neutral base as soon as possible and build a medium tank (or rocket launcher) to fire on the Black Cannon's front door. The mission ends once the Black Cannon is destroyed.

Lash Out

Objective: Enemies at sea and on land. Outwit them and capture the HQ!
CO: Sami
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 2 stars

Here's your first chance to utilize some naval units. Good thing Nell is around for another tutorial. Orders are to capture the enemy headquarters; Sami is the perfect CO for the job; her infantry are strong and can capture properties faster. Her transports also receive movement bonuses, which should come in handy during the mission.

As Nell points out, Sami's transport copter is in a terrible position near a couple anti-air units. On day one, click on the transport copter threatened by Lash's anti-air units and Nell gives you a briefing on how cruiser's can hold battle and transport copters. Move the transport copter due south six spaces onto the cruiser. Load the copter onto the cruiser. Next, click on your battleship and receive a briefing on how to use its indirect-fire abilities. Fire on the rocket launcher just to the north of the battleship.

Even though you loaded the transport copter onto the cruiser, you can still use the cruiser. Select it and move it adjacent to Lash's sub. Fire on the sub to inflict significant damage. You have your own sub, which can be moved north. Read Nell's briefing and dive the sub after it has been moved. The final naval unit Sami has is the lander. It holds up to two ground units. There are a variety of moves you can make with the lander. For instance, you can move a mech into your APC and load it onto the lander--which counts as just one ground unit--then add one of the tanks. Move the lander east then north into the sea. You'll use these units to control the eastern side of the map and push toward the headquarters. The APC can move the mech to the HQ fast but will come under heavy fire from Lash's anti-air and infantry units. Don't forget to move your western units north toward the bridge. End the turn.

Lash warns that in seven days, Flak will arrive with reinforcements. You have a time limit to beat this mission so it's time to work quickly. It can be rather easy to let the time go by and lose the mission. You can win the mission by capturing Lash's headquarters in the northern center of the map or by defeating all of her forces. The transports are extremely important if you plan to capture the headquarters. Sami is an excellent CO for capturing and her CO powers assist this even more.

Landing troops on the eastern shore will split the enemy's forces and give you a tremendous advantage.

From day two onward you must move the western units up to maintain control of the northwestern area of the map. Lash captures a base here and will produce infantry. Surround it so you can terminate the infantry as it arrives. Use your sub to finish off Lash's own sub and use the battleship to crush Lash's remaining cruiser and the rocket launcher if necessary. On future days, move the battleship toward the HQ so it can fire upon Lash's anti-air units she moves around.

If you choose to capture the headquarters, move the transport copter back to your base on day one and get a mech onboard as soon as possible. Drop the mech off at Lash's headquarters and begin capture on the next day. Move the battleship within range to fire on any of Lash's units that approach from the east. Sami's Double Time power is important for adding movement squares to the mech to get it to the headquarters as soon as possible; use the CO power as soon as it's available. Capturing the headquarters can be done much quicker than eliminating all enemy units. An S-rank can be achieved with both methods, however.

Test of Time

Objective: The enemy lab in the mountains must be captured!
CO: Andy
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 3 stars

This is a secret mission available only if you capture the appropriate lab in the mission Flak Attack.

Nell provides a final tutorial for the mission, discussing fog of war and how it changes strategy and tactics. You have seven days to complete the mission before all of Black Hole's weapons data has been erased from the lab. Time to get to work!

On day one, select your infantry near your headquarters and receive info on using mountains to increase visual range. Take Nell's advice and send the infantry north onto the mountain square. You can now see Flak's forces in the immediate area. Your anti-air unit adjacent to the HQ is within range of Flak's infantry. Move the anti-air next to Flak's infantry and attack it to inflict significant (and perhaps fatal) damage. Move your light tank up and attack the artillery just to your north. You'll spot a second artillery during the attack. Move your medium tank up and attack it next; a medium tank will obliterate a full strength artillery unit.

Now time to move your other units to the south. Move the artillery, recon, and rocket onto the eastern bridge. The recon should go in front. This will give you line of sight to the lab and Flak's single infantry guard. Load the mech onto the APC and move it just north of the bridge (it will be one space north of the artillery unit). End the turn.

On day two, eliminate Flak's remaining western forces. He may send his APC toward your headquarters. Take measures to counter if desired. Keep your own APC and mech in the same position. There's a hidden rocket launcher on the far east of the map. If you attempt to capture the lab with the rocket launcher still intact, you will likely lose the mech and fail the mission. Move up the recon to the space between two cities (just one square southeast of the lab). The rocket launcher is just east of this square. Move up your artillery and rocket to attack Flak's launcher on the next turn.

A rocket unit hides in the woods two spaces east of the lab.

By day three, you should be able to destroy the hidden rocket launcher with artillery, your own launcher, and the recon unit. Move your APC adjacent to the lab and drop off the mech unit onto the lab to begin capture on day four. Even though this walkthrough didn't suggest the route, Flak has a hidden artillery unit along the northern edge. It's two squares west of the northeastern mountain range. If you've followed this walkthrough, don't even bother moving up there. It's better to keep your units alive and capture the lab in less than six days. But if you're looking to destroy all enemy units, you must find this artillery and destroy it to achieve victory.

Liberation

Objective: At last! The enemy stronghold! Can we win back our country?
CO: Max
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 4 stars

This is the first mission you have the choice of CO. Although you can complete the mission with any, the best choices are Sami and Max. Sami offers tougher infantry and faster capturing ability, which will prove handy with the numerous neutral properties on the map as well as a vital airport. Max's beefy direct fire tanks are extremely valuable in an extended battle and his Max Force power can turn the tide in a ground war if needed.

As with all missions, there are numerous ways to reach completion. Achieving an S-rank is difficult, however. It's easy to complete the mission very quickly but you won't gain any power prestige without killing enemy units. But sticking around in a long battle puts your own units at risk. Lose units and you lose the same points you're trying to attain.

Here are a couple ways to complete the mission. The first way is fast and without engagement but it only achieves 200 of 300 possible points on the mission. When you begin the mission, realize that the object will be to destroy a pipe seam along the northern edge of the map. The Black Hole factory produces units too quickly to fight them off in a short amount of time. Destroying the pipe seam completes the mission.

For a fast solution, build one infantry in the lower left base and an APC in the upper base. On day two, load the infantry into the APC and move the APC just below the airport. Drop off the infantry into the river. Train a mech at the northern base. On day three, move the infantry over the river and begin capture. Move the mech and the APC toward each other. On day four, finish capture of the airport and board the mech onto the APC. Move the APC across the bridge. On day five, move the infantry north, move the APC across the second bridge and drop off the mech on the northern side, and build a bomber at the airport. Finally, on day six, move the bomber to the pipe seam and attack. You'll destroy the pipe seam in a single blow. This produces a win but won't achieve an S-rank.

If you're fast, you can produce a bomber in 5 days.

A longer solution requires building many more units but completing the mission in a similar fashion: destroying the pipe seam with a bomber. On day one, build infantry at each base. On day two, move your infantry. The southern two will be moving north toward the neutral properties across the river. The western infantry moves west toward the neutral base near the bridge. Before ending your turn, create a tank and two more infantry.

On day three, move the tank far west, move the east infantry toward the neutral properties to the north, and the west infantry northwest toward the neutral base. Move your newly created infantry west and create an APC at your northern base. On day four, move the infantry onto the neutral base and begin capturing. Move the tank further west to protect the far road. Load a southern infantry unit into the APC and send the APC north under the airport; drop off the infantry into the river just south of the airport. Continue moving the eastern infantry north toward those properties. Build another tank to send far west.

On day five, complete the capture of the base and advance into the airport and start a capture there. Move into the eastern cities as well and begin capturing. Use the far west tank to destroy Flak's recon that's snooping around in the southwestern corner and move your other tank far west as well. Build a third tank in your new base. Take your APC and load it with a free infantry unit and send it west. Drop off the infantry to begin another capture.

The remainder of the mission involves holding the western road with your tanks, which should decimate Flak's lead infantry. Get at least two tanks over there to maintain a strong position. On the northern front, use two tanks to hold off Flak's ground force, which includes a tank, artillery, and missile launcher. When you have enough funds for a bomber, build it at the airport and on the next turn send it to the pipe. Be sure to take advantage of all combat situations and destroy as many of Flak's units as you can. Invoke Max's CO power (Max Power) before moving the bomber to its target and use the added direct fire strength to mobilize your tanks into advantageous attack positions. Once the pipe seam is destroyed, the mission concludes.

Chapter 4: Blue Moon Missions

This section covers the walkthroughs for the Blue Moon missions, including the secret mission "Neotanks?!".

Reclamation

Objective: Reclaim the land Lash stole!
CO: Colin
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 2 stars

The overly eager Colin is your CO for the mission. Although his units are somewhat underpowered, they're approximately 20% cheaper. This is a straight-up, one on one battle with Lash for control of the territory. Both of you begin with a headquarters and three bases. This can be a long, drawn out mission. But the good news is that you can achieve an S-rank even if it takes you nearly 20 days to complete. You can defeat Lash by capturing the headquarters or defeating all of her units.

The key to the mission is maintaining control of the map's center. There are key properties here, primarily a northern airport from which you can build battle copters to engage Lash's ground forces. Once you're dominating the map's central area, you can push your units toward the southwestern corner of the map and corner Lash. Then you can mop up her remaining units or capture the headquarters with some infantry.

Your first priority is to control the properties in the middle of the map.

On day one, build three infantry. On day two, send one infantry south (note that there's another airport down there) and the other infantry northwest. Build three more infantry. On day three, continue the march toward the airport and move your western infantry into the city but don't start capture (although you could). He's going to continue south on the next turn into the base. March the northern infantry closer to the other northern properties. Move your new infantry west and northwest toward the map's center. Build an APC from your northern bases.

On day four, capture the southern airport. Capture the base west of your starting point and begin to capture the northern cities. Your newly created infantry should be close enough to move into the other neutral city north of the base. Start capturing that one also. Move one infantry into the APC, which you should send west to the map's center, and the other infantry due west. Drop the infantry from the APC to the west near the unclaimed airport. Build an anti-air at your base for use against Lash's plentiful infantry units. On day five, complete all captures. Move the infantry east of the unclaimed city onto the city and begin capture. Send the anti-air west toward the map's center.

On day six, capture your second airport and complete the capture on the other city. Build a medium tank from your forward base. Move free infantry toward map's center along with the anti-air.

You're now in a dominating position. Send the medium tank along the southern road to counter the tanks Lash sends out. Use the anti-air to combat Lash's infantry units. Once you have both airports, build battle copters and use them in the middle skirmishes as well. You'll need a fighter too so you can crush Lash's transport copter. Keep the fighter camped on Lash's airport after the copter is destroyed, so she can't build any more air units.

Be sure to crush Lash's artillery units or you will suffer significant damage when they fire on your infantry. If you lose some infantry, build more at your original base and move them up. You'll need the infantry to capture the headquarters as you push west.

Watch your funds carefully and reinforce your army with more units whenever possible. Maintain a unit advantage over Lash with medium tanks and battle copters. When you push into Lash's base, keep your units on her bases to prevent reinforcements. Move in an APC with infantry inside for base capture or simply eliminate all of Lash's units to achieve victory.

Even though this mission can be long, it's also possible to finish it very quickly. Send recon units along the road toward Lash's base. Load an infantry inside an APC. The recon units serve as blockers for the APC and eventually some can perch on Lash's bases to prevent reinforcements (along with the APC). Both units can be placed to the north and east of the HQ preventing Lash's units from attacking your infantry capturing the HQ. Wait a couple turns to complete a capture.

Toy Box

Objective: What was found in Olaf's hometown?
CO: Olaf
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 3 stars

Lash has decimated Olaf's hometown, scrambling the terrain tiles into a mess. It's difficult to navigate through the fragmented roads, mountains, and trees. Both COs begin with no units and it's a mad dash early on to capture additional properties to increase revenue. The most important property is the middle base--you must maintain control of this position to create new units near the battle's front line. Another important property is the neutral city along the southern edge of the map (just east of Lash's headquarters). Capture this city and you recover a map to a secret lab, which lets you access the secret mission Neotanks?! in the Blue Moon campaign.

As always, you have a few options early on. You definitely want infantry to capture the properties in the west and just southwest of your northern base as well as east and southwest of your southern base. You need to also capture the neutral base in the map's middle as soon as possible. Rush infantry to the northern middle and center base early on. Another viable early day strategy is to create a recon to get into Lash's side of the map quickly. You can use the recon to cover Lash's southern base, severely crippling her reinforcements.

Capturing the central base is critical to beating this mission.

Lash uses a lot of infantry in the north to pressure your northern captured city. To hold, produce additional infantry from your northern base and combine with the wounded infantry holding the city. You should have no trouble holding the city if you keep the area reinforced. Anti-air is also excellent against infantry, so move one to the northern position if you have the chance.

Spend the early days creating infantry to capture cities and using a recon to push into the enemy territory. Once you've captured the middle base, create tanks and an artillery unit. Getting to the western side of the map is tough because Lash blocks the only vehicle path with APCs, recons, and tanks with artillery support. Use your own artillery and fire on her artillery. Attack the roadblock there with your own tanks.

The easiest and fastest way of dispatching Lash is to use an APC to carry an infantry unit to the mountain south of the roadblock. From there the infantry unit can move down onto the Black Moon headquarters and capture it within two turns. But it's important to have pushed through the roadblock so you can protect that infantry with your tanks. Don't forget to send an infantry unit to the southern captured city--that opens up a secret level once captured.

To achieve an S-rank, you must complete the task in less than 20 days to meet the speed requirement. As usual, it's also important to not lose too many units. Stay aggressive but don't put your units into a disadvantageous position. Don't forget to combine wounded units to create a stronger one so you can hold cities and positions against a weaker attacker.

Tanks!!!

Objective: Enemy Md. Tank assault! Can you stop their charge?
CO: Grit
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 2 stars

Adder has amassed a huge medium tank force on the western side of the map. Fortunately, he has to move through narrow bridges to invade your territory--it's vital to use this to your advantage. There are no bases on the map, so it's up to you to maximize the potential of your current batch of units. Good thing Grit excels with indirect-fire units!

The first thing you need to do is block the two lower bridges on the western side of the map. There's a northern bridge, but we'll worry about that on a future turn. On day one, block the bridges by placing infantry on the road on the space just east of the bridges. Next move up all of your recons (all four) along the road. Move the northern recons along the north road west and the south recons along the south road west. Move up the artillery as well. Keep all the rocket launchers at their position except the center launcher. Move it far left next to the other launcher.

Block the bridges.

Adder will dish out some damage to your infantry on day two so it's time to move them. Move both infantry south. The southern infantry encounters some of Adder's mechs in the woods. Replace those infantry with recons at the bridge. Attack Adder's recons. Attack Adder's northern and southern (the one just discovered in the woods) mechs with rocket launchers in range (the western launcher for the north mech and the southern launcher for the south mech). Move your rear recons up more along the road. Attack any medium tanks with rocket launchers in range. Do not attack the recons with your launchers! Move up your artillery so they're within range of the tanks. Position the northern artillery in the woods next to the far north bridge. It's not a great spot for range fire but it blocks the bridge.

The remainder of the mission involves bombarding the medium tanks with your rocket launchers and making sure the bridge remains blocked. As your recons begin to lose health, combine the two damaged recons at the bridge and move up one of your reserve recons to replace the one you just moved. Do not destroy the enemy recons that are positioned at the bridge. You can use the launchers to destroy the enemy recons in the rear, however. Eliminate all of Adder's infantry as soon as possible because they can move across the river without the use of the bridge. Each time it's available, invoke Grit's Snipe Attack to increase the range of your indirect-fire units.

Destroying medium tanks moves others into range of your rockets. Or you could choose just to weaken the medium tanks in case your line breaks and you must contend with the tanks within your territory (if they're already hit, they're easier to kill). Complete the mission by destroying all of Adder's units. He may hide recons on the far western side. If you can't see any of his units, he's likely hiding so you must hunt him down. You can achieve an S-rank by completing the mission in less than 11 days with just two unit losses.

T Minus 15

Objective: Prevent the foe from firing the giant missile!
CO: Olaf, Andy
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 3 stars

Olaf and Andy team up to try and stop Flak from launching a giant missile that could annihilate the Blue Moon army. You will control both Olaf and Andy during the course of the mission and must coordinate their forces for maximum effect. Do a quick survey of the map and you will see that pipes separate the northern, middle, and southern area of the map. The only way to circumvent the pipes is to destroy the seams. After day one, you will be told that the only way to prevent the missile launch is to capture the eight cities around the missile. You don't have to capture any other cities, though the ones in the northeast are easily taken and provide some funds should you capture the airport in the very south.

You have no means of producing more infantry, so the four foot soldiers in the northeast are key to completing the mission. Don't put them in harms way. One of the most important aspects of this mission is to ascertain the enemy's firing range with its rockets and missile launchers. Avoid putting your units into their firing range until you're prepared to move in and attack.

On day one, move Olaf's northern, middle, and southern forces west. You can't move into range of the rockets near the launcher so don't worry just yet. Over the course of the next few days, use your infantry in the northeast to capture the neutral properties there. In the south, use a mech to capture the airport. Keep your anti-air units in the south out of bomber and battle copter range so you possess the first attack.

On day one as Andy, send the bomber due south to the pipe seam (it's out of the missile launcher's range). With it destroyed, you can begin to funnel in your battle copters in a flanking maneuver against Flak's middle forces. Meanwhile, use Andy's battle copters to destroy his small collection of northeast forces. Remember to stay out of the missile launcher's range!

On day two you can begin your advance in the middle. Move the small tanks to weaken the rockets and position your medium tanks close for a follow up attack the next day. You can also use a medium tank to destroy the seam blocking your northern units from the middle. Do this as soon as possible so you can begin to move in your forces to assist--and of course, your infantry to begin capturing the cities around the missile. Use those same infantry to capture the northeastern cities for now. As Andy, clean up the remaining forces in the northwest and complete the destruction of a seam. The most important thing is to keep your copters out of range of the missile launcher.

You have a few options regarding your movement of infantry. You could use the APCs to shuttle the two mechs (slower moving than the infantry) west across the northern edge of the map. You can move through the busted seam in the west and take the cities on the left side of the missile. Be sure to eliminate any in-direct fire weapons, however; Flak won't hesitate to take potshots at any APCs within range. Otherwise, you can maneuver them through the eastern seam and wait until most of Flak's middle has been annihilated.

Quickly destroy the seams in the east to consolidate forces where needed. Andy's fighter comes in handy in the southern region.

Save up for Olaf's Winter Fury super power. It deals two damage to all of Flak's units, which helps immensely in weakening his position in the middle. Be aware that it will still be snowing when Andy takes his next turn, slowing down his forces. Fight wisely and you shouldn't have much trouble finishing off his defensive forces. Position your rockets and artillery within range so they can join the attack.

There are a couple of ways to deal with Flak's southern advance. Attack his bombers with your anti-air to weaken them as much as possible--the bombers are the biggest threat until the neotanks move within range. If you capture the airport, you'll eventually have enough money for a fighter (to annihilate his bombers) or a bomber, to hold off his neotanks. You can also position your bomber in the forest chokepoint north of the mountains to prevent Flak's neotanks from advancing.

Shuttle infantry into APCs as you move them around the middle cities. Remember to load the infantry onto the APC first then move the APC adjacent to a city. Drop off the infantry onto the city and begin capture next turn. Complete the capture of the eight cities surrounding the missile in under 15 days to successfully defeat the mission.

Nature Walk

Objective: Three cannons waiting. How can I cross those woods?
CO: Grit
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 4 stars

Lash has three cannons in the area; each has enormous range, so it's nearly impossible to avoid being shot at least a few times. The cannons do five points of damage on the initial strike and four points of damage on the second strike. Your units will be left with a single health point but will remain alive. The key to avoiding most of the cannon fire is to keep your units in the forest tiles (though Lash will still fire upon some of them). It's also not necessary to destroy the cannons, though you can if you're eager for destruction.

The mission's simple goal is to get a single unit to the empty space in the north Blue Moon headquarters. The easiest units to reach this spot would be a recon, APC, or tank--because of their large movement radius. APCs are durable and can withstand some punishment from Lash's ground forces; plus, if you put a mech in the APC, it's almost like having an additional movement space. You can move the APC one space away from the headquarters and drop off the mech in the empty space to complete the mission.

Fog of war also provides problems in the mission. On each day, move your rear units up and into forest tiles so you can scout ahead and possible see Lash's units for your indirect-fire units (which Grit excels with). On day one, use your artillery to weaken the tank and recon within range; finish each off with your nearby tanks. You'll spot another artillery unit, which can be completely wiped out with your rocket.

Stay in the forest as you advance to avoid getting shot by the cannons.

As you advance north across the following days, stick within the forest for the protection against the cannons. Keep your indirect-fire units up with your group so you can utilize Grit's advantage. Don't forget to use your CO power; save it for when you see several of Lash's units and have your indirect-fire units within range for maximum destruction.

There's no major rush. We solved the mission in approximately 13 days and still received the maximum points for speed. The main thing is to keep moving north and to stick within the forests. Keep your APCs behind your front line so they don't take too much fire early on (unless you're planning to move a recon or tank into the headquarters). Don't worry about Lash capturing the middle cities. You'll eventually be able to bombard all of these infantry units with your indirect-fire units and losing the cities won't ruin your chance for success.

Your biggest problems are Lash's artillery and medium tank. Lash may have the artillery hidden in woods and bombard you when you can't even see the enemy unit. Scout well by moving recons up the left and right side of the map and within forests. When you see an artillery unit, attack it at close range. Bombard the medium tank with your indirect-fire weapons and finish it off with your own medium tank. The mission concludes once one of your units reaches the headquarters.

Two-Week Test

Objective: The enemy bombards Colin! Can he hold until reinforcements arrive?
CO: Colin
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 4 stars

Colin is thrown to the wolves--he must hold off a vastly superior force for a full 14 days. At the end of 14 days, the mission automatically ends in success as long as the Blue Moon headquarters remains standing. The key to the mission is to control the chokepoint, just southeast of your headquarters. Lash's units must maneuver through this narrow entrance to your base. You can stuff this chokepoint with infantry while bombarding Lash's incoming forces with rockets and artillery units. Lash also sends some copters and a bomber; don't neglect to build a couple missile launchers as well.

This mission is very well suited for Colin because of his Gold Rush CO power. The influx of extra money allows you to produce even more defensive units. Eventually you want nearly your entire section of land filled with indirect-fire units and cheap, clogging infantry. Begin the first few days by building strictly infantry and capturing all the nearby properties. Make sure you take the three extra bases, which will help create defensive units even faster.

The enemy's troops will vastly outnumber yours but the trick in this level is to simply keep building fodder for them to engage. Your main purpose is to keep them away from your command center. Utilize Gold Rush as often as possible and buy as many rocket and artillery units as you can and set them behind your infantry front lines. It would also be wise to purchase a couple of missile units to counter the few air attacks Lash sends your way.

As the enemy closes in, keep building infantry and move them to form a wall at the choke point of your base to delay their advance. Lash will capture numerous properties, including those around your outer perimeter--which is fine, because it simply delays the advance of the infantry units, which Lash needs to capture your command center.

Clog the chokepoint with infantry, tanks, and other fodder to protect your artillery.

If your line does break down, invest in a couple medium tanks to use as a last line of defense. Also, keep a unit on top of your command center at all times to further delay their ability to capture it should Lash get an infantry unit that far.

Don't utilize rockets solely. These are expensive units and its better to have more indirect-fire power than fewer, more powerful indirect-fire power. Just continue to bombard and weaken Lash's front line attackers. She'll be either forced to retreat or perish against your stronger forces. Use the missile launchers whenever one of Lash's air units maneuvers within range. Continue to produce infantry and ranged units when the funds arise. And listen for Colin's CO power carefully; use Gold Rush each time it's available to increase your available funds for even more defensive units. Hold off Lash for the full 14 days and Grit rescues Colin from disaster.

Neotanks?!

Objective: Capture the enemy lab before your foe can destroy it!
CO: Olaf, Grit, or Colin
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 3 stars

This mission is only available if you capture the southern city in the Toy Box mission. Orders are to capture the enemy lab, located in the far northeastern corner of the map. You have a choice of COs for the mission. Colin makes a fine choice because of his cheaper units--there's a 15 day time limit on the mission, so the faster you can get moving, the better. With Colin, you can create more units in a faster amount of time. This means you'll have captured cities and missile silos sooner, which can help secure victory much sooner.

You begin with no units. Begin by producing three infantry. Scan the map and notice there are important structures located far from your base. Ignore the close silos for now and send one infantry toward the airport along the west edge of the map and the other two infantry toward the eastern cities. On day two, create two more infantry and an APC. The APCs are particularly useful on this map in shuttling your infantry around quickly to capture cities, including the lab. There's a base to the northeast (at the end of the eastern road). Move an APC loaded with an infantry unit up there as soon as possible. The base can help reinforce your capture of the lab should you need it.

Keep creating infantry and capture the missile silos on subsequent days. Use three missiles to weaken Lash's units surrounding the lab--two medium tanks and a rocket launcher. Each missile does three points of damage, reducing all three of these units to just one hit point. Launch the missile in the middle of all three units. They'll no longer be a problem. Lash will retreat some of them and any others can be killed easily.

Aim the missile into the center of the three units around the lab.

Once you capture the airport, you can hold off Lash's western advance with copters and bombers. Support your northeastern effort with tanks to protect your fragile infantry as it moves to capture. Use an APC to deposit an infantry on or within range of the lab then begin capture on the next turn. Even if you're attacked, keep capturing. Shuttle other infantry up to help defend the position against any of Lash's rogue infantry. A tank or two will hold off Lash's damaged defenses.

If Lash breaks through in the west, don't worry about it. Don't let her gain control of any unused missile silos, however. You'll suffer unnecessary damage. The mission ends successfully once the lab has been captured. It's a long trip up the eastern edge of the map. You should utilize two to three APCs to shuttle infantry up quickly. Capture all neutral cities to maximize income. Build medium tanks at the northern base to help hold the northeast position while you complete the capture.

Factory Blues

Objective: The final battle is at hand! Destroy the factory pipe!
CO: Olaf, Grit, or Colin and Andy, Sami or Max
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 4 stars

You'll control two separate COs for this mission and can choose one of the three Orange Star and one of the three Blue Moon COs. While any combination can successfully complete the mission, for the purposes of this walkthrough, we choose Colin from Blue Moon and Max from Orange Star. Colin's cheaper units let you flood the area with tanks and recons to block the Black Hole factory, preventing it from producing units. It also helps you capture properties quickly to generate even more income for those cheaper units. Max's tanks are strong but it's his improvements to the bomber that are most utilized. Activate Max Power and his bomber can destroy the pipe seam in one attack--destroy the pipe seam and the mission ends successfully.

On day one as Colin, create three infantry units. As Max, use the mech to capture the neutral property just to the north and send the infantry into the APC. Move the APC as far north as it can go. On subsequent days, you will drop off this infantry unit near the airport. Capturing and holding the western airport is vital to Max's success. Once you've captured the airport, use the same infantry to capture the nearby cities; also, send the mech to the adjacent city. With four cities, Max can generate a modest income and eventually gain the 22,000 necessary for the bomber. Move Max's other units northwest toward the factory.

Over the next few days, continue to create infantry as Colin while capturing the bases and cities surrounding the southern area of the map. You'll eventually have the chance to move infantry north to capture the other cities. There are also missile launchers available. Save the launches against Lash's tougher creations (for instance, artillery or perhaps a medium tank that she occasionally creates).

Lash creates recons initially, which are easily handled by Max's tanks and other ground forces. You want to move Max's ground units to the tiles just below the factory's three doors. If you block the doors, Lash can't create units from the factory; she will only be able to make units at her bases, which are positioned along the northern edge of the map. You're done with Andy's APC, so move it in front of the factory doors as soon as possible.

Block the three factory doors, so Lash can only create units at the two bases in the north.

After building enough infantry to capture those southern cities, Colin should start producing tanks. Move them north as quickly as possible so you can join the battles. Flood the area with Colin's tanks, recons, and infantry. You should save up for a medium tank or two but for the most part, just keep building tanks and sending them north.

The last real danger is missile launchers but even those aren't a big problem. Since Max can destroy the pipe seam in a single blow (with Max Force), you need only stay out of missile launcher range on the first bomber move. Make the bomber in the west airport at the earliest opportunity. Move it northeast toward the factory but stay out of any missile or anti-air range. On the next day, invoke Max Power and destroy the pipe.

Chapter 5: Yellow Comet Missions

This section covers walkthroughs for the Yellow Comet missions, including the secret mission "Sea of Hope."

Silo Scramble

Objective: Don't lose the missile silos! Secure them and launch!
CO: Kanbei
Enemy CO: Flak
Difficulty: 2 stars

The mass of missile silos in the middle leaves little doubt on what your strategy should be. Control the missile silos as soon as possible and you can devastate Flak's feeble army that hustles around the southwest. To get there quickly, build an APC as soon as possible and load it with an infantry unit. Send the APC west then south across the bridge. Deposit the infantry next to the base on the west side of the island. You should be able to do this by day five or six. Capture the base first so you can reinforce the front line with tanks and more infantry. Now use your APC to block the bridge from the south preventing Flak from advancing north.

Back to the beginning: Over the first few days, produce infantry from your main base in the northeast and capture the nearby cities and ports. You may want another APC to get another infantry unit to the missile silos so you can begin bombardment in force.

Make your push south along the bridge.

Use light tanks to assist on the south bridge. You can move the APC back, then replace it with a tank to attack Flak's front line unit. Meanwhile, while he's trapped on the bridge, use the missiles to bombard his cluster of ground units. Try and inflict damage on as many units as possible and concentrate on his artillery and tanks, not on his infantry. Flak will eventually make a medium tank; make sure you save some missiles to weaken this tough unit. Produce tanks at the island and begin pushing south as you weaken his army with your missiles. Mop up the wounded with your tanks.

The remainder of the mission is simply pushing west toward the headquarters. Load your APCs, send them west and guard them with your tanks. Position tanks to the north and east of the headquarters; this will prevent Flak from counterattacking any infantry unit capturing the HQ. Don't forget there are two more missile silos south of your initial base. Keep an infantry unit on that side to utilize those two strikes.

Sensei's Return

Objective: On this quiet beach, the battle is joined...
CO: Sensei
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 3 stars

Sensei puts Adder in his place early in the mission--and even boasts about a 10 day successful campaign. Thankfully you don't have to meet those requirements, even for an S-rank. Still, it's easy to dispose of Adder rather quickly to complete the mission. The key is to utilize Sensei's benefits, specifically transport and battle copters. Adder's defenses are rather weak so it's rather simple to get a transport into the northwest corner of the map and deposit an infantry unit on the headquarters that can begin a quick capture.

Begin the mission by producing a couple infantry to capture the cities to the east of Sensei's headquarters. Follow on day two with an infantry unit and transport copter. You want to shuttle this infantry north across the water to the body of land above. There's an airport there that can be used to provide support for your eventual attack in the northwest. Drop the infantry within range of the airport. Produce another transport copter to shuttle another infantry unit over, which can begin capturing cities and bases across this island.

Sensei's transport copters have extended movement range.

A small threat arrives in the southwestern corner of the map. Adder sends infantry down here, which he uses to capture cities. Counter by sending infantry west to defend the area; support the infantry with an anti-air unit to help mow down any of Adder's infantry incursions.

Use the transport copters to deposit infantry around Adder's headquarters. You'll discover an artillery and an anti-air unit but little else. The anti-air unit is the biggest danger but it can be handled by a few strikes from battle copters (though you are at a disadvantage). Continue to produce more battle copters at the island airport so you have reinforcements if needed. The mission ends once you've captured Adder's headquarters in the northwest.

Show Stopper

Objective: The enemy stronghold looms ahead. How will Sonja capture it?
CO: Sonja
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 4 stars

Orders are to destroy the cannons that surround the Black Hole stronghold in the area. Fog of war shrouds the land--Sonja's added sight range should definitely help out during the mission. A quick survey of the land shows that Black Hole has no bases. There are neutral bases on the map, as well as two ports to the south and north. Claim and control these and the Black Hole must survive on their initial units--which are powerful!

On the initial couple of days, you should build at least one APC and infantry to reach the center base as quickly as possible. You also want to control the southern port and begin to capture the cities around your starting point. On Adder's turns, you'll hear his massive force moving east toward yours. You must prepare accordingly. By day four through six, you should have a couple tanks and a couple anti-airs to counter Adder's tanks and air power, which includes two battle copters and a bomber (at least initially).

Control the center production center and reinforce your army with anti-air from the forward position; you can use the anti-air against Adder's mechs that attempt to capture some of the cities just east of the fortress. As you move north and west, hide in forests to avoid some attacks and don't go too far west (beyond the neutral cities) or you may be bombarded by the cannons.

Quickly destroy the battle copters with your anti-air. Take out the bomber soon after but the middle units are more important. Make a run for the northern port (with the help of an APC if possible). After gaining the southern port, move west to the nearby base, which you should control as well. The ports can build battleships, which will be in range of the cannons--they're expensive but worth it if you want to bombard the cannons and destroy them as quickly as possible.

Medium tanks will also help clear out the defenses around the cannons, which include rocket launchers and artillery. As you push west, you'll also uncover a medium tank in the south and additional air power. If you happen to lose your first few anti-air units then produce more and move them up to assist your army. You need to take down the next group of battle copters and the bomber as soon as possible.

Capture this city in the southwest to unlock the secret mission.

While you bombard the cannons with medium tanks, battleships, and your other units, send an infantry unit in an APC and go capture the furthest southwestern Black Hole city. It contains a map to a secret level, "Sea of Hope". Capturing this city unlocks this mission on the level select screen.

Destroy all the cannons to complete the mission. If you still haven't captured the southwestern city, wait until it's captured before demolishing the final cannon.

Duty and Honor

Objective: Kanbei goes to reclaim a town. The enemy's new weapon awaits.
CO: Kanbei
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 4 stars

This is a rather short mission that features no extra building, but many units for both Kanbei and the enemy CO, Adder. There are two important keys to remember in this mission. First, if Adder captures the ten Yellow Comet cities to the northeast, the mission ends in failure. He'll complete a capture at around day 10 or day 11, so you can't dawdle as you push your troops toward the northeast.

The second key is equally important: there are two laser cannons (they look like crosses) on the map, both on the western side of the map near your units. Every two days, the lasers fire in all four directions. If any of your or Adder's units are along the horizontal or vertical lines from the laser cannons, they'll suffer significant damage (down to 5 health on a full unit).

So, when you move your units around, strive to never be on the vertical or horizontal plane of a laser cannon. That makes it tricky because the road lies in the laser cannon's path and the road is the route through the mountainous terrain. By day two you should have everything on either side of the road just before the mountainous terrain. You can use APCs to shuttle infantry and mechs into the mountains quickly.

Send two mechs south into the mountains because Adder has a couple of units down there, which the mechs can destroy. Adder's western group should be easy pickings for your large army--just don't get tagged by that laser!

If you choose to destroy the lasers, you will have to hurry to break through Adder's frontline.

On day three, set up your units so they'll be able to move near the city and avoid the upper road (which lines on a firing line from the upper laser). Continue to push toward the northeast, though Adder does the same to the northwest. You'll encounter a bottleneck. Initiate the battle by leading with a medium tank to weaken one of Adder's. You should have your artillery and rockets close to weaken his rear units. As soon as you punch through, damage any of Adder's infantry that are currently in the process of capturing a city. Remember that if you kill an infantry unit that's in the process of capturing a city, the city returns to your possession and Adder must begin capture from the very beginning.

Reach the cities by day 10 to save them from Adder's control. Once you're on the eastern side of the map, it's simply time to mop up all the infantry units and destroy the two rocket launchers lagging behind.

Foul Play

Objective: A peace offering? What does Black Hole really want?
CO: Sensei
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 4 stars

There are units all over the place on this map so it might be daunting to gain your bearings at the outset. The good news is that all you must do to complete the mission is destroy the three cannons in the north. Although these cannons are surrounded by many ground troops, there aren't many anti-air units in Adder's arsenal--thankfully you have air units galore in the south but they're blocked from the cannons by a series of pipes.

The key to the mission is busting the pipe seams quickly so you can get the bombers on the north side of the map as soon as possible. Once there you can destroy the cannons quickly. Your opening move should be to attack the pipe seam below your artillery: first use the artillery and then use the medium tank. Shift to your southern forces and begin moving them northeast toward the pipe. Adder has his own force to the east here but they're not much of a threat to your air power. Just be sure to eliminate his anti-air on your turn. You can destroy it with bombers and copters without suffering damage.

Finally, if you use your super power, you'll eventually have some infantry in the far northeast. Use them to capture the missile silos just to the south. Use the missiles to bombard the missile launcher and anti-air units near the cannons. If they're sufficiently damaged, Adder probably won't even make a play at your incoming bombers.

On day two, complete the destruction of the pipeline with your tank, then move your artillery south so it can assist on the next set of pipelines. Move a bomber up to destroy the pipeline in two turns. You should be able to take out the next set in the middle of day four and start ushering your bombers into the northern area. Meanwhile, your northern units should be holding the line and taking out any anti-air that appears in the area, such as the one to the east. Take it out before your bombers begin to push through.

Move your artillery into a position where it can help destroy both middle pipe seams.

A final danger is that Adder actually launches an offensive against your headquarters. The mission ends if it's captured. Keep a unit on your headquarters to delay the process; keep a tank nearby so you can hopefully damage his capturing infantry to make the process take longer as well. Once the bombers get through, move them east of the cannons and away from the anti-air. You may take some damage from the cannons but you will still have enough power to wipe them out. If you'd rather, just keep the bombers south of the cannons out of firing range then move them up on the next turn and destroy them. Attack the same cannon until it's destroyed, then move on to the next.

A Mirror Darkly

Objective: Sonja vs. Lash...A meeting of the minds!
CO: Sonja
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 4 stars

Once again, there's no building in this mission--it's Sonja versus Lash in a unit-to-unit battle. As you survey the map, it'll appear to be a mismatch. You have lots of units! And lots of rockets and artillery units! But Lash's units are hidden in the fog of war along the southern edge of the map. Lash has plenty of firepower--many medium tanks, some neotanks, regular tanks, artillery, and several infantry and mech ground troops. Mountains block most of your vehicles from reaching the center of the map. This isn't a terribly difficult mission, but there are a few important concepts to keep in mind to achieve success.

Lash has a ton of units hidden in the fog of war. Move infantry onto a mountain to get line of sight.

First, on day one you should strive to move all of your indirect-fire weapons south and toward the mountain range; this way you can start bombarding Lash's units as early as day two. With any luck you'll be able to attack the armored units every single day with your indirect fire units.

Second, it's important to block Lash's two paths toward the north. You do have a few units in the middle, primarily regular tanks. Move them to block Lash's path northward. Don't kill Lash's front line enemy unit; just weaken it with your tank. That way Lash won't be able to destroy your tank but still won't be able to move forward. Meanwhile, you're bombarding all of Lash's army behind the lead unit with your rockets and artillery. Should one of your tanks suffer damage, move it away and replace it if possible.

Remember that your mechs can move across the mountains and dish out their own damage. They can also serve as blockers at the chokepoint if necessary. Don't worry if Lash breaks through at some point. You still have a north rocket that can take out or damage Lash's lead units.

Another important thing: strive to weaken units on every round, don't necessarily destroy them. For instance, instead of shooting a medium tank twice, hit a medium tank once to damage it then shoot a second medium tank with your other indirect weapons. Now he has two damaged medium tanks. Should she get through, they'll be much easier to destroy than if Lash had a full strength medium or neotank heading northward. You should be able to completely destroy Lash by around day 10 to 11, which will get you an S-rank.

Sea of Hope

Objective: The enemy lab uncovered. Who is the unexpected ally?
CO: Kanbei, Sonja, or Sensei and Sami
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 5 stars

This mission is only available if you capture the furthest southwestern property in the mission "Show Stopper". You recover a map to the Black Hole lab in the area and this mission becomes available.

A quick scan of the map reveals the heavily defended Black Hole lab to the far north. There's just not enough time to produce enough ground units to maneuver up there and eliminate the defenses successfully. Instead, choose Sensei and utilize his specialty--air power! Sami also joins you in this mission but her contribution is limited; Sami has three battleships and a cruiser along the eastern side of the map. Use her to bombard the anti-air defenses in the center of the map.

It's extremely important to check the enemy's firing range in this mission. Because you're on a time table, every move can be critical. When moving Sensei's air power or Sami's ships, make sure you move to a safe space and out of range of any enemy firepower.

When controlling Sensei, spend the first few days getting infantry and transport copters so you can capture the northern airport as soon as possible. As always, capture as many properties as you can to generate lots of resources, which you'll need to fund three or four bombers to decimate the Black Hole defenses around the lab. You may spend your first air power money on a fighter to take out a pesky Black Hole bomber that may bombard your infantry at the northern airport. There's also a nearby cruiser that could pose a problem; get a bomber when possible and bomb it!

Use Sami's battleships to provide fire support for the Yellow Comet CO.

Sami should first destroy the rocket launcher within range and then damage and destroy the mech and tank just to the south over the next few turns. After that, send Sami's navy west toward the missile launcher and rocket launchers. Stay out of their firing range!

Between building bombers at the airports, build transport copters so you have several loaded with infantry. You can deposit the infantry near neutral properties and capture them as you await the bombers to clear out the defenses. When you move the bombers north, move them just outside the anti-air and missile firing range so on your next turn you can attack. Use Sensei's super power during the assault. After clearing the anti-air defenses, start bombing the ground forces. When you've cleared the lab, move a transport copter over and drop the infantry right on the lab so you can begin capture next turn. Capture the lab to complete the mission and gain neotanks!

The Hunt's End

Objective: The final battle is at hand! Destroy the factory pipe!
CO: Kanbei, Sonja, or Sensei and Andy, Sami, or Max or Olaf, Grit or Colin
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 5 stars

This is the final Yellow Comet mission and it's understandably difficult. You're given a wide choice of COs for the mission. You can choose one of the Yellow Comet COs and as a partner, any of the COs you've used during the full game thus far. It's the second CO that plays the largest role in the mission so make the selection carefully; Max makes a nice choice because of his power with direct weapons. It's easiest to use a bomber to destroy the pipe seam and Max can knock it out in a single hit.

Your bases are split; the Yellow Comet CO begins along the southern edge of the map and your secondary CO begins on a small island to the north and along the western edge of the map. Yellow Comet's role is to simply hold off the massive amount of Black Hole units that are pouring down the eastern side of the map. It's an easy task because of how the terrain is set up. There's a chokepoint to the east where the mountains block entry except in a few tiles. All you have to do is clog this area with units and the Black Hole forces won't be able to pass easily.

This pipe seam is blocked by a small cannon.

Your forces should initially include infantry and APCs to capture the plentiful cities and bases east of your starting headquarters. As you accumulate money, bolster these forces with tanks, anti-air (the Black Hole forces include battle copters) and neotanks when you can afford them (if you completed the secret Sea of Hope mission). Just clog the chokepoint and don't kill the Black Hole unit if it just remains clogged and doesn't attack. There's no reason to kill units and possibly let more powerful enemies through.

Meanwhile, your northern forces should capture the northern port and use a lander to transport an infantry unit and a tank to the nearby island to the north. This island includes the important airport, reachable from the shore, which you will use to make the bomber to attack the pipe seam. You can also use the lander to send infantry to the eastern island and begin capturing properties so your second CO generates funds more rapidly to support those bombers.

Use caution when moving the bomber toward the pipe seam. You must move in from the south, which is dangerously close to the central cannons. You can move adjacent to the cannons--and Max can destroy them in a single hit. Watch out for any anti-air or missile launchers defending the pipe. Check their ranges and ensure the bomber is out of firing range. Destroy the cannon underneath the seam then attack the seam on the next turn to complete the mission.

Chapter 6: Green Earth Missions

This section covers walkthroughs for the Green Earth missions, including the secret mission "Danger X 9".

Sea Fortress

Objective: Where did that sea fortress come from? Crush it!
CO: Eagle
Enemy CO: Hawke
Difficulty: 4 stars

This mission should test your abilities with air units--you have tons of airpower on its way to annihilate the eight cannons around the sea fortress. But Hawke has his own air defenses, including some anti-air guns. The biggest danger initially is Hawke's jet fighters. You must intercept these with your own jets to prevent your bombers from being attacked. On the first day, move all units eastbound toward the fortress but position the jets in the front. Hawke's jets won't be able to reach your own so attack and finish them off on the next day.

You should easily control Hawke's remaining air force. Be the aggressor. Don't move to a space that can be attacked on the next turn. You be the attacker! When moving, check the range of Hawke's remaining air units and his anti-air ground forces to ensure you aren't putting your units in danger.

The missiles and fighters are your primary concern. Don't worry too much about attacking the anti air guns.

Your aggressive attacks and subsequent destruction of Hawke's air force should allow you to build up nicely to Eagle's super CO power. Use it after you've moved all of your air units and you will gain a free turn and be able to move them all again. This is an excellent way to gain the upper hand on the assault against the eight cannons and bombard the missile launchers protecting the fortress. Remember that the missile launchers can attack at long-range but the anti-air units must be positioned next to your air force. Steer clear of them.

Get bombers to the back cannons quickly and finish them off in a couple turns. Your bombers will likely suffer some damage from the cannons. You should still have enough air power to crush the cannons; don't forget to use your battle copters to assist. Don't bother attacking the anti-air units, which will dominate even if they're attacked. Instead, use all attacks against the cannons once the jet fighters and missile launchers are out of the way.

Sinking Feeling

Objective: The enemy's battleships have come in for repairs. Can they be sunk?
CO: Jess
Enemy CO: Lash
Difficulty: 6 stars

Lash has nine docked battleships currently undergoing repairs (this just means they won't fire back--the battleships are at full strength). Jess takes the opportunity to try and sink all nine but she must complete the task in 17 days. Lash's defenses are very light, though she will capture a northern airport to make the mission more challenging. You have a large arsenal but must destroy two cannons that guard the shipyard if you are to maneuver your force close enough to attack the battleships directly. You also need to build naval units at the port, which you should capture immediately, so you can bombard Lash's battleships from sea.

Use battleships to bombard the docked enemy battleships.

Send your other infantry eastbound. There are several properties there worth capturing. The more properties you own, the higher your income. Lash protects the area with an artillery unit so maneuver a tank (in addition to your infantry and mechs) into the southeast to eliminate the artillery quickly. Meanwhile, as you move your army east, keep your medium tanks near the front and your indirect-fire weaponry immediately behind. As Lash's units approach, ensure that you are not close enough to be attacked before moving. You need to be the aggressor! Move within one tile of Lash's possible movement so you can attack on the next turn.

Soften up Lash's medium tank with your indirect-fire weapons, and then you can eliminate it with a single attack from your own medium tank. Crush Lash's initial force and turn north. After capturing the port, build a battleship and send it toward the shipyard. You could also use the battleship to help bombard the cannons, which will pave the way for your army to reach the shipyard and assist in the destruction of Lash's battleships. That's the quickest way to complete the mission. You could also build battleships from the port but they must be defended by cruisers against Lash's air support, which arrives very quickly.

But if you advance far enough up the east side, Lash turns her air support in that direction. Your anti-air units should have little trouble against the bombers and battle copters. After capturing the base in the southeast, reinforce your army with more anti-air units--they're really your only threat at this point. There's another neutral base on the east side that Lash desperately tries to capture. Prevent it if possible. Otherwise you will have to deal with some infantry and light tanks.

Capture this city and you'll unlock a secret mission.

The most important thing to remember in this mission is that Lash will join damaged battleships. Although this "heals" a battleship completely, Lash also loses an entire unit in the process. This makes your job much easier, especially with multiple units bombarding the battleships. As resources permit, continue to build battleships at the port with a cruiser support. Finally, don't forget to use Jess' CO power!

You will also want a lander to transport an infantry unit to the neutral properties on the western edge of the map (the city south of the port). Capture that city before completing the mission to unlock a secret level, Danger X 9.

Drake's Dilemma

Objective: Drake is swept up in Hawke's assault. Will he survive?
CO: Drake and Kanbei
Enemy CO: Hawke
Difficulty: 4 stars

Drake's naval force is trapped on the northern side of the map. A small channel runs from his units to the southern part of the map where he has some properties alongside Kanbei, a Yellow Comet CO assisting in the mission. Your goal is simply to destroy the two large cannons protecting the channel. Battleships are your best option for eliminating the cannons, so be sure to keep these indirect-fire naval units healthy!

Use battleships to take out these two cannons.

On day one, start moving your naval force south. Use the reefs as defense against Hawke's plentiful ranged weaponry that lines the channel. Also, dive your subs so Hawke's units and cannons can't attack them. You should try to keep your battleships on the reefs on every move. Also, remember that indirect-fire weapons, such as the artillery and rocket launchers that Hawke uses to defend the channel, can't strike any unit next to them. Therefore, you can safely move ships next to indirect-fire weapons without fear of attack--at least from that particular unit. Your battleships also outrange many of Hawke's units, so destroy them on your way through the channel.

Meanwhile, use your southern starting points (both Drake and Kanbei) to capture nearby cities and bases. Kanbei comes under assault quickly, so produce some light units (recons, tanks, infantry) to hold off the assault long enough for Drake's battleships to finish the job on the cannons. Eventually Drake will have enough money for his own ground force, which can be placed on the lander available in his naval force. Destroy both cannons with your battleships to complete the mission successfully.

Rain of Fire

Objective: The enemy marches in along the volcano. Can they be stopped?
CO: Jess
Enemy CO: Hawke
Difficulty: 4 stars

This is a fairly straightforward mission with a twist--the huge volcano in the center of the map creates some seemingly randomized damage when it erupts at the beginning of each day. Watch the spew pattern and avoid being struck if possible. Both COs begin fresh. There are neutral properties in the northwest and southeast corners of the map. You need to control at least one of these corners to successfully push against Hawke in the northeast.

Control the northwest corner. Use the initial few days to build infantry and APCs to maneuver your units toward the northwest and southeast corners quickly. Position the APCs between your southwest base and the two corner bases so you can shuttle infantry there quickly. Capture the bases and cities there while continuing to build infantry at your headquarters to capture other nearby properties.

Whichever way you don't attempt to control must be defended heavily at the chokepoint around your base. We suggest going for the northwest corner. Once you're in control there, build at least three medium tanks with an APC loaded with an infantry unit in tow. The medium tanks will gain the upper hand in the area surrounding the enemy headquarters. Meanwhile, at your own headquarters, spend resources on rockets to bombard incoming enemies. You should plug the bridge to your headquarters with recons, infantry, and a medium tank when you can afford it.

Once you're in control in the northeast, place your medium tanks on the enemy bases to prevent reinforcements from arriving. If any reinforcements are built, just attack the new enemy units with your medium tanks. As funds permit, build more medium tanks from the northwest base and send them toward the enemy headquarters.

Send in the APC and drop off the infantry unit onto the enemy headquarters. During the mission, if you see a unit struck by the volcano, move it to another tile--a friendly city preferably, so the unit can undergo repairs. Watch the ammunition levels of your rocket launchers. Consider placing an APC near them to supply them with more ammo. The mission ends once you have captured the enemy headquarters.

To the Rescue

Objective: Sami's been trapped by Adder! Save her!
CO: Eagle and Sami
Enemy CO: Adder
Difficulty: 5 stars

This is a challenging mission. Conquering Adder's laser cannons is tough enough, but you must also contend with rescuing a far overpowered Sami before Adder's battle copters overrun her position. If Sami loses all of her units, the mission ends in failure. Remember that the objective isn't to destroy all of Adder's units but to simply destroy the four laser cannons. These laser cannons fire horizontally and vertically in all directions--they also fire every day so you should strive to have no unit in their line of fire at any time.

Eagle is given a substantial army to start with--in stark contrast to Sami's piddling force! Maximize your air units and don't put them into any unnecessary danger. Always check Adder's units to ensure that your own are not within firing range. You need to initiate the first attacks on this map if you are to survive long enough to rescue Sami and destroy the four laser cannons.

Use your fighters to destroy Adder's bombers. You also have anti-air units that can also help control Adder's nearby air force. Bombers are your best bet against the cannons but it's tough getting close. You should attempt to keep your own bombers as healthy as possible but you will be able to construct more.

Over the first few days, concentrate on eliminating Adder's air threats with Eagle's own air force. Wait until you have reached the CO super power before using it--and also, don't use it until you have moved all of Eagle's units for the day. Using lightning strike gives Eagle's mechanized units another turn! This is great for hitting two units in succession--or better, making a run against one of the laser cannons. Keep that in mind during the latter stages of the mission if you're gunning for the last cannon.

Once Sami comes under heavy air assault, you'll likely lose her anti-air forces. Quickly send her infantry to the mountains south of her base. You'll be relatively safe there but may come under additional attack. It's wise to leave one of Eagle's jets nearby to intercept any copters looking to finish off the Orange Star CO.

As you move toward the laser cannons, check the firing range of any nearby missile launchers (or the movement range of any nearby air units) so you can safely move next to the cannon for the attack. Bombers do the most damage but your battle copters may prove essential if your bomber has been damaged--you may only need slight damage to finish it off, so keep your copters close.

Navy vs. Air

Objective: It's Drake's peerless navy vs. Hawke's air force. Who will win?
CO: Drake
Enemy CO: Hawke
Difficulty: 5 stars

Hawke has four battle copters on the way so it's important to keep your cruisers together as you move northeast across the map. Also, check the copters before moving and ensure you won't be attacked first. You're also given a lander, two infantry, and an anti-air unit. Load an infantry and the anti-air unit onto the lander and send it to the adjacent island to the east so you can capture the cities there or, if you send it further northeast, an airport--which you can use the turn the tables on the air-happy Hawke!

There are other properties to capture in the west, so train more infantry to capture them to get resources flowing in quickly. There's also a second port north of your original base. Capture it!

To beat Hawke, you will need to capture his headquarters in the southeastern part of the map. Defeating all of his units is a tougher challenge, so if you are to achieve an S-rank with the maximum points for speed, capturing the headquarters is the way to go. You will want an additional lander or two to send over to his island. Load an anti-air unit into the lander as well as it can defend your units from battle copters and bombers as well as enemy infantry.

Maintain control of the water west of Hawke's headquarters. Your cruisers can annihilate air units in a single attack--as long as you are the attacker. Position them properly if Hawke sends out more air support to ensure you have the first attack on the next day. Invoke Drake's CO power when it becomes available to dish out some damage to Hawke's units and suck half their fuel.

Danger X 9

Objective: Capture the enemy lab and seize the plans for their new weapon!
CO: Eagle, Drake, or Jess
Enemy CO: Hawke
Difficulty: 5 stars

This is the secret mission opened if you capture the western property in the mission Sinking Feeling. You have just nine days to capture the Black Hole lab in the northeastern corner. It's an extremely fast time table. A quick survey of the terrain reveals an unusual layout. There are several pipes that barricade portions of the map off from each other. You must somehow navigate the pipe formations quickly to reach the northeast corner.

Begin by moving your western ground troops directly north. You have a battleship and cruiser in the water. Send each northeast as close to the shore as possible. Look to the east and you'll find some properties of yours next to a neutral airport. You need that airport! Build an infantry at this base. You have another base in the southeastern corner. This area is heavily defended but it's still wise to build from here as a distraction to the enemy forces. Train an infantry unit.

Capturing this airport is key to your success.

On the next day, move your infantry onto the airport and begin capture. From the same base the infantry came from, build a rocket launcher. You'll use it to blast apart the pipe seam just to the north. This is the route you're going to take to the lab! On your northwestern troops, look out for a battle copter assault. Use your cruiser to eliminate as many as possible. You also have anti-air (build another at the base in this corner). Make wise combat decisions to gain the advantage on each battle. Don't forget to use your battleship to soften up the enemy units!

Once you've cleared the northwestern corner, send the medium tank directly east toward the pipe seam north of your captured airport. You must go through this hole to reach the lab in time! Meanwhile, after capturing the airport, move the infantry south (to avoid getting hit by the Black Hole rocket launcher in the area) and then build a transport copter in the airport. Move the infantry onto the copter.

Your other units near the medium tank are expendable and should be used to block the chokepoint north of the airport. Plug the chokepoint east of the pipe seam exit so you can move the transport copter out safely. In the southeastern corner, continue to train units to serve as distractions.

With the transport copter safely through, just maneuver it next to the lab and drop off the infantry unit onto the lab. Capture the lab over the next two days to complete the mission.

Great Sea Battle

Objective: The final battle is at hand! Destroy the pipe to the factory!
CO: Eagle, Drake, or Jess and Andy, Max, or Sami and Kanbei, Sonja, or Sensei.
Enemy CO: Hawke
Difficulty: 6 stars

This mission is all about your eastern CO. He or she is the closest one to the factory pipe. It's only a short trip across some water to drop off some rockets to bombard the cannon then pipe to complete the mission. Meanwhile, your western COs must simply clog up the northern area of the map and prevent Hawke's western advance. Use the first few days to generate your infantry and capture the properties around your bases. Utilize APCs and transport copters as necessary. There are also several missile silos on the map. Use them to soften up a cluster of Hawke's units.

Your eastern CO will eventually load a lander with two infantry and move to the southeastern island. Capture all the properties there, then prepare your rockets, anti-airs, cruisers, and battleships to move up the eastern edge of the map. You can get your rockets close enough to bombard the cannon below the pipe and the pipe itself. Hawke won't make it easy on you, however; he will send over air units and even transport copters with mechs to prevent your attack. Make sure you include anti-air units in landers. Continue to shuttle units from the southeastern base to this location so you always have defenses. You may also want a neotank should Hawke move over some heavier armor, such as a medium tank.

Back in the northwest, clog the narrow bridges with neotanks, fighters, and rockets (behind all these units for indirect-fire attacks) to hold Hawke at bay. Continue to reinforce this group with whatever is needed to continue to block Hawke from the advance. For instance, if he sends over jets to destroy yours, build a missile launcher; if Hawke moves in more neotanks, build your own.

Chapter 7: Black Hole Missions

This section compiles walkthroughs for Advance Wars final two missions.

Hot Pursuit

Objective: Attack the enemy citadel!
CO: Choose Max, Grit, and Jess (best to have Grit in the west, select him second)
Enemy CO: Sturm
Difficulty: 6 stars

This is an interesting mission because it's one of the final missions of the game, but it isn't particularly difficult. You won't have to contend with Sturm's large army. It's bottled in by the pipe seams and remains near the three cannons in the north. Orders are simple: destroy the three cannons!

Grit is a great CO to use here because of his indirect-fire superiority: you're going to use plenty of indirect-fire weapons! Your goal over the first few days is to begin capturing properties around your initial bases. You should also build a rocket launcher at each base. Your middle CO can begin destroying the cannons guarding the pipe seams and your western and eastern COs can use the rockets to bombard Sturm's navy as he moves to the southern corners. You need to at least destroy the western sea units so you can move up the western side of the map with a lander. Build a couple rocket launchers in this western base to aid in the destruction of the sea units. Build a battleship when possible.

Continue to churn out units in the middle base. You want a lot of units because many of them will serve as decoys when you make the final push against the cannons. Remember that those main three cannons only get three shots a day. So if you have a flood of units in the middle, only three will suffer damage. You also must try and not place any units in the line of fire of the two lasers, which also fire every day. If a unit suffers damage, place it on one of your buildings to initiate repairs. And finally, don't move into the range of the main three cannons until it's time to make the assault!

After controlling the western seas, load two rockets into lander and send it to the far northwest corner. Before dropping off the rockets, use a battleship to destroy Sturm's rocket, which is protecting this corner. Then drop off your two rockets and bombard the main cannon and all surrounding units. You should try to kill as many of Sturm's units as possible so you achieve a decent power rating.

Continue to destroy all small cannons in the middle then take out the pipe seams. You should have a ton of rockets, neotanks, medium tanks, and whatever else to repel Sturm should he move down his small army below the cannons. Once you've amassed a large fleet, start moving them beyond the first pipe. You'll take damage from the two cannons but it won't be severe as long as you have tons of rockets. Start bombarding one of the cannons and destroy it. Before destroying the second cannon, bombard all of Sturm's units to increase your power rating. And as always, don't neglect your CO powers!

Final Front

Objective: The final conflict! Stop the enemy's missile from launching!
CO: Choose Colin for cheap units and Eagle and Max for their air power.
Enemy CO: Sturm
Difficulty: 7 stars

Your goal is to destroy the "deathray," which is the large radar-like device situated in front of the Black Hole missile launcher. With the deathray destroyed, Black Hole will fall into disarray and you will be able to defeat them once and for all--hopefully! One the first several days, build infantry and begin capturing the numerous properties around each of your three CO bases. There are also some missile silos nearby that can be captured; launch the missiles at clusters of enemy units to maximize damage potential.

Sturm will continually pour units into the southern area of the map. Don't worry too much about these. If a headquarters is being captured, you should have little trouble repelling it or at least slowing the process. You should try and destroy as many of Sturm's forces as possible to increase your power rating (if you're concerned about achieving an S-rank).

After you have built up enough funds, start building bombers at all airports. You have a direct path through the center of the map to the deathray, though there are a few dangers to be aware of. First, the deathray fires every seven days in a straight line due south from its location. There are also two large cannons just below the deathray that can dish out some damage. Attempt to minimize damage through the middle by avoiding the cannon range and any anti-air units Sturm may have close by (typically a missile launcher).

The western and eastern COs can head north from their location and come at the deathray from the side. There are three pipe seams to bust through but then you have a direct shot at the target. Watch out for fighters, especially to the east. You may need a fighter escort for the bomber here.

With enough bombers going through the middle, it will be impossible to stop your advance even if you're taking damage from the cannons (but definitely avoid the laser!). The deathray will fall in one to two bombing runs, depending on your CO. Once it's destroyed, the mission and campaign ends in success.

Chapter 8: Secrets

This section compiles secrets to be found in Advance Wars 2. Thanks to Gamefaqs.com and their respective contributors for these secrets.

Enemy Lab Locations (Normal Campaign)

Capturing the enemy labs provides access to secret missions. Defeat the secret mission and receive the use of neotanks for the remainder of that set of missions.

Orange Star Missions: On the level Flak Attack, it's the city just north of your headquarters. Capturing this city unlocks the secret level Test of Time.

Blue Moon Missions: On the level Toy Box, it's the city in the southwest, just east of the enemy headquarters. Capturing this city unlocks the secret level Neotanks?!

Yellow Comet Missions: On the level Show Stopper, it's the furthest city to the south and west of the stronghold. Capturing this city unlocks the secret level Sea of Hope.

Green Earth Missions: On the level Sinking Feeling, it's the southern city on the western island. Capturing this city unlocks the secret level Danger X 9.

Unlocking COs

  • Adder - Beat campaign mode.
  • Colin - Purchase either Grit or Olaf.
  • Drake - Beat Green Earth campaign.
  • Eagle - Beat Green Earth campaign.
  • Flak - Purchase Flak in Battle Maps.
  • Grit - Beat Blue Moon campaign.
  • Hachi - Beat hard campaign mode.
  • Hawke - Beat campaign mode.
  • Jess - Purchase either Drake or Eagle.
  • Kanbei - Beat Yellow Comet campaign.
  • Lash - Beat campaign mode.
  • Nell - Receive an overall "A" rank in campaign mode.
  • Olaf - Beat Blue Moon campaign.
  • Sensei - Purchase either Kanbei or Sonja.
  • Sonja - Beat Yellow Comet campaign.
  • Sturm - Receive an overall "S" rank in campaign mode.

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