I wanted to make a handy little beginners guide to help new people get better and have more fun on-line:
The list order is basically just what I was thinking of, not organized by subject:
Just follow these tips:
1) Learn Unit cost:
It's important that you know most of the unit costs and have them memorized. It seems tedious at first but a large chunk of AW success is knowing how to manage your budget. This becomes very important in the early parts of the match. building the wrong units or not enough can cost you the entire game.
2) Put yourself in the other player's shoes before you move.
What do you think they would do? Playing for 2 is not easy, but this thinking will help you to stay prepared for what your opponent will be throwing at you.
3) During the expansion phase, make sure you keep defence in mind.
As you try to capture those far reaching areas of the map, think about what will happen if that infantry or bike is attacked and killed. You just wasted 1500 dollars. Make sure that you expand fast but also keep what you have protected. A recon or tank will do. Another good strategy is to go for the buildings farthest from you first, the ones close to you can always be captyred later.
4) Know all the units capabilities and weaknesses, and learn their foils.
For example, a Wartank coming at you may seem threatening, but an anti-tank can stop it dead in it's tracks. If you are being swarmed with bikes or infantry, a recon or two can usually mop them up. If b-copters are pestering you, anti-airs are cheap and powerful ways to blast them out of the sky.
5) Bigger is not always better
More powerful units are not always better. building a medium tank during expansion phase will drain your treasury and is utterly pointless. building a bike where only an infantry is needed is also a waste. The little costs add up. That's not to say that a power unit like a Wartank or a bomber isn't usefull, but making simply one of them, or deploying it incorrectly and wasting it is not a good way to go.
6) Know thy enemy
Flares are very useful. They can be used to scout out enemy positions, and avoid traps. If you can now see your enemies, you can attack them and not get trapped by them. They also reveal hidden units in mountains and forests, making them invaluable when placed near long range units like rockets or missles.
7) Look at the terrain first, and study it well
plan ahead on where you plan to go and what you plan to do. For example, if you see there is an island, and it has a factory on it, do not bother transporting massive units via lander, just capture the factory and build the units there on the island.
8 ) Subs and Battle Ships make great company
a bunch of B. Ships escorted by some subs, and maybe a cruiser or two for anti-air, can be a powerfull force. In AW offensives must be filled with units that compliment each other. Spamming tanks or b copters wont work unless you are playing a garbage player. Send units of all different types who's weakness are covered by the other's strentgh, such as a Tanks + artillery.
9) Every move counts
do not make a move just for the sake of moving. Every move you make in AW takes you in one of two directions, towards victory or towards defeat. Plan and analyze each move and dont get in the habit of clicking a unit while you think. Do the clicking in your mind. The more you do it, it will soon become second nature and bam, you will find yourself doing much better.
10) Dont Level feed!
Tossing little units at your enemy is bad!! After a while, his area will be filled with leveled up units and veterans. Now what if he then tossed them all at you? Bam, your done. Make your attacks swift and precise. Attack with intent to finish off what you are attacking soon, because leveled up units are very strong and can pose a serious threat. remember, a unit levels up when it kills something. It doesn't have to kill it by itself, it merely has to deliver the finishing blow.
11) Have fun
No one likes to be bored. Thinking to much can ruin a game for some people, and if you are one of these people, then remember that you dont have to scrutize and plan for every possible scenario, just play and have fun if it's what makes you happy.
added jan 25:
12) If you have the option, cut off your enemy's supplies
As you know, if a unit is occupying a production building, you cannot build on it. If you have the chance, plugging up your enemy's seaports with excess gunboats or placing units on their factories is an excellent strategy. If it is early in the game, your enemy will now have to destroy whatever you have placed on it. This buys time and can throw a monkey wrench in his strategy. Dont do it for every map, it usually doesn't work too well on very large maps.
As you get closer towards the end game, your enemy will manufacture units like crazy just to stop your progress, as you move in, try to stem the flow of units by plugging up his manufacturers, to save yourself from a certain headache.
13) Deploying CO's
You can deploy a CO by clicking on a unit that is in it's respective creation building (ex. a tank in a factory or a plane in an airport), and choosing the CO option. A small area will surround that unit, this is your CO's area of influence. Any fighting that goes on in that area will basically fuel your CO bar, which, when full can be used to unleash some usefull effects. If your CO unit dies, your CO bar gets reset.
I dont have all the CO's so I cant comment any more on which affect are better or worse. I personally choose Brenner, as his CO power adds 3 health to all of your units, as well as a defence boost, which is quite usefull.
14) Effective use of defence units
Different untis are good at different things. Tanks are for attacking, artillary is for defending. Do not attack with artillary, it will be destroyed.
Here are some tips for using defence units:
Artillary: Keep them in areas where the enemy will be funneled through a certain point. Their range is not that extroardinary, and they are not very strong. I dont recommend using them in wide open spaces, as they cant move and attack at the same turn, nor can they counter-attack. Good for smaller maps with mostly ground units.
Rockets: These are great for larger maps and go well when accompanied by a unit that can see far, such as a recon or flare. There attack is strong, but they can only attack ground. They also cannot engage enemies within two spaces of themselves, meaning that if the enemy can get close, they are in danger.
Missles: These are extremely potent anti-air units that have a very large range, and all of the limitations of the Rockets. just like rockets, they should be in a position where they can see very far, and if the enemy is too close, they should be retreated.
Anti-tank: This units is a very versatile defence unit. It can attack many different types of units, and fair especially good against mechanized units, like tanks. If you are being attacked by a group of med or wartanks, an AntiTank can save the day. Their ability to counter attack makes them invaluable defence tools.
More coming soon.