The Advance Wars series does not have a widely organized metagame community currently, but some fans of the series have organized their own mini-tournaments.
Here is the the generally accepted criteria for a competitive PVP (Player vs. Player) map:
- Two armies (Orange Star vs. Blue Moon)
- No pre-deployed units
- A players wins by defeating all enemy units or HQ capture.
- CO Powers
- CO Powers are generally allowed, unless both players agree to turn them off.
- Tag Breaks (in Dual Strike) are generally frowned upon due to balancing issues.
- Players start with 0G.
- Each property generates 1000G
- Weather is not allowed (except via CO Powers)
- Fog of War is not generally not turned on, but is in some matches if agreed upon by both players.
- Each player has an HQ
- Each player has 2-4 Factories
- Each player has 1-2 Airports
- Throughout the map there are 20-40 additional cities
- Comm Towers, Missile Silos and Sea Ports are not used.
- There should be a balanced mix of Roads, Plains, Mountains and Woods.
The following units will compose the majority of your army in competitive play:
- Infantry - Essential for capturing properties, building power meter and increasing unit count
- Mech - Good on capturing, good for mountains. A cost-effective way to punish enemy vehicles.
- Recon - Moves very fast on Roads ; Good for escorting your capturing Infanry early game
- APC - Gets your Infantry to bases on the center of the map much power
- Tank - Has an advantage over all cheap land units.
[Days of Ruin]
- Bike - Stronger/faster version of Infantry, but a little pricier.
The following units are essential due to their ability to counter units which prevent you from winning:
- Artillery - Cost-effective indirect unit for holding certain areas. Punishes tanks.
- Battle Copters - These are a good way to punish enemy Tanks and Artillery.
- Anti-Air Tank - This is the only practical way of stopping enemy B. Copters from destroying your units.
- Fighter - Essential to maintain air superiority.
- Black Bomb - Effective in punishing clusters of enemy units.
[Days of Ruin]
- Anti-Tank - A good way to punish enemy Tanks and Md. Tanks
- Md. Tank - Price is lowered, so it's a good way to crush regular enemy Tanks.
The following units are not as common, usually due to the fact that they are relatively expensive to deploy, but definitely have their use in certain situations, especially late game.
- Rockets - Larger range than Artillery but more expensive and easily punished.
- Bomber - Punishes land units but is hard countered by Fighters and Anti-Air Tanks.
- Stealth - Wins against almost anything, but is pricy and needs to often refuel.
[Days of Ruin]
The following units are rarely used because they either far too expensive or easily punished.
- Missiles - Slow and its indirect range is lower than the Anti-Air Tank's movement range.
- Megatank - Slow and expensive. Usually an Md Tank is just fine.
- Piperunner - Pipes aren't used and even so, they're pricy and easy to punish with Infantry.
On a 1 vs. 1 PVP map, the following principles determine success:
- Direct units are faster and more reliable than indirect units most of the time.
- Try to capture the bases and cities in the center of the map first, before the opponent does (but don't overextend)
- Having a higher unit count is an advantage because you can use weaker units to protect stronger ones.
- For this reason, generally better to build many cheap units rather than a few expensive units.