Why are we nerfing ALL the DS COs? This ISN'T Advance Wars 2, and it shouldn't be balanced as if it were.
That and Advance Wars 2 wasn't any more balanced than Advance Wars DS IMO, just differntly so.
But here is what I would do to the COs though:
First comes the general rules as far as I can tell for CO balance in AWDS (at least assuming the COs as they are unaltered):
A situational 10% boost requires no penalty: (Jake/Koal).
A HIGHLY situational higher power boost also requires no penalty (Kindle and Javier, I do think they are balanced, again: situationally powerful does NOT mean broken, especially when the situation is map dependant).
A 20% power boost is negated by a -10% penalty (Eagle, Jess, Drake).
+1 or -1 anything but movement is equivalent to 10% power (Max, Grit, Rachel)
Monetary benefits and penalties are hardest to balance as making Colins units 80/80 would make him incredibly underpowered and (as AW2 vets know) raising Kanbei to 130/130 makes him distinctly evil.
But it seems that a decrease is cost (or an increase in funds) of 10% is equivalent to a 10% power boost (Hachi and more importantly: Sasha).
OK now here are my suggestions as far as the rules are concerned:
10% rule: Leave as is, IMO the less COs we have to alter the better, as to an extent making ALL the COs weaker doesn't really balance them so much as change the balance entirely.
20%/-10% rule, leave as is but only to a point, as one must think about not just the POWER of the units that matter it is also the scope.
Lets look at the Green Earth COs as an example of this. Just looking at their day to day stats: Jess gets a benefit to 10 units while getting a penalty with 8, and her scopes include: +Ground units, -air units, -sea units, +/- most direct units and +/- most indirect units. Eagle gets a benefit with 4 units and a penalty with 4, but also gets a fuel bonus as well. As he is the only CO who gets anything like this there is no standard for balancing it except scope, his scope is: +Air units, -sea units, +/-some direct units, -one indirect unit. Drake has the same number of units as Eagle, +4 and -4 but he doesn't have subsidiary benefit, his scope is: -Air units, +sea units, +/-some direct units, +one indirect unit. So other than Eagles fuel benefit, Drake and Eagle are roughly equivalant day to day at least in this VERY simplisitc look at scope. Jess is better though, her scope includes Ground units, which are in most cases better than Sea or Air units (if nothing else than on the grounds that a lot of maps only have ground unit access) and her total number of beneficial units includes more and more variable units. Adding CO Powers into this mix make sit more complicated, especially when comparing Jess, Eagle and Drake as none of their COPs are anything like eachother, especially in DS.
+1 anything is equivalent to 10% penalty: I think this is roughly accurate as I don't really see Grit as overpowered (as he REALLY loses a lot in Direct Combat, not to mention that the scope of his benefits are pretty bad in terms of not only monetary cost but also in terms of targetting usefulness: Air battles tend to kick his ass unless he uses CO powers [this is information I gathered by using him by the way]. He is very good in land battles, especially one swith choke points, but the truth is that anything highly cheap that he can do nearly anyone else can, as even with a 20% power boost, it usually takes 2 shots to kill most units, which is the same number it takes most COs, and most instant kills, are still instant without the boost. Not only that but in a land Battle, Jess has the same benefit in terms of power. Without the range increase Grit would be massively underpowered. People might disagree with me on this, these are simply my opinions.
Money: I think that in general their rule works for money, but in order to make it apply to both Kanbei and Colin equally (instead of making Kanbei look more powerful than Colin. Colin - 10% loss: free equivalant to 10% power, 10% loss, for 10% power loss. Kanbei - 20% gain for 20% power gain, 20% FREE Defense gain). I would say that a better rule would be: the first 10% cost decrease should be free, and that each increase/decrease beyond the first should be equivalant to 10% power and 10% defense. Kanbei would fit this rule exactly and Colin would fit it if we made his units 90/90 as many people suggest (this is ignoring Gold Rush, which needs to be changed, but I am thinking mainly about day to day stats at the moment and will tlalk about CO Powers later). My opinion is that both Hachi and Sasha are balanced day to day (it is their COPs, not day to day stats that ring their balance into question).
CO Powers are a lot harder to balance, as they need to fit the CO, be better than their day to day stats (or give them some other advantage). Since the rules for this will break apart with many COs (like Colin and Shasha, whos COPs defy most rules in terms of power level). So I will discuss them in my splurge on the other COs.
Jake: Leave as is. Giving him indirect range is a balance for a situational Power Boost. Also, if he didn't have it then his SCOP would be too similar to Jess'. In fact, Jess' would be flat out better in even MORE cases then it already is just flat out better. Last, +1 vehicular indirect range for 1 day isn't all that powerful anyway. Yeah so he is really good in land combat? He's supposed to be. Besides, its not like it effects Carriers and Battleships.
Rachel: Leave as it, Covering Fire is NOT Broken, true it is very good on small maps against 1 opponent. But on bigger maps against more opponents it is a LOT worse. It is situationally powerful, which is something that wasn't in AW2 so much, but does not make it overpowered let alone broken. Remember, this ISN'T AW2 its AWDS. Her day to day boost is rather good as well, but it can also be taken advantage of to remove her money forcefuly with well targetted attacks, especially with missile silos, as she can't NOT do it and the extra HP of repair costs could easily lower her funds below what she needed to build a crucial unit.
Nell: Um...not sure what to do here, since without her luck boosts being uber she is underpowered as it IS a luck boost. She has no variability and no way to effect anything but the damage she does. But I can see her being overpowered though...
Hachi: Again, not sure. 10% cost decreses day to day mean nearly nothing, they have a small effect in the long run but it is his powers (mainly his SCOP) that break him. But the problem is that the part of his SCOP that is ocerpowered is not the money part but the building part (yeah the money part is powerful, but the instant 1 neo per city is the evil part, not the 1 neo per base, that is managable since he gets not other boost at all). Maybe make his COP lower his costs by 20% (to 30%) by the rverse of the money rule, though that would make him lose the power or defnese side of the equasion entirely (technically, by that rule, he is totally balanced as is as far as his price decrease, which is definitely not that case). So I really don't know.
Andy: I say leave him as is, he needs a good boost since his day to day stats are, well...nothing. That and destroying his units as oppose to maiming them negates his SCOP's main benefit. Also, since he is the only CO with no day to day benefit, it is OK for his SCOP to be more powerful. Especially since in DS the day to day benefits are more beneficial then they are penalyzing.
Max: Give him a +1 movement during his SCOP and lower the power boosts to 40/60. Don't make him better day to day (as an AW1 veteran, even the idea of Max better day to day SCARES me).
Sami: Leave her as is. Since Sami is pretty balanced, especially when you take tagging into account. Victory March is INCREDIBLY powerful, and any loss in terms of other things can be accounted for with that, especially now that CO meters charge faster, and that infantires fill it up by a comparatively large amount to the resources they cost when compared to AW2.
Olaf: Change his day to day power boost in snow to 10% (by the situational 10% free rule) and then balance his fuel benefit in snow with an equivalent fuel penalty in rain. This should balance his CO Powers out as well, as he can no longer trigger a 2 day power boost of 130% on the first day and 120% on the second day, but of 120% on the first day and then 110% on the second. The fuel penalty he can trigger is powerful, but if it starts raining with random weather he is penalyzed. Also, it owuld make there be more point to the rain from Typhoon, which serves little purpose right now as it penalyzes Drake as much as everyone else.
Grit: I would keep his Day to Day stats as is and instead increment the power boost from his CO and Super CO Powers so that his CO power isn't as evil as it is. I would suggest making Snipe Attack increase his power by 10% with indirect units (making the total 40% power during his COP) and then leave his SCOP alone, making it more worth the star cost. EIther that or make them both less powerful (130%/150%) If you adjust his day to day benefit to 10% power, I would adjust is penalty to only 10% also as "indirect units" is situational enough in my opinion to warrent being free without the range increase, which does equate to 10% loss in as many units as he loses power in.
Colin: Make his units 90/90 by my suggested rule above. Keep Power of Money the same and instead of increasing Gold Rushes star cost, decrease the money benefit it givs you to 1.25 (if you can't figure out that hack, then 4 stars seems fair for it).
Sasha: Keep her the same, she is powerful, but there really isn't a way to alter her that balances her. I would also like to point out that while her COP is rather powerful, her SCOP leaves a lot to be desired unless you are really late in a battle and both of you have incredibly expensive units. Most of the time I have used it (and I use Sasha a lot, she is one of my favorite COs) it has given be a relatively negligable advantage compared with what I already had (a 6 star SCOP to make a single powerful unit? As that it essentially what it will do in most realistic situations).
Kanbei: Leave him as is, yeah his COPs are powerful, but they seem ok for the star cost and his unit price increase is really hampering on incredibly low income maps.
Sonja: WHY does everyone want to sump the VISION! I would personally leave her day to day stats alone and then remove her CO Powers ability to lower terrain defense more. Either that or just change her into AW2 Sonja, either way works. Removing the vision boost WOULD balance her, but it would also do something incredibly horrible. She would cease to be Sonja, her day to day benefits would no longer have a similar net effect. You would have essentially made her a different CO. I say, if the day to day star lowering it too powerful, then dump that. Don't mess with her vision increase. As out of FOG it does nothingl, and in it is isn't even close to game breaking on it's own (believe me, I ALWAYS play with FOW on when playing other people in AW2, and we often have battles without Sonja even being one of the COs). Again, a situational benefits that is powerful is not broken. Especially when the situation is as battle dependent as FOW.
Sensei: Leave as is, yes his benefit to battlcopters is really good. But he only gets it with 1 unit, and his only other benefits are with only foot soldiers. That means that Anti-Airs totally destroy all of his benefits. Having a single unit as a bane, especially one as inexpensive as an A-Air is an INCREDIBE weakness. Also, his COP isn't all that powerful, even for 2 stars. As other than capturing, even 110% infantry are rather useless except when attacking other infantry. Especially when they have 9HP. And the 20% power boost to copters won't change that much on the long run as most of his 1HKOs are already pushed by his 50% bonus and to most other things another 20% won't matter that much. It is also highly unlikley that a battlecopter being damaged will be a high consideration since mose units either kill them outright or do nearly nothing to them. So the fact that a 50% power boost keeps many instant kills while it is damaged isn't all that impressive.
Grimm: I personally don't see him as overpowered. His 20% defense loss is an incredible weakness. And his COPs are rather boring. His SCOP is usually unneccessary (extra damage above 100% is totally useless and most of the time all you will need to get that 1HKO is the boost from his COP) unless you are swaming with weakner units. Which isn't a bad strategy with him as his defense loss is irrelevant if his units die instantly anyway. But even that doesn't make him overpowered, as there is still the limit of unit production centers (which even considering tage, only Sensei and Hachi can get around, sensei with only Mechs and Infantry and Hachi is broken by himself already).
Eagle: His day to day stats are fine. I would rather see him have 110/110 planes instead of 120/100 planes (I think that would be balanced as well) but thats not a balance issue, it is more of a personal preference. His COP should lower his units defense as well. Yeah, it could be removed with a CO Swap, but in this case a CO swap would almost be neccessary to save your army. This would remove his ability to use it two days in a row which would be a lot better (Even if it WOULD still be rather powerful). Another tactic would be to lock their attack for the second action, making it essentially an UBER movement boost. Though that with no penalty would make Adder look horrible, especially since you could attack before using the power.
Drake: I would change him to AW2 Drake honestly. But if we were to leave him with the 20%/-10 I think he should have something else, either his movement boost or maybe the ability to not have his vision penalyzed in rain (as now, Typhoon penalyzes his units as much as his opponents as far as weather goes. At least before he could move normally in Rain, but with DS weather that is no longer a factor). But the +! movement would even him out in sea combat. As it stands, I would much rather use Grit in a mostly naval situation.
Jess: I would make Jess' vehicle power boost 10% and keep her otherwise the same. She gets around the 20/-10 rule in three ways: First of all, her scope is the best of ANY scope for any other CO as it includes both direct and indirect units that are powerful against all unit types. Second, her penalties are somewhat lessened by her CO Powers ability to refuel (and to a lesser extent re-ammo) her units, making her not bad at all in Naval and Aerial combat despite her power penalty (which is not enough to make her lose the first strike advantage). Third, her benefits effect 2 more units than her penalties. With her COP benefits effecting an addtional 1 (APCs get the movement boost). True the scope of both Drake and Eagle's CO Powers are better, but that is offset by her day to day benefit being more useful on most maps and by her refuelling which broaden's her powers scope slightly. That and her
:smallstar::smallstar::bigstar::bigstar::bigstar: power meter (for anyone who doesn't see what I just did. I made her AW2 Jess, but removed the infantry penalty. Check out the numbers, even her CO and SUPER CO powers add up aside of the 10% power boost that all COs got during the conversion).
Javier: Leave him as is, on maps without towers (which is most of them) he isn't powerful at all. And even when there are towers, unless the number of towers he has easy access to it really large (which is unlikely) he has a distinct penalty in that it is rather easy for his opponents to remove his main advantage. Yeah, he beats Grit's ass. But anyone who uses mainly direct fire units can mostly or entirely ignore his other benefits. Having a major advantage over one CO is not grounds for being overpowered, even if that is your favorite one. And get over the 10 towers thing. In order to get even CLOSE to 10 towers Javier would need to lose so many funds (as Towers don't provide them) as to be nearly screwed. Yeah, if he got the ten towers and then put units on all of them and his HQ he just won. But that is a lot harder to do than a Victory March win with Sami against even 3 other opponents. Or a 100% defense Kanbei HQ capture on 3 of them for that matter. And no smart player would ever let him get the 10 towers. This doesn't even consider that the most towers I have seen on any map is 6, and that they are either in a place to be fought over or the most any CO automaticlaly gets is 2, and he would still have to protect them as his livelyhood nearly entirely depends on it. Also, Javier only gets defense from Towers, any CO with them gets power.
Flak: Leave as is, hes random, but fine in my book.
Adder: Leave as is, I think he is a tad underpowered but I don't see anything that can be done to change this without overpowering him. Especially now that the number of COs that grant movement boosts is cut (Jake [vehicles only and only on SCOP], Adder, Koal, Jess [vehicles only], Eagle [kind of and no footsoldiers], Sami [foot soldiers only]) and he is one of two COs that gives a universal movement boost to all units (Even Eagle's can't effect infantry).
Hawke: Leave as is, his CO meter is WAY longer than the powers themselves warrent, which is perfectly fine to balance out a universal 10% power boost, as part of that boost can be explained away by the 10% rule, and isn't game breaking even just by itself.
Jugger: Leave as is...really he isn't that different than Flak...just more random in both directions and with a longer CO meter. Meaning his SCOP is harder to get but his COP is easier to double up on, perfectly fine IMO.
Koal: Leave as is, pretty much like Adder. His COP is different (gains a star to get a pretty good Road Bonus to both powers). Nothing really to do to him, making his CO Meter the same as Adders would make him just better than him. As it stands his COP is a bit worse but his SCOP is just flat out better (140% power on roads isn't all that bad, especially as it effects air units, which lose nothingg for being on roads). Being on roads relegates your opponents to roads, plains and the occasional forest or city on most maps, so unless they are Jake, you don't lose much if you use the right units.
Kindle: Leave as is, her power boost is UBER, but it is rare and none of her powers have any real effect on maps with low numbers of facilities. The only power she has that effects units that are not near/on cities is her SCOP, and that benefit isn't all that spectacular unless she has an incredible number of facilities (since most maps relegate most COs to about 10 facilities, this will usually only be 30% power, which by itself isn't worth 6 stars. Of course, if your opponent stays clear of facilities, her COP will do literally nothing, so her SCOP is better than it in that case). Need I even mention that Andy is one of her banes as not only can he semi counter Unban Blight with Hyper Repair, but as he can repair his units without needing Facilities, he can better keep the battle away fromurban areas so long as he protects his cities with highly defensive units.
Von Bolt: I would make EX Machina (Demolition Bolt) effect the same size as a black bomb and leave it otherwise the same. That would be scary, but we have to remember that it IS a 10 star power and that he has no COP. Add to that that he only has 120/120 units during it (and only for one day) which is as powerful as his units get on his own. And I think that is more than fair. 10% power and defense isn't all that significant at all, especially at the loss of a COP and with a SCOP that is at least 2 of not 3 or 4 stars overpriced. That and in the case of Von Bolt I would rather er on the side of slightly overpowered then slightly underpowered. As he IS the final boss. And even with that SCOP, he still has nothing on Sturm.
Well, now that I have posted my really long post on my opinions on the COs. I await all of you who inevitably disagree with me. But hopefully some of you will see my points. Anyway, I'm done. This took WAY to long to write.