Research is one of the most important ways of increasing your power in AMS. While the easiest way to build power is by training troops, and that's what many new players do, it's a mistake. Troop power can be wiped out by a single attack from a stronger player (and there is always a stronger player out there), while Research power can't be taken away. Research can improve every aspect of your game, including battle, construction, officers, defense, gathering, and resource production, to name a few. My advice to new players is to focus your efforts on Research first, and Officers second. If you spend little to no money on this game, spend a good portion of it on Research speedups. You should always have a research task going (although it's smart to wait until Research Day to start the more expensive ones).
Research should be your focus no matter what power you are. Even high level players can get an enormous power boost by unlocking the United Combat System with the United Combat Master research task. The United Combat System is found in the Assignment Center building, and allows additional buffs based on your Officers, Robots, Planes, and HQ Appearances.
The hierarchy of research is as follows:
- Research Tier (Tier 1, Tier 2, etc...)
A full listing of all Research Tasks can be found here: Table of Research Tasks
Details on each of the Tiers can be found here:
Making Research More Efficient
Since Research is so important, and since it can be so resource intensive (both in time and in paint & plastic resources), it's important to make your research as efficient as possible. Here are some ways to make your research tasks take less time and use fewer resources.
- Start your Research on Research Day (Battlefield Buffs)
- Medal Talent
- Use the Correct Assignment Officers
- Use the Correct Command Officers
- Use Research Buff Items
- Battlefield Position Assignment - Scientist (Core Base)
- Buy Research Speedups when they are on sale
Start your Research on Research Day
This refers to the Research Battlefield Buff that activates every week on Thursday (Battlefield Time). The buff massively reduces the amount of resources needed for your research tasks that are started on that day. If you can, hold off on starting large research tasks until this day to save your precious resources.
One research buff that many players overlook is to change your Medal Talent to Research. To get to your Medal Talents, click on your Avatar in the upper-left corner, then click the Medal Talent button at the bottom. Switch to the Command tab and click on your Command Medal I. You have three options for the Command Medal I Ribbon Talent Buff: Increase Construction Speed, Increase Technology Research Speed, and Increase Unit Training Speed. It costs 200 gold to switch your talent buff, and you can gain a +10% research speed buff by switching to Research.
Don't forget to switch back to Construction on Build day, and Training on Troop day.
Use the Correct Assignment Officers
- Eric has the highest Research Investment bonus of any officer when assigned to the Technology Department. Eric (B)'s Research Investment (B2) increases research speed by up to 180%, while Eric (S)'s Research Investment (S3) increases research speed by up to 210%.
- Amazon also has a Research Investment bonus when assigned to the Technology Department. Amazon (B)'s Research Investment (B1) boosts research speed by up to 60%, while Amazon (S)'s Research Investment (S1) can boost research speed by up to 76%.
- Boxer (S) - when assigned to the Technology Department, Boxer has three skills that boost research:
- Silent Night (S) has the Technology Specialization (S) skill. This skill boosts the utilization rate of all Tech Points by up to 60% when assigned to the Technology Department. This boost is for both Military and Administration Tech Points.
- Gingerbread Man has the Construction Guide skill, which improves the efficiency of Admin Tech Points when assigned to the Technology Department.. Gingerbread Man (A)'s Construction Guide (A) gives a 60% boost, while Gingerbread Man (S)'s Construction Guide (S) gives a 70% boost.
- Don't forget about buffs to increase your help time! Dr. S (A), Dr. S (S), Gingerbread Man-X (A), and Gingerbread Man-X (S) have the Ambassador skill. Ambassador (A) gives a 600% corps help time boost, while Ambassador (S) gives a 720% corps help time boost.
- Gingerbread Man-X (A) and Gingerbread Man-X (S) also have the Tactics Guide skill which boosts the utilization rate of Military Tech Points. Tactics Guide (A) gives a 60% boost, while Tactics Guide (S) gives a 70% boost.
- Soldier-X (S) has an important skill that has an indirect but very valuable research efficiency impact: The Command I (S) skill improves the impact of the Technicians Department of the Assignment Center - Command. Soldier-X must be assigned to the Military Department. See below for how this helps.
- Brian (A) or Brian (S) have the Command II skill (Command II (A) or Command II (S)), which boosts the impact of the Auditors Department. See below for how this helps. Brian must be assigned to the Military Department for this boost.
Important to note here are the officer parameters that factor in to the battlefield skill percentages for Assignment Officers.
- The skill level (I - XII) is the largest factor - Eric S's Research Investment skill is only 5.25% at skill level I, increasing to 210% at skill level XII.
- Officer Prestige has an impact as well: an officer with full Prestige can boost those skills by another 25%.
Use the Correct Command Officers
The Technicians Department has the ability to give a Research Speed boost, and a boost in Resource Utilization Rate for Research Tasks. The value of the Speed boost depends on two factors:
- having Officers with at least 14 stars total, and
- the average Officer level of the officers assigned to that department
Notice that one thing I didn't mention as a factor is using the Specified Officers for that department. Because the Technology Research Speed buff appears as a Basic Buff, you don't need to use the special officers, and can instead use the highest level officers you have to get a bigger boost. If you are following the first suggestion in this list (start research tasks on research day), you don't really need the Resource Utilization boost. Using 4x level 120 officers I was able to get a 74% research speed boost when paired with having Soldier-X (S) assigned to the Military Department (see above).
However, if you are starting research tasks on any other day, you might want that Resource Utilization boost, which requires Eric, Lupen, Sergeant Max, and Steven, and they need to have a total of 16 stars or more.
The Auditors Department also has a Research Speed boost, however this one requires the specified officers (there are 4 different groupings, check the Auditors Department section for more information). A minimum of 16 stars is required. The Auditors Department is further boosted by having Brian assigned to the Military Department (see above).
Assigning the correct Plane to the Development Zone Garrison slot, with the correct Attributes and Gears can make a big difference in your research efficiency. Assign a Vampire, or even better an F117, both of which have attributes that improve research speed (+35% when maxed). Equip your plane with Christmas Frost gears to add a Research speedup of +160% when maxed, and a 4-piece Set Effect of +2% research speed for each Lab upgrade. There are also 14 Components that boost research speed (search the Table of All Components for "Research" to find them).
Use Research Buff Items
There are two buff items that give a Research speed boost: 1-Hour 10% Research Speedup, and 1-Hour 20% Research Speedup. Obviously the latter is more powerful. Use them just before you start a new research task.
Battlefield Position Assignment - Scientist (Core Base)
If you're on the good side of the Battlefield Commander they can appoint you to the Scientist position, which gives you a +10% Research Speed Boost.
Buy Research Speedups when they are on sale
Every Thursday (that's Battlefield Time - or Wednesday night for those of us in the US) a pack of Research Speedups goes on sale. If you're spending money, this is a good purchase to make: