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Dai Senryaku (大戦略)

WTF is this?

Dai Senryaku is one of the oldest, most prolific and most reknown series of military strategy games... in Japan. Indeed, in the West, only two titles were ever released, both in North America only: the most well-known is Dai Senryaku VII Exceed, on PS2 and Xbox.
Exceed has been fully translated in English, and like Advance Wars, every game in the series actually works roughly the same way. So once you've mastered the menus in Exceed, you can import/emulate the Japanese only games and play them without too much trouble (although knowing your hiraganas/katakanas is always a plus).

Dai senryaku share many similarities with another award-winning strategy franchise : Advance Wars. Both games have the same type of gameplay, as both are turn-based : you move all of your units and manage your production, then the enemy moves their units, then you move your army again, etc. Both games have the same rules : to win you must either capture your enemy's HQ, or eliminate all of their units. Strikingly, despite the larger size of DS's battlefields, in both games the number of units per army is limited to 50.
However there is no story to talk about in Dai Senryaku, no characters, and no settings. Although the geography of the battlefields is completely made up, the armies belong to real countries (Japan, US, France, Israel, UK, China). Every country has its share of strenghts and weaknesses. For beginners, the US seem to be the better choice (US units are stronger than the norms, but cost more money).