Of all the community-based mods I have tried for the multitude of PC Real-Time Strategy games I’ve played, NONE compare to this one.
The fantastic mod group over at MOD DB/Relicnews forums have been working on this total conversion for years, and are constantly endeavoring to change the mod, it’s gameplay, and innovating new elements, modes and ultimately, strategies for this complex and superb RTS. I can’t tell you enough how fantastic this game is, thanks to their hard work.
In light of this, I’d like to present a few game theories that I have come to develop as a result of playing my talented and constantly adapting foe: Will (Rotz). Because we are always challenging each other, and looking for the advantage, we’ve developed tremendously fun and interesting new strategies for this modded PC game.
-Early Build Order-
Clearly, the most important phase of the game occurs within the first 3.5 minutes of the game. If your not executing some form of this build order, you’re probably doomed. A solid, consistent plan is key, as future development and progression through the technology tiers is dependent on your ability to execute these initial procedures.
Your going to get 1 builder, and an HQ building which produces 2 units of immediate use: more builders, and an offensive unit (usually a really weak unit, later, completely expendable). Starting sequence looks something like this:
1st builder = 2x to 3x power generators
HQ = 2x offensive unit, 2x builder
1st offensive unit = captures nearby requisition points, which can have listening posts built on them.
2nd offensive unit = goes out to the “middle” somewhere and grabs a strategic point, for line-of-sight and to get some early requisition gain, then works it’s way back grabbing additional points.
Schedule both of these units to cap every requisition point between the middle, and your start location.
Builders = help build the power plants, split 1 off when a post can be built, or split one off if you need a barracks (or pre tier-up building) to advance to tier 1.
-Developmental Build Order-
~2:00 through ~4:30
You should have every point capped, a post on each, and IMMEDIATELY begin upgrading those posts. Just the first upgrade, then stop.
2 offensive units = standing around near the middle providing LOS. They will die. You don’t really care if this happens.
Go to tier 1 right as it’s available. Do not build any additional offensive units yet.
Buy both economic upgrades.
Go to tier 2, still not building any units (they’re going to get dead if built now, and will represent a waste of resources as the game develops).
By the end of this phase, you’re in tier 2, and ready to buy the second set of economic upgrades.
-Combat Readiness and Developing a “Battle-Line”-
From ~5:00 until the end
Part of my game theory is the Battle-Line, or, the point at which your “claimed territory” collides with your opponent’s. For clarification, your ground represents area on the map you believe you can hold if challenged by opposing troops. THis makes the Battle-Line the place where combat, albeit, on several fronts even, is taking place to contend for said ground. It’s pivotal to success to push this area of contention towards your opponent’s base. Doing so usually results in a win, until you get down to last-minute desperation maneuvers (like scrambling to some secret area to build a new HQ or production building to keep from being eliminated outright), keeping oneself alive at all costs. THis is a good attitude to have. As Commander Peter Quincy Taggart would say: “never give up, never surrender!”
Back to the BO: You’re into tier 3, and rapidly heading to 4 after all available economic upgrades are taken (pending +3). Now, it’s time to queue some powerful units and pummel your opponent’s offensive front. It is at this point that a BL will develop on the map, and collisions of armies will begin taking place. Hopefully, you’ve planned for a solid balance of ranged and melee offensive units. Right? Important to strike a fair-proportion here, because up front units can be considered expendable (in my mind), or, in place with the sole purpose of giving your ranged units some LOS and firepower advantage over whatever your opponent has brought to the battlefield. YOur stuff may die, but so will theirs, and by that time, you’re ranged have control of the BL and can push. Melee-type units should be tough enough to hang in there a while, until the ranged units have done the bulk of the damage, according to this player’s theory, anyway. =)
Now, do upgrading of troop-based technology in instances where it poses some tactical advantage to the units you are mass-producing. Make ONLY the troops you need to have buffed receive technology upgrades. no wasting resources on useless techs.
There is no Build-Order beyond this point, really. It’s up to your own personal strategy to win or lose the fray.
1. Keep squads reinforced and eqq\uipped with relevant bonus weapons for whatever situational challenge you’re dealing with. Do this only for squads that are tough enough to hang in while the BL fighting is going on. Do not waste time upgrading low-level units that will perish at the hands of much bigger things. 2. Manage your economy until you get queues rolling, then go all out and build powerful units and basically forget about your economy. If you have to worry about it again, it’s because you’ve lost, and the BL is being pushed your direction.
3. Cap your opponent’s listening posts and strategic locations as they are destroyed/surrendered due to the BL crossing over them. This will damage their economy and make your romp more success than brutal, unwelcome collision.
4. Micro manage your units as you push the BL around. Don’t let anything sit there firing for long. Your opponent will strike down (or should) idle units with targeted attacks, so make sure to scramble things up with lots of MM-ing.
This is the strategy and theory I’ve developed. It’s working so far in my matchups of late. It should vastly differ from yours, which is what makes this game great, am I right? These are suggestions and ideas for debate, not the WAY that if adjusted or digressed from will result in failure. Not at all. GO out there and wing-it! Complex, adaptive and competitive gameplay are all necessary to have a good time challenging your mind and wits in the Ultimate Apocalypse.
“FOR DE DARK GODS!”