Today’s theory is: Navy. Some RTS games have it, some do not. What does it accomplish? What is the theory of it’s use? How do you do Navy?
Naval units, if available, represent a very unique factor in some maps. If you map is landlocked, then no, you have no reason to worry. If you play a mix, and do allow for the presence of water, navies are powerful weapons and command a new approach to achieving victory. If a strategy game was like a jigsaw puzzle, water would be all one big giant important piece. Like owning all of Asia in Risk. It’s almost totally essential to give water your utmost attention. Water, like I said, is all one big piece. It has no battle-line, and things roam about on it freely. Willy-nilly, you might say. It is therefore, essential to bring ORDER to this fragmented land. YOU MUST OWN THE WATER.
Let’s just be super dooper clear: own the water. To win on a water map, OWN THE WATER. The water is one connected piece of property. To own it is to also possess a firing line into everything that water touches. Secure the edges of the water, keep a dock or some such from being built, and wa la! Victory! To top it off, navy units are often OP (overpowered). They have like 6 guns that do different (yet bad) things to anything that happens to be dumb enough to wander by aimlessly. Navy units DISH OUT punishment. And are beefy. Considering all these factors, and the power that owning the “water piece” of the puzzle unlocks, it seems foolish to disregard the water.
So, games that allow water are great. Games that do not, of have neutered navies (See Battle for Middle Earth II) should probably be considered on a different plateau of sub-genre of RTS games. They narrow this potion probably because of a gimmick of some kind that would make navy units unfeasible.
Anecdote: Today I was playing Age of Mythology: The Titans. Because it’s cute and fun. Anyway, I was on an islands map (implying that two lad masses are permanently separated/surrounded by water), and had 3 docks all slamming the fishing nodes all around my island, but I had pinched the spaces between the islands; having two big globs of navy units on either side. There was no way to get into the water between our bases, as a result, and I then piled up ranged siege ships along the inmost coast separating our two islands. I pounded AI’s base flatter than hammered shit. Surrender came BEFORE I even mounted the ground assault. I had 50+ units boarding transports and preparing to disembark when he called it quits. OWN THE WATER.
It’s pretty much the key. Some games do hover units. Yeah. Still, own the water. Navies represent some of the most ridiculous units spanning multiple games as examples. They crush regular units by the handfuls. Even in lamafied versions of navy, they are rare, and worth getting because they then allow you to control a piece of the map that is unlike anything else. One big piece to rule them all.
Control the water, and reinforce your economy to handle carrying the added burden of a navy. If it’s available (even if it restricts the type and variety of ground unit you can make), add water to your battlefield.
For you, this only means one thing: if there is water, you must fucking own it.