In the (mostly) balanced Ultimate Apocalypse 1 vs 1 match, seconds mean the difference between victory and defeat. You’re thinking: pish. Whatever. My strategy is just fine the way it is.
Well, if that were the case, you’d be the exception. Most of you UA gamers out there have tight multiplayer sequences that ensure victory somewhere in tier 2. Not fun. I prefer we get into tier 3 before all hell breaks loose. And against the Harder AI, that’s usually the case. Games last 16 – 21 minutes, and, lastly, go longer and you’re probably fucked anyway. In Dawn of War: Soulstorm, both buildings which harvest the two economic resources available begin to deteriorate as the game drags on. Eventually, their output is but a fraction of its original state. Be done killing your foe before that happens.
Also, always start two power generators and a barracks. Three or two builders, one or two focus on tier 1 in the first 90 seconds of the game. No matter what army you choose, you will need to execute some near-perfect permutation of what I said. Outcome of survival largely dependent upping hitting those marks at 90 and 180 seconds.
Once you lay the groundwork, the rest is just about surviving while having little or no standing army for most of the game. Crazy? Possibly…
But in actual practice, this approach consistently baffles the AI. They seem like they’re ready to fight right about when I’m half way to being ready. And, typically, I find a quick and powerful way to drive them off, after they’ve gnawed on my base a bit. It buys you the time you need to GET to that next tier unit to repel the insurgents. And it almost feels like the AI gets all bummed and they huddle back in their base and sulk. I’m always looking to take the ground YOU are so willing to vacate. Sure why not?
So don’t leave your best horse in the stable. Build ONLY your best units. Don’t fuck around with the flim-flam. Get to the good shit and then CRANK ON IT.
If you DON’T win with 17 of the same unit all piled up in your opponents base, you have failed to grasp the concept. If it’s good… why change it? Here’s a good reason: they build a counter to my first choice. So, have a second. Or a third if necessary. But winning strategies are a lot more fun than losing ones. I mean, I still lose a handful of games a session. Maybe 1 in 6. It happens. Almost always because of a bad unit matchup in their favor.
Moral of the story is: keep doing multiple things and stay alive. Remember that the computer will not forget to reenforce, or research technologies. They expand and learn at the same voracious speed all the time, and so to must you. If you PLAN to be around in the end (more often than not), respect the strat.