Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 FAQ
Written by George Ngo (a.k.a. Eggo from GameFan magazine)
Special thanks to my RTS partner in crime, Tao, also of GameFan and
Feedback is welcome via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
2.0 – Added an outline to the FAQ, a section on individual map
strategies, and expanded the advanced tactics with some great tricks
such as the double War Factory and an alternate build order for the
Rhino Rush. Made significant changes to the Tank Destroyer,
Superweapons, and Rhino Rush sections. Also made scattered revisions
all over the place (too many to list). I'd recommend re-reading
everything if you're hungry for information.
Overview/Objective: I come from a background of playing WarCraft II and
StarCraft heavily online. I've always believed Real-Time Strategy
games should be played online against human opponents because fighting
the computer doesn't teach you how to play a game. It teaches you how
to defend and build up an overpowering army of outrageous proportions -
tactics which DON'T work against a living, breathing opponent. This is
my first F.A.Q. and first time playing a Command & Conquer game. While
I like Red Alert 2, I've noticed that a lot of the players online are
not very good. Sure there are newbies in any online game, but I'm
noticing more scrubs in Red Alert 2 than other games. I'm hoping this
F.A.Q. can improve the quality of play online and raise the level of
competition so it's easier to get a good game going. I'll assume you
already know what all the units are, what they do, what's needed to
build them, etc. This F.A.Q. just talks strategy and tricks. I hope
all players (be you rookie or expert) find it useful.
a) Unit Descriptions
b) Structure Descriptions
a) Unit Descriptions
b) Structure Descriptions
a) Desolator Bomb
b) Rhino Rush
c) Rocketeer Rush
d) Engineer Rush
e) Kirov Escort
V. Individual Map Strategies
b) Urban Rush
c) Isle of War
d) Little Big Lake
e) South Pacific
f) Anytown, Amerika
g) Lake Blitzen
h) Golden State Fwy
Iraqi Desolator – Pound for pound, the best unit in the game.
Excellent for wiping out ALL ground-based infantry including Tanyas,
Chrono Legionnaires, and Yuris with its Rad Cannon. The only exception
is the British Sniper… but fighting against Great Britain, you should
be able to steamroll your opponent before the Sniper can even come into
play. Deployed Desolators are also great for wiping out ALL Allied
tanks, parked Harriers, and to a lesser degree… Rhino Tanks. If an
opponent is using Desolators against you, use Harriers, Rocketeers, or
Terror Drones to deal with them. See the strategy section for tactics
such as the Desolator Bomb, which really maximizes this unit's
potential. Desolators also make good base defense. Keep a few around,
standing behind your buildings to wipe out enemy Paratroopers,
Engineers, Tanyas, and Chrono Legionnaires. If you're playing Soviets
(and you should be), Iraq should be your first choice.
Libyan Demolition Truck – Not as well-rounded as the Iraqi Desolator,
but perhaps more deadly. Libya is a great second option for Soviet
players. If you can detonate one of these in a guy's base early, the
game should be over. Just be sure to follow it up with an immediate
attack of Rhino's. I've had a guy 'bus' me three times and take me
down to a Con Yard with no buildings, yet he was unable to finish me
because he was too intent on attacking with just Demo Trucks. These
things are expensive (1500), and an early one can really set you back.
A good player should be able to intercept a Demolition Truck with a
Harrier, Rocketeers, or a Terror Drone well before it reaches his base.
Building a Truck warns your opponent as the driver says, "My truck is
loaded!" when it comes out. Listen for it! You should never be
surprised to see a Truck drive into your base. If you are, you deserve
to lose. When steering a Truck, aim for the Refinery early, or the War
Factory if he already has two Refinery's built. Con Yard's take more
than two Demo Trucks to destroy, so it's not really feasible to go
after it early. Always try to blow up a Demo Truck in the enemy's base
if he builds it! You hear the warning, and if you can get there in
time, you can detonate it in his base, wiping out his forces. Very
entertaining. Also, Yuri's can turn a Demo Truck back the way it came.
NEVER leave a truck parked in your base! These work GREAT under an
Cuban Terrorist – Cuba would be my third choice when playing the
Soviets. Wan Zafran came up with the crazy strategy of planting
dynamite on five terrorists with a Crazy Ivan, then loading them in a
Flak Track for a makeshift Demolition Truck. It's the exact same cost
as a Demolition Truck, but there's no verbal warning ("My Truck is
Loaded!") when you do this and the Flak Track travels faster than the
Demo Truck. Just park the Flak Track near a guy's Ore Refinery or War
Factory and when he blows it up, it will take out the building and
damage adjacent structures, while loosing a minor nuclear bomb. The
blast and green aftermath doesn't seem as lethal as the Libyan Demo
Truck, but at least there is no verbal warning that you built it. This
tactic is a bit too fancy and time consuming to be practical, but it's
fun. Just build five Terrorists, hotkey them, grab a Crazy Ivan, plant
dynamite on all five of them, then load them in the Flak Track. Don't
worry, you have plenty of time to do this before they explode if you
use hotkeys, and that ticking sound in your base is natural.
Russian Tesla Tank – If I see my opponent has a Russian flag as the
game loads, I tend to relax. All the other country specific Soviet
units are deadly, but Tesla Tanks don't scare me. If I'm wrong on
this, please enlighten me, but I think Tesla Tanks fire too slowly,
thus making Rhinos a better choice. I hear Tesla Tanks are good for
frying buildings, but why not build more Rhinos?
Conscripts – These guys are not bad, but I don't recommend building
them. Train them only when you need to garrison a building near your
town and your initial bunch of conscripts isn't nearby. While not
worth building, these guys are definitely worth getting if you can
control an airport on the map. Towards the end of a long game, you can
easily have 50+ conscripts standing around from all the paradrops.
This is a lethal force capable of walking right through enemy defenses
and annihilating a guy's base. Just grab them all and watch the
creeping wave of death on the mini-map. A sight the enemy won't soon
Attack Dog – Very useful unit early. Dogs make great scouts in the
beginning of the game because of their speed. Train two or three of
these and open up the blackness surrounding the other guy's base BEFORE
you build a radar so you can see what he's doing and prepare the
appropriate countermeasures. Dogs are also useful later in the game as
infantry killers. If fighting an American opponent, I like to keep
five dogs scattered around my base in case of untimely paradrops. Just
position two dogs below a paradrop (before it lands) and they will make
quick work of all the Paratroopers. If you're really paranoid about
Spies, leave an Attack Dog near your Ore Refinery, War Factory, or
Engineer – A great all-purpose guy to have on hand. I always train at
least one engineer at the beginning of the game. If there are derricks
or an airport on the map, he's already ready to go. If there's nothing
worth taking in the field, leave him parked behind your Con Yard or
other important buildings (War Factory, Iron Curtain) so he can
instantly repair them in the event of an emergency.
Tesla Trooper – I hear these guys are decent, but I've never lost to
anybody who builds them and I almost never build them. The only use I
find for Tesla Troopers is to charge a Tesla Coil, giving it added
range and power when it ZAPS! Just stand two or three TT's next to a
Tesla Coil and they will automatically charge it with their weapon. As
an offensive unit, they are very slow and not very practical
considering their hefty price (500). You're better off spending that
money on a Desolator or Terror Drone. One interesting note about TT's:
it looks like they are not susceptible to being run over by a tank like
most infantry. I'm not completely sure about this, but I don't recall
ever running over a Tesla Trooper. Instead, I just roll by them and
watch as they crawl in my wake.
Flak Trooper – Don't build these guys. They're pretty worthless
considering they walk soooooo slowly. Rocketeers and Harriers are way
too fast for a Flak Trooper to give chase in the field. If there's a
Kirov in your town, then you can try to crank a few of these out, but
chances are if there's a Kirov in your town, you're already dead. I
heard somewhere they are pretty good against infantry, but Desolators
and Attack Dogs are much better for that.
Crazy Ivan – This is one unit I'd like to play around with more. I
think he has potential since his death results in a large explosion
which damages things around him. In the end though, you should find
that you don't really need a Crazy Ivan to win. His bomb-planting
isn't as effective as a Tanya, who can blow up buildings instantly with
no chance of a bomb being defused.
Yuri – Excellent base defense in a really long game, especially against
a Soviet opponent attacking with Apocalypse Tanks. I've seen many
games end like this: Player A rolls in with 6 Apocalypse Tanks… Player
B steals said tanks and turns right around and demolishes Player A with
8 Apocalypse Tanks (most of which are Player A's). Other potentially
game-changing units which can be yuri'ed are Tanyas and Libyan
Demolition Trucks. Note: you can not mind-control units in the air,
Terror Drones, or already yuri'ed units. If you yuri a transport, the
units inside it are still under the opponent's control. Because of the
shorter reach, it is almost impossible to yuri a Prism Tank and Mirage
Tanks usually broil infantry before they can get close. If your
opponent has Yuri's scattered throughout his base, try to take them out
with Rocketeers, Harriers, Prism Tanks, Desolators, Terror Drones, or
Yuri Prime & Chrono Ivan – If you can get these, you deserve to win.
Mind-control an opponent's Spy, then send it into an Allied or Soviet
Battle Lab. Whatever… =P
Rhino Tank – This is, as Dave Kurtzberg said in his excellent early
FAQ, your "bread and butter." This single unit can give Allied players
fits. Considering you start with four of them in a Quickmatch game,
it's very easy to train four more and instantly demolish most Allied
opponents. I'll go into more detail about the Rhino Rush in the
tactics section. I don't see why people build Apocalypse Tanks when
Rhinos are perfectly capable of dealing with Prism Tanks AND Mirage
Tanks. To a lesser degree, they can also hang with low numbers of
Apocalypse Tanks. Rhinos are only good in large packs however.
Apocalypse Tank – The upgraded version of the Rhino Tank. Excellent
for taking down buildings in seconds. A major benefit they have over
Rhino's is Apoc's can hit aerial units. In 95% of my games, however, I
don't build a Battle Lab, so I rarely see these guys. Also keep in
mind they are painfully slow to move and train. Apoc's make excellent
'escorts' for a Kirov.
Terror Drone – When I first started playing Red Alert 2, I thought
these things were too good. Now, I rarely build them. A good player
should have no arachnophobia. For Allies, Repair IFV's make great
exterminators while Soviets can just build a Service Depot to pick any
unwanted fleas off their Harvestors. TD's make excellent base defense
however. They're pretty good for taking out specialized infantry such
as Tanyas, Yuris, or Desolators. If you want to play it safe, leave
two or three sitting around in your base for protection. They'll
automatically attack anything that comes near them. Sometimes they're
capable of clearing out Paratroopers, while sometimes they get
annihilated. I'm not sure why it's not consistent. If an enemy is
attacking with a wave of tanks, crank out as many TD's as you can,
especially if he's Soviet and doesn't have a Repair Depot nearby. If
you're attacking with a group of tanks and you get infected with
spiders, execute your units by force-firing (hold "Ctrl" then target)
on them. They're already dead, and you don't want to risk one spider
taking out more than one tank. Infected Rhinos, however, can usually
hang around for a while, getting off a few volleys before you have to
put them to sleep.
Flak Track – This is your anti-air. Its main purpose is taking out
Rocketeers and the occasional Kirov. Two Flak Tracks should be able to
handle eight Rocketeers pretty easily. Four Flak Tracks should be able
to down a Kirov well before it gets near your base. The other ability
of the Flak Track is for transport - great for getting slower infantry
around the map in a hurry. I'll discuss specific strategies in the
tactics section. Little known fact: you can put Terror Drones in a
Flak Track! Great for a Spider Bomb. They take up two unit spots.
V3 Rocket – Not completely useless, but kind of risky to build. These
things have the weakest armor of any vehicle in the game. Their long
range attacks are great for destroying garrisoned buildings or picking
off deployed G.I.'s on the front lines. They are also the only Soviet
unit which has the distance to safely shoot a French Grand Cannon. The
two drawbacks to V3's are their weak armor and the fact that anti-air
weapons can destroy the rockets. IFV's, Patriot Missiles, Flak Tracks,
and Flak Cannons make V3's nearly worthless if the enemy is prepared.
MCV – On a map like The Alamo, which can result in long, grueling
games, it might be worth it to build a second MCV in the event of an
untimely air strike. As long as you have a War Factory and a Service
Depot, you can build another MCV. Or you can just get lucky and find
one in a crate.
War Miner – Definitely the better of the two harvestors. Don't forget
War Miners can attack! Their weapon isn't great for taking out tanks,
but infantry such as deployed paratroopers in the field are no problem
for a single War Miner. If you're under a heavy attack, be sure to
grab your War Miners to fight back along with your tanks. Their tough
armor keeps them hanging around a long time in a battle. I don't
recommend going crazy on the harvesting (I usually have only two War
Miners at the end of a game), as some people like to crank out over
five immediately. These same people tend to fold like paper to a Rhino
Rush, especially if they're Allied. Harvestors also heal on their own,
although it takes a very long time.
Amphibious Transport – In Quickmatch games, you never need to build
these. If your map requires transportation over water, this is your
Kirov – The only Soviet aerial unit is a nasty one. If you can get one
of these in a guy's town at full health, chances are he is dead. It
can take out buildings in seconds and has very tough armor. A level 3
Kirov also heals and is a nightmare if it's overhead. The only way to
deal with Kirovs is to down them before they get anywhere near your
base. Allies should use Rocketeers, IFV's, and as a last resort
Patriot Missiles to take them out. Soviets can handle Kirovs with Flak
Tracks and Apocalypse Tanks. Listen for the words "Kirov reporting"
when your opponent builds one. You can hear it, so you should never be
surprised by a Kirov assault.
Attack Subs – I very rarely build a navy, but when I do, this is the
first unit I crank out (usually only two, unless my opponent has a
navy). Subs are invisible on radar and can only be seen when they
attack. Definitely worth building if you're getting your feet wet.
Dreadnaught – As deadly as a Kirov, if not moreso because there is no
warning when you build one. If you're going navy, this is the reason
why. A Dreadnaught can annihilate a Construction Yard in two or three
hits and an entire base in a minute. Like the V3 rocket, Dreadnaught
missiles can be shot down by anti-air units. The range of this unit is
unbelievable. You can target objects that are off-screen.
Sea Scorpion – This is the anti-air unit of the seas. Build if
Rocketeers, Harriers, or Aircraft Carriers are a problem.
Giant Squid – A cool looking pet, but seldom used in a "real game."
Someone once called this the Terror Drone of the seas, as it can
eliminate an entire fleet of ships single-handedly if not dealt with.
Allied Dolphins can loosen a Giant Squid's deadly grip by force-firing
(hold "Ctrl" while targeting) on the afflicted unit. I think Squids
are also invisible to radar like subs, but I'm not positive.
Construction Yard – You'll want to protect this at all costs. When
attacking, this is one of the first buildings you should look to
destroy if possible. I keep an engineer standing next to my Con Yard
so he can instantly repair it if it's ever in danger. Without this,
you can't build other buildings or defensive structures such as Sentry
Guns and Flak Cannons. If someone tries to take over your Con Yard
with an Engineer, re-deploy your MCV so he can't steal it… deal with
the Engineer, then re-deploy.
Tesla Reactor – You don't need many of these. Build them over Nuclear
Reactors for sure, but you'll be surprised how far you can stretch your
existing power without going into the red. If your bar on the left is
in the yellow, you're fine. If you build lots of Flak Cannons, you'll
need more Tesla Reactors. I think Tesla Troopers standing next to a
Tesla Reactor become more powerful by charging their guns with the
reactor… whatever. =P If you destroy an opponent's Con Yard and don't
have enough juice remaining to take down his War Factory, you might
want to take out a Tesla Reactor so his Radar will go offline
permanently. When you're low on power, your Flak Cannons and Radar
won't work and your unit production will be slowed. Tesla Reactors
aren't very tough, so they're easy to destroy.
Ore Refinery – I usually have at least two of these per game. If
there's a hospital, airport, repair depot, or derricks on the map, you
might want to place your second Refinery next to it so your harvestors
will be closer to a remote ore patch. Instead of building harvestors
in the War Factory, you might be better served building another Ore
Refinery which comes with its own harvestor. It's a little more
expensive, but it doesn't tie up your War Factory and playing with only
one Refinery is kinda dangerous. If you can take out an opponents'
Refinery early and he doesn't have money to rebuild it, the game is
over (unless he controls derricks). Libyan Demolition Trucks are a
great way to accomplish this.
Barracks – Important building to have, as it builds all infantry. If
you lose it, don't worry, they rebuild quickly. Because of this, I
don't recommend taking out an enemy's barracks early. Focus on the War
Factory or Con Yard first.
War Factory – Protect this at all costs. Likewise, always keep an eye
out for an unprotected War Factory in an enemy base. It takes a while
to build one of these again and it's expensive, but considering this is
the source of all your tanks, it's a must-have building. I'm almost
tempted to leave an engineer standing next to my War Factory to protect
it, like my Con Yard. I've seen people build two War Factory's just to
be safe. I wouldn't recommend that, although building one in the
middle of the map near a derrick you control is a viable option (it
moves your tank production that much closer to the enemy's base, which
is where the fighting should be).
Naval Shipyard – I rarely build a navy, but certain situations (e.g., a
standoff) call for it.
Radar Tower – You need it… but not right away and not all the time. I
often destroy an enemy's Construction Yard before I place my Radar
Tower. Once your Radar is up, be sure to watch the mini-map at all
times! Any enemy movement should be monitored in the event of a Flak
Track with Engineers headed your way.
Service Depot – At first, I scoffed at this building. Now, I build it
if a game goes long or my opponent has a spider fetish. Great for
picking Terror Drones off of infected vehicles or repairing damaged
tanks that have survived a fight. Doing so later leads to veteran and
elite units, which are well worth having. Note: repairing costs money
and the second a damaged unit is repaired once, the Terror Drone is
instantly removed. You're better off engineering a Repair Depot in the
field then building one at your base, as the Repair Depot will be
closer to the action. If one of your harvestors gets infected by a
Terror Drone, you have time to build a Service Depot, place it, and
repair your harvestor before it blows up. I build a Service Depot
before a Battle Lab, and it also lets you build another MCV if you so
desire (though pray you don't have to).
Battle Lab – What does this building do? Beats me since I never build
it. ;) I hear it grants you the ability to build Apocalypse Tanks,
Kirovs, Yuris, a Cloning Vat, Nuclear Reactor, Iron Curtain, and Nuke
Silo. 5% of my games require a Battle Lab. If you're building
Apocalypse Tanks before Rhinos, you will die to a Rhino Rush.
Nuclear Reactor – I never build these. If you really need power in a
hurry, move your MCV to an area far from your base, drop it, and build
this. Then protect it heavily, because a good player will always blow
it up, especially if it's in your base. Stick to Tesla Reactors
instead. They're more expensive, but less dangerous.
Cloning Vat – A tremendous drain on power, but well worth it in a very
long game. This gives you a duplicate of anything that steps out of
your barracks for free. Great for mass production of Desolators,
Attack Dogs, and Yuri's. You can also send yuri'ed enemy infantry
units into the Cloning Vat to die (I think you get $ for this, but I'm
Sentry Gun – Decent base defense. Good for picking off Paratroopers or
Terror Drones near your harvestors. I'll sometimes build one near my
Ore Refinery or a few near a derricks to protect it.
Flak Cannon – Against Allied opponents, if I can afford it, I'll build
one Flak Cannon which protects my entire town from Rocketeer rushes.
If your opponent is building a ton of Harriers, Flak Cannons won't pick
them off on the way in (since he should be striking from the side or
back), but they will take down Harriers as they fly back to his base.
Place them as far from your town (but facing his) as possible, so their
range is used most effectively (i.e., planes get shot on the way in, as
they pass the cannon, and as they come back). I prefer Flak Tracks
because of their mobility and usefulness in the field, but one Flak
Cannon in the middle of your base isn't a bad idea. Don't build these
if fighting a Soviet (Flak Tracks are a much better answer for Kirovs).
Walls – I used to build four walls at the corners to completely block
off my Construction Yard so it couldn't be engineered. If you're
keeping an Engineer around to repair, however, this doesn't work.
Remember you don't have to lay each wall next to each other. Build one
wall, then place the second wall five squares away and it will build
the middle four walls for free!
Tesla Coil – Decent base defense with considerable range. I don't like
to defend my base, but if you simply must defend, you can put up a few
of these with Tesla Troopers standing next to them to add to the range
and power. Just know that they don't fire very fast and groups of
tanks can wipe them out in no time. Another way around Tesla Coils is
to knock out the power in the Tesla Reactors, however, if they have
Tesla Troopers charging the Coil, it should still fire, using the
energy from the Tesla Troopers!
Psychic Sensor – A bit fancy, but fun if you're in a long game. Pretty
cheap to build (1000) and useful for seeing when your opponent targets
your Con Yard with 12 Harriers. If the game goes this far, might as
well build it.
Iron Curtain – The ultimate closer. This is probably the best
superweapon, and I DO recommend playing with Superweapons on, as they
put an end to standoffs (e.g., French Grand Cannon, Patriot Missile
B.S.). Build this whenever possible as soon as possible. Even if you
don't have a force to use it on, just train a bunch of Terror Drones
and send them through a guy's base to wipe out infantry, tanks,
harriers, etc. Then follow it up with invincible Rhino Tanks or
Apocalypse Tanks. I think the timer counts down faster after the first
successful Iron Curtain. The time limit on this is five minutes while
the Allied Chronosphere is six, I believe. Reason number 2086 why the
Soviets are better than the Allies. Invulnerable Demolition Trucks are
unstoppable. A good player will attempt to destroy your Iron Curtain
before it can go off, so be ready to stop his assault or repair your
Superweapon with an Engineer (great if he tries to hit it with a
Harrier Strike), especially as the timer reaches 0.
Previously, I thought the maximum number of units you could get
under an Iron Curtain was four. I'd heard stories of nine Prism Tanks
being chronoshifted into a guy's town, but thought that was just a
myth. Thanks to some experimenting by my buddy Tao, he figured out
that you can indeed get nine units under either the Iron Curtain or the
Chronosphere. However, there's a slight trick to aiming it correctly.
Line up your nine units in a tight 3x3 formation (it should look like a
diamond). Aim the center of the Iron Curtain icon at the bottom of the
middle tank. If you do it correctly, you'll see nine black tanks, a
sight which should make you squeal for joy (it's really impressive the
first time you see it). Just don't forget to attack because you're so
Nuke Silo – Don't waste your time. This thing is expensive and you
can't destroy a Construction Yard or other Superweapon with it (in one
blast, anyway). The Allied Weather Storm is much more devastating, and
you don't want to give him any ideas, so build an Iron Curtain instead.
American Paratroopers – This is the side I picked when playing the
Allies. Paratroopers are great because they have an immediate impact
on the game right away, whereas all the other Allied country-specific
units usually take a while to have an effect. If you're Allied, you'll
be lucky to survive that long. Always issue the command to Deploy
while your Paratroopers are in the air. When deployed, GI's have
increased range and I think increased power. Prime spots to paradrop
are ledges overlooking an enemy's base that he can't see (especially if
he's Soviet), your base for defense, or undefended areas of an enemy
town such as his War Factory or even Construction Yard. Always drop
your men, even if you don't know where, just so you can get them. In a
very long game, bring your GI's with you in the final assault. 50+ men
are vicious, especially when deployed. A group of seven deployed
Paratroopers should be able to mow down three approaching Attack Dogs
easily. They can also demolish tanks or buildings in numbers. I've
seen 10 GI's cut down an Apocalypse Tank in no time. When these guys
get leveled up, watch out. Free men are a great option, especially for
garrisoning buildings near you OR your opponent. If there's an
airport, be sure to grab it so you get the deadly Double Drop. Dumping
16 men in a guy's town is brutal.
French Grand Cannon – This is my second choice among the Allies. If
you can erect two Grand Cannons which cover each other and then provide
adequate anti-air support (e.g., Patriot Missiles and IFV's), you have
a nearly invincible defense. Allies will have problems taking out your
Cannons without heavy air strikes and Soviets must use V3's, an Iron
Curtain, or many Apocalypse Tanks to breach this defense. You can try
building an advancing wall of Grand Cannons that keeps inching closer
to the enemy (usually two or three covering each other, then advance).
This will also mess up a guy who is building many V3's as a newly built
Cannon will shoot his V3's on the front lines. One mistake I see
people make all the time is expecting a single early Grand Cannon to
guard their entire base. You must still build Grizzly's and GI's or a
group of Rhinos will demolish that Cannon in seconds. Cannon's are
especially deadly on maps with elevation or many garrisoned buildings.
To get around a Cannon defense, cut the power. Destroy a single Power
Plant and that Cannon should go offline long enough for you to
dismantle it or wreak serious havoc.
German Tank Destroyer – I think these tanks have potential, but they
require more testing before I give a hearty recommendation. While the
benefits of a tougher tank (Tank Destroyers have armor similar to a
Soviet Rhino and the same 900 pricetag) are nice, the lack of defense
provided by other Allied units such as the American Paratrooper or
French Grand Cannon are sorely missed when playing Germany. I messed
around with Germany a bit and found the tank production slower than I'd
like. When I switched back to the Grizzlies, which build faster and
for less money, I seemed to have better results. Please let me know
about your experiences with Germany if they differ from mine. Warrants
more exploration, if only because these are the most durable Allied
Great Britain's Sniper – Great Britain's Sniper is useful against an
American opponent for picking off those free G.I.'s deployed outside
his town. Against Soviets, who rarely build infantry anyway, the Sniper
is almost useless. The most effective use of a Sniper is to house him
in an IFV. This increases his range, movement speed, and rate of fire
considerably. The beauty of this unit is your opponent can't tell
what's shooting his men, as the range is so long and the Sniper doesn't
unveil his location when he shoots (like a Mirage tank). Your opponent
just sees his men drop dead one by one. The Sniper is nice to have,
but not essential. Units like the Grand Cannon or Paratroopers have
potential to win a game, while I've never seen a Sniper win a game.
Also, instead of dealing with your enemy's free G.I.'s, wouldn't you
rather have free men of your own?
Korean Black Eagles – I see many rookies obsessed with fleets of
Harriers. This tactic is seldom viable, but if you're going to do it,
you might as well pick Korea for the tougher, more powerful planes. If
you insist on building a squadron of planes, be sure to build Grizzlies
to defend against a Rhino Rush or you will fold in minutes to a good
player. A Black Eagle rush will NEVER work against a competent player
unless you're on a water map where amphibious transport is necessary to
attack. Your eventual goal when being Harrier boy should be to suicide
a squadron of Harriers on a guy's town to take out his Con Yard, then
hit his power plants so his Flak Cannons go offline, then take out War
Factory, Barracks, etc. Watch out for Desolators in your town, which
can fry your expensive fleet of parked planes in seconds!
G.I.'s – Much better than the Soviet Conscript, G.I.'s can be deployed
for maximum effectiveness (range and power increased, I believe). They
also cost more, which is why you should play America to get FREE
Paratroopers every few minutes. Airports are also a great way of
getting free men. Like the conscripts, a group of 50+ G.I.'s at the
end of a game can be devastating. Just grab all the free men you have
and bring them with you on your final assault of an enemy's base. On
elevation, G.I.'s are particularly deadly. Always deploy your men! If
you want to get rid of an enemy's deployed G.I.'s, use a Desolator, a
LARGE pack of Attack Dogs, or just run them over with your wave of
tanks. If you can secure an Airport on the map, the double drop of 16
G.I.'s at once is nearly unstoppable if you can hold it for a
reasonable length of time.
Attack Dog – Exactly the same as the Soviet counterpart.
Engineer – Exactly the same as the Soviet counterpart. You should also
stick Engineers in IFV's to make Repair IFV's. Bring two of these
along with an attack force of Grizzlies to repair them during battle,
pick off unwanted spiders, or make a mad dash for his town if things
turn sour. You can then deploy the IFV and take over his Con Yard or
Barracks. See the Engineer Rush in the Tactics section. Be sure to
use the Escort command (hold "Ctrl" and "Alt" while targeting) so your
Repair IFV's follow your tanks into battle.
Rocketeer – A great tool for scouting early. Capable of revealing the
map quickly and with little chance of being shot down. See the
Rocketeer rush in tactics. Never try to fight Flak Tracks unless you
have over 12 Rocketeers, and even then, you might want to retreat.
These guys can be expensive if you train a fleet of them, but at least
they build quickly. Great for vacating garrisoned buildings under
Spy – Risky, but potentially game-winning. A good opponent can see a
unit on the radar approaching his town that he didn't put there.
However, a Spy could work if your opponent is doing an early Rhino Rush
(which goes without radar for a very long time). Try countering the
Rhino Rush by making a Spy ASAP and sending it to his Ore Refinery to
steal all his money. This will halt his production and give you extra
money and time to build up your army to counter-rush. Attack Dogs are
the counter if you're worried about enemy Spies.
Tanya – You shouldn't be able to get a Tanya into a good player's base,
and even if you do, he should be able to kill her before she can do
much damage. I recommend training at least one Tanya for the
intimidation factor. She also makes for decent base defense. It only
costs you 1000, and your opponent then has to erect appropriate
countermeasures in his base when he hears her unmistakable laugh.
Doing this under the protection of a Gap Generator is especially scary.
Tanyas are good for taking out ships, swimming through a river to hit a
guy's base from the back, or they can just hitch a ride in a Nighthawk
Transport. Always make these under a Gap Generator. Snipers, Prism
Towers, Rocketeers, Harriers, Desolators, Yuris, or Terror Drones all
ensure that you'll be getting the last laugh if someone tries to Tanya
Chrono Legionnaire – A bit fancy and very expensive, but a very useful
unit. To use as a distraction, teleport him out near the enemy's
harvestors. When he comes to kill the Legionnaire, teleport it around
just out of reach. He should never be able to kill your Legionnaire,
assuming you're teleporting to a nearby safe spot. He's also useful as
more than a distraction. House your Legionnaires in an IFV and the
phasing out time is cut down and he's given the added armor of the IFV.
If the IFV blows up, your Legionnaire pops out unscathed, ready to
phase another enemy out of existence. An elite (level 3) Chrono
Legionnaire IFV is DEADLY, and Harvestors are a great way to level them
up. These guys are also effective for taking Apocalypse Tanks out of a
battle, although the Chrono Legionnaire IFV is more expensive to build
than the Apocalypse Tank. Great for wiping out a Superweapon too.
Bring a Chrono Legionnaire IFV and a Repair IFV to keep it alive as you
attempt to phase that Superweapon out of existence. If your opponent
is building these, try to kill them with Snipers, Desolators, Terror
Drones (hidden in the scenery as they phase in), or packs of Rhinos,
but don't be surprised if you can't 'catch them.' The Chrono
Legionnaire IFV 'misses' a target sometimes if you target it directly.
Instead, move the IFV in range and let him lock-on to the unit
Chrono Commando/Psi Commando – If you can get these, you deserve to
win. Send a Spy into an Allied or Soviet Battle Lab to build these
guys. Whatever… =P
Grizzly Tank – Possessing much weaker armor than the Russian Rhino
Tank, Grizzly's are faster and cheaper to build. If your opponent is
rushing you with a bunch of Rhino's, you'd better have as many, if not
more, Grizzly's waiting for him or you will die in minutes. If your
opponent isn't rushing with Rhino's, then you might be able to get away
with a quick leap to Battle Lab for the much better Mirage Tank. Be
sure to watch what he's doing in his base so you can prepare
accordingly. Against Allied enemies in particular, a Grizzly Rush
(same in principle as a Rhino Rush) is very effective for ending the
contest early. I see a lot of Allied players try to build up quickly
with lots of harvestors and few Grizzlies, leaving them open to a quick
strike by 10 Grizzlies on their harvestors or War Factory.
IFV – You stick any infantry unit into these and it becomes a new unit.
The best combinations are: Chrono Legionnaire, Sniper, Tanya (fast
infantry killer), Engineer, or Crazy Ivan. If you can somehow get
Crazy Ivan's into an IFV, it becomes a mini Demolition Truck. It's
actually more powerful than the Libyan Demolition Truck, it's cheaper,
it's faster, and there's no warning when you build it! A really dirty
2 vs 2 team tactic is to have your Soviet ally build a barracks in your
town, while you crank out IFV's. Stick Crazy Ivan's in them and start
blowing stuff up. I don't recommend this tactic because it's nearly
unstoppable and VERY cheap. It's no fun for all parties involved, and
this is a reason I don't play team games online (you can also disally
temporarily to get the super units such as the Psi Commando, Chrono
Commando, Yuri Prime, and the Chrono Ivan). If you're in a team game
and you see your opponents dis-ally then re-ally, you know something is
up. Be careful! IFV's are also a good anti-air unit, the equivalent
of a Flak Track. A group of these (four or five) can take down a Kirov
in no time.
Mirage Tank – The best Allied tank. They have really weak armor, but
they're hard to target, especially if your game is laggy. Mirage's are
very powerful, capable of decimating packs of Rhino Tanks in seconds if
not dealt with promptly. They're even better at wiping out harvestors
in seconds. A major perk of Mirage tanks is they don't warn your enemy
when they attack. If you can creep a Mirage Tank over to his
harvestors slowly (move them a small distance at a time, as they don't
appear on radar when stationary), you can decimate his resourcing
without his knowing. Mirage also make for great infantry defense, as
they roast incoming units automatically. I recommend attacking with a
mixed force of Grizzly's and Mirage Tanks whenever possible. This is
your main answer to the Soviet Rhino Tank, if you can survive long
enough to build them. Mirage Tanks also train very quickly. Deal with
enemy Mirage Tanks with Rocketeers, Harriers, Rhino Tanks, Apocalypse
Tanks, or a Desolator Bomb (see Tactics).
Prism Tank – Great for destroying buildings or fishing out enemies on
the front lines. Prism's have long range, but fire slowly, move even
slower, and their blasts aren't that powerful. A major benefit is if
you hit a unit, the blast will refract to hit any units or buildings
behind it for massive damage. Always target a unit leading a pack to
spread the damage. Two Prisms along with a pack of Mirage and
Grizzlies represent the ideal attack force. The Prisms will take down
Prism Towers, Tesla Coils, etc. You can also Chronosphere nine Prism
Tanks directly into a guy's base, instantly wiping out his Construction
Yard and more. These things build very slowly, so don't build too many
of them. Mirage Tanks are much more useful in numbers. Deal with
enemy Prism Tanks with your own Rocketeers, Harriers, lots of Rhino
Tanks, Apocalypse Tanks, or a Desolator/Spider Bomb (see Tactics).
MCV – Same as Soviet counterpart.
Chrono Miner – At first I thought these guys were better than Soviet
War Miners because they teleported back, so they only traveled half the
distance. That means you're mining faster and getting more money,
right? WRONG! They only hold half as much as a Soviet War Miner. In
other words, a Chrono Miner is the equivalent of being paid every week,
while a War Miner pays you twice as much every two weeks. You're still
getting the same money, the Allies just get paid more often. If a
Terror Drone hops in your Chrono Miner, just teleport it back to the
Ore Refinery (the arrows should appear when you put your mouse over the
refinery with the Miner selected), and it will leave the Terror Drone
behind. The TD will also be stunned and vulnerable for a while,
surprised by the sudden departure of its parasitic host. Because these
guys can't attack, and therefore defend your base, I consider them
worse than the Soviet War Miner.
Harrier – If you want to try a silly Harrier Assault, see the tactics
in the Korean Black Eagle section. I like to just have one Harrier on
hand at all times to take out a stray unit in the field, kill scouting
units, Desolators, Tanyas, or Demolition Trucks. The second you hear
"My Truck is Loaded!" you should have your Harrier hotkeyed so you can
target that Truck before it leaves the War Factory. One Harrier blast
will take out a Demo Truck instantly… all the better if you can do it
in his base. In groups of four, these are good for weakening enemy
derricks or finishing off damaged buildings (including garrisoned), but
be careful. Harriers fly extremely slowly. They also heal
automatically and a damaged Harrier will NOT leave the airpad to
attack. When bombing a Con Yard with 12 Harriers, be sure to fly in
from the sides or back, not through the front of the enemy base, which
should be littered with Flak Cannons/Patriot Missiles. You will lose
your Harriers, but take his Con Yard, power, then the rest of his town.
This tactic works on stupid Global Domination maps where it's almost
impossible to get to your enemy by land.
Nighthawk Transport – This guy can be deadly. Drop a bunch of Tanyas
in the back of a guy's base unexpectedly and he could be in for a rude
awakening. Build this under the cover of a Gap Generator so your
opponent can't see it, and it's really deadly. The great thing about
the Nighthawk is it's invisible to radar! Your enemy has to manually
scour the large map to see it. If he's paying attention, he can hear
the rotors of the Nighthawk when its in your town or his, but hopefully
he won't notice it in time. On certain maps, you can use a Nighthawk
to transport an engineer to a remote island to control some derricks or
an airport without building a navy. If your opponent is building
Tanyas and a Nighthawk under a Gap Generator, you're in trouble.
Defend your base against Tanyas with Prism Towers, Tesla Coils,
Rocketeers, Harriers, Desolators, Yuris, or Terror Drones. Perhaps a
better strategy is build a Nighthawk under the Gap Generator, then
Engineer Rush him. There won't be a verbal warning when you take over
his buildings. Just be sure to distract him with a Chrono Legionnaire
or some Mirage Tank movement before you fly in.
Amphibious Transport – Same as Soviet counterpart, although you can
build a kamikaze air force for standoffs, so you probably don't even
Dolphin – Like the Soviet sub, Dolphins are invisible to radar until
they attack. Great for prying Giant Squids off their targets (Force-
fire on your unit by holding "Ctrl" then targeting it). They train
quickly and a bunch of these will take out anything in the water,
including an enemy Naval Shipyard, in seconds. I don't think the
Soviets have an answer for a large pack of Allied Dolphins.
Destroyer – Not sure why you would build these when Dolphins and
Carriers seem to be better, but I don't spend a lot of time taking in
the salty air when I play.
Aegis Cruiser – Your anti-air on the waters, and a good one at that.
Aircraft Carrier – The Allied equivalent of the Dreadnaught… the reason
you go navy in the first place. Regenerating planes that are capable
of destroying a Con Yard, no matter how much flak the enemy has. Just
build as many Carriers as needed to eventually get through his
defenses… (and watch as the game's frame-rate chokes and sputters when
100 planes take off at once).
Construction Yard – Same as Soviet counterpart.
Power Plant – Generates more power than the Soviet counterpart, but
takes longer to build and it's more expensive.
Barracks – Trains all your infantry. Much more useful than the Soviet
counterpart. Protect this.
Ore Refinery – Same as Soviet counterpart, although Chrono Miners can
teleport back. Whee!
War Factory – Makes your tanks. Keep in mind that your main attack
force and most of your defenses should be tanks, so you know how
important this is. Attack the enemy's, protect your own.
Naval Shipyard – Same as Soviet counterpart. Well, if you must… ;)
Air Force Command Headquarters – One of the drawbacks to being Allied
is Soviets tend to take this out because it makes deadly aerial units.
The bad part is it's also your radar, so you go blind without it.
Also, you need this to get special units such as the Paratroopers or
Grand Cannon. You'll need to build multiples of this if you're
training a fleet of Harriers (four per pad).
Service Depot – Not as necessary as the Soviet counterpart since you
have Repair IFV's, which are mobile, and therefore much better.
Although building this will let you train another MCV.
Battle Lab – I see many Allied players make the mistake of 'jumping to
Battle Lab' as soon as they can, neglecting Grizzly production. If
you're playing against a skilled Soviet opponent, he should make you
pay for this crime with eight Rhino's in your town well before you can
crank out enough Mirage's to make a difference. If he doesn't make you
pay right away, though, you're sitting pretty with an early pack of
moving trees. When playing against an Allied player, especially if
you're Soviet, ATTACK the Battle Lab first! It has very little armor
and getting rid of it will halt production of those annoying Mirage
Ore Purifier – A major drain on power and very expensive, but this
increases the amount of money generated when harvestors return. If you
anticipate a long game, go for it… early if you can. Completely
optional though. I like when I see these in an Allied base. I tend to
leave them alone and hit their Power Plants instead. Because the Ore
Purifier is such a heavy drain on power, blowing up a single Power
Plant is usually enough to send them into the Dark Ages. All those
precious Prism Towers and Grand Cannons will go offline until they sell
the Ore Purifier.
Spy Satellite Uplink – This structure makes for a great newbie
detector. Assuming you are competent, you should have the entire map
opened up well before building a Battle Lab. Use Attack Dogs to do the
primary scouting, with Rocketeers to mop up the remaining black spots.
I read if someone destroys your Spy Satellite, it resets the map for
you. I have no experience with this, as I've never built one in a real
game. If you see one, laugh whole-heartedly then proceed to pulverize
your sorry opponent. While the Spy Sat reveals the entire map, it
won't penetrate the dark cloud around a Gap Generator.
Walls – Same as Soviet counterpart.
Pillbox – Same as Soviet Sentry gun. I prefer deployed G.I.'s for base
defense, because they're almost mobile. A pillbox here or there
doesn't hurt, especially near a derricks to discourage hostile
Patriot Missile – Same as the Soviet Flak Cannon, but fires wimpy-
Prism Tower – Same as the Soviet Tesla Coil, except instead of charging
it up with Tesla Troopers, you power it up with another Prism Tower
that's close by… whatever. Don't waste your money on this unless you
expect party crashers like uninvited Tanyas or Engineers.
Gap Generator – This is the only reason I would ever want to play the
Allies. Assuming you live long enough to erect one of these, it
creates a "fog of war" around your base so the enemy can't see what's
going on in there unless he actually has a unit under the cloud. The
radius is pretty good, and if you pack your town in tightly, you can
cover all of it (except maybe the refinery) with one Gap Generator. If
your opponent had previously scouted your base, the second you place
the Gap Generator, that area becomes unexplored to him again. Gaps are
great for concealing tricky tactics such as a Nighthawked Tanya drop, a
'surprise' assault of 12 Harriers, or a sudden Grizzly Rush. If your
opponent has Prism Tanks, Aircraft Carriers, or Dreadnaughts, they will
have a hard time targeting structures under the Gap, and may even roll
into range of your forces as they try to 'see' what's under the cloud.
The lack of a "fog of war" (a WarCraft/StarCraft staple) takes away
much of the strategy in this game, but the Gap almost salvages that…
assuming you live long enough to build a Battle Lab. This is the first
thing I build after placing my Battle Lab. Beware, it's a power
drainer, but it's relatively cheap to build (1000). Plus, it leaves
your enemy guessing as to what lurks beneath. If you can erect a Gap
Generator in the middle of a map like The Alamo, you've pretty much
won, as he won't have time to react to a sudden assault from the middle
of the screen in any direction.
Chronosphere – I'd recommend building this before a Weather Storm
because of the shorter countdown. Chronoshift nine Prism Tanks into a
guy's town, his units (harvestors or tanks) into the water, or dump a
transport immediately in his base and unload. Any infantry (except for
Chrono Legionnaires) under the field of the Chronosphere will die, but
you can safely pack them into an IFV or Transport.
Previously, I thought the maximum number of units you could get
under a Chronoshift was four. I'd heard stories of nine Prism Tanks
being chronoshifted into a guy's town, but thought that was just a
myth. Thanks to some experimenting by my buddy Tao, he figured out
that you can indeed get nine units under either the Iron Curtain or the
Chronosphere. There's just a trick to aiming it correctly. Line up
your nine units in a tight 3x3 formation (it should look like a
diamond). Aim the center of the Chronoshift icon at the bottom of the
middle tank. If you do it correctly, you should just see the 'feet' of
your tanks under the bubble of the Chronoshift. If you screwed up, you
can cancel it and re-target before actually shifting. Nine Prism Tanks
in a guy's town is VERY bad news. You should wipe out his Con Yard on
the way in, and get his War Factory soon thereafter. This is easily as
lethal as the Soviet Iron Curtain, if not moreso. The only problem is
being able to survive long enough to build a Chronosphere and NINE
Weather Storm – This thing is nasty! If you can get it off, it will
devastate a guy's base. The only buildings it won't destroy are his
Construction Yard or other Superweapons. When you build this, expect
your enemy to come knocking at the door in nine minutes, or else he's
toast. Don't expect to get his Con Yard with this unless you follow it
up with an immediate Harrier Strike. Well worth building if you have
an impenetrable defense (just hope your opponent doesn't know what an
Iron Curtain/Chronosphere is, or your "impenetrable defense" will fast
turn porous). Interesting note: while the countdown on the Weather
Storm is close to ten minutes, the countdown seems to go pretty fast.
An Allied player does not have four minutes to build a Chronosphere to
counter your Weather Storm. It's more like two minutes. I've had to
do this before, and the Weather Storm actually counts down faster than
The Good Stuff… Strategies/Tactics!
Desolator/Spider Bomb – The idea for this actually comes from the Mage
Bomb in WarCraft II, in which you sacrifice a single Mage to destroy a
large number of enemy units with the area effect spell Blizzard. Let's
say your opponent has a seemingly impenetrable front line of deployed
G.I.'s, Grizzly, Mirage, and Prism Tanks. No easy way in, right?
Place five Desolators in a Flak Track (make sure the Desolators
are hotkeyed before you do this) and drive right up to the front line.
The enemy units will vaporize the Flak Track instantly. When that
happens, your units will pop out unharmed. Now you don't have a lot of
time, as your men are about to be lit up by Mirage Tanks and Prisms, so
instantly select the group of Desolators with the numbered hotkey, hit
"S" to stop them from using their Rad Cannon, then hit "D" to deploy
them right in the face of the enemy. Assuming you lose about two
Desolators before they can deploy, you should have at least three
Desolators sitting down in a very dark patch of green. ALL Prism
Tanks, Mirage Tanks, and sandbagged G.I.'s should fry or melt before
they have time to get out of the goo.
If your opponent can react fast enough, he might be able to
salvage some of his Grizzlies, but everything else should be dead.
3500 spent on five Desolators and one Flak Track to take out a small
army. Well worth it if you ask me. If there are a lot of Mirage Tanks
and Prisms out there, you might want to do a double Deso bomb with two
Flak Tracks loaded with 10 Desolators. "Take off, nuke the site from
orbit… it's the only way to be sure." Just be careful about rolling
your army through that green before it dissipates. Try to go around it
or you'll arrive half dead too.
If someone tries a Desolator bomb on you, it's pretty hard to
deal with. Pull your tanks back as fast as you can. Do NOT try to
kill the Desolators with your tanks. That will only prolong their stay
in the green surroundings. Once your units are safe, mop up the
Desolators with Rocketeers, Harriers, or Terror Drones. A Desolator
Bomb is also great for taking out squadrons of parked Harriers. It
will fry them in seconds if they're not airborne.
You can also do a Spider Bomb (Terror Drones) by packing them in
a few Flak Tracks. Terror Drone's take up two spots, so you can only
fit a max of two in a single Flak Track, but three Desolators and one
Terror Drone in the midst of a surprised enemy army could cause quite a
stir. Multiple Flak Tracks shuttling Terror Drones could get them
close enough for them to hop in Prism Tanks, while if they tried to
walk over there normally, they'd get blasted long before they could get
in range. The Desolator Bomb is definitely much more useful than the
Terror Drone Bomb, which makes for a better diversion, causing
temporary insanity (i.e., chaos). The reason the Deso Bomb works so
well is it negates the one disadvantage of the unit: its slow walking
The Almighty Rhino Rush – The equivalent of a War 2 Grunt Rush, this is
how I win 95% of my matches online. The general idea is you attack
with 8-10 Rhino Tanks before your opponent has time to up significant
defenses. Hit his harvestors to halt his production dead in its
tracks. With no income, he should fold in no time when you follow up
right away with another 8 Rhinos. If he can't deal with your initial
group of Rhinos, demolish his Construction Yard, War Factory or
Refinery (especially if he only has one built).
The 'trick' to a successful Rhino Rush is to keep moving. It's
VERY hard to deal with 8-12 Rhinos in your base if they're stationary.
It's nearly impossible to deal with them if they're moving. While your
tank is moving, it will fire accurately at anything near it, while many
of your opponent's shots will miss, since your tanks are 'dodging' the
Say you roll in and see his main base is well defended. Wait
till all your tanks are together, then make a break for his harvestors,
which should be relatively undefended. If there's deployed G.I.'s
there, you can just run over them with your 8+ tanks, suffering minimal
damage. Blow up a Chrono Miner… or two… or all of them if he doesn't
react fast enough. Chances are, he will undeploy any G.I.'s at his
base and come after you with his Grizzly's. If they're far away, the
Grizzly's will come at you single-file, which spells doom for them, as
your tanks should be grouped in a pincer-like formation from
concentrating firing on the Chrono Miners. If his tanks come in a
group, just move your tanks to the other side of his base. Your shots
should be connecting, while his should miss, for the most part. Now
you should be near a vulnerable part of his base. Let's say his Air
Force Command HQ. If you have time, take it out. Chances are his
tired G.I.'s will still be marching your way. If they don't have time
to reach you, take out a building or two. Con yard and War Factory are
prime targets if they're available. Once his G.I.'s come in range, he
will want to deploy them. Either run over them with your tanks by
going back the way you came, or keep going the other direction so the
G.I.'s have to pack up and follow you once again. Basically, you're
doing laps around his base, all the while blowing up everything in
sight, while his G.I.'s never get a shot off. His Grizzly's shouldn't
be able to hang with that many Rhino's, especially if his shots are
missing. I see no way an Allied player can cope with this strategy,
which is why I stopped playing them. If your enemy is lucky, there'll
be a garrisoned building near his base, but there's usually an
alternate way in which isn't as well guarded. Even if your opponent
has a garrisoned building, if there's only one G.I. in there (you can
tell from the damage it deals), you can roll all your tanks by it
without taking too much damage.
If you're playing against a Soviet opponent, the Rhino Rush is
still viable, but it can be countered with Terror Drones and Rhinos of
his own. Soviet vs Soviet can lead to lengthy games if both players
know how to defend with Terror Drones and both are building an army of
Also, if you're playing Allies, a Grizzly Rush is just as
feasible as a Rhino Rush. Just build 10-12 Grizzlies instead. Their
faster speed makes the lap-running and hit-and-run tactics easier as
The key to a proper Rhino Rush is speed. To get the most Rhinos
in a guy's town in the fastest time, I recommend you try this build:
Deploy Con Yard, Tesla Reactor, Barracks (Train three Attack Dogs and
send them out to scout), Ore Refinery, War Factory (Train eight
Rhinos), Ore Refinery, Tesla Reactor, Radar. This build order drops a
War Factory as soon as possible and trains as many Rhinos as you can
muster ASAP as well. Don't waste time building War Miners in the War
Factory, since the second Ore Refinery gives you a free harvestor
without tying up the War Factory production. Two War Miners is plenty
against an Allied opponent. The danger of this build is your power is
almost always in the yellow. If a fleet of Rocketeers comes over your
town, you could be in trouble. One thing I also do is build a Flak
Cannon without placing it. If I see Rocketeers in the enemy base, I'll
build an extra Tesla Reactor, then place the Flak Cannon. If he has no
airforce, I right click on the Flak Cannon (not having placed it) to
cancel it and get all my money back. If you want to play it safe,
build one or two Flak Tracks before starting Rhino production. It's up
to you. Right before you attack for the first time, cue eight more
Rhinos to build. They will be ready for you when your first group is
An alternate build that I've had a lot of success with is the
following (again, thanks to Tao for figuring out this build order):
Deploy Con Yard, Tesla Reactor, Barracks, Ore Refinery, War Factory
(train optional Flak Tracks, 1-2 harvestors, then eight Rhinos), Radar,
then Ore Refinery. At this point, your Radar will go offline due to
lack of power. If it's a tight situation and you need that radar back
ASAP, sell the Refinery. You will still have the harvestor and the
radar will come back online; although you'll be down to one Refinery
(somewhat dangerous against a Libyan opponent). If the situation isn't
too bad, go without Radar for five seconds while you build another
Tesla Reactor. The benefit of this alternate build is you have up to
four harvestors early and plenty of resourcing for the late game.
Against Soviet opponents, in which the game can go long due to Terror
Drones and Rhinos of his own, I recommend this second build.
Here's an advanced trick which you might not have known about:
Owning two War Factories speeds up your tank production! No, you won't
be able to build tanks out of both factories, but the speed at which
each tank builds is slightly faster than a person with only one War
Factory. Here's an example: Player A has two War Factories and is
cranking out Rhinos nonstop. Player B is doing the same, but with only
one War Factory. By the time Player B has four tanks, Player A will
have five. When Player B has eight, Player A has ten. It may seem
insignificant, but in the long run, those extra tanks can turn the tide
in your favor. One benefit of the alternate (albeit slower) build for
the Rhino Rush is your production is strong enough to handle a second
War Factory after the second Tesla Reactor builds. I recommend the
second War Factory before the Battle Lab (unless you're going for Iron
Curtain), because it gives you that edge in the tank battles. Also, if
you happen to lose a War Factory due to unforeseen circumstances, you
always have a back-up so your production never slows.
Rocketeer Rush – This tactic is unique to the Allies and it's capable
of ending a game quickly, but it requires a little luck on your part.
Assuming your opponent isn't ready for a quick aerial assault, you can
cripple him early with 8-10 Rocketeers. Fly into his town (preferably
you scouted his base earlier with Attack Dogs so he had no idea you
built Rocketeers) and take out one of his Tesla Reactors right away.
This will prevent Flak Cannons from coming online, and it should drop
him in the red power-wise, also slowing his production of Flak Tracks
or Flak Troopers. Use these precious moments to take out his War
Factory and Barracks if you can. If you can destroy a Soviet War
Factory, you've usually bought enough time to win the game (ensuring
you can get to Battle Lab safely). If you can take out his War Factory
and Barracks, focus on another Tesla Reactor or his Construction Yard.
Assuming he gets a Flak Cannon online somehow, pull your Rocketeers
back and roll in with your initial Grizzly Tanks and G.I.'s. Once he
starts building ground defenses, return with the gnats. Repeat until
Mirage Tanks enter the fray. The great thing about the Rocketeer rush
is you can crank out a bunch of Chrono Miners from your War Factory
because the Rocketeers train in the Barracks. You're simultaneously
getting your production rolling while generating a quick army. One
Flak Cannon or two Flak Tracks, however, will negate this tactic's
effectiveness tremendously. This strategy is usually susceptible to
the Rhino Rush also, as your Chrono Miners are relatively undefended
and eight Rocketeers can't kill eight Rhinos fast enough.
A great late game tactic is to build a large force of Rocketeers
(10-20) if you see your opponent has minimal air defense. Try to hide
it under the cover of a Gap Generator so he has no time to prepare.
Build the flying army quickly, then strike while the iron is hot. Take
out what minimal air defense he has (e.g., one or two Flak Tracks or
hit a Tesla Reactor to shut off the Flak Cannons), then wipe out his
Con Yard and War Factory. With over 10 Rocketeers, those structures
will go down fast. This tactic works great on a small map with lots of
resources like the Alamo.
Engineer Rush – If you're able to distract your opponent with a jumping
Chrono Legionnaire or a Spider/Desolator Bomb, you might be able to
sneak a Flak Track/IFV or a Nighthawk Transport carrying Engineers into
his base. If you take over his Barracks, there won't be a vocal
warning that a building was lost. You can switch it to your primary
Barracks (select the building, then double click it), then start
pumping engineers in his town to start taking over his buildings. Once
you do, sell them right away so he can't take them back. If you're
really mean, take over his Construction Yard, then build
Pillboxs/Sentry Guns in his town before selling the Con Yard.
Kirov Escort – Kirovs are incredibly powerful, but also incredibly
slow. The best way to deal with them is to blow them up before they
get anywhere near your base. Rocketeers, IFV's, and Flak Tracks are
the best way anti-air measures. Yet these units are also all
incredibly fragile. A good tactic to try in a game which goes to
Battle Lab is to 'escort your Kirovs' with Apocalypse Tanks or Flak
Tracks to take down the Kirov-killers. If you can get it into his town
mostly undamaged, one Kirov can easily wipe out an entire base,
especially when it becomes elite.
Nighthawk/Tanya – This tactic shouldn't work on a good player, as it's
very hard for an Allied player to survive long enough to build a Gap
Generator, Tanyas, and a Nighthawk Transport, but it's doable every
once in a while. Build the Gap Generator so he can't see what you're
doing, train those Tanyas and load them in the Nighthawk. Since the
Nighthawk is invisible to radar, he won't be able to track its movement
on the mini-map. So just create a diversion or attack him with your
tanks so he isn't paying attention at his base. Then drop in his town
and hope he doesn't hear the rotors of the Nighthawk. If he's
prepared, Prism Towers, Rocketeers, Harriers, Terror Drones, Yuris or
Desolators should halt your Tanya from blowing up his entire base.
Hotkeys – Use them! They're the key to speeding up your game, and RTS'
are all about speed. Select entire groups of units with the number
keys for fast unit manipulation and menu navigating. The "grab all
offensive units" key is an important one to have for maps that don't
last until War Factory, and it's great late game tool for grabbing
everything you have for final assault. Sorry I can't tell you what the
default setting is. I re-mapped mine to the "A" key.
Waypoints – Holding the "Z" hotkey sets a waypoint. Your unit(s) will
move to this waypoint, before going on to the next. This is useful for
initial scouting with your Attack Dogs or Rocketeers (to clean up the
scattered black spots on the mini-map).
Rally Points – I normally don't use these, but they're good to know
about. Select a unit-producing structure then left click elsewhere on
the map to set a rally point. All units made from this building will
automatically travel to the rally point.
Escort Function – I don't think this is documented in the instruction
manual, which is why I'm mentioning it. With a unit selected, hold
"Ctrl" and "Alt" together and you'll see a shield emblem appear.
Target another unit with these keys held and the original unit will
'escort' the second unit you clicked on. This command doesn't seem to
work very well, as the escort tends to lag behind the escortee by a
large margin, but it has its uses. My friend Tao likes to tell his
Repair IFV's to 'escort' the pack of Grizzlies into battle. Although I
usually end up manually steering my Repair IFV's in the end, this trick
keeps them in the vicinity of the action at least.
Listen for verbal warnings! Kirovs, Tanyas, and Libyan Demolition
Trucks all give verbal cues when they are trained. If you have to,
turn down the music and turn up the voices in the options so you can
Don't play a lot! – This sounds like a foolish tip, but it's the most
important one I can pass along if you're serious about winning. It's
just common sense. Like driving, you shouldn't play when you're tired
or not paying full attention. Because the quality of competition is
pretty low in this game, it's tempting to run off 10 straight wins in
one sitting, but I highly discourage this. By the time you get to your
tenth game in a row, you'll be very lax. When you're fresh, you're
continually alert, watching the mini-map at all times, your reflexes
are faster, you're hungry for a win, etc. When you do come across that
rare opponent who can hold his own, you have to be at the top of your
game to do the little things it takes to win a game. Even against
mediocre players, if you make mistakes, you'll be able to turn around
losing efforts and win games you're not supposed to win if you're
playing your best. You won't be playing to your full potential if you
get 'in a rhythm' through long continuous hours of play. Instead, play
four or five games per sitting, take a break, then come back and play
more. I can't stress enough how important this is if you're committed
to winning and putting together long winning streaks (which is how you
raise your rank, if you're worried about that nonsense).
Individual Map Strategies
Thorough knowledge of the maps can determine the outcome of games,
especially when both players are good. Getting the first step on your
opponent is usually the key between winning and losing at the elite
leveling, and knowing the maps plays a large part in that. There are
only about 15 maps used in the Quickmatching rotation, so you don't
have to worry about memorizing all 38. After a lot of play, you should
be able to recognize what map you're on just by moving your units
around a little bit (i.e., before placing your Barracks). I haven't
listed strategies for all the maps, because frankly, many of them don't
have a lot of strategy. The ones that do have strategy, I've tried to
cover. As a general rule for the maps which I don't talk about, try to
control the derricks or airports, then attempt to Rhino Rush your
The Alamo – Throughout this F.A.Q., you'll see me make numerous
references to strategies specific to this map, because it plays unlike
most Red Alert 2 maps. Your first priority is garrisoning the Alamo.
It's the large building in the center of the map, surrounded by the
colorful gems. As soon as the game starts (I can recognize the streets
of the Alamo right away), I grab all my units (using the 'grab all
offensive units' hotkey) and make a mad rush for the center.
Completely garrison the Alamo, and you should have about two Conscripts
left. Head directly north with your tanks as escorts, and garrison the
building next to the airport and the one directly south of it. Send an
engineer to take over the airport ASAP and drop some Sentry Guns or a
Flak Cannon next to it, depending on whether your opponent is Soviet or
Allied. Also engineer the derrick that's right next to your starting
position. Send every harvestor after your first to mine from the gem
patches in the center of the map. Be aware there's a derrick to the
far southeast, next to the expansion ore for the player on the right
hand side. If you have time, send an Attack Dog to guard that derrick
while your Engineer takes the long journey down there. This should get
you off to a great start.
Fighting on the Alamo usually goes one of two routes: either one
player folds immediately or the game goes very long. If your opponent
is inept or his defenses aren't very good, Rhino Rush him and get it
over with immediately. If your enemy is on the left, don't worry about
garrisoned buildings. Enter his town from the south; there should be
only one garrisoned building you have to worry about (usually people
will only have one man inside). If it's not heavily garrisoned, just
roll by it with your tanks without batting an eyelash. Kill his
harvestors or his War Factory, then Con Yard and the game should be
If the game goes long, your first task will be garrisoning all
the buildings on the map. Since you should control the airport, you
should be on even ground with an American opponent when it comes to
Paradrops. If for some reason you don't have control of the airport,
destroy it immediately with your tanks. If it's well-defended, strike
his town while he's spending money fortifying the airport. If you let
him hold the Double (Para)Drop for long, you will lose. Basically, in
a long game, this map comes down to fighting with garrisoned buildings.
There's plenty of resources available with the derricks, crystals, and
ore all over the map, so don't worry about running out of resources.
Since this map comes down to garrisoned buildings, the main unit Allies
will be using is Rocketeers (to destroy your garrisoned buildings).
Soviets might go V3 or lots of tanks. Prepare accordingly. Against an
Allied opponent, try to garrison the buildings on his side of the map.
Assuming he's already occupied the ones near his town, take the ones
guarding his expansion ore. If he's on the left, his expansion is to
the north. If he's on the right, his expansion is to the south. Most
likely, he'll try to take down your garrisoned buildings with
Rocketeers. Have an army of Flak Tracks handy in the center of the map
(protected by all your Conscripts in the Alamo) so they can reach all
locations in seconds. While your enemy tries to figure out a way to
unman your garrisoned buildings outside his town (Prism Tanks work
pretty well for this), build up an army of tanks and hit his harvestors
or Con Yard. If you're unable to get either of those, aim for the
derricks in his town. Speaking of derricks, if you can grab the third
free derrick in the southeast and fortify it, build your second Ore
Refinery down there near that expansion ore.
If your opponent is good, and his main base is well-defended, you
have two options: get a Superweapon to crack that defense or starve him
out at his expansion. In Quickmatch games, Superweapons are turned on
only half of the time. If you're lucky, get Iron Curtain/Chronosphere
and roll right through those defenses. If Superweapons aren't turned
on, you'll have to do it the hard way: kill his harvestors as they
attempt to mine ore from that expansion. He shouldn't be able to
defend his main base and that expansion ore at the same time. Try to
get that derrick in his town at any cost. Without a steady flow of
cash coming in, he should eventually fold to repeated assaults. If
you're playing against France, this can be very tough. Try to target
his Power Plants.
If you're playing Allies and the game goes long, give strong
consideration to a large army (10-20) of Rocketeers. There's plenty of
money on the map and they can take down derricks and buildings in
seconds. A great closer for this map, especially under cover of a Gap
Urban Rush – There are two predominant strategies for this map. Both
emphasize speed and high elements of risk. As soon as the map starts,
you'll recognize it by the ridge either directly to the left or right
of your starting position. 'Grab all offensive units' and move to the
center where the airport is.
The first strategy is to hold the center by garrisoning the
buildings there and controlling that airport. You can heavily garrison
the buildings flanking the bridge entrances to the center that your
opponent will most likely take. Control the airport, drop a few Sentry
Guns or Flak Cannons for added defense, then garrison the other
buildings eventually and build up. Your opponent will have to come
through that city (which you control) before he can get to you, so
you're relatively safe. His harvestors will also get shot up as they
go for the expansion ore to the north or south of the city area. If
you find that your opponent controls all the buildings in the center,
don't give up. There's a back-up plan which works especially well if
you're Allied. Look carefully and you'll see there are explosive
barrels at the corners of the city. Blow these up with either
Rocketeers, a Rhino Tank, or V3's, and the ensuing explosions will
destroy many of the troublesome buildings. It only takes one shot to
blow up these barrels.
The second strategy is much more risky, but it tends to beat
people who go with the first strategy. What's not so obvious about
this map is there are actually six entrances to the center. There are
two bridges on either side, and land entrances to the north and south,
bypassing the bridges entirely. If your opponent has garrisoned the
buildings guarding the two bridges near your town, take the land route
and roll ALL your forces safely by and into his base. You should be
able to destroy his Construction Yard well before he can even drop a
War Factory or get his troops back. If your opponent garrisons the
buildings guarding his bridges, your forces will get slaughtered, so
this strategy is VERY risky. Also, if you manage to wipe out his Con
Yard, be sure to fortify your base with Attack Dogs and Sentry Guns so
he doesn't retaliate.
Isle of War – Tao came up with the great strategy for this map.
Assuming your opponent attacks by land, the only real way into your
base is through the narrow forest valley in the center of the map. As
soon as it starts, grab your Conscripts or G.I.'s and stand them
(deploy your G.I.'s if you have them) on your side of the bridge
(you'll have to walk them through the dilapidated cityscape first) so
they overlook the forest. From this vantage point, they should be able
to safely shoot any trespassers wandering below. Park your tanks at
the mouth of the canyon (entering your base) so no sudden tank rushs
can sneak by.
Here's where it gets good. Train three Engineers and about six
more Conscripts or G.I.'s. Use the Engineers to repair the building
closest to the bridge on your side, the bridge itself, and the building
closest to the bridge on your enemy's side. Now have your original
group of Conscripts garrison the building on his side and your freshly
trained troops garrison the building on your side. It doesn't look
like it, but those two buildings will shoot anything that moves down in
the forest-filled trench below. You can also send your tanks over the
bridge and surprise the enemy if he's waiting for you at his side of
If the game goes very long for some reason, beware of a naval
assault (Allies can spot this much easier because their Rocketeers can
clear out the darkness over the water). If it ever becomes necessary,
a deployed Desolator in the forest will affect units on the ridge or
bridge above or immediately around him. Varying elevation does not
affect his radiation!
Little Big Lake – This is one of my favorite maps because it's over so
quickly. If played correctly, your opponent should be dead before he
can even place his War Factory. Since it's such a small map (you're
literally right on top of each other, with north/south starting
positions), you're going to have to attack and fortify early. Move
your men towards the center of the map (the halfway point between you
and the enemy, left of the lake), but keep them closer to your town
slightly. Drop your Barracks and waypoint units to the center of the
map. Train five Attack Dogs, then eight Conscripts/G.I.'s. Once all
five Attack Dogs are ready and hotkeyed, advance on the enemy town.
Wipe out his infantry and park your leftover dogs outside his Barracks
to give him something to think about. Now, with your group of four or
five tanks and about 12 Conscripts (however many are trained at that
point), crush the enemy tanks, then his Construction Yard and the game
should be over before he can drop that War Factory. If you can, drop
the War Factory in your base (the game should be over by then) and some
Sentry Guns just in case he tries to backlash.
South Pacific – I really hate this map. There are so many variables
you have to worry about. I tend to fight Libyan players on this map
and it gets very ugly really fast. This map has the most resources of
any of the Quickmatch maps, so money is NEVER a problem. There are
derricks at all of the starting locations, so control your derrick, and
the one directly north or south of you (the alternate starting
position). Also grab the airport directly between those starting
positions (either east or west of the map center) you. Your opponent
has probably done the same. If you can, engineer the derrick opposite
your opponent's starting location (many people don't realize it's
there) so you control three derricks. If your opponent is controlling
his airport or derrick opposite him, try to destroy them with your
Low level infantry are really good on this map. Not just
paratroop-dropped men, but infantry in general. Because there's so
much money, you won't be able to spend it all at once. I recommend
continually training Conscripts out of your Barracks (they will train
almost as fast as you can cue them) Try to train men constantly. At
the same time, build up your Rhino Rush as usual. By the time you're
ready to go, you should have about 10 tanks and over 50 Conscripts.
This is a pretty deadly force. Watch for paradrops in your town; have
Attack Dogs or a few Desolators standing around in your base and near
your airport just in case. You can also sprinkle your town with Sentry
The nasty part about this map is taking to the seas often wins
it. If you can control the ocean, you will win, provided the enemy
can't crack your main base defense. Superweapons can also be a
problem, as there's so much money to go around. If you can get
Dreadnaughts in the water and protect them, you can obliterate the
enemy base in seconds, shooting anything he builds from the water.
Watch for an opponent's navy, Superweapons, and Paradrops, all while
building up and fortifying on your own. Chances are you won't be able
to drop a Naval Shipyard until you open up the area in the middle of
the map just outside your town (don't worry, you can build the shipyard
that far from your base).
Anytown, Amerika – This map can result in some long games if your enemy
is good enough. Because of this, I recommend going with four early
harvestors to really get your resourcing rolling early (two from Ore
Refineries, two from the War Factory). As expected, garrison any
buildings close to your base so the opponent doesn't do it for you. If
you start at the southwest position (the best starting position), be
sure to garrison the two buildings southwest of your town near the
The Rhino Rush is still a good option on this map. You're just
going to have to know how to assault the seemingly impenetrable defense
of garrisoned buildings around your enemy's town. If he has the
northwest position, you'll want to come in from the northeast. Head to
the right of the map, then go north, then cut west across his gems
(from where he should be mining) and into his town safely. If he has
the northeast starting position, I recommend heading east and coming up
from the south. There are a few garrisoned buildings on the way, but
they are small and you can destroy them if you really want to (don't
waste your time). If he starts at the southwest position, take the
same route (far east) by heading east then south for a straight path to
the back of his town, bypassing that nasty city area to the west of his
town. If he has the southwest position (the best spot), try to
garrison the buildings near his crystal patch. If you can't get that,
then try to hit his harvestors as they go for those crystals. Then
slowly work your way in.
Your third and fourth harvestors should be sent to mine from the
crystal patches to the side of your town (directly north and south of
the middle). Don't send your first harvestor to the crystals because
it takes so long to travel there, your production will stall
momentarily. If you want, engineer the hospital and build your second
Ore Refinery next to it so you can be close to an expansion ore patch.
Lake Blitzen – This map comes down to the Rhino Rush. There are
derricks to the east and west which you should go for, but NEVER leave
your base undefended. This map is totally about the blitzkrieg
assaults (hence the name) and defending against the rush. If for some
reason it goes long, Allied players should Nighthawk Engineers over to
the islands in the center to take over the four derricks and the
airport. You should also build a Patriot Missile on one of the islands
so your enemy has to build a navy or a Kirov to eliminate you from the
Golden State Fwy – The Soviets own this map. It's completely wide
open, with no real threat of garrisoned buildings for base defense, and
there's no elevation to worry about. If your Allied opponent wants to
survive, he will try to fortify his base as well as he can. While he's
doing this, build up your usual Rhino Rush, but also control the four
derricks in the middle of the map. If your opponent tries to control
the derricks and fortify them, his base won't be as well protected. Go
hit his harvestors (you can come in from any direction) with your tanks
and the game will be over. If your opponent fortifies his main, you
control four derricks and won't be able to spend the money fast enough.
Don't get so caught up in controlling the derricks that you forget
about your main. A blitzkrieg rush by the enemy can put a quick end to
the best laid plans of mice and Desolators…