The best advice I can give you, is to set realistic goals. Making a C&C clone as a starting project for someone who has yet to learn how to program may be a bit over the top. I'm not saying that you should forget about it, just that you should instead make it a goal to reach in the long term. The recommended path on this site is to start with something really simple, like Tic-Tac-To then move to more complex game like Break Out or Space Invader type, then plateformer and then on to more complex, multiplayer games like C&C if you still have the interest.
I find a good source of inspiration is the emulator scene. Get yourself a nice C64 or Atari 8bit computer emulator and some games. Look what they did and try to make a better and modern version of those games (there are thousands of arcade, strategy & rpg to chose from and most where made to fit in 32k of ram!). This will be helpful in boosting your confidence before you move to more complex games.
But would I base the starter games on a console app or some gui app?
Start by the basics. Try to do some simple text console game, then when you feel up to it, move to a graphic game, maybe by using a library like allegro, some simple arcade game maybe. By then, you'll have an idea of what it takes to even make a simple sprite based game. If you are still up to the challenge, you can try to modify your game to make it multi players. Then, if you intend to make your game a networked one, you'll have to learn that too.
Also, keep in mind that writing code is only a small part of game creation, albeit an important one. If your future rts project has dozen of different type of units and building, someone will have to draw those also, and if they are animated then each type of unit will need many frames of animations also. Then there is the audio part. Will it have music and SFX? You'll also need to create those. And finally, your RTS will also need some missions/campaigns. Those will have to be scripted and balanced...
As you can see, you have to consider the scale of the job. I'm not saying that in due time you'll be able to create your dream rts, but you may need the help of a few friends or a lot of time. One thing you should do is look at what is being done in the indie market and check how many people worked on those project.
Well, I was hoping to make a Pong game with full networking so a friend and I could test it. Also for Sound I was hoping to have a noise every time the ball hit the paddle an maybe have a speed setting for how fast the ball goes. Would a console app be sufficient for that?