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dennisdc

Commonly used strategies in RTS

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dennisdc    122
hello I dont know if this is the right place to ask, but if it isnt, please move this topic to the proper forum. Does anyone have a link to a website or an article listing the most commonly used strategies in RTS, e.g. rushing, divserion ? I cant seem to find any kind of list. I know that it is hard to generalize over a broad genre, but some aspects must remain the same from game to game. I hope you can help me ;)

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Argus2    140
It varies between RTS games.

The basic choices are:
army vs economy
tech speed

Giving you the basic strategies:
Heavy economy + Fast tech -> try to reach a certain set of techs earlier than the opponent can counter.
Heavy army + Fast tech -> keeping your opponent busy while teching. Bare-bones economy, usually pre-calculated build.
Heavy economy + Slow tech -> eventually overwhelm with mass production of low-tech units.
Heavy army + Slow tech -> pure rush, cripple opponent early on

Most of the rest is positional play which is fairly generic to any combat operation. Newer RTS games introduce things like AI entities and some RPG elements which alter the way in which resources are gained - in Warcraft III, killing the AI entities effectively netted army (through xp) and economy (gold loot) improvements, so the use of heroes gave players another option (if you can call it that, since you really needed to use them.

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korsen    122
As a long-time starcraft and general RTS player, you're looking at the following set of strategies:

Defensive (walls, army buildup and patrol)
Expansive (enough of an army to defend base, and look for new resources)
Rush (build the quickest army possible and attack the closest player. Zerg would do this, starting off with 50 minerals, and use their 4 default harvesters to get the extra 150 minerals to total 200, and then build a zergling pool to then create 3 zergling eggs resulting in 6 zerglings total, and would attack the closest player, who was wholly unprepared and was promptly vanquished. Standard procedure was to use the starting 50 minerals to create an extra resource harvester unit. The zerg preserved the 50 minerals as a diving board effect.)
Drop-ship assault (AKA transport assault) (this would take siege engines and drop them in enemy territory in a place where the enemy couldn't get to them without air support)

Aside from those general strategies, you're looking at different AI routines based on the kinds of units you have as well as balancing issues. Protoss Zealots mopped up on zerglings and marines. However zerglings and marines mopped up dragoons, hydralisks, and goliaths. Hydralisks for the most part owned all around. The only thing unstoppable in the starcraft game was a maxed out supply of battlecruisers (which took FOREVER to build). Their combined firepower and range rendered every other strategy useless (save for a last ditch effort only the zerg could pull off, which was massing overlords and suicide bats - battlecruisers couldn't pick off everything because there was far too many of them to stop)

Look at the units you'll be using, the balancing effects that make each unit weak or strong, and develop AI routines that take advantage of those strengths and weaknesses to decide what the AI can possibly do effectively. Otherwise create your game, and pit 4 players against each other and see what they do. Players will do things you never expected them to do in your game design.

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Gyrthok    412
Quote:
Does anyone have a link to a website or an article listing the most commonly used strategies in RTS, e.g. rushing, divserion ? I cant seem to find any kind of list.
I know that it is hard to generalize over a broad genre, but some aspects must remain the same from game to game.


That largely depends on the mechanics of the game. Some more common strategies though involve Rushing, Turtling (Defensive), Traps, Divide & Conquer, Build-up for large all out assaults, and General Harassment to slow down an opponent to get the upper hand. Diversions can also be used but that depends on unit capabilities, and FOW (fog of war), a common tactic in C&C for example would be to distract an opponent with a frontal assault to cover an APC filled with engineers, or to launch an assault on the enemies base to make them break off an attack on your base.

Other's depend on how resources are acquired, for example in Dune 2/Command & Conquer its a common strategy to harass and destroy an opposing players Harvesters, starving him of resources. In games like Starcraft or Supreme Commander players often attempt to secure and control as many resource deposits as possible, ensuring a larger unit production throughout the course of the game, simultaneously depriving their opponents. In yet other games where resources are produced statically from a single building for example, the game may fall more to traditional tactics, or players may attempt to destroy such resource producing buildings in an attempt to slow down their opponent enough to gain the upper hand.

Generally strategy games (especially modern ones) discourage defensive playing while encouraging aggressive play. On a side note, you may find Sun Tzu's: The Art Of War interesting.

Quote:
Aside from those general strategies, you're looking at different AI routines based on the kinds of units you have as well as balancing issues. Protoss Zealots mopped up on zerglings and marines. However zerglings and marines mopped up dragoons, hydralisks, and goliaths. Hydralisks for the most part owned all around. The only thing unstoppable in the starcraft game was a maxed out supply of battlecruisers (which took FOREVER to build). Their combined firepower and range rendered every other strategy useless (save for a last ditch effort only the zerg could pull off, which was massing overlords and suicide bats - battlecruisers couldn't pick off everything because there was far too many of them to stop)


Battlecruisers weren't invincible. Blizzard included various special abilities that could allow players to turn the tide of a battle, allowing Divide and Conquer or Trap type tactics. For example the Zerg could use Hydralisks and Dark Swarm to counter battlecruisers, the Protoss could use Stasis Field or Psionic Storm, or the Terran's could use Lockdown to break up their numbers.

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speciesUnknown    527
Best tactic i know of is to have separate bases with redundant facilities, especially if you can build bases quickly as per starcraft. This both increases the amount of work your opponent had to do, and ensures you are always near the source of economy. For the protoss, once you have a pylon you can create an entire base in less than a minute by warping in a load of buildings at the same time. In C&C you need to deploy an MCV but once this has been done, you can build a couple of factories and start churning out units almost immedietly.

The effective counter to this tactic is to find newer, and usually less well defended bases and take them out first. This denies your opponent the newer sources of income, leaving them stuck with the original base which is going to run out of minerals eventually.

A favorite tactic of mine for attacking is the creeping barrage, whereby you put artillery behind and tough units in front, who draw fire while the artillery do all the work. This is simple to maintain, so you can do this while organising a flanking maneuver, or a raid on their harvesting capabilities. In starcraft, as the terrans, I build missile turrets during an attack to defend against air attacks, meaning I can spend more money on ground units. This is effective against an enemy who is using alot of base defenses. A sneaky player can keep their air defenses busy by flying in a barracks, which can take a good deal of punishment, while you raid their workers.

Another tactic that works pretty well is cutting supply lines, I use this all the time when I play redalert 2. If they are harvesting outside of the reaches of their base, wait till a couple of harvesters are there and do a hit and run on them, taking them out. A few of those tanks that disguise themselves as trees hiding between the ore field and the base are good for this task.

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korsen    122
Gyrthok, this is true. But clumping reduces the effectiveness of lockdown, defilers can be killed, and you need to have quite a few templars for psionic storm to be effective. Battlecruisers have enough HP to last hovering past a group of hydras to get access to defilers - and dark swarm only caused battlecruisers to ignore armies and go for the meat (read:bases) instead.

Bringing some ground units to pound offenders ruins it for the most part. Open field hydralisk massing is pretty undefeatable with some zergling backups. Massing goliaths were pretty worrisome as well if it weren't for their poor pathfinding issues. Opposing the mass battlecruiser bit, mass wraiths are even worse. You can make more of them, they're fast, and they can attack when cloaked.

I used to be a pretty mean bastard on starcraft. CTRL+# groups were fairly lethal.

Money maps FTW lol.

Regarding the OP: It's best to find out what strengths and weaknesses of balancing your units are, and script a dozen or so AI's to take advantage of that. Write them to do what you would do in optimum conditions for best results.

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