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Sucking at RTSes

ReXXReXX Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Games and Technology
...and how to overcome it.

Playing against the AI in the Command and Conquer and Supreme Commander demos had made me remember that I am really awful at strategy games. I don't seem to have any basic tactics apart from "build some random units and let them loose". How do I get better?

ReXX on

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    musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Play more. Read about the units and what they counter. If your game supports replays watch replays of good players and try to do what they do.

    musanman on
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    CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Depends which games you have.

    In Company of Heroes, the replays on the net are usually tournament games or pros playing, who are completely different in style. For example, most of the time they completely forsake any sort of base because they know the other person will too. All about frontlines.

    Whereas in CnC and SupCom type base building games, you need to get a build order sorted and a general plan for your bases so you can get that extra speed in games, even against AI.

    Carnivore on
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    ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I really want to get C&C3, but games like that use techniques so unrealistic to win that I find myself sitting with my thumb in my arse. Things that people take for granted like "engineer rush olol" I just don't want to exploit, I'd rather play a much more realistic game.

    In other words, this is why I suck. Nobody wants to play a methodical game, it's all about what secret tactics you know and how fast you are at doing it.

    Zenitram on
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    STATE OF THE ART ROBOTSTATE OF THE ART ROBOT Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Yeah, RTSes are brutal in the learning curve department.

    STATE OF THE ART ROBOT on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    As above, but also pick your style. Some people (like myself) are really good at turtling. That is, building walls, turrets, and assloads of defensive units to keep just about anything out. In co-op games of AoE2, i'd be the guy building walls around both my base, and my partner, while he built up an army to defeat the enemies. We both knew what we were good at, and pushed that.

    Really, just keep playing, and decide what style suits you. The one thing I can say is to learn the hotkeys, if the game has them (and most of them do). Anything you can do to help you build faster is worth it.

    Shadowfire on
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    CoreCore Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Ive always found watching replays a lot more helpful that say just reading a guide, that basically tells you if your enemy does this or sends this unit do this. I like to be able to see how some of the more skilled players handle a situation on the fly, seems to help me a lot more.

    Core on
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    LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Try other RTS games from Blizzard. Starcraft taught me a lot and I still use what I learned even today.
    rush

    LondonBridge on
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    DeaconKnowledgeDeaconKnowledge Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    There's always a priority to RTS'. Learn what to build and what to stay away from.

    DeaconKnowledge on
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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Try other RTS games from Blizzard. Starcraft taught me a lot and I still use what I learned even today.
    rush
    kekekeke ^_^

    Darmak on
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    DondumsDondums Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Someone who once taught me everything I know (and probably forgot) about Starcraft said it generally comes down to 2 things:

    Macromanagement, and micromanagement. Micromanagement being able to use individual units to their maximum efficiency (ie, in Starcraft getting your Zerglings to surround a mob so they're all hitting it and it can't run away, or using various spells and such in WC3), and macromanagement (as I understood it) to be able to keep producing things while focusing on battle and such (I always hotkey my barracks-like structure - Hive in SC, Barracks in WC3, etc. - so I can try to keep troops pumping out even while I'm micromanaging my troops in the field). Granted, macromanagement mattered a lot more in Starcraft because you had a lot of units and a high unit cap.

    Also, hotkeys. They're in most games: and they're useful. They can save a lot of time and misclicks. Learn your race/side/army's advantages, use them, but make sure to make counters.

    Also, only play team games, because then you can always blame someone else for your suck.

    Dondums on
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I got really disillusioned with RTS games after Tiberian (sp?) Sun and Dune 2000 - although they probably weren't the best examples of the genre to play.

    I was far better (but by no means particularly good) at Dungeon Keeper and Beasts & Bumpkins, but they just felt far less panicky. The missions also seemed a lot more varied, and there was humour in the games that was never in Command and Conquer or Dune.

    My strategies for Dungeon Keeper were build big, keep it simple, and find the gold. When I finished a level, I never went ahead until I had searched every inch of the map - the Transfer Creature Dungeon Special, combined with my Level 10 Vampire, was always a must-have. The Possess Spell, with solo raiding, was a useful way to get rid of the fog of war.

    From what other people have said above me, my basic strategies map over to other games as well - concentrate on what units work well (Vampires for me as they could die four times at Level 10 and still come back, plus the research megabonus), build and fortify, and keep stuff efficient.

    Rhesus Positive on
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    Oddjob187Oddjob187 Pew TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The best way to get better at playing RTS's is to never play DOA online. Never. Ever.

    Oddjob187 on
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    JJJJ DailyStormer Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Dead or Alive?

    JJ on
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    HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    ReXX wrote: »
    ...and how to overcome it.

    Playing against the AI in the Command and Conquer and Supreme Commander demos had made me remember that I am really awful at strategy games. I don't seem to have any basic tactics apart from "build some random units and let them loose". How do I get better?

    Well, if you're talking just beating the AI then it really just boils down to knowing what weaknesses the AI is going to have and exploiting the hell out of them. For example in almost every Westwood game the AI is almost never smart enough to scale their assaults to deal with large scale static defenses. Once you have some good defenses in place you've already won. It's just a matter of building your assault force and crushing them at that point since your base is no longer in any jeopardy.

    Now multiplayer is another beast entirely. Personally I don't enjoy it all that much because all too often it's a rush game, something I don't really enjoy. I really like the base building aspect of RTS games. I get as much pleasure from trying to form a base perfectly to the terrain it's set in as I do from defeating an enemy. It just seems like I rarely get a chance to do that kind of thing in multiplayer.

    HappylilElf on
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    GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    By no means am I an RTS master...I'm barely past the suck level...so don't take this as gospel. But hotkeys are teh hotness. The less things you're clicking, the better. Unfortunately, of course, hotkeys are different for every game, and often for every race, so it's probably helpful to focus on one race until you've got the hotkeys down.

    GoodOmens on
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    RizziRizzi Sydney, Australia.Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I suck at Warcraft 3.
    Pretty okay at C&C games though.

    Rizzi on
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    LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Zenitram wrote: »
    I really want to get C&C3, but games like that use techniques so unrealistic to win that I find myself sitting with my thumb in my arse. Things that people take for granted like "engineer rush olol" I just don't want to exploit, I'd rather play a much more realistic game.

    In other words, this is why I suck. Nobody wants to play a methodical game, it's all about what secret tactics you know and how fast you are at doing it.

    I'm gonna agree on this front. My only exception is Starcraft. Aside from that I think the entire genre is pretty lame and doesn't involve strategy or tactics so much as learning how the game works.

    Actually, I do make an exception for C&C as well, just because it was so goddamn funny. Engineers, stealth tanks, FMV's, you name it. I'm looking forward to trying the C&C 3 demo as soon as I get on a decent enough internet connection to download it.

    I would just say stop playing Blizzard-style RTS's and move to Myth or TA/Sup. Com. (though, due to this internet connection, I have not yet tried the latter either). Once I knew my way around the units in TA, it was never about having the best build order (after the beginning you can do whatever the hell you want), so much as locating weak points and building effective armies to hit them, and other intuitive strategic concerns, like terrain.

    LoneIgadzra on
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    smurfbizkit3smurfbizkit3 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    For a quick fix against C&C3's AI here are some tips I found useful;

    -build Mammoth Tanks
    -build more Mammoth Tanks
    -get your Mammoth Tanks the railgun upgrade
    -build more Mammoth Tanks (seriously, there is no need for you to build another unit...since these are great against damn near anything)

    smurfbizkit3 on
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    RizziRizzi Sydney, Australia.Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Update: Warcraft 3 sucks ass.
    "Lul I zerg now"
    A swarm of like 30 undead dragons proceeds to attack my base.

    "Lul I zerg now"
    A swarm of 30 gryphon riders proceeds to attack my base.

    "Lul I zerg now"

    Well.. You see where this is going.
    Then they proceed to insult me using broken English.
    "lol u suk this. go paly cs noob"

    Grrrr...

    Rizzi on
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    SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint. Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Adaptability. You've gotta learn when to change your strategy and when not to. It's all about learning how to adapt to the current situation.

    I once wrote a much longer post about this. Now to see if I can find it...

    SirUltimos on
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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I would say the best way to really get good is to be more efficient. Learn how to assign multiple units to Numbered hot keys on your keyboard, and learn to always keep things moving. For me, I was messy with groups and handling the economy in DoW. Now I assign my forward melee units and ranged units special hot keys and use auto create for my bases to make units so that I don't have to continue to check back at my base to make sure stuff is still being produced.

    Just read the manual and learn all the keyboard shortcuts.

    Lucky Cynic on
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    DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Can I just say that it is exceptionally ironic that a person with an RTS in their sig managed to make the second post here. Kind of creepy.

    Also. To become good at an RTS. You actually have to study. It's odd but true.

    DasUberEdward on
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    wenchkillawenchkilla Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Sometimes you have to find an RTS that clicks with you. For me, is it not any Blizzard game, sadly. Dawn of War on the other hand? I've bought every iteration of the game at release. Glorious.

    wenchkilla on
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    KatholicKatholic Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Doku-san wrote: »
    Update: Warcraft 3 sucks ass.
    "Lul I zerg now"
    A swarm of like 30 undead dragons proceeds to attack my base.

    "Lul I zerg now"
    A swarm of 30 gryphon riders proceeds to attack my base.

    "Lul I zerg now"

    Well.. You see where this is going.
    Then they proceed to insult me using broken English.
    "lol u suk this. go paly cs noob"

    Grrrr...

    Generally, anyone who puts all their eggs into one basket in WC3 sucks. WC3 is like 90 percent micro/timing.

    Katholic on
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    MJMJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The only RTS games I like are command and conquer. I tried playing Battle for Middle earth II this weekend but it's too focus on assaulting for me, plus I don't like that command limit thing.

    I'm more of a passive defense player so I won't attack until I'm very well good and ready. Red Alert 2 and Yuri's revenge fit my play style pretty good with all the nice defense structures and such each side got.

    If you rush me early though in any RTS, you might as well throw your hands up in victory. I never got good at stopping those.

    MJ on
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    BaronVonSnakPakBaronVonSnakPak Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    the rts genre is my favorite. its also the worst genre for me as far as playability on any competitive scale.

    DoW, CoH being the biggest offenders.

    ive been playing the CnC3 demo alot lately, and i cant wait for it. its got me really excited about rts games again because of its faster style of play.

    BaronVonSnakPak on
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    GlalGlal AiredaleRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Not much for RTS games myself, even though I enjoyed the original C&C (for the FMVs, mostly). The whole aspect of "okay, you can't really see anything. You only see 1% of the area at a time, and yet somehow you're supposed to coordinate and micromanage loads of crap that should be automated to start with" just doesn't click with me. I though SC would change this, but from the sound of reviews it's way too... lol zerg.
    I did like M.A.X.X, as little progress as I made into the damned difficult thing.

    I like building the perfect base. Actually attacking the enemy? Not so much.

    Glal on
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    4rch3nemy4rch3nemy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm going to repeat lots of what has been said, and I'll list things which I think are important to becoming better at RTS games.

    1. Pick a faction/race/side/team that suits your style, then watch as many replays as you can, taking note what this person did or didn't do in certain matchups. Eventually you'll get the "why" but until then, just follow the formulas the pros use.

    2. Determine/research what the common rush tactics for the game you're playing are and how to stop them. This will most importantly allow you to live to the next stage of the game.

    3. Spend that money! I find that most noobs are only losing because they don't know how to manage their economy properly, allowing their resources to sit in the bank all game. Resources in the bank are as useless as having no resources at all. Just mass a few of X bread and butter unit and you'll see the enemy struggling that much more to break you.

    4. Be aggressive. In 95% of RTS games out there, the defensive way is the surest way to a loss. Slowly but surely the aggressive player will just overpower you with his superior economy if you sit in your starting base and don't bother to venture out and harass him/secure more resources.

    5. Did I mention that you should do your research? Replays are good for finding out which units counter which, the most efficient starting builds, learning popular maps, and general "blind-timing" (the 6th sense you can develop that allows you to correctly predict what your enemy is doing, and counter it without scouting).

    6. Since I mentioned scouting.. SCOUT OFTEN. Many newer players make the tunnel-vision mistake and focus solely on their base. This is no good. Scouting allows you to plan ahead and counter strategies, many times very easily. The most important resource in the game, aside from the game's ACTUAL resources, is knowledge of the enemy's movements.

    7. Use those hotkeys/shortcuts! Such a time-saver, and time is a resource you have very little of in RTS games.

    8. Try to play the computer opponent as little as possible and focus on the competitive player vs player aspect of it. Real people are much less predictable and you will find yourself more able to adapt than if you played the AI opponents constantly.

    9. Have fun, find a good group of people to join up and play with (the Starcraft: Brood War group here in G&T is simply stellar and hella fun), and you'll worry less about winning and more about having fun.

    10. :D

    4rch3nemy on
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    Soviet WaffleSoviet Waffle Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    This really is something we can't help you with if it's for all RTSs (And I didn't play C&C, so, I don't know)

    What I know from War3 though:
    Micro, controlling your units actions as much as possible is much better than leaving it to auto attack at the AIs descretion.

    Macro: Make sure you know about your economy, you've expanded at the right time, so forth.

    Timing: Know strategies, know when the perfect time to hit is

    (I tried to be as broad as I could, since War3 is... a bit unique in a lot of aspects)

    Soviet Waffle on
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    ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    RTS games just scare and overwhelm me. Im hopeless at maths but really good at art, and somehow strategy games I just cant comprehend, yet with shooters, which involve visual timing and stuff like that, I kick ass. Whats worse is I love RTS games, but just get slaughtered online, even by AI. I think its a case of practice, but even with practice id still be subpar. I usual stick to LAN games, me and my friends go at our own pace, and prefer to just play starcraft and mine ridiculous amounts of recourses and build so much defenses our bases become impenetrable, ah good times.

    Prohass on
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Expand Expand Expand.

    Rook on
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    BaronVonSnakPakBaronVonSnakPak Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    i think ive realised my biggest flaw in playing rts games is that i like to watch the battles, instead of having my camera all over the place building shit and whatnot. and once the battle is over, if i havent won, im fucked because i didnt have a back-up force or anything.

    BaronVonSnakPak on
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    AndorienAndorien Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    9. Have fun, find a good group of people to join up and play with (the Starcraft: Brood War group here in G&T is simply stellar and hella fun), and you'll worry less about winning and more about having fun.

    Andorien on
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    GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Also, if you play someone online and lose, and the person is not a complete jackwad, see if he'll talk afterwards. Ask about what you did poorly, how you could improve, what you did well, etc. Unfortunately, about 90% of the people you play will say something along the lines of "l2p, noob" but if you find someone cool you can learn alot.

    GoodOmens on
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    AndorienAndorien Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Also, if you play someone online and lose, and the person is not a complete jackwad, see if he'll talk afterwards. Ask about what you did poorly, how you could improve, what you did well, etc. Unfortunately, about 90% of the people you play will say something along the lines of "l2p, noob" but if you find someone cool you can learn alot.

    Playing with PAers whenever possible will help with this.

    Andorien on
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    musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Andorien wrote: »
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Also, if you play someone online and lose, and the person is not a complete jackwad, see if he'll talk afterwards. Ask about what you did poorly, how you could improve, what you did well, etc. Unfortunately, about 90% of the people you play will say something along the lines of "l2p, noob" but if you find someone cool you can learn alot.

    Playing with PAers whenever possible will help with this.

    l2p you jackwad noob

    musanman on
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    ReXXReXX Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Andorien wrote: »
    4rch3nemy wrote: »
    9. Have fun, find a good group of people to join up and play with (the Starcraft: Brood War group here in G&T is simply stellar and hella fun), and you'll worry less about winning and more about having fun.

    I really should try to dig out my old copies of starcraft and brood wars - i've not played them in years.

    I think I'm going to concentrate on the faster paced games like Starcraft, C&C, and DoW - for some reason Supreme Commander seems totally overwhelming and yet really slow at the same time.

    ReXX on
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