Greetings one and all,
Having played the campaigns and numerous skirmishes, I have encountered a few tactical 'issues' and was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to offer some insight for me. These issues seem primarily based around the Allies and the Empire of the Rising Sun:
1) How can the Empire of the Rising Sun expand for more Ore efficiently mid-game?
This issue looms mid game when the Soviet Union and the Allies have very obvious small 'expansion' units, the Empire has it's mobile buildings allowing setup anywhere. This should not cause a problem overall but when playing a canny opponent, the moment such a refinery core appears a squadron of bombers or anti-tank units appear like magic, blow it away for a minimal sacrifice to yourself. The Soviet Union can simply Iron Curtain their Sputniks and deploy the refinery as soon as the Sputnik is deployed, and the Allies Chronosphere means a sufficient presence can see a refinery deployed with base defences in an instant. The Empire has to transport 3/4 Cores then let them deploy, then wait for construction to finish while mounting a defence. It sounds simple but it really isn't. Inversely, the Empire are the easiest to expand with early game, but having to focus a lot of resources on early expansion seems a bit silly.
2) How do you stop the Soviet MiGs?
The anti-air unit of choice of the USSR is the MiG. This unit can shoot down anything else in seconds and retreat before you can effectively deal with it. This is also when it reloads and brings another salvo of death to your aerial units. This wouldn't be a problem if the units needed to counter these threats actually did their job efficiently. The Soviet Bullfrog is too slow, as is the Minigunner IFV and the Striker VX. Other air units can't do it as they get ripped to pieces before a real counter assault can be launched and the MiGs rarely go on the offensive meaning they avoid base defences.
Once again this causes more issues for the Empire* than the Allies or Soviets as two of their primary units - the mecha tengu and the Striker/Chopper VX are meant to be versatile using their abilities to fly rather than be amphibious - a trait unique to the Tsunami tank. The tengu can fight back momentarily in this incidence but their bullets are ineffective against the MiG and were clearly designed with Helicopter hunting in mind. Perhaps it is more inefficent resource use on my own part here, but being shot out of the sky every time I try and counter assault a squadron of Twinblades using Tengu really is an annoyance and the VX end up being ripped to pieces by the Twinblades or the hammer tank they are always carrying.
*This is as an aside to the obvious source of AA in the form of Yuirko.
3) Are the Soviet Union the better of the trio of factions?
This conclusion is the most personal of the three. Playing as the Soviet Union I find it hard to lose. I have always adored the Soviet Union and found them to be the better faction in previous games (Yuris Revenge aside) and RA3 really seems to give them the beef once again. They seem to be able to do everything and do it better than average.
Aerial Assaults? Kirovs and Twinblades with MiGs for protection is superb.
Ground attack? V3 rockets coupled with Hammer tanks and Bullfrogs won't fail.
Infantry rush? Bullfrog them in and watch them spread like wildfire behind enemy defences.
Naval Destruction? Dreadnoughts supported by Submarines and Bullfrogs (recurring theme maybe)
Combine the above and what occurs is one of the guiding principles of war - being strong. The ability to simply do anything and do it well means that something in the enemy tactical situation is going to give leading to the advantage being pressed in that area. This means the hole will be plugged leaving deficiencies elsewhere thus the Soviet Domino effect occurs - a player can't be everywhere at once and something gives. Usually this is going to be the inability to deal with long and short range attacks simultaneously resulting in V3 rockets and dreadnoughts getting the drop on you in the blink on an eye. This is all considered before the full ramifications of the Soviets exceptional offensive abilities and the Iron Curtain are even considered.
I could go on all day!
Obviously, this was intended to invite comments, so please, comment away!
- Mr Lee