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RTS unit selection. (A rant)

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  • RTS unit selection. (A rant)

    Is it just me or is this the crappiest part of of these types of games?

    I just started playing "Supreme Commander" and unit selection is not much better than what Starcraft offered back in, what, 1997?

    The game itself is great. The sense of scale is wonderful.

    But even with the huge scale I only get ten groups! Crazy talk! The game deals with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of units. And I only get ten groups?

    In Starcraft one thing I liked to do was create groups that often included the same unit. For example I would have five "attack" groups that was combined arms. But I would also have groups of air units and groups of marines. I would use them to rapidly respond to threats of a specific nature. I ran into group limits then but because of the total unit limit imposed by the game and the relatively small size of the maps it was not to bad.

    In Supreme Commander this doesn't work. Add the more diverse types of troops and that ten group limit becomes a huge pain.

    The whole transport load and unload thing still hasn't been done very well either. There was one game, Rise of Nations i think it was, that handled this aspect pretty good. You told a group to "go here" it would use any transports included to achieve the goal. But once at the desitnation the transports just sat there unless I told them to return.

    What I would like to see is a way to set up a way to tell transports and troops to load then when full drop off troops at a particular point. After the drop off return to the original port.

    Another thing I would like is a unit selection macro. With the macro be able to select, say, 10 armor, fifteen ground, 5 Anti-Air. If not that then be able to create battle groups. As units role off production they would fulfill new groups or fill gaps in existing battle groups. If a battle group was wipe out new units would be placed into it. The game would come with a hand full of pre-defined groups but the user could modify or create their own. In addition the production system could be place on auto so that groups could be minted or created.

    I rant because the RTS is probably my favorite type of game. But I think the whole genre suffers because it focuses more on the "RT" and less on the "S". More on the "who can click more accurately and faster" than "who has the best strategy".
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  • #2
    Re: RTS unit selection. (A rant)

    Um...two things.

    1) Rise of Nation actually did away with the whole 'transport unit' concept. Basically you built a shipyard and that gave all your ground units the ability to cross water. Move a ground unit onto water and it automatically turned into a 'transport' until it hit ground again.

    2) Supreme Commander has probably the easiest 'set and forget' rapid transport system of the RTS games I have experience with. Basically you move your transport to point A and order them to "Ferry" to point B. This leaves a 'ferry' beacon on the ground that you can order ground units to. Your ground units then que up around the beacon and the transport unit automatically fills up, transports, drops off, and returns to grab the next units in the que. Not ideal for stealthy 'behind enemy lines' sort of drops, but very nice to ship replacements for your front line units. You can even move your production que beacon onto a ferry beacon so your new units are automatically shipped where you want without the long land haul.

    Anyhow, I still hold to my belief that SupCom is tactically bankrupt. Its true and telling that to SupCom players is a good way to get their ire up. Of course its tactically bankrupt because the entire point of SupCom is the larger Strategic view, but I'm not going to say its one of the best games to do large scale strategy. That would just encourage them.

    If you're ordering company and battalion sized groups of units around then SupCom isn't a very good game for that. Its sweeping whole regiments and brigades into the enemy in mass zerg attacks that SupCom excells at.

    'Tactical' games are a lot of rock vs paper vs sissors.
    'Strategic' games are a lot of rocks vs more rocks vs even more rocks
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    • #3
      Re: RTS unit selection. (A rant)

      Unfortunately I am forced to agree with what you guys said. With SupCom, there isn't much a variation in strategy and one of my biggest complaints is that it is horribly slow (gameplay wise).


      • #4
        Re: RTS unit selection. (A rant)




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