Playing against other human opponents, whether with allies or as a
free for all, offers some unique challenges. You have to change your
mindset and get used to the idea that your opponents are going to be
unpredictable and will try things that a computer opponent wonít.
One such tactic is the Engineer rush. If you start with a decent
amount of money, you can quickly and easily create your basic
structures, including a Naval Yard, a single transport, and a group
of three or four Engineers. Load up the Engineers and find an enemy
base, which will still be in the early stages of development, just
like yours. With luck, you can get the transport in, deploy the
Engineers, and steal a building or two before the enemy reacts. At
such an early stage, they arenít likely to have much in the way of
base defenses, and their starting vehicles and troops likely canít
handle a good-sized group of Engineers. Take an enemyís Construction
Yard early in the mission, and youíve crippled them permanently,
especially if you sell it off right away.
Naturally, the fact that you can pull off an Engineer rush in the
first few minutes means that you also need to guard against it.
Build base defenses early, keep a few good anti-infantry units
around your base early on, and keep looking for suspicious enemy
You can also expect enemy players to create intelligent and
powerful attack groups. A computer player may not come up with the
tactic of running IFVs with Tan's and pairing these vehicles with
Tank Destroyers, but you can bet another human player will. So, your
defenses need to be even tighter. You need to keep Attack Dogs
around your base to prevent Spies from attacking your vulnerable
structures at all times. Wall off important buildings when you can,
and keep those walls repaired.
When an enemy player is attacking your base, queue up walls in
your Build menu. As soon as the enemy breaks through a wall section,
drop the new one down and start building more walls. This is
frustrating for your enemy, and buys you time to get your units into
position to counterattack. If you need base defenses quickly,
concentrate your efforts on Pillboxes or Sentry Guns. Both can take
a pretty good pounding, and theyíre cheap and quick to build. By the
time the enemy has successfully dealt with one Pillbox, you have
time to get another one, or even two, down and ready to go. And
because these donít rely on your power, you donít run the risk of
shutting off your entire power grid.
Because other players will attack your base with Engineers more
frequently than a computer opponent will, itís a good idea to have a
stock of Engineers on hand to take your buildings back if theyíre
captured. Itís also a good idea to build an MCV as quickly as
possible and move it off to a remote location. If your base is
destroyed or your Construction Yard is captured or eliminated,
youíre still in the game.
Human players are also more likely to use large amounts of Terror
Drones. These can be tough to deal withóbut if youíre careful, you
can take most of them out before they attack your vehicles. When a
Terror Drone gets inside one of your vehicles, pull the unit back to
a Service Depot if thereís one close enough. Otherwise, have your
other vehicles force fire on the affected unit. If the Terror Drone
kills the vehicle, itíll leap out to attack again. If the vehicle is
destroyed another way while the Terror Drone is inside, the Drone is
destroyed with the vehicle. Cut your losses and destroy the vehicle
Multiplayer games tend to go longer than single-player games, or
even skirmish games. You need a good force of miners at the start of
the game to keep the money rolling in. In fact, you should build two
or three miners before you start creating tanks. Toward the end of
the game, though, thereís very little ore left on the map. You donít
need the massive force of miners you started the game with. At times
like these, you can sell back your Chrono Miners by moving them onto
a Service Depot and using the Sell button. Youíll get $700 for each
one, or the price of a Grizzly Tank, not a bad trade for a unit that
has no function when thereís no ore around. You should probably keep
a couple of miners to continue picking up the ore generated by mine
drills (see Chapter 4 for more information on Mine Drills).
If youíre in a difficult starting position, like the center of the
map, itís a good idea to create multiple producing structures.
Having a Barracks at either end of your base allows you to create
troops in either one, wherever theyíre most needed. This saves you
the hassle of constantly rerouting your troops. All you need to do
is change which structure is your primary building.
The Psychic Sensor is a greatly overlooked building, particularly
in multiplayer. Nothing is better for detecting sneak attacks on
your base. Every Allied player will build the Spy Satellite, which
reveals the entire map, allowing the player to see attacks on the
way. If youíre playing as the Soviets, you should do the same with
the Psychic Sensor, which reveals the targets of incoming enemy
The next idea is a little sneaky, but it works. Stick a powerful
unit like a Yuri or a Tanya behind a building where he or she is
difficult to spot. Enemy units will move through and be targeted by
your unit, and youíll often score a kill or two before the enemy
realizes what is going on.
Finally, keep your eye out for power-up crates. They appear
randomly throughout the map, and their effects are random, as well.
You may get something as unexciting as a firepower or armor upgrade
(which is quite worthwhile if you pick up the crate with an
Apocalypse Tank), but some crates are extremely valuable. Some
contain money, while others contain units. Thereís nothing like a
free War Miner or Apocalypse Tank, especially if you grab it in the
back of an enemyís base.
Crates also appear in the water. You can get these with ships, or
with a Tanya. Donít let crates go to waste. Grab them with anything
you can. Chrono Legionnaires, NightHawks, and other fast units are
excellent for this task.