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Friday, July 30, 2010

Alpha Does StarCraft, Too

I picked up StarCraft II this morning and have been playing it on and off today. I am by no means a great – or really, even a good – RTS player. I can handle the concepts and work the controls but I’m not enough of a multitasker to be real good. If I have to split my forces much, I’m in trouble – I’m at my best when I can keep the fighting on one front. More importantly, though, is my magical inability to produce units fast enough to be competitive. Why, I know not. Those I play seem to have no problem, so why do I?
StarCraft II threatens to teach me my mistakes. It’s build queue analyses in the post game breakdown allows me to see exactly how I’m getting out-gathered, out-built, and finally out-muscled. So far in SC2 it’s been me against the AI (no way I’m throwing myself to the wolves right now) and I’ve found out some problems with my usual style already.
StarCraft II is obviously going to be reviewed on in the near future, but for kicks I’m going to rattle off some of my favorite other RTS games and adventures.
  • Age of Empires 2: Omegasim and I got hooked on AOE2 as our RTS gateway drug. After hours of play one afternoon chasing down the remnants of a purple-colored empire, we’ve since sworn that any opponent wearing purple is trouble.
  • Empire Earth 2:  I introduced Omega to EE2 after we’d already been hooked on AOE2. EE2 allowed Omega to start his obsession with nukes in games. From nuking enemy cities to the ground to taking his own citizens into the wilderness and nuking them to free up population space, Omega’s a nuke nut. Personally I like overrunning an opponent with an army built around heavy siege weapons.
  • Age of Empires 3: This is my second favorite all-time RTS. I wrote about it on this blog back in 2008, so there’s not allot more to say.
  • Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots: Here’s my all-time favorite RTS. I love the nation balance, the action and the interface. I also really like the empire expansion/national border concept. One quick story from my time with RON:TAP was Omega and I in a large-scale battle where he got confused in the ruckus and nuked his own capital. It was hilarious as he was yelling at the nuke to stop – yeah, that’ll work – as it approached his city and just hung his head after it hit.
Omega and I have to play StarCraft II sometime.

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