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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    And where does the good old extraterrestrial combat unit fit into this?
    I finished X-Com Apoc recently so I'm giving them a short break. These are great games, but not ones I can replay over and over and still enjoy. They need cooldown between playthroughs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    You keep using the word "strategy." I do not think it means what you think it means.
    There is no need to be condescending. I am perfectly aware of difference between strategy and tactics. RTS titles usually have latter rather than former, despite having the "strategy" part in their genre's name. But the genre is still called RTS. This is an established name, regardless of how accurate it is. Do not insult my knowledge just because I am using already established terminology.

    I mean, what you did here is like telling someone that they don't know what a worm is because they called a legless lizard a "slow worm", while it is neither a worm nor particularly slow. It's still an established term, get over it.
    Last edited by Cubey; 2009-08-06 at 03:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Strategists aren't down in the trenches spotting targets for Sergeant Smith with the RPG, then ordering Corporal Jones to bring his first aid kit and patch up Private Johnson; that's grunt work. Strategists are far removed from such matters, pondering questions like ...
    I disagree.

    I favor both RTSes and TBSes. I can conquer China, I can defeat Orks for the Emperor, I can bring soft little Poland to power by defeating Germany before it ever gets to Blitz me. But a good strategist knows that it's not his plan that matters, because his plan is only framework. Anything more than framework falls apart as soon as you make contact with the enemy. A good strategist knows that it's grunt work which wins the day.

    Sun Tzu said it best: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

    Personally, I love playing against any established strategy in an RTS. Usually I give someone plenty of time to set up their defenses if that's what they want to do. But I answer their defenses with artillery, with missiles and airdrops. If someone rushes, then answer it with micro. Don't advocate only one style of play over any other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander
    I wasn't so fond of DoW - especially the naffinitude of Soul Storm* - that was I prepared to do the same for DoW 2 though!
    I find it isn't terribly good for people who want to play it slow(and frankly, the campaign sucks pretty badly for any of the DoW games). IG and Tau are the slowest races to play in the game, as both require vehicles to push toward victory. DoW 2 got rid of the one thing I enjoyed about the DoW series though: Good micromanagement. For that, I hate DoW2.

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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post

    Personally, I love playing against any established strategy in an RTS. Usually I give someone plenty of time to set up their defenses if that's what they want to do. But I answer their defenses with artillery, with missiles and airdrops. If someone rushes, then answer it with micro. Don't advocate only one style of play over any other.
    I agree with this. I suck at RTS, but this is how I... supposed to play.

    Isn't that's the point of strategy game? counter your enemy's strategy and such?
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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    I understand that your main reason for preferring turtling is because you enjoy a more relaxed way of playing, and that's a completely valid and respectable reason. But please don't say it as if the only alternative to turtling would be trying to crush the opponent within three minutes and games not involving a million towers never lasted any longer than that and contained nothing but trying to attack before the opponent does.
    I never said it was, not intentionally anyway. I did say I didn't like rushing and bemoaned that the challenges in RA3 Uprising relied on rushing (as if you didn't you got whomped after a while.) I'm well aware there is the middle ground (Empire at War being the shining example.)

    I personally am not fond of rushing, since I don't like to be pressured when I'm playing. I find it takes a lot of the fun out of a game if I have to rush about like a headless chicken - which you tend to do in most games where turtling is infeasible or non-existant. Heck, I haven't ever completed NWN2:Mask of the Betrayer, just because having to rush through the game avoid my soul collapsing in on itself made it feel more like chore to play.
    I perhaps used 'rushing' in the above quote slightly incorrectly, though, which might have given that impression; I was responding (sort of, though perhaps to as clearly as I might) to Cubey's post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
    I see RTS games as fast-paced challenges where you have to quickly set up your base and expand it just as rapidly, all that while scouting up ahead to see where the enemy base is located and what kind of units does it produce - so you can create your own units that will counter them. And once your strike force is ready - crush the opponent.
    Which, while perhaps not 'rushing' as in the early win/spam tactic (like having to frantically whack out a half-dozen/dozen VXs in the RA Uprising challenges so as to not get slaughted down the line...), it is certainly 'being rushed'; i.e having to come into a mission and click like mad for a few minutes. Which is subtly different, and what I personally find unfun. I don't really get on with anything that requires me to micromange at speed (micromanage at leisure is fine...), inevitably because I can't do it very well and it takes too much effort to be enjoyable when I have to do so.

    I suspect that were I to play against people who weren't playing soley to win (the sort of people I play on the tabletop, who just want to have a good game) , or occasionally [female canine]-y rush-based AI like RA 3, the middle ground would more evident, though.

    Trouble is, in many (though by no means all) RTS, the middle ground comes at the cost of requiring some level of sportsmanship (i.e. giving both sides some modicum of time to amass there forces enough to actual have something to stragise with (as ZeroNumerous seems to or I would myself were I to play againsts people and as I do on the tabletop) or just plain not abusing the loopholes). Which is not evident in a proportion of players or not in the AI; the latter, of course, being my preferred opponents.

    C&C has, Uprising challenges aside, has consistently hit the balance about right, in my opinion, which is why I like the series so much. I can turtle away to my heart's content, but it isn't the only viable alternative (though C&C 3 and RA3 seem to have a bit more of an easily-abusable rush or spam problem at least at the mulitplayer level.)

    But I does likes my laser towers, and it seems less more modern RTS are liable to give me them. Whether or not at the other extreme, the early/spam-rushers (as opposed to the merely do-things-very-fast-micromanagers, who let's face it can cover the whole range from rusher to turtler) are going to find it equally thin on the ground is another question. E.g. I don't know what DoW 2 is like, but my albeit limited understanding is that unit production and resources isn't quite so readily available to support a spam-rush. (But I could easily be wrong either way, of course.)

    To make myself completely clear: I consider rushing and turtling are merely the two most visible extremes and that doesn't mean there's no middle ground between them; it's going to be a sliding scale for most people (heck, you have to adapt it to different games anyway). I however, am certainly at the turtling end, given half a chance (which I do not consider superior to the others, merely different).



    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    I find it isn't terribly good for people who want to play it slow(and frankly, the campaign sucks pretty badly for any of the DoW games). IG and Tau are the slowest races to play in the game, as both require vehicles to push toward victory. DoW 2 got rid of the one thing I enjoyed about the DoW series though: Good micromanagement. For that, I hate DoW2.
    I kinda liked the Dark crusade campaign, actually. I thought it was the best out the group. (I did, admittedly, play through it with the Necrons...)

    DoW wasn't nearly so much hard work as Starcraft, for example; the latter of which I waded through the campaign but never made it through the expansions, rendering it more or less the only RTS I left fallow not because it was crap, but because it was too hard!

    I'm a bit surpised they took out the micromanagement of DoW2, though. I thought the whole point was smaller armies and less units with more RPG elements, which made the individual units more important. Whcih you'd have thought would have increased the micromanagement, since it'd be easier...The mind boggles.

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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I'm a bit surpised they took out the micromanagement of DoW2, though. I thought the whole point was smaller armies and less units with more RPG elements, which made the individual units more important. Whcih you'd have thought would have increased the micromanagement, since it'd be easier...The mind boggles.
    The campaign? You're right. But in skirmish mode, your units die far too quickly to be micro'd with any reasonable amount of success. It just becomes furious clicking to get them away from the enemy before they die like pigs. Instead, you're left with two options. Either infantry swarm to keep the enemy from advancing forward but also locking yourself into stagnation, or save up for large "tank" units like Predators/Carnifexes/the like and leave yourself open to attack.

    The fewer units you use, the less likely your chance of victory as the game styles itself as Company of Heroes did but with half(probably a lot less) the squad number. Thereby utilizing a small but competent force is no better than utilizing a large but worthless force since either side dies to any amount of sustained fire. On top of that, it's incredibly easy to destroy what little cover the skirmish maps even have through artillery-type units or simply having a unit large enough to squish the cover.

    It makes games as Tyranids really easy, but I've yet to win a skirmish game as SMurfs.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    (as ZeroNumerous seems to or I would myself were I to play againsts people and as I do on the tabletop) or just plain not abusing the loopholes
    Don't get me wrong: I'll rush if there's not a gentlemen's agreement before hand. It's simply easier to end the battle as quickly as possible. If there is such an agreement though, I'll usually honor it in spirit by only doing scouting runs.
    Last edited by ZeroNumerous; 2009-08-06 at 06:16 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
    Don't Korath only get Basic Diplomacy as a research option? Even with racial bonuses, your diplomacy will be pretty low.
    Possibly, but as far as I'm aware it's the only way to get the Galaxy Flipper. It's a Custom Race anyway, so I load them up with Diploboosts (And I think diplomacy allows me to take a load more diplomacy technologies anyway...).

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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    The problem is that what you describe is Not Strategy - it's Action. It's grunt work. Strategy is about long-range planning and development - it's what army commanders plot in their far-behind-the-lines HQs, usually well in advance of any actual fighting. It's not, generally, the stuff of adrenaline rushes.
    Which RTS games contain in plentiful amounts.

    Which units to pick right now? Keep in mind that, without turtling, skirmishes take place nigh all the time - you have to determine which units will be the most useful in the current situation, against the army the opponent has right now, but also predict which units he will be using next and already start getting the proper counter to them. You don't have an impenetrable line of defence to fall back to after all, behind which you can build an army consisting of only the best units, or an army so multi-facetted it can deal with any imaginable threat - your army must be able to stand up to the opponent at any time, and you simply do not have the capabilities to get everything that might be useful, so you have to make the *strategic* decision what to get now.

    Of course, you can send out a scout to try and see what your opponent is doing right now, but firstly you have to get something to scout with first, the resources for which might as well be used for something else, and secondly it would mean dedicating some of your attention and time to controlling that scout, and attention is actually the most precious resource you possess. Another decision to make - is diverting both in-game resources and attention to a scout to uncover your opponents plans worth lacking these resources and attention elsewhere, where they are needed as well, or not?

    Economy - is now the time to build more workers or to set up a new expansion, or are the resources for that more needed for army and/or tech right now?

    Army placement - where should you position unit groups so that they go unnoticed, and then lure the opponent in between them, so you can crush him in a flanking attack? And is that a viable and sensible strategy right now or not?

    Hit and runs - do them or not? And where?

    A drop - trying to sneak in some unit with mass destruction capabilities into the enemy base or expansion to eliminate the workers, while distracting the opponent in some other way - worth it, or too costly? (Incidentally, a strategy fairly exclusive to RTSs, exactly because your opponent's attention is limited, and so s/he might not notice what you are up to, especially if you try to distract them somehow with a fake attack or so while doing it. The nature of the distraction, incidentally, is also strategy).

    I could go on for quite a while, if I wanted to, but I think the above is enough. Incidentally, all of the above are aspects of strategic depth that pretty much only come to fruition in non-turtling games, as most of them are based on the assumption the players are perpetually clashing and are pressured into trying to figure out what actions, unit choices, strategical choices are the right ones right now, because a false decision could mean losing the game - much unlike in a game where the opponents do not put up pressure on the other at all. Consider the above my explanation of why I like a non-turtling playstyle, meant to present the non-turtlers point of view to the turtlers, after the latter so kindly explained why they prefer the turtle's way, for the sake of better mutual understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    And yes, so-called RTS games' focus on micromanagement most definitely does reward players with crazy-fast mouse clickin' skillz,
    True. No need to be demeaning though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    and it definitely does come at the expense of actual strategic depth.
    Wrong, except against players of lesser mechanical skill. Between players of similar "crazy-fast mouse clickin' skillz", it actually enriches strategic depth, for reasons explained above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I never said it was, not intentionally anyway. I did say I didn't like rushing and bemoaned that the challenges in RA3 Uprising relied on rushing (as if you didn't you got whomped after a while.) I'm well aware there is the middle ground (Empire at War being the shining example.)
    Alright then.
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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Since we're throwing out quotes, from Chris Taylor: 'Strategy is what you do before the battle, Tactics is what you do during the battle.'

    Strategy is deciding what units to send into battle, Tactics is using those units in battle. Games that focus in on the fighting are tactics games. Starcraft, Company of Heroes. Both have a strategic element, but are tactical in nature. On the other end we have Dawn of War, and Command and Conquer. Strategy games with tactical elements. Micromanaging is not essential, but is very helpful in them. Then we have Supreme Commander and GalCiv, which are Grand Strategy games. Another Chris Taylor quote: 'You're Eisenhower, not Patton. you know Patton will figure out how to get it done. You're the Megalomaniac with a croup stick.'

    Micromanagement should be pointless because you're fighting with armies too big to manage effectively. SupCom lets you set up factories and then tell just one what to build and the others to build the same as that first one.

    The difference between the three styles of game? Picture a huge field with forests on each side, a river running down the middle, and a ford in the center of the river. A tactical game focuses on two forces fighting over the ford. A strategic game focuses on two forces fighting for control of the river. A Grand Strategy game has each force trying to light the other sides forest on fire.

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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Wrong, except against players of lesser mechanical skill. Between players of similar "crazy-fast mouse clickin' skillz", it actually enriches strategic depth, for reasons explained above.
    To elaborate on what Winterwind says: high skill certainly helps in strategy, because after a while you stop thinking: "I MUST MAKE HYDRALISKS NOW! GO FASTA! FASTA! FASTA! FASTAAAAA! DA RED WUNZ GO FASTA!!!! HYDRALISKS!!! ZERGLINGS!!!!!!! PLAAAAAAAAAAGUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAAAAAAAH!" while ruining your keyboard with constant 4sh5sh6sh7sh8sh9sh0sh, 1a2a3a and finally dying of asphyxiation while your opponent types "holy crap GG". The most skilled gamers do it basically on the spot, without a second thought about it (which was showcased on National Geographic), because it's already "written" inside them what they are supposed to do. Therefore, as your fingers start to live on their own and rape the keyboard for you, you are free to think on the outcome of the game.

    You know, it's kind of like anime. When I get high enough on a game, I suddenly get thrown into a dimension where everything is flashy and bright and there are lines going fast in the background.

    And if you don't believe in the concept of strategy in RTS... well, you'd be surprised if you watched (or read about) Pimpest Plays.

    Or compare players such as White-Ra or IdrA. The latter is a robot extraordinaire whose skills are undeniably high. He does everything automatically. White-Ra is also highly skilled but doesn't have IdrA's APM. Yet IdrA isn't as successful as the Ukrainian player (and his matches aren't so eye-candy) because White-Ra often surprises the opponent with cunning strategical moves. (Although IdrA did win against White-Ra in the recent NSWC finals...)

    It's true that without proper mechanics your RTS online career will be short-lived. Some people believe that in the wake of FPVods and replays, the mechanical side of StarCraft have kicked the strategy to the curb. And yet it still somehow is amazing to watch progamers kill each other, even though the game should be 100% predictable. How often it isn't? This article details how important keeping the mentality is needed to win. Also, this video.
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    Default Re: Ruminations of a jaded Turtle [RTS]

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    I could go on for quite a while, if I wanted to, but I think the above is enough. Incidentally, all of the above are aspects of strategic depth that pretty much only come to fruition in non-turtling games, as most of them are based on the assumption the players are perpetually clashing and are pressured into trying to figure out what actions, unit choices, strategical choices are the right ones right now, because a false decision could mean losing the game - much unlike in a game where the opponents do not put up pressure on the other at all. Consider the above my explanation of why I like a non-turtling playstyle, meant to present the non-turtlers point of view to the turtlers, after the latter so kindly explained why they prefer the turtle's way, for the sake of better mutual understanding.
    Which I totally understand, since that is, of course, the sort of thing I have with my tabletop wargames; only at a slightly high level of resolution in the case of our modern/sci-fi ground combat ("which of these ten houses will he be defending?" or "what's the best way to get around to the arse-end of that MBT so I can shoot him up before he can react?").

    (In fact, many of our modern/sci-fi games have been fighting over a river crossing...)

    But it's totally not the way I play my RTS games (or any other computer game!) If I'm not playing people, I don't feel obliged to be nice or sportsmanlike, and I'll happily exploit the AI (C&C sandbag tactic, lookin' at you!) But, like I say, I play computer games and wargames for different reasons.

    I would never play my tabletop games (RPG or wargames) the same way I play my RTS! (Well, okay maybe at a campaign level if I could get two or more enemy sides whompin' each other first, so I can clean up afterwards; but that's nearly politics...)

    I might be a megalomanical, omnicidal Lich with grandure* but at least I'm not an asshat about it.



    Edit: And the sort of play you are describing, Winthur, is more like a competative sport, with all that entails. Which is exactly why I don't like that play style. I don't play competions games at all, not even (in fact especially not even) on the tabletop.

    In fact, Starcraft was what put me off the most, since I remember from the multiplayer FAQs it basically giving you a list of things to do to optimise your speed (build this, build this, this will be done by then so do this) and it really put me off. I frankly, absolutely suck at that sort of thing. Really, really suck! And it's not a matter of practise, since I bounce of the walls in JRPGs only slightly less now than when I first got my PS2; and that was just before FF X came out... My mind just isn't wired well from dealing with that sort of game (it's also why I don't play FPS, beat-'em ups or platformers.)



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    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2009-08-06 at 08:21 AM.

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