Last night I was extremely bored, so I dug out an RTS game I'd bought a couple years ago.
The game is "The Outforce", by o3games (now Starbreeze). It's a very nice game, except at the time the guys making the game were a bit underinformed about the computer game industry and signed a really bad contract with their publisher. The game had to be "ready" no matter what by a specific date. Thus it shipped with a campaign for only the Terran race and the Terran units were identical in capabilities to the two alien races, so just the graphics and names are different. They didn't have time to do different things with them like Starcraft has.
So, being so bored, I set up a six way skirmish match, me VS 5 AI players in a free for all battle.
I played nice by not using anything the AI never uses* in a skirmish game.
About 5 hours later, at 6 AM, I'd won. The totals showed that both I and the last AI had each racked up over 11,000 "kills". I didn't add up the rest
but it looked like it could've been 30~40,000 total. The first AI to bite it only got 343 kills. (Sometimes even on "Hard" this game's AI can be really stupid.)
I really like this game, would be nice if there were some other gamers around to get together for a LAN party.
One extra nifty thing is that unlike most other RTS games, The Outforce has no group size limit. Want to put 153 Hawk fighters in a group? No problem! With games like Starcraft or Star Trek: Armada you're stuck with 8 or 10 or maybe 12 units to a group. They're so easy to beat! With ST:A, I can take on the maximum number of AI players, all set on "hard"
and allied together, and stomp them flat with only three full capacity groups of the biggest ships. I leave one at the base for guard duty then roam around the map with the other two until the AI gives up on trying to attack my base, then it's all over shortly with my three groups going.
The campaigns are a bit harder in most RTS's since they're usually set up for the AI side to use most or all of the available units, plus as the human player you usually have to start from a bare bones situation.
Out of the RTS games I've played, I'd say the AI in The Outforce is one of the best. It will send some quite large groups against you and if you fall behind it can keep up a steady stream of attacks. It is also smart enough to not send every attack to the same place every time. If you leave any spot undefended you can eventually expect to be hit there. The pathfinding is also pretty darn good. Such a pity that the publisher wouldn't let the game's release wait until it was really ready to go.
*With a few Assault Modules hooked to Towships, protected by a fighter screen and some Turbine Lasers hooked to Towships, it's easy to walk over the AI by using that as a mobile force with a very long bombardment range. Towships can also be used to "sling" laser and missile turrets at the enemy or even toss Nemesis bombs at the defenses when there's a warp jammer stopping it from being used to attack remotely. Another towship tactic is a suicide charge where you just wade in with a line of them dragging turbine lasers, followed by a couple Nemesis bombs followed by a couple dozen Minotaurs and Centuars (or the Crion or Gobin equivalents). Towships can also be used to quietly pull apart walls/hedges/barriers your human opponent has built (also useful in several of the campaign missions). Your system won't alert you to an attack because nothing's being fired upon.
Anything you can build, except for resource extractors, can be towed. If you don't like the default location your base starts in, hurry up and build some towships and move it. Beaten the player to your "southeast" and the two AI's "north" of you aren't sending much down that way? Tow all those expensive turrets to the north side!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014
"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus
, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".