The Golden Rule
The Cycle of Power
In Red Alert, there is only one definite rule to success: to build the Ore Refinery and to extract the precious Ore. The Refinery and its Ore Truck are the most important elements of you military operations and your base. The Ore Truck is your lifeline and your continuous source to the funds, without which you could build nothing. The Ore is the only resource of Red Alert, and without it your base and its defenses will quickly collapse. Without a definite money source the player would be unable to construct any units, which would surely amount to failure.
The key to survival is the protection of your Ore Truck and Refinery. A small escort for the Ore Truck is a good idea. A group of tanks stationed around the Ore field where you Truck collects the minerals is also a very good idea. Always try to keep an eye on the collection process and determine if the collection grounds are safe for your Ore Truck. The Refinery must be protected within your reach of control. The loss of a tank or naval unit is incomparable to the loss of the more expensive and worthwhile Ore Truck. A stable Ore supply is a must for victory.
Be sure to build more than one Ore Refinery and to continuously build more Ore Trucks. The larger you collection potential, the easier it will be for you to build more units and base defenses. A new Refinery or two more Ore Trucks are a very good investment for the future of your base and success.
Finally, the strategy of attacking your enemy's economy is a very good and effective method of disruption and distraction. The lack of funds subsequently results in the inability of any kind of production. Never be afraid to assign a fairly sized group of tanks to the destruction of the enemy's Ore Trucks, and eventually their entire economy. The influx of money is the key to victory in Red Alert.
The effects of even the smallest units can be very deadly when used properly. The general rule of Red Alert is that the military units can inflict much more damage in a short period of time than they can withstand.
Always remember to single out your targets. Select or focus all your units upon individual enemy units or structures. Even damaged enemy units can inflict a lot of harm upon your forces until they are totally destroyed. By firing precisely on one target at a time with all your units, your efficiency in battle is greatly enlarged. By destroying one enemy at a time the enemy's forces are eliminated rather quickly, without posing major a threat to your units. A destroyed unit cannot retreat or be repaired, thus overwhelming power must be shown by uniting fire onto an enemy unit one at a time.
There is no one ultimately dominating unit in Red Alert. One unit in the game is more powerful than a second unit, but is almost always destroyed by the third. Attacks with varied units will be needed to succeed, and the possibilities for defense are always present with a varied army.
A Soviet Heavy Tank will have no problems in demolishing most Allied vehicles or structures. However, this slow-moving unit is hard-pressed to deal with infantry of any kind. Infantry are small, and the Heavy Tank's weapons can only damage them indirectly. What's more, infantry are more maneuverable than tanks. Hence, while a pack of Heavies may easily destroy an equal number of Allied Light Tanks, a small platoon of Rocket and Rifle Infantry - far less expensive to produce than tanks - may cause the Soviets considerable trouble. Likewise, a Longbow helicopter can attack the Heavies with no possible retaliation on the Soviets' part.
This is only one example in the virtually endless cycle of power. All very strong units have certain weaknesses, and all small and simple units will cause much trouble to certain enemies. There are many possibilities among the air, land, and sea units. A varied attack is necessary.
The Allies have the strengths to decieve and trick their enemies, sneak behind their lines, and then deliver a hard punch with a variety of weapons, such as a stunning navy (and much more). Even though the Soviet Heavy Tank out-barrels any ground unit available to the Allies, this can be countered, because the Allies can throw a Ranger, Light Tank, Medium Tank or an Armored Personnel Carrier in response, this allows any Allied commander to use devestatingly decieving tactics to win. The Allies have a larger variety of units to choose from. While a Light Tank cannot take a Heavy Tank, an APC filled with four Rocket Infantry and a Medic most certainly can! The Rocket Infantry can cut down the tank in seconds, while the Medic can keep the Rocket Infantry in fighting condition. Meanwhile, the APC can easily deal with any incoming infantry reinforcements the Soviets might have to muster.
In multiplayer missions, the Allies command the sophisticated Radar Jammers and Mobile Gap Generators - two inexpensive but extremly useful units. Radar Jammers are invisible to the opponent's Radar, and will shut down all Radar functions if they approach within 15 cells of the structure. This proves a most dangerous affect in the heat of any battle, since the enemy will not be able to control his troops properly if he cannot readily see where they are. Also, the Gap Generators (both mobile and stationary) add a terrific element of surprise to your forces by concealing them in a cloud of darkness. Combine the Gap Generator with the Allied ability to construct fake structures and the Allied Commander gains an incredible array of options against his opponent.
The Medic, reserved exclusively to the Allies, is expensive but extremely useful. He can keep his fellow infantry alive through unlimited healing power, making Allied infantry that much more effective in battle. Keep a Medic near key barricades of soldiers at all times, particularly the costly Rocket Infantry who pose a considerable threat to the Soviet air force and armor divisions alike. Medics cannot heal themselves, so always pair them up before you send them into the heat of battle. They are much more stronger than standard infantry, so do not hesitate to use them in dangerous situations. The other units in the Allied infantry, mostly Tanya, Spies, and Thieves, add yet more variety and strength to the Allied forces.
Anti-Tank (AT) Minelayers are among the most valuable units available to the Allies. Keep several of these busy at all times and you will pester the opponent to all hell. These units, perhaps more so than any other in the Allied military, are adept at dealing with the Soviet's reliance on their armored forces. Mines are invisible to the opponent, and usually fatal.
The Allied Cruiser is an expensive and often destructive unit, if you can get it into range, which can level an enemy structure in a single volley from afar. Use it often, but always keep it escorted by Destroyers for their AA capability, as well as Gunboats which are hell for Submarines. Alone, the Cruiser is extremely vulnerable.
Speaking of Submarines, though these stealthy craft have a range advantage over the Allies, once again the Allies have the advantage with a variety. The speedy Gunboats can cause expensive Submarines a great deal of trouble by dodging their torpedoes and charging toward them, pummeling them with depth charges.
The Allied air force could use more of a variety of aircraft, but as it stands, the Longbow is as good an aerial unit as you could hope for. The Longbow's powerful Hellfire missiles make it an all-around good opponent in the air, whereas the Soviets have to pick and choose between the mission-specific Yak, MIG, and Hind.
The Allies also get to play with the amazing Chronosphere device. Chronoshift a Cruiser into enemy waters and watch the chaos ensue. Do not overuse this device, however, as it will trigger harmful side effects about 20% of the time, such as a Vortex or an Earthquake. The Allies are unpredictable and variable - this is their greatest strength of all. The ideal Allied commander will keep the opponent guessing and make full use of each and every Allied unit throughout a battle.
The Soviet's lack of variety is made up for in their devastating strengths. The Soviet Heavy Tank is superior in combat to any Allied ground unit. And in groups, the Mammoth Tank is almost unstoppable with its self-healing capabilities, tremendously powerful twin cannons, and AA-AP Tusk Missile. The Soviet Commander is advised to establish his War Factory first and to begin pumping out tanks one after another as soon as possible. He must work to dominate Ore harvesting operations, since the powers the Soviet Commander posseses are as expensive as they are powerful.
The Soviet Commander must work quickly at the beginning of any mission because the initial advantage is always his. He has instant leverage with his powerful Heavy Tanks and Grenadiers, and is advised to rapidly establish several of each these units and to strike the opponent quickly, before he can set up any uniform defenses. The first several minutes of a Red Alert operation are open game for the Soviet forces; do not hesitate to stage a fast, violent ambush as soon as you feel able. Target the opponent's Ore Refinery and/or his Construction Yard and victory is yours.
Soviet infantry are infamous for their abilities. Flamethrowers can wreak holy hell on enemy structures, vehicles, and infantry. Grenadiers can obliterate vast numbers of enemy infantry with a single attack, and are nearly as effective against vehicles. Attack Dogs can raze large groups of enemy infantry in moments. All these units are vulnerable, and should be placed behind the cover of Rifle Infantry, who are best suited for drawing the opponent's fire while your superior infantry inflict the real damage. Distract several opponents with a Rifle Infantry or two, then send in a pack of Attack Dogs or Flamethrowers and watch the Allies scramble in futility.
The Soviet V2 MLRS (Mobile Launch Rocket System) is amazingly powerful, and the Allied equivalent - the Mobile Artillery Platform - simply cannot compete. In groups of three, V2 MLRSs can eliminate any single defense or structure in the Allies' base in one strike. Protect these destructive vehicles, and know that the Allies have no comparable equivalent.
The Soviet forces do not show a lot of variety; one primary tank and one primary naval vessel are all they have to work with. However, they do have the distinct advantage of surprise with their air force, which consists of three specialized, highly destructive fighter craft, not to mention three special weapons. The Yak is the least useful among the Soviet air force, but it can shread multiple Allied infantry in a single run. Use it to target expensive Allied Medics, but beware of Rocket Infantry. The MIG is a versatile unit indeed, and although it can only let loose two packages aerodynamic hell, those missiles are accurate and very strong. MIGs are best in groups - even though a half-dozen MiGs are an extremely costly investment, together these six planes can destroy anything the opponent might throw your way with few, if any, casualties on your part.
MIGs are your best bet when dealing with the mighty Allied Cruisers, and any other targets which are hard-pressed to hit aerial opponents. The Soviet Hind is an all-around good unit, boasting thick armor and a lot of ammunition for its high-powered chaingun. It can single-handedly kill large packs of Rocket Infantry. The Soviet airborne advantage is obvious; once your ground forces are established, work to build a number of airstrips and helipads and use these deadly units to hit the Allies where they cannot hit back.
The three air-related Soviet special weapons all become useable with the Airfield, and must each be used every possible time. The Spy Plane is the Soviet's best hope of revealing Allied terrain, and it is hardy and quick enough to be deployed even in high-risk areas. Use it where you suspect Allied Ore patches and other important areas. The Allies tend to assume that the Soviet player cannot see the map as well as they can, so you may frequently find the Allies' Ore Truck unprotected and vulnerable to your air force. Paratroopers should be unleashed deep behind enemy lines if only to startle the opponent into a state of complete insecurity. Parabombs are even more effective for this purpose - though inaccurate, if you drop Parabombs on the Allied headquarters you are bound to hit and severely damage something or other.