RTS Gaming Wars

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with strategy games. I love watching the little wars you create unfold, with one side’s attack force breaking or being broken by the others defenses. Or maybe having a huge fleet of bombers or battle ships take your opponent’s completely by surprise and completely dominating them. While all of this is very fun for me, I also hate the other aspect of these games, micro managing.

My first experience with a real time strategy game, or RTS for short, would have to be Warcraft for the PC. This fun little game introduced me to the idea of building buildings, gathering resources, and generally figuring out how to outplay your opponent. Simple by today’s RTS standards, Warcraft still had enough depth, and especially charm to keep me interested for a good while.

Next came Warcraft 2, the sequel to the original Warcraft. This game introduced more complex maps, flying units, and after the expansion naval units as well. This is the first game that the dreaded micro managing really reared it’s ugly head. With the ability to attack, and be attacked, in one of three ways or all at once, you really had to make sure you knew what everything was doing at all times.

Starcraft, what some consider to be the best RTS to date, was the next of these type of games to be installed on my PC. Starcraft could best be described as “Warcraft on crack” because the sheer jump in both numbers and complexity of units and building was staggering, especially after the expansion pack. It’s this game that micro managing really became a must, as the dreaded Zerg race for example, would send attacks from multiple sides of your base at once, causing you to split your forces.

A lesser known game, but still one of my all time favorites was Total Annihilation. In this game you had land, sea, and air units plus the addition of long ranged artillery and even nuclear weapons! These addirtions made base defense a real chore, because while you were preparing for one, the opposing team would hit you with the other.