The Cowardly Gamer: The Thing About Real-Time Strategy Games (Part 1)
When I was younger, I had this irrational fear when it came to computer games, of the game over screen, so much so I would be overtly cautious playing through a game. This was a problem that manifested itself in any type of game, be it First Person Shooters, Real Time Strategy, Turn-Based Strategy and even card games like Solitaire.
Whether it was simply down to kiasu-ness (being afraid to lose) or simply just being afraid, it did led to several ridiculous, even funny situations.
Real-time strategy games was apparently my cup of tea during those days. Dune, Command & Conquer, Krush, Kill ‘n’ Destroy, WarCraft, StarCraft, you name it, I probably played it, or at least the ones that mattered. The only problem was, while some people can finish each individual game in a fortnight, I took around, on average, 3 to 4 months a game.
While I mentioned that I feared losing, the actual act of losing in a level will result in a game being in cold storage, and I’ll just play something else (and lose) before revisiting the first game again, a process that can take up to two weeks.
When it came to actual gameplay, I was quite fond of turtling, be it in the form of turrets or bunkers or a combination of both.I remember exploiting a bug (heard from a friend) in Command and Conquer that allowed me to build a Tower of Nod in front of an enemy base in Command and Conquer (It was sandbagging I think). Yup, I was pretty scared of even losing my troops.
Opening up new areas in a map to get more resources was rather challenging as well. It involved building a huge army (spending resources) to secure that particular area and once secured, build up a formidable base (spending even more resources, replete with turrets, bunkers, a brand new standing army and what-not) before harvesting any resources. Notice that I didn’t mention anything about attacking the enemy.
Talk about being risk-averse. Victory was normally achieved via attrition. The AI will attack regularly but the flow will soon stop when there are no more resources to harvest. Remember the huge armies I mentioned in the previous paragraph? This will be the only time where they attack a base.
I blame both the lack of Internet and a habit of shunning cybercafes when I was in high school, as I only learn about “rushing” an enemy when I was in college..(to be continued)
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