The USS Quad Damage

Supply lines: a failure of RTS

A large part of RTS games is gathering supplies and building units. You use these units to kill off your opponents in some means. It's also a genre in which "ubermicro" has taken root. The idea that one should micro manage individual units to gain an advantage. While I'm not an advocate of realism here, I still think this is far removed from the tactics used in real warfare.

One term I keep hearing in regards to real war is "supply lines". It's of the utmost importance in all war to control where things harvested. Along with "controlling high ground" and "controlling the air", it's one of the most fundamental underpinnings of warfare. Unfortunately, it's only with Ground Control that I even saw mention of tactics like this. GC was an excellent game, but it was geared at individual control of units for a specific objective. What if you wanted to orchestrate this operation, like you do with RTS?

It seems like you're stuck. It's kind of annoying that something that can be so interesting in real life has not been taken advantage of in games. This also has to do with the "arbitrary" nature of RTSes in general. There's a bunch of units and newcomers have no idea what they do. The balance of the game is also usually pretty questionable, and basically the guy who's figured the game out through hours of play usually emerges victorious. There's rarely a "gentle introduction" to the game. It's this kind of crap, and the promises of real battle that give me an odd love / hate relationship with the RTS style of games.