RTS Basics
RTS Basics: Economics


The RTS economy is a primitive slash and burn affair that runs on a map where resources are usually limited. You slash and burn your way to a resource site (e.g. a mineral patch, a forest, a gas deposit, whatever), establish a base, secure it and drain whatever riches are there, and then search for the next one. Building the largest economy is only possible if you can secure these positions on the map. You'll start a game next to a conveniently stocked location with enough to get you started, and then at some point you'll have to take the bold step of annexing as many other resource patches as you possibly can. This usually means building a whole new base at a new patch, defending it vigorously while its still viable, and then abandoning it and moving on when it runs out. Each new resource base you create is called an Expansion.

You expand for two reasons. The first, naturally enough, is to build yourself up. The second - just as important - is to deny your opponent access to those resources. Even if you're not going to use them yourself just yet. If at all. You're depriving your enemy of vital funds to expand, and thus restricting their options and slowing them down. The early game is usually a furious race to colonise the map as quickly as your economy allows, and to secure strategic locations that block your enemy and safeguards your forces' access to the map. Any early rushes that you inflict on your opponents will probably be too weak to destroy them, but should be designed to dent their economy as much as possible without compromising yourself.

Expansions and securing the map are most likely going to be your opening strategies. As much as building up your forces is important, its just as important to secure areas of the map that allow access to those lucrative mineral fields. And the zones that lead to or defend them: choke points, mountain passes, river crossings, any strategic locations that is readily defensible. Stuff this bit up and its an uphill battle all the way. The mid game pretty much consolidates your annexed territory and the first major engagements get underway.

Population Limits On to RTS Units

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Last reformatted Sat, Apr 30 2011 by Lindsay Fleay