A guide for red alert multiplayer for new and experienced players
Basic build order.
Press H to select MCV. Press F to deploy in to Con yard. Press F1 to build Power plant.
Press F2 to build Barracks.
Train 12 - 14 Rifles and an Engineer and build a base defense but dont place it unless you have to.
When War factory is placed build an APC or Light tank as scout vehicle and 2 Ore trucks.
When Service depot is placed build an MCV and queue tank production.
Refinery (Expansion Refinery)
At 2 minute point train 8- 10 Rifles and send some to map edges either side of your base and nearby ore patches and the approaches to your base. Train 4 Rockets before you start proper infantry production at 5 or 3 Rifles to 1 Rocket. I start with 8 Rifles to 1 Rocket until i build up more credits.
Build more Refineries as you expand and you need at least 7 Barracks quickly and make sure to supply enough power plants to allow you to keep placing base defenses. You need a second War factory and a Radar dome but it is personal choice when to invest in them and when to progress to the Tech centre.
Build order detail.
As Soon as the game starts press H to select your MCV. Press F to deploy into a Con yard. Press F1 to build a Power plant. This should be done quickly.
Move the mouse pointer where you want to place your Power plant before it is built. As soon as the Power plant is ready press E to bring its placement grid to your mouse pointer and click to place it.
Place the Power plant next to the Con yard so it allows you to place your Refinery next to the ore supply and when an Ore truck drops off a load order your Ore trucks to gather the closest ore.
When you click to place your Power plant press F2 to build a Barracks then queue 2 Refineries and a Power plant.
Before the Barracks builds move your mouse pointer over the spot you want to place it. The moment it is ready press E to bring its placement grid to your mouse pointer and click to place it. Learn to do this quickly especially during the early game.
When the Barracks is placed train 12-13 Rifles and an Engineer and build a base defense but dont place it unless you are attacked and you have to.
Keep a Rifle or two to guard your home base. Place them between your structures guarding your Power plants using the structures view range. Use the other Rifles to escort your Engineer to capture oil derricks.
When you place your first Refinery add a War factory and a third Refinery to the build queue.
When the War factory is placed build a scout vehicle (APC or Light tank is best) and 2 Ore trucks.
At the 2 minute point train about 8- 10 Rifles and order them to guard the map edges either side of your base and at nearby ore patches and the approaches to your base. Train 4 Rocket troops too then start training infantry at about 5 Rifles to 1 Rocket or your preferred ratio. I like to have a higher ratio of Rifles to Rockets for a while (8 Rifles to 1 Rocket) until i have enough credits for 5 or 3 Rifles to 1 Rocket.
Add a Service depot, Power plant 3x Barracks and then your fourth Refinery (Which will be the first expansion Refinery) to the build queue.
When the Service depot is placed build an MCV for your first expansion. Your fourth Refinery should be ready to place as your second MCV reaches the first expansion. Each map is different so learn how to vary your build orders.
When you set up your first expansion it is a vulnerable point so place a barracks and base defenses and arrange some units defensively. An opponent can knock you out of the game with a well timed attack at this point. Post some Rifles around to warn of enemy attacks before they reach you. Keep placing base defenses and you should always be building base defenses or have them ready to place.
You can send your home base MCV to set up an expansion at another ore patch while the second Con yard at your first expansion continues production of the Refinery and defenses you will place at this second expansion. Every ore patch you place a base defense or barracks at is an ore patch the enemy cant use so even if you dont have a Refinery ready if you pass an ore patch placing some assets there is always worth it. Always keep a Con yard deployed when the other moves to expand so you dont interrupt your structure production queues.
Notes, Hints, Tactics.
Micro refers to the tactical elements of Red Alert like controlling units and macro refers to the strategic aspects like overall game plan, base management, gathering, securing and maintaining resources etc.
When you place the Barracks the 12 - 13 Rifles can be varied to more or less so adjust how many you train to suit your own style but dont overspend early and stall building production. You can cancel your base defense to keep production going but i recommend rebuilding it quickly if you do.
The 2 Rifles left to guard your home base in the early game should stay between your structures next to your Power plants using their view range to attack any enemy units that approach before they can see your Rifles. This works nicely.
Guard your Engineer carefully as it moves to capture any oil derricks. Make your Engineer a Control group number to select it quickly if needed. Some players hunt enemy Engineers so scout ahead it as it moves. A lot of players send their Engineers around the map edge early on after the oil derricks are captured so one of your map edge Rifle guards should be veteran in a lot of games by killing Engineers that do this. When you get veteran units take good care of them use them well with tank screens and try to preserve your veterans. Especially veteran tanks. Always repair veteran tanks before they are destroyed.
When the scout vehicle is built (APC or Light tank is best) use it to screen your early infantry group from enemy fire. Use the view range of oil derricks you capture to kill approaching enemy units if they try to capture it. Send a Rifle to check if an oil derrick belongs to the enemy. Never approach an enemy oil derrick as any defending units will have a view range advantage over your units as well as defenders advantage. If you want to capture enemy oil derricks in the early game approach from behind to avoid the oil derricks view range.
Keep the scout vehicle alive (Especially if its an APC). APCs can be used for Grenadier drops in the enemy base. For early game Grenadier drops target their Power plants and cause some kind of distraction first to draw enemy attention. An eco raid will do or anything that draws enemy attention. Ive seen Gren drops win a game by leaving the enemy at a disadvantage that causes them to gg.
The first Rifle scouts you send out at the 2 minute point to guard map edges etc should be kept close to your base. The first enemy scout vehicle will often pick off all your vulnerable Rifle guards. Retreat if this happens. The enemy will soon be busy with other things so redeploy your Rifle scouts/ guards and send some more further around the map to ore patches and key areas of the map. Replace them when they get killed and send Rifles in 2s and 3s to kill single enemy Rifle scouts when they find them.
Post Rifles to ore patches to track enemy expansion progress and to identify which ore patches to eco raid. These Rifles can be set on Hold fire stance so they dont give away their presence by attacking enemy units that approach. Position these Rifle guards so they see when enemy Ore trucks mine the patch they are guarding. If you sell any structures and make any Technicians homeless and jobless they can be put on Hold fire stance and placed to scout including among civilians.
When you set up an expansion place the Refinery and then Barracks and some base defenses. You need to have 7 Barracks to speed up infantry production so build them between Refinery and Power plant production when you can. You can place more Barracks than 7 to have infantry production where you want it. Arrange some units defensively and post some Rifles around to guard the area and warn of enemy approach.
When you transfer your Ore trucks to an expansion make them a control group. If you are attacked by a strong enemy force you need to save vital assets like Ore trucks and MCV etc. Select your Ore trucks with their control group number and order them to retreat to safety. Order your retreating Ore trucks and MCV to move past any defenses or units you have so any enemy units that pursue them are attacked.
Always have some mixed units at all your expansions and bases. Even a tank or two a few Rockets and some Rifles will do. Having some base defenses and a Barracks for infantry production is important too. This will allow you to fight off light attacks or eco raids and warn of enemy attack from the sound of combat if your attention is elsewhere. this small force may help essential assets escape if a large attack hits them. This same kind of small force can be used for raiding enemy Ore trucks etc without committing too many units and compromising your defence.
In Red Alert attacking is essential. You can have a solid economy and well defended assets and control them well but if you dont attack the enemy you cant win. The saying attack is the best defense is incorrect the best defense is a good defense but in Red Alert the saying is true. Attack is definitely the best defense and its often a better defense than actually defending something let alone being the best form of defense.
When you attack and defeat the initial defending units and defenses the enemy might send units to deal with your attack or they might send units to counter attack your home base or an expansion etc. You should send Rifle scouts from your attack force and bases to detect any enemy unit movement towards them so you get as much warning of the enemy response as possible in these situations. Prepare your attacking units to fight the enemy units moving towards them. If possible destroy the enemy units as they arrive peace meal but move away from enemy structures so they dont have view range advantage from them. If the enemy response is too strong retreat with your attack force and gather any available units to form an ambush at a terrain feature or any defensible features on your attack forces fall back route. If the enemy pursue your retreating units always try to form an ambush around a terrain feature or a base that your retreating units can lead the pursuing enemy into. Combine your retreating and ambush units to defeat any units chasing them. You can often destroy the first few enemy units that respond to your attacks and then retreat before they make an effective formation and build up numbers.
If the enemy send a large force in response to one of your attacks this tells you where a lot of their units are which leaves other enemy assets vulnerable to attack. When you attack a lot of players respond with an immediate counter attack so watch out for this and during these points in a game it is important to keep your infantry and tank production set at the right location to support your defense. Also make sure to look out for enemy Engineers trying to capture your structures and other shady tactics like that.
When engagements start or are about to stop your units by pressing S and arrange them into a concave or line formation with tanks in front of the infantry to provide better view range and draw enemy attacks screening your infantry. try to send tanks to be repaired before they are destroyed. The best formation is having your units in a concave shape facing the enemy units so all your units can attack at once. Keep your tanks in front of your infantry between them and the enemy but keep them tucked in close. Dont let your tanks move ahead and get destroyed.
When you decide to build tech units like V2s etc. Only build 2 or 3 V2s or Artillery and 1 or 2 Yaks or Black hawks and use them well rather than building lots. Put your V2s on hold fire stance so they dont fire their rockets at moving targets and waste them. Fire the V2s yourself at groups of enemy infantry or structures before trying to hit less viable targets. Your Yak or Blackhawk can stay above your frontline units to give you a good view range. keep it out of enemy AA range safe above your units. Your air unit can be used to snipe enemy Artillery units and Tanyas etc. Order your air units to move around behind the enemy during engagements to attack their artillery units from behind or a route that avoids enemy AA fire. When advancing in open ground try to always have one of your MCVs with your main force. During engagements arrange your units into a concave formation with tanks up front, your V2s or Artillery behind your tanks and infantry with an air unit above them. Have a few units protecting your V2s at the back and Artillery in case the enemy tries to attack from behind etc.
Once your units are engaged deploy your MCV so you can build and place Barracks and base defenses alongside and in front of your front line units. This gives you infantry production at the front line and the base defenses help a lot. It also gives you extra view range from the Barracks and defenses but it also helps to screen your front line units from enemy attack and helps to split up some of the enemy attacks. Keep placing Barracks and defenses around the enemy during combat. When you advance with an MCV and deploy try to capture an ore patch so you gain resources while engaging the enemy and you are cutting off the enemy from that ore patch. Build and place Barracks and defenses around the enemy units when ever you can during engagements it gives you view range around them and splits up their attacks.
When using base defenses always micro (control them) to target enemy Rocket infantry first. With base defenses selected (Flame tower or Pillbox) and the Shift key held order the base defense to target a few enemy Rocket troops to prioritise them. Flame towers and Pillboxes should target enemy Rocket infantry first Tesla coils and Turrets should target enemy vehicles. If your selected targets move out of range your base defenses automatically move to another target so it is always worth doing. When defending against enemy attacks place your base defenses so they can attack the enemy without being destroyed immediately so not in range of too many enemy units but just enough of them.
Con yard undeploy and move to redeploy command: With your chosen Con yard selected hold the Alt key and click to move it to your intended destination such as the next expansion site etc. The Con yard will pack up into an MCV and move out then holding the Shift key press F. Once the MCV arrives at the chosen location it will deploy straight away. This frees up time to scout ahead of the MCV and escort it safely.
Mig attack tactics: Scout your Migs/ Yaks targets carefully with Rifles, APCs etc but scout other locations so you are not giving away the target of your next attack. Choose an indirect route to your target to avoid being seen. If your air units are seen their target will not be obvious from their direction. Approach the target (enemy Refinery etc) as a close group from the least well defended angle which is usually the closest map edge. As soon as the migs/ Yaks fire order them to turn back the way they came to avoid flying over enemy AA defenses. Order them back in to attack again and then fall back. Migs fire their salvos from a long way so they can avoid enemy AA fire easily. Dont let your air units fly over their target before making their second attack because this exposes them to enemy AA fire. This is easy and well worth doing. Putting a little effort into micro will pay off. This tactic can avoid an enemy Sam site or AA gun that is right next to your target. When your air units retreat to reload dont let them fly straight towards their air fields or helipads because this shows the enemy the direction of your airfields etc. The enemy may also prepare an ambush for your air units on their way to reload so take an indirect route. This is why you should watch enemy air units when they retreat to make a note of the direction of their airfields or helipads and to send a group of Flak trucks etc to ambush the enemy air units on their way to reload.
When you attack an enemy expansion or base and you cant break through quickly fall back and attack from a less well defended angle if there is one. Make the enemy redeploy their defending units if possible to disrupt their formation, try to separate some of their units from their defenses and hopefully reduce their defenders advantage. You can leave some units engaged to hold some enemy units in place so you can move other units to an enemy weak point.
Later in game APCs can be used to safely transport Engineers and Thieves next to enemy Refineries to capture them and prevent the enemy selling their Refinery with the Engineer while you infiltrate with a Thief or 2. You can order the Engineer to capture the enemy Refinery again to reset the capture bar if you want to send more Thieves in. Do this when you get chance like when you over run an enemy expansion. Have the APC safely hidden near by and tap its control group number and order it next to the target Refinery so the Engineer can disembark right next to the Refinery giving the enemy very little chance to sell the Refinery before you start the capture bar and send the Thieves in.
What matters most is how well you use the assets you do have rather having more than the enemy. Once you have sufficient numbers skilled micro is worth more than outnumbering the enemy. A skilled player can defeat an opponent with a far larger force if they use the right mix of unit types and micro (control) them well.
Concrete walls are a very useful asset. They are made even more useful by the fact that most players dont use them. Concrete walls effect and manipulate enemy movement (pathing) and coupled with mines can be very efficient. Tesla coils should be combined with Concrete walls too.
Having a group or 4 or 5 tanks on one flank of an army as it advances can be useful because it allows you to move this group of tanks along your front line to screen your units with moving targets during heavy engagements and they allow you to set up a second or third screen if your opponent attacks from another angle when you have already committed your units to the engagement. A reserve of a few tanks is worth holding back when used properly and you can send them in if needed.
Press S to stop your selected units when you engage the enemy or before if possible. Even if you are attacking stop your units, arrange a concave formation and let the enemy A move into you. If the enemy are wise they wont engage without a good advantage so you will need V2s or Artillery to stand off behind a solid formation with all the elements (tanks, infantry, air units, MCVs etc) and attack from range. If the enemy have Artillery or V2s snipe them with air units. If the enemy match you in every way you will need to break the stalemate with an Iron curtain or a Demo truck or something like that. This means building such a decisive asset under difficult combat conditions without compromising your other production and that needs practice. building the Iron curtain etc before the opponent is important because it is a game winning support power. You can target enemy Refineries with air units to break a stalemate or build a Tesla tank Flak truck horde but if you are pushed to needing to resort to that then doing so before your opponent does is what is going to decide the battle most of the time.
I hope this guide was useful there are a few ideas and tactics i wanted to include but its turned into a mass of text so ill stop here. If there are any comments or requests for other guides or replay reviews etc let me know please. If there are any mistakes or errors please let me know so i can correct them.
I have the second part of this guide written i just need to type it up here. The reason i have not posted part two already is that i have been focusing on my utube channel - peter dvoid. I have made some video guides and posted some 1v1 multiplayer replays. I have only just started my utube channel and the quality started low but i have been learning and i have been improving my posts.
My utube channel shows some of the tactics i described in my written guide above like Engineers capturing enemy Refineries while a few Thieves infiltrate it. The enemy cant sell a Refinery you are capturing so you can infiltrate at your leisure. This specific tactic is shown and described in further detail under multiplayer combat conditions to show it actually working and proving its efficacy.