Red Alert Overhaul (third Soviet faction, Uzbekistan)

A complete overhaul of the game

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:23 am

Aircraft crashes

The plane and helicopter crashes have been changed to provide a more substantial impact. They still only deal a large amount of damage to the ground cell they actually collide with but the "stray damage" covers a much larger area, making infantry duck and cover.

Badger's area has however been doubled, even the AOE actually dealing substantial damage. Was the same as the normal plane/helicopter crashes before. This is a huge aerial body tumbling down from the sky, the vanilla Badger crash didn't feel appropriate. Graphics and sound has been modified a bit to reflect the increased collision.

In addition, you can now use crate-dropping-badgers as offensive weapons. They go down with just one rocket so if you time it right and react fast enough you can get an additional advantage.

I'm usually against random chance in an RTS game because it makes things more about gambling instead of actual strategy however I consider this to be clever usage of surroundings, not random chance. It's true that you need to be lucky and have a badger pass by just at the right angle and at the right time but you also need too have skills enough to recognize the incoming opportunity, react to it and time your attack just right so that it crashes where you want it to. At the same time the enemy also has the chance to become aware of the incoming threat and reposition his army, as long as the shroud allows it.

I've also added a little easter egg when you shoot down a crate-dropping-badger. ;)
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:55 am

Sonar Pulse

Everybody's favorite ability has received a AOE buff from 10 cells to 20 cells. This is because I think if you actually bother to get it it might as well be good at doing its job (finding submarines).

For anybody wondering, you need to infiltrate the Sub Pen (or Shipyard) with a Spy in order to get this ability. So the cost is 250 credits for England (cheaper spies) and 500 credits for France and Germany. Plus all that effort.

I've also made it possible to infiltrate the Conn Yard to get the exact same effect as infiltrating the Sub Pen/Shipyard. It's because in OpenRA you can build these structures off shore, making them impossible to reach for a Spy. It's written in the Spy description that Conn Yard infiltration is the same as Sub Pen/Shipyard infiltration.

A big change though is that infiltrating Sub Pen/Shipyard will also make all your new naval units promoted. In vanilla you only got the Sonar Pulse, which meant naval infiltration moved to the bottom of the list of desired infiltration targets.
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:25 am


The badger dropping off the parachuting infantry will no longer come in at an angle, it will always arrive from left/right/top/down. This effectively makes it twice as likely for the plane to come in at the angle you desire it to, since there are 4 directions instead of 8 as in vanilla.

When (if) the game engine supports actually choosing the incoming angle of the plane I naturally want that instead since it makes the dropoff more strategic instead of involving luck. In the meantime I think it's a good idea to cut away half the incoming directions since it makes an enormous difference whether the plane comes in from the other side of the map or not. Removing diagonally angles also reduce the chance of super long wait time, since coming in diagonally from the other side of the map always equal to a longer distance.

As for the actual infantry units dropped these have changed as well to be highly promoted. You still get roughly 1000 credits worth of infantry:

[tab]1 Rifle Infantry at rank 4 (max)
[tab]2 Rocket Soldier at rank 2
[tab]2 Grenadier at rank 2

Note: Units is rank 0 by default, so "rank 2" means it has levelled up twice. I suppose rank 4 could be called "level 5" if units are considered being level 1 with no decoration.

The reasoning for this is you usually use Paratroopers to attack undefended parts of the back of the enemy base. The increased rank doesn't really increase damage output much or survivability (1 max rank Rifle Infantry will still die to 2 undecorated Rifle Infantry) however it makes them much more mobile. Since the Rocket Soldier has been nerfed damage-wise (haven't covered them yet in the thread) the Grenadiers are needed to take down buildings. The Rifle Infantry is dropped first and is mostly meant to soak up damage or take out targets such as Attack Dogs or other stray Rifle Infantry (basically just keep the Rocket Soldiers and Grenadiers safe).

The cooldown of Paratroopers is still 6 minutes. It's after all free infantry worth 1000 credits (even more value if you consider the ranks) so I don't think getting them more frequently is justified.
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:40 am


Just like with Paratroopers the planes will no longer come in at diagonal angles, effectively doubling the likelihood of them arriving the way you want them to. It also effectively reduces the max time it can take to bomb the selected spot, since the longer diagonal distances are gone.

As for the bombs, they are now stronger. Particularly vs buildings. I've made sure it's impossible to take out Radar Dome, War Factory and Conn Yard no matter where you issue the bomb order on the building and regardless of the angle the planes come in from. But now you can actually pick off strategic targets with a single bombing run, such as Power Plants or even a Ore Refinery (remember that if you lose a Ore Refinery but keep the Harvester you've only really lost 300 credits' worth, plus some build time of course).

Overall the bombs are stronger towards everything if you actually hit your target, making it more important for the enemy to pay attention and dodge the parabombs when possible. If you're playing against Ukraine (the only team with Parabombs) it could be a good idea to spread out your army a bit.

I've made sure that 1 Sam Site and 1 AA Gun will always take out a badger if they fly over them. Aerial base defenses are good to have around your Tech Centers since taking out one of the bomb planes cuts the Parabombs' strength by a third, just watch out for the buffed badger crashes also dealing their fair amount of damage.

The cooldown of Parabombs is still 6 minutes. The increased power of the bombs makes them more useful when they actually do happen so I don't think less cooldown is needed anymore (as have been experimented with in some playtests).
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:52 am

Spy Plane

The aircraft is now twice as fast as in vanilla. I've always been bothered by the slow movement speed of a plane that is supposed to move so fast that you can't shoot it down (lore wise). Now the vision will arrive pretty much when you want it to, before if you were unlucky you could have to wait for quite a bit depending on where the Spy Plane arrives from.

The cooldown timer for Spy Plane is still 3 minutes. I've noticed several play tests reducing this timer to make the Soviet compete better against the Allied GPS, however I feel it makes them get an edge too early in the game since GPS come into play late game.

Instead my take on this balancing issue is to give the Soviet more Spy Planes late game. When you build a Soviet Tech Center you receive an additional Spy Plane, as long as you have at least one airfield (or helipad). So now during late game Russia and Ukraine has two Spy Planes with three minute cooldowns.

They can even get three Spy Planes or more by building additional Soviet Tech Centers if the player feels like the vision is really important on the current map. I think this, together with the faster Spy Plane movement speed, is a good balance against the GPS. It doesn't touch the 3 min cooldown either, something that could mess up early game.
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Post by Fortnight » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:36 am

Rocket Soldier

Time to cover what I believe to be the most overpowered unit in the game. By nerfing the Rocket Soldier much imbalance disappears and nearly every single other unit becomes a lot more useful.

Quite the claim to make but I'll try my best to explain. I'll start by listing what has actually changed:

1) 25% chance to explode upon death.

2) No longer uses two seperate armaments. The two missile types "RedEye" (for aerial) and "Dragon" (for ground) has been replaced by just a single "Rocket" missile.

3) 80% longer reload between missiles.

4) For ground targets: 20% less damage vs Heavy armor, 50% less damage against Wood armor, 43% increased damage vs Light armor, 50% less damage vs concrete. Note: Damage vs air has not been touched.

5) Larger hit AOE for aerial targets.


1) This is a nerf against mass blobs of Rocket Soldiers. It's a smaller nerf than it sounds since it takes 4 such explosions to kill a Rocket Soldier and only 1 in 4 Rocket Soldiers will explode when they die. Check the post titled "Exploding infantry" on page 3 for more on this.

2) In vanilla the Rocket Soldier can launch an attack against a ground target and he can then immediately follow up with an attack against a plane or helicopter, without delay. Or the other way around. RedEye is 40% faster than the ground missile, has four times faster turn rate, travels 50% more distance and can be launched from 50% further away from the target.

In overhaul the Rocket Soldier has only one type of missile so if he just launched an attack against a ground target there will be an opening for air units to move in for an attack. A compromise (in favor of ground) has been made between RedEye and Dragon, slightly buffing the Rocket Soldier's capabilities against ground targets but mainly nerfing its anti-air effectiveness.

This is a push towards bringing back stationary air defense structures to Red Alert. There are many matches going by without a single AA Gun or (especially) Sam Site being built because Rocket Soldiers are usually enough. They still work against air, especially in groups, they just aren't as good as proper defense.

[tab]Attack range: RedEye = 7.5 ... Dragon = 5.0 ... Rocket = 5.5
[tab]Travel distance: RedEye = 9.0 ... Dragon = 6.0 ... Rocket = 6.5
[tab]Turn rate: RedEye = 20 ... Dragon = 5 ... Rocket = 255
[tab]Speed: RedEye = 298 ... Dragon = 213 ... Rocket = 213
[tab]Inaccuracy: RedEye = 0 ... Dragon = 128 ... Rocket = 0

The Rocket has 255 turn rate, which means it instantly turns towards the desired direction in a single frame. This is because of two reasons: Currently a garrisoned Rocket Soldier inside a Pillbox is pretty much useless because for whatever reason the missile will keep crashing into the ground when attacking. Not being limited by turn rate the problem goes away. The second reason is when the Rocket goes up into the air straight towards a Plane it will miss it by a near margin, look goofy and be unable to catch up with the aircraft (true for RedEye but even more of an issue with Rocket due to the slower speed). Instant turn rate fixes this and honestly there was never really a need for slower turn rate to begin with; you won't notice a difference in-game other than everything always looks correct with 255 while it sometimes looks goofy with 5 or 20.

The biggest change here is the projectile speed vs air, which becomes the same as against ground target (an iconic speed that I don't really want to see changed). In the end this all means that it becomes easier for helicopters to dodge rockets and easier for planes to outrun them, successfully buffing the roles of AA Gun, Sam Site and Mobile Flak. It does get harder to perform a plane crash into an infantry blob, though when you do succeed it will have a greater effect due to the changes in aerial crashes (see previous post). I'll also mention that this change reserves the audio cue previously used by RedEye for Sam Site, it no longer has to share the launch sample with Rocket Soldiers. That's something I'm happy with since I want as many missiles as possible to have their own distinguishable audio.

3) This is primarily to nerf the Rocket Soldier's DPS but also to leave a bigger opening for counter-attack after a Rocket has been launched. Rocket's reload delay is 90, same as the Mammoth Tank's 120 mm cannon. Note that although the DPS has been lowered a lot the initial attack damage has not been lowered by as much, as described with the armor changes in point 4, so running into a blob of Rocket Soldiers will still hurt pretty much as much as before. It's just that a single Rocket Soldier on his own won't dish out the same amount of damage any more.

4) Don't see the damage reductions simply as a nerf to the Rocket Soldier, it's more so a buff to the other units in the game. You might be wondering why damage vs Light armor was increased though, it's because I don't want the lower reload rate to affect a Rocket Soldier's capability to damage for example a Ranger before he dies to it. I also don't intend it to be nerfed particularly much against V2 Rockets or Artillery.

5) The splash damage against air units has been increased, previously the RedEye would deal full damage within 0.125 cells. The Rocket will deal full damage within 0.1875 cells and then diminishing damage up to 0.25 cells from the center of the aircraft. It's a marginal change but will compensate for the lower speed, helps to successfully deal damage to planes.
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Post by Fortnight » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:40 am

Rocket Soldier, but why?

I've explained how I've nerfed the Rocket Soldier but not why I think it was needed.

Here are the perks of the Rocket Soldier's attack:
+ It goes over walls.
+ It can attack both ground and air targets.
+ It's homing and won't miss its target unless the missile's outrun (due to travel time in a straight line ballistic attacks will suffer reduced damage against moving targets after just a few cells of distance, might even miss completely if the target is fast enough).

And here is what we need before having our first Rocket Soldier:
+ Power Plant (300 credits, 7.2 sec)
+ Barracks (400 credits, 9.6 sec)
+ Unit training (300 credits, 7.2 sec)

Note: A power plant is actually not needed in overhaul since the Conn Yard provides 20 power but I'll include it anyway because it's needed in vanilla.

Now let's see what we need before having out first Medium Tank:
+ Power Plant (300 credits, 7.2 sec)
+ War Factory (2000 credits, 48.0 sec)
+ Service Depot (1200 credits, 28.8 sec)
+ Unit production (850 credits, 20.4 sec)

Usually people makes a Ore Refinery and Barracks before a Service Depot, which would need a second Power Plant as well in vanilla. We're just looking at the minimum requirement here.

[tab]So we need 700 credits and 16.8 sec before gaining access to Rocket Soldier.
[tab]We need 3500 credits and 84.0 sec before gaining access to Medium Tank.

Also keep in mind that a single Barracks doesn't consume much power compared to those other structures.

Since one Medium Tank is 850 credits lets train three Rocket Soldiers for 900 credits. In total it takes 1600 credits and 24 seconds of time for three Rocket Soldiers and 4350 credits and 104.4 sec for one Medium Tank.

With all those extra resources put into making one Medium Tank it should have reasonable advantages compared to Rocket Soldiers. Let's compare the two:
+ Medium Tank doesn't attack over walls.
+ It doesn't attack air units.
+ It doesn't have homing attacks.
+ Though it do have more survivability.
+ And it has faster movement speed.
+ Can see a cell further.
+ However the DPS is much lower than Rocket Soldiers.
+ It's a single unit and can't be split into covering three places at once (sacrificing one to let the other two escape and so forth). The "splitting into several units" is also a benefit when producing them, imagine if you only need a third of the tank's attack power to deal with a lingering red-HP-enemy in your base. You still need to wait for "all three parts" of a Medium Tank to get built while a Rocket Soldier becomes available much faster.
+ Medium Tank receives more damage per second from other tanks.

Considering that a single Rocket Soldier can deal more damage against Heavy armor than a single Medium Tank it's no wonder why tanks usually only serve as, well, tanks to soak up damage while the Rocket Soldiers behind them do the real work.

On top of it all Rocket Soldiers also survive much better against other tanks so if you have a tank it's just as dangerous to run into two enemy tanks as it is to run into a single enemy Rocket Soldier. Sidenote: The suvivability infantry has against tanks should not be nerfed, it's a central part of what makes Command & Conquer.

When a basic infantry unit can do all these things at a third of the cost of Medium Tank (not counting prerequisites), where's the incentive for building several tanks? Rocket Soldiers should be useful and they should have a role as being both anti-tank and anti-air but there's got to be a reasonable limit to their power.

With such strength and with so little requirements before becoming available there's little reason to aim at teching up other than to make a few units that compliment the Rocket Soldier's two big flaws, it's vulnerability and limited vision. Make a plane for line-of-sight, a tank for soaking damage and you're good to go with a bunch of near unstoppable Rocket Soldiers and Rifle Infantry. I'm exaggerating but you see my point. :p
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Post by Fortnight » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:52 am

In order to illustrate how overly good Rocket Soldier truly is I've prepared some images to compare vanilla with my nerf in overhaul.

Rocket Soldier vs Heavy Armor

Green (top) = Overhaul


Orange (bottom) = Vanilla

This should show that despite my nerf the Rocket Soldier still has a very strong position as the game's biggest anti-tank unit, just on a more reasonable level.
No need to download this if you see the embedded image above, it's just the same GIF animation zipped in case the external version ever goes offline.
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Post by Fortnight » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:54 am

Rocket Soldier vs Light Armor

Green (top) = Overhaul


Orange (bottom) = Vanilla

In the initial attack you can see that the Rocket damage vs Light armor was buffed in overhaul. However due to the attack rate change the vanilla Dragon missiles quickly catches up and passes the total damage dealt over time.
No need to download this if you see the embedded image above, it's just the same GIF animation zipped in case the external version ever goes offline.
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Post by Fortnight » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:01 am

Rocket Soldier vs Wood Armor

Green (top) = Overhaul


Orange (bottom) = Vanilla

Tried to upload a ZIP here but I'm getting a bug on the forum: "General Error Tried to upload empty file". The archive is not empty... Also tried with a RAR archive, didn't work either. Also tried putting other files in the archive, didn't work. The ZIP was 3.36 MiB and max upload is 5 MiB so it should work, have sent a PM to Sleipnir about it.
The issue has been fixed now!

Anyway, here we see:
[tab]7 Rocket Soldiers = 2100 credits
[tab]3 Medium Tanks = 2550 credits
[tab]2 Heavy Tanks = 2300 credits
[tab]1 Mammoth Tank = 2000 credits

The effectiveness of vanilla Rocket Soldiers vs buildings is short of astonishing, they take care of a War Factory three times faster than a similarly priced group of Medium Tanks. Keep in mind that here the tanks attack first and the Medium Tanks are 450 credits more expensive (not counting any prerequisites).

You can get a sample of the new Mammoth Tank changes here, with the new tusk missiles. You see the small smoke puffs that appear before the missiles ignite. Of course the biggest change is that the tusks are used against everything now, both together representing a third ballistic attack on the building damage-wise. Notce also that the tusk now fires its missiles before the Mammoth Tank is pointing straight at the building. It should be pretty apparent from this image that the Mammoth did indeed need a buff and likewise it should be apparent that the buff was not too much (pay extra attention to the rate at which it can fire the tusk missiles now, it was much, much faster in vanilla).

Another balance preview is that that the damage of Heavy Tanks has been increased a little bit. You can see that the overhaul's 4 Heavy Tank barrels can better keep up with the 3 Medium Tank barrels compared to how it is in vanilla. Observe that the Heavy Tanks shoot before the Medium Tanks yet Medium Tanks still destroy their building first in vanilla.

Sidenote: Looks like a camera-shake due to explosions in OpenRA does not return back to the exact same position as the camera had before the shake.
No need to download this if you see the embedded image above, it's just the same GIF animation zipped in case the external version ever goes offline.
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Post by scorp » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:54 pm

i like the 3 last examples of your balancing improvements. Vanilla is quite a bit on the absurd side of things there.

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Post by FiveAces » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:29 am

I don't necessarily agree with everything in this mod, but the rocket soldier change definitely seems reasonable.
It makes no sense to me that rocket blobs have that much DPS.
Yes, they are supposed to be a hard counter to tanks, but right now they straight up evaporate everything except infantry -
this is part of why basepushing is so strong.
Rocket soldiers behind cheap, spammable barracks can clean up an enemy fortification too easily.

Plus, they are another reason for why teching is just not a viable option versus top tier players right now -
many refuse to tech past service depot, and they only need the SD for MCV/tanks in the first place.
If they see you tech, right now they just shove a mixed infantry blob into your face and kill too much of your eco for you to recover.

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Post by Szunti » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:56 pm

I agree with FiveAces. I think it's also the reason why medium tanks are more useful than heavies. Tanks are all about surviving rocket troopers now. And medium tanks are faster, has more chance to escape, more hp/cost and has better chance to reach the blob and crush a couple. Heavies have more dps/cost but who cares about dps of tanks, when they are never the damage dealers.

Do you have the source somewhere? I'd like to try the mod, but I'm a bit uneasy about binaries without source.

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Post by Fortnight » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:08 pm

Glad you three agree!

I've put up a dedicated server for Overhaul now. It's in Sweden but hopefully the connection is good enough for it to be used overseas as well. It's an old machine running Windows 2003 but I think it has enough juice in it to manage OpenRA.

For anyone wondering how I got it running on such an old system even though OpenRA no longer supports Windows XP it's thanks to

I couldn't get it to announce itself to OpenRA's master server though, perhaps it's because the server is not behind a router...? For whatever reason I made a little program myself to announce the master server. So you can still find it in the OpenRA server list, it just won't have proper stats in the listing. I made sure it only announces itself every three minutes though, just like the official code does.

Solely playing against bots won't tell the whole story so grab a friend and jump into the dedicated server! :)

EDIT: Important, the server is no longer listed since my custom announcing messed up OpenRA's monitoring tasks.

You can still connect to it through Direct IP:
[tab]Port: 1234
Szunti wrote: Do you have the source somewhere? I'd like to try the mod, but I'm a bit uneasy about binaries without source.
There are no binaries, just .yaml text files and graphics/audio files. I didn't realize this might be an issue for some so let me be clear that Overhaul is 100% safe to download, even if you don't trust me. You just download the OpenRA game as usual from the OpenRA site and just put load the mod from inside of it. The official game has all the binaries and just reads modified information from the overhaul mod folder.

Pretty much all my additions, fixes and edits can be found in the "overhaul"-folder inside the mod (full path to it after the mod is in place: "<OpenRA root folder>/mods/rao/overhaul").
You can see the source there. :D Otherwise most of the rest of the files and folders are identical to the official Red Alert mod (I just made a copy of them).

[tab]I still have a bunch of stuff to cover in overhaul but I'd like to most humbly request more opinions about specific changes that I have mentioned so far.

The reason I've been making detailed motivations here is to spark discussion, overhaul is not meant to be a seperate mod but to suggest several changes to the real deal that I believe works together for a better experience. I know nobody will agree with everything but if there's a couple of changes or even just one specific change you think is good and would like to see in the official Red Alert mod please make a quick comment about it.
Last edited by Fortnight on Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by MustaphaTR » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:59 pm

I like that you did changes to zombies. Maybe you could add ... tion-logic too. I use that in my modmaps and i think it makes zombies a bit more useful.

Uzbekistan is a bit too much different when compared to difference between other subfactions of a side. I'm OK that they have helis instead of planes and can't build some units but i think Walls/Wires and Adv. Power Plant might stay.

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