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I know everyone says the AI is too easy, but I've found it exceeding difficult to beat the AI on maps 20x20 and smaller. They seem to do three things, and they do it VERY quickly:

  1. Build experimental units and ambush you
  2. Build artillery and shell you
  3. Build nukes and nuke you

If I try to build artillery, their experimentals almost always steamroll over me and wipe them out. If I try to attack their base and take out their artillery, they have almost airtight air defences.

What is the best way to take out the tech AI on a 20x20 map?

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Because space is limited, you really need to focus on three core gameplay concepts:

  • Adjacency bonus
    Space is limited and you need to maximize your base efficiency. This will allow you to pump out more units faster. You can then create a more diverse army to attack and defend with. You can't just go "all in" with artillery in Supcom.

  • Veteran status
    The smaller map size puts more emphasis on each unit because of the smaller maps size. his makes it imperative to avoid "feeding" powerful units and you should pull back any unit which is incapable of standing against a stronger one rather than allowing it to be destroyed. Players using a rush strategy to attempt to destroy the enemy ACU with a swarm of T1 units need to beware that they don't allow the enemy to destroy too many of their units, as a veteran commander becomes an extremely powerful and resilient weapon even without upgrades.

  • Tech Level Adjacency bonus and veteran status tie into tech level. Strong focus on these concepts allow you reach tech 4 faster. They also help mitigate the risk of falling behind in the tech race, especially if you have high level veteran units.

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I always put 16 power gens around factories, fusion reactors touching shield gens, 4 Mass storage and T2+ MEXs, 10 T1 engineers per this enough? – puk Jan 18 '12 at 1:06
Depends on what you are building. Air factories require more energy than ground factories. If you are focusing on air units, it would be prudent to focus your adjacency bonus around the air factory before a ground factory. In SupCom there really is "never enough" but a rule of thumb is to make sure the entire parameter of the factory, etc. is surrounded. – Elpezmuerto Jan 18 '12 at 15:33

On larger maps, invest all of your eco into improving your economy for a long time, by upgrading mass extractors.

If the AI doesnt play aggressively with low-tech units then they are forfeiting the map which means you get lots of extra mass points, and your economy will be stronger than theirs.

Once you have enough eco, its time to build something that can kill their base. No base can withstand the onslaught from tons of t3 mobile artillery. Obviously you will need some units to support them as well.

You should have eco enough to build your own experimentals. On large maps if you scout often enough you will have heeeeaps of notice to counter an experimental.

If the AI is building static t3 artillery (buildings) it is very very expensive and hard to do. If they manage it it's going to be hard for you to counter ... build lots of shields and then try and snipe their artillery somehow, probably with T3 Bombers. However, really they should never build this building because it's too expensive and if they are wasting their economy on that, you should be dominating them in some other way because you spent your economy better.

So: 1. get the map, 2. eco up, 3. build things that can kill their base

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The question is specifically for small maps, and the wording of your answer suggests it's for large maps. – Paul Marshall Jan 19 '14 at 0:52
20x20 is not that small – anihilnine Jan 20 '14 at 0:06
The question is about 20x20 "and smaller." (Though it only mentions "and smaller" once; I agree it's not quite consistent.) Would your advice change on the smaller maps? – Paul Marshall Jan 20 '14 at 0:08
Sure: If you are playing a small (5/10k) map usually the game shouldnt even get to that late-game stage. You should already have killed your opponent. The opponent is obviously upgrading eco too much (if they get up to building experimentals) and it is possible to punish them for that mistake – anihilnine Jan 20 '14 at 0:12
When and how would you go about punishing them? (Include that in your answer! Be as clear and precise as you can. Then, once you have 15 reputation, go and flag all of these comments for deletion as "obsolete," because the important part is your answer, not these comments underneath it. You can delete your own comments without needing a higher reputation, if you like.) – Paul Marshall Jan 20 '14 at 0:16

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