Ramblings that don't really fit anywhere else. What you read here might not work for you at all and there is a good chance you may disagree entirely.
What if my base is attacked during an offensive?
As you can see from the screenshot linked below, the bulk of my force is laying seige to the pink base far in the north, whilst only a token force and some gun emplacements (turrets and pillboxes and a negligible sandbag barrier) are defending the base. Whilst I am confident the oranges and pinks don't have the resources to attack, and the greens probably won't, there is a chance they could mount a force to attack my base. In human games this is always a good tactic since an inexperienced commander will pull back everything to defend his base, regardless of anything else. In this case, and other cases, the best option in my opinion is to leave your outfield army exactly where it is, and zoom back to base to face the attack with your 'home guard' forces. Don't drag your deployed army back to base. Doing so would open it up to ambush, lose the position you fought for, and the retreating army would probably get very disorganised and most likely would find its retreat route through an enemy base. Teslas make short work of confused tanks that aren't firing back. So, leave that army where it is and give full attention to the fighting at your base.
But what if my base gets destroyed? A worst case scenario. More than likely you'll be able to muster your base defence force together, build a few men and repel the attackers. If they attack in great strength, and you lose all of your base (again, unlikely. You'll at least keep a barracks or something), then all is far from lost. Remember you still have a big self-maintained army out in the field. If your medics and mechanics are still operative (this applies to Allies only), and you still have lots of tanks, as well as artillery support, you can still win the game, though it will be a slow process depending on the enemy's disposition. The Soviets will be slightly less well placed, but remember V2s are excellent artillery units and heavy tanks are superior to Allied medium tanks. The remnants of the forces that attacked your base will also be easy pickings if they walk into your well defended position. (See the section on the The fighting square for more information on such deployments.)
Now imagine what would have happened if you'd called everything back. Chances are they would have been too late, and would have been mauled en route. Chaos would ensue allover the battlefield for your forces and you'd have lost a hard-fought position. The enemy you were laying siege to may also start harvesting again and recovering lost strength. At least if you leave your outfield army alone you still retain order in one theatre of operations. Of course, you can compromise. Pull a squad of tanks back - light tanks would be ideal if you are playing as Allies - but don't do a mass retreat.
Fight to the Death!
One time I played a versus game with an anonymous rogue on Westwood Chat (always prefer to play people I know because anonymous losers tend to quit prematurely and for some reason insist on maximum game speed only and boring gem-filled maps) and at the very start of the game he did the common raiding tactic of going straight for my Construction Yard. In my carelessness I had my initial tank force (four Soviet heavy tanks) out scouting, and just my V2s and men, and the two Mammoths, back at base. He raided in with everything he had, and yes, he took out my Construction Yard. However, my building order had allowed me to already get a War Factory up and running, as well as a refinery. And because he'd be concentrating his fire on my Construction Yard, and his forces had become spread in the rapid advance on my base (remember Mammoths are slower than heavy tanks), I'd been able to virtually destroy all his forces, without losing any of mine. He thought he'd won, but it's not always the case. Losing a Construction Yard is bad, but all is not lost. I moved in on his base (which was still in its early stages since he had been directing his attention to the raid on my base) with my force and he quit the field soon after.
On the other hand, if you're like me, you'll get some form of perverse pleasure from fighting until the very last man (see 'The bitter end' screenshot). I've done this quite a few times against the computer when I've played as Allies against seven AI players on the superb 'Innocents?' mega-map. If you start in the middle lower position and the computer players soon ally against you you're pretty much doomed but guaranteed a great scrap. This has also happened against human players. Simon Challands once took out my Construction Yard in much the similar manner as mentioned above, only he also took out my War Factory. The battle wasn't lost yet, but the writing was on the wall. I churned out infantry, tried to ambush tanks with rocket soldiers, and fought on as long as possible, but without armoured support there's only so much soldiers can do. It's fun to use guerilla tactics though, and always satisfying denying the enemy an easy victory, taking out as many of his units as possible.
Here are some tips that I read on the Red Alert Archive Forum.
- Send your spy plane over a base that has heavy AA capabilities just before your Badger Bomber comes. All the fire will be directed at the spy plane, and the Badger can sneak in. The same thing can work for sending MiGs or Yaks in. Use either a spy plane or a helicopter (they have lots of armour, and will sidetrack AA emplacements for a while).
- Drop your paras out in the middle of nowhere to explore map.
- Drop paras near an attacking group (of tanks) that are moving to your base. They will soften up the armour and slow the tanks down, so you can prepare your base.