Is rushing an art or an insult to strategy games? Many players hate the rush.. not just Red Alert 2 players.. but players in nearly every strategy game available. Why do people hate rushing? Why do many people like rushing? Why is the rush possible? This article seeks to answer all those questions.
An art or an insult? The rush will always be in Command & Conquer games, it is part of the game and always will be. I for one would be very annoyed if the rush was ever to be made impossible in a C&C RTS game. The whole theory of rushing is that you are faster than your opponent. You can make money more quickly, produce units more quickly and hit them quickly. It's no secret that nearly every top 500 player rushes. I for one certainly rush. The players who complain about rushing are always those on the receiving end of rushes, those who are weaker players than the rushers who have defeated them time and time again. Trying to stop a rush isn't a great idea, yet many players think it is. Most of those players will usually play France and attempt to build as many Grand Cannons as they can before their enemy hits. This isn't the way to go about winning a game. Any top 1000 player will dispose of a turtle within minutes. The basic message is that you have to live with rushing. If you don't like it then don't play tournament games. The best place to play "long games" are in friendly games, the people who play them are nearly always intermediate players who won't rush (or won't know how to). Any good rusher will have often heard the parting shot of "you suck. rushing is gay" - or something along those lines. I for one am more than acquainted with it. The more respectful players will say "gg" (good game). The competition within the top 500 players is about who can rush quicker, who can build that second earlier or drone that harvester earlier. The competition below 1000 is much less competitive and there are often long games.
The average game involving a successful rush at the start takes from 4-10 minutes. If a rush is held off then the game can go on and on. The longest tournament game I played in lasted for 1 hour and 40 minutes, not as a result of either player turtling, just as a result of the map and the situation. Some people think that a game that lasts 3 and 1/2 minutes isn't a game at al - that's rubbish. A game is a game - the speed at which it is won is irrelevant.
As for possible things that could be done in RA2 to give some sort of "non-rushing" option I suppose it would be possible to have a game mode which featured no rushing for ten minutes. How it would work I'm not sure. Or maybe an option to allow to start with high-tech (wouldn't be fair on Soviet players in my opinion though), but if such an option was to be introduced then it should only be for non-tournament games.
The best players rush. It's what C&C is about, what Red Alert 2 is about. Many players can't take the pace of a top 500 rush. If you can't stand the rush then, I must reiterate, do not play tournament games. Sure you will meet lots of players who don't rush, but you will also meet lots of players who do rush. Rushing is deadly and it is a skill - no matter what people who disagree say. Rushing successfully requires a lot of skills; fast build, correct build orders, fast and successful scouting, map knowledge, micro-management and brains. Rushing is about quick decisions.
The people who are at the receiving end often say that pumping out as many tanks as you can in the first 5 minutes takes no skill. That's not true; balancing an income with tank production is a skill, ass is actually rushing. There is nothing more exciting than watching two top 500 rushers play each other, as every second and decision made is crucial to the eventual outcome. Top 500 players are in a different class to many other players; their build speed and knowledge of the game far surpasses that of 1000+ players.
So the simple message is not to moan about rushing. If you're a bad player you will often be on the receiving end, as will good players. The rush is what the game is all about, and the rush will always be around. Westwood will be introducing units and structures into Yuri's Revenge that are supposed to stop the rush; e.g. Soviet Battle Bunker. I can tell you now that it won't work - players will always find a way to rush. So if you hate rushers then just don't play tournament games, or learn how to rush yourself. Practice building as quick as you can, producing tanks and balancing an economy and then rushing. Rushing is fun, rushers know that - people who don't know how to rush don't. So if you've never done it, shut up. Go and play friendlies or learn how to rush. I certainly suggest the latter; it's the only way you'll become a good player. It's a simple formula - good rushers equal good players.
Update: I've received a lot of emails since writing this. The main consensus of opinion is that good players don't mind about the rush, the less skilled players do. Some people have apparently taken offence to this article, that's not the point of it.. you shouldn't take offence to it. I'm merely explaining that rushing is the best way to win a game and that people should just learn to live with it rather than moan about it. Finally I'd like to finish this update with a quote mentioned in an email sent to me, which I found very fitting:
"Napoleon - The army that fights in sight of its walls will lose"