Loaded Barrel is one of those maps that is completely subject to one's opinion. Either it is among your favorites or you hate it. Loaded Barrel is a very urban map with buildings covering almost the entire area. Starting bases are on a small hill with garrisonable buildings at all entrances. One notable feature of this map is the central road that
stretches from the bottom left to top right directly connecting both players' bases allowing for quick rushes if a player is not careful in garrisoning the buildings closest to him. This road is also surrounded by highways that can be used to get the drop on such rushers.
A large amount of tech buildings are at the disposal of whoever plays this map. First in the starting bases in the bottom left and top right there are 4 oil derricks, 2 on each side. Then, fenced, in the top right and bottom left corners there are 2 oil derricks and 1 tech airport. In order to get these you will either need an armored unit to come along or to use a Nighthawk transport. There are also 2 tech depots in the center, slightly to the right and left of the highways which can be used to build spare facs/barracks for surprise attacks as most players wont bother with service depots.
Well, both the Allies and Yuri seem to be pretty evenly matched on this map. Although there are a lot of buildings for initiates to garrison, the sheer density of the buildings will prevent flack
tracks/ifvs/gattling from catching up with rocketeers. Prisms are also very valuable on this map, as many of the buildings can be mopped up with 2 or 3 shots from one of the highways. Soviets are very outmatched on this map due to the large amount of buildings that can be used to stop a rush.
Allies: Almost all allied countries except Germany have their uses on this map; If I had to narrow it down to two I would say France or America. France is really a great choice on this map because of the oil derricks near your opponent's base. An early nighthawk-engineer/GC attack wipes out even the hardiest of opponents. Obviously America because of the many buildings to garrison, and the
possibility of a dual paradrop if an airport is captured.
Yuri: Of course Yuri's ultra-powerful initiates will come into play on most urban maps, and this is no exception. Because of the relatively far away ore and small amount of it, the Genetic Mutator will be used, helping its user a great deal. The standard Yuri tactics are always available on this map, and work even better because of the extraordinary strength of the initiate.
Economy can be a very tough thing to manage on this particular map. While there are a few patches of gems, and some ore, most of it is too far away to be of help early on in the game. First there is two medium-sized patches of ore near your starting location, then another small to medium-sized patch down the road off your starting cliff to the left or right. From there there is small amounts of ore and gems surrounded by buildings. Yuri (as in most maps) has a rather large advantage economy-wise on this map.
There are many possibilities on this map, but against Yuri or Soviet, a quick tech rush will be your best bet. Start with power plant and barracks. While building a refinery, train three dogs, send one to the bottom right, one to the the top left, and one to your opponents base in the opposite corner of where you are. Then train 3 GIs, send one each to the main buildings between your base and your opponent's. Place your refinery, start building a War factory, and train 4-5 engineers. When they are ready, send them to the 4 oil derricks in your base, and build enough GIs to garrison all the buildings on your cliff. Place War Fac, begin building a miner (unless your opponent is Soviet in which case you should build 3 Grizzlies, a Miner, then 2 grizzlies, then a Miner, then 5 grizzlies, etc.). Build a nighthawk and put 3 engineers in it, capture as many derricks as you can and place a pillbox next to them. (derrick locations are under 'Tech Buildings') Now, if your opponent is Yuri, build a power plant, then Robot Control and pump out robots at a rate of 6 robots to 1 miner. If your opponent is Allies, begin building a Refinery (which you will sell right after you construct it) followed by an Airforce Command. Build 5-7 rockies unless you scouted a lot of air defense or were not able to scout, if that is the case then build 1 rockie and scout their map and their base witá it. Now, regardless of who you are playing, build a power plant and a battle lab. Build another Power plant and an ore purifier all the while building. [6 mirages, 2 prisms, 1 miner] If you have extra money you will want some extra war factories. Try to harass your enemy as much as possible all the while building up your forces. When you decide to attack, it is best to go via the highways on either side of the main road, eliminating whatever enemy-garrisoned buildings you can with your prisms. Go in, take out whatever defenses they have with prisms and whatever units with mirages. With good tank control and common sense, victory will be yours.
It is extremely difficult to play as Soviet on this map, but possible. Begin by building a power plant and barracks. While building a refinery, Train: 3 dogs, which you will send to the bottom right and top left and to your enemy's base, then enough conscripts to garrison whatever buildings you have on your starting area, then finally 4 engineers to capture the derricks near your starting location. Around this time your refinery will be ready, place it, and begin building a war factory. After that is done, build a rhino, flak track, and a miner, followed by 4 rhinos, then a miner, etc. Use the rhino to destroy the fences surrounding the tech derricks in the bottom right and top left corners and use the flak to transport engineers to capture them. Then, build a refinery (sell), war fac, refinery (sell), power plant, radar (build a few desolaters), power plant, and battle lab. Then, either build a nuclear reactor and sell all your power plants or continue using tesla reactors for power. It is your choice. After that, build an IP and build about 3 v3s, a kirov, and then apocs or rhinos. Clear out all the buildings you can, take out any low-armored units using desos and the game should be in the bag.
I'll start this off by saying that this is a turtling map. Uphill starting locations, tons of buildings to garrison, makes this a good map for yuri. Start with a power plant and barracks. Now, get 3 brutes. While building 4
engineers and a refinery, send a brute to the bottom right, top left, and to your opponents base. This may seem expensive, but the fact that brutes can knock down walls allows you to immediately send 3
engineers to the top right and bottom left corners. Construct a war factory after your refinery is done, and garrison all the buildings around your base with one initiate. After the war factory is completed, build 3 gattling tanks, and begin building some lashers. Use
initiates for power when needed and start building another miner, then a psychic radar. After psychic radar is completed, it really depends on the game situation, but the general rule is to not tech up if you don't need to. Get a large force of magnetrons, lashers, gattlings, and possibly brutes with the genetic mutator, and defeat the enemies of yuri.