While the majority of people say that the Allies are the better team, I beg to differ. I do not think it is possible to pick the 'better team' - because of the simple fact that the teams are well balanced. Obviously Soviets have an advantage at the start, and Allies one later on in the game. I am a Soviet player, I used to be Allies all the time until I realised that I was being beaten in some games because of the simple fact that Soviets have an early game advantage. To be beaten by a player who is less skilled than you but won on virtue of the fact that the Soviets have an early game advantage is extremely annoying. In Section 6 I will deal with both the execution and prevention of the rush.
In my opinion it is better to play with the team that you are most comfortable with. So if you like playing Allies more than Soviets, play Allies. I strongly recommend that you test out both teams thoroughly though. I totally underestimated the power of the Soviets whilst I was an Allied player - I thought that the Allied high-tech units were practically guaranteed to give them victory. I was wrong; very wrong.
In terms of picking a specific team for a specific map, I would venture that the Allies are better on larger maps and the Soviets on smaller ones. The Soviets rely on force rather than the finesse of the Allies, hence the ability to quickly build a group of rhino tanks and cross the map in less than half a minute is certainly an advantage for the Soviets, as it gives less time for the Allies to reach high-tech.
In my opinion the Allied Navy is superior to the Soviet Navy. I would agree that destroyers are useless against a Soviet opponent who has the sense to build sea scorpions, but in my opinion Dolphins make up for this. They are fast and, when used by a skilled player, deadly - capable of wrecking groups of submarines due to the fact that their speed allows them to dodge the torpedoes of the Soviet Submarines. Aircraft carriers are superior to dreadnoughts in the way that they are far more likely to bypass enemy air defenses. I would much rather have dreadnoughts against an opponent with little air defense though. As for the squid I see it as too simple a unit, groups of dolphins destroy them with ease. I suggest that Allies have the advantage in Naval War games or in maps with large water areas.
Every Nation is useful - there is no arguing about that; but some nations are useless in some cases:
FRANCE: Useful against every nation but can back fire when playing America, for if the player drops his paratroopers near important structures in your base then your Grand Cannons will all fire around that area - and in the process could damage or even destroy your own buildings. Grand Cannons aren't usually used by attacking players - people who like to defend use them more often, and many like to "turtle" (Surround their base with grand cannons and patriots in an attempt to make the base impenetrable), I will discuss how to deal with turtles in Section 8. France are not recommended on wide open maps with few pinch points.
KOREA: A very useful nation in my opinion - with significant power and speed. They are useful for playing on large maps which take enemy units significant time to cross. They're useful against all nations. It takes a lot of air defense to stop them. The fact that you only need 6-7 of them to destroy an MCV allows for the Black Eagle MCV rush. If you use them, and build an AFC before your war factory, then I suggest placing one pillbox next to the AFC.
AMERICA: The most popular choice of many players without a doubt. They are useful against all nations, however you must be careful against Iraq and Britain. Dropped in effective positions they can be devastating - they can be used for establishing strong-holds all across the map. If you manage to deploy 8 paratroopers in an enemy's base then his dogs wont be effective against you; he will need tanks to squash the units or other high-tech units (mirage, prism etc). The other advantage of playing USA is that you don't have to pay for the units; you are given 1600 credits for free every paradrop essentially.
BRITAIN: One of the less popular choices due to the fact that the majority of games have very little to do with infantry; they are more so based upon tanks and other vehicles. To pick Britain against a Soviet opponent is simply not worth it in my opinion, unless they are Iraq - the sniper is capable of destroying desolators with ease. They are useful against America as well - but I would rather pick another nation and use dogs to stop the threat of paradrops causing damage. Try combining snipers with IFVs to increase their speed and versatility.
GERMANY: Useful against the Soviets as they are an excellent repellent to the favoured Soviet tank rush; however, the fact they do not have a turning turret (their gun can only fire straight in front of itself) means that they are often a victim of skilled drive-bys (explained in Section 10). They are annoyingly totally useless against infantry and structures. It is important to back Tank Destroyers up with other units - even a group of GI's will do. Just don't leave them on their own if the enemy has infantry or air units that he is likely to use against them.
IRAQ: My favoured choice, the desolator has the ability to turn the tide of a game - used skillfully he can wipe out whole groups of units. The radiation that the Desolator omits simply rips through the weak armour of the allied units, especially the mirage and prism tanks, on top of the IFV. It will also cause damage against the grizzly tank but obviously not as much. The only weakness that the desolator has against the allies is its vulnerability to air-attack - a rocketeer or harrier will finish off the desolator efficiently. The only real way to stop this is to place a few apocalypse tanks next to it; the radiation will barely have an effect on them. Best used in twos or threes in a flak trak (run the flak trak into the enemy's units and deploy the desolators as soon as they come out).
LIBYA: The damage of the demo truck does was once amazing, however, since it was adjusted in a patch, it isn't as potent a weapon. Is is still useful however, so it does have many admirers - and many haters. If you know what you are doing it is quite easy to stop even the most skilled of demo truck rushers. The key to beating Libya is to be alert; if you let your concentration slip for one moment you can say bye-bye to half your base. To stop demo trucks you must scatter units such as terror drones across the map. If you are the allies then you have to have harriers grouped and ready for action. Remember, a harrier isn't always guaranteed to hit its target, so the safer option is to have 2 harriers ready. If the worst happens and the demo truck is en route to your base and you have no means of stopping it then attempt to destroy it as early as possible, even if it means losing a lot of your units - your base must be seen as the priority.
RUSSIA: Underestimated in my opinion. Tesla tanks kill infantry units instantly, pack a punch against tanks, are fast and can fire their tesla coils over enemy walls. Used in groups these units can be deadly. Try using them for quick hit and run attacks; take out a group of enemy units with them and then retreat quickly. To counter the tesla tank you either have to rely on air attack - e.g. rocketeers, or have to overcome them with grizzly/rhino tanks. The weakness of the tesla tank is its armour - or more so the lack of it. A group of tanks will quickly destroy a tesla tank.
CUBA: Cuba; in my opinion the most useless nation on the game - putting them in groups is suicide. The best Cuba tactic that I know of is to quickly build 3 flak traks and to load each one with 1 or 2 terrorists. Drive them into the enemy base, they often wont have enough defense to stop all three Flak Traks going through. Once inside the base you must unload the flak traks and attempt to destroy the vital structures (refinery, MCV, war factory). Terrorists are extremely cheap at $200, but they are too weak to be used on their own. I do not recommend using them.
Summary: To conclude, every nation has its uses - some more so than others. Some have distinct advantages or disadvantages against other nations or sides. Pick a nation that you feel capable of using, and make sure you use it against a nation where it will be of use.