The Ultimate Strategy Guide, written in 2001, consists of over fourteen thousand words. It is the most comprehensive and detailed strategy guide available anywhere for Red Alert 2. I don't suggest buying the official Prima Strategy Guide - this is far more effective. It is written by someone who has played the game regularly (and successfully) for roughly a year now. If you want to improve your game, be you a top ranking player or a lowly ranked player, then reading this guide will help significantly.
The guide is designed to teach you as much as possible about how to play like a pro on WOL against fellow players. Obviously the guide itself cannot make you a good player by simply reading it; you have to practice and you need to think about any tactics that I mention and how to adjust them to your game situation. Reading this guide and other strategies on web sites definitely improves your game. I find that discussing strategies with fellow players is the best way to improve your game. As for my credentials for writing this guide, I am consistently a top 500 player - top 200 to 300 when I play regularly. I have played, I would venture, near to a thousand matches online. I know lots of good players and have beaten lots of good players. I have also been beaten by lots of good players! Playing with the best is without doubt the best way to become a good player, playing 'newbies' every game will not improve your game.
I became a good player several months after the game was out, mainly thanks to being taught up by a better player (at the time anyway). The best way to learn is to be taught by someone in a game situation. A good player will immediately notice obvious flaws in a players game; and quite a few will be more than willing to give you advice on how to improve it. One thing that improves with practice is build time and orders - discussing these with other players is the best way to experiment with new ones and find the one that is right for you. I try to make sure I learn something every game; this is difficult if you play someone who obviously is very poor at the game; but if you play a good player then you should always pick something up. If you lose then you should definitely pick something up! - If I lose I always ask myself what I did wrong. Sometimes the game can come down to luck, but a good player creates luck. Analysing your own game is a key part of improving your skill - asking yourself - "Why didn't I do this and why didn't I do that?" is the best way to figure out what to do next time. Obviously the best form of improving your game is sheer practice; but I have played many players who play the game constantly but obviously don't improve every game. If you don't analyse your games then you will never improve.
As I mentioned before, the best way to improve is to try to befriend a good player (so they will hopefully train you up). Writing tips and strategies on a website is effective; but no where as near as effective as being able to see the mistakes in a persons game and then correct them. A good Red Alert 2 player is a good strategist. Good strategists analyse situations, look to expose flaws, think fast - and most importantly, never stop learning.
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WOL Name: Rabairob, RobOfCNCS