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» USA vs. China - Containment

In my previous USA vs China guide I presented a \"paladins first" type strategy that was designed to give the USA player an easy solution to Migs as well as a viable offensive option in the early game. While I first posted this guide about a month ago, I had already had it planned out a month beforehand but just didn"t get around to releasing since I was out of action for a month due to a dead video card. Because of this, I was not aware of some of the new Chinese rushes that had been developed while I was away, namely the gattling tank + tank hunter rush as well as an overall more aggressive style of Chinese play that really exploits China"s early power economy. While the paladins first strategy does handle mediocre Chinese players easily, I found it to be lacking when facing better Chinese opponents. So, this guide is designed to give good USA players a little extra \"unf" when facing good Chinese opponents. I really would not recommend using this strategy if you find that you have problems facing Migs or just can"t micromanage very well; you"d be better off sticking with \"paladins first".

This strategy attempts to address the problem of the USA"s weak early game economy and China"s strong early game economy. Simply put, China"s expansion cost is $1000 less than the USA"s, so China can expand much faster than the USA can. If you combine this with China"s relatively cheap units, China can very quickly takeover an entire map without the USA being able to contend. The only real solution is for the USA to somehow stuff China"s expansion attempts early on and slow down the Chinese juggernaut just long enough for the USA player to catch up. To do this, the USA player will utilize the speed of the chinook to \"head off" the Chinese player at supply docks and oil derricks. The first generals point has to go into spy plane when utilizing this strategy so that you can see when and where the Chinese player is going to expand. The problem with this is that the USA player will be vulnerable to Migs in the early game, but good USA players should be able to manage until paladins become available. Note: I"m not sure who was the first player to use chinooks like this in the early game but I first saw it in one of Hatge"s replays.

Build Order:
1) 1st dozer build a powerplant, queue up a second dozer, put first generals point into spy plane float the spy plane over the Chinese player"s base.
2) 2nd dozer builds a barracks, first dozer builds a supply depot.
3) 2nd dozer moves to an expansion site (if applicable, try to harvest two docks using one depot), 1st dozer builds a factory, depot builds a chinook, barracks builds 2 missile defenders.

By the time your depot is finished you should have 2 missile defenders out. You should be paying attention to the Chinese player"s base to see where he moved to expand. Once you know where he"s going, load up your 2 missile defenders in your first chinook and send them over to intercept and destroy the dozer. If there are civilian buildings nearby, garrison the missile defenders in them and wait. It will take a while before the Chinese player is able to reclaim his expansion site if you are able to catch flame tanks before they get a chance to flame your buildings. Repeat these drops as necessary. If you"re playing on a map with oil derricks, drop rangers instead and try to claim the derricks first. If you"re playing on tournament desert or another map where the expansion site is really close to the main base, don"t bother doing the drop to intercept the dozer. Also, don"t do missile defender drops on supply trucks. You"ll likely end up getting your missile defenders squished, which is always embarrassing. Assuming you did perform the missile defender drop successfully and are now holding the China player"s expansion site, you may be tempted to reinforce it. If you are, make sure that you have adequate forces to defend your main base. It would be a bad thing if the Chinese player ceded his expansion and instead opted to run over your main base.

The Gattling Tank + Tank Hunter Rush:
There"s a good chance that you will face this rush if you"re playing against a good Chinese opponent. The good news is that you should know it"s coming well in advance thanks to your spy plane. If you see it coming, get 2 crusaders ready, a couple missile defenders, some rangers, an ambulance (thanks to Endeavor for this one), and say a few prayers. Laser lock the gattling tanks and send your crusaders in to take them out quickly. If the gattling tanks die, the rush dies. Use your ambulance to run over the tank hunters. You have to do all of this simultaneously for it to work. It takes some serious micromanagement and you will definitely feel pretty l33t if you pull it off.

Unfortunately you will likely not have paladins early on so Migs could be a problem. I recommend either trying to get a rockvee into the Chinese base or quick-teching to Burton. Remember that an elite Burton (2 chevrons) can take out a gattling tank. Meanwhile, make sure that your troops are fairly spread out at your base so that there aren"t any fat firestorm targets. It also is a good idea to set up a \"net" of missile defenders so that you have a fairly decent chance of shooting down some of the attacking Migs. If you"re opponent doesn"t seem to be using Migs, then save the 2nd generals point and invest get the level 2 A10 strike when you get your 3rd generals point.

Moving Towards the Mid Game:
As you move towards the mid game phase the Chinese containment strategy and the paladins first strategy converge. Your force should be a mixture of missile defenders, tanks, tomahawks, and rangers/pathfinders. Look for details in the original USA vs. China guide.


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