08 March 2020

Command & Conquer

Whats all this about: This page has a couple of command & conquer sketches. C&C universe is pretty diverse so I will focus on tiberian dawn and sun stuff rather than Tiberium wars, Generals or the fan favourite red alert series...

Last Update: 
Apr 2020 - added a section about factions

To do list for future:
- add red alert units
- add generals and zero hour units

I also have a page on Dune 2000 (which is another RTS game made by westwood studios during the 90s RTS craze) If you enjoy the stuff in this page there is a good chance you would probably enjoy my Dune page too



Command & Conquer was released by Westwood in 95 and is probably "THE" game that started the RTS craze of the 90s right before Red Alert and Warcraft 2.

The plot is set sometime in the near future where the Earth becomes contaminated by a mysterious valuable substance called Tiberium. Two major parties attempt to gain control of tiberium, The Global Defense Initiative (GDI) attempts contain it and the Brotherhood of Nod, a cult led by the enigmatic figure only known as Kane, which seeks to harness it.

Other games in the C&C universe;


Command & Conquer (95) (also refered to as Tiberian dawn) - this was the thing that started it all.  

Red Alert (96) set in an alternate universe where the Soviet Union wages war with the Allies. (which is probably what most people remember command & conquer for) while using the same graphics as the first, RA had much more units and naval warfare.
 
Tiberian Sun (99) It was the time when Starcraft took rts genre by storm and westwood was developing a game to revolutionize rts games with many promised features that never came. Instead it brought an ugly mixture of 2D sprites for infantry and voxel blocks for terrain and vehicles. It was around the days when EA was taking over westwood and the release was delayed twice or so and I actually lined up in front of the store (twice or so), waiting for it to open the doors so i can could grab a copy.

Red Alert 2 (2000) This was where they took the TS engine, hacked it to work slightly differently, improved the visuals and made the game twice as fast. C&C multiplayer was always about rushing but this one took it to the next level by introducing the concept of building 3,4 tanks and rushing towards enemy cons yard with good chance of winning.

Renegade (2002) - was a fps game with  but it allowed players to see the world of the first C&C from 95 from the eyes of a commando. You could build tanks and drive them in fps, making it the grand father of EA's battlefield series.

Generals (2003) - War in the middle east was on and EA wanted to use it as a cash grab. So they introduced 3 different factions (usa, china and middle eastern terror cell named gla) each with completely diffent different gameplay styles, moved away from the classic C&C formula, and gave opportunities to crazy creative rushes. As a C&C fan I would vote for the Generals "Zero hour add on" to be the best c&c game ever made.

Tiberium wars (2007) - returned back to the original C&C roots similar to Red Alert 2 with better graphics. It was quite good and proved that there was future to C&C even with EA but I was wrong, any other C&C game made after 2007 was trash.

c&c tiberium red alert generals logos



TIBERIUM UNIVERSE FACTIONS

I wont go into detail as there is a shit ton of lore on the internet about C&C stuff.

The year is 1995, some meteor crashes into earth, reveals an alien substance named Tiberium. This substance leeches metals and other heavy minerals out of the soil, concentrating them in crystals, It also has a deadly effect on the environment and all carbon-based life, transforming and adapting flora and fauna to its alien nature. Good economic value but bad carbon tax.

GDI acts as the good guys while Nod acts as the enigmatic bad guys. GDI treats Tiberium as a dangerous but economically valuable product as well as a scientific anomaly, the Brotherhood sees it as the dawn of a new age entirely. Moreover, Tiberium is considered by Nod to be the greatest catalyst for human evolution, and thus a highly sacred substance. As such, they are much more willing to directly use Tiberium in potentially unsafe ways.


GDI (Global Defense Initiative) 

Colour: Gold makes them look rich
Alignment: usually good guys
Leader: Bunch of fat ass generals and politicians

GDI was officially formed on 1995, in accordance with the United Nations Global Defense Act as a united military force for global peacekeeping. with the initial goal of preserving world order by combating global terrorism, in response to the rise of the Brotherhood of Nod and its efforts to gain power in unstable, third-world nations. GDI eventually outgrew its original mandate to become a world government.

NOD (The Brotherhood of Nod) 

Colour: Red and black, typical evil tones. Nod units were blue while buildings were red in the first C&C game.
Alignment: evil
Leader: Kane the messiah or madman

The Brotherhood of Nod (often shortened to Nod or the Brotherhood) was a popular, global, religiously developed movement devoted to the guidance of the elusive and charismatic figure of Kane, and the extraterrestrial Tiberium substance that arrived on Earth in 1995. Nod was targeted as a terrorist group by the GDI, for actively using the dangerous tiberium substance to fund a military-industrial complex in impoverished regions, primarily Africa, and pursue total domination over the world's peoples and resources. Nod's chief asset is its near monopoly on the Tiberium harvesting industry.



I will stick to Tiberian dawn and Tiberian sun in order not to get lost among all these games. I may add stuff from other C&C games if I have time in the future.



Infantry


Infantry units in Tiberian Dawn dressed as regular military personnel. However they were upgraded for a more futuristic look in Tiberian Sun. GDI recycles and repaints equipment from colonial marines in aliens movies while Nod gets fashion victim scarlet stormtrooper looks for their infantry. Not surprising considering they had Michael Biehn and James Earl Jones for cinematic briefings of the game



Recons

Recon bike rushes in tiberian dawn were incredibly overpowered due to the fact that maps were small and bikes extremely fast. Also fun fact - harvesters and mammoth tanks could crush bikes by moving over them. which was an ability that was removed from later games.

However all recon units in Tiberian sun were absolute trash that it was just a fantasy to build any of them. Using infantry to scout was a much popular tactic as infantry were cheaper and quicker to produce without waiting to build a war factory.

Harvesters


Harvesters are one of the first things that come to mind when you think of C&C (and dune) games. They have these catchy designs that resemble single minded, greedy insects that rush to tiberium fields to bring home money or die trying. Tiberian Dawn Harvesters are my favourites right next to the turtle look-alikes from dune.



Aircraft

Aircraft in C&C games where mostly trash due to low HP and weak weapons. Best you could hope for was to hunt harvesters with rocket gunships and that would have cost you much more time and money compared to the damage you could inflict.

C&C Generals and Zero Hour changed this by making planes and gunships powerful while keeping things balanced with good mobile anti air options.

Orca bomber - These where decent. Little on the slow and expensive side but it was the strongest GDI late game high tech unit and it used to drop bombs before reaching targets, ideal for carpet bombing locations.

Orca transport - This thing is used to drop vehicles behind enemy lines. carry all + disrupter drops were ideal for suicide runs. shame the build cap on mammoth made carryall + mammoth drops useless. In fact it made the mammoth useless altogether.

Banshee - This thing was meant to be made from stolen alien tech. Fast and powerful, ideal for picking harvester or suicide cons yard assaults. too expensive.

Orca fighter and Harpy were total trash.


Long Range and Support Vehicles


Nod was way overpowered with dead accurate artillery and subterranean apc. the sound of drilling and a rush of adrenaline as you try to guess where an apc full of engineers will surface and ruin the game.

An official patch tried to counter engineer rushes by making building walls quicker so people could fence their cons yard with walls asap.

Dead accurate artillery spam made the game unplayable until accuracy was decreased to allow GDI units to reach and counter them.



Main Battle Tanks and Mechs


GDI has state of art firepower and armour. Nod lacks in firepower but makes up in agility and stealth which require players to ultilize hit and run guerrilla tactics instead of direct confrontation.

Stealth tanks were pointless due to low armour. 

Medium tanks were replaced by Titan mechs that could shoot over walls.

Light tanks were replaced by tick tanks that could deploy underground and turn into turrets.

The iconic flame tank design was replaced by an electric shaver that travelled underground.

Mammoth tank was replaced by a giant mech Mammoth mech MK2 that was useless due to build limit