green acres expansion
The time has come to reveal my secret of the GA expansion. First off let me thank Pieman who helped me collect data on color match-ups on GA. After logging thousands of games we came to the direct conclusion that no one color match-up plays that big a roll in which spot you land on in GA. I have attached an excel spreadsheet which lays out the color pairings, there are some advantages, but not many and really all 8 spots on GA are pretty even. I have won from every spot with consistency. Infact one month I played nothing but GA as Ccavenger and I went 103-1 and won the tournament. OK let's get things started.
MacMark: I have converted the spreadsheet to html so You can read it right here:
First let me lay down the idea behind the GA expansion. The whole idea is too take over the map before your opponent does or before he kills you. There is a very strict build order for each spot on the map; some are more complex than others are, but all are doable if you are a capable player. The GA expansion is just too powerful a strategy when done correctly. So what's the idea behind it?
Well, in general the idea is this. Take over the map, outproduce your enemy, and watch him die. First of all, easier said than done. You need to play for the long game, which means you are susceptible early on against apc's or helli's in particular. So you need to build up a sizable, but cheap army early on to give the look as if you are stout in your base and 9 times out of 10 your opponent won't attack. What you want your opponent to do is try a rush, theoretically by the time he rushes you have enough turrets and minigunners and bikes and buggies to thwart it and then it's a lopsided victory for you. As I mentioned earlier, you want a sizeable cheap army to keep the bad guy away or atleast give the impression that your are bigger than you are. Best way to accomplish this is to build minigunners early, build 10 minigunners early and scatter them around, keeping your artillery in the middle of them (assuming you are playing 5 units to start). Now you look more dangerous than you are. Assuming you can survive any early attack, you can now proceed to do the following from each spot on the map. Remember that the key to this type of game is to play a relentless defense early, keep all of your units under control and have them ready to fight to the death in case of an apc or helli rush. I never fully became the GA master until Pieman schooled me in the art of minnigunner control. One last important note before we get to the specifics of each spot, always remember that you are playing for the long game and distance is your friend. There are definitely a few moments where you are vulnerable every game. What I mean is that while you build the extra refineries your opponent most likely will be producing units. So your best friend is distance, keep all important buildings as far away from your enemy as possible. This buys you time and let's your production (money) come into play, while expanding use hands and power plant to create a man made border between your important buildings and the enemy and be prepared to get proficient at making a hand primary and using it to build minigunners to hurt your enemy as he tries to negotiate through them to your base.
TOP RIGHT: This is the worst spot on the map, why? Little tib, and the tib that is there can cause your harvesters to do dumb things, like get confused about which refinery to unload in and more. If you have ever wondered why you run out of money so fast top right, that's precisely why. Anyway here's what to do. Move your cyard diagonally toward the bottom of the trees which border the tib field on your left, deploy. Build a power plant to the bottom left of your yard, then (and if you have precisely deployed in the right spot) you can build a refinery and place it above and to the left of your yard and your harv will be flush up against that tib field hence minimizing loading and unloading time. Next build a hand to the left of your power plant (moving closer to the middle of the map ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA!) and build minigunners like mad, build atleast 10 while building your strip. Of course if your opponent walks an engi or chinocks or helli rushes, then this all gets thrown out the window and you must counter it with every thing you have. Next place the strip to the left of your hand. (Always working toward that middle tib field, usually if you can take this field you'll win the game). Build nothing but buggies at first if your not sure what to build, that way you have engineer killing power incase he apc's. Once you are safe build all bikes to hunt harvesters. Hunting harvesters is deadly and even works against the great players, most just don't see it if you cause a tiny diversion. Ok now you have 1 refinery, 1 hand, 1 power, and 1 strip. Next build 2 refineries, the first on to the top right of your cyard and eat the top right tib. 2nd one to the left of your strip and start to harvest in the middle field. At this point you will be low on money, but not out. Build turrets as fast as you can and put them directly between yourself and your enemy. A smart opponent will avoid them but some people just can't resist and they get eaten by turrets, accompany them with your minigunners and you have a nice defense. If your opponent is rushing then he most likely sold his cyard and it's game over, just play good defense and you'll crush him. If the money is still flowing keep expanding and if your opponent is trying to expand also, then feverishly build for the top and bottom areas and get a refinery there. Then build a satellite and an obelisk, and an SSM and sit back and pick him apart. Of course no game is that simple, your opponent will be doing everything he can to beat you including helli's, engineers, etc. You must be in a defensive posture and alert at all times. If he falls asleep then kill his harvesters, this strategy is all about money. Don't ever forfeit a single unit and sell every single building that he is about to kill, you'd be amazed how far you can go just by not making mistakes. Leave that to your opponent.
BOTTOM RIGHT: This is the best spot on the map for 2 reasons. #1 you're right side, and #2 your main tib field is quite large. So this allows you an extra advantage, you can build 2 refineries before the strip with almost no loss of time, especially if your opponent is on the left side. Even if he apc's from the door you can still have 3 or 4 buggies built. Speaking of APC's let me fill you in on a nice tactic to buy you some time. If you have a feeling that your opponent will apc you from the door, then at all costs keep your scout buggy alive, and hide it near his base. Most guys don't coordinate the loading of the engineer to well. This allows you to swoop in with your scout buggy and kill the engi before it gets loaded. This tactic time after time bought me time to get my expansion under way. OK here's the build order from bottom right. Deploy yard, build power plant above yard, and then build a hand above the power plant. Put 1 refinery above the hand flush against the tib field and then (and this is crucial and tough to do) baby-sit your harvester and make it eat the tib beside and above that refinery while your second refinery is building. If done correctly you can deploy your 2nd refinery right above the first and flush to the tib field. If you don't eat that tib, then your refinery has to go somewhere else, way less desirable and screws up the expansion. OK now you are cooking, there is a huge advantage to building 2 refineries early, and it's almost unfair how much more money you end up with in the long run. OK now get the strip building while building minigunners for early defense. Place the strip to the left of the top refinery and just below the tree line. Build hands and power plants diagonally NW toward the top tib field which is slightly left of the top right spot. Get a refinery there and then build over to the middle field and place a refinery there, all the while building bikes as fast as you can and you will not run out of money. If so desired try taking the very top tib field over, leaving the top right field as a spare reserve incase you get into an extremely long game. Now if your opponent is top right you must play this totally different. The bonus is his spot is worse than yours so be patient and place some tank turrets toward his base, of course foregoing building up toward his base unless he allows you to do so. But most likely once you get your strip up you can then line it with turrets and infantry to the north keeping your turrets between your base and your opponents. Now if he is trying to expand across the top which is nearly impossible, but anyway you can expand across the bottom to match him, which is much easier for you to do. Of course your opponent will never be Bottom Middle, this is a match up that never occurs.
BOTTOM LEFT: Personally one of my favorite spots. From this spot you must move your cyard or you must micromanage your harvesters to eat a nice trail through the tib field enabling you to get to the middle of the map. Personally I prefer moving. Move your yard diagonally NE to the top right area of the tib field which is just above your starting spot. This is quite a move and requires dedication to micromanagement to pull it off. Get a power plant to the direct left of the yard then get a refinery down to the left of that. Put a hand right above your yard, this can help in many ways (quick exit for a flamer thrower to try and stop and apc unloading an engi, quick exit for bazooka men in case of a helli rush). Next put your strip above the hand, of course build buggies now since you are left and a bit behind, you need units quick as possible to help protect you. You should have also built a wad of minigunners. Now put down 2 refineries close as possible to the middle tib field and the top left field. This spot is awesome! You are eating from 3 different fields! Build turrets and dig in! One drawback can be if your opponent is Bottom Middle. Then you must get hands up and build right into his base, don't even build a strip, just build one helli and lots of turrets and crush him, he's trapped! Otherwise if he isn't bottom middle then following from earlier either continue expanding to the top middle or bottom middle depending on where your opponent is. Although it's been my experience that in most cases while expanding the opponent tries a rush and it fails, then you simply march over and kill him.
TOP LEFT: A good spot as well. Actually this is where I begin experimenting with the GA expansion. I used to pray for Top Left, so many people would say GG when they saw I was TOP LEFT, and I would think, yea I know, but it was because I was gonna crush you. OK deploy. Power plant to the right and as far above the CYARD as possible (remember to keep your stuff far away as possible from your opponent, it buys you time & time is money!). Next put your hand down to the right of the power plant and as far south as possible (get the hand in a good defensive position. Remember a hand is only 300$ and it makes for a good defense, like a concrete wall almost, plus you can use it for smartly deploying infantry near a battle, in otherwords if you have the money build lots of hands and power!). Next put a refinery to the right of the hand and right on top of the tib field. Now start building your strip and building minigunners, you can easily trap a scout buggy also in the top left quadrant by using your tanks to create a wall around the one side of your yard. OK take the harvester and eat the few scattered pieces of tib to the top right area of the tib field, this will enable you to get your strip down further south (to the right of the refinery). It also sets up the rest of the expansion, by allowing you to next put a hand in that spot (to the right and below the strip) and it allows units from the strip to more easily move out your base. Next get a refinery below the hand; the harv will eat from the same tib field as the first one. Next build 1 power and 1 hand diagonally SE toward the middle tib field, get a refinery there and build turrets there. If time permits take the closer top right field as well with a refinery. It's deadly.
(That's it for part #1, Part #2 will talk about the other 4 spots on GA)
OK, Ive been gone long enough. Let me reveal my last secrets of the Green Acres expansion. So far I have accounted for the 4 corner spots, but there are 4 other spots that you can land on, albeit not nearly as frequently as the original 4 spots. I hope you guys have fun trying this strategy, and if you can tweak it down even finer then email your additions to MacMark. Remember that any strategy can dominate until someone comes up with a better one.
update [14 May 2000]:
Bottom Middle: First off this is a really good spot for several reasons. One reason is your opponent is NEVER bottom right in this scenario. So you dont have to worry about him getting the one of the best spots on the map. Another reason is you can easily protect yourself from being mapped, and most guys dont scout these 4 lesser popular spots as quickly anyway. Another reason is if your opponent is bottom left, you should have a very easy victory if you have scouted him, because 1. either he moved and is in trouble or 2. he didnt move and then he has an uphill battle anyway. But be careful because if he is bottom left and he moved, he may try to build on top of you and crush you without building his strip. If you see he is bottom left and he moved, build one helicopter and keep him at bay with infantry util you can get your strip up. OK assuming then he is either top left, top right or top middle or middle right you should proceed accordingly. Build straight up out of the mouth of the choke and put your first refinery to the top right of the choke to eat the tib from the bottom right tib field. Put your strip above that ref and then systematically build hands, power and turrets up to the middle tib field. Get a refinery to the right of the middle field and start harvesting there. Build up even further north and get a refinery near the top right tib field and start harvesting there as well. Of course building nothing but Bikes here because you probably are nearly as far right with your strip as he is (even if hes top right) so you have virtually no danger of an early apc. Harvy hunt with your bikes and continue to consume all of the tib on the map. Its lights out for your opponent. NOTE: The bottom middle tib field should be saved for emergencies; it doesnt help you to eat it right away, since you just as easily can eat the bottom right tib field. A few times this stash saved the day for me, when my opponent stalemated me; I retreated, ate about 10 loads of tib and crushed him.
Top Middle: I hope I havent said this about another spot already, but here goes "This is my favorite spot to execute the Green Acres expansion. There I have said it, and its done. This spot represents everything that is good about the GA expansion. You are eating from 3 different tib fields, you are well protected in the choke and you have a great triangular crossfire zone, which protects the MIDDLE OF THE MAP, which is holy territory on Green Acres. Since I started the Green Acres expansion, I have only lost 1 game from this spot: Kudos to Rquiem for beating me. I have beaten all of the big guns from here without ever losing (save rquiem). Mastablue, CD, XxRockXX, JJM, etc I remember playing Mastablue and he was top right and he just could believe how dug in I was, he said "oh well nothing I can do and he resigned. At any rate this spot is truly awesome. Your opponent is rarely if ever top left, he quite frequently is top right or bottom right. Its common for him to be bottom left also, but no matter where he is this is how you proceed. Move your yard over right to the top or near the top of the choke, build down with a power plant and a hand of nod and then a refinery close to the top right tib field. Dont forget to crank a few multipurpose minigunners for early defense, the worst thing that can happen here is a walking engineer takes one of your buildings, be smart and patient and youll have fun with this spot. After you place the first refinery put your strip in the middle of your base, below the refinery and above the middle tib field. Start building bikes, and get a refinery below your strip and above the middle tib field. Build over to the left tib field and get a refinery there. The left tib field is pretty big if you can afford it, put another refinery there also. Again hunt your opponents harvesters and wait for him to make a mistake. If you have any weakness at all from this spot it is your strip. Its a little exposed, get a few turrets and minigunners surrounding it and youll have no problems. What else is there to do, but wipe your opponent out. If he is top right, hell starve to death. His only shot is if hes bottom right and he apcs you. Always remember when you are planning for the long game, plan your expansion to go in the direction opposite your opponents base. If he is bottom right then try to get the bottom left tib field, if hes bottom left work your way over to the right side of the map when finishing the expansion. Use large groups of bikes and turrets to keep him stifled.
Ok guys this is it for now. I will hold on to the last 2 spots, and reveal them at a future date. Good luck and have fun, and be honest and dont DC, imagine how much fun you all would have if no one DCd or otherwise cheated. C&C is a really great simple game, the only thing that tarnishes it are the players, enjoy.