RA According to Milo234
Last Revision: September 11
9/9/06 – I am working on revising this page. My plan is to organize it into three sections:
Since I feel that the guides will be the most useful I will begin working on those first. Expect revisions and I wish to get feed back from anyone willing to let me know what they think.
My Contact Info:
AIM – Milo234 (easiest way to reach me)
MSN – firstname.lastname@example.org (I don’t check this email very often)
Email – email@example.com
A lot of this stuff I wrote when I was very into the game and felt strongly about it. Looking bad a lot of the stuff I wrote here is rude and I will try to revise it to remove this bias. I really sound arrogant in a lot of parts of this, but I really am arrogant at heart, but I will continue to try to revise things to make them more concise and easier to understand.
I revised the section about keyboard express since it was very rude and crude. It now is much more straightforward, simple, and clearly explains my points about cheating. It is amazing what having a disinterested clear head does for your ability to explain ideas and give solid evidence.
No matter who you are, your RA skill level, or how long you’ve been playing, this page contains some new bit of RA knowledge you did not previously know. Therefore if you are a serious RA player I strongly recommend making at least 1 thorough read through of the following 5-10 pages.
As I seem to be writing more and more on this page and a few people have said it is too long to be able to look through efficiently I am giving the outline of the information here so you can immediately jump to any section.
I. Hot Keys
II. Basic Skills
III. Learning Maps
IV. Specific Maps
Section I about hotkeys gives all of the hot keys as well as what I personally use them for
Section II gives an overview of the basic skills required to gain a mastery of RA
Section III explains what to do when learning new maps in a very formulaic manner. This method is a great way to teach someone a new map.
Section IV gives map specifics for the most important maps to learn
Section V gives general RA knowledge
Every RA player must master the art of Qing. It is extremely useful for rushing, defending, and tank fighting as well as scouting. As a newbie, the best way to practice Q is to get someone and do some 5v5, 6v6, 10v10, 12v12 etc. On the first day, a newbie should be able to beat a pro at least once usually, or at least come close (depending on how much the pro is focusing). Practicing Q master is good to do as well.
Bookmarks by default are f9-f12. This is very far away from Q and thus makes them impractical to use. Therefore in order to make use of them, you must remap your hot keys. The keys closest to Q which have no use are W, D, R, and Z. If you are planning on being really fanatic you can use all 4, but you can get along fine with just 2. I personally use W and D.
The reason bookmarks are so important is for tank fighting. If you were fighting a battle all the way across the map at your opponent's base, you would be unable to win just because there is so much distance between your base and your opponent's. But if you put a bookmark at your war factories and a bookmark where you're fighting, this becomes really easy and you can instantly shift tanks by means of quickly pressing a sequence like "W + E + D + shift 1 + ctrl 1" and you're back in the tank fight. To me this comes so naturally that I don't even think about it.
Bookmarks can also be used effectively in scouting. Setting one bookmark at the barracks you can send infantry out to all parts of the map and quickly return to send out the next unit.
3 Different Shifting Sequences to Master
Sequence: W, select, D, shift+1, ctrl+1
This method of shifting is useful when you have ore trucks and other units running about your base that you don’t want to send to the battle. Such maps where this might happen include Path, hjk6, and many others.
W here is the war factories bookmark and D is the battlefield bookmark. Select here means to select the new tanks to send to group. Using this sequence you can quickly group your tanks go back and forth between the battle and your base.
Sequence: W, E, D, shift+1, ctrl+1
This method of shifting is EXTREMELY useful on maps such as p4, Q master, and other similar maps where no units will get in the way of your tanks. This is called E shifting because it uses the select all key, E, in order to quickly shift tanks.
As above, W is the go to war factories bookmark, and D is the battlefield bookmark
Sequence: W, E/select, D, Send, shift+1, ctrl+1
This method of shifting is useful for large tank battles where you have all your tanks parked together. The idea here is that you can send all of your tanks at once to a location and park them there. Next in order to send tanks to this group, you don’t want to be constantly retelling all of your tanks to move to the battle site. Therefore to get around this, what you do is you return to base, select the new tanks, then return to the battle field, send the new tanks to battle field, and while they are still selected group them all together. Notice that this can be done uing the E key or by just selecting with the mouse, whichever is most practical depending on the map and other situational factors.
How to remap your hot keys: Open your Redalert directory and locate the Redalert.ini file. In the Redalert.ini file you will find KeyBookmark1-KeyBookmark4. The numbers for the 4 hotkeys mentioned above are: D - 68, R - 82, W - 87, Z - 90. The rest of the keys go linearly off these (RA uses ASCII http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII ) and if you want you can remap all of your hotkeys by modifying the Rest of the options in the file. So modify the numbers there and save the file. I personally just use W and D. The next most common thing I have heard of is people using W and R since the sequence W E R shift1 ctrl 1 just goes right in order along the top of the keyboard. JC informed me that he makes use of W A Z and something else, but he did his own keyboard remapping entirely and I assume others have also in the past, though you can get along just fine on only 2 bookmarks. The up and down arrow keys are also very important to use. The next most common thing to remap that I have heard of is the up/down arrows. One simple way to do this would be to make your bookmarks W and R, and your arrows T and Y, but that affects the rest of your hot keys too. I’m used to using the up/down arrows so I just use them where they are.
What is this Keyboard Express?: The definition from www.keyboardexpress.com says, “Keyboard Express is a Windows Keyboard macro utility. It allows you to issue just about any series of keystrokes to your windows applications with the touch of a key.” What does this mean for RA? It means that this program will allow you to set series of different keystrokes to be doable at the press of a single key or a single mouse click. Considering the three above listed shifting sequences, one would think this could come in very useful in RA. However, many players, myself included, think that using this is wrong. From talking and playing with vast numbers of RA players over the last eight years I have concluded that almost no one used this or similar programs.Only three players I have ever met (out of how many have I played in well over ten thousand games?) have told me they used the program, however it was apparent that this gave them no absolute decisive advantage over me. This program may have practical value in RA, but the fact of the matter is that downloading a prog will not instantly turn you into a better player. No matter what, becoming the best RA player possible is only doable through hard practice to get improved speed and mouse control. Despite that this program may have practical application in certain areas, by far the most important thing in RA is how fast you click, and KE will not help you with that. If I were to hear that there is a prog out there that will automatically click the make tank button for you or execute build orders instantly after you place things or place them for you, I would say such a prog has the ability to give you an unbeatable advantage. Consider how fast the AI is and you will see my point.
I personally have been accused of cheating though I know for a fact I did not and as time has gone on it has become apparent that I do not cheat. Many people I have trained in the past have been accused of cheating. Why? The only reason I have been given from the accusers has been that “they improved too fast.” For so called “average players” fast improvement seems to be associated with cheating. Of course once accusations of cheating start shit talking is the next step and things escalate fast. I have heard outrageous claims made by people about cheating which are absurd later on to be told to me in private that they were just talking shit. Once you have surpassed levels of skill in anything you begin to think that the lower levels of skill are easy and that no one would possibly cheat to get there, or if they do cheat they really suck. For this main reason I say it seems apparent to me that no one cheats.
In defense of those I have trained that have been accused of cheating, I ask you to cut the crap. RA is a very simple game and the fact of the matter is Whoever produces the most the fastest wins. People I have trained I spent great time with emphasizing speed and played tons of games with them to get the practice necessary to become fast. Progs won’t make you instantly faster, any form of “code cheating” in RA doesn’t exist as is well documented, and any cheating by means of modifying RA files to give you an advantage is obvious, easily discovered, and despite how simple it is I have never seen it explained clearly ANYWHERE. If anyone is willing to explain it to me I would love to hear how, please email me. My students don’t cheat. It is obvious.
If put in the middle of a giant gem patch, an ore truck will begin mining towards the TL of a gem patch in a straight diagonal line (same thing in ore/gem mix such as on standards). Thus the ideal placement of an ore refinery is to the top left of the gems. ALWAYS whenever possible, put your ore ref to the top left of the gems. This will greatly ease your money difficulties. The picture below shows what ore trucks do if placed at different locations in the gem patch. Clearly the placement to TL is best.
Standards and gem
picking - Gems
are worth a full 50% more than ore and taking the extra effort on
direct your trucks to each and every little gem in the middle of an ore
is worth a
Sometimes, you will have 3 trucks mining with only one ore ref at once. Trucks aren’t very smart and have great difficulty with the kindergarden lessons of sharing and taking turns. Thus if you can control your trucks and cycle them so that they take turns coming back to the ore ref, they will not waste time mucking about around the ore ref. Sending the trucks out systematically so that they return back to the ore ref at different times can greatly enhance your cash flow.
One last small trick that can help your money is to place silos next to your ore ref as in the picture below. Having two silos in the top corners of the ore refinery will help the trucks to not wander quite as badly when they are all trying to share the ore ref at the same time. This can have a significant positive effect on your cash flow. One silo alone will not affect the trucks, but having two will help them.
1. Tank fight on small money maps (standards)
2. Rushing game on Small money maps (standards) - includes base trade
3. Tank fight on money maps
4. Rushing game on money maps (the art of defending huge amounts of tanks vs small amounts is significantly different) - includes base trade
5. Long Game on money maps - What to do once it comes to the point where you and your opponent have cyed. (this more bases itself out of how to properly fight tanks on money maps since coming into a cying game comes out of a tank fighting being delayed and unable to be resolved)
6. Infantry Wars
7. there are probably some miscellaneous things that are not coming to mind at this moment, but I believe the above is a good enough way to classify everything.
As quoted in my newbie section, “The ability to produce units fast is extremely important in RA, and whoever can produce the most, the fastest will almost always win.” Thus, on some maps with large amounts of money, the game can get to the point where you’re producing tanks at max speed, and the game still not progressing anywhere. In such cases, making extra cys is a useful tactic to produce turrets and tesla coils to help fight the enemy. Since turrets and tesla coils are the only buildings it is important to produce fast, the maximum number of cys you need/should make on any map is 4 as allies and 10 as soviets, the number of cys which allow for maximum turret/tesla production rates. When making mcvs, do not forget that you are falling behind in tank count. In the time it takes to make an mcv the opponent can get as many as 6-10 tanks more than you have (if they are producing at maximum speed). Thus if you are at risk of being attacked by a large tank force, making 3 or 4 mcvs in a row could be a terrible idea and lead to your sudden death (or other dreadful consequences such as the pushing back of your forces to be crowded into your base) if the opponent should seize the moment. Therefore, as a general guideline, you should never make more than 2 or 3 mcvs at a time. In order to remind myself whether I plan to make a tank or mcv next I general scroll along the list so I can see the unit/building I plan to make next.
So once you have produced extra cys you need to have a general idea of what to do with your new found fast structure producing capabilities. With turrets and especially with tesla coils it is very important to keep in mind south advantage. Teslas and turrets both fire a full square higher than they do below, thus in general the most important part of a map to control is the bottom middle area. If you can it is very important to establish a foot hold at the bottom middle of the map so that your opponent can’t push you off. With time you will slowly back them off or control more of the map and thus win. One general thing that I did not learn until relatively recently was that it is possible to shift turrets/teslas together and tell them to fire at once. This can be very useful.
When to CY? This is a very important question, and the correct answer is, “when you need to.” This answer may sound rather general, vague, and of practically no meaning (hence is it definitely correct!), but it is the answer I like to give and is meaningful if you understand why I say this. So let me explain the times when you need to cy. The first obvious time to cy is when your opponent has cyed an it appears that you will be unable to kill them without making cys. So if you are in a tank battle and find your opponent is making tesla coils and zapping you off, it may possibly be time to consider cying. The next obvious time to cy is when the game has come to a stand still and it appears that making the cys will give you an advantage over your opponent. Notice that I say, when the game has come to a stand still. If you are winning without the cys there is no reason to make them, and likewise if you are losing, quite likely making cys will just result in your becoming more drastically out tanked and thus aid in your elimination.
General Long Game Advice
Learning a map consists of 3 things and I have them listed in order of how important I think they are:
What distinguished the top 20 on WW from the rest of the top 50 was overall skill, and the top 10 were separated largely based upon number of games each month since the ladder rankings were based on a cummulative point system.
General Notes on the 3 Above Topics:
Orders - RA is all about tanks. The objective behind any good build order then is to allow for the creation of the most tanks possible in the least amount of time. On standard maps, the money is rather scarce and 2 wars is more than enough on all standard maps. On standards since there isn’t a lot of money and cying is of almost no use, on all standards selling your cy in order to get more cash once you have 2 or 3 ore refs is a good strategy. Selling your cy gives you’re an immediate 2000 credits plus prevents you from spending future credits on unecessary buildlings. On custom maps with large amounts of money however, such as hjk6, p4, v3, gf, etc. you can get maximum tank production speed with relative ease. Also due to the large amounts of money, once maximum tank production speed is achieved, making defensive stuctures to attack is a worthwhile objective, therefore selling your cy is a very dumb strategy. Always it is of more importance to produce tanks than make teslas/turrets, therefore you shouldn’t ever really start making mcvs until you have maximum tank production speed. This is evidenced by the fact that in all of my build orders, depot isn’t listed, or if it is, it goes after achieving max war speed.
Placement – On standards since the money is scarce, large amounts of units are a rare occurrence, and defending against smaller attacks is much easier than defending large attacks. Also, since money is spread out, the general idea of a good build order placement is to spread out your base to where the money is. Therefore on standards, when trying to determine where to put what you build, keep in mind where the gems are. Always try to get ore refs near gems. On Custom maps, a different problem arrises. Defending your base against large amounts of tanks is fairly difficult (if not entirely impossible to save all of your base from a 15 tank rush). Also, money on custom maps tends to be placed in large quantities near your base, therefore expansion is not of great importance. Thus, in order to defend your base more easily, it is best to make a nice compact base with everything close together. This makes it more difficult for tanks to get your cy and squish engies which are slow at running over to far away buildings.
By Learning how to properly play the following maps, I assert that an RA player should be able to play any RA Map well:
If you want to seriously learn a map you need to know the 3 things listed above. Talking to other people is a good way to do this. I will sometime (maybe) write my own guide to these maps.
A List of Maps I would assert that a typical pro is familiar with:
STANDARDS – All 24
* Indicates that I personally know these maps well.
How to teach a new map:
1. Make the trainee write down the build order. This is much more important than you might think. Actually writing the order down puts extra emphasis on it that is very helpful in getting the student to memorize it.
2. Show the build order/placement once.
3. Play with them on a map file with GPS and that sets the spots so they can practice each and every spot and allow you to watch and comment on their order/placement. Despite that GPS is up, scouts and guards should practice being placed anyway.
4. Discuss Scouting patterns/attack patterns.
5. Lastly give them as much practice as needed by actually playing the real map with them.
My intention is to write a map guide that should explain how to play the above mentioned maps at least reasonably well. I will then link those guides to this section. Currently just the p4 guide has been written.
General Useful Builds
In my time playing RA, I have found several general build orders to be the most important ones to know. Map specific orders/placements can vary greatly but these orders should give anyone who uses them a good general idea of how to play any map reasonably well. Following the orders are maps these work on.
A Path Beyond
Sov – p b o w w p o p o – Sell barracks at some point and minimize infantry, 10 is more than enough infantry in 1v1 path.
This is a no truck build, if you make 1 truck and gem pick well you can then make a 3rd war after the 3rd ore.
Possible continuations include Sell Cy, more ores, or a 3rd war then sell cy/more ores.
On path placement is extremely important. To learn good placement talk to myself or anyone of the former top WW players.
This is my second map to write a section about. The section is progressing.
Allies – p o w d a r t c – Sell depot, Sell Radar, Sell tech – one truck first - This is the fastest chrono build. It leaves the disadvantage that you can’t chrono wherever you want since GPS won’t be up by the time your chrono is ready, however that should more than be compensated for by being the first one out of the hole. Continuations obviously include powers, gapping, and preparations for the outside battle.
I have now begun a section on p4 and it is beginning to be close to complete:
This section is for things that come to my mind that don’t fit anywhere else in this document.
Max Cys for Given Structure:
These are really the only structures it is important to be able to build fast, therefore these are the minimum numbers of cys you need to have as allies/sovs respectively on a given map once you have to cy. Just because these are the minimums, it is not necessarily bad to have extra Cys.
Max Wars for Tanks
· Heavy – 7
· Light – 5
· Mammoth - 12
· Medium – 6
· V2 – 5
Max Barracks for Infantry Units
· Engineer – 4
· Grenader – 2
· Rifleman – 1
· Rocket – 2
· Tanya – 8
· Thief – 4
Note however that by making a kennel, engineers, rockets, and grenaders all produce at max speed.
Migs Required to Kill Buildings
· CY – 5
· Samsite - 2
· Tesla – 2
A more thorough list can be found on JC’s website: http://members.tripod.com/red_alert_website/production.htm
· JC’s Red Alert Arsenal - http://members.tripod.com/red_alert_website/index.htm
· Red Alert Archive - http://ra.afraid.org/#1
· Case’s Red Alert Ladder (Mplayer) - http://www.igl.net/mred/
· Case’s Red Alert Ladder (Kali) - http://www.igl.net/red/
· Gamespy Arcade - http://gamespyarcade.com/
· Kali - http://kali.net/
· CGA - http://www.cgaasia.com/
· RA Mixer – lost link, if anyone knows it and can send me it that would be great
· RA Editor – http://www.fmtusa.com/Milo234/raed125.exe - using this tool you can set your map with units at the start as well as buildings and other cool things.
· Rules.ini – link to be posted – useful for modifying map file code. Modifying this file and placing it in you RA directory will cause RA to automatically use this version of rules.ini instead of the default one in RA. Thus you can modify this in order to change RA when you play with the computer.
· Common custom maps – http://www.fmtusa.com/Milo234/maps.zip
· All of my training maps with set spots/GPS – to be linked
As a historical note, it was impossible to cheat on Westwood Chat unless you have the programming ability to modify you RA files. I have only met 1 person who ever showed me that he could cheat on Westwood. I truly believe that no one I ever played in a westwood tournament game cheated. On Mplayer, map file cheating was extremely easy since it just involving making the MP software use the modified map files instead of the default ones. MP checked your map files once you logged on and entered game rooms, but once you were in a game room you could go replace your regular map file with the cheat map file and then your personal cheats would only load for you. From what I have been told cheating was rampant on MP, primarily in the form of GPS cheats. I believe that this map file trick did not work when playing standards on Mplayer, but I cannot say for sure.
Why should I believe anything you say about RA is valid and that this whole webpage isn’t a bunch of complete bullshit?
I’m a very experienced RA player. I’ve played probably about 10,000 games of RA with some of the best people to ever play this game. I have a number of Mplayer Case’s hall of fame records http://www.igl.net/mred and I won the WW official ladder one month and was an active top 10 for a long long time on westwood. If you don’t believe what I say is good, try the stuff I say and see how it goes. No one is forcing you to play RA like me or how I say I think is best to play =P, but I assure you if you attempt to play as I describe here it will help you.
History of P4:
A historical note for those of you who seem to think that Official p4 1x/2x is the real way p4 was meant to be played: P4 was originally a custom map not among the MP maps, but a large number of people liked it. The map was called P4-Rashowdown and is meant to be a 3v3/4v4 map (obviously). People initially played p4 happily in 1v1 with the agreed consent that there would be no rushing from the north, however if my memory serves me correctly, sometime around 2003-2004 for some reason or another, someone made some maps called Official p4 1x/2x and Official p4 3x/4x and those maps have stuck to this day. Real p4 is the open 3v3 map.
Who is the best player ever?
There is no general consensus among the people who have played this game as to who the best RA player ever was. The most common names I have heard given in answer to this question are: porker and ssanai, neither of which I have had the privilege to play. If anyone tries tell you (even convincingly) that they are the best ever or knows who the best ever is, you should take this information very skeptically. In my experience, there is no one I have ever played that I have not beaten (except for perhaps some random people on WW that I played once or twice when I was a noob). Note that I do not say that I am better than, or that I have a winning record against, or whatever, but given this information, and judging from the fact that RA was at a time extremely competitive, there was never any player capable of always beating every other player. I have heard people make arguments that certain people are the best ever on some maps. In my experience, some maps can have very important map specific skills and this can make people who are very familiar and experienced on them much better than most people (such maps include KOTG, Island Hoppers, Super Dday) however I am highly doubtful that there has ever been a definitive best player on any particular map. In general most people are just as good on one map as they are on the next.
Who is the best player Currently (As of Spring 2006):
Though he only played for a few weeks at the end of the summer, JJFjr proved himself to be better than everyone else still playing, beating me 8 to 1 in 1v1s and pretty much devastating the rest of the competition. Among all the active players, however, in my humble (or not so humble) opinion, I am without a doubt the best, though I am sure people will disagree with me on that (if not just say, I don't really know but I see no reason that he is the best). If you wish to disagree with me fine. If you wish to try to prove me wrong, I am up for the challenge anytime, but I really don't care enough to argue and won't go about trying to prove I am. Most people who play now all suck and can't even begin to comprehend how much worse than perfect they are. Five years without any real RA competitions has lead to an extremely boring competitive scene for current RA players (but what can you expect from a 10 year old computer game?). Maybe sometime I will give my best approximation of how I see the top players at the moment.
Who is the Number One Noob?
By self proclamation, this highly prestigious and sought after title goes to the great Katwoman, also known as Purrfect_1, who has time and time again proven herself capable of the title of the ultimate, Number One Noob.
Where all can I play RA?
Currently CGA, GS, and Kali are the only places to play RA.
What are the old RA servers that people used to play on?
What Rankings systems have their been in the past?
What clans are good?
A good clan for a person depends on what they want in the clan. I won't diss any clans. Current clans still in existence include:
If you would like to get your clan added to my list, just message me.
Who are some good RA players of the past?
There were many, I'll make a list sometime (don't expect this list to be comprehensive)
How Can I get better?
Here are my suggestions for how to get better:
If you want I am willing to train more RA players. If you want me to train you though I require you to get AIM so you can talk to me on AIM since I find that that is by far the easiest thing to use for instant messaging. You can try to get in contact with me though through any of the contact info listed at the top of this webpage.
Who is this JC person you keep referring to?
JCFarmer was an RA player I met on WW in 2000 (maybe 1999). He began playing RA a few months after I did and was much quicker to improve than I was. He has been one of my best RA friends and I have met him in person. I give him credit as being one of the overall best RA players I have ever known. I personally take pride in being one of the few RA players to be able to play all of the best RA players on all maps with a decent chance of being able to win. JC also can claim this status.
COPYRIGHT 2009- Milo234 & At0m1