I’ve been playing Dawn of War: Dark Crusade when I have the free time, and really enjoying it. The Necron are my personal army of choice, and the Tau my personal punching bags of choice.
I’ve found, like Brian has, that playing against the computer can sometimes be a challenging affair, though not always. I got through the very first mission of the campaign mode fairly easily. However when I sat down to play the other night, I was faced with a mission to retake a bunch of servitors, in order to capture a spaceport. It seems like before I’d even laid down my first building, I was being attacked by a mess of enemy units, and within five minutes they’d collected all of the servitors and the mission was failed.
It was a bit frustrating, and over far too quick, so I decided to try attacking the territory adjacent to that one, and see how that worked out. Well this mission ended up being a simple ‘annihilate your opponent’ objective, so I started building up and army. I was getting harassed by the computer enemy right from the start, again, but I started building up a force.
Then a pattern evolved. I would propel their attacks long enough to get a sizeable force, just in time to receive a really large assault from the enemy. I’d destroy that assault, and then take my army to their base, thinking they’d be in a weakened state, and I could overpower them.
But no. I would arrive at their base and be torn apart by turrets and a whole other army they had in reserve. Then I would frantically rebuild my army, in time to receive another assault, and send another doomed attack on their HQ. This went on before an hour and a half, before they finally closed the time gap between destroying my army and assaulting my base so far that I didn’t have time to rebuild anything that could hope to defend. I called it a night.
A day or two later I sat down again, with a renewed sense of optimism, and tore through these two mission in no time at all. I don’t know what the difference was. I suppose just knowing what to expect from the enemy, helped me plan my strategy more efficiently. It was probably knowing the tech trees of my army a bit better. On the second one, I also just made a b-line straight for their HQ, as soon as I had a sizeable force, which probably helped.
I guess what I’m saying is that I think the computer can be pretty cheap, but not really that difficult. One of the adjustments for me was just expecting the computer to rush. I don’t recall back playing Starcraft, being on the receiving end of too many computer rushes during the campaign. But I guess nowadays, everyone in RTS’ rushes, so even the computer has to do it.
Me personally? I prefer a more epic struggle, building up a bit, and not just sending drones to try and catch my opponent with their pants down. Or, if they were Tau, sending anal drones. Haha, get it? See what I did there? No, see, it was a play on words to form an insulting…