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USA Strategy Guide
Forum » CollapseZero Hour Strategies, Tactics and Tips » USA Strategies
Joined: 20th Oct 2014
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21st Oct 2014

Basic USA Strategy Guide

USA is a unique faction in many ways, USA struggles to hold off early onslaughts from China and GLA, the opening few minutes are crucial to the result, USA has the most potent late game arsenal through high-tech units and devastating generals abilities. With all USA factions, if you can survive long enough to build up a solid army the chances of the game going your way are high. Here are a few very basic tips that should help your USA play.

Why should I sell my command center?

The main reason to sell your command center early on is to gain an extra $1000, which is often used to execute a strategy which would otherwise be delayed. This $1000 can be the difference between victory and defeat. However, there are several drawbacks to selling your command center. You lose your radar screen, which reduces your awareness of the battlefield. Also you cannot use many generals points that you earn unless you rebuild it; you won’t be able to deploy any spy drones until it’s rebuilt for example. The last disadvantage is that you cannot build any additional dozers, so if you lose all of your dozers before your command center is rebuild you have practically no hope of rebuilding your base. There are a lot of disadvantages, but in more fast paced games selling your command center for the extra cash is usually a must. 

Building your base

Almost every game your first building will be a Cold Fusion Reactor. You should build this as soon as possible, and you can do this by building it directly next to where your dozer starts. 

Don’t send it half the screen away to build, as this wastes time in your build order. 

Do not do this. 

Another way to speed up construction time is to rotate the building so that it is facing the dozer. This is commonly done with the Cold Fusion Reactor early on as it speeds your build order up by a second or two, and on small maps every second gained gives you more of an advantage. 

Early on you usually only need one Cold Fusion Reactor for most strategies, so don’t build a second one if you don’t need extra power as it drains your funds early on. If it is destroyed however you do need to replace it as soon as possible, as your production rate is cut in half when your power is low. 

Also try not to build your buildings too close to each other when you can avoid it, you need to keep your base fairly compact but don’t make it so tight that one air strike can wipe out a group of buildings in one strike, try to keep this damage to a minimum by keeping your important structures (supply, war factory, airfield, strategy center, supply drop zones) apart slightly. 

Don't do this - one a10 strike could kill both structures!

Don't do this - an artillery strike or carpet bomber will kill all of these easily!

This is better - only a superweapon or the Mother of all Bombs can kill all of these in one strike. 

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Joined: 20th Oct 2014
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21st Oct 2014

Generating an effective economy

How do I place my supply?

Proper supply placement is important for all teams in this game, as it maximizes the rate at which you collect money. Fortunately USA supplies are the easiest to place correctly out of the three base factions. Simply rotate the supply center to face the supply dock, and you have got the most effective way of generating money available. 

Fastest collection

Not rotating your supply will result in a slightly slower gather rate, which is unnecessary as rotating buildings is easy with practice. 

Slightly slower collection

The distance is not too important a factor, although you should build close to the supply when possible. You may want to build your supply further away though in order to build a war factory quicker for example. 

Slightly slower collection

How many Chinooks do I need?

Just two will suffice for any supply. Three will not slow down the gather rate but it will not help it either, plus it is a waste of funds to have three or more Chinooks collecting from one supply as one of them could be collecting from another supply, which effectively gives you a $600 boost every now and then. 

Protecting your economy

Of course, when possible you should protect your Chinooks with units. However, sometimes an enemy anti-air unit will get near your Chinooks and attempt to shoot them down. At this point, you can order your Chinooks to fly away to a safe place until you can kill the enemy unit. This should prevent you from losing both Chinooks to that unit. Once the threat is neutralized, you can tell your Chinooks to start collecting again. 

Try to keep your chinooks alive whenever possible!

Generals Points

Abilities with a * next to them require a command centre to deploy. 

Level One General

Allows you to build Paladin Tanks. Paladins feature a laser that negates some enemy rockets, so it can be useful early on as it’s more resistant to rocket ifantry than the standard crusader is. This tends to be most useful against Tank and Vanilla China. 

Spy Drone*
Allows you to place spy drones on the map (recharge 1:30). These allow you to see what your opponent is dong, giving you a better chance at countering their early game plan. 
Stealth Fighter

Stealth Fighter
Allows you to build Stealth Fighters. These aren't too effective at all in most games, they only do good damage to defensive structures, but then again so do particle cannons or tomahawks. Invest your points in something else. 

Level Three General

Allows you to train Pathfinders. These are the best anti-infantry units in the game, and you should invest a point in these every game, as at $600 they’re a bargain. 

A10 Strike*
Calls in a group of a10 thunderbolts to bombard a small area. These do very good damage, of course the more points you spend on them the stronger the strike. A level 2 a10 strike is enough to kill most buildings. 

Drops in a group of rangers wherever you specify. This is a weak generals point, as USA has much better abilities you can spend points on. If you need to drop rangers somewhere, you can use a Chinook. Level one drop might come in useful sometimes, but level 2 or 3 are just a waste. 

Emergency Repair*
This repairs all vehicles in a specified area. The effect of level 1 repair is very weak, and since it takes so long to recharge for a one-time heal (four minutes), it isn’t worth investing in. Get a10s instead. 

Level Five General

Fuel Air Bomb*
This calls in a bomber which drops a bomb on a target area. The area it covers is quite small, but the damage done is great. Practice dropping it between buildings for maximum damage.

Leaflet Drop*
This calls in a bomber that drops leaflets on the target area, disabling all enemy units hit by them. Keep this in reserve, and use it as a last resort to disable a troublesome group of enemy units in your base. Since the plane is slow, do not aim for a point too far away. 

Spectre Gunship*
This calls in the Spectre, which circles a specified area for a while before flying off. While it is patrolling an area, you can redirect it’s fire by selecting it then clicking where you want it to fire, although it can only attack targets in it’s circular patrol. This is a very useful point which works well against both units and structures. 

USA Build Orders

Rockvee Rush

This build order aims to cripple your opponent as soon as possible with a fast rockvee to his base. This rockvee should be used to target vulnerable areas only, as running it near certain enemy units could result in you losing the humvee, and falling behind in the game. This strategy leaves you with a weak economy, so you should eventually expand it (ensure you have units to defend while you save up this money though).

Rockvee Rush

In this replay, watch as the rockvee effectively disables the other person’s barracks, then stalls for time while more rockvees can be brought up to support. 

Dual Supply Dual Barracks

This build order aims to gain a solid defense, using infantry units to defend against any rushes. The American infantry units are effective fighters when used well, but their lack of speed makes assaulting the enemy base near impossible early on. 

Dual Supply Dual Barracks

In this replay, watch as the missile defenders kill the rockvees without much trouble, and the rangers (with flashbangs) clean up any remaining missile defenders. 

Dual Supply Dual Barracks 2

This time being used against a Tank player, the USA player sells his command center to boost his funds at the beginning, and getting flashbangs quickly helps to repel the tank player's aggression early on. 

Derrick Grab

This type of build order is best suited to a map with a lot of oil present. Trying to gain the oils costs a lot less then establishing a second supply, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to take the oils as the enemy may intercept your rangers. Also there is not much money left to defend your base, so bear this in mind. For every oil you capture you get a $1000 bonus, which is extremely useful early on. 

Derrick Grab

In this replay, watch as the USA player captures all four oils, and uses this money to build some expensive but effective avengers. 

Derrick Grab 2

This replay takes place on the same map, only this time it is against a stealth player. The USA player builds an early warfactory instead to get some humvees to help him to secure the sides. He captures three oils, and soon has an xtremely strong eceonomy with which to overwhelm the opponent. 

Dual Supply Warfactory and Barracks

This is the most common build order at the top levels of play, as it is the most adaptable to whatever the opponent’s tactics are, as a strong economy is established early on. In order to use this build order, you need to sell your command center for the $1000 boost, so you will need to be able to play without radar for the first few minutes of the game. 

What you build early on depends on the team you are playing against. This strategy also allows you to build up to a strategy center fairly quickly too, as dual supplies brings in the money fairly quickly, plus you have the pre-resiquite ready (a war factory). 

Dual Supply, Warfactory and Barracks

In this replay, the usa player uses humvees holding missile defenders and rangers to hold back chinas main force while defending the flanks with paladins and firebases.

Dual Supply, Warfactory and Barracks 2

This time against a toxin player, the USA player loses many buildings to tech terror strikes but thanks to his dual supplies he is always able to rebuild.

Selling Command Centre or not selling it, regardless of how good you are, you must stop early rushes from your enemy, the build orders above can be defensive or aggressive, remember as the old saying goes, the best form of defence is to attack, if you can damage your opponents economy or distract him with a rockvee you will reduce the pressure he is applying too you, 

Wraps to smeagol for contributing his time to write this guide 
 Keep a look out for more advanced strategies to come 

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