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The Most Beautiful game: How Supreme Commander Stole My Heart

An intensive deep dive into what remain the Pinnacle of the real time strategy genre, and why I believe it might just be the greatest spectator game every created and most strategically interesting game that currently has an active community.

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This article explains why I loved SupCom as a single player against low tier AIs but knew the skill floor was beyond my reach in terms of APM.

I have to stick in my Company of Heroes box it seems, indefinitely.

I recall from my breif time playing it before my accident that the real challenge wasn't so much raw APM, it was mentally tracking all the plates you were spinning, Like you can cue up 20 sequential move, build, etc orders for an engineer in a second or two, even a newb could easily have a raw apm in the hundreds if not thousands...if they were just doing dumb actions.

The challenge was once you'd given the commands mentally tracking what they were doing how long it'd take, whether you'd have enough mass or power by the time they got there... and the game gives you all those tools, you issue an order and it shows you the seconds it'll take to complete, you have your mass bar at the top and all the flows in and out are displayed, build times are projected, etc.

But you have to make the actual mental decisions in seconds, and optimally you have to remember the numbers and be tracking them against the clock, and know that when you're attacked and have to start putting down point defense you'll have to pause specific build orders elsewhere to keep your mass floating ever so slightly...

The challenge isn't how fast you click, its how fast you think and how much you can mentally keep track of and in how much detail... stuff historic military officers might think through and decide over 20 minutes an hour a high teir supcom player like Tagada will mentally caculate and then daringly decide in a split second...

Whereas a low tier player will hessitate or forget about, or desperately try to micro and forget to attack so they lose the initiative and wind up playing defense.

I never really felt I was struggling with clicking or keeping my units doing things, even at a very unskilled level, but I was always crippled by information overload and indecision.

By contrast I see what high level players are able to do, and they know exactly what needs to be where, what their mass and power will be doing, and where they want their upgrades to be At minute 4, 5, and 6 by minute 2... and they're able to effortlessly change those plans without power stalling or missing a beat... part of that is that they're crazy good at the instantaneous math and estimation, and part of it is they're that familiar with the factions, units, tactics, costs, etc. That they no longer really have to think about a lot of things that keep new players guessing and double guessing.

I swear to god the next Napoleon is going to have grown up playing something like this.