Follow TV Tropes

Following

Game Breaker / Command & Conquer

Go To

The Balance in Command & Conquer, especially in the early installments, tended to be a little off. It's gotten better in recent times, but Game Breakers still pop up.

  • Early Command & Conquer games were infamous for having tank spamming being virtually uncounterable strategy except by an opposing tank spam, giving them game ending status. In fact, it wasn't until RA3 that this strategy was finally wrestled under control, by making anti-tank infantry much more viable.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn:
      Advertisement:
    • The first game had GDI grenadiers. Capable of superior AoE damage against infantry than minigunners and decent damage against structures and vehicles, the grenadier could also be built both early and cheap, allowing a GDI player to just spam them to victory. Though the minigunners were cheaper, the grenadier could hit all of them with a single grenade, allowing him to wipe out many times his own number. Fortunately, they were toned down in Command & Conquer: Red Alert, where the Soviet version did slightly reduced damage and, to prevent spamming them, exploded upon death, which could set off groups of grenadiers like firecrackers.
    • The AI would not try to destroy sand bags that blocked its movement. (It would shoot through walls and fences that blocked line of fire, destroying them in the process, but sand bags didn't block LoF, so they would never be destroyed unless they were close enough to another target to be hit by stray shots). This meant that if you could build a sand bag wall round you base, far enough out from any target, then the enemy would be unable to get in. Then you could extend the wall into the enemy base, and wall off all their unit factories. Or build Advanced Guard Towers / Obelisks of Light inside their base. Or build a barracks in their base (particularly effective if you simultaneously build an Engineer, timed to complete just after the barracks completes, for instant All Your Base Are Belong to Us).
    • Advertisement:
    • Nod has the Recon Bikes as their overpowered unit du juor. Very cheap at 500 in-game credits, the fastest ground unit in the game, can attack both aircraft and ground units, and is devastating in large numbers. At least six Recon Bikes can destroy a Mammoth Tank quickly, while only losing one. The only issues are that harvesters and tanks can crush them, their armor is relatively weak and they're not fantastic against infantry, but all of those are moot when everything else is destroyed on the spot.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert:
    • Normally the Allies are a Tier-Induced Scrappy faction due to mainly relying on expensive subterfuge and cheap units. Not so much in naval combat, where they boast the Cruiser, a battleship with devastating guns that have incredible long range. Backed up by Destroyers and Gunboats to deter submarines, hardly anything can survive a Cruiser volley.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun:
      Advertisement:
    • Before the Firestorm expansion pack the game had the bugged Nod Artillery unit, which could always hit its target even if the shell itself didn't hit anything, and the range and damage is insane. While GDI Orca Bombers are arguably their counter as they are helpless against air units and NOD's mobile anti-air units are somewhat weak, they are also higher on the tech tree and much more expensive per unit.
    • The GDI disc throwers have a combination of good damage against everything (unlike the Nod rocket infantry, which had a crippling weakness against infantry), low production cost, quick production time, and a Good Bad Bug that allowed them to throw discs across the freaking map basically meant building an army of disc throwers was a perfectly viable strategy for most levels.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2:
    • There's the extremely broken French subfaction, which came with the Grand Cannon, a huge defensive artillery piece which could destroy any enemy in the game with ease. As air units, its only counter, were rare and underpowered, a French player could simply slowly creep his base towards the enemies under the constant protection of his cannons, until he was shelling the enemy base.
    • The British subfaction has Snipers, who could insta-kill any infantry unit in the game.
    • Yuri, the faction added in the RA2 expansion, was a game breaker faction. Its mind control tech was an instant game breaker in and of itself, making any notion of cost-effectiveness totally null, especially as he could recycle these units for cash. Their resource gathering mechanic allowed them to expand lightning-fast and claim new ore fields that the enemy could never touch, and their Floating Discs could shut down whole bases with ease in a game where flying units and the defenses against them were both seriously underpowered, and even steal from the enemy directly. Yet, even with all these advantages, Yuri was no worse in direct combat than his foes, with good tanks, rock solid defenses and excellent basic infantry. A few examples:
      • Initiates are far and away the best basic infantry unit out of the three main factions, and they become killing machines when garrisoned.
      • The Virus is basically a beefed-up Sniper that doesn't need a British subfaction to unlock.
      • Magnetrons are great anti-building siege units, and become downright ridiculous against any enemy vehicle with good micromanagement. Whether it be destroying instantly them by dropping them into impassable terrain, rendering them immobile and helpless, or two birds in one stone by dropping them into a critical structure like a Construction Yard. Their only supposed weakness is infantry, but even then, they could just use their own wheels to squish them flat.
      • Yuri Prime is able to do an infinite combo of capturing enemy structures and selling them for cash, and you get two of them when trained with a Cloning Vat.
      • Playing against a halfway decent Yuri player on a water-based map is a death sentence, since the basic tier Boomer submarine combines the best of the Soviet Attack Submarine and Dreadnaught, while being cheaper than the $2000 Dreadnaught and it doesn't even need a Tech Centre to build!
    • Demolition Truck + Iron Curtain combo. The Demolition Truck is a suicide unit carrying a mini-nuke that explodes if the unit is killed or if the unit is commanded to attack something. Iron Curtain is a minor superweapon that makes the targeted nine units invincible and immune to mind-control for a short time. At least the original Red Alert had the courtesy of causing iron curtain to wear off very quickly from demo trucks... Lampshaded in Yuri's Revenge in the Soviet campaign where one mission requires you to either use this tactic or spam a metric fuckton of V3 Launchers to crack the enemy base. Taken Up to Eleven when provided the Allied IFV, which if combined with a Crazy Ivan, resulted in a Demolition Truck with faster speed.
    • The humble Chronosphere is mainly used to teleport a cluster of vehicles to any given location instantly, but it can be so much more. One direct way of causing misery is to teleport enemy vehicles into water, or ships onto land, resulting in an Instant Kill. Gathering a cluster of heavy-hitting vehicles (or suicide units) and teleporting them to a key target is a reliable way of destroying said target.
    • If you play against the dumb AI, it's possible to blockade a base using Desolators. Doing the deploy command causes them to irradiate an area equal to a nuke until they are given the deploy command again. Most infantry simply melt before they have a chance to attack the Desolators while basic tanks will slowly disintegrate. In fact, in one of the Yuri's Revenge campaign maps, you could effectively blockade Yuri's base with two at a choke point.
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars:
    • The Mammoth Tank is a beast. Easily the toughest unit in the game, with upgradeable weapons that let it kill infantry in a single hit, more firepower than any other armored unit in the game, and respectable anti-air capability to boot. Massed together, they're able to go toe-to-toe with equivalent numbers of Nod Avatars and win, and outlast Scrin Planetary Assault Carriers. Nothing short of a direct hit with a superweapon can really stop the billowing clouds of dust that herald a Mammoth rush. Later patches Nerfed the Mammoth, but its early-game counterpart, the Predator, which had the same weapon upgrade, proved effective against all but air units.
    • One Russian journalist summed it best: "Five elite Mammoth Tanks destroy everything. Ten elite Mammoth Tanks destroy completely everything."
    • The expansion introduces Mechapedes, fast-moving units that can be equipped with a variety of weapon modules. With enough micromanagement, just a few can wipe out an enemy force without exposing their weak points to serious damage.
    • The Black Hand gains the Purifier Warmech, which was suppose to be a primitive version of the Avatar. In theory it's a costlier Avatar with a built-in flame thrower in lieu of the upgrading ability. While it resolves the Avatar's initial problem of not being able to deal with infantry, it also made the Purifier completely immune to its hard counter: commandos. On top of that, the Black Hand has the Purifying Flame upgrade, which allowed all their flame-based weapons to deal extra damage to vehicles (normally fire damage deal almost negligible damage). Because the flame thrower is programmed to fire without the unit needing to target, a group of 6 Purifiers can literally walk right through the opponent's base, torching anything short of flying aircrafts without so much as raising their arm-mounted lasers.
    • The Black Hand also has stupidly powerful infantry. Spam Confessors and Rocket Launchers in 1:4 ratio, rush Black Disciples (which grants an extra flamethrower-unit to each infantry squad) and the aforementioned Purifying Flames and send your army to the enemy base. The Confessors will stomp pretty much any other infantry (especially if you add in Charged Particle Beams, which also makes them viable against vehicles and buildings!) and the Disciples and Rockets (buffed by Confessors' aura) will make short work of everything else. The enemy needs to spend the entire start of the game spamming anti-infantry buildings and units to have any hope of surviving the initial rush, and even then the cheap cost and short training time of the units allows you to keep up constant pressure on the enemy so they don't have resources to counterattack before you already have even more powerful units like the Purifiers.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
    • The Yuriko unit from the Empire of the Rising Sun can destroy buildings in seconds, can attack both land and air units (the latter of which results in an Instant Kill), and has a special attack that kills all infantry within a certain radius around her. In a one-on-one battle, Yuriko pretty much wins by default due to her target of focus being incapacitated when attacked.
    • In the Empire of the Rising Sun campaign, the Shogun Executioner. A Humongous Mecha with an auto attack that kills more or less everything in one hit, and a special attack that kills everything within yards. It can also be healed by Tesla weapons, something the enemy tends to send against you in droves. Lampshaded by the Soviet Commander accused you of cheating and let the Game-Breaker unit win the mission for you, instead of any real strategy.
    • Red Alert 3: Uprising is just packed to the gills with gamebreaking units, suspiciously almost all of them Allied units. There's the Harbinger gunship, with insanely heavy armor, and dual weapons capable of catastrophic damage against armor, or nearly insta-kill guns against infantry. There's the Pacifier mobile cannon which is AMPHIBIOUS, and when it sets up, produces an extreme range cannon as powerful as the Cruiser in RA1. The Future Tank X-1 is pretty much super effective against everything, and weak only against the most powerful armored units. The Cryo Legionnaire freezes up ALL units within a rather large radius in front of it, and these frozen units can be broken into a bunch of pieces by the weakest units in the game. The only non-Allied unit that comes closer to gamebreaking is the Japanese Giga Fortress, but even that is hardly as powerful as the Allied units. Suffice it to say there's a reason why Uprising doesn't include any sort of multiplayer.
  • In Command & Conquer: Generals, each faction has one. Hilariously enough, Zero Hour actually gives you the option of picking a subfaction that upgrades these tactics:
    • The Chinese Overlord tank which is the obligatory Mammoth Expy whose counters are supposed to be aircraft and rocket-wielding infantry, both of which are negated by sticking a gattling gun on top of it which also lets it detect stealth, It gets turned Up to Eleven with the tank general's Emperor Overlord, who comes with the self healing propaganda tower by standard issue and can build a gattling cannon as well. The main issue balancing them is very slow speed and average attack range and the expense of the minigun (the former can be remedied with a nuclear engine upgrade).
    • The nuclear general provides its Jet Fighter Migs with nuclear rockets. When upgraded, these can squash any targets flat, with firepower to rival that of the Aurora Bomber (see below).
    • The GLA terrorist on a bike, Terrorists can OHKO a tank, their weakness is supposed to be that they're not much faster than regular infantry. Putting them on a bike lets them jump cliffs, go faster and generally make your life a pain. It gets turned Up to Eleven by the Bomb general, who can build them with the terrorist on top by standard, make them cheaper, and more powerful.
    • The US Aurora Bomber, which is literally invincible until it drops its bomb, the bomber can literally be used in groups to completely eliminate anti air before blowing the entire base to kingdom come. Gets turned Up to Eleven with the Superweapon general's Alpha Aurora, which is 20% cheaper and comes with a more powerful fuel air bomb, and given a Boring, but Practical upgrade with the Air Force General's laser defense protocols, which shoot down anti-air missiles.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report