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Video Game / Advanced Strategic Command

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Advanced Strategic Command is a free and Open Source Turn-Based Strategy. It started as a Fan Remake of Battle Isle games, but became something more, thanks to its mod-friendly structure.

This game provides examples of::

  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: There are a pair of proper APC and lots of other ways to deliver infantry where it can cause more trouble to the foe.
  • Baseless Mission: Many missions in campaigns have the objective is to capture an area.
  • Base on Wheels: A huge land transport (called Atuin in the basic ruleset) can be very useful, as it gives mobility to a bunch of slow units and saves fuel. Doubles as a poor commander's APC since it at least protects from snipers and moves minelaying infantry faster than pursuing tanks. Collecting materials from wrecks is a nice bonus.
  • Color-Coded Armies: It's really one sprite per unit, recolored and rotated. Buildings got no auto-rotation, and may have terrain variants (mostly for snow), vehicles may have custom Movement Sound, but it's not necessary.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Then again, it's not as much "economy" as a resource crisis holding back your production onslaught or even repair.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: It works only if you have worthwhile mineral resources down there (wind and sun power stations run for free, but only if the weather allows and still cost a lot to build). Also, more renewable sources available via lumberjacks and crystal collectors.
  • Cool Airship: Zeppelin is not such a big deal, but it may become a Lethal Joke Unit — cheap fragile bomber, observer (view bonus) and pretty good transport in one big wrap. Unless there's Anti-Air defence protected by other forces or terrain from infantry zeppelin can unload just out of range.
  • Defog of War: Launch satellites. If you can't, use common radars and spy submarines. Failed that, anything with view bonus — some Anti-Air units, snipers, zeppelins. If there are submarines, drop whole chains of sonar buoys or patrol with sonar-enabled ships. And use terrain and jammers to deny the same advantage to your enemy. View field is the main difference between Hit-and-Run Tactics and delivery of materials as wreck piles. It's sensitive at times, too — Fog of War may eat a hex or three out of your radar's visible area when you build a single anti-tank hedgehog.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted with vengeance. Simplifications such as unified resources and pipelines mostly ease the production and repair part, and units don't eat. Other than this — transportation, supply and support usually require resource-juggling, even on relatively forgiving campaign maps.
  • Fan Remake: The game apparently can use original graphics of Battle Isle if it's already installed, and considering unit names, "Mk4" ruleset is supposed to be used for this purpose.
  • Game Mod: There are several ready variant rulesets included, and it's very easy to create your own, whether separate or add-on, thanks to the object inheritance in plain text and one-sprite entities.
  • Garrisonable Structures: Transported units can only wait to be deployed or killed with the transport. Buildings proper are also indefensible and captured along with units inside. Buildable constructions such as trenches, though, may provide bonus to attack, defence and/or jamming; turret foundations give various combinations of these benefits and are necessary to place turrets.
  • Geo Effects: Mostly affects movement and building, but sometimes also defence/attack/concealment adjustments.
  • Healing Shiv: Service is technically a "weapon", though it invokes supply/repair functions rather than simply causing negative damage.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Anything with Feature "Move after attack" and good speed or stealth. Submarines and aircrafts have this, as well as some more specific units. Like those speedboats, which most units see only at point-blank range while their rockets have reach better than things like miniguns and aircraft rockets. Reaction fire may or may not nail down the problem, depending on specific units and situation.
  • It's Raining Men: And occasionally a fast armed ATV with any infantry inside. Or sonar buoys. In Mk-3 unitset the list of possible precipitations is extended to radars, jammers and self-propelled antitank guns.
  • Kill Sat: Once you get spy satellites, orbital weapon platforms are not far behind. Not very killy in the "fabric" rulesets, but strike with impunity as very few units have anti-sat weapons and/or Satellite View.
  • Mini-Mecha: Several variants. Big enough to carry miniguns or torpedoes, but small enough to conquer buildings and weight 2-3 times more than an infantry unit — sprites look more like armed power loaders (Aliens one, not Power Dolls). Otherwise, they are weakly armored and rather slow "light tracked vehicles", meaning they eat fuel, get stopped by anti-tank hedgehogs and slowed down by everything while as vulnerable (or more) as infantry to anything other than machineguns and AP mines. The combination of abilities to fit into troop transports, take buildings, ignore and snipers or barbed wire is their main advantage over normal infantry which tend to collect too much reaction fire on disembarking.
  • Mobile Factory: Most traits that make sense for either are common for "Containers" — unit and building objects alike, including unit and ammo production. In the basic rulesets specialized building vehicles can create turrets and buildings. Most ships can at least repair and rearm anything that lands on them.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Whether the previous mission allowed research or not, more advanced starting technologies may or may not be set in the next mission.
  • Resource-Gathering: It helps if you have fuel to spare, but not enough of material — find a big good rock or fried a tank, get a bulldozer or a truck over there. Though you'll need a special ship to get tasty piles of materials from the sea bottom.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Everything is built instantly, though units can't fire or move on their own at the same turn. Though there are mechanics allowing to set up a ruleset with specific buildings constructed in more than one stage.
  • Sea Mine: Oh, yes. Anti-ship and anti-submarine. Currently due to sneaky glitches anti-tank mines can be set on some water hexes and work as anti-hovercraft (they react on units at "ground" height).
  • Starting Units: Everything is up to the mapmaker, so even if you have production and research capabilities at all, set and event-spawned units and available technologies on the same map are unrelated. Technically, they could even belong to completely different unitsets.
  • Support Power: Map events can do almost anything. Including spawning reinforcements to any side including player's or allies on a condition, or revealing an area. Used in the basic campaigns.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: You're not going to use, e.g. Anti-Air units for anything but shooting flyers or minor scouting. Infantry also can capture unguarded buildings or work as emergency fuel/material carriers, but that's about it. Cruisers and hunter helicopters are more flexible, but special-purpose ships and aircraft are still better.
  • Tech Tree: Technologies allowing construction of units and buildings have prerequisites (to develop an air-dropable buggy you need to know how to make parachutes and how to make a buggy), which have their own prerequisites. Basic unitsets coexist in one pack, so they are switched via allowing their root technology in the map's properties. At a long-term map you decide which troops are needed first and at all (quick maps have no means for R&D at all). Also, "BlockingTechnologies" (list of ID that disallow research of the entry) property may force to choose the way — it's done with air defence as an example in the default campaign and in test units for automated check.
  • Tunnel Network: Pipelines. Better if buried. You can live without them, but factories would require tons of fuel eaten by transports to get resources there and mobile generators to produce energy. Since anything large requires more resources than a factory holds, it must be either in direct contact with a bigger storage or connected to it via pipelines.
  • Weather of War: No wind? Your wind powerplants give zero energy. Very strong wind? Your plane is killed before it got close to the enemy. Clouds or snow? Solar panels do nothing. Rain? Suffer for building cheap paths instead of good hard roads — units are mired and crawl like slugs.
  • Worker Unit: Builders, transports, repair vehicles, icebreaker, mobile diesel generator...
  • Zerg Rush: Sometimes possible, especially against low-XP enemy. Generally, low-armor units suffer greatly, but long-range artillery tend to be helpless against point-blank attacks so those that manage to break through may do the job; also, many relatively cheap units, while fragile, can hit hard and are stealthy (infantry), useful for Hit-and-Run Tactics (zeppelins) or both (speedboats).