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Reimagining Command and Conquer Tiberium-verse

OP and basic Mechanics for a Game

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
One of the many ideas that I've cooked up over the years is quite literally re-imagining the universe that started my foretray into the world of Real Time Strategy: Command and Conquer, and to be more specific Command and Conquer Tiberium-verse.

Now, I want people's input into this, partially to refine the ideas and partially to gauge what ideas are viable and not viable.


Alright, I'll start off with some basics:
  • Kane is an alien that -alongside his brother Able- landed on Earth millennia ago... after surviving their race's -and their 'patron' race only known as the Creators- extinction by the hands of the Scrin.
    • If you want to blame anyone for manipulating humanity, Kane is your man. After the death of his brother Able, he simply pushed humanity into a direction that he deemed acceptable to his plans (whatever those plans are, they pertain to the Scrin and the exact details are only his -and his personal AI- to know), which oddly enough have some hegemony like Rome or the US. Outside of Rome -which fell apart due to internal factors- his planned hegemony tend to fall apart due to external variables (i.e. Britain and France for Imperial Germany, Russia for the US).
    • Compared to all the forces in the world, he -and the vast majority of Nod as a byproduct- is at worst an frienemy... which has the effect of having Nod working with GDI, the US, and Europe just as often as podding them one way or another.
      • Unless you count those Tiberium worshiping crazies. Even Nod considers them crazy.
  • There are several factions, each with their 'quirks' an styles. Mostly hybrids of two styles but still, various factions.
    • GDI: The Powerhouse-Steamroller faction.
      • The Fist of the UN, the Peacekeepers with Teeth, etc. etc. They're the most basic faction available with solid units all around. Second-best base defenses and their units have incredible armor and firepower.
    • US: The Technical-Elitist faction.
      • The good ol' US of A. Known to have many flexible units available and has the largest selection of special operations infantry to have one for every occasion. Their base defenses are easy to set up but are almost as easy to destroy.
    • Russia: The Steamroller faction.
      • Using a mix of modernized equipment and modern weapon systems, it is slow to start but once it gets moving they're pretty hard to stop. This also shows up in their base defenses, with most of it being modified weapon systems on a static turret.
    • European Federation: The Turtle-Steamroller faction.
      • The evolution of the European Union. Centered around France and Germany, they utilize their excellent defenses to ensure that they can prepare for their steamrolling offensive.
    • Global Liberation Army: The Technical-Guerrilla faction.
      • The assholes of the bunch, and the ones that got the US to switch allies from the Saudis to the Iranians. Stealth, illegal weapons, and traps are their primary and most effective weapons. Many have died to their ambushes or their out of the box tactics.
    • China: The Balanced-Horde faction.
      • Due to the deteriorating situation across the world, China felt that it needs to grow larger at any cost... and so far have been. They initially send units that are effective but moderately-cheap in supported by crack troops. Their defenses tend to be 'meh' and unsurprising than anything.
    • Brotherhood of Nod: The Subversive-Guerrilla faction.
      • Instead of being Tiberium spreading assholes, they're simply the stealthiest SOBs you'll ever meet. They rely on ensuring that they fight on their terms, thus manipulating the combat area to ensure their victory. Also known for helping people more often than not, even if they don't even know it.
    • Consortium-Cabal: The Subversive faction of the game.
      • These guys are the corporate assholes who think want to literally own the world. A combination of mercenaries of various caliber make up the bulk of their forces, with horrific experiments making their crack troops.
  • Instead of just simply the Tiberium Wars to go through, there are also various other conflicts like the Resource Wars, the GDI-Russo War, the Genocide Wars (simply put, a clusterfuck of clusterfucks between various transhuman/psionic wielding factions and normals, with GDI crushing any supremacist group with the subtlety of a Tzar Bomba at max yield), among others.
  • GDI eventually becomes the government after the Second Resource War (which is after the First Tiberium War) for much of the world outside of the influence of Russia, China, Nod, the GLA, and the Consortium-Cabal.
  • Most of humanity eventually becomes situated in giant bio-domed arcologies, designed specifically to counter Tiberium contamination.
  • Psionics are a thing, especially after the assassination of one Aaron Neumann during a political rally in Great Falls, Montana in 2032. The number of psions skyrocketed forcing the creation of psionic agencies/departments in various governments. GDI would later fight for the right of these people -alongside those that have genetically or cybernetically augmented or those that mutated by Tiberium- to exist during the Genocide Wars.
  • Nanotech has been able to utilize wreckage as feedstock since the First Resource War. Tiberium is simply a far better feedstock at a moment's notice than simply salvaging wreckage everywhere.
Now this is a basic rule of thumb... let's get cracking.
 
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Bits and Pieces of how a 'game' would go

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Now if I have to 'reboot CnC', then I have to use Tiberium and Generals as a basis with mechanics pilfered from the Wargame series, Tom Clancy's EndWar, among others. The game will play a lot different than your traditional CnC game. When you first boot up the game, the game creates an account for you or logs you in if you have an account. This will facilitate the game being able to track some of the peripherals of the game itself... and most important of all the 'Core Army'.

Now the idea of the 'Core Army' isn't a new idea, hell quite few RTS games have this concept in mind, with games like EndWar and Codename: Panzers being the ones that stretch the mechanics to their limit. The 'Core Army' is built from a series of slots ala Wargame and Steel Division '44. Each slot is made up of one platoon of units, i.e. each tank slot is made up of 4 tanks, each infantry unit is made up of four squads with transport, and so on and so forth. Mechanically they're standard units plus, and as long as they do their jobs, they get more experience and thus better at their jobs. The one thing that sets them apart from standard units is they can acquire special equipment -and use them with 'field requisitions', or what would be known as 'upgrades' previously- with 'Requisition Points' provided via 'Dynamic missions' in multiplayer and skirmish outside the campaign or succeeding in completing secondary and secret objectives during the campaign. The Requisition Points you acquire in the campaign is separate from the ones you acquire in the skirmish/multiplayer. Special equipment works similar to the upgrade system in Tom Clancy's EndWar, as they give vehicles various abilities.

For example a Core Army IFV can acquire an specialist system that is a multi-role missile, which allows it to provide a little more anti-helicopter firepower in the field. A fraction of the specialist equipment can be utilized either immediately or relatively immediately, while the rest are locked behind a unit's experience and this is especially so for the powerful special equipment. The Core Army's experience is persistent, and the unit's total experience will be reduced as the unit takes casualties and if the entire unit is wiped out then you'll get the equivalent of raw recruits. So, keep them as healthy as possible. Outside the initial units you bring with you when a game/mission starts, you have to use resources and deploy them for a fraction of the unit's cost.

Now when you start a game or a campaign mission that isn't 'tactical', you get a Headquarters, which serves as a ConYard and initial requisition center. In addition to those, it can be upgraded with 'Convoy Modules' which allows you to process larger and larger supply convoys that come off from the map. These supply convoys come from what are called 'deployment zones' -named as such as they are the locations where you can deploy your core army and get your supplies- and move to the nearest command building with Convoy Modules. These convoys come in two flavors: road (the most common, if slow and can tweak their route to avoid known obstacles like mines and destroyed roads, both of which can be dealt with engineers) and rail (reliant on the state of the map's rail network, which can be damaged... but if you get a train in then you've just got a massive resource boost). There are locations on the map that make excellent choke points or defensive positions, and if you deploy a CV to one of these zones you can see everything within this zone and a bit further outward.

If you want to build in any of these zones that doesn't have your HQ in it, then you'll need a Firebase Command Center which is created by using a Firebase Core. Once you have a Firebase Command Center set up, you can use the zone to it's fullest. Making a firebase is easy but requires you to sent materials between your HQ and the various firebases. Firebases can get supplies by rail and road like your off-map supplies so take it into consideration as well. Firebases are incredibly useful as they can house all sorts of things like static artillery, defenses, supply depots, repair bays, armories, barracks, and for the larger zones (i.e. all deployment zones and the larger key zones) airstrips. These airstrips allows you to have VTOL/STOL aircraft able to react more quickly to front-line breaches and give better support to your frontline units. The amount of defenses that these bases -and your HQ- can construct can turn them into magnets. This can be both a blessing and a curse. If an attack is repulsed, then you got a lot of wrecks to salvage, if the base gets overrun, then your supply lines are in trouble.

Later in a game -or somewhere around the first half for everyone but Nod in the campaign- you get access to refineries. These buildings give you access to harvesters who go out onto the field and harvest two things: tiberium and salvage. When a vehicle unit -be aircraft or ground vehicle- is destroyed and not in a Tib-field, it leaves behind 75% of it's cost in scrap. Harvesters can salvage this scrap and drop it off at the refinery for resources. If the scrap gets damaged, this number actually decreases so it is viable to shoot at scrap to damage it and thus make it less useful. This also gives more risk to a base assault, as if it fails and you didn't/couldn't make a proper retreat then you've just given your opponent a shot in the arm. A very BIG shot in the arm...

In combat, you see that the entire map has it's terrain mapped out. Every neutral building, the areas that designate the various deployment and key zones, the roads and rails, everything not player related is known. The problem is that the Fog of War is still around and you'll need to have someone keeping an eye on things. This means you have to deploy recon -or other units with wide view range like infantry- assets to find the enemy and prepare to counter his/her forces and strategies. Vision mechanics aren't that straight forward however, as each unit has a 'stealth' rating, which can effect how far away a non-detector unit can 'see' the unit. In addition to that, terrain like forests reduce the vision envelope 'looking in' to a quarter -for non-detectors- or a third -for detectors- of their range. When fighting in urban areas, anything taller than a three-story building will block your line of sight (completely for ground units, with blind spots for air units) and you can only see what is in the windows of the building making urban combat an absolute nightmare to fight in if you want to take the area somewhat intact. This means you have to keep producing recon units -be ground or air- for the entire game or get your units slaughtered by bad intel. Recons will also be important due to their detection capabilities which nullify enemy cloaked -what would be called 'stealth' in other games- units.

Construction is reliant on your resource flow. The first thing you have to do is to select your HQ or firebase command center and cue up the building you want and the cost for the building drains from your reserves at a rate dependent on the total price tag and how long it is to get the materials ready. Once there, you select where to unpack it and finish construction (time to construct depends on the faction, Nod and the GLA have the fastest construction times while the USA and EF have the slowest with China, the Cartel Consortium, GDI, and Russia sitting somewhere in between) and you can only build better buildings when certain perquisites have been achieved (i.e. the Vehicle Depot -where vehicles are procured by every faction in the game- requires you to have a Level 2 Supply Convoy attachment to your HQ or firebase Command Center). Quite a few buildings have add-ons of various sizes to go with the buildings like refineries and command buildings get on-site storage units that increase your zone's overall resource capacity and extensions to produce better units (like various armories to allow your barracks to unlock units and procure enhancements that range from new weapons to new abilities). It's that simple for the vast majority of the buildings. Some buildings -mostly anything under the 'earthworks' category (i.e. trench networks and the like) or the GLA's various tunnel entrances- requires you to have combat engineers available.

Now in this game, it's all well and good to attack the enemy but that doesn't mean shit if you can't get the resources to turn into the weapons that are required to win the battle. That means you have to defend your assets -i.e. bases- from harm. Now, if you have played other RTS games, this is easier said than done. In this case, it's harder to attack a defended position than it is appears to be. The reason why is that in a unit-defense engagement, the defenses have longer range than units in general (unless it's artillery defenses where they're roughly the same in terms of engagement range). It's far easier to fight when your ranges are already pre-calculated while sitting still than constantly moving and adjusting. Defenses come into two categories: 'Earthworks' -i.e. trenches, makeshift bunkers, sandbag dugouts, lightly armored towers, the like- and 'permanent' -i.e. concrete bunkers, turrets, the like. The difference between the two is concise: 'Earthworks' require very little money to set up (all you need is some combat engineers and time) and require units to man them while 'permanent' defenses -as a general rule- don't require units to man them and require more time and money than simple Earthworks. Earthworks -and other garrison-able defenses- vastly increase the range that the garrisoned can fight at.

Combat is a lot more nuanced than your usual fare as weapons are defined solely by their method of attacking the enemy, that's simply the delivery system as it were, but by how they do damage. All units have some sort of armor on their person or vehicle. This armor has specific values for various weapons that are available, and the types are:
  • KE-Bullet: Basic anti-infantry damage type. Every rifle, pistol, SMG, PDW, and MG uses this damage. Useless against anything with more than the lightest of vehicular armor.
  • Light HE: Light AoE damage type. Grenades, mortars, light howitzers, light rockets, autocannon, MANPADs, and many tank gun launched HE rounds utilize this damage type. Extremely effective against lightly armored vehicles and all but the most armored of infantry.
  • AHEAD: Basic anti-air/CWIS damage type, anti-air cannon/autocannon systems utilize this ammunition exclusively. AA units rarely use anything else.
  • Chemical Energy: Basic anti-vehicle/defense damage type. HEAT and EFPs belong in this category.
    • Chemical Energy Multi-Purpose: HEAT/EFPs with limited AoE.
  • KE-AP: Basic anti-vehicle damage type. APFSDS, APHE, and similar rounds fit in this category.
  • Electro-Magnetic: An advanced anti-vehicle damage type that is an advanced form of kinetic round. Due to the shear velocity, it gains it's own category and is a hit-scan weapon.
  • Heavy HE: Heavy AoE damage type. Medium and heavy howitzers, heavy rockets, SAMs, AAMs, and all bombs use this damage type. It's pretty much the 'anti-everything' weapon.
  • Thermobolic/Incendiary: The anti-infantry damage type with great anti-building capabilities. Useless against everything else but does things like kill enemies inside structures, turn tiberium mutants into tiberium barbecue, and roast buildings. Anything with effective armor are all but immune to this damage however... and that includes most AFVs.
  • Chemical: Useful as an area denial weapon as it deals damage over time against most units but is lethal to unprotected -i.e. those without enhanced NBC packages- infantry if left in a contaminated area for too long, used exclusively by the GLA.
  • Tiberium: Only vehicle armor can survive being in a tiberium field, infantry expire rather quickly if they stay within tiberium for more than a few dozen seconds at best. Only the Cabal use this as a weapon and it's devastating to all but a select handful of -heavily armored- infantry units.
  • Energy-Light: Advanced anti-vehicle/aircraft/CWIS damage type. Comes in two flavors: pulse (better at defeating armored targets but can only attack one unit at a time and dumps all it's damage into a single target) and beam/continous wave (better at destroying a lot of lightly protected targets at once, but does damage over time).
  • Energy-Plasma: An extremely potent anti-everything damage type... depending on the weapon itself. Example, the US and GDI TEL (Tube-launched, Electo-optically tracked, Laser-Guided) missile is incredibly powerful against tanks, but useless against buildings and infantry as it uses plasma as a jet instead of an expanding sphere.
All of these weapons show up one way or another in a game, depending on what faction you are playing as. All armor in the game -including those you get from field requisitions- has a series of modifiers to the penetration of the various damage types and a number representing armor thickness. For example the armor of a GDI or US tank is of the composite type and it tells chemical, tiberium, and KE-Bullets where to stuff it with the penetration modifier being 0% (i.e. it's immune) but it only is highly effective against Chemical-Energy weapons, Incendiaries/Thermobolics, and Light HE (50%, 10%, and 15% effectiveness respectively) while leaving KE-AP untouched (100%, i.e. no modifier) and doesn't soften the blow as much against Energy-Light (120%, i.e. adds another 20% to the penetration value) and Energy-Plasma (150%, i.e. adds another 50% to the penetration value!).

Once a penetration takes place, damage is directly applied to the target's health pool (which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't much) and if the damage overmaches the health pool, then insta-death for the unit in question. That means the unit doesn't have a chance to be simply disabled... which means infantry can get captured (and get 50% of the base value of the unit into your account with the addition of your intelligence facility able to exchange said prisoners for intel) and ground vehicles and helicopters are rendered slow and useless while fixed wing aircraft RTB outright after a certain amount of damage is sustained.

Each ammo type also has various quirks. For example, anything with the KE designation (i.e. APFSDS, APHE, the like) gains penetration the closer you are to the target. In addition to these quirks, the armament card shows what sort of rounds it has in it's arsenal. For example a 120mm ETC cannon has a KE-AP, a Chemical Energy Multi-Purpose, and a Light HE round. All of these are fired by the unit with the weapon mounted at the appropriate targets... as long as the ammo supply holds out. That's right, ammo and fuel are tracked alongside of health in this game. That means you'll need to keep logistic vehicles on call at all times... and taking these vehicles out is a high priority so defend them. While they can't replenish infantry squads or repair vehicles in the field -that requires repair vehicles- logistical vehicles haul a lot of fuel and ammo for your troops and can get resupplied at your HQ/Command Center or logistic depots. While supplies are -effectively- unlimited, it is their production that is a bottleneck as HQs and logistics depots can only produce so much logistical supplies, and it is advised to have multiple logistics depots in each base you construct. Base defenses still require a logistical support, but simply having a HQ/Command Center or a logistics depot is enough.

Ok, since we've started on the basics, I'll go into the the more nitty gritty. There are several factions that you'll play as in your games, each has a certain playstyle that you have to master.

The Main Factions are:
  • USA: The Elite-Technical faction, lots of expensive but powerful units with various abilities that can tip the tide of battle heavily into your favor when used right. Heavily reliant on airpower to win the day, but their ground-game isn't that bad. Their defenses tend to be weak in structural integrity but have long-vision and excellent damage characteristics... some of which also have abilities that make them as useful as when you first get them. Unlike everyone else, the USA has elite infantry options for every occasion -ranging from stealthy-but-explosion happy SEAL teams to 'smooth-and-slick' Delta Force Operatives- to make your enemies' lives miserable when use right.
  • GDI: The Powerhouse-Steamroller faction, while it takes a while for a GDI player to get moving, their above-average -with good defense values- basic units backed by extremely powerful late-game units makes it all worth it. Their defenses tend to be very solid in terms of sturdiness and range but have average damage and vision characteristics and their production buildings have limited self-defense systems. Their specialty is the Jack-of-All-Trades, but runs into the problem that outside of their unique units they aren't going to win any contests. The thing with GDI is that if you let them keep their units long enough to gain a lot of experience, they become forces to be reckoned with. Oh, and their ultimate infantry unit -the Blacklight Operators- is probably the most expensive unit GDI has but if left to their own devices they can wreck absolute havoc.
  • Russia: The outright Steamroller faction. Very slow going at first but have slightly above-average units to keep rushes from being a major problem. Once the steamroller gets running though, it takes a lot of force to stop it. Their defenses are hard hitting, below-average in price, and have mediocre range but can be constructed rapidly and far sooner than their counterparts. Their artillery and tanks are some of the best however, so be prepared with their counters to minimize this superiority.
  • China: The Balanced-Horde faction. The most important attributes of China's units is that they're all glass cannons and have far more larger vision and slightly higher engagement ranges than their counterparts in other armies. This makes them incredibly good in the recon game, but with their frailty that means they still require similar amounts of recon units to stay relevant in the game. Now China's units are split between Conscripts and Regulars. Conscripts have average-damage weapons but are cheap with bonuses when in larger-than-average groups. The Regulars are average in cost but have good firepower, their best uses are supporting the conscripts and causing havoc in enemy back-lines. The biggest problem is that they lack a lot super-heavy equipment and their defenses rely on garrisoning units to be effective.
  • GLA: The Technical-Guerrilla faction and everyone's most hated fictional terrorist organization. Their units are overall weak, as much of the equipment is basically one or two generations behind in terms of capability. They are -however- cheap and come with a variety of abilities backed with far better stealth than they appear. This entire faction is focused on esoteric abilities, their stealth, and misdirection. Many of their buildings can be decoys that can be switched to functioning ones for a small price, and many of them have the ability to vastly increase their stealth rating... which includes their defenses. When a zone is captured, they can construct infantry and vehicular tunnel entrances to expand their ever increasing tunnel network and this allows them to shift their forces across the map in a blink of an eye. In addition to their stealth, any GLA player an send out Salvagers who salvage whatever they can -including supplies and resources- from the wrecks of GLA's enemies to enhance their units.
  • Cabal Consortium: the Subversive faction of the game. The Cabal starts out looking like something similar to Atlas in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, as many of the initial units are average in terms of cost and capabilities with a sight stealth and durability advantage but once the Cabal feel that the gloves come off, then it's a cloak-a-paluza. The one major disadvantage that the Cabal has is that their structures -particularly their permanent defenses- pig out on power... and their bases are extremely compact, making a conventional base assault with a Cabal facility a pain in one's ass... or easy as pie when you simply bomb the place with bombers and heavy artillery.
  • Brotherhood of Nod: The Subversive-Guerrilla faction of the game. Their advantages is units with above average speed, stealth, and firepower but average in defense and vision range and at an average cost. They have a limited selection of defenses and work well in an ambush but can do a frontal assault as well.
  • European Federation: the Turtle-Steamroller faction. They have the strongest defenses of any of the factions with incredibly durable units to match. Like Russia, they start out slow but turtling is an effective strategy with them. Attacking a turtling EF player without a plan is a recipe for gutting yourself and allows the eventual counterattack to be a teeming mass of death and metal. Like GDI their buildings have self-defense abilities but at a much higher level.
  • The Scrin: the Powerhouse alien faction that shows up in the third game. Like the US they own the skies while many of their ground units can really crush enemy combatants under their metaphorical boots. They utilize a lot of tiberium weaponry as well, just to make thing more horrible for your troops. In addition, they rely on Tiberium extraction almost exclusively for their resources and supplies.
Then -over the series of games- there are 'minor' factions, which can be used in Skirmish mode but aren't playable factions in campaign mode.
  • North Korea: The Subversive-Horde minor faction. They show up in the first game for the first chapter of the US and GDI campaigns, as you are going to be fighting against them. They have mostly cheap sub-par equipment but that have excellent stealth characteristics. Their artillery however is top notch and isn't something to be trifled with.
  • Iran: The Balanced-Powerhouse minor faction. You get to fight against these guys in the first game and are the GLA's enemy in their campaign's first chapter. The Iranians will force you to be inventive as possible with your tactics, as fighting in a straight forward fight will screw you over. They have no real weaknesses or strengths in their stats.
  • Israel: The Turtle-Powerhouse minor faction. In the campaign of the first game you will be fighting with the Israelis when you play as the US and GDI while you fight against the Israelis as the GLA. They are characterized as a turtling version of the US, with units that are slower than their counterparts but compensate that with immense amounts of protection and firepower.
  • The Forgotten: The Subversive-Powerhouse minor faction in the second and third games. Made up of tiberium mutants, they are healed by tiberium and are extremely weak against fire. The subversive aspect is due to the fact that they utilize older equipment which isn't as effective against modern equipment. Can be acquired by GDI and Nod as -effectively- auxiliaries to your core army during the campaigns of the second and third games.
  • Worshipers of Tiberium: The Subversive-Technical version of the Brotherhood of Nod. As the name implies they worship tiberium despite Kane's warnings about the material. Love to use tiberium weapons for pretty much everything though. Shows up in several arcs in the Nod campaign in the first game, and shows up as the overarching enemy for GDI in the second game.
While each faction has units for similar roles (i.e. line infantry units tend to be those that fight in the front lines, recon units go around and look for the enemy, the like) but with the 'flavor' that each faction has. Each infantry squad is different as the numbers fluctuate from 2 -the various sniper teams using this number- to 15 soldiers and each platoon -which is what unit production uses as the smallest unit- can range from 1 -only available to 'CV' units- to 6 squads or vehicles per platoon. This setup is mostly due to the fact that the maps are immense now, and simply commanding individual vehicles and infantry squads in such environs would be tedious.

Now, you will ask why I'm not putting naval warfare into the mix, it's because due to the shear combat differences that makes it hard to implement naval operations without making ground-side operations comparatively useless. While there are riverine craft available for use, their use is limited to large rivers and are only armed with AFV weapons at best. Although, if you want to transport large amounts of solders and equipment in a river-laden map, using riverine transports and have riverine escorts is a good idea in general.

Aircraft usage can be divided into two groups: off-map based and on-map based. Off-map based aircraft are slightly more durable, have heavier combat loads, can't be harmed by most weapons unless their name is SAM or Triple-A, and are faster as they all take off from carriers or genuine airfields and are vectored in by 'Air Control Stations' which have only a limited amount of secure links. Each deployment zone will allow a secure entry point for aircraft, which means you can use them more effectively. The problem is that they are expensive pieces of kit to start out with, take a while to 'Triple R' (i.e. Rearm, Repair, and Refuel), and they can't stay on the battlefield as long as their on-map brethren. For most factions, they can use forward observers (i.e. recon infantry) to improve on the capabilities of their aircraft, especially with the US, EF, and GDI who love to use 'smart' munitions like candy... which is only intercept-able by Energy-Light, AA spec'd electro-magnetic, and AHEAD weapon types.

On-map based aircraft can be requisitioned from airstrips and mostly consist of VTOL and STOL aircraft and helicopters. They have less in terms of combat load, are less armored, but have better combat endurance as they are there right on the front lines and have shorter turn-around times. These can be quite useful in 'fire brigade' duties or hunting small units of enemy troops.

Now the campaign is something of a tutorial and a trainer. The AI is designed to simulate a human player (including making mistakes) at various skill levels and constrained by the same rules as the player, this no 'cheating AI' problem that gets thrown around constantly. Each campaign has parts that become what is effectively 'joint' chapters, where two or more factions are effectively on the same side fighting the same enemy. Quite a few of these are rather overt, while others have one faction playing to the shadows and the other getting suspicious lucky breaks. Each campaign is made up of portions called 'chapters', and each chapter is made up of a series of key missions and a slew of secondary missions that not only help you out in further missions but make the endgame mission -the last mission of a chapter- not as challenging. These side missions are optional, but allow the protagonist faction that you're fighting against have battlefield advantages like better intelligence, better supply lines, and the like. These side missions tend to be harder than the main missions however, so be careful.

Each campaign is set up in a similar fashion:
  • The Prologue Chapter is effectively a giant faction-specific tutorial designed to get you acquainted with the faction's quirks and abilities. Some of these are the aforementioned 'joint' chapters.
  • The Chapters from here on out is effectively fighting against what the faction you've picked considers 'antagonist' factions. They generally have both solo and joint missions and chapters a plenty.
  • The last chapter for a campaign is the ENDGAME chapter, which as the title says represents the faction's ENDGAME for the war that is happening. Everyone has an Endgame that they want to implement, and at it's most basic it's to survive the coming changes on Earth.
Now, the factions tend to have relationship trees. Factions that they can tolerate, factions that they hate, and factions that are neutral towards to name a few. For example, the GLA hates everyone but Russia and the Cabal supports them covertly to further their own goals across the planet. In comparison GDI is a 'frienemy' to Nod, and an ally of Israel, Iran, South Korea, and the US while having cool relations with the EF and the Chinese. All the while GDI is enemies with the GLA, Russia, and the Cabal.

Now here are how I would do the campaigns for the first 'war' of the game:
  • GDI: (One of the clear 'good guys' in the series, but more often than they want, they make some horrible choices to enforce the peace... if there has to be a theme for GDI overall, Sabaton's Light in the Black would be it)
    • Prelude: The Second Korean War
      • North Korea had unexpectedly invaded South Korea! GDI, US, and South Korean forces must marshal to stop the North Korean military machine and end the threat of North Korea once and for all.
    • Chapter 1: The Third Intifada
      • It's another day in the Palestinian Peacekeeping Zone West Bank, until the GLA supply the Palestinians with a military force and start the Third Intifada. GDI must work with Israeli forces to ensure that peace is restored. The Palestinians have been worked up to such a fervor and will run into the guns, effectively forcing GDI and the Israelis to only leave children and the elderly behind as the Intifada continues to it's bloody end. This would lead to the campaign to be nicknamed as 'the Palestinian Ketsugō' in-universe.
    • Chapter 2: Eastern European Escalation
      • Russia has invaded Europe! GDI must work with the European Federation to defend European territory from Russia.
    • Chapter 3: The Egyptian Uprising
      • The GLA have toppled the recovering Stratocratic government of Egypt. Working alone against the GLA, GDI must work to kick out the GLA and restore order.
    • Chapter 4: The Serbian Intervention
      • The ever volatile Balkans are at it again, GDI must spearhead a peacekeeping force to ensure the peace with elements of the US and EF. The Brotherhood dislikes the situation and is working with GDI in the sidelines.
    • Chapter 5: The South China Seas Incident
      • China has been making odd moves in the South China Seas as of late. While the US and it's allies are trying to put out every fire in their spheres, GDI must work with the Philippines to stop Chinese expansionism.
    • Chapter 6: Operation Liberation
      • The GLA have overthrown the Kabul government! GDI must move quickly to kick out the GLA.
    • Chapter 7: Safari Hunt
      • In West Africa, various governments have mysteriously fallen apart despite their stability and INOPS's data suggests that this is due to the mysterious 'Cabal Consortium' that has been running around. GDI must deploy with US forces into the area to ensure stability and find the culprits.
    • Chapter 8: Nod's True Colors
      • Nod's little civil war has caused problems in Libya and a major faction has started spreading Tiberium in the name of Kane despite completely rejecting the idea altogether. GDI must work with Kane's personal guard -the Legion of Kane- to stomp this rogue faction from making things worse.
    • Chapter 9: Act of War
      • The Cabal has attacked Washington DC! GDI must help US forces in pushing them out of the East Coast of the US.
    • Chapter 10: The Brotherhood Question
      • The Brotherhood of Nod have been attacking EF and US forces in South Africa. GDI must investigate and catch the culprit.
    • Chapter 11: The Beginning of the End
      • As more and more of the world descends into chaos, GDI must work to keep the peace while the EF and US are struggling to keep the fires from spreading. GDI must move into the jungles and mountains of South America to quell the violence there.
    • Chapter 12: All Quiet on the Eastern Front
      • The war with Russia on the European Front has been going slow but smoothly. GDI must assist US and EF forces in the campaign for Kiev...
    • Chapter 13: Operation ENDGAME
      • The GLA have started to attack Israel and Jordan in full force. GDI must move in to assist the beleaguered defenders and push the GLA back.
  • US: (Another of the clear 'good guys' in the series, but suffers from the problems of a rapidly changing world and facing choices that don't go well with their morals)
    • Prelude: The Second Korean War
      • The Korean War has kicked off again, and the US must help it's ally South Korea end the North Korean threat once and for all with the help of GDI.
    • Chapter 1: The Fall of Iraq
      • The current president of Iraq, one Raabiya el-Saidi, is requesting help on crushing the spillover from the GLA fighting in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The US swiftly responds but finds out that it is a loosing battle...
    • Chapter 2: Air-Land Battle
      • Russia has invaded Europe! The US must work with the European Federation to push the Russians back.
    • Chapter 3: Hunt in West Africa
      • The CIA has intelligence that the corporations in Southwest Africa have been making odd purchases of restricted goods and the analyst-defying destabilization of the governments there. The US has sent you to investigate and find the true culprits.
    • Chapter 4: The Pakistan Incident
      • The GLA have taken over much of Afghanistan from the Kabul government and have started to invade Pakistan. The US must fight with Chinese forces to keep the GLA from taking the country.
    • Chapter 5: Return to Vietnam
      • Events of the South China Seas have escalated! The US sends forces to Vietnam to be a tripwire against Chinese expansionism. The real culprit is a Cabal unit trying to kick off a war between the US and China to effectively wipe them both out.
    • Chapter 6: The British Intervention
      • Britain is being invaded! The European Federation has invaded Britain due to very damning evidence that much of it's elected government funded the Forgotten Army. The US can't allow the European Federation to occupy Britain. Nod is trying to help the US in the shadows while the Cabal is trying to escalate the conflict.
    • Chapter 7: Return to Serbia
      • The Balkans have become on fire, again. Elements of US, EF, and GDI forces must work together to put out this fire... ... while Nod works from the shadows in assistance as the situation is more than it seems.
    • Chapter 8: Act of War
      • The US has been invaded! The US East Coast is under attack by Cabal forces and must work with GDI to stomp out the invaders.
    • Chapter 9: The Taiwan War
      • China -paradoxically- has started to invade Taiwan. The US must help Taiwan push back the Chinese landing forces off the island.
    • Chapter 10: Faltering Prospects
      • Iraq and Saudi Arabia have fallen to the GLA, the US must back Iranian forces to keep the GLA from taking the nation. You'll be working with Iranian and GDI forces for this one.
    • Chapter 11: Upset
      • As the war with Russia continues in Europe, the US faces it's greatest upset...
    • Chapter 12: End of Pax Americana
      • The US forces in Egypt must fight for their lives as GLA forces overwhelm the Egyptians.
    • Chapter 13: Operation Final Flag
      • The US must have one final battle against the expansionist Chinese for the fate of the South China Seas...
  • Russia: (one of the 'bad guy' factions and the things they do may leave you feeling sick at times)
    • Prelude: Whispers in the Dark
      • As the world changes, so do the Whispers. You'll initially help the GLA to destabilize the caucuses and then dispose of them after Russia 'intervenes'.
    • Chapter 1: Operation Red Dawn
      • In order for Russia to be secured in the new world that is to come, Russia must secure it's borders and Eastern and Central Europe make Russia's European border impossible to secure. So Russia must wage a war of conquest on Europe to ensure Russia is forever secured.
    • Chapter 2: Operation Manchukuo
      • China has always been a threat to Russia since the 1960s and more so during the 1980s onward. This threat must be eliminated.
    • Chapter 3: Operation Broken Glass
      • The West have pushed Russia out of Poland. We must retake Poland at all costs.
    • Chapter 4: The Forgotten Army Incident
      • An uprising in Kaliningrad has occurred. Crush it completely and utterly.
    • Chapter 5: Return to Georgia
      • The GLA have done their job and have completely destabilized Georgia. Move in to 'liberate' the nation.
    • Chapter 6: Operation Mars
      • Russian Forces have been stalled at Warsaw itself. We must secure Warsaw no matter the cost. Problem is, this goal is impossible...
    • Chapter 7: Operation Jupiter
      • China has reversed our gains in Manchuria. These gains must be retaken immediately. Like in Operation Mars, this is an impossible task and you'll fight a fighting retreat out of Manchuria to defend Russian land...
    • Chapter 8: Shadow Daggers
      • We must covertly support the GLA in their campaign in Turkey so we can 'liberate' it. Make it happen. This... will not go as planned.
    • Chapter 9: Operation Ares
      • China has started it's counter invasion. It must be stopped!
    • Chapter 10: Operation Citadel
      • The Westerners have pushed us out of Poland and have invaded Russian territory. Carry out the counter attack.
    • Chapter 11: Silencing the Lambs
      • The Brotherhood of Nod have been starting to cause problems for the Motherland. Exterminate them and their supporters.
    • Chapter 12: The End of Pax Americana
      • We must make a decisive blow against the Americans in Europe. Make sure that Kaliningrad is their grave. You'll bloody the US, but in the end Kaliningrad will be liberated and returned to Germany...
    • Chapter 13: March of the Defenders of Kiev
      • The Westerners have pushed us back as far as Kiev. Break their attack and secure Russia for the next conflict.
  • China: (a 'neutral' in the series and is only in this to secure China's future in the first game, by any means necessary by their moral code...)
    • Prelude: The Tibet Uprising
      • The GLA have made in-roads with the Tibetan Secessionist movements. Eliminate them.
    • Chapter 1: Defenders of Manchuria
      • Russia has invaded Manchuria! China must make a counterattack to at least blunt the Russian advance...
    • Chapter 2: Vietnam
      • The situation in Southeast Asia is perplexing. There have been reports of China's military in the area despite the fact that there have been none assigned to the area. Finding out what is happening must be your top priority. You find out that it's the Cabal with replicated Chinese gear that have been sowing discord, eventually turning the US from an enemy to an 'enemy of my enemy'...
    • Chapter 3: Return to Tibet
      • Tibet Secessionists are at it again with blatant GLA support. Find out how deep and how far this corruption goes.
    • Chapter 4: The Pakistan Liberation
      • The GLA have toppled the Afghanistan government and have started to move into Pakistan. We must join forces with whatever forces the US have on site and push these barbarians back.
    • Chapter 5: The East Africa Intervention
      • The governments in Africa have been falling one after another under mysterious circumstances. We must protect our current holdings in Africa.
    • Chapter 6: Homeland Defense
      • Russia has counterattacked. Manchuria must be secured for the future of China.
    • Chapter 7: Return to East Africa
      • The Cabal have started to overtly supplant our established governments in East Africa. Destroy them completely and utterly.
    • Chapter 8: The Dissolution of the Corporate Cities
      • Chinese Intelligence has discovered that corporations that support the Cabal are within China itself. China has dissolved the charters of the Corporate Cities. Move in and eliminate any and all Cabal forces and cease everything.
    • Chapter 9: Hong Kong Under Siege
      • The GLA have somehow invaded Hong Kong. Eliminate the barbaric invaders completely and utterly.
    • Chapter 10: Invasion of Taiwan
      • Taiwan has been a thorn in China's backside for too long. Taiwan must become part of Chinese territory. Problem is, this invasion fails miserablyand ends with a truce.
    • Chapter 11: Bastion of the East
      • The Russians are making one last push into Chinese territory. We must ensure that this invasion fails.
    • Chapter 12: End of a World in Peace
      • The GLA have started their march on Chinese-aligned states on the Saudi Peninsula. We must ensure that they don't overthrow our nation's hard work in the region, and you'll be working with GDI on this one. This campaign is impossible with the stated goals, so it becomes a complete route by the end of the chapter.
    • Chapter 13: Smiling Buddha
      • The counter-invasion into Russian Lands has come. To secure the future of China, we must take out the Russian East Military District completely.The campaign becomes a slugging match that both sides can't avoid, ending the campaign with a negotiated peace and orders to prepare for round two.
  • GLA: (another 'bad guy' faction, and are considered completely despicable and worthy of the title Hostis humani generis)
    • Prelude: Revolt in Iran
      • The GLA have taken much of the provinces on the border of Iran and Iraq, and GLA high command believes it is time to stage an uprising against the Iranians. This uprising fails completely due to the Iranians hating the GLA and Iran's allies coming to it's aid.
    • Chapter 1: Desert Dawn
      • After the humiliating defeat in Iran and Iraq, the GLA must nurse it's wounds. GLA high command's new plan is to secure a foothold in southern Iraq, the entirety of Kuwait, and the northern regions of Saudi Arabia.
    • Chapter 2: Dawn of a Caliphate
      • After our successes in southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia, we now have the forces to fight against the US backed Iraqi government. We must secure as much of Iraq as possible for GLA high command's plans.
    • Chapter 3: Final Nail in Syria
      • With much of Iraq under GLA control, GLA high command has sent your force into Syria to fully dismantle the government there. Be warned, Russian forces are working with the Syrians and must be eliminated as well.
    • Chapter 4: Fall of Egypt
      • With our successes in much of the Middle East, Egypt is primed to be overthrown. Move in and topple the Egyptian government.
    • Chapter 5: The Holy Cities of Islam
      • With Egypt in chaos, the GLA can now move towards the prize in Saudi Arabia: the holy cities of Islam. GLA high command wants them as intact as possible, the use of chemical agents is authorized.
    • Chapter 6: End of the House of Saud
      • The House of Saud has abandoned it's seat and has moved to the south. GLA high command wants this threat removed from play by any means necessary.
    • Chapter 7: Expansion into North-East Africa
      • Despite our setbacks in Egypt, the Northeastern portions of Africa are ripe for the taking. Move in and secure vital positions within these nations for the GLA.
    • Chapter 8: Death to the Jew
      • GLA high command has sent you to support the planned Palestinian uprising against Israel. You are to kill every Jew and friend of a Jew you encounter. In the end you backstab the Palestinians while you retreat as the GDI/Israeli steamroller literally steamrolls the uprising... but not without immense civilian and military fatalities on Israel.
    • Chapter 9: Pakistan
      • GLA high command wants Pakistan and Afghanistan secured for our future operations in India, China, and Iran. This is an impossible task however, as the US, China, and GDI quickly get wind of it and come to assist Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    • Chapter 10: The Tibetan Uprising
      • Despite the setbacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, we must strike into Chinese territory. To that end, we will supply the Tibetan Secessionists with supplies and material. Thing is, China is willing to do do brutal acts to stop the uprising from happening again, making the entire operation useless.
    • Chapter 11: Raising the Forgotten Army
      • There have been rumblings about this 'Forgotten Army' that has been developing. GLA high command proposes that we can use this to our own ends. Move to Southeastern Africa and assist the Forgotten Army. It becomes a Mêlée à Trois between Chinese, GLA, and Cabal forces.
    • Chapter 12: Holding the Line
      • The GLA have been kicked out of Egypt and Turkey and GLA's enemies are moving to crush the GLA. Go to the Sinai and stop the infidels from pushing us back.
    • Chapter 13: The Scorpion Caliphate
      • GLA high command has decided that we must consolidate what we have before preparing for our next push. You have been sent to Syria and Northern Iraq to secure the borders there.
  • Cabal Consortium: (a clear 'bad guy' in the series, they pretty much are the end point of corporate greed and desire with the willingness to go full Gilded Age)
    • Prelude: Silent Opening Moves
    • Chapter 1: Sowing the Seeds
    • Chapter 2: Reaping the Whirlwind
    • Chapter 3: Hostile Takeover
    • Chapter 4: Leveraged Buyout
    • Chapter 5: Shadow Moves
    • Chapter 6: Stock Crash
    • Chapter 7: Act of War
    • Chapter 8: The Deadly Congo
    • Chapter 9: Controlling Shares
    • Chapter 10: Shadow Manipulation
    • Chapter 11: An OCP
    • Chapter 12: Playerbase
    • Chapter 13: Securing the Future
  • Brotherhood of Nod: (Nod is a... complex... faction in the initial campaign, as they fight quite a few groups, and a lot of it is to prepare for the next campaign set a few years later in what amounts to the First Tiberium War aka Tiberium Dawn)
    • Prelude: 'Humble' Beginnings
    • Chapter 1: Biting the Scorpion's Tail
    • Chapter 2: Insurrection March
    • Chapter 3: 'Civil' Warcraft
    • Chapter 4: Originator Point
    • Chapter 5: Order 626
    • Chapter 6: When in Mother Russia...
    • Chapter 7: Knock, Knock
    • Chapter 8: The Nod Inquisition
    • Chapter 9: No Retreat
    • Chapter 10: No Surrender
    • Chapter 11: Exodus
    • Chapter 12: Securing New Eden
    • Chapter 13: A Tiberium Dawn
  • European Federation: (despite uniting, the European Federation isn't considered a genuine power at the time the campaign is set and most of the campaign is effectively securing Europe from Russia and getting vital resources for it's war machine)
    • Prelude: Operation Safehold
    • Chapter 1: Operation Wilhelm
    • Chapter 2: Operation Reach
    • Chapter 3: Operation Deep Strike
    • Chapter 4: Operation Fortress
    • Chapter 5: The Forgotten Army
    • Chapter 6: Operation Taking the Castle
    • Chapter 7: Operation Ulysses
    • Chapter 8: Operation Wraith
    • Chapter 9: The Forgotten Army
    • Chapter 10: Operation Freedom
    • Chapter 11: Operation Watch on the Vistula
    • Chapter 12: Operation Goalpost
    • Chapter 13: Operation New Dawn
 
Basic idea for basic infantry

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
GDI and the US would be starting out with power armor for their soldiers:

This is partially due to the fact that for both, every soldier counts and each soldier that is dead means it's fuck-hard to replace him/her. The armor on both GDI's and the US's power armor consists of a complex composite of various materials including carbon nanotubes, carbon nanotube musculature, 'hardened' nanotubes, and a metal composite designed to literally negate previous small arms up to AP 7.62NATO rounds and 'low powered' explosives and shrapnel (basically our grenades and artillery have a far SHORTER kill radius), allowing for maximum protection for minimal encumbrance. Against a 20th and early 21st century force? They're practically invulnerable to anything less than an HMG and you'll practically have to drop artillery right on top of them to do more than simply stun them. A very nasty proposition at the end of the day. That is why 'modern' artillery have increased in size and utilize far more powerful explosives, as infantry protection made previous ones obsolete.

Other nations have similar systems, but the GLA and much of Nod and the Cabal rely on cheap, disposable exoskeletons...
 

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