This will be a guide to TCMKII and the types of attacks you will see throughout the game. I will give off what an attack may look like, how relatively dangerous it is, ways to do the attack, and counters for the attack. In this guide, I will refer to three different parts of the game: Early, mid, and late. The timing of each stage is not set in stone, but each is definitely recognizable.
Early game is when people initially set up their income and harass enemies.
Mid-game can be marked by several different milestones. The moment someone begins a significantly dedicated attack larger than max Heavy Soldiers, mid game does too. E.g. 7 Heavy Plane rush. This almost always happens before the 60 minute mark.
Late game begins when forces are at their highest and are engaging in all-or-nothing battles, typically going for nothing less than killing all other players.
The purpose of all of this is to provide relatively new players an understanding of the scope of the game. I have also mixed several tips into the guide.
One more thing: While I have played the original game many times and Mk.II a reasonable number, I have not seen everything there is to see. Many kinds of units and attacks will be completely neglected. Only the main ones will be included as of now. I may revisit and add more to the guide.
Early Game Edit
Early game battles do not have a wide range of units, due to money restrictions.
Immediate PP Destroying Edit
Overview: Exactly what it says on the tin. This is where someone builds an income building and someone else attacks it with the initial units and possibly a tiny bit more.
Danger: Since the initial force isn’t very strong, this attack isn’t very dangerous and is a harassment move.
Execution: Feel free to do this kind of attack, but the moment your opponent counters, retreat. Losing your units at the very beginning will essentially lose you the game, since the counter attack will spread to your own income buildings.
Defense: Countering the attack is super easy. Send your own units to attack their units, building a Barracks or a Turret to help.
Heavy Soldier Attack Edit
Overview: Heavies, being the most cost-efficient unit in the game, pose a huge threat early on. This attack is typically in the form of a 10 Heavy Soldier attack on all nearby income buildings, with the soldiers usually supplemented by the starting tank. The soldiers may also arrive via Transport Ship, but the essentials of the attack do not change once the soldiers hit land.
Danger: A Heavy Soldier attack is very dangerous, and MUST be prepared for. If you see your neighbour build a barracks and start to make heavies, it is almost definitely this and an immediate threat.
Execution: Starting by building a barracks, building two PPs, and using the income to make heavies is a legitimate strategy on most maps where two PPs are all you have space to make anyway. Make 10 heavies and attack. If you see a counter force, examine it. If you have spare money or a stronger army, keep fighting. If you have neither, retreat to your command centre. However, I DO NOT suggest beginning this way as it hurts you in the long run.
Defense: The only real way to ensure the safety of your income buildings against this kind of attack is to mirror your opponent. If they build heavies, do the exact same. If you’re lucky, your enemy will see the army and calculate that the odds are not in their favour. If the attack happens, send your own army to fight to the death and try to beat back your opponent until they retreat.
Overview: This is an attack involving a small number of Gun Boats and Battleships. Since these two units have high range, they can destroy coastal targets without fear of any counter attack. The most sadistic variant is the use of Battleships to destroy coastal bases, since Battleships can out-range Command Centres.
Danger: While this does pose an immediate and possibly deadly threat, dealing with it is rather simple and undynamic.
Execution: On maps where most crystals are near coastlines, building a dock and one Battleship is a cost effective and powerful way to harass enemies. Simply get a Battleship and fiddle with its range. There will almost always be a sweet spot where the Battleship can attack, but the enemy cannot. Retreat if a counter force is within range or will be.
Defense: To counter, there are two ways. The first is a basic measure where you put the income building on the inside of the island it is built on. This way, the enemy Battleship may have to get close enough to the coast where your own units can attack it. The second is to build your own dock and your own small navy. This defense will almost certainly drive off the attack.
Plane Attack Edit
Overview: A Plane Attack usually involves a very small number of Heavy Planes. The player can do a surprise attack on undefended income buildings, dealing a powerful blow and running away without significant harm taken.
Danger: This attack is very easy to defend if you know that it’s coming, but nasty if you don’t.
Execution: To do this attack, make Heavy Planes and look for lightly guarded or unguarded income buildings. Destroy them. If a large counter force arrives, run. Heavy Planes are much too valuable to waste, especially in the beginning. Support Centres are an option to supplement Plane Attacks and are useful in mid game. In the long run, Support Centres will save you a lot of cash, lowering the need to sell and remake units, instead allowing you to simply heal them. Medics can also fill this role.
Defense: To defend, be on constant alert. Sending heavies or building Turrets will deter early game Plane Attacks.
Mid-game is much more dynamic than early game, involving more types of units and attacks.
Mixed Attack Edit
Overview: Mixed Attacks will usually involve the following: A way to out-range the enemy, a way to soak up damage, and a way to deal a lot of damage. Artillery and tank combos are what you are generally fighting against.
Danger: This attack, along with the Coastal Bombardment attack below, are the most dangerous mid-game attacks. A Mixed Attack is an immediate and deadly threat that will require full attention.
Execution: Mixed Attacks are always best when they involve Artillery. Artillery are powerful damage platforms that are great for hiding behind high health units. The bare minimum high health unit would be a squad of heavies, but this is not recommended because of unit limits. Make sure your tanking unit has high health and is taking damage for the Artillery, rather than letting the Artillery take damage. A good tanking unit is of course, the Heavy Tank.
Defense: Defending this attack will require ingenuity on the defender’s part, as it is very dynamic. If you don’t want to die to this attack, you will have to take out the damage+range unit, which is usually the Artillery. Turrets, Heavy Soldiers, and possibly RPGs are a good way to beat the front line, and planes can fly behind and attack the flank. All-in-all, there is no one good way to fight Mixed Attacks. There is an immense number of variations, and each requires careful thought.
Hit-and-Run Land Attack Edit
Overview: This is an attack involving high speed units on land. This is typically in the form of Heavy Soldiers on Humvees and Jeeps.
Danger: While this can cause massive damage to income, it is merely a harassment move.
Execution: As with all hit-and-run attacks, fight until you see a significant counter force. When one arrives, retreat.
Defense: Defending against this isn’t very hard, since Hit-and-Run Land attacks don’t have very much firepower. Sending in your general purpose army to drive it off is the fastest, easiest, and best option. Sending your own hit-and-run squad is a terrible idea, since AN EVEN FIGHT IS A BAD FIGHT IN THE LONG RUN.
Air Raid Edit
Overview: This is an upgraded version of the early game Plane Attack. It is simply a maxed number of Heavy Planes doing hit-and-runs with significantly more boldness than early game attacks.
Danger: It may not kill you instantly, but it will destroy everything you have if you don’t dedicate your attention to it.
Execution: Do you seriously need me to tell you how to do a hit-and-run again? Read on, I ain’t telling you.
Defense: Track the movement of your opponent’s air fleet and move your own units accordingly. Build Turrets if absolutely necessary. SAM Turrets are powerful counter-measures, but have a very narrow niche. Same goes for Anti-Air Tanks. Thus, I do not recommend said SAMs or AA Tanks. Air Raids won’t last long against brute force, so you may get them to retreat after some time.
Sea Plane Swarm Edit
Overview: While this is pretty much the same thing as an Air Raid, it requires special attention. Sea Planes are cheap, quick to make, and can easily tear apart Battleships.
Danger: Due to how inexpensive Sea Planes are, it is quite common to see people attack with incredible boldness and attack your base directly. It can be more dangerous than Air Raids, but it can also be weaker.
Execution: Hit-and-run, but also attack mild fortifications if the target is valuable enough. Who cares if you lose a Sea Plane, they only cost 50.
Defense: Same defense as an Air Raid, just with more all-or-nothing elements on the part of the attacker.
Coastal Bombardment Edit
Overview: This attack involves Battleships destroying everything they can reach, which is A LOT. The attacker moves around the map, hitting coastlines until there’s nothing left or a counter force arrives.
Danger: Since Battleships can out-range Command Centres and most kinds of turrets, this attack is an immediate and deadly threat IF they are within range.
Execution: Fiddle around with range to use your Battleships to their full potential. Try to avoid damage from land enemies, and directly attack others if their numbers are small. If confronted by a Sea Plane Swarm, retreat.
Defense: There are four ways to beat back this attack. The best is to use Sea Planes. The second best is to use your own navy. The third best is to use Heavy Planes. The last way is effective but very expensive, which is to use a Railgun. If you can’t get any of these, you’re powerless against this attack and will just have to accept the loss of your coastlines.
Tank Attack Edit
Overview: A Tank Attack doesn’t necessarily need tanks. It is a land force with high total health that mows through any light defense. It’s basically a Mixed Attack without the Artillery or anything that’s not on land. However, for the purpose of this attack, a Heavy Tank is common.
Danger: While not usually dangerous enough to eliminate a player, it can cause massive damage and is much more than a harassment move.
Execution: When attacking, use your discretion. Medics are a good supplement for long battles or campaigns, and retreating is a good idea if you have a Support Centre. If your base is attacked midway, retreat to your base and fight off the invasion. Otherwise, you might as well fight to the death.
Defense: Defense can be done in two ways. The first is by range, and the other is by brute force. There are nearly limitless ways to do this. If you honestly need me to list some at this point, you should be playing a different game.
Space Attack Edit
Overview: An attack made up of a small number of space units. Pretty much the exact same as an early game Plane Attack.
Danger: At this point, you won’t see very high numbers of space units, making this kind of attack laughably weak.
Execution: Don’t. Get Heavy Planes, they’re much more cost effective. The only real advantage of space units is that they fly higher and faster.
Defense: The most minimal brute force should deal be sufficient.
Late Game Edit
Late game is surprisingly unchanged across most games, since making the most powerful army you can will almost always be the same army every time.
All-in Mixed Attack Edit
Overview: This, along with a Mobile Fortress Attack, is one of THE two ways to end a game. Lots of artillery, lots of tanks, Battleships, and planes. This is an incredible attack, and it is extremely hard to defend against.
Danger: A true All-in Mixed Attack is impossible to defend against. Every single time someone sets up a defense, it fails. Every. Single. Time. I’ve seen tens of people defend with confidence, only to fall to the attack. It is code red taken up to eleven. Even if the defender somehow survives, which is exceptionally rare, they’re left with a small fraction of what they initially had.
Execution: Same as a mid-game Mixed Attack, but with more force and more options to attack with.
Defense: The only way to defend is to be preventative. In other words, you must stop the enemy from getting an army that powerful in the first place. You must set your whole game around finding the ultimate destruction strategy before your enemy can.
Mobile Fortress Attack Edit
Overview: Mobile Fortresses are, without a doubt, the most powerful unit in the game. They do enormous damage and are annihilation personified. Even a small number will plow through the most powerful of defenses. Mobile Fortresses are frequently mixed with a swarm of Artillery and cheap-to-make land units.
Danger: A Mobile Fortress attack, if the attacker knows what they’re doing, is impossible to defend against.
Execution: If the enemy doesn’t have a Railgun or their own Mobile Fortresses, you have a 99% chance of victory. In general, you have Artillery and your cheap swarm units on the front line with Mobile Fortresses close behind. The Artillery will pave the way for your Mobile Fortresses, and the front line as a whole will distract fire from attacks such as said Railguns or other Mobile Fortresses. With this strategy, even Railguns can’t stop the attack.
Defense: Same as All-in Mixed Attack. Get your own army before the enemy does.
Space Raid Edit
Overview: An Air Raid, but with a high number of Space Fighters instead. The only advantage a Space Raid has is the ability to destroy targets on high elevations. While an All-in-Mixed or a Mobile Fortress attack is destroying a main base, a Space Raid will be a clean-up crew, going after forgotten enemies and buildings.
Danger: Not a deadly threat, but it can sweep mild fortifications on higher elevations.
Execution: Use this to destroy high elevation enemies. If there are no high elevation enemies, use a typical mid-game Air Raid instead. DO NOT USE MOTHERSHIPS. Motherships are definitely not worth 3 Space Fighters.
Defense: Defend this in the same way as an Air Raid. However, if your situation is bad enough that you actually have to worry about a measly Space Raid in late game, you’ve already lost. Brute force, turrets, and lots of cheap units are counter-measures.
ICBM Launch Edit
Overview: Exactly what it says on the tin. A player launches an ICBM.
Danger: Easy to defend on its own, but it can soften and pave the way for a larger attack. Frequently paired with All-in Mixed and Mobile Fortress attacks.
Execution: To use an ICBM properly, look at the enemy you want to attack and launch the missile at the most dangerous place. However, you might as well buy a Mobile Fortress instead of an ICBM. Take my personal opinion with a grain of salt, but I think that a Mobile Fortress is a more powerful and worthwhile investment than an ICBM. Mobile Fortresses are capable of more destruction and have high endurance.
Defense: Radiation Centres are the most obvious defense. In the aftermath of the explosion, Repairmen work great. Once the ICBM hits, prepare for an invasion of whatever size army the enemy has.
General Tips Edit
Here are some things I’ve learned while playing:
- Income buildings on the inside of both islands and bases.
- Be on alert at all times.
- An even fight is a bad fight in the long run.
- Be quick and decisive.
- Remember that 120 minutes is not a lot of time to do everything.
- Exploiting range is essential to win.
- Motherships are not worth 3 planes.
- You want to win the game, not just one battle.