Do you still play C&C? Need help picking the right troops for your global domination tour? We’re going to revisit Kane’s Wrath, the expansion to Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Arguably the best title in the franchise to date, Kane’s Wrath introduced two new sub-factions for each of the three superpowers—GDI, Nod and Scrin. If you are a C&C veteran then this should be common knowledge. If you have no idea what’s happening right now: Google is your friend.
The core changes ultimately transformed the dynamic of your typical multiplayer match by introducing epic units, specialised playstyles and that bloody mechapede. Army selection became more of a big deal, too. The jump from three choices to nine is more than cosmetic. You will find that the rock, paper, scissors mechanic applies when specific factions wage war against each other. You will also notice that some unit combinations are doomed to fail due to inherent balancing issues and other sneaky exploits.
EA no longer provide patch support however there are fan communities invested in achieving some semblance of fair, competitive play. Let’s assume that you’re rolling with the last official update. These are my favourite sub-factions.
The Brotherhood of Nod is essentially a doomsday cult branded by the mainstream as terrorists. One of their splinter cells became its own zealous entity and they focused on elite soldier training. These geniuses created the most overpowered infantry unit in the game, the militant rocket squad.
Airburst rocket launchers are an effective solution for ground armour and air units. When you try to hit agile soldiers, however, those explosives are not that great and tend to either miss or cause minimal harm. So what do you do to obliterate the balance? You add freakin flamethrowers!
Militant rocket squads can be upgraded to include a single flamethrower soldier. Your tech buildings also offer upgrades for better rocket firepower and blue flames! If you manage to spam these guys and group them as one massive pride parade you can march them through just about anything.
You had me at sonic weaponry. The Global Defense Initiative conducted research into fancy ways of controlling crystal tiberium growth. Unlike Nod or the Scrin, GDI do not want this alien resource to smother the world. To combat the ecological threat, and to explore hazardous environments, ZOCOM was founded.
The zone raider troopers are a versatile bunch with sonic guns that clean up infantry, shoulder-mounted rockets that pulverise armour and jump packs that can whisk these guys away from danger. These dudes are quite expensive if you were thinking of a good ol’ spamming session. For best results, be precise. There is a sweet tech building that opens up an orbital strike deployment for a fair $4500. Is there a superweapon that needs to be wiped from the battlefield? Drop these troops in behind enemy lines; they have the gear to demolish critical building assets.
Have your heard of the Mammoth Armed Reclamation Vehicle? It’s an enormous tank that looks like it came out of the 41st millennium. It’s more than just a hunk of metal with three sonic cannons. There are four seats for troops to sit in. I recommend two rocket troops and two engineers to ensure that it is able to self-heal and has anti-air capability.
The MARV has a better practical purpose than being a bullet magnet. The ZOCOM options are fairly expensive, right. And you can only collect so much tiberium with your puny harvesters. Well, guess what? Did you know that the MARV can roll all over crystal fields and can convert those alien resources into instant cash money? It’s true. All for the price of $5000 (reclamator hub not included).
Alien invasions are fun. Especially when you’re the disc-throwing freak leading the assault. Everything about the Scrin is awesome. They heal, rather than perish, in tiberium fields, wield advanced technology and they don’t even need silos to store surplus money.
Traveler-59 are all about air superiority and rapid deployment. The typical strategy here is to spam devastator warships and planetary assault carriers, find an exposed flank in the enemy’s base and then hit hard.
Tech upgrades can boost unit speed and provide energy shields to protect your vulnerable ships. Do it.
The issue with running one of the sub-factions is that your opponent should be able to predict and counter your strategy. You wouldn’t expect Black Hand to overwhelm you with tanks nor would you expect Traveler-59 to coordinate a ground attack. I’m not saying that these unique armies can’t operate outside of their respective doctrines. I’d encourage the odd bluff. Your best chances of achieving victory, though, is to utilise your strengths while being acutely aware of your weaknesses.
The original trio—Nod, GDI and Scrin—offer the best flexibility to adapt to any battlefield situation. If you have a particular strategy in mind can one of those other factions do it better?
What’s your favourite army?