Articles & Editorials: Command and Conquer Boss Generals – A Review

A superb blend of time, patience, coding and balancing has given birth to arguably Zero Hour’s finest game modification: Command and Conquer Boss Generals. This article is dedicated to giving Zero Hour Veterans an insight as to what makes this mod such a great one, and I’ll also explain how the new “General’s Plan” system of ranking works into the game and how it compares to the old “General’s Abilities” system. Also, I will go through the Hero Powers, of which the three hero’s have one each in addition to their old abilities.

The General’s Plan:

Boss Generals adds a whole new method of strategy in Zero Hour: The ability to select one of 3 General Plans, or “Gen. Plans”, at the start of a battle. The Gen. Plans cater to almost everyone’s need; for example, a novice player, playing as the Boss U.S.A. General, can focus on defence early in battle and worry about attacking later with the Tech Devices Gen. Plan. This serves as a counter to Boss China’s Blitzkrieg Gen. Plan. However you play, the Gen. Plans will give you what you would like out of your armies, and more. You are able to select the other two Gen. Plans, further down the line, however once you become a Three-Star General and advance from there, that’s where the more advanced General’s Abilities come into play. Abilities such as Nuclear Carpet Bombing, the Militia Ambush, and the already-famous Massive Ordnance Air Burst (M.O.A.B.), or as we love to call it, the Mother of all Bombs. Ya know, our ideas of fun.

How does this compare with Zero Hour’s General Points system? Well, in my opinion, Boss General’s system is the next logical step; you pick a plan that suits you and helps you get your power, economy, defences etc. up and running smoothly, and you go from there. In Zero Hour, you had to really plan ahead sometimes, which can spoil the fun for you if you get caught off-guard. Needless to say, experienced players rarely get caught in that way, however it does happen. The Gen. Plan system virtually eliminates that aspect, allowing you to focus on other things, because you -already- have your plan-of-action in place right from the word ‘go’.

Now, to touch upon one of the best additions to Boss Generals: The special ‘Hero Powers’ that each Hero Unit can have. Col. Burton’s ‘E-Shock Grenade’ has been known to send even Emperor Tanks flying in the air. Best used against mass groups of units, it also disables vehicles in the blast radius, allowing Burton or an advancing U.S.A. force to make short work of the chaos spread by the E-Shock Grenade. Very, very awesome indeed. Black Lotus’s ‘Seduce’ power is self-titled, really. She darts up to an enemy vehicle, forcing it to defect to your side. However, in my opinion, the point spent on the ability is probably best used elsewhere. Jarmen Kell has -the- most disturbing power. He fires a flare, and where the flare lands, so will the humans – civilians and captured soldiers dropped out of a cargo plane. Without parachutes. The effect is the same as the U.S.A.’s Leaflet Drop, except the demolization effect lasts much longer, allowing a Boss G.L.A. force to slip in and crush the enemy.

There are also a great deal of changes to some of the more familiar units. These changes, however, are all for the better, and they definitely make playing online a great deal more interesting than before. Here are but a few of the changes Boss Generals has made to some of the units. The rest, well, you’ll have to see for yourself. This is what makes Boss Generals so worthwhile: not only do the changes in the units enhance gameplay, but they also both extend the lifespan of Zero Hour -and- they are properly balanced.

Boss General: United States of America

laserpaladin3dj

Laser Paladin Tank

Boss U.S.A. Generals have the ability to build the most technologically advanced Battle Tank on the battlefield: the Laser Paladin. Retaining the shape and form of the original Paladin, yet packing General Towne’s patented Laser Cannon instead of shells, which have rendered both the original Paladin and the Crusader Tank obsolete. Not only that, but the Missle Defence Laser has had an upgrade as well, with a quicker rate-of-fire and an extra boost in power while still retaining the ability to zap infantry that get too close to the tank. However, the only way to build this fantastic Main Battle Tank is by selecting the ‘Assualt’ General’s Plan (i.e. you can’t build it right off the bat).

Boss General: China

Black MiG-46 Tactical Fighter

Black MiG-46 Tactical Fighter

With the U.S.A. claiming superiority in the air with their recent advances in Aircraft Technology in Boss Generals, the Chinese forces smugly withdrew their MiG Fighter from the ranks, and completely remade it from scratch. The improved Black MiG has all but replaced the original model of MiG fighters, and the new features that Boss Generals gives this sleek fighter include: First; a new armour upgrade. Called the “MiG Armour and Flare” upgrade, this gives each and every MiG an armour boost, but it also gives them one Countermeasures Flare. Secondly, the missiles can be upgraded to fire a dual-charge Nuclear-Napalm missle, instead of having the Nuclear Missles replacing the Black Napalm ones. Of course, the Black Napalm upgrade hasn’t been removed. Oh, and the black paint work completely kicks ass.

Inferno-MK2 Cannon:

The Inferno-MK2 has received a very very warm (no pun intended) welcome, as in Zero Hour, Inferno Cannons were just…too…damn…slow at reloading! In order for them to be effective in Zero Hour, you had to build at least four or five, perhaps six, in order to get a decent Firestorm going. Which is all well and good, but they just couldn’t decimate infantry as well as they could buildings, which, being a unit that utilizes fire as a weapon, you would expect it to do. The Inferno MK-2 changes all that. I won’t say anymore, you’ll just have to find out for yourselves…have fun…

Boss General: Global Liberation Army

Toxin Marauder Tank:

This is something G.L.A. fanatics have been praying for, for a very long time…a Marauder with a rotating turret to replace the old fixed turret. Now, G.L.A. Boss Generals have access to this wonder. Toxin Shells upgraded with Anthrax Beta come with the tank, which can also take advantage of the Anthrax Gamma upgrade, giving the Toxin Marauder up to 75% more firepower than a freshly-made, unupgraded Marauder Tank from Zero Hour. Be warned though, one-on-one, the Boss Chinese Overlord Tank will still out-tank a Toxin Marauder, even if all upgrades are purchased and the Marauder has gone through it’s two stages of salvage upgrading (gaining twin barrels like the Overlord has). But, this tank is by far the most flexible tank for it’s cost. Boss Generals allows you to use them at your leisure.

Well, all I can say is a very big congratulations to Maddox and the team at www.bossgenerals.com for creating a very enjoyable and fantastic Zero Hour expansion-modification. They have done a superb job, a big two thumbs up! Futhermore, I recommend this mod to any and all Zero Hour players – You will not be disappointed.

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