Articles & Editorials: Real Rushing VS Massing

On many RTS games, especially C&C, people talk about the strategies they use. One of the most controversial is rushing. Many people hate, going as far as setting time limits on games such as in C&C Generals and Zero Hour. While rushing is bashed constantly, there has been a big mixup between rushing and massing. I would like to correct many in this: Massing and Rushing are often mixed up and confused. The latter takes skill, while massing is spamming unit after unit.

People always talk about rushing, even me. I say it’s a good plan. However, other people dont mean the same thing I do. They say no rush for 10 or 15 minutes, but by then, its no longer a rush. Its a mass of +++ tanks or +++ infantry. Why do people hate masses? Because its hard to defend against. I myself have been constantly frustrated by players massing tank after tank after tank or infantry. That takes no skill whatsoever. They overwhelm defences that can’t target them all and completely destroy anything unless you have a force of equal size. However, people call that rushing. Having a “gazillion” units is not rushing, its massing and spamming. Its not hard to wait several minutes and let your money come in while clicking a unit to contruct it constantly.

Real rushing, however is a more complicated matter. Rushing is really finding a weak spot in the enemy lines early in the game and having a few units breakthrough that point. That takes skill as a poorly executed rush will leave you vulnerable to counterattack. What constitutes a real rush? In C&C Red Alert 2, I have won plenty of games through rushing. I start up with the basic prerequisites for grizzlies, and build 6 or 7. Then I find a weak spot and bust through it. The enemy, many times however, has been busy building up ore miners and a battlelab so he can win with 20++ prism tanks or similiar. However, because I attacked so early, he has no chance of massing them. However, if I fail to plunge and penetrate to the Conyard, and instead go through the basic starting units, or a few infantry, the rush will fail. A group of GIs deployed in a group can stop a small grizzly tank force, which is what I’m using. Rushing requires real micromanaging, unlike the mass managing used to control 20++ tanks. The same thing applies in Generals. Games say “NORUSH15/SW” .etc, But when 15 minutes its over, the players each have a sizable attack force which has become a mass. Only in a “Pro” game with no rules will real rushes actually occur,… to devasting effects.

So when people argue against rushing and mention lots of units overrunning them, they’re really talking about massing, not rushing. The problem is that so many people no longer rush and build up +++++ units that the two terms mean the same. The case is not so big in Generals, but people still mix the term up. I hope the two terms clear up, because rushing is a tactic that requires skill, while massing is just “build build build build” and huge attack.

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